Chapter 160 – Invasion of Suzu’s City Hall ⑰
I call 『Sword King』 to me and he silently walks in my direction. I offer the 【Blood Chalice】 to 『Sword King』 once he’s come close enough.
“…This is?” Kotetsu mutters with a fading voice while turning his eyes to the 【Blood Chalice】 held out towards him.
“If you drink this you will become my bloodkin ― obtaining the same position as Rina.”
“Indeed. Once you’ve drunk this…you’ll become my subordinate in name and reality.”
“What’s wrong? You’re certainly not going to tell me that the person extolled as 『Sword King』 ― Rina’s grandfather, is going to break his promise, are you?”
“…Hand it over!”
Once I smile evilly, 『Sword King』 snatches the 【Blood Chalice】 out of my hand. He tilts the 【Blood Chalice】, and drains all of the deep crimson liquid within in one gulp.
A faint radiance wraps up his body, and then slowly converges.
I operate my smartphone while casting a sidelong glance at 『Sword King』, who’s looking at his body and hands, marvelling at the phenomenon affecting him.
Name: Kotetsu Shion
– Katana Techniques (A)
→ Fang Thrust
→ Sky Blade
→ Tsubame Gaeshi 1 – Breathing
I chuckle after confirming that Kotetsu’s name has been added to the column of 【Bloodkin】.
“Now then…how do you feel?”
“Let’s see…” Kotetsu confirms his changes while staring at his own hands. “If I had to describe it…I guess it’s as if my mind has cleared up.”
“How about your emotions towards me?”
“Haah…just as before, you’re a pesky, little brat!” Kotetsu answers while snorting.
“Calling your ruler a little brat…?” I smile wryly upon hearing Kotetsu’s answer.
“You bastard! Show some respect!”
“You inferior species…what a shameful way of talking towards our creator!”
“Shion-sama…could you please entrust me with the education of this person?”
The trio of fanatics, who worship me as always, hurl their rage at Kotetsu.
“Don’t mind it.” I restrain the fuming fanatics by lightly lifting one hand.
“Don’t mind it. Didn’t you hear what I’ve said?” I turn a chilly look at the fanatic trio, who hesitate to say anything further.
“Hmm…is that fine?”
“Just as I told them, don’t mind it. 『Sword King』 …no, Kotetsu, feel free to watch and judge my actions with your own eyes.”
Unlike created subordinates, the troublesome part about humans, even if you turn them into kin, is their free will and lack of absolute loyalty. Even though I can bind their actions through orders, I can’t do the same with their hearts.
Well, I don’t need to worry about him revolting against me. I want Kotetsu to become part of my combat force just like Rina, but if he’s too defiant, I can have him rot away plowing fields somewhere. Right now…for the sake of my future plans, I’ll treat Kotetsu and the humans under my protection politely. After all, they are people who could become crucial for the upcoming capture of Suzu’s City Hall.
Having achieved the long-awaited addition of Kotetsu as my subordinate, I begin plotting my next move.
“Kotetsu, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”
“What is it?”
Currently, the people of Suzu’s City Hall are hiding within their improvised fortress, just as usual. I decide to gather some information from Kotetsu for the sake of my strategy.
“First, who’s Saitou Ruriko? How is she related to the governor?”
“Saitou Ruriko is a former hero, just like Rina, and ― she’s Governor Tayama’s granddaughter.”
Not only I, but even Rina, who ought to be her former party member, reveals her surprise at Kotetsu’s reply.
“Huh? She’s your former comrade, isn’t she Rina? You didn’t know? Wait, I guess she changed her family name.”
“I never heard anything about her family circumstances from Ruriko.”
“Saitou Ruriko is the child of his married daughter. Well, from time to time you will encounter relatives of politicians who don’t talk about their family circumstances.”
Rina answers my question, and Kotetsu provides some additional info.
“Let me ask just in case, but…did Saitou Ruriko die?” Kotetsu asks about the truth I couldn’t openly tell the governor.
“Yes. …To be precise, I killed her.”
It’s meaningless to hide the truth, and thus I honestly inform Kotetsu of the facts.
“Grandfather! It’s true that Ruriko lost her life at Shion’s hands! But! That’s…we were the ones who attacked him…Shion acted in order to defend his own life――”
“Don’t worry…I understand.”
