Volume 1 Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Please Make Us Humans

 

—— The Winter Kingdom, the Village of Wintering

The Hero: “Ooh, it’s turned cold.”

The Demon King: “That’s because winter is coming.”

The Hero: “Are you alright, Demon King?”

The Demon King: “Alright… I want to say I am, but to tell the truth, I’m tired from walking. Why am I so tired?”

The Hero: “That’s the way it is with snow trails. Moreover, you don’t have very much physical strength.”

The Demon King: “I’m an intellectual Demon King.”

The Hero: “… Is it alright to be coming to such a remote location?”

The Demon King: “Remote?”

The Hero: “No, I mean, as you said, the food of the Central Continent revolves around Grain. In that case, shouldn’t we be focussing on Grain?”

The Demon King: “Yes, that’s right.”

The Hero: “In that case, wouldn’t it be better to head to wheat producing, agricultural countries like the Lake Country or the Elm Country?”

The Demon King: “If they’re willing to listen to me.”

The Hero: “Ah—”

The Demon King: “I also think it’s better if you didn’t show yourself for the time being.”

The Hero: “Oh?”

The Demon King: “Yeah. You were sent to me for some reason, somebody might have some kind of vendetta against you.”

The Hero: “Nothing of the sort.”

The Demon King: “Besides, if we wanted to revolutionize anywhere, in order to be persuasive, we’ll need actual experiments and data.”

The Hero: “That’s true.”

The Demon King: “I’ve made arrangements in this village. We’ll be experimenting on agricultural support for grain and other crops.”

The Hero: “Is that so?”

The Demon King: “I’ve already sent an agent to infiltrate it.”

The Hero: “You’re good at planning, huh.”

The Demon King: “It is fundamentally crucial to plan for anything.”

The Hero: “In this village, then?”

The Demon King: “Yes, this is a completely unexceptional village, no?”

The Hero: “Yeah, I know a lot of villages like this.”

The Demon King: “This is a typical Pioneer Settlement on the outskirts of the Southern Kingdoms. It comprises of a network of smallholder farmers and craftsmen working in a relaxed compound agricultural system.”

The Hero: “And to think there’s still a war with the Demon Army raging.”

The Demon King: “Even so, they still cling to their life on the earth. That is an admirable trait of Humanity.”

The Hero: “So, who’s your agent?”

The Demon King: “I’ve got her to prepare a small lodging for us, I wonder where it is, I only know its somewhere in the village.”

The Hero: “Ah—, is that so? It shouldn’t be very difficult to find, but the sun is about to set and we can’t possibly wander about in this cold.”

The Demon King: “Mmm, that’s true.”

The Hero: “Yes it is.”

The Chief Maid: “Demon King! Demon King! ~ ♪”

The Hero: “Wha-“

The Demon King: “Oh, I know that voice.”

The Chief Maid: “Demon King ~ ♪”

The Demon King: “Allow me to introduce you two. Hero!”

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Explanation

Grain: As an agricultural product, there are many sorts of grain including Wheat, Barley, Oats and Rye. Though wheat is important and easy to eat, because it needs to be ground with a mill and is difficult to grow in the cold, it is considered a luxury in Northern Europe.

Pioneer Settlement: In order to create fields from a wasteland, villages need to be set up from nothing at all. Villagers need to endure extreme hardship, removing stones, pulling out tree roots and tilling wastelands for ploughing. In return all the prepared land becomes their property.

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The Hero: “What a fool! This is a human village! Don’t go about shouting ‘Demon King, Demon King’!”

The Demon King: “Hmm, that’s true. Take care in future.”

The Chief Maid: “Hehehe, I understand, Demon King!” Grins.

The Demon King: “Well, it’s alright. Don’t be so angry.”

The Hero: “—”

The Chief Maid: “You’ll get wrinkles if you continue to be so mad.”

The Hero: “And who is this?”

The Demon King: “This is my subordinate, leader of the Maids, the Chief Maid.”

The Chief Maid: “As introduced, I am the Chief Maid. I have been taking care of the Demon King since she was little. Having watched over her all this while, I am so elated by the marriage between the Hero and the Demon King that my chest is positively shaking.”

The Hero: “There’s a lot of issues with that, but first of all, we’re not married.”

The Chief Maid: “Is that so?”

The Hero: “We merely have an Unlimited Mutual Ownership Contract.”

The Chief Maid: “I see, isn’t that the same as a marriage?”

The Demon King: “That’s the difference between a Dutch clover and a Clover.”

The Chief Maid: “Are they not the same thing?”

The Demon King: “They have different names so they’ve got a different charm.”

The Chief Maid: “Ah, I understand! It’s like the difference between a Maid, Servant, Handmaiden and a Human Pillow.”

The Demon King: “Are those also of different charms?”

The Hero: “… Are they for real?”

The Chief Maid: “Charm is very important. It is no exaggeration to say that charm alone forms 80% of the relationship between a man and a woman.”

The Demon King: “For real! In that case, there practically aren’t any materials left?!”

The Chief Maid: “That’s the beauty of it.”

The Hero: “Umm—It’s cold, so…”

The Chief Maid: “Oh dear.”

The Demon King: “The Hero said that he’s cold, can we do anything about it?”

The Chief Maid: “Just come this way, I’ll show you around.”

The Demon King: “Ohh, how did it go?”

The Chief Maid: “It’s nothing exceptionally large, but I’ve refurbished an old mansion near the village.”

The Demon King: “Very good, Chief Maid.”

 

—— In a Dilapidated Mansion.

The Hero: “Hey, hey, isn’t this rather massive?”

The Chief Maid: “It’s nothing. It isn’t even 1% of the Demon King Castle.”

The Hero: “That’s a Dungeon, don’t group them together.”

The Demon King: “But I live there.”

The Hero: “Ah, that’s true.”

The Chief Maid: “Please come this way, I will serve you tea in just a moment.”

The Demon King: “I’m sorry—”

The Hero: “Just what sort of relationship do you have with this subordinate?”

The Demon King: “Hmm, you might not be able to tell, but the Chief Maid is a relative.”

The Hero: “She’s a scholar? Like the rest of your race?”

The Demon King: “Mm—It might be a bit inaccurate to call us scholars. More accurately, we’re ‘A Race that can’t control our Curiosity,’ and a race that focuses on a specific field of study. Even though she’s older than me, the Chief Maid has adopted ‘The Way of the Maid.’”

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Explanation

Dutch Clover: Basically just a clover. As a legume, it is capable of Nitrogen Fixation. In other words, natural nitrogen fertilizers are produced and enrich the soil. In addition, bees can be reared off it from which honey can be obtained and it can also be used for animal feed.

Dungeon: A prison located in the basement of a castle. Additionally, legend tells of a massive labyrinth located in the basement. Furthermore, a state of danger present in this underground labyrinth is also what makes a dungeon.

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The Hero: “Hmm.”

The Chief Maid: “It’s rather similar to you, Sir, who has adopted ‘The Way of Chivalry.’”

The Demon King: “That was quick.”

The Chief Maid: “Here is some red tea. I have added ample honey.”

The Demon King: “Well, I’ve been brought up in this manner, sometimes I even let her command the Demon Armies.”

The Hero: “Hey, is that something maids can do?!”

The Chief Maid: “Whatever my master requires of me. That is ‘The Way of the Maid.’”

The Demon King: “On another note, who does this house belong to?”

The Hero: “Yeah, I’d like to know as well.”

The Chief Maid: “It appears that the building formerly belonged to nobility of this land. The heir of the family died in the war, and since then, the building has been abandoned.”

The Demon King: “I trust you went through the proper channels?”

The Chief Maid: “Yes, of course. Even the construction crew we used to refurbish the place was paid in cash.”

The Demon King: “Hmm.”

The Hero: “That’s surprisingly reasonable.”

The Demon King: “One day, an opponent may appear that requires us to demonstrate our true prowess. Until then, as long as we can solve issues peaceably we shouldn’t resort to force. …It would be problematic if we were hated.”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “Nothing really… Then, let’s stay in this place. What should we do about our identities?”

The Chief Maid: “I have already made overtures to the Village Chief and various other elders. I have told them that you are the noble daughter of a highly influential scholar from the College of Divinity in the Holy Imperial Capital.”

