Translator: Smoggy our beloved bear!
Demon Lord’s Gambit Arc
128. Alliance of Three Kingdoms
Hinata and Ruminas were in chairs awaiting our arrival.
From the looks on their faces, something must have happened.
Well, I guess it’s a good thing they don’t know I’ve been just playing around the whole time. It certainly wouldn’t go over well if they knew.
「Fuze-kun, come on in」
I said, having Fuze join us in the reception room we prepared.
Without me needing to say anything, Shuna had already prepared tea.
She really is a well-disciplined Ohime-sama. Completely different from a certain regrettable secretary, but that secretary does get serious when training the subordinates and the guards.
But considering that I’ve been slacking off lately, I have no right to complain.
No, actually, I haven’t been playing around! I was studying!
Can’t be getting this distinction wrong myself; or else someone will find out.
Alongside Fuse, I sat on the sofa whilst facing Ruminas and Hinata.
A cushion made with material of the highest quality gently caught my body.
「Hey Hinata, it’s been a long time. Ruminas-san, nice to meet you… no, we have met before. It’s been a while.
This is Fuse-kun. He’s the Freedom Association Branch head in Burmund.」
I introduced Fuse to the two ladies.
「N-nice to meet you! I, within the Burmund Kingdom, work as the head of its Freedom Association branch.
To be able to meet Hinata-sama today, the highest tactician of the Western Church, I am truly honored.
And to this beautiful lady, it’s the first time we’ve ever met, but you must be someone of illustrious prestige.
I am uneducated in these matters so please forgive my ignorance!」
Greatly nervous he greeted them.
Completely ignoring him, however,
「Rimuru, was it? ‘Tis been a while, since Walpurgis that is. Glad to see you healthy. But, that man must not remain here. Freedom Association is the enemy. Or have you not noticed?
The identity of he who manipulated Hinata.
Knowing this fully well, why do you still associate yourself with someone from the Freedom Association?」
(Translator’s/Editor’s note: the word Ruminas uses to address Rimuru is 貴様 kisama which in modern time is an insult, commonly translated as “bastard.” Centuries ago, however, it was used to address a person politely, and this translation Clown feels fits better with Ruminas’ mannerism)
One of the primary Demon Lords–Ruminas asked with an accusatory tone.
She is a cute young girl silver hair, and heterochromatic eyes giving off a gold and silver shine.
Why is one of the Octogram here?
It’s also strange that she’s by Hinata’s side; the worst thing I could do here though is act hostile and make her an enemy.
Besides, forging an alliance with the Western Saint’s Church will probably allow Tempest to fully integrate into human society.
And that’s something I earnestly want to achieve. Hinata and Ruminas’s relation is yet uncertain, but perhaps its best to speak openly rather than keep secrets.
But considering that Ruminas probably knows everything Hinata knows, perhaps it’s better to keep certain things hidden.
But first, let’s get them to trust Fuse.
Right when I needed it, Shuna entered the room with the tea prepared.
Shuna handed out the tea, and left the room after taking a bow.
I glanced to the side and confirmed,
「Hmph. Now then, doubling as an introduction to Fuse-kun earlier, I would like you to have a look at the report」
After saying so, I beckoned Fuse.
With that alone, the endlessly anxious Fuse seems to have caught on.
「Understood. Apparently, it would seem that I am under suspicion. So as to clear myself from that suspicion…」
Saying such, he begin explaining the current internal situations of the Freedom Association.
Fuse’s report was simple and concise.
Yuuki has taken over 90% of the Ingrasia Headquarters.
The female Submaster Kagari is also under his direct command.
In addition, High ranking adventurers with abilities on par with Branch heads has also sided with Yuuki.
And thus, with the Organisation currently so, it would prove difficult to denounce Yuuki. However, it would appear that those outside the headquarters are not affected.
Since it seems that his brainwashing and thought manipulation isn’t omnipotent—something we can be happy about.
Better yet, the citizens do not appear to be under his influence.
The only thing they have been convinced of is that monsters are the cause of most calamities and are the enemy.
If it’s to this degree, and considering my current progress, building a relation of mutual trust not impossible.
I mean, think of the satellite city built around the labyrinth—there orcs, goblins, monsters, and adventurers are able to sit in a pub and share a meal.
We’re certainly making progress towards building trust between us; I have proven that it is possible for humans and monsters to understand each other.
