Volume 8, Chapter 21: The Demon’s Trap, Part 1
Under the threat of the true [Demon Lord] that had been spoken of since time immemorial, a meeting between the forces of light and darkness was organized.
Representing the forces of darkness was the First Princess of the Dark Elves, Nefertia, and the General of the Beastmen.
The three heroes, Kyoji, Kanzo, and Minkichi, were the delegates for the forces of light.
The other members of their parties, as well as the Dark Elven and Beastmen knights were also present, for a total of about 20 people per side.
The meeting was set at a place close to the battle lines, and an awning was set up for the conference on an empty plain with nothing else within the range of a few kilometers. Since both sides had already swept the area with their armies, there was no possible way for either side to set an ambush.
“Ah, we meet for the first time, Heroes. It’s an honor to meet you all.”
Nefertia, who was widely acknowledged as the most beautiful of the Dark Elves, immediately began to push with her beauty.
There were many elves who were beautiful, but against the full might of Nefertia’s smile, even the general of a smaller nation would have been wrapped around her little finger in seconds.
“That is very polite of you. I’m happy to see that the rumors about you, oh beautiful princess, was true.”
The hero of water, Kyoji, didn’t tic at all, but smiled back.
It was too bad for her that these few were sitting opposite her at this meeting.
Kyoji only saw the beauty of women as a tool, whereas Kanzo felt jealousy at their beauty, and as for Minkichi, popular women were her hated foes.
“Ah, that’s good……”
So, Nefertia changed tracks instantly. The only person here worth calling an “enemy” at the negotiating table to her was Kyoji, so she let it fall flat.
As a shrewd, skeptical dark elf, Nefertia had in her time as a royal disposed of many political opponents through cloak-and-dagger means, including with her words.
The purpose of the meeting was ostensibly to establish a temporary ceasefire, but they were here now to discuss how long it would last, and how they would resolve problems, feel out how much the two could expect to cooperate with each other over their lack of knowledge.
Even if the worst came to pass, they knew that they definitely needed to establish a ceasefire, but the humans sought to use the individually capable forces of darkness as a shield, whilst Nefertia sought out food and supply terms that were favorable to her.
As the discussion wore on about various conditions, the generals of the beastmen and the other heroes gave their opinions, but Kyoji and Nefertia had very naturally been separated from each other.
“I’m not kidding! It’s humiliating to have to cooperate with you.”
Kanzo stood up as he slammed his fist on the table.
In order for them to confront the [Demon Lord] together, it was necessary to make a show of cooperating to the soldiery. It was needed to relieve their fears since the long-standing feud wasn’t that easy to wipe clean from their minds.
But Kanzo could not trust Nefertia. It was largely due to personal reasons, but also because of a “woman’s intuition”.
“Then, I’ll do it.”
But then, Minkichi that everyone thought would be the most antagonistic, piped up.
“What, Kanzo? Unlike you, I won’t say things for my own indulgence. Think a little, you old coot.”
“…… that’s right. I’ll support Lady Minkichi.”
The general of the beastmen, who had been swayed by Minkichi, grinned.
Kanzo glared at the two of them as if seeing something unbelievable.
For some reason, it felt very artificial to Kanzo, who was the hero of the North and the first amongst the heroes to have battle experience with the forces of darkness. But, the general whom she had given such a hard time to seemed as if he was trying to be cooperative at this desperate time.
Especially given that this was a fight for the future of all beings that transcended race, it made Kanzo seem as if her opposition to this flow of events was purely emotional.
There was a mountain of things that she wanted to say, but feeling the impossibility of persuasion, Kanzo fell silent. As Nefertia and Kyoji’s eyes met, the ceasefire and cooperation agreements were rapidly advanced.
“……Have you all gone soft in the head?”
As the talks ended, Kanzo, who had returned to her tent, ran her fingers through her luscious hair in annoyance.
Kyoji and Nefertia. Minkichi and the general.
At first there had been this very strained atmosphere, but all of them changed their opinions eerily quickly, as if the meeting had already been concluded from the start.
The wrongness she felt refused to go away. But disagreeing at this point would only compromise Kanzo’s position and change nothing.
For the sake of the future of mankind, she had to cooperate. It was “evil” to oppose.
“…… Just what are those two planning?”
Kanzo trusted Kyoji and Minkichi as much as she did the forces of darkness.
There was definitely something fishy. But when had this happened? They had just met.
Unless, this was all playing into the hands of someone else behind the scenes……?
“Sir Kanzo, someone wishes to meet with you……”
Kanzo frowned as her thoughts were disturbed by the voice of her subordinates calling to her from outside the tent.
As a Hero, Kanzo had never let herself be interrupted by those people who wanted to meet her all the time. So if those guys had let this person meet Kanzo, it surely couldn’t have been some nobody.
“Who is it? Some noble?”
As she expressed her displeasure at having been interrupted, it seemed as if the person themselves had already arrived as he felt the presence of someone in the hero class outside.
“It’s Noa, the follower of the Saint.”
