Volume 1 Chapter 9

Chapter 9, “I Like to Touch this Hair” 

—— The Village of Wintering, Late Summer, the Diary of the Little Maid Sister

Summer is about to end. It has been half a year since the Hero came back.

The Mistress has been constantly in high spirits. The Paladin comes every day. Even when there are no swordsmanship lessons, she still manages to come up with some reason to come over. Sis has to make lunch for six people every day, so when it rains and it seems like the Paladin wouldn’t be coming over, it’s really a headache for her. Because that means I’ll get really fat.

The Chief Maid left on a trip for a bit, and when she came back she was really angry. I’m sorry for skipping school. But, I really can’t skip cleaning!

Moreover, I learnt a lot of names of flowers this year. I also learnt how to bake bread. Today I made the bento for the Hero. He goes somewhere different every day, but he always comes back late in the evening.

Today he went hunting for boars to make boar hotpot. Good job, Hero!

 

—— The Village of Wintering, the Mansion of the Demon King, Training at the Backyard

The Female Paladin: “Slow! Raise your arms higher!”

Lousy Soldier: “Yes, ma’am!” Swings sword.

Lousy Knight: “Yes, ma’am!” Swings sword.

The Female Paladin: “Wrong, hold the shield properly. Don’t expose your throat! Don’t drop your posture! Stab hard and fast for the centre of the mass! If you expose your weak points, you will die on the field!”

Lousy Soldier: “Y, yah!” Swings sword.

Lousy Knight: “Take, this!” Swings sword.

The Hero: “Wrong!! It’s more like this… Swing here, then here! Then here!”

Disciple Nobleman: “Hah!” Swings sword.

Disciple Soldier: “Haiya!” Swings sword.

The Hero: “Not bad, move your leg a bit further back!”

Disciple Nobleman: “Like, like this?” Shuffles.

Disciple Soldier: “You’re finally getting it.” Swings sword.

Disciple Nobleman: “So, like this?” Swings sword.

Disciple Soldier: “That’s it!” Swings sword.

The Hero: “See, you can do it if you try. Now another 3,000 swings!”

Disciple Nobleman: “Whaaat?!”

Disciple Soldier: “Wh-what?!”

The Female Paladin: “Alright, stop! Run five laps around the lake!”

Lousy Soldier: “Y-yes, ma’am!”

Lousy Knight: “F-five?!”

The Female Paladin: “It’s pointless if you’re not tired out. On the battlefield, running away only happens after a fair deal of fighting, doesn’t it? In other words, you’ll be as tired as you are now, and if your legs can’t move it’s really a life-or-death situation. Now hurry up and get going!”

Lousy Soldier & Lousy Knight: “Y-yes, ma’am!”

The Hero: “Alright then, you guys go as well. Don’t lose out.”

Disciple Nobleman: “Huh?!”

Disciple Soldier: “Yes!”

The Hero: “Wait, you guys take these sacks of potatoes with you too!”

Disciple Nobleman: “What?! Why?! That’s insane!”

The Hero: “If you’re fleeing and you see a little kid, you’ve got to carry the kid with you and run, right? That’s what it means to be a Hero.”

Disciple Nobleman sobs.

Disciple Soldier: “Un-understood! Let’s go!”

Disciple Nobleman: “Ahhhhh!”

The Hero: “Ah—! What strapping young men! How refreshing!”

The Female Paladin: “They don’t exercise nearly enough.”

The Hero: “That’s not true, someone else tires them out when she teaches them.”

The Female Paladin: “You’re about there yourself, you bully.”

The Hero: “Really? I guess so.”

The Female Paladin: “They’re going to die eventually.”

The Hero: “It’s alright, it’s alright. It’s a real learning experience if you die halfway!”

The Female Paladin: “Really now…”

The Hero: “Whew, it’s so hot.” Throws armour off.

The Female Paladin: “Don’t throw of your armour. It’s disgraceful.”

The Hero: “You’re so strict… Fine. Is this okay?” Lays it down gingerly.

The Female Paladin: “Yeah, it’s a weapon for protecting your life. Treat it with some dignity.”

The Hero: “It’s hot—I’m going to go take a bath by the well.”

The Female Paladin: “Oh, really?”

The Hero walks off.

The Female Paladin walks off as well.

The Hero: “Hm?”

The Female Paladin: “What’s wrong?”

The Hero: “Why are you following me?”

The Female Paladin: “It’s too hot, I need to take a bath too.”

The Hero: “Is that so.”

The Female Paladin: “Mmm.”

The Hero: “Alright, shall we? Ngg!” Cranks pump.

The Female Paladin: “Ohh. Good work! This pump thing is really convenient.”

The Hero: “Really… Have we got enough water?”

Water gushes out.

The Female Paladin: “Ahh, that feels great! I’m all rested up.”

The Hero: “Alright… Let’s go, let’s go!”

Water gushes out.

The Female Paladin: “Ahh, how cooling! So relaxing! Again!”

The Hero: “You’re really enjoying yourself! …Okay, here we go again.”

The Female Paladin: “You’re a really good guy.”

Water gushes out.

The Female Paladin: “Fuu, a bath after all this training is the best.”

The Hero: “Indeed!”

The Female Paladin: “Then, one more please.”

The Hero: “Leave it to me… Hang on a bit, it’s midsummer and I’m standing here covered in sweat for you!”

The Female Paladin: “You’re a guy and still you’re so hung up on the little things.”

The Hero: “This bath was my idea!”

The Female Paladin: “Here, a wet towel.”

The Hero: “Nice! It feels great! Like hell it does!” Annoyed

The Female Paladin: “No choice then. I’ll have to draw the water. Let’s switch.”

The Hero: “Alright!”

The Female Paladin: “Let’s go then.” Stands up.

The Hero: “…?!”

The Female Paladin: “What?”

The Hero: “H-h-h-hey!”

The Female Paladin: “Don’t make such a slimy face.”

The Hero: “Hey, wh-what. Why do you just have a towel on?”

The Female Paladin: “I was bathing, wasn’t I? Ahh, what’s wrong? Hey, Hero. My breasts are completely hidden when I’m wearing this towel, that’s the size they are, is this some kind of joke?! You and Grandpa, always making me feel like I’m nothing! I’m going to cut you up!”

The Hero: “It’s all white, it’s all white”

The Female Paladin: “Hey, hurry up and get down there.”

The Hero: “Y-yeah.” Trembles.

The Female Paladin: “Damnit. Now he’s reduced to a muttering mess. Let’s go. Hero, the water’s coming—”

The Hero: “Y-yeah.”

The Female Paladin: “Alright! …Ngg”

The Hero: “It’s coming—“

Water gushes out.

The Female Paladin: “Wash your hair as well… Oof.”

The Hero: “I’m not a kid!”

Water gushes out.

The Female Paladin: “Hey, Hero.”

The Hero: “?”

The Female Paladin: “I’ll lend this to you. It’s soap we made at the Holy Order.”

The Hero: “Ohh, thanks.”

The Female Paladin: “Watch out it’s slippery.”

Water gushes out.

The Hero: “Ahhh, I’m all washed up!”

The Female Paladin: “Me too.”

The Hero: “…! …!” Jumps around.

The Female Paladin: “What’s wrong? Did you get possessed?”

The Hero: “There’s water in my ear.”

The Female Paladin: “You’re such a kid. Here, use this towel.”

The Hero: “Ohh, thanks.”

The Female Paladin: “Rub it in properly, your hair’s all fluffy after all. It absorbs a lot of water, and probably a lot of sweat as well.”

The Hero: “Understood.” Rubs hair with towel.

The Female Paladin: “Did you bring a comb?”

The Hero: “The Demon King does it for me. I don’t have one myself.”

The Female Paladin: “Is that so…”

The Hero: “Hah!” Sits down.

The Female Paladin: “What’s wrong?”

The Hero: “Just felt like taking a seat.”

The Female Paladin: “Ahh, what a nice wind…” Wind blows.

The Hero: “This country is really the best at the end of Summer.”

The Female Paladin: “Yeah, and the chestnuts will be great this time of the year.”

Grass sways as wind blows…

The Hero: “…”

The Female Paladin: “…”

The Female Paladin: “It would be nice if it was like this forever.”

The Hero: “Yeah—“

The Female Paladin: “…”

The Hero: “…”

Grass sways as wind blows…

The Female Paladin: “It can’t though.”

The Hero: “Yeah.”

The Female Paladin: “If two of your wives are living together, then they’ll compete to see who gets to be the first wife—“

The Hero: “Even within the Demon World, it’s hard to say when it’ll achieve peace. Though it’s time for us to move—“

The Hero and the Female Paladin: “Eh?”

The Female Paladin: “Ah, ahh! That’s right! Up to now, the war has been a stalemate, but obviously we don’t want it to remain a stalemate.”

The Hero: “That’s true.”

The Female Paladin: “…What a problem.”

The Hero: “Hm?”

The Female Paladin: “I’ve been thinking.”

The Hero: “Yeah.”

The Female Paladin: “That old Archer, me, you… and that annoyingly well-endowed Demon King. If we formed a party and attacked all those generals and fortresses, if we could completely destroy the military power, wouldn’t that put an end to the war?”

The Hero: “Ahh. Well.”

The Female Paladin: “No?”

The Hero: “It’s hard to say.”

The Female Paladin: “The Demon King is an ally of mankind, right?”

The Hero: “That’s not entirely accurate.”

The Female Paladin: “Really?”

The Hero: “The Demon King is trying to achieve an end to the war which is neither a victory nor a defeat. That’s why I don’t think she’d agree to a proposal that involves such annihilation.”

The Female Paladin: “Is that so.”

The Hero: “She intends to save the Demon Race as well in her way.”

The Female Paladin: “Is that… so?”

The Hero: “Probably.”

The Female Paladin: “How odd.”

The Hero: “I don’t think so. I think this is much better.”

