The Devil's Advocate: Chapter 1.
If a person were to ask me, be it demon, angel, human, elf, dwarf, orc, goblin, etc etc, where did I see myself in five years, I'd have to give you a rain check on that, and then go hit the nearest bottle to drown my sorrows. I usually prefer whiskey, but I found vodka or bourbon was a viable choice as well.
It was always a question I was asked a lot during my studies, my teachers were never big on it, but it was a question that lingered in my brain like an annoying song a jester played right outside your dorm-room window. But the thing is, it was always a hard question to answer, I'm a very straightforward person, I like to have a plan, or plans, if the need arises, but I never found myself able to plan for five years straight. There's so much that could change in that time, a kingdom could rise or fall, lines across the maps could change, new people are born into the world and old ones are taken out of it. Or maybe vice versa, but all the same, it was something I could never truly plan for…
Which, unsurprisingly, may be the reason why I'm stuck in the place I am now. Where was that? Well…let me be completely honest with you, it's a literal sinking house. No, I don't mean like, a sinking ship, a sinking house. Or mansion if you wanted to be generous, it had all the workings of one, but the poor state the woodwork was in cast a shadow of doubt in my mind. The mansion's foundations were starting to sink lower and lower into the marsh it stood upon, the cause was probably the years and years of disuse this house had suffered, the foundations probably hadn't see a day of repair work in years. The surrounding environment probably played a large part in that as well. It was, for the lack of a better word, a swamp. No, not a magical swap, not a forsaken swamp, just a swamp. It was about a mile hike away from the port town that was nearby, which I will go into later, but back to the swamp.
It was dangerous, but nothing supernaturally so, it was foul smelling, but not enough to drive a person away. The water was murky, but not so much that it was hard to see through. Basically, the swamp was a boring, old, regular swamp, with bugs and crocodiles. The only thing that connected the house to the mainland was a small wooden bridge that I was currently standing upon. I suppose, once upon a time, that the house was an actually pleasant place to live in. It was actually somewhat pretty to look at, it was a bonafide mansion, an older model to be sure, but still a mansion. The walls were a drab brown, the windows were shattered, and the interior probably wasn't faring any better…considering I could see the foyer through the door frame. The doors, or lack thereof, were now sinking in the swamp.
So, to sum it up, it was a dump in a swamp. A swamp dump. A dump swamp. How did I get his dump stack of a place? Believe it or not, I think it's karma that landed me here. As a principle, I didn't really believe in karma all that much, I've seen good things happen to bad people, and vice versa. The gods that lived in this world would be strange indeed to allow such a contradiction in the system, and yet, here I was. In retrospect, I really should have seen this coming. I was sorta asking for it when I told the dean that, as an aspiring ruler, I had to make sure my soon to be powerbase was easy to maintain, and I needed a down to earth place to start. Add to that, well, few sly words to the headmistress here, exploit a loophole there, and bingo bango, I got me a castle.
And, as it turns out, it's hard to get more down to earth then "castle" in a swamp.
Yep, was totally asking for it.
At that point, I was honestly considering going back to the port town of Andros and renting a room at the inn…but this was the "castle" I was given, so I had to, at the very least, scope this place out for a night or two….or, at the very least, figure out how hard it would be to burn.
Heading inside, making sure to deposit my heavy plate armor and shield on solid ground, or, at the very least, the inside of the doorframe, I kept my arming sword at my side, fully drawn and ready to be used. It was a short thing, really, only three feet long and the hilt was only big enough to accommodate one hand, but it was useful if you paired it with a shield. I know some people prefer bigass swords, but those people were either usually very skilled, or very dead. Odd how there wasn't any in between, but eh, getting off topic. Casting a low-level fire spell in my left hand, I levitated the fire above my open palm and held it aloft as a makeshift torch. Doing this would eventually take it's toll, but for the moment, it served my purposes.
Walking through the ground floor of the mansion, I was surprised by how much of it was intact. There were candles inside, actual gods be damned candles that aren't melted away or dusted to hell and back. The carpentry was also being well maintained since, there wasn't a twig or a branch on them, despite the shattered windows. It was these trivial things that kept adding up as I continued to explore the mansion. The kitchen was clean, like someone had gone and scrubbed everything, then made sure no rats got into the pantry. The bedrooms had been used as well, if the sheets that had been tucked were anything to go by, finally, the fireplace had brand new logs of wood in them, and I could easily spy the cinders from previously used ones.
