Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
We’re in a room in the lord’s mansion. After changing out of my bloodstained clothes, I headed right here as informed, and now we’re about to conduct a meeting to discuss countermeasures against the raid that the succubus announced.
I entered the room and took a seat several minutes ago. At present, the meeting is just starting.
「Well then, let us begin.」
The one chairing the meeting is the saint. After a straightforward recap of the archbishop’s revival of the succubus, she gets to the main topic.
「…Accordingly, the succubus most likely intends to spend a few days roaming the areas surrounding this city before returning to attack, accompanied by every last monster that lives in the vicinity. We must formulate urgent countermeasures.」
The lord nods at the saint’s words. It seems like she’s already discussed the general situation with him.
By the way, the moment I entered this conference room, the lord said something about “I knew my eyes didn’t deceive me” while slapping my shoulders merrily. He was referring to my healing magic ability, and the fact that I was most likely the perpetrator of the city-wide Area Heal, which he had already heard about from the saint. I thought I had concealed it, but apparently the saint was already aware.
Well, that’s the reason why I’m seated here at this meeting as if I’m some VIP, though.
「There is one thing I want to ask; is it true that the succubus’ ability is to manipulate the desires of the creatures around her?」
The attendees are the middle-aged leader of the knights (who just spoke), the saint, the lord, and me. Also Ruruka, for some reason. The five of us are seated around a table in the conference room. Ruruka must be nervous being around so many big names, though; she keeps glancing over at me like she can’t calm down.
In addition, there are others in the room such as the saint’s escorts, some subordinates of the leader of the knights, Fran, and Yuel, but they’re standing back behind their respective participants. I didn’t think the number of critical participants would be this small, but perhaps they’re against making the meeting chaotic by raising the number of participants.
「Yes, exactly right. In addition to that, according to materials from the Holy Demon War period, targeted creatures are less susceptible to the effect in proportion to their reason and intellect. Considering that the succubus used magic of some sort on the dragon yet it manifested little effect, this is most likely true.」
I wonder if the Holy Demon War is referring to the past war with the evil god that was written about in the Bible?
…Hold on, that’s when the succubus made her eyes glow red. Was she controlling the dragon’s sexual desires? It was mentioned in the Bible that the succubus uses her ability to manipulate sexual desires to create an army of monsters, but when the dragon received that, all that happened was that its movements became slightly dull. That must mean her ability is ineffective on those monsters with reason and high intellect.
「Therefore, there should be no problem with considering humans or highly-intelligent creatures such as dragons to be excluded from the enemy’s war potential.」
The saint continues, making a declaration. Hearing that is a relief. Looks like the succubus won’t be forcing any knight brigade members to betray us or spearheading a legion of dragons. If she could turn friends into foes or create an army of dragons, we’d have no chance of winning no matter how much healing magic I fired off.
「What would you say is your approximation of the enemy’s war potential?」
「From past accounts, the succubus has the power to manipulate tens of thousands of monsters, but…」
The saint responds to the lord’s inquiry.
…Tens of thousands. I can’t picture it from the words, but in the worst case, that’s more than a hundred times the number of knights in this city. A hundredfold difference in war potential means that in the worst case, each knight will be thrown into a swarm of a hundred monsters and be defeated with no hope of coming back alive. It seems like there’s nothing that Yuel-san can’t handle when she tries, but demanding that from every member of the knights would be cruel. Ordinarily, that would mean death.
「Tens of thousands, huh…」
The lord groans. I can feel the air in the conference room grow tense from those words. However, in order to quash that atmosphere, the leader of the knights rebuts.
「…That could vary widely depending on how far away the succubus goes to gather monsters, but at the very least, she shouldn’t be able to assemble an army of tens of thousands of monsters right away. You can’t find that number of monsters in this area in the first place.」
…That reminds me, one of the jobs of the knight brigade is to clean up the monsters outside the city. Perhaps they have a general understanding of how many monsters there are in this region.
「But, if she really does have the ability to control tens of thousands of monsters, she should be able to assemble a host of monsters in a few days that would easily exceed the number of knights in this city. With the flying speed she showed at the church… we ought to account for somewhere around 6000 monsters within four days, or 9000 within a week.」
The leader of the knights continues, amending his statement. So that means that in this region, there are enough monsters that the succubus would be able to assemble 6000 over 4 days of roaming around and 9000 over 6 days? That’s considerably lower compared to tens of thousands.
