Chapter 06: Mythical Winds
The room, which was filled with sweet-smelling incense, was dimly lit.
Palmyra was lazily reading through a report in her office at Pazan Castle City.
The contents of the report were diverse: tax revenue, trails, the development of the city and bandits running rampant in the area.
“It’s as if we’re in turbulent times.”
The young secretary who stood next to her widened their eyes. Their expression said, ‘if these aren’t turbulent times, then I don’t know what are’.
“What is it, Zalmach? Is there anything you want to say?”
“No, nothing of that sort.”
“You’re not good at hiding your emotions. You’re going to have a hard time with love.”
“I am sorry.”
Her eyes glowed like she was a bird playing with a mouse.
“The world will get much more turbulent from now on. Much, much more.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, it will. The <Northern Overlord> would like to quickly place his puppet on the throne as the Great Demon King, but that won’t happen. The demon capital in his hands isn’t well organised.”
The <Northern Overlord> has been trying to enthrone a new Great Demon King, but he hasn’t gone as far as to silence the bureaucrats. Although Draco’s abdication was overcome by the opposition of the Demon Kings who were on his side, the resistance of the bureaucrats was deeply rooted.
“There may be some who will take advantage of this opportunity to expand their territory, so it will be rough for a while. I will observe the situation from here and indulge myself.”
“But the <Dethroned Crown Prince> is here.”
“He’s an interesting man, but he’s almost done. Ri Gudang will slaughter him, and Ri Gudang will be slaughtered by him.”
‘Two dragons counterbalancing each other’ is an old scheme.
The powerful will fight against each other and weaken each other. As a result, Palmyra’s plan went as expected.
“But was it not it foolish to pour poison into the river?”
Zalmach’s question made Palmyra smile happily.
“Poison wasn’t poured into the river.”
“Huh? But then…”
“Those were dyes.”
Palmyra had entrusted the development of a new dye to a purveyor to make it a new specialty of Pazan. The prototype was finally completed the other day.
“The new dye has a wonderful colour. I decided to dispose of all of the old dyes in storage.”
“Then, Ri Gudang-dono…”
“I never once said that it was ‘poison’. I only said the contents in the storage.”
Ri Gudang assumed that it was the legendary shapeshifter’s ‘poison storage’, which has become famous.
Palmyra said carelessly and Zalmach looked at her as if she was a monster outside of the realm of understanding.
“That was foolish of him. He doesn’t even know what a real poison storage is.”
Palmyra caressed the medicine box on the writing desk. Even the jewel on the box looked as if poisonous and seemed like it was waiting to be opened.
Unexpectedly, they had formed a pincer attack.
Draco’s 500 men blocked the retreat of Ri Gudang’s army on the main road. The enemy forces were unable to withstand the pressure from the Mud Slurper’s fishbone formation that continued to inflict damage on them from the south, so they tried to retreat to the north. Draco had set up a sweeping formation to cover their retreat.
It would be misleading to say that they were taking up positions. It would be more accurate to say that they had made a makeshift mound by roughly piling up the baggage that was discarded by the enemy’s small packs. Taibanka had devised this idea.
The situation had changed drastically.
Enemy soldiers who were pushed out by the Mud Slurpers were fleeing northward along the road. They moved out of the way to avoid the arrows which were being fired from the mounds and entered the forest. The only thing left for them to do was to retreat in panic. They were like waves crashing against a wall and splashing everywhere.
It was still a forest even though it wasn’t dense and overgrown, so it was difficult for even the most highly trained general to lead a strategic retreat in such a situation.
La Banan called out to the enemy soldiers who had broken away from the rest. He was persuading them to double-cross their comrades.
The moral code of mercenaries depended on the time and circumstances. You won’t survive as a mercenary in this day and age if you can’t read how the situation would turn out. More surrendered than expected. La Banan had them help with defence.
Draco muttered in his mind while suppressing the urge to shout.
He really wanted to inflict another blow, but they were too busy defending the mound with the number of troops that they had.
The battlefield now resembled a palm and a fist that was being slammed into it. Ri Gudang’s army was like an egg in between the palm and the fist, or something similar. His army would collapse if they did nothing.
“We’ve been saved by luck again.”
Everything would have been different had the Mud Slurpers come a day later, or even half a day later. Draco would have been miserably defeated in the forest by now.
He tried not to think of it as an adversity.
He had an Evil God with him. Luck was a godsend, and he honestly felt that it must have something to do with his Evil God.
That was why Draco couldn’t forgive himself.
He had grandly sent his Evil God off, but in the end, he had won by luck. There was no exhilarating feeling of having won by his own strength.
The forest became noisy.
Draco diligently told his soldiers to stay alert of the forest. There was still the Night Demon squad in the forest. The possibility of a surprise attack couldn’t be dismissed.
“Draco-sama! Are you alright?!”
Lukshuna appeared, and he was leading an army of Mud Slurpers.
There were about 100 of them. They must have been fighting in the forest, judging from the filth that the Night Demons had left on them.
“You did well, Lukshuna. It’s thanks to your hard work that I survived today.”
“No, it’s thanks to the Gonane. I didn’t do anything.”
“Gonane? Ah, I see.”
That was a close call.
Mud Slurpers was a derogatory term. He was about to call the race that had saved his life a derogatory term.
“But how did you manage to win over the Gonane?”
“It’s not accurate to say that I won them over. They will be joining us as allies.”
It wasn’t unusual for two demon kings to form an alliance on equal footing; however, it was necessary to notify the Great Demon King’s Office when an alliance has been formed. There was a law that stated that it was a treason against the Great Demon King to have alliances without their knowledge.
But what about now?
