The meaning of the Demon Lord-sama gathering the soldiers later was because the more people that have received the power of the Demon Lord-sama, the more the effect on the surroundings, making it possible for the Strife to instill fear even on the humans who don’t get affected as much.
The enemy army learned of this when they were at a point where they couldn’t fall back, and they must have fallen into despair after witnessing this.
The miscalculation would be that the battle couldn’t be settled in one go because of the interference of the Purple Demon Lord’s monsters.
The harm caused by the full on attack of the devils may not have been much, but they ended up taking our time.
The humans obtained time to stand back up with this and we had no choice but to take a break.
But humans have no means to fill up this gap. Also, our soldiers have rested plenty enough. They can’t fall back and we will be able to show an even clearer difference in the fighting power compared to before.
“Demon Lord-sama, the stamina of the units has recovered enough.”
“I see. But the next battle will decide the outcome. I will amass a bit more power.” (Scarlet)
The Demon Lord-sama also thinks the next one will decide the battle. If they allow the upcoming invasion, our units will be able to wreak havoc in the enemy lines, and they will have no choice but to disperse.
If they were to disperse in a situation where they are already at a disadvantage in fighting force, they will be good targets for takedown.
Even if the enemy tries to bring us down, we have enough stamina. The other soldiers will be able to group up by the time they are fighting back.
Was it always this exhilarating to be certain of victory? It is a wonderful feeling that overcomes swinging my claws and killing the enemies. But lowering my guard is not allowed here.
We have shaved away most of the army of the Purple Demon Lord, but there’s still remaining. We have also not confirmed any movements from the Blue Demon Lord.
Even if they don’t have the power to overturn everything, there’s still factors that might open up for a hard battle.
Just when I thought this, information came in that there’s movement from both armies of Gahne and Mejis. This is…
“Is something the matter?” (Scarlet)
“About that…there’s a low number of cavalry surrounding our grouped up units… What are the knights… No, the ones that are riding the horses are not cavalrymen but clerics! Demon Lord-sama! The enemy soldiers are casting a barrier covering our army! Our link with the monsters on the ground is being interrupted!”
It is not a barrier to imprison them. This is clearly for the sake of cutting off our coordination. No, wait, could this possibly be…
“They most likely did this so mine power won’t reach the monsters.” (Scarlet)
“No way! Then our units—the enemy has moved! The soldiers within sight have begun to charge onto us!”
“Stop yapping. The powers given by Yugura are not like normal magic. They surpass any domain; forbidden power that touches upon the truth of the world. It is not something that a mere barrier can stop.” (Scarlet)
The Demon Lord-sama said this and activated his power. I immediately confirmed the situation with my own army of harpies.
Even if I can’t confirm the details of the monsters on land because of the barrier, the influence of it is working properly.
There should be no issues clashing with them like this. The barrier is also not a physical one, but one for the sake of cutting off our communication means.
“They have entered battle! It seems like our army is at an overwhelming advantage!” (Melsash)
“Melsashtiwer, have them confirm the state of the enemy soldiers in detail. If they are beginning battle despite knowing the barrier is not working, it must mean that they have a plan or two.” (Scarlet)
“At once! —The enemy has deployed their clerics at a set distance from each other, and have casted barriers on nearby allies to block the effect of the Demon Lord-sama’s power. Also… This is… The equipment of the enemy soldiers has changed greatly! Almost all soldiers have shields and some who even have greatshields!” (Melsash)
“So that really was the case. The enemy is blocking mine commands, concentrating on defense, and planning on exhausting them.” (Scarlet)
If they throw even the notion of fighting back and concentrate on defense, they can last a decent amount of time even against enemies that are beyond their strength.
Our army is in a state where they have to fight with a time limit. That choice should be effective. Moreover, we can’t give orders to the monsters on land. If they are going to struggle against the power of the Demon Lord-sama…this is indeed the best method.
“If it is going to lengthen, how about lowering the harpies and relaying the orders in that way?” (Melsash)
“When it is needed. The difference in strength is clear even if they are concentrating on defense. Also, this is our opportunity with their numbers lowered. Mine Strife increases the ability to create opportunities for victory, too. They can still take the best measures to a certain degree even without mine command.” (Scarlet)
“…Looks like our army is prioritizing attacking the clerics over the shield carriers. They would switch targets when they forcefully try to protect them and we are slowly decreasing the amount of enemies.” (Melsash)
“There’s no issue if they can do that. If the clerics die, the soldiers those clerics were protecting will be affected by the Strife and will just turn into trunks that can only hold their shields up.” (Scarlet)
But the humans are protecting the clerics with reckless abandon. We are pushing them back slowly, but it can’t be avoided that they will buy time. But it is not like the humans have a precise grasp of how much time it is possible for them to fight.
