Chapter 46:


How I (Accidently) Became a Demon Lord

 The group all sat in the woods, hidden from the view of Pierce guards. Nekra had felt it the second Rath began to pull the spear free, the easing of the pain. He was more convinced than before that the skull housed his specialty soul.

“What is the plan?” Pelone asked, she seemed bored as she munched at some of the rabbit she caught.

Rath stared into the campfire, hands clasped in front of his face. “We do what we can.”

“Huh?” Pelone said, giving a disgusted look. “What does that even mean?”

“We offered a peaceful solution.” Rath chimed in. “I offered him a simple solution, he rejected it, I offered a battle of champions, he rejected it. We need to let the people know about it.”

“You plan to turn the people against him?” Nasui asked, he was on the edge of the fire, keeping watch.

“Yes.” Rath said. “He rejected our approach, but we can still force him to accept it if we change public opinion about him. A king is nothing without his followers, and what soldier would want to die for someone who wouldn't offer the same back?”

“That is reasonable logic.” Malphis chimed in. “However most people's beliefs are muddled. Too many people view a king as a ruler, someone who is destined to rule. Not many people challenge that order.”

“That is true in most countries, but not Tirim.” Rath said, a smirk crossing his face.

Malphis' eyes widened in realization. “You are correct, this king was found in a revolution, he was a peasant that rose to the rank of king. He inspired people to not allow for tyranny.”

“Malphis, Yaki.” Rath began, looking from the fire to the two of them. “I got a task for you both. I want you two in the city spreading word about what happened at the gate. I want the people to know the truth in particular.”

“Why Yaki sir?” Yaki questioned.

“Goliath’s are welcome in Pierce.” Rath explained. “And your illusion magic can change your appearance correctly? You two are the best for this job. Pelone, I want you to help them find a way into the city, a way we can take advantage of.”

“I guess.” Pelone sighed. “We should go tonight, guard will be up but they won't expect a stealth option considering we walked straight to the front gate.”

“Still be careful.” Rath said. “Nekra, do you think you can find that soul?”

Nekra almost jumped when he was mentioned. “Yes, I can go there tonight.” Nekra had already planned to look into it anyways so it worked out.

“Good, Nasui, Fenrin, and I will remain here for the time being.” Rath said.

“But what is the actual plan?” Pelone asked. “Changing public opinion will do what for us?”

“It may lead to the king giving our negotiations another chance.” Rath explained. “People don't want a war with a Demon Lord, and if one is offering peace for the simplicity of being left alone then they will jump at that. It would also cause unrest, making it harder for them to raise an assault on us later.”

“What of us then?” Nasui asked. Fenrin nodded in agreement, it was clear he was antsy for a fight.

“Should the time come, we fight.” Rath stated. “But we dont fight just anyone, you guys will open the way to the king for me.”

They all nodded, they figured it may come to this. They were all ready for it.

“This is stupid!” Garion yelled out.

They were all in the council room, discussing what had happened today. Loci, Mosti, Percival, Ezek, and Osir all sat around the table. Discussions had gone nowhere, no one knew what move to make.

“We attack in the night.” Ezek said casually. “There is a way to kill a Demon Lord, we just gotta find it.”

“We should hold a defense, there is only a few, let them try to attack and hold them off with our army till reinforcements can come.” Mosti offered.

“We should negotiate, giving up Criss isn't a possibility but perhaps we could give them another territory? One where we could have an upperhand if they attacked again?” Loci offered.

“They are open to attack.” Percival offered. “The Demon has left Criss behind, we should send a force to take it while its undefended. Can we send word to our Kyrit forces?”

Garion fell back into his seat, there were flaws with all the plans. If they attacked at night they may walk into a trap, plus they would have to send a smaller force and have to find them in the forest. Holding a defense against a Demon Lord for a month? That is what Kyol has been doing for months now, and its just been a stalemate. They wouldn't take a different territory, so that negotiation is off the table. Taking the village from behind was a good opportunity but reports said Kyrit wasn't ready yet.

