A white mass was what Lukshuna saw.
He could see what it was as he got closer. He looked like a wolf. He was massive.
He jumped and looked as if he was flying. No, he was just running. He was humongous.
He gave a short order to the 100 Gonanes who he was leading.
That was no ordinary opponent. They would lose horribly if they collided with the wolf. They might even be annihilated.
“Lukshuna, what is that? Gonanes have never, seen anything, like that before.”
“… That’s an Evil God. Probably…”
“Yes. An Evil God.”
He muttered bitterly then turned his troops away from the Evil God.
Once started, the momentum of the Gonane’s attack was unstoppable. He had no choice but to leave the forest and return to Draco.
But still, that was an Evil God.
Surely the Goblins have an Evil God too, just like how they worship the Evil God Hirano. It was normal, but it was strange that the Evil God would manifest themselves so easily.
It was like the legend that had been handed down since the age of the gods.
The enemy troops were still puzzled by the unexpected reinforcement, but it was only a matter of time before they regain their senses. If they regain their senses and attack the mound all at once, then their troops wouldn’t be able to handle the situation. He hoped that Taibanka had become aware of this situation and was doing something about it.
“We must hurry back to Draco-sama.”
There was no way they could fight that wolf and win.
They had to escape as quickly as possible.
The wind died down.
The world around them had become quiet as if everything was calm.
Draco could clearly see the White Wolf Evil God even though he was still far away. He was under the delusion that he could feel its ragged, beastly breath.
He could smell death which he didn’t even smell when he lost the battle against the <Northern Overlord>.
“It’s strange, isn’t it Taibanka?”
“I was defeated by an Evil God and lost everything. After that, I worshipped an Evil God and gained power once again, and now I’m about to be defeated by another Evil God.”
“Ah, now that you have put it that way, yes, indeed.”
The <Black-Haired Princess>, Hirano, and the White Wolf.
There probably aren’t many who have led such a checkered life even in this vast Demon Realm. Even in the age of the gods, there probably wasn’t someone who was this shaken by life.
“Yes, you’re like a hero who the bards sing about.”
“A hero? Do they have their life toyed with by Evil Gods?”
“Isn’t that what heroic tales are all about? Victory and suffering are all part of fate.”
Is that so?
He had a feeling that it was that way.
A baby dying soon after being born, a normal man dying after a lifetime of idleness, a farmer who can’t escape hunger even if he works diligently, and a gambler who earns large sums of money without effort: if they were all lumped together under the word ‘fate’, then they would have no choice but to accept their fate. Fate was a convenient word.
You cannot resist fate if you are a demon and not a God.
Born as the grandson of the Great Demon King, fighting over the throne, escaping to the frontier and taking over a castle city. It may or may not have been the result of Draco’s own decisions and efforts.
He certainly felt like he was at the mercy of a thing called ‘fate’.
“Intercept. We will intercept the enemy.”
“… But Draco-sama. That is an Evil God.”
“Even if they are an Evil God.”
To oppose an Evil God.
In other words, resist fate.
Draco drew his sword.
It was the God Destroyer Sword, a memento from his late father. Whether it was true or not, it was said to have slain a god in the age of the gods. He didn’t know if he could slay a God, but the werebear had broken a boulder in half with this sword.
The soldiers readied their bows at Taibanka’s order.
The defeated mercenaries that La Banan had hired were gone in a flash. It was no surprise. This wasn’t about understanding the outcome of a battle. The opponent was an Evil God.
The 200 or so soldiers who had been following Draco since his first defeat all had their bows readied. Draco wanted to scold them for not taking their life seriously even though he had given them the order himself.
They would die for him. His life was worth it since he had subordinates who would lay their lives down for him. Even if this was fate, it was a wonderful fate.
“The enemy is an Evil God. I will survive and triumph over fate.”
What came out of his mouth was the opposite of what he wanted to say.
He wanted to tell them to die without regrets, but now he was talking about survival. It was absurd, but it was okay.
“Evil God Hirano, please watch me clearly. Ready your arrows!”
Hirano. Yes, he was wondering what that Evil God was doing right now.
The White Wolf was closing in.
The arrows were shot. They hit, but it wasn’t effective. The opponent was an Evil God. Normal attacks probably didn’t work on him.
“The eyes, aim for the eyes!”
All he needed was the Evil God to flinch.
He was going to use up the lives of 200 loyal and brave soldiers to create a momentary opening. He believed that he was a very cruel Demon King.
Sweat oozed from the hand that was holding the sword.
The White Wolf was so close that he could see each of his fangs.
An arrow from one of the soldiers hit the White Wolf in the eye.
He wasn’t wounded, but the White Wolf still turned his head away even if he wasn’t wounded.
He threw the God Destroyer Sword at the White Wolf’s forehead.
The sword flew as if it was being sucked in by the White Wolf’s forehead.
Both ally and foe alike could only stare at the sword’s path.
The Evil God shook his head and the sword veered off path.
It grazed against the White Wolf’s brow and then fell to the ground.
He had failed.
It was an accomplishment to be able to wound an Evil God. It was a feat comparable to those of a legendary hero’s.
But it was still frustrating.
It was so frustrating that it felt as if his heart was on fire.
He resisted fate and lost. It was incredibly frustrating.
He put strength into his knees which were on the verge of collapsing.
The soldiers hadn’t fled yet. His men were still out there. Wasn’t that enough?
If they were going to die, then they should at least be brave.
He turned to the Wolf Evil God with determination.
At that moment, there was a thunderous roar.
“I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Draco.”
A wolf’s breath smells fishier than I thought, I thought trivially.
My body was moving on its own.
I faced the huge white wolf with Draco at my back.
He was close.
