War Part 4
Translators: Skythewood, Frostfire10
“Oh, I can see it.”
Zenberu who was seated at the very back of Rororo looked to the front and smiled.
They could see the tribe that was designated as the first to be destroyed several hundred metres ahead— Razor Tail Tribe. Their size was about the same as Green Claw, but the number of lizardmen running about was much larger.
The warriors had split up into groups, and were practicing swinging their weapons. The males were sticking stakes into the village’s perimeter and were busily working. The females were bringing something into the centre of the village.
They were preparing for war.
“What an irresistible atmosphere.”
Zenberu made a loud breathing sound, smelling the taste in the air. Zaryusu smelt the air as well. It was similar to the time of the previous war.
It was a scent that made one hot blooded.
Crusch who probably hadn’t smelled something like this before thought differently.
“Isn’t it dangerous for us to ride in on this child?”
They could feel the high tension from such a great distance, which made Crusch who was dressed like a vegetative monster voice her uneasiness. She was afraid that the Hydra would draw the wrath of the bloodthirsty lizardmen.
The other party probably knew about Zaryusu, but they might not have seen Crusch or Zenberu before. And not all the Razor Tail tribesmen knew about Zaryusu either.
It was probably natural for that worry to be born. Zaryusu kindly answered to relieve Crusch.
“Wrong, the opposite is true. We won’t be in danger if we ride towards them on Rororo.”
She had a baffled look, it wasn’t visible, but that was the feeling Crusch gave. Zaryusu made a simple explanation.
“My older brother should have arrived, and he definitely would have told them that I would be riding on Rororo. News of us coming on Rororo should have been reported to my older brother.”
As Rororo traversed the wetland, the figures of a black lizardman and several warriors could be seen. Zaryusu recognised the lizardman, and waved his hand vigorously.
The black lizardman said something to the surrounding lizardmen, and they let him go. He then, with his arms akimbo, and waited for Rororo to arrive and took a daunting pose.
“That’s my brother.”
They responded in unison, Crusch was simply curious whereas Zenberu felt like a beast who found a strong opponent.
As Rororo closed the distance between Zaryusu and Shasuryu, they were finally close enough to make out each other faces. The two brothers stared at each other.
The two of them were only apart for two days, but because they had already steeled themselves to the fact they might not meet again, their emotions were really strong.
Shasuryu laughed. Zaryusu made the same expression. Disregarding the distance that separated them, they talked in loud volumes. They could not contain themselves otherwise.
“It’s great that you returned, younger brother!”
“Ah, I bring good tidings, older brother!”
Shasuryu shifted his gaze to the two behind Zaryusu. Zaryusu could feel the hands of Crusch that was hugging onto him stiffen from nervousness.
As they closed the gap completely, Rororo came before Shasuryu and stretched its four necks towards him affectionately.
“Sorry, I didn’t bring any food with me.”
The moment Rororo heard this, it withdrew its four heads as if it was throwing a tantrum. The Hydra couldn’t understand the language of the lizardmen, but it could tell what Shasuryu was saying through their understanding similar to that of family members. Or it simply didn’t detect the scent of food from Shasuryu.
“Well then, let’s dismount.”
Zaryusu said to the two behind him and agilely lept off Rororo. He then grabbed Crusch’s hand and assisted her in getting down. Shasuryu looked at Crusch in surprise.
“What is that Plant Monster?”
Getting this sort of reaction made Crusch a little depressed, but she didn’t retort. This was probably thanks to Zenberu’s constant teasing. But the next stunning blow made her stiffen.
“She is the female I like.”
Shasuryu sighed. He then stared at the stiff Crusch who was still holding hands with Zaryusu.
“Muu… I just want to ask one thing, is she a beauty?”
“Yeah, I am thinking of marrying— Eh!”
Suddenly, a sharp pain ran through his hand, causing Zaryusu to stop talking. This was as the person whose hand he was holding had pinched him with her claws. That was surprising. Shasuryu watched the two with an astonished expression. Then, he spoke the words that was stuck in his throat.
“I see… So you are picky about the appearance… And you kept playing cool, saying ‘I can’t marry’. You just haven’t met the right one yet… Alright, back on topic, I am the chief of the Green Claw tribe, Shasuryu Shasha. Thank you for agreeing to ally with us.”
Shasuryu wasn’t trying to confirm this fact, but was absolutely sure of it. But Zenberu and Crusch won’t be shaken up because of this small matter.
“We should be the one thanking you. I am the acting chief of the Red Eye Tribe, Crusch Lulu.”
