C281: Friendship Plan

We need to get Ritheseus and Eryngear to get along better.
Though only one of them hates the other.

Eryngear’s a prideful demoness.
She never doubts that her race is the best. That’s why she can’t forgive Ritheseus, who’s like the personification of genius to her.

The situation’s still pretty stable right now, but her hatred will eventually reach a critical point and explode.
If that happens, this project to train the youth from the three main races will surely fail.
We need to do something somehow…

“What to do…”

I ask my wife, Platy, who’s close by.
She’s also worried about the tension between the two of them and shares her idea with me.

“Why don’t you make them participate in a match?”

The shounen trope of two people becoming buddies after a one-on-one fight?
Platy’s muscle-brain side sure shows itself from time to time.

“But they already did that on the first day…”
“Yeah…”

And they still haven’t gotten along at all.

“How about we make them fight not as enemies but as allies?”
“As allies?”

The Buddy Law. Giving them the same hardship and having them work together to overcome it. That way, friendship will blossom between them.
It might be worth a try.

“Let’s do that! So, what kind of mission should we give them?”
“How about throwing them into a dungeon? Seems pretty appropriate to me.”
“We could just make them get out of it like normal or set some kind of quest. The more difficult it is, the deeper their bond will be!”

Those are my personal thoughts.

“Alrighty, let’s throw the two of them into a dungeon right away! Will it be Sensei’s or Veil’s dungeon?”

We need to find them first.
I wonder where they are?

Just as I was about to start looking for them, I heard a scream.
An ear-piercing maiden scream.

“H-Huh? What’s going on?!”

I rush toward the direction of the scream and find Ritheseus and Eryngear. Together.

What are they doing?
Has Eryngear already put into action her plan to obliterate Ritheseus?!

…or so I thought.
Eryngear is on top of Ritheseus, who was knocked down…

And steals a kiss.

“Mmmmmbphhhh!!!” distressingly groans Ritheseus.

When their lips part…

“L-Lord Saint! He… Help me! Mmbph!”

He got kissed again.
Is he the one who screamed like a maiden earlier?!

“Mmmmmmmmmmmmbh! Mmmmmmmmmmbh!!!”

Er, even if you groan for help like that…
Okay, so, Ritheseus is being assaulted by Eryngear.
I had always feared this possibility, but what’s actually happening is slightly different from what I anticipated.

I wasn’t expecting it to be a sexual form of assault.
Moreover, isn’t the victim and the assaulter the opposite of the standard?

A girl is attacking a boy.
Hmm, I guess that’s not particularly strange nowadays…
…Anyway, I can’t leave this situation be.

“…Hey.”
“Mwah! ♡ Mm ♡ Smooooooooch ♡♡♡”
“Hey! Eryngear!!!”
“Huh?!”

After calling out to her loudly, Eryngear finally got herself together.
She was in a different world until earlier.

“Huh? What? Lord Saint?! Why are you here?!”
“That’s my line!”

What are you doing in broad daylight? You’re corrupting this farm’s public morals!

“You’ve got it all wrong, Lord Saint! I was attacking Ritheseus!”
“What difference does it make?”
“No, it was meant to take this cheeky human’s life away! That’s what I meant when I attacked him!”

You’re just making it worse.

“And why are you so peachy?”
“You’re really asking that to a young lady? You’re so shameless, Lord Saint!”

Huh? That makes no sense.

“A-Anyway, you!”
“Yes?!”

Eryngear directs her vague passions at Ritheseus once again.

“Surely, you’re willing to take responsibility for humiliating me, right?!”
“If anything, I feel like I’ve been humiliated!”
“The trivial stuff doesn’t matter!!!”

I’ve never seen such irrationality be overlooked in my entire life.

“Now that it’s come to this, you’ll have to marry me in the future! …Then, I’ll rein the human race’s heroes!!!”

And so…
Before I knew what was going on, Ritheseus and Eryngear started dating.


“Do you love me, darling?”
“U-Um…”
“Do you?”
“Yes, I love you…!”
“I love you too.”

Then, they started flirting with no regard for their surroundings.
As expected, many of the people around them were taken aback by the bizarre scene.

“That demoness… D-Didn’t she hate Ritheseus to his very core?!”
“You’re too naïve. That’s what people call a tsundere.”
“That?!”
“But to be able to boldly flip her tsun side to a dere one… She’s not to be messed with!”

Even their classmates gasped.
Eryngear’s explanation? This:

“You’re all so naïve. Can’t you see that this is a cleverly timed move on my part?”

And which part exactly?

“Ritheseus is the greatest hero of the human race. You should be impressed by my determination to use a woman’s charm to win him over. This way, Ritheseus won’t be able to act hostile toward the demon race because he loves me, and my value will also increase in the army for having a hero as a husband.”
“Husband?!”

Ritheseus was dumbfounded by how fast things escalated.
He’s trapped.

“Hey, darling, how many children do you want?”
“Isn’t it a bit early to be asking that?”
“I want to have about 20.”
“That’s a lot!”

Hrm… Well, Ritheseus is pretty darn brilliant and wise, so having a troublesome wife like Eryngear should balance things out in his life.
But just as I was thinking that, he kissed Eryngear.

“All right! Let’s make twenty and be the happiest family in the world!”
“Ahn, you’re so dreamy, dear!”

He gives in to reality.
By enjoying the current situation to the fullest, he has won the game of life.
Truly a brilliant decision by the witty Ritheseus.

And so, a sweet and soppy couple was born.
The plan to throw them in the dungeon to increase their bond just before this event was, of course, abandoned.

One of the purposes of this project was to deepen the bond between the various races, anyway. But while the birth of the couple fulfilled that purpose, it has gone beyond my expectations.

Is this what youth is like nowadays?

They sure are full of energy…


if you want to know what eryngear looks like, this is her on one of the colored front illustrations of volume 8 (so its not really a spoiler): https://snipboard.io/vbTmpo.jpg
very tsundere.

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C280: The Ancient Hero

Sensei is fond of teaching people.
He even gleefully taught the Demon King and me before.

That’s why this situation is truly a delightful one for him.
Many talented teens are seeking his knowledge, after all.
It must be heaven.
Whether heaven is a desirable place for the undead is another matter, though.

“Don’t think about anything and just react to what you feel. It’s like closing your eyes and honing your other senses. Similarly, detach yourself from your primary senses and be conscious of something else: your sixth sense…”

Just by following Sensei’s advice, the kids who were terrible at magic quickly mastered it.
He’s so good at teaching people.

“In the past, many people thought that only members of the Order could use the humans’ thaumaturgy. But this is not true. The Order just keeps its methodologies to itself. I’ll show you how to use it.”

He’s…

“Thaumaturgy is seen as black magic for it depletes natural mana, but it’s all in how you use it. Any power can turn good or bad depending on its user. If cast with the right discernment, the celestial deities’ magic can be a protection against irrationalities.”

He’s almost a little too good at teaching, no?
I feel like his pupils can become world-class just by learning from him.

“I just have so much fun teaching, so I tend to go overboard.”
“Don’t go overboard, please.”

After class was over, Sensei came to me.

“I haven’t felt this alive in hundreds of years… Ever since you came, my days have become much more vibrant, Lord Saint.”

Before I started my farm here, Sensei spent all his time alone in the depths of his gloomy dungeon for hundreds of years.
It’s not easy to endure such mind-numbing loneliness, even for an undead.

“What monochromatic days those were, now that I think about it. It’s incomparable to now when every day is changing bewilderingly,” happily says Sensei.

Well, our primary focus is not on him but on the teens he’s teaching, though.
We started this study program with the hope that they’d become the future leaders of their nation, but with Sensei’s efforts, we’re raising even more outstanding students than anticipated.
However, there’s one student who takes the cake.

“Look, Sensei! I’ve mastered the new spell!”

It’s Ritheseus.
He’s already mastered the spell Sensei just taught him.

“…Doesn’t he seem a little too gifted for you, Sensei?” I ask.
“Indeed.”

With his talent, it’s almost hard to believe that he was just a feudal lord’s chamberlain before he came here.

He won the match against Eryngear on Day 1, and his quick wit in everything he does makes you wonder if he’s the protagonist of this story.
Alas, he was born in an ordinary rural village, so he doesn’t seem to have any prestigious lineage.
Maybe he’s a genuine prodigy mutant?

“…He’s probably a hero,” says Sensei.
“Hero?”

Aren’t heroes here people summoned from another world?
In that sense, I’m a hero, too.


Or maybe…

“Or maybe he has a dramatic backstory, summoned when he was a baby and grew up having no recollection of it?!”
“No, not that.”

No?

“I don’t know where to start… But this world used to have a different kind of hero thousands of years ago.”
“A different kind?”

Different from those summoned from other worlds?

“Long ago, the gods descended to the mortal realm as they pleased and made love to the opposite sex. Their children then became half-human, half-god.”

What’s this out of the blue?
Oh, but why do I feel like I’ve heard this story before?

“They were called demigods, who naturally had powers beyond human comprehension and thus were considered heroes. Still, the gods’ affairs never stopped, and the number of demigods grew to the point where they were all over the place.”

Deities really are scum.

“In the end, all the demigods were welcomed into the realm of their divine parent as they could upset the balance of the world. Since then, it was agreed that the gods should not casually descend to the mortal realm and mingle with them.”
“Why are you talking about this now?”
“Just stay with me for a little more… You know those demigods grow up, get married, and have children? The first generation of demigods may have left for the divine realm. Still, their grandchild or great-grandchild born from other demigods remained on earth without being qualified to be welcomed into their realm because they’ve more or less lost their divinity.”

Huh!

“However, if they have even a small amount of divine blood mixed in, they’re still far more powerful than an ordinary person. Such beings blossomed their talents and became remarkable people on the battlefield. And such people were called… ‘heroes.’”
“So a hero’s definition is different now than in the past?”
“Indeed. Though, the inherited divine blood weakened with each passing generation until it ultimately vanished.”

Thus, they resorted to summoning heroes from another world instead?

“The heroes summoned from other worlds acted as a substitute for those who inherited the divine bloodline. Hence, they’re both called heroes. But to distinguish between the two, maybe we should call the first-ever heroes as ancient heroes.”

Ancient heroes…

“And Ritheseus is an ancient hero.”
“Huh?!”

That’s what this leads to?!
But wait a minute. To summarize Sensei’s story, ancient heroes are extinct, right?
Shouldn’t the divine bloodline that makes heroes, heroes have weakened over time till it’s nothing?!

Atavism is what makes this possible. Ritheseus must’ve gotten his exceptional talent through this modification.”
“But what makes you so sure?”
“Do you not feel the hint of solemnity that emanates from him, Lord Saint?”

Hmm?
Come to think of it, Ritheseus does emit a kind of aura.
But I feel like I’ve felt this before…
…Deja vu?

“Saint, I’d like to brew another kind of alcohol. It’s called Spirytus…” approaches Bacchus, the demigod.

It’s him!
It struck me as somewhat familiar because it was similar to this guy’s aura.
Oh yeah, the first time I heard about demigods was when he showed up.

“The fact that he emits an aura similar to the demigod Bacchus is proof that he is an atavistic ancient hero.”
“Hmm?”

Bacchus, who joined the conversation halfway without knowing the full context, briskly walks up to Ritheseus and asks, “You a relative?”
“P-Pardon?!”

I’m not surprised he reacted like that if he’s called a relative by someone who has one foot deep in the myths.

“Of all my students, Ritheseus is particularly promising. We must educate and guide him well…”

It’s scary because he’s already gifted enough to decide this world’s fate.
Ritheseus, can you be the standard-bearer of the new era?

“Unacceptable!!!”

Ahhh!
What the heck?

