IBHB 32 – Are these subordinates really alright?
Ed: Hungry Panda
Demon king castle. It was her first visit in a while, yet the traces of the fight of the past were still present. As Clarice stepped over and around the SM toys that were scattered so thickly over the floor she almost tripped on them, she felt an odd sense of irony. It felt like it was just yesterday that Hero-nim had come to rescue her, but now she was going to rescue him.
“It is quiet.”
The hero party trio all had something to say. Like they said, the demon king castle was so quiet, they couldn’t even hear the footsteps of a mouse over the flagstones. Neglected as a mess as it was, let alone any boys, they couldn’t even see the ‘m’ of monsters anywhere.
Had the demon king come to the kingdom first thing back in the continent? This was a chance. If the demon king’s strength wasn’t fully restored, then even without the ‘holy sword’ then they just might have a chance.
“What? Clee, why do you stare at me so?”
“It is nothing. I was just reminded of the holy sword.”
Orleia turned bright red as she kicked up a fuss.
“It, it couldn’t be helped! No one thought the demon king was coming back even in their wildest dreams!”
Holy sword. Wouldn’t it be better to just make a new one? Was one of opinions that had been floated, but Orleia had shook her head and said.
‘A Holy Sword (性劍) is like it says, something that uses the power of ‘sex'(性)(1). The reason why the demon king is helpless against the holy sword is because the demon king’s great male magic is completely shut down by the holy sword, and also, it is at its strongest against beings with genders. To make such a holy sword you need two things…’
And when she was asked what were they, Orleia flashed her distinctive smirk and said.
‘Distill around 10000 men and women’s worth of male and female ejacula-‘
‘Never mind. You don’t need to tell us. We don’t need a holy sword so let’s just go.’
On the contrary, the feeling that they would be just fine without it skyrocketed.
……….Moreover, Minwoo didn’t know of this. She felt that he must never know.
“If you’re going to put it that way, then if Clee had simply given up on darling, then there would be no reason for me to break the holy sword, and there’d be no reason for darling to be kidnapped, would there?!”
“Haa?! So you’re saying this is all my fault?”
Even if one were to bite the hand that fed you, there were still limits to be kept. A disgusted upwards curl appeared on one side of Clarice’s lips.
“If you want someone to answer for it, then you should take it up with Orleia’s knee. Who told you to break it? Didn’t you break it yourself Orleia? …Ah! Since Orleia’s brain isn’t in her head but down south, are you finding it hard to remember?”
Clapping her hands once with a pitiful look at her knee was salt in the wound. With a face that screamed of a temper at boiling point, Orleia yelled.
“Wh, what? So says the thieving cat?!!”
“Could you meow and cry some more so this thieving cat can understand? I can’t hear you over the sound of a loser’s tears. Hoho.”
Clarice put a hand over her mouth and laughed like a noble lady. Orleia was flabbergasted, lost for words. The hell is this kid? Now that darling isn’t here she’s just going all out?! What the hell?!
“That’s right Orleia! This is all your fault! Apologise to unni!”
Senyun had her say, who’d been clinging to Clarice since a while ago acting cute. To be honest, Senyun didn’t care who was in the right or wrong, what was important was that Orleia dared to get snippy at her ‘unni.’ Guhehe. Unni hehe.
‘Wow that little. Being an annoying little shit fanning the flames.’
Orleia had been glaring harshly at Senyun when she twitched her fingers in empty air like they were groping breasts. When she did Senyun whimpered as she hid behind Clarice. Breast massage… No more…
“All of you, quiet.”
Ericia, who had been on alert as the vanguard, signaled to the three. When she did the team finally started working properly and got into a formation. It was a formation where the trio surrounded and protected the baggage(a sad but completely accurate description) called Clarice.
Thoom. Thoom. Heavy footsteps echoed through the empty halls. Clarice swallowed. Judging by the footsteps it was either a monster, or a demon. She’d be lying if she said she wasn’t scared. But more than that, her worries that she would be a hindrance to them were far greater.
“You can run away if you’re scared?”
Having noticed Clarice’s shivers, Orleia sneered. Clarice’s eyes narrowed.
“Hmph. I will no longer show a disgraceful appearance in front of Orleia again.”
“Now that’s something I’m looking forward to.”
Kuku. As if she found it very funny, Orleia laughed.
Senyun quietly whispered and handed something over. It was a large cloth made out of soft fabric.
“It’s an invisibility cloak. If it gets dangerous, wear this and hide.”
Clarice nodded and put away the invisibility cloak. The invisibility cloak was the invisibility cloak, but Senyun’s worried heart touched her and her fear seemed to have gone away just a tiny bit.
Eventually the owner of the footsteps showed himself. A giant figure a head bigger than an average man, bulky muscles, a very well-developed lower jaw to the point that the lower canines came protruding out of the mouth. And the decider that settled all argument, skin coloured a strong shade of green.
