Chapter 108 – Another Yerkel
After leaving the public hall, we returned to the bus. The bounty and treasures were in my storage.
“I don’t have any use for the sword, but what should I do with it?”
“One of them is a legendary magic sword. If it is a magic sword, it should be used by the Demon King.”
“Am I going to fight with a sword? Against whom?”
“Go hunt monsters in the Dark Forest. When push comes to shove, I will save you with my Wuji.”
“I can only see a future where I’ll be in trouble right from the start!”
In the first place, I think that a magic sword is something that a hero would take from a demon king or demons.
The original owner of the sword is probably a demon race or something like that. Hmm, but the demon race in this world is… not the protruding fang-looking devil in my original world, but dwarves with magical powers. If they took it from such a person, that doesn’t make sense.
“Oh? Is that the guide the marquis was talking about?”
The two winged tribe members and a petite woman were waiting in front of the bear-faced bus.
She had her back turned, but when she looked back, her face looked like someone I had seen somewhere before. To be precise, she looked like someone from somewhere.
Her age is in her late… teens? I shouldn’t have any contact with such a girl.
“Your Majesty the Demon King.”
“She says she is the guide dispatched from the marquis’s territory.”
Nodding at the words of Owe-san and Luvia-san, the woman bowed her head with a smile.
“It is my pleasure to meet you for the first time. I am Lionora from the Yerkel Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Marquis Yerkel has ordered me to guide you to her territory. I am at your service.”
“Oh, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is called Yerkel, isn’t it?”
At Myrril’s casual remark, Lionora’s expression changed a little. Her soft smile seemed to fade.
“The Yerkel Chamber of Commerce, located north of the royal capital, was the ancestral home of Marquis Yerkel. The marquis’s territory was also named Yerkel.”
“I see. The innkeeper in the northern village of Yerkel was a man named Ricola.”
“…Yes. He was my uncle.”
I see. If she looked like anyone, it was Ricola, the refugee from the village of Yerkel.
He is a man of mixed blood, with the blood of a beastman but with the appearance of a human.
He was betrayed by the human villagers during the civil war and sold to the imperial army along with other subhumans.
He is now living in Casemaian after being rescued.
“Oh, so you are his niece. You look familiar to me. Pleased to meet you.”
In contrast to Myrril’s happy face, Lionora-san’s face grew darker and darker.
As Ricola’s niece, this person must be a half-blood between human and beastman, even though she looked completely human. Is it forbidden in the marquis’ territory to have beastman’s blood in one’s veins? We are the only ones here, but should we pretend we don’t know?
“Ah, if you ever come to Casemaian, I can arrange a time for you to meet with Ricola, but I don’t see how that would be possible.”
I see. I finally realized my mistake there. That’s right. I had not yet announced the rescue of our friends from the village of Yerkel.
“Is my uncle alive?”
A bear-faced bus was on the street leading the Transportation Corps back to the marquis’ territory.
It was driven by Owe-san, and Luvia-san was on the gun turret on the roof. The weather has cleared up, so a pleasant breeze is coming in through the open windows and gun turrets.
Marquis Yerkel offered to provide us with a cavalry escort, but I declined and left them in Meteora, as they were unnecessary with us here.
The distance from Meteora to the marquis’s territory is slightly over 30 miles or about 50 kilometers.
We told them that the bus would overheat if we kept pace with the horse-drawn carriages, so we told them that we would wait for them at regular intervals to keep ahead of them as scouts.
The road was almost straight, so we did not have to worry about getting lost, but there were places where the road was muddy due to the rain until last night, and it was our job as the lead group to check those places.
“I see. So everyone is alright.”
“We don’t know about the humans. But we rescued all the subhumans.”
I checked to make sure, and I heard that Lionora-san doesn’t particularly hide the fact that she is a half-blood of a beastman.
Among the subhumans who fled to neighboring countries after the destruction of Casemaian, those living in the southern part of the kingdom are said to be living relatively comfortably.
