The Melancholy of the Demon Army Officer
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Chapter 053 – The Days without the Demon Army Officer
Demons were the enemies of every other species, including humanity, who lived on the continent. The Demon Army gradually became a major threat because of their numbers and raw fighting power.
Their home base was the Maou Castle, where many demon soldiers, demon captains, demon generals, apostles, majin, and of course, the maou, lived.
But presently, the presence of one of the key persons of the Demon Army was missing from the base.
It was one of the Four Elite Majin, a blond majin with red eyes. Said majin also served as the demon army officer — this was the existence of Leonhart.
And it wasn’t like he was merely not present there at the moment, because such a thing wouldn’t cause much problem on its own. There were times where he was away on Demon Army’s expeditions and that in itself was relatively often.
However, the fact he wasn’t present at this time held a different meaning. After all, it was the first long vacation granted to Leonhart ever since he became a majin. In other words, he wouldn’t be available to contact for any kind of work for some time. And even if the Demon Army managed to find his location, they were unable to depend on him during this period unless it was a catastrophic emergency.
And with the absence of Leonhart, who was involved with many matters, it brought a considerable impact.
But among them—
“Camilla-sama, what are your plans for today?”
“…Just do things as usual.”
“Certainly. I will proceed to do some work, so please call me if you need me.”
The pair of apostle and majin who were formerly dragons who spent their days as usual—
“Cih…I need to be more careful since Leonhart isn’t around… kafukafu.”
And a certain lis majin tried to act more cautiously as Leonhart wasn’t around.
However, there were two locations which were most affected by Leonhart’s absence.
Second floor of the Maou Castle, meeting room.
Meetings were held there by many demon generals.
Right next to the highest seat with a rectangular desk, there was a black-haired woman who held a number of documents in her hand and read them out in order from the top. While Leonhart was not here, she was playing the role of facilitator.
“—Then, the next agenda is… hm… a petition regarding a strategic goal, huh. Which demon general is in charge of this?”
“Hah, it is me.”
“Hm, then go ahead.”
In response to the words of the facilitator, a demon general raised his hand. When she prompted him to talk, he paused to check the notes he had prepared, then looked at the higher seat.
He then expressed his opinion with a voice that could be heard throughout the room.
“The situation in the human world has recently gotten troublesome. They are now prosperous to the point it makes them arrogant. Even human nations that didn’t fight against us, the Demon Army, ended up expanding their forces and fighting among themselves.”
Even though the preface he stated made some people nod in approval, the veterans among those demon generals instantly understood what this petition demanded.
And the words they were expecting were spoken out by that demon general. He released the words imbued with his strong will toward the blonde girl who sat at the higher seat.
“It is outrageous of them to ignore us, the Demon Army’s existence. We demons are the ruler of this world. Therefore—”
He honestly spoke his desire in a straightforward manner.
“—We should swing a hammer of judgment towards those arrogant human nations… and I’d like to be entrusted to lead an army to do so.”
Many of the demon generals thought: As I thought, it’s that kind of scheme, huh. They were half exasperated, half shamed, to observe this demon general’s attitude.
These kinds of petitions actually happened quite often. Demons were basically creatures that were, to put it a good way, aggressive, and to put it a bad way, barbaric. Naturally, for those affiliated with the Demon Army, that inclination was much stronger. These demons experienced euphoria from oppressing humans, so the majority of demons affiliated with the Demon Army always wanted to invade human cities.
Even the demon generals directly under command of Leonhart couldn’t deny they had this kind of urge. But in their case, because they emphasized the discipline of the organization and control of their subordinates over their personal desires, they could restrain themselves to some extent with their self-control and reason.
Therefore, the fact that the demon general was making such a request itself was fine. What the higher-ups didn’t like was the fact that the demon general made such a petition during the time Leonhart was away for vacation.
Since the Demon Army was practically solely led by Leonhart, any kind of petition had to pass through him before anything could be put into motion.
