Chapter 37 – Demon Lord Rukie Talks to The Third Princess of The Empire

── 1 hour later ──

The Demon Territory’s army and the Empire’s army set up tents at separate locations and took a break.
In this battle, there were no injured people in the Demon Territory.
General Reisenga and the Minotaurs even complained that they didn’t get a turn.

The Imperial Army, on the other hand, did not have any fatalities, but many were injured.
Some of them were trampled over as they were stuck in the spider’s thread, others were bitten by the small spiders.
The more seriously injured ones were those who fought against the main body of Monster Gargarossa.
They are being treated at the rear.

The meeting between the representatives of the Demon Lord and the Empire will be held at the midpoint between the two positions.
There are three attendees on the Demon Lord’s side: Demon Lord Rukie, Chancellor Kelve, and General Reisenga.
The imperial side was the third princess Liana, the Minister of military affairs, Zagran, and the escort soldiers.

“… I’m Liana Dolgaria, the third princess of the Dolgaria Empire.”

The first one that spoke was Princess Liana.
She didn’t have the holy sword with her.
The only armament she was wearing was her armour with the blood of the monster Gargarossa splattered on it.
She managed to wipe some off, but it didn’t seem to be completely cleaned.

“Thank you for saving us this time.”

Princess Liana bowed lightly to Rukie and her friends, trembling with a pale face.

“The strength of the magic of the Demon Territory and Demon Lord Rukie Evergard-sama, I have seen it clearly.
This Liana realizes her lack of power … … To defeat the Monster Gargarossa without a sword … “

(She looks scared.
Well, isn’t that reasonable?)

Rukie nodded, silently.

Everyone could see that Princess Liana was scared.
Despite being a princess, she confronted the “Monster Gargarossa” and failed.
After that, when she was about to be killed, she was helped by magic attacks of the Demon Territory.
Furthermore, the magic of the Demon Territory easily annihilated the Monster and its subordinates that could not be defeated even with the holy sword.

When she saw such a scene, it was no wonder that she was scared.

(… By the way, the rest of us were pretty surprised too.
Thor … we’ll be talking about the power of the [Laser pointer] when we meet later.
The user-support is left too.
Thor, you better be prepared…)

With that in mind, Rukie looked at Princess Liana.
Waiting for her to finish her words, then

“I’m sorry for not introducing myself before.
I’m Rukie Evergard, the Demon Lord.”

With the mask on, Rukie replied the greeting.

“You don’t have to feel ashamed of your defeat.
Even a Hero would find it hard to stall the monster.
The blood of the monster on you is proof that your majesty is a brave warrior.
Rather, I think you should be proud of it.”

“…Tha, thank you … very much”

It seems that she has reached her limit.
Princess Liana’s words were stuck in her mouth.

“Thank you for your very kind words.
Her Highness is deeply moved and seems to have no words at all.”

In place of Princess Liana, Minister of Military Affairs Zagran came forward.
He bent his tall body and bowed to Rukie, Chancellor Kelve, and General Reisenga.

“I am in charge of the military service in the Dolgarian Empire.
My name is Zagran.”

“So you’re the Minister of Military Affairs of the Empire? Nice to meet you.”

Chancellor Kelve answered on behalf of Rukie.
If the other party is not a princess but a vassal of the Empire, the vassal on the other side will reply too.

“I am Kelve, who serves Her Majesty Demon Lord and this is General Reisenga.”

“Her majesty’s subordinates, I’m sorry.”

Minister of military affairs Zagran looked down and continued.

“Thank you for saving Her Highness Liana’s when she was in a crisis, and I am grateful that you have successfully subdued the monster.”

“… That’s right.”

“The Empire and the Demon Territory both won this time, this achievement would probably be known by all the people.
For the friendship of both the countries, this is the best.”

With his eyes closed ── Without seeing the reaction of the Demon Territory, the Minister of Military Affairs Zagran talked.

(The Empire and the Demon territory both won?)

