“…… This one has never written a letter like this before.”
“Chief. I, too, wish to believe that you’re innocent. But you have conspired against me and attacked me in the past, have you not? In other words, you are not completely trustworthy yet.”
“This one no longer plans to be hostile against your highness.”
“That is quite the pity. I’m unable to believe you.”
Ivar Lodbrok ground his teeth.
(TL Note: I plan to stick with calling Ivar by the gender of the individual he’s currently possessing.)
It was clear that he was upset. He did have more than enough reason to be angry, after all.
This person before me was originally one of the highest people of authority. He was the richest person in the demon world as well as the behind-the-scenes ruler of the free city of Niflheim.
That person had fallen and was now acting as my puppet. He yipped like a dog at my every command. It became quite pitiable. Even so, I did not plan to forgive him so easily.
“What does this one have to do in order to gain your highness’ trust?”
“Simply do a couple of favors for me.”
“What kind of favors……?”
“First, I’d like to hire some soldiers.”
It was written on the anonymous letter that an army of two thousand men were going to invade.
Although it was still uncertain whether the letter was true or false, there was nothing bad about being prepared. At the very least three thousand. Yes, I wanted to be prepared with an army of at least three thousand soldiers.
“I consider this to be a light request. If it’s the marvelous Keuncuska Firm then surely you’ll be able to gather three thousand men easily. Do you not think so?”
“……Of course. Your highness.”
The other party had an expression as if he had chewed on shit.
Oi, your emotions are showing all over your face.
Was he perhaps looking at me with contempt? Was that it. Did he decide that he didn’t have to keep up appearances in front of me?
That was troubling. A pet that looked down on their own owner had no use. It seems I had to teach this vampire manners once more.
“Lodbrok. Do you perhaps dislike me?”
“…… That is not possible. This one holds respect and loyalty for the Demon Lords in this one’s chest at all times.”
“That is a relief. I like you quite a bit as well. I was worried that it might have been one-sided love. One-sided love is only beautiful during one’s childhood. But at this age, is it not vulgar to be caught up in such a thing?”
Ivar Lodbrok looked at me with a doubtful gaze. He was most likely trying to figure out what I was talking about.
I took something out from my sleeve. Well, it wasn’t anything too important. A single strand of hair. It was merely a single strand of blonde hair.
Ivar Lodbrok grimaced.
“What may that be?”
“I’ll say it again. I like you quite a bit as well. Except, not your elderly appearance but your original body. Your delicate and female form. I prefer that more.”
Ivar Lodbrok’s eyes trembled with unease.
Lodbrok’s main body was a girl with blonde hair. The hair that I had just pulled out was also blonde. What could this mean?
“In regards to your body, I personally prefer your calves. Your petite chest and the outline of your waist is also fine. But I really do think that your calves are the best.”
“If you caress it carefully then you can feel both the firmness of your shin and the softness of your calves at the same time. It felt like my hands would melt because of how soft they were. The rose-like fragrance emanating from your skin almost made me unintentionally want to lick you.”
“Did your highness not promise not to touch this one’s main body!”
Ivar Lodbrok let out an enraged shout.
“This one had betrayed her highness Paimon as your highness had ordered! This one had protected your highness while sacrificing a firm executive! Then why……!”
“Do not misunderstand.”
I spoke in a carefree tone.
“We did not make a promise. Promises are something that are mutually benificial. However, our relationship is a bit simpler than that. Chief. It’s absolute obedience.”
Ivar Lodbrok stiffened.
I wonder if he wasn’t able to properly hear my request. Seeing that he was trapped in an old man’s body, was his hearing perhaps damaged as well? This was certainly possible. Do not worry. I believed in respecting the elderly. I’m a man who was able to show compassion towards elders as much as it is required.
With a gentle tone, I ordered once more.
“Kneel down, chief.”
Ivar Lodbrok slowly bent his knees.
“Now come here.”
Humiliation and rage dyed the old gentleman’s face.
I couldn’t help but love whenever a person of power made an expression like that. It felt like I was watching a delinquent mending their own ways. I almost wanted to praise the beauty of mankind out loud.
Ivar Lodbrok crawled towards me.
I took off my shoe and pressed my right foot down against the old gentleman’s head. It was, of course, a ridiculing action. Ivar Lodbrok’s shoulders trembled.
