The Prince of Lemuse
In the eastern part of the continent, in a small kingdom which was three kingdoms away from Mūzeg.
At the time when there were rumours floating from across the three countries of how Mūzeg had swallowed up the surrounding kingdoms, stolen the powers of many Demon Lords and had steadily become a domineering existence.
The King of that small kinggdom, as if he were scared of the war that may happen, was planning on offering up his kingdom to Mūzeg on his own.
However, there was one young man who was trying to stop that King.
His name was Hasim Kudo Lemuse.
He was the third prince of that small kingdom, Kingdom of Lemuse.
He had bright brown hair that seemed to blend into the sunlight and well maintained eyebrows.
Above all, his aqua blue pupils which gave the feeling of being sucked in were the main characteristics of that good looking man.
「Shut up Hasim. I’m doing this for the kingdom」
Hasim was well aware of that.
The one who Hasim was calling out to was his father, the current king of Lemuse.
A man with a body that was large and fat in the worst possible sense, wearing a huge, gaudy cloak that didn’t match his height.
He was wearing that with the look that it matched his build but the bottom of the cloak, possibly from always being dragged on the ground, was slightly dirty.
Hasim was extremely certain that, that man was not the type who would ever do something for the kingdom.
His father did not deserve to be the king.
However, his father’s two older brothers died and because of some miracle, his father ended up as the king.
――You’re a person who doesn’t think of anything but fattening your own pockets.
Hasim knew very well.
The internal affairs that the king managed; everything he did was all in order to fill his own pockets.
Starting from the weight of the taxes he imposed, he would praise the ones who served him and beat up the ones who didn’t and showed an extremely easy to understand level of corruption.
Lemuse’s King was also an extremely snobbish individual. Thanks to that the internal affairs were a complete mess.
Using the reason that the really excellent people refused to serve him, he would steadily deprive them of their positions.
Hasim secretly went around sheltering those excellent individuals but even he had a limit.
――I promised to definitely reward you guys in the future huh.
He remembered the promise he had made to those people.
However, he was still unable to fulfill it.
Those people would also soon reach the end of their patience.
At that time, the king showed some more strange movements.
「We’ll lose everything if we gave in to Mūzeg right now!! That’s a foolish plan, father! Where is the guarantee that, if we lowered our heads to them, they would treat us politely?!」
「You idiot, If we served them normally then they would feel better. In that case, there’s no problem in lowering our heads to them」
――He’s a lost cause.
He’s even worse than that.
――He’s completely rotten.
It’s to a point that nothing can be done about him anymore.
Though while being his father, the king was so snobbish to the point that even he couldn’t defend him at all.
――At the very least it would have been okay if you knew how to maintain the status quo.
The kingdoms that Mūzeg had swallowed up, were currently being crushed one by one.
Though they claim to be an alliance but Mūzeg was secretly crushing all of those kingdoms.
Steadily eradicating them.
――Do you not know that they round up key figures and kill them all off every year?
By doing so, they remove any people who may cause problems for them and they make some who they can control the king of that kingdom in order to make full use of the kingdom.
If they do that, then they can make full use of that kingdom.
The king of Mūzeg must quite the politician to be able to use that much political force in this age of war.
Also, Mūzeg has the military might to back those strong political moves.
The proof of that would be all the Demon Lords powers that were collected with their 『Demon Lord Hunting』, by Mūzeg’s First Prince.
――Serius Brad Mūzeg
The man who leads the army of Mūzeg himself, desired the title of〈Hero of Mūzeg〉and was in fact a genius when it came to combat.
So there was actually a very good reason for the speed at which Mūzeg had been strengthening.
In any case, if Lemuse were to be offered to Mūzeg, with the political clout of Mūzeg, Lemuse would be pushed to the brink of destruction in the blink of an eye.
Hasim had that belief.
And that belief of his was correct.
However, Hasim was only the Third Prince.
Even if he said anything to the king, there was no way that he would be taken seriously.
As far as the king was concerned, Hasim was a loathsome child.
The king was especially sweet to the First and Second Princes as they resembled him quite a bit but Hasim, ever since infancy had always been outstanding. The king was even jealous of his own son and was extremely strict with him.
「Shut up Hasim! If you don’t like my plan that much then try becoming the king!!」
Though Hasim raised one last protest but the king did not bother to take it seriously.
