|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2258 characters|
|Translator: Tanaka||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1075 words|
“Is that truly enough, though? While the Cathedral Crusaders are formidable, they are, after all, only humans made of flesh and blood. The vampire forces number in the hundreds of thousands, even by a conservative estimate. Moreover, if they were to invade other nations, the Crusader’s supply line would be stretched. Can they maintain their position? And considering that the enemies are vampires adept at nocturnal assault, I don’t see how they could manage if this conflict were to become a protracted battle, don’t you agree…?”
“It doesn’t appear that they’re seeking a prolonged battle either. They simply need to eliminate the leader, and the remaining vampires, which have multiplied prolifically, will fall into disarray. From what I’ve gleaned, their strategy is to infiltrate the enemy’s base using hit-and-run tactics, then rapidly eliminate the commander.”
“I see… However, if that’s their strategy, they must know the location of the organizer of this tumultuous event, right?”
“They likely already know or have some method to locate them, though I can’t speak with absolute certainty.”
“Hmm. If that’s truly the situation, coordinating a siege with the combined might of the Empire, Imperial Crimson, and Cathedral Crusaders would be more dependable than acting alone.”
Should they fail, they will probably fall back on their ill-considered plan of supplying battle power piecemeal; Marudo’s face wore an even more intense expression of frustration, as if he had already foreseen this outcome.
After all, they are dealing with vampires. A single misstep could lead the continent’s top elite force to become the enemy’s pawns.
“May Bell attempted to negotiate with the Holy Kingdom, but, as you can imagine, they retorted with disbelief, saying ‘We have no need for cooperation from the demon nation or those allied with them.'”
Both of us shrugged simultaneously, the response having been exactly what we expected.
“From their standpoint, our country is no different from this vampire-infested nation.”
“I bet they believe so. Though, it’s not entirely inaccurate, I guess.” He murmured to himself, reaching to touch his elongated fangs.
“On a different note, what do you usually do for meals?”
“Hahaha, naturally, I find a suitable companion in town and invite them to spend the night with me. My success rate is nearly perfect so far.”
“……I see. Just ensure you maintain control and refrain from inadvertently turning others into dependents by giving them your blood.”
“Considering the current catastrophe, I have no intention of creating dependents thoughtlessly. …Ah, but of course, I would kill to create one with the Princess.”
No sooner had he spoken these words, than I launched a series of targeted attacks with ‘Gilles de Rais,’ aiming for his vital areas with grave intent, though he narrowly escaped them.
“S-Stop, Princess! Your attacks are no laughing matter.”
“Of course I’m not joking! Forceful measures like these are occasionally necessary to handle someone as deviant as you!”
Driven by curiosity about how the renowned Cathedral Crusader looked, I gave chase to Maroudo, who was hastily fleeing to dodge my strikes, and sprinted in his direction.
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The beginning of this tale unfolded in the sumptuous noble visitor’s room of a hotel in Fabler, the former capital of Cen’tluna, roughly a month before catastrophe befell the Yuz Grand Duchy.
“…A vampire? You mean to say this is the real identity of the demon god?”
“I can’t confirm it with certainty, but it’s highly probable. The fact that he remains in good health despite being sealed says enough that he’s no ordinary monster. He’s also a founding ancestor… though, given that he’s referred to as the ‘Demon God,’ he might be more aptly called the Ancestor God.”
“Ancestor God… similar to that young upstart, then? He could prove to be a useful instrument.”
Warren, perhaps having hatched a plan, voiced his thoughts in a subdued tone, his eyes fixed gloomily on the ‘Ichor’ on the table.
“—Err, what exactly are you suggesting?”
Kagerou, sensing the madness and desperation in Warren’s voice, asked with apprehension.
“Do you really need to ask? You’ve determined that we can’t defeat the young Ancestor God from Imperial Crimson, whose power rivals the gods, even if we throw everything we have at her. So, why mince words? We should simply enlist that Ancestor God, her equal, to our side, right?”
“H, H, Hold on, give me a moment!”
Uncharacteristically alarmed, Kagerou attempts to halt Warren’s train of thought, panic written all over his face.
“I see where you’re coming from, but we’re dealing with someone known as a demon god—an extraordinary being. If we break the seal, it’s more likely that we’ll become his slaves due to his overpowering strength, rather than him joining us.”
“…You seem quite desperate. Do you have further information on him?”
“No, no, all I know is the terror of a vampire. From the perspective of us players, they’re in a league of their own. Whatever you do, please don’t consider this.”
“Hmph. He may be powerful, but he’s still flesh and blood. I assume his prolonged sealed state has weakened him considerably. Plus, we already possess the magical tool to seal him,” Warren said, twirling a silver cross in his hand.
“What worries me more is that this demon god, essential to my plan, may turn out disappointingly feeble once the seal is broken. If that happens, we can simply reseal him or perhaps even kill him to eliminate future uncertainties.”
Warren’s expression sobered slightly as he murmured.
“If your fears prove true and we fail to control the demon god, we can either abandon him or, better yet, lure him toward the Cres side. That naive young Ancestor God will surely intervene to save her home nation if she witnesses the chaos. We can watch them wear each other down. …Well, the ideal outcome would be mutual destruction, but that might be wishful thinking. We can step in when one of them falls, possibly achieving the best result with minimal effort.”
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While Warren spoke with a faint smile, Kagerou was mentally in turmoil, ignoring his words.
It’s over. This old man appears to be fundamentally broken, his grudge against My Lady for what she has done to him consuming him.
—Things are getting complicated.
Kagerou thought of the familiar player currently resting within the sealed sarcophagus, the only one besides Hiyuki to become the super rare race «Vampire (Ancestor God)», whose speech and behavior are as inscrutable as ever, and sighed inwardly.