Those Who Want to Take Over the Main House Were First to Rent a Nearby Building
The response from the “White Serpent Crawling on the Rock Wall” tribe to the Dead Land of Ciel-Terra was… a hesitant approval.
There were no overt declarations of alliance, no shoulder-to-shoulder battles. They communicated discreetly beneath the surface, appearing on the same battlefield by chance, each fighting on their own. It was an indifferent response, saying that if that’s the case, then it’s fine.
In response to the proposal, they nodded slightly from a position even further away.
“Well, it’s tough for them to refuse too. We never know when the Empire might launch an attack.”
At the location where the impromptu underground secret base once existed, now stood a confidently built earthen castle about the size of a single-family house.
This, too, was created by Everis using earth elemental magic. It wasn’t strong enough for combat, but this location on the south side of the great forest was far from the front lines, and the sudden bombardment of the Empire’s Blue Army cannons was probably unlikely.
The flag of the Blood Rose fluttered on the roof. Perhaps because of that, the local knights from the surroundings and the adventurers did not dare to intervene.
Under the shining moonlight, the gleam of white blades danced. Udanosuke was practicing with a single katana against Mialanze and Tracy.
Mialanze, wielding a katana herself (perhaps because the homeland was close, she easily acquired one), attacked with determination, but Udanosuke’s beloved sword, Douchou Atsuryoku, deflected every strike without leaving a single blade flaw. Tracy, trying to take advantage of the opening with knife attacks, had his attacks deflected with the handle of Douchou Atsuryoku and a swift counter.
René and Everis were watching this scene from the balcony on the second floor (perhaps more appropriately called a veranda) while discussing matters.
The topic was the future strategy. How to obtain the Gaisenfall Great Forest.
“Well, let’s try to expose opposing forces as much as possible and then strip them of their positions. Also, the elves themselves should do it.”
“The immediate policy is to be ‘forceful, obvious, but not to lose courtesy’.”
“Yeah, if we do something in the forest, everyone will become aware of our presence. Cooperation with us: Yes? No? It would be amusing if it led to a dispute splitting the village in half.”
The goal was complete control of the Gaisenfall Great Forest. If they were to use this forest as a massive fortress, they needed to obtain the elves inside, but resistance was expected. There were those who strongly held the view of not accepting beings like undead as agents of the Evil God.
However, not everyone shared this sentiment. Even Jibalmagza, the number two in the tribe, was hesitating to cooperate with René to protect the forest.
So, René’s idea was to obtain those who would yield to them.
She didn’t intend to personally confront the opposing forces but aimed to alienate them within the elven society.
If others began to worship René, the opposing forces would feel marginalized. As a result, they might either compromise or leave the forest, making it easier for René to assert her position.
With this plan in mind, René and the others were preparing for their next move.
“We do have a scenario prepared to turn the critical forces critical of us into Empire spies. Might not even need to take action.”
“Then, shall we go create some established facts next? Starting by entering the forest.”
The Gaisenfall Great Forest, illuminated by the gleaming moon, seemed to be silently holding its breath.
＊ ＊ ＊
Under the moon, just like the day before, a meeting was taking place near the edge of the Gaisenfall Great Forest.
The assembled group was nearly the same as before, with the exception of Instructor Jibalmagza, who had come in person with a few escorts instead of using the Illusion call mark.
While a tent was set up, there was no wall blocking the view, creating an exposed setting. René imagined the sports festival tents she had seen in her previous life in Japan. This setup was arranged in advance, considering that obstructed visibility by tents or pavilions would only increase unnecessary vigilance.
René sat on a throne made of bones, her legs crossed, as Alastair took over the conversation.
“The Gaisenfall Great Forest, brimming with the power of life, is also a formidable fortress. So why was it unilaterally attacked by the imperial army? You probably already know the answer. It’s because of this existence.”
Alastair theatrically gestured with perfect movements that captivated the onlookers, pointing to the silver-gray cannon placed beside the tent. It was the one they had seized during the recent battle, part of the Blue Army surprise attack.
“In a battlefield, cannons boast the longest range as a general rule. Among them, this is the latest model magical cannon designed with a particular emphasis on range. Because you relied solely on bows and magic, you couldn’t compete with cannons.”
Several of Jibalmagza’s escorts grimaced as if they had tasted bitter medicine.
It was an insulting remark, but it was the truth.
Unable to reach the cannons from a distance with bows and magic, the forest gradually eroded, and the tribe members grew weary, day and night, from the constant bombardment.
“But now, you have the firepower of those cannons in your hands. From within the securely guarded forest, you can retaliate with projectiles of the same range and power as those fired by the Imperial Blue Army. Furthermore, we have the advantage of ‘controlling the land veins’. Unlike the blue army, which has to transport fuel from distant lands as magic stones, our cannon is usable just by being there.”
After passionately making his point, Alastair fixed his gaze like a needle.
“Of course, under the assumption that you are cooperative.”
Even when faced with the pressure, Jibalmagza maintained his poker face.
However, René, possessing the power of ‘Emotion Detection’, could sense the various thoughts swirling in his mind.
“Firstly, this weapon is the valuable property of our princess. We cannot entrust it to you; we must handle it responsibly. Secondly, we doubt that you can handle this weapon adequately. In our army, there are those proficient in magic artifact technology, and some who were entrusted with cannons as machine soldiers during their lifetimes. In contrast, you seem to be individuals without even a single cannon.”
Alastair calmly and politely stated the reasons.
Asking for just the cannon seemed too good to be true. Jibalmagza, of course, understood this.
The elves provided the protective wall of the forest’s trees and the magical power needed to move the cannon.
The Dead Land of Ciel-Terra contributed forces, firepower, and technology.
Only by combining these two elements could the Gaisenfall Great Forest withstand the assault of the Imperial Blue Army.
“We won’t get overly involved with the forest, no matter what. If there are things we shouldn’t touch or places we shouldn’t enter, we will consider your requests as much as possible. However, we won’t compromise on the strategies to win the battle. Let’s discuss the specific plans.”
Jibalmagza fell into a silent, scrutinizing gaze.
It was a bitter agreement.
“Oh, and one more thing. Have you learned anything about the figure of light that attacked us?”
When Alastair uttered those words, René sensed the most intense emotional movement among the elves present.
The elves here were already aware of the situation and weren’t surprised.
Guilt, humiliation, and self-justification.
It was the powerful spirit of a defeated underdog who, even after having their pride trampled, still clung to life.
“That… if you want to prevent its appearance, it can probably be done. However, we cannot control it either. If you act in a way that doesn’t provoke it, it should be safe.”
“Understood. Let’s discuss the future plans, including that matter.”
Alastair placed a hand on his chest and extended the other lightly as he nodded.
Jibalmagza quickly mirrored the gesture. This was the elven way. In human terms, it was equivalent to shaking hands.
Jibalmagza maintained an unaffected expression, but internally, he seemed impressed by the annoying performance conforming to the elven custom.
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