“Kogagyuos-sama, the kobold division has been deployed.”
One of the captains that hasn’t been given a name finished their report. It was several times faster than I imagined. As expected of the soldiers that have been trained by the Demon Lord-sama.
Even an incompetent bunch with not a single shred of intelligence can become mindless soldiers that follow the orders of a superior if they touch the mana of the Demon Lord-sama. Even low rank monsters can become a proper fighting force compared to the time when we were living in the wild.
“How’s the state of the humans?”
“If it is in the area around us, they seem to be gathering soldiers in a fortress where it is suitable for defense. But it seems like they are completely asleep.”
“Humans have to sleep at night. An inferior race that can’t even see in the dark without using magic.”
The orders of the Demon Lord-sama were simple: ‘Be on standby at the designated place until given the signal. Once the signal is given, attack the designated locations at the discretion of the respective ones in charge’.
The respective Uniques that were left in charge of units have been given magic crystals. They are magic crystals that begin shining after a certain period of time when poured mana. That will be the signal to start the war.
I have a general grasp of the mana poured in them. The signal to start the war will most likely be lit soon.
“Then, should we pull a surprise attack on the fortress when the signal is given?”
I cross my arms and think.
That’s the problem. It is clear that’s the best way to deal damage to the enemy soldiers, but…the enemy is already inside the fortress even if the surprise attack succeeds. It should be better to be ready to a certain degree.
“There’s no need to rush into a place where enemy soldiers are cooped in. There’s a number of villages around, right?”
The troops that are going to attack from the Mejis side will be hindered by the Mejis Nether, but the Gahne region can be attacked from the onset. The Gahne Nether is the domain of the Demon Lord-sama. Even the humans are aware that sending soldiers there would be suicidal.
But most of the humans living in Gahne have taken refuge in the Gahne capital that’s located at the center. As for the more difficult to assault locations, we can just wait for the other units to reconvene.
“Yes, there’s a number of them, but…it seems like they have already finished evacuating. There’s only a few soldiers residing in them to serve as lookouts.”
The humans know that we will be attacking. They had several months to prepare. It makes sense that they would finish evacuating the weaklings. But there’s no issue.
“It is not like our army will be heading off to steal the territory of the humans. We are going there to destroy it. If they are going to be cooping themselves up in their fortress, we just have to set flames to that fortress to the point where they would want to jump out of it. Let’s attack the nearby villages first.”
They won’t be able to ignore it completely if the inside of their territory burns. The soldiers that jump out won’t have proper preparations either. We will draw them out and eliminate them with certainty. As for the fortress, we will aim for the moment when their soldiers have decreased in numbers and attack them slowly. The soldiers in the capital should come out as well if we go like that.
If they decide to ignore it and settle on a siege, then we will handle matters when that happens. We will burn into their eyes the sight of their burning settlements while they are powerless to do anything and lower their morale.
“Then, do that.”
“Wait, there’s lookouts in the villages, right? We will capture them alive when we attack. Tell the soldiers not to kill them either.”
“Are you going to make them spill information?”
“They are soldiers, too. They will simply die before their hearts break if we just torture them in a half-baked manner. I am using them for something else. I will use them as food for my army in front of the fortress.”
They have a strong sense of comradery. There will be ones who will jump out if we were to show them their comrades eaten right in front of their eyes. Even if not, we can surely bite away their hearts.
“I see… As expected of Kogagyos-sama!”
We must remind the humans that have lived for hundreds of years in peace…this war isn’t the lukewarm stuff where you steal away land; it is a slaughter that won’t end until one side perishes.
“…It is here.”
The magic crystal finally shone. That’s the permission of the Demon Lord-sama to attack. Now, let’s be the first to bring fire to human territory.
I advance inside the darkness together with armed soldiers. I deploy the ones with sensitive instincts at the ends of the formation, and get ready to use detection magic, too.
