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Chapter 141: The Sage Protects the Valley of the Dead
The contents of Luciana’s report was definitely something I could not ignore.
It was the least desirable development of what I had been thinking about.
My unpleasant premonition was right on the mark.
“Is this true?”
“There’s no mistake about it. It seems they’ve advanced straight to that location.”
Luciana bluntly stated.
I could feel the slight tension in her tone.
She was obviously more serious than usual.
I could understand how she felt.
A situation where the human army directly attacked the Valley of the Dead rarely happened until now.
On top of that, it would be the first time a herald actually led the charge.
In the first place, as it was located directly next to the capital, humans were unable to invade it easily.
In most cases they would have to go through a number of villages and towns to reach it.
Furthermore, the benefits of such an invasion were few.
Currently, the concentration of miasma in the Valley of the Dead is tremendous.
Half-baked attempts at purification wouldn’t affect it, and it has turned into a region where regular people would lose their lives just by being in its vicinity.
Since I often offered corpses to it, the pollution’s spread accelerated even more.
However, the army led by the Valkyrie was headed for the Valley of the Dead.
Their motive was simple, by interfering with the Valley of the Dead, they were trying to weaken me.
It takes a lot of effort to pass through the Demon Lord’s Territory to reach the Valley of the Dead.
Mobility was required above all.
The army led by Valkyrie must be the elite members of their force but divided into a small group.
Perhaps they were moving on a scale that could hardly be recognizable as an army.
It wasn’t a bad idea.
Ten years ago, we also did the same.
It allowed them to execute operations that would otherwise be impossible with an army.
Depending on the situation, it would be the optimal solution.
Of course, this would require great ability from each individual.
Acting in small numbers was always dangerous.
A moment of carelessness would likely result in annihilation.
However, I could say that their decision this time was the correct one.
If they moved with a larger scale of people, they would have to clash against the Demon Lord’s Army over and over again before they could finally reach the Valley of the Dead.
The number of casualties would only increase, all while their mobility decreased.
If they moved with a small number of elite soldiers, this problem could be avoided.
They could just move at high speeds before being found, then reach their destination as quickly as they possibly could.
Perhaps they had planned carefully, even the routes they would take.
Since it happened right after the death of the Steel Knight, perhaps they were trying to make use of the opportunity his death gave them.
Although we managed to detect them early on, they sure thought it through well.
“What should we do? We can’t just leave them alone, right?”
Luciana said so uneasily.
She was restless, a very unusual condition for her to be in.
“I’ll handle it. I can’t overlook such actions.”
I answered as such in a deadpan tone.
Understandably enough, since they aimed to strike at the source of my power, I couldn’t afford to hold back.
I would trample over all of them, and I also had to put up more protection there.
“Is it okay for Demon Lord-sama to go alone? That Valkyrie supposedly possesses a certain ability though…”
“No problem. I have thought about a countermeasure.”
We had gotten prior information about the opponent this time.
She was one of the heralds who forcefully made it through the ritual, and I got a general grasp of her ability.
To be honest, our compatibility clashed quite badly.
However, that would only be the case if I had to fight her without any prior knowledge.
I knew how the Valkyrie fought.
I was sure she had a few aces up her sleeve, so I only needed to keep an eye out for it.
So the actual situation wasn’t as serious as Luciana thought.
“I don’t think you’ll lose but… even so, you have to be careful.”
I nodded in response to Luciana’s reminders.
The battle against the demigod was also steadily approaching.
I had no intention to exhaust myself in this battle.
“Then, I’ll be waiting for the report on the results.”
“It won’t take long. I’ll contact you again soon.”
I ended my telepathic communication with Luciana.
Logan, who was silent all this time, immediately asked me.
“What happened? Is something wrong?”
I explained my conversation with Luciana to him.
As Logan listened, he wore an odd expression.
He then growled at a difficult thought.
“The Valley of the Dead… is it known to the people that it is the source of your power?”
“I don’t remember ever spreading it around, but it wasn’t like I kept it a secret either. It wouldn’t be unnatural if others somehow managed to find out.”
The Valley of the Dead was formerly used as the execution grounds of the kingdom, so it should be quite famous.
It was well known that criminals were pushed down there.
It was also used to throw away the corpses of imperial soldiers during wartime.
It was a place that was deeply linked to death in every generation.
I was the Immortal Demon Lord that made use of undead.
In other words, it was the power to control the dead.
Naturally, it wouldn’t be strange if people suspected that the valley has some sort of connection to me.
“I’m sorry, but the investigation period is over. I will intercept the Valkyrie now.”
“What should I do?”
“I want you to go to the castle and deploy a protective spell using spirit magic, stay on standby. If you work together with Yuura, you should be able to cover the whole capital with it.”
“Leave it to me.”
Logan assures with a nod.
With this, the capital’s defense was practically perfect.
After this, I should relentlessly prepare a nullifier against the demigod’s ability over space magic.
We returned from the workshop with a transfer spell.
As Logan headed for the castle, I used transfer magic again to go to the laboratory.
As soon as I passed through the entrance, the director came out to greet me.
“Oh, you’ve come, Demon Lord-sama! What business do you—“
“I want to borrow the custom-made golem. Has it been repaired?”
I cut directly to the chase.
The director nodded her head vigorously.
She then began to speak while gesturing.
“Yes, of course it is! We reviewed the design from scratch since then and made a wide variety of improvements. Because of this, the performance of the custom-made golem—“
“I’ll listen to the details later. Please hurry and get it ready.”
The director read the room and quickly saluted.
The place she guided me to housed the custom-made golem that I used in battle against the Steel Knight.
The damages were already mended, including the minor ones.
Though, the appearance had a subtle change.
The change was so miniscule that it was hard to notice, but it was definitely different.
“We switched the parts as a whole. There’s no major change, but its basic performance has been raised.”
As I listened to the director’s explanation, I approached the golem and observed it.
Then I noticed something.
“This part is… is it from the Steel Knight?”
“That’s right. Since there were some very useful parts, I used them on the golem. I don’t think there’s any problems in terms of operating it. Err… did I do something wrong?”
“No, I don’t mind. You did well.”
I was a little surprised, but the director did nothing wrong.
The Steel Knight was already dead.
Even if she made use of his body parts, I wouldn’t complain.
It was something that would have otherwise been thrown away if it wasn’t used here, so it was better to have used it effectively.
It might be blasphemy towards the dead, but I’ve already done worse.
No one would care even if I added another offense to the list.
With such self-deprecating thoughts at the forefront of my mind, I used the moment to magically connect with the custom-made golem.
I synchronized my consciousness with it and adjusted it so that I could move freely.
My original body would be waiting here.
On the unlikelihood that the custom-made golem became inoperable I would rush to the site in person.
Hopefully, such a turn of events wouldn’t happen.
I used sensory magic.
As I scoped out the territory, I immediately discovered a presence which seemed to be the Valkyrie.
As expected, while they were moving in small numbers, they rushed towards the Valley of the Dead.
It seemed that our intel was correct.
I don’t need to bother with waiting for them to arrive.
Considering their current pace, they would likely arrive at the Valley of the Dead by today or tomorrow.
I should deal with them immediately.
“Well then, I’m going.”
“Have a safe trip! I would like to hear your impression of its operation later.”
After being sent off by the director, who waved her hand in wide arcs, I teleported to the Valkyrie’s location.
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