Dungeon Defense - Chapter 7 - Volume 1
Chapter 4 (Part 1)
Chapter 4 – Romantic Deceptive Tactics (Part 1)
▯Weakest Demon Lord, Rank 71st, Dantalian
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 8, Day 15
Dantalian’s Demon Lord Castle
To leave one’s home only leads to trouble.
I declare that that sentence was the truth.
Traditionally, people gained life lessons from biographies of great people.
The one truth I was able to discover from swimming through the history of mankind from time immemorial, was that every incident to ever happen was outside one’s home.
The reason Buddha went through such hardship was because he had run away from home. The reason Caesar was assassinated was because he had uselessly wandered around outside.
The most memorable death was that of philosopher Rene Descartes. This man originally spent his time taking naps, however, his superior had suddenly ordered him to ‘come to work by 5am’, and thus resulted in Rene Descartes dying of overwork. After learning of such historical tragedy, I had come to a conclusion at a young age: Never go outside. Then your safety will be certain.
History scholars would probably gladly give a standing ovation to such a brilliant solution. My name would be forever remembered as the advocate of theory in the history books.
But, I couldn’t be happy.
The world was overflowing with people who begrudged geniuses. It may be possible to impress the history scholars, but to receive the admiration of the public was incredibly difficult. Recently, I had been experiencing my mornings gloomily, like a genius being tragically eaten alive by the jealously and envy of the people……
“Your highness Dantalian.”
The culprit to create this tragedy was Lapis Lazuli.
Ironically, she was my first vassal.
“It is already 11am. Please wake up.”
“Mm, mmm…… is 11am not still the crack of dawn……?”
“This one does not know where to raise an argument first. If this one had to point out one thing then it is that 11am absolutely is not dawn.”
Lapis Lazuli spoke calmly.
This inflexible succubus, representing the people, did her utmost to interfere with my shut-in life. I think she had mistaken that doing so was her duty by fate.
I groaned as if I was a politician being assaulted by the nasty media.
“Who, with what right, said that 11am is not dawn……?”
“Sound common sense decided so.”
I pulled my blanket over my head.
To want to take me away from this comfortable feeling. If this wasn’t an unimaginable violence, then I didn’t know what it was. Not only was that succubus’ period getting worse, but there was a loose screw in her head, I was certain.
“Most people have a mental sickness. Common sense is nothing more than rules that those mental people had arranged on their own. Therefore, rules for a mental hospital. As a unique sane individual, such as myself, I shall not fall to the pressure of those psychopaths……”
“Haa. Your highness has been sleeping for 22 hours now.”
Show some moderation and get up.
Was the small warning I could hear from her voice.
I hugged my pillow even tighter, displaying my will to resist desperately.
“Stop thinking so firmly. The world won’t come to an end. And since it isn’t, then it’s better off getting in 10 more minutes of sleep.”
“…… Did your highness mention the end of the world just for 10 more minutes of sleep? This one cannot help but be amazed by your highness’ extraordinary leap in logic.”
Lapis Lazuli spoke as if she was dumbfounded.
“It is a conceptual shift. I live life to the fullest everyday as if it was my last. In short, I do my very best to be lazy.”
“This one had never imagined that the word lazy and the word best had such a close relation to one another. No matter how much this one looked, your highness’ use of words is always marvelous.”
The sound of a finger snapping could be heard over my blanket.
The moment after, my blanket started to move restlessly and then rose up by itself. It was magic. I hurriedly reached up and tried to at least grab the edge of my blanket, but it was in vain.
“Ah, aah! Wait!”
“Please sleep moderately. There is no need to sleep excessively in one’s life. Even if one were to die, then wouldn’t they be able to sleep for all of eternity in their grave?”
The blanket was sent flying across the entire room.
I glared fiercely at Lapis Lazuli.
“Magic is cheating!”
“This one had thought that your highness loved cheating.”
“The only one allowed to cheat in this world is me. It’s only appropriate for everyone else to live life being fair and square. That way I’ll be able to gain profit whenever I want, is that not right!?”
“By the looks of it, it seems that this one might have chosen the wrong lord to serve……”
Lapis Lazuli let out a small sigh.
“Your highness. The Walpurgis Night will be held on the day after tomorrow. If we do not depart now, then we may end up not being able to attend the meeting.”
“Not attend. That’s good. Not attend. Truthfully, that has a beautiful ring to it.”
