“That [Creation] Demon Lord is interesting, isn’t he? He’s more than what I imagined.”
Through one of the quadruplet demons, [Evil] Demon Lord’s real collaborator had watched the [War] in almost its entirety.
The other three of the quadruplet demons served under the Demon Lords in [Steel]’s alliance as a means of communication. Despite that though, information had unknowingly and continuously been leaked to [Evil] and this collaborator.
When [Evil]’s crystal broke, the feed was interrupted but the amount of information the collaborator had received had been more than enough.
From the start, this collaborator was a Demon Lord that expected more out of [Creation] than anyone else but even his expectations were surpassed. He knew that Procell had 3 S ranks monsters namely a Celestial Fox, an Elder Dwarf, and an Ancient Elf. He also knew that Procell had a powerful weapon no one had ever seen before.
Moreover, this collaborator had heard from rumors that Procell had another, even more powerful trump card that was able to repel even the Byakko that was a long-serving warrior feared by many Demon Lords in the battlefield.
Obviously, this power was strange for a just recently born Demon Lord to have. If left as he was, the collaborator believed without any doubt that Procell would soon reign supreme as the strongest Demon Lord.
In light of this, the collaborator raised his guard. He was the only one to do so though. All the other Demon Lords knew through their connections about the fact that Procell faced three Demon Lords that were lent that strong A rank monsters—the Orihalcum Gargoyle, the Arch Demon, and the Byakko—in this war and still won in the end.
Their information wasn’t as detailed as the collaborator’s but this still proved how the span of a Demon Lord’s connections was extremely important. The more influential a Demon Lord was, the wider the network he had.
“Whether I crush him or make use of him, I can’t dilly-dally. After all, that guy also looks like he’s serious.”
The owner of the Byakko came to the collaborator’s mind.
He was a prudent and yet daring individual that was very shrewd and popular even among Demon Lords. For that Demon Lord to be so interested in [Creation] Demon Lord Procell, the collaborator knew he could not waste any moment.
Thus, he thought up of a countless number of strategies. These strategies were made not just to go up against [Creation] Demon Lord but also to thwart other Demon Lords aiming for [Creation].
“First, some harassment. It will also be as a kind of farewell gift to [Evil] who helped me.”
He thought of [Evil] as nothing but a disposable pawn and yet still murmured such a shameless thing. And thus, he began the harassment of young, talented individuals.
~Procell’s point of view~
“It sure is great that the medals I can make have increased but it’s rather hard to use.”
I was alone in my room in Avalon as I grumbled.
By breaking another Demon Lord’s crystal, one would be able to make that defeated Demon Lord’s original medal. That was extremely wonderful and yet…
“It doesn’t mean that the number of original medals I can make in a month has increased, only that the kinds of medals I can make have increased.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy I got them since my [Creation] could only be used in Synthesis with at least one other original medal. Additionally, until now, I didn’t have any way for me to obtain original medals—aside from [Creation]—on my own. So, the fact that I was now able to use [Creation] in Synthesis and reliably make a monster once every two months was a huge step forward for me.
“I still have [Time] and [Water]. I want to use those first. So it’s fine if I only make [Creation] for a while. The new medals are all B rank medals so there’s not much charm in making those for the time being.”
I had two A rank medals at the moment but had completely ran out of [Creation]. Also, the last time I had made a [Creation] medal was in the middle of the [War] I had just won so the next one wouldn’t be until after a month. For the moment, these medals would be like pearls thrown before swine, treasures given to someone that could not make use of them.
I then slowly stretched my body. Today, I was not accompanied by Kuina and the others who usually did so. I asked to be alone since I wanted to refine some future policies while slogging through my city administration office work.
For now until I officially become independent, which was 9 months from now, I was safe from wars with old Demon Lords. As for fellow new Demon Lords, since I had won over three Demon Lords in a single war, another challenge was unlikely and that gave me a peace of mind.
