A Discussion in a Private Room
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix, Joker
“Now now, Iryll. I’m sure you would love to continue being in his company, but this isn’t quite the time for it.” The king, who’d spent a good bit of time happily smiling as he watched me interact with his daughter, spoke in an admonishing tone. “The two of us have business to attend to. Could you please wait in another room?”
“Of course, father.” Iryll responded in a polite manner one would expect of a princess before turning back towards me and completely dropping it. “I guess that means I gotta go! See you later, Mr. Demon Lord!”
She continued to rapidly alternate between her more polite and casual modes. Iryll performed a polite curtsy, pitter-pattered over to the door, waved energetically, and closed it behind her.
As could be grasped from her words, the nickname she had ultimately decided on giving me was “Mr. Demon Lord.” There were a number of other contenders, many of which included the word heroic, but she had ultimately dropped it and just called me by what I was.
“I am overjoyed to see her in such high spirits,” the king spoke in a low tone of voice as he watched her go.
“Yeah. Honestly, I’m surprised she’s like that,” I said. “Acting like that takes guts with all she’s been through.”
The princess had been subject to torture at the hands of a perverted sadist. I highly doubted that any normal child would ever be able to smile again after suffering at the aforementioned pedophile’s hands. And yet, despite her experiences, Iryll had almost seemed like a ball of joy. Talk about mental fortitude.
“I must express my gratitude to you once more,” said the king, his voice filled with emotion. “You are the sole reason that my daughter was not robbed of her smile. And for that, I thank you.”
“Don’t mention it. Like I said, I wasn’t there ‘cause I wanted to help or anything.” I shrugged. “I was just taking care of business.”
“That does not change my stance on the matter.” The king shrugged off my indifference. “You have saved my country. I suppose that I must offer you something akin to a token of my gratitude. Is there anything you wish for? I will endeavour to accommodate your desires so long as I find myself capable.”
“Hmmm. I dunno.”
I hadn’t saved the king because I had wanted anything in particular. My goal, murdering the prince, was complete. And that was honestly all I really cared for. The king owes me big time. It’s probably safe to say that I won’t be bothered by any more of this country’s men so long as he stays in power. Not like there’s any reason for them to hit up the Wicked Forest anyway. They’re afraid of Lefi, and they know that place is her nest. We should be able to enjoy a good bit of peace so long as there aren’t any more conspiracies. Y’know what though? I might as well get me some insurance.
“Alright. Well, all I want is for intruders to stay the hell out of my territory. So how about you tell people that the deeper part of the Wicked Forest is off limits? I don’t mind if they enter it, but only if they don’t wander too far in”
Adventurers had explored the area near the forest’s edge on several occasions. And I was fine with that. The only people I had a problem with were the people that ignored the invisible boundaries set by adventurers and dove straight into the Wicked Forest’s depths.
“Consider it done,” said the king. “Truth be told, your request merits little change. The Wicked Forest has always been considered a place far outside the reach of human hands. To accommodate your request, however, I will see to the creation of documents stating that none should intrude upon it and violate your domain unless they wish to forfeit their lives.”
“I mean, works for me, but you sure you want to make it official? Can’t say I think it’s the best idea.” I asked the king for confirmation while raising an eyebrow.
Putting it into writing meant that the king and I would have created a formal contract, a fact that would likely prove problematic. Of course, it wasn’t as if either of us intended on violating the contract’s terms. It was just that I was a demon lord, a breed of creatures known for being hostile not only to humans, but most other races as well. His decision would likely result in others calling his character into question should it ever become known to the public.
“That is not an issue. The document will remain highly classified and only accessible by those with royal blood,” said the king. “If anything, I suppose I should be the one asking you whether or not you are certain. I believe that a large portion of the Wicked Forest falls under the Supreme Dragon’s jurisdiction. I understand that you are a force to be reckoned with, but I suspect it may very well eliminate you should you intrude upon its nest.”
“Nah, it’ll be fine. Me and the Supreme Dragon know each other. We’ve already talked about it and figured things out.”
‘Cause, you know, she kinda lazes around my place all day. I had actually spoken to Lefi about the topic in the past, and she’d told me that she did in fact have a nest at one point in time, but that she had effectively abandoned it and given me the whole area. With the king’s new policy in place, the Wicked Forest’s inner sanctum truly became mine, both in name and otherwise.