Osir sat, looking over the table. His eyes had begun to fill, no longer the shallow look but determined. He had offered nothing so far, Garion wondered what went thru his head.

“Osir.” Garion questioned. “What do you think?”

Osir turned to Garion, the table going quiet. “I'm not sure. But denying his request’s wouldnt be my options.”

“How so?” Garion asked. “If not for Mosti I would have fought him today.”

“We cannot lose you.” Mosti spoke. “We have an army, we should use them.”

“By denying it you showed weakness.” Osir stated. “Once word reaches our troops and people they will see it as you being afraid. If you want to send an army at them it is almost a death sentence, and who would want to die for someone who wouldn't die for them?”

“Then what do you suggest?” Loci asked Osir.

Osir looked at the map of the city and surrounding area intently. “We need to raise morale, get the people believing that victory is assured. Perhaps spin it where Garion views the threat as so lowly that he thinks anyone could defeat them? Or perhaps he wants to give other soldiers the glory of bringing down this threat.”

“It'll reinforce our men, a chance at glory is what drives adventurers.” Percival added. “That could work, Mosti can arrange that I assume.”

“Sadly that wont do anything against them.” Osir added, drawing everyone's eye. “This Demon Lord came with only a handful of people you said? If that is the case a full blown assault isn't the plan. They will try to hit important targets, were dealing with an assassination attempt more then a seige.”

Garion’s eyes widened. “He will be coming for me, good let him come.”

“He will probably try to hit important members of the city.” Osir chimed in. “As in, the people at this table.”

“We should all be on alert then.” Loci said in fear. “Heavily guard us all?”

“That will show we are afraid.” Mosti stated. “It'll ruin the morale boost we are giving our men. We should actually be less guarded. Show that we aren't afraid of whatever this monster is offering.”

Loci shock in his seat. “For you warriors, go ahead, but please give me my guard detail, increase it even.”

“We will arrange it, Loci.” Garion said.

“We should prepare for standard siege tactics.” Ezek chimed in. “He'll probably start hitting trade routes and poisoning water supplies.”

“I'm not too sure about that.” Osir added. “Doing so goes against what he has done so far.”

“What do you mean?” Percival began. “He's a Demon Lord, nothing is beyond them. There is word that Tatalis has begun filtering false coins into Kyol’s economy, and he definitely poisoned water supplies.”

“But Tatalis never asked for negotiations.” Osir chimed in. “This one did, he offered two methods of peace. I feel as if he is trying to keep civilians out of the conflict. He had his goals, and I think they are focused on our king here.”

“He challenged you to one on one conflict, did you do something to him?” Ezek asked.

“He wants my throne.” Garion said as if it was obvious. “So Osir, what do we do?”

“We prepare.” Osir added. “We should fortify this castle. Most likely the attack will be here, decrease any civilians that work here. We want to keep as many out of the conflict as possible.”

“What!” Mosti said angrily. “Why would it be here? My men wouldn't let him past the front gate!”

“Your men are not his target.” Osir said with a sigh. “He will sneak into the city, and come straight here. We get civilians and any unneeded guards out. Send them to locations to sure up defenses, it will show that Garion is not afraid and keeps our people out of harm's way. He doesn't need simple guards, we should be enough.”

The group exchanged looks amongst each other. It was Ezek that broke the silence. “You're right there, we can hold off this Demon Lord and whatever pathetic forces he has.”

“Leave it to us, Garion.” Mosti said to the king.

“You know I got your back.” Percival said with a smirk.

“Can I leave?” Loci asked.

“No, you're needed.” Ezek said with a laugh. “Congrats you get to watch the carnage! Aren't you excited!”

Loci looked down low. He was no warrior, it made sense for him to be afraid, was a politician. Garion laughed at his friends. “Very well.” Garion began. “Lets kill a Demon Lord.” 

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