The Two Kings in the Plaza of the Star Tree
Phew, two weeks since the last chapter huh…
So, my laptop had issues and had to be taken to the shop, turns out the entire logic board needs to be changed so that’s going to take a while to get back.
I’m working on my desktop right now but…Windows…blech!
Well, hope and pray that I get used to translating on my desktop so I can get back to my earlier translation schedule
Enjoy the chapter guys!
For a short while, Merea walked through Lemuse’s commercial district which was lined with shops that had started to face the main hustle bustle of the day.
He walked past the commercial district while having conversations with Lemuse’s citizens and eventually found himself in the adjacent star tree district.
The star tree district was an area abundant in nature.
He walked through the woodland path filled with the same strange blue and green lights as the great star tree.
「Ahh, now that I think about it――」
Suddenly, as he was walking through that woodland path, he raised his voice as if he had just remembered something.
――Leilas’ grave was supposed to be here right?
He had heard that while having a meeting with Hasim.
Having been called the〈White Emperor〉, the hero who had embodied Lemuse’s desire to help save unreasonably oppressed demon lords and who was also the origin of Merea’s snow white hair――〈Leilas Lif Lemuse〉.
Though she was known as a demon lord in Mūzeg where her ideals were considered to be a hindrance, in Lemuse, she was enshrined as a heroic spirit.
Not just Leilas but Leilas’ father――the 28th king of Lemuse as well as all the other kings were also enshrined there.
――Let’s go have a look.
Merea had made sure to memorise those details but he had been so busy that he hadn’t had the chance to make his way there at all.
While being healed in the cool and beautiful star tree district, the moment he remembered this piece of information, he felt even more at peace as he tried to recall where the tomb was and slowly walked towards it.
After walking a while, Merea found the tomb.
It was a fairly large tomb.
Actually, rather than calling it a tomb, it would be more accurate to call it a tower.
Since the royalty of Lemuse were enshrined at that place, he had expected it to be considerably more majestic than the small graves he himself had made on the sacred mountain and as he had expected, the tomb did not betray his expectations.
「The place itself is as such but――」
In the middle of the woodland path, there was a small path that led towards the star tree and on the way there, there was a square.
As if to surround the square, several star trees could be seen growing and with their branches entwined, they released the blue and green particles which floated up in the air.
In the center of that square stood a tall tower with many names engraved on it and on of the star tree branches stretched towards the tower as if to show it’s affection.
It seemed as if the star tree was embracing the white stone tower.
Merea murmured his frank thoughts as his forelocks waved in the wind.
Though he couldn’t recognize most of the names on the tower, he tried to look for Leilas’ name.
He eventually found her name engraved near the center of the tower.
「She has her name engraved here as well as the grave I created on the sacred mountain as well, somehow I feel bad about the work I put in」
Merea smiled bitterly.
「Well, leaving Leilas alone out of having her name engraved on those graves would make her seem like an outcast after all」
If it were himself, then he would probably have asked for them to be created in both places.
「On the contrary, I wonder if Leilas would have come down from the〈Sea of Souls〉in anger if I hadn’t created a tomb for her」
Merea looked down and spoke with a fragile expression on his face.
Merea had never once heard Leilas’ voice.
In all honesty, he was fine with just once but he really wanted to hear her voice.
If he considered Flander to be his father then, Leilas who was his wife would probably end up in the position of his mother.
He had other mothers.
Including the three female heroic spirits who climbed up to heaven after Leilas, he had many mothers.
Remembering that, Merea changed his thoughts a little.
――I wonder if I’ll be able to hear it if and when I climb to heaven myself.
All of their voices, once more.
「I can’t afford to die anytime soon. I don’t plan on dying either. ――There is still something I want to accomplish. Not something I have to do but something I want to do」
――That’s why, I can’t come over there for the time being.
Merea smiled as he spoke towards the tower.
Merea turned on his heel, turned his back to the tower and tried to leave that place.
Right after he had turned his heel and was about to walk away, he noticed someone’s figure in the corner of his sight.
With a huge grin, he couldn’t help but call out to that person.
「Did you run away as well?」
「…Don’t be crazy. This is proper constructive rest. It’s not like I ran away from a mountain of documents like you」
Hasim Kudo Lemuse.
Having been called out by Merea, he was the one who walked out of his hiding spot in the shadow of a star tree.
With light brown hair which was closer to orange and beautiful aqua blue eyes――it was the current 『king』 of Lemuse.
「If you tell me honestly, I might consider not spreading this news around though」
「Give me a break, Merea. It’ll be troublesome if the citizens think that I’m not serious about my work around this time」
「Just hearing it from me doesn’t mean they’ll believe it and not to mention, they all probably know about the amount of work you’ve been putting in till now so I’m sure they’ll forgive you」
「I wonder about that」
Merea stayed in his posture and waited for Hasim who walked towards.
Hasim waved his hand and said, 「Stop it」 with an annoyed tone as he saw Merea purposefully act like a vassal.
