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Chapter 76 – Daemon
Three months had already passed since the Battle of the Athena Star System.
Yúnlán, who led a huge fleet of 500,000 ships, faced 70 million fighter crafts of the Royal Army, was helplessly defeated and forced to retreat to the Solar System while lacking the means to do so due to the output abnormality of the magic engine.
Yúnlán, now a defeated general, gathered as many scattered fleets as possible and was reorganizing the units in the Solar System when he was informed that the MacLir System in the rear had fallen.
With the MacLir system taken, the home country will be within the range of the enemy.
And while rushing back to the Hercules System, he received a report that the Fukashiro system had fallen in quick succession.
Although no decent information from the MacLir System was provided because no vessels escaped, many ships navigating within the Fukashiro System had escaped and details were delivered.
Fortress Kerviel, which was supposed to have appeared on the outer rim of the Fukashiro system, caused a phenomenon similar to that of the MacLir system, warped out directly to a short distance of about 300 million kilometers from the inhabited planet, swallowing the star system with the light of its vast warship, along with the large forces following.
The Monarchy’s rule over the Fukashiro system is possible because Hào Lán’s daughter, who has been nominated as a successor, is working with the Marquis of Amakawa.
Shinkyō took it, but the Monarchy regained it and redistributed it to the people of Fukashiro. It is the lineage of the Sòng family that inherits Fukashiro, so it is inevitable that the people of Fukashiro will side with the Monarchy instead of the five Tenka Nations. Furthermore, it is obvious that information on the five Tenka Nations army was extracted from Shinkyō and the upper echelon of Kyūyama in the subdued Fukashiro system.
Information that should not be known, such as the strength possessed by the five Tenka Nations, the number of deployments to each star system, the reserve forces, and the replenishment speed of national mages, will be sold to the Monarchy.
“It’s over…… tte?”
Every event in the universe has a beginning and an end, with no exception.
The end of the war between the Monarchy of Diete and the Tenka Federation, which is but one of these events, was foreseen by Yúnlán, one of the leaders of the Five Tenka Nations, and this held great meaning for present-day humanity. But for humankind in the distant future, it will be nothing more than an event that appears in history textbooks.
About the war, which is trivial to the people of the future, Yúnlán calmly realized that his side would be the defeated.
The biggest factor that convinced Yúnlán of defeat was the speed at which both sides were replenishing their forces.
In the short period from a year ago, when the royal capital was destroyed by Yúnlán, to the present day, the Monarchy recovered its war potential and its technological development had progressed to the extent that it can deploy as many as 4 million large fighter crafts into the Fukashiro System.
This is an unbelievable story from the standpoint of common sense, and to Yúnlán it seems like a nightmare.
In addition to large fighter crafts, mysterious output anomalies have been caused in the Athena and Fukashiro Systems, making warpouts directly into the star system possible, and giant battle satellites with a diameter of about 480 kilometers have been deployed. Each technological breakthrough that can be decisive in war has occurred frequently.
Yúnlán, who compared the hands of both sides at the moment, had to conclude that the result would not change, only the time of defeat and the damage incurred would be different, no matter what kind of move was played.
The number of large fighter crafts will increase with time, and the event in the Fukashiro Systems may not be the last use of the trump card. Even if Marquis Amakawa died suddenly right now, Tenka already had no chance of winning.
“How should we convince the people?”
Yúnlán’s concern was about how to lose.
It would be easy to simply inform the Monarchy of their intention to surrender, but even if they did so, the Tenka people of the three nations, who had been led to believe that the Tenka side was winning, will not accept the surrender.
They were indoctrinated to that point by the five Tenka Nations annexation of all the former Coalition territories and the attack on the Capital planet of the Monarchy of Diete, which resulted in Sovereign Valfrete’s death in battle. No matter how it is interpreted, it is information that should have judged the Tenka side as superior, and it would be inconceivable for them to suddenly surrender.
Because the national mages are not considered Tenkan citizens, but expendable weapons, they will not be accounted as casualties no matter how many have fallen. So they didn’t inform about them.
The fact that Yaai of the Cáo family, who ruled Honyō, was hit by a nuclear fusion round just after warp-out in the MacLir System and died in battle is known, but since it was not something that could be aimed for and executed by common sense, and since the Royal Army that was on defense also withdrew, it was merely regarded as an unfortunate accident.
As for the damage to Shinkyō and Kyūyama, the Monarchy ignored the damage to its own country and made a suicide attack, and although the defense forces of both star systems were not destroyed, it was reported that the celestial bodies were dropped by a margin. Therefore, Shinkyō and Kyūyama invaded and took control of Fukashiro, which had become closer with the Monarchy.
Because everything has been communicated in a manner convenient for the ruling families, even if they say, “Surely we’ll lose, so we’ll surrender”, the Tenka people will not accept it.