“You cannot. If your highness Dantalian is absent from the plague countermeasure meeting, while being in possession of a mass amount of the cure, then your highness will receive heavy criticism and be berated. If it means to protect your highness’ honor, then this one is prepared to use drastic measures.”
“Hoo. You’re coming on rather strong.”
“Sorry, but I don’t have parents or a family, nor do I even have a childhood friend that was separated from me at a young age. In other words, I’m the absolute strongest! How you plan to bring down I, Demon Lord Dantalian, when he doesn’t have a single weakness, is something I wish to see. Go ahead, use that drastic measure that you seem to be so proud of.”
“Yes. Then as this one is ordered to.”
Lapis Lazuli snapped her finger again.
The pillow that was held tightly between my arms had smoothly slipped out of my grasp.
“Then. This one has done as your highness has commanded.”
“Why are you slyly lifting your chin up proudly!? Return my pillow immediately! That is not a simple pillow! That is my soul. That is a part of my soul!”
It was then, with a ‘poof’, the pillow exploded.
White feathers rained down.
“My pretty soul—!?” (TL note: He says this in English)
Like a hero who had just lost his childhood friend(engaged • 2 months pregnant) that was a mage to the Demon Lord, my body shook violently.
“The soul has died.”
“It is fine to call this one a Devil. With Devil like ways, this one shall make your highness get up. Even if your highness was to punish this one, this one shall remain loyal till the very end.”
“Why is your side the one being conceited!? Has our positions not switched!?”
“Apologies. Since this one is, in reality, quite the distinguished subject to your lord.”
“It sounds like your repenting but it actually sounds annoying……!?”
“It has been one month since this one has been appointed to your highness Dantalian. During that short period of time, this one had met with no more than 72 firms and sold the cure to the disease. In order to purposely sell the black herb at a high price, this one had released the supply slowly, thus allowing this one to sell the herb for an extraordinary price of 10 gold a piece. Due to this, there is a total of 500,000 Libra in your highness’ vault. There are still over 25,000 herbs that we have yet to sell. This trade, with no doubt, will go down in history.” (TL note: The author made a mistake here. 10 x 5000 = 50,000, so he actually has 50,000 libra in his vault. The mistake is fixed later by the author)
“You really are distinguished……!?”
“That is so. One could say that this one was on a different dimension to your highness, who had spent the past month philandering with a pillow.”
I thought it was more impressive in another meaning that Lapis Lazuli could speak from start to finish with a completely stoic face. Really.
If I recalled correctly, in <Dungeon Attack>, the annual income of the Imperials in the Habsburg Empire was 500,000 gold. Lapis Lazuli was able to earn an amount similar to that in only a month.
Honestly, I admitted that she had an enormous ability.
If she had not interfered with my sleep, then I would have even patted her head.
However, she had not only plundered me of my blanket, but she had destroyed my pillow as well— Lapis Lazuli had done something irreparable and had crossed the Rubicon River.
Compromise was impossible.
I, as a proud member of the Roman Res Republica elder council, sincerely despised the tyrant that didn’t know his place and was trying to become a dictator. It’d be a good idea to celebrate your victory now, Julius Caesar. In the end, you will be stabbed in the back by the child you thought was kind and gentle……
“…… What should I do. Just because I had destroyed a pillow, the man who I had sworn to serve as my lord is glaring at me as if I was a sworn enemy. Before being troubled, I feel more shocked.”
I warned her seriously.
“It is fine to use my name in order to gain authority. It is also fine to fill your back pockets as you earn money. There is one thing. Regardless of all that…… it is absolutely unforgivable to treat my pillow with contempt! Do you understand? This is a strict order!”
Lapis Lazuli looked at me.
She had the eyes of a person looking at unrecyclable industrial waste.
▯Mixed Blood, Lapis Lazuli
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 18
Dantalian’s Demon Lord Castle
I was able to drag his highness outside.
According to his highness Dantalian, it has been four months since he had last gone out. Ever since Riff’s adventurer group had invaded, he had shut himself in the cave.
By any chance, was his highness Dantalian not a Demon Lord but a vampire? I could believe this kind of nonsense right now. One could only be astonished by his highness’ laziness.
“T-The sun, it’s too strong……!”
As soon as we had left the cave, his highness screamed.
Covering his face with his arms, he sunk to the floor. …… Are you a ghoul? Are you the type of undead whose flesh melted when under the sun?