The Demon King: “Will that be alright?”

The Hero: “As long as you dress the part?”

The Demon King: “Would this Lab Coat and Robe do?”

The Hero: “Doesn’t look like it.”

The Chief Maid: “No way.”

The Demon King: “But it’s so comfortable…”

The Hero: “Noble daughters don’t choose their clothes based on comfort.”

The Chief Maid: “That’s true. You should probably wear some clothes that draw attention and provoke nervousness.”

The Demon King: “Are you saying I don’t provoke nervousness?”

The Chief Maid: “That is not what I was saying. However…”

The Demon King: “What?”

The Chief Maid: “Please lend me your ear for a moment.”

The Demon King: *Whispers.*

The Demon King: “Hero, Hero.”

The Hero: “What is it?”

The Demon King: “Meat which does not provoke nervousness is useless meat, right?”

The Hero: “What’s this all of a sudden?”

The Demon King: “It’s as I said.”

The Hero: “Ah—”

The Demon King: “Is it useless meat? Is it not?!”

The Hero: “Ah—That’s—”

The Chief Maid: “Would you like another cup of tea?”

The Demon King: “Do I make you shake and tremble?”

The Hero: “I can’t really comment.”

The Chief Maid: “Especially because you don’t get enough exercise in the winter.”

The Demon King: “Ohhhh”

The Hero: “…That’s, shouldn’t you wear something flashy every now and then? For a change of pace. It brings out the charm that person was talking about.”

The Chief Maid: “Indeed, Demon King.”

The Demon King: “Is that so…?”

The Hero: “Right, so how did the greetings go?”

The Chief Maid: “Yes, that’s right. I explained to them that the College’s researchers took an interest in the village in order to teach new Farming Techniques.”

The Demon King: “That saves a lot of work.”

The Hero: “That’s true, farming is a lot of work to begin with.”

The Chief Maid: “Yes. …Demon King.”

The Demon King: “Hm?”

The Chief Maid: “What should we do about the Demon Army?”

The Demon King: “Ahh. That’s right.”

The Hero: “Has something happened?”

The Demon King: “The Hero and I had a climatic showdown in the Demon King’s Great Hall. Spread the rumour that the both of us were seriously injured. I’m currently recuperating from my injuries in the Demon King Castle. The fate of the Hero is uncertain, but one theory holds that he managed to escape.”

The Chief Maid: “As you command.”

The Demon King: “What do you think of that, Hero?”

The Hero: “Ahh. It doesn’t matter to me. I am after all yours.”

The Chief Maid: “My my.”

The Demon King: “Don’t laugh—This rumour should buy us about a year. The Aggressive Faction of the Demon Army should believe I’m planning something and hold off any actions for the moment.”

The Hero: “One year, huh.”

The Demon King: “I have other plans as well. If we really intended to hold out, we could probably extend it to three years. If we drag this on for too long, there’ll probably be an all-out war between Humans and Demons.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “We have to find the ‘Ending Which Has Yet To Be Seen’ before that.”

The Hero: “Don’t you just want to see it?”

The Demon King: “…If I don’t find it, I’ll be hated by my master.”

The Hero: “Ah. That. Th… That’s. That’s right.”

The Demon King: “Let’s leave that for now.”

The Hero: “Y-Yeah.”

The Demon King: “To bring about this ending, we need to reform agriculture.”

The Hero: “Agriculture?”

The Demon King: “The practice of farming.”

The Hero: “Isn’t the practice of farming just sowing seeds and reaping the harvest?”

The Demon King: “We’re going to reform that.”

The Hero: “Uhh, can it be reformed?”

The Demon King: “Do you know that if you continue sowing grain in the same plot of land, the quality of the soil will gradually worsen?”

The Hero: “Ah—, I’ve heard of this. You erode the Blessings of the Earth, don’t you?”

The Demon King: “To circumvent this, the Three Field Rotation System was developed, where you split the fields into three plots. One is used in winter, one in summer and one is allowed to rest. And then you Rotate. The Blessings of the Earth are hence restored to the plots which are allowed to rest.”

The Hero: “That’s gotta be tiring. Wait. Why would you even use Rotation? Why don’t you just till a new field? If you use a new piece of land, then there’ll be lots of Blessings in the Earth.”

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Explanation

Three Field Rotation System: By rotating a field as a Winter Crops Plot (Wheat or Rye) -> Summer Crops Plot (Barley or Oats) -> Resting Plot (Pastures), you can farm without destroying the nutrients of the earth. This was predominant in the Middle Ages throughout Northern Europe, England and Northern Germany.

Rotation: I’m going to skip this explanation because I expect you to understand what Rotation means. This word, like most terminology, is given in English, so it would be unknown to some Japanese people.

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The Demon King: “How stupid. It’s a huge mistake to think that everyone has the monstrous battle ability and body strength and magical dispulsion powers that you do.”

The Hero: “I-Is that so?”

The Demon King: “Relocating takes a lot of time and a great deal of effort. Furthermore, as you increase the area of agriculture, you will also have to increase the distance that you will need to harvest and sow your crops, and the area which you need to protect against monsters and wild beasts.”

The Hero: “Now that you say it…”

The Demon King: “This place does use Three Field Rotation, but—”

The Hero: “Mmhmm.”

The Demon King: “I aim to reform the system in order to increase the crop yields.”

The Hero: “I understand your aims, but what exactly are you going to do?”

The Demon King: “Rotation is a good idea. I intend to reform this into Four-Field Rotation.”

The Hero: “Mhm.”

The Demon King: “In other words, a Four-Field system: a field for Barley, a field for Clover, a field for Wheat, and a field for Turnips. These four fields will be set a four year period.”

The Hero: “That doesn’t sound very different from a Three Field Rotation.”

The Demon King: “A Three-Field Rotation has a period of complete rest, doesn’t it? This has a similar resting period, but the period consists of growing Clovers.”

The Hero: “Is that a very big difference?”

The Demon King: “The secret to making a difference, is not just the Grain, but also the Turnips.”

The Hero: “It’s great for stew, but what could happen just by using it?”

The Demon King: “Of course, people can eat it too. It’s not healthy to just subsist on grain. But these turnips can also be used for feed, specifically pig feed.”

The Chief Maid: “Pigs?”

The Demon King: “As you know, meat is an extremely important source of nutrients in this poor and cold place. In the winter, it is difficult to get sufficient fruits or vegetables and to hunt for game. However, in order to consume pork and to successfully rear a pig, food is necessary. But in the winter, do people not already lack food?”

The Hero: “Yeah, that’s right. That’s why before winter, pigs are slaughtered to a minimum number. They are made into sausages, bacon or ham and are stored as food for the winter. It’s a scene which characterizes the winter no matter which part of the Southern Kingdoms one is in.”

The Demon King: “Although supplementary crops are grown in the winter… in other words, the season in which agricultural nutrients are insufficient, in the end, one is still growing crops like any other season. Is that not inefficient? Unfortunately, one can’t even maintain animal husbandry nor increase the numbers of livestock.”

The Hero: “Now that you say it…”

The Demon King: “In this case, one may use Clover and Turnips. In the summer, Clover can be used as pastures for pigs and goats. Even without livestock, they can even be used for fertilizer. Turnips are useful in the winter as animal feed.”

The Hero: “— Is that so?”

The Demon King: “That’s right. This technique fulfils the three ideas of ‘Not resting the fields,’ ‘Not decreasing the yields’ and ‘Growing crops apart from agricultural products.’”

The Hero: “And that’s why it’s this village, then. You’ve thought this through, Demon King.”

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Explanation

Four Field Crop Rotation: The Norfolk Crop Rotation system. This technique began in 18th Century England in Norfolk. Planting follows the sequence of Wheat -> Turnips -> Barley -> Clover. The ground does not need to lie fallow, yet livestock may still be reared. Known as the Agricultural Revolution, this was a key reason for the large increase in human population.

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The Chief Maid: “What do you mean?”

The Hero: “A village like this does both agriculture and livestock rearing, in such a self-sufficient system, this agricultural system may be most appropriate. This applies for experiments as well. In urban areas, only wheat is grown in large quantities, hence for this to happen they are established in warm, nutrient rich areas, reducing the point of the experiments. This is, in short, an idea for ‘Saving cold, poor areas.’”

