Wizard! Chapter 493
William had forgotten one detail in his approach to the current situation. Dwarves were dwarves. There was nothing inherently wrong with that, but it meant they were different. Dwarves weren’t gevai- and they weren’t human either. In fact, they probably didn’t even really know how strong gevai were.
If he were facing gevai, he had a high probability the leaders would have just strutted out to face him head on- especially if they thought their military was weaker. Dwarves… William didn’t have that much experience with. However, he soon saw this particular group of dwarves response.
That was to gather up what was probably every single gun and longbow in the whole city, and to fire them all at once. William’s army hadn’t been standing directly next to the walls of Dhugulir, and they had seen the people forming up on the walls… so when they actually attacked, William was ready with a bit of wind magic.
It was at that point he was very glad he was heading an army of gevai instead of humans, even if that was also perhaps the reason they had been underestimated. He had a few gross of troops, but that meant they were less than two dozen men square. It didn’t seem to be a large force… and it was rather easy to shield them all at once. William was glad that the guns were all crappy muskets with low muzzle velocities.
Upon seeing the dwarves didn’t intend to stop, William moved his force a bit further from the walls… and waited. He didn’t stand around doing nothing- except perhaps from the perspective of the dwarves.
Then, it was nightfall. They hadn’t sent anyone with any sort of message besides arrows and muskets. “People of Dhugulir,” William projected his voice out over the city, “It seems you have ignored my very polite request to talk peaceably… so sorry about this.”
From the perspective of the dwarves, he switched to shouting in a completely unfamiliar language, seemingly without purpose… until the ground started trembling. The trembling continued for a dozen seconds before stopping.
“Now then… you may wish to contact your fellow dwarves down below and tell them why their city is trembling. Or, if not… I can continue until your city doesn’t stand anymore. I know it’s late… but I expect a positive response within two hours.”
His threat was a bluff. No, a flat out lie. William might be able to cause real damage… but dwarven structures were sturdy. Even if they hadn’t prevented the intrusion of controlled mana into their city- and oversight from not actually being in a war with other races in an unknown number of generations- nothing had yet been destroyed except maybe a few plates and glasses that had been precariously placed. William didn’t find even that a trivial task, and even if he could do more… there wasn’t much more mana to be had. Most importantly of all, however, was he didn’t want to cause any real damage. Fortunately he was far enough that they shouldn’t have been able to see how much strain his feat of magic took.
William might have preferred to give them more time, but that simply wasn’t an option if he wanted to minimize casualties. By morning, dwarven troops could be in the area. While he could defeat them, he didn’t want to have to do it. As time went on, more and more would arrive… and with so many dwarves dead, negotiations would become harder. Of course, he could incapacitate some of them… but he couldn’t keep it up forever if they sent gross after gross of dwarven troops.
William would have done everything different from the start, given the chance, but time travel was not among his various abilities, and he didn’t expect that to change. So, he made do with what he had… and right now that involved waiting.
Two hours was an approximate time that he’d made up on the spot, but that time had come. He thought he should do something, but he could sense activity among the dwarves. Nobody had accurate enough clocks for him to worry about waiting a few more minutes.
He could feel his patience paying off… and perhaps a dozen minutes later he saw a handful of fancily dressed dwarves appear on top of the wall. Well, he could sense their fancy clothes, but he could only barely make out their faces between the merlons.
One of the dwarves spoke, half shouting for his voice to reach. “I, Norrous Bristlebeard, speak as the head of the council. Who are you, demon, that you come threaten our city?”
Who was he? He was someone with an army. However, William realized something important. “Who am I? I am the new Eternal King of the gevai. We would prefer not to be called demons, as that past is behind us… but I won’t fault your speaking habits.”
“What? The Demon King? Why should we trust any of your words?” Came the voice of another dwarf.
“I shall answer those questions in reverse order. First, I have not yet failed to keep any of my words to dwarves, even if those interactions haven’t reached your ears. As to the other, I am not the Demon King. In fact, I killed him by shattering his soul into tiny pieces. Unfortunately, those pieces still managed to reincarnate… like that fellow behind you there.”
“What?” retorted one of the dwarves, “I am no Demon King! Don’t listen to this man!”
William grinned lightly, though his face couldn’t be seen clearly even with the light of the moon. “Actually, I can easily prove it.” William paused for a moment, then continued, “You think I wouldn’t recognize you, Demon King? Or did you forget me and this staff, which you made and then saw in your last moments… on two different occasions, actually.”
“There’s no way my fellow dwarves will believe your accusation, gevai!” the dwarf known as Lundroic Stoutbelly turned to the dwarves around him, who were giving him strange looks, “Don’t let this man fool you!”
William laughed, “We have not had the chance to converse before… and I understand you are every bit as unthinking in your actions as I had gathered.” William paused… and switched back to speaking dwarven, “You see, Demon King, you have made two mistakes. First, you are not the only dwarf behind the other councilors… but you knew I was referring to you. Secondly, the fact that you speak a fairly modern version of the gevai language so fluently that you didn’t even realize you did it… well, you made things easy.”