What was worse was that it wasn’t even the afternoon. It was the evening. The beautiful glow of the setting sun was floating in the sky. Even ghouls with rotten innards would move around energetically during this time of the day. As soon as I had pointed that fact out to his highness, his highness gave me a serious look.
“How ignorant. Originally, people as weary of life as I am find even the setting sun to be blinding and overwhelming.”
“That speech may be nice, but the actions done by your highness is the worst.”
I still can’t believe it that well.
Was this lazy man truly ‘the’ Dantalian that had vastly toyed with the Keuncuska Firm? It wasn’t some mistake, right?
A sigh drifted out of my mouth. That was the 21st sigh today. I should be cautious to not let this become a habit.
“……Originally, using teleportation magic would be the fastest method of transportation. However, because of the plague outbreak, all cities has placed a ban on teleportation. We will be using a different method.”
“How splendid. To be quickly trying to put countermeasures for the disease, that shows how competent the city management are. I give them my respect. And in that sense, I shall wait patiently for the ban to be lifted.”
His highness turned his back and tried to move towards the cave entrance.
However, without being able to take two steps, he stopped. I had grabbed hold of his highness’ cloak beforehand.
“This one will never let your highness go.”
“Damn forever-on-her-period succubus.”
“It does not matter if your highness swears at this one. Does your highness know how many hours it took to drag your highness all the way here?”
“It does not matter if your highness makes a pitiable face as well. In the first place, a pitiful expression does not fit your highness. Please restrain yourself from ever doing so again since there is the danger that it will cause the on looking party to vomit.”
“You really are excessively honest!?”
I pulled out a pocket watch and checked the time.
Since teleportation magic wasn’t possible, I had called witches.
The Berbere sisters. They were one of the 5 talented groups in the demon world. Although, in this day and age, broom travel had become an antique due to teleportation magic, there was no other choice. You had to make do with what you could get……
“They should be arriving soon.”
The pocket watch pointed towards 11 hours and 55 minutes.
This clock interlocked with the other party’s pocket watch. It displayed when the other party would arrive. This was an essential magical tool for busy merchants.
The starting point was 12 o’clock on the dot. The further they were from your location, the time would change accordingly. If it was 11:55 then it meant that they were 5 minutes away. The witches were going to arrive within 5 minutes.
And sure enough.
The sound of a song could be heard. It felt like it came from the sky, but it also felt like it was coming from across the forest that was spread out in front of the cave.
“A dream world, we drift into the magical sky.
Spin, all and everything will spin.
The planets will spin, the shooting stars will spin, everything will spin.
Hand in hand, us witches will also spin.
You thrice, I thrice, once more we spin thrice.
Get along and add it together and we’d have spun three hundred thirty-three times.”
(TL note: I swear this sounds better in Korean…. it doesn’t)
The chorus grew closer.
At first, it appeared like winter geese were flying across the sky. Except, they were too large to be called geese. In truth, the wings were a cape, and the beak was a broom.
12 witches landed gracefully.
All of the witches, in perfect sync, knelt down.
“Sacred and inviolable representative that symbolizes absolute dignity, one of the 72 lords that commands an army of demons.”
Amongst them, the witch that seemed to be the leader spoke.
It was a girl with short trimmed pale blonde hair.
“It is more than an honor to be allowed in your highness’ presence.”
“May the Goddess Hecate’s blessing be upon you all. Raise your heads.”
His highness Dantalian responded as per courtesy.
“We will be in your care for the time being. Do take care of us as much as you can.”
His face was serious. You couldn’t even see a trace of the person who was childishly screaming about how the sun was blinding him earlier. No matter who saw, you could only see a solemn and noble Demon Lord, that was it.
……I consider that cheating.
“Yes, great lord. Us Berbere sisters will do our utmost to provide your lordship a comfortable and relaxing trip!
The witch in charge responded energetically.
She probably had not noticed his highness Dantalian’s true form to even the slightest amount. Her face was glowing with the self-pride that she was able to serve a Demon Lord. That pureness was enviable……
While drawing magic circles on the ground, the witches prepared for the travel busily. Their brimmed cone hats were so big that it covered more than 2/3 of their heads. It was cute.
His highness Dantalian suddenly whispered in my ear.
“Lala. Are the witches not excessively young?”
“…… Too close. Your highness, please move away.”
