Jashin Ni Tensei Shitara Haika No Maou-gun Ga Sassoku Metsubou Shisou Nandaga, Dousureba Indaro Ka - Chapter 12
’’Yes, Between the villages in the forest and Alnach, for the last couple days.’’
Venon the <Clairvoyant>felt a twinge of uneasiness.
He was in his estate in the center of his castle town of Alnach over which he presided.
Originally, it was a stone building of simple make with few possessions way out in the Outlands, but Venon's hobby was to slowly decorate it over time.
The area surrounding the castle town was in <The Red Forest of Jonan>in the Outlands, and very obviously so. In times of old it was known as a remarkable barbarian principality.
That said, the public order in the area wasn't bad at all. Any small time criminals that appeared were soon crushed.
’’Oh, I see. That reminds me...’’
Thinking that far, Venon suddenly figured out the cause.
The hobgoblin commander <Half-Faced>Lu Gan, who alone was dispatched to carry out a secret mission.
Up until now the 300 elite soldiers Lu Gan commanded had trained by hunting down criminals.
Without the criminal hunting leader Lu Gan, while it wasn't open season for criminals, it wasn't strange that the ones that had been lurking in the shadows were now resuming their 'business'.
’’Nevertheless, that worthless Lu Gan...did he fail?’’
It had already been 10 days since Lu Gan was sent out with his 300 soldiers and 500 hired mercenaries.
That he had not been informed of Lu Gan'success likely meant that...
’’To be defeated by a mere 200 wounded soldiers. I guess a 'mutt'will always be a 'mutt'.’’
Venon was a Goblin Shaman Demon Lord.
From the wise Goblin Venon's point of view, Lu Gan was just another Hobgoblin.
Even though Lu Gan was the one that always quashed the troublesome problems.
’’Trouble was just waiting for him to be gone, how annoying...’’
Could it be that the pillaging is being done by the <Dethroned Crown Prince>Drake whom he tried to kill?
It was laughable to think of, but not impossible. After all, it was that <Dethroned Crown Prince>Drake. He couldn't recall Drake participating in any reckless battles, and he had rallied 190,000 soldiers against <The Northern Overlord>. Moreover, the battle was even in terms of skill until halfway through, and he had mostly other Demon Lords and excellent soldiers at his disposal.
That being the case, the <Dethroned Crown prince>could very well be hiding the remnants of his army near Alnach, and storing stolen provisions.
’’It's not impossible. Rather, the chance is high.’’
Even having said that, Venon had nothing to fear.
Alnach had 700 soldiers in reserve, and another 1,000 he could call on at any time. Normally with Lu Gan's troop of 300, the total would have been 2,000 soldiers, but they were no longer applicable.
1,700 versus 200.
There was no way he could lose. Plus, Venon could fight from inside the walls of Alnach.
Venon the <Clairvoyant>was positive that even if the enemy surrounded the castle town, with Alnach being the strongest fortress in the Outlands, they could repel even five times that number of opponents.
And there was the fact that no matter how much of a 'mutt'that Hobgoblin was, there was no way the 200 didn't suffer any losses.
100, maybe 50 left.
Even with a clever scheme, it would be difficult to compensate for the weakened army,if Drake is even lying in wait.
’’Send out the punitive team. Crush the criminals. I will never allow pillaging. And I will never allow them to touch the tax money.’’
Venon gave the orders to his subordinates.
He wasn't just a Demon Lord for show, but his subordinates weren't trained to obey any order without question. In that way, it was convenient that Lu Gan would ignore some commands in order to take the most appropriate action. Of course, it also angered Venon something fierce.
For instance, the reserves.
Venon always kept at least 500 reserve soldiers on hand.
Presently he had mobilized 1,000 troops for the battle with <The Northern Overlord>, but that was an exception.
The 500 reserve soldiers worked in shifts, and they recruited young men from the surrounding villages to serve the military.
They would serve every quarter year. Thus, there were 2,000 subject to military service at any one time.
But, the point is the villages are in a bad way now, and the criminals continue to commit crimes.
Venon was sure it was perpetuated by the same person, but Lu Gan would probably have disagreed. The one Venon thought of as a 'mutt'would always object, and when things got bad would just take off as he pleased to deal with it.
Venon couldn't say which was right.
He hated that the villages in his territory governed themselves, they held their own jurisdiction and authority. They held it, but if they broke the law and tried to conscript people into service themselves, that would be illegal.
That's why, the Demon Lord Venon didn't have time to deal with such trifling matters as this.
So as these matters kept increasing, Venon got tired of Lu Gan, and kept him away.
’’Just what is this. I thought I would feel better once he was gone, but...’’
If they found his corpse, he felt it wouldn't be a bad idea to erect a gravestone in his honor.
By now such thoughts were unavoidable.
However, at this time, Venon had not yet realized that the foundations of a secret plan had already been laid.