The Academy’s main entrance.
In these several days, it is a place that has no people around when it is late at night.
Normally, it is a gate that would have lights on like a nightless city, and there would also be decent amount of students coming and going.
And yet, right now it is just like an antique lamp with a magic formation, shining dimly into the lonely streets.
Shiki and I; only the two of us were walking there. We didn’t really have any target location in mind, we were just separating from the noisy place.
If something happens we will run there, but I think they won’t call me so soon.
“The Limia King and the Empire’s Princess as well. They were showing quite the agitation” (Shiki)
“If their capital city is being attacked, isn’t that the obvious state? Even in this world, as expected, it is still bad when your capital is attacked huh” (Makoto)
“Right. It depends on the situation, but in this case where they are receiving a surprise attack, I think it would be considered quite the ‘bad’ situation” (Shiki)
“Then they would definitely be agitated. But it seems there’s Rona and one other demon general. Why are those guys attacking themselves when they were encamped in the Stella Fort that is boasted as the impenetrable wall? If they leave, they will lose that defensive power, right?” (Makoto)
“If their objective is to chip off their opponent’s forces, it would be better to not leave. But it’s a war, so they must attack at some point in time, or they won’t be able to defeat their opponent. Moreover, if they give their opponent the impression that they are usually secluded in their fortress, it would be easy to make a surprise attack” (Shiki)
I try asking about the demon race advance that I heard a while ago, with Shiki.
The imperial capital Asuta and Luinas. Honestly speaking, I don’t understand the reason why they made a simultaneous attack.
From what I have learned in history class, having two battles at the same time in war is normally a bad move.
If you want to do something like that, you must have quite the difference in power, or you will be defeated.
I haven’t heard the details about numbers and the strategy, but I kind of understood the words my history teacher was trying to say.
Because I think that even if there are two enemies, it would definitely be easier to defeat them one by one instead of going for both at the same time after all.
Moreover, if the demon race gets attacked by both countries at the same time, they possess the means to defend against it.
Making a conjecture from what Tomoe said, I don’t think the demon race has that much leeway to go into the offensive though.
“Well, the objective of the demon race is to defeat the hyumans, so attacking isn’t something strange” (Makoto)
“Limia and Gritonia who understand the state of the battle of both countries, it seems their agitation differs slightly. Even if they possess a hero, there’s no way they wouldn’t know… No, they are hyumans, so it might be possible?” (Shiki)
Shiki seems to be trying to answer me, and it also looks like he is asking himself.
I think he also needs to arrange his thoughts regarding this matter of the demon race advance.
Well even if I say this, he probably has a clearer image than me.
Mio is still taking care of something and hasn’t returned yet. And Tomoe is in Asora.
Having Shiki tell me is the fastest way.
Root is also an option, but he went somewhere with Sairitz-san, so I can’t just force myself in between them.
“Is there anything strange?” (Makoto)
“When the demon race stopped their advance, they used their time arranging their domestic affairs, making military preparations, and researching techniques. Plainly said, they were increasing the power of their country” (Shiki)
The latter half was really easy to understand.
They stopped their steps in order to increase their power.
“Yeah, if I remember correctly, they increased their territory, so they needed the time to stabilize, right?” (Makoto)
“Yes. In other words, they are not the selves that made a big march in the past. This is a matter of course” (Shiki)
“They even have a tool that blocks the interference of the Goddess, so that’s a given” (Makoto)
“They probably have already predicted that they would create a countermeasure for them. The demon race currently possesses magic that surpasses the hyumans. The hyumans obviously should have this in mind already, but…” (Shiki)
“Looking at the reaction of both countries, it felt as if they didn’t expect it at all. Even I understand the content of the demon race attack this time. They were taking their time developing magic formations that can hide, so they utilized this and divided the units in subdivisions, slowly mobilizing them by hiding in the forests and valleys. After that, they used a teleportation marker, and had the others teleport to where they are. In the Empire’s case, they did it in several points, but I don’t think the method differed much. The only thing they most likely did was just increase the number of markers” (Shiki)
“… I see” (Makoto)
It’s certainly true that the demon race easily infiltrated this town by disguising as hyumans, and there were also in Lorel.
A spell that fakes the appearance.
Then what Shiki said: “concealing a unit”, might be possible.
When I met with Sairitz-san, I asked her about those two demons disguised as guards, and it seems those two returned by the order of the country.
In other words, in Lorel there’s at least another demon infiltrated who is in a position that can give out orders.
The demons seemed to be trying to recruit me, but thinking about the relationship between the demon race and the hyumans, I am most likely a special case. There’s probably demons infiltrated in the countries.
The teleportation as well, they just need to make a marker in the coast of a lake and have them gather there. It isn’t that difficult of a thing.
If the demon race also has the knowledge of Shiki, it isn’t something they wouldn’t be able to do.