“Ah. Sorry about that.”
It was troubling that his highness would get so close to me at times.
Has he forgotten that I was an outcast?
Luckily, the witches did not know of my status. Regardless, just the fact that I had whispered with his highness alone was good grounds for a large problem to occur. Demon Lords were sacred and inviolable representatives that symbolized absolute dignity. For me, who used to be a mere peasant, the very action of even conversing with his highness should be impossible. What could he be possibly thinking……
I sighed and— Oh dear, that was the 22nd sigh—
I straightened my posture.
“Do not judge witches by their outer appearance. Once witches make a life contract with a Demon Lord, all of their bodily growth stops for eternity. If they appear young, then it meant that they were that talented of an individual and were scouted at a young age.”
It was so.
In the world of witches, the young did not respect the elderly. It was the complete opposite. The old worshiped the youth. It’d be better to say ‘respect the young’, instead of ‘respect the elderly’.
All members of the Berbere sisters had the face of young girls. It meant that they were all immensely talented individuals. In addition to that, on their chest was a three-leaf badge. A triphyllous. Thus meaning that they had participated in the Viet war 3 times. Due to the racial division method, the witches would have been on the front lines of the air battles, which was known to have the highest casualty rate. They were the elite of elites. (TL note: Yes, the book does mention the Vietnam war)
I wonder if the preparations had all finished. The leader girl was hopping her way over to us. She was most likely at least 200 years older than I was, and yet, I wonder why she appeared to be so cute…… It was an incomprehensible mystery.
“Great lord! Great lord! Please sign here!”
The lead witch courteously held out a parchment.
“Us Berbere sisters transparently disclose our travel fees to all of our customers. No matter what happens, we do not ask for additional payments later on!”
The witch, as if she was very proud, broadened her shoulders.
On the other hand, the complexion of his highness Dantalian, as he was looking down at the parchment, was boundlessly dark. What could possibly be written on it that would make him like that. I took a glance over his shoulder.
Berbere Witch Sisters
We shall always treat out customers honestly and kindly
*Wind protection magic: Only 2 gold
*Temperture control magic: Only 1 gold
*Sound control magic: Small sum of 4 silver
*Beautiful singing and fantastical scenery magic: Only 1 gold
*Hot honey wine that can melt your insides: Small sum of 2 silver
*Each escort: Only 3 gold x 12 people = 36 gold
It felt a bit expensive, but it was still within the permissible range. We were hiring 12 witches who all had a triphyllous badge. Even if we were paying a somewhat large amount, it was okay.
“Hehe. We calculated the price after thoroughly checking the current market.”
The lead witch must be confident too. She was smiling cheerfully.
“In total it is 41 gold and 1 silver. In the honor and glory of being able to attend your great lordship, we ‘ll just shave that 1 silver off. 41 gold coins. Aha, if it’s this then it’s almost nothing!”
The edge of his highness’ mouth had become stiff.
It was barely enough that only I had noticed it. I couldn’t figure out why he was like this.
Surely, the person who had made more than 50,000 gold from selling the cure to the disease wouldn’t be stingy about this amount of money. A few days ago he had even wasted 1,600 gold on buying a useless ring……
“Could you wait a moment. I have something I must discuss with my vassal.”
His highness Dantalian put the witches behind him. Then, as if he was going to whisper into my ear again, he lowered his head. At this point, I don’t feel like warning him anymore.
“What is it, your highness.”
“Why does it cost 41 gold just to get a lift on a broom once? This is a rip-off. This is a rip-off for sure!”
For a moment, I was speechless.
To have really been stingy about the money.
“…… Excuse this one, but that is a fitting, and thus appropriate, employment fee. Please consider the fact that this is not only a transportation fee, but an escort fee as well. 12 of the most elite witches. Even if we were to be assaulted by injustice during the flight, they will easily be able to repel the threat.”
“Damn, shit. My blood like money……”
With shaking hands, his highness Dantalian opened his money pouch.
It was strange.
Due to my curiosity I couldn’t help but ask him.
“Your highness. Why is your highness grinding your teeth over some gold coins? There’s 50,000 Libra stored in the vault. And there’s still 25,000 herbs left to be sold. Also, did your highness not readily spend 1,600 gold coins on something recently.”
“Do you really not understand?”
His highness Dantalian glared at me.
His voice was immensely serious. It was the tone he used when he was not being a lazy bum but a cruel level-headed schemer.