I am the one at the front to begin with. If I can’t detect it, then it will be impossible for the other ones, too. Also, all of my senses are telling me: Sight, no issues; sound, no issues; smell, no issues; detection magic and some sort of barrier, no issues. Has our march not been detected yet?
I have heard that a number of soldiers have been deployed in the border between Mejis and the Mejis Neither. The ones here are so careless compared to that.
They must have poured most of their forces into their capital. They will only notice that this decision was a mistake after the situation has turned irreversible.
In the end, we of the kobold division managed to arrive at the village without encountering any enemies.
There’s more information entering my nose. I can tell clearly that there were many humans living here. There’s been traces left of a large number of humans having left the village. It most likely hasn’t been long since they evacuated.
I spread out the soldiers to encircle the village, and bring a number of our forces to infiltrate the village. There’s no presence of humans in the houses. Looks like my judgment that they have finished evacuating wasn’t wrong.
“So the lookouts are over here.”
I could see a torch burning in only one of the houses in the middle of the village. And by the side of that, there’s two armed humans sitting on chairs.
There’s the possibility that a few more are inside that house, but there’s no issues with that.
“Don’t forget to stop the bleeding. Humans die with just a bit of blood flowing out after all.”
I ordered a subordinate that excels in stealth and had it ambush them in the shadows. My subordinate approached without any wasted movements, and sliced off the arm holding the weapon and a leg from the enemy soldier in an instant.
We were given the order to not kill them, so we didn’t aim for the throat.
The screams of humans were naturally raised by this. But there’s no issue.
I also roared and gave the order to charge to the units that were outside the village. Many roars rang outside the village and they approached with a tremor.
It is good and all that I got them to rush in, but how many soldiers are there in this village? We can’t avoid an all-in here.
There’s no way I would be satisfied with just trading blows with mere lookouts. Let’s burn the village flashily and prepare for the next one.
I continued walking and got to where the enemy soldiers were, but I noticed the state of my subordinates was strange. Even though I ordered them to stop the bleeding, they are looking down at the enemy soldiers with a weird face. You idiots, if you don’t stop the bleeding quickly, the food will die.
“Oi, what are you doing? Get to your work alre—”
I approached to a distance where I could see them clearly and understood the reason why my subordinates were confused. The human that I thought had their leg and arm severed and was suffering…was actually not a human.
“Gyaaaaaaaaah! Gyaaaaaaah! Gyaaaaah?! Gyagyagya!”
It has the shape of a human, but the face is not moving as if it were a mask, and there’s no blood flowing out when there should be. And most of all, the mana I can feel is that from a devil.
“This is…a devil from the Purple Demon Lord?!”
I crush the head of the laughing devil under my foot and have my one other subordinate deal with the other one. Think of the reason why. I know that the Purple Demon Lord is in leagues with the humans. In that case, leaving the surveillance of places like this to devils who only have numbers would not be unnatural.
But they can just have devils in hiding if it were just that. What’s the point of making them act like humans?
What was the result of their ruse? The current state of affairs.
In other words, this is…
It was already too late by the time I noticed. Most of the soldiers had rushed into the village, and all the houses in the village began burning as if aiming for this moment.
This fire is not just burning. It is a special fire made by magic. It is nothing for high rank monsters, but for low and intermediate ranks, it would work just fine.
The fact that they are pulling this means that, not only are there no soldiers, there’s not a single human here.
“Don’t panic! We just have to get out of the villa—” (Kogagyus)
A roar was raised outside the village. This is not from our kobold division. That’s right, this is the voice of humans.
This number of voices…we are surrounded?! Even though we didn’t encounter a single one when heading to this village?!
It would make sense that they were hiding, but there’s no way I wouldn’t be able to notice them with my nose if they were in our marching route. That means they predicted our route?!
All was for the sake of this… No, that’s impossible. This plan was decided on my own volition before the battle.
They prepared for such a haphazard tactic. What would they have done if they were attacked properly?!
