Re:Monster Day 171-180 / Chapters List

Day 171

There were no strong winds outside, and as the dark night spread out before us in silence, white snow fell and piled up.

After the date had changed, although there were still several hours before the sun rose, we devoted approximately two hours to covert operations within the Royal Castle just like the other day.

Just like we did last time, those who excelled at covert operations, such as the Ninja Kobolds and the goblins from my generation with small builds, slipped into the Royal Castle under the cover of darkness. Their work was simple, with the aim of gradually reducing the Nobles Faction's private soldiers by having them disappear while they were patrolling.

Of course, I didn't do such troublesome and roundabout work. I was in the secret basement mass-producing clones, which can be treated as expendable troops. If I were to keep creating Black Skeletons and Black Ogres, I might be able to easily crush the Strong Grandson to death with an overwhelming number of them.

Since I can supply myself with magic by using [Absorb Magic] to absorb it from the darkness, my internal magic supply is nearly endless, unless I act very rashly. In the first place, it's been proven that I'm able to prepare approximately 5,000 black skeletons using just my internal magic supply.

I'm not worried about materials either, since I can easily secure water for my clones.

I was cooperating with Kanami-chan, who has the [Intermediate Summoning: Undead] ability, in order to summon several Black Skeleton Commanders. They're a higher ranking species of Black Skeleton, whose summoning restrictions are lifted by consuming one of its kind. If I were to do this alone, a moderate amount of time would be necessary, but it is feasible enough to prepare more than 10,000 soldiers through synthesis with her help.

The black skeletons that the Commanders summon are an uncertain factor, since their attributes deteriorate across the board when compared with the ones I have summoned. I also have to take into account that, since most of them are undead, even if I were to prepare 10,000 soldiers, most of them would quickly disappear once the sun starts to rise.

However, despite all of that, they still adequately satisfy the standards necessary for them to be treated as expendable troops. It's not necessary for us to pay too much attention to this weakness though, since it's still several hours before the sun rises.

For that reason alone, it's very easy to pulverize the opponent with an overwhelming number of forces.

Since [Fire], [Holy Light] and [Blunt Force] from blunt weapons are all well known weaknesses of monsters of the skeleton variety, they're likely to be dealt with immediately, so the number of skeletons alone will be helpful.

Even if they were to adopt measures to oppose them, if 10,000 Black Skeleton ranked monsters were to launch a surprise attack from the inside, there aren't any fortresses that would not fall.

That's why, since the core of the enemy, the Strong Grandson and Sly Old Fox, have gathered in one place, I have no doubt that this is the perfect opportunity to launch an attack on them.

Although most of the main force, such as Minokichi-kun, Supesei-san, Asue-chan and Gurufu-chan aren't here, our forces are still above a certain level. We can replenish them by mass-summoning more troops, as well.

That's why I chose a strategy that slowly erodes their forces from the inside, since it's almost always a combination of strategy and the current situation that allows one to obtain victory.

The main reason this method was selected is because it suited what my employer, the Tomboy Princess, wanted.

The pretext for this is――

『I want you to keep the damage to the castle to a minimum. Since it's a symbol of the Kingdom, I want you to do as much as you can to avoid defiling it with blood, as well as destroying it with your absurd power. When it comes to the Strong Grandson, it won't end with just a simple assassination, you know. You don't need to take them directly head-on, but it's necessary to make it known ,both on the inside and the outside, that their troops suffered a crushing defeat.』

――or so I was told.

I certainly understand what she's getting at, but that's difficult for us.

For the Tomboy Princess, she has her honor as a blood relative of those standing at the Sternbild Kingdom's summit to uphold.

It's necessary for her to display far and wide that she possesses the military power to force the nobles that rebelled to yield, but it cannot be done in such a way that will cause her to be treated with contempt.

Since they have gained control of the Royal Castle and nearly all members of the royal family, it might be possible for them to have an impact on the future of the Sternbild Kingdom's administration. For that reason, even if we assassinated the top members of the Nobles Faction that caused the coup d'etat, it's very likely that those who remain will not give up yet and will begin to act recklessly.

If that happens, it will inevitably become troublesome.

Once they've been delivered a crushing defeat, it'll be necessary to clearly determine the outcome. Otherwise, after the civil war ends and we leave, the nobles will end up having more power than they currently do and a coup d'etat will be more likely to occur again.

Most importantly, their reckless actions will influence the Sternbild Kingdom's territories and cause quite a bit of unrest. There would be an increase in the occurrence of thieves and barbarians as well, possibly coming from other countries. On top of all of that, allies of other nations might use this opportunity to create chaos so that neighboring countries, such as the Kirika Empire and so on, can attempt to use various pretexts to divide and rule the Sternbild Kingdom.

Since the very young, cute and scheming Princess intends to become the Kingdom's ruler, she wants to avoid this.

These are my employer's intentions, so it can't be helped.

The Tomboy Princess thoroughly surrounded the exterior of the Royal Capital with the powerful forces of the Duke's family, which are mostly made up of many [Infantry], [Cavalry] which ride beasts such as war horses, and so on. There were various branches of service in his army, and they numbered approximately 5,000 in total. While his forces were threatening and putting pressure on the rebels from the outside, we were poking around inside as we worked hard to reduce their forces and create distrust amongst them.

I'll be surprised if their morale doesn't fall after this, but if it doesn't happen, I will have no choice but to recognize the leadership ability of the Strong Grandson and his allies.

Well, since the current situation is progressing without any problems, I don't think any mistakes will be made.

Currently, the Royal Castle is packed with a maximum of around 3,000 of the Strong Grandson's troops. Although there are many more forces prepared and on standby in the territories of the Nobles, this is how many exist within the castle.

There are always around 300 of the most elite of them guarding the key people within the [Nobles Faction], such as the Strong Grandson and Sly Old Fox.

Even the weakest of these 300 possess at least three battle system [Jobs], so their overall combat ability is quite high. This makes them at least equal to the Rusty Iron Knight when he led his forces into the vast forest that was our birthplace, with only the influential people being stronger than him.

Many of these people carry the [Divine Protection of a Demigod], though there are a few that carry the [Divine Protection of a God], as well.

If I were to say more, some are almost [Heroes] and [Great Heroes] and may possibly be [Legendary Heroes in the Making]. To speak badly of them, [Heroes] and [Great Heroes] are chosen because of their superior abilities and the fact that a [God] is fond of their personality, so those who don't have strong willpower fail to become one.

Thanks to the results of this talented group's habitual training, they've become one huge group that won't have their coordinated movements disturbed. For this reason, it can't be helped that it will be a tough fight.

If I don't use group members that are stronger than Black Skeletons against them, there's a high possibility that I won't be able to kill them.

If I pressure them with an overwhelming amount of skeletons, something along the lines of 100 or 1,000 per individual, it shouldn't be impossible to crush them by attacking relentlessly without giving them time to coordinate their attacks. I'll need to be careful though, since there will be a pointless increase in damage if we simply take a brute force approach.

Well, I'm thankful that their movements will be easy to read, since they aren't likely to stray far from the Strong Grandson and his allies.

Although the roughly 2,700 remaining soldiers have all reached at least a certain level thanks to their daily training, they don't seem to be as strong as the rest.

We can reduce the damage if I put pressure on them with at least two Black Skeletons per person, while at the same time easily killing their weaker members.

It would be nice for us to defeat them head-on using a difference in our number of forces, but we won't waste such a plan here.

Of course, the enemy's weapons, coordination, topography and affinity may make for some difficult fights, but I think it's alright to conclude that they shouldn't be a threat unless there's a large incident.

Even if it's not possible to kill them with my Black Skeletons, I can disregard the damage to the Royal Castle and, as a last resort, use my [Human Bomb] ability at the same time as my skeletons to change humans or humanoid monsters into bombs in order to win the battle.

It makes me shiver when I put myself in my opponent's shoes since, among other things, I could turn groups of Black Skeletons into bombs and have them explode with a high probability of killing the people within a diameter of several meters.

Although the Black Skeletons alone may make it troublesome for the enemy, when they think the skeletons have been defeated they will suddenly create an explosion that is difficult for them successfully defend against. On top of that, there will be a higher number of black bones that are sent flying at the time of the explosion. The damage from this should not be taken lightly.

The black bones that had exploded and scattered would disappear a short time later, and if they are plugging up someone's wounds when they do so, the possibility of the person dying from blood loss if they aren't quickly treated increases. This isn't any consolation, though.

Even though I would carry out this plan myself, I most likely wouldn't see the results as anything but tragic.

Of course, even though the bombs are capable of randomly exploding as long as the conditions are met, when I take into consideration the risk and return of using this tactic, I still wouldn't hesitate to do so.

For that reason, it's certainly not the the enemy forces' 300 elite soldiers that I need to be the most wary of.

What I should be most wary of are the two Heroes that are lending their power to the Nobles Faction for their own reasons, as well as the nine people that are their [Companions/Sub-Cast].

The Rock Hero, who has a long military record and has survived many battlefields, is lending them his assistance in order to return a favor that he received from the dead Minister personally. However, I can say with confidence that he is the most troublesome of the two, since he thinks that I'm the criminal that killed the Minister. Still, if I look at the whole picture, the Water Hero is quite an uncertain factor in the war, since he is fighting for the sake of his family that's being held hostage.

Well, perhaps I should say that he's dangerous, instead.

The Water Hero was originally a farmer just like Avenger. His family appears to have been cultivating an inferior plot of land, and it was difficult for them to grow crops. For that reason, there was not a surplus for his family and he appears to have lived a considerably poor life since childhood. Despite this, his family and their neighbors cooperated with one another and they were somehow able to survive.

However, when the Water Hero was ten years old, the Lord that governs the land collected more taxes than usual, which caused poverty to accelerate as he took advantage of his position to fill his own pockets with money.

The Water Hero that was always poor, his family, and the villagers who survived by cooperating with one another were in a troubled state over what to eat that day. When times were at their worst, they would chew on the roots of the withered grass in order to survive.

However, one day he received the [Divine Protection of a God], which caused his life to improve just like Avenger's had. After some time passed, he went to attend a school in the Royal Capital.