The Chief Maid: “Is that so!”

The Demon King: “There are other ideas as well. Such as fertilizing with the fish of the South Ice Seas or reforming agricultural implements.”

The Hero: “You have many ideas, then.”

The Demon King: “The difficult bit is reorganizing the village. If we were to create pastures, it would be difficult to control livestock like the sheep. In this dangerous age, a simple turf war for the ‘Right to New Pastures’ could turn into an all-out war.”

The Hero: “That’s true, that we wouldn’t want that.”

The Chief Maid: “But as you have said before, people value their land. Can we really solve it as we discussed?”

The Demon King: “That’s why we need Demons.”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “Demons appear and attack the village. After all, there doesn’t seem to be a garrison, does there? We just need a few demons. We’ll threaten them a little and raze the village moderately.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “After the villagers escape, the Demon Hordes and Imperial Demon Army skirmish with the Knights who charge in to the rescue before pulling out. When the pioneers return, they then fall under the protection of the Feudal Lord. In such a situation, neither the agricultural reorganization nor the collectivization of the villages will be a problem to carry out.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “Are you disillusioned?”

The Hero: “…Demon King.”

The Demon King: “Of course, we’ll hold back. To begin with, with this technique, we will require someone in the Kingdom, or at least someone in the Knights as a turncoat or to understand my plan. But such a strategy will result in accidents. It is impossible to prevent blood from flowing.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “However, I have decided what to do. At this rate, this nightmarish war of attrition will rage for a century. I have no intention of allowing this unsustainable impasse. I want to read the ‘Legends of the End.’”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “Do you have complaints? Do you hate me? Bu… But you can’t. You’re mine after all, and I’ll never let you go.”

The Chief Maid: “…”

The Demon King: “I suppose you want to exterminate the Demon King after all. In that case, there’s nothing for it… Since I’m yours, I can’t dodge your blade…”

The Hero: “Ugh. You’re way too scared, Demon King.”

The Demon King: “…”

The Hero: “Even so, people will be saved right? There will be people who will be saved by this 3-year interregnum, right? Moreover, if this Four Field Rotation System succeeds, tens of thousands of starving children will be able to greet the summer every year, right? —And after doing this to end the war, everything goes back to the people, right?”

The Demon King: “That’s right.”

The Hero: “Then I am, after all, yours.”

The Chief Maid: “…”

The Hero: “But while doing this may be for the best, please try to avoid unnecessary sacrifices.”

The Demon King: “Ugh…”

The Hero: “What should I do? …Well, I kind of know already.”

The Demon King: “It’s as you expect. You need to help me carry out the ‘Side of Righteousness.’ Drive back the invading demons and become the military vanguard of the leaders of the Southern Kingdoms.”

The Hero: “What a farce.”

The Demon King: “Yes. You’re talking to the Master of Evil, a farce is to be expected after all.”

The Hero: “You’re incorrigible even if you visited hell a hundred times.”

The Demon King: “Good that you know.”

The Hero: “But it would be best if we didn’t use this strategy from the start.”

The Demon King: “But that is the last resort. At any rate, let’s first try to raise the crop yields. Eliminating malnutrition is more important than anything else.”

 

—— The Village of Wintering on the way back from the home of the Village Chief

The Hero: “Dammit!”

The Demon King: “This is more difficult than I thought.”

The Hero: “That’s true.”

The Chief Maid: “I didn’t think he would be so ignorant.”

The Hero: “There’s nothing for it. This may be part of an experiment to us, but for a small, impoverished village like this in the Winter Kingdom, a single year of failure could result in famine.”

The Chief Maid: “That’s true…”

The Demon King: “If you think about it, the Demon World may be a better place to do this.”

The Hero: “That’s true I suppose.”

The Chief Maid: “Has Sir Hero been to many parts of the Demon World?”

The Hero: “Yeah. More than any other human, I believe.”

The Chief Maid: “But with the Village Chief having that sort of attitude, how will agricultural reforms go? It’s difficult…”

The Demon King: “Hm. It wasn’t blatant rejection so it’s not difficult to deal with.”

The Hero: “If you look at it from the Village Chief’s Point of View, the Demon King looks like a Princess of Nobility. He can’t just oppose it to your face.”

The Chief Maid: “In that case, shall we…”

The Demon King: “Absolutely not.”

The Chief Maid: “But, your Majesty, to achieve our goals, we should be willing to use any methods.”

The Demon King: “To achieve agricultural reform, it is unavoidable that we must exterminate petty squabbling lords and landlords. It’s essential for raising productivity. But in order to achieve the technological level required for intensive farming in the first place, to exterminate the leaders of our first experimental subject will bring about a hundred disadvantages and not a single advantage.”

The Hero: “Very true.”

The Chief Maid: “What a pickle.”

The Demon King: “Hmm… As I thought, education levels are the bottleneck.”

The Hero: “Education?”

The Chief Maid: “How are they related?”

The Demon King: “Well, there are a few reasons. This is supposed to be the next stage, but it seems if I don’t get involved here and there, things will not progress.”

The Chief Maid: “What do you plan on doing?”

The Demon King: “Think about it. Even if we were to increase the productivity of the village, if this doesn’t get passed on to the other villages, we won’t be able to achieve a large scale reform. Yet if we were to go around teaching this to everyone, it’s impossible from both a time and economic perspective.”

The Hero: “That’s true.”

The Demon King: “That’s why, we need specialized staff who know the new methods to spread them to the various countries. Well, whether comrade or subordinate is unimportant, human resources are important.”

The Hero: “Hmm.”

The Chief Maid: “And hence, education?”

The Demon King: “On a side note, how is education done in the human world?”

The Hero: “Even if you say that, what is education in the first place?”

The Chief Maid: “…Huh.”

The Demon King: “Ehh, ahh.”

The Hero: “It’s pointless then. As expected, you will require some difficult vocabulary.”

The Demon King: “In short, it’s passing information to children and teenagers.”

The Hero: “Say that from the start then! That’s simple isn’t it? Of course human society has such a thing, To start with, babies learn how to speak, right? Following that, they are cared for by Granny and Gramps and brought up by them. When the parents are out farming or hunting, the many kids in the same generation help take care of the child.”

The Chief Maid: “How efficient. Even the elderly can work.”

The Hero: “Despite their age, they can still be of use in agriculture. They don’t know difficult words like you do, but things like when and what to plant, how to read the weather, how to avoid wild beasts, come naturally after just five years in a farming village. Moreover, winters here are severe. Snow falls abundantly and storms are likely to happen. Villages out here in these parts spend most of winter closed tight. At that time, the peasants make handicraft or knit clothes from wool. Children listen to knowledgeable people during the long winters, listening to tales like Heroic Legends or Kingly Legends or even fairy tales. Ahh—Wait. There are tales of Demons as well. The smarter ones, or sons of the village chief, also learn to read and write.”

The Demon King: “Hmm…”

The Hero: “This is different in the cities. City education is done by priests in the Church or governors. Do you know of governors? Umm… They’re like personal scholars teaching Legends, Reading and Writing or Arithmetic. Rich merchants or noblemen engage governors for their children to learn such knowledge and techniques.”

The Chief Maid: “And the Hero also went through this?”

The Hero: “Well, in a way. My grandfather was rather like a governor… Well in any case, let’s drop it. What do you think? Is education this sort of thing?”

The Demon King: “Yes, it’s like that.”

The Hero: “Leave affairs of Human Society to me.”

The Demon King: “Well, human education is really backward.”

The Hero: “Backward?!”

The Demon King: “Mmh. It has a bad performance. It’s completely underdeveloped.”

The Hero: “That’s not the same!”

The Demon King: “I’m just kidding.”

The Hero: “Ugh.”

The Demon King: “But this is natural education. It’s understandable.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “Yet, considering that we’re aiming for an unnatural level of growth, we’re going to need an unnatural environment… However, education requires money.”

The Hero: “Money, huh. I’m a Hero. Leave it to me. If I sell my gear, will I be able to raise enough money?”

The Chief Maid: “Umm, if you sold your sword, your shield and your armour… You should be able to get about 18,000 gold pieces?”

The Hero: “Oh? Impressive, eh?”

