Through the cup of water I held in my hand, I listened in on the voices and sounds that R’lyeh Diva had deemed worthy of attention. To be able to listen to the live voices of the enemy soldiers and commanders while remaining where I stood, I could only describe it as a very useful and advantageous ability.
It wasn’t just R’lyeh Diva that hid in a separate dimension but also the Ocean Singers.
If there was any third party in this battle whose goal was to see my war potential, I was sure that they would act provided enough bait was set.
To be able to catch them when they do act, I formed a group of High Elves to work with the intelligence corps. Instead of them sniping out the enemies like the other elves, their mission was to stay concealed and search for any suspicious presence.
Now then, time to set a grand bait.
“Then, my lord, please look over there as we display the might of the aerial combat corps.”
In response to Wight’s finger-whistle, the Darkness Dragons came flying high in the sky.
They carried along with them the containers made by the Dwarf Smiths.
The sight of the 10 Darkness Dragons in perfect formation was indeed a spectacle. They flew at the height of 400 meters above the ground, well beyond the reach of bows and magic.
The enemy soldiers looked up and, upon seeing the dragons’ majesty, cowered and trembled. The soldiers didn’t know what else to do other than to keep looking up. Their strategy against the golems was for the heavy-infantry to hold the golems off while the magic users at the back casted strong magic to wipe the golems out. It was a simple yet good enough plan. However, against the dragons flying in the sky, it was worthless.
“Well, we did misdirect them into thinking like that.”
We had purposely shown them the golems to trick them into believing that the golems were our main force, after all.
“Now, show them hell.”
Originally, just as the enemies couldn’t reach the Darkness Dragons while they were in the sky, the dragons also lacked the means to attack the enemies in the ground without dropping their altitude.
Their breath attacks could reach, at most, only a distance of 100 meters.
That was true though only until had I provided them their means.
When the enemy vanguard resumed rushing in, nine out of the ten containers were opened to drop down the vast amounts of napalm bombs contained within. Considering the Darkness Dragons’ strength, they could carry more than two tons at a time but since we didn’t have that much supply of napalm bombs anyway, it was decided that each were to only carry almost two tons of the stuff.
The dragons’ targets were the heavy-infantry rushing forward.
And the result was…
“SO HOT SO HOT SO HOT SO HOT SO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!”
Each member of the vanguard burned in hellfire.
Nearly all of them were killed. The stronger ones managed to live momentarily longer which was the worse fate in this scenario for the longer they lived, the longer they felt the fire and thus writhed in agony.
The power of this bombing was incomparable to the previous one conducted by the Hippogriffs.
After all, in this world, part of the user’s stats affected the power of the weapon. Darkness Dragons were B rank monsters with an A for their Physical Strength stat. They also had the skill [Miasma] which increased their offensive capabilities even more.
That wasn’t all. They also benefitted from Wight’s special ability, the [Ruler of Death] which he gained upon becoming a Siegwurm. This ability allowed him to drastically strengthen the undead units under his command.
Given all these, there was no way humans of just these strength could survive. And so, with none of them being able to do anything, several hundreds of lives perished.
“Amazing. Power, power is welling up within me! Ahahahahahaha!”
I unconsciously laughed out loud.
This entire Plain was part of my dungeon and thus, all the lives lost here became my sustenance; the souls of the entire enemy army, no matter who they were, were soon to become my power.
If I were to compare it, in Avalon, a gentle power flowed calmly into me. In this moment, however, the power that into me brought me a different kind of pleasant feeling. The soldiers’ fear, despair, and their very lives flowed into me as violently and as incessantly as a river during a raging storm.
With each passing second, the taste of their fear developed; the taste of their despair became even more pronounced; and their lives even more vivid as it disappeared.
Oh… I just might go mad from this, this, this sensation, oooohh. More, I want more of it, quickly.
“Kill, more, kill more of them!”
More, I want more! Yes, that’s it, let’s burn their city down. That way, those whose homes we burned will retaliate and deliver more, a lot more, of these… food. No, that’s still not enough; one city’s not enough. I’ll burn many, many, more cities! And more and more food will come! And then, I’ll burn them all! More, I want to feel more of this sensation!
“More! This not enough, not at all!”
Once they’re all gone, we’ll move on to the next! We’ll fight another country! More! Kill more, feel good more, kill, feel good, I, I…
I then sensed something small and soft touch my hand. Thanks to that touch, my heart didn’t fall “somewhere”.
“Ku… i… na…”
“Oto-san, you’re making such a scary face.”
Kuina was looking up at me with a frightened expression on her face.
Seeing that, my head quickly cooled. I wondered just what kind of face I was making or just what the heck I was saying, for that matter, since that wasn’t like me at all.
“My bad, I got a little drunk.”
