Chapter 278 – A New Alliance
A request for an alliance, huh…? What should I do?
I spread out a map of Japan and checked the situation.
☆☆☆ Gifu Nagano
○ Aster Empire, ☆ Kaga (Demon King Kaoru), ● Toyama humans, ★ Demon King Motoki
Even if I were to form an alliance with Motoki, it wouldn’t have any influence on the near future. If we’re talking about an immediate effect, it’d be limited to a simultaneous invasion against Toyama’s humans from the east and west.
What if I look at it in the long term?
Just like Kaoru’s Kaga serves as a breakwater against Fukui, Motoki’s Domain could become a bulwark against Niigata. If that happened, I could focus my efforts on Gifu or Nagano after taking over Toyama. The Gifu prefecture is starting to become a major power since the humans of Aichi are amassing there after getting driven out of their own prefecture by Demon King Hayate, one of the Thirteen Evil Stars.
Meanwhile, the sole nameless Demon King among the Thirteen Evil Stars ― commonly referred to as Nanashi ― is currently expanding his Domain in Nagano.
I won’t be able to confront either forces with half-assed strategies.
Considering it like that, the current alliance proposal isn’t that bad a deal.
“What do you think, Kanon?”
“About the alliance proposal?”
She doesn’t measure up to a reliable strategist for me, but she’s the ideal conversation partner, and thus I call out to Kanon.
“Is there anything else beside that?”
“Hmm…personally I’m against it.”
“A reason, huh…? …Umm…you could say that it pains me as a highly anticipated strategist, or maybe…that I have a bad feeling about this…”
For a change, Kanon speaks hesitantly and vaguely.
“What is it? Hurry up and spit it out.”
“Let’s see…umm…you promise you won’t get angry?”
“That depends on the answer.”
“Eehh!? Usually you’d go with the flow here and say that you won’t――”
“S-P-I-T I-T O-U-T!” I roar at Kanon who’s still faltering.
“I-It’s my intuition…”
I feel dumbfounded by Kanon’s unexpected reply.
“Umm…Motoki isn’t reliable as an ally, or should I say…you can’t trust him, or rather…he’s fishy…or I’m simply getting bad vibes from him.”
“Hmm, in other words…you’re saying you’re against the alliance because you dislike Motoki?”
“Doesn’t that make me sound selfish?”
“In short, you’re against the alliance because you simply hate him without a logical reason, no?”
“Uuhh…Shion-san, are you angry? You promised to not be angry――”
“I didn’t. For now, I’ve understood that it’s based on a Kanon issue.”
“Kanon issue, you say… Isn’t that almost as if you’re using my name as a synonym for stupidity!?”
As if…? Just what is that bug prattling about? Of course it’s a synonym for stupidity.
I stop my conversation with Kanon at that point, and decide to do what I have to do. Assuming I were to agree with Motoki’s alliance offer, there’s one thing I have to do before that. I need to check back with my current ally ― Kaoru.
The alliance with Kaoru holds a big meaning for the Aster Empire’s defense. For the meantime, I’d like to maintain a friendly relationship with him. For this reason, I should check back with him, just in case.
I use my smartphone to call Kaoru.
『Huh? Aren’t you busy with your attack on Toyama right now?』
Kaoru throws some idle chatting at me without any greeting.
“It’s been a long time since we last talked.”
『Oh, sorry! Nice to hear from you! How are you doing?』
“The attack on Toyama is proceeding reasonably well, but I want to discuss something else with you. Do you have a moment?”
『Sure. What’s up?』
“Do you have a grasp on the situation in Toyama?”
『Hmm, to be honest, not really』
“Then I’ll give you a short rundown. Toyama prefecture is currently ruled by three factions: Demon King Motoki in the east, the humans in the center, and me in the west.”
『What, so only one Demon King is left in Toyama』
『So, what’s the matter?』
“The sole surviving Demon King has offered me an alliance. What’s your take on this, Kaoru?”
『Eh? Is it bad if I don’t participate in that alliance?』
“No, ultimately it’s going to be an alliance between Motoki and me.”
『Hmm…so, are you going to go along with it?』
“To be blunt, I’m kinda wavering on how to answer.”
『Oh, are you sure? You showed me a weakness』
“I’d prefer it if you called it trust instead of weakness.”
『Good one. Anyway, it’s nothing that concerns me, so I don’t mind either way』
“That’s awfully heartless of you.”
『Hahaha. You don’t even believe that yourself. Well, the first formidable enemies you’re going to face from now on will be either the humans of Gifu or the 『Thirteen Evil Stars』 member of Nagano, so an alliance does have a merit, don’t you think?』
“I see. I’ll call you again if there are any new developments.”
『Please come up with something that would benefit me next time, okay?』
Until the end of the call, Kaoru remained cheerful. Forming an alliance has merit, huh…? Well, although you may call it an alliance, it’s not set in stone for eternity. I think it won’t be much of a problem if I set a deadline and respond to things depending on the situation.
Kanon’s words left a lasting memory on me, but in the end I decided to form an alliance with Motoki.