Chapter 142: Among them, part 6


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


◆Another side◆

As Lord Guerrera sat alone in one of his castle’s many rooms, a subordinate hurried over to him.

「Barbatos-sama!」

「Pipe down. What gives?」

Lifting his head from his work desk, the baron looked at him impatiently.

「The goods in the warehouse — are they being moved somewhere, milord?」

「The goods in the warehouse?」

‘The goods’ referred to a large amount of rations and weapons. He had amassed them from many different sources in anticipation of the destruction of Ferland.

「No, they’re not going anywhere. It’s not time yet.」

Dipping his quill into the inkwell, he was about to continue signing documents when his lackey spoke again.

「I’m afraid the troops are carrying the goods out of the warehouse, milord.」

「Come again?」

「Not only is it happening in this village, but the others, too — I was wondering if Barbatos-sama had given an order of some sort.」

「Impossible! Put an end to it at once!」

「Yes, sir!」

He rushed off just as hurriedly as he had come.

「The troops… of their own accord…?」

Even if it’s really happening, what could they be hoping to achieve? The stockpile of goods is large enough that shifting it away in a day is nigh impossible, thought the baron.

He looked out of the window and caught a glimpse of one of the warehouses. From within it emanated faint, green particles of magicka.

「W-What’s going on…?」

He had already told his subordinate to put a stop to it, but there were definitely more than a couple of people behind this. The baron reached for a bell and rang it, summoning a man who appeared behind him.

「Gather the men and we’ll go have a look. Keep me safe, and I’ll settle this myself when we get there…!」

Nodding briefly, the man disappeared without making the slightest noise.


◆Lyla◆

「Here it is, Lylael-sama. The last one.」

「Then let us make haste.」

「Alright, let us commence forth.」

Drawing a magic circle, the elf and her master blinked to a warehouse that Roland had marked out on a map.

「What a slave driver, that guy」, grumbled Rodje.

「We don’t receive requests from him all that often, so I have no complaints.」

「He thinks he can take advantage of Lylael-sama because you pamper him to no end.」

「Don’t say that. There are things we need to hide.」

That’s true, said the elf, unhappy that her master had admonished her.

『You’re the only one who can use a ‘Gate’ to transport things on a large scale, right?』, Roland had suddenly asked when he returned the previous day.

『Mhm』, Lyla had replied. 『I’m the only one. As long as it’s within the magic circle, there’s nothing I can’t move.』

『Oi, human. What do you intend to make Lylael-sama do?』, her servant had growled suspiciously.

『I plan to pilfer a large amount of rations. Enough to feed ten thousand people for half a year, to be precise.』

He had then proceeded to state that the rations and weapons would be moved to Vadenhaag together.

『Draw a massive magic circle for a ‘Gate’ beside each warehouse that I have marked out. That’s all I need you to do. Rodje Sandsong, your job will be to protect Lyla while she does that.』

Upon hearing that, the highly motivated Lyla had arranged for the finest magic circle-drawing materials she could find in the demon realm to be delivered to her just for this day.

「But it looks like nobody’s coming to stop us…」

「That’s a good thing」, replied the Demon King.

From the lack of human presence around the warehouse, Rodje believed that nobody would show up. She stood guard as Lyla continued to draw the enormous magic circle.

「Get rid of their backend resources, and they’ll lose a war of attrition. What a wonderful strategy — just by depleting their supplies, you can win a war without a single drop of blood being shed!」

「But if there’s no action, what am I gonna do? Twiddle my thumbs all day?」

「The optimal way to fight a war is to see that it never takes place at all.」

As she watched Lyla work, Rodje couldn’t help but gasp in awe.

「As expected of Lylael-sama! It’s absolutely beautiful!」

「Hm! A messy magic circle greatly increases the likelihood of failure. It’ll be a waste if perfectly good supplies end up lost forever in negative space!」

She laughed triumphantly as about a hundred troops showed up.