The Great Demon King position is vacant, and there was a deep-rooted conception that the gonane are demons who coil around the border of the Demon Realm. Although they have been bestowed the title of Demon King, they have been excluded from the 108th rank and the title was considered more of an honourary title.
Should he report it or not?
If he does report it, then this will mean that he has acknowledged that the Great Demon King Office still exists at the centre of the Demon Realm. Even though the <Northern Overlord> has half the capital under his control, the capital was still there.
Then what will happen if he doesn’t report it?
Draco was in a delicate position.
He couldn’t succeed the throne this time due to the <Northern Overlord>, but he still had a big claim to the throne since he was a direct descendant. It wasn’t impossible for him to ascend the throne. No matter how much Renis, the puppet of the <Northern Overlord>, smooths things over, he is still from a female line. Most races are patriarchal, so they believe that Renis has little right over the throne.
The reason why the Demon Realm has escaped falling into chaos and disorder by a hair’s breadth was because most demons still see the possibility of someone ascending the throne. If even that hope is crushed, then power will be all that remains.
Under these circumstances, not notifying the Great Demon King Office of his alliance with the Gonane was of great significance.
It wasn’t just a matter of procedure.
It would also mean that Draco would once again be able to spread word of his ambition throughout the Demon Realm.
“Lukshuna, I will meet with the Gonane Demon King once the battle is over. We have much to discuss.”
“As you wish, Milord.”
“I’ll be busy, so will you.”
“Yes. Next will be the Lizardman.”
“You know what I’m thinking?”
“Not at all.”
He tried to gloss over the conversation, but Lukshuna’s words revealed Draco’s intentions. He will need the Lizardmen’s help as well as the Gonane’s help if he wants to build a major force in the south.
He will be busy.
To do that, he must kill Ri Gudang here first.
“Lukshuna, I want to see the power of our new allies with my own eyes.”
“I beg your pardon?”
Lukshuna acted dumb.
He wanted to make Draco say it with his own mouth. Draco could see the side of Lukshuna that he couldn’t see when Lukshuna led a squad of 20 men. He was surprisingly good at negotiating.
“I want Ri Gudang’s head.”
“How about alive?”
“That’s not going to be easy, but if they can capture him alive, then that’ll be ideal.”
“As you wish.”
Lukshuna faced the Gonane and gave a short order.
He seemed to be straddling on the back of one of the Gonane’s.
The cavalry, though only about 100 in number, was strong.
They were like arrows shot from a drawn bow as they charged into enemy lines, bypassing the mound. They were sharp and fast.
They advanced as they cut through the enemies who have lost even the will to resist.
At that moment, Draco’s eyes caught a glimpse of something around the enemy’s main position.
Goblins are a great race.
The Goblins were older than the Rolles TN: This might change… since I haven’t read ahead…, and the Orcs.
Legend says that they were the first demon race to walk and gain speech. If you exclude the Kobolds who breed like dogs and the Mud Slurpers and Mermans who vulgarly grow in eggs, they were numerous in number and had a lot of subspecies. The Goblins have multiplied while the Trolls and Orcs gained a Demon King a 1000 or 2000 years ago and indulged in foolish war.
So, Goblins also worship many Evil Gods.
The Evil Gods of War, the Evil Gods of Wisdom and the Evil Gods of Fertility.
Some are forgotten Evil Gods who have only been handed down to shamans.
Okri was one of those forgotten Evil Gods.
Ri Gudang called out the name of the Evil God.
He didn’t know the Evil God’s true name. He only knew what he was told, that this was the Evil God Okri.
His pure white form resembled a wolf. It was humongous. A huge Evil God who was twice the size of a horse appeared before Ri Gudang.
“What is it, Little One?”
“The Goblins are in a crisis.”
God Okri sat down while looking uninterested and yawning. He scratched his throat with his hind legs and acted similar to a dog.
“The Goblins are in a crisis.”
Ri Gudang appealed again, but Okri crossed his paws and rested his chin on his paws. He looked as if he was going to take a nap.
“… This is not the crisis of the species, Little One. This is ‘your’ crisis.”
He was right.
Ri Gudang didn’t represent the entire Goblin race even though he called himself a Demon King. Okri was correct to say that this was Ri Gudang’s personal crisis.
This Evil God was difficult to deal with.
He seemed to take no notice of Ri Gudang who had summoned him.
But Ri Gudang couldn’t retreat at this point. If he didn’t borrow this Evil God’s power, then he might fall to the hands of the Mud Slurpers.
“No, Okri-sama. The Goblin race is in danger.”
“Hoh,” God Okri squinted his eyes.
“Our enemy is Draco. He is the <Dethroned Crown Prince> Draco. He killed my uncle and is an enemy of the Goblins.”
“I see. Well, that must have been because your uncle was weak.”
“He may have been, but Draco is still our enemy.”
“What will happen if you lose? Only you, the weak one, will die. Another Little One will be crowned the new Demon King. They will be a stronger Demon King than you.”
This Evil God’s emotions are dry.
Ri Gudang can strongly sense that he has no sense of individuality.
He must have spent a long time as an Evil God.
“Then why did you save me before?”
“Because you were lost. We, Silver, are supposed to ‘escort’ those who have lost their way.”
What kind of wolf escorts a lost person?
Ri Gudang had never heard of such a thing, but if that’s the case…
“Okri-sama. I have a request to make.”
“What is it? Don’t tell me you want me to defeat the enemy? I cannot accept such a request.”
“Actually, my army is lost in the forest and among the enemy.”
God Okri’s tail wagged once.
“I see. They are lost. If they are lost, then it is my duty to help them.”
“If obstacles get in my way while I am escorting them then I will have to remove those obstacles.”
|TN: This might change… since I haven’t read ahead…