Chapter 30 – Listening to Demon Lord Rukie

─ Demon Lord Rukie’s perspective ──

A few days after General Reisenga drove out Margrave Garoa.
Demon lord Rukie was talking to Chancellor Kelve.

A desk was placed in the throne room, and two letters are on it.
One is a report on the negotiations sent by General Reisenga.
The other was a letter sent in the name of the Emperor of the Dolgarian Empire.

“‘── Therefore, the Dolgarian Empire wishes to subdue the monster jointly with the Demon Territory”

Demon Lord Rukie put the letter back on the desk.

“Is this the content of the letter from the empire?”

“Yes.
A few days after General Reisenga’s report arrived here, it arrived at the Demon territory.”

“I’m worried about how the letter came so fast.”

“There was probably a high-ranking imperial official’s subordinate mixed into the Margrave’s party.”

“The letter says, “That proposal was the reckless idea of the Margrave and his colleagues” not the collective will of the empire.”

“There was another thing about Thor-Regus-dono?”

“… Oh, that’s right.”

Demon Lord Rukie nodded quietly.
Then she turned my attention to the report from Reisenga.
Here, the words and actions of Margrave Garoa were described in detail.

(『There was a proposal that in exchange for extending the time to 4 years, they bribed this Reisenga.』)

she read it about 5 times already, to the point that she could almost memorize the contents.

(『That Margrave said, that if it came to light, we would blame it on Thor Regus-dono, who was working behind the scenes to try to return to the empire.
That person …tried to use him to cover up! ──』)

The letters written in the report of Reisenga were distorted.
He was probably writing this while desperately suppressing his anger.

The hands of the Demon Lord Rukie were also shaking.
she could feel her anger rising as she remembered a line from the Empire’s letter.
『This should be the Margrave and the Duke’s arbitrary decision── 』

(Duke Regus ── Thor’s father tried to use his own son to cover things up?? The father does this to the son!?? How the heck was Thor …treated in the empire …)

She was glad that this wasn’t the Empire’s collective decision.
Otherwise, she might have hated all humans except Thor.

She also knew that the empire had abandoned Thor.
He himself told her that, he was sent to the Demon territory as a hostage, not a messenger.
Rukie believed in Thor

But she didn’t expect him to be treated so badly.

“… this is … this is … the Duke and his child … Thor !!”

“Your Majesty …”

Chancellor Kelve murmured anxiously.
Upon hearing that, Demon Lord Rukie held her chest and inhaled a deep breath.
She touched the [cognitive obstruction] mask and reconfirm that she was the Demon Lord.

(…I, Rukie Evergard is the Demon Lord)
(While wearing this mask, I have to behave like a Demon Lord…)

There is only Chancellor Kelve in the room.
However, there are guard Minotaurs outside the door.
There are also maids in the corridor.
I can’t make them uneasy.
I have to keep calm as much as possible while wearing the mask I have to maintain as much dignity as possible.
Demon Lord Rukie thought.

“… I’m sorry, Kelve.
I’m calmed down now.”

“No, I understand your feelings.
I was also surprised about this unexpected about this matter.”

“… Right?”

“So, what about the future of Thor?”

“Nothing changes!”

Demon Lord Rukie declared.

“Would you change his treatment just because of a few words from an imperial aristocrat? That person is a messenger from the empire, a guest of the Demon Territory and an alchemist who reports directly to me.
Nothing changes! “

“I have no objections because Thor is already an important figure in the Demon territory.”

Chancellor Kerve bowed, then turned his eyes down,

“But how far will you tell others about this issue?”

“I will tell others about the outcome of the negotiations, but if possible, I would like the talk about Thor to be kept a secret.”

Thor is a guest of the Demon territory.
It doesn’t change.
But the fact that he was about to be used by his real father is too painful.
I don’t want it to be known to everyone in the Demon Territory.
If everyone makes a fuss, Thor might feel inferior.

(I want Thor to do research freely)

With that in mind, the Demon Lord Rukie nodded.

“I agree with you.
Reisenga also wants to make this matter top secret too.”

“What should we tell Thor then?”

“……That is…”

“The general says that we shouldn’t tell Thor about it, but I don’t think so.
In the future, Thor may receive letters from the Empire.
At that time, the response depends on whether or not he knows of this case.
Without the information, he may respond incorrectly.

Chancellor Kelve said, with his face down.

“So I think we should tell Thor the truth.”

“… That’s right.”

“Only Your Majesty and this Kelve knows this in the castle.
If so, I will tell Thor myself.”

“Thor is my alchemist as well”

Demon Lord Rukie slowly shook her head.

“I will tell Thor about this matter myself.”

“Are you sure, Your Majesty?”

