Chapter 3: Visitors from the Empire
In a luxurious room, three people stood with a nervous face.
They stood upright and awaited the arrival of the owner of this room.
The owner of the room is Yuuki, the man who came to the Empire and became a military commander in an instant.
In the eyes of these few people, that sort of thing is no surprise.
This is because Yuuki is dominant over the few of them.
He is also the General Manager of the secret association "The Big Three (Cerburus)”.
"Hey, I've kept you waiting! You can actually sit and wait."
With a side of his mouth, Yuuki entered the room.
At the rear followed Kagali, who looked like a secretary.
"No, no, no, Yuuki-sama. We are your faithful ministers, so don't worry about us.”
One of the men responded in place of everyone else.
He is one of the chiefs of the secret association of the "Cerburus", Damrada of "Wealth". It looks suspicious and makes one wonder.
The other two, one of whom is Misha, who represents “Woman”. It looks both like a teenage girl and a mature woman. It's the beauty that exudes eerie charm.
The last man was a man who symbolized "Power" and was named Vega. Possessing a flesh as even and strong as a carnivorous beast, the sense of oppression emanating from it seemed as if it would shoot anyone he saw to death.
These three figures are several of the chiefs of the "Big Three".
The three men first bowed to Yuuki and then took their seats.
"Congratulations on your assumption of command."
"Lord Yuuki even escaped from the demon lord's men, that's for sure.”
"Well, if it were up to me, running the legion would be a piece of cake.”
Both Damrada and Misha showed up to congratulate, and in the end it was only Vega who looked disgruntled.
But Yuuki didn't mind.
Indeed, you should be able to climb the top 100 if it's you. But after that, there was no way out. It's impossible to be a military chief because you can't be expected to show command.
He only smiled bitterly in his heart.
"But then again, it was thanks to Damrada that I was introduced to Master Gedora.”
Yuuki said these words in an attempt to change the subject, and Damrada responded with a smile.
"What do you mean by that? We have come this far thanks to the fact that we had anticipated such things and made arrangements in advance. I just introduced the 'visitor' prepared by Yuuki-sama to Master Gedora, and did not do something so praiseworthy.”
"Hahahaha, Damrada's as stubborn as ever. In fact, you could have just acted happy."
"That won't do. Letting people hold onto excess expectations is also a nuisance for me.”
"Haha, what a joke."
Yuuki and Damrada looked at each other and the two smiled. The reason why we can have a common heart is because we have confidence in each other's strength.
After the two men laughed together for a while, Yuuki cut to the chase.
"Then, Kagali, please explain the movement of the Demon Lord Rimuru.”
"Yes, Yuuki-sama. The demon lord Rimuru is now…"
Following Yuuki's orders, Kagali began to report.
Her sources of information came from Freedom Association members who stayed in the West. Most of the people who used to be Yuuki's henchmen had fled, using this as a baffle, and they left a few spies behind.
Kagali explained succinctly and forcefully in a clear, lucid voice.
She said that the Western nations were completely dominated by Rimuru.
It is also said that the other side organizes legions of such size that they are fearsome and used to guard against imperial aggression.
On top of that, there are sometimes incredible phenomena to be seen in the capital "Rimuru" —and so on.
"So, there's a town along the Ameld River for people to stay, and he's going to use it as a military stronghold, isn't he? That's right, if you want to extend the defense line to your home country, you'll have to do it.”
"Yes. Nearly 20,000 soldiers were already stationed at that location. It seems that even the transporting of supplies is facilitated by things like the Magic Train, and I've heard that there is enough food to fight a lasting war.”
"That's great. In that case, it shouldn't be that easy for the Imperial side to win.”
"Yeah. That country imported enough food from the Kingdom of Farmenas to feed a population of over millions. The power of the country is no longer comparable to what it was a year ago, and maybe they alone can fight the Empire. Not only that, but even the Western States Council was in the hands of the demon lord Rimuru. If he brings together all the war power of the West, it must be very considerable.”
"That's hard to say. Mr. Rimuru intends to make himself utterly cruel, but by his very nature it is easy to be soft. If he intends to fight with numbers, it will only increase the number of casualties, so he probably intends to drive out the Empire with the elite forces at home, right?”
"How is this possible…”
"At least he's the one who became the demon lord, so he shouldn't have done such a stupid thing…”
Although both Kagali and Damrada denied it, Yuuki's thoughts remained unchanged.
That man is really naive and inexplicably powerful and might manage to do something about it…
Though he thought so, Yuuki didn't put those words out, and he asked Kagali to continue.
"I'm sorry. I’ll continue to report.”
After an apology, Kagali then resumed her report.
"More than 50,000 soldiers are waiting in the capital 'Rimuru', and reinforcements are arriving from the old Eurazania side. The estimated total strength should be over 100,000.”
"That sounds great, but the Empire still has the advantage.”
"Yes, after all, there's a huge difference in numbers. The army on the Imperial side numbered over a million, and even the soldiers at the far end had had bizarre makeovers. Even the miscellaneous soldiers were at least C-rated in strength, plus they had a lot of strange armor. Seriously, demon lord Rimuru and the others are no match for the Empire at all.”
Kagali really thought so.
Having an army of 100,000 is indeed powerful.
These soldiers are highly trained and their morale is high.
The scale of this is, by definition, very commendable.
However, it was dwarfed by the entire Imperial Army.
In the past, when she was still a demon lord, Kagali created a very confident work, the defensive structure of the Monster City stronghold, but she was defeated by a large number of Imperial troops. The disparity between the two is such that it makes no sense to have an army of only 100,000 people at most.
However, Yuuki has a different view.
"Your comments will be used as a reference, go ahead and report."
"Then I'll take it up with the country's technical skills…"
Kagali reported on faintly.
She mentioned that very rare new products were suddenly on sale within the Jura Tempest Federation.
There are props that make life more convenient, and there are high performance premium gear.
The uses are varied, but everything is practical.
Of course, many people want to sign exclusive contracts with the developers of these goods. Yet, no matter how hard those merchants try to find the source of the manufactured goods, it all still seems like a fog.
The "Magic Train" mentioned earlier is one of them, and that country, like the Empire, seems to be experiencing a new wave of technological innovation. Only unfortunately, they seem to have completely prevented classified information from being leaked. There's no way to find the source by the strength of the guild members alone.