As a result of his vigorous work every day so that he could support his family, he graduated with very good grades. He entered the military after that and officially became the [Hero of Quivering Water] shortly afterwards. Then, using his own influence, he killed the Lord that had tormented him and his family with his own hands.

When he did so, he made sure to torment the Lord with a small taste of the suffering that they had gone through by slowly cutting the tips of his hands and feet off, while only giving him the bare minimum amount of food and water necessary to survive. I heard that the Water Hero put the Lord through a lot of torture, keeping him on the border between life and death.

To sum it up in a few words, the Water Hero has a fairly extreme nature, which doesn't match his ordinary appearance. I realize that I'm repeating this, but the reason the Water Hero serves the country is so that he can support his family.

Therefore, he has no loyalty at all for the country and the royal family. Instead, he might even feel hatred towards them and as a result, probably wouldn't have a problem killing them.

It seems he'll do anything if it's for work, so the Water Hero is said to have the role of removing the Sternbild Kingdom's obstacles head-on, whereas the Dark Hero does so from the shadows.

Typical of personalities like the Water Hero's, he will struggle to the death for the sake of saving his precious family. For that reason, I guess it's not very hard to imagine him coming to kill the Tomboy Princess.

This is because one of the opponent's victory conditions is her death.

By the way, given that the Water Hero's specialty is widespread attacks that make use of vibrating water, I'm certain that he would completely eradicate the Black Skeletons if he acted violently in the places where they had gathered together unskillfully.

If I'm not stingy with my abilities for the time being and I pair up with Kanami, I'm confident that we could completely defeat both of the [Hero]'s parties, even if we fought them at the same time. However, the fight will definitely drag on if we do that, and there's no way of knowing what would happen on the battlefield.

There's no way it would feel good if we were tripped up by an unexpected occurrence, though.

For the time being, it's been decided that the only people holding these guys back are the two of us. Since that's the case, I'll set this matter aside for now and focus on adapting to the circumstances we find ourselves in.

With the exception of the Heroes, the Strong Grandson and his allies most likely have a trump card, though I can't describe it since I have yet to confirm its existence.

I'm not sure why I thought they had one, but if the Heroes alone are normally enough, then it's probably safe to say that the probability of that being the case is low.

As long as an unexpected wild card doesn't appear, I think that things should progress more or less as I planned, but it's hard to say what will actually happen in the end.

If they do have a trump card, I think we'll probably still be able to pull it off with the same tactic we're using for the others, but I'm going to be cautious about it so that this doesn't result in a loss for us.

I don't think we'll make progress very easily, but it's for the best if they don't have anything like that.

Well, that should give a rough idea of the enemy's war potential and their current status, anyway.

Now, about work. For the time being, since the Strong Grandson and his allies understood that the morale of the soldiers and nobles would be affected if the assassinations continued, they began to adopt various countermeasures against them.

The soldiers patrolling the Royal Castle at night had assembled into groups of three, according to the instructions that they had previously been given. The standard group was three people, but they assembled into groups of five when there were cowardly nobles with them, and there were sporadic instances of ten soldiers grouping together in order to go around with large families, as well.

In addition, the last time we were here, the heavy security that was spread around the Royal Castle was wearing protective gear that was close to cloth armor, which had a gaudy appearance that emphasized that it was ornamental. However, they would die with that sort of armor, so their gear was upgraded and they were now wearing metal body armor, hand and wrist guards, and so on.

As one would expect, since it would make them sluggish during these times, people aren't equipping the troublesome metal armor from head to toe just to work. Instead, they appear to have substituted the missing pieces with accessories such as earrings and rings, which are magic items that possess abilities that increase a person's defensive capabilities.

Suspended at the soldier's waist are a longsword and dagger, and in one hand they held a magic item which had a shape similar to a compass combined with a lantern, which plays a role similar to a motion sensor and also emits light.

According to the Boy Knight, this magic item appears to be called a "Beacompass." It's quite an expensive item, but its performance is guaranteed. As for the Beacompass' characteristics, it doesn't just detect moving things, but it also appears to react to the life force of creatures. It's only effective in a 180 degree arc in front of the item though, since it excludes the item's owner and people that are behind them from being counted as enemy targets when it searches.

For that reason, it's very difficult to conceal oneself from it.

Nevertheless, even though their body was wrapped in a substantial amount of equipment, they were staring intensely at the Beacompass' needle with bloodshot eyes every time there was the slightest movement of the needle point. They would then let out a sigh of relief the moment they understood that it was just the wind causing the tree leaves to move. However, the hand that they always had on their sword's hilt was trembling slightly out of fear.

They looked just like people that were in a situation where they were being hunted, though this actually was the case.

This is because a decisive opening is created when they depend on a magic item to search for their enemy instead of their own senses.

In response to this, I put a group of six people on the enemy's standard groups of three.

Although the Beacompass is an excellent item for detecting moving objects and living things, the item's structure makes it difficult for its needle to move up and down. This is because it's normally enough for it to simply detect horizontal movement.

For that reason, in the thin shadows that occurred in the corners of the passage's high ceiling, there were people wearing armor called [Black Bone Living Mail], which is created by weaving together durable cloth and the bodies of three Black Skeletons with [Bone Union]. When they use the armor's eight spider-like legs that had grown on its back to cling to the ceiling, the reaction from the Beacompass becomes very weak.

Once we knew of this weak point, it was a simple matter to make use of surprise attacks to hunt them without making a single sound.

Having said that, if a soldier had used their own senses to search for the enemy, they should have been able to hear the small noises that the rubbing of the bone armor made as it moved, as well as the breathing of the goblins.

However, because they were only relying on the Beacompass, their ability to search for the enemy had been reduced. I have to say I've had just about enough of challenging people whose awareness hasn't increased at all.

Nevertheless, with our people acting in groups of six, they weren't able to hunt the same number of targets in the same amount of time as before. This can't be helped though, since the enemy's true colors have yet to be seen.

For that reason, from our work this time, approximately thirty six private soldiers from the Royal Castle quietly disappeared from this world. There were six nobles who had private residences in the Royal Capital that were killed in their homes with the same poison that killed the Minister, as well.

Just like before, the poisoned nobles were not major people like the Strong Grandson, people that depended on reading the situation themselves, people that joined in because of the decree of the leaders of families that are affiliated with the Nobles Faction, or people that reluctantly joined because of a friendly invitation or something along those lines. Instead, they were people that had been added to the lower ranks for various reasons.

Incidentally, there was advanced notice of the next murder written on the carpet that was spread over the floor where the bodies of the nobles had fallen, on the luxurious clothes that they were wearing, or on the walls where there were traces of blood because they had been leaned on. These notices, which were written in dark red paint that was a mix of the noble's blood and a special material, said, "Who on earth will become the next sack of poison?"

The notices stood out even if it was dark because the special material that was mixed into the paint made it shine mysteriously. As time passed their blood dripped and formed tracks, creating an even more bizarre atmosphere.

It was a scene that caused the maids and butlers to scream when they saw it.

The mood that said they feared the criminal that wrote the notices was beneficial, as well.

At that point, the night ended as the sun began to rise. Shortly before sunrise, there began to be active movement within the Royal Castle and the Nobles District.

These noises included the footsteps of knights busily going to and coming from the Royal Castle and the royal guards that were mainly following them, the low-pitched sound of military officers boldly issuing orders to their subordinates, the small tones of the tableware resounding as maids carried breakfast to their masters, and the working noise of a great number of soldiers and wagons transporting goods.

All of these sounds were related to preparations with regards to the Tomboy Princess' approaching army.

However, the Strong Grandson's preparations appeared to be advancing somewhat on schedule, since they were almost fully completed yesterday.

The orders handed down from the top were accepted without issue, so there was little confusion.

Thanks to their speedy preparations, it can be said that they were almost finished the arrangements for the upcoming battle. Normally, it would have taken a bit more time to finish these preparations.

By the way, with regards to the previously mentioned preparations, the reason a significant number of forces were able to be assembled in a short time is because the Strong Grandson and his allies' forces, which had been left behind in the nobles' territories, had tamed Wyverns and Griffins deliver written instructions to them via airmail.

Once they are ready, the number of soldiers alone will slightly exceed that of the Tomboy Princess' army. Furthermore, the combined armies of the nobles are rounded out by the two Heroes that are supporting them.

The Dark Hero has gone somewhere with the First Queen, and it looks like the Wood Hero is going to carefully observe the state of affairs related to the coup d'etat on this occasion.

Therefore, regarding their fear of being assassinated, almost the entire enemy side was filled with an atmosphere that said that there was no reason that they couldn't win.

During this time, information spread saying that more nobles had been assassinated.

My report reached the Strong Grandson and Sly Old Fox first, who issued a gag order with the hope that it would prevent morale from dropping. However, since the actual truth was circulated anyway, the information had spread quickly.

It looks like they came to the conclusion that it was a bad idea to conceal any further information that came here about nobles being assassinated. However, concerning the advanced notice written in blood, it was suppressed to the point that it was only vaguely circulated. It wasn't entirely hidden, but it was superbly regulated so that a fair number of people didn't know about it, even though they could have found out if they tried to do so.

Although the information didn't remain hidden, troop morale didn't drop much.

It would have caused troop morale to drop either way, but it still seems to be better than all of the members knowing everything from the very beginning. The reason I say this is that people would think that those who didn't gather information were lacking in ability, since they would have learned about the notices if they had done so.

With the gag order issued, my plans were thrown off and I had to change them, since I was in a situation where I was trying to find a suitable time to circulate the information.

Anyway, since the atmosphere around the Nobles Faction was heavy, which was more or less in accordance with my objectives, that's all I'll say about that.

I wanted to bring the truth up in the rebellion at a fatal moment, but if it creates distrust among them in any way, it should be enough.

As expected of the Strong Grandson and his allies, since they were able to grasp the situation, it seems that they were able to come up with countermeasures somehow or another. However, I'm ready to outwit them every time this happens because of the information gathering abilities of my clones.

It looks like their preparations will be finished today.

The Strong Grandson and his allies are being cautious of us and won't attack the Tomboy Princess' army from the cover of the Royal Capital's walls. Instead, they appear to have decided to crush them head-on at the plains that are exactly midway between her army and the capital.

