At the time when the activation of the Demon Lord-sama’s power was felt, the enemy army immediately began to retreat. I would like to scoff at the humans and laugh at them for all of them being so pathetic, but needing to stop the march isn’t that good.
Awakening the instincts of strife from the monsters increases their strength, but it is not a permanent effect. And the moment they are released of it, that much of a recoil attacks the body.
My harpies didn’t do any direct battle and simply stayed in the sky, and yet, they are still fatigued.
The fatigue of the other monsters that did battle must be quite the thing.
If they were to get the effects of it in the middle of the invasion, most of the lesser ones would drop dead at the time when they are bringing down the castles of the humans. That’s why there’s the need for them to have some resting time.
“The platoons have stated that it will take around 5 minutes of rest for the lesser monsters to recover their stamina. Also, it seems like a number of troops have been hindered by monsters. Gahne had devils mainly while Mejis had skeletons.”
“Purple and Blue, huh. They are protecting the humans. So the humans have completely taken their reins. That said, they retreated fast. Are humans that careful, or do they understand the effects of mine power? The other Demon Lords should not know mine power though.” (Scarlet)
“No way! Enemy soldiers have appeared from the woods near the Kogagyos unit! Also on the Gehertel unit!”
They are attacking again despite having withdrawn once? Didn’t they retreat because they thought they had no chance of winning if they fought normally? I don’t understand.
“Confirm the surroundings of the other units.” (Scarlet)
“At once… Can’t see anyone from above!”
“…How long till the battle begins?” (Scarlet)
“I would say less than 3 minutes!”
“Get them ready to intercept. Have them hang on for 2 minutes and a half and I will use Strife on both units.” (Scarlet)
I give the order.
2 minutes and a half later, the Demon Lord-sama narrowed the mana wave to the direction where the units were and activated his power. He apparently can skip some hassle when it is unleashed in all directions, but it is possible to enhance only specific battles like this. With this, they will be able to fight the reckless charge—no, this is…?!
“T-The enemies have suddenly begun retreating!”
“I see. So they really have understood the nature of mine power. Looks like they simply gave the order to see whether I could use it in specific places.” (Scarlet)
“How’s the ratio of demi-humans in the enemy army?” (Scarlet)
“…It has decreased. Most of the demi-humans have been moved to the rear and have been switched to mainly archers.”
The Demon Lord-sama only used his power once. Is it possible to understand the nature of it to this extent with just that much?! Not only that. They have already adapted to it, and have begun taking countermeasures.
At this rate, we won’t be able to recover properly…!
“I have undone the power. Order all units to march.” (Scarlet)
“Y-You won’t have them recover?!”
“There was no battle, so there wasn’t that much of a burden in this time’s activation of the power. Any more rest has a high chance of the enemy analyzing us further. The efficiency decreases compared to staying stationary, but they should be able to recover slightly even if it is just walking.” (Scarlet)
T-True. If the enemy learns of how much time lesser monsters need in order to recover, it will be easier for them to hinder us in a more precise manner.
It would be best to not give them information even if it comes to the price of pushing ourselves slightly…probably.
“The enemy will be using ambushes and traps often. I will use mine power when battle begins, but don’t give the order to chase them when they escape. Keep the exertion to a minimum and have our lines advance with certainty.” (Scarlet)
I can’t feel a shred of unease and irritation from the Demon Lord-sama. There’s no doubt this situation is but a trifling matter to him.
In the first place, all this battle is simply the Demon Lord-sama matching the humans. He is giving an opportunity for all the unnamed monsters to fight. Someone as lowly as me getting all flustered is just beyond prideful.
“At the route of the Zoberamitaya unit’s march, there have been reports of enemy soldiers on the east. They are currently approaching while maintaining formation.”
“If they have been readily found and their movements are dull, it must be a bait. Proceed with the assumption that there’s reinforcements from both sides and there’s traps awaiting.” (Scarlet)
I must work fully as a tool. Fulfill my duty as a tool that recreates the will of the Demon Lord-sama with precision.