I”'m afraid it's being developed somewhere in the country. This can be determined, but it is not known where the location is.”
Kagali was also chagrined, but the other party was the Demon Lord Rimuru, so it was always impossible for her to step up. Other than that, it would have been ruined if it had been suspected, so they couldn't force it on their hands either.
At this time, something suddenly occurred to Kagali.
"Come to think of it, maybe they're developing new weapons, too. With that possibility in mind, perhaps we need to keep our vigilance higher and not just target the number of soldiers we see in front of us.”
Hearing that, Yuuki smiled.
"You did notice. That's it. It was surprising to know that the Empire had been developing chariots, but Mr. Rimuru had also managed to develop the Magic Train. Scientific weapons are not the preserve of the Empire, and one cannot go expecting them to have an advantage on that.”
The Empire is not the only one with technology from another world. Rimuru also has the memory of still being an "Otherworldly Visitor" in the past and wonders what kind of weapon he will develop.
If they were facing an ordinary country, the other side must have been terrified in the face of such an unknown war power. Even if the other side has an "otherworldly visitor", in such a case, the other side will be desperate because of the relevant knowledge. The difference in fighting power between the two sides is clear and they will find themselves with no chance of winning.
Yet the opponent also possesses a high level of skill and can develop the exact same thing.
They were immediately able to formulate countermeasures that would crush the so-called advantage.
Instead, it should be said that if someone is overconfident in such a dominant force, the rapidly changing situation may overwhelm them and leave them behind.
Yuuki has seen this already, so it's not unlikely that they will win at Rimuru.
At this point Vega interjected.
"Boring! Just beat the crap out of them. If you're worried, wipe them out! That way everything is settled.”
Whether it's weapons or armies, get rid of them all if they get in the way—Vega confidently declares.
It was a headache for Yuuki to hear the other person say something like that without understanding the context.
This guy has a lot of power, but a bad head—or should I say no head at all…
If he had been a little smarter, he himself could have handed over more useful positions to him, Yuuki sighed in his heart.
"Then I'll leave it to you. Don't misjudge the situation.”
With that vague phrase, Yuuki told Vega to shut up.
However, Vega’s words were not without merit.
Yuuki was lost in thought and thought, ‘After all…’
In this world, quality is more important than quantity.
No matter how large a military force was gathered, it was no match for the demon lord Guy. As you can see from such examples, the power of individual warfare should never be taken lightly.
In order to achieve strategic goals, it is crucial to see how strong the opponent is—such intelligence warfare. To achieve this, it would be quicker to send someone of some strength to try in the past.
Not only that, it is one of the means that should be used, as is rarely the case, to give up when the fight is not won.
If several combatants are allowed to attack at the same time, it is possible for them to achieve strategic objectives, no matter how strong the individual strength of the opponent.
In other words, there is no point in looking at integrated warfare capabilities alone, and it is more important to have a strategic approach to what forces are at hand and how they can be used effectively.
From this point of view, the Jura Tempest Federation is a very tricky enemy.
It wasn't just Demon Lord Rimuru that posed a threat.
In that country, there were several monsters that were exceptionally powerful.
For example, the four heavenly kings heard from the people's mouths—Benimaru, Diablo, Shion, and Gobta.
The mere presence of these men was like mobilizing four tactical units, and simply defeating them would become a high task.
It's not just a matter of technical prowess. There's a lot of tricky talent in that place, and I don't think it's going to work no matter how many people are gathered to deal with them. So thinking of it another way, surrendering to the demon lord is the right thing to do.
As far as Yuuki knew, he knew a few people who were better than Gobta. That is, at the very least, there are others who are comparable to the Four Heavenly Kings.
"There is nothing more difficult than those monsters, who are comparable to saints or demon lords.”
Damrada's opinion seemed to echo Yuuki's, words mumbling out of his mouth.
"That's right, there aren't just the four heavenly kings in that country, there's also monsters like Geld or Gabil. Why there are so many Demon Lord level people gathered there makes it a little hard to understand.”
Yuuki felt that the more he thought about it, the more wrong he was.
Those people were strong enough to rival Clayman, and there were quite a few of those under the demon lord that was Rimuru. People who know these things can't even help but complain, saying "what a joke".
"Fortunately, we're not at odds with the Demon Lord Rimuru."
The other three nodded silently, except for Vega, who heard Yuuki say the words softly.
At the moment Yuuki and the others were surrendering to him because of the pact they had made with demon lord Guy. In other words, to fight against Yuuki is to fight against demon lord Guy.
Since Yuuki and the others weren't going to make a move on Rimuru, it could be said that the two sides were in a truce for now. Count Yuuki lucky, he intends to make the most of this situation.
Even if one day they would have to deal with each other, that would have to wait until they made up for the losses they suffered in the West. In this way, Yuuki switches moods and brings the topic back on track.
"So is your report over?"
He turned to face Kagali and asked.
Faced with this question, Kagali seemed to remember something, adding.
"The people down there don't seem to have detailed military intelligence, and the ones that are more accurate are the ones just now. Only, there is one thing that intrigues people.”
"What is it?”
"In the capital, Rimuru, there are activities called disaster prevention training, and later, evacuation training.”
The training done so far has been very specific, such as escaping into a solid building, or being trained to put out a fire in a building that is on fire. This time, however, the evacuation training was a bit confusing—a quick escape through four doors into the town.
"You mean run into town?"
"Right. The investigators were puzzled, so they split up.”
"Inside and out?"
"That's it. As a result, they saw an incredible phenomena, like they were dreaming..."
"Seeing the unthinkable?”
"That's right, Misha. Making something incredible happen, a full ten minutes passed after the broadcast ended and the vast town suddenly disappeared. And then there's only one door left over there.”
The investigator who had remained outside reported to her that, in addition to the door, there were several more vigilantes left there to bring those who had not escaped before they could make their way to the cave.
After making sure that none of them remained on the scene, the investigator made up his mind to go in the door. It was later discovered that there seemed to be a maze built with stones inside.
Panicked investigators were able to escape to the outside, which means people should be able to come and go freely.
"Maybe that's the underground maze…”
"Do you have a plan, Yuuki-sama?”
"Right. As you know, Kagali, that town has a tourist facility called the Underground Maze, right?”
