Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 16

4. Receiving a Request (3)

“Well, you can’t just ignore it because it’s a contract job.”

“That’s a bit of a grey area.”

“What’s so grey about it?”

“While talents can’t be inherited, wealth can.”

“Ah!”

“Once you reach D or G rank, the earnings are enormous. Even a lone giant is considered a monster that could bring down a whole castle, right? If someone defeats such a giant, do you think they would settle for a few dozen gold?”

“That’s true.”

“Families that often produce high-ranking warriors have wealth on par with the king. Places like Holypher that we encountered earlier are prime examples.”

“Do you know what I’m thinking right now?”

“Of course not.”

“In a situation where candidates for heroism are disqualified over petty discussions about whether they have money or not, what on earth is the Demon King doing losing to humans all the time?”

Alex scratched his head.

“Indeed.”

“Let’s go. Let’s check out the shop. The Demon World or whatever has nothing to do with me now.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Alex crossed his arms over his chest and bowed his waist in respect.

For a moment, a bitter expression crossed Deus’s face.

It seemed like the first time he had seen a sincere face from him.

The shop Alex bought was located a couple of blocks into a street that ran through the center of the castle.

The road, barely wide enough for two carriages to pass, stretched for about thirty meters before revealing a street shattered as if bombarded.

It was the very spot where a dragon had fallen the day before.

Workers bustled about, cleaning up the fragments on the street, and reinforcing timbers were patched onto walls that could be repaired.

Fortunately, being in the lower strata, the damage didn’t seem too severe, but some buildings were completely devastated, leaving only ruins.

“Is that pile of rubble what you bought?”

“Yes, with a good clean up it will be much better.”

“Can you do it within a week?”

“We could hire more workers.”

“Just handle it as best as you can.”

Deus waved him off as if annoyed and moved on. After offloading the work on Alex, he looked around.

There didn’t seem to be much of a commercial district.

However, he rather liked the fact that it didn’t stand out.

Then, from a distance, he saw a boy carrying a load of bricks jogging toward them.

“Lord Deus!”

“Hey!”

It was Zeke.

“You’re working hard, I see.”

“Mr. Alex promised to double our daily wage.”

“That’s generous.”

“Thanks to that, yesterday I was able to buy new clothes for my younger sister. She attends the warrior’s academy.”

“The warrior’s academy?”

“She’s being raised to become a saintess. She’s also a child of the Holy Beryl family. Seeing her learn to read at the age of three, it’s clear she’s much more gifted than I am.”

The term “saintess” referred to a girl who inherited the blood of a warrior.

While a warrior was a symbol of strength, a saintess was akin to a symbol of wisdom.

In fact, many exhibited great aptitude for offensive and divine magic.

“She used to get bullied at school for always wearing worn clothes. They gave her frogs as part of her meal or put tacks in her shoes… So as soon as we had extra money, I bought her clothes.”

“The warrior’s academy is where kids who will become either saints or warriors go, right?”

“That’s right.”

“And there’s nothing like them being kinder than others, or anything like that?”

“Hah, I wish.”

Zeke scratched his head. Then, from afar, a man wearing an armband shouted.

“Hey, Zeke! Stop slacking and hurry up! We need that wall done by today.”

“Yes, foreman!”

Zeke bowed quickly to Deus and scurried away.

With a load of bricks on his back, he didn’t slow down at all.

“Butler.”

“Yes, my liege.”

“Is he really F rank?”

“I don’t know for sure. He hasn’t taken the test yet, you mentioned.”

“What if he’s not?”

“Then you’ve got yourself a great servant at a bargain price.”

“No, no, it would mess up my plans.”

“Eh, what are the odds Zeke turns out to be the last hero or something? Those kinds of coincidences don’t come along often.”

“I suppose not.”

Deus watched Zeke from a distance.

Then, suddenly, someone burst into his field of vision.

It was Yulgeum.

And her expression was grave.

“I need to ask you something seriously.”

“What, popping up out of nowhere. At least greet me first.”

“I told you I’m being serious.”

“So am I.”

“Deus!”

“My ears will fall off.”

Deus stuck his fingers in his ears and pursed his lips.

In his eyes, he could see Yulgeum’s trembling gaze.

“You seem upset. What’s wrong?”

“What happened to the Blue Jade Dragon yesterday?”

“What do you mean? I just left it alone.”

“Really?”

“Do you think I ate it? Is dragon tasty?”

“I’m not in the mood for jokes. Depending on the situation, I, Yulgeum, may have to tear your body into a thousand pieces and spit on every single one of them.”

“I just left it alone. That’s all I did. Are you going to tear me apart?”

Yulgeum stared intently into Deus’s eyes.

Amidst the unease, Deus summoned Alex.

“Butler.”

“Yes, Master.”

“Go have some tea or something; I’ll continue the work.”

“Is it a date?”

“She said she’s not in the mood for jokes.”

Alex cocked his head with a curious glance at Yulgeum.

Her expression was indefinable and certainly not cheerful.

“Be back soon.”

“Alright.”

Deus and Yulgeum headed to a café by the main road.

“Cold or hot?”

Even as Deus asked, Yulgeum just stared at his face.

“Why so scary?”

“Am I scary?”

“Well, you’re a Golden Dragon. If you rampaged in anger, that would be frightening, wouldn’t it?”

