Rukie entered the castle’s rear courtyard.
It was located within the bounds of the castle, but since it’s location was obscure, it was frequently patrolled.
At times, it was also used by the castle personnel to discreetly take a break.
At the moment, it had been emptied of all personnel under Rukie’s command.
She was here to meet the pixies, others would discomfort them.
“I can’t see you, but you are present, correct?”
Rukie asked as she seated herself on a nearby stone.
There were numerous trees in the backyard.
She surveyed the courtyard, unsuccessfully trying to locate the pixies.
They hid themselves well.
“I am Demon Lord Rukie Evergard.
Would you mind revealing yourselves?”
In a calm voice, Demon Lord Rukie called out to the pixies.
She was capable of locating them through magic, but she had no intention of doing so.
This was a private meeting that Demon Lord Rukie herself requested.
“…… No, one-sidedly requesting for you to reveal yourselves is discourteous.”
Demon Lord Rukie gently grazed her mask and robe.
“Let me first confirm something.
Pixies, are you Thor’s allies?”
Demon Lord Rukie continued while stroking her mask.
There was a short pause before a nearby tree branch swayed.
“…… All pixies are under Alchemist-sama’s command.”
“…… Demon Lord-sama is the master of the Alchemist-sama and therefore also our master.”
Then you will keep this secret, right?
Two quiet, melodious voices answered Rukie’s question.
After receiving confirmation, Demon Lord Rukie removed her mask and robe.
(I don’t have much of an aversion to removing my mask and robe these days.)
As she placed the mask on the stone, Demon Lord Rukie muttered to herself.
Rukie hid her true identity due to her youthful and frail appearance.
In the Demon Territory, countless people valued power, General Reisenga’s among them.
She hid her true appearance in order to avoid being regarded with contempt, but…
(Reisenga has also come to respect Thor completely now.)
Thor, who lacks any physical prowess, saved Agnis and continues to create unfathomable magic items.
Witnessing this, Reisenga, who considered physical might as supreme, reconsidered his opinion.
As he is now, it is highly unlikely that Reisenga would demean Demon Lord Rukie if he found out that she is in actuality a shy and slender girl.
Additionally, in the battle against Gargarossa, Rukie exterminated the little spiders and the monster itself in the blink of an eye.
It was only possible with the support of Thor’s [Laser Pointer], but there is no doubt that it was Rukie’s dark magic that incinerated the enemy.
Rumours of her power spread to every corner of the Demon Territory.
Because of this, Rukie was no longer afraid of removing her mask these days.
At least, when she was in the presence of those who had faith in Thor.
“This is my true appearance.
I apologize for concealing it, but some circumstances required me to do so.”
Rukie called out to the pixies, her radiant, blonde hair swaying in the breeze.
“It’s selfish of me to ask you pixies, famed for being reserved, to reveal yourselves but keep my own appearance shrouded.
I have decided to reveal my appearance in good faith.
Would you please reveal yourselves as well?”
“Thank you very much for your kindness……”
Two small girls, one with azure hair the color of the summer sky and the other with yellow hair like autumn leaves, appeared from behind a tree trunk.
They were a water attribute pixie and an earth attribute pixie.
“Representing the pixies, we greet Demon Lord-sama.”
“…… It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
I’m glad that you’ve shown yourselves.”
Demon Lord Rukie spoke to the pixies.
The pixies in front of her were unexpectedly bold.
They showed the pride they took in their new clothes through their expressions and actions, spinning around to flare their skirts and twirl the ribbons around their waists while smiling.
They were not completely free of their characteristic embarrassment though, as they kept their gazes lowered.
“Did Thor give you the clothes you are wearing?”
“It is as you say.”
“We won them through lots.”
“They look dazzling on you.
They’re beautiful and elegant while still seeming to be comfortable to move in.
Mabel and Agnis made the clothes, didn’t they? They are both highly skilled.”
We are grateful to Mabel-sama and Agnis-sama for their favor.”
“……Demon Lord-sama’s subordinates are all good people.”
The pixies held hands and bowed to Rukie.
“Then first of all, can you recount how you met Thor?”
Demon Lord Rukie said.
“He also wants to conduct an experiment regarding nullifying light magic.