"Yes, there are magical creatures lingering inside, and adventurers challenging inside, right?"
"I think that's it. I heard that there is a city underneath that underground labyrinth…
"There's a city in the underground maze?”
A disbelieving Damrada asked each other back, but both Yuuki and Kagali responded in earnest. It's hard for the uninformed to explain, they can only say that it's all true.
"Exactly. It would be unthinkable to go on with the usual ideals, but it is possible that Mr. Rimuru could do it. After all, that labyrinth has a total of one hundred floors underground, and I've heard that there's still Veldora guarding there.”
“…is all this true?"
"Of course. These words were spoken by Veldora himself.”
After hearing Yuuki's words, Damrada was speechless.
With a sympathetic look at such a Damrada, Kagali opened her mouth next.
"No, it makes sense to think in that direction. There should be an important facility in that city, a base for technology development, right?”
"Oh, so it is. It's a possibility, no, it makes sense to think that way.”
Yuuki felt more than surprised when he thought about it.
Although the idea was only speculation, he felt that he was not far off. If it was possible for Rimuru to make these things come true, he was so sure.
"But what will become of the war?”
"Well, even I don't know about that. I didn't think I would be able to play a decent hitting style against such an opponent, but didn't expect him to play urban defense that way. The Imperial Army would be surprised by that too.”
Yuuki had always believed unilaterally that it was impossible for Rimuru to fight a duel in the country.
Because he won't let the townspeople get hurt.
However, if the town defends perfectly…
It looks like the tactics envisioned for possible use must be revisited.
"Does that mean that fighting people in a hotel town is just a way to see what happens, but the real focus is on the capital? If the Imperial Army ignores that door and passes directly in front of it, then the other party may snipe from behind.”
"So that's how it is, with the Western allies, we can still contain the enemy."
"First, send the vanguard forces to test the Imperial Army's combat capabilities and analyze them.
Afterwards, while the Western allies fight the Imperial Army in a war of attrition, they can slowly figure out how to cope.”
"That's a terrible thought. It's worthy of the Demon Lord."
After understanding Yuuki's thoughts, Kagali, Damrada, and Misha all had a surprised look on their faces.
They knew that Demon Lord Rimuru was not something that could be handled by sending ordinary combatants, but they hadn't expected to be so powerful as to go this far.
The mere thought of being hostile to each other in the future makes one's head go up in smoke. Because of this, Yuuki and the rest of them were looking forward to what the Imperial Army's showdown with the Demon Lord Rimuru would end up as.
"Then, Yuuki-sama. How do you plan to act in the future?”
Finding the right time, Misha raised questions.
Misha they also knew that Yuuki had lost to demon lord Guy. They followed Yuuki knowing that, but they couldn't see what Yuuki really thought.
It would have been nice if Rimuru had let the Empire suffer, but they didn't want an accidental burial.
The gang can't help but think so.
Yuuki didn't take the deal with Guy seriously enough to work for the Empire. However, he became a military commander, which made people suspicious, fearing that he would become a cocoon and tie himself up.
For the "Big Three", it is indeed attractive for the top military subordinates to side with them, but on the other hand, there is a risk of being implicated by the military.
To eat each other up, or to be devoured?
Get it wrong and by then they are waiting to perish.
Misha would ask that because she was worried about it, and of course, Yuuki knew it well.
"Don't worry. If Mr. Rimuru is approaching us, it will be just right for us. To achieve our ideals, empires get in the way, don't they? Not just because demon lord wants us to do that, but to bring down the Empire one day anyway. As I become the army chief, I will be able to control the point in time that allows the Empire to be destroyed. Just think of it this way.”
Now that Yuuki had become one of the three generals of the Empire, it could be said that the inside information of the Imperial Army was all within reach. As long as one knows the military strategy of the Empire, one knows how to adjust the footwork to match. It will be possible to predict the timing of military operations, the size of the army, and even to know precisely when the imperial defense network will weaken.
If the Western countries resist fiercely, the empire will have to devote a corresponding amount of war effort. In this way, no matter how tight the defense is, there will always be a breach, Yuuki thought so.
"We'll kill him before he knows it!”
With a hard slap on the table, Yuuki so declared.
As for the others in their seats, they were all excited by the meaning of the words.
"A coup d’état?"
"Ah, it's unbearable. That's how you look Yuuki-sama.”
"Hey hey, that sounds like fun. Even if it's an empire or a demon lord, so what, watch me beat the shit out of them!”
It always felt like Vega was overexcited, but Yuuki didn't take it to heart.
He listened and began to cut to the chase.
"Anyway, that's the end of it. The pact made with Guy was also to disrupt the empire and must be kept.
I'll also disturb the West in passing, but on that point, the other side has no reason to complain.”
Speaking of which, Yuuki smiled smugly.
Guy did not deliberately ask that he not be allowed to take on the West. In other words, whatever Yuuki wants to do is his freedom.
"You want the Empire to compete with the West and get rid of the head of the Empire…?"
"The idea is as vicious as ever.”
"You can't say that. An idea like that could come to anyone's mind."
Even if one could think of it, no one would want to put it into practice. No, maybe someone really wants to put it into practice, but no one is that capable of making it happen. Yuuki is a special case.
"I also put out all sorts of messages to Master Gedora. The old grandfather was fond of new things and had flexible ideas, but didn't know why he hated the Western powers so much. His hatred is so strong that it's not too much to say that it's the product of that hatred that he has developed all kinds of weapons for the Empire.”
"Indeed, it's a very famous thing, even I know about it.”
"Right? He would have seen the Demon Lord Rimuru as a threat, thinking that the other side would thwart the ambitions of the Empire. He must have struck, to see how dangerous the other party was.”
“…So, how will things go?"
"Master Gedora has great influence over the Imperial Army, but in reality has no authority whatsoever.
This is because, that old grandfather is only interested in revenge. So that said, if we are cleverly induced, we should be able to get Master Gedora to take on the demon lord Rimuru.”
At the same time, he also wanted the other party to make sure to spy on the intelligence of the underground maze. Yuuki is playing this game as he sees fit.
"In that case, apart from finding trouble with Demon Lord Rimuru, it will also make the Imperial Army weaker, won't it?”
At this time Yuuki nodded satisfactorily towards Damrada.
