Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
The Beastman King
Grasslands stretched out, rolling far and wide like the great ocean—that’s what the history books would say about Einbeast a thousand years ago. At present, however, there was only bare earth that spread for miles.
Einbeast’s capital, Hopestadt, stood at the center of this rugged wasteland. A bustling metropolis, one only had to follow the road that ran through the lands to get there.
Einbeast’s population was 1.5 times more than Ponsonia, but compared to G. Ponsonia, Hopestadt seemed smaller in size, which wasn’t surprising, because as the name “multiracial nation” suggested, various races lived in Einbeast. Elves mostly settled in the large forest on the west, Dwarves built a town near volcanoes, and by the lake were villages of Rock People.
The population was spread out over the country. As a result, the capital was smaller compared to other nations.
Under the king was a Council of elders from each race and tribe that managed how the country was ran. The king was required to show respect to the Council, but he could still make decisions with an iron fist. This might seem like an outrageous system, but it was allowed because of the peculiar way Einbeast chose its ruler.
The strongest will be king. The crown wasn’t handed down through heredity. Every six years, Einbeast held a tournament to determine the next king. Each race had their own representative. Whoever won became the country’s ruler for the next six years.
「Gotthold is asking for advice?」
The king, Gerhardt Vatex Anchor, a lion Beastman who won the previous tournament, glared at the man who gave his report.
Just like a lion, he had long, red hair. His face was almost identical to that of a human’s, except for the sharp fangs. He had massive muscles and stood over two meters tall.
Winters in Hopestadt weren’t really cold. Gerhardt’s had the front of his clothes open, exposing his chest. A necklace of large, red gems hung around his neck.
Beautiful women—each one of them from a different race—wearing revealing attire served him from left to right.
「Your Majesty, our troops are currently stationed in Ponsonia’s Leather Elka. The adventurers party, Rising Falls, had their weapon stolen and refused to take part in the war. Prince Austrin is asking for an arbitration as well. Lord Gotthold is asking for advice about our next move.」
A man read the report out loud in the audience chamber. Military personnel and civil officials stood alongside the walls.
「Is he stupid? It’s too late for an arbitration.」
「His Holiness, the Pope is actually going ahead with it.」
「That old fool…」
The king growled. The vassals present turned pale as a sheet. They were concerned about the king’s mood.
The king’s angry.
This is bad. When he was this mad last month, three people ended up dead.
Thank heavens I didn’t have to give my report today.
The position of king could only be gained through power. As such, if he went on a rampage, no one would be able to stop him. Last month, three men suspected of corruption were brought in for interrogation and Gerhardt ended up killing them all. Evidence popped up afterwards that would’ve resulted in them being sentenced to death. But if they somehow ended up innocent, it would’ve been a disaster.
Some believed the current method of choosing the king was not right, but Einbeast had survived all this time with this system. Many supported it as well.
Gerhardt was a moody, yet compassionate man. For a warrior-type Beastman, he was surprisingly smart—a wise king. He had won the tournament for three straight times, and it was his 18th year in office. Einbeast kept on growing during this period.
「Is the intel department here?」
「Y-Yes, Your Majesty.」
A portly man from a fiend-type race straightened his back.
「I asked you to look into the Solaris Mage and the Dragon Slayer, correct? How’d that go?」
「We’re almost certain that the Solaris Mage is a Mage named Selica, a member of the Ponsonian adventurers party Four Stars of the East. However, we still don’t have any leads on the Dragon Slayer. The only one who saw this person is the Four Stars’ Sarah. At the moment, we’re investigating if she’s actually the Dragon Slayer herself.」
Gerhardt was quiet.
The man felt worried. He couldn’t comprehend why the king brought those people up when they were talking about Leather Elka.
「Where is this Four Stars of the East right now?」he asked.
「We believe they’re in Pond, the royal capital’s satellite town.」
「Hmm…」Gerhardt leaned back on the throne. It was made to support his large build and weight without any problem.
「I-Is there something troubling you, Your Majesty?」
Everyone, not only the guy from the intel department, had no idea what the king was trying to say.
「Something’s bugging me… I suppose we’ll know once I see this Four Stars of the East.」
Gerhardt rested his chins on his hand. The girls moved close to him, laying their hands on him gently.
「Summon the Four Stars of the East here.」
「I’ll verify with my own eyes whether or not they’re the ones behind our current problem.」
「U-Understood, Your Majesty!」
The portly man left, puzzled.
「Your Majesty, could you please explain?」An old reptilian man asked—no, a look at the shell on his back and one could tell he was from the Turtle Men clan. His long beard hung straight down, tied a little at the tip.
「So even you have no idea.」the king said.
「None at all.」
「You old fart. You’re just too lazy to explain yourself so you want me to do it instead!」
「I am but a foolish attendant. I ask that the wise king explain in his own words what he is thinking.」the old man asked politely.
Gerhardt frowned and spat.
「I’ve talked about this countless times before. Ponsonia’s king was a foolish man and a lunatic. If left alone, the kingdom would’ve destroyed itself in the war against Quinbland. We could’ve then taken over Ponsonia with the least amount of casualties.」Feeling grumpy, Gerhardt started explaining the matter. He acknowledged the old man’s superiority.「But then the king was killed.」
There was a stir among the vassals. They were told the death was accidental. There was no conclusive report about it being a murder.
「A death by illness would be too flimsy at this time. It’s necessary to assume the worst possible scenario.」
「So you are saying Kudyastoria assassinated the king and is the one behind all this.」
「Yes, it’s safe to assume that, but…」
Gerhardt’s frown deepened. Lion Beastmen aged fast. The king took the throne when he was twenty-seven and he was now forty-five years old. Going by normal Beastman standards, he would only live for five more years. He was old, yet none could beat him still.
This was a problem. If no one could best him, he would have to participate in next year’s tournament. Gerhardt wanted someone else to take the throne already, for the country’s future.
「Something just doesn’t feel right. The king’s assassination, killing a dragon, disarming Rising Falls. There’s a game changer behind the scenes.」
「And it is the Four Stars of the East?」
「My instinct says it’s not. But I have to see them to be sure.」
The old man withdrew. The vassals seemed to have understood the king’s point. His hunch had helped the country numerous times before. He’d defended Einbeast against calamities and even killed gigantic monsters. Everyone was of this common understanding that the king should simply act however he liked.
「Tell Gotthold this.」
The man who gave the report was still kneeling down. He took out a pen and a paper to write down the king’s words.
「Summon the Four Stars of the East to the capital. There’s a possibility they have Rising Falls’ weapon. We can verify it once they’re here, but if they don’t make an appearance, then we’ll just have to take Ponsonia. I’ll join the fight as well.」
A loud commotion ensued. The turtle old man was about to step forward when Gerhardt gestured him to stop.
「It’ll be my last big job during my term. I don’t think we can take the royal capital that easily, but if we surround the place, we can cut down Ponsonia’s territory slowly.」
Gerhardt’s eyes gleamed, eyes that didn’t care about arbitrations or territorial divisions. He just wanted to destroy Ponsonia. His vassals felt his excitement.
「Make sure your armors undergo maintenance.」
「Yes, Sir!」the men answered in unison.
On that day, Einbeast, who was just waiting to see how the situation unfolded, instantly prepared themselves for an all-out war against Ponsonia.