Workaholic Demon King
The floating city of Berneze.
A city that prospered through trading spices with the southern island cities. After solving a number of their troubles, I became a hero to them.
The entire city welcomed us as honored guests. Feasts were held in our honor every day, but I could not bask in their hospitality forever.
And so I visited Marco Polo and told him that I would be leaving.
It was with a great feeling of regret that I shook hands with the Hero who once crossed the Eurasian continent in another world.
“As the representative of the council, I would have wanted a capable man like you to stay here.”
Marco said, but it was Eve who replied to him.
“Sir Marco, that will not do. There is no one else like my master in this world. And it is on the throne in Ashtaroth castle, that he should stay.”
She said firmly. But Marco already knew that no amount of talk could persuade me to stay in this city. And he did not try after that.
However, his apprentice, Ryoma, continued to try and delay our departure.
“There will be a typhoon tomorrow.”
“It would be bad luck to travel on the day after tomorrow.”
“My birthday is coming up.”
She was constantly looking for an excuse for me to stay.
If I took her seriously, I would never be able to return to Ashtaroth castle. I felt bad, but had to promise that I would celebrate her birthday with her next year, and then I packed my belongings.
Well, not that there was much to pack. Besides, my capable maid had already done everything for me.
And so I waited in my room and leisurely drank some tea while waiting for the preparations to be made. Then I got into the impressive carriage that Berneze had prepared for us, and then I said my goodbyes.
The half elf merchant, Ryoma, saw us off at the city’s entrance. And she waved until we were out of sight.
Upon seeing this, Hijikata Toshizou said,
“You must have some regrets when you are leaving someone so beautiful behind.”
“Indeed. Were it not for my duties as Demon King, I would want to stay.”
Saint Jeanne was the first to react to this joke. She puffed up her cheeks and said,
“But you are a king of the people. You cannot abandon your job. There are many people whose lives depend on you.”
She was right, of course. And so I stopped joking after that.
The city of Berneze really had grown prosperous through trade, and so the carriage was quite extravagant. It was something that you might expect the royal family to ride in. and it was just as impressive from the inside.
It made the carriage we used to travel there look like a children’s toy. Not only that, but the horses were also of the finest breed, and ran with a comfortable swiftness. We would likely reach our home in a few days.
“That is, if nothing happens on the way.”
I muttered to myself. However, it did not become a reality. And we all arrived safely at Ashtaroth castle.
When we entered the castle walls, the carriage was surrounded by people.
At first, I wondered if it was a riot, but it wasn’t. They were just happy that they could now buy food again.
And they knew that it was because of me.
As I hadn’t seen Fuma Kotaro for awhile, I assumed that he had spread the news. It was rather perceptive of him, but I would not have expected such a welcome, regardless.
Fuma Kotaro then appeared seemingly out of nowhere, and said to me,
“This is still quite modest. Thanks to you, Tyron’s storages were opened. Not only that, but we are now able to buy from Berneze at fair prices. The price of food here had fallen back down again, and we are in a better position than many of the surrounding cities.”
“I see. That is good.”
I said wholeheartedly. Then Eve turned to me.
“Well then, Master. It’s time for you to show your face to the people. Open the window and wave your hand. They will be overjoyed to see you.”
“That would be embarrassing. Am I an actor or a popular singer now?”
“You are much more than that. Now, hurry.”
Eve said as she opened the window.
I could feel the enthusiasm of the crowd like a wave of heat.
“It’s King Ashtaroth. He has shown his face!”
It was like being a celebrity. I felt as if the carriage would be knocked over. But Toshizou and Kotaro went outside to guard it, and so we remained safe.
In order to answer the gratitude of the people, I slowed down the carriage and waved my hand at them.
The people shouted, ‘King Ashtaroth! King Ashtaroth!’ as they surrounded us. However, they did not follow us once we arrived and I entered the castle.
“I would expect no less from your people. They are well-mannered.”
“Well, it would not do to have them come in right now. However, I do hope to open the castle to the people one of these days.”
“That might be a good idea.”
“Long ago, the emperor of Japan would open his palace to the people of Kyoto during the new year. Also, there are records of the palace of Versailles doing the same thing.”
“It will not only show how magnanimous and caring you are, but people will be able to witness the splendour of this castle.”
“Indeed. It was Gottlieb who expanded it, and you who have managed things. It is no longer the ruin that I was born in.”
When Ashtaroth, the 72nd Demon King was born, this castle was falling apart. But after the slow gathering of materials and expansion, it was now something to be proud of. It looked like a classic castle from medieval Europe.
And the defenses were now so strong that it could withstand the invasion of any army. And on the outside, it looked just as beautiful as any castle owned by Demon Kings and human nobles in the area.
It felt like something from a different age now. It was with such thoughts that I went through the gate and looked up at the castle.
While we had been treated well in Berneze, this was the place that I felt the most comfortable.
“I want to enter my study and get to work as soon as possible.”
I said, and Eve put a hand to her mouth as if to stifle laughter.
“You are quite the workaholic, Master.”
I could not deny it.