“The sign to retreat. We are retreating too, Blue.”
“Retreating again?! What is the king of Taizu thinking?!” (Blue)
My army and the army of Purple have to be on standby nearby for the times when they are needed. We need to move them to a set distance to match the movements of the Taizu army and the Mejis army.
As for the troops that have been given rings to order the monsters, it is enough to just order the retreat, so there’s no need to put much thought into it. But I have to accompany the unit that I am personally commanding. Basically, we are being thrown about by the commands of that Taizu King, and are being made to just run around without fighting.
Even though I had hyped myself up with ‘I have increased the coordination and quality of the monsters. Let’s do this!’, it has been completely sucked out of me. I am even craving to find a handy enemy nearby and just charge at them.
“Comrade gave us a call, right? The Strife of the Scarlet Demon Lord takes a big toll on the monsters. They will be making them use it, avoid battle when it happens, and aim at exhausting them.” (Ekdoik)
The effects of Strife are extremely big when it comes to this war. Purple and I have a decent amount of monsters amassed, but if Scarlet uses that power, it can easily overcome the combined power of our armies. The specially dangerous part is the rank up of intermediate and high rank monsters.
At the time when having monsters fight against each other, you can somehow manage against an intermediate monster if you throw lesser monsters together, but that’s almost pointless against high rank ones. Basically, no matter how many lesser monsters we have, they would have their hands full with just the strengthened lesser monsters of Scarlet.
The intermediate ones would be on the same level as the few high ranked monsters on our side, and the strengthened high ranks…just thinking about it would be a pain.
“Can’t we negotiate something so we can use my Annihilation? It would make things a lot easier, you know?” (Blue)
We are not in the Kuama Nether, so the burden to spread the mana for necromancy would be decently higher. I don’t think I would be able to win against Scarlet when it comes purely to mana amount, so there’s no doubt we would still be at a disadvantage, but we would be able to draw the Strife with inexhaustible soldiers.
“We have been told to avoid using the corpses of humans, right? Victory is important in this battle, but it also comes with the objective of having the humans recognize Demon Lords as their allies, and wipe out their impression that you are enemies.” (Ekdoik)
“That’s true, but… Argh, this is so annoying!” (Blue)
I can’t believe there’s this much stress involved with having a limited number of soldiers. It really makes me realize just how easy it would have been to invade with pure numbers and mass.
“It is right after retreating. There should be some time before they move again. There was a village just a few ways after entering the Mejis territory. How about resting for a bit there?” (Ekdoik)
“I will do just that. Being inside the Nether of a different Demon Lord is a lot harsher than I thought.” (Blue)
The Mejis army have currently set their lines on the Mejis Nether and are slowly retreating. We are also on the Mejis Nether, but I am honestly feeling asphyxiated.
Demon Lords can create Nethers by using the mana leaking from their bodies. It is a massive power, but this is the creation of a territory where the respective Demon Lord can live comfortably in. It is comparatively better than human territory, but the Nether of others is unpleasant instead.
I might as well just dye this part into my Nether to act with more comfort, but that man has warned me against it, too. ‘This is a battle to stop the invasion of a Nether, so increasing the Nethers would worsen their impressions’ -so stingy.
“Then, I will finish my meeting with Rakura, Girista, and Haakudoku. Tell me with my chains if anything happens.” (Ekdoik)
“About that Haakudoku, why did they put him on this side?” (Blue)
The man that he brought in as a comrade in Kuama is apparently a special human prepared as a ‘weapon’ by Yugura, but…he for some reason loses consciousness when he sees a Demon Lord. It is to the point of it being pitiful whenever I see it.
I can’t meet the others thanks to this.
Well, it is not like I would feel lonely just because Ekdoik is a bit busier though. But I do feel it is inconvenient.