There’s a pouting demoness behind us!
It’s Eryngear!
Were you listening?!

“I… To think that he’s a being above us… Our demon supremacy will crumble! No… If we mess up, it could even spark a rebellion!”

To her, who can never let go of her demon pride, Ritheseus’ existence is inexcusable.

“If I don’t get rid of him… the demon race’s future will be bleak! I will make way for our race’s glory with my own hands!!!”

I can tell this is going to be a bother in ways more than one.

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C279: The World’s Most Wanted Class

Thus, both the demon and human teens came to live together at our farm.

They’re the elite candidates who will shoulder their nation in the future, so it’s ideal for them to interact here and build up their personal network.
However, in addition to the humans and demons, another race is also present on our farm—the mermaids.
These promising students gather at Mermaid Witch Academia Farm Branch School.

Teens from the three major races—the humans, demons, and mermaids—are all here, making it all the more amazing!
Look, they’re already interacting with one another.

“I think our mermaid royalty is much more awesome than your Demon King~”
“I dare you to say that again!”

Aaand a fight immediately breaks out.
An unfamiliar young mermaid and demon are arguing.

“I mean, Prince Arowana was pinned down by a dragon and an angel and still managed to survive. Think your Demon King can beat that?”

Oh yeah, I did hear something like that happen.
A group of mermaid students once went to visit Prince Arowana, who was in the middle of his pilgrimage, for a social field trip.
They said Prince Arowana had a brawl with an angel and a dragon. But how did things escalate to that?
Actually, how did he even survive?

“Don’t underestimate our king! He can also do whatever your merprince can!”
“Huh?”

Should I consider this timing to be good or bad? Because the Demon King happens to be right beside me.
Drinking tea instead of leaving quickly, even though he had finished his business, backfired on him.

“Your Majesty! You can kill dragons and angels in an instant, right?!”
“U-Uh…”

She approaches the Demon King like a child filled with dreams.
She looks the youngest of the demons who had come to study here, with eyes of pure, untainted intent looking at him.

“Y-Yeah!”

If he responds with, “Don’t be silly, dragons and angels will kill me first before I do,” it’s practically the same as telling her Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

“Oh, what’s this, a fight?”
“Did someone say natto?”

And without even calling for them, the dragon and angel appeared.
Nothing else is missing.

“V-Very well! I’ll show you that the demon king is the strongest!”

The Demon King, amid his own paternity after the birth of his children, could not betray this child’s expectations.
As a result, Horkosfon, who read the mood, hits Veil from behind and knocks her out while pretending to be hit herself. Everything worked out somehow in the end.

This kind of exchange goes on.


“But what exactly should I make them study?”

I just had to think about this now when we’re in the situation already.
Gathering the best teens from each race was a good start, but I don’t know how to proceed from there.

We initially invited the young, arrogant demons to show them that there’s another realm beyond what they know.
That goal has already been met, thanks to Veil and Horkosfon.

“What should we teach them next?”

Besides, when you say farm, it’s primarily just working in the fields or hunting.
I think those who will be the nation’s pillars need to learn something more appropriate.

“What should I do…”

I cross my arms and think…
The conclusion I came up with was…


“Ding-dong… Dang-dong…”

I imitate the sound of a school bell since we don’t have one.

“Let’s begin today’s lesson,” says Sensei.

In front of him sit the human, demon, and mermaid students at their desks.

When I said ‘Sensei,’ I meant our one and only Sensei, the Lifeless King.

He’s the king of the dead and the strongest undead.
The one who is feared as one of The World’s Two Greatest Calamities is standing on a podium.

“Starting today, I’m going to be teaching you. Lord Saint and the others refer to me by ‘Sensei,’ and you are free to do the same. I don’t remember my real name. It has been ages since I used to be a living being…”

Chatter, chatter, chatter…
How awfully noisy.
It’s from the students’ chattering teeth in fear of Sensei’s miasma.

“…Hmm, they’re all on the verge of going insane with fear. I don’t think we can continue the class like this.”

I suddenly thought of a good idea.
If there’s one candidate who’s best at teaching people, it’s Sensei.

He’s an undead who has lived for thousands of years, so he’s like a walking encyclopedia.
And as the king of the dead, he’s a magic expert. Not only does he know the magic of the human race, which is where he once belonged, but he also knows the magic of other races.
There is no more worthwhile lesson to be had from the wisest man, the Lifeless King, than this!

…and so, I set things up.

“To think they were at their limits just trying to keep themselves sane in front of Sensei…”

We farm residents didn’t think it’d pose a problem because we were already so used to being around Sensei.
If anything, his gentle, grandpa-like vibe relaxes us.

“You’re not considering the general people’s impressions. Then again, you’re also not aware of how high people think of you, Dear,” reproachfully says Platy, now with a big baby belly. “Lifeless Kings are essentially the highest form of undead. The concentration of miasma they innately emit is on an entirely different level. Most adventurers would suffer psychological damage just from making contact with them!”
“But our residents seem fine, though?”
“They’re a different case!”

So not considering the difference in level between us and the general public is what’s causing problems?

“But wait. Didn’t the first group of mermaid students have his lesson too?”
“A lot of people fainted that time too!”

Really?
I didn’t notice!
I thought they were listening to his lecture like good students!

“Don’t worry about it, Lord Saint.”

Sensei steps down the podium.

“You can’t blame the children. I understand that I’ve lost all ties with the living world the moment I obtained this undead body.”
“Sensei…”
“Everyone here is just so warm and kind that I seem to have forgotten that reality…”

Sensei looks sad.

Oh.
Please wait a minute, Sensei…

“Please wait a minute, Sensei!!!”

Before I could say it out loud, someone else spoke up.

“We’re fine! Please continue your class!”

It’s Ritheseus again.

“I’m sorry! We were just caught by surprise! But we’ll get used to it soon! We’ll think of this as part of our studies!”

Nah, I think you’re one of the better students here because you can talk coherently while being exposed to Sensei’s miasma.
The other kids are still chattering their teeth and can’t utter a single word.

“You know a lot, right? We really want to take your class! So please don’t give up, Sensei!”
“O-Ohh…!”

Sensei is shaking a little. Is he perhaps moved by Ritheseus’ words?

Meanwhile, the other students, who were still paralyzed with fear, silently pressured him not to say anything anymore.


Then a few days later…

“Sensei! Good morning!”
“I look forward to our class today, Sensei!”
“I’ve done my homework, Sensei!”

They all got used to it.
It was relatively quick, but I guess it’s only natural since they’re gifted individuals, to begin with.
Well… Platy did help them with her potions and such.

“O-Oh! You’ve done well, everyone!” emotionally says Sensei.

He must be thrilled that they’re willing to take his class.

“Now, now. To respond to your enthusiasm, I’ll give you the best lesson you’ve ever had and teach you an extraordinary dark spell that I came up with today…”

Okay, please stop.

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C278: A Unique Combat

Thus, the election of the representative of the human race and the demon race studying at the farm has begun.

It’s a contest to decide which race is superior.
It’s nonsensical.
It’s nonsensical, but… I guess it’s the youth’s privilege to involve themselves with nonsensical things more than anything else.

They’re here to be educated as the next generation of youths.
It’s only natural that there would be unprecedented racial troubles.
Those are just bound to happen when you’re young.


I make it sound like this farm only ever has old geezers and hags!
Those in their twenties are still considered young!
Those in their thirties? Barely!

“You lowly humans! I’m going to make you realize your social worth!”

The demon’s representative is Eryngear, as always.
An uncompromising, energetic, and elitist warrior.

The other elitist demons already had their confidence dampened when they saw the transcendent battle between Veil and Horkosfon, though.
Only one of them remains persistent.
On the other hand, the human representative is…

“…Why me?” asks Ritheseus.

It’s probably because he showed his wit in our earlier exchange.
He caught his peer’s attention and was nominated because of that.

Eryngear vs. Ritheseus.

The battle for the pride of each race begins!


“I don’t want to fight!” complains Ritheseus, on the verge of tears.

He has already lost heart.

“I was a mere chamberlain before I came here! I’ve never been in a fight before!”
“Don’t worry, I know you can do it,” I half-heartedly encourage him. “Your opponent is as inexperienced as you are. She may be part of the Demon King’s army, but she’s still a novice.”
“Hey! I heard that!” shouts a voice from the other side.

It’s Eryngear.

“Why the hell do you keep supporting them?! It’s not fair! Are you on the human’s side, after all?!”
“I think anyone would side with Ritheseus after seeing him, regardless of his race, if you ask me.”

The surrounding spectators nod their heads in agreement.

“Damn it! So, I’m going to be fighting alone and unassisted?!”
“Character and attitude make enemies, you know.”

Both sides hold something that resembles a sword—a bamboo sword.
I anticipated something like this to happen, so I made them out of the bamboo I got from the dungeon orchard in advance.

“You’ll be fighting with these bamboo swords.”

The battle would be over in a flash if they used real swords, so…
I’ll be their judge.

“Heh-he-he… I’ll make you realize our racial superiority. No matter what match we have, the demon race will never lose to the human race!” says Eryngear, licking her lips.

She’s like a cat going after her prey.
Ritheseus shakes like a cornered rat…
…or so I thought.

“…”
“…? What’s wrong?”
“You’re cute.”
“Excuse me?!”

Eryngear has the characteristically bewitching allure of a demoness appropriate to her age.
However…

“He suddenly started flirting with a girl on the battlefield?!”

Ritheseus’ popularity, which had been rising steadily until now, crashed in one go.

“T-That’s not it! I was just expressing my first impressions!”
“I hope you lose, Ritheseus! Die!”

His supporters have turned into his bashers.
A slip of the tongue is truly frightening.

Meanwhile, the person Ritheseus complimented turns beet-red and says, “How disgraceful! To be acting like this in a real battle! Humans are a stupid race, after all! I’m going to get rid of you here!!!”

The match hasn’t even started yet, but Eryngear begins to charge with her bamboo sword.

“I’ll slay youuuuuuuuu!!!”

Er, you can’t really slay people with a bamboo sword, no matter how hard you try.
Eryngear’s movements are very stereotypical as if she had learned them in training.

My judgment of her as an inexperienced rookie is correct.
However, it was the Demon King’s Army that had trained her.
The strongest army on earth has accumulated a lot of know-how in slaying people, and if someone were to learn it, they would be keener than someone used to fistfights.

This is too much to ask an amateur to deal with this.
The image of Ritheseus being beaten to a pulp is in everyone’s mind.

But!

“Huh?!”

Ritheseus intercepts Eryngear’s sword that came slashing downward.
He applies force from an unexpected direction, making Eryngear lose grip.

“H-Huh?!”

Even she’s surprised.
How unbelievable for a Demon King’s Army soldier to be agitated and full of openings during a battle.
As a result, she was unable to intercept Ritheseus’ incoming attack.

“We have a winner!” I declare, seeing that the tip of the bamboo sword stopped just in front of Eryngear’s throat.

Ritheseus probably did that out of consideration.

“Woaaaaaaaaaaaah! He won!”
“I can’t believe he won!”
“A totally unexpected result!!!”

The people around us are hyped up by the surprising result.

“No… I can’t believe I lost…”

Eryngear is shattered by the outcome.
She flimsily collapses, knees on the ground.

“No way, I won…”

And the person who won is the most surprised, bamboo sword still in his hand.

I walk up to him and say, “Good job, Ritheseus. But you used a pretty unfair strategy.”
“Huh?”

That’s right.
While you said that you’re a complete amateur who has never fought before, the way you intercepted Eryngear’s attack was precisely like a professional.

“You deliberately pretended to be an amateur to catch your opponent off guard, didn’t you?”

He doesn’t mind lying for the sake of winning.
Such dirty tricks give me shivers.
Could it be that he also called her cute just before the match to provoke her?

