“Where did you come from?”
I pretended to be a human traveller when I found the goblin village and let them capture me.
I was brought before the goblin shaman while bound by ropes. He was still young. He was a shaman who had a similar aura to Ri Gudang.
There was a crude tent in the centre of the goblin village. Well actually, it was too small to be a village. This was just a campsite. I couldn’t see any women or children and the men were all dirty. Apparently, this was the place where those who had deserted Ri Gudang’s army had fled to.
The goblins surrounding me looked tired and irritated.
“From the west. I got lost while looking for a human village.”
I played the part of a prisoner and tried to look as frightened as possible.
I was adept at this kind of acting as someone who used to work as a salesman for a black company. I had borrowed a used cloak from Ruro. My disguise was perfect.
“A human village? There’s one a little west of here.”
“Yes, there is one… but I couldn’t enter since they had so many soldiers there.”
“They had a lot of soldiers?”
The goblins started panicking because of what I had just said.
Of course, I was bluffing.
They probably feared that the humans would organise a punitive force. There were approximately 50 goblin soldiers who had fled to this village, but those who escaped with their lives had low morale and were poorly equipped. They could steal livestock from the nearby villages if they are unguarded, but they can’t resist an army.
“Tell me how many there are!”
“Well, hmm, more than 200.”
“200, you say…?”
The goblin Shaman fell silent.
They wouldn’t be able to fight 200 soldiers. This is what he would decide. They would have the option to fight if they had the will to fight but that’s what they lack most right now.
“… We should go into hiding for a while.”
I had expected this decision. The goblin shaman called the goblins who were close by and gave them instructions one after the other. He ordered the goblins to move their base to the forest in the north.
“What about this human?”
The shaman smiled wickedly at the old goblin’s question.
“We’ll take him with us alive because he’s our most important emergency food supply.”
He had said something very dangerous even though the body of an evil god wasn’t something one could eat. I don’t think I’d taste very good.
The shortcut from the camp to the north forest was through two small hills. They would have to go the long way if they don’t take this shortcut. The goblins were in a hurry, so they took this path.
――― The leading goblin stopped. A figure stood on the road blocking their march.
“Retreat, Human Girl! If you don’t want to die!”
The goblins shouted as they raised their weapons. The road was narrow, so only one or two goblins could attack Ruro at a time.
Ruro Banten, the girl in front of them with her spear, looked calm.
“By the command of Rilphis, the God of Wind, who dwells in the Heavenly Realm, come forth some whirlwinds.”
Blue light swirled and gathered around the spear as Ruro chanted. I released my manifestation while the goblins were startled and escaped to the hill. Everything was going as planned.
“Come forth, Divine Whirlwind!”
Ruro shouted in a loud voice and particles flickered furiously before transforming into a gust of wind.
The stones on the ground became pebbles and rushed through the goblins. Even without the pebbles flying at them, the wind was so strong that the goblins could hardly stand. The goblins desperately tried to lower their bodies onto the ground but they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
Ruro shrieked as she lifted the tip of her spear up like she was fishing for a big fish, then the direction of the whirlwind changed. It engulfed the goblins and blew them up in the sky.
It was a tornado. A tornado twisting up to the sky, taking the goblins with it.
Honestly, I hadn’t expected that the power in Ruro’s spear would be this great. I couldn’t see the goblins anymore. They were probably dead. I feel a little guilty. If I hadn’t intervened, then it would have been Ruro who would have died.
Ruro dropped her spear and fell to the ground as if she had used up all her strength.
I rushed to help her.
“… I did it, Hirano-sama. Ruro… Ruro killed every last one of the goblins.”
“You did. Well done.”
“I am happy, the god has praised me… With this…”
“… Will my father be forgiven for becoming a priest at the ‘Church’?”
Things are beginning to move.
Goods from Pazan in the north, Baal Gonane in the south and even Kili Shushutsu in the east were flowing back into Alunaha. The market was lined with goods and people were gathering to buy them. Then another demand would be created, and goods would flow in again from the neighbouring nations. This was a good trend.
They had some success in capturing bandits and the plan to lend land to captured bandits was also successful.
Even though they were bandits now, they were farmers in the past. They wouldn’t need to carry swords anymore if they are given axes and hoes to cultivate the land.
Draco was busier because of this.
He even took his meals in his office. He had more decisions to make and La Banan’s ‘illness’ was taking a toll. Alunaha was still expanding, so he couldn’t just sign on everything. When something was unclear, he would call the person in charge and have them explain things to him, and if a new framework or criterion needed to be created, then Draco would do that himself.
He felt a sense of fulfilment in creating something. At the same time, he regretted that he had imposed so much work on La Banan.
