Duel with Basteo
In Maou Castle, Duvallberg there is a place called the duel hall.
Long ago, there is where imprisoned humans were made to fight with beasts, and criminal demons were made to fight.
The privileged class among the demons would watch that cruel spectacle and enjoy themselves.
I suppose it’s demon like, but starting with the previous world’s ancient Rome, similar events occurred in various places.
It seems beings that possess intelligence, the higher they are the more they come to like blood.
However, even that duel space, ever since the current Maou-sama it hasn’t been used for that purpose.
In short this duel space hasn’t absorbed [Blood] in a while.
Nevertheless, this evening for the first time in a while blood is sure to flow in this duel space.
When the duel that’s going to occur now ends, at the very least,
either 7th Army Corps Corps Commander, The Black Calamity Witch Sefiro,
or 3rd Army Corps Corps Commander, the Blood Smeared Headless Duke Basteo will be executed after all.
If possible I want to win and sell a favor to Sefiro here but…….
Sefiro is in the noble seats, in other words next to Maou-sama yawning.
Is she assuming that I’ll definitely win,
or has she made a means of escaping in case I lose.
It’s quite difficult to tell the difference.
The witch known as Sefiro is a shrewd personage after all.
––––even though your life is at risk, that yawn you’re kidding right.
I’m exasperated, but for now the one fighting as proxy is me.
It’s not a situation to pay attention to what Sefiro and Maou-sama are thinking.
For the time being I look at Basteo who’s the opponent.
Just like his alias that guy has no head.
A dullahan is an undead headless knight after all.
To be exact he has a head, but he carries it under his arm.
If I try to match eyes with him, my line of sight naturally lowers.
Still, I’ve been in the Maou Army for many years, but even so I’m weak with Undead demons.
Furthermore if the other party holds hostility to me, then there’s no reason to harbor good will here.
Basteo’s head glares at me and speaks.
“Boy! Recently you’ve acting cunningly in the 7th Army Corps, the brat called Raiku huh.”
It’s not Raiku, it’s Ike.
Correcting him is a pain, but for the time being shall I answer.
For the time being the other side is the 3rd Army Corps’ Corps Commander. I should treat him as a superior right.
“It is ‘Ike’. Basteo-kou.”
“Is that so, Ike huh. I pay no mind to the 7th Army Corps and such see. Tentatively, I’ll take care from now on.”
As he said that, he laughed through his nose.
I’m an adult, so I won’t lose my temper, but sarcasm should be returned with sarcasm.
“No, Basteo-kou. There’s no need to remember the name of the likes of me.”
“Hou, you’re modest huh. You at least know etiquette.”
“Yes. Tentatively, I was taught manners by my grandfather. Not only that, there’s no need to remember something like my name right––––”
There I stopped, purposely paused, and spoke.
“At any rate, you’ll lose here and leave miserably. Even if you remember my name now, it’s meaningless right.”
Having heard that sarcasm, Basteo’s expression was a masterpiece.
His face dyed a deep red.
Even though his torso and head are detached, I wonder how is blood circulated.
There might be a heart in his head as well.
He’s an undead so a mysterious power is operating I’m sure, but I won’t worry about such things.
After all there won’t be any chance to meet with this guy anymore.
I’ll completely knock this guy down, I’m here with the intention to make this guy the loser.
“Well then, shall we start, Basteo-kou.”
I said that, but I didn’t request something like a handshake.
The other side doesn’t intend to either I’m sure.
Anyhow, Basteo and I waited for the start of the duel silently.
The rules of the duel were as explained previously.
Give command to the puppet soldiers, magic creatures created from mud prepared by Maou-sama, and compete for superiority as a commanding officer.
The puppet soldier’s ability was completely the same, in other words your genuine ability as a commanding officer is being tested.
We each manipulate 50 puppet soldiers, and battle.
In short, it can be said that the outcome is already decided before the battle.
Sure enough, that Basteo, he seems to have made the formation of the 50 puppet soldiers the most orthodox form.
Long range attack by 20 archers,
protecting those with 20 spearmen fortified with heavy armor,
the remaining 10 were arranged as swordsmen, ready to charge.
Exactly the same as the plan I thought of at first.
Looking only at that organization, it seems Basteo is not incompetent.
As expected of a Maou Army Corps Commander I would say.
If it’s not like that, it won’t be interesting.
“Even if I perform a simple small fry hunting, it won’t be amusing after all.”
I reveal as such fearlessly.
On the other side that Basteo also revealed a fearless smile.
He has quite the confidence I suppose.
What is the basis of that confidence I wonder.
I observe Basteo’s line of sight.
I understood the source of that guy’s confidence.
It appears that guy’s soldiers are wearing completely damascus steel equipment.
The spears and swords, even their shields and armor are all made of damascus steel.
Damascus steel is the best metal, mined in a certain country in this other world’s west.
Its magical strength loses to mithril and orichalcum, but because of that they have versatility.