At present, the Tenka people will only accept the end of the war with a declaration of victory. The purpose of securing the Coalition people, which was the cause of Tenka, and acquiring their resident systems was fulfilled, and the Sovereign of the Monarchy was also punished by being killed in battle, so the current territories will be divided among them… if this is the case, the ruling families can convince the people.
This will not happen, however, since the MacLir System has already been retaken.
If all the facts are told as they are, what will happen?
The current rulers will be dragged down, and it is possible that their entire clan could be killed. After that, the Tenka people, who underestimated the wrath of the Monarchy, whose Sovereign was killed and royal capital destroyed, would seek a compromise line with the Monarchy.
It is impossible for the Monarchy to accept negotiations on conditions that are too lenient. However, the Tenka people cannot accept conditions that are severe for Tenka. The war continues, and celestial bodies were dropped on the inhabited planets of the three Tenka Nations, ending with the destruction of the Tenka Federation.
Even if explained in an orderly logical manner, the Tenka people will still not accept it. Yúnlán thinks that fools, being fools, do not understand anything unless they experience it firsthand. However, the biggest fool in Yúnlán’s opinion is himself, who started the war with the Monarchy and brought it to the present state.
After a long time of wandering in the endless sea of thought, Yúnlán has come up with a general answer as to what he had to do.
First, consult with his ally, Yuen, about the surrender policy, and if Yuen accepts, follow it, and if not, Ōizumi alone will seek a way to have a decent surrender.
If he consults Yuen, the leader, but is not accepted, then he would surrender on his own, and if he surrenders to the Monarchy while Ten-to and Honyō are still engaged, the result would be somewhat better.
As for Yúnlán’s own death, it is inevitable because he killed the former Sovereign, Valfrete. Yúnlán does not have a taste for torture or exposure, so he would prefer to take responsibility and judge himself once the surrender is arranged.
“If it is now, I could at least arrange for my family’s escape beforehand……… huh?
When Yúnlán muttered with a light sigh as he activated the interstellar Magic Conversion Communication Wave, his surroundings were suddenly shrouded in darkness.
He quickly looked around and saw that even emergency lights, which should have been turned on, were off, which was physically impossible.
While the darkness deprived him of sight, his sense of hearing picked up a “sharang-sharang” sound, like the clanging of a cane. Turning his body toward the sound and listening for a while, he could hear it gradually getting closer.
The Hercules star, the planet Alcaeus, and the moon Cades would eventually emerge from the dark. And between the stars and planets, a faded planet, which should not have been there, appeared.
The surface of the mysterious planet illuminated by stellar light has a rough, uneven surface. A faint blue color is visible, but Yúnlán’s intuition tells him that it was different from water.
The mysterious white planet fluttered pale light, erasing stars and planets in the light, and eventually transforming into a woman with a scepter.
A faded-haired woman with reddish-purple eyes, wearing a gray cloak over a white monastic-like robe and a forehead ornament. She held a white wooden scepter in her left hand, which made a dry sound when struck, and at the tip of the scepter were a number of blue crystals.
The woman’s taut smile made Yúnlán’s skin crawl with fear.
A dwarf was standing beside the woman who approached close enough that her expression was discernible.
He was a middle-aged dwarf with long blond hair, wearing a white shirt and red trousers, a red and black vest with golden embroidery, a black bow tie, white gloves, a long red and black coat that matched the vest and coat.
He was of a dwarven build, and childish in stature, with the comical appearance of a fat child dressed as an aristocrat.
When Yúnlán saw them both, he closed his eyes and slowly opened them to assess the unchanging scenery.
“I must be suffering from a terminal condition if I’m having visual and auditory hallucinations at the same time. Besides proposing surrender, I should select a proxy. At present, I don’t think anyone who can see our future will accept the position of proxy.”
The hallucinated dwarf replied to Yúnlán’s monologue, shaking his beard.
“What would you say if this were no hallucination, and the pale girl beside me was like the Spirits of the Diete Monarchy?
Although Yúnlán is a quick thinker, there was a pause of several seconds before he understood the dwarf’s words and replied.
“What is there to say? I never imagined the Monarchy’s hands would turn towards the Herculeans. If this is a surrender offer, let’s hear it.”
The dwarf shook his head calmly at Yúnlán, who tightened his expression and regained his composure.
“No, this is not a surrender offer, it’s a suggestion.”
“What is the suggestion?”
“Um. She is a daemon whose diet is different from that of a spirit. Spirits purify and eat miasma. And daemons eat miasma and spirits.”
Observing the confident dwarf and the quiet, white woman’s every movement, Yúnlán couldn’t understand the meaning of “eat” that reached his hearing, and asked for an explanation both with his gaze and words.