That said, the dungeon had yet to absorb the entirety of Lefi’s territory. There were still a few pieces of it here and there that lay outside the realm of my control. I guess me and Rir can go around adding more area to the dungeon for the first time in a long while once we get back. Er, after I grind a few levels, that is.
“You are acquainted with the Supreme Dragon…?” The king cocked an eyebrow. “I would think that claim to be one spoken in jest if it had come from anyone but you. But given your place of residence, I suppose I find it believable enough. Very well, if you have no qualms or complaints, then I see no reason for me to have any either. I will have all the documents in order shortly. Is that all?”
“Uhhhh let’s see… you guys got like travel authorizations or anything? I like to go sightseeing, so I would like some sort of document that can allow me to go around the country and visit wherever. You know, for vacation and stuff,” I said. Like a free pass or something. That’d be nice.
It wasn’t like I didn’t have an ID card. I’d gotten something back when I registered as an adventurer, but I figured that whatever the king would give me would likely prove far more convenient in the long run. It would be much easier for me to take the dungeon’s residents into town if I happened to have something with a royal seal on it.
“That is quite the interesting request,” said the king. “I would not mind providing you with one, but I cannot say that it will necessarily function the way you hope. Humans and demons have been at war for a long, long time. A mutual dislike is all but ingrained in our upbringings, and though I am this country’s king, I cannot guarantee that you will not be attacked if you reveal your identity.”
“Yeah, I figured. It should be fine though. I’ve got my methods,” I said. “I won’t be causing any trouble.”
I wasn’t making an empty claim. Case in point, the church. The church had yet to realize that I was a demon despite the fact that I had spent a decent amount of time in the company of its members. My methods worked. I could disguise myself as a human with ease. However, the same couldn’t be said for Illuna, Shii, or the maids. My experiences indicated that people would actively employ enchanted items in order to check the races of those around them. I guess I’ll need to think of some kind of workaround.
The goal was to bring everyone so that we could all enjoy our vacation together. Especially Illuna and Shii. I want to give the two of them a chance to see the world. Though uhhhh… I’m not exactly sure if I can do all that much to help Shii out though. She’s kinda, you know, blue. Oh well, whatever. I’ll figure something out eventually.
“If you say so,” said the king. “I suppose I will have that prepared for you shortly as well.”
“Sweet. Thanks. How long do you think it’ll take?”
“I will have it ready in approximately an hour.” The king paused for a moment and regarded me with evident disappointment. “Were you planning to leave immediately? I would have liked for you to stay for dinner, at the very least.”
“I mean, I appreciate the sentiment, but truth be told, I’ve got someone waiting for me outside the city’s walls, and I probably shouldn’t just leave him there.”
“I see no reason why I shouldn’t extend that companion of yours an invitation as well.”
“Well uhhh… you see, about that… It’s kinda my pet wolf,” I said. “Well, kinda. He’s not really a wolf. He’s a fenrir, and I’m pretty sure that you’d probably not want a fenrir in the castle. You know. Just sounds like that’d be pushing things a bit far.”
“Well… putting the fact that you so casually mentioned keeping a legendary beast as a pet aside, I believe it shouldn’t cause any issues. Many adventurers are monster tamers and they are allowed to bring their beasts into cities so long as they register them beforehand.”
“Huhhh… fair enough.”
I wanted to hurry back to the dungeon, but truth be told, I was kind of interested in taking a peek or two at the food. I mean, whoever’s responsible is literally going to be making stuff fit for a king, right? Can you really blame a guy for wondering what that stuff’s like?
The king immediately caught onto the fact that I was entertaining the thought and followed up his assault by playing a card he’d held onto just to put the nail in the coffin.
“I suspect that some may begin to call my dignity into question should I send the country’s saviour home without any sort of formal celebration. And that may in turn lead them to question my right to rule. I am sure you would prefer for that not to occur,” said the king. “And more importantly, Iryll has been looking forward to it. I am sure that she would be rather saddened if you chose not to attend.”
“Did you seriously just call me the country’s saviour? Talk about an over exaggeration…” I sighed. “Let me guess… you’re totally just trying to keep me here for your daughter’s sake, right?”
“I’m surprised you didn’t notice sooner,” chuckled the king. “Don’t worry. While it will be a feast, I will keep it on the smaller side and only invite a select few.”
“Alright. Fine. I guess I’ll stay for dinner.” I flashed a wry smile as I gave in and responded with a nod.