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Chapter 064 – Change [B]
Late at night, angry shouting could be heard throughout the forest.
In the moonlight, soldiers lined up around a large man, who sat on the ground with a big tree at his back.
They were the human army.
The expressions of the soldiers were stiff as they listened to the angry voice of the big man in silence. None of them had the courage to remind him that his loud voice would carry through the silence of night, attracting any demons that might be nearby.
But the big man shouted without any such concerns.
“—That— damned bastard—!!!!”
As a big, strong, human man, the warrior chief of the warrior corps that invaded this land — Arnold was indignant.
“Even though we had almost won!! It’s all that majin’s fault! Are you telling me we have to begin our invasion again from the start??!!”
Arnold’s whole body was covered in bandages.
They covered the wounds inflicted by the majin who had suddenly intruded upon their battle against the kalars two days ago.
Just before they claimed their victory against the kalars, almost every captain in the army had a taste of being brutally kicked away before falling from a great height.
Some had managed to preserve their lives due to trees softening the impact of their fall, but those with low LV were killed on impact by the initial kick.
And with most of the captains who led them now gone from the frontlines, the army was unable to maintain order and withdrew.
But under the lead of a captain who managed to avoid the majin’s attacks, they proceed to search for their comrades who were kicked away. They had managed to find Warrior Chief Arnold just a few moments earlier.
But, despite being seriously injured, he didn’t moan in pain from his wounds. Instead he was furious that he couldn’t do anything against the majin that attacked them.
If anyone were to speak to him, they would likely be hit as he vented his anger. Therefore, they all chose to stand still in silence.
However, that idle time ended abruptly as a man stepped forward from amongst the soldiers.
That man was the one captain who was fortunate enough to avoid the majin. He walked up to Arnold and spoke openly.
“…So, what should we do, Warrior Chief?”
“Aah?! What do you mean by that?!”
Arnold’s gaze shifted to where the man stood. Arnold’s eyes were painted red with anger. The soldiers collectively took a step back.
But without being affected, the captain continued coldly. With a calm tone,
“Should we order the army to withdraw?”
“Withdraw, you say?!
“Indeed,” continued the man.
“We have already completed all possible rescues and confirmed the number of personnel remaining. Also… although we don’t know why he’s there, with a majin present, a considerable struggle is to be expected if we insist on controlling the forest.”
“So you want to withdraw because of that?!”
DON, the sound of an impact rang out from his location. It was because Arnold had punched a large tree.
As leaves fluttered down around them, Arnold spoke with an increasingly loud voice,
“Don’t joke with me!! You want this great me to retreat?! There’s no way I’m doing that!! I am the strongest in this world!! Even if I have to fight that majin, I will just kill him the next chance I get!!”
“…So you mean we are to continue fighting?”
Arnorld immediately nodded at the captain’s words.
“Of course!! And next time I will win!!”
When the captain heard that, he was silent for a moment, and then his expression changed.
The corner of his mouth rose.
“I expected the warrior chief might say that. In that case, let’s begin our preparations.”
“Yes,” said the captain as he nodded. As he looked at the warrior chief who had regained his composure,
“We need some time to reorganize due to how many captains we lost. I can’t say the warrior chief’s body is in perfect condition either…”
“Aah?! This great me has no such problem!!”
“Yes, I know. Even so, reorganizing the army will cost us at least three days so we can’t make a big move either way. Therefore, the warrior chief needs to take it easy until then. Even if the warrior chief can still fight, the soldiers can’t move properly.”
“…In that case, well, I guess I’ll allow it.”
Arnold reluctantly nodded, despite his dissatisfaction. As expected, he actually needed to tend his wounds and wait for his body to recover. He knew the captain was speaking with that in mind. As the captain received Arnold’s approval, he continued his words.
“Then let’s return to the garrison as soon as possible.”
“I’m well aware of where we’re going!! Okay, let’s go!!!”
“Gahahaha,” laughed the warrior chief as he swiftly departed, not bothering to wait for the soldiers.
At the soldiers bewildered stares, the captain said,
“You’re all to follow the warrior chief. I’m going to check the area.”