Yuuki wasn't about to take on Rimuru himself, and he was happy to welcome others to go over and challenge him without permission. It is because of this that many despicable schemes have been devised.
Yuuki further revealed his thoughts.
"It seems to me that there are three people in the Empire who need to be put on guard. One of those people is Master Gedora.”
Gedora is the Great Wizard, and the Wizard of Eternal Life. Everyone was afraid of him, thinking that he was a strange man who knew the inner workings of the Empire, and that the last great invasion-the Empire had fought the "Storm Dragon" Veldora, when he had also survived as a heroic figure.
"So, who are the other two?"
Kagali stood behind Yuuki and asked with interest, at which point Yuuki gave a somewhat chagrined expression.
"The fact that I don't have their true identity yet makes it tricky for sure.”
Even using the intelligence network that Yuuki had, there was still no way to find out the true identity of those people. Just by hearing that, one should know how difficult the other party is.
"Could it be that the Imperial Emperor's Knights of the Near Guard are among the top ranked?"
Misha seemed to have some idea too, she said so.
Faced with this question, Yuuki nodded ambiguously.
Rumors circulate within the Legion that the knight who is the "Double 0 number" is more powerful than the army chief.
Yuuki had felt it firsthand and knew it wasn't hearsay. Despite climbing to the rank of army chief, Yuuki's ranking is "ten digits".
Even if it's a rowdy battle, there's no point in not knowing who your opponent is. In order to become a
"single digit" one must apply with the Emperor, race in front of him and win.
Only those who are actually very much expected to acquire this right know about it.
"It's just my guess, but I should be able to beat 'single digits'. But I didn't want to release the killer in front of the enemy, so I didn't apply with the Emperor.”
That said, Yuuki was chosen as the army chief, but that was because he was lucky enough to have Master Gedora backing him up.
"However, if we haven't really fought each other, I don't know if the boss is better than those people. In that case, doesn't the tricky part become—how shall I put it? That would make it more than just nine people, wouldn't it?”
At this point, Vega hits the nail on the head.
Apart from being a bit surprised by this, Yuuki agrees.
"Well, that's true. Maybe there's a tricky guy among these nine people. Still, there's no way to go on guard. You haven't seen your opponent, have you? I was talking about the people who are in the open.”
"What do you mean?"
That question came from Damrada.
"I'm talking about Tatsuya Kondo, the head of Imperial Intelligence."
"So it is. Indeed, that man is too much to touch.”
"It's strange to know his name and what he looks like, but not to know the truth.”
From Tatsuya Kondo, who is also known by this name as the "Otherworldly Visitor", he is unable to gather further personal information.
There are even rumors that Kondo Tatsuya is a "weirdo who feeds on information".
His rank was that of lieutenant, but even the chiefs of the various regiments had no right to order him.
This means that there is also an Imperial Intelligence Service in existence, of a higher status than the military organization.
"I mean, this is weird, right? Personally, I think that guy is one of the 'single digits' as well."
“…so it is.”
"I hear you say that, it's possible."
Damrada felt quite the same way as Kagali.
Misha also looked puzzled, but she didn't seem to mind.
"And who is the other one left?"
It was only Vega who showed a lack of interest, asking this as if he was urging Yuuki to finish his sentence.
"Hahahaha, you're a real hothead. The first thing about Tatsuya Kondo is to go and meet him for a while. I will look for opportunities to request an interview. Next, about the remaining one, I'm not really sure.”
"What did you say? What does that mean?”
"You calm down, Vega.”
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. I'm sorry."
Emotionally overwrought, Vega accidentally mouths off, Yuuki warns slightly. His tone was even mild, but Vega, who had been reminded of it, was nervous to the point of cold sweat.
At this very moment, the difference between his "status" and Yuuki's was already real.
"The one left is the man with the Emperor. Even if one stayed behind the curtain used by the Emperor's imperial court, one could still feel him, exuding a very powerful sense of presence.”
No one but Yuuki had even noticed the existence of such a person. Just looking at that alone shows how dangerous that figure is.
“—There is such a person? This kind of thing has never even been heard of…"
At this point, Dhamrad seemed to speak everyone's mind.
"You're right. Although he exuded a very strong sense of presence, people didn't realize there was such a person. That means he's very good.”
The words of Yuuki sent everyone into silence.
"Is there really this guy? My side didn't get any rumors about that guy either.”
"On the other hand, if Yuuki-sama hadn't brought this up, I don't think anyone would have believed it."
For the minions who were still a bit skeptical, Yuuki smiled.
"It's okay, don't worry too much. If a coup d'état is contemplated within the Reich, you need only remember that these three will create obstacles. First to rule out Master Gedora, Damrada, will you help me investigate Kondo Tatsuya?”
"Misha, you continue with the task at hand."
"I understand. I will continue to focus on enlisting the Mecha Legion's army chief."
"So what do I do?”
"I'll have to ask you to join the Legion of Warcraft. With your strength, join the Imperial Emperor's Knights of the Near Guard right away. But you mustn't kill the army chief!”
"Got it. I'll try."
Not having to continue to take orders seemed to amuse Vega, who gave a plagiaristic grin.
Is it really okay? Yuuki was worried, but this time he decided to trust Vega.
If the army chief was actually killed, the Empire's military action would be delayed. It was disturbing, but he decided to look away and see what happens then.
After the “Big Three” retires, only Yuuki and Kagali are left on the scene.
"By the way, Yuuki-sama, will they really dance according to our arrangement?"
"Well, I don't know. Even I thought I was being cautious in my actions, but still stepped on Guy's tiger's tail. So I'm not qualified to say anyone else, but I still hope things work out.”
Damrada went to investigate Kondo Tatsuya.
Misha attempts to cage the Mecha's army chief.
He ordered Vega to rise to prominence in the Warcraft Legion.
They are all going on a dangerous mission to work for Yuuki. As a commander-in-chief, one can only go and trust that the ministry will get things done.
"But we've finally come this far. There will be war in a short time.”
"Yeah, right. The next thing is to wait and see which side will win."
"That's so easy to say. Even if the coup d'état succeeds, more important things are yet to come."
"Indeed. Just for that, I'm also going to get Laplace and the others to do something about it. It must be foolproof."
After saying that, the two of them smiled at each other.
Their goal was not to make the Empire triumphant.
