TWEM Vol. 3 Chapter 13 Part 1
Chapter 13 Reunion
—The next day.
In the conference room, there were me, Finne, Iris, Asha, Ephyr, Aegan, the prime minister, ministers, the other people in charge of state administration that Mariana had assembled, and all the heroes, my classmates and Ms. Usami the teacher, including Tendo and the others.
I sat down on the most luxurious chair—probably the king’s chair—and covered my face with a hoodie.
Seeing me like that, and Finne and the others standing near me, the heroes other than the ministers, Tendo and the others looked at me strangely.
“Who is that…?”, “Looking kinda shady right?”, in the midst of the whispering, Ms. Usami opened her mouth with a determined expression.
“Um, may I?”
Aegan, standing beside me, answered.
“Um, who’s that in the chair where the King should be sitting? It’s not His Majesty, is it…? And, we would also like to know the reason why we were called here…”
As Ms. Usami said this, my classmates nodded in agreement, looking confused.
When I looked at Tendo and the others, they looked at me and nodded, though with a smile on their faces, unlike the rest of my classmates.
Then I took off my hood.
When Ms. Usami saw my real face, a look of surprise appeared on her face.
The rest of my classmates also began to buzz.
“So he was alive?!”
“But Princess Mariana said Yuki was dead…”
“Yeah, she said he was eaten by a monster, if I remember correctly?”
In the midst of the confusion, Ms. Usami asked.
“R-Really…is that really you, Yuki?”
I nodded, smiling.
“…Yes, it’s me, Ms. Usami. And it’s been a while guys”
“Could also be a lookalike…”
It would seem that Ms. Usami has become very skeptical, as she’s finding it difficult to believe me.
“Of course not, Ms. Usami. Who would want to impersonate me? Right, Tendo?”
“Well, it’s certainly possible to pretend to be Haruto in order to trick the heroes into using them…but rest assured Ms. Usami, everyone. He’s the real Haruto—even though he’s become way stronger than us.”
“Yes, I can vouch for that.”
Thanks to Tendo and Suzuno, who laughed at me, the teacher and my classmates seemed to believe that I was the real deal.
They all had a look of relief on their faces.
Looking at their faces, I felt bad that I had caused them more worry than I had thought.
I bowed my head to everyone.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I made you guys worry. As you can see, I’m alive.”
“…Scratch that, I’m just glad you’re alive, Yuki.”
Following Orihara, the other classmates all said similar lines, ‘I’m glad you’re okay’. Tendo and the others were told, “If you knew, you should have told us sooner.”
While we were having such a picture-perfect emotional reunion, the infamous trio started to make a fuss.
“How come, how are you still alive?”
“Yeah! We heard you were dead!”
“Let me guess, you’re a lookalike aren’t ya? What are you up to?”
The aforementioned trio are Kento Mitsurugi, Hayato Suruga, and Ryo Matsuba. They are the same ones who have been harassing me in the former world in one way or another.
Did they not hear what Tendo said earlier?
I slowly gazed at the three of them and then opened my mouth.
“…What is it? Is it inconvenient if I’m still alive?”
“No, that’s not what…”
Well, actually, it’s not like there’s any particular motive, they just want to get rid of me for some childish reason, I guess.
Mitsurugi and the others flinched, but then gave a huffy look and came at me again.
“Even Ichinomiya is being manipulated by Yuki, isn’t she?”
“I bet she is!”
“He must have used some kind of brainwashing magic!”
At the words of Mitsurugi, Suruga and Matsuba, all eyes turned to Suzuno.
So Tendo is not suspected huh…or rather, I’ve just been looking at them talking smack since earlier. I will never do such a thing!
“Eh? What are you all doing?”
“Ichinonomiya, we’re going to free you from Yuki—Hiiieeek!?”
When Mitsurugi tried to approach Suzuno, he let out a scream and fell on his buttocks in the middle of his words.
It wasn’t just Mitsurugi alone. It was the same for Suruga and Matsuba as well.
“What the hell, is this…?”
That’s right, I unleashed intimidation on Mitsurugi and the other three.
I was also mildly directing the intimidation onto the other classmates.
Perhaps there could still be some among them that might try coming after me. I wanted them to be made aware of the difference in our abilities.
I said to Mitsurugi and the other three who were on their asses.
“Hey, I’ll explain how I’m still alive later. The reason I’ve gathered you here today is to talk about something important, so shut up the f*ck up.”
“W-What the hell are you talking about? What are you doing to—”
“Did I not just tell you to shut up? I don’t have the time to deal with you right now.”
When I said that, Mitsurugi finally shut up.
Suruga and Matsuba were also silent…or rather, they were nodding furiously, too terrified to speak, so I lifted the intimidation.
My classmates breathed a sigh of relief, they were finally released from the intimidation.
I looked around at everyone, making sure no one opened their mouths.
