Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 273

There’s more to life than living.

273 – War Observations

Via my clones I simultaneously follow the scenes of all the battlefields. Argnar’s 1st Army is having a close fight. Of all the places being attacked it’s most difficult one anyway, so it can’t be helped. Rather, that it’s not worse than a close fight shows how great Argnar’s command skills are. If it was me then I’d have lost long ago.

The 2nd Army, is unbelievably a monkey army. Yep. Those monkeys that I fought with in the past on the lower layer of the Elro Great Labyrinth, they were instigated to attack the fort, and the army itself was able to make the human fort fall without taking any injuries. Those monkeys are seriously tenacious about going after anyone who kills a member of their tribe, making them a real nuisance to others. Because of that, when I fought them in the lower layer, that’s why they kept on attacking until they were annihilated you see. On top of that, they breed after a fixed interval and multiply, and it’s said that when those descend on human populations there’s nothing more troublesome.

As far as I can see through my clones, the fort that the 2nd Army was responsible for is being held by monkeys. The number of monkeys is staggering. The vast number of monkeys is incomparable to the amount that I fought and are crammed into the fort. A tidal wave of monkeys. Woah, I sure feel for the humans who were in the fort after all that. The boobian who set that up, sure is something huh. Well, I’m sure that was something she came up with as self-protection because she didn’t want to be killed by the Demon King though.

For the 3rd Army, the idiot giant charged at the castle walls himself and smashed them. From there he gained control of the fort like an avalanche. What a crazy feat of strength. What’s with the general going at the very front of the attack?

The 4th Army, Mera’s place, had an unexpected defeat. Two reincarnators also participated in the war, and on top of that a surprisingly strong magician woman was also there. Not even Mera could handle all three together and was forced to retreat. By ignoring the damage to the army, I’m sure that Mera would have won if he’d continued to fight though. But since Mera’s gotten all serious about being a general of the demon army, he could only choose to retreat. It’s not like killing the reincarnators was allowed either.

For the 5th Army, it’s becoming a close fight like with the 1st Army. Their opponents are weaker than the 1st Army’s, but they’re still being pressed. In the areas of quality of soldiers and quality of the general, the 1st Army is far superior after all I guess. When all’s said and done, Argnar is excellent.

For the 6th Army, pitiful shota. I had thought that the enemy general looked rather familiar, and it turned out to be the ossan who came to me in the past to apply for an apprenticeship. At that time he was an ossan who was a step from being an old man, but now he’s totally a jijii. In spite of being a jijii he was really hustling, and shot the shota to death. Somehow, it seems like this ojii-san has gotten stronger since I last saw him, huh? I had thought that his magic ability was pretty high for a human before, but now it seems that he’s improved still further.

The 8th Army, oni-kun’s place is, erm, well, do your best soldier boys. Oni-kun is a brute. Well, he’s an oni after all. I’ve got no place saying this, but that’s really cruel, okay.

That’s the basic progress of the battles from each place, but there was another important battle, at a secret place. The elves got caught in the intelligence that I spread. The elves are rather persistent about the reincarnators, so I wondered whether or not they would bite if I spread some intelligence saying “vampire girl is here!”, but the results were better than expected. What vampire girl crushed, was a body possessed by Potimas. One converted to a cyborg even.

I knew that the elves had technology from the old civilisation, but how far it had developed was a mystery. Even for my clones that I inserted into the elf village, they’ve not been able to gain entry into the facility where such things are likely kept. I had been thinking that maybe they have one, two or even three worthless weapons hidden there, but I actually managed to lure one to come waltzing out. The body of Cyborg Poti was collected by vampire girl and Felmina-chan, so I’ll try to analyse it later. Depending on that, I might be able to figure out the technology level of the elves.

Still, for something like that to come out, that shows just how much Potimas wanted to deal with vampire girl I guess. Somehow, I’ve got a bad feeling. Why are they so persistent about the reincarnators? Why are they being kept caged up? There must be something. My clones are secretly keeping watch over the reincarnators who are in the elf village, so if somebody tries something I can protect them. It seems that I better be careful.

「Shiro. Don’t get involved.」

While following the other battlefields, a voice to the side calls out to me. Ah, the Hero will reach here soon, huh. It seems that the hoodlum plans to meet with him.

Hrm. To be honest, if I go and do it myself it would be the fastest way though. But his face is filled with such determination. There’s no stopping him.

「10th Army, do not interfere before it’s over.」

While seeing the hoodlum off as he steps forwards in front of the Hero, I give an order to the 10th Army.

「Are you sure?」

The one advising such, was Waldo-kun. With vampire girl being elsewhere this time, he became my assistant. Waldo-kun knows about my strength indirectly. At any rate, his beloved vampire girl should have explained to him that she’s no match for me. Which is why, he knows that I can even beat the Hero. However.

「His pride?」
「Then what about his pride?」

It seems that he couldn’t understand my question. Waldo-kun makes a puzzled expression.

The hoodlum has a huge amount riding on this battle. I can certainly beat the Hero. However, if I then defeat the Hero and save the hoodlum, the hoodlum’s pride will be damaged.

There’s no point in merely living. Without pride, life has no meaning. There was a time once when I was desperate just to stay alive, and didn’t even have the luxury to have pride. However, a life without pride, is empty.

The old me merely wanted to live. After all, I had nothing except for my life. My memories, my soul, everything was fake. Except for my life, I had nothing to protect. However, My Home was burned, and that first time when I experienced a sense of failure, I realised it. That, there’s no point in merely living.

I can save the hoodlum’s life. However, at the same time that is a deed that will stain the hoodlum’s pride. It’s up to each person which one to choose, but I choose to take pride. Even if the hoodlum dies as a result. Even though we’re the ones who have been trampling on his hopes to date.

The peace that the hoodlum desires, the respect he has for his elder brother Balto. I am not able to grant those. The Demon King and I, can’t allow it. We are the ones trampling on the hoodlum’s pride. For this reason, I want to protect his self-respect in his last moments. A one-on-one duel to the death with the Hero. I won’t do something so boorish as to intervene.

As a result, he died.

Against an opponent that he couldn’t beat, again and again he was overwhelmed. But even then, until his last moments, he stood up again and again without giving up. As though, it was his will, and his pride, that allowed him to.

Thank you for everything. I pray that you will be able to find happiness in the next life, Blow.


Translation notes:

Shiro uses several different words to refer to Ronant, so just to recap: ossan means “uncle” or “middle aged man” though is a rather rude term, jijii means “grandfather” or “old man” and is also rather rude, with ojii-san being a politer equivalent.

“Oni-kun is a brute. Well, he’s an oni after all” – this is a play on words since the word for “brute” includes the kanji character for “oni”. So it’s rather like saying “Demon-kun is demonic. Well, he’s a demon after all”.

In case you’ve forgotten, “My Home” refers to the large nests that Shiro built as a spider.

“Thank you for everything” – in Japanese, this is a phrase used to thank someone for the work they’ve done – eg, on a project, or for the day. You could say that it implies that the person is going to get some rest now.

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? The Human-Demon Great War – The situation of Blow
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 274