The fabric was silk.
It was soft to the touch and dyed well. The dye must have been good. The difficult blue colour came out beautifully.
Palmyra let out a sigh of satisfaction.
“It’s well made. This will definitely be an excellent product.”
“I am honoured by your compliment.”
This was the <Succubus Princess’s> room.
The room was filled with a fragrant incense and all the furnishings were beautiful. Their arrangement and the source of light were also carefully considered, and it could be said that her room was a balanced piece of art. Even the medicine chest on top of the writing desk was engraved by gold.
Only a few people were allowed in her room, and this merchant who was a purveyor to this Demon King was one of them.
“I was chased out of the capital and ended up in the middle of nowhere. I gave you a lot of money to kill time, and it was worth it. Please make more and more of these beautiful fabrics.”
“As you wish, Demon King-sama.”
“Demon King is such an exaggerated title. You are not allowed to call me that, especially when it’s only the two of us in this room. Just call me ‘Palmyra-sama’.”
“I will gratefully call you that, Palmyra-sama.”
As if on cue, Palmyra leaned towards the merchant.
Just like her alias, the <Succubus Princess>, she moved slickly and lewdly. Palmyra moved her cheeks so close to him that their breaths were almost entwined, then she asked.
“By the way, how is Ri Gudang doing?”
“It seems like he is doing well. He has gathered over 2500 people.”
“That he is doing well.”
The man’s mouth was passionately blocked to prevent her thoughts from being interrupted as she calculated.
She was sure that Ri Gudang was aware that he couldn’t use water on this march. This was evident from the flood of orders for wooden buckets.
The more mercenaries he hires, the smaller wooden buckets he would need. If they were marching from here with water then they would need horses, and also fodder for the horses. If they use carts, then it could possibly alleviate some of the problems, but the roads between Pazan and Alunaha are muddy, making it unsuitable for carts.
This was partly because Palmyra and Benan were estranged. Convenient transportation, on the other hand, makes it easier to invade.
If they lack manpower, then they would have to have the mercenaries carry the water themselves. The march would naturally be slower. Or some of the mercenaries may lose their will to fight and Ri Gudang would lose his fighting strength.
But still, wooden buckets. Together with the gutter that led from the poison storage into the river, that was a lot of wood being used.
All of that belonged to Palmyra.
Palmyra grandly released a large amount of lumber that was offered by the villages to rebuild the castle city.
Ri Gudang was thankful that she had lent him money, but the money that she had lent him would come back to her through various ways.
Although the mercenaries’ pay is substantial, it is customary that only half of that is paid in advance. If they die, then the person who hired them doesn’t need to pay the other half. If possible, she hoped that they would be annihilated.
In other words, it was politics. She had Ri Gudang gather mercenaries partly to settle the battle with the <Northern Overlord> who the foolish Benan served.
The mercenaries that Benan, the previous Demon King of Alunaha, had gathered in preparation for the decisive battle had turned into bandits in this area. They had no other choice. Those who have left their hometowns to become mercenaries cannot stay in their original sheaths. They had no choice but to loot without the opportunity to fight.
Palmyra wanted Ri Gudang to gather those kinds of people.
If possible, she wanted them to be pulverised. Then, Pazan would be at peace.
(I wonder who will win.)
Palmyra thoughts wandered as she ran her fingers along the man’s thin chest.
Ri Gudang or Draco?
Reason favoured Ri Gudang. The numbers of pawns they had were different. Ri Gudang’s forces are now large enough to take down a small castle town with the centaurs.
What about Draco?
Would he be able to notice Ri Gudang’s strategy? Even if he did, he would need to be able to act against it. And if he can, will he be able to take effective measures?
The more she thought, the more she believed that Ri Gudang had the advantage.
But the ‘woman’ who is seething inside Palmyra wasn’t so sure.
She held a high opinion for the lovely boy who she had once met and exchanged words within the high society of the capital. Did she have feelings towards him? How absurd. The <Succubus Princess> would never have feelings for him. Her woman’s sense of smell TN: Yeah… I thought I read it wrong too…, if you will, is what is pushing for the <Dethroned Crown Prince>. That was what she was trying to convince herself of.
Still, what was this smouldering feeling deep in her heart?
Perhaps it was the desire to conquer that boy. How has he grown?
Palmyra hated the Great Demon Kings of the past, but she valued their handsome appearance.
The <Dethroned Crown Prince> has strongly inherited their blood. He must have grown to be a handsome man.
Palmyra slipped between the man’s arms as she sucked tightly on his neck.
She was no longer in the mood.
The <Succubus Princess> had no taste for burning her throat with cheap wine while thinking about the finest wine.
“We’ll have plenty to talk about once the war is over.”
With that, she gracefully waved her hand, signalling the end of the matter. The stunned merchant quickly fixed his messy attire.