“……Yes, your highness.”
“Please conduct yourself with more caution while standing before me. I did not ridicule you the moment we met. Normally and softly. I treated you like an accomplice of equal standing, and yet, did you not look at me as if you were looking at trash?”
I pushed his head down further.
Ivar Lodbrok’s nose touched the floor.
“This is why communication is impossible. How long do you plan to leave me in an unrequited love? If you desire for me to respect your dignity, then you must respect my dignity first. Do you understand?”
“This one will, most certainly keep that in mind……”
“Prepare the three thousand troops within 2 days.”
I withdrew my foot.
“It’d be troubling if you were to gather a bunch of random people, so I shall request for the best quality of soldiers. According to the message, the invasion will happen in 10 days, so do hurry.”
Ivar Lodbrok quickly brought his head back up.
“Your highness. Two days is much too short! At the very least, allow us a week…… no even if your highness were to give us half a month, it would be near impossible to hire three thousand soldiers of the best quality.”
“What are you talking about? There are plenty of troops nearby.”
“Are there not soldiers protecting Niflheim? I heard that the military force here was around 8,000 men. Lend me some from there.”
Ivar Lodbrok opened his mouth.
It was a face as if he had just heard an unbelievable suggestion.
“Your highness! Those are this city’s defenses!”
“And you are the actual ruler of Niflheim. You can move the forces around as much as you please.”
“Please understand! If the soldiers are gone then the method of defending Niflheim disappears with them. Niflheim is a free city that is responsible for all the economy in the demon world. If this place were to fall then a huge misfortune will fall over the entire demon world. If that were to happen while the Black Death is still running rampant……!”
“Whoa, whoa. Calm down.”
I stood from my chair.
I lifted Ivar Lodbrok back up on his feet and tidily brushed all the dust off of his clothes. Ivar Lodbrok, not sure how to react, was unable to say anything in response.
“Of course there are many things to worry about. The danger you’ll have to shoulder will also be large. I understand everything. I really do. But regardless of all that, chief. It is very unfortunate, but.”
Finally, dusted Ivar Lodbrok’s shoulder.
“That is your problem. Not mine.”
I smiled widely.
Ivar Lodbrok was at a loss for words.
“Ah. I should point out that this hair is not from your main body. How could I do such a thing when I respect you so much, chief? Do not worry.”
“Pardon? Then where……?”
“I plucked the hair off of a dog that was wandering around the governor’s palace after playing with him a bit. That dog’s color and charm was quite refined. As expected, if the owner is well off then even the pets live a life of luxury.”
Ivar Lodbrok’s expression quickly changed.
He must have realized that he had just ridiculed himself all because of some dog hair and was dumbfounded.
That’s why you shouldn’t have retaliated so uselessly. We could have happily gone off on our own ways without having to upset one another. I couldn’t understand the people who insisted on upholding their pride when they knew that they were obviously going to lose. Are you a masochist? Do you enjoy receiving pain on purpose? This is quite troubling that there are so many perverts in the world……
“Three thousand soldiers. Highest quality. I leave this within your hands, chief.”
“Oh, right. I would also like for you to acquire some information.”
“This as well isn’t a very difficult task so you have no need to be worried. It’s a task to find a single human. Ah, while you’re at it purchase the finest bottle of wine for me.”
“Whatever this one is ordered to……”
It seems he had finally given up on resisting. Ivar Lodbrok bowed his head. It was cute because his drooping hair resembled dog ears.
The fact that he had a lot of wrinkles was a flaw, but oh well. It’d be better if I just thought of it as raising a pet with a strong sense of pride. I’d feel sorry if I shoved him around too much, so I should give him a reward later on. Oh no. I shouldn’t have a hobby like raising a pet……
I could hear the sound of paper being shuffled.
I wonder if I had been sweating throughout the night as my back felt wet. I rubbed my eyes and turned my head to see Lapis Lazuli reading a report next to me on the bed.
In response to my short question asking if those were the reports from Lodbrok, Lapis Lazuli answered immediately.
One week had passed since we had become lovers. Curiously, our words got across to each other rather well. Should I say that our compatibility was good? No, it might be excessively easy-going to even regard her as my lover……
“How is it.”
