Volume 2 Chapter 2

Volume 2 Chapter 2, “What has Appeared will Definitely not Disappear!”

—– The Courtyard of Memories, the Mind of the Demon King

The Demon King: “Hahh.”

The Chief Maid: “What are you doing, Your Majesty?”

The Demon King: “Mmm.”

The Chief Maid: “You look sluggish.”

The Demon King: “I’m just a bit tired.”

The Chief Maid: “My, my, even though you became the Demon King, you haven’t changed a bit.”

The Demon King: “Would you have wanted me to?”

The Chief Maid: “Hehehe. That’s true. It’s great that you didn’t change.”

The Demon King: “It’s my first time doing so much exercise. I’ve done enough exercise for a lifetime, now I’ll just indulge in research until the Hero comes.”

The Chief Maid: “All that’s changed is your title, Your Majesty.”

The Demon King: “That—”

The Chief Maid: “Yes?”

The Demon King: “I don’t like this ‘Demon King’ thing.”

The Chief Maid: “Really? But you’ve become the Demon King, haven’t you?”

The Demon King: “It makes me feel jittery. Can we do something about it?”

The Chief Maid: “In any case, you’ve already been stripped of your name. We can’t go around calling you by your old name, can we? In that case, how about ‘She Who Has Far Too Large Breasts and Too Much Flab?’”

The Demon King: “Sometimes I get the feeling that you hate me. I’d gravitate towards saying more than sometimes, actually.”

The Chief Maid: “That’s troublesome.”

The Demon King: “In any case, can’t you be nicer?”

The Chief Maid: “Is that so? Well, even if you asked me to…..”

The Demon King: “Can you?”

The Chief Maid: “There are no blind spots with the Way of the Maid.”

The Demon King: “Ooooh!”

The Chief Maid: “Ahem — Demon King ♪”

The Demon King: “Wh-What?! I just saw flowers erupt in the background behind you!”

The Chief Maid: “It’s part of Maid Magic.”

The Demon King: “That may be so, but it’s quite off-putting.”

The Chief Maid: “Demon King. Why do you say such things when I continuously express my adoration for you?”

The Demon King: “Ohhhhh. Why are you saying such saccharine things?!”

The Chief Maid: “It’s the key to the whole technique.” Beams.

The Demon King: “Ohhh! I’ve got to hurry up.”

The Chief Maid: “That may be so, but—”

The Demon King: “What?”

The Chief Maid: “Is it really alright to be cooped up all the time in the library like that?”

The Demon King: “If it’s about running the country, I can manage it from in here.”

The Chief Maid: “It’s not that I don’t understand, but—”

The Demon King: “The Demon World doesn’t have this much research material or databases. It doesn’t have printers or general-purpose computers. It’s a primitive world.”

The Chief Maid: “Just the opposite. It’s a very special place.”

The Demon King: “That’s definitely true. Alright then.”

The Chief Maid: “What will you do?”

The Demon King: “A few things, I guess. If we don’t support it up, at this rate, the entire political system is not going to be able to sustain itself. I’ve got to make a plan for it.”

The Chief Maid: “Mmm.”

The Demon King: “The Demon World is in an eternal state of chaos with conflicts between the different tribes and races. We have to accept the fact that much of this is the fault of the Five Royal Races, but looking at this in reverse, that they were even able to become prosperous amidst all this fighting is also undeniable. Since all this conflict has helped accelerate the Monetary Economy and the flow of goods and services, I suppose we can’t entirely criticise them.”

The Chief Maid: “Yeah.”

The Demon King: “This is it for the time being!”

The Chief Maid: “This is made from paper? It’s quite rough.”

The Demon King: “It’s not paper made in the Library, it’s paper made in the Demon World. I commanded the Sylvan Race to make it.”

The Chief Maid: “Right, and then what?”

The Demon King: “I’d like to make a record of the conflict. We’ll start with victories and defeats, dates, numbers on both sides, losses and gains, materiel and preparations, even expenditure and participating generals.”

The Chief Maid: “I don’t understand.”

The Demon King: “I have a few objectives. One is to get used to making consistent records, and maybe even to professionalise this process. From a long-term perspective, we can probably even raise the Literacy Rate among the population. Another reason is also for me to understand the things which I am doing.”

The Chief Maid: “Understand?”

The Demon King: “I don’t like to support the idea of war, but it’s troublesome to mix personal feelings and grudges with what’s really important. I’d like to make sure I can reflect on and keep track of the values I ascribe to the various objectives as things go on.”

The Chief Maid: “That sounds very troublesome.”

The Demon King: “Until the Hero comes, we don’t have that time, so we have to rush it.”

The Chief Maid: “The Hero…”

The Demon King: “Have you seen it? I have a new picture of him.”

The Chief Maid: “Yeah.”

The Demon King: “It seems he can even stand now, doesn’t it? Isn’t he adorable? Isn’t he wonderful? Yeahhh, I can almost hear his voice.”

The Chief Maid: “You want to meet him way too much.”

The Demon King: “I do want to meet him. But until the seal on the gate is lifted, all I can do is endure. Look, he’s just fallen asleep in this photo, hasn’t he?”

The Chief Maid: “He’s just like a puppy.”

The Demon King: “Yeah! Isn’t that wonderful?”

The Chief Maid: “Ahh, you’re all mesmerised. It’s like you’re blind. You could easily lift the seal and go off on your own.”

The Demon King: “I sealed it myself. You’ve got to draw the line.”

The Chief Maid: “You’re very cute, Your Majesty.”

The Demon King: “Don’t be stupid. I’m not cute at all. The Hero and I are the only two Living Singularities in this world. When the Hero appears, something will change. Concepts will run into concepts, they will combine and some sort of reaction will occur.”

