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Chapter 042 – Evaluation of a Certain Demon General
A certain demon general was watching Leonhart walk around from one seat to another, personally addressing each general.
He could feel that the attendees were getting excited. Although the demon generals wouldn’t make noise foolishly like those demon foot soldiers, the atmosphere was much lighter compared to the beginning of the banquet. Everyone chatted cheerfully and freely indulged in the food and liquor prepared for this day.
Of course, the reason for this was largely due to the existence his gaze was following around: Leonhart. Even now, Leonhart was pouring liquor for the other demon generals, and while each demon general humbly received it while thanking Leonhart profusely, they were also surprised by the fact that Leonhart casually came in contact with them.
However, they didn’t hate that. The demon general saw Leonhart’s attitude and felt touched by Leonhart’s intentions.
…As expected, he is trying to be considerate to us…
Regarding this majin, known by the name of Leonhart, the demon general considered himself quite familiar with him. After all, he had been working under him ever since Leonhart first took the post of the demon army officer. Of course, he couldn’t claim he knew everything about Leonhart, but he definitely could say he knew better than most people.
And from his long years of memory and experience, the demon general considered Leonhart a fairly sensible existence amongst the majins. In a sense, that could be considered weird, when it came to majin.
The existence of majin was absolute to the Demon Army and demons, and they were practically allowed to do anything they wanted as long as they didn’t go against maou’s will. The only people who could give any complaints could only be fellow majin, but other majin were often reluctant to interfere, either because they didn’t care, or they didn’t want to anger the other majin and cause trouble for themselves down the line. Therefore, majin were expected to behave arrogantly. In fact, most majins indeed acted like that.
However, Leonhart was considerate to his subordinates and held such an extravagant banquet for them for free, and now he was pouring liquor for them around the table. He was speaking to his generals as if they were equal; he was talking casually and asking them about their wellbeing. As he observed him, the demon general noticed Leonhart approaching his seat.
“Hm, it’s you, huh. I’m sorry, but can I bother you for a bit?”
They exchanged brief words of greeting as Leonhart approached him. So it’s finally my turn, the demon general thought to himself. He would finally get to ask the question he had been debating this whole time.
Then Leonhart leaked out a wry laugh in response. Was my response a bit too stiff? As the demon general wondered, Leonhart lifted the bottle and,
“…Well then, here.”
“! …I’ll humbly accept it. Thank you very much.”
He presented his glass, and Leonhart poured the liquor into it. Although the demon general had watched Leonhart pour liquor for many demons already, he still felt nervous. Was it because Leonhart’s current welcoming behavior was so unusual compared to his normal attitude? No—Rather than being unapproachable, Leonhart was normally self-reliant in his work. Such a word was fitting to describe him, a person truly worthy of serving as demon army officer. He possessed both the straightforwardness and strictness to be compelled to efficiently complete any work required of him. Although he demanded discipline from his subordinates, he wasn’t domineering, was quite tolerant, and would listen to suggestions from his subordinates. There was none of the cruel strength or arrogance that was usually expected from a majin; in fact, Leonhart often restrained himself, and rarely showed his skills. Still, his strength as a majin was enough to name him as one of the Four Elite Majin.
Leonhart possessed excellent leadership, wisdom, and combat power. The only apparent weakness he had was that he would get excited if he encountered a strong opponent, but he was still capable of thinking properly, enough to order his subordinates to leave the area before beginning combat. In addition, a majin defeating the enemy would inspire the soldiers, so it was not only a tolerable action, but almost one to get excited about.
…As expected, he is indeed a ridiculous person…
Now the demon general reexamined his observations, he found that Leonhart was horribly perfect, and the demon general was proud that he was subordinate to such a person.
But at the same time, he also felt a lot of fear. Because he both feared and respected him, he couldn’t help but become extremely nervous now.
…This isn’t good.
If he stayed this nervous for the entire time, then he would never be able to relax and enjoy the banquet the way Leonhart wanted him to. No matter how much he praised Leonhart’s honorable intentions in his head, it would be shameful if his actions went against those intentions.
Therefore, the demon general tried to drink all the liquor at once to relieve his tension. Then,
“…You drink nicely. Have another glass.”
“…Eeh, well… that’s… very kind of you.”
Leonhart laughed lightly and poured the liquor again.
Then Leonhart was also about to pour liquor into his own glass. The demon general saw that and immediately said to stop him,
“Ah, please let me do that—“
“Ouh, sorry about that—hm.”
