“Don’t you know any people who can work La Banan?”
“The old vassals from my father’s time are no longer with us.”
La Banan’s father was Benan, the Demon King who used to rule over Alunaha. La Banan had approached his father’s old vassals, but their reply left much to be desired.
“You can hire from other places too. I don’t care if they aren’t good, but we need people.”
“Then what about on your side, Draco-sama?”
“Ah, I know. I’ve been working on it.”
Draco had been thinking about calling his old vassals ――― who are officials in the Great Demon King Office, so he sent them a letter.
But he wasn’t sure if any of them would respond.
Draco was only one of the Demon Kings who occupy the frontier even though he had acquired a castle city. There must be many who believe it was better to join the <Northern Overlord> Zardish’s faction rather than the faction of the <Dethroned Crown Prince> Draco.
Also, the work that needs to be done in a remote city would be far too different for a bureaucrat who manages the whole Demon realm. Draco believed that the work here was also worth doing but there were few vassals in the capital who felt the same way since they came from influential families.
Will at least one of them come? He didn’t have high expectations. The jobs of the officials in the capital were to serve the Great Demon King. Many of them opposed Draco’s accession to the throne after the previous Great Demon King passed away because of the <Northern Overlord>.
For now, he would just have to trust those who follow him.
Besides, there was an upside which was the hierarchy of the vassals. Conflicts between old vassals and new vassals are inevitable no matter how careful you are. It would be better to bring in new vassals than rely on the old since the new vassals will be less reserved.
“I guess we’ll just have to steadily look for them. We’ll have to hire from the peddlers and commoners as well.”
“Oh. If you do not care about their origins, then I might know where to recruit people.”
The next day, La Banan immediately brought a man with him to see Draco.
Draco met with this man whom La Banan recommended at the government office in Alunaha.
That was the man’s answer to the first question. The question was: What do we need to raise in order to support the growing population in Alunaha.
Kwon Verbanias. He was a Kobold adventurer’s merchant that La Banan had found. Or former, was perhaps the better word to use. Kobolds grow up fast but have short life spans. Kwon was 40 and already approaching old age. His caravan travels from Alunaha to the west and north, but he had already handed his fortune over to his son.
“Alunaha already raises pigs. They are delicious.”
Draco was reminded of the taste of pork as he replied. Lamb was considered superior to pork in the northern land where the capital was located. Draco also only started eating other kinds of meat after he was defeated by the <Northern Overlord>.
“You should raise more of them. Alunaha’s population will increase. The more food we have the better.”
“The city is too small to raise too many pigs. There isn’t enough space.”
There wasn’t enough space for the market, so there wasn’t enough space to raise pigs.
“So, we use the bountiful forest.”
Kwon, the adventurer’s merchant, was also a ‘River Crosser’. He had crossed the river that separated the Demon realm and the Human world and had seen the Human world. It took courage to trade things that weren’t found in the Demon realm and vice versa, but the rewards were great.
‘River Crossers’ have seen the Human world and have a wider range of knowledge.
“The people release their pigs into the forest, the pigs then grow from the bountiful forest. Their meat also tastes good.”
“And how do you manage them?”
“You don’t. Pigs that roam free in villages belong to everyone. In the fall, they strangle and butcher the pigs, then smoke them for winter.”
“Alunaha doesn’t have winter.”
“Aren’t we in the most ideal situation? We can just hunt them when we need them.”
Kwon definitely knew a lot of things. This plan was still messy, but Draco could discuss it with La Banan and slowly implement this plan.
Kobolds look like standing dogs and are known as a weak demon tribe, but Kwon was different. Draco believed that he might change if Draco used him well.
“Kwon Verbanias, was it? I heard that you’re an accomplished merchant. I would like to see you use your skills as a civil official.”
“Please pardon me, Draco-sama. I would like to be a military official instead of a civil official.”
The situation wasn’t looking good. Draco also wanted military officials, but the shortage of civil officials was currently more serious. Someone like Kwon, who showed practical knowledge and was good at calculations, was someone he wanted to hire as a civil official, but he wanted to be a military official?
“A military official, you say? Do you have any military experience.”
“I served in the army when I was young.”
“Then, do you have any commanding experience?”
“I do not.”
“… That would make it difficult for you to become a military official.”
“I am confident that I will do a good job.”
Kwon spoke directly.
How to treat an old man who belongs to the York clan, the smallest and most helpless of the Kobold clans? Draco was worried. He wanted as many civil officials as possible, but he didn’t want to discourage those who are willing to serve.
