“Great work Yuki! All our negotiations went really well, thanks to you.”
“We are grateful. Your words provided Us the opportunity to ensure that they would listen to all of Our demands. We are almost beginning to pity the former emperor. It is almost as if his desperate efforts were for naught.”
“Well, glad to be of help, I guess, but don’t make me do it again, aight? Unlike you guys, I’m not good at all that acting and shit.”
Phynar, Napholez, and I gathered to have a conversation soon after they wrapped up their negotiations.
“I thought you did wonderfully,” said the twink. “You were totally like a thug.”
His evaluation was pretty much on point. I’d acted almost exactly like a stereotypical punk.
“Yeah? Well I’d rather forget it ever happened.”
The whole thing had been orchestrated by the demon king from start to finish. I wasn’t going to be hanging around Rogarde on a regular basis anyway, so he thought that it would be best if I were to come across as the sort of neighbor that would make the Rogardians shit their pants and hide their kids, which would in turn create the opportunity for the other kings to come off as my opposite. So basically we pulled one over their eyes with some of them classic good cop bad cop shenanigans.
It was a fairly effective strategy that allowed us to win over even the more stubborn members of the Rogardian hierarchy. Honestly, I pretty much just bullshat my way through that. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to actually do my part so I pretty much ended up winging it. Thank god it actually worked out.
With that said, I wasn’t just going to stop at playing the bad guy. If I was to set myself up as a tyrant, there would eventually come a point where the people would latch onto the idea of trying to overthrow me. There was no such thing as a reign of terror impervious to a collapse.
Naturally, Phynar was well aware of that; he had already planned the next step.
“Mind reminding me what I need to do next?” I asked.
“Of course not. Valderoy and Doda have done a teensy bit of investigating and discovered a monster that’s been serving as a huge thorn in the empire’s side for quite some time.”
Uhh… let’s see… I think Valderoy was supposed to be the king of the beastkin, and Doda was supposed to be the dwarven king.
“Sounds easy enough. What kind of monster?”
“A subspecies of wyvern. Eliminating it would normally require large-scale military action, but you’ll be fine, won’t you?”
I popped open my map and took a quick look around the empire and its territory. Found it.
It looked to be about as strong as the monsters in the eastern part of the Wicked Forest, which was to say that it wasn’t all that weak or all that strong.
“Should be easy. Want me to get it out of the way today?”
“Would you mind waiting just a teensy bit? Two days should be fine,” said Phynar, with a two-faced grin. “I want the Rogardians to see you dispatch it, and we’ll need some time before they can mobilize. It’d be a lot more fun if they were to be there in person, don’t you think?”
I knew what he was after. A reign of terror couldn’t stand on its own. You had to offer both the carrot and the stick. And that was precisely what he was trying to make me do. Basically, I had to demonstrate that I was willing to leverage my might for the country’s benefit, and that the other kings basically had me by the reins.
“Aight, I’ll be back in a few days then.”
“Oh, wait, wait, one more thing before you go. There’s someone I’d really like you to talk to, so could you stay for a little bit while I have someone go get him?”
The person in question arrived after a few minutes. He was a familiar human soldier of the older variety, dressed in a military uniform.
Isn’t he supposed to be the Allysian rep? Pretty sure he’s the general that’s kinda doing shit in the king’s place and whatnot.
“Nice to meet you, Sir Yuki.” He spoke after bowing lightly, his voice a low rumble. “My name is Gordon, and I’ve been hoping for the chance to thank you for some time.”
“Huh? Thank me? The hell for?”
“Many things. You’ve done a great deal for Allysia. We would have long collapsed had you not come to His Majesty’s aid.”
I laughed off the exaggerated comment.
“Nah dude, I mean, I did help out, but I didn’t do anything that important. Sure, I might’ve saved lives and whatnot, but you guys have got some pretty talented people over there. I’m sure you would’ve been fine in the end anyway.”
There were a bunch of idiots mixed in with the nobility. That much was undeniable. But at the same time, there were also reliable folks with good heads on their shoulders. That much, I was sure of.
But despite my certainty, the old general met my claim with a shake of the head.
“It’s true that the biggest role you played was in reducing the number of sacrifices. But that’s also why I think you’re the reason Allysia still is what it was. It would surely have survived in form, as you said, but a country is made of its people, and with so many sacrifices, I don’t believe that Allysia would have ever been the same.”
Damn… that’s deep. Thinking about it, there really was all sorts of shit going on, whenever I stopped by. I was pretty much wondering if everything would really be okay, on multiple occasions. Shit was getting pretty sketch. But like, at the end of the day, you really can see why Allysia’s considered one of this continent’s major powers. This general dude’s pretty much the perfect example. Here’s to hoping they get more dudes like him, I guess.
“And that is why I wanted to thank you. If anything ever happens, don’t hesitate to rely on us for help. We’ll do whatever we can.”
“Thanks man, I’ll keep that in mind. Honestly though, all I really want is for you guys to have my wife’s back. That’s all that really matters to me, and I’m pretty sure it’d be a net positive for you guys too.”
The more allies Nell has, the better, and the more she gets to do, the more Allysia profits. It’s a total win win.
“Understood. We, the army, will do our best to support the hero.”
With a powerful will in his eyes, he looked right at me and nodded.