The Night Before
Along with the freed elves, rare monsters continued to stream into the city . Considering the quality of their mounts, they must have been treated reasonably well . I guess their captors never intended to enter open hostilities against us . I mean, if you think about it, even the elf chiefs – whose plight began all of this – were without a single injury . I would imagine they meticulously planned their action intending not to kill a single “person” . The elves, based on their magic capacity are rank C~B beings, but many among them can use magic . So their rank does not display their strength–a rather dangerous bunch . No matter how meticulous their planning, to capture ten elves without a single injury, is a real testimony to the hunters’ strength . Assuming there were a few of them, I’d imagine they are at least A ranked . I should think about this some more later . That is, I can hardly underestimate an underground organization abundant with such individuals . My heart tightened watching the monster slaves’ parade .
One of the Cerberus’ Bosses–Damrada . As the one responsible for the monster’s return, he rode into the city among them . Of course, his actual goal was to gain entry into the “jewel” called Tempest . But, thanks to an inspection upon entrance, and ban on illegal immigration, entry into the country was not easy to acquire . A guild card would have allowed entry . However, anyone else would have to enter by an invitation . The country has not yet completely developed, so we could hardly let just anyone in . The refugees pouring into our country are staying in inns we had just finished . And we’re quickly putting them to work as builders or cleaning staff . That aside,
Damrada ran up to greet me with a wide smile on his face . After just a single glance at the city, with a nod full of admiration,[It has been a long time, Demon Lord Rimuru-sama . This unworthy one is named Damrada . On this day, as we had promised, we are returning the captured monsters . We are deeply grateful for permitting entry into your country]
He bowed in respect . As always, he is extremely well dressed, nor is he gaudy .[Yeah . Seems like you have treated my subjects well . You have my thanks . Since you have fulfilled your part of the promise, let’s forget about this incident . But you do understand that I will not allow this to happen again, right?] [Hahaha, of course . You are hardly an opponent I would want to risk my life going against]
Damrada intended to completely erase any traces of hostility using that short exchange . We, too, would rather avoid a war of attrition with this organization . I mean, we’d crush them if we fought head on, but there are many nasty things they could do from the shadows . And considering that I had just proclaimed myself as a benevolent demon lord by freeing the Templars, I would rather not waste that effort . These guys just intend to gain my favor . What good is it to pointlessly antagonize them? Well, next time they get in my way, I will destroy them .[By the way, a little bird whispered this to me… but it seems you are holding a tournament? We couldn’t possibly obtain the right to observe it?]
Damrada asked me with a natural smile . Isn’t he eager to analyze our strength . Well, I don’t mind . I mean, flaunting our ability was the goal . But, I can’t let him have it for free, can I?[You have my permission . You have permission to remain here until the tournament beings as well] [Oh, how great is your benevolence! In that case…] [But, have your strongest man participate . I’d love to see what he’s like . I mean, we’ll be seeing each other often from now on, right?]
I replied with a smile . He came here trying to gain my favor . There’s no way he can refuse . As I thought . He hesitated a bit, but[As expected of a demon lord, everything has a price . Understood . In that case, this individual…]
He called forth a young individual . I looked at the youth, and then again at Damrada .[Damrada, you will participate . You are the strongest among these, aren’t you?]
We stared at each other for a second, and,
Damrada bowed again and left . As I thought, he really is the strongest among them . Though he doesn’t look like it, his strength is obvious to those who can truly see . And thus, our participant list increased again . It wouldn’t be fun to have a battle only among our friends . This should spice things up a bit . And if things get really competitive, maybe we’ll see Damrada’s true strength . Martial Arts Tournament . I can hardly wait!
* * *
Ramiris and Veldora were having fun inside the dungeon . Nor was the sight of Milim flying through the sky dragging dragons into the dungeon a rare sight . Things were the same as always . There were constant reports of their loud laughter disturbing people, but we decided to ignore those reports . As for the invitation letters, Myormiles has selected the individuals to invite and sent the letters out . Communication is important . So I introduced Souei to Myormiles and had him help with the communication . Souei’s subordinates–Souka, Saika, Nansou, and Hokusou became the center of Myormiles’ communications team . Since he is just so good at handling people, they have quickly opened up to him . I’m really glad they aren’t looking down on him .
So I can probably leave all that to them . According to Myormiles, the nobles have a large entourage of mercenaries and adventurers they employ . In other words, if we make them believe there’s some great benefit for clearing the labyrinth, we can harvest loads of money off of them . And we can probably have a few nobles become our sponsors . Which would also advance our plans to reuse the arena another step . Though when I say “reuse” I do mean it in a limited sense–up to four times a year . Other times we can use it for training or something . But a sponsor, huh? Well done Myormiles, thinking that far ahead . I had thought only about the money that could be made off of adventurers, and worried about those who would lose themselves in it . And that’s where sponsors would come in handy . So maybe we should fill the dungeon with hidden riches that, like a lottery, would reward a few individuals . To make money on those who like to gamble, of course . Maybe have rare items as rewards? Well, Myormiles suggested that we make a request to the Freedom Association .
