Chapter 76 – vs. Demon King Alyssa ⑩
――Chloe, Blue, Hope, Silver, Noire, Rouge. Take your respective subordinates and head for the 【Return Terminal】!
I order Chloe’s party to move to the 【Return Terminal】set up near a【Transfer Array】.
Using the 【Return Terminal】, Chloe’s party will bypass the enemy, by transferring outside the Domain. This will put them in position to ambush the enemy backline, and annihilate the archers firing silver arrows.
For the ambush to work, we need to keep the enemy’s attention on us until Chloe’s party starts their surprise attack.
“All members, fall back! Take cover in the rear!” (Shion)
The living mails form up into one line, and retreat one step at a time, while holding their shields at the ready. Rina’s party and I sprint towards the many screens set up in the back, while avoiding the falling rain of silver arrows.
――Those capable of ranged attacks, return fire! All others standby behind the screens!
After giving an order to my subordinates, I also return fire with magic while taking cover.
I could almost pity Alyssa’s subordinates. Our spells assault them from the front, and from the rear, they are impaled by a rain of silver arrows shot by their allies. Even when they try to launch suicide attacks, they cannot break through the living mails that make up our front line.
One after another, goblins and pixies fall to the ground, with silver arrows growing out of their backs.
Eventually, the rain of silver arrows lets up, and a new batch of enemies arrives.
“Victory for Demon King Alyssa!”
A huge goblin ― a goblin general, marches through the entrance, accompanied by a huge army of goblins. The goblin general is clad entirely in silver armor, as are his troops.
――All hands, intercept the advancing enemies!
――Iron, protect me!
Giving Rina’s group, who were hiding behind cover, the order to charge, I order Iron, who has the highest defense power, to protect me.
My current CP is 3100, huh?
While hiding behind cover, I use 《Subordinate Creation》, and create three living mails. Next I alchemize 『Mithril Armors』 and 『Mithril Shields』 and give them to the living mails. It’s an impromptu measure, but it will strengthen my defenses.
As I hide in the shadows of Iron and the three living mails, I continue retaliating with magic, but the enemies are desperate. The arrows and spells launched from the rear are more accurate now, and no longer strike Alysssa’s own troops. Goblins wielding silver arms and armor fearlessly charge our position, supported by covering fire. The bloodkin, such as Rina, are holding out, but I am losing more and more of my nameless subordinates.
I call in reinforcements from the 3rd platoon and below. My subordinates continuously file in to bolster our ranks.
Arrows and spells fired from the respective rears intersect. Screams and angry roars fill the air as soldiers from both sides lose their lives. The area has transformed into pandemonium.
Slowly but surely,the number of living mails at the front is getting dangerously low.
――Guy, gather the equipment that has dropped to the ground!
I create living mails with 《Subordinate Creation》, and give them the equipment gathered by Guy. In this situation living mails are basically disposable. I order the living mails to protect their allies at the cost of their own lives, and send them to the front in succession.
I cycle between using 《Subordinate Creation》, retaliating with magic, and checking the situation at the Domain’s entrance with my smartphone.
Not yet… Still not… A little bit longer…
While checking the smartphone once every ten seconds, I wait for the perfect moment.
The chance has come.
Deep at the rear of the enemy ― at the sector entrance, the enemy’s ranged attackers are all alone. All the enemy monsters specialized in close combat have moved to the front line.
――Chloe! Start the surprise attack!
“All hands! Charge!” (Shion)
I order Rina and the others, who had fought defensively from behind the living mails until now, to charge. Simultaneously, Chloe’s group executes a surprise attack from behind the enemy lines.
The spells and arrows, which had been flying out mercilessly from the enemy’s rear, stop. Rina and her forces start attacking the enemies engaging the living mails at the front line.
I induce confusion in the goblin general, wielding his silver ax at the forefront, causing him to attack a nearby goblin. He swings down his ax, killing the goblin instantly. Covered in his ally’s blood, he looks down at the ax in his hands in confusion. That’s when Layla’s Whip of Hades tightens around his neck, Vajira, swung by Red, hits him in the face, and finally, Rina cuts off the head of the screaming goblin general with Dáinsleif.
With their leader dead, some of the goblins start panicking.
I activate my magic just after my archers fire. Arrows of darkness pour down on the injured goblins, and finish them off.
“Don’t stop attacking! Advance!” (Shion)
I push up the front line while encouraging my subordinates. Chloe’s party is carrying out a surprise attack against an entire army with a mere 24 people. I want to join up with them as soon as possible to make sure they aren’t wiped out.
I scan the battlefield… no silver weapons.
After confirming that my natural enemies have been wiped out, I grab Gáebolg and run up to the front line.
I proceeded while swinging Gáebolg left and right, exterminating goblins and pixies with each swing. While advancing this way, I see a group of my subordinates caught in an intense battle.
“Chloe! Is everyone safe!?” (Shion)
“――!? I’m unworthy of your concern! Everyone is safe!” (Chloe)
Chloe answers with a trembling voice.
“Annihilate the remaining enemies!” (Shion)
――However, turn a blind eye to the individuals believed to be Alyssa’s kin.
