T/N: Demon (Demon King) -> Devil (Demon King)
Chapter 88 – Current and Future Strategies ①
21 hours of the 【Pseudo-Peace】 remain.
I need to do two things, before what little safe time I have left runs out.
1. Reconstruct my Domain, paying careful attention to defense.
2. Make plans to accomplish my strategic objectives.
In addition, I will test out my newly acquired special abilities, and evaluate the combat prowess of my new bloodkin Izayoi, after the 【Pseudo-Peace】 comes to an end. I am hopeful that he will prove to be a valuable combat asset. I guess that’s about it.
First things first, I need to begin the reconstruction of my Domain.
Currently, I’m ruling over 37 sectors. 18 of those are completely surrounded by my own sectors…in other words, they are safe sectors that can’t be attacked by enemies.
I look down at the map, which has detailed notes about all of my sectors.
Sightings of powerful humans and Demon Kings have been confirmed near the sectors adjoining Nonoichi. Several of my sectors are near Kanezawa, which is home to high-level humans, but sources say they are moving to liberate Domains in Hakusan. There is news about a Demon King ruling over more than 20 sectors in Komatsu, but it will likely be a while before they clash with my Domain. There are more than a few high-level humans that could threaten my sectors near the Toyama Prefecture, but they are mostly in Toyama city. Chances are, only a few especially brave individuals will venture outside the prefecture to invade my domain, as long as I don’t mess with them first. Kahoku ― the prefecture’s north is dotted with Demon Kings ruling over Domains containing 3~5 sectors. Apparently an ebbing and flowing offense and defense against the humans is unfolding in that area.
It’s necessary to reconstruct my Domain based on this information.
The ones I should be most wary of are the humans in the southern direction ― in Kanezawa. At the present they are keeping their distance from my Domain, which was assigned the highest Hazard rank after the traumatic annihilation of Rina’s hero party. However, there’s a good chance they will launch a full scale attack the moment liberation seems possible. It’s probably a good idea to scare them off by planting plenty of traps right from the beginning and deploying high-ranking subordinates in the sectors adjacent to Kanezawa.
On the other hand, I will set up the sectors adjoining Nonoichi ― in the western direction, where the danger level is low, as 『Farms』 catered towards beginners. Setting them up as sectors where subordinates can level up might be a beneficial move.
The sectors adjoining Nanto, in western Toyama ― in the eastern direction, can be expected to be invaded by some Demon Kings and humans above medium rank. I think it’s a good idea to make them into 『Farms』 catered towards medium ranks…while offering somewhat good rewards, so that my high-ranking subordinates, centered around Izayoi, can earn experience points.
I don’t mind considering the sectors adjacent to Kahoku ― in the northern direction to be the same as the ones in the east, I think. Let’s increase the amount of traps there since the threat level is rather high.
There are 19 sectors that must be defended. Placing all of them under my supervision and giving out instructions to each and every single one would be difficult. I had planned to make Alyssa my subordinate and have her manage those sectors as field commander, but…there’s no point in dwelling on the past.
Afterwards I suppose I will upgrade the safe sectors to residential areas.
Operating my smartphone, I start reconstructing my Domain according to this plan.
12 hours of the 【Pseudo-Peace】 remain.
Having finished the reconstruction, I’m going to plan my future, strategic objectives.
“Kanon! Rina!” (Shion)
I had formed a plan in my mind to a certain extent, but it might be necessary to also listen to the opinions of others just in case. I call the two subordinates who can offer flexible opinions.
“What’s up?” (Rina)
Kanon and Rina run up to me. I unfold the map between them.
“I’m going to explain our future, strategic objectives.” (Shion)
“Oh! I’m really itching to put my skills as a strategist to use.” (Kanon)
They look down at the map in front of them with keen interest.
“First, I will lay out the three plans I am considering.” (Shion)
I raise three fingers. A brainstorming session would take too much time. That is why I have prepared three possibilities in advance, which should allow for the talks to proceed smoothly.
“First, expanding my Domain to the north. The final goal of this plan is to gain total control of the Noto Peninsula.
Second, expanding my Domain to the south. The final goal of this plan is to gain total control of the entire Kanezawa region.
Third, expanding my Domain to the west. The final goal of this plan is to gain total control of Nonoichi as well as the Nomi District.”
I mark the map with ① at the northern side, ② at the southern side, and ③ at the western side.
