Outbreak of War
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
The news spread like wildfire. The whole continent was informed, in the blink of an eye, that the Rogardians had joined hands with a group of demons known as the fiends to form the Demon Human Coalition, and that they had declared war against both the Kingdom of Allysia and the Demon Realm itself.
A response was soon presented in the form of the Race Agnostic Alliance. The king of Allysia, the king of the demon realm, and the queen of the elven domain had joined hands to oppose the newly formed threat. They deemed the coalition a continent-wide menace and entreated other nations to join them in its extermination. The creed that the second group swore by was that no group, nation or otherwise, would be rejected on the basis of their race.
The decree was met at first with confusion, for it was the first time in which several different races would fly the same banner, the first time they would be fighting together instead of against one another. But it was soon accepted. The scale of the conflict was far too big for any to refrain from participating. Some offered their direct support and cooperation, while others worked behind the scenes. To drive the engine of a great war.
“It all seems to be going as expected.” King Reiyd mumbled to himself as he sorted through a pile of documents. “All the countries in the empire’s immediate vicinity have sought to ally themselves with us.”
He was in his office, finally back from the expedition that had led him to journey to the elven domain. Though they had encountered a number of mishaps along the way, he had been able to accomplish his goal, forging an alliance with the demons and elves.
“Many who have been under the constant threat of potential hostilities from the empire have sent us letters requesting a part in the alliance, even though there is yet to be an official front.”
That said, it wasn’t as if there had been no conflict whatsoever. Reiyd had already butt heads with several potential enemies, not that that was anything new, of course. Allysia’s political foes had constantly harassed it since the rebellion, and their attempts had only grown more vigorous with time.
“How… irritating…” the king sighed.
The biggest issue was that none of the troublemakers had shown themselves to be openly hostile. On the surface, they would refrain from leaning on either side of the fence and would frame themselves as individuals who feared the potential loss of life that would result from a large-scale conflict. The claims were, of course, blatant, barefaced lies, but that alone did not suffice as evidence of their hostility. Given the current circumstances, Reiyd felt it best to simply leave them be. Open hostilities would only create more warfronts, a foolish move given that armed conflict with the coalition was already on the horizon.
Reiyd suspected that a direct armed conflict with his annoyances was bound to happen sooner or later, and that it was likely that they would collude with the coalition, declare war on the alliance, and attack it from an unguarded angle whilst it was in the midst of war, and he was making preparations to deal with such an eventuality. But they were not quite ready just yet. He was planning to speak with Phynar to determine the best possible solution. The demon was sure to provide him with noteworthy advice, given the sharpness of his mind. Whatever the case, the king had already issued a decree for wartime policies to take effect. Even though he wished not for more conflict.
Exterior concerns were not the only ones that he had to deal with. Some of his subjects had voiced doubts about working with the other races, especially the demons, with whom they had been openly hostile. Likewise, the people had also seemed rather anxious at first, but Reiyd was able to dispel the concerns of both groups, the first with rhetoric, and the second with the church’s assistance. His ability to call on it for aid was a benefit derived from Yuki’s interference in both recent incidents. And while it had its perks, it could be said that the influence gained by the organisation was a cause for concern. Or at least it would have been, had the commander of the Faldien not gained so much power in recent times. Carlotta was, fortunately, willing to fully cooperate with the throne, meaning the church was unlikely to pose a political threat so long as she remained one of its greatest influences.
“The pieces are all in place…” The king closed his eyes and set down the document he had just finished reading. “The conditions seem to be rather favourable, but that does not mean that we have managed to resolve the situation.”
War was simply another form of diplomacy. It was a way to convince another government to agree to an unreasonable demand, one that would be impossible to convince them of through dialogue. In other words, a country declaring war was likely one with a very specific goal in mind. And typically speaking, the goal was rather easy to grasp. But this time, it was unclear. Something about the declaration had rung hollow. It failed to provide any insight as to the nature of their desires.
Normally, that would mean that their goal was simply to expand their territory, but Allysia shared no borders with the empire. One could still argue that the declaration came to facilitate a desire for conquest, as Allysia was the only country capable of facing Rogarde head on. But with that said, there were somewhere between four and five other nations between the two, depending on the precise route taken, and stretching a supply line over such a distance was overly ambitious to say the least. It was sure to be fragile and quick to fall apart under any sort of notable strain. In other words, if the empire’s goal was to bring Allysia to its knees, then it wasn’t going about the process in the right order. It would first need to defeat at least a few of the nations that lay between. It was hard to tell what they were thinking, and the other half of their newly formed coalition only served to make the matter even more confusing. Reiyd wanted to get to the bottom of this whole fiasco, but he knew there was no point in contemplating it any further, so he set the thought aside with a sigh.
He would need to wait for his allies and subordinates to gather more information before he could come up with an answer. For now, working away at the mountain of paperwork sitting on his desk was sure to be a much better use of his time. Sorting through it would allow him to not only better organise the war effort and reduce the number of casualties, but also draw it to a close more quickly so that he could focus on breaking down the walls between the different races. And bring about an era of peace.
“…It could be said that this war only serves to further our cause.” Reiyd smiled to himself. It was a sad, lonely smile, one that only a self-loathing man could have.
The war was sure to foster cooperation between the races on a scale never before seen, not in any historical record. Standing shoulder to shoulder and risking their lives together would foster a feeling of camaraderie, which would in turn make it easier for Reiyd to push forward policies that would closen their ties.