They aren't using any sort of plan, but instead chose to use pure strength to defeat them.

The Tomboy Princess' forces will almost certainly be defeated if they do this.

Since not only do the Nobles Faction have superior numbers, but also higher quality soldiers because of the existence of the Heroes, the Tomboy Princess' army would not be able to win in a direct confrontation with them.

Even if they make good use of strategy and tactics, I don't know what will happen to the forces that encounter one of the Heroes, which would be the Water Hero and his party in this case.

It may be possible for them to avoid defeat somehow, but it would be better to not expect much.

In the first place, since we should think about recapturing the Royal Castle before anything else, I don't have much interest in what happens to them.

Well, it should be alright, since I took out some insurance on the Tomboy Princess's army.

Even if they are defeated, they shouldn't be completely destroyed.

[World Psalms [Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon], Chapter 4 [Encouragement of a Kingdom's Revolution], Verse 6 [Final Castle Crawl (Lulu Iera)] has been completed. The following hidden conditions were cleared: ≪Castle's Night of Terror≫ and ≪Creeping Malice≫]

--

Day 172

It seems that the heavens don't favor the Strong Grandson.

More than thirty centimeters of snow had fallen by the time morning came, and the depth is increasing as time passes. On top of that, there was a strong wind mixed in with the falling snow, and thick, black clouds covered the sky. This hid the sun, making the light outside dim even though it was daytime.

It's not possible for them to march in this situation.

Although they'd be able to march if they made use of magic, there would be pointless sacrifices because of things like frostbite, which would cause the rest of the troops to become demoralized.

Since the snowstorm will probably stop in a day or two, the Strong Grandson postponed the march until it passes.

Just like the Strong Grandson, the Duke leading the Tomboy Princess's army wasn't able to march either. It wouldn't be a good thing if they had to set up tents in a snowstorm and sleep outside though, so the nobles that I sent in advance, which are a part of "Grass," let the troops take shelter in the towns within their territories.

I'd say this should help a little, since we want there to be as little wear and tear on the Tomboy Princess's army as possible when they clash with the Nobles' army.

On a side note, it's been said that in the past it was rare for snow to fall in this season.

I heard that whenever a flying continent where a [Wise Serpent/Dragon] lives passes over the skies, the King Tsumoru clouds that support it causes weather like what we're having today. These clouds, which are unique to this world, appear to have a scale that's greater than thunderclouds.

It's difficult to predict these flying continents though, since they don't show up on fixed days.

For that reason, it's just the Strong Grandson and his allies' bad luck that the King Tsumoru clouds showed up today.

There's no way that we'll pass up such a perfect opportunity, though.

Since the sunlight is conveniently blocked by thick clouds and snow, the lowest class of undead, such as Ghosts, shouldn't be naturally purified by the environment.

Because the Tomboy Princess imposed a limitation that damage to the castle should be kept to a minimum, I was in the basement summoning a large amount of [Ghosts] and their strengthened version, [Black Ghosts].

Ghost-type monsters can't attack with purely physical attacks, but in exchange for that, everything passes through them, and they are invulnerable to physical attacks that don't make use of magic. This makes them the most suitable option to use, since they won't damage the castle.

I summoned approximately 4,000 Ghosts and Black Ghosts and modelled their faces after the dead nobles and private soldiers.

In addition to the ghosts I had summoned, Kanami summoned approximately 2,000 strengthened [Purple Ghosts] using [Intermediate Summoning: Undead], as well.

Although normal ghosts are semi-transparent, ours were given colors such as black and purple when we summoned them. This seems to be because the Divine Protections we've obtained from our Gods have had an influence on our summoning abilities. By the way, in the case of the Black Ghosts and Purple Ghosts, the black ones are stronger. However, due to the modifiers granted by [Intermediate Summoning: Undead], which is an ability one rank higher than mine, there doesn't seem to be a very big difference in terms of their attributes.

From the 6,000 ghosts that were summoned, I left 2,000 of the common ones behind and used [Soul Eater] to slurp up 4,000 of the black and purple ghosts like they were noodles.

Ability learned: [Ghost's Touch]

Ability learned: [Black Ghost's Touch]

Ability learned: [Purple Ghost's Touch]

Ability learned: [Ghost Cry]

As I expected, by eating 4,000 ghosts, it was possible for me to learn something. However, I've determined that I have to eat approximately 1,000 of them to learn one ability in my current state.

This made me wonder whether or not there was any good prey that I could gather that fills both the quality and quantity criteria.

After doing this, I became able to summon the same Purple Ghosts that Kanami-chan had summoned, because I had met the conditions to do so by consuming them.

Well, that probably doesn't mean much anyway, since I don't think that I will summon the Purple Ghosts in the future. This is because they are inferior to my Black Ghosts.

I sent the remaining 2,000 ghosts that I didn't eat into the Royal Castle.

Want to know what happened after that?

There was pandemonium.

The ghosts passed through the walls behind people and inflicted minor negative status effects like [Fatigue] and [Melancholy] on them with their contact attack, [Ghost's Touch]. There was almost no physical damage, but their minds took heavy damage. When soldiers were attacked by this ability, they complained about feeling sick and were taken to the medics.

When the housemaids and ladies in waiting were unlucky and saw the ghosts that had the faces of the nobles and the Minister, as well as hollowed cheeks and sunken eyes, they turned pale in horror before they screamed and fainted.

Because they didn't know where the high-pitched screams of [Ghost Cry] were coming from, they continued to be heard inside of the Royal Castle, wearing down the minds of the people that heard them.

Overwhelmed by the large crowd of ghosts that resembled a flash flood, the excessive number of negative status effects pushed people beyond their limits, causing them to begin foaming at the mouth as they passed out one by one.

In these conditions, quite a few things happened.

All Ghosts, including the Black Ghosts, are weak to attacks with magical properties, which makes them simple to kill. Because of this weakness, the only reason it took some time to completely destroy the Ghosts was because there was a large number of them.

Because of this, it took approximately one hour to completely destroy them.

It looked like they were more effective than I expected, so I summoned Ghosts eight times today for the purpose of assaulting the Strong Grandson and his allies in the Royal Castle.

The more I summoned the ghosts to attack them, the quicker the enemy dealt with them, but the outcome was still satisfactory because it didn't give them any time to relax. Since the laughter of the ghosts could be heard throughout the night, it looks like the enemy's march in a day or two will be fairly harsh.

On my end, I took a break until each group of ghosts had been completely destroyed in order to generate and refill my magic, and then summoned them again. As a result of this, I didn't become too tired.

It was actually quite easy to do.

Today's synthesis results:

[Ghost's Touch] + [Black Ghost's Touch] + [Purple Ghost's Touch] = [Wraith Touch]

--

Day 173

I expected the wind to blow the snow around today, but it seems that things won't be so easy for us.

It's getting warmer and there's blue sky spreading out above us, which makes it hard to believe that there was such heavy snowfall before. There's nothing obstructing the sunlight from pouring down, and the roughly 70 centimeters of snow that's covering the ground is shining as the sunlight reflects off of its surface.

In addition, it's too bright to go outside, and those that do so have a hard time seeing the moment they go out.

In these conditions, the Strong Grandson, who was in command of 2,000 soldiers and the Water Hero's party, started marching towards the approaching forces of the Tomboy Princess.

The fallen snow was hindering their march, though. For this reason, they were using brute force to clear the snow by installing iron plates on the heads of several of the Boruforu leading the march. These plates had wards that granted heat emitting enchantments on them.

If the Boruforu were massive, they vigorously cleared the snow in the same way a snowblower would.

It looks like they weren't using their internal magic supply like they would with [Magic] either, so the soldiers were consuming a low amount of magic. It looks like this is a cheap and quick way of clearing the snow.

As the Strong Grandson and his allies are marching in a column, they're picking up more soldiers as they pass through the territories of the nobles on their way to meet the Tomboy Princess's army. It's estimated that the final number of soldiers they've put together will reach 9,000.

From the speed that both of the armies are marching at, they will meet in approximately two days time.

At any rate, I'll put the forces that have already left the Royal Capital out of my mind since they aren't worth worrying about.

One thousand private soldiers, normal soldiers, and the Rock Hero's party were left behind in the Royal Capital. More than half of the influential members of the Nobles Faction remained as well, including the Snake Grandfather.

The reason the influential leaders stayed behind was to take care of the work that had been delayed because of the coup d'etat. The Rock Hero's party staying behind is the result of us continuing to harass and bewilder their troops.

For that reason, the Rock Hero is currently stationed in front of the entrance to the spire that the royal family is locked up in. He has placed his favorite weapon, the battering ram ≪Hammer of Isenbal≫, at his side and is being vigilant.

He had four of his [Companions/Sub-cast] surrounding him and they were having a pleasant chat in order to kill time.

By the way, if I were to give a simple description of these four people――

First is the [Torture Official], Torturer Ikoi, a brutal man with a slender figure, thin golden hair, and silver-rimmed glasses that he wears over his golden eyes. He's wearing light armor and he has a bar that's similar to a saw with rusted nails concealed inside of his violet cloak.

The next person is the [Large Cask Head Clerk], Grasher Pie, a giant man with a size that's comparable to an Ogre. He's wearing full body armor that gives him a generally round form, making him look similar to a large moving barrel. He's equipped with two highly offensive, barrel-like shields that are made of metal, with numerous nails attached to them that are like many blades.

Next up is the [Indigo Blue Knight], Christopher Bale Azurite, a good young man that has the appearance of a common knight wearing a dark blue mantle, with indigo blue colored hair and eyes, and looks that made him appear to be faithful and tough. He's wearing dark bluish green colored metal armor below his neck, with only his head being visible.

Finally, there's the [Weeping Female Barbarian], Jantuna Na, a crybaby Amazoness with gray eyes, long black hair, radiant dark brown skin, and full breasts. She's using a bow and machete as her weapons, and she's wrapped in native clothes made from beast fur that exposes a lot of her skin.

――That would about sum it up.

With the exception of the [Indigo Blue Knight], who looks like he's your typical noble knight both in outward appearance and on the inside, I think that the members of this group are quite strong.

For this reason, we slowly and silently invaded the castle from the inside, so that the Rock Hero's party wouldn't detect us.