Out of all the known races, only one fit the bill for all of them.
Having recognised ‘him,’ Clarice couldn’t hide her shock. How could she forget that face. Just remembering it made her shudder.
“It’s been a while. Clarice.”
He greeted them with a soft baritone voice. A while? The group noticed that they already knew each other, and looked at Clarice with surprised faces. Clarice only made a repulsed expression.
“Orkar. I did suspect something since the demon king made a giant fuss about our wedding when she tried to drag me off. You were alive.”
“Hmph. Even if I look like this I was the vanguard of the demon king’s forces. Does this Orkar look like he’ll die that easily?”
‘Orkar’ guffawed, showing his teeth.
“Leaving behind my ‘bride’ that the demon king bestowed upon me.”
Clarice found herself unable to speak. Who the hell’s your bride you damn orc. Instead, Senyun stepped forward, guns blazing.
“This fucking orc?! Who’d you say is your bride now?! You want me to smash your jaw out?”
“Calm down. Senyun.”
Clarice raised her arm and stopped Senyun. To be honest, she really wanted to praise Senyun a lot just then, but she held herself back as there was no time to waste. ‘Grrrrrghhh.’ With a face that seemed like she’d start frothing at the mouth from anger at any moment, Senyun withdrew.
“As you can see, I’m a woman now.”
“Of course. I heard from Lord Demon King. And she said our marriage was annulled. But that’s just what she thinks. I will not give up on you. Whether you’re a woman or a man, that’s not important. You’re Clarice. My one and only bride, Clarice.”
Orcs only ever love one woman in their lives. As a male-only race they had no females. Because of that, they could only source females to breed with from outside their race, so naturally, they developed a personality of being kind and affectionate to their partners. Kidnapping? Rape? Maybe if they were monsters, but as an intelligent member of the demon race, that was out of the question for orcs.
When Orkar first had Clarice bestowed upon him by the demon king, he knew that it was simply the demon king’s perverted preferences (doing the deed between two males that couldn’t even reproduce) but he still couldn’t refuse Clarice. (then a) His figure in a see-through wedding dress, crying as he looked up at him was his totally his ideal female… ehem, woman.
So what if he couldn’t get pregnant. So what if he was a man. He would definitely make this boy his bride. He made his decision. But then the demon king came back with the hero instead of Clarice and told him that Clarice had become a woman. Unlike the despondent demon king, Orkar’s feelings didn’t change.
His love for Clarice only ran deeper.
“I cannot be your bride. I already have the hero.”
And you’re creeping me out so please give up. Was what she was feeling. Orkar swallowed down his sigh and said.
“……..Yes. I know that too. But that marriage, wasn’t it gatecrashed and interrupted by Demon King-nim? In that case you are not the hero’s bride yet. On the contrary, the hero is currently in Demon King-nim’s hands.”
“So you know where Hero-nim is.”
“Naturally. I also know what he’s about to go through.”
Kuku. Orkar twisted his lips and laughed happily. Combined with an orc’s naturally ugly appearance, it was quite something to watch. Orleia couldn’t restrain herself any longer and icily said.
“I don’t think he’s going to tell us easily, so we might as well deal with him quickly. If we beat him to the brink of death, he will want to tell us.”
When she did, Senyun lit up a fireball and said.
“Didn’t they used to say that the most painful torture was by fire?”
When she did, Ericia touched her longsword’s sharp blade and said.
“Is that what they do in the mage corps? In the knight order we take great effort to turn them into sashimi one slice at a time.”
Wait! Why are you all so savage?! Clarice panicked and stopped the party. If they took their time fighting (torturing?) here then the hero (‘s purity) would be in danger. Clarice thought, and bowed to Orkar and requested.
“Orkar. Please. Please take us to where Hero-nim is.”
Her love for the hero was enough to suppress her resentment against Orkar. Love and peace. It wasn’t empty words. Clarice would rescue her love (=Hero) and Orkar would get peace from her torture-happy companions.
Naturally, the party was against it.
“Clee. Just because you’re asking nicely there’s no way that orc would…”
Eh? Clarice lifted her head with a blank face. She didn’t actually expect him to.
“I do not wish to fight with my bride. It’s my bride’s request as well, so why would this Orkar not grant it.”
Orkar smiled. That smile being ugly as hell aside, Clarice thought as she saw it.
……Demon king, are you really alright with these subordinates?
She was not alright. Having been about to train Minwoo in the ballroom, Biella took one look at Orkar who had brought the party there and completely lost it.
“H, how did you get here so quick?! …Ah, ahahah! No! Kyaha! Kyahahahahaha!! We, wel, welcome! I had been waiting for you!”