“That’s not true! I’m really an amateur! I’ve never held a sword in my life!”
“Huh?”
“My body moved on its own! How am I supposed to explain that?!”
“Huh?”
“Huh?!”

What’s going on?
Is he really an amateur? But he was able to move like a professional…

“Then what about when you called her cute?”
“Those were my true feelings.”
“Tsk.”

I unconsciously clicked my tongue.

Our farm’s project to educate the youth of all races has somehow started.
But it seems that we have an exceptionally talented person with us.

“Don’t get the wrong idea!” shouts Eryngear, teary-eyed. “Don’t think you’re superior just because you won one fight! That was just a coincidence! A fluke! I’m still going to prove to you that I’m better than you!!!”

What obvious excuses from someone unwilling to admit defeat.

Ritheseus, overflowing with extraordinary brilliance, and Eryngear, who reacts most predictably at everything.
This is probably going to follow another cliché pattern.

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C277: Ritheseus and Eryngear

Hey-o, it’s me, Kidan, the farm owner.

Today, the Demon King will bring young people from the Human Kingdom to study here, so I waited for them as I worked in the fields…
…and here they are, a crowd of people coming from our farm’s waypoint.

“Welcome, welcome! I own this farm. I hope you get to learn a lot of things here.”

I toss my hoe on the ground and welcome them myself as friendly as possible.
However, the human teens brought by the Demon King only respond with cautious stares, all quiet and meek.

“If you’re the owner of this place…”
“Does that mean you’re Lord Saint?!” ask two of them.
“Hm? I’m surprised you know.”
“Of course we do! You’re a huge rumor back in the Old Human Kingdom, Saint Kidan!”

Huh? Why?

“Because you’re powerful!”

It seems the people over there perceive me as some kind of omnipotent being or something.

Thanks to the commotion Veil caused on the battlefield and Bacchus spreading the word, my existence has become well-known.

“Some people believe that you can bring salvation to the Old Human Kingdom and help us drive back the Demon King’s Army!”
“Wha…”
“But the one who brought us to you today is the ruler of the demon race, the Demon King. What in the world is going on?”

Among the teens, a seemingly-clever boy took the initiative and asked me.
This is our first meeting, but he’s pretty darn assertive.
I suppose I should answer him with equal gusto.

“Because we’re friends. Righttt?”
“Right?”

The Demon King and I place our arms around each other’s shoulders.
Then, the teens start chattering amongst themselves.

“The Saint and the Demon King are friends?!”
“What’s with this friendly air about them?”
“The way they get along makes them look like they’re geezers. It’s a little painful to look at…”

Hey, who the hell was the last person?

“So, even if we appeal to you to get rid of the Demon King’s Army in the Old Human Kingdom…”
“It won’t happen,” I reply.

I can’t betray my friendship with the Demon King, plus it’s too much trouble.
I just want to farm here all my life.

“YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!”

Hearing my reply, the teens throw their hands in the air.
Why?

“Because we don’t want the system to be overturned now!”
“We don’t want to go back to the disorderly regime of the royal family and the Order!”
“It’s practically impossible trying to get it back. You’re our only hope, Saint Kidan!”
“But you’re a friend of the Demon King, so you won’t show opposition! That’s good news!”

Uh… Do you want to revive the Human Kingdom or not? Which one is it?
Oh, you don’t? Okay.

To summarize their claims…

  • The Human Kingdom was destroyed by the Demon Kingdom.
  • The Human Kingdom had an absurd regime, so they’re glad it was overthrown.
  • The demon occupying forces rule better than them.
  • So, they don’t want to revive the Human Kingdom.

However, there’s always a minority in any matter, and some still want to revive their nation. They can’t do it on their own, however, so they cling to their one and only hope for the last time—me, Saint Kidan.
I guess there are all sorts of humans too.

“If that’s the case, I think it’d be better to just say it bluntly so as not to give them false hope…”

For example, we can have Veil fly around in her dragon form and shout, “Saint Kidan will not cooperate with the Human Kingdom!”
That way, no one would be clinging to uncertain hope anymore.

“Please don’t!” pleads the same clever boy from earlier.
“Why?”
“It’s the former royal family and the Order who still want to revive the Human Kingdom, looking for you.”

Thought so.
Those who were once on the center stage of politics want to come back, don’t they?

“They are searching for you to regain their glory. But if they find out that what they’re doing is futile, they may behave rashly in who knows what way.”

I see.
The stubborn will seek other means if they find that relying on me is useless.
If it is an act of terrorism, it could harm the public’s peaceful life.

“They can’t find you, so them searching and wasting their time is for the majority’s sake. Please, don’t say anything!”
“Got it.”

He really is clever, from looks to his opinions.

“What’s your name?”
“Ritheseus, sir.”

Ritheseus, huh?
I’ll remember that.

“You’ve got a really bright kid with you, Demon King.”
“I’m as pleased as you, Lord Saint.”

Now, let’s stop going on a tangent and get back to the main point.

“You’ll be studying at my farm from now on!”
“Oh wow. We’ll really be studying here… But what will we study?”

Yeah, I’m still thinking about that.
Let’s start with the most basic.

“Let me introduce you to your other schoolmates.”


We went to where the young demons who had begun their studies before them.
Currently, they’re engaging themselves in farmwork.

“Hey, why do we demons have to do this labor?!”
“Because you have to provide your own food.”

And since we have even more people again, we have to harvest more accordingly.
The demons with arrogance issues straightened up when they found out that Veil, Orkubo, Gobukichi, and others were strong and scary.
It’s the perfect way to discipline kids like them.

I face both races and say, “I’d like to introduce you all to your friends who will be studying here with you from this day on. I hope you get along.”
“This isn’t funny!” snaps a demoness. “I didn’t think you’d actually bring in the humans! An inferior, defeated race!”

She’s not just mincing her words; she’s being outright rude.
The humans, who have accepted the demon’s rule, are stung by her controversial statement.

“Enough, Eryngear,” intervenes the Demon King. “I can’t entrust the army’s far future to someone with such biased insights.”
“But Your Majesty-!”
“The human race will be allies who will support the same nation together with us. I also believe it’s okay to select the new Heavenly Four from among them generations down the line.”
“No way…”

Nevertheless, the human group is rather astounded by his statement.
The Demon King is garnering respect for his bold and impartial judgment!

“Anything but that, Your Majesty! The Heavenly Four’s positions belong to the demons for eternity!”

The demoness flares up with malice and resentment.

“Well then, I’ll make the difference between us demons and humans clear!”

Oh, no.
Here we go again…

“This calls for a match! Humans, bring out your strongest challenger! I, Eryngear, will crush them in one go!!!”

When someone reaches a dead end, they ask for a match.
This, my friends, is the blandest and most overused pattern.

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C276: Ritheseus’ Adventure

It’s me again, Ritheseus of the human race.
I’ve been handed over to the demons like a sold calf.
What fate awaits me now?

I’ve been told that I won’t be sacrificed to their monster, but I might be used as a catalyst for their alchemy and have my life force wrung out of me.

“If so, my life was short…”

Well, I’m content with it if I can use my life for the sire who has taken good care of me.
It seems we must first gather at the occupation office, so I went there.
The occupation office is the former royal castle, located in what used to be the Human Kingdom’s capital.

“I never expected to go to the castle under such circumstances…”

When the Human Kingdom was still going strong, this would’ve been a place that lowly people would never have a chance to visit.
I guess life is full of surprises.
As I arrived at the designated room, I found several men and women around my age already gathered there. They’re probably the offered sacrifices, rather, human resources representing their territories, just like me.

“Walkina!”
“Is that you, Ritheseus? Long time no see!”

Seeing a familiar face, I rush over to Walkina’s side.
He’s the chamberlain of a neighboring territory’s feudal lord. We’ve seen each other multiple times during the territory conferences.

“Are you here for the same reason as I am?”

A substitute, that is.

“Yeah, our young lady was also of the right age, but we can’t just present her, can we? So I took her place.”

We both have it rough, huh?
As I look around, I notice a nobleman among the many other young servants gathered.

“He presented himself without asking for a substitute?”

That’s quite a courageous act.

“The second and third sons could’ve worked as his proxy, but his willingness to sacrifice himself to protect his people touches me. Leagues apart from your stupid young master,” says Walkina.
“Why bring that up? Aren’t you in the same situation as me?”
“Dumbass, I serve a young lady! A delicate woman!”

What with his unreasonable yet somewhat relatable logic?

Oh, well.
It’s a life that may be gone tomorrow anyway.
Let’s stop wasting our time thinking about useless things.


As we waited, it seemed all the sacrifices, rather, human resources, have gathered.

“I am Governor Malvastos of the Demon Occupation Prefectural Office,” says a distinguished demon, graceful from appearance to demeanor. “Now, behave yourselves.”

H-Huh?
What do you mean by that when someone as distinguished as you has already appeared?
…But I stand corrected.
An even more distinguished person has appeared.

“Demon King Zedan has arrived.”
“?!”

The viceroy steps aside, and the giant takes over.
It feels as if a wall closing in on us.
That’s how intimidating his presence is.

Is he the Demon King, the supreme commander of the demon race?!
In other words, he has the highest position out there!

“First of all, you’ve done well coming here. Surely, it must have been toilsome,” solemnly says the Demon King.

Why is he personally here to receive us?!
I’ve prepared myself to be unperturbed no matter what tragic events come my way, but this quickly surpassed my expectations!

“But Your Majesty, this isn’t a very impressing lineup,” says the viceroy beside him. “I can tell from their attires. I suspect most of the people sent here are their servants. I can understand that the aristocrats were unwilling to give us their children, so they sent substitutes.”

Crap, he already saw through us?

“It’s all good.”

But the Demon King remains tolerant.

“They must be wary of being sacrificed. Those present here have accepted such peril and strengthened their resolve to face death. Their face says it all.”
He adds, looking at us, “Not only are they brilliant, but they also have the determination to protect their homeland, even at the cost of their own lives. And to gather such people, the purpose of this call was intentionally kept vague. Thanks to this, we have a group of fresh and young people.”

Is that so?!
Have we fallen for the demons’ true motive all along?!
But what is he going to do now that he’s gathered us?!

“Let me tell you the reason why. The reason we gathered you here is…”
The Demon King continues, “You’ll be studying someplace else!”
“Huh?”
“We’re going to provide you elite education and make you form connections with various key figures in the Demon Kingdom. After you have cultivated a sufficient skillset, you will work for the benefit of both nations, hence the purpose of studying somewhere else.”

The hall is abuzz.
As expected, everyone can’t remain quiet.
The commotion could be heard in all directions.

“This is for neither one race’s sake. I want you to work for the prosperity of both races that have become one. Do you accept these terms?”

There’s no point in getting flustered here, so we accept.

“Then I’ll take you to your place of study right away. There, young demons of the same caliber as you have already started training. The purpose is to study with them and develop camaraderie.” The Demon King starts walking toward us, stops in the center of the crowd, and says, “Malvastos, I bid you farewell for now. We’ll talk again soon.”
“I, Malvastos, will devote my life to stabilizing the Human Kingdom, so please rest assured,” replies the viceroy, bowing his head reverently.

The next moment, the viceroy disappeared.
Wait, it’s not just him. The walls and ceiling of the royal castle also disappeared.

The next thing I know, the clear, blue sky is above us.

“We’re here,” says the Demon King.
“Huh?! No way! Already?!”

Not even a second has lapsed!

“Was that the demon’s teleportation magic?!” exclaims someone who seems to know something. “It’s a spell that allows you to move to a predetermined location instantly. But to carry this many people at once…It’s unheard of!”

Come to think of it, more than a dozen of the gathered people are all present.


…I guess the Demon King is incredible.

