Editor: SenjiQ and delishnoodles
They were jammed together.
Draco had 50 men crowd together.
The enemy probably numbered 500. They didn’t seem particularly skilled, but they made up for what they lacked with numbers. They had a group of 200 kobolds and 300 goblins, each with its own leader, so they were likely hired mercenaries.
Their employer… must be a Demon King who has allied themselves with the <Northern Overlord>.
They wanted to take Draco’s head and offer it to the <Northern Overlord> to join his camp. They were scumbags.
The crowded defence group took a step back.
Draco was stirred by the smell of blood.
It was about time.
“Elena, are the preparations finished?”
“Aniue, I’m ready anytime.”
“Alright,” Draco nodded.
Her incantation accumulated mana, and once it had been shaped accordingly, it burst forth from Elena’s hands.
That was the signal for the counterattack.
Elena released a beam of light from her hands and aimed for the centre of the approaching enemy line on the right and decimated the area around the leader who was leading 200 kobolds. They had no way to block the attack since they were convinced they would win.
The enemy shuddered at the sight of the blackened leader, and a second blow was delivered.
The second group of 150, who had been lying low near the stream at the base of the hill, ambushed the enemy’s left line of 300.
Draco divided his meagre 200 soldiers into smaller groups and prepared an ambush.
While climbing the hill to attack, the unsteady left line had no time to change their direction, and most importantly, “FOLLOW ME!!”
The <Dethroned Crown Prince> rushed down with his group of 50 and attacked the group. Their intensity was fierce.
They pierced through the goblin ranks with the sharpness of an arrowhead and quickly took the head of the leader.
From there, it was a one-sided slaughter.
There was no longer any hope of resisting.
The enemy mercenaries became cold shells every time the swords of the demons, led by Draco, glistened with blood.
The screams of the fleeing kobolds and goblins echoed throughout the forest.
“Did we win…?”
Draco muttered after he returned to the top of the hill to look over the situation.
500 pursuers against 200 defeated soldiers. It was a well-planned counterattack.
The image of a Demon King formed in Draco’s mind.
Benan the <Clairvoyant>.
He was a true strategist among all the other Demon Kings.
But if Benan was their opponent then…
A battle cry suddenly erupted from the forest.
(… No, it can’t be…)
Benan’s trained soldiers appeared in ambush.
There were only about 300 of them, but they couldn’t be compared to the small fry from before.
Draco’s soldiers, on the other hand, were all scattered about, hunting the remaining mercenaries.
(Is it… all over?)
Draco clenched his teeth.
He had only just sworn to take over the world with the Evil God. He couldn’t believe it would end in a place like this, and in the hands of that lowly bastard, Benan.
(Ah, he wasn’t a reliable Evil God.)
Draco looked up at the sky and closed his eyes.
(I shall pray to the Evil God.)
“I pray that you save us.”
The <Dethroned Crown Prince>’s soldiers responded admirably even though they were suddenly ambushed.
They quickly gathered at the top of the hill and assembled in a tight formation.
As expected of the famous <Dethroned Crown Prince>’s army. What remnants of a defeated army? They moved as if they were all elite soldiers.
But that was all.
The soldiers were all tired and wounded.
The commander of the 300-soldier ambush, the hobgoblin, Lu Gun, smiled with just half of his face. His left side didn’t move. Old wounds were sewn across his face.
“They say ‘the cornered lizard is the grandson of a dragon’.”
The <Clairvoyant> Benan had directly ordered Lu Gan to hunt down the <Dethroned Crown Prince> Draco. There would be no place for him to return if he fails.
Benan was a worrier, and he was afraid that Lu Gan would fail to capture Draco, so he even proposed a strategy to attack him. The plan worked, the mercenaries who had attacked first were both destroyed before they could be saved.
Draco’s leadership was admirable even though he was the enemy.
It wasn’t surprising since Draco, the <Dethroned Crown Prince> was the supreme commander of the anti-<Northern Overlord> Alliance.
Lu Gun himself had fought under Draco’s command before.
He resorted to tricks at times, but his plans were great. He never hesitated when giving orders which made it easy for his subordinates to follow him.
Lu Gan was surprisingly excited to be able to fight directly with Draco.
His opponent was a blood relative of the Great Demon King, an elite.
Lu Gun, on the other hand, was a hobgoblin who had been teased for being a ‘mutt’.
Lu Gan didn’t think that he was inferior to Draco in terms of managing a medium-sized unit since he was a true warrior. His subordinates were also a force to be reckoned with. There was no way they would lose. He was already prepared for lavish compliments since he believed he couldn’t lose. An ordinary person would have the right to challenge a genius only by removing all the factors that would prevent him from winning.