The more this war sinks into the quagmire, the lower the Empire's national power will be. That's what they're after, and the success of the subsequent coup is at the heart of Yuuki and Kagali's plan.
"To make the emperor a puppet and build a new empire. In addition…"
"Let us reconcile with the Western nations by peaceful means.”
"The assassination of the Emperor!"
If it was difficult to defeat the demon lord that was Rimuru, so it was not necessary to force it.
Because of the defeat to Guy, he gave up on conquering the world in the short to medium term. To conquer the world by brute force without acquiring enough power to be proud of the world's masters was a foolishness of the highest order, and he had come to realize that.
Instead of that, it would be better to focus on increasing the aces you have available at hand for now.
Just let this scourge of war widen and much blood be shed…
"Then I'll be able to awaken as the true demon lord.”
"I'm looking forward to it, Kagali. Until then, I'll also use the new power I've acquired since then.”
Now Yuuki's ultimate skill has awakened. As a result, he has actually felt his life span increase significantly.
Not only that, but he also learned another fact, there were even more powerful people in existence in this world, and overlords like demon lord Guy were dominating this world.
Trying to skip these people and conquer the world is just nonsense.
He was going to fool Guy's ears and reserve his strength now.
The agitation of the empire has prolonged the war and drained both East and West. Let the boredom spread, and while everyone is fed up with war, let the Emperor's assassination happen again—and the world will be plunged into a more miserable state of chaos.
They could take advantage of the chaos to awaken the more powerful forces in their bodies—that’s the full picture of the plan Yuuki and Kagali came up with.
"Anyway, be careful."
"Right. Be cautious."
After saying that, the two looked at each other and smiled again.
Although these two were smart, they didn't take the underground maze too seriously.
It was a formidable organ, one that could hide even important facilities and towns—the most they could do was think of it and get Master Gedora interested in finding trouble on the Rimuru.
Depending on the situation, it might be necessary to go there in person, and the most that can be done to find out what to do is to investigate beforehand - these two people only think so lightly.
As a result, the Underground Maze Raiders team would bring back unexpected reports, although Yuuki didn't expect that.
After receiving the information brought by Yuuki, Master Gedora fell into contemplation with a hard look on his face.
Hmmm—I thought this was a good opportunity to get the Empire out again to crush the god Ruminas…
Due to the resurrection of "Storm Dragon" Veldora, he had to drastically reassess the plan.
It was also forced.
During the last great march, the "storm dragon" made the plan fall apart.
To this day.
In order to plan well, some say it's better to wait for the "storm dragon" to disappear.
There are also those who say that the new weapon they have successfully developed is powerful enough to bring the "Storm Dragon" to its knees.
In order to avoid confronting the Storm Dragon, there were also those who advocated bypassing the Great Forest of Jura.
People's opinions split into these three factions, thus giving the Empire a head start, and as a result giving the Storm Dragon a chance to be resurrected.
The militant faction, which believes that it should "bring the Storm Dragon to its knees," is outraged, but the other two factions are mainstream, so their opinions are ignored.
After all, if the new weapon they mentioned didn't work, the plan would fall apart again.
To Gedora, the "storm dragon" didn't matter at all. His goal of survival is to expel the Ruminas Sect from the West and take revenge on the "Seven Celestial Sages" who killed his friend.
He got some news from the West, with a headline that read "Heroes Fall Out", and it was about the bad things that the "Seven Celestial Sages" had done. He also learned that the news reported the demise of the "Seven Celestial Sages".
Yet Gedora did not take this information alone.
At the very least, he determined that Sage Master Gran must be alive and sneaking around somewhere.
Over the months, intelligence from the West has been complex and difficult to corroborate through investigation. So it was never clear whether it was true or false, but it was heard that the Rosso had also been destroyed.
All in all, it's not clear what's true or false. I'm afraid that the Sage Master Gran was killed by that
"hero". Despite his advanced age, he is certainly an opponent not to be underestimated.
That's what Gedora thought.
In addition to this, while the domination of the Senate appears to be rock-solid on the surface, behind the scenes there is a lot of action.
In these messages, there was no news received about the weakening of the Holy Church in the West. In Gedora's opinion, he thought this was enough to prove that Gran the Sage Master was still alive.
It would have been nice to ignore the Storm Dragon and attack the West sooner…
Gedora thought in his mind, but he was well aware of how difficult it would be.
The Storm Dragon and the demon lord are teaming up? That kind of monster had already jumped out of the so-called magic laws, and it was too stupid to send out an army to deal with it. I had also helped structure the theory about the new weapon, and with that kind of thing, it should be able to stop him from moving for a while. Whether or not he can be exterminated, however, is another matter. Not to mention to dominate him…
Gedora was one of the survivors of the last great long march and had already experienced firsthand the menace that Veldora posed.
In his experience, he thought the main warring faction was too brave and unscrupulous.
Talking about spiritual domination over spiritual beings—those fools have no idea how hard it is!
It is not impossible to exercise spiritual domination over spiritual beings. He had used the Demon Race as a test subject and made some achievements.
Gedora knew this well. He was the one who came up with that theory, too, and it would be odd if he didn't know.
He had already sought out various results, and based on them, he concluded that they could never make a move against the "Storm Dragon" Veldora.
He had given this report to the Emperor, but sadly it was not endorsed.
"Some people want to try, so let them try.”
In the end Gedora's comments were silently ignored.
Let's put that aside.
This time there was another problem, and it had something to do with the Demon Lord Rimuru.
He built his kingdom at a frightening rate, and this demon lord ruled the great forest of Jura. If this demon lord joined forces with the Storm Dragon, attacking the Jura Great Forest would simply be a foolish act.
It would be a different matter if all the Imperial armies were mobilized, so that in order to lay out the entire army for the most efficient use, the enemy must be introduced into the terrain in our favor.
As usual, that's an impossible thing to do.
What about fighting on the other side's territory?
"To fight in the underground maze? And they may have developed weapons from another world…
right? This must be investigated. It would have been nice to take down Veldora and Rimuru with our army losing so many. If that is not possible, it will be impossible to fight the Western countries after that.”
As if to encourage himself, Gedora spoke to himself.
By this time Gedora had gotten it all wrong.
He thought that the target of vigilance should not be the Jura Tempest Federation, but the Ruminas Sect that dominated the Western nations.
Being able to spot this mistake or not, that will be the key to determining the success or failure of Gedora.
