We had returned to Avalon.
Upon arriving, I asked the Mythological Foxes working as maids to guide Stolas and Enlil the Bahamut to my secondary residence near the First Tree.
Afterwards, I listened to the report of the Dwarf Smith who was entrusted with the defense of Avalon while I was gone. This Dwarf Smith was also Duke’s adjutant.
I had thought that the enemy was aiming for me to go to Stolas’s dungeon so that they could attack Avalon, but as it turned out, that worry was unnecessary.
I also asked the intelligence corps left behind, but it would appear that nothing was out of the ordinary.
Like that, I walked toward the shops.
It was in order to give the monsters that participated in the last fight their rewards.
Recently, Avalon had become so famous that there was a new shop almost every day.
It was to the point that each time I visited the shopping districts, there was a new product to surprise me.
At any rate, as their reward, I had given each of the participants of this fight a sum of money that could be called huge. If they couldn’t find anything they wanted or they still had money left over, it was fine for them to keep whatever change was left. Alternatively, if ever that amount was not enough, I had told them to find me so that I could give them more.
With that, everyone split up and enjoyed their shopping.
“Oto-san, look, look! Does it look cute?”
Kuina was the first to come back and find me. She was wearing a black dress which I guessed she had just bought.
In her adult, grown-up form, the dress suited her.
“It’s very cute. You look like a nobleman’s daughter.”
“Yay ♪ Kuina fell in love at first sight with this dress”
She truly was in a good mood. Seeing her like that, even I became happy.
“Oto-san, Kuina still has a lot of money left and still wants to buy clothes. So, come with Kuina and choose the clothes Kuina will buy next!”
“Okay, okay, don’t pull so hard.”
Kuina pulled on my arm until we reached her favorite clothing store.
After I chose a light pink dress with frills, Kuina bought it. Soon thereafter, she left while holding the dress as though it was some kind of treasure.
Seeing her in such a good mood, it would be impossible to believe she was sulking earlier.
After parting ways with Kuina, I resumed walking in the shopping districts. There, I found Aura. She was purchasing dubious-looking chemicals and materials from some kind of alchemy shop.
Many adventurers were stopping by in the city, so there was demand for such a shop. Additionally, because of the merchants flying to and from all parts of the world, these shops could obtain whatever ingredient they need at whatever time. As a result of such things, before I knew it, famous alchemists and blacksmiths were migrating one after the other to Avalon and were opening their own shops.
And since they were trying to outdo one another, Avalon was gradually becoming famous for their craft.
For alchemists and blacksmiths, being in an environment where they could obtain whatever material from wherever in the world right away so long as they had money was invaluable.
And then, since these alchemists and blacksmiths needed their own workshops and stores, there was a demand for builders as well. To take it further, the more people visit or migrate here for the merchant’s goods or the alchemists and blacksmiths’ products or whatever, the more the demand for necessities and other such things increase.
If left alone in such a cycle, I was sure that Avalon would develop on its own. That was definitely great, but since I would then have freed up time, I was thinking of opening an amusing store we could directly manage.
“Aura, if you need those for potion making, you don’t have to use your reward money. If you find the monthly budget for that not enough, we can always increase it.”
In the beginning, Aura had to source materials for her potion development by herself, but now, there were merchants that we could buy those materials from. Using their network, they could obtain any material from any part of the world.
“These are for potion making, sure, but to be specific, potions that are for my hobby. There’s no way I can use the monthly budget for my own hobby. That would be embezzlement, wouldn’t it?”
Aura was oddly firm and unyielding on this subject.
After hearing her speak though, I had a dreadful hunch.
The potions that Aura made were significant additions to Avalon’s arsenal. From time to time though, she would also make something absurd as part of her hobby. Examples of such were: aphrodisiacs; perfumes that would make animals fond of the user; and a potion for increasing the levels of female hormones up to a hundred times, making even a man become a fine woman.
To make it worse, she wasn’t just making them. She was also selling them for some pocket money. Occasionally, her products were the cause of some kind of trouble.
