In an office that wasn’t used that was on the highest floor of the Southern Army’s auxiliary headquarters, there was the figure of a single man.
He had light brown loose and disheveled hair, and an amply grown beard. Coupled together with his muscular body, he looked like a woodsman.
Maybe if he was a member of mankind, people would probably think he was a bandit or a thief and run away from him.
Thanks to his stern looks and fashion that gave off a tremendous intimidating air, there was hardly anyone that would approach him even among the Mazoku, but the person himself couldn’t really understand why everyone was so frightened of him.
But, among a portion of women, there wasn’t just that sort of evaluation of him. Even though he would be a normally good looking man if he just paid a bit more attention to his outward appearance……those sorts of voices could be heard as well.
If he at least shaved his beard, if he at least fixed up his hair, if he at least kept his clothes neat, if he at least held down his brutal intimidating air even just a little……
There seemed to be various requests, but being a literal 「dangerous man」 that made them taste a primitive fear that went beyond yearning towards strength was the evaluation a portion of woman had towards him, and there were even some that secretly adored him.
But, there weren’t any woman that actually approached him, and with men being men, there wasn’t anyone that thought of wanting to approach him since their lives would be in danger if his mood were to be harmed.
The ones that casually interacted with him were the Demon King and his close aides, and then the other Four Cardinal Generals.
That’s right, his name was Raktor.
Gathering the Southern Army that owned the greatest firepower in the Zadark Kingdom, he was the Southern General.
「……So, why don’t you give me the situation explanation or whatever.」
Raktor, who had just arrived through Transfer Magic, asked with a displeased-looking face for an explanation from the Mazoku of the auxiliary headquarters that were prostrating before him.
Among the leaders of the Southern Army, there was no one that meet eyes with him from the front.
That wasn’t out of awe and respect for Raktor who was the oldest in the Dark Continent, but simply due to fear. As for when that happened, it was because Raktor had gone a bit too far with his subordinates at the time of the decisive battle for being the top of the south.
You’ll be torn limb from limb if you oppose……is an often used expression, but since Raktor took that not as a joke nor as an exaggeration and tore them limb from limb, it couldn’t be helped that the leaders who had experienced a terrible time in the past wouldn’t try to meet eyes with him.
Raktor felt that sort of attitude his subordinates took to be unpleasant, but he wasn’t a small enough person to warn them about each and every case of it.
As the chair that Raktor sat in creaked with a *gii* while he thought “how troublesome……”, a male leader started talking as if snapping to it.
「Y, yes! We have yet to see any movements from the mysterious man that appeared near the town’s main gate! He has not attacked us so……honestly, we’re troubled over how to deal with this.」
For the Demon King Army, there was a rule where it was alright to annihilate guys that started the attack on them.
This was a rule meant to suppress Mazoku that didn’t know their own social position, as well as something meant to allow them to make a move without having to seek a decision from someone higher up during emergencies.
This time, Raktor hurried over hearing that there was an 「enemy attack」.
After all, this was a rare chance where he would be able to rampage.
He had thought “if done poorly, they might already have been annihilated and be over with……”, but after actually coming here, there wasn’t any sort of progress at all.
「There ain’t anything to be troubled about or anything in dealing with it. You all, what’re you draggin’ your feet for.」
「Sir, b, but, as long as there is the possibility that he isn’t an enemy, acting carelessly would……」
「Hoo, so you’re sayin’ he ain’t an enemy. In that case, you’ve naturally gotten in contact with him, right?」
Being told that by Raktor, the Mazoku who said that was at a loss for words.
They had not contacted him.
There was also the fact that they were unable to determine who much of an enemy he was, but they feared the idea of damage being brought onto the town of Elgrad from opening hostilities by selfishly taking action.
This was a passive stance that was rare for the Mazoku, but it was also possible to rephrase that as being able to think about things just as much as that.
However, Raktor’s face remained sombre.
Seeing Raktor quietly say that without shouting, a color of relief spread on the expression of the Mazoku that spoke earlier.
While looking at that, Raktor breathed a sigh in his mind.
This town of Elgrad was special in various ways.
Maybe because it was a town made by gathering of delicate artisans, even though it was within the south, the 「strength is justice」 atmosphere was thin.
In addition, since this auxiliary headquarters was an interaction base with the other regions, Mazoku that were relatively gentle and not oriented towards battle even among the Southern Army were assigned here.
And then, the auxiliary headquarters Mazoku with personalities that were originally 「not Southern Army-like」 had naturally learned to be considerate and thoughtful by spending time in the same town as the artisans, so they became even more amiable.
Becoming amiable wasn’t a bad thing, but their instantaneous force when the time called for it would lower. Just like now.
That was the reason why Raktor made it so that the didn’t come to the auxiliary headquarters all that much, but it seems that was the correct decision.
And then, even for the enemy, choosing this town was probably the correct decision.
After all, this town of Elgrad was the most peaceful town within the south.