At the behest of Yuuki, three people stood out.
The condition was that Master Gedora also knew, and must be affiliated with, the Hybrid Legion —
three were thus chosen.
It was to be a day for them to meet, so Yuuki invited Gedora to his room.
First up is Shinji Tanimura.
He was originally a college student in Japan and spent his days in the research room. After coming to this world, he also loved to wear white, which now became his unique mark.
Left with coffee-colored hair and a lot of muscle on his body. He was about twenty-five years old, the oldest of the three. Wear a tank top with jeans for a healthy body in the winter too.
Zhen Liu Xing.
The man was young and had few words. It was hard to tell what he was thinking, but the words spoke for themselves. The black hair was braided into a sisal braid and hung behind his back, and he wore a loose-fitting Chinese-style outfit. I heard that he had a lot of concealed weapons hidden under his clothes.
Both Mark and Zhen would obediently listen to Shinji. Also because of this, unknowingly Shinji became their leader.
The three men stood upright in front of Yuuki and Gedora.
"Master, long time no see!”
The dark-haired youth, Shinji, greeted Gedora on behalf of everyone.
"Long time no see, Shinji, and Mark and Zhen, how are you doing?”
"Yes, we're doing fine. It's good to see Grandpa you're tough too.”
“…Teacher, I'm not having a good time.”
Hearing Mark and Zhen respond in this way, Gedora smiled happily back.
"You're still the same. It seems to be working hard on the Legion side as well, so I'm relieved.”
Shinji and the others are "otherworldly visitors" who were taken in by Yuuki. Yuuki has brought in
"otherworldly visitors" from all over the world, and all of them are sent to the Empire, whether they are particularly good at fighting, or not.
The Imperial side is responsible for receiving them from the secret association of the "Big Three", and then they will be given to the Imperial Grand Wizard, Master Gedora.
His purpose was to ask for knowledge from another world, but personally, if he had a talent for fighting and also had that will, Gedora would exercise them.
These people come to a place where special talents rich in personality are gathered after being exercised—the Hybrid Legion.
But the Empire wasn't that good of a mixer, and wouldn't hold high ranking positions in the Legion just because they were from another world. One must be able to live one's strength properly in order to be worthy of the title of a good warrior.
The so-called power is the unique skill that is revealed in each of them.
Shinji and the others were able to use their unique skills so that they could establish a solid position within the legion.
"Yeah, in the mixed army I lead, the three of them also belong to the first line of masters. I think it's a good fit to take on this investigative assignment.”
"Since Yuuki-san has said so, I have no problem with it either. Sit down, you guys.”
The three men were terrified because the strict wizard asked them to take their seats, and only then did they take their seats.
Looking at the three of them like that, Gedora smiled slightly.
They've all become lone soldiers, and it's fun to see themselves still looking like nervous apprentices.
"So, Mr. Yuuki, you're going to lend these three to me about the investigation you mentioned before, right?”
Playing around with other people's performance all the time wasn't the way to go, Gedora pulled open to ask.
"Right. I'd love to go and investigate on my own, but it's really not convenient to go to that country.
Only by sending Shinji and the rest over to them, I wasn't so relieved, so I wondered if I could ask Master to supervise them.”
"Mmm. I've already read the report, and it's very interesting. If what is written above is true, it must be investigated before the Great March.”
Gedora looked at Yuuki with a tentative look, waiting for him to react. Yuuki seemed to have expected this from the other party, and he nodded.
"Those are all true. I also explained to the three of them that this mission was a bit special and I wanted to ask them to investigate a certain maze.’
"Hey, hey, hey, wait a minute, please! You called us here to get through the maze? Are we that untrustworthy? Even if Gedora-sensei stepped up to the plate to please, a massive military invasion is about to take place, I don't think it's something that has to be done on the eve of an invasion!”
Of the three, Mark was the most subdued, and he began to question Yuuki.
It is common for such behavior to occur. If it's not acceptable, just ask, Yuuki himself has given them permission to do so.
"Mark, don't get excited. It's a very important thing.”
"Take it easy, Mark. Mr. Yuuki must have something in mind, right? We can hear what he has to say.”
While placating Mark, Shinji turned his head to face Yuuki.
"Then please explain.”
"Of course not. I think after listening to this, you guys should stop complaining.”
After saying that, Yuuki began to explain the mission in detail.
Gedora knew those contents beforehand, and he listened to Yuuki as he made sure there was no discrepancy between the two.
The three of them were surprised.
The warriors who follow Yuuki's orders—those with unique skills that make them particularly good at fighting—blend into the various legions and live in hiding. The aim is to rise together when the time comes so that the legions can be mastered.
People hadn't heard of the specific plan, but they all agreed that the day was near.
So did Shinji and the rest of them, now that the Hybrid Legion was in Yuuki's hands, they thought it was only a matter of time before he ordered it.
To conquer the world…
When they heard this dream from Yuuki, it was like a child's dream, and at first everyone thought it was impossible.
But as people hone their strength and become more and more aware of the world situation, these people begin to feel that they have a chance to realize that dream.
Shinji and the others started to become obsessed with Yuuki and kept waiting for the right moment to come.
It was at this time that the other party suddenly gave the order for them to go through the maze.
No wonder the three of them were so confused.
Having said that, while listening to Yuuki's explanation, their thoughts changed along with it.
Some preparation and investigation has been done regarding this war, only the interior of the maze has not been investigated. Therefore, there was a good chance that there was some kind of secret hidden in that maze.
Hearing that the enemy could hide an entire town in a maze became a problem that was hard to ignore.
"I see…so the Imperial Army can't ignore this underground labyrinth if they want to make a move?”
"And there's a town in there? It's still unbelievable to not see this kind of thing with your own eyes.”
“…that’s why we have to go there.”
Shinji and the others will have to accept that now.
"Explained as above. But then you get the idea, right? If the Empire were to invade the Great Forest of Jura, the period of warfare would be extended to some extent, and we expect a military mutiny to be launched at that time. When the time comes, hopefully it will distract the Imperials as much as possible.
With Demon Lord Rimuru's army alone, and ''Storm Dragon'' Veldora, that wasn't enough for the Empire to send out all of its troops. I need stronger motivation, to be able to get them to always mobilize.”