“This is the saint’s farm where you will be conducting your studies,” says the Demon King.
“Oh, so this is the saint’s farm…”

I can’t help but gasp at the familiar-sounding name.

“…Huh?! This is the saint’s farm?!”

The rumored place in the Human Kingdom?!

It is said that there’s a utopia somewhere in the world.
The saint who lives there has an ability that surpasses even gods, and if he so desired, he could rule the world. He doesn’t want to, though, so he doesn’t make himself publicly known.

Some faddists even believe that with the saint’s help, he can wipe out the demon race and revive the Human Kingdom.
These people have been searching for the saint’s farm with all their might, but to no avail.

Yet…
I’ve set foot into that very farm!

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C275: Athenae’s Sacrifice

My name is Ritheseus, an ordinary, seventeen-year-old human male born in an ordinary village to ordinary villager parents and the middle child of five ordinary siblings.
As we live in a rural village in the Human Kingdom, we are basically poor with no means to provide food.
I, the most ordinary person in the village, was sent to our feudal lord’s mansion as a live-in apprentice.

After some twists and turns, I was able to work in an extravagant place. The feudal lord was a kind man and took care of me.
This is the only place that differs from the ordinary.

I worked hard under his guidance and was promoted to his chamberlain.
But now, an unusual problem has come knocking at my doorstep.


One day, the feudal lord came home, his face white as a sheet.
I could tell at a glance that something was wrong.
I wonder what happened?

Today, he’s supposed to be at the demon occupation government as per their summon.
It’s been a year since we, the human race, lost the war against them.
The demons, however, have been so tolerant in their system that it’s hard to believe they were invaders. If anything, it’s more comfortable living now than it was when the human king and the Order were doing whatever they wanted.

Most of the human populace also welcomed the demons, and our feudal lords were allowed to rule their territories unchanged. Personally, I’m just happy that my respected sire was able to survive the political upheaval.
But today, something finally happened.

“R-Ritheseus! Water! Bring me some water…!”

He sat down on the sofa as soon as he returned.

He seems pretty haggard.
At any rate, I brought him water as he ordered.

“Please have a drink to calm your nerves, sire.”
“Pwah! …Another!”

I told him to calm down, but he drank it in one go and asked for more.
He must be really perturbed about something.
Whatever did the demons tell the typically docile feudal lord that made him this upset?

“…They finally bore their fangs.”
“Pardon, sire?”

After three glasses, sire finally regained his composure.
Still, he couldn’t stop profusely sweating all over, and he restlessly wiped his face.

“Those rascal demons! At first, they approached us like good guys, but it turns out they were hiding their fangs all along! They’re really trying to get rid of us!!!”
“Sire, calm down! What happened?”

As sire’s favorite chamberlain, I am allowed to serve beside him.
Apparently, I’m a great help to him because of my tactfulness.
Thus, it’s also my job to listen to his complaints and give him insight during his private time.
But this is the first time I’ve ever seen him so distraught.

“What did the government tell you, sire?”

From what I’ve seen of the demon’s occupation policies, I get the impression that they won’t ask anything absurd…

“They told me to present…”
“Present?”

Present what?

“People. They want us to present young, talented, and capable people!”
“? What are they going to do with those people, sire?”
“I don’t know! They just gave me an ambiguous answer when I asked! But their order is absolute, so!!!”

If we refuse, we don’t know what kind of retaliation we’ll get.
In fact, since the Demon King’s Army is the occupier of the Human Kingdom, they can take any form of reprisal if they want to.

“Human resources are the nation’s treasure! What will they do if they take that from us? Will they become a sacrifice, or perhaps feed them to the vicious monsters that they keep?! “

Please calm down, sire.

While we’ve heard of demons controlling monsters, there are only a few of them. Moreover, they’re low-ranking anthropomorphs.
I don’t think such monsters would demand a sacrifice.

However, even if they won’t be eaten, they may be treated similarly to former enemies.
I don’t know what the demons’ aim is for wanting human resources…

“The presented people will probably have to be prepared for uncommon circumstances.”

And as the loser of the war, we have no right to decline.

“…Exactly. No matter how much we struggle, we have to obey at the end of the day and give what is demanded. That is, young, promising people with power, wisdom, and brilliance…” he mutters anxiously. “Ritheseus, boy! There is only one such young person in my territory!”

I see.
I understand the sire’s concern now.

“It’s my one and only son, Saldacase!”

Sire is a kind-hearted man and a sensible politician. However, one thing makes him lose his rationality—his one and only son, Saldacase.
His son was born when he was already quite old, so for that reason, he dotes on him very much.

“He’s got a good record, so he’s bound to catch the attention of the demons! If that happens, he’ll be sent to the distant Demon Kingdom! I may never see him again… Ahhhhhhhhh!!!”

Is this the main reason why he’s so upset?

He’s always been fond of children; that’s why he took good care of me when I was young, even if I was a servant. So, I can only imagine if it’s his own son.
After all that sire has done for me, now’s the time to return the favor…

“I’ll go, sire,” I spontaneously say. “The demons want young people, right? I’m seventeen years old, so I meet the requirements. Wit isn’t easy to tell from appearances, so we can deceive them.”
“But if you go, you may never return!”

Sire is even worried about me, which is why I feel like giving up my life for him.
A cheap life such as mine, a mere villager, can be found anywhere, anyway.


And then, I was to leave as the representative of my territory on the appointed day.
Apparently, the rule was that each territory was supposed to present its most brilliant young men as their representative.

My departure was greeted by a suitably large crowd.
Most of them seemed to be in mourning for me as if I was embarking on my journey to the other world…
But as for the minority who felt otherwise…

“Hey, Ritheseus. Aren’t you glad you could substitute for me?” asks Saldacase, sire’s son.

I think he’s a year older than me.

“You’ve always been a despicable twat, but I never thought you’d be useful to me like this! Quite the loyal act to be dying in place of your master. I commend you!”

Because of sire’s doting and pampering, he has grown up to be a completely spoiled brat.
Just thinking about him succeeding his father as the next feudal lord makes me worried sick, almost more than my own fate under the hands of the demons.

“My father told me that eventually, I would have to assign you as my associate, and honestly? I was disgusted. But with this, my life will be spared, and an eyesore like you will die. It seems Zeus has blessed my future!!!”

If he really becomes the next feudal lord, what will happen to this territory?
Even if I were to die in the land of the demons, I’m sure I’d still be haunted by that thought in my afterlife.

“Guys, I leave the rest to you…”
“Yeah. We’ll be sure to discipline sire’s son!”

I entrusted the rest to my fellow chamberlains and departed.
No, really, this could be my final farewell, but this is such a slovenly parting.

What kind of treatment will I get from the demons?

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C272: Farm Induction Course

Just when we sent Elzariel off, another visitor showed up soon after.
This time, however, I was a little relieved because it was a familiar face— Demon King Zedan.

“I’ve come to consult with you about something today, Lord Saint.”

His tone is as solemn as always.

“Why so formal?”

Aren’t we buddies? I’ve also been indebted to you in many ways, so please don’t hesitate to rely on me as well.

“Won’t you conduct an induction course?”
“An induction course?”
“I’d like some promising young men of the army to experience life at your farm.”

He’s saying odd things again.

I know what an induction course is.
It’s training to gain special skills or knowledge, right?
I think it makes sense for an army to have some kind of induction course, but why our farm?

“Even if we teach them about farming, it won’t be beneficial to their operation, right?”
“I disagree. This farm can teach other important things as well, essential for the army’s future. So, please!”

I can’t say turn down someone who wholeheartedly asks a favor from me.
Besides, the Demon King and I go a long way back, so I gladly accepted his offer.


Thus, our farm welcomes about ten young demons.
It seems that they’re all expected to shoulder the future of the Demon King’s army.
The moment they arrived…

“Show your respect to us demonsss!!!”
“…”

They started by acting cocky.

“We, the demon race! Are the world’s number oneeeeee!!!”
“We, who have defeated the human race! Are worthy of being the rulers of the earthhhhh!!!”
“Praise us! Bow down! And submit yourselves to usssss!!!”
“The Demon Kingdoooooom’s! Dominionnnnnn! Is the world’s beeeeeeeeeeest!!!”


What’s the meaning of this?
These young demons are so overbearing that I can’t tell whether they’re hoodlums or imperial guards.

“…Demon King, could you explain this to us?” I puzzledly ask.

He looks apologetic and embarrassed.

“…This is the prevailing problem within our army. No, rather than just our army, it’s spreading throughout the entire demon race!”

An illness gnawing the minds of the demons.
Its name is…
Insolence.

“We have ended our long war with the human race and won against them. While it is an auspicious occasion in itself, it has brought about an unexpected side effect.”

Some demons began to behave arrogantly, acting as if their race was the supreme ruler of the earth.

“Hey, youuu!!!”

One of the young demons lashes out at me.
Why?

“How dare you act over-familiar toward His Majesty! That man is the king of the demon race, now the best king in the world! It’s outrageous of you to think that you can talk to him on equal grounds when you’re not even a demon yourself!!!”

Ah.
He’s upset that the Demon King and I are talking like we’re friends.

“Where are your manners?! It baffles me that you have the guts to directly look His Majesty in the eye! Do you not realize how terrifying the world’s ruler i- Oogh!!!”

He fell silent.
Because the Demon King hit him and smashed his face into the ground.

“I am beyond embarrassed,” says the Demon King, shaking off the fist he used to wallop one of his men. “Our triumph is a matter of great congratulation, but it’s just sad to see them lose sight of themselves the moment they let it get to their head. No matter how many times I admonish them, they never seem to change.”

He hit and silenced one of them, but there are still many other young demons present here.
They shudder at the Demon King’s anger, but from the looks on their faces, none of them seem to have changed their minds.

“If we don’t do something, there’s no guarantee that these fools won’t cause trouble for the humans and mermaids one day. Hence, I want to eradicate this mental illness as quickly as possible!”

Which is why he brought them to our farm.
Got it.
We’ll do everything we can to live up to your expectations!


So, we’ll teach the young demons who came for an induction course through…

“A hit-and-cover rock-paper-scissors game!”

We’ll show them two people playing rock-paper-scissors. The winner attacks, while the loser defends.
Let the game begin!

“Hit and cover.”
“Rock-paper-scissors.”

Scissors : Paper.
The winner is decided.

“Heck yeah! Take this, dragon breath!”

Veil (dragon ver.), who played scissors, immediately breathes fire.
As a dragon, she has the scale and power to reduce an entire army to ashes.
Then…

“Mana field deployed. Threat shutout rate at 100%.”

Horkosfon, who played paper, produces a barrier-like field to safeguard herself.
She’s one of the Destruction Angels that once destroyed the world.

The only people on our farm who can stand up to Veil are she or Sensei.
Since we can’t just keep troubling Sensei, Horkosfon’s rate of pitching in is higher.

“Gahahaha! Good job deflecting my attack, bird woman!”
“Master’s every word is my command.”

One more time.

“Hit and cover.”
“Rock-paper-scissors!”

Rock : Rock.
A draw.

“One more time!!!”

Rock : Paper.
Horkosfon wins.

“Mana cannon barrage.”

Horkosfon mercilessly aims and fires her beam cannons toward Veil.
I could see from the sidelines that its destructive power could easily blow up a mountain or two.

Dragon Veil takes a direct hit.
But lo and behold, she doesn’t flinch in the slightest. Instead, she just dissipates the beam.

“Gahahaha! Your lame beams won’t work on my dragon magic-enhanced scales!”

Veil has been playing around with Horkosfon multiple times in the past, after all.
I wonder if she has acquired the defensive power to suppress Horkosfon’s mana cannon beams through their many mock battles.

