Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 21

The next morning, at dawn, the three of them boarded the carriage.

“Will you be closing the noodle stall today?” Deus suddenly asked.

“Oh, the grandmother who taught me the know-how of the noodles said she would watch the shop while I’m away.”

“Is that so?” With a single comment, Deus closed his eyes tightly.

Seated obediently beside the coachman, Zik rested his clenched fists on his knees.

“He looks like he’s being punished,” Alex joked with a smile, to which Zik’s cheeks flushed red.

“That’s because you, Sir Alex, are difficult to handle.”

“You mean me, and not the Lord?”

“Yes. You give off the vibe of a direct superior.”

“Haha, well, once the trading company kicks off, that’s likely to happen. But Zik, you are a hero. When adventuring, you are our leader.”

“I am well aware of my place. I will do whatever I’m instructed to do with diligence!”

“I like that attitude.”

The Holisheder family lived about 50 kilometers southeast of Jorix Castle, near the Fortress of Poms.

Traveling by carriage, they could reach it in a day and a half, if they hurried.

The Fortress of Poms was more prosperous than places like Jorix Castle, being the capital fortress of the Gelon Kingdom.

Though the Holisheder family was known as a family of heroes, they were also dukes of the Gelon Kingdom.

While the reputation of their heroes could not compare to that of the Holiphers, the power of their household, bolstered by the duke’s strong backing, was even greater.

Passing through the gates, Deus muttered, “Ha, maybe I should obtain a title too.”

“Do you now plan to serve as a subordinate to humans?” Alex teased.

“It’s a joke. No need to get serious.”

“Please maintain your dignity.”

“That froze over last winter. Let’s hurry and knock on the door.”

“Yes, my Lord.”

When they reached the mansion, Alex rapped on the door knocker of the Holisheder duke’s residence.

“Who is it?” An elderly man opened a small door and peered out.

“Hello, the owner of the Holivich family and his companions seek an audience with the master of the Holisheder family.”

The servant scanned the carriage and its occupants, scrutinizing them.

“Our master may be a hero and an adventurer, but he is also the respected duke of Poms. Unless you have a letter of introduction from another noble family—it’s difficult to arrange a meeting without proper cause…”

At a gesture from Alex, Zik scurried over and handed over a shield.

Alex passed the shield to the servant through the small door.

“It’s a holy artifact. If our presence doesn’t pique your interest, we will take our leave.”

“This is—”

“Doomslayer. An heirloom passed down through generations within the Holivich family.”

“Is that so? Let me show this to our master,” the servant replied, visibly impressed by the shield.

The blue gem embedded into its surface gave off a luster not commonly seen in the duke’s household.

After some time had passed, the servant returned swiftly, holding the shield, accompanied by what seemed to be the chief butler.

Handing the shield back to Zik, the chief butler bowed.

“Our master wishes to meet you. Please come inside.”

Leaving the carriage with the servants, Deus, Alex, and Zik entered the duke’s mansion. The Duke Holisheder, Flend von Holisheder the 3rd, was a third-generation hero.

The final selection of the hero was from the purest among the fifth generation.

The third generation, regardless of their suitability as heroes, did not qualify to battle the Demon King.

Nevertheless, this did not mean the third-generation heroes were necessarily weaker than the fifth.

In fact, Flend himself had been a D-rank hero renowned across the Hors continent for a long time.

“Welcome, hero of the Holivich family and companions.”

Zik bowed his head in greeting.

“Hello there.”

“My name is Flend. And you are—”

“I am Zik. These two are Sir Deus and Sir Alex.”

Flend surveyed Deus and Alex, both looking to be in their early twenties—although appearances could be deceptive and their actual age could be different, they were undoubtedly youthful.

Was this awkward hero, speaking so respectfully to his companion, really in possession of an artifact made from dragon scales?

Flend felt a strong surge of curiosity.

“Mr. Deus,”

Flend addressed him with an informal tone.

Caught off guard, Deus began, “Just so you know, we came here as adventurers. If you want noble treatment, we might as well leave.”

“No need to go. Let’s put aside any unnecessary talk and speak freely. I’ve roamed the continent with rugged adventurers, having seen places no one else has. Heh.”

Flend met Deus’s gaze.

“Though you claim to be a hero and companions, it seems you are the leader.”

“I’d rather not spell it out openly.”

“Excuse me then. Well, Deus, where did you acquire Doomslayer?”

“We’ve mentioned it already. Handed down through—from the Holivich family…”

“Let’s stick to the main point, shall we? Don’t tell me our family doesn’t possess records of every hero lineage. I hate to say it, but the Holivich family has long been in decline, barely spoken of in the Bloodline Competition for quite some time. It’s hard to imagine that the Holivichs would hold such a treasure.”

