Dungeon Defense - Chapter 5 - Volume 1
Chapter 3 – Faceless Disease (Part 2)
Finally, today was the 7th day.
In order to see the results of my week worth of hard work, I looked straight at Lapis Lazuli and muttered in my head.
Soon after, the other person’s stats appeared in mid-air.
Name: Lapis Lazuli
Stamina: E rank
Power: D rank
Defense: F rank
A sigh came out on its own.
After defeating the party of adventurers I had lost access to all the systems.
I couldn’t see the status of the castle, I couldn’t see the map of the area, and I didn’t have the ability to withdraw and deposit my money as I pleased anymore. Except one thing, I still had access to the function to see the stats and affection of other people.
I could know if the other person truly had an interest towards me…… This was a precious skill. Especially for a person like me whose everything relied on acting and politics.
Lapis Lazuli’s affection was only 2.
If I did not have this ability, then I would have most likely assumed that ‘I’ve gotten on friendly terms with Lapis Lazuli now’. I wouldn’t have been able to figure out what emotions lurked underneath that stoic face of hers.
But I was certain now.
This person had a frozen heart.
I was nothing more than an object of business to this succubus girl. The fact that the affection had barely gone up during this entire week proved that. She was a formidable girl.
To get close to her and then use her…… that original plan of mine was disposed of. It failed magnificently.
Regardless, it didn’t mean that all my methods had vanished.
There was a method of handling people who moved with their heads instead of their hearts. I knew exactly what that was.
Except, it was one of the more drastic out of other drastic measures.
If you wanted to hunt a tiger then you had to take up the gun yourself and dive into the mountain. At worst, I had to be prepared to be torn apart by savage beasts. That mental attitude wasn’t something you could simply order at a fast food restaurant and get moments later.
My own resolution.
If I don’t kill them then I’ll be the one to be killed, this kind of thinking was vital.
Lapis Lazuli informed me calmly.
“If your highness does not repay the debt and interest or declare bankruptcy, then the Keuncuska firm will have no other choice but to take your highness’ property and body by force.”
“I am a Demon Lord. A person with one of the highest nobility amongst demons. Who could possibly forcefully capture this Demon Lord?
“The Keuncuska Firm has a countless number of supporters. Amongst them, there are other Demon Lords like your highness. Rank 5th Demon Lord Marbas and Rank 9th Demon Lord Paimon are also included.”
The highest of Demon Lords.
They were people that a rank 71st like me couldn’t possibly face.
“Our firm is famous for being merciless to debtors who fail to make their payments. In the past, there was an incident where Rank 25th Demon Lord Glasyalabolas received a loan of 20,000 Libra and did not pay back the interest for 2 years. At that time, our firm had hired a small number of 9,000 mercenaries and left them in the command of Rank 12th Demon Lord Sitri. Your highness. Demon Lord Glasyalabolas could not even hold out for 3 weeks before surrendering.”
Lapis Lazuli let out a sigh.
“…… That is the Keuncuska Firm’s strength. It is rational violence. That is also the reason why our firm has been able to stay as the highest amongst demons for the past 500 years. Your highness Dantalian, this one is sincerely suggesting this. Please, declare bankruptcy a day sooner.”
I pushed down the sheets of my bed.
It was fine.
I could still win.
If things goes as planned, then I could rip this girl in front of me apart and make her mine.
I firmed my resolve and—
slowly, opened my mouth.
“Lazuli. I will give you a proposal that will most definitely benefit you.”
“Yes, your highness. Please tell this one anything.”
“Seeing as it has already come to this, I shall borrow more money from that firm of yours.”
Lapis Lazuli narrowed her brows.
Even if she were to hear that the world was going to be destroyed, she would probably respond to that by saying, ‘Let it be destroyed in a single moment’. For that Lapis Lazuli to narrow her brows was a huge gesture.
“This one objects.”
Her voice became a level drier.
“Your highness Dantalian already has a debt. But it is still okay. If your highness works hard for a while then your highness could more than likely pay it all off. However, if your highness receives more of a loan here……”
“Then I’ll fall further into a swamp pit.”
“That’s what I want.”
“Lapis Lazuli. Let us not be prudish and speak honestly.”
I held a soft smile on my lips.