However, Leonhart was particularly strict regarding this kind of petition. Most requests of this manner were pretty much always denied unless they could provide compelling reasons and benefits. Furthermore, just submitting such a petition to Leonhart already put the demon generals under a lot of pressure.
The intense way Leonhart would look at them, and then at the proposal…it made them think that any moves made based on self-interest would be immediately spotted by him. That was how potent Leonhart’s strong gaze was.
It made the demon general hesitate to state his opinion directly like he did today. Perhaps that was the reason he aimed for this moment, when that intense pressure wasn’t here. Moreover, the person in charge at the moment was that person.
The demon generals turned their attention to the higher seat, wondering how that person would answer. The one who sat there was a girl with blond pigtail hair.
It was the first apostle of Majin Leonhart — Carol.
In place of her master, the demon army officer and the person who was supposed to sit on the higher seat, Carol served as his representative and took on the role as chairman of the meeting.
Carol, who loved her master Leonhart from bottom of her heart, was faithful to her duty. But, because she usually had a cheerful and pure personality, the demon generals weren’t as nervous talking with her despite her status above them as an apostle.
Therefore, it was easier to tell her things they would otherwise find hard to tell Leonhart. Carol’s actions didn’t have as much tension as Leonhart’s, so perhaps their opinion was likely to be approved easier. With such a plan, the demon general gave his opinion with full satisfaction.
Carol still didn’t move at all. She stayed with her arms folded and eyes closed. Despite the demon general having finished proposing his plan a long time ago, she remained as if she was lost in thought.
It was an action that was unlike her usual attitude. Carol would normally respond immediately.
However, her current state resembled that of her master Leonhart. She seemed to be giving the opinion some serious thought.
Then finally, the demon generals began to expect something from Carol, looking at her current state.
Perhaps that might be the case. Carol knew how strict Leonhart was about these matters, and understood his rationale. Maybe she would demonstrate Leonhart’s thoughtfulness and might even reject the request of the demon general.
Even the very demon general who brought up the request also felt panic upon witnessing Carol’s drastically different attitude.
Carol’s next words would decide the outcome. In that tense atmosphere, the demon generals were waiting for her to speak out.
She showed no sign of opening her mouth at all. They all wondered what happened to her. Although it was good to think about the decision, she seemed to be taking too long for that. It should be fine for her to speak out about what she was thinking or worrying about. There were tons of people here beside the demon general who made the petition. They could just brainstorm to come to a solution.
…However, Carol didn’t move regardless of how long they waited. In this situation, it would be better if somebody called out to her, but the atmosphere made it hard for someone to speak up.
Meanwhile, the person who ended up calling her was the woman who served as the facilitator.
She was another apostle of Majin Leonhart — Hunty.
It was rare for her to be in this place — or rather, it was her first time participating.
After all, she, unlike other apostles of majin, seemed to spend most of her time away from her master Leonhart. Because of that, most of the demons affiliated to the Demon Army were unaware of her to the point that even the demon generals who often interacted with Leonhart barely saw her. That was how rarely she was seen in the Demon Army.
There were many mysteries regarding the actual situation. The demon generals under Leonhart could only agree on the theory that she was always away due to some sort of command given by Leonhart to her.
However, even if she was rarely seen, none of the people in the meeting room underestimated her. It was said that Hunty became an apostle because Leonhart valued her strength, and it was said she was trained by Leonhart himself.
Perhaps because of that, she exuded some sort of dignity, and even the demon generals who were known for their strength were unable to see any weakness in her. Because of that, Hunty gathered a fair amount of awe from them — but that wasn’t important to their current situation.
What was important was her standing. Hunty was also an apostle like Carol.
Regardless of how Carol usually acted in a manner that lacked tension, she was still an apostle. And the demon society was a vertical society. She belonged to greater standing to demon generals, and her strength was also greater than them. They couldn’t do anything that might slight her. Although it was unlikely for Carol to do that — there was still an off chance that she might feel displeased and kill someone for that.