The pixies are presumably assisting him with that, right? I would like to know how it came to be that way.”
“…… I’ll tell you.”
The two pixies bowed again.
“If it’s something about Alchemist-sama, then I know it well.”
“….I always sleep in his pocket.”
“What exactly happened?”
The two pixies began to narrate the events to the attentive Demon Lord.
How Thor encountered the dark attribute pixie and what transpired afterwards.
Because Thor’s potential workshop location was near the forest, the pixies became aware of his existence.
Thor sought to request something of the light attribute pixie and headed to the forest.
And then you all encountered each other…”
After listening to their story, Rukie nodded her head in agreement.
Thor learned that the light attribute pixie was ill, so he gifted her a [Footbath] and a set of [Magic Cloth] clothing.
The pixies felt indebted to him and helped him find a workshop, and in return, he provided them with clothes.
That’s why the pixies appeared at the Demon Castle as Thor’s messengers to deliver the letter.
Incidentally, it seems that in addition to these two, there were other pixies dressed in foliage following them.
They were waiting for their friends to return from the castle.
“I wonder why, but I can imagine the exchange between Thor and the pixies.”
Rukie held her mouth and laughed.
She knew full well why the pixies troubled themselves to come to the Demon Castle.
The pixies are exceedingly loyal.
Since one of their kin was cured and they received beautiful and comfortable clothing for themselves, they couldn’t help but return the favor.
Moreover, Thor intended on presenting the pixies with more clothing made of the [Magic Cloth].
The pixies who knew of this would likely pledge allegiance to Thor, as would their entire race.
“This dress…… is very comfortable.”
“It’s effortless to fly in and it feels pleasant.”
The earth and water pixies laughed and twirled their little bodies around, showing off their pure white clothes.
Then they both looked at Rukie.
“Your Majesty Demon Lord.
We have a request.”
“….Flying, watch us.”
“”We would like to exhibit to Alchemist-Sama’s master what our new clothing is capable of.””
The pixies declared in unison.
“All right, go ahead.”
Rukie nodded, she too wanted to watch the pixies fly.
She had heard that pixies flew gracefully through the air.
Surely they would dance even more elegantly with their new white dresses.
“There is no one else in this backyard.
You can fly around as much as you like.”
Immediately afterwards, the two pixies rapidly flew up.
When Rukie looked lifted her head, they had already reached the top of the tree.
Their wide skirts flared out like spare wings.
“”Ready, set, go!””
With a whoosh, the pixies blazed past Rukie.
She knew that they were fast, but this went beyond her expectations.
She could only barely follow them with her eyes.
If examined closely, the surface of their clothing could be seen rippling.
Like a fish wriggling its body as it swims, Rukie thought.
The clothing was analyzing the flow of air and adjusting its shape to compensate, helping them fly.
“The [Magic Cloth] was that versatile?”
Rukie thought of what Thor wrote in the application.
──The [Magic Cloth] allows magic power to pass through it.
──The pixies wearing [Magic Cloth] clothing are able to manipulate it as if it’s a part of their own body.
──That will benefit the pixies.
That’s why I want to gift them [Magic Cloth] clothing.
“No, it was certainly written on the application, but this is far beyond what was expected!!”
In front of Rukie’s eyes, the pixies flew through the air at supersonic speeds.
Eventually, they neared the edge of the backyard…
“”We’re turning around!””
They unfolded their skirts and used them like the sails of a ship to decelerate.
Additionally, they each stretched out the ribbons around their waists and grasped a tree branch.
Using that as a pivot point, the pixies swung around and calmly flew back towards Rukie.
They then came to a halt in front of Rukie.
“”What did Demon Lord-sama think?””
The pixies were staring expectantly at Rukie, their eyes sparkling.
“If we wear this clothing, we would be able to better assist Demon Lord-sama.”
“……Work with the people of the Demon Territory.”
“”We’ll be able to work in comfortable clothing-“”
“Is it a matter of the comfort of the clothing…?”
Rukie was dazedly studying the pixies.
The petite girls were puffing out their chests and waiting for Rukie’s response.
“……The clothing is certainly magnificent, as is your skill in flight.”
After a moment’s thought, Rukie said.
“I’m sure very few in the Demon Territory can fly as swiftly and masterfully as you.
