Chapter 75. The World of Schemer (2)
Nonchalantly, I looked at the annihilation warfare by besiegement. The water demons were devilishly resisting as blood spewed out of them. However, at this time, there were more of them who were killed under the pressure of the dead bodies of their own comrades. A mountain of dead bodies was forming.
“Valer, the victory is ours!”
When I was getting hungry, the battle ended with an overwhelming victory. Walpurgis has personally severed the head of the enemy’s commander who was resisting until the end. There came loud cheers from everywhere, impressed by her art in using her weapon.
“Whoaaaa! Long live Walpurgis!”
“Long live the Sister Knight!”
To the many envious aristocrats, she was looked down on as a low life female knight, but in fact, she was very well liked by the soldiers. As she was always at the front of the battle field, everyone could only feel the camaraderie.
Just turned 17 this year, this girl was sure to shine in her future years. The dead commander of the water demons would just resort to being a trophy at a corner of the city of Muhun.
“You’ve done a great work. You’ve done excellently in chasing after the enemy all night long, let alone defeating the enemy’s commander. Without you, Walpurgis, we’ll not be celebrating such a victory as this.”
“You’re too much. Valer. But, it pleases me that you’re saying so.”
After giving up on running away, approximately 3,000 troops of the water demons fought with all they had, but ended in their demise, 2 hours into the battle.
“Had we brought the cannons, it would have made it much easier, I reckon.”
“I also regret that. We chased them in a hurry, so we obviously couldn’t. At any rate, what is your next move? Valer.”
“After getting cleaned up here, I’ll recall the troops, of course. Only that I plan to take 500 cavalrymen, and go to Rhinfelden.”
“Dangerous. A demon king is there, no?”
“Well, I just heard from a reconnaissance team that Rhinfelden is completely empty, now.”
Walpurgis was surprised. But then that was only natural. That was because, we only thought that Rheinfelden was the final destination where the last demon king resided.
“Wouldn’t it be a trap?”
“It doesn’t look like it. The entire area starting Rheinfelden was completely empty, according to the intel.”
“I’m not sure exactly what is going on. Where has the water demon queen gone?”
“I don’t know, either. The demon queen Amunde might come back and attack the city, so please take the troops back and be ready to protect the city.”
I left for Rheinfelden, taking 500 cavalrymen with me. The other things would be handled by Walpurgis, so I wasn’t worried. I arrived at Rheinfelden after three hours, and the scene of the destroyed city was an absolute mess.
Covered with water, the foul, rotten smell in the city was unbearable. Everyone had to cover their noses and mouths with the capes before we could proceed.
Up to the knees of the horses legs were under water as there was so much water in the city. Water snakes, and other strange looking, never seen before, creatures were swarming grossly everywhere.
“My lord. Take a look at this.”
Pappenheim was in charge of leading the march. Looking in the direction to where he pointed, I saw a bunch of just recently hatched eggs. They were all attached to a building wall, and they looked very sticky, like the eggs seen in alien movies.
The vicinity area was filled with the signs of recently preyed on humans by the newly hatched babies. Cut up into five pieces, the human corpses were everywhere.
“The devilish, savage bastards.”
The cavalrymen could not contain their anger. The fact that the human lives were being preyed upon in such a way enraged everyone.
It appeared that the water demon queen Amunde had used the humans as nutrition in cultivating a new generation of water demons, in mass.
“This is a big problem. It’s not an ordinary issue.”
The water demons grew very quickly. So, within a few years, this place will be swarming, filled with those bastards, for sure.
If that happens, there was no way to combat the demon queen Amunde. If they went through a city of this size, they would have at least hatched 50~100 thousand eggs.
“Is it that serious?”
“Think about it, Pappenheim. The demon queen Amunde is feared greatly as is now, but to have 50~100 thousands of additional forces added.”
“The word terrifying isn’t descriptive enough then.”
“When that happens, there will be no one in the southwest who can stop the demon queen Amunde. I, too, have to run away, leaving behind the title of the Count of Wittenweier.”
Having no other recourse, I thought that I had to employee an extreme measure against her. My original plan was to repeatedly defeat her several times, and force her to return to Lake Boden, her own territory.
However, seeing this many hatched eggs, she must be very determined to fight on. At this rate, I had no other way, but be determined to be her sworn enemy, and act accordingly.
“It’s a fight against time.”
“That’s right. The longer it takes the demon queen Amunde will have the upper hand. In hind sight, I’m thinking that the reason for having attacked Wittenweier and besieged the Walpurgis Sistershood was so that they could safely hatch their eggs in Rheinfelden.”
Certainly, our focus was not on Rheinfelden. It was more urgent to free besieged Walpurgis Sistershood than already ruined Rheinfelden.
I felt like I had to learn a thing or two from her scheme.
“She is truly a dreadful foe. My lord.”