Even if that wasn’t the case, they ought to act only as their post allowed them. Such discipline of organization was well known among demon generals under Leonhart, and they always followed it.
Even if Leonhart was generous toward people under him, they shouldn’t be spoiled by the thought and act overboard because of that and vice versa. They should respect those above them even if they were weak, and they would be respected for their abilities even if they were of lower stature. The demon generals under Leonhart direct command were mostly those who were disciplined militaristic individuals and aggressive warrior individuals. That was their belief, their way of life during their time as a member of the Demon Army.
—Although they said it with such exaggerated pride, but actually, it was quite normal for veteran demon generals to call out to Carol.
But well, it would be nice if her fellow apostle Hunty called out to her in their stead — such was their attitude.
As the demon generals watched them, Hunty approached Carol. And once again,
As Hunty called out to Carol—
—Carol suddenly began to snore.
At that unbelievable sight, the demon generals under Leonhart were all about to raise their voice at the same time — however, they somehow endured it with their iron will. This person who blatantly displayed her disgraceful behavior was still their superior. If it was their subordinate who did this, they would mercilessly smack their cheek to make them wake up, but this person was beyond their authority.
“…Funya…Leonhart-sama…you can’t touch, there… zzz-”
Carol’s sleep talk leaked out of her and a loose smile spread across her sleeping expression.
They were driven by the urge to pull one of her ahoge right now, but they somehow managed to refrain from doing so. Some also wanted to make a loud noise, but they also managed to suppress it.
The demon generals all thought this way. They were all disciplined demon generals under Leonhart. They wouldn’t abandon their pride and dignity and resort to childish revenge.
…However, if Leonhart were here, or if he happened to witness this sight, he would likely say “just hit her awake mercilessly, she deserves it.” That person was quite a wonder for being good at getting along with the situation.
As the demon generals wondered what they should do with the situation, there was a shadow that suddenly moved.
It was Hunty. She sighed as she looked at Carol’s happy sleeping face.
And the next moment, Hunty opened her eyes wide as she raised her hand towards Carol. Then,
“—What are you sleeping here for?! Thunderstrike!!”
With a hand bathed in thunder magic, Hunty struck Carol awake. The impact and pain from the thunder must have spread over Carol’s whole body in an instant. Carol leaked out a strange voice as she jumped awake.
“—Huh? Why did you all gather here? Good morning!”
“You are not supposed to say ‘Good morning’ there. Why are you asleep in the midst of a meeting?”
“…Oh? Is that so? In that case… that means my sleeping face was seen by everyone, it feels embarrassing…”
Looking at Carol who hanged her head down in embarrassment, Hunty could only shake her head. Seriously? thought Hunty, exasperated. Think of how I feel. At the same time, the demon generals exhaled in relief.
It was best if things were settled peacefully. It seemed like the meeting could proceed without a physical retort. Carol was still their superior. Regardless of what embarrassing conduct she did—
“…Huh? But even if you say it’s a meeting, Leonhart-sama is not present here. Does that mean… this is a dream, I see! In that case, I will hurry to go to Leonhart-sama’s room and do this and that… kyaaan! Leonhart-sama, it’s embarrassing!”
“What you should be embarrassed about is the content of your head!!!”
Looking at Carol who was writhing in excitement on top of the raised seat, the demon generals there forgot to even use honorifics and all screamed that at the same time.
Around the time when Demon Army’s executives and Leonhart’s apostles were having a meeting at the meeting room:
There was another room that showed a different view than usual.
It was located on Maou Castle’s first floor — the kitchen.
It was the battlefield and sanctuary of cooks who continued to prepare meals for the many demons who came to the dining room. Human cooks who were brought from outside were given quite favorable treatment and they worked with a certain degree of pride at their job.
However, none of those human cooks were there at the moment.
It wasn’t like nobody was coming to the dining room. In fact, it was peak hour for lunch. Because of that, it was supposedly the time for a switch shift among the cooks, and there should have been people standing by to help with the lunch rush.
