Chapter 178 – Malevolent Flower(4)
Daisy most likely didn’t succeed these stats by herself. Both Luke and Daisy, in this scenario where one of them had to become the hero, most likely inherited the same stats……. This was terrifying to think about.
Jeremi gave me a blank stare once I laughed to myself. It didn’t look like she was giving me a weird look. Although she was curious as to why I was laughing, since she believed that I probably wouldn’t give her an answer if she were to ask now, she was holding herself back, that was the sort of expression she was making.
“Jeremi, I will leave this girl in your care until she is awake.”
“Understood. She will most likely be bedridden for three days anyway.”
“It seems I will continue to be indebted to you.”
“Nonsense. Just imagining how much Your Highness will stir this continent.”
Jeremi covered her mouth and laughed.
“This thought alone makes this much work worth it.”
“You are also quite the pervert.”
“Dear me. To be called a pervert by Your Highness, there is no honor greater than this.”
I stared at Jeremi feeling taken aback.
Once I did, Jeremi gave me an exaggerated shrug.
“You said that you were the most earnest and trustworthy out of all Demon Lords, correct? Yes, of course you did. Your Highness has said that so many times now that it has become embedded in this one’s ears. Your Highness may make passionate love to Her Highness Barbatos who has the appearance of a child, but you are definitely not a pedophile.”
“Even today, Your Highness and a 10-year-old human girl may have stared at each other intensely for an hour straight, but you are still definitely not a pervert. Naturally. Sheesh. Your gazes were so heated that I thought I might get burned by being near you two.”
I realized something right as I was about to refute her. Jeremi was intentionally being overly chatty.
She had sensed that my mood had become overly serious, so she had thrown out jokes to alleviate my mood. Honestly, I was able to stop concentrating on the hero for a moment thanks to her.
I ended up worrying someone who wasn’t even an official subordinate. How pathetic of me…….
I let out a sigh before showing a thin smile. I then patted Jeremi’s head. Her soft, sky blue hair brushed across my palm pleasantly.
Jeremi widened her eyes in surprise. Her eyes were constantly half-closed because of the drugs and hallucinogens. Jeremi, who rarely showed any signs of emotions, was genuinely startled this time. I put as much gratitude as I possibly could in my palm as I stroked her head gently.
“The slave seal is what plummeted your life to hell. I had ordered you to do something that had forced you into the mud. It was an absolute garbage thing I had done. From this point on, you have the right to call me a piece of trash.”
“……No, I was.”
“You asked me this back at the remains of that castle.”
Jeremi wasn’t acting as her usual self as she nodded hesitantly.
On the day I first met Jeremi, we had set up camp at the remains of a castle. Jeremi, who was wondering if she had no other choice but to live a terrible life because she was born as a lesser demon asked me to change this unfair world and become her king.
“My answer has not changed. I cannot shoulder your misfortune for you. Jeremi, if your life is trash, then it is the same for me.”
“However, I can at least walk by your side. Let us exist in a single world together. As fellow pieces of trash.”
She had saved Lapis and my life. Adding to this, she made a hero into my slave. I will pay her back one day.
Jeremi shut her lips. Shortly after, she gave a faint ‘yes’. I’m not sure why, but I let out a laugh. I gave her hair one final stroke before leaving the room.
* * *
That night, a festival was held in the baronet’s territory.
Baronet Bercy had carried out a festival for, not 1 day, but for 4 days straight. This was because the lord’s aide had bought a lot of food and beverages from the city and distributed them. Our group was naturally treated as the stars since we had subjugated two goblin villages.
Even now, the dwarves were chatting away loudly at the center of the town square. It seems that drinking battles no longer ended in sour moods as the dwarves and the men of the village carried out an intense competition. This really was the crucible of madness.
There was a competition that was approved by Baronet Bercy called <Who Comes First>.
The men would all stand in a line in the town square. They would then take off their pants and reveal their burly and occasionally not burly members. And just like the name of the competition……they would ‘come’. For the sake of doing so before anyone else.
It was none other than Baronet Bercy who had approved of this insane competition.
“Mm. Is it not entertaining?”
The Baronet even declared that he would give the winner a pig. A breeding pig, at that. The men naturally got worked up. Dozens of males lined up regardless of their race or age. They claimed that they would show off the ‘skill’ they had trained and refined throughout the years.
The competition consisted of four preliminary matches, two main matches, and one final match. The preliminaries were currently being held in the town square. Ten people who believed they were unmatched had gathered. They all had serious looks on their faces, like a bunch of otters facing the biggest threat of their lives.
The wives who were blinded by the prospect of obtaining a pig cheered their husbands on. There were a fair number of reluctant husbands who were forced to participate because of their wives.
“Kyaaa! Dear! Faster! Do it faster!”
“Those menfolk would always climax so fast at home, but they’re so slow outside! Damn it!”
“H-Hey! Look at my breasts and cum already, you scrawny bastard!”
One of the women couldn’t sit still as she tore her top off. The spectators cheered. However, contrary to her intentions, her husband’s member shrunk instead. The pair panicked as they didn’t seem to know what to do.
“Kuhaha! Look at him shrivel up after seeing his wife!”
“This makes me really worried about that pair’s nightlife! Haha!”
