May 18, 2021
18 mins read
Chapter 2 - Demon King, Hero, and Fairy Queen
It happened fast like a lightning strike. One day the east Kingdom of Saifuddien was destroyed overnight. A kingdom that rivaled the two empires of the west was lost in less than a day.
Oracles in the holy kingdom sent a horrible message to the holy pope and rulers of the continent. The 12 goddesses were attacked and captured in battle by a creature that they later would name “The Vulluin Demon King”
His army now marched on our continent from a new continent that sprung up from the ocean in the east. The world was in a panic as the Kingdoms, Dukedom and independent merchant city-states of the east fell one after another. The army soon called ‘the Demon force’ marched into the center of the continent with great ease. Conquering and enslaving anyone they could get their hands on.
The two empires were lost in what to do. They formed a collation force and sent it forth to stop the invasion.
It was at that time that I heard my finances had left the holy land to aid their kingdoms in the fight.
I cursed my own powerless self. I was only 13 at the time of these events and was not yet old enough to fight and even if I was; as the only heir, my father would probably never allow it.
Over the next 1 years I would often write letters to them but what I would get in return were responses from their retainers thanking me for the moral support I sent them in my letters.
Normally a letter written by a crown prince should be responded by the receivers' own hand or it would be taken as an offense. The only exception would be if it was addressed to someone of higher rank like an Emperor or King and even the Holy pope, but seeing as they are at war I overlooked it but my retainer would always frown at those letters.
“Just who the hell do they think they are having their retainers reply on their behalf?”
The girl who just shouted was Eve. With black hair and slender body, she was the head maid in charge of taking care of me.
“It can’t be helped.” I replied while shrugging my shoulders “They are fighting in a war, I am sure they have a lot on their plate especially Louise” I replied while taking a sip of the tea she had prepared
“Nonsense! It doesn’t take that long to write a letter, they are probably looking down on us because we can’t contribute any fighting force to the war effort”
What Eve said may have some truth to it. When the two empires allied it was shaky at best. They couldn’t agree on many things and as the result, their armies were being defeated left, right and center. Swallowing their pride the turned to the pope of the holy kingdom for assistance.
The holy pope sent a holy message to the kingdoms, dukedoms, and merchant city-states on the continent, urging them to send their armies in support of the two empires war effort; calling it ‘a holy war to defeat the evil demon king and free the goddess from captivity’.
Many nations and dukedoms answered the call along with the remaining free merchant city-states. merchant city-states employed mercenaries from across the continent, forming the largest army ever assembled in the history of the world. But even then it was not enough. The demons were too powerful.
The demon army was broken down into four groups
The demon ground beasts. These formed the bulk of the demon force. There was a large army of the demonic beast the moved on lard. From wolves to lizard men and even orcs; were some of the beasts that a solider would have to fight against.
The demon sky beasts. The formed the sky forces of the demon beasts. wayven, griffons, and even black dragons were rumored to be part of this fighting force. It said a single black dragon was enough to level a city the size of the holy city in 20 fire breaths.
Commanding this force directly was the superior demons. Noble Vampires and High Orcs.
The Noble Vampires were in command of the demon sky beast forces. If you’re unlucky to run into one you would best say your prayers. They were too strong to fight and too fast to flee from; plus they had the advantage of flight. The Noble Vampire became notorious in the war for killing men and kidnapping women and children to keep as slaves. Their greed for gold and works of art was said to make even a pure-blooded spoiled noble-born male blush with envy.
A female’s worst nightmare except for Goblins and commander of the demonic ground forces was the High Orcs. Larger than two fully grown men these beasts with pig-like faces that walked likes humans, wore armor, and wielded weapons such as spears, axes, and hammers were a force to be reckoned with.
They would kill anything that stood in their way and would capture any unlucky woman to be used as a plaything until she broke from the constant rape.
If she was really unlucky the High Orc would throw her to the goblins after having his way with her.
