Getting comfortable with a cup of coffee we sat there for a few minutes in silence. The King was the first to speak out of all of us.
“I think introductions are in order.”, he said before clearing his throat, “I am Glenn Rosewater, and these are my three sons Alphonze, Belphia, and Charles. You have already had the unfortunate opportunity to see Alphonze in a sour mood. After that beating I am sure he will be more incline to listen.”
Nodding at his father’s words he maintained his composure now. The fact I spared his life was enough to get me a chance to explain myself.
“I am Jacob.”, I said, “My demon family named me something else, but my mother called me Jacob so I go by that name.”
“Is your mother still alive?”, the King asked.
“No…my eldest brother killed her when I was forced into the military academy. All I have left is this necklace.”, I said showing them the item, “It is the only thing I have left of her.”
“But she was family…”, Alphonze said.
“Not to them she wasn’t. My father only saw her as a toy for his amusement.”, I said, “There were times I didn’t see her for days on end, and when she came back she was barely breathing.”
Looking down at the floor the princes felt bad for their prior judgement of me.
“So then, can you tell us about the facility you spoke of to me?”, the King asked.
“Yes, there is only one facility where elves are forced to make…offspring.”, I said, “The amount of magic required for the process is found only in one place. Do you have a map by chance?”
Placing a map on the table I looked for nearby landmarks to the facility.
“Approximately twenty miles back from the current border is where the facility is. To my knowledge it used to be a former elf settlement when the last Demon King was in power.”, I said, “If that is correct it makes sense why the magic is so strong there.”
Looking on the map the location was in the middle of an area called the Hidden Valley of Mist. On either side sat fortresses whose sole purpose was to protect the facility. My father had them built after taking over the area in case the humans managed to push them back.
“I understand. You are correct about it being an elf settlement, but it was more of a holy site. To think the military is now using it as a breeding house it unthinkable.”, he said.
Slamming his fist on the table Alphonze wanted to head out immediately.
“You won’t get within five miles of the place before you are spotted.”, I stated, “Special anti-magic guards are stationed at the fortresses in case some newborn mages flee the facility. You try to break in all you will do is end up like them.”
“Then what would you have me do!!”, he said, “My family could be in there!!”
“If they are the best thing you can do is level the place!”, I snapped, “Do you know the physical toll bearing goblin children takes on elves? Your wife would be lucky to walk after having just two of them. The process they use to speed up the natural process puts a large amount of stress on them. A normal human would die after two times, and they are better suited than elves for childbirth.”
“She is a strong woman!”, he said, “She will survive this without fail!!”
Not wanting to tell him that after just one child most elves die I left it out. Focusing on the task at hand I gave them what information I had on hand which wasn’t much. Giving them troop numbers I informed them that my information was from before the allied armies managed to push the demons back. Understanding that they may have increased their numbers the King decided to involve the other elven countries. As all elves were almost exclusively taken there each nation had reason to learn this vital information. Having a servant bring in a mirror the King used elven magic to connect to the other royal families. I had heard of elves doing this, but it was my first time seeing this.
“I am thankful all of you were able to make time to speak with me.”, Glenn said, “As you know over the past few years our soldiers have been disappearing leaving no bodies on the battlefield. I have obtained a reliable source of information with proof of where our soldiers are…and it is not a pretty sight.”
The King went over all the information I provided which disgusted all of the King’s. When they asked where the information came from he spun the mirror so I was also displayed to the other King’s. Before me excluding this country’s King sat seven other King’s. Not all of them were high elves like Glenn. Most were wood elves with two King’s being dark elves.
“Just who are you?”, the dark elves asked.
“I am the son of the Priestess of the Holy Regana Empire, and the Seventh Son of the Demon King.”, I said.
The King’s looked at their comrade in shock.
“You let a demon prince into your city!!”, they all said, “Are you mad?!”
“He spared my eldest son in a duel so I am inclined to trust him. Not only that, but his mother was a very trustworthy individual. None of us have any reason to doubt him at this time.”, Glenn said, “If he is correct he will easily earn our trust by helping retrieve our soldiers.”
The King’s seemed to agree that it was a fair assessment, and deferred judgement to Glenn. The other dark elf raised an important question.
“So why are they being used to make more soldiers instead of used as slaves?”, he asked.
“Currently only forty percent of the demon population are pure-bloods. The remaining sixty percent are half-bloods like me who are mixed with another race.”, I said, “Most of them don’t want to fight, and as such are thrown into slavery. They have family on this side that they don’t want to fight as it is the only family they have left.”
“So only the forty percent want this war?”, they asked.