“Thank goodness, it’s the usual Oto-san!”
Kuina then hugged me tightly.
My, my, what a shameful father I have been.
With that thought, I took big, deep breaths and gradually returned to my usual self.
This wasn’t my first genocide; I had done so before when I fought with [Evil] and yet, nothing like this had happened at that time. I was in a party with the Hippogriffs back then so I did feed on the enemy’s souls but then precisely because I was in a party, the effects had weakened. Moreover, it was just their souls that I fed on instead of their emotions as well.
Even after considering all that, it seemed to me that the most prominent factor was that feeding on humans just more delicious than doing so on monsters.
It wouldn’t have been weird if a Demon Lord who knew of such a fine taste became a warmonger. Thankfully, I didn’t end up becoming one. Stay strong, my heart.
“Oto-san, on your back”
Kuina said so as she pointed to my back where I had, since earlier, felt a strange, hot sensation.
“It looks like something has grown.”
What was there was a pair of jet-black wings and soon to follow it, I felt, were horns. By dining on thousands of humans, it felt as though my status as a Demon Lord had risen.
Nevertheless, I was posing as a human so this form was inconvenient, to say the least. As soon as I thought so, the wings vanished. It seemed like I could make it appear and disappear at will.
“So cool! Can Kuina touch?”
“Later. The war’s still not over.”
“That’s a promise!”
“Yeah but later, ok?”
And so, I turned my attention back to the battlefield.
Nine out of the ten containers the Darkness Dragons carried contained napalm bombs which they already dropped down on the enemies.
As for the activities of the last one, it had leisurely flew pass the vanguard to drop not just the contents of its container like what the other dragons had done but the container itself.
It made a deafening sound as it crashed right in the middle of the enemy rearguard formation. A few unfortunate soldiers were squashed by the container. Of course, squashing wasn’t the end goal here…
“What, are those people in that box?”
“Those aren’t people; they’re golems!”
“Gyaaaaaa! These guys are strong and fast!”
“Magic doesn’t work!? Help, somebody heeeeeelp!”
What were loaded into that container were ten Avalon-Ritters.
There were only a few of them since the rest were enhanced via special remodeling and were thus hidden to be one of my trump cards.
Anyway, as mentioned earlier, the enemy’s strategy was for their vanguard to hold off the golems while their magic users at the back casted large-scale magic. So for that reason, the enemies near where the Avalon-Ritters were dropped off were mostly magic users. Of course, there were some knights around to serve as guards but they were relatively few in number.
The question then was what would happen now that the Avalon-Ritters were there. There was but one answer: a massacre.
To start things off, the Avalon-Ritters activated their twin-drive golem cores to be at full-throttle. Strong magic power condensed into particles of light began to rise up. Just with those vast amounts of magic power, the enemies were plunged into a state of panic.
Each Avalon-Ritter was equipped with a gigantic greatsword that no human could wield. Each sword was made by Rorono to be the Avalon-Ritters’ basic equipment.
It was made with orichalcum alloy so despite the swords’ size, each was relatively light-weight and durable. Needless to say, the swords were superbly sharp. Each also had two enchantments applied to it. One of it was the improvement to slashing attacks. This improvement alone by Rorono was enough to classify it as a first-class magic sword. To add to that, by injecting magic power into the sword, it could propel the user to whichever direction he so desired.
All of the excess magic power produced by the twin-drives were transformed into kinetic energy thus giving birth—from the enemies’ perspective—to catastrophe.
And so, the greatswords made of orichalcum were wielded at a speed faster than sound.
Due to the Avalon-Ritters’ excellent non-human brain, it could perform complex movements while maintaining great balance even at that speed. And then, due to it being a golem, it could not get tired at all. What those meant was that the Avalon-Ritters would not stop until there were no more enemies before them.
It was as though they were whirlwinds.
The Avalon-Ritters cut and chopped up the enemies as though they were only pieces of paper, completely unable to offer any decent resistance to their killers.
To use magic, it must first be channeled but the Avalon-Ritters didn’t have any intention of giving the enemy magic users that time.
The most the magic users could do was hide behind a wall made out of their fallen allies’ corpses and cast close-range magic despite the high likelihood of friendly fire. However, Avalon-Ritters were made of orichalcum and were thus highly resistant to magic. The only harm the enemy magic users were doing was to their allies.
The few knights as well were chopped up whenever they came near the Avalon-Ritters.
It was impossible for them to stop the Avalon-Ritters with so few. To do so, they would have needed dozens, no, hundreds.
“They’re amazing, Rorono.”
“Developing the artificial brain so that it could masterfully wield that sword was more troublesome than making the sword itself. But, I’m satisfied with these results. They would serve as good data for improving the Avalon-Ritters further.”
Rorono the developer was in great joy.
And she should be for her work was truly amazing.
