Leaving the collapsed shishioni aside, we appear before the demon king.
To tell the truth, it is in fact my second time to meet the demon king.
In front of the intimidating steel door, I took a deep breath.
The opponent is the strongest of the demons, the demon king, to whom all the demons obey. He doesn’t even need a breath to kill someone like me.
“Third division commander Gomoviroa, vice commander Vaito, came for report.”
When teacher informed in a calm voice, the huge door opened slowly.
The demon king’s room was simple yet magnificent. Polished obsidian pillars and inujin’s specialty silverworks are decorated. The room with a black theme was decorated nonchalantly in silver.
The likes of me think of getting a little more silver, and to make him think so, I am deliberately humble. If silver becomes saturated, it will not remain in the hearts of beholder.
And this also has a practical meaning.
The imperial guards of ryujin have black scales and armed with short spears. The black scales and silver spearheads splendidly blended with the surroundings.
A thundering voice reached the faltering me from the inside.
I trembled with a start, but it’s not like I made a mistake, also I have teacher next to me.
If I say something bad, she would surely do something, right.
Besides, if I die, there is no guarantee that I would not reincarnate again.
Relaxing a little, I walked looking as dignified as possible.
In the room like a banquet hall, my footsteps echo. It’s weird. The sound and visual don’t match.
The black lustre of obsidian and silver ornaments seems to have become a Trompe-l’œil.
(TN: Trompe-l’œil (French word): An art form creating optical illusion using realistic imagery)
Since I deliberately walked without erasing sound of my footsteps, I gained another result. I had heard that ryujin are pragmatists, but even so they are truly pragmatists.
Ryujins are the so called LizardMan. Although, they hate to be called as lizard man, one must persistently treat them as humans who have appearance of dragons.
There is only one reason that they are acting as the imperial guard of demon king.
Because the demon king himself is one of the ryujin.
There is no tribe called as demon king.
Thus the one sitting on the throne is Demon King Frieden Richter.
Indeed the presence of the demon king is different from the ryujins over there. Physique is on par with the shishioni. Since the height of ryujin is less than two meters, he is an outstanding giant.
The color of his scales is not like plain brown or green, it is the burning red. He looks like being clad in the flames.
The horn on his head, which grows only on the ryujins that lived for more than several decades, is the proof of his dignity.
Above all else, the thing that frightens me the most is that magic power.
To me, a magician, the magic power flowing around the demon king is visible. A tremendous amount of magic power comes out every time the demon king breathes out.
The class is completely different from those demons around there. It exceeds the magic power possessed by an average ryujin by far.
Leading to attack with the entire werewolf troops, and even with teacher supporting with all her might, there is no chance of victory at all. There is that big of a difference.
Therefore as I am a demon myself, I have to show respect to him.
Encouraging the withering self of mine, I spoke,
“Third division aide, ‘Demon Wolf’ Vaito has arrived.”
Demon wolf is the title I have obtained from the demon king. Every commander of demon army has some kind of title. Ordinary soldiers don’t have one.
The demon king looks down on me with his shining golden eyes. Spontaneously I straightened my back.
“I have captured the trade city Ryun Height. The city is under the control of our demon army.”
“It was troublesome”
The voice was calm, but there was an intimidating force strong enough to vibrate the pillars.
With this, the report is over. I thought I could return, but it was not that simple.
The demon king continued to speak to me.
“What kind of tactics have you used, explain properly”
I bowed without realizing, began to think how to answer this unexpected question.
Anyway, let me start with the conclusion.
“I initiated a surprise attack on the viceroy. Infiltrated with the werewolf troops disguised as the travelers, used the inujin troops as diversion.”
The demon king was silent for a while, still looking down on me. Wasn’t the explanation enough?
Contrary to my expectation, the demon king nodded a little.
“Oh, it is a strategy exploiting specialty of werewolves. Then, what’s the advantage?”
This question is simple.
“To keep the damages to the minimum, and also to rule the city which we have invaded.”
“Express the need of the former.”
So relentless. But this is also simple.
“The werewolf troops are elites but there are no replacements. Looking at the coming war situation, I decided not to exhaust the fighting force here.”
“Then, explain the relevance of the latter tactics”
As expected this was also questioned. Somehow, I remember being a student preparing for exams…
Among demons, it is common sense to be obedient to the strongest, so that no root of evil remains whichever way you get defeated. If there is unpleasantness, then it remains to fight again and win.
But humans are different. If a comrade was killed, even though they would be subservient on the surface, deep within they would be polishing their fangs. That’s the way they are.
“I considered this to minimize the casualties of the enemy side as much as possible, also not to leave terror or grudge among the humans. Leaving the status of viceroy as it is, I am making the government cooperate.”
The demon king continuously staring at me, said in a roaring voice,
“That method, is it better than ruling by power?”
Clearly the atmosphere has changed.
Bad. This question is ugly.
Ruling with power is common sense for demons. Of course, the demon king would also be like that.
But, whatever I am doing now is going against that common sense.
As one takes the uncommon path, one has to prove that the uncommon path is better than the common path.
But that can also be seen as criticism towards the demon king.
The demon king’s voice resounds heavily.
I resolved myself. If I can’t explain, whatever the result may be, I’m in a precarious situation.
“I believe that, avoiding the useless battles and win over the humans to make them supporters, is the method that would bring the most certain victory.”
Suddenly I blurted out.
As expected, the looks on the ryujin soldiers’ faces has completely changed.
They were standing with expressionless faces, but the smell coming out has changed.
What should I do. Should I run in case I am going to be killed, or to get revenge should I rely on the next reincarnation.
But the demon king, rather than being enraged, was nodding indifferently.
“Very well, it was just.”
With that it was over.
The bloodlust, which filled the banquet hall, unbelievably disappeared.
Given that somehow I survived, I felt relieved.
Again the demon king spoke,
“That method of ruling would definitely require abundant money. For current ruling expenses I bestow you ten thousand silver coins.”
“Thanks, I am grateful for this blessing.”
“If it is insufficient, you can ask for additional support.”
Certainly I was troubled with lacking war funds, but he surely understood with my explanation earlier.
As expected of the demon king, his wisdom is also a cut above the rest. Certainly he is a person teacher looks up to.
Then teacher who was silent until a while ago, inquired to ascertain.
“But demon king-sama, is it fine? Investing this much amount of war fund in one trade city.”
“I don’t mind.”
The demon king as if agitated, indifferently answered,
“The second division didn’t use silver coins in capturing, also presented spoils of war. Therefore I will give it to the unit that requires provision.”
“I understood. I also thank you from my behalf.”
Teacher silently bowed, and with that report was over.