“Oh, Prime Minister and ministers, I’m sorry to have dragged you all into this. So, once again—thank you for gathering here today.”
As I said this, the Prime Minister opened his mouth for the first time today, looking confused.
“Um, we were gathered by Her Highness Mariana, where is she? I haven’t seen His Majesty or the Prince since this morning either…the castle is also in a state of disrepair, what exactly is going on here? And who might you be…?”
Yeah, yeah, I know they all have a lot of questions. Where do I even begin…
“Well, let me start by introducing myself. I’m Haruto Yuki. I was summoned to this world alongside Tendo and the others, guess you could say I didn’t turn out to be a hero like the rest. I’ve been an adventurer since Mariana kicked me out of the castle. My rank is EX.”
The ministers and my classmates buzzed at my words.
“What, you’re the EX rank adventurer that emerged just recently!?”
“When I heard his name, I thought it would be unusual for him to have the same name…”
“I also received the reports of the hero who left the castle on his own and died, but…what do you mean Princess Mariana kicked you out?”
“Whoa, whoa, are you kidding me?”
“I never thought that the world’s strongest adventurer who saved the Perdis royal capital was someone that was summoned by Glicente…”
“Wait a minute, wasn’t that EX rank who we now know to be Haruto, called the ‘Demon King’ or something.”
In this way, the heroes and ministers alike looked at each other.
The reaction of my classmates was particularly striking, and they couldn’t hide their surprise that I, who had been called ‘Incompetent’, was now the ‘World’s strongest’.
It seemed to be getting out of hand, so I pulled out my jet-black adventurer’s card made of orichalcon.
“This is the proof of my EX rank. I was actually supposed to be promoted to S rank, but due to various reasons, King Dillan of the Kingdom of Perdis just happened to push me for EX rank.”
Finne laughed at my words and said, “It’s not something that can be summed up to ‘just happened’ though, while Iris was like “Since it’s Haruto, it’s only natural”, she said proudly.
Seeing this exchange, the ministers and my classmates all seemed to believe that I was indeed an EX rank.
Having resolved the issue with my identity, one of the ministers raised his hand.
“S-So, Mister Haruto. Where is His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness Heelis and Her Royal Highness Mariana…?”
“The King and the First Prince died last night. Mariana is alive, but I have not allowed her to join us here today.”
When I replied thus, the place was in an uproar again. Well, that’s the kind of reaction you get when someone suddenly tells you that their king and their crowned prince are dead.
“W-What exactly is going on here? Does it have anything to do with the fact that the castle is in disrepair!?”
The one who shouted that was the Prime Minister.
They’re all pretty gritty stuff that could probably send anyone into a panic.
“All right…first of all, do you know that more than a year ago, the royal family used some of their soldiers to attack the elven village?”
The Prime Minister and a few of the ministers nodded bitterly at my question, while the rest shook their heads with wide eyes.
I checked with God Eye, and they didn’t seem to be lying.
“You really don’t know anything about it…I stomped into the castle last night with the survivors of the elven village. I knew that the royals were behind it, and I myself had a grudge against the king who forced the hero summoning and Mariana for kicking me out.”
They all listened to me with a mysterious look on their faces.
“So, when I finally got the royals in custody, the first prince and some of the royals turned into Yvels—monsters that appeared in the city in the middle of the night. I was told that there was no way to transform back, so I had no choice but to kill them. As for the king…he didn’t turn into a Yvel, but I had him fall to the sword. If I let him live, the reign of terror and violence in this country will not end.”
“…Did you kill him, Mister Haruto?”
“No, the king fell at the hands of an elf.”
That elf is Ephyr beside me, but I won’t say that.
The Prime Minister nodded his head in satisfaction with my answer.
“…I see. As for me, I tried to stop the attack on the elven village, but… this may very well sound like an excuse, but the power of the king was quite strong in this country. Even I, the Prime Minister, and the high officials like the ministers here, were unable to stop it.”
The Prime Minister looked apologetic as he said this.
He then bowed his head to Ephyr and Aegan.
“If I may, the two of you are elves, right? I am truly sorry that we could not stop the king from attacking your village.”
The other ministers bowed as well.
But Ephyr and Aegan shook their heads.
“No…some of you didn’t even know about it, so please…”
“In addition, it seems that the people who attacked the village were under the First Prince’s command, but last night’s commotion turned most of them into Yvel and we were able to defeat them. We still have to track down our enslaved brethren, though…but as far as the Elven Village is concerned, our revenge on this nation has been accomplished.”
Neither Ephyr nor Aegan seemed to have any intention of hurting innocent people. Well, if they did, they would be no different from those royals.
Hearing their words, the prime minister and the rest bowed their heads even more deeply.
