1500 men were sent out first.
Ri Gudang’s army marched forward as the sun began to rise.
They were unprepared. Even so, the colour of the river had changed. Everything might not work if they delayed their movements here.
The river was poisoned, the mud-slurpers will be angry and Alunaha will be under attack. Draco will then discharge his army and Ri Gudang will take the empty Alunaha.
It sounded simple in words, but it was extremely difficult. Unexpected things happened in war.
Everything starts at once and the battle is over before you know it.
It was impossible to fully respond to the situation, but information and position are important to get around as skilfully as possible. Ri Gudang made the difficult decision to dispatch 1500 men to obtain both.
He even had the centaurs, who he wanted to preserve as cavalry, carry the water buckets as they moved southward in silence.
1,500 was the number of mercenaries who could engage in battle.
The number of small packs had to be increased as well since the objective this time was to attack the castle. A total of 2,500 men were to be sent to the bad road along the riverside. The small packs will have to make round trips between Pazan and Alunaha once the attack on the city commences, but he hadn’t decided on what procedure to follow yet due to their sudden departure.
The rest of the 1,000 mercenaries were left in the hands of a mercenary named Safort, a Night Demon.
But Ri Gudang couldn’t rely on him.
Mercenary is a job in which one’s life is a commodity. Mercenaries have a moral code, but if they will immediately run away if they’re at a disadvantage. In this case, half the money that had already been paid was a good sum. There was no harm in running away as long as they can ignore the fact that they won’t get the other half of the money or their daily allowance.
They can find an employer as long as they move or wait for things to cool down.
Ri Gudang gritted his teeth.
Five more days, no three more days. He could have made a more decent attack with that much time.
Today was the worst day ever; he couldn’t cancel or postpone the attack. The poison flowed with malicious intent.
He had sent a messenger to strongly oppose this, but it would have no effect.
“Is this the <Succubus Princess’s> trap?”
Ri Gudang didn’t answer Cartier’s question. He rode his horse onwards as his stomach churned.
The ‘Poison Princess’ would have laughed at Ri Gudang’s hasty march. He hadn’t considered her an ally from the beginning. He really hadn’t, but what was with this treatment? She even funded him and was now ruining all his plans. He could see why Benan had criticised her as the ‘Poison Princess’.
“Is the <Succubus Princess> connected to Draco?”
Cartier immediately countered his mutter.
“I don’t think so. She wouldn’t have given you money to hire mercenaries if she was. She could have driven you out with only the clothes on your back or turned you over to Draco if she was.”
“What if she doesn’t just want to spoil my plans but also to chip away at Draco’s power as well? The ‘Poison Princess’ will be the one who will benefit if the <Dethroned Crown Prince> and I both go down. This will make sense if you think about it that way. She’ll join forces with both adversaries, incite them and reap all the good things for herself. You also know about Sinow, don’t you, Cartier?”
Sinow was the name of a resourceful general in ancient times.
Legend says that in the territory he had received from the ruler, there was the den of an evil poisonous dragon and a cunning bone eating spider who he had fight and injure each other, and then he defeated them both.
“It really sounds like the shapeshifter’s idea, but I have no proof.”
“It is also possible that this is Draco’s plan. He’s a man who would use even his own life and death to fuel rumours. It is hard to say that he isn’t using the <Succubus Princess> to his advantage.”
“The classics also say, ‘If you’re in doubt, even a mountain’s shadow is a dragon.’ Aren’t you overthinking it?”
“It’s a commander’s job to think. You must shine a light on suspicious things and look at them closely. Besides, I know more about the <Dethroned Crown Prince> than you.”
He knew. Yes, he knew.
Ri Gudang hallucinated Draco’s breathing over and over again during his death-defying escape in the woods.
The <Dethroned Crown Prince> Draco has become a symbol of fear in Ri Gudang’s mind.
He must defeat that <Dethroned Crown Prince> with his own hands.
He would not be able to escape from this nightmare if he doesn’t.
“I understand that you are concerned about Draco, Ri Gudang-sama, but you have such a large force now. You could be a little more open-minded.”
“Open-minded, you say?”
“Yes, for example, attack somewhere else.”
“That’s exactly what Draco wants. I’m not interested in having him pincer attack me while I’m attacking the city.”
“That is just an example. There must be something you can do. You are overestimating Draco.”
“The enemy is Draco. He must be killed in a single blow or there will be no peace.
“You want to say that I am a coward?”