“I see. I support the plan to expand your power towards the north.” (Kanon)
“――!? Northern side… I-I support the plan to expand your power towards the west.” (Rina)
Kanon points at Kahoku on the map with a triumphant look. Rina points at Nonoichi with a troubled expression.
“I see. Those are reasonable opinions. Plan 2 ― the suppression of Kanezawa is a self-satisfying plan with a stress on putting on airs. Since the return is low compared to the risks, it’s fine to dismiss it.”
I cross out the ② on the map.
“First, Kanon, tell us the reason why you chose ①.” (Shion)
“Very well. You see, according to what I understand, after observing things within this Domain, the sectors facing the sea won’t be invaded.” (Kanon)
Kanon begins to explain her thinking while pointing at the sectors facing the ocean.
“In that case, if we someday gain control of the Noto Peninsula ― the northern side, it will lead to many safe sectors. As your strategist, I propose that it would be best to subdue Kahoku, Nanao, Suzu and the prefecture’s north as sectors if you consider the future.” (Kanon)
Kanon is likely quite confident in her own opinion. At least her words are overflowing with confidence.
“I haven’t acknowledged you as a strategist, but…I guess there are no flaws in your opinion, Kanon.” (Shion)
“――Wha-!? Couldn’t you just praise me normally?” (Kanon)
“Rina, tell us the reason why you chose ③.” (Shion)
I ignore Kanon with her puffing cheeks, and address Rina.
“L-Let’s see. My thoughts are the same as Kanon’s. Expand through Domains facing the sea. It hasn’t been confirmed that powerful humans or Demon Kings exist in Nonoichi or the Noto Peninsula. If you take the degree of difficulty into account, advancing to the west is――” (Rina)
Rina looks uneasy as Kana loudly interrupts her explanation. I permit Kanon, who is smugly pointing a finger at Rina, to speak.
“Fu fu fu. Rina-san, you’re naive! Reading the development of two or three moves ahead is exactly what a true strat――” (Kanon)
“Kanon, cut out the saucy speech and get to the point.” (Shion)
“Right. Look…there are two pitfalls in Rina’s opinion, or to be more precise, plan ③ suggested by Shion-san. First, if you provoke Nonoichi and the Noto Peninsula, you will provoke the humans trying to raid the Domains of Nanao. Second, the Noto Peninsula is adjacent to Komatsu. A powerful Demon King resides in Komatsu. Depending on the situation, we could end up being attacked from three sides: Kahoku, Toyama and Komatsu.” (Kanon)
Kanon explains triumphantly while raising a finger for each.
“I’m irritated by Kanon’s attitude, but it’s a sound argument, I think.” (Shion)
“As I said, that comment is too muc―― Kyaa!?” (Kanon)
As I throw a sidelong glance at Kanon, who kicks up a fuss while rolling up her skirt, I check Rina’s state.
I can’t approve of Kanon’s way of speaking and that attitude at all, but my thoughts are the same as Kanon’s. In my mind I had pinpointed plan ① from the start, and this discussion was what you’d call checking your work.
However, what worries me is Rina’s expression.
“Rina, I also agree with Kanon’s line of thinking, but…is there something bothering you?” (Shion)
“T-That is…” (Rina)
I question Rina.
“Mmh? What is it? The reason why you prefer invading Nonoichi is…possibly because you’re hesitating to invade the prefecture’s north…is that the reason?” (Shion)
Rina’s expression turns gloomy when I mention invading the prefecture’s north.
“N-No. That’s not it. If you think the same as Kanon, you won’t hear anything from me. I’m your subordinate… I will follow your orders.” (Rina)
Rina answers while looking downwards at first, but at the end she looks into my eyes while putting strength in her voice.
“I see. Then we will proceed with the plan of suppressing the prefecture’s north ― the Noto Peninsula from now on.” (Shion)
I declare the future strategic plan, using a tone of voice that leans toward confirmation rather than command.
“Now then, that means our future plans have been decided, but…there’s one more thing I’d like to ask of you two.” (Shion)
“What is it?” (Rina)
I give a crucial instruction to Kanon and Rina, who are both puzzled, that might influence my power from now on.
Chapter 89 – Two Demon Kings
“I’d like you to search for a Demon King meeting certain requirements.” (Shion)
I specify the contents of my request to my two subordinates.