The Chief Maid: “How much do we require?”

The Demon King: “Hmm. Let’s see, extrapolating a pattern from this year’s statistics, we would need a minimum of 2,600,000 gold pieces.”

The Hero: “M… My… A Hero’s… Equipment…”

The Chief Maid: “Don’t be at such a loss, Sir Hero.”

The Demon King: “Chief Maid, further contact is prohibited.”

The Chief Maid: “Yes, your Majesty ♪”

The Hero: “Jeez.”

The Chief Maid: “Well, winter is coming, and no matter what, agricultural activity only begins in the summer, right? We should use this winter to slowly build up our preparations.”

The Demon King: “One could say that.”

The Hero: “We are in a rush though, we only have three years.”

The Chief Maid: “Well, well, today we’ll make a pork and potato stew.”

The Demon King: “That sounds delicious.”

The Hero: “Well, worrying isn’t going to solve any of our problems.”

 

—— The Village of Wintering, in the Hearth Room of the Acquired Mansion

The Chief Maid: “Well then, since there are many preparations to be done, I will leave you here. Dinner will be served in an hour, as I will inform you when it is time, please feel free to stay by the hearth.”

The Demon King: “I understand, I’ll leave it to you then.”

Bang.

The Hero: “… Ugh”

The Demon King: “Are you tired, Hero?”

The Hero: “Yeah. My body isn’t exceptionally exhausted though. I’ve been thinking of things which I don’t usually have to think of and it makes my head hurt.”

The Demon King: “Hehehe. I see.”

The Demon King: “Hey, Hero.”

The Hero: “Mm?”

The Demon King: “The hearth is warm, isn’t it?”

The Hero: “Yeah. It’s warm. The cold in this place is more or less tolerable in front of the hearth.”

The Demon King: “Hey, Hero.”

The Hero: “Mm?”

The Demon King: “Umm, if it’s okay with you… Would you like to come over beside me?”

The Hero: “Why?”

The Demon King: “From this angle, the hearth is warm and feels great.”

The Hero: “Is that so?”

The Demon King: “That is so. Look, there’s a special seat for you.”

The Hero: “Hm. It’s true. There is.”

The Demon King: “How is it?”

The Hero: “You seem very pleased with yourself, Demon King.”

The Demon King: “Hm… Well, it’s true that the warmth of this hearth is no achievement of mine.”

The Demon King: “…”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “Hero?”

The Hero: “Mm?”

The Demon King: “May I touch you?”

The Hero: “I don’t really mind, but… Why?”

The Demon King: “It’s nothing perverted. Your hair is dark so I want to touch it for a bit. Ah, don’t be so serious.”

The Hero: “My ancestors were Samurai.”

The Demon King: “They were what?”

The Hero: “Eastern Knights. They could cleave armour and helmets with a single stroke.”

The Demon King: “I see, what fierce warriors.”

The Hero: “My ancestors are a bloodline of warriors.”

The Demon King: “Is that so? Apart from that, you have a lot of other wonderful things, don’t you?”

The Hero: “Is that so—”

The Demon King: “That’s right. For example, despite being next to me, you don’t show any signs of fear.”

The Hero: “The Demon King is weak, and a woman. And she doesn’t exercise.”

The Demon King: “But I’m the Demon King.”

The Hero: “Is that so?”

The Demon King: “That is so.”

The Hero: “You’re rather meek, though.”

The Demon King: “That’s a strategy.”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “I’m going to negotiate with you.”

The Hero: “What about?”

The Demon King: “If I told you, this wouldn’t be a negotiation any longer.”

The Hero: “How can I understand without you telling me?”

The Demon King: “That is a very complicated question. I want to explain it properly to you without incurring any misconceptions if possible.”

The Hero: “Why don’t you try telling me?”

The Demon King: “In other words, it’s cold outside, right? The winter wind has blown in. And it’s warm and comfortable here. Until dinner arrives, wouldn’t you like to do something in the meantime? Of course, there is an entire mountain of issues we have to deal with, and the gargantuan task of dealing with these issues towers over us. But, since the Hero’s head hurts in the present situation, we can’t possibly carry out any work efficiently.”

The Hero: “Ah—”

The Demon King: “Of course, this is just my personal view, it’s nothing more than a completely unsubstantiated personal thought, but taking into consideration your present state of fatigue, perhaps even this legend, this urban myth, as a rule I think we should not disregard any possible effective method. I have read in ancient texts that warriors occasionally used this Honey Garden to remove their fatigue. But I doubt you’re used to indulging in such a method.”

The Hero: “What do you intend to do then?”

The Demon King: “I would like you to rest your head on my lap?”

The Hero: “Sure.”

The Demon King: “Ah. Uwaa. Hero…”

The Hero: “I belong to the Demon King. No need to hold back.”

The Demon King: “Hero.”

The Hero: “Mm…”

The Demon King: “Your head is so fluffy.”

The Hero: “Don’t play with it.”

The Demon King: “I’m just touching it.”

The Hero: “You smell good as well.”

The Demon King: “I bathe properly every day, that’s why.”

The Hero: “For real?”

The Demon King: “Yeah, for real. Ever since I left the Demon World, the Chief Maid has shown me no mercy. Even though in the past I could go one week without changing clothes while I was carrying out experiments.”

The Hero: “You have very smooth thighs.”

The Demon King: “I-Is that so? Is it not flabby?”

The Hero: “It’s a good sleeping place.”

The Demon King: “Is that so. Thank goodness. You really are a master with a big heart.”

The Hero: “Umm— …I’m a master with perverted intentions.”

The Demon King: “?”

The Demon King: “Well, Hero.”

The Hero: “What is it—?”

The Demon King: “Before, when you said I didn’t need to hold back.”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “Is that true?”

The Hero: “Yes, it is.”

The Demon King: “Is that so.”

The Hero: “…What’s this about?”

The Demon King: “Mmm.”

The Hero: “Don’t keep quiet, it’s scary.”

The Demon King: “I am also completely terrified.”

The Hero: “Huh?”

The Demon King: “No, how can I just leave. ‘To seek things I have yet to see,’ that’s the theme of my life.”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “That’s, Hero…”

The Hero: “What is it, you can just relax and say it.”

BANG.

The Demon King: “What’s that sound?”

The Hero: “It’s from the back… The stable?”

DADADA

The Demon King: “Hey! I said wait up!”

 

—— The Stables

The Hero: “Here!”

The Demon King: “It’s pitch black”

???: “…”

The Hero: (A human presence?)

The Demon King: “Wait a bit. I’ll chant an Incantation of Light…”

Elder Sister shivering.

Little Sister shivering greatly.

The Hero: “… What? They’re children.”

The Demon King: “What’s happened, they’re just wearing underwear.”

CLANK.

The Chief Maid: “Well, well, my, my.”

The Demon King: “Chief Maid.”

The Chief Maid: “Lost and snuck in here again.”

The Demon King: “Who are these people?”

The Chief Maid: “Escaped slaves. This place has been deserted for a very long while. Despite being deserted, it’s not a ruin and the surrounding villages have different systems of ownership. This is a good place to escape to.”

The Hero: “Slaves?”

The Chief Maid: “Yes, that’s right.”

The Hero: “Where would slaves come from around here?”

The Chief Maid: “From somewhere near? Aren’t most of the humans around here slaves?”

The Hero: “No, They’re not slaves!”

The Chief Maid: “Oh, so I was wrong?”

The Hero: “Slavery is barbaric. We’d never allow it.”

The Chief Maid: “Even if you were to say such a thing…”

The Demon King: “These people are Serfs.”

The Hero: “Serfs…?”

The Chief Maid: “So they’re slaves after all then.”

The Demon King: “Serfs are different from slaves.”

The Hero: “Look here. The Southern Kingdoms don’t have slaves.”

The Chief Maid: “Is that so?”

The Demon King: “The difference between Serfs and Slaves is that Serfs are allowed to have personal wealth. They own their own homes, and even their farming implements belong to them. They live together with their own families as well.”

The Hero: “Yeah, of course.”

Elder Sister shivering.

Little Sister shivering.

The Demon King: “On the other hand, they don’t have the freedom to choose occupations or to move around. Most importantly, in their Demesne… They lead a working existence devoid of choice, tilling the lands of their landlords.”