It might be fine to say that it’s the best arms for general soldiers to have.
That being said, it seems the 3rd Army Corps has ample funds…….
I unintentionally look up at Sefiro in the noble seats.
I wish she would at least give me equipment of that level.
I unintentionally vent idle complaints, but it’s no used saying complaints.
Our Undead Brigade’s funds aren’t ample.
Our Army Corps’s Commander is an experiment loving mad scientist.
A considerable amount of the war funds provided by Maou-sama are no doubt flowing into her pocket.
Even if only a little, I want her to invest a part of that in our brigade…….
“Well, that being the case, shall I win using wisdom and cheat (gun).”
As I mutter like that, I heard the signal of the start of the duel.
The sound of a large bell echoes in the duel space.
Simultaneously with that, I ordered the puppet soldiers.
The formation of the puppet soldiers I command is as such.
30 spearmen holding extra large kite shields are deployed.
While defending against the enemy’s attack with those puppet soldiers, they attack the enemy with 5 guns.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I have left the remaining 20 idle.
They’re playing their role properly.
First 5 puppet soldiers fire guns.
After that, the puppet soldiers that fired the guns fall back.
Those soldiers of course also hold matchlock guns.
Naturally, they fire them.
The remaining soldiers, meanwhile, will carry out support in packing in bullets and putting in gunpowder for the soldiers that fired their guns just now.
If you do this, then even with just 10 guns it’s possible to effectively make use of them.
Just 10 guns will increase twice or even three times.
I send my line of sight to the personage who developed this operation method.
The girl called “Oda Nobunaga” in the previous world.
Now then, I wonder what does she think seeing this operation method.
Will she give me a perfect score.
Or else a passing mark.
In reality, this tactic is a tactic she used in the “Battle of Nagashino”.
Commonly referred to as “Sandan-uchi”.
No, since we’re rotating with 2 guns, its “Nidan-uchi” huh.
In that meaning it’s an incomplete tactic, but the effect is enough.
If enough number of gun squads were gathered, then no matter how large an army, they would disappear in an instant wouldn’t they.
That’s how powerful matchlock guns are.
When hearing matchlock gun you surely bring up an old fashioned image, but in the end, a gun doesn’t go beyond a cylinder shooting a “Bullet”.
The matchlock has a large calibre, so it’s possible to shoot large bullets.
That power is said to be superior to even modern small arms.
Being bathed in that, as expected even damascus steel shields are of no use whatsoever.
They’re scraps of paper, ……is an exaggeration.
Nevertheless, prided equipment is easily penetrated, the puppet soldiers fall one by one.
がしゃり、がしゃり they fall on the spot.
Seeing that and paling is the Blood Smeared Headless Duke Basteo.
Despite being red and in a fit of rage just before, now his face was pale.
“A-absurd, m-my prided puppet soldiers……”
What’s prided is that expensive equipment set right.
I wanted to say as such, but before that Basteo shouted in a loud voice.
“W-what is that cylinder object!? Is that a magic wand!?”
I had no obligation to answer, but for the time being shall I answer.
“This is a matchlock.”
Even if I explain he won’t understand right.
“Well, it’s fine if you interpret it as a magic cylinder.”
After this this guy will die.
There’s no need to give a detailed explanation right.
All that’s left is fro him to quietly go up to the guillotine voluntarily, or death by hanging.
––––no, unfortunately that’s impossible.
After all, this guy’s an Undead headless duke.
Hanging him, or lopping off his head isn’t possible.
There are a number of methods to execute an Undead, but well, I wonder by which method will Basteo be executed.
I considered it, but couldn’t bring together that thought.
Because Maou-sama who was sitting in the noble seats stood up.
As Basteo and I turn to face Maou-sama, almost simultaneously we go down on our knees.
When she looks down this way she praises me.
“Undead Brigade Commander Ike, that was splendid.”
I bow my head as to say thank you for your kind words, I’m obliged.
Next Maou-sama looks down on Basteo.
That gaze was exceedingly cold.
“––––after all this time I have no say to the defeated, but there is the debt of having served this one for many years. Basteo, I’ll prepare two paths for you.”
One, she sticks out a single finger.
“Graciously commit suicide, the path to accomplish an honorable death here.”
As she says that, from her pocket she holds out a small bag and throws it in front of Basteo.
Inside that small bag there seemed to be “Yurikaris poison” stuffed inside.
Drink that and die with ease, is probably Maou-sama’s benevolence.
Basteo simply stares at that small bag, and doesn’t move.
It seems he has no intention of committing suicide.
Maou-sama presents a second path.
“Two, right now, in this place, the path to be burned to cinder by my 《獄炎魔法》––––”
As she said that, she clad the top of her palm with a bluish-white flame.
Sorcery used by Maou Class people.
That power is in a different league.
No matter how powerful a person of Commander class, they shouldn’t be able to endure it.
Basteo had cold sweat.
