Thanks to Kitsune Atticus ($150) for sponsoring this chapter!
Just a small note that this is the last sponsored chapter in the queue, but I will be translating the next chapter today regardless, and it should be released tomorrow.
Earl Dratze Reamsand was infuriated when he learned that Vandalieu and Amelia Sauron had been discharged from the hospital.
“What are the bastards at the hospital thinking?! Did they not deal with him?! And what happened to the assassins I hired?!” he bellowed.
No matter how much Earl Reamsand shouted at his servants, they could not answer his questions. He threw his wine glass at them, then stood up to leave his office.
Now that things had come to this, he could no longer afford to be picky about what methods he employed. He needed to do something, even if it meant asking for the help of Veedal Sauron, who resided in the mansion of the Sauron house.
But he was unable to leave his office… because a moment later, its door was kicked down. Elizabeth Sauron, who was supposed to be under his patronage, and her attendant Mahelia, entered.
“Good day, Earl Reamsand!” Elizabeth said.
“My lady, I must question this behavior of kicking down doors without even knocking,” Mahelia said reproachfully.
“You’re right. I’ll break it with my fist next time,” said Elizabeth.
Earl Reamsand’s surprise quickly turned into anger. “E-Elizabeth, you fool!” he shouted. “What do you think you’re doing?! Do you think you can get away with–”
Elizabeth drew closer, raising a fist into the air. “You’re the one who’s not getting away with anything!”
Her fist connected with Earl Reamsand’s face, and she finished her punch with a proper follow-through motion.
With a bizarre scream, Earl Reamsand tumbled through the air towards the wall. In his spinning vision, he could see his own teeth flying about.
In the next moment, he found himself in a throne room.
“Your Majesty the King. What is the matter?” said a voice. “Your Majesty, are you feeling a little tired?”
Earl Reamsand was bewildered. For a moment, he found himself unable to remember what this place was, what nation he was being called the king of, or who this person was. But it was just for a moment.
“Ah, my apologies, Prime Minister. It seems that I was daydreaming,” he said.
Yes. Vandalieu, Amelia Sauron, and being punched by Elizabeth Sauron, it had all been a dream.
Through his innovative policies, his heroic acts, and his brilliant strategies during the war, Earl Dratze Reamsand had conquered the entirety of the Amid Empire, and as a reward for his accomplishments, he had been crowned king of the one united nation of the Bahn Gaia continent.
This was the throne room of the Great Kingdom of Reamsand, and he was currently performing his official duties.
The prime minister laughed. “You must be quite the important figure, to be dozing off during your duties. But I suppose it cannot be helped, given how peaceful our nation is.”
Indeed, the Great Kingdom of Reamsand was being run smoothly. The people did not starve; in fact, they were living wealthy lifestyles. The nobles who ruled each region served their king with great loyalty.
There were no natural disasters, and extremely capable adventurers and knights were slaying monsters at such a rate that the Devil’s Nests were shrinking rather than expanding.
“And, Your Majesty, I have received many requests from nobles of every region, asking for you to take their daughters in as your concubines. I must have you do something about them,” the prime minister said with a smile.
“At this rate, it is only a matter of time before the inner palace for the harem is larger than the royal palace,” another servant joked.
“Indeed. A truly headache-inducing problem,” Dratze Reamsand laughed.
Having finished his work of checking that the nation was being run smoothly and peacefully, he headed for the inner palace.
Here, a countless number of girls and women had been gathered from all over the Bahn Gaia continent. This was truly paradise.
“Welcome, Master,” one of the women said enticingly.
“Come, my women. Allow me to grant you the honor of giving birth to this great king’s successor,” Dratze said.
The concubines made seductive noises as they embraced him. Their passionate night continued until dawn, and–
Dratze jerked awake and made a startled noise. “… Ah, it seems that I am asleep.”
It seemed that he had fallen asleep at some point, unable to stay awake until dawn.
Dratze, who was dreaming now, got up from his bed.
“But what an unpleasant dream this is,” he murmured.
His dream always started here. He was always lying on a simple bed, the kind that a commoner would sleep on, wearing shabby clothes.
His room was simple as well, and although it was furnished, there were iron bars on the large window.
“YOU are AWAKE? CLEAN your ROOM before YOUR meal, DratZE ReamSAND.”
The room had a thick steel door with a small window in it that could only be opened from the outside. On the other side of it was nobody other than a guard with an empty expression.
Although Dratze was a king in reality, in this dream, he was of low social standing. If he didn’t do as the guard said, he wouldn’t be given meals.