“Even if you claim to be my exclusive consultant, you are still a pawn for the Keuncuska Firm. Profit for your firm will, in the end, become profit for you as well.”
According to her, Demon Lords had more than enough political uses.
To succeed in turning that figure into a puppet for the firm, Lapis Lazuli will most likely receive high praise from the executives. She will advance up faster than anyone else. To take a step, no, 20 steps, ahead of other competition.
The mixed blood succubus still had a poker face.
Was she perhaps pretending to not know what I was talking about.
“Wouldn’t myself not being able to pay the debt off be a profit to you?”
“That is a misunderstanding. This one has always, for your highness……”
“I know full well of the habits of a merchant.”
If the other person tried to make an excuse then shift the topic.
We were not fighting with weapons, but with our words. I had to attack fiercely. There was no need to listen to the other person’s useless excuses.
“Since olden times, merchants did not invest into things that wouldn’t give them profit. However, for some reason, the Keuncuska Firm had loaned me 100 Libra…”
The fact that Dantalian was incompetent was already obvious to the world.
Even if they loaned him money, there was a zero to none chance of getting anything back. It didn’t make sense. It was like a bank giving millions of won to a credit defaulter.
This meant that they didn’t plan to collect the money in the first place.
“To put a dog collar on me.”
“To turn me into a puppet with the debt as a pretext. From the beginning, this was your firm’s goal. Am I wrong?”
“You said it before. That if it was too difficult then that I had ‘the option’ to declare bankruptcy. But in your mind, you honestly wanted to say this.”
That bankruptcy was my only option.
A choice never existed from the get go.
The loan itself was a trap, and two months ago, the Demon Lord Dantalian got caught in it stupidly.
Now, deadpan succubus. Go on and respond.
You’re like a mountain fortress. Since it was built on top of a rugged mountain, it was a wall that was difficult to conquer. It was something annoying for invaders to even approach.
Regardless, if the fortress was sieged then it was over. I will not give you a path to escape. I’ll capture your fortress in an instant……
▯Keuncuska Merchant, Mixed Blood, Lapis Lazuli
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 18
Keuncuska Firm Office
Demon Lord Dantalian was smiling before my eyes.
…… Honestly confessing, I underestimated him.
It had been 1 year since I had become Demon Lord Dantalian’s exclusive consultant.
I had thought he was a good for nothing piece of trash, but it seems I was mistaken. Truthfully, I was surprised. The intimidating sharp look in his eyes and his gaze looking this way as if he was testing me.
His pupils were as dark as a well.
I couldn’t see the bottom…… that was the natural feeling I got. Was Dantalian always this kind of character?
Someone who got lucky and was born as a Demon Lord and thus lived a lazy and sleazy life. At most, that was all I thought he was……
For the first time, I realized my mistake.
Because of the unexpected blow I had taken, I had unintentionally stopped talking.
To make such a mistake. To be silent here meant that I was admitting that he was correct. I had to change the topic.
“Let us assume that what your highness has inferred is correct.”
“I do not want to know about hypotheses. What I want to know is the simple truth.”
…… Are you not even giving me a corner to escape to.
The back of my neck felt cold.
Demon Lord Dantalian had most certainly changed.
Half a month ago, Dantalian was being threatened by a group of adventurers. Conveniently, it was a group of adventurers with a map of the Demon Lord castle. They may have been a group of adventurers on the same level as a small vigilante group in some far off mountain valley, but Demon Lord Dantalian was in a serious situation…… was that it? Does experiencing near death really change people so drastically?
Dantalian was a Demon Lord that I was in charge of. If that person was to become competent then unmistakably it was a situation that I should be welcoming with open arms. But honestly, it was hard to be happy.
I wanted a Demon Lord on the level of a fox. I did not want a Demon Lord on the level of a tiger. It would be troubling if the puppet was to become too clever. Who could have expected for this to happen.
The Demon Lord gazed at me hard.
“Lala. Go to the Keuncuska Firm and tell them.”
“Lapis Lazuli shortened to Lala. It’s a suitable nickname.”
“……Is your highness giving a lowly one such as myself a nickname?”
“Do you not like it?”
“This one is only grateful.”
The demon world was strictly a hierarchical society.
