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Now, after the moron had left, this is what we did.
Right about then, Souei had returned from his scouting mission.
Just in time.
Gathering everyone, I decided to hold a conference.
From the Hobgoblins: Rigurdo, Rigur, Rugurdo, Regurdo, Rogurdo, and Ririna.
Kaijin representing the dwarfs.
Benimaru, Hakurou, Shion, and Souei representing the Oni.
All together, 12 “people”. The current core members. Kaijin also speaking on behalf the Construction and Manufacturing departments.
Department of Production is supervised by Ririna.
Department of Governance has Rigurdo at the top, and three chiefs making up the judicial, legislative, and executive branches.
However, this particular department is not completely established yet…
But that’s a problem for the future.
Department of War by Benimaru and Hakurou.
Department of Intelligence by Souei.
Department of Defense by Rigur.
At present, we have only six departments active in our city.
Well, though I say “active”, they are so in name only; however, it’s probably a good idea to slowly develop them.
Currently, everyone is living with little worry about food.
The department of defense is also regulating hunting, so that sector should be fine.
If I think about it, Rigur is handling things well. He’s one of those unsung heroes, isn’t he.
Frankly, about the department of war, Benimaru knows nothing except numbers of soldiers when it comes to the art of war.
So it’s an appointment in name only. It was something that I had to do.
Ririna shows promise. After obtaining a potato-like plant, she succeeded in its cultivation.
With short harvest cycles, and high nutritional value, it will improve our food supply.
In the future, when we trade with the humans, we should obtain many different vegetable seeds.
The construction and manufacturing departments are completely left to Kaijin.
He normally specializes in smithing, but after Kurobee joined, he ended up in a managerial position.
Seems like Kaijin has been completely separated from his field of expertise. However, he had entrusted it all to Kurobee.
According to Kaijin, they are still busy with establishing the smithy, but once things calm down, he’ll devote himself fully to production. That’s how it is.
He probably wants to come back soon.
Shion is in charge of my care? I kind of want to rethink that post, but right now, no matter where we put her, it’ll be bad for my heart.
For now, let’s wait and see.
And, about Souei.
I know I appointed him as a ninja… but he’s taking it too seriously.
He can make clones appear from any direction.
While their abilities drop, they have no movement restrictions. Furthermore, he can deploy six clones without any restrictions.
And even if I say their abilities decrease, that’s only about their vigor (HP) and magical energy (MP)–it becomes 1/10th of original. Their movement abilities and attack power are completely unchanged.
An ability superior to mine.
Actually, all the Oni are strange.
Souei, as I had just described.
Shuna had specialized in my Analysis Ability, and awakened to the unique skill [Analytic].
Our abilities are basically identical, with the exception that she doesn’t need to eat the target. She can analyze with eyesight alone.
Kurobee had awakened to the unique skill [Researcher]. This skill also bears great semblance to my own.
As someone who specializes in production, it is a very useful skill.
Hakurou has had his perception ability accelerated by a a thousand times. So I basically can’t see him losing in a battle.
Shion, as you’d expect, obtained [Herculean Strength EX] and [Physical Strength EX].
Moreover, she also awakened to a special skill [Battle Craze] that she should absolutely never use.
Last up, Benimaru. This bastard learned [Black Lightning] of all things. Seriously! Of all the dangerous skills I did not want circulating!
I think I’ll need to come up with some countermeasures.
Anyhow, they seem to have inherited my skills and completed their evolution.
Now then, let’s start the conference.
「First, let’s hear the report.」
Upon my order, Souei began conveying the state of affairs.
Everyone silently listened.
He sent out six clones to gather intel
1. Goblin Villages
2. State of the marshes
3. State of the Orc army
He seems to have sent two clones to each location.
First, the Goblin villages have decided to join the Lizardmen’s raid leader Gabil as his warriors.
Probably that lizard from some time ago.
To have decided to serve that moron, what weird tastes they have. Those that decided against joining him, have ran away in various direction.
There were also a few that ran in the direction of human countries, but they’ll probably end up as subjugation targets.
As long as goblins establish their communities in the forest, the humans would stay away, but if you invade their territory, they would surely bare their fangs.
And while I don’t know the humans’ strength, they will surely order a subjugation quickly.
When they do, the goblins could only continue living in hiding. Their future looks grim.
While on this topic, I also listened to the report about Gabil.
Somehow, the goblins he had gathered numbered 7,000 warriors.
A decent army.
As we had gathered, they once appealed to the orcs, but were rejected. At least they can use their head a bit.
However, they were also forced to take along with them all their food, so even if they survive against the orcs, there will surely be people dying afterwards.
But we won’t be doing anything about that.
That was the unanimous decision of their clan chiefs who decided that such a fate was better than being murdered by the orcs.
And besides, we are not an NPO.
We have only begun establishing this city, but abandoning it would not be fun.