Be it thought transmission, disguising, or teleportation skill; the demon race is quite ahead of the hyumans.
Hyumans are used to receiving from the Goddess and spirits, so they don’t have the conception of developing by themselves like the demon race. Only a few of them possess that way of thinking, and that makes a big difference.
From what I can guess, the difference is comparable to the Industrial Revolution of Europe and that of Asia. But the hyumans have the blessing of the Goddess and her assistance. This is proof that the composition is, so to speak, quite different.
“If the hyumans evaluate the demon race’s magic as low, or they think that they will somehow be able to get through this with only the Goddess’ blessing… they might lose” (Shiki)
“No way” (Makoto)
“No, I also think there’s no way they would do that. There’s no way they would think that they already have victory because of the Goddess’ awakening and the descent of the heroes. And countries in the frontline like Limia and Gritonia should have stolen a few techniques of the demons” (Shiki)
“Well, if the enemy has superior technique, that’s the obvious course of action right?” (Makoto)
“But they weren’t able to handle this level of thought transmission jamming. Don’t you think it is strange that the King and the princess were unable to personally deal with it? They are statesmen; not technicians nor magicians. But if they are unable to send thought transmissions from their own capital, which possesses their specialists, to this town, that means they haven’t even stolen the technique to use thought transmission in the battlefield” (Shiki)
“Also, the Limia King and the Gritonia Princess said that the attack to this town was a decoy. And they said it in a way that seemed as if they didn’t know what would happen next” (Shiki)
“Why? People of important positions gathered at Rotsgard, and the demons create an incident they can’t neglect. It pissed me that they did so without caring that I am here but, this being a decoy shouldn’t be a mistake right?” (Makoto)
“Waka-sama, please excuse me. This town was probably in its essence, buying time, or maybe just a simple set off. The point is, this was only something to avert their eyes even if for an instant. Just by having royalty level people coming to Rotsgard, the plan had already achieved the minimum success. In the worst case, where no troops from any country mobilize, it wouldn’t have been a problem for the demons. At that time, the variants would overflow in all parts of the town and Rotsgard would have fallen. There’s no demerits for the demon race. And in truth, if we weren’t here, the Academy wouldn’t have been able to find the weak point and by this moment, the town would have over a hundred variants” (Shiki)
By the second day, the increment stopped practically completely and didn’t reach the hundreds, but well, I do understand the point.
If the issue was left untouched, there would have probably been several hundreds appearing.
In the current state, the hyumans can push back the variants with pure numbers.
“Yeah, this town would have probably been done for. With no chance for reinforcements to come. The reinforcements that would have come might have entered the stage where they have to stop the variants from spreading” (Makoto)
“No matter how much the variants rampage, there’s no demerits for the demon race. It is actually a grateful thing. Because that would only mean that hyumans will not see the danger approaching from their backs after all” (Shiki)
“Then the town is in a better state than what Rona was planning it to be” (Makoto)
“Yeah. In that woman’s plans, it may be a success, but this might be one of the bad scenarios. She was able to somehow draw a part of the Kingdom and Empire’s army, and the reinforcements from Aion that were planned to be used for the attack at Stella Fort are being held back in the neighboring towns. I think, at most, she is grieving at the fact that the time she put onto this plan is not giving the appropriate results” (Shiki)
“What about Lorel?” (Makoto)
“You did say that they have demons infiltrated in their escorts, but she probably estimated that Lorel would only send supplies at most. Rona probably thought about pillaging and obstructing, but since the demons here were withdrawn, I don’t know the particulars” (Shiki)
So they were even planning to cut off supplies.
Truly what I call a worthy decoy!
“Isn’t that a splendid decoy?” (Makoto)
“… If that were really the case, they would have probably made the scale a bit wider. Rona’s true decoy is… the Empire, Waka-sama” (Shiki)
I was surprised by the sudden words of Shiki that sounded as if he were sure of it.
There shouldn’t be that much difference in the amount of information he and I have, and yet, how was he able to reach to that conclusion?!
So the small silence before his words were because he was amazed?
I am actually trying my best here you know.
… Please give me a bit more time.
“From the Kingdom, all troops march from the same direction; at the Empire, they are divided in several places, ones at the direction of Stella and others from Ruinas; and then, there’s also the nature of both countries’ main forces. On top of that, there’s the demon race’s current state, period and season. As long as the truth that they are attacking stands, their aim is the Kingdom” (Shiki)
His eyes flashed.
Ah, he kind of reminded me of the past Shiki, no, of Lich.
He has those unpleasant eyes he has when he is scheming something.
“So they are going to bring down the Kingdom” (Makoto)
That’s quite the predicament.
It will corner the hyumans by one step more.
“No. Their aim is the most valuable asset of the Kingdom” (Shiki)
“Most valuable asset?” (Makoto)
“Must be the hero. They intend to bring down the hero” (Shiki)
It has only been around 1 year since we arrived to this world.
