Chapter 2: A Brand New Technique of Diplomacy
EndlessFantasy Translation EndlessFantasy Translation
Joshua had barely managed to work out his plan of shooting a film in this world before a water elemental servant rushed over to him.
The water elemental servant was in the form of a human female, but its skin had a translucent, liquid texture to it.
"Your Highness, Master has summoned you to the Watcher's Chamber." Her voice did not seem to carry any emotion.
There was only one master in the castle, and it was the demon prince's father.
Joshua never thought that he would meet the ruler of the realm so soon…
Using the path in his memory, Joshua took a good ten minutes to navigate through the castle's labyrinthine layout before he finally arrived at a large door that teemed with ominous aura.
Joshua entered the room, and the corridor was shockingly large as ten-meter-tall statues lined the walkway on both sides.
All of the statues were different, and every single one of them was of a Chaos Demon just like Joshua.
Every single statue was in honor of the kings who had once ruled the land. Perhaps "king" was just a title that all the demons in the Demonic Realm used to refer to them, but all those kings shared a unique title between them, the "Watcher".
It sounded so simple, yet it was a title that stretched back to ancient times.
Joshua had no idea what the title meant, but the legend of the Watchers had been passed down from generation to generation until today.
Joshua's father, the Demon King Nordlein, was the current Watcher.
Joshua made his way past the columns of his ancestors toward the vast hall. The hall itself was spartan and totally did not fit the notion of a "king's hall". Aside from an altar-like rock pile, there was nothing, not even a throne.
Joshua's eldest brother, elder sister, and his younger sister had all arrived in the hall before him. They were standing before the altar.
A solemn atmosphere permeated every corner of the hall, and his siblings did not even spare him a glance. There was, however, a spot between his elder and younger sister, clearly left empty for him.
Going with the flow, Joshua planted himself before the altar like his siblings and looked at the figure facing the altar.
"Knox, Cecily, Joshua, Faye."
An authoritative voice read out their names.
"Thirty years… I know this period of time is not enough for the four of you to grow into adulthood, but it is enough to let all of you mature."
The Chaos Demons were the most short-lived among all the demons. They lived for about two hundred years, which was almost similar to a human's lifespan.
Twenty years to a Chaos Demon was still the age of a youth, and Joshua was no more than seventeen this year. His sister, Faye was even younger at fourteen. If they were thrown into the Human Realm at that age, it was as good as a death sentence.
"Father, what will you have us do?"
A martial voice rang out from Joshua's side. It was his eldest brother, Knox. As the eldest son, Knox was, of course, a general of the realm, and he led thousands of men to guard the frontier.
It was a character setting that Joshua expected.
"I have decided to choose the next Watcher from the four of you in two years' time."
When Nordlein uttered those words, the already solemn atmosphere grew even tenser.
What did it mean to be the next Watcher, to be the next Lord of the Demonic Realm?
For Joshua, the struggle for the throne was not something that needed to be further explained. Be it in Europe or Asia, the struggle for the throne was an unending theme.
Most famously in Chinese history was the Sima Clan usurping the Cao clan, ending the chaotic Three Kingdoms period and establishing the Jin Dynasty. Over in Europe, Richard III killed his own nephew, Edward V to assume the throne of England.
The history of kingship had always been bathed in blood.
If Joshua could think about that now, his siblings would definitely start to sharpen their blades against one another, so…
"Please allow me to withdraw from the Watcher's selection," Joshua said aloud as he looked at the Lord of the Demonic Realm.
"Oh? Joshua, do you not yearn for the position of a Watcher?"
The position of a king? The ruler of the Demonic Realm would own everything within it, and a single word alone would determine the fate of countless people.
It did sound all fine and dandy; power and authority were definitely nice things, provided that you managed to live to enjoy them!
Frankly speaking, Joshua was no match for his eldest brother and elder sister. He was not even a match for his youngest sister. He could very well be the first sacrifice in the struggle for the throne.
This was not Earth, where everyone was human. If one could not talk things out, they would let cold steel and iron barrels speak instead. Everyone was almost equal in terms of physical abilities and whatnot. It was fair enough for him.
However, this was another world, a world with magic.
The third prince had already invested all of his talent points into creation and invention, and he was the weakest among the siblings. Even his youngest sister could tear him apart many times over.