If we allow the orcs to invade this far, the forest ecosystem would probably collapse>
Which is why we must stop them at the marshes.
Now about the marshes.
Here, the Lizardmen’s Head had begun assembling troops, and prepared an army of ten thousand.
Living off the lake’s fish, they have an abundance of food.
Furthermore, they are barricading themselves in their natural labyrinth in preparation of any attack.
But are the orcs an enemy that they should so fear?
So let’s hear about the orcs.
The orc army, numbering 200,000.
I thoughtlessly let out my voice.
The orcs who attacked the ogres numbered only ten thousand…
「So the ones who attacked our village was but a single division?」
「Right. After investigating, that much became clear. Their army consists of 200,000 warriors! Coming from the south, they took a relatively wide route and are aiming for the marshes.」
Hmm. I don’t really know the geography yet.
「Souei, do you have a map or something?」
「What would a map be?」
What did he say?
For there to be so few people who know about maps…
Kaijin had known. He knew of them, but none in circulation.
Seems like this world is treating maps as a military secret.
Hakurou’s grandfather had drawn the map of the village’s surrounding on a block of wood.
Having no paper hurts.
Anyways, holding a wood block, we’ll carve the map of our city’s vicinity.
Using the map in my head, and Rigur’s knowledge, we have Hakurou record the information.
This way, using all our knowledge, we created a half-way decent map.
Before even getting to the main issue of the conference, we had wasted two hours on map creation.
And here we took a short break.
I don’t need it, but the goblins probably do.
Shuna brought in a tray of food.
Following her, a group of girls followed with more trays.
I changed into my child form.
Maybe rest is unnecessary, but meals are important. Since I have this human form, I might as well eat while tasting.
…, as long as it’s not made by Shion, that is.
Since getting used to human transformation, I managed to transform already wearing clothing. Seems like practice really does wonders.
A feast was laid before me.
And for some reason, Shuna had sat right by me. Just in case, I have to check…
The appearance is normal, but what about the inside? Clearly lacking spices, seems like a bunch of ingredients were stir-fried together…
Who cooked this? I felt a sharp glance from my side.
Gulp. Somehow, I’m getting very nervous.
Until I had said it, nobody moved.
Seems like if I don’t eat first, nobody will begin. I had been hoping that someone would finally eat, but seems like I need to steel myself.
It’s fine. Shion did not make this!
However, I kind of regret changing into a form that has a sense of taste.
With those thought, I reached for the food. But not with chopsticks, since we only had spoons.
Bringing some soup to my mouth, I take a sip… it was delicious.
The moment I said so, everyone moved.
But hey… you guys, how can you just watch your lord drink poison! Though it’s not poison per se…
And I also have a resistance to most poisons…
However, I want to be a bit more considerate.
Chances are, Shuna had pulled some strings ahead of time…
Upon hearing my praise, Shuna’s face lit up in a full smile.
Grabbing my plate, she insisted to feed me.
Seeming a bit happy, and a bit embarrassed.
Though I’m an adult, I’m a child at heart. Appearance that of a little girl. Even if I let her feed me, there shouldn’t be any problems.
*Fufun* A victory laugh escaped from Shuna while she glanced at Shion.
Tears seem to have started to form in Shion’s eyes, but her expression quickly turned to that of surprise after she had tasted the dish.
Right, Shuna. If you polish your cooking skills a bit more, they’ll really shine.
You’d never consider putting strange things into people food!
Even without seasoning, to be able to bring out the taste of the ingredients this well.
But was Benimaru a test subject for the many dishes before this? That I could not have known about.
Well, Shuna was probably a cooking prodigy. She could probably perfect the taste using her [Analytic] skill.
That isn’t a waste of ability, that’s the proper way to use it.
It’s been a long time since I last enjoyed a meal this much.
With the end of the meal comes the end of our break.
We have a pretty good time.
But now we need to get down to business.
「The object that clearly explains the nearby geography is called a map. Looking at this map, let’s continue the report.」
Having said so, everyone crowded around the map.
Well, I can also transmit the image to everyone using [Telepathic Communication].
Souei marked the orcs army with a wooden chip.
I was in the middle of teaching goblins basic arithmetic, so I don’t know if they’ll understand all of this.
But there’s nothing we can do about that, we need to continue the discussion.
The orcs’ invasion route.
There are three routes leading to the center of the Jura forest that the orcs could use.
One runs from the Canaat Mountain range. The other along Ameld river. These connect north forest and south forest.
But this is not a straight path, as the river runs east along the way.
They could probably have the soldiers cross at the place where Ameld river meets the Eastern Empire’s river.
However, there is no route that could support a large army from the orcs’ current position.
Therefore, they probably decided to invade the marsh from the west.
However, the forest will hamper their attempts to move beyond the river.
According to Hakurou, there is a community of Treants in this forest, so avoiding them would leave the orcs’ army less exhausted.