Among the 1,000 private soldiers that stayed in the Royal Capital, I already took care of approximately 200 of the nobles' soldiers beforehand with "Grass", so the real enemy numbers are only around 800. The only ones that I should really be careful of are the 100 elite soldiers that stayed behind, though.

In addition, with the exception of the private soldiers, we finished winning over the normal soldiers in charge of the defense of the Royal Capital during yesterday's events. This was possible because they aren't a part of the Nobles Faction, but have been following them so far only because they would be killed if they didn't.

On top of getting caught up in this situation from the beginning without having any real choice in the matter, it was very easy to win them over because they had been mentally drained by yesterday's ghost attacks.

This allowed my clones to approach Snake Grandfather, as well as some others, where I easily neutralized them during their normal routines by turning them into my [Subordinates] through the use of [Parasite].

Because the 800 soldiers that remained didn't know anything about this, I was able to command them freely. With this, it looks like the rebellion is nearly over. This is really disappointing.

It was too easy, and it's regrettable that I can't even see the Snake Grandfather and the rest of the faction's last resort. It's a good thing that there's no damage to the castle, though.

However, because the Rock Hero's party is a little troublesome, they still remain a threat.

It looks like they can sense the clones when they approach unskillfully, and it's also more difficult to use [Parasite] on beings above a certain level.

Although it's a very convenient ability, since the strength of my clones deteriorates considerably when they're compared with the real body, there is a very low chance that they would be able to successfully use [Parasite] to infect Heroes, [Great Heroes], and their companions.

I discovered this when I experimented on the material from the Jadar Wyvern that I instantly killed in the arena.

It's likely that even if they entered their body to use [Parasite], if the opponent is strong enough, then they will be immune to the parasites and the clones will surely be destroyed.

Although they were able to infect the Snake Grandfather and others like him, it looks like it would be difficult for them to infect those that are at the level of the Rock Hero and his party without their consent.

For that reason, I decided to leave it to the Tomboy Princess to try and directly persuade the Rock Hero and his party tomorrow.

If they can be persuaded, I hope to acquire their loyalty for myself.

That being said, if they can't be persuaded, then we'll have to use force.

However, since the Tomboy Princess has firmly said that I'm not allowed to kill the Rock Hero and his party, I'd like to avoid fighting them if I can help it. This is simply stimulating my appetite pointlessly; it's so unpleasant.

--

Day 174

The Rock Hero's party is still on standby in front of the spire today.

By the way, the Rock Hero carries the [God of Iron Rock's Divine Protection]. He's like a rock and he has barely moved since yesterday, except to eat and to go to the bathroom. Although it looks like he's participating in conversations with his companions, he hasn't made any big movements.

The natural manner in which he has his arms placed on his legs as he sits cross-legged, as well as the atmosphere he's giving off, gives him an appearance that's similar to a great statue of Buddha in some respects.

Since it's convenient for us if he doesn't move for this, I manipulated Snake Grandfather and the others earlier and had them issue instructions to all of the private soldiers. By doing this, I was able to move each soldier to specific locations.

However, it would be unnatural if they were fully disarmed, so the soldiers were wearing a minimal amount of equipment. We were able to suppress them in no time once our preparations were complete because part of our group was on standby with each of the royal family's palace guards, and the general soldiers that had switched sides had already moved to these locations.

I used my clones to prevent the sound from escaping, so it remained quiet outside.

In this way, we were able to arrest all of the private soldiers in the Royal Castle without wasting any time. With that done, Kanami and I left for the location where the strong people, including the elites, had assembled.

While we were on our way there, we secured the nobles we found that were part of the [Nobles Faction], as well.

I put them to sleep and threw them in prison so that we could deal with their punishment later. In this way, we were finished with most of the cleanup less than thirty minutes after the operation began.

With this, the Royal Castle was taken back from the Nobles Faction and fell into the hands of the Tomboy Princess, a member of the royal family.

After we finished cleaning up inside the castle, the fully dressed Tomboy Princess approached the spire where the Rock Hero's party was located with a ceremonial sword hanging at her waist.

The Rock Hero's party was surprised when they first saw the Tomboy Princess and narrowed their eyes in order to determine whether she was the real thing or an imitation. However, they became even more suspicious of her once they determined that she actually was the princess.

Even though they were only suspicious of her for a short amount of time, the Rock Hero stood up as he picked up his battering ram, the Hammer of Isenbal, which he had placed beside him.

That alone caused the surrounding atmosphere to creak with a heavy feeling.

The Rock Hero stood up and his four companions followed suit as they slowly approached the Tomboy Princess.

He did nothing but stare at her with an expressionless face, and his companions were doing the same thing as they waited behind him.

A strange silence filled the room to the point that you could even hear the sound of someone swallowing their saliva.

The Rock Hero's greatest trait is his raw physical attack power.

His robust body, which has been naturally polished through many years of combat, is like iron rock and the physical strength that he exhibits can rival that of a giant. Characteristic of a [Hero], his Combat Arts and other things like it are matchless, and the Hammer of Isenbal that he possesses has a long, pyramid shaped lump of iron similar to a battering ram installed on the tip of its long handle, which causes destruction when the weapon swung at a high speed. One time, it was slammed into the face of a [Gem Dragon], a species of [Wise Serpent/Dragon] that has attacked the Royal Capital before. The dragon's hard scales were crushed when he did this, and it's said that he even damaged its extremely strong horns.

If you only look at the raw power of his blows, he's probably stronger than Minokichi as he is right now.

With that sort of Rock Hero in front of her, I wonder what the young Tomboy Princess was thinking about.

The Boy Knight was waiting beside the Tomboy Princess just in case he's needed, but he wouldn't even be able to defeat the weakest of the Rock Hero's four companions, the Indigo Blue Knight.

There's a hopeless difference in their war potential. If he received a single blow from the Rock Hero, the only thing left behind would be a single slab of meat that had no hint of his former self.

Despite this, there were no feelings of awe to be seen on the Tomboy Princess's face as they faced each other. Still, her dignified standing posture made her look majestic as she stared at the Rock Hero with powerful intentions dwelling in her eyes.

Before long, the Rock Hero would be able to reach the Tomboy Princess if he stretched out his hand, so she drew the ceremonial sword that was hanging at her waist.

Unlike a normal sword, the ceremonial sword had a rounded tip. The length of the sword's blade made it easy for the Tomboy Princess to handle, and the shine that remained on the blade did not have even a single speck of cloudiness in it.

The sword that she drew is a type of sword called a Curtana, and it's an [Ancient] class magic item that possesses the [Mercy] and [Condemn] abilities.

The Rock Hero exchanged words with the Tomboy Princess that had drawn her Curtana.

Because the conversation between the two of them was long, a summary of it would be that the Rock Hero will take one attack from the Tomboy Princess without resisting.

If I were to briefly explain how it ended up like this, it would be as follows.

Since the Rock Hero had no intention of rebelling against the royal family that he had sworn his allegiance to, he had not intended to support the Nobles Faction in the beginning.

However, because the Minister was killed, he became unable to repay a debt of gratitude that he owed the Minister for saving his life on the battlefield. For this reason, he decided to repay it by cooperating with them.

He would have searched for the Tomboy Princess if she had remained hidden, and it is very likely that he would have killed her.

However, he was impressed by the Tomboy Princess's dignified appearance as she faced him head-on, so he chose to let her cut him with her Curtana.

...What a troublesome person.

It's not like I didn't think of this outcome, but I guess it's fine since it was his decision.

The Rock Hero really is a tough guy in various ways, or perhaps I should say he's a fool that's honest to a fault. Well, maybe I should say that he's an extremely serious person instead.

Following this course of events, the Tomboy Princess used her Curtana to cut the Rock Hero.

It was a splendid blow with the aim of cutting off his head. She was able to produce a clean swing from left to right, which I think was at least partially due to the training that I had been giving her. I'm sure that it would have been fatal under normal circumstances, with the severed head falling to the ground.

However, the Rock Hero didn't shed a single drop of blood, and his neck was still connecting his head to his body.

This was the result of the Curtana's [Mercy] effect.

With the [Mercy] effect, when the user feels compassion from the bottom of their heart towards the target that they're cutting, they'll be pardoned and the blade won't cut anything.

The target won't be killed and it seems they will normally believe that the ability was what saved them.

However, if even a tiny portion of her heart has not pardoned him, the Rock Hero's head would have been completely cut off. Even with his strong defense, his body would have been defenseless in front of [Condemn]'s ability to ignore the defenses of its target, though this is restricted to living things.

I can't help but think that the Rock Hero did well, since he was aware of this fact and still agreed to let her cut him with her blade.

If he had been cut, I think the Tomboy Princess intended to make me do something just before he completely died.

However, he was pardoned by the Tomboy Princess.

By using the Curtana with an intent to kill, she had displayed proof that she had sincerely forgiven him for his participation in the current rebellion.

She didn't just do this to the Rock Hero, but she also used her Curtana to quickly cut his four companions, proving that she had forgiven them as well.

I'm certain that the five slashes would have killed them if there was even the slightest notion that they hadn't been forgiven, and all of their heads would have went flying. The Tomboy Princess had made her true feelings clear with this, because there had not been any bloodshed.

I think even the Rock Hero's party was surprised by this.

They looked dumbfounded as they confirmed that their heads were still attached, and they felt relieved after they had done so.

At this point, the Tomboy Princess seized the opening that was created and quickly began her "machine gun brainwash talk." As I observed this from a distance, I thought that it was really dirty to be able to read minds.

Being able to understand in detail what the target thinks, desires, what they're embarrassed about, and other such things appears to suit the Tomboy Princess though, since she hasn't been concealing her scheming nature these days. I'm actually amazed that it suits her so well.

I understood that she was skillfully grasping the minds of the Rock Hero's party, similar to how one would play with a puppet in the palm of their hands.

Since there's only a small number of people that really know about the Tomboy Princess's ability, it looked like she was even able to manipulate the Rock Hero.

Because she proved that she had forgiven them this time through the use of the Curtana's [Mercy] ability, they were able to have a quick discussion.