But only for today, such a good habit was broken. The dining room was also blockaded, so nobody could enter at the moment.
This kind of treatment would likely cause dissatisfaction to erupt among the demon soldiers. In fact, those who did came screamed indignantly for being unable to enter.
However, once they saw the sign hanging on the door, their anger soon subsided. They would mutter under their breath, “it can’t be helped,” and wander away obediently with their tails between their legs.
The simple announcement on the door gave the human cooks, demon soldiers, demon captains, demon generals, apostles, and even majin no choice but to give up on their intentions.
The people who could achieve this were few. Rather, there should be only one person in the world who was capable of such an act.
Indeed. The sign only contained a simple sentence.
—“Currently in use by Maou-sama.”
The cooking table in the center of the kitchen was lined with dishes.
All of those dishes had a perfect appearance and tempting aroma, both of which whet one’s appetite.
—That is, only based on appearance alone.
To be frank, the person who kept cooking dishes as she stood in the kitchen was the owner of this castle and ruler of the world, the maou, after all.
—It was the deadly chef, Ssulal.
Ssulal was normally just a white haired, red eyed girl who happened to be the maou. What she usually did to spend her days was shut herself in her room, continue doing research that nobody else could understand, find new magic or other discoveries to be written in a book, and call her favorite subordinate to her room when she got bored of everything else. Sometimes she chose to relax instead by eating snacks while reading some fantasy novels, but then she would get emotionally attached to the plotline, and write some painful setting and names on paper.
And that very Ssulal was now standing in the kitchen, wearing a cute apron and chef’s hat. Once she picked up a kitchen knife and a ladle, the dishes she made — were deadly and potent.
It was a mystery how she managed to cook dishes like that despite the fact that she was cooking according to procedure, almost exactly, and was using common ingredients from the kitchen without adding any weird ingredient or cooking method.
The appearance of the dish was perfect, but those who ate it would experience an unknown taste and feel as if they rose to heaven. (※simile…for now)
If a normal person were to eat it, they would experience sweating, dizziness, fever, numbness to their limbs, convulsion, and fainting. Fortunately, if the consumer was a majin, those symptoms weren’t a problem. (※It’s nothing but problems.)
That was the essence of the deadly chef Ssulal. Since it’s impossible to describe the taste of the dishes she made with spoken or written words, I beg of you, please try it once. Then experience the suffering I tasted every time I was forced to accompany her cooking practice, then you’ll understand how abnormal Galtia is to manage to eat those things deliciously.
—The memoir of certain Majin L.
Launea had brought her master the memoir she found hidden in the kitchen, and the mushi user majin who read Leonhart’s words – Galtia – closed the memoir and looked at the dishes in front of him.
And as he ate his way through those dishes, polishing the plates clean, the impression he had was,
“It’s totally delicious though, I don’t know what this Majin L is talking about… but it’s pretty funny, how that dude sure writes a lot, thinking it’ll never be found…”
Galtia was too familiar with the person who wrote the memoir. It’s too obvious who it was, thought Galtia as he let out a wry laugh.
…This L is Leonhart, no matter how you think about it.
To begin with, only a few people ever ate the dishes Ssulal cooked, and the people who were still fine after eating them were only Galtia, Leonhart, and Leonhart’s apostle, Hunty. Leonhart was still suffering despite endlessly ‘training’ to get used to the dishes, though.
On top of that, the only person who ever accompanied Ssulal in practicing her cooking was Leonhart. Although Galtia often tasted the finished dishes, he never accompanied Ssulal to practice. According to Leonhart: “Your impressions can’t be used as a standard.”
However, Leonhart likely did not write this memoir while sober. Judging from the sloppy handwriting and misspellings written there, he probably wrote it after he ate Ssulal’s cooking, when he fell into a strange state, speculated Galtia. For a moment, he considered showing this to Ssulal, just to bully Leonhart a little more, but—
“…I’d better not. It’ll be bad if I have to fight for my life like last time once he returns.”