“…Very well. I’ll give you a real shot of my mana cannon this time.”
“Say that only after you’ve won in rock-paper-scissors! I’ll win every round from now on!”
“Late plays are considered foul play, just so you know.”

Thus, the young demons witness a life-threatening rock-paper-scissors tournament between two of the strongest species unfold.

“I wonder if this made them realize things, even a little?”

Hopefully, watching Veil and Horkosfon’s frolicking will make them understand that there are many stronger beings out there and that they shouldn’t get carried away.


18 more chapters till kidan jr. i am terrible with countdowns.

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C273: Conceit

I am Eryngear of the most superior race in the world, the demons.
We have reached our peak by purging the human race and becoming the conqueror of the earth.

The mermaid race hides underwater, and the many other sub-races are just as insignificant.
But seriously? All of them should just bow to us and be dominated.

We demons are the strongest, the supreme rulers!
We look down on everyone and take everything as ours!
That is our standard from now on!

I, Eryngear, am still a young and inexperienced foot soldier of the Demon King’s Army, but I intend to be promoted and stand above all races in the future.
For that, I must cultivate my dignity as a conqueror by maintaining a high level of pride.

Oh!
You think so too, Syring, Yadurzak?
Since we are batchmates, we will be promoted around the same time. We’ll have supreme ruling power by the time we become members of the Heavenly Four.
We’ll turn all other races into slaves and rule over them!

You too, Ratel, Lokhongi, and Saza?

Hmm?
What are you talking about, Stark? Cooperation is important?
It’s okay if it’s among us, but there’s no need to go out of our way and do the same with other races. All they need is our domination.
You agree with him, Tecton and Zechst?
…I guess there are always oddballs like you.

Oh well, they’re only a minority.
They’ll be kicked out of the army, and the upper positions will be only for those who sympathize with me.

Hmph.
By doing so, we can realize an ideal world where we demons enslave all other races!
Now is the demons’ zenith!

Ohh, I can’t wait to get promoted!


After days of such exchanges, we were all summoned.

“The Demon King is afflicted by the trend of arrogance infecting the nation after we won the war.”

I turned pale at my superior’s words.
Isn’t that what I’ve been spreading around lately?

Is it over for us?
Are we going to be purged?
The people who kept spreading the same thing as I turned pale as well.

However, I also see Stark and the other weaklings’ faces, so maybe we won’t be purged.
Just a warning, they said?

“You’ll be taking an induction course.”

An induction course?

Our superior continues, “This is a direct order from the Demon King. You will go to a certain place to study, learn your place, and realize that we demons are just another race living in this world.”

I don’t really get it, but it all sounds pretty lame to me.
Isn’t it evident that we’ve become the superior race after winning the war?!
I take great pride in that fact!
A little scolding won’t change my mind!

I don’t know where they’re taking us for this induction course, but I’ll be there to show them what our race will be in the future and embody our age!

And the place where we arrived after teleporting…


…was a hell beyond imagination.

There’s a dragon, one of the World’s Two Greatest Calamities.

This is the first time I’ve seen one in person, but I could tell how strong she is from a glance.
I saw the way she breathed fire and thought just one hit could destroy the Demon Capital.
It was terrifying.

Many of my batchmates have already fainted.
The dragon’s aura was enough to rob them of their consciousness!

“What do you think? Isn’t this terrifying?” asks His Majesty. “You’ve been claiming that the demon race is the best, but do you think you can win against Lady Veil? You do realize she’s also one of the races living in this world, hm?”

No.
There’s no way we can beat a dragon.
The dragon alone was enough to make me feel faint, but something was even more shocking.

Someone is fighting on par with the dragon.
But what race is she from?
Her appearance is unlike any other sub-race I know.
Was there always a winged race?

What’s more, she’s completely blocking the dragon’s breath with some kind of barrier and shooting back with some type of powerful offensive magic!
On par!
They’re completely on par!

The only person who can fight a dragon on equal terms is a Lifeless King!

“Lady Horkosfon comes from a race of angels that were created by the celestial gods. It is said they have once destroyed the world,” explains the Demon King.

Ahhhh…
Hunh?!

“What do you think? Do you think the demons can win if they challenge either of two? If you think the answer is no, then you have no right to think that we are the best in the world, correct?”
“How are things going, Demon King?”
“Ahahaha! All of them are utterly stupefied, just as I had anticipated!”

There’s a human casually talking with the Demon King!
Huh? A human?
But I feel like there’s something different about him…
Anyway, he, a member of the defeated race, has got an awful lot of nerve making small talk with the Demon King!

Huh?
He’s the owner of this place?!
The dragon and the angel are this human’s followers?!

………………S-Sorry.

“But I think it’s better if we’re double sure; that’s why I thought of an idea.”
“Well, if it’s your idea, Lord Saint, it must be a good one.”

Wait!
We’ve already seen enough from the dragon and angel alone. What else is there?!

“The stage is all yours, Sensei.”
“Yup.”

Now, it’s a Lifeless King?!
The other Greatest Calamity?!

“Understandably, you’re surprised, but save it for what’s to come. I’ve asked Sensei to summon a certain someone.”

Huh? Who?
But I don’t think there’s anything more surprising than this!!!

“Would you kindly, Sensei?”
“Of course. Well then… Nya.”

As the Lifeless King swishes his wand around, accompanied by a random incantation, the dimension distorts, and miasma hangs in the air.
Is this perhaps summoning magic?!
The next thing I knew, a god had descended.

“This is Hades, God of the Underworld.”

Don’t introduce him so casually!
He’s the god we demons worship!

W-Wait, he summoned a god?!
Several expert demon summoners gathered together already have it rough just trying to summon a single elder spirit!
Won’t they give us a short break to tremble in fear from the Lifeless King first?!

“A few words, Your Mightiness…”
“Mm.”

That human guy is prompting the god!
What is with him, seriously?!

“Ehem, I has’t hath heard about thee. Thou art the cocky children thinking the demon race is the most wondrous in the world, art thee not?”

Why and how did he learn about that?

“As a god, I doth not approve of such behavior. All mortals who walk on the visage of this earth art brothers and sisters. Thee must not be establishing such hierarchy thoughtlessly.”

And then we’re being personally warned by the god himself!

How are we supposed to process all this information?!


please overlook my terrible naming skills. I have no clue whether or not the author was trying to reference something when he thought them up either.

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C274: The Farm’s Next Generation Development Plan

Hey, it’s me again.
Today, we’ve invited young demons to our farm for a training session.

First, they watched a mock battle between Veil and Horkofoson to get a feel of the world’s strongest classes. Next, they were personally warned by Hades, the god of the demon race.
I’m sure this will make any demon change their mind.

“What terrible behavior!” exclaims Platy(whose baby belly is starting to become prominent), shuddering as she watches from the side.
“Platy, we’d better get the food ready.”
“Oh, yeah.”

We can’t just call a god and make him leave without treating him to something.

“Thank you for going out of your way to come here, Your Mightiness. May you enjoy your bamboo shoot rice.”
“Mm.”

To satisfy this god, we should offer him his favorite food.
Such is our farm’s wisdom.

“Please put some natto on top.”
“Stop that, angel!”

Mixing natto would be a little too adventurous, even for a god, so Hades eats it separately.
The young demons who had come for the induction course have all fainted from the shock, so they can’t witness the god feeling right at home.

“Our sincerest apologies for troubling Your Mightiness over and over,” says the Demon King, bowing apologetically. “This should trigger a change in the fools’ conceited minds. As I thought, any problem can be solved by asking you, Lord Saint.”
“But something bothers me…”

I look at these ten or so young demons who have passed out.

“Not all of them have become conceited, haven’t they?”

I noticed a few of them were giving cold stares to their haughty comrades earlier.
Well, all of them are unconscious right now, though, having been overwhelmed by a god, an angel, a dragon, and a Lifeless King.


Isn’t this considered mild bullying?

“I knew you’d notice that, Lord Saint.”
“So not all of them are arrogant, after all…”
“It’s an everlasting wonder to come to your farm.”

Huh? Where did that come from?

“It’s not just about witnessing the strongest species alive. One can learn a lot of valuable things here. Just a one-time visit can make a big difference to the ignorant.”

Come on, you’re exaggerating.
Flattery won’t get you anything.
Oh, phooey. Please serve bamboo shoot rice to the Demon King too.

“I felt bad just bringing problem children with me, you see.”
“Oh, that’s why you brought well-behaved ones as well.”
“There’s a lot to be learned on this farm that I’d rather bring the more promising ones if anything. The arrogant ones present here were brilliant individuals selected from among dozens of others,” he laughs at himself, thinking that the primary purpose of this visit is amiss. “I said this induction course was for correcting their conceited attitude, but it turned into a place for training the elites before I knew it!”
“Haha, it’s fine, don’t worry about that.”

If these kids who came here grow up to be successful, they’ll be able to control those under them and avoid a situation like this in the future.

This course is scheduled to continue for a few more weeks.
We’ll use that time to dedicate all of our farm’s energy to raising them into soldiers of elite character, so they can properly lead the world!
Our farm must also contribute to that cause!

“In that case…” says Hades.

He’s still here.
And he heard our entire conversation?

“Do thee not think something is missing?”
“Something missing?”

What could it be?
It’s hard for me, a mortal, to understand the profound thoughts of a god.

“Demon King, didst thee not mention before that thee wanted to rule with thine enemies as residents of the same earth?”
“Ah!”

Did he?

I try to recall…
…Oh.

Was that when the Demon King defeated the Human Kingdom and reported to Hades?
I was impressed by his magnanimity to deem the humans, his enemy, as a race with equal rights to rule the earth alongside his own people.

“And yet, thee has’t only gathered demons here as future elite candidates. Thou art contradicting thine claim of ruling without racial distinction.”

As if he’s going to assign all the important posts to his own brethren while the humans stay ruled forever, that kind of thing?
I suppose a god would take notice of that.

“Ho-ho-ho. A deity’s viewpoint is different… On that note, another bowl of bamboo shooteth rice, prithee.”
“Here you go.”
“I hath said bamboo shooteth rice, not natto!”

Horkosfon’s so brave to control the god from being self-complacent.
Hades grumbles, but he still accepts the natto and mixes it with the rice.
Meanwhile, the Demon King writhes in agony, greatly perplexed.

“It is as Your Mightiness said!!!”

He looks like a Baroque sculpture anguishing in that position.

“I… I’ve ruled the Human Kingdom and made the humans my subjects, but… I unconsciously restricted the seats to demons only! I’ve become hypocritical, admonishing my conceited men when I myself have become one!”

Woah, woah, woah.

“It’s because I have such a distorted mind that it has transmitted to my subordinates, causing problems! I’m the main cause of it all!”
“T-Thee do not has’t to be so critical of thyself! I just hath brought it up casually!”

Hades is taken aback by the Demon King.

“Doth not be disheartened. Doth thee want some bamboo shoot rice?”
“Natto, please.”

I guess I’ll have to help a friend in need.

“Why don’t you invite the humans too?”

You know, it’s as that French aristocrat once said; let them eat cake if there’s no bread.

“Why don’t we find some promising humans and let them study here?”

I add while looking at the still-conscious demons, “Let them study with these kids. Doing so will help develop camaraderie with each other. It’s like killing two birds with one stone and achieving harmony.”
“But I can’t put any more burden on you, Lord Saint…” says the Demon King while eating natto.
“It’s okay. We’re also contributing to the world by doing this,” I reply, also eating natto.

We already have a mermaid branch school on our farm, where many mermaids are studying.
First mermaids, then demons. Humans will be left out if we don’t invite them over too.

“Let’s make this a place where all three races can learn without any racial differentiation!”

