Chapter 246 – Invasion of Nonoichi City ⑪
――Mrs. Tamura, come to me at once. It’s urgent.
I summoned Mrs. Tamura, who’s going to be the key of the upcoming plan, to my room.
“You have called for me?”
Ten minutes later, Mrs. Tamura enters my room.
“Let me get straight to the point. ――Mrs. Tamura, I’m going to turn you into a bloodkin.”
“Eh?” Mrs. Tamura looks befuddled after hearing my words.
“Turning into a bloodkin…you understand the meaning of that, don’t you?”
“Huh? Ah, yes…b-but…”
It’s an unusual view to see Mrs. Tamura, who’s always so calm, to become flustered.
“Shion-sama…with all due respect, but I’m a non-combatant.”
“I am well aware that even children…or old women like me…can acquire the power to fight…in this world. But, my aptitude for battle is…”
“Hmm? Aren’t you misunderstanding something?”
“――? Bloodkin are existences that can take a certain number of subordinates outside the Domain, aren’t they?”
“I’d say that’s one of the major roles of bloodkin, yes.”
“In addition, I’ve heard that they can learn the language of humans ― Japanese, but that’s not really necessary for me, is it?”
“Indeed, language is another important privilege of bloodkin.”
“――? What kind of other roles do bloodkin have?”
“A role like Yataro, for example.”
“If you bring up Yataro-sama…it would be governor?”
I’ve assigned the duty of sector ruler to Yataro through 《Division》.
“Governor…I don’t know whether that term really fits here, but you’re not wrong. Assuming we label that role as governor, do you know what a governor is capable of?”
“《Domain Creation》 and ordering subordinates…it is?”
“On top of that…a governor can monitor all sectors assigned to them.”
“Yes, monitor. They can check all their sectors visually and acoustically. They can also pass orders to all their subordinates.”
“What kind of order are you going to give to me after making me a bloodkin, Shion-sama?”
“In the short term…I think I’ll have you check all the humans who surrendered. It’ll become unnecessary for you to personally meet them to confirm that they’ve disarmed themselves. You’ll just need to order the subordinates on the field while confirming the situation with your smartphone.”
The number of humans who have been surrendering is huge. Thus it’s imperative to make sure that they carry no weapons in preparation for any unlikely events. But, I can’t use my precious bloodkin for such a task. I considered entrusting it to Yataro, but he’s already got too many tasks on hand. Giving him any more would be too demanding, I think.
What should I do in such a case?
I could arrange for subordinates dedicated to the confirmation that the surrenderers have disarmed themselves. But, they’d be at least required to speak the human language to make the necessary checks. It’d also be an option to leave it to the residents, but I can’t trust the residents, whom I don’t really know, to such an extent.
And thus I came up with the idea to increase the number of bloodkin with the same authorities as Yataro by one more.
“I see… However, I have heard that you need to spend a tremendous amount of CP to turn someone into a bloodkin. I also consider the checks to be important, but…is it worth it to spend so much CP?”
“Turning you in a bloodkin just for the sake of the checks this time wouldn’t be worth it, no. But, entrusting you with the management of the residential areas in the future…would compensate for it more than plenty.”
“Managing the residential areas?”
“Correct. For these reasons I’m going to turn you into a bloodkin. I won’t accept any objections, but…if there’s anything else you want to know, feel free to ask, okay?”
“Many of the residents living in the residential areas are human. And I am human as well. Are you still okay with that?”
“Is there any problem with that? Are you possibly planning to stage a rebellion?”
“N-No…something like that is…”
“Then I see no issues…no wait, I think there could be one problem.”
“What might that be?” Mrs. Tamura’s facial color changes after hearing my remark.
“I’m going to leave the disarmament checks to you, but…let’s assume some humans plotting some foolish plans were to be found among the surrenderers…”
“Would you be able to give the order to have these humans judged, Mrs. Tamura?”
