Thus, Orkubo’s Castle: Spring Campaign proceeded with great success.
The spectators were in breathless suspense as they watched the participants desperately attempt the numerous obstacles.
Those who were eliminated were served pork miso soup as a consolation prize while everyone else reached the goal harmoniously.
In the end, only twenty-three people were able to reach the keep.
Considering the total 3,000 participants, I’d say that these 23 people were quite the fighter.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them.
I was eliminated at the second obstacle after a boulder crushed me.
Isn’t it unfair that a giant rolling boulder suddenly changes its trajectory and comes at you when there’s supposed to be nothing there?
Oh well, let’s leave my complaints aside.
Meanwhile, Dalkish reached the keep again, preserving his honor as a feudal lord.
The spectators applauded those who made it to the top.
But something happened just before we could lower the curtains…
The award ceremony had ended, and all that was left was to do the closing ceremony when suddenly a group of armored soldiers came barging in.
“W-What’s going on?!”
Even Dalkish is shaken by this unexpected situation.
Does this mean that these soldiers aren’t from his army?
Their dark skin can be seen through the gaps in their helmets, indicating that they’re demon soldiers.
“Demon soldiers? From the occupation office?”
“Everyone, freeze. We’ve got this place under control,” says one of the soldiers.
His face resembles a rat’s sly face.
“This gathering is suspected to be in preparation for rebellion against us. Therefore, we will be keeping this under strict control.”
“Nonsense!!!” says Varlina as she steps forward. “I’m sure I’ve notified the occupation office that this event is for recreational purposes only. We even got permission for it!”
“Even if you’ve talked to the higher-ups, we soldiers are still in charge of supervising the situation. None of us want to get scolded later for leaving a potentially threatening gathering unattended.”
The soldiers around him smirk in agreement with his far-fetched argument.
They must be his accomplices.
Those I have met so far at the Demon King’s Army have all been people of high rank and dignity, but there are always exceptions as expected.
The further down the ranking you go, the harder it is for the higher-ups to keep an eye on, and the more liberal they become.
“Everything related to this gathering will be confiscated, including the entry fees, the proceeds from the sales, and the articles prepared as prizes. This castle too.”
…So, their goal is to snatch all the profits from this event by calling it an illegal gathering?
“Enough! You may be demon soldiers, but you’re a small force of only a few dozen. Do you think you can compete with my territory’s forces in a fair fight?”
“You’ll all be labeled as rebels then, you know? You do remember you’re trying to attack soldiers from the Demon King’s Army. That’s quite a hostile act in itself already!”
What a sly person.
No matter how dirty a scoundrel he is, the power relationship between their two nations is different.
The occupied human race cannot show any pretense of defiance, no matter how trifling it may be.
And he exploited this handicap…
“In a month, the main force of the Demon King’s Army will arrive, and this small territory will be cleared in a flash. If you don’t want that to happen, why don’t you share a portion with us, hm?”
“You’re a disgrace to the demon race!” Varlina, now wife of the feudal lord, snaps. “The demons in the occupation office are working hard to achieve harmony with the human race, but cursed rascals like you are trying to spoil it! You’re committing treachery against the Demon King and the entire Demon Kingdom!”
“Ha! Demon King, my ass! Only retards would follow someone so incompetent!!!”
He could get his head chopped off with those words of his.
Can’t he even notice that Varlina is also a demon from her complexion?
If she uses her former position as supervisor, she could easily notify the upper echelons of the occupation office.
No, even if we go down that path, we have to get through this somehow.
We have to yield for now to keep the soldiers from making a scene.
Giving in to their demands and offering them prizes or money would be frustrating, though.
“There’s no way the Demon King can keep an eye on this dumb territory in the middle of nowhere! Not even the bigshots at the occupation office give a damn about petty soldiers like us!”
At this point, I could have instructed my farm allies around me to rout the enemy.
But I didn’t, because the person who’s most suited to punish these people has already made his move.
“What’s wrong with a demon oppressing a human? You lost to us! Those who don’t understand such a simple thing and are working their asses off are idiots! Demon King is also an idiot! So, we’re going to get the juicy parts for ourselves!”
