Arrival in the Demonlands
“Come to think of it, with the nearest city to the Demonlands being the imperial capital, wouldn’t it be invaded?”
“It’s the opposite really. For one reason or another, the Demonlands have spent the last five centuries growing in the opposite direction.”
Originally, Corky, Donsama, and Sia were all unsettled lands or territories of other countries.
They’re now part of the empire as a result of attacking, conquering, and developing them.
I guess the empire’s go-to move to expand is [command and conquer], eh.
I was thinking about that as we spent a week heading for the Demonlands. During the trip, I mainly took naps in the basic wagons during the daytime and slept in a tent at night.
Ah, there were robbery attempts and all, but we were fine. All of the delegates Haku-san prepared for the trip were armed and ready to go. You couldn’t make it in the Demonlands without having a certain level of skill.
Still, wow were there a ton of bandits in the Demonlands. For them to try robbing a full group of what was obviously a country’s delegation… I couldn’t tell if they had guts or were just plain idiots.
… Oh, and I get the feeling Meat took the lead in spearheading those fights. She was being called [Executor Puppy] by the time I realized it. The origin of her name was obvious.
“Haah, I can finally sleep in something other than a tent…”
“Kehma, you’re tired, aren’t you? You could have slept in the carriage too, though.”
“I don’t have the courage to get between Haku-san and you, Rokuko…”
As expected, there weren’t any inn towns or the like between the capital and the Demonlands (apparently everyone who’d tried making one were killed in war). Add on the fact that the carriage with a comfortable bed in it were for Haku-san’s people to sleep in and you get a very tired man with no choice but to sleep outside.
“Haah, having to leave my Rokuko-chan with that geezer is depressing.”
“No 6-sama may have felt the same when he entrusted Aidi to you though?”
“Rokuko-chan, you’re so kind… but he just views other cores as chess pieces, even his own grandchild would just be a tool to him.”
We arrived at the capital of the Demonlands as we talked—Demonopolis.
… Eh, its closest city to the border is its capital, too? It’s the same as the empire?
Or maybe it’s due to these insane battle fanatics wanting to be closer to the battleground?
The building materials used for the townscape was similar, so it even looked not too far off from the imperial capital. That said, there were still different races in it than what the imperial capital had.
To be exact, the races went heavy on the monster side of the scale. Armored lizardmen, letter-carrying harpies, and a ton of beastkin and fluffy-looking races. I guess the main difference would be that there weren’t many races that had much ‘skin coloring’ in the way I was familiar with it.
All I could see from glancing out the carriage window were a ton of fierce-looking faces.
“… … So this is the Demonlands?”
“Yes. This is the Demonlands.”
Haku-san answered my muttter with some fatigue.
I had nothing I could respond with, so I just smiled wryly.
We came to a large estate as the carriage continued forward. It appeared to be our destination.
Passing through the gate, delegation’s carriages stopped in the estate’s U-shaped garden. Ah, so these people are here to greet us? They aren’t surrounding us to attack, right? Right?
Among the people receiving us were, unexpectedly, Aidi and the Great Demon King, Core No. 6.
Though I guess it was no wonder since our country’s top person was here as well. Otherwise there’d be no way we’d immediately be able to see the Great Demon King right after entering the Demonlands.
“You’re finally here, Rokuko. I was waiting!”
“Aidi! I’m here!”
Rokuko and Aidi gave each other a warm hug.
Just to say, it looked much more like two friends greeting each other and ignoring how they were representatives of their mutual countries than anything else. The eyes of the delegates were practically popping out of their sockets.
“Hmph. I shall deem this foreign exchange studies as acceptable.”
“Tch. Send her back safe and sound.”
Not seeing the Rokuko and Aidi’s exchange as anything of a problem, the two country heads didn’t hold back their obvious reluctance and shook hands. They could at least hold back a little. Like… grow up a bit.
“Alright. Those who came from the Raverio Empire. Do your best to learn here in the Demonlands.”
Core No. 6 spoke as he looked down upon us. Literally, that is, as the Great Demon King towered over average people like Haku-san.
Upon his declaration, everyone in the delegation bowed their heads before being guided somewhere. What should we do now?
“Oh, Haku-sama. Would you like the communication function as was promised? I already gave it to Jiji-sama, so.”
“I’ll take it. Rokuko-chan, if anything happens, contact me immedately and run away.”
With that, Aidi passed the communication function over to Haku-san… I get the feeling that she’ll be sending mail every day, but that’s definitely just my imagination… right? Besides, it’s Haku-san. She’d [Teleport] straight away if anything serious happened.
“So, what should we do?”
“Hm? Right. Rokuko and everyone should follow me, I’ll prepare rooms for you all.”
“Got it. Okay Ane-sama, I’m off”
“Promise me you’ll let me know every day how things are going, Rokuko-chan!”
Haku-san casually demanded she reported to her regularly. She’d probably come over straight away if she doesn’t write her, so let’s make sure Rokuko mails her every day, yep.
… Still. Uhh. Once we leave here, wouldn’t that leave just Haku-san and the Great Demon King together alone? Would that be safe…?
“Don’t worry about it, Rokuko’s Master. Those two are good friends. See? They’re already using the area as an arena.”
“… … …”
When I glanced over, Haku-san was wielding her white spear and the Great Demon King had pulled out a black sword. Yep, there’s nothing to do about it. The tops just talk physically.
So then, let’s go follow Aidi. Maaaan~, I’m looking forward to this~.