“There’s the Purple Demon Lord and Gold Demon Lord on the side of Gahne. It was apparently a matter of which side the burden would be bigger.” (Ekdoik)
“Aah…right. One is better than two. You could have just left him behind.” (Blue)
“Can’t do that. The danger detection of Haakudoku is outstandingly high. The fact that we were given a power holder with the ability to avoid the worst scenario must be a measure given by Comrade for the fact that he couldn’t be present here.” (Ekdoik)
“But he is questionable when it comes to being a combatant, right?” (Blue)
“I wonder about that. I at least wouldn’t want to fight him ever again.” (Ekdoik)
I see. I heard Ekdoik was burning with competitiveness when he lost once to Rakura. Despite him being such a passionate person, he is someone Ekdoik would want to avoid, huh. Not interested though.
“Can’t we just turn him into a demon? He might not lose consciousness that way.” (Blue)
“Now that you mention it, that might be true. I will try consulting with Comrade next time.” (Ekdoik)
“It was a joke, a joke. Just telling you, but turning someone into a demon means to have a connection with them for eternity, you know? There’s no way I would want to increase them just to test things out.” (Blue)
“I see… I see?” (Ekdoik)
What’s with those eyes? Those eyes as if saying ‘Didn’t you turn me into a demon as a test?’. Just for your information, it was a decision after pondering it a whole ton! It is a situation that I normally would not accept outside the time when I was feeling despair! …Well, I do think it wasn’t a bad decision.
“I think Gold would tag along with the experiment, but I think she would throw that it will be under the condition that that man will also be turned into a demon.” (Blue)
“That’s… I feel like it would be a bit troubling.” (Ekdoik)
If he does, the distance between him and Ekdoik might widen. Please let that happen. I don’t mind if it is Gold or Purple. I can’t believe there’s a demon who prioritizes a human instead of his own lord.
“Nothing would be lost. The constraints might increase though. Now then, I am leaving the rest to you.” (Blue)
I would like to talk for a while, but I have to prioritize resting or I won’t be able to hold on. The punchline of having to return immediately right when I reach the village might happen.
I use disguise magic on an undead horse and make it so it looks like a normal horse. It can run while ignoring the limits of the body, so it is an outstanding child that doesn’t lose to the monstrous horses of Taizu in terms of speed. It is not a Unique, but it should be fine to give a name to my personal horse. Might as well have Ekdoik name it… No, no.
I ride to the Mejis territory at full speed, and drop down the speed to that of a normal horse when the village comes to sight. I am not so ignorant of the outside world to the point of carelessly standing out.
There’s already a lot of soldiers resting in the village. It seems like most have retreated a long time ago, but a number of villagers remained and are carrying supplies for the soldiers and other stuff.
I was stopped by a soldier when I reached the entrance. Of course they would feel a bit suspicious when a woman on a horse with no weapon were to show up.
“Do you have anything that could serve as proof of identity?”
“Yes, is this enough?” (Blue)
I say this and show the signed note that that man gave me beforehand. It is a special note that proves that I am someone participating in this war but am not from the Gahne army, Mejis army, or the Taizu army.
The soldier is making a slightly conflicted expression. He is from the Mejis army, so he must have his opinions about me being affiliated to the neutral Demon Lord army. Or more like, I am a Demon Lord. I don’t think my face has been exposed though.
“Are you alone?”
“Yes. I have switched places with my comrade and have come here to rest. There should be at least one house open, right?” (Blue)
“Yeah, we have been told by the Pope-sama to always have one open residence in each base. It is the house that has a sign with the same crest as the one carved in your note.”
Looks like he can’t bicker when the top is the one giving the order. Well, I don’t mind if he did though.
“I will be going in then.” (Blue)
“Wait. Please get down from the horse. Right now there’s not only soldiers but also villagers working here and there.”
“Aah, right.” (Blue)
I had no intention of running in there with it, but it could turn into trouble if the horse were to get surprised.
I get off the horse and smack its rear lightly. The horse turned around and moved away from the village.
“It has left… Is that okay?”