This is instead a gamble. You could say this is a throwaway plan that prays our army will implode, unable to endure the power of the Demon Lord-sama.
“?! Enemy reinforcements! New enemy soldiers from both sides. Also, this is…the skeleton soldiers of the Blue Demon Lord!” (Melsash)
“What about…the equipment of the human soldiers?” (Scarlet)
“Mainly shields, but their armor is different from the Gahne and Mejis soldiers. It doesn’t seem like they are knights of Taizu either. They are most likely Kuama soldiers!” (Melsash)
I confirm the number of soldiers and recreate it on the map. But further reinforcements here…? Kuama has been moving in a way that prioritizes protecting their own country… Did they grow impatient, thinking that they would be next if Gahne and Mejis fall?
“So they are increasing their forces for a battle of endurance, huh. Brave but they are holding too much hope. It is true that the Strife places a great burden on weak monsters, but the burden doesn’t show in the time when the Strife is being used. Most of the lesser monsters will run out of strength, but a large number of enemies should have died by then.” (Scarlet)
Just as the Demon Lord-sama has declared, their numbers have increased, but it is not like they can deal with the strengthened attacks of the monsters all the time. They are losing clerics, and the soldiers who have stopped in their tracks are being trampled.
If it goes well, we might be able to settle this battle without losing the lesser soldiers…
“What should we do about the clerics surrounding our army? We could order the harpies to take them down.” (Melsash)
“No need. Them maintaining it despite knowing that the Strife is still effective means that they want to thoroughly block mine commands. There’s a high chance there are knights and archers hiding with invisibility magic around them.” (Scarlet)
“True… Them being defenseless makes it highly probable that it is a trap. My apologies for the shallow vision.” (Melsash)
There’s no need to hurry. We are decreasing the number of humans for certain. The interference of the skeleton soldiers is a hindrance, but the strength of the soldiers isn’t that big of a deal.
They are just small fry that can be crushed if intermediate and high rank monsters stand to the front. What we should be wary of is not the situation of the battle, but the changes in the surroundings. We have to deal with the changes in the situation from new plans.
But contrary to those worries, the enemy soldiers were steadily decreasing, and there were finally people that began to retreat. No, this is not a retreat; they are running away. They threw away their weapons and are trying to escape from the battlefield without a care for the destination.
“Demon Lord-sama, deserters have begun appearing within the enemies.” (Melsash)
“The running soldiers won’t be able to protect themselves in the future. There’s no need to force ourselves to chase after them. As long as not all the enemy soldiers escape, the monsters who have been affected by the Strife will be prioritizing the monsters in front of them.” (Scarlet)
Them running away means that their hearts have broken. The ones who are prioritizing their own life over the victory of the humans don’t have the right to fight in the battlefield. That has instead driven the ones left behind in a deeper corner. There’s no chance of us losing anymore. What’s left is to defeat the remaining soldiers quickly.
But as expected from the soldiers remaining, there’s a lot of them who have confidence in being able to deploy barriers for themselves, and are stubbornly blocking our fierce attacks. Most of them are formed by the Taizu knights.
The soldiers of Taizu are definitely strong within the human soldiers. But their combat power won’t last for long.
I received reports over and over, and it has been a while since I have been reproducing the developments in the map. They are decreasing in numbers, but their defense seems to be getting sturdier as it goes on. It has long gone over my estimated time and I could tell myself that I am getting increasingly irritated.
The lesser monsters probably won’t be able to fight properly from here on. The intermediates are greatly weakened, and there’s definitely exhaustion left on the high ranks.
This is a contest of endurance; will the enemy run out of strength, or will our limit arrive first? We are at the advantage. That’s why it is not allowed to loosen our grip. The Demon Lord-sama understands this, yet hasn’t solved it with his power.
Time was passing slowly.
“…To think we would be beaten in a contest of endurance. As expected of the Taizu knights, I guess. The intermediate ranks will soon be reaching their limits. Melsashtiwer, have the harpies descend and give the order to retreat.” (Scarlet)
I give the order to the harpy unit and have them descend. We can’t communicate with them while they are relaying the retreat command as long as the barrier is present, but the Uniques are not going to be running out of strength, so there will most likely be some movement soon.
The harpies rose again soon after, exited the barrier, and tell me the information. With this, there won’t be any issues in retreati— Eh?
“D-Demon Lord-sama, the captains are refusing to retreat! All units say they are going to continue the battle and are ignoring the order to retreat!” (Melsash)
It is true that the Uniques are all people who don’t fear battle. I can understand them not wanting to fall back when the knights in front of them are close to falling, but the one giving the order to retreat isn’t me but the Demon Lord-sama. There’s no way all of them would take an action that goes against his will.