I automatically became nervous. Was there perhaps something that I had missed?
His highness opened his lips.
“Does the decrease of my money not mean the less time I’d be able to play at my leisure and not work?”
I couldn’t hear him correctly.
“If I were to go into the cave and swing a pickax all day, then I’d earn 1 silver. If I were to try to earn 41 gold, then that meant I’d have to mine for 205 days. 205 days of playing all gone due to one trip!”
“Now. Do you understand why I’m being a miser? The ring assisted in providing a comfortable life for myself, so I had held back tears and bought it. How could some trip compare to that!”
It was for a single moment, but.
His highness Dantalian looked like a larva that was infesting rotten food.
Was it truly a good idea to serve his highness as a vassal?
I started to lose confidence in my own decision.
▯Weakest Demon Lord, Rank 71st, Dantalian
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 8, Day 16
Niflheim, Hermes’ Plaza
The flight took 8 hours.
Honestly, it was no different to torture. Once again, I missed the scientific advancements of my original world.
To sit behind a witch on a broom. In words it sounded simple, but this hurt my buttocks tremendously. After arriving in Niflheim I couldn’t stand properly for fair amount of time. For this kind of trip to be 41 gold. I wanted to demand a refund immediately.
“Well done everyone. I was considering to buy you all a beer for delivering us here safely, would that be okay?”
To keep a good face on even in this situation, was the bastard so-called social life. Was it not horrible? Was it not even more horrible that the witches had cheered “Thank you very much!” at my offer?
We know a good place, the witches said and guided us there.
The place was a plaza. At the edge of the large plaza, many pubs and bars were lined up together. Even at a slight glance, you could see over 200 customers seated outside and drinking beer. It seemed like all of the bars shared the seats outside.
“This is the Temple of Hermes Plaza. It is Niflheim’s main tourist attraction. It is also the only place you can drink beer without having to worry about one’s race and social status.”
The witch chatted pleasantly.
“This place has taken the name of the Temple of Hermes that was in ruins here. Can your lord see the wreckage over there? That is a vestige of the temple.”
“It seems to have been preserved because of some historical value.”
“Ahaha, my apologies but that is not so. 12 years ago a group fight erupted. A bunch of dumb trolls and minotaurs got drunk and started a big fight. Because of that everything became completely devastated. The very next day, the governor of Niflheim created a law that stated, murder that occurs in a table with more than 7 people gathered, while being drunk, will be declared as innocent. Well, in other words, it was basically telling people, ‘next time you get drunk and decide to start a ruckus, we’re not even going to find the culprit for you, so take care of yourself’.”
“…… That is a surprisingly novel law.”
“Our governor is a bit passionate.”
The witch nodded.
“In a serious sense, you could say the governor is a person who can display ingenuity. The ruins being left here like so is meant to be a warning.”
“Don’t mess around?”
“Something like that—”
We went to whatever seat was nearby and sat down.
A palm sized fairy flew over to take our orders. It felt like the fairy was terrified of the witches as they weren’t able to lift their head as smoothly as they did earlier. Witches may have been treated as slaves with their souls taken by Demon Lords, but they also had an incredible power so they couldn’t be treated lightly.
Shortly after, fairies in a line formation air lifted our beers to us. We each took a glass and lifted it up.
“You all did a good job today. Despite being attacked by sirens mid-flight, you were able to repel them swiftly. I shall praise that. We were able to arrive here safely all thanks to you sisters. I’d like to make a toast to the Berbere sisters.”
“”The Berbere sisters!””
The beer glasses made a satisfying clanging sound as they hit one another.
The drinking party progressed merrily.
After finding out that Shakespeare was never born in this world, I immediately went into an impromptu one-man play of <Macbeth> and <Romeo and Juliet>.
Reciting the lines from start to finish like I did in elementary school was probably difficult to do at this point. But it was easy to put in a decent amount of dramatic effect as I told the story. The witches became entranced as I performed with a face full of sorrow.
“……Finally, Juliet took Romeo’s hand in her own. A cold hand. There was warmth, but the heat was slowly draining away. Juliet, wanting to feel even the smallest amount of that warmth, placed the back of her lover’s hand against her cheek……”
All 12 witches were with bated breaths.
Lapis Lazuli appeared to be composed while holding her beer glass, however, that glass had been empty for quite a while now. Even Lapis Lazuli had been captivated by my improvised play.
