Of course, Miralda was the guest of honor.
But she came with a pair, a man and woman, as part of her entourage.
“The man is Halm and the woman is Minishe. They are both Crystal Dragons. I must go and greet them now.”
General Farneze approached them and addressed the trio gracefully.
Miralda was wearing a simple kimono.
It wasn’t like her usual one, which was worn more loosely.
“So she dresses seriously at events like this.”
I somehow found it amusing.
Banquets like this were not held often, and I had thought that she might dress more extravagantly. But if anything, she was more eye-catching in her usual clothes.
But there were many people here, and some might be more critical than others.
Perhaps she had taken that into account when getting dressed.
As for the other two…
“They look like nobles of the Heian period…or an old priest and shrine maiden.”
They were both wearing clothes that looked like hakamas.
The man’s was a light green, and the woman’s was white and red.
I had a feeling that they were wearing this by Miralda’s orders, and it had nothing to do with their personal taste.
It was as I gazed at them talking that I noticed something odd.
It was the way that the pair stood. The way they moved and carried their weight steadily. It reminded me of people I had seen a long time ago.
“…Were they well versed in martial arts?”
In spite of appearances, I had attended a dojo since I was a small kid.
And after many years, I was even put in a position to teach others.
When attending tournaments, I would sometimes see veterans who had been on the path for many years. And these two were moving in the same way that the masters did.
When your body became stronger, it would start to move differently.
“I haven’t seen people move like that in a long time.”
The concept of ‘Tao’ did not exist here.
There was no judo or kendo, where people tried to improve their skills in fighting. The idea of a weaker person using skill and technique to win was something no one really thought of.
People weren’t known to arduously practice and train in order to get stronger.
If you wanted to get stronger, you were supposed to eat a lot and sleep. Then your body would grow. So many people actually thought in this way.
And so it was very rare to see people like those two. As I continued to watch them, General Farneze gestured for me to join them.
“I was just asking them about how they would attack Legard. What are your thoughts?”
“Legard, the Demon King of destruction? You’re talking about him, and not his army?”
“Yes. Of course, I don’t even know what race he is. So it’s a difficult question for me.”
General Farneze said with a laugh.
Well, it was a bit of an awkward question. Asking Generals to talk of killing Demon Kings.
Demon King Legard’s race was unknown.
Knowing a person’s race meant knowing their method of attack, special abilities, and weaknesses. And so evolved types tended to keep it a secret.
In Legard’s case, he was an ‘Origin type’ and so no one knew what race he was.
Normally, you might be able to guess based on their subordinates, but Demon Kings tended to rule over so many different races, that it became difficult to determine anything.
“I did hear that he has very big horns.”
“Indeed. And it’s said that demon-types often spawn ‘Origins.’”
“Well, they are one of the weaker races, so it’s easier for them to evolve. Even more so because there are so many of them.”
But would someone like that become known as the Demon King of destruction…? I wasn’t sure.
The most common rumors about Legard were of him destroying armies all by himself, or laying towns to waste. They were terrible to listen to.
And that was how he got his name.
In any case, people started to mutter, ‘was he not satisfied until he destroyed everything?’
“Well, if he is a demon-type then he won’t be able to use magic and will have weak resistance to it. So I suppose I would assemble a special unit to take advantage of that and annihilate him.”
“Someone who has been a Demon King for that long has probably faced plenty of enemies who fight with magic. And so he either has a way of dealing with magic, or he is not a demon-type.”
“I see. And?”
“If the rumors are true, this is not a Demon King who has a cautious personality. So I would lure him in and separate him from his men before fighting.”
“Hmm. Golan. Where would you lure him?”
“A deep valley floor.”
Especially if it was a place that was difficult to get out of.
Besides, the more destructive you became in such a place, the greater danger you would be in.
“Well, I am not sure that luring Legard to a valley floor would be enough to defeat him.”
“No, we’ll be defeating his army. Legard will be stuck in the valley. And in full force, we will destroy the Demon King’s army.”
A powerful Demon King was only a threat when combined with a powerful army.
If the Demon King was alone, then he could be defeated with an army of similar strength. At least, that’s what I thought.
“I see. That is quite interesting. What do you think? Is it not as I said?”
Miralda said as she patted her two friends on the shoulders.
The two of them started whispering to Miralda.
This conversation just now. Had they been testing me?
“I know an Ogre who speaks of strategies.”
“General, you’re joking.”
“No, no. It’s true. Shall we put it to the test then?”
Something like that.
As for General Farneze, she didn’t care as long as people weren’t talking about Felicia. And so she had probably agreed to that proposal.
After that, Miralda and her entourage went to talk with the other Generals.
And so I was left with Farneze for a short while.
“Her guards. I wouldn’t underestimate them.”
Perhaps I was being patronizing, but I decided to warn her.
“Them? They are Crystal Dragons. They are indeed very pleasing to look at, but they are also known to have little combat ability to speak of. They are practically decorations.”
I was not expecting to hear that.
“I can tell by just looking at the way they move their feet. Besides, they should still have physical strength, as dragons. I am quite sure they’ve been trained so that they can suppress us even without weapons.”
“Yes. I’m good at sniffing out the strong.”
“How careless of me. Everyone says that Crystal Dragons are unable to fight, and so I believed it.”
“Who started that rumor?”
“Merchants from Tralzard’s country.”
“They are either being paid or are purposely spreading false information.”
Tralzard would have strategists of his own.
He was a Demon King, after all.
“This won’t be as simple as I thought.”
The General’s face seemed to darken.
While they were our allies now, we could still not let our guard down.