“It’s my responsibility.
I was the one who gave permission to develop the mine, and it was my decision to allow negotiations with the empire.
Then, I have to take responsibility for the result …”

“… Your Majesty”

“I was just thinking of visiting Thor’s room.
Let’s tell him there.”

Demon Lord Rukie stood up from the throne.
She smiled under the mask that covers half of her face.

“Well … I’m the Demon Lord.
Telling Thor is just a normal, trifling matter.”
“… I understand.
I’m counting on you, Your Majesty.”

“Umu.
Leave it to me.”

Nodding, Demon Lord Rukie began to leave.
Passing by the kneeling Chancellor Kelve.

“── I am grateful to Thor.”

Suddenly, Chancellor Kelve muttered.

“It was because of General Reisenga’s vow of [Primordial Flame] that I could believe that all of his reports were true.
He told me what he was, without hiding anything.
I was able to believe from the bottom of my heart.

Chancellor Kelve said while looking straight ahead.

“The Aristocrat’s conspiracy was clever.
If we couldn’t trust the General wholeheartedly, or if the General hid some facts from use, or relationship would have gone down the drain.”

“… That’s right.”

“The one who made the General make the vow was Thro Regus-dono”

The voice of Chancellor Kerve echoed between the thrones.

“I am the Chancellor and I’m obligated to give back the favour.
If Thor requires anything I will surely achieve it.”

“Tell me that … what if Thor brings a mountain of magic items and ask you to accept them?”

“Well, that is …”

“… I’ll forward your feelings to him.
Thank you, Kelve.”

With that said, the Demon Lord Rukie left the throne room.

After a dozen minutes.
Demon Lord Rukie was in the [Simple warehouse] in Thor’s room.

Today is another tea party day.
In front of me, there is tea brewed by Mabel and hot baked goods.
Thor and Mabel are excited about the new item [Laser Pointer].
Rukie was also listening.
Before subduing the monster, they said that they wanted to experiment with the item together.

“I think Rukie will like that [laser pointer], too.”

“My magical distance has increased a lot.
I can’t believe it.”

Thor and Mabel are laughing while eating up baked goods.
Rukie also smiled, but it was a stiff smile.

(── I have to tell Thor what happened in the negotiations with the empire)

With that in mind, Demon Lord Rukie bites the baked goods.
After I swallow this baked goods I’ll say it ──
After I finish drinking this tea ──
Thor and Mabel are laughing.
I don’t want to disturb them.
I will talk after the topic is ended──
After 3 minutes ──
No, one more 1 minute ──

After going back and forth, Rukie realized her mistake.
If she was going to talk about the empire, they should have been in the throne room.

Rukie’s hand unconsciously looked for the [Cognitive obstruction] mask.
With that mask, Rukie can talk as a Demon Lord.
As a masked demon Lord, it’s not difficult to talk to or punish her subordinates.

But this is a tea party for friends.
Rukie also removed her mask and is here just as a young lady, as Thor’s friend.

It was too cruel to talk about what his father did here.
She didn’t notice it until she was here.

(But … I have to say it.
It’s my role.)
(Thor said before, “I’m a hostage sent by the Empire” and told it to me like it was nothing)
(If I do the same, it’s okay … I’m sure it’s okay.
Thor understands)

Demon Lord Rukie takes a deep breath slowly.
When Thor and Mabel stop talking, she opened her mouths.

“O, oh, uh.
Thor.
It’s about the negotiations with the empire that took place at Reisenga place.”

“Yes, Rukie-sama.”

Thor put down the cup of tea and looked towards Rukie.

“W, well, there was a little trouble in that negotiation … a little thing happened.”

She found her voice trembling.
Desperately, Rukie continues to explain.

“Th, the trouble… At that place, the Margrave of the Empire … said something outrageous …”

“I see.”

“That good for nothing nobleman… of all things … he tried to use, Rei, Reisenga ……… to give him more silver … and and then… Return some to Reisenga as bribe ……… pr, profit… and … then … then … “
“Rukie-sama!? Are you okay!?”

“Your Majesty! Demon Lord-sama!?”

(Huh?)
(Why are Thor and Mabel surprised?)

“… Margrave… said … Silver from the mine … to give …bribe… to Reisenga … to Reisenga … That’s it.
…… If it is found out by the Demon Territory………… ”

Drip.
Drip.

I thought my eyes were hot.
Water droplets fell on the table.

“……… O, of all things.
To put … all the sins on… Thor … erase … hic … erase.
In other words … Ki … …… ll you …The person who said this was … Margrave ……… Your… your! “

“Rukie-sama! Please calm down …”

“Your Majesty … what’s wrong?”