“Please, I insist,” said the demon general, to briefly reassure Leonhart. He carefully poured the liquor into Leonhart’s glass. Then Leonhart drank all the liquor at once just like the demon general earlier. The demon general watched wide-eyed as Leonhart set down his empty glass and let out a sigh of satisfaction.
“—Puha! This is quite something…eh, what’s wrong?”
Leonhart had a questioning look on his face as he saw the demon general’s surprise. After hesitating for a little bit, the demon general chose his words and carefully spoke his question.
“…I just thought that it’s rare for Leonhart-sama to drink liquor…”
Leonhart let out a somewhat embarrassed sound when he heard that. Then, while looking a little awkward,
“That’s true…I don’t drink liquor during fights, even after the battle to celebrate… rather, I don’t drink alcohol at all, normally.”
“It doesn’t seem like you can’t hold your liquor well, though… May I know the reason for your choice?”
As far as the demon general saw, Leonhart had drunk a lot since the banquet began, since he was constantly toasting with the other demon generals. While he was more frank than usual, he was still calm and in control of his actions and words. It wasn’t like he was getting drunk at all.
“Aah, about that…”
It was a bit of an unscrupulous question, but Leonhart opened his mouth to answer without being particularly concerned.
“—It’s because I’m at work.”
The demon general was quite surprised by that answer. Leonhart continued despite the stunned look on the demon general’s face.
“If you think about it, I’ve basically worked every day for these past few years. Isn’t it… bad to drink in the middle of work?”
“Hee? —Ah, well, I guess so…”
The demon general’s consciousness returned when Leonhart asked him such a question. The concept was quite surprising to the demon general, who was used to looting and drinking and going wild every time the army raided a village.
The demon general tried to digest Leonhart’s perception in his head.
But he still didn’t understand completely, so he asked more questions.
“…Couldn’t you do it during your break time? Or, if you don’t want to spend your break only drinking, then you could drink while you eat, right?”
“There is indeed some free time during meal time, before bedtime, and after the expedition.”
“…So can’t you just drink during that time?”
Leonhart tilted his head in confusion, then as if it was the most obvious thing, said,
“…If I did, won’t the alcohol remain when it is time to work?”
He said in a matter-of-fact tone. Those simple words caused the demon general’s words to get stuck in his throat.
However, he immediately rephrased his question and continued,
“That might be the case, but…if I may say so bluntly… nobody would mind if alcohol still remained in you.”
The demon general affirmed these words to himself. If they applied Leonhart’s standards to everyone, then most subordinates like demon soldiers and demon captains, as well as his fellow demon generals, were obviously nowhere close to those standards.
The demon general also recalled that to begin with, the Demon Army wasn’t that thorough about the issue of alcohol remaining in the system. They were good at fighting, and didn’t need to be sober in order to fight.
Even if they drank when they were on standby at encampment, they would still immediately go to arms once the enemy approached. Such a thing was common in the Demon Army. There were also worse cases like when they plundered alcohol from the enemy and drank it right there before continuing the fight.
If they overdid it, ended up dead drunk, and caused failure because of that, they would be punished by their superior for that. If they died because of that, they merely reaped what they sowed. It was just their way of life. Whether they had enough reason to closely follow the commands issued or not didn’t matter, as long as they could still defeat their enemies. It wasn’t like order violation was allowed, but the Demon Army focused more on the soldiers’ ability to achieve the desired results.
Therefore, nobody would really mind. Rather, there was nobody foolish enough to remind others about it, since they likely did the same themselves. On top of that, the person in question here was a majin. Even if a majin ended up dead drunk, nobody would dare blame him. Leonhart should also be aware of such privilege.
However when Leonhart heard the demon general’s words, his face took on a serious expression and he said,
“That won’t serve as a good example.”
“Listen, I’ll tell you why,” began Leonhart.
“I am the demon army officer. In other words, I, and I alone, am entrusted with the total right to command the Demon Army. Naturally, everyone who is affiliated to the Demon Army, from demons, to apostles, to majins, would pay attention to my every move. At the very least, if I did anything of note, news of it would immediately spread.”
“…Indeed, that might be the case.”
Leonhart’s serious voice made the demon general reflexively stiffen his body to pay attention. Although he didn’t think Leonhart was being that serious about his words, he felt that he shouldn’t listen lightly to what Leonhart was saying, either. Leonhart continued.
“What if I was a person who drank all day and didn’t do my duty? People would worry if such a person is the demon army officer, because then my subordinates might end up following my example and neglect their duty, right?”