The Female Paladin: “Really?”

The Hero: “You and I are definitely strong… The Mage who went to the Cosmic Library as well. I’m fairly certain we can take down any enemy. However, taking down enemies and protecting our friends may seem the same, but are completely different. It’s good and all for us to take down the entire Demon Army, but if we’re not around and the Demon Army were to launch a counter-attack, who would defend the people then?”

The Female Paladin: “That’s the responsibility of the Holy Crusaders and the rest of the Human Army.”

The Hero: “Do you think that will solve things?”

The Female Paladin: “I’m sure of it.”

The Hero: “Moreover, what will we do after we purge all the Demon extremists?”

The Female Paladin: “Eh?” Stunned.

The Hero: “If we destroy the fortresses and the army, there’ll be a massive number of Demons left, right? There are Demons who didn’t take part in the war, or Demons who are neutral. If humans were to completely obliterate the Demon Army, that would leave the Demons defenceless. That would mean each of the Demon Races would be failed states. — And then, what will we do?”

The Female Paladin: “Th-that’s…”

The Hero: “Will we hunt them? Will we make them slaves? Or will we do what the Demon King said… Colonise?”

The Female Paladin: “What do you mean?”

The Hero: “ ‘The practice of invading someone else’s land and exploiting their resources for oneself.’ That.“

The Female Paladin: “That’s not… There’s no way Humans would—”

The Hero: “That’s what I said too.”

The Female Paladin: “!”

The Hero: “I couldn’t continue either. In any case, can you begin to understand the anger faced by the Demons who are taken as slaves from the Humans? There will be countless retaliations against the Humans and the seeds will just be sown for this world to explode into violence again.”

The Female Paladin: “That’s…”

The Hero: “Let’s assume the Demons manage to kill off the bulk of the Human Army and advance into the Human World, breaking up the Southern United Kingdoms and conquering the Holy City. Every human, down to the last one, is conquered by the Demons. In every part of the world, humans are treated like cattle. Through the sweltering hot Summer, through the freezing Winter, they have to continue on in a state of hunger and misery. What would you do then?”

The Female Paladin: “Until my life is gone, I will kill the Demons!”

The Hero: “There you go, what’s the difference?”

The Female Paladin: “…”

The Hero: “In this case, what’s the difference between this and another world war? How would the five or six of us be able to put an end to it? The world would continue in misery until it ended, wouldn’t it?

The Demon King is weak. Even though she’s the Demon King, she makes me laugh. If we were to fight one-on-one, well… She’s the same as the Lone Winter King I suppose. I guess that King’s a bit more headstrong. But, it’s about the same. Whether it’s you or Granpda, I doubt there would be a problem defeating either of them.”

The Female Paladin: “…”

The Hero: “But, from the beginning, she’s… Already noticed that there was such a solution. It would not be difficult to end this war through a show of extreme force. But, there would be no way to put out the flames of war.”

The Female Paladin flinches.

The Hero: “She’s quite amazing. Of course she has a stupendous knowledge, but her ability to make considerations is amazing.”

The Female Paladin: “That’s why…”

The Hero: “?”

The Female Paladin: “That’s why you…”

The Hero: “Yeah?”

The Female Paladin: (Love her…?)

The Hero: “Yep. That’s why we’re comrades.”

The Female Paladin: “…”

Grass sways as wind blows…

The Hero: “On another note—“

The Female Paladin: “…”

The Hero: “You’re pretty amazing yourself—“

The Female Paladin: “Eh?”

The Hero: “You became the Grandmaster of the Holy Order after you came back from the Demon World, right? You helped to raise the living standards for the poor farmers, and other good things, even though just a year before, you were slicing Boar Demons to 3cm slices!”

The Female Paladin: “That’s because you brought it back!”

The Hero: “But, still, amazing.” Distant smile.

The Hero: “All of you were amazing. I was surprised, shocked even. Every day we ate our fill, and I was always luckily enough to have such warm people by my side. I was happy.”

The Female Paladin: “There was no outcome to that.”

The Hero: “Really? But, still—Heh.”

The Female Paladin: “…”

Grass sways as wind blows.

The Hero: “All I know how to do is destroy things, so the two of you were… No, everyone was… wonderful.”

 

—— The Village of Wintering, the Mansion of the Demon King, Bathroom

Door opens.

The Hero: “Heyyyy!”

The Demon King: “Hi, is training over?”

The Hero: “It’s over, it just finished.”

The Demon King: “Good job!”

The Hero: “Are you taking a break as well?”

The Demon King: “Mmm, the negotiations over the proposal have concluded.”

Little Maid Sister: “The Mistress has been all jittery and excited over your coming back home, Hero!”

The Demon King: “What are you saying, what are you saying” Squeezes cheeks.

Little Maid Sister: “Boohoo. I’m… Sowwy…”

The Hero: “Ah, what good friends you are.”

Little Maid Sister coughs.

The Demon King: “It’s because she said something unnecessary.”

Little Maid Sister: “Alright, please take a seat. I’ll bring some orange water in a while.”

The Demon King: “What’s that?”

The Hero: “Is it cold?”

Little Maid Sister: “It’s water cooled in bottles in the well ♪ I came up with it myself!”

The Demon King: “Well, well.”

The Hero: “It’s delicious!”

Little Maid Sister: “Thanks! ♪”

The Demon King: “This is… Carbon Dioxide?”

Little Maid Sister: “I learnt it from the mistress, so I wanted to put it to some use!”

The Demon King: “You’re still too young to be a brewer.”

The Hero: “It’s bubbly and delicious. The sweetness of the honey goes great with it too.”

Little Maid Sister: “Thanks! ♪”

The Demon King: “That girl is probably going to be a great chef some day.”

The Hero: “Heh? That glutton?”

The Demon King: “An excellent chef has to be someone who knows how to appreciate food.”

The Hero: “Really?”

Little Maid Sister: “Chef?”

The Demon King: “Someone who cooks great food.”

Little Maid Sister: “That sounds wonderful ♪”

The Hero: “Wow, there are flowers in it too.”

The Demon King: “Amazing!”

The Hero: “This is so good it really makes me want to drool.”

Little Maid Sister: “I’ve got to go tell sis!”

The Hero: “What about?”

Little Maid Sister: “I’ve become a chef! I’m going to make a feast every single day!”

The Hero: “I think you’ve misunderstood something!”

Little Maid Sister: “I’m going!”

Door slams shut! Little Maid Sister runs off!

The Demon King: “How boisterous.”

The Hero: “Yeah, but she seems happy.”

The Demon King: “?”

The Hero: “At the beginning, she was always hiding behind her sister.”

The Demon King: “Yeah, but she still had a lot to say.”

The Hero: “‘The girl wearing spectacles is evil,’ right?”

The Demon King: “Ahh, that’s right. The Chief Maid really surprised me!”

The Hero: “Really?”

The Demon King: “Yeah, what did she say after that. ‘An existence where you don’t take charge of your existence is just that of an insect.’ That’s what she said.”

The Hero: “Yeah.”

The Demon King: “On a side note.”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “What’s up with you?”

The Hero: “What do you mean?”

The Demon King: “You’re so unkempt.”

The Hero: “What?”

The Demon King: “You’re terrible. I’ll comb it for you.”

The Hero: “Oh, my hair. It’s fine isn’t it.”

The Demon King: “It’s not fine. Take care of yourself more.”

The Hero: “Hehe.”

The Demon King brushes the Hero’s hair.

The Demon King: “It’s all fluffy.”

The Hero: “You’ve really brushed it.”

The Demon King: “Of course. It’s my hobby after all.”

The Hero: “Why… How troublesome.”

The Demon King: “It’s good. But, it would be nice if you let your fringe grow out. Why don’t you?”

The Hero: “Hmm—It’ll be troublesome if it gets in my eyes during battles.”

The Demon King: “Tomorrow… That’s happening right?”

The Hero: “Yeah, the Committee for the City of the Gate.”

The Demon King: “Are you going?”

The Hero: “Yeah. Of course. I’ll be going as the Black Knight, representing the name of the Demon King.”

The Demon King: “That’s the way it is.”

The Hero: “Is something bad about that?”

Brushes hair.

The Demon King: “Nothing bad per se, but the Fire Dragon Lord.”

The Hero: “Ahh, him? It’s true that when I first met him, he was a stubborn old fool just as they say, but recently he’s become more cooperative? Especially when his daughter was made the representative for Outskirts Demons at the Committee for the City of the Gate, he didn’t make one complaint.”

The Demon King: “Yeah, that’s the heart of the problem.”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “Ahh. Ahem, ahem. When the Committee is over, you’ll come straight back?”

The Hero: “No, this time it seems they’re having some Ennichi celebrations on the streets.”

The Demon King: “Ennichi?”

The Hero: “It’s some kind of Eastern festival. The East Fortress Commander suggested it.”

The Demon King: “Hmm.”

The Hero: “It seems there’ll be lots of free, cheap and special food to eat and the night will be lit up with lanterns. After that, there’ll be a band to play music.”

The Demon King: “The goal is for interaction?”

The Hero: “Yeah, relations are still tense between the human merchants and the Demons. In this way, the merchants will get to interact with the Demons while having fun.”

The Demon King: “Do you understand the feeling of being conquered and colonised?”

The Hero: “Yeah, I experienced it myself.”

The Demon King: “What an unfortunate example. The administration of the Human Holy Crusaders wasn’t just bad, it can be said to have been a disaster.”

The Hero: “The Merchants don’t discriminate so heavily against the Demons and there are people like the East Fortress Commander who treat them fairly.”

The Demon King: “Though he needs to calm down a little.”

The Hero: “Well, he’s done his best. Now I’ll be the representative of the Demon King. As long as I stand glowering from the balcony, I’m sure the members of the Committee will behave themselves like good children.”

The Demon King: “Hmm, is that so… That being said, what’s the topic for discussion?”

