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Letter of Invitation
Every country bordering the Jura Forest soon heard these news.
It was preposterous to think that they could have secretly invaded without being seen.
Moreover, countries that had relations with Tempest could hardly believe that their intelligence gathering teams were negligent.
Of course, Rimuru was aware that these countries were sending spies.
Which is why he had ordered a victory that produced the fewest casualties.
And country executives realized this fact.
After all, the fact that none of the knights were killed only proved their hypotheses.
For example, in the Dwarf Kingdom–military nation Dwargon.
The ministers gathered upon the Dwarf King’s request.
They were a.n.a.lyzing a recorded image, while scrutinizing every bit of data they could acquire. With every minister having access to the said information.
The data they had acquired disclosed the matters of the battle.
The results were rather surprising.
One hundred Knights Templar, believed to be the strongest among humans, planned an invasion of the country.
However, Demon Lord Rimuru had intercepted this plan, and his response left the knights completely defeated.
How truly terrifying the Demon Lord Rimuru’s information gathering skills are!
Certainly no less terrifying than his ability to strategize!
So murmured the Ministers.
However, was it as they said? The Dwarf King looked over the data, and his sight fell upon a bizarre pattern of movements displayed by the combatants.
Was this not supposed to devolve into a haphazard encounter between the forces?
Such a thought came to his mind. Actually, that’s the only possibility he could have imagined.
No matter how much anyone claimed that the altered terrain caused the knights to dance in the palm of Rimuru’s hand, it should have had no bearing on the actual combat.
If so, he was actually constantly staying aware of Hinata’s plans while modifying the strategy to sway the battle in his favor.
And as a result, by controlling every aspect of the battle, the knights were completely defeated.
Unfortunately, since the recording magic is rather limited, the dwarfs could only lament the lack of a comprehensive report.
That is, it could only produce a soundless spectacle of the battlefield.
Nor could it a.n.a.lyze the skills used; at most, it helped identify the winner.
Even so, the data they gathered is certainly of grave importance.
Thus he scrutinized it again.
Captain-cla.s.s knights were seen moving in various directions with some plan in mind. The Tempest department heads intercepted resulting in combat.
The result was a total war across all fronts and a complete victory for Tempest.
Among these battles, it was noted that a single monster could overwhelm eight knights–much to the dwarfs’ surprise.
Considering that these knights were at least of captain cla.s.s, it is best to a.s.sume that Monster Country Tempest easily surpa.s.ses the military might of Dwargon.
The ministers noisily grumbled about this, while King Gazelle Dwargo sighed in relief.
He was truly glad that Demon Lord Rimuru was an idealistic monster who sought friendship with the humans.
Had he been a monster who sought to destroy humanity, humans would have faced an unprecedented calamity.
(Besides, he’s growing too fast!)
Was Gazelle’s true thoughts.
He had thought Rimuru to be full of potential when they had first met, but he had never considered that he could progress this far.
Should he have destroyed him then? He could not come up with an answer.
For better or worse, this demon lord was interesting.
And, they currently have a cooperation pact and will be proceeding on friendly terms in the future.
Moreover, thanks to his “World Traveler” ideals, he has been developing some interesting contraptions.
Sparing no time nor effort, and aligning himself with no other “World Traveler”, perhaps such is the true strength of this demon lord.
His movements have thus produced some interesting results.
And the many skills and technologies developed thus the dwarfs are able to obtain without lifting a finger.
So Gazelle decided.
Even if the angels destroy him, the dwarfs will not allow the technology to be lost.
Of course, they will probably become more and more militaristic in the future… but Oh well!
How much joy the dwarfs felt from all the inventions that came from that country.
(At this point, we have no choice but to trust Demon Lord Rimuru!)
Besides, he had released all the knights unharmed this time.
This could be interpreted as seeking to coexist with the humans.
Had he intended to fight them, he could have ma.s.sacred the knights. After all, who can complain that an invading force was destroyed?
And yet he had let them live. Completely unharmed.
This could also be interpreted to mean that he had the confidence that Knight Templar cla.s.s soldiers are of no threat to him.
This is causing quite a division among the ministers: some calling him a danger, others rejecting that notion.
Both are probably correct.
But there’s only one decision.
Gazelle cleared his throat and thus got everyone’s attention.
The conference room was completely silent, with every gaze focused on the king.
「That demon lord seeks to coexist with humans, so, as much as possible, we will support him. That is the official position of military nation Dwargon!」
The dwarf king’s declaration reverberated through the hall.
The ministers bowed their heads and accepted their lord’s will.
