Back to the Empire
“This is farewell,” said Lyuu’s dad. “We will be heading back to our domain, but you can reach us by leaving a message in Alfyro. We’ll be visiting the city frequently.”
“Sure. You guys can leave messages for me there too. I’ll check in every once in a while,” I said. “Actually, you guys mind if we visit sometime?”
My now official father-in-law and I were talking business while Lyuu was bidding farewell to her clan. And more importantly, her mother.
Just from looking at them, you could tell that the two had always been rather close. Yeah, not really surprised to see that Lyuu’s kinda sad to see her go. Pretty much what I expected from a mother-daughter relationship, honestly.
Roselia gave the impression of an excellent mother. Even Lefi was quick to get along with her. The two were bonded before I realised they’d even really started interacting.
“Yes, of course. We’ll be more than happy to have you. And seeing all the hospitality you’ve shown us, we’ll be looking to do our best to impress you,” he said. “Ah, right. And do let me know when the children are born.”
“Oh… uhhh… yeah… sure.”
I responded to his shit-eating grin with an embarrassed head scratch. Bro, that’s the kind of joke that makes things awkward as hell. Can you not? Kthx.
“Demon lord.” His light-hearted expression was replaced by a more serious one. It was the sort of face that only a father could make. He wasn’t conflicted anymore. All the hesitation in him was gone.
“My daughter is yours now. You know what to do.”
He extended a hand.
A hand that one could not simply shake with a halfhearted will.
“Yeah. I do.”
But I took it. I took the man’s, the father’s, hand and shook it with confidence.
There was a soft creak as I slipped through a magical doorway and moved from the familiar Wicked Forest to that of a quiet but much less familiar building. Looking up, I was presented with the sight of a Rogardian castle. The Rogardian Castle.
“Will they freak out if I casually wander inside?”
With my most recent marriage done and out of the way, I was back in the empire so I could follow up with the demon king, as promised. I wasn’t exactly the most recognizable person in Rogarde, and I was probably going to be mistaken for an intruder or spy or something if I casually waltzed right in without an appointment. The whole situation seemed like a royal pain in the ass and I didn’t want to deal with it. Wait, this is the femboy we’re talking about. He’s probably got something or another figured out… And at the very least, he’s probably told the demon troops, so I guess I gotta hit up one of those.
With that thought in mind, I wandered over to the front gate and found myself a bored looking soldier of the demonic variety.
“Hey, you got a moment?”
“And who might you b—wait, Lord Yuki? Please wait just one second. His Majesty has been awaiting your arrival, but I’ve been told I’m supposed to get someone before I let you inside.”
Dude was confused as fuck until he recognized me, but then he dashed right off. I guess he probably has a rough description of what I look like or something.
As promised, he returned after a brief delay with someone I vaguely recognized in tow.
“Hello. We’ve been eagerly awaiting you.”
“You’re uhh… Lunogill, right? You doing okay?”
I remembered him because he was the man responsible for capturing the emperor, but doing so had left him with a near fatal wound, and that he’d lost the ability to use magic.
“I do find it a little inconvenient that I’ll never be able to use magic again, seeing as how my body no longer contains any magical energy, but I’d say I’m doing perfectly fine, thank you,” he said. “Given my line of work, I’d say that my lack of magical energy may even prove itself an advantage. I’m just happy to have lived.”
He certainly had a point. Most detection skills were based around the concept of detecting an individual’s magic. Yeah, finding him sounds like it’d be a huge pain in the ass… No thanks.
Evidently, it was working just as well on me as it would anyone else. He wasn’t even showing up on my map. Magic Eye wasn’t exactly picking up on anything either. The only thing I could see was a Lunogill-shaped patch of empty space. And while it did somewhat stand out from the environment, I didn’t think there was any point in trying to use it to find him. Using a normal eye would prove just as if not more fruitful.
He’s still got all those stealthy skills from being a spy and whatnot, so he’s probably going to be more or less untraceable. Shit dude, that’s impressive.
That, however, didn’t mean it was necessarily a good thing. It was the same as saying that you got more agile because someone ripped one of your arms off, and you didn’t have to deal with the extra weight anymore.
“I’m going to be in Rogarde until the empire is deemed stable. As I’m sure you could imagine, the war’s aftermath has led to an increase in the number of spies and criminals.”
“Already? That was fast…”
“Of course. Opportunities like these are golden geese. They provide the perfect chance to set up a criminal organisation, which in turn could create unrest and dissatisfaction among the populace. King Phynar has ordered us not to underestimate the masses and to make it clear that we were in the right.”
So basically he wants to create a narrative that makes it seem like the old administration was evil while the new administration has the people’s interests at heart, huh?
I could see what he was trying to do. Winning the people’s trust was essential if he wanted to convert a country full of nothing but humans to a bastion of multiculturalism that allowed all sorts of different races to coexist. He basically had to make the Rogardian people feel as if their administration had been born anew, and for the better. Much easier said than done, seeing as how people pretty much always hate sudden changes. Messing up could cost you real bad. You’d get terrorists and revolutionists and whatnot. And the moment shit goes downhill, you’ve got a second war on your hands. Not fun.
As a history major, I was well aware of similar things happening over and over back on Earth. But that wasn’t to say that I was going to go out of my way to do anything about it. I had no interest in the empire, and I’d never wanted to become its ruler. Like seriously, I give zero shits.
Not giving a damn was, of course, different from wanting to actively destroy it. I’m not the kind of degenerate that’s into murder and destruction and shit. Fuck that, I’d rather just have peace.
I’m all for getting rid of the whole human supremacy thing, but other than that, I’m pretty much willing to compromise on anything. Whatever works works. Not that my opinion really matters. I don’t know shit about running a country. Gotta make sure I pick Phynar’s brain and see what he thinks.
“Goddammit… why do I have to worry about all this shit anyway?” I muttered under my breath.
Damn it, Draggodt, you son of a bitch. This is all your fault. Pushing your responsibilities on me and shit. Fuck you.
“Did you say something?”
“Nah, it was nothing. Mind showing me where Phynar’s at? I’m not planning to stay too long.”
“Of course. It won’t be a problem,” said Lunogill. “It’s right this way.”