All of them know the difference in power between them and the Demon Lord-sama with their body and heart.
They should all understand that their life would be forfeit if they were to do something like that.
“About that…it seems like they think I am giving the order to retreat at my own prerogative and are not listening!” (Melsash)
There’s no way that’s possible.
If I were to do that, my head would simply roll on the ground since I am by the side of the Demon Lord-sama.
Begrudging the achievements of other units is a petty matter compared to souring the mood of the Demon Lord-sama.
I tried having the other harpies descend and convince them by asking them if they intended to go against the Demon Lord-sama, but there was no effect.
“They have lost the ability to make rational judgment due to the Strife, huh. But it should be possible for the Uniques to activate it by themselves. Were they having that much of a hard battle?” (Scarlet)
“No, we didn’t receive reports of such…” (Malsesh)
I would confirm the impressions on the state of the battle with the Uniques leading the units, but it was a repeat of ‘there’s no issues’.
I had the same impression when matching it with the information I got from the sky, so I thought that was natural, but…but there shouldn’t have been anyone who declared that they would be using the power of the Demon Lord-sama.
“Can’t be helped. Any further battle will lead to losing more soldiers. We have no choice but to undo the Strife and have them come back to their senses.” (Scarlet)
“But they are currently in battle…” (Malsesh)
“Most of the enemies are shield users, so they won’t have that many means to go on the offensive. They went as far as throwing away their weapon of choice to maintain defense. The fatigue on their side must be high, too.” (Scarlet)
The Demon Lord-sama undos his power.
With this, even the idiots should be able to tell this is an order from the Demon Lord and hurriedly take refuge. To think they would trouble the Demon Lord-sama; I am ashamed as someone from the same Nether as them. I will laugh my heart out to mock them when the judgment is given.
They should begin retreating after the power of the Demon Lord-sama has been undone, but the orders of the Demon Lord-sama will change depending on the counterattack of the enemy.
I have the harpies confirm the situation.
There’s only few enemies remaining anyways. Our victory is unshakeabl—
Wait, wait wait wait!
What? What? What is this?!
Impossible, impossible, impossible!
“What’s the matter, Melsashtiwer?” (Scarlet)
“Ah…Ah… The e-enemy soldiers have…all come back to life…” (Melsash)
“The number of enemies has changed to what it was before the battle! They are charging towards our army!” (Melsash)
This is not on the level of a clever scheme. The enemy soldiers that were defeated in battle and died are present there as if nothing happened.
The power of the Blue Demon Lord is to revive the dead as undead and control them. But according to the reports of the harpies, the enemies were without doubt living humans.
In the first place, no Demon Lord, no, not even Yugura can do something like this.
No, this isn’t the time to be wondering how they did it. Our soldiers are without doubt exhausted. The lesser ones are without doubt not in a state where they can move and are collapsing one after the other. The intermediates are out of breath and even the high ranks are showing clear fatigue.
And then, there’s the enemy army rushing onto them.
“…The resident of Yugura’s planet, huh.” (Scarlet)
My spine freezes.
There’s no doubt the Demon Lord-sama bears resentment. A sensation he had never tasted before exactly because no one could go against him properly. That being has made the Demon Lord-sama taste humiliation he never has before.
“Even the intermediate ranks are useless now. But we should consider the possibility that they will get back their energy if they use Strife again.”
The exhaustion shown by the enemy soldiers through the binoculars is extremely pitiful.
They may have animal faces making it hard to tell their emotions, but I can see their exhaustion to a palpable degree. Of course that would be the case. They were endlessly getting the effects of Strife despite being on standby after all.
“Human, the harpy commander is being noisy about reporting the current situation. What do we answer with?”
“Just as you see. That said, you are doing a wonderful job, Dyuvuleori. I was expecting at least one to slip away and things getting exposed, but your work was way too perfect.”
“Don’t move with the assumption I will fail. I always perform my job perfectly.” (Dyuvuleori)
“Sorry, sorry. But even if you are perfect, that doesn’t mean the devils you command are, right?”
“Are you saying my leadership is third-rate?” (Dyuvuleori)
“Even if the commander is good, it is not like the receiving end will be too. You can understand this well as the one who is performing this, right?”
I check the harpies who are descending to confirm the situation. The heads of the harpies have devils sticking onto their heads as if they were parasitizing them. All the harpies in the sky are in the same situation.
I already know from the information of Gold and the others that the Scarlet Demon Lord doesn’t excel in magic. Despite that, he still managed to use the Strife swiftly in accordance with the situation of the battlefield. This was due to the harpies in the sky always gathering information and telling their leader the situation the whole time by the side of the Scarlet Demon Lord.
