The tension drained from the camp as the news of our victory spread throughout. Not every soldier was quick to unwind, but they all gradually started to relax.
The dwarf king and I were no exceptions. The two of us were chilling in the tent used for our HQ, and he was examining Enne’s real body.
“Hmmm… Now ain’t this suttin’. You said you made ‘er yerself, eh lad?”
He was treating her with utmost care, handling her blade as one would a precious jewel as he examined every last nook and cranny. And yes, if you’re wondering, I did get Enne’s permission first. This is totally consensual.
“Yeah, I got this one skill called Weapon Trans.m.u.tation, so I made her into a greatsword. Totally bada.s.s, right?”
“Y’aint wrong d’er, eh? ‘Er blade’s so fine it’s making me s.h.i.+’er in m’bones just hol’in’ ‘er. She’s too hefty for most laddies to lift and has got enoof o’ a bite to slice through a man like he’s made ah bu’er. The magic’s spread through ‘er nice and even too. Real fine, I say.”
“Mmmrrphh… I’m not hefty,” groaned Enne.
“Right, ‘pologies, m’lady.” He turned to face me. “And that la.s.sie is the sword’s spirit, aye? S’real special blade y’got here, eh? We’s got a long his’ory, but I bet there ain’t many dwarves that’ve e’er seen a blade this special. S’really suttin’. Thanks, aye, laddie? For showin’ ‘er, I mean. I owe ya.”
Satisfied, he returned the blade, then continued to speak as he ran his hands through his impressively bushy beard.
“Wea’on Trans.m.u.tation ain’t too uncommon a skill, but you’d be ‘ard pressed t’fine summone capa’le of makin’ anythin’ decent with it eh? d.a.m.ned thing eats ‘ay too much mana, and ain’t no way ’round it. Let’s ya make just aboot wha’ever weapon y’could need if yer e’er caught in a tough spot, but our first king was the only guy to e’er master it. E’en though we ain’t done nuttin’ but spen’in our lives si’in’ by the forge, aye?”
According to the dwarf, their first king had trans.m.u.ted hundreds of weapons in a single day, many of which are still regarded as national treasures. National treasures, huh…? Honestly, Enne’s cuteness is totally national treasure tier, so I’m pretty confident that I can say I’ve at least made something on par with the dwarven king’s stuff, but I highly doubt I’ll ever be able to make anything better than her, ever.
Mostly because I just don’t feel like it. I’m already satisfied, and I don’t really see a point in trying.
Given everything that happened over the course of the war, I couldn’t deny that I certainly would’ve been in some pretty deep s.h.i.+t without the divine spear, but that didn’t mean I was interested in having several weapons that ridiculous. And honestly, I don’t even want the divine spear. I kinda want to toss it in the ocean somewhere and just forget it exists.
“Y’see lad, that Weapon Transmu’ation skill, eh? But best we can do with it is make su’in pre’y good, but it ain’t better than what we get when we go aboot usin’ the gud ol’ ‘ammer ‘n flame, since we ain’t got the mana we need to start makin’ any’ing better. S’to say that yer pro’y the closest thing there is to our first king. Is a mighty fine achievement, lad.”
At first, I thought he was just exaggerating, but a moment of consideration led me to realize that he wasn’t. Weapon Trans.m.u.tation took much more mana than the average person had. The only reason I was able to casually use it all the time was because I had way too much mana, given the particular nature of my body. Using the skill several times in succession was impossible without an inflated mana pool, which in turn meant that it would be nigh impossible to level.
Yeah, I guess it really would be kinda hard to put out something decent, huh?
“If y’ve got any spare time on yer hands, you can swing by where we are, eh? You’d be welcome, laddie, anytime.”
“You know what, I think I probably will. Sounds like a fun place to go for a vacation or something.”
I’m really liking the sound of it. Seems h.e.l.la fun.
The king of the beasts stepped forward after the dwarven king acknowledged my answer with a nod.
“If you are going to visit them, then you should come visit us as well, Demon Lord. The dwarves are effectively our neighbours, their borders are only a step away from ours. I a.s.sure you we will offer you no shortage of entertainment.”
“Sure, sounds good. I’m totally do-—oh s.h.i.+t.”
“Is there an issue?” The lionkin c.o.c.ked a brow.
Isn’t it about time for the warwolves to stop by again? s.h.i.+t. I totally forgot because of the war. The wedding ring is literally the only thing I have ready. h.e.l.l, they might’ve already shown up. I mean, I’m pretty sure everything’ll be alright, even without me there, but uhhhh… oops. I f.u.c.ked up.
