< Evade the Hero and Flee! 197 #23. Policy Meant for My Dream! (4) >

 

Bombardments.
What a wonderful way to attack one-sidedly in a war that was. Especially when my side holds the absolute advantage in the firing range; I could one-sidedly annihilate the enemy without hurting my allies once.
The best example of this would be Korea’s Chungmugong Yi Sun-shin. Admiral Yi’s only crime in life was serving under an idiot king. During his battles against the invading Japs, he fully exploited the difference in the level of ships and firepower to never lose a single encounter.
And the most important aspect regarding bombardments was… It’s safe.
While fighting in close quarters, there was a good chance of getting hit by a stray arrow and dying! When almost all kingdoms in the continent join the war, you’d inevitably encounter all sorts of unexpected variables.
Among those variables was the death of the famed undefeated general during his one and only defeat. Just how hard did I have to work to deal with the aftermath!
The valuable lesson I learned back then was: “If I ever become a commander, I shall immediately slink off to the rear of the battlefield.”
However, that lesson had a fatal flaw… None other than the morale of my fellow soldiers! Which soldier in their right mind would be happy to see their commander hiding in a far-off safe place to hurl orders at them?
Since ancient times, soldiers trusted and followed a commander that stayed by their side and took the lead in the battles. That’s why… I took everyone else and stayed in the rear. Our role would be to diligently fire the bombardments from there.
Fire, then fire some more, then… fire even more!
Just like how a SiXtanX in SiXmode was firing mercilessly at the X army charging in to attack! [1]
Thanks to all the practice, my ability to calculate the distance with my naked eyes has become a bit… No, it has become one of the best in the entire world.
I rekindled that memory and resorted to long-distance bombardments against Aggreahrt. The result? Overwhelming success.
There was not a single casualty on my side while we slaughtered countless many enemies. Even Aggreahrt was successfully killed in the end.
But now, I’ve realised the truth. That wasn’t the overwhelming success, but an overwhelming failure. I should’ve been a bit more cautious back then.
However, that ship had set sail already.
“…What a chaotic mess.”
I stopped by at the demon king’s castle to get a better understanding of the situation, only to be greeted by scenes of utter pandemonium.
“Documents! Hurry up!”
“Dammit! Where did the manager for this matter run off to?!”
“He died!”
“Dammit?! Then who’s the next in line?”
“Also dead!”
“Daaaaaaaammmit!!!”
“P-please, save me…”
“Don’t die! If you die, you’ll only increase our workload!”
“Which bastard is trying to die without permission?! Are you dying after finishing your work first?!”
This was Hell.
Not a single demon walking around with documents clutched to their bosoms were free from dark circles below their eyes. I even witnessed a fair few demons crawling on the floor, too.
Some crawled, some walked, some ran, some even flew.
I watched these folks hurriedly moving around while utilising every inch of the corridor, then quickly left them alone. There’s no need to disturb hard-working people, now is there?
When I reached my destination and opened the office door…
“Are you busy?”
…I was greeted by the sight of a corpse.
“Can’t… you… tell… by… looking?”
The corpse’s lips barely managed to squeeze out some intermittent words. That voice should’ve been quite pleasing to listen to, but right now, it reminded me of withered, cracking farmland after a lengthy drought.
“You’re dying, then.”
“Indeed, it’s… deadly.”
What a one-sided bombardment this was.
Never mind casualties, not a single person on my side was wounded during the battle. On the other hand, the enemy camp’s leader, Aggreahrt, was killed, while the enemy suffered hundreds of casualties and even more injured overall.
But, during the commencement of the bombardment, a shell landed on a not-so-nice area, and…
“To think that all the office workers doing the government work got massacred like this…”
“And their demise is pushing the rest of us to the brink of death as well, sir!” Belegrea raised her gaunt face and shoved the pile of documents aside.
Unfortunately for her, though, a worker abruptly rushed inside the office as soon as she did that and dropped a new pile of documents on the cleared space.
“Let’s just die.”
“Oii?”
The situation was so severe that Belegrea, resolved to sacrifice her everything for the peace of the demon continent once upon a time, had to give up!
“Sirrrr! Please help us with the work!”
She stared at me with such desperation in her eyes that I was forced to reply to her right away.
“Don’t want to.”
“Euh-euk…”
Of course I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to work, and that’s why I dumped the position of the demon king on her, so why should I roll my sleeves up again?
“Don’t you have any new spare recruits lying around?”
“No, there is no one…”
The story Belegrea told me earlier heavily implied that the demon race prioritised their combat strength, and their perception of a desk job was that it only belonged to losers and trash who got left behind in the fierce competition.
That’s why those born with defects or those who lost parts of their bodies during battles usually ended up with desk jobs.
“But, going by that logic, don’t you have plenty of new recruits this time?”
“…When I tried to employ them, sir, they only caused more headaches.”
