Chapter 82 – vs. Demon King Alyssa ⑯
Chloe wears her real equipment for our battle.
Normally we would both use weaker, iron series versions of our gear, but I won’t be able to accurately measure my abilities that way. It puts both of us in danger, but this mock battle is for the sake of completely defeating Alyssa…and its accuracy is necessary to ensure my survival.
――Chloe! Come at me for real!
I forcibly raise Chloe’s bloodthirst towards me by ordering her to attack me seriously.
Alyssa had shown an overwhelming difference in power against Chloe. If I don’t have enough ability to defeat Chloe at full power, despite holding back myself for the sake of her safety…I won’t be able to carry out my strategy.
“――!? M-Master…!?” (Chloe)
Even while showing an anguished expression, Chloe readies the bow on her back ― Ichival, draws the string, and aims it at me.
I hear the arrow cut through the air, as it flies toward my forehead.
The arrow closes in on me with incredible speed. However, my recent stat increases have enhanced my dynamic vision, and so, I am able to predict the arrow’s trajectory. I bend my upper body back, dodging the arrow, but…Chloe already has the next arrow in hand, and fires it with a swift motion.
Tsk!? Is this going to work…?
I swing Gáebolg, intercepting the arrow and knocking it aside.
Chloe calmly sets up the next arrow, as though she expected me to deflect the previous shot.
Don’t look down on me! ――Darkness Arrow!
Right as Chloe shoots her third arrow, I return fire with a huge burst of darkness arrows. I avoid the approaching arrow by sidestepping, and Chloe dodges the many darkness arrows with a wide back-step.
Oops, this distance (long-range) is really disadvantageous for me.
I powerfully kick off the ground…dashing towards Chloe while raising Gáebolg overhead. Chloe realizes my intention, quickly shoulders Ichival, and draws her dagger from the buckle at her waist.
“Hah! You think you can stop my spear with a dagger!?” (Shion)
I swiftly thrust Gáebolg at Chloe, while smiling ferociously. Chloe tries to evade by twisting her body, but…Gáebolg is an instant faster, it grazes Chloe’s flank. In contrast to Chloe, who’s looking pained, I unleash several thrusts while maintaining my favorite combat distance (middle range).
Some thrusts are dodged, some thrust have their trajectory diverted by Chloe’s dagger, and some thrusts graze Chloe’s body.
My attacks aren’t fatal, but Chloe is definitely sustaining injuries.
Did her eyes get slowly accustomed to my thrusts?
The rate of evaded thrusts is gradually rising. Chloe predicts when I’m going to pull back Gáebolg, and uses that opening to slip inside my range.
Didn’t you know? Besides thrusts ― pointed attacks, spears can also do sweeps ― linear attacks, okay?
I swing the extended Gáebolg to the side without pulling it back.
The edge of Gáebolg’s blade…no, the handle, hits Cloe and blows her away. I swiftly approach the fallen Chloe, and press Gáebolg’s blade against her neck.
“So? How was it? Who’s stronger, me or Alyssa?” (Shion)
“T-That is…” (Chloe)
Chloe hesitates to continue.
“Blue! Noire! Rouge! And while I’m at it, Kanon! Who’s stronger!?” (Shion)
I yell loudly, as if displaying my power.
“Umm ~ssu…” (Blue)
“How to put it…” (Rouge)
Blue, Noire, and Rouge hesitate to speak, just like Chloe.
The ones unwilling to speak up are all those who have actually confronted Alyssa. To be honest, I was satisfied with the result of the mock battle just now. Even if it’s me saying it, that was…a complete victory, right?
I’m behind by one level, but…based on the stats, I should be superior. My equipped items are B rank unique items.
Is it a difference of experience…? Is the gap so large between Alyssa and me…?
“U-Umm～…Shion-san, may I?” (Kanon)
Kanon calls out to me while I’m lost in those negative thoughts.
“What is it?” (Shion)
“You know…it’s just a guess, but isn’t the root of Alyssa’s strength Mana? And you just showed off the strength of your Body right…? Isn’t that the reason why Chloe and the others can’t make any clear comparisons…?” (Kanon)
“Is that so?” (Shion)
I look at Chloe’s, Blue’s, Noire’s and Rouge’s faces. They have bitter expressions, obviously agreeing with Kanon’s opinion.