Zik clenched his fists but did not retort; it wasn’t a false statement—

The Holivich family had for many generations only produced low-ranking heroes.

Consequently, their wealth had dwindled like sand.

Without money, they could not procure equipment, leading to a vicious cycle where the subsequent heroes’ ranks fell.

“Doomslayer isn’t listed among the world’s treasures, suggesting it’s a recent creation. So, where did you get it?”

“And what would you offer in return for that information?”

“An exchange… There’s nothing of equal value to offer.”

“Because the price is too steep?”

“Quite the contrary. The information just isn’t worth much. It’s merely to satisfy my curiosity.”

“Information about a shield fashioned from dragon scales is cheap to you?”

“…So, it’s dragon scales, then.”

“You knew all along, didn’t you?”

“I didn’t want to admit it. There’s a limit to good fortune, you know. That’s not something the Holivich family would come by.”

“And why are you so sure it’s a stroke of luck?”

“I’d rather not be insulting to your face. Don’t you know that Jorix also falls under our Gelon Kingdom?”

“Who do you think slayed the dragon of Jorix?”

Flend fell silent.

Deus chuckled, as if in mockery, and pressed on, “You like getting straight to the point, right? Got any Blue Dragon scales to sell? Could use a handful.”

“What are you suggesting?”

“A Blue Dragon’s scales.”

“I only have Black ones available. I’ll sell up to three scales for 130 gold coins each. You know, Black Dragon scales are harder than those of a Blue Dragon.”

“You don’t happen to have Blue scales, do you?”

“Why this obsession with color?”

“You wouldn’t know. Armor mismatched in colors is quite an eyesore at the auction house—like wearing the cheapest garb you’ve pieced together. Understand that aesthetic nightmare?”

Flend conceded the point.

“Well, Black scales would do too, I suppose. How about 110 gold a piece?”

“What about 120?”

“Let’s settle on a middle ground. 115.”

“Agreed, 115 gold for three scales.”

“Alex.”

“Yes, my Lord.”

Alex bowed, withdrawing a bundle of jewels from within his cloak.

Flend summoned the butler, requesting a gem appraiser, while he personally went to the treasure room.

The transaction was smooth and swift.

Having exchanged three dragon scales for a hefty sum, the group promptly returned to Jorix.

No sooner had they sat down at the hotel than a knock sounded—not from the door. Deus addressed the empty space, “Come in.”

A rift in space opened, revealing Yulgum.

Seeing her, Zik wore an astonished expression but soon bowed his head.

Deus addressed her, “You’ve been spying on me?”

“I told you, I left one feather attached.”

“Take it off now. While I’m asking nicely.”

“I can’t do that. You’ve yet to prove trustworthy.”

“Alex!”

“Yes, my Lord.”

Perceiving Deus’s intent, Alex spread out the fabric containing the dragon scales.

“Haeyongryong (黑確龍)— Black Firm Dragon.”

“Haeyong? As in obsidian?”

“Yes, a sharp gemstone.”

“It’s just a rock, isn’t it?”

“In some ways, obsidian holds more value than gemstones. It was widely used as a metal substitute in countless applications long ago.”

“But that’s human history.”

“Indeed.”

Yulgum examined the scales thoughtfully.

“Over 600 years old… these are truly from the Black Obsidian Dragon.”

“There’s a chance they’re not from a dragon?”

“Of course. Not every scale is from a dragon.”

Yulgum gracefully placed her palm over the scale as though to sense its history.

“This one died… over 10,000 years ago. Looks familiar to me.”

“I got it thinking it might be related to our current event, but seems like it’s not.”

“Right. These scales belonged to the Black Obsidian Dragon, once known as the ‘Rampaging Dragon’, who ruled the human realms. Remarkable it’s remained unprocessed until now.”

“That’s so.”

Yulgum’s fingers tenderly passed over the relics of a long-deceased kin, pausing momentarily.

“Wait, this one is…”

“What is it?”

“This is different.”

“You’re not saying they mixed in a fake, are you?”

“It’s from the same Black Obsidian Dragon, but…”

“But what?”

“It belongs to one who died four years ago—specifically, one that went missing.”

“Looks like we got the genuine articles.”

Alex caught the hint, tapping Zik’s shoulder.

Turning, Zik saw Alex gesture towards the door before he stepped out.

Swift to realize, Zik quickly followed Alex into the corridor, leaving Deus and Yulgum to their confidential exchange.

Taking his leave, Zik said, “I should head home, then. I need to bring my siblings back.”

“Take this as payment for the journey.”

“I feel guilty receiving money for doing nothing.”

Accepting the silver coin, Zik bowed.

“Don’t worry about it. We needed your help on this journey, so put those thoughts aside.”

“Yes, I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”

Sharing a bright smile, Zik bid farewell.



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