I order my subordinates with both words and thoughts. With only words, there would be a possibility that my intentions could be read by Alyssa.
“Kuh! Retreat! Retreat ~ssu!”
“Retreat! We’re withdrawing!”
“Withdraw! We’re falling back!”
The goblins and pixies speaking human language call for a retreat and take flight.
――Kill as many as possible, except for the kin!
We work hard to the exterminate the enemy monsters, except the ones speaking in human language ― the kin.
30 minutes later.
All hostile forces have disappeared from the 28th sector.
The losses in the first large-scaled battle were huge. I lost many nameless subordinates. However, Alyssa’s losses are probably bigger than ours.
As for the strategy, you could call it a passable outcome.
“Shion, can I ask one thing?” (Rina)
“What’s up?” (Shion)
Rina’s voice pulls me out of my reverie. I pull my attention away from the corpse-laden battlefield, and my future plans, and answer her.
“Why did you spare the enemy’s kin?” (Rina)
“For the sake of exterminating the enemy’s forces.” (Shion)
“――? I don’t get it.” (Rina)
Rina cocks her head in puzzlement due to my reply.
“Do you understand our current circumstances?” (Shion)
“《Proclamation of War》, right? I heard about it from Kanon.” (Rina)
“Did you hear about the penalty for the Demon King who started the 《Proclamation of War》?” (Shion)
“No, Kanon didn’t go into the details.” (Rina)
I see. I suppose Kanon saw no need to explain it to Rina.
“Umm, the Demon King, who started the 《Proclamation of War》, won’t recover any CP during the 《Proclamation of War》.” (Shion)
“I see.” (Rina)
“In other words, they can’t create new kin.” (Shion)
“Makes sense.” (Rina)
“If there are no kin, the monsters can’t leave their Domain, right?” (Shion)
“That’s true…――! I got it.” (Rina)
Finally Rina understood what I wanted to tell her.
“If we repel the enemy, while letting the kin live, they will bring more monsters along next time. During the 《Proclamation of War》 Alyssa doesn’t recover any CP. Hence, once we annihilate the enemies…” (Shion)
“It will make our invasion simple.” (Rina)
“That’s how it is.” (Shion)
It’s unknown how many kin Alyssa has created. Furthermore, the number of subordinates under her control is unknown too. However, if there are no kin, they can’t invade my Domain. It’s simple, killing the enemies while defending is easier than killing them while invading.
And then, six hours later.
As if responding to my request, Alyssa’s subordinates invaded my Domain once again.
Chapter 77 – vs. Demon King Alyssa ⑪
Ten days after the 《Proclamation of War》 by Demon King Alyssa.
The number of invading enemies has visibly decreased. It seems as though the enemy’s forces will soon hit rock bottom.
“You think they’re going to come today as well?” (Shion)
“Hmm, I wonder? Yesterday we definitely killed at least a hundred of them, didn’t we?” (Kanon)
“We did.” (Shion)
From what we can tell, Alyssa has 12 kin remaining. If they use their LP capacity to the limit, they can probably bring more than 100 monster subordinates along. I can’t believe that Alyssa is being frugal with her forces this late in the game.
“Are we going to start the counterattack soon?” (Kanon)
“Yes. But, I’d like to be invaded once more, if possible…” (Shion)
Were my prayers answered? The electronic sound signifying an enemy invasion plays on my smartphone.
I check the situation at the entrance of the 26th sector, the location of the attack, on the smartphone’s live stream, I see around 50 monsters alongside the familiar kin.
“Oh? This time their composition is different from usual, isn’t it?” (Shion)
Usually their army is centered around goblins, which heavily rely on numbers, but this time many high-ranking monsters, such as goblin generals and high pixies, are mixed in as well. Did Alyssa run out of CP? There’s not a single monster wearing silver equipment as countermeasure against me.
“Did she gather the monsters that were protecting her Domain?” (Kanon)
“I wonder. Either way, it means Alyssa is already at her wit’s end.” (Shion)
My subordinates already know what to do by now, they grab their weapons and prepare to head to the entrance of the 26th sector as soon as the invasion alert sounds.
I call out to Chloe, who is carrying her beloved bow ― Ichival.
“Chloe, your unit is to wait here for orders.” (Shion)
“A break ~ssu!?” (Blue)
I order Chloe’s unit to remain on standby, only Blue raises his voice in delight.
“This time we’re going to completely annihilate the invading enemies!” (Shion)
I guess it’s about time to have the kin, who I let live so far, exit the stage.
I go through the 【Transfer Array】 , followed by my highly motivated subordinates, and head to the entrance of the 26th sector.
At the entrance area of the 26th sector, I find my living mails, who have been holding the line for 24 hours. The invaders have already engaged them in a fierce battle.
I suppose the enemy gave up on quantity and are now trying to best us with quality.
Let’s overwhelm them with the power of numbers then.
This time I have mobilized all of my forces from the start. I haven’t set up anything tricky, like a first or second corps. I deploy all my gathered forces against the roughly 60 enemies, including Alyssa’s kin.
Giant bats unleash their ultrasonic waves while circling in the sky. Countless arrows and spells rain down on the invaders from the rear. On the ground, a large crowd of wolves harasses the enemy in groups. Countless ghouls advance on the enemy.
