Chapter 143 – Invasion of Suzu’s City Hall ①
I analyze the information I gathered on Suzu City ― the biggest obstacle to the imminent unification of the prefecture’s north.
According to that information――
– More than 100,000 humans live in Suzu. That means it’ll be necessary to either subdue or slaughter all those people.
– The size of Suzu amounts to 247 km². This means nine more activations of 《Reign》 will be needed to unify the prefecture’s north.
– There are no Domains in Suzu. This means that there are humans in Suzu who are strong enough to liberate Domains. Moreover, according to the Internet, a sword master called 『Sword King』 apparently lives in Suzu. The 『Sword King』 seems to have killed an Ogre Demon King ― a foe supposedly above level 10, with his 【Body】 stat at B, who had been throwing his weight around in Suzu.
The key for obtaining Suzu ― might be the 『Sword King』.
According to the net news, and the citizens I placed under my rule in Wajima City, the 『Sword King』 is the hero and emotional pillar of Suzu. If I manage to subdue the 『Sword King』, the spirit of Suzu’s residents will probably be shattered, significantly raising the success rate of 《Reign》.
A human who defeated a Demon King with his 【Body】 stat at B…if that information is true, it’s possible that I could be killed, even at night, when I am at full strength.
Is the 『Sword King』 like Rina? A human above level 50…?
In that case, it’ll be dangerous to face him one-on-one. Facing him down with numbers would be best, but…
Currently the number of bloodkin under my control amounts to 186. The largest number of subordinates I can dispatch outside the Domain is 2500. Opposing them are the more than 100,000 humans living in Suzu. I doubt all humans are capable of fighting, but…it’s hard to imagine that the number of battle-able humans is less than 2500.
In other words, the enemy has the numerical advantage.
I can’t believe that there are several monsters like the 『Sword King』, but I’d like to at least know the enemy’s combat prowess.
I guess we’ll start with investigating the enemy’s positions. I choose ten bloodkin arbitrarily, and order them to investigate the enemy.
I observe the situation of the ten bloodkin and 100 subordinates, who departed to check out the enemy’s movements, on my smartphone.
“You invested more than 100 subordinates for a reconnaissance mission?”
Kanon asks me, as I stare at my smartphone’s screen.
“If more than a 100 monsters raid them, even the humans will put in some effort to repel them, right?”
If ten monsters, or something like that, were to attack them, it would likely end immediately, with Suzu’s main force sallying forth in defense. In that case, it’d be impossible to learn about the enemy’s combat prowess ― their numbers and abilities.
“I see. Even dispatching ten of your precious bloodkin…you sure went all out.”
“I’ve ordered the bloodkin to survive and come back.”
“It’d be great if they managed to come back safely.”
I continue to watch the scouting party on my smartphone, while having such a silly conversation with Kanon.
The scouting party’s bloodkin are five dhampirs, three living mails, one lilim, and one giant bat. Their subordinates consist of 30 living mails, 40 ghouls, 20 werewolves, and 10 giant bats.
I had all the living mails, except for the bloodkin, wear D rank items, which would be no real loss, even if they were stolen by the humans.
Going by my experience from the times when I defended, it’s a military force capable of repelling all humans besides 『Hardcore Farmers』, who are referred to as 『Heroes』, and 『Braves』. However, the enemy numbers aren’t limited this time, unlike during my defenses. You might call this the perfect military force to probe the enemy’s combat forces.
Three hours after leaving my Domain, the scouting party arrived at Suzu’s City Hall, which had been turned into a fortress.
The building shown on the smartphone’s screen, through the eyes of a bloodkin, has become way too dangerous and warped to be called a city hall.
Did they carry out construction work at an heightened pace? The city hall is surrounded by a boorish wall exceeding three meters in height. Several buildings with a height of around ten meters, which could be called 『Watchtowers』 or 『Lookouts』, can be seen on the other side of the wall.
In order to raid the city hall’s interior, there’s no other choice but to break through the sturdy, metal gate visible in front…or climb across the wall.
I guess we’ll throw magic at the gate for starters.
Just when I’m about to give that order to the dhampir and lilim bloodkin――
Immediately after the dry clanging sound of metal hitting metal reverberates…successive collision sounds, as if it’s hailing, resound in the vicinity.