“I don’t mind. That child is an intelligent one. It will immediately come to me once I leave the village.” (Blue)
“I-Is that so…”
Ah, is a normal horse not that intelligent? Oh well, who cares. Let’s just go in already.
The village is mainly filled with soldiers resting in the village or checking their luggage. There’s no injured soldiers from what I can see. Well, with how fast they retreated, the only ones fighting properly are the knights of Taizu.
I search for the house and go around looking for the prepared sign. I confirmed it with a soldier nearby so I managed to find it pretty quickly. It is a house that’s slightly to the side of the plaza where they are distributing supplies. It might be a bit noisy for sleep, so I will cast a barrier.
When I entered the house, a woman carrying large amounts of blankets came out just right at that time. She looks like a villager. Is she helping out with the chores?
“E-Excuse me, could it be that you are the person that’s using this house?”
“That’s right. This is the note.” (Blue)
“U-Uhm…how many more are there…?”
Aah, could it be that they didn’t have enough things, so they were thinking of borrowing the unused stuff in this house? There’s more soldiers residing here than the total villagers, so it can’t be helped.
“It is only me as of now. There will only be 2-3 people resting at most.” (Blue)
“Aah, that’s a relief. In that case, there’s still some remaining, so go ahead and take your time.”
“That’s my intention, but if you take that many in one go, you won’t be able to see the front. If you trip, the soldiers will have to sleep in muddied blankets. Give that here.” (Blue)
I take half of the blankets and carry them with her. They are cheap blankets, so they are hard and heavy. I feel like you might as well just use magic to make them lighter. That said, I unconsciously helped her out, but this won’t mean I have stolen her work, right?
“Sorry for the trouble… Could you be an adventurer?”
“Something similar, but no.” (Blue)
The girl was visibly disappointed by that. Is there any reason to be that sad about me not being an adventurer? I don’t like that it feels like I am the one in the wrong here.
“I don’t remember doing anything to make you that disappointed though.” (Blue)
“Ah, no, sorry! I heard adventurers were joining this battle too, so I was thinking of talking with one…”
“A former adventurer…? You don’t look the part though. Do you have an admiration for them?” (Blue)
“I heard my son was working as an adventurer, so I was wondering if I could hear rumors about him…”
Aah, so that’s what it was. Judging from her way of talking, it is an adventurer that hasn’t returned home in a while. The lifestyle of adventurers is one that doesn’t assure a tomorrow.
It might even end up in finding out he is actually dead if we were to investigate it.
“Must be quite the independent boy, leaving his mother and becoming an adventurer.” (Blue)
“…I hope that’s the case.”
“I was being sarcastic. So unreceptive.” (Blue)
“Ah, sorry about that… I grew estranged from my son since he was young and haven’t seen him since. It was a really sad parting… I had already given up, sure that he is not alive anymore… But I have heard recently in a letter from a pretty big shot that he is alive and is working as an adventurer.”
…Hm? This is just my imagination, right? This is kind of bothering me. I feel as if I have heard this before.
“A big shot going out of their way to tell you that is quite the peculiar connection.” (Blue)
“Yeah, I do think so, too. But that person might have a connection with my daughter.”
“You also have a daughter, huh.” (Blue)
“Yeah, but I haven’t seen her either since the time we separated…”
“Aren’t you getting separated way too often?!” (Blue)
You hear of people separating pretty often. But for her to experience those several times… She is an unfortunate one. Yeah. I think I am a more unfortunate person still, but there’s nothing as sad as boasting about one’s misfortune, so I won’t.
“I am a failure of a mother…but I am also happy as a mother. It seems like my son is alive as an adventurer and my daughter is doing her best as a priestess of the Yugura Church after all…”
…Eh, this…wait…wait a moment. That combination is scarily familiar. Or more like…yeah… Eeeh?!
“E-Excuse me, can you tell me their names? I-I might have heard about one of them before…” (Blue)
“Aah, right. Sorry about that. My name is Natora. Natora Salf. Uh, my son’s name is Ekdoik and my daughter’s name is Rakura…”