“However, the back of that hand had soon become cold as well. Juliet shed a tear. Aah, where has my lover gone? Why is his body so cold? Desperately, to feel even the smallest amount of warmth, Juliet searched through Romeo’s body.…… but alas, she could no longer find the warmth of her beloved which she had longed for. Aah, Romeo, oh sweet Romeo. I can no longer feel your warmth……”
Tears were starting to brim in the witches’ eyes.
If you looked around, it wasn’t only our table that was quiet, but the other seats around us were strangely silent as well. I could sense that other people had turned their ears to me.
I was certain. I was grabbing hold of the hearts of approximately 30 people.
Modern people already knew full well of the story of <Romeo and Juliet>, thus they weren’t able to get into the story with a fresh feeling. However, these people were different. It was the first time for these people of the demon world to ever hear such an intense love story. Of course, the immersion level would be different if you compared the two.
Forbidden romance was always a popular theme.
I drew out a mournful voice.
“Oh, but what was this? Reaching the end of final moments, Juliet was able to discover a place of warmth from her lover. The lips. There was still a faint feeling of warmth drifting from his mouth. Shedding tears, Juliet pressed her lips against her lover’s. There was nothing more warm…… more tender…… more soft. But, Juliet knew. That the tenderness of her lover’s lips too, will fade away like a midsummer night’s dream.”
A terrified stillness reigned over the drinking party.
At the highest zenith.
After looking at the tears falling from the witches, while pleasantly on the inside, but with a tragic tone on the outside, I continued.
“Juliet muttered. If this was so, then take action before the warmth has faded. Before witnessing the death of my lover, cover a death with another…… Juliet held up Romeo’s dagger.”
The witches covered their mouths with their hands.
They had finally realized the ending of the story.
Their eyes were filled with shock.
“Juliet shouted. Oh dagger, it is nice to see you. My heart shall be your sheath! ……and Juliet stabbed the dagger deep into her own chest.”
The witches had eventually embraced each other.
I was incredibly pleased.
To be able to control people’s emotions with my acting ability. To make them feel sad, happy, hope, and despair, this was what truly gave me a reason to live. The stress that had piled up during our flight here melted like an ice under the sun.
My second half little sister had heavily criticised me about this before, saying that this was a perverted preference.
I couldn’t really understand her.
I was only gifting people with pleasure for free.
Look carefully. The witches were not able to handle the tragedy and were shuddering, Lapis Lazuli may have still been expressionless, but she was holding onto her glass tightly, and even the drinkers around us were letting out groans. Was this not a beautiful and harmonious scene?
That was why, I shall make them happier.
While grinning on the inside, I spoke.
“Blood flowed from Juliet’s chest. She could feel her own blood. Juliet’s vision started to fade……”
Someone had faintly emitted a moan.
How could they react so purely.
Truthfully, it felt worthwhile teasing, no, I mean, being of service to them.
“……Finally. Juliet pressed her face against Romeo’s body. Her lover’s body was immensely warm. In truth, it was because of the blood flowing from Juliet. However, Juliet, who had already lost all her senses, could only feel it as the tenderness coming from her lover’s body…… A blessing as it was a tragedy. A tragedy as it was a blessing…… Juliet smiled faintly. At last, submerged in her own blood. With her face lied on top of her beloved’s body. Slowly, ever so slowly…… her soft eyes closed.”
A moment of silence.
“”Juliet is so pitiful—!””
The witches shouted together.
The ending without any hopes or dreams had impacted heavily onto their consciousness. The twelve of them immediately started to voice their complaints.
“It can’t be! That can’t happen!”
“Lord, great lord! The two become happy in the end, right? Some amazing warlock appears with a ‘tadah!’ and revives Romeo and Juliet, right!?”
I felt gleeful by their fervent cries.
Thank you for responding so fervidly, audience.
But the one thing I loved most in the world was showing people, who were chanting for a happy ending, the cruel truth of the hopeless reality.
“Sadly……that kind of luck never befell those two.”
The witches had miserable expressions on their faces, as if they were just told the news by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, that sea otters were on the brink of extinction.
“Romeo and Juliet, without being able to be revived, died forever.”
The witches lamented at the top of their lungs.
Right now, a scar that would last forever had appeared on their hearts.