“The level of the information is favorable. The total slave markets located in the northern region of Sardinia is 13. Among them, the amount of slave markets that handle in slaves born from noble families are 4. The slave which your highness is looking for is registered in Pavia.”
Lapis Lazuli took out a single document.
I shook my head and buried my nose into her thighs. It felt as if she had applied some kind of sweet oil on her skin. A delightful scent emanated from her.
“It is Anatolia mountain rose oil. Your highness. If your highness has the time to sexually harass this one, then please take a look at the report first.”
“I do not wish to read words as soon as I wake up in the morning. I’d appreciate it if you could read it out loud in my stead.”
“It’s not morning but the afternoon.”
Lapis Lazuli let out a sigh.
“This one thinks that it’s because of your highness that this one’s life cycle is being ruined. Too much time is being consumed from having sexual relations once. This one advises your highness to lower 4 hours to 2.”
“What am I supposed to do when my stamina is peerless?”
I lightly pecked Lala’s bottom.
“I do not have the tendency to sate my desires quickly. In any case, it’s quite the problem that men these days do not know how to show consideration to women. How pleasant it is to enjoy each others’ warmth and……”
“This one knows. It is already well-known for this one that your highness is a pervert beyond imagination, so this one does not need another lesson.”
Lapis Lazuli resigned herself and began to read the report.
“—Laura De Farsene. Ever since her birth as an illegitimate child in Duke Farsene’s family, she was confined in the mansion at all times. Although it hasn’t been revealed on who her birth mother is, there is a rumor that she was born after the duke had raped one of the servants.”
I stroked Lapis Lazuli’s thigh as I listened to her talk.
Lala had no useless fat. It was most likely because she was born as an outcast and spent her childhood starving. Roaming the alleyways and finding scraps from garbage cans. Being cursed at for being a half-breed. Having stones tossed at her constantly.
……I should have killed that old woman.
I really did regret it.
“It seems Miss Farsene lived a very underprivileged childhood.”
Lapis Lazuli continued.
“Not only the mansion, but she was strictly forbidden from leaving her bedroom as well. Her siblings did not consider Miss Farnese as a part of their family, and even the servants treated her as if she did not exist…… Your highness? Are you listening?”
“Of course. I’m listening diligently.”
“Although, this one thinks your highness has only been touching this one’s thigh since awhile ago.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just seeing things.”
“……This one will continue reading.”
Laura De Farsene.
She was an important character that appeared in <Dungeon Attack>.
Similar to the protagonist, she was an influential individual of that era, but if one were to point out a difference, then it was that she pushed the world into terror instead of hope.
There was a slight complicated political reason that was involved behind this.
The <Dungeon Attack> protagonist, the hero, was affiliated with the ‘Empire of Habsburg’. On the other hand, Laura De Farsene worked for the nation known as the ‘Kingdom of Brittany’. The empire and the kingdom, wanting to decide who was the true ruler of the entire continent, started a massive war.
There was a chance that, compared to the Demon Lords, the amount of humans that died because of Miss Farsene was higher. In other words, for the protagonist you could say that she was an opponent far more terrifying than the Demon Lords.
Well, these were things that would happen 15 to 20 years in the future.
In the current time, Laura De Farsene was nothing more than a frail and weak 16-year-old girl.
What was there to hide?
I wanted to snatch this girl who was fated to become a great general in the future in advance.
Since it seemed that 2,000 soldiers were going to invade from an unknown region. While I was hiring troops, I wanted to recruit a commander at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone.
Lapis Lazuli finished reading the report and spoke.
“Your highness. There is something that this one wishes to ask. Why does your highness have an interest in a child from the human race?”
“There is no particular reason. Simply that this child harbors the most hatred towards humans.”
I told her a lie nonchalantly.
There was no special reason. It would be more troubling if I were to answer her honestly and say ‘It’s something I know because I played the game, but that kid is going to grow up to be the greatest general in the continent’. I could only dramatize a reason and tell it to her.
“……Hatred, is it?”
“Yes. Think of it while in that girl’s position. She was born as an illegitimate child and spent her days forever trapped in her room. She received abuse from the people who were supposed to be her family. She was avoided by even the servants. And now that the family has fallen into ruin, Laura De Farsene has plummeted to being a slave and is being sold at a market. What do you think would be lurking in this girl’s mind? What would this girl earnestly desire for? Would she not be nourishing her hatred towards humans?”