I see . If we award the first individuals to reach the target, it won’t hurt our budget and encourage participation . What a wonderful plan . No one will clear it, and even if they do, it’s no problem . A trifling sum like a thousand gold coins we can earn very quickly . What a wonderful idea this has become .[Myormiles-kun, proceed just as you have spoken!] [Ay, I live to serve!]
Myormiles’ plan requires me to contact every country and look into the list of adventurers . There’s also the question of entrance into the dungeon . Adventurers can easily enter using their association cards, and we can manage the information hosted on those . As for those without guild membership, we can issue home made cards . I have already consulted Kaijin on that question . This way, we’ll be able to control the access and information of every single person . Entrance into the labyrinth is 3 silver coins per go . We’ll issue the first card for free . If that gets lost or destroyed, the second one is 10 silver coins . We’ll also let them sample a resurrection bracelet by letting them have one for free . Of course, first entry into the dungeon is also free . And resurrection is certainly important . Afterwards, we’ll sell the bracelets at two silver pieces each, and, considering their importance, I expect to sell a lot . We’ll also have to make sure to announce the dangers of entering the dungeon without such a bracelet . Though they have only themselves to blame for their death, I would rather avoid victims . On another note, we have also decided to lease weapons and armours . This was my idea and I’m going to have Kurobee supervise it . Well, I don’t know how this will turn out, but I’m expecting to make a fortune . I can’t wait to open the dungeon!
* * *
Myormiles is working hard on advertising the Dungeon and the Martial Arts tournament . However, the tournament is more important . The dungeon is nearing completion and we are planning to advertise it at the same time as the tournament . And we are putting in lots of effort into the main attraction–the tournament . I have not forgotten about it . But, considering that the tournament will be (more or less) a one time event, we can’t help but divert our attention to the dungeon, which will be a long term cash cow . Well, with the deadline approaching, I guess we have to start getting serious now . Myormiles is so busy with management that they basically don’t rest . At the moment, since we have only begun to receive responses to our invitations, we do not know how many attendees we are going to get . Similarly, although not every tribe chief has reported their intent to participate, it seems we are going to get quite a few folks . But let’s forget about this for now, and focus seriously on the tournament .
First, let’s go over the participating members . From Tempest, we have all the department heads: Benimaru, Diablo, Ranga, Souei, Shion, Hakurou, Gerudo, Gabil, and Gobuta . Those nine . They are the cause of this mess–the nine who declared intent to participate at the banquet . I wonder who’s the strongest among them? I would guess Diablo, but things might go differently in the tournament . What, are you wondering whether the restoration medicine will prevent them from tiring? Boo, wrong! After all, it does not restore magic energy . So if you don’t pace yourself, life will get real tough later on . So we really don’t know how things will end until, well, the end . And then they bickered about the order, which led me to propose round of robin competition… well, it’s all a pain . We also decided to have four prize spots . The problem is, we had too few participants . I mean, it would have been better if there were eight participants–we were one too many . So, and to rile them up a bit, I decided to further split the groups and turn this into an elimination tournament with 16 participants . Which, of course, required me to find them .
So I turned to our sponsors (the demon lords) .[Me~ me~! My Beretta is ready to go!]
That’s one .
As expected .[Fu fu fu . I have been waiting for you to ask! I’ll have my underling participate!]
“The mysterious masked one, wearer of the lion’s mask!” Milim declared, and rushed off . Well… I kind of figured who will be participating on her behalf . Will it be fine? I mean, the level here is pretty high but this might be overkill . As for the other demon lords, I am not that friendly with them, so that’s that .
Then there’s the reward of past negotiation–Damrada . He and his group are out and about enjoying the city, having rented out the best inn . There’s no question about it–they’re loaded . And they understand the important of getting the best rooms before the royalty shows up . That guy is, without question, strong . Will he fight until exhaustion or feign weakness, I can hardly wait to see . So that’s another fun factor we added .
With that, we need just four more . I guess we could turn it into four directional battle royale . And when I thought that,[Rimuru-san, did you call?]
I heard a voice . Nope, I did not call you . Who was it? The Templars’ strongest man–Arnaud Baumann .[What’s up, Arnaud?] [Fufu, I would like to participate in the tournament you’ve got going . I’ve been trained by Hakurou-san here recently . So I would definitely like to participate . ]
Is it fine? Slacking off here . I wanted to say it, but since Hinata went off back to the capital, I had no one to complain to . Eight templars remained . I had asked them help set up a barrier, but I guess that they don’t mind having Arnaud participate . And since there’s so few of us, I guess we have no choice but to let weaker members participate . That leaves us with three vacant spots .
Where’s that confidence coming from? From the new swords and armor crafted by Kurobee? I mean, yeah, these are test products improving even the spirit equipment they were . And, as test products, we can’t mass produce them . But… I am so sure that it’s the armor that is making him confident . Well, I don’t care if he dies from embarrassment, nor will I be liable for it .[Alright, but do wear a mask . You’ll stand out, are you fine with that?]