It was a deceiving phrase.
Kelve and Reisenga may have thought in the same way.
Reisenga was so angry that he was clenching his fists.
And Chancellor Kelve said,

“Just a question Minister of Military Affairs.
This operation was supposed to take place after our Demon Territory and the Empire’s army met up.
However, in reality, the Empire did not meet us but was attacked by the monster Gargarossa.
Can you tell us the reason for that?”

──He spoke the lines that they had discussed in advance before the meeting.

“Kelve let’s hold back for now since it’s right after the battle.”

“With all due respect, Your Majesty, this is important.
If you don’t ask the soldiers would be confused too.”

Rukie and Reisenga were having a planned conversation.

“This question is not a personal one, but the consensus of the soldiers of the Demon Territory.”

“Until now, the Monster has never come down to this open area.
It can only be inferred that the Empire did something.
If that is the case, I think the side who caused the operation to fail should explain.”

Princess Liana is biting her lips in front of Kelve, who points out the mistakes of the Empire.
It’s frustrating for her to be asked such a question immediately after the losing battle.

“The reason why there was no damage here was thanks to the item of that person.
Without that, there may have been casualties in both the Demon Territory and the people of the Empire.
So I think we need to confirm the true intentions of the Empire.”

“I understand the thoughts of the soldiers.
Then, from Rukie Evergard, I will ask Her Royal Highness Princess Liana.”

Rukie stares straight at Princess Liana and asks.

“Why did the Empire start the battle first while proposing a joint operation? Isn’t it because of the Empire’s plan that the Monster Gargarossa moved to the open area?”

“…………Uu”

“If that was the plan, then Imperial soldiers would have entered inside Demon Territory without notifying us, that would be considered an invasion.
What would you do if there were people nearby? What if the Monster attacks people? It would be meaningless to have a monster subjugation that caused damage.”

“…………Demon Lord-dono.”

“I don’t want to blame Her Imperial Highness Princess Liana.”

Rukie relaxes and as she asked Princess Liana.

“I want to know the true intentions of you guys.
Whether the Empire is worthy of trust.
How much can I believe if a similar joint operation is to be carried out in the future?”

“… Demon Lord Rukie Evergard-sama”

Princess Liana corrected her posture and lord Rukie.
She held the chest of the armor and took a deep breath slowly.
Then she said ──

“── Actually”

“I will explain it.
This situation was produced because of some soldiers who wanted a quick victory.
Those people are going to be strictly punished so can you please let this matter drop?”

Intercepting Princess Liana’s words, Minister of military affairs Zagran said.
He steps forward to protect Princess Liana and blocks her view.

“It’s part of the Empire’s custom to bring guilty aristocrats and their subordinates to subjugations and military actions.
If they gain merit on the battlefield their sins would lighten.
That’s why those people decided to attack the Monster’s nest.”

“── What do you mean?”

“Isn’t that consensus of the Empire?”

Chancellor Kelve talked for Demon Lord Rukie.

“Then, how do you explain about the Monster coming to your Empire’s position!”

“The runaway soldiers attacked the monster’s nest, but they realized they couldn’t win Shamelessly, they fled back to our camp.”

Zagran said in a bitter tone as if they were victims.

“The benevolent Princess Liana did not abandon even such people.
We were commanded to save the soldiers.
Then the Imperial soldiers fought against the hordes of Monsters, and Her Royal Highness Princess Liana confronted the Monster Gargarossa herself.”

“…Zagran”

“Please take a look at Her Highness’s Heroic figure who is covered in the Monster’s blood.”

Minister of military affairs Zagran grabbed Princess Liana’s shoulder and pulled her in front of Rukie and her subordinates.
They saw his fingers digging into Liana’s shoulders.
Perhaps she felt it, the princess quivered ──

“──Zagran…… No, as the Minister of Military Affairs Zagran said.
It was an emergency situation, therefore, please forgive me as I didn’t have time to contact the Demon Territory … “

──She avoided Rukie’s gaze as she said so.

(…Despicable Beings)

Perhaps Princess Liana just tried to tell the truth.
But the Minister of military affairs, Zagran, stopped it.

