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In the western streets of the Arcudas capital stood a certain restaurant.
Its name was “Berum Restaurant – Capital Branch”.
In that shop existed a certain staircase that led underground. Were one to descend that staircase, at the bottom would be so large a space that one would wonder if it didn’t cover the entire city.
This space was divided into countless rooms, each filled with numerous furnishings of incredible luxury…
Truly, an underground empire. Even the Royal Palace could not compare.
And in one of the rooms in this underground empire, the leaders of the Evil God Army were currently gathered.
The Evil God Army Viceroy, the General Commander, the First to Fourth Division commanders, as well as the various captains, each one of them with mana easily surpassing 10,000. Each one possessing strength that exceeded this world’s common sense. A gathering of elites.
And sitting in the first seat amongst them as she lorded over the room was Viceroy of the Evil God Army, Camilla, who possessed noticeably more power than even these elites. Behind her on each side were General Commander Nielsen, and Chief of General Staff Dryas.
The Second Evil God Army Strategy Meeting was about to begin…
Since ancient times, the war councils had always begun with Camilla’s announcement.
“Everybody. The war council begins. First, take a seat.”
At her beckoning, all the gathered leaders sat down.
“Dryas, you begin.”
“Milady. Our first agenda is the intelligence gathering. The Magic Academy has been left to Camilla-sama, the Adventurer Guild to Mühen, and all the other areas to Belnandes. Everyone, please give a simple report on what you have discovered. Well then, could I trouble you, Camilla-sama?”
“M-, Me, huh? At Oneesama’s wish, I have been infiltrating the Magic Academy since the Month of the Fire Hammer. However, I have discovered nothing of use. Truly filled with nothing but riff-raff. I must apologise to Oneesama, but I believe that it would be best that I withdraw from there.”
“I see. I also believe that there is no need for Camilla-sama to personally gather intelligence,” agreed Nielsen.
“I-I also feel the same way. Even if Camilla-sama doesn’t trouble herself, I will continue gathering information at the Academy,” added Edim.
Many of the other leaders nodded in agreement as well. However, Chief of General Staff Dryas frowned at the sight.
“However, it was Tilea-sama’s strong wish that you do so. Camilla-sama, I must apologise, but please continue your mission.”
“Y-, You certainly have a point but, I-, I-…”
“Camilla-sama! Please endure it! We must not go against Tilea-sama’s desires. As Chief of General Staff, I strongly advise that you continue your mission.”
“Uuuu… For how long must longer must I listen to the ravings of primitives…?”
“You are my parent, and my heart aches at your plight. However, we must not allow personal feelings to become involved. In the end, I must take action to prioritise Tilea-sama’s will!”
“Mumu! You are right. It was my mistake. I will continue to endeavour at my mission.”
Hearing Camilla’s reply, Dryas smiled in satisfaction.
“Then next is Mühen. Report on the situation of the Guild.”
“Sir. This one registered at one of the major guilds. However, they had no personnel of note. Even their A-Ranked and B-Ranked high-level adventurers could be dealt with by a single soldier of our army. Far weaker than even our foot soldiers. To say nothing of C-rank and below. Good-for-nothings like those would be food for Gargan at best.”
“I see. There is no use in gathering information at a den of weaklings like that. Perhaps it would be better if Mühen withdrew as well.”
“However, this one is presently only a D-ranked adventurer. The fact is that the currently available information is limited. Perhaps the Guild is yet hiding some elite as their secret weapon.”
“I see. Then Mühen, you will continue your infiltration of the Guild.”
“Sir. This one will promptly raise his rank to S.”
After Mühen finished his report, Dryas turned to Belnandes.
“Then Belnandes, report on the general situation.”
“Sir. First I will report on the surrounding area. There are dozens of nations around the Kingdom of Arcudas, but they are nothing to be concerned with. Each one of them is a small nation, and one of our divisions would be enough to crush them. If I had to name a subject worthy of caution, it would be a bustling trade nation to the northwest; the Manafint Confederation.”
“Fumu. How powerful is their war potential?”
“At best, perhaps roughly the same level as the Kingdom of Arcudas. However, it is not the nation itself that is worthy of concern, but the Witch of the Forest that is said to reside there.”
“The Witch of the Forest, you say?”
“Yes. Apparently the Manafint Confederation treats a certain forest as a forbidden zone, and a witch is said to live there. Although the nation did send punitive armies on occasion, allegedly nobody ever returned. By now, the Manafint Confederation has given up on controlling the forest.”
“Hohh~” interrupted Camilla, “The Witch of the Forest? That might not be totally boring. I will go subdue her.”
