BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 44 (WN)
Chapter 44 – The Thunder Despot
【POV: Grett Baal】
“I beg of you, Sire! If the lands continue to dry at this rate, the people will starve!”
“The tax collections will also decrease severely, please reconsider…”
“…I fail to see the problem. Even if a few plebs die, it can’t matter much, can it?”
Inside Zeus — on the top floor of the tower of Babel, I was being forced to listen to the reports of my brainless subordinates. Though rather than reports, they were mostly pleas by local lords or the general populace.
The two functionaries kneeling before me came for such reasons too. What they all kept saying could be summarized in just a few words: stop using Zeus.
(Damned fools. Who would ever give up on divine power?)
Zeus, the magic tool discovered by the first emperor and handed down in the Baal imperial family, had caused the land around the capital to dry up, due to its secondary effects. More and more people in the empire called for me to take responsibility, but I had no intention to let go of this power — a power perfectly for an emperor.
(This power simply begs to be used by me, as the gods’ chosen one…this is a weapon to be used by the greatest Baal emperor…no, by the man that will become king of the world.)
A divine power to rule over all and inflict punishment on whoever dared oppose it. How could I ever cast it away?
“In the village of Naarb, to the south, a small revolt even broke out. Your Highness, we implore you to reconsider!!”
“Please, Sire! The revolt might spread to the rest of the empire, and…”
“We just need to massacre the rebels, don’t we? The village of…Naarb, yes?”
I grinned and activated Zeus. Suddenly, a square window-like object appeared in front of me, which showed a map of the empire and surroundings. I searched the village of Naarb and selected it.
Immediately, a thunderbolt shot from the tower, flying southward at incredible speed.
I could not physically see where it landed, but I could tell nonetheless, with absolute precision. The village of rebels who dared oppose me had disappeared from the empire.
“The Naarb revolt has been quelled. If you have no other business, make yourself scarce.”
“W-What!? That cannot be…!!”
“P-Prince!! How could you be so heartless!!”
The statue behind my seat rose in response to my order. The stone giant lifted its axe over the functionaries and struck without mercy.
The gigantic weapon cleaved through the functionary, showering the other with blood. The surviving man fell and stared at the mindless executioner, with terror in his eyes.
The stone giant was a magic tool called “Stone Guardian Golem”, placed in protection of this tower of Babel. It can’t be taken outside, but it is alone worth more than 10 human soldiers.
“I will not tolerate more mistakes: I am ‘Prince’ no more. You will address me as ‘Emperor’.”
“M-My deepest…apologies…o Noble Emperor…”
“Very well. I shall not repeat myself any more. You may leave.”
“…with Your permission.”
The functionary scampered away, fleeing down the tower’s stairs.
I watched him go, then leaned back on the imperial throne, which I had moved to the top of the tower.
“It is rather disheartening to be surrounded by idiots…”
“Yes, yes, truer words have never been spoken, Emperor Grett!!”
Saim Fulcas, one of my close retainers, approached me while rubbing his hands.
“Thanks to Emperor Grett’s divine power, the empire is truly uniting as one. As expected of the founder’s successor! I am witnessing history in the making!”
“Hah, that much is obvious.”
I nodded with confidence.
In order to govern the vast Baal empire, it is necessary to wield a power so overwhelming as to erase any will to rebel. And such power must be shown and known to one and all.
As all those who revolt against me are purged, the citizens will turn into loyal puppets soon enough.
But more importantly —
“Fulcas, how is that matter proceeding?”
“W-W-Well, Your Highness…after the most recent defeat, it is actually quite difficult to gather more soldiers…”
“A defeat against that puny House Maxwell is a blemish on our empire, something that must be erased with the greatest urgency — lest the empire’s glory be tarnished forever. Prepare for the campaign, now.”
Unfortunately, the Maxwell territory, far to the west from the capital, is outside Zeus’ range. In order to attack House Maxwell, I am forced to use military power instead of this magic tool.
“We must annihilate House Maxwell and recover Rossellia as soon as possible. The greatest emperor requires the most beautiful empress, after all.”
“Naturally, Sire. However, in order to assemble a great military force we will need rations as well…”
Fulcas’ words trailed off as he scratched his balding head. I glared at the ancient man and issued an order without hesitation.
“Issue a conscription order for all of the empire’s young men. Make the villages produce the rations, then take the rest from the Maxwell territories. The soldiers will surely do their utmost, since they will not be able to eat if they don’t win against House Maxwell.”
“I see, I see, that is most certainly true. I shall proceed immediately.”
Conscripting the young men will create a force of about 200,000. Against such a large army, the Maxwell province will be razed in mere seconds.
“Hahaha…it is time to pay for making a fool out of me. Dyngir Maxwell! Do not think I will let you die easily…I shall prepare the most gruesome execution just for you…”
From the top of the tower, I glared at the western skies, relishing the prospect of torturing and executing my hated nemesis.