Return To Player Chapter 256

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Return To Player

# 257

Return to the Demon World (3)

“Welcome, Chris Bright.”

As I entered the Domain of Wrath, I was greeted by demons who came forth to meet Chris.

Soon after, a demon approached, scanning Chris and the rest of us.

It seemed to be the leader of the demons tasked with maintaining security.

“Was there any word that Lord Mara Papiyas would be visiting?”

Although Chris was a contractor of Lust, he was still a player.

Moreover, without any particular divinity, he wasn’t higher in rank than a demon.

No matter how lowly the rank, a demon was decidedly a demon.

And this demon was by no means of low rank.

And yet, his unassuming attitude towards Chris was indicative of how special the position of a contractor of the Seven Great Demons was.

“Yes, he should be arriving in two days’ time.”

“I see. But why have you come earlier?”

“There’s a little… matter I had to address…”

Chris awkwardly trailed off with a nervous laugh.

Fortunately, the demon didn’t look too deeply into Chris’s demeanor.

“Who’s riding in the carriage?”

“Well, that’s… a slave. It’s a human player I caught from Earth. Robust with good stats, so I thought Master Sinzaun would appreciate them.”

“Oh, Earth? You were fortunate to nab one of those.”

“I got a bit lucky.”

I already knew from Chris that players from Earth were treated as rare commodities in the demon world, given that attacking Earth, safeguarded by Rin Taylor, was not an easy feat even for the demons of the demon world.

‘The sheer fact that players migrated en masse to the demon world was a major event in itself.’

It was the first time I heard of such a large influx of individuals who were neither demons nor demonkind into the demon world.

Typically, setting foot in the demon world was not even permitted.

But all of this was possible because it was Azazel who led the escape of the demon contractors and followers from Earth.

In the demon world that valued the law of the strongest, only one could halt Azazel’s actions with certainty.

The Demon King himself.

Even Lucifer wouldn’t bother touching Azazel over such trifles.

As for me, the Demon King, it was a case of bloodless conquest; I had hardly noticed it even happening.

“Very well. You may proceed.”

After thoroughly inspecting the carriages, including the one I was in, led by Chris, the demon allowed us to pass through without issues.

The ruse that I was playing a weakened player, cloaked by Idra’s illusion, and hiding my divine powers was successful.

“Here we are in the city…”

Entering the city where the festival was to be held, Chris tentatively broached a subject.

“What, you want me to get lost?”

“No, no. Just wondering if we should keep going straight.”

“Go see Sinzaun. Azazel won’t care.”

“Okay.”

Chris skulked away with a downcast expression, and the carriage resumed its motion.

“If time permitted, I would have liked to take a look around.”

“We can arrange that ourselves.”

“Wouldn’t we have to wait another 30 years?”

There’s surely no way the demon having the celebration would show up halfway through.

‘Chris seems to have a much wider network than expected.’

Both the demon I met at the entrance and the various demons and demonkind greeting Chris during the carriage ride indicated his popularity. Although quite handsome, this level of attention was still considerable.

“Sister!”

About an hour into our journey, we arrived at a rather nice-looking manor.

No sooner had the carriage halted than someone rushed out to welcome Chris.

It must be ‘Sirius’.

She seemed almost unchanged.

Is it because being a contractor of a demon doesn’t age you rapidly?

“But didn’t Sister say she couldn’t come? That there was some problem.”

“Oh, that. Luckily matters resolved quickly. May I speak with Master Sinzaun?”

“Master Sinzaun?”

Sirius cast a puzzled look at Chris.

“Sister, didn’t you dislike Sinzaun?”

“Well, it’s just that I have something to discuss…”

“Hmm.”

Concerned by the way Chris was stammering, Sirius narrowed her eyes.

It was odd enough to warrant suspicion given the suspicious demeanor.

Eventually, I had to swing open the carriage door myself and step out.

“I’m the one who wants to see Sinzaun.”

“Who are you?”

Faced with my calm demeanor, he immediately adopted a defensive stance—although it wasn’t confrontational, likely due to Chris being present.

“Now you understand who I am, yes?”

“!!”

As I dropped the illusion that had disguised my identity upon arrival, Sirius’s eyes grew wide with shock. Naturally. My appearance was a spitting image of the Demon King’s.