The Hero: “…”

The Chief Maid: “…That’s totally different from slaves. Hmmmmm.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “Chief Maid, stop right there… While slavery is probably a tragic thing, within society, that it makes sense economically is a fact.”

The Chief Maid: “Is that so?”

The Demon King: “Chief Maid.”

The Chief Maid: “… I over-spoke. I offer my sincerest apologies.”

The Demon King: “…”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Serf: Peasants who do not have the right to choose occupations or migrate. They own their families, lodgings, agricultural implements, and other fixed assets. However, they have to fulfil a corvée and an annual land tax. There are also semi-serfs who own some land and have the right to buy and sell produce.

Demesne: All the villages and farmland which a Feudal Lord controls. Within a demesne, the Feudal Lord is the landlord, the master and the judge, answering to a superior (another Feudal Lord like a King or higher). Within the demesne, produce from the farmland under the direct control of the Feudal Lord, the land belonging to free farmers and the land worked on by serfs, as well as tax levied on the serfs are the Feudal Lord’s income.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The Hero: “…”

Little Sister shivering.

Elder Sister: “U-Umm… We will go in the morning. We, we don’t want… Any trouble… Just for one night.”

The Chief Maid: “…”

The Demon King: “Chief Maid. This isn’t the first time, right? How have you been dealing with this until now?”

The Chief Maid: “Escaped slaves… I mean serfs. This is a serious crime. It’s also bad for relations with powerful people nearby. We report it immediately and they come and pick them up.”

The Demon King: “Is that so?”

The Hero: “…”

The Chief Maid: “Sir Hero, are you uncomfortable with this?”

The Hero: “… Is this not a bit too harsh?”

The Chief Maid: “A destiny you cannot control is merely the existence of an insect. I hate insects. I can’t stand seeing insects with their wings torn off.”

The Demon King: “…”

The Hero: “Hey!”

The Chief Maid: “Isn’t this just a molehill among mountains? To antagonize the nearby powerful people over such a trivial thing brings no advantages.”

The Demon King: “That’s… True…”

The Hero: “Demon King…”

The Chief Maid: “In that case”

The Demon King: “No, we can wait until tomorrow morning to contact them. Get the bath running. We have some extra clothes, do we not? No arguments. We will do this for now. That is my decision.”

 

—— The Mansion of the Demon King, a Small Room

The Demon King: “Ah. What is it?”

The Hero: “… You’re very evasive.”

The Demon King: “I’m an economist. I’m bad at such things.”

Elder Sister: “U-Umm. Thank you very much.”

Little Sister cowers.

The Hero: “Don’t worry about it.”

Elder Sister: “We’ve never worn such splendid clothes before.”

Little Sister dozes off.

The Hero: “Is that so? They’re just clothes left over in this mansion by the previous owner though.”

The Demon King: “Ah—. Are you hungry? Are the beds okay?”

Elder Sister: “Yes. The straw is soft and warm and it is a very pretty room.”

The Hero: “Even this tiny, dirty room…”

The Demon King: “These are their surroundings.”

Elder Sister: “That’s… Even though you’ve treated us so well… Tomorrow, morning, the…”

The Demon King: “That’s…”

The Hero: “…”

Elder Sister: “Please, don’t tell them. That’s not it.”

Little Sister tears up.

Elder Sister: “We’ll run away. It’s really just for a little bit. Please wait until daybreak.”

The Chief Maid: “What are you talking about? You don’t have proper shoes. Your clothes might as well be garbage. You have no money or tools. Do you intend to beg for alms on the road?”

Little Sister sobs.

The Hero: “Can’t we… Can’t we do something for them?”

The Chief Maid: “Nope. The life of a slave is horrible. There’s nothing they can do. There is no hope. They have to continue living, telling themselves, ‘I am guilty, I must continue to live this way’. It’s probably hell on earth. But…”

Elder Sister: “…”

The Chief Maid: “What they do is no different from what I am doing. Following the will of one’s master, taking the word of one’s master as law. Holding on to life for the sole purpose of fulfilling the dreams of one’s master. —I am no different from a slave myself.”

The Demon King: “Chief Maid. I have never thought of you as a slave in my life.”

The Chief Maid: “Yes, Demon King. I have also never thought that Your Majesty has ever treated me in such a manner. Precisely due to this, I cannot tolerate what I am witnessing. Despite being in the same line of work, these weaklings are unable to take charge of the own destiny. They should just be burnt to death.”

Little Sister: “That’s not true! It isn’t! The girl wearing spectacles is evil. We’ve managed to run away so well. It’s not true that we can’t do anything. We’re going to the capital, the two of us, and we’re going to live there.”

The Hero: “That’s…”

The Chief Maid: “What bullshit.”

Little Sister: “But we’re doing it.”

The Chief Maid: “Let’s concede a hundred steps and call your passion hard work. You creep into somebody else’s house, relying on their good will. You are given a bed and food, yet you repay this by escaping. And you think this is right? Is this the way you serfs behave?”

Little Sister: “But! But!”

The Chief Maid: “I shall say this one more time. An existence where you don’t take charge of your existence is just that of an insect. I hate insects. I despise insects. I refuse to consider people who are insects as human.”

Elder Sister: “…”

The Chief Maid: “Do you understand?”

Elder Sister: “Yes…”

The Chief Maid: “Beg for forgiveness”

Elder Sister: “We have brought much… Inconvenience to the honoured members of this house. Sorry.”

The Chief Maid: “Good.”

Elder Sister: “…”

Little Sister sobs.

Elder Sister: “…”

The Chief Maid: “…Is that all?”

Little Sister: “No… We have to go back, no… It’s scary.”

Elder Sister: “… Sister, be quiet.”

The Chief Maid: “…”

Elder Sister: “Please treat us… Like humans. We think you are our destiny.”

The Chief Maid: “When you bow your head, do not grovel in such a manner. After going through all the trouble of wearing a skirt, take the dress lightly in your fingertips and present the Drapes while curtseying gracefully.”

Elder Sister bows.

The Chief Maid: “Your Majesty. This mansion is but a hovel compared to the Demon Imperial Palace, but it is very difficult to manage on my own. Should we not hire a few maids?”

The Hero: “Is that okay, Chief Maid? You just said you hated them. Can you now forgive them?”

The Chief Maid: “What I hate are insects. Maids are not insects, they are things I like. There are no people in this world who hate maids. Suppose we considered them as reborn.”

The Demon King: “I allow it. Train up these girls for me.”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Drapes: The beautiful pleats that skirts and dresses are made from. Cloth was much more expensive than it is today, hence drapes, which required a significant amount of cloth, were a sign of economic power.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

—— Village of Wintering, in the Forest of Snow

Maid Little Sister: “Sir Hero~ Sir Hero~”

Maid Little Sister: “Where is Sir Hero~ I’m bringing some delicious bread~”

The Hero: “Oh, thanks for the trouble.”

Maid Little Sister: “A waist cloth?! Where were you?”

The Hero: “I teleported. Your voice echoes throughout the forest.”

Maid Little Sister: “Hehe~ ♪”

The Hero: “Well, this place is safe so there’s no need to worry. But what a carefree person.”

Maid Little Sister: “Sir Hero, I’ve brought you this.”

The Hero: “Oh!”

Maid Little Sister: “It’s lunch! A cream bread, and a spring onion and bacon omelette!”

The Hero: “Seems delicious.”

Maid Little Sister: “Elder sister made it.”

The Hero: “She’s learning fast, great!”

Maid Little Sister: “Is it good?”

The Hero: “It’s delicious! The hot red tea almost makes me cry. You ran here?”

Maid Little Sister: “Yep.”

The Hero: “I drank it in one gulp.”

Maid Little Sister: “Yep!”

The Hero: “Even though it’s the afternoon, it’s tough working outside. I’m really discouraged now, dammit.”

Maid Little Sister: “Oh, that’s right. The sister who does the management has a message for you.”

The Hero: “What is it? You should have said this earlier.”

Maid Little Sister: “Today you are to catch six boars. This may be substituted for two bears. Also scout out the upper reaches of the river. If you see any flooded areas, fix or destroy them with magic.”

The Hero: “She really knows how to use people… Right, how is school going?”

