「Now then, was it around here?」
When Vermudol was just about to arrive at Ykslaas’s room, the sound of something falling over was heard all of a sudden.
Next, there was the sound of something struggling about.
It seemed to be a bit different from the sounds of interior construction work that continued in the Demon King Castle even now.
The place he heard it from……was Ykslaas’s room.
It wasn’t big enough to be called the sounds of a battle, but it was clearly not a normal daily life noise.
Ykslaas’s voice, which he could hear intermittently, sounded as if she were opposing something.
An enemy attack──the moment that thought crossed Vermudol’s mind, he reflexively started running.
Considering Ykslaas’s circumstances, by no means was it an impossible story.
After immediately running up in front of the door, Vermudol kicked down the closed door.
「……Are you alright!?」
Unsheathing the sword that hung on his waist, he immediately rushed into the room.
Within the room that Nino named the lace-filled room, there was Ykslaas whose clothes were disheveled……and the figure of Ichika holding down her hands.
Comparing the red faced Ykslaas and the expressionless Ichika with his eyes, Vermudol slowly looked up at the ceiling.
After that, he compared Ykslaas and Ichika once more with his eyes……then Vermudol nodded with a *fumu*.
「……Sorry about that. I didn’t read the atmosphere. Ahh, I didn’t see anything.」
Vermudol promptly said that and tried to leave the room, but the voices of the two detained him.
「Wait, hold it right there!」
「Please wait a moment.」
Although the hand that was closing the door had pretty much stopped, Vermudol had no intention of interfering with those sorts of private relationships. Him leaving this place was wishing them luck.
「I get it. I saw nothing, and I didn’t even come here. That should be fine, right?」
Ykslaas shouted while still being restrained by Ichika.
「It isn’t fine at all! Try saying what it is that you’re thinking!」
「Even if you ask me what. The matters of an individual’s love is……」
「You’ve got it wrong, stupid! Just where did you place your insight on things other than politics!」
Even though he was told something like that, Vermudol was also troubled.
He intended on paying attention to his subordinates’ needs as the Demon King, and he also proactively communicated with them as much as possible.
He had absolutely no idea as to what the problem was.
「Vermudol-sama. Ykslaas and I do not have that sort of love relationship.」
「Nn? Is that so. Then, what are you doing?」
After Vermudol said that and once again opened the door, the angry-faced Ykslaas fixed her clothes, and Ichika was holding some sort of outfit in her hands.
Having purple as its basic tone, it resembled clothes that Vermudol had become completely used to seeing.
「……A maid outfit?」
That’s right, what Ichika held in her hands was a purple maid outfit.
The design was similar to Ichika’s and Nino’s, but going by the size, it didn’t belong to either of them.
「Yes, I had it prepared for Ykslaas’s use.」
「I said that I wouldn’t wear it, jeez!」
「Ahh, so that’s how it was……」
It was there that Vermudol finally understood the situation.
In other words, Ykslaas had opposed Ichika who tried to make her wear maid clothes.
「Still, what’s going on? Since you had something like that prepared, you must have some kind of reason, right?」
Putting aside if it were someone else, in Ichika’s case, there would definitely be some sort of meaning to her actions.
By no means would she ever prepared clothes for reasons like because it seemed interesting or because it would suit her.
「Yes. It is the result of taking Ykslaas’s position into consideration.」
Certainly, that was also something that Vermudol was concerned about as well.
Being the Demon King, Vermudol was able to create Mazoku.
That is why even if a Mazoku that hasn’t been seen before in the Dark Continent appeared, no one would mind it.
They would probably accept them with a level of thought that went “so it’s a new comrade”.
However, the problem was Ykslaas’s role in the Demon King Army.
For example, Nino was a Maid Knight that served Vermudol.
Sancreed was a trump card that was prepared for the fight against the Gods and the Hero that might come some day, and Gordy was a shield meant to fortify the Demon King Castle’s defenses.
Rokuna was the brains of the Demon King Army, and Nanalus had the role of connecting the Mazoku and mankind.
Ykslaas was currently doing something like supervising the construction work temporarily, but what about after that?
As long as the Zadark Kingdom was an organization, those within the castle required some sort of position or role.
「Still……To make her a maid like that is, um, well. Isn’t it a bit too rough?」
「That is not the case at all. Since anyone useless is not necessary, we have not employed anyone up until now, but thinking about things from now on, the maids being only me and Nino is undesirable. Even though there is not even a fragment of necessity for them in reality, even if it increases the sources of my headaches, there is also a situation where an increase in maids will become necessary.」
Thinking “For it to be necessary even though it isn’t a necessity, what she’s saying seems to be a bit contradictory but……”, Vermudol tilted his head.