“You dare do such a thing knowing I might be scary?”

“So what did I do exactly?”

“Don’t you really know?”

“No.”

“I’ll have something cold.”

“Okay.”

Deus signaled the server.

Yulgeum had a cold fruit tea while Deus ordered an icy beer.

“I’ll pay for this. You’re my biggest customer, so consider it a service.”

“Nearly moved to tears here.”

“Did that cool down your anger?”

“Not at all.”

“I won’t apologize just because you’re acting like this. Tell me what I did wrong.”

Yulgeum looked straight into Deus’s eyes.

“So you think you did nothing wrong?”

“That’s right.”

“Then it’s settled.”

“Huh?”

“If it wasn’t you, then there’s no reason for me to be angry with you.”

“Is that it?”

“Yeah, that’s it. I’m suspicious but for now I won’t doubt you.”

“So what’s suspicious?”

“That Blue Jade Dragon from yesterday is dead.” Deus’s throat seized up.

He didn’t wipe the foam from the beer that clung to his lips and frowned.

“I didn’t hit it that hard.”

“I know.”

“Alex said dragons couldn’t be touched by anyone… Did it really die?”

Yulgeum nodded and revealed a small orb.

“It’s the soul of the Blue Jade Dragon.”

Inside the clear glass orb was a deep blue pattern.

It resembled both flames and a crescent moon, a breathtaking blue.

“Last evening, the soul returned to the Blue Jade Mirror.”

Deus crossed his arms and regarded Yulgeum.

“So you rushed here thinking I killed it?”

“You were the first suspect. You had the ability…”

“But no motive.”

“It could have been for the dragon’s body. To make and sell weapons.”

“Do you see me like that? If I wanted to, I’d do it boldly in front of everyone.”

Yulgeum let out a short sigh.

“It does seem like you.”

“I’m offended.”

“I’m sorry I doubted you.”

“Not you. I mean the one who touched the dragon. Daring to meddle in my affairs? This makes it awkward for me to accept weapons from you.”

“I’ll keep my promise, so don’t worry.”

“I mean it. Now I have to provide after-sale service by finding who touched the dragon.”

Yulgeum studied Deus’s eyes, gauging the truth.

“Fine, find them for me. Since it’s after-sales, it’ll be free of charge, right?”

“Just until I find them. If you want to order me around afterward, it’ll cost extra.”

“How stingy.”

“I’m the one at a greater loss.”

Deus downed his beer in one gulp and stood up.

“Butler!”

He called out to his unseen servant.

Alex promptly appeared before him.

“Yes, my lord.”

“Bring Cerberus from the underworld.”

“Why a dog all of a sudden…?”

“There’s someone we need to chase.”

“Understood, my lord.”

After formally greeting Yulgeum, Alex disappeared into the ground.

Deus and Alex returned to the same mountain where the dragon had been lying unconscious the day before.

Alex held the leash of a fierce hunting dog.

Cerberus, the hound of hell.

Hellhounds were said to show different faces to the enemy, to allies, and to their master, often depicted with three heads for a reason.

Currently, with the Demon King nearby, it displayed an utterly docile demeanor.

Its eyes hung expectantly on Deus.

“Why is it acting like that?”

“It wants to play.”

“Hah, nothing from the underworld is any good, is it?”

“Perhaps if the Master recognized the weight of the responsibilities given to them. We eagerly await your return.”

“I’m not returning. Instead, have Cerberus sniff around.”

“Yes, my Lord.”

Alex knelt and whispered to the attentive hellhound in the language of the underworld.

Cerberus stuck his nose to the ground after raising its short tail erect.

After sniffing around for a while, it howled skyward.

“What did it say?”

“How should I know? It’s just the whimpering of a dog.”

Alex went over to Cerberus and whispered again in the underworld tongue.

The dog whispered something back into Alex’s ear.

“For starters, it smells dragon.”

“I know that already. Wait, how many?”

“Two. One is a formidable entity, and the other seems to be a Blue Dragon.”

“Must be Yulgeum and the Blue Jade Dragon.”

“If the Master thinks so, undoubtedly.”

“And wildlife – bears, rabbits, boars, and so on.”

“Would naturally be ours.”

“And lastly, it smells human.”

Suddenly, Cerberus darted off somewhere and began to lift its hind leg to urinate.

“Ugh, really? Are you going to let it behave like this while we’re trying to have a serious conversation?”

“Are you going to complain about a dog peeing now?”

“What kind of hellhound is this? Just a big name for a mere mutt, huh?”

Cerberus jogged back to Alex and whispered something in a low voice.

“…Seems like we might have found the culprit?”

“Already? Isn’t that too quick?”

“When you think about it, it was all too obvious.”

“What was?”

“Didn’t I tell you yesterday? The only beings capable of touching a dragon are D rank warriors.”

Deus dug through his memory.

It seemed like such a conversation had taken place.

“Did it find traces of a warrior?”

“Yes, my lord. Cerberus urinated for that reason. Beings from the underworld are innately hostile to warriors.”

“Is there any way to tell which family it is?”

“No. But if someone strong enough to kill a slumbering dragon, it would make sense to consider them D rank.”

“That D rank isn’t widely known, is it?”

“That’s right. If it’s deliberately concealed, there’s no way to know.”



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