“I see… How about this then?” (Shion)
I head to a wall where none of my subordinates are, and push out the pointed end of Gáebolg.
――Dark Night Tempest!
The airflow of darkness that seeps out of Gáebolg’s tip transforms into a storm, blowing violently.
At the same time, I feel the vitality across my whole body escaping, causing a light dizziness.
“W-W-Wow… This is an amazing spell!?”
“T-This huge mana…”
“Uhii!? This is awesome ~ssu!?” (Blue)
“So this is our lord’s power…?”
Due to the raging storm of darkness, Kanon and the others let out voices full of astonishment.
“So, me or Alyssa…who’s stronger?” (Shion)
I once more ask the same question.
“””It’s Shion-sama (-san)!”””
They unanimously approve of my strength.
“Now then, all that’s left is to lure in Alyssa…” (Shion)
I reveal a bold smile.
I carefully examine the information I have gathered in order to lure in Alyssa.
① Alyssa’s main force ― Alyssa herself (estimated A rank). High pixie (B rank). Four Goblin Generals (B rank). Alyssa wears B rank unique items. The remaining monsters have C to B rank items equipped. They have plenty of combat experience.
② Once my main force begins its invasion, Alyssa will invade one of my sectors.
③ If my main force doesn’t attack, Alyssa stands at the head of the defense herself.
④ The most optimal way to defeat Alyssa, is for me to take her on myself. However, if I face her without my main force, I will risk my own life.
⑤ Alyssa can go outside her Domain, but I can’t leave my Domain.
That’s about it?
In order to address ④ and ⑤, it’s necessary to lure Alyssa into my Domain. To get her to come here, the main force has to attack Alyssa’s Domain.
I suppose I will first resolve this issue.
The major point is: how many combat forces do I have to deploy for Alyssa to invade my Domain? If it’s just Rina’s party…will she see them as the main force and come invading? The answer is very likely no. There’s her track record of having intercepted Chloe’s group. It’s very likely that the same tragedy will repeat itself if I just send Rina’s group. If I were to add Blue, Noire, Rouge, and 100 subordinates to Rina’s group, Alyssa would likely attack my Domain gleefully. However, if I invest this much of my combat force, I won’t be able to stage a defense.
I plunge into the sea of my thoughts in order to search for a path towards victory.
Chapter 83 – vs. Demon King Alyssa ⑰
I repeatedly consider my options, in order to find a route towards Demon King Alyssa’s destruction.
Assuming I defeat Alyssa myself…what about her five escorts?
Chloe could probably defeat a goblin general in a one-on-one battle. If I were to ask her, she would likely say that she can, but…to be honest, in my eyes it’s a 50/50 chance. If Chloe is backed up by her dark high elf, they would have a high chance of winning. How about Blue? In a one-on-one battle, the chance of him losing is high.
If it’s Noire? Rouge? Layla? Guy? Iron…?
What if I leave the bloodkin out and surround the enemy with a group of subordinates…? There would be many losses, but they would likely be able to win. However, will Alyssa invade my Domain if I leave enough reserve forces behind to stage such a defense? The answer is no.
Alyssa’s goal has shifted, from stealing my sectors, to survival until the end of the 《Proclamation of War》.
If it comes down to it, she can achieve that goal by abandoning two of her remaining three sectors, and staying within the remaining sector.
What should I do to lure out Alyssa then? The answer is to leave behind the bare minimum I would need to defeat Alyssa’s forces, and have the invasion team become a splendid decoy.
The subordinates that will defeat Alyssa with me are Chloe and the dark high elf, Noire, Rouge, Blue, Iron, Layla, Dakel, Red, and Guy; those ten.
Going by combat strength, I wanted to add Rina as well, but Rina is the sole human among my subordinates who Alyssa is conscious of. She stands out too much. If Rina were absent from the invasion team, it would be very likely that Alyssa would suspect something. On the other hand, if it’s Layla and the others, it will be difficult for Alyssa to tell that they are missing, as long as I give similar items to subordinates of the same races.
