Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 37: The Sage Receives the Baptism of the Imperial City
It had been a few days since the various territories of the Demon Lord’s domain had provided us with personnel.
Something suddenly crossed my mind, and I went to the balcony of the castle.
From there, I gazed at the castle town.
As I looked around, I found a block where people were gathering.
The capital had been uninhabited until recently.
The people who had been offered to the army were living there.
They took up residence in the abandoned houses as they were, and there seemed to be no shortage of other supplies.
Even though they lived in the same city, the people were far away from where the demons lived.
It was hard to say if the two sides were on good terms.
I’ve heard that several fights had already broken out; that can hardly be brushed off as mere quarreling.
Ideally, people who live in the same land should be able to coexist peacefully.
I want them to have a relationship that transcends the boundaries of race.
I believe that this is possible because there have been precedents.
Humans who were once slaves of the former Demon Lord’s army were now living together with demons in peace.
They treated each other as neighbors and colleagues without regard for their past relationship.
Their unique circumstances must have brought them closer together.
I would be happy if the people who came here to provide manpower would also do so.
For now though, we were at an impasse.
We could only wait for time to solve the problem.
What a pathetic Demon Lord I am…
It is at times like these that I can’t help but notice my own helplessness.
The only thing I can use is violence.
In this respect, I am unrivaled, but when I’m faced with such a delicate issue, I can do nothing.
I have never been good at human relations, even when I was alive.
Now that I am an immortal, I feel even more uncomfortable with it.
It must be strange; after all, I call myself a Demon Lord.
However, this was definitely a challenge that needed to be overcome.
Strength alone is not enough to continue my reign as the immortal evil of the world.
I have to grow too.
As I was immersed in my self-critical thoughts, I heard a lackadaisical voice.
It was Luciana who floated up next to me.
She had flown in from the castle garden.
She began to speak with a report in one hand.
“I wouldn’t call it a problem… but I just came to report it.”
When I prompted her to continue, she flipped through the report.
It was a communication from the Bone Minister. The Imperial Army seems to be using a strange weapon, and he wants the Demon Lord to take a look at it.
“Strange weapon, huh…”
I stroked my chin and pondered.
Had the Empire developed some kind of weapon?
Although I didn’t get the impression that their technology was particularly advanced, I don’t think this was a false report.
However, there was nothing noteworthy about the Imperial army when they were annihilated in the Forest of Yggdrasil.
Could they have been carrying a hidden, secret weapon?
I can’t deny the possibility that it was revealed after we invaded the vicinity of the Imperial Capital.
If one were afraid of being counterattacked, one would want to avoid using any means possible.
If I were in their position, I would do the same.
At any rate, Grom said he wanted me to take a look at it, so I couldn’t just ignore his concerns.
I’m genuinely interested in it myself.
“Are you struggling in terms of the war situation?”
“From the reports, I’m getting the impression that we’re doing okay. It seems that our army is keeping their distance for now and watching the situation. They’re trying to minimize the damage.”
It’s not a bad decision.
If they were too conceited and carry out an attack only to receive a painful counterattack, it would be a pitiful display.
Grom seemed to be following a policy of prioritizing the lives of his men.
“What do you think? Should we go see?”
“Let’s go. I can strike the imperial capital while I’m at it.”
When I answered, Luciana put her hand on her forehead and sighed.
She shrugged her shoulders in a dramatic motion.
“Ah, here we go again, the Demon Lord’s hobby… ah, or should I perhaps call it an addiction to invasion?”
“It’s not a hobby or an addiction, it’s a necessary action to take.”
“Fufu, you’re right~”
I wonder what’s so interesting about this exchange.
I haven’t a clue what her sensibilities are.
As I continued the preparations for the transfer magic, I caught a glimpse of Grom far in the distance.
When you have an inexhaustible supply of magic power, teleporting like this is no trouble at all.
“Ye~s, take care.”
Luciana waved her hand in a carefree fashion.
Before I knew it, she had a glass of red liquid in her hand.
It was probably fruit wine.
There seemed to be an implicit intention to not accompany me in her actions.
Perhaps the battle was too troublesome for her.
I had no choice but to leave behind words of parting for her.
“I’ll have Grom stay with you in my absence. The two of you get along and wait.”
“Wow, I am so happy.”
Luciana said in a voice that didn’t have a shred of emotion in it.
Luciana’s eyes were utterly dull.
This was how much she hated being alone with Grom.
It was a terribly strange relationship, even though they always play about and engage in frivolous talk with each other.
Ignoring the listless Luciana, I activated the transfer magic.
The destination was a desolate land.
It was caved in here and there, with many large gouges in the ground.
In the distance, I could see a city with a huge outer wall.
It must be the imperial capital, given its location.
“Oh! It’s the Demon Lord!”
I heard a familiar voice from below.
Looking down, I saw Grom tightly concealed between the narrow trenches in the ground.
It was as if he was half trapped.
His jawbone rang as he cheered my arrival.
“I am truly grateful for you taking all the trouble to come here. This lowly Grom feels like tears might flow from my gratitude.”
“You spoke of a strange weapon. Where is it?”
I asked Grom, pushing aside his exaggerated praise.
He pointed his index finger toward the Imperial City.
“It’s over there. They’re quite imprudent, aiming at us from a distance. Only me and the archer can destroy it, but I wanted the Demon Lord to see it first.”
I observed the ramparts of the imperial city.
There were metal boxes set up at regular intervals there.
Each box was about the size of a house.
A pipe was attached to the side of the box.
On its surface, a spell was engraved, and it glowed faintly.
The shape was similar to a cannon, but its structure was clearly different.
I had never seen anything that huge before, so it was probably something else.
It was certainly a bizarre weapon.
It made sense that Grom had asked for my presence.
“Where are the others?”
“They are resting with the archer in an occupied city behind us. I was going to send them out again after I decided what to do with the weapon.”
“Good decision. Well done.”
“I-I am truly humbled by your praise!”
Elated, Grom’s whole head erupted into flames.
My words were not just flattery, but my genuine opinion that Grom made a good decision.
For now, I’ll need to examine that weapon.
It’s unlikely that it was manufactured with Imperial technology.
Or has a new magic system been discovered in the last ten years?
I don’t remember hearing any news like that.
In order to investigate the weapon, I created a force field and started walking in the air.
I tried to approach the imperial capital like that.
“Demon Lord, please be careful. If you approach carelessly, you will…”
Grom warned me from behind.
Before he could finish, several gun barrels went into action.
Just as I realised they had all aimed at me, magic power surged in them as they spewed fire.
They drew spirals as they flew towards me at high speed.
Metal cylinders with rounded tips that approached me faster than the speed of sound.