The Chief Maid: “That’ll probably result in a war.”

The Demon King: “It’ll result in a new point of view.”

The Chief Maid: “Yeah…”

The Demon King: “I’ve got a big head, I stay in all day, just what have I wasted my long life doing? But when we do get to meet, at that fateful moment where we exchange words, I’m certain that I will feel something wonderful.”

The Chief Maid: “…How romantic.”

The Demon King: “I don’t mean that it would feel romantic. This is purely an economic, market undertaking.”

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

The Chief Maid: “So it’s that sort of thing, then… Oh.”

The Demon King: “What’s up?”

The Chief Maid: “I’ve got a call. Please excuse me.”

The Demon King: “Your subordinates are increasing, Chief Maid. That’s a great thing.”

The Chief Maid: “—?”

The Demon King: “It wouldn’t be strange if Enlightenment Philosophy came sooner rather than later. Even though there’s a lot of room for development… It’s NDC 130, right? We’ve got to expand civilisation in time for the Hero’s arrival. Just like the wide open sea, there’s an immense number of things which have to be done.”

 

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Explanation

Literacy Rate: This refers to the percentage of the population who are able to read and write.

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The Chief Maid: “—?!—!”

The Chief Maid: “Your Majesty!”

The Demon King: “What?”

The Chief Maid: “The seal on the gate, it’s been dispelled!”

The Demon King: “Huh?”

The Chief Maid: “They used some sort of Massive Ceremonial Magic and dispelled the seal.”

The Demon King: “What?! I haven’t even exchanged words with the Hero! It’s way too early! Who dispelled the seal?! I didn’t think there would be anybody familiar with such high levels of Neutralisation Magic in the Demon World—”

The Chief Maid: “No, the Humans did it. It’s from the Human World. Upon dispelling the gate, 1500 soldiers have begun pouring in to invade. — They call themselves the First Crusade. Their goal is to bring the Demon World to its knees.”

The Demon King: “How opportunistic of them. And rash.”

The Chief Maid: “Huh.”

The Demon King: “We should head back to the Demon King Castle.”

The Chief Maid: “Of course.”

The Demon King: “Why… Why have the Humans come?! — Wasn’t the birth of the Hero supposed to restore balance to the world? What intentions do the Humans have in coming here anyway?”

 

—— The Northern Fields, on a Hill where Snow is Collecting

Obese Nobleman: “Ohh, it’s cold. Why is it so cold!”

Steward: “Indeed.”

Obese Nobleman: “What are you doing, light some more firewood!”

Peasant: “Yes!”

Obese Nobleman: “Is it time for dinner yet? A camping trip like this with tents really needs at least some good food.”

Steward: “I understand. Allow me to go and do something about it. Please wait a moment.”

Obese Nobleman: “Ohh, it’s cold.” Shivers.

Trudging through the snow.

Imperial Guard: “Excuse me.”

Obese Nobleman: “How is it?”

Imperial Guard: “Our knights and soldiers have been assembled. For this battle, we have assembled a total of 650 men.”

Obese Nobleman: “Hmm, that’s a lot less than I’d hoped for. Well. It’s fine. With the mercenaries, I believe we’ve got at least 1,000.”

Imperial Guard: “Yes!”

Obese Nobleman: “What about the other camps?”

Imperial Guard: “The Grey King has the Imperial Guards Division and the Axe Knights. The Heavy Cataphracts from the Kingdom of the Mountain and the Mounted Archers from the Kingdom of Branches are already assembled, but on the whole, we’re still assembling the full army.”

Obese Nobleman: “How long will it take?” Shivers.

Imperial Guard: “Yes. It should be another 2-3 days…”

Obese Nobleman: “Today’s the deadline for the muster, isn’t it? What are they doing! Fools! Do they not want to win?”

Imperial Guard: “What shall we do about the knights and soldiers?”

Obese Nobleman: “With this tent as the centre, arrange the base in a horseshoe formation. Well, well, at this rate, we’re going to need some time before we’re ready for a battle.”

Imperial Guard: “I apologise.”

Obese Nobleman: “It’s fine. It’s the fault of all the other lazy noblemen. And the enemy? What of those pigs from the South?”

Imperial Guard: “The armies of the enemy total 2,500 strong. They’ve assembled in formation at the edge of the forest.”

Obese Nobleman: “Ugh. They’re living like rats at the border of the world. It can’t be helped. After all, they’re scared to engage us in the centre of the Plains.”

Trudging through the snow.

Mercenary Captain: “Is my Lord here?”

Obese Nobleman: “Yes. Captain? How are the numbers?”

Mercenary Captain: “As stated, I’ve managed to assemble 400 Veterans.”

Obese Nobleman: “Excellent! So, we’ve got more than 1,000. We’ve definitely got the advantage.”

Imperial Guard: “Indeed.”

Mercenary Captain: “I hope you’d better not forget about the compensation.”

Obese Nobleman: “Of course, we have the gold ready. You can expect something even better after this is all over.”

Mercenary Captain: “Well, that’s all good, but there’s one more promise we hope you will keep.”

Obese Nobleman: “Of course I remember. In the dawn of entering the Kingdom of Winter, you have free reign to pillage the first few villages we encounter.”

Mercenary Captain: “Good. That’s all I wanted to hear. My archers are with you. Give us a shout if you need us.”

Steward trudges through the snow.

Steward: “My Lord. Dinner has been prepared. If it is fine with you, I will serve it now.”

Obese Nobleman: “Good.”

Steward: “Also, the nearby villages have sent over some plum wine. It is some exquisitely top-grade ice wine, and they’ve even sent 20 bottles of it.”

Mercenary Captain: “Hahaha. Peasants. They’re so scared their lands will be lain waste to… Well, they will be, though.”