What all this meant was that either the house was occupied by a neat freak of a ghost, not an impossibility, or someone was still using it.
….Well, if someone was, they would have to settle for the inn tonight. This place was up to snuff, if only barely.
What really sealed the deal though was the clean mirror I had passed by. Mirrors, by their very nature, were bound to get dirty sooner rather than later, the glass could catch dust in the air, dirt being thrown about, and collect the mist that would enter in through the windows. But this mirror, this hallway mirror, was still as shiny as crystal. As I looked in the mirror, I found myself surprised by the reflection it showed back at me, someone had cleaned this, and very recently too. It showed all my features very well, long brownish red hair, dark red eyes, somewhat shapely figure (I really should have listened to mom), all dressed up in basic leather armor, arming sword in one hand, fire spell in the other. Oh, and my horns were looking as lovely as ever, even if they made brushing my hair back hard. Stupid receiving goat horns.
As I admired my reflection in the mirror, something quick caught my eye. Funny thing about eyes, they're designed to catch motion and high speed movement, as any half decent rogue would say, the key to moving silently isn't quickly, but slowly. As such, it was easy for me to turn around and catch the mop being swung at my head.
It's wielder, dare I say it, was an old human woman in her fifties. She still had some color in her hair, but it was fading. She was dressed in a well-worn apron and dress, the marks of recent upkeep all over the once white outfit.
"Who are you?" I asked, calmly, keeping my sword away from the old woman, but still at the ready in case she tried anything.
"Who are you?!" The old woman snapped in return. It was a good question, really, it's not everyday someone like me saunters into a seemingly abandoned mansion….okay, yeah, that happens a lot actually. Stupid heroic trespassers. But still, I was the legal owner of this place, according to law, she was the one trespassing now, so I was well within my rights to throw her out if need be. But I was curious, what was she doing here? Did she know the former owner of this mansion? A lover? A sister? I had to know.
"I asked you first." I said, smartly.
She tried to put more strength into using the mop, but fifty-year-old woman versus a young lady in her prime? Not happening.
I would've rubbed my head in annoyance, but both of my hands were taken up at the moment.
"Okay, fine." I growled, "My name is Maleah Sakall."
"And?" The woman snarled, she had a nice glare, clearly, she was used to scaring people. It wouldn't work on me, but I wasn't exactly a normal person myself, so can't blame her there.
I rolled my eyes, I knew what she wanted. Info, everyone wants info about everyone else, it was natural, I wasn't any different mind you, I just like to point this out from time to time. Anyway, I realized it was easier to just come clean with the old woman rather than dodge the question, "Annnd I'm the new demon Overlord of this place, nice to meet you."
From what I learned from the old woman, who I learned was named Rosalina Jackson, colorful name, she used to know the former owner of this place. Apparently, the guy was something of an entrepreneur, always on the move, buying, selling, and whatever else came to mind. I must confess, I never had a good grasp of the business world, exports and imports, sure, but the subtleties that came with predicting the flow of goods? Not happening. I still stick to my day job thank you very much.
At the moment, however, we were sitting down at the dining hall table, a cup of tea in both of our hands, with each of us sitting across from the other. I was worried about being poisoned for a moment, but I cast aside such doubts when I actually tasted the tea. Poison always had a taste to it, after all, you couldn't just slip something into a warm pot of tea without it affecting the rest of the water. Besides, I was fairly certain my demonic nature was robust enough to handle anything an old woman could throw at me. More to the point, if there was such a thing as a tasteless poison, I'm pretty sure Rosalina couldn't get her hands on it.
Taking a small sip, I savored the bitterness she put in the tea, but I must admit, I honestly would've preferred coffee. During my college years, it was my lifeline, my hope, my shoulder to lean on, my-you get the idea. Point is, I'm an addict and I'm missing a fixin'. I did keep the need from showing on my face though, I suppose I might have a good poker face, but I never actually played myself.
Chess for life, scrubs.
"This is good tea." I said, trying to be diplomatic.
"Thank you." Rosalina replied.
"…." I sighed, and put the tea down, the cup clanging against its plate, "If you have something to say…." I prompted.
