The Campaign Begins — Part 1
“Be careful out there, Yuki. I know you’re really strong, but wars are really hard to predict. Anything can happen, and the empire seems to have some sort of trick up their sleeves, so be careful, and don’t push yourself. Okay?”
Nell squeezed both my hands while gazing at me worriedly.
“It’s okay.” I squeezed hers back as I gazed into her eyes, an action which seemed to elicit a bit of an embarrassed squeak. “I’ve already got my priorities sorted. I’m going to be putting Enne, the pets, and myself above all else.”
I had every intention of shitting all over my enemies and I was fairly confident that winning the war would be nothing but beneficial, as far as my priorities were concerned, but that didn’t mean that I was going to put my life at risk. Because my primary goal—keeping Nell off the battlefield—had already been achieved. Likely because they took my demands into account. It wasn’t as if they were completely one-sided either. Keeping Nell back home allowed the Allysians to mobilize more of their army. But yeah, if shit starts getting dicey, I’m getting the fuck out. It’ll totally make me feel kinda bad, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
I was fairly confident in my ability to escape. Having a warp crystal on hand meant that I was more or less sure to find my way out of any situation so long as I didn’t get killed in a single strike, which was unlikely to say the least. My body was incredibly durable, and my ability to rapidly regenerate made it so that I was more or less capable of zerging things down, even after taking hits that would have proven fatal for just about anyone else.
“I find that a little bit hard to believe,” she said, squinting at me. “You have the tendency to start helping people without really thinking about it. You really really really have to make sure you run if things start looking bad. I really do love this country, and I’d like it if we could win the war, but your safety comes first.”
“I-I uhm… am really happy to hear that, but I’d just like to point out that I’m not anywhere near as heroic as you’re making me out to be.”
“That isn’t true. You just don’t know it,” she said with a frown. “You always say all these weird things to make yourself sound like some sort of big baddie, but the truth is, you’re always trying your best to help everyone you can. And before you start, I’m not the only one that thinks that way. We all do. It’s why we love you, as well as exactly why we’re all so worried.”
Wow uhm… hearing that straight is pretty damn embarrassing. Shit, I think I’m gonna blush.
“Mhm. Master’s really cool. Like a superhero,” said Sword Enne, telepathically.
“See? Even Enne agrees. You just don’t know yourself as well as we do. So please don’t forget? Okay? Whatever happens, you have to put yourself and Enne first.”
She was being really insistent, so rather than talking back, I instead opted for a meek, obedient nod.
There were five races marching alongside each other, the beastkin, the demons, the dwarves, the elves, and the humans. There were monsters as well, among which was Rir, whose back I was sitting on.
The army was already at a mind-boggling size, standing a whole two hundred thousand strong. And apparently we’re meeting up with more guys along the way. Holy shit, eh? I’m not exactly qualified to talk about logistics, but they seem like they’d kinda be a bit more than just a nightmare. I can kinda see why Phynar wants to just rush ‘em down and call it a day.
Going into this whole scenario, I was expecting an unclear chain of command to cause a whole slew of issues, but it never happened. The Alliance had managed to forgo the issue altogether by putting Phynar in charge of just about everything, at least from a high level. Each king was to command his own respective army in a manner that abided with the demon king’s strategic decisions. Making note of that decision led me to realize that Phynar was likely much more impressive and reputable than I’d previously assumed. ‘Cause like, shit dude, think about it. If everyone else is saying he should take charge of everything, then it’s basically like they’re all just handing him their men. And it’s not like this is just a temporary thing without recourse either. Everyone’s going to remember that the goddamn blonde twink is the one that led them all to victory once the war’s over. I doubt he’d ever be put on a pedestal like that if he wasn’t a top tier chad. Like, shit. I always thought he was just another weirdo. I mean, I knew he was about as smart as Leila, and that he likes his schemes and whatnot, but honestly, in my mind, that was pretty much it. Seems like all the other kings think he’s much more.
The Allysian monarch was the only one that didn’t join us on the march. He was staying back at base in order to take charge of logistics while the rest took to the battlefield, which, in my books, seemed a bit weird, but everyone else was acting as if it was natural for a king to be a part of the front line. Yeah, iunno. Still seems a bit silly ‘cause you’re basically putting the most important decision maker in a given country at risk, but apparently this world’s people are just that hotblooded. So yeah, fuck thinking about it. I’mma just blame it on that and call it a day. I mean, it’s not like it doesn’t make sense, with all the monsters and shit wandering around. The whole place has still got a bit of that survival of the fittest vibe going, and personal power is an important consideration for those that stand at the top.
