Chapter 3: Facing Reconstruction
The explanation to King Gazel is a headache, but today there is a meeting with Masayuki.
I shifted my attention over there and fired myself up.
I’ll meet up with Testarossa first.
Calm down a little.
Today's meeting is a high priority meeting, so the meeting room will be filled with carefully selected members.
From our side were Benimaru and Rigurd. Also Shion, Diablo, and Testarossa The participants on Masayuki's side were led by Velgrynd, and it seemed that Calgurio, Minute, and Bonnie and Jiu were also going to attend.
In the lounge-style waiting room, our members were already there.
No one complained, though, even though it was all called out of the blue.
Shuna took the initiative to take up the task of serving on the sidelines, preparing everything.
As for the guidelines.
We don't want to rule the empire.
Michael and Feldway, who were prisoners of war, are still missing, and Lieutenant Kondo, who established the whole plan, is dead. Even this Kondo had been at risk of being thought-induced under Michael's domination, so I do not intend to hold him accountable even after his death.
At the time, it seemed that all the major figures of the Empire were on the Emperor's flagship, and the of the ones who survive today, the highest responsible person in the Empire, is Velgrynd, who has no territorial ambitions of her own. The topic will center on the end of the war, reparations and post-war reconstruction.
Anyway, letting the 700,000 Imperial soldiers fill the labor force, and how to divide the labor is also a problem. A skilled person could be appointed to supervise, and balanced grouping would also be necessary to avoid imbalances in skills.
Just as I was thinking further and further away…
Blue hair fluttered as the beautiful woman who could drive away one's sleep walked over.
Her eyes, shot straight through me.
Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.
My stomach hurts even though I have no stomach.
"Can I help you?”
I have to work hard to maintain my majesty in front of everyone, and I wish someone would compliment me on the fact that my voice isn't shaking.
"Can I take some time?”
There is still a gap until the scheduled time.
I nodded, talking to Velgrynd alone before the meeting began.
"Veldora, is he all right?"
"Well, he's fine.”
“I see, that's good.”
With a gentle smile, Velgrynd asked for Veldora's wellbeing.
After telling her that Veldora was in good spirits, she looked a little more at ease.
Looking at Velgrynd's smile, my heart ached slightly.
It’s because our Veldora is still afraid to deal with his sister Velgrynd.
I tried to ask him if he wanted to see Velgrynd, but he said, "I have all sorts of things to do, I'm really busy…" and pushed it off.
It's humiliating, but I'm not in a position to laugh at him.
Because, really, it's embarrassing…
Veldora may have been embarrassed in part to leave it at that for now.
"So, what's up?"
I'll start this time.
My heart is pounding.
"I'm here to thank you."
That's a bit…
"Why are you so pale? Did you think I was going to call you into a fight in the backyard?”
"Why do you say such a thing!?”
Hearing me stifle a call out, Velgrynd laughed.
"The journey to find the love of Rudra was more exciting than I ever imagined."
From what she had said, the trip had been hard, but hopeful for Velgrynd, who had carried a purpose.
That's why she can smile and say things like ‘I'm so happy.’
"I've traveled through many worlds, and I've spent much time searching for that person, and one of the worlds I visited was the one you once lived in.”
So that why it feels even her tone has become casual.
And then there were her clothes, which, while now dressed in the uniform of the Empire, had been shirts and jeans when she appeared in the Maze.
The sight of a single blow in that manner is dumbfounding, and for those who witnessed the scene and were knocked down, it is enough to make them wonder if they are out of touch with reality.
However, since she passed through the world I had lived in, it shows that…there is a way back from this world to there.
As for me, there's no point in going back when I'm dead…Wait, wait, wait?
When all is said and done, Velgrynd has not only jumped through the dimension, but also through time.
If this is analyzed, then perhaps…
<<Understood. Beginning to Analyze>>
Ooooh, Ciel is so reliable!
Maybe it was just that she'd discovered a new hobby, but it was really the most appropriate thing to leave to Ciel.
Either way, it's wonderful to have hope.
There should be people who want to go back among the otherworlders. If possible, I want to make this future a reality.
So, I’ll take this thing little by little and work on it.
“Is Masayuki a reincarnation of Rudra?”
"Well, yeah. And he has almost all of his soul."
Velgrynd asserted so, and then whispered, “All that's left is memory.”
Um, was Masayuki still Masayuki?
Because he's still in that lackadaisical state, I felt a little more relieved. Although there is some displeasure with Velgrynd, it seems to me that Masayuki is not Rudra.
"Well, how shall I put it…”
I can't say "that's great" or "that's a shame,” so I have to be sloppy about it.
Velgrynd didn't fume and nodded slightly.
I was a little surprised by her more subdued manner than I had expected.
"Oh, that's incredible. I, too, have experienced all kinds of experiences, which are thicker than the years spent by Rudra's side, like long and short dreamy experiences, so I am grateful to you. Thank you, Rimuru."
With a dazzling smile that made my heart stop, Velgrynd thanked me.
Her domineering aura that had brought others to their knees, was now completely missing, replaced with a feeling of peace and tranquility.
"That's really, really good, isn't it?”
"Yes. So, Rimuru, I swear to you that as long as Masayuki has no intention, I will not make an enemy of you. So, please don't betray Masayuki as well”
It was a vow I could not hope to wish for.
Besides, there was no need for her to specifically explain about Masayuki, as I had no intention of betraying him.
"Got it. I, by my name and by the name of my companions, swear not to betray Masayuki. Sometimes there may be a lie or a quarrel, but that kind of thing—”
Velgrynd's vision became cold and frightening.
“…I see. I swear I’ll try not to lie to him, or fight with him unless necessary.”
Why do I have to swear?
It seems that sometimes I’m too honest, and I've reflected a little.
Because Velgrynd expressed her gratitude, it made me less nervous.
Even if things happen for a reason, I've messed up a lot and it's natural to feel relieved that I'm not being resented for it.
Just when I thought it would be a good time to talk, someone rushed into the waiting room in a panic.
It was Vesta.
"Hey, what's all the panic?"
"Not the time to say such things, Lord Rimuru! Just now, there was an urgent call from my home, and it seems that King Gazel has left for this direction!”
His home was probably one of those of his relatives who remained in the Dwarven Kingdom.
Vesta is also the original minister of Dwargon, and also a duke, a high-ranking nobleman second only to the royal family.
But it was also because of this that he was jealous of Kaijin who was a commoner…
Although Vesta was exiled, it does not appear that contact with his family was severed, and it appears that it was the Duke's family-raised dark side that made contact with him.
As for why Vesta was contacted, it was because Vesta was still the head of the Duke's household.
I was also taken aback when I heard about it.
The punishment that Gazel had handed down did not include deprivation of title or demotion, it was only for the individual Vesta and did not deal with his own family, and besides, Vesta’s family had not yet appointed a successor, so the transfer of the head of the family had not yet been completed.
The wise King Gazel should want to make Vesta a minister again in the future, so the punishment was not too heavy, leaving a way bavk, just so I can reflect on it.
Also, worrying about the Duke's family revolt seems to be one of the reasons.
If the Duke of Vesta's family really wanted to do this, it was capable of stirring up civil unrest in Dwargon, and Gazel did not want to cause a needless dispute.
After all, Vesta, who was no longer jealous, was very good, and he was quite popular and possessed a great deal of influence, and was sent to our country as an appropriate punishment in order not to arouse his discontent.
Vesta's family is still alive, so there is still a doorway inside the palace, and it is from this doorway that the urgent contact comes.
But why come at this time?
"Uh, why? Didn't you say you'd explain it afterwards?”
"Yeah, that's the reason, it seems like His Majesty Gazel still doesn't trust me much…”
"No, no, no, no. That can’t be true, can it?”
"I don't know about that, but I've done a lot of things, negotiating the price of potions, cutting corners with technicians other than potion makers, mobilizing the dukes for talent, and so on. So I can't argue with that even if I'm suspected of being close to this side, not to mention the fact that I'm planning to work in this country until I grow old.”
That is, it's not a matter of suspicion, Vesta is simply letting go of the big why.
I originally thought he was a decent man, worthy of the original minister, and that as a politician, he really understood the ins-and-outs.
Oops, now is not the time for admiration.
Since King Gazel was coming, it wouldn't be good to start talks with the Empire now. It would be rude to make him wait.
That said, it seems even more rude for him to come straight here without negotiating in advance, so what should we do at this time?
"It's King Gazel who's being rude, isn't it?”
Leaving aside the Vesta thing, it felt like I didn't have to back down.
"You're right. If you enter a country without a notice, you can't argue with that even if you're attacked, so I'm guessing there'll be a contact near the border."
Vesta said that King Gazel would never lose his manners.
As if to prove the point, a flustered messenger ran over with a clatter.
"I'm sorry to be rude, but I have a report. His Majesty Gazel of the armed nation of Dwargon has asked for entry into our country—five in all. How should I report?”
There is no reason to refuse, but permission cannot be easily given. The ministerial staff who made this judgment came to take my instructions.
I think it’s a proper treatment in this emergency.
I'd be upset if it were the other way around, which should be the right answer. It was supposed to come to me through the executives, so I didn't ask this time.
Shuna thoughtfully handed a glass of water over.
The clerk took a grateful sip.
