Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 229

Welcome to first in a batch release…

Spiders good, elves bad?

229 – The Mastermind

Now then. I’ve gotten accepted by the hoodlum and gained the right to eat three full meals a day. Back to stress-free lazing around, ahem, make that being able to concentrate on my own projects.

Among my clones, the group in the Elro Great Labyrinth should soon reach the entrance on the other side. However, due to humans occasionally coming and going, in order to not raise suspicions every individual must proceed carefully so as to not be discovered. It seems like doing that will take up more time than actually walking through the Great Labyrinth. Incidentally, my babies are starting to return to their original den. I’m making them link up with the babies protecting the Queen in suspended animation and soon I think I’ll be able to let them do as they like within the Labyrinth. Unlike my clones, they’ve already become independent of me, so I have to allow them a certain amount of freedom.

The rest are in charge of intelligence gathering in the demon territory. As I divulged to the hoodlum, the 7th army have been making odd movements. The hoodlum should be able to handle them, but I guess I’ll cooperate with him to guard against the improbable event of them breaking through. Since it wouldn’t be good for the demons’ preparations to become disordered.

In addition, I must eliminate those who were behind this incident. The bunch who instigated the 7th army commander Warkis to try to stage a coup d’état.

I’d sent one of my clones to attach to the 7th army to monitor them. There it found Warkis and a disguised man. At the mansion of the lord where the 7th army are stationed, there in the innermost room.

「Delivery of the weapons will be done soon. The preparations will then be almost completed.」

Thus speaks the man with the I-am-a-bad-guy face to the disguised man. A boringly obvious third-rate jobber. Sheesh, from his appearance to his greedy expression, perhaps he’s interested in becoming the Demon King, is the sort of imagery that this sadly deceptive scene brings to mind. Mr Third-rate, ahem, Warkis the 7th army commander, is pushing the obvious bad-guy angle even further by smoking a cigarette.

「I’m grateful to you. Since it’s thanks to you that I should be able to take early action.」
「It’s a matter of interests aligning. No thanks are necessary.」

The disguised man replies indifferently. He is the one. He’s the real criminal of this coup d’état. The ringleader supplying weapons etc to the 7th army and setting up the control of intelligence.

Basically, this whole coup d’état is a farce designed to fail. With merely the 7th army taking action, it’s a scheme that’d be dead on arrival. I’m sure he’s assuming the battle will be won quickly, but while his troops will be fatigued from marching, they must face the uninjured 4th army in a disadvantageous castle siege. If they take too long reinforcements will rush over from other cities and be crushed, and even without that their chances of victory are slim. Let’s say things go well for arguments sake – even a fragment of the Demon King’s power is enough to crush them easily. From the start the 7th army has no chance of victory.

Nevertheless, the reason why I leaked the intelligence to the hoodlum, was because of the existence of this man. He’s fishy. I’m using a clone for observation, but every time I lose sight of him in transit. It shouldn’t be possible to fool the eyes of my clone, so I think he’s escaping with Space Magic.

There shouldn’t be many who can make use of Space Magic. Probably the number of people in the whole world who have the Skill for Space Magic can be counted on one hand. That’s how difficult Space Magic is. Even with the help of system assistance, there’s nobody who can master it that easily. The only users of Space Magic that I know of, are the Demon King and that magician who applied to be my apprentice. The Demon King has the skill for Space Magic, but her skill level is low enough that she can’t do much with it. In other words, it means that the only master of Space Magic I know of is that magician. That’s how scarce it is. Though back when I was using it like crazy I hadn’t really realised that fact. Oh that reminds me, Kuro also used it like crazy.

The advent of someone using Space Magic is plenty enough reason for caution. On top of that I don’t get his objectives. While under surveillance, amongst the various information the disguised man provided to Mr Third Rate, there was some on the existence of the Demon King. In other words, it seems that this coup d’état is setup to kill the Demon King.

I don’t get why he’s trying to do that. But, the most important thing to note is that this disguised man knows about the existence of the Demon King when only a fraction of humans should do so. He has the ability to slip through my surveillance eyes and has exposed the existence of the Demon King. In the Demon King’s territory, my clones have set up a perfect monitoring system. If there’s anyone suspicious in the Demon King’s territory, I won’t fail to notice. Which then means, that the existence of the Demon King has become noticed outside. How?

The most likely reasonable answer is that, before reaching the realm of the Demon King, we were being monitored. In which case, I also know what this disguised man is. He’s an elf.

That reminds me of when we rescued the vampire girl: that Po-something elf leader knew about the Demon King. Considering the power of the Demon King, it wouldn’t be strange if that secretive bunch would add another thing to monitor. Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s at the level where they also took notice of me. If we’ve been monitored the whole time then it makes sense.

Perhaps for the elves, it’s more like that the Demon King has been recognised not so much as the Demon King but the oldest Divine Beast. Then, after we reached the realm of the Demon King, they hypothesized that the oldest Divine Beast became the Demon King. Finally, believing that existence to be a threat, they formed a plan in order to tempt the 7th army into erasing it.

With this it can be pretty much explained using logic. But, there’s still things I don’t get. If they’ve determined that the Demon King is the oldest Divine Beast, then they should know of her power as well. Even if they’re able to make her come to blows with the 7th army, they can’t think she’d be killed. I wonder if they have some other objective. Who knows, maybe they have a secret weapon to destroy the Demon King or something.

Either way, I can’t get careless. That’s why I came up with the plan to have the hoodlum strike first to take the wind from their sails. Strike pre-emptively and completely. Then I’ll watch my opponent. Apparently the elf leader can do something like my resurrection eggs, even if you kill him he doesn’t die, so even if he’s gotten rid of it likely won’t have much effect. In that case, on determining all of his plans, then I’ll crush him. Simple and easy to understand, yup.

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 228
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 230