Even if the race was the same, if the tribes were different then your status was different as well. If there were some orcs that were considered to be nobles, then there were also orcs that were treated as slaves. If one were to try and figure out each and every of the ranks that existed then they’d have to go through hundreds, if not thousands of tribes and races.
I was an outcast. A half-breed of a succubus and a human. Succubus already received scorn as being a race of prostitutes. But amongst those, the person to be born between one and a vulgar human, was none other than myself…… Thus I was a crossbreed.
A leprosy of society.
I could not dare to come in contact with other people with this filthy body. By chance, if I were to even touch a person of a higher status than myself then I would have to cut off a finger, if I were to enter a temple then my toes would be severed, and if I were to even recite a scripture from one of the Gods then my tongue would be sliced.
That was why, when Demon Lord Dantalian had stepped on my foot I became nervous. Thankfully, it was shrugged off as a joke, but if someone else had seen this then my foot would have had to been cut off. Now looking back at it, that was most likely Dantalian’s way of threatening me.
As expected, I had to go along with the Demon Lord’s rhythm here.
I shall lower my head at once.
“What is the message that this one should deliver to the firm?”
“Demon Lord Dantalian has finally gone mad. Because he did not have anyone else to rely on he had entrusted his mind and body to you, a succubus. You, making full use of your charm, was able to successfully entice the Demon Lord.”
What were his intentions.
I couldn’t grasp what was going on in his head. However, even if I honestly spoke my mind about how foolish of an idea that was, I’d probably be pushed back in the battle of vigor. For now, I will respond as if I understood completely and as if that sounded like an interesting idea. There were times where an empty boast was a valid tactic.
“So. A mere peasant such as this one will become your highness’ concubine……? That is an interesting story.”
“Since long ago, there was nothing more romantic than the story of a prince falling in love with a peasant. It is a story that goes over big regardless of what time period it is told in. Tell your firm executives that I am so head over heels for you that it seems like I won’t be able to get out.”
“That is quite the part being given to this one. That is more than this one deserves.”
“Aah. Dantalian, doing whatever he can for money, started to spout nonsense. He claims that a disease will spread within two months, and that he knows what the cure for that disease is. That he’ll monopolize the ingredients to the cure before the plague spreads and he’ll be able to gain a fortune. Tell the firm that I wish to gain another loan with that statement.”
I was able to understand just barely.
Right now, Dantalian was setting himself up to be a clown. A Demon Lord who fell for a mere succubus. Adding to that, in order to gain another loan he made up a ridiculous lie……
“The loan amount then, huh. About 10,000 gold coins should suffice.”
“To say 10,000 gold coins……”
It was an amount that couldn’t be paid off even if he worked for 130 years.
If you included the interest, then it was an even more distant sum.
The firm executives would probably welcome it with open arms.
That was obvious. The larger the debt, then the stronger the collar on Dantalian’s neck would become. It was like a Demon Lord making a mad dash straight into a trap to self-destruct.
I’d be the very person to have lured the Demon Lord to his own destruction in this comedy, thus gaining an incredible amount of merits. No matter how low my status was, people could not ignore my contribution. At once, I’d become a candidate to become an executive for the firm.
“How about it? Does this much attract your interest?”
A sweet offer.
No matter how you looked at it, it was an opportunity to gain an enormous amount of profit.
…… It was so tempting that I felt more suspicion from it.
Where would Dantalian get any benefit from this? This was a story only good for me. I didn’t expect him to give me a proper response, but I should ask him for now.
“Your highness. This one does not understand. Where does your highness plan to gain profit from this grand play?”
“You are a merchant.”
His highness Dantalian responded calmly.
“Merchants thoroughly check if there’s profit to be gained and if there is, then they’ll dash for it. If you see profit in my offer, then shouldn’t you be taking it with no questions asked?”
“Your highness is correct. However, to be cautious in front of game that appears excessively appetizing, is also a proper merchant’s attitude. If this one had woken up one morning and was told that a fox was sprawled out at the front door, then that would be hard to believe.”
Upon saying that, his highness grinned.
“Why not? The fox could have fallen for you at first sight.”
He was smooth.
His talking ability wasn’t on an average level.
