992 - White God Festival, Middle-level ⑥
Caraways slightly sad expression as she told me that she had become the disgrace of her race…… As she explained to me how that happened, I quietly listened.
[As mentioned earlier, the Catreids are a weak race. Theyre so weak that if they encounter a monster, they will be in danger of being annihilated. Its difficult for our race to survive on its own, so we gather together with other similarly weak races to form something like a small town and make it into a territory of a High-ranking Demon, who will protect them in exchange for taxes as payment.]
[I dont really know much about this kind of stuff, but are situations like this pretty common in the Demon Realm]
[Most territories form like this. Although the ones that are capable of fighting, like my race, Ogres, tend to stick together with our kind, many species that dont have much fighting ability coexist with other species.]
The number of species living in the Demon Realm is really huge, so I guess its no surprise that some of them arent good at fighting. In the Demon Realm, where there are many more powerful monsters than in the Human Realm, having such a strong being to protect you is probably an important factor in life.
[And within the Catreids, I was the first one to attain a Peerage-rank, which was a major turning point for my people. Of course, our tribes life would be easier under my protection as we are members of the same tribe, and our tribes status within our community would also increase. Thats why I was called the Hero of my race.]
However, that had changed. Knowing what triggered this change though, I feel a little complicated.
[But as a result of being consumed by greed, I was warned by the Six Kings and my social standing completely collapsed, and I no longer had the authority to continue holding unto my territory. I was completely suffering the consequences of my own deeds, and thus, I was called the disgrace of my race.]
[Their attitude towards you just abruptly changed……]
[I dont like it…… not one bit.]
Hearing Caraways story, Acht and Eva looked displeased. Both of them were persecuted by their own kind for being Special Individuals, and they must have something on their minds as they had left their tribe.
In fact, hearing about this also made me feel disgust. It was as if they had just used her, and then cut her off as soon as she lost her authority.
Thereupon, Caraway wryly smiled and shook her head.
[……It cant be helped. Its not like my people could say anything about this either. After I lost my authority, the place that used to be my territory was immediately absorbed into the territory of a nearby Peerage-holder that had a territory nearby. Because of the proximity of our territories, she was an opponent with whom I had a great deal of conflict, and as long as they were under her protection, there were times when they had to agree with her as she speaks ill of me.]
[If one isnt strong enough to survive outside the protection of a High-ranking Demon, they wouldnt have any choice but to cut me off.]
Because they couldnt live with only their own kind, even if they didnt mean it, they had to speak ill of Caraway. As I was feeling downhearted about her situation, Caraway continued, looking slightly flustered.
[Ahh, please dont misunderstand. It was just a temporary situation. My reputation has already been restored and Ive made peace with my people. When I went to see them, they cried and apologized.]
[I- I see. Im a little relieved to hear that but…… Arehh If thats the case, what happened to her people Did they come under Caraways protection again]
Somehow thinking that they would be under a new administration, I asked. Now that Caraway is living in my house, I dont feel like she has a territory in the Demon Realm, but are her people still living in the same town
[No, that one incident made me realize that Im not suited for stuff like that, and even though my authority has been restored, I wasnt ready to go back to the same position I had before. At that time, a certain person helped me out, and my people are now living in her city.]
[A certain person]
[Yes, “Underworld King-sama” helped me.]
[Eh Kuro did]
In front of me, who was astonished by the name that was unexpectedly brought up, Caraway continued with a smile on her face.
[Yes. It was Underworld King-sama who warned me, but at that point, Underworld King-sama seemed to have considered the effects of the loss of my authority and was paying attention to the city where my people lived. It seemed like she intended to intervene if she saw my people were being unjustly persecuted. Well, as expected, she wont intervene when theyre just speaking ill of me……]
I see, Kuro certainly is quite smart despite her appearance. I mean, she is often prepared ahead of time, as in the case where she knew how I hated bell peppers. She really is quite amazing.
[After my authority was restored, she approached me and proposed migrating my people, which made it easier for me to visit my people. If I had to continue visiting the place they lived before frequently, it would have been a problem regarding the honor of the Peerage-holder who now manages my territory.]
[Well, I wasnt really worried that my people would be persecuted. I know well what kind of person that Peerage-holder who absorbed my territory is…… Well, shes a detestable jerk. Seriously, shes a persistent and sarcastic prick…… but shes not some fiend who persecutes the weak for no reason.]
Thinking about the person who absorbed her territory made Caraway clench her fist and speak with a somewhat angry expression, but for some reason, I dont think shes thinking badly of that Peerage-holder, and her expression doesnt convey a strong sense of anger at all.
【The Peerage-holder who replaced Caraway and took over her territory】
A Special Individual Hellhound, a female Demon with the form of a Dog Beastman.
She and Caraway had many things in common: both had the appearance of a Beastman, both were Viscount-level, High-ranking Demon, and they were both about the same height and ability, so they ended up being rivals and often clashed with each other.
After Caraways downfall, she immediately absorbed the town that had been Caraways territory and as if that wasnt enough, she always insulted Caraway out loud.
However, it isnt that she was seriously speaking ill of Caraway. She was just angry at the fact that she did something stupid and fall on her own. The reason she immediately absorbed Caraways territory was to prevent other High-ranking Demons from destroying it.
Incidentally, she felt extremely livid when Caraways former subordinates immediately turned their backs on her and tried to get under her wing, crushing them where they stood.
When Caraways authority was restored, she was in a good mood, muttering “……What a stubborn jerk.”. Now that Caraway reached Count-rank ahead of her, she is working hard to train herself to become Count-rank as well.