The lord groans again at the knight leader’s estimates.
…Well, it may be lower, but even so that’s a tenfold difference in war potential. Something tells me that even with my Area Heal, there’s still the possibility that we’ll be overwhelmed by sheer numbers. My magic is purely healing magic, not resurrection magic. If there’s such a difference in numbers that the knights are likely to be killed immediately, no matter how much I continuously cast Area Heal on the knight brigade, there will be casualties. Depending on the strength of the enemy monsters, it’s possible that the knight brigade will gradually be whittled down and face defeat.
「In the end, if it comes to a tenfold difference in war potential, the knight brigade will inevitably be dealt a blow to the degree of annihilation. The first thing I’d like to do is request reinforcements from the surrounding cities… Lord-sama, would that be acceptable?」
The leader of the knights makes a proposal to the lord.
Reinforcements. Well, I guess that’s the conclusion he’d reach. If we increase our number of allies, the difference in war potential will be lower. The knights are few in number, but they’re elite. If it’s reduced from 1 vs. 10 monsters to 1 vs. 3, I don’t think they’ll die that quickly. And there’s my healing magic too, so I get the feeling we can repel them with that level of disparity in war potential.
However, when the lord hears the word ‘reinforcements’, he sighs.
「Lord-sama, is there a problem with that?」
The leader of the knights raises a questioning voice.
「…The succubus, who has destroyed countless cities in the past, comes leading an army of monsters. In a war where victory is not assured, it would be great if there were lords with the courage to lend out their precious knight brigades, but…」
「…Precisely because there is a risk, they may be reluctant to send out reinforcements, is that what you mean?」
The lord nods with a bitter expression in response to the knight leader’s query.
…I’ve heard that lately, there’s hardly any war between fellow humans. I wonder if part of it is that they’re hesitant about that possibility?
「The royal capital, at least, would assuredly send out reinforcements. But as for the regional cities, they ordinarily don’t maintain much of a surplus in war potential. If the reinforcements they sent out were to be eliminated, it would pose a huge impediment to the future operation of the city. It is difficult to say this, but precisely because this is such a crisis-level situation, the lords governing the regional cities would be motivated to harden their own defenses and wait for relief from the royal capital.」
Meaning that in a war where you don’t know if you’ll win or lose, there’s no way you’ll dispatch your important knight brigade? Well, unable to oppose the threat of monsters without the knight brigade, public order in the city would take a turn for the worse as well. Looking at it from the perspective of a lord, the knights are certainly an existence that they absolutely cannot afford to lose.
「In other words… the prospects of reinforcements from anywhere but the royal capital are slim.」
「Frankly, that is the case. Which is not to say that none will come at all, but we cannot expect much.」
The leader of the knights and the lord both make a grim expression.
「I wonder if we might offer conciliations to the other lords? The current matter is our blunder as the church. In terms of money, I would like to offer as much assistance as I can.」
In the middle of that, the saint speaks of conciliations.
「As far as the city lords are concerned, the elites of the knight brigade are vital for the continued development of their cities. They cannot be replenished quickly, either. For monetary recompense alone, they would only participate opportunistically as reinforcements if victory seems assured.」
By the way, I haven’t said a single thing so far.
…Honestly, why am I seated here? The saint offered me a chair when I entered the room, but I don’t know all that much about military affairs in general, let alone the fine details.
「…I must say, how unpleasant. Even by dragon it will take two days to reach the royal capital. If reinforcements are dispatched after that, it would not be unusual for them to take more than ten days to arrive.」
Ah, now I finally understand the reason Ruruka is here. The flying speed of a dragon is most likely faster than a horse running along the ground. And the dragon seems attached to Ruruka, so they intend to use her as a communication method to call for reinforcements?
「It is believed that the succubus will come to attack this city within a week at the latest. In the materials from the Holy Demon War, there were similar descriptions. The succubus’ ability can create an army, but simply being able to manipulate monsters’ desires does not mean she maintains complete control over them. It seems that after an extended period of time, she will lose control over the army.」
「One week… in the first place, reinforcements from the capital won’t make it in time.」
The conversation between the saint and the lord continues, but the situation looks fairly bad. I can feel a gloomy atmosphere filling the room.
But it’s not an atmosphere of “In that case let’s turn tail and swiftly run away to the royal capital!”. Let me suggest a different approach.
