Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 115 – After A Meal Banquet
The problem seems to be somehow resolved for now, so I gather the refugees and begin preparing for lunch.
Considering the situation in which I could not prepare a furnace, I prepared a large pot full of stew and the usual flatbreads. I also cut up a huge chunk of meat that had already been grilled and distributed it to the refugees.
“What is this meat? It tastes like a combination of beef and lamb. It’s so delicious…”
“That’s the land-running dragon we killed in Casemaian, you know.”
As expected, everyone has that reaction. I hope it can make them happy, though.
“Then this one, which is something between chicken and pork, is…”
“No, don’t be so surprised. We’ve never eaten anything like that before, too, you know.”
“…What’s wrong with it?”
“These are the dragon cavalry that invaded Casemaian in the previous battle. The elven warriors killed many of them, so I thought I’d give them a taste.”
“The stew was prepared by the Casemaian women. The vegetables, herbs, and mountain bird meat came from the nearby forests. Isn’t it good?”
Yes, I know, but I don’t contribute to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle at all.
“Yes, it’s delicious. Very, very tasty…”
“The Marquis’ territory is close to the sea and has lakes, so there are many fish dishes. The food is also delicious, but the food of Casemaian is delicious.”
Lionora-san looked happy with her grilled meat, chomping down on it while giving her commentary. She may look human, but she is also half beastman, so perhaps she prefers meat.
“Fish, huh? I went all the way to the sea, but I didn’t have time to eat it.”
“Do you like fish, Yoshua? We can visit there again. We can visit sometime when it’s more peaceful.”
“Is there no sea near Casemaian?”
“I heard that there is a port town beyond the Dark Forest, but it would be difficult to go 300 miles beyond the home of the magical beasts.”
Is there a sea in the north as well? I would love to go there someday if I can find a way through the forest.
“It was delicious…”
Unlike the other refugees, they were not persecuted in the marquis’ territory and did not seem to be in need of food, but the food from Casemaian still seemed to be well received.
Since no one seemed to have touched the 1.5-liter bottles of mineral water and snacks that I had loaded in the truck, I handed out the bottles and snacks to each of them, showing them how to open the packages.
According to their story, it was not that they did not know how to open them but that they were too nervous about doing so.
The children sipped their water and cackled at the pastries.
Luvia-san, who had been asked to keep an eye on the surroundings, came back to switch places with Myrril. I also went to the ridge of the hill where Owe-san was standing to take a turn with her.
“Owe-san, let’s take a turn. Please take your meal.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty the Demon King. But, before I do that, I have a few things to tell you.”
Owe-san was in charge of the top of a small hill in the direction of our progress. From there, there are rolling hills ahead.
The woman with the short hair showed no signs of driving fatigue as she pointed to a slightly elevated cliff-like area about a kilometer ahead on the right side of the road.
“I don’t see any enemy, but it looks like a man-made structure on top of that cliff. I think we should do a little aerial reconnaissance.”
“If it is man-made, what would you expect it to be?”
“A watchtower or a fortress for a longbow assault.”
If two of the winged tribe get hurt now, we won’t be able to move around. Let’s ask them to keep an eye on the perimeter while I scout the area.
“…Could it be that Your Majesty the Demon King and the Queen will be heading there?”
“Well, it’s just for a little refreshment. Besides, if there is anyone who is hostile to our demon king’s army, we must greet them, mustn’t we?”
I turned around at the sound of Nojaloli-sensei’s happy voice, and she was already excited and full of motivation.
Hey, I thought you were the one who was supposed to watch our backs.
“Please, Luvia-san and Owe-san, take your meals. After that, please take vigilance of this place. We’ll take a look around.”
Chapter 116 – Fort and Sacrifice
While the refugees from the marquis’s territory were taking an after-lunch break, Myrril and I teleported to the bottom of the cliff where we thought the fortress was located.
“We were right on target. As expected of a winged tribe with excellent eyesight.”
We happened to have chosen this rock as a shield, but behind it was a door that looked like a way in and out.
This was a fortress hidden in the natural terrain.
After putting down Myrril, who I had been carrying in a princess carry, she opened the door gently with her UZI at the ready.
Inside the door is a staircase carved out of rock. The dwarf girl, who had searched for signs of the upper floor, nodded, put her finger to her lips, and held up four fingers. Four enemies at close range. She points to her eyes, makes a sheltered pose, and looks over. So they’re on alert, huh?
