“Hmm, I think it might look strange to travel with two beautiful women as well.”
Toshizou joked right before our departure. But well, that could not be helped.
While Jeanne wore humble traveling clothes, Eve drew attention in her maid uniform.
I tried to persuade her to change her clothes, but she would not listen.
“If you wish to take these clothes off of me, then you might as well take my skin off as well.”
It must have something to do with her pride as a maid and secretary demon.
She would obey almost any other order from me, but she was stubborn on this matter.
Well, it wasn’t too unreasonable for a merchant to have a maid, and so I allowed it.
And like this, the Demon King, Maid, and Saint set out on a journey.
We were headed west towards the dwarven homelands, which was located in a land where the human forces were very strong.
It would mean trouble if we were exposed as demons, but there were no humans in the actual dwarven territory, so we would just have to reach it safely.
The problem that could arise, was encounters with knights on the way. But we ended up being lucky.
The people that we saw on the way were a family on a pilgrimage, traveling merchants, and a small group of mercenaries.
The crass mercenaries pointed and insolently asked Eve and Jeanne their price, but they fell silent when Jeanne cut open a giant tree nearby.
And I was able to hide that I was a demon.
I suppose people did not expect a Demon King to have a saintly woman like Jeanne by his side.
Thinking of it like that, perhaps this had been the perfect selection of traveling companions.
Taking an eastern man like Toshizou with me would have drawn even more attention.
Besides, he would have cut the mercenaries, not the tree.
That would cause quite the skirmish, and delay my plans to visit the dwarves.
And so while I had been right in bringing her with me, there was one thing that bothered me.
In her world, she had been called the Maid of Orléans.
Always on the frontlines in battles. But she was no undefeatable warrior.
And so where had this power come from?
Did just anyone who was summoned to this world become a Hero?
Or had she already been strong upon her arrival?
I asked her this.
She looked at me with surprise.
It was a youthful expression, but she quickly returned to normal.
“It is all God’s will.”
She really was a religious zealot.
In this other world, she had worked heroically, but was ultimately captured by the enemy and met a cruel fate.
At that time, the king of France who she had been so loyal to, betrayed her. And the nobles that fought alongside her abandoned her.
And yet she had not cursed them, and hoped only for the peace of her country. And after her death, the church canonized her.
With such a fate, perhaps she would see all of her actions as relating to god.
Eve was worried that she would betray me, but as long as I did not do anything that went against her god, she would likely stay on my side.
The Ashtaroth army was still a gathering of weak soldiers, and so it was my great fortune that a powerful Hero such as her would be their commander.
And so I swore that I would govern wisely, in order to keep her as a subordinate for as long as possible.
After all, I preferred to be realistic.
I respected men like Machiavelli and Han Feizi.
I would be ruthless and merciless against my enemies.
Surely this god would allow me that, at least.
That is what I thought, as we continued on.