Obese Nobleman: “My, my! At least these people know how to be civil. Hehehe. Oh, Captain. Have you had dinner yet?”

Mercenary Captain: “No.”

Obese Nobleman: “The battle will commence in two to three days. Since you won’t have time for things like dinner then, how about we eat now? Oh, that’s right. Allow me to send your mercenaries a bottle of wine.”

Mercenary Captain: “Thank you for that. It’ll really warm them up in this cold.”

Obese Nobleman: “Hahahahaha! I wouldn’t exactly call this palace food, but tonight, let us feast in anticipation of our great victory. Hahahahahaha!”

 

—– The Kingdom of the Lake, Capitol, the Headquarters of the Union

Abacus clicking.

It’s gone up by three points. Continue to buy. Indicators are strong!!!

A ship from the Kingdom of Copper has arrived with a large shipment of copper!!!

Acquire it. Even at a higher price!

Young Merchant: “…Is it your first time seeing something like this?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Yeah.” Peers around interestedly.

 

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Explanation

Veteran: Veterans are highly experienced soldiers who have likely fought in many wars. Before medical technology was sufficiently developed, soldiers who sustained injuries were often incapable of recovery, and would usually either retire or die. As a result, the number of veterans in an army was far less than it is today.

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Young Merchant: “Well, we have a contract for information transfer.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Such a thing has to be fair.”

Young Merchant: “Is this place alright? I’m very busy, but I’m sure I can arrange a convoy for you. You could even tour the city. You’ll be giving me plenty of information about the Demon World, so don’t hold back.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “No, it’s quite alright.”

Young Merchant: “Huh.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “So this is where you work, then? Is that big map hanging on the wall a map of the Human World?”

Young Merchant: “Yes it is.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “In that case, allow me one day to stay here and scrutinise the streets. I won’t get in the way. I won’t raise my voice. I want to get to understand what a normal person on the street lives like, and I think this is one of the centres of this world. — Is it not?”

Young Merchant: “…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I’m a visitor from a foreign land so I might seem a bit foolish.”

Young Merchant: “Well, this is a transaction as well.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Yes, it’s fair.”

Young Merchant: “As long as you don’t do things like sneaking back in at dawn.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Of course I won’t! I know for sure that you’re a great gentleman, but I can’t be sure out there. What would happen if I’d gotten deflowered or something! That would be extremely unpleasant.”

Young Merchant: “I’m sure you wouldn’t be such a terrible victim.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Stop saying things like that!”

Young Merchant: “You’re really noisy.”

Door opens.

Aide: “Councillor. Tonight’s movements.” Hands over report.

Young Merchant: “Understood, I’ll look at it. — How are the purchases from the Kingdom of Branches?”

Aide: “Proceeding as planned! The market price of wheat has increased by 160% since yesterday.”

Young Merchant: “…It’s slowed down.”

Door closes.

Shrewd Accountant: “The expeditionary forces are currently being assembled. It seems they left late.”

Young Merchant: “Late?”

Shrewd Accountant: “Morale was low and it appears military order has dissolved into chaos.”

Young Merchant: “How interesting… Was this a strategy of the Lone Winter King?”

Shrewd Accountant: “It would seem that way.”

Young Merchant: “Why?”

Shrewd Accountant: “This is just a rumour, but it seems that the merchants in the Kingdom of Winter have been selling a lot of Ice Wine to the soldiers.”

Knock knock knock. Door opens!

Aide: “Councillor! It’s an emergency!”

Young Merchant: “Report.”

Aide: “With backing from the Church, the Holy Empire has decided to carry out Reminting on the gold currency! It hasn’t been confirmed yet but it seems that 28 gold coins today will be worth 15 of the new gold coins. According to law, the present gold coins will be forbidden from use or storage. I have information that even the new gold coins will be reminted if the exchange rate falls below a certain margin. They are indeed desperate…”

 

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Explanation

Reminting of Coins: This refers to the process of melting down and making new coins. For example, 2 coins which each contain 3 grams of gold can be remade into a new gold coin which contains 4.5 grams of gold. This new coin would now be worth 2 of the old gold coins. 15,000 old gold coins can then be made into 10,000 new gold coins, but the new gold coins would be worth 20,000 old gold coins, resulting in a surplus of 5,000 old gold coins for the state coffers. However, since there will be 1.5g less gold, there may be even less confidence in the value of money, and hence, unbelievable inflation could result.

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Young Merchant: “What a sensible move. I understand they have to stand up to this. But… how? The new gold coins will have 2.8 times the value of the old ones, but can they maintain this value? Will the Church do it? The Emperor? Do they even understand the situation their country is in? If they do, do they love it? Harvesting wheat from the great earth, quarrying charcoal from the cliffs, burning that charcoal to forge iron, to bake bread, to raise a family. To what extent do they understand this?

I may be a proud merchant, but maybe because of this pride, I will never forget about these. If I do forget, I would find everything I’ve fought for has burnt to ashes. Now more than ever. “Profit motive is a vocabulary we both have in common.” — I see now that ‘Everybody wants to be happy.’ They need to understand that everyone has the right to fight for their happiness.”

Young Merchant: “But on the other hand, if we allow everyone to gain their happiness, this will be the Union’s loss.”

Shrewd Accountant: “What’s happening?”

Young Merchant: “I fear the war will draw to a stalemate.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Yes.”

Young Merchant: “The Wheat Futures… They’re too early. We need to stockpile some of the goods. When you sell goods which you don’t have on your hands, it’s not like one would expect. This is the same as buying and selling trust.”