We’ve got the Lion Mask participating already, so surely they’d much rather participate this way than as templars .[Got it . We’ll wear a mask just in case . Thank you for allowing us to participate[
“Losing would be bad,” Arnaud muttered and left . He’s plenty confident . And considering that he had his heart broken once by Diablo, he’s a pretty tough guy . That, or just an idiot . But thank goodness he did not fight against Diablo right away . Seriously .
Alright, three spots left . The other spots we’ll fill in as we go . From among the intelligent beasts and monsters of Jura forest . Not the cattle, but those individuals who want to distinguish themselves . We’ll have them fight for the remaining three spots . Oh, who will be victorious? Order aside, it’s about time I decide on the prize–a special post . Victory or defeat will decide whether they will continue being called department heads . After all, the winner will be the own on whom I’ll bestow a title upon which the masses will depend . Therefore, it’s about time I think about hierarchy around here .
* * *
The day before the tournament . The representatives of many races have arrived by now . The earliest arrivals began a week prior . Along with the letters I had sent, Myormiles invited a number of wealthy merchants to revel in the fun . Those visitors who have come here before proudly showed newcomers around . It was a truly entertaining sights–to see so many races and monarchs enjoy our country . So far, everything’s going according to plan . On that note, I would like to say that the number of guests has already reached 3,000 . We do have the capability of hosting up to ten thousand commoners, but 3,000 is the limit for high class housing . And just when I was beset by worry, Myormiles was on the case . Without a single blunder he had assigned everyone to various inns . Of course, Rigurdo and Rigur and the other workers of Tempest also displayed commendable efforts and skill . And thanks to all of their hard work, we were able to welcome the day before the tournament without any major occurrence .
And so, the night before . The leaders of countries had all gathered in the large conference room . The eve of the festival . Sitting on my tatami mat, I observed everyone’s relaxed faces . The baths were a huge success, with some people taking a bath more than once a day . We provided them all with a yukata, and they are now busy commenting on how they look . So far so good . Their escorts have decided to alternate guard outside, and have since stood at attention . Like the professionals they are, they heavily scrutinized the food I ordered to be brought in . Probably fearing poison . Well, considering that if I wanted to poison them I could just use force… but, let’s avoid that topic .[Hmph, thank you all for coming today . I am the new demon lord, Rimuru . I would like to have tonight become a small welcome, and so would like to have you partake of Tempest’s cuisine . Pardon my inept speech . Let us begin!]
There are many who would like to speak to me face to face, but they’ll have to do that afterwards . Most of their gazes are curious . There were some who paled when I called myself a demon lord, and others’ faces lit up . I’m not good at handling this kind of stuff, which is why I decided on a simple greeting banquet . That’s when food started to be brought out . Well, will they like it? This time, sushi . And sashimi with tempura . The fish is fresh . I mean, I went to get it myself . Without caring about what I caught, I swallowed it all, and removed the poison . I also learned to move around in the water better . But, I should leave this kind of work to people from now on . Hakurou handled the fish with excellent skill . Using the knife Kurobee forged, he dissected all of it in a split second . Shuna as well handled the fish wonderfully . Hakurou also packed the rice . What a unexpected skill he has . Apparently, he learned how to do that from the previous generation . So does that mean that the dragon slayer was a world traveler from the Edo period? But somehow the times periods don’t fit well… Well, what do I care? Shion also wanted to help but decided to abstain this time around . I mean, obviously . We can’t possibly bring out unpleasant looking food to rulers . That’d be bad even as a joke . The problem is, soy sauce . Somehow, we were able to create a soy sauce substitute . I do think the color is wrong, and though the taste is a bit off, it should be fine . Wasabi we had . But first timers might not handle it well, so we decided to make sushi without it this time . All the preparations are set . Food reflects the hospitality of the soul . I hope they’ll see my intentions .
And thus began the banquet . The first outcries were heard when we started pouring cold beer . To those poor souls who have never had properly carbonated cold beer, our product must have been a real surprise . And it also has to be cold . It has to be served in cold transparent glasses–that is the nature of Japanese service . Even I can’t compromise on the point . The elf waitress was going around pouring the alcohol . No, I did not force her to do it! She volunteered… Overall, this was a great success . When she bows with her hands in front of her it… lights up a man’s heart . There’s people whose faces are red even though they haven’t drunk that much . After all, breasts and yukata . Fufufu… all according to plan .
And thus, the banquet continued . Seems like it will finish without a problem . Studying the fish in front of me, I can’t help but marvel at the design of the cut . Of course, I immediately ate some of it . By no means was it bad . This fish was around A ranked… and while some of it looked hardly appetizing, that does not affect its taste . The guests had their magicians assess the food for poison and hesitantly put it in their mouth . Well, as in-landers that they are, they probably never had the chance to eat raw fish before . After all, the carriage is the problem . Other than being able to carry a limited amount, even the extremely rich would not be able to eat the fish raw . Oh, and of course they really liked it . So everything went according to plan . “See what you can eat if you deal with us?” That’s the kind of message I want them to get from this . That’s one of the reasons I’m doing all of this . Not just to flaunt my wealth . I am not just a selfish individual, I am also opportunistic! That’s how it is .
And thus the banquet (a . k . a . publicity stunt) concluded without an incident .