「Let’s get down to business. According to Sensei, we just need to place the goods within the circle.」

「Right-o, let’s heave-ho before his Lordship’s troops come!」

The soldiers shouted in unison and got to work. Particles of magicka could be seen rising from a corner of the magic circle.

「Looks like it’s working.」

「We shouldn’t stay for too long, Lylael-sama」, advised Rodje. 「Come, let’s return to Vadenhaag with my ‘Gate’.」

Her master nodded.


◆Roland◆

I touched the rim of the giant magic circle that Lyla had drawn. Within it sat a mountain of wooden boxes that contained Lord Guerrera’s stockpile of supplies. As I channeled magicka into it, the particles began to lift.

Once the circle reached maximum capacity, the goods disappeared with a soft whoosh.

If Lyla had drawn the magic circle correctly, they should have already arrived in Izalia. I have complete trust in her when it comes to magical affairs, so I doubt she messed up on her end. The jaws of the troops with me dropped.

「They, they disappeared…」

「Looks like some sort of large-scale transportation magic…」

「With that size, it could transport an entire army!」

The majority of the baron’s troops had supported my agenda to prevent the civil war. Nobody has tried to stop me (or at the very least prove a nuisance) so far.

The magic circle rapidly faded until not a trace was left. Lyla must have made it single-use so that others wouldn’t be able to use it. Doing that serves not only to prevent unintended usage, but also ensures that it wouldn’t have to be erased manually later on. Very smart of her, as always.

「Let’s move on to the next one.」

Making sure that the magic circle had completely disappeared, I called out to the troops that had been standing guard and we began moving to the next location. As long as the necessary preparations were made, all I needed to do was channel magicka into the circle to make it work.

In other words, anyone sufficiently qualified could do the same.

Such versatility is a defining trait of demon magic. On the contrary, humans each have their own interpretation of how to draw a magic circle, and will use different techniques to achieve the same result. Because of that, some magic circles end up indecipherable. Even if you channel magicka into them, the chance that they’ll work is very low.

「Hey! Roland!」

I looked in the general direction of the second warehouse and spotted Rabi waving at me from afar. I had asked Lyla to bring her along. The most important task right now is to relocate the baron’s supplies. Since she excelled at defensive magic, I figured that she could protect others and buy time for us, making her the second-to-none choice for this undertaking.

「How’s things?」, I asked when I arrived by her side.

「Erm… there’s a lot of stuff in there, and not all of it has been carried out yet.」

According to her, the mountain of goods I could see outside was only about half of the entire stash. I ordered the platoon under me to lend the others a hand. Although I had heard about the volume of goods long ago, seeing it with my own eyes was something else altogether.

Not to mention that the troops assigned to this area had started work in the middle of the night.

「‘Force field!’」

Rabi activated her skill, enveloping both the warehouse and the magic circle within her barrier.

「Now we can all focus on work instead of worrying about our safety」, she said with a prideful expression on her face.

「Good job.」

There were eight warehouses in total. I had instructed Lyla to draw her magic circles beside every one. Seven more to go, including this one, I thought. I glanced at the old castle that housed the baron. Such a long undertaking, and his troops aren’t listening to him either — there’s no way we can keep the wool over his eyes for long. Due to the volume of goods involved, I had already written off keeping the operation under wraps as a pipe dream.

The sooner he notices, the sooner we can get the inevitable clash over and done with. Even if the troops directly under his command show up at this very moment, we have the numerical advantage. And if our words fall on deaf ears, the star of the show will arrive in due time.

I heard the sound of hooves rapidly approaching.

「…They came faster than I expected.」

Leading the pack on horseback was a man who looked like a noble, likely Barbatos himself.

It was apparent that relocating the baron’s supplies would foil all his plans. But why to Vadenhaag, you ask? Well, let’s just call it a little present from me.

「Halt, you bastards! What is the meaning of this?」

Once you’re out of the castle, Barbatos, all the traps and defensive magic you’ve set up around it will have been for naught.



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