190 Chapter 187 Harem Crusher
Joseph floated in the air, gazing down at the army that was invading his lands. Technically, he did steal it from them, but they never knew it, and he wasn't about to give it back now. Besides, the men below him, didn't follow the king that had laid claim to this land.
"How many do you think there are?" asked Stella, floating beside him.
"Around 80,000," he answered, glancing over them all.
"You counted?" she asked, turning to him surprised.
"No, it's simple math," he said with a small smile.
Stella groaned. "You and your math."
"Lay down your weapons and armor, and surrender. If you do, your lives will be spared. You have two minutes. I will kill anyone still holding a weapon and in armor at that time."
"A little quick on the time, but I think if properly motivated," said Stella with a shrug.
It was obvious to both of them that not many were actually trying to remove their armor. Those in the very front of the army, the fodder, were about the only ones, and they were attacked if close enough to the mercenaries that seemed to make up the middle of the army.
"It's disgusting that they have primitive guns. Those must have come from the duke who warned me about the heroes."
"It's only a dozen or so percussion cap weapons. The majority are flintlocks. They also have maybe a hundred cannons, there in the middle area," said Stella, pointing at them.
"These guys are just pawns. Hardly worth venting on. The heroes were the actual threat."
"Yet, you are still going to kill and enslave them?" she asked, curiously.
"Of course! Any threat to the kingdom should be crushed. The lives they live as slaves in my kingdom will be far better than anything their current kingdom, ruled by demons, will provide them. Do you think I should spare them?" he asked glancing at her.
"No, I was curious. You shouldn't ask me if you're having a moral dilemma. Most of Sylva's memories are from when she considered men like these, a snack. Most of my memories are from hiding from men like this, when my mom brought them home. They look filthy, and the few who are taking their armor off, are starved."
"Hmm. Well 2 minutes is up now anyway. A few SKYFALL would do it, but the earthquakes might hurt the workers on the mountain."
MASS CHAIN SHRAPNEL.
Dozens of instances of the SHRAPNEL spell appeared and started firing off at the army below. Every time one was fired, another took its place. Soon hundreds of small homing darts were in the air. They intentionally went for the eyes, to ensure they were fatal.
At first the army was stunned. It took almost ten full seconds before the men in back were able to see and understand the wave of dropping bodies in front of them. Joseph had killed hundreds already, and it had only been a few seconds.
At the first sign of mana gathering, a SHRAPNEL blew the head off of the enemy mage.
Despite the obvious lack of danger to him, Stella stayed by Joseph's side, in case there were any surprises. She was fantastic against powerful opponents, or elite squads, but she couldn't hope to match him against crowds of weaklings for efficiency.
Joseph thought about it for a moment, and decided that maybe some of them might not have been considered weaklings. One of the captains parried his SHRAPNEL, so another took him from his blind spot.
"Stella, do you think raising the dead as zombies and having them finish off the rest would be too much?" he asked, thoughtfully.
She gave him a look. "Just kill them, Joseph. You have another meeting after this, and the sooner it's done the sooner we can make popcorn and watch what Issa's group is showing tonight. I'm hoping it's something uplifting. The people watching this will need some cheering up."
"You think so? My awesome power isn't enough to bring pride to their hearts?" he asked, in surprise.
She looked at him, as if trying to judge if he was that delusional, and they both laughed.
"Fair enough," he chuckled, shaking his head.
It took another ten minutes to finish the slaughter. 500 had surrendered out of the 80,000 strong army that marched south. Many of them were women who had been conscripted by the more powerful of warriors, and the very weak in the very front of the army.
(YOU HAVE EARNED THE TITLE: HAREM CRUSHER.)
(IT IGNORES DIVINE PROTECTION AROUND HAREM LEADERS AND THEIR MEMBERS.)
(MOST PEOPLE CONSIDER IT PLOT ARMOR, BUT IT'S REALLY DIVINE PROTECTION FROM A GOD WHO DOESN'T WANT TO BE NAMED.)
(MOST OF THEM WHO DO IT, ARE MARRIED AFTER ALL. THEIR WIVES WOULDN'T APPROVE.)
Notifying Daisy, Joseph instructed that the 500 be stripped, cleaned, clothed and fed, before being put to work. They would be workers of the kingdom, and put to work where ever there was a need. Then he told her that the mess could be cleaned up by the beast-kin who enjoyed human flesh. He would clean up what ever was left after a couple of days.
Daisy broke contact very quickly, that surprised him for a moment, then he shrugged. Stella was right in that he needed to have another meeting. He could already feel the messages from his dad weighting down his mind.
William was waiting for him, outside the door of the meeting room.
"Why did you feel a need to put their souls in stones?" asked his dad, still not understanding.
Joseph sighed. "I already told you, their souls would have gone straight back to NURKONG, which would then have been revived as something more powerful and dangerous to us, and sent back. This way they are trapped in a fantasy of my choosing. If they break free from that fantasy, I doubt any of them will realize they're in a soul stone, to try and break free of that, with the box making them think they are trapped in a black nothingness."
"And the one you twisted with magic?" his dad asked.
"I turned her soul into a very powerful spell, that hurt NURKONG a lot when he sucked it back to him. She deserved it, though, she led the attack after they realized their target was children."
"Why didn't you do the same thing to the other souls? Can't you reform them or something so that they weren't evil?" asked his dad.
"Dad, not everyone can be saved. Once touched by evil, it leaves a stain. I doubt there's anything more evil than NURKONG. I didn't turn the other souls into BLACK SUN, because I didn't want NURKONG returning the soul to this realm before it blew up. That would have caused way more damage than I am prepared to fix."
"I don't know how I am going to explain this to your mother," his dad said.
"Then don't. She doesn't understand magic either."
William gave him a look, then gave up. It wasn't worth the effort to argue.
"Do you know what we are going to do with the slaves you just got?" he asked, changing the subject.
"Not yet, but I didn't see a reason to kill them, when they followed orders so well. If they ever cause any trouble, they can always be killed later."
"Joseph!" cried William in surprise. "These are people that didn't have a choice in whether they wanted to fight or not. How can you be so cruel?"
"Cruel? Did you see what happened to those children? Did you see the joy on the faces of my people when I brought them back from the dead? What about those who had died, slowly crushed by the buildings they were in? The looks of pure pleasure, when they realized they had been saved? These people definitely had a choice. Granted it may have been their deaths, but I guarantee you, I will take no pity on anyone who goes against my kingdom, and my people."
William struggled against the push of his Wizar template, and the desire to follow the rules that Joseph had already placed into being. He had been through too much, trying to save those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, to just roll over and accept Joseph's words. He had always had someone over him, trying to go against him, and there were always more to save, then he physically could.
"Dad, I understand that you have saved people your whole life," said Joseph, placing a hand on his father's shoulder. "But these slaves are not your people. They are the enemy. The fact that they gave in to my demands, means they get to live another day. If they do as they are ordered, then there won't be any problems. I don't intend to intentionally cause conflicts for them. The odds against them are already far greater than they can endure. The difference is that I can guarantee that others won't storm in and kill them, as the leaders of that army obviously couldn't do."
William nodded slowly, and turned to open the door for him to enter the meeting room. Joseph knew his father was struggling, and he hated to think that he was the reason for that struggle, but he had fought too hard to get to where he was, to let things crumble around the edges because of inequality. He understood that if he was to be king, he needed to be strong enough to make the decisions that would ensure the happiness and well-being of his people, even if those decisions were callous to those who were not his people.