Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 36

9. Uncovering the Traitor (1)

As he polished the weapons, Alex glanced back at Zeke.

He was indeed a talent to covet.

His combat power was merely average, but his other abilities were outstanding.

Even when it came to polishing weapons, he showed a skill far superior to other part-timers.

From the bottom to the top, until the final finish.

Utilizing his childhood experience of shining shoes as a part-time job, Zeke’s polishing made the weapons so lustrous they could sell for more than their worth.

Exhausted from selling weapons all day and cleaning up in the evening, Zeke would only leave after a long day’s work.

Despite working far more diligently than others and preparing for the evening sales without showing any signs of tiredness,

he also dealt with customers and handled drunken troublemakers until past midnight, before finally heading home to catch a few hours of sleep.

If possible, Alex wanted to take him to the demon world and place him in charge of an army—his meticulousness and his wholehearted dedication meant he could easily lead hundreds of thousands of troops to elite status.

In a human world where the rank of heroes mattered the most, his diligence might not mean much, but Alex greatly valued such qualities in Zeke.

“Mr. Zeke!”

“Yes, Manager?”

“Where is our lord now?”

“Do you mean Deus? He went out of the city with Lady Yulgeum just a while ago.”

“A date again, is it?”

“If you could call it a date… It seemed like Lord Deus was being blackmailed somehow?”

“Hahaha, I don’t mind the reason, as long as they spend more time together.”

Zeke felt there was something sinister about Alex’s laughter.

“Mr. Zeke, do you have a significant other?”

“Excuse me? Oh, uh, not at the moment…”

“Shall I introduce you to someone?”

Zeke blushed.

“Manager! Where do I have the time for romance? Soon, I need to pay for my siblings’ dormitory fees and tuition for the month…”

“Dormitory? I heard you lived together.”

“We are moving to the advanced class next month. The private dormitory offers an after-school program, and thankfully, thanks to Lord Deus and you, Manager, our night business is doing well enough for me to afford it. I truly am grateful.”

“Hm-hm, let’s not overdo the thanks. It’s all because you worked hard, Mr. Zeke.”

Alex briefly considered setting Zeke up with a succubus to ensnare him into the demon world.

But he wondered how effective a succubus’s magic would be against a pureblood.

He thought it better not to stir up trouble that might tarnish his lord’s reputation.

“The path to becoming a hero is tough.”

“It is. Just now, he’s a primary student… To become a respectable hero, he must graduate through the college level and attend the highest courses at the Imperial Academy.”

“I thought it was divided by pureblood lineage?”

“While pureblood lineage is one of the many factors, not all heroes are strictly ranked by it alone, aside from those of the Zero generation—the last ones—who bear the frontline in the fight against the Demon King.”

The other heroes were more focused on fighting the remnants of the Demon King’s army.

Therefore, personal combat ability and financial resources to mobilize knights and soldiers were often more important than one’s hero rank.

“To achieve a high rank as a hero, graduating from college with excellent grades is crucial. Then there’s the matter of recruiting good companions. It’s easier to obtain stable partners within large hero families, so that’s the immediate goal to aim for.”

“…A hero business, huh?”

“Business seems to trivialize it. After all, a hero’s primary job is to save people.”

“Right. Haha, I misspoke.”

Zeke let out a brief sigh.

“If you can’t stay on the right track, you’ll drop to C rank, or worse, on contract work. Contract work involves trivial requests like looking for lost pets, moving luggage, or making deliveries on behalf of others.”

“A deliveryman then.”

“Pretty much. You have to do more than 50 deliveries a day to barely make a day’s wage.”

“What does that have to do with being a hero?”

“If anything, it’s about helping others, right?”

“The more I hear, the more it differs from what I thought.”

Alex started but caught himself with a jolt.

The lord often talked about the world’s contradictions, casually mentioning that the world was twisted.

Maybe this was part of that same twist?

“It does seem like a date.”

“Have you been drinking in the middle of the day? Why are you so grumpy?”

“You don’t have friends, do you?”

“That may be true, but I don’t particularly want to be friends with the likes of you.”

“Aren’t conversations supposed to flow? There’s no need to cut so sharply and make it awkward.”

“Isn’t making me uncomfortable your goal?”

“That’s why you don’t have any friends.”

“And neither do you seem to have many.”

“That’s…”

Yulgeum trailed off.

“Alright, you win this round.”

“Forget winning or losing, so why did you bring me to see this so-called Dragon Revival Ritual?”

“Aren’t you curious?”

“Not really.”

“If you think about it, the awakening dragons are empowered by the ingredients you gathered. Isn’t that so, Papa Dragon?”

“No interest in playing papa, although I delivered a pinch of blue bug shell, seven herbs, and a bough of a thousand-year-old ginkgo tree submerged in the mud under the lake of magic—but sure, since you’re showing me, I might as well take a look.”

“Wanted to see it after all, eh?”