If it was any other town, they would have either already entered battle with the garrison, or gotten into a situation that was just before that.
Of course, reinforcement forces have also come running from other towns to the current Elgrad, but as expected, it wasn’t like they were lacking in judgment enough to selfishly run wild in another town.
「In that case, I’ll head out there.」
「P, please wait!」
The subordinates hurriedly stopped Raktor was he was about to stand up from his chair.
「Heck. What complaint do you got this time.」
「It, it isn’t a complaint but please wait for a bit more! Since we are in the middle of composing a unit for the sake of contacting him now!」
Hearing that, Raktor breathed a sigh.
As an army, this was probably the correct thing to do.
In actuality, in the Western Army led by Sancreed, they would busily report and do things whenever something happened.
In the Southern Army, there were many cases where things would be reported after the fact, but this auxiliary headquarters was the only one in the south that properly operated like the Western Army.
Raktor thought “even so”.
They’re way too stiff, and their movements are slow.
It’s said that weaknesses are exposed during times of emergency, but the current auxiliary headquarters is probably the perfect example of that.
It might be good to temporarily shuffle around the personnel or something and change the atmosphere of the units. Now that the 「Southern Army-like」 units from other towns are gathered, I guess this is a chance to do it……as he was thinking that, Raktor spoke out something that he suddenly thought of.
「Oo, that’s right. That’s a good idea, ain’t it.」
「With the case this time, any bastards that bring damage to the town will practice match with me. For example, if the enemy attacks in the current situation, let’s see……All of you will have a practice match with me.」
Hearing that, the complexions of the Mazoku that were in waiting in front of Raktor had changed.
Those were often done in the Southern Army, but if they were to be described, they were fist fights that were only a bit serious.
It was something done in order for the Mazoku to not lose their fighting spirit in the relatively peaceful Zadark Kingdom, but a practice match with Raktor would concern their life and death.
For all those that had thought “even if I’m no match for Raktor in a serious fist fight, I might be able to win if it’s a practice match……”, they would harshly suffer through things like being stuck into the ground or being blown away, and end up tasting the overwhelming difference in strength.
「This is a good idea if I do say so myself. Un, let’s go with that.」
Everyone of the auxiliary headquarters that were trembling had their survival instincts stimulated without leaving even a single person out.
Things will turn out badly at this rate……that is what everyone had started thinking.
Of course, it wasn’t like they had made a wrong response to the situation.
However, if for example there was a case where the enemy suddenly fired attack magic at them right now, would the deployed garrison be able to defend against it with certainty?
They should be able to……but, no matter what, they couldn’t shake off their anxiety about it.
「I’ll also be going out but, are there any complaints?」
「……There aren’t any.」
They had no choice but to say that.
For the members of the auxiliary headquarters, although they became amicable, they were Mazoku affiliated with the Southern Army. Their abilities were recognized, and they had confidence that they could display their strength well enough when the time called for it.
However, Mazoku were originally an offensive race, and the concept of defense didn’t exist. Even Attack Guard and Magic Guard were used as preparation for the sake of attacks, and weren’t recognized as defense.
That is why when they arrived at the thought of 「defense」, the Mazoku who had little experience with it would be bewildered.
Of course, those that were charged with defense in the army were earnestly thinking about and researching 「what should be done to become defensive」 every day.
However, as expected, due to their scarce experience, their lack of confidence would come out in a scene like this.
Raktor had noticed that through their exchange just now.
Raktor was proud that the Southern Army was the strongest.
This was neither an exaggeration nor overconfidence. If they were to be on the attack, the Southern Army, which owned many powerful Mazoku, would display the greatest amount of firepower even within the Demon King Army.
However, what about on the aspect of defense?
Having continuously studied the technique known as defense in order to protect Margaret, the Northern Army led by Altejio was a group that were pros at point defense.
Gordy’s Central Army was similar, and specialized in the aspects of point defense and bodyguarding important people.
The Western Army led by Sancreed had a relative balance in attack and defense. A part of this was due to Sancreed’s personality, but it was something necessary for the Western Army who were making preparations for the time that was to come.
In the Eastern Army, there were also some that possessed abilities that stood out, but there were many that really weren’t very Mazoku-like, such as engaging in agriculture. As a whole, he didn’t really know how they were, but they were most likely similar to the Western Army.
In any case, the Southern Army was a group of attack idiots.
It couldn’t be helped since they were an assembly of southern Mazoku that originally spent their days having fist fights and death fights, but that way of thinking hadn’t faded away.
Even now, if Raktor were to command them 「it’s fine so go and annihilate them」, they would gleefully start an attack on the enemy.
Standing up from the chair, Raktor pondered.
For the time being, what Raktor would head towards was decided.
This time, he would be able to deal with things with that.
However, things can’t be left like this the whole time. As long as this town of Elgrad will become a tourist attraction, that was all the more reason that they needed to think about things regarding defense.
「I wonder how I should deal with this.」
Raktor breathed a small sigh at the Southern Army’s weakness that he had found.