Maid Little Sister: “This afternoon is physical training.”

The Hero: “Can you do physical training?”

Maid Little Sister: “Currently we don’t have enough people. There aren’t any children of the same age as me. Bringing food to Sir Hero is my afternoon exercise.”

The Hero: “Oh. You know how to say ‘Age.’”

Maid Little Sister: “The sister who does the managing taught me.”

The Hero: “She’s busy, but still working so hard, that Demon King.”

Maid Little Sister: “Next is Arimethic.”

The Hero: “Arithmetic?”

Maid Little Sister: “If I do it well, I can get rich!”

The Hero: “That economist. All she writes about is ‘Getting Rich.’”

Maid Little Sister: “She also writes about the Break-Even Point.”

The Hero: “This education is way too one-sided, isn’t it?!”

Maid Little Sister: “Ehehe. Sir Hero, how’s your work going?”

The Hero: “Another… Two more. If we switched to boars.”

Maid Little Sister: “Hotpot!”

The Hero: “So sudden!”

Maid Little Sister: “Boar Hotpot?”

The Hero: “Yes, that’s delicious!”

Maid Little Sister: “Let’s have Boar Hotpot!”

The Hero: “All you care about is food, huh.”

Maid Little Sister: “Please bring lunch back for us, Sir Hero.”

The Hero: “Yeah, I will.”

Maid Little Sister: “Being able to be full makes me real happy.”

The Hero: “That’s right.”

Maid Little Sister: “There is no conflict. No need to grovel to the Village Chief’s son. We’re warm every day. We have warm mattresses and pretty clothing. I can be with my sister every day. This is happiness.”

The Hero: “…”

Maid Little Sister: “What’s wrong?”

The Hero: “No, I’ve realised that Heroes are fairly useless.”

Maid Little Sister: “?”

The Hero: “I don’t have the knowledge, I don’t have the financial ability. I can’t farm or take care of animals, all I can teach is… Maybe swordsmanship. I know that bit very well. Even though I offer lip service to achieving Peace, what Peace even is, or how to go about achieving it— I haven’t even thought about what to do if there was Peace.”

Maid Little Sister: “It’s difficult~”

The Hero: “It is.”

Maid Little Sister: “Boar Bacon is delicious isn’t it?”

The Hero: “What, do you like it?”

Maid Little Sister lights up.

The Hero: “You like it?”

Maid Little Sister nods.

The Hero: “Then this Hero is going to get some boar in just a moment.”

 

—— The Hall of the Mansion, in the middle of a Lesson

The Demon King: “…The above are the primary structures of the wartime economy as derived from the present economic status of the Southern Kingdoms.”

Disciple Nobleman: “…”

Disciple Merchant: “…Umm”

Disciple Soldier: “…”

The Demon King: “I’m no expert on this, but the Attrition Rate needed for the annihilation of an army is—”

Disciple Soldier: “Until the very last man~”

The Demon King: “It is said to be approximately 30%. That’s three in ten. Consequently, as Standing Armies and permanent Mercenaries find it difficult to hold the Battlefront, Skirmishes and Strongholds have formed the bulk of the war against the Demon King.”

The Demon King: “Are there any questions up to this point?”

Maid Elder Sister: “And what about the Holy Crusaders?”

The Demon King: “Umm, they are an exception.”

The Demon King: “How much do you know about the Holy Crusaders? Hmm… Disciple Nobleman.”

Disciple Nobleman: “Ah. Yes. The Holy Crusaders were formed in the Central Continent at the Crisis Council as a holy expeditionary force. Their goal is to exterminate the evil race of Demons and end the war. Two expeditions have been held over the last fifteen, sixteen years. Pushing through the gate located in the Southern Continent, they managed to raze two important Demon cities before the accursed Demon King, by way of cowardly strategy, disrupted the Supply Lines and forced them to retreat.”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Attrition Rate: The percentage of casualties within an army, including the dead, wounded, sick and deserters. There are many methods of expressing this rate, whether it be the daily rate of attrition or the number of casualties from the original strength. In this case, the latter.

30%: When casualties are incurred, men are needed to send the bodies and wounded back. Furthermore, within an army, there may be many non-combatants such as Communications units, Supply units or Rear Guards. As a result, if just 30% were to be lost, there would be insufficient units on the battlefield.

Standing Army: These refer to units mobilized in both peace and wartime, capable of deployment at any given time. As they are constantly trained professionals, if numbers are equal, their combat ability is higher than for levies.

Mercenaries: These refer to soldiers which can be hired for money or units formed from such soldiers. As they fight based on a monetary contract, when they are no longer paid, they also stop fighting. Once the contract expires, they may sign another one with another country. Today’s friends may be tomorrow’s enemies.

Battlefront: The front line of a battle. This usually occurs at the area where two opposing armies meet. If the entire line is not fully supported, the enemy may freely strike and invade any undefended area on the line.

Skirmish: This refers to a single battle which takes place when two armies apply force on each other. Countries without a standing army may jointly arrange a time and a place for this to take place wherein the winner will be decided.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The Demon King: “Wow. That’s almost full marks. —Such expeditionary forces require enormous military power. Firstly, the whole world needs to be passionate about ending the war. If a single large expedition is sufficient to end the war, then the people of the war will be willing to accept high levels of sacrifice, and hence are born fanatics willing to throw away their lives.”

Disciple Soldier: “The Spirits of virtue will surely bestow upon us a great victory.”

The Demon King: “This has more to do with Economic support. I have brought this up many times over the lesson, but without Economics, any social or military endeavour is bound to fail. After all, humans need to eat to survive.”

Disciple Nobleman: “There are some things more important than money or food.”

Disciple Soldier: “If one does not put aside one’s abacus, one can fight no wars, ma’am.”

Disciple Merchant: “…Is that right?”

Disciple Soldier: “Hunger is merely an excuse for weaklings.”

Disciple Nobleman: “In the first place, a Feudal Lord willing to subject his subjects to starvation does not exist.”

Maid Elder Sister: “…So you’re saying starvation does not exist?”

The Demon King: “…Next we’ll talk about the Southern Frozen Ocean. In other words, the body of water which envelops the Southern Kingdoms and the Continent. This ocean is both militarily and economically vital. At present, approximately 25% of battles with the Demon King’s Army take place in this ocean…”

RING RING RING

The Chief Maid: “Madam, it is time to end the lesson.”

The Demon King: “Is it already time? In that case, today’s lesson ends here. We shall resume tomorrow. The Swordsman will arrive tomorrow to give you lessons.”

Disciple Soldier: “I have been looking forward to this.”

Disciple Nobleman: “Tomorrow will be great.”

The Demon King: “Well then, you are dismissed. I have to proceed to the House of Elders to deliver a lecture on Agriculture at nightfall.”

 

—— In the Corridors of the Mansion

The Hero: “Hey. Good work.”

The Demon King: “Good work.”

The Hero: “You look very tired.”

The Demon King: “Why did I even bring up education in the first place…? I didn’t think it would be so tiring to have human children as my opponent. They’re just like animals. You can neither reason nor converse with any of them.”

The Hero: “Ahh.”

The Demon King: “Why are these people so proud?”

The Hero: “It’s because they’re the sons of noblemen, soldiers and merchants, is it not?”

The Demon King: “I’d rather turn them into frogs.”

The Hero: “Don’t joke about this.”

The Demon King: “I’m not joking.”

The Hero: “You should stop.”

The Demon King: “Is that so?”

The Hero: “You’re headed to the home of the Village Elder, right? It’s along the way for me as well.”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Stronghold: For any sort of military exercise, a staging point is needed. In military terms, this may be a fortification or a critical city. Here, the army’s military strength is gathered, supplies are stockpiled, soldiers are rested and deployed.

Supply Lines: This refers to the route which important supplies (such as food and ammunition) for combat forces are shipped. Those who operate along this route are collectively known as Supply Units. If this route is shut down or Supply Units exterminated, without supplies the troops will no longer be capable of combat.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

— From the Doorstep of the Mansion towards the Village Centre

Wind blows.

The Demon King: “Brr. It’s cold.”

The Hero: “It’s not even snowing.”

The Demon King: “But it is cold, Hero.”