* * *
“Hmm…… this, isn’t the work of the Demon Lord, is it?”
“Work hard, Lady Yurushia.”
While drinking the tea that Fannie had brewed for me, I battled a mountain of documents.
“…… There’s just so many.”
Well, putting it briefly, I’d asked Noa who had been moving around to give me a detailed report, so in came this massive number of documents.
They numbered in the hundreds of sheets. It seems that Noa’s terrible nature came out all at once.
Looking through them, going through this terrible punishment game, I was rapidly stamping them with a potato seal, wait, why was it a potato-carved seal!?
Furthermore, what’s this inky substance? It’s not the blood of Dark Elves, is it?
It’s true that a lot of my plans were being left to Noa to execute, but there were a lot more things to settle, and if I left it to someone else I would be having a hard time.
What’s this [Cow Beastman Fresh Milk Farm Plan]! Rejected! Rejected!
“…… Princess, is it alright for me to be working so hard?”
Onzada-kun was carrying a lot of documents in and out in his human form.
These few days, because I’ve been doing something like sending homing pigeon messages to Noa, I feel like Onzada-kun is getting gaunt.
“…… Afterwards, I’m going to add octopi and squid into the beastmen’s specialty milk-wine. And tell Noa and Nea to go on ahead and start the second phase of the plan.”
“Yes~ …… roger.”
As I gave him my maximum concession, Onzada-kun went back to work with a sigh.
“…… Onzada-kun certainly fits the look of someone who’s destined to live poor.”
My work seems unlikely to end soon.
* * *
Just as the forces of light and darkness regrouped, the Demons attacked them both.
They numbered about 3,000.
Although it seemed to be too small a number for the two armies together that numbered over a hundred thousand, but for the Demons that handled magic freely, every single [Lesser Demon] was the equivalent of ten-odd soldiers.
However, even the Demons that were capable of nullifying physical attacks would have lost to the human side with this kind of numerical disadvantage.
The problem lay with the [Greater Demons].
The Demons’ abilities grew immensely with every rank.
In particular, the [Greater Demons] were special individuals who had been “manifested” by using special vassals and were all serious workaholics who worked all night despite their hunger.
If you thought of their combat strength as equaling their magic power, then [Lesser Demons] would rate at about 500.
The [Greater Demons] that were one stage higher was about 2000~3000.
On the other hand the general soldiery were around 10, and even with the benefits of their skills, they didn’t exceed about 50~100.
However, battles weren’t solely about status values. In reality, even if there had been a [Greater Demon], they would have been able to pin it down with about 30 soldiers with knights and commanders.
But this was war.
No matter how many much they overwhelmed the Demons, there were only tens of thousands who were actively able to fight them, and that 10-to-1 strength difference could not hurt them.
The humans had the [Hero class] who could take on the [Greater Demons] alone, but there were only a few in each country, and they didn’t have the numbers to beat the 1000 [Greater Demons].
Still, the human forces did not give up.
The forces of darkness, led by the general of the beastmen and Minkichi, bravely attacked the Demon army from the center and took down hundreds of Demons.
But…… there was a reason for their success.
“Hey, Noaa? Are you sure about this information?”
The Hero of Earth, Kanzo, turned red while wriggling her large, two-meter tall body, even as she talked to the beautiful teenager dressed in butler clothing.
Although it wasn’t very pleasant to watch, Noa sat in that two-person love seat, touching the back of Kanzo’s hand with a gentle smile.
“Can’t you believe in me……?”
“No, no! That’s not it, I absolutely believe in you.”
Minkichi and the beastman general had obtained information from a certain source indicating that the Demons were losing control of the center and were going to attack certain places.
Those locations were the camps of the Hero of Water, Kyoji, and the Dark Elves’ Princess, Nefertia.
If the information could have been corroborated, they would have gathered up the Heroes and the hero-class folk to land a solid blow to the Demon army.
Even though Minkichi and the general of the beastmen knew this, in order to be rid of their political rivals, they had joined hands through the machinations of a “certain person”.
That information Kanzo had taken, along with her companion knights who had become collaborators since the Elder Lich’s dungeon – It was as if they had suddenly changed, and they took a back seat.
Kanzo was on cloud nine.
A long time ago, she had been rejected, but she had had that “premonition about love” since the previous generation of the Hero of Wind.
“I can’t forgive Minkichi.”
Kanzo wished for all of them to go away as well, so he made a show of “anger” in front of Noa after he’d brought him the information.
“It’s just like you said. It’s all…… ah, yes, there was something I wanted to give to you, Kanzo.”
“Oh, what would that be?”
As Kanzo spoke, Noa smiled bewitchingly, and retrieving out something that looked like a bottle of liquid from his bosom, he passed it over to Kanzo.
“…… This is…”
Kanzo’s face tightened as she saw it. It was what Kanzo had been requesting from that Golden Saint.
“It’s a magic medicine that will make your dreams come true.”
It’s the first host.
Next time, the Demon’s trap closes on the Beautiful Hero.
Ah, chaos abound in the armies of mortals.