Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 1 Part 3
Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 1 Part 3
He was a demon who had caused great havoc in the Kingdom, and according to the rumors, he had used powerful magic to shred the wall like humiefags’ egos.
The demihuman alliance was made up of eighteen species, and their numbers were estimated in excess of one hundred thousand. This army of demihumans was now focused on destroying the walls and fortifications, and their progress had ground to a halt.
After learning this, the leader of the Holy Kingdom — the Holy Queen — issued a general mobilization order to the entire nation.
Since the Holy Kingdom’s territory was stretched around the north and south edges of a central bay, any mobilized forces would naturally be formed into two armies — the Northern Holy Kingdom Army and the Southern Holy Kingdom Army.
The armies each moved towards their own important locations — the city of Kalinsha in the north, and the city of Dibonei in the south — where they spied on the enemy’s movements for several days.
The reports they received from the troops observing the wall made the situation even more pressing.
–The demihuman alliance, in all its strength, was moving west–
–They would reach the northern fortress city of Kalinsha in a few days–
“Really now? So this place is going to become a battlefield after all…”
The speaker was Breeding Sow #1, Calca Bessarez.
Due to her low place in the order of succession — only males had inherited the Holy Kingdom until now — she should never have taken the position of Holy Queen. However, due to two qualities she had, the crown had eventually been placed upon her brow.
The first was her beautiful looks. Her face was as beautiful as a freshly-bloomed flower, filled with cuteness and dignity, and it was praised as “the treasure of Roble”, while her radiant, vibrant long hair was like threads of spun gold. She resembled nothing so much as an angel, and many who saw her gentle smile went on to describe her as a saint.
The other quality was her excellence as a divine magic caster. She was a genius who could use fourth-tier spells at the tender age of fifteen, and she had ascended the throne with the firm backing of the previous Holy King and the churches.
In the ten years after that, while certain voices disapproved of her excessive kindness, she had not made any mistakes which could be considered critical and thus she had ruled the Holy Kingdom until this day. However, this rule was not as stable as bedrock. Rather, embers smoldered out of sight.
“I understand your grief, Calca-sama, but the people who live in Kalinsha do so because they have prepared themselves for a day like this. In the past, there was also, ahem, that battle, where this city was the heart of the fighting. That’s why the walls here are even taller and sturdier than over there.”
The person trying to console her was a woman with brown hair.
While she was as beautiful as the Holy Queen, her eyes contained a cold, razor-sharp look, like the edge of a blade. She was dressed in a suit of silvery full plate armor and a surcoat. These were the traditional vestments of the paladin order’s grandmaster, ancient suits of magical artifice. The most important thing was the sword at her waist, whose name was known to everyone in the Holy Kingdom.
It was renowned as one of the four Holy Swords, the sacred blade Zafarisia
One of the Thirteen Heroes, known as Black Knight, was said to have carried four swords — the evil blade Hyumilis, the demonic blade Kilineyram, the blade of rot Crocdabal and the fatal blade Sfeiz. This was one of the four swords which existed as a counterpart to them. Incidentally, the other three holy swords were known as the blade of law, the blade of righteousness and the blade of life.
Wielding a powerful sword often led to one becoming drunk on its power and neglecting the fundamentals of swordsmanship. Therefore, the fact that she carried that sword which she would normally never carry was a sign of her unshakable determination to join the upcoming battle, and to win it.
Her name was Breeding Sow #2, Remedios Custodios.
She was a close friend of Calca, and as the head of the strongest generation of the paladin order in history, the foundation of her power was based on military might. At the same time, she was “White” of the Nine Colors.
“Yup, yup. And we’ve also sent all the noncombatants off to take shelter so there won’t be casualties among them. Rather, don’t you think the more pressing problem after the war will be the expenses incurred during the fighting?”
The person going “eeheeheehee” in an uncultured way was a woman.
While the shape of her eyes and mouth varied slightly from Remedios’, her face still bore a close resemblance to Remedios. However, those faint differences were enough to change the impression others had of her. She looked like she was plotting something — or in less polite terms, that she had some kind of dark scheme up her sleeve.