"I'll talk to him.”
He prepared the magic tools for the liaison and started the communication.
As a result, it turned into an emergency meeting with King Gazel.
I'll meet him myself.
Diablo and Shion followed me as escorts as usual.
"Oh, that's a big help, Rimuru.”
"You knew this would happen. You're a good one."
Even with the flying horses, it would take a day to move from the capital of Dwargon to Rimuru, but now that the two capitals had set up a magic circle, it was possible to travel between them in a flash with magic.
Instead, he came purposely to the border just to call me out on it.
"Ha, ha, ha, ha! You found out?”
It's not funny, but it's not a big deal.
"But it's so nice that Velgrynd can be so accommodating."
"That's it. You're not planning to join forces with the Empire, are you?”
Was this really what Gazel was worried about?
"Depends on the discussion, but that's how it's going to be.”
"Hmm, wait a minute. I want to hear what you think first.”
No reason to refuse, so I went to a tea house near the border.
The clerks hastened to arrange their seats, and the guests who looked like adventurers, all gave them up in good humor.
I don't feel too bad about it, so I'll just say that I'm paying for all the bills here. Everyone was happy to hear that.
With roughly thirty minutes to go until the start of the meeting, the movement is instantaneous and can be talked about all the way to the meeting.
Let's start with my case.
"As for the aftermath of the war that was given to you…”
"It goes without saying, the soldiers are working overtime now, but it's also a chance to do the hard work. If they live, they'll only be grateful and no one will resent you.”
I was slightly worried about the hatred of guys who don't participate in cleaning up their slack during the picnic convention.
It was a tough battle after all, and the joy of pulling through successfully puts all other chores behind you.
"So, what do you want to hear?”
Since I was trying to regroup my thoughts based on the talks, there was still something I couldn't answer even if asked.
"I would like to hear from you whether joining forces with the Empire would create ambitions to attack me in Dwargon?”
What are you talking about? This uncle…
That’s not possible, what a hassle.
There is neither reason nor benefit. And to do so would be to lose credit from the Western States—an absolutely impossible option.
"No, the credit I've worked so hard to accumulate will all be lost in an instant. Besides, you'll lose your reliable backing, and you'll be burdened with extra hard work, so I'd like to ask what kind of fool you take me for?”
I replied with a look of displeasure, and Gazel smiled with genuine relief.
Hey, hey, hey, you weren’t really worried, were you?
“I apologize, Sir Rimuru. It was my proposition to ask this question, and all responsibility for your displeasure rests with me, and I hope you will forgive me with a broad mind for not being.”
Sensing my displeasure, Dorf expressed his apologies.
He explained in detail what the intention was.
To sum up, if the Empire joined forces with the Jura Tempest Federation, it would create a situation in which Dwargon was surrounded by two great powers, in which case resorting to force would undoubtedly be suicidal, and a decline in diplomatic capacity would be inevitable.
If someone declares that they will not listen to the claims of the weaker side, then in the future they will become compelled to swallow the bitter fruit of unfavorable conditions, and it is precisely because they are worried about this that they ran to confirm it in the first place.
“Huh? Either way, it wasn't something Dwargon could stop, was it? Although I have no intention of starting a war, I think that in conjunction with the Empire there can be.”
"Yes. In the end, it all depends on what you think. Although I'm a big country, I don't have the power to fight and win against a country with a True Dragon Race such as Velgrynd or Veldora. But as King, I can't just admit it.”
Gazel said to me with a serious expression on his face.
As a king responsible to his people, he must always consider the possibilities.
Only this time it didn't make much sense to worry about it.
But again, there is no guarantee that we will never wage war against them.
Even if we don't do it, the Eastern Empire is the same.
If we are allied with the Empire, then who exactly should the Jura Tempest Federation help when the Empire attacks Dwargon?
It's kind of disturbing to really ask me that kind of question.
"Rimuru, do you understand? You chose to join forces with the Empire for the sake of your country not starting a war, which is fine, but there is no consideration of our situation in Dwargon in this, and of course there is nothing wrong with that, because you are only responsible for your own people, but that is hard for my side to accept, that is the way it is.”
Yes, I was convinced.
Indeed, even if the Jura Tempest Federation had an alliance with Dwargon and the Empire of the East, it did not mean that any connection had arisen between Dwargon and the Empire of the East.
When war broke out between the two countries, our movement was limited.
"But if there is ‘mutual assistance by force' in a national crisis…”
"Then there's no set deadline, is there?”
There is no such thing as an agreement that works forever. All of them are temporary agreements that can only provide temporary peace of mind. But agreements with a limited duration are safer.
Just as I was wondering about what it meant, Ciel quietly coached me.
The difference between when there is a fixed time limit versus when there is no time limit.
Assuming that one of the parties wants to renounce the agreement, which is more difficult?
If there is no deadline, it also means that abandonment of the agreement can be considered at any time.
On the other hand, when the period is limited, then it can be considered safe for the period of time specified in the agreement.
Needless to say, it is more credible to destroy and invade the agreement than to end the agreement and start a war.
Of course, in the final analysis, this is only for countries other than the one in question, so if a nation has territorial ambitions like the Empire, it may be a sign that you do not care at all.
It is clear that it is in no way desirable to abandon an agreement for a limited period of time without authorization. As soon as it is renewed, the parties to the agreement have an obligation to comply with it.
Such an act would be a loss of trust on the part of the Western powers, which would deviate significantly from my strategy, and it would be better to lay down realistic and reliable rules.
"I see. Even though we're allied with the Empire, there's still a chance that the agreement will be abandoned.”
"If only you could understand.”
"Well, that does worry me, so I understand. Then, even if you're going to be allied with the Empire, the details of this should be carefully discussed."
Hearing me say that, Dorf gave a reassuring look.
"I told you, that you worried too much!”
The words came out of nowhere from Gazel. Where is his Kingly responsibility now?
"Lord Rimuru, it's almost time!”
Shion looked at her watch and reminded me.
It was a watch that I had made with Kaijin and others out of interest, and I felt the need for the secretary to wear one. She was delighted when it was given to her.
The addition to Shion’s work was a joy to all and a great memory.
"Let's go, then.”
"Hahaha, then I’ll open the transfer door."
And just like that, the sudden start of the talk ended.
We walked out of the store and prepared to go back to the conference room.
Everyone was all gathered in the conference room.
Participants were seated at a partially round table with a gap.
Because of this gap, the shape of the table is a C shape if you look down at it.
<<This design, called the Randall Ring, was invented by the French ophthalmologist Edmond Randall in 1888…>>
It's great to be so detailed, but right now you don't need to be knowledgeable, so please make the point.
The notched part of the table can be accessed, making it easy for the person in the middle to add tea and materials to those who are seated, and the front of the notched can be set up with a huge screen so that it can be seen clearly no matter where you are sitting at the table.
This time it was three party meeting, so we decided this shape was better than sitting face to face.
The gap section is located on the south side.
We all sat on the north side.
I’m in the north seat, with Benimaru to the northeast and Rigurd to the northwest.
Shion and Diablo, as usual, stood behind me.
On the east side sat the Imperials.
Masayuki is in the east seat, and to his right, that is, towards the north, sits Velgrynd.
On his southern flank were Major General Calgurio and Major General Minute.
Jiu and Bonnie didn't enter their seats and stood behind Masayuki. Since these two are in charge of the escort, it also means that there was a smooth reconciliation between them, which is good.
On the west side of the table was Gazel’s party that had joined in urgently.
Due west is where Gazel sits.
To the northwest is the position of Dorf, the head of the Heavenly Flying Knights, and to the southwest is the position of Jane, the court's magical mentor.
The head of the dark ministry, Anrietta, and the Supreme Commander of the Military Department, Ben, did not take their seats, but stood and acted as guards.
That's how the three forces were, all huddled together.
I looked left and right, just in time to lock eyes with Masayuki who was looking east and west.
His expression was tired, as he said strongly, "Why did this happen to me…?”
But rest assured.
I'm in the same mood as you.
Because of this closeness, I'm going to help him out if anything goes wrong.
The moderator of the meeting, Testarossa, stood up and everyone's eyes turned to her.
She stepped to the center and began the introductory remarks.
"Okay, the time has come. We're all here, so let’s get started."
After a salute, Testarossa returned to the south.
There are chairs put there to sit and rest when it's not her turn to come out.
I had asked her before the meeting to come and assist me in my distress, and Testarossa will respond to my expectations.
"First of all, let me explain the main purpose of this meeting. Because this is a high priority meeting without prior coordination, there may be some involuntary remarks, at which time I would please ask you not to get upset, but to listen calmly to what the other side has to say.”
At this time, Testarossa paused first and looked at the reactions of everyone.
My country's representative in the Western Council is well equipped to deal with such occasions.
Hoping that this would go on smoothly until the end of the meeting, I continued to watch Testarossa with that desire.
"Let us begin by confirming the objectives of this meeting, which we hope will lead to the declaration of the end of the war with the Eastern Empire, along with an end-of-war final agreement, and the creation of a new treaty in the future on the basis of the relations concluded between our country and the East.
What do you think?”
Masayuki looked as if he wanted to say something, but Velgrynd spoke first.
"Well, there's nothing wrong with that.”
At the same time, Gazel nodded heavily.
