Right now in the Dark Continent, there was a newest kingdom in this world of Remfilia──the Zadark Kingdom that has Demon King Vermudol as its king. It was there that the white walled Demon King castle towered.
Light gathered in the large magic formation that was in the castle’s dim underground, and before long, it vanished as if it popped.
Ichika greeted the figures that appeared from within that with a perfect bow.
「Welcome back, Demon King-sama.」
「Yeah, I’m back. In particular, I shouldn’t have contacted you before deciding to come back but……」
Vermudol turned his gaze with a bit of a perplexed look to it at Ichika who had received him with perfect timing.
「It is because I had felt Demon King-sama’s magical power.」
He had various retorts to make like “what kind of timing did you sense it with”, or “where did you come from and with what speed did you get here”, but since Ichika was capable of directly clearing all conditions, Vermudol kept silent and nodded.
After seeing Ichika after such a long time, he felt that her bottomlessness had been polished.
「How was mankind’s territory? It would be nice if Nino did not act carelessly.」
「Nino’s work was done perfectly. Nino is the one worried that Ichika skipped out on her work.」
「You are the one that has a habit of putting things off. Did you think I did not know that you had become the castle town’s specialty?」
「That is proof of Nino’s popularity. Nino’s beautiful womanliness is at the level of turning men into stalkers at first sight.」
「Oya oya, that is quite troubling. A maid that brings in trouble needs to be quarantined.」
After getting in between the gazes of the two who had immediately fired shots at each other, Vermudol turned towards Ichika.
「Well, let’s see. Various things had happened but……That’s right. Where has Rokuna gone?」
「She is in the first underground floor’s grand library.」
「Same as usual then.」
「Yes. Shall I go and drag her out?」
Saying that that wasn’t necessary, Vermudol waved his hand Ichika.
「I merely have a souvenir for her. Since this is a good time, let’s just go like this.」
The underground of the Demon King castle was deep.
The fourth underground floor was the large magic formation, the third underground floor was the treasury, and the first and second underground floor acted as the grand library.
「……It increased once again.」
Passing by in front of the third underground floor treasury, Vermudol muttered that.
In the third underground floor treasury that had become empty due to the Hero’s invasion in the past, a fair amount of treasure was stored nowadays. The treasure was not articles with history, but were mostly weapons and armor that the Norm artisans, who were a race that specialized in blacksmithing, had made as well as jewelry. But even though they were new, their value was high. For that reason, the treasury was always guarded by Magic Clad Armor.
「It is because mines and veins are being discovered one after another, and the Norm artisans are constantly testing out their skills against each other.」
Just as Ichika said, the act of making things was equivalent to a purpose in life to the Norm artisans, and they were a group that would not settle down unless they were always challenging their own limits.
Due to Vermudol’s command, they received definite protection in the Zadark Kingdom.
It was a policy carried out with the plan of making them useful in the protection and stimulation of industry, but the Norm artisans displayed feelings of great thanks for that, and ended up offering their own masterpieces to Vermudol.
Of course, what they called masterpieces were with the meaning of 「the ones at that point in time」.
The Norm artisans put in strenuous effort to aim for even greater heights, and they would make an offering everytime their masterpieces were improved. This meant that the result of that was the current treasury.
「……I see. It seems that they are doing well.」
「Yes, it is going quite favorably.」
Vermudol’s group left the resplendent treasury, and moved to the second underground floor.
At the center of the abnormally open and conspicuous forest of bookcases, there was an old stone table and chair.
The one sitting in that chair was the guardian of this grand library, as well as a Mazoku that Vermudol had directly created, the Majin Rokuna.
With her dark brown hair tied back and loosely wearing a thick robe, Rokuna noticed Vermudol’s presence and turned around.
Moving her sleepy-looking brown eyes, she stood up looking like she found it to be a pain.
「Welcome back, Ver-cchi……The Demon King-dono I love and respect. I am sure that you are tired from finishing your long journey. By the way, it would be an honor if you were to give something to adorn this lonely place that must be protected, you know? Rather, souvenir please.」
In response to that way of speaking that did not seem to show any love or respect at all, Ichika looked down and pressed her forehead with her fingers.
Although Rokuna looked like this, she was a hard to come by talented personnel and since it was known that she was currently in a free state since the grand library was pretty much empty, even Ichika turned a blind eye to her to a certain extent.
「Yeah, I know. I have prepared a fair amount of them.」
When Vermudol snapped his fingers, books appeared from empty space, and fell on top of the table making a *dosa dosa* sound.
From picture books to books for academic pursuits, there was a large number of books that he had obtained in the mankind territory.
「Ooh, as expected of you, Ver-cchi! Yaー, I am so happy. I super love you!」
「Is that so.」
While noncommittally brushing her off, Vermudol pulled out a chair near Rokuna and sat down.
Beside him, Rokuna immediately opened a new book, and started to read it at a tremendous speed.
A majority of Mazoku were so-called muscle-brains, but Rokuna was made after consulting the Northern General Altejio who was able to make calm decisions, and was a new type of Mazoku of the intellect faction.
But since half-hearted intelligence would beckon a situation like how the former Western Majins were, it was needless to say that tuning was performed quite cautiously.
「Rokuna. Once you have finished reading all of those books, I would like to hear your opinion.」
Without separating her eyes from the book, Rokuna replied.
「What would you like to hear about?」
「It is about the thing that you first thought.」
Hearing those words, Rokuna stopped her hand in the middle of turning a page.
「The information is lacking. That is why I can’t say that it’s absolute though.」
「Yeah, that will be fine.」
「This Hero legend thing is strange. Although I can’t really say anything since I don’t know about those times, it’s really weird. It feels like I’m listening to a heroic tale meant for kids.」
Vermudol kept silent and nodded to Rokuna’s words.
「……Well. I guess that’s about all I can say right now. I don’t want to say anything too irresponsibly after all.」
After saying that, Rokuna once again dropped her eyes to the book.
「While Ver-cchi isn’t around, the world changed in various ways.」
「I’m sure it did.」
「Although I am sure that there are various things that you need to take into consideration, you should first watch your own steps. I will take over the monitoring of the many countries.」
「……I suppose, that’s true.」
Saying that, Vermudol and Nino climbed the staircase to the first underground floor.
Ichika saw the two off, and then turned around to Rokuna who had been sending a sharp gaze at her for a while now.
「……What is it?」
「Don’t give me that, Ichika.」
Erasing that expression from her face, Rokuna stared at Ichika.
「You, you actually know various things, don’t you.」
Receiving Rokuna’s gaze from the front, Ichika replied.
「In regards to your conjectures, there were no points for me to supplement or correct.」
Without disturbing her usual expression, Ichika spoke.
「I am a bit closer to Demon King-sama than other Mazoku……That, is merely all. My loyalty will always be with Demon King Vermudol-sama, and that is something that will never change for all eternity.」
Making a bow, Ichika vanished, chasing after Vermudol and Nino.
After chasing after her with her gaze, Rokuna breathed a sigh, and then spoke towards the shadow of the bookshelves.
「……Well then, you guys will be on monitoring duty. Ein will take the St. Altlis Kingdom, and Zwei will take the Cylus Empire.」
「……Not the Jiol Forest Kingdom?」
「The Sylphid are sensitive to the smell of the wind. I have no intention of throwing live coal in to a place that is already tense.」
In the shadow of the grand library’s bookshelves, there were two figures called Ein and Zwei.
When they turned into small, darkness-colored birds, they turned into grains of light, and disappeared.
「……It would be nice if it were just my imagination though.」
With no one to hear Rokuna’s mutter, those words were sucked into the gigantic underground space and vanished.