With his large pig like body shaking, wearing a large gaudy cloak that did not match his build, he shouted at Hasim.
After that, 『It’s completely impossible though』, the king thought with a confident smile as he ridiculed Hasim.
At that moment, Hasim became resolute.
「Try becoming the king」
――Understood. Then I shall become the king.
Finally, the scales in his heart leaned towards the survival of his kingdom.
――Or, possibly, I was prepared to throw away anything that I was lacking in.
Without a single shred of respect, Hasim lowered his head and turned on his heels and left.
Seeing that, the king thought that he had finally given up and with a proud expression headed back to his own room.
The beautiful maids who were tasked with taking care of the king, quickly followed behind his pig like body.
That day, Hasim was in the basement of a small shed in the corner of Lemuse Kingdom.
That basement was a secret place, only known to a select few individuals.
A place that could only be known to people who respected and cherished Hasim Kudo Lemuse, it was a rebel’s secret hideout.
Hasim sat in one of the rather dirty chairs in that room and heaved a huge sigh.
「…It was useless. …Sorry」, said Hasim.
In front of the chair that Hasim sat on, there was a long table and around 10 men and women were seated at it.
Among them, there was one man who had a splendid beard and while stroking that beard with a finger, he sighed and spoke up.
「So basically, till the very end he was just a pig huh」
「Though he’s my father, he’s even lower than a snob. Even among snobs he’s at the very lowest end」
「Haha, somehow your mood seems rather bad today huh, Hasim-sama」
The man with the splendid beard laughed lightly.
In contrast, Hasim, despite being royalty, was wearing a rather plain cloak. Which he took off while still seated, with an expression that said that it was too troublesome to get up and he then handed that over to a maid who walked over to him.
She was an excellent maid who had served him for a long time. It wasn’t that she had extremely good looks but compared to the blockheads who served the king and only had their looks as their saving grace, his maid was extremely competent as a person as well.
Hasim found her to be extremely useful and at the same time, he also favoured her a lot.
「Thank you, Aisha」
You seem to be tired, Hasim-sama. Should I make some black tea?」
「So that you become more energetic, I’ll add a secret charm to it okay?」
「So those disgusting medicinal herbs are a charm huh? Quite the realistic charm you have there」
「Recently, you’re not as adorable as you used to be, Hasim-saama」
Hasim light smiled at her, but then he immediately fixed his posture.
「Let me say this plainly」
Starting with that, Hasim faced the people sitting at the table and spoke.
「…I’m going to become the king」
「Do you plan on causing a coup d’etat?」
「Yeah, there really is no other choice anymore is there? Till now I kept trying to put up with it. I kept trying hard for so many years, hoping that I could somehow convince father.
…However, nothing changed. My persuasive power is obviously lacking」
「It’s not that Hasim-sama is incapable of eloquent speech. It’s just that, that pig isn’t smart enough to understand words. Pigs really can’t understand the words of humans, after all」
「That may just be true. I tried talking to my two older brothers but they’re both the same. They don’t seem to have any issues with selling Lemuse out to Mūzeg.
In the first place, they don’t even understand what that means. They’re just like dolls who know nothing but to praise father on whatever he does」
「That’s quite the accurate metaphor, I must say」
Hasim tousled his hair sloppily.
That act just went to show how irritated the usually calm Hasim actually was at that moment.
「I’m going to put my hands on my own blood relatives. I’m definitely going to hell once I die huh」
「No, if by becoming a king you save the kingdom of Lemuse, then you’ll definitely go to heaven. If you see people’s lives as equal then, when you save more people than you lose, your actions would be justified」
「I don’t like teleology. Teleology that justifies actions is dangerous」
「However, in this age, if you don’t at least have guts for that, you’ll end up getting hurting yourself」
「….Is that so」
At the words of the man with a splendid beard, Hasim groaned lightly.
「However, it’s something that I have already decided on. I might end up having to kill my father and brothers. …Will you all follow me?」
At Hasim’s question, all the people on the other side of the table replied with a firm nod.
「We will follow you no matter where you go. You’re the one who picked us up, Hasim-sama.
If you hadn’t gone as far as to lower your head to stop us, we would have had to move to another country with regrets still piled up」
「Even still, we were born and raised in Lemuse and we still do love this kingdom」
「I really do feel sorry」
「It’s not your fault. …Anyway, while being kind, the successives kings of Lemuse tried hard to penetrate through their difficult naivety, to the point where, even as a child I looked up to them」
「Kindness and naivety…huh」
Hasim laughed softly.
