While various areas of the Zadark Kingdom were continuing their preparations for tomorrow, the Demon King Castle was also pressed with similar jobs.
There were members of the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s royal family in tomorrow’s first group of tourists. As expected, they couldn’t allow the royal family to lodge in the same place as the common guests, the Dragon’s Tail, so there was a need to make preparations for a warm welcome of the royal family in the Demon King Castle.
Then again, the Demon King Castle Maid Unit should have been completed by this day……but due to various reasons, the Maid Unit was comprised of only Krim, Marin, and Lemon.
Krim was in the middle of cleaning, Marin was in the middle of various duties including room preparation, and Lemon was in the middle of preliminary cuisine preparation.
The Maid Knight Ichika, who was under the Demon King’s direct supervision, being busy was normal, but today, even the duty truant demon Nino was also at full operation. The Maid Knight Nino, who was similar to Ichika in being under the Demon King’s direct supervision, would usually be only at Vermudol’s side. However, as expected, since she was directly asked today by Vermudol, it seemed that she felt like working.
Going even further, Orel, a Majin affiliated with the Central Army, had gone out shopping for things, and Aulokk, who was similarly affiliated with the Central Army……his snitching of food was found out by Ichika, so he was buried in the back garden’s potato field with only his head sticking out.
While the entire Demon King Castle was in the middle of busily moving about like that, the figures of Vermudol and the Central General Gordy were on the second floor terrace.
「Mumu……Demon King-sama, could you hold off on that move.」
「Nope. If I hold off on making this move, you were planning on aiming for the end with that Sancreed over there, weren’t you.」
「Nuu, so you found out.」
「I at least have a grasp of your certain victory pattern. Having your own moves being studied should also be taken into account.」
What the two of them were doing, was the board game, 「Demon King Army War Games」, which had spread throughout the entire Zadark Kingdom.
That being said, it wasn’t like the two of them were skipping out on work.
When Vermudol tried to help out, he was simply refused by Ichika and told 「it’s fine so please rest」, and Gordy was acting as Vermudol’s guard.
It wasn’t like Gordy was catastrophically clumsy, and was told to not move and not touch anything by Ichika……that was what her story was.
And so, having so much free time that they didn’t know what to do with, they amused themselves with the game.
「Fuーmu……This looks like there is a need to reorganize my pieces.」
「Yeah, go ahead. We have plenty of time after all. Besides, I’ll be winning the next one as well after all……If I win next time, will that be my seventh consecutive win?」
Hearing Vermudol say that brimming with confidence, Gordy’s hand, which was going through the box that had her pieces, came to a sudden stop.
However, after immediately making changes to her pieces, Gordy made a bold smile.
「Hmph, I wonder about that? Just how many times has my certain kill move approached the base of your neck while you had not noticed. If you are unable to see through that, the next match will be my victory.」
「Hou, you sure know how to talk. In that case, if you win next time……Let’s see. The limited colored version of your piece that you were feeling envious of not long ago, I shall give it to you.」
「……I have definitely heard that, you know? I am sure that you will regret looking down on me.」
「Just try it. I’ll test you to see if you can say that same line after I crushingly defeat you.」
Evil. Displaying expressions where that description would fit perfectly, the two smiled at each other.
Vermudol and Gordy’s abilities in the 「Demon King Army War Game」 were evenly matched. However, they were at a low level.
Normally, Vermudol was buried in documents, and Gordy usually did not put her hands in the thing known as play.
As a result, the two of them had ended up being in the weakest positions in regards to this game even in the Demon King Castle, but when these two play against each other, it becomes quite a heated battle.
For example, if Nino were to be their opponent, she would defeat the two of them with a huge difference. And if Ichika were their opponent, even if she were assigned a handicap of being restricted to Goblins, she would still get a complete victory.
If it were simply just about play time, Ichika should have even less time than them, but that was probably the thing called sense for it.
A bit of time of silence had come, and Vermudol stared at Gordy as she checked on the pieces with a serious expression.
「Is something the matter?」
「No, it’s nothing.」
After answering like that to Gordy, Vermudol turned his gaze towards outside of the terrace.
From here, the town of Arkverm could be seen very well. Maybe it was for the sake of preparations for tomorrow, there were awfully a lot of people running about throughout the town today. Them looking so busy, all of it filled his face with joy.
「……It has developed quite a lot, hasn’t it.」
「Yes, it is the boon of your rule, Demon King-sama.」
Gordy replied like that without stopping her hand that was placing a piece down.
Until not too long ago, there was nothing outside of this Demon King Castle. But now, a splendid town like this one was made. The Mazoku who obeyed Vermudol, the Demon King, gathered, Arkverm was created, and cultured Mazoku villages and towns were completed in various places.
And then, right now, with the creation of employment due to the tourism plan, Arkverm’s population had increased even further.
Having thought that far, Vermudol spontaneously burst into laughter.
The Mazoku who had lived in a simple world of meritocracy, they were now spending their time under the system called employment.
Various luxury goods were overflowing in the town, and even Goblins seemed to have ended up minding fashion.
That being said, with the luxury goods being things like knives that placed importance on design and weapon decorations, and things like the knitting method of chainmail that were in fashion being topics of conversation, it seemed that the Mazoku’s meritocracy and muscle-headed nature itself hadn’t changed at all.