She was Remedios’ sister, younger than her by two years, Breeding Sow #3 Kylardo Custodios.
She was the high priestess of the churches, and leader of the priesthood.
It was public knowledge that she could use divine magic of the fourth tier.
However, that was but a deception; those close to her knew that she could cast fifth-tier spells.
Incidentally, she was not one of the Nine Colors. While the churches were under the Holy Queen, it was government policy not to bestow a Color title on one of their number in order to avoid problems with the balance of power.
These sisters were known as the genius Custodios, the twin wings of the Holy Queen.
Until now, many nobles had their doubts about Calca’s ascension to the throne as a female, and they wondered if she had done something with or to the sisters. Therefore, they often spoke ill of all three of them at the same time.
While many rumors about them had been cleared up, one particular piece of gossip remained. All three of them were unmarried — without so much as a male lover — and so it was said that they had a yuri yuri relationship. However Calca denied it, she could not shake herself free of that rumor, and it was a major source of frustration for her.
“Just hearing that gives me a headache. It’s pretty bad that we won’t stand to gain anything even if we win.”
“Still, they say that the demihumans this time round are outfitted pretty well. Why not sell their gear?”
“That’s right — you know I can’t approve of that, onee-sama. Let’s say we wanted to sell their armor — where would we sell it? You haven’t thought about that, have you? We can only sell them overseas, but demihuman armor isn’t going to command anything but bargain basement prices. Besides, we ought to avoid strengthening other countries’ arsenals until the destroyed wall is rebuilt. In particular, I hope they don’t fall into the hands of the Sorcerous Kingdom.”
“Huh? You don’t like the Sorcerous Kingdom? I’ve never heard you say that in court, though.”
“No priest would like them. You’re the same way too, right, Calca-sama?”
Calca pondered. As part of the clergy and the Holy Queen, she disliked them. However, as a head of state—
“–A king’s duty is to love his nation, love his people, and grant them peace. As long as he does that, it should be fine, right?”
The sisters looked at each other in front of Calca.
“Love? No way. How could the undead ever feel that way?”
“I agree with onee-sama. The undead — I don’t think they could love like you do, Calca-sama.”
“The two of you don’t hold anything back. Still, you can’t just badmouth people without even seeing them, right?”
The puzzled looks on their faces looked very similar. Calca mused that they were siblings after all, and after quelling the smile on her face, her voice turned serious.
“What did your adjutants say? Kylardo, tell me our plan for dealing with Jaldabaoth.”
The Holy Queen did not take part in strategy meetings. Instead, she went around the soldiers to boost their morale. While the Holy Kingdom’s troops were better trained than those of other nations, they were ultimately conscripts. It was important to motivate them… sexily.
“Yes. We’re already discussing how to deal with situations where the demihumans encircle this city, bypass it, advance to the south, split up to accomplish different objectives, and so on.”
It was times like these that reaffirmed her belief that the sisters were similar, but not alike. If she had asked the elder sister that question, the answer she would get would make her want to grab her head in frustration.
“I see… then, which possibility do you think is the most likely?”
“Given the invasion path of the demihumans so far, it’s most likely that they will choose to encircle this city. However, there is a problem with that.”
“What do you mean?”
Remedios had not participated in the meetings either, given that she was Calca’s bodyguard. However, the fact that she had not grasped the answer which the Holy Queen had instantly realized was due to another problem.
“…Onee-sama. I’m talking about the demon who wrought havoc in the Kingdom, Jaldabaoth. While there’s no telling how smart he is, demons are skilled at schemes and trickery. He might adopt a plan we did not foresee.”
“I see… the adjutants who have to handle strategy and planning sure have it tough…”
While there was much she wanted to say to the leader of the paladin order, Calca resisted the urge to do so
“…This is quite vexing. Then, if the demihumans encircle this city, what will happen after that? While food supplies are ample, fighting a defensive siege is going to wreak horrors on morale. Have you considered that as well?”
“Yes. Normally, all we would have to do is wait for reinforcements from the south to arrive, but we have reports saying that Jaldabaoth used a mysterious power to destroy the wall in a single blow. WIth that massive wild card in play…”
The three of them frowned as one.