Thus the policy was decided. The specific measures would now be drafted by excellent individuals.
Whether this was a right or wrong decision, he could not have known.
But, the Dwarf King had no regrets.
And then another report was brought to the king.
「Your Majesty, Rigurdo-dono has sent an announcement.
It seems that they are planning on holding an event to make known the ascension of a new demon lord and seek our presence.
Well, this might be a political farce, however. They are simply trying to appeal to countries they are friendly with.
Doesn’t seem like they actually expect our presence, so how should we respond?」
「Oh, about that! Bester also mentioned something!
Tempest, it seems, is planning on holding a tournament…
Probably a show to go along with the announcement.」
「What will we do? If we plan to attend, they have requested that we notify them in advance.
There is limited number of seats, and the city is bound to be crowded that day, so they have asked to promptly answer them.」
Bester’s question was brought up along with this report.
The Dwarf King pondered for a second.
(Actually, what the h.e.l.l is that stupid demon lord planning hosting a tournament now of all time…)
The Dwarf King struggled to keep a smile from surfacing.
He could not break his facade before the ministers.
(You b.a.s.t.a.r.d… making me suffer so… I like it!)
Stifling the joy with a hint of anger, he announced his decision.
「We will attend the ceremony and the tournament」
The Ministers had not at all expected such a response, but this was the decision of their king.
With the meeting decided, they quickly started to prepare for the journey.
Sorcerer Dynasty Sarion, the Emperor’s Castle.
A beautiful garden full of rare life spread behind it.
Keeping up the garden provided numerous benefits for the dynasty to say nothing of income made from it.
In other words, it was the source of the dynasty’s pocket money.
The entire garden was maintained without a penny from the taxes.
Two beings relaxed inside this garden.
One was Duke Elalude.
Father of Adventurer Ellen, and one of the three leaders of this country.
And a being who was sitting across from him.
This being is the only one with a higher standing than Duke Elalude in the entire kingdom.
Empress Elumeshia Elure Sarion herself.
With a beautiful feminine face–well, she is a woman, after all–she has elf blood flowing through her veins and thus doesn’t age.
Asking the empress how old she is, is considered a taboo.
She has the body of a girl who has just reached adulthood. With skin as white as fresh snow.
Long pointed ears easily distinguish her from anyone else. The glance of her slanted, jade eyes pierce into the very soul of the person before her.
And, long pale blue silver hair falls gently over her cheeks.
Duke Elalude was once entranced by the beauty she embodied, but was able to regain his mind after considering his wife’s and daughter’s wrath.
And with a short prayer, he faced the Empress.
The one so gracefully sitting upon the cushion across from him,
「Your Majesty, regarding the monster country I have reported on previously, we have received an announcement.」
He said and taking out a letter from his breast pocket handed it to the Empress.
He checked that it was safe. As for its contents, he would rather not say them himself.
He knew all to well that the Empress hated to have people learn things before her.
(Having become a demon lord is great and all, but why announce it?)
And here is the question.
The letter was addressed to Duke Elalude. Normally, there was no need to let the Empress know about it.
But… it read “Please let us know how many people will partic.i.p.ate!”
And that means that any number of guests are invited.
So if he doesn’t let the Empress know and goes by himself, she’ll just get mad at him again. And he would rather that not happen.
When he left on a mission to free his daughter from the clutches of an evil demon lord, he received a stern scolding.
Here’s what she said.
「You b.a.s.t.a.r.d, how dare you leave your lord’s side! I can’t believe that such an interesting slime exists until I see it personally. Moreover, to witness a birth of a demon lord, which even I have never seen? I’m so jeal… Ummm, it’s ridiculous! To have missed such a wonderf… I mean, you don’t even know the danger you were facing! What a fool!」
And she became depressed.
Oh, and only Elalude ever saw Empress act like this.
She appears as a cold hearted individual to the other ministers, and is even feared as the Doll Empress.
Like a sheep in wolf’s clothing! Elalude always wants to retort.
So he perfectly understood how angry she would have been had he gone off by himself this time.
They even claimed to conduct a Tournament at this occasion.
If he left her behind, her anger would be unimaginable.
Currently, due to her sulking, he has yet to establish technological cooperation with that country.
So if her mood improves, maybe they’ll finally be able to finalize those details.
There’s another important point.
He had confirmed that Tempest had fought against the Templars recently.
He had worried about how they will fare against them, but, surprisingly, they didn’t just completely defeat them all, they also released every knight.
Basically claiming to have overwhelming confidence in themselves.
They could perhaps be countries that try to appear weak with only the leaders aware of the true strength.
