“That night, some kid attacked me while I was on my way home after drinking.”
“Of course. It’s the same information we have here.”
Gerald sat at his desk, and Alto sat on the sofa a little further away from Gerald.
Perhaps because he was merely confirming the information he had, Alto was completely relaxed.
He had expected it to be unlikely, given the organization’s origins and the personalities of this man and his predecessors.
“A group of delinquents complained to the knights that they were almost killed by a giant of a man. You seem to be innocent.”
Prince Alto’s statement was very suspicious, but he ignored it since it didn’t seem to pose a problem to him.
“Are we done here?”
“The most important thing is done.”
Gerald was sitting comfortably in front of the prince, his legs planted on the desk comfortably.
It had only been a few dozen seconds since Gerald had returned.
The prince was really just making sure.
“…Alto-sama. If there’s nothing else, I think it’s about time-”
“Hmm. One last thing.”
A knight, anxious about Alto’s busy schedule, gently asked,
“Do you know the priest in the church here?”
“Yeah. That big guy, right?“
It was quite strange for Gerald, who was muscular like an orc, to say ‘big guy’, but he asked the main question first without any stray thoughts.
“Is there anything suspicious about him?”
They were basically divulging to Gerald that the priest was a suspect. But Gerald, who lived in the entertainment district, had a certain amount of information about the people in his area.
They decided that they should acquire as much information as possible.
He made a gesture that indicated he was thinking for a moment, and then he said in a low, heavy voice that echoed from the pit of his stomach.
“I don’t… know.”
“I see. Well then…”
Gerard, while looking at Alto who was about to get up and was leaning forward, muttered an observation that came to his mind about the priest.
“Those are some serious muscles.”
“….Oh, is that all?”
The knight asked impatiently while waiting for his next words.
“I see… I’ll keep it in mind.”
Gerald, who was going at his own pace, slumped his shoulders a little and sat up more seriously.
Turning his back to Gerald, Alto headed for the door opened by the knight.
As Alto was leaving, Gerald said to him in a low voice as a souvenir, “I’ve been doing a lot of hands-on training.“
“He’s a pretty battle-hardened son of a bitch. A guy like that must have some kind of battle in mind. I thought priests were more boring creatures.”
“You want a drink?”
“….I’ll join you for just one glass.”
The henchman who saw off Alto and his companions’ carriage walked down the corridor of the employees-only area on the second floor.
He walked alone along the straight corridor to the manager’s office.
Of course, the only sound was his footsteps.
The only presence was his.
He looked behind him.
There was no one. Obviously.
It was impossible for anyone to follow him in such a corridor without him knowing.
“…I guess I’m tired.”
He rubbed his eyes and turned to the manager’s room again.
“Well, who else… is complaining about the rat race today, too?“
In the manager’s room, Gerald was sitting as usual, listening to the daily report from his henchman.
“What do you want me to do?”
“…do as that thing says. She’s got a good head on her shoulders. It’s better than our empty heads.”
The henchman knew immediately whom ‘that thing’ rereferred to.
The beautiful but demanding princess who loved the Demon King.
“I’ll tell the Rat Master to make sure that those who win too much also lose in moderation.”
The rat squealed.
He squealed involuntarily.
They both looked around, but there was no sign of a creature on the floor or at the edge of the room.
“….I don’t see it, but that’s all I have to report, so I’ll set a trap for it now before I forget.”
“Oh, thank you.”
“No problem. I’ll be back in a minute.”
The henchman ran out of the room.
Leaving Gerald and…. the angry rat behind….
Gerald, the manager of Arch Qi, had his legs up on the desk and was sipping his wine leisurely.
“……Doesn’t the liquor you’re drinking with money you’ve swindled taste good?”
He looked at me with his arms crossed in front of his desk and cracked open his wine glass in surprise.
“I thought it was crazy! But I had no idea you were really cheating! I mean, what the hell were you thinking… making a fool of me on my very first visit to the casino? People really are scary creatures!“
I had come here to negotiate to be allowed to set up a porridge stall in the premises, and never thought I would hear the truth about my past disappointment.
I was going to make a fool of a customer who came out after having a drink, but I never thought I would hear the fact that I had been made into a fool previously.
“…What the hell?”
