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Chapter 024 – Loyalty [A]
“I see, so he already left”
Main entrance of the Maou Castle.
A demon with a yellow sphere on his belly, one of the demon generals, had arrived there with a document in his hands.
Even as he stopped to check by asking the demon soldier stationed at the gate, as expected, the response was,
“Yes, Leonhart-sama brought a commander with him and went through this place.”
The demon soldier replied respectfully to his superior. From what he saw, the person who the demon general was searching for, Leonhart, left this place about 5 hours ago, and has not returned since.
The demon general sighed and growled as if he was troubled.
“I wanted to immediately report it to him if possible, though…”
The document in the demon general’s hand, while not urgent, was also something that he couldn’t delay in turning over.
If possible, he’d hoped that it could be taken care of by today or tomorrow. However, the demon general arrived at a bad time since Leonhart was currently out, and it didn’t seem like he’d be returning anytime soon.
It was already nightfall in the area. However, unlike other majin, Leonhart wasn’t the kind of person who would throw a fit and refuse reports that were delivered at night. Therefore, there wouldn’t be a problem if he waited a bit more so he could report to him, however,
“…I guess I’ll just ask him tomorrow.”
Considering the fact that he’d gone out for a long time and has yet to return, he must be handling some important matters. Even if he returned now, he might not be in the state to receive a report. It should be okay to just report to him first thing in the morning.
As the demon general decided that and was about to turn around—
“Hm, what’s wro—“
The demon soldier raised his voice, causing the demon general to halt and turn to see the cause.
And as he followed the soldier’s gaze, he could see a certain pair heading straight for the Maou Castle.
One of them was someone who’d instantly be recognized by anyone affiliated with the Demon Army, especially the demon generals who often reported to him. It was Majin Leonhart.
However, he wondered who the other person was. She had the appearance of a blonde woman. The presence she exuded was not that of a human, but of a demon—she might be a gal demon, but was there any gal demon who had such looks?
As the demon general tilted his head in confusion, the pair continued to approach. They also spotted the general and soldier.
Leonhart looked toward the demon general.
The demon general called out to them once they got close enough.
“Welcome back, Leonhart-sama.”
“Aah, what are you doing here?”
Leonhart responded succinctly to the demon general’s greeting and immediately asked him what his business was.
He hesitated for a bit, before deciding that it wasn’t good to delay the report. Then, the demon general gave the report to him.
“No, there was some complicated document, so I went to search for Leonhart-sama.”1
“Sorry about that. I was out for a while, so you must have been waiting all that time.”
“No, I was just about to report it now, so no need to worry about it.”
He returned Leonhart’s casual apology with similar courtesy. Anyway, there was no way he could say that he waited for him for a long time.
Whether Leonhart was aware of this or not, he seemed to be convinced by the demon general’s answer and nodded.
“Then let’s take care of it in my room immediately—Oi.”
As Leonhart called out, the blonde girl beside him gave a quick reply and moved forward.
Then she blatantly walked toward the demon general.
“I shall receive that document.”
“…? Excuse me, but who are you?”
The demon general frowned on reflex. Who was this woman who was trying to receive the document meant for Leonhart?
Then she proudly answered his question.
“You asked a great question! I am the apostle of the Leonhart-sama, the majin beside me—“
She then struck a pose in front of the demon general and demon soldier.
“—The most perfect and greatest apostle in the demon realm! The name is Carol! Nice to meet you!”
Both the demon general and the demon soldier who heard her boastful proclamation were astonished.
They were so surprised by this information that they became speechless. Without a doubt, the girl who introduced herself as Carol was also a demon like them. However, she was an apostle. On top of that, she was Leonhart’s apostle, so it made her their direct superior.
“Fufuhn… that does it…”
However, they wondered why. She felt a bit… no, quite disappointing—nay, it felt awkward somehow.
When Leonhart saw that they were frozen from shock, he held his head and sighed.
“…Well, that’s how it is. She’ll be involved a lot from now on, so please help her.”
It was as Leonhart said. It was inevitable since she was his apostle. In demon society, an apostle was the aide of the majin and their superior.
Therefore, they looked to Carol once more.
“I am… the apostle of Leonhart-sama! Carol, the apostle of Leonhart-sama! It has such a nice ring to it…! Yes, it makes me want to say it over and over… One of the Four Elite Majin and the Demon Army Officer, Leonhart-sama, and his apostle, Carol… How can I make it sound better… I need to think of the best word combination…”
“Sorry about this, but please.”
Although Leonhart asked this of him, the demon general couldn’t hide his apprehension as he watched Carol, who continued to declare herself as an apostle while gazing up to the sky.
—The information quickly spread throughout the castle.
“Oi, did you hear about it? It seems Leonhart-sama finally made an apostle.”
“Seriously…? I hope they’re not a scary person…”
“So Leonhart-sama made an apostle, huh… I hope they are easy to get along with.”
“Most majin and apostles are quirky in their own respective ways after all.”
“However, since it’s Leonhart-sama’s apostle, they must be a capable person.”
The information and rumors spread to the demon generals, the demon captains, and all the way down to the demon soldiers; they started engaging in speculation. The topic regarding a new majin and apostle was an important matter to those who were affiliated to the Demon Army and, in some cases, it could even be a matter related to their survival.
