~ Chapter 148: The foolish Demios of Akardia (Part 2) ~
There was no need for me to show either mercy or humbleness to this demon. His intention and desires were clear just from the way he behaved and introduced himself. His words were tossed as if he was standing at the top of Akardia, which in itself could be considered an offense addressed to my mother. But above all, this demio just made things far easier for me to assert myself in the capital. Scaring him off and showing him my imposing and dominant side was going to reach the ears of all those found in this place be them young or small.
When I released my grasp, the demon fell on his bottom in the mud, trembling like a twig and trying hard to hide his soiled pants. The guards in the back didn't even dare make a move, the pressure of my presence told them that I was not someone they could mess with unless they had a death wish. If I wanted to make things a bit more theatrical, I could have always expanded my Dungeon Territory a little and then released the dark fog of killing intent from it.
“I-I do...” Astorvar replied with a quick nod.
“Good. Next time, make sure to address me with the proper respect, and I won't even think about ripping your arms off! Both my lineage and status are not something you can toss mud at, least you wish to test your strength against me or worse… publicly spill dirt on her Majesty’s name.” I glared at him.
If I said the same thing in a human kingdom, I would have been accused of using my mother’s status to solve my own disputes, but for demons it was quite clear when one insulted the family and when they insulted the individual. To be clear, the first had no problems with the latter. Each demon to their own, but it became a problem when they hid behind their family’s power. After all, if things here worked the same as they did in the human nations, it wouldn’t have been that difficult for Eventel to ask mother for help or his other siblings. I also wouldn’t have had any reason to run away from home.
“Y-Yes! P-Princess Nanya!” he nodded his head as fast as he could.
This should be enough. I thought and then turned around.
As soon as I did that, his escorts rushed over to help him out. Meanwhile, I walked up to the gate guard and with a calm tone of voice, I asked him if there was anything else I was supposed to do to get inside.
“No, m'lady!” he shook his head and then stepped aside.
Akardia was unlike any other city out there. The magic was strong in the air and the buildings were tall and durable enough to resist the might of the demons. Just like the buildings on Illsyorea, these two were made with the intent of surviving powerful attacks but at the same time, they were given the personal style and touch of demon and demonesses over the course of decades and centuries.
We had a very long lifespan, which for the most part was a problem for us, while at the same time it could be considered a blessing. Seeing our grandchildren and grand grand children was something that was considered normal among our kind. Thus, it was no surprise to find some families living in the same house for decades or even centuries. During such long periods of time, we sometimes got bored with the same style, so we tended to decorate our homes in the way that made us feel most comfortable and at peace.
This was why a lot of the buildings here appeared to be almost... chaotic in nature, but which in fact were carriers of memories from countless generations ago. Unlike them, however, mother's sense of style and decoration was a bit weird. If she didn't like a part of the building, she would just blow it up and order her subjects to rebuild it in a more pleasing manner. The problem was that she never did tell them HOW she liked things built, so during the day, the palace would often suffer from her wrath.
By now, the only thing still standing in that place that wasn't destroyed by mother was probably the main column. If she blew up that thing to smithereens, then forget about repairing a wall or two, they would all be forced to rebuild the entire palace from scratch.
Seeing the strange buildings of Akardia made me wonder if my room back at the palace was still the same. Usually, she didn't interfere with our personal space, but I wasn't the type of daughter that could have been considered close or her favorite in any way or manner. To be fair, I sometimes wondered if she even remembered that she had me as a daughter. After I left like that, I wouldn't even be surprised if she hated me.
There were many such thoughts that crossed my mind the closer I got to the Demonarkiar Palace. That place was as big as I remembered it from childhood. The many imposing towers with lots of spike ornaments and the big flags waving from their tips seemed to have remained unchanged in all this time. None of the castles and palaces I had seen so far could match either its size or glory. It was gigantic just like the entirety of Akardia.
Although I entered through a gate where I had to stay in line for a little while, the truth was that this city had a lot of other entrances. The walls that surrounded it from outside went on and on. The entire city covered an area of at least 300 km2 with the slums and common areas included. The palace was at the very center of it all and it had a total surface of almost 3 km2. The sheer size of it could make any wealthy demio pale in comparison as for the strength of the guards and soldiers placed here, it was high enough to make all the other cities seem as though they hired mere children to guard them. When compared to Illsy's guards, however, they were all just a bunch of weaklings still. Well, these guys at least weren't easy to bribe with boots.
