The Vampire Empress.
All of us were speechless from what we heard, immediately I stood up and walked out from the kitchen where the man, the myth, the ugly could be seen sitting on the couch with a smirk on his face. The grin on his face made me want to materialize my scythe and literally rip it off his face.
“Hey!” he waved his hand with an ‘unfriendly’ smile.
“And is that what you have to say?” I stared at him with a cold gaze, “You came here despite knowing that would cause quite the disturbance to the workforce over here which is already limited by itself, not to mention, leaving your post as the king of the kingdom which would basically cause the entire kingdom to lose its main decision-maker?”
“I didn’t do such, I brought all the documents I needed to work on as well as a few of my own servants since I did say I am the one who will handle the evaluation of this place,” he grinned before taking a document out of a black bag and started reading it with the document upside down.
My hands were itching to hit him, but I resisted while dematerializing my scythe as I understood that hitting him would only do nothing; heaving a sigh, I placed my hand on my forehead before asking, “And what is your actual purpose for coming here? Have you come to apologize to me for making those rumors without my knowledge, or are you only here to intensify those false rumors you have been making?”
“You did hear about the rumors, think of those as a safety measure to prevent the rebel faction from attempting to poach you. Don’t think much about it, and as for my purpose here…” he paused before looking around as he flashed a grin, “Am I not allowed to see the dearest Queen every once in a while?”
“My lady, I think it’s best if you hold back from killing him on the spot…” Felice whispered into my ear which kind of surprised me a bit as she had quickly noticed what I was about to do.
“Hahahaha! Anyhow, the state of this town is looking a lot better than I thought for the first week. How much funding do you need, can’t you take it out from your personal wealth as the Duchess and also those extra benefits you are supposed to receive?” he looked outside the window where Aitsuki and the others could be seen walking back towards the town hall.
“Please explain what those benefits are, I have literally no idea how much personal wealth I have in this world and also what kind of benefits I would receive,” I sat down on the sofa opposite to him before a sudden adorable loud shout echoed.
“Mama! Wanna eat!”
The sight of Ayaka running towards me with her untouched plate appeared before all of a sudden, her feet slipped as the plate she was carrying flew, followed by a sudden quick flash as His Majesty could be seen catching her and the plate together with the steak which made my eyes widen from the speed he flashed through.
It was not a speed that I could achieve at my current state, not to mention, that reaction was extremely fast… it was like he sliced through time to move that fast. Ayaka was also a bit surprised as she looked at His Majesty whose name I forgot.
“Who are you?” Ayaka looked confused before her eyes touched on the plate as her eyes started to light up in gold which triggered a bad feeling in me as I quickly stood up and grabbed the plate from His Majesty’s hand and flicked the little girl’s forehead.
“Be careful with your mana, don’t use it unconsciously!” I said with a serious gaze.
Her mana was fluctuating which reminded me of that time when she managed to blow away Leo after her eyes lit up which could possibly be some sort of defensive layer that was with her since birth, “I am sorry, Mama…”
“Mama?” His Majesty looked at me confused, “I don’t think you ever brought a child with you when you were summoned here which means this elven child you found is either an orphaned child or possibly a former slave that you caught, right?”
“Do I have to explain to you everything?” my eyes gazed at him coldly before looking at Ayaka who was still looking apologetic, my hands caressed her forehead before kissing it as I smiled, “You didn’t do anything wrong, come sit with me. I will feed you.”
“Mama not angry?” she asked with teary eyes.
It seems like I went a bit too excessive a little while ago, my heart is already aching from her teary eyes as I forcibly picked her up from the ground and sat down on the sofa with her on my side as I started to imagine a tiny knife and fork before a phantom red fork and knife appeared which seems to be made of the same aura as my scythe.
No complaints here though since the knife managed to slice through the steak beautifully as I stabbed it with a fork before feeding it to the little girl who happily took a bite with a soft, delightful face which warmed my heart as a soft chuckle escaped from the side.
“What’s funny?” I looked at him who continued to laugh.
“It’s just surprising, especially since you were someone who managed to cause the entire palace to give you the nickname of ‘The Cold Hero’ because of how cold you were and all it took was for a single child to warm your heart enough that you would smile unconsciously,” he replied.
