Chapter 151 – Invasion of Suzu’s City Hall ⑨
Right when 《Reign》 finishes, I call Yataro on my smartphone.
『So you succeeded. Good work.』
“Yataro, what’s the state of our defenses?”
『Right now we’re being invaded in seven sectors. The information about your use of 《Reign》 in Suzu instantly spread on the net, many Demon Kings and humans used the opportunity to attack.』
“How many sectors are in danger?”
『Let’s see…I’d say the help of Izayoi and his group will be necessary in two.』
“Stall for time by sending the necessary subordinates to those sectors. They still need some time to reach the deepest part, right?”
『To get to the deepest floor…they will need more than a week, I think.』
“Then they are of low priority. Lend me Izayoi, Saburou, and Setanta.”
I finish the call with Yataro, and wait five minutes.
“Prithee pardon our late arrival, milord.” (Izayoi)
“You said you require my power of darkness…?” (Saburou)
“Can I go outside as well?” (Setanta)
Izayoi, Saburou, and Setanta appear at my location.
“We will rout the humans outside.”
“As thou command, milord!”
“I’m looking forward to it.”
My three bloodkin and I form the main force, with a thousand subordinates as support, as we head outside the sector.
The reinforcements that Yataro already sent outside are locked in mortal combat with the humans.
“Izayoi, Saburou…it’s DNT. On my mark!”
“By thine will!”
――Dark Night Tempest!
The storms of darkness unleashed from my, Izayoi’s and Saburou’s extended hands swallow up countless humans.
“Let’s go! If you run into 『Sword King』, withdraw into the sector!”
“If we manage to lure him in…we will kill him inside the sector!”
Izayoi furrows his eyebrow at the mention of withdrawing, but once I give him a reason, he answers by readying his spear.
“Excuse me for going ahead! ――《Wind Chase》!”
Using the small opening provided by my and Izayoi’s conversation, Setanta clads himself in wind, and plunges towards the front line.
“What a reckless guy…”
“I’m terribly sorry. I shall scold him severely afterwards.”
As I sigh while watching Setanta leave, Izayoi bows deeply.
“Seta…! Don’t leave me behind!”
“Ahahaha…sorry for leaving first, onii-chan! ――《Flash Thrust》!”
Setanta laughs with an innocent expression as Saburou rushes after him, meanwhile, I release a sharp spear thrust at a nearby human.
Onii-chan…? Wait, that was just my imagination, right?
Setanta just bluntly said something that makes me very worried, but I’ll postpone getting down to the core of the matter for now.
Together with Izayoi, I sprint towards the humans crowding at the front line.
“As if I’d let you!”
Gáelbolg’s strike, which I unleashed alongside a cry full of fighting spirit, has its trajectory shifted upwards by a human. Because of the difference in physical abilities, my thrust isn’t knocked aside completely, but…my thrust is diverted to his shoulder, rather than piercing his torso as intended.
“How annoying. ――《Crescent Moon Slash》!”
I bisect the human, who lost his balance after having his shoulder pierced, by swinging Gáelbolg downwards.
Next I shoot a spear of darkness at a human who’s further away.
“Ha ha ha! You’re open! Drown in a wave of extreme speed ――《Thousand Thrusts》!”
The human, who had his stance thrown into disorder by the 《Dark Lance》, collapses to the ground after receiving countless thrusts from Saburou.
“Ahaha! Amazing! Master…this guy is amazing!”
Setanta wields his spear while laughing happily.
“Seta! We aren’t inside the Domain right now! Be careful of your surroundings!”
Izayoi covers for Setanta’s blindspots like a guard dog.
“You brat…! Don’t look――”
A human attacks Setanta, who has rushed out too far, from diagonally behind, but Saburou pierces that human with his rapier at light speed. After being stabbed, the human has his head blown off by a darkness spear that follows immediately after.
“Wha wha! Thanks, onii-chan!”
“Hah, let me teach you a proverb, Seta.”
“Yay, what is it?”
“In this world, a little brother who outshines his big brother――”
“Saburou! Don’t get careless! ――《Dark Lance》!”
I shoot a darkness spear at a human who is swinging a sword at Saburou as he stares proudly at Setanta.
I ignore the awkward looking Saburou, and survey the vicinity, checking the situation of my subordinates and the enemy.
The number of enemies is high, but…I think we have the momentum on our side.
Having said that, the flow of battle is ever changing.
――All hands, pull back the front line!
I order my subordinates to withdraw a bit.
While watching how my subordinates retreat step by step, the humans ready their weapons…watching the situation.
I’m going to save all the subordinates I can. Continuing the battle like this would be harsh. The deciding factor will be when our side’s main forces ―― Hibiki, Takaharu, Sarah, Rina, Chloe, Layla and their teams join the fray.
――Fall back into the Domain, one person at a time!
My subordinates continue to retreat into my Domain, little by little. Around the time half of them have withdrawn, Izayoi, Saburou, Setanta and I retreat as well.
――All hands, withdraw!
Once our main force has withdrawn, I order the remaining subordinates to do the same.
How are the humans going to move…with all my subordinates having retreated?
I attentively watch the humans’ moves from inside my Domain.
30 minutes after everyone withdrew.
Not a single human has invaded the sector.
After I sent out a single bloodkin, I learned that the humans have watched the situation, and then also started to retreat towards the city hall.
If they had invaded us…we could have whittled down the enemy’s main force under favorable conditions, but it looks like the enemy has stayed calm. It would have been a dream if 『Sword King』 had charged into my Domain, but it appears that things won’t proceed that smoothly.
Still, I have succeeded in my initial objective of building a base.
