The Melancholy of the Demon Army Officer
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 050 – Battle of the Great Forest [A]
—Leonhart’s vacation: Fourth day, Great Forest region.
The woods were buzzing with activity.
The sky was clear and daylight streamed through the gaps between the trees.
Beneath the canopy, there were noisy creatures scurrying around.
They weren’t demons though, they were human men.
They were a group of warriors affiliated with the kingdom to the south of this Great Forest, all of whom were equipped with iron armor and swords, and were moving in a hectic manner.
Among them, there were some who didn’t move as much.
At the center of the encampment, there were men who wore more luxurious armor compared to the soldiers around them. They were the captains who commanded each unit, and from the calmness on their faces, it was clear that they were veteran soldiers.
And even among those people, there was a certain person with a bigger body compared to mighty soldiers.
The big man, who had a rugged body synonymous with ‘muscular ridges’, wore thick armour tailored for him and sat firmly on a rock.
His eyes were looking into the depths of the forest but he wasn’t seeing anything in particular.
However, those eyes seemed to be expecting something.
The man couldn’t wait any longer and called out to the nearby soldiers.
“—Uoi!! Isn’t it about time for you all to get ready?!!”
It was a loud voice befitting his large body. Loud enough the captains around him thought it was likely everyone else in the encampment heard him too.
Many reacted to the booming voice, but only one person came forward as their representative.
“Please wait for a little bit longer, Warrior chief Arnold!”
The big man named Arnold turned his deeply carved face in the direction of the voice, and once again asked loudly,
“How long is this ‘little bit longer’?!”
“If I were to specify — Perhaps we can sortie in around ten minutes!”
At the captain’s words, Arnold nodded deeply.
“OU!! Just say so from the beginning, fool!”
“Hah! I’m terribly sorry, Your Excellency warrior chief Arnold!”
Arnold nodded again at the captain who saluted and apologised.
As he tapped his knee, he then said towards the soldiers,
“I still have time for leisure if it’s 10 minutes then! Hey, you over there!”
“Heh? Do-do you mean me?!”
Yeah, Arnold thought internally while outwardly showing a grin. He ignored the troubled soldier who was suddenly called out, and raised three fingers while listing out loudly.
“—Liquor, sex, or a duel! Choose which one I should do!!”
The soldier was baffled by the words of his superior. However, the gaze surrounding them wasn’t an accusatory look and more of a resigned acknowledgement of, “it’s happening again”.
Either Arnold didn’t notice or just didn’t care as he continued bellowing,
“If it’s liquor, bring me some liquor barrels! If it’s sex, bring me the woman we caught! If it’s duelling—”
He then paused and grabbed the big object behind him, bringing forth a battle axe which boasted a size comparable to that of Arnold’s big physique. He grabbed it then proclaimed,
“—Then fight me!!”
His fighting spirit unleashed from his body and exploded into his surroundings. The experienced soldiers around him were unable to prevent their bodies from trembling due to the aura of a man far stronger than themselves.
As for the soldier who was caught directly in it,
He didn’t know what to do and was unable to properly form his words. He knew well that he needed to reply as soon as possible in his mind.
There were only two choices — he needed to avoid the duels at all costs. Therefore, it was either liquor or sex. All he needed to do was to voice out either of them, but that very voice was unable to come out.
As the soldier rationalised internally, the Arnold beyond his vision already began to frown with impatience. No good. I have to answer now, the moment he resolved to do so—
“—Too slow, so troublesome!! Let’s just do everything!!!”
Arnold raised his voice and declared so. The soldiers were stupefied but Arnold once again pointed out and called out to another two hapless soldiers,
“You, bring me some liquor barrels!! And you, bring me some women!!”
The errant soldiers shivered for a moment; it seemed they wanted to avoid further trouble as they immediately agreed and went to fetch the things he requested, at an escape-like momentum.
Then Arnold stood up, approaching the initial soldier,
“Alright! You’ll have to duel with me!!”
Please give me a break, the soldier’s expression seemed to say, but he had no way to refuse.
As a result, he had no choice but to hold his sword up while trembling. Arnold opened his mouth wide as he saw that,
“Gahahahahahaha!! Don’t worry, I won’t go as far as to kill you!! I’ll just go wild for a bit, and if you end up unable to move afterwards, I’ll let you stay at the back later, okay?!”
The soldier sighed a small breath of relief when he heard that, however,
“Well, if you get hit in a bad spot, you might end up dead anyway, so defend properly! Gahahahahaha!!”