This strategy has no loophole, does it? I simulate the rundown of the strategy, which I have designed, many times over.
It’s fine, there are no loopholes. In Alyssa’s eyes, the most valuable target ― me, which has a very high chance of turning the tables, will appear in front of her. This strategy should be successful…
I call my subordinates into my cave, and inform them of my plan.
“I will now tell you my strategy! Those I call out by name, step forward!” (Shion)
My subordinates watch me, as I speak to them from a stage, with bated breaths.
“Chloe! And your subordinate, dark high elf!” (Shion)
“Yes, master!” (Chloe)
“You two will kill the high pixie!” (Shion)
“A chance to redeem myself…I’m deeply grateful.” (Chloe)
Chloe and the dark high elf lower their heads upon my words.
“Moreover, in the event that this strategy succeeds…dark high elf, I will give you a name.” (Shion)
Giving a name ― in other words, he will become my bloodkin. After the dark high elf widens his eyes, he bows deeply.
“Next, Noire! Rouge!” (Shion)
“You two are going to kill a goblin general!” (Shion)
“Without fail!” (Rouge)
Afterwards, I call Blue’s and Iron’s, Layla’s and Dakel’s, and Red’s and Guy’s names, and order them to subjugate a goblin general each.
Rina, who was called alone, approaches me with a stiff face due to her nervousness.
“Rina, take 200 subordinates, and invade a sector!” (Shion)
“Mmh? You didn’t hear me?” (Shion)
“No, I heard you clearly… Taking on Alyssa…” (Rina)
“Can you take on Alyssa?” (Shion)
“If ordered…I will bet my life on it!” (Rina)
“I acknowledge that spirit of yours, but…it’s impossible.” (Shion)
“Wha-!? Who’s going to face Alyssa then!?” (Rina)
Rina raises her voice and draws close to me.
I answer Rina’s question curtly.
In response, not just Rina, but all those present, display expressions of shock..
“Hah? Why do you think I just displayed my strength?” (Shion)
I look at the faces of my surprised subordinates while talking with an astonished voice.
“T-That’s…in order to encourage us.” (Rina)
“Maybe your prefer―― kyaaa!?” (Kanon)
Leaving aside Rina, Kanon, who was about to say something rude, screams while rolling up her skirt.
“For the time being, Rina, you will take along 200 subordinates, including subordinates that will pretend to be part of the main force, and invade Alyssa’s Domain.” (Shion)
I wonder, can Alyssa really distinguish the faces of subordinates (monsters)? I can’t.
“However, if I take 200 subordinates of the main force with me, the defense forces will be…” (Rina)
“If we leave too many subordinates behind, Alyssa won’t come attacking, right?” (Shion)
“Y-You could say that, but…isn’t that dangerous?” (Rina)
“Certainly, the stakes are high. However, the return is equally high. I’m a broken being called Demon King in this broken world. If I don’t cross some dangerous bridges, I won’t be able to survive.” (Shion)
I explain the main point of my strategy in order to persuade my subordinates….and myself.
“I’m aiming for a complete victory in the current war ― the battle against Alyssa! All of you, put your full power into carrying out the plan!” (Shion)
Looking at the tense faces of my subordinates, I brace myself, too.
One hour later.
200 subordinates led by Rina begin to invade Alyssa’s Domain.
The sector they are invading has no defenders, so they are able to proceed at a fast pace. The one and only human bloodkin ― Rina, walks at the front. The monsters following after her are subordinates of C rank and above. All of them wear items of C rank and above. No matter how you look at it, to anyone…it would look like an invasion by my main force.
I wonder, is Alyssa going to move as anticipated?
While being assailed by tension, I watch Rina’s group on my smartphone.
24 hours later.
Rina’s group is currently invading the fifth floor.
Alyssa hasn’t made a move yet.
At this rate, Rina’s team will likely succeed in usurping the sector they are currently invading.
Alyssa won’t move?
The anxiety is too much for my heart.
If she has abandoned defense, we will likely be able to usurp two more sectors before the 《Proclamation of War》 ends. However, destroying Alyssa won’t be possible.
I guess Alyssa adopted a safe approach… Just when I was about to partly give up…
…the alert informing me of an invasion resounded from my smartphone.