The first thing I did after coming home from Elf Land was to prepare for another trip. Phynar had no intention of prolonging the war. The king had mentioned that he hoped to soon settle it with a swift decisive battle, and that he would have Nell contact me whenever it was to happen. I was planning to bring all my pets along for the next trip, as they would likely make short work of the enemy so long as they didn’t happen to be in possession of a similarly powerful group.
Though I was also hoping that it would be brought to a quick conclusion, I wasn’t exactly invested in the war. All I really wanted to do was murder the shithead in charge of the fiends. I didn’t care about the Rogardians, or whatever they were, and I was more than willing to let the two countries wipe each other out. Or at least that was what I would have liked to say. The truth of the matter was that I’d become too involved with the world at large, even though I had no intention of doing so. My family was, of course, still my top priority, but they weren’t the only ones I wanted to keep safe. For a moment, the thought left me at a loss, but I got over it almost immediately.
“Oh well, whatever. I’ll just keep doing the same thing I’ve always been. Whatever the fuck I want.”
If I don’t want them to die, then I’ll step in so they don’t die. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, problem fucking solved. Tl;dr if it doesn’t put my family in danger, then I’ll step in, wreck the shit out of my enemies and call it a day. Nothing special.
Lefi interrupted my preparations by calling out to me with a bit of a serious look on her face.
“I love you.”
“T-the hell did that come from, all of a sudden?”
“Though it was but another war between the races, I know that we cannot remain uninvolved so long as Nell is a participant. We know well that you act often with the rest of us in mind, and we have always wished to do the same for you.”
She crossed her arms and continued.
“I recall making mention of this before, but I feel now the urge to repeat myself. If it is for your sake, or our family’s sake, then I shall destroy whatever is necessary. If even the world itself is at odds with our happiness, then I shall raze it to the ground. I care little for a country founded by the races, nor do I concern myself with its goals or beliefs. The full extent of my power is at your disposal if you wish for me to burn it. There is no need to needlessly leap into danger’s grasp.”
I couldn’t help but smile, wryly. It amused me that her words were equal parts explosively violent and full of compassion.
“I mean, sure, with you, we could probably end the war overnight. But I’d still rather have you stay home,” I said. “I might end up asking for help if shit really starts to hit the fan, but if I can handle it myself, then I’d rather just do that. Because I love you too.”
“…You are not playing fair.”
“Hey, you’re the one that pulled that card out of the deck first. I’m just pulling an uno reverso,” I said with a chuckle. “Anyway, I should probably explain myself. You see, working with Phynar isn’t just for Nell. It’s also for the kids.”
“It is for the children?” She raised a brow. “I see not your reasoning.”
“Well, I don’t really know much about how slime and wraith life cycles go, and technically, Enne’s inorganic so she might not even have a life cycle, but Illuna’s technically just another demon kid, right? She’s probably going to have to go out on her own one day and start learning about the outside world. If anything, sending her out and giving her her own life is pretty much our duty, as her guardians.”
“I suppose it is,” said Lefi. “To gain experience is to grow, and it is to their best interest for us to bless them with as much of it as we can.”
She had voiced my thoughts. There was little for the girls to experience if they remained within the dungeon forever. They needed to see the outside world if they were to become responsible adults. That wasn’t to say that I wouldn’t try to ensure their safety even after their departure, but I wouldn’t have nearly as much control as I did in the dungeon.
“So yeah, the demon king’s trying to end conflicts between the races and making it so that they’re more used to each other. If his plan works, then the kids’ horizons will broaden too, since the world as a whole’ll be much safer for them. We won’t have to worry as much when they finally leave the nest.”
I wanted a better future. For the children’s sake. You know, the old me would’ve thought I was totally spouting shit just now. I remember when I was a teenager, I always thought that the grown ups blabbing on and on about making the world a better place for their kids were mad sketch. I never liked listening to them and always rebelled just to do it. Back then, I thought I was supposed to carve my own path, and that they were supposed to fuck off and leave us alone because they weren’t helping. Now that I’m all grown up and something of a parent myself, I can see that I was obviously wrong. I pretty much get exactly where they were coming from, and I’ve finally realized that they were the ones that gave us the great lives we led. All while we knew none the fucking better. I guess that’s just what it means to be an adult, huh?
I felt the need to ensure that our girls were given the best environments I could provide, especially Illuna, given that she was just an ordinary demon. And I actually had all the power I needed to do it. FYI I don’t just mean power as in being OP as fuck, but like, connections and shit too. I know all the right people. I know this is going to sound arrogant as shit, but I really can change the world if I want. Anyway, I kinda got a bit sidetracked, but I’m basically trying to say that I’m not just doing this for Nell. Phynar’s got this. If I know one thing about him, besides the fact that he’s a crafty fucking femboy, it’s that he’s got the brains to do this shit right.
“You can think of this as something of an investment. Having the demon king win the war’ll pay off for us in the long run. For Illuna, the girls, and for our kid too. Whenever we end up having it.”
I blurted out something incredibly embarrassing without really thinking about it. The line obviously caught Lefi off guard as well, as she flushed in an instant.
“Y-You have thought about this matter seriously for one who does little but haphazardly fool around.”
“Iunno what you’re talking about. Insight is my middle name.” It was a bit of a joke to dispel the awkward mood. “Oh, and I should probably mention, I’m planning to take the pets with me, so guarding the Wicked Forest is going to have to be on you. Shouldn’t be too hard. All you really need to look out for is keeping everyone safe.”
“Worry not. I shall turn any who dare intrude upon our nest to ash.” She smiled. “I know what it is you are thinking, Yuki, and that is why I wish to remind you. That if it is for you, all of us are willing to put forth our utmost effort.”
Her words sent me over the moon. They filled my chest with warmth and made me feel like I was capable of just about anything.