I'm not sure if that maze can create such a motive, if it can't, just make one up at random, Yuuki said so.
When they bought time in that way, Yuuki and the others were going to suppress the Imperial Capital with one breath.
Shinji was surprised by this.
A coup d'état had long been thought of in the future, but this was the first time he had heard such a specific account. And before that, Gedora was here. Not being careful enough with words could cause their plans to leak out, so Shinji and the others didn't expect Yuuki to be here to talk about that.
"Wait a minute, Yuuki-san!"
Shinji tried to stop Yuuki, but Yuuki replied with a smile.
"I know, don't worry. Master Gedora knows my plan.”
"Heh heh, that's for sure. This old man had feelings for His Majesty, but what would happen to the Empire has nothing to do with me. This Old Master's goal is to destroy the Ruminism religion. The true face of the god Ruminas was actually Demon Lord Ruminas, a blind spot that hadn't been discovered before. What will become of those believers, I am not interested in knowing. But those guys killed my friends, and it's hard not to bury them with their own hands. I heard that demon lord Rimuru and demon lord Ruminas were very close, and the first thing that I wanted to solve was demon lord Rimuru. That's why I will also participate in the Maze Raiding Operation.”
Gedora flashed a frantic smile and said that what happened after that didn't matter to him at all.
Of course Gedora had also heard rumors of the demon lord Rimuru.
A year ago, the Kingdom of Farmus fell as a result of angering the "Storm Dragon".
It is said that after the Storm Dragon's power was exhausted, it was the demon lord Rimuru who took him in.
The truth is not known whether they were actually taken in or simply assisted. However, from that time on, the Storm Dragon showed no signs of rebellion, nor did it detect the huge demonic aura. Gedora thinks those rumors have a certain amount of credibility.
On top of that, there was movement among the demon lords.
Several demon lords have been removed from the Top Ten and are now said to be "Eight Star Demon Lords (Octagram)".
Although the story had spread to human society, it was definitely the Demon Lord Rimuru who was behind it.
Clayman, who was originally one of the Ten Demon Lords, disappeared, and newcomer Rimuru was listed among that group. The fact that this happened means that Rimuru is stronger than Clayman.
Clayman the Demon Lord was cunning and could not be underestimated, but demon lord Rimuru was more threatening than he was.
Not only that, but the demon lord Rimuru has also established borders with human nations and has become increasingly influential in the Council.
He didn’t know what the Western powers thought, but Gedora thought it was dangerous to offend the demon lord Rimuru.
Plus there was something that bothered Gedora.
That is, over 20,000 troops were said to have participated in the military operations of the Farmus Kingdom, but only three of them survived in the end. One of them was killed, and in the end all that remained was the former king and Razen, who had previously been an apprentice of Gedora.
It seems necessary to confront Razen about this.
Gedora took note of this first.
In addition to that, there are many enigmas on the Demon Lord Rimuru.
He didn't dare be careless.
It was said that the great army of the Kingdom of Farmus was buried in the hands of the "Storm Dragon", but there was no way to prove that event was true. That alone makes one feel weird.
Generally speaking, if there are 30% casualties in a battle, then the operation is a failure. This is the time to surrender, but I don't see where a relevant record has been left stating that the army of the Kingdom of Farmus has ever made such a move.
Surrendering to the "storm dragon" is useless—and there are certainly those who argue that.
But on this point, Gedora denies it. After all, Gedora had picked up a life and survived the last great march, so he was very familiar with the character of Veldora.
A simple description is that he does things very casually. Won't go after those who run away, though there will be heavy casualties, but only those who are caught up in the attack in the first place.
According to this logic, under normal circumstances, a 20,000 large army could not be wiped out.
So, was there something going on with the demon lord Rimuru… According to the rumors about Rimuru's people, Gedora thought it was impossible.
If we surrender with him, we should not be killed. But in the end everyone was killed.
It would seem that this should be interpreted to mean that when the army of the kingdom of Farmus surrendered to Veldora, he killed them all at once.
Seriously, Gedora felt horrible just thinking about it.
It is because of this that they avoid going head-to-head with each other and also prepare relevant counter-strategies.
There are oddities in the demon lord Rimuru, but there is still a chance to solve them by investigating from now on and thinking about countermeasures.
Thinking about this side, Gedora switched his thoughts.
He didn't hate Demon Lord Rimuru, but he was on the same side as Demon Lord Ruminas, and that would be the same as an enemy of Gedora.
Since it was the enemy that had to be defeated, having said that, Gedora was not about to act rashly either.
He spent a long time arranging plans to get the Empire to send out troops to attack the Western nations.
Now that that plan was about to come to fruition, he couldn't be foolish enough to sulk.
So Gedora acted cautiously and then cautiously.
Yuuki and Gedora had the same interests at stake, and after talking the two decided to work together.
They would share the information they held in their hands with each other, and the relationship between the two could be described as that of a war buddy.
Secrets were revealed in three or two times, and Shinji and the others were all pale.
When they suddenly hear someone say something like that, of course they want to say "please pause.”
Shinji wasn't stupid either, he didn't think the other side would trust them that much. Though I think so, I think I should not treat them as discarded sons.
The other side was testing them—so Shinji thought.
Mark and Zhen seemed to think so.
"I know! We will do our best to investigate.”
"Anyway, we won't hold Grandpa back…stay tuned!”
This is certainly an important mission. If they take this opportunity to do something—no, they have to do something good this time so they can live—Shinji and the others realize this.
"Then I'll test you all. You do know how many demon lords there are in the world, right?”
"Yes, there are eight, right?’
“…Huh? Aren't the ten demons lords? No, it should be increased to eleven, right?”
“…Mark, they just had a big shuffle last year…"
This caused Gedora to sigh and a roar to come out of his mouth.
"Shinji, hurry up and give this idiot the right message. If you join the army and can't even gather information, you'll know he'll be the first to die!”
As soon as his mood calmed down slightly he began to explain.
"There are eight demon lords in all, and they call themselves 'Eight Star Demon Lords (Octagram)'.
The implication should be that one thinks one can compare oneself to the stars, but some of them do have that ability. The reason why this is mentioned is because the opponent this time is 'Newbie' Rimuru. You can't take him lightly, but don't explore that issue this time. There is another reason. Among these demons, there is a person known as the Labyrinth Fairy. All right, what do you guys think after listening?"