I believed that scars made people grow. In short, by providing them with this single scar, I was also presenting them a stepping stone to grow as an individual. In the distant future, these witches will probably look into the past and thank me. That thanks to his highness Dantalian’s deep consideration, they were able to mature further as a person……
The results of my education took effect rather quickly.
[Your devilish performance has captivated the people!]
[Witch Humbaba’s affection went up by 11.]
[Witch Stheno’s affection went up by 12.]
[Witch Euryale’s affection went up by 9.]
A large amount of notice windows came pouring down.
Excluding one witch, the affection rate went up for all of them by an incredible amount. There was no doubt. The witches had been deeply moved by my romance stories. As evidence, they kept shedding warm tears.
“Lady Macbeth, Juliet they……”
“There’s only dirty travesties in the world……”
“I’m not going to believe in something like religion now……”
Was this not amazing?
This gloomy color of despair was a color that befitted people.
Like a religious sect leader for a new religion, I was looking down at the young lambs with satisfaction. That was it. Throw away your hopes for the outside world and shut yourself inside. That way everything will be alright.
Lapis Lazuli, who was seated beside me, let out a sigh.
“This one must admit, your highness is the same as ever.”
“I know. Consistently being this refreshing is my charm.”
“This one thinks that your highness consistently being rotten to the core is a fault.”
“Hoo, that’s why the jealousy of a dull-witted mind is quite vulgar.”
I raised the corners of my mouth.
Lapis Lazuli was looking at me with dead eyes.
It was fine. Her expression may have been like that, but inside, she as well had been moved by my eloquence. It probably wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that she was captivated. It was just that she was embarrassed to display her inner feelings……
[Lapis Lazuli’s affection went down by 1.]
I was wrong.
Lapis Lazuli was much further from being two-faced.
Be it shyness or embarrassment, these kind of squishy emotions never existed in this impervious succubus in the first place.
“Hm hm. This time a bit more brighter story……”
“Ooi! The reception is completely terrible!”
It was at the moment I had cleared my throat to change the topic.
On the other side of the plaza came a crashing sound, followed by a noisy racket. Our group, as if we had promised to do so previously, turned our gaze together towards that location.
“The alcohol tastes terrible, and the seats are hard! You don’t even have any common courtesy towards your customers! To want to receive payment with this, are you actually trying to do business!?”
“My apologies. My sincere apologies, your highness.”
A young’un was shouting at an old dwarf.
The dwarf’s face was covered in wrinkles. His clothes were rather decent. He was most likely the owner of one of the bars. The dwarf was on the ground and bowing his head over and over again.
“Because our lowly employees were unable to recognize your highness……”
“Ha. That’s why every old bastard should just die.”
The young man had kicked the flank of the old dwarf.
The old man let out a shout and fell over.
“To try to do business when there’s mold in your brain!”
“Look at your entertainment, it’s pathetic!”
Irrational violence was taking place in public.
The atmosphere in the plaza became cold. However, there was not even a single person that tried to stop it. As if everyone had made a silent agreement to stay out of the violence that was happening before them.
The taste of alcohol quickly vanished. The tipsy state I was in for drinking beer had steadily cooled off. It wasn’t a good type of cool feeling, but an unpleasant coolness.
“Who is that laughable man?”
“Rank 72nd Demon Lord, Andromalius.”
Lapis Lazuli whispered.
I narrowed my brows.
Now that I looked carefully, I could see a small horn on that man’s forehead.
The horn on the back of my head was small enough to be nearly covered by my hair, but that man’s horn was even less than that. If I did not know he was a Demon Lord, I would have mistaken it for some large pimple.
“Yes. Andromalius spends most of his time in the Niflheim casino throughout the entire year. He is famous for using his title as a Demon Lord to torment the people.”
“So he’s like the neighborhood bully.”
Demon Lord Andromalius appeared in the game so I knew well about him.
If Dantalian was the practice boss, then he was the tutorial boss. He was a small-fry that pitifully gets killed by the level 1 hero.
Misery loved company.
Whether it was Andromalius or Dantalian, we were both on the level of being treated like a rice fish, so it would be a good idea if we were to support each other, but——
There was a severe difference between me and this wastrel.
Demon Lord Andromalius ‘awakens’ the hero.
In the prologue, the protagonist is assaulted by demons.
Except the protagonist, the townspeople and his entire family end up dying. If you chose to play as a male character, then your little sister. If you chose to play as a female character, then your big brother is sacrificed.
