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Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? (LN) - Volume 14 - Chapter 3




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3 Showdown: Annihilation

Once the Demon Lord heads into the underground lair, I wonder what to do next.

It isn’t as if I don’t have anything to do—quite the opposite: There’s a lot that I could and should be doing.

In fact, I have so many options that I can’t decide where to start.

First, I decide to assess the battlefield as a whole.

Using Panoptic Vision, I get an aerial view of the elf village.

Near the border, where the barrier once was, the imperial army and the elf army are clashing.

The imperial army seems to be struggling pretty badly.

Naturally, the elves have a serious home field advantage in the middle of the forest.

It’s tough to move freely, which is why we had to chop down trees to march through in the first place.

Once they started fighting, the plants and roots underfoot prevented them from using their full strength.

Since the imperial army usually fights on level ground, I guess they’re not accustomed to this kinda thing.

They can’t even keep their formations up since they’re surrounded by trees and all.

And because of their skill setups, the imperial army soldiers are firmly divided into separate branches.

Swordsmen fight with swords. Shield bearers fight with shields. Mages fight with magic.

They all have their roles, and they fulfill them to the letter.

Normally, they plan their formations accordingly to use each branch to the fullest.

…But that ain’t gonna work out this time, clearly.

The swordsmen can’t get close enough to fight, the shieldsmen’s shields are being avoided by the elves’ arrows and magic, and the imperial army mages are having trouble hitting with their spells because all the trees are in the way.

Meanwhile, the elves are using the trees to their full advantage.

They jump around from branch to branch, easily evading the imperial army.

Then they use their precise arrows and spells to take down their enemies.

They’re used to fighting in the woods.

Actually, judging by their skills, it seems like they actually specialize in that.

Looks like they’re using Spatial Maneuvering to hop around in the trees and utilizing bows or magic to target their enemies without getting too close.

Then they dodge counterattacks or use the trees as a shield.

Even if both sides had roughly the same numbers, it’d be difficult to deal with an opponent who’s optimizing the terrain this thoroughly.

The imperial army is big, but they can’t exactly make use of that in the tight space of the forest, or push their way through with sheer numbers.

What they need, then, is strength that renders the home field advantage moot.

At the moment, the only squadrons that are faring well are the main force led by Natsume, and one that’s led by a familiar-looking old mage.

Looks like the same geezer who was Julius the Hero’s teacher.

You can see why he had that position from the way he’s mowing down the elves with rapid-fire barrages of magic.

The protection of the trees?

That means nothing to this old man!

His spells are piercing straight through them.

From the looks of things, the old man’s still got plenty more where that came from; he could probably reduce the elves—and the entire forest—to ash if he really wanted to.

As long as they don’t bust out the robots or anything, the old man should be fine.

But the rest of the imperial army are getting their butts handed to them.

It does seem like they’ve done a bit of damage to the elves’ side, too, but things aren’t looking awesome.

My initial hope was that the imperial army would deal some serious damage to the elf army, then the demon army would finish them off, but at this rate the elves are gonna take down the imperial army and still manage to put up a fairly serious fight against the demon army.

Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting much out of the imperial army to begin with, but it’s still kind of a bummer that they’re even less useful than I hoped…

Either way, if the robots come out, even our primary forces of the demon army won’t amount to much. I guess the efforts of the imperial army don’t matter either way, then.

But the demon army has Mr. Oni and Mera, and even the imperial army has Vampy and Phelmina.

Even if it ends up being a tougher battle than expected, I doubt we’re going to lose.

That is, as long as the elves keep their primary forces—the robots—off the playing field.

So that’s how the imperial army’s faring. On the other hand, the queen and the taratect swarm are totally crushing their side of the elf army.

I mean, these taratects have been living in the forest this whole time.

Since I was able to climb walls and stuff even before I got the Dimensional Maneuvering skill, it’s obvious that the taratect species fare well in terrain with lots of obstacles.