That comment made the three of them take a backward breath from Shinji.
Even Yuuki put on a surprised expression and kept staring at Gedora.
"You said labyrinth fairy…is that the point?”
At this time, Shinji was afraid to express his opinion.
Gedora nodded solemnly, pulling out a piece of literature for the three men to look at.
There is a labyrinth named "Elven Goddom", said to be in the western Republic of Ulgrasia. The world says that the great maze is covered under the ground, or in the air, but it is not.
That's true in one respect, but it's not entirely true in another.
It was written in that document that not only spirits lived in the "Spirit Realm", but also that the queen who changed from an spirit to a monster also lived there.
"This queen is the Labyrinth Fairy, Ramiris, one of the demon lords from ancient times.”
These words of Gedora weighed heavily on the three men.
He further revealed the truth.
"The door to that maze used to be in the Ulgrasia Nature Park, but now it's gone. That's what the old man himself investigated, and it's certainly true. As for the period of disappearance, from what I've heard, it's presumed to be the same period as when Rimuru became the demon lord. Then the country went public with their underground labyrinth…”
When Gedora finished, Yuuki added next.
"That's a long way off. I've wondered before how Rimuru made a maze like that, and I think it must have been created by Demon Lord Ramiris. In other words, Demon Lord Ramiris and Demon Lord Ramiris have joined forces.”
Yuuki seemed to have decided that this was the case and had a wide smile on his face.
Shinji they didn't come out in denial either. Not only that, but they felt that the difficulty of the investigation was bound to increase and they began to become very melancholy.
"I look forward to your performance.”
"Remember to be on guard at all times.”
After that, Yuuki repeatedly told them how scary and cunning the demon lord Rimuru was, and Shinji and the others left the scene after listening.
*** The day after Yuuki called him there, his secretary, Kagali, came to lead Shinji and the others and sent them to the outskirts of the Jura Tempest Federation.
After sending Shinji and the others out, ten days passed, and Gedora was on his own to other destinations.
Seeing Yuuki threaten Shinji with them, he planned to leave the investigation task to these people at first.
I'm afraid Yuuki didn't really mean to treat those three as outcasts. To get Shinji and them to get serious, just threaten a little.
Then again, Yuuki-san isn't forthcoming enough. It's because he's overly competent himself that he wants others to reach this realm.
Gedora had seen through that a long time ago.
But it could be applied to him as well.
Gedora also didn't intend to watch his apprentices die, and he intended to lend a helping hand if they were in trouble. But Gedora wouldn't put these thoughts out there; he would only silently pressure others, so that others would find him scary.
Unaware of this himself, Gedora went to the old site of the Kingdom of Farmus.
He remembered that he had taken in an apprentice a long time ago, intending to go and gather information related to the Demon Lord Rimuru.
Immediately afterwards, Gedora flew towards the old Farmus capital "Maris" and headed straight for the palace.
Razen was working in his office, at which point he jumped up from his chair.
Originally thinking that the great teacher, Gedora, was dead, he felt the other's breath.
"I didn't think…he was still alive…”
While muttering something to himself, he thought to himself that this would be bad.
Not sure what Gedora's intentions were, but he had come here to find himself, I guess.
What is certain is that it is not to reminisce with him.
And there was also the problem that none of the soldiers in Farmenas knew the man Gedora. If this goes on, they will be stopped and questioned at the gates, and those who displease Gedora may be hurt.
In case one accidentally turns them and Gedora into enemies…
This is not good. If it turns out that way, there's no way for me to hold Lord Gedora back.
Razen was quick to judge as above and to act.
He calls out to his later new apprentices through "magical communications".
"Can you hear me?”
"Geez, don't call me out of the blue.”
"You must have found something.”
"There. Although Gregory didn't seem to notice it, there was an unusual aura just now. He'll be at the gates in a little while, right?”
"Since you know so well, it's a good thing. You go to the gate, too.”
“…you have been gracious to me. Got it.”
The "magic communication" was interrupted this way.
His new apprentices were two in total.
They were Sare and Gregory.
These two men were both originally 'Three Martial Immortals' - the Hall of the Emperor of the Sacred Emperor's Kingdom of Ruberios, and had previously stayed in the Imperial Near Guard Division, which was directly under the Emperor.
When Razen knew them while he was touring the country in order to inspect them, they made a major mistake and dared not return to the Hall of the Emperor, so Razen took them directly as apprentices.
Not to give them favors, but to be able to experience how they feel.
Especially Sare, who seems to have lost badly in front of journalists from various countries. Hearing that his opponent was Diablo, Razen could no longer stay out of it.
Sare had an arrogant attitude, but he still recognized Razen as his master.
Gregory does show fear of something from time to time, but is slowly finding his old swagger.
Looking at the strength alone, these two were impeccable, so Razen decided to exercise these two and one day get them to work under the tabletop of the Kingdom of Farmenas. That also includes crisis management like this one.
There's me, Sare and Gregory. Add Mr. Grucius after that, and we should be able to confront Lord Gedora.
The average soldier cannot be useful in the face of a single individual with overwhelming power. The current weakness of the Kingdom of Farmenas is the lack of heroic level talent.
In the old days when the Kingdom of Farmus was still in existence, his fellow Knight Commander Folgen and the warriors of his rank were now figures of the past. Talent must be found that can replace them—this is the subject of the Kingdom of Farmenas.
Again, Razen recognized this, chagrined that he was too late to deal with the problem.
When he rushed to the city gate, Sare and the others were already there.
And are being confronted by Gedora.
"I say, I don't know what it is that brings you to this city, but we are under care here. You understand that you can't let unidentified people go, don't you?”
"That's right, Grandpa. We're not going to sue people, so you'll just go back today. If you want to meet with someone, you can apply to the counter and get a response in about two or three days.”
Sure and the others wanted a peaceful resolution, blocking the front of the road to keep Gedora from passing. But in Razen's eyes it reduced his life expectancy.
"Stop it! Let the lord pass.”
"Hey, aren't we supposed to stop him?”
"In that case, why did you call us here?”
Both men seemed unhappy with the order, but Razen didn't have time for that sort of thing.
"Long time no see, Lord Gedora. I didn't know you were still alive, so I didn't bother to greet you.”
Razen knelt down on one knee before Gedora and said so from his mouth.