The Vampire Empress.
My mind felt dizzy hearing the sudden abrupt news thrown at me, I looked up and sighed before turning my attention to them especially the ‘Demon Queen’ before asking, “Are you perhaps the person I met back on that town?”
A smile blossomed on her face as she nodded without hesitation, “I wasn’t planning on revealing myself right now, but it seems like my rival revealed themselves first, how could I lose out when I am also right around you?”
“You mean you were around me since day one?” I looked at her confused before she nodded, “To think that the Demon Queen had infiltrated the palace so easily without anyone even noticing… if the two of you were to go at war, wouldn’t the kingdom be at a disadvantage?”
“You haven’t read that part yet? The kingdom did go at war with mine once before they went into their current state, but they ended up losing massively and paid a hefty fine that also contributed to their current bankrupt state,” she replied with a smirk.
“Can you please not mention my foolish father’s actions?” His Majesty looked at the Demon Queen, Helesta with a bitter smile.
“Okay… I understand the situation now, though why are you two interested in me?” I looked at the two simultaneously before the two of them tilted their heads as if they saying ‘why are you asking the obvious’ even my dearest Ayaka was also looking at me the same way.
The Demon Queen suddenly started laughing super loud as she spoke, “I have always read about dense people in the books, to think that they really exist is really amusing!”
“What do you mean dense?” I glared before a yawn suddenly erupted from Ayaka who was starting to get drowsy. Her hands wrapped around my neck once more as I continued to pat her back before looking at them, “Anyhow, what are you two planning on doing?”
“His Majesty is here for inspection, but the Demon Queen doesn’t seem to have any business with me, are you planning on playing around here as a guest or do you have any official purposes for meeting me here?” I asked.
In turn, she looked at me and grinned as she replied: “I do have an official purpose, you do know that any kingdom is willing to invest in anything that will bring in a lot of profit, right? I heard you have some issue financially with operating the town, how about you allo—?!”
“No need, the funding is already secured,” I replied without waiting for her to finish which surprised her a bit as His Majesty showed a smirk, “And as for His Majesty, I don’t really need any more funding for the town since we already have enough to sustain us for a while until we can enter self-sustain status, so you can leave as well.”
Immediately after saying that, the Demon Queen also showed a grin at His Majesty as their eyes continued to glare at each other with sparks flying around the room as I sighed, “I will ask again, does the two of you have any other official business with me or are you two fine with leaving the town now?”
“If His Majesty wants to proceed with the town’s inspection then it would be preferred if a person that is not of royalty would come instead, but then again, I have no opinions if His Majesty really wants to proceed by himself since the decision of the royal family is not something that I can overturn myself.”
The two of them didn’t have anything else to say and could only smile wryly before the two of them looked at each other and nodded with His Majesty responding first, “Preferably, I would like to do the inspection myself but if you don’t feel comfortable with me doing so then I will assign a trusted officer to do so then, what do you think?”
“I am fine with either but if we are taking the personal health of the kingdom into consideration then it would be preferred if another officer takes charge since the top of the kingdom must never leave post unless necessary,” I responded before he nodded as we looked at the Demon Queen who smiled.
“Unlike that kid over there, my side is pretty self-sustaining without me which means I can stay here for as long as I want… preferably, I would like to conduct business over here which is why I might be staying here as a resident in the meantime,” she replied.
“A resident would mean you would be paying taxes, correct?” I looked at her before she nodded without hesitation, “Then I won’t hesitate to take in a resident since we currently have plenty of lands that anyone can use right now.”
With my reply, the Demon Queen then showed a victorious expression towards His Majesty but I wouldn’t end that there as I added, “Though, you will have to buy a land on the town through official procedures which will take a bit of time since you will also have to go through His Majesty for permits.”
“And after which, you will also have to build your own residence here since it is still the responsibility of the resident to have their homes constructed. The only requirement on my side is that you will hire local workers in this town instead of external and pay them a proper wage for the work and if you can comply with that, I won’t have any problems with you staying,” I smiled before looking at His Majesty.
