The Confused World
Day 3 of the great war, in the Holy City of Ruberios.
Shion eyed the incoming Dagruel forces, and a cold, dark smile surfaced on her face.
As she thought that the chance has finally come, for her to let loose all the frenzied furious anger that was within her....
On the first day of the great war, Shion along with Adalman and Albert were ordered by their master Demon Lord Rimuru, to move out to aid Demon Lord Ruminas.
Having visited when he was working with Gerudo in setting up the Transit Gates, Adaman guided their forces to Ruminas' castle; upon reaching, the atmosphere at the castle was unnaturally calm despite the fact that they were in battle with the angels.
Ruminas was "elegantly" relaxing, as she lounged on her couch.
And, towards Shion and the other guests,
「To think I would get reinforcements against that measly angel army, that Rimuru is quite the worrywart.
Sure, the humans would be in danger should we fall here....
But isn't this a little too overprotective?
Not even I expected something like this to happen so soon.」
She calmly and matter-of-factly addressed.
「Rimuru-sama, has predicted that there would be an incoming attack here, from Demon Lord Dagruel who has betrayed us.」
She froze upon hearing Shion's reply.
Ruminas was confident that her forces can maintain their advantage against the angel army, but if Dagruel's forces were to come into play, that changes everything.
More so, the fact that Dagruel, one of the oldest pillars among the demon lords, has made his move; this isn't a situation that can be taken lightly anymore.
「Gather the others immediately! We're holding a strategy conference right away!」
With Ruminas' command, her followers, the 7 great nobles and ranking commanders, gave orders for the other key appointment holders to gather.
Right on the dot of nightfall, it was fortunate that the angels began to pull out.
Thanks to that, the other officers who were taking part in battles are now able to attend the conference.
Not wasting time, they gathered at the conference hall where a light dinner was prepared.
Representing them, were the 7 great nobles, the "Seven Celestial Sages", and the Holy Knight Arnoud.
The second-in-commands, knight squad leaders, along with any noteworthy majin who were nobles were amongst them.
Seeing that all who were relevant has arrived, Ruminas gave a short opening address, and declared the start of the conference.
And so, the meet begins.
Shion spoke first, speaking of Rimuru's predictions.
Then the movements of the angel armies, and the situations of the other areas.
Finally, finishing with Dagruel's movements, and what was predicted to be their goal.
「――no way.... If Demon Lord Dagruel is making his move, we are going to end up getting pincered from both the skies and on land.
As we have nothing to fall back upon, if we fall here the central countries will definitely fall shortly after!」
The alarmed Arnoud anxiously spoke out.
To him, who is one of the linchpins in the human defense forces, their current location can pretty much be called the final defense line.
In comparison, the monster(Ruminas/majin) side wasn't as disturbed.
At worst, the choice of forsaking this country and escaping is still a viable option for them.
Just like they have did once in the past, when this country was destroyed by Veldora. For they believe that there will still be somewhere out in the vast lands of this world that would accept them.
But, that doesn't apply for all of them.
The higher beings are all thinking about something, with a face that looked like they were chewing something bitter.
Ruminas was, too.
To protect the believers, who are citizens of the country, while simultaneously probing for a possible location for a new country, was what the nobles were suggesting; Ruminas was still thinking on the sidelines, while watching Arnoud debate.
It's simple to abandon the country.
For a monster such as herself, it's not too much effort to build another country from scratch.
But, if she were to flee, there's no guarantee the angels aren't going to pursue her.
Chances are, they will give chase. The opposition has every intent on wiping out all intelligent beings, having declared their intentions to destroy the world.
It's hard to imagine them letting Ruminas and co. get away.
Additionally, the odds of victory for them doing a full scale tactical retreat while protecting non-combatants is pretty much nonexistent.
Which is why, with this single cold word from Ruminas, silence returned to the room.
「――to me, whatever happens to the humans, is really none of my concern.
They'll replenish their numbers shortly anyway, it's probably not much of a problem if their numbers are reduced somewhat, these are my honest thoughts.
That's if they manage to replenish, that is.
As the enemy has declared their intention to wipe out everything, there are no guarantees that humans will be allowed to survive.
For that reason, I have decided to protect this land.
This is by no means, something done for the sake of the humans.
Some of you are saying we should escape, but when it ends up with us alone against the angel forces, do you think we will be able to win?