Everyone had thought that Zenberu would respond after Crusch, but surprisingly, Zenberu’s voice could not be heard. While everyone was confused, Zenberu scanned Shasuryu several times, and rudely looked at him.
Satisfied, Zenberu nodded and spoke with a feral expression.
“So you are the one, the warrior who could utilize the power of the druids, I have heard about you.”
“I am surprised that even the Dragon Tusk knew about this”.
A greeting that was not a greeting. Zenberu had the smile of a predator, and Shasuryu responded in kind.
“I am Zenberu Gugu, chief of the Dragon Tusk Tribe, until the day your brother agrees to take over.”
“Thank you for coming. ”
“So, want to have a match? Shouldn’t we find out who is stronger?”
“… That’s a great idea.”
Zaryusu had no intention to stop them. To lizardmen, words must have strength behind them to back them up. If the two fought, the discussions might proceed more smoothly, so he would let them duke it out until they were satisfied.
However, the conversation did not head towards the fight. This was as Shasuryu raised his hand and erased Zenberu’s fighting spirit.
“—I agree with you, but this an awkward timing.”
“Why is that?”
Shasuryu smiled at Zenberu’s unhappy face.
“… The scouts we sent out are about to return, we should be able to obtain detailed intelligence about the enemy. We can fight after hearing their reports, right?”
A small house was used as the conference room of the chiefs.
The chiefs of the gathered tribes and Zaryusu were gathered here, a total of six.
Zaryusu, the one who killed the previous ‘Sharp Edge’ Chief, bearer of Frost Pain was famous and all the chiefs knew of him. He was also the brave one who convinced Red Eye and Dragon Tusk to join the alliance, so no one was opposed to him taking part in the conference.
While it was natural for Shasuryu, Crusch and Zenberu, the other two chiefs did not oppose. This was as they knew the male that was the previous owner of Frost Pain, the chief of Sharp Edge.
In addition, he was the hero who got the Red Eye and Dragon Tusk tribes to agree to an alliance, so having him was natural.
In the small house, the six sat in a circle. When the other three chieftains saw Crusch’s white scales, they were surprised, but had already regained their composure.
He was petite compared to other lizardmen, but his limbs were as strong as steel. Originally from the hunter group, his ranged attack skill was the best among all lizardmen in the vicinity of this lake. In fact, during the fight to decide the position of chieftain, he settled each of his matches with just one precise rock throw.
In order to determine the position of the enemy troops, he mobilized all the hunters to reconnoiter.
“The enemy numbers five thousand five hundred..”
It was a number that for surpassed the number of lizardmen.
No one raised voices of surprise. There was no one here that was surprised.
“… And the leader of the enemy?”
“I can’t say for sure, there are monsters that looked like giant mass of red meat in the middle, but it’s too difficult to get in close.”
“What about the make up of the army?”
“An army of undead, mainly skeletons and zombies.”
“The undead of lizardmen?”
“It should be human types, I didn’t see any tails.”
“Can we launch a surprise pre-emptive attack?”
“That would be difficult, the other party is using an open space cleared out from a corner of the forest. How long did they take to clear the trees? It is strange that the felled trees are nowhere to be found— Ah, I digress. Anyway, they are in the forest. Leaving whether we can succeed aside, it would be very hard to bring warriors along.”
“What about a sneak attack with just the hunters?”
“Spare us, Ms. Crusch. There are roughly twenty five hunters, how could we defeat the undead army of more than five thousand? We will just get wiped out.”
“Hmm… What about using the power of the druids?”
Several of them nodded in agreement to Shasuryu’s suggestion and their eyes fell on Crusch. But the one answering was Zaryusu.
“No, let’s not do that.”
“The other party had kept their words so far, but they won’t do so if we attack them.”
“Indeed. We should avoid initiating the attack before we gather all the tribesmen.”
“So we will prepare for a defensive battle?”
The lizardman who spoke with a strong slur was the chieftain of the Razor Tail.
He was covered in white armor that was shining in a different manner from metals.
The armor was emitting a soft magical gleam. That was one of the four treasures of the lizardmen, White Dragon Bone.
It was a set of armor made from the bones of a white dragon that had resided in the Azellerisia Mountain. Armor made from bones — even that of a powerful dragon — would not be imbued with magic. But that set of armor was enchanted with magic without anyone knowing when.
The problem was that the magic could possibly originate from a curse.
This was because the White Dragon Bone converted intelligence into defence power. If an intelligent lizardman wore it, it would turn harder than steel, matching mithril and even the legendary adamantium.
But even if you removed the armor, the intelligence would not recover. That’s why there were some who said this magic was actually a curse.
