The day after having touched Ichika’s Life Seed.
Although it wasn’t complete, Vermudol somehow regained some health.
As Vermudol was resting his body in bed, there was the sound of the room’s door being knocked upon.
「Who is it?」
When he asked that while Ichika, who was beside Vermudol as usual, had placed a hand on her sword, there was an unexpected reply.
「It is Altejio.」
「Ahh, you can come in.」
Although he thought “how rare”, Vermudol replied like that.
The Northern General Altejio, let alone come to the Demon King Castle, he hardly ever separated from the north.
Among the Four Cardinal Generals, Fainell was the one who left her post the most, but Raktor and Sancreed also went here and there quite frequently.
As for why Altejio did not separate from his post, from what Raktor has said, it seemed that it was “because he’s a devoted husband”……but more importantly, the cause was probably because he was pressed with coordinating currency production and economic policies and couldn’t leave that work to others.
In particular, there was the foreign currency problem which had sprung up due to the experimental implementation of foreign trade with the Jiol Forest Kingdom.
Things related for foreign trade, such as problems related to points of contact for business in addition to that, were pretty much all left up to Altejio’s decision.
As a result, Altejio had made the Northern Army itself be the point of contact, and ended up handling the business with the Jiol Forest Kingdom.
Currently, in the Jiol Forest Kingdom that had started foreign trade with the Zadark Kingdom, Zadark Kingdom handicrafts, foodstuffs that kept high amounts of magical power within them and could be turned into medicine starting with Nilgiri, and a small amount of Blood Metal had started appearing in the markets.
In return, imports that came from the Jiol Forest Kingdom, such as an emphasis on various foodstuffs that were their local specialty as well as Holy Silver, were being circulated in the Zadark Kingdom. The foodstuffs in particular were popular, and it was said that they added color to the dining tables of the Zadark Kingdom.
Things like problems that were discovered when they started the trial operations, as well as the future problems that would occur once the ban on wider foreign trade was lifted, there was a mountain of things that Altejio would have to deal with.
However, for the Mazoku who were meatheaded as a race to begin with, they weren’t cut out for brain work.
That is why problems that couldn’t be processed by Altejio would be passed up to Vermudol……but the amount of that was something reasonable.
Vermudol thought about if he should create Mazoku that would be able to support Altejio, but he was stopped by Ichika.
When he was told that that would be the same as saying 「I’ve grown impatient with your incompetence」 to Altejio, he realized the difficulty of Mazoku society.
For that Altejio to come to the Demon King Castle, it truly was something rare.
Saying that, opening the door, and entering, after he made a bow to Vermudol, Altejio saw Ichika waiting beside him, and made a surprised face.
「……This is quite rare. To think that Ichika would be within my field of vision.」
「You sure are a rude person.」
After making a chuckle, Altejio lowered his head to Ichika.
「Fufu……no, pardon me. It is because this is my first time seeing you with such a gentle atmosphere, Ichika. I unconsciously ended up wanting to tease you.」
Being told that, Vermudol looked up at Ichika’s face.
At a glance, Ichika was expressionless as usual.
Something like the subtle difference between the current Ichika and the prior Ichika, Vermudol had thought that only he could tell the difference……but it seems that that surprisingly wasn’t the case.
Or maybe, was Altejio sensitive to that sort of change?
「Well……Let’s put the matter of Ichika aside. You are also doing something quite rare, Altejio.」
「Yes, I came with a bit of business……but, Demon King-sama, I was surprised when I had heard that your health had gone bad. What in the world happened?」
「Nn, it wasn’t much. Various things had happened and I used too much magical power.」
Although he had an expression that said he was unconvinced, Altejio nodded at Vermudol’s answer that tried to make it ambiguous.
「Rokuna has also shut herself up in the Grand Library……It would seem that various things have happened while I was not around.」
「Pretty much. But Rokuna shutting herself up in the Grand Library is something that always happens, isn’t it?」
「……Well……That is true.」
Although he was bothered at how there was a small pause, Vermudol brought the conversation back on track.
「So, Altejio, what business did you have with me?」
「Yes, actually, I……or rather, Margaret has some business with you, Demon King-sama.」
Hearing the name Margaret, Vermudol thought “if I remember correctly, that is Altejio’s wife, and a half between a Metalio and a Sylphid……”.
「Ahh, the one that Gordy was worried about whether or not she was still small……」
「She is on the taller side as a Metalio. Please be at ease.」
Vermudol swallowed the words “but what about as a Sylphid”.