The more surfaces there are, the easier it is to spin webs, for one thing.

Even if the elves are accustomed to fighting in the forest, they can’t be as good at it as the taratects that make their permanent home there.

Plus, the taratects have the queen, and several other strengths that totally outclass any of the elves.

A group of elves can probably take down a greater, but an arch or anything stronger will be a hell of a lot tougher.

And that’s just if it were one against many.

In this case, there are more taratects than there are elves, which makes for a pretty one-sided slaughter.

The elves are basically getting swallowed up by the wave of spiders without slowing them down in the least.

Gotta say, watching an endless sea of spiders teeming out of the forest is enough to give you goosebumps.

…All righty. No problems there, then.

Next, what’s going on inside the elf village?

First, I take a peek at Yamada and company.

Looks like they were trying to protect the area with the teleport gates.

But Kusama got the jump on them and destroyed the gates.

Realizing that the barrier was about to go down, they all hopped on Shinohara in dragon form and are heading for the border.

Looks like they’re headed toward Natsume’s approximate position.

Meanwhile, Natsume himself is locked in a battle to the death with Ms. Oka.

Vampy’s right there, so I doubt Ms. Oka’s life is in any serious danger.

If it were, I’d go ahead and kill everyone involved, anyway.

If Yamada and friends are heading for Natsume, they’ll have to contend with Vampy, and they won’t be running into the Demon Lord. Should be fine to ignore them.

And the elves inside the village don’t seem to be doing much.

The normal ones, who I’m guessing don’t know about the robots, are holing up in their houses looking freaked out.

Most of the capable fighters are out on the front lines, leaving only minimal security and non-combatants.

No robots to be seen.

Hrmm. Maybe I should jump on this chance?

I could probably wipe out all the elves in the village before the robots come out.

The race of elves are all Potimas’s spawns and underlings.

So all of them have to be killed, with the exception of Ms. Oka.

That’s just a fact.

Non-combatant, child, elderly, or otherwise, we’ve gotta annihilate every last one of them.

And right now, those targets are all hiding out in their homes without any real protection.

Can I really let this opportunity pass me by?

Nope, not a chance.

I know what I’ve got to do, then.

Woo-hoo! It’s hunting time, baybeee!

I head toward the elves’ neighborhood, taking the puppet spider sisters along with me.

With our speed, we can get from the outskirts of the elf village to the residential area in a matter of moments.

Next thing you know, we’ve arrived at our goal.

There’s an elf guard keeping watch, but Ael chops off his head before he can react.

…Is it just me, or did he not even realize what was happening until he was already dead?

They haven’t had much of a chance to shine lately, but the puppet spiders are still monsters with stats in the ten thousands, after all.

And because they haven’t been in the spotlight for so long, they’re totally raring to go.

Even now, Ael looks highly pleased with herself for having beheaded that guard.

It’s cute and all, except for the fact that she did just behead someone.

Well, if they’re so eager to show off, I might as well put these sisters to work.

“Spread out.”

On my order, the four sisters scatter.

It’s better to separate them for maximum efficiency, I think.

Even if any robots show up, I don’t think any of them would lose in a one-on-one fight, and they’re fast enough to flee to safety if they get attacked by a group.

Guess I’d better get to work, too.

I pick a direction opposite the spider sisters and dash in a straight line.

As I go, I pop out a bunch of battle clones all the while.

No matter how strong the puppet spiders are, there’s too few of them to lock down the entire elf village.

So my battle clones start going on a rampage every which way to make up for it.

As long as the robots don’t show up, the elves have no way to defend against the battle clones or the puppet spiders.

The residential area is big, but it shouldn’t take that long to get it under control.

Whether they’re up against a battle clone or a puppet spider, the elves aren’t strong enough to even put up a fight.

It’ll be a slaughter.

And all in a few spare moments between movements, too.

