TWEM Vol. 3 Chapter 12
Chapter 12 – Retribution
“Get up, you sack of shit!”
I kicked the king in the stomach to wake him up.
It’s okay to do this, I guess.
“—Guhaa!? Guoooh, guuooh! W, wha, what are you—hieek!?”
The king coughed as he held his hurting belly, looked up at me, and when our eyes met, he screamed and backed away.
Did I really look that scary?
Well, it seemed that this guy was involved in the Yvel’s research, and since I killed them so easily, I guess he was somewhat aware of my might.
At the sound of the king’s voice, the rest of the royal family woke up.
The remaining royals were Mariana, the queen, the young prince, and six others.
I looked at the other royals and called out to the king.
“Now then, how are you going to pay for what you did to me and the elves? Honestly speaking, I don’t think your miserable life is even close to being enough to settle this”
“P, please, anything but my life…”
I kicked the king again, who was still begging for his life at this point.
“Did you kill all those people, those elves who begged for their lives like that? According to the villagers, quite a few of them were kidnapped……you gave the order, didn’t you?”
“Ugh…haa, haa…I did, no such…”
“Why don’t you just tell me and save yourself the pain?”
The king, who saw the look in my eyes and realized that I was serious, opened his mouth in a panic.
“I, I killed them! I’m the one who ordered the attack!”
“With your own hands?”
The king became silent again.
The king was so terrified that he made a stain on the ground when I invoked intimidation.
“I, I killed them…”
I uttered that and looked at Ephyr.
“What do you want to do, Ephyr? Would you like to avenge them with your own hands?”
“…Are you okay with that?”
“Of course I am. If one of my people is suffering more than I am, and wants revenge, I’ll definitely make them a priority over myself.”
Ephyr took a few moments to answer.
Ephyr’s eyes were filled with intense rage and a will for revenge.
After confirming this, I took out a certain sword from my dimensional storage.
The name of the sword is Fairy Pain, a spirit sword.
It is a sword that I created, one that is no less than the magic sword that Iris possesses.
Spirit Sword Fairy Pain
While using this sword, the power of spirit magic is increased threefold.
By channeling magic power, it can absorb the power of surrounding spirits.
A spirit sword molded by Haruto.
I handed the sword to Ephyr, who looked at it curiously.
“It’s a sword I made for Ephyr. It’s called Fairy Pain, a Spirit Sword. Please take it.”
The pale green, translucent body of the sword was made in the image of a spirit.
“It’s so beautiful. Thank you very much.”
“Oh…right, it’s all good and all, giving it to you, but it would be such a waste to use it to kill this vermin. How about this instead?”
What I took out was just an iron sword.
Ephyr fitted the spirit sword on her waist, then walked up to the king with the iron sword in hand.
Her hand gripped the sword tightly and forcefully.
Her family and loved ones had been taken from her by the king’s order.
I can’t even begin to fathom the depth of that hatred.
“No, wait! I mean, please wait!”
The king desperately called out to Ephyr, but there was no response.
Instead, I opened my mouth.
“…What reason does she have to listen to you? It’s your fate.”
“Didn’t you say, you wouldn’t kill me?”
“Did I say that? You see, your fate was already sealed right from the onset.”
In the midst of this conversation, Ephyr walked right up to the king, who was slumped in front of her, and opened her mouth to her loved ones in heaven.
“Father, mother. And everyone in the village. I’m going to avenge everyone now.”
Ephyr raised the sword in front of the king, holding it in both hands such that the blade pointed down.
A drop tear rolled down her cheek and fell to the floor.
Ephyr then interrupted the king and plunged the sword into his chest.
The king, who was pierced through the heart, collapsed lifelessly a few moments later.
Mariana and the Queen, who were watching, turned white, and the rest of the royals were trembling, wondering if they would be next. The young prince was crying out loud.
Tendo and the others seemed to be able to do nothing but look away from the scene before them.
