「Yeah, come on in.」
After Ryou said that, the door opened, and a silver haired man showed his face.
After remembering that that man was the Northern General Altejio, Ryou fell silent and gave a nod. That action didn’t have any particular meaning, but he performed it just like Vermudol usually did.
「Excuse me. This time was a sudden visit, but did something happen?」
Altejio’s question was reasonable. After all, Ichika, who was under direct command of the Demon King, had come carrying Demon King Vermudol in her arms without any prior contact. It would be absurd to think that nothing was wrong.
Ryou thought for a bit……and muttered only a single phrase.
「Nn, well……There were some various things.」
Although he thought about it, it wasn’t like he could come up with a good line so easily.
Ryou thought that he would leave it to Ichika, and sent his gaze towards her.
When he did, Ichika made a small nod and started explaining to Altejio.
「You have received the report about the enemy’s attack on the Demon King Castle, right?」
「Yes. It was one saying that said it was needless to appear at the castle since the conclusion had already been reached though.」
「As a result of the battle with the enemy, Vermudol-sama’s memories became disordered. In order to keep the influence on those of the castle to a minimum, we borrowed this room.」
Altejio closely examined Ichika’s words.
Certainly, that did stand to reason. There wasn’t only the top brass at the Demon King Castle, there were also ordinary soldiers of the Central Army like the Magic Operated Armors. Considering the possible influence on them, it certainly wouldn’t be good to discuss the poor physical and mental condition of the Demon King there.
The Demon King was always perfect, and he would give them an unconditional peace of mind due to being that way.
Altejio was able to understand the reason why Ichika took great care of that sort of image of him.
「Is, that so. May I take it that that problem has been taken care of?」
「Basically. However, it will still take a bit of time until he returns to his normal condition.」
Ryou silently watched Altejio nod at Ichika’s explanation.
It wasn’t like he didn’t think “is this really okay?”
Having such a secret, could he say that they had a true relationship? If it were genuine, shouldn’t they talk about everything?
That sort of thinking came to Ryou’s mind……and he hurriedly denied it.
He shouldn’t do anything unnecessary.
Ichika had her way of thinking, and Vermudol had his way of thinking.
He shouldn’t try and change that.
Unconsciously breathing a sigh, Ryou noticed that both Ichika and Altejio were looking at him, and was alarmed by it.
Ichika returned her gaze to Altejio from the frozen up Ryou.
「It would seem that Vermudol-sama is tired. I suppose it is about time that we return.」
「Yes, I do not mind that but……how are the damages on the Demon King Castle? Depending on the situation of Demon King-sama’s room……」
「In regards to the castle’s repairs, let us think about it at another time. After all, the capital city is still in confusion.」
「That is true. Should I dispatch personnel from here?」
「I am sure that is not necessary. The Central Army will deal with it.」
After nodding, Altejio peeked over at Ryou, and knelt down in front of him.
「Demon King-sama, it is wonderful news that you are safe. To not be at your side during the time of crisis is the failure of my life. If there is a next time, I shall come running faster than anyone else.」
「Ah, no……ahー……It is nothing to worry about. No one would have been able to anticipate this all.」
「However, I have heard that Sancreed rushed over. In that case, the fact that I did not do the same is a clear blunder on my part.」
Seeing that Altejio stubbornly wouldn’t yield, Ryou turned a troubled-looking face towards Ichika.
He was way too serious.
With it being a situation that even Vermudol himself would be troubled over, there was no way Ryou would be able to deal with it.
「……Vermudol has stated that you do not need to worry about it. Is it not fine to leave it at that this time? If you don’t, that means that Demon King-sama will have to tell you the same thing a second time.」
Hearing Ichika’s words, Altejio finally came to a realization and raised his head.
「……Demon King-sama, such rudeness I have shown you……I beg your forgiveness.」
「I’m not bothered by it. Altejio……ahー, it’s because you do your best all of the time. I have trust in you.」
Those were Vermudol’s true, unfalsified feelings.
The lines that Vermudol himself wouldn’t say very often, Ryou was able to say them.
Hearing those words that he wasn’t used to being told, Altejio made a surprised-looking face while still kneeling down.