Though a little late, I hastened to add.
"In that case, let's examine the status quo first, shall we?”
The tone of speech became slightly odd, but who cares?
Checking the reaction of both sides, while maintaining a natural expression.
Masayuki looked at me with respect.
Oh, cute guy.
Yes, I think I'm really amazing too.
Because the people gathered here now are super great people of great countries. In my previous life, there was never an event that a one could meet a member of Parliament, not to mention the Prime Minister.
At most, when an order was received, the staff from the Ministry of International Trade and Communications met occasionally when they came to inspect the site. They were not in charge of the reception, but just brought the people to the site and then disappeared.
Back then, I was nervous just to talk lightly outside of my job.
And now I'm playing the role of a king. It’s emotional just to think about it.
"As there seems to be no objection, I shall leave it to Testarossa to make her clarifications, after which I shall give the floor to the speakers, who may then raise questions and correct errors. So, please start explaining.”
The talks are proceeding as planned.
“Let me start by asking you not to interrupt, and then we'll leave it to Testarossa, and the meeting will proceed in an orderly fashion.”
King Gazel, who is on my level, and Velgrynd, the plenipotentiary agent of the tentative emperor, are also allowed to speak. It would seem that those other than that would be punished as an insult to the king.
I feel a little indifferent about this, but if it would make things easier then I'm okay with it.
Testarossa began to explain.
She started with the battle on the airship that Gazel didn't know about, with a bit of false talk mixed in.
And then, immediately afterwards, explained that the Imperial Emperor Rudra had in fact become a boarding-skill-conscious individual, just as I had been victorious over Velgrynd…
Gazel objected first.
"Huh? If you want to speak, please do so afterwards…”
“Now is not the time to think about things like that!?”
Did I do something strange?
“So, King Gazel, is there something wrong?”
I couldn't help but become meek and ask, and Gazel pressed his head against mine and stared at me, then without saying anything the gaze turned back to Velgrynd and spoke solemnly.
“I know it's rude, but can Lord Velgrynd accept what King Rimuru has just said?”
A rarity, Gazel was actually using honorifics.
And called her Lord Velgrynd.
Does it matter that this attitude is not in keeping with the style of kings of great powers?
I am watching the developments while I have my doubts about it. Instead of getting angry, Velgrynd flashed a smile.
"No problem, Dwarf King. You're a shrewd and thoughtful man, better than King Rimuru over there, and Rudra has a high opinion of you, having said he wanted to take you in as a subordinate when you were a Sword Saint. So I'm also well aware of you and don't dislike you. No need to be so formal, just talk lightly.”
"Yes, yes! But you, who are one of the strongest True Dragon Race and the Guardian of the Empire in public, this—”
"Don't worry about it. It doesn't matter. Aren't you a friend of Rimuru's? Then I won't fight, after all, what Rimuru said earlier was true. I lost to him.”
Well that's a surprise.
I was expecting Velgrynd to be like Veldora and die to save face and say she didn't lose. I was not expecting her to admit defeat so dryly.
I was surprised, but the others didn't seem to be able to just be surprised.
“Gee-eh!? Wh—Lord Velgrynd lost!?”
"Unbelievable, the undefeated myth…”
The Imperial congregation that had been cultivated in the territory of Velgrynd’s became shaken, the previous silence completely thrown behind them.
"Hey hey, are you serious? In the face of that god-like existence who could not be defeated no matter what, although you’re probably not lying, it is so unbelievable, I can’t believe it…”
Dorf was dumbfounded and the Ben seemed unable to recognize reality.
Looking at the duo and King Gazel, Anrietta somehow managed to smile.
"I don't need to report this time, so it's really refreshing. If I were to report such things, I'd be considered mentally ill.”
Is it disrespectful of her to say that?
Well, that’s all a matter of other countries, and it feels like it's not the time to talk about it, but I'm not going to stand in the way either.
Taking another step back and continuing observation, I saw Jane speak to Gazel, who was holding his head in thought.
"Calm down, Gazel, and you too. I won't be surprised anymore. I'm still tired from being shocked about the primordials, and I had already understood by the time I saw the evolutionary ritual.”
Granny Jane seemed to be enlightened.
So this time, she survived the occasion alone and calmly.
The people of Dwargon snapped back at these words of hers.
Then one by one, the embarrassed people re-positioned themselves.
By the way, the reaction from our side is…
“What? So Lord Rimuru has triumphed in the face of Lord Velgrynd. Are we having a feast tonight?”
It's true that Rigurd has to throw a party whenever he finds the opportunity.
I never doubted that I would win.
“Well, I knew it was coming. I saw it all.”
This guy, Benimaru, actually peeked, but someone seemed to hear that and couldn't sit still first.
"Benimaru, what's going on? Could it be that you are the only one who has seen Rimuru-sama's dignified fighting stance?”
"No, it's not like that. I'm obliged to confirm the status of the battle, so just a little…"
Benimaru desperately pondered the reason, but he just wasn't sophisticated enough in this area.
In contrast, Diablo was…
“Kufufufufu! Oh, yes, Shion, did you not see it? That's a shame. It's quite a shame that such a wonderful battle wasn't seen!”
Don't agitate her, don't agitate her!
I guess no one is better at finding fault with irony, right?
Testarossa sighed helplessly as she stepped aside, estimating that nothing could be more troublesome than making an enemy of Diablo.
"Everyone, silence, please.”
But Testarossa didn't forget her duty and still saw the time for everyone to gradually calm down and control the scene to quiet down.
If she had done so any later, I'm afraid Shion and Diablo would have gotten into a fight.
Well done, I gave her silent praise.
The crowd also calmed down, and the meeting continued.
Taking a cue from the moderator, I continued.
“—As mentioned above, after defeating Velgrynd, I inquired about the situation in detail, at which point I discovered the discrepancies. I felt that Emperor Rudra did not seem like himself, so I tried to observe Velgrynd and found the shocking truth. Omitting details, I found out that the culprit was indeed
"dominated" by the consciousness of Michael, who had been boarding the Emperor Rudra's skill…!”
Speaking of which, I put on a smug look with all my might.
Now comes the good part.
And just as I smiled wryly and prepared to continue…
Oops, seems there is another opinion.
And it's still Gazel.
"Well, after the question, please…”
Not knowing if it was to interrupt me or to settle himself, Gazel sighed heavily.
Then stared at me tightly and spoke heavily.
"Listen, Rimuru, it's true, this attitude of mine is inappropriate, but, well, this is really not the time to talk about that.”
“How can details be omitted!? A vicious skill that even Lord Velgrynd could be ‘dominated,’—how could it be allowed to exist!? And, what's that!? A consciousness that resides in skills? This kind of thing, I’ve never heard of it! Jane, do you know anything about this?”
“…No, I've never heard of it either.”
As much as Gazel wanted to weigh himself down, he still couldn't hide his inner exuberance, and Jane seemed to be thinking about something too, appearing unresponsive when answering Gazel's question.
That said, it's amazing that no one else commented on the way Gazel phrased it.
Velgrynd kept a smile on her face, seeming to enjoy the situation quite a bit. It seemed that as long as Masayuki was around, nothing else was needed or interested her.
As for Masayuki, he seems to have given up on understanding this.
He was not in a position to act in a dignified manner because of his behavior, but his opinion seems to have risen again in the presence of those such as Calgurio. But he himself probably did not notice…
Hey, I'm glad you're here too, so don't mind.
Benimaru and the others were also interested.
If I didn't want to say it, they wouldn't have pursued it, but in their hearts they actually wanted to hear it from me anyway.
That's why Testarossa didn't go to stop Gazel.
But she seemed to sense her lapse immediately and prepared to preside over the scene by pretending as if nothing had happened again.
"Silence, gentlemen, regarding King Gazel's question…"
Although she recovered quickly enough, trying to remedy it was a bit harder. No, in fact, I’ll just go with the flow. Anyway, there's nothing wrong with even telling it.
"I see, then I’ll explain."
"Lord Rimuru, is this all right?”
“Well, since only important people from various countries are present, I don't think it's a big deal if something like this does happen.”
Even if the existence of the Theosophy Nucleus (Manas) was known by others, there was nothing particularly troubling about it, and for me, the only secret that needed to be strictly guarded was the existence of Ciel.
“I'm sorry, Rimuru. I'm so grateful for this.”
Gazel bowed his head in gratitude.
The tone of speech changed back to that of a senior brother, as if he had given up covering up.
Then I can take it easy, too, and proceed with the explanation as such.
I then explained the birth of Emperor Rudra, who was physically and mentally exhausted, and whose ultimate skill, Justice King Michael, became the ego Michael, the Theosophy Nucleus. I made public as much as I knew of his fierce power.
“The ultimate skill…? With such skills, unique skills will not work…”
“Strictly speaking, it's not completely true. Skills change depending on the strength of the will, and even unique ones have the ability to reach the ultimate skill strength, but usually they don't. In addition, the strength of the will is directly reflected in the skill, which may result in an attack that is extremely effective, and in my opinion, King Gazel should be able to do it.”
"Is that so…”
“Also, magic is the same. Magic is both a skill and a technique, so depending on the strength of the user's will, it may be able to defeat a holder of an ultimate skill. I think Jiu and Bonnie will understand what I'm saying, right?”