“So, the king is dead. The surviving members of the royal family, including Mariana, have been restricted in their activities by means of slavery. And from now on, I want you guys to run the government for the people and rebuild this country. Of course, I’m going to lend my assistance as well.”
The prime minister and the others were delighted when I said that.
“Thank you very much.”
“Now the people won’t have to suffer anymore…”
Some of them even shed tears.
Judging from the reactions of the Prime Minister and the ministers earlier, it seems that the royal family was quite disliked.
With so many core members of the administration, I would have thought that there would be a few close to the royal family…but from the looks of it, it seems that the only ones skimming the cream off the economy were the royals, while these guys wanted to do something to save their people.
But the fact that the people are suffering all over means that…most of the nobles who are lords are probably on the side of the royal family.
I’m sure there are many more problems to be dealt with, I sighed, opening my mouth.
“Okay then, let’s get down to it. The reason I asked you all to gather here today is because I wanted you to know what’s going on and to decide what to do going forward.”
I cut my speech and looked around at everyone’s faces.
“First things first, telling the people about the situation, that the king died of a sudden illness, and several members of the royal family, including the prince, were so distraught with grief that they took their own lives. The new king is…we can choose a random member of the royal family. If we choose the young prince, it might give the impression of a coup d’etat, so I guess we’ll go with Mariana. Although she’ll basically be a figurehead with no power whatsoever, and in a way where the people will never find out.”
She reacted subtly to my question yesterday, but now that she has been engraved with a slave crest, she won’t try to defy me anymore.
The Prime Minister nodded at my words.
“Yeah, she was only good at keeping appearances…so I’m sure there will be little opposition from the people.”
Oh, so I was right then. Thought as much.
“Okay, then, let’s go with that. Also, regarding the mass outbreak of Yvel last night, obviously it was the work of the demon tribe, but how about we spin it, that it was suppressed by the brave heroes and the elves. This will make it easier for the heroes and the elves to move around the country in the future… Keep the information under control, please.”
“All that is left is, internal administration…”
The Prime Minister nodded at my murmur.
“Right…but first, let me explain to you again how this country works.”
The Prime Minister prefaced his explanation by giving me the general gist of the situation.
“In this country, each territory is run by nobles, but the king decides the policy of the whole country. Naturally, however, the king could not manage all of them by himself, so he appointed ministers for each field and officials worked under them. The king’s policies are then communicated to the nobles in each territory…well, simply put, the ministers only move the officials in order to implement the policy unilaterally decided by the king and the royal family.”
Whoa, what’s this gloomy atmosphere! Talk about spooky!
“It was the job of the ministers to protect the lives of the people and keep the country from collapsing while listening to the royal family’s selfishness… Can’t even count the number of times I wished for everything to just go to sh*t.”
The minister beside the Prime Minister muttered such a thing. Dude, that’s too dark!
“A-All right, so…?”
I flinched and urged the Prime Minister to go on.
“Yes. Just as he said, the ministers sometimes resisted the demands of the royal family in order to protect the people. As a result, when it came to military and financial matters, as well as judicial and legislative matters, the royal family had complete control over the ministerial positions. By the way, the defense minister was the first prince.”
I see, with those four things in their grip, they can do as they please.
“Of course, owning to the efforts of the officials under the ministers, the people were not subjected to excessive irrationality…the knight captain and the court magician both disliked the royal family’s selfishness personally, so it seems that they were able to adjust well while obeying superficially.”
Oh, the knight captain, if I’m not mistaken, is the same one that Kusel said she was proud of.
Tendo and the other heroes also reacted to the words Knight Captain and Court Magician.
“So now that the royal family has lost its power, ministers for those four areas need to be appointed as soon as possible. Also, there is no one in charge of agriculture…as for the rest, we can manage with the people present here.”
Hmm? No one?
“What do you mean?
“That’s right. There used to be a minister, but he was beheaded when the king insisted that the harvest be tripled in order to increase the tax revenue. Naturally, no one was willing to take his place, so one of the royal family members took over. He did not have any knowledge of agriculture, let alone the ability to motivate people to do what he wanted, so in effect, the ministry was run by officials without a real minister.”
“…Wow, that’s so messed up.”
“Yes it is, sadly so.”
The prime minister chuckled.
But from what I’ve heard, it seems that if the top management is solid, the country will be just fine.
Of course, there will be royalists* among the officials, but…as long as they are investigated and eliminated, there will be no problem. (TLN: Factions that supports the royal family)
“All right, thank you, Prime Minister. As for the military, finance, judiciary, legislature, and agriculture positions, we’ll find new fit for them…wow, we’ve covered quite a lot, haven’t we?”
It must be lunchtime, I could hear the sound of growling stomachs here and there.
“Let’s take a lunch break then. The Ministers should please return after the break. As for the rest, you’re free to do whatever you…oh right, I’ll be seeing the guys from class in the evening, so please stay around—dismissed!”