The voices of Thor and Mabel are all together.

“… Why are you crying …”

“……ah”

Only after being told, Rukie realized that she was crying.
My voice is also trembling.
When I wipe my face with my hands, my hands became soggy.

I’m so pathetic as a Demon Lord── Thinking so, I remember that this is a [simple warehouse] made by Thor.
This is a place where I can become my true self and become a girl.
If so, then it’s fine.
Rukie didn’t bother to stop her tears.

“………That’s why… The duke … is going to … Thor … Thor …”

I can’t do it anymore.

“………… Hick.
Hick.
Hey, Thor …you’re not a bad person… You’re not a bad person … that person who said a bad thing!”

“c, calm down, Rukie-sama!”

“Please talk slowly, one at a time.”

Thor and Mabel look at me with gentle eyes.
Even when she saw it, Rukie’s tears didn’t stop.
In the end, with tears, she finished talking about the Empire and Thor’s father.

── Thor perspective ──

“So that happened …”

After listening to Rukie’s story, I sighed.

“I understand.
It seems like something what my father would do…”
“………… Uuu.
Hic.”

“Don’t cry.
Drink the tea and calm down … hmm? The tea is cold already.”

“I’ll immediately brew another one.
Please wait a moment, Your Majesty “

Mabel hurries to heat up the kettle.
Eventually, the water boiled and tea for three people were lined up on the table.
I tried it and… sighed,

“… I’m sorry that I lost my cool.”

Rukie finally seemed to be calm.
Holding on to the chest of her usual black dress, Rukie sighed.

“… I intended to tell you calmly … On the contrary … I bothered you guys …”

“It’s okay.
I was able to make out of what Rukie wanted to say.”

I was surprised that she suddenly started crying.
The content of Rukie’s story was conveyed properly.

General Reisenga met with the Margrave Garoa of the Empire as planned.
At that meeting, Margrave Garoa wanted the general to deceiving the Demon Lord Rukie and give some more silver to the Empire.
If it was found out by Rukie, they would blame everything on me.

“Because Thor wanted to use illegal means to go back to the Empire, he tricked the general and took the silver.”

No matter how I think about it it’s not a logical reason.

In the first place, I have no intention of returning to the empire.
Rukie knows that too.
It’s not like General Reisenga would jump on board too.

That Margrave isn’t interested in the people of the Demon Territory.
If he knew about the General even a little, he should have understood that such a proposal wouldn’t have gone forward.

Then General Reisenga who heard that proposal was furious.
He kicked out the Margrave, wrote a rough letter, and told Rukie.
The empire also noticed the blunder of the Margrave, and sent an apology letter.

It was written in the letter that it wasn’t the collective decision of the empire, but the aristocrats acting rashly.
The aristocrats are Margrave Garua and the Duke Regus- that is, my father.
Rukie tried to tell me that.

“… I can’t believe it.
Why can they do something so terrible?”

Rukie said, rubbing her crying eyes.
For some reason, her free hand was holding my hand for the whole time.
From when Rukie was crying, I started stroking her head.
And then Rukie never let go of me.

“Even if it was for a short while … Duke Regus is still Thor’s parent!? Not only did he exile you to the Demon territory as a sacrifice, but he also tried to use you again this time.
I can’t believe it”
“… Rukie-sama”

“After telling this story … I thought about how pitiful Thor was … I was crying … I’m sorry for Thor … I couldn’t help it…”

“Rukie is a good person, isn’t she?”

I said.

“I’m sorry for this, but … Thank you for crying for me.”

“… Be, be quiet.
It was really embarrassing.”

Rukie squinted her red eyes and looked at me.
Then she dropped her shoulders

“I… still have a long way to go as a Demon Lord.
If I wore the mask, I would have been calm, but as soon as I remove the mask, I started crying … I’m sorry.”

“This is the tea party.
Rukie-sama.”

I said.

“Isn’t it Rukie-sama who said, “Call me Rukie here.” It’s okay.
This is a secret place.
Let’s keep that in mind.”

“… Umu … that’s right.”

Rukie wiped her face with a handkerchief presented by Mabel and nodded.

“Thor is my friend.
It’s embarrassing to cry because someone else was having a bad time.
I cried for Thor who didn’t cry.”

“I would like to hit my father as much as I made Rukie-sama cry.”

“I’m not going to send the Lord to the empire for that.”

“I know.
I just wanted to say it.”

“… But I don’t know.
Why does your father go so far? If Thor was in the way, wouldn’t it be enough to exile him to the Demon territory?”

“Don’t cry.
Rukie-sama”

“… I’m not crying”

Instead, Rukie squeezed my hand.
Looks like my hand would stay there for a while.
You worried about me so much…

“I won’t be going anywhere.”