But even so, to hold a tournament now of all times can only be interpreted as an event to flaunt their strength.
Well, since this allows Sarion to measure their strength, it is crucial that they partic.i.p.ate.
But to bring the Empress to such an event would create a myriad problems…
And he was certain that he himself would have to solve all of them.
Empress Elumeshia returned the letter.
Elalude gulped in antic.i.p.ation.
「Your Majesty, how shall we respond?」
He hesitantly asked.
With a wide smile on her face,
She was just putting on airs.
He could easily predict her next words but still waited for them.
And hearing an expected response, Duke Elalude would spend the next days without any sleep, busy with preparations.
In the small country Brumund’s trading house, Myormiles was getting tired of the person talking to him.
As a merchant, he could tell a person’s personality with a single glance.
Those coming for money, those coming with a new business opportunity.
There’s also fallen n.o.bles who come proposing dubious deals.
Among all these fools there maybe someone with a legitimate proposal.
So he can’t leave this job to anyone else.
While thinking this, he dismissed the swindler before him and called forth the new guest.
A handsome man entered.
But Myormiles would not be deceived.
This man too was a fallen n.o.ble who had once tried to sell some junk at high price using his name.
He probably came with another idea and is seeking money.
But, if anything, he is a n.o.ble. Myormiles verified this himself.
So rudeness towards a true n.o.ble could be fatal. Which makes this job all the harder.
“Another stupid idea is it,” he thought, and inquired the guest.
And he was right.
It really was rubbish.
In short, I’ll open a new store using my slaves, so give me money! He said.
Frankly, he can’t see this idea succeeding. A store needs a lot more than cute girls to be successful.
Research the market and the buyers, consider the location, and pay for the girls’ children.
Just because they are slaves does not mean they will work for free–they need food and shelter after all. There’s also initial costs to consider.
Opening a brothel also requires one to consider the chance for disease to spread.
If it does, not only the n.o.ble, but Myormiles himself would be indicted.
So this is not something he could accept.
「My, what a discerning eye you have, Kazak-sama.
But, regarding these female slaves, that would prove impossible, wouldn’t it.
Human slave trade has been forbidden and opening a store with illegal slaves would be…」
「Oh, about that… here’s the thing. All is solved when a n.o.ble pays the right people some money.
So, you know? Oh and this is a secret… but those slaves are elves」
He said in a haughty manner.
Myormiles got a heartburn just listening to Count Kazak, but stifled his displeasure.
As a merchant, he can’t show a customer displeasure. Even a novice merchant knows that.
So how should he refuse him…
And the moment he began to say something,
「Yo! How have you been, Myormiles-kun!」
The door burst open and in walked a person while greeting him.
A beautiful girl (boy?) with silver hair, golden eyes walked in.
Who can’t possible be here…
「Eh? Could it be, Rimuru-danna?」
A profoundly surprised voice escaped his lips.
Huh? Didn’t Rimuru-dana become a demon lord? So Fuze-sama had said…
And he is not wearing a mask? So he was this cute without it?!
These thoughts filling his head, he had completely forgot about Count Kazak.
And then he heard,
「Please wait! Master is currently with a guest!」
A panicking attendant attempted to stop him.
Chances are, he had missed Rimuru coming in and was too late in stopping him.
What a failure. But chances are, he wouldn’t have been able to stop him anyways.
So Myormiles could hardly get angry at the attendant.
「Ah, sorry. You were with a guest, huh. Well then, I’ll wait in your store!」
And flashing an insincere smile, Rimuru added『Pardon my rudeness… nah, my bad!』
And leaving everyone dumbfounded he left.
Afterwards, Myormiles ended the discussion with Count Kazak, and cleared his schedule for the rest of the day.
A great wave was beginning to move the world.
What was more important?
Myormiles was not a fool who could not understand that much.
He was certainly a person who could find ore within a stone.
But! There was something he could create even if he were to abandon everything.
A short acquaintanceship but large profit? That didn’t matter.
Most important was his obligation to consider the long term benefit of his business partners–fellow merchants.
He had intended to visit himself when things calmed down.
That is, he has heard that after becoming a demon lord Rimuru has gone off to attend Walpurgis Banquet.
So he could hardly take any action until he was sure of the changes.
And yet the person himself had visited as if nothing had changed.
So meeting with this person was by far the most important thing he had to do.
Remembering every strategy he knows, and hiding the pure joy that was filling his heart, Myormiles rushed to his store.
What wicked plan would he propose today?
And thus, Myormiles tedious days would come to an end.