Originally amongst the lizardmen, when he, who was known for his intelligence, wore this armour, it’s hardness could deflect Frost Pain. And even though this stole most of his intelligence, he could still keep his sanity.
This was why he was selected as the chief.
“Here, swamp, weak foundation, wall… easy break down.”
“I see, so we should initiate the attack?”
“Yeah, why not, attacking is better than defending, each of us just needs to take down three to four foes right? We just need to defeat them, piece of cake.”
The others in the conference looked at each other after hearing what Zenberu said. In the end, Crusch changed the topic.
“Anyway, I believe that our walls will easily be broken down. So we Red Eye would like to cooperate to strengthen them.”
The other chieftains nodded in agreement, even the depressed Zenberu did so.
“In short, we need to prepare our defences and set up a command structure.”
“First of all, we should leave the druids to Crusch, their command would be left in your hands.”
Amidst the agreement of everyone present, one person raised his objection.
“The chieftains should form a special team.”
The gaze of everyone fell on Zaryusu who had spoken.
“I see… ”
“I see….You say we make…. elite team?”
“That’s right. The enemy outnumber us, if we don’t take out their commander, we might lose. If the monster that visited all the villages shows up, we can’t win by numbers, and have to destroy it with a small group of elites.”
“Wouldn’t our forces be leaderless then?”
“From the warriors… choose… choose leader… will do.”
“Even if there is no commander, they just need to charge the enemy right…”
“… The special team will command from the back, and will only move out if we discover the enemy commander or if the battle is not going well. Is that okay?”
“Will it go well?”
“That should be fine. Well then, including Zaryusu, how about the six of us forming one team?”
“No, we should form two teams of three.”
Splitting up meant they could fight on two fronts, but their force will be spread out and weakened.They recognised that it was a disadvantageous position, and wondered what merits it would have for Zaryusu to bring it up. Understanding what everyone was hoping for, Zaryusu answered.
“One team will attack the enemy commander, the other will be in charge of the defence.”
“That….Attacking the guards will be extremely dangerous.”
“It, it cannot be helped.”
“Then we three chiefs, and Zaryusu and those he called will split into those groups. We can change the composition if needed.”
“Yes, that is great. Any problems, Zaryusu?”
“I understand. Any objections, Zenberu, Crusch?”
“I have no objections.”
“Me too. It’s a pity I can’t fight as I please, but I will follow the will of the victor.”
“Well then, there is still four days before they attack us, right?”
“Are there anything we need to prepare for?”
“We need to stock up on throwing stones and strengthen the walls. Also, we need to interact with the other tribes and set up a chain of command, ensuring that all of the tribes can function as one.”
“As for the allocation of work, we, the ‘Small Fang’ tribe wish to leave that to Shasuryu like before.”
“We… okay with that…”
Crusch and Zenberu nodded in agreement too.
“Then I will take over the command.”
Shasuryu looked at everyone again, and confirmed that no one disagreed. Not a single person did so. Shasuryu then nodded.
“Next, we will decide the details of all the work we need to do in the next four days.”
After the work for the day was done, Zaryusu walked silently in the noisy and lively village. Several lizardmen greeted him with respect when they saw Zaryusu’s mark on his chest and Frost Pain on his waist.
It was a bit irritating, but in order to raise morale, he had to answer them. Zaryusu thus answered them with a serious, proper and confident expression.
With such an attitude, Zaryusu headed towards the outer wall of the village. There, Crusch was in a pinch, rushing the construction of the walls.
Several lizardmen were working.
They planted wooden stakes and a plant in between. Then they poured saturated mud from the top. The druids cast some sort of magic, and it hardened, and a somewhat cracked wall could be seen. They then repeated this on the other side as well.
Zaryusu did not understand what was happening, looked at the surroundings, and searched for someone who could explain it.
A lizardman wearing plants responded to Zaryusu’s voice.
“Aa, what is it, Zaryusu?”
“Nothing, just wondering what you were doing.”
Walking with splattering noise in the wetland, Zaryusu made his way to Crusch and pointed at the work that was being repeated in front of them.
“What is that?”
Crusch parted the head section, and replied.
“We don’t know what type of enemy will be coming, but I wanted to make it hard for them to move in… But there is no time, we are not even half done.”
“Is that so… But isn’t it easy to destroy things made from mud?”
Crusch remained silent, and Zaryusu panicked in his heart, wondering if he had said something wrong.
“No problem. If the mud is thin, it is easy to break it. But thickening it will make it tougher. Because this is a rushed job, and there’s shortage of sufficient materials and it will weaken if it rains. But it won’t break down so easily.”
That is true, no matter what material it is, it would be hard to destroy if it was thick enough.