Screams rang from all directions. The sound of arrows cutting through the wind and the sound of explosions caused by magic. These guys trapped the enemies inside the burning village and are sealing their enemies with long range attacks.
“We need to regroup. Gather all to the center of the village!” (Kogagyos)
“B-But if we do that, the fire…!”
“Have the people that arrive in the middle destroy the burning houses around! We should be able to manage somehow if we eliminate what’s burning! Once we get the numbers, we will break out of this village through one spot!” (Kogagyos)
If we were to hurry and escape from the village here all scattered about, we would simply be targets for the arrows and magic. The harm brought by the fire is comparatively low. We will prepare ourselves for some casualties as we retreat…!
My subordinates were already destroying the buildings one after the other by the time I arrived in the middle of the village. They blew away the rubble and slowly created a space that’s not burning. The heat remaining in the surroundings is troublesome, but it is far better than throwing oil to the fire directly.
I began seeing subordinates with arrows pierced in them from the ones gathering. Must be the ones that were at the outer parts of the village. It would be better to not expect more. That would mean I have lost close to 20% of my soldiers at this point. Even if it is mainly formed of low and intermediate ranks, there’s no doubt it is a heavy blow.
“We have the numbers now. Alright, with this, we will break through their encirclement from one point—” (Kogagyus)
An especially loud roar of humans echoed. This time it is coming from one direction. I could tell the rumbling with my feet. That’s telling me the humans are charging this way.
Impossible. That’s suicidal. It is true that we are packed in one spot here and haven’t gotten back our bearings yet, but this is the place they themselves set fire on.
Humans are weak to being burned in fire, moreover, they are also weak to inhaling the burning smoke. Monsters are without doubt the ones in the advantage in a burning battlefield.
The tremor was slowly approaching. It is way too fast. Cavalry?! Are you telling me horses can run inside the fire without fearing it?!
“K-Kogagyos-sama! T-This is…!”
“Shut up! Don’t open your mouth at every damn thing! It is just stupid humans trying to rush into this fire on horseback!” (Kogagyos)
We are the ones who have secured the place that has had the fire cleared away. In other words, they would need to fight while being burned in the fire.
Come if you want to die. It is true that it is a dire situation where we would have to stay in this place, but it is a choice worth taking if we can lower their forces that they are using foolishly!
“T-Then, we would…”
“All units, combat formations! Fight close to the fire that they have set ablaze themselves! That simple action will lead to hell for them!” (Kogagyos)
“…You bark loud. But fire all around is not an issue for us at all.”
I saw something land inside the fire. The ones who noticed were raising their heads one after the other.
The one who was shown lit inside the fire was a single human. A man wearing armor and helmet, wielding a giant hammer, is rushing towards us.
The hammer has a massive amount of mana to the point that I could tell with the naked eye. It is condensed to a violent degree.
And then, the hammer of that man was swung down, and crushed my subordinates in the trajectory as it pierced the ground.
An explosive sound and shockwave assaulted us in one go. Many of the ones who were late in reacting were hit with the full brunt of the shockwave and were blown into the fire.
The ones that remained in place were sent flying by the ground jutting out and some were swallowed by the sunken ground.
Most of the gathered units were dealt destructive harm with a single attack.
The one who created such a disaster was a single slender man. This man slowly returned from his hammer swung pose to a straight posture, and faced us again.
“Who…in the world are you?!” (Kogagyos)
“So you are the commander. Introducing myself to a monster is a fresh experience… Knight of Taizu’s Chivalric Order and member of the Ragudo Division, Mountain Splitter, Boruveragtein Gophgoveilz! The hammer that will crush your invasion!” (Boru)
This man has quite the pressure. That introduction alone made the intermediate monsters falter and the lesser monsters back away. He has raised the wariness of our unit with that one display of his.
