Chapter 147 – Invasion into Suzu’s City Hall ⑤
Now then, guess it’s time to think about our upcoming strategy…
Several possible strategies cross my mind. At the same time, I also consider the ways these strategies could be countered.
Over and over, tales of the war between Demon King Shion and the Human Alliance of Suzu are spun inside my head.
In one story I suffer a devastating defeat, in another story I lose after being backed into a hopeless situation, in yet another story I grasp victory, but lose many of my bloodkin, and in yet another story――
I spin multiple stories in my mind, but none of them lead to a satisfying outcome. I even start wondering whether the strategy of Kanon, which I rejected previously, might be the most efficient after all.
Several obstacles prevent me from grasping my ideal victory.
First, the enemy’s numbers. 28,000 troops are simply too much. It crosses my mind that I might employ a strategy using the terrain if the enemy comes attacking, but this time it’s our side’s turn to attack. In that case, the very best plan to deal with those numbers ― might be to counter them with numbers.
Second, the enemy’s quality. I’m relying on my own observations, but the group in battle surcoats seems quite troublesome. I don’t think that bloodkin, who have accumulated a lot of experience through invasions, would lose to them, but…I don’t have enough bloodkin possessing such strength. At a glance, there were more than 50 of those battle surcoat guys. On the other hand, I have a little less than 20 bloodkin who could deal with them. I wonder, how many of those battle surcoat guys could I take at night? How many could Rina take on? Takaharu…? Sarah…? Chloe…? Layla…?
No matter how much I simulate it, in the end it’s all happening inside my head. If I lose (die), it’ll be the end. I have to carefully devise an effective plan.
Third, the existence of 『Sword King』. The lynchpin of the upcoming battle will be 『Sword King』. Even going by the online news, there’s no doubt that he’s the emotional pillar and core of the enemy. If we can defeat that guy…the enemy will likely collapse. Having said that, even calling him a monster is an understatement. Me or Izayoi at night, Takaharu, who is the strongest among the former Demon Kings, or the former hero Rina might be able to win against him in a one-on-one? If I could make a wish…I’d want to welcome him as bloodkin. But I know better than to be that optimistic…
The asset necessary to overcome all these obstacles is a base, I’d say.
Fighting numbers with numbers is the best strategy. However, in reality, the number of subordinates capable of leaving the Domain is limited. If not for this restriction ― the numerical advantage would be on our side due to 《Subordinate Creation》. This restriction ― only bloodkin and their subordinates can leave a Domain ― is an absolute rule in this broken world. I can’t bypass it, but I can mitigate it.
It’ll be fine as long as I continuously resupply subordinates as fast as they get killed. Still, if I pointlessly dispatch small fry, it’ll just boost the enemy force’s power. Having said that, it’s necessary to use your smartphone to gain a level. Their levels might go up as they kill enemies, but that doesn’t directly lead to any strengthening. In that case, it’ll be a decisive, short battle. I just have to keep attacking them so fiercely that they won’t have the spare time to assign their BPs.
In such a case, the bottleneck would be distance. Even when replenishing my subordinates, the distance from the battlefield to my Domain is too big at its current state. That’s why it’s necessary to create a base ― a sector in the vicinity of Suzu’s City Hall. If I create a sector as a base close to the battlefield, it’ll also provide other benefits.
First, securing a path of retreat. I want to ensure as few bloodkin die as possible. I’d like them to immediately retreat if it gets dangerous for them. If I can create a base close to the battleground, it’ll significantly boost the odds of my bloodkin successfully getting away.
Second, improving our locational advantage. The enemy’s numbers reach up to 28,000. That means they might be able to surround us from all directions. However, with a base, at least the rear will be safe.
What will happen if I succeed in building a base…?
I begin to spin the tales inside my head again. It’s not like everything will play out as I imagine it in the stories in my head, but…the results are much better than the stories I spun before.
I’ve decided on my general strategy.
First up is an activation of 《Reign》 close to Suzu’s City Hall ― the creation of a base. But before that…I think I’ll produce some surplus combat forces with 《Subordinate Creation》 and 《Item Creation》.
I begin my final preparations to accomplish the unification of the prefecture’s north.
Twenty days later.