The Hero: “I was hunting boars for an entire day in this cold, wasn’t I? You were at home so don’t complain.”

The Demon King: “No. It’s cold.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “…I can’t say that either?”

The Hero: “Fine, look here.”

The Hero hugs the Demon King.

The Hero: “Is that warm enough?”

The Demon King: “Yep, it’s warm.”

The Hero: “You’re in a good mood.”

The Demon King: (… I’m always in a good mood. If I’m with The Hero.)

The Demon King: “Hehe. It’s not bad.”

The Hero: “You look good.”

The Demon King: “It’s really great that I own you.”

The Hero: “Ah— Ahem”

The Demon King: “?”

The Hero: “Me too.”

The Demon King: “Well, we’ve finally carried out the lessons. It’s strange that I’m complaining about them right now.”

The Hero: “Well, well.”

The Demon King: “It’s sad that we still have to rely on power politics… It’s only because we accepted the son of a nobleman that we gained the prestige required for the farmers to cooperate to learn these new farming techniques. These experiments will commence for real in the summer.”

The Hero: “Within the Southern Kingdoms, the distance between the nobility and the people is already rather close. Compared to the Central Continent, social distance is already fairly lessened.”

The Demon King: “Is that so…? It’s already considered close here…?”

The Hero: “But this is the first step. Don’t be hasty. We may have a few years before any results.”

The Demon King: “No, we’ll see results next year.”

The Hero: “Can it be done?”

The Demon King: “I have a secret weapon.”

The Hero: “And just what is that?”

The Demon King rummages around.

The Demon King: “This.”

The Hero: “What’s this round thing?”

The Demon King: “This is a Potato. It’s produce.”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “This is a plant. It looks like this because it’s been unearthed, but usually this round bit is in the soil.”

The Hero: “Uh huh.”

The Demon King: “This is a rather delicious and nutritious root. On top of that, the edible portion can be buried under the soil, where it will not be Attacked by Birds. Moreover, it grows beautifully in Unfertile Soil, frozen soil and even hard soil. And on top of all of that, the Crop Yield is calculated to be three times more than that of wheat.”

The Hero: “For real?!”

The Demon King: “Yeah, I’m completely serious.”

The Hero: “A miracle food?!”

The Demon King: “You could say so, though it’s from the Demon World.”

The Hero: “…”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Potato: A product of the Andes Mountains in South America. It was carried to Europe in the 16th century and has been used as food since the 16th century. Resistant to cold, it can be planted many times. Adam Smith wrote that ‘it has three times the yield of wheat.’

Attacked by Birds: For produce, leaving them in the open will result in them being vulnerable to being eaten by birds. Potatoes, being underground, are resistant to birds.

Unfertile Soil: Soil which is difficult for plants to grow on. As it is lacking in the necessary bacteria, even if fertilizer or supplements were applied, they will not be broken down and absorbed by the plants. For this reason, compost is added to introduce bacteria and improve the quality of the soil.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The Demon King: “That’s the great thing about contact between different cultures and civilizations. No matter how unfortunate the means of contact are, contact is still contact.”

The Hero: “I have very mixed feelings about this.”

The Demon King: “To begin with, one cannot say the potato has no flaws.”

The Hero: “What does it have?”

The Demon King: “Well for one, it’s Poisonous.”

The Hero: “Then we can’t use it!”

The Demon King: “No, it’s not a strong poison. It only becomes poisonous when it has been exposed to sunlight and germinates. If harvested and stored in the proper conditions there are no problems. If it’s kept in a dark place it can even be stored for up to a year.”

The Hero: “Hmm…”

The Demon King: “There are also Difficulties with Replanting. But if this potato meets the requirements, then it can be planted three times a year.”

The Hero: “It sounds amazing, as to be expected from a plant from the Demon World.”

The Demon King: “Yeah. But in the process it sucks up a lot of the soil’s nutrients, in other words, ‘The Blessings of the Earth’ are greatly depleted. As it only uses the type of Blessings that it requires, if one were to continue planting it in the same area, the yield quality would decrease and one might even fall sick from it.”

The Hero: “Hmm.”

The Demon King: “Just a bit more.”

The Hero: “What?”

The Demon King: “Hold me just a bit more. If there’s a gap then it’ll get cold.”

The Hero: “Y-yeah… Ah— It’s problematic if we get too close.”

The Demon King: “… Does my body disgust you?”

The Hero: “No, no, it’s not like that.”

The Demon King: “Well, in any case. I intend to use this food to combat the frozen famine. As long as we take care to avoid the poison, we shouldn’t have many problems. But the real problem is the difficulty with replanting.”

The Hero: “I’m starting to understand this better, but…”

The Demon King: “The Blessings of the Earth will return in time, but if we don’t work to restore them, there is a limit to the level the yield can increase up to.”

The Hero: “Should we pray to the Guardian Spirits of the Earth?”

The Demon King: “That’s right, it’s a type of prayer.”

The Hero: “Aren’t you an Atheist?”

The Demon King: “It doesn’t matter if I’m an atheist or anything, as long as it’s useable, as an Economist, I will use it without stop, without pause and without shame.”

The Hero: “You’re some kind of evil demon.”

The Demon King: “We’ll make Sacrifices to the land as a proof of contract. These sacrifices work whether in human society or in economics. Things like burnt food or animals, the excrement of animals or leftover food.”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Crop Yield: The quantity of produce that a certain plot of land is capable of producing. In modern times, 1 hectare can give 4 tons of wheat, 30 tons of potatoes or 5 tons of rice. Potatoes have more than 8 times the yield of wheat. As technology in the world of the novel has yet to fully progress, the yield is only half.

Potato Toxicity: Potatoes contain poison. It is particularly present in the skin and shoots. Due to its poisonous nature, strange shape, and the fact that it is not written about in the Bible, it was originally believed to be the plant of demons and shunned.

Difficulties with Replanting: As the same plant is repeatedly planted, things necessary for growth like soil nutrients get depleted and it gradually becomes difficult to sustain life. For this reason, in order to prevent this, extra fertilizer or rotation systems must be adopted.

Atheism: The system of belief which rejects belief in gods and the belief that the world was created or sustained by gods. Agnosticism is simply the lack of belief in any organized religion, but does not reject the belief in gods. Atheism goes to the extreme of rejecting belief in the existence of gods.

Sacrifice: This refers to fertilizer or nutrients added for plants to grow. In the modern day, nutrients, phosphates and calcium are the three main ingredients. Fertilizers help to replenish this and allow produce to grow.

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The Hero: “Hmm. That really doesn’t seem like a sacrifice.”

The Demon King: “What I really want are Fish from the Southern Frozen Ocean.”

The Hero: “Why?”

The Demon King: “Fish make good sacrifices.”

The Hero: “Do you want to buy some? I can teleport us there.”

The Demon King: “I’m grateful for that but, we’re going to need more than we can carry that way. One field will require fifty of them. We’ll need that every year. Surprised?”

The Hero: “Wow. I am.”

The Demon King: “Is that unreasonable?”

The Hero: “Yes.”

The Demon King: “But there’s a bigger problem.”

The Hero: “What? There are problems with the Southern Frozen Ocean?”

The Demon King: “Yeah. There are two. The first, as I’m sure you know, is the Southern Frozen General.”

The Hero: “…That old man?”

The Demon King: “Yeah, that guy. Even for a member of the race of Fangs, he’s tough. I hear he continues to stir up violence even though the Demon King is in hiding. As the commander of the race of Silver Scales, the race of Flying Fish and the race of Metal Tortoises, he’s a person to be feared in the Demon World.”

The Hero: “I’ve fought with him a few times. He’s ridiculously huge and he’s really good with his harpoon.”

The Demon King: “If we want to operate in the Southern Frozen Ocean, we will inevitably clash with him.”

The Hero: “Hmm…”

The Demon King: “And another thing is the ‘Union.’”

The Hero: “The what?”

The Demon King: “I was going to tell you this later, but… Now is quite a good opportunity to explain.”

The Hero: “Yeah.”

The Demon King: “Its official name is the ‘Economic Union of Southern Independent Cities and Free Merchants.’ But it’s known as the Union everywhere nowadays.”

The Hero: “I seem to have heard of it, is it famous?”

