Part 10: Osaka’s Auntie Battles with Swallow Demon King
Chapter 44: The Demon King Made Contact
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Onionpi
The Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki, lovingly known as Hiroshimayaki, was added to the [Haru-chan’s] menu with much fanfare. It was very popular not only due to its deliciousness, but also because it came about through a formal agreement with a goddess. Such a high class good could never be unpopular.
The rapid increase in the number of stores in the northern part of the country was slowly reaching its plateau. Even so, Haruna and Natalia were kept busy as always, doing their best to stay on top of things.
“Well, it looks like we’re on the verge of dominating the whole country,” the scary thing was, Natalia was not exaggerating at all.
“Maa, slow and steady wins the race, wa. We’re going at a three steps forward and two steps back kind of speed…”
-just then, a knock sounded at the office door.
When Natalia opened it, they saw that it was one of their regular customers. A male Adventurer in his twenties.
“Aa, it’s the Helmet Guy, yan. You always have that thing on your head, don’t you feel stuffy?”
“I’m not here as a customer today… that is, I’m a customer, but a different kind of customer. That is… I am here to make an appeal with [Haru-chan Group] to open up a store.”
Their regular customer has a rather serious look on his face, looks like this was no simple matter to him. Nor did he appear at all playful or joking.
“If that is your request, we shall be happy to discuss the matter. Please, do have a seat first.” Natalia immediately showed him to the chair, displaying her efficiency as Vice-President. She and Haruna sat opposite of the Helmet Guy.
Haruna leaned forward, “So, you want to open up a store at your hometown? Where is your hometown?”
The man hesitated. Haruna kept staring expectantly at him.
“It’s… the Demon Lord’s Fortress…”
“Eh? Wait, there are Adventurers from that kind of place? Or, wait, is it one of those ironically named places?” this was really unexpected.
Haruna leaned forward inquisitively. There had been a ceasefire between humans and demons for a long time now. There should not be any humans roaming around the Demon Lord’s Fortress looking to fight the demons there.
“No, no, that is… well. Haruna-chan, I shall be honest with you. The matter is like this…”
With that, the man lifted the ever-present helmet off his head and… the man turned out to have horns on his head. The man was not a man at all, but a demon!
“Uwaah! A Demon King follower!” Natalia screamed.
On the other hand, Haruna was perfectly calm. To her, having things like horns and cat ears or whatever extra things on their heads were merely a quirk of the local features here.
“Apologies for shocking you. To be honest, demons have infiltrated the human world for a long time now. We registered as regular Adventurers to manage the various dungeons in the world. I have been assigned to work with this dungeon. When [Haru-chan] was established, I immediately became a regular there.”
“… that’s right, now that I think about it. This person somehow exudes the air of being a demon, or at least a follower of a Demon King…”
Demon folk enjoy good food too. Could it be that all the things he mentioned having encountered at places under the demon folk reign were not metaphors but actual experience? Natalia felt as though not seeing through this person’s disguise was a hit against her abilities as an Adventure. She was really ashamed of her carelessness…
“Is that so? I’m so happy, wa. Please continue to patronise our shop, na.”
“Oh, thank you for having me. Anyway, because of this, we, the demon folk also wish to operate dungeon workshops and offer similar employee benefits to our people. At first, we thought of imitating what we could see of [Haru-chan’s] methods, but… I thought that we should ask the person in charge for your advice instead…”
The man was speaking more politely than usual, perhaps he too was frightened after having revealed his identity to the most powerful Adventurer to ever live.
“How will this arrangement benefit creatures such as slimes and scorpions?”
“Aah, while some monsters could be demons. Many of them are more similar to me. We are closer to humans in thought, appearance and power. This arrangement would benefit people like us more.”
What differentiates demons from monsters are their magical abilities and whether or not they were hatched out of Magic Stones or not. However, demons were nearly indistinguishable from the human Adventurers who frequented [Haru-chan].
“By the way, while it is possible to control the outbreak of low-level monsters to some extent. You can never quite eradicate them completely. These creatures are like naturally occurring wild beasts… what we do is maintain a certain balance. We patrol the dungeons and monster spawning fields making sure that the monsters don’t end up becoming too strong. However, it is still a pretty tough job, quite a lot of demons are starting to grumble about it.”
“Well, I can’t complain too much, my dungeon business and status as an Adventurer depends on these monsters. It’s thanks to them that I’m doing so well now.”
“As expected of Haruna-chan who even tries to defy the goddess. On behalf of all demon folk, I thank you for your assistance.” The demon bowed from the waist, his body bent in perfect 90-degree politeness. After all, this was a very crucial task set out to him by the Demon King.
“Haruna, you can’t accept this kind of deals! They’re the demon folk, you know? If, if anyone found out that you’ve assisted the demon folk, they would treat you like a villain! The whole of humankind would be your enemy!”
“That’s true, na~ What should I do na~” though Haruna said that, it did not look like she was taking Natalia’s protestations seriously.
After all, the Aunties of Osaka are known for being strong-willed and unconventional.
“Maa, if that’s all, I must say that I’ve encountered quite a few monster-like aunties in my lifetime, na~”
“This and that has nothing to do with each other! Humans are not allowed to make deals with demons! Not without the permission of the country!” It looked like Natalia was not going to back down on this. She was quite prepared to make Haruna’s life difficult by nagging at her all day and night.
“I understand, what Natalia said makes sense, I guess. Very well, if that’s the case I wonder if a battle would be a good idea, na?” said Haruna mysteriously.
Both Natalia and Helmet Demon Guy gave her odd looks, not quite understanding where she was going with this.
“In short, I will challenge the Demon King to a battle. If the Demon King wins, I still can’t officially open a [Haru-chan] at the Demon Fortress, but I will teach the recipes to your fellow demons. If our side wins, well, even with something like the Pact of Paris  in place, it’d be a private challenge between me and the Demon King, right? What happens next would have nothing to do with the country.” Haruna declared.
The Helmet Demon Guy stuttered, “Um, I’ll have to take it up to the boss…” this was the safest answer he could give, being a lowly messenger.
“I understand, wa. While you do that, I’ll get in touch with the country’s leaders as well. If there’s no issue, the Demon King and I can have our bout.”
Under such a unique condition, both demon folk and humans would have a decent reason to come together and negotiate for a proper peace talk. This was groundbreaking at the very least.
Nevertheless, Natalia maintained her position that they would definitely not get an ‘OK’ from the government. After all, the other side of the peace talk table would be demons! Demons, you know?! Surely the imperial family would not bet the fate of its people or its resources on the strength and negotiation ability of a single Adventurer? Especially since nearly half of the kingdom would be lost to the demon folk if she lost.
Therefore, when the letter with the ‘OK’ came in the post. Natalia had to hit herself with her staff to get out of the nightmare she had fallen in. Unfortunately, the only thing she gained from this was a terrible headache and a bump on the head.
“Hm, hm, according to the letter, the imperial family said that there probably won’t be a stronger human Adventurer than me, ever. So this is the best time to open up a dialogue, wa.”
“It’s true that there are no stronger humans in the world aside from you… You are the strongest, among humans that is…”
[Gumihou: Ahaha, Natalia is full of doubts]
 Pact of Paris – Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928) – A multilateral agreement attempting to eliminate war as an instrument of national policy
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