Even if he had been at death’s doors before, was it possible for a person to change this much? It was strange. From a common sense point of view, this was incomprehensible.
“Lala. When a hunter is catching a fox, there are no cases where the hunter shows consideration for the fox’s feelings. That would be laughable. As a hunter, what you have to do is simple. First, take out a crossbow—”
His highness Dantalian moved his hands.
As if there really was a crossbow there.
“Go after the fox with the resolve to kill. If you fumble the shot then you will only startle it and cause it to flee. Aim exactly at the center of their forehead. And then……”
The invisible bolt on the crossbow was aimed at my forehead.
His highness Dantalian pulled the trigger.
Playfully, he fired.
“Splendidly finish it off in one hit.”
“Go to the firm right away and tell them. That Dantalian has finally gone insane. That it’s the golden opportunity to forever bind that pathetic Demon Lord.”
His highness Dantalian lightly patted my shoulder.
A corner of my mind felt uneasy. On one hand, my rationality was saying that his highness was correct, but on the other hand, my heart was throwing up red flags.
This was a trap.
A cruel snare was placed before me.
If I put my foot forward thoughtlessly then it could be my end.
……Whenever my mind and heart reacted separately I would always follow the former. The problem was this situation, my heart was pounding at an unprecedented speed.
Pushing down the ominous foreboding feeling.
I moved my lips.
“Your highness. This one only fears this one situation. Namely, the game that this one had thought to be a fox had turned out to be a tiger. One arrow is not enough to catch a tiger.”
“Well. Then I guess you can only get eaten by the tiger at that point.”
His highness Dantalian put out his right hand.
Not understanding what that hand gesture meant, I stared blankly.
His highness, thinking it was helpless, smiled wryly.
“How long do you plan to leave my hand by itself like this?”
At last, I realized that his highness was requesting for a handshake.
To ask for a handshake. I did not know how to respond.
I had never held someone’s hand before up until now. The fact that our feet had touched was still excusable, but if our hands were to touch then that would be a clear crime.
“……A person of obscure birth such as this one could not dare dirty the hands of your highness.”
His highness Dantalian most likely knew this as well.
He was a person who had held a peerless amount of pride when it involved aristocratism, after all. He didn’t even consider something like myself as a person. I didn’t hold a personal grudge because of that. It would be stranger for a Demon Lord to not treat a succubus/human mixed blood like so.
I did not have a desire to sever my wrists.
“Pardon this one’s opinion, but while this one is grateful, this one would only trouble your highness’ dignity. Please withdraw your highness’ hand.”
“What a strange place to be worried about losing face while discussing such a daring topic.”
His highness Dantalian chuckled.
“If you shake my hand then would my hand suddenly become defiled, make me catch a cold, and cause my social status to drop? I merely wish to shake hands with the meaning of treating each other well from this point on.”
“Even if your highness were to now have a negative opinion of the hierarchical system, the majority of the people do not share that opinion. If a peasant such as this one were to come in contact with your highness’ body then upon this one a legal punishment will……”
“Ooh. So are those ‘majority’ here?”
With exaggerated movements, his highness Dantalian takes a look around. Naturally, there were only his highness and myself, the two of us here.
“Demon Lord Dantalian is also a trash like person anyways. I am only a Demon Lord by name. I do not have anything at all. Lala. Do you still wish not to shake my hand?”
Having said that much, I did not have the right to refuse.
Carefully, I reached out and touched his hand.
The first person’s hand that I had ever touched was cold. I furtively felt the touch of his palm. Upon doing so, his highness Dantalian grasped my hand tightly.
“Treat me well from now on.”
“…… Yes. Please treat this one well as well, your highness.”
It felt like it would be a long relationship.
I wasn’t sure why, but my intuition told me so.
▯Keuncuska Executive, Miser Goblin, Torukel
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 20
Keuncuska Firm Headquarters, Conference Room
“For there to be a full assembly. Quite the rare occasion, keruk.” (TL note: That’s the sound he’s making ‘keruk’. It has no meaning.)
An order had suddenly come from the firm headquarters for a full assembly.
Keuncuska executives were dispatched across the continent. I too had plans to go to Bataafse today to direct a fleet. This full assembly was clearly not scheduled.