Shrewd Accountant: “…”

Young Merchant: “Do they have the power to live up to this trust? Or will this be a misunderstanding between colleagues? Kings and noblemen, landlords and clergymen. These are people whom one needs to trust. The entire basis of this trust is the land. One requires trust that the goods one wants will be produced, trust that those goods will definitely be handed over. Trust that the shipment will not be frozen. In the end, one must trust the earth to produce what is needed. One can be robbed of trust, but one cannot easily gain it. To so antagonise the farmers like this is not the way of being a merchant.”

Young Merchant: “Yes. We have ethics as merchants as well.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Yes.”

Young Merchant: “Lady. Let us go to the Kingdom of Winter.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Let’s.”

 

—– Letter from the Disciple Nobleman to the Queen of Ice and Snow

My Most Magnificent and Beloved Royal Majesty,

Time has flowed significantly since the day I left our Kingdom. While the Central Continent is still enjoying the last wisps of autumn, the caravans plying the trade routes are few and the expressions of the people are sad and listless.

Beginning with wheat, the prices of goods have experienced hyperinflation. The expressions of the noblemen, landlords and royalty whom I have met come in three forms: complete glee that the war is going on; steadfast opposition and adherence to peace; and concern for the people of the Kingdom of Winter.

That being said, this certainly is the Central Continent. Having inserted myself into the social world, I’ve become deeply enchanted by the currently fashionable dress of plunging necklines. Since I’ve come here, I’ve also begun to learn to play the lute, I am truly enjoying my time here.

I am not encouraging Your Majesty to spend the wealth of the Kingdom on entertainment, but how would Your Majesty feel about me sending you some things? I have just sent one long dress and two purses. I believe the colour suits Your Majesty very well.

Post-Script: If possible, I would greatly appreciate some more funds.

Post-Post-Script: The Queen of the Lake would like a 60% reduction of tariffs. In her words, “A secret economic union would be great too.” The other 5 Kingdoms are also extremely worried about tiding over this year’s famine, so I believe an appropriate response should be drafted to deal with them taking advantage of the Kingdom of Ice. I have also arranged for a shipment of charcoal and furs from the Kingdom of the Lake. Have they arrived?

 

—– The Kingdom of White Night, the Palace of White Night

One-Eyed Commander: “Why! Why haven’t they defeated those peasants! Those who oppose the Empire! Who oppose the will of the Spirit!”

Slams table.

One-Eyed Commander: “Why are they still alive?! Why does the light still shine on them?! Aren’t they traitors? We tipped off the Church, sent an Inquisition after them and yet, why do they still exist on this Earth?!”

King of White Night: “Hehehehe. Hahahaha!”

One-Eyed Commander: “What’s so funny!”

King of White Night: “They’re a real nuisance so it’s not that easy to get rid of them! There’s no point telling a bunch of pigs, ‘Noblemen are all pigs!’ Hmph. Even if you kill them, all of this won’t be over.”

One-Eyed Commander: “How impertinent!”

King of White Night: “But it’’s the truth.”

One-Eyed Commander: “Hahahaha. You’ve got other problems too, don’t you? King of White Night…”

King of White Night: “The price of wheat has continued to soar. The monetary aid from the Central Continent has also increased substantially from last year. Probably because that was the sum earmarked for all four Kingdoms. It’s almost twice as large as it was before… But even so, the amount of wheat we can buy with this money is still less than last year.”

One-Eyed Commander: “And… What of the emigrants?”

King of White Night: “Regardless of day or night, serfs have been crossing the border into the Kingdom of Metal. What’s so good about the Tripartite!? They’re just fooling those serfs into facing new problems on the other side of the border. Why do they think the Lone Winter King is their friend?”

One-Eyed Commander: “Haha, that guy can cheat even the Heavens.”

King of White Night: “—!”

One-Eyed Commander: “Gahahahahaha!”

King of White Night: “At this rate, our Kingdom… Just our Kingdom of White Night…”

One-Eyed Commander: “Hey, Your Majesty.”

King of White Night: “…” Nods.

One-Eyed Commander: “Why don’t you just seize it? Here, look. The Kingdom of the Iron Fist King. The Kingdom of the Queen of Ice and Snow. They’re like fruits ripe for the picking. After all, they are traitors. Sooner or later, their corruption and rottenness will spread to the rest of the Human World. If that’s the case, then you should quickly seize them and consume them, as a favour to Humanity.”

King of White Night: “…Can I?”

One-Eyed Commander: “The Central Continent has mustered troops from throughout the lands for this war. These troops will be proud but ultimately lack experience. And what of our Kingdom? We have the world’s most experienced soldiers, don’t we?”

King of White Night: “But I lost most of my best men at the Isle of Light. Even if we went through another year of training, we still wouldn’t be able to match up to the quality of troops the rest of the Southern United Kingdoms are able to field…”

One-Eyed Commander: “Hahahaha! The Central Continent! You! Even the Lone Winter King all underestimate this!”

King of White Night: “What?”

One-Eyed Commander: “The advantage of a standing army.”

King of White Night: “And what’s that?”

One-Eyed Commander: “A Surprise Attack.” Grins.

King of White Night: “Isn’t that the same as banditry! How can we do such a thing in a war between humans?! If the Church gets wind of this, our Kingdom will be in trouble.”

 

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Explanation

Surprise Attack: An attack which is conducted when the enemy has not yet had time to prepare. Especially in a world like this where battles tend to be arranged, an attack which takes place without an arranged place or an arranged time could strike the enemy unaware and give the attacker a large advantage.

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One-Eyed Commander: “But these are enemies of the Holy Church, they’re no better than beasts. If we’re lucky, they’ll be so preoccupied with dealing with the gathering threat of the armies led by the Holy Church to the North that they’ll barely have fortifications along their border with us!”

King of White Night: “!”

