I returned to my main residence, collected the letters, and then moved toward the golem-drawn carriage parked near the First Tree.
The carriage was no ordinary one; Rorono had highly modified it to become a mode of aerial travel while also something we could comfortably live in.
Though my [Creation] had returned, I was still not in my top form. I still needed the environment that the First Tree provided.
“I’m back. Today has been very tiring–”
Upon entering the carriage, my eyes widened.
Inside the carriage was Stolas, still asleep. That was expected; I had asked the Mythological Foxes serving as maids to move her here.
The issue was… that Aura was kissing Stolas. I also saw Stolas’s throat move.
After the long kiss, Aura pulled back her lips.
The sight of two beautiful girls kissing was mysteriously odd and exciting for me.
Aura always was fond of cute girls and Stolas unarguably was one, but I never expected for Aura to make a move on the latter.
Taking notice of me, Aura turned to face me.
“Ahm, master, I can tell by the look on your face what you’re thinking, so let me tell you what’s happening: I was just giving her some medicine. The potion’s highly viscous, so the sleeping Stolas-sama can only drink it like this.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about; I had thought that was the case. Aura, thanks for giving her some medicine.”
The only way to make the sleeping Stolas drink her curative potion was through mouth-to-mouth feeding.
Meanwhile, Enlil the Bahamut, who was in his kitten-sized form, was beside Stolas as he was looking worriedly at her.
“Enlil, I feel bad that you’re the only one that didn’t get a reward, so I bought you something good. Come here for a sec.”
Other than the choux a la crème I bought for Rorono, I also bought Enlil a big hunk of meat that had bone sticking out of it.
I was not familiar with what kind of meat it was, but it was extremely delicious.
It was a recommended item that I occasionally buy so that I could eat it while drinking some alcohol.
He came to pick the meat with his mouth, but quickly turned away his face with a hmp.
In his kitten-sized form, he was really adorable. Even though he was being cold, I strangely did not mind. Rather, it made me want to pet him. As I tried to do so, my outstretched arm was brushed away by his tail.
“I think you should try to be friendlier, even if by just a tiny bit.”
Enlil disregarded me, turned his back at me, and then resumed looking worriedly at Stolas.
It would seem it would take some time before he could feel attached to me.
In a way, he was like a cat.
“So, Aura, how is Stolas? Were you able to do a more in-depth examination on her with the facilities here?”
“Yes. I tried different things and made a potion suitable to her condition. At this rate, she should wake up in a week. The return of her Demon Lord powers and her magic power, though, will be way later.”
“I’ll consider that good news. Great.”
I was relieved to know that Sleeping Beauty was guaranteed to wake up.
As a friend, I worried for her. As a rival, the thought of her dropping out this way made me exceedingly lonely.
“Master, please take note from this, okay? If you were to name someone like Marcho-sama, it is likely that you’ll end up like her or worse. If you do have to name someone like Marcho-sama, please do so when everything is over and calm. Please also be prepared to suffer at least this much. I am serious in asking this.”
Aura, who had a more-serious-than-usual look in her face, emphasized so.
It was a little sad that she didn’t have enough confidence that I would refrain from doing such a thing.
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
Obviously, losing consciousness for a period of time was bad, especially considering that many Demon Lords were jealous and angry at me.
Naming someone like Marcho would probably have to wait when I’m much stronger than at present.
That said, I wanted to fulfill my promise to Ruru—that I’ll name her—as soon as possible.
Compared to Duke, I probably wouldn’t suffer as much when I name Ruru, but proper timing and preparation was still needed.
“Aura, do we not have any other bed?”
“There might be one in the main residence, but for it to fit through the door, it has to be disassemble first. It will take some time.”
“Should I make one with [Creation]? …no, I think it’s better to reserve that magic power for our explosives.”
By Rorono’s preference, there was only one bed in this carriage.
That girl purposely installed only one bed—albeit an extra-large one—so that we could all sleep beside each other daily. Unlike here, the arrangement in my main residence was that only one of the girls, selected via rotation, slept beside me.
The large bed here didn’t have any problems whatsoever fitting Kuina, Rorono, Aura, and myself. Even if we added Stolas, it would still be comfortable. The question, however, was rather whether or not we should make her join us.
Nah, I’m sure it’s fine.
I concluded that it was a minor issue. It wasn’t like I had any intentions of attacking her or whatever while she slept. Furthermore, I planned on placing myself between my daughters, so that Stolas would be physically out of reach.
It was just for one night, anyway. In the very next morning, I was going to buy a bed from a merchant in the city.