To suddenly call for all the executives to gather…… it wasn’t an everyday occurrence. I had a bad feeling. Did something big happen somewhere, perhaps.
Concealing my anxious mind, I made my way to the headquarters. In a large meeting room all of the executives were gathered.
Still as usual, there were a bunch of rough mugs. Vampires, werewolves, lizardmen. It was quite the exhibition of races. ……Hm? In one corner of the conference room there was a girl that I had never seen before. Her hair was a light pink. Races with that hair color were rare.
It was then that I had made eye contact with that girl.
Unintentionally, I gulped.
The venomous eyes on her emotionless face were out of the ordinary. Those were eyes of a person who had killed before. And not only one or two people, but eyes that had killed a countless number of times. Thankfully, the time we exchanged glances was short. The girl had shortly after turned her head.
I didn’t know who she was, but this emergency assembly was probably called for because of her. Situations always precipitate because of unwelcomed guests. There was a girl I had never seen before here. I could easily analogize.
The executives were voicing their discontent.
“Now that Miser Torukel is also here, start the conference already.”
“Do you know how many pushed customers there are?”
“Yeah, that’s right. It’ll be bad if I can’t sell all of the dried herrings today.”
What impatient people.
Even I had plans to hold an audience with the merchants of Phrygia at the harbor. I had a fairly busy body. Time is essential for a merchant. Be it a meeting or whatever, start already. And if possible, end it soon.
“Well. Everyone calm down.”
The old vampire sitting in the upper seat calmed the executives.
“There is a reason why we have called for all of the executives to gather. We will not waste your time so do not worry.”
That old man with the splendidly grown white beard was our firm’s highest executive. He could be referred to as the actual person who was controlling the entire firm.
Fitting for a person known as vampire, he had lived for over 600 years. Although, I do have to say that he should crawl into his coffin and have his funeral carried out already. He sure does live for a long time.
“Now then, Lapis Lazuli. Explain.”
The girl responded at the center of the conference room.
Lapis Lazuli? …… I had heard of that name before.
“It’s the fellow born with the cursed bloodline.”
“Why is something like that attending this executive conference?”
Several of the executives had recognized the identity of the girl. While creasing their brows they started to whisper among one another. They were openly displaying their discomfort.
Aah. I remembered. It was the kid who, despite being an outcast, was able to successfully settle into our firm.
There was a time that a topic of a girl who had talent that surpassed her status was going around. Keruruk, so that girl was the main charater of that dispute.
Certainly, her voice was clear. She was calm even though she was standing before this galaxy-like group of executives. It wasn’t normal courage, that was for certain.
“Chief, that isn’t even an executive candidate. Is that not just an office clerk? What is this? There are limits to exceptions.”
“It is already unpleasant that I have to breathe the same air as a crossbreed.”
The executives poured out their complaints.
The hierarchical system was nothing more than a useless antique. It was a tool that stupid nobles used to raise their even dumber sons and daughters. Despite that, do you scorn this outcast. In the first place, us merchants already had low ranks. Tsk tsk, they were cutting off their nose to spite their face. (TL note: An expression used to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem)
Ivar Lodbrok smiled bitterly.
“How about listening to what she has to say first. It is something profitable. Gold that’s been in a pig’s stomach and gold that has been dipped in holy water, they all have the same value…… Lapis Lazuli.”
“Yes. Demon Lord Dantalian has requested for a loan.”
Lapis Lazuli spoke calmly.
“Currently, Demon Lord Dantalian has a debt of 196 Libra. Even if he has to raise his debt further, he is planning to obtain a come from behind victory.”
The executives turned to look at each other.
Regardless to their previous attitude, these people still had a good head on their shoulders. They quickly realized that this was a heavy agenda. Putting behind Lapis Lazuli’s status for now, the executives started to mutter amongst one another.
“Is he planning to use debt to stop debt.”
“That’s the height of stupidity right there.”
“The bunny is offering to get itself caught in the trap, there’s no reason to decline.”
“So? How much does he want to borrow?”
My thoughts were the same.
Demon Lords had a political use, even if he was a rank 71st Demon Lord. It’d be good to use this chance to tie him up.
However, after the following response, all of the executives went silent.