“E-Eehh?! No-no way…?!”
There’s no way I can survive that. The soldier almost whined in such a pitiful voice, but it couldn’t be helped.
He looked around for help, but,
“Warrior chief, please make sure you are done once it’s time to sortie, okay-?”
“The duel will end in a flash anyway, I think the liquor will take the longest-”
“Hahahah, you’re right! The warrior chief is a premature ejaculator anyway, so sex would be over in no time!”
The veteran captains were all laughing with each other while watching the soldiers from a distance. Even though they were moments away from a sortie, they already got out their respective liquor bottles and muttered so. Did they intend to have a drinking party before the sortie?
Arnold laughed loudly in response.
“Gahahahahahah! No problem, I’ll finish it all in no time!! The liquor, sex, and duel—“
After a breath, he swung his battle axe round.
“—And the battle against the kalar race as well! You guys, we’ll conquer them by today!! Be sure to warm up properly!!”
Everyone cheered in response to Arnold’s command.
They were the heavy hitters of the group of warriors affiliated to the kingdom.
They were elites that boasted even more power than the vanguards that came by yesterday,
“Gahahahahahahahahahah!!! I hope there’s something fun today as well!!!”
The man who said that — Arnold Hogan.
He, who was the strongest warrior of the kingdom, spearheaded the attack on the Kalar’s Settlement.
“…It’s rather noisy around here.”
Suddenly, Majin Leonhart, who felt the forest ground shake, frowned and muttered.
To enter the Rising Dragon Mountain, he needed to pass through the Great Forest Region that surrounded it and so he did.
However, he stopped once in a while using the Rising Dragon Mountain as a landmark, seen occasionally through the gaps of the trees. Then he looked back slightly,
“…Is it because of that group of humans I passed earlier?”
The reason he thought so was because he witnessed something before he entered the forest.
There were large groups of people who went in and out of the forest, creating a somewhat imposing atmosphere.
…I believe it’s most likely an army.
From the atmosphere and equipment they carried, Leonhart judged that they were a human army aiming to attack the forest.
Leonhart, who was usually in charge of the Demon Army as a demon army officer and in a position of command over them, learned this through his past experience and knowledge.
The simple reason was that this forest wasn’t an area under human jurisdiction, but the energy from them caught Leonhart’s attention more. Even from afar, they moved swiftly and vigorously; even the common foot soldiers among them had high morale.
Leonhart thought, The human armies were getting more aggressive recently.
After all, everyone prefers to attack and threaten another party rather than get threatened instead.
It was something almost intrinsic to a living being.
Regardless of how beautifully they painted it, humans prefer to deprive others. It was a part of human cruelty.
Of course, protecting each other could also increase their survival and defensive instinct, and their morale as well, but it wouldn’t last as long in comparison. Regardless of how strong a person’s mental fortitude was, the morale would eventually drop the longer the war lasted. That’s not even mentioning that most of them were common foot soldiers.
Commanders struggle to maintain morale in a defensive battle.
In comparison, they don’t struggle as much in offence.
They could easily increase morale just by adjusting various conditions such as their battalion numbers, opponents, and or the subsequent rewards.
Regardless of how tired they were, morale would still be maintained as long as they were at an advantage. Although the advantage in question varied depending on the situation, simply having it be offensive or defensive made a clear difference.
And in the human army he saw earlier, they clearly manifested such morale.
Their uplifting atmosphere on the site and the tense atmosphere around them made one’s skin tingled.
It was exactly the thing Leonhart was familiar with — the thing he feels on the battlefield.
Therefore, Leonhart hesitated for a moment. What should I do? He thought.
The fact that they were attacking this forest meant that their opponent was without a doubt the kalar race. It was obvious since the kalar lived in this forest region.
And he had no connection to the kalar race — not actually the case.
It was the origin of one of his apostles — Hunty was of the kalar race. Due to their relationship, Leonhart has never allowed the Demon Army to invade the Kalar’s Settlement within the last century.
Well, there was also the fact that management would become troublesome if the battlefront spread too wide, and since demons were mostly satisfied with their battles against humans, there was no need to involve the demi-human species, so he never intended to invade the land to begin with anyway.
Also, although he already forgot when exactly it happened, there was a time he approved a demon general’s request to attack the Kalar’s forest and lead his unit to strike the Kalar’s Settlement.
