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Chapter 123: The Sage Arranges a False Defeat
A few days later, the neighboring nations began to move to liberate the Republic.
Multiple nations began to march all at once.
They must have planned ahead to match the timing.
However, their movement was within our calculations.
Since we had received information through our spies, we already had a rough grasp on their plans.
Instructions had already been given in advance for this.
The Demon Lord’s Army stationed within the Republic were commanded to defend against the incoming siege.
For this, I summoned a large army of undead.
By doing so, we would successfully be able to buy time and reduce the number of casualties.
While the undead were being used as cannon fodder, I would transfer my subordinates away from the front lines.
The undead who remained on the battlefield were soon subjugated by the Liberation Army after.
If undead were to rush forward without any command, they were no different to moving targets to the enemy.
In addition, the Liberation Army was prepared with holy magic.
Even though the undead manage to damage them to some extent, they were still ultimately annihilated from the battlefield.
The Liberation Army was steadily headed towards victory.
Due to this series of defeats, the Demon Lord army lost a number of undead.
Even so, it wasn’t a big deal.
The number of undead I had was huge.
Since the Slave Autonomous Region began supplying corpses recently.
If I wanted, I could generate various types of undead.
Even if our stock of corpses ran out, I was in a state where I could use them indefinitely.
The loss this time was within the margin of error.
It wasn’t a problem to be worried about.
On the other hand, the enemy armies who went to attack the Demon Lord’s other territory that wasn’t the Republic had mercilessly received retaliation.
It had been said that with Henry leading them forward, they didn’t suffer defeat even once.
By the way, demons also participated in this battle.
I heard they did a great job on the front lines.
Most of the demons who participated were those who got involuntarily turned into one due to Baruch’s plot.
Nowadays, they have begun to accept their body more positively and use them properly.
It was a good development.
Everything would be better if they looked to the bright side of things.
I was bad at doing that.
In that respect, my subordinates were more capable than I was.
Perhaps I needed to gradually learn from them as well.
On a side note, there was information that Diella had appeared on the battlefield.
She wore her scale and carapace armor and used her transcendental spearmanship to bulldoze through the enemy army.
There were also witness testimonies about countless chains of light whipping like rough waves on the battlefield.
It seemed her achievement in battle was comparable to that of the Demon Lord’s Army.
I tolerated her actions.
Besides, I had no authority to stop her.
It wasn’t like she was hindering our movements, and it was too subtle to be considered as reinforcement.
However, it was, without a doubt, reassuring to have her help.
I heard that my subordinates were fascinated by her combat prowess.
As expected of the previous Demon Lord, she was quite popular.
It seemed her talent to attract others still remained even now.
That was the current war situation.
On the battlefield, we arranged a planned withdrawal while rapidly advancing out.
In particular, the former produced spectacular results.
From the perspective of the other nations, it would appear as if the Demon Lord’s Territory was unable to cope with the wars occurring simultaneously, and were slowly losing grasp of the newly occupied territory of the Republic.
It would seem like they were finally victorious against the Demon Lord’s Army, who had always bested them.
Their people would be very happy about that.
They would have caught a glimpse of hope.
They probably thought it was a great step forward for them.
I need to manage it well.
I looked up from the report.
At present, the number of tasks I had to take care of was small.
The most I did was to transfer my subordinate stationed as the defense away from the battle and to a safe place.
Although this was definitely an important role, it lacked the feeling of being the Demon Lord.
So much so that I wondered if it was okay to do only that.
However, I could just leave the flashy roles to others.
It wasn’t like I wanted to stand out.
Since I was the Demon Lord, it was important to get some attention; however, it was more important to fulfill what needed to be done.
Even if I did things excessively, it wouldn’t necessarily produce a great result.
I had to keep that in mind.
As I pondered upon various things, the door to the drawing room was opened.
The one who appeared was Luciana.
She shook a piece of paper as she came to me.
“Demon Lord-sama, there was a bit of news.”
“What is it?”
“It seems that there were some heralds in the human army.”
I was surprised by her words.
That was something I couldn’t ignore.
As I put down the report, I urged Luciana to continue.
During the battle to liberate the Republic, there were two strong enemies who came to be known.
They were the “Valkyrie” from the Holy Scepter Kingdom and the “Steel Knight” of the Magic Kingdom.
They crossed the northern part of my predecessor’s territory and rushed to the Republic to fight.
Currently, they were standing by the liberated territory.
“Both of these heralds seem to be famous in their respective nations. It seems like they seriously wanted to save the Republic.”
“Then, what should we do? Do you want to kill them immediately?”
“No, we’ll keep an eye on them for now. We shouldn’t attack them unless they come to us.”
Although the heralds were important people, I would let them move as they liked for the moment.
The heralds were necessary existences for the people.
They were a representation of hope itself.
If I killed too many of them, humanity would fall into despair.
Of course, if the actions of the heralds exceeded what could be tolerated, I would immediately kill them.
Since it was unknown whether the Will of the World was involved with them, I didn’t want to preemptively go defeat them anyway.
If it was me from before, I would eliminate them immediately.
However, we currently have different circumstances.
We couldn’t just keep winning.
There were times where we needed to act defeated.
As Luciana was aware of my policy, she shrugged with a light smile.
“Demon Lord-sama sure is kind. If it was Diella-sama, she would immediately go for the kill, you know?”
“I am not kind. I just have a different goal than my predecessor.”
It was hard to adjust my actions regarding that.
It was something I didn’t need to think about during my time as the Sage.
At that time, all I needed to do was keep defeating demons.
We weren’t in a need to adjust our strength.
If I seriously intended to destroy the world, I would simply do so.
I could just repeatedly invade with all my power.
Repeatedly using forbidden spells would be an effective move.
I could just sprinkle some destruction and the world would decline by itself.
However, what I truly wanted to achieve was to maintain world peace by uniting humanity to go against the greater evil known as the Demon Lord.
One didn’t even need to think to know that a series of wars was a bad idea.
Even if heralds were to appear, I needed to hide my intentions and to handle the situation appropriately.
“Then we’ll go and keep an eye on those two heralds. I’d like to sabotage them for a bit, but I ask if I could do so at my discretion.”
“Aah, I leave it to your judgment.”
I gave my trust to Luciana, who left the room enthusiastically.
Luciana’s skill was unrivalled in the field after all.
She would be able to do it properly, even if the heralds were her opponents.
Contrary to her happy-go-lucky personality, she always took her work seriously.
She was a very reliable executive.
I sat back on the throne.
While using my free hand to prop up my chin, I looked at the document I held t.
It is a crucial moment from here on…
The Demon Lord’s Territory was being strengthened dramatically.
Meanwhile, the other nations have begun joining hands for the sake of subjugating me.
Even the strongest people known as the heralds have joined the war.
I would be forced to make choices, much more than before.
The options I took would greatly affect how the world would become.
I had to be careful and confront the problems head-on.
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