Certainly, the me in this place wouldn’t have aged either, so I probably looked the same.

Upon recognizing my face, Sirius swiftly dropped to one knee and bowed her head.

“I greet the Demon King.”

“I am not your king.”

“Huh?”

“This is a bit complicated to explain…”

Where do I even begin? By telling them I came over from a parallel universe as Kim Se-han? Explaining it all would be complicated and would necessitate talking about Idra too, who stood silently beside me.

But if they can’t recognize Idra even after explaining tirelessly, it wouldn’t make sense to them.

“If you mention my arrival to Sinzaun or Azazel, they should understand.”

“Oh, understood. Please follow me.”

Sirius didn’t probe any further.

More accurately, she couldn’t. Given how pale she’d turned at the sight of me, it was clear she harbored a fear of the Demon King.

‘This does live up to the name ‘Mad Demon King’.’

Does everyone tremble just at the sight of my face?

“Normally, such stern looks belong to those who do wicked deeds, don’t they?”

“It’s not a stern look; it’s just a bit dark.”

“Still, should we continue to follow this path? We could be led into danger.”

“If they were that foolish…”

If that were the case, a little chaos might abound.

Sinzaun, barring extraordinary circumstances, wouldn’t be able to stop me.

Thankfully, Sirius didn’t seem to have any foolish ideas.

After reaching a lavishly decorated door, Sirius took a deep breath before knocking on it.

Tap-tap.

“Master Sinzaun. I bring guests.”

Her demeanor was exceedingly polite.

I remember Sinzaun and Sirius being quite amicable when I saw them in America, but it seems their relationship has changed over time.

‘Yet Sirius hoped to stay by Sinzaun’s side.’

Chris mentioned that it was Sirius’s desire to volunteer and become a link between the Wrath and Lust demons.

Based on the candid conversation they had, it was certain that Sirius had feelings for Sinzaun.

Although it was not something she could show in this situation.

“Guests? I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone today.”

“About that…”

Unable to complete her sentence, Sirius looked troubled, which seemed odd enough for Sinzaun to open the door after a short while. Upon seeing my face, he stiffened.

Does he also think of me as the Demon King?

Before Sinzaun could potentially react strangely, I decided to take the initiative.

“Just to get it out of the way, I am not the Demon King…”

“I am aware.”

“What?”

“I already know about you. You came much sooner than I anticipated.”

Sinzaun’s demeanor was decidedly different than before.

The Sinzaun I knew exuded the image of a lone wolf.

However, the Sinzaun before me, while bearing a similar aura, had changed significantly.

The dignity of a powerful being.

Unlike before, he gave off the aura of a ruler.

Most notably…

‘He’s become incredibly strong, hasn’t he?’

Sinzaun was strong and talented for sure, but not extraordinarily so.

His talent was comparable to mine, so his potential was clear, and if anything made him special, it was the inheritance skill from Azazel.

But this Sinzaun before me had vastly exceeded my expectations.

‘He’s acquired a supreme divinity.’

Sinzaun already possessed Azazel’s inheritance skill, so divinity wasn’t precisely essential for him.

However, I was unaware that he had acquired supreme divinity over the past 30 years. What exactly had transpired?

“Sirius, go back to the king for now. I’ll deliver the rest of the message to the other demons in the realm.”

“How should I address him?”

“Just tell him ‘he’s come’.”

“He? Not the king?”

“Same yet different.”

Sinzaun clearly recognized who I was.

A Kim Se-han from another world, not the Demon King. If he was unaware, he wouldn’t be saying such things.

“Did the king tell you this?”

“Yes. And though I cannot see the ‘Forgotten One’ with my own eyes, one might be with you, correct?”

“Yes.”

“Then let’s head straight to the castle.”

As if he had been waiting, Sinzaun briskly walked ahead, exiting the building.

As we headed to the backyard, there awaited an exquisite carriage, as if prepared for this moment.

“Do you not need to get Azazel’s permission?”

“Why would I need that when I am escorting you personally?”

That’s fair enough.

***

“Lord Azazel!”

After Sinzaun and Se-han left, Sirius immediately proceeded to the Domain of Sloth, where Azazel resided.

Something about the atmosphere felt particularly off.

