From a room on the second floor of the Zadark Kingdom’s Demon King Castle, it was possible to get an unbroken view of the castle town.
What was placed on the table of that room were small cookies placed on a plate, and two cups that had warm black tea that emitted a nice aroma poured into them.
The ones sitting facing each other at the table, leaning their bodies on the backs of the chairs, and gazing down at the castle town were Demon King Vermudol and the Demon King Army Eastern General Fainell.
What was at the end of their gazes was the cloudy sky that wasn’t any different from usual, and the townscape that was filled with the usual liveliness.
Gazing at that lovable sight, Fainell expressed a small smile.
Right now, in this room, a Vermudol hosted tea party was being held in order to show appreciation to Fainell who had finished processing the remaining business in the Jiol Forest Kingdom and had returned to the Zadark Kingdom.
That being said, the participants of the tea party were Fainell and Vermudol alone.
Incidentally, the Maid Knight Nino had still remained in the Jiol Forest Kingdom and was gathering information.
「It looks like you had a hard time over there as well.」
「Yes. It was my first time having to process that amount of documents.」
It was there that Vermudol, who was looking at the castle town just like Fainell, turned his gaze towards Fainell together with a puzzled expression.
「……If I remember correctly, there should have been an equivalent amount of documents to be processed in the east as well though.」
「It’s because that is basically finished with me just pressing a stamp after all.」
「……I see. No, well……I guess that’s fine but.」
Even Raktor’s work hasn’t been simplified that much……are the words that Vermudol held back from saying.
If he remembered correctly, Rokuna should have optimized the work of the Demon King Army’s Four Cardinal Generals to correspond with the abilities of each general.
The Southern General Raktor was extremely bad with brain work, but the fact that her work was simplified even more than that Raktor……in other words, wouldn’t that mean that the biggest musclehead here was Fainell?
However, Vermudol wasn’t the type to speak out every little thing like that.
There were times where people would be happy not knowing about that sort of thing.
「So, putting the talk about documents aside. You said you have new matters in question?」
「Yes. There is a talk regarding foreign trade from the nobles, and a talk regarding sightseeing.」
「Putting aside the foreign trade for now……Sightseeing?」
Hearing Fainell’s words, Vermudol went “fumu” and nodded.
It wasn’t like he hadn’t thought about it.
Including the capital city Arkverm, the development of every city of the Zadark Kingdom was progressing, and lodging businesses did exist as well.
Certainly, there was a foundation to accept tourists……but he thought that it was still a long way off until things would become like that.
After all, the place the Zadark Kingdom was in was the Dark Continent which was far separated from mankind’s territory.
Just how would the current mankind come to the place that Hero Ryuuya had arrived at by riding the Holy Dragon Ikslet?
「It is probably because we have been coming and going there so much. I don’t know of they are saying that after understanding that our means of travel was Transfer Magic, but I am sure they believe we have established some sort of method.」
There weren’t that many people that could use Transfer Magic even among the Mazoku. On the contrary, there was a constant shortage of personnel, and it was to the point that the rearing of people that could use Transfer Magic had become a pressing need.
Therefore, they didn’t have the leeway to spare Transmissioners for tourist use.
「Well, it will be difficult if we think about it realistically. Even the securing of personnel for cross-national foreign trade we’re trying to do right now is going through hard times.」
「I suppose doing foreign trade with the nobles will also be difficult.」
The 「foreign trade」 that Vermudol was speaking about here was something that was cross-national between the Jiol Forest Kingdom and the Zadark Kingdom, and the 「foreign trade」 that Fainell was speaking about was a demand for personal dealings with the nobles of the Jiol Forest Kingdom.
During the time Fainell was processing the remaining business in the Jiol Forest Kingdom, a pile of letters with those sorts of demands had been sent, and she managed to put them off by saying that she would take them back with her and take them into consideration.
Incidentally, those letters were currently in an unsorted pile in the underground Grand Library.
Among those letters, there were quite a few of them that weren’t demand letters but something like love letters addressed to the Western General Sancreed and to Fainell……but they were pitiful in the fact that the result would have been the same whether they were read by the person or not.
There was an earnest desire for foreign trade, but in the end, there was difficulty in securing the personnel for transportation use.
The Dark Continent was surrounded by the 『Sea of Farthest Ends』 which was constantly rampaging. It was impossible to go there with a sea route, and mankind’s side did not have the technology to use a sky route.
It might be resolved if they were to use the Dragons of the Zadark Kingdom’s Southern Army, but after taking safety into consideration, there was no method to use them so carefreely. But more important than that, if they were to use the Dragons in foreign trade, the war potential of the Zadark Kingdom’s Southern Army, which was boasted as being the strongest, would end up declining.
「After considering the certainty of it and the aspect of the Southern Army’s war potential, the Dragons can’t be used. In the end, somehow securing Transmissioners and carrying out a fixed amount of transactions would be the best choice but……」
「I don’t think there would be a problem with using Dragons though?」
「No, but you see……」
After Vermudol made a bitter face, Fainell continued speaking while taking a bite into a cookie.
「It’s not like all of the Dragons in the Zadark Kingdom are affiliated with the Southern Army, and even if there is the unlikely event that the transportation had failed, if the transportation was impossible even after using Dragons, I’m sure that there wouldn’t be anyone that would speak a complaint to do better than that.」
「I suppose, that is……true?」
In the foreign trade that happened on the Shutaia Continent that mankind’s territory was on, companies would mainly have the transportation done using horse-drawn carriages.
And since the risk of monsters and bandits always followed along, Adventurers would guard the carriage. Like that, the transported goods were circulated to the royal palace and to markets, and business would be done with money.