“No, half of that forty is against it. They make up the remaining general populace.”, I said, “The ones that want this war are those who serve my father directly. When volunteers dried up, and the citizen’s refused to fight the Demon King turned to alternative means to make soldiers. Humans mixed with goblins are the main foot soldiers, elves with goblins are used as mages/healers, and the other races mixed with orcs, goblins, and trolls are used for various other jobs.”
“And you let this happen?”, they said.
“I have never had any say in what went on in the country. My time spent at the castle was with my mother before my eldest brother killed her.”, I said lowering my head, “The rest of my time was spent in a military academy.”
“Now be reasonable. In our families any child below the fourth generally has no say in government affairs.”, Glenn reminded them, “It would be safe to say it is the same for demons as well.”
Nodding the King’s agreed that it was normal. The next step was figuring out what to do.
“We can’t leave our men there to die as breeding animals.”, one of the wood elf king’s said.
“Agreed, but with two fortresses overlooking the valley a major military offensive would be a folly. If we did manage to break through they would simple fire on the facility killing the prisoners.”, Glenn said.
Thinking about things I remember something I learned in class.
“In roughly six months from now there will be a major holiday. It is the anniversary of the demon countries founding. The soldiers should be drunk in celebration. If you were to strike then you would have a fighting chance.”, I said.
Glenn nodded agreeing that it was a good plan. The other King’s agreed that it was the best time as well. Having a set date each leader said they would have their armies best squads at Glenn’s castle in four months for the operation. Nodding they solidified the plans before severing the connection. I wished them luck on their endeavor when Glenn spoke up again.
“You will go with us of course, right?”, he said.
“Listen…”, I said frowning, “I have had nothing, but trouble since arriving here. Not to be rude, but why would I help you? I am not asking for your assistance in over throwing my father. It was my task alone to finish for my mother’s sake.”
“In exchange for your assistance one of my daughters will marry you.”, he said.
Spitting my coffee I coughed up a lung from shock. Catching my breath I looked at him wide-eyed.
“Your going to give me a heart attack…”, I said covering my eyes, “First the Grandmaster, and now you…when will this end.”
“Well if you are wanting to become the Demon King having connections is vital. Marrying into an elven royal family will benefit you.”, Glenn said.
“I don’t want a political marriage. In the end both parties suffer.”, I said having heard about it from my mother.
“I am sure one of them has their eye on you…”, Glenn said looking back at the door.
With a snap of his fingers the study door opened. Falling into the room a fiery red-head female elf caught herself on the door. Looking at her she was completely different from every elf I had seen before. Her brilliantly red hair, and orange eyes made me think she wasn’t an elf at all.
“This is my third daughter, Auburn. She takes after my grandmother who is a Sun Elf.”, Glenn said.
“Sun Elf?”, I said.
“Yes, it is a genetic mutation that changes an elf’s hair, and eye color.”, he explained, “In addition, Sun Elves only have magic affinity for Fire. Their magic strength depends on the suns position in the sky. They are strongest at noon, and weakest at night.”
“I see.”, I said, “I do admit the mutation is quite eye-catching.”
He went on to explain that she was one hundred and sixty years old. As he went to explain her sizes she immediately told her father to stop. She turned bright red, and smacked him across the face. Looking at me she quickly fled the room flush red.
“To think my sister would fall for a demon…”, Alphonze said shaking his head.
“Well he is the first to beat up her eldest brother.”, Glenn said, “I don’t mind, and neither do your brothers.”
The other princes nodded giving their consent. Before things got any further I spoke my mind.
“She stays here till after the rescue mission!”, I said quickly.
“She needs to get to know you…she goes with you…”, all of them said.
“Then I re…”, I started to say.
“Not allowed!”, Glenn said, “Now she has it in her head its a done deal.”
“Please reconsider…”, I said.
“Sorry.”, Glenn said with a smile.
“…shit…”, I said, “Is this payback for something my mother did?”
“Of course not!”, he said with a smile that said otherwise.
With a sigh my face hit the table in frustration. People forcing things on me was getting tiring. By the time I would become King I felt like I would marry one of every race. Shaking my head I started thinking of what the three women would have to say about this. I could already feel the death stares piercing my skull.
“Listen, if you are putting her in my care you tell my companions.”, I said.
They agreed to it, and promptly left to inform the women. I finished my coffee before rejoining the group in the sun room. Walking into the room with a fresh cup of coffee I found the King, and Prince’s out cold on the floor. Like I had anticipated the women didn’t take kindly to their idea. After beating them senseless the women relaxed enough to allow Auburn to join us.