I had sent a tentative date for our next meeting to [Despair] Demon Lord Belial.
My plan, while waiting for a reply, was to focus on the management of Avalon. Preparing for [War] was important, but so too was making Avalon more abundant. After all, the more emotions and DP I got, the more things I could do, which then led to me becoming stronger.
At the moment, I was finishing up with the day’s paperwork.
It was a rather mundane task, but it was surprisingly fun. Through the numbers, I was able to sense of how much Avalon was growing.
“Conanna already finished all the arrangements for the airports in the major cities??”
In order to bring in more people to Avalon, I had decided to build airports in other cities and leave its management to Conanna.
As charming as Avalon was, it was still located in the outskirts of a human-ruled nation. Unless one lived in a nearby large city or at least in a nearby area that had easy access to the roads leading to Avalon, one would have a difficult, sometimes deadly, journey just to reach our city. Sadly, this made the fares so high that hardly any ordinary citizen from far away visited our city solely for leisure purposes.
For that reason, we prepared Hippogriffs and Rorono-made carriages to transport many people at once quickly from airport to airport. Not only was it quick and accessible, the fares were also quite fair, cheap even.
In the beginning, we had to prioritize which cities would have airports, but in a surprisingly short span of time, we were already allowed to operate in all of the cities we aimed for.
“I wonder what tricks he had to use to make this happen. I mean, I knew he was useful but… for things to go this smoothly, I can’t help but think he had to do something shady.”
In terms of distribution methods, air travel was truly impressive.
Because of that, it was inevitable for there to be people that wanted to use our transportation system but had no intention whatsoever of stopping by in Avalon. Obviously, I wouldn’t benefit from those people at all. So, for the meantime, we were only offering direct flights to and from Avalon.
But then, that meant we were also offering direct flights to places with low traffic, thus making us extremely inefficient.
“Well, this makes sense”
I thought so as I read Conanna’s proposed plan to solve this issue.
According to him, areas with high traffic should still get direct flights to and from Avalon. Meanwhile, he also suggested that we should set up a route that would pass through the areas with low traffic, picking up and dropping off passengers along the way.
We only had a limited number of Hippogriffs and carriages. By offering just one flight to each group of low-traffic areas, we could free up more Hippogriffs and thus offer more flights to the high-traffic areas. Which in turn would lead to an increase of visitors to Avalon.
As simple as it was, it seemed like the right course of action, so I thought I should approve it… wait, let me just make this note
“If you make each ticket state the city where a passenger has departed from, and then only allow alighting in Avalon or the stated city in the case of a roundtrip ticket, I’ll approve of your plan.”
To be frank, since visitor expectations from the low-traffic areas weren’t all that high to begin with, I thought that even if some of the passengers misused our Hippogriff service to travel to places other than Avalon, I wouldn’t especially mind.
That being said, if I allowed such a thing, it wouldn’t take long before people asked for the same thing be doable in all the flights. We mustn’t let any opportunity to misuse our service arise.
In a similar fashion were the petitions I was receiving daily from celebrities asking for our Hippogriffs to carry them to non-Avalon locations. If I allowed just one of them to use our service as they wanted, it would set a precedent and all the others would begin saying more troublesome things like why not in our city as well.
If I was receiving such petitions, I had no doubt that Conanna was getting them as well. Perhaps some petitions even came with bribes.
…if I find out that Conanna was betraying Avalon for these sweet offers, I wouldn’t hesitate to cut ties with him and his firm. He was a useful and perhaps a hard-to-come-by business partner, but I wasn’t kind enough to forgive someone who would betray and disrespect me.
“Patron, I’m back!”
The one that entered the room was Ruhe the R’lyeh Diva. She was a blue-haired beautiful girl who seemed like she was in the latter half of her teens.
“Welcome back. How are the churches doing?”
“They’re doing well. The number of believers has been increasing each week. I feel like the big churches you built are getting smaller and smaller. Actually, because people still can’t fit after some stood, about half of the seats were removed to make more standing room.”
It seemed like the number of believers of my Holy Grail Faith had exceeded the maximum seating capacity of the churches. And yet, they were still growing in numbers by the day.
I have Ruhe’s songs and Aura’s alcohol to thank for that.
There were various reasons for visitors to come to Avalon. Some came here for the casino, some for the shopping district that was filled with noted products from all over the world.
Some of those visitors would even decide to stay and live here Avalon. Which wasn’t surprising at all given that: there were a myriad of jobs here because Avalon always lacked manpower; salaries for those jobs were exceptionally high because businesses were booming; taxes were low; not to mention, basic and necessary infrastructures here were top-notch.
And then, there were the believers of my Holy Grail Faith. Many of them would come to Avalon as an act of pilgrimage. And perhaps brought on by a strong desire to spend more time in the city blessed by their god, a high percentage of them were choosing to settle here.
“And I have you to thank for that, don’t I? Without your song, the Holy Grail Faith wouldn’t even be formed.”
“Hohoh. Feel free to praise me more, patron. While you’re at it, why not give me some of that rare alcohol you gave to Duke?”
With a smug face, Ruhe puffed herself up.
This bad side of her, if it could even be called that, wasn’t something I dislike, actually.
“Don’t get carried away now.”
