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Chapter 044 – Drunken Ssulal [A]
“My seat will be here-!”
In a single motion, Ssulal jumped up onto Leonhart’s lap. She looked up at him with a big smile on her face. Leonhart awkwardly nodded and smiled back, puzzled at the situation.
Give me a grand reception: such was her drunken command. Without paying notice to any of the other demons below, she was trying to get Leonhart to entertain her. Her face was flushed bright red and her speech was slurred. Judging by the ease at which Ssulal waved around the heavy glass bottle of liquor, she probably had already drunk a lot of it on the way. Leonhart could see that the bottle was already more than half gone.
…But more importantly, why is she here…!”
Leonhart was disoriented by what was happening, so he decided to discreetly ask Ssulal his questions directly. With a whisper,
“…Why are you here?”
“Hm-… I heard Leonhart was here, and that you held a banquet on top of that without telling me… so I came.”
Ssulal said, while tilting her head mischievously. She pouted and looked away, clearly trying to show off her displeasure. Leonhart set aside his impression of her attitude to focus on the real problem here. What he thought now was,
…I got caught…!
This banquet was supposed to be held for Leonhart’s Army only, so he commanded his soldiers not to not tell others about it. However, since there was a huge number of participants, and all the planning that went into it inevitably involved a few other logistical departments, it couldn’t be helped that news would spread. It was difficult to put a lid on humans’, or in this case, demons’, mouths.
Even so, since Ssulal mostly spent her time cooped up in her own study, and any time she was outside mostly spent together with him, Leonhart thought he wouldn’t get caught — but it seemed he was too naïve to think that way. Now, fully sober from the shock of what just happened, Leonhart began to think with the clarity that he had when planning military expeditions.
If this kept up, the banquet would be ruined. Because the soldiers would be too nervous to keep celebrating, there was no way the banquet could accomplish its goal, which was to let the soldiers relax. What’s more, the mood from before was ruined, and none of the gal demons would approach him while Ssulal was on his lap. That meant his plan for afterwards was practically ruined. Even if that plan was never going to happen, Leonhart wanted to keep Ssulal from finding out that such a plan existed.
…But, it seems like I haven’t been found out about that yet.
There were still many gal demons crowded around Leonhart, but whether Ssulal didn’t notice their existence, or whether she did notice but wasn’t aware what they planned to do afterwards, she didn’t seem to care much about them.
In that case, he could safely leave them alone for now. What he needed to worry about was what to do about the banquet.
Leonhart looked around. The demon generals and demon captains, who had been enjoying their banquet earlier, were now unsure what to do now that the maou arrived at the venue. They all looked lost and nervously took peeks at him from a distance. If this awkward tension kept up, the banquet might as well end now.
Although it was probably easier to just end the banquet, there was no doubt the demons still wanted to enjoy themselves. For this banquet, it had already been agreed upon that it wouldn’t matter even if they enjoyed themselves until morning. They didn’t have to work the following day if they couldn’t. There were still people from other armies to fill in, and in the case of an emergency, Leonhart could take care of it alone.
To put it bluntly, tomorrow would be their day off, specifically scheduled so they could enjoy all they wanted today. Therefore, he wanted them to enjoy the moment for as long as possible.
Then, what should he do to achieve this? The best course of action was to send Ssulal back, but that would not only look rude, but would likely be extremely difficult, considering how drunk and stubborn Ssulal was.
“Hm-, what is it-?”
Leonhart tried to ask more humbly. Perhaps if he showed her great respect, she would remember her status as a maou and behave accordingly. With a polite tone,
“The night is about to end, so how about returning to the cast—”
“NO! I wanted to enjoy myself too!”
She immediately refused him. As expected, it was impossible to send her home immediately. Ssulal continued like a spoiled child,
“The banquet is just beginning! Hey, entertain me toooo!”
Her words made the surroundings buzz with gossip. Entertain me, such was another unreasonable request. On top of that, since it was Maou who made such a demand, everyone had no choice but to obey. Leonhart sighed.
…It can’t be helped. I’ll just let her have fun for a bit before sending her back.
In that case, thought Leonhart, First of all, what do I need to do? To decide his first step, he decided to be brave and opened his mouth to ask another question.