In contrast, the foreign trade between the Zadark Kingdom and the Jiol Forest Kingdom that was currently being considered was something that was similar to bartering at a cross-national level with no relation to money, and implication of being experimental was strong.
A part of it being done like this was in order to determine what each other’s demands were, but a large factor was also that there was no sort of organization in the Zadark Kingdom that could be called a company.
The stores of the Zadark Kingdom were mostly managed privately.
Furthermore, things considered raw materials such as foodstuffs and ores before they were processed would be lumped together and managed by their respective directional army……so in that sort of meaning, the only things that could be called 「companies」 were each of the armies.
However, if that is the case, the companies of the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s side would have no choice but to deal with the army, and that would be a lot of responsibility to bear.
In that case, things would first commence on an experimental level from the conversational exchanges done at their respective royal palaces, and they would try and solve any problematic issues that would be brought to light, that is how things turned out.
That is why something like personal dealings with the nobles was still a long way off.
It was worth taking them into consideration.
First, he would probably have to start from searching for Dragons that weren’t affiliated with the Southern Army.
「……That might be a good idea. Let’s take it into consideration.」
And then, a bit of silence arrived.
A quiet space, with no noise whatsoever.
Within that, Vermudol’s voice resounded once again.
「If, for example, we, as we currently are, were to clash with the Hero Ryuuya from the front……what would our prospects of victory be?」
「We would almost certainly win.」
Almost certainly win──That meant that there was the possibility of losing.
Vermudol continued asking.
「Please tell me your opinion in regards to the possibility of losing.」
「First, there is the possibility that the Hero Ryuuya would ignore us, the Four Cardinal Generals, and the army……or that he would bulldoze his way through and head directly to you, Demon King-sama. The power that defeated Raktor and destroyed the previous Demon King Gramfia in the past, that is not something that should be made light of.」
Certainly, that was possible.
Vermudol was a stereotypical Magician.
If he were to be approached by the Hero holding the Holy Sword, that 10000 to 1 chance was quite possible.
「And what are the other possibilities?」
「It is the case that they carried something something strong enough destroy us, the Four Cardinal Generals, and the four cardinal armies.」
「That’s……isn’t that unrealistic?」
If something like that were possible, then all of the preparations that he carried out as Hero countermeasures up until now would become pointless.
Vermudol thought that that might have been a joke, but Fainell was making a straight face.
And then, she quietly opened her mouth.
「That’s, true. But, I’m sure Raktor would also mention the same possibility.」
「……Is that so.」
「However, a possibility is still just a possibility. Both Raktor and I, we have no intention of losing next time.」
「Yeah, I believe in you all.」
Saying that, Vermudol sank into silence.
He united the Mazoku and constructed peaceful daily lives for them for the sake of eliminating the reason for the Hero to come,
He performed enough nation building so that they wouldn’t lose even if the Hero did come.
He was in the middle of deploying diplomacy tactics with mankind’s territory so that there would be no meaning to summoning the Hero.
Without answering to Vermudol’s mutter, Fainell brought the black tea to her mouth.
「The God of Life’s scenario should have already been considerably destroyed……and if the Hero were to be brought out from hereout, what kind of timing would it be?」
The scenario where the strife between fellow members of mankind and the causes of all of the chaos are pushed onto the Mazoku, and mankind will reach a happy end with the Hero destroying the Demon King.
Previously, the Hero defeated the Demon King of mankind’s territory, Shuklous, and since the existence of the Great Demon King Gramfia who ruled over the Dark Continent was made clear through Shuklous, the Hero destroyed Gramfia as well and took back peace for mankind.
This time, Demon King Vermudol already existed in the Dark Continent, and had even revealed his appearance in mankind’s territory.
The scenario of the second advent of the Great Demon King should already be unusable.
Furthermore, by forming a treaty of friendship with the Jiol Forest Kingdom, the impression of wicked Mazoku was also torn down.
Even the chaos due to the Demi-Human argument that was happening in the St. Altlis Kingdom right now, a majority of the people see it as the Grand Temple running wildly.
There was no meaning to playing the card known as the Hero in this situation.
That is why if the God of Life were to try and do something despite that……a drastic correction to the scenario should be performed, rather than some cheap trick.
And then……it would be at that time when they could see the God of Life’s true objective.
They should be able to guess at what it is from the difference from the original scenario.
And then preventing the attainment of that objective would become the condition for Vermudol’s victory.
「……I, will definitely win.」
The moment Fainell was about to reply to those words──
The door behind the two of them made a violent *dokan* sound and opened up.
「Wh, what’s going on!?」
「Don’t “what’s going on” meー, Ver-cchi! To make me search all over the place for you, you sure have some nerve, don’t you!」
The one that was there was Rokuna who was carrying a crystal ball.
After barging in just like that and coming up to Vermudol’s side, she grabbed his shoulders.
「Wh, what is it?」
While being overawed by Rokuna, who had looked into his face from behind, Vermudol answered.
「Ver-cchi……do you possess, a Divine Protection?」
「The Divine Protection of the one you mentioned before. So do you?」
「Oi, what’re you talking about……」
「The disappointing general should shut up for a bit.」
Without being bothered by how Fainell was so surprised that she sank into silence, Rokuna looked into Vermudol’s eyes.
Divine Protection──namely, the Demon God’s Divine Protection.
Certainly, Vermudol did possess the Demon God’s Divine Protection.
「Yeah. However, what of it?」
「I see, so you do have it. Then that’s good.」
After saying that, Rokuna grabbed Vermudol’s arm, pulled it, and forcibly made him stand up halfway.
「In that case, let’s go, Ver-cchi.」
「Ha? Where are we going?」
「Obviously it’s to the usual place.」
Just like that, Transfer Magic was invoked……and Rokuna and Vermudol’s figures disappeared from the room.