Letter of Invitation
Every country bordering the Jura Forest soon heard these news .
It was preposterous to think that they could have secretly invaded without being seen .
Moreover, countries that had relations with Tempest could hardly believe that their intelligence gathering teams were negligent .
Of course, Rimuru was aware that these countries were sending spies .
Which is why he had ordered a victory that produced the fewest casualties .
And country executives realized this fact .
After all, the fact that none of the knights were killed only proved their hypotheses .
For example, in the Dwarf Kingdom–military nation Dwargon .
The ministers gathered upon the Dwarf King’s request .
They were analyzing a recorded image, while scrutinizing every bit of data they could acquire . With every minister having access to the said information .
The data they had acquired disclosed the matters of the battle .
The results were rather surprising .
One hundred Knights Templar, believed to be the strongest among humans, planned an invasion of the country .
However, Demon Lord Rimuru had intercepted this plan, and his response left the knights completely defeated .
How truly terrifying the Demon Lord Rimuru’s information gathering skills are!
Certainly no less terrifying than his ability to strategize!
So murmured the Ministers .
However, was it as they said? The Dwarf King looked over the data, and his sight fell upon a bizarre pattern of movements displayed by the combatants .
Was this not supposed to devolve into a haphazard encounter between the forces?
Such a thought came to his mind . Actually, that’s the only possibility he could have imagined .
No matter how much anyone claimed that the altered terrain caused the knights to dance in the palm of Rimuru’s hand, it should have had no bearing on the actual combat .
If so, he was actually constantly staying aware of Hinata’s plans while modifying the strategy to sway the battle in his favor .
And as a result, by controlling every aspect of the battle, the knights were completely defeated .
Unfortunately, since the recording magic is rather limited, the dwarfs could only lament the lack of a comprehensive report .
That is, it could only produce a soundless spectacle of the battlefield .
Nor could it analyze the skills used; at most, it helped identify the winner .
Even so, the data they gathered is certainly of grave importance .
Thus he scrutinized it again .
Captain-class knights were seen moving in various directions with some plan in mind . The Tempest department heads intercepted resulting in combat .
The result was a total war across all fronts and a complete victory for Tempest .
Among these battles, it was noted that a single monster could overwhelm eight knights–much to the dwarfs’ surprise .
Considering that these knights were at least of captain class, it is best to assume that Monster Country Tempest easily surpasses the military might of Dwargon .
The ministers noisily grumbled about this, while King Gazelle Dwargo sighed in relief .
He was truly glad that Demon Lord Rimuru was an idealistic monster who sought friendship with the humans .
Had he been a monster who sought to destroy humanity, humans would have faced an unprecedented calamity .
(Besides, he’s growing too fast!)
Was Gazelle’s true thoughts .
He had thought Rimuru to be full of potential when they had first met, but he had never considered that he could progress this far .
Should he have destroyed him then? He could not come up with an answer .
For better or worse, this demon lord was interesting .
And, they currently have a cooperation pact and will be proceeding on friendly terms in the future .
Moreover, thanks to his “World Traveler” ideals, he has been developing some interesting contraptions .
Sparing no time nor effort, and aligning himself with no other “World Traveler”, perhaps such is the true strength of this demon lord .
His movements have thus produced some interesting results .
And the many skills and technologies developed thus the dwarfs are able to obtain without lifting a finger .
So Gazelle decided .
Even if the angels destroy him, the dwarfs will not allow the technology to be lost .
Of course, they will probably become more and more militaristic in the future… but Oh well!
How much joy the dwarfs felt from all the inventions that came from that country .
(At this point, we have no choice but to trust Demon Lord Rimuru!)
Besides, he had released all the knights unharmed this time .
This could be interpreted as seeking to coexist with the humans .
Had he intended to fight them, he could have massacred the knights . After all, who can complain that an invading force was destroyed?
And yet he had let them live . Completely unharmed .
This could also be interpreted to mean that he had the confidence that Knight Templar class soldiers are of no threat to him .
This is causing quite a division among the ministers: some calling him a danger, others rejecting that notion .
Both are probably correct .
But there’s only one decision .
Gazelle cleared his throat and thus got everyone’s attention .
The conference room was completely silent, with every gaze focused on the king .
「That demon lord seeks to coexist with humans, so, as much as possible, we will support him . That is the official position of military nation Dwargon!」
The dwarf king’s declaration reverberated through the hall .
The ministers bowed their heads and accepted their lord’s will .
Thus the policy was decided . The specific measures would now be drafted by excellent individuals .