“Would you be willing to let me join the lowest rank of military officials even if it is unpaid?”
Draco hadn’t expected him not to want any pay. He may have savings from the time when he was an adventurer’s merchant, but there was a limit to how long he could live off those savings. Most importantly, employing Kwon without paying him would be a disservice to the other vassals.
“I can’t offer you any unpaid position.”
“Then, could you at least let me instruct people while they are training.”
Kwon was enthusiastic. His small body showed his enthusiasm, and he had a good glint in his eyes. Draco couldn’t refuse.
“… Alright, Kwon. I will employ you as a military official, but I have a condition.”
“What is it?”
“You have to assist the civil officials when you are not working as a military official.”
“Very well, Milord”
Draco had succeeded in getting help, but there were surprises.
He had met other men who La Banan had recommended that day and had only hired about 50% of them. La Banan was daring enough to mix his recommendations. Perhaps he was figuring out what kind of people he should recommend.
Draco’s preferences have changed. He preferred people who were a bit sharp like Kwon.
You can’t win with ordinary talent. That thought drove Draco.
Taibanka, Lukshuna and Dadda were all sharp, and of course La Banan was sharp as well. He believed that the royal road was one where the right people were in the right places.
But it wasn’t easy to find the people he needed.
Draco realized he was getting impatient when he looked at his growing number of vassals.
He needed someone who would handle information. He needed access to the centre of the realm despite being in Alunaha, a remote region. Otherwise, he would be left behind.
For example, Palmyra, the <Succubus Princess> who was Draco’s enemy, has many spies in the capital and was able to grasp the subtleties of the political disputes in the capital without moving from Pazan, a city located close to Alunaha. Draco needed the same amount of information or even more if possible.
The encounter came suddenly one evening.
He drank often.
His entertainment was the moon. Sometimes, he would have people prepare him some simple dishes or other food to go with his alcohol. Draco thought about the future as he sipped on Alunaha’s unfiltered alcohol while looking at the moon.
He thought about himself, his vassals, the Evil Gods and the nation.
The more he thought, the more impatient and helpless he felt. He sometimes wondered why he worried so much.
If he wanted, he could give up the idea of unifying the Demon realm and become independent as a Demon King who rules over Alunaha. It would be difficult to attack this city from the capital. It was too far to send any army, so in a sense, it was a great location for him to be in.
On the other hand, Draco was also far from the capital. He only knew Alunaha as a place on the edge of the map when he was in the capital.
He viewed every other place like that when he was in the capital.
He didn’t want to stay as a Demon King on the frontier.
He had big ambitions. It could even be said that it was because the blood of the Great Demon King flowed through him. It was his pride, his position and his weapon.
This nation was in chaos. Power alone wasn’t enough to stop this chaos. If power alone had been enough, then the chaos would have been stopped by Zardish, the <Northern Overlord>.
The Demon realm was complex and chaotic. There were many people, many Gods, many customs and many legends in the Demon realm. The Great Demon King family has reigned over the Demon realm as its keystone and is an indispensable element that holds the Demon realm together. Draco doesn’t know if having a Great Demon King as a keystone is the right way to go. Perhaps there was another way to keep the chaos in the Demon realm in check, such as a council of Demon Kings from all races. There were rebels who pursued such dreams in the past.
But what was required now was a Great Demon King.
The current Demon realm didn’t have the resilience to move to a completely new form of governance. It must return to what it has long been accustomed to. Draco was the only one who could do that.
There are two males from the Great Demon King lineage. One was Draco and the other was his uncle. His Uncle was already ordained, so he does not have the right to success. Renis, who now calls himself the <Crown Prince>, is from a matrilineal line. So, Draco was the only male descendant with the right of succession.
The Demon realm will collapse if Draco is not crowned the Great Demon King. That was the reason why Draco was fighting.
He poured more alcohol.
The Great Demon King is at the pivot and the other tribes surround him. That was how the Demon realm was. The absence of the Great Demon King has caused confusion in the Demon realm.
He must accumulate power, return triumphantly to the capital, and ascend to the throne. Draco believed that this was what he should do.
But at the same time, he sensed that the Demon realm was beginning to heave. The Demon realm was about to return to its former chaos because Zardish, the <Northern Overlord> has not placed Renis on the throne.
The chaos was only temporary and someone with strength, wisdom and courage may establish something new to replace the Great Demon King House, such a person may be what the people are waiting for.
If that was true, then what should Draco do?
“You look depressed.”
He didn’t know where the voice was coming from.
Was it from his right? Or his left? He put up his guard, drew his sword and looked around.