Chapter 219 – Kanezawa Suppression
Five minutes left until the completion of the 《Reign》.
It’s probably impossible for the Kanezawa Liberation Army to break through the defense line in the remaining five minutes. Certain of the victory, I order to move the humans, who have surrendered and are currently being sheltered within my Domain, into the range of 《Reign》.
Still, 『Kanezawa’s Sage』 and 『Kanezawa’s Saintess』 haven’t shown up until the bitter end. I wanted to confirm their abilities as people who are hailed as heroes by Kanezawa’s humans, but I guess it should not be.
While checking my subordinates’ hard struggle to defend the defense line, I think about the future strategies.
One minute left until the completion of the 《Reign》.
I confirm the situation within the effective range of my 《Reign》. All dots shown on the display of my smartphone are either blue (ally) or yellow (surrendered).
I begin to silently count down. 40, 39, 38…25, 24, 23…10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
The black vortex in front of my eyes brightens up, and, accompanied by a focusing of the light, vanishes. An orb shining silver ―― a 【True Core】, appears instead of the vortex.
That simple text is displayed on my smartphone.
The 《Reign》 has succeeded, but the humans outside the range of the 《Reign》 have no way of knowing this. The liberation army is continuing the battle, trying to break through the defense line without change. It’d be quite obvious if I enacted 《Domain Creation》 and changed the outward appearance of the newly acquired sector by turning it into a cave type, but…if I did that, all the materials currently present in the area would vanish.
If I can withdraw all my subordinates into the new sector…the pursuing humans will be limited to 12 people as that’s the restriction for humans to invade a sector at a time, so it’s possible to make them realize that they lost the battle, but…I refrain from calling a retreat. It’s also possible that it’d create more losses than so far, if my subordinates turn their backs on the enemies.
Should we cry out in triumph? Or should I declare our victory? The proof is in the pudding. I suppose I’ll raise a cry of triumph on top of announcing our victory.
I move up to a place where my voice will reach the humans through 【Megaphone】.
『The 《Reign》 of Ishikawa University succeeded! Everyone! Celebrate it by shouting in victory!』
I indirectly tell the humans about the success of 《Reign》 by encouraging my subordinates with a declaration of victory.
“We――the Aster Empire won! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray!”
Following Kotetsu’s lead, my subordinates cheer and shout ear-splittingly loud while making noise with their weapons.
“Wh-…!? The university has fallen…!?”
“Fuck! Confirm! Someone go and confirm!”
“No good! I can’t reach the folks at the university!”
“I-It really was taken by the enemy…”
Contrary to my overjoyed subordinates, the humans have become panicked and agitated.
“W-What should we do…? Retreat…?”
“D-Don’t screw around…! My family is at the university!”
“B-But…the university is already in their hands…”
“It’s a messenger from the Sage! Retreat! His instruction is to pull back here!”
“Fuck…fuck…god damn, fuck iiiiiittt!”
Some humans begin withdrawing quickly, others do so while bellowing in anger…and there’s also some who ignore the message and recklessly attack us.
As a result of me having declared victory ― the human front line collapsed.
――Don’t chase them too far! Once you’ve got rid of the resistant humans, return to the Domain at once!
Kotetsu and the others repelled the remaining human opposition, and triumphantly withdrew into our Domain.
――Yataro, consult with Mrs. Tamura and Tusk, and begin transporting the important goods.
I’m busy, pressed by the post-Reign processing. Universities are the highest educational institutions. Personally I can’t judge, but…it’s highly likely that Ishikawa University hides many treasures, beginning with PCs.
“Hey! That’s a precision machine, so handle it carefully ~ssu!” Tusk thunders for some reason at an ogre, but unfortunately they don’t speak the same language.
“Kanon-chaaan! Could you please tell this ogre that he’s supposed to carry the things gentler?”
“Okaaay! It looks like he wants you to treat this device with a bit more care.”
“Bah, as I said, I’d like him to stop carrying it on his shoulders like that ~ssu.”
Kanon has gently passed on the instructions to the ogre, but the ogre treats the device as roughly as before.
“Shion, is it okay for me to take this metal here?”
