Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 13

Chapter 3: Meeting the Warrior (4)

As they conversed, Deus and Alex passed through the gates of Joriks Castle.

Though an ordinary castle, it was the largest in the northeastern region of the continent.

It wasn’t the best, but it lacked nothing, a true second-rate castle—a place that fit Deus’s dreams just right.

“How about it, my lord? A carefully chosen fortress indeed.”

“I like it. One point to you.”

“Hooray! But, collecting points, is there a reward of sorts?”

“Gather a hundred and I’ll return you to your position as the Seventh Duke.”

“Am I really dismissed?”

“Did you think I was joking?”

“Anyway, let’s check out the shops. Can we afford one with the money we’ve got?”

“We’ll have to see. But with the gems we brought from the castle, maybe selling them could work out somehow.”

“Then, first let us secure an inn. Obviously…”

“Certainly, we’ll get a penthouse on the top floor.”

“Good, good. Now you’re sounding like a butler.”

Alex parked the carriage in front of a hotel named Golden Hall, the most expensive hotel in the vicinity.

“But, my lord,”

“What?”

“If you intend to live among the top 2 percent, isn’t your spending a bit excessive? Take this Golden Hall, for example; only the royal family, nobility, and the very wealthiest merchants can afford it, and yet you aim for the penthouse…”

“Butler.”

“Yes, my lord.”

“You still don’t understand what I’m saying, do you?”

“I have much to learn.”

“I merely want to appear as part of the 2 percent, not actually live as they do. Why else would I join a warrior’s journey? Standing out too much could blow our cover.”

“Ah! Now that makes sense. Then for the shop, we should acquire a small one but with a big space underground, ideally.”

“Exactly. Build our home larger underground than above.”

“That would truly make us a dark, deep shadow lurking beneath the world.”

“Exactly. A deep, dark shadow. What comes next?”

“What next?”

“After becoming a shadowy figure, what will you do?”

“What will I do? Just live like that.”

“You quit being the Demon King just to live simply?”

“Is that a problem?”

“Sigh… Doesn’t that strike you as odd? My lord, you hold half the world in your hands. Just say the word, and millions will lay down their lives in battle. You’d leave all that behind for a mundane life following behind some warrior?”

“Look here. You dismiss countless lives as mundane at your peril. Life, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is meant to sparkle. Every person’s life is singular.”

“If the frontliner of the assault squad heard these words, he would be moved.”

“Go get us a room.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Alex approached the counter of Golden Hall.

Despite his butler’s attire, he was not treated to the highest standard, perhaps because of the carriage outside.

A carriage was a carriage, regardless of its quality.

The hotel manager greeted him politely.

“Welcome to Golden Hall. The highest-rated hotel chain from Gelon Kingdom, the Joriks branch of Golden Trump. We are dedicated to enhancing the travels of the elite with our superior service and exquisite interiors. What service would you require?”

Alex smiled faintly.

Though now dismissed, his fame as one of the Demon World’s Seven Dukes was not unearned.

His handsome features and refreshing smile eased the hearts of those around.

The women behind the counter blushed at just his grin.

“I would like to stay at this hotel.”

“Hmhm.”

The manager glanced at the carriage parked outside again.

“Which room do you wish for?”

“A penthouse, please. The master is quite particular.”

“Hmm.”

The manager cleared his throat.

“That will be one gold coin per night, tax and service charge included. How many nights will you stay?”

“Let’s book for a week to start.”

Alex, having said that, pulled out a pouch of gold coins and started to place them on the counter.

The counter had a sort of mechanical scale that showed the count of gold coins, a precise device.

If the coins were underweight or the count incorrect, it would show an error—an equipment common in major trades.

“Yes, that’s correct.”

The manager appeared both surprised and curious as he alternated his gaze between Alex and the carriage.

The women’s eyes also grew warmer towards this handsome and wealthy butler.

“Get Holly Birch,” said the manager.

“It’s Jade, actually. Hazel.”

“Holly Birch! Take good care of them.”

“Yes, sir.”

A boy, maybe around 14, hurried over and bowed to Alex.

At that moment, Alex felt a shiver.

Hazel of the holy, Holly Jade—a name from one of the warrior families.

But given that he works as a bellboy at a hotel, his blood’s purity must be exceedingly low.

Perhaps he was a so-called ‘warrior in name only’—likely discarded from the warrior race by his great-grandfather’s generation.

Warrior blood was still warrior blood, though.

“Please follow me. Would you like me to take your luggage?”

“We don’t really have much, but please do.”

“Feel free to speak casually, I am just a bellboy.”

“Well, so am I, a butler, haha.”

Alex led the boy from the Holly Jade family to the carriage.

In the back, the master was spread out.

Alex placed two trunks on the bellboy’s tray and spoke to Deus, “Master, please alight from the carriage.”

“Have you secured the room?”

“Yes, master.”

“Good, let’s proceed.”