The identity of the first sound was that of an arrow hitting the shield of a living mail. The following hail-like sounds were arrows that poured down like rain from the city hall.
The living mails ready their shields, protecting their comrades in the rear, but several of the ghouls, that had freely roamed around as they pleased, fall prey to the arrows, and collapse.
Even when the dhampirs and lilim try to reply with spells, the enemy is out of range.
――Push your way to the gate with the living mails in the lead!
My subordinates follow my order, walking at a snail’s pace towards the gate with the living mails in the lead.
When they get within 20 meters of the gate――
“Follow me! We will vanquish the evil demons!”
Just when the rain of arrows ceases, the gate is thrown open, and many humans stream out, with a katana-wielding old man in the lead. My subordinates ready their respective weapons, and square off against the humans rushing at them.
“Foolish humans! My name is Ai Shion. I shall send you off to the netherworld!”
“My name is Khaki Shion! You shall atone for the sin of having murdered my Creator’s subordinates with your deaths!”
The bloodkin begin to faithfully introduce themselves to the humans opposing them.
“My name is Sashi Shion! You bastards――”
The dhampir who tried to name herself ― Sashi Shion, loses her fleeting life to one slash of the old man’s katana.
He slaughtered a dhampir with one swing…!?
One of the bad habits of subordinates, who recently became bloodkin, is their urge to introduce themselves. By prattling on unnecessarily, they create a big gap in their defense.
Although that gap was attacked here, it’s a Herculean task to kill a dhampir with one attack.
――I forbid you to introduce yourself! All hands, focus on the enemies in front of you!
I order my subordinates in a hurry, but it’s too late.
My subordinates, who are getting swallowed up by the crowd of humans successively streaming out of the gate, decrease in number…one…then another one…
I guess a retreat is impossible…
I’d like to have just the bloodkin evacuate. But, my bloodkin have been swallowed up by the waves of countless humans, along with their subordinates.
In that case, at least…
I order Kahi ― my giant bat bloodkin.
Kahi turns around and tries to withdraw, but…
“I won’t let you! ――《Sky Blade》!”
The invisible shock wave released from the old man’s katana cuts up Kahi’s wing.
A second invisible shock wave assails Kahi, who tries to accomplish my order despite having lost one wing, resulting in Kahi being slaughtered by the humans, after crashing down.
The remaining subordinates resist desperately, but there’s no way for them to win against an enemy that exceeds them in numbers…and quality. The smartphone’s screen, reflecting the battle through my bloodkin’s eyes, blacks out.
Chapter 144 – Invasion into Suzu’s City Hall ②
“This will be…quite heavy…”
Kanon mutters, while peeping at the now black screen of the smartphone.
The enemy’s forces have gone beyond my estimations. Their numbers, unified power, and individual strengths ― all of them exceed my assumptions.
“Right now, it is the Year 20xx, right…?”
“Why are there samurai ― in Japan of 20xx?”
The group of humans, who secluded themselves in Suzu’s City Hall, possesses combat prowess going beyond my initial estimates. Among them, the group wielding katanas and wearing matching battle surcoats exhibited particularly astonishing strength.
The old man, who opened the path as vanguard, and slew the dhampir with one slash, is very likely the one called 『Sword King』. That guy’s strength stood out, but the other surcoat wearers were quite powerful as well. They were strong enough to fight C rank living mails on even terms, and easily cut down D rank ghouls. If they were to jointly invade my Domain…Yataro would very likely declare a state of emergency.
If I’m asked whether we could win with a general mobilization, the answer would be yes.
However, attacking with a general mobilization is impossible in reality. Several of my domains are presently under attack. It’s necessary to divide my forces for the sake of defense.
My movements are well-known ― Demon King Shion’s main forces are in the middle of invading the prefecture’s north. It’s information that any amateur can easily research online. It’s also been exposed that Demon Kings and their subordinates can freely teleport within their Domains. Probably because of that, once we start invading with a big army…an endless stream of enemies will invade my Domain, as if to match our movements.
If it comes to subordinates, it’s simple to increase their numbers through 《Subordinate Creation》. However, I can’t take the main forces of the defense such as Yataro, Izayoi, Saburou,…and Setanta, who has received high praise for his growth in strength by Yataro and Izayoi, out of their current assignment.