In front of Zaryusu who was thinking about that, dozens of lizardmen were working as fast as they could, but progress was as slow as a tortoise. Even if they worked on it for three days, it wouldn’t be much wider. But it was better than nothing.
“For now, the parts the wall couldn’t reach would be covered by fence that would be hard to tear down.”
In the direction Crusch was pointing at—
The stakes over there were pulled out, and planted some distance away, forming a triangle with the two other stakes besides it. Between the stakes were vines loosely bounded together, forming ropes blocking the passage between them. Zaryusu thought for a moment, and recalled that the fence around the ‘Red Eye’ tribe looked like that too. He could ask then, but currently it would not be a problem.
“What is that?”
“By placing something heavy there, the fence won’t fall even if it were being pushed or pulled. As for the ropes, they are meant to prevent enemy from getting through. If the ropes are pulled taut, it would be easily cut by swords or knives, that’s why we left some slack on it.”
At Zaryusu’s question, Crusch enthusiastically replied. She was happy that she could teach Zaryusu something. One reason was that she was always the one being taught until now, and another was due to a certain feeling.
“I see… it is harder to destroy it that way.”
These impressed words made Crusch felt proud.
Zaryusu nodded deeply.
It was quite a pinch, but the transformation into a fortress was going well. It was certainly far from what humans or dwarves could make. However, in the wetlands where footing was bad, anything more was impossible.
“By the way, Zaryusu, did you tell the warriors—”
As Crusch was saying that, the cheers of the warriors were carried by the wind into their ears. It was an intense and hot blooded noise.
“What is happening?”
Crusch faced the direction where the sound was coming from, but unfortunately the source was blocked by the buildings. However, it was a roar of enjoyment.
Crusch recalled hearing something like this before, dug through her memory, and Zaryusu answered for her.
“Ah. Zenberu is fighting, I think? Now, my brother is fighting him.”
“Yes. This was the sound when Zaryusu fought.”
As Crusch understood, a new unease was born.
“But can he win? Would it not be terrible if your brother loses?”
The highest ranking leader of the alliance was Shasuryu. If the person giving orders were to lose, the situation might become extremely bad.
Lizardmen placed strength first. They were a race that could not trust the weak. And so it was rare for the winner to obey the loser. Orders might not be transmitted well. Dragon Tusk, Zenberu’s tribe might especially not follow Shasuryu’s orders.
It was natural for Crusch to worry aftering seeing Zenberu’s strength. However, Zaryusu was not worried.
“I don’t know, but my elder brother is strong. If he had the chance to use his druid powers, he will become even stronger, even I might lose to him.”
Shasuryu who casted several buffs on himself was very strong. He would probably refrain from using offensive spells in a mock battle, but if he does, Zaryusu won’t be a match without Frost Pain.
The reason why the original owner of Frost Pain didn’t use its special ability that could only be used thrice in one day against Zaryusu was because he had used it up during his fight against Shasuryu.
Zaryusu thought that Crusch, who was still worried, should be brought to seen his brother fight. Then before them, several warriors walked and stumbled.
“….What it that? Are they sick?”
“….Ah, that is the result of drinking Zenberu’s wine.”
“What! Even though we are all busy!”
“Don’t say that. It is because bridges between the different tribes are being built.”
While saying that, Zaryusu recalled that Zenberu was probably not thinking about this. However, Crusch showed that she understood.
In her memory was the sight of the banquet at Dragon Tusk. At that memory where relations became deeper, her image of it became better.
“It cannot be helped.”
“….Yes. It cannot be helped.”
Crusch sighed and kept quiet.
Zaryus did not speak any further. He just waited. Finally, Crusch spoke.
“Are the preparations for running away done?”
“Ah, yes it’s going well.”
All the tribes had their chosen members in one place. They were waiting to leave.
“Is it progressing well over there?”
“I’m not too sure. All the lizardmen might be erased from this lake.”
Zaryusu decided to say the one fear that was in his heart. Having not voiced his thoughts until everything was decided was quite a cowardly behaviour. Of course, Zaryusu understood. But he did not want to hide anything from the female he was in love with, and he could not stifle his strong desire.
“I am worried about one thing—”
Hearing Zaryusu’s anxious voice, Crusch smiled. That was a deliberate smile, something that was not her style — an expression that didn’t fit the situation — stopping Zaryusu from continuing. The one who spoke in place of Zaryusu was Crusch.
“— You mean that thing you didn’t bring up during the conference right? If the enemy already anticipated this, and was waiting for us to form an alliance.”
Zaryusu fell silent, she was right.