「Hasim doesn’t seem to understand how much of a superhuman act you yourself are performing」
「I’m just doing what needs to be done and it’s also not just my achievement alone」
「Well, it’ll be fine as long as you understand that. ――That applies to both of us I suppose」
Hasim walked past Merea and stood in front of the white stone tower.
He clasped both hands, closed his eyes and turned towards the sky in a manner that looked like he was fairly used to doing it.
He looked like he was sending his prayers off into heaven.
Merea continued to watch Hasim quietly but the moment he noticed that Hasim had stopped, he spoke up to him.
「Do you come here often?」
「Sometimes. If I spend my resting time doing stuff like this then I’ll at least avoid Aisha’s grumbling and complaining」
Merea narrowed his eyes and recalled Hasim’s attendant.
In the current situation, he would end up remembering his own attendant, Marisa so he felt a certain amount of damage to his mind.
He still had no desire to recall that mountain of papers.
「I wonder if I should use that way too…」
As he heard Merea, Hasim couldn’t help but smile bitterly.
「If you use this method as well, then those guys will definitely be suspicious you know?」
「Something like, 『Those two, they used praying to their ancestors as an excuse but they’re actually skipping out on work』?」
「Something like that. If we engage in idle chatter then there are higher chances for them to think that. Somehow, I feel like the other side has been cooperating as well」
「Your 『attendant』 and our 『maid』 really do seem to be troublesome. ――They’re much too excellent」
「It really is bothersome when they’re too competent, at times at least」
Hasim shrugged at the same time as Merea heaved a sigh.
Merea sat down on the stone steps near him and urged Hasim to sit down as well.
「You won’t be found out if it’s just a little right?」
「If I return as it is then I wouldn’t have fulfilled my original objective after all. This 『mission』 needs to be completed for the sake of my body and mind」
Hasim smiled mischievously and sat next to Merea who had a similar smile.
「Then let’s call it a strategy meeting between the Lemuse camp and the demon lord camp」
「I see no other way out」
Merea placed his arms on his knees and clasped both hands and assumed a conference attitude.
To which, Hasim followed suit.
「Hmm. ――We have this chance and all so should we try having a serious conversation to the point where our heads don’t hurt?」
「What the, you seem to be surprisingly energetic, Merea」
「If it’s not studies then there’s no problem!」
In response to Merea, who said that with a clear and sharp expression, Hasim couldn’t help but smile wryly.
「Is that how it is? It might be useful if you go to Aios once at least though」
「The Academic City was it? I think Lilium mentioned that she was in that academy city right before she came to the sacred mountain」
「The〈Flame Emperor〉Lilium, huh? ――Did she say that she was in the 『academy』?」
「Yup, that’s what she said」
「Then she’s excellent. There’s no doubt about it」
「Ohh, just saying academy is enough for you to understand?」
Merea was slightly surprised at Hasim’s assertion.
He had no doubt that Lilium was extremely smart but Hasim’s assertion was so sudden and quick that he couldn’t help but be swept up by that momentum.
「There are several academies in the academic city of Aios but when you refer to something as the 『Academy』 then there is only the one academy in Aios where all the excellent students gather. The〈Blue Rose Academy (Mies Aios)〉」
「It’s sometimes called〈Blue Rose (Mies)〉in short as well, I suppose. While inside the city of Aios, it’s common to see them with blue roses on their bodies or their clothes. Though it’s encouraged to do so, it’s fine to ignore such troublesome people」
「What about Hasim?」
「The place I had infiltrated into was〈Blue Rose (Mies)〉as well. In my case, I was a complete outsider though. In the beginning, I had put it on just to make sure I don’t get caught but when I realised that I would be fine even without it, I immediately stopped since it was annoying」
「Such a part is strangely funny isn’t it? …Academic city huh. I’d definitely like to go there once at least」
「No, well, if you go then the lecturers on technique in the〈Blue Rose Academy〉would definitely faint」
「Because I use the techniques of the heroic spirits?」
「Something like that. In addition to that, that insane endurance and everything else as well, in fact.
――So headed directly to being a lab rat I suppose…」
「Don’t say it with such a serious face! I’m scared now!」
「Haha, it’s just a joke. ――For me at least」
「Thanks to your words at the end, I can’t believe you at all!」
Merea raised his voice and objected to Hasim who had a thin smile on his face.
「…Haa, well, if I ever decide to go to the academy city then I’ll borrow your methods to infiltrate into the place but I’ll pray that doesn’t happen anytime soon」
「I doubt there will be any demon lords in that academy city though. I won’t say that there is no possibility at all but if they allow demon lords to attend then the other countries――especially Mūzeg would be extremely troublesome. Since Aios concentrates on academics over everything else so they wouldn’t bother to hide demon lords and get into that kind of political strife」
「By the way, how is Mūzeg moving?」
Merea suddenly asked with a serious expression.
As if to match that, Hasim straightened himself and answered in a low voice.
「They haven’t shown any large movements yet. …In fact, the situation in the north and west seems to be quite unexpected for them. It might be thanks to the resistance of Lemuse this time around but the morale in the north and west seems to be going up」
「In the first place, why are the countries near the other continents fighting with Mūzeg?」
「It’s a simple battle over resources and territories. It probably doesn’t have anything to do with demon lords.