──The fact that the Empire overtook the Demon Territory while proposing a joint operation.
──The fact that you failed to subdue the Monster and were saved by the Demon Territory.

The imperial politician, Zagran, would never admit it.

So, because of the “runaway soldiers”, the Imperial army was ambushed by the monster.
That’s why Princess Liana couldn’t defeat the Monster Gargarossa.

She decides to fight the Monster Gargarossa and die for the “runaway Soldiers.”
The reason why she left the blood of the Monster on her is probably to further provide evidence.

And ── The reason why the Imperial soldiers were saved by the Demon Territory was not that the Imperial soldiers were weak but because they were suddenly attacked by the Monsters.

The Empire’s side wanted the story to be like that.

“… Where are those “runaway soldiers” now?”

“Caught and being tied up.”

“Can we see them?”

“Many people were injured.
We are not in a position where we can show them to the Demon Territory.”

“… What if they have a different version of the story them Minister of Military Affairs-dono?”

“People can talk about anything to escape there sins your majesty.”

In response to Chancellor Kelve’s words, Minister of Military Affairs Zagran quickly responds.

“However, it is a fact that our Imperial Majesty’s troops were saved by the Demon Territory.
We have prepared a Thank-you letter from me and Princess Liana.
Later, you will receive a formal thank-you letter from His Majesty the Emperor.
Please take this.”

When the Minister of Military Affairs Zagran signalled, the soldiers who were waiting beside him presented a parchment.

It certainly contained a thank-you note to the Demon Lord Rukie Evergard, jointly signed by Third Princess Liana and the Minister of Military Affairs Zagran.
A reward catalogue is also added

Included in there were military supplies and Zagran’s private precious metals.

(It’s a bribe so that we can drop this matter)

The Empire would never admit that they went ahead first and were saved by the Demon Territory.
They fell into an unexpected crisis because of some “runaway soldiers”

“Can I have a few minutes please?”

Demon Lord Rukie told Princess Liana.

“I want to have time to judge whether your story is true.”

Princess Liana nodded to her words.
Rukie and her subordinates exited the tent

“I think we should accept their proposal.
Your Majesty.”

Rukie’s party kept a distance from the princess.
In that state, Chancellor Kelve whispers to Rukie.

“The Empire will never admit that they have set up a battle against the Monster at their own discretion.
If so, should we just take it as profit?”

“We should be satisfied with the letter of appreciation from the Empire and the gift?”

“You should think that way.”

“Sure.
The purpose of this time is to strengthen our friendship with the Empire.
It was the Empire that was harmed by going ahead.
Thanks to this, I was able to defeat Monster Gargarossa in a safe state.
I understand that but…”

“What does the Chancellor think about the Empire breaking its promise!?”

General Reisenga yelled.

“No matter what the result, there is no difference in the breach of promise.
It doesn’t make sense if we don’t blame them!”

“The general’s anger is justified.”

Chancellor Kelve bowed his head.

“This time I also learned how the upper echelons of the Empire does things.
The Minister of military affairs “runaway soldiers” were probably those who could be discarded.”

“Is that why they brought the prisoners?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.
The Imperial Minister of Military Affairs may be using such a measure.”

It was a possible story.
If Rukie and her party stuck their noses into those “some soldiers” and the Empire disposed of them, they will be “disposed of by those of the Demon Territory.” And the people of the Empire will have a grudge against us.

That may also be the goal of this operation of that Minister of military affairs.

“Okay, let’s end the talk now.”

Demon Lord Rukie nodded.

“I’m not convinced, but …let’s end it here.
The Demon Territory has defeated the monster and profited.
We will receive a document stating the fact that we saved the princess and a thank-you gift from the other party.
With that, let’s make that the reward of this Monster subjugation.”
“I think that’s a good idea.
Your Majesty.”

“If that’s the case, it can’t be helped.”

Chancellor Kelve replied and General Reisenga nodded.