No matter what side, the protagonist loses someone important to him. Thus, burning with the desire for revenge, he vows ‘I will kill every last single Demon Lord on this continent.’……
The culprit that gives birth to the monster known as the hero.
That was the future that lied ahead for that man across the plaza who was abusing that old man.
The current year was 1505 on the Empire calendar. The year that the hero’s village gets attacked was 1506 on the Empire calendar.
It would only be appropriate to do all means before this year past. If not, then it meant that some kid in a mountain valley will suddenly awaken as a hero. Getting rid of the variable like hero early on would be a sensible decision if I wanted to continue living the remainder of my life peacefully and lazily.
It was then.
With a ‘tirring’, an alarm rang and windows rose up.
The choices were as if they was bringing out my inner thoughts.
[1. Become friendly with Andromalius.]
[2. Murder Andromalius.]
I placed a hand on my chin.
…… Yes. The first choice was favorable.
After becoming friendly with Andromalius, I would induce him to more thoroughly attack the hero’s village. Eliminate the source of the problem. The tactic of getting rid of the dangerous sprout in advance was always valid.
On the other hand, the second choice was radical.
To kill Andromalius and thus ridding the cause of the problem entirely, the direction of that plan itself was not wrong. The problem was the ripple effect.
‘ A Demon Lord has murdered another Demon Lord.’
Due to such an incident, people would gather their attention onto me. People’s gazes would uselessly be focused on myself. As a solution, this caused too much commotion.
I preferred dealing with problems a bit more quietly. Such as assassination. That side was more to my preference. However, I didn’t even know where to hire an assassin…… Did I have to select number 1?
Looking at the cold atmosphere enveloping the plaza, I could tell that Andromalius had no popularity. The demon races here seemed to despise that lecher. It was a problem. If I were to get on friendly terms with Andromalius here, then my own image would fall as well. Reputation was like the life line of politicians. If possible, I wanted to keep that as clean as possible.
But, was any choice besides 1 attainable? To murder Andromalius and also avoid receiving attention. Could I make such an ideal result happen……? It was impossible to completely avoid the attention. But if I was able to shift the gaze to somewhere else……
Lapis Lazuli’s voice brought me out from my thoughts.
I swiftly turned my head.
“Lala. Do you still have the ring on you right now?”
“Yes?…… this one does have it on for now.”
“Let me confirm it real quick.”
Without any warning, I grabbed Lapis Lazuli’s left hand. I could feel a small bump over her white glove.
There was a ring on her annular finger.
Publicly, Lapis Lazuli was known as my concubine.
Demon Lord Dantalian had fallen for his half-breed lover so much, that he didn’t turn to political affairs. That kind of rumor. Of course, it was nothing more than a wild rumor that we had made on purpose.
The ring was bought in order to further flesh out that distorted rumor. A few days ago, I had spent 1,600 gold to purchase two luxurious rings.
They were a pair of couple rings with a 5 carat azure colored diamond embed into each of them. There was writings on the back written in Frankish. ‘I do not desire anyone but you(AUTRE NE VUEIL).’
In other words, a typical engagement vow.
In the public eye, Demon Lord Dantalian was the world’s biggest fool. A simpleton who had bought a ring for his lover as soon as he had gained some money. But look at this now. It was good that I had prepared this beforehand. A use for the ring has already appeared. No matter when, an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure……
“Don’t think you’ll ever be able to do business in this neighborhood ever again, you old fart! You piece of moldy trash.”
Andromalius was still abusing that old man.
There was an evil smile on that guy’s face. It seemed he quite enjoyed beating people up. That naive complexion was enviable.
Regardless, playing by yourself will quickly get boring, Andromalius. Please do let me partake in your fun activities.
Do not worry. I have a knack for making drinking parties delightful. A mere moment ago, with my ornate eloquence, I was able to petrify the witches. You too, will soon be flailing on the floor convulsing with laughter. I shall make you into an amazing supporting character to a romance story.
Finally, I confirmed with Lapis Lazuli.
“Lazuli. Does Andromalius have a group that is protecting him?”
“As far as this one knows, there are none.”
“Is there another Demon Lord he is peculiarly friendly with?”
“There are none. Even amongst Demon Lords, Andromalius is treated as a disgraceful failure.”
In other words, I had nothing to worry about.
I raised my beer glass.
One. Two. Three.
After counting down in my mind, I dropped the glass—