T/N: Darkness Zone -> Dark Zone now, according to author.
Chapter 70 – vs Demon King Alyssa ④
“Mmh? An advance party….I think not!”
The lightly equipped human, who appeared from within the dark zone, looked at me, Layla and Iron in order…and then, when he reached Red, he readied his weapon.
“Watch out! The enemy is waiti――”
――Do a preemptive strike!
A scout, huh? An ice bullet shot by Layla hits the face of the human who shouted to his friends behind him. One after the other Dakel’s arrow pierced his throat and Guy, who dashed towards the shocked human, tore him apart with his sharp claws.
“Masaki! You okay!? What has――!?”
A fireball released by Flora assails a human who rushed out for the dark zone in a hurry. Afterwards Dakel, Flora and the others continue to fire spells and arrows inside the pitch-black darkness.
The screams of several humans can be heard from within.
As I prepare myself to fight against the humans…while readying Dáinsleif…
――Everyone except for Iron and the living mails, hide yourself in the vicinity.
…an order was handed down from Shion.
Though I think it would have been fine to overwhelm them like this… We can’t disobey Shion’s order. We began to act in accordance to Shion’s order.
Five minutes of watching the situation after I hid myself behind a nearby tree.
A single human clad in heavy equipment showed up from within the dark zone holding his shield up and carefully checking the vicinity.
Seeing Iron and the living mails crowding around the dark zone with their shields at the ready, the heavily equipped human waits and watches the situation.
There’s no order from Shion. Should I attack? At this rate the living mails will be exposed to danger.
I put my strength into the hand grasping Dáinsleif, and am about to take one step forward…
――Don’t move until I tell you to.
A cruel order by Shion.
Is he planning to sacrifice the living mails? Iron is over there as well!
――? Iron is also there…? Shion should take good care of his bloodkin? What’s his aim then?
While not comprehending Shion’s objective, I keep watching the human and my comrades from behind my tree.
“T-They don’t move…? Hey! It’s alright!”
The heavily equipped human observes Iron’s group with open wariness. He calls out to his friends, who are likely within the dark zone, while knocking on his shield.
“――!? Hiii…eh, l-living mails?”
“Huh? Don’t these guys spawn in the 【Heroes’ Graveyard】?”
“These things won’t start attacking…?”
“For now… Rather, what about Karin?”
“She probably died in the previous attack. …Makoto and Taichi as well…”
“Wha…four people with such a surprise attack…horrible…really―uugh!?”
Eight humans appeared from within the dark zone. Shion gives an order that might be called heartless towards them who are mourning their friends.
Spells that ruthlessly rain down on the heavily equipped guy. Arrows that pour down on a crying woman. An ice bullet that’s shot into the face of a shoulder-slumping man.
“Nobu! Hey! Nob―”
A man, who ran up to the heavily equipped man, is cut up by Guy’s claws.
“Ha ha ha! Let’s have some fun!” (Red)
Red brandishes Vajura, blowing away a human.
Without even being granted time to mourn over the death of their comrades, the humans were cold-bloodily attacked by my comrades.
“H-Hii… An ogre speaking Japanese… Why is a high-ranking monster at such low-level floor!?”
“F-Fuck! Calm down! Reorganize the formation!”
“A-Ah, 《Ice Shield》!”
At the time when the humans had reformed their ranks, their numbers had already dropped from eight to three.
Having missed the surprise attack, I jump onto the battlefield while readying Dáinsleif.
“――!? Reinforcements? P-P-Please help!”
A human, who misunderstood after seeing me, runs up to me. As she’s defenseless, I will be easily able to reap her life with one swing of Dáinsleif…
“Y-Your comrades are――”
However, without me being able to swing down Dáinsleif…Layla showed up from the side and sent the woman’s head flying with her whip.
Layla snorted at me who muttered an apology, and ran off towards the remaining humans.
In front of me who only stands still in a daze unable to participate in the attack…my comrades killed all the humans.
“I’m really sorry…” (Rina)
I apologize to my comrades, but they didn’t reply.
I like Layla, Flora, Guy, Red, Iron, Dakel…my comrades who I also ought to call friends. I like them much more than Kanezawa’s selection members or my superficial friends during my university time.
The way how they perceive things is different. Their values are different, too. But, as comrades I trust and like them. I wanted to answer their trust. I desired to be trusted by them.
However ― I ended up hesitating to attack when I was in front of humans.
I betrayed their trust.
The humans are the enemy. They are beings who cannot coexist with Demon King Shion ― my master.
I understand that logically… But, my heart hasn’t caught up with that comprehension.
I succumbed to hatred towards myself because of my own heart’s weakness.
~ PoV Shion ~
“It was a complete victory, wasn’t it?” (Kanon)
“It’s because they were able to take them by surprise.” (Shion)
Kanon and I state our impressions while looking at the outcome displayed on the smartphone.
“Shion-san, why didn’t you overwhelm them with ranged attacks?” (Kanon)
“Mmh? At the beginning?” (Shion)
“Yes. Given that the humans had zero visibility while inside the dark zone, I thought that you might have them annihilated through continuous range attacks.” (Kanon)
Listening to Kanon’s question, I recall the situation back then.