Finne, Iris, and Asha all turned away from the spreading pool of blood.
Kusel was not upset, but she had an unreadable look on her face at the death of her former master.
In the midst of this, Ephyr pulled out the sword from the body.
“Father, mother. At long last, I was finally able to avenge you all…”
Ephyr was despondent, tears streaming down her face, but after a while, she turned toward me.
The look on her face was very gratified.
“Thank you very much, master Haruto. Thanks to you, I was able to avenge everyone…but are you really fine with this master Haruto? I thought you really wanted to get your hands on him too yourself?”
“Don’t worry about me.”
“…Thank you so, so much!”
With that, Ephyr let go of the sword and hugged me.
I stroked her head until she stopped crying, and when she finally calmed down, I turned to Mariana and the other royals.
“Now then, you have two choices left. Survive as slaves or die. I recommend the former.”
The royals shuddered upon hearing the option.
“Oh, we’re not going to sell you off as slaves. We’re only enslaving you to limit your behavior so that you don’t get some weird ideas. Consider your freedom to be naught…and of course we’ll be monitoring you.”
“…I understand. May we please have some time?”
It was the queen who made the request.
“Sure, talk about it and make a decision.”
With that, I put the king’s corpse into the Dimensional Storage.
It didn’t feel right leaving it there, and I couldn’t just cremate it right here either.
Just then, Aegan and the rest of the elves from the first group came back.
“Boss, we’re back. This mess is…”
“Yeah, good job. The enemy was tougher than I thought—and by the way, who’re you calling boss?”
I couldn’t help but voice out, when did I suddenly become the boss!
Moreover, Aegan and the others were all on their knees in a vassal-like posture of courtesy.
“Of course, boss is the boss.”
“…In other words, me. No, no, no, I mean, how did you even figure?”
“The only person who can lead us is you, master, no, boss! ”
“Uh, …okay. All right, fine, but can you at least stop calling me boss?”
I said, feeling embarrassed, but Aegan and the others all smiled and said, “That’s impossible!”.
I looked at Finne and the others for help, but they just smiled at me as if to tell me to give up.
“…Sheesh, fine, I got it already, now take a break. And I’m glad you’re all okay.”
“Much obliged, sir.”
I felt like they’d totally become my subordinates, but I didn’t mind.
I brought out tables, chairs, and tea sets for the number of people from the dimensional storage.
Finne, Iris, and Asha were used to it and started drinking tea without a care in the world, but Tendo and the others, Aegan and company all had rather conflicted expressions on their faces.
However, when they saw us relaxing, they immediately sat down.
Incidentally, Kusel also sat right at the same time as Finne and the others. If anything, she was trying to monopolize the tea cakes and was fighting with Iris. She’s a junior for pete’s sake, come on yield to her already…
Of course, I was also concerned about the actions of the royals who were still in the midst of their discussion.
From what I heard every now and then, it seemed that the discussion would be prolonged.
If they tried to escape…well, I would just chase them down and kill ‘em, case closed.
The royal family’s discussion went on for a while, and when I was starting to get sleepy, it seemed to have finally ended.
Mariana and the others all came towards me, so I stood up, too.
“Well, it seems you’ve reached a conclusion, so let’s hear it.”
“Y-Yes. We have—we have decided to become slaves.”
Well, no surprises there.
“…All right. A friendly reminder, don’t make any unnecessary attempts, okay?”
I said, staring at the fat man who was running his mouth saying unnecessary things during the discussion.
“Well, this is the last time I’m going to let you off the hook—”
I said, releasing my intimidation.
“—There won’t be a next time, you’ll do well to remember that?”
With those words, the royals all passed out.
Actually, there was a reason why I made them faint.
I wanted to use my slavery skills to carve slave crests on their backs so that they couldn’t see them.
With my skill level, I could make it so that the slave crest wasn’t visible at all.
“What do we do now, Haruto?”
Finne asked me after I was done with the whole process.
