I am a bad lord! Gasp!
Is it strange to call yourself a villain? Shit! What's in it for you, being the good guy in the end?
No one is going to give you a pat on the back for your airs! Then it's better to play the bad guy and squeeze the weak out of them!
No matter what happens to the Demon Kingdom anyway, Mingkun's Demon Lord will be there to support you well! He can do whatever he wants in the countryside, away from the Demon City!
Taxpayers' money! Give me 70 percent of what we had in a good harvest! It doesn't matter if we have a bad harvest or not, it's the same amount!
Let's get some more tax breaks! Taxing people who own houses, taxing people who own livestock! Of course they tax the guys in business, and if they buy something, they're taxed!
Taxed in marriage! Taxation on the birth of a child! Taxed if you die and have a funeral! The inheritance tax is a hundred percent!
And I'll even charge you for the use of the water wheel! Whenever we grind the wheat into flour, we use the lord's own waterwheel!
In your own home, no stone grinding at all! Take the millstone from every house in the territory and break it down!
And we'll build a gate! We'll collect the tolls!
What? Is there already a barrier on the southern road? Then why don't you build another barrier at the end of the barrier!
That's going to bring a flood of gold and silver into my pocket!
All the wealth belongs to me! I'm the only one who should be laughing in this world!
* * * *
As I was recounting the money I had saved, a visitor appeared.
They seemed to be some dirty-looking travelers.
Two men and two women. They didn't look like demons, but they had an orc or something in their retinue.
They turned to me and said, "This territory's tax rate is the same as the others.
This territory's tax rate is too high compared to the others. We want the tax rate to be lowered.
You don't know what you're talking about by talking to this eagle.
I was going to restrain him and cut his head off to make an example of him, but before that, you might as well play with him.
I'd like that.
Go on out to the yard.
You see that big rock over there? It's annoying because it's ruining the view of the garden, but it's too big and heavy to move.
If you tear it down or move it out of my house, I will give you some tax relief.
If you can't do that, he'll take all your possessions and throw you out of his domain.
"As you wish.
You're going to use an oak as an accompaniment?
Well, even if the prowess of the Orcs surpasses that of mankind, if that were even possible, I would have destroyed or moved that pebble a long time ago.
What's with the axe?
Well, there's nothing I can do about it, so whatever you want to do with it...
A rock! A huge rock snapped in half? And it's all shattered!
Shall we get this rock out of here, Master Ardhegg?
Very well, I will help you to find out what you are made of.
The finely crushed stones were quickly carried away, leaving no shadow or shape.
No, no, no, no........!
Now that's not fair.
Right? I don't need monsters.
If you're going to bet, why don't you play fair with your own hands?
Shall we have one more game?
In the mountains outside my lands, a monster lives. It's been a year since it emerged and you are to destroy it.
Isn't that what lords do?
Why should I do such a worthless thing, you idiot? We need money to move our soldiers.
Even if we leave it alone, it will only cause enough damage to the neighboring villagers to be eaten alive.
If you think it's a pity, then you can go exterminate them yourselves.
You can kill them yourselves.
By the time you get there, though, you'll be out of time! Kekeke!
What makes you girls fly? Magic? He took off!
And he came back immediately!
"You asked for a demon... Is that him?
A monster that has been shot through the chest and is dying!
"If you are doubtful, send a messenger to that mountain to check it out. I'll wait for as many days as I can.
Okay, all right, next!
The next time you win, I'll give you a tax break!
There is a sanatorium in that village over there.
They take in people who have been stricken by epidemics and treat them.
Since they don't have a doctor and medicines, few of them get well.
Was this sanatorium built by you?
Why would I do something so unprofitable?
It was built by the village volunteers of their own accord.
They said, "If you can't afford to do that, why don't you pay more tax to me," and imposed a heavy tax on them as a condition of their operation.
What, with a deep sigh?
I'm on it.
Now that's your girl?
Fool, he seems to have confidence in his strength, but swords and fists won't do him any good against a sick person....
"There are less than twenty patients in the prison. I guess the magic potions we have on hand should be enough.
'It's a drug that's meant to kill pathogens, not restore your body, so it's going to stay still after you take it and regain your strength. You should eat plenty of nutritious food if you can, but...