“Kuina and Rorono sure are late”
“I think Kuina-chan’s in the middle of her special training. Though she had made a new special move, she seems to think she can still improve it. So, after returning and notifying me, she went to the [Crimson Cavern] to train some more. As for Rorono-chan, she has been working all this time; I’m worried, actually. Her development death march might turn into a literal one.”
“Those two are really working hard, aren’t they? Of course, you are too.”
“Not as much as you or those two, but I won’t turn down a compliment.”
My subordinate monsters were really doing their hardest. I should too.
My eyes then wandered toward the letters I collected. The letters were addressed to me and were mostly from the merchants in the city, but there were some from other places.
As I stared at the letters, I continued my idle chatter with Aura.
“Oh yeah, while wandering around Avalon today, I had some interesting thoughts. Firstly, I think we should increase the shop we directly manage.”
Presently, Avalon directly managed only three shops: Rorono’s blacksmithing shop; the Mythological Foxes’ shop; and Duke’s inn.
To give the [Black] Demon Lord some harassment of our own and to further develop Avalon, I believed we should add new shops.
“What kind of shop will we open?”
While talking with Aura, I unconsciously crumpled the letter I just read.
“Is something wrong, master?”
“A little. An unpleasant letter was mixed in.”
One particular letter could not be ignored or be taken as a joke. It was inside an envelope that bore the family crest of the royal family of the Axera kingdom.
Even before I read it, I could feel nothing but a strong premonition that it would be troublesome, at best. Upon reading it, my suspicions were proven true, and so, I thoughtlessly crumpled the letter.
“How unpleasant of a letter was it?”
“Just a bit. Just enough to make me want to destroy a kingdom.”
“Sounds fun. But if were to do that, our stock of bullets would not be enough. Not even nearly. We’re going to have Rorono-chan work harder, don’t we?”
“Aura, I only think this sometimes, but even though you look so calm and gentle, you’re the most bloodthirsty out of all of us, aren’t you?”
“That’s nonsense, master. I am an elf that loves nature and peace.”
I did my best to hold myself from retorting and calling her a trigger-happy maniac.
“In case it wasn’t obvious, I was just joking about the destroying part. Anyway, according to the letter, royalty from the Axera kingdom is going to personally visit Avalon, the one and only city in this remote region. To establish a friendship, they say.”
There was nobody foolish enough to take those words at face value. After all, just a couple of months ago, we were at war against the Axera kingdom. Worst of all, their state religion was the one founded by the [Black] Demon Lord.
As of the moment, that kingdom should still be suffering from the tide-turning attack made by the [Dragon] Demon Lord.
Although being friendly with them was good, their reason for doing so was obvious: to get something that would help them defeat the [Dragon] Demon Lord. Namely, the golem corps and aerial bombardment corps they saw in our previous war, and our vast funds.
I could not think of any reason to help them bring down the [Dragon] Demon Lord, someone I was greatly indebted to.
Moreover, the timing of it was dubious.
“No, it’s timed precisely. He really won’t let up, will he?”
It was surely another of the [Black] Demon Lord’s ploys.
If I were to turn down this request of cooperation, it would be taken as a sign of hostility against the kingdom. Since Avalon was a commercial city, merchants who would associate with us would be negatively affected and perhaps be forced to stay away altogether, which would then hurt our economy and growth.
On the other hand, if we were to cooperate, we would be making an enemy of the [Dragon] Demon Lord.
Neither choices were ideal.
“But he’s still looking down on me too much.”
I could use this move of his and set a trap for him instead.
More than anything, I could guess what he was planning to propose in our meeting two days later: in all probability, it might be to have a lenient nonintervention agreement.
He was convinced his side would have an overwhelming advantage if ever we were to fight, making a nonintervention agreement look appealing to us.
He also seemed convinced that the Axera kingdom would forever remain his pawn. If so, then let’s exploit that conceit of his.
My plan was to act, for the meantime, according to the [Black] Demon Lord’s expectations—like going along with that nonintervention agreement—so that I could get his guard down enough to lay some traps.
As I thought of such things, I wrote a reply to the letter.
Axera was referred to as the city Procell fought in a war. Now, it is the name of the kingdom(which was referred to before as an empire) that city belonged to. This is just a guess, but maybe the city Procell fought against was Eclaba all along. As an aside, according to LN vol 4, the religion’s name is the Rigdolg faith.
[Black]’s religon= Rigdolg
I’m going to stick to these names from now on, no matter the change in the future.