Machiavellianism of the Weak
The strategy that I had thought of depended on three conditions.
The first was that I had the weakest of all of the armies.
This was necessary, and there was no concern here. Because my forces had only just been born. No matter what way you looked at it, it was impossible for me to win against the other 71 Demon Kings.
There was nothing to worry about. I would be proud about being the weakest.
The next requirement was that the Demon King who I was about to defeat, be weak as well.
When there were 72 Demon Kings, there would be one who is the weakest after me. I wanted to clash with whoever that would be, and if not possible, he should still be one of the weaker Demon Kings.
In that sense, Sabnac was the perfect opponent. He was one of the weakest out of the 72 Demon Kings. If we were to rank the Demon Kings from 'F' to 'A,' then he would get an 'F.' That made him the perfect footstool for me to use to gain materials and gold.
The last condition was that there be a human country nearby. If possible, it should be weak and small. And the country that was chosen for this purpose was Count Ismalia’s lands. I liked that it wasn’t actually a country, but a count’s territory. My plan was guaranteed to play out perfectly, but it would also be like kicking the hornet’s nest. It would not be good to alarm the countries of men and risk a large scale invasion.
What I aspired to now was to kill the other Demons Kings, not world domination.
I would think about that once I grew more powerful.
I shared this view with Eve.
"That is very well, my master."
She said with a bow.
“I will now prepare the Ashtaroth Army. But there are things that we will need, will you be able to get them?”
“Money, personnel, use anything that you need. …Not that there is much, to begin with.”
"We will need more personnel first. We will need spies in order for this plan to succeed."
"Spies. Yes, that is true."
Eve's words reminded me of this, and so I put some materials into the Klein Bottle. Then I imbued it with magic to create a spy.
Rarity: Silver Rare ★★
Race: Unspecified and uncertain creature. Slime.
Fighting Ability: 12
What I created was an unspecified and uncertain creature, a slime.
Slimes were known for being the weakest monster, but spies didn't need physical strength. They had the ability to blend in with the enemy and gather information. And they were quick thinkers.
This slime was specialized for such a job and was able to turn into both man and monster.
I created 2 such slimes and sent one to Demon King Sabnac's castle and the other to Count Ismalia's lands.
And I told them to spread these words:
"The newly born Demon King Ashtaroth is a coward by nature. He has no power and is afraid of his weak position. He clearly wishes to serve another as soon as possible, so that he can sleep in peace."
What will such a rumor do?
A weak yet proud Demon King would send a servant to me as soon as possible.
The Count would either attack me or send an envoy to pressure me into paying him tribute.
That was my aim, and that was what happened.
A few days later, a human envoy arrived.
This man had an impressive beard and appeared to be a part of the Count's family. He spoke in a loud and proud voice.
"Ashtaroth, weakest of the Demon Kings. If you value your life, you will pay my master an annual tribute of gold and silver."