What I should be thinking from now was what to do when I finally become independent. To not be crushed by the old Demon Lords, I should increase my fighting force as well as make my city flourish. Also, if possible, I would like to have an alliance with strong Demon Lords.
The previous war made me bitterly recognize the importance of an alliance. However, if I were to be in an alliance, I wouldn’t be let to be the only one to benefit from it, the others would demand they too must profit.
“………this is making my head hurt. I should go take a break for now.”
When I noticed it, the sun had already set; quite the right time to have dinner.
Even though a Demon Lord—who fed on human emotions—didn’t have to eat meals, I found the act of eating meals enjoyable as a form of amusement.
Thus, I left my room and headed toward the tavern within the city.
There were currently two taverns in Avalon. The first one was a store whose only saving grace was its cheapness. It was popular among adventurers and farmers and was therefore always crowded. The other one offered expensive but good food and alcohol. The ambiance there was also calming.
I headed for the latter store.
It gained high points from me not only for the chefs’ skills but also for actively offering food that made use of ingredients that was procured from Avalon such as our wheats and the potatoes. Furthermore, by making use of my influence as the head of the city, I was able to enjoy their line-up of choice alcohol acquired from various places.
As such, I visited this store quite often.
Upon entering the store, I noticed that the tables were fairly occupied. A few were adventurers but most of the customers were those affiliated with shops that did business within the city.
“Procell-sama, welcome. Thank you for choosing to dine with us.”
The shopkeeper, a dandy middle-aged person, courteously greeted me so.
“The food is delicious here after all. Give me strong alcohol. I’ll leave the choice of food on you.”
As per usual, I left the choice of food on the shopkeeper’s recommendation and only stated the kind of alcohol I wanted.
This way, I could eat the most delicious food they could make from that day’s highest quality ingredients. The quality of ingredients procured from other villages and cities tended to vary so what the most delicious cuisine today might not be so tomorrow.
When the shopkeeper gave instructions to the kitchen, fragrant aroma soon filled the air.
What came out of the kitchen was the alcohol along with three dishes.
The first one was a potato gratin. It was an oven-baked dish that featured thinly-sliced potatoes that were harvested from Avalon, ample amounts of cheese and tomatoes, and some minced meat. As a side note, dairy farms had begun appearing in the city; after the fresh milk first appeared on the market, the dairy products in the city all at once became better.
The second dish was a white stew made with duck meat. It was a superb cuisine made from meticulously boiling ducks over long periods of time. The ducks were gotten by this city’s hunters from the forest, by the way.
The last one was a side salad that made skillful use of wild greens. It looked fresh and appetizing.
As for the strong alcohol, it was amber colored like a whiskey. Its smoky scent was irresistible.
“For today as well, your meals seem delicious.”
“Yes, we were able to get our hands on some incredibly good ingredients today. It even made the chef scream.”
And so, I began to eat.
For the potato gratin, the syrupy cheese exquisitely suited the sourness of the tomatoes. The juicy minced meat contrasted well with the flaky potatoes. It was outstanding.
The white stew made with duck meat was out of this world. There were a sufficient amount of duck bones in the stock so its flavor had properly integrated into it. The more I chew on the duck meat, the more the flavor comes out from it.
And when I poured and drank the strong alcohol, it was just the best.
I felt really glad that I was able to occasionally eat these kind of food. Had I not made a city and only holed myself up within a proper dungeon, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy these things.
Humans had weak strength and hearts but they were beings with many useful points about them.
I decided to have some of the food wrapped and give them to the girls. They have to taste this, I thought.
As I was thinking of such, I heard the voices of people I knew coming from a table further in.
“Please cheer up, Wight-sama!”
One voice belonged to a Dwarf Smith. To be more specific it was the Dwarf Smith that was Rorono’s top apprentice as well as the one that served as the adjutant for the defensive forces in the last [War].
She was a fairly pretty girl with brown skin and silver hair.
“M’lady, I’m sorry you have to see me in such a miserable state but without drinking, I won’t be able to go on.”