I can feel his breath on my cheek. That was how close I was to him. I’ve never seen a wolf this close before, not even at the zoo.
The wolf’s fangs were huge up close. They were as thick as three of my fingers. It would hurt a lot if he were to bite me. I hit my knees which were about to fold and stared at the wolf. He really was humongous. He must be the size of a minivan.
In my previous life, I would never have imagined that I would be confronted with something like this.
But now there was no escape.
“… My name is Hirano. I am the Evil God of the Demon King Draco. I would like to know your name.”
“Huh, Boy. Don’t you know my name? You lack knowledge.”
The wolf teased.
Is he a famous wolf?
I looked closer and saw that his ears were round for a wolf. The tip of his nose wasn’t protruding out much either. Maybe he’s an extinct Japanese wolf.
“My name is Okri. Remember it, Boy.”
“It’s not Boy, it’s Hirano.”
“I don’t care what your name is, Boy. More importantly, move aside. I must grant the Little One’s wish.”
I glanced behind me.
Draco wasn’t retreating. Neither were his men. I could settle this somehow if he and his men retreated while I buy time, but it didn’t look like they would retreat.
This sucks. I’m sure it would hurt to get bitten by those fangs.
I probably won’t die since I’m an Evil God, but I still don’t want to be bitten by those fangs.
“What, Boy? Are you going to get in my way? Take my advice. Get out of here.”
“I can’t let you through here.”
Yes, I can’t.
I thought about various things when I saw the werebear, Edward. I was troubled.
The conclusion I came up with after a lot of thinking was something that would make Yoshinaga-san angry.
I will protect Draco, and I will walk together with him.
That was the only conclusion I came to.
“You’re risking your life for a demon race? Let me tell you something. That isn’t courage, that’s recklessness. Be wise, Young Man. I will still pardon you right now. Now, step aside.”
“I will not abandon my followers.”
Okri snorted. He was clearly sneering.
“You’re saying foolish things. Evil Gods have limited power. Even a virtuous God will lose his divine powers when his strength runs out. How many things do you think you can protect with your slender hands?”
“Cheeky! You’re a boy who doesn’t know any better! I went easy on you because you look like a new God, but you’re getting cocky… I won’t tolerate this anymore. You and your followers…”
The wolf clenched his teeth and howled. I guess he’s annoyed that I, whom he saw as inferior, won’t do as he wants.
He won’t budge. If I could at least get Draco to escape…
A breeze softly caressed my cheek as I thought that.
“Please calm down, Okri-dono, the <Guardian of the Road>.”
It was Yoshinaga-san’s voice.
She manifested and stood in front of me with her hands outstretched.
“You know my old alias… Oh, aren’t you the <Goddess of War>? It’s been a long time.”
“I apologise for not contacting you for so long.”
“… So, this boy is under you, Ojou? No can do, they say that discipline is important at the beginning. Don’t go easy on him.”
“No, Evil God Hirano is my Chief God.”
“What? The <Goddess of War> is… serving under this boy?”
Okri looked conflicted.
I didn’t know this, but is Yoshinaga-san actually an amazing goddess?
“Haha. What a surprise, things have gotten quite interesting while I was asleep.”
“Will you not step aside out of respect for me?”
“That’s not something I can easily do. You have not forgotten the meaning of my name the <Guardian of the Road>, right?”
The <Guardian of the Road>, is it?
It was the habit of the extinct Japanese wolf to follow a human who has entered their territory until they left. From the person’s perspective, it must have looked like the wolf was escorting them on their way.
Did I inherit a nature like that when I was transmigrated into a God?
“I will do my job, <Goddess of War>, and I will do it to the best of my ability.”
“The time for talk is over. <Goddess of War> and Boy. Let’s meet again when the time is right.”
Okri howled before we could say anything else.
It was a tremendous howl that shook the heavens. I felt as if my head would crack open.
Okri took advantage of this opportunity. He avoided Yoshinaga-san and lunged straight at Draco.
There was no way I was going to let Draco die.
I threw myself at them with all my might, but I didn’t make it in time.
A dull shake pierced my body. I was knocked away and Draco, who I couldn’t protect, fell down with me.
I braced myself for the second blow to my back, but the shock never came.
I turned my head to see Okri hitting the mound with his body. The messy piles of luggage were blown away by a single blow.
“Little One! The road is open!”
Ri Gudang’s army came rushing in at the sound of Okri’s shout.
I couldn’t tell if they had the will to fight or not. They seemed motivated by something other than high morale.
The soldiers moved to protect Draco.
“Into the forest!”
Yoshinaga-san released a gust of wind to open the path of retreat.
The werebears and Edward had also joined us at some point and were also fighting to help Draco retreat.
I stepped through the undergrowth that coiled around my legs and advanced into the forest. I struck the enemies who stood in my way with a slight thunder and knocked them down.
We won’t look back.
Draco’s men were fighting.
I noticed that the Gonane, led by Lukshuna, were close by.
Flee. Flee to live.
“Hirano-sama. I have a question I would like to ask you.”
“Is it something you must ask now?”
“I would like to ask you this now.”
Draco’s voice was firm and wasn’t filled with cowardice even in this situation.
I nodded my head instead of answering.
“Is this also my fate? The fate the Gods have given me?”
Who knows. Maybe it’s not fate.
Honestly, I’ve never thought deeply about the word ‘fate’.
I’ve never pondered over the word, but I don’t think it’s fate.
“It’s not fate.”
“Fate is like the path that one follows after they have lived.”
I cleaved the trees that were in my way with lightning.
We will pave the way. We will move on.
“… It’s like a myth. An Evil God matching a demon.”
“A myth? It is indeed a myth. You are correct, Draco.”
Head South towards Alunaha.
The wind has begun to blow.