Taibanka pondered something as he rode his horse.
Lukshuna accompanied him to negotiate with the Warrior Clan. He probably trusted Lukshuna since Lukshuna had succeeded in building a friendship with the Gonane.
Not wanting to seem intimidating, only Taibanka, Lukshuna, ten guards and I were on our way to the village. Yoshinaga-san and Eulenspiegel were following along without manifesting.
“I like this horse. Taibanka, let’s prepare horses like these. We can have 1,000 or even 2,000 of them. You can never have too many in a cavalry, “Lukshuna said as he gazed at the horses from the human world galloping in the distance.
Lukshuna seemed more at ease than Taibanka, the chief delegate. He seemed to be enjoying the scenery in Walbolt which was different from the Demon Realm.
Horses in the Human World have longer legs than the ones in the Demon Realm. They look slender in comparison. The length of a horse’s legs affects the speed of the cavalry. They might be able to gain an advantage in the Demon Realm if they built a cavalry force with these horses.
Ever since I transmigrated here, Draco has mainly been fighting with infantry. Japan, too, had few horses and mainly fought with infantry, but I feel that Japan was an exception to the rule.
Both Europe and China always had cavalry units in battles that led to them dominating the era. Draco will eventually need a cavalry force even if it isn’t necessary now, and trade with the ‘Warrior Clan’ will help with this when the time comes.
My mind wandered.
I learned from Venerable Jonan in the depths of the forest that there is more than one board. Draco whose base is at the corner of the Demon Realm is indeed at a disadvantage. Being far away from the heart of the Demon Realm is a handicap.
But other Demon Kings would never be able to cooperate with the humans. The Demon Realm and Human World is separated by a high mountain range running north to south, and traffic between these two is only possible in a small area in the north and south. The northern boundary is a vast desert and small skirmishes are said to occasionally take place between demons and humans.
It is only in the south, in Walbolt, where demons and humans may cooperate.
Salt and horses from the Human World, and for the time being, rice from the Demon Realm.
Various things will gradually make its way across the river once items start flowing through both sides. The initial connection may be as thin as a thread, but it will gradually twist into a string and then into a rope. Both groups live in the frontier so they should be able to watch each other’s backs when it comes to threats.
There will naturally be a lot of unease. They are ‘demons’ and their opponents are the ‘Warrior Clan’.
Even though they’ve never fought against each other in the past, Ruro’s clan had settled in this prairie to guard against the demons, and in that sense, the demons and Warrior Clan can be said to be sworn enemies.
Can they let go of the past for the present? That was what would determine this meeting.
It was a matter of benefit, but also a more fundamental matter of faith. If they are as bigoted towards the demons as they are towards the ‘Church’ then what awaits them will be a tragic collapse and mutual disaster.
It was better to get the demons to help. Will they understand that? And would they agree even if they did understand that.
I was ready to get my hands dirty even if Yoshinaga-san stops me to get over those steps.
Out of the corner of my eyes, I caught a glimpse of Eulenspiegel who was sulking.
He didn’t want to come with me to this meeting, but I forced him to. Eulenspiegel was clearly flustered when he heard that only the <God of Wind> remained in the Warrior Village. I don’t know if he believed me or not, but I get how he feels since his fellow gods fled first and betrayed him.
Well, who betrayed who though? I wonder if his fellow gods thought that Eulenspiegel had betrayed them when he told them that he was going to summon a demon army from the Demon Realm in Walbolt. I bet they did.
They’re terrible gods, but I guess that’s just the way gods are.
There is no omniscient, omnipotent, and infallible god, each of the gods have their own personalities, so they aren’t much different from the humans in my previous life.
Even though they manipulate miracles and have nearly infinite lifespans, no, perhaps because of that, the gods made themselves adorable. They threaten their followers when they learn that their karma earnings will decrease, and they run away when they hear that their enemies are approaching. It was normal.
Instead, it was the <God of Wind> who bothered me. Personally, I believe he’s good company, but if you ask me if he is devoted and is willing to protect his believers, I would have to say no.
Something about him bothered me.
“Master, I think we should hurry.”
Yoshinaga-san, who had made herself invisible, whispered in my ear. Her voice sounded a bit stiff. I squinted, looked into the distance and saw that Ruro’s village was strangely restless. There was also a faint smell of smoke drifting in the wind. Did something happen? I had a bad feeling on the back of my neck.
“Let’s speed up a little, Taibanka and Lukshuna.”
I set off to the village on my own without waiting for a reply. Sweat gathered on my palms as I gripped the reins. The short distance between us and the village felt extremely long.
I rode my horse up the hill.
I was weightless as a God. The horse galloped at a speed that an average rider couldn’t match. The horse leaped over the abatis on the slope, and I was approaching the gate.
“Wait, you! Hey you!”