"You don't belong here." Rosalina said, bluntly.
…Well! At least she was honest.
"I gathered that." I said calmly, "But in my defense, I wasn't expecting to be given…this place, as a home."
"What were you expecting, a castle?" She sneered.
"Yes." I said, bluntly. The look I got from her in return was a flat one, and I could see I needed to elaborate more on that statement.
Humans, always so curious.
"Well," I began, "I have just recently graduated from Hellsing college, and after…applying, basically throwing my name in a hat," not the entire truth, seeing as how I tricked the headmistress and Dean, but not exactly a lie either. Like I said before, I did use a few tricks to…shift the odds in my favor, as it were. Not that Rosalina needed to know that, "I was given this place to monitor and regulate." I glanced out the window, making sure to keep my stare long and level, as if considering the worth of this place. Purposely looking back at Rosalina, I bowed my head respectfully, "I assumed that all of the necessary paperwork had been finished prior to my arrival, I apologize for seemingly appearing out of the thin air."
Which was a total lie, I wasn't sorry at all. This place was a wreck, I wasn't planning on staying very long, the only way I would even consider staying would be if something made it worth my while, and let's be honest here, that was not happening.
Rosalina thought about what I said for a moment, obviously trying to decide on whether or not I was lying. I mean, I was about the "coming out of thin air" thing. But I really had assumed that any previous owner of the house would be made aware of my arrival…unless…
"Tell me something," I began, "Are you the legal owner of this house?"
Rosalina narrowed her eyes and said nothing, but that silence answered my question anyway. So, she wasn't the legal owner, nor a resident. She was simply a good friend, holding onto a memory of someone that she knew.
Commendable, but nevertheless, as of this moment, she was the trespasser, and I was not. I was well within legal rights to throw her out on the street….or grass, or stone. I would try for grass, stone and concrete hurt.
"I can understand your desire to keep this house clean, but is it really worth it?" I asked.
"Yes." She replied.
I studied her face, there was only steel in her expression. She wouldn't leave, short of death…and I'm pretty sure not even that would stop her. Wish I was that determined.
"Very well." I said, "I can't stop you from coming back here, but I must inform you that I will be staying here for the time being." Which was true, I didn't really like the look of this place, and despite my grief, not to mention my desire to leave, I would give this place a fair shot, "So, if you wish to stab me while I sleep, I encourage you to give it your best shot." That was an actual legitimate move, believe it or not. If a Hero (aka murderhobos) be they sponsored by the guild or otherwise, killing a Demon like me and taking all of their stuff was allowed. I mean, I wouldn't like it, but if Rose, or Granny as I'm going to call her, wants to, then she is allowed. I wouldn't like it, but I can understand why.
Standing up with a dramatic flourish of my arm, I made for the front entrance. "Where are you going?" Granny asked.
"To the town, I need to scope a few things out." I said, glancing over my shoulder at her.
"…There's a coat in the hall closet, grab it and put it on." Granny stood, "I need to pick up a few things as well."
I blinked, I hadn't expected that. Nodding, I allowed Granny to head out the door before me and followed her.
Opening the hallway closet and grabbing the coat. I threw it over my body and adjusted the sword at my waist. It was itchy, and hard to get used to, but it was warm, so it would do. Running a hand through my hair, I contemplated tying it up in a pony tail for practicality's sake, but I decided against it. I probably looked enough like a murderhobo already. I still had my leather armor on, after all. As for my horns…well…That was always tricky. They sat on top of my head and poked through my hair, I couldn't just wear a hat, nor could I just cast an illusion spell. Even if I could hide my horns, I couldn't hide the space they took up. As for a hood…well, that was so cliché that I didn't even wanna think about it.
So, horns up it was, if people didn't like it, too bad. They would just have to get used to it.
Following Granny through the forest path that lead from her…my estate, which I later learned was called the Gillman estate from Granny. I would have to change that when I get the chance….Anyway, we headed into town and took stock of the living conditions. From what I could gather with a single glance, most of the people there were fishermen and sailors. Understandable, since this was a port town. Despite what that implied, this town wasn't faring so well, as it was just a small blip on the map, stuck in between large, empty plains to the east, a corrupt duke to the north, and another Overlord to the south. So yeah, not in a great place. Their waters were heavily polluted and taxed, so any income the town could bring was meager at best, practically non-existent at worst. If anyone stayed, it was only because they had to. Be it because of familial ties, or economics.