Studying on a farm.
I wondered if that was what a farm was for, but I stopped caring about the minor details.
There would be world peace if the humans, demons, and mermaids could interact and deepen their bond here.
Now’s the time to start an otherworldy farm study program for the three races!

“All right! I’ll immediately notify the occupation government in the former Human Kingdom and recruit future leaders!” says the Demon King while still eating natto.
“Ho-ho-ho! We shalt achieve racial harmony at a faster rate. That way, the earth that I govern shall prosper more and more,” says Hades, also eating natto.
“World peace is the most important thing, indeed!” I say, also eating natto.

Let’s all eat natto and make the world a better place!


……
Why the hell are we all eating natto?!

Hey, Horkosfon!
Don’t subliminally propagate natto!
That’s enough!!!


it’s my birthday today, so i uploaded 2 extra chapters as my treat to everyone. whether you belong to the group of people who leave comments or read silently, i really appreciate each of you for sticking around ^^

to the people asking about the momoko pov story/first 30 chapters of this series, i have plans on doing both, but can only start committing after uni. if you would like to help (tl/editor) please don’t hesitate to reach out

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C271: The Senior’s Judgment

Elzariel, the first-generation leader of the elven bandits’ visit, is like a calamity for the elves on our farm.

“Very well! Let us see how you live your lives on this land!” she says as she greedily stuffs her cheeks with sausages. “If I find any of you slacking off even one bit, I will mercilessly take you with me and discipline you myself!”
“Sure,” calmly replies Maelga. “Witness how much we contribute to the saint’s farm and how much he needs us. That way, you can leave with peace of mind.”

What a bold statement.
Moreover, her last sentence sounded a lot like trying to get rid of an irritating superior.

As I brooded the situation, Elzariel began to observe our farm.


Then again, she’ll only be looking around the elves’ workshop.
Touring anywhere else is meaningless.

“The job we’ve been assigned here is to make tools and crafts,” says Maelga, who volunteered as a guide. “This workshop is where we work hard every day.”
“I see, making tools is important for forest survival indeed,” agrees Elzariel.
“Currently, we are divided into four groups, each specializing in different crafts.”

Maelga is the leader of the leatherwork group, Poel is the leader of the glasswork group, Mieral is the leader of the woodwork group, and then there’s one more…

“All our crafts have been sold to the capital for high prices. The profits we made are what we used to fund the afforestation project.”
“Hm… Now that you mention it…”

Yes, the work of the elves here directly contributes to their forest’s revival.
This fact was powerful enough to shut down Elzariel’s objections.

“I will now take you to the most active person in our workshop.”
“Most active?”
“Yes, it’s the former Thunderstorm Stonecutters’ leader, now in charge of the pottery group, Aileron.”


Aileron is the second-generation leader, right?
And Elzariel is the first.

Nowadays, Aileron is more apt at kneading clay and making plates now.
Today, she and her groupmates are scrutinizing the latest batch of plates.

“…The green looks dull,” she says.

What are you, some kind of pro?

“The main color of our pieces today is green. The green I’m looking for is deep and vibrant, like the leaves on a summer tree. This shade is no better than an evergreen tree in winter.”
“Should we add more ash to the glaze?”
“No, the existing materials aren’t enough. To achieve a deeper shade, we will need new material.”

She’s making it sound so complicated.
Again, to reiterate, they are trying to make a green plate, but they don’t like the shade.

“It doesn’t make that much of a difference to me…”
“?! What are you talking about, Lord Saint! Do you not understand the abstruse intentions behind this plate?!”

Oops.
I struck an annoying chord of an annoying person.

“Today’s theme is recreating the experience of eating on a leaf while traveling, thereby adding a touch of rustic beauty to an otherwise boring meal! For this reason, the green must be as deep and vibrant as a real leaf!”
“As you can see, the former second-generation leader has become an uncompromising pain in the ass from baking so many plates,” says Maelga.

Quite the way of speaking she has toward her former leader.
Then, a voice from another character:

“Hmph, for an elf to pretend to be a craftsman is plain vanity.”
“?! Who said that?!”

That comment came from none other than Pops Edward, the dwarf.
You’re still here?

“There’s no better race than the dwarves when it comes to making things. A shame that the demon connoisseurs have fallen so far behind to be paying high prices for the crude work of elves.”
“Say what?! Dwarven works are nothing but clumsy, ready-made items! You don’t have appealing themes; just decorate the exterior to swindle people!”
“What are you talking about?! Our decorations are a result of our dwarven finesse backed with over a hundred years of history!”
“You have to realize that finesse needlessly distorts the essence of the work! Real art begins by eliminating deliberate artifice!”
“You cannot call something art without finesse! An artisan’s value lies in whether or not they have exerted effort to hone their skills! If you exclude finesse and say that nature is the best, you’re just running away from your own ineptitude!”
“When compared to real natural beauty, artificial items are nothing but a sham! If you want to recreate the beauty of nature with your own hands, you must first abandon finesse!!!”

Two troublesome people have crossed paths, which made things even more problematic.

“You two seem to be having fun arguing, so we’ll leave you alone.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be involved either.”
“Same here.”

Me and Maelga both thought that this was bothersome.
At the same time, Elzariel, the supposed star of the show, has become one with the air.

“Aileron has changed…”
“Yes, mainly in a troublesome direction, though.”
“No, I don’t think she used to be able to generate this kind of overwhelming drive.”
“That’s because she’s no longer a bandit; she’s an artisan.”

I know, right?
She can overwhelm anyone with her overflowing artisan spirit. Truly troublesome.

“Now, let me show you the farm’s marvel that has made our beloved leader behave in such a way.”

Huh?

“Aren’t you going to show the other elven workshops? Like Poel’s glassworks or Mieral’s woodworks?”
“It’ll probably turn out the same way. Poel and Mieral have also become quite troublesome artisans.”

Uh-huh.
You sound like none of this concerns you, but haven’t you become troublesome in your own way, Maelga?
I still remember the time you forced me to make three sewing machines for your leatherwork.

…All right, I’m pretty sure we’ve had enough trouble from one elf today, so let’s just introduce Elzariel to some other place instead.
But why do I feel like she no longer has this aura she had in the beginning?

“I’d say this farm has a dense character. Unless you’re Sensei or Lady Veil, you’ll be overwhelmed.”
“You’re exaggerating things again.”

She laughs it off, but Maelga pays no attention to this and leaves.
Huh? Seriously?

“I’m going to let you experience first-hand this farm’s extreme life. First of all, the food.”

It just so happens to be lunchtime.

“You may not be hungry since you just had sausages earlier, but…”
“Tasty, tasty, tasty, tasty, tastyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”

She’s wolfing down the food like someone on the verge of starvation…
I made sandwiches for lunch today. I’m glad she liked them.

“Senior! That’s my portion!!!”
“It’s too delicious; I can’t help myself! What’s wrong with a bandit stealing from others?!”

Everything.

Next, we showed her the bathhouse.

“Ah… That felt great!”

Elzariel’s body is steamy from the hot bath.
Obviously, I couldn’t accompany her to the women’s bath, so I couldn’t see what had happened inside.
It took about two hours before she came out.

“And the fluffy beds in the bedroom! Once you experience its comfort, you wouldn’t want to sleep on the ground ever again!”

You were sleeping on the ground before?

After Elzariel had a general experience of life on our farm…


“No! No, no, no, no, no! I don’t want to go back!!!” she whines. “I’ll live here too! I’ll eat delicious food every day, take a bath in the hot spring, and sleep in a fluffy bed!”
“Senior! Please don’t be selfish!”
“Yeah! You’re going to help with the afforestation project, aren’t you?!”

The elves’ cooperation is indispensable to revive the elven forest in the old Human Kingdom, so if Elzariel doesn’t go, we’ll be in big trouble.
Our elves ganged up to send her off, but Elzariel refused to budge.

“Noooo! You’re all unfair! You get to eat delicious food every day!”

Eventually, we somehow managed to get rid of her by giving her a sausage filler as a souvenir…

“The biter has been bit…”

I wonder if there is something about this farm that enchants elves?
Anyway, I hope that her cooperation will speed up the elven forest’s revival.

Then…

“No, no, no!!! I don’t want to leave either! I’m staying here forever!”

Edward the dwarf also refuses to leave.

No, go home.
Aren’t you the king of your people?
If you don’t go back, the other dwarves’ work will be delayed.

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C270: The Bandit Who Started It All

“Actually, Boss is alive?! Boss Elzariel is?!” asks Aileron, former leader of the elven bandits.

Aren’t you the boss, though?

“I’m the second-generation boss… The Thunderstorm Stonecutters was formed and founded by our senior, who was also the first boss.”

I see.
I thought Aileron was their boss from the very beginning.

“During Sis Elzariel’s days, we used to steal both from the Demon Kingdom and the Human Kingdom, but we were eventually driven by the authorities one day.”

Well… you were bandits.

“At that time, Boss single-handedly stopped our pursuers while the rest of us escaped… In exchange, only she was caught…”

That lines up with Aeshma’s story.

“We heard Boss has heroically died, so I had to take over, but… But to think she’s still alive!”

Let’s review how our elf team arrived here: They were wanted bandits who fled from place to place and ended up on our farm in the middle of nowhere, where they were caught trying to sneaking a bite off our tomatoes.
To atone for their crime, they were forced to work for us.
…Since then, they’ve become quite accustomed to life here.

“We’ve been lying low ever since our leader was captured…”
“Come to think of it, we haven’t had a single successful theft since you took over,” says Maelga, the former second-in-command.

Then, they embarked on farm life after that.

“Um… What happened to Boss, er, Senior, er, Sis?!”

She can’t even decide what to call someone whom she thought had been long dead.

“To tell you the truth, a pardon for her has already been decided.”
“Huuuuuuuuh?!”
“Besides, Elzariel’s death sentence was handed down because the corrupt wealthy merchants and aristocrats who were victimized kept appealing stubbornly. With the amount of influence they had, the army could only listen to them.”

Those victims probably wanted maximum revenge.

“In the end, they’re nothing but corrupt… The recent reform has led to purges all over the nation. Therefore, sympathy for these chivalrous bandits became stronger, and we were able to issue new sentences that reduced their penalties.”

The change in circumstances allowed them to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment, huh?

“With Elzariel’s cooperation in the Elven Forest Revival Project, paperwork for clearing her name is underway.”
“H-Huh?! …Does that mean we’ll be declared as innocent too?!” asks Aileron, secretly hopeful.
“Well, if you help us with the project, you’ll be able to clear your name, too.”
“No! We’ll continue lying low on this farm for the rest of our lives!!!”

Do they not want to leave the farm that badly?

Hmm?

“But wait a minute. From what I understood based on the story, you don’t need our help anymore, right?” I ask.

It doesn’t look to me like there’s any problem left.

“Yes, but Astres said the elves here and Elzariel must be old friends, so we should reunite them.”

As expected of the Demon Queen, she has good intuition.
Aileron and the others must be happy to see their leader, who they thought was dead.
What a thoughtful idea!

“So, is Elzariel with you?”
“Yes, she’s one-sidedly attacking her former bandit allies as we speak.”

Yeah, I can see that.
There’s an elf shooting arrows non-stop with her bow.
What’s with her machine-gun-like firing speed?

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!!!”

Her opponents are Aileron and Maelga, the former leader and second-in-command, mercilessly cornered by arrows.

“You weak bastards! You’re unbelievable!”

The elf displays an inhuman rapid-fire technique.
She’s the only elf I haven’t seen before.

Compared to the others, she has a tough-looking body, similar to a macho person.
In addition to her dark complexion and long, pointy ears unique to elves, she also has scars on her beautiful, dignified face.
This new elf totally gives off fierce warrior vibes.

“Elzariel, the first leader of the elven bandits.”
“It’s her?!”

