The Beating of the Enemy General, Gabak
And that was how I spent the brief moment before departure.
The army of Deprosia had invaded Eligos’s army from the west, as was promised.
“And how are things going?”
I asked Eve.
She began to read the report from our Slime spies.
“Deprosia dispatched a company of knights and three groups of mercenaries. About two thousand men in all. Eligos’s western force is only seven hundred. We can expect Deprosia to be victorious.”
“How very grand. I would like to command such a number of soldiers one day.”
I admitted. Then I asked her,
“But Eve, why are you here?”
We were traveling on the road to Eligos’s castle. I was currently on horseback.
And Eve so happened to be riding behind me.
“I am your maid-cum-strategist. How could I not follow you to the battlefield?”
“But I wanted you at home…”
“I believe Gottlieb is more than ready for that task.”
I couldn’t exactly deny that. Besides, I needed a personal servant.
And she was much better than your average goblin.
And so I decided to leave it at that.
It was all business now.
“How many soldiers await us at his castle?”
“Usually there would be over one thousand, but Deprosia has attacked him from the west. And we will come from the south. Furthermore, there will be an eastern invasion. The castle will surely be quite unguarded.”
“From the east, you say?”
“It seems that he has made an enemy of a Demon King there.”
“I see. What an absolute fool he must be. Perhaps there is something wrong with his head.”
“Yes. To attack the dwarf settlement and then anger such a great kingdom as Deprosia at the same time as he began hostilities with an eastern and western Demon King. Completely inept.”
“Could he really be so foolish?”
“Well, he had previously been known to be rather wise. It seems that things only changed once he took Sharltar, the Necromancer, under his wing. After all, Sharltar had succeeded in expanding his lands and bringing him wealth at first. Though, it came with the ire of his neighbors, as we know.”
“A genius in business then. Well, at least in terms of purchasing. However, losing the trust of others will result in an unfavorable end. We can certainly learn from his bad example.”
“Indeed. And Sharltar is no longer here to aid him. This is a great opportunity.”
“I agree. While we have expanded, our army is still small. We would not have had a chance had circumstances not become so favorable to us.”
As I talked with Eve, Toshizou joined the conversation.
He was riding a horse as well, but he did it very poorly.
He hadn’t always been a warrior, and he disliked horses.
Even Jeanne, the farmer’s daughter, was a better rider.
“By the way, Master Demon King, do you have a particular scheme for taking the castle?”
“A secret plan. Something similar to when you defeated Demon King Sabnac.”
“I hope you won’t expect something outrageous like that from me every time we go to battle. But well, I won’t say that I have nothing.”
“That is good to hear, Master. I am all ears.”
And so I was about to tell him, but Eve stopped me.
“Master, I don’t think we have time to talk so leisurely.”
What did she mean? But I didn’t ask. Eve was not one for idle talk, and she wouldn’t have interrupted me without good reason.
There was always a reason for everything she did.
I looked ahead at what she was looking at.
There was a dark shadow.
I had to use ‘Farsight’ to realize that it was an army of goblins.
I counted them as well, but there were barely even a hundred.
Still, they had clearly not come here to befriend us.
I suppose Eligos was sending his weakest first.
But why so few?
We outnumbered them easily.
Was he underestimating us? Or did he lack manpower?
It made me hesitate. Toshizou offered a suggestion.
“A hundred goblins, eh? Perfect. Master Demon King, will you give me the honor of drawing first blood?”
“I don’t mind if you do.”
“Unless we somehow struggle, I would like it if you could leave it to me and my unit.”
“I’m not fond of taking chances.”
“Taking chances? I don’t know what you mean. I won’t play with them. We have a great chance of winning this.”
“Thank you. I have no complaints about the roles we’ve been given. Jeanne’s led the humans and I the monsters. But they are very different. I want them to gain as much experience as possible.”
“I see. Well, do it then.”
And then Toshizou dismounted.
He struggled with that too. He was more comfortable walking.