One last chance to plant some flags before shit gets real.
290 – Before the Elf Village Battle
There is a barrier surrounding the elf village. The Imperial Army has brazenly taken up position right in front of it without any attempt to hide. Then, in a place some distance from the Imperial Army, the Demon King’s Army has quietly set up camp. Furthermore, clustered as if in a formation on the opposite side of the elf village from the Imperial Army, is a squad of Taratekts lead by a Queen Taratekt. Still furthermore, on standby alone on the opposite side from the Demon King’s Army, is me together with the Demon King and a limited number of her subordinates. In terms of numbers there might be the smallest amount here, but in terms of combat strength we’re the most powerful, basically. In terms of layout, going clockwise around the elf village in the middle is the Imperial Army, the Demon King’s Army, the Taratekt squad, then the Demon King and I completing the encirclement.
The strategy is as follows. Firstly, with a whack I will destroy the barrier surrounding the elf village. Here we’ll set up a trick to make it look like the Imperial Army did their best with a new form of great magic to make it seem like they destroyed the barrier. I’m sure it’ll at least make for a distraction.
Then, the Imperial Army will advance with Natsume-kun in the lead. Natsume-kun should draw all the hate towards him, so all the elves will most likely flood towards there. At least Yamada-kun’s party should do me a favour and head there, I think. Or rather, if they don’t then it’ll be troublesome. We just gotta avoid the worst case scenario of the Demon King and Yamada-kun running into each other. Kuro, can I leave it to you? Please guide them properly, okay?
Well anyway, while the elves are focused on the Imperial Army, the Demon King’s Army will start to advance. They will deliver an attack on the elves from the side. Command of the Demon King’s Army has been left to Mera and oni-kun, and vampire girl is there too so there shouldn’t be any problems. Felmina-chan is there just in case as well so I’m sure it’ll work out somehow. Even if the elven forces are beyond what we had expected, they should still be able to retreat safely. Basically, so long as vampire girl and oni-kun are there, they should be able to manage one way or another.
And then, when the elves are faced with dealing with a war on two fronts with the Imperial Army and Demon King’s Army, we’ll then pile on them with the Taratekt squad as a bonus. The Queen will be there too! Just with the Queen alone it would be a hopeless battle, but in addition there’s 14 Archs. There’s 51 Greaters. And a bunch of others. Seriously, wouldn’t they be enough by themselves I wonder? Normally the elves would die.
So their agonising cries like it was a scene of hell is to be expected, and the Demon King and I plan to stealthily infiltrate the interior of the elf village by taking advantage of that confusion. The plan is to take decisive actions such as securing the reincarnators and the killing of Potimas’s main body but so long as Potimas’s main body is killed, then this war is as good as won. We’ve already gotten rid of all the clones he has outside of the elf village. The one that vampire girl got rid of in the Kingdom was probably his last clone. Even if some have slipped through, he’s not able to switch between the main body and clones like me. For Potimas, his main body really is his main body, so his clones are basically remotely controlled. Because of that, so long as his main body is killed, then at that instant all his clones would become meaningless.
The Imperial Army, the Demon King’s Army and even the Taratekt squad are all decoys. I’m sure that the Imperial Army which is the first decoy will suffer significant damage, but they were always an army that was gathered to be used then thrown away. So long as they can draw the elves’ attention that’s good enough. Then the elves will be ransacked by the Demon King’s Army and the Taratekt squad. During that opening, the Demon King and I will then take whatever action we want. To be blunt, the Demon King and I just by ourselves have more combat strength than all the other armies put together.
Except the Demon King and I are currently glaring at each other.
「No matter what Shiro-chan says, I won’t yield on this okay.」
「What’s wrong is wrong.」
The extreme tension in the air is engulfing the surroundings. The Puppet Taratekts accompanying the Demon King are unable to withstand the tension and are shivering in fear. With neither the Demon King nor I willing to back down on our opinions, we continue to glare at each other.
As for what we’re arguing about, it’s who gets to terminate Potimas’s miserable existence. Because of the case with sensei and more, I want to beat the crap out of Potimas. Speaking of that more, because I can’t predict how dangerous Potimas is, it’s safer for me to deal with him since I’m stronger than the Demon King.
On the other hand, despite the Demon King being well aware of that, she still insists on wanting to fight with Potimas. Well sure, the Demon King has had to put up with Potimas being able to do whatever the hell he likes for so long. I’m sure her feelings are far deeper than mine.
However, her opponent is that Potimas Hyphenath. He is a man who has continued his secret maneuverings all this time, making enemies of the entire world, all by himself. He has the technology behind the cyborg body that the vampire girl defeated previously and the robots in the old world underground facility that became the trigger for my apotheosis. Taking them into account, my expectation is that the combat strength that Potimas has command over could even reach that of the Demon King. Considering what could potentially occur in such a insignificant place, I want to have a safety margin. Despite all that, the Demon King stubbornly refused to listen to that explanation. If that was all then I could still bear with it. I too have the desire of wanting to personally tear Potimas limb from limb, but the Demon King is going further than that. I think it would be fine to compromise. So long as she has my support.
「At least accept some support.」
「I refuse. This is my fight. I won’t accept any intervention from anybody. Say whatever you like.」
This is the problem. The Demon King absolutely insists on finishing everything by herself. Whether it’s support from me, or support from her own subordinates she won’t permit anything. She wants to put an end to the ancient relationship between them one-on-one.
「I know that I’m being selfish. However, I can’t yield on this. I must finish everything with Potimas by myself. After all, that guy is my…」
The Demon King’s eyes are resolved for the worst. Being directly stared at by those eyes, it starts to feel like I’m the one in the wrong.
「You might die you know?」
「Of course I know that. In the first place, my life span is already nearing the end. Even if I die here, I won’t regret it. Because if I die, I believe that Shiro-chan will then deal with Potimas in my stead.」
With her expression saying that even if she dies she’ll take Potimas down with her, she sure has a lot of nerve to say that. Argh. Nai wa.
I sigh heavily. If she’s going to go that far then there’s no way she’ll back down. The Demon King plans to bet everything from her long life on challenging Potimas. Wagering her own pride. I guess there’s no way that I can deny her that. Since she’s telling me this in such a way that she knows I’ll have to back down while being fully aware of that fact, she sure is nasty.
「Dying is unforgivable. Because if you die then at that moment I would abandon this miserable world and flee. So as to also prevent me doing something so irresponsible, you absolutely must survive. Got that?」
「……Roger that, boss.」
Being unable to watch the Demon King’s face as she saluted with a smile while crying, I turned my head to the side.
“Natsume-kun should draw all the hate towards him” – this is explained using gaming terms. Putting it another way, Natsume/Yuugo will “aggro” all the “mobs” (elves) by attacking first so that they target him and the Imperial Army.