By yours truly, the Clown
Right, let me give you guys a status update! By the Clown:
–1) My semester has officially started back up: I’m extremely busy Tuesday-Thursday.
–2) I also accidentally got roped into an executive position with a community organization.
–3) There’s also a club I have to teach.
–4) And I also have to work on Syrian refugee immigration cases.
–5) I also have five classes again…
–6) So as you can imagine, I somehow am doing way too much! I don’t even know how this happens to me either!
–7) What does this mean? Well… I will honestly try to get at least one chapter a week down. Whether I would be able to do that or not… I don’t know. Hopefully with Guro-san’s and Smoggy-kumasan’s help, we might be able to release 2.5-3 chapters a week. But, they are just as busy as I am. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Thank you for your patience!
Demon Lord’s Gambit Arc
129. Yuuki Subjugation Raid
A declaration of alliance between Holy Empire Ruberius, Western Saint’s Church, and Tempest was formalized on paper, and a declaration of the same was sent to every country.
These kinds of formalities are normally truly tedious, but having the leaders calling the shots makes it all much easier.
Hinata is also a representative of some sort… I mean, everyone recognizes her power. So with all the signatures thus gathered, that matter was closed.
The alliance declares equality of its members.
The matter of trade restrictions we basically left it to the marketplace: the merchants and countries will just have to fight it out. In short, I won big on this contract.
Hinata and Ruminas are uninterested in matter of commerce. So they agreed to leave it up to market itself to figure the rules out—as I had wanted; a free market would be beneficial for international trade.
(Translator’s note: Do we have any economy majors who can comment on Rimuru/author’s claim that removing trade restrictions completely will be so beneficial?)
(Smoggy’s notes: Well, if there is no trade protectionism, Consumers will be better off due to a larger diversity of goods, and potential at higher and cheaper prices since firms will have to compete even harder in the larger market in terms of quality and productivity. While infant firms will face problems, large successful firms such as Rimuru’s will benefit from the wider range of consumer, as well as the lack of taxation needed when trading within the trading bloc. On a side note, government revenue will be lowered due to the decrease in revenue originally generated from tax, but should enjoy the beneficial GDP growth from the boosted economic activity. P.s. if they all use the same currency, no need to worry about currency appreciation)
We might even create a self-sufficient system and enjoy a time of never-before-seen wealth.
Currently the top brass (me, myself, and I) live in luxury, but we can still improve the quality of life of the lower class citizens.
And in order to obtain the ingredients to accomplish this I could hope for no better opportunity than trade with the Holy Empire Ruberius. It’s one of the largest agricultural countries in this world, after all.
Oh, and Ruminas isn’t oppressing her citizens. On the contrary, she protects them most passionately. To the point that they grow all the food they need as to not starve.
Which is why if we start trading and exchanging products we could turn stagnation into abundance.
And that’s how I’ll get to manipulate the market all I want.
I’ll research the climate and introduce appropriate produce.
Perhaps Ruberius will manage potato while we’ll focus on cultivating rice.
As for the rest, I would imagine that on the technological front Tempest would dominate. Rare metal and mineral trade is also likely to end up to our benefit.
I’m sure Myormiles-kun would be able to handle that question without any oversight.
The vast lands to the west, compared to those of the Eastern Empire are terribly infertile.
A battle between demon lords took place there, and the magical energy released eroded the nutrients in the soil.
But, if you think about it on the flip side, you could actually use the land to grow special products that require such magical energy density.
And if we leave it as is, these sands are bound to swallow up Ruberius eventually. Ruminas seems to be of the mindset that she’ll just up and leave for another land, but I can’t say I support her plans.
Isn’t it better to put the land she already has to its full use and seek true coexistence?
When I pointed this out and offered to send some agricultural specialists there,
「We do not mind. Something so trifling we can leave fully to you」
She replied as if she didn’t care.
I imagine her under-dwellers won’t accept my interference so readily, but the citizens above ground don’t particularly mind.
So, I requested her to make a formal written request.
And thus Tempest gained an official way into human society.
But, she did insist on one condition.
I was to allow Vampire nobility to participate in the research conducted with the Dwarfs and Sarion.
From what she said, although the above-ground dwellers are rather ignorant, her underground citizens are quite advanced.
「After all, being targeted by angels is particularly annoying.
Accordingly, we conduct the most important research underground.
We are biased, but ‘tis true: among the demon lords we are the most educated」
Even more than the elves, Vampires have extremely long lifespans.
Moreover, particularly high vampires don’t even need to suck blood but directly consume human life energy.
And with so much time on their hands the Vampires can’t help but spend it doing and researching what they enjoy the most.
So, I’m pretty certain that even if they participate in our research, it will be mostly on a whim.
Few of them, those called Nobles, can stand sunlight, these Nobles will be able to continue their research in just about any facility.
Thus, it seems I will be able to allow those Nobles to participate without any problems.
Well, considering the horse that Ruminas rode to get here, I can attest to their technological skill. I think this will be beneficial to both parties.
As both of us were satisfied with these terms, we exchanged promises on this matter.
As for the Western Saint’s Church,
Obviously their creed is the main problem.