The demon general quietly nodded. As Leonhart saw the demon general agree with his opinion, he kept speaking.
“And then it will become my responsibility, since I possess the total right to control the Demon Army. Although not all of it was directly caused by me, at the very least, the attitude of those directly under my command would be my fault, because it is my power, and therefore my duty, to keep them in life.”
“Therefore,” he concluded,
“Even during the daily breaks, I won’t drink liquor since it will blunt my judgment. It’s because I’m entrusted with everyone’s lives.”
“…So that’s how it is.”
The demon general was impressed by Leonhart’s words, and memorialized those words inside of him.
This person really ought to stand above others after all. As he saw Leonhart’s attitude and spirit, the demon general could only approve of him.
…I should learn from him…
With that in mind, he turned his gaze toward Leonhart again. Then he opened his mouth again,
“—How was that for a reason? Does it sound admirable?”
The demon general leaked out a stupid squeak in surprise. After listening to such a heartwarming speech, such a casual sentence stunned him. He then spoke one last question with the remaining reason he had.
“Eeh… what does that mean…?”
“…Well, I felt like giving some pep talk, and acting like a friendly boss, for a change.”
Leonhart showed his white teeth as he laughed.
The demon general exhaled, a little disappointed. It seemed like it was just a smoke screen, after all.
“…So that’s how it is…”
The demon general muttered disappointedly in a small voice. However, Leonhart’s words still continued.
…What is it this time…?
As the demon general looked at Leonhart with doubt, Leonhart poured some more liquor into his glass and watched as he swirled it around.
“—It’s true that I won’t drink without having this kind of excuse, at least.”
I wonder what he meant by that? Before he could begin to think about it, Leonhart continued his words,
“Don’t worry about it, just the ramblings of a tipsy person… I’m also grateful to have this kind of banquet.”
Leonhart tilted the glass back after saying that.
The demon general felt he was convinced by these words. Yet he also felt like he had been made a fool of as well.
…I guess I’m just no match for him.
He let out a wry laugh at Leonhart’s behavior.
However, that wasn’t the end of it. Once Leonhart moved the glass away from his mouth, as if he thought of another thing, he spoke up,
“Aah, I also want to ask something.”
“? What is it?”
The demon general seemed calm as he waited for Leonhart’s question.
“…Did you feel… annoyed, by this kind of thing?”
“Annoyed, is it?”
The demon general wasn’t sure what Leonhart meant by annoyed, and he could only repeat Leonhart’s words in confusion. Leonhart’s expression was a little disquieted,
“Wasn’t it nerve wracking to sit here with me— a majin, here? I’m just wondering, did you feel troubled to have to accompany me like this…”
And he said such a thing. The demon general sighed at Leonhart’s worry.
Although he was appreciative of Leonhart’s consideration, he felt like Leonhart had gone too far, and now Leonhart was just worrying unnecessarily.
I’ll tell him honestly, thought the demon general as he decided to speak out.
“I think it would be better if you act for your own sake mo—“
Suddenly, a loud voice cut off the demon general’s sentence.
It was the voice of Carol, the blond pigtailed girl, who, as the apostle of Leonhart, was superior to the demon general.
Leonhart turned his surprised gaze toward Carol, who shouted her agreement to the demon general’s opinion.
“…What happened suddenly? You said that’s right, but what’s right—“
“I wanted Leonhart-sama to act as Leonhart-sama wanted to, more — that’s what I meant!”
She rephrased it as if trying to connect her previous thought to the demon general’s words — but instead, she seemed to have stolen his sentence instead.
…Uhm, guess her attitude towards me still hasn’t changed…
The demon general shrugged his shoulders at Carol’s actions. He felt like she treated him as some hostile being, and was only polite to him because of Leonhart.
However, I don’t really mind this time, since our opinion is the same, thought the demon general, before deciding to keep silent. Then, Leonhart spoke up,
“…Well, I think I did as I liked, though. Like all those times when I left the army alone to fight some strong opponents, or like—“
“And as I said, you can be more selfish! Listen—“
Carol inhaled loudly and deeply before continuing.
“The only person superior to Leonhart-sama is Ssulal-sama, so it’s okay! Nobody would complain about it if you did more of what you wanted!”
“…But you see…”
“If any unscrupulous people would still complain about you, then I, as Leonhart-sama’s apostle, would silence them, as is my duty!”
Carol said so while puffing her chest out proudly.
