“…Zoberamitaya has been defeated too, huh.”
Our Uniques have been defeated one after the other once the phenomenon of humans suddenly reviving happened.
The Demon Lord-sama can confirm if a Unique is alive if they have been granted the power of the Demon Lord-sama. This is an undeniable reality.
“Losing despite having the power of the Demon Lord-sama… Can’t they survive without the command of the Demon Lord-sama…?!”
“There’s no way for mine orders to be relayed swiftly as opposed to the devils of Purple, thus I have entrusted them to fight their own respective battles. I have no intention of finding fault in that. What’s the state of the harpy unit?” (Scarlet)
“About that…they were ambushed by snipers of the enemy on their way…and were wiped out…”
The harpies I had returned were all shot down. It would mean the enemies were aware of my unit in the sky from the very beginning.
But for them to be wiped out is…
“So that’s how it is. Looks like we have been deceived completely by the fake information the enemy fed us.” (Scarlet)
“You would need quite the numbers in order to shoot down all of the harpies flying in the sky. Normal bows won’t reach in a satisfying manner. It would have to be Taizu Knights who excel in mana strengthening or a number of elites from the Holy Knights of Mejis. But there’s none of that. If they had such soldiers in reserve, they would have been able to use them to ambush mine army from a location that doesn’t allow retreat which would make me expend mine power pointlessly even further.” (Scarlet)
“I understand the trick to this. They used the devils of Purple and must have stolen the control of the harpies in the middle of the invasion. And then, poured fake information on them, and aimed for me to use Strife pointlessly…” (Scarlet)
In the time humans were falling back and hindering us, my unit was slowly being taken over… Something like that is… No, it would certainly explain the situation right now.
The Demon Lord-sama has to be in a middle point in order to strengthen both sides of Gahne and Mejis at the same time. My unit was used as a relay in order to fulfill this condition -as a communication tower. They took advantage of this.
“They complied with the retreat of the harpies in order to buy time. Their objective must have been to bring down our Uniques. We have no choice but to continue using Strife with the assumption that the battle continues. The only option left for mine army after having messed up our line of command is to continue fighting. It seems like they have shot them down with precision.” (Scarlet)
“Then, we should use all the harpies that haven’t gone to the battlefield to give the orde—”
“No need. The monsters that have not been sent to the battle this time around are incompetent ones who can’t follow orders properly. Even if we were to send them to the battlefield, they would be defeated before they can perform their role.” (Scarlet)
“B-But at this rate, all the Uniques we have sent to the battlefield are going to be…”
“Doesn’t matter. I did allow them to attack and be on standby, but haven’t given them the order to retreat. It is fine as long as they fight until their last breath.” (Scarlet)
The Demon Lord-sama said he will be making the ones in the battlefield fight until the end with a calm expression. I thought we wouldn’t lose in this battle where we have sent all our forces, but…but…!
“At this rate, our army…” (Melsash)
“Melsashtiwel, there’s already not enough soldiers to get back up from the current situation. There’s already no victory for mine army.” (Scarlet)
The words spoken by the Demon Lord-sama drained the blood from my body.
The army that was prepared after long years…the elites that were gathered while certain of victory…are going to lose?
“…What…are we going to do after this…?” (Melsash)
“The same. You shall continue increasing the number of soldiers. Now that Uniques from several species have been lost, I will leave the management of those to you.” (Scarlet)
“We have been given eternity, thus we can gather our strength as many times as needed. We just don’t make the same mistake.” (Scarlet)
The Demon Lord-sama seems to be unfazed by this time’s defeat. He is already getting ready for the next battle.
Demon Lords are immortal. Even if they die, they will resurrect and continue living for eternity. Even if the piled up results are lost, he thinks it is okay since he can just pile them up again.
I have lived long as a Unique myself, but it really makes me feel I am still young. I still haven’t reached this realm.
“Melsashtiwel, you return first. I will fulfill my last duty.” (Scarlet)
The Demon Lord-sama said this, grabbed his own axe, and directed his gaze at Gahne.
“Demon Lord-sama…? What are you going to do?” (Melsash)
“Mine army’s victory is gone. But it is not a defeat. There’s the need to make humans learn this reality.” (Scarlet)
This is the first time I have seen the Demon Lord-sama smile.
“Regardless, there should be a way to phrase it better.”
“It can’t be helped. Blue told me to be straight to the point.”
I try to calm down Ilias on our way to the Gahne Castle.
What I said in the call with Blue was misunderstood, and I was reprimanded a lot, but they finally understood that it was advice.
Well, it is the fault of a certain someone for putting it simply with a ‘just die’ though. There’s no way I would say that to an ally.
By the way, there was a call from the person herself reporting that the enemy had been defeated safely.
They are currently hunting the remnants and most likely will end without much difficulties.