「……Such generous words. In order to answer your trust, Demon King-sama, this Altejio……promises to swear absolute loyalty to you from now on as well.」
「Yeah, I’m counting on you.」
「Well then, I am terribly sorry but……I shall return to my professional duties. Demon King-sama, please have great expectations. Even in the matter you had given me before, I shall show you the greatest results right away.」
Seeing off Altejio as he made a bow and left, Ryou looked at Ichika with a slightly befuddled face.
「……Did I……say something strange?」
「It wasn’t strange but……what was that just now?」
「Well, since it looked like Vermudol felt that way, I thought that it wouldn’t be a problem to say that. Eh, was I wrong about something? Sorry, it isn’t like my memory is complete……」
Ichika fell silent and thought about the meaning of that remark just now.
Normally, Vermudol wouldn’t say out loud how he felt about another person. That was Vermudol’s own outlook on what a Demon King is, and he basically had a tendency to take a position of neutrality, and act impartial as much as possible.
However, surely Vermudol also had some sort of feeling towards every person.
For example……like who he took a liking to.
In regards to those matters, they were probably especially sunken at the bottom of his heart.
On that point, Ichika had confidence that she preceded others just a little.
Of course, this wasn’t the time to be thinking of such things, and she understood that Vermudol was intentionally not thinking about it until the conclusion of this fight was reached.
……Nevertheless. It was only just a little, but she ended up thinking.
That “perhaps, isn’t this a chance to hear his true feelings?”
However, Ichika immediately withdrew that thought.
The control of her own emotions had gone badly recently as it is. She shouldn’t ask about anything unnecessary.
”It isn’t something that should be said out loud too much.” Just as Ichika was about to say that, the door to the room suddenly opened.
「Ah, I found you! Making me search all around like that, what were you thinking, dammit!」
Rokuna was making a daunting pose at the room’s entrance.
Ichika then stopped Nino as she slipped through at her feet and tried to cling onto Ryou.
「Stop that. Vermudol-sama is tired.」
「In that case, it’s fine. Since Nino is the soothing type, the effect will be outstanding.」
That might have an overwhelming effectiveness on the current Ryou in a certain way, but that is why it would also turn into an extraordinarily troubling situation.
Ichika kept Ryou away from Nino, and spoke out the line that she had prepared.
「The current Vermudol-sama has not completely recovered from his memory disorder. In order to prevent too much of a burden on him, he needs to spend time peacefully.」
「That true, Ver-cchi?」
Being asked that by Rokuna, Ryou answered in a way so that his internal fluster wouldn’t be perceived.
「Nn, ah, yeah……it’ll still take a bit of time. Sorry.」
He didn’t lie. The repair of the soul was continuing, but it would still take some time until it was done.
「……Nn, is that so. Well, don’t push yourself too much, got it?」
「Yeah, thanks. But, same to you, Rokuna. I’m sorry for pushing you to work so hard all the time……but I just unconsciously end up relying on you.」
「Heh!? Eh, well. Th, that isn’t anything to worry about, you know? Look. I mean, right?」
Seeing Rokuna end up acting suspiciously all of a sudden, Nino made a dissatisfied face, and Ichika breathed a small sigh.
「In any case, I believe that you understand very well now that Vermudol-sama is tired.」
「……Although I would like to investigate the intention of that line, I understand it very well. There is a need to have him regain his usual style quickly.」
Hearing Rokuna muttered “if he doesn’t, I won’t last……”, Nino made a small kick at her.
Ichika ignored that and took Vermudol’s hand.
「Well then, let us first return to the Demon King Castle. How was the state of Vermudol-sama’s room?」
「We went there earlier, but for the time being, it looked like it’s usable.」
「Is that so.」
After saying that, Ichika and Vermudol were enveloped in Transfer light.
「Ah, again……Hey, if you’re going to do that, at least take us along with you!」
「You can return with your own power, right?」
After saying that, Ichika and Vermudol were enveloped in Transfer light and vanished.
Seeing them off, Rokuna breathed a sigh.
「Fuuー……Well, certainly, if it were the usual Ver-cchi, he wouldn’t say something like that. What was that, does Ver-cchi become extremely sweet when he gets tired?」
「Stop that. In his condition, Ichika will probably be attached to him the whole time.」
「Nino also has that right.」
Seeing that Nino had no sign of yielding, Rokuna quickly gave up on persuading her otherwise.
「Well, do as you like.」
After saying that, Rokuna also invoked magic to transfer to the Demon King Castle.