Even the demon general agreed wholeheartedly with the spirit of Carol’s words, although he wouldn’t go to such an extreme degree. Therefore he raised his voice to support such an opinion.
“Indeed. Even for us—“
“Can you shut up for a moment, demon general?!”
Grrr, Carol threatened, like a wanwan. Since she was an apostle, she was his superior, so the demon general had no choice but to obey. He obediently nodded, but felt somewhat displeased doing so.
Leonhart shrugged his shoulders as he watched the interaction play out.
“…Well, that’s fine, but are you done with your errand? Also, pass me the plate, now that I’ve gone around and met everyone, I’m hungry.”
“Ah, yes! Here you go!”
Apparently Carol had errands to do and had been away until earlier. She quickly gave the plate she carried to Leonhart.
As Leonhart reached for the dishes, Carol answered his first question.
“I finished the necessary preparations for the time being, so is it okay for you to visit the fan club members?”
As he heard the unfamiliar words, the demon general repeated it.
Then the one who reacted to that wasn’t Carol but Leonhart, whose body violently reacted with a twitch,
“A, ah-… you’re right. I guess I have to go soon… sorry to disturb you, demon general.”
“? …No, don’t mention it. I had a good time.”
After exchanging farewells, Leonhart left his seat. Carol followed him away as expected, but when she left, she glanced over her shoulder at the demon general and gave a smug expression. At first, the demon general didn’t understand what she meant by such an expression.
But as he saw where they went, the demon general finally understood.
…Aah, so it referred to those groups of gal demons.
People had been wondering about those girls, who weren’t part of Leonhart army’s executives, but were at this venue. However, since neither Leonhart nor Carol had said anything about those girls, everyone else followed their example and didn’t point out the presence of the gal demons. Connecting the dots between their presence and Carol’s words, it seemed that they were fan club members of Leonhart.
Fans of a majin: such a concept seemed ridiculous, but,
“…In a sense, I would be considered his fan as well…”
The demon general offhandedly thought about asking Carol how to join the club, but imagined he would be immediately and violently refused by her. He could only laugh wryly at the thought of it.
Leonhart was surrounded.
He was surrounded by a group of women with various appearances. These gal demons were affiliated with the Demon Army.
They numbered exactly 108. Their species varied, but they were all gathered for a single goal. And that was,
“Kyaa—–!! For Leonhart-sama to be this close to us!!”
“Leonhart-sama-! Please give me your signature!!”
“To think I can worship Leonhart-sama directly…! I can die satisfied now…!”
Every one of them was a hardcore member of Leonhart’s fan club. As for the very person they were so noisily crowding around,
…To think that they really exist…
Leonhart looked at those women with an ambiguous gaze. Although he had heard of their existence many times from Carol, who herself was part of the fan club, he was still skeptical somewhere deep within his heart. That was why he went wide-eyed the moment he saw a group of gal demons gathered at the venue.
Standing at their center was their chairman, Carol. Upon seeing Leonhart’s distress, she called out loudly,
“Everyone! Please be quiet! Leonhart-sama will feel troubled if he sees everyone so disorganized! We don’t want to disturb the banquet!”
Carol managed to accurately guess Leonhart’s current state of mind. And as she commanded, the fan club’s voices gradually died down, and they all stood quietly and waited.
…For the time being, it seems like she can properly keep them under control…
Apparently, she managed to lead them all together as the chairman of the club, but to be honest, he was skeptical about that. She wasn’t formerly a commander for nothing. Since they were all affiliated with the Demon Army, they must be used to listening to commands, so it was probably because of their trained instincts that they listened so well to Carol.
Once everyone was completely silent, Carol opened her mouth,
“Well then everyone! As we decided on earlier, we will now entertain Leonhart-sama together-!”
“OOO!” Cheered all the gal demons together. Carol nodded in satisfaction at their reaction.
“Then, “Operation to make Leonhart-sama feel good so he takes all of us together” — begin!!”
“What’s with that operation name…”
Leonhart involuntarily retorted. Was it okay to say such an operation name with such blatant implications with no intention to hide its purpose at all?[T/N: in case you are not aware, tactical operation names tend to be something far from the actual purpose of operation, so it would make the opposing side harder to guess what they intended to do.]
However, any protests he could have come up with were ignored, and the gal demons around him eagerly followed Carol’s command and began to entertain Leonhart.
After a long time(not really) another illustration time!
Wanwan: a mushi species which is basically the dog equivalent in the Ludo-Rathowm continent. The literal meaning to its name was basically “Aarf” or dog bark.
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