He had to train his subordinates. This was a pressing issue.
So, Draco was actively showing one young man how to do his work.
“How are the calculations coming along, Shulicia?”
“As a result of my investigation, it seems that the mistake that happened earlier was not a simple calculation mistake but a mistake in inputting the expenditure amount. I will inform the supervisor of the person who made this mistake and have them trained again.”
His results were immediate.
This young lizardman, Shulicia, was smart. He was good with numbers, had a good memory and had the ability to see the big picture. This wasn’t something that could be acquired through training. It was an ability that could only be acquired through talent and experience. He was suited to be a government official in a different way than La Banan.
He said he had been a slave.
He was a slave, but he bought himself back and Draco employed him. The social positions of lizardmen were complicated and weren’t easily understood by other races because the lizardmen, who rule the swampy lands that stretch to the east of Alunaha, didn’t actively socialise with the outside world. It wasn’t common for other races to be educated while they were slaves like Shulicia was.
Draco’s policy was to hire anyone who was useful regardless of their background.
“What are you planning to do next, Shulicia?”
“I will be inspecting the gifts from the local VIPs. After that, I will have lunch even though it will be a little bit past lunch time.”
“What a boring job.”
“In that case, shall I just take inventory and give you the items later?”
“… Alright. That’s part of my job as well.”
Draco resisted the temptation of lunch and urged Shulicia to bring him the gifts.
Ironically, the bandits had increased Draco’s influence. Those powerful families and lords who were unable to defeat Ri Gudang’s bandits on their own have come to accept Draco of Alunaha as a protector. More and more of them were willing to build a connection with him.
Draco was pleased with this result, but it didn’t come without its problems.
People who wanted to establish a friendship with him sent messengers to Alunaha one after the other which left little time for other matters. This was a headache for Draco who had an increasing number of decisions to make.
So, Elena received the audiences on his behalf, except for those who Draco believed were of particular importance. No one complained that he himself hadn’t seen them personally. Her title as the Head Priestess of the emerging <Thunder> Evil God, Hirano, was also influential around this area now.
Packages were brought into Draco’s office one after the other under Shulicia’s orders.
The secretary read out the names of the person who gave the gift and Draco inspected them one by one.
It was only natural that some of them would try to offer gifts, or rather tributes, in place of not being able to see him. The tributes ranged from gold, grains, swords, armour, other armaments, vases, paintings and other works of art. There was even a bottle of wine which should be hard to find in the southern part of the Demon Realm.
“Shulicia, what is in that box?”
A large box caught Draco’s attention.
The box itself was gold and made out of Bergan cypress, which was difficult to work with because of its hardness. The wood was carefully carved to accentuate the grain of the wood.
“The box is sealed tightly.”
“Who sent it?”
The kobold secretary shook his head. “It was an unexpected gift,” he said.
“What would you like to do with it, Draco-sama?”
“Everyone makes mistakes. Open it and see what’s inside.”
A few people gathered and the wooden pegs were pulled out with a tool. The practice of packing offerings without the use of metal was originally an old practice from the Great Demon King’s house. Even Draco only knew of its existence from books.
“It will be opened shortly, Draco-sama. There might be a bandit inside. Please get behind me.”
“It’s fine. Bandits wouldn’t do something this elaborate. Besides, I can protect myself.”
Draco put a hand on his hilt after he spoke.
The <God Destroyer Sword> was lost in his fight with God Okri. His current sword was finely made but he wasn’t used to the weight difference on his waist.
“I will have it opened.”
Shulicia signaled the others, and the lid was carefully removed.
The box was cleverly designed so that the walls on all four sides would fall down when the top lid was removed.
Draco gasped at the beauty of the item inside.
Long, flowing dark blue hair and a pair of ivory horns.
Soft porcelain skin and bright eyes.
The outfit that wrapped around her tall body was decorated with a magnificent dragon embroidery.
Her figure was enveloped in dignity and filled those who saw her with awe.
“… Draconis TN: Katakana says Half-Dragon.”
It was also Draco’s first time seeing one.
This race, which claimed to be descended from the soaring dragons, had a long-life span but few children, just like dragons. So, there were only a few of them left in the Demon Realm.
When I looked at Shulicia, he kneeled while looking extremely bewildered. For the lizardmen, who claim to have dragon ancestors, the draconis are objects of reverence because of their thicker blood.
Draco turned his gaze back to the draconis.
The girl with a noble aura about her gracefully curtsied to Draco.
“I hope you will forgive me for my unexpected visit. My name is Lana Endelke ga Cranchfiel. I have sneaked here to be one of your mistresses.”
|↑1||TN: Katakana says Half-Dragon|