“To think there would be a human who can unleash such an attack… So they have gathered their trump cards near the Nether, huh.” (Kogagyos)
“I am not that strong though.” (Boru)
“Stop the humility. There’s no way a monstrosity that can blow away even the fire around in one hit can be weak.” (Kogagyos)
“I held back. In the first place, clearing away the fire is nothing compared to the time when I split a mountain. More importantly, it looks like you can’t understand the situation around you despite having a pair of eyes.” (Boru)
The situation around? What changed the most was that our unit was shaken by the attack of Boruvegtein, and a part of the fire around has…?!
If he had aimed for a more central point when he landed, there would have been more casualties.
But he aimed for the corner instead. His aim was to clear away the fire around there.
In other words, they have created a nice space for themselves.
“I could have blown a few more away if I had put a bit more of my back into it, but if I were to take away all the credit, I might be the one being made to pay for everyone in the celebration party.” (Boru)
Cavalry showed up from inside the fire along with roars. Horses one size larger than normal. The intensity of the knights riding them doesn’t lose to that of Boruvegtein.
“So you created a path for the cavalry…! But with your one attack—” (Kogagyos)
“Just for your information, this degree of broken ground…can be run over with eyes closed for the horses of Taizu. Our way of training is on a different level.” (Boru)
The enemy cavalry didn’t slow down even through the cracked ground, and even ran without issues through ground that jutted out. And then, they rammed onto our faltering forces.
“Guh, fight! Their cavalry is far fewer than our numbers! Crush them with numbers!” (Kogagyos)
“I praise you for gathering your units in one spot immediately in a situation where you are surrounded by fire, but the formation of your troops is all over the place because of the hurry. You haven’t even properly prepared a space for your spearmen -the effective unit against mounted troops- to wield their weapons properly. You won’t be able to bring down the cavalry of Taizu with haphazard spears.” (Boru)
Spreading out soldiers in equal numbers when encircling the village has come to bite me back. They all gathered in the middle just like that, so there’s no formation at all. If the soldiers wielding large weapons were to swing their weapons, they would hit their allies, too. There’s some who can still fight back despite that, but the cavalry was fending them off with practiced movements.
“Are you telling me you were aiming for this situation?!” (Kogagyos)
“Obviously. Who do you think is the one that commands us? The most outstanding king in the history of Taizu, the Wise King, Marito Taizu!” (Boru)
“Lord Gaphgoveilz of the Ragudo Division has entered battle inside the village. The plan has succeeded.”
“Lord Domitorkofucon of the Ragudo Division has entered battle in the meadows. The plan has succeeded.”
“Lord Leano of the Leano Division has entered battle in the hills. The plan has succeeded.”
Reports of battles having begun were coming out one after the other from the many communication crystals lined up in a room at Gahne. Several people are summarizing those reports and recreating it in the map.
It seems like they have fallen cleanly in my set traps as of present.
“Looks like they are succeeding one after the other. As expected of the Wise King, I guess.”
“It is simple as long as you can read the location where they are on standby and their invasion route.” (Marito)
“Nfufufu! In other words, it is thanks to this one!” (Gold)
It is vexing to admit this, but that’s exactly the case. It goes without saying that the one with the most information in a war is the one with the advantage. And the Ruling of the Gold Demon Lord excels in that front.
The simulated worlds that the Gold Demon Lord creates with her power are recreated with the same number of monsters and positions. In other words, if you can find the enemies in the simulated world, you can pinpoint their locations in the real world, too.
The strongest point here is that it doesn’t give the impression to the enemy that you have been found. You can instill the wrong impression that their movements are not being read.
“If even the Unique Monsters leading the troops were to be recreated in the simulated world, it would be a lot easier though.” (Marito)
“Don’t ask for so much luxury. Demon Lords can’t be recreated in the simulated worlds. The monsters that have been infused with the mana of the Demon Lord directly don’t show either. All the generals of Scarlet must have received his mana.” (Gold)
It is a shame that not all goes, but that’s still a lot of effectiveness. It is possible to detect Unique Monsters when they are at a certain distance, so it should be okay to judge that they have reached a decision once they have moved all the way in range.