Teasing and heckling poured down on them. The woman who had mustered up the courage to shower her breasts didn’t even stay for the main matches as she ran away. The spectators laughed again as they saw her run. The sound of their laughter became like a firework as it resonated clearly throughout the night sky.
Baronet Bercy laughed as he applauded. He was already incredibly intoxicated as his face was completely red. The baronet was a serious and stern lord, but he was someone who understood the lives of the people down to the bone. It was fortunate that these people managed to get this person as their lord.
“So will you be leaving tomorrow?”
“Yes. We have already finished with Your Highness’ request.”
The Baronet seemed genuinely sad.
“Thanks to you and your men, we were able to pass the winter safely and you also subjugated the goblin villages for us.”
“It is as the Goddess willed.”
“Fufu, the Goddess, is it……?”
He raised his horn cup with wine in it.
“I do not follow any God. No matter how much we plea to the Gods, they do not help us when we are tormented by famines or plagues. In the end, starvation belongs to humans and bone-wrenching pain also belongs to humans. Gods do not experience hunger or pain…….”
Baronet Bercy gulped down his wine all at once. It must be incredibly stressful to live sincerely as the lord of a single region in an era like this. Your job instantly becomes a 3D business the instant you volunteer to take up noblesse oblige.
This would focus politics, military affairs, diplomatic affairs, trials, records, marriages, architecture, etc all onto a single person. Even if a village chief or a landowner were to help you, the regional lord would have to have a grasp of everything. Adding to this, not only would they also have to be wary of the lords with higher positions around them, but they have to either cooperate or fight with the smaller lords around them as well.
“How could the Gods who have never felt hunger or pain before sympathize with us humans? The greatest misfortune we humans have is the fate of having to die after being born.”
“That is correct.”
I won’t die of old age as a Demon Lord, though.
The Baronet stared straight at me.
“How interesting. I said something blasphemous just now. Are you not upset?”
“Is the divinity spoken by humans not simply the divinity of humans? If the Gods do not respond no matter how much we worship and plea to them, then the Gods will most likely not get upset even if we were to slander them.”
I brought my hands together and muttered like I was saying a prayer.
“Dear Gods, please stay still and watch over us. Let us humans handle ourselves.”
Baronet Bercy looked like he had lost. He let out a loud laugh.
“Hahah! You are right. It seems I have tripped over my own words. All right, let us have a toast to our Goddess Artemis! For the Goddess!”
“For the Goddess.”
We clinked our horn cups together.
The sound of cheering echoed clearly from the center of the square. The preliminaries had ended and the contestants to go on to the next round had been chosen. The vicious part about that competition was the fact that they had to masturbate during the preliminaries, main matches, and finals, so for a total of three times. Who would create such a competition?
The Baronet grinned, but he spoke with a serious tone.
“My beliefs have changed greatly ever since I met you, Priest Jean Bolle.”
Jean Bolle was my fake name.
“A priest is able to give hope to the world without the help of their God.”
“You are praising me far too much.”
“No, that is not true. You have given hope to hundreds of people already. Including me.”
The man before me will most likely never discover even at the moment of his death that Jean Bolle was actually a Demon Lord and that he was the culprit behind the fear and despair experienced by hundreds of thousands of humans. This made it fun.
“Furthermore, you have also taken the survivors of a village that was destroyed by goblins under your wing.”
He was talking about Luke and Daisy.
“Yes. I intend to raise them as my adopted son and daughter.”
“As your adopted son and daughter?”
The Baronet was surprised again.
Slash-and-burn villagers were treated worse than farmers. On the other hand, priests occupied the peak of the class pyramid. He was most likely surprised to hear that one of the noblest of people was going to take in the lowest of people into his family.
“No, are they not slash-and-burn villagers? It would be more than enough to take them in as servants, so is there a reason you are adopting them?”
“Similar to how the affairs of Gods are the affair of Gods, the affairs of humans belong solely to humans. Be it a priest, noble, or a slave, the Gods are not aware of the boundaries that humans have drawn on their own.”
The Baronet’s eyes became sober. His usual serious and stern face of a noble revealed itself. He spoke in a low voice.
“Is that the republicanism that supports Her Highness the Empress Dowager?”
“No. Her Highness will most likely maintain this noble hierarchy. We, humans, tend to not live the way we think and simply think the way we live.”
“……I will pretend as if we did not have this conversation today. You overlooked my blasphemous remark earlier, after all.”
As I thought, Baronet Bercy was a law-abiding individual.
“If Your Excellency does not believe in God, then you must not believe in ranks either. People say that ranks were established by the Gods, after all.”
The Baronet didn’t respond.
I was satisfied with that. The Baronet was someone who lived his life seriously. The seeds of doubt that I had planted into his head will gradually grow and bloom into a flower one day…….
The Frankia Civil War will not end within one or two years. It might continue for over a decade. If Baronet Bercy participates as a republican at that time, then that would mean I had succeeded.
This task of laying down the footwork for earnest nobles like him was a duty that I had placed upon myself to carry out during this journey. Please begin to doubt yourself and nobility.
TL Note: Thanks for reading the chapter. Hm, I wonder if this means Jeremi is a full member of Dantalian’s group now. We didn’t get any notifications about it, so I’m not really certain. Something could potentially happen down the line. Who knows.
Welp, I’ll see you guys in the next chapter.