“The Demon King can’t keep an eye on things and is a fool, you say?”
The soldier’s head was forcefully grabbed from behind and turned 180 degrees.
Its force was enough to twist his neck.
“Huh?! Who was that?! Who are you to defy the soldiers of the Demon King’s Army? I’ll have you thrown in jail… Ah!”
“Try arresting me, if you can,” says Demon King Zedan, making his appearance.
He’s wearing a participation award badge (with one star as proof that he had reached the first obstacle) on his chest.
“…Y-Your Majesty?! W-What brings you here?!”
“It seems that even a low-ranking soldier like you hasn’t forgotten what I look like. If so, you should’ve also remembered the horror of defying me as well!”
The demon soldier, grabbed from the top of his head by the Demon King, has his soles off the ground.
We can hear the sound of his skull cracking.
“You thought the former Human Kingdom is too far for me to keep an eye on? How preposterous. What you’re doing is an atrocity, oppressing the humans and insulting the demons!”
“Your Majesty! You’ve got it all wrong! This is a misunderstanding!”
“You’ve committed a crime and have gone against your ruler! What else could it be?!”
Demon King Zedan then slams the soldier’s head onto the ground.
His head sinks into the earth, and his body twitches.
“You soldiers are just as guilty as him! Don’t think you can lay all the blame on this one fool! I will investigate each of you and punish you accordingly!!!”
The other soldiers drop their weapons one by one and collapse feebly.
“And I just bothered Prince Arowana not too long ago… This long-established system has brought about inevitable corruption. With the end of the Human-Demon War, this has come to the surface as the victors’ arrogance!”
The demon soldiers were restrained by Dalkish’s men and were tied up in a row.
Demon King apologizes to Dalkish, not a trace of a ruler’s arrogance seen.
“I’m going to take these people to the occupying office and scold the viceroy for his laxity in allowing his subordinates to commit this shameful act.”
The viceroy who manages the occupying office is appointed directly by the demon king and is said to be one of his confidants. Still, I can only imagine him being terribly scolded for this…
“I will spare you the trouble of dealing with them and watch their behavior for a while longer. I never intend to become a wicked ruler who oppresses the human race.”
But Dalkish is still shocked by the Demon King’s sudden appearance and suspects that there’s some confusion.
The demoness is tense from hearing her name called by their ruler.
“I’ve heard from Astres that you’ve become intimately related to the feudal lord during your post here as his supervisor.”
“I-I’m afraid so, Your Majesty… But it’s not out of lust or anything of the sort!”
“You as a married couple will serve as a model to bring harmony between our two races. I want you to keep cooperating and focus on enriching your territory.”
“Y-Yes, Your Majesty!”
I’m just glad they got the approval for it and that they didn’t do it in the name of injustice or greed.
“…I never thought I’d witness such disgraceful behavior from demons at a place where I came to enjoy. I suppose I can’t take it easy just yet.”
Saying that, Demon King Zedan leaves the scene with the criminals in tow.
He’ll probably go to the occupation office to purge evil first.
Thus, the first Orkubo’s Castle: Spring Campaign was concluded with the abrupt plot twist of the Demon King’s appearance.
And so, various things related to the orc’s castle came to a temporary end.
The event had an unexpectedly positive effect, as many people witnessed firsthand the demon king denouncing and punishing the corrupt demon soldiers, who were more terrifying than tigers to them.
The fact that the Demon King doesn’t tolerate injustice and is an ally of the weak, regardless of race, has spread around the world.
This will surely ease the displeasure of the ruled people, and the world will move towards peace.
I can’t believe the entire world is changing for the better over a castle built by the orcs…
What’s with the grand scale of things here?
Aaanyway, the profits from the event greatly enriched Dalkish and Varlina’s territory, and the village at the foot of the mountain was successfully revitalized and flourished.
It would be great if this event could spark motivation in the people throughout the former Human Kingdom and make it prosper more as a nation.
Incidentally, I was told by the locals that they would like the event to be hosted again, so I think we’ll do the next Spring Campaign around the same time next year.
I’ll make it to the keep then!
First, I’ll aim to clear the second obstacle!!!