Rina’s group picks off enemy units one at a time, while they are preoccupied with the wolves and ghouls.
We excel in individual strength and also in numbers. Not only that, we also have the terrain advantage. The enemy forces are driven to their wit’s end as we steadily whittle them down.
I really wonder if my level will go up… While hiding behind a living mail, I thrust Gáebolg at the enemy in front of me.
Opportunities to earn experience points in such large amounts without risk are few and far between.
I look at the continuously decreasing forces of the enemy and continue to attack with Gáebolg, harboring a complicated feeling of relief and loneliness all the while.
Then, with fewer than 20 enemies remaining, including the kin…
“Withdraw! Withdraw! Retreat!”
The enemy shouts their standard line and begins to escape.
Usually I let them go, but, this time――
――Chloe! Use the 【Return Terminal】 and go around to the entrance! Don’t let a single enemy get away!
――Don’t let a single enemy get away!
At the same time as I send Chloe’s unit, which was on standby, into pursuit, I order the wolf groups, that excel at speed, to confine the enemy.
“――!? You pesky puppies!”
The enemy shouts in frustration at our battle formation which, unlike in previous encounters, has been designed to prevent escape.
As anyone who has attempted it could tell you, killing a fleeing enemy is fairly difficult. It’s fine if you can at least surround them, or go around and cut them off, but just chasing after them from behind and attacking is fairly ineffective.
For that reason I give up on chasing them physically and send magic after them instead.
Countless arrows of darkness rain down on the backs of the fleeing enemies. Precisely hitting running enemies is complicated, but several arrows pierce the enemies’ backs. I continue firing《Dark Arrow》 while being careful to not accidentally shoot my own subordinates.
“Haa haa…a little bit further…we will survive…return to Alyssa-sama…”
“That’s not gonna happen ~ssu.” (Blue)
Blue’s ax, swings downward, bisecting the face of a goblin braver who just arrived at the entrance after escaping our pursuit.
The enemies, who showed relief on their faces after arriving at the entrance, are now plunged into despair by the ambush of Chloe’s group.
“It’s master’s order! You’re not allowed to let a single one get away!” (Chloe)
Chloe’s group readies their weapons, and spreads out to block the fleeing enemy’s path.
A goblin fighter gives way to despair and raises his weapon above his head. He is torn to pieces by the sharp claws of Guy as he catches up to him. The enemy is surrounded by Chloe’s group, who have closed off their escape route, and Rina’s group, who close in from behind, and thus are forced into a life or death struggle, but…they are outnumbered.
We finish off the remaining invaders in less than ten minutes.
After all invaders have been killed, I grant my subordinates a break of one hour.
“What is it?” (Rina)
“This time there’s no limit to the number of people we can invade with…how many do you need?” (Shion)
“Let’s see… It depends on the remaining forces of the enemy, but I should be able to do it with just my usual party.” (Rina)
Rina worries for a bit, but decides to go with her usual group in the end.
“Are you sure? We could easily spare you a hundred or more supporting units if you want.” (Shion)
“If you wish for me to do that, I will obey, but…it would likely delay the invasion I think.” (Rina)
“It’s not easy for a hundred people to keep the same pace, and any additional troops would be inexperienced.” (Rina)
“Understood. Proceed to the Domain’s entrance with a hundred subordinates for starters. From there, you can continue invading with your usual group. We have 20 days. If I send Chloe’s group with you, can you conquer all nine remaining sectors in that time?” (Shion)
“I will do my best.” (Rina)
This time the invasion speed is more important than the safety of Rina’s precious subordinates.
I won’t be going personally. Thus I decided to respect the opinion of Rina, who has plenty of experience in invading Domains.
“Rina, Chloe, I leave it to you.” (Shion)
“Please do.” (Rina)
“Yes! I shall fulfill master’s command!” (Chloe)
Kanon and I see off Rina’s and Chloe’s parties, as well as 300 subordinates, which I had prepared just in case.
It’s the tenth day after Rina’s and Chloe’s parties started their invasion into Alyssa’s Domain.
The invasion is going well. They have already captured six out of nine sectors.
Alyssa probably bet everything on conquering my Domain within the first ten days after making a 《Proclamation of War》. Now that we have started our counterattack, the guards we would normally expect to encounter are completely missing. I feel fed up with the maze-like, complicated floor design, but otherwise we are taking control of the sectors without anything you could call a resistance.
Currently, Rina’s party is clearing the 8th floor, and Chloe’s party is on the 9th floor.
If they keep going at this pace, two sectors will be added to my Domain before the day is over. I think in three to four days, there will be no other Demon Kings left in Kanezawa to oppose me.
What bothers me is Alyssa’s whereabouts. Is she escaping while repeatedly transferring? If that’s the case, everything is working out as desired. If she has secluded herself in the last sector, Rina and Chloe will be able to join up before facing her
Anything that reduces the likelihood of Alyssa’s death, my biggest cause for concern, is good news.
As I’m chuckling in anticipation of a bright future…
A loud electronic sound reverberates from my smartphone.