The sentinel stopped me. It was the same one who was here when I entered the village with Ruro. He looked surprised and exhausted.
“Where the heck did you go?! You disappeared from the temple and now Ruro!”
“What happened to Ruro? Where is she?”
“People believe that she has led ‘spies’ from the ‘Church’ into our village…”
I didn’t wait for the sentinel to finish his sentence and rode my horse into the village.
This was like a bad re-enactment of ‘Run, Melos!’ I’m worse than Melos since I left on my own accord. It was normal for people to be suspicious of me if I disappear from the temple without notice.
I entered the village disguised as a person, not a god, so I should have left the village as a human. Regret surged through me, but I forced it down and kept riding.
It was war time, and Ruro’s father was a traitor and a priest for the ‘Church’. She was in a different position than the innocent Selinuntius.
She brought back a traveller who the villagers have never seen before after being thrown out under the pretence of eradicating the goblins, and that traveller disappeared as soon as he entered the village. People must be blind if that doesn’t make them suspect me as a spy. No matter how you look at it, it was my fault.
I’m putting the believers who I’ve decided to protect in danger through my carelessness. I’m disqualified as a god.
I rode my horse through the maze of a village. I had already passed these roads before, so I had it mapped in my head. I hadn’t trained for this on sale calls. I rode my horse without making a wrong turn until I reached the square in front of the temple.
I made it.
I saw Ruro’s green hair among the wave of people. She was about to be taken to the gallows which had been badly assembled.
Ruro shouted when she noticed me. Her voice draws the eyes of the crowd towards me. They looked at me with hatred. I dismounted my horse since looking down on them from on top of my horse wasn’t going to help me.
“… You tricked my granddaughter, Ruro?”
A hale and hearty old man broke through the crowd and appeared before me. His hair was red like burning lava and was tied up at the back of his head. From his appearance, it was clear at a glance that he was the chief of the ‘Warrior Clan’.
“I didn’t trick her.”
“Then what would you call it? You filthy ‘Church’ spy. You must have missed my granddaughter who you abandoned, so you came back to get her.”
There was a harsh tone in the old man’s voice which he couldn’t hide completely. It was normal for him to be angry since this matter was about his village and his granddaughter. He would have to judge Ruro as the chief, but he didn’t want to judge her since he was also her grandfather.
In the end, he had treated his granddaughter like a sacrifice and had sent her out to get rid of the goblins by herself. It must be unbearable for him since she had miraculously returned.
I used a solemn tone to speak to him.
“I am the <God of Thunder> Hirano, also known as the Evil God Hirano.”
Ruro’s face twitched remarkably. I haven’t told her that I’m an evil god yet.
But I can’t lie here. It was a bad idea to present unfavourable terms first, but this wasn’t a negotiation. There was no time for negotiations.
“An evil god?! The god of the demons!?”
“That’s right. Chief of the ‘Warrior Clan’. I am an evil god worshipped by Draco, the King of demons, and the God of Thunder in the Human Realm. Let my follower, Ruro, go.”
I used a miracle to gather dark clouds while speaking with all the dignity I could muster.
This was all I can do, but it worked surprisingly well on those who were seeing it for the first time. The crowd became unsettled.
“God? You call yourself a god!? You’re a demon! You must be a demon! The demons have come to destroy the ‘Warrior Clan’ at last!”
The old man’s eyes were bloodshot. Fighting demons must mean a lot to them.
“――― You’re mistaken. I have come to rescue you.”
A strange silence enveloped the Warrior Clan. Aid from a hated enemy, not their current enemy, but an enemy who has been spoken about for 1,000 years. They probably couldn’t comprehend what was happening.
“I will say it once more, I have come to rescue you.”
The villagers’ eyes clouded with hostility.
This wasn’t a straightforward situation. I’m the only one who could convince the ‘Warrior Clan’ right here, right now. Can I really do it? I am a god. People call me a god, but it was Draco who had convinced the <Half-Faced> Lu Gun and the werebear Dadda.
I was the only one here. The only person I can rely on was myself. I made up my mind and looked at the village chief in front of me.
“You must be seeking for help.”
“Ridiculous. We, the people of Banten, are a tribe of warriors, and we will not be lured by the temptations of a demon’s god. Leave now.”
“No, I won’t retreat. I have already brought an army of demons into Walbolt.”
The villagers began whispering among themselves.
They must have been relieved since they hadn’t seen a demon cross the river for a long time. And with the forces of the ‘Church’ closing in on them…
“So, you are an evil god! You have brought misfortune with you. The drought and torrential rain that have ravaged this land must have been your doing!”
“I didn’t do that. I wouldn’t do worthless things like that.”
Yes, those things were worthless. Eulenspiegel and the other gods had done worthless things; drought, torrential rain, plague, land subsidence, mass livestock deaths… I wouldn’t use my power for such worthless things like that.