The dwarves were not considered to be the strongest of soldiers. But when the time came they seemed to be fighting on equal footing with the monsters of Sharltar’s army.
They did not back away when the lesser demons and gargoyles appeared.
No, if anything, they looked like they intended on pushing the enemy back.
Could it be? We might even win without resorting to my plan?
I thought this for a moment, but it was soon clear that we were pushing our luck.
Sharltar saw that brute force was not working as expected.
And he began to use psychological tactics.
He withdrew his winged demons and sent the zombies out to the front.
Zombies are usually much weaker than demons, but the dwarves were a race full of compassion.
It would not have been so bad if they were ordinary zombies, but these zombies had been their comrades. They could not help but recoil.
I even saw some dwarves shedding tears after recognizing a family member.
They began to step back.
And just like that, even more of the dwarf zombies flooded into the area.
“Damn it. What a devilish thing to do.”
I had imagined that something like this would happen, but I had not realized just how effective it would be.
I give an order to Saint Jeanne.
“Can you kill the zombies?”
Jeanne understood the situation, and merely said, ‘yes,’ as she unsheathed her sword.
“But, soldiers who have once cowered will be even weaker than before. These dwarves will likely lose if they face the demons again.”
“I understand that. But there is no need to drive the demons back. We just have to buy some time.”
“How much time?”
“Can you see that vicious looking Necromancer in the back?”
“I can. He disgusts me.”
“That is Sharltar. We need him to enter this area.”
“I see. If I kill enough zombies, there will be more space, and he and the others should come in.”
“I hope so. I’m counting on you.”
I said, and she rushed forward like the wind, her blades cutting through the zombies.
The zombies moved slowly, and with every move of her blade, a head or torso was severed. Her movements were graceful and smooth, there was nothing the dull and lumbering zombies could do.
I knew there was no need to worry on her account, and so I looked towards the dwarven soldiers.
They were still being pushed back.
They say that once soldiers experience fear on the battlefield, they become nearly useless for quite a while.
Humans and demi-humans can become strong through hard training, but there was not much you could do about their weak minds. It was because they had hearts.
The heartless demons extended their claws as if to take advantage of this weakness.
A dwarf fell down.
That dwarf was quickly retrieved and sent down the tunnel. A dwarf down and a dwarf to carry him. It was bad that two were removed from the fight when one was injured.
This was not good at all. And so I decided to have the dwarves take shelter a little earlier than planned.
“Dwarves. We move to plan B.”
They nodded at this and began to retreat.
Jeanne returned to me and whispered in my ear.
“Demon Lord, this is earlier than planned.”
“I do not want them to suffer any more losses.”
“That is grand and all, but do you think we can do this on our own?”
We would have to try, I told her. But someone then interjected.
“Not alone. I will fight as well.”
It was a man with white hair.
It was the dwarven chief. He wore chainmail and carried a great battleaxe.
“Chief Gottlieb? But I left the protection of the dwarven civilians to you.”
“Dwarven women and children are not so weak as to do nothing while their men are fighting. In fact, they kicked me in the back and drove me out.”
“But, you are too old…”
“Old? Demon Lord, you must not judge a man by appearance alone.”
Gottlieb said as he launched his battleaxe into the air.
One second his arm had been raised, and then the battleaxe…
There was a sound of metal cutting through the air. And then a demon and gargoyle were cut open.
The force behind it was almost magical.
Gottlieb pulled out a second battleaxe and said,
“Are you still unsatisfied?”
Then he laughed jokingly.
“Hardly. I would be glad to have your assistance.”
I said, and we shook hands.
His hand was rough, like iron ore.
I could imagine how much it would hurt to be struck by such a hand.
I decided that I trusted in him as a chief, as a technician, and also as a warrior.
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