I was currently lazing around in the tower.
This was because Demon King Tralzard had asked me to stay here for a while longer.
I had no reason to refuse, and had been told that my bill at the inn had already been paid.
Seitry had been working behind the scenes in order to erase my existence.
“Are you well?”
In fact, Seitry was right in front of me now.
This was the third day after my meeting with Tralzard.
The tactician had come while disguised as one of the guards who were on patrol.
Apparently, disguising yourself and patrolling the castle was a good way to gather information.
As for this rumor about the death of the tactician.
It was something they hid from the general public. It was an interesting way to do things.
“I suppose I am…until I die of boredom, anyway. But I’m glad to see that things are going well with you.”
Seitry had used my battle with Tralzard in order to fake his own death.
And since I was now involved, I wanted the plan to succeed.
“Thanks to you, it seems to be working. There are many people who are searching this country, and they believe that I am in the tower. Those who are perceptive will realize the truth soon enough. But they won’t be able to learn my actual location. And those who have investigative capabilities are the ones who are more likely to be tricked.”
Yes. In other words, because the death of the tactician was being hidden, they will take that information and leave. There were three levels to the deception.
“So when will I be allowed to leave this place?”
“You will have to wait a little longer. After that battle, the eyes of the surrounding countries have turned towards us.”
There were no regulations, and merchants freely moved in and out from several countries. Such people gathered information from towns.
If I came out of the castle now, it was possible that I would be seen as someone related to recent events. And going out in secret would make me look even more suspicious.
So it would be better for me to stay until the place was no longer the center of attention.
“That’s easy for you to say…”
In here, I didn’t get any information from the outside.
I was worried about my men and my country.
“I thought you would say that, and so I have brought you some news on Lesser Demon King Melvis’s country.”
“Ah, that’s good to hear. I was just thinking about that.”
I had complained a little, and this is what happened.
It was as if I was right in the palm of the tactician’s hand.
“Well, we too cannot ignore this issue that is the rise of Lesser Demon King Kyuka.”
“So, how are things now?”
“After Kyuka defeated Fara, the army stopped advancing. It’s likely that they took great damage during the battle.”
“I see. Fara isn’t someone who you can defeat without taking damage… Ah, I see. It was meant to be a brief and decisive battle.”
Lesser Demon King Fara had been climbing the ladder to become a Demon King.
Normally, you would save and build up your power while carving away at the enemy forces until you had the advantage.
But when I started hearing rumors about Kyuka, it was after Fara had already been defeated.
Why had he been in such a hurry? Leninoth was right next to Fara.
If Kyuka’s rise had been seen as a threat, then the two might have formed a temporary alliance.
After all, Kyuka had apparently decided that it was better to fight quickly and decisively, even though the losses would be great.
But according to what I heard from General Miralda, the corps that was sent in our place was the one to defeat Leninoth.
Would that really lead to a clash between my country and Kyuka’s?
“It seems like continuing with the momentum of the victory over Fara was not possible. And so he left the taken lands to Fara’s subordinates, and retreated.”
“So my country is safe?”
If Fara was defeated, that would mean Kyuka now ruled five or six countries.
It would not be surprising for Kyuka to become a Demon King soon.
However, Kyuka had retreated. This was significant.
Perhaps it was due to a grave wound. Or not. I didn’t know.
But Kyuka must have thought…
—I don’t want to immediately fight those who defeated Leninoth.
It was the right decision. Anyone who wasn’t a fool would have done the same.
A defeat could undo everything.
And this was the country that had defeated Leninoth.
If there was a danger that you could lose, it made sense that you would heal your wounds and gather information first.
So things would likely be stable for a while.
“Which countries do you think feel threatened now?”
Came the question… But I wasn’t sure.
I suppose all of the nearby smaller countries would feel threatened.
“If Kyuka’s goal is to become a Demon King, then it will be war with the other small countries as soon as his wounds heal.”
“Indeed. This was supposed to be Leninoth and Fara’s war, but they are both gone now. The only one left is Kyuka, and an unknown force. However, everyone would believe that they are a threat greater than Leninoth.”
Well, they were General Miralda’s men.
She really had sent some powerful soldiers.
“If the smaller countries were to act…it would be war?”
“You are quite perceptive. The surrounding smaller countries do feel threatened. Kurulu, Rous, Lubanga, and Nacti have all formed an alliance. And they have attacked Melvis’s country.”
“We’re at war with four countries at the same time?”
“That is how far they have been pushed. And if Melvis’s country defeats even one of them, Kyuka will attack. It won’t matter if he’s completely recovered or not. He will not sit by while Melvis’s country grows more powerful.”
Not only were they dealing with those four countries, but they would have to be ready for Kyuka’s army to attack their backs.
And in spite of this attack, it would be too dangerous to send an army to another country.
They could not take their time and beat each country one by one.
Now was the time to act, since Kyuka had just retreated to his country.
However, the people that had killed Leninoth were only borrowed men from General Miralda.
They would eventually have to be returned.
In fact, maybe they already thought that they had fulfilled their role by defeating Leninoth?
I didn’t know what kind of contract had been written.
Regardless, my country would be at war with four countries while Kyuka was behind us.
It was too much.
“…Is this checkmate?”
“Yes. If this continues.”
Of course, it is.
Whether we stayed and defended or went out, the results would be bad.
How could we survive if our strongest fighting force aren’t even ours…
This was a disaster.