Of Heroes and Work
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
King Reiyd Glorio Allysia clicked his tongue as he read over a recent report. On the page was a rather unpleasant note. The human supremacists were gaining momentum beyond his expectations.
He knew that humanity was prone to being the first race to advocate such a belief, but he had failed to anticipate the readiness with which it was accepted, despite all his preparatory work.
Based on the report, the belief was most common among those with little or no exposure to members of the other races. Those that had contact were more accepting, which was to say that it was a fear of the unknown. The less informed were approaching the problem with their own incorrect biases and stereotypes. Many even seemed to assume that they would slowly be taken over.
Many were concerned because they knew that they were weaker than others, and that their lives didn’t last nearly as long. They feared those with more time, those that could outlive even their children.
And that fear was something that the group behind the movement exploited freely.
The existence of said organisation was something of which the king was certain. They had done their investigations, and the rate with which the ideology was spreading was unnatural. Personally, Reyid was annoyed. He was already busy enough, and now only had more on his plate. It was something he simply had to deal with. If left unchecked, the ideology was one that would rot the country and one day destroy it.
There was a knock on his door right as he was reminded of the frustration that came with the unnecessary complication.
“You may enter,” he said.
“I’m sorry for the disturbance, Your Majesty,” said his aid. “Lady Nell has requested an audience. I have placed her on standby in the reception hall for the time being. How would you wish to proceed?”
“Very well. I’ll see to her shortly.”
After sighing heavily and clearing his mind, he got up from his seat and walked down the hall. The young lady that awaited him stood up from the couch and took a knee as soon as he entered the room.
“Thank you for taking the time to see me, Your Majesty.”
“Yes, yes, enough of that. No need to be so stiff, Nell,” he said. “You’re one of the few friends I have, and I’d rather not be worried about formalities. At least not in private.”
“I hope it doesn’t come off as rude, but I do also think of you as a friend, Your Majesty.” She giggled as she got to her feet.
“I’d have to be a very sad, lonely old man to think of that as something rude,” he said. “Now why don’t you take a seat?” He continued only after they sat on opposite sides of a table. “I believe you wished to speak to me?”
“I just finished speaking to my husband about something that involved you, so I thought I should let you know.”
“Something involving me?”
A major event would occur with every one of Yuki’s visits. It was never his fault, and if anything, he was always the solution, not the problem. Still, he couldn’t shake the feeling that the hero was about to tell him that something had gone terribly wrong.
“Apparently he made some sort of deal with King Phynar, so he’ll be working to help us with the human supremacists, as something along the lines of a demonic representative. He told me that he would be arriving the day after tomorrow.”
“That’s wonderful. I’m sure he’ll be a great help.”
He immediately drew the conclusion that Yuki had likely spoken to King Phynar when he and Nell visited the demon realm, and that he had learned of the situation from the other monarch. Reiyd was well aware that the man was not only a skilled fighter, but also fairly adept at reconnaissance.
And if Nell were to be involved, his attitude would likely take a sudden shift, and he would immediately put his best foot forward. Anything that threatened the country, and therefore the woman sitting before him, was likely to incur the demon lord’s direct involvement. The old ruler had to admit. Jaynor—the former Minister of Defence—was right. The old military man was now living out the rest of his days in peace, but during his time, he had truly done everything he could to defend Allysia against foreign interests.
“In that case, we’ll have to get ready to receive him. Can I leave the hospitality side of this to you?”
“Of course! Carlotta’s already told me to focus my efforts on it.”
Obviously happy for the chance to see her husband, the girl smiled like a flower in bloom.
He knew that they were on excellent terms, but he was still impressed to see just how close they were.
“Oh, that reminds me, Nell. I spoke to Carlotta earlier, and was meaning to inform you of something we decided on,” he said, with a smile.
“And what might that be?”
“It was a discussion about your future, as it pertains to your work.”
“I-I see,” she said, with a nervous gulp.
“Our greatest enemies, the demons, are our enemies no longer. The same can be said for the looming threats that were the other races. From now on, we’ll be working closely with elves, dwarves, beastkin, and all other major powers. There are still a few minor issues to work out, but everything is going well, for the most part. After speaking to the other rulers, we’ve come to the conclusion that we need ten years. Ten years is what it will take for us to solidify our ties to the point that they will be too deeply rooted to remove. And at that point in time, I believe that we will be able to shrink our armies.”
“B-but what about the monsters?”
“We will still be keeping some forces on hand to deal with them, but we’ll be forging alliances so that we can come to each other’s aid if anything particularly powerful happens to suddenly appear.”
That was their vision, as it was idealised. The start of a brand new era, a long-standing age of prosperity the likes of which they had never before seen.
“Of course, that is speaking in the most hopeful of terms. There will be issues that arise, and we’ll have to work heavily on our legal systems to better support the different races. But we’ve finally begun taking steps towards it.”
The girl’s eyes almost seemed to shine as she listened to him elaborate. Reflected within them, the future he—they—dreamt.
“I believe you’ve already ridden in one of the airships?”
“I have! It was a wonderful experience,” she said.
“I was considering importing them for domestic use. They’d make it far easier for you to see your family, as well as return to the capital whenever necessary.”
The airship was an era-defining invention.
It could turn a trip that would normally take days into one that could be wrapped up in a matter of hours. Shortening the travel time would make it far easier for the races to interact and intermingle.
“To return to our previous topic, I was thinking of cutting back your workload once we’ve finished dealing with the human supremacists. You’d be placed in charge of only two things, eliminating monsters and serving as a liaison with Yuki.”
Reducing her workload would allow her to spend more time at home and reduce the amount of stress she had to endure. Moreover, it would make it easier to rely on him in the case that the country was unable to fight off a threat with its power alone.
“Unfortunately, we still cannot write off your duties entirely, but I hope that it will be a step in the right direction. What do you think?”
“Thank you very much for your consideration. I’ll keep doing everything I can. For Allysia.” She bowed her head and spoke a firm pledge.
“Alright, I’m heading out. Iunno when I’m gonna be done, but I’ll at least check in after two weeks. Ring me up with the orb of correspondence mk. II if you need me for anything.”
“I shall, but there is little need to worry,” said Lefi. “You are leaving the forest in good hands.”
“Thanks, I’ll be counting on you. Oh yeah, don’t push yourselves.” I turned to the kids. “That goes for you too. Eat well, sleep lots, be good, and play hard. Got it?”
“Got it!” cheered Illuna and Shii, with Enne repeating the phrase soon after.
I exchanged a few quick words with Leila and Lyuu before leaving the throne room and heading out into the Wicked Forest.
My pets were already waiting for me outside.
“Alright guys, same as usual. You guys are in charge of keeping everything in line while I’m out. Grab Lefi if shit gets out of your hands.” I hopped on Rir’s back. “Let’s go!”
With a quiet bark, Rir began running towards the kingdom, leaving a series of bowing pets in his wake.