One-Eyed Commander: “Bandits? Fine! We’ll pay the bandits along their other border to lay waste to the Kingdom of Metal. Once they let their guard down, we’ll launch a massive surprise attack with knights at the centre. We’ll burn their homes and fields and destroy the Kingdom of Metal in a heartbeat.”

King of White Night: “Hehehe, that sounds like a plan.”

One-Eyed Commander: “With the inky darkness behind this one eye, let’s destroy the Kingdom of Metal.”

 

—– The Palace of Winter, a Large Room, Strategy Committee

Lone Winter King: “Then let’s adopt a defensive formation.”

The Female Paladin: “If possible, we should focus not on our mounted knights but on our foot infantry. Especially the spear infantry. We’ll also need a lot of combat engineers.”

Seneschal: “And winter gear as well.”

The Female Paladin: “Has it been prepared?”

Seneschal: “We already acquired large quantities of them from the Central Continent for the Conquest of the Isle of Light.”

The Female Paladin: “Make sure they’re ready as soon as possible.”

The Hero: “I’m sorry, you had to be a babysitter just now and a general right after.”

The Female Paladin: “No, it’s fine. The sisters have been safely escorted to the Kingdom of Metal. With the situation as it is, rather than the Kingdom of Winter so close to the battlefront, the Kingdom of Metal is far further and safer.”

Butler: “Hmm… When I have the time I will check up on them.”

Seneschal: “You just want to see boobies, don’t you?”

Butler: “Nyohohoho! Excuse me!”

Lone Winter King: “Please have limits.”

The Female Paladin: “Please leave this to me, Hero. As much as possible, I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

The Hero: “But your sword is a very dangerous thing.”

The Female Paladin: “What are you saying? Isn’t it good that swords and warhorses are dangerous things?”

The Hero: “Don’t be ridiculous.”

The Female Paladin: “Of course! If it’s possible to do things without anybody getting hurt, then that’s the way we should be doing things!”

Butler: “…”

Lone Winter King: “Seneschal. Help the Female Paladin gather up all the necessary funds and function as the rear guard. Ensure the smooth flow of supplies to the front.”

Seneschal: “Yes.”

The Female Paladin: “I fear the Central Continental Expeditionary Force may contain up to 20,000 soldiers.”

Butler: “With the exception of the Crusades, such a force is completely unprecedented.”

Lone Winter King: “We have maybe 4,500.”

The Hero: “…”

Lone Winter King: “Don’t make that face. No matter what, with the Hero and the Female Paladin commanding, what do we have to worry about?”

The Female Paladin: “Leave it to me!”

Running footsteps! Door flies open!

Messenger: “I have a report!”

Butler: “What is it?”

Lone Winter King: “Speak.”

Messenger: “A message from the Southern Artic Ocean! D-d-demons!”

The Hero: “!”

The Female Paladin: “!”

Butler: “!”

Lone Winter King: “How many?!”

Messenger: “Unknown. Information is still being gathered. Estimates place the number at at least 1,500.”

The Hero: “What timing!”

The Female Paladin: (A Demon attack… What is the Demon King doing?!)

The Hero: “I’ll go… What’s going on? What is going on?!”

Butler: “Hero…”

Lone Winter King: “As long as we have the Hero… Even 10,000 enemies are nothing… I’m sorry, even anything more than that is nothing…”

The Hero: “Your Majesty.”

Lone Winter King: “?”

The Hero: “Would you be shocked if I said that I would rather avoid a fight with the Demons?”

Lone Winter King: “…”

Seneschal: “Th-that’s…”

Lone Winter King: “No matter what, we should avoid a war on two fronts.”

The Hero: “…”

Butler: “Young Man…”

Lone Winter King: “That’s all I can say for now.”

The Hero: “Then I suppose I should thank you.”

The Female Paladin: “Hero… Are you okay?”

The Hero: “Of course.”

Bang!

The Female Paladin: “…”

Butler: “What’s going on?”

Lone Winter King: “…”

Clank!

Messenger: “I have a message!”

Lone Winter King: “What! If it’s about the Demons attacking, we’ve already heard the first report.”

Messenger: “It isn’t. A rider has arrived! The Kingdom of Metal is under attack from a 2,000 strong army from the Kingdom of White Night! This happened a day ago.”

 

—– The Kingdom of Winter, Palace, the Finance Ministry

Assemble the messengers! Send a fast rider to the border!!! Do a survey of our granary!

Many people running about!

Young Merchant: “It’s gotten very busy around here.”

Disciple Merchant: “There’s a tremendous killing intent about. I’m sorry about the rowdiness.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “…”

Young Merchant: “No, no, we came precisely because of the situation. I’m sorry for imposing ourselves on you without at least writing a letter to inform you of our coming.”

Disciple Merchant: “No, I was waiting for you.”

Young Merchant: “Oh.”

Disciple Merchant: “I would like to confirm this, but…”

Young Merchant: “Yes.”

Disciple Merchant: “The one who has been playing games on this tabletop – that’s you, right?”

Young Merchant: “Why do you think so?”

Disciple Merchant: “Otherwise, why would you come and visit me?”

Young Merchant: “I’m probably just a puppet being controlled from behind by the real player.”

Disciple Merchant: “Controlling these things from a long distance? That’s a very wasteful practice. In these situations, unless you have discretionary power, one wouldn’t have the ability to control the situation. But if someone entrusted you with these discretionary powers in situations and the ability to make decisions based on one’s instincts, you’re not just a marionette but a player.”

Young Merchant: “Hehehe.”

Disciple Merchant: “If it were me, I can see why one would do it.”

Young Merchant: “I understand. Then I suppose the one who introduced tariffs was you?”

Disciple Merchant: “It was.”