Ri Gudang’s eyes were filled with anger. He couldn’t turn a blind eye to that insult as a proud goblin shaman.
“Enough. I would like to be alone for a bit. Cariter, you’re in charge of the small packs.”
Ri Gudang didn’t spare Cartier a second glance as she headed towards the small packs at the rear of the group.
He had too many things to think about.
The <Dethroned Crown Prince>. The <Succubus Princess. How to attack Alunaha and how to rule after it falls. And the arrangements for the inauguration of the Demon King.
How will he take revenge on Palmyra for upsetting his plan?
Ri Gudang didn’t believe he could be defeated while he was daydreaming.
He had a trump card. Something Draco had but he didn’t. He had that now.
There was no way he could lose.
A girl with blonde hair which was set in ringlets gazed at us.
Von Malkund, the <God of Gambling>. No, her name is Christina von Malkund.
She is the goddess who reigns at the top of all the Malkund stores scattered throughout the Divine Realm.
Her miracle is <absolute luck in gambling>.
The Goddess, who had the extraordinary miracle of obtaining tremendous luck in betting, was smiling sweetly. She was looking at Yoshinaga-san.
“It’s been a while, <Goddess of War.”
“Your hair is still very distinct, <Goddess of Gambling>.”
Both of them looked cheerful. It would seem as if they were reuniting as friends if one only listened to their words and looked at their expressions, but the aura around them was different. It reminded me of a battlefield.
The audience, who had been looking at the board with bloodshot eyes earlier, all lost their nerves. Those who were quick got ready to go home.
Dragon and tiger, giants and Hanshin, Kongming and Zhongda, Shingen and Kenshin, Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, Hannibal Barca and Scipio Africanus, Soga no Umako and Monobe no Moriya, Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon, Julius Gaius Caeser and Vercingetorix, or Habu and mongoose. I don’t know what it is, but that is the vibe I am getting from them.
“You must have wanted to see me since you caused such a fuss in my turf.”
“That’s right. I’m glad you caught on so fast.”
“I gave you my contact information.”
“I don’t plan on bowing down to you.”
I wonder if something happened to them in the past. What was it? Something definitely happened between them.
The ladylike Miss Malkund was so angry that she looked as if she was carrying a rakshasa on her back. Yoshinaga-san must have done something to her. I don’t know what she did, but I know she must have done something.
“A division under my control, which you had torn to pieces, was finally restored to its original state.”
“Heh, that’s too bad. The freedom to enjoy gambling without being tied down by anyone has been suppressed. How sad.”
“It’s not freedom, it’s being unrestrained. This is the world of gods, so moderation is important.”
“So, you call excessively paying protection money ‘moderation’. I’m learning a lot from you.”
I get it now. Yoshinaga-san must have divided a division lead by Miss Malkund. It sounded like something she would do. She doesn’t like conflict, but when she sees something absurd, she wants to destroy it. I guess this part of her didn’t change even after her reincarnation. This makes me happy for some reason.
“I haven’t received the franchise fee for the gambling den you opened up. Have you finally reached a point where you can pay for it?”
“Franchise fee? You can just say money a tax or protection fee. Ah, wait, you called it ‘moderation’ didn’t you? I’m not going to pay either way.”
“You don’t follow the rules even though you’re a goddess.”
“Who said that gods have to follow rules?”
“We did, in a conference. You haven’t attended any recently.”
A conference? I think Yoshinaga-san might have mentioned that before. Evil Gods have their own Evil God conferences, don’t they?
“I’m not obligated to attend.”
“You are. You have the privilege and duty to attend the meetings both because of your rank and because of your official position.”
“I thought I told you all I resigned.”
“It wasn’t accepted.”
“You didn’t accept the resignation of a goddess who doesn’t have anyone worshipping her?”
This was getting a bit fishy. Oh yeah, Yoshinaga-san said that she lost the people who worshipped her. How did she lose them? From war? A plague? Did they starve? From climate change? Perhaps they believe in a different god now.
“That doesn’t matter. The conference is looking for divine materials.”
“Divine materials? I see, divine materials. I have a clue about divine materials, but that’s whatever for now.”
“I’m interested in your deduction, but let’s leave it at that for today. Why did you go to all this trouble to call me here when I’m so busy?”
Yoshinaga-san smiled again. It was a really nice smile.
“Why? Of course, to talk about the kind of get rich schemes that even you, Christina von Malkund, the <Goddess of Gambling> loves.”