“To me, I need this kind of child. A child burning with hatred more than anyone else. I need a child who would sell her own soul to the devil if it meant getting revenge on the humans. Laura De Farsene, an individual just to my preferences.”
Lapis Lazuli looked at me with an impassive expression.
She had eyes that appeared as if she understood but also didn’t understand at the same time.
“What? Are you disappointed that it wasn’t the answer that you had hoped for?”
Lapis Lazuli tilted her head.
“This one was certain that your highness wanted to obtain and enjoy a high quality sex slave from a noble birth.”
“What? What kind of nonsense…… Wait. What kind of person do you see me as?”
“Of course, this one sees it as it is.”
There’s a vassal here that’s treating their lord like a human scumbag!
I vaguely understood the reason why Lapis Lazuli’s affection was yet to get past 10. No, well, I actually am a human, though! I’m not depraved enough to do something disgusting like getting a sex slave.
I spoke in an incredibly serious tone.
“I’ll use this chance to tell you clearly.”
“What is it?”
“I prefer mature adults.”
It was truly so.
Lolita complex was a mental illness.
“I can’t stand people that still smell like a child. Of course, I prefer large chests over smaller ones, and I prefer a generous bottom over a petite one. Do you understand. People who like a child’s body are all insane with a bunch of loose screws in their heads.”
Lapis Lazuli nodded.
“To sum it up, more than her highness Barbatos, her highness Paimon is closer to your highness’ preference.”
“Before talking about whether it’s close or far, I just dislike a child’s body. Even if the other side approached and offered themselves to me, I’d decline!”
“That is a shame. If your highness was obtaining Miss Farsene with the intention to sate your highness’ sexual desires, then this one was going to actively support the decision, since it meant that this one’s burden would be reduced by quite the amount.”
“Did you dislike sleeping with me that much!? No, wait. In the end, wasn’t it you who came on to me first……!?”
“My apologies. At that time, this one had yet to realize that your highness was actually a stallion. Your highness had even satisfied yourself fully on the first night, 3 times in a row at that…… Honestly, this one has started to regret it.”
“Isn’t that too much!?”
I had ended up hearing from my lover of 1 week that she was already regretting her decision.
It may have been merely a physical relationship with no love whatsoever, but I couldn’t help but receive a blow……
While I was chatting with Lapis Lazuli, someone knocked on the door.
“Oh great lord. Your highness’ lunch has arrived.”
“Ah. It’s fine to enter.”
It was the maids that were working in the governor’s palace.
The maids opened the door and came into the room. Each maid was carrying a silver tray. They looked this way and all their faces froze at once. A man and woman were laying on the bed in the nude. Although we were covered up by a blanket, my upper body was in the open.
“E-Excuse us! Your highness!”
“It’s fine. The one to have ordered for you all to enter was myself, there is no reason for you all to apologize. Pay us no mind and set up lunch.”
The maids gratefully placed the cuisines down onto the table. Although they did their best to be indifferent to us and keep their heads in place, they ended up instinctively peeking at us.
Hm? Was it their first time seeing a Demon Lord without clothes on?
Finding it amusing, I silently kept watch of the maids until I heard the sound of a tongue clicking with a ‘tsk’. It was so low that I could have missed the sound. My heart became drastically cold.
“The likes of us shall take our leave now.”
“All of you. Stop right there.”
The maids froze in place at the door.
I unintentionally ended up speaking in a cold voice.
“Who was the one to click their tongue.”
“Do not play innocent. I clearly heard one of you click your tongue. Confess who the culprit is.”
The maids looked at each other with a panicked gaze. But only for a short moment. Their eyes naturally gathered onto a single person. It was a girl with cat ears from the beast race.
Is that so. Are you the main culprit who clicked their tongue?
I put on a loose gown and got up from the bed.
During that time, the maid from the beast race had realized her mistake and started to tremble. Her teeth chattered. It seems her colleagues had predicted what her fate was going to be as they had taken a few steps away.
“J……J-Julia, is this one’s name.”
“I see. Julia. You have a pretty name.”
In contrast to the compliment, my face was stern.