With no other choice, Dratze took a broom and dustpan from the room’s broom closet and began cleaning.
“HERE’S your MEAL.”
The meal he was given was a plain one. Vegetables, dried meat, soup, bread, and water. That was all. There was no thick steak, no fish, no fruit, and no wine.
It wasn’t a meal that was fit for a great king, but there was no point in voicing complaints in a dream. Dratze emptied his mind as he shoved the food into his mouth.
He glanced at the window to see four silhouettes heading for the building’s gate. He was looking at them from behind, and they seemed to be a single adult woman and three children.
Fierce emotions surged through Dratze Reamsand’s chest as he noticed that one of the children had gold-colored hair that was gathered in two ponytails, one on the left side and one on the right.
These emotions were a mixture of loss, bitterness, and anger; as if there were something that he had almost made his, but had been snatched from him just before he could attain it.
But Dratze couldn’t do anything about it now. The girl and the three others got into a carriage that was waiting for them at the gate, and he could do nothing but watch them leave.
“… Ah, I hope I can wake up from this dream soon,” he muttered.
I want to hurry up and return to reality, thought Dratze, who was no longer an earl, as he tidied up his cutlery.
Vandalieu had gone to the effort of building a window so that Amelia was visible to Earl Dratze Reamsand, and he knew he was watching.
“Since you left it to me, I’ve given it my best. Has it lived up to your expectations?” Vandalieu asked Elizabeth and Mahelia.
“… Yes, it’s quite enough. Thank you, Vandalieu,” said Elizabeth.
Elizabeth had learned that the cause of her mother Amelia’s mental illness was the mind-altering medicine given to her by the hospital’s director at the order of Earl Reamsand, who was supposed to be Elizabeth’s patron.
She had always known that the earl was after her body, and when she refused to give it to him, she had been put in a small outhouse away from the mansion, where she had been forced to live for over a year while struggling financially. But the drugging of her mother in addition to that was something that was difficult to forgive.
But with Elizabeth’s strength alone, it would have been difficult to take revenge on the earl, as he was her patron. She would have needed to be willing to throw away her position as the youngest daughter of the Sauron house and become a commoner.
But now, Elizabeth had a contact that was more than dependable.
Through this contact, she had first changed patrons – from the house of Earl Reamsand to the house of Honorary Countess Zakkart. On top of that, Vandalieu’s new friend, Duke Hadros Jahan, had also promised to support and assist her.
The world knew Hadros to be a worshiper of Alda, but this was the Orbaume Kingdom, where the worship of Vida was permitted. Even if he formed friendly relations with Vandalieu and his companions, there was no reason to criticize him.
And the Jahan house had been on bad terms with the Sauron house, which strongly worshiped Vida, for generations. Their two duchies were also geographically separated. There was almost no disadvantage in supporting Elizabeth, as Hadros’s ties with the current duke of the Sauron Duchy couldn’t get much worse.
“In fact, I am thinking of this as a chance to make you indebted to me at little risk to myself. Ah, of course, I am going to continue being a worshiper of Alda for a little while longer, but she does not need to follow my example,” Hadros had told Vandalieu… and thanks to that, Duke Alcrem had one less thing to worry about.
As a result, Elizabeth had successfully ensured that her position in the society of nobles would remain secure, even if she left the patronage of the house of Earl Reamsand. All that she needed to worry from that point was the revenge itself, but…
“Sorry, but the only thing that I can think of is kicking and punching him, so I want you to help me with my revenge… If it were just me who was affected, I’d be fine with just giving him a single punch, but given that even Mahelia and Mother have suffered, I won’t be satisfied with that,” Elizabeth had said.
And Vandalieu had accepted her request. “It will be my pleasure. However, if we choose a bloody path, bad rumors will surround you and those around you, Elizabeth-sama. Let’s go with as blood-free a plan as possible.”
Elizabeth had assumed that he would take revenge by finding some dirt to threaten Earl Reamsand with, or by using Duke Alcrem or Duke Jahan’s power to strip the authority of the Reamsand house, or something along those lines.
But Vandalieu had brainwashed the earl, who had been on the verge of death after being punched by Elizabeth. Accompanied by Duke Hadros Jahan and the administrator of the Alcrem house, as well as Darcia, he had met the earl’s eldest son to explain his current state.
Dratze, the now-former head of the Reamsand house, had been hospitalized for treatment after having suddenly collapsed and fallen ill. His eldest son had succeeded his house and become the new earl.
And Dratze Reamsand, the former earl, had been hospitalized at the Hospital of Psychotherapy without a single drop of his blood spilled other than from the punch that Elizabeth had given him.