「However, any further investigation is impossible. The person who went to investigate the Submaster Kagari alone, had his memories erased.
He was crippled and wandered the town as if protecting it. He even forgot his own name.
There’s no proof that Kagari did it, but considering the situation it’s pretty obvious.
Besides, she probably knows that we’ve been investigating her; I have no excuses, I have failed there」
It seems anything outside of this is out of his hands.
However this is enough.
If that’s the case, then that would make saving the children a problem.
If I make a move, there would be the problem of it being pinned as a kidnapping by the demon lord. However if I ask Masayuki then there’s probably no problem. Fortunately, there’s a convenient reason to every one of his actions, making him suitable.
Since it’s absolutely impossible for Yuuki to control him, there’s no need to be reserved.
After rescuing the children, I’ll immediately dissipate the effects of any mind control. But I can’t have them think that I’ve been playing around here the whole time, so I should make it look like I’ve done a lot.
However, about the erased memories. It’s troublesome… but if it’s me, then I might be able to restore it.
「Fuse, I’ll try to heal those who had their memories wiped.
If their soul and their brain is intact, I might be able to somehow.」
「What? Is that true? Please, do it somehow!」
In response to my offer, Fuse looked at me with expectant eyes.
They have been acting by my order so they are essentially my subordinates. If there’s a way to cure them I have an obligation to do it.
He had a happy look on his face and readily accepted the proposition.
But to think he trusts me so much to accept a deal with a demon lord! Makes me kind of happy.、
And so, overlooking our exchange,
「Rimuru, do you really think that you can coexist with humans?
Human are creatures whose thoughts cannot be read simply though their words.
‘Tis it not better for them to be controlled by us?」
Ruminas gives me a cold look.
That girl seems to have thought over this, however her opinions conflict with my own.
Considering all the risks, it’s certainly an option, but――.
「“Oi oi, young lady. In spite of your beautiful face, you say some terrible things
Control humans, who do you you are?
Even if you are a noble, isn’t it bad to look down on ordinary people?」
Fuse got angry and snapped at Ruminas.
Oh right, I still haven’t introduced her to Fuse. Well, I guess his ignorance led him to step on a landmine.
「Now now, Fuse Kun, Calm down.
This person is Ruminas.
One of the Octogram Demon Lords.
This is my second time meeting her, and the first time we’ve spoken to each other.
First thing first, lets leave behind all truculent behavior and have a constructive talk.
And, this is Hinata.
But you should know more about her than I. She’s the Knight Leader of the Western church.」
I’ve briefly introduced the two.
Ruminas and Hinata, after listening to Fuse’s report as per my request, had judged that he was no friend of Yuuki’s.
However, putting Hinata aside, Ruminas didn’t seem trust in humans in general rather than Fuse himself.
「Eh, what? Demon Lord? Who?」
Looking back and forth between Ruminas and I, Fuse was in a state of confusion.
Remembering his earlier belligerent remarks, his face instantly paled.
I feel slightly sorry for him, and responded.
「Ruminas, this man is my companion.
Firstly I want to establish some trust.
I don’t agree with your opinion on humans, and please don’t force it onto me.
If you do, you will be judged an enemy.」
「What was that? Are you trying to lecture us despite being a newcomer?
If you seek a war then shall get it.」
Ruminas stood up, and took up a stance with both hands.
I had planned to diffuse the situation but now I feel like taking this outside.
How should I put this, contrary to her appearance, she’s rather short-fused. Times like this constantly remind me that all demon lords are selfish and whimsical.
But I’d rather not fight in this room, though…
「Stop this Ruminas, didn’t we came here for an alliance?
Why are you adding to our enemies?」
Hinata coaxed Ruminas with a hint of irritation.
As if she was never serious to begin with, Ruminas’s anger dissipated.
And she sat back in her chair,
「True, we do not wish to increase our enemies.
Our aim for coming today, is to propose an alliance between Tempest, Holy Empire of Ruberius, and Western Saint’s Church.」
She declared with a thin smile on her lips.
Clearly she was trying to gauge my reaction.
It’s hard to imagine that she was a demon lord with a bad personality from her appearance.
Putting that aside, we have introduced ourselves once more, and began examining the details of the alliance.
That means, Ruminas was the ruler of the Holy Empire Ruberius?
The conversation continued after we calmed down, but was a revelation!
It seems this was too much of a surprise for Fuse, and he looked as if his soul had flown out of his mouth.