However, said army was easily repelled by the kalars. Although there were no Majin in the unit at the time, Leonhart never thought they would be so easily defeated like that, so he was surprised. But now that he thought back about it,
…I guess it was Hunty who repelled them away…?
Even prior to being turned into an apostle, it would have been possible for Hunty to repel a unit of the Demon Army.
But in that case, it sure was strange for no such reports to come up—
Leonhart erased such thoughts from his mind. There was something he ought to be thinking about rather than the past.
With that in mind, Leonhart was considering it, but,
…To directly interfere… I guess that’s not quite it.
His idea was — to participate in battle.
Logically, he should help to repel the humans due to his relationship with the kalar race. He did think like that, but immediately shook the thought away.
…There’s also the fact that it feels weird to participate in a war in the midst of my vacation… but more than that, I lack any justification to help.
Although it didn’t count as part of his duties as a demon army officer, he still has his standing as a majin. It was bad for him to suddenly treat a demi-human species like the kalar as an ally with no good reason.
If only he was requested directly by Hunty or if there was some other merit to doing so, he could help without hesitation— but unfortunately, there was no such thing.
Besides, it wasn’t like it was guaranteed that the kalar would lose anyway.
Although the human army possessed quite formidable numbers, according to Leonhart’s judgement, it was impossible for the battle to end within a single day.
In that case. Leonhart once again moved towards his destination, the Rising Dragon Mountain, with that thought in mind.
…Well, I’ll help in secret if they are in danger when I return…
Leonhart hurried away once he assured himself with that thought. He had already spent a good amount of time travelling since he first entered the forest, and he was tired of seeing the same scenery.
…Rather, this forest is really troublesome. I thought I was headed straight in the direction of the mountain, though…
Don’t tell me I got lost, Leonhart walked through the forest and laughed dryly to himself,
He found a treasure chest dango in the forest.1
It was a species of a demon which had flesh colored hands and a face growing from the ground. This rare demon species, much like their namesake, had treasure in their possession.
As Leonhart eyed it, he casually swung his sword. However,
It escaped. He had missed his target and upended a tree at its root instead.
Leonhart huffed. Treasure chest dango were a species of demon with innately high speed and evasion capability.
There were many adventurers who aimed to defeat one, but half-assed ability won’t even allow them to land a scratch on it.
…Even so, that treasure chest dango sure is quite capable.
Although he only did it casually, the fact it managed to evade anyway meant it was quite stro— he meant, quite fast among its species.
“…Let’s forget about it for now.”
Leonhart left the scene. It wasn’t like he couldn’t chase after the escaping treasure chest dango, but he didn’t have that much interest in it to do so to begin with.
Therefore, he moved again towards the Rising Dragon Mountain. and quickly forgot about the treasure chest dango from earlier.
—One hour later.
“…This is weird. I can’t reach it despite how long I’ve been walking.”
Leonhart tilted his head at the woods.
Distance wise, he should have been out of the forest already, but all he saw was a never-ending stretch of greenery. On top of that, he felt like he was walking around in circles.
As he pondered deeply, Leonhart came to one possibility.
…It can’t be, right?
But that shouldn’t be the case. Even if the forest itself was known for being easy to get lost in, for a decent adult, or rather, a majin who has lived for over 300 years to get lost in the forest was just—
Leonhart shook his head and walked forward again. He was sure he would eventually leave the forest if he just kept walking.
Then as he turned around,
It was there again, the treasure chest dango.
Was it the same one he encountered earlier? Although Leonhart couldn’t see its emotion, he could feel that it also felt surprised.
Leonhart slowly swung his sword.
It evaded again. The slash missed the target and cut into the nearby rock instead.
The treasure chest dango stared at Leonhart, its black eyes and mouth seemed to be directed at him,
It squinted its eyes and its body shook at him, making Leonhart feel a little irritated.
…No, wait. Calm down.
Leonhart exhaled roughly as he controlled his frustration. It was weird to get irritated by such a thing.
What was important right now was to leave the forest. He didn’t have to nitpick the fact it avoided his attack—
…Hm, now that I think about it, I met it earlier…
In that case, that reaction was—2
…No, let’s not think too hard about it. Even if it was actually the case, it wasn’t that big a deal.
It shouldn’t affect him so much even if he was ridiculed by a mere treasure chest dango for such a reason.
…Just ignore it, ignore it.
Leonhart gave a sidelong glance at the treasure chest dango and once again proceeded through the forest.
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