Going from the stairs is risky. I decide to go outside and teleport directly over the fort.
I pull my Ithaca shotgun out of storage and hold it ready, and Myrril jumps on my back to have my hands free. She whispers in my ear.
“Whenever you’re ready.”
“What is that, that melts me…”
“What are you talking about? Why don’t you hurry up and teleport!”
Her voice gave the impression that the enemy had sensed our presence. I jumped up to the rooftop floor by teleportation without care. In front of me were four light infantryman with their backs to me. Perhaps anticipating that we would come from the stairway, they were holding their spears and taking cover to hide and hold their breath.
“Unfortunately for you. This way.”
As the men turned to look back, a .45-caliber round blew off their right hands. They screamed and rolled over, and I kicked their weapons away and pointed the muzzle of my shotgun at them.
“You have two choices. You can talk and live, or you can shut up and die.”
“Hey Yoshua, why is there an option to keep them alive?”
“Yoshua… Tekehue Yoshua?”
“Damn you, demon king!”
The men’s eyes swim as they look for a way out.
“Yes, the “30,000 killers” of Casemaian. There is no way out. The only way to survive is to talk. Who told you to do what you did? Who are you, and what do you want?”
A shot blasts the man’s left hand as he draws the dagger from his waist.
The man rolled over with blood splattering and fainted, foaming. The remaining three men took the opportunity to distance themselves from the man, each pulling out a dagger with a crippling movement. One of them operated a tube that seemed to be a magical tool and launched what looked like a red, glowing signal bullet.
“Oh, I see.”
I somehow understood what they were trying to do. What was their purpose?
The question was who had ordered them to do it, but I had a feeling that… they themselves didn’t know.
“What are people from the tribal union territories doing in a place like this?”
They trembled slightly.
It would be strange to think that they could hide it there. There is no such thing as a small army of soldiers wearing matching light armor in the kingdom today. The rebel army is struggling to cope with the outburst of the magical beasts and is not in a position to disperse its troops.
If they were local soldiers, they would be wearing a cloak for identification, and their armor would have their family crests somewhere on it.
These men have none.
If they were, they would have been mercenaries who had escaped, but they were too clean, too well-equipped, and too highly trained.
“You, who were supposed to uphold the autonomy of the tribes, have turned into dogs of the empire, haven’t you?”
“Shut up! What do you know about it?”
“Have you been told that after the king’s death, you will be given a share of the lands of the carved-out kingdom? I don’t think they’ll abide by that, but that’s not the point. The empire seems to be complicit in the restoration of the kingdom and the royal capital, rather than trying to make the king a dead man.”
“…Do you expect us to believe such nonsense? You may have underestimated our strength of only four men, but our true strength is still out there.”
“I see. Well, that’s something to look forward to.”
Completely through the man’s bluff, Myrril-san looked at me. No, it is not a bluff. At least, not for them.
“Hey, you know what? The king of Saliant has returned to the capital after escaping from the captivity of those who led the civil war. The royal capital is now a holy city. He had declared that he had gained holy power and was going to defeat those of us who had fallen to evil…”
They glared at me as if to say, “That’s a good thing,” but then one of them looked at me.
“Oh, that’s right. That foolish king has no such power. If he had such power, he would have used it from the beginning, before the kingdom was on the verge of destruction. Then who brought this holy power?”
“The tribal unions? The Casemaian? No. No one but the empire. They are the ones who caused the outbreak of the magical beast herd to oppose the rebel army. Then, what is the empire’s purpose?”
Instead of their eyes swimming and refusing to answer, Nojaloli-sensei gave the answer.
“It is the elimination of those who would be an obstacle to the empire’s supremacy. The demon king of Casemaian. The hardliners of the tribal unions. The rebels of the kingdom. And King Saliant.”
The soldiers were paling, not just from pain, fear, or blood loss. They have realized. They realized that they had been used as pawns to cut down the tribal union from within.
Just like the foolish king of Saliant, whom they had abused and despised.
“You are fools, aren’t you? Did you hear that the imperial army or a pack of magical beasts would come to your aid if you sent a signal with your magical tools? No, only the magical beasts will come. To devour you and your kind as well as your foreign enemies?”
We left the stunned soldiers behind and moved away from the fortress. The ground rumbled like distant thunder from afar.