“That old medusa would feel terrible if she wasn’t told that she was the best schemer of all.”
“Will definitely locate her. I can’t remain at ease if we continue to be unable to capture her.”
“I’ll depend on you. This issue is very important.”
After surveying the city, I decided that it was no use, so went outside. As the demon queen Amunde caused part of the Rhine River to flow into the city, I could not even dare to think about rebuilding the city.
Most likely, that city will become a deserted place. It was a remorseful event, but the empire had many such cities where the demon queen had destroyed, employing the same tactic.
“Let’s return. I can’t stand this terrible odor.”
I gathered the cavalry, and headed to Bryzach. My head was spinning, so fast, as I was planning my future moves. So, I opened up the status window to change the pace. I haven’t had a chance to look at the recent leveling ups.
[The monster hunter level 32]
[The man without blood and tear level 5 -> 6]
[Warrior level 4]
Life force: 4,090 -> 4,180
(Cursed condition +654, Mandrake +200, Rubleyana +310, Protection of the Boiling Abyss +1,000)
Magic power: 2,910 -> 3,120
(Magic bone-wand of Marble Charachar +50)
Darkness: 2,240 -> 2,440
(Cursed birth +122, Magic bone-wand of Marble Charachar +70)
Power: 522 -> 532
(Curse birth +32, Rubleyana +120)
Intelligence: 290 -> 330
Agility: 319 -> 325
Health: 565 -> 575
(Mandrake +40, Rubleyana +120)
Charisma: 532 -> 570
(마물 카르카의 뼈 마법봉 +13, 류블라냐 +110)
(Magic bone-wand of Marble Charachar +13, Rubleyana +110)
Magic resistance 11.2%
Physical resistance 25% (Protection of the boiling abyss)
The stat window was getting more and more glorious with time. The newly attained skill was awesome, too. It was the <Magic shield> which was a SS level skill.
“Wow…I get to use this one, too.”
As my past memories passed by, many feelings intersected. This skill allows the user to create a defensive shield with the user’s magic power.
So, if someone was going to kill me, they have to use all of the magic power of 3,120. Only then, they will be able to confront my life force of 4,180.
From the offensive perspective, the attacker would feel like he was eating his own inside. It was just like having his, own life force blown off. On top of that, I could continue to regenerate by using the <endless energy> which was a S level warrior skill.
More and more, it was like getting closer to being a cockroach in the long run.
<Upon reaching the proficiency level of 10, one can transform into a new being by temporarily leaving the physical body, and ultimately uniting with magical power.>
What’s this. Couldn’t figure it out, no matter how hard I tried to figure it out. That was because, no one, in the past, without blood and tear had ever attained the skill of this level.
It seemed to imply that by becoming one with the magic power, one could transform into something of a higher being. I was curious and anticipatory as to what could be waiting for me.
That was how happily I arrived at Bryzach, but was met with unanticipated news.
Walpurgis was in a hurry which was rare for her.
“What’s going on?”
“The entire west of the Rhine River was taken over by the demon queen Amunde!”
“Is that true!”
I was so shocked that I held Walpurgis’ shoulders with both of my hands and asked her again.
“Yes. Kukushrak, the Orc general, was executed, and his lieutenants have all pledged their allegiance to the demon queen Amunde.”
“What in the world!”
It was unbelievable. I couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on. I quickly ordered to have all the pertinent information to be collected.
Additionally, I shared opinions with Roelin who was at the front lines at Innsbrook. And after a few days, I was able to understand the full story.
“I didn’t know that the oath of darkness could be used that way….”
“So, Valer, according to the oath of darkness, the demon queen Amunde couldn’t set her foot in to the south of the Rhine River, but since the Orc general declared independence, everything changed?”
“Yes. Making that declaration was encouraged by the demon queen Amunde.”
“….That is awe striking.”
Walpurgis could not believe it. I couldn’t see her face, now, but she would be in shock unable to close her mouth. Eventually, she shared her theory.
“Then having created a scene on the east of the Rhine River was all for a show. All the time that we were fighting, the demon queen was reaping all the benefits? As you saw, she had hatched eggs, in mass, in Rhinefelden, and took over the west of the Rhine River.”
Certainly, her ability to analyze was excellent due to her accomplishments in literary and military fields.
“We won the battle, but the demon queen has won from the overall perspective.”
I nodded as if to agree.
“We were completely fooled. I knew that the demon queen Amunde was a great tactician, but I didn’t see that she had such a good ability to see the overall situation.”
As my voice was filled with anxiety, Walpurgis pulled her chair closer to me, and held my hands. And she shook her head if it there was nothing we could have done differently.
“We could not foresee it. If our theory is correct, she had sacrificed over 5,000 troops. Valer, if it was you or me, could we have sacrificed 5,000 men?”