Vandalieu’s brainwashing had caused him to dream pleasant and convenient dreams when he was asleep and believe that those dreams were reality. And every time he woke up and returned to reality, he believed that he was dreaming.
“… It’s a crueler punishment than I’d imagined,” Elizabeth remarked. “Well, it is blood-free, I suppose.”
“Should I be a little more kind? In the ‘putting him out of his misery’ sort of way,” said Vandalieu.
“I’m sure that means waiting an appropriate length of time and then ‘assisting’ him with a lethal dose of poison in his food, so please refrain from doing that,” said Mahelia.
“I’m not complaining! I’m just giving my thoughts on it!” said Elizabeth. “And besides, you were angry at him too, weren’t you?!”
“Yes. To the point that in the past, I may have had him abducted with nothing left behind other than the skin peeled off his face,” said Vandalieu.
Naturally, Vandalieu didn’t have any positive emotions for Dratze Reamsand, either.
The Reamsand house had not gotten away unscathed. The eldest son, who was the rightful heir to begin with, had become the head of his house. But Vandalieu had knowledge of his father’s scandal, and the family was loathed by the house of Duke Jahan and the house of Duke Alcrem.
The other nobles might not know everything, but they would sense that something had happened and keep their distance from the Reamsand house, so the new earl would need to run the Reamsand house in almost complete isolation, without any assistance.
And Dratze would not be having blissful dreams for the rest of eternity. Vandalieu had made it so that several years after Dratze’s eldest son became earl, and the current situation stabilized to the point that there was no undoing it, he would regain his sanity. When his sanity returned, his astonishment, anger, sense of loss, and despair would truly break his mind.
Once he became unable to handle reality, he would return to dreaming blissful dreams, then repeat the process again several years later.
In addition to that, Dratze himself and his eldest son had been told how to restore his sanity sooner. The method of doing so was someone with a strong bond to him pointing out what was reality and what was a dream.
Someone simply needed to visit Dratze and say, ‘This is reality.’ But that person needed to be someone with a strong bond to him… A beloved family member, or a lover or a wife with whom he shared true love, or a true, lifelong friend.
His eldest son had never even attempted it.
Thus, when Dratze’s sanity returned and he remembered the conditions for him to regain his sanity permanently, his despair would grow even greater as he was forced to realize that even when he was in this terrible predicament, not a single person – not even his own family – had tried to save him.
“More importantly, Vandalieu,” said Elizabeth, “there’s something I need to tell you… About the promise you made to cure Mother in a week–”
She reached towards Vandalieu with both hands, one on either side of his head. If this were a fairy tale, this was where the heroine would kiss the hero.
But Elizabeth curled her hands into fists and began digging them into his temples.
“She’s gotten better, but she’s not cured, is she?! In fact, your position as her husband has solidified even further! Why is that?!” she demanded angrily.
“… Why, indeed? This outcome wasn’t my intention, either,” said Vandalieu.
Hearing Elizabeth’s shouting, Amelia poked her head out of Sam’s carriage with a surprised expression.
“Oh my! Are Elizabeth and Vandalieu-san having a father-daughter argument?!” she exclaimed. “W-w-what should I do, Mahelia? Has she suddenly entered her rebellious phase?!”
“It’s alright, Madam,” Mahelia reassured her. “My lady is the only one who is angry, and Vandalieu-sama does not appear to be in any pain.”
“No, I do believe that he is feeling pain, but… well, to Bocchan, I suppose it is just playing around,” said Sam.
“Oh, really? Then it’s not a father-daughter argument, and she’s just being pampered by Vandalieu-san, I see,” Amelia said with a happy smile, referring to Vandalieu, whom she believed to be her husband, with ‘-san’ as an honorific. “Eli, you get lonely very easily, don’t you?”
Indeed, she currently believed that Vandalieu was her husband. Previously, she had mistaken any male around her as her ‘ideal husband,’ including Vandalieu.
One might not see it as much of an improvement, but Amelia had stopped mistaking anyone other than Vandalieu for her husband. Even if the late previous duke of the Sauron house – her real husband – were to somehow appear before her, it was unlikely that she would think of him as her husband.
Amelia Sauron firmly believed that Vandalieu was her husband.
“I carried out proper treatment and didn’t take any risks like mixing new medicines to try on her, and yet… Incomprehensible,” Vandalieu said.
“It’s because you were clinging to her so closely, wasn’t it?!” Elizabeth exclaimed.
