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Translator: Smaturin Editor: Nefarian
The Hero King, Wolfdiel. The Wolf King, the Lion King, King Red Beard; a great king known by many names and there are none on this continent that do not know his name.
He cut down the giant who abducted the princess with just his sword, and as a young commoner, he was able to rise to the king's seat and expand the borders of the kingdom in no time.
His feats of slaying countless demons and evil spirits have been immortalized through songs and carried by minstrels throughout the lands. His courage was praised as befitting a Hero by his allies, and his enemies would, in turn, fear him as a living G.o.d of Death.
However, Aur did not particularly fear Wolf. His country had grown too large. Should it come to a war, the deciding factor for victory would be their military and strategy. Individual heroic strength would count for nothing.
Besides, Heroes that lived long lives were scarce throughout history, regardless of place. Many of them died in their mid-twenties, few would reach the age of 30. Wolf may be considered an outlier, having reached the old age of 50, however, he would not have much time left.
Perhaps he recognized this danger himself, for Wolf would rarely appear on the battlefield these days, he instead endured the pains of domestic affairs. A few years later and he was likely to die on his own. With the use of Yunis, victory may come surprisingly easily. Of course, Aur had no intention of making such a gamble, but patricide was an all too common end for a Hero.
But the real problem was the Order of Knights, known for being the mightiest on the continent. There was no comparison with the Kingdom of Figuria's military in quality or quant.i.ty when it came to the proficiency of their infantry and sorcerers. Of course, Aur did not put any faith in human soldiers to begin with.
If that was all it took to win, Figuria would have become a great country already. Aur's strengths lay in the dungeon and the ma.s.sive amount of Magic that was stored there. If he wanted to bury his enemies, he would have to let them live for now.
So Aur bided his time, planning; all the while expanding his dungeon.
It was one week before he would receive news of the declaration of war.
「Give me a status report.」
The palace's Great a.s.sembly Room.
Aur bluntly ordered to the line of ministers.
「Yes. Grandiera has declared war. A messenger arrived while Your Majesty was absent, I met with him as your representative. The enemy has designated the Blancheau Planes to the south as the site of the battle."
The Minister of Defense answered.
「…and, Your Majesty?」
The minister returned a dubious expression at Aur's command for him to continue.
「How many are there. Where are they currently stationed? How many men can we immediately mobilize? Where is the breakdown? What are the odds of us winning? Those are the sort of things I am asking.」
「Uh…we are currently investigating. I thought it would be best to inform you first and to gather everyone together and…」
The minister was dripping with sweat as Aur glared at him. This talk of investigating was a lie. It was Ca.s.s who controlled the majority of the countries military. He understood well that the ministers were a worthless crowd who could only bark vague orders from up high.
「Gather? How can you shamelessly stand there after having called me for this?」
The voice seemed to echo from the earth, the ministers shuddered visibly.
「Listen. I have no interest in whether you live or die. It is up to you whether you wish to get fat or die of starvation. …However, it is a different story when you block my path. The people, the soldiers, everyone is here to serve me. I will spare no mercy for my enemies. …If thou understands that, hurry and finish this 『investigation!』.」
The ministers all jumped to their feet, bowed and left the room
This decaying land will eventually deteriorate. But that is fine. While he was the king, Aur was not attached to Figuria, and he had no intention of seeing it prosper. Without being killed or allowed to thrive, it would feed the dungeons, he would let it fall, slowly, so that it would never be a real threat.
「Ahahahahha, he said thou!」
「You laugh too much.」
Now only the hard-faced Aur and Lilu, who held her sides with laughter, remained.
「I've told you before. The point is more easily made like that.」
「But, you said thou…heheh.」
「Enough of that, just make your report.」
Aur urged Lilu, who could not stop laughing and continued to hide her mouth with her hands and smirk.
「Alright, alright. Here is it.」
Lilu handed over the summarized report. It contained written details on the enemy formation, numbers and the number of beasts that would be part of the fighting force etc.
「…That's less than I thought.」
Aur's face expressed distrust upon seeing the numbers. The enemy was 5,000 in all. It exceeded the number of soldiers that he could prepare, but not by an incredible margin. Grandiera could surely have gathered 10 times this number.
「Are they underestimating us?」
「…that might be it.」
Aur nodded at Lilu's noncommittal reply.
「Wha, no, really?」
Lilu asked, in spite of suggesting it herself.
「To be honest, I cannot think of another possible reason.」
「Um, you know, to give us a false sense of security and then ambush us.」
That too was something that Aur had considered, but it was not very likely.
「Schemes and sneak attacks are for the weak. You may defeat stronger foes if you succeed, but the loss will be great should you fail. There is little reason for the mighty Grandiera to employ such a method. It would mean far less damage for them to rely on numbers and brute force.」
「Hmm, then…um, it costs money to march because the soldiers will become hungry, right? Perhaps it is to save money?」
Lilu said after furrowing her brows and thinking hard on the matter.
「It is true that having the soldiers march would have an enormous cost. …but, it would be inversely proportional to the number of casualties. How much money and time do you think it takes to raise one soldier? A march would not compare to that…」
「Hmph! How would a succubus know anything about that!」
Lilu roared and was soon in a fit of rage. Indeed, Aur did not have strong expectations for her to begin with, but the succubus did have an odd, very serious side to her.
「So be it then. If anything, it would be better for them to underestimate us when they attack. And if they resort to any kind of trickery, we have only to crush it.」
Aur's robe flapped as he cast a spell. In an instant, the two forms vanished and were teleported into the dungeon.