(Lately we have been truly busy.)
It has been a while since I have been able to walk in the city alone.
Being alone is nice. It feels incredibly light, and I can walk at my own speed.
When Luna and Aku are with me, I have to adjust my speed. The difference in the distance of our steps is big after all. The body of Maou not only has giant power, but his physique is high spec too.
It goes without saying that his body is as tough as steel and his height is 187 cm. He is an attractive man in his own way.
That’s why, just walking around makes me stand out.
“…Oji-sama, we finally meet.”
“Why is Maou here?!”
When I look where the voices came from, I see the two adventurers that I have met several times before.
One is a healthy tanned skin warrior, and the other one is a mage with white transparent-like skin. These two are like the perfect image of an outdoor and indoor person.
“Hoh, it has been a while.” (Maou)
I said in a dignified manner, but I don’t remember their names.
Maybe I did hear their names before, but have completely forgotten them. It has been hectic lately, so it might be possible.
These world doesn’t exchange business cards either…
(Hmm…Business cards, huh. It might work.) (Maou)
Probably because I have been thinking only about money lately, that idea just came naturally in my mind.
And in reality, having the only specialty product of the Rabi Village being carrots would be sad. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to think of other things.
“…Why is Oji-sama in the Holy Capital?”
“I had some business with the Adventurer Guild.” (Maou)
“…The Guild? What do you want to know?”
“Well, about the northern dungeon.” (Maou)
I actually want to learn about items that can block magic, but there’s no need to tell others.
That would be like exposing my weakness.
“…Even if you ask the personnel about things outside the country, there’s little you can gain. I will teach you.”
“Wait, Yukikaze! Don’t just advance the conversation on your own!”
“…Then, you leave, Mikan. Become a refrigerated orange <Mikan> at home.” (Yukikaze)
“Who are you calling refrigerated orange!” (Mikan)
I see, so these two are Yukikaze and Mikan.
I don’t know if to say they are easy to understand.
I will call this tag YukiMikan.
“…Oji-sama, there’s a nice restaurant close to here. I will treat you as thanks for before as well.” (Yukikaze)
“As I have said before, there’s no need to feel indebted.” (Maou)
“…Yeah, you told me that it was ‘something important’.” (Yukikaze)
“That’s right.” (Maou)
The moment I finished saying that, her white hand gently grabs mine.
This girl really is white, as if it were unmelting snow, and it even felt mysterious.
“…It is still noon, but you can order alcoholic drinks already.” (Yukikaze)
“Alcohol, huh.” (Maou)
It has been a while since I have had a drink.
I haven’t had time alone lately after all.
“…Then, over here.” (Yukikaze)
“I will follow from behind. I am no child, so there’s no need to hold my hand, you know.” (Maou)
“…No, I will get lost.” (Yukikaze)
(You will?!) (Maou)
I almost shouted that out loud, but I somehow endure it. This girl looks like the type that would be reading books in the library, but maybe she is an airhead?
“…Mikan, lead the way.” (Yukikaze)
“I get it already! I just have to go too, right? Geez!” (Mikan)
Looks like I am not really welcomed by this Mikan girl.
Well, I am being called the Demon Lord, so there’s probably no chance of her liking me though.
I just have to endure these kind of things till the management of the village goes well.
“…The labyrinth of love. Love Labyrinth.” (Yukikaze)
(What did this one say?) (Maou)
The place where I was guided to had a big sign hung there.
It is still early in terms of time, but there were already a good amount of customers in it. I listen to the voices leaking out, and I could hear men and women enjoying their time while drinking.
“Owner, 3 ales! I have brought a customer!” (Mikan)
“Oya, ain’t that Mikan. How rare for you to bring a custom—eeeeehh?!”
When we entered the restaurant, the female owner and the customers all looked over here.
What unbelievable attention.
Did I do something? No, maybe they are the people who were at the incident a few days ago?
“Ain’t that the rumored Maou-sama?! Mikan, good job!”
“Ooh, it is you!”
“Come to our table! I will treat you a whole lot!”
“Hm? Who is that?”
“You idiot! He is the boss that kicked the ass of Carnival before!”
“Oi, gather the ones that are free!”
(Oi oi oi oi oi oi!) (Maou)
The people in the store began to move busily, and the establishment grew noisy.