“Then how would you like me to entertain you?”
“Gulp, gulp… haa, let’s see-…”
Ssulal did a trumpet drink with her liquor bottle, exhaled in satisfaction, and then swayed about dangerously as she was thinking. Leonhart nervously extended his arms out, worried that she would fall off completely. As Leonhart watched her,
…Isn’t it easier to just get her dead drunk?
Such a thought ran through his mind, but he immediately rejected the idea. If she got even more drunk, she might stop listening to him entirely, and that would make everything a lot more dangerous. Also, Leonhart didn’t know Ssulal’s alcohol tolerance, so it might take too long to achieve it. Leonhart had never seen Ssulal drink liquor as far as he remembered. This should be her first time. Therefore, he thought she wouldn’t have that much tolerance, but things could be different for a maou. More importantly, he had to be prepared for what she might do in the meantime.
Therefore, he chose to let her have fun before sending her back. As he decided that and waited for Ssulal’s reply,
She called out to him sweetly. He turned towards her,
“Gimme a hug.”1
He nodded and was about to do as she requested, but then his rational thinking kicked in and he suddenly realized what an unbelievable command she just made.
…Did I mishear it? Just now, I think she said gimme a hug, or something…
If he was truly hearing her correctly, then such a command was something that completely destroyed her dignity as maou. Well, he never expected a “Maou-like” attitude from Ssulal to begin with, and he was aware such a thing never existed, but for a superior to ask for such a thing in front of all her subjects? The old human king Leonhart would never even dream of asking for something like that.
Even so, what was with that statement? That gimme thing probably meant to embrace her. He couldn’t think of any other interpretations.
However, there was a possibility she meant something else with those words. Clinging onto that hope, Leonhart asked her to confirm,
“…That gimme thing, does that mean—”
“? I obviously meant for you to embrace me.”
Ssulal tilted her head, as if she didn’t understand why he would be so confused about such an obvious request. Leonhart stared at her in shock.
…She seriously means that…!
As expected, I should have just gotten her dead drunk! This request, in front of all these people, is too tall of a hurdle to overcome! thought Leonhart. However,
“Do you hate it?”
“It’s not like I hate it…”
“Then do it quickly. Gimme a hug properly, okay?”
She impatiently prompted him to act. There was no way out of this.
Leonhart was all too aware that they had an audience. His subordinates, the demon generals and captains, and his fan club, the gal demons, were all watching the show taking place on the platform with anticipation. To be honest, he wished somebody would rescue him, but it was too much to ask for a common demon to interrupt a conversation between a maou and a majin.
In that case, thought Leonhart, I’ll just do it. He put his arms around Ssulal, who sat on top of his lap,
And embraced her. Those around them leaked out quiet cheers. What are you all being so nosy about? grumbled Leonhart as he looked around with half-lidded eyes.
Meanwhile, a warm, soft body was pressed up against him. Leonhart was quite tall, and Ssulal petite for a woman. Because of their difference in physique, Ssulal’s body was completely enveloped in his embrace.
“Hmn—…! It feels warm… let me stay like this for a bit, okay?”
It seemed like Ssulal really enjoyed sitting like this. She smiled dreamily and cupped her cheeks in her hands. Obviously, Leonhart could only agree to her request.
…Well, this is okay. No, it isn’t okay, but it isn’t like things could become better just because I say it. — The bigger problem lies afterward.
Leonhart accepted his state for the time being. To solve this current problem, it couldn’t be helped to have to put his body on line. He was humoring Ssulal before, but now it was the real deal. He had to think and act carefully from now on.
She still hadn’t replied to his initial question about entertaining her. Depending on her mood, he might have to go further—
“! Did you think of something?”
Suddenly, Ssulal raised her voice as if she had a good idea. Leonhart encouraged her, hoping it would be a simple command, or better yet, that she was done with the party.
And the words she said was,
“—Do something interesting to make me laugh!”
Leonhart became speechless once he heard those words. Not only him, but every demon around them was also dumbfounded by that sentence— and after a short pause, they all shouted in their mind,
…Tha-that’s considered an unreasonable request—?!
