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Chapter 124 – Party Time
On the plains of Casemaian, dismantling booths were built all over the outer rim, and an earth dragon over 20 meters in length was being dismembered for meat.
In the middle of the plains, on a flat area the size of two soccer courts that has been cleared as a residential area, fires are being lit, and huge pieces of dragon meat are cooking, burning fat and emitting a delicious smell.
The celebration of victory, the welcoming of refugees from the marquis territory of the southern nobility, the commemoration of the subjugation of the earth dragon, the commemoration of the inauguration of the Demon King, etc., the consciousness and name may differ, but the tension is the same.
I didn’t know it, but I was told that the earth dragons are “extremely” delicious.
“Wow, it’s really good!”
I was overwhelmed by the spicy and juicy juices that gushed out when I bit into the grilled earth dragon ribs. Both the winged dragon and the land runner dragon were delicious, but the earth dragon’s flavor was completely different.
The meat is the leanest of all. The fibers are coarse and a little peculiar due to their large size, but this gives depth and breadth to the flavor and deliciousness. The more you chew, the better it tastes.
“Well, the more dangerous the dragon breed is, the better it tastes. I don’t want anyone to get reckless, so I’ll keep this between you and me.”
Ah, Myrril-san. It would be impossible to keep it between us if you were talking that loudly in a guest of honor’s seat full of guests.
She must be very drunk.
“No, Your Majesty the Queen. It would be suicide to challenge the earth dragon, which is generally regarded as a natural disaster, so even if we were to be reckless, I thought it would be a smaller dragon.”
Luvia-san, a member of the winged tribe, chuckles as she lunges at Myrril.
I hear that at the earth dragon class, not only is the meat the most delicious, but the accumulation of magical power in the body is so great that it has a great effect on improving magical power.
If you’re lucky, you can get some kind of blessing or addition, but I don’t really know what it’s all about.
“I wonder what it is; it’s not beef, pork, or sheep, but… it has a little bit of a resemblance to whale meat.”
“I don’t know about a whale, but earth dragon meat tastes like earth dragon meat; there are no other resemblances. The only other likeness is… the ancient dragon at most.”
“Have you ever eaten the ancient dragon, Myrril?”
“No way. This is my first time eating an earth dragon. I’ve never eaten a winged dragon or land running dragon before in Casemaian.”
“Then how can you tell if they taste alike?”
“Earth dragons and ancient dragons are of the same origin. The composition of their scales and internal organs are different from other dragon species. There is even a legend that a long-lived dragon species becomes an earth dragon when it is confined to the mountains and an ancient dragon when it ascends to heaven. In fact, I have heard that it is a creature that branched off in prehistoric times.”
…Huh? I heard that somewhere. Or rather, I saw it. Yes, when I was appraising the monster.
“…It’s the rain dragon.”
“Mizuchi, is it?”
“I’ve never heard that name before.”
It seems that neither Luvia-san, Owe-san, or anyone else around had heard of it.
“Oh, Yoshua told me about it before. It’s the aquatic magical beast that came into the outer moat of the Casemaian.”
Everyone was taken aback when they heard that it was a dragon species swimming in the outer moat. That’s right.
I had only heard of Mizuchi from the dwarf Heimann-jiisan, but he seemed to know a lot about it.
“I learned from my appraisal that a water-dwelling serpentine monster grows into a rain dragon after a few hundred years and then grows into a giant flying dragon after a few hundred years again.”
“Is this aquatic beast called Mizuchi also tasty?”
I don’t know if it tastes good or not, but I think it’s best to stay away from it.
They understood human languages, killed people for fun, used the art of transformation, spit poison when angry, or something like that. And first and foremost, they look creepy.
Since I was not present at the preparation stage of this banquet, the ingredients were mainly hunted and gathered in the dark forest with Casemaian.
It seems that at some point, the traditional fruit wine and fire wine of dwarves and elves had also been made, which was generously provided for this banquet.
Not only hunter-gatherers but also cultivators are gradually expanding their cultivated lands, and it seems that they are thinking of becoming self-sufficient in the future.
Trading with the kingdoms and tribal unions is going to be difficult for a while.
“Hey, Myrril. I just noticed that there are a lot of people here.”
“Yes, there are. Connell, do you know what’s going on?”