I only wanted to have a talk though!
“…Oji-sama, sit here.” (Yukikaze)
For now, I take a seat at a table at the corner of the place as prompted to.
It is not impossible to, but it is definitely not the kind of atmosphere where I can drink calmly. The female owner placed the ale on our table energetically, and thanks me for the other day.
“The stores around these area are all grateful to you. Today feel free to drink however much you want, I will be treating you!”
The female owner hits my shoulder and laughs heartily.
People like Madam and this female owner have such strong traits that would embarrass your regular man.
Anyways, might as well drink. We will have a talk after that.
I stretch my hand towards the jug, but Yukikaze grabs the jug from the side, and sits at my lap.
“What are you doing…?” (Maou)
“…I will help you drink, Oji-sama.” (Yukikaze)
“Sorry but let me drink on my own.” (Maou)
Is this an outskirts cabaret club?
What kind of idiot would be drinking in this kind of fashion at broad daylight? In the first place, alcohol should be drunk with no one getting in the way, freely, and without any help.
I lower Yukikaze from my lap, and finally, I bring the ale into my mouth.
“Yeah, it is good.” (Maou)
To the point that I feel as if my exhaustion lately has been for the sake of this moment.
In the moment I was moved by the alcohol I haven’t had in a while, my jug was stolen from the side, and Yukikaze gulps it down.
Why? You have your own ale, so why drink mine?
“Hmm…Oji-sama’s is sticking into my throat…” (Yukikaze)
“Don’t put it in such a weird way.” (Maou)
Every single damn one of you people put things in such weird ways.
I am gonna be dragged away by the police, you know?!
“…Indirect kiss. Love is bubalicious.” (Yukikaze)
“Sorry, but please speak in a language I can actually comprehend.” (Maou)
“Yukikaze-chan, the same as always. Here, I brought something to bite in the meantime.”
“Hooh, this is…” (Maou)
Something that looks like cooked peanuts, skewered meat, vegetables, and many other things were being placed on the table. The look and smell is not bad.
The things I ate at the Yahoo city were not really delicious, but I wonder about here?
I have a bite of the skewer that seems to have been dipped thickly in sauce.
“This is…decently good.” (Maou)
“Decently, you say. That’s one rude way to put it.”
“Sorry, I meant nothing bad with it. I have eaten similar things in this Yahoo city, but they weren’t that good.” (Maou)
“Ah, I see. But it would be troubling to compare those kind of places to mine.”
The female owner laughs heartily and returns to the counter.
She might be quite the skilled one.
While I was thinking that, the skewer I had in hand was stolen by Yukikaze.
This girl, isn’t she eating all the things that I have tasted?
“Hngh…Oji-sama’s is so thick and syrupy…” (Yukikaze)
“As I said, don’t put it in such a weird way!” (Maou)
Could it be that this girl is not an airhead but a pervert?!
If we don’t enter the main topic soon, I feel like we will be going into an infinite loop.
“So, tell me already please. I don’t have much knowledge of the customs around here and the adventurer system, you see.” (Maou)
I actually wanted to ask about the things that have effectivity against magic, but I tread carefully and ask about the job called adventurer, its system, and also the role of the guild.
There’s mostly no difference between the image I had of adventurers and the ones in this world. Defeat monsters to get rewards, and they go into dungeons and ruins to find treasures.
Guilds take requests, take a commission fee for it, buy parts of the monsters, and send it to companies.
The places that have skilled adventurers apparently have quite the influence. Because of this, the headhunting gets pretty heated, and as your rank increases, your treatment and conditions will get more and more favourable.
(It kinda sounds like pro athletes.) (Maou)
Things like pro baseball and soccer players surface in my mind.
If they have the skill, they too can get scouted by a variety of teams, and get money. From within those, they can choose the place that fits their needs.
“…There’s times when they become mercenaries when they can’t gain enough.” (Yukikaze)
“Mercenaries, huh.” (Maou)
And then, there’s the ones who don’t have enough ability and have no choice but to do anything. In this part, I should say it is also kind of similar.
“…There’s times when you dive, but get nothing out of it, and there’s also times when there’s few monsters.” (Yukikaze)
“Well, it definitely isn’t a stable income.” (Maou)
Not like you are working as a civil servant here and it is not like you will be getting bonuses every month at specific times. In my opinion, it is close to an independent business where you are risking your life in.