It would be one thing if they were only attacking Gahne, but trying to conquer both at the same time was way too extravagant. It was basically as if he were announcing: ‘I am not watching the battlefield personally’.
Just in case, I tried to confirm the source of the Strife by checking the reception of the devils set in various locations, but the Scarlet Demon Lord hasn’t moved from the border between the Gahne Nether and Mejis Nether.
It seems like he has come out from his cave which is his base, but he is prioritizing sending his Strife equally.
Considering the composition of the enemy troops, the information tower must be a harpy Unique. The highest rank of harpy in the sky are high ranks. Meaning that the pawns of Purple would be enough to deal with them.
There’s a large number of high rank devils in butler outfits wearing Pawn Masks behind Dyuvuleori. This is the new fighting force of Purple. The Butler Army that prioritizes numbers over quality.
They are all a monster group that are stronger than your regular Unique. Their individual strength is lower than the past Uniques, but their loyalty is unquestionable under the supervision of Dyuvuleori.
Not only do the high rank devils have no intention at all to go against Dyuvuleori who is several leagues stronger than them, they are in a position where they can also aim to be underling number 3 of Purple. The downside is that I can’t tell them apart at all.
It is through them that the harpies in the skies were captured without a sound, were planted devils, and have completely become our pawns.
What follows next is simple. We send them information that the humans are putting up a good fight, have them use the Strife, and have them continue it for as long as possible.
I wanted to show a fake battlefield for longer, but the Scarlet Demon Lord undoing the Strife means that he judged the limit was close for either the lessers or intermediates.
He was showing signs of suspicion towards them not retreating, so I showed him the real sight before it was discovered to bring about further confusion.
But there was the possibility of the Uniques contacting the Demon Lord directly, so the barrier around them is real. I am using the barrier that Nora created under the cooperation of 3 Demon Lords.
It is great that the range and maintenance of the barrier is easier due to the fact that it is not a physical barrier.
I told the Taizu Knights and the Holy Knights with good eyes to ‘not do anything to the monsters in the sky aside from when they attack’ in order to set this up.
I had a pitiful amount of devils clash against the monsters and had the Taizu Knights run in circles around them to keep them in place.
It was more lengthy than expected, but it is great that monsters all the way to intermediate rank are downed. All that’s left are the high ranks and Uniques.
Even if they have the strength to fight back with the rank up of the Strife, they are at least perfect targets to clash against our Butler Army.
We have no choice but to have the Mejis side do their best with the forces they have at present, but if push comes to shove, there’s Blue, so they should be able to buy enough time for us to wrap things up here.
In the first place, they already have no energy to attack at once.
“To think an army of that level would be reduced to such a pitiful sight. I didn’t expect you would not oppose the power of the Scarlet Demon Lord but take advantage of it to corner him… Could it be that you have a similar countermeasure for the Enticement of My Lord?” (Dyuvuleori)
“The power of Purple is a single target power. There’s a limit to how much you can deceive with that. Hiding your name is the best method to deal with it.”
It is not like I don’t, but I won’t say it.
Purple might get happy about it, but the threat level Dyuvuleori feels towards me works just fine. He would ultimately choose Purple over me anyways.
“And so, is it okay to attack now?” (Dyuvuleori)
“Yeah, but considering the timing the Scarlet Demon Lord undid his Strife, please consider the possibility that the intermediate ranks will still have enough strength to fight back. We will strike down the Uniques with the powerhouses on our side.
There’s not much time before the Scarlet Demon Lord discovers the trick to this and deals with it. We will settle this in one go before that happens. Go earn some good credit.”
“Obviously. There’s no way I would come back empty handed when My Lord has been left behind for the sake of me coming to the frontlines.” (Dyuvuleori)
Dyuvuleori coming to the front means that Purple has to be on standby somewhere safe.
She would be able to go to the front if they are together, but Dyuvuleori wouldn’t leave the side of Purple no matter what, so there was no choice but to take this composition in order to move him freely in the frontlines.
The person herself enjoys battling, but the ones watching over her would be tense, so I had her endure.
“By the way, are you returning, human? I think the pawns you have there are also perfect to clean up the battlefield though.” (Dyuvuleori)
“Yeah, I plan on only having Ilias as my bodyguard and have Wolfe and Mix join the battle. There would be an increase in people worrying about me if I were to step to the front after all. I will be cheering from afar.”
Wolfe can cast a barrier around herself, but it should be possible to subdue the effects of the Strife if we add Mix, too. I have also told her the signs for when she changes.
Now, time for a counterattack.