“So uhh, beastking dude, my guy. You know the warwolves?”
“Of course. They are a clan headed by a rather young man. Some of them joined us in this war as well, but I do believe they are not present right at this moment. I have already sent them home.”
Uhhhh… I probably should’ve stopped by and said hi. Yeah, that’s another one on me.
“Yeah, so I’m actually about to marry their chief’s daughter, so I’m actually expecting them to be showing up on my doorstep anytime now.”
“Really? I was not aware that you were related to the Gyrolls. In that case, I will be working them hard to ensure that they are quickly promoted through the ranks.”
Is it just me, or did I kinda just kinda do a thing and mess with their future and whatnot? Oh well, whatever. I’mma just pretend I didn’t hear that.
“Sooooo uhhhh… yeah, I’ve kinda really gotta go. Like, right now. I know I should probably be sticking around to help with the cleanup and whatnot, but I really don’t want to keep them waiting. Sorry.”
Winning the war was certainly a major milestone, but it didn’t mean that we could just walk away. The kings were likely to stick around for quite some time in order to negotiate with the empire. I kinda don’t really give a s.h.i.+t about Phynar because we negotiated terms and s.h.i.+t ahead of time, and he knows what to expect, but it kinda feels like I’m shoving my share of the work onto all the other monarchs as well, and they seem like pretty good people, so I feel pretty bad about it.
“There ain’t a reason for y’to be so worried, aye lad? Ya done good, and we ain’t gonna com’lain ’cause ya needed to leave.”
“Dealing with the aftermath will be our way of making up for our inability to deal with the dragon,” said the beast king.
“Thanks. Appreciate i—wait a second. Hey! Eldegaria!”
I called out to Leila’s teacher, who happened to be pa.s.sing by.
“What is it?” she asked, as she approached.
“You feel up to paying us a visit? I’m sure Leila’d be happy to see you.”
“I appreciate the offer, but I will be returning home shortly. These old bones of mine need some rest, not another journey.”
Yeah, makes sense to me. She could honestly probably chill out in our hotspring, but I probably don’t want to push her. Oh well.
“Alright, in that case, I’ll see if we can grab Leila and head over to where you guys live once I’m done all my business.”
“You’re welcome at any time.”
d.a.m.n, I’ve got a lot of places to be. Looks like I’ll be busy for quite some time. Not in a bad way, of course. No way I’m not going to have plenty of fun.
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“Are you leaving already?” asked Phynar, who had just finished giving a set of orders. “You can come back whenever you want, right?”
Uhhh… did I hear that right? Actually, you know what? I’m just not going to ask.
“I guess that’s probably why they couldn’t get its whole corpse. The head and torso were the only parts they had. The rest just came from a bunch of random big a.s.s monsters. I’m guessing it was probably a h.e.l.luva lot weaker than it was when the Spirit Lord took it down, but it still nearly kicked my poor a.s.s.”
I take that back. It wasn’t even the stupid dragon kicking my a.s.s. It was my own G.o.dd.a.m.n spear. d.a.m.ned zombie was so slow it literally never even hit me.
“So uhhh… side note, I got a country.”
“…I beg your pardon?”
“You know the thing we were up against, the Rogardian Empire? Yeah, I’m its emperor now. I’m not actually going to be running the show or anything, and I’m pretty much just its figurehead, but yeah.”
“I fail to understand. I see not how such a set of events could have come to be, but I will refrain from questioning you further. I ask only this, are we now considered royalty?”
“Apparently, yeah. Either way, I’d say I’m a little more of a big deal than your average small time demon lord now. What do you think?”
“I see not how the path your career now follows is not the one you intended,” she said with a tired laugh.
Talking to her was putting my heart at ease. I could feel myself relaxing more and more with every pa.s.sing moment. The stress was leaving me with all the swiftness of a coursing river.
“What is it?”
“Being with you is really soothing.”
She chuckled. “Do you require a kiss in celebration of your return?”
“Please and thanks.”
“…That was meant to be said in jest,” she smiled. “But very well. Lower yourself to your knees.”
I did as I was told and sat on my knees. My eyes were lined up with her shoulders. She placed both hands in my hair and started running them through it.
“I am glad that you have returned.”
After pecking me on the forehead, she pulled me into an embrace, my head against her chest.
“Well, yeah. I’d do anything to come back to you.”
Still on my knees, I wrapped my arms around her waist and squeezed her tight. As if to not let even the slightest bit of warmth escape.
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