Assistant: “Sir!”

Young Merchant: “Bring us some tea, please.”

Assistant: “Yes!”

Young Merchant: “What a cute young man.”

Disciple Merchant: “It wears off.”

Young Merchant: “Shall we begin negotiations then?”

Disciple Merchant: “…”

Young Merchant: “We’ve digressed greatly from my original topic of discussion. Allow me to summarise the main points. Firstly: I would like a writ which gives me free access through the lands of the Tripartite Union. With present tariffs, it is prohibitively difficult to do business when we transit through the Southern United Kingdoms. The Union would like special privileges to be given to us.”

Disciple Merchant: “Special privileges?”

Young Merchant: “On the condition that we do not conduct trade in the Tripartite Union. We merely want to be allowed free passage for goods which we bring in. That should not have significant economic impacts on the barriers to trade you have created, should it?”

Disciple Merchant: “That’s… true.”

Young Merchant: “Secondly: we would like to loan the Isle of Light.”

Disciple Merchant: “Huh?”

Young Merchant: “Geographically, the Isle of Light belongs to the Kingdom of Winter. We would like you to loan it to us as a demesne or even a vassal territory. Of course, we will not take control of it directly, but rather through a third party. We hope you understand the benefit to both of us in operating through a proxy.”

Disciple Merchant: “Well, who will it be, and where from?”

Young Merchant: “Thirdly: Do you know that the Union operates an internal bank?”

Disciple Merchant: “I do. The power available to this bank for international transfer of funds is a massive weapon of the Union.”

Young Merchant: “We would like to request the permission to establish branches of the bank in Chambers of Commerce in each of the Capital Cities of the Tripartite Union.”

Disciple Merchant: “That is something I can understand easier.”

Young Merchant: “Fourthly: The Union would like to purchase the entire stockpile of the Tripartite Union’s potatoes.”

Disciple Merchant: “…Huh?”

Young Merchant: “These are the topics of discussion for today. I would like to specially mention, though I’m sure you can’t tell just by looking, that the Union presently barely has any money left. We would like to request that the above transactions do not involve the exchange of gold.”

Disciple Merchant: “…”

Door opens.

Assistant: “I have the tea!”

Disciple Merchant: “Just leave it there.”

Assistant: “Yes!”

Disciple Merchant: “…” Gulp.

Young Merchant: “How warm. Did you add jam into it?”

Disciple Merchant: “Yes, we do that in the cold South.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Thank you.”

Assistant: “Ehehehe.”

Disciple Merchant: (I wonder what sort of face is hiding behind that hood. I’m certain she’s a beauty.)

Assistant: “Ah. I’ve brought sweets as well!”

Young Merchant: “What a relaxed office.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Indeed.”

Disciple Merchant: (What does this mean… Let me think. What is his intention behind this string of proposals?

Firstly, with regards to the Bank. Based on what he says, the Bank will be open to… well, at the very least, it’ll be open to the Guilds and to the state. What’s the meaning of this? Is it just to tap on the potential of our rapidly growing Kingdom…? But, if they were to open this up to the public… While they may benefit on our end, wouldn’t the standing of the Union with the Central Continent and Church rapidly deteriorate?)

Disciple Merchant: (No, that’s right, the order is important. In other words, this is number three. What about the rest…)

Disciple Merchant: (Alright, let’s think about this in order. The first is the Writ of Free Passage. That’s easy. In the first place, the tariff was meant to prevent exports and not imports. If that’s all they wanted, then just as the Merchant says, it shouldn’t have significant impacts on our country… But, why am I apprehensive about this…

Next, the second proposal. It’s extremely unsettling when one does not know what the opponent is aiming for. If it does not cause problems for the fisheries or the shipping lines, then there is certainly room for negotiation. But, who? And why? What will happen on that island? Salt? What meaning could renting the Isle possibly have?

Assuming we’re done with the third proposal, how about the fourth? If we look at it in order, it may appear that the fourth proposal is some sort of reward, but the meaning is still unclear. To begin with, how does the Merchant intend to store such large amounts of potatoes from the Three Kingdoms? This is not an amount one can so brashly purchase. We may be small countries, but these are national stockpiles. To begin with, the potato is not a food crop which can easily be sold to many countries. The Tripartite Union, and maybe even the Kingdom of the Lake, where the Order of the Lake comes from and the neighbouring country of the Kingdom of Branches. Within these areas, it should probably be able to sell, but considering the unnatural buying patterns recently… To begin with, this is way too much to be selling to just two countries. Who could this food be intended for?)

Disciple Merchant: (Meaning… Who… Where… Where…? That’s right. It’s all the same. If this passes through our lands, where could it be intended for? To get to the Kingdom of White Night, or to other Kingdoms, there’s no need to pass through our territories. Could it possibly be cheaper to transit the goods through our shipping lanes? No, unless there’s been some new discoveries, such a shipping lane doesn’t exist. The tariffs are completely inapplicable between Kingdoms of the Economic Union, since it only applies to countries apart from the three signatories.

They have no money and that’s probably because of the ridiculous amount of money they would have poured out just to play with the prices to such an extent. It’s not impossible; to do something to such an extent. The price inflation in the Central Continent was a ridiculous situation. The misery of the people… Part of the noblemen are coming up with financial assistance, social securities and public infrastructure works in order to spread some income to the people but with the entire monetary system and trade network so tied up, it’s like trying to cool a hot stone with a drop of water. No matter how much money they spread around, it’s still limited by leakages to the other countries and personal influence. It’s like using a tub of iced water to cool a spoon of hot soup.)

