𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟕: 𝐌𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠
There were no human casualties, but the Piran Castle was damaged.
It’s been hit by rocks from a cyclops and has withstood the onslaught of goblins.
It couldn’t have been damage-free.
Therefore, repair work is currently being carried out at a rapid pace.
We cleaned up the monster corpses on the first day, because they would rot if left alone.
We dug a huge hole and threw in the corpses from which we had removed the cores.
Then, the castle’s priest offered a prayer for all of them at once.
If there had been any casualties on our side, we would have had a more proper funeral.
“It takes days to repair the castle walls damaged in a few hours of battle. Not only time but also money is needed. War is really no good.”
I shrugged my shoulders as I watched the castle’s people working busily.
It would be pointless to bill Güney for the repair costs, Piran has to bear them.
If it were me, I’d cry at the high expenses.
“But it’s better than losing lives. If it’s money, you can earn it again, if it’s goods, you can either reproduce or buy them. But life doesn’t work that way.”
Zachalant, who had been standing next to me before I knew it, laughed cheerfully.
He even made a vulgar joke about how even if you try hard to make one, it won’t be born until a year later.
I shrugged my shoulders.
I agreed. Except for the vulgar joke.
Whether it’s a human, a long-lived demon race, or a machine part, you can’t easily replace it just because it’s broken.
How much time and cost it takes to train someone who can perform that role.
It’s the same whether you’re a soldier, an engineer, or a civil servant.
Therefore, even if we put aside the humanitarian talk, we have to take care of our personnel in terms of management and military significance.
“What I find strange is, Lionel-kun. Why you, who understand all this, are complaining about the cost of repairing the castle walls and gates.”
“Because I’m poor.”
My answer was simple and to the point, but perhaps someone who could call the repair costs, which would probably amount to hundreds of gold coins, a trifle, might not understand.
“With such talent, there should be plenty of ways to make money.”
He’s mumbling something in a voice I can’t hear.
“Eh? I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”
“I said, it’s about time for the messenger from Masrur to arrive.”
“Indeed. It’s that time.”
I nod, although I feel like it’s about something else.
Fifteen days have passed since Salieri sent the report. It takes five days one way from the capital to the border, and from there to Piran Castle it takes about five days on foot, so it wouldn’t be strange if they arrived soon.
The reason I’m only calculating the travel time is because I’m assuming they’ll move as soon as the report arrives.
“And, as I was saying, it seems they’ve arrived. It’s like the saying, ‘Speak of the devil and he shall appear.'”
I chuckle at the figure appearing in the distance.
The person who introduced herself as Milene is apparently the secretary of Demon King Ingral.
She’s just as smart and beautiful as she seems, and nothing like the laid-back Salieri.
“But, she’s my cousin.”
“Much to my regret.”
Salieri, who is proud for some reason, and Milene, who has a grim face.
Well, even though they’re cousins, there seems to be a 150-year age difference.
Long-lived species are amazing.
“My lord Ingral is unsure how to treat Lord Zachalant Piran, so I was dispatched to ascertain your intentions.”
After a brief greeting and self-introduction, Milene quickly got to the point.
But that doesn’t mean she’s in a hurry to reach a conclusion.
First, she’ll convey the message, have a leisurely discussion with the vassals, and probably exchange conditions over dinner.
It won’t be settled in one or two meetings.
“As for intentions, as the Demon King, he wants to treat us properly as a vassal state. We can’t suddenly become part of Masrur now.”
“To put it bluntly, yes.”
Milene gives a bitter smile at Zachalant’s direct way of speaking.
However, there was no disgust in that bitter smile.
She’s probably fed up with the roundabout way the nobles speak.
Anyway, if we treat Piran, which parted ways with them five hundred years ago, as part of the Masrur Kingdom, various frictions will arise.
Because it means an increase in nobles.
Those whose ranks will be lowered will naturally not be pleased.
Furthermore, the location is bad.
It’s inside the Lintrite Kingdom. It’s a regular diplomatic issue.
It’s an enemy country, so it can’t get any worse, but it could be a spark for war.
“It’s fine. We’ll become a vassal state.”
Zachalant said it more easily than choosing a lunch menu.
Milene, Salieri, and I all play a dumbfounded trio in unison, our eyes wide.
What did he just say? This damn lord.
“No, so, we’ll become a vassal state. Let’s decide on the tribute amount and everything. Quickly.”
He says it so casually.
It’s not something you can decide so easily.
Is this old man okay?