“Ah, the number of people living in Casemaian is increasing day by day. Rumors are spreading, and refugees are coming in from all over.”
The bear beastman Biot, who was chomping on a chunk of meat of the earth dragon, laughed at me as I swept my eyes with a bad premonition.
“Even though it’s about you, you don’t know about it? “The invincible Demon King has descended and is building a subhuman paradise,” rings out from the northern tip of the empire to the western tip of the tribal unions and the southern tip of the kingdom, you know?”
What is that? I mean, who is that?
“If it reaches the north of the Dark Forest and the Republic of Something to the east of the Kingdom, we’ll have conquered the continent.”
“Stop it. I’ll be too embarrassed to go out.”
Anyway, the population of Casemaian is about to reach six hundred, I heard. In anticipation of the future increase, the plains are now being prepared for housing and food security.
The residents were in the process of saving food for the winter, but the arrival of the earth dragon’s meat raised the spirits of the local people.
“I see; that’s just what we needed. We still have some meat from the winged dragons and the land-running dragons, so let’s process it into preserved food.”
We should also think about purchasing preserved food and grains for emergencies.
“No, we can get through this winter with just the supplies we took from the kingdom’s army without any problems. We’ll start farming in the spring… so I don’t think we’ll have a problem next year, either, do we?”
I know what Connell meant between his slight stuttering.
If only there were no war.
The kingdom, the empire, and the tribal unions are all only 200 miles (320 km) or so away. If the Demon King appeared in a place only at that distance and rapidly expanded his power, it would be impossible not to attack.
“Yes, I see. I, too, have been a little curious.”
“…I haven’t said anything yet.”
“You have it all written on your face. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?”
Myrril turned her gaze southward a little so that the others could not see it.
“Some idiot is presumptuous, but we must say hello to the snobs who are bothering us.”
Yes. As I thought, she understood me. Good or bad, I don’t care.
I’m going back to the royal capital once more. To return what was borrowed.
Chapter 125 – Royal Capital Again
The capital of the Kingdom of Saliant, which claims to be the largest and most powerful in the world. It was named Kehiminia after the first king who ruled the land thousands of years ago.
Today, it is known only as the “royal capital.”
In the course of its long history, the royal bloodline has been severed many times, and the result has been that those who inherited the lineage, either as collateral descendants or as relatives with outside blood, have covered up and falsified the past but no one knows this anymore.
“It is a foolish thing. There is no future for those who have forgotten the past. Isn’t that so, King of Saliant?”
The upper floor of the castle. In the deserted audience chamber, a tall, thin figure dressed in a black military uniform looked back at the king sitting on his throne.
“…Lord Kehim. …What are you talking about?”
The man called Kehim let out a small breath at the king’s frightened and flirtatious words.
“Don’t you see? It is the story of the rebirth of the holy city of Kehiminia. It is a story of reconquest. We must take back the blessed land, blessed by the gods, from the barbarians and transform it into a fertile paradise overflowing with light. The first step is about to begin!”
Next to the throne where the king sat, the queen and princess stood like ghosts. Their faces were bloodless, their once-fattened flesh was thinning, and their eyes were glazed over.
They showed no reaction to Kehim’s words but simply stared blankly into the air.
“…Did the empire… send reinforcements?”
“Reinforcements? No way.”
The king cannot hide his disappointment at the words of Kehim, who smiles brightly with his hands outstretched. However, the man in military uniform, showing no interest in this attitude, declared in a loud voice.
“They are the army of God. They are invincible soldiers who embody the miracles of God, who fear nothing, are never frightened, never tired, and never disobey orders!”
The king let out a small sigh as Kehim continued to speak alone as if intoxicated by his own words.
“That invincible… soldier… defeated the Demon King…?”
“The news will come sooner or later. There is no need to be hasty. The treacherous will be sent to eternal purgatory and the pious to the presence of God. It is all a matter of course.”
“Report to His Majesty the King!”
Kehim nodded with satisfaction as the guards rushed in.
“Behold, O King of Saliant. Behold the results of the war brought by the soldiers of God. The empire is already blinded by greed and gain. It does not have the intelligence or the capacity to properly appreciate my achievements. What does it matter if the mounted puppet army has been crushed? Aren’t they upstart nobles of lowly barbarian or commoner origins?”