“The amount that Demon Lord Dantalian has requested is— 10,000 gold coins.”
The expression of the executives was dumbstruck.
“Is he sane!”
“Ha, for a bumpkin who couldn’t even handle 100 gold coins.”
He was crazy, that’s insane. Those kind of words flew out openly. Despite the fact that we were badmouthing a Demon Lord, who were at the peak of social status, it was fine. There was no one other than us to hear it.
“Are you certain. 10,000 gold coins. Was that what he said exactly?”
“Swearing on the River of Styx, I am certain.”
“He really has gone mad……”
The executives smirked.
10,000 gold coins was about the amount an Earl would earn annually if the population in his territory reached 50,000. Last year, the budget processed by the Imperials from the Habsburg Empire was about 500,000 Libra.
For Demon Lord Dantalian, who didn’t have either territory or citizens, to request for 1/50 the amount earned by a great empire in a year? Did he have a slime in his skull instead of a brain?
“My dear Keuncuska comrades.”
He had probably judged that the atmosphere was getting complex. Ivar Lodbrok opened his mouth.
The meeting room slowly became quiet. If that old vampire spoke, then even the most proudest of executives closed their mouths.
“I personally think that this is a good opportunity. Certainly 10,000 gold coins is a fortune. However, if it means to make a Demon Lord forever be our housekeeping pet, then it is not that much of a precious amount.”
I carelessly let out a laugh.
Sacred and inviolable representatives that symbolizes absolute dignity, one of the 72 lords that commands an army of demons. To have referred to such nobility as a housekeeping pet…… Indeed he was one of the three ancient vampires to still remain in this world. It was a haughty attitude fitting of Ivar Lodbrok.
Well, I’d feel sorry for leaving this entire meeting to only Ivar Lodbrok. Let’s step forward a bit here.
“Wait, chief. I have something that I wish to ask on my side.”
“Mm. Do not mince your words and speak your thoughts.”
Ivar Lodbrok met my eyes.
Pure red pupils. It was a color that reminded people of blood. There were some executives that’d whisper to one other that those eyes were frightening, however, for some reason, I could only think of those eyes as beautiful. Cold-hearted, harsh, and a cynical vampire…… Ivar Lodbrok will most definitely establish this firm into an imperishable company. If possible, I want to be there when that happens. That was my small dream.
“Could it not be a trap?”
“Not one or two gold coins, but no less than 10,000 gold coins. Keruk. If Demon Lord Dantalian truly wasn’t insane, then he would have a plan.”
I did not think that Demon Lord Dantalian could possibly possess the ability to handle this huge loan. Regardless, one must consider every possibility in the world. This had to be made clear.
“That is a fairly good point.”
Ivar Lodbrok was smiling faintly. It was an expression he’d show when he was thinking of a wicked plan. Even if he was as old as old can be, that man had cool wrinkles.
“Lapis Lazuli shall explain that part.”
“Yes, chief. I’d like to inform the pillars of Keuncuska. Currently, Demon Lord Dantalian is regarding myself as his concubine.”
“……What did you say?”
“This may be rude to say, but on my own decision, I had used my charms to entice the Demon Lord Dantalian.”
This time, the executives could not hold back their astonishment.
On the other hand, Lapis Lazuli—from start to finish maintained her emotionless face. Always calm.
No, I didn’t know whether to call that calm. Any sign of tension on her face was completely missing. For a normal office worker to not even twitch a brow when in front of all these executives? Calm or not, that was clearly strange……
“Lapis Lazuli. What do you mean by charm?”
I spoke with a sour tone.
“Are you saying that you captured the Demon Lord by using your body?”
“Just as you say, sir Torukel.”
Lapis Lazuli looked straight this way.
Solid pupils as blue as azure.
Her transparent gaze did not even budge.
“I had relations with Demon Lord Dantalian.”
A few executives murmured to themselves.
If one were to fornicate with a mixed blood crossbreed, a curse from God will fall upon you. It may have just been a superstition but when 90% of the population on this continent believed it seriously, you could not brush it off. For a sacred and inviolable Demon Lord to be defiled by a crossbreed. That itself was the obstinate problem. This would cause a tremendous issue to occur.
“Do you understand what you have done!”
“We could be excommunicated by the temple!”