For now, notices were sent out to all those currently outside of the capital notifying them that I was by no means a dangerous existence.
It’s actually kind of surprising how much money and power this organization has. It’s a big deal to get their backing.
Currently there are rumors going around that Tempest had fought with their knights. However, thanks to us utilizing enough funds to appear appealing to them, we were able to prevent total collapse of diplomacy.
The fact that we hadn’t killed a single knight also helps.
So instead we manipulated the rumors to be thus: we didn’t fight the knights; they came over, we talked, they realized we weren’t a danger, and left content.
In short, we changed their background from invaders to ambassadors.
Those few who know the truth must be scratching their heads right now.
「I got it, I got it!
You actually want me to go around spreading such rumors, don’t you?!」
Fuse exclaimed, quite distraught.
Thank goodness he understands quickly.
But seriously, Fuse just has the perfect timing. I don’t even need to call him—he’ll appear when and where I need him just in time.
Maybe I should treat him to a meal.
「Can I ask you to do this? I would be very grateful」
Hinata looked at Fuse and added.
「O-of course! Please leave it to me; I will carry out your request with haste.
I will show you that you were not mistaken in placing your trust in me; you were definitely correct in trusting me!」
With a bright red face, passionately grabbing his chest, Fuse replied.
So… why was he being so redundant? Is it so important that he had to say the same thing twice?
I’m pretty sure anyone would have understood his response.
I bet he has already fallen for her. Well, his target is so high it’s unattainable.
「Thanks; I’ll leave it to you」
Fuse was raring to go after hearing her response.
What a simple guy. I guess I don’t need to treat him to a meal now.
Well, in short, that’s how we established this alliance; figuring out the minor details I left to Rigurdo and Myormiles.
It’ll be easy to expand militarily now, so this is grand progress.
The problem before us, however, is how we should deal with the Freedom Association.
No, let me be clear: how should we conduct this Yuuki subjugation raid.
「Now then, we can leave the matter of the alliance at that.
The problem before us, is how we should deal with the Freedom Association」
「Right; considering that almost every country has a Freedom Association branch, the question is how far does the Headquarters’ influence span?」
「With regards to that, allow me to explain」
Fuse said and began his explanation.
Every country’s, big or small, relation to the Freedom Association’s headquarters. Though we more or less understood from his previous brief explanation, I decided to have him go into more details.
According to him, there are observers in every guild making communication between Central and the branch easy.
Of course, these observers also make carry out Yuuki’s will. As for others potentially controlled, based on personal experiences and lack of any other person working in the branches for Central, there ought to be a few.
「In the end, we believe that he can only use mind control if he directly meets a person」
Thought guidance, the simpler skill, merely obstructs some thought patterns or suggests others. It’s a skill that is slightly superior to that of a swindler.
As such, we could protect against further dissemination should we have an opportunity to study the skill… but considering that people will always be swindled, we really can’t protect ourselves against it with absolute certainty.
In other words, we really can’t solve this problem right now. So let’s get back to it later.
The problematic skill: mind control, requires an implementation of a “Curse Crystal” into its target.
The “Curse Crystal,” in turn, binds the target on its very soul. I wonder though: could a person thus bound then infect others?
「Impossible. I who was similarly controlled can testify to that extent.
His power is by no means omnipotent.
Were it so, all the templars would have long been his servants」
Hinata refuted that hypothesis.
Fuse was surprised at the sudden revelation, but said nothing and instead took out some files.
「Now then, this is the list of every official who has met with Yuuki.
Please do not forget that, as in my case, direct meetings with Yuuki do not guarantee brainwashing」
The file mentioned just that.
True: Fuse had met with Yuuki, but was not brainwashed.
Was he ignored because his country is small? No, there’s probably some limit to mind control.
Moreover, back then he was struggling to control Hinata, whereas he must now control the mighty Chloe. And he can’t even manage that completely.
If so… isn’t his power rather pathetic?
≪Solution. That hypothesis is presumed correct.
Due to expanding his power to control the hero, he most likely lacks ability to dominate another person≫
Actually, now that I think about it, Masayuki had this bug on him. A bug so pitiful I unconsciously squashed it.
It got on him before he started his heroic travels. So I’m pretty sure it’s no big deal.
Besides, Raphael is never wrong.
「Alright, I get it. We can probably not worry about his mind control for now.
As for those who honestly adore Yuuki… we can’t dispel that adoration.
And while we can go around cleaning up branch by branch…
How about we just go and take out Central in a single swoop?」
Let’s put association branches aside for now.
Decide central, and Yuuki while we are at it.
Even if there’s a hero, we have Ruminas and I. While I occupy Chloe, she’ll murder Yuuki.
Hinata can hold off Kagali (Kazalim) for a bit.
Three is plenty. Or so I thought,
「Wait, I can’t fight as I had before.
Not even equip spirit armor; and though I could accelerate my thoughts, my spirit strength is yet lacking.
Truly high speed combat I could only maintain for a few seconds.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the strength of a hero any longer」
Hinata confessed ashamed.
As I had feared: her presence felt smaller because it actually was smaller.