From what I can get, there’s no small amount of times when they would do jobs similar to that of construction workers.
How to say it, it is a pretty raw reality, and doesn’t sound dreamlike at all.
“…We are currently in warring times, so there’s many who are free.” (Yukikaze)
“Warring times?” (Maou)
“…In warring times, it gets more difficult to enter northern countries. There’s a lot of spies and intelligence agents after all.” (Yukikaze)
“From the way you put it, there should also be an armistice time too, right?” (Maou)
Since the war continued for a long time, apparently an armistice time was naturally created.
Well, if they were in war all year, the production and agriculture would go to shit.
Everyone involved would be a goner.
“I have heard more than I thought I would. You have my thanks.” (Maou)
“…If it is Oji-sama, I will answer anything.” (Yukikaze)
Saying this, Yukikaze comes to my side and sticks onto me. For some reason, her hand was placed on top of my lap.
Isn’t this girl way too close? This is not on the level of being overly friendly.
“A-And so…what kind of things can you find in dungeons?” (Maou)
“…Rub rub.” (Yukikaze)
“Don’t rub me. I am asking seriously here.” (Maou)
“…I am also extremely serious here too.” (Yukikaze)
“What are you talking about?” (Maou)
I somehow managed with great difficulty to ask about the things that can be found.
Looks like the equipment in this world can be roughly divided in 5 categories.
The Normal ones that can be made from regular metal and leather. This one is, well, easy to understand.
The other is the one called Solid that’s made from things like the fangs, skin, or scales of monsters. It is apparently difficult to make unless you have quite the skill.
And then there’s the High-End that’s made from special metals. Regarding this one, humans cannot make them, and people like dwarfs specialize on it.
Also, there’s the ones called Unique that are said to be in the possession of only a select few S rank adventurers. Looks like Yukikaze also doesn’t know much about it.
Lastly, there’s the ones called Legend. I feel Luna bragged about it some time ago. Her staff might be one. Even if she is rotten, she is still a Holy Maiden after all.
“…You can also search for never found items. You can become the name giver.” (Yukikaze)
“Hoh, that’s interesting.” (Maou)
“…Let’s both think of a name to give. I would also like for it to have a meaning.” (Yukikaze)
“Are we married?!” (Maou)
No good, this girl throws me off.
Being one-sidedly avoided like with Mikan is also troubling, but being overly familiar is also questionable.
Even so, there’s quite a lot that can be gained. I should confirm one last thing.
“Are there some sold in stores?” (Maou)
“…Things that are distributed widely are mass produced products. Don’t expect high results.” (Yukikaze)
“Can’t get good things with money? For example; things that are effective against magic, a sword that can cut through tough scales, and stuff like that.” (Maou)
“…In order to block fourth and fifth tier magic, there’s the need for unique or above. If it is the weapon of Oji-sama, I think you can deal with any enemy though.” (Yukikaze)
It is true that Sodom’s Fire had one of the highest numbers even in the game, 50.
But everyone in the Nightless Castle had digit 50 things, but each had a specialty. Sodom’s Fire can inflict burn, and the grenades of Yuu can inflict wide aoe damage even when it is her normal attack.
(Whichever the case, I should go once and confirm it with my own eyes.) (Maou)
Can’t decide everything on the words of others.
It would be better to go and confirm it myself. Luckily, the preparations at the village are done. The rest can be managed somehow with Tahara. Or more like, if I just throw it all to him, he will surely show high results.
“North, huh… Well, I should check it out at least once.” (Maou)
“…Oji-sama, if you are going north, please take me with you.” (Yukikaze)
“…Despite my looks, I am a B rank adventurer. I can be of use.” (Yukikaze)
She tugged at the sleeve of my coat.
It is true that I would like a guide with experience. My close aides have work at the village, so I can’t bring them with me, and bringing the children would be dangerous.
Especially Tron, if she were to leave the village, she might end up as a subjugation target.
“Right. If it won’t be a problem to you, I will ask for your help in the near future. Gotta learn from seniors in the area first.” (Maou)
“…Leave it to me. I will definitely be of help.” (Yukikaze)
Yukikaze looks straight this way with happiness in her face.