“Can you tell the subordinates to kill them?”
I don’t think that Mrs. Tamura schemes to stage a rebellion. But…it’s very possible that she’d sympathize with the enemy.
“…I can! Even now I don’t believe that it’s right to solve everything with violence. However, it’s also true that there exist situations where talks can’t resolve anything. I swear that I will harden my heart if it’s for the sake of protecting the children, and all of the residents ― Aster Empire.”
“I’ll take you up on that oath! Mrs. Tamura, drink all that’s contained in this cup.” I hold out the 【Blood Chalice】 I created to Mrs. Tamura.
After accepting the chalice and taking a breath, Mrs. Tamura slowly pours the deep crimson liquid in the cup down her throat.
A faint light wraps up Mrs. Tamura, and then slowly converges.
“Pheew… This sensation streaming into me is proof that I have become your bloodkin, isn’t it Shion-sama?”
“How do you feel, Mrs. Tamura?”
“Oh my? I’m not Tamura Masako anymore, you know? The one standing before you now is Masako Shion ― a bloodkin who devotes her all to Shion-sama for the sake of the Aster Empire.”
I totally forgot that the name gets changed after I turn someone into a bloodkin… Also, it’s my first time to hear Mrs. Tamura’s full name.
“I’m Masako Shion. Please call me by my first name, just like you do with the other bloodkin.”
…Impossible. The difference in age between me and her is more than forty years.
“I order you in the name of Demon King Shion, Masako Shion, you are to keep using the Tamura family name henceforth.”
“…Yes, it’s an order.”
I dodge the unforeseen situation by powering my way through with an order.
Afterwards, we succeeded in sheltering the surrenderers inside my Domain without a hitch with Mrs. Tamura playing a big role. Their numbers have exceeded 120,000, meaning the number of humans hiding in Nonoichi’s city hall has dwindled down to a third merely three days after the beginning of the war.
Chapter 247 – Invasion of Nonoichi City ⑫
24 hours after recommending surrender to the humans a second time.
“To all humans: Originally this should be the promised time now, but responding to Mr. Kido’s desperate plea after he surrendered yesterday, I shall extend the grace period by 24 hours! Those wishing to answer Mr. Kido’s strong feelings are to disarm themselves and visit my Domain!”
Mr. Kido is one of the moderates who’s relatively famous among the humans. I had worried whether I should leave them alone for three days, but since I’d be troubled if the humans misunderstood that they can’t surrender once 24 hours have passed, I adopted an appropriate measure.
I’m planning to adopt the same measure by picking a suitable person among the surrenderers tomorrow as well. The time remaining for my scheduled resume of the war is now 48 hours.
Most of the time is being used to repair the equipment and let my subordinates rest, but I’m also routing quite some effort into gathering information. As a source for the information serve the humans who surrendered.
The intelligence gathered under Mrs. Tamura’s leadership is being successively sent my way.
・ The number of humans secluded in Nonoichi’s city hall three days ago was approximately 360,000. They consisted of 180,000 combatants, and 180,000 civilians.
・ The total number of surrenderers yesterday and the day before that amounts to 204,768 people.
・ The number of humans currently secluded in Nonoichi’s city hall is roughly 120,000, of which 80,000 are combatants and 40,000 civilians.
・ The inner structures of the Kanezawa Liberation Army have collapsed. There even exist extremists among them who are about to offer the heads of 『Kanezawa’s Saintess』 and 『Kanezawa’s Sage』 to us as an appeal for appeasement.
・ The core of the humans, who haven’t surrendered, consists of a faction that will resist to the bitter end. Many of them had their families and loved ones killed by Demon Kings, or if you narrow it down even further, by those serving under me. Their leaders are 『Kanezawa’s Saintess』 and 『Kanezawa’s Sage』.
・ The strongest human within the Kanezawa Liberation Army has a level of 54. 15 humans have levels above 50. All of them have lost family and friends to my subordinates, so they won’t accept surrender.