The enemy gave them time, and told them to show their worth, they would kill all of the lizardmen in one fell swoop. Then they might not have the ability to chase after the refugees. But then that had its own problems.
Crusch already knew it, and said the result of that choice out loud.
“But, in the end, the food problem will still be there.”
In the end, the problem of food came up with the evacuation.
“There are lots of things to be worried about. It is the fate of people like you Zaryusu. But, shall we focus on winning first?”
“I don’t think that they will stop after one time.”
The enemy’s strength or aim, or true from were all unclear. They simple reacted from the information. However, if their evaluations missed the mark, and considering the worst outcome, they could not do anything but take the safest course of action.
Without replying, Crusch—-
Crusch extended her arms toward the empty space before her. But Zaryusu understood that she was referring to the entire village.
“Look at all the lizardmen from the various tribes working towards the same goal.”
Indeed, the lizardmen from all the tribes were advancing together as one.
The image of the five tribe banquet surfaced in Zaryusu’s mind. The tribes were interacting harmoniously together without reservation. It would be a lie to say the survivors from the two destroyed tribe bore no grudges. But they displayed the will to swallow their grudge in the face of this incident.
Zaryusu muttered. He always thought their divided worlds would carry on forever, he never thought the appearance of a mutual enemy would allow him to witness the unity of the lizardmen.
“We need to protect the possibility of our future, Zaryusu. The alliance of all the tribes would promote our development.”
Crusch moved her head towards the wall.
A skill that Zaryusu had never seen before. However, this was made known to the other tribes. Then this wall could be used by all the lizardmen tribes. With this, the number of monsters that could enter the village would drop to zero.
“Let us obtain victory, Zaryusu. It is impossible for us to know what happens in the future, maybe everything would be over after this battle. If that is so, we can start developing a wonderful world without food problems and the need for lizardmen to kill each other.”
Crusch smiled. Zaryusu suppressed his emotion, if he allowed his feeling to run loose, he might not be able to reign in it; but he had something he had to say.
“You are an excellent female lizardman— After this battle is over, please tell me the answer to that question I asked when we first met.”
Crusch smile became even more brilliant.
“I understand, Zaryusu. I will tell you my answer after this is all over—”
When you prepare for something with a deadline, you would feel that time passes by in a flash.
The promised time had come.
That day, the burning sun crawled up in the sky as slow as a tortoise, the sky was blue and devoid of clouds.
There was no sound from the wind, the world seemed so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.
The tension was so thick that you could cut it with a knife.
Some of them gulped, others breath in deeply.
An unknown amount of time passed since the gathered lizardmen had turned silent.
Suddenly, a dark cloud that seemed to appear from a hole in the sky spread speedily across the blue sky just like it did before.
However, the lizardmen below gave no signs of surprise or awe. They only looked towards the front.
As the black cloud completely covered the sky, and a thin darkness fell when the sun was blocked—-
In front of them, they slowly appeared from the boundary of the forest and wetlands, a countless number. As they were covered by the trees, their number could not be grasped. However, they came out in what seemed to be an infinite number.
Attacking was 2500 zombies, 2500 skeletons, 400 Undead Beasts, 200 Skeleton Archers and 120 Skeleton Riders.
A force of 5720 not including the commander and its guards
Opposing them was the five tribe alliance of lizardmen.
Green Claw had 103 warriors, 5 druids, 7 hunters, 124 males and 105 females.
Small Fang had had 65 warriors, 1 druid, 16 hunters, 111 males and 94 females.
Razor Tail had had 89 heavy armour warriors, 3 druids, 6 hunters, 99 males and 81 females.
Dragon Tusk had 125 warriors, 2 druids, 10 hunters, 98 males and 32 females.
Red Eye had 47 warriors, 15 druids, 6 hunters, 59 males and 77 females.
In total, 429 Warriors, 26 Druids, 45 Hunters, 491 Males and 389 Females.
A force of 1380 not including the chiefs and Zaryusu.
In the world after, the name of the Overlord, the Supreme Emperor Ainz Ooal Gown would be known by all. The first war the great existence of the God King took part in, was when he had direct command of Nazarick’s forces during the massacre of the Katze Plains.
Even when the military strength of two countries took part, it was not called a war but a massacre, the Supreme Emperor Ainz Ooal Gown with his immense powers, birthed the dead from the opposing army. And due to that might, it was most suitable to not call it a war, but a massacre.
And after that, there were few battles that could come close to be called wars when Nazarick moved.
However, a war that was not recorded in history—-Before the massacre of the Katze Plains, was one small battle.
Lost in history, an extremely small war.
――Now, the curtains for it were slowly opening.