So, yeah, the port town of Andros wasn't exactly faring well. Even less of a reason for me to stay. The streets were muddy, with only token wooden planks to serve as a sidewalk. Fishermen were starting to haul their bounty into their chop-shops, if you counted small salmon as bounty, that is. From what I could remember from my readings about this place, that wasn't right. There should have been a variety of fish in these waters, tuna, red bass, the works. It also couldn't be the weather, it was as sunny as it could be, not a cloud in site. The perfect day for some fishing to be done.
Was the Duke responsible? Was it the Overlord? Or was it just simple overuse? All things considered, it was probably all three.
So, what's a girl like me to do then? This was a question I pondered as I walked through the town with Granny, stopping at various shops in order to browse their goods. I got some looks, a few glares, but for the most part, people kept their distance from me. Fine by me, I wasn't here to cause trouble anyway After touring the town for long enough, I came to a conclusion. I should really get out of here, there was no future here for anyone, monster, human, or otherwise. I was about to inform Granny of this, probably to her immense gratitude, but unfortunately, something started tugging on my coat tails.
I turned around fully, and saw a little muddy elf girl holding onto my coat.
Elves were not supposed to be little girls, they were supposed to be either inhumanly beautiful women, or inhumanly beautiful men (Odd how there's very little distinction between the two, huh?). In fact, I don't think I've seen a genuine elf kid at all. I mean, I know I'm young, even by human years, but I don't think…Well, whatever the case was, the young girl was looking up at me expectantly.
Brushing her hand aside, I kneeled down to her level, "Yes?" I asked.
"Are you a demon?" She asked.
"Yes." I responded.
"Are you here to rule us?"
"…I don't know yet." I said.
"If you did, what would you do?"
I thought about her question. well, first, I would need to figure out why the fish were being overharvested, somebody was obviously trying to exploit a legal gray area in the human laws, or was being spectacularly stupid. Second, I would have to set up some farming areas for the townspeople so the fish could repopulate, which would be a problem, as these were either fishermen or sailors. Not exactly farmers, and it'd be like teaching a fish to try to dig. I, in turn, didn't know anything about farming, so I couldn't just say, "Hey, start farming you idiots!" Without setting proper economic reasons. Thirdly, I'd have to take care of that other Overlord at some point. If I settled down here, it was likely that he/she would see it as territory infringement and take…issue with what I was doing.
So, in a nutshell, "A lot." I answered the kid.
For some reason, the girl seemed disappointed with my answer. I guess she was expecting more, but what could I say? I mean, aside from the above, that would probably fly over her head.
"Oh." She said, and despite my best efforts, I felt my heart take a stab of guilt. I hated feeling guilty, I was a demon damnit, I liked being self-centered, but when something causes me to feel something other than smug self-satisfaction….Urgh! Stupid Dad! Just had to beat some basic morals into me, huh!
Digging into her muddy tunic, she pulled something out. It shiny, see through, and…
"I would've given ya this thingy." She said, the little minx. What she had in her hands was either a sparkly but useless rock, or star metal. No, I don't mean meteorite metal, I mean, literal star metal, as in metal that was forged using star as a furnace. That kind of thing was exceptionally rare, mostly because, yeah, what are the odds of that kind of thing hitting our tiny planet? And also, because a lot of people just didn't know what Star Metal actually was, it's not very well documented, even in Demon records. But, to those who got their hands on it, Star Metal was a valuable and infinitely useful mineral. Some used it in their swords, wizards would use it as a focal point, and for Demons like me? I couldn't even begin to count the things I would do.
Still, it wasn't a full sell, this rock the girl had on her could just be a bit of nickel or something. But…was it really Star Metal? Time to investigate.
"Where did you get this?" I asked, peering closely at the metal.
"My dad gave it to me, said it was my savings." The girl said, "It's shiny."
"It is." I nodded. By this point, Granny came up to us, noticing my conversation with the small and giving me a level stare. Was she thinking that I would corrupt this girl somehow? As if, I'm an Overlord, not a maniac.
"What are you thinking?" Granny asked.
I stood up, and placed a hand to my chin in thought. If it really was Star Metal….I had to take this chance, if I wanted it, I'd have to rule over this area.