“The effect of a dark zone is zero visibility, right?” (Shion)
“The opponent can’t see anything, but same applies to our side as well, doesn’t it?” (Shion)
“It won’t be possible to check whether the enemy has been annihilated, right?” (Shion)
“――! That’s right!” (Kanon)
The self-alleged strategist Kanon finally understands my thinking.
“In other words, it was your goal to definitely kill all the humans!?” (Kanon)
What if some humans had survived within the dark zone…and Rina’s party had gone inside the dark zone in that situation…? Unforeseen incidents could have happened. It was necessary to lure out the humans inside the dark zone in order to avoid that.
“Fu fu fu. My strategist experience points have increased once again.” (Kanon)
“What’s that?” (Shion)
I unintentionally reveal a wry smile towards the smiling Kanon.
“It means, I’m continuing to grow!” (Kanon)
“It would have really been great if your stat were 【Wisdom】 and not 【Knowledge】.” (Shion)
Kanon, who wanted to rebuke my sarcasm, froze.
“Bah, I won’t be discouraged by you! Therefore, this is an advice from your strategist, Shion-san.” (Kanon)
“I don’t remember you having become my strategist, but…what is it?” (Shion)
“I wonder whether Rina-san is alright? I think it would be better for you to follow up on her, Shion-san.” (Kanon)
Hearing the advice from Strategist Kanon, I check the state of Rina on the smartphone’s screen.
“Follow up, eh…?” (Shion)
In the end Rina couldn’t attack the humans. And, as result it created a trench between her and the other subordinates.
Follow up…how should I phrase it best? I don’t want to boast, but my attribute is aloof loner. If I were capable of such a smart action, I wouldn’t have become an aloof loner.
Not coming up with any supportive words in the end, I gave the same order to Rina’s and Chloe’s parties, and guided them to the other side of the set-up 【Transfer Array】 inside the dark zones.
Chapter 71 – vs. Demon King Alyssa ⑤
~ Chloe’s PoV ~
Having crossed through the dark zone, we steadily proceeded with our invasion of Demon King Alyssa’s Domain.
What’s awesome is master’s keen insight ― that easily saw through the underhanded, two-layered trap.
Aah…what blessed dark elf I am.
Chloe Shion…that sweet sound. I’m full of satisfaction by just musing in my mind over the honorable name given to me.
A vulgar voice interrupts my time of happiness.
“And ooonce again…she’s on a trip ~ssu.” (Blue)
“Chloe’s is a kind of illness.”
“What is it?” (Chloe)
“Chloe, are you going to proceed ~ssu?” (Blue)
“Humph, I don’t need you to tell me.” (Chloe)
Even without being told so by the owner of the vulgar voice ― Blue, I go ahead. For the sake of accomplishing the divine command of my almighty master, my one and everything, as fast as possible.
“Did something happen to Chloe-sama?” (Noire)
“Is Sis going to be alright?” (Rouge)
The ogre general Noire and the ogre braver Rouge, the new additions to our party. At first they talked big with conceited attitudes, but once I properly showed them my strength, they became obedient. Rouge is annoying with her “Sis, sis,” but since I was strictly ordered by master to take good care of them, I intend to train them to a level where they won’t die.
Well, their basics are good enough. If they get some drilling, they will likely surpass someone like Blue easily.
The nose of Silver, who walks in the lead, twitches, smelling the presences of enemies.
Silver and Noire ready their shields and take one step forward. The living mails set up their shields so that they could protect us. I draw the string of my bow, and the other subordinates get their respective weapons ready, too. Then we lie in wait for the enemies.
――I see them!
“――《Eagle Arrow》!” (Chloe)
My arrow flies towards the glittering scales ― wings of a pixy that were fleetingly visible deep inside the forest.
“Hah! I’m going to slaughter theeeeem!” (Hope)
“I’m going as well ~ssu.” (Blue)
Hope who had changed into a human, and Blue who held his ax charge at the crowd of goblins that appeared within the forest. With a slight delay, Rouge rampages at the front line that had turned into a melee fight while wielding her boorish club.
I focus on shooting the pixies with arrows. Silver and Noire hold back the surging goblins. The living mails block the spells raining down on me with their sturdy shields.
Even though they fell behind, the weretiger and the ogre soldiers, who were part of the front, joined in as well.
Master said ― 『Overwhelm them with individual strength』.
We must win with individual strength. In short, even as subordinate losing is no option.
“You know, right?” (Chloe)
I call out to my subordinate dark high elf.
The dark high elf and I cover for the subordinates fighting at front, firing arrows without thinking. I repel the ax swung down against an ogre soldier by a goblin with an arrow. I shoot a bug using magic in the rear with an arrow, the ax swung down against Blue…that guy will surely avoid it by himself.
I back up the subordinates while watching the battle progress.
They are frail and inferior subordinates, but their owner is ― Demon King Shion. In that case I will protect them with all my might. After all it’s completely unnecessary to show mercy towards people defiling master’s property.
I continued to fire arrows at the insolent goblins and pixies.
30 minutes later.
The extermination of all the lowly trash is finished.
Although it’s not much…I guess they became master’s nourishment.
While thinking about master who watched over us from a distant place, I advanced deeper into the forest in order to carry out his command.