“Hmm, let’s see. At any rate, this country had been an absolute monarchy until now, right? I’d like to change that first, so that we can establish politics for the people…Kusel, do you have a minute?”
“Hmm? What is it?”
“Just so you know I have no interest in internal administration—you know what, not interested.”
“Oh, come on! At least hear me out!”
Shit, I forgot she’s a muscle brain…
It’s practically hopeless getting a meathead involved in politics.
“All right, all right. That aside, I am sure that you’re excited about returning to your formal position, right?”
“Not at all!”
No hesitation huh! Well, I guess being an adventurer suits her better than being the knight vice-captain.
Speaking of which, I didn’t catch any glimpse of the Knight Captain or the Court Magician…wonder where they were?
“I’d like to get a handle on the personnel first. If the king suddenly disappears, the country will be in chaos, and it’s not like I can leave it to the royal family…I have to come up with who to leave it to.”
When I was wondering what to do, Iris made a suggestion to me.
“What are you worried about? Why not just become the king yourself, Haruto?”
At Iris’s comment, I, as well as everyone else in the room, let out a shrill cry.
“No, wait, wait, Iris! Why would you suggest that?!”
“I think Haruto has the makings of a king!”
Iris said with a puzzled look on her face.
“No, no, hold your horses, I want to live freely and I’m going to go back to my original world eventually, so I can’t be a king.”
“…You’re going back?”
Iris looked up at me with tears in the corners of her eyes. So sly, that’s not fair!
“Well, I have a family. And of course, I’m not going to leave you guys behind.”
When I said this, Iris wiped away her tears and smiled.
“Well, I guess I’ll never be king anyway. The people will never agree to it.”
But then I remembered something important.
“…Oh, I forgot to ask the king how to get back.”
“What? Normally you wouldn’t forget such a thing right?!”
No, Tendo, you didn’t exactly have that in mind either, that reaction just now gave you away.
And we already did him in, it couldn’t be helped now. Well, I suppose I’d find out something if I examine the magic circle that summoned us.
While Tendo and the rest of the hero group were making a fuss about what to do, the unconscious royals woke up.
“You’re up. I’ve engraved the slave crest on you all while you were unconscious.”
The royals were buzzing as they were told something outrageous upon waking up.
“Wha-! Did you really engrave it on my body?! Wasn’t that just a threat? Do you know who I am, you bastard!!”
The fat dude, probably unable to accept the fact that he had been inscribed with a slave crest, shouted, but immediately afterwards, he began to hold his chest in agony.
The effect of inflicting pain on those who disobeyed their masters was triggered.
Seeing this, the royals despaired that they have indeed become slaves.
I called out to Mariana, who was in tears.
“Hey. Princess Mariana, no—Mariana.”
Mariana’s body trembled at the sound of my voice, and she opened her mouth fearfully.
“H-How may I help you sir?”
“Are you willing to do good by the people?”
“…How do you mean sir?”
“I have known for quite a while that the taxes in this country are heavy, and the people are also burdened by other policies such as war and agriculture. Are you willing to change that? That’s what I mean.”
It wasn’t Mariana who responded to my words.
“Ughh, you want to lower the taxes? You can’t do that—AaargggGGGGHHHh!”
The fat guy from earlier was struggling again, trying to complain.
Looking at his status, it seems that he’s a duke. Since his name is so long, I’ll just call him the piggy duke.
“Hmm? Did you just say something?”
When I asked with a smile, the piggy duke replied with a shiver.
“I, I- I- I mean, doing that would mean less money coming to us!”
Oh, so you don’t mind if the people suffer, but you want to live in luxury? That explains the piggy figure.
“What’s wrong with that? Aren’t people’s lives more important? Why don’t you learn to be a little more moderate?”
“Ughhhh, I won’t accept this! A mere adventurer dictating—GhaaaaaarrgggHHHhhh!”
The piggy duke suffered from the slave crest triggered by his outburst again.
That’s it, there’s no way this guy’s going to change.