“Tch. Oh well. Anyway, here’s my behind-the-scenes report.”
“Thanks, I’ll look at them right now.”
In addition to propagating the Holy Grail Faith, Ruhe’s duties also involved being the head of the intelligence corps. Our intelligence corps was responsible for observing both domestic and foreign affairs from the other dimension. To be a tiny bit more specific, that meant gathering intelligence on hostile and potentially hostile Demon Lords, guarding Avalon’s secrets, and also monitoring humans that held noticeable political powers in Avalon.
Humans were actually quite more skillful in guarding their secrets than us Demon Lords, but given that they weren’t even aware of the other dimension, they were utterly defenseless against us in the end.
“Ohh, the Norman Company’s been misusing the Hippogriffs to trade in the Grand Reed Kingdom and the Larudora Republic? That route and not going back to Avalon should have netted them a lot of money… very well, here’s what we’re going to do. First, arrest all of the executives of the Norman Company, including Norman Litra himself. Then, slave labor for ten years and confiscation of all their assets. That should be an appropriate enough punishment.”
“They know what’s coming for them. It’s written in the contract they signed. I could have them killed, I suppose, but I have something better in mind. They’ll be allowed to have visitors, but since they’ll be thrown to the worst cells we have, their visitors would be so appalled they’ll turn back. Hopefully, those visitors would spread the warning to not cross us.”
In addition to being deployed in the airports, Hippogriffs, carriages, and containers were also leased out to merchants willing to sign a provided contract. One of the few conditions stated in the contract was that the Hippogriffs had to come back to Avalon after each flight.
Because the company in question purposefully violated this rule, they needed to be served with severe punishment. Hopefully, this should also serve as a lesson to others who wished to break the few and simple rules stated in the contract.
By tomorrow, the crime and the punishment of the Norman Company would be known to the entire city.
By the way, there was no need to conduct a trial or delay the punishment.
In Avalon, I was the law. I was judge, jury, executioner, and all that.
After that page about the Norman Company, I flipped page after page of Ruhe’s report.
“…Ruhe, it seems impossible for my head not to hurt after reading one of your behind-the-scenes reports.”
“Yeah, humans are something else, aren’t they? They come up with one crooked thing after another.”
“Well, I guess we have that guile to thank for our prosperity.”
Ruhe’s report was a treasure trove of crimes and misdeeds.
One section told about the misconduct of a few human staff members of the Holy Grail Faith. According to the report, they were abusing their power so that they could swindle and even rape believers. If such things were made public, the Holy Grail Faith’s influence on foreign lands would surely fall. For that, slave labor was perhaps a lenient punishment. Death it is then.
Another one concerned the Rilner Company. Because of the fact that their head office was here in Avalon, they were more believable when they sold what they said were Avalon apples but were actually just some fruit that resembled apples a bit.
After all our efforts to build up the reputation of the Avalon apples, they were besmirching it just like that. For that, slave labor was quite fitting. But then again, perhaps we could also make them be the test subjects of Aura’s potions. Aura did mention that she had finished reading the [Book of Curaga], so her potions from now on were bound to be even more wonderful, especially with their help.
The report also detailed about the plan to kidnap and sell beautiful demi-human girls. This reminded me of that incident a few days ago where some ruffians tried to attack some of the Mythological Foxes. The nerve of these lowlifes for trying to lay a hand on my monsters… turning them into sex slaves, especially the male ones, should be suitable.
These were but a few of the many atrocities done by the humans in just a single month.
I read each and wrote a reasonable punishment in a document that I then handed to Ruhe.
“Dealing with these kinds of things… I can see how some Demon Lords don’t want to co-exist with humans.”
“Patron, are you saying you’re abandoning the idea of managing a city?”
“No, definitely not. I know that for every piece of trash your reports uncover, there’s a great deal more that aren’t.”
The owners of the shops and bars I frequented always made me feel at ease whenever I conversed with them.
There were many who were kind to my monsters as well.
Like the old ladies who were fond of Kuina and often gave her sweets.
There were also the enthusiastic blacksmiths who were so fascinated by Rorono’s skills that they decided to move here.
Plus, the energetic orphans that assisted Aura in harvesting the apples.
For better or for worse, humans were both good and evil. While some good people today might become capable of something despicable tomorrow, the opposite could also happen.
Humans were fickle creatures; it was as simple as that.
“Heeh, you really are kind, aren’t you, patron?”
“No, I am not. Anyway, here are the punishments for the ones in your report. They’re just like what I told you earlier.”
“Understood! The intelligence corps will do its duty to carry out these rulings.”
Ruhe replied so in a somewhat cheery tone.
I could let her be on her way now, or…
“I’m going to visit the newly established residential district after this. Would you like to come with me?”
I had a feeling that if I didn’t ask her that, sooner or later, she would have asked to come herself.
“Hmm, I don’t have any work left after this… so, yeah, I guess I’d come with you.”
Like that, the two of us exited from my estate.
The residential district I spoke of was going to be built in the [Plain] room, which was originally the [Mine] area.
The Dwarf Smiths and the High Elves did their best to make it a truly wonderful place.
But the residential district wasn’t the only extraordinary thing they built. That other thing was more for my monsters than for the humans though.
Once Ruhe sees it, I’m sure she’ll be surprised.
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