The duo who had lost to Diablo should be able to understand what I said, and they both nodded hard.
As for Diablo, who had a sickeningly intoxicated expression, I didn't know what he was thinking.
He definitely wasn’t thinking anything good, and though it was tempting to say something to him, he was standing honestly for now, so let's just ignore it.
Shion and others muttered, “then I should acquire an ultimate skill as well…”
Well, it's because it's not easy to get, that it’s ultimate, right?
But for some reason, I always felt that Shion could do it.
That seems a little scary, so it's better not to think about it.
"That's pretty much how it it. Michael has a special power that can absolutely dominate the powers of the Angelic System of skills, so even Velgrynd couldn't resist and became obedient without even noticing it herself. In addition, Lieutenant Kondo seems to have been at the mercy of the others as well, though in the end, he seems to have broken free from the spell and entrusted his will to our Carrera."
"What, that "information-feeding weirdo" was also…”
"I can't believe it, but I'm not stupid enough to doubt His Majesty Rimuru.”
"Is that so? Then Lord Damrada…”
"Well, he must have noticed that the Emperor Rudra was acting a little strange."
Though not enough to interrupt what I was saying, there was a commotion on the Imperial side. It was an act that should not have been done, but now it's too late to care about it, so I’ll just ignore it.
"As for Michael's purpose, it is now clear. It is to resurrect the master who created him, Veldanava."
"How can that be!?”
The shouts overlapped, and there was no telling who was shouting.
No, actually knowing is knowing, just not deliberately pointing it out.
"Knowing that it is all due to the domination of Michael, I do not intend to hold the Empire responsible for the war, and if they wish to continue the war against us in the future, it will not be just that—”
Speaking of which, I glanced at Masayuki and the others.
Masayuki was completely unfazed.
It's really not my business at all.
Calgurio and Minute smiled bitterly.
Win or lose, the reason for the war is gone, and they are reacting this way because they understand it.
Looks like it seems okay.
“—It does not seem to me that you have any such intention, and I have been reconciled with Velgrynd, so it is necessary to establish a new guide now that Michael, who played Rudra, has disappeared, is it not? That's what we're talking about today, so can we shed some light on that?”
I dropped the topic to Masayuki and others.
Since there is a consensus on the status quo, it is necessary to understand how the empire will develop in the future, and this is what Gazel’s group is most concerned about, so I think we should let it go and talk about it.
It's actually a gamble.
Usually, when conducting such a meeting, in addition to presenting your own ideas, you should also confirm what the other party has to say.
It is difficult to predict what conclusions will be reached, and this is not usually a good thing to do in the context of the country-to-country meetings.
But Testarossa didn't stop me, and was just as usual. She smiled at me and she said it was okay, so I could just say what was on my mind like that.
Well, the result is—
“Yes! It has been left to my humble self to say that the Empire has now lost more than two-thirds of its battle strength, that continuing war is impossible, and that we are willing to accept full and unconditional surrender. But there is also problem here. The most critical person of supreme responsibility is now absent, and this is the key point that His Majesty Rimuru has pointed out, so we must first embrace a new emperor. So today is the perfect opportunity to make sure that all of you present recognize our new Emperor.”
Minute droned on, finished, and gave a salute, looking at me and Gazel.
"Hmm, is that so? Then Rimuru, isn’t this exactly why you expected me to come here today?”
I don’t think so.
"It's not just a question of the Empire and the Jura Tempest Federation joining forces. Because Tempest is going to be the backbone of the new Emperor and build a rock-solid system for the Empire, then of course…”
“Well, needless to say, I have to get involved with Dwargon, so I guess I can expect something in return, can't I?”
Why has acknowledging the new emperor turned into something that doesn't make sense?
“King Gazel's words are reliable, but we will do our best to respond to your expectations within the limits of both countries' acceptance.”
Minute—no, let me call him Sir Minute, is, unlike in battle, a good politician, with a graceful demeanor and a feeling that he can handle anything with ease.
In contrast, I was trying my best to understand the situation, and even began to worry if anyone would see me sweating and panicking inside.
Okay, okay. Gazel seems to approve, and it's me next. Benimaru and Rigurd glance at my expression, so I nod my head gently in response and speak up.
"I also agree, and can agree to provide full support depending on the situation.”
I also took advantage of the situation.
I’m finally keeping up with understanding.
I had intended to help Masayuki from the beginning, but if you think about it carefully, this is already something that will lead to support as a nation, so I'm selling a favor here. If you build a better relationship in the future by giving favors here, then there will not be another war in the future.
Even if things don't go so smoothly, there should be no problems at the moment. The future can be left to future generations, so the most important thing is the “now."
"Thank you very much. Our Emperor will be very happy to hear this.”
Sir Minute made another salute.
You're being too stiff, get on with it.
“Then, the new emperor is Masayuki, right? Ah, then is it bad for me to call you that?”
"Ah, no problem at all. So it's okay for me to call Rimuru as I did before, right?”
Ah, Masayuki, a friend of my heart!
"Of course, Masayuki-kun! It's hard to understand, what words to use on such occasions, isn’t it?”
“Rimuru-san! I haven’t been able to relax until now because Rimuru-san is so reliable!!! It's been so suffocating these past few days…”
Yeah, I get it.
You were lacking an ally and struggling alone, right?
Velgrynd guessed that she couldn't understand how her subordinates were feeling, and wondered why she was upset over such trivial matters. She shouldn't have been able to.
The big men of the Empire, who took great pains just to think about their own problems, had no energy left to worry about Masayuki's mood, and Masayuki was left to worry alone.
That's why they wanted to discuss it with me, but it was a failure for Shion to send the message.
I really wanted to have a personal interview and think about what to do. I think so, and Masayuki feels the same.
But that's not going to work anymore.
Although I don't know what to do with my manners, I'm just going to do it with my nature.
"Guys, may I have your attention, please?”
The one who hit the nail on the head was Testarossa.
"Our Lord Rimuru would like the meeting to be more relaxed and casual. We may have our own positions, but could you please continue the meeting more informally?
Testarossa looked at everyone present with a smile and said so.
Nothing could be more reliable than that!
Masayuki seems happy too.
Gazel just smiled and didn't retort.
Since the king had no problem, the subordinates are even less likely to object. The formal talk ended here, and the real talk from the heart then started.
“Geez, that's a big help. I thought I'd have to keep quiet.”
“Yeah, I wanted to do that too, actually.”
“The idiots. The lord of a country will do what it is!”
“Heh, heh, heh, heh.”
“Jane, don't talk about it now.”
This is the moment when the tension loosens up.
It's probably because Masayuki is the new emperor and has decided to support us. It's only when we've established our own policy as backbone that we'll be able to do so, and after that, there's only details to discuss, so there's no need to be so intense and stereotypical.
So, in a lighthearted tone, I asked about what I cared most about.
“So, it's okay for Masayuki to be an emperor, but will the Empire agree? No problems on our side, but the people? Or are they subjects? Anyway, if the people don’t approve, it’s useless.”
Hearing that, Masayuki nodded his head as drastically as I would have liked.
“Yes! It's definitely weird, right!?”
“Ahem! Your Majesty, please calm down.”
Although Calgurio stepped forward to admonish him, Masayuki wasn't about to just leave it at that.
The one who reached out to help at this point was Gazel.
“What about the bloodline problem? He does not share a single bit of Emperor Rudra's blood, right? If we don't keep the royal title, I'm afraid the nobles won't approve.”
Velgrynd answered the question.
"No problem, it is written in the imperial canon that 'the guardian of the empire, the man recognized by the dragon Velgrynd, is both Rudra and emperor,’ and although many people think this is just a formality, it is true and most important.”
Sir Minute came forward to endorse that statement.
“It is true that His Majesty Rudra has always been reborn as the wife's first son, but in the long history of the empire, there have been arrogant people who have sought to replace their successors, and it was Her Excellency, Lord Velgrynd, who punished them as the ‘Marshal.’"
Like that, it's bound to be exposed.
There was no way for anyone who knew the Rudra reincarnation mechanism to get the truth wrong.
I can't imagine the punishment. It must have been horrible.
“After all, His Majesty Rudra has inherited his ego, and even if Lord Velgrynd doesn't point it out, when he grows up he will naturally know his true self…”
Well, if you grow up into your ego, then you’ll be able to easily identify yourself.
“Well, how about calling Masayuki a bastard?”
“That's not possible, Lord Rimuru. The Senate has recorded the blood and DNA information of Lord Rudra, so it's impossible to say that Masayuki-sama is Rudra's child if it doesn’t match up.”
Oops, so the empire's technology has come this far. I thought it was a good proposal, but Sir Minute has rejected it.
“By the way, there are DNA tests in this world too…”
Since Gazel asked, I'll clarify.
Next to him were Calgurio and the others chatting.
“In the past, there were no sophisticated methods of inspection. I heard it was difficult.”
“Yeah, it's a pain in the ass to have to listen to my judgment every time.”
Well, wouldn't that be worse?
Now that the real person has disappeared, and the only reincarnated body whose memory has disappeared is Masayuki, it can be quite difficult to prove that the "soul" is real. That is to say, there is no way for others to recognize Masayuki as the Emperor.
“In that case, isn’t it easier for Masayuki to imitate Rudra, since he looks the same?”