I order the subordinates I have stationed here, more than a thousand of them, to standby in the entrance area of the sector, and instruct Izayoi’s group to intercept any enemy that might invade.
The preparations for the invasion of Suzu’s City Hall are now in order.
I begin to prepare for the last battle for the unification of the prefecture’s north.
Chapter 152 – Idle Talk: Rina’s Conflict
~ Rina’s PoV ~
20 days before the establishment of the base in front of Suzu’s City Hall.
I tremble all alone in the room that Shion gave me.
Joy, grief, despair, fear, and ―― loneliness. Various emotions are swirling like a maelstrom within me.
My current position is: Shion’s subordinate.
My current comrades are: Shion, Kanon, Layla, Guy, Iron, Red, Flora…people that would be labeled as monsters or Demon Kings by the humans.
My current role is ―― enemy of humanity.
Since I became Shion’s subordinate, I’ve made sure to not connect to the Internet except by Shion’s command.
I had seen the net news around the time when I had just become Shion’s subordinate. The headline of the article was ― 『Kanezawa’ Heroes Lose!』
In the video attached to that article, my former best friend ― Saori, who was extolled as saint, and then ran away while hurling insults at me, spoke of her memories of me while shedding tears.
At the time when I watched that video, sadness, mortification, hatred…various negative emotions welled up with me, making me vomit. Since that time, I have never connected to the Internet on my own device.
On a certain day, when more than a year had passed since I became Shion’s subordinate――
Shion returned from a reconnaissance mission with Takaharu, and informed all subordinates that we would invade Suzu’s City Hall within a month or so. At the same time, he ordered all subordinates capable of using smartphones to gather information.
As I had been ordered, I scanned through the net news with my smartphone.
The information I needed to gather was centered on the enemy ― the humans holing up in Suzu’s City Hall.
And so I came across a certain piece of news ― trembling all alone in my room.
I look at the screen, as I tightly grasp my smartphone in my quivering hand.
『《News Flash》 – Heroes of Suzu succeed in repelling the supreme ruler of Kanezawa!
Kanezawa’s supreme ruler ― Demon King Shion has been vigorously expanding his Domain in the north of the Ishikawa prefecture. By joining forces, the heroes of Suzu succeeded in repelling Demon King Shion, who had been continuously expanding his territory, for the first time.』
And the article also features a photo of people with joyful looks.
In the middle of the photo, the grumpy face of a healthy old man, who doesn’t look to be over 80 years old at all, is displayed.
That old man has been given the name 『Sword King』 and is praised as Suzu’s hero.
And, once I look closer, the name of that 『Sword King』 is written beneath the photo.
『Sword King』 ―― hailed as Suzu’s hero.
And the instructor of the Sayama dojo ―― my grandfather.
“G-Grandfather is…the 『Sword King』!?”
I’m happy about the survival of my gentle, albeit strict, grandfather. Learning of my father and big brother’s deaths in another article, I’m sad. I despair over the future where I will cross swords with my grandfather and other acquaintances. The faces of Shion and the others, my allies, and grandfather and my fellow students, who have become my enemies, race about inside my mind. I tremble in panic.
“Why…!? Why this…!”
My emotions, having no place to go, burst out of me.
On that day, when Shion and the others became Demon Kings after being classified as 【Chaos】 ―― their existences were erased from all people’s memories, and at the same time, they lost their memories of all people.
Therefore, why…do I still have my memories of other humans ― of my family!?
My current aptitude is 【Chaos】. On the day I became Shion’s subordinate…my aptitude changed to 【Chaos】.
The world has…the new principles have…why did neither take my memories of other humans when I became 【Chaos】!? Why can the humans still remember me!?
My father’s words, my brother’s smile, my mother’s kindness…and the teachings of my grandfather ― all those memories of my family are swirling around inside my head.
Shion’s troubled look, Kanon’s smile, Layla’s sullen expression, Red’s face as he laughs heartily ― all those memories of my friends are swirling around inside my head.
“『Sword King』 is my grandfather” ―― Should I tell them? I think I should.
But can I…?
I recall the final words and looks of my friends, who had been called heroes, and ran away while forsaking me.
The enemy’s leader is my grandfather. How would Shion react if he learned of that? How would Layla and the others react?
Shion would likely fuss over me and keep me away from the battlefield, wouldn’t he? Layla and the others would brand me a coward and shun me.
Shion has said that the upcoming battle will be very intense.
Many casualties will probably be suffered by both sides, enemies and allies…
Will I be able to puff out my chest and call myself Shion’s comrade afterwards?
In that case, I should fight with them! As Shion’s subordinate, as Layla’s comrade…I have to fight together with them!
However, can I meet face to face with the people who were my fellow students ― with my grandfather?
I brood over it, tremble in fear ― and obsess over my dilemma all by myself.
“What should I do…? Just what should I do…?”
I scream while baring my emotions and cursing this broken world.
20 days later.
Bought at the price of many lives, a sector that will serve as a base has been created in front of Suzu’s City Hall.
We lost many comrades during the last 《Reign》.
My werewolf acquaintance crumbled away after becoming a shield for me upon Shion’s order.
A dark elf subordinate, who has invaded many Domains with me, was cut down by a human.
A goblin subordinate, who had been in high spirits because she gave birth to many children, was slain by a human.
It can’t go on like this. We still haven’t reached the climax.
Once we genuinely start the invasion into Suzu’s City Hall, the battles will become even more severe…and I’m sure many of my comrades will lose their lives. There might even be casualties among my fellow bloodkin friends ―― Layla, Flora, Guy, Iron, or Red.
It can’t go on like this. I will carry out the mission only I can carry out.
Having resolved myself, I head to Shion’s quarters.