An elven elder stood next to the city lord.

He looked visibly aged and was dressed like a mage.

He's the oldest and most experienced First Elder of Giantree City and he's very old even for an elf.
Therefore, he is someone greatly respected within the city.

Of course, it's also for that exact reason that he's a thorn in Du Mingfeng's side.

Before the young city lord even opened her mouth, the First Elder already started speaking in a dissatisfied tone, “You transferred and used the defense forces of Giantree City on your own recognisance, leading to 25 elven mages losing their lives.
You should know just how great a mistake you have committed!”

So he was called in to take the blame after all.

Du Mingfeng replied calmly, “This was an accident!”

“You caused the deaths of 25 of our people, and yet rather than being ashamed of it, you call it an accident instead! Did you forget your responsibility as a guardian elf of Giantree City?”

Du Mingfeng replied, “No, I have not forgotten.
It was exactly for the sake of protecting Giantree City that I had to do what I did!”

The First Elder spoke angrily, “What?”

Du MIngfeng explained, “The threat of Demon Kings is far too great.
If we cannot slay all the Demon Kings around us as soon as possible, then Giantree City will be taken over by them sooner or later!”

The First Elder stopped for a moment.

Demon Kings are previously unknown existences that only appeared recently.

Even he, with all his experience and worldliness, knows nothing of them.

The young city lord questioned, “But why do we have to fight the Demon Kings? Can't we use diplomatic means to reach a mutual understanding? For us elves, it's peace and freedom that's the most important here!”

“My lady is a bit too naive!”

Du Mingfeng sneered, “Who has ever heard of sheep engaging in diplomacy as equals with wolves and tigers? The Demon Kings' very existence is, from start to end, all just to conquer and destroy.
They expand endlessly with unending greed and cunning.
They're the purest evil!”

The young city lord frowned.

The First Elder also fell deep into thought.

Demon Kings really have appeared for far too short an amount of time, so the elves of Giantree City simply know far too little about this special category of beings.

The First Elder asked, “Do you speak truly here?”

“I am willing to accept any test via contracts or oaths!” Du Mingfeng replied, “First Elder, your Ladyship, think about it for a bit.
Just how long has it been since the Demon Kings first appeared?”

“The results of this battle just goes to show how terrifying their growth speed is.
It's to the point where they've already become a major threat to Giantree City!”

That was indeed true.

They managed to gain such power in just a single short month after all.

The First Elder's attitude was slightly shaken.

If things went badly, then the Demon Kings may greatly threaten Giantree City.

Even if they're not threatening Giantree City for the time being, they will still expand madly, devour the nearby tribes, and with that, affect the basic governance of Giantree City.

“Before now, every Demon King was like a lone island and Demon Kings cannot sense one another.
We were thus able to defeat them one at a time.”

“This incident has shown a new change however.
That is also the direct reason why this subjugation failed…
Two Demon Kings have allied!”

When he heard that, the First Elder visibly reacted.

“Demon Kings grow terrifyingly fast from the start, but if the various Demon Kings were to join together into a united front, then the consequences are unthinkable!”

“We cannot shrink back from this one failure.
On the contrary, I need even more support.
Only that way can we protect Giantree City!”

“Therefore, I am officially asking her ladyship to grant me permission to lead an army to join with the Heroes Guild in order to subjugate these two Demon Kings!”

“This matter cannot wait and must be dealt with as soon as possible!”

Du Mingfeng revealed his hand here.
He will take advantage of the situation and use it to his own advantage.

Although the Ironblooded Heroes Guild is already quite powerful, if they can also borrow the strength of Giantree City, then they'll have no worries about taking down these two Demon Kings!

This time, the demon subjugation army was completely crushed.

However, that also ended up creating quite a commotion for Giantree City, which instead ended up putting quite a bit of pressure on the city's lord and the First Elder.

As an experienced business mogul, Du Mingfeng sharply used the crushing defeat this time to inflate the threat of the Demon Kings to drag Giantree City into the conflict.

And it worked.

After hearing his words, the First Elder and the young city lord hesitated.

The two of them simply knew too little about the Demon Kings.
However, it's exactly because of their lack of understanding that they would end up even more suspicious and cautious about them.
Plus, the rapid growth speed of the Demon Kings really was worrisome.

The young city lord spoke hesitantly, “I still think that we should try to approach the Demon Kings diplomatically first.
We should first understand their thoughts and goals and only use the military if there's no other choice.”

Du Mingfeng sneered inside his mind.

The young city lord was still as soft and indecisive as always.

In the end, the decision for this matter still rests within the First Elder's hands.

Du Mingfeng spoke, “My lady, the Demon Kings' strength grows by the day.
We don't have much time left anymore.”

The First Elder considered it for a while before finally speaking, “The guardian elf's words do have some logic to them.
This forest is one that follows the law of the jungle from the start.
My lady must not simply allow a threat to grow simply because you dislike war and end up causing irreversible consequences.”

Du Mingfeng immediately agreed, “That's right.
It's necessary to engage in a small conflict in order to prevent a larger one.
I am willing to take full responsibility for this matter!”

The First Elder asked, “How many men do you need?”

Du Mingfeng thought it over before speaking, “A thousand elites!”

The First Elder frowned, “That's not a small number.
You're certain that you can solve this issue?”

Du Mingfeng replied, “I am certain.
I will prove to Giantree City at large that our actions here are the correct ones!”

The next day, Giantree City called a council meeting.

The city lord and the eight elven elders all voted to decide on the matter.

The final result of that vote was one abstain and eight agreements.

The only abstain was the city lord's vote.

She keeps getting the feeling that there's a problem with such actions, but she lacked experience and was unable to say out loud just what the problem is, so she could only abstain.

Giantree City officially announced its partnership with the Heroes Guild, that they will be working with the Ironblooded Heroes to defeat the Demon Kings in order to deal with the threat of Demon Kings and their rapid growth.

An even bigger demon subjugation army was being assembled.

Of their targets, the “Myriad Flower Valley” and “Darkness Valley” rank at the top as the Demon King nests that need to be dealt with right away!

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