The executives were thrusting their fingers at Lapis Lazuli’s face.
If you wanted to sell and buy products in this continent, then you had to have received a permit from the temple. Also, excluding the temple of Aphrodite and Artemis, all other temples strictly forbid outcasts from having intercourse with people of different social status……
The executives, with red faces, shouted.
“Chief! Kick that whore out right this instant!”
“Not only did she go against the laws from the Gods, but she has also put our firm in danger! We shouldn’t have let that accursed being into our firm in the first place!”
“This leprosy-like scum……!”
Criticism took the conference room by storm.
The prostitutes of the demon world, succubus.
And amongst those, the especially disgusting crossbreed.
Even I, who disliked the hierarchical system, was speechless. However, Ivar Lodbrok was calmly sitting in his seat and watching the succubus.
“That is not all. There is still one part that must be explained to the executives. What are you doing? Hurry up and tell them.”
There was a mischievous laugh mixed in Ivar Lodbrok’s voice…… he was enjoying this? Even though, adding a bit of exaggeration, the life and death of our company was on the line? In any case, vampires were not sane. Their heads were weird since they didn’t receive any sunlight. Lack of nutrition gives a serious blow to your mind. As a goblin with both refinement and common knowledge, I couldn’t keep up with him.
“Yes. There is something that I have still not told all of the executives.”
Lapis Lazuli continued to speak in a low tone.
She had received all kinds of curses and swears a second ago. Are you telling me she was still unfazed? She really was not normal.
“As you all may know, originally our firm did not deal with Demon Lords below the rank of 60 as customers. Since it meant that the class of our firm would go down. Regardless, I have been working as Demon Lord Dantalian’s exclusive consultant for the past year now. There was only one reason for this.”
After taking one breath, Lapis Lazuli announced.
“I, personally, had strongly requested for that consultant position.”
“From the beginning I had been aiming for the position of Demon Lord Dantalian’s mistress.”
The executives started to get noisy.
The people who were criticising the succubus a second ago were now baffled. It was because Lapis Lazuli had spoken in such a dignified fashion. The situation was going further away from the area in which the executives could understand.
At that moment, someone laughed.
Turning my head, Ivar Lodbrok was laughing loudly. To be laughing in this kind of situation. Ignoring the fact that the executives were all dumbfounded, Ivar Lodbrok let out a roar.
“Comrades. Do you still not understand? Demon Lord Dantalian did not suddenly go insane. Everything was done by that succubus. In no more than a year, that kid was able to turn Demon Lord Dantalian into a slave of passion.”
So was that it. That’s what it was!
At last, everything made sense.
Although Lapis Lazuli’s status was low, she had quite the remarkable appearance. She had captivated the Demon Lord with her looks. And, unknown to us on how, she was able to incite the Demon Lord into borrowing a large fortune from the firm……
The other executives must have also realized the true nature of the situation. Their faces were becoming pale. They weren’t giving Lapis Lazuli looks of contempt anymore.
“But…… why such a reckless act……?”
“The Demon Lord will become the firm’s informant. My contribution on this matter will most likely receive high praise.”
Everyone. All of the members in the meeting room were at a lost for words.
What were they supposed to say to the office worker who had just confessed with an emotionless face that ‘I had sold my body in order to succeed’.
Ivar Lodbrok, alone, has been laughing since before.
“How is it, comrades. Is this not a masterpiece!”
“…… a masterpiece?”
I ended up asking back.
Ivar Lodbrok stood from his seat. He had spread his arms out wide as if he were showcasing something. It was like he was introducing the next actor to step on stage.
“That is so. A masterpiece. That half-breed is the trash of society. Born as a rat crawling on the floor. From the start she was destined to silently age and die in some back alley…… and yet, look! That succubus was not only able to get into the highest firm in the demon world, she was able to become the mistress of a Demon Lord!”
“If this is not a masterpiece then what would it be. Is this pure desire to succeed not beautiful. Is this pure desire for power not blinding. Ooh, whenever I see a militant young lad like this I can’t help but shed a tear and praise out. Power is a lady! Thus, they will always only love warriors!”
The executives were overwhelmed by Ivar Lodbrok’s madness.
But I was a bit different.