“Ha, hah! The forest at night is dangerous, so please return quickly!”
The soldiers said that and proceeded to chase after Arnold’s retreating form in the darkness of the forest.
The sound of their footsteps grew faint, and eventually,
There was no human presence around him.
The man was alone. He proceeded to kneel down in a lonely spot on the forest floor and,
“—Oh God. Did I do well?”
He prayed on the spot.
There was nobody else there. However, he continued kneeling and asking the void.
He prayed in that spot for a long time, but nothing happened to him or his surroundings.
When the man finally stood up, he reached into his pocket.
“…I didn’t hear anything today either.”
The item he took out was a small book.
It was an important scripture for him and his fellow believers.
This man was a true believer in a certain religion that was established around one hundred years ago.
“Oh, God. Why do you not give me your wisdom…?”
He opened the scripture and whispered to himself as if he were drunk.
“…Perhaps there isn’t enough conflict in the world…?” 1
Although his words would likely confuse a normal person, he said such words only to the darkness of the forest around him.
But perhaps he had convinced himself, since he closed the scripture and returned it to his pocket. Then he put his hands together to pray to the heavens,
“…If that is the case, may the result of this battle be an offering to God.”
With that said, the man swayed slightly as he left his spot and continued on through the forest.
—Leonhart’s vacation, ninth day. Maou Castle.
A man was sitting on the wall of the Maou Castle.
He was a creature who exuded an inhuman presence.
It was the majin who had brown skin, green hair, and a large hole in his belly, Galtia.
“…Ah—… this cold stew sure is delicious…”
Although he was outside, he had spread his meal out in front of him and began to devour it.
But maybe because he wasn’t as focused on the dishes as he usually was, he didn’t give them much evaluation.
Galtia’s eyes were focused on the plains beyond the gate of Maou Castle. His attention was both there and places beyond what he could see.
While consuming his food, he kept his eyes focused on the front while paying attention to the presence behind him, within the Maou Castle.
His eyes were hoping to see his male friend.
Majin Leonhart. He was the most important existence to the current Demon Army.
That man who went on vacation nine days ago and is currently still away from the castle.
Leonhart, who was both one of Four Elite Majins as well as a demon army officer, was busier than any other majin. Therefore, everyone agreed to grant him his vacation and sent him off willingly.
However, it made Galtia think. I guess he’ll be considerate because of that.
Although Leonhart did take the vacation, considering the exchange they had before his departure, Gatlia had thought that perhaps he might return home early.
Leonhart already told them all that he was leaving to go climb the Rising Dragon Mountain. They had expected he would return within five days if he was quick about it, or at least that was what Galtia had expected.
“That guy… he sure is late…”
But unlike Galtia’s expectation, today was already the ninth day since Leonhart’s vacation began. Therefore, he couldn’t help but mutter under his breath.
However, Galtia couldn’t afford to wait for him much longer. Personally, he was optimistic and didn’t mind if Leonhart took a long time with his vacation. He should just do what he likes, thought Galtia.
But the presence behind him had made it so that was no longer possible. Even now, the presence had began to swell greatly,
“Oops, this is going to be a hassle.”
As Galtia sensed it, he immediately stood up. He grabbed the remaining food with both hands and started stuffing it all into his mouth, as if trying to inhale it.
“…Thanks for the food. Well then, let’s go.”
Galtia jumped off the wall with the empty food dish and headed to a certain place immediately. Then, he again thought of the friend who hadn’t returned yet,
…Really… things are getting very troublesome without you here… I guess I should make my move, huh?
As he cussed lightly, Galtia proceeded to his destination.
—It was to his master, the maou — to Ssulal’s study.
Ssulal: “It’s finally the time for the main heroine to appear! (I’ll be going to kill those two…)”
Hunty: “…You’re right. (So you self-proclaim that title as yours…)”
Galtia: “…Ooh, you’re right. (Isn’t Kesselring more heroine-like in this chapter…?)”
Carol: “Those two are clearly the heroines in this chapter!! (…You’re right.)”
Launea: “…?! (Your façade and real thoughts are mixed up!)”
Raizen: “… (I wonder what happened to me? perhaps I’m still waiting there…?)”
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