“I was just standing behind this time.
I don’t have much of a say in this.”
“I’m sorry.
Reisenga.”

“No.
No one was injured because of Thor’s magic item.
Let’s approve it.”
“It can only be used in unobstructed areas.
In intricate areas, we would still need the power of the general.
Keep that in mind, Reisenga.”

“I understand.”

“… And I have a request for Reisenga.”

Rukie, the Demon Lord, quietly

“When the talks are over, I want you to bring some soldiers and search the monster’s nest.
There may be some small spiders that survive.
And … the “runaway soldiers” that the Imperial Minister of military affairs said might still be there.”

“I see … If we find the person we can get him to talk.”

“Umu.
We could hear the Empire’s plan from that person.”

“With pleasure!! Leave this to this Reisenga!”

General Reisenga hit his chest and proclaimed.
Then Rukie and her party returned to the meeting place.

After that, Rukie and her party told Princess Liana and the Minister of Military Affairs Zagran the answer as the Demon Lord.
Princess Liana accepted the answer on behalf of the Empire.
The Demon Lord officially received a letter of appreciation from the Empire and a thank-you for saving the princess.

It was an official letter that the Empire thanked the Demon Territory, the first proof of friendship between the Empire and the Empire.

And, according to the letter, the Demon Territory, officially saved the Empire’s princess

“Is it okay if I ask for one last thing?”

After Demon Lord Rukie received the letter and began arranging to receive the gift ──
Suddenly, Princess Liana asked Rukie.

“The people of the Demon Territory used magic with a terrifying long range.
Besides, it seems that Demon Lord Rukie Evergard can freely manipulate the magic once released … was that the power of the Demons?”

“… Um”

Rukie was at a loss for words
She was in trouble.
She couldn’t say “It was thanks to the laser pointer made by an alchemist from the Empire”.
Or rather, it will only confuse the other party.
On the other hand, if she said something humble the Empire would only be warier of it.

With no other way, Rukie said,

“I just borrowed the wisdom of a certain alchemist.”

She answered simply.
Then ──

“── Alchemist!?”

Princess Liana was shocked and looked at the Demon Lord Rukie.

“M, maybe it’s the Wandering alchemist?”

“A wandering alchemist? Well, he certainly kind of wandered to the Demon Territory.”

“What is his race? Isn’t he a human from the Empire?”

“So what?”

“Can you introduce me to him? Maybe that alchemist has repaired my magic sword because I can’t think of anyone else who has that skill to do that.”

“… What are you going to do with the introduction?”

“I would like to thank him.
If possible, I would like to keep him beside me.”

Princess Liana put her hand on her chest and said so.

“Alchemists are low-ranked people, but … if I can use him effectively, it’s not bad to put him on my side.
If he is appointed by the Royal family and strengthens and make items – that is, an alchemist that lives for the Empire, and devote his body to it.”

“…Devote the body… “

“It’s a great honor for an Alchemist who does not have the power to fight to contribute to the Empire.”

Princess Liana’s eyes were shining.
Minister of military affairs Zagran also nodded satisfactorily to her words.

However, when Rukie heard the words of the princess, she felt that her heart had frozen.

(What did this princess say now?)
(Alchemist … to make items that the Royal family wants …to dedicate his body? To use an Alchemist for that purpose..)

After her heart got cold, a wave of strong anger arose.
Rukie only understood one thing.

(… Is Thor something to be given to the Empire?)

How will he endure devoting himself to the emperor?
Thor is free in the Demon Territory … he should live as he wishes.
That is the most suitable way for Rukie’s friend, Thor Canaan.

(… What the hell is “The wandering alchemist!”)

If that’s Thor, you should look it up while you’re in the Empire.
Only after you see the [Laser Pointer] do you remember him and now you want him back? You are looking down on us too much

No, if you’re a princess, there was no way she would have talked to a sacrifice.
If she did that Princess Liana would have had the opportunity to know that Thor was a capable alchemist.
She could have even kept him in the Empire.