“Galtia? Did you say something?”
“Oops… nothing. Rather than that, can you bring all the cooking to me when you’re done?”
“? That’s fine, I guess…”
When Ssulal suddenly responded to Galtia’s words, he naturally distracted her as he hid the memoir. What Galtia thought as he saw Ssulal return to her cooking was,
…That was close… you’re not supposed to suddenly turn around like that.
Just a tiny, unrelated complaint despite eating all the food Ssulal cooked this time.
Then Galtia hit his own belly.
Galtia’s apostle Launea peeked out from the hole of his stomach. He then passed her the memoir.
“Here you go, return it to wherever you picked it up.”
After Launea took the memoir, she crawled out of his stomach and went straight towards a wall just as he told her to. This would probably be okay — Ssulal wouldn’t go randomly looking in places, and Leonhart would never know the memoir had been found.
…Well, he must be having fun right about now. It’d be boorish of me to harass him.
Galtia thought about Leonhart, who had always been working hard ever since he became a majin. This seems to be the first vacation he’s ever had. I guess I’ll be nice and let him enjoy it properly.
If Ssulal saw the memoir, Leonhart might end up in another vacation right after returning from his current vacation. Despite their differences, Leonhart often helped out Galtia with his work, so Galtia was usually free to do what he wanted. Galtia was a decent enough person to remember and want to repay Leonhart’s kindness. 1
Therefore, Galtia also thought it was good for Leonhart to have a vacation. He thought it should be fine to give Leonhart time to do what he wanted.
But you see, thought Galtia as he made a delicate expression and remembered another thing to be worried about.
…I think this will be bad if it lasts for too long…
He was referring to Ssulal, who continued to cook without slowing her pace, even now.
Only about four days had passed since Leonhart had left. At the very least, he wouldn’t return for another three days.
There was still nothing strange about it right now. Ssulal merely looked vacant and distracted sometimes. She went to cook everyday as well, but would still leave time for the human cooks to cook for the rest of the demons.
Galtia was happy he got to eat Ssulal’s dishes often, but it also made him worried.
He was concerned about the situation after another three days. If Leonhart returned any later, Ssulal was likely to become troublesome.
And Galtia also worried that if he kept eating Ssulal’s dishes like this, his tongue might end up used to it and make other, normal dishes tasteless to him.
However, even as Galtia thought of that, he was still optimistic.
He could just think of countermeasures if this situation happened three days later. Besides, his tongue should also be fine for some time. Currently, Ssulal’s food was amazing, but he also regularly ate normal food, and enjoyed it as well.
Also, it was Leonhart he was talking about. Since he told Ssulal the minimum number of days he would be gone before departure, he might just count the minimal days for his vacation before returning. Galtia was aware of that side of Leonhart’s personality.
…I doubt he would break his promise.
Therefore, Galtia wasn’t worried. It was only one thing in his mind.
Galtia whispered to Leonhart, who should be enjoying his vacation far away,
“…Well, it is okay as long as you return while my tongue is still fine.”
“…Did you say something again?”
“No, it’s nothing…heheh, let’s eat.”
As he watched Ssulal, who tilted her head in front of mountain of dishes, Galtia thought,
…Until then, I have to take care of her…
Thinking about things that might happen if Leonhart didn’t return three days later, Galtia felt a little melancholic.
Ssulal: “My screen time is short! Even though I have some expectations about it because it’s the Maou Castle’s side of the story!”
Galtia: “No, you have quite lengthy screen time there. See, around the part describing the deadly chef—“
Ssulal: “That’s right, what’s with that! That’s totally rude! I never killed anyone with my dishes!”
Galtia: “…That’s not the part you should be retorting about.”
Carol: “The continuation of our side of story will continue later!”
Launea: “… (To be exact, it’ll be around the time before and after that certain scene).”
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