It is only necessary to emulate the emperor’s privileges, such as inspection.
Then find an opportunity to replace Emperor Rudra's record and you're done.
I thought that was a good way to go, but was rejected by Velgrynd.
“May I ask why?”
"You, have not forgotten the power of Michael? The loyalty of his subjects and subordinates to Rudra is the source of Michael's energy. So, wouldn't it be better to create the fact that Emperor Rudra is dead to take away his power?”
This I certainly remember…
<<Correct. It doesn’t make sense to just die, but a new object of loyalty will block Michael’s power.
However, Michael should have thought of that too, and might have transferred the subject of authority from Rudra to another person.>> Something like that, after all I said before about killing all the subjects.
If that countermeasure is taken, he would surely be to make those characters that I can't outwit into a source of power.
Or he’d choose the kind of over-the-top strongman.
“Michael would have taken a countermeasure, and it would have been better to do it than not to do it, so that I would have had no reason to do it to my subjects.”
“That's right, so don't worry about the details. Just announce that Masayuki is Rudra in my name, so no one will dare to resist.”
Velgrynd is so confident.
But then again, that's certainly true.
After all, she's the Empire's guardian dragon, the Scorch Dragon.
What's more, it makes sense that the imperial paradigm records that 'Velgrynd recognized the man as Emperor'.
The approach is tough, but as long as it's Velgrynd’s true statement, it can't be ignored.
“Does Masayuki-kun think this is okay?”
“Should be fine?”
“...oohhhh, how shall I put it…”
I also feel in my heart that there should be no problem, and here it seems we can only go with the flow.
“If Masayuki doesn't like it, then don't force it.”
Wow, Velgrynd's smile is super gentle—gentle to the point of being scary. While that description is somewhat contradictory, it's my honest opinion.
“…I'll do it, I'm being hailed as a hero anyway, so it won't hurt to add another title.”
With an already enlightened, empty look, Masayuki declared.
The people like Minute and Calgurio listened with pleasure, and in their opinion, a new symbol as well as a mentor was absolutely necessary for the future survival of the empire.
I also think Masayuki fits the bill. He also has an effective skill and will definitely get popular support.
"Then the way forward is to consolidate the empire with a new emperor, right?"
Everyone other than Masayuki nodded sharply in agreement with my words.
Masayuki also had to nod reluctantly.
Don't look at Masayuki like this, he's actually a very responsible person and will make it to the end if he accepts it.
“Understood, we will also make an announcement acknowledging this. By the way, the Imperial generals who are now stranded in our country as captives will be released immediately, and although they will not be held accountable, we will put compensation discussions on temporary reservation. What do you think? We'll negotiate this with the new emperor afterwards.”
“I'd like to hear more about that.”
“Thank you for your generosity. I'm grateful.”
Though everyone approved, Gazel seemed to have something to say again.
"I has no objection to this approach either, just a question. It is fortunate, Your Excellency, that you, as the “Hero,” have to be emperor, so I would like to ask, what is your idea of governing the people—the subjects?”
Gazel stared at Masayuki with a sharp stare that seemed to see through everything.
Masayuki, who was somewhat frightened by that aura, looked at me troubled and said.
“…uhh…hmm? A world where people can live with laughter…something like that, right?”
I laughed when I heard that.
Because he thinks the same way I do.
“Yeah, that's the most important thing!”
“That’s right! knew Rimuru would say that!!”
"Of course, Masayuki-kun. Alas, I told Rudra that thought too, only to be called naive and foolish, so that I thought I was mistaken and felt uneasy inside. I'm so relieved. I was right.”
“Great! I can't do politics or anything, and I'm not confident, but now I can stand up and be king.”
“Well, let's do our best together!”
“Yes, I'd like to hear more from you in the future, too!”
After saying that, Masayuki and I laughed loudly together.
Others watched us each react differently.
Diablo and Shion had a look of intoxication on their faces.
Velgrynd smiled tenderly.
For their part, Calgurio and Sir Minute smiled bitterly as they gave up in the middle.
Gazel looked up helplessly at the sky.
“I understand Gazel's concern, but they have no ambition, and they're new to the world, so they must be guided to the right path.”
“I know how difficult it is to guide these people who talk about politics with their childish ideals, and that's what's bothering me.”
Gazel sighed again after saying that. After all, Gazel was always worried about us.
“Okay, okay, don't worry so much, I'm studying too, so it's okay!”
“It shouldn't matter that it's not just Gazel, it's Vesta and El Carbon (***Elmesia?) who are teaching me.”
It's just in their spare time, so it’s true.
If that's still unsettling, let's put him at ease a little.
“I didn't intend to get too involved in politics, but I'm glad I did. I'll just leave the substance to Sir Minute.”
“You're right! I was just wondering if I should do it, and was a little uneasy, but now I can feel a little lighter.”
Masayuki and I once again looked at each other and laughed.
“…just try it, you're not alone, share the burden with your peers, grow together, I'll help if possible.”
Gazel held his head high once again, finally approving. Alas, there may not be an endorsement, but it should all be in a supportive mood for a long time to come.
And so the meeting proceeded.
“I have no objection to the approach just decided at the meeting. If the East is settled, so is our country, and we will do our best to assist in the revival near the national border.”
"Thank you, King Gazel.”
And just like that, things are beautifully finished.
In later history books, this day would be recorded as the day of the appearance of the redeeming emperor, Masayuki Rudra Namur Nasca…
Thus, the policy was set.
Now we take a break in between and have lunch first.
Now that the atmosphere is less tense, everyone eats with joy.
Today’s lunch is Kaiseki cuisine (***a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner).
Even though we were taking a break, we were still in the middle of the meeting, so we chose a menu that could be used to entertain the bigwigs, which was carefully arranged by Shuna-chan.
Everyone uses chopsticks.
Gazel has mastered it for a long time now, and the spread of chopstick culture throughout the Empire has made it possible to offer Japanese style cuisine with peace of mind.
“The food here still tastes so good.”
“A little bit of a drinking problem.”
“Be restrained, Ben! Even if it's informal, the important meeting is not over.”
“You're serious Dorf, aren't you? Sir Rimuru?”
“Yeah, I'd like some sake, too, but…”
I nodded and glanced at Shuna.
Shuna smiled sweetly.
Yeah, it’s impossible.
"Let's hold back for now, and keep working on the rest of the meeting. Mr. Ben must learn more from Mr. Dorf, and be more serious!”
"Hahaha, that's harsh. Then isn't tonight something to look forward to?”
"Sure, right, Benimaru?”
"Well, just offer up my secret stash of magic black wine, and it’s party time!”
"Oh, this is good! I'm glad you're here.”
"Hahahaha, it's famous that monsters like wine, isn't it, Shuna?”
“Huh? Does Shuna drink too?”
I didn't expect to hear about it while gossiping, but I'm surprised Shuna also drinks.
The truth is…
“Brother, I only try it occasionally. Don't confuse me with Shion.”
I'm still drinking.
By the way, isn't Shuna still underage—ah, it doesn't matter how old a magic creature is.
“Ha ha ha, sorry sorry sorry.”
“Lady Shuna! I'm not that into it!”
That's a lie.
As far as I know, Shion drinks and even competes with Albis.
Benimaru also knew about this, so he smiled bitterly over there.
Although Benimaru didn't look like he loved to drink, Albis was his wife and he presumably accompanied her to drink occasionally, so the alcohol should be quite strong.
Wine is something that only feels good when you get used to it.
To drink, don't let the booze get to you and drink moderately.
Properly enjoy the tasting. I exhort people in my heart, including me.
The luncheon would have been light and pleasant, but suddenly someone burst into tears.
All eyes were drawn there.
At first glance, it turns out to be Calgurio.
"What's going on? Is the meal not to your liking?"
Shuna rushed over to comfort Calgurio.
“No, I’m sorry. I just remembered it. It might be funny to say this as a soldier, but I just followed my stupid plan and sacrificed so many subordinates. Yet I am sharing this delicious meal. I’m sorry, blame me…Faraga, Samdor, Gaster…”
This guy, he'll cry when he drinks.
Although there is no alcohol distribution at the moment, he seems to be infected with the atmosphere and had gotten drunk.
But this is just a good opportunity.
“Yes, I've asked Moss to call those men.”
As expected of her.
Before I could give the order, Testarossa had already understood my intentions.
In less than five minutes, dozens of people arrived at the venue.
"Your Majesty Rimuru, Samdor ( ***might be Xam’d or Zamud, or Sander, but I’m not sure) has been summoned to meet you!”
The people who came were the same people that Calgurio had just read about, such as Samdor.
They seemed to come running quickly, their faces red with sweat, but still trying desperately to organize the language and come to greet me.
Samdor and these people, have actually died once.
As they boarded the Emperor's flagship, they were swept up in Testarossa’s nuclear strike magic: the blessing of death, which wiped out the flesh along with it.
Testarossa was good at was remembering that I had accepted Calgurio's plea for mercy and had recovered the souls before the magic could be unleashed.
“It all became possible because I am allowed to evolve by Lord Rimuru”—Testarossa is so humble, she is so understanding.
Therefore, Testarossa boarded the "souls" of Samdor and others into the "soul-orb" and let them settle down in the artificial human body.