But I am a bit worried about the matter of Rakura’s mother, so I have to make preparations for them to meet up with Purple quickly.
I place one of the communication crystals and listen to the details.
This is the one that was given to me that has the sole purpose of listening in on the situation of Marito and the others in the Gahne Castle.
It is one-way, but it is made in a way so that it can be used for a long time.
“I was curious about it, but wouldn’t it be enough to just contact His Majesty often if it is just for information?” (Ilias)
“Calls from Marito are important, but he is resourceful, so he has a tendency to summarize information way too cleanly. There’s often cases when the information I would like to know has been scrapped.”
According to the information entering my ears, Lord Leano has joined the fray against an army of monsters comprised mainly of goblins in a nearby village, and he has defeated a goblin Unique.
If I had heard this from Marito, it would have been ‘Lord Leano has defeated a goblin Unique’, but the actual report has the details of the battle.
How much did they struggle, the harm done to the soldiers, and stuff like that.
I personally would like to know more about that rather than whether they won or lost. But if I were to demand that of Marito, it would fill up the tasks he has to do to the brim.
Wrapping up all the information I have obtained until now, the Uniques are certainly pretty strong.
They may not be as strong as Dyuvuleori, but it should be safe to say they are comparable to the Great Devils at the time when we faced Purple.
Normally, that alone would make me want to frown, but as expected of the knights of Taizu. They are all seasoned veterans who can grasp victory even against enemies with higher specs than them.
“Lord Leano is pretty strong, huh.”
“Right. Lord Leano doesn’t excel at mana strengthening on the level of Lord Ragudo, but the sturdiness in his defense is in a realm of its own even within the Knight Captains. I would most likely take quite a long time to get a win against Lord Leano even as of present.” (Ilias)
“The gap in experience.”
“Yeah, I may have an advantage if we talk solely about pure physical strength, but the Knight Captains all have their individual strength to cover up for it. I have to make it so they can’t use their strengths to their best if I want to win against them.” (Ilias)
For example; Lord Fohl was defeated by Ilias in a spar in the past. His relationship with Ilias turned sour because he was defeated in front of his subordinates. They haven’t fought again, but she doesn’t know who would win if he were to fight with his actual strength.
Ilias is apparently the monster here if we talk only about specs, but the fact that that Ilias can’t win for certain speaks volumes about how high the quality of Taizu is.
“I feel like Cara-jii would be pretty impressive if he were to get serious.”
“Right. I have sparred often with the members of the Ragudo Division, but they all were fighting in a way that would allow me to show all of my power. If they were to fight against me seriously… I don’t want to imagine it.” (Ilias)
Boru-jii has defeated a Unique in this war. He is reliable as an ally, but it does make me feel I don’t want him as an enemy.
Gold waged war against Taizu countless times in the simulated worlds and said she didn’t feel like she could win. I can sympathize with that feeling.
“That said, it went well this time around, but what should we do from here on?”
“This time around… What do you mean by that?” (Ilias)
“Considering my analysis of the Scarlet Demon Lord, he is not desiring victory in this time’s battle. I feel like the objective of the Scarlet Demon Lord was to cause the battle in itself.”
“The battle itself…?” (Ilias)
If he was putting importance in invading humans, he wouldn’t have invaded both Gahne and Mejis at the same time. He would have gone himself and would have put all of his forces in Gahne in order to expand the Gahne Nether.
He wouldn’t have been led astray by fake information and there would have been a plethora of monsters in the Gahne Castle by this point.
I feel like the Scarlet Demon Lord was commanding them in a way to show his own power to the humans. Even so, he was not interested in victory. This means…
“If my guess is correct here, the Scarlet Demon Lord will be cutting off attaining victory here quickly and will ready himself for the next war. A Demon Lord is immortal after all. He has infinite time.”
“Are you saying he still wants to invade despite having suffered a crushing defeat…?” (Ilias)
“He would need decades of preparation or maybe centuries though.”
The humans of this world have a long average lifespan thanks to the mana in them. Even if I say long, it is on a degree that doesn’t lose to the modern world that excels in medicine though.
There’s a few exceptions, but you could say their lifespan is within reason.
It would be great if I could live until I get to my hundreds, so I obviously won’t be able to show up for the next invasion.
“In other words, we have to do something about the Demon Lord himself in that time, huh.” (Ilias)
“The Scarlet Demon Lord has lost most of his soldiers. We could purify the Nether and get to their base, but…it would be rough with our current forces.”
The mana of the Nether is poison for humans. You will end up getting ill really quickly if you don’t have a barrier on you the whole time.
It might be possible for the knights of Taizu, but I doubt that will be the same for the soldiers of other countries.
Having only Taizu conquer the Nether with their low numbers would be way too dangerous.