Whether this was a right or wrong decision, he could not have known .
But, the Dwarf King had no regrets .
And then another report was brought to the king .
「Your Majesty, Rigurdo-dono has sent an announcement .
It seems that they are planning on holding an event to make known the ascension of a new demon lord and seek our presence .
Well, this might be a political farce, however . They are simply trying to appeal to countries they are friendly with .
Doesn’t seem like they actually expect our presence, so how should we respond?」
「Oh, about that! Bester also mentioned something!
Tempest, it seems, is planning on holding a tournament…
Probably a show to go along with the announcement . 」
「What will we do? If we plan to attend, they have requested that we notify them in advance .
There is limited number of seats, and the city is bound to be crowded that day, so they have asked to promptly answer them . 」
Bester’s question was brought up along with this report .
The Dwarf King pondered for a second .
(Actually, what the hell is that stupid demon lord planning hosting a tournament now of all time…)
Completely unpredictable .
Hence amusing .
The Dwarf King struggled to keep a smile from surfacing .
He could not break his facade before the ministers .
(You bastard… making me suffer so… I like it!)
Stifling the joy with a hint of anger, he announced his decision .
「We will attend the ceremony and the tournament」
He said .
The Ministers had not at all expected such a response, but this was the decision of their king .
With the meeting decided, they quickly started to prepare for the journey .
＊ ＊ ＊
Sorcerer Dynasty Sarion, the Emperor’s Castle .
A beautiful garden full of rare life spread behind it .
Keeping up the garden provided numerous benefits for the dynasty to say nothing of income made from it .
In other words, it was the source of the dynasty’s pocket money .
The entire garden was maintained without a penny from the taxes .
Two beings relaxed inside this garden .
One was Duke Elalude .
Father of Adventurer Ellen, and one of the three leaders of this country .
And a being who was sitting across from him .
This being is the only one with a higher standing than Duke Elalude in the entire kingdom .
Empress Elumeshia Elure Sarion herself .
With a beautiful feminine face–well, she is a woman, after all–she has elf blood flowing through her veins and thus doesn’t age .
Asking the empress how old she is, is considered a taboo .
She has the body of a girl who has just reached adulthood . With skin as white as fresh snow .
Long pointed ears easily distinguish her from anyone else . The glance of her slanted, jade eyes pierce into the very soul of the person before her .
And, long pale blue silver hair falls gently over her cheeks .
Duke Elalude was once entranced by the beauty she embodied, but was able to regain his mind after considering his wife’s and daughter’s wrath .
And with a short prayer, he faced the Empress .
The one so gracefully sitting upon the cushion across from him,
「Your Majesty, regarding the monster country I have reported on previously, we have received an announcement . 」
He said and taking out a letter from his breast pocket handed it to the Empress .
He checked that it was safe . As for its contents, he would rather not say them himself .
He knew all to well that the Empress hated to have people learn things before her .
(Having become a demon lord is great and all, but why announce it?)
And here is the question .
The letter was addressed to Duke Elalude . Normally, there was no need to let the Empress know about it .
But… it read “Please let us know how many people will participate!”
And that means that any number of guests are invited .
So if he doesn’t let the Empress know and goes by himself, she’ll just get mad at him again . And he would rather that not happen .
When he left on a mission to free his daughter from the clutches of an evil demon lord, he received a stern scolding .
Here’s what she said .
「You bastard, how dare you leave your lord’s side! I can’t believe that such an interesting slime exists until I see it personally . Moreover, to witness a birth of a demon lord, which even I have never seen? I’m so jeal… Ummm, it’s ridiculous! To have missed such a wonderf… I mean, you don’t even know the danger you were facing! What a fool!」
And she became depressed .
Oh, and only Elalude ever saw Empress act like this .
She appears as a cold hearted individual to the other ministers, and is even feared as the Doll Empress .
Like a sheep in wolf’s clothing! Elalude always wants to retort .
So he perfectly understood how angry she would have been had he gone off by himself this time .
They even claimed to conduct a Tournament at this occasion .
If he left her behind, her anger would be unimaginable .
Currently, due to her sulking, he has yet to establish technological cooperation with that country .
So if her mood improves, maybe they’ll finally be able to finalize those details .
There’s another important point .
He had confirmed that Tempest had fought against the Templars recently .
He had worried about how they will fare against them, but, surprisingly, they didn’t just completely defeat them all, they also released every knight .
Basically claiming to have overwhelming confidence in themselves .