“I’m the Black Demon King, who has a reputation for being particular about the fairness of games.”
Gerard raised an eyebrow.
He looked incredulous, as if he doubted if I’m really the Black Demon King… or not.
“That’s not exactly true… That aside, what’s the Demon King doing here? It’s your fault that sales are down, isn’t it?”
“Hey, hey, did you really say that? Did you really say that?“
I couldn’t believe my ears.
It’s my fault that sales are down… and they don’t earn enough…?
How much are they going to take from me alone? It seems I’m on their radar! The management of this casino, they depend on me too much!
I, with my face turning completely red, did not understand what the hell they were talking about.
At that moment, I felt I had something more important to do than worrying about food stalls and money.
“I don’t care what you say. I just want to say one thing: get hot!”
He sighed while frowning, and got up from his seat while shaking his head slightly.
“Why did you guys give up thoughts about your customers’ wellbeing? You guys should be able to make it without cheating!”
He grabbed me by the head and lifted me up.
The cheater’s grip on my head increased dramatically.
“Be a bamboo! Be upright and straight!”
I continued to preach regardless of the fact that I was still hung in midair in an iron-claw grip.
“…You’re not human!”
“I told you I’m the Demon King. And you know, a normal creature’s head would be shattered by this power. I doubt you’re human either.“
I put a pin on his elbow muscle and forced his hand to open.
He looked at his hand, which went numb like electric current surged through it, with a slightly surprised look in his eyes.
But he quickly opened his hand and regained the feeling of his hand.
“…… I’m a member of the organization.“
“So am I.”
The phony man reached over to the nearest heavy leather sofa and…. lifted it with one hand.
His fingers dug into the leather.
It’s like he was an American comic book character or something.
“I don’t know if you’re a demon king or what, but I have had enough of being fucked with….”
“I’m honestly impressed…”
The couch swung down on me with a mighty thud.
The wind pressure caused by the impact had turned the room into a mess.
But he didn’t care about that, as he turned his sharp eyes onto me. I was standing like a poppy (1), blooming out of the middle of the sofa that had been thrown at me.
“I think it’s enough, don’t you? Things can’t get much funnier than this.“
Looking at the sofa that looked like an ornament I was wearing, I split it into two pieces from the center and got out.
“…the Demon King… I had no idea he was such a brat.”
“…don’t hold that big shelf up while saying that.”
Marco, Gerald’s best henchman, who was at the warehouse in the first floor to get a mousetrap, was startled by the sudden tremors of the mansion.
“W- what’s that? …noo!”
The second and third tremors made him think that there was something unusual going on.
The source of the tremors was the second floor… where he was just a moment ago.
“Lana! Go and hide in the back office!”
He instructed Lana, who had just changed her clothes and was about to leave, and headed upstairs with the trap.
Based on his past experiences, he had guessed that Gerald was the cause of this.
However, the fact that Gerald attacked so many times in a row meant that there were either too many enemies…. or the enemy was too strong to be defeated easily…
“Hu! Hu! Hu!”
I ran up the stairs and saw the manager’s office from a distance in the second-floor corridor.
The door was not open.
Marco thought it was an attack by hostile forces, but he could not believe that the assailants would close the door so politely.
He rushed forward, his heart pounding.
Marco bursts into the manager’s office and saw a dark-haired boy sitting lightly on the desk in front of him with his arms crossed.
“…You won’t need to trap rats. From now on, I will not tolerate mistreatment of rats. This is a sad story. You’re making us lose on purpose.”
“Hey, you! You…”
At Marco’s words, the boy held his hand lightly toward the dart board on the… wall, where Gerald, in his spare time, usually threw knives.
On the wall where his hand was pointing… the lower half of what appeared to be a human being was protruding.
“He was as wild as a tyrannosaurus when I pointed out the size of his head, so I shoved him into the wall to stop him from running around, your brother.”
He looked closer and saw that the human being embedded in the wall was wearing familiar trousers and shoes.
“I’ve made up my mind. I’ve decided that this is fate. I’m going to reform—– this place so that you won’t have to resort to cheating.”
I’ve accidentally increased this volume a little. I made a mistake in separating the two.
(1) – A poppy is a flower. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poppy
Until next time! I’ll be back with a new chapter!