282 – I’ll tear them off
In the end, the boobian didn’t attempt to make a move on me before vampire girl finished exterminating the monkeys. It seems that even she could sense that it wouldn’t be a smart move to start a fight with a close associate of the Demon King with such timing. Going one step beyond that, given that the 10th Army are rumoured to be a force specialising in intelligence, it would be good if she understood the significance of their commander coming alone to visit her, but I wonder. It should be implicitly saying “what you’re up to is being leaked” though. Well, I don’t know whether or not she understood to that extent, but maybe I should get her to send out some monkey extermination reinforcements? I almost asked that, but it seems she intends to behave for now. Incidentally, I gave up on the reinforcements. After all, if the reinforcements are done badly then they’d just suffer damage anyway. Vampire girl would gain less experience as well.
Once vampire girl has finished the monkey extermination, I’ll inform boobian of that and leave the cleaning up of the fort to her. The fort is becoming full of monkey corpses anyway. Cleaning that up will be a major pain. If it was me I’d be able to toss them all into another dimension though, but after I weighed up the options of gaining some food versus forcing some work onto the 2nd Army, I decided to give up on the food and and have the 2nd Army work hard. After this the members of the 2nd Army will be required to work hard on tidying up the corpses of the monkeys, clean up the fort and then occupy it. Work is on the increase! Yet, it’s with the pattern that a bonus won’t be paid.
I teleport ahead to the fort, collecting vampire girl who has been covered in monkey blood. It somehow seems that her eyes have become like that of a dead fish, but I’m sure she’s okay. First of all, I tossed her into the baths at the Demon King’s Castle. I’ve got my own cleaning up to do huh.
「And that’s what happened.」
「Okay. I had wanted you to report such things properly though.」
It’s been several days since the vampire girl enabled monkey extermination operation was carried out. I received a summons from the Demon King for some reason, and an explanation was demanded for the monkey extermination operation.
「Say, Shiro-chan. Just when did this happen again?」
「A little while ago.」
「It was a long while ago! Why did you keep quiet about that!? Put yourself in my place – I suddenly received a report of the results of an order I don’t remember giving! Consider my feelings of having to keep a poker face while saying “sorry for the trouble” over something I have no clue about!」
「Did you actually say “sorry for the trouble”?」
「I didn’t actually.」
It seems that the boobian came to the castle to report to the Demon King about the monkey extermination battle and what happened after that. It seems she decided that since the monkeys are gone, that she couldn’t keep using the excuse of “I’m stuck with doing this so I can’t come to report” forever. It appears that they’ve mostly finished incinerating the corpses of the monkeys, and that the fort has just about recovered enough to be habitable.
「So? Shiro-chan, from your point of view, what’s the likelihood of that woman resorting to violence?」
「If she believes that she doesn’t have a good chance of winning then she won’t move to action. Even without that, if we can keep putting pressure onto her, then I think she’ll put it off with the excuse that the time isn’t right yet.」
That boobian is a piddling and extreme coward. She won’t fight without a good chance of winning, and because she’s a coward she will slink back and stop taking action with just a mere hint that she’s being monitored. To be blunt, it’s enough to only take half-measures against her. In practice, just by making inspection-like quick visits on her, she’s become unable to sleep day or night. She’s just too gutless.
「Umm, well if a big gun who is capable of killing the Hero keeps teleporting in for surprise inspections day and night, then of course she couldn’t get any sleep.」
Yeah, but if I specified the times in advance then it wouldn’t be a surprise would it. If I teleport then she’s not able to destroy any suspicious evidence from before I moved either. Well, everything’s being leaked via my clones beforehand anyway though.
Currently the boobian isn’t making any particularly suspicious moves, apart from some light contact with the elves. Or rather, it would be more correct to say that she doesn’t have any spare time to do so. To be more precise, you could say I’d been wasting all her spare time as well though.
「Sigh. Well, whatever. For now, the next time you do anything report it properly. “Reporting, communicating and consulting” is important. Got it?」
The Demon King emphasises the last part a bit, so I have no choice but to nod my head. Dammit. The NEET is acting like a company president. Spouting shit like a proper member of society and all.