‘It was undoubtedly the king.’

The issue was, the vibe was different.

As someone who knew that Sinzaun frequently met with the king, Sirius felt something was amiss. Had something happened to the king?

Or…

“Shh, just went to sleep.”

The Domain of Sloth was close to the Domain of Wrath, so it didn’t take long for Sirius to arrive.

After knocking and announcing herself at the door, Azazel responded in a hushed voice and opened it.

“Come in.”

“Yes, yes.”

Azazel spoke softly with a gentle smile, which made Sirius feel slightly deflated as she tiptoed into the room. Just as Azazel had said, a small baby was asleep on a stunning bed.

“Cute, isn’t it? Already started calling me mommy.”

“Well, yes.”

For Sirius, the situation was mixed with complex feelings, as she’d never expected Sinzaun and Azazel to marry.

Especially since Azazel, with the epithet ‘Demon of Sloth,’ had become remarkably industrious after the baby was born—at least, not enough to be a bad example for the child.

“But what could be so urgent for our usually calm Sirius to come running?”

“Ah, it’s just that a person who looks exactly like the king visited Master Sinzaun.”

“A person who looks exactly like the king?”

“Yes, they came through my sister to the Domain of Wrath. I was worried something may have happened to the king…”

“Worried about another war?”

Azazel’s light-hearted comment silenced Sirius.

After all, if the recently passive king were to stir again, it could indeed spark a war.

“That person is not the king.”

“What?”

“So, I guess it’s time.”

Sirius was sharp, but often she didn’t grasp what Azazel said.

It felt like Azazel knew everything and possessed corresponding power.

This time was no different; she might foresee some unknown future.

“This isn’t something I predicted. The king told me that.”

“The king?”

“Yes. What was it, DLC? He said that was a possible way to arrive.”

“DLC?”

Even with that explanation, it was hard for Sirius to follow.

She had never been involved with games.

“Regretfully, the celebration might have to be delayed.”

“What? But it is in two weeks, isn’t it?”

“Can’t be helped. We’ll just have a grander celebration later.”

Azazel said, picking up the baby from the bed.

“Tell the demons in the realm to gather our forces.”

“Why in the world…”

“Hmm, there’s not something wrong with the king, but a war will likely happen. I’ll inform the other demons in the other realms.”

“Understood.”

The scenario remained confusing, but Sirius nodded immediately.

At the very least, Azazel wasn’t a demon known for making empty threats.

“To our daughter, mommy will go do some work and be back soon.”

Azazel pressed a kiss to the baby’s forehead, caressing the child with a warm smile.

***

“Don’t most castles have a magic circle or something for instant teleportation?”

“Not here.”

“Living rather inconveniently, I see.”

Following Sinzaun’s lead, we were en route directly to the castle within the Domain of Pride where the Demon King resided.

Traveling in a carriage much faster than the one we took to the Domain of Wrath, the landscape whisked by swiftly.

“…Is my counterpart here really mad?”

“He’s somewhat better. More precisely, he becomes lucid come evening, although mornings can be problematic.”

“You don’t know either?”

“I found out recently. Through him.”

Him?

Given the way he talked, it didn’t seem like he meant the Demon King myself.

“Who is this…”

“Wait.”

“Huh?”

“Get down.”

Without questioning, I leaned forward from my seated position.

“Yagh!”

I also didn’t forget to press down on Idra’s head with my palm next to me.

Alongside Idra’s odd cry, a chilling breeze swept over our heads.

Swish──!

There couldn’t possibly be wind inside the carriage.

In other words, this was a prelude to the event that was about to unfold.

Boom!!

The carriage tore apart as it toppled over at full speed.

Just before hitting the ground, I grabbed Idra and leapt out swiftly, searching for whoever had launched the surprise attack.

‘This was no ordinary slash.’

I didn’t sense any divinity.

Nor was it a magical attack.

It was the third kind of power.

But to me, it was familiar.

“It seems I am the first to arrive.”

Through the dust cloud stirred up by the carriage wreckage, one man emerged.

A middle-aged man with notable wrinkles.

His aura felt like a sharpened blade.

He was, coincidentally, someone I knew very well.

“…Song Chang-woo.”

Clutched in his hand was the crescent moon blade, Barzai’s Unwol-do.

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