The Rock Hero's final request was that even if the current coup d'etat ends in the defeat of the Strong Grandson and his allies, the Strong Grandson is the only principal offender that wouldn't be executed. It was decided that he would be imprisoned instead of being killed.

He came to the conclusion that this is the least he could do to repay his debt to the Minister.

With this, because their reason to participate in the coup d'etat had disappeared, they took this opportunity to leave the fight.

They said that they will pay close attention to how things develop from now on.

As she finished brainwashing the Rock Hero's party, the Tomboy Princess wiped the sweat from her brow as a refreshing, yet somewhat wicked smile emerged on her face. She then saw me lying in a prone position in a remote location, using my silver arm like a sniper rifle and my red spear as if it were a bullet.

She gave me a thumbs up while she had a smile on her entire face that appeared to say that the operation was a success. She didn't look anything like the princess that had just brainwashed five people a short while ago.

--

Day 175

Since I spent the day dealing with the aftermath in the Royal Capital, I'll quickly talk about what happened to the army today.

The armies of the Tomboy Princess and the Strong Grandson clashed today at around noon.

The battle began on schedule in the plains and as I expected, the Strong Grandson's forces were superior to hers.

There was the difference between the number of soldiers in each army, but I guess it goes without saying that the Water Hero's existence was a great factor as well.

Immediately after the battle began, the Water Hero and his five companions rushed forward towards the Tomboy Princess's troops, aiming for the Duke that's currently leading them.

Of course, a large number of soldiers attempted to stop the Water Hero, but unfortunately they were cut down by the shockwaves created when he used his water attacks.

Still, the soldiers who risked their lives and challenged the Water Hero were able to slow him down. Meanwhile, the battle between the two forces continued to unfold.

However, the Water Hero ignored the battle itself as he had finally managed to reach the Duke on the other side.

The Duke was capable of fighting against two of the [Hero]'s companions on his own, but as one would expect, that was his limit. In the end, his sword was blown away by the Water Hero.

After that, the Water Hero's beloved two-handed longsword, the ≪Pale Sword of Flowing Water, Feinschubel≫, broke the Duke's stance and approached his neck. However, someone close by intervened just before the blade reached him.

The young man was hiding his identity by using the [Angry Demon's Mask] to imitate the well-known face of the silver demon. He had [Sunlight's Soul Sword, Hisperiol] in his right hand and was wearing light armor made of silver steel with Parabellum's emblem stitched onto his cloak. In other words, it was Avenger.

Just like the Water Hero, Avenger was also chosen as a [Hero], and this was made apparent when he blocked the Water Hero's attack without moving a single step. As for the shock-waves of water that were created which could damage the body internally, they were rendered useless since they were evaporated by the extreme heat produced by [Sunlight's Soul Sword, Hisperiol].

The Water Hero didn't expect this, and he stopped for a moment right after their deadlock, wondering just what kind of person Avenger was. During this time, he was unexpectedly hit in his blind spot by a blue flame spear. The flame spear's destruction was hidden because it blazed with extreme heat as it reacted effectively to the oxygen in the air.

However, the Water Hero had already placed a defensive layer of water around him and as a result, his body was not immediately hit by the attack. Despite this, he couldn't completely negate the damage from the attack, and he spun as he was blown several meters away.

The blue flame spear that blew the Water Hero away was a spell cast by Supesei-san, who was waiting behind Avenger.

Besides these two people that had confronted the Water Hero's party, there were other members present as well. This included Burasato-san, Gurufu-chan, Scarface, a squadron of five ogres, and Rusty Iron Knight, who was wearing the same mask that Avenger was wearing.

Because we had arranged for Avenger's group to act differently in the plains before the battle began, they were able to save the Duke. His group contained a large number of Goblins and Hobgoblins, as well.

Normally, it would be difficult for them to become useful war potential, but because all of our members had been given the three new pieces of equipment that we'd developed at our base, they were good enough to fight the opponent's normal soldiers.

Well, it's probably not just because of the new equipment.

The group that was led by Avenger confronted the party of the Water Hero.

Although there was a large number of minor and serious injuries, there were fewer deaths than I expected because powerful people like Burasato-san were nearby, coupled with the fact that Avenger was an existence that was equal to the Water Hero.

Still, because the [Hero's] companions were fighting without suffering much damage, they were unable to settle the fight.

However, even though Avenger and his group were wounded, they were still able to complete their task of delaying the Water Hero.

They did this because at the same time that the enemy was using the Water Hero's group to go after the Duke, Minokichi-kun was going after the Strong Grandson.

Unlike the Water Hero who had attacked his enemy head-on, Minokichi-kun flanked his opponent where they had a low number of soldiers. Due to their carelessness, the forces surrounding the Strong Grandson were easily defeated.

I think that this was largely due to the fact that Minokichi-kun was accompanied by his pet, which had ranked up into a nine meter class "Armored Big Bear", Asue-chan and an old Thunder Dragonewt, both of which were riding on pets of their own, and some other strong members that had gathered around him, including a Praying Mantis type of Insectoid and a Dullahan in particular.

In other words, while the Water Hero was busy with the Tomboy Princess's forces, the Strong Grandson's forces were being overrun by Minokichi-kun and the others.

However, the Tomboy Princess's forces appear to have suffered far less damage. This is mainly due to the difference in the size of their armies, as well as the fact that Minokichi-kun's axe attacks and his thunder flames were powerful, being capable of cutting down enemies in a wide area around him.

In the end, the Strong Grandson's forces were forced to retreat from the plains.

The Duke that the Water Hero was aiming for was definitely leading the Tomboy Princess's forces, but he was actually just a representative in the end. Unless the Tomboy Princess herself is killed, even total annihilation of her forces wouldn't be considered a victory.

At the same time, the Strong Grandson is simply the current leader of the [Nobles Faction], so there's ultimately no point in killing him or the Duke.

However, a lot of time would be wasted trying to decide who the next representative would be, and it was clear that the Tomboy Princess's forces would attack if their solidarity weakened.

In order to avoid this, the Strong Grandson chose to withdraw.

Ultimately, the reason they had to do this was because Minokichi's group was rampaging within their ranks.

As a result of their pursuit of his forces, we found out that they had returned to the city of ≪Sengrey≫ in the Strong Grandson's territory after they retreated from the plains, so that they could reorganize their forces.

Since it's possible to get to ≪Sengrey≫ from the Royal Capital in just a few hours, the Tomboy Princess left to take command of her forces and they plan to besiege the city.

With that, I finished my preparations and quickly went to bed.

[World Psalms [Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon], [Sub-cast Member] Supesei has ranked up]

[Since the "1st" Condition [Rank Up] has been cleared, the title [Priestess of Collapsing Stars] will be granted]

[World Psalms [Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon], [Sub-cast Member] Burasato has ranked up]

[Since the "1st" Condition [Rank Up] has been cleared, the title [Frightening Blade of Dried Rust] will be granted]

[World Psalms [Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon], Chapter 4 [Encouragement of a Kingdom's Revolution], Verse 7 [War Flames' Bullets (Evil Ballad)] has been completed. The following hidden conditions were cleared: ≪Innovation≫ and ≪Fake Firearms≫]

[World Psalms [Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon], Chapter 4 [Encouragement of a Kingdom's Revolution], Verse 8 [Horse's Retreat (Totol Tyrol)] has been completed. The following hidden conditions were cleared: ≪Fear Value Achieved≫ and ≪Fighting Spirit Value Achieved≫]

[World Psalms [Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon], Chapter 4 [Encouragement of a Kingdom's Revolution], Verse 9 [Hooves of the Destructive Axe (Aste Ruos)] has been completed. The following hidden conditions were cleared: ≪Axe Emperor's Battle Frenzy≫ and ≪Unstoppable Flanking Troops≫]

[World Psalms [Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon], Chapter 4 [Encouragement of a Kingdom's Revolution], Verse 10 [Events of a Heroic Battle (Quatre Gatol)] has been completed. The following hidden conditions were cleared: ≪Stalemate of Both Heroes≫ and ≪Unassisted≫]

These lines of information showed up before I went to bed, but I'll just go to sleep for now.

==

Day 176

A lot of our members ranked up because of the experience obtained from yesterday's battle, with species such as a Half Ice Lord, a Half Smith Lord, a Yafuru, and a Half Fish Demon appearing.

However, because there were so many new species this time, it would take too long to talk about each one individually. For that reason, I'll only talk about those who obtained a [Divine Protection].

First up is Supesei-san, who ranked up from a [Half Spell Lord] to a [Spell Lord Variant].

She received the [Divine Protection] of the [God of Magic] and the [Demigod of Staves]. She now boasted attributes that couldn't be compared to a normal Spell Lord as well, which improved things such as her magic power, casting time and internal magic supply.

As a Lord, her physical abilities improved a little as well, which made her capable of becoming mobile artillery instead of the powerful but stationary artillery that she was before.

By the way, her physical appearance didn't change much.

Next is Burasato-san, who ranked up from a [Half Blood Lord] to a [Blood Lord Variant].

She received the [Divine Protection] of the [God of Blood] and the [Demigod of Swords]. These greatly improved her combat abilities that make use of a sword, as well as the unique abilities that she possesses as a Blood Lord.

Although it feels like the [God of Blood's Divine Protection] causes a greater change in her character when she's in battle than before, she also appears to be more reliable.

Unlike Supesei-san, her appearance was different. All of her muscles were more developed and her height had increased by around ten centimeters. Overall, her physical capabilities as a Lord were far greater than when she was a Half Lord.

Moving on, Redhead obtained the [Demigod of War Beast's Divine Protection], despite the fact that she didn't participate in the battle.

Recently taking on a more wild style as a result of eating raw monsters is probably what caused this to happen. I do think it suits her though, since her personality resembles that of a wolf or dog.

Since her body had been strengthened and she had become more agile, she might be able to defeat Rusty Iron Knight now.

Somehow, it was a little pitiful to think that way about the Rusty Iron Knight, who should be the teacher. Wait, since he has a lot of battle experience, he should be alright. Probably.

In addition to these, the following blessings were also obtained:

Seiji-kun obtained the [Demigod of Compassion's Divine Protection].

Dodome-chan obtained the [Demigod of Observation's Divine Protection].

Gurufu-chan obtained the [God of Corrosion's Divine Protection].