“You—aren't you Samdor!? I heard Lord Velgrynd say you're all dead, are you still alive?”
“Geez really, they couldn’t handle the ‘blessing of death,’ can they, it was Testarossa who saved them?”
“Yes, Lord Velgrynd, Lord Rimuru is merciful.”
“Yeah, I don't doubt that.”
Woo hoo, oh hoo hoo—the two are laughing and talking.
But it felt a little scary and I hurriedly moved out of sight.
Samdor and the others celebrated their safe survival after rendezvous with Calgurio.
As for Faraga, unfortunately, I am not omnipotent either and can only ask you to ignore it. If you know that mourning for the dead will be a good thing, then I ask you to stay away from such foolishness as war.
It would be foolish to launch an invasion if the defenses were okay, and I know there's not only good in the world, but I can't help but think so.
Those in power should put their families on the scales and consider whether there is a real need to wage war and to resolve unnecessary disputes through dialogue whenever possible.
This I did not say aloud, but prayed for it in my heart.
After a lunch break, the meeting resumed again at 3 p.m.
The general policy was set in the morning, and the intention was to discuss reconfirmation and the sharing of responsibilities in the afternoon "Let me reconfirm, then, starting with the armed state of Dwargon."
Testarossa began the topic.
The list of confirmations then begins.
The Jura Tempest Federation and Dwargon jointly recognized the new Emperor as the first step, before declaring the end of the war and the establishment of the Tripartite Alliance in the name of the new Emperor, Masayuki.
As a result, a different framework of the Western Nations Council is created.
Dwargon's duty was to revive the Empire and its borders, including the streets and adjacent buildings, which also included rescue missions for the few victims caught up in the war.
Credit comes after credit is earned.
After the rescue was completed, the railway to the Imperial Capital would be laid, and this difficult project would be completed by renovating the road opened by the Imperial Chariot Division in the Canaat Mountains.
Our country will also send a steering team to work with the Dwarf Corps of Engineers to complete the project.
After the opening of the "Magic Train,” logistics will be smoothed out, and the movement of people will become active and will certainly usher in new developments.
I can't help but feel a little excited when I dream about this kind of thing, and I'm sure I still like to do construction planning, as I realize it again.
So what are the duties of our Jura Tempest Federation?
Mainly the responsibility for the full support to Masayuki.
The purpose of arranging an embassy within the Empire and sending Testarossa was to dispel the obsolete ideas of the Empire and allow the people of the Empire to feel the arrival of a new era.
The imperial subjects had no memory of losing the war, and although they had suffered a bit because of Veldora, they had no experience of giving thanks to other nations.
Perhaps this speaks to Rudra's greatness, but it also happens to make defeat unacceptable to the those imperial subjects.
For those who have lost loved ones, one should be able to understand the pain, yet those who are comfortable in a safe position are likely to offer to go to war again.
They have only profit in their eyes and a lack of feeling for the pain that others endure.
It was up to Minute to convince the nobles, and Calgurio to take charge of the military, only to be pitted against the cunning old underbelly of society. However, they were worried that the two of them would underpowered.
Velgrynd said, "Just kill them all." That's easy for her to say, but he couldn't do it. The Empire had already lost a lot of talent, and it wasn't okay to continue reducing the number of key officials.
These tricky people have to be used alive, and the road ahead is bumpy, but they have to be done too, that's the conclusion that has come out of these days.
That's when it's Testarossa's turn to step in.
By using an intelligence agent with a hellish ear like Moss, he should be able to sabotage the attempts of the underworlders in one fell swoop. It's a pain in the ass to get them together, but if you grab hold of them and then threaten—er, no, persuade them—they should become willing to assist.
The Senate of the Western States is now settled, and they alone are enough, so I’ll let Testarossa go to the Empire now.
Still, Venom will continue to accompany Masayuki and be his escort.
"I'll have to borrow your dependent. Is that okay?”
"Kufufufu, no problem. It's for Lord Rimuru, so feel free to use him.
Hearing such a thing was tiring, but I don't want to say anything about Diablo to add to it.
Unlike the morning discussion, the afternoons are full of lively topics.
After the summary of the problems on the Empire's side was announced, the group then discussed the response strategy together.
Time really does pass when its meaningful.
"We, the members of the Empire, will never forget this kindnesses.”
"Hey, hey, it's still just the planning stage. Are you going to start working on it? If you are saying thanks, please wait until the business is completed.”
“Hahahaha…business…? I'm no match for you, Your Majesty Rimuru…This national problem can be summed up in one word.
But there was a gleam in his eyes that seemed to light up the fight because of my words.
It's good to be motivated.
While the guidelines are clear, there are still problems that must not be forgotten.
Gazel opened his mouth to ask the question.
“So, Rimuru, the most important thing to ask is, can you win?”
It’s true…Michael and Feldway and their men, the very threatening enemy, are still watching us.
"Honestly, I can't guarantee that I'm going to win, but I’m definitely not going to lose.”
“Well it’s you after all, so no matter what method is used, your words will be true, right?”
“Hmm! In fact, when I saw Lord Velgrynd so powerful, I was ready to lose the battle and die. I knew she was strong, but I didn't think her to be that strong.”
Gazel confided frankly, and Ben and Dorf nodded in agreement.
Yeah, I almost thought it was over too when I saw Testarossa and the others fall to the ground.
Afterwards, because I was so angry, I forgot my fear—I should say, when I came back, it was all over, and now I look back on it, it's still an incredible win.
But now, I have Ciel.
And Veldora and Diablo and the others.
I am not alone and that is encouraging.
“I didn't think I'd lose to a Slime, but—and I'm grateful now—I don't think even Sister Velzado can beat Rimuru.”
Velgrynd didn't get angry at Gazel's words, her tone was calm.
It's not clear that I can beat Velzado who has one-sidedly beaten Veldora, but it does seem that Velgrynd was speaking from the heart.
“It’s embarrassing to hear such a high opinion.”
“Don't be modest, it's not luck that you beat me, it's pure strength. It was an overwhelming victory, what are you talking about?”
There was shame in winning or losing because it was all in the past for Velgrynd. Now she had overcome that and honestly accepted reality.
This type of person is terrifying, and I've secretly raised my alert level on Velgrynd.
Next, to get serious about your thoughts.
“The reality is that the enemy's strength is not known, and it is impossible to predict how they will act, regardless of their aims or attempts—and what they will use to make people care.”
As the words were spoken, several people appeared on the huge screen.
“These people are the "enemies" that entered the labyrinth this time. Their strength is estimated to be around three million, and even compared to our executives, they are still in the upper echelon.”
I will disclose all the information I know.
At this point, Velgrynd spoke up as if to add.
“I've eliminated this one, but I have a word of advice. These people once helped Brother Veldanava in ancient times, and were a match for the Primordials. Their bodies are currently sealed, and those that appeared in the labyrinth were just weakened ‘parallel bodies.’”
Hearing that makes one wonder how to react.
Because Velgrynd wiped out the other side so easily.
<<Velgrynd's power has the effect of the ‘dimensional jump,’ which is the ability Velgrynd uses to jump towards the landmark of Rudra’s soul. There should be no problem using the skill towards the landmark>> I see…
In other words, Velgrynd's attack knocked down the essence connected to Cornu’s 'Parallel Body', causing them to be wiped out together.
<<That’s right. By combining attacks that transcend time and space to create a 'continuous attack of time and space,' even a 'parallel existence' cannot escape.>> Really, it's outrageous.
Velgrynd was also too powerful to know exactly how much experience she had accumulated and was now in full control of her own powers.
She was already powerful before, and now is even better.
Veldora was still happy about learning about 'parallel existence', and it turned out to be completely pointless… I'd feel a little sorry for Veldora if he knew about it.
It wasn't just me who didn't know how to react.
The Imperial congregation, as well as Gazel and the others, pondered carefully over what Velgrynd had said.
The Empire can at least still rely Velgrynd as a trump card, but the problem is Dwargon.
“Can't we win?”
“Indeed, unfortunately, there's no way to fight back.”
“It’s true. There’s no use trying to be strong. It's time to tell the truth and think about countermeasures, isn't it?”
“Mmm, although what you said is correct…”
“Ben is right. Since we are against an invincible opponent, we have to think about what to do in case of an encounter. Sir Rimuru, on the basis of what Michael and the Demon King are up to, will we Dwargon be implicated?”
Woo-hoo, the probability should be lower.
“It probably doesn't matter. It's not that it's safe, it's just that it's a lower priority.”
“Hmm, so because the enemy's aim is to resurrect Lord Veldanava, there is no Dwargon in their eyes anyway, is that right?”
“It sounds rude, but I suppose.”
“It's okay. I'm embarrassed as a warrior, but I feel at ease as a king.”
Gazel finished and smiled bitterly.
"So, speaking of means, is the enemy serious?"
“Kufufufufu, do they think that by gaining the power of Lord Veldora and Lord Velzado they can resurrect Lord Veldanava? All I can say is it's a stupid idea.”
“Lord Veldanava is immortal. It's arrogant to try to resurrect him by human power.”
Diablo scoffed, and Benimaru was indignant.
It's still a mystery as to why Veldanava hasn’t come back to life, but it's still true that the True Dragon Race is indestructible. I was in favor of the opinion that we should be relieved because it could not be described.