The plan to purify the Nether and attack when the conditions are more favorable would be the most logical plan, but considering how big the Nether is, it would be a long term plan of around decades. There’s also the possibility of obstructions happening in that timeframe, too…
“How about gathering a group of elites and subjugating the Demon Lord?” (Ilias)
“Even if he is killed, he would resurrect. You would need to capture him and seal him. Sealing a Demon Lord whose power is unknown is a bit…”
It should be safe to assume that it won’t be possible to bring in this Demon Lord as we did with the others until now.
Gold had the objective of ruling a human nation to begin with; Blue was simply used by the Scarlet Demon Lord because of her desire for death, so she didn’t really have a real objective in itself; as for Purple…yeah… But the Scarlet Demon Lord has a clear objective and as long as he has that objective, him being an enemy of humans is unavoidable.
It would be nice if we had the ingredients to make him give up on the objective itself, but right now I have no idea of what it is.
There’s no choice but to incapacitate him as long as there’s no possibility of negotiation.
I do have a number of ideas, but all of them are hard to implement.
“This needs the humans to talk with each other and make a proper plan.”
“Right. You will be lending your brain for this at least, right?” (Ilias)
“Of course. Leaving aside the people of the far future, I can’t really just ignore the ones living in the present who I know.”
It is not only the Scarlet Demon Lord, Gold and the other Demon Lords will be related parties in that battle as long as they don’t lose their immortality. Speaking of which, Ekdoik has become a demon. It would be irresponsible for me to just leave them be when I was the one who brought them into it.
We arrive at the capital of Gahne and perform the procedures at the gate of the 1st Layer.
We considered the possibility of Raheight and the people affiliated to Leitis moving in the shadows, so the defense of the 1st Layer has gotten pretty strict. The 2nd Layer and on are almost the same, but the foreign merchants are currently staying in their own nations because of how tight the security is right now.
The only things moving at this time are the resupplies and the requested merchants.
The mana of the registered has been imbued in an exclusive badge, so they confirm the mana of the one entering and the mana of the badge through a magic tool at the gate of the 1st Layer.
A certain someone has no mana, but we managed by registering the mana of Kutou.
“Thanks for your hard work.”
They opened the gate and we entered. They immediately close the gate.
There’s normally a lot of Gahne citizens entering your sight the moment you enter the 1st Layer, but they have been evacuated to the 2nd Layer and on.
This was a decision considering the possibility that enemies might separate and try to invade Gahne individually.
“That said, this is pretty strict. I heard this was your idea, but there’s the need to go this far.” (Ilias)
“Raheight can impersonate someone with mind manipulation magic, so it is possible he would use this to send a spy. If we check every single one, we can stop the invasion of anyone aside from Raheight who can steal one’s body. If we leave several gatekeepers, the risk of everyone getting hypnotized is lowered.”
Right now we are at an advantage, so what we must be the most wary of is terrorism happening in the capital of Gahne and Mejis where there’s few hands because they have sent men to the frontlines.
As long as we can’t deny the possibility that Leitis has not sent inciters like Gestaf, there’s the need to raise the security at least.
That said, the battles at the frontlines will be over soon, and they will most likely finish defeating the enemy soldiers scattered soon.
“…By the way, your exhaustion seems more pronounced than normal. Are you feeling alright?” (Ilias)
“I am understandably tired. I may not have fought, but moving around close to the battlefield and preparing a variety of things was a first for me.”
“Take your time and rest well when we reach the Gahne Castle. You have taken naps, but you haven’t slept properly, right?” (Ilias)
Even if I have the reliability of Ilias and Wolfe as my bodyguards, I don’t have the nerves of steel to sleep satisfactorily near a battlefield.
I have experienced a reduction of sleep time a number of occasions, but having that happen for several days is nearing the limit of the stamina of a civilian.
Ilias and the others not looking any tired at all goes beyond impressive and gets into the realm of baffling.
“Right. It should be fine to just leave the cleaning up to Marito, so I could take half a day—”
“—Get down!” (Ilias)
Ilias pushed me down and covered me on the ground.
A thunderous sound and shockwave assailed my whole body at the same time as this happened.
My body went up, and I could feel myself bouncing on the ground and rolling. Ilias had hugged my body tightly and mitigated the shockwave, but the pain is nothing to scoff at.
Once we stopped moving, I confirmed the feel of my own body and got up.
Ilias had already gotten up and faced the gate.
“Just what in the world—?!” (Ilias)
I moved my gaze to the gate and there was the sight of the gate that had been closed securely just a moment ago, destroyed without a shadow of its former self.
And then, there showed a single shadow brandishing a giant axe.
He would be categorized as a demi-human, but his traits don’t match any animals I know.
Giant horns, a mane, and a muscular body shining red. The moment I saw that figure of his, his name naturally came out of my mouth.