The Ogres in the five Ogre squadron each obtained the [Demigod of Color's Divine Protection], which assigns each of them one of the following colors; [Red], [Blue], [Yellow], [Green], and [Ash]. If they wear equipment that corresponds to their respective color, they will received a large power boost, as well as become able to use special abilities.

Among these, it was unexpected, but the [Divine Protection of a God] that Gurufu-chan possesses will most likely make her untouchable. Based on her usual activities, I'm sure that it suits her. I won't say that out loud, though.

Well, this will have to do for the time being.

In any event, I'm satisfied because large-scale battles such as wars allow us to acquire a large amount of experience efficiently.

Since we were boarding the Skeleton Centipedes today, the Tomboy Princess had changed into clothing that's exclusively used for war and was sitting on my shoulder. With that, we took command of 800 soldiers and headed for the castle that the Strong Grandson and his allies were staying at.

Because the inconspicuous King had already been released from the spire, he is currently handling the cleanup in the Royal Capital. This made it possible for us to fight the Strong Grandson without any worries.

Anyway, we began our march from the Royal Capital early in the morning, and by noon we had safely arrived at ≪Sengrey≫, the city that the Strong Grandson is holed up in.

Although the Tomboy Princess's forces had already surrounded and repeatedly attacked the city, they were unable to obtain any effective results because the enemy's [Magic] and arrows had kept them from getting close.

However, this couldn't be helped.

Assuming that the castle walls of this world are reinforced against [Magic] from enemies, weak magic attacks won't be able to break through them. In addition, they can pour rocks and boiling water down on approaching enemies, and there are a great number of defense mechanisms built into the walls which will drop spiked iron plates as well.

Under normal circumstances, one would need many more soldiers than the defending side in order to lay siege to their castle. However, since the Tomboy Princess didn't have a large number of troops to begin with, breaking through the front was impossible.

Still, since she had arrived on the battlefield on schedule, we gave the Duke a simple greeting. After doing so, I decided to make use of some very useful new equipment to quickly put an end to the siege.

When I said that I would use new equipment, I was referring to 82mm mortars.

Mithril, steel, and black bones were used as materials to make the mortars, and the main mechanism has one of my clones built into the bottom of the gun barrel, where it makes use of compressed air to shoot its shells. Because of this mechanism, a small peculiar sound can be heard when it's fired.

Each mortar shell is made of 10 restructured [Burst Seeds]. Naturally, this increases its explosive power and it's possible to destroy a large area with a single shell.

At present, only twenty mortars have been completed.

We only brought ten of them with us, but they were all fired at the same time.

As a result, the enemy soldiers that were using arrows and magic from the castle walls were instantly blown off by the attacks from the sky, which they were experiencing for the first time. Unlike magic, the shells are small and quiet, making it nearly impossible to detect and intercept them.

The bombardment continued until the castle walls had been destroyed, tearing the soldiers on the walls to pieces in the process.

The castle gates were almost completely unmanned at this point, so I sent Minokichi-kun to attack them with an assault force.

With a single swing of his axe, he crushed the castle gates and turned them into wooden splinters, allowing us to enter the city.

Of course, the enemy didn't remain silent either, but we forcibly cut down their desperate resistance as we headed for the Strong Grandson and his allies. The Tomboy Princess was sitting on my shoulder, making use of her [Mind Reading] ability to obtain an enormous amount of information. As this information was gathered and processed, our forces were able to respond to it in real time thanks to my clones, which were being used as [Communication Demons].

We cornered them by making use of pincer attacks, surprise attacks, traps, as well as by separating their forces into smaller groups. Since they were unable to escape, the only options that they had were either to surrender or to try and forcefully break through with a frontal attack. In the end, they became desperate and continued to fight until we killed them.

We cleared the way as we advanced, before finally arriving at the robust mansion where the leaders of the [Nobles Faction] and the Strong Grandson were gathered. At that point, we encountered the Water Hero, who was overflowing with fighting spirit.

With his five companions at his side, he was staring at me, or rather, at the Tomboy Princess who was sitting on my shoulder. With each of them holding a weapon in their hand, their intent to fight had filled the area.

I lowered the Tomboy Princess from my shoulder and entrusted her to the Boy Knight, before taking a step forward with Kanami-chan.

The Water Hero took this chance to unsheath his beloved sword, which was clad in water.

His sword didn't have amazing speed, but its peculiar movements that were similar to flowing water made it difficult to read its trajectory.

[Yatendouji's [Heresy Nemesis] has been activated]

[With this, Yatendouji has performed a "Hostile Action/Invasion Start" against the [Heretic/One Who Has Awakened the Psalms] and the start of [Eschatology: War of Conquest] has been declared]

[Until the fight has been settled, all of Yatendouji's abilities will be increased by 300%]

[Due to the [Two God Class'] Joint Battle compensation, all of Hekaterina's abilities will be increased by 210%]

[Special Skill [Heresy Nemesis] will last until the conclusion of the battle]

――Just like that time with Avenger, an announcement suddenly flowed into my mind.

The Water Hero probably received a similar message. While he was surprised for a moment, a fierce smile immediately appeared on his face as he bared his fangs and attacked.

I smiled back at him as I roared and raised my vermillion spear with one hand.

...Almost ten minutes after the fight began.

Most of the surroundings buildings had collapsed in the aftermath of the battle, and there were many cracks that had spread across the ground.

Although we were injured, Kanami-chan and I were still standing, while the Water Hero and his party were lying on the ground, bleeding.

Although the Water Hero's five companions had already lost consciousness, he was lying on the ground and glaring at us with hatred in his eyes. This irritated me, so I hit him with the butt end of my vermillion spear and knocked him out.

Right as I did this, another announcement flowed into my mind.

[A conclusion has been reached]

[Special Ability [Heresy Nemesis] has been released]

[Because Yatendouji won against the [Heretic/One Who Has Awakened the Psalms] in the [Eschatology: War of Conquest], a reward will be granted]

[Yatendouji has obtained [Quivering Water's Soul Sword, Neiletis]!!]

[Defeat of the [Heretic's/One Who Has Awakened the Psalms'] [Those Who Struggle Together/Sub-cast] by Yatendouji and Hekaterina has been confirmed]

[Success bonus reward [Random Treasure Chest [Superior] ] has been given]

And again, just like after the fight against Avenger, I obtained some new trophies.

Along with two silver and gold treasure chests that had a length, width and height of 20 centimeters, I also received a sword that was similar to the Sunlight's Soul Sword, Hisperiol that I lent to Avenger, whom I had defeated and obtained it from.

The blue sword looked like it was made of water, yet it managed to maintain its shape and best of all, it's quite hard. I wonder if I should say that it's made of a metal that has the characteristics of water.

For now, I tried to eat the sword.

That turned out to be pointless since I couldn't even chip it.

...I felt like I may have been able to eat it, but it appears that it was just my imagination.

Really, it looks like the questions on why I couldn't do so will never run out.

I wonder when I'll be able to eat items of this level.

Pulling myself together, I tried to read the information on the [Quivering Water's Soul Sword, Neiletis].

――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――---

Name: [Quivering Water's Soul Sword, Neiletis]

Category: [■■/Sword]

Rank: [■■■■] Class

Abilities: [Quivering Water's Soul Sword, Neiletis]

[Heresy Nemesis]

[Quivering Water Explosion]

[Crystal Egg]

[Quivering Water Penetration]

[Ability Boost]

[Locked]

[Locked]

[Locked]

[Locked]

Description: ■ sword of ■■■■ class obtained by Yatendouji after achieving victory against the [Heretic/One Who Has Awakened the Psalms/Main Cast] in [Eschatology: War of Conquest].

The gods existing in the world can take on three forms, ≪■■/■■/■■≫, with the sword being one of the ■■. The blade has been tempered with clear water, making it so that it's always transparent and constantly quivering.

Only Yatendouji and those he has given permission to touch this sword are able to do so. Any person who touches it without permission will have an unimaginable disaster befall them.

There are some rare exceptions, but since it is ■■, destruction is fundamentally impossible.

Do you wish to view additional information?

≪YES≫ ≪NO≫

――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――

There were some changes in the details, but the majority of the information was similar to what was on Hisperiol. Although its abilities are different, there's no change in its usefulness.

Since I prefer weapons with longer reach like the vermilion spear over swords, it will remain in my item box until it's needed. Giving an item of that level to someone unskilled would be a huge waste.

As for the treasure chests, I decided to check the contents of those later.

Since there was no way I could bring the Water Hero into my Book of Psalms like I did with Avenger, I left him where he was and quickly headed for the mansion.

Although the Strong Grandson is currently cornered in the depths of the mansion, he most likely has other trump cards aside from the [Hero] and is prepared to make a last stand.

Well, it wasn't a hard fight until we got to a Chimera that was made from a Jadar Wyvern and other such creatures, but let's put that aside.

The Chimera had a shape that was just like a Dragon Meatball.

There were several layers of overlapping dragon scales sewn into its large round body so that it was similar to hardened dragon flesh. There was dragon venom and agony mixed into the breath of its eight dragon heads. It had fourteen wings, long claws and fangs that had been manufactured with magic metal, giving them a sharpness and thickness that can't be compared to poorly made swords.

Although it had a considerably grotesque appearance, I still felt gratitude towards the Strong Grandson since he had prepared such a delicious surprise.

After roasting its entire body, I ate it along with everyone else.

I also took this opportunity to eat some of the strong people that we had killed that had resisted us to the very end, as well.

Ability learned: [Chaotic Ghost]

Ability learned: [Flesh Wyvern's Wail]

Ability learned: [Demigod of Dancing's Divine Protection]

Ability learned: [Demigod of Shaping's Divine Protection]

With this, the job is mostly finished.

All of the ringleaders had been captured along with the Strong Grandson, and most of the other people that had participated in the coup d'état had been arrested, as well. How they'll be treated is up to the Tomboy Princess now, since it's something that has nothing to do with us and I have no interest in it.

Well, their fate has more or less been decided, anyway.

It was already dark by the time everything was finished, so we decided to spend the night in ≪Sengrey≫ since it would be troublesome to go back to the Royal Capital right now.

