I had defeated Barzas in a duel.
While it was true that Barzas had been very strong, it also made me realize that my way of fighting was not very refined yet.
Back when I was still an Ogre, I had been able to fight in a way that allowed me to save more of my strength.
As I was weak, I had to use my head when fighting my superiors.
That’s how things had been.
(I have to stop getting carried away and relying on brute force.)
To be honest, I was exhausted now. And my mana was depleted. Yes. Later, I would have to reevaluate the way that I fought.
However, I could not allow them to see any weaknesses.
And so I raised my fists high into the air and shouted.
After a slight delay, the crowd roared.
I didn’t quite know…if that meant the soldiers had accepted me, but I had proved my strength.
“I want to meet whoever is in charge here. Let me in.”
All I had to do was glare at them, and they would cower.
I would not be able to fight anymore, and yet I had to make them think that I could.
Make them think they would have to send another who was Barzas’s equal or even stronger in order to defeat me.
At the very least, they knew that they were not the one to do it.
Someone must have gone to deliver the news.
As I stood there and stared the others down, I was eventually allowed to enter the camp.
(Now, this is where it really begins…)
My mana was dried up. And my body exhausted.
And while I was now in the camp, apparently, that didn’t mean I could meet Kyuka immediately.
I was let into the first defensive wall, but was told to wait there.
“Can I take a walk around?”
I asked with a chuckle, and the guard who was leading me nodded with a shudder.
This camp had three walls around it.
But so did General Farneze’s camp, so it wasn’t unexpected.
Had they just been made of wood, I’d be able to break them. But they were hardened soil and rocks.
And they were over twice as tall as I was.
Even if our army were able to ambush them, it would be difficult to get past the second wall.
(I can see Giants here too, so they must have helped.)
While we were all residents of the Demon World, the Giants were larger and had ridiculous arm strength.
And so carrying huge boulders was an easy task for them.
When it came to construction work, a single Giant was worth a dozen Goblins or more.
And so if you had thirty Giants, then a wall like this could be built in just one day.
I walked along the wall and inspected its durability.
The guards watched me cautiously from afar.
Word that I had defeated Barzas had spread, and so no one dared complain to me.
Still, they would not let me inside of the second defense layer.
And so with nothing to do, I continued to wander around the area. And then a rather strong-looking fellow came over to me. He was covered in armor, head to toe.
“I am Mouga. An attendant of His Majesty.”
Ah, so one of General Farneze’s targets then.
Not only was Mouga big, but he was wearing armor.
He wasn’t so much a warrior…but like some kind of stone guardian.
His breastplate was thick, and he had horns on his helmet. I could not get a clear look at his face.
Judging from the glimpses of fur, he was likely a type of evolved Dark Ape.
He wasn’t as tall as the Giants, but was still one of the larger residents of the Demon World.
After all, I had to look up in order to see him. And I felt that he must have tremendous power hidden inside.
“I’m Golan. Do you think that we can talk?”
“Indeed, that is why I came here.”
He was an attendant of Kyuka. In other words, an Adjutant.
That suggested he would be quite intelligent as well.
“I’m Lesser Demon King Melvis’s subordinate, and was working under General Farneze.”
“Farneze… Ah, the one who set up camp on the other side of the mountain.”
“Yes. …It’s a long story, but I need you to listen.”
After that, I watched Mouga’s reaction while I explained how I had come to be here.
That being said, it wasn’t the truth.
I had made it up in order to meet Kyuka.
The first thing that I emphasized was that General Farneze and I had a disagreement.
And since she had ceaselessly despised me, my resentment had finally exploded.
There was no turning back now, and I had no choice but to challenge her to Gekokujyo.
And so I decided to fight this decisive battle.
However, it seemed that she meant to drive me out of the camp before I could challenge her, and so I went berserk.
But she only sent more men after me, and I ended up having to run away while fighting them off.
“I cannot return to the camp now, and so will you let me join this one?”
I finished. Mouga looked up at the sky.
He was probably annoyed that someone so dangerous and troublesome had come to them.
“I heard about the fight at the mountain the other day.”
“You mean those Ogres I defeated after they chased after me.”
Mouga was talking about the mock battle I had with Saifo and Beka.
I had orchestrated the fight to give that impression, but had become a little too heated in the moment, and we caused mass devastation to the environment.
“Why did the General refuse your challenge?”
He was very curious about that.
“I doubt that…she was afraid of being defeated. She probably decided that it wasn’t worth the damage she would receive during the fight.”
I said with a triumphant look. This was also a question that I had expected.
My purpose here was to buy time by stopping Kyuka, not to fight one of his subordinates.
Fight me and you won’t make it out unscathed.
And if that happened, you’ll be pretty useless on the battlefield. I did my best to give him this impression.
“I see… And there must be other reasons that you don’t get along.”
Mouka seemed to be buying my story.
“Reasons that we don’t get along… Well, don’t you think I’m strong enough to be leading the army instead?”
This too was a bluff.
Think of me as inferior to the General, and I’ll kill you. It was a threat.
If I were to be at the same level as a General or Adjutant, then I would have to meet with Kyuka directly.
I would settle for nothing less than a direct link to Kyuka’s Orb of Control.
“Strength doesn’t necessarily mean you have the ability to lead an army. However, that can be remedied with good Adjutants. So I suppose you are not wrong.”
If the leader of an army lost, that army would be crushed.
And so someone who would never lose was the most appropriate to be leader. In the end, strength really was everything on the battlefield.
However, that did not include idiots like the former Corps Commander Guden, who could say nothing aside from ‘Gahahahaa! Charge! Charge!’
People like Guden did too much damage to their own side.
Unless an Adjutant could do something about it, the damage could extend farther than the corps and affect the whole army.
My talk with Mouga was practically finished.
If Mouga now asked me to make the contract with him directly, I would fight him.
Well, that’s what I made him think… He did take the hint, right?