「Okay, next is some good news! Shiro-chan, that special something is due to arrive today.」
The Demon King makes a rotten muhaha laugh. That special something is perhaps!?
「Yo, you don’t mean!?」
「I mean exactly that. The finest kurikuta set!」
I clap my hands for no particular reason. The finest kurikuta set, is the sweets that I had requested from the Demon King. The kurikuta is a comparatively commonplace fruit. However, unlike common kurikuta, the finest kurikuta is the king amongst kurikuta, a specially selected variety with a chosen environment and fertiliser. Because of that it’s a high-class item with limited production output, to the extent that even the Demon King can’t easily get hold of them.
「This ain’t the time to be hanging around! Let’s go!」
「Aye! I’ll follow you anywhere, anego!」
After the Demon King rushed out from the room in a somewhat incomprehensible mood, I chased after her in a similarly strange mood. The place that we’re heading for is the delivery entrance for goods. On arriving in high spirits, it appears that Balto is fortunately here already, processing the confirmation of the imported goods.
「Oh-ho? If it isn’t Balto. What’s up?」
The Demon King cheerfully addresses Balto. On the moment when he turns around to face her, I don’t fail to notice that a flash of tension runs through Balto’s body. Rather than it being because he’s guiltily trying to conceal something, I believe it’s because he’s genuinely afraid of the Demon King.
「Hey there. You sure are labouring hard eh. Keep up the good work.」
「If you think so then please lend a hand.」
「But I refuse.」
The Demon King laughs mockingly at the worn out looking Balto. Thinking that it wouldn’t be right to waste any more of Balto’s precious time with pointless chatter, I pull on the Demon King’s sleeve to prompt her to get down to business. It’s all because I’m worried about Balto’s welfare, and absolutely not because I want to quickly get hold of the finest kurikuta. Definitely not, okay?
「Oh, that’s right. Balto, was the package delivered?」
「A package? If you are referring to the imported goods then that was completed just now though.」
「Ooh! Shiro-chan, this ain’t the time to be hanging around! Balto, among those was a package for me, yeah?」
Hm? Somehow, I got a bad feeling.
「Incidentally, what are the contents?」
「The finest kurikuta set.」
Towards the Demon King’s inquiry, Balto makes an uncharacteristically dumb-sounding raised voice. It appears that he happens to know something.
「Ahh? It was there, right? So, where is it now?」
In response to the Demon King’s cross-examination, the poker face that Balto normally keeps up turns into an uneasy expression. Is it just me who has somehow gotten a horrible premonition?
「Erm, I passed them on to Sanatoria.」
「I apologise. Since Sanatoria has always enjoyed eating kurikuta fruit, I mistook them for being hers.」
The instant I heard that, I broke into a run. Also leaving the Demon King behind, I charged towards my destination. I know where she is. Actually, she’s in a nearby room. Arriving at my destination almost instantaneously, I kick down the door to the room.
On kicking down the door the first thing that I catch sight of… is an empty plate. With my keen sense of smell, I catch the faint sweet fragrance still remaining. Secondly, there is an empty box that apparently had contained something.
I… just… can’t… believe… it…
It was just so much of a shock, that I lost consciousness.
Hopefully it’s reasonably obvious but the part with Balto onwards is from the much earlier B2 chapter from Balto’s point of view.
“Reporting, communicating and consulting” (報・連・相) – a term from Japanese business practice.
“I’ll follow you anywhere, anego!” – this is said in an archaic accent. “Anego” is an old term for “elder sister” and most frequently comes up in yazuka type stories. In such scenarios it doesn’t refer to a blood relative but a woman who is higher up in the (mafia) “family”, or in general a woman that the speaker has respect for. Ariel’s previous line was also said in an unusual way – she used an unusually masculine tone. This playing with speech styles is what Shiro is referring to afterwards by “mood”.
“Keep up the good work” – this is said in a very easy-going manner.
“But I refuse” – a set phrase, but probably a JoJo reference as well.
“Uhhnn…” – this is basically Shiro making a soft breathing sound as she faints.