The Hero: “There has been a proposal for the construction of a hospital to help treat injuries and boost healthcare and hygiene.”

 

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Explanation

Ennichi: A special day where people go to Shinto temples to pray. A lot less common nowadays, it was also a day for people to throw festivals and set up stalls selling food and games.

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

 

The Demon King: “Ohh, a good viewpoint.”

The Hero: “It was proposed by the Fire Dragon Lady. It’s not going to be a charitable mission but the Fire Dragon Race has already proposed to put up half the funding as well as tools and building materials. This job will require a large labour force, so there have been a lot of poor Demons flooding the streets, it’s not a very nice thing to say, but it’s creating a very bad vibe in the area.”

The Demon King: “Public Good, eh? It will be interesting to watch what the economic result will be.”

The Hero: “Anyway, it seems all of us will be heading to the Ennichi festival, the Fire Dragon Lady mentioned something about Apple Candy, so I’ll be back home late.”

The Demon King: “—“

The Hero: “Showing my face and helping the residents to relax more is also one of my responsibilities.”

The Demon King: “—“

 

—— The Winter Palace, the Study with a Mountain of Books

Lone Winter King: “It’s this bad?”

Butler: “Young man, are you alright?”

Lone Winter King: “Bring me a strong iced wine—— No, alcohol is suicide. Bring me some tea. Make it really strong.”

Butler: “Yes.”

Seneschal: “Your Majesty, while we prepare for the next group.”

Lone Winter King: “I, I understand. Five minutes, let me rest for five minutes.”

Butler: “Young man, here’s your tea.”

Lone Winter King: “This is really hard work.”

Butler: “Indeed it is. As it should be.”

Gulps down tea.

Lone Winter King: “Can we speed up the deliberations?”

Butler: “Nope, the very nature of deliberations are slow.”

Lone Winter King: “But at the present state…”

Butler: “Yes, but it really can’t be helped.”

Lone Winter King: “Don’t tell me because of that Tripartite Agreement, the number of reports, petitions and appeals have accumulated to this extent!”

Butler: “It was beyond our expectations.”

Lone Winter King: “To begin with, have we not already split tax collection into Spring and Autumn and gotten the landlords to move the goods to warehouses in the cities?”

Butler: “Indeed.”

Lone Winter King: “Municipally, we’ve already issued the decree to abolish serfdom and settled the issue of nutrition in the army. So why is the workload still increasing?!”

Butler: “With the route through the Southern Artic Ocean open, we’ve got port Docking Permits. We’ve got tax invoices from merchants, applications for Migration… It’s probably impossible for you to handle everything by yourself, your majesty.”

 

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Explanation

Public Good: A good or service provided by the government or other bodies such as roads or bridges that the entirety of society will be able to benefit from, which is paid for by public money. In more developed and urbanised countries like Japan, this is needed a lot less, but in places like the Demon World, it is utterly necessary for development to take place.

Docking Permits: Ports must set a limit on the number of ships which are allowed to enter to prevent congestion. For this reason, docking permits can become very expensive.

Immigration: At present, migration is no longer a particularly special occurrence. There were also many migrants in the Middle Ages and before that. It has been said that the true story of the 1284 Pied Piper of Hamelin was that the community migrated to the East.

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

 

 

Lone Winter King: “That’s right, where’s the rest of my officers? Don’t I have Tax Officers?”

Butler: “The system collapsed after an intense week and people moved to other jobs. To begin with, Tax Collection is a family business. That’s why we should have a dedicated civil service like the larger Kingdoms in the Central Continent.”

Seneschal: “Umm, Your Majesty? It’s time for the next delegation of merchants. May I send them in?”

Lone Winter King: “Yeah, there’s no choice, come in!”

Disciple Merchant: “Very pleased to make your acquaintance, Your Majesty!”

Bows.

Lone Winter King: “Ohh, glad you could make it, Merchant.”

Disciple Merchant: “What a splendid study.”

Butler: “This?”

Seneschal: “I’ll look in the mountain. Is it this?”

Lone Winter King: “Or is it this? That’s not right!”

Disciple Merchant: “What are you looking for?”

Lone Winter King: “Oh, sorry. You’re here to trade in herring, right? We’ve received the certificate you sent us, and it’s here somewhere… There’s also the issue of this month’s tax. I’m sorry, everything is everywhere.”

Merchant: “Oh if you’re looking for that.” Rummages through mountain.

Pulls out paper.

Disciple Merchant: “Here it is. This is the letter of introduction I submitted earlier… and the tax is—”

Pulls out paper.

Disciple Merchant: “Noted in this slip here.”

Pulls out paper.

Disciple Merchant: “These are the permit applications. This month’s is all tied up here, it’s just a few sheets but it’s quite messy.”

Lone Winter King: “Ohh! Good job! You’ve saved us a lot of time.”

Butler: “Every day is a battle in here.”

Seneschal: “Always a pointless battle. A battle of attrition so to speak.”

Lone Winter King: “So, Merchant. About the herring.”

Disciple Merchant: “I’m afraid you have it all mixed up. I’m the third son of a merchant family, the one who does the herring transactions is the second son, and the one who sits on the Merchant’s Union and handles the finances is the eldest son, I do not have anything to do. In other words, I am jobless.”

Lone Winter King: “Hmm, that’s a problem. Then, what have you come to my Palace for?”

Disciple Merchant: “This Letter of Introduction…”

His education is complete. Please use him for any work you find necessary, he is highly capable.

— Crimson

Lone Winter King: “…”

Disciple Merchant: “If the Palace is willing to lend me a small ship, I believe I can be useful in trading or in gathering economic intelligence. I am, after all, the son of a merchant family.”

Lone Winter King: “Hmm. You’ve come to the right place. Ahahaha.”

Butler: “This country always welcomes promising young people.”

Disciple Merchant: “Eh? Why are you all so happy?”

Lone Winter King: “Hahaha! Don’t worry about all the small things! Ahahaha!”

 

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Explanation

Tax Collector: This can be split into levying (the act of deciding who the tax burden goes to) and collection (the act of physically collecting taxes). The former is usually done by a higher-level official. Naturally, a fair degree of power is endowed to tax collectors to fulfil their duties.

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—— City of the Gate, A Large Boulevard during Ennichi

~♪~~♪

The Hero: “Heh, it’s fairly exciting out here.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Yeah, everything’s going according to plan, this is a good start.”

The Hero: “What a nice smell.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “That’s roast pork. Heh, how nostalgic. Hey, Black Knight. Let’s buy some.”

The Hero: “Oh, let’s, let’s!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “And some cold ale too.”

~♪~~♪

Human Merchant: “Welcome!”

The Hero: “Give me four slices of that wonderful smelling pork.”

Human Merchant: “Coming up! That’ll be two silver pieces!”

The Hero: “Can you really sell things for that price?”

Human Merchant: “For today’s festival, the City’s Merchant’s Association is absorbing half of all prices. We’re also going to have a big dance later on!”

The Hero: “Really—That’s a really wonderful smell!”

Human Merchant: “That’s right. This roast pork is marinated in secret spices from the Kingdom of the Dunes. Bro, you’ve really bought something good!”

~♪~~♪

East Fortress Base Commander: “Give me two flagons of ale!”

Demon Merchant: “Hey, aren’t you the East Fortress Base Commander?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Ahh, sorry for bothering you.”

Demon Merchant: “No, no, not at all. Two flagons? I’m cooling them right now, give me just a moment.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Thanks… So how is everything?”

Demon Merchant: “Quite prosperous. I think the militia ruffians aren’t taking to the streets just for today. It’s such a happy festival.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “That would be nice.”

Demon Merchant: “Somehow, it’s best when we’re not fighting. I’m really sorry for this whole war. Whether you’re being burnt out of your home or chased from place to place, it’s a tough life, isn’t it?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Yeah, I promise I’ll do my best to make sure such a thing doesn’t happen around here.”

Demon Merchant: “Hahahaha! The promises of a Human… But, it’s the Commander, after all! In this City, perhaps you may keep your word. Here, two flagons! It’s cold!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Ohh, just put it down here.”

~♪~~♪

The Hero: “Commander, I’ve got it!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “I’ve got the ale here too.”

The Hero: “Eat up, eat up.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Alright. Wow! It’s delicious!”

The Hero: “To drink this in this volcano-like heat is really refreshing!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Cold ale really hits the spot! It’s the best! Oi, this is what I call food!”

~♪~~♪

Fire Dragon Lady: “So you guys were here.”

Demon Girl: “Ah, umm… G-g-good afternoon.”

The Hero: “Ah—“

East Fortress Base Commander: “We went out for a bit.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “What do you mean? I told you, this observation is our public duty. And to think the two of you were slacking off here.”

The Hero: “W-we weren’t really slacking off.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Yeah? I’m here to get stuff for my subordinates.”

The Hero: “I… don’t have any subordinates…”

Demon Girl: “S-sorry…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “You should feel ashamed about yourself, it’s too late to find an excuse. Sir Black Knight!”

The Hero: “Y-yes?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I am your wife. What kind of attitude are you showing me? Even though I’m a Fire Dragon, I feel like crying a whole river right now.”

The Hero: “You’re not my wife. That’s just something that old Lord guy said…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “No matter how you try to coax me out of it, my heart, my body, everything of me belongs to you.”

The Hero: “No it doesn’t. We don’t have that kind of relationship.”

Demon Girl: “I-I-I’m sorry.”

The Hero: “No, none of this is your fault.”

Demon Girl: “No, umm… I told her… that the Black Knight went out… I’m… sorry.”

The Hero: “Well, no matter what we do, we would have been found out eventually.”

~♪~~♪

East Fortress Base Commander: “That being said, aren’t you a little overdressed?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Of course… That’s because you said, ‘Ennichi is a day even the poorest peasant will dress up,’ didn’t you?”