“As for His Majesty, I can only hope that he thinks what is best for both the town and the kingdom by not refusing the Demon Queen permit to live here as a resident.”
It was like I hit a bullseye and he immediately blushed with the Demon Queen chuckling as she said, “You don’t have to worry about the permit being rejected since the kingdom still owes mine around a few thousands of platinum coins and a few treasures as debt over the damages inflicted and a few loans they took from us to help clean their mess.”
“As for the requirement, I have all intentions to comply with them,” she smiled.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what is your purpose for allowing the Demon Queen to become a resident here? It is pretty well-known around the kingdom that demons and humans don’t usually get along well…” Felice who was standing by with Iona and Leo asked.
“Well, my purpose is to make this town a neutral zone for all races which in turn would bring a lot of merchants attracted over here and create profit for the town and the residents and what else would be best as a free yet paying endorser than the Demon Queen herself?” I replied before the person in question showed a wry smile after realizing she is being used as a free endorser who is also paying to live here.
“But wouldn’t that be a tough challenge to accomplish, my lady?” Iona suddenly asked.
“Have you seen His Majesty and the Demon Queen over there? The two of them are pretty much talking at an equal level without rampaging around which means it isn’t an impossible task, there may be humans and demons alike who will discriminate against each other but that is something inevitable if we want to start making a place where all races can cohabitate with one another…” I replied while caressing my Ayaka’s hair who was sleeping soundly on my shoulder.
Looking at my dearest knights with a smile, I spoke in a gentle voice: “There never exists a success story without a story of failure.”
“It seems like you have attracted the loyalty of the knights I have given to you… though looking at your reasoning from the perspective of a king, it seems like you are trying to achieve the impossible indeed since many of both sides still hold deep grudges against one another after all the deaths that have happened but what I can say is, the impossible might not always be impossible.”
“If you can succeed with what your ambition then your name might be recorded deep into history, not only on the kingdom but most likely in the entire continent…” he said with a smile, “The kingdom is more than happy to look at a possible success story happening before our eyes…”
“Anyhow, I will have to leave then since what you said is indeed correct. Leaving the throne at my current state is not healthy for the kingdom which has had several rebellions ever since my ascension of the throne. An officer will be assigned here in maybe two to three days with the inspection taking up at least a day or even longer…” he stood up and stretched his arms.
After stretching, he soon looked at the Demon Queen with a wry look, “Though I am a bit worried but since the strongest person on the entire continent right now is on your side, the chances of anything happening to you is little but I will still ask of the Demon Queen to please watch over her even though it may be selfish for the kingdom to do so…”
“No worries, after all, it is still within my interest to keep someone I am attracted and interested in safe and alive,” she showed a smirk.
“You can leave as well though, it would be better for me if you left…” I looked at her before her smirk turned bitter as she shook her head.
“Well, I do have to leave since I need to do a few more work on my side but that doesn’t mean I won’t be leaving anyone to watch over you in the dark especially since that kid’s knights are with you, which is a defeat on my side, though that is talks for later… it’s pretty late now,” she yawned, “I will leave, for now, thanks for the time!”
“I will leave now as well. Take care, Duchess,” His Majesty showed a smile before waving his hand as he walked out of the door together with the Demon Queen who vanished from the spot. After making sure the two of them are finally gone, I soon drooped my back on the sofa with a sigh.
The entire thing was pretty mentally exhausting for me since I wasn’t only talking to the rulers of two kingdoms but also people who could potentially disrupt my future peaceful life in the future… my body felt heavy as I continued to hug my dearest Ayaka with a sigh.
“Do you want some tea, my lady?” Leo suggested.
“Please… the three of you can go back to dinner if you like, I will rest here a bit. You can place the tea on the table, I will drink it once I finish resting,” I looked at them with a smile before all of them nodded as they walked back to the kitchen before I looked at Ayaka and kissed her forehead, “Good night, my dearest…” before closing my eyes as I soon drowned myself to sleep.