I mean, think about it.
The other demon lords too, are fighting to protect their citizens and territory.
That, is something that can be called a "contract", but at the same time it is also the obligation of we who rule over these lands.
Guy is an exception....
Ramiris, Milim, Leon, and even the newcomer Rimuru are doing their utmost.
I too have such intentions.
This, is us demon lords putting our pride on the line, turning our backs to the angels is unthinkable.
The newcomer Rimuru, has noticed Demon Lord Dagruel's betrayal and has sent reinforcements already.
Instead, if we were to escape, it would be foolish to think we could ever live proudly again after that.
We, are not living for the sake of living.
It is because we live proudly, that we live as nobles, as kings.
Escape will not be forgiven.
Prioritize our victory, and start thinking of how we will achieve it!
Let victory be ours!!」(TN: gawd she sure talked alot)
「「「Uooooooooh!! Let victory be ours!!」」」
The conference room was wrapped on a silent fervor, and showed the unity of all present in an instant.
Now that Ruminas' intentions are made known to them, the monster followers very easily made up their minds and mentally prepared their resolves.
Ruminas' charisma as a demon lord was not just for show. She splendidly grasped the hearts of her followers.
And, without that fervor cooling down, the conference shifted to the discussion on their plan to engage the incoming attack.
In the end, it was decided to leave the bare minimum to defend against the angels, while redirecting everything else they had to face Dagruel.
Luckily there wasn't any noteworthy commander among the angels, which is also why they didn't have any tough battles for the day.
Nevertheless, there were crack troops being reorganized as reserves, so as to not be complacent in light of that.
As they have no choice but to engage on two fronts, it was decided for the reserves to assist whichever side that has the most trouble.
This reserve squad, now bears a heavy responsibility, having been given the important task of making the proper decision. Due to the shortage of reserve forces in the current situation, most reinforcements can't be relied on.
All the other demon lords have their hands full holding their own territory.
Ruminas' forces are in a more positive situation now, having received reinforcements from Demon Lord Rimuru.
If they were to be pincered by their foes from both land and the skies without Demon Lord Rimuru's aid, they would have been destroyed without the chance to even contemplate escaping.
Due to Demon Lord Rimuru's quick assessment of the situation, the aid and information sent to Ruminas has pretty much saved her.
(Fumu. Guess I owe him one, huh――)
On the inside, Ruminas was reluctantly accepting this fact. (TN: still so tsun tsun lol)
And so, the location of their final battle is decided, for Ruminas' forces which occupy the Holy City of Ruberios.
Against the angel forces would be Arnoud and his holy knight forces, plus the Bloody Knights who are led by the nobles.
The 7 great nobles, the ones known as the "Celestial Sages", would be their assault force.
Against the traitor Dagruel, would be Shion and her personal guard forces.
In addition, are Adalman and the death knights he leads.
Over the night, using his summoning magic, Adalman brought forth his followers from the Labyrinth.
It's not like he could summon *everything* he could muster up in one night, but having took on the task, he could manage to bring over a substantial force over if he had 2 days.
Dagruel and his forces were also travelling at abnormal speeds without stopping to even sleep, it was calculated that they would cross the deserts and invade these lands in 3 days time.
With that being the scenario, they will make it in time to prepare their defenses.
Making use of the transit gates that were set up, Shion's personal guard were also gathering up.
Of course, as they had priority on the usage, Dagruel's forces couldn't make use of the gates on their side.
Shion was giving orders to her forces to be on their guard, as they made their preparations for their upcoming battle with Dagruel's forces.
If things go smoothly, the decisive battle will take place on the 3rd day(of the great war).
With the plan in motion, the move to deal as much damage as they could to the angel army on day 2, was decided during the conference in the first night.
According to reports from their scout squads, the movements of Dagruel's forces were spotted as per the predicted timeline.
Showing their differences when compared to the human forces, Dagruel's forces move non-stop without a care for food or rest, maintaining their threatening speed.
But, as they moved at a constant pace, their time of arrival was accurately predicted.
Inversely, that also means the scouts held an important responsibility, as they are required to be able to keep up if there were any increases in movement speed.
For that purpose, Ruminas had the "Celestial Sages" take the job.
The reasoning for that was that they were highly skilled in plotting and gathering information, they are able to keep an eye on Dagruel's forces without being noticed.