The king and his guards looked anxiously at Kehim, who was losing himself in excitement.
Although he usually acts as an intelligent, calm, and generous man, General Kehim, former Supreme Commander of the Empire’s armed forces, is becoming less and less stable with each passing day.
Was this from when he was ousted and denounced in his home country, from when he was nearly assassinated by his trusted subordinate and went into exile in the Kingdom, or from the very beginning?
No one knows anymore.
All that is known is that the time is near when the last thin thread will break.
“I- I would like to make a report.”
At the guard’s words, Kehim opened his hands and smiled theatrically.
“Fine. Let’s get this over with. You are reporting that you have completed the task of defeating the Demon King, are you not?”
“No, that’s the thing. …The Demon King has asked His Majesty the King and the General to surrender.”
With a shudder, Kehim’s cheeks twitched. His eyes widen, and madness glows in them. His lips quiver in an arc that resembles a smile, and frothy spit sprays out.
“Kill them, wrap them up, slaughter them all. The use of magical weapons is permitted. And the military messenger! Soldiers! Generals! All of them! Every last demon and barbarian who enters the Holy City! Turn them into pieces of meat!”
A sound like distant thunder rang out, and outside the window, which Kehim had turned away from, lit up.
From the captain’s seat of the second T-55 (the white one), the dwarf Caretta-ojiisan waves his hand.
The main gate of the royal capital had already been blown off by tank shells, and the tank’s crawlers trampled the wreckage. The soldiers who apparently tried to resist were instantly incapacitated by Myrril’s .45, and the rest lost their will to fight just by seeing the huge body pushing forward.
From behind, in the captain’s seat of T-55 No. 1 (green), Heimann-jiisan was issuing a notice to the new operator of the T-55, who was also driving awkwardly.
“What are you doing, Fallon? Follow the second T-55! We’re falling behind. You better step on it!”
It seems that a new driver had been selected because a veteran dwarf operator had suddenly taken over for the Tiran (a sand-beige armored personnel carrier type), a converted T-55 named for convenience as tank No. 3.
The young man is also a dwarf, and the crew members of all three vehicles are related to each other, including distant relatives.
I wonder if they have similar interests.
Incidentally, the machine gunner in the shield installed in the turret of the No. 3 tank is Minya the elf.
So I’m just standing here as a decoration this time. Myrril is standing next to me with her UZI as my escort.
“Triumphant return to the capital, isn’t it?”
“Ah. We’ve become a surprisingly large group, though.”
When we left, we had planned to return to the royal capital on our own, but Minya easily discovered our plan to visit the royal capital, and in no time at all, we had become a large group of 12 people.
Since we were going to meet the enemy’s leader, we had no choice but to show off our best forces, and I was forced to take out the T-55s early on. Since we could not drive tanks the 3,000 km from Casemaian, we took the school bus “Torajima-go” for the round trip. Yadar, the tiger girl who served as the driver, is a loader of the general-purpose machine gun, MAG, which also serves as the escort for the third tank, Tiran, after the switch to a tank.
“We are in the “Holy City” now. Whoever it is, they’re just talking nonsense. There is not the slightest bit of sanctity in this cold city.”
In fact, the impression was quite different from what I had heard. Yes, there were magical lights burning, but the streets were deserted.
As previously arranged, three tanks stop at the central square of the Royal Capital: the second tank faces left toward the Parliament of the Nobility, the first tank faces right toward the headquarters of the National Army, and the third tank, Tiran, has its body facing the Royal Castle in front of it.
Some people show up to see what is going on, but no one approaches, either because they are aware of the threat of the tanks or because they are taken in by the atmosphere of the unusual situation.
“The threat is eliminated. Do not touch them.”
Myrril-san handed me the binoculars and pointed to the royal castle a few hundred meters away. On the terrace on the upper floor of the castle, I saw a man standing there—a thin man wearing a black military uniform.
“That must be the general of the empire.”
“Hey, hey, isn’t the royal castle a place where the king and royal family live? Bringing in a general from an invading country for a non-ceremonial occasion is a sign of collusion, isn’t it?”
“Either the king trusts him that much, or he is taken lightly. In all probability, it is the latter.”
We knew we were wrong on both counts when we saw what slithered up behind the general.
“What… is that?”