She does look unique in her appearance.
In contrast to that, Aileron looks more like a nobody.

“Line up!”
“Y-YES, MA’AM!”

And then, Elzariel immediately asserts dominance and takes control of the elves upon her arrival.
Well, I heard she was the original leader, so I suppose things should be that way.

“Aileron… it seems you took over the group after I was gone?”
“Yes, ma’am! I am extremely delighted to see you again, safe and sound!”

Aileron is shrinking back in fear.
The superior-inferior relationship between them is so evident, even though they’re of the same status in essence.

“But of course! Sis Elzariel is allowed to have two Els in her name!” says Aileron in a whisper. “She formed the bandit group from scratch! I just succeeded her, the fiercest of the fierce!!!”

Now she’s praising her senior with no brakes.
You can instantly sense that she’s no ordinary elf just by looking at her from head to toe.
If I were to give examples from the same sex, I’d say Mrs. Astres or Mrs. Glasya.

“That makes her the strongest elf class, huh!”

But why is the strongest elf flipping out as soon as she makes an appearance?

“I am beyond sad! I can’t believe the Thunderstorm Stonecutters sunk so low after I was gone!”

Oh.

“Where’s the pride of the forest-dwellers, of the chivalrous bandits?! Elves sleeping under a roof is just plain disgraceful!!!”

Did she perhaps witness these elves’ negligent behavior earlier?
If so, I can’t blame her for being at her wits’ end.

“…I am an elf who should have died at the executioner’s blade. But I managed to survive through their compassion.”

Seems like it.

“I should’ve gotten what I deserved, but I was asked to help revive the elven forest. Then, I found out my allies’ whereabouts in exchange for helping out and returning the favor! I wanted to see how you’re all doing before departing for my mission, but instead…”

She sees this tragic scene.

“It looks like I was mistaken in entrusting leadership to you, Aileron. Now that it’s come to this, I’m going to take all of you with me and discipline you from scratch while making you help with tree planting!”
“Huuuuuuuuuuuuh?!”
“Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!”

The elves are resisting with all their might.

“Wait, Sis. Please listen to what I have to say.”
“Hmm, you must be Maelga, the calm and collected Number 3. Long time no see.”
“Long time no see, indeed. Aileron being the leader and me being second-in-command are all part of the past.”

Can Maelga, famous for her calm, cool, and collected demeanor, successfully convince their angry leader?

“We’ve also been through a lot since we parted ways. We were chased by both the Demon and Human Kingdoms and moved from place to place until we found our way here.”
“Hmm?”
“This place is our haven! Please don’t take it away from us!”

The calm elf could only plead.
Blunt and without an ounce of intelligence.

“You’ll also soon understand what kind of place this is, Sis… Lord Saint!”
“Yes?”
“I’d like to give her a sausage if that’s all right with you!”

What’s this out of the blue?

If you’re talking about the sausages we just made, we have a lot of smoked ones stored, so you can heat and serve them any time.
They’re preserved food, after all.
With my permission, Maelga slices one of the sausages I brought and roasts it over the fire.

“T-That’s how you heat it?!”
“Come on, Sis! Give it a try!!!”

The sausage, now fully heated, is in Elzariel’s hands.

“What is this? Judging from its smell, it must be meat. But I’ve never seen anything like this before…”

Perhaps the good smell lured her despite finding its shape bizarre because she took a bite without hesitation.
The jet-black meat stick goes inside the veteran elf’s mouth.
Then, from its middle, a crisp sound escapes.

“…?!”

The meaty juices must be overflowing in her mouth.
I can tell from the expression she’s making.

“Do you realize now, Sis?!”
“You’ll never be able to leave the farm once you’ve tasted this!”

Our elves seem pretty pleased with her reaction.

“S-Shut up! Yeah, it’s delicious, but so what?! You better not be suggesting that you’ve been seduced by this meat stick!”

Their never-ending argument has begun.

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C269: Afforestation Progress

Aeshma, one of the new members of the Heavenly Four, has arrived.

“Lord Saint! I’ve come to report on the afforestation progress!”

I thought she had dropped by to hang out, but she’s here to talk about work.
What a diligent person.

“Afforestation? What are you talking about?”
“H-Huh?!”

Just kidding.
I remember it.
It’s the project to revive the dead forests in the Human Kingdom, right?

Our elves made a huge fortune from selling their crafts, so this idea was proposed as a way to use their excess money.
There was this grand backstory where the elves, originally forest-dwellers, were driven out of their homes due to the humans’ environmentally-harmful activities.
Now that the Human Kingdom has been overthrown, the Demon King’s army is bringing back the devastated nature.

“We’ve been busy making fields and growing seedlings since last winter. Everything is proceeding smoothly!”
“I see. Are you going to start planting trees soon?”
“Oh, no. It will take at least another year or two for the seedlings to grow to the point where they can be planted.”

O-Oh… Is that so?
Come to think of it, it’s not uncommon for trees to be a hundred or a thousand years old.
It’d be a mistake to think that their span is only about a few months.

“I estimate we won’t be able to start full-scale planting until the following year.”

Sowing and harvesting crops multiple cycles a year thanks to the hyper-fish fertilizer has made my sense of time deviate from the norm.

At first, we thought of planting otherworldly trees that we grow but discarded the idea after some consideration.
We didn’t want to upset the balance of nature by introducing any more alien species.

Coincidentally, the use of hyper-fish fertilizer to promote growth was also banned.
Unlike our farm, where the only purpose is to grow and harvest crops, the trees will form a forest that will live on for hundreds of years.
But the faster they grow, the shorter their lifespan will be.

Hence, Aeshma and her team were compelled to work solely on this project and nothing else…

“This project was originally meant to utilize the Demon King’s army after the war with the human race ended. But if anything, no words can express our gratitude to you, Lord Saint, for providing the funds for this.”

It’s not me who funded this project, but the elves.
May you accept their sentiments of wanting to revive their home.

“Consequently, there’s something I’d like to ask you, Lord Saint.”
“Hmm?”
“While we wait for the saplings to grow, we’re steadily making preparations for the next phase. However, there is a problem with the said preparations…”

And what’s that?

“It’s about the designated area where we plan to plant the trees. Since the purpose of this project is to revive the elves’ forest, the trees must be planted in the land where they once lived!”

I see… I guess so.
She really is diligent, after all.

“This is disgraceful of me to admit, but neither I nor any of the soldiers in the Demon King’s Army know where their forest used to be.”
“Oh… That is quite the dilemma…”

But it’s not like it’s your fault.
Elves may have branched off of demons, but they’re considered a completely different race now.
Not having an in-depth understanding of another race is understandable.

“Which is why we need someone knowledgeable about the elves’ former home.”
“I know.”
“The first thing I thought of was the elves who live here. I’d like to borrow their wisdom!”
“I knowww.”
“If possible, I’d like them to accompany us on our afforestation project as a consultant!”


When I gathered the elves and explained the details, they broke out into a riot.

“Nooooooooooooooooo!!!”
“I don’t want to go! I don’t want to gooooooooo!!!”

Of the approximately 20 elves gathered here, all of them flatly refused.

“But why?”

It’s reviving the forest you used to live in, you know?
Shouldn’t you at least cooperate?

“Because!!! Accompanying the Demon King’s Army means we’ll be away from here!”
“I won’t be able to eat the farm’s delicious food! Nooooooooooooooo!!!”
“The fluffy futons! The relaxing hot spring!”
“I don’t want to stop working on my craaaaaaaaaafts!!!”

These guys…
They’ve been completely domesticated by our farm life!

They used to boast about their pride as forest-dwellers and said it was preposterous for elves to sleep under a roof at first…
Now they sleep in a log cabin with cotton mattresses on beds they made themselves and frilly pajamas made by Batemy.
I hear some of them even sleep with cuddly toys in their arms.

They’ve lost touch with their wild side.
Wherever did their pride as forest-dwellers go?!

“We can’t live off the farm anymore!”
“If we move from here, everywhere will be just the same as prison. If so, just kill us. Pleaseee!!!”

That much?!
They’re starting to resemble Adam and Eve about to be expelled from Eden!

“Does this farm take away the residents’ will to be independent?!”
“Um… I don’t think that’s how it works…!”

Hmm, we’ve had people come and go on our farm.
These elves are just throwing a tantrum like spoiled children.

“If that’s the case, I don’t think we can select an advisor for the project from among them.”

These helpless elves…

“I’m sorry, Aeshma. You came all the way here only to get this response…”
“It’s okay; I’ll try to find another elf who can help us.”

And the discussion ended there.


Some days later…

“I found an elf willing to help.”
“I see.”

Aeshma has brought good news on her next visit.
To think there’s still a benevolent elf out there…
Our spoiled elves should learn from her.

“What kind of person is this elf?”
“She has a bit of a complicated background… So, I’d like to discuss that with you as well.”

A complicated background?
What’s with her mumbling?

“The elf’s name is Elzariel…”

Mm-hm, I see.
What about Elzariel, then?

“She used to be a thief.”
“Hm?”
“She used to steal left and right from the Demon Kingdom and the Human Kingdom. Our army finally managed to capture her in a prestigious arrest mission. But this all happened a long time ago.”

Hmm, what’s this déjà vu feel I get from her story?

“She was supposed to be executed immediately since she was a wanted criminal of the Demon Kingdom.”

But she survived.
Aeshma said she was part of a group of chivalrous bandits, stealing only from corrupt merchants and nobles and sharing what they stole with the poor.

“Because of this, there were some people in the army who defended her. One of them even manipulated the situation and hid her, making it look like the execution had taken place.”

A moving tale.

“She’s been in hiding for a while, but she obviously can’t stay that way forever. Hearing about our recruitment, she took the chance and came forward.”

Will she be forgiven for her crimes and contribute to the project to revive the elven forest, or will she receive capital punishment?

“She’s a little hard to control, so I consulted Astres, and she told me to ask you, Lord Saint, about it. And so, here I am again…”

I know why Mrs. Astres directed her to me.
She also knows the history of the elves who work for us.

“…Aileron, Maelga.”
“Y-YES!”

I call the two elves beside me.
Before settling on our farm, these two had different titles—the leader and second-in-command of their former bandit group, the Thunderstorm Stonecutters.
They’re in the same line of work as the elf in question.

“Do you know her by any chance?”

Aileron shakes her head so vigorously that I thought her head would come off while Maelga silently makes an X with her arms.

…So, they do know her.

“All right. I’ll have Elzariel come to our farm to confirm things…”
“Ah! Wait, wait, wait!!!” hastily interrupts Aileron. “Fine, I’ll admit it! Sister Elzariel is one of us! In fact, she’s the founder of our group!!!”


it took me almost 200 chapters to realize that all the elves’ names have ‘el’ in their names. meanwhile aileron…

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C268: Meat Stick Circulation

I am a street vendor who runs a store in the Demon Capital, the Demon King’s headquarters.
I don’t have a designated store, but rather a cart where I sell my goods.
My family has been running this cart since my great-grandfather’s time, doing business under the blue sky single-mindedly, so don’t underestimate us.

My cute baby was born recently, and I’m sure he’ll follow in my footsteps when he’s older.
I have to work hard and make a living so my beloved son can take over!


Alas, our food cart business going on for generations, is now facing the crisis of closing down.
The reason is that a powerful business rival has appeared—the famous Pandemonium Trading Company!

They’ve set up carts with some kind of new product.
In addition, dozens of them are set up simultaneously in various parts of the capital.
Shame on such a respectable company ripping off street vendors like me!

I immediately appeal to the Street Vendor’s Guild.

But to my dismay, the guild master has already been persuaded by my opponent.
The other party, the Pandemonium Trading Company, insisted that the carts would only be available for a limited time and would close the business after a month.