Of course, this is with the note that even though a quarter of a century has passed, they are still refugees with little assets or connections, so they live “reasonably well.”
“I wish I had received some news from the people of Yerkel. But there were too many problems to deal with.”
“It’s all right since you have helped them. The discrimination against beastman was so severe in the area of the royal capital that I had just given up and thought that everyone in the village of Yerkel had been fed to the magical beasts…”
Lionora-san looked at me and Myrril, who was suddenly choked up, with a strange look on her face.
Luvia-san pretended not to have heard, but she probably had an idea of what was going on. The profile peeking through the gap between the gun turrets seems to be smiling a little.
“You all know that the village of Yerkel was destroyed, don’t you?”
I look at Myrril, meeting Lionora-san’s gaze. Myrril’s eyes are swimming, looking appalled as if no one is pressing her.
“…I-I don’t know?”
She is too bad at lying, as she is sweating profusely.
“I think it was about half a month ago. According to a report that came into the marquis’s territory, a huge, unidentified magical beast attacked and killed everyone in the village.”
“…T-that’s a terrible thing.”
“The imperial army troops that were invading the suburbs of Yerkel at the time may have done something, but they too were attacked, and there were no survivors, so we don’t know what the situation was like then.”
Myrril-san looked at me.
I don’t know what happened at that time. That’s what I was hoping for. I nodded with a smile and supported her decision.
Thanks to her, we were able to escape. I’m proud of that.
“Well, that’s a divine punishment!”
Wow, she said it with a smug look on her face!
I wondered what she would say, but she was completely shifting the blame. And she’s throwing it all on heaven or God, whom she (probably) doesn’t even believe in.
“Since it is obvious from the fact that only the oppressed people of Yerkel were saved! Right, Yoshua?”
“Sorry, we did that.”
“Nooooo! Why did you tell her?
Myrril puts a tsukkomi on me, but Luvia-san and Owe-san are bursting out uncontrollably.
“They’re going to find out immediately when they meet the people from Yerkel in Casemaian, so there’s no point hiding it. It’s okay. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong.”
“That’s true, but… that’s a kind of divine punishment, isn’t it?”
“Eh? Your Majesty the Demon King did? Does that mean you summoned a giant magical beast as a punishment from heaven?”
“No, I don’t have that kind of special skill. Myrril and I left the orcs in a half-dead state when we were rescuing the friends from Yerkel. When those orcs died, they attracted big monsters, so we decided to use that to thwart the pursuit of the imperial army.”
“…W-well, I guess my plan worked. I had no intention of involving the inhabitants of Yerkel, but they sold subhumans to the imperial army in order to save their own lives. They got what they deserved!”
Lionora-san’s eyes went black and white when she heard this.
“Then, what was that giant magical beast?”
“We don’t know! We were escaping with this bear-faced bus at the time.”
“It was an earth dragon, Your Majesty the Queen.”
Luvia-san told us from the gun turret in a voice that contained a hint of laughter.
“We were watching it from the air, and it was at least seventy feet long. After three days of slaughter in the suburbs of Yerkel, it slipped into the Deadly Forest on the side of the Tribal Union, so I don’t know what happened to it after that.
“How long are seventy feet, Myrril?”
“About as long as three of these buses.”
More than 20 meters. It’s a good thing we ran away.
“That’s why. Lionora, all of Yerkel’s subhumans are living happily in our demon lord’s territory, Casemaian. You and the other subhumans may visit at any time!”
The bus came to a halt just as Myrril-san made a smug face with her flat chest.
I wondered if we were going to take a break and wait for the others to follow, but Owe-san looked back at me from the driver’s seat.
“Your Majesty the Demon King, there is an army in the forest half a mile ahead of us. It is probably an ambush.”
Enemies, huh? I had heard that there was only one road from Meteora to Marquis Yerkel’s territory, so either they were aiming at the Marquis’ army’s transportation unit passing through here, or someone wanted to kill us.
I wonder who it is that’s trying to set us up at this point in time.