With her eyes turned to spirals the demon king stuttered out. In all honesty it was a pitiable sight. But having long since put the demon king out of her cares, all she could see was Minwoo, beside the demon king tied up in some weird form (she later heard from Senyun, it was ‘turtle shell.’) by a black aura that reached out and around like a rope.
“Clarice! D, don’t look!”
Minwoo wanted to bite his tongue off and die. How was Clarice here? He’d been seen by the one person that he wanted to be seen like this the least. It wasn’t like he was some fallen eroge heroine, what kind of embarrassment was this.
“Ku. Kuku. Oi, that suits you?”
“Shut up! Shut up!”
“Oh my. Coming from someone who always called me an exhibitionist… Aren’t you quite something as well?”
“Why are you appreciating it?!”
“I’m okay♪ I actually prefer darling like this you know?”
“Kill me. Just kill me now…”
Meanwhile, Biella’s side wasn’t that different either.
“What happened Orkar?! Let alone stopping them, why the heck did you bring them here!!”
“So you’re asking me to turn my wife away?”
“Wife?! I told you that marriage was annulled! You idiot!”
“That’s right! Idiot! Dumbass! Muscle brain! Green pig! Ugly!”
“Hey, everything else aside, I cannot accept being called ugly! Even if I look like this I was one of the most handsome men in my clan!”
Biella lost it.
“Eeeiiiit! Who cares what’s what! Come at me! You assholes!”
Hero party or no, the core, the hero, was currently caught by her. In that case she had a chance as well. Having made that conclusion, Biella was about to unleash her hidden strength.
“Ho? So you don’t care if the holy sword beats the crap out of you and turns the demon king castle into a bloodbath?”
If the Holy Maiden Orleia hadn’t said that.
…..Her trauma switch had been flipped. No she couldn’t. if she was sent flying into the sky a second time then there really was no coming back.
“Wait! Waitwait! Calm down! Let’s talk, please let’s talk!!”
In truth, Orleia’s boast of the holy sword was nothing but a bluff, but having no way to know that, Biella even went onto her knees to try and pacify them.
“That’s right! Please don’t use the holy sword! Biella will do anything!”
Is that actually the demon king? Contrary to Clarice’s thoughts, the party seemed quite amused.
“How’s this! You can all be this Biella’s subordinates! Women are competitors so I don’t really like them but if it’s you guys I can specially… waitwaitwait!!! Put the hand down! I haven’t finished talking!”
To Biella, the fear of the holy sword was shameful but it also made her learn how to appease people.
“If you become Biella’s subordinates then you can have all of this Biella’s collection of BL books and personally drawn doujins absolutely free! An absolutely unbelievable bargain! Flower-like boys doing the dirty…. Waitwaitwaitwait! Put the hand down?! That’s it! Then what about this?!”
Biella hurriedly pointed to Senyun, who had summoned a giant fireball.
“Mage! If you become Biella’s subordinate I will give you Clarice! Whether you roast her or boil her or whatever is all up to you!”
Thud. Orkar was betrayed by his lord. But more than that, the person that was shocked the most was Senyun.
“You’re giving unni… to me?”
“That’s right! I will give you your unni! Sisterlilyles! You can train her to your taste! How is it? The hero, the person that would have been Clarice’s husband is in my hands. Meaning! She’s currently Free!(2)
Senyun wordlessly stared at Biella. Clarice thought. What kind of stupidity is that. Even if Senyun had no inhibitors when it came to her, surely she wouldn’t fall for that ridiculous offer…
“Come at me! I am the demon king’s direct subordinate and the granddaughter of the sage, Senyun!!”
You fell for it?!!?!!?!
“Ufu! Ufu! Ufufufu!! Good choice! Now, you’re next, female knight!”
Biella, currently in a very cheerful mood, pointed to Ericia who was gathering up Womb Power.
“Female knight! If you become my subordinate then I shall make you your own knight order!”
“Knight order? Ha. Very funny. Are you trying to turn me with just that? Put some sincerity into it.”
“……Eri. Doesn’t that sound odd to you?”
If she does put some sincerity into it then you might just turn on right now?
“Kyahahahaha! There’s no way that it would end this simply. I know fully well of your quaint strength known as Womb Power. I will call up all the female demons and have them learn your Womb Power! A entire knight order that knows how to use Womb Power! That’s it! Let’s call it the Womb Order!”
Ericia tailed off, staring at Biella. Clarice thought. What kind of stupidity is that. Even if Eri had no inhibitors when it came to spreading Womb Power, surely she wouldn’t fall for that ridiculous offer…
“Come at me! I am the demon king’s direct subordinate and the captain of the Womb Order, Ericia!”
“Kyahahahahaha!! I didn’t even imagine it would work this well! Indeed humans are the best at tearing and stabbing at each other, the race of betrayal!!”