“Aegan, Take him out.”
At my words, Aegan threw out a knife.
The knife, which was thin and sharp, made for throwing, stabbed the piggy duke right between the eyes.
“Greedy pig. You may pay with your life and apologize to our boss for making him feel uncomfortable.”
Aegan, you’re scaring me! And he’s already dead! Moreover, is it just me or has your personality undergone quite the drastic change?!
Everyone was shocked by this.
I noticed the gazes of Finne and the others gathering on me, so I shook my head the best I could.
No, no, no, I didn’t mean for him to kill in such a horrible manner, okay?
“Who else has a problem with the boss?”
Aegan asked, spreading intimidation, and Mariana and the others shook their heads in unison.
“Wise choice. Now boss, please.”
“Uh, yeah…ahem. So, Mariana, what do you think?”
Mariana was avoiding my gaze.
Well, there’s no way she’s going to play politics with the people in mind, is there? If she was that kind of person, she wouldn’t have kicked me out.
The reason she doesn’t say “yes” is probably because she doesn’t want to get killed like the piggy duke if I found out she’s lying.
I sighed and gave out instructions.
“Ha…it’s all right. Mariana, gather the prime minister and ministers in the conference room tomorrow morning. We’ll have a meeting to discuss the future of the state administration. Of course, the royals, including you, will not be allowed to attend…and will be under constant surveillance of the elves from now on. Keep in mind that if you do anything unnecessary, you will end up like the piggy over there—that’s all.”
Mariana and the others nodded their heads as best they could at my words.
“Good. Now go back to your rooms. Aegan, assign the elves for the surveillance duty and come back to me when you’re done.”
At my order, Aegan and the other elves saluted in unison and sent the royals back to their rooms.
“…Now, let’s move to the conference room and discuss these a little more properly.”
So, we came to the conference room.
“What do you mean by a state administration meeting?”
Ephyr asked, so I told her what I was thinking at the moment.
“As I said before, we’re going to lower the tax rate for now. We’ll decide what kind of system we’re going to put in place at tomorrow’s meeting…in the meantime, we can fool the people by saying that the king died of illness.”
“That’s too random…”
It was not Ephyr who replied, but Mogami.
“Well, Mogami. What do you have in mind?”
“The king aside, but abolishing all taxes?”
Right. Doing that will result in a drop in revenue, and the country will be destroyed and invaded by other countries, which is the worst possible outcome.
Perhaps he figured out all these things and voiced out? …Nah, Mogami of all people, I don’t think so.
I was dumbfounded and went on to raise other concerns.
“Well, one thing is for sure, the country is pretty opaque at the moment. There are probably people everywhere who put their own self-interest first, and there are probably glitches in politics in general, with rampant exploitation and disintermediation. I’d have to do some research to see the extent of it…”
“It’s not even surprising, with such a king.”
“…You said it.”
Suzuno and Finne nodded in agreement.
“The question is, how do we improve it? I’m not sure how many of the current ministers and aristocrats are trustworthy. Better yet, we can use our knowledge of the other world to help…”
To be honest, I don’t think I can do anything about it with my high school level of knowledge, but it might give me some ideas.
That’s what I thought while saying all that, but Tendo nodded.
“That’s true…since the teacher is also here, why don’t we gather all of our classmates and prepare to rebuild the country with everyone’s help? I’m sure there are people who would be willing to help. Naturally, I and the others are down anytime.”
I see, Mariana said she had gathered the heroes and Aegan also met them.
“That’s not a bad idea. Besides, I’d like to find out more about the summoning magic circle…all right, I’ll ask Aegan to call the heroes and gather the collaborators to restore the internal administration. So guys, I’ll be relying on you all.”
At my words, everyone raised their voices in motivation.
Then I instructed Aegan, who came to the meeting room, to find the heroes and gather them for the meeting tomorrow morning.
It looked like we would only be able to sleep for a few hours, but we each found a suitable room in the castle to rest up.