Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 17

(4) Accepting a Request

“Anyway, let’s track it down.”

“Yes, my lord.”

However, the pursuit did not last long.

As soon as they left a dense thicket, Cerberus began to bark at the sky.

“Why is it barking like that?”

“It seems to have fled into the sky, sir.”

“The sky…”

Upon hearing this, Deus had a sudden thought.

“That Holypher guy before, didn’t he transport dragons using an airship?”

“You have a good memory, sir.”

“We’ve got our culprit!”

“Just like that?”

“Think about it. For one, the Holypher family is known to have killed dragons and taken their bodies. Two, a dragon has died and the body is missing. So, the conclusion is simple, right?”

“You wouldn’t be upset if I raised an objection, would you?”

“Go ahead.”

“It could be someone other than the Holypher family aiming for the dragon.”

“We are neutral here.”

“It’s permissible to kill a dragon if it attacks first, and it’s generally accepted to use the body of a dead dragon.”

“Why is that?”

“Because humans are at war with the demon world. The dragons, staying out of the war, might as well be receiving human assistance to some extent.”

“If humanity falls, then the battle between the demon world and the dragons begins, correct?”

“That seems to be the dragons’ belief.”

“Well, it’s likely to turn out that way. A dragon’s body is coveted even in the demon world.”

“It’s a treasury of resources.”

“So, you’re saying any family could be after the dragon?”

“Yes.”

“Then it could indeed be the Holypher family.”

“That is what I wish to point out. They could be suspects, but we cannot conclude they are the culprits.”

“That’s enough for me.”

“…Are we going there?”

“We are.”

“But…”

“This time, we’ll knock on their front gate with honor.”

“That’s the biggest issue.”

“Not me, our hero will.”

“Excuse me?”

“We’re not just country bumpkins anymore, right?”

“Ah!”

“We are the distinguished companions of the Holybitch family.”

“It’s Holybitche.”

Alex took a sidelong glance at Deus.

He had no idea what Deus was planning.

“Let’s head back to the village for now.”

“Yes, my lord.”

“Send the dog back.”

“Yes.”

Zieck was currently carrying loads of debris on his back from a building collapse.

Deus called for him and he hurried over, having forgotten to set down his load.

With ragged work clothes and a tightly tied white headband, even Deus was momentarily at a loss for words at Zieck’s perfect laborer appearance.

“You sure do have a lot of part-time job experience.”

“Yes, Lord Deus. I even got close to the foreman so he agreed to pay me a bit extra.”

He decided not to mention that in the end, the extra pay came out of his own pocket, since Zieck was smiling so innocently.

“That’s good for you. But this job only lasts until today.”

“Why is that?”

“Because we have somewhere to go together from tomorrow.”

“Ah! Is it an adventure?”

“Well, I suppose so.”

Deus peered distantly at a bustling construction site and spoke again.

“There’s no point in staying here with no business to run. While the store is being repaired, let’s go somewhere together.”

“Yes, but… what about my brothers?”

“Got no one to leave them with?”

“Well…”

Alex pulled out five silver coins and handed them to Zieck.

“This should be enough to find someone to take care of your brothers for a few days.”

“Thank you, Sir Alex!” Zieck bowed his head in gratitude.

“Oh, it was a matter of money?”

Deus mumbled as he scratched his cheek.

The next day.

Three horses left Castle Joricus.

Companions of a hero customarily received the same respect as nobility.

Of course, luxury required money, but legally, being a hero’s companion meant you could exercise all the rights of a noble.

Thus, Deus could now travel proudly on horseback instead of a carriage.

Merely that fact alone greatly reduced the constraints on entering and leaving cities.

Passing through four cities, the trio arrived in the mountainous region of the Elrion Kingdom to the north.

Horzespa was a territory where sharp ridges continued across an average height of 4,000 meters.

Permanent snow capped the peaks, and each spring, the melted snow would raise the levels of rivers.

The water flowing from the mountains made the entire continent fertile, it was only natural that everyone revered the Horzespa mountains as sacred.

The Holypher family’s main estate was located just below the perpetual snow zone.

As the family’s name suggested, it was an overly forested territory.

The sight of the castle built into the rocky cliffs was beautiful enough to be mistaken for a tourist destination.

At the largest mansion, an airship was moored.

This airship, bearing the sacred spruce emblem, was the same model as the one that had recently crashed.

Deus, craning his neck to look up at the castle, asked:

“They have that much money?”

“They’ve been a heroic family for over 60,000 years.”

“So, you either end up rich like this, or broke, like that guy over there?”

Deus was pointing to Zieck van Holybitche.

“It just turned out that way.”

Zieck scratched his head as if embarrassed.

“There might be a few generations where the hero’s blood is diluted, but it’s not always the case.”

To Deus’ remark, Zieck shook his head.

“I haven’t heard of any outstanding heroes from the Holybitche family.”

“Right, if there had been even one, my great-grandfather would have been insufferable, bragging about his ancestors every time he got drunk. Since you don’t know, it must mean there really weren’t any.”