“If that's the case, will the Dragon Empress be targeted as well?” Calgurio pointed out sharply.
Indeed, it would not be surprising at all if Miilim, who had inherited the power of Veldanava, would be targeted.
Velgrynd answered the question.
“That possibility cannot be denied, but to strike at my brother's beloved would be to put the cart before the horse. It's possible for them to want power simply because they want it, but if they really want him to be resurrected, I hope they don't do something that offends him.”
However, because Milim was strong and didn't have an Angelic System's Skill, and Carrion and Frey had also awakened, they shouldn't need to worry too much.
Since Velgrynd didn't think it mattered either, it would probably be enough to just warn them.
However, there is one more thing that concerns people.
“In that way, doesn’t it sounds like Veldanava didn’t care about his siblings?”
“You're a very rude man.”
Velgrynd was a little speechless at what I said, but not angry.
“Uh, I'm sorry, I'm an honest person. I was just…”
“It doesn't matter.”
Saved by Velgrynd's forbearance.
I’ll reflect on this and be careful on what is said in the future.
“It doesn’t matter. A “True Dragon" is not the same as people who have an end in sight, and the same is true of Sister Velzado who did not care how many times she destroyed Veldora in the name of education.
So, perhaps we are to wait for the resurrection of Brother Veldanava before liberating our forces.”
Ah, I understand.
I think he’ll be resurrected after eating, just like the steps I took.
In doing so, memories will be inherited, so whether or not the personality will change is simply not a matter of concern.
“This means Milim is not indestructible because she is not a true dragon species. If you kill Milim-sama, you will incur the wrath of the resurrected Veldanava-sama, right?”
Testarossa sums up Velgrynd's words as I do, presumably to that effect.
“Well, in that case, let's warn Milim to be on guard.”
Hearing my words, Velgrynd nodded.
Then, her eyes turned to Masayuki.
“I look like someone else, but…Masayuki, you’re definitely being targeted, so you have to be very careful.”
“Huh? Haven't you given up yet?”
"Your Majesty…unlike in the Labyrinth, you cannot be revived on Imperial soil! Please take care of yourself.”
"We will do our utmost to protect His Majesty, but after all, His Majesty needs to act on the basis of His Majesty's consciousness.”
“Okay…uh, I mean, got it.”
After Masayuki's uninspiring reply, the afternoon's discussion was over.
Dinner was luxurious.
A full Western-style meal of Italian cuisine.
Beets—a vegetable somewhat similar to this—starting with soup, followed by casseroles and a confit of gizzards.
This was followed by a slightly grilled gun head armored fish belly sashimi.
Each one is an absolute gem, but it doesn't end there.
The restaurant serves a variety of fine dishes such as shrimp wanna cotta, battleship fish noodles, fortune crab spaghetti, and more.
When the mushroom risotto was finished and the chopsticks were stopped, a seafood soup was served.
The soup from which all the seafood acquisitions of the day are extracted, is a wonderful dish that changes the flavor of dinner in each sip. A multi-ingredient blend that takes half a day to brew.
It's no exaggeration to say that it's the chefs’ rare masterpiece, and is a hidden gem that you can't even always eat once a year.
And finally, the main course of the day.
A veal deer fillet steak.
Gently cut with a knife and served in the mouth, the tender, tender meat melts in your mouth.
After eating, Benimaru and I gave each other a high five.
No words are needed to communicate, and that is enough.
Today, everyone is eating in silence, and this attitude is proof of satisfaction.
It was when the white wine and yogurt was served as dessert, that everyone finally said what they felt.
“What is this deliciousness!? As an imperial aristocrat, I consider myself to have tasted countless cuisines, but this is something else!!!”
“I know, as a captive, I've always enjoyed the food here, but I've never enjoyed it as much as I have today. Thank you, Your Majesty Rimuru!”
“Honestly, if you can eat this, you can be emperor.”
“I've also learned to cook, but I can't really make these things. I can tell from the food that I still must do my best.”
The Imperial congregation was highly appreciative.
Dwargon's side was not to be outdone.
“Rimuru, you've improved your cooking here. Is this you, Lady Shuna? I'd love to invite you to our country to teach us a few recipes.”
"Yes, I'm more of a wine lover, but these things are so different. It's a shame that the portion is smaller, but it makes you want to eat more. A very calculated arrangement.”
“Geez, I don't think it's been calculated, but I agree with you that every dish makes you want to eat it.”
“Hah! It's so delicious, it makes me think I'm leaving for the next world.”
"What are you talking about, Lady Jane? You’ve eaten it all up.”
"Anrietta, you're a real talker. Look at you. You're eating the same amount!”
"What? It's only polite not to point this out even if you know about it!”
They were basically satisfied with everything, but they just wanted to make rave about their food, and this time, the goal was achieved.
By the way, even at times like this, Shion and Diablo were as usual.
Diablo dedicated himself to serving and pouring wine, and Shion stood perfectly still as an escort.
But, I know.
Shuna whispered to me that Shion always sneaks food in the name of testing for poison. This time, she even tried the poison with an extra bowl. There is absolutely no need to worry about her going hungry.
We take a break after the meal.
The location changed to the meeting room and the big guys enjoyed coffee while chatting.
Just as the group was chatting about the food, Gazel suddenly spoke to them.
"On the other hand, Rimuru, there's something that bothers me.”
"What is it?”
“It's something you did.”
“The executives headed by Lord Benimaru over there—you’re the one who made them evolve, right?”
Ah, that's a sign towards being reprimanded.
Don't just come out of the blue like that.
Just give me a moment to think about it.
Just as I tensed my body, Gazel continued with a bitter smile.
“Don't be so nervous, I won't be angry. It did scare me when I first heard Jane talk about it, but now I've come to understand that it was a necessary thing to do.”
“That's right. That's right.”
He didn't seem to be angry, so I was relieved.
“It's just that it’ll be a lot of trouble to explain to other countries, won’t it?”
“What do you mean?”
“What, didn't you think of that? The Western Nations, the Western Saints Church, and Sarion are all watching this war closely, and the final declaration must be made and the process must be explained.”
“I was just going to muddle through properly…”
As for my companions evolving to the level of an awakened demon lord, as long as they shut up and don't say anything, no one should understand.
It shouldn't be a problem if the deception went well.
“That should be okay with the West. Blumund may be a little suspicious, along with some other countries, but the rest of the world is blurred. There may be some doubt, but the Jura Tempest Federation will be an ally. You will not be bullish, right?”
“In that case, there's nothing wrong…”
"However! ‘That woman’ can't be fooled, and will definitely ask for a formal explanation, what are you going to do?”
Um, ‘that woman?’
Ah, you mean her!
“What, you mean El-chan? It doesn't matter. I already told her.”
Elmesia was so worried about this war that she said so in conversation with me and Myourmiles.
Elmesia said that in the worst case scenario she would take in the refugees from our area.
Myourmiles, Elmesia, and I had an emergency contact as a conspiracy trio (Three Drunken Sages).
It is a high performance magic prop that looks like a small folding type, which is actually a "mobile phone.”
This was based on the idea generated by Clayman's skill, using electrical wave signals to form a cipher with geomagnetic gas, a quality product that could make usual business calls without being interrupted by magic.
However, the materials used are so scarce and the production price is so high that even the executives can’t easily get them. This is an indication of how expensive it is.
With this, I was able to talk directly to Elmesia. So before the banquet had started, I gave a notice saying “I won” along with a victory report.
El-chan’s reply was "OK, I'm relieved. I'm going to listen to it properly next time, and I'm going to play it again haha," so there was absolutely nothing for Gazel to worry about.
Then stared at me with a look of disbelief.
“Was there anything surprising in what I just said?”
“Don't be stupid! How did you get so close to that Emperor!?”
Well, I'm pretty good at this kind of thing.
No matter how tricky the person, start with a conversation and, most importantly, a good understanding of what exactly the other person is asking for.
In the past, when I was a supervisor at the construction site, there were outrageous complaints from nearby residents, but if you just calm down and listen to the other party's statements, you can easily solve any unexpected problems.
Of course, there are times when there is a lack of approach.
In those cases, the short answer is to listen first.
Just by doing this, the other person will gradually feel a sense of closeness, think that you understand, and slowly accept you.
Or rather, it's buying time to wait for the problem to be solved.
There's no need to do anything about the situation, just listen to the narrative and work with him, and that's all it takes to develop intimacy—well, back to that.
So, the most important thing in my outlook on life is how I get along with others and how I interact with them.
The same is true with Elmesia, who was already a close friend by the time I noticed.
Could it be the alcohol?
I've forgotten that kind of thing.
Forgetting what is against you is excellent worldly practice. Of course, it's important to remember to reflect and avoid repeated failures.
It's a hard thing to do, and I'm still practicing.
“How it's done is a secret. We're all getting along now, anyway.”
There's no need to be honest about the experience of failure at the wine table.
But Gazel couldn't seem to take it.
"Rimuru, for the Celestial Emperor of Sarion, it is difficult to meet with her, and waiting for an audience normally takes a few months. Even if I apply from Dwargon, it takes half a year. That woman has a long life, so a month is like a day in her eyes…and yet you're in easy contact with her!”