What do they want to do in a mere month?
I don’t get it.

However, my opponent is a huge company, so I can’t confront them head-on. I can only keep an eye on the situation based on their terms.
What they’re selling is an unfamiliar food item.

Cylindrical? Reddish but also blackish?
I don’t get it.
They grill them on a steel plane, put them on skewers, and sell them.

Who would buy such a bizarre thing?
Sure, neophilia exists, and people would probably be curious and buy it at first. But it ends once they get tired of it. I hoped for things to end that way… but I was dead wrong.
Before long, it became a roaring business.

The neophilics loved the food so much that they became regular customers, bringing in more customers.
Such a buzz attracted public attention, and their sales spiraled out of control.

“This is bad!” I think to myself as I observe the scene.

The neighboring cart’s business is booming, while mine… nothing.
Sure enough, my sales plummeted.
Not even a single customer came by.

It’s no surprise, really.
What my store sells is roasted meat from a nearby piggery.

My stock remains one giant heap.

Later on, I found out that the company is selling something called a ‘sausage’ made from the same meat as mine, but processed somehow.
The more fortunate ones who didn’t have the same business as I could take advantage of the situation and increase their sales…
But not me.

I decided to line up at the spiteful company’s cart one day and try their “sausage.”
It was grilled on a skewer and tasted undeniably good.
I’ve been cooking pork for a long time, but I had no idea that it could also taste like this.
After eating something so delicious, there’s no way anyone would want to eat my mediocre grilled pork again.

Damn it!
Of all things, why do our ingredients have to be the same?!
There are also beef and fish out there! Why didn’t they go with that?!

Pandemonium said they would close down the stalls in a month, but I don’t think the situation would improve even after that.
Customers who are used to the new taste will stop batting an eyelash at what’s old.

…If so, should I switch to something else to sell and avoid competing with a huge company?
…No, it won’t go that easily.

What else can I sell other than grilled pork?
Each food item requires new and specific know-how.
How much time will it take to master that?

Even if I could master that and reopen the shop, other street vendors have already monopolized most of the best-sellers.
No matter what I do, I will run into other business rivals, with the other side always having a slight superiority.

Then, I should just change my location…
No, that won’t work either.
Pandemonium has set up carts in every possible area of the city.
Wherever I go, I’m bound to clash against them.

I’ve been cornered.

I don’t mind having a bleak future. However, to have my newborn son’s fate be the same is just…
Oh, Hades…
At least… At least give my baby a bright future!


It’s been about two weeks since Pandemonium set up carts.

I guess I’m going to have to change businesses.
In my grim resignation… the catastrophe itself came to visit me.

“I’m from Pandemonium Trading Company.”

You bastarddd!!!
How dare you scoundrel show your face here?!
It’s because of you that my life plan is in ruins!
Is it that amusing for a big wig like you to bully the smaller businesses? Huh?!

…Or so I wanted to yell at him, but my last bit of rationality kept me in check.
I listened to what he had to say.

“Would you like to sell our companies’ sausages?”

Pardon?

“We set up carts to create a buzz and build our commodity’s reputation, and it has paid off. Originally, we aimed for a month to popularize it, but we’ve achieved just that these past two weeks.”

So, they are moving on to the next phase.

“Now we have to think about continuous sales. Frankly speaking, we don’t have the know-how for food carts. The last two weeks have been a series of mistakes as well. Besides, if we wreak any more havoc on your territory, the antagonism will become apparent. We don’t want to damage Pandemonium’s image over that.”

Hmm…
Well, you do have a point.

“That’s why we want you to take over. Your cart deals with pork, the same ingredient as sausages.”

Indeed, it does.
But will I be able to learn how to make such a bizarre dish right away?

“Don’t worry. With this device, anyone can easily make sausages.”

He places a large chunk of metal in front of me.
What is this?!

“It’s a filling machine used to make sausages.”

Seriously?!

“The lease fee you’ll pay for this device will be our profit. We’ve been paying more than double the price to the guild as a special exception when we set them up. If we deduct that amount, you won’t have to raise our prices.”

I wonder why they didn’t come to me in the first place rather than suggesting this from the get-go…

No, I don’t think that was possible.
This is the first time I’ve seen such strange food.
I don’t think I would’ve accepted their proposal to sell them without any background knowledge.

So now, the Pandemonium Trading Company has launched the product with great success. And I, on the verge of death from that success, was offered a proposal from them.

You, sly company, you…!
To think they would come to negotiate with me only after they’ve prepared the groundwork that I won’t…rather, can’t refuse!


And so, I reopened my business as a sausage vendor.
They taste good grilled or boiled!
What if I put them in buns?!

Sales are going exceptionally well.
The timing of my change of business and the withdrawal of Pandemonium’s carts were precisely the same, so all the customers who were looking for sausages came to my cart.

This is the busiest I’ve ever been in my entire vendor life!
I’m so glad I went all out to learn how to use the filling machine and ready sausages before I reopened!

At this rate, I’ll be able to make up for the past two weeks of lost sales in no time.
Pandemonium Trading Company also said that their cart had made more money than expected and was willing to waive the lease fee for the next six months to return the profit.
How generous of them!

Thus, I overcame the biggest dilemma of my life and secured my baby’s future.

Wait for me, my precious!
I’ll do my best to make it a success so I can pass this sausage stall on to your generation!!!


happy new year everyone!

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C267: Delicious Meat Stick

And so, in cooperation with Pops, we finished the sausage filling machine.

“It uses pressure to push the minced meat into the skin. It also operates manually, so anyone can use it.”

Thank you so much!
As expected of dwarves who excel in the art of smithing!!!
Your knowledge and skills have been a massive help!
If only you don’t have such a tendency to die easily!

I immediately tried making sausages with the new filling machine.

“Let’s see, I’ll place the skin here… and then it will stuff the minced meat in…”

Ohh.
It’s really going in.
The minced meat is stuffed into the skin and forms the shape of a sausage I’m familiar with.
After twisting them at the right place and tying them with string, they look exactly like sausages.

I could smoke them now to improve their shelf life, but I decided to skip that step.
I mean, It’s a pain.
I’m going to eat them right away anyway.

I throw them into the pot and boil them.

“Done!”

Otherworldly sausage with the help of a dwarf!

“Nice.”
“Come on, let us have some already.”

Platy and Veil are already standing by.
They’re so perceptive to my new dishes.

Well, I did want a taste tester, so I willingly offered my freshly boiled sausages.
I also prepared ketchup and mustard beforehand, so they could add whichever they liked.

“THANKS FOR THE MEAL!”

The intestines of the horned boar used for the sausage were thicker and bigger than the wiener sausages I’m familiar with in my world.
Maybe as thick as frankfurters?
But to avoid confusion, we’ll just keep calling them sausages.

Such a big, thick meat stick enters Platy and Veil’s mouths.
The meat stick slides through the ladies’ plump, glossy lips and breaks off with a crisp sound right in the middle.

“YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!”

Their reactions are as great as always.

“Is… Is this also square boar meat?! The taste and texture feel like they’re in between grilling it as is and making it into a burger patty!”
“It’s so, SO crispy! Crispy crisp!”

The otherworldly sausage seems to be a great success.

And as usual, their delight has invited the other residents over.
I stuffed more skins with meat at a rapid pace for my new customers.

“We’re going to use up all the meat Mr. Shax gave us!”

That’s the main reason I made sausages, anyway.
If there are any leftovers, we can smoke and store them, so we’ll just stuff the rest in the filler single-mindedly!
It’s said that the emptier the intestines, the more meat you can stuff into them!

Gobukichi! I leave the boiling and grilling of the sausages to you!
I’ll keep stuffing more sausages in the meantime!

“Oh, yeah. Please have some sausages too, Pops!”

I owe this success to you, after all!

…Or so I thought, but he’s already having his beer with sausages on the side.
As expected of alcohol-loving dwarves, they have a sophisticated palate.
He has perfected the German combo of beer and sausage without anyone telling him.

“Hey, Bacchus! Another round of booze here!”
“It’s about time even the god of alcohol stops you. You’ve been drinking ever since you got here!”
“Can you blame me? I need to be drunk all the time! Otherwise, if I stay in this place sober, I’ll never know when I’ll have another heart attack!”


Am I… putting more strain on him than I expected?

If so, I was unconsciously doing something wrong.
I need to boil a lot of sausages for him. Or maybe I should grill them instead.

Since he specializes in blacksmithing, I wonder if he’d be happy if I told him about the time I restored Mrs. Astres’ holy sword?

“Lord Saint, Lord Saint.”

What is it?
If you want more sausages, they’re not ready yet.

“You have a visitor. It’s Mr. Shax of the Pandemonium Trading Company.”

Huh?
He’s here again?
I’m a little busy right now, so lead him here.

“Lord Saint. I’ve acquired yet another rare item for you… Oh?”

Mr. Shax immediately notices the strange work I’m doing.

It’s going to be a hassle answering his next question, so I’ll explain things now.

“You see… You do it like this…”
“Yes?”
“Grill or boil it…”
“I see…”
“Then, it becomes edible.”

When I finished explaining to him the gist of it, I expected Mr. Shax to be astonished.
Instead, he made a serious expression.

“…Um, would you like one?”
“Absolutely.”

I hand him both boiled and grilled sausages.
He can have it with ketchup or mustard, maybe even both, so he can eat them as he desires.
This elderly gentleman with a dandy beard brings the plump meat stick to his mouth and puts it inside without a hint of hesitation.

He eats it in silence… and contemplates its flavor and texture.
What’s with the inappropriate seriousness of this scene?

“I-Isn’t it amazing? That was made from meat you gave to me!”
“Lord Saint!” he interrupts. “Is it possible to mass-produce this device?”
“Huh?”

He points to the sausage-filling machine.

“Mass production? I wonder… It’s made entirely of mana metal.”
“Why do you keep making things entirely of mana metal?!”

Except for that fact, it’s pretty easy to make.
For more details, please ask Edward, our collaborator.

“Edward? Oh! Are you perhaps Edward Smith the Dwarf King?!”
“Who are you?!”
“It’s me! I’m the chairman of the Pandemonium Trading Company. We’ve met before!!!”

As expected of two big wigs, they’re acquainted with each other.
They seem to be discussing something.

“I already have the design for this sausage filler in mind, and as long as we can replace the materials with cheaper ones, we can mass produce it in your empire.”
“Seriously?! Yeehaw!!!”

‘Y-Yeehaw’?

“But since the idea came from Lord Saint, you can’t do it without his permission, nor will we make our move till then.”
“Lord Saint!”

Mr. Shax approaches me again!

“Please, Lord Saint! Please give me permission to mass-produce and sell this sausage filler!”
“Huh?! You’re going to sell that?”
“This novel meat product is sure to be a blockbuster! Of course, we’ll pay you a fortune for your idea! We just need your permission!!!”

No, I don’t need the money.
I also don’t want to hog all the good food to myself, so I’d be more than satisfied if you simply spread the word about it.

“But we wouldn’t want any food poisoning here, so please make sure you know how to make them properly. There’s also a preservation process for them.”
“Of course!”


And so, Mr. Shax saw a business opportunity and started selling the sausage fillers.
As expected of a prosperous merchant. He’s quick to spot an opportunity and take advantage of it to the fullest.

He even enticed Pops and commissioned the Underground Dwarven Empire.

The dwarves’ sausage filler became an instant hit and proceeded to invade the Demon Kingdom.
Then, it further spread to the former Human Kingdom now under the demons’ occupation…

At this time, I had no idea a sausage hullabaloo would take the world by storm.


not sure if this was intentional, but id like to share with you guys that the author literally used 肉(meat)棒(rod/stick) in the raw. when put together, it’s one way to say d*ck :’)

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