“Why did you click your tongue earlier.”
“T-This one is terribly sorry, your highness. Please forgive this one!”
“I asked why you had clicked your tongue.”
The maid could not answer.
It was fine. I wasn’t asking her in hopes for her to answer me. I already knew the answer.
This girl didn’t click her tongue at me. Slightly to my side. In other words, while glaring at Lapis Lazuli, she had clicked her tongue.
That put me in a foul mood.
To the point where I could barely control my rage.
“Are you looking down at the sight of myself being intimate with my lover?”
“No. Your highness, this one did not think anything like that……!”
“I understand. It must have been very unpleasant to see a mere half-breed peasant in the same bed as a Demon Lord. It must have been a sour sight for you. That’s why you clicked your tongue at my lover, right?”
“T-This one…… This one was……”
I had hit the mark.
That was the kind of feeling I got from her response.
There was nothing more to see.
I walked in long strides towards the wall where swords were being displayed on and pulled one out. The thin blade came out while making a metallic sound. Seeing this, the other maids let out a scream.
“Before being a peasant, she is my fiancée. With what authority are you mocking someone else’s lover. Am I ridiculous enough for you to mock?”
“Your highness…… at least this one’s life…… please, spare……”
It was really hard to understand.
After falling into this world, only incomprehensible things have been happening.
Why did people look down on others so easily?
Why did people not uphold even the least amount of etiquette?
And finally, why did people attack when they knew they were going to lose?
They had no caution, they had no common sense, and they had no knowledge. As did Paimon and as did Lodbrok. That old hag shook my insides a few days ago and now this maid was trying to start a fight.
That was why.
Since it was full of these kinds of people.
Because there were only these irresponsible people my siblings and I—.
Abruptly, choice boxes appeared with a sound effect.
A half-transparent window that could only be seen by myself.
I strengthened my grip on the hilt of the sword. The other maids held their breath. The beast girl muttered for forgiveness while shedding tears.
To kill or not to kill. All kinds of calculations went through my head. The threatened political status for murdering a servant of the governor’s palace. The social impact it would cause. The damage my public image would receive. However, despite considering all these demerits, it was difficult to forgive this girl. It was incredibly difficult. I didn’t clearly know the reason why I couldn’t, but—.
In a subdued
and always calm tone.
“That is far enough.”
Lapis Lazuli spoke.
I slowly turned my head to Lala.
At that spot were the same eyes which I saw a few days ago.
The same reproachful gaze that was asking if I did not realize what I had done wrong.
At that moment.
The inside of my head promptly cooled down.
I was now able to realize how insane my current actions were. For me to try and kill someone just because they had clicked their tongue once. It was ridiculous.
The old lady and this maid before me were different. The old lady was the main culprit to have completely ruined Lapis Lazuli’s life. However, all this maid had done was click her tongue. Although she certainly did not know her manners, but that was it. She did not commit a crime that was worth being killed for!
I semi-forcefully poured ice water into my head.
‘Do not make enemies for no reason.’
‘If they’ve recognized their error, then step back.’
Behavior procedures engraved like a manual.
The doctrine that had become nearly instinctive because of my father’s education, started to take effect. 1 second, 2 second, and after the 3rd second I had regained my composure.
I arduously opened my mouth.
“……Have you reflected on your actions enough?”
“Y-Yes! Your highness! This one is terribly sorry! This one will never do it again!”
“Do not ever forget that emotion. A single mistake could threaten your life.”
I turned to look at the other maids and spoke.
“Keep that in mind. As servants like you all who attend to people of high nobility, each and every one of your actions could lead to an irremediable mistake. Your mistakes will soon be the mistake of Niflheim. Your impudence will soon be the impudence of Niflheim. Act with responsibility.”
The maids all bowed deeply at once.
“”We shall bear that in mind, your highness!””
With this, I had succeeded in giving an evasive response.
“Good. You may leave now.”
And then, the maids quickly made their way out.
The words shined brightly in mid-air.
Then they broke apart and formed new lines.
[A kind and merciful decision!]
[Fame increased slightly.]
The lines then split apart into small pieces and dispersed like petals.
I should be delighted that my fame had increased by even a slight amount, but honestly, my current mood was the absolute worst. It was truly at the very bottom. It has been a long time since my mood had been this terrible.
