The negotiations to turn Grün, the elven hero, over to Renya’s side finished so easily that Mayria dumbfoundedly muttered, “Is it really okay to decide on this in such a short amount of time?”
In the letter Renya sent to the emperor, as if the letter was chasing Grün’s party that had just returned to the elven country, he made a list of requests revolving around Renya wanting to take Grün, who is being treated as criminal, under his care, and in case they successful subjugated the demon king, expressed his wish for Grün’s crimes to be pardoned and a revocation of the high treason charge imposed on his mother.
His point is that Grün’s achievements in the subjugation of the demon king will likely be more than enough in order to revoke the high treason charge as the hero Grün wouldn’t have come to be without his mother.
Although one might say that Renya holds a reasonably high social status, he’s nothing more than a single noble in a single nation of the human continent. Naturally it was a letter that would inevitably be criticized as being an intervention in the elven country’s domestic affairs, seeing as Renya isn’t considering his own position at all.
As a natural reaction, people, who opposed Renya’s proposal, appeared among elven nobility.
However, after calmly listening to the claims of the opposing side, the elven emperor said:
“I fully understand your view points. …Then, I wonder, who among you has the courage to go to the letter’s sender and state their opinion, which you have just told me, directly to them?”
Due to the emperor’s words, which were bluntly stated in a dispassionate manner all without changing his expression, it’s said that some people suddenly remembered that they had some urgent business to attend to and others excused themselves in front of the emperor after immediately retracting their own complaints with pale faces.
Renya, who heard about this story later on, believed that he hadn’t done anything scary enough to justify their behavior. However Renya’s name, who was said to have forced an army of monsters, with numbers dozens of times larger than the few soldiers he led, to retreat and on top of that to have defeated a demon, which was later on finished off by the imperial princess Croire, in an one-on-one battle, had apparently spread among the nobles of the elven country alongside the warning “Don’t touch, dangerous.”
The emperor, who is more than well aware of this fact, gazed at the nobles of the opposing faction, a faction whose numbers had been dwindling little-by-little, while calmly linking his hands on top of his knees. Before long not one of them remained in front of him. Slowly he signed the document related to the hand-over of Grün, wrote the necessary decree for it to happen and affixed his seal to it.
Renya was angry thinking, What does he think other people are?, but Croire and even Grün, who was sent to Renya alongside the decree, shared the opinion that the emperor’s actions were correct.
“If I were the one criticizing that the letter is an intervention in domestic affairs, I would at least request the emperor to do something about it.” (Renya)
“”Huh?”” (Croire & Grün)
Although he was dissatisfied, Renya was forced into silence due to the questioning looks of younger sister and elder brother.
By the way, as he couldn’t agree with it no matter what, he told Shion and Rona the same thing later on, but their reaction was exactly the same as that of the elven siblings.
Even if it’s a digression, Grün had officially been handed over to Renya under those circumstances.
As for the public announcement, it took the form of him staying as a guest after being asked to do so by the human hero.
Whatever might be the truth, the elves couldn’t just say that they allowed this to happen in response to the request of a single human noble after all.
It goes without saying that the one who complained about this matter until the very end was Renya who grumbled all by himself, “You should have just said that it was possible to keep him here in the form of it being the hero’s request from the very beginning.”
At any rate, due to this it has resulted in three of the four existing heroes in this world having gathered under Renya, who is no more than a single member of a single human country.
“Haven’t I obtained combat power that seems capable of at least unifying the human continent if I insist on it?” (Renya)
In reality the only one who seems likely to do what he’s told after being ordered by Renya is just Kurz.
However, Grün doesn’t look to have the same kind of attitude towards humans as he has towards elves.
There were signs that he might unexpectedly obediently cooperate if he was presented some kind of merit for the elves.
As for Lepard, it doesn’t feel overly complicated to make him cooperate by tricking him.
“A rebellion? You know, I was told by mother to inform her in advance by all means, if you are going to start a rebellion.” (Shion)
Renya muttered those words accidentally while scanning through a list of goods and money both in amounts that are more than plenty for the sake of Grün’s livelihood, which had been sent by the elven emperor under the pretext of it being an expense allowance. Hearing that, Shion, who was carrying those goods to the storehouse together with the soldiers, stopped and said that to Renya.