It’s easy enough just to lop off someone’s head as you run by.

Meanwhile, I cut across the residential area toward the center of the elf village.

Here, I’m gonna stop distributing battle clones for now.

I’m headed for the area where the reincarnations are being kept.

If I don’t secure their safety, Potimas might try to do something to them when he gets backed into a corner.

It doesn’t seem like he’s done anything like that yet, but I’ll feel better if I make sure they’re safe before he gets a chance to try.

So I arrive in the area where the reincarnations are being held, and pop them all into a separate dimension without a word.

I’m guessing they’ll have no idea what’s going on.

They didn’t even see my face beforehand.

…What, you think that’s lazy?

Look, we’re in an emergency right now…

And they’ll technically be safest in this alternate dimension, sooo…

It’s definitely not because it’d be a pain to meet the other reincarnations face-to-face or anything silly like that.

It’s not, okay? I swear.

They’re set up with enough food and water and stuff for a few days, and a place to sleep.

Even if I did die somehow, they’d be sent someplace safe in this world, too.

Although I don’t plan on dying, obviously.

Anyway, that takes care of the reincarnations.

Now I can cut loose without anything to worry about.

I turn around and head back to the residential area, where the cleanup is already over.

…Hrmm.

I was so sure that robots were gonna show up before we finished here.

He can’t have run out of robots already, right?

Potimas would never settle for such a teensy amount of backup.

And it’s not like he’s using all his forces to fight the Demon Lord down below, either.

Judging by the view from the super-tiny surveillance spider I sent after the Demon Lord, it definitely didn’t look like she was fighting his entire battalion.

Potimas is still saving some strength somewhere.

…So why hasn’t he sent out anything else yet?

Doubts still lingering, I land in the center of the residential area.

The puppet spider sisters have gathered here, too.

There’s not a mark on them, not even blood splatter from their victims.

In fact, even the swords in their hands don’t have a drop of blood on them—what’s up with that?

Are you telling me they cut ’em too fast for any blood to stick to their blades?

Man, what’s scary is that might actually be true.

Looking around the neighborhood full of elf houses carved out of giant trees, the fairy-tale effect is somewhat ruined by the sea of blood.

Yikes, that’s pretty bad.

We haven’t completely wiped out the area yet, but the handful of elves who’ve survived are being hunted down by my battle clones even now.

At this point, I have to assume that Potimas simply decided to abandon the elves on the surface.

But then, as if to prove me wrong, the path through the residential area suddenly splits open, revealing a hole that leads underground.

And a robot comes crawling out.

I still don’t get why Potimas let us kill all the elves, but it looks like this is where the real battle begins.

The puppet spiders step forward to take on the robot.

Maybe they’re excited to have an actual fight, not just a slaughter, since they haven’t had their fill of showing off yet.

I guess I can let them take care of one measly…robot…

Clamorous clanks echo around the area, and a massive number of robots pour out from the ground.

…Isn’t this a bit much?

And it’s not just this area. Swarms of robots are popping out all over the elf village.

Even with just a glance at my Panoptic Vision, their numbers are easily in the tens of thousands.

…Seriously, isn’t this way too much?

They did seem pretty fragile when I broke some before, but I didn’t realize they were mass-produced.

Seriously, who mass-produces fighting robots?

And come on, this many?!

The puppet spiders look at one another.

Then they promptly take shelter behind me.

…What happened to all that eagerness from a second ago, huh?!

Well, yeah, I guess that’s fair…

These numbers are a bit too much even for them…

They could definitely beat these robots one-on-one, or maybe even one-on-two or -three, I would say.

But this many? No waaay.

Come on, even I wasn’t expecting this!

I can protect the puppet spiders since they’re here with me, but the imperial army and demon army might be in a bit of trouble.

Hell, this could be bad even for Vampy and Mr. Oni…

As my mind races, the robots point their guns toward us.

And then the muzzles all start spouting fire at once.


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