Ant Princess, Alesha
I looked at the different locations from the throne room.
We were doing well at the first hole. Hanzo the kobold ninja was putting up a good fight. And once Fuma Kotaro arrived, they overwhelmed the enemy.
They cut the ants down like the wind and crushed their legs like a demon. They showed the worth of a ninja from the Sengoku era.
If enough time passed, they would exterminate the ants and fill up the hole.
Next was the north. Here, they were being pushed back. While werewolf Bradenboro was a courageous fighter, the ants had also sent some of their best fighters to this location.
Quite a few of them had wings. If things continued like this, the battle line would crumble. Thinking this, I decided to send reinforcements their way.
Robin was in charge of the west, and while they seemed to be in a stalemate, they too were starting to get pushed back. He was leading a group of archers. And since they were best with ranged attacks, they would be at a disadvantage as the enemy got closer to them.
Even worse, they had only been assembled recently, and lacked experience. However, their commander was Robin. And he fought like some kind of demon god, even in this dangerous situation.
He would shoot two arrows simultaneously and hit both targets.
And if the ants got too close, he would push the arrow into the ground and stab them with a short sword. He dealt with the ants like some kind of bullfighter.
On the other hand, Jeanne was doing rather well in the east. Her holy sword, Nouvelle Joyeuse, unleashed blades of light that cut through the ants one after another.
In the first place, she was a Hero that was good at taking on multiple enemies at once. So in a way, these ants were the perfect enemy for her.
Now, adding this all up, it would seem that we were losing. But what about the southern battle line?
I checked it through my magic screen.
Toshizou Hijikata was in charge of the south side, and seemed to be evenly matched. He was leading an army of demons, monsters, humans and demihumans. Many of these soldiers were strong and among the elite.
And so they could fight well, even when Toshizou wasn’t necessarily giving out orders.
However, it wasn’t like Toshizou was slacking off either.
There was a very powerful enemy on the south side.
And this enemy was leading a group of human soldiers. They were all samurai who wielded Japanese swords.
This group was led by an old man who wore a fox mask.
It was as if the gods had led them so that they would be on the same battlefield.
Even Toshizou, who didn’t believe in fate, had to smile at this.
“I never believed in any god, but perhaps I will have to build a small shrine in my room once this battle is over.”
“I will build a temple.”
They both said jokingly, and then they unleashed their most powerful attacks.
A terrible sound rang, and then the locked swords pushed against each other.
“Very impressive, old man. You managed to block my attack.”
“What nonsense. I won’t lose to someone so young.”
The two warriors tried to break the other’s sword, but as they were of equal capability, this did not happen.
And so the fight continued.
Seeing this as an opening, the hive workers from the ant army and Toshizou’s mercenaries rushed forward, but both were cut down by the leader of the other side.
“It’s not time for you third-rates to come on stage!”
“Don’t ruin this fight!”
Their cold voices rang. And as their subordinates bled, no one else tried to disturb them.
The fight continued like a painting from mythology.
Their swords clashed again and again, but their movements were so impressive that I didn’t want to miss a single hit.
I could have watched them forever, but that could not be. It was my job to watch everyone and send reinforcements where it was necessary.
However, if I sent more soldiers north, then more ants would be sent from the underground as well.
It would be the same in the west as well. And that would just keep happening over and over.
Apparently, there was some man underground who was doing the same thing as me.
“He won’t even give me a minute’s opening. The directions are like a textbook for military science.”
I had no qualms with praising enemy generals. I thought of the old man, who probably had the same sour expression I had while looking at the current situation of the battle.
“Our use of soldiers is nearly equal. So it is just about how many we have, and their quality…”
But right now, that too seemed to be evenly matched. And so it continued to be one step forward and one step back. However, by just a very slight degree, they did seem to be doing better. And it was because they were led by Hannibal.
So I might lose if things continue like this. I may have thought that, but I did not sigh and give in.
While I may be losing, I haven’t lost yet. If I could not win through the commanding of soldiers, I just needed to win through strategy.
As I was the realist Demon King, I started to think of a number of ways to defeat Hannibal.
I thought of 65,536. After thinking of all of these patterns in an instant, I chose the most effective one and put it into action.
Underground, Hannibal Barca sat cross-legged and watched what was happening on the surface. In another world, he had been feared as the greatest general.
He watched the magic screen and sent out reinforcements.
The ant soldiers were strong, but there were only so many of them. And so he wanted to command them so that not one soldier would go to waste.
Besides, even after this battle ended, Hannibal would have to continue fighting.
He was currently pretending to obey Queen Alioshe, but he intended for her to step down soon.
He wanted the daughter, Alesha, to become the new queen. In order to this, he needed to keep his own soldiers alive, and allow the queen’s soldiers to take the fall instead.
It was a vicious thing to do, but it was all for the sake of his master.
That master was talking to him now.
A girl who was in the shape of a human and was like the purest of crystals.
“General Hannibal. How is the battle fairing?”
Hannibal was surprised to see her there.
“Princess. Why are you in a place like this?”
“It is my mother’s order. My other elder sisters are also out on the frontlines.”
“The queen gave such an order?”
“If you are my daughter, then stand at the frontline! Share the hardships of the other ants. That’s what she said.”
“She only calls you her daughter when it’s convenient.”
Alioshe had seventy-seven daughters. But they weren’t treated much differently than the winged ants. The ant queen did not feel affection like humans did.
“It cannot be helped. I am the youngest daughter, and must work for my mother.”
“Princess Alesha. I’ve said it many times before, but there is no need for you to think that way. One day, Her Majesty the queen will regret the way she treated you.”
“No, that is wrong. My mother’s orders are absolute.”
He could tell by her eyes that Alesha was not lying. She loved and respected her cold-hearted mother. Even though she was nothing but one of seventy-seven daughters.
While this devotion to her mother was likely from a gentleness that was in her nature, in this world, no, within the colony, it was seen as a needless emotion.
But Hannibal didn’t say any of this. He just told her that he could not send her to the frontlines.
Alesha obeyed him. But just then, he received a report from his subordinate.
“Sir Hannibal. Demon King Ashtaroth’s main army has moved.
“The main army? They left the castle?”
“Yes. He seems to have taken many soldiers with him in order to help the northern battlefront.”
“I see. Perhaps he means to win on the northern side all at once, and then move on to the others.”
It was a good plan, but also a double-edged blade. As this meant that the castle would be less protected.
And Hannibal had been waiting for this to happen.
“Very well. Now is the time to take the castle. An elite corps will be sent.”
“So you are going to destroy the core in Ashtaroth castle.”
Hannibal smiled crudely, and then he gave the order.