“That might be true,” Vandalieu realized. “Comprehensible, comprehensible… Ah, I forgot to say this earlier, but this is rather painful.”
“Oh, is that so?!” Elizabeth shouted, digging her fists into his temples even harder.
Vandalieu didn’t know whether Amelia would show any further recovery. Her brain functions had already been restored. Her mind wasn’t the cause for her illness; it was the medicine… which she had been taking for a long period of time.
Although it would take a miracle, it was possible that her memories would return and she would regain her sanity. But it was far more likely that her current state would become permanent.
“… Well, if you didn’t do anything, Mother would have been shut in this place forever, so I am grateful, though I can’t accept you becoming my father,” said Elizabeth. “So, you’ll explain why I have ‘Vandalieu’s Divine Protection’ and the ‘Great Demon King’s Daughter’ Title, won’t you?”
“We did some research the day before yesterday and found that there is no god or evil god named ‘Vandalieu.’ And when we asked Pauvina-san, she refused to tell us anything, telling us that you would explain it yourself,” said Mahelia. “So, please explain.”
Elizabeth and Mahelia had received the divine protection of an unknown being who shared its name with their party member, and Elizabeth had acquired a Title as well. The two of them had done as much research as they could on the matter, but all they had learned was that they couldn’t learn anything about it.
“Well, I’ll explain on the road,” said Vandalieu. “But Elizabeth-sama, you should think about how you’re going to explain things to Zona and the others, which will probably have to be done tomorrow.”
Elizabeth made a displeased noise. “I know.”
For the sake of her image, she had kept it a secret from Zona and her other party members that Amelia was hospitalized and that Earl Reamsand was forcing her to struggle financially. But with the situation becoming as serious as this, she had no choice but to explain it to them.
Earl Reamsand, who had been Elizabeth Sauron’s patron, had suddenly been replaced as head of the house, and she had managed to gain even better patrons – the house of an honorary countess and the house of a duke. There was no stopping the inevitable rumors around these events.
… And in reality, she would also be moving into Silkie Zakkart Mansion. The reason for that was, Earl Reamsand and some other nobles had hired assassins.
Many of the assassins’ target had been Vandalieu, and because they had been guided and bowed down on their knees the moment they encountered him, he had suffered no actual harm. But there were others that had gone after Amelia and Elizabeth, and they had been captured by Legion.
Given that there were assassins after them, Elizabeth and the others would not be safe living in Duke Jahan’s villa, so it had been decided that they would move into Silkie Zakkart Mansion, which had even greater security and military force than the royal castle of Orbaume currently did.
“But how much can I tell them?” Elizabeth asked.
“You can tell Zona everything. As for Macht-senpai and the others, regarding anything you think is best kept secret, tell them, ‘Now isn’t the time. But I promise to tell you when the time comes,’” said Vandalieu.
“… Zona knows something after all. I thought she was looking at us with a kinder expression lately.”
“And more importantly, the explanation for Macht-sama and the others sounds like some sort of line from a play – the kind spoken by characters who end up dying before they can ever tell their secret,” said Mahelia.
“Alright, that’s enough standing around and talking. Let’s get going,” said Darcia, stepping out of the carriage.
“Yes, Mom,” said Vandalieu.
“Elizabeth-chan and Mahelia-chan, you two get inside Sam-san’s carriage, too. You can continue your conversation there,” Darcia said.
“A-alright,” Elizabeth and Mahelia said in unison.
Incidentally, Amelia had already met Darcia and introduced herself, and nothing serious had occurred. It seemed that there would be no conflict between bride and mother-in-law.
Meanwhile, a heated debate was taking place in the royal castle.
“I do not believe these are the actions of a sane man, Prime Minister!” shouted Marshal Dolmad.
“Marshal Dolmad, getting heated is fine, but perhaps meetings should be carried out in a more quiet manner?” said Prime Minister Tercatanis.
The royal council had gathered, and the king was present. Originally, meetings such as this had been for the king to show his leadership and increase his authority, but they had been reduced to little more than a formality now. Many kings were nothing more than figureheads without real power, and the real discussions on the topics at hand were carried out by the ministers beforehand to make decisions and reach conclusions before these meetings even took place.
The only exception was the topic of military strategy against the Amid Empire. In the war against the hostile empire, it would be dangerous to fully utilize the strength of the entirety of the Orbaume Kingdom… though this was only natural, as the Orbaume Kingdom had originally been a gathering of multiple nations that united to resist the Amid Empire.