….Oh well, I could always just leave when get it from the girl.
Turning to Granny, I nodded at her, "Take me to the mayor. It's time to introduce him to the new boss around these parts."
As it turns out, no, the mayor of this little town wasn't given the most lavish home around (I'm guessing that'd be mine), but when Granny lead me to what had to be a middle class looking home in a low-class town, I knew who it belonged to immediately.
The big sign on the fence helped, mind you.
Now, when entering a building, particularly when it belonged to someone of high importance, your entrance was everything. If you opened with an overly dramatic one, the owner will wonder who the hell are you and why you are ruining his carpet. Enter quietly, and the owner will wonder who the hell you are and why are you intruding on this stuff. So, the point of this little drabble is that, when you enter a mayor's house, you had to conduct yourself properly….and to make sure he knows you own the place just by walking into the room. It was a thin line to walk, but I like to think I was a high liner by now.
When the double doors opened on their own (because of a wind spell) and the lights flickered around me (because of a light spell) I knew that I had done my job right. From any viewer's perspective, I, and Granny now that I think about it, would be a black silhouette against a white background. It would send the necessary message to anyone who was watching.
…Of course, they had to be watching first, which, of course, meant that no one was. As my spell's effects faded, I looked around the front entrance of the house, lo and behold, there was no one there to watch my awesome entrance. Ugh, stupid mayors….at least pay attention when a Demon Overlord enters your house!
Looking back at Granny for an explanation, she shrugged in reply. I sighed in exasperation and resisted the urge to just shout for the mayor to show himself, instead, I took stock of his house. Like I said before, at this point, I was sure I was the one with the fanciest home around, which was fitting, but if the bar was so low that "sinking mansion" was better than, "somewhat clean home," then I think I needed to adjust my standards a little. The building itself was a one story, with stone, or at the very least, material that looked like stone, walls, clean windows, clean carpet (I seethed with jealousy), and, of course, clean countertops. Truly, I was in the lion's den.
Actually, on that topic, the countertops were littered with stuff. I mean clocks, paintings that hadn't been set up, books, papers, and a whole lot of other crap. Either the guy was a natural pack rat or…
Or he had someone in the middle of cleaning.
Emerging from a corner, a young girl in her teens, wearing a black and white uniform with a small white cap. I balked in disbelief as I saw her big brown eyes widen at the sight of me, her green, braided hair flowing over her shoulder as she came to a stop. Which, come to think of it, was quite a feat, considering she was wearing heels. Either this girl was a natural dancer, or she was just used to running in heels. Either way, I had to commend her, there's no way I could ever do that.
Oh yeah, she was pointing at me, presumably in shock, and screeched out, "D-DEMON!"
Yes, that's what I am, how kind of you to notice Ms. Maid. Raising my hand, I waved at her, "Hello." I said, politely, trying to keep my annoyance from showing on my face.
"Get thee hence demon!" She said, then pulled out a cross from…somewhere. I dunno, her maid outfit was poofy….actually, on that note, why was she dressed like a maid? I looked her over, if she was a maid, then, logically, she should have some dirt on her outfit, or some other sign of use. But she didn't, her outfit was clean, so, either she had just started…or someone else was doing her job. As I looked her over, she took notice of my purposeful stare, blushed (Why she did that is beyond me), then threw the cross at me. "Cast your gaze elsewhere, you filth!" She yelled, then threw her cross at me.
It was a good throw, really, but it was still a cross, not a weapon. It went through the air slowly, and I caught it with ease, looked it over, then handed it to Granny. All of this was done in a nonchalant manner, as if I had just picked out a book from a library shelf.
The girl's color drained from her face. I shrugged, oh well, the poor girl was probably going into shock, and she was starting to eye my sword. Did she think I was going to use it on her?
Yeah, like I was going to skewer some girl out of the blue just for defending herself. Approaching her, I kept my pace steady before stopping in front of her. Now that I was closer, I was able to take in a few details more, I was taller, thank the gods, but I couldn't help but notice that her chest was slightly bigger than mine. Slightly. Not to mention, the girl had a cute outfit on, the kind that would really draw the eye. Overall, I gave the girl a 7/10.
Oh yeah, she was also starting to sweat under my gaze, her breath was coming in slow and ragged, she was obviously scared out of her mind.