(TN Note:…I hope most of you seen enough anime to know what that means. If you haven’t I recommend those from the slice of life genre.)
Well, that’s to be expected.
The Holy Empire Ruberius where the sacred ones reside, where the Pope of the Western Church lives.
Who would have imagined that it was all under control of a demon lord!
In that case, who is the pope?
「Old man, they seem to be wondering about the pope」
In response to Ruminas’s words, the butler behind her bowed respectively.
「If I’m not mistake, the current pope is currently 47 years old.」
I thought he muttered, and the butler transformed into a youthful figure.
「This is the first time we’ve met. I am the current pope, Gilles Lila Ruberius.」
In this youthful (… nah, he’s still middle aged) appearance, he turned into a butler clad in pure white, radiating a divine aura.
His figure has become a man in his prime. In terms of human years, he would be around mid 40s.
So… this butler has pretended to be the pope of every past generation?
Looking at fuse with a glance, he was stunned with his eyes wide opened.
This guy’s a skillful one, I’m actually impressed.
「Hey, isn’t this weird! Why’s the pope a follower of the demon lord! What the hell is this?! Are you a monster? Why do I feel a divine presence?」
Uh oh, instead of fainting, Fuse acted as if a switch has been pressed as he started causing a ruckus.
「Fu. Gilles, explain.」
「As you command, milady」
The pope, no, Gilles the butler nodded respectively.
Since it feels really weird I’d much rather he stop these extravagant butler behavior, but I’ll keep my discomfort a secret.
It began thousands of years ago, before the creation of the Holy Empire of Ruberius.
When the evil dragon Veldora destroyed the Vampire Kingdom, without killing anyone, though.
It was then, that Ruminas and Chloe met, so it seems they’ve been through a lot.
Even though she protected Chloe, even if she hadn’t, she probably would not have been injured anyways.
To Ruminas, Chloe was probably the embodiment of idealized beauty.
Oh, and though Veldora probably thought it was a friendly squabble, in reality it was just a one-sided rampage.
However, being done in would be unpleasant, so the survivors hid and lived on in silence.
However, there’s the Demon Lord Ruminas.
She wasn’t interested in simply hiding, and built an underground empire.
And on the top she created an empire to sustain her underground empire.
At the time, due to poverty caused by the conflict between angels and demons, there were few mighty nations. And the eastern empire had barely taken form.
They couldn’t even send forces to protect the people from the threat of monsters.
Naturally, almost everyone was a refugee or a bandit, and the world was even more confused and in turmoil.
Precisely because it was such a time that she, with the power of a demon lord, was able to control monsters and easily control humans.
Those who sought salvation came to her.
Ruminas granted mercy to those who gathered under her. Using blood (Life) as bait, she granted them protection.
And so, all within Ruminas’s calculations, a country was formed this way.
And thus it appeared, the Holy Kingdom Ruberius.
Thus, allowing humans to live freely would lead to endless war—the reason behind Ruminas’ opinions was history itself.
I don’t think I can refute her. But that doesn’t mean I agree with her.
If they want to fight, let them fight; if they want to rampage let them.
Then they could reconcile and seek to create peace.
But this kind of outcome could not come about through a controlled experiment. And precisely because this was voluntarily, it was interesting
And that’s how it is.
Now that country was born it would inevitably be controlled by some ambitious or greedy man—the cause of Ruminas’ next worry.
Therefore, the Greater devil Gilles acted as her right hand.
Butler Gilles is not only a vampire, but also a first-class holy sorcerer thus making him someone who can walk under the sun.
It seems that including Ruminas and Gilles, there were few others who could walk under the sun despite being a vampire.
At the time, since Gilles was such an individual, it was inevitable for him to become the priest.
So he used clones and played many roles all by himself all to manipulate the empire… it must have been difficult.
Well, and thus, Gilles who acted as the pope that was also said to be the incarnation of light, had obtained a unique ability
It is the unique skill “Hierophant”.
―― An ability that allows a patron to dominate the will of those who seeks salvation and protection ――
In an sense, this was a ridiculous ability that is nothing but high level fraud.
And so the people were able to live peacefully without any suspicion thanks to his ability.
To be frank, for a dark-dwelling monster to gain a light based ability is ridiculous in itself.
Whilst listening to all this from the side, it was interesting how Hinata made a bitter face.
“The creed is everything!” I guess it sounds cool, but then you learn the dark history behind it.