Even if he were to chase Altejio into a corner here, there probably wouldn’t be anything interesting that would happen.
「How would she be as a Sylphid?」
「Height has no connection to love.」
Altejio smoothly replied to Ichika who made that unrestrained retort.
Since he was thoroughly called out by the Central General Gordy last time, he might have prepared some answers.
That is quite the touching effort.
「Nn, well, what. So, what is Margaret’s business with me?」
「Yes, actually, Demon King-sama, your sword that you had asked for long ago has been completed.」
「Ahh, come to think of it, I did say something like that, didn’t I.」
Margaret was a legendary blacksmith in the Dark Continent.
Currently, what was spread out in the Dark Continent were arms made by the Norm blacksmiths, but they were still incomparable to the dexterous Margaret.
Arms that were Margaret’s work that would occasionally stream into the market would be traded at high prices, and among the Norm blacksmiths, there were even some that would decorate their workshops with Margaret’s arms as being a certain objective or as a charm.
It seems that Altejio’s arms are also some of Margaret’s prided works.
In actuality, the Light Burying Sword Auraal and the Armor of Frozen Soil that he had as his equipment were said to be of the highest quality even among the Dark Continent arms that exist right now.
「And so, Demon King-sama, she would like you to test it out in person, and wants to adjust it for you.」
「You couldn’t bring the sword here?」
「She said that if possible, she wanted to do adjustments and hand it over in the workshop.」
Altejio responded like that to Ichika’s reasonable question, but he continued with a “however……”.
「It would seem that my timing was bad. I am thinking of coming back another day.」
「It’s fine. No……let’s see. Instead of today, how about tomorrow?」
「Yes, that will not be a problem.」
「I see. Well then, I shall head directly to your office first thing tomorrow, Altejio.」
Saying that, Altejio made a bow and exited the room.
After seeing him off, Vermudol turned his face towards Ichika.
「……And that’s how it turned own. Sorry, but could you accompany me, Ichika?」
「Yes, of course.」
Satisfied with Ichika’s reply, Vermudol slipped back into bed.
Unlike yesterday where he pretty much couldn’t move, today, he could move his body somewhat freely.
Despite that, lying down in bed throughout the day was a luxurious way of using time that he didn’t have recently.
He even had the justification of properly resting his body for the sake of tomorrow.
Like this, even Vermudol could sleep with a peace of mind.
Naturally, he did have a bit of nervousness from being watched by Ichika the whole time though.
Right now, even at this moment, Ichika was staring at Vermudol.
Not only did he understand that she was carefully considering Vermudol’s physical condition, he couldn’t refuse her either.
After all, Ichika the perfectionist had accompanied Vermudol to the point of leaving her own work to others.
Since she would normally be supporting Vermudol while doing other work, this situation right now could be described as strange.
Then again, he was able to grasp that Ichika’s mental state had simply changed due to him having touched upon her Life Seed……but it was hard for him to determine anything between yesterday and today.
Since he couldn’t quite calm down, Vermudol thought of playing a game or something.
Now that he had thought about it, he had never had a time of amusement with Ichika.
「Let’s try playing a game every once in a while. Could you get that board……」
”over there”, is what Vermudol was going to finish saying as he turned his eyes to the board that was placed on top of his desk.
On top of the board that had the image of the downtown area of the Zadark Kingdom’s capital city on it, Nino’s piece would normally be placed next to Vermudol’s piece, while all of the other pieces were gathered together in a pile off of the board.
It goes without saying that that was Nino’s doing, but since Nino would appear from out of nowhere and remove the pieces whenever he placed the other pieces on top of the board, recently, he had just left it at that.
But today, what was placed next to Vermudol’s piece was Ichika’s piece.
When Vermudol unintentionally turned his gaze towards Ichika, *fui*, Ichika averted her gaze.
「Well, what. Ahー……It’s nothing.」
Pretending that he didn’t see it, Vermudol once again covered himself with the futon.
Thinking “let’s go to sleep”, he took a deep breath.
「……Good night, Vermudol-sama.」
「Yeah, good night.」
Saying that, Vermudol was pulled into the world of dreams.
He had thought that he had already recovered quite a bit, but it seemed that his body still required sleep.
Before he had completely fallen asleep, Vermudol had a sudden thought.
Come to think of it, I feel like Ichika’s way of calling me has changed.
However, without putting that into words, his consciousness sank into slumber just like that.
At the instant he completely fell asleep.
Ichika’s somewhat dissatisfied-looking face that he shouldn’t be able to see……Vermudol felt like he saw that.