Kotetsu adopts a broad-minded approach towards Rina who frantically tries to defend my case.
“That means, in the eyes of Governor Tayama…I’m the target of revenge for his granddaughter, I guess.”
“That’s how it is.”
“In that case…a peaceful solution is…”
“Impossible, I’d say.” Kotetsu calmly answers.
“After this last encounter you became my subordinate. In addition, more than 800 humans have surrendered themselves under my protection. If I were to recommend surrender in the future…around how many people would accept? What do you think?”
“That’s a difficult question… I think most of them will turn it down. In the first place, those who might be open to surrender have withdrawn to the inns inside Suzu. The majority of those in the city hall…are people who had family members and close friends killed by Demon Kings.”
“So the majority won’t surrender no matter what, huh…?”
Putting it another way, I can interpret it as there being some humans open to surrender, albeit only a few.
The point of my next strategy is to cause an internal rift among them. The strongest human within the group in Suzu’s City Hall ― Kotetsu, has defected to our side. In addition, more than 800 humans…moreover those who would likely fight at the front line, have agreed to surrender. If the number of humans responding to future calls for surrender increases, it might gradually lower the other side’s morale.
“By the way, Shion…is it fine for me to ask a question as well?”
“Mmh? What’s up?”
“I have become Shion’s…your subordinate, and you’re going to fight against the humans of Suzu from now on. Am I going to participate in that battle as well?”
“No, you don’t need to join the battle against Suzu’s humans.”
“That’s okay with you?”
“Yeah, I don’t mind.”
Kotetsu would doubtlessly be a big combat asset. However, Kotetsu originally belonged to Suzu’s camp. Assuming I had him participate in the battle…what would the residents of Suzu think? They might believe that they must fight against their former allies once they change to my side. In such a case, the number of people willing to surrender would drop even further.
“Then, why…!? Why did you make me your bloodkin!?” Kotetsu raises his voice, speaking in a rough tone, as he seemingly isn’t satisfied with my reply.
“As for that…it’s because you’ve become unable to lie to me now that you’re my bloodkin.”
――Kotetsu! Tell me your true thoughts about me!
“――! I-I’m grateful to you from the bottom of my heart for having saved Rina’s life.”
Kotetsu deeply bows his head towards me while tears well up in Rina’s eyes. Out of the blue, an awkward atmosphere hangs in the air thanks to the airing of Kotetsu’s true feelings.
Chapter 161 – Invasion of Suzu’s City Hall ⑱
One week has passed since I turned Kotetsu into my bloodkin. Currently, there’s a lull in the fighting between me and the humans of Suzu’s City Hall.
One reason I haven’t been initiating combat myself is in order to sow internal discord within the enemy camp. On the day I turned Kotetsu into my bloodkin, I used my 『Megaphone』 to recommend surrender to the humans. Not a single human accepted my offer. The next day, Kotetsu used my 『Megaphone』 to recommend surrender to the humans. All he earned were insults from the governor.
Three days after Kotetsu became my bloodkin, I caught one of the humans placed under my protection making a phone call. That human used his phone in secret, but…our side saw through all of it. On the evening of that day, four humans visited the sector serving as our base, and offered their surrender. With this day as the turning point, a growing number of humans began to surrender in what could be called moonlit flights.
Today, now that one week has passed, the number of humans who have surrendered – including the 876 people from the first day – has increased to 3,248 people in total. Moreover, using the CP accumulated during this week, I welcomed five of the humans under my protection, who were recommended by Kotetsu, as new bloodkin.
Just like before, I’m energetically recommending surrender through my 『Megaphone』 today as well.
15 days after Kotetsu became my bloodkin. The number of humans who accepted my offer has grown up to 5,227, but this method is about to reach its limit. Yesterday no new humans surrendered.
“I guess it’s about time to launch the attack.”
“So you’re starting at long last, eh?” Kanon asks back.
“The attack will begin in…let’s say three days.”
“You’re waiting three days? Why?” Kanon tilts her head in confusion.
“――In order to issue a proclamation of war.”
Kanon betrays her surprise at my answer, “Hah? P-Proclamation of war, you say? What’s wrong? For you, who’s widely known for his sinister schemes, to choose the path of chivalry is――”
――Roll up your skirt!
I punish Kanon who casually included slander in her words.