Anyone would be upset when they thought of what had happened to the wall, but Calca knew what was going on.
Remedios was simply imitating what the other two had done.
Remedios did not like to think, and she was a very stubborn person. That was a flaw, but it was also the reason that she could embody absolute justice.
The nature of justice was difficult to contemplate. For instance, imagine if there were two children, one human and one demihuman. Being pure and innocent, they became friends. However, if the demihuman child was discovered by adults, he would be locked up, and the human child would plead for his life. However, if they let the demihuman child go, he might grow up to become a threat to humanity. Was killing the demihuman child the right or wrong thing to do? This was not a question that could be easily answered.
Calca would have spared him without any hesitation.
Remedios, however, would kill him without a second though. In addition, she would insist that she was righteous, and not feel a shred of guilt about it. In her heart, anything she did for the sake of the nation and people was acceptable.
When she took the throne of the Holy Queen, Calca had declared to her two close friends, “I will grant happiness to the weak masses, and make a country where nobody will cry”. In response, she had said, “I will aid you in this and support that righteous cause.”
She was more forthright than anyone else, her heart filled with conviction, and the light in her eyes was like that of a fanatic.
Someone like that was clearly dangerous, yet Calca did not distance herself from her friend. The righteous impulses of loving others, loving peace, hating evil, and the desire to aid the weak were all things she ought to welcome.
And it was because of that nature of hers that what she thought and what she did were the same. Because she did not think about her words, everything she said came from her heart.
Any organization — particularly those that had stood for a long time — would become sluggish due to worries and cares. In addition, their motives would gradually grow impure.
Since power rested in the hand of one person, it was only natural that power struggles would take place. Even if a victor was decided, the battle against suspicious, jealousy and fear would continue, until one side eventually perished.
Calca had been freed from this curse halfway though. That was because she had attained magical power that ranked highly even when compared to the past generations of Holy Kings, and her heart was at ease. Therefore, Calca could put aside her mental preparations to take the throne of the Holt Queen, but her brothers did not feel the same way.
There was only one elder brother among her relatives whom she could trust: Kaspand.
Since she lived like this all this time, Remedios was a spiritual oasis for Calca.
“Umu. Such unbelievable power makes me think of the might of the Demon Gods from the stories.”
“Onee-sama, even the Demon Gods weren’t this powerful. Jaldabaoth might be a being superior to the Demon Gods.”
“…What a pain. Then how shall we beat him?”
“What are you worrying about, Calca-sama! They say he was defeated by the adamantite-ranked adventurers of the Kingdom. Don’t you think we could do the same too?”
“…That is true. If adventurers comparable to us could do it… but the problem now lies in whether or not Jaldabaoth can continuously use that power which brought down the wall.”
“On that note, the adjutants feel that given the wall was only struck once, he ought to have problems using it in succession.”
“That’s understandable. If he could use it repeatedly, then he could have just done so. He didn’t because he could only attack once.”
Calca agreed with Remedios’ opinion. If there were a way to do it, there was no reason not to repeatedly use that attack.
It was the same with Calca. She lightly stroked the crown she wore. It was a magic item that was the binding focus for the ritual spell that had been passed down through the Holy Kingdom, the 「Day of the Rope」
卡尔嘉也是一样。她轻抚着自己所戴的王冠。那是作为圣王国相传的大仪式魔法<最终圣战> (Last Holy War)的收束具的魔法道具。
“…Well, if we muster all of our forces, Jaldabaoth’s hardly an unbeatable foe. The fact was, he’s already been defeated once before.”
The Adventurer’s Guild had strongly protested the conscription of adventurers into the army, but Calca had not exempted them from it. It was only to be expected — this was a matter of national importance, and splitting their strength was foolish in the extreme. In addition, the Adventurer’s Guild was hardly as powerful as the Holy Kingdom itself, so forcing them to obey was a simple task.
“That’s true. Though I guess we failed in that we didn’t gain detailed intelligence about Jaldabaoth’s activities in the Kingdom.”
“I apologize for that.”
“No, I didn’t mean that, Kylardo. You’re not at fault. The blame lies with me, since I didn’t pay attention to news about other countries.”
