277-275 Athenian Sacrifice

 My name is Lycheeus.

 I'm a man of the unremarkable human race.
 I am 17 years old this year.

 I was born to ordinary villagers' parents in a particularly ordinary village, and grew up as the middle third of five very ordinary siblings.

 For a rural village in a human country, that's basically what it is, poor and unable to afford to feed all of my siblings.

 I was the most ordinary person in the village, but I was sent to work as an apprentice, and I had to leave the village.

 The place of service is the mansion of the lord.

 After some twists and turns, I ended up working at a prestigious place, but the lord is a very nice person and he pays attention to me.

 Only here is different from the norm.

 Now that I've worked hard under my lord and grown up in my own way as a chamberlain.
 An unusual problem finally loomed before me.

    * * * *

 One day.

 The lord of the house came back with a very pale face.
 The pallor of his face was immediately obvious that something had happened.

 What had really happened?

 Today, we had to go out to respond to a call from the demon occupation office.

 It has already been a year since we, the human race, lost the war against the demon tribe.
 However, the demon tribe has established a generous ruling system that makes it hard to believe that they are invaders, and it's even easier to live there than it was when the Human King and his cult had their way with us.

 Most of the people of the human race also welcomed the demon race.

 The lords of the former human kingdom were allowed to rule the same as before, and I'm just glad that the lord I respected was able to survive the political change...

 But today, something finally happened.

''Lycheeus........! Water. Get me some water...!

 The lord sat down on the sofa as soon as he returned home.

 He looked quite distressed as expected.
 At any rate, as you have requested, I will offer you some water.

Please drink it calmly.
'Bwah! ........another one!

 I told you to calm down, but you drank it in one gulp and demanded a refill.
 You're really in a rough spot after all.
 What did the demon tribe tell you that the usually mild-mannered lord is this upset?

He's finally bared his fangs.

 After drinking three drinks in a row, the lord-sama has finally regained his composure.
 Even so, she still couldn't stop the sweat spewing from her entire body and busily wiped her face.

''Those demon tribe guys, the first time they come up to you and act like good guys...! I knew he was hiding his true brutal nature behind the scenes! I'm going to eradicate the human race after all!
"My lord, please calm down...! What the hell happened to you?

 I'm the lord's favorite attendant at his side.
 I'm sure you'll be able to find a way to help me because I'm so witty.
 This is why it is my job to ask for advice and listen to complaints in my private time.

 But I've never seen the lord so distraught before.

''What was said in the Occupation Office?''

 I got the impression that the demon race occupation policy I've seen so far is not that reckless, but...!

They asked me to give it to you...!


People. You're young, you're smart, you're capable, and you're going to bring a lot of them to us.
"? What are you going to do about that?
I don't know! I asked him about it, but he didn't give me any details! But the orders are absolute...!

 Does this mean that if they refused, they didn't know what kind of retaliation they would receive?
 In fact, the Demon King's army was the occupier of the human country, so they could take any retaliatory measures if they wanted to.

''Human resources are a national treasure! What will the demons do if we take it away from them? Don't tell me it was a sacrifice? To feed the vicious monsters that the demon tribe has...?

 !" My lord, please calm down!

 It's true that I've heard of the demon race controlling monsters, but they say it's limited to a small percentage of them. Moreover, it is a lowly humanoid type.
 I don't think such a monster would need such a sacrifice.

 However, even if they won't be taken and eaten, it's not like they won't be crossed over to their former enemies and placed in a similar or similar treatment.

 I don't know what the demon race is seeking human resources for, but........

''The person who is offered to you will have to be prepared to face uncommon circumstances.

 And the human race, the losers of the war, cannot refuse their demands.

That's right. That's right. We must give them what they ask of us. A young man full of strength, wisdom, and brilliance...!

 The lord-sama muttered in concern.

''Hey, Lycheeus........! Speaking of such a promising young man in our territory, is there only one of them...?

 I see.
 I understood my lord's concern.

"My son Sardacase is the only one who can help me!

 My lord has a son.
 My lord has a son, and only one.

 My lord is a good man, a gentleman. He is sensible enough as a politician, but he loses his sense of righteousness in one thing: his only son, Salda Case.

 This is in regard to his only son, Sarda Case.

 To my lord, he was a son who was barely born after he was old enough to be born, and that's why his doting is so terrible.

''He's so well made, he's sure to catch the attention of the demon race! And my son will be sent to a magical land. We may never see you again. Ahhhhhh...!

 Is this the main reason why I am so distraught?

 I'm a child-loving person by nature. That's why he took care of me when I was young, even if I was a servant, and even more so if I was his own son by blood.

 He took good care of me, too.
 Is now the time to repay the favor........!

I'll go.

 It was natural to say.

'The demon tribe wants a young man anyway, right? I'm also 17 years old. I'll meet the requirements for now. As for brilliance, it's not so easy to tell from appearances, and it can be deceiving.
But if you go, you may not come home again.

 My lord is even concerned about me.
 That's why I can feel like laying down my life for this man.

 Anyway, it's mostly a villager's, easy life everywhere.

    * * * *

 And on the appointed day.
 I was to depart as a representative of the fiefdoms.

 It seems to be a rule that each of the other fiefdoms will send out a brilliant young man to represent them.

 My departure was met with a commensurate send-off.
 Most of them were in an atmosphere of mourning for me as I embarked on my departure.

 With a few exceptions.........

"Hey, Theseus, you must be happy to take my place. Aren't you glad you could take my place?

 It is the example of the Sarda case that says.

 My lord's son.
 He is the son of my lord, I think he is one year older than me.

You've always been a snooty, obnoxious fellow, but you've come in handy for me in this way! That's a great loyalty to die in the Lord's place. I commend you!

 Because the lord dotes on him and spoils him, he's grown up to be a complete idiot.

 I can't bear to think that such a man will become the next lord in the future.
 In a way, I'm more worried about my own fate of being called under the demon tribe.

I'm more worried about my own fate than my own being called up to the demon tribe. But I'm happy for you! My life will be saved, the blighter will die. I heard that the Heavenly God Zeus has blessed my future!

 If this really is the case, what will happen to this territory if this kind of person becomes the next lord?

 Even if I were to end my life at the demon tribe, it's going to turn into an unfinished business and come out as a monster.

''Everyone, please take care of the rest...!
I know. I'm sure the sergeant will train you back up with us...!

 Leaving my fellow chamberlain to take over, I set off.

 No really, though this could be the farewell of this lifetime. It's an unfinished parting.

 What kind of treatment will I receive under the demon tribe?