They could perhaps be countries that try to appear weak with only the leaders aware of the true strength .
But even so, to hold a tournament now of all times can only be interpreted as an event to flaunt their strength .
Well, since this allows Sarion to measure their strength, it is crucial that they participate .
But to bring the Empress to such an event would create a myriad problems…
And he was certain that he himself would have to solve all of them .
Empress Elumeshia returned the letter .
Elalude gulped in anticipation .
「Your Majesty, how shall we respond?」
He hesitantly asked .
With a wide smile on her face,
She was just putting on airs .
He could easily predict her next words but still waited for them .
And hearing an expected response, Duke Elalude would spend the next days without any sleep, busy with preparations .
＊ ＊ ＊
In the small country Brumund’s trading house, Myormiles was getting tired of the person talking to him .
As a merchant, he could tell a person’s personality with a single glance .
Those coming for money, those coming with a new business opportunity .
There’s also fallen nobles who come proposing dubious deals .
Among all these fools there maybe someone with a legitimate proposal .
So he can’t leave this job to anyone else .
While thinking this, he dismissed the swindler before him and called forth the new guest .
A handsome man entered .
But Myormiles would not be deceived .
This man too was a fallen noble who had once tried to sell some junk at high price using his name .
He probably came with another idea and is seeking money .
But, if anything, he is a noble . Myormiles verified this himself .
So rudeness towards a true noble could be fatal . Which makes this job all the harder .
“Another stupid idea is it,” he thought, and inquired the guest .
And he was right .
It really was rubbish .
In short, I’ll open a new store using my slaves, so give me money! He said .
Frankly, he can’t see this idea succeeding . A store needs a lot more than cute girls to be successful .
Research the market and the buyers, consider the location, and pay for the girls’ children .
Just because they are slaves does not mean they will work for free–they need food and shelter after all . There’s also initial costs to consider .
Opening a brothel also requires one to consider the chance for disease to spread .
If it does, not only the noble, but Myormiles himself would be indicted .
So this is not something he could accept .
「My, what a discerning eye you have, Kazak-sama .
But, regarding these female slaves, that would prove impossible, wouldn’t it .
Human slave trade has been forbidden and opening a store with illegal slaves would be…」
「Oh, about that… here’s the thing . All is solved when a noble pays the right people some money .
So, you know? Oh and this is a secret… but those slaves are elves」
He said in a haughty manner .
Myormiles got a heartburn just listening to Count Kazak, but stifled his displeasure .
As a merchant, he can’t show a customer displeasure . Even a novice merchant knows that .
So how should he refuse him…
And the moment he began to say something,
「Yo! How have you been, Myormiles-kun!」
The door burst open and in walked a person while greeting him .
A beautiful girl (boy?) with silver hair, golden eyes walked in .
Who can’t possible be here…
「Eh? Could it be, Rimuru-danna?」
A profoundly surprised voice escaped his lips .
Huh? Didn’t Rimuru-dana become a demon lord? So Fuze-sama had said…
And he is not wearing a mask? So he was this cute without it?!
These thoughts filling his head, he had completely forgot about Count Kazak .
And then he heard,
「Please wait! Master is currently with a guest!」
A panicking attendant attempted to stop him .
Chances are, he had missed Rimuru coming in and was too late in stopping him .
What a failure . But chances are, he wouldn’t have been able to stop him anyways .
So Myormiles could hardly get angry at the attendant .
「Ah, sorry . You were with a guest, huh . Well then, I’ll wait in your store!」
And flashing an insincere smile, Rimuru added『Pardon my rudeness… nah, my bad!』
And leaving everyone dumbfounded he left .
Afterwards, Myormiles ended the discussion with Count Kazak, and cleared his schedule for the rest of the day .
A great wave was beginning to move the world .
What was more important?
Myormiles was not a fool who could not understand that much .
He was certainly a person who could find ore within a stone .
But! There was something he could create even if he were to abandon everything .
A short acquaintanceship but large profit? That didn’t matter .
Most important was his obligation to consider the long term benefit of his business partners–fellow merchants .
He had intended to visit himself when things calmed down .
That is, he has heard that after becoming a demon lord Rimuru has gone off to attend Walpurgis Banquet .
So he could hardly take any action until he was sure of the changes .
And yet the person himself had visited as if nothing had changed .
So meeting with this person was by far the most important thing he had to do .
Remembering every strategy he knows, and hiding the pure joy that was filling his heart, Myormiles rushed to his store .
What wicked plan would he propose today?
And thus, Myormiles tedious days would come to an end .