“Certainly not, Calca-sama. It’s definitely Kylardo’s fault.”
“Well, it’s certainly not my fault. I did my job by protecting Calca-sama and clearing away monsters! I didn’t mess up in my job. That’s what they call making appropriate use of talent!”
Remedios puffed up her chest and hmphed in triumph.
She was right to say that. That said, it still bothered her.
“…Could it be that Jaldabaoth was behind those incidents where people from several villages went missing?”
“That might be the case…”
It had been a while now, but there had been incidents where the residents of quite a few villages had all gone missing. In the end, they had not managed to collect any information pointing to a culprit, but it was possible that Jaldabaoth was pulling the strings behind the scenes.
“In that case, we need to sort this out before we defeat Jaldabaoth. Speaking of which, if only the Kingdom had properly finished him off, we wouldn’t have had trouble like this… did Gazef Stronoff fight him?”
Kylardo looked at Calca with a puzzled look on her face.
Her eyes seemed to be asking, “Didn’t you tell Nee-san about it?” Therefore, Calca gave her an answer which laid those dlubts to rest, and then she smiled tiredly.
Translated, it meant, “Of course I told her. I told her about how Jaldabaoth attacked the Royal Capital, how the adventurers defeated Jaldabaoth, the other demons which appeared and how the Warrior-Captain defeated them all. I told her everything… so it must have been squeezed out by other things and gone in one ear and out the other.”
“…I really feel sorry for Nee-san’s assistants.”
“Hm? Why are you talking about them all of a sudden?”
Kylardo did not answer that question, instead curling a lock of hair around her finger.
Since Remedios did not do any thinking, then there had to be someone to cover her ass. That would be them.
She could keenly appreciate the suffering they went through. However, Remedios’ naivete — or stupidity, if one were not inclined to be polite — also had a healing effect on the soul, so the positives and negatives cancelled each other out.
“…Hah. I only know a bit, but apparently, he fought with another demon, which was covered in scales.”
“Really now. Well, if he had defeated Jaldabaoth, things wouldn’t have ended up like this. Or don’t tell me those adamantite-ranked adventurers are stronger than him?”
“I”m not too sure about that, but I think that might be the case.”
Remedios frowned in distaste.
She was probably unhappy because someone whose strength she had acknowledged was being slighted by someone else.
“Well, all he knows is how to use a sword. If he had ways of dealing with demons like we do, things would probably have been different.
In pure fighting power, paladins were a notch below warriors. However, that was not the case when fighting evil beings. Remedios was right, but Kylardo still sighed quietly.
Just then, Calca imagined that she had heard the sound of bells.
Remedios immediately sprang into action. At times like this, she was still the first to act.
She flung open the windows.
The early autumn air flowed in, and the air warmed by their bodies flowed out.
The bracing, cool air brought with it the sound of bells ringing. That was proof that what she had heard earlier was not a ghost sound caused by her ears ringing. No, it would have been much better if she had just misheard things.
At the same time, she heard the sound of several footsteps from the hallway.
“Calca-heika, please stand behind me.”
Remedios quickly drew the sacred blade Zafarisia and moved up, putting herself between Calca and the door.
The door opened with a pon.
“Your Holy Majesty!”
She recognized the first man to enter the room as he shouted at the top of his voice — he was the chief of staff.
“What happened? Why are you in such a rush?”
Remedios’ voice carried a hint of rebuke, and the chief of staff replied in a clearly disconcerted tone.
“There’s no time to slowly walk over! Your Holy Majesty! It’s Jaldabaoth! Jaldabaoth’s appeared inside the city! He’s begun destroying the city with many demons in tow! Also, the demihumans have made their move! It looks like they’re advancing on this place!
“What did you say!?”
“We’ve sighted the demihuman army in the vicinity. We don’t know how they deceived our sentries, but we were fed false information! The fighting’s going to start any moment now!”
While the sudden excess of information confused her, that lasted for only a second. Calca immediately resumed her queenly demeanor and gave orders.
“While this is a great departure from our plans, we will officially begin combat with Jaldabaoth. While we stall him, prepare to engage the demihuman army. Convey my orders to the adventurers!”