“Nah, I won’t do something so troublesome like that, but…tell me, what will Her Majesty the Archduchess do after receiving such information?” (Renya)
If it’s someone dim-witted, they would dream of becoming the supreme ruler by conquering the whole continent, but for Renya it only caused him to question, Why do I have to deliberately burden myself with such a troublesome task?
With it taking quite the effort to to even manage a single margraviate, there’s no way that I will be able to manage a whole continent of unknown size, he ends up pondering.
“She will easily give up and think of a method to cajole you somehow, Renya.” (Shion)
Renya feels shocked due to Shion’s smooth reply.
“Just what is that person thinking!?” (Renya)
“Me and Mayria plan to help you to the best of our abilities, so please make sure to tell us in advance.” (Shion)
“Just what are you guys even thinking!?” (Renya)
“Father also told me that he’d like to discuss this with you at the time when you make your stand, Renya.” (Croire)
“He said that the foundation of a unified nation, similar to that of the elven continent, on the human continent would be a joyous event…however, since it would be established with you as ruler, he asked me to tell you that he requests you to spare him from attacking the elven country.” (Croire)
“Didn’t I tell you? I won’t do it! What’s with the uneasiness of His Majesty the Emperor!?” (Renya)
“Margrave…since I will restrain myself, attacking the beastman country is…if you like, we can arrange for several priestesses for you? Kaede…I will cooperate obediently, so please overlook her.” (Lepard)
“Shuddap, meathead! Just carry the goods silently, you fool!” (Renya)
Renya sends Lepard, who approached with a somewhat meek expression, flying with a kick.
The beastman hero-dono, who always brags about his own strength, apparently assisted with the moving of the goods after being skillfully drawn into it by Klinge’s soldiers.
Opposite to Lepard, who runs away with his ears and tail curled up, they could see Kaede, who was twisting and turning her body while muttering “Geez, that Lepard…” with an enraptured expression and both her hands covering her cheeks, but Renya does his best to pretend that he didn’t see that.
They both apparently intended not to be noticed, but the hero Lepard and the priestess Kaede seem to be in love with each other. They have been observed together in the shadows of buildings and corners of the city by Klinge’s soldiers with quite a high frequency.
The sightings of them together have been delivered as official reports to Renya as if it was somehow natural. Renya himself wards those reports of, as he sees them as inconsequential information, but among the soldiers patrolling the city, there are talks that they have managed to draw up something like a date course map that follows the beastman hero’s steps.
That part has reached Renya’s ears as well and it has become one of his worries whether he should rebuke the voyeur-like soldiers asking them what they are doing during work hours, or whether he should praise their ability to thoroughly investigate the details so far without being caught by the beastmen’s perception.
“In my opinion I think it’s a problem that your impact on your surroundings was too big in comparison to the time it took you to make a name for yourself.” (Shion)
Shion says to Renya, who shoos away all the people who had gathered here.
Renya looks at Shion wondering, What the hell is she talking about all of a sudden?, but as if having not noticed his gaze, Shion continued,
“Normally, a person, who boasts of military power similar to yours, Renya, is someone who climbs up after having some gossip about them spread before becoming famous, but in your case you fought a demon, tied a hero to you and became a noble no sooner than your name suddenly appeared. Aren’t only those big stories circulating about you the only sources of information?” (Shion)
“Well, all of that is the truth though…” (Croire)
Croire retorts, but Shion continues further while ignoring her,
“In other words, the information regarding the person called Renya is spearheaded by only your oversized accomplishments because there’s too little other information about you. Isn’t this the reason why nicknames such as 『Demon King』, 『Slaughterer』 and 『Soul Collector』 are running rampant as your image, Renya…?” (Shion)
“No, just a moment. This is the first time I’m hearing of these titles.” (Renya)
Tapping Shion’s shoulder, who spouts forth a torrent of speech while raising her index finger, Renya stops her.
Having been interrupted, Shion looks at Renya with eyes as though asking him just what his business is, but even for Renya this wasn’t a topic he could simply let slide.