“Hmm. Makes sense…”
Pushing documents outwardly seems like a simple enough job, but in reality, each letter and each number on a document meant a world of difference. As such, it’d be too much of an ask to bring fresh-faced recruits here just because they are patients of some kind and put them to work immediately.
Especially more so when those patients lost their arms and legs from our bombardment in the first place!
“I could lend you my hero punk, but well…”
“I’ve already requested his assistance, but he keeps running away.”
“Mm…”
As expected of my disciple. He certainly has a good nose for things like this, doesn’t he!
“And our plan’s progress?”
“It’s still lacking in so many areas.” Belegrea sighed at length with her head faltered. She glared at the documents resting on her desk for a little while, then looked up at me with a pair of pleading eyes.
“I’m not doing it.”
“But sir, just a little bit…” Belegrea made a dumbfounded expression when I expressed my stance even before she could ask. “Isn’t it fine to help me just a little?! I’m only talking about this tiny little work, sir!”
“Still don’t wanna.”
“S-such a firm answer?!”
What was the old saying about continued kindness eventually becoming entitlement? If I dip my toes while saying it’s only temporary, then before long, I’d be in charge of that particular problem for good.
Even though my initial thought would be ‘Just a little’… By the time I regain my wits, all the work would be dumped on my lap! And before long, such a thing would’ve become so natural that everyone starts asking me for the work’s progress or just dumping more work on my desk.
Once that situation happens, it’d be too late to back out.
I’ve already experienced that situation many times during my past life and this one! You think I’ll go through that again at this age?!
“Give up, Belegrea. Training the new recruits will yield faster results.”
“Hah-ah… Devoting myself to work will get the job done faster than that, sir.” Belegrea dropped her forehead on the desk with a thud.
I decided to cheer her up. “Since you know, hurry up.”
“You… Really?!”
While staring at Belegrea gritting her teeth, I began explaining the purpose of my visit today. “The chieftains’ education is coming along quite nicely. I estimate that their education will end in about a month.”
“A, a month, you say…” Belegrea squeezed her eyes shut since she intimately knew the contents of my so-called education. She silently prayed for the chieftains’ good luck. “Oh, you poor demons…”
“Their sacrifices will ensure the peace and prosperity of the demon race. You are not suspecting the Demon God’s will, now are you?”
“T-that’s not true, sir!”
I smiled in satisfaction when Belegrea urgently shook her head. It seemed that the cure-all remedy called ‘dropping the Demon God’s name when appropriate’ was still working just fine!
“Well, then. This is my new plan.”
I handed over a list that I worked on diligently for a while. I meant to give this list to her the last time we were together, but my distrust in the demon race’s intelligence level had postponed it.
“…New Tribe Movement?” [2]
“That’s right. The goal of this plan is to boost the demon race’s hard-working nature, self-reliance, and ability to cooperate. Then, evenly develop the entire demon race, not just the weak and small tribes. One of the most important aspects of that is, without a doubt, the reformation of the national consciousness!”
I’ve heard that a certain ‘Socialist’ country up north started this policy called Chollima Movement, but I didn’t know what it was all about. The only Chollima I know is an online store, after all! [3]
That’s why I decided to copy a movement that I was a bit more familiar with.
“T-there is even a song to go with it, sir?”
“Of course. Singing while working will enhance productivity, you see.”
The name of the song was New Tribe Song!
Its first verse even started with, ‘The new dawn’s bells are ringing!’ and ended with, ‘Let us build a new tribe!’. There were four verses in total, and I made sure to jot them down in detail. [4]
“There is also a flag?”
“Well, having a symbol is important, after all.”
The design I personally came up with had the emblem of the Demon God in yellow and green, while the words [New Tribe] were written right below it in Gungseochae font. [5]
“Sir, the contents in this list seem… like they will require a lot of funding… Am I mistaken?”
“Development of this scale naturally requires a lot of capital. But do not worry. The funds will be provided by the Demon God’s temple.”
We will be transforming the residential spaces and building new roads, then proceed with various types of education for the young demon race kids.
The funds would be provided by the Demon God’s temple with its still-humongous wealth. If that proves to be still insufficient, we could always collect from other temples affiliated with us.
“Is that so…” Belegrea nodded, then continued to read my plan while flipping through the pages. She quickly went through the list and sometimes asked me about certain aspects that puzzled her.
“Sir, about this part…”
“Sir, it says here that it’s meant to teach the noble Demon God’s will to the young ones, but the loyalty of the demon race to our god is already…”
“Sir, wouldn’t this be a little too challenging?”
Once she got going, Belegrea didn’t hold back on her questions right up until the last page. And once she heard all of my answers, a truly bright grin lit up on her face. “Sir, this is a really wonderful plan!”
“You think so, too?”