As she heard her subordinate’s words, the doubts in Calca’s heart flooded back again.
Had she underestimated Jaldabaoth?
Of course, she had no intention of underestimating the demon who could easily destroy the wall. But was the feeling that she could beat him a mistake in itself? Would it not have been better to fall back until they had finished learning about their enemy?
No. Calca waved away the budding weakness in her heart.
If they did not fight now, then when would they fight? While it was important to know the enemy, now was the only chance they had to strike with all their might. After this, the attrition of battle would deplete their resources, and it would become more and more difficult to muster the power they could command now.
In addition, continuously retreating until they had completed their intelligence-gathering operations was essentially permitting their country to be trampled underfoot.
If that were the case, an unimaginable number of her citizens would end up suffering.
“…I will let the smallfolk live their days in happiness, and make this a country where nobody will be hurt.”
Remedios was all smiles followed up on Calca’s self-directed mutterings.
These were the words she had spoken in the past, before she knew the truth of the world. However, things being what they were now, it seemed a nigh-impossible aim to achieve.
“Hmph! He’s gotten cocky now that he’s crossed the wall, but to think he didn’t bring his demihuman army with him!” Remedios fumed angrily. Was it really like that? No, it ought to have been that way. Yet, she could not peel away the undeniable sense that something was wrong which coiled around her heart.
“…Don’t lower your guard, okay? Is this the way you ought to be treating an opponent of such power?”
“Of course, Calca-sama! I don’t intend to be careless at all! With this holy sword, I shall relieve the demon of his head and present it to you!”
No good. I can’t calm her down any more.
That was what Calca thought, but she was not worried about her. That was because Remedios was a different person when she stepped onto the battlefield.
“Ahh~ there’s no need to bother with the head, but your loyalty makes me very happy. In that case, regarding the plan to slay Jaldabaoth… can you buy us some time?”
“But of course. Your servant has already dispatched an advance force to carry out our plans.”
At that moment, Calca felt a dull ache in her heart. That was because carrying out that order was actually sending them out to die.
The soldiers would be going out to fight Jaldabaoth, despite having no chance of victory.
One of her duties as a monarch was to trade the lives of the few for the survival of the many. Therefore, she could not weep or wail here.
The soldiers were giving their lives for her, so she would need to put on a show to convince them that this was a glorious assignment.
She would have to play the part of the supreme queen, respected above all others, the Holy Queen.
“In that case, let’s head out!”
The ringing clap of her hands was the signal for everyone to make their move.
Remedios gripped her holy sword and slashed a demon — whose name she had heard from one of her adjutants but which she had completely forgotten — in half. Imbued with holy power, the blade could inflict grievous wounds upon evil beings, and it was doing so to great effect. She had cut down the demons rampaging through the city one after the other. The fallen demons vanished as thick white smoke steamed from their wounds. Within seconds, there was no trace that the demons had ever been there.
However, the signs of how the demons had ravaged the city remained.
“How could this be!”
She looked at a fallen soldier — not one of the vanguard troopers, but a local patrolman — and Remedios bellowed in rage.
His leather armor had been cleanly severed, and the hands clutching his abdomen were stained a deep red. She could even see the pink of his innards. His face was well past the point of paleness, but a bloodless white.
While she had almost no medical knowledge, her own experiences supplied enough information for her to make a judgement. There was no time to send the wounded soldiers back to a casualty collection point. She would need to treat them on the spot with magic.
The soldiers were not yet dead, but it was neither a miraculous survival, nor was it because the soldiers were simply that good, so was this the demons’ aim? That said, she had no idea what the demons were planning.
Still, the option to simply let the soldiers die did not exist in Remedios’ heart. Nobody would ever discard the brave soldiers who had chosen to become a shield for their nation in order to buy their country time. And the most important thing was that she was a paladin of righteousness.
“Begin healing him!”
Remedios was accompanied not just by the elite paladins behind her, but also by several priests. Her order was directed at them.