Yulgeum spoke the dragons’ spell gently as she scattered a few heaps of the waters of the Blue Jade Mirror-Ore Well (청옥경의 샘물) across the area.

“Let’s leave now.”

“Why?”

“Because humans aren’t supposed to make dragons.”

“Because of some singularity or whatever?”

“Right. Awakening a dragon is the calling of a true Gold Dragon.”

“So right now, you mean there’s no being that can create dragons?”

“Half right, half wrong. They can also arise spontaneously.”

“Well, given it’s all from grass, wood, earth, and water.”

“Exactly. Where magical energy congregates, all kinds of mysticism can occur.”

The place Yulgeum had brought Deus to was the Mana Vortex, not too far from Jorix Castle.

It’s a point where mana, the magical particles, naturally gather, resulting in various anomalies due to the intense concentration of mana.

It was a secluded and picturesque area where many mages would seek refuge for their training.

Yulgeum and Deus ascended a sharp cliff after pulling the trigger. The mana began to swirl even faster once entangled, and bright blue lines started to shine vividly between the gusts.

“It’s about to be born.”

The thread became a cocoon.

The cocoon, holding the elements within, shone briefly before splitting open.

A dragon with four triangular wings emerged, spilling countless blue gems like amniotic fluid as it freed itself from the womb of the cocoon.

Newly born and incomparable to a human infant, it already possessed great power and intelligence, releasing a long cry to the heavens to establish its presence.

The young dragon voraciously consumed the surrounding gems, or more precisely, the color blue.

Stripped of blue, the gemstones turned to ash-colored pebbles.

Having engorged itself on blue, the dragon curled up and fell asleep right there.

“청옥몽” (Blue Jade Dream)

“Sapphire Dream?”

“Yes. It refers to the dragons’ first slumber. That’s the main reason we conceive them in the well.”

“So defenseless.”

“It will sleep for the next ten years.”

“Ten years?”

“Heh.”

“What if someone discovers it in the meantime?”

“We have non-aggression pacts… At least humans shouldn’t touch it.”

“You’re sure about that?”

At Deus’s query, Yulgeum offered a bitter smile.

“Well, if I were sure, there would’ve been no need to hire me.”

“Sadly, you’re right. But you… did you do this on purpose?”

“Hmm?”

“Waking it up here.”

“I don’t quite follow.”

“Seems so.”

Yulgeum silenced Deus with a hush and ducked behind the cliff.

Right after, a massive shadow fell upon the land.

“Dragon…”

“An Elder class. We mustn’t be noticed.”

Deus quickly cloaked both Yulgeum and him in darkness, for which she nodded in thanks before looking down again at the slumbering young dragon.

The creature that approached the young dragon was a Black Authority Dragon (흑요용 黑權龍), its obsidian scales chillingly radiant. The dragon hovered near the young one, vigilantly scanning the area.

After some time, it seemed to conclude that all was safe and began a spell, transforming into a human form. The magic of metamorphosis was only deployable by magicians of exceptional talent.

A woman with long black hair down to her heels stood before the young dragon in a black dress.

She she caught her breath, visibly tense.

“That little one is prettier, huh?”

Prompted by Deus’s tease, Yulgeum scoffed.

“Just a flashy woman.”

“That’s what’s good about her.”

“How typical of a demon to say.”

“Do you know who she is?”

“Of course. There’s not a dragon I don’t know.”

“Being a god, after all.”

“Jhune, Black Authority Dragon Jhune, leader of the hardliner faction.”

“So it unfolds like that. The leader of the hardliners scatters spores of mold to contaminate the newborn dragon and raises it to be their vanguard. A scenario right out of a playbook.”

“I thought the same.”

“You thought? You mean past tense?”

“Bizarre, right? The mold feels too extreme even for the hardliners to use. Teaming up with the demon world… I wonder if they really would stoop so low.”

“Treating the demon world like vermin…”

“Sorry, didn’t mean to offend. It’s just how it is. From the human perspective, it’s a disaster that comes once in a hundred years. We too get caught in the crossfire, so negative rumors are bound to spread.”

“Disaster, huh…”

Standing beside the young Blue Jade Dragon, Jhune, the dark-haired woman, seemed to be waiting impatiently, glancing toward the sky until, minutes later, another dragon descended.

A Red Ruby Dragon arrived, and it immediately transformed into a human to converse with Jhune.

“Sorry I’m late.”

“Julie, the tail?”

“Gone. Don’t worry. The Gold Dragons are no more.”

“That’s… it feels like it never happened.”

Jhune and Julie looked over the sleeping Blue Jade Dragon.

“The moderates have their heads cut off.”

At Julie’s words, Jhune let out a short sigh.

“It’s no different for us. How much chaos until the god appoints a new Dragon God?! Jhune, why not challenge the Gold Dragon yourself?”

“That… let’s not talk about that. Everything is by divine will. We, His creations, have not been granted the right to question His works.”

“Alright. I don’t want to get smitten for being arrogant. Let’s do what we must.”



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