It’s different if it’s a Demon King like me, but it’s absolutely necessary to prevent the humans from liberating sectors.
Even if a Demon King steals a sector from me, it’ll be back to normal soon enough, as long as I retrieve it. However, that won’t work if the humans liberate a sector. The size of each sector owned by a Demon King is approximately 6 km². In contrast, the size of a sector stolen from humanity through 《Reign》 is 28.26 km². The difference between the two goes beyond a factor of 4:1.
In short, the liberation of a sector by humanity ― equals a weakening of all Demon Kings.
“It’s indeed troubling.”
Once I unconsciously give voice to my inner thoughts, Kanon also sighs, as if sympathizing with me.
“You think we can win with a general mobilization of all forces, excluding those necessary for defense?”
“Let’s see…I believe we can win, but…”
“We can win, eh? What’s your strategic advice as a self-alleged strategist then?”
“Umm…the enemy’s main force is gathering at Suzu’s City Hall, right?”
It’s possible that they have also deployed forces to areas other than Suzu’s City Hall, but it’s difficult to imagine that they have further combat forces of equal rank or beyond. Assuming that they possessed such combat forces for argument’s sake, they would have likely clashed with us much earlier.
“Going by that assumption…the effective range of 《Reign》 is a circle with a radius of 3 km, right?”
“I would first turn the other areas besides Suzu’s City Hall into sectors through 《Reign》.”
“Given that the distance to the enemy would shrink down…we will be able to win if we execute a zerg rush!!”
“Zerg rush means?”
I throw another question at Kanon, who looks triumphant.
“Eh? Zerg rush means…there’s a limit how many subordinates can leave the Domain at a time, but even after they get defeated, and defeated…we will supplement them with fresh forces from the Domain. It’s a strategy to overwhelm them with numbers.”
“I see. As expected from a self-alleged strategist. Do you want to hear my opinion of your strategy, Kanon?”
“Ugh!? …That expression…I don’t really wan――”
“…Somehow I had guessed as much.”
Completely different from her previous triumphant look, she mutters those words with a weak voice, and her face turned downwards.
“First, one aspect of the strategy proposed by you…”
“There it is again! You always raise your finger like that, you’re an expert at this point――”
――Roll up your skirt!
“Eh!? W-Wait…I-I’m sowwwy…”
Ignoring Kanon who’s rolling up her skirt while blushing, I continue speaking, “Taking over the areas besides Suzu’s City Hall with 《Reign》 ― that’s a bad strategy.”
“If we use that strategy…those guys will be driven to the wall.”
“Isn’t it a good thing if they’re driven to the wall?”
“Cornering someone isn’t always all sunshine. Let’s assume that I’ve turned all land besides Suzu’s City Hall into my Domain. What would happen with those guys then?”
“――! They would counterattack with a desperate struggle to the death…?”
“But, in that case, since humans have to invade a Domain…wouldn’t that give us an advantage?”
“Indeed, it would…but, they would likely attack us in desperation before being cornered into such a situation. In such a case, the losses on our side would quite likely become very high.”
The madness of cornered people creates results going beyond imagination. They have already been cornered into the area of Suzu. Since they should have been able to lead a partially normal life within Suzu, they haven’t fallen into madness yet, but if the foundation of that livelihood erodes…it’s very possible that they will succumb to madness.
“The second aspect is…the zerg strategy. If we carry out a zerg rush, using expendable subordinates while retaining our main force ― the bloodkin,…our enemies will grow. In the process of that, we might be able to get results with several hundred…no, several tens of thousands of subordinates, but there’s also the risk that we will give birth to several dozens…and if we’re unlucky, several hundred very powerful humans.”
The new concept of leveling has been added to this completely changed world. Demon Kings, monsters…and humans will definitely grow in proportion to how many enemies they kill.
“I see…Then please tell me about your strategy, Shion-san!”
Kanon questions me, as if to vent her anger over my denial of her strategy.
“That’s why I said that it’s troublesome, you remember?”
“Eh? Don’t tell me, you have no plan at all?”
I shrug my shoulders and raise my hands.
“For the time being, I think I will try to get a clear grasp on the enemy’s combat prowess…”
I begin my preparations to precisely investigate the enemy’s strength.