“……do it in moderation, okay?”
“Of course! Also, recently, I got this amazing and rare book. It’s titled Curaga. If read normally, it would be about food recipes, but if a cipher was used, a lot of amazing things can be found. Some of which were fantastic potion recipes that would make a bloodthirsty potion maker question themselves. They’re very much worth the research!”
It’s better to not ask.
I chose to believe she wouldn’t make anything truly dangerous.
After talking some more with Aura, I left that shop.
“Ah! Patron, over here, over here. I ran out of money. I need a lot more!”
This time, it was the blue-haired otherworld songstress, R’lyeh Diva, that called out to me.
If anyone was ever going to go over the budget, I had thought it was this fellow.
The amount of money I gave my subordinates this time as their reward was roughly equivalent to about half the average yearly income of a citizen residing in our city. If that amount was not enough, the thing they were going to buy must have been something absolutely unbelievable.
“…is this what you want? Is this really it?”
“Yes, yes, absolutely yes! So, buy it for me, patron”
In perhaps an attempt to curry favor, she confirmed so while embracing my arm.
Avalon had an overabundance of silver in stock thanks to the [Mine], so the price wasn’t a problem at all. The issue lied with what Ruru—the nickname for R’lyeh Diva—wanted to buy itself: a skull of a monster I was not familiar with.
“What will you use this for?”
“They say that if you grind it, boil it, and then drink it, it would do wonders for your throat. It’s a legendary medicine. And I’m a singer, aren’t I? If they say it’s good for the throat, I have to buy it. I can feel magic power from it too, so I don’t think it’s a scam.”
Just as she said, there was magic power emanating from the skull. It wasn’t the malicious kind either. Rather, it was magic power that was pure and clear. If it was said that the skull was good for the body, I would agree.
“Well, make sure to use all of it and not waste any.”
“Of course, patron”
With a sigh, I handed over the payment.
I never thought a platinum coin would ever be used in a relatively small-time store.
Thankfully, I carried one around for caution’s sake.
“To thank you, patron, why don’t I sing for you an extraordinary song? If you want, I can even sing it while we’re in bed.”
“I’ll listen to it properly, instead. How about in that bar you frequent?”
“Tsk, such a boring answer. Still, thank you. In the fight before last, I had sung too much and it damaged my throat. I’m hoping this might mend it.”
After placing a kiss on my cheek, she put the skull on top of her head and then headed out while skillfully spinning and dancing.
“…I was sure she just wanted something expensive, but I guess she really wanted that thing, huh.”
Her joy wasn’t something that could be faked.
If it was to appease her throat, I had thought I could ask Aura to make some throat lozenge.
At any rate, it seemed like my other monsters were done with their shopping. Given that, I thought of going back home since it was now unlikely for the other monsters to go overbudget as well.
When I thought of such, I ran into Duke.
“What did you buy, Duke?”
“Just presents for my wife. A cake from that famous pastry shop, some flowers, a bottle of vintage wine, and quality cheese. I was hoping that tonight, my wife and I would be able to enjoy a slow and easy evening as a married couple.”
As expected of a family man.
Duke was considerate not only to his subordinates, but very loving to his wife as well.
Even if only a little, I should try to be like him.
“Do you think I should buy a present for Rorono as well?”
Rorono was the only one among my [Monsters of the Covenant] that was not taken for the last campaign.
The reason she was left behind was because the work of rebuilding the Avalon-Ritters took priority. Furthermore, for the sake of Avalon’s defenses, she and her golem corps could not be away as well.
“That’s a good idea. It might not look it as Rorono-sama would never voice out her displeasures, but she would not lose out on Kuina-sama in terms of being spoiled and their susceptibility to loneliness. …and if she has any bottled-up stress, I’m afraid she’ll need more care than Kuina-sama. She likes sweets, so giving her some might help.”
“Thanks for the insight. I’ll take your advice and take a look around.”