“Who’s widely known for his sinister schemes!? The objective of proclaiming war is to apply pressure to the humans who’re still hesitating.”
“Oh!! Since we’re going to attack in three days, it’ll be their last chance to surrender, right!? Wait, that’s a blatant threat, isn’t it!? As expected of the sinister sche――”
――Roll up your skirt!
I’ve recently started to wonder, isn’t this bug…actually enjoying this punishment? I begin to worry about the mental health of my self-alleged strategist.
After stepping out of my sector, I prepare my 『Megaphone』 with practiced hand movements.
“To the humans in Suzu’s City Hall! We’re going to start our attack in three days! I repeat! We’re going to start our attack in three days! Our door will remain open for those wishing to surrender…until then! I believe that you, Ladies and Gentlemen, who can make a proper judgment, will make the right decision! Those wishing to surrender are to come unarmed to my sector!”
I concisely tell them what I want, and return to my Domain without waiting for their answer.
Now then, I wonder what’s going to happen…? I begin the preparations for battle while looking forward to the effect of my proclamation of war.
The night after I made my proclamation, another 1,203 humans offered their surrender. I chuckled at the superb effectiveness of my plan.
On the next day, “Huuuh? You’re not going to recommend surrender todaaay?”
“It’s all according to plan”
“Hooh… Is it possibly for the sake of fanning their feaaar?”
“Correct.” I snicker as if to respond to Kanon’s evil smile.
Ever since I turned Kotetsu into my bloodkin, I’ve offered surrender to the humans everyday…all while altering the methods and tones. However, what are the humans going to think when I stop my recommendation, which has almost turned into an established daily event, the day after proclaiming war?
The reply to that is――
“I-I want to surrender!”
“Y-You’re still…accepting surrenders, right!?”
Close to 1,000 humans have come crowding towards my Domain with desperate expressions. Just as I intended, the internal state of Suzu’s camp has steadily continued to break down.
On the next day, another batch of more than 1,000 humans surrender. With this, the total number of surrenderees has risen to 9,018 people. I guess it didn’t go all the way up to 10,000…
Then, on the third day, the time for invasion came.
“Yay! Shion! We gonna go for da kill at long last, right!?” Takaharu, the combat maniac, cracks his knuckles while smiling ferociously.
“Hmm? Takaharu, you’re going to stay back.”
“Hah? Da fuck, why!?”
“Pupupupu! Hilarious～ Taka-cchi, be a nice boy n’ watch the base, oki?” Sarah starts to gleefully agitate Takaharu, who’s exasperated after hearing my words.
“Sarah, that applies to you as well, you know?”
“Right～! Wait, what? Me too? No way!”
“Hah! Serves ya right, bitch!” Takaharu happily raises his middle finger at Sarah after hearing my comment.
“”Anyway, why am I staying (stayin’) back!?!””
After having continuously agitated each other…both press me for an answer while speaking in harmony.
“Jeez, you guys are really as close as ever…”
“”There ain’t no friggin’ way that I’m close to dis girl (Taka-cchi)!!”
Once again Takaharu and Sarah yell angrily while being in perfect harmony.
“Shion! Why do I gotta stay back!?”
“You can come along if you want, but…you’ll be bored, you know?” I answer Takaharu while starting to feel fed up.
“Hah? Why!? Arencha goin’ to fight da lot of Suzu next!?”
“No, we’re just going to start the attack.”
“――? Ain’t dat da same!?”
For an instant Takaharu ponders about my reply, but reaching his very own conclusion, he again presses me for answers.
“It’s completely different, but…okay, okay. If you want to tag along, feel free.”
I take the complaining Takaharu and Sarah, as well as 2,000 subordinates, along, and leave my Domain.
I move up to a place that arrows will barely reach, with a group of living mails leading while holding their shields at the ready. Excluding the living mails, the subordinates I’ve taken along this time are all archers.
――All hands! Get ready!
Hearing my order, my subordinates draw their bows.
More than 1,000 arrows are fired towards Suzu’s City Hall, buzzing as they cut through the wind.
――All hands! Retreat!
Takaharu and Sarah look dumbfounded after receiving my order.
“You see, that’s why I told you that it’d be boring.” I withdraw to my Domain while flashing a wry smile at Takaharu and Sarah.