Right now there’s several people inside the simulated world of the Gold Demon Lord -including Ludfein.
“…I am back. It seems like their marching route hasn’t changed.” (Ludfein)
“Ludfein, it is okay to take a bit of a break. Even if most of the functions this one provides can assist ya, yer brain is the one doing all the processing.” (Gold)
“I will take a break once I am tired. But this truly is an outrageous power.” (Ludfein)
“Clears away the worries of Gahne’s future, right?” (Gold)
“No worries can be cleared away as long as your core is not fixed.” (Ludfein)
Nice response. The Gold Demon Lord warping her face feels nice. The dissatisfaction of acting together with the Gold Demon Lord has been fixed thanks to Ludfein.
“Mejis still doesn’t have a grasp of these points. Ludfein, I leave the surveillance of the monsters here, here, and here to you.” (Marito)
“I am counting on you to tell me whether the east or west will move. I have created plans for when either of them do.” (Marito)
“…Either of them, huh.” (Ludfein)
“I am impressive, but this Wise King is also something else. He would shake the enemies exactly as planned by predicting their invasion route through their positions, and has set traps in order to effectively face them.” (Gold)
Right now all the actions of the enemies have been predictable. The preparations for the strategies are going without issues, too. If they show movements that go against the prediction, I just need to reread their intentions and prepare a different plan.
“Even if I were to make a single all-encompassing plan, there’s no point if they were to get the better of it. Even in a board where both parties are hindering each other, they would still continue to read 2-3 moves ahead of their enemy. Not being able to do at least this despite having the power of the Gold Demon Lord would disqualify me as a king.” (Marito)
“So our king is not qualified.” (Ludfein)
“Ludfein, even this one wouldn’t want to cry pathetically in important events, ya know?” (Gold)
The reality is that if the Gold Demon Lord were to have as much intelligence as me, it would be a situation where all the nations would have to be wary of Gahne’s threat. Let’s be grateful for that point alone.
“So that’s the limit of the monsters’ strength, huh. Them being armed is problematic, but their coordination is insufficient.” (Marito)
“So ya say, but if they were to clash with the Gahne soldiers, they would be evenly matched. Might even be pushed back instead, ya know?” (Gold)
“They are no enemies of the knights of Taizu.” (Marito)
“…Burning down a whole village for a tactic and having cavalry rushed in there would normally be suicidal, ya know?” (Gold)
“It is true that it would be dangerous if they were to inhale the smoke, but all the Taizu knights can cast a barrier around themselves and their horses. They can also stop breathing until they leave the village if the barriers have been sealed. The horses have also been trained for such scenarios.” (Marito)
“Hey, could it be that the living beings in Taizu are actually monsters? I can’t think of them as human.” (Gold)
“What’s more important is to compile the information of the enemies. The packs of monsters that have been detected as of present have moved and have begun fighting. The fact that they began acting at almost the same time must mean that they got the signal to start battle.” (Marito)
They all began moving at different intervals, but it was almost at the same time. Instead of this being the Demon Lord sending a mana wave, it is more like he sent that order with some other means.
And I didn’t see signs of coordination from each side. There’s only one possibility after taking all those factors into account.
“The Scarlet Demon Lord is not taking direct command. It should be safe to assume that the Unique Monsters in the location are the ones acting on their own discretion.” (Marito)
“I can tell that to some degree. Scarlet should have been a soldier originally. They would have moved with a bit more order if it had been under his command.” (Gold)
The background of the Scarlet Demon Lord that we got from the account of the other Demon Lords was that the Scarlet Demon Lord was a man under an army. He was apparently a general, but they don’t know the details.
But the movements of the soldiers just now were far from tactical. It is true that it would be hard to read the actions of the enemies if the commander gives the soldiers freedom to move.
But if you deploy your soldiers in different locations, your power to break through the enemy lowers, and in situations where the enemy has read your movements and has set an ambush, it stings hard.