「Is that, so?」
If she was going to be an assistant to lessen Ichika’s burdens, he thought that new maids would be necessary, but increasing the maids for that surprising reason was something he couldn’t understand at all.
Did that mean that they weren’t pointless just by being there?
「Vermudol-sama. In the general perception for mankind, the number of maids is proof of a king’s power.」
Having “it truly is a foolish thing but” as a preface, Ichika started an explanation.
The nobles and royalty that exist in the many nations of the Shutaia Continent employ maids that specialize in various duties.
For example, there are maids that specialize in cooking, maids that specialize in cleaning, and even maids that specialize in taking care of daily necessities.
Employing experts of all kinds and having them work for you is part of the basics.
Of course, there are also maids that can perform any sort of job, but those sorts of maids either have a role that is basically generalized, or exist in order to follow up on the roles that are lacking.
Since there are also nobles that purposely hire multiple all-purpose maids in order demonstrate their own power, it can’t be said to be the rule, but in any case, the fact that the number of maids demonstrates a house’s power is common sense for mankind.
It is quite simplistic, but that sort of thinking also has a facet that supports the long term employment of maids.
「That is why, now that we are going to deeply involve ourselves with mankind’s territory, increasing the number of maids is……Although I extremely reluctant to do so, is necessary.」
「Nn, ahh……I understand that part. So, why does that have a connection with turning Ykslaas into a maid?」
After Vermudol asked that question, Ichika answered while constricting the struggling Ykslaas with only an effortless action.
「For me, I am not free enough to look after every single useless maid. However, I cannot leave them go unchecked either. And so, a director of the maids is necessary.」
「……Is Nino no good?」
「Do you think that Nino would properly perform the duty of a director?」
「That’s true, allow me to take back my remark just now.」
After Vermudol answered, Ichika nodded.
「And so, there is Ykslaas. Her head isn’t bad, and the facts that she has directing capabilities and is quick witted has been proven with her abilities in the recent restoration construction work. If she is given training from now on, she should be enough to serve as a director.」
「I don’t want to, why should I!」
Seeing Ykslaas struggle in Ichika’s arms, Vermudol thought.
I see, that certainly isn’t a bad idea.
The logic behind how the number of maids was a demonstration of power was something that he honestly couldn’t agree with, but if the negotiations with mankind could be smoothed over with that, then it should be taken into consideration.
Besides, depending on the situation, it might decrease Ichika’s burden which was his original plan.
Come to think of it, this would also be perfect to let Ichika, who had been working a bit too much, rest.
「……I see. It certainly is just as you say, Ichika. However, what will we do about the crucial maids? Should I make them?」
「To gather those who possess abilities that are greater than average, that would be for the best. I believe there is also the hand of advertising through the Guild though……」
「That’s true. Please make a list of the abilities that will be necessary. We’ll do it like that.」
With Ichika making a bow to Vermudol, the still captured Ykslaas raised a voice of objection.
「Wait. I haven’t accepted this at all.」
「Then accept it.」
「I don’t want to……Wait, ow, owow! Hold on, don’t go constricting a person like that!」
With Ykslaas going *pui* and turning her face away, Ichika mercilessly strengthened her constriction on her.[Illustration]
While pacifying Ichika, Vermudol met gazes with Ykslaas.
「I thought that it was a surprisingly good idea though. What is it that you dislike about it?」
「……I certainly do feel indebted to you. As for my personal feelings, I also feel that it would be good to cooperate with you. But, it’s not like I’ve become your subordinate. I’d like it if you didn’t put me together with your subordinates that have unconditionally sworn their loyalty to you like tha……Ouch!」
「Ichika. Get away from her for a bit.」
While lending a hand to Ykslaas, who was released and was breathing roughly, Vermudol addressed her.
「I can understand your feelings. We were your enemies, and if you have your own goals, then you also have pride. I’m sure you have various bonds.」
Vermudol grabbed Ykslaas’s arm and suddenly and forcefully pulled her close.
Seeing Ykslaas naturally take the form of plunging into Vermudol’s chest, Ichika faintly frowned for only an instant.
「I want you to yield on that, and cooperate with my goal. That shouldn’t conflict with your goal.」
Ykslaas, who was held in Vermudol’s arms, looked up at Vermudol with a serious expression.
「Your goal, what might that be?」
「It’s, to create a society where I don’t perish to the Hero.」