14-45. War Kingdom (3) The Weasel's Aim
Satou's here. When I went abroad, it made me realize the virtue of Japanese service, at the same time, I also felt its lack of fortitude needed to handle guests with bad attitude. Although not to the extreme as the Code of Hammurabi, I don't think there's any need to be overly polite to someone with no manners.
"Your Majesty! The scout dispatched to the east gate has found the honorable body of His Excellency Jizaros among the golem's wreckage."
"Jizaros of the earth right after Mizaras of the water...."
When I came to Makiwa Kingdom's royal castle to talk about the post-war processing, the young king was currently receiving reports about the death from his close associates.
Reading the mood, I abstain myself from butting in for a while.
I wanted to end the war right before it started, but it seems there are many deaths still.
Good grief, I just don't understand what's in the mind of the people who seek war. Is it really that fun to be the king of the hill and domineer over people?
It'll be no exaggeration to call these people who love troublesome things masochists.
This time I bent my principle and intervened since I found refugees being chased by slave hunters on my map, but I'd like to make this a special case this once.
It's better for me and my congenial friends and companions to go on a humorous pleasure trip.
While thinking like that, the talk in the audience chamber progresses.
"So, was the Roaring Vibration Wand found close by the body?"
"No.... The retainers of His Excellency Jizaros are currently searching for it."
I tried searching for it since I was bored but the item called Roaring Vibration Wand didn't exist in this kingdom.
It probably fell on the east gate and got crushed under the super huge golem.
Further, we have finished saving the people who survived with space magic and Tama's ninjutsu.
"It was probably taken away by Izukoka spies. The Roaring Vibration Wand and the Surging Wave Wand have lost, the representative of Marquis Dasles who carries the Crimson Wand is also missing. In hindsight, Earl Muzaris who barricaded himself in his own territory and ended up being safe can be called an ironic result."
The one who sarcastically and verbally attacked the young king was not this kingdom's noble but a military diplomat from Saga Empire. Looks like he's an earl for once.
"--Izukoka? You mean the Weasel Empire."
"Minister, the enemies aren't only the ones in front of you. The Four Treasured Wands are also quite attractive in the neighboring Silga and Shiga Kingdom's eyes."
"Saga Empire is--No, do you really believe the fairy tale that says 『Offer the four orbs and the sky city Nenerie from the age of gods that sleeps in the sea will be awoken.』?"
"Isn't it nice to have a dream. Moreover--"
Fumu, it's like the Shadow Castle of Rumooku huh--no wait, I thought the name Nenerie sounds familiar, wasn't it the undersea city in Marquis Ganika's trench.
Don't tell me, the huge undersea ruin I found when we were on our way to the labyrinth city from Boruenan was also a floating continent that sleeps in the sea?
Leaving aside the mysterious undersea ruin, since the undersea city [Nenerie] is vastly bigger than the Shadow Csatle, it'll be quite a mass weapon if it flies.
Since I know where it is, I'll mark it so I'll know when it moves.
I wonder if that was the reason the Weasel Empire invaded?
When I was going to mark Miss Shelmina's Crimson Wand just in case, I saw that it was moving at high speed toward the east.
Looks like it's been stolen by someone.
I'm amazed that it could happen considering I had left three Griffon Riders there.
I call Arisa through [Tactic Talk] while tying the knots.
『Arisa, there's an additional mission.』
『Okay, what should we do?』
I ask Arisa who replied immediately to recover the Crimson Wand.
I also tried searching the fourth Typhoon Wand while I was at it, but like the Roaring Vibration Wand and the Surging Wave Wand, it didn't exist in the kingdom.
Looks like it's been stolen already.
I felt like I couldn't find the wand's owner, Earl Muzaris, somehow so I ignored it.
"And, who are those Dragon Knights after all?"
"They are the heroes who saved our country from ruin."
The minister replied the young king with a non-answer.
It'll be at least an hour before the generals who departed to where Liza and the others were come back, so he's probably just answering randomly.
Apparently, these ministers are taking this young king lightly.
This is just right, since they're talking about us, I'm going to appear now.
"Who are you!"
"Dragon Knight Outis. I've safeguarded Shelmina-dono."
"T-the Crimson Wand is!"
Oy oy, at least worry about Miss Shelmina formally, mr. King.
"She had it when I saved her."
I said it like such since I didn't want to tell the truth somehow.
The king who looked relieved sank down the throne.
My log indication moves at that time--.