Also, they had teleportation type abilities, so on the off chance that they were to be spotted they would still be able to escape and return to base.
The plan was for the "Celestial Sages" to switch over to their assault troop role the moment Dagruel's forces enter their territory.
With that decided, on the 2nd day, everyone but the "Celestial Sages" were to be combatting the angel army.
With the plan going well, they managed to greatly reduce the numbers of the angel army, which was using the same monotonous attack as the first day.
But, something unexpected happened as well.
During the afternoon of the 2nd day.
Velda made another appearance, towards the entire world.
『Allow me to enlighten everyone on the current situation.
My beloved daugther――Demon Lord Milim, has destroyed a pillar of the demon lords.
That's right, the one who perished was Demon Lord Rimuru.
Though he was a newbie, he was the demon lord who had the closest ties to the humans.
2 other pillars among the demon lords are old friends of mine, and have shown that they were willing to follow my lead.
The number of demon lords who are still against me, is but a measly 4 pillars now.
You are welcome to resist to the end, but for those who give up, they shall be granted a swift painless death.
So instead of wallowing in fear and despair, wouldn't it be better to just choose death?
The hammer of god shall be brought down on the 7th day, on every existing human capital.
Until then, you have my word that I shall intervene no further.
Do you understand the meaning of what I just said?
The ones who want to die without suffering, just stay put in the capitals instead of running or hiding.
As I am such a merciful being, I shall definitely keep this promise!』
Working the same way as when he did his declaration of war, a massive vision of Velda appeared in the skies and delivered his speech.
Shocks were sent throughout the world.
To the many capital cities of the Ingracia kingdom around the world, and to the capital of the empire in the east.
Many panicked and began their escape, while there was also the extreme minority that has accepted the end and decided to stay.
Now that the situation has been made known to every living being, the world was now swept up in a swirl of chaos.
The many leaders are too, stumped with the problems that the chaos is causing.
Having declared dropping the hammer of god on the 7th day, that also meant that the capitals around the world are safe zones until then.
There was no reason for him to lie at this point.
If Velda was in the mood, he could have dropped the hammer without saying anything. Him not doing so and instead stating a deadline, was perhaps to show that he really was as merciful as he made himself sound.
But Velda's *true* motive was probably that he found searching for loose ends to be too much of a chore. But then, even for those who noticed that, it's still a good and efficient choice to make use of the capitals as safe zones.
In any case, to guarantee the safety of their citizens, gathering in the capitals was a no brainer.
Inversely, it is also a double edged sword, as one wrong move and everything crumbles in one go. It was a bad gamble of sorts.
If the demon lords emerge victorious, their safety is assured and the remaining problems would clear out in time. However, if they are defeated, escape will be impossible at that point.
Then again, even if they are to escape from the capitals and spread out to the many corners of the world, the number of beings who are capable of surviving being constantly on the run is very limited.
Anyways, the fate of being found by meticulous trackers and then finally killed was very clear.
In fact, there are countries which are sending their defense forces against the sweeping angel squads that have appeared throughout the lands, there are already many uncounted casualties.
Before the start of the great war, Demon Lord Rimuru and the other demon lords have had talks, and the fact that the demon lords themselves are taking part in the war was known.
Demon Lord Ruminas took part in those talks, and it was decided that she and Demon Lord Rimuru were to take full charge of the defenses on the western front.
Which, brings us back to the current situation, where the civilian populace needs to depend on the power of the demon lords, to protect them from Velda who intends to destroy the world.
That finally brings us back to the point, as that is the problem the human leaders around the world are getting headaches for.
To them, their symbolic defender, and also the symbol of fear, is Demon Lord Rimuru.
As they have experienced, what kind of "death" that immensely powerful being is capable of unleashing.
To the world leaders, the defeat of said demon lord directly leads to the destruction of mankind.
What this means, is that the news of the defeat of Demon Lord Rimuru, brought unreal amounts of despair for them.
The fact that Demon Lord Rimuru disappearing this fast, was something that didn't cross any of their minds.
Even if he was defeated, pulling through no matter how many times he had to do it, was the image of Demon Lord Rimuru that they(the world leaders) held.
But that only amplified the despair that they felt.
(If the news of Demon Lord Rimuru's defeat wasn't made known, the capitals would still believe that the demon lords can emerge victorious――)
That, was the unfiltered thought process of the world leaders, in the current situation.