「The one who put their all into sheltering Demon Kings who were betrayed by their countries was the Lemuse Kingdom of the past huh. The noble Lemuse Kingdom of the past.
「Even now, that blood runs through the citizens of this kingdom.
However, the one decides how the country is run, is the king. Since the king is like that, we can’t really make any moves.
Until some time ago, Lemuse was ridicules as stupid because of how noble it was but, on the other hand, that may have also scraped away at the citizen’s counterintuition.
…Moreover, above all else, there was Hasim-sama as well」
「That’s right. Believing that, if it was Hasim-sama, he would do something about the royalty, the citizens probably suppressed any thoughts of revolt. The fact that Hasim-sama was, without the king knowing, somehow holding the kingdom’s administration together was found out by a portion of the citizens. That steadily spread and got to the point where, Hasim-sama is now the final hope of the citizens and they are betting their all on you.
In any case, if a revolt happened from the citizens then the internal affairs of the kingdom would be extremely turbulent.
Right now, the king is completely useless but he is still acting as a deterrent with his title as the king but if that wasn’t there, there would definitely be many who couldn’t stay quiet for long. That’s how dangerous the current situation is」
「I really can’t raise my head in front of the citizens」
Hasim had a look of self-mockery but soon he had a strong light flash across his eyes.
「Even if I do become the king, the fact that the situation is extremely critical would not change. There are still three countries between us but if we do nothing then, in time, Mūzeg would take control of those countries and stretch their evil hands in our direction. It’s not definite but if we had a war with Mūzeg, we wouldn’t be able to win. Their military might is definitely well known」
「In that case, what would you like to do?」
At the question from the man with a splendid beard, Hasim answered immediately as if he had already prepared to answer that question.
「『Demon Lord Hunting』 seems to be rampant in various countries」
「Ah that news」
「The fact that the wars are intensifying might be the reason. Though the fact that Mūzeg’s prince has started using Demon Lord’s powers may also be one of the reasons.
At any rate, even if we fully utilised our supplies, we wouldn’t be able to match Mūzeg which grows at an even faster pace.
At that, I plan to bring back the 『Naivety』 of the past Lemuse」
「…Do you plan on inviting Demon Lords?」
「Demon Lords with no place to call home, we’ll provide such a place for them.
In return, have them lend their powers to protect Lemuse.
We won’t force them. This would, till the end, be a deal」
「There is no guarantee that all the Demon Lords would be just and upright. There definitely are descendants of 『Tragic Heroes』 among them but even if that were the case, there is no guarantee that even the descendants would be like heroes.
Like the past, there is quite the possibility of Demon Lords who are extremely wicked mixed in as well」
「That decision, I’ll just have to pass it after seeing them」
「In the case that you’re wrong with that judgement, Lemuse would be destroyed from the inside」
「I understand that. However, if we leave things as they are, Lemuse will definitely be destroyed from the outside. If that’s the case, then taking an extreme step is also a strategy, in my opinion」
「That’s also true huh」
「The only thing I can say is, please believe me. That’s why, I’ll lower my head once more」
As soon as he said that, Hasim stood up from his chair and facing the long table, he lowered his head.
The royalty of that country was lowering his head to the citizens.
「Please follow me. In case it fails, please die with me. I don’t plan on failing, however if I don’t tell you that then it’s not fair to you. Which is why I’ll tell you the truth of that situation too. To die together with me, that is」
When the men and women on the other side of the long table say Hasim, they said,
「We’ll happily die alongside you, Hasim-sama. It definitely wouldn’t be bad to be able to die alongside you」
Once more, they firmly nodded to his words.
「Ah but, I won’t let you die. Even I, to ensure the survival of Lemuse, I’ll bet my life and I’ll survive as well.
Dying for the sake of your country may be a man’s yearning but until Lemuse stabilises completely I won’t die.
Even if it’s just with stubbornness, I’ll stay alive」
「That’s exactly what I would expect of the rare royal self-made rebel」
The man with the splendid beard, brought it to a finish.
That day, in Lemuse Kingdom, which was far away from the Lindholm Sacred Mountain that Merea and the other Demon Lords escaped from, the first act of a rebellion took place.