His blood was boiling.
Now, it was time to fight. Lu Gun slung his favourite battle-axe over his left shoulder and raised his right hand. Once he swung this down, everything in the battlefield would become a haze.
At that moment, the sky suddenly darkened.
I stayed in a place where I could survey both armies with lightning flashing down behind me.
The sky darkened with thunderclouds and a light rain began to drizzle down.
My voice echoed over both armies.
My voice had a captivating bass sound to it.
It seemed that I was using skills from the basic Evil God set, ‘thunder in the background’ and ‘amplifier’. I said ‘seemed’ because I have no idea how I activated them.
When I looked down, I saw Draco giving orders and the <Dethroned Crown Prince>’s army went down on their knees and prostrated themselves before me.
Good, good, as expected of my believers.
Compared to them, the enemy was clearly panicking, but no one seemed to want to run away.
A brown goblin that looked like their leader spoke to me,
“I do not know which Evil God you are, but please allow me to make a humble request. First, please calm down. My name is Lu Gun, son of El Gen. I am called <Half-Faced> Lu Gan.”
He properly kneeled on one knee and humbled himself before me. An Evil God’s authority was truly impressive.
I slowly descended to the goblin.
“El Gen’s son, Lu Gun. I shall make an exception. Raise your head.”
Hmm, I didn’t think watching all those period dramas would come in handy at a place like this.
In reality, I was just emulating the nuance of the period dramas as best as I could; it was incredibly important for me to keep up my aura.
“I am the patron Evil God of the <Dethroned Crown Prince>. For what reasons have you, Lu Gun, attacked my devoted believer Draco?”
“Oh, I must humbly confess that it is my mission. I will not name the person who has given me this mission, but my master has ordered me to kill the <Dethroned Crown Prince>.”
I knew it. I don’t know who he is, but should I tread carefully or try to get him to switch sides? Either way, he wasn’t a decent guy.
“Your mission, you say… what a waste.”
“What do you mean a waste?”
I pointed to Lu Gun’s subordinates with an exaggerated gesture.
They had all stopped panicking and had all mimicked Lu Gun, getting down on one knee.
“Why should the elite force you led be involved in this dirty work?”
He was in turmoil.
I tricked him since I believed that he wouldn’t want to do this kind of work anyway, and I was surprisingly right.
I often did these kinds of negotiations in my previous life. I was in a much higher position this time, so I didn’t feel like I would lose to him.
“<Half-Faced> Lu Gun… no, Lu Gun, son of El Gen. Why don’t you reveal your valour to the world? Why do you do things like sneaking and hiding in the shadows and tormenting the wounded?”
The goblin lowered his head and sunk into silence.
Let’s push him once more.
“You will be remembered if you fight the <Dethroned Crown Prince> Draco fair and square. This kind of mission isn’t rewarding. Do you want your achievements to be buried in the dark, will you shame your name as son of El Gen?”
“But what shall I do? I only have myself. I have made it this far by myself. How can I live if I disobey my master?!”
Huh? This was a nice, surprising turn of events.
I was planning to ask him to retreat…
“Lu Gun. Have you not answered your own question?”
“Yes. You said you’ve made it this far ‘by yourself’. Your master is you, Lu Gun.”
“Your well-trained soldiers agree. You are their master.”
It was a bluff. It was a bluff, but it was surprisingly effective.
I winked at Draco. Now <Dethroned Crown Prince>, show me your true strength.
Draco stood up and shouted while brandishing his sword.
“The Evil God has shown us the way. A second path has opened up for us.”
He slowly descended the hill and stopped in front of Lu Gun.
“The first path, a path of battle; you will follow the orders of the <Clairvoyant> Benan and cross swords with the <Dethroned Crown Prince>. It will be a battle that will be worthless, dishonourable, and won’t be allowed to be passed onto future generations.”
The rain intensified.
The intense rain tried to drown him out, but Draco raised his voice.
“THE SECOND PATH!”
A flash of lightning illuminated everyone.
“This is the path where we will walk together. A path where you would face forward not down. We will likely perish, but it is a path where we can die with pride.”
Draco stood in front of Lu Gun.
The <Half-Faced> hobgoblin looked down a little.
“Lu Gun, son of El Gen, and your soldiers. Will you join me in conquering the world?”
Draco kneeled down before Lu Gan and gently placed a hand on his shoulder.
His raised shoulder muscles showed how hard this hobgoblin had trained.
“Draco-dono, no, Draco-sama.”
Lu Gun raised his head.
“I humbly accept your offer. Please allow me to be by your side as you take over the world.”