The steam-powered elevator functioned up to the highest floor, the sixth.

Naturally, bellboys could not use it, forcing the young boy to carry the trunks upstairs himself.

When the elevator doors reopened, the boy, panting, barely made it in time.

“Here we are.”

There were only two penthouses; Sunrise was the name of the room Alex had secured.

Considering the opposite was called ‘Sunset’, it seemed to be a simple reference to being on the east side.

While Deus pretended to look around, Alex asked, “Do you like it?”

“Well, it’s good enough.”

“It better be. It’s one gold a night.”

“A week makes seven gold coins?”

“No long-stay discounts, I’m afraid.”

“We’ve got money to spare. Once the goods arrive and we start selling, we can quickly make thousands.”

“That’s true, I suppose.”

The bellboy from the Holly Jade family stood silently, holding the trunks, until their conversation seemed to end and he finally spoke.

“Where should I place the luggage?”

“Over there, please.”

Alex handed the boy a silver coin.

“Here’s a tip for you.”

“You needn’t give me so much…”

Intervening, Deus commented, “Then give it back.”

“But that would be…”

“Are you from a warrior family?”

Hesitating, the boy was directly asked by Deus.

“Yes, from the Holly Jade family.”

Warrior families traditionally combined ‘Holly’, meaning sacred, with tree names.

Like ‘Holy Fir’, met only a few days ago, this bellboy’s name was the sacred hazel.

“Aren’t most warrior families managed by the Warrior Management Division?”

“Yes, my lord. They receive generous pensions and the best support.”

“So why is this boy working as a bellboy?”

“He must have fallen from grace. The line is already in its fourth generation, after all. Those distanced from the pure blood are typically shunned before the next contention begins.”

“That’s harsh.”

“Competition is the driver of growth, is it not?”

“Blood isn’t as simple as one plus one equals two, though.”

“That’s true, but if the bloodline weakens consecutively for three generations, it inevitably gets discarded.”

The boy bent his head lower as he listened to their exchange.

“Then, I’ll take my leave.”

His voice was crestfallen as he turned to go.

Alex addressed Deus, “Isn’t that a bit cruel to say in front of the boy? There was no need to be so frank.”

“Am I the only one talking? You spoke too.”

Deus then addressed the boy, “Hey, come here a minute.”

“Yes?”

“What’s your bloodline value?”

“I… haven’t measured it yet.”

“Why not?”

“The measurement… it costs…”

“Oh, they charge for that?”

“They offer a free measurement when you graduate from high school, but it costs money if you want it done before that.”

“How stingy.”

Alex interjected, “Even the Warrior Department must work within a budget.”

“Anyway. Boy, sit over here.”

Deus gestured to the seat opposite him on the sofa while sitting down.

The boy placed his hands neatly on his lap, knees together.

“Relax. It’s not an interrogation.”

He loosened up slightly.

“Why are you asking me all this?”

“Do you not need companions?”

“Pardon?”

“As a warrior, you should embark on adventures. Why are you working as a bellboy here?”

“My father and grandfather both had low-grade values. Even my great-grandfather wasn’t exceptional with bloodline values…”

Alex nodded in understanding, “With such a history, withdrawing support makes sense. Warriors are driven by lineage purity.”

“So, it’s all about lineage?”

“It’s the same with demon kings, isn’t it? The demon king’s child becomes the next, just as the warrior with the purest warrior blood becomes one.”

“What about personal effort, does that count for nothing?”

“Anyone can make an effort.”

The boy’s head drooped even lower at Alex’s firm response.

“What’s your name?”

Deus asked.

“Zieg. Zieg von Holly Jade.”

“I’ll ask one last time. Don’t you need companions?”

Looking up, Zieg met Deus’s gaze.

In that moment, something within him sparked with determination—where this sudden courage came from was a mystery to him.

Even in the face of a demon king, he no longer felt fear; with a weapon in hand, he believed he could strike true.

Zieg dropped to his knees on the floor.

Tears streaming, he declared, “I want… to be a warrior.”

“Fine; it’s a deal. Alex!”

“Yes, master.”

“Fetch pen and paper.”

“Right away.”

Deus started drafting a contract on the coffee table in front of the sofa.

Contract

Party A: Deus

Party B: Zieg von Holly Jade

1. Party B is accepted as a comrade of Party A.

2. Party B must obey all commands from Party A.

3. Party B cannot terminate the companionship until Party A deems it acceptable.

4. Party A shall share the glory and wealth of adventure with Party B as Party A sees fit.

It was a hazy line between calling it companionship or servitude, but Zieg was pleased with the fourth clause.

Glory and wealth—luxuries he’d never have known in a life confined to a bellboy’s duties were now at his fingertips.

“Will you sign the contract?”

“Yes, Yes!”

“Don’t take this contract lightly. It will follow you to your grave.”

Deus smirked at the unsaid words.

-Tagged as the warrior who contracted with a demon.



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