Editor: Frozen Ink
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Chapter 36: The Sage Invites the Humans in
A few days later.
The invasion of the Empire’s territory by the Demon Lord’s army was proceeding smoothly.
A significant portion of their army that had been dispatched to the Forest of Yggdrasil had been destroyed.
As expected, the empire was found to be lacking in strength here and there.
They wanted to get the Forest of Yggdrasil and the elves so badly that they had to put that much effort into it.
While I could understand their feelings, I couldn’t help them.
The Empire had gathered troops from all over the country to fight against the onslaught of the Demon Lord’s army.
However, even with their desperate measures, they were only able to slow down the invasion and the damage we suffered itself was kept to a minimum.
The Demon Lord’s army was advancing while turning corpses into undead and increasing their strength.
The Imperial Army, which is synonymous with strength, excels at using a strategy that relies on overwhelming numbers, but this did not work with the Demon Lord’s Army.
This is because they cannot take advantage of their numbers.
The undead, who know neither fatigue nor pain, can take on all attacks head on.
However, these factors are only within the margin of error.
The most important cause is probably the presence of Grom and Henry on the front lines.
There is no force in the Imperial Army that can stop them.
No matter what schemes and tricks they try, they are as fragile as thin ice against the two leaders.
Henry’s shooting accurately killed the commander, and when the troops pace was in disarray, Grom slammed the miasma and magic onto them.
It was a simple method, but it was extremely effective.
It was also extremely difficult to deal with.
Even I, if I were to have limited magic I could use, might have a hard time attacking it.
According to regular reports, they were currently crossing the territory of the Empire at a slow pace.
They were proceeding while taking care of the physical exhaustion of their men.
It truly was the right judgement.
There was no need for them to hurry.
Living subordinates, like demons and elves, were very valuable.
The first priority was to keep them alive rather than rushing the march.
I also properly told them words to that effect firmly.
I’d be troubled if they carry out an unreasonable strategy in search of greater achievements.
Besides, as for the defence of the capital, I alone am sufficient.
I can deal with any kind of organization that descends on us.
There’s no need for the Demon Lord’s army to rush back.
I spent my time listening to the reports of the war brought in as I worked on the trivial paperwork and future plans.
Then one day, a large number of people arrived in front of the royal capital.
It was not a raid from another country.
It seemed that the people whom I had demanded from the lords had finally been dispatched.
In order to check on them, I transferred into the sky and looked down at them.
There were probably 20,000 to 30,000 people surrounded by the undead.
Most of them were brawny men, with a few women and children mixed in.
They were accompanied by a number of carriages.
They seemed to be carrying daily necessities and food.
It was a fairly large group, but the royal capital could easily accommodate them.
Currently, there was a surplus of land.
If we can stabilize the food supply, we will be able to accept ten times as many people promptly.
Now, let’s go greet them.
When I landed in front of the people, they were filled with surprise and fear.
It was a reaction I was already used to, so I didn’t think anything of it.
The succubus, who had been handling the situation beforehand, was casually standing behind me.
I spoke to the people, using voice amplification magic.
“You will now belong to the Demon Lord’s army. Do you have any objections?”
The people were silent at the sudden announcement.
It was clear that they were not happy about it.
However, no one said it out loud.
It was a wise decision.
I continued to speak in a perfunctory tone.
“The Demon Lord’s army is currently engaged in a war with the Imperial Army. Therefore, you all–”
As I was speaking, I sensed a presence approaching from the side.
Nothing seemed to exist there, yet the space seemed strangely blurry.
It’s probably a perception obfuscation spell similar to the one that was applied to Yggdrasil.
I followed my intuition and lowered my body.
Something passed over my head.
For now, it seems that I succeeded in evading the attack.
I grabbed the assassin’s body, pulled him down, and hit him with a light electric shock at point-blank range.
The pale light flashed, and perception obfuscation was lifted.
What appeared was a man dressed in black.
The man grunted and thrust out the dagger in his hand.
I dodged it, and crushed the hand holding it.
I then grabbed the man by the neck and lifted him up.
The face of the succubus behind me quickly changed colour as she feared for my safety.
“D-Demon Lord! Are you alright…!?”
“No problem. It seems that an assassin was mixed in with the personnel that were provided.”
The man was struggling to get out of my hands, but it was not possible.
My physical strength had been enhanced by magic.
It was not something that could be teared off by a mere human.
As I grabbed the man, I focused on the dagger that had fallen at my feet.
The blade was engraved with a holy attribute array.
It was a weapon meant to slay the undead.
It was very expensive and not something that an individual could easily purchase.
I asked the discomposed succubus.
“Find out the identity of this man. Which territory’s lord sent him?”
“Please wait a moment…”
The succubus flipped through the documents in her hand.
Once she confirmed the man’s identity, she reported to me the lord who had sent him.
The lord was one who had been subjugated early on.
I thought he prioritized self-preservation, but I had no idea he was planning something like this.
I was a little surprised.
As expected, this was something I could not tolerate.
“I’ll be right back.”
I told the succubus as I teleported.
The place I had transferred to was the city of the lord in question.
From there, I warped further in and broke into the lord’s mansion.
I walked down the corridor, ignoring the petrified servants, broke down a wall and stepped into a room in the back.
There, the lord was enjoying a drink served by women attending to him.
The lord and the women froze at the sight of me.
I held up the assassin in my grasp and asked, “Do you recognize this man’s face?”
The lord was shocked but quickly feigned composure.
He reacted as if he knew what was going on.
He had approved my assassination.
“I see. I get it now.”
I poured miasma into the assassin, and before the assassin could scream, he was burned to ash by black flames.
I dusted off my hands as I told the lord.
“The idea of the assassination was not a bad one, but you weren’t thorough enough. You can’t kill me with something like this.”
The lord raised an unintelligible scream.
I dragged him along as I transferred and returned to the royal capital where the people were waiting.
I flew up into the sky and spoke, emphasizing the lord’s presence.
“Everyone, I want you to see this man. He is the mastermind of the assassination. I have brought him here just now.”
The place was filled with a tense silence.
Most of the people were anticipating what would happen next.
I’m sure they’re right.
It was my role to keep up to their expectations.
“This is what happens to those who defy the Demon Lord’s army.”
As soon as I finished speaking, something strange occurred to the lord.
His toes turned black and spots appeared on them.
In addition, his skin began to split open, spewing mucus and foaming up as he collapsed.
It permeated his entire body.
What I applied was a curse of corruption.
The lord will continue to taste death while still alive.
His flesh and blood were rotting and dripping onto the ground.
The people watching them screamed and backed away.
Eventually, the lord was reduced to nothing but bones and clothes.
As soon as he dropped to the ground and I let go of his hands, the lord began to move on his own.
He ran away from the scene, making the sound of bones scraping together.
I felt the people gasp.
They shuddered at the gruesome manner in which the lord had died and how he had ended up.
It was perfect to make an example of him.
I turned to them and warned.
“There may be assassins still lurking amongst you, but I advice against proceeding. I don’t wish to waste lives in vain. If you are confident in your assassination skills, I will gladly buy you. I want you to use that power for the sake of the Demon Lord’s army. That’s all I have to say.”
I’ve conveyed what I wanted to say.
It’ll be fine to entrust the rest to my subordinates.
After I finished talking, I used transfer magic and returned to the castle.
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