And the demon race is already at the step in war where they intend to kill the hero?
“I have heard about the natures of the heroes, but instead of the Empire’s puppet hero, the Kingdom hero that creates fanaticism is more dangerous” (Shiki)
A puppet and a fanatic huh.
Ah, if I remember correctly, Tomoe and Mio said something about this in the past.
The power to attract people and the power to charm people.
Mio thought of both things as the same, but Tomoe said that those two are different.
Charm them and turn them into prisoners. What’s ahead of that path is a puppet that can’t move without its master’s orders.
Attract people and pull them. What’s ahead of that path is a madman that does desperate efforts for the sake of those people.
That’s how it goes if you delve deeper into both paths.
At one point, charm does work the same as charisma, but the end result is different, or so she said.
The influence on the people that receive this effect to the limit, I have never seen it, so I can’t say much about it.
“Well, the people that are completely charmed won’t be able to move without their master’s words. The very meaning of pitiful. ‘If I take other actions aside from the ones that person has said, that person will hate me, I will be thrown away’; that kind of fear will bind the target. And if they end up unable to do anything, it will be like putting the cart before the horse. Having people that can only move when given detailed orders is no different from Golems” (Tomoe)
“Waka-sama is my everything, but well… I don’t intend to lose to anyone in terms of being charmed” (Mio)
I suddenly remember the talk of Tomoe and Mio.
Our side is so peaceful.
“That’s the difference of a charm brought upon by a skill, and a charm that’s not brought by it. But if I remember correctly, several tens of adventurers from Tsige went to Limia right? Something about them being led by the hero. Isn’t the Kingdom a more difficult opponent in terms of fighting force?” (Makoto)
Adventurers that can fight decently in the wasteland.
They possess the know-how of fighting.
Even if the demons want to crush them, I think it would be pretty difficult.
“Waka-sama. Just like how you said, the ones that possess the most power in the Kingdom are those adventurers and the hero party. But those adventurers also have a big weakness” (Shiki)
“They are a power that has learned to fight in the wasteland. After going to the Kingdom, they probably learned a few ways to fight in groups. To a level where they can have an active role in the battlefield” (Shiki)
“Well, that’s a given” (Makoto)
“However, they have a trait that has been ingrained in them from the very beginning. They are adventurers. Even if they are good at attacking, they are not used to defending towns, bases, and specially places of wide scale. Mercenaries and knights might be a different story, but adventurers are essentially carefree. If we take 100 as one’s power, it would be like being able to only bring out 50 of that inside a forest” (Shiki)
“Tsige has also been attacked by mamonos, so they should be able to protect right? It shouldn’t be that extreme” (Makoto)
“It would be good if that were the case. ‘A base that has held on for 1 year in the wasteland will prosper’, is what a saying goes. If I were to fight an adventurer, I would force the fight in a forest. There will be the chance that it will affect victory, and if it is a place that shows clear effects, even more. A defensive battle where they have to fight while minding the residents, even a knight would have a difficult time in that situation. If you put a surprise attack in that equation, I wonder how the morale will turn out” (Shiki)
“… Is the Kingdom going to fall?” (Makoto)
Should I go save them?
But it is a hero I have never met before, and a place that has been influenced by the Goddess.
If I go and help Limia, the chances that my connection with them will deepen is really high.
The best would be to have it go well without me going.
I asked Shiki if there’s such a chance.
“I wonder. I don’t think it will reach the point of destruction. If there’s enough damage to consider it fallen, the hero would have run somewhere else already. However, if the damage is only in the capital, the hero is dead. It isn’t like the demon race has much leeway. This battle also holds the coercion that this is the beginning of a big march. In other words, a bluff. If they are able to at least kill the hero, I don’t think they will go to the point of trampling down the Kingdom. Of course, that’s only if my conjecture is correct. I am not a 100% sure. There’s a portion that’s still opaque, and it would be difficult to predict all the thoughts of the Demon Lord and Rona” (Shiki)
A bluff huh.
But they are fully intent to kill the hero.
I remember the words of Tsukuyomi-sama.
‘Please take care of them’, huh.
But even if I think about going to save them, we are also in quite the stalemate.
We have no ‘means’ to go all the way to Limia.
“‘There’s not enough power, so don’t delve too deep into it yet’ huh” (Makoto)
“The north is entering winter. In that case, no matter if it’s defending or attacking, the snow and ice will get in the way. Marching in the middle of intense cold is suicidal. It is a good season to win and escape” (Shiki)
“… But even if we want to go help them, teleporting there is…” (Makoto)
“Ah, right. Tomoe-dono is…” (Shiki)
I remember the conversation Tomoe had with the important people a few moments ago.
The circumstances about how using teleportation would be bad.