“What are the requirements?” (Kanon)
“A Demon King specialized in defense. If possible, a Demon King rumored to be impregnable, albeit having a low number of domains. Nothing would be better than the Demon King’s own abilities being high, but you can also look for Demon Kings skillful at managing their subordinates and planting clever traps.” (Shion)
I state the requirements I’m looking for. I feel like I’m at my limit managing all 19 sectors, which will be invaded by enemies, by myself. Moreover, after the battle with Alyssa, the possibility exists that I will have to personally invade other Domains in the future, for the sake of leveling up. It would be fine to leave defense to my subordinates, but my created subordinates lack flexibility. I want to entrust defending my Domain to personnel with high flexibility ― former Demon Kings.
“Umm…is it fine if I search the net?” (Kanon)
“Do that, Kanon. By the way, they must be nearby.” (Shion)
“Okaaay,” replies Kanon.
“Is it okay for me to gather information online as well?” (Rina)
Rina asks while looking bewildered.
“No, Rina, you will check on-site based on the information gathered by Kanon and me. Of course I’d like you to gather information on your own smartphone during your free time.” (Shion)
Having heard my instructions, Kanon and Rina start to gather information with their smartphones. I do the same with my own smartphone in order to find excellent Demon Kings.
Six hours of the 【Pseudo-Peace】 remain.
“Shion-san, how about the Demon King of this Domain?” (Kanon)
“What kind of Demon King are they?” (Shion)
I turn my eyes to Kanon, who has approached me while smiling.
“Umm, that is…it’s a Demon King in Nonoichi, but their Domain has a Hazard rank B. Their estimated level is 7. The Domain has two sectors and it’s a Slime Demon King. Going by the fact that they have crimson slimes as subordinates, Creation must be at B. The Demon King’s Domain is hated by the humans for its many sticky pitfalls.” (Kanon)
I look down at the screen of the smartphone Kanon holds out to me.
“A wandering orc…dropped a Mithril Sword? That means Alchemy is also B, huh?” (Shion)
“That’s right. Won’t the Demon King excel at defense if they are specialized in Creation and Alchemy?” (Kanon)
“Eh!? W-Why…?” (Kanon)
“Creation and Alchemy specialization means the stats for Body and Mana are low, right?” (Shion)
“I suppose?” (Kanon)
“If the Demon King were to surrender, they won’t be able to create and alchemize anymore, no? Won’t they be trash then?” (Shion)
“――Wha-!? I think that opinion is awful!” (Kanon)
I want to praise them for having specialized in Creation and Alchemy. However, once a Demon King becomes my subordinate, their Creation and Alchemy will vanish. If possible, high Body and Mana stats would be preferable so they can be a combat asset.
Having said that, a Demon King who is specialized in Mana or Body will probably suck at the management of subordinates and traps…
I’m gathering information by randomly surfing the Internet, but it’s not simple to find a suitable Demon King.
Alyssa ― the nastiness of her traps, her own power, her tenaciousness in the second half…I guess Demon Kings of her class are rare… Since her character was shit, she would likely have given me her fair share of troubles, if I had turned her into my comrade…
While I continue to collect information about the surrounding Demon Kings…I keep writing down information about notable Demon Kings.
“Shion. I don’t know whether they will satisfy your wishes, but…I found a very interesting Demon King, I think.” (Rina)
Rina calls out to me for the first time.
“What kind of Demon King are they?” (Shion)
“Because I’m different from Kanon, I can’t guess their Creation and Alchemy rank, but…according to the information posted on the net, it looks like two Demon Kings exist in one Domain.” (Rina)
“Huh? Two Demon Kings? Tell me the details.” (Shion)
I enter the URL Rina told me and browse a forum said to be frequently used by humans.
Two Demon Kings. If you consider it simply, it is information about a Demon King who has added a former Demon King, who surrendered like Kanon, as subordinate, I suppose. However, would humans who encountered Kanon…mistake her for a Demon King?
The Demon King discovered by Rina rules a Domain with seven sectors in Uchinada (Kanezawa’s north). After sharing the URL with Kanon, I found out that the Demon King in question is a Devil species. Their estimated level is 8. Their estimated stats are Creation B, and Alchemy C. And, one of them is an elderly Demon King believed to have specialized in Mana, and the other is a girl Demon King believed to have specialized in Body.
Jet black wings are growing on the elderly Demon King’s back. A small horn seems to be growing on the forehead of the girl Demon King.