Disciple Merchant: (According to Teacher, these sorts of financial intervention and Fiscal Policy, is extremely effective in such situations. But this time, the situation is a bit too serious. Unless all the noblemen were to act simultaneously… Fiscal Policy. Bank…? Monetary? Monetary… policy? To render Monetary Policy useless, that’s why he’s fixed the market prices? Since the entire Central Continent only uses one currency, it is possible to completely fix all market prices. In that case, Fiscal Policy should definitely work…)

Door closes!!!

Disciple Merchant: “You! The wheat doesn’t matter to you at all! You just want to use it as barter!”

Young Merchant: “Heh.”

Disciple Merchant: “And you intend to invest that wheat in the Tripartite Union?!”

 

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

Explanation

Fiscal Policy: This refers to both the encouragement of the movement of financial capital, and the decision of the amount and the incidence of tax rates. If done properly, it can help to stabilise taxes and create the proper environment for a blossoming economy. If it fails, it may result in a worsening of the situation, even creating deflation or inflation.

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

 

 

Young Merchant: “That is correct.”

Disciple Merchant: “Y-You…”

Young Merchant: “What?”

Disciple Merchant: “— You’re going to start a second currency.”

Young Merchant: “That’s right.”

Disciple Merchant: “For real?!”

Young Merchant: “The potential growth of the Central Continent is weak. So just what is wrong with attempting to invest in and encourage the growth of a new and rising economy?”

Disciple Merchant: “We are at war with the Central Continent.”

Young Merchant: “If you’re trying to make money during a war, make sure to stay for away from the flames… That’s a quote by my Master. Those who are risking their lives are merely the soldiers.”

Disciple Merchant: “How can you be assured that we will continue to grow?!”

Young Merchant: “Look at my first two proposals.”

Disciple Merchant: “…”

Assistant: “?”

Disciple Merchant: “…!”

Young Merchant: “That’s right.”

Disciple Merchant: “Do you really think you can do that? You intend to give back the Isle which we risked so much for?!”

Young Merchant: “You won, so you’re in that position.”

Disciple Merchant: “Why would you think that? Why are you even doing this?! Y-you— You want to use our waters… to trade with the Demons!”

Young Merchant: “Yes.”

Disciple Merchant: “Why… would…”

Young Merchant: “Because I am a merchant.”

Disciple Merchant: “What…?”

Young Merchant: “Because I am a merchant, I will trade with the Demons. Do you think this world is split into allies and enemies? Into black and white? If that is so… then what do you think the Hero is working so hard for? Can’t you see that he sees something greater?”

Disciple Merchant: “…”

Young Merchant: “More than anyone, perhaps I have rather unorthodox views on things. I don’t understand things like Justice, but what I do know is that I want to be happier, like we all do. If we can cooperate like this, perhaps all of us can benefit. Or am I wrong?”

Raises hood.

Fire Dragon Lady: “We also humbly beg for your cooperation.”

Disciple Merchant: “Ah… Horns.”

Young Merchant: “This is the Fire Dragon Lady. Currently, she represents the Council of the only territory in the Demon World where humans and demons co-exist in harmony, the Free City of the Gate.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “We require salt… and would like to borrow your island. We will make amends. We will pay the necessary price. We will maintain our role as the defeated ones on that Isle, we humbly beg for your cooperation.”

Disciple Merchant: “Ah, ah—”

Fire Dragon Lady: “You haven’t raised the alarm yet. If you wanted to, we would already be your prisoners. But it appears you are considering the proposal?”

Assistant: “What’s that?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “This is my Rose Crystal Horn, I am very proud of it.”

Assistant: “Umm…” Heart races.

Fire Dragon Lady: “?”

Assistant: “Can I touch it?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Of course.”

 

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

Explanation

Barter: This refers to the practice of exchanging goods directly for other goods rather than using currency.

The Young Merchant’s Plan (TL Note: FINALLY): At present, the price of wheat in the Central Continent has gone up tremendously. However, originally, food items like wheat are necessities, and hence demand for them is unlikely to change dramatically, and the value ascribed to each unit of wheat is likewise likely to remain stable. In other words, the price of wheat wasn’t actually going up, rather, the value of the currency was falling dramatically. (In this situation, price refers to the value ascribed to a unit of good.) This situation is what the Young Merchant was referring to when he said he wanted to ‘Sell the Gold of the Kingdoms’. This is also precisely why the Young Merchant made sure to expend almost all of his gold in buying wheat and other commodities, so that at the peak of the economic crisis, he would be able to make an incredible amount of profit from selling off his stock of commodities.

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

 

——- The Southern Artic Ocean, Near the Gate

Hero teleports in!

The Hero: “Is this it? — I teleported here.”

The Hero: “This sure is familiar. Especially the water source… Here?”

(If ending the war is the job of the military, then finding the end is the job of the King.)

The Hero: “Ahh, Demon King. Demon King… I’m not a King, I’m just a Hero. I can’t find the end after all — Why has it come to this!?”

(What’s wrong? Don’t you want to be mine? I’m not selfish.)

The Hero: “Nonsense, haven’t you been abusing me ever since we met? Do this, do that. Making me go to places. Dragging me everywhere. And now doing this. — That’s all you’ve done. Even then, you didn’t even object to me going to the Demon World. Even when I needed you to be selfish, you selfishly weren’t selfish.”

(I’ll be satisfied as long as we can get to ‘The Other Side of the Hill’ together)

The Hero: “Really?”

(No…?)

The Hero: “I’ll definitely let you see it. You and I, and the Female Paladin, and Grandpa, and the King, and the Maid Sisters and the Maid Chief, and the Mage, and the people of the City of the Gate, and the people of the Southern Kingdoms, and the people of the Village of Wintering. I even want to show it to our opponents in the Central Continent. To the Demon Races too… That’s why. That’s why—if all I can do is kill and destroy, then I’m useless.”