Well, time to knock her out of it….not literally mind you.
"What's your name girl?" I asked.
"A-Alice." She said.
"Alice." I repeated, "I'm here to see the Mayor, my name is Maleah Sakall. He should be expecting me."
"Uh…uh…" Alice choked, "I…I…"
I took a step back, giving the girl some breathing room. Glancing at Granny, I shrugged at her, who, in turn, rolled her eyes.
I must admit, I was actually starting to like Granny.
"Uh, uh, what is the purpose of your visit?" Alice managed to squeak out. Yes, I do mean squeak. She's like a mouse, really. I mean, she's small, cute, makes a squeaking sound, and while I would have loved to tease her, I really had to get this little gravy train going.
"Like I said, your mayor should be expecting me." I replied, then tilted my head, "Or haven't you heard? I'm your new demon Overlord, it's nice to meet you."
Annd there went the rest of the color from her face. Her eyes rolling into the back of her head, Alice fainted, crashing to the ground like a looking glass that had been knocked over. Walking over to her, I put two fingers to throat and counted her heartbeats. Yep, still alive, she just fainted from shock. Looking over to Granny, I shrugged, there wasn't much I could do. I wasn't an expert on healing magic, but I was aware of the fact this situation didn't really require it. She'll probably be up and about by the time I leave, probably with a headache, but she would fine regardless.
As Granny came over to me, I lowered my head, "Think I came on too strong?" I asked.
To my relief, Granny just shook her head, "No, poor girl's always had a weak spine when it came to your kind. From what I heard though, she took this job to help pay for her little brother."
Huh, well, that was nice of her, "Always look out for family," that's what mom liked to tell me.
'Course, that would also mean looking out for any of my half brothers or sisters, and there was nnnoo way I was doing that. Stupid half human/demon Gerald, trying to be some awesome hunter with a really cool sword. Always had to angst about his birth while at the family reunion dinner.
…I should really send him a letter one of these days, I miss him.
But, back to the matter at hand, there was a girl lying on the ground, and I don't think she would enjoy being there when she woke up. Picking her up in my arms, bridal style, I found a nearby couch and deposited her on it as gently as I could.
"Do you know this girl?" I asked Granny.
"Not very well." Granny replied.
"Hm." As I mulled on this, a thought occurred to me, "Hey Granny-"
I brushed her off, "What is it that you do for a living?"
"I'm a writer."
It took a second for that to sink in, but I managed to get out; "Huh, what about?"
"At the moment? Nothing, I'm on break."
"Ah, writer's block?" I guessed.
"You could say that." Granny shrugged.
Well, that was interesting, I should try finding a book of her's sometime. Who knows? Might even be worth a read or two. But, back to reality, where was the mayor? I should probably find him before he finds his maid passed out on the couch, that would send the wrrooonnngg message. Like, I'd have to run out of town before they came at me with pitchforks…before they were supposed to, that is.
Standing up, feeling my back creek as I did, I looked around. Was the mayor home? I should probably-
"What the hell?!"
Oh, found him! Turning, I saw the man, and…well, he really wasn't what I was expecting. I thought the mayor would be a fat, greedy bastard, the type with a round, funny hat and a twirly mustache, the kind that would chuckle whole-heartedly as people died in his name. Not a reasonably good looking man with a firm jaw line, short dark hair, brown eyes, and who just looked like he had run a mile in somewhat formal, but worn clothes.
Oh, wait, he found us…while I'm standing over his maid with a sword at my waist, staring at him with dark red eyes. Yep, sent the wrong message, yay.
Hoooo booyyy, how was I talking my way out of this?
As it turns out, hiding behind Granny did the trick.
I say that without irony, nor any hits to my pride, as inconsequential as such a thing was, because holy crap the mayor was a badass. By the time, I had raised my hand in greetings he was already on me, and not in a good way either. The only reason I managed to avoid a hard-right haymaker to the face were my reflexes kicking in, and even then, it was by scant inches did I avoid being plastered on the floor. I'm not a bad fighter by any stretch of the means, but it's hardly my get-go profession, if anything, it's more like a hobby. But that hobby saved me when I managed to deftly move the hell out of the way and duck behind Granny and use her as a shield.
By some dumb luck, or hellish intervention, the mayor stopped his attack and screamed at Rosalina, "Get out of the way!" He yelled, "There's a demon behind you!"