(But doesn’t the Empire even know that they sent someone with the “alchemy” skills to the Demon Territory?)
(They don’t know anything about sending Thor as a Sacrifice…)

How did Thor come to the Demon Territory?
How kind he is and thinks about Rukies.
His abilities are world-changing, but he himself is only thinking about making useful items.

As soon as he learned of Rukie’s secret, he revealed his secret.
When I think of him, my heart feels warmer-sometimes I feel kind.

Liana, the princess of the Empire, knows nothing.
She’s just interested in knowing Thor’s ability.
She’s not really interested in what he is or what he’s thinking.

“── I’m sorry, I can’t answer.”

Demon Lord Rukie said.
It was a surprisingly cold voice from me.

“There are people of different races and different circumstances living in the territory of the Demon Territory.
Perhaps some of them came from the Empire but I cannot leak information of my people.”

“Well, don’t say that …”

“That person was chosen by this demon Lord, Rukie Evergard, and he was not chosen by the Dolgarian Empire.
That’s all I can say.
The Empire didn’t choose him and decided he was unnecessary.
Then you should take responsibility for that choice!!”

Unknowingly, Demon Lord Rukie took off her mask
With her crimson eyes, she glanced at Princess Liana.

“Even if he is the alchemist you want, I can’t give him to you.”

“── De, Demon Lord Rukie-sama”

“That person is happy here! That person soothes my heart and we’re happily living together! He’ll always be on my side all the time! I won’t give him to you!!!”

Demon Lord Rukie held her chest and shouts.

“It’s okay to say that this subjugation was won by both the Demon Territory and the Empire.
But that person is different than this.
I’m not going to share him with the Empire! Remember that well!”

“… Your Majesty”

“… Your Majesty Demon Lord”

“……ah”

Suddenly, when she looked sideways, Chancellor Kelve and Flame General Reisenga had an absent-minded face.
Demon Lord Rukie noticed the words she has spoken and turned bright red.
In a hurry, she put the mask back.
Returning to the position of Demon Lord again, she said,

“That’s all.
Thank you for your cooperation in subduing the Monster.
I hope that the two countries will continue to be peaceful.
Is that alright, Princess Liana?”

“… Yes”

Princess Liana replied with a faint voice.
Frightened by Rukie’s threatening voice, she just kept nodding.

“On behalf of the princess, I apologize for ruining Your majesty’s mood.”

The Minister of Military Affairs Zagran corrected his posture and bowed to the Demon Lord Rukie.

“This is the first time for Princess Liana.
I hope you understand that this was caused because of the excitement from the battle.”

After hearing his words, Demon Lord Rukie looked at Chancellor Kelve and Reisenga and nodded.
The negotiations are over.
From here onward is an informal place.
It’s okay for the Demon Lord to talk to you directly.

“I understand.
I’m sorry that I raised my voice too.”

“No.
Your Majesty is a strong person.
You have the right to do that.”

“… What?”

“The magic of the black flame that we mentioned earlier was wonderful.
A moving flame that burns down the Monster Gargarossa and its subordinates together.
That is something that we don’t have in our country.”

The Minister of Military Affairs said in an over politely tone.

“That power is horrifying to the Empire, but … we also have to pay respect to the strong.
I think the strong person, Your Majesty Demon Lord, has the right to yell at us.”
“No, I’m not a strong person.”

Rukie shook her head.

“A large reason that I’m strong is because of the weakest person.
With the help and learning of that person, my army and I could easily defeat the Monster.”

“… I’m sorry.
I can’t understand Your Majesty’s words.”

“I’m saying that the one who gave me the power to fight is the one who doesn’t have the power to fight.”

Saying that Demon Lord Rukie grinned.

“It’s fine if you don’t understand it, but I think it’s important to learn, Minister of Military Affairs Zagran.”

“… I will keep that in mind.”

Demon Lord Rukie turned her back on the Minister of military affairs, Zagran.

Then, the meeting between the Demon Lord Rukie and the Princess of the Empire was over.
Rukie, Kelve, and Reisenga set out for the position of the Demon Territory camp.

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