“Kanon, which of them do you think is the Demon King?” (Shion)
“It’s just a guess, but the Mana specialized old man…his outward traits match with a Devil species, too.” (Kanon)
“That means the girl is a former Ogre Demon King who surrendered?” (Shion)
“Yeah…that’s the question. Going by her outward features, I think that she’s very likely an ogre, but…this information bothers me.” (Kanon)
I lower my look at the forum post Kanon pointed at.
Contributor Taisei @ in the middle of recruiting a girlfriend
The dungeon close to Uchinada’s town hall is crazy shit! The Demon King is dangerous! When we thought she vanished all of a sudden, she fucking popped up behind us! Three of my party members were killed! If she comes out, watch your back for real!!
I also encountered her. I looked behind me, but…that girl appeared from within the shadow of my friend. What is that girl!?! Give me back my Hiroyuki!!
I read through the information shown by Kanon and tilt my head to the side in confusion.
If I remember correctly, something like disappearing and reappearing from shadows…is a special ability equal to cheating, but…
“You see…an ogre species possessing this ability is like a Daylight Vampire in your case, Shion-san, and Dullahan in my case.” (Kanon)
Hearing Kanon’s words, two questions pop up in my head.
“Why do you know information about the Ogre species evolution path?” (Shion)
“U-Umm, I don’t know the precise details… A part of the information of the evolution paths for Ogre, Demon, Elf, and Dwarf species――” (Kanon)
“Well, whatever…” (Shion)
Even if I were to hear about parts of the evolution paths of those four species, I wouldn’t be able to get any practical use out of it.
The problem going beyond that is…why does that girl possess the special trait of a species that Demon Kings can’t evolve into until level 10?
“Kanon, can a Demon King who surrendered evolve once they accumulate levels?” (Shion)
“Yes. In my case I can evolve once I become level 50.” (Kanon)
“By the way, what are your levels?” (Shion)
“It’s 28.” (Kanon)
“41, I think.” (Rina)
Kanon having a low level as she never participates in battle I understand. However, Rina always fights in battles at the front. The number of Demon Kings, who have died at her hands, exceeds two digits. And, among the Demon Kings living in the Ishikawa Prefecture, there’s none who rule more domains than me.
In other words, Rina should be someone that can be called a top ranker in the Ishikawa prefecture.
Hence, it’s difficult to think that the girl’s level exceeds 50. Having said that, I can’t believe that a Demon King exceeding level 10 surrendered to a Demon King with an estimated level of 8.
“Kanon, can Devil Demon Kings create monsters capable of disappearing and reappearing from within the shadows of others?” (Shion)
“As far as I know, it’s impossible. In the first place, according to the eyewitness reports, that monster is a 『Shadow Ogre』 of the ogre species. A Devil species can’t create an Ogre species.” (Kanon)
Kanon dons a greatly perplexed expression.
“Speaking of Creation…hasn’t a great variety of monsters besides devil types been confirmed in this Domain?” (Rina)
The words of Rina, who reports while looking at the forum, deepen the mystery even further.
“A great variety of monsters?”
“Uh huh. The information about the encountered monsters has been reported in the forum. Sharing information is a duty of Liberators, but…as far as I see in this forum, the appearance of ogres, pixies, dwarves, elves, werecats…and even ghouls has been confirmed besides that of devil types, you know?” (Rina)
“Huh? Kanon, is the Devil species a race excelling at Creation?” (Shion)
Hearing Rina’s report, I unintentionally open my mouth widely.
“N-No! The Devil species should be a race excelling at mana and not specialized in Creation.” (Kanon)
“That means, they turned the monsters of the Domains they usurped so far into subordinates?” (Shion)
“Yes…the probability for that is high.” (Kanon)
Two Demon Kings, a great variety of monsters, huh…? The more I examine it, the more interesting becomes that Domain.
Even if we exchange theories here, the answer likely won’t crop up. Since it has piqued my interest strongly, I thoroughly gather information about the Domain of Uchinada, said to house two Demon Kings.
The more I check up on them, the stronger the interest in the Demon King ruling the Domain in Uchinada wells up within me.
Okay…this settles it!
“Rina, Kanon, we will first expand our influence in the direction of Uchinada. The objective is to make the two Demon Kings ruling the domains of Uchinada submit!” (Shion)
I will make the Demon King of Uchinada submit as a short-term strategic objective. I will gain total control of the prefecture’s north as a medium-term strategic objective. And then I will usurp the entire Ishikawa Prefecture in one go!
I contemplate how to achieve my newly determined strategy.