But it’s best we strike sooner rather than later. A big part of that is a desire to save Chloe… but I also just hate the idea of letting Yuuki continue for much longer.
Most of my problems until now can be attributed to him.
Even with Hinata out of the picture, we have enough strength to crush Central.
「We too support crushing Central.
But why should we not handle the branches simultaneously?
With my servants, your men, and the templars should we not just crush it all?」
What an extreme thing Ruminas says!
I had considered it, but then we won’t be able to avoid chaos…
But Ruminas’ subordinates present an excellent opportunity. Maybe we should just go with it.
Actually, create chaos? Who cares!
And thus, we again reconsidered our batle plan.
Our consideration concluded when we had decided squad formation.
First, Central was given to Hinata.
She would relate information from every squad.
Next, Apprehension Corps: those who would confirm and secure any suspicious targets at the branches.
That would be handled by Fuse’s men–the guides, and Souei’s group. We also included seven of Ruminas’ nobles in that corps.
We’ll ignore the tiny nations and focus on securing the observers in the larger countries.
And, most importantly, Central Raid Party.
Of course Ruminas and I lead it. Diablo and Shion will come along. Benimaru and Gerudo will stay to protect Tempest.
Ruminas will be accompanied by the Seven Celestial Sages.
We’ll have Veldora in the skies to destroy the barrier protecting Ingracia and erect a barrier preventing their escape.
We’ll invade once our barrier comes up.
Moreover, we have Gabil, Hakurou, and Gobuta in the reserve troops.
Ranga’s also raring to go within my shadow.
No matter how strong Yuuki is, all we need to do is pin Chloe down for a minute–just enough to bring him down.
And our war strength is great. Defeat here would mean that we would have to wage total war.
「Ku fufufufu. A real war after so long! I am trembling in excitement!」
「Ufufufufu. Diablo, I ain’t letting you hog all the fun」
Diablo’s and Shion’s conversation is rather scary.
These two should be more than enough to handle Kagali.
Ruminas has declared that Yuuki is her prey alone, but Shion and Diablo will join in to help after they defeat Kagali.
I will fight Chloe.
I don’t want to hurt her, but her actual strength is unknown. Underestimating her could lead to my defeat.
According to Ruminas,
「Though we don’t want to admit it, she is probably stronger than We.
If you let your guard down, even you could perish」
Though I can’t help wondering just how strong she is, all present are certain that with some tactics I could keep her occupied long enough.
Besides, killing Yuuki solves all the problems.
I would have wanted to talk to him briefly before killing him, but sadly we don’t have the time to chat.
In order to save Chloe we need to kill him real quick.
If Chloe is stronger than I expect, I’ll have Veldora and Ranga join.
I won’t let my guard down.
And we’ll slaughter Yuuki and save Chloe
Having thus decided on our battle plan, we swiftly moved to implement it.
And, after so heroically constructing a plan…
No, the entire plan did not fail; Yuuki simply had fled from Central.
By the time Veldora set up a barrier and we had invaded, Yuuki was long gone.
Surprisingly, he abandoned Freedom Association headquarters and fled.
A position of power he spent 10 years creating he abandoned without a second thought.
It just shows how capable of an enemy he is. Since the point was to prevent any of his further manipulation,this plan was a failure.
Of course, we could not save Chloe either.
But it was not a total waste. Though even the observers had fled by then, we made sure no royalty or ruler was under his thought manipulation.
Those who were we rescued.
And thanks to Templar presence, we could quickly pin all evils and crimes on Yuuki.
As a result we were able to quickly contain chaos and return every nation’s guild to working order.
Thus, although the plan failed, we completely eliminated Yuuki’s dominion.
Furthermore, we were able to lay foundation for Tempest embassies in more countries.
That is: we cleared the infected regions and strengthened ties with them.
And, the Western Saint’s Church very conveniently filled all the vacancies in the Freedom Association with our people.
Though it wasn’t what we planned for, we didn’t lose anything either.
Other than letting Yuuki escape, we actually did pretty well.
For the time being, Ingracia Kingdom and other Council nations may be slightly chaotic.
But, as things settle down and Yuuki’s crimes are revealed to the public, more and more nations rise in anger against him.
That I must completely attribute to the power of faith in the Western Saint’s Church.
We have also been officially recognized; though not as a Council nation member, but certainly we’ve been accepted.
In other words, we now negotiate with many more countries than we did before.
Since we aim to coexist with humans, this is big step forward for us.
In the future, when we fight the Eastern Empire and Yuuki the nations surrounding Jura forest will probably be involved as well. So, I want to seal some military alliances with them.
Though we let Yuuki escape, we improved our ability to oppose the Eastern Empire.
Eastern Empire advances by forcing other countries to assimilate; there’s a need to oppose that force.
To that end, other countries won’t be able to ignore Tempest.
Thanks to this incident, these countries are bound to use newly developed diplomatic ties to create a mighty military union.
Wealth, Technology, and Power.
Tempest is fated to rise to be the epitome of these; but that’s a story for later.
For now, I only grieve that our Yuuki Subjugation Raid failed.