In any case, the Mazoku had obtained a reliable culture under Demon King Vermudol, and they accepted that.
As a result, it became possible to have things like trade and sightseeing tours with the Jiol Forest Kingdom……but after thinking about it, the foundations to make those possible were there from the start.
The one who didn’t make good use of it was the previous Demon King, Gramfia, or perhaps the ones who obstructed that development was the Hero’s group.
If things were like this from the start, even the Hero’s group wouldn’t have thought of the Mazoku as enemies to simply defeat……maybe.
It wasn’t like Vermudol had hypothesized the developments that happened up until now from the start, but even so, he felt that the things he was doing were the right things to do.
「……Yosh, my preparations are complete. May I take it that you have readied yourself?」
Vermudol came to his senses from Gordy’s words that he heard.
Immediately recreating his brimming with confidence smile, Vermudol started lining up his pieces on the board.
「I see, I see. I thought that you would take a bit more time but……Does this mean you have given up?」
「Surely you jest. As long as I have the right tactics, all that is left is to choose the pieces that suit them. It is troubling to have my abilities as a general taken lightly.」
「Kuku, going by that reasoning, it would be troubling to have you take my abilities as the Demon King lightly though.」
While saying that, Vermudol tossed a coin.
The rule when the two of them played together was that Vermudol would make the first move if it was heads, while Gordy would make the first move if it was tails.
The result was……tails.
「It would seem that luck is on my side. It would look as though I will be having you carry out your earlier promise, does it not?」
「I wonder about that. There is no guarantee that the one who attacks first has the advantage. You would understand that if you looked at any kingdom of mankind.」
「Well now, I am a Mazoku after all. Now then, I will place this Magic Operated Armor……here.」
Seeing Gordy’s first move, Vermudol groaned with a “fumu”.
It was a literal attack move, which was different from Gordy’s tactics up until now. It even felt like it did not match with Gordy who specialized in making counters from her defense.
She might have been aiming for the element of surprise, but fundamentally, Magic Operated Armors were pieces oriented towards defense. There should definitely be a meaning to her purposely using that for the first move of her attack.
「Well now, will you be able to read through my tactics?」
With Gordy making a grin that said that she wouldn’t lose, Vermudol frantically put his head to work.
However, he also felt that he sank into Gordy’s trap the more he thought about it.
Thinking about what he should do……Vermudol suddenly noticed a gaze that was staring at them.
When he turned his gaze to the direction of the gaze──towards the entrance of the terrace, what was there was Nino’s figure as she carried a futon in her arms. It seemed that she was in the middle of work, but with her usual displeased-looking expression further intensified, Nino was staring at Vermudol and Gordy.
「What’s wrong, Nino? Do you need something?」
Without answering Vermudol’s question, Nino, while holding the futon in her arms, turned her gaze to Vermudol, to Gordy, and then to the board on top of the table……Then she once again looked at Vermudol.
「Nino, what’s wrong?」
After Vermudol stood up from his chair after becoming a bit worried about her, Nino dropped the futon right there.
Quietly looking down at the futon just like that, Nino spread both of her arms and flopped onto the futon.
While pushing her entire body onto the fluffy futon, Nino glared at Vermudol with jealous eyes.
「……O, oi. Nino?」
「Nino is deeply wounded.」
After Vermudol asked that in return wondering what she meant by that, Nino pressed her face into the futon.
「Even though Nino is working so hard like this, Gordy is happily playing together with Demon King-sama. If only Nino had the clumsiness to demolish a cup when she tried to wash it like Gordy does, and if only Nino sucked bad enough to have a Magic Operated Armor charge in from the start like Gordy did, she could have played together with Demon King-sama. Nino hates her own capabilities.」
「To say demolish, you……No, charge in……? Ah, could it be! That move of yours, could it have been a bluff!?」
「Tsk! You have done well to notice it!」
After making his next move on the tongue clicking Gordy, Vermudol stood up from his chair and approached Nino. And then, squatting down next to Nino as she was sulking in the futon, he gently turned a smile towards her.
「Now, Nino. Don’t say that. I am really relying on you, you know?」
After Nino peeked at Vermudol from hearing those words, she tugged at Vermudol’s sleeve.
「Since Demon King-sama had Gordy take priority over the wounded Nino, Nino was wounded even more. Demon King-sama should take responsibility and dote on Nino.」
「Mu, uーmu……Nino, can’t we do this after you’ve done all of your work?」
「Then Demon King-sama and Nino should do the work as a group starting now. If possible, doing it in front of Ichika would be the best.」
「Uーmu……But still……Ahー, well. I guess it can’t be helped. Gordy, the game is on hold. You should also help out in Nino’s wo……」
「Gordy isn’t needed.」
And so, some passing Magic Operated Armors skillfully carried off the abandoned futon, and Vermudol and Gordy started to assist with Nino’s work in a way that they wouldn’t be a bother.
Finding the three of them like that, Ichika decided to leave them alone like that for the time being.
As usual, the Zadark Kingdom’s sky was dull, and that wouldn’t change whether it was today or tomorrow.
However, a positive light filled the hearts of the people that were busily moving about.