Chapter 186 – How to Make a Musclehead Agree
“Next, Yataro, how’s the situation of our defenses?”
“I think you should be aware of it since you’re also defending, but…the number of invaders is low.” Yataro grumbles while placing a hand on his white goatee.
“A lack of experience points, huh…?”
“Correct. The defense battles are all easy victories, but under these circumstances I can’t distribute enough experience points to the subordinates I want to nurture.”
Some humans invade us, responding to the government’s call, after I’ve become famous as one of the Thirteen Evil Stars, but their numbers dwindle by the day. Although a huge amount of money will be paid for liberating my sectors, there’s not a single precedent of that happening in my Domain. Another big reason is the recruitment of the high-leveled humans to deal with Demon King Kaoru in the prefecture’s south.
“Allowing them to liberate a sector…yep, that’s a no-go. The demerits would be too big.”
“Indeed.” Support this novel by reading it on the TL’s blog at infinite novel translations!
“You think the number of fish biting will change if we use extravagant bait?”
Bait ― or in other words, the loot in the treasure chests.
“I wonder. It depends on the placement of the treasure chests, but…if we set them up on the early floors, it’s also possible that the invaders will run away after snatching the chest’s loot. If we ambush them, it will make them cautious…it’s a difficult call to make.”
What do we have to do to lure them in then?
“How deep did the invaders reach so far?”
“The tenth floor. But, that was back when we were at war with Suzu’s City Hall. At the moment…the limit is the fourth, no, the third floor.”
The most attractive bait for invaders is prestige and big money. In other words, the liberation of sectors. However, in reality it’s impossible for them to liberate one of my sectors.
“It’s just an idea, but…what if we make them embrace the hope that they’re close to achieving a liberation?”
“Hooh…you’re going to ease up the difficult until the deepest floor?”
“No, that’d be too obvious.”
“What are you going to do then?”
I answer Yataro while simulating the idea in my mind, “We’ll lower the depth of the sectors. What if we were to set up the 【True Core】 on the fourth floor, for example?”
“Hooh…so you’re going to 【Reduce】 instead of 【Expand】?”
“That’s how it’ll turn out. First I’ll order Tusk to manipulate the information by spreading rumors that some of my sectors are only as deep as four floors. Afterwards, we will show the 【True Core】 on the fourth floor to the humans who’ve invaded in response. How about that?”
“There’s merit in trying it.” Yataro squints joyfully at my suggestion.
“However, we cannot afford to let them liberate it for real. So, at the lowest floor of the bait sector…”
“I know, we will deploy Izayoi and Saburou.” Yataro continues my words while smiling.
“If it works out smoothly, we’ll adjust by increasing the number of bait sectors.”
“Fuo fuo fuo, that sure sounds fun.”
This brought my conversation with Yataro about our defenses to an end.
“Next, Chloe, how’s the situation with your invasions?”
“Yes, master! We have been smoothly making progress!” Chloe straightens her back, answering my question.
“How is it going with your new members?”
“Anything troubling you?”
“Nothing at all!”
Chloe instantly replies to my questions. Well, I suppose it’s logical for things to work out if it’s Chloe and the other created bloodkin…
“I think you do understand, but your top priority is to protect the lives of the bloodkin, including your own. Keep devoting your attention to that part.”
“Yes, Master! Such deeply compassionate words…! Thank you very much!”
The chat with Chloe finishes quickly.
The last one is――
“Lastly, Rina, how’s the situation with your invasions?”
“I’m slightly worried about our teamwork, but…so far there’s no problem.” Rina answers calmly.
“Rina, how’s the compatibility between you and the former Demon Kings?”
“I wonder…I don’t think that it’s bad…”
“And your real opinion?”
“I think it’s impossible for me to lead them perfectly.” She answers while keeping her composure.
“I see. Anyone especially difficult to handle?”
“Takaharu…and Setanta, I’d say.”
“Hooh…” Rina’s reply counters what I had expected.
“What about Sarah?”
“Contradicting her usual speech and conduct, Sarah is properly keeping an eye on the surroundings. Her support from the back is flawless as well.”
“His words and behavior are very problematic, but when push comes to shove, he acts calmer than any of the other members. To be honest, sometimes I wonder whether Hibiki isn’t more suited to be the leader than I am.”