「If knights alone aren’t enough, what if we add adventurers to the war potential?」
「Adventurers are numerous, but many of them would have their ability pushed to its limits simply hunting low-grade monsters. Without a certain level of combat ability, they would be unable to maintain the battle lines and only serve to drag us down. They would just add to the number of corpses.」
Of course. Well, I wouldn’t want weak guys joining me in the line of battle either. So long as they have enough skill to avoid instant death they won’t die that quickly thanks to my healing magic, but without that they really would just die like cannon fodder.
Doesn’t look like adventurers like Eight and Geyser who hang around on the lower floors of the labyrinth will get their turn.
Then, the conference room grows silent.
The lord groans as he hangs his head. The leader of the knights crosses his arms and closes his eyes in contemplation. Only the saint is… for some reason, looking at me.
This gaze is likely not the “that guy’s black hair sure is beautiful…” kind of gaze. Well, I more or less understand.
…The truth is, I too have come up with a method to call for reinforcements, just one. I don’t really want to bring it up, though.
If it’s me, perhaps I can persuade the lords of other cities not to be so stingy with reinforcements. It’s quite simple, as well.
…But if I do that, I will certainly stand out. And if I’m conspicuous, the number of unnecessary risks like the time with the archbishop will increase.
Guys who’d want to make use of my massive power can be found anywhere. Eris was targeted this time due to a misunderstanding, but if my ability comes to light, I’ll be targeted directly next time. Yuel may be able to protect me if it’s on the level of mere thugs, but naturally there are times when Yuel isn’t at my side.
I suddenly get concerned, and glance over in Yuel’s direction.
–My eyes meet hers.
Yuel is simply staring at me. The forecast from the meeting is doubtful, but I don’t feel any anxiety regarding that in Yuel’s eyes. She’s just looking at me with the same unchanging pupils as usual. They’re telling me that she doesn’t feel threatened at all by the fact that a large quantity of monsters will be attacking.
Most likely, Yuel believes that we’ll definitely win.
Why does she have so much faith? Because she knows the extent of the knights’ abilities? Because she thinks we’ll pull through in the event of a defensive battle in a siege on the walls? I can come up with plenty of ideas, but after all, the definitive one would have to be…
–because I’m here.
Yuel knows my ability better than anyone. So long as we have my healing magic we can repel an army of monsters, that’s most likely what she’s thinking.
Sure, that’s definitely possible. With my healing magic, even if we don’t call for reinforcements, maybe we could repel them with just the members of this city’s knight brigade.
…But, just like the leader of the knights said, if we did that the knight brigade of this city would receive a blow on the level of annihilation. People are fragile. Smash their heads and they’ll easily die. If the elite members of the knight brigade can demonstrate their true ability then they shouldn’t receive fatal injuries so quickly, but if they get surrounded by superior numbers then they won’t be able to.
…In the end, reinforcements are necessary.
I stop looking at Yuel, and glance towards the saint.
As for her pupils, it’s as if they can see right through me. To the method that I came up with. The saint had probably thought of it too, a long time ago.
As for what I really think, I want to abandon the city and run away. I don’t wanna stand out one bit.
But, my healing magic ability has already been discovered by many people. It’s just a matter of time for it to spread. Even if I don’t make this proposal, eventually a large number of people will come to know the truth about my healing magic ability.
…This may be the necessary time for a policy change. In order to protect my own body, rather than hiding my ability, I’ll use my healing magic to create loans. That way of thinking should also be acceptable.
Besides, this proposal is sure to garner a look of respect from Yuel; it’s something her master would propose. Not just the members of the knight brigade, but most likely a large number of lives will be saved; that kind of proposal.
「Fufu, please call me Philine.」
When I call out to the saint, she makes a delighted smile.
…Looks like she already knows what I’m planning to say.
Besides, this reaction. It feels like she was evaluating me based on whether or not I would say it myself. It kinda doesn’t feel great to be strung along for the ride, but there most likely isn’t any other method outside of this one.
「Alright, Philine. As far as methods to call for reinforcements go, I have an idea. It presumes that Philine will be cooperating with me, though.」
Once again, I address the saint. When I do, the saint respectfully bows her head.
「Yes. Shiki-sama, if there’s anything that I can do, whatever it may be, please give me your orders.」
Then she says that to me.