Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama
While I talked to Lyla, Rodje ensured that every last demon went back to their realm.
「So, you managed to read my mind?」, Lyla quipped, giggling like a child who had just pulled off a prank successfully.
「Well, you suddenly made a bold claim for a person who can’t even use magic anymore. Since our eyes met, I assumed that you were referring to me.」
「Fuu… indeed, you are my ‘Instant Death’. You assassinated Cornelieu not only in a split second, but also right in front of everyone — it was really a sight to behold.」
Looking at her former subjects going home one after another, she seemed altogether satisfied.
「Rodje said something about a medic here earlier. He’s about to leave — do you not want to look for him?」
「Oh, that guy is stationed at one of the barracks nearby. I’ll look for him after this.」
She didn’t look so bad for a person who had been whining about being sickly just a day ago.
「Don’t push yourself. It’s one thing to feel under the weather, and another to actually fall ill. Especially if it’s some demon disease.」
「I know, I know, kufufu. So you were concerned about me, huh?」, asked Lyla happily, wrapping her arm around mine.
「Let’s go, then.」
「I’ll go alone. Don’t even think of following me!」
She stormed off, leaving me to wonder why she suddenly got angry. Unable to figure it out, and with nothing else to do, I silently observed the troupe of homeward-bound demons.
「Oi, human. Where did her Majesty go?」, inquired Rodje as she walked over.
「Your king went to look for that medic you were talking about. She specifically told me not to follow her, so I advise you not to try either.」
「Fufufu. Don’t lump me together with yourself. I, Supreme Commander of the 1st Magical Regiment, having pledged allegiance to her Majesty, have since been through thick and thin with her, and am more trustworthy than you could ever be!」, exclaimed the dark elf triumphantly.
She began reminiscing about her adventures with Lyla.
「Is it a long story?」
「The time that you have spent with her is a far cry from that of mine! We’ve even taken a bath together!」
While she continued gushing about her compadre, I thought about how often I took a bath with Lyla. It certainly wasn’t every day, but four times a week sounds about right, although she usually only entered the bath halfway through my routine.
「It’s more efficient to bathe together… before the water gets slimy…」, she would say before joining me.
「Yet, her Majesty really is amazing. So that’s why she can no longer use magic… she spent all her magicka developing the terrible spell known as ‘Instant Death’!」
Rodje sighed in awe.
「To be able to sign your death sentence with a single utterance — how could you ever dare to cross her? She can kill you as she sees fit!」
「Interesting, considering that you’re speaking to ‘Instant Death’.」
No, forget I said anything, I said, shaking my head.
「Why did you choose to pledge allegiance to Lyla? To put it simply, you’re an elf and not a demon.」
「Do you know how the Demon King is selected to rule over us, human?」
「It’s not a hereditary position, I know that much.」
「Spot on. However, the next Demon King has to be part of his predecessor’s progeny. If he shows intellect and an inclination towards ruling unparalleled by his peers, that child will become the next monarch, whether he likes it or not.」
Not a hereditary position, and yet the successor must be the previous king’s child? I don’t know if this has always been the case, but I can imagine the contempt of all those eyeing the throne.
「Nobody considers the needs of the demon realm and its inhabitants as extensively as the current Demon King does. She cares for those who serve her as well. It’s all for the sake of her successor, as many people believe.」
Something had been nagging me since Rodje spirited Lyla away.
「Rodje Sandsong… who are you working for?」
Initially, I had thought that Rodje was simply a centrist acting on her own accord. However, I soon sensed that she was under orders, or had an assignment to complete.
「Wow, you’re sharp」, the dark elf snickered.
「If you’re really a centrist, you would’ve already returned to the demon realm. The hardliners charging into certain death would be nothing more than mere news to you. Even though there’ll be human casualties as well, it’s clearly not something any of you will lose sleep over.」
She had come to look for Lyla, who had lost all contact with her homeland, and to explain the current situation to her.
「What is your aim?」
「It’s nothing nefarious. His Majesty… her Majesty’s father is in retirement, but alive and well. After the war, he ordered me to look for the ‘dead’ Demon King and keep an eye on the stragglers.」
Being able to create ‘Gates’, she had snuck into the ranks of the hardliners and been quietly feeding information to the Demon King’s father, I suppose.
「I said I wouldn’t tell a soul about her Majesty having survived, but that’s a lie. I had to inform his Majesty, but no one else.」
As the hardliners under Cornelieu were getting ready for war, Rodje suddenly got wind of a girl with demon-like features living in a nearby town.
「They said she was unequalled in beauty, so I was almost certain that it was her. In his Majesty’s words, ‘If you tell Lylael about the hardliners’ uprising, she’ll definitely try to put a stop to it. See that it happens.’」
Even the Demon King’s father couldn’t bear to see the hardliners hand their lives over on a silver platter.
「Her Majesty’s compassion towards her subjects is inherited from her father. Thus, his Majesty sent me all the way here in order to stop this madness.」
They hadn’t expected Lyla to have zero magicka or magical abilities, Rodje added.
「But in exchange, her Majesty picked up an extraordinarily reliable man… is what his Majesty says. N-Not me, okay!? Don’t get me wrong!」, exclaimed the elf, sticking a finger out at me.
Yes, I know, I said, raising both hands in a gesture of surrender.
Finally, all the demons had left and calmness had befallen the grassy plain under the knoll. Lyla still hadn’t returned, so Rodje and I decided to go to the barracks ourselves. It was a simple building erected via earthen magic.
「Just wait here!」
As Rodje was about to walk in, a hunchbacked old woman came out.
「Oh? May I enquire of her Majesty, Doctor?」
「Ah, it’s Rodje. You must be tired. No matter how I think about it, I can’t believe that she’s the real Lylael-sama…」
Smiling bitterly, she took out a pipe, sat down on a tree stump and began to smoke.
It seemed not to be a serious ailment. Having been told that she was in the infirmary, I followed Rodje to her.
「Hey, Lyla. How’re you feeling?」
「Your Majesty, are you well…?」
Lyla was lying on the bed with her back turned to us.
「Umu… nothing serious… in particular.」
「Your Majesty, what did the doctor say…?」
Lyla’s eyes met mine for a moment. Turning red, she then averted her gaze.
「Her Majesty appears to be embarrassed…」
Rodje, suddenly having a nosebleed, swooned.
「To say that, do you hate me…?」, asked Lyla, breaking character for the first time in a while.
「I can’t possibly hate you, your Majesty!」
「I’m not talking to you.」
Wanting to be left alone with me, Lyla chased Rodje out of the room. Understandably, the elf wasn’t very pleased.
「I can’t let my subjects hear this…」
「What? Just say it.」
Blushing all the way to her ears, Lyla looked away.
「I thought so… it’s true…」
Despite sitting on my bed and having my ears trained on her, I still couldn’t make out what she was saying.
「Lyla, I can’t hear you. Say it properly… is it actually a serious illness?」
She seemed reluctant to say it, but looked at me regardless.
「I tried to cook something two days ago, remember? I tasted my dishes many times… and it was bad… on multiple layers…」
「Seriously? Are you dumb?」
「S-Shut up! That’s why I didn’t want to say it!」
She thumped her fist onto me, to dispel the embarrassment or otherwise.
Rodje had been quietly listening behind the door.
「To fall ill from her own cooking… what a klutz… but so cute!」