The Demon King: “The name is famous but, there aren’t many humans who know exactly how it works. It is especially unimportant to people who are not merchants.”

The Hero: “In other words, it’s an assembly of merchants?”

The Demon King: “Yeah, that’s right. About 50 years ago, the grain producing free cities along the coast banded together to form an organization. It was created to protect the Special Trading Rights of its constituent members.”

The Hero: “Special Trading Rights?”

The Demon King: “Yeah. In order to carry goods from one place to another place, you’ll need permits, right?”

The Hero: “Yeah.”

The Demon King: “Merchantmen want to obtain this ‘Permit,’ and when they get it, they want to protect it. Of course, the presence or absence of the permit decides whether or not one can even trade. It’s a matter of life and death.”

The Hero: “Mmhmm.”

The Demon King: “As time passed, the taxation systems were revised. Even the same permits had different levels of taxation. In this way, royalty and nobility could come into contact with the economy through taxation. But the converse was also true, and Economists, in other words merchants, also came into contact with people in positions of power like nobility and royalty.”

The Hero: “Wow, that’s really complicated.”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Fish from the Southern Frozen Ocean: This refers to Herring. After extracting the herring oil, the body can be dried to form herring flakes, which are an excellent fertilizer. Aside from fertilizer, they can also be used for chicken feed.

General: I don’t think this needs explanation.

Union: Merchants buy the trading rights to cities from their owners, and these cities as a union may have enough power to stand up to other countries. An example is the Hanseatic League during the High Middle Ages.

Special Trading Rights: The rights to certain privileges when trading. Lower rates of taxation, exclusive rights to certain harbours or even expulsion of rival merchants.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The Demon King: “The Union is the biggest of such merchant organizations. The scope of their operations is beyond what you can imagine.”

The Hero: “Eh? How big can it be? About a thousand people?”

The Demon King: “In this case, population is not the issue at hand.”

The Hero: “Is that so?”

The Demon King: “It’s an Economic organization. Their weapons are the amount of wealth they can move and their ability to influence economic flow. Military might has nothing to do with population.”

The Hero: “That seems logical… Then just how much power do they have?”

The Demon King: “Their economic influence extends to both the South and Centre, the entire land area of the Continent. Nobody knows just how large their economic scope is, but extrapolating from their economic involvement in world history, it’s bound to be an astronomical figure.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “Even as a least estimate, they could buy the Southern Kingdoms five times over.”

The Hero: “Ehh?!”

The Demon King: “That’s the kind of organization it is.”

The Hero: “What the hell?!”

The Demon King: “Furthermore, even if we limited it to just the Southern Kingdoms, about 60% of all wheat which flows through cities goes through the hands of the Union. If they felt like it, they could replace a Feudal Lord or even a Prime Minister.”

The Hero: “What monsters.”

The Demon King: “Unmistakably monsters. The lives of Humans are carried on the backs of Monsters.”

The Hero: “I have received multiple requests from the Union in the past, and made quite a few motivational speeches.”

The Demon King: “Is that so?”

The Hero: “Yeah. Things like ‘Take down the Demon King, hey, hey, hey!’ Ladies with flowing dresses would appear singing on balconies and shout words of encouragement.”

The Demon King: “It’s Propaganda. I suppose you got a few thousand gold pieces for it.”

The Hero: “All they gave me in thanks was 15 gold coins?! Ughh. That’s the kind of guy…”

The Demon King: “Don’t be so depressed, Hero.”

The Hero: “I was cheated by those people…”

The Demon King: “Economics isn’t your strong suit, it’s not unexpected.”

The Hero: “I told you about the affectionate, sparkling eyes of those ladies. Just those alone filled my heart with pride and sent me flying to the Demon World.”

The Demon King: “…”

The Hero: “The young man whom I was commissioned by told me he was counting on my return for a Victory Parade Party. He even elbowed me and told me I was really popular with the ladies… Now that I think about it, he must have been a merchant too.”

The Demon King: “…”

The Hero: “Ughhh. I’m a failure of a Hero.”

The Demon King: “Hmm, harsh lessons are often necessary.”

The Hero: “In other words, those people are the enemy.”

The Demon King: “Don’t say such impetuous things.”

The Hero: “It’s okay, they’re the enemy. I’m going to use the highest level Lightning Area Magic on them.”

The Demon King: “Don’t use Siege Spells so flippantly!”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

The Lives of Humans are borne on the Backs of Demons: In Thomas Hobbes’ philosophical treatise ‘Leviathan,’ governments were seen as a type of political monster. People derive power from it, and in return pledge to protect the right of other people. In this manner, massive corporations can also be seen as monsters. In this case, the Union is seen as a humanly necessary economic monster.

Propaganda: Media meant to indoctrinate a set ideology into the people. It originally began as a way of spreading one’s righteous beliefs, but it has come to use lies and exaggerations to twist reports in order to misinform people towards following a certain path.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The Hero: “But I was lied to!”

The Demon King: “Are you a little kid? — To begin with, the Union doesn’t even have an ideology. They’re just a collection of merchants with the sole purpose of getting richer, pooling their knowledge, protecting themselves and their interests. At the end of the day, they’re just a monstrous organization whose aggrandizement is unrelated to personal will. They may have lied to you, but it wasn’t their aim, and taking revenge on the Union will not hurt those involved.”

The Hero: “Ugh, how unnecessarily infuriating.”

The Demon King: “They are neither our friends nor our enemies. They’re rather like wild beasts.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: (But, possibly…)

The Hero: “Ugh. It’s all just a bunch of things I don’t know.”

The Demon King: “Don’t complain.”

The Hero: “Well, it’s fine. As long as it’s time to fight, I have every intention of being at the forefront.”

The Demon King: “…I will always be by your side.”

The Hero: “Likewise.”

The Demon King: “Ah~ Ah~”

The Hero: “What’s up?”

The Demon King: “Look, it’s the Village Elder’s house. Today I have to give a talk on how to Crystallize the Blessings of the Earth using clover.”

The Hero: “I-Is that so?”

The Demon King: “…Umm.”

The Hero: “Yeah.”

The Demon King: “I’ll be back in four hours, so—”

The Hero: “I understand.”

The Demon King: “S-see you soon.”

The Hero: “Yup! See you soon!”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Crystallizing the Blessings of the Earth: Legumes such as clover have a specialized bacteria known as Rhizobium in their roots that converts nitrogen in the air to nitrates. For this reason, fields that have first had legumes planted on them become nitrate fertilizer rich.

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< Chapter 1                                                                                                                                                        Chapter 3 >

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12 thoughts on “Volume 1 Chapter 2

    • Haha yes I was a bit conflicted on that one. Historically, this has more parallels to the medieval period where a male governor would be far more common rather than the Victorian era governess. Tutor was a bit icky.

  1. Pingback: Chapters Completed in Recent Weeks | NanoDesu Light Novel Translations

  2. “Such as fertilizing the fish of the South Ice Seas ” Accesories->System Tools). You only have to change the font face with tags for that particular character. For example, Arial has two musical notes: ♪♫

  3. Shouldn’t it be sowing seeds instead of sawing seeds? (Isn’t the practice of farming just sawing seeds and reaping the harvest?) And you also forgot to replace by a musical note. These mistakes are also in the pdf version. Anyway, thank you for your hard work!

  4. It should be: And you also forgot to replace “musical note, can someone help me insert it? I have no idea how” by a musical note. Don’t know why the text between “” is missing.

  5. Ok, sorry for spamming but it looks like that it doesn’t display a text between “less-than sign” and “greater-than sign”.

  6. I’ve learned more about economics and politics from these first 2 chapters than all my time in high school and this is actually interesting

  7. ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Explanation

    Fish from the Southern Frozen Ocean: This refers to Herring. After extracting the herring oil, the body can be dried to form herring flakes, which are an excellent fertilizer. Aside from fertilizer, they can also be used for chicken feed.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    General: I don’t think this needs explanation.

    Union: Merchants buy the trading rights to cities from their owners, and these cities as a union may have enough power to stand up to other countries. An example is the Hanseatic League during the High Middle Ages.

    Special Trading Rights: The rights to certain privileges when trading. Lower rates of taxation, exclusive rights to certain harbours or even expulsion of rival merchants.

    [horizontal line bar should be here]

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