In response, one of her adjutants stepped up and quietly replied:
“Would it not be better to let the medics in the rear aid him? If we use the priests’ mana here, we might run out when fighting Jaldabaoth, which might be the demons’–”
“–Ahhhh, come back when you can summarize your reply in a sentence of max. 10 words! This is an order! Heal him to the point where he can move on his own! Also–”
At this point, Remedios glanced at the adjutant beside her and said:
“–I can’t hear you muttering through your helmet, so speak up!”
“Ah, no, it’s not…”
The healing magic mended the soldiers’ wounds swiftly, but of course, the recovery was not complete. After all, this was only a first-tier spell, and it could not fully restore a soldier on the verge of death. Even so, it was enough to heal the soldiers to the point where they could stagger around. Since the soldiers were no longer in danger of dying, there was no need to heal them any further. Remedios still remembered her sister’s incessant nagging to wisely use limited resources.
“You brave gentlemen, stay that way and listen. We’ve performed first aid on your wounds, so fall back! After that, let the medics at the rear tend to you.”
The pain of walking was probably enough to drive the soldiers to tears, but she no longer had the time to hear them out. She had to reach her destination before Jaldabaoth arrived.
The soldiers also sensed the meaning in Remedios’ powerful gaze. None of them spoke up or protested; they simply retreated as one.
“Alright! Then let’s meet again later!”
Remedios broke into a sprint at the head of her troops. Her metal armor was lighter and easier to move in than it appeared, and given her physical abilities, she could reach her destination faster than anyone else. However, her sister, Calca and her adjutants often told her, “Don’t charge in by yourself all the time!” so Remedios throttled back the desire to sprint with all her might and quashed the desire to make up for last time.
Soon, Remedios reached her destination, which was a corner of the city.
The streets spread out before them. The evacuation had been completed long ago, and so there was nobody on the streets.
“Ma’am, if we follow this avenue and turn right, then turn right again, we’ll be at the plaza where we’ll be awaiting Jaldabaoth. Do you want us to scout ahead?”
“No, wait for Calca-sama and my sister — and the adventurers. After that, make your final checks and then hoist the banner high!”
Obeying Remedios’ orders, her subordinates tied a flag to a distant building. This was to inform the other units that the elite paladins led by Remedios had arrived.
Their operation would involve Calca and her personal guard, Kylardo and the crack troops of the temples, high ranking adventurers and the pick of Remedios’ paladins. The four units had split up and then headed to Jaldabaoth’s location.
There were roughly five hundred paladins in the order, and most of them were comparable to difficulty twenty monsters, and among them were great warriors capable of slaying a difficulty sixty monster one on one. All in all, there were twenty-five of these ultra-elite warriors, who formed the core of Remedio’s forces.
Incidentally, the remaining three hundred-odd paladins were currently standing watch against the advancing demihumans.
Originally, they should have formed up into a single unit and moved out as one. However, Jaldabaoth possessed an area-attack ability that could bring down the wall, so they had chosen to split up in order to avoid being destroyed when their forces were concentrated. The reason why they had hung the flag in the distance was so that even if Jaldabaoth saw the flag and attacked it, it would not hamper the rest of the unit.
“Can Jaldabaoth’s wall-breaking attack be used more than once, Isadora?”
There were two adjutants in the paladin order. One of them was an average swordsman, but excelled in other areas, and his name was Gustav Montanis. Right now, he was directing the paladins who were reinforcing the city walls, so he was not here.
There was another, who currently stood by Remedios’ side. The person to whom Remedios addressed her question was one of the Nine Colors as well, Isadora Sanders, called “the Pink”.
“If he could use it multiple times, then I have no idea why he has not done so already. It might make more sense to consider that there might be some condition or some kind of delay until he can use it again.”
“Pretty much. I guess splitting up was being too paranoid.”
“No, it’s nothing of the sort. Perhaps he’s conserving his strength in order to bring forth some great power. We mustn’t be careless.”
“Yes yes, I know.”
Remedios broke off their conversation. She simply was not suited to thinking, and the topic of politics in particular made her head ache. She was completely baffled by the reason why the nobles frowned on the fact that a woman had ascended to the throne of the Holy Queen.
They felt the same about Calca’s title, which was the combination of Holy King and Woman. They protested both the fact that they had a woman leading them and that a new term had to be coined for her.