For a weakling like him, power and authority were surefire one-way tickets to hell.
Compared with power and authority, Joshua preferred pursuits of the mind more, like traveling solo to attend Gamescom in Cologne only to drift about for three days and night… things that only a silly artistic youth would do. And that was basically what Joshua had done.
"No, I have found a higher calling. So, please allow me to withdraw."
Joshua had already decided to dive into the film and gaming industry. Being a king was a job most tiring, and if his siblings wanted to take the throne, they were free to do so.
"A higher calling?"
Nordlein looked at Joshua for a good while before he issued a new order.
"Knox, Cecily, Faye… the three of you may leave first."
Was he really going to be forced to be king? Joshua recalled how in some tales of yore, there were kings who would choose their successor that way, and the one to take the throne would be the younger son whom everyone looked down on.
Why? There were plenty of reasons. Whether it was noble traits like kindness or tolerance, Joshua thought all of it was bullsh*t. At least in this world, a person bereft of power would not be able to withstand the burden of kingship.
Right then, Joshua had that brooding feeling of the "lucky young son".
With his siblings gone from the chamber, only Joshua and Nordlein remained.
"Relax, you do not have to be so tense," Nordlein said.
Only then did Joshua get a good look of the Lord of the Demonic Realm. He was old… with a slightly unkempt beard, and wrinkles lined his face.
That was the first impression he gave Joshua. He was a lot older than Joshua had expected, and compared with the image of a ruler, he looked more like an old father who had struggled to raise his four children.
"Joshua, what do you think of the relationship between men and demons?"
The Lord of the Demonic Realm went straight to the point and asked the sharpest possible question to a demon.
"They may be enemies now, but I think it can be changed."
Joshua demurred for a moment before he answered.
"It can be changed? Mankind sees us as the embodiment of evil and hates our race to the bone. The ongoing war, which has lasted for hundreds of years is evidence of that fact. Yey, you… you still think that can change?"
"Of course. Opinions and points of view can be changed. All we need is time."
Joshua provided a firm answer to the Demon Lord's question.
"Change… using mind magic? If that spell is uncovered, it will exacerbate the hatred of men toward us demonkind. This hundred-year-long war has already ravaged our people, and if we were to fight a new war, it will be the end of us."
The Demon Lord did not seem to be keen on another war with mankind.
Demonkind was not as strong as Joshua thought they would be, and the humans in this world were not as weak as well.
"So, Joshua, when the next war breaks out, I hope you can bring our people to seek new shelter. Knox and Cecily, they will definitely take to the frontline…"
Had he already made plans for a defeat? But Joshua had no plans to run away.
"There's no need for mind magic. I have a way that can make humans actively seek out, or fanatically accept our demonic… culture."
Joshua already had a template for his plan in mind, and he used that as the basis for his confidence as he responded to Nordlein.
What was the image mankind had of demons? Fear? Terror? Revulsion? Wrong, wrong, all wrong!
Only those who had followed the trends would understand the most basic impression of demons was that they were cool!
The images of demons had been portrayed in various games and movies such as Dungeons and Dragons, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hellboy, and the like. As villains from the middle-ages to the heroes people swoon over today, the coolness factor may have been a little overrated, but it was spot on for demons.
When the titular villain of Diablo appeared and proclaimed that "Not even death can save you from me!" , or when Mal'ganis of the Burning Legion in World of Warcraft introduced himself, "I am Mal'ganis, I am eternal!", it got everyone excited, instead of striking fear into their hearts.
If Joshua wanted to grow the entertainment industry in this world, he could use movies and games to change the impression that the denizens of this world had of demons.
"Accept… our demonic culture?"
"A totally brand new technique of diplomacy. I can't tell you the details yet but give me a few years and I'll let you see the changes it brings," Joshua said.
"Using those oddities you created?"
Nordlein stared at Joshua, not knowing where his confidence came from. The only thing his third child was capable of was the creation of those weird devices.
It was those items, which the demon prince left behind that allowed Joshua to be able to start his plan of shooting a film in this world.
Plus, creation was a part of culture in itself. After all, all cultures originated from creation and propagation.
"Interesting. I shall look on in anticipation, what changes will the culture you speak of bring to the relationship between mankind and demonkind," Nordlein said.