The golem unit that was doing the rescue at the western part of Makiwa Kingdom changed to [Waiting Order] state according to the log.
Looks like the Griffon Riders that were with them have begun to move toward the royal castle where I am.
I'd have no job for them even if they got here so I made them go to other cities to save the captured people.
"Dragon Knight-dono, you've done a great job. A fitting reward for the great hero who saved our country would be--"
In place of the hopeless king, a scheming minister tried to negotiate while pretending to praise me.
I have a hunch that he'll try to make an empty promise.
I have no need of rewards, but there's no need to hold back when the other party is fully intending to shirk on it anyway.
"I have three demands--"
Thus, I thrust my demands without hesitation.
"--We will claim all the monsters and the prisoners of war related to Weasel army we defeated, and armaments we confiscated. In addition, as a reward of recapturing the western city of Makiwa Kingdom, 100.000 gold coins--"
The king and the ministers screamed the moment I said [100.000 gold coins].
I think it's cheap compared to the value of the City Core, but it seems to be excessive from their sense of value.
"--we wanted to demand that much, but if you can make a firm promise to do an all-out aid for the people who were chased out of the city, we will withdraw from that."
These demands are light, I can't ask for more than than a verbal promise since the king can unilaterally revoke a normal [Contract] using the City Core power.
Of course I can perfectly bind him with my [Geass], but he's probably going to keep the promise since it's about his own nation.
I should know whether they fulfill the promise or not the next time I visit here as Satou.
If it's not kept, then I'm sure that they'll remember about it if I just ask Pochi and Lyuryu to circle the sky above the royal castle once.
"And, the third, you're prohibited from marching your troops to the Weasel Empire as a retaliation for three years."
The retaliation is probably needed for the king to save his face, and the people probably can't endure it, so I force it as a demand from the Dragon Knights who saved the country.
In addition, in the case the Weasel Empire re-invaded, the third term would be annulled.
Although, since the fact that the Dragon Knights are allies of Makiwa Kingdom should be well known by now, there's probably little chance of Weasel Empire invading again.
Oops, even though I said three demands, I forgot one more.
"By the way, King."
Called by me, the young king replied while having a cramped smile.
"I heard that your people call us lizardkin as 『Frog-eaters』 derogatorily--"
I glare at the young king while being careful not to put Coercion skill on it.
I continue before the king whose mouth is flapping open and closed can spin words.
"--That is not true right? We rushed to your rescue exactly because of our tolerance to humans and respect to the late king. If it was a gathering of low-life who speak such a derogatory term--"
I execute [Coercion] skill this time, the people around besides the king are so terrified they forgot to breath.
"When that happens, you can imagine where the Dragon Breath which befell the weasel people will be pointed at."
"A-alright. I-I will endeavor, m-my ruling while engraving, your w-warning in my heart."
The only one whom I didn't use Coercion skill on, the king replied my threat disjointedly.
I don't think the discrimination against demi-humans will be gone with just this, but once the top people's sense change and the ones who push the discrimination are gone, the people's perception should gradually change once they get help from the demi-humans.
It might even be a good idea to visit the country as Satou and popularize a dish secretly made with frogs.
"Welcome back, Master!"
"I'm back, Arisa."
I reunite with my companions after finishing my business in the royal castle.
Oops, Arisa jumped while yelling like Pochi.
Arisa whispered "I never heard about the biplane" in my ears.
"Did the recovery go well?"
"But of course!"
After giving me the Crimson Wand, Arisa made a space from the space magic [Garage] and showed a biplane inside it.
It's certainly an airplane although it looks retro.
"You're too close."
"Carrying out Mia's instruction, so I inform."
"Ahn, isn't fine for a bit."
Mia ordered Nana to tear Arisa off me.
I extend my [Magic Hand] to Arisa's [Garage] and move the biplane into my Storage.
Surprisingly, the biplane isn't equipped with magic device but a scientific internal-combustion engine. I'll bring it to Corpse in the labyrinth's lower layer to look at.
While I'm at it, I invoke spirit magic [Misty Fog] to make a fog wall so we can't be seen from the royal capital.
"Master, Evil Dragons are watching the disarmed captives in the royal capital surrounding."
"Thank you, Liza."
The spoils from the defeated monsters and the seized things are gathered in one place, so I extend my [Magic Hand] there and put them into my Storage all at once.
"Master, the generals and officers are separated so I tell."
Nana who was next to the Evil Dragons, holding a horse-riding whip in one hand while keeping watch informed me.