“You have your mission at the Magic Academy, so please do not,” replied Dryas.
“Uu, b-but, ‘the Witch of the Forest’. Doe she not sound quite strong? Is there anyone who could beat her except me? If you’re worried about the Academy, I am more than capable of handling both.”
“Camilla-sama, I will come up with a plan to invade the Manafint Confederation at a later date, so please do not do anything hasty.”
Dryas glared harshly at Camilla.
“G-, Got it. Don’t glare at me like that. I will endure, okay?”
“I greatly appreciate your understanding. Well then, onto our next agenda. As the base of our operations, there is a need to completely control the Kingdom of Arcudas. By Tilea-sama’s wishes, we cannot move too conspicuously. Accordingly, we have decided to control the nation from the background, and ordered Edim to turn the leaders of this nation into her kin. Edim, report on your progress.”
“Y-Yes. At present, approximately 67% of its leaders are in our hands, with the rest of them being taken over on a preferential basis. Over a thousand members of the military follow my orders.”
“A little less than 70%… Edim, are you not being a little too lax in your efforts?”
Dryas sent a sharp look at Edim.
“M-, My apologies. With Remilia in charge of the Public Safety Force, her surveillance makes it difficult for the vampirisation of her subordinates. Ah-, if we were allowed to vampirise Remilia herself then it would speed things along, but…”
“You cannot. Remilia has been left to move freely as part of some plan of Tilea-sama’s. We cannot interfere with her plans.”
“Understood. But with Remilia’s intense surveillance, I don’t think it would be possible to infiltrate any further…”
“Fumu… Edim. How goes the vampirisation of the king?”
“There is no problem on that front. I have already made him my kin, so he will move as I say. I had already vampirised the Captain of the Royal Guard earlier, so taking the King was a simple matter.”
“Then apply pressure from above, and temporarily separate Remilia from her Public Safety Force. You can simply use that chance to turn the leaders of the Public Safety Force into your kin.”
“Sir. I will immediately do so.”
After that, Dryas turned to Ortissio.
“Moving onto the next agenda, the expansion of the Evil God Army. At present, the Second Division has been attacking settlements in the vicinity of the Royal Capital and resupplying soldiers and money. Ortissio, report your results.”
“Sir. Over the last month, my unit has defeated over thirty beastman settlements.”
“How fierce was the resistance? Were there any promising talents?”
“Sir. We have captured all the ones of decent promise. Also, all settlements showed considerable resistance. The reason was that they were filled with many hot-blooded young beastmen who were eager to rebel. Because of that, there was a need for our side to make a show of force. Once we did, however, they became as meek as kittens.”
Ortissio happily listed off his achievements.
“Hmph, feeling pretty good about yourself just for defeating some petty beastmen, aren’t you,” interjected Camilla again.
“N-, Not at all, Milady.”
“Well then, Ortissio, how goes the procurement for the Evil God Army’s treasury?” continued Dryas.
“W-, Well, we have not yet done so. H-However, I was on an expedition and the time to do so was…”
“Enough excuses. Ortissio, do you even have any sense of loyalty!”
“M-, My deepest apologies.”
“And how long do you intend on forcing Oneesama to stay in this hovel?” interjected Camilla again.
“I have been increasing the quality of the furnishings here, but…”
“And I am telling you that it’s too slow! This is Oneesama’s home! How long are you going to keep it decorated with third-rate garbage!”
“Hii! M-, My deepest apologies.”
“I have grown tired of your apologies, Ortissio!”
“Show us some results, Ortissio!”
“H-, Hic, my most sincere apologies.”
Just as Ortissio hung his head under the harsh criticisms of his comrades, the door to the room suddenly opened.
“Wahh! There’s so many people here today, too. I’ve made food, so everyone hurry up and eat.”
“Why if it isn’t Oneesama. Everyone, the strategy meeting concludes here. Outrageously, Oneesama has gone out of her way to cook us food.”
“Tilea-sama, it brings us shame to make you call for us. We will immediately head over.”
“Tilea-sama, we very humbly accept your feast.”
“Yepyep, eat up before it’s colddeh?――Or!? Are you crying again?”
“H-Hic, w-, why if it isn’t Tilea-sama. I have shown you something unsightly.”
“Aahh, geez~ Everyone, didn’t I tell you to stop bullying Or! Aren’t we all friends!”
Tilea’s rebuke caused everybody to shrink.
“Aah, T-, Tilea-sama, what kind words you speak for s-, someone like me…”
“Hahhh~ There there, come on, don’t cry.”