The Wicked Emperor — Part 1
“Hi Yuki! I’m glad you’re finally back.”
“Sup,” I greeted the king with a nod. “So I got the gist from Lunogill already. It sounds like shit’s starting to hit the fan?”
“Starting, yes. It’s not quite that bad just yet, but it’s only going to get worse,” he said with a shrug. “Our enemies are trying to do all sorts of different horrible things behind the scenes, and we’ll be doing our best to stop them. The war is technically over, but we aren’t done just yet.”
He looked incredibly entertained despite having just described a huge pain in the ass. Maybe it’s because it’s a rare chance for him to go all out at something he’s good at.
“I’m glad you’re having fun, but be careful man. If you fuck up, then cleaning up is only going to get harder.”
The comment led the demon king to give me a bit of a surprised look.
“I hope this doesn’t come off as rude, but you’re clearly more knowledgeable about this than I thought. You must be fairly well learned if you’re aware of that. Where did you pick that up? Isn’t your dungeon cut off from the rest of the world?”
“We’ve got a sheep-horned demon living with us, and she’s been teaching me all sorts of stuff.”
I shrugged as I made up a random but fitting excuse.
The truth was, of course, that I had been through compulsory education and then some in my past life, but that wasn’t something I could just come out and say. I wasn’t exactly the best student, but I guess I’d know a lot more than the average Joe in this world, given the lack of formal education and what have you.
Oh and I know this is totally just going to be a dumb doting parent thing, but I want the kids to get an education on par with the one I got. Leila’s really smart and she’d pretty much be able to single-handedly provide an above average education, by this world’s standards, but I still want to see if we can go further above and beyond. Even my punk ass has gotten a good bit of value out of all the stuff I was taught. They’re sure to be even better off since they’re all smarter than me. They could even use it to make the world a better place.
“Your understanding makes this much easier. There’s actually just a teensy little thing I’d like you to do.”
“…I’ve got a pretty bad feeling about this, but I’ll at least lend you an ear.”
Again, he smiled.
“Can you do me a favour and make yourself out to be a frightening tyrant?”
The conference room’s door creaked open as I casually made my way inside.
Within it was a round table featuring many of the country’s VIPs. They were accompanied by familiar faces, the rulers that had joined the alliance. The former group was looking dark and gloomy, while the latter was all smiles. A perfect representation of the status quo.
Most of the rogardians ended up looking at me in confusion, while the foreign rulers seemed to catch onto the fact that something was up.
Alrighty, time to kick Phynar’s plan into action.
I made myself out to be as arrogant as possible, practically strutting over to one of the open seats before lazily slumping down inside of it.
“I know we were already in the middle of our discussions, but I’d like to introduce someone. This is Yuki, and he’ll be the next Rogardian emperor. He’s already taken control of the dungeon.”
That was one of the empire’s key rules. The person in charge of the dungeon was the emperor. Period. Rogarde’s citizens were unaware that the country was basically just a large dungeon and that all its emperors were demon lords, but the ruling class was, obviously, in the know.
“The name’s Yuki,” I gave a casual wave to the humans, whose expressions had turned to a set of stern stares. I could tell that they were thinking of me as an upstart without any of them voicing a word.
“Did you have anything to say, Yuki?” asked Phynar.
“Hmmm… let’s see… Alright, first things first, I straight up don’t give a shit about any of you. Do whatever the fuck you want, see if I care. I’ve got no interest in any of you.”
My declaration of negligence left a fair number of them at a complete loss for words.
“Just don’t disobey me,” I said with a grin. “If you follow my instructions and be my bitches, I’ll pretty much let you do whatever the hell you want. Oh, and if you try to disobey me I’ll kill you. Pick your poison.”
“T-this is ridiculous!”
An old soldier-like guy rose to his feet, literally foaming at the mouth with rage. Hmm… looks like he’s probably over 50. Dude looks like he’s been anxious as shit lately too. He’s got bags under his eyes and his cheeks are flabby as shit. Looks like he lost a bunch of weight ’cause of stress or something.
“What, you got a problem? You retarded or something? I just told you that you could basically do whatever so long as you obey me.”
“This is absurd! We cannot allow a man like this to be our emperor! I will never acknowledge him!”
“Well, tough luck. If you want to have a say in that decision, maybe you should win the war next time.”
The outright denial of his protest left him with a face as red as a boiled squid. His teeth were clenched and the veins in his forehead were swollen. He was so angry, in fact, that he even reached for his blade.
The alliance’s soldiers moved to restrain him, but Phynar raised a hand to stop them, his face decorated with his usual unreadable smile.
“I would rather die than allow an unruly villain like you to rule over the empire! I’ll strike you down myself!”
“Oh, you wanna go? Fine.”
I flooded the area with my magic in an instant. It was a fairly standard intimidation tactic. I could have amplified its effects with Sovereign Pressure, the skill I’d gotten from killing a certain douchey dragon, but I decided against it. With the skill active, even the most basic threat was enough to outright kill a human. Goddammit. Why do I have to be all careful and shit? This is a pain in the ass.
The alliance’s kings appeared pretty much unaffected even though their stats were far lower than mine, but the humans and some of the more powerful guards froze up like deer in the headlights.
I casually stepped onto the table and walked over to the man in the middle of drawing his sword. Staring straight into his eyes, I spoke, slowly, deliberately.
“You have no idea how weak you are, do you? Draggodt did. That’s why he worked together with some of the demons he hated so much and did all that forbidden shit. He knew just how weak he was. And unlike your dumb ass, he was smart about it. He knew that the best way to keep this country safe was to hand it over to someone strong.”
I was met with silence. The soldier was so nervous he couldn’t even open his mouth.
“The fuck do you think you are? You aren’t shit. You’re just some retarded ass, washed up old man that’s incompetent enough to get worked up by the tiniest thing. Get your head out of your ass, retard. Actually, you know what? I’ll give you a chance. Go back to your domain or whatever and get your army. Come back at me with all of your thousand troops or whatever. Hell, you can bring ten thousand, a hundred thousand. It won’t make a difference. I’ll kill all of you.”
“Can you leave it at that, Yuki? We’ve won the war, but we don’t intend on destroying Rogarde. They’ll also need a teensy bit more time before they can fully accept that things aren’t the way they were anymore,” said Phynar, in the sort of tone a mediator would take.
Aight, mission complete I guess.
With a snort, I stepped off the table and headed out of the room without bothering to return to my seat.
“I’ll just say it one more time, in case you’re deaf. Obey me. Obey me, and you’ll be safe. No matter what happens. I promised the last emperor that, at least. But that’s all I’ll do. Anything else, bother them, not me,” I said, pointing at the alliance’s rulers.
With that final line said and done, I pushed open the creaky doors and made my exit.