“Are you saying any of your people compare to my Ayaka?” I glared at him before he quickly shook his head with his hands up in the air, “That’s good, and also, since you are the inspector for this town. I expect that you will be doing your job properly, right?”
“Naturally, I already conducted some early surveys with the help of some of the people I brought. You seem to have received a favorable reputation from them which is already one box checked from the list though the next boxes require me to stay here and observe,” he answered.
“What will you be observing by then?” I asked.
“To be specific, the state of the farms, guards, and other infrastructures for fifteen days. I have received a report from the Baron that lives near this town as well, it seems like you performed a trade for the town which means you currently have enough funding to temporarily resume a lot of parts of the town, correct?” he responded.
I already expected the Baron to notify someone higher of the trade which is kind of expected already considering how he also has to file taxes and all those other stuff that a righteous noble has to do which means he has heard about the trade as expected again.
“If you think about taxing me right now, then feel free to do so. The trade was only worth a few platinum coins which is hardly enough to last us for a little long time, but it is more than enough to sustain the town until the mana from the earth vein below can flow back up,” I continued to feed Ayaka who was listening attentively.
His eyes flashed with surprise for a quick second but quickly regained his composure as he nodded, “You are currently on tax-exemption state right now which is given to all nobles who are either starting out their fiefs or is reviving a critical part of the kingdom which Kaloria counts.”
“Kaloria is a critical part not only in trading but also for defenses of the kingdom which is why we can’t afford to let this town fall apart since it would mean the other kingdoms would have a route which they can attack us from… which is something that my idiotic father failed to see,” he showed a bitter smile.
Indeed, I do pity him a bit since his father was quite the idiotic ruler who caused the entire kingdom to fall into a deep state but despite having the playboy feel that his father most likely had, he is quite the competent ruler but still an idiotic one which most likely runs on the genes.
My hands continued to feed Ayaka as I looked at him and asked, “By the way, I forgot what your name was and also where are you planning on staying since the town hall right now is currently at its maximum capacity with my trusted knights, etc. taking all the rooms.”
“Also, what was your purpose for sending the royal knights which should protecting the royal family to me, and can you disperse the rumors around me since I hate those fake rumors you literally spread…” I glared at him before he showed a wry smile.
“The royal knights was initially dispatched as a way to deceive the rebellion faction as well since they cannot be dispatched unless the person they are protecting is someone who is to be part of royalty or is of royalty… well, it wasn’t just deception though…” he replied with the last part being completely heard by my ears.
You could tell this guy had fallen for me like a lot of students in my school but is there anything I could do about it? Nope, I have learned back then that the best way to reject someone is to not reject them at all, simply give them the silent answer which wouldn’t break their hearts while also still having them as someone who will help you.
“As for the rumors, I can’t disperse them anymore though since I did send it as a royal decree…” he showed a bitter smile to which I immediately threw my knife over to his side which was suddenly blocked by a loud clang as a black-clothed man blocked it before vanishing.
I was surprised for a second and closed my eyes before the sight of dozens of blue flames appearing all over the darkness came to view, that meant there were dozens of them hiding somewhere and protecting him which sounds annoying.
“You have quite the guards, though that sword of his might need to be replaced soon, or else that sword will be the cause of his death since the knife was imbued with my aura which can cause anything to wither away especially metals,” I showed a wry smile.
“That sounds creepy…” he sweated, “Anyway, as I said… there is no way to disperse a royal decree so the only way to disperse it is to have an engagement and break the engagement immediately which would label both of us as used goods though…”
All of a sudden, a female laugh echoed from the side as Iona and Felice immediately went on the move and unsheathed their swords while pointing them in the direction of the laugh where a black-haired lady could be seen standing which shocked me.
The lady had a familiar feeling… it reminded me of that time on the town, she looked at me with his red eyes for a second before smiling as she sat on the arm of the couch with a snap that caused all our surrounding to turn dark.
“There is another way and that is to have her become my Queen instead, don’t you agree?” she looked at His Majesty with a smile as her black hair fluttered. His Majesty didn’t flinch and instead glared at the lady as he asked.
“What are you doing over here, aren’t you supposed to be busy protecting your kingdom… the Queen of all Demons, Helesta?”
The lady only showed a smirk as she replied, “How could I stand by and watch someone who managed to seduce my heart get stolen away?” before sparks formed around them as I looked at the two with my eyes wide… did he just say, demon queen?!