My legs shook as I stood there.
I had changed just in time. But, what now?
I can’t even move my body.
“Golan… Your mana has doubled… No, it seems to have tripled?”
That was Miralda for you. She could measure my mana quite precisely.
“Only third-rate people care about and allow mana to dictate their actions.”
It was true in that mana levels were usually only directly linked to strength for the lower and middle rank races.
The higher you went, the more likely it was for someone to make up for any deficiencies with species specific abilities and fighting experience.
But when I pointed this out, Miralda scowled.
I suppose calling a Demon King’s General ‘third-rate’ was going too far.
“It’s as you say. I hit Baltasar with the same force, and look what happened to him.”
“In other words, you stopped the fight not just once, but twice? Do you get involved every time your men start a fight?”
“Yes, I am sorry about that. But I felt there was no other way to make things settle down.”
“Nothing was settled down.”
“I said nothing was settled. Just look at me. I’m alive. And so the fight is still on.”
“What are you going on about? Baltasar is unconscious. He will not wake up for at least a few days.”
Miralda said a little frantically. It was quite funny to watch.
She had not sounded like this when the other ‘me’ was talking to her.
And so I tilted my head back and looked down at her.
Good. I was recovering just a little now. This was an Ogre body, after all.
And so I left the shocked Miralda and started to walk towards Baltasar.
“Wa-wait! Wait! He’s unconscious.”
“Yes, and that’s something you did. It hasn’t changed anything between me and him.”
The other me hadn’t let go of the sword after being hit. It was quite impressive.
And so I held it in both hands. But my grip was still weak.
“What are you going to do?”
“Do you really not know? You can’t be that daft, General.”
Raising the blade and swinging down. I wasn’t even sure if I could do that much.
What if I ended up dropping it?
“Stop. Stop it, Golan!”
“It’s the third time you’ve interfered when victory should have been mine. A General should not do something so ignoble. Besides, he’s a Corps Commander. It’s only right he should take responsibility for losing.”
Alright, my grip was returning. I might be able to do this.
And so I slowly raised the sword.
I was aiming for his neck. If I couldn’t do it in one swing, I would keep going until his head came off.
“Baltasar lost. You have won, Golan. I accept that.”
“…That won’t do.”
“Because our fight will not end unless he admits it himself.”
“But he is unconscious.”
“And I’m saying that that doesn’t matter.”
“What do you want?”
“He started the fight. And I accepted. I won’t stop until things have been settled.”
“And I am using my authority to declare that you are the winner. I won’t allow him to challenge you again. How is that?”
“I doubt he would accept that. And he’ll attack me the moment he sees me.”
“I won’t let that happen. In fact, I am thinking about relieving him of his duty as Corps Commander. Yes, Baltasar will be sent back to his town. There will be no more fighting, and you will not see each other.”
“That may be. But what about my men? And who knows what he will do to lure me out. He will want his revenge. And it would be easier for me to deal with him now.”
“Very well. You are a guest here. Anyone who attacks you or your men will be demoted or discharged. There will be no exceptions. It will apply to both soldiers and Corps Commanders. What I declared now will be put into action the moment it is known, regardless of the reason. Is that enough?”
“…Hmm. You want him alive that much?”
“Farneze told me something. ‘Golan antagonizes everyone, and always wins. He would likely even do the same to a Demon King, so be careful in how you handle him.’ I did not realize how truthful those words were.”
Fight a Demon King?
This was pure slander.
Miralda saw me lower the sword, and she sighed.
Then she looked at me with spiteful eyes.
“Besides, if I let you do as you pleased, Baltasar wouldn’t be the last. You’d fight all of my Corps Commanders.”
“I’m just fighting those who challenge me.”
Why was she acting like I was the instigator?
“If I don’t stop it now, it will be too late when it happens a second or third time. And so let’s make this the end. Listen to me, my soldiers. If any one of you should antagonize Golan or any of his men, regardless of the reason, you will be discharged. Remember that, if you do choose to fight. I will make sure of it myself. Alright?”
Everyone was quiet.
Miralda turned to me.
“Aye, that’s fine. But if I could say one thing, you should add that it doesn’t include situations where my men challenge them. Some of them are rather quick to start fights as well. And I wouldn’t ask anyone to refuse them.”
“Very well. It’s as you just heard. Now, you can all go.”
Miralda said as she clapped her hands. Her men scattered like spiders.
They must have been very afraid of her.
“Sorry. But I think that I’m about to faint. I leave the rest to you.”
Apparently, I had a limited amount of time left.
This really hadn’t been much time at all.
Maybe it was because of all the damage to my body. Well, it couldn’t be helped.
However, giving the body back now wouldn’t change anything.
Still, this was probably the outcome that the other me wanted, right?
As I thought this, my consciousness sank into the shadows.