Chapter 208 – It Was Fake!?
After taking their positions in the sky, the Tengu waved their hands at us.
They were carrying hemp sacks that were filled with powder. Considering the possibility that the people who were hiding were undead, we decided to use Ent leaves, which could defeat them.
“Asuha. Can you do it?”
“Yes. We’re ready.”
Upon hearing Asuha’s voice, I nodded at the Tengus.
And then all at once, the Tengus started to fly together to the west, and scattered the powder in the bags.
Asuha pointed her staff at the forest and unleashed wind magic.
The forest trees and plants swayed together, and the powder was carried by the wind to the west.
“…!? What? What is that!?”
Immediately, alarmed voices rose from within the forest.
“So they were hiding there after all.”
They were probably frantic because the powder stuck to them.
I used a telescope to look into the forest.
With the powder stuck to them, I could now see outlines of the people hiding in the forest.
“That shape…a large lizard? Could it be…”
I lowered the telescope and turned to Ecleshia.
“Bind them by the limbs. I think they are…”
Ecleshia must have noticed it as well. And she immediately started to move the forest plants.
Eventually, voices rose from the trees.
“Wait! We surrender!”
“That voice… Ecleshia. Bring him here.”
I said, and then Ecleshia controlled the plants and brought one of the lizardmen to me.
“Olto… Why are you here?”
“After negotiations broke down, we were sent out as disposable pawns in retaliation. Though, we were given magic tools to hide ourselves.”
Olto replied after coming out of the forest.
I turned to Ecleshia and had her release Olto.
“It’s possible that they are carrying something dangerous. And so I’ll have your subordinates stand back for now… By the way, Olto. It seems like you talked to the Demon King about negotiating.”
“Aye, I did… But you know the results already.”
“The Demon King demands subjugation, and nothing else.”
“And you refused. Grinia, the goblin king said that Fendel should be destroyed, and the Demon King and other monster chiefs agreed.”
Only Olto and the lizardmen had come.
And there were only a few hundred.
“According to the other monsters, it is like this every time. A lot of big words are said, but the human cities stay standing. Even now, the army has halted at the battleline. Even when the Demon King came directly, and the fighting force is larger than ever.”
If Kyuby and Yomotsu’s maneuvers were part of this offensive…why did they not attack the kingdom in the end?
Had they just missed the right opportunity…
No, would someone who was a Demon King make such a mistake?
“Olto…if you talk to me honestly, we will free you from the south sea.”
“If you let me return, I will say anything. We are all tired of fighting now.”
Olto said with a nod.
“I see… So currently, on the front lines of the Demon King army, most of the monsters in the Demon King’s territories are gathered there?”
“They should be. Though, depending on the place, there are tribes who have lost jobs and are starving.”
If Olto’s words were true, then this army would be greater than any that had ever been seen.
To make such a mistake with an army of that size… Yes, it was unbelievable.
Besides, it was also strange that Grinia the goblin king did not know about Yomotsu.
The Demon King had agreed with Grinia. So that meant he was held in higher regard than I thought.
In the first place, when the armor spoke of the Demon King, it sounded like there was hope for negotiation. We had even been asked to be merciful to Yomotsu.
So it was strange to now hear that the Demon King agreed to attack Fendel.
…Now that I thought about it, did that armor even tell the Demon King about my request for a truce?
“Olto. What was the Demon King’s answer to the black armor’s report?”
“Black armor? …What is that?”
“Huh? The black armor that was helping to guard Grinia.”
“At-at least, when I was in the same camp as the Demon King, I never saw anyone like that. In any case, what message did you give this black armor?”
“It was about a truce.”
“Nothing like that came up in the meeting. From beginning to end. That’s why Grinia came… Who is it that you were talking to?”
Olto asked, and the rest of us turned to each other.
The Demon King didn’t hear from the black armor?
Could it be that he was receiving reports in secret then?
Was it just here to spy on the enemy… No, it was strange.
“Olto… Are you sure that the person you saw really was the Demon King?”
“What a foolish… Well, now that I think about it, I only see the Demon King at the castle once a year… And the Demon King is always wearing a mask and black hood…”
“So you wouldn’t know if it was the real one.”
“…I cannot prove it.”
I didn’t know why, but it seemed like the Demon King might have sent a double to the frontlines in order to bring all the forces of the realm to the frontlines. At the same time, Kyuby and Yomotsu were sent to wreak havoc on the human countries…
Was the Demon King trying to do something in his own territories?
Something that also fulfilled Kyuby and Yomotsu’s wishes. And so they helped the Demon King.
Yomotsu had lost his wife, Mina. And Kyubu had lost a beloved mother… Their wishes were quite clear.
In other words… The Demon King was trying to resurrect the dead?
“…Olto. When I release you and your people to the south sea, can I make one request?”
“…What is it?”
“I want you to go to the Demon King’s castle and see if the real Demon King is there. If he is, try and ask if we can negotiate again… As for a place…the White Sand Island would be best.”
“…Very well. I will say that I was captured, and that Fendel wanted me to deliver a message. Of course, if the real Demon King is there, that is…”
“Thank you. I will prepare a boat.”
And like that, we decided to release Olto and the others to the south sea.