Leonhart panicked. The reply he got was beyond his expectations. The most difficult part was,
…You’re making me decide what to do for that…?!
You gotta be kidding, thought Leonhart. It would be simple if she just specified an exact action for him to take, but to think that she requested him to do something interesting…
Bluntly said, this kind of generic request with a high variety of choice is among the most difficult of choices, thought Leonhart.
If she were to command an exact action, if he didn’t do well, then it would largely be due to the demand being unreasonable. So it was hard to demand responsibility from him. Everyone would just think it couldn’t be helped, before moving on. It would be difficult to say that he was responsible for things going wrong in that situation.
But since she let him decide what to do, the difficulty spiked upwards.
It was an unreasonable request in all aspects. Not only was he given no time to prepare, but it would also reveal his own comedic sense.
If he did it badly, although the root of the problem was due to her unreasonable demand, he would have to take responsibility for it, because how he carried out the request was completely based on his own judgement.
In the case of a failure, he would be branded as boring at best, but at worst, everyone’s opinion of him as a person would drop. He would definitely lose a lot of respect.
The simple solution would be to just refuse it, but such logic didn’t work here. His current circumstances forced him to agree to the request. There was nobody who could refuse Maou’s command, at least not here. If it was just two of them, or if Galtia supported him, he might be able to.
…Of all things she could’ve asked… What should I do about this…!
Leonhart worried about what to do to make Ssulal laugh.
At that time, Leonhart was bothered even more.
“Hey… you’re not doing it yet-?”
“No, err… give me some time—”
“Do something interesting quickly… I command you as the maou.”
Right at that moment,
His body moved on his own. It was that thing. Although he never experienced it before, because of his instincts as majin, he immediately understood what was going on.
Leonhart was screaming and struggling on the inside, but on the outside, he was helpless to resist.
…Don’t use your Absolute Command Right as maou for the first time on me for something like this—!!
Indeed, this was the reason Leonhart’s body moved despite his will. It was because the maou activated their Absolute Command Right towards a majin.
With this command, maou could force majin to act against their will. This was one of the reasons that majin were unable to go against a maou.
Although its effect was powerful and it could be used for any kind of command, a maou needed to have a clear objective in mind to activate it, so Ssulal had never used this on Leonhart before.
And now, it was being used, out of drunkenness, just to see something interesting. It was truly a tragic sight to see.
Even as Leonhart desperately tried to restrain his own body,
Eventually, while still seated, he did as he was commanded to.
“—I-I’ll do a one-shot gag…!”
The demons watching were all astonished by such words. They became noisy.
“Wow, I’m looking forward to it-!”
“Le-Leonhart-sama’s one-shot gag, you say…?!”
“I can’t imagine it… I wonder what it would be…?”
“To think I get the chance to see another side of Leonhart-sama…”
“Leonhart-sama’s gag… it would be precious stuff! Prepare to memo—!”
It seemed that other than Ssulal, who commanded it, Carol, who prepared her memo, and all fan club members were all looking forward to it. No, I know it’s impossible, help me! thought Leonhart desperately. He felt jealous and resentful of Carol, who stood a safe distance away and leisurely prepared to record his joke. He was definitely going to punish her later.
And on top of that,
“—Ooh, I was wondering why it is noisy, but to think it is because Leonhart and Ssulal — hey, what the hell are those two doing…?”
Galtia finally noticed the spectacle and approached. Leonhart desperately mouthed out, HELP ME.
Even if it was due to maou’s command, it was still an unreasonable request, but instead of helping,
“…Well, it looks interesting, so I guess I’ll just watch.”
…?! Galtia, you bastaaaaaaaardddddd—!!
Leonhart was cruelly abandoned. He swore to punch Galtia later.
And finally, Leonhart took action.
As Ssulal, Galtia, Carol, demon generals, demon captains, and fan club members all watched with baited breath, Leonhart,
“…Ah, you can’t drink it.”
Leonhart suddenly took the liquor bottle away from Ssulal. And then,
“Hey, give it back.”
“No way. it’s because—”
He said it.
“—You have to stop drinking sake, for your own sake, okay…”2
And out slipped the gag.
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