Those sick people are looking better and better...! And no more coughing.
'Come to think of it, I hadn't heard what kind of game you were going to play in this sanatorium, but if you're sick, we've cured all of them, and once the sick are gone, the sanatorium will cease to exist naturally. Problem solved, my friend.
This guy who looks like the leader of this gang........looks down on me with his big eyes....
Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are to me, the lord of this devil's country?
"Will you promise me something? He said he would bring the tax rate down to, at least, a sensible range. That's supposed to be the duty of those who govern people.
Don't get high and mighty!
Yes! Next round!
This is the last round!
All right, bring me the dragons this time! They didn't kill him, they kept him alive!
If I could do that, I'd give you a tax break!
"I can't help it...!
What is it?
The other man, the one from the other side of the traveler, comes forward...?
What are you doing?
The man's appearance is changing...?
They grow so big that they look up, and they grow claws and fangs and wings, and they're covered in scales all over...?
* * * *
Yes, I'm Hakkai the Orc.
This time, I've come to the frontier territory of the demon land ruled by a corrupt lord.
We have been negotiating with him to end his cruel rule, but he has finally lost his temper after repeated selfishness.
The person who lost his temper first was, after all, Mr. Ardhegg, who is a proud dragon.
Revealing the true form of a dragon, he looks down at the vicious lord.
''What do you think? I have a dragon here, as you requested? What's next? Bring me the Immortal King?
The villainous lord was overwhelmed by the majesty of the dragon in front of him, and was unable to come up with his next impossible task.
''Lord Ardheg, restrain yourself a bit. Even the people in your village are frightened.
"This scum is neither king nor hero. "This scum is neither king nor hero; it is a waste of my talent for measuring heroes to keep him in my sight. I would have put him out to pasture if I hadn't been prevailed upon by Lord Arowana to do so.
Master Ardhegg only said and returned to his human form.
It was a look of 'not threatening enough'.
To the spineless lord, Prince Arowana says to him
I entered your territory on my journey and was fed up with too many obstacles. But what amazes me even more is the poverty of each village in your realm.
It was almost as if this was the same magical land as the rest of the world.
The villagers who greeted us were so hospitable to us that they even cut off their own food for today. We were so moved by their hospitality that we came to talk to Anata to make their lives a little easier. But.....
What the hell...?
'We're not going to get anywhere in a proper discussion anymore. Hakkay.
I stepped forward before Prince Arowana and unfolded a thick piece of parchment and showed it to the vicious lord.
The writing on it was.....
''That's a bill of passage issued by my demon kingdom? And it's handwritten by Demon King Zedan! What the hell are you...?
That's insulting, lowly person. You are the first prince of the mermaid kingdom, Lord Arowana!
The vice lord peeled his eyes away at the declaration.
''I didn't want to use a name like this, but...''
Prince Arowana continues in person: "Of course, as a stranger, I have no right to interfere in the politics of the demon kingdom.
"Of course, as a stranger, I have no right to interfere in the politics of the demon kingdom. But demons are a proud race. Can you allow an important person from another country to see the shame of your race?
I'm back. I've been there.
Master Puffa, who had disappeared before he knew it, returned with transference magic.
'Puffa, have you seen Lord Zedan?'
Yeah, rather smoothly. They're sending the gendarmerie over here right away.
At the mention of the Demon King's name, the vicious lord's eyelids widened to the point where his eyeballs seemed to be spilling out.
''The head of the Demon Kingdom will decide how much punishment will be meted out to the scoundrels of the Demon Kingdom. Dismissal of the lord, confiscation of property....... Exile? Imprisonment? Capital punishment? This is the scene where the Demon King's decisiveness is tested.
On that day, an unworthy politician disappeared from the Demon Land.
* * * *
That was a thought-provoking event...
It's said that in human country, the royals are the bonkers, and the lords are the solid lords. In a demon kingdom, it's the opposite.
Although it's true that Lord Zedan is the Lord Ming, the reach of each of us is limited. How could one man with such a great mind supporting him cause everyone around him to become complacent?
''Not all demon lords are like that. You have to be careful when you're governing your own country.
You and me, right?
So can you stop being so abrupt and suggestive?
Prince Arowana's training journey continues.