・ 『Kanezawa’s Saintess』 and 『Kanezawa’s Sage』 are both level 47. Both of them are specialized in support, and rarely appear on the front line.
Right now Mrs. Tamura plays a leading part in drawing up a register of the humans who surrendered. If the people who haven’t surrendered yet have friends and family among my residents, we will have them work on persuading those humans by telephone.
We succeeded in whittling down close to 70% of the enemy forces in two days. But, putting it another way, we can expect the remaining humans to oppose us with an unshakable determination.
I can’t predict how many people are going to surrender to us in the remaining two days, but all those staying behind will likely struggle to the death. Based on the specifications for 《Reign》, I must break the hearts of all humans in Nonoichi’s city hall or annihilate them altogether. I think it’ll be hard to sway the hearts of people who’ve resolved themselves to a do-or-die resistance. In that case, the only option left is to eradicate them.
The battle in two days will likely become a harsh battle.
Preparing for that battle, I simulate all kinds of possibilities in my mind.
72 hours after recommending surrender to the humans a second time.
In the end, the number of surrenderers has grown in total to 230,000 people. The number of humans left in Nonoichi’s city hall amounts to 80,000 combatants and 10,000 civilians.
Just looking at the numbers…it’s similar to the battle over Suzu’s city hall, but if you take into account that all of them hate me in person, and not just Demon Kings in general, it completely changes the situation.
The battle with the 80,000 partisans started.
“We’re going to start our invasion of Nonoichi’s city hall from now on! I’m expecting this to become a drawn-out battle! It might turn into harsh fighting, but the ones winning in the end will be us ―― the Aster Empire!”
“Get ready for further severe battles after this! Therefore, there’s only one order from me ―― don’t die!”
“Begin the advance!”
I start the march with my 12,000 subordinates. After arriving at a location 500 m away from the wall surrounding the city hall, I take out my 【Megaphone】.
“To all humans: The grace period has expired! Now you’ll regret the path you chose!”
――Combat engineers, get the ballistae ready!
In response to my order, eight ballistae are moved to the forefront.
Bombs are loaded onto the ballistae upon my command.
In concert with my swinging down my left hand, the bombs fly towards the wall’s gate while drawing an arc in the air.
As soon as the bombs impact on the gate, a thunderous blast roars across the land, making the ground tremble.
A second charge is loaded onto the ballistae. Just as I’m about to give the next firing signal after raising my left hand, countless fire arrows come flying our way from atop the wall.
“Flora corps! Protect the ballistae!”
Flora’s corps deploys magic barriers to shield the ballistae.
“Iron corps! Advance!”
And then Iron’s corps, who boast a sturdy defense, begins to march onward amidst the rain of arrows.
“Sarah corps, Chloe corps, move up while using Iron’s corps as cover! Move into range, and respond to the enemy ranged attacks with your own!”
Sarah and Chloe’s subordinates begin to move forward with Iron’s corps shielding them. As soon as they move up by around 200 m, they fire arrows and spells at the humans atop the wall.
At the moment the humans, who have been attacking with arrows and magic from atop the wall, shift their target to Sara and Chloe’s units, I swing my left hand down.
The bombs fired from the now free ballistae make the wall of Nonoichi’s city hall tremble. Are they wishing for a shoot-out?
Even after this, countless spells and arrows keep fluttering through the air, impacting on both sides. And using the moments when the ballistae aren’t targeted, their bombs shake the wall. In this broken world where magic barriers exist…it’s next to impossible for two forces to kill the other side with nothing but ranged attacks.
Thousands of spells and arrows are repelled by magic barriers. However, the bombs definitely inflict damage on the gate. Albeit by a little margin, the war progress is in our favor.
We’ll quickly destroy the gate, and charge.
At the moment I decided upon that tactic, fully-equipped humans stream out of the gate after it was opened.