"She's the new Overlord you nitwit." Rosalina replied, her voice like steel. Yeah, you go girl!
"What, no she isn't!" The mayor rebuffed, his face one of confusion and anger. Gah, you suck man. While he digested this piece of information, I took my chance and spoke out.
"She's right." I said clearly and firmly, the effect was diminished somewhat because I was standing behind a woman at least three decades older than me, but still, "You should've received a message of some sort from the Hellsing college." There was a brief flash of recognition in the man's face, taking a chance, I stepped out from behind Granny and looked the man in the eyes.
"My name is Maleah Sakall," I said, confidently, clearly, "And I'm-Oh come on man!"
I barely managed to avoid a clock being thrown at my head by ducking. Real great first impression here Maleah, being intimidated by the guy you're supposed to be ruling over. Yeah, this will get you respect, I'll never get into Overlord's weekly at this rate.
"John!" Granny yelled, "Enough."
This seemed to have the desired effect, as "John" began to calm down, I managed to rise to my feet, "Yes, well," I said as I began to dust myself off, "That's one way to make an introduction."
John coughed, putting a hand to his face, clearly feeling some discomfort for some reason. Probably because of the fact he just assaulted his Demon Overlord and was probably expecting to be put on the chopping block. Well, lucky for him, I neither owned a chopping nor a block, so that was out of the question. Turning my attention to him fully, I nodded in greeting, "Yes, like Rosalina said, I am your Overlord, Maleah Sakall. My friends call me Mal." Or they would if I had any, at least, "It's a pleasure to meet you, John, was it?" I stuck out my hand
"Johnthan Faye, ma'am." He said, taking my hand in his and giving it a firm shake.
"Oh, please, no ma'am stuff." I said, trying to a keep smile on my face and trying to keep the pain from it. The guy was strong, almost crushing my hand. What, did this guy wrestle bears for a living? Or Sharks, for that matter? "I'm barely into my twenties."
"Twenties?" The man repeated, clearly surprised by this information. Behind me, Granny suddenly had a coughing fit for some reason. Ha, ha, laugh it up you old hag, it's coming out of your paycheck.
"Yes, and I don't mean like twenty thousand, or something absurd like that." I insisted, "Double digits."
"Oh," His eyes glanced over to Alice, "Then, um, Ms. Sakall, what happened to my…um…"
"…Girlfriend?" I suggested. Behind me, again, Granny choked on something while John sputtered and his face flushed.
"No!" He said firmly.
"….Wife?" I asked again.
I took a stab in the dark, "…Mistress?"
At this point, I could see some veins forming on John's head. Wow, he was really getting mad about this, was it something I said? Humans are weird.
Grasping me by my shoulders, I almost couldn't suppress my wince as he did that, he looked me dead in the eyes and said firmly, "I am only her employer, and she is only my employee, understand?"
"Yes." I nodded. Geez, just could've said that to begin with, "Anyway, to answer your question, she merely fainted upon seeing me. Clearly, you should inform your workers that I will be visiting often, since our positions of office mean that travel to our respective homes will be frequent."
"Um," He nodded dumbly, "Yes, I'll be sure to do that."
"Good." I said, "Now, could you let me go?"
Realizing that yes, he was still holding onto me, John released his grasp from my shoulders and rubbed his head. It was at this point, I realized just how tall he was. I mean, I'm not short, in fact, I dare say that I'm above average when it comes to height, but John made me feel tiny, but that could be the fact his muscles were the size of my head. That was probably it.
Moving to check on his employee, I walked up to Granny, who was still having a choking fit, and patted her on the back twice to help her out.
"Maleah, you can't just say that to people." Granny said, bluntly.
I shook my head back and forth, as if considering her words, "Well, at least she's not attacking me anymore." I said.
"Still, you should-" Granny was cut off, thank the gods, when Alice began to rouse from her impromptu sleep. Realizing that seeing me first thing as soon as she woke up would probably send her back into la-la land, I motioned to Granny to follow me into the dining area, where, hopefully, I could discuss things with Mr. Faye in a more suitable environment. As I did, I couldn't help but hold back a sigh, things were starting to look down before they even started to look up.
Ah, but such was my life in lot. But regardless, it was time to get this show on the road.