The demonic ground forces, sky forces, and superior demons where the three groups that the army would constantly encounter but there was a fourth they never encountered even until now.
Knowledge of them came from the Oracles and the thief guild that had successfully investigated the demon army after losing more than half its members.
They are known as ‘the ten abyss kings’
They were said to be the demon kings aides and close advisors. Not much was known about them other than that each possessed a captured goddess and they were drawing power from them.
The Holy pope encouraged the alliance to rescue the goddess from their grasps but as it was right now even fighting the demonic ground forces and sky forces was proving a nightmare. General and commanders who heard the plea of the holy pope had only had thought.
Its suicide to attempt a rescue mission.
What they thought was true beyond a shadow of a doubt. Three of ‘the ten abyss kings’ were believed to be on the eastern part of the continent while the rest were still with the demon King on the eastern continent.
“Our Kingdoms main fighting force is with the Noble and Neutral factions. If father were to send the royal soldiers outside the Kingdom the possibility of a coup would increase tenfold.” I sighed as I uttered those words.
“Yeah. That’s why your father arranged marriages for the princess and lady. With the backing of their Kingdoms and duchy, the nobles would be foolish to attempt anything stupid”
“Yes, but the situation has changed a little”
“I hate to admit it but I am sure there many among the Neutral and Noble factions wishing for my fiancés' deaths”
He was right. Some even went as far as to wonder if assassination would be possible but they soon came to their senses when they thought of the potential destruction of their families should such a thing come to light.
“Those bastards never learn. They think that the world is their playground even during this time of crisis” After Eve replied they both sighed at the same time.
“Why are you looking down Nya?”
The voice came from the window in the room and it belonged to a cat-eared demi-human girl.
“Hitomi! When did you get back?” Edwin asked in surprise
The demi-human girl was Hitomi Shinju. Edwin’s childhood friend and a member of the royal family spy service that Edwin had set up. Hitomi was eager to join it when she first heard of his desire to create it. Her agility, ability to blend in crowds and disappear made her a very good candidate.
She worked twice as hard as anyone else and soon became the commander of the unit simply known as ‘ghosting’
She had black hair and a slender body with brown eyes. She wore a simple top with light armor with shorts. She had a black rob which she probably used to fade into shadows and a short sword on her hip.
Anyone who saw her would assume she was a member of the thieves guild and anyone with combat experience would assume she was with the assassin guild but the truth was she had the skill to be in both.
Members of ‘ghosting’ were required to be good at stealth and combat but Edwin never once thought of using them as assassins but it could not be denied that they could be used as such.
“Hi hi hi” Hitomi puffed up her flat chest, “did you miss me, Edwin?”
“Ah… no, not really”
“Eh!! Did I say something wrong Eve?”
“idiot!” Eve replied with a cold stare at Edwin
“Even after I made sure to work really hard and fast for Edwin, you…you <baka, baka, baka>,” Hitomi said with a teary voice
“Oi Oi you can be charged with lèse-majesté you know”
“Eh! Edwin you would charge me with lèse-majesté” Hitomi replied with a pale complexion and teary eyes
“Ah…I’m sorry Hitomi, how about I treat you to a new treat I came up with”
Hitomi's eyes sparkled at his words, “really! Is it better than those potato chips you made?”
“I don’t know if they're better. Unlike the potato chip which is on the salty side, this one is on the sweet side”
“I love sweet things more than salty things”
“Then I will treat you to it”
“Yep…It’s a date”
Hitomi gave a victory smile to Eve as if to strike jealousy within her
“Ara ara Hitomi, was there a meaning to your look just now?”
“No nya, just happy nya”
“Ara ara is that so. I hope you will enjoy the ice cream as much as I did.”
“Nya! You tested it already?”
“Yes…Edwin-sama even fed it to me, it was like we were a real couple on a private date”
“<NaNiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii> What! Me too. Edwin, you will feed me too nya!”
