|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 1756 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 799 words|
Only a few days passed since the demon army invaded my country and wrecked the peace I forged with so much work. The nobles and soldiers of many cities fought with their lives to stop the enemy, but they all perished. One-third of my country was destroyed, and I was ready to become the last king of Strom. But the gods were on my side, and Freya, a prominent priestess of Lumiere, as well as Lumielle’s hero happened to be with us.
With her help, I felt like we had a chance to regain control of my country, but I knew it would be a harsh battle. Later an even more unexpected helper, worth an entire army, also joined us. Lapis, a girl so beautiful it seemed surreal, her body more frail-looking than Freya’s, but who turned out to be far more powerful.
I had heard rumors about her, most of which I thought were mendacity. But the same night she joined us I was convinced otherwise. There were two very powerful demons leading the enemy troops, one of which was a female demon who stood on top of the rest in terms of power, yet Lapis defeated her without receiving a single scratch. At first, I thought my informant was seeing things or that my ears were failing me, but as more reports came in they all corroborated the same account, so it had to be true.
I had never expected there was such a powerful being in this world. But thanks to those two, the majority of the demon army that invaded my country was defeated, while the rest were unable to coordinate a retreat. Now reinforcements from other countries were arriving, and with their help, we could fend off the sporadic attacks done by the remnants of the demon army and rebuild the lost cities. As I lay in my new bed, to which I was not yet accustomed, I heaved a deep sigh knowing things would get busier soon. An instant later I sprung up feeling a foreign presence in my room.
“Oh? You noticed me? Then again you’re the king, so it makes sense you’re different from the regular soldiers.”
Only a faint moonlight passed through the closed curtains, but it was enough to outline a silhouette in my room, which did not look human. From its head grew two twisted horns, which would only grow on sheep and never on a person. Looking closely it appeared to have a female body, and she looked strong.
(A demon, huh…if she got all the way here, either my guards have lost their edge, or she’s simply too skilled. Either way, I have to be ready for anything.)
I was quite confident with a sword when I was younger, though that was only compared to average people, I was nothing compared to Freya or Lapis. With my age and skill I had no chance to win a fight against a demon, but even then I grabbed the sword placed next to my bed, unsheathed it, and pointed it to the demon.
“Huh, you won’t call for help?”
“I know you’ll kill me if I try making a loud sound. And even if I did call for assistance, they would only die trying to fight you. I’ve sacrificed enough of my people already.”
“That’s surprising, but I can see you’re a good king. I can respect your decision.”
“Being praised by someone about to kill me doesn’t make me happy.”
I did not desire to die, but I had already lived for seventy years, and considering my position I knew I could get targeted at any moment. That moment just happened to arrive tonight, so I had no reason to freak out. As I gripped my sword more firmly, the demon smiled in a curious way and slowly raised her hands instead of attacking me. She grinned when she noticed how confused I felt.
“Why don’t you better put that sword away? I actually don’t want to kill you.”
“…And what makes you think I’ll believe that?”
“Fair point. But you do realize that if that was my goal, your head would be rolling on the floor at this very moment, right? But that hasn’t happened, try thinking why that is.”
I felt irritated by the way she belittled me, but she seemed to be telling the truth so I slowly lowered my sword.
“Do you feel like listening to me now?”
“For now, yes. And so? What do you want sneaking into my bedroom so late at night?”
“It’s nothing complicated. I want to forge an alliance between your country, and my master Lord Aprila.”
Hearing such an unexpected offer I was left speechless.