She watched as the merchant clumsily left the room and Palmyra felt an uncontrollable surge of arousal from within.
“That’s right, tales always happen by chance.”
That thought made her smile. She called for a servant with the bell in her hand.
“You wanted to see me?”
“Hmm, Ri Gudang hasn’t asked you to open the granaries yet, has he?”
“He has not. It seems that gathering a lot of mercenaries regardless of expense is causing him a lot of trouble. Provisions, horses, and water. All these arrangements have been delayed.”
“I thought as much. You can’t handle a soldier who’s above your means.”
It wasn’t so much a matter of it being above his means, but a matter of not having a group of vassals who have been raised as such.
After all, demons can only fight when their superior’s voice reaches them. It is necessary to have a higher-ranking person who is a leader to organise about 200 people. Ri Gudang does not have someone like that.
Even logistics, or in other words, how to finance supplies, would have to be handled by him.
It would be a burden and will dull his mind.
This will give Draco, who has an overwhelming disadvantage, a bit of an advantage.
In the best-case scenario, they would both go down.
She didn’t care who won, but she will do her best to make them feel obligated to her.
That thought made her heart skip a beat.
“Alright, let’s unleash the contents of the poison storage tomorrow.”
“The gutter has not been completed yet.”
“I don’t care. It may still flow into the river.”
“But some of it will trickle out.”
“Good. It would be nice if it went to waste.”
The expression on the <Succubus Princess’s> face was like a fierce predator. It was joyous to be satisfied.
Scheming and trapping.
The joy of doing those things was imprinted into the very essence of her species.
“Now, the curtain will be open before they are ready. How will the actors dance?”
Dadda didn’t need light to run through the forest.
Werebears are nocturnal. Their night vision was a gift from their Evil God.
Yes, Evil God.
Dadda was reflecting on the will of God which had been sent down to him.
Lightning shot at the rock the moment he swung down his sword. At that moment, he was involved in a legend.
It was also a sign that the werebears have yet to be ostracised from this world.
This world is full of gods.
Forest gods, gods of the night, wind gods, god of the furnace, bee gods, and god of the spears.
Only a few things are decided by demons. Gods and Evil Gods are abundant around the lives of demons, and they shape the world.
But only the werebears didn’t have a god. There is no Evil God watching over their race.
This meant that there is no place for werebears in this world.
There is no place for the werebears in the accord that makes up the world and the universe.
Ants, butterflies, birds, and deer have gods.
Only the werebears were alone in this vast chain that stretched infinitely to the corners of the heavens above.
Dadda’s father was an evil god priest.
He remembered that his father was the picture of strictness and honesty, but he also exuded gentleness in his harshness.
He took his own life right after the King neglected his duties to perform the rituals and God’s voice disappeared.
It wasn’t to admonish the lazy King.
It was because of fear.
His father cried the day before he died.
“Dadda, werebears will be cast out of the world. Something more terrible than death awaits us. Loneliness.”
“Is loneliness more terrible than death?”
“It is. There is nothing more horrible. Think of spending eternity in a soul prison where there is no light, no sound, no smell, and sense of touch. It has no end, not even with death. There is no salvation even after we die. That is dreadful.”
Frankly speaking, he was probably frightened of continuing to live a life plagued by loneliness.
Dadda didn’t think it was a bad thing.
He might have done the same thing if he had been in his father’s position. Evil God priests have a close link to the Evil God and werebears. He was able to feel the Evil God’s warmth more than anyone else. No wonder he was sensitive to the loss of the Evil God’s grace.
Soon after, the castle city was snatched away.
By the unpleasant shapeshifters.
When they were thrown out without a goal, those who slandered his father as being a coward for choosing suicide, realised the gravity of the situation for the first time. Life in the forest is hard and painful.
Many of his fellow werebears lost their lives and the lazy King also died. It was likely that his body, which was accustomed to living in luxury, couldn’t withstand the change.
Dadda, who had taken charge of the young, attended the funeral, but no one even offered the King a flower at the ceremony. The King’s death was a lonely one as the people who he ruled didn’t send him off with a heartfelt farewell.
The werebears were single-minded to the point of being commendable in their quest to seek a connection with the Evil God.
They always offered the best part of the game they hunted. They even built an Evil God Temple in the forest, albeit a crude one, so that their Evil God can return whenever they wanted.
And yet they still had to endure the loneliness that couldn’t be healed. For eternity. That was what he believed.
But that belief had been overturned.
Dadda could still feel the time when he had ‘cut’ the rock in his hand.
That was a legend.
It was a legend that should be passed down to the next generation.
He didn’t care when he died. At the same time, he knew he must pass this feeling to his children and grandchildren.
|↑1||TN: Yeah… I thought I read it wrong too…|