That was wonderful.
“”Thank you very much Demon Lord-sama!””
The pixies clapped their hands in delight.
It was doubtful that any better clothing could be found.
The pixies had already made the [Magic Cloth] clothing their own, manipulating it like they would a part of their bodies.
In addition to it being exceptionally comfortable, they were able to unfold it, retract it, and use the ribbons to adjust their orientation.
“The happiness of my people pleases me as well, but…”
（Thor!!! Are you trying to revolutionize the pixies!!!)
Rukie exploded internally.
The [Magic Cloth] clothing made by Thor will transform the pixies’ way of life itself.
It will also have a great impact on the Demon Territory ruled by Rukie, as well as the upcoming mine development operation.
These pixies flying at high speeds will play an active role in scouting the narrow tunnels and relaying the instructions from the castle to the mines.
There was no issue since the pixies themselves desired to work for the Demon Territory as well.
Aside from the fact that the Demon Lord and Chancellor were grasping their heads in exasperation due to the unforeseen events.
Demon Lord Rukie unconsciously rubbed her forehead.
Chancellor Kelve must be reviewing the application right now, deliberating between approving or rejecting it, but there was no need for that anymore.
Regarding the Demon Territory and the pixies, there was no option but to approve it.
“Demon Lord-sama, are you okay?”
“……Is your forehead hurting?”
“I’m okay, don’t worry about it.”
Demon Lord-sama must be fine since you’re smiling.”
After being told so, Rukie realized that she was smiling.
It was exactly as the pixies said.
Rukie was smiling.
It seems like I’m enjoying myself.”
Demon Lord Rukie said.
“I’m excited to see how the Demon Territory will evolve in the future.”
“I understand how Demon Lord-sama feels.”
“The pixies are all excited as well.”
Then we’re friends.”
The pixies happily replied and flew around Rukie.
(My alchemist will truly lead us all to unprecedented frontiers.)
As she watched them, Rukie suppressed her throbbing heart.
(But Thor, remember that the next time we meet, you’ll be subject to a lecture all night due to how much you’ve surprised me.)
After inwardly declaring that to the absent Thor, Rukie inhaled deeply to calm herself.
“Okay, so…… regarding providing the pixies with clothes…….”
Demon Lord Rukie declared firmly.
“There may be some who will disagree, but I will persuade them.”
“”Demon Lord-sama, are you serious!?””
The two pixies widened their eyes at her words.
“Although Chancellor Kelve is stubborn, he always prioritizes the best interests of the Demon Territory in the end.
I’m sure he’ll understand the importance of the [Magic Cloth] clothing to the pixies.
However, it might take some time before he understands.”
The two pixies closed their wings and landed on the ground.
Then, they bowed deeply and said,
“We would like to thank Her Majesty Demon Lord on behalf of all the pixies for Her Majesty’s favor.”
And as for the experiment with the assistance of the light attribute pixie…….”
Rukie was also interested in the [UV Nullifying Parasol].
She had witnessed the power of the holy sword of Princess Liana.
If there were an item that could nullify Holy Sword Dolgaria or light attribute attack magic, she would love to behold it with her own eyes.
“Tell Thor to prioritize your clothing.
Also, inform him that I will send a formal response later.”
“Thank you very much!”
“Speaking of which, what kind of offensive magic can the light pixie cast?
“Soleil can use the [Vivid Light Strike]!”
“……Intermediate light attack magic.
Perfect for experimentation.”
Magic a few ranks below the [Ultimate Vivid Light] should be sufficient for the experiment.
It was also easier for Rukie to approve.
Rukie decided to write a reply to Thor’s letter immediately.
“And that concludes the long and troublesome portion of the conversation.”
“Now then…… since you’re here, why don’t you girls join me for a cup of tea?”
Rukie once again put on her mask and robes.
Then she lifted the hem of her robe and offered,”If you find it embarrassing to show yourselves, you can hide inside my robe.
The cognitive obstruction enchantment will conceal your figures.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
“Let me guide you.
We can drink some tea and you can tell me about Thor.
It seems like you girls have many interesting stories to share.”
“Thor-sama confirmed that Soleil, the light pixie, took a bath.”