The Hero: “But isn’t that a little too little cloth?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Hahaha! Haven’t I said this before? No matter where you go, you’ll find that people from the East all dress like this, it’s so incredibly hot after all…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I had to rush it out. It takes too long to sew.”

The Hero: “I think…”

Demon Girl: “Oh no, everyone’s… Looking… Here…”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Ohh, the Demon girls are really quite cute.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “It took me very long to get this girl to wear what she’s wearing now. She’s very troublesome.”

Demon Girl: “I-I’m sorry… sorry.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “No, no, it’s okay.”

Demon Girl flinches.

Fire Dragon Lady: “It’s just that, even though you’re from a lower class than me, at the very least, a girl should care about how she looks. A Demon who’s yet to be married needs to show off her skin from time to time!”

Demon Girl: “That’s a Fire Dragon custom… It’s embarrassing…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “It’s a Demon thing.”

Demon Girl: “Ah, ahhchoo!”

The Hero: “Ohh—Roast potatoes, even in a place like this.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “That’s a local delicacy.”

The Hero: “Oh right, I forgot it came from the Demon World.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Eat up! Eat up! It’s delicious!”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Husband?”

The Hero: “Delicious, the butter is great.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Right? It’s the Rock Salt.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Husband!!”

The Hero: “Yes?!”

Fire Dragon Lady: “How is it?”

The Hero: “How? It’s a great Ennichi festival.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “How?” Snorts fire.

Demon Girl: “I-I-I’m sorry, Black Knight.”

The Hero: “This is a really delicious potato, isn’t it?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “How. Is. It?!” Snorts fire.

 

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

Explanation

Rock Salt: Salt which is mined as opposed to dried from seawater in salt flats. Seas may have receded from ancient times, or mountains may have moved due to tectonic shifts, resulting in mineral deposits of salt inland. These are abundant in many places throughout the world.

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

East Fortress Base Commander (Small voice): “Hey, she’s talking about that.”

The Hero (Small voice): “What?”

East Fortress Base Commander (Small voice): “Compliment her clothing.”

Fire Dragon Lady fumes.

The Hero: “Ah—, yeah! It really suits you! You’ve got a great sense of style, and your idea of mixing international fashions is really splendid! …It’s a bit revealing, but that’s alright, it’s a festival, after all!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Hey, that’s going a bit too far.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “R-r-really?! Husband! I’m the luckiest girl in the world!”

 

—— The Village of Wintering, the Mansion of the Demon King, the Study

The Demon King: “Hmm…”

The Chief Maid: “If you include this month, that’s twice already. The rumblings have really gotten bigger.”

The Demon King: “And the intervals have gotten shorter as well.”

The Chief Maid: “Yes, I believe we’re at the limit…”

The Demon King: “How much time do we have left?”

The Chief Maid: “It’s better if we get it over with as soon as we can, but I would say… about a week.”

The Demon King: “Alright, in a week then.”

The Chief Maid: “…I will do my best.”

The Demon King: “No, it’s been nearly two days. We’ve done a good job of holding it, it’s nearly time for that day.”

The Chief Maid: “Yes.”

The Demon King: “Prepare my sleeping quarters at the Palace of Death.”

The Chief Maid: “Understood.”

The Demon King: “We’ve got to hurry up and conclude our work in the Human World.”

The Chief Maid: “Yes.”

The Demon King: “Don’t make such a face.”

The Chief Maid: “…”

The Demon King: “We’ll go back soon. We’ll meet again soon.”

 

—— The Kingdom of Metal, on a Hill outside the City

The Demon King, the Hero and Elder Sister Maid teleport in.

The Demon King: “The air is really moist here.”

Elder Sister Maid: “My head is still throbbing…”

The Demon King: “Are you alright.”

Elder Sister Maid: “Y-yes…”

The Demon King: “Don’t push yourself. Take deep breaths.”

The Hero: “Now that I think about it, that was your first time teleporting.”

Elder Sister Maid: “Yes, it was, enlightening… I’m alright.”

The Demon King: “It’s just motion sickness, it can’t be helped.”

The Hero: “Just take your time and you’ll recover.”

The three walk through the grass.

The Demon King: “It should be about 20 minutes to the city.”

The Hero: “Indeed.”

Elder Sister Maid: “So that’s the Capital of the Kingdom of Metal, how massive!”

The Demon King: “Hmm, there’s lots of smoke issuing from it, huh? Looks like there are a lot of factories down there.”

The Hero: “That being said, what are we here for today?”

The Demon King: “Yeah, it seems that the prototype of the machine I asked them to construct is finished.”

The Hero: “So we’re here to look at it? With the Elder Sister Maid?”

The Demon King: “She’s taught me a lot during my work with her. She’s much more capable than any nobleman or merchant.”

Elder Sister Maid: “That’s an exaggeration.”

The Demon King: “Alright, shall we go into the city?”

Right Gate Guard: “Stop!”

Left Gate Guard: “Where do you come from, are you merchants?”

The Demon King: “I am the Scholar from the Kingdom of Winter. This is my Identification.”

Right Gate Guard: “The Royal Seal of the Kingdom of Winter! Please, come right in!”

The Demon King: “Identities are such useful things.”

The Hero: “I’m thankful we managed to avoid trouble there.”

Elder Sister Maid: “Amazing! Are all the houses built from stone?”

The Demon King: “Hey, hey, it’s dangerous to walk around looking upwards.”

The Hero: “Well, where to?”

Elder Sister Maid: “Where?”

The Demon King: “Hmm, I don’t know.”

The Hero: “What, how useless. Show me the letter.”

The Demon King: “Here.” Unfolds letter.

The Hero: “Ahh, this is the Craftsmen Quarter by the River.”

Elder Sister Maid: “You know this place well!”

The Hero: “I’m sort of a vagabond, I have to memorise all kinds of cities in order to not get lost, navigation is kind of my strong suit.”

Elder Sister Maid: “What an amazing ability.”

The Demon King: “That’s because he’s mine. Shall we go?”

The Hero: “Yes, yes.”

The Demon King: “Hoho, so this is the Kingdom of Steel. That workshop seems to be making silverware?”

The Hero: “You’re very interested.”

The Demon King: “This is my first time actually being here.”

The Hero: “What sort of workshop are we headed to? A munitions workshop? Or an agricultural implements workshop?”

The Demon King: “The workshop specialises in Copper Casting, but it’s neither munitions nor agricultural implements we are here for. You mentioned something about education before right?”

The Hero: “Yeah, I did.”

Elder Sister Maid: “?”

The Demon King: “I was thinking that education should really play a much bigger role in this world.”

The Hero: “…Hmm.”

The Demon King: “The true expanse of the world is so big, none can guess at its size. Humans, as beings which possess knowledge, seek to try to gain more practical and theoretical knowledge. They are trying to understand more about the world around them.”

The Hero: “That’s what you think. But you seem to be convinced that your methods are correct, and that you are always right.”

Elder Sister Maid: “…”

The Demon King: “In order to wrestle with this darkness, knowledge is important. Well, that’s one level of education. Perhaps a more important reason for having education is the reality of not having an education and the denying of understanding to those who have no education.”

The Hero: “Huh? That’s a bit too complicated for me.”

Elder Sister Maid: “I agree.”

The Demon King: “Elder Sister Maid, do you understand?”

Elder Sister Maid: “Yes. That’s… For example, serfs, who have little education, and hence little knowledge, are unable to comprehend that there exists a better world. That is why they will always be in poverty.”

The Hero: “But surely they can see that the landlords live a better life than they do.”

Elder Sister Maid: “Yes, but they cannot see what they should be doing. Or rather, they cannot see that it is possible to do things this way to get better results.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “…”

Elder Sister Maid: “This is a very unfortunate thing, to not know your place in the world and who you could be… No, one would not even know whether one was happy. —That’s why I can really understand what the Mistress is saying.”

 

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

Explanation

Casting: Metal is heated to its melting point and then poured into a mould such that when the metal cools it will take the shape of the mould. If one is able to increase the temperatures involved as much as possible, costs can be lowered during large scale production.

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

 

The Hero: “Is that so…”

The Demon King: “An so, for such an important thing like education, there’s a noticeable flaw in it. Do you know what it is?”

The Hero: “What is it?”

Elder Sister Maid: “I don’t understand…”

The Demon King: “That is that the speed of learning is too slow. For one person to transmit knowledge to another person, a significant amount of time is required. Moreover, there are limits to the number of people you can transmit knowledge to at one time. If it continued to be that one teacher could only accept one student at a time, even if one spent his whole life doing this, the sum of human knowledge would never increase.”

The Hero: “Ahh, I understand what you mean.”

Elder Sister Maid: “But, knowledge is such a precious thing, so there’s really no choice. The more I learn from the Mistress, the more I don’t feel like I can catch up…”

The Demon King: “That’s a system which you have convinced yourself to believe. Whoever decided that just because knowledge is precious, learning has to be difficult?”

The Hero: “Is that so?”

 

—— The Kingdom of Metal, the Craftsmen Quarter, in a Large Workshop

Opens door.

Chief Craftsman: “Ahh, the Scholar! You must be tired from your long journey!”

The Demon King: “Thank you for all your help, Chief Craftsman.”

Chief Craftsman: “No, no! It is truly everybody’s pleasure to be able to receive such interesting assignments even at such an age.”

Elder Sister Maid: “What a huge workshop!”

Chief Craftsman: “Ahh, it’s dangerous to walk around like that, young lady.”

Steam hisses out of a vent.

Chief Craftsman: “There’s steam shooting out of everywhere. It’s important to cool down the molten metal.”

Elder Sister Maid: “Y-yes.” Scared.

Chief Craftsman: “Well then, you must be tired. I’ll get you some tea, so how about we head to the back…”

The Demon King: “No, that’s quite alright. Above all, I’d like to see the prototype.”

Chief Craftsman: “Ahahaha. Your eagerness hasn’t changed since we last talked in the Kingdom of Winter! In that case, please come over here. We’ve designed a special warehouse.”