When I looked at Hinata while grinning, our eyes met.
I was looked at with a cold stare that made me think I was going to be killed. Scary… I guess I shouldn’t tease her about it.
I guess I’ll just pretend I know nothing about it at all.
And so, ended Butler Gilles’s description with such feelings.
And Hinata’s turn followed, explaining why she sought an alliance.
About her bold plan to save the children, and her fight with Yuuki.
Her death, and the awakening of the hero.
And Hinata’s resurrection by Ruminas, and the meeting between the hero Chloe and Ruminas.
As well as the need for the alliance due to the hero’s current situation as well as a countermeasure against Yuuki.
It seems Hinata had went to rescue the children in my stead.
It is a welcoming story.
「So, what happened to the children?」
「They are wandering around Tempest sight-seeing. Kenya, though desperately wants to catch up to Chloe’s strength.
They are all rather upset that Chloe left without saying anything.」
I am satisfied with Hinata’s explanation.
However, I can sympathize with Chloe.
It must have been painful, not only being forgotten, but being the only one who’s an adult.
As a hero, when the experience of the past awakened in her body, she would become an unrecognizable existence that would be swallowed by the shadow of the hero.
Only those who have reached the pinnacle of power—an ultimate skill—could recognize her existence.
She must have felt completely lost.
With the power from Hinata’s soul, the journey to the past. How much struggle and how harsh the journey must have been.
「Rimuru, the copy of the Sacred armament that was given by you.
It was given to Chloe. It came along us to the past, protecting us.
The armor has helped greatly. Thank you.」
Hinata looked straight at me, and thanked me.
I’m feeling embarrassed so please stop.
But, is that so……
「So you too, had traveled to the past alongside Chloe.
Thank you for looking after her.」
「Please stop, there’s no need to thank me. It was natural for me to do so.」
Hinata sidestepped my thanks.
After handing over the energy of the hero’s soul, all that’s left now are the residues ―― even so, I still think that Hinata too is a hero.
Hinata lost in the battle, which I must say was a little sad, however I do not believe Hinata’s heart is weak.
Unlike before, she had acquired true strength; she also has grown.
I could not even imagine such a long journey.
Hinata’s explanation has also ended.
But damn her story sounds real dangerous.
With Hinata undergoing such ordeals, I couldn’t possibly say I’ve been playing around.
I’m glad I was able to cover it up well.
I mean, I don’t think it would be a big deal even if I did appear to be playing as long as I actually got serious when I needed to, but considering that I appeared to seriously be doing work when they came, I think I was able to fool them.
Good thing I decided not to disclose everything.
Now then, we began thinking about the contents of Hinata’s explanation.
And the most unbelievable part of the explanation is, Chloe seems to have become a hero.
However, she was being manipulate by Yuuki, and had her freedom bounded until three commands are given.
According to her explanation, her abilities could be considered as the strongest. She may not be able to manipulate time, however she can come close to stopping it.
In order for the strongest hero to be born, she traveled through time, huh.
Moreover, the world is heading towards destruction, and I died in that timeline.
But, I wonder?
Certainly, if it was the initial fight with Hinata, defeat is guaranteed. There’s no doubt.
However, I could have survived.
If that’s the case……no, lets stop.
Conjectures on this topic would not help the current situation.
Anyway, Chloe’s safe. Our priority should be to rescue her.
Ruminas’s purpose was also to rescue Chloe; I will not hesitate to form an alliance to that end.
The rest of the children were also brought here, so there’s no need to worry anymore about the Ingrasia kingdom.
There’s now nothing stopping us from waging open war against Yuuki.
「Yosh, I now understand the situation.
We too would like to form an alliance」
In response to my worlds, Hinata and Ruminas nodded.
Fuse appearing quite disheveled,
「Oh my god……this just became insane.
Besides, how come every time I came it’s always this kind of impactful serious talk.
Each and every time, this isn’t funny.
I’m just a simply branch head……
This isn’t something I should be taking on with such low pay!
What terrible burden now weighs on my mind…」
He grumbled as his face kept turning paler.
Come to think of it, he does take on this role every time.
I can understand your feeling, but lets pretend we didn’t hear it just now.
He still has a lot to do in the future.
Thus, ignoring Fuse’s wailing, the tripartite alliance of the holy kingdom Ruberius, the Western church, and the Monster Country Tempest has been formed.