When I thought about how I wanted to meet mother and get an audience with her, I was reminded of the fact that I was most likely not going to receive a warm entrance. There was a high chance she would even make me wait hours upon hours at the entrance just to have the chance of a chance of an audience with her. That could take days or even weeks, and I didn't want to spend this time outside going back and forth from the Palace.
“Yup, I need to find a good inn!” I told myself.
The streets of Akardia were incredibly busy, and deep inside, I wished that one day Illsyorea would see this much traffic as well. The merchants were coming and going, taking their goods from their shops or outside of the city towards other settlements. The braves looked strong and fierce, and there were very few among them who didn't have a humanoid shape. The children were playing out in the streets and weren't afraid of the monsters that lurked outside the city's walls. After all, among all the settlements on the Demon Continent, the prestigious capital was the safest of them all.
Father once talked about the prosperity of this place as being possible only thanks to mother's existence. A powerful demoness like her called other powerful demons and demonesses who wished to challenge her for the throne. Each one of them had to brave the dangers of the Mirror Forest and then fight among themselves before they could even be granted the right for an audience. This constant battle, at first, may have been bad for the locals as it caused a lot of destruction and sent the weaker demons fleeing away, but over the course of time, those with the desire to fight learned to abide by the rules while the weak prospered under their protection.
To put it in other words, this was a place where the strongest of monsters fought against one another while the weakest among them lived on and prospered by staying clear of their mighty jaws and picking up at the scraps that fell from their tables. As long as the strong ones were here, they had nothing to fear from the wild beasts outside, after all, no one liked a mangy mutt barking at their door for no good reason.
There were plenty of inns I could choose from in Akardia. All of them were quite impressive in their own way, and differed from the services they provided to the very theme and aspect they used for their place. Demons tended to live very long lives, which in turn meant a lot of chances for them to get bored, so the idea of a tradition was rare and seen for the most parts with wary eyes. If it wasn't something that was very good or nailed to some mountain, there was very low chance that it would persist for more than a century or two.
This being said, the inn I decided to stay at for tonight was one which wasn't that far away from the main entrance to the Palace Grounds. It was a tall building with four walls, a slanted rooftop, spiraled towers that worked as VIP rooms, and an outer decor that reminded me of the extravagance of some human nobles. There were several areas that had carved in rivers, while others had small statues stuck to them like a reverse carving. It was weird to look at from the perspective of a human, but very interesting, unique, and different from a demon's perspective.
The recently built inns were usually the ones without any sort of decorations or changes added to them, so the fact that this one had so many of them was like a stamp of approval from time itself.
Upon entering this Inn, I was greeted with a refreshing scent of mint and lemongrass. A small bubbling pot to the far right was the source of the pleasant scent, and there was a young maid with six arms and two tails stoking the flames and dusting the area. To my far left was the reception, and to the very back of this ground floor was a pair of spiraling stairs going to the next floor.
There were no tables here, and the floor was made out of an expensive marble cut into pieces and arranged into the form of a giant image of a blooming flower.
“Welcome to the Rasiette's Flower Inn, how may we help you?” the receptionist called out to me.
“Ah, yes. I would like to...” before I could even finish my sentence, someone walked past me.
“Out of my way, peasant!” he declared in a strong and dominating tone of voice.
It was a demon demio with a long mane instead of hair, hooves instead of legs, and a pair of bat wings on his back. He was quite human in rest, and the clothes he wore were the type that screamed out that he was rich and important. The attitude he displayed and the way he carried himself also suggested that he was a demon who would never look at someone weaker or poorer than himself.
Seven other guards ran after him, carrying his bags, which seemed pretty heavy.
Why didn't he use a Storage Crystal? I wondered as I watched them all stopping behind that demon.
Since I didn't want to be bothered with him, I ignored him and approached the other free receptionist here. There were two of them, the demoness who first called out to me had wolf ears and four mandibles, while her chest was as big as Ayuseya's. The other one had no chest at all, she was flat as board, but the way she carried herself reminded me of a dignified noble lady, a cold stoic woman who could make you bow with a single glare. She looked human at first view, but on her back were a pair of feathery wings.
What I liked about these two were the vastly different personalities they had. One was playful while the other was serious.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
I know some of you are troubled by my typos and at times grammar mistakes. I do edit it to the best of my abilities before posting it, but some things just slip through for various reason (mostly because before editing it, the whole chapter is a mess). However, if you have fun looking for them, go ahead and let me know where they are. On my discord server, there's a special channel just for that: help_author_edit
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