The ore industry is flourishing in the northern part. Since quality ores can be obtained from there, it’s quite useful for making weapons and armours so they’re in quite the demand.
The current era is the era of 『normal warfare』 after all.
Conflict of interest between countries. ――Though I want to call it evil just to call war normal but from the perspective of the general public, it’s normal」
Merea replied while stretching his hand towards one of the branches of the star trees growing overhead.
「That being said, there’s no way to say that demon lords have nothing to do with it either」, said Hasim.
He didn’t change his posture from earlier and his expression remained the same.
Merea gave Hasim a sideways glance before he spoke.
「…So it basically means that the real reason isn’t public right?」
「――Yeah. In all honesty, our hands don’t reach that far. I need to protect my country over anything else. In fact, I have to raise our 『country’s power』.
…Our foundation isn’t rock solid yet. If we neglect that part, then we won’t be able to continue having deals with you all after all」
「I suspected as much. I get that. That’s why, That’s why, you should concentrate on doing your best. I’ll chase after the most important priorities first as well」
Merea understood what Hasim was trying to say.
Hasim had to nurture the power of the kingdom of Lemuse itself.
Actually, the demon lords would be in a pinch if Lemuse didn’t do that.
The demon lords weren’t indigenous to Lemuse after all.
If the demon lords decided that Lemuse wasn’t worthy enough for them to place themselves on the line for it, then,
――They would probably leave.
They would then go on to look for another place to protect themselves.
That was the kind of deal they had from the beginning.
What Merea concentrated on the most was how to protect the demon lords.
Hasim’s priority, on the other hand, was on how to protect the citizens of Lemuse.
The only reason their cooperation was solidified was because these two priorities coincided and they could help each other out.
That’s why, if one of them 『skipped』 their work, then that cooperation might fall into turmoil.
What lay at the end of such a road would be the destruction of both parties, is something that neither of them could forget.
「It’s still something like this」
Merea lowered his raised hand and placed it behind his body and looked up at the sky.
He had a gentle expression on his face.
The wind blowing through the gaps in the trees shook his forelocks.
「But, we have to make sure we’re always looking at it」
「That’s the duty of the head after all」
「To have the duty to keep the image of destruction in the corner of our heads at all times, what a horrendous duty」
Merea laughed and stood up from the stone steps.
When he turned towards Hasim, he noticed that he had a slightly troubled smile on his face.
「Even so, if the people below us can be convinced that we have that 『clearly in our sights』 then they can afford to not think about such morbid thoughts. ――Even if that is a temporary escape from reality. If they can think of something as fun and actually enjoy themselves then, even if that time is just temporary, then I would really like for them to have it and heal their hearts.
…That’s the kind of age with live in after all」
「I think so too」
Merea replied to Hasim with a gentle smile on his face.
The sight of Merea with a gentle smile on his face, standing among the star trees showered in it’s lights, with his pure white hair waving in the wind, looked somewhat fantastical to Hasim.
He felt a floating feeling as if he were looking at a fantastic painting by a famous artist.
However, the moment he looked into his eyes, those red eyes that were completely incompatible with his pale beauty showed a strong sense of will which caused Hasim to look away.
He felt like he was once again reminded that what Merea had inside his body was not only a fantastical feeling.
「Well then, it’s about time I returned. We plan on having a dinner party today after all.
I should head back quickly――before Marisa finds me and inform Aiz and Lilium in the data center. Though I did tell Shaw to inform them but there’s a strong chance that he might just forget to do it if he has some accounting on his mind or something.
Though he seems perfect, he does have such forgetful moments at times. Thanks to his major money-grubber nature」
「Seems like it’ll be pretty hard handling so many people with such unique personalities. On that note, our ministers are really excellent」
「Our side is pretty excellent as well. ――Ah! This isn’t a lie!」
Merea had quite the confidence when it came to this point.
In fact, hew was rather proud of it.
「Haha. Still, the name demon lord’s castle really has become common place for that place huh, for that castle」
「I wish the name would have stayed as star tree castle though――just call it whatever」
Merea shrugged his shoulders before throwing his hands up in the air.
Hasim smiled seeing that gesture before he continued speaking.
「Could you also let Lilium and their group that if they want more documents and books from Lemuse castle then we’ll lend it immediately. In fact, they can enter the underground archive as and when they want」
「Got it, we’ll owe you」
「You ended up getting insane battle achievements like an idiot so we’re pretty desperate to sell some favors to you」
They laughed together one last time before they parted ways.
The moment the two left, a gust of wind passed through the square.
The wind mixed up with the light particles of the star trees and gently pushed their backs as they walked towards the star tree ward.
Feeling the wind on their backs, the two of them couldn’t help but float a troubled smile at the mischievous feeling that the wind gave them.
The rising wind gave them the feeling of the curtain of a new story being raised.
The tall white stone tower stood in the middle of the square and just watched over the two walk away.