Romelia Senki Volume 1 Chapter 5 part 1

 

Chapter 5 – Stranger among dragons
 
The armies of the Demon King’s army gradually gathered on the Dacano Plains in the northwest of the Kingdom of Lionel .
 
Sixty thousand in number. The plain was buried under the black armor of the Demon King’s army, the footsteps of their boots echoing across the land, shaking the earth.
 
Inside the headquarters tent, thickly protected by layers of soldiers, the top commanders of the Second Front Army, who had been ordered to attack the Kingdom of Lionel , gathered for a military conference.
 
In the depths of the tent, Grand Marshal Gareth sat motionless in the grand marshal’s chair, staring at the map spread out on the table as he listened to his subordinates talk.
 
Though Gareth valued decisiveness in all matters, his heart was filled with tremendous anxiety and confusion.
 
It had been several tens of days since the rumor arrived that the Demon King Zelgius of their homeland across the sea had been killed. Contact with their homeland had been cut off, and his life or death had yet to be confirmed.
 
News was confused and chaotic. Supplies from their rear base at Roban had also been cut off, and their food supplies were worrisome. Although military conferences were being held every day, no clear conclusions had been reached, and the conferences dragged on.
 
“Has Demon King Zelgius really been killed?”
 
An officer asked the question that had been repeated hundreds of times.
 
“Captured soldiers saw the Demon King’s severed head.”
 
Another officer replied. The humans had told the captured soldiers that the Demon King was dead, showed them the head, and then released them. Thus, news of the Demon King’s death spread among the soldiers, causing great turmoil for a time.
 
“This cannot be trusted, it must be a fake head. How would the soldiers know what the Demon King Zelgius looked like? This is a trick to shake the morale of the soldiers.”
 
The other officers warned him not to speak rashly.
 
“But there were also letters with his seal and handwriting, they were real, even the soldiers were shaken.”
 
It seemed that the humans had cunning schemers who, when releasing prisoners, gave them documents and letters bearing the Demon King’s own seal and handwriting. Even the high command of the army was disturbed. The Demon King’s seal and handwritten documents could only be obtained by going to the Demon King’s homeland. Regardless of the Demon King’s life or death, it was certain that someone had come and gone between the continents inhabited by their demon race.
 
“Anything can be faked if you want to fake it, that is the enemy’s plan. Tell the soldiers not to be fooled by rumors.”
 
“That will only have the opposite effect, causing the soldiers to distrust us. Right now, we should confirm whether the Demon King is alive or dead, that is the most important thing.”
 

The officers began to argue, and the topic went around and around. As they said, confirming the Demon King’s safety was imperative, but if it could be done, it would have been done already.
 
“So how are you going to confirm it? We don’t have any magical ships to return to.”
 
The words of an officer left the others unable to reply.
 
To return to the home of the demon race, Goldia, they had to use magic ships. But the magic ships’ regular voyages had already been suspended. With no contact at all, the reason was unknown. Even if they wanted to return, it was impossible to produce magic ships without the equipment from their homeland. They could not return to their homeland.
 
Thinking of his homeland, Gareth also felt a pang of homesickness, but he put the unsolvable problem aside for now and continued to listen to the officers’ discussion.
 
“Since we can’t contact home, something must have happened. While it’s hard to believe that the Prince of the Kingdom of Lionel murdered the Demon King, it’s possible that someone from our homeland staged a rebellion.”
 
“In that case, who was it? Chancellor Ginis? Could it be that person?”
 

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The officers speculated about who killed the Demon King.
 
It was said that the prince of the Kingdom of Lionel , which they were currently invading, along with a few companions, had gone out and killed the Demon King.
 
Although they couldn’t believe that a human could kill the Demon King, the timing of the prince’s return to his homeland coincided with the loss of contact with their homeland.
 
However, as the officer said, perhaps the humans had incited one of their homeland’s high-ranking officials, or conversely, the high-ranking official had used the humans to rebel and kill the Demon King.
 
“Enough, thinking about useless things is pointless. More than that, what are we supposed to do now?”
 
Gareth shouted, rebuking his subordinates for their useless arguments. Since there was no information they could confirm, they could only engage in speculative games. In any case, since they had no contact, they should act as if the Demon King was dead.
 
Gareth pointed to the map spread out on the table, bringing this military conference back to its original purpose.
 