Her evaluation of Sarah and Hibiki is much higher than I had expected.
“What about Takaharu?”
“Takaharu is…like another version of Red. In a good sense, and also in a bad…”
Red ― subordinates of the ogre species are belligerent. Sometimes they’ll act in a way you could only describe as going berserk. So Takaharu, who’s supposed to be a former Demon King as well as a former human, is another version of an ogre, eh…? Well, it does describe him perfectly, I’d say.
Unintentionally I end up smiling wryly at Rina’s brief review.
“How is it going with Setanta?”
“Setanta is the same as Takaharu. As soon as he sees an enemy, he runs off by himself. He doesn’t pay much attention to teamwork either. As his strength is far inferior compared to Takaharu, he actually worries me much more than Takaharu does.”
Setanta is a created subordinate. His childish simple-mindedness, and his belligerent personality are either a racial trait, or the influence of Izayoi and Saburou who took care of him first. I turn my eyes towards Yataro.
“You see, Seta is like that… He has always been competing with Saburou over who can kill the invaders first. Moreover, whenever Saburou defeated more invaders…he gleefully chaffed Seta about it…” Yataro explains with a gentle smile.
Okay…so the cause of the problem lies with Saburou, huh?
“Yataro, you didn’t put a stop to it when you saw Saburou teasing Setanta?”
“After seeing the two frolicking around so happily?”
“Sorry… When I saw them playing around like real brothers…I couldn’t bring myself to stop them. But, Rina?”
“Even with Seta being like that, he’s an obedient boy. He listens to your orders, doesn’t he?”
Rina turns her head after being addressed by Yataro. “Obedient…? That boy?”
“Indeed. He has always obediently followed what Izayoi, Saburou, and, of course, I told him.”
“That boy did…? Come to think of it, he’s oddly attached to Takaharu, and always does what Takaharu tells him, I guess.”
“Right! Rina, it would be best if you had a match against Seta. I think he will listen to what you tell him if he loses against you once.”
“Correct. If you want, I can stand witness.” Yataro smiles happily at the confused Rina.
“Okay… Please take care of it after this.”
Thus, Rina and Setanta had a mock battle after this meeting. It ended with Rina’s victory as she excelled in sword skill. With that day as a turning point, Setanta has started to listen to Rina’s instructions.
Chapter 187 – HeaChaDe☆
The next day after the founding of the Aster Empire. It’s currently 7 p.m. I step outside my Domain accompanied by my subordinates to announce the foundation of our nation.
――Guard the vicinity!
Cautiously I head south from my Domain to allow my voice to reach as far as possible.
“Milord, there are no hostile forces within a radius of one kilometer.” Returning from her reconnaissance, Kaede approaches me silently to report.
“How’s the situation two kilometers ahead?”
“There’s a human habitat.”
【Megaphone】 covers a range of three kilometers around me. Today we cannot afford to fight against humans. This is the perfect spot, I’d say?
“Test…test…an announcement to the humans of Kanezawa: I wonder if I should start with a Nice to meet you? I’m Demon King Shion who rules over the sectors in the prefecture’s north. Since it’s not like I’ve come to declare war on you today ― unlike Demon King Kaoru of Komatsu ― I’d like you to listen to me with a peace of mind. Today I have something I want to inform you about, which is why I’m calling out to you like this.”
Still, I really can’t get used to talking all by myself without receiving any reactions.
“Well then, let’s get down to the main topic. Henceforth I shall announce the foundation of a nation for my Domain, which unifies the prefecture’s north, as 『Aster Empire』. The doors of our 『Aster Empire』 will be always open for humans wishing to surrender to us. This is a plain fact! Many of your brethren, the humans who have lived in the prefecture’s north such as Suzu City, are leading a peaceful and sound life in my Domain. Those of you wishing for a peaceful future, visit my Domain unarmed, and I promise to provide you with land for a peaceful life in my 『Aster Empire』!”
I recommend a surrender at the same time of announcing the foundation of our Aster Empire. It’s because I hold the faintest hope that I might be able to obtain some residents, even if it’s just one, should luck be on my side. After having done all that I planned to do, I return to my Domain.
“How’s the reaction?”
After getting back to my Domain, I head over to Tusk’s place ― the Information Management Division.