A verbal dispute between Prime Minister Tercatanis and Marshal Dolmad at this royal council was unthinkable; such a thing had not occurred even when the Sauron Duchy was invaded and occupied by the Amid Empire.
But the reason for the dispute was an unprecedented policy proposed by Prime Minister Tercatanis.
“Taking materials from the fragments of the Demon King to create equipment, then distributing it to our soldiers… It is too dangerous! What will you do if the fragments go berserk?! The entire nation could be destroyed!” Marshal Dolmad shouted, his eyes open wide in anger.
Prime Minister Tercatanis had proposed a policy of mass-producing equipment made from fragments of the Demon King and equipping the kingdom’s soldiers with it.
“Hmm… I know that it is something you cannot understand so easily. I knew that would be the case,” Prime Minister Tercatanis said.
But what he was proposing was completely preposterous from the perspective of anyone living in the human society of the world of Lambda.
Fragments of the Demon King were objects that should be stored securely and kept under control, not objects that should be used. If a fragment went out of control, it would infest someone and take over their body. No matter how many times it was defeated, it would continue its rampage by moving from host to host – until it was sealed away. And they were so powerful that nobody with strength below that of A-class adventurers would even be able to put up a fight against them.
Demon King equipment, which were weapons made from fragments of the Demon King, existed. But this equipment wasn’t worthy of praise. Even the weakest Demon King equipment possessed power equivalent to equipment made of Orichalcum, which were legendary-class Magic Items, and that was fine. However, even though they were equipment made for combat, if the parts sealing the fragments were damaged, the seal might be broken, causing the fragment to take over the body of the one wielding the equipment.
To begin with, the very fact that they used the fragments of the Demon King was enough to give them a terrible image.
It was fine for them to be used by those whose existence wasn’t publicly known to society, such as the members of the Fifteen Evil-breaking Swords.
But the idea of equipping ordinary, public-facing soldiers with such equipment was utter madness. The people would avoid them, fearing their sinister weapons, and clergymen would denounce the equipment as filthy and abhorrent.
The radical faction of Alda’s worshipers was currently directing its hostility towards the Alcrem Duchy, but it was possible that this act would draw its hostility towards the ministers responsible for it.
It was possible that this policy would divide the nation rather than increasing the fighting strength of its soldiers.
And Prime Minister Tercatanis had no allies among the other nobles, either.
“Even though it is a proposal from the Prime Minister, this is…” one of them murmured.
“Perhaps he is focusing too much on the future?” said another.
“The Amid Empire is unlikely to attack us yet; I do not believe there is any reason to worry too much about that,” said a third.
The administrators representing the other duchies, as well as Duke Hadros Jahan who was attending this council in person because he coincidentally happened to be in Orbaume, were wearing grim expressions.
Their way of thinking is laughable, given what I have learned from my lord – Vandalieu Zakkart has absorbed numerous fragments of the Demon King and is capable of using them as materials… But without that knowledge, I would agree with them. I suppose I can’t blame them, Tercatanis thought.
In Vandalieu’s case, the fragments were being used not to make equipment, but for V Cream, which was secretly gaining explosive popularity among the nobles of Orbaume, as well as Blood Potions and transformation equipment.
Using fragments of the Demon King as materials for hair-growth medicine and idol costumes was likely an even madder idea than Tercatanis’s proposal.
Of course, in Vandalieu’s case, he likely thought of it as using parts of his own body as materials, rather than fragments of the Demon King.
“It seems that I am unable to gain your agreement, gentlemen,” Tercatanis said. “Then how about you, Your Majesty?”
“M-me?” said Duke Corbitt, who had been elected as king for political reasons, surprised that his opinion was being asked. “… I’m sorry, Prime Minister, but I’m afraid that I am completely failing to see any good in your proposal. I cannot endorse it,” he said, making an extremely sensible decision.
Of course, Tercatanis hadn’t expected him to unconditionally endorse his proposal. To begin with, the proposal itself was nothing more than a ruse to conceal the true reason for his gathering of the Demon King fragments and Demon King equipment. He didn’t care that his proposal had failed to be accepted.
However, this ruse would work even better if the proposal were to be approved, so he stubbornly persisted.
“Then I would like for you gentlemen to look at this sword and shield,” he said.
A knight who had been waiting some distance away from the meeting stepped forward, holding up his sword and shield so that everyone could see them.
“Could it be…?!” Marshal Dolmad uttered.
“Yes. This is prototype equipment, created using Demon King equipment,” said Tercatanis.
He had already prepared equipment to show the council. But in truth, it had been made using materials provided by Rikudou, who had created his new body with fragments of the Demon King.