“…… 20 pixies hugged Thor-sama- It was a wonderful hug-”
“I see, I see.
I’ll definitely have to hear more about that! Umu”
Feeling something strange tugging at her heart, Rukie hurried towards the insides of the castle.
She opened the side door and entered the castle…
“Your Majesty, have you finished your meeting with the pixies?”
Further down the hall stood Chancellor Kelve.
“I heard that the backyard was restricted, so I waited here.”
“What is it, Kelve? Is it regarding the application?
“…… I’ve given up on that and signed it.
This is a separate report.”
“I received a message from the border guards that there has been movement in the Dolgarian Empire.”
Chancellor Kelve announced, his voice tense.
“The messenger from the Empire left a letter in front of a forest near the border.
A flag was planted there and the letter was tied to the handle.”
“That’s the official procedure for the Empire to communicate with us, correct?”
Demon Lord Rukie nodded.
The Empire had cooperated with the Demon Territory in a monster subjugation.
Aside from the fact that it was Rukie who defeated the monster, it could be considered a successful collaboration.
She hoped that it was a cordial letter.
“Is the content to be kept secret? If so, I’ll ask for the details when we return to the throne room.”
“No, on the contrary, I believe we should announce the contents to the public and warn them.”
Then let me hear it.”
Chancellor Kelve read the contents of the parchment he held in his hands out loud.
“『In our previous monster subjugation, because of the inadequate training of some of our soldiers, there was a slight setback in the subjugation.
After reflecting on our inadequacies, we have decided to conduct a military training exercise.』”
“『Hopefully, everyone from the Demon Territory will join us at the border.
We would like to humbly display the light magic we take pride in .』 That’s what they wrote.”
After that, Kelve read out the itinerary for the military training written at the end of the letter.
The designated date was approximately 20 days later.
It was a considerable time from now.
“Who sent the letter?”
“The Imperial Emperor’s signature is present, but it was written by Zagran, the Minister of War.”
“So it was him.”
Rukie glanced at the pixies in her robe.
The two of them, earth and water attribute pixies, nodded with stern expressions.
The two of them also noticed that there was something amiss.
Let’s hope it’s simply my imagination — thinking such, Rukie gave Chancellor Kelve instructions.
“Enough time remains, so let’s visit Thor and consult him.
As a precaution, we should develop countermeasures for light magic.”
Demon Lord Rukie patted her [Cognitive Obstruction] robe.
“Kelve, I’ll sign the application right away and send it to Thor.
Also, prepare a carriage to Reisenga’s territory and dispatch a tailor with some fabric to sew the pixie’s clothing.
After that, dispatch some people to scout the area around the border.”
“Yes, Your Majesty!
“I got it.”
“……Demon Lord-sama’s orders are the same as the Alchemist-sama’s orders.”
The pixies said, barely audible over the Chancellor’s loud voice.
“Finally, I authorize my alchemist, Thor Canaan, to conduct his light magic experiments.
As soon as the pixie, Soleil, recovers, he may conduct the experiment.
I will also be present there.
That will be all.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“I would like to believe in the Empire, but after what occurred last time, we must remain vigilant.”
“I’ll make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible.
Saying that, Chancellor Kelve nodded.
After receiving the application from Chancellor Kelve, Rukie returned to her office.
“……The Dolgarian Empire.
I can’t comprehend the actions that nation.”
Rukie said, wearing her mask.
“What is their royal family intending?”
“……if you would like.”
“Would you like us to scout for you?”
“No, don’t do that.
If anything happens to you, Thor will be devastated.”
While whispering to the pixies inside her robe, Rukie headed towards her room.
While watching the pixies snacking on freshly baked sweets, Demon Lord Rukie signed the application.
After finishing the sweets, the pixies will deliver it to Thor.
“If the Empire only intended on conducting military training, there would be no issue.”
She would have liked to learn from their training.
Their tactics, formations, and anything else of benefit.
The Demon Territory didn’t intend on becoming enemies with the Empire.
They simply wanted to learn from them and develop their nation.
“I’m sure there’s someone in the Empire who will understand that.”
Thor is an exception because he’s an anomaly.
There is no doubt that there are people out there who will listen and choose to coexist.
With that in mind, Rukie continued to sip her tea with the pixies.
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