Chapter 78 – The Mantis Axe
“Eliminating obstacles in order to survive is the natural providence for living things.”
It was Ishidor Azarova, the leader of the Herculeans, who were derogatorily called Dwarves, that preached his theory with conviction.
The three powers of the Coalition of Humanity, which contained the Herculeans, the Monarchy of Diete, which inherited their policy after the war, and the Republic of Frodi, which traded with both forces and supported their activities, are obstacles to the survival of the Herculeans, and were therefore to be eliminated.
However, in order to realize their claim, they must have the appropriate power.
What Ishidor, the contractor of the Daemon Emperor Zirke, did was to ally himself with the Tenka Federation.
Even if one possesses the special power of the Daemons, without an interstellar ship, one cannot fully utilize the power of the Daemons. And simply having Daemons alone cannot counter the military power of Tenka’s battleships, which would be exploited unilaterally.
Therefore, Ishidor had to find the best timing for him.
The Tenka federation fell into a disadvantageous situation, and he approached them at a time when they would have been doomed without his cooperation.
Tenka, who was approached at the right time, had no option to decline the alliance with the Hercules.
However, Ishidor also had an unforeseen miscalculation.
Contrary to Ishidor’s speculation, the Daemon given to Tenka’s Yúnlán gave priority to its contractor, Yúnlán.
Yúnlán, who joined the Herculeans, used the Daemon crystals passed to the non-magical people to confirm their safety and effectiveness, and then attached the Daemon crystal himself.
Mariel, a Senior Daemon who manifested from the Daemon crystal Yúnlán used in the contract, was a girl with gray hair and blue clothes.
Mariel made a proposal to her contractor, Yúnlán, as if admonishing him in a gentle tone of voice.
『I think the first thing Yúnlán should do is to verify the effect of the Daemon crystal. Make sure non-magical people can use D-class crystals to operate fighter crafts, and then let them know where they need to go. We can check that right away, can’t we?』
After conducting the verification as Mariel suggested, Unran confirmed that the Daemon crystals were comparable to the Spirit Crystals of the Monarchy, at least in terms of performance.
As Yúnlán was about to contact Yuen immediately, Mariel stopped him.
『Wait a minute. It would be more effective to hide the existence of the Daemons, so why don’t we proceed in that way? Also, have the Herculeans make the declaration of war on the Republic of Frodi and let them bear the brunt.』
Despite being manifested from the Daemon crystals given by the Herculeans, Mariel was not only willing to put Hercules at a disadvantage, but rather took the initiative in proposing it.
Yúnlán, who was skeptical about the matter, looked at her suspiciously.
『Why recommend the dwarves be at a disadvantage? Aren’t they on your side?』
When asked, Mariel curiously tilted her head.
『I’m Yúnlán’s contracted Daemon. I don’t care if the dwarves (・・・・) are annihilated, and I thought that if we gave the dwarves, who outnumber us, warships to fight, it would help Yúnlán.』
When Mariel called the Herculeans, whose leader was the contract partner of the Daemon Emperor, a derogatory name for the Dwarves, Yúnlán involuntarily swallowed his saliva.
『Shouldn’t the Daemon Emperor’s will be discerned?』
『Lady Zirke doesn’t see any value in Hercules.』
Observing Mariel’s ephemeral smile, Yúnlán understood that the Daemon Emperor was not simply following her contractor, Ishidor.
(Instead of rebellion against the Daemon Emperor, there is a clear delineation of rules among the Daemons, so is Mariel self-selectable within those rules?)
At least for Mariel, there is a sense of indifference to the Herculeans, who was not her contractor, and she even seemed willing to put them in the line of fire or dispose of them as if they were expendable.
She is also proactive in supporting Yúnlán, as he is Mariel’s contractor.
Recalling that the spirits of the Monarchy also favored their contractors, Yúnlán asked Mariel again.
『I understand. I would appreciate it if you could tell me more about things.』
『Yes, that’s good.』
After that, what Mariel said was extremely important to overcome the disadvantageous situation for Yúnlán, who was on the verge of defeat.
『First of all, I’ll explain what can be done to raise me to Daemon King. It’s possible to expand my domain into the star system, take away the realm of the Spirit King, and create Daemon crystals. When attacking the three systems of the Republic of Frodi, it’ll be good to mix in celestial bodies imbued with my magic power. Even if Ōizumi is connected to a realm, I can take it back later.』
Yúnlán, who was surprised, hurriedly asked back.
『The three star systems of the Frodi Republic will probably be attacked by three Senior Daemons contracted by the Dwarf King Azarova, the contractor of the Daemon Emperor. Is it safe to let them blend in?』
『Unless you’re dealing with Zirke herself, you won’t get caught. Besides, the number of Daemon Kings of Lady Zirke’s lineage will increase from 3 to 4, and the number of contract races will increase to 2, the Herculeans and the Tenka people, so is there any inconvenience for Lady Zirke?』
When asked by Mariel, Yúnlán was convinced that it was in the Daemon Emperor’s best interest.
He wasn’t surprised that the Tenka Federation had been chosen as the target of the Daemons’ contract from the beginning, instead of Hercules, but in that case, the Hercules System would not have been made a miasma recovery site for the Daemon Emperor.
The negative energy of the dwarves, of which there may be tens or hundreds of billions of people, should be one of the largest on any human inhabited planet.
The Daemons have their own way of thinking, and they were working for their own convenience. Yúnlán, who was very convinced that the other party was rational, confirmed the indicated policy.