Churn, churn, churn, churn

The Demon King: “So this is it!”

The Hero: “It’s massive!”

Elder Sister Maid: “Is this a…? It looks like a Threshing Machine, but it’s so much bigger…”

Chief Craftsman: “It’s meant to be a temporary structure, so we had to make it bigger. It was originally a rather small machine. But once we made it bigger, it functions fairly well as a warehouse.”

The Hero: “Warehouse?”

Chief Craftsman: “Come in.”

 

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

Explanation

Threshing Machine: A machine which is used to separate the edible part of the grain from the chaff that surrounds it in cereal crops like barley or rice. In the process of separating the chaff, there is the opportunity to remove the chaff as well. Some threshing machines work as combine harvesters, harvesting, threshing and separating the chaff at the same time.

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

 

Clank, clank, clank…

Elder Sister Maid: “What a lot of drawers and cupboards.”

Chief Craftsman: “This is what’s inside.” Opens drawer.

The Hero: “Are these stamps?”

Elder Sister Maid: “Or seals?”

Chief Craftsman: “Yeah, they are called Printing Types.”

The Demon King: “This is our new weapon.”

Chief Craftsman: “We call it the Moveable Type Printing Press.”

 

—— The Village of Wintering, the Mansion of the Demon King, Late at Night in the Corridors

The Female Paladin: “…” Shocked.

The Demon King: “…” Shocked.

The Female Paladin: “W-why, a-are you here?”

The Demon King: “That’s my line.”

The Female Paladin: “No, where’s the washroom?”

The Demon King: “It’s in the opposite end of the corridor.”

The Female Paladin: “So why are you over here?”

The Demon King: “Th-that’s… Umm”

The Female Paladin: “That’s?”

The Demon King: “Hey, what’s that! Your shimmering, white nightgown! Isn’t that s-s-silk?! What a luxurious item!”

The Female Paladin: “It’s fine isn’t it? People should be allowed to wear what they want!”

The Demon King: “That sort of thing is not fine!”

The Female Paladin: “In that case, why are you hugging a pillow?”

The Demon King: “…That’s”

The Female Paladin: “Are you trying to sneak into this door?”

The Demon King: “Nothing of the sort.”

The Female Paladin: “Are you intending to go to the Hero’s room this time at night?”

The Demon King: “N-n-no! I’m going for some night tea.”

The Female Paladin: “If that’s the case, then I’m going for some night tea as well.”

The Demon King: “In what world does a woman wear a silk nightgown to go to a man’s room for some night tea! Stupid!”

The Female Paladin: “Don’t lecture me when you’re on your way to drink tea while hugging a pillow!”

The Demon King: “Mm, look here Female Paladin.”

The Female Paladin: “What?”

The Demon King: “I thought that you were my only friend in the Human World…”

The Female Paladin: “…That’s right, Demon King.”

The Demon King: “That’s why you should get out of my sight right now.”

The Female Paladin: “That’s not possible.”

The Demon King: “Come again later. I have something important to talk to him about.”

The Female Paladin: “I have something important to talk to him about too.”

The Demon King: “Like what?”

The Female Paladin: “Like this!” Unfurls handkerchief.

The Demon King: “What’s that? ‘I promise to be forever faithful to my love?’ Isn’t this a woman’s handkerchief… Eh? Ehh?!”

The Female Paladin: “That’s right. It belongs to that Fire Dragon Lady. I’m being worked to the death here, but I still want to go and grind this person to dust.” Cracks knuckles.

The Demon King: “Definitely…” Cracks knuckles.

The Female Paladin: “And that is why I will not back down tonight. My sword hungers for a divine massacre!”

The Demon King: “What kind of issue is that! For the remaining few days—“

 

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

Explanation

Printing Types: Using a chisel, stamps are carved with single letters. This was invented in China around the 11th century. The first printing types were made out of stone. From the 14th century onwards, the Koreans began making printing presses out of metal. It first began to be produced in Europe in the 15th century.

Moveable Type Printing Press: In 1455, Gutenberg created a printing press using a chisel and printing types. This is an improvement from the Printing Type Press invented in China, but it is still unclear if it was not invented earlier in another place.

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

 

The Female Paladin: “Eh?”

The Demon King: “No, it’s nothing. In any case, I’m not backing down either.”

The Chief Maid: “I’m afraid I must step in.”

The Demon King and the Female Paladin: “Eh?”

The Demon King and the Female Paladin: “Eh?!”

The Chief Maid: “So the Hero has invited you both? Now, it’s not my place to judge these sorts of activities, I’m just a servant myself. But what we’re seeing here is a three way?”

The Demon King: “What are you saying, Chief Maid?!”

The Female Paladin: “Hey, that’s really indecent! Have you no shame!”

The Chief Maid: “It’s because the two of you are inexperienced, that’s why you have that burning feeling of rivalry, right? Victory is not guaranteed. In such times, what you really need is some generosity of spirit and leniency. If you don’t get into the room with him, you can’t say you’ve become a real woman.”

The Demon King: “That’s probably true, but…”

The Female Paladin: “It’s true that this is rather embarrassing.”

The Chief Maid: “In that case, hurry up and get it over with, I’ll be waiting over here.”

The Demon King: “Don’t lump these things together!”

The Female Paladin: “I can’t possibly be doing these things as a Paladin!”

The Chief Maid: “In that case, stop making such a fuss in the corridors. No, why don’t the three of you repair your relationship.” Smiles.

Closes door!

 

—— The Village of Wintering, the Demon King’s Mansion, the Hero’s Room

The Demon King and the Female Paladin: “Ahh!”

The Hero: “…What are the two of you doing?”

The Female Paladin: “No, that’s, we’ve got something we need to talk about.”

The Demon King: “Hmm, it’ll take a significant amount of time to convey the deepest details of this particular issue, but as you know the world is currently in a particular state of chaos and hence while it may be inconvenient, it is still currently expedient to speak to you within this time, despite having, unfortunately, to rouse you from your slumber.”

The Hero: “You’re going to have to calm down if you want me not to be confused.”

The Demon King: “In other words, this time we have come here in order to pick up leads that will help us to uncover the light, and are you not obliged to aid us by being forthcoming in this quest? It’s true that there are many risks to be taken in this, but are we not about to take the next step already?”

The Hero: “Calm down!” Hits table.

The Demon King: “Ugh!”

The Hero: “Summarise exactly what you want.”

The Demon King: “…” Shudders.

The Female Paladin: “…” Shudders.

The Hero: “Don’t avoid eye contact with me.”

The Demon King: “Time.”

The Hero: “What?”

The Demon King: “You were there at the War Committee when I brought it up, weren’t you?”

The Hero: “Huh?”

The Female Paladin: “What sort of war are you talking about?”

The Demon King: “This is a conference I would like to have as the Demon King. Diplomacy is my domain. We can decide this quickly with a discussion.”

The Female Paladin: “What do you mean?”

The Demon King: “I will be on top, and the Female Paladin can be at the bottom.”

The Female Paladin: “What kind of attitude is that, Demon King?!”

The Hero: “How free these people are.”

The Demon King: “What do you mean? I’m talking about which bunk we’ll sleep on.”

The Female Paladin: “O, oh. I see. I was mistaken.”

The Demon King: “Is that alright?”

The Female Paladin: “Wait, where will the Hero be?”

The Demon King: “It’s been decided that he will be on top.”

The Female Paladin: “Then doesn’t that mean I’ll be alone at the bottom!”

The Demon King: “No? Then how about we do a time sharing agreement?”

The Female Paladin: “A what?”

The Demon King: “We’ll share him, and we can have him for specific time slots.”

The Female Paladin: “Sounds like a troublesome agreement.”

The Demon King: “I believe it’s a very productive agreement.”

The Female Paladin: “So, how will it be exactly.”

The Demon King: “The Hero will sleep in your bed in the day, and in my bed at night.”

The Female Paladin: “Won’t you just have him to yourself, then?!”

The Hero: “What a petty discussion. Please finish it quickly.”

 

—— The Village of Wintering, the Mansion of the Demon King, the Room of the Hero

The Hero: “What’s with this situation, why am I even awake?!”

The Demon King: “In diplomacy, there is always dishonesty and euphemism. It’s a very sad picture.”

The Female Paladin: “You’re the one who’s hiding what you really want. But, there’s nothing for it. My grandmother always said, ‘When there’s only one piece of bread, be grateful if you can have half.’”

The Hero: “What an object I am.”

The Demon King: “What do you mean! You’ve got two girls fighting over you! Unless… you’re not satisfied?”

The Female Paladin: “Maybe you’ve got a thing for Fire Dragons, huh?!”

The Hero: “No, that’s not it.”

The Demon King: “It’s just because I’m squishy, right?! Because I have flab?! Even though you already said you belonged to me!”

The Female Paladin: “Just because I have small breasts?! You really like that kind of thing? The virgin’s greatest virtue is her purity. That is something even the Spirit has decided!”

The Hero: “Ohh, why, why is this happening to me.”

The Demon King: “Hmm. At this rate, what the Chief Maid said is right.”

The Female Paladin: “…It’s annoying, but it seems that way.”

The Demon King: “Let’s have a one hour truce.”

The Female Paladin: “Good idea.”

The Hero: “Do you really have to argue about this over my head?”

The Demon King: “It’s not over your head, is it? It’s just within your earshot.”

The Female Paladin: “Yeah, it’s more over your shoulder, really.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “What, are you nervous?”

The Female Paladin: (It’s about his own sleeping position! Of course he is?!)

The Hero: “Well, everyone should calm down.”

The Female Paladin: “Well, this isn’t a life or death situation or anything.”

The Hero: (It’s like some fight to the death!)

The Demon King: “How warm! And fluffy!”

The Female Paladin: “Mmm, it’s an unexpectedly good place to sleep.”