“Just what are those nicknames that make one embarrassed from just hearing them?” (Renya)
“Your plausible nicknames that are circulating on the human continent.” (Shion)
“Who circulated them? Tell me.” (Renya)
“There’s no way for me to know that, is there? …It seems you are called 『Jet-black Renegade』 or something like that in the Holy Kingdom, I think?” (Shion)
“Why do people I don’t know who are in places I haven’t visited add weird nicknames to people they haven’t even met!?” (Renya)
Renya unintentionally raises his voice, but he receives an even bigger shock from Croire’s next words.
“In the elven country you are referred to as 『Visitor of the Strong Sword』 or 『Flame of Condemnation』.” (Croire)
“Those are names given to you from you crossing swords with a demon and you burning that demon to death, aren’t they?” Croire laughs brightly, but for Renya this is no laughing matter.
“Have them stop right away!” (Renya)
“Asking for that is unreasonable.” (Croire)
Croire frowns, but even Renya cannot afford to withdraw due to something of this level.
In the first place, the one who finished off the demon by setting him on fire was Croire, so it should be fine for me to declare that I have no recollection of having condemned anyone.
Renya thrust that fact at Croire, but he soon became speechless due to her lashing back at him with “You were the one who had me do that, Renya.”
“Being given nicknames is something fairly honorable, no? Albeit you did not decide on these nicknames, they were assigned to you naturally. Isn’t that proof of their admiration?” (Croire)
“Please be more confident”, Croire said, but Renya has a gloomy expression while being at his wits’ end.
“I want them to refrain and hold back on me…” (Renya)
“Well, I thought that you would say so, Renya, thus I have a suggestion for you.” (Shion)
Upon Shion’s words, Renya shifts his attention towards her while wondering whether she’s going to spout something worthless again.
“What is it? For the time being, let’s hear it.” (Renya)
“For the elves and humans it’s too late.” (Shion)
“Too late, you say? What is too late!?” (Renya)
“If we’re talking about the southern continent where the beastmen live and the northern continent where the dragonoids live, I wonder if you’ll still be able to avoid more nicknames before it’s too late.” (Shion)
Once she emphasizes the too late part, even Renya couldn’t find any words to rebuke her.
Even putting that aside, just what does Shion want to say with being in time? Renya didn’t understand at all.
“In short, if we properly show what kind of person you are before any kind of nickname can take hold, nicknames like those disliked by you won’t cling to your person, right? That’s what I think, but how about it?” (Shion)
It sounds like a relatively decent suggestion, but then again, it comes from Shion.
Renya cannot help but feel that a trap is waiting for him somewhere down the line.
“Even if you put the matter about nicknames aside for a moment, I think that I’d like you to come to our country at least once, Margrave. I’d like you to have seen our hometown once, if we are going to fight together from now on.” (Lepard)
Having returned without being noticed by anyone, Lepard interjects.
This proposal sounds like something decent as well, but I cannot help but feel that there’s some kind of loophole in this with the person saying these words being Lepard.
“You are in the middle of being driven out by your country for being a nuisance, aren’t you?” (Renya)
Once Renya said so while glaring at him with scornful eyes, Lepard swiftly averted his eyes.
Kaede appears from within the shadow of Lepard’s back and says to Renya,
“That is certainly so. But at present the situation has stabilized itself to some degree. If we can have you, Margrave-sama, visit our country for the sake of learning about us better, even if it’s just for a short time, this me will prepare everything.” (Kaede)
“A treatment as a state guest is impossible, but I shall promise you that you will be received as a VIP.” Being told that by Kaede, even Renya’s heart sways a bit.
Seeing as I’m in a situation where I can’t carefreely go on trips much after being appointed as a noble, I’d like to have a change of pace from stories connected to the heroes.
Moreover, if the destination is the beastman country which he had never visited before, it stimulates his curiosity.
“I fear it’s very likely that investigation personnel from all around will flow into your territory as a result of you having accepted the elven prince-sama.” (Kaede)
Kaede whispered while secretly leaning in close to the worrying Renya.
Once Renya looks at Kaede’s face with a surprised look, Kaede reveals a smile full of hidden meanings.
“How about coming to our country for a while, even if it has the connotation of dodging the brunt of their investigations? Of course, together with everybody.” (Kaede)
“Please do so by all means, okay?” Kaede laughs.
Is this a pre-arranged talk or an unforeseen talk that came about during the progress of our conversation?
While unable to make a decision, Renya ended up thinking, With this flow, it’s probably been decided that we will proceed towards their country.