『If there is no problem on the Daemon side, let’s do it. If we are going to mix the celestial bodies, how much should be enough?』
『Well, the three senior Daemons and I are not friends, so I think I’ll take one-third from each of the three star systems. I will get one-third three times, and the three senior Daemons each get two-thirds once. That should be about right.』
『I understand. By the way, if you can take away the realm even if they connect a domain to Ōizumi, does that mean that you can take away the realm deployed by the Spirit King of the Monarchy?』
If that were possible, the defeats in the Athena Star System battle, the third MacLir Star System battle, and the Fukashiro Star System battle could have the exact opposite result in the future.
Mariel nodded lightly in response to Yúnlán’s question as he unconsciously put strength into his clenched hand.
『I’m unique, so I can take away territory from an ordinary Spirit King or Daemon King. In other words, even after Ishidor’s Daemon King deploys a realm in Ōizumi, I can take it away.』
At Mariel’s statement, Yúnlán could not believe his ears.
『Then, is Mariel stronger than the other three Senior Daemons?』
『Against any of the three, one on one, even if I’m at my worst and they’re at their best, I can fight 10,000 times and win 10,000 times.』
Yúnlán, who had drummed into his mind that she would never lose, was conversely interested in how strong Mariel was.
『Then, how about three-on-one?』
『I would win over 9999 out of 10,000 battles. Yúnlán may think I’m over-selling my personal statement, but I think I’m under-selling it.』
Yúnlán asked the obvious question to Mariel, who spoke confidently.
『Why such a difference between the same Daemon Kings?』
『Well, would computers with similar power consumption have the same performance even if they were manufactured in different eras?』
『………… I understand.』
Computer performance will be completely different after 100 years.
With three computers from 100 years ago, it would be impossible to beat the latest model. Yúnlán had no choice but to accept it.
『Please note that I am just talking in an easy-to-understand manner, being new does not mean that you are strong. But I think I’m strong among my peers. Ashen, though I look to my great regret.』
Mariel muttered with a look of resignation, and then shut her mouth.
After finishing his meeting with Mariel, Yúnlán reported to Yuen.
Even if Yuen, who was in charge of the whole project, refused to cooperate with the Herculeans, Yúnlán had already decided that Ōizumi alone will work with them.
Upon receiving the report, Yuen fully agreed with Yúnlán’s report.
This is because the Tenka side is overwhelmingly inferior in the war, and if they miss the opportunity to obtain Daemon crystals, there will be no way to overturn the situation.
[If forces are insufficient, the defense force of the Solar System will also join Hercules.]
His statement that he was willing to abandon the Solar System even though the war was started because he wanted habitable planets was a straightforward expression of the current situation and his expectations for the Daemon crystals.
With the approval of the general manager, Yúnlán began to talk about his future plans.
“Of the 144,000 vessels remaining from the Athena Star System Battle, 70,000 will be left for defense and the remaining fleet will head to the Republic of Frodi. The Hercules System is the domain of the Daemon Emperor Zirke, and is sufficient for defense. The Republic has a force equivalent to 12 fleets of the Monarchy, about 7,400 in our ships.”
The Hercules System originally had a fleet of 20,000 ships. Combined with the fleet left by Yúnlán, the total number of ships is 90,000, and with the abnormal effect of the magic engine output of the realm, the force difference is 5 times, as much as 450,000 ships.
Fortress Kerviel can carry 9 million Salamanders, which has a force rating equivalent to 120,000 Tenka fleets. Even if attacked by the Royal Army, they can intercept with approximately four times its strength.
Yúnlán was concerned about Mariel’s information that she could take away the realm, but Zirke was the Daemon Emperor, and he was assured that she would not be easily robbed even if against a Spirit Emperor.
(Common sense does not apply to the Monarchy.)
Yúnlán, who had failed at every attempt to apply common sense to the Monarchy, felt a strong sense of urgency about Mariel’s assurances.
However, he decided he was willing to let the Hercules System fall.
If the Monarchy had a Spirit Emperor and consumed it in the Hercules System, it is better than it being used in a Tenka System. If Yúnlán is able to produce Daemon crystals on his own with Mariel’s promotion, the Hercules System and the Daemon Emperor will no longer be objects to be protected.
And the 74,000 vessels heading to the Republic of Frodi will be 11.5 times the total military power of the Republic.
With an overwhelming force that will not fail, the plan is to recover miasma from the three star systems and raise the four senior Daemons to Daemon Kings.
After that, realms will be created in the three star systems of Tenka to increase the defense effect. And, it was Yúnlán’s idea to secretly possess Mariel who pretended to be a senior Daemon.
“I believe the invasion and defense forces are sufficient and reinforcements will be unnecessary. We would rather leave our forces in the Solar System, draw the Monarchy to us, and use them as a stumbling block.”
When the situation was explained to Yuen, except for Mariel’s part, he expressed his satisfaction.
[I understand. In anticipation of the transition gate being connected, I will gather pilots in advance and mass-produce fighting crafts. I leave it to you.]
“Of course. I will do my best for Ōizumi.”
If the Daemon King creates a realm and the Daemon crystals and the Yunfu fighter crafts take charge of defense, the fall of each Tenka system will become impossible. Battles such as the Athena Star System Battle will be recreated, with the offense and defense switched.
If there is a realm, the output of the magic element engine will be abnormal and the battle strength will increase by a factor of five, and reinforcements can be sent without restraint from other systems via the transition gates.
Yuen, who was aware of the unreasonableness of the Monarchy’s defenses and the fact that he was wielding the mantis axe, was forced to consider the outcome of the war, which was beyond human knowledge.