“Yes, yes, Your Majesty, Rimuru! The Empire also values Sarion, not expecting this level of connection…”
Even Calgurio and others joined in.
According to these people, the Empire saw Sarion as the biggest threat, and it was said that there were many unheard of magical guides over there that were originally intended to be the last to attack.
After listening to the instructions from Calgurio and Minute, Gazel nodded as well.
After all, it was a military power that could devour the entire western economic circle by itself, and it was normal for them to react in this way.
And the ease with which we can contact the heads of such great powers without an appointment, even if I don't know much about it, is really a bit incredible.
But after all, it is a fact.
“Ahahaha, huh, well, this? Guess I was lucky.”
“Well, for Lord Rimuru, it's a matter of course.”
“Yes! Rather, it is the other party who is lucky!”
Diablo and Shion praised me from the sidelines. At this kind of time I wish you guys would keep your mouths shut.
Seeing Gazel sigh heavily, I thought even more so.
Minute, however, unexpectedly agreed with Shion and others.
“Indeed, it is understandable that the Heavenly Emperor would react in such a way as to discover the true value of His Majesty Rimuru.”
Calgurio nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, if it's that terrifying Heavenly Emperor, something of this magnitude should be within easy reach. Our empire has always thought that the country's magical warriors would not move, which is exactly what the emperor thought. Then it would be dangerous to target our country when the situation is not good for His Majesty Rimuru."
It seems they are more wary of Sarion than I thought.
Although I didn't feel it was a dangerous country, it was reassuring to be friendly.
El-chan had invited us to play at her place and to be sure to visit and learn about it then.
"This information must have been hidden, but our intelligence service considers us to be…"
"No, unfortunately, I haven't heard of it either. Still, it's so long ago for me, it's possible to just forget.”
Minute's statement, which was dismissed with a cheerful face by Velgrynd, struck me as a rather stubborn person who definitely remembers even if it was a long time ago.
"Geez, do you have something you want to say to me?”
Scary, as if she was reading my heart.
These types of people are usually difficult to deal with and it's best not to piss her off.
You have to be careful about what you say about the "Three Drunk Sages.”
I secretly swore that as the night passed.
The next morning, Gazel and his entourage went back.
For their part, Calgurio and others followed the well-developed guidelines and began to make preparations for their return home.
The work was still underway, and the construction was taken over by Adalman's men, some of whom wanted to stay in the country, but also had to give priority to settling the empire before thinking about immigration.
They are expected to leave within a week after preparation.
In this way, we discover the problem, think about the countermeasures, and confirm the status quo.
There's basically no problem on the Empire's side.
I just have to wait for Testarossa's contact and watch and see before the situation changes.
There was a slight concern on the Dwarf Kingdom's side.
In case the Killing Angel-class enemies appeared, Gazel’s side should be in a bitter fight.
However, with Dwargon as a natural fortress and the metropolitan area equipped with multiple defense structures, it will not be easy to break through, so they’ll just contact us while the defense is on.
I gave Gazel a "cell phone,” to let him use it as he sees fit.
One more thing.
I decided to send Agera forward to Gazel's side.
Gazel had told me he wanted to continue training and rebuilding himself.
Agera had also said that he wanted to calm his (her) debauched mind.
Said there was a lot to worry about.
Carrera didn't say anything, just went with the whatever Agera liked.
I knew what was going on in Agera, but I was still having trouble answering, and everyone needed some time at the moment, so I accepted the proposal.
This way, even Dwargon can withstand a protracted war.
Of course, it's best not to have a problem, and in case something happens, it should be manageable.
The kingdom of Farmenas, where Youm and the others were, also took care of it.
Diablo sent Gedora over to account for these circumstances, and I did not arrange for a personal interview with Gedora, who seemed to have left two days earlier.
While Gedora had the duties of a Labyrinth Guardian, the key Floor Guardian Colossus was gone.
Even the wreckage wasn't there and it had to be made from scratch.
The researchers seemed to rejoice that they wanted to test the new function with the new shaft.
It made my wallet a little nervous, but luckily it would be the treasury that would be burdened this time. I just tell them to produce something that would satisfy.
It will take time until the day it's done, so we’ll let Gedora stay in Farmenas for now.
As for the Kingdom of Blumund and the Western States,
Shion was dealing with this aspect, and Zonda had sent over support. The demons are basically able to
'space transfer', and most of the situation should be handled.
Honestly, these places have little strategic value, so I'm not going to go any stronger than that either.
If the enemy commits acts of genocide, Guy would not sit idly by.
Guy doesn't want the human race to perish and is sure to make a move.
Plus, there's Ruminas over there too.
If the situation hadn't been so serious as to require Guy to step in, Ruminas and the Paladins should have responded.
The Three Drunk Sages have also been informed of the incident, so that Glenda and the others will act in secret to buy time in case of any situation, which should be close.
By the way, I also gave Glenda a "cell phone.”
It's not for her personally, it's to serve as a means of communication between the Three Drunk Sages.
With this, we'll be able to take countermeasures at any time, so we'll just have to wait for contact from the western countries.
Well, so be it.
The rest of the question is what happens when some unexpected betrayer shows up.
<<About that I think it’s probably a waste of time to think about it…>> No, no, no, it’s not so much a waste as to not think about.
Being prepared can affect your ability to cope with unexpected situations.
So, after looking at the damage in various areas in the office, I started thinking about the important things that mattered most. I told Gazel to warn anyone who was awakened, about the ultimate skills of the Angelic System…but I was staring at his face which was as if his expression had fallen off.
Then, quietly to me—
"Listen, Rimuru, the ultimate skill is a secret—a secret that is said to have been acquired by the first Dwarven hero, Gran Dwargon, and yet it is still considered an important matter of unknown truth that few people know about, not even Ben and Dorf! And you guys…don’t talk like it's a common thing to have ultimate skills!”
He ended up being drunk on the head, but he spoke as if it was common sense in this world.
That is to say, there are very few people who know about the existence of ultimate skills, and there is currently no way to find out who has it in the angelic system.
Worrying about this is purely a matter of finding guilt, so I'm going to ignore it.
At that time.
However, when I calmed down and reconsidered, it seemed surprisingly discernable.
At least, Guy and Ruminas are reliable.
Leon’s strength is also unusual, and feels like it he has it.
Dagruel is still unknown, but since Dino has it, it's better to act as if he has it too, so it doesn't feel like a failure.
That's right, speaking of Dagruel…
I recall that Ruminas, from what she had heard of the future from Chloe, had said that Dagruel would ride the Empire to war and start a war. However, it doesn't seem to have developed this time.
There should be some sort of a reason for this, or compulsion by whom.
If it was Michael's doing, then there is a way to formulate a response, and there is also a need to talk about it.
What's the situation on Milim's side?
Maybe it's just that I don't know, and it's not surprising that there's even one on her.
Just talking to Milim should tell us what's going on with Carrion and Frey.
Just as I was thinking about all this…
"Can you hear me? A Walpurgis is now being held, and although it is unexpected, everybody must attend. Over.”
Suddenly there was a voice in my head.
My line of sight turned to the forgotten ring I was wearing on the pinky finger of my right hand.
This is the Demon Lord Ring that you receive when you became a Demon Lord.
That is to say, it was from Guy's voice coming out.
I've never been able to use this function, so I had forgotten about it.
No, this is not the time for me to think about these things.
“Shion, go get Shuna.”
Watching Shion rush out happily, I looked to Diablo.
“It’s from Guy. It looks like we're having a Walpurgis.”
“Oh, it's not in Guy's style not to contact in advance. It's a bit incomprehensible that Guy personally contacted in the first place.”
I feel the same way.
Guy is so self-respecting and arrogant, and is so calm in his ways.
It was said that even his subordinates were not allowed to speak to Guy on their own initiative…there was a nasty feeling about that.
“I heard you called me.”
“Rimuru, it's a big deal! Guy actually came to us in person, something must have happened!!!”
Shuna came in, but even Ramiris, who hadn't been called, came along with Beretta and Treyni.
This guy is also a demon lord, and if he is a demon lord, he naturally wears a demon ring.
According to Ramiris, it was very rare for Guy to host a Walpurgis himself.
There seemed to have been times in the past when there were only these three Demon Lord, Ramiris, Milim, and Guy, and nothing of the sort seemed to have happened in the last thousand years.
When it’s all said and done, it must be an emergency.
“That's it. Shuna, there's no time to go into detail now, but I'm taking Shion and Diablo to the Walpurgis. Tell Benimaru of my absence and leave everything to him.”
Shuna nodded shrewdly.
"Understood. Good luck, Lord Rimuru!"
I finished nodding my head and prepared myself.
Then waited quietly for the pick-up.
Not a moment later, a blue-haired Rhein in a dark red maid outfit jumped space and appeared.
Granted, Ramiris had given permission to enter and exit the maze, but it was odd that she'd come out of nowhere like this.
Only there's no time to care about that right now.
Because, Rhein is covered in wounds.
That means my premonition was spot on.
“Rhein, are you okay?”
“What the hell…?”
Faced with Ramiris' and my surprised questions, Rhein shook her head silently.
“Don't worry about me. We'll explain when we're all together. Please move first.”
It's not like I can say anything more when she says that.
The only thing to do is move along with Rhein.
Arriving at our destination, we will face new problems head-on.