“……Nnn”

“And the reason my dad went this far… I think it’s probably partly because of the imperial policy.”

“The policy of the Empire?”

“I told you before that the Dolgarian Empire puts strength at the top … strength first, and that’s why I was banished.”

“… Umu”

“For that reason, I heard that Thor was neglected by his father …”

Rukie nods and Mabel looks at me with concern.
I continued.

“Of course, my father-no, Duke Regus is also a strong warrior, and the Duke’s father was a master of the sword called [Kensei].
He was my grandfather.
But my grandfather,… after he gained some age, he became to like alcohol…and was killed by a bandit while he was drunk.”

“……eh?”

“……So it’s like that?”

“I was too small at the time, so I don’t remember it well.
But during my childhood I thought, No matter how strong you are, you could get killed if you were careless.
You might also be weakened by old age.
But the stronger you get, the more someone wants to beat you and make a name for themself …”

It is said that the thief who killed his grandfather was actually a warrior who was aiming for the strongest.
It seems that my grandfather was fighting a lot of opponents in order to become a [Kensei]

“Then, it doesn’t make much sense to aim for the strongest.
I think it’s better to use alchemy skills to do brain labor, I thought in that manner.”

“It’s a Thor-like idea.”

“It seems to be logical.”

“So from the beginning I gave up on being a strong person.”

But the people of the empire are all trying to be strong.

The people who laid the foundation of the Empire was the Heroes with extraordinary strength.
If the strength of people in this world is 100, the strength of heroes is about 100,000.
They wouldn’t get killed by a surprise attack and it would be fine if they were weakened a little.

That’s why the people of the empire are aiming for strength like a hero.
To be stable and the strongest.

“That’s why the people of the empire, including my father, are trying to use their power, achievements, and anything else they can use as tools to become like heroes.”

“That’s … why the Duke tried to sacrifice you …?”

“Maybe, though.”

“I don’t understand at all”

“Please rest assured.
I can’t either.”

“……It’s fine.”

“What is it?”

“I’m happy to have the same idea as Thor.”

“Yes.
I’m the same as Thor.
I don’t understand at all.”

“I see”

Rukie and Mabel nodded and drank tea again.

“By the way, Rukie-sama”

“What, Thor.”

“… It’s time to let go …”

“… U, umu”

Rukie hangs her head with a bright red face and said,

“I’m sorry.
I was so lonely when I learned that Thor had been treated badly by his father.
I thought about how bad it would be to live with such a father.
At that time, I was on my side.
I thought that I was powerless to help you before, so I just held your hand.”

“So that’s what happened……”

“At least I don’t want Thor to be lonely today … I want to hold hands until I fall asleep … No, it’s just my selfish wish.”

“I’m happy, but it’s a little difficult.”

I’ve never slept hand in hand with someone … it’s an attractive suggestion but,

“Your Majesty is a girl.
Sleeping with me──”

“I, I’m not going to do anything! I , I just want to hold hands and sleep.”

“Your Majesty.
I understand your feelings …”

Mabel has a troubled face.

“Your Majesty can’t stay in Thor-sama’s room, and your Majesty’s room is forbidden to have males in your own room.
If you sneak into a separate room, there are definitely still going to be maids there.
I don’t think it’s possible to sneak Thor into a room.”

“I understand.”

Rukie murmurs, unfortunately.
I’m sure she knows that it’s an impossible request.

But I’m the Alchemist of His Majesty the Demon Lord.
Let’s think of a method.

Of course, it’s difficult.
Rukie can’t stay in my room, and I can’t stay in Rukie’s room.
How do we hold hands and sleep while both of us is in our own room ──

“Found it”

When I opened the [Mail order catalogue], there was something that could be used.
The book from the Hero’s world sure is amazing!
It makes this situation become possible.

“Um, Rukie-sama”

“Umu.
Thor”

“Isn’t it okay if Rukie holds “my” hand and sleeps, and I hold “Rukie-sama’s” hand and sleeps?”

“That would do.
That way… both of us aren’t lonely.”

“Okay, then let’s make this.”

I pointed to the [Mail order catalogue] page.

“I need some different materials, can you help me get it please?”

“Can you do something with this? No, no matter how much this is impossible …”

“It’s okay, Your Majesty.
It’s made by Thor-sama.”

Rukie and Mabel nod with a smile.
I check the [Mail order catalogue].
With this item, Rukie’s wish may be fulfilled.

I don’t care about Duke Regus anymore.
But if Rukie is happy, I’ll make one of the magic items.
I’m an alchemist who reports to her.

That’s why I decided to make a magic item for a good night’s sleep.

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