The advance of the Gritonia Empire’s army in the demon lord territory.
The demon side was already aware of that movement in itself, so it wasn’t a surprise attack or anything of the sort.
However, it is not like they properly managed to read their move and intercept them.
The current situation is that the Gritonian army is finally already aware of the present capital city of the demons which is something that was completely outside of expectations.
That was how fast and fearsome the march of the Empire’s army was.
The Gritonian army isn’t aware yet of the existence of the old capital that’s in a special location, but the army of Gritonia that’s mostly composed of hyumans had found the capital of the demons.
The meaning of this is big.
If they bring that place down, it is over.
The Demon Lord is there.
Their target was clearly pointed.
The demons understand plenty well the meaning of having their capital seized.
This is the first time in this war that demons were being pushed back by hyumans.
Not only that…
“…No news of her. There isn’t much time left before the time limit that Rona-sama herself had set.”
Zef sighed on his throne at the report that wasn’t much different from before.
The Demon Generals each have their respective roles.
Io manages the army; Reft trains the army; Mokuren researches weapons; Rona is intel.
Their roles are more defined than that, but that would be their general duty if put briefly.
The one who gets in contact with hyumans the most within those is Rona.
Thus, she was the one who moved the busiest this time around.
And all news of her had been cut off around 10 days ago.
That not only her subordinates but even Zef himself can’t contact her was clearly an abnormal situation.
“I heard that, if anything happens, she would rely on the Kuzunoha Company, but…even a scrupulously careful person like Rona couldn’t escape from the Charm of the Empire’s Hero, huh. It looks like it has grown into a far more dangerous ability than I had anticipated.” (Zef)
There’s no doubt that Rona has fallen into the effect of the Charm in some way or form.
Zef is thinking and moving with that in mind.
The fortune within the misfortune was that Rona was an incredibly excelling intelligence agent, and even when she was the head of an organization, she was not alone.
Even when she is gone, the organization still operates, so the demons still haven’t lost their eyes and ears.
“…But your Majesty’s fears have been proven correct again. Hero Hibiki from Limia right now has powerful influence in the political front, and she has shown fearsome growth in a different sense from the Empire. That girl is plenty enough of a threat herself.” (Io)
The four-armed giant, Io, speaks out his opinion.
He has clashed with Hibiki a number of times, and even with that, he hasn’t been able to finish her, so it can’t be helped that there was emotion within that statement of his.
Is it the direction of the Goddess, or the heavenly luck of Hibiki herself as a hero?
The strange distance between Raidou and her was also something that Io was bothered by greatly.
Hibiki gets stronger every time she gets away. Io was already resolved that, by the next time, she will most likely be on par with him or slightly stronger than him.
On the other hand, he has been no match against Raidou from the very beginning.
He is a man that doesn’t deal with you seriously, but Io thinks that Raidou has his own luck as a warrior.
If the time comes when he has to fight him, he was sure that he wouldn’t be able to win against Raidou.
No matter where he fights, there would be no saving. That would definitely be his end.
(The next time I meet any one of the two, it might be the moment I die…) (Io)
Io was slightly jealous of Rona who has made contact with Raidou several times already and still managed to come out alive.
There’s no other person that would be as much of a miraculous medicine or lethal poison than him after all.
The type of medicine that could even bring back the dead, and also a fearsome poison that could even kill a country.
There are a decent amount of areas in the demon lord territory that have been saved from hunger and disease thanks to them.
But when the name of the Kuzunoha Company surfaces in Io’s mind, he can’t help but end up in a gloomy mood.
“…In the end, the Heroes were actually Heroes, huh. Let me confess here. I even doubted a great number of times that the Goddess was the god of idiots. But lo and behold, the move she pulled is properly working, so no matter how much I doubt it, she is still a being worthy of the god title.” (Zef)
Zef spits out poison, annoyed, while making it sound like a joke.
Actually, Zef was devastated by the fact that his countermeasure that not only served to fight against the Charm of the Empire’s Hero, but was even supposed to resist the abnormal effects of the Goddess, had been broken through.
The treatment is taking a longer time than before.