My friend said that the Scarlet Demon Lord doesn’t look down on the Gold Demon Lord. He is moving under the premise of the Ruling.
“Oi, Marito, can you hear me?”
Speak of the devil. My friend has called. I have just finished giving commands to the respective platoons, so I have time. I should exchange opinions here.
“I can. How are things going over there?” (Marito)
“How to say it…the knights of Taizu are impressive.”
I really am happy to be praised bluntly. I could hear Lady Ratzel going: ‘that’s right, that’s right’.
“Let’s share information here for now.” (Marito)
I have already given him the picture for the distribution of monsters. I explain briefly the actions of each side while simplifying the numbers.
“Looks like the whole army is moving.”
“Right. We used the simulated worlds of the Gold Demon Lord to investigate the bases in the surroundings, but we haven’t found reinforcements as of present.” (Marito)
I can tell that my friend is thinking even through the crystal. Looks like there was some other point of notice. Even if he has no knowledge of military strategy, the sense of my friend in such areas is pretty high.
“Is there a point that doesn’t fit?” (Marito)
“What I could tell from here is that the Scarlet Demon Lord is incredibly methodical.”
“…Can I ask for an explanation?” (Marito)
“There’s a number of points where the battle started. That was almost at the same time, right?”
“Right. There are also some that happened a bit later, and those who are still on their way.” (Marito)
“In the case the ones coming a bit later and the others still on the way were to enter battle at the closest location, when do you think the battle would have started?”
I turn back time for the pieces on the map inside my brain. The time when I got the report of movement, the routes each took, the closest locations where battle could have happened, and the time it would take…
“So that’s how it is. He certainly is a methodical Demon Lord.” (Marito)
“Explain in a way so that this one can understand too!” (Gold)
“The monsters on standby began moving separately, but the times when the battles would begin with the shortest route were adjusted in a way so that they would happen almost at the same time. We should think that the Scarlet Demon Lord took this into account and calculated the time.”
The reason why there were delays happening is because it was left to the jurisdiction of the monsters. But if he wanted battle to happen at the same time, wouldn’t it have been better to also set their destination?
“The Scarlet Demon Lord must have wanted to delay the discovery of this. That’s why he was creating variations in the times.”
“Meaning that… Alright, I will end the call for now.” (Marito)
I finish the call and order everyone there. The details were simplified ones which I have instructed them of beforehand.
“What. He went out of his way to call and all.” (Gold)
“I agree, but the Scarlet Demon Lord’s army will be moving soon.” (Marito)
“Why can ya be so sure?” (Gold)
“We would have noticed this sooner or later. This is not much for the Scarlet Demon Lord, but the fact that he created the delays on purpose means that he plans on attacking at an early stage.” (Marito)
If battle happens in all locations at the very same time, the people with the ability to know the situation of the battle will be able to notice immediately that there’s something fishy here. There’s no doubt the Scarlet Demon Lord is taking into account our strength as well as the power of the Gold Demon Lord in this information battle.
We are currently winning, but there’s a high chance this could be flipped over. He is not someone we can lower our guard from until the winner is decided.
My friend has noticed this as well and is observing every nook and cranny of the battlefield. I must also work my brain to the fullest.
Zenotta: “Ouch ouch… I don’t know why, but I feel like the words of someone have stabbed me. It must be my imagination.”
Now then, it is time to think about the names of the monsters. I will be deciding them by feel, but it is hard to come up with ones that flow well…
I will be ending the introduction of rough designs for now. The last one I will be introducing will be Marito who has more spotlight in this arc.
He is the one who got close to the protagonist straight away, smacked him into form, understands his good and bad, and has accepted him. He has also laid down on the same bed as the protagonist which means he is 1st place in the heroine race. You won’t be considered a true heroine until you overcome Marito.
Speaking of Marito, he is the most overpowered person within the people that have not been influenced by Yugura. It is truly a relief that he isn’t a combatant.