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Chapter 33: The Sage Enslaves the Elven Clan
The Imperial Army was annihilated.
The Demon Lord’s army, led by Henry, pushed back the reinforcements.
They may have been in charge of mopping up the elven villages, but they must not have thought that the main army would be destroyed.
Even I couldn’t help but feel pity for the reinforcements, seeing the undead and demons that showed up to greet them.
Every last corpse of the Imperial Army was turned into an undead.
Those that had missing parts molded together and formed grotesque four-legged abominations, created for the purpose of having demons mount them.
It was unnecessary this time, but I would like to prepare something like a cavalry unit at some point.
The Demon Lord’s army should be able to respond to various war situations.
The human armies too, will eventually come up with countermeasures.
We should be able to adopt a variety of tactics as well.
After the battle, we had gathered at a temporary base set up by the imperial army.
There were tens of thousands of undead newly added to the Demon Lord’s army, who had lined up in an orderly fashion.
Suited up in armor, the undead maintained an eerie silence.
The scene was quite impressive.
With such a large army, it would be impossible to enter the Forest of Yggdrasil.
Just stepping into the forest would have a considerably negative impact.
The elves would show rejection.
The best thing to do would be to send them home as soon as possible, to avoid unnecessary conflict.
“It was a refreshingly overwhelming victory. I think I’m going to have a nice drink tonight.”
Henry smiled with satisfaction.
He was dyed red with the blood of the enemies.
I didn’t see any injuries on him.
Henry was the first to leave the vanguard, but he fought a fierce hand to hand battle against the imperial army.
He fought like a war god, and the demons under his command were too afraid to approach him.
In fact, if they had approached him carelessly, there was a high possibility that they would have been collateral damage.
It can be said that the demons were wise in their decision.
“Wash yourself up before you drink.”
I used my magic to create water and poured it over Henry to wash away the blood.
Once the blood was sufficiently removed, I let it dry in the wind that I made to blow.
He still had important work to do.
I didn’t want him to be soaked in blood.
He had to at least look and act like a human being.
Afterwards, I said a few words of encouragement to the demons and sent them back to the capital with transfer magic.
The undead that had grown in number during the recent battle were sent away with them.
I’m sure Grom or Luciana will store them in an appropriate place over there.
In the worst-case scenario, we can just let them roam around the outskirts of the capital.
If there are some outside invaders, that’s enough to stop them.
The only ones left were me, Henry, and Logan.
The three of us would now head to the elf village to explain the series of events to the villagers.
Then we will grant the Mark of Servitude to those who have not yet received it.
The only reason I’m bringing Henry along is to give the elves some peace of mind.
It will make a somewhat better impression rather than if I were to go alone as an undead.
The concept of enslavement might draw some ire, but it couldn’t be helped.
Logan had informed them in advance that the Demon Lord’s army was coming.
I’ve also been to the village once and have set up barriers and defensive magic.
I’d like to think there will be any major confusion.
We transferred to the Forest of Yggdrasil and headed to the village on foot.
Once we passed through the barriers, we found a large group of elves waiting for us.
Roughly counting, there were about six hundred of them.
According to my perception magic, everyone living in the village was gathered here.
They must have been waiting for the Chief to return.
It was understandable that they were worried.
Logan had accompanied the Demon Lord’s army to attack the Imperial army.
The situation was worrisome in many ways.
Logan stood in front of the elves.
Amidst the silence, he began to speak.
“The Imperial Army has been annihilated. By the hands of none other than the Demon Lord’s army.”
There was a stir in the hall.
The elves knew the power of the mighty Imperial Army.
They had just heard that such an existence had been destroyed so easily.
The abrupt announcement was hard to believe.
“Our clan has been saved from the crisis of our survival. We must repay the favour.”
When Logan had said that much, some of the elves raised their voices in protest.
“You mean to say that we repay with servitude!? If we are going to be ruled over then they are no different than the imperial army!”
“The Chief wants us to be slaves of a lowly undead!”
It was as if the protests had been planned beforehand.
I’m sure they were planning to respond in this way as soon as Logan informed them of the existence of the Demon Lord’s army.
Henry, standing beside me, made a show of picking up his bow, so I gave him a casual glare.
He may have been annoyed by the elves’ refusal, but if he shot someone dead here, things would get out of hand.
We must stay on the sidelines.
Logan, on the other hand, remained resolute in his stance.
He affirmed in a composed tone.
“That’s right.” he said. “In order to fight back the force of the imperial army, we have succumbed to a force beyond that.”
Again a murmur spread among the elves, but this time it was mixed with strong curses.
It seems that the elves living in this land are not a monolithic culture.
There are some planning to overthrow Logan, the chief, out of office.
The details of the situation are not clear, but it seems that there is a lot of discord swirling around.
Call me a dastard, call me a coward— but I’m the chief. I made my choice according to the responsibilities I have been entrusted. And I don’t regret it.”
Following Logan’s words, the elves instantly fell silent.
Even those who had been abusing him shrunk back.
In the face of his drive, they were unable to say anything.
That was the weight of his words.
“If you have a problem with this, you can abandon the village. I won’t blame you for it. Those who remain in the village will receive the mark of servitude. You have a choice to make here, right now.”
Logan cut his words off there and stood quietly with his mouth closed.
It was to express that he would say nothing more.
The elves who were left to choose looked at each other.
The one who had objected hesitated, as if they wanted to say something.
However, when they sensed Logan’s disagreeable mood, they whispered their complaints before leaving.
Others followed, albeit sporadically.
They had given up on Logan’s opinions and policies.
Logan did not stop them.
He just quietly waited for the villagers to make their choice.
I was the only one who knew that the fists clenched behind his back were trembling slightly.
It can’t be helped. I understand the feeling of rejection.
Logan made this suggestion with the determination to be hated by his clan.
There had to be a more amiable way to proceed.
He was compelled to make the decision in spite of this in order to clear the fate of the clan.
He didn’t like to be ambiguous.
It was almost a kind of self-sacrifice.
He would be forced to bear stigma for the rest of his life…or perhaps even longer.
Logan accepted it.
Even if he was called a fool, he decided to work for the good of his clan.
His majestic appearance had a commonality with the way I, the Demon Lord, should be.
Eventually, the elves had made their choice.
The majority of the elves remained where they were.
The acting chief- Logan’s sister – was also there.
Less than a tenth of them had left.
The elves present had decided to entrust the future of their clan to Logan.
“I understand your intentions. Do you have any regrets?”
Logan, who was attracting a lot of attention, asked them.
No one said a word.
It was a silent affirmation.
After acknowledging this, Logan turned to me and said,
“That’s all. We are now slaves to the Demon Lord.”
“Very well. I accept your oath.”
After hearing his declaration, I placed the Mark of Servitude.
A common mark was placed on the backs of the hands of all the elves present.
I stepped forward in front of the elves.
“What needs to be done is done. I now order the elves to move to the Demon Lord’s territory.”
The sudden announcement made the elves very upset.
Most of them were confused, and some of them were even angry.
“What do you mean? We accept slavery, but we can’t abandon this forest. Even if we were to emigrate, some of us would have to stay behind to manage it.”
Logan, as expected, pinned me down with a stern look.
For the elven race, the Forest of Yggdrasil is more important than life itself.
In order to protect the forest, they abandoned their dignity and became slaves.
And yet, they were suddenly asked to emigrate.
They must have felt that their family’s pride and determination were being belittled.
Of course, this was a misunderstanding.
I told the elves in a firm tone of voice.
“The elven clan and the Forest of Yggdrasil are already my property. I’m taking them back with me.”