Editor: Separatio and Peregrine
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Chapter 15: The Sage Returns to the Royal Capital
Having fulfilled our purpose, we returned to the royal capital using transfer magic.
The undead we had gathered in the small country would be guided and brought back by the demons under my command.
I planned to store them in a warehouse until we had the opportunity to use them.
“Well then, I’ll leave it to you! Don’t let them die easily!”
Luciana waved her hand as she saw the troops off.
In front of her was a carriage being pulled by a demon.
Multiple cloth bags were placed in the back of the carriage.
They were just about the size of a human.
They wriggled occasionally, but not because the carriage was swaying.
Inside the cloth bags were the leaders from the small country, whom Luciana had charmed.
We drew out the information they had, and were able to confirm which country gave military support to the small country. Now, we must impose some kind of sanctions on them.
“Oho, this is amazing! It really is a city of demons.”
Henry admired the streets of the royal capital.
His current appearance had changed dramatically.
He washed his entire body in the castle bathhouse before we left the small country’s capital, and changed from his filthy prisoner’s uniform to a military uniform.
His overgrown hair was now tied back and his beard was neatly shaved.
The change from his shabby appearance made him look five years younger.
“Have you ever been to the royal capital before?” I asked Henry out of curiosity.
“When I was a mercenary, back when I was just a snot-nosed rookie. I’d just come from the countryside and was amazed by the glitz and glamour of the city.”
Henry spoke nostalgically.
He must be seeing the former royal city in his mind’s eye.
It was something that would never return.
“Well, I don’t mind the scenery now. It’s not too bad.”
“That’s quite a lukewarm response. This land has been destroyed by demons, remember? Doesn’t that spur your righteous indignation?”
Luciana asked Henry.
It was an intrusive and unreserved question, aimed at determining Henry’s personality.
Perhaps she wanted to hear his true thoughts on the matter.
Whether he knew that he was being tested or not, Henry laughed as he fiddled with his bow.
“It’s a dog-eat-dog world, you know? I’m not going to get angry about the demons’ slaughter. I don’t care about humanity to begin with. Those who kill will kill, and those who get killed will be killed. That’s all.”
“Oh, my. Your thoughts are quite clear.”
“If they weren’t, I wouldn’t have joined the Immortal Demon Lord. Isn’t that right?”
Henry had put it plainly.
He wasn’t deceiving her, it was just his honest opinion.
There was no sense of racial discrimination in him.
Instead, I should say, I could find glimpses of his disdain and resignation towards human beings through every word of his.
He must have gone through many different experiences during his time as a mercenary and soldier.
Perhaps it was because of those circumstances that he had no qualms joining the Demon Lord’s Army.
“Pfft, I can’t argue with that.”
Luciana laughed when she heard Henry’s assertion.
I didn’t see any negative emotions in her reaction.
Hearing the answer he just gave, she seemed to have accepted Henry in her own way.
It’s a wonderful thing to reach mutual understanding and accept each other.
It sounds easy but is surprisingly difficult.
At least within the Demon Lord’s Army, I wanted to create an environment where such things could come naturally.
I called out to the two of them when the time was right.
“Follow me. Let me show you the castle.”
“Ah, let’s go.”
“I’m sorry! I talked too much.”
The three of us walked into the castle.
On the way, Henry looked up.
He gazed at the Demon Lord’s castle, which had a dark red sheen to it.
Blue flames flickered here and there.
Henry squinted his eyes to observe the whole picture.
“Even so, it has quite the appearance. Is it the Boss’s taste?”
“It wasn’t me. It was remodeled by the one I left in charge during my absence.”
It was originally a chalk-colored castle, but it now looked ominous.
It was the proud work of Grom.
He wanted to emphasize a Demon Lord’s character to the fullest extent.
Since there was no reason to restore it to its original state, I left it untouched.
I moved through the castle while leading Henry.
I headed straight to the audience room and stopped in front of the door.