The western route had the Ogre’s village, but its fate is common knowledge now.
They were a high class race, but too few in number. Thus, the orcs decided to avoid the route with the Treants, who were similarly high classed but many.
And, after eliminating the ogres, they opened the invasion route to the marshes and were now planning their formation.
「However, with 200,000 soldiers, how are they keeping them fed? What are they doing about food?」
To my question,
「I looked into it. A group of common foot soldiers escorts caravans of food. However, there is clearly not enough…」
With some hesitation, he quickly added
「This is but my opinion, but I think they’ve had deaths from starvation and resorted to cannibalism of the dead…」
What an unpleasant thing he had said.
Uee… were orcs such a race?
「No matter how omni…」
「They do indeed eat anything, but isn’t this much expected?」
To that question,
「No, I am not certain about this. However, there are no bodies after they leave. And our village has also been wiped clean, without anything remaining.
There is a skill that comes to mind, but…」
Having realized the truth, Souei said.
「Could it be… Orc Lord?」
Without waiting for Souei’s response, Benimaru concluded.
「Exactly. This is not certain, but there’s a good chance the Orc Lord had appeared.
At the very least, a high class Orc Knight is leading them.
Probably that thing that had attacked our village.」
To summarize the conversation, the Orc Lord is a unique monster that hold powerful ruling abilities over the orcs.
Appears once every few hundred years. Causing violence across the world, a horrible monster.
And he seems to possess the unique skill [Starving Ones].
This skill, bestowed upon his subordinates as well, allows them to eat anything and everything in sight. A truly terrible skills.
In the first place, not enough time had passed since the last one…
But now, he’s already grown and prepared an army. If he lacks some intelligence, then there’s a high chance that the demon lord had forcefully accelerated his growth.
In any case, the orc lord is a troubling existence.
Such an annoying guy should’ve been put down long ago…
But I will not complain.
While keeping the existence of the orc lord in mind, we continue the conference.
Arranging wooden pieces on the map in place of pawns, we mark the Lizardmen army of 10.000.
Behind them, Gabil’s army of 7,000 goblins.
Having done so, we clearly see what is abnormal about the orc army…
But more importantly.
「This way, that stupid lizard’s headquarters would fall from a single attack, wouldn’t it?」
Right. The lizardmen’s envoy called Gabil.
That guy is planning on attacking the lizardmen’s fortress while they are preoccupied fighting with the orcs. The exhausted and few lizardmen there would surely fall quickly.
That is how wonderfully the goblins are positioned.
However, there is no reason to attack his own lizard.
It could be just suspicion born out of the strange place he had halted his troops.
「Hmm. So that’s how it is.」
Hakurou nodded. A strange fire burned in his eyes.
However, even if they bring down the headquarters then, they would be trampled down by the orcs.
I am thinking too much, aren’t I.
「I’m just thinking too much. Sorry, I’m an amateur after all.」
I had planned to continue the discussion after those words, but…
「No, what you said is likely. I can think of no other reason to assume that position.」
「That guy is an idiot after all. He’s probably intending to replace the current head.」
Such was the opinion from both members of the Department of War.
I mean, I know he’s an idiot… but was he that much of an idiot?
「However, in this case, stopping that guy is probably the best idea.」
That was the conclusion we had reached.
Now then, how should we stop Gabil?
「I would want to establish a proper alliance with the Lizardmen. We are few in numbers. However, I feel we shouldn’t abandon them.」
Hakurou so added, and everyone accepted.
I also agreed.
「But, forming an alliance is good and all, but we’re far too outnumbered here. Won’t we just be used in the end?」
I tried expressing my worries.
The Oni exchanged glances.
「Rimuru-sama, calm your fears! Each one of us is capable of decimating ten thousand foes, this much is of no concern!」
Hakurou answered as their representative.
“They read too much manga… no way they can take on ten thousand each!” Is what I thought, but
「Rimuru-sama, I plan to go an negotiate. To have a discussion directly with the Lizardmen’s head.
Would you permit me?」
Souei had so asked, and waited for my response.
How confident! Should I try leaving it to him?
Using the map, we had made some predictions. That allowed us some temporary mental respite.
I decided to send out Souei.
「Alright! In that case, I order you to talk with the Lizardmen’s Head. Demand equal treatment!」
With those words, I sent out Souei.
「Ay! I live to serve!」
With that response, he immediately disappeared into the shadows.
He’s quick on his feet. Seems to have left already.
「The rest, with these things in mind, continue preparations!」
Those words ended the conference.
In some sense, we have decided next course of action.
If we can form an alliance that would be great, and if we can’t, we’ll cross that bridge then.
There’s no use thinking about those things. Rather, we must do what can now be done.
And thus we continued our preparations while waiting for the next piece to move on the board.
But an orc lord, huh. If he truly had appeared, that’ll probably be an annoying fight.
Thinking about the future made me fall slightly into melancholy.