Though I could kind of see why most of the monarchs were on the march, Phynar’s presence still puzzled me. He and I both knew that he wasn’t much of a fighter. The femboy in question had mentioned that he was planning on remaining near the battlefield such that he could better respond to any changes in the enemy’s tactics, but I didn’t exactly see the logic behind his proposition. There was no reason he would be unable to do the same from somewhere less dangerous. He’s never really seemed like the kinda guy who’d do shit for no reason. Dude’s way too practical to put himself in danger just ‘cause. I mean, it’s not like I really know him all that well, but that’s at least the impression I get. Something seems kinda off, but I’m pretty sure everyone else knows him better than I do, so fuck it. I’m just going to pretend I didn’t notice.
Phynar’s presence wasn’t the only thing that had grabbed my attention. Something about the way our enemies were acting was throwing me off. At a glance, it seemed that they were trying to bait us in so that they could wipe us out, but at the same time, that didn’t seem quite right either. Something smelled fishy. It was almost like the whole war was just a coverup for something even bigger. Not that it makes any difference to me. I’m not smart enough to figure all that shit out, so I’mma just drop in, be an OP demon lord, kick everyone’s ass, and get the fuck out before I die. Done and donner.
I started thinking about home as I contemplated the outcome of the war, which led me to touch the charm fastened to Enne’s handle. It was something Lyuu made for me. Apparently, her people gave them to their loved ones in hopes that they would return safely from the battlefield. Man, the way she stammered that out was great. So freaking adorable.
Oh yeah, speaking of Lyuu, it’s probably about time for her people to visit me again. I had been referring to the warwolf as my wife for a while already, technically, she was just my fiancée. We weren’t actually tying the knot until her father showed up again, which was supposed to be soon, given that something along the lines of a year had passed. Gotta wrap this up quickly and get home.
As far as I was concerned, Lyuu was far more important than some dumb war. My wives and kids took precedence over the interests of whatever countries I was about to get myself involved with.
“I really gotta get this over with quickly so I can get married to Lyuu. I’ve still got a bunch of preparations to blow through.”
“Lyuu’s funny,” said Enne, telepathically. “She makes sure we’re always happy. Good bride.”
“Yeah, I know right? She’s too good for me.”
“She’s really energetic. I like her lots.”
“Yeah, me too Enne. Me too.”
The two of us continued casually chatting. But my mind wasn’t really too focused on the conversation. Because it was filled instead with thoughts of the family that awaited me back home.
“That’s a lot of soldiers.” Lunogill, one of the demon king’s subordinates, heaved a sigh as he looked upon the army that stood before him. Even the man known as the Silent Assassin was impressed.
He was in the middle of an investigation, one that would aid the Alliance in the Battle of Gallia. He had already infiltrated the area around the Rogardian capital, and concluded from a quick observation that they had failed to correctly estimate the enemy’s forces. While the demon and human headcounts were not unexpected, the number of monsters was. It was starting to look as if the Coalition had enough troops to outdo all the countries that surrounded it.
“Most of them are insectoids. Is it a coincidence? Or perhaps due to some sort of reason…”
There existed no such thing as a country that wasn’t looking into the art of manipulating monsters. But the empire’s technique was clearly on another level. Never before had Lunogill ever seen a group so thoroughly subdued.
“Bad news, commander.” One of Lunogill’s subordinates reported in as he continued to scout the area. It was Haloria Laylott, the demon that Yuki would have referred to as Hoodie McHoodface. “There are two enemy units headed our way. It seems like they’ve detected us.”
“How odd… I don’t think we left any obvious tracks. I’m not sure how they could have discovered us.” He frowned. “How long do we have?”
“I don’t believe they’ve pinpointed our position just yet, sir. We shouldn’t be in any immediate danger.”
“I see…” Lunogill spent a few moments in thought. “Take the others and retreat. Let our king know of everything we’ve found so far.”
“Orders received, sir. What will you be doing?”
“Nothing too important. I’m just going to be sticking around for a little bit longer.”
“W-with all due respect, that is far too dangerous! They’re already aware of us!”
Haloria did her best to keep her voice down in spite of getting worked up.
“We’re lacking information. Someone has to stay behind and do some more scouting,” he said, casually. “All I’m doing is transitioning from a preliminary covert operation to something that is more… aggressive. If anything, I’d say I’m much better at the latter.”
The Silent Assassin began fading away without even waiting for his subordinate to respond, leaving behind only a cocky grin.
“Geez, commander! Ughhhh, you’re such a pain in the butt to deal with!”
Haloria was worried, but she knew she didn’t have any time to waste, so she suppressed her emotions, joined the others, and pulled out.
Pst. Check >>this<< out!