As I’m watching the exchange between Tusk and the ogre, Akira calls out to me.
“Hmm…if it’s a device that could be of use to us, it’s not okay.”
“Wait a moment.”
Soothing Akira whose cheeks are puffed out in unhappiness, I call a human who was in Ishikawa University and has now turned into a resident.
“Do you have any machines that scrap industrial waste at this university?”
“I-If that’s what you’re looking for…it’s this way.”
“Akira, get this human to guide you. If it’s the materials at the destination, you can freely use them as you please.”
“Muuh…industrial waste…in short, garbage…”
“If you hate it, you can also wait obediently at your workshop.”
Akira goes somewhere else with the human while grumbling. After this, I continue checking the situation of my subordinates while strolling through the university.
“How is it going, Yataro?”
“Oh, Shion. The numbers are okay, but the quality is somewhat lacking.”
I confirm the state with Yataro whom I have entrusted with the selection of items.
“Are they limited to generic B-Rank items?”
“No, they don’t go beyond C-Rank.”
I’ve seen humans wearing generic B-Rank items ― items of the Mithril Series, but…I suppose all of these people have left towards Hakusan.
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“What a downer.”
“Now, now, don’t say that. For better or worse, we got our hands on several original weapons, which seem to have been created by human blacksmiths. This should somehow make up for it, right?”
“I leave the distribution of the equipment to you.”
“Okay, I got it.”
When continuing my stroll, I spot Mrs. Tamura who’s ordering residents, and not monsters, around.
“How is it going, Mrs. Tamura?”
“Oh my, Shion-sama? It is going well.”
I’ve ordered her to select the foodstuff and daily necessities.
“They have had a lot of emergency rations stored here, but…they also preserved some fresh vegetables and meat. The daily necessities are also available in good numbers without anything missing. I am certain, the residents will rejoice over this.”
“I’m happy to hear that.”
Mrs. Tamura smiles gently while picking up a fresh veggies.
During my further walks, I could see how many residents and subordinates were carrying goods around in a hurry. First comes the confiscation of the goods. Then I’ll turn the newly acquired sector into a dungeon with 《Domain Creation》. Afterwards I’ll follow up on the humans who have become new residents. And lastly, preparations for the next invasion.
While on the move, I refined the future strategies inside my head.
Chapter 220 – Corps Training ①
Since I’ve received the message that all important materials have been moved out of the sector, I activated 《Domain Creation》. Then I invited Kotetsu to my room, interviewing him about his impression of the Kanezawa Liberation Army.
“――So, how would you rate the Kanezawa Liberation Army?”
“Let me see… Their teamwork exceeded the people of Suzu by leaps and bounds.”
“What about their individual strength?”
“It’s hard to tell. The humans we faced were quite exhausted. If just judging by that battle, they don’t pose much of a threat, but…they might be slightly troublesome when in normal condition.”
“I see… By the way, Kotetsu, do you have any advice for me?”
“If it looks like large-scale battles like the one before are going to increase in the future, I’d propose that you should reassess how we’re fighting.”
“How we’re fighting, you say?”
“At present, the Aster Empire uses a brute force approach, relying on individual strength, to fight its battles. I believe that you know about this without me having to bring it up, Shion-sama, but…what plays the biggest role in group combat is teamwork. And――”
“――the existence of a command chain, huh?” I continue Kotetsu’s words before he can voice them out himself.
“Exactly. It’s fine for me to take command as I did earlier, but in the end I’m just a beginner at this.”
“If you call yourself a beginner, what should everyone else say?”
“Moreover, the majority of our army consists of subordinates who don’t speak my language.”
“…I think we’ve still got some room for improvements in that regard.”
“If it looks like large-scale battles are going to occur more often in the future…it’ll be an urgent task to rear commanders as quickly as possible.”
“Let me consider some measures. Sorry for having called you over all of a sudden. You may withdraw now. Get some good rest.”
While looking at Kotetsu’s back as he’s leaving my room, I ponder about Kotetsu’s proposal.
“Rearing commanders, huh…?”
I believe I understand the importance of a commander. And anyone knows who would be most suited as commander ― me, the Demon King.