The Hero: “…… ……”

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

The Female Paladin: “He must be, he’s really tired.”

The Hero: (How could I be asleep? If a virgin could sleep in such a situation, I would destroy him with a Thunder Destruction Spell.)

The Demon King: “The Hero’s hair is so fluffy.”

The Female Paladin: “Yeah, it’s like a big dog.”

The Demon King: “I like touching this hair. I’m the one who has to put it in place, aren’t I?”

The Female Paladin: “Well, he’s been with me much longer, I’m sure you know this.”

The Hero: “…… ……”

The Hero: (Th, this is bad. I have to pretend to be asleep. They’re very astute! I’ve got to calm my soul!”

The Demon King: “…”

The Female Paladin: “…”

The Demon King: “Hey, Female Paladin.”

The Female Paladin: “Yeah?”

The Demon King: “I’ll be returning to the Demon World next week.”

The Female Paladin: “Eh?”

The Hero: “Eh?”

The Demon King: “Yeah, I’ve got to renew my Demon King License.”

The Female Paladin: “License? You’ve got a license for that?”

The Demon King: “Yeah.”

The Female Paladin: “I see… Will you be coming back quickly?”

The Demon King: “No, well. At earliest, I’ll be gone for a few months.”

The Female Paladin: “What’s going on? Demon King… Are you having second thoughts?”

The Demon King: “No I’m not. I’ve got no choice. As the Demon King, I have to… Well, it’s hard to explain this. I’ve got to go pay my respect to the graves of the generations of Demon Kings before me.”

The Female Paladin: “…”

The Demon King: “Moreover, within the Demon World, there are lots and lots of citizens who support an invasion of the Human World. At present, there are a lot of people who are saying that I was killed in the fight with the Hero, and are supporting a coup d’etat. I need to show them I’m still there, otherwise the more radical elements in the demon World could rise up and the war would begin again, but worse.”

The Female Paladin: “But, then…”

The Hero: (…)

The Demon King: “Yeah?”

The Female Paladin: “So you’re going to the Demon World to deal with the factions which support a renewed war effort? That seems remarkably dangerous.”

The Hero: (It really is. Discourage her some more, Female Paladin.)

The Demon King: “My specialties are Economics and Diplomacy. I’m sure I can apply this. I don’t think there are any living things who can fight wars without food or money.”

The Female Paladin: “But shouldn’t you bring someone else? Umm… Like the Hero. I could even go with you?”

The Demon King: “No…” Deep in thought…

The Female Paladin: “…”

The Demon King: “It’s fine—The tombs of the Demon Kings are in a place known as the Palace of Death, this is a place which no one other than me must know about. I cannot bring you or anyone else along. I must go alone.”

The Female Paladin: “Is that… the case…”

The Demon King: “Yeah, that’s why, I was hoping to feel some of the Hero’s body heat before I went.”

The Hero: (…)

The Demon King: “I went so far as to tell you all that. Please let me.”

The Female Paladin: “Well…”

The Demon King: “Of course I’ll be taking the Chief Maid along. In the interest of self-protection, I’ll take two people.”

The Female Paladin: “Really now.”

The Demon King: “I’ve left what needs to be done in this World in a collection of books. You know about the potatoes and the agriculture.”

The Female Paladin: “Yeah, leave it to the Holy Order.”

The Demon King: “I’ve also contacted the Union about the herring. The windmills and new compasses have been paid for and contracted, we can rely on the Union to deal with it from now on. If there’s anything important, you may still contact me.”

The Female Paladin: “I understand.”

The Demon King: “The Chief Maid will brief you about the details. Oh and… I’m leaving the Hero to you.”

The Female Paladin: “I understand, —you can count on me, this sword belongs to you.”

 

—— The Village of wintering, the Mansion of the Demon King, the Study

The Demon King: “Well.”

Elder Sister Maid: “Yes.”

Little Sister Maid: “Yes.”

The Demon King: “Do you more or less understand?”

Elder Sister Maid: “I understand.”

Little Sister Maid: “I don’t.”

The Chief Maid: “Just listen to what your sister tells you to do everyday.”

Little Sister Maid: “Yes—!”

The Chief Maid: “Don’t needlessly lengthen the ends of your sentences.”

Little Sister Maid: “Y-yes.”

The Demon King: “Well, don’t be down.”

The Hero: “So you’ll really be gone for a long time?”

The Demon King: “The Chief Maid still has more investigations to do, but, there are many stubborn people among the Demon Race. There are also those who see the Human World as a large gold mine… These elements have to be pulled out at the roots…”

The Hero: “I should really come with you.”

The Demon King: “I will go alone.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “Don’t make that face. No matter what, this is part of my job as the Demon King. If I wasn’t the Demon King, maybe I wouldn’t have to do this. But since it’s in my contract, I do.”

The Chief Maid: “I will protect the Demon King.”

The Demon King: “Yeah, the Chief Maid will be there.”

The Hero: “…”

The Demon King: “More importantly, I’m worried for this world. While the Southern United Kingdoms have stabilised, and the agricultural revolution is proceeding smoothly, I’ve been hearing talk about unrest in the Kingdom of White Night.”

The Hero: “It seems that way.”

The Demon King: “You are the person I trust most in this world. After all, you are my owner. That is why I am confident of leaving this place to you. Previously, you went to the Demon World and left me here. In that time, I achieved an agricultural revolution and technological innovation over here. However, this time is different. You know that the issue with the City of the Gate cannot be settled simply with a warrior. You still need me. That’s why, I’m leaving this place to you.”

The Hero: “…I understand.”

The Demon King: “And, Elder Sister.”

Elder Sister Maid: “Yes.”

The Demon King: “Keep this for me.”

Elder Sister Maid: “A ring?”

The Demon King: “Yeah, it’s from my friend the Earth Fairy. It’s nothing big, but she’s casted a hologram illusion spell on it, it creates a hologram of myself on you. It doesn’t come with sound, so you’ll have to pretend to be me.”

Elder Sister Maid: “What’s it for?”

The Demon King: “If merchants come with bills or guests come to visit, I can’t always be there, right?
I’m fairly certain that the Hero can deal with it, but if it’s really too important, then using this ring, you can be my substitute.”

Elder Sister Maid: “I understand. Please do not worry and do what you have to do.”

Little Sister Maid: “Mistress!”

The Demon King: “Yes?”

Little Sister Maid: “A present♪” Passes a lucky charm.

The Chief Maid: “What’s this!”

The Demon King: “Ahahaha. You’ve really picked this out.”

Elder Sister Maid: “I prayed for your safe return.”

Little Sister Maid: “We prayed!”

The Demon King: “Hmm, at best I’ll be gone for three months, at worst, half a year.”

The Chief Maid: “Don’t sleep while you’re full, alright?”

Elder Sister Maid: “Goodbye.”

Little Sister Maid: “Bye ♪”

Teleports away.

 

—— The City of the Gate, Outside the City

Teleports in.

The Demon King: “Your teleportation magic sure is convenient.”

The Hero: “I’ll count on you to help with the moving.”

The Chief Maid: “You’ve got a lot less stuff to move than the Demon King.”

The Demon King: “Ahh, it’s been a long time since I was last in the Demon World!”

The Chief Maid: “Yeah, that green sun sure is nostalgic.”

The Demon King: “This is—hmm, just outside the South of the city.”

The Hero: “That’s right. We’ll get to the South Gate once we go down this hill.”

The Demon King: “Right. Then we’ll part ways here.”

The Hero: “I’ll send you all the way to the city.”

The Demon King: “No, you shouldn’t get close to the city.”

The Hero: “What?”

The Demon King: “I-in any case it’s forbidden… I won’t let you meet up with your mistress that Fire Dragon Lady…”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “Hey, Hero!”

The Hero: “Yeah?”

The Demon King: “You’re so fluffy!” Rubs hair.

The Hero: “Don’t do that so suddenly!”

The Chief Maid: “Well, well.”

The Demon King: “What, it’s just some fuel for my heart.”

The Hero: “—Are you alright?”

The Demon King: “You worry too much. You’re supposed to be a man.”

The Hero: “People have said that.”

The Demon King: “I’m alright, you’ve given me the energy after all. I have no intention of losing to my predecessors.”

The Hero: “?”

The Demon King: “We’ve made it this far. I can already feel the bright air from the City of the Gate, a city where Humans and Demons live together. I can already see the top of the hill.”

The Hero: “Yeah, that’s right.”

The Demon King: “Go—my Hero.”

The Hero: “Go—my Demon King.”

The Demon King and the Hero: “We will meet again, very soon.”

 

—— The Village of Wintering, Early Autumn

Small Villager: “Hey! Hey!”

Middle Aged Villager: “Hey, good afternoon.”

Wool Tailor: “Good afternoon!”

Small Villager: “We’ve squeezed a lot today.”

Wool Tailor: “Yeah, it’s already autumn. We’ve got to start making the cheese.”

Small Villager: “Yeah, that’s right, so what are we making this year?”

Middle Aged Villager: “How about we add some almonds into it.”

Wool Tailor: “Good idea, we’ve got a lot of milk. We should really make one with almonds in it. Maybe it’s because they’ve eaten so many clovers, but the milk this year is really sweet.”

Small Villager: “That’s right, I’ve heard lots of good things about it.”

Middle Aged Villager: “Will you trade them for barley or potatoes?”

Wool Tailor: “Of course. I don’t mind silver either.”

Small Villager: “Oh that’s right, we can use silver now.”

Middle Aged Villager: “That’s right. I’ve been burying mine.”

Wool Tailor: “That’s good, one can never be too careful.”

Small Villager: “I’ve been spreading Ashes and Fish Scum over my potato fields.”

Middle Aged Villager: “Spreading it?”

Wool Tailor: “What’s fish scum?”

Small Villager: “The Order taught us to use them as fertiliser. When the Blessings of the Earth get too weak, you just spread a bit over and it gets much better.”