Biella excitedly swung around her pink twintails and started dancing around. Just then, Orleia, who had been watching everything in silence all this time, finally decided to speak up.
“Hm? Ah! You were here too. Sorry. Biella was forgetful. Let’s see. You-”
What kind of offers would be best, Biella pondered but without even a hint of hesitation, Orleia coolly said.
“Give me darling. Then I’ll be your subordinate.”
“You’re not even bothering to think about it anymore?!!?!”
Even though she didn’t really expect anything from Orleia! And then she went on to say the lines that would be missed if left unsaid.
“Come at me! I am the demon king’s direct subordinate and darling’s husband, Orleia!”
“Why are you my husband?! Wait, before that, I’m the wife?!”
Minwoo yelled. The days he spent adventuring with those lunatics were so pitiful he couldn’t stand it anymore. Even the demon king chipped in.
“There, um, don’t be so distressed. That’s how life works after all.”
“This is all your fault!!!”
“Demon king-nim! Ignore him, the promise!”
Having become a very loyal follower, Senyun urged while glancing over at Clarice. Hul. Clarice was lost for words. The three people who had become enemies were filled with the desire to jump and dominate her.
I, did I really do something to be resented for that much?
Ah? Clarice came to at the giant bulk filling her vision. Orkar. He glanced back at Clarice and said.
“I’ll hold them off. You run to the human village and request aid.”
Hold on, you’re the enemy.
“Fu. From the very moment this Orkar saw you, I was only ever on your side. From the moment demon king-nim, no, the demon king annulled our marriage it was only stronger.
“Wait wait, I’m not marrying you.”
“I heard they call that kind of people tsunderes.”
Ewhew. Let’s just not talk.
“Orkar! So you’ve finally shown your true colours! Appointing an ugly orc like you as the vanguard’s head was my mistake from the beginning! Listen up! Get them!!”
The trio had become very loyal minions 1, 2 and 3. Clarice swore that if this ever cleared up, she would so make them pay for this and opened her mouth.
“……Thank you for helping me.”
“No worries. Protecting his bride is obvious to an orc.”
Bride. He would know that she had no thoughts of becoming his bride. That her love only belonged to the hero. But he would help her even so. With a heavy heart, Clarice whispered softly.
Orkar’s eyes widened once he heard her.
“…That’s what I want to say.”
He grinned and turned around.
“It doesn’t really matter if I knock them down, does it?”
At his words, Clarice thought.
‘Ah. He’s going to lose. Definitely a hundred percent going to lose.’
The last thing that Clarice saw as she fled from the ballroom, was her (former) party brawling with Orkar and-
Hero-nim whose worried eyes chased after her.
She was screwed.
With leaden steps, Clarice dragged her tired feet back to the demon king castle’s foyer, where she stood. The interior being designed like a labyrinth and hence her struggling around lost aside, it was so dark she couldn’t see a thing in front of her. The hero party that defeated the demon king held hands with the demon king, the hero was captured, even if she sent for help would anything change?
What would happen to her.
“Ahhh… just what did I do wrong…”
What should have been her happiest day, her wedding day, had turned to this. Her eyes started to fog up, and left all alone, Clarice finally started weeping.
It was then.
『Hello, Helloo~ is there anyone there~?』
『Ah! Over here! Here! Help me, please! 』
As she moved her feet to where the voice was coming from, there was a stone statue around the size of a person. Why is there a statue here. It was a very odd statue too. A human woman who was wearing comfortable clothes as if she was here to sightsee. To boot, in one hand it was holding an elegant book engraved with a black rose. The special thing about it was that the book wasn’t made of stone, but a real book.
『Ah! Ahh! Finally people! Uwaaaahhh! I nearly cried just now~~~~!!!! Since the demon king vanished no one else came! I was so scared all by myself~~~!!』
The stone statue was crying. No, tears weren’t coming out, but the voice that came from within it seemed like it would burst out into tears at any time. So Clarice asked the thing she was most curious about.
“Um, who are you?”
At her question the statue seemed to pause for a bit as if wondering what to say, before it said.
『Hmm~ What should I say? If you really had to put it~
『The tourist that accidentally undid the demon king’s seal?』
You wot m8 tourist what? Is what a lot of you are probably thinking
The tourist actually was mentioned briefly back in chapter 1. That a tourist accidentally undid the seal on the demon king. Since it is really random you might not believe me, but it wasn’t something I edited in later, but it was there from the very beginning.
Anyhow, next chapter seems like the end of the demon king arc.
No next chapter is not the last chapter. Author buggered his word count and let it stretch on for another two chapters.
(1) Reminder that once again, wordplay in the word for ‘holy’ being interchanged with the one for ‘sex/gender’ which is spelt identically in Korean and can only be told apart by context or the corresponding provided hanja.
(2) Free! In english in the raws.