Water gushes.

The Hero: “I haven’t been able to show even one of what I want to show to other people.”

Water gushes.

The Hero: “That’s why I’m going to stop. I can talk all I want about righteousness and justice. But if all I can do is destroy and kill, how can I say I’m doing great things!”

Water gushes.

The Hero: (…Ah. The Pale… A Giant-Class member of the Pale. They’ve got long-ranged weaponry and ample food supplies. If I want them to withdraw, that’s what I’ll have to target…)

“Good.”

The Hero: “…?”

“…Your considerations.”

The Hero: “Huh?”

“…It’s good that you’re considering that much.”

The Hero: “Eh? …Ah?”

The Mage: “…”

The Hero: “Where have you been all this while?!”

The Mage: “…Waiting.”

The Hero: “Huh?”

The Mage: “…Library.”

The Hero: “In the Cosmic Library? How did you even get there?!”

The Mage flinches.

The Hero: “Don’t tell me…”

The Mage: “…Only members of a certain race can enter.”

The Hero: “…?”

The Mage: “Them.” Points.

The Hero: “? …Yeah, they’re Demons.”

The Mage: “Are you still going to kill them?”

The Hero: “…No. A bit. I just want to stop them.”

The Mage: “…Understood.”

The Hero: “Huh?”

The Mage: “I will watch.”

The Hero: “…? I understand.”

The Mage casts a spell.

The Hero: “Whoa, what!”

The Mage: “…It’s for communication.”

The Hero: “A Correspondence Charm?”

The Mage nods.

The Hero: “You haven’t changed at all, you still act like you’ve just woken up from a nap.”

The Mage: “Don’t understand — Go.”

The Hero: “?”

The Mage: “…Demon King is waiting.”

The Hero: “You know about the Demon King?”

The Mage: “…Wait. I will deal with this. I will end it. …Using an Epic-level Destruction Spell, I will destroy the Gate.”

The Hero: “If you do that, we won’t be able to cross to the Demon World.”

The Mage: “…”

The Hero: “…Is that okay?”

The Mage nods.

The Hero: “How much?”

The Mage: “Strongest.”

The Hero: “Why would you do such a thing?!”

The Mage: “Important.”

The Hero: “What is?”

The Mage: “You.”

 

—— The Frozen Artic Limit, above the Gate

The Mage: “Total Demon force 2,670. Begin calculation of distance. Beginning thawing of Compression Techniques. Thawing 15% … 37% … 59% … 81% … Ready to eliminate conflict with current target area.”

The Mage: “Hero…”

Air buzzes with magic.

The Mage: “In order to assist the Hero, I will begin successive Compression Techniques to buy time for you to attack. Huh!? Understand, you fool!

I have awoken my eyes! I know why you had to leave us! It’s because of me! It’s because of me! That day! At that night! I couldn’t do anything for your pride! All I was was a burden! How many nights have I passed thinking of how to right that!!! I will be like you!!! I won’t just be a lousy underling! I! CAN! DO! IT!!!”

The Hero: “She’s overzealous again…”

The Mage: “Disappear! You pieces of shit!”

Boom! Bang! Crash! Boom!

Clank! Bang! Boom! Boom!

Boom! Bang! Bang! Boom!

The Hero: “She teleported?! Don’t tell me she’s teleporting to each Demon individually to deal with them?!”

“Threat eliminated.”

The Hero: “Understood. Moving out. Epic-class Lightning Destruction Spell!”

Lightning crackles! Lightning ball shoots out!

“Insufficient.”

The Hero: “Huh!? Okay, more mana! Carnage-class Lightning Destruction Spell, activate!”

“More.”

The Hero: “The tension in her voice is gone. Alright then, let’s go… Ahhhh! Lightning! Lightning! Lightning! Deity-class Lightning Obliteration Spell!”

The Hero: “How was that?”

Massive area of destruction confirmed.”

“Commence special entry via High Speed Flying Magic.”

The Hero: “Yes!”

Blasts off.

“15 seconds.”

The Hero: “Have I gone too far? I think I’ve created a far too massive crater.”

“Approaching critical speed factor.”

The Hero: “Eh?”

“Increase velocity and break through.”

The Hero: “Y-yes!”

Air rushes!

The Hero: “It’s bright. Wh-what. This wind. Where am I?!”

“Underground world.”

The Hero: “Eh?”

“You were transported to the Underground World through the Repulsion Force Ball of Light… The Alternate World you call the Demon World does not exist.”

 

—— Omake!

 

Little Maid Sister: “Here, try this! It’s peach juice mixed with sugar and milk, then chilled. I think it’ll taste great after a bath!”

Elder Maid Sister: “Wow… You’re scarily good.”

TL Note: It is a custom in Japan to drink flavoured milk (chocolate, strawberry, peach etc.) after taking a bath, particularly at a public bath.
 

< Chapter 1                                                                                                     Chapter 3 >

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9 thoughts on “Volume 2 Chapter 2

  1. Okay. The demon king is talking about computers and printers >.> she’s from the 21th century or some immortal alien, calling it now.

    Also the merchant’s son and young merchant kinda switched captions in 3 or 4 places. O.o

    • I’d say at least here:
      “Young Merchant: (I wonder what sort of face is hiding behind that hood. I’m certain she’s a beauty.)”
      here:
      “Young Merchant: (What does this mean…… Let me think. What is his intention behind this string of proposals?”
      And basically all the ones aroud there where the Merchant’s Son is thinking to himself.

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

  3. @Anthari She’s from a time outside of time. The library represents the “three thousand worlds”, which can mean the universe. This means that the Cosmic Library has the knowledge of the entire known universe in it (I forgot the proper name of it).

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