After all, if they weren’t aware of what this new person liked and disliked, or if this person turned out to have a violent personality and they offended this person, they were likely to be killed. As such, the information was extremely important as to whether they should advance or retreat.
Therefore, they all thought to get a look at this new apostle.
However, it wasn’t like they could just gather and watch blatantly. Either they just wait for them to pass by the corridors of the building, or they get to know them through their work.
However, there were those who’d just happened to see said apostle by coincidence.
“O-Oi, there they are…”
“Ooh, so that’s the apostle of Leonhart-sama…”
A few of the demon soldiers, demon captains, and demon generals who had been gossiping around the corridor stepped forward and witnessed the scene, before falling silent.
Majin Leonhart was walking steadily in front, and a half step behind him was his apostle, Carol.
She proudly walked along the center of the corridor. So much so it looked like she was deliberately doing so.
When they looked at her, they could see her confident expression—she had a proud expression as she walked and sometimes, the pigtails on the side of her head bounced up and down.
As for Leonhart, who was walking ahead—he seemed to have a troubled expression, but it was probably just their imagination.
“Ah—but Leonhart-sama sure has it good… To have a beautiful female apostle wait on him like that… I also want a gal demon as a girlfriend…”
“I get you. I did a lot of human women during the war. It’s a lot of fun, but I also want a girlfriend…”
The demon soldiers looked at the strikingly different master and servant pair with envious gazes.
As they continued to walk for a while, the presence of people around them lessened.
The reason was because they were on the floor where the rooms of Four Elite Majin were located; if they walked on a little further, they would arrive at the room of the maou. It was the floor where the VIPs of the Demon Army stayed.
As Majin Leonhart entered his room along with his apostle, Carol, he turned to her once more.
“Aah… I monopolized everyone’s gaze as I became Leonhart-sama’s apostle… as expected of Leonhart-sama, you even dominated discussions as the hottest topic…!”
As he stared at Carol, who was still repeating her own name while looking like she was still deep in her fantasy world, he felt a churning emotion.
“…Is your head okay?”
Even as he sincerely asked her that,
“My head… hah?! My hair color also turned gold, the same as Leonhart-sama’s…! To think the transformation has affected me this much… as expected of Leonhart-sama. So you even dyed my hair in your color…! What do you want me to do, are you trying to make me even happier…!”
“It wasn’t like I’m the one who decided that.”
However, it seemed that she didn’t hear him. Now, Carol held onto both of her pigtails as she trembled with an ecstatic expression.
…This sure feels annoying.
Leonhart felt this as he looked at Carol. To be precise, he didn’t hate being liked so much, but she expressed it in such an exaggerated way that he didn’t really know how to respond, and he felt annoyed by that.
Well, her long time wish was just granted so she feels excited. She will calm down as time passes, was what Leonhart thought, abandoning any deeper thoughts.
He needed to explain what would happen from now on. Leonhart called her out with a serious tone.
“Yes! I am your Carol, Leonhart-sama! What do you need from me?!”
“…There’ll be a visitor coming soon. Prepare yourself.”
“I understand! I need to prepare to welcome them…! Tea and snacks… Ah, now that I think about it, we haven’t had our dinner yet, Leonhart-sama! What should we have for our dinner?!”
Perhaps her excitement will permanently be like this? Leonhart already gave up on trying to scold her and answered.
“Calm down, Carol. As for dinner… prepare, prepare… I guess, you don’t have to.”2
“…? I understand.”
Carol nodded even as she detected something strange from her master’s attitude.
Leonhart tried to suppress the involuntary shaking of his hands as he continued to speak.
“…Also, before our guest arrives, there are a lot of things I need to tell you about.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a simple thing. It’s about the reason why I often duel with the enemy, the human commanders.”
“? Isn’t that to undermine enemy morale… and also because Leonhart-sama just loves doing that?”
Carol stated such things as if they were obvious. Perhaps it was expected of her, who was a former commander, to be able to infer that much. Leonhart nodded but still held his current expression.
“Although that’s not entirely wrong, that is merely a process to achieve another goal.”
“Then what is that goal?”
Leonhart deeply sighed once and then closed his eyes. He did that as his final way to confirm with himself.
It was a goal that was kept secret from everyone else except the very person who’d ordered it. From now on, he would say that to his apostle.
However, if he couldn’t even tell her that, then there was no meaning of making an apostle. His heart wouldn’t be able to rest.
Leonhart reached a decision. He believed the oath she swore to him at that time, and he told her.
“That—is to keep humans from being destroyed.”
He said it. Although it was the wish of the Maou herself, he spoke of something that would be considered an act of betrayal by everyone who belonged to the Demon Army.
Leonhart continued to speak.
“In order to reduce human casualties as much as possible, I kill their commander and repel the rest of the army as needed. I invade just enough and allow subordinates to loot so they won’t notice anything amiss, and then release the humans once we are done. Then, we cease attacking the region for some time and would move the battlefield to somewhere else. This series of actions are repeated over and over.”
He explained everything. He wondered how she, a former gal demon who wasn’t even a human to begin with, would feel about it?
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