“Ara ara Hitomi. Where is that pride of beast-kin you keep talking about I can’t believe your acting like this.”
“What did you say four eyes?”
“Your heard me muscle brain”
Sparks flew in the room. Hitomi took a fighting pose but so did Eve. Eve was formally trained in armed combat and while Hitomi would have a huge advantage if she were to lunch a sneak attack, Eve would definitely win a head-to-head situation which was the situation right now.
Hitomi knew this but her pride wouldn’t let her back down.
Eve also knew that the situation was in her favor but was still cautious of Hitomi.
While the pressure was tense in the room Edwin spoke up, “you guys are as close as ever but can you please stop teasing me about feeding you guys. I know you guys are probably only acting like this to cheer me upright. There is no way you would like it when I feed you.”
His expression was innocent with no sign that he had a hidden agenda that one often saw in nobles when they talked to beautiful maidens.
“As dense as ever nya”
Puzzled by the reply he asked, “Did I say something wrong?”
“No…Edwin-sama said nothing wrong” Eve replied before muttering in a low voice that only Hitomi’s cat ears could pick up on, “but still, you should notice maidens love when it is clearly on display”
“Nya can't be helped. This is what makes Edwin - Edwin after all.”
Their conversation threw Edwin into more confusion before coming back to his senses
“Hitomi I take it you have something to report?”
“Nya…I do. Right now this news has not been made public but it seems a hero has been born”
“Hero!?” both Eve and Edwin asked in unison.
A hero. Someone who has the blessing of six or more goddesses. Their existence was said to shape the politics of the continent. With the power granted unto them by the goddess, they welded power unlike any other.
The reason why both Edwin and Eve were shocked by Hitomi’s report was that a hero needs a minimum of six goddess’s divine protection, but such a thing was impossible because it was a well-known fact that the goddess were all captured.
As far as everyone had concluded the demon King launched a surprise attack on the goddess and quickly defeated them in their divine world before destroying it and then descending to this world with his demon force to destroy all the races that worshiped the goddess.
Where the demon King came from was unknown and how he was able to enter and attack the goddess in their own divine realm was also unknown.
“Without the goddess to grant divine protection how can a hero be born?” Eve asked
“Don’t ask me. I really don’t know much about divine protection and whatnot; all I know is the information that is circulating” Hitomi replied
“Hitomi, who is the hero supposed to be?” Edwin asked
“It’s the former third Prince of the fallen Kingdom of Saifuddien. Hans Varma Saifuddien. Apparently, he showed up at a battle in the Dukedom of Gillhearts when all seemed lost and turned the battle into the alliance favor by killing a High Orc commander on his own with the aid of the Saifuddien Silver Sword. ”
“The Silver Sword? I thought it was lost during the fall of Saifuddien”
“That was what was believed but it seems it wasn’t. He is proudly showing it off and many who have seen it before say that it is the genuine sword.” Hitomi replied to Eve’s question
“Hero huh? This is bad”
“What do you mean Edwin? Nya”
“The Holy pope and the Holy Kingdom lost a lot of influence when it was known that the goddess was captured by the demon king. As a result there some Dukedom and Kingdoms in the west that didn’t answer his call for a Holy War against the demons but if the Hero is born under the control of the Holy Kingdom those Kingdoms and Dukedom that were up to this point only offering financial or limited military support will find themselves hard-pressed to continue to do so.”
“What do you mean?”