There was one other voice I heard and it belonged to Wight who was previously a skeletal monster but was now a Siegwurm, a black dragon of death, due to [Rebirth].
He vigorously drank from his glass. The contents of his glass was similar to mine: fairly strong alcohol.
By the way, the shopkeeper wasn’t surprised even if there was a dragonewt here since this city was publicly announced to be a city for demi-humans that were being persecuted elsewhere. Various races coexisted here so a dragonewt wasn’t so surprising.
“I’ll fill you another glass.”
At a frightening speed, Wight emptied his drink. If he was a human, he probably would have collapsed a long time ago.
He was distracted enough to not have noticed me when I entered this tavern. He was supposed to be making preparations for his wedding and should have been at the peak of happiness… did something happen?
“Drink until you drop and you’ll forget your worries. I will look after you so don’t worry.”
“……I’ll take you up on your offer, then. For your usually proud-looking superior to act so miserably, are you disillusioned by me, m’lady?”
“Not in the slightest! If anything, knowing that Wight-san has this weak side to him has made me like… Ahem, made me know you better.”
“Fufu, m’lady is so very kind. Then, for today only, please accompany me in my complaining and drinking.”
“Yes, ok! And I don’t mind even if it’s every day!”
It seemed something painful did happen to Wight and the Dwarf Smith was there to console him. I wanted to ask him directly what the problem was but that seemed a bit too…
As I was thinking so, he slammed his glass against the table.
“A reptilian is physiologically too much, she says. How can Ske-san say that when I love her so much!?”
Upon knowing of the reason why he was so frustrated, I unintentionally gagged.
It would seem that because he became a dragonewt through [Rebirth], Ske-san broke up with him. I might have caused him his troubles, I thought, I’ll send over some superb alcohol to him next time.
“That’s horrible, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is. But then again, I understand where Ske-san is coming from. The barriers between races are wide. It might be wrong of me to condemn her so. As expected, being together with someone of the same race is the best.”
“Not at all!!”
The Dwarf Smith stood and shouted so, attracting the attention of their surroundings. When she realized this, her face reddened and she apologized before sitting down again.
“What’s most important isn’t the race but one’s attraction to another. Even if the other person is of another race, someone beautiful on the inside will always be the best for me. Whether he be just bones or a dragonewt, as long as he’s lovely to me, I want to be with him!”
Upon hearing her words, Wight smiled gently.
“You are such a lovely girl, aren’t you? I hope someone as lovely as you are appears soon.”
“………I feel complicated about that but I’m happy to be called lovely by you, Wight-san.”
The Dwarf Smith then enthusiastically poured alcohol onto his glass.
Nevertheless, Wight was amazing in a way.
“That guy, just how dense can he be to not notice the Dwarf Smith’s affection.”
Oh well, it must be because he’s heartbroken that his vision has become narrow. They themselves look content so I’ll leave it be.
I wasn’t an uncouth boss who would meddle in his subordinates’ romance.
And so, I gave the two a last look, paid my bill, and then left the tavern.
I returned to my house and resumed my work.
After a while, the letters arrived.
Recently the number of cities and villages I’ve been in contact with had increased and so too did the number of letters.
Among those letters was one letter that was within a very fine envelope.
I peered inside it and grinned.
“So it has come.”
It was a letter from the neighboring city’s feudal lord.
The contents of the letter was just as one could imagine.
Basically, this city was located outside of any national border and instead was within the dominion of monsters. The city was therefore not under the rule of any country.
However, such a reason didn’t matter to a country or its leaders. If there was a tasty fruit dangling before them, they would want that fruit. That was all the reason they needed and nothing more.
“Now then, how shall I respond?”
I began to consider which countermeasures that I had thought up from the start I should use. I wanted it to go as peaceful as possible but if the other party wasn’t so inclined, it would rain blood.
If they wanted me to pay some tax, I would gladly do so. However, should they covet the city itself, then…
I was a peace-lover but by no means was I a conscientious objector.
I at least understood that peace was the ultimate luxury and was paid for in blood.
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