The preparations for the invasion of Suzu’s City Hall are finished. After barraging the smartphone’s screen so much that I got an inflammation of my tendon, I managed to create 8,000 new subordinates. Combined with the subordinates I had before, I currently have over 30,000 subordinates, even if you exclude the E rank subordinates that specialize in reproduction. Even the items I had the subordinates equip were enhanced through the great efforts of the dwarven group led by Akira.
The location of the base, which will become the key element of the invasion, has been completely measured out.
After my reconnaissance ― 《Reign》, failed, the humans went on high alert for a week. But, once ten days passed, articles with titles such as 『Has the supreme ruler of Kanezawa given up on his Suzu Invasion!?』 started to spread through the online news.
For the sake of using these articles for my own ends…I didn’t make a single move on Suzu, and instead performed 《Reign》 in a part of the Toyama prefecture’s Oyabe, which had become underpopulated. At the time of the 《Reign》 , I deliberately allowed some of the humans to escape, and personally posted, 『Demon King Shion has given up on Suzu, and has started to invade Oyabe』 on the Internet to further my work of lowering Suzu’s wariness.
As a result, I succeeded in changing the headlines to 『Supreme ruler of Kanezawa has given up on Suzu Invasion!』 in the online news.
It’s only reasonable, but the humans of Suzu haven’t dropped their guard completely. However, it’s a fact that their cautiousness has dropped in level.
――My chance has come.
I head out for the creation of a base which will become the key to the invasion of Suzu.
Chapter 148 – Invasion into Suzu’s City Hall ⑥
The place where I’ll enact 《Reign》, is a public park located 3,240 meters to the west of Suzu’s City Hall. If this 《Reign》 succeeds, it’ll look like a base of their enemy (Demon King Shion) has suddenly appeared 240 meters away…in the eyes of the humans barricading themselves in Suzu’s City Hall.
The key that will allow this 《Reign》 to succeed is ― not being detected by the enemy.
If it’s exposed that a 《Reign》 has started, Suzu’s humans will likely head out to defend. In such a case, it’ll become impossible to eliminate all hostile humans in a radius of 3 km within 180 minutes.
Our means of transport to the place of the 《Reign》 are large buses and trucks we seized in the past.
They are driven by goblins, who have skilled hands and have adapted well to human civilization. The goblins were taught how to drive by some of my residents. They haven’t been told about traffic rules at all, but I’ve received a report that just driving won’t be any problem for them.
Ten large trucks, and ten large buses, have been prepared. The bloodkin, and a thousand subordinates of the main force, squeeze themselves into the buses and trucks, and we depart my Domain at 11 p.m.
“Wai-!? We gotta sing karaoke! It’ll be a blast～” (Sarah)
“Shut yer trap…n’ sit down.” (Takaharu)
“Eh? We’re not gonna sing, Taka-cchi? For real? Not singing during a bus ride is, like, totally not it.” (Sarah)
“It ain’t just a bus ride, y’know…? Rather, ya can actually sing?” (Takaharu)
“Hah!? You gotta listen to my pretty voice! Then you’d be, like, completely charmed, Taka-cchi!”
“I dun wanna hear it, and I dun wanna be charmed either…”
Takaharu deals with Sarah, who’s frolicking around in high spirits, while feeling fed up.
“Ugh! Now you’ve said it! Listen to the pretty voice that I trained through solo karaoke――” (Sarah)
“Sarah, be silent. I told you that it’s a covert operation, didn’t I?” (Shion)
I order Sarah, who kicks up even more of a fuss while looking at her coldly.
Afterwards, our bus drove to our destination while wrapped up in silence.
One hour after we departed the Domain.
We’ve arrived at our destination.
“Hibiki, take your unit and scout out the east.” (Shion)
“If it’s your order, Master.”
“Chloe, take your unit and scout out the north.” (Shion)
“Rina, take your unit and scout out the south.” (Shion)
The ones in the most danger are Hibiki’s forces. It’s necessary to be exceedingly cautious in the east ― the direction of Suzu’s City Hall. Given that I will have Kaede go ahead to scout the area, the duty of the former Demon Kings led by Hibiki is to eliminate all enemies they encounter during the 《Reign》, rather than scouting.