However even he’s a Maou Army’s Corps Commander, he draws a sabre from his waist and with a haughty attitude declared as such.
“……Maou-heika, I shall take the third path.”
Maou-sama who heard those words,
raised an intrigued voice.
She’s looks down at Basteo’s entire body, and continues as such.
“That is to say, you will oppose me and plunder the seat of Maou with force, it’s fine to take it as that right.”
Basteo respectfully bows his head.
“It is as you say. With all due respect, the demon worthy of commanding the Maou Army is not you, this Basteo is.”
Maou-sama replies shortly.
“The present Maou-sama’s way doing things is too lenient, you know that the demons are gossiping as such right?”
“With all due respect, I’m of the same opinion. At this rate if Maou-sama is the Maou Army’s head, sooner or later it’s inevitable that we’ll lose to the humans. That kind of future, I do not want to see.”
“––––I see, I understand well your thinking.”
Maou-sama took a pause there.
And then slowly spoke.
“……however, it seems there’s no need to choose the third path.”
As she says so, she releases the flame clad on her palm.
It seems she felt there was no necessity to deal with it herself.
Basteo made a surprised expression, but right away seems notice Maou-sama’s intention.
When he turns to face me, he looks over my entire body.
“……hou, in other words, my opponent won’t be Maou-sama, but this youngster.”
Exactly. Also, remember my name at least.
Though I don’t voice it, I confer magic power into ouroboros.
Ouroboros shines bluish-white.
This is a duel.
Though it’s not magician like, this should be a match where swords cross.
That’s being courteous towards the Corps Commander.
At the same time as I finish conferring magic power to the cane, Basteo came slashing.
It looks similar to the technique of the lord who I previously defeated when I captured Arsenum.
It may be that they’re similar knights.
There’s a legend that the demon called dullahan, while alive, is a knight that piled up misdeeds that was resurrected as a demon.
This one as well might have been a knight with renown while alive.
While thinking so, I receive Basteo’s sword attack with the cane.
*Clink*, large sparks scatter.
The bluish-white magic power is spreading out.
As I thought if you become a Corps Commander, it seems you’ll carry a quality sword conferred with magic power beforehand.
However, even so it’s not possible to break this Ouroboros cane.
This cane is something bequeathed to me by my grandfather once renowned as the Maou Army’s Strongest Magician.
In addition now with my magic power added, I have confidence to brush aside any excellent sword.
In reality I’m repelling Basteo’s sabre.
Basteo who saw that scene displays an astonished expression.
Surely he had a great deal of confidence in that sabre and sword technique.
Setting aside magic power, there’s no way I’ll lose in sword technique.
He surely thought that, but it seems he didn’t know that the Maou Army’s Strongest Magician is also one of the best swordsman in the Maou Army.
Having brushed aside Basteo’s sword attack I turn to offense.
I freely handle the Ouroboros cane, vertically, horizontally, diagonally slashing.
It seems Basteo is at the limit warding off that with his prided sword.
Now then, having perceived that he lost in ability as a commanding officer as well as individual military prowess, what that guy would do next is decided.
“A dirty trick”
From mouth Basteo held under his arm he started chanting some sort of spell.
When he did, the bricks covering the surface of the duel space bulge and rise up.
From there what appeared was a large quantity of zombie soldiers.
I vent a sigh.
This type of person’s behavior is really easy to understand.
I decided to give advice in the end.
“Basteo, do you understand, why you lost?”
Basteo’s lips distort.
“This me lose? What are you saying? The one at an overwhelming disadvantage is you, you know? These guy’s aren’t just simple zombie soldiers. They’re gathered from elite among my Army Corps.”
Apparently they’re renowned knights and magicians resurrected with necromancy.
It seems that all of them were killed personally by him and made into zombie soldiers.
So Basteo boastfully narrates, but I wonder why are Undead capable of brutality like this.
It’s to the point that I want to make him take a lesson from my grandfather, but there’s no need for that I’m sure.
I won’t meet with this guy ever again now.
As such there’s no need to give him advice, but for now I’ll tell him at his end.
“––––the cause of your defeat is that you thought about losing from the start, and did this kind of sly action.”
Certainly I have a powerful weapons known as guns. However, I didn’t depend on those weapons, I also meticulously payed attention to the utilization method.
Basteo simply prepared expensive arms, and didn’t display creativity in its utilization method.
By no means was it just the difference in weapons that determined the outcome.
“After all, til the end the one who doesn’t abandon thinking gains victory.”
Expressing as such, I begin a spell’s chant.
The strongest magic I’ve acquired.
The magic power accumulated in my body contracts onto my palm.
One of the forbidden magics that can only be used by particularly high ranking people within magicians.
The power is tremendous.
The magic power mass released from my palm casts a dazzling light, and swallows Basteo and the zombie soldiers.
Before they can thinking it’s painful they disappear from this world, no, they were able to rest in peace.
In this way my and Basteo’s duel came to an end.