The eyes of the officers focused on the map depicting this continent and the six black pieces placed on it.
 
The pieces represented legions of the Demon King’s army, like their own.
 
Like Gareth’s army, which had been ordered to attack the kingdom of Lionel , the other five legions had also been divided into directional armies, launching offensives against the human kingdoms. Further behind them was Roban, where they had first landed and turned into a military base. In front of them was Gan Garuga, a military fortress built by the humans but captured by the Demon King’s army.
 
Currently, the Demon King’s army on this continent had nearly five hundred thousand troops. Although it was an extremely powerful army, they were not their own people.
 

“What did the other legion commanders say?”
 
Gareth asked, and the officers began to report in unison.
 
“Grand Marshal Kelgal of the First Front Army has ordered us to return under his command.”
 
“Just because his numbers are higher, he makes himself in charge?”
 
“What did the Fourth and Fifth Front Armies say? Weren’t those guys originally our faction?”
 
“The Fourth gave no answer, and the Fifth gave an ambiguous answer.”
 
“They probably received the same invitation from the First. Even if we bring them over to our side, who knows when they’ll betray us.”
 
“I heard that Grand Marshal Barbar of the Third Front Army has declared himself the Demon King.”
 
“That guy becoming the Demon King? What a terrible joke. Boringly ridiculous.”
 
“I heard that the Sixth Front Army seems to have been pushed back by the humans.”
 
“A disgrace to the Demon King’s army. If he comes to ask for help, we should rescue him.”
 
The officers chattered on, the military conference finally taking on the appearance of one.
 
But listening to the reports, as expected, there hadn’t been any contact between the Demon King’s various armies. With the Demon King missing, they were now fighting over who would take control.
 
Once you’re subordinated to someone’s forces and take orders from them, relationships of superiority and inferiority would form and continue indefinitely. Bowing to the Demon King and accepting his orders as a subordinate was acceptable, but even as a superior, there was no need to obey the orders of someone who lacked the Demon King’s trust.
 
“Everyone seems to be eyeing the Demon King’s vacant throne.”
 
One of the officers remarked, but in a way, he was admitting the obvious.
 
The commanders of each directional army were all people who had risen to the level of grand marshal, possessing both ability and ambition. Although the Barbarian of the Third Army had taken the first step, in their hearts, they all believed that they were the next Demon King. Of course, Gareth himself believed that he possessed the qualities of a ruler.
 
“It would be better not to get too close to the other armies for now. Even if they are our own, who knows when they’ll attack.”
 
Hearing the officer’s words, the others around him nodded in agreement.
 
For Gareth, the other Grand Marshals were no longer allies, but rather enemies. The other Grand Marshals probably had similar thoughts. Reliable comrades until yesterday had turned into competitors fighting for the Demon King’s throne.
 
“But with the supplies cut off from behind, we can’t replenish food, weapons, and most importantly, manpower.”
 
An officer held up a document as he reported.
 
While food could be looted from nearby villages, the inability to replace dead soldiers was a problem.
 
“Why not simply attack the armies under the other grand marshals and bring them under our control?”
 
The officer’s words made everyone look at Gareth.
 

Power struggles among the demons. With the Demon King’s death, this wasn’t the time for such things, but it was an inevitable way to become the next Demon King.
 
The Demon King’s army practiced might makes right. There was a culture of disobeying those weaker than oneself. Even if they were to avoid using their precious forces, without crushing the grand marshals in one fell swoop and showing their power, the others would definitely not submit.
 
The officers waited for Gareth’s decision, but he did not answer the question, instead asking another.
 
“What about Roban? What did they say?”
 
Gareth’s question made all the generals straighten their backs.
 
“That, that, there is no answer yet.”
 
“Is that so?”
 
Gareth nodded slightly in response to his subordinate’s answer.
 
The first and largest base of the Demon King’s army on this continent, Roban, could not be ignored.
 
The forces stationed at Roban numbered sixty thousand. The closer fortress of Gan Garuga had ten thousand soldiers. While their combat strength was sufficient, it was their ability to supply food and replenish troops that was most important.
 
Developed as a base, Roban had already resettled hundreds of thousands of migrants from their homelands and built them into a city. With many people gathered as slaves, labor was also plentiful.
 
Fields were cultivated, immigrants could have children and raise them to become soldiers.


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