“…Black hair and black eyes. I see, you are the resident of Yugura’s planet, huh. I heard your body is shockingly weak compared to that of Yugura, but to think you were close to dying just from the shockwave of just now. It is great that you didn’t die. I was about to lose my negotiation chip—” (Scarlet)
Ilias charged at the Scarlet Demon as if to cut off his words.
The Scarlet Demon Lord reacted swiftly and took on the sword of Ilias with his axe.
“Fall back! Have Kutou protect your body!” (Ilias)
“Do that, resident of Yugura’s planet. That said, I don’t know if you can get away from here with those legs though.” (Scarlet)
What’s that about my legs?
I give the order to Kutou to protect my surroundings and direct my gaze at my own legs…
Seriously? My right leg is bent in an impossible direction.
No, now that I confirm my body calmly, this is pretty bad. Every single part of my body is in pain which didn’t allow me to grasp the current situation properly, but there’s probably cracks in several parts of my body.
I got this injured despite Ilias casting a barrier on the moment. If Ilias hadn’t reacted, I would have easily been dead.
“There’s no need to even ask, but there’s no doubt you are the Scarlet Demon Lord, right?!” (Ilias)
“That’s right. Not bad pressure from your sword. I can understand how mine subordinates lost with a human as strong as this one.” (Scarlet)
The Scarlet Demon Lord and Ilias were clashing blades and didn’t move an inch.
He is at least equally matched against the inhuman strength of Ilias. No, the fact that Ilias is not switching to the offensive means that it is beyond that.
“The commander coming here himself…? The tacticians that strategize would cry at this.”
“Where’s the need to tag along with the common sense of humans? I am a Demon Lord, thus I create strife as one.” (Scarlet)
“It is as if you are saying the battles until now were mere child’s play, oi.”
“Child’s play…huh. The action of giving the power of Strife to the monsters born in mine Nether and having them fight the humans; now that you mention it, it is like providing toys to children to have them play. But resident of Yugura’s planet, your achievements are worthy of praise. Even if it was mere child’s play, you still surpassed mine command when I was acting as a Demon Lord.” (Scarlet)
Now then, what should I do?
It is certain that I can’t move properly with this body.
I could order Kutou to carry me on the air, but I don’t know if I would be able to run away from an opponent that can fight on equal or higher grounds than Ilias.
He said just now I am a negotiation chip. I can imagine who are the people that I could serve as a negotiation chip.
Raheight in Leitis or the bastard Colorless.
But Leitis considers me troublesome, so it would be Colorless, huh.
He has been given knowledge by Yugura, so he would be able to prepare something the Scarlet Demon Lord wants.
Let’s leave that aside for now. He at least wants me. He won’t be letting me escape that easily then.
“I should be grateful to Colorless then. No, I don’t want to -not that bastard.”
“…Your brain really does turn well. I don’t plan on killing you here, but make full use of the devil on your body to protect yourself. It will be hard not to kill you even if holding back after all.” (Scarlet)
What I can do here is distract him with words.
It is not like there would be topics that could shake someone who can talk nonchalantly while grinding blades against Ilias.
If I were to try and escape clumsily, an attack would fly my way, and I would end up pulling the leg of Ilias who has to cover for me.
It should be safe to assume that the 1st Layer’s gate being destroyed is already known by all of the Gahne capital. There’s no doubt reinforcements will be coming. We have to buy time here.
“Your objective isn’t simply to capture me, right? It seemed like you didn’t even know I was here to begin with. It doesn’t seem like you came to slaughter all of the humans in the Gahne capital either.”
“There’s only a few possible objectives. The victory of mine army has been wiped because of your actions. But Demon Lords don’t lose and it is no victory for humans -I have simply come here to let them understand this.” (Scarlet)
“You are a confident one. If you have that much leeway, charge into the frontlines.”
“Even if I were to wipe out the enemies in a battlefield, it is not possible to bring fear to all humans. There’s the need to leave a deeper scar in order to take away victory more decisively.” (Scarlet)
“So it would be more impressionable to burn the country rather than wiping out the soldiers, huh.”
“That’s right.” (Scarlet)
“Saying whatever you please! Do you think I will allow that?!” (Ilias)
Ilias took distance and charged at him with more power.
The result was the same; the Scarlet Demon Lord took on that attack without any issues.
But what’s different from before is that the ground where the Scarlet Demon Lord is standing had cracked.
“…So humans have obtained the power to fight, huh. That’s good. That gives meaning to me becoming a Demon Lord. It gives worth to me brandishing power surpassing logic.” (Scarlet)
I couldn’t see what happened, but Ilias was pushed back after an intense sound of clashing weapons.
He is clearly on a different level compared to the Demon Lords we have seen until now.
I don’t know if Ilias can win.
But there’s no other means but to believe.
What I can do here…is only one thing.