The reaction of the countries after hearing this information, was split into two opposing directions.
The ones who still believe the demon lords will be victorious, even after knowing that Demon Lord Rimuru has been "defeated"; and the ones who have decided to do whatever they want, with the assumption that the demon lords will be defeated.
For those who still believe in the demon lords' victory, they would be safest to stay in the capitals which have been declared to be safe from attack.
In the end, most of the western country leaders and the empire's important figures, are part of the side which believe in the demon lords.
Whatever happens, running around like a headless chicken won't get them far. If that's the case, staying away from the fighting and hoping for the best is still more ideal for them.
Moreover, for the beings who have closer ties to Demon Lord Rimuru, they find it hard to seriously believe that he really was defeated; this was the greatest reason why they(the human world leaders) have yet to lose faith.
To quote the words of a certain 1st generation committee leader――
『What bullshit is that. There's no way that fella would die this easily.
If he was such an easy opponent, he would have been destroyed by me a long time ago.』
The thoughts of many of the beings which had closer ties to said demon lord, were more or less similar.
Cunning and cautious, a bold demon lord who never fully shows his hand. There's no way such a demon lord would so honestly let himself be destroyed! And other such stuff.
Which meant, they were the ones who never believed that he would be one of the first to be defeated....
With the thought that he's most likely planning something, the ones who thought this way end up pulling up the weaker willed ones along with them.
This trend, was stronger for the ones who had closer ties to Demon Lord Rimuru.
It is said, that the king of the newly born country "Falmenas" and some of the surrounding countries, managed to easily protect their citizens and provide relief; they helped the stragglers in the vicinity and accommodated villagers, from the many small villages which surrounded their country, into their capital, displaying just how thorough they were.
『Haa!? There's no way the master would die that simply. That Velda fella looks like he's all talk, getting duped that easily.』
『I know, right. He's oh so underestimating that person, like I had in the past, looks like he's fully unaware of the ploy that's right under his nose.』
Such, was the recorded talks between the young king and his aged advisor.
These are some of the people who have close ties with Demon Lord Rimuru, and they placed great faith in him. They were the best representatives, of the beings who had absolute faith in the demon lords' victory.
This trend, was seen in many of the countries that surrounded the Great Jura Forest.
The Dwarf Kingdom, the country of Burmund and Sorcerer’s Dynasty Sarion count among these countries.
And the leaders of said countries reacted quickly to the news. They issued a "conference call" for all the other demon lord believers, and succeeded in tipping the scales of the minds of the other world leaders.
More than half of the western countries tipped in favor, and chose to believe in the demon lords' victory.
Even the empire which has only recently tried to invade the Great Jura Forest, showed their fealty to the demon lord side.
The perfect post war therapy by Demon Lord Rimuru during the period of turmoil after the emperor's death gave them the extra push that was needed.
The almost religiously fanatical explanations of the soldiers who returned to their surprised families probably contributed much.
The returnee soldiers spoke in unison,
『Defeat is impossible, for Demon Lord Rimuru-sama.』
They said as such.
The soldiers elaborated proudly, even though they were the ones who returned with disgraceful results from an overwhelming defeat.
Because of how unnaturally absurd it was, it inversely caused the empire citizens to believe the soldiers.
Although large scale confusions did happen, the swift response from the remaining empire leaders suppressed the civilian unrest within a few days of the occurrence.
This, would be recorded as a miracle during the great war, and talked about by future generations.
But, problems arose, from the other side.
A certain minimum number of the people, who are doing whatever they want on the assumption of the demon lords' defeat, exist everywhere around the world.
Sadly, most countries had to split some of their defense force, to keep these miscreants in check.
If this was also part of Velda's aims, it couldn't be helped that there will be some fools who end up falling for his ploy.
These people only think of themselves. Which causes them to make bad choices, even if it was during such dire times.
The world was currently falling into despair, as per Velda's intentions.
From it, confusion was borne.
With that, one of his objectives was accomplished.
One of Demon Lord Rimuru's followers, "Warlord" Shion. She worshiped Demon Lord Rimuru as though a god.
So when she heard Velda's speech about his "death", all she could feel was a blinding rage.
That rage, was about to awaken a certain unstable emotion that was supposed to have been sealed deep within her heart....
And that, was about to whip up a turbulent storm upon the impending battlefield.
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