The beautiful girl and the drunkard
The Kingdom of Albein is located in the north side of the continent of Exrea and it boasts two thousand years of history.
Fifty thousands out of ten million inhabitants were citizens of Alvinas, the Kingdom’s capital.
The nobles, who live under the King, were several hundred, even more if one counted their families.
Cody, who became the army’s general, had the same authority as a prince.
The boy who was an adventurer before didn’t bow his head to nobility and caused problems since the first moment, even though it wasn’t due to his hero’s disposition.
The nobles didn’t know that a SSS-graded adventurer alone could wipe out an entire nation… I think that Cody stood up admirably and tirelessly to those who tormented him.
By the time he turned sixteen, the age one can start drinking legally, he started to visit me, to the point that there was no need to ask about his order anymore.
“I have problems negotiating with the nobles” he said frequently.
I always replied that the highest officers have to bear that kind of burden.
Being a Guild Master is a fantastic job, he often said.
“I just spend my days drinking.”
But I could afford it because I created a flawless system.
There were eleven other guilds in the capital aside from mine, “Silver Mug,” but we were affiliated with the seventh one, the top guild “White Goat.”
The system of such affiliation was based on the mutual help between our members.
Actually, I wasn’t part of it. Someone else dealt with them, but I helped keeping it a secret.
I had to get ready beforehand for this, so, first and foremost, I made sure that some guilds left the old alliance that united them all. By doing so, my guild didn’t stand out as the only self-sufficient one.
After I granted more secrecy for my guild, I spread the word that ‘a guild on the 12th Street accepts requests that everyone refuses.’
Of course, it’s not like everyone rushed after hearing such a rumor. In fact, if someone was interested in joining or submitting a request, they needed to know the “password.”
Let me give you an example.
This story dates to a few days after I turned eighteen.
As always, not long after noon, I was at the bar’s counter, drinking some alcohol for my dried throat.
“How about this, Master? It’s a first-class fruity wine produced in Borgognia with the best white grape of the season.”
Behind the counter was a maid-dressed elf… Whether or not there were customers, she always called me that when no one could hear.
I always told her to stop, but she never listened to me and it was a bother to correct her every time.
After she opened at ten in the morning, the neighbors came to buy some food, but even though we remained open, no one ever came around that hour, so we were alone. Still, a guild always waits for customers or new members. Sooner or later, someone was bound to come, so I kept myself busy drinking until then.
I had to stay alert with that elf, though.
“Call me ‘mister,’ not ‘master.’ I won’t reply otherwise.”
“B-But… Then, when you get drunk, can I call you ‘sublime man with magnetic eyes’?”
“How many times do you have to praise me before feeling satisfied…? And what’s with that ‘magnetic eyes’? Oh well, next time you call me that, you’ll see.”
“Gh! P-Please! Show it properly to this filthy bitch…!”1
I observed her well-developed body bending like a branch full of fruits. Wearing short skirts was heresy in the capital, but she dressed nicely only to catch my attention.
Her body hadn’t changed in the slightest since the last time I saw her, although the color of her skin, now fair like a normal elf, did.
If a dark-elf was to enter the capital, chaos would surely spread, so she decided to respect the order in her own way. Before I met her again, she already “transformed” into a common elf.
“I’d like to remind you that the harder you chase after men, the faster they run. If you can’t push, try to pull, right?”
She looked dejected. Spitting an “ugh” at your own master is quite rude.
Still, it was comprehensible. She looked like a maid, but she wasn’t really one.
She took a deep breath, like every time she is going to change her tone.
“Even if you tell me that, I waited for five years! You told me to come here for the talisman! Here I am, calling you Master and respecting you, so what are you unsatisfied with?!”
Her tone was anything but maid-like.
Yes, she actually was the Demon Lord under the guise of a maid.
She moved in my guild last month. I wondered how she found me and where she got that dress, but after this and that, she started working at the bar.
She learned quickly how to make the various blends for the drinks and how to prepare the associated snacks, to the point that she was already an expert.
The Demon Lord with dark skin and purple hair, now had fair skin and silver hair like linseeds.2 She changed them with magic.
“If you’re worried for my land, I entrusted it to my little brother. He’s a good boy and always listens to me.”
“Please. Even if it was governed by a horrible demon, our kingdom is meek as a lamb…”
“There’s still a group of them that keeps attacking people. We can’t do anything about extremists, but they’re not as aggressive as in the past… I mean, hunting, agriculture and instruction facilities were fairly improved. Shouldn’t you praise me a bit for this?”
“Well, no. Who asked you to do that? Not bad, though.”
“What kind of answer is that?! I went through a lot of trouble for it! Shouldn’t a true hero praise me for this?! You could appreciate my efforts, at least!”
I’m not cynical. It’s just that I feel terribly uncomfortable when I say something sweet, so I honestly try not to go along the lines of ‘Wow, how could you persuade demons to stop attacking humans?! You’re amazing!’
“I’m not a hero. I swear that if you call me that again in here, I’ll ask Aileen to beat you.”
“Why would you ask that devil?! After five years, you’re still drinking buddies and I always see her coming back and forth. Damn, taking advantage of my drunk Master to do this and that is… outrageous.”
“It doesn’t really matter, does it? Anyway, watch your tongue, a customer might come at any time.”
After making an annoyed noise and clearing her throat, she obeyed my order and returned to maid-mode.
