Franbel IV POV
“Your Majesty, the first Demon King’s army subjugation party that we dispatched has returned!”
“Let them in.”
I am King Franbel IV from the Franbel Kingdom.
I have sent the first Demon King’s army subjugation party to the forest, and they should report back on the results.
Depending on the report, we may need the heroes to join in.
The Defense Minister and I waited nervously.
“Excuse me, Your Majesty!
We have identified and subjugated the suspicious building that the heroes reported!”
“Hm, how’s the building condition?”
“The building was completely empty.”
“Please be more specific in your report.”
The Defense Minister interrupted and asked for more details.
There are stone walls behind the moat and a wooden house, plus there’s a wooden warehouse I’ve never seen before.
The warehouse was used to store food.
They left it alone because the food might be poisoned.
“Did they see our plans and flee?”
“We don’t know for sure. Go and fetch the heroes. Let’s hear what they have to say.”
After a short wait, a soldier brought the three heroes and McDawn, who now calls herself Nico.
“—I don’t think I ever told you to call me Nico, right?”
“Oh! A group of heroes claimed to have seen the building as well, so I brought them here!”
After explaining the situation to the heroes, I asked them.
“What do you think, heroes?”
“Err, there’s no way those guys can defeat that elf.”
One of the heroes, whatever his name is, answers clearly.
“The female elf is suspected to be the leader, right?
What do you think, guys?
What do we know about her?”
“As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t see anyone along the road or around the building that looked like it belonged to the Demon King’s army.”
“You! You always thought that all the heroes were useless.”
“Minister, this isn’t the time to be fighting among allies.
Heroes, I would like to hear your honest opinion.”
“If I were that elf, I’d just attack the castle and raze it to the ground.”
“…My opinion is the same.”
“Attack the castle? Nonsense! This castle has more than a hundred skilled soldiers guarding it at all times!”
“The one who helped us when we were wounded got into the castle without being spotted by those soldiers and left us in the infirmary, didn’t they?
Isn’t the security too lax?”
“What do you think, Nico?”
“Hmm, that treehouse probably has nothing to do with the Demon King.”
“The amazing person who defeated the basilisk, the person who saved the heroes and brought him to the castle, it’s probably the same person.
I think that’s where they live.”
“W-wait. Why didn’t you say anything about it?”
“Because that person doesn’t brag about defeating basilisk and they didn’t ask for any reward after saving the heroes.
Don’t you think it’s obvious? He must be a retired grand mage or something.
I didn’t want to intrude on their retirement, so I decided not to report it. Apparently, it was a bad idea.”
“—Huh, we’ve picked a fight against the grand mage?”
The Defense Minister’s face paled at that.
“If the grand mage gets disappointed with our attitude and joins the Demon King’s army….”
“No, I don’t think you need to worry about that.”
“How do you know?”
“I’ve met this person.”
“““What did you say?!”””
“That is why I will go to visit him as a delegation to apologize.”
“But, there’s the Demon King’s army in the forest….”
“No worries. If you want, I can lead the second Demon King’s army subjugation party to defeat them.”
“I’m coming. If I ever see that elf again, I will turn the tables on her this time.”
In response, the two other heroes nodded their heads in agreement.
Thus, the second Demon King’s army subjugation party, the heroes party and Nico headed into the forest.