“What’s in there?”
“The person I spoke of before, the one I entrusted the castle to, is waiting inside. He is my right-hand man. I’d like you to meet him first.”
As I explained, I opened the door.
Almost at the same time, a huge body popped out of the room.
”Ahh, Demon Lord…! I have been eagerly awaiting your arrival!
Grom was delighted.
He ran to me at a tremendous speed and almost slid down to his knees.
It was such a sophisticated move that I wondered how many times he had practiced it.
I made the kneeling Grom stand as I looked around the room.
The floor, walls, and ceiling of the audience room were all polished to a shine.
So much so that, as I approached, I could see the reflection of my face.
Grom’s other two arms carried a broom and a rag.
He must have been sweeping the place thoroughly in anticipation of my return.
Come to think of it, he was also polishing the throne when I came to call him about his progress.
I’m not sure, but perhaps he likes to clean.
”Oh my, to attack and bring down the country in such a short period of time, it shows your wonderful skills. This Grom is deeply mo…ve…”
The garrulous Grom abruptly turned stiff when he saw Henry.
Dropping his broom and rag, Grom clung to me as he questioned.
“W-w-w-what does this mean? Why is there a human here?”
“Calm down. I’ll explain from the start.”
As I calmed Grom down, I explained the situation.
As for how things turned out this way, it was not so difficult to explain.
I just told him the gist of what had happened.
”–That’s how I won the one-on-one battle and brought him into the Demon Lord’s army. As far as his abilities are concerned, there’s nothing to criticize, so don’t worry about it.”
‘” I-I see…”
Grom replied evasively.
Henry, on the other hand, greeted him in a light tone.
“Nice to meet you.”
At that moment, Grom emitted miasma from his entire body.
The flames in his eye sockets grew with rage as he pointed his finger at Henry.
“Don’t think too highly of yourself, human. If you don’t want to recklessly shorten that fleeting life of yours, don’t talk to me casually.”
“Hey, Boss. He suddenly changed completely.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s just a regular greeting of his.”
Luciana replied on my behalf.
Henry nodded repeatedly in understanding.
“Haha… I see. So that’s why the Boss has a hard time.”
“What do you mean? To begin with, who is this Boss that you speak of? You’re not talking about the Demon Lord, are you…?”
While Grom glared at him as if he was about to attack, Henry whistled and shrugged his shoulders.
He seemed to be enjoying Grom’s reaction.
If he were an ordinary person, Grom’s bloodlust would be enough to stop his heart, but Henry shrugged it off with a nonchalant expression.
It can be said that he had extraordinary courage.
On the other hand, Grom would not act up beyond a reasonable amount, so long as my eyes were on him.
It didn’t matter if Henry was a human, he was one of my subordinates who I had personally recruited.
Grom understood that he can’t be rough with Henry.
Despite the emotional words that left his mouth, Grom was still able to behave logically.
He would never behave recklessly, to the point that I would have to intervene.
He understood me better than anyone else.
That’s why I trusted him.
“Well, let’s have a shooting contest. Whoever wins gets to call themselves the better subordinate. How’s that?”
“—Very well. You’ll soon regret opposing me. You can bark all you want now.”
Before I knew it, their conversation had reached a strange compromise.
Henry walked out of the audience chamber with his bow in hand.
Grom followed, bowing before he closed the door.
Luciana and I were left in the room.
“Geez, they’re both such kids. Even I feel embarrassed to watch.”
Luciana let out a sigh of dismay.
I had a feeling that she and Grom had similar exchanges on a daily basis.
Would that be a good thing to point out?
I was at a loss.
“Hm? Demon Lord, what’s wrong?”
Apparently, she was unaware of it.
Looking at Luciana, who tilted her head in puzzlement, I chose to keep my mouth shut.
Hasr: Sorry for the delayed update, the editor had some irl issues. Chapter 16 should be out in a few hours.