The Strategy of the Alchemy King
Shaw had an extremely fed up look on his face as he said, “Nope, as expected, I’m not good with such muscles-for-brains” while looking at the Demon Lords fighting at the front lines.
Though when he heard Marisa’s queer words, he looked back at her with a shocked expression.
Wondering what she was up to, he looked over at her with a dubious gaze. The person in question, Marisa, elegantly walked over next to Aiz and crouched down on her knees, as if she were attending to her.
「That’s right. I have, just now, recognized you as my 『Second Master』」
Having suddenly been talked to, Aiz had an extremely frightened look on her.
Next to them, Shaw dumbfoundedly said, 「wow…that’s in it’s own way, quite tyrannical…」
However, Marissa ignored Shaw’s reactions and continued speaking.
「Fighting is not your strong point is it, Aiz-sama?」
「Ye, yeah, that’s right…」
「In that case, I will, of my own accord, impose the duty of safely escorting you to the base of the sacred mountain. As a capable maid. …Yes, as a capable maid」
「Why did you have to say that twice? Is it that big a deal?!」
Shaw retorted to the mysterious situation unfolding in front of him.「Uh…uhm」
「Do you not want to?」
Aiz was the only one who noticed that, just for an instant, Marisa had a sad look on her face. And having noticed that, Aiz unintentionally ended up nodding her head.
She had no plans of rejecting her. Aiz was aware that she lacked the strength to fight so Marisa’s offer was, in fact, an extremely helpful one.
However, she did wonder if the other Demon Lords didn’t have their hands full with their own situations but the only reason she couldn’t find an answer to that immediately was because she embraced that idea.
――Everyone is the same…they all are having a tough time.
Having thought that, she tried her hardest to blend into her surroundings and not stand out. Thinking that she would cause trouble for others by being noticed.
First, everyone should worry about surviving through the current ordeal. Only once everyone has survived would she consider asking for help.
Though her will to live was certainly real but, her expectations that, if anyone bothered with her right now, they would end up in danger was enough for her to keep her emotions and desire in check.
Aiz was drifting in between these two desires.
――I’m fine with being last.
She could not save anyone.
She did not have the power to save anyone.
Which is why, although she wants to be saved, she’s fine with being last.
That is what Aiz thought.
At that point, A beauty with doll-like features, called Marisa, extended a helping hand to her.
Over and above that, she even said stuff like, “Let me save you”. Her help was rather forceful too.
Though, if she was going to go that far then,
「I want to live on as well. If Marisa-san is going to lend a hand then I will take you up on that offer」
Even Aiz was not so modest as to brush off a helping hand held out to her.
When she strongly held Marisa’s hand, she could feel energy returning to her. Marisa as well, gave a small smile that only Aiz could see.
「At your will. You have shown the will to live, suitable to the person I have chosen as my second master. In order for me to be successful in my dream to be a capable maid, I need Aiz-sama to live on. My 『First Master』 over there doesn’t seem to need any help when he’s fighting, so during battles, I shall work solely towards making sure that Aiz-sama is safe」
「…? I, I don’t really understand but…thank you…?」
While scratching her small head like a small animal, Aiz looked at Marisa with a troubled smile and seemed to have question marks floating over her head.
「Well then, Let’s first work towards getting down to the sacred mountain’s base. Ah, the money-grubber over there」
The somewhat enthusiastic expression that Marissa showed in front of Aiz froze over instantly when she turned around.
「Uhh…the difference in attitude is pretty intense though…」
「Quickly come up with a plan in order to protect Aiz-sama」
「I have to do it in the end!?」
「If you’re useless, I’ll go down by myself. Though if you are useful, then I’ll make full use of you」
「You usually say stuff like that in your mind…」
「Ah, I said it out loud huh」
Anymore sarcasm is probably pointless, thought shaw.
「…Got it, got it. I seriously feel like I’ve been haunted by the Plague God or the Poverty God ever since I climbed onto Lindholm Sacred Mountain.
While you guys were wrapped in your weird mood, I spent some time thinking about various things. I’ll explain that now」
Saying so, Shaw looked at the scene unfolding below them.
「Firstly, the assassins sent by Mūzeg are probably not only the ones we see over there. Especially since Mūzeg’s army is famous for being well trained as well as large in number. Being after a Demon Lord, I really can’t believe that they only sent those few people over」
「In that case, those people there are something like scouts then?」
「Most probably. They probably sent people who could move fast in order to check up on the situation. Something like scouting through strength maybe. That being the case, if we climb down the sacred mountain, we’ll most probably come across the main army」
「In that case, it would be foolish to climb down from the east」
「Nope, in spite of that, we should climb down the east」
Marisa frowned. That look of dislike was apparently something she was very good at.
「Don’t you feel uneasy being chased by many different forces from all directions? If we’re going to be chased no matter which direction we go in then, we might as well go towards Mūzeg who have already noticed us.
If we look at it that way then, because of our 『Lord』 Mūzeg looks like a weak country but between all the countries, it is without a doubt, a country that stands in the upper echelons in terms of strength. We should have them act as the 『wall』 against the other countries」
「What after that? Once we get past here, the country of Mūzeg is still there, you know?」
「We have no other choice but to take detours in order to not get caught. If we head a little to the south, we’ll come across that 〈Kingdom of Lemuse〉. In this case, we can also think about relying on that country’s history of glory」
Shaw snorted and laughed at the irony and said that.
That irony was aimed at himself for not having been able to think of anything else and the snort was aimed at the term Demon Lord that had created this kind of a situation for them.
「Rely on, well your expression looks like that’s the full extend of what you can do」
「I won’t deny that」
Shaw laughed once more.
While his eyes were serious, he shrugged in a way that showed that he was still quite optimistic.
Seeing Shaw like that, Marisa asked him some final questions.
「You’re a merchant right?」
「If it’s for money, then you’re utilitarian as well as rational right?」
「Can you bet your life for the sake of money?」
「I really do want to bet it but if I die then I would not be able to earn anymore so, I suppose my life takes precedence」
「Then lastly, did you make the decision that we would need to use the strength of the other Demon Lords in order to get through this safely?」
「…Very well. Then I shall believe in your rationality as a merchant. The plan that you have come up with, which requires the strength of the other Demon Lords as well, even while knowing that you’re a money-grubber, is worth having confidence in」
「A truly horrible way of saying it…well whatever」
Shaw gave a wry smile. It was a strange smile that gave a feeling of a refreshing young man as well as the cunning of a veteran merchant.
「Well then, what are your plans now?」
Marisa asked Shaw for more detailed plans.
「I’ll create a ship out of the earth here and pure gold coins」
At Shaw’s words, Marisa showed a clearly doubtful expression on her face. Her expression showed surprise at the fact that Shaw actually mentioned building a boat here, on the top of a mountain that didn’t even have a shred of moisture.
『This guy, even the inside of his head has been converted into money hasn’t it』
The concern she showed for the 『insides of the head』 of the money-grubber who said weird things, was conspicuously displayed on her face.
Marisa then looked at that money-grubber with an intense glare full of scorn and abuse.
Her glare was so intense that it made you feel that a weak willed person may actually have their will broken if they were faced with it.
「Haa…, as expected there are some concerns. …in order to expel those concerns, I’ll listen to your explanation in a little more detail. Well then, go on, go on」
「I’ve never seen such an arrogant maid before…!」
Shaw, in his own way, seems to have gotten used to Marisa’s attitude.