She sometimes says weird stuff, but now that I look again, she is actually an incredible beauty. If she were to travel together with someone with an evil face like mine, I feel like we are going to be stopped at the gate.
“…If you call now, we will add Mikan as an extra.” (Yukikaze)
“Don’t just add people on your own! And what’s that about ‘extra’?!” (Mikan)
“Fumu, then, I am counting on you.” (Maou)
“Don’t count on me! You two do it on your own!” (Mikan)
“…’You two do it on your own’. Mikan, dirty girl.” (Yukikaze)
“You shut up!” (Mikan)
- Chapter 49: The ones shouldering heavy responsibility
A fortress that is facing the various northern countries. This could be considered the central land of the military nobles side.
The man in charge of this fortress is, of course, their leader, Martial Arts. He is a man that rarely smiles, but today, he has been showing a silent smile.
“Great to see you have returned, Sambo.” (Arts)
Surprisingly, he stood up from his seat, approached Sambo, hitting his shoulders several times, and then hugging him.
The warm welcome of his deeply respected leader had made Sambo shed tears.
Arts is not his ‘lord’. He is simply his leader as the one who leads the nobles at the northern area, but their bond is comparable to that of a master servant relationship that has spanned for generations.
There’s only one emotion he is directing at Arts, trust.
Running to his help no matter the trouble, not regretting what he has done, he managed to protect them in the northern area. It is the intangible treasure that a rustic man like Arts has obtained.
The people here are men that have shared their food in times of pain, shared salt, and have fought while entrusting their backs to each other. They already wouldn’t be swayed by any amount of bribe. A group that is a monolith to an abnormal extent.
And in reality, there’s people disillusioned by how much the center of the country has decayed, and many have already internally set Arts as their lord. They are all noble households that have been caught in battle with the various northern countries at the national border, and rather than calling them nobles, they are more like ‘warriors’.
In the time the capital is making a ruckus with stuff like social gatherings and art, they are protecting the frontlines and have entrusted their bodies to the battlefield. The stupid ruckus that the people at the capital make could only be wrapped with the word laughable.
In their eyes, the person to rely on at dire times is Arts.
Arts possesses plenty ability to answer the trust that those warriors have placed on him.
He ended up gaining the ability to.
You could say it is an incredibly dangerous state that doesn’t take into consideration the will of the person himself.
“Ah, Arts-dono…I apologize for not returning to this land for so long.” (Sambo)
“What are you saying. Just your presence alone is reassuring.” (Arts)
When Arts clapped his hands hard, the door opened, and people began to enter the room while carrying big casks. Arts breaks open the thick lid of one of them with a chop and heartily dips his cup inside it.
He was more of a barbarian than a noble.
“Let’s celebrate today at least. To the return of our friend.” (Arts)
Arts raises his cup, and the men that were watching this plunged their cups into the cask one after the other and raised them too.
It was still early in the day, but the room was filled with ear-ringing cheers.
“With Sambo-dono back, we are a thousand men stronger!”
“Let’s forget about the battlefield for today and drink our hearts out!”
“Leader-dono has been grinning all day! We can drink as much as we want!”
“Sambo-dono, have a match with me later to see if your skills haven’t dulled!”
At a room of the fortress, a lively ring of men was being made, and disorderly voices were resounding.
By the time evening was closing in, Arts finally returned to his own room.
(Madam, huh…) (Arts)
Arts was tilting his glass alone in his simplistic room.
Maybe one cup wasn’t enough, he had three more rounds. He was currently feeling happiness towards the return of his friend, and at the same time, feeling bitter at the fact that he now is in debt towards a questionable person.
He seemed to be pondering about what to do.
(The capital’s empress, huh…What troublesome sisters.) (Arts)
In Arts’ eyes, the social gathering empress and the artistic collector are both foolish sisters. You could say they are both the very definition of a ‘noble’.
Arts himself is in a way a noble too, but he is heart and body are already that of a warrior. He is at a point where he even feels contempt towards them.
Shouldn’t it be fine for the Holy Maidens to hold the banner of the country, while below that there’s the warriors that crush their enemies, and following after, there’s the people?
In these recent years, he has only been able to think that.
(Even so, the debt of Sambo is heavy.) (Arts)
He could be considered the mood maker of the military side, and there’s a big difference in morale from just him being there or not.
And as proof, just from him returning, it was close to turning into a festival.