“It might be presumptuous of me, but I have a couple of recommendations. First, the shop with the most delicious fresh cream is…”
Like that, Duke listed his most recommended shops.
He was excruciatingly detailed.
When I asked about it, he said ever since he became a dragonewt and acquired the sense of taste, he had taken a liking to sweets and would often eat in such shops together with his wife whenever they had spare time.
After seeing a side to Duke that I was unaware of, I unconsciously smiled. I thought I knew my monsters, but apparently, not enough.
Anyway, I went to a shop recommended by Duke and bought the choux a la crème listed in the shop’s signboard.
Its cream’s great taste was unlike any other. And with it having a bit of liqueur, it was just perfect for Rorono who had the tendency to overwork herself.
As I walked home, excited to eat what I bought, I felt an impact on my back.
It was a complete surprise attack made by someone small that wore a robe and held a small blade.
However, rather than wound me, the blade shattered.
Thanks to having three S rank monsters as my [Monsters of the Covenant] and my high level, I was as strong as an average S rank monster.
Furthermore, the clothes I wore might seem ordinary, but in fact, it was a specialty item made and enchanted by Rorono using a certain monster’s sturdy threads.
A mere human with such a weak knife could never hope to penetrate it.
For this reason, I was confident in roaming alone, unescorted.
At any rate, I seized the attacker’s hand.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“L-let, let go of me, you demon! Yes, I know what you are!!”
The attacker was just an elderly woman.
Her level was low and was obviously not trained to fight.
As to why she attacked me, I could not remember doing anything to earn such animosity.
But then, I noticed a peculiarly carved wooden cross around her neck. Right then, I got the gist of things.
Another troublesome harassment…
The golems patrolling the city rushed toward us and then seized the elderly woman.
Whenever a violent event happens, these golems would automatically respond to suppress said violence. Afterwards, they were instructed to deposit the perpetrators to a certain place.
For this one, I had decided to leave the rest to the golems.
I didn’t need to interrogate the elderly woman as it was impossible for her to have any significant information.
“Let go! Let go of me, I say! This is tyranny! You’ve finally shown your true colors! You’re no benevolent lord, you’re just a demon!”
While the golems were taking her away, the woman shouted such things.
Even so, most of the citizens didn’t pay much attention to her words. There were many adventurers in this city and from time to time, they would get out of hand, so the golems carrying someone away wasn’t such a rare scene.
The problem, however, was that only most of the citizens didn’t pay attention. In other words, a few did.
“This is why I hate religion”
The cross she wore was evidence that she was a believer of the religion that the [Black] Demon Lord founded.
Believers were very useful.
Even if you didn’t send a spy to a location, so long as there were zealous believers there and you set it up properly, you could potentially turn them into spies and even assassins against the people they had been living with for so many years.
Based on the way the old woman spoke, believers of their faith were likely told I was a demon to prompt them to try and kill me. She probably isn’t the only one that’s going try. Truly troublesome.
I was sure that this too was another harassment from the [Black] Demon Lord.
There was perhaps no other Demon Lord better in exploitation and harassment than the [Black] Demon Lord.
By spreading small and yet countless thorns, he could potentially destroy us from within. If left alone for some time, fools could be incited to drive me out and take the city for themselves, while at the same time, something like an uprising within could be started.
“Should I start my own religion?”
Thinking it was a good idea, I began to think up of a plan.
If done right, I might be able to snatch away some of his income. No, it definitely will.
To that end, I should make his believers denounce him and look down on his power.
“Bothering Marcho and Stolas just wasn’t enough for you, was it? Now you trouble my Avalon again. I’ll show you the price for those things.”
I had reached the end of my patience a long time ago.
He seemed making light of me just because I was a new Demon Lord, but soon enough, he’ll know of the true might of the [Creation] Demon Lord.
Note: I don’t believe there ever was a conversion rate stated between coins, so I don’t know the value of a platinum coin. Also, I don’t know how many platinum coins Procell spent so I just decided on one.