Lapis Lazuli gazed at me silently.
The moment our gaze met I instinctively apologized.
I couldn’t answer.
The feeling of having done something wrong was pressing down against my heart. However, I couldn’t grasp hold of exactly what I had done wrong, not even the smallest amount. This was perplexing.
Silence went by.
In the end, Lapis Lazuli let out a sigh.
What did she understand?
She got up from the bed and put her clothes on. After Lapis Lazuli had completely put on her uniform, she lowered her back and bowed. It was a fluid movement without even the slightest bit of error.
“This one shall make preparations to depart for the slave markets. It should be suitable to hire the Berbere sisters for travel this time as well. Please come out once your highness has finished eating lunch.”
“This one shall take her leave first.”
Without looking this way, she opened the door and left.
As I did 4 days ago, I was left in the room alone. Lapis Lazuli may have already been gone, but her rosy scent was still drifting around.
And then, a notice window.
[Lapis Lazuli’s affection went down by 1.]
I silently covered my face with my hands.
As I lived my life, I belonged to the group of people who were disappointed by others, I was never part of the group who disappointed others.
But not today.
I had disappointed Lapis Lazuli.
“You know what’s the worst part?”
“The fact that I had no idea what I did wrong.”
Before I knew it, the scenery outside the window had grown dark.
Barbatos was looking at me under the quietly shaking candle light.
As the outside grew darker, the shadow that covered Barbatos’ complexion spread across her face. While supporting her chin with her arm, she silently gazed at me.
“I could at least behave shamelessly if I didn’t feel like I had done something wrong. I could even question the other party about what the problem was. But not me, I understood that I had done something wrong; I just had no idea what that was. And…… that is quite the miserable feeling. Exceedingly……”
“Tell me. What could Lapis Lazuli have wanted from me?”
I stared at Barbatos with earnest eyes.
Barbatos had opened her mouth, but no words came out.
So there was no other choice but for me to continue talking.
“Did she want for me to get on my knees and beg? Was that what Lapis wanted from me? For me to throw away my dignity, like a slave. To toss away something like saving face and simply plea?…… That could be it. That was more than possible.”
“However, why wouldn’t she even tell me what my wrongdoings were?”
I grasped my forehead.
“This drives people mad. Barbatos. This truly is something that drives people mad. Do you know why Lapis didn’t tell me anything?”
“There was one reason. Lapis wanted for me to realize my mistake on my own. That if she left it alone then I would figure it out by myself. Lapis had expectations for me. Damn it!”
I hit the floor.
“It was insulting and more insulting. Why it was so…… because she was treating me like a fool. Firstly, she was disappointed that I had not realized my wrongdoings. Second, she was hoping that I would figure out what I had done wrong. Do you understand? Hm? Do you understand how shitty this was?”
But it didn’t come out properly.
The sneer came off more as a forced smirk.
“Lapis was not only judging my current self, but my future self as well. On her own. To her own desire! As if she had me completely figured out! As if, she was considering herself to be standing in a higher position than myself……!”
I ground my teeth.
“It was so insulting that I could vomit. It was the first time in my life that I had received this kind of offense. Lapis’ disappointment and expectation became two walls that crushed me even further. In my chest a rage slowly…… an anger slowly built up towards Lapis.”
“I made a resolution in my mind.”
I glared at the candle.
The candle gave off two colors.
The upper portion yellow, the bottom portion blue.
While giving off these colors of light, the light burned and descended down slowly.
“Get caught once. I will wait until the next time she showed disrespect. And if Lapis irrationally ignored me once more.”
I grabbed the wick of the candle with my fingers.
The flame soon flickered and died.
“—When that happens, I will not stay still.”
TL note: Well, I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Cause I didn’t that much c: I’m fairly certain this triggered a good portion of you guys who liked Ivar(Who even likes Ivar?). And yeah, Dantalian is pretty dang lewd. I mean, at least he isn’t super dense and shy about his desires. MCs that dance around the subject usually just annoy me more. But yeah, this chapter is build up for the next chapters, so don’t think too far ahead about his actions!
Chapter 2 (Part 1) is next now, you guys will finally get to meet Laura! (And then I disappear for 5 days cause of the education trip and make you guys suffer)