Middle Aged Villager: “But that’s got to be expensive.”

Wool Tailor: “Yeah.”

Small Villager: “Well, it’s not that expensive. The money I get from selling the potatoes from the Templar is a lot more. It’s a real sin how good they are to us.”

Middle Aged Villager: “That’s probably true.”

Small Villager: “More importantly, if I don’t spread it, the potatoes get sick quite easily. We’ve already decreased the number of wheat crops we’ve sown, so if the potatoes get sick we’ll be in real trouble.”

Middle Aged Villager: “I see, I see. I should probably sow some too.”

Wool Tailor: “I’ll save the herring for my own stomach then.”

Small Villager: “Ahahaha! Let’s get some buttered herring down at the bar.”

Middle Aged Villager: “Yeah, that sounds great!”

Wool Tailor: “Maybe I can even sell some cheese there.”

Small Villager: “Let’s do it!”

 

—— The Holy Imperial Capital, the House of Nobles, in a Secret Court

Gavel bangs.

Military Nobleman: “—The City of the Gate was abandoned—”

Rich Nobleman: “To retreat—so brazenly——”

Bishop: “The Spirit—would—punish——”

Military Nobleman: “As expected—weak nobleman——”

Rich Nobleman: “Illegitimate——”

Bishop: “Kingdom——Millions——”

Military Nobleman: “The punishment—”

Rich Nobleman: “Capital punishment—Crucifixion——”

Bishop: “Salt——Impaling——Burning——”

Gavel bangs.

Military Nobleman: “The sentence is——”

Rich Nobleman: “No, this time——Martial Court——”

Bishop: “Appropriate——Inquisition——”

Military Nobleman: “Running from the enemy——Dereliction of duty——”

Rich Nobleman: “Betrayal of the Kingdom——Aiding the enemy——”

Bishop: “Heresy——”

Commander: “No! Leaders of the Kingdom! Clergy of the Holy Church of Light! I would never, never betray this Kingdom!”

Military Nobleman: “What are you saying! Do you know how much blood is going to be spilt because of you allowing the City of the Gate to fall!”

Rich Nobleman: “Two years! Two years of preparation time, and an inordinate amount of military expenditure. Not counting the expenditure for maintaining our conquest, you’ve turned this Second Crusade into nothing!”

Bishop: “It was the intention of the Spirit of Light to spread the Church to the Demon World. You are a disgrace to the 9,500,000 faithful adherents to the Spirit.”

 

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

Explanation

Ash and Fish Scum: When trees and grass are burnt, the resulting ash contains a high amount of calcium, and is hence useful as fertiliser. Fish scum is produced from grinding fish and extracting the fish oil, the resulting scum is then rich in phosphorus and nitrogen.

Martial Law: Armies have their own courts to deal with offences committed by their own members. These include offences like disobeying orders, dereliction of duty, violence towards civilians and other military offences.

Inquisition: Even churches have courts to deal with infractions committed by their followers. Heresy (unorthodox religious teachings) is especially not condoned, and some of the most tragic punishments could be dealt, like cruxifixion.

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

 

Commander: “No! Th-th-that’s! W-we didn’t run away. Th-that’s right. We went as reinforcements! We definitely didn’t run away!”

Military Nobleman: “Shut up, you coward!”

Commander: “At that time, the City of the Gate was attacked by a scary enemy. Making decisions on the battlefield was my duty as a Commander.”

Military Nobleman: “Hmph.”

Bishop: “So what kind of enemy was it?”

Commander: “That’s… There was water, and smoke… shadow, monsters of death…”

Military Nobleman: “You saw him?”

Commander: “It was not one of those enemies you can see. He struck in the dead of night with powerful and mysterious force, taking down my men one after the other! He destroyed what command I had over my men, and any fighting spirit too. It was not a situation I was able to control. Th-that’s right! Rebellion! There were rebellions!”

Military Nobleman: “Hoho.”

Commander: “The Demons were rebelling. My 10,000 soldiers fought hard against them. We fought and fought and fought! My bloodstained sword killed lots of summons! It was really a death zone. The odds of us making it out of there were 10 to one. I knew, that the Spirit of Light would rather lose the city than lose the treasures of the Holy Empire, the Holy Crusaders to the enemy!”

Military Nobleman: “Ahahaha!”

Rich Nobleman: “Hahahahaha!”

Commander: “Stop laughing! What’s so funny!”

Military Nobleman: “There were 9,000 men stationed at the City of the Gate. You appeared at the Isle of Light with 9,000 soldiers, not even one thousand missing. What sort of death zone is it when you don’t lose any military strength in it? You sounded a retreat before you even lost 500 men.”

Commander: “—!”

Military Nobleman: “Have you no shame?”

Commander: “But! It’s because we appeared that the Conquest of the Isle of Light was able to be successful! Before we came, the Human Army was losing quite badly! We played the biggest part in the Conquest of the Isle of Light!”

Rich Nobleman: “According to both military and church intelligence, at the moment of your approach, the citadel on the Isle of Light was already surrounded by the Army of the Southern United Kingdoms, and were only waiting for the final victory. Your army appeared at the end of the entire battle, when whatever was left of the Demon Army was trying to escape, and your only contribution was to allow them to escape.”

Bishop: “And even then, you still managed to lose 2,000 out of 8,000 soldiers!”

Commander: “We were protecting a wasteland out in the badlands of the Demon World, we were really tired of this. With the nightmares and the raids, there was no way to protect anything. It was a real crisis!”

Military Nobleman: “I’ve heard enough from you.”

Rich Nobleman: “Hmph, it’s so pathetic to hear the barking of a depraved dog.”

Commander: “The East Fortress Base Commander! It’s him! He was conspiring with the Demons to betray us! Have mercy! Please just give me one more chance! I’m the commander who knows the Demon World better than anybody! We have to bring that barbaric region to its knees for the Holy Emperor! Y-y-you must!”

Military Nobleman: “What do you think, bishop?”

Bishop: “To forgive a single one of your sins today, is a sin against the 9,500,000 faithful adherents of the Church. My heart is torn apart by this tragedy. I believe crucifixion to be an appropriate punishment for this sick dog.”

Commander: “Wait! Pl-please wait!”

Military Nobleman: “According to Military Law, there’s no way you can avoid this sentence.”

Commander: “The East Fortress Base Commander! That son of a bitch! That useless mercenary! Can’t forgive him! We can’t forgive him!”

Rich Nobleman: “You’re crazy.”

Bishop: “You’re completely insane.”

 

—— The Kingdom of Winter, the Royal Palace, the Office of Financial Administration

Disciple Merchant: “Phew, I’m so busy. How is this happening?”

Seneschal: “Are you alright?”

Assistant: “I’m going to go drown myself in tea.”

Disciple Merchant: “Forget about the tea! Don’t run away! Sort it out!”

Assistant: “Whaaaat. My eyes are glazing over.”

Disciple Merchant: “You make me want to cry. You think kids like you are special! Do your work!”

Assistant: “My gooooooood—”

Seneschal: “He really gives no mercy.”

Disciple Merchant: “The Lone Winter King entrusted this to me… How could I show any mercy.”

Seneschal: “I see.”

Disciple Merchant: “Look at this mountain of journals!”

Books fall off the mountain.

Seneschal: “But, since you’ve been here we’ve been six times more efficient. His Majesty has been busy dealing with the stragglers from the Conquest.”

Disciple Merchant: “It’s like he doesn’t care at all about the economy of his Kingdom!”

Seneschal: “Well, he’s well-known for that too.”

Disciple Merchant: “Is that so… Well he does preserve the rule of law.”

Assistant: “That’s right! His Majesty is so cool, isn’t he?”

Disciple Merchant: “That may be, but what a disaster.”

Seneschal: “Well, it wasn’t like this before the Tripartite Economic Union and the Conquest of the Isle of Light. In that time, the bookkeeping got way too intense.”

Disciple Merchant: “Do you have any solutions for this?”

Seneschal: “What do you mean?”

Disciple Merchant: “‘Don’t think about the problem, think about the solution.’ That’s what my teacher loved to say. Can we talk for a bit?”

Seneschal: “Of course.”

Disciple Merchant: “Hey, assistant. Fetch some tea.”

Assistant: “Yes! Umm, can I get some for myself too?”

Disciple Merchant: “Yes, and for the Seneschal as well.”

Assistant: “I’ll be right back!”

Runs off.

Disciple Merchant: “What an eager fellow.”

Seneschal: “He’s cute.”

Disciple Merchant: “Though he needs to work seriously, because that is killing me.”

Seneschal: “Well, that’s true..”

Disciple Merchant: “Let’s continue where we left off.”

Seneschal: “Right. Where should we begin… I’m not sure if this will work, but, for example, the Southern United Kingdoms doesn’t allow Noble Demesnes.”

Disciple Merchant: “Is that so? But the books indicate that titles like Baron and Marquis are being given out, aren’t they?”

 

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

Explanation

Noble Demesnes: Within Kingdoms, the nobility often control part of the land, known as their demesne. Within this demesne, the nobleman has the responsibility to administer the citizens and collect taxes for the King. This almost functions like a miniature country within a country. During the Edo period in Japan, these were known as hans.

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

 

Seneschal: “No, it’s a bit hard to explain, but the King only gives out Honorary Titles.”

Disciple Merchant: “I’ve heard about this in my lessons. So they have titles which don’t mean anything?”

Seneschal: “That’s right. The Southern United Kingdoms are both poor and have long winters. We’re basically poor countries. In the beginning, barely anyone stayed here. A long time ago, it was even worse than it is now. There weren’t even enough rooms to keep the people warm.”

Disciple Merchant: “Mmhmm.”

Seneschal: “That’s why, even though we call ourselves a country, we’re not exactly a very centralised polity. And we don’t have a lot of people. The King may be a King in name, but as a landlord-type figure, he is barely seen around the Kingdom. We only have a smidgen of useable land, most of it is completely unarable forests, wastelands and mountains.”