I invoke [Weariness Field] and [Mass Sleep] whose range is expanded by a wand to make all the empire's troops fall asleep.
"Master, are you going to make these people into slaves and sell them to Makiwa Kingdom?"
"I'm fine with that if they're thieves."
I shook my head to answer Liza's question.
As they have killed the country's lords, I have no doubt all of the demi-humans will be killed if I sell them to Makiwa Kingdom.
"I'll shut them in the Sub-space for now and release them once the time is right."
"You're soft as always~ It's better if you at least ask ransom from Weasel Empire you know."
"You're right, I'll think about it."
I agreed to Arisa's advice and started moving the captives.
I separate the common soldiers and the slave soldiers and send them to the Sub-spaces I own.
I will eventually send them back to Weasel Empire, but they'll probably do indecent things in Makiwa Kingdom if I release them here, so I'll imprison them here until I can open Gates in the empire.
There are agricultural land and dwelling houses inside the sub-space so even leaving them there for months is probably going to be fine.
Further, I send the 'Hyahha' human mercenaries to the [Wasteland] sub-space.
Once they're emotionally cornered, I'll put them into the agricultural area if they look like they can be reformed, if not then I'll take them to Makiwa Kingdom's prison.
I put the generals, officers and crew members of the modern weapons into the prison in the Blue Territory.
There are various things I have to ask them after all.
I sent back Arisa and the others to the solitary island palace, and then I ordered the Griffon Riders and the Evil Dragon family to bloodlessly suppress the remaining weasel empire troops who were stationed in the towns and cities to keep watch.
The aggressive war in this world is quite gruesome.
Several hundreds and thousands of soldiers' bodies are left in front of the cities, the bodies of noble-like and bureaucrat-like people are also swaying inside the cities.
I sent back my companions since I didn't want them to see these scenes but.... I didn't want to see it too if possible.
While feeling that it was too late, I put mosaic in my view with illusion magic and mechanically threw the captives of weasel empire into the sub-space.
There were several units who had escaped outside Makiwa Kingdom, but since the outside of Makiwa Kingdom is monster dominion stretching several kilometers wide, it seems they've become snacks for many monsters there.
I served full course hamburg steak as promised for the dinner, but since I had no appetite, I finished with cold tofu and cold sake.
"Sorrowful hero isn't like your character you know?"
When I was gazing at the swaying palm trees from the palace's terrace dead at night, Arisa appeared with oden which let out vapor and warmed Dragon Spring sake on the tray.
It seems she didn't intend to drink them herself, she put it in front of me and then picked up a cup of cola while snacking on some hampen.
"You shouldn't drink cold things when you're feeling down. Since you'd feel sad enough you'd want to die with it--it's best to drink warm things, eat piping hot Oden, and make your body and mind lukewarm!"
As advised by Arisa I sip the hot sake.
From the warmth of the sake, the mellow aroma stimulates my nose.
Bite, I chew the daikon, and then the flavors of the daikon and dashi paint the inside of my mouth with the color of happiness.
The oden and the warm sake that fell into my stomach warm my body from inside.
I feel like crying somewhat even though I don't feel sad.
"Un, you look a bit better."
Arisa moves to the top of the handrail with short-range teleport and peek at my face.
"Master might be able to do everything, but that doesn't mean that master has to do everything okay?"
She said it jokingly, but Arisa's eyes were serious.
"Master's character is not suitable to be a ruler after all. The role of defeating demon lords as hero can't be helped but aside from that, isn't it fine to just be 『I help them cause I don't want to abandon them』."
Those vaguely irresponsible lines aren't like Arisa.
"Unlike abandoned cats or abandoned dogs, they're people who have to live themselves. Save them when they can't do anything about it no matter what, after that they can manage somehow by themselves. Kings and nobles exist for that sake after all. They get the tax so they have to work, as in 『<<Noblesse Oblige>>』 isn't it."
I'm a noble for once though.
"Moreover, you know, if you help anything and everything, you'll gradually be corrupted and broke. Kindness is needed but excessive kindness is going to be poisonous. Master should just be whimsical without thinking too hard about it."
Arisa laughs with a joking tone.
Sometimes saving people during the sightseeing, sometimes being a hero--having a stance like that looks good for my mental health.
I thank Arisa for cheering me up, call my companions who are peeking on the entrance with their heads looking like a totem pole, and treat ourselves with oden party under the night sky.
Together with everyone noisily like this is peaceful and nice.