“I am sure there many who will raise questions about Hans Varma Saifuddien being a Hero but achievements mean more than speculation. Plus he did kill a High Orc commander on his own, a feat that can be done if 2 ‘A rank parties’ join together; it can be said it was an amazing achievement. At the very least he has proven himself to have the strength of 2 ‘A rank parties’. Even if people continue to talk the Holy pope can point to the fact that Saifuddien’s founding King was a Hero and say that the Heroes' blood that flows through him has awakened. No. That will be his first move. I don’t see the pope as someone who will let this opportunity pass by. With this, the Holy Kingdom’s influence will be restored”
“But won’t the two Empires try and bring the Hero under their wings?” Eve asked
“They can try but if he is smart he will let the Holy Kingdom claim him and build up his own alliances, preferably with the Kingdoms and Dukedoms that have fallen through the oldest tradition of building alliances. Marriage”
“Humm…You said that this was bad earlier. What did you mean? Nya” Hitomi asked
“If. No! When the Holy Kingdom request that those Kingdoms and Dukedoms that have yet to send a sizable military force. father will have no choice but dispatch more than half of the royal knights to make up for Noble and Neutral faction not contributing to the fighting force”
“Are you suggesting they will try and use that opportunity to overflow the royal family?” Eve asked with a pale expression
“No. They are not that dumb and knowing my father he will take measures against it”
“Rather than wait for the Holy pope he will probably send troupes to Everwood and Jarodor.”
By sending troupes to Eastwood and Jarodor, Highland’s royal family will be sending a message to the Noble and Neutral faction that any attempt to try and overthrow the throne will not be taken lightly by Eastwood and Jardor who were more powerful Kingdoms than Highland itself.
The Noble and Neutral faction will have no choice but to keep biting their lips.
“I wish we can just beat them up Nya,” Hitomi said as she sighed
“Majority of the Kingdoms military might is with the Noble and Neutral faction we can’t do it, well not at the moment”
“Eh!?” both Hitomi and Eve tilted their heads in puzzlement
“Project X is making great progress”
“What!” they both shouted
“I thought the King told you to scrap that project,” Eve asked
“Yeah but I couldn’t get it out of my mind and I think I came up with a workaround solution to the problem”
“What are you saying Nya…As far as I know the problem that project X faced was unsolvable. Isn’t that what the sages at ‘high chair’ said?”
“Hitomi is right, furthermore it’s not like no one ever tried to find a way to solve the problem. Are telling us you succeeded were great sages of the past failed Edwin-sama?” Eve asked with a shocked expression
“It’s not like I have solved it. No. Rather I have solved it but it all depends on how the Queen of the fairies will reply to my question”
“Queen of the fairies! Edwin-sama doesn’t be ridiculous. Even for the two empires meeting the Fairy
Queen is too much of a financial burden to bear. Our Kingdom could never afford it”
In this world there are spirits. They live in all of nature. It’s believed that these spirits were created by the creation goddess right after she created the world and the 12 goddesses.
The spirits are not intelligent and will never listen to anyone other than the fairy Queen. A spirit that had evolved into a fairy, then a high fairy before becoming the fairy Queen.
For one to meet the fairy Queen one needs to offer payment. The usual payment is 10 million gold coins. To put it into context the two empires' annual budget is 2.5 million gold coins each and Highland is 250 thousand gold coins.
It goes without saying that paying 10 million gold coins would be stupid especially when the fairy Queen has made it known that she will not intervene nor form a contract with anyone from the races as she devotes her entire being to the protection of the spirits, fairies, and high fairies.
However, it’s that devotion that is hindering my progress with project x. I need her to confirm or deny if my action will result in intervention from her.
“Did you hear me Edwin-sama!”
“Ah…Yes I heard you, Eve. Don’t worry I have a full Prof Plan”
Back in my world one's purchasing power was determined by the amount you had and the currency you carried. A Japanese with 1000 yen will obviously buy less than an American with 1000 dollars. That is because the strength of the dollar was greater than the yen.
If I want to talk to the Queen then in this world with one currency I need to use another currency that is stronger and in this case its ice cream.
When I researched fairies and high fairies and found out that they had a rather sweet tooth. I first tried to gain their favor by buying candies and sweets but as expected of an almost immortal race they all seemed to have had their fill of it. So I resolved to make ice cream which doesn’t exist in this world and the results were almost immediate.
I had a high fairy deliver a sample to the Queen and I got word that she wanted to meet.
The future of Highland depends on her answer.