“That’s right, why aren’t there any?”

“Who knows? It’s your family’s matter.”

Deus, with the two companions, knocked on the front gate of the Holypher family’s castle.

The doorkeeper emerged quickly after a loud knock on the door.

After opening a small wooden window in the door, the gatekeeper peered outside.

Seeing only the three people and their horses, he asked gruffly,

“Who are you? This is the fortress of the Holypher family.”

“Open the door. I’m a hero from the Holybitche family. I don’t have time to fuss with underlings, so call someone with authority, like the head of the household or similar.”

The gatekeeper, unnerved by the assertive tone, unlocked the door.

“I apologize! Who from the Holybitche family has arrived to be announced?”

“Tell them Zieck van Holybitche and two companions.”

“Yes!”

The reception room was adorned with precious antiques – hero’s swords, wizard’s staves, so common that they were casually deposited in receptacles like umbrella stands.

Deus, sitting in the intimidating dark wood reception room, awaited someone from the Holypher family.

He lounged on the sofa with an arm draped over the backrest and legs crossed; he had the air of an emperor or a D-ranked hero.

The real hero sat upright in a corner seat with his fist resting on his knees.

“Don’t be so nervous.”

“But…”

“Heroes are equals among themselves. No need to be intimidated.”

“You are right. Heroes are equals.”

A man joined in the conversation between Deus and Zieck.

Deus looked up at him while still comfortably leaning back on the sofa.

Perhaps in his fifties? The man with half-white hair neatly brushed back and a finely groomed mustache extended a hand to Zieck.

“I am Solrus van Holypher. The hero of the third generation of this century. I have retired now and manage the family affairs.”

The Blood of the Hero was renewed each time a Demon King fell and a new generation began. If he was from the third generation, that meant he was from the era of the hero before Zieck and Variece, who were of the fourth generation.

The ultimate hero would not arise until the fifth generation – that was law in this world.

Their formal title was Zero. The generation in which the ultimate hero was born.

In other words, one of the children born from the union of fourth-generation heroes like Zieck and Variece with a saintess would become the ultimate hero.

Zieck stood up sharply, greeting him with both hands properly.

“Zieck van Holybitche, hero of the fourth generation at your service.”

“I’m aware. I took a while because I checked with the Holy Court to verify if you were indeed a true hero. But… you managed to find companions, it seems. I heard you came down from the race.”

“That’s not quite accurate.”

“I see.”

Solrus then turned to eye both Deus and Alex standing behind the sofa.

Deus was currently dressed as a city dweller.

His attire did not give away what he might be – possibly a wealthy merchant.

On the other hand, Alex could be spotted from a hundred meters away and be mistaken for a butler.

Collectively, it might seem that a prosperous merchant had approached the fallen hero family of Holybitche and bought the honor of being a hero’s companion with money.

Solrus spoke directly to Deus.

“What brings you to our Holypher family today?”

“I heard a curious rumor and wanted to verify something.”

“A rumor?”

“Yes, a rumor. How shall I put this… Has Holypher recently acquired a dragon-made weapon?”

Solrus stiffened and tensed up at the question.

Deus let out a laugh.

“If that’s true, I’d like to buy one for myself. Though, I doubt it.”

“…You must have heard a baseless rumor.”

“Is that so?”

Deus pulled out a pouch and spilled its contents onto the table before the sofa.

Sapphires, rubies, and emeralds the size of fingernails scattered about like marbles.

“If it’s just an unfounded rumor, we have no further business, but looking at your expression, it seems there is some truth to it.”

Solrus eyed the jewels piled on the table, his anxiety visible.

The gems would be equivalent to nearly ten thousand gold coins – that is if they were indeed genuine.

Considering the enormous sum ready to be spent on a single weapon, he really seemed to be seeking dragon-made equipment.

A dragon’s scales were harder than any metal in the world.

Armor made from them could even withstand the assaults of a Demon King.

Therefore, the ultimate hero was always destined to wear dragon-made armor with the blessing of angels.

Most dragon-made weapons were destroyed in the final battle.

However, a fair number survived, and families like Holypher, who had maintained power for long, sometimes had them in storage.

In other words, it was not impossible to acquire dragon-made armor even if they did not sell it.

The jewels would just inevitably end up with another family.

Saddened at the thought of losing out on such wealth, Solrus felt it was a pity to let them leave empty-handed.

Giving them a decent armor in exchange for the jewels seemed like the most profitable move.

“We do have a few pieces of dragon-made equipment.”

“I’m not interested in used goods. If it’s not new, it’s troublesome to deal with issues that arise later. If you bought something old, you have no recourse if the seller then shouts back at you for expecting anything from it.”

“We are not tradespeople.”

“I’m not a merchant either. I came looking for proper equipment.”

Deus still looked down at Solrus with his haughty demeanor.

“Alex.”

“Yes, master.”

“Gather up the jewels. Seems there’s nothing here after all. Where is that family who transports dragons on airships? I’m sure they had something about a spruce pattern.”



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