“It’ll be tough ~ssu.”
“For an instant the name 『Aster Empire』 appeared on SNS, but it was deleted quickly ~ssu.”
“What about TV stations or video distribution sites?”
“Including the local ones… zero appearances ~ssu.” Tusk answers while shrugging his shoulders.
“There’s also no misinformation…like it being taken as a declaration of war?”
“None ~ssu. It’s as if the declaration never happened ~ssu.”
“Well, whatever. As long as it appeared on SNS, even if only for a short time…it’s proof that my declaration has reached someone. I guess there’s no option but to persistently continue with it.”
“I’ll contact you if something happens ~ssu.”
I leave Tusk’s place, and return to my own room. There I retrieve the smartphone which has become the exclusive device for accessing 『Laplace』. Hmm, I wonder if I’ll be able to find some beneficial information.
After logging into 『Laplace』, I check the 『Upper Class Demon King Lounge』.
３１３ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
Any HeaChaDe☆ around here? roflmao
３１４ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０１１５
３１５ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
Hah? lol You really don’t know HeaChaDe☆? Iiko, you really an Upper Class Demon King? lmao
３１６ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０１１５
As always, you’re really an annoying guy.
３１７ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
Huh? lol Guy, you say? rofl Who tells you that I’m not a little girly? roflmao
３１８ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００３１
How many times have we heard this exchange by now…?
Anyway, Nina-san, what’s 『HeaChaDe☆』?
３１９ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
Hah? lol You srsly don’t know? rofl
３２０ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０００７
Nina, give it a rest already.
３２１ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
I guess I’ll tell ya lol.
『Heart-throbbing☆Chaos☆Demon Kings』. Or short, 『HeaChaDe☆』, aight?
３２２ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０１１５
What’s that painful, pink name?
３２３ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０１５９
『Heart-throbbing☆Chaos☆Demon Kings』 refers to 『Thirteen Evil Stars』
３２４ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
Ikoku, stop gettin’ in the way of my fun rofl.
３２５ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０００７
If it comes to Demon Kings permitted to participate in this thread, it’s very possible for them to be part of the 『Thirteen Evil Stars』.
３２６ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０１５９
Currently nine people are in here. It wouldn’t weird for all of them to be part of the 『Thirteen Evil Stars』
３２７ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
That’s only if everyone in here truly abides to the rules rofl
３２８ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０００７
Nina, I’m sure we decided that this was a taboo topic, didn’t we?
３２９ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
Yeah, yeah lol. So, is any 『Thirteen Evil Stars』 among us?
３３０ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０１１５
You stupid? Even if there was, there ain’t no way they could post it here, right?
３３１ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００３１
If you’re dumb enough to talk about your identity, your account will get blocked.
３３２ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
You guys’re damn borin’ lol
However, just one person in here is pretty much set as 『Thirteen Evil Stars』 lmao
３３３ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００１３
Well, obviously. If you start a reign at such a timing, it’ll immediately get exposed after all.
３３４ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０００７
In this case, even my hands are bound when it comes to defending them.
Cold sweat appears on my face as I watch the thread. Going by the situation, I suppose I’ve been exposed as being ID0536.
３３５ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０５３６
So, are there any 『Thirteen Evil Stars』 besides me in here?
３３６ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
Oh? lol Look who’s here just as we’ve been gossipin’. Isn’t that our beloved Saburo-chan roflmao
３３７ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０００７
Assuming I’d tell you that I’m 『Thirteen Evil Stars』 , would you believe me, Saburo?
３３８ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０５３６
３３９ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：０００７
That’s your answer. No one will believe it as long as you don’t show proof. However, no one can show proof here.
３４０ Nameless Upper Class Demon King ＩＤ：００２７
Though I don’t feel like showin’ any proof either rofl
Just as I’m trying to read through the new posts while feeling pissed off by Nina’s instigations――
『Ｅｒｒｏｒ. The thread you’re looking for doesn’t exist.』
Afterwards, I browse the forums on Laplace, but the 『Upper Class Demon King Lounge』 has been completely removed. Did my posts violate the rules or something?
In some way I liked reading that thread…Well, I guess I’m lucky that my account hasn’t been blocked, huh?
While caught in a strange feeling of loss, I receive a message informing me of an incoming Email on the smartphone in my hand.