As far as I know, the original Korean movement was evaluated as a success overall. I heard that the whole world had evaluated it favourably, and some aspects of the movement were being spread overseas, too!
“The most crucial part is with the leadership understanding the policy and setting an example by taking the initiative. And when you said the chieftains were receiving education, did you mean this?”
“Of course.”
I christened it as ‘Bat-style Cram Education’. My many disciples were good examples of how effective this education regime was.
“Sir, it seems everything is going according to plan.”
“Indeed, everything is proceeding smoothly.”
“As long as things stay this way, of course.”
“Indeed. As long as they stay that way.”
If things continued to progress in this fashion, then the demon race would eventually get to enjoy a more prosperous future.
The problem with that was…
“I guess it’s time to die, sir.”
“Oiii?!”
Belegrea, seemingly understanding everything, opened the window and got ready to jump outside.
“I’m supposed to oversee all these things, aren’t I, sir?!”
“Obviously! You’re the demon king, after all!”
“But sir! Lord Marx, aren’t you also the demon king? Not just any, but one chosen by the Demon God herself?!”
“And I’m planning to hand that title over to you, too!”
“I refuse! I will refuse, so please, please! Lend me your assistance!”
She cried out and threatened to jump out of the window, but uh… It’s too bad for her, but we were on the first floor.
Besides all that, someone on the level of a swordmaster wouldn’t die after jumping off from the top of a castle wall as long as they didn’t want to. And there were soldiers on the ground outside, so they should easily catch her even if she did jump.
Worse still…
“Lady Belegrea?! Are you taking a break?!”
“We’re wasting away with work like this, yet you’re actually taking a break, ma’am?!”
“Get back to work, ma’am!”
If Belegrea dies today, the amount of work the bureaucrats have to deal with would go up accordingly. That’s why they would never allow her to kill herself.
Belegrea was also aware of that, of course. She wordlessly closed the window to block out the loud jeers and boos coming from outside, then settled down demurely on her chair.
“If I do this, I’ll really die, sir.” She pressed her face on the desk’s surface then began talking to me with a sobbing voice. “After I became the demon king, the amount of work I deal with has grown, sir. I still had enough time to sleep before all this, but now? I can’t even do that!”
Sniffle…
She continued to sniffle while leaning her face against the desk.
Watching her made me groan deeply. “This New Tribe Movement also includes the education of the demon race. While spreading the will of the Demon God, we shall change the people’s perception of desk jobs. And once more people have learned basic knowledge, we should see the appearance of useful workers.”
“How long do you think it’ll take us to change the perception, sir! 100 years? No, maybe ten? How about we assume a minimum of five years? Will that be fine?!”
I will die of overwork well before that happens, sir!
Belegrea didn’t directly say that out loud, but the way she glared at me told me that loudly enough.
She was too powerless. With her current state, exploiting her might not be feasible. There were three ways to resolve this. However, the first method was the metal bat, and she was currently being used in the education of the chieftains – so she’s out.
The second method was for me to help her out. But I didn’t want to work, so that’s also out. Which meant I had no choice but to go with the third option.
And that was the so-called shock therapy!
“I’m not sure, but, uh… Shouldn’t it be better for you to work instead of wasting your time burying your face on the desk?”
“…”
She was exercising her right to silence.
Very well. Let’s see if you can keep that up after I drop this bombshell.
“The thing is, Ria will soon stop working here, you know?”
“Say what?!”
Bang!
Belegrea powerfully jumped up, her eyes trembling urgently. “W-w-what are you t-talking about, sir?!”
“Ria will be retiring soon.”
“H-hold on?!” I turned around and was about to leave her office, but Belegrea physically threw herself forward and tried to block my path. “What are you even talking about, sir?!”
“Ria says she’s going home.”
“B-but, what about her work…?”
Belegrea was now on the floor, crawling, her hands clinging onto me.
However, I easily shook off her desperate hands and grinned insidiously at her. “Of course, you’ll have to do her share.”
“No! Noooooooo!!!”
The legend of the nightless castle recorded in the annals of the demon continent’s history all began with Belegrea’s tragic scream.

[1]: I have no idea what the author is referring to here. Tried to google, but didn’t get any concrete results.

[2]: This is a riff on the New Community Movement of South Korea kicked off by President Park Chung-hee in 1970.

[3]: Chollima Movement was North Korea’s state-sponsored Stakhanovite movement launched in 1956. As for the online Chollima store, it’s actually 1000lima dot kr, an online phone store. 1000 is pronounced, “cheon/천”, which is the same as “Chollima” in Korean – 천리마.

[4]: There really is a song (more like a jingle) for the New Community Movement, apparently written by President Park himself. And yes, it starts off with the line, “The new dawn’s bells are ringing.”

[5]: Gungseochae is an old-school Korean (or Hangul) font invented in the middle of the Joseon dynasty for the ease of learning the language for the palace’s maids-in-waiting.

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