This was perfectly fine, since not all of the members that I had recently mobilized would be able to return to the Royal Capital with us, anyway.

I was a bit tired, so I did some things and was immediately hit with sleepiness right as I laid down in bed.

It looks like I'll be able to sleep well tonight.

[World Psalms [Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon], Chapter 4 [Encouragement of a Kingdom's Revolution], Verse 11 [Demon's Perishing Wail (Seperia Apotol)] has been completed. The following hidden conditions were cleared: ≪Enemy Hero Defeated≫, ≪No Unreasonable Kills≫, and ≪Excessive Gluttony≫]

It looks like the hidden conditions were cleared smoothly. However, just before I fell asleep, I asked myself if they were actually hidden conditions.

--

Day 177

Early in the morning, I was awoken by a strange chill.

While still lying in bed, I used [Phased Radar Array] to determine the reason for this feeling. The response I was given showed that the First Queen and the Dark Hero, whose whereabouts had been unknown up to this point, were in a neighboring room that nobody was using for some reason.

I continued to examine the presence in detail in order to try and figure out what they were doing in there. It looks like they're using the Dark Hero's abilities to peek into our room.

Their gaze was directed at me, while I was lying in bed.

Without even turning my senses towards Kanami-chan and Redhead, who were lying next to me in bed, I could tell that they were both staring at me as well.

This made me feel an additional chill.

The First Queen was in an excited state and was breathing heavily through her nose, which was somewhat captivating.

Although she didn't move much as usual, the Dark Hero had an atmosphere about her that was similar to the First Queen's atmosphere.

It looks like they're whispering as they scold each other. Even I can't hear what they're saying though, not only because there's a wall separating my room and the neighboring room that they're in, but also because the Dark Hero is using her abilities to suppress their voices.

However, not being able to hear them may not be a good thing. For me, at least.

I only became more convinced that this was the case as time went on, since the chill that I was feeling continued to grow.

For the time being, I got out of bed as I acted like I was just waking up.

The excitement level of the two people in the next room only increased when I did that. The chill that I was feeling grew as well.

Because my body was trembling slightly, I put on my favorite poncho that had been made by Parabellum. With that, their presence changed into an awfully disappointed one.

Well, first of all, I decided to pass on taking my morning bath today. Even though it's a little unpleasant that my body is still damp from the sweat that I shed last night, it shouldn't affect my mental health.

After experiencing such a situation this morning, we returned to the Royal Capital.

However, except for the group members that are going to be working in the Royal Capital from now on, the rest of our group will return to the base from here.

I decided to do it this way because it would be a little troublesome if I let all of our members come to the capital at once, since there are people who have yet to see the world outside of the vast forest we live in. Another reason for this was because I figured that this was a good chance for them to broaden their views.

Having said that, since it wouldn't be amusing if they were tailed and our base was located, I separated our members into ten groups and had people such as Minokichi-kun and Burasato-san lead them. After doing that, I had the groups use various routes to return to the base.

It looks like each group will have no more than several dozen people in them. However, this is the perfect number since it will allow them to practice marching as a group. Transportation for all of the group members shouldn't be much of a problem either, since the Skeleton Centipedes already possess the ability to transport them.

By the way, the routes people would travel on were decided based on their results in the battle. The people who achieved better results were given routes that had more perks, such as hot springs and tourist attractions.

The people that were less active and didn't achieve as much were assigned slightly harsher and more dangerous routes so that they could increase their strength.

They'll likely become motivated by the difference in their routes.

There's no problem if someone can't get through this though, since they're the only ones that will suffer the loss.

After we returned to the Royal Capital, I received our reward from the Tomboy Princess.

Although we received a large amount of money for training the palace guards, the amount we were given for participating in the war was on a completely different level.

Since we were an important factor in stopping the coup d'état by being the Tomboy Princess's pawns, we'll be given an appropriate amount of money.

However, after thinking about future, they decided that not only would we receive gold coins and gold plates as our reward, but they were also going to make an exception and grant us some small priveleges and a plot of land within the Royal Capital as well.

Since it was given to me as one of my rewards, I decided to relax in the mansion of a certain noble that was awaiting execution for participating in the coup d'état.

The mansion is located where the Palace District and the Nobles District meet, which is a convenient location for me for various reasons, including the fact that it will allow me to easily travel to both districts. Since the noble that lived here was rich, the grounds are spacious as well. The reason I took this land is because it suited my purposes, since a small part of the mansion had been used as a store before.

Right now, there's only a maid and a butler that the noble had employed here, so I hired those that wanted to continue working here and was introduced to someone that had previously worked for the Tomboy Princess.

Since I'm going to make use of this estate as the headquarters for my future business, I'm thinking about making various alterations to the building. However, let's decide on how I'll renovate it later.

For the time being, I spent the day sorting out which items in the mansion were necessary and which ones were unnecessary. After I was done with that, the rest of the day was spent discovering hidden rooms, wealth, and other things like that with my children.

--

Day 178

Since this morning, there's been starving children who have trouble finding a daily meal residing in the back streets and the underground of the Royal Capital. This makes these orphans suitable for kidnapping, regardless of their gender or healthiness.

As was the norm in some countries and regions in my previous life, the orphans either lost their parents in a war, were abandoned by their parents because of poverty, or were thrown away because they had physical deformities. There are various reasons why the countless orphans do not have guardians.

At one point, the Kingdom's [Sage from Another World] created orphanages with his own money as a way to help them. However, due to the competing interests of the nobles and the issue of costs, there are only a few of these orphanages. Even though there are many important orphans that live there, there were a number of children that ended up being left out.

Still, the fact is that the results were more than adequate as they were raised above a certain standard. Even with the knowledge he brought from a different world and the abundant internal magical power he possessed, the [Sage from Another World] had a personal limit.

Although many of the orphans that were left out died from starvation, the cold, and other such things, some of them were persistently hanging on to their lives.

These orphans will often form groups in order to survive, and it's not uncommon for them to resort to stealing in order to eat.

It's a really common thing. After living in the neighborhood for a month or two, I've seen quite a few instances of theft.

When the orphans are caught stealing by adults, they'll often be beaten and kicked and then left in a terrible state in one of the back alleys. If they're unlucky, they'll die.

At any rate, since there are orphans who earn pocket change by guiding travelers, polishing shoes, and other such activities, the ones who commit crimes like theft are ignored by the people.

Since the lives of the citizens are affected by them, it's hard to say that they're completely bad.

For that reason, if such an orphan disappears unnoticed, the citizens won't care that much.

They'll likely think, "Did the troublemaker die, or were they kidnapped by someone? Either way, it's good that they disappeared."

Therefore, I'm choosing just the right targets.

This time, as one of the war's rewards, the king gave me direct permission to do this through the Tomboy Princess, so I gathered the orphans in my mansion without any discussion.

In this way, by noon, 50 children had been abducted and they were lined up in front of me.

Most of the orphans are weaker and smaller than average children from the same age group, and some were weakened by disease as well. They were dirty all over and were giving off a smell that was difficult to describe. However, their eyes expressed their strong will to live.

As I stood in front of them, most of the orphans naturally began to gaze at the ground, though there was one that had the guts to stare back at me.

Since he's the oldest amongst them, I assumed that he was currently the leader of their group.

Their ringleader, who was trying to protect the younger orphans, was bombarding me with various questions. However, I began by treating everyone to food for now.

Among the magic items that I obtained in the Labyrinth City, there are some large pans that automatically make dishes when I put the ingredients in.

Since it was necessary to prepare for a number of people this time, these were effectively used and I put together a dish for 50.

I placed Horned Rabbit and Turtle Snake meat in a large pan, added plenty of vegetables that I had bought in the Royal Capital's marketplace, threw in some milk and cheese, and finished making something that was similar to a cream stew.

A rich, fragrant smell stimulated the appetite. As I tasted it, I was surprised that the dish was so delicious, since I had prepared it in such a noncommittal way.

When the cream stew was ready, I poured it into something that was similar to a large platter. Although I gave the orphans spoons, they didn't use them, instead choosing to greedily and wholeheartedly eat it by using their hands to put the food in their mouths. As they swallowed down every last drop, their eyes became bloodshot from the frightening sight of the empty platter.

It looks like they were more starved than I had anticipated.

Since I made a new batch, it didn't become a problem, though the orphans looked at me curiously after they finished eating the meal.

They leaned their head to one side as if they wanted to say, "Why did you give us such a delicious meal?"

I didn't answer the question though, and proceeded to put all of them in the bath.

As expected of a mansion that was built by a person that was rich amongst the nobles, the bathroom was big enough to house dozens of people all at once.

Even though the number of maids who still remain has decreased, I gave them instructions to wash the orphans' bodies.

Since they used soap that was created from raw materials gathered in the Kuuderun Great Forest, the dirt that they scraped off of the orphans began to accumulate in the bathroom.

Although the bathroom had become quite dirty, I deemed it acceptable since the orphans were now clean and smelled normal again.

It was only the bathroom that needed to be cleaned again.

After that was done, I cured the children that were suffering from illnesses.

Even if their wounds had festered, they were on the verge of getting tetanus, they had parasitic worms, or one of their arms or legs was hard to move because they had severe burns, it was easy to cure them if I combined my healing skills with [Blood Elixir].

Although it's not yet possible to completely heal an orphan who lost an eyeball or finger, I can at least reduce the pain so that they can endure it.

After the meal, the bath, and the treatment had been completed, I lined the orphans up before me again and they seemed to have changed their state of mind.

Their wariness had faded considerably and they looked at me with a friendly gaze.

Although the wariness of the boys and girls that had lived in this severe world for some time wasn't reduced, they were still at a loss as to why I was taking such good care of them without answering their questions.

Seeing that, and because all of the preparations had been completed, I told the orphans why I abducted them.

There's no way I would feed the orphans, bathe them and treat their illnesses for a charitable cause.

I told them my goal plain and simple: I wanted to raise them as war potential for the future.

Well, including the goblins that have very high fertility, there are also many other beings that can become important war potential depending on how they're managed. When it comes to non-humans that are more powerful than humans with [Jobs], there are too many to count.

However, since humans have potential that monsters don't have, people that achieve interesting growth are likely to appear.

