Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 231
Third in the batch series…
A little tyranny never hurt anyone….
231 – The start of the politics of fear
In the end the coup d’état was subjugated easily after that. Warkis gave up on resisting to the bitter end, and surrendered. The 7th army collapsed.
The hoodlum heads towards the captured Warkis. I also stealthily attached a clone to him. If you think that my clones only come in the size of the palm of your hand then you’re badly mistaken. Though the performance is lower, I can also create clones the size of the tip of a finger. So that it’s not exposed, the one I attached is on the hoodlum’s boots.
While Warkis was under the guard of the 4th army soldiers, he was locked up in the local lord’s castle. While his weapons have been taken, there’s no restraints on him at all. Are you sure about that?
「Warkis, commander of the 7th army. Anything to say in your defence?」
At the hoodlum’s question, Warkis looks back with a calm expression. Hmm? Somehow, going by his third-rate image, I thought he’d rant and rave shamefully like a cornered rat, but my expectation was wrong huh. He might be a general who lost the war, but he’s incredibly composed. It doesn’t suit his face, but that attitude ain’t that of a third-rater.
「Blow, huh. To think that you of all people would get wind of our actions.」
「It wasn’t me. We have an excellent intelligence officer you see.」
Is that, referring to me? Since when did I become your intelligence officer?
「Warkis, why did you do a thing like this?」
「To bring down the Demon King.」
Warkis responded immediately to the hoodlum’s question.
「I knew that a new Demon King had come. And also, that she’s started planning for a war with the humans. Such an act, cannot be done. The birth rate is declining year by year, the people are impoverished. The long war ruined the land. The lower classes suffer under heavy taxes, yet taxes are being raised further. Before the war starts the demons will be ruined. The demons have no need for a Demon King now of all times. We must refrain from fighting with the humans for now, and take the path of rebuilding. Surely you do not realise this? It’s not too late yet. Blow, together with Balto please stop the Demon King.」
Ah, this is bad.
I immediately teleport. Then, on appearing behind Warkis, I strike his back.
Warkis groans. The guards and hoodlum open their eyes wide in astonishment. I gouge Warkis’s heart out from his chest, and crush it.
「What bullshit. No need to listen.」
I pull my hand out from the dead Warkis’s chest. Having lost its support Warkis’s corpse collapses, squelching as it sinks onto the floor. Scored my first fresh meat in a while.
「Why are you here?」
So the hoodlum asks me in a hoarse voice. I have no obligation to reply, but I guess I’ll go with a threat.
「Death to those who oppose the Demon King.」
On saying so I teleport away from there.
I guess that’s enough of a threat? The hoodlum had been a bit shaken from Warkis’s words. Though I’d totally thought of him as third-rate, he actually had a pretty good reason for staging his coup d’état huh. It appears that those words of Warkis, found some sympathy from the hoodlum. All the same, I’d certainly not expect him to actually betray us as things stand, but it’s possible that Warkis’s words will become a thorn that sticks into the hoodlum’s heart in the future. It won’t be possible to extract that thorn. In that case, I gotta create an atmosphere indicating that going against us is hopeless.
I knew that the current condition of the demons was not that good from the intelligence I’d gathered. Though actually, it’s not so much the demons, but this entire world. It can’t be put off for much longer. The world isn’t going to perish right away, but compared to my original assumption, the situation is definitely far worse. To the extent that Kuro had to create a place like THAT.
War isn’t possible in these circumstances. Thinking normally a ceasefire would be reasonable, and that staging a large offensive of all things in this situation would be insane, you know. However, that’s only when considering the commonly known situation, but in the actual abnormal situation we’re in, there’s no other option. Though saying that, for the average person trapped into their way of thinking that can’t be understood. They can’t be made to understand either. I don’t wanna know what kind of chaos would ensue if they did know.
Then, how should we inspire the lot who aren’t keen? The only option is to exert the power of the state. To put it bluntly, the current Demon King can’t be popular. The throne of the Demon King which was vacant for so long, was suddenly claimed so it’s obviously not possible. If we had a bit more of a margin, it might have been possible to use the time to build her up, but that’s more than we can hope for. It’s obvious that by telling someone to go to their death, that it’s not possible for them to trust the one who told them so.
If that’s the case, it’s better to take the opposite approach instead. Reign of terror. Obey or die. Do as you are told. Make them think that way. The Demon King has the power to achieve that after all.
The politics of fear that results in eventual failure is not a good thing, but that’s only looking at the long term. In the short term, it’s the optimum strategy for forcibly increasing the pace. The Demon King’s reign won’t last long either way, so there’s no demerit to this method. I don’t care how I’m thought of by those who are used and cast aside.
I can’t choose the means. That was my decision. My actions so far have been the tip of the iceberg, from here on out I’ll ramp it up to maximum strength. To do that, I gotta make full use of my main body which has just been playing around.
I’ve warned the hoodlum. He should now have the fear of being skewered behind the scenes if he betrays the Demon King. I might appear, any time, any place. That hoodlum cannot predict when or where. That even evasion is impossible. Unless he forgets that fear, the hoodlum cannot make any stupid moves against the Demon King. Not even if Warkis’s words touched the hoodlum’s heart. If, despite all that the hoodlum still opposes the Demon King, I can just skewer him behind the scenes as expected.
Next. I’m seen in the place I teleported to.
「Who are you?」
A calm voice. Not showing any emotions even after I suddenly appear. Even after having his back taken, his heart doesn’t waver in the slightest.
I see. For a demon, he’s pretty good.
「An agent of the Demon King.」
To the person who still has their back to me, I speak briefly. After hearing what I say, he finally turned around to face me. Though he seemed to casually turn to face me, he starts to grasp my intent. Though intent can be ignored at any time, for a normal human to grasp my intent with that timing and turn to face me, I’m sure he won’t suddenly attack me.
「I see. So it was true that the Demon King has arisen then.」
Maybe he even has his own intelligence network, since only a few demons know about the Demon King’s existence. What I’m aiming at, is that individual intelligence network.
「Orders. Become a double-agent.」
I announce that to Argnar, the 1st army commander. Develop a link with the elves, turn traitor on the demons.
Going by order of release, Argnar was last seen in “Human-Demon Great War ⑤”. Maybe it would be more accurate to romanize his name as “Ahgnah” but that looks a bit silly. He has a polite but somewhat archaic way of speaking – fitting his “old general” image.
Kumo’s “place like THAT” is probably the special region beyond the Magic Mountains.