If not, they could have ‘bought plenty enough time’.
It truly was a vexing situation.
The reality that maybe it really was impossible to even have a clash of smarts against the only God of the world.
“Your Majesty…” (Reft)
The half hyuman half snake Naga and Demon General, Reft, couldn’t find words to say to him.
When the abnormal report that Rona was not returning had come up, he silently thought that maybe Rona had run away.
When the child of the Demon Lord, Sari, was taken by the head of the Kuzunoha Company, Raidou, Rona’s influence had clearly decayed in this next era’s demon nation.
When Reft told Io that they should consider the possibility of the crafty Rona having deserted, not only did he get a pretty painful fist on the crown of his head, he ended up getting a rare intense lecture and scolding.
He shouted that Rona would never betray Zef.
Even if Zef were to choose the demise of the demons, Rona would still be by his side.
Io finally told Reft to observe others more carefully.
“Forgive me for speaking out here, but I don’t want to think this situation was a given because we were fighting not only against destiny but a god itself. Mokuren, what’s the situation?” (Reft)
“Including the plan of Rona, our best prospects would be 90%.” (Mokuren)
The one word that Zef leaked out faintly made everyone stop talking and was ignored.
It was a word not befitting a ruler, but reprimanding him would be too ballsy.
Even if a battle is decided by time and luck, the current distress of the demons is way too horrible.
If at least one result were to change for the better, they could have won.
No, rather than change for the better, it would be better to say that they could have won if it could have fulfilled its objective to the bare minimum.
The 10 years of sleep from the Goddess.
Why didn’t she sleep for 11 years?
The summon of the heroes.
Why did she not only bring 2 but also an unnecessary one?
If she was going to throw him away in the wasteland, she shouldn’t have brought him here in the first place.
Fighting off the hyumans and countering in the Stella Fortress.
They could stomach the horrible result of not being able to kill the heroes there.
They even mobilized a precious hidden chess piece that was the dragon slayer, and yet, why is it that they didn’t manage to at least destroy the Limia Kingdom’s capital?
By using the Academy Town as the fuel, they wanted to bring chaos to the two major powers of the hyumans, the Limia Kingdom and the Gritonia Empire, and after that, Rotsgard would be inoperational. Before the Kingdom and Empire could recover from the chaos, they would be made to suppress their former compatriots from the back that have been turned into variants. That was their variant plan.
It would have delayed the advance of the hyumans by years. It was a trump card that should have served as a big linchpin in this time’s war.
Years of setting this up carefully, really carefully to not be detected, and it was finally about to bear fruit.
It is impossible that that didn’t manage to cause any outstanding damage aside from a certain percent of the Academy Town’s population.
The capital of the Kingdom and Empire should still be in the middle of rebuilding.
It is troubling that not even one hero has died.
And then, there’s the large-scale march of the Gritonia Empire.
It is not like they can’t deal with it at all.
They certainly did have prior knowledge.
But the intricate details were outrageous.
Even when stacked by so much unreasonableness, they could still fight.
If it had been sooner, they would have been checkmated.
If it had been later, they would have been able to checkmate them.
And yet, at the time when they were thinking that even if they were to do their best here, it was clear that it would only turn into a muddy free-for-all-fight…
It was at that time when Gritonia moved.
Even Zef, who resolved himself to live as a king and throw away a life of his own, was warranted to mutter a curse or two in his anger.
There’s no time.
No matter how many lives they sacrifice, it isn’t enough.
There’s no knowing if the hatred of the demons…of the demi-humans will be reaching the Goddess.
On top of that, Rona is not returning.
It was way too harsh of a time for the demons.
“…It is okay, we will adjust to the situation…is something I can’t say. I am a scientist and a researcher after all.” (Mokuren)
“No, that’s what you should be. Reft, gather the children. There’s a job I want to leave to them.” (Zef)
“…It is already time for the remainders… Time for the last Demon Lord.” (Zef)
The meaningful words of the Demon Lord Zef come out.
It is not known yet whether it was fortunate or not that Rona wasn’t here.
This is how the meeting in the old capital closed its curtains.