I fell into a thought as she asked that question. And, eventually, I reached the conclusion that I could not have done it. I’m ruthless to my enemy, but I am affectionate towards my own.
I couldn’t dispatch 5,000 troops that have lived in the same tent just to be killed. At least, the victory which I was thinking was not that kind.
However, the demon queen Amunde had nonchalantly carried it out. She was truly a horrific, thinking monster.
“I can’t. That was that, still even if we had known that it was a tactic that we would have no choice, but fall for it. Being able to destroy 5,000 enemy forces was an exhilarating temptation.”
The demon queen Amunde reaped a big benefit with a bold move. She had instantly taken over Srasbourg, Belfelt, Shretstadt, Genheim, and other cities in the west of the Rhine River.
Additionally, she had attained enough power to be called a great territory lord, by instantly taking over multiple components, including 200 thousand citizens that have now become slaves, expansive farmland and many manufacturing facilities. She has traded in the 5,000 men and made lots of profits.
“Valer, everything might have been the grand scheme of the demon queen Amunde, from the get go.”
“From the demon king Pajemut’s mobilization, you mean?”
“Yes. The fact that Pajemut is sort of stuck in his place in Innsbrook seems so unnatural, in some way.”
I shut my mouth when she pointed that out. A heavy silence surrounded us. I thought things over and over. What should I do now?
Then finally, I spoke.
“I have a plan to turn this situation around.”
Walpurgis quickly turned her head towards me, perhaps, thinking that she could not believe there was a plan that could make such a depressing situation better.
“I have two tactics.”
“Amazing! You can come up with two counter plans against this! Can you tell me, too?”
“Of course. One has to do with the west of the Rhine River, and the other deals with Lake Hoden, the demon queen Amunde’s home territory.”
Due to certain circumstances, I wasn’t able to divulge what the plan was regarding Lake Hoden.
“You have no invalid reason to tell me that, so just inform me when you need my help.”
“I’ll. Let me share the plan regarding the west of the Rhine River.”
Walpurgis straightened up her posture and heeded to my explanation. I drew a map as I began explaining to her.
“The cities which are located on the upper Rhine River area, under the demon queen Amunde’s rule. There, here is the Moselle River, a bit further west of Strasbourg, Belfelt, etc.”
“Right. There are only vacant buildings there.”
“Correct. The cities, Luxembourg, Thionville, and Tulle, along the Moselle River have become uninhabitable for a long time, due to fire. It was the work of the fire demon king Jackard.
After the mass killing by incinerating the cities, the fire demon king Jackard has made the west of Moselle River as his own territory. As the leader of the extreme demon kings, he burned up every human being, and spared no one.
“Are you, Valer, trying to bring the fire demon king Jackard into this?”
“That’s right. The fire demon king and the water demon queen are sworn enemies from their births. If we can make the fire demon king Jackard to cross Moselle River, and attack the west side of the Rhine River, the demon queen Amunde will be in big trouble.”
The reason behind the fact that the extreme demon kings could not unite was because the two giant extreme demons, the fire demon king and the water demon queen were at each other’s throats.
In fact, the peacefulness in the southwest of the empire did result from the two demon kings quarrel. As they were keeping each other at bay, neither could easily mobilize towards the southwest.
Walpurgis made an opposing point of view. The fire demon king Jackard was in an intense quarrel with the feudal lord Trier, right now. Then Walpurgis clapped, suddenly.
“Ah, come to think of it, the water demon queen has made her move, thinking that the fire demon king was completely preoccupied. That demon queen is truly so horrifying that she makes my skin crawl, as we peel off each layer of her scheme.”
“I agree. More than anything, everything was the perfect timing for the demon queen Amunde. And she must have put in a lot of work to make that happen.”
“Are you… Are you saying that the quarrel between the fire demon king Jackard and the feudal lord Trier was one of her works?”
“….I’m not sure.”
I couldn’t think that far. However, we felt our skins crawl at that moment. As far as I knew that wasn’t true. However, I couldn’t be sure since new things got uncovered as we peeled each layer of that onion like demon queen Amunde.
I thought that I was one of the scheming ones in this entire empire, but I saw that I had a long ways to go. There was always one running when I was walking, I felt ashamed to have felt so proud, and be a show off in my mind.
Had to come up with a much better scheme…Well, needed to train on strategy and tactics.
“At any rate, Valer. The fire demon king Jackard is stretched so thin due to his fight against the feudal lord Trier, that he doesn’t have the ability to mobilize an army. So, how do you plan on getting him to come to the west of the Rhine River?”
Her question was a natural one. However, crossing my arms, I gave her a subtle smile.
“There is a way.”
This was what’s called taking control over a group by using another group. Suddenly, I was so curious to see what the expression on that dreadful medusa would be when she hears that the fire demon king was about to launch an attack against her.