My heart was pounding.
That was the madness that I had fallen for.
Like a mosquito born in a dark and moist swamp would yearn for the glorious sun. I, who was always normal and followed common-sense, couldn’t help but be attracted to Ivar Lodbrok who was located in the complete opposite of my position.
“Lapis Lazuli. Go and tell the Demon Lord! That we will gladly lend something like 10,000 gold whenever he desires!”
“I shall carry out your order at once, chief.”
“And that great desire to succeed where you had even offered your virginity just for our firm. Truthfully, I took a liking to it. Keuncuska is a place only concerned about one’s skills and contributions. You have more than enough rights to receive a reward. Tell me what you desire.”
Ivar Lodbrok spoke coldly.
“Is it gold? Is it honor? I could even offer to adopt you as my daughter. Your biggest weakness is probably your status, right? If you become my child then that weakness will disappear considerably.”
“Chief! No matter how much she has done that’s—”
“Do not impede on another person’s conversation, comrade.”
When the executives tried to oppose, Ivar Lodbrok silenced them.
“I’m trying to enjoy a conversation with this outcast who was able to entice a Demon Lord.”
Eyes as red as blood slowly gazed over the executives.
A thick killing intent. The executives shrunk back their shoulders. The air in the meeting room instantly became cold.
“So, Lapis Lazuli. Tell me what you desire.”
“Please prepare a seat for me in the executive meetings.”
The other executives were badly shaken.
A normal white-collar office worker had just requested to become an executive. It was impressive. However, there was something more impressive. What shocked the executives more was Ivar Lodbrok’s response.
“Not gold or honor, but authority. Okay then.”
“If the plan goes well, then I shall promote you to the executive in charge of the entire region of Dolstat. With the Rhine River as the center, Cologne, Xanten, Wirthen, Strasbourg, Duisburg, Worms, and Mainz will be in your jurisdiction. How is that?”
Ivar Lodbrok was examining the girl. He was most likely testing her boldness with his eyes.
“It would be an honor.”
“The strength of the Empire has weakened, so in accordance to that, the autonomy in these cities are at the highest point ever in history. As much as the development has suddenly changed, empty-headed people will be tossed to the side and only the true talented people will survive. Lapis Lazuli. I wonder if you will be able to withstand these conditions.”
“I will prove it with my ability.”
“Of course you will. Since if you took out ability, then you’d have nothing.”
For the second time, Ivar Lodbrok laughed loudly.
In the dark conference room, all the executives were dumbfounded. It was as if this old vampire and this cold succubus were in a world of their own.
I must admit, this had become an absurd situation.
To make a succubus who lacked a lot of experience, and was also a half-breed, into a branch manager. There was a limit to advancing quickly. This will be the first time in Keuncuska history, as well as it will be its last for this to happen.
But, Demon Lord Dantalion, huh. I did get the feeling that we were looking down on him too much…… but oh well. He was only rank 71st anyways. It would be good enough to just put a decent amount of caution.
This was interesting. I ended up getting a bit excited too.
Let us enjoy playing around with his highness Demon Lord.
TL note: Oh boy two illustrations in one part! That means there won’t be another one for a long time!
Okay, sorry for the, I guess you could say, late update. I have a policy of not working on the translations during the weekend because I want to be able to rest fully. But honestly, after the positive response I got from puttin’ this story up on novelupdate. I might change my own policy.
I actually ended up getting really excited to translate this story because of that, so there might be some weird parts here and there because of the excitment. I did my best to reread this chapter like 5 times before I published it, but mistakes will exist!
It’s honestly a lot tougher than I expected to convert old Korean speech into English. Mainly because I’m not really sure how to write proper olden time English. So basically in my mind, “harder sentence structure = how people spoke long ago”. Feel free to let me know if I should change that.
There’s also an important question I’d like to ask you guys. There are illustrations at the front of the light novel that I haven’t really shown, so I was wondering if you guys would want phone camera quality images of ’em. Albeit, the illustrations are pretty much for the last chapter in the volume. (Sorry I can’t scan ’em since I don’t have access to a scanner! These illustrations aren’t anywhere online either. Just other people also taking photos on their phones)
I ended up writing an essay in the TL note… whoops! (シ_ _)シ