Although it’s one-sided, I possess a method to pass on my words without any relevance to distance. I can also grasp my subordinates’ moves, as if having a bird’s-eye-view, through my smartphone. And, I have the authority to force all subordinates to act as I want through orders.
But, situations requiring a commander occur during large-scale battles. At present, such battles are limited to the times of a 《Reign》 ― if you exclude exceptions such as 《Proclamation of War》. And, at the time when a 《Reign》 is started, I can’t participate in the battle myself.
I can pass on orders to individuals while checking the battle situation on my smartphone, but…it’s impossible for me to make a decision on-site while reading the battle atmosphere as I fight together with my subordinates. If possible, I’d like to select the one giving the commands from among those fighting at the front line. In such a case, the candidates are going to be the bloodkin whom I assigned as leaders, but…
The leaders have a big task ― the invasion of Domains.
There exist two methods to expand our Empire: Invading Domains ruled by Demon Kings, and taking human land through 《Reign》.
Individual strength matters when it comes to Domain invasions, whereas the power of many plays a big role during a 《Reign》. Individual strength and the power of many ― is it actually possible to bring those two together?
I sort my thoughts.
『It’s fine for me to take command, but in the end I’m just a beginner at this』
I muse over Kotetsu’s previous words. Do professionals capable of taking command during war exist in Japan to begin with? High-ranking JSDF officers maybe? However, I might call it war here, but the style has completely changed. The powers playing the main role in the conflict between Demon Kings and humans are the special abilities. Weapons such as guns and tanks don’t exist. Officers might be able to capitalize on the experience they cultivated so far, but…the art of war has fundamentally changed.
All kinds of strategy and military theories might exist, but all of those are empty shells now.
…But, are they really? Wouldn’t the same apply to my book knowledge and gamer experience, which have served as root for my actions?
Ultimately everyone is a beginner. In such a situation, isn’t it the best option for me to act based on my knowledge ― games and books? The knowledge I can use for this case comes from simulation games.
It might be smart to adapt my simulation game knowledge centered around Japan’s Warring States Era, China’s Dynastic Wars, or the military history of fictional worlds.
For example, in one game I launched a war against an enemy nation possessing an army with more than 100,000 units. But, the player didn’t start with 100,000 units. The player could only control the Warring State’s general leading the soldiers ― the commander.
Even if I launch a 《Reign》 with more than 10,000 troops, it’s not necessary for me to command all of those 10,000 subordinates myself. If I split the 10,000 troops into units of 1,000 subordinates, assigning them bloodkin as commanders, I’ll only need to command 10 people.
The battles so far…only require me to pass on rough orders to the entire army such as 『Attack』 or 『Hold the line』. However, assigning commanders will widen the range of orders I can make. If I turn my leaders into commanders…it might be alright for them to use simple orders.
『Charge』, 『Attack』, 『Defense』, 『Standby』, 『Move』, 『Reinforce』, and 『Retreat』.
If it’s orders as simple as these, I think the leaders will also be capable of giving them. The leaders I can entrust with command are Rina, Kotetsu, Takaharu, Sarah, Hibiki, Chloe, Layla, Iron, Flora, and Red. I’ll add Blue to Rina’s corps, Setanta to Kotetsu’s corps, Cain to Sarah’s corps, Abel to Hibiki’s corpse, Dakel and Kureha to Chloe’s corps, and Noire and Rouge to Red’s corps.
First, the corps that will tank the enemy’s attacks ― the corps of Hibiki and Iron.
Second, the corps attacking the enemy ― the corps of Rina, Kotetsu, Takaharu, and Red.
Third, the corps attacking the enemy from a distance ― the corps of Sarah, Chloe, Layla, and Flora.
Imagining a battlefield with the corps led by my leaders deployed, I move them around in my mind as if playing a game of chess.
That should work…
The next problem I have to resolve is the language. It won’t be much of a problem if I fill the corps of Iron, Red, Chloe, Layla, and Flora with the same races as the commander, but…it won’t be possible to use that move with the former Demon Kings and humans.
I think the most valid solution would be to assign bloodkin who can serve as vice-commanders and at the same time translate.
I rack my brain to resolve the next issue.