“As for the improved variants, it seems like we can keep them on reserve just as planned.”
“Mhm. We can win even if those ones aren’t used. After all, those are genuinely worthy of being called trump cards.”
It had been only a little over ten minutes since the war had begun and yet the victors and losers of this fight had already been determined.
The enemy army had already lost 80% of their total and any structure of command was gone.
As for our side’s damage, it was limited to only those that were in our vanguard. The loss of a few Silver Golems was nothing major.
“Aura, have you been properly holding back?”
I did not see her form but her voice was carried over by the wind.
The enemy army’s last ray of hope, their elite forces, were systematically being killed by Aura and R’lyeh Diva.
After we had secured a fair amount of advantage, I had instructed Aura to do as little damage as was possible to the would-be corpses. In response, instead of direct hits, she only grazed her targets enough to kill them. This was needed because Wight’s [Enhanced Resurrection] might not work if the corpses were too damaged.
My guess was that even if the enemy wanted to surrender, they were either already dying or just couldn’t declare so given the present situation. After all, their frontlines were being burned by the sea of ominous black flames—due to the dragons’ [Miasma]—while their rear was being slaughtered by the hurricanes that were the Avalon-Ritters.
I then decided to just wait and watch until the napalm-born flames ran out of things to burn and thus vanished.
But then again, if I wait that long, the Avalon-Ritters might have killed everyone already.
As I decided to wait regardless, the water in the cup I held trembled and I heard R’lyeh Diva’s voice.
It was a warning.
I signaled so to Kuina and she nodded.
A minute later, a man very silently appeared behind me.
The one that erased his presence and came to take my head was a hero-class adventurer that slipped past Aura’s search-and-destroy unit.
The only hope their side had to win was if they could somehow kill me, our side’s top commander. But even if this individual managed to do so, he must have known there was no way he could escape. It was an attack made knowing full well he would never return. I could see the valor in it but, such a shame…
“So, you believe you’ve completely erased your presence?”
Kuina turned towards him and pulled the trigger of the shotgun Rorono had customized.
It might have been due to the anger she felt toward him who aimed for me but regardless, she used her shotgun’s full-auto mode when even one shot would have been enough to deal a fatal blow.
The man, after receiving four shots in less than a second, couldn’t be recognized anymore from his previous form.
“Kuina will protect Oto-san.”
The man died without being able to do anything.
In the first place, with Kuina, Aura, and R’lyeh Diva, there was no way to launch a surprise attack against me.
After a while, the flames caused by the napalm bombs had subsided enough.
The Darkness Dragons then landed. Just by being close to the dragons, the few remaining survivors were driven into madness by the dragons’ special ability [Fear] and then died.
By this point, I could finally see beyond the wall of flames. As soon as their vision cleared and saw us as well, some from the enemy army desperately waved white flags. There isn’t even ten percent of them left.
At that, I hurriedly told Rorono to make the Avalon-Ritters stop.
“There are less than two hundred that have survived. Woah. There were more than 3000 of them before though– how pitiful–”
“It’s a war so it can’t be helped. Then, Wight, go ride with Kohaku and ascertain whether they truly wish to surrender.”
“Yes, my lord. Kohaku-dono, let’s go.”
“Hmm, finally, something for me to do.”
And so, the two headed to the survivors that continued to wave their flags.
The enemy should know by now just how horrible an experience it was to go against Avalon. I suspected they would be obedient for a while.
Regardless, the war was over.
I drank the water in the cup since I no longer needed to receive intelligence from R’lyeh Diva for the time being.
After Wight had ascertained the will to surrender, he began the post-war negotiations. After that’s over, it was time for the celebration party. Let’s all go all-out today, I thought in regards to the celebration.
It was a good thing the war had concluded without the need to show the trump cards I had decided to hide like Kuina’s new weapon, Rorono’s improved [Mechanical Warmaiden], the enhanced Avalon-Ritters, the Darkness Dragons’ new equipment, R’lyeh Diva and the intelligence corps’ combat capabilities, and more. That being said, regardless of how many remained hidden, the fact that I had exposed quite a lot of my war potential remained true.
I was certain that the one pulling the enemy’s strings must have made an action. I have to talk in detail with R’lyeh Diva and the High Elves that stood guard later.
Anyway, before I left the place, I ordered that the corpses that were still in good condition and could be reused as undead monsters to be gathered and to be preserved by freezing. By my reckoning, we had obtained at least ten hero-class adventurers’ corpses and at least several hundreds of the other soldiers’. They would definitely be great additions to our undead forces.
At any rate…
“Everyone, thanks for all your hard work. You all did great.”
I decided to reward my monsters since it was due to them and their persistence that we won this time.
Volume 3 of the light novel has been announced to come out on the 15th of September!
Here’s the cover art