This is by no means something that can be wrapped up with a single letter of thanks.
(How should I thank her?) (Arts)
No matter how much Arts were to gather, it would only be pennies for her. Even so, he doesn’t have any work of art that would be able to satisfy Madam.
No, Arts already had an answer since a long while ago.
(…’If ‘something’ were to happen, be my ally’.) (Arts)
That at times can be a heavier request than money.
Because this would involve lives after all.
(What those sisters lack is…military power.) (Arts)
The thinking of Arts is correct.
The Butterfly sisters don’t have any characteristic military power.
They would be able to gather mercenaries with their money if they wanted, but that would only be the claw of a praying mantis. In the face of true military power honed in the battlefield, they would basically be grass.
(The other would be…the support of the men.) (Arts)
That thought is correct.
But looking at it in another way, the women don’t show much support for the military side.
There’s even people who would say: ‘they are not nobles, but barbarians’.
(Is that woman planning a coup d’etat?) (Arts)
The Holy Light Country is currently falling into disarray.
That’s why Arts’ thoughts flew into such a dangerous area.
In a sense, thinking in that way was natural. Because he felt like, when the conditions of money and military power -men and women joining forces- are met, ‘something’ will happen
At the deepest room of the Holy Castle, the one called the Prayer Altar, White had strengthened her resolve. The resolve…to recover her little sister.
“It must be done as soon as possible.” (White)
What White had in hand was the Legend weapon, the Omega Holy Staff. The ability of this holy staff is no joke. By saving up magic power, it can create a single miracle.
That is…to teleport instantly within the boundaries of the Holy Light Country.
By using all the magic power accumulated in the holy staff and by using the magic circle that has the ability to amplify the magic power of the caster, you can achieve this miraculous feat.
What White pictured in her head was, obviously, the Rabi Village.
The Demon Lord had finally bared his fangs and has taken in even that empress. For White, the time to spectate had long passed.
“Seraph-sama, please give me strength.” (White)
She must recover one of the Holy Maidens and a precious little sister of hers, Luna. Whether it be a fight or a negotiation, with a hostage still in play, they won’t even be able to act.
White offered a prayer, and light overflows from the magic circle.
Normally, many guards would follow whenever a Holy Maiden goes outside, but this time around she is acting alone. He is the Demon Lord that defeated even that Devil King after all.
One wrong move, and it would simply increase the casualties.
“Maou…I won’t let you do as you wish any further. [Seraph’s Jump].” (White)
White’s body was covered in light, and her body disappears.
When she opened her eyes, what was reflected in her eyes was a Rabi Village that was different from her memories.
In her memories, this should be a ‘deserted village with nothing in it’.
But what was in front of her were many people carrying around things like lumber and stones. There’s also some who had hammers and pickaxes, and some who were carrying sandbags.
Public work on the level that it can change the whole village. Moreover, a quite large scale one at that.
Just how many people are being employed? There’s several mages within the group, and there’s even industrial things specialized for water well digging.
On top of that, it seems as if they may be trying to make a moat or a wall in all directions of the village, there’s more than 20 earth mages gathered and doing work.
“It teleported me to the wrong place…isn’t the case, right?” (White)
White entered the village with unsteady steps and was dumbfounded at the situation.
Seeing her, a person sitting on top of what looked like a turret spoke to her in a rough voice. It is Tahara. With a drawing in one hand, he is giving orders here and there.
“Oh, the Nee-chan over there. You are the light mage I asked for, right? I leave that magic crystal to you. It is for the commercial district, so don’t get it wrong.” (Tahara)
“What are you spacing out for? In the first place, how can you come to a work environment in a white dress like that?! Are you looking down on work? This is not a theater, you know?!” (Tahara)
“Get it done already. Ah! The pebbles there, spread them at the ditch. It would change the flow of the water.” (Tahara)
White didn’t even have time to object as Tahara moved to instruct other places. The way too honest White unconsciously puts light in the magic crystal.
And then, she remembered what she came here to do and returns to her senses.
“Why am I doing this…?! In the first place, who is that rude person?!” (White)
“Onee-sama, why are you here?!”
It was the touching reunion between the captive little sister and the older sister who has come to save her.
But her supposedly captive little sister, for some reason, had a carrot in her hand, and the older sister had a shining magic crystal in hers.