Speaking of Aileen, after she remained here a few days after we finished our journey, she went to meet her parents. She brought the news of our success to her father, the chief of the village located on a mountainous zone west of the Kingdom of Albein.
She shared only half of her Divine liquor with her relatives and kept the rest for herself.
Since then, Aileen started to work, so that she could afford a house in the city over time and she dropped by to buy food more or less every day. In her village, one could legally drink from the age of ten, but for some reason she decided to wait until her sixteenth birthday, in accordance with our kingdom’s law.
Now, we both have developed a certain resistance to alcohol, but the first time we drank together, we obviously got drunk and even ended up talking about lewd things… oh well. Since then, nothing else happened between us. Our relationship had reached the point where it’s hard to see each other as a member of the opposite gender…
As I was thinking about that hopeless situation, a customer approached the front door. Me and the Demon Lord exchanged a knowing look and returned to being customer and bartender.
After the doorbell rang, a humanoid entered with a long, ash-grey overcoat and a hood concealing their face.
Judging by the sound of their footsteps on the floorboards, it was a woman.
She sat on a barstool, four seats away from me.
I brought the glass of white wine to my lips and enjoyed it. That was all I had to do for now.
I recognized right away that she wasn’t a regular.
But I had to follow the procedure, or I wouldn’t be able to hear her request.
The customer started talking to the bartender as I feigned ignorance.
“…May I have some milk? Otherwise, if it’s finished, I’d like what I can drink only here.”
“Certainly. Is the special blend of the house okay for you?”
“Yes, thank you. Make it just for me, please.”
She said all the keywords. At this point, I confirmed that she was here for a request.
She was wearing the right color for the day, now she only had to say one last thing. Something along the lines of ‘I have a request that no one would accept, would you do it?’, or “I’m an intermediary for someone I know.”
That way, her intentions would have been clear.
Still, even though I understood that she wanted something, I remained a spectator. I pretended to be an ordinary customer who witnessed their conversation.
After I finished my wine, I kept looking at the empty glass in front of me without facing her, so that she wouldn’t get suspicious.
“…Can we talk?”
“Sure. I understand that you are an important customer for us.”
The girl let out a sigh.
“I wonder if you can fulfill my request. I’m afraid that no one else would.”
As she said so, she took off her hood, freeing her brown hair.
She was pretty… no, compared to the girls in the city, her beauty was almost unmatched. She had to be around my age, maybe a little younger.
She looked firm and her behavior reminded me of someone.
I feel like I already saw her somewhere… Is this just a déjà vu…?
“I’ll be blunt. I’d like you to break the engagement between the Prince of Vinceburg and our Princess Manarina.”
“Break their engagement…? Can I ask you for the reason?”
That year, the above-mentioned Manarina was going to turn sixteen. According to the Kingdom’s law, that means reaching adulthood, so her father would choose her groom.
It was an old custom of the royal family that aimed to create bonds with influential aristocrats in order to raise their own political power.
Vinceburg had a senate formed by aristocrats who helped the monarchy.
Being engaged with the Princess means that he must have a high political office… but whoever had it, he must be around middle-age. It was a pretty big age gap.
“I-I am… err… t-the lady-in-waiting of the Princess. My Lady doesn’t want to get married. It’s the choice of His Highness, but if this is put in place, the Princess plans to take her own life.”
A princess is born obliged to marry the powerful who help and aid the kingdom… but the Demon Lord didn’t reply like everyone else would have.
“If she is so against it, she should oppose the King’s decision with all of her might. I believe that accepting your request is the right thing to do.”
The girl held her breath.
“R-Really?! Can you do something for my… err, to avoid the marriage of my Lady and that disgusting man?!”
The self-proclaimed lady-in-waiting got closer to the Demon Lord.
The time for games had already finished…
I mean, knowing that my network already reached the royal family left me totally flabbergasted.
I wanted to keep distance from nobility and aristocracy, but since knowing the secrets of powerful people made my life in this kingdom easier, I always kept gathering information.
Jean Vinceburg was the perfect example of a gorgeous middle-aged man.
He was married until that year, but indulging in twelve other women between other aristocrats’ wives and daughters, he was indeed a disgusting playboy.
Still, he was charismatic as an aristocratic and showed loyalty to the King.
It was pretty obvious why he changed, if one thought about it. Marrying the Princess would have made him more influential.
It was comprehensible, but not cool.
I ordered the usual to the Demon Lord and she brought me a cold ale mug.
“…What is his problem? We’re talking about serious business and he just keeps drinking.”
“Don’t pay any attention to me, lady. I’m just a drunkard.”
“Drinking at this hour is… despicable. If you don’t watch your health, the people around you will get worried.”
“Gh…! Who would. I don’t have people like that in my life. Being single and drinking are my only freedom.”
Hearing her sweet comment made me spit those words. It was the kind of kindness I longed for… I thought she was adorable.
On the other hand, the Demon Lord wasn’t very likeable.
“Mmm… fine. It’s your body, so it’s only right for you to do whatever you want with it. Getting back to our previous talk, you will help me, right?”
“Yes. We never fail, but whenever we accept a request, we must have further clarification.”
“Ask me what you want! As long as you accept, I’ll answer any question!”
The self-proclaimed lady-in-waiting face immediately lit up.
Since she didn’t know if her request would be accepted, she was rather nervous at the start, but this look suited her better.
1 Yes. She really calls herself “filthy bitch” (この卑しい雌犬に…)