“That appears to be the case. Well, I worry about the lack of battle experience, but this is not the time to complain about such things.”
I looked at Eve and then at Jeanne, then I asked them.
I wanted to help him. No, help the dwarves. To fight. Were they alright with that?
I asked them this with my eyes, and they understood.
Eve bowed humbly.
For Eve it was loyalty, for Jeanne it was perhaps an act of charity from one who was the servant of a god.
We knew what we wanted to do now, but I wasn’t sure that this old man would accept us.
Well, he would accept us, but the issue was the terms. Would he agree to follow my command?
I thought that it was possible to drive Eligos’s army back, but it would require the help of these dwarven men.
Would this old man, this Chief Gottlieb, would he give me the authority to lead?
I wasn’t sure if he would trust me.
Of course, there was no point in wondering about it.
And so I would ask him.
“Sir Gottlieb, I understand that you might take offense to this, but I must say it. I am confident that I can save your people from this danger. But it will require the united help of the dwarven men under my leadership. Will they obey my commands for this plan that I will now lay out? As their chief, this includes you as well.”
According to legend, dwarves were very proud and even more stubborn. How would this one react?
There was a possibility that he wouldn’t even consider it. He could reject me outright.
If that happened, I would give up and leave this place.
I had to be practical.
I was not here to look after some stubborn old man.
And there would be little benefit in collaborating with some chief who could not be flexible.
I had to consider all of this coldly, but the chief turned out to be a good man.
“I saw you fighting those demons. It was marvelous. If it is you would be leading them to battle, then I will pass on my authority to you. If there are any young dwarves who refuse to obey you, I will have them punished. Do not hesitate to inform me.”
“…You have my thanks.”
It took me a moment to reply because I was a little ashamed to have doubted him even for a moment.
This dwarven chief had been able to lead his people to safety even after being ambushed by Eligos. And he had stopped the invasion for several weeks.
He clearly had a good eye for strategy.
With such a man helping us, defeating Eligos’s troops would not be impossible.
After that, I began to talk about what I had in mind, but Gottlieb laughed.
“I will be glad to hear what your plan is, but not in this narrow tunnel. I wish to tell my people that we have reinforcements and show you our settlement deep in the mines. You will be introduced to them as a powerful demon lord.”
“I am honored.”
It had escaped me for a moment, but it really was not very gentlemanly to keep these two girls in a place that was dark and filled with dust.
The ash was also bad for one’s health.
And while I could withstand it as a demon king, Jeanne was human, and Eve could be rather brittle.
They were also tired after the recent fight.
Apparently, the dwarven settlement did not have much food, but they had plenty of water.
That meant that Eve could at least use the tea leaves she had brought in order to brew some tea.
It was with such thoughts that we followed the chief and descended deeper and deeper down the mines.
It really was just like a labyrinth.
I could see why Eligos had not been successful in attacking.