Assistant: “Hot tea is here!”

Disciple Merchant: “Ohh, thanks… Right, continue.”

Seneschal: “That’s why, while we do have titles, they don’t mean what they mean in the Central Continent. In the Central Continent, titleholders are those who receive land from the King, most of the time, they are powerful warlords or regional leaders.”

Disciple Merchant: “Mmhmm.”

Seneschal: “Of course, the land you receive belongs to you, and the produce from the land you work—or rather the land serfs and settlers work for you, belongs to you as well. Things like transit taxes are also free for noblemen to impose. Corvee labour can be drawn from the serfs at will as well. This is why noblemen who control the rivers or the ports are the richest.”

Disciple Merchant: “I see. That’s why even in the same country, the tax regime can differ from place to place, and you can even be subject to multiple taxes from different regions.”

Seneschal: “That’s right… From the perspective of the King, the area under the direct control of the King is controlled in the same way as the noblemen. In this area, the land cultivation and the tax is also set by the King. Apart from this, he also receives taxes from the noblemen which are in his realm. In addition, he also gets contributions from merchants and the Church. Which is why there are so many levels to the income and it’s a lot more complicated to handle. There is a lot of tax to handle, and lots of ministers in charge of them.

If you come over to the Southern United Kingdoms, the land is not suitable for farming, and hence there is no land to give to the nobility. In the Southern United Kingdoms, a title is just for the prestige or for the privilege to appear in court.”

Disciple Merchant: “Is that why we do not have enough ministers? If production increases, then tax revenue increases and the population is likely to increase as well. However, there is no system of nobility in place to administer this increased population.”

Seneschal: “In addition to this, we’ve also got the upkeep of the military to deal with.”

Disciple Merchant: “Eh? What does this have to do with taxes?”

Seneschal: “Well, in the Central Continent, the King, of course, has his own soldiers, but this is usually not a large number. Right… Even for a large country like the Kingdom of Mist, he might have only 700 soldiers in his retinue?

When a King wants to fight a war, he sends a mustering order to all the noblemen. Since the nobility have accepted land from the King, it is their duty to answer this mustering call. The noblemen then call on the knights and soldiers under their command. In this way, the military is formed, and this military can be ten or more times larger than the King’s personal retinue. Such a method of mustering an army, needless to say, will take a lot of time. Again, there is also a chance that the nobleman will refuse to supply the King with enough soldiers so he does not have to bear such a large burden. However, the merit of this is that it does not cost a lot of money.”

Disciple Merchant: “Why? Isn’t money important in a war?”

Seneschal: “The food that the Army consumes will be paid for by the noblemen. In other words, the noblemen have to finance the war for the King. All he has to do is pay for the soldiers under his direct command.”

Disciple Merchant: “In other words, when the King orders it, noblemen have to supply money for supplies and armament along with the soldiers themselves. Doesn’t all of this occur at a loss to the noblemen?”

Seneschal: “No, it doesn’t. If the war ends in victory, the King can bestow more land to the nobility.”

Disciple Merchant: “Ahh, I see. So bestowing land is a circular exercise.”

Seneschal: “That is correct. This is why it isn’t strange that there are so many noblemen hungry for war with the Demon World.”

Disciple Merchant: “In other words, the noblemen are betting aren’t they. If their liege wins, then they win as well. Taking land from the enemy is the most common way of settling wars after all.”

Seneschal: “That is correct. The Demon World is huge. And on top of that, highly prosperous.”

Disciple Merchant: “I wouldn’t exactly call it prosperous, would you?”

Seneschal: “No, what it’s prosperous in are people and settlers. When you are bestowing land to people, it’s quite meaningless to give them uninhabited wastelands or mountains. It’s much more meaningful to bestow land where people live, in other words, land where people can collect taxes from.”

Disciple Merchant: “Is that so.”

Seneschal: “They may be Demons but they’re still useable, so many noblemen want to hold one or two Demon cities.”

Disciple Merchant: “And how is the Southern United Kingdoms any different? I mean, without nobility, it follows that we have far fewer soldiers.”

Seneschal: “The difference between the armies of the Southern United Kingdoms and that of the Continent is that the Southern United Army is a standing army.”

Disciple Merchant: “Yeah, I’ve heard about that in my lessons. But since it was a military issue, I didn’t really pay much attention…”

Seneschal: “The primary goal of the Army of the Southern United Kingdoms is to defend against an invasion from the Demons, isn’t it? If we relied on mustering calls to rally the troops together, that would be far too slow, since the Demon Army could arrive at any time.”

Disciple Merchant: “Of course.”

Seneschal: “That’s why we need a standing army. In other words, an army that is ‘standing ready’ at any given time. Every soldier is under the direct control of the King and is either on duty or training every day. It’s an occupation, so even if we don’t call them up, they’re more or less ready. Even during the harvest time, they can’t just lay down their arms and go back to their villages to help. I’m a member of the Standing Army.”

Disciple Merchant: “But surely there are many demerits to this system, aren’t there? It’s true that a standing army is much faster to mobilise, and since they’re conditioned to the military life, they should have far fewer complaints. However, isn’t this situation the same as having a protracted conflict? They’ll require a lot of food supplies, and definitely a substantial amount of monetary upkeep.”

Seneschal: “That’s right. This is why one major disadvantage is that it relies on the aid money from the Continent.”

Disciple Merchant: “Yeah, I’ve heard the Scholar say that before as well.”

Seneschal: “Is that so?”

Disciple Merchant: “…”

Seneschal: “Do you understand?”

Disciple Merchant: “More or less.”

Assistant: (It was difficult, but I understood as well!)

Disciple Merchant: (But, this means…)

Assistant: “In other words, our army doesn’t go campaigning in the Demon World, but rather stays to protect us here, right?” Beams.

Seneschal: “That’s right.” Nods.

Disciple Merchant: (That’s right… It’s a force for self-defence. If we put up money to sustain this, of course we’d be able to fulfil our objective of preventing a demon invasion, but… The Southern United Kingdoms would never be able to achieve that ‘desirable gift’ of land in the Demon World for itself…)

Seneschal: “What’s up?”

Disciple Merchant: “No, I was just thinking.”

Seneschal: “I’m happy that you consider issues of such importance to our nation.”

Assistant: “Did you finish thinking?”

Disciple Merchant: “Yes.”

Seneschal: “Eh? Really? In such a short time?”

Disciple Merchant: “Yes, my teacher really taught me a lot. I have many things I want to say, but firstly I feel there are other flaws with the Central Continent’s system of nobility.”

Seneschal: “What sort?”

Disciple Merchant: “It’s that one section of the nobility may collude with others—whether they be landlords, merchants, industrial leaders, or even mercenary leaders—to set unfair taxes. Noblemen have the freedom to set taxes, right? That’s why if they were to collaborate, they could set highly unfair taxes. Let’s assume that a nobleman colludes with a merchant. If the merchant pays the nobleman an annual bribe, he could attain concessions like the sole right to transport his goods along a river. He could even conspire to sabotage or alienate rival merchants.”

Seneschal: “Yes, that’s right. I’ve heard a lot about rural Southerners being enticed to go the big cities and then getting ripped off for every last penny they own. We people of the South always get ill-treated in the Continent, and they get away with it with bribes…”

Disciple Merchant: “Another thing that almost resembles bribery is connections.”

Seneschal: “Connections?”

Disciple Merchant: “That’s right. Using connections, if you needed something to be done, if a government official or someone with official responsibilities had blood relations with someone else, then they could easily be bribed by those people. To become a government official is to benefit from a great salary, among other things, so to climb that high, people may be willing to use their blood relations as stepping stones to success.”

Seneschal: “Well, I’ve definitely heard a lot about that. Many people are proud of their relatives in the big cities because of their influence. I’m the son of a settler, and even then this carries bearing in my town.”

Disciple Merchant: “While bribery and connections may appear to be the same, the fact is that they are clearly different. Bribery is a corrupt government official abusing the privileges he is afforded with illegally. If this continued, it would cause severe inefficiencies. Monopolising and abusing one’s position will have the effect of causing severe future economic inefficiency, which extends beyond the instance of corruption and can cause the whole system to become corrupt.”

Seneschal: “Hmm, I’ve never thought that far, but if I think about it, it’s true, indeed.”

Assistant: “It’s the difference between not having anything to eat, and not making anything to eat!”

Disciple Merchant: “That’s the answer.”

Seneschal: “?”

Disciple Merchant: “Don’t you get it? In other words, in the Central Continent, there is a tendency that ‘hard work and ability are insufficient to make you succeed in life.’ If you want a high governmental position, you need to secure connections. That’s why the Southern United Kingdoms will answer as such.”

Seneschal: “!”

Disciple Merchant: “Our Government Officials will be Drawn From the People, not the nobility. And they will be paid according to their ability and hard work. I’ll have to think up of a system to do away with bribery as well.”

 

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

Explanation

Government Officials Drawn From the People: This basically refers to a bureaucracy. Instead of a system which relies on old blood and land ties to decide who should govern an area, the government is selected based on specific skills necessary for governing the country. Bureaucracies have their own disadvantages as well, but compared to a government run on hereditary feudal blood ties, it’s a lot better.

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

 

—— Extra Scene!!!! 😀

The Chief Maid: “So, Demon King, do you have some sort of personal reason for not inventing a weighing machine?”

The Demon King: “What?! That’s, that’s because I don’t want the Hero to leave me because I’m fa-…! Wait! No! Weighing machines are secret, complicated machines which are much, much harder to construct than compasses!”

 

< Chapter 8                                                                                                                         Chapter 10 >

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4 thoughts on “Volume 1 Chapter 9

  1. Extra scene…chief maid :)) nailed the demon king right on!

    I really hope she learns how to do squats in the next volume!

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

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