Making sure that each unit heads in the direction they were ordered, I check the situation of each unit on my smartphone.
One hour later.
As far as I can see from the situations of the different units, no humans could be confirmed. If they’ve hidden themselves in buildings, it will be an issue, but…according to the information I gathered in advance, the residents of Suzu are mostly split into habitats in two places. One place is the inns along the beach in the back of Suzu, and the other is Suzu’s City Hall. If I consider this information, and the current situation, I can assume that no humans are living inside buildings after having refused cohabitation.
――I’m going to start 《Reign》. All hands, stay on guard.
I inform all my subordinates through telepathy.
Once I close my eyes and chant this in my mind, while holding my right hand above the ground, the ground trembles, and a vortex with a diameter of around 30 cm is generated at the end of my right hand, as if swallowing the surrounding space.
The usual text lines are displayed on the screen of my smartphone.
『You have started 《Reign》』
『《Reign》 has been announced to the hostile entities within its effective range』
『Please remove all hostile entities in range within 180 minutes』
『Alert! Hostile forces confirmed within the effective range. Please eliminate them at once.』
『Display map of effective range? 【ＹＥＳ】 【ＮＯ】』
I tap on 【ＹＥＳ】.
A simple map, with a radius of 5 kilometers, is shown on the smartphone’s screen.
Looking at that map, I pump my fist slightly in elation.
I’ve won my first bet ― there’s not a single red-dotted human within the effective range of 《Reign》.
However, outside the effective range ― in the vicinity of Suzu’s City Hall it was bright red.
Don’t notice it…allow us to pass three hours like this…
I continue to pray while looking at the screen of the smartphone.
One hour has passed.
The humans still haven’t noticed.
Two hours left…I keep praying that we will be able to pass the time just like this.
When about an hour and thirty minutes had passed.
Two red dots, showing worrisome movements, are reflected on the smartphone’s map.
The two red dots, which are overlapping with each other, are moving northwest from Suzu’s City Hall at a fairly high speed.
This speed…a car? No, a motorbike, huh…? Is it a tryst? A date? Or maybe they’re just going out for a drive…? Either way, they are extremely annoying humans!
One way or another, they will trespass into the effective range of 《Reign》 at this rate.
――Sarah! Move north with your unit! If you see a motorbike or car, shoot it down with magic at once!
Fuck, at this rate my 《Reign》 will get exposed! I give Sarah, who’s specialized in ranged attacks, an order in panic, and attentively watch her movements.
The blue dot indicating Sarah is moving around erratically in the target area.
A rhythmical ringtone plays from my mobile phone. The caller is ―― Sarah.
『Heylo? Where in the north? Tell me if right or left――』
A loud electronic sound drowning out Sarah’s voice reverberates from my smartphone.
I immediately cut the call with Sarah, and check the smartphone’s screen.
『Alert. Hostile forces detected within effective range. Please expel them at once』
Shit! I’ve allowed humans to trespass.
――Advance towards the left in front of Suzu’s City Hall! As soon as you discover enemy forces, kill them!
『All hostile forces within effective range have been expelled』
By all rights, usually I would be happy about the display on the smartphone’s screen…but, this time it hints at the worst-case scenario.
――The enemy got away! Don’t allow them to return alive! Kill them without fail!
I give my order, and closely watch the movements of the blue dots, indicating Hibiki’s forces, and the red dots, the escaping humans, in a fluster.
This time it’ll be alright. They’re going to meet.
In a state of breathless suspense, I track the movements of the blue and red dots on my smartphone.
The two red dots, which I was tracing, have vanished from the map.
Pheeeww… I sigh in relief.
I guess it worked out one way or another. …No, wait a moment!
The red dots within Suzu’s City Hall have started to actively move around.
Currently it’s 2:37 a.m. A time when humans are usually asleep.
If it was only a few, I could explain it away as them maybe having nocturnal habits, but ―― all the red dots are busily moving when I check the screen.
Did I get found out…?
――All hands, gather at Hibiki’s location!
Assuming the worst possibility, I command all my subordinates to move to the area closest to Suzu’s City Hall.
30 minutes later.
Easily more than a thousand red dots begin to move west from Suzu’s City Hall.