The dwarf man, on the other hand, responded with a shake of his neatly trimmed beard.
“As I understand things, the spirit side also purifies daemons and eats them, so both seem to have a predatory relationship with each other?”
When Yúnlán heard the dwarf’s explanation, he quickly thought.
The spirit purifies and eats the daemon, and the daemon eats the spirit.
Human beings have not been able to observe or control miasma. If so, the spirits of the Monarchy possess human beings because it is necessary to have human intervention. At least spirits have a reason to possess humans.
If so, isn’t it necessary for daemons, who are similar beings, to also possess humans?
Whether the Monarchy understands and uses the spirits or is deceived into using them, they are currently in a coexistence relationship.
If a white woman who calls herself a daemon is in a predatory relationship with the spirits, then she cannot coexist with the Monarchy that coexists with the spirit.
If the daemon side has a cooperative relationship with the dwarves, and they reach out to Yúnlán because the dwarves alone are not enough, then she may need magical individuals or interstellar ships, which Tenka has and the dwarves do not.
(The Monarchy has spirits. However, there is also the existence of daemons, and they are trying to take the side which is in conflict with the Monarchy. We have two choices, to work with daemons or not.)
If spirits and daemons prey on each other, the power relationship will not be one-sided.
What Yúnlán thought could be gained by cooperating with the white woman might be daemon crystals similar to spirit crystals and many other mysterious phenomena that the Monarchy is performing.
If so, what price will Yúnlán have to pay in return?
Whatever it takes… Yúnlán decided.
In order for Tenka not to perish, they need a weapon that can counter the Monarchy. Compared to the deaths of a nation and its people, most things were better.
“Do we provide ships and technology? The war is not going well, but how many daemon crystals can you offer?”
The dwarf’s eyes widened in surprise at the answer that Yúnlán came up with from the brief explanation.
“Ah, you talk fast. Very fast, indeed. This girl is Zirke, the Daemon Emperor. She will increase the number of her ménage, feed on planets, increase her realms. The three Tenka nations will be given Monarchy-like realms and transition gates. The first planets to be eaten will be the three star systems of the Republic of Frodi. I ask you to prepare an effective force.”
From the words the dwarf uttered, Yúnlán quickly understood the various phenomena that the Monarchy was causing.
The mysterious output anomaly was in the realms, and the direct warp into the system was the transition gate.
If the spirits of the Monarchy have gained their power by eating planets, it would explain the reason why the mysterious phenomenon of the Monarchy have increased after the destruction of the five systems, Shinkyō and Kyūyama of Tenka and Myrna, Freyja, and Thor of the former Coalition.
There is not enough force to defeat the star systems of the Monarchy, but for the three systems of the republic of Frodi, Yúnlán’s current forces are sufficiently capable.
“We will also provide the necessary number of daemon crystals. But it is my contracted daemon that will create the realms, and if you harm me or my subordinates, do not forget they can take away their power. Betrayal is destructive. We are bound together by fate.”
“I understand, but don’t make demands that would be no better than surrendering to the Monarchy, else I will just surrender to the Monarchy. You have been watching for the right moment to call out to me, so you must know.”
The dwarf nodded twice to Yúnlán, who hit the nail on the head.
“Of course. Our purpose is to get out of the Hercules System, a modest matter. Dropping just one celestial body would end us. We realized that in the war between the Coalition and the Monarchy. After hundreds of years trapped by the Coalition, our interstellar navigation technology has become completely obsolete. Allow us a whole ship. Where do we live? How far shall we go? We will be free at last.”
In response to the dwarf, who spoke of his dreams in a pleasant mood, Yúnlán offered a word of advice after hesitating at the risk of offending the dwarf holding Tenka’s fate.
“It’s the biggest failure of my life, but if you underestimate the Monarchy, you will be hurt.”
The dwarf looked somewhat surprised by the advice, but did not appear to be offended, and looked at the Daemon Emperor standing beside him.
“That’s why Zirke avoided intervening until the Spirit God was gone.”
“What is a Spirit God?”
“Spirits and daemons seem to have an absolute power relationship, such as ranks and hierarchy. But now, the Daemon Emperor Zirke and her ménage can eat the spirits of the Monarchy.”
“Tell me more.”
October 444 of the Monarchy calendar.
The war between the Monarchy of Diete and the Tenka Federation, which was finally coming to an end after more than 25 billion casualties, inevitably became entangled in their affairs as a result of the Monarchy’s reliance on spirits.
With this chapter, volume 4 is over.
Please wait for a while for the post of volume 5.
Thank you for reading so far.
And that’s it for Volume 4. Quite a twist at the end. FWI This chapter was actually titled Evil Spirit. I just thought I’d get a better designation for them since they will pop up a lot going forward. Thanks for reading so far. I’ll take a week off and return for Vol. 5. See you then.