They're excellent in terms of diversity.

After taking these things into consideration, it's necessary for me to have human group members that I have trained from an early age. However, normal humans grow slowly. If you want to raise them from the time they're a baby, it'll take many years.

Although humans are being born amongst the members of my group as well, it's too slow.

For that reason, I concluded that a quicker way to do this is to abduct children that have already reached a certain age.

This isn't a bad situation for either side.

I picked up orphans that won't really cause problems if they suddenly disappear, because I can train them so that they can at least be useful on their own, while giving them the minimum amount of food so they don't die.

Well, you could say that that's the reason that I picked up 50 orphans that would have died in the near future and had them become new members of our group today.

Now then, I had the group's leader remain in the top position for now, and decided to treat them as a military unit in order to experiment with new methods of training and the handling of new weapons.

With that, the new experimental youth corps ≪Solitude≫ was established.

--

Day 178 Sidestory Kid Boss's POV

Just living was a struggle. Ever since I ran away from that bastard father just like mom, I did whatever I can to stay alive. Thievery, blackmail, anything but murder.

Even in the beautiful Royal Capital, there's things that cannot be brought to light. Orphans who live like me are numerous, that's why we gathered ourselves for survival. Our gathering was ruled by me who was blessed in physique, and even without blood connections, we formed a family tied by a solid bond.

Orphans have their own struggles for power as well, we who know nothing but to fight. Kicking someone off, claiming that day's food. Because of us swarming over the food, there's also those who end up dying of starvation. Even so, we wanted to live. That's why we never hesitated to rob.

But, us who know no other way to live, the adults directed looks at us like that of dirty rats, despised, cursed and beaten are common events. Many died from those beatings.

This world is truly strict, even just surviving poses difficulties for us.

That's why today, when we were abducted, somewhere in my heart I already gave up. I thought I'd be sold off as a slave. In the past, there were friends who disappeared like that. That's why I thought, this time was my turn. But, I cannot show weakness. Behind my back I have family. My younger brothers and sisters.

The kidnapper who obviously fears no enemy - I stared at the black oni. I shivered inside. He was clearly too dangerous, I felt like fainting.

Even so I will put on a strong front. I will stand my obstinacy. Without diverting my eyes I continued staring.

Looking on, I questioned multiple times but was never answered.

With no explanation, marrow, and rice were served for us. Throwing many ingredients into a large pot, what was made was a hot stew. Steaming hot from being freshly cooked, it looked very tempting. Gurgle, my throat sounded.

Was it poisoned, didn't cross my mind. Overwhelmed from the smell, we lost ourselves in the dream and moved our hands. The stew was, very delicious. More delicious than anything we ever had, to the point we were on the verge of tears, it was that delicious. There was more than enough for all of us without having to steal someone else's, we were told to eat to our fill, my mind ran in circles, I ate the stew while thinking.

After we finished eating, we were put in a bath. The warm water felt better than we imagined. It felt itchy when dirt fell from our bodies with the soap, but we adapted soon, it felt wonderful. It's been a long time really, since I was able to relax like this. The body that had felt so heavy, became light as a feather.

Next, we were told that they'll treat our injured. When the ones I thought were too late were healed one by one, I was reasonably surprised.

Then, we were lined up once again in front of the oni. There, we were informed the reasons we were gathered this time.

In short, in exchange for food, clothing, and shelter, we were to offer our labor. On top of that we would receive the education needed to survive alone, the deal was too sweet for me. Of course we all went with it.

With no reason to argue, when we were offered food and safe living, we took the hand offered to us.

The Kid Boss was born.

The Youth Experimentation Unit Solitude was formed.

Investment towards the future = priceless.

--

Day 179

The former orphans of ≪Solitude≫ have been training since this morning. Even though their bodies are still too weak to do full scale training, the doping enchantments are amazing. At around noon, the Tomboy Princess came to the mansion.

Apart from the Boy Knight who is always at the Tomboy Princess's side, the First Queen and the Dark Hero also came with them for some reason. I wonder why.

They both stayed two to three steps behind the Tomboy Princess, gazing at me again with emotions that are difficult to express. Since I had a hunch that I shouldn't be impudent and touch on that subject, I offered the Tomboy Princess some of the tea that I received from the Elves.

I took a relieved breath and exchanged some small talk as we drank the tea, after which I asked about the reason for their visit.

The reason was simple; the Tomboy Princess wanted us to work continuously as her private army.

As for the terms of the contract, they entailed a standard pay of 2 gold plates per month, which amounts to 2 million gold (approximately 20 million yen). Since that's 24 gold plates a year, it turns out to be 240 million yen.

In addition, if there was some other kind of work, a suitable amount of additional gold would be paid. If approved, the Tomboy Princess would bear the entire sum of the expenses for things like buying medicine and weapons needed in order to accomplish the missions.

Although this is limited to within the Kingdom, a number of different privileges are attached, such as being able to borrow money and weapons.

Of course, the reason for these conditions is that the job comes with a suitable amount of danger. Nevertheless, even though the yearly income exceeds that of a lower to middle-class noble, the terms are no longer favorable for me.

For that reason, I declined.

Looking at the dumbfounded faces of the Kingdom's party, Redhead burst out laughing from her seat at the table.

Kanami-chan simply gave a friendly grin, but she probably enjoyed their reaction as well. Even though it's sadistic, that can't be helped.

As such, I told them the reasons why I declined the contract.

In order to learn more about this world, it's more convenient for me to be in the position of a mercenary who can move freely.

Since there might not only be [Heroes] and [Great Heroes] from here on, but dedicated Psalms for [Demon Kings] and [Demon Emperors], which would let me fight against countries with existences such as [Beast Kings] and [Beast Emperors], it's highly likely that this contract would become a hindrance.

Among other things, since it's likely that she'll become the next Queen, being the Tomboy Princess's private army would cause too much mental stress. While I'm fine with physical challenges, I don't particularly like such things as persistent and irritating harassment.

And so on.

Even though I explained it like that, I ended up making a certain contract with the Tomboy Princess because her persuasion was too desperate.

The terms of the contract are that I'll receive one gold plate, or 1 million gold (approximately 10 million yen), per month. This will be compensation in order to give the Kingdom a small amount of preferential treatment, which is 『Do not accept requests which are antagonistic towards the Tomboy Princess』.

Basically, it says that 『By paying you compensation, we'll keep you from being hostile towards us, since you would be a frightening enemy』.

Well, I think this much is fine.

With this, the discussion with the Tomboy Princess ended.

After that, I made a different agreement with the First Queen and the Dark Hero.

I ended up yielding to an overwhelming sense of intimidation and the hot atmosphere, but I won't go into the details.

Although various things occurred, the four of them returned home at dusk. By that point, I was exhausted.

Note to self. Zealous believers are scary.

In order to heal my tired spirit, I went to sleep in a soft and warm bed in the evening. However, just before I fell asleep, I was surprised to see what was displayed.

[World Psalms [Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon], Chapter 4 [Encouragement of a Kingdom's Revolution], Final Verse [Princess's Command (Rubiria Maüks)] has been completed. The following hidden conditions were cleared: ≪Rejection of Bondage≫]

[Unfortunately, hidden condition ≪No Contract Exchange≫ was not cleared.]

[Completion Bonus [Great Treasure Chest [Superior]] will be given.]

[Completion Bonus [Demonkin Restricted: Potency Increasing Drugs] will be given.]

[Completion Bonus [Demon Liquor: Signature [Drop of Neverending Evening Cherry Blossoms]] will be given.]

[Completion Bonus [Demon Liquor: Signature [Demon's Drunken Slaughter - Inexhaustible]] will be given.]

[Completion Bonus [Ancient Lithograph Indicator] will be given.]

[Since the conditions for Completion Bonus [■■■■] have not been cleared yet, it will not be awarded.]

What...was that.

While thinking that the previous contract might have been a failure, since there's nothing I could do about it now, I gave up and went to sleep.

Even though I'm very worried about that last part, it's alright since there's liquor.

--

Day 180

Since I decided to produce a new model of ear cuffs, I entrusted today's training of the ≪Solitude≫ corps to Redhead, Auro, and Argento.

Incidentally, Kanami-chan was reading a novel that I received from the Tomboy Princess as she sat next to me and enjoyed some tea.

When I created the first set of ear cuffs, they were enchanted with three abilities: [Continuous Regeneration], [Lesser Physical Strength Increase], and [Lesser Agility Increase].

Since the purpose of the previous batch was to improve the body's performance, the new ear cuffs were enchanted with the following three enchants: [Increased Hiding Chance], [Lesser Mental Defense], and [Lesser Attribute Defense].

With this, it's likely that they'll be capable of resisting mental attacks to some degree.

By the way, I won't be adding new enchantments to the first set of ear cuffs. The reason for this is that the low success rate makes it troublesome to do so, making it more effective to simply aim to make two ear cuffs if I can.

Since I'm not including my clones in the second set, they were simple to finish. Frankly, it's fine to omit them, since I'd have a hard time supplying the entire group with the cuffs if I did so.

Seeing as the item's performance is guaranteed, I will decorate it for each person if they don't like its appearance.

By dusk, I had finished creating enough cuffs for all of our members. This was largely because the increase in my enchanting ability's level allowed me to enchant the items faster than I could before.

Since they've become high level, many of my abilities from the [Job] system are now satisfactory.

In the evening, I received a report that Gobujii had passed away from Blacksmith-san, who had remained at the base.

The cause of death was not an illness or other external factors, but old age.

Certainly, there were signs that this was coming.

To begin with, he had nearly reached the limit of a Goblin's lifespan. On top of that, his body movements in particular had recently gotten worse and he was spending more time sleeping as the days passed. Since he used to do a lot of things energetically before and that energy had slowly disappeared, I thought it would happen soon. Therefore, it wasn't a big surprise.

However, with Gobujii dying in this way... I had to wonder if he died doing something erotic.

He took care of me. He taught me various things about this world. I need to express my gratitude. Nevertheless, he was a perverted grandpa. I was probably born from a child that Gobujii had conceived.

Revealing a wry smile, I prayed for his soul to rest in peace, "Rest in peace, you perverted old man."

In tonight's night sky, there was a star shining brightly.