Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 39

9. Finding the Traitor (4)

Upon Yulgum’s questioning, Deus shrugged his shoulders.

“If he’s not dead? Pretending to be dead?”

“I heard he committed suicide with poison… But who else, if not himself, would excel in using poison in the demon world? He’s probably the best at it, not just in the demon world, but in the entire world.”

“Well, you can write the story however your heart desires, but don’t expect to move all readers with that.”

“I don’t particularly intend to move them, you know?”

“See, see? You get defensive right away. That’s why you’re not a great author.”

“I can’t imagine anyone but Darosh could have created this. If it wasn’t for his name etched in the spores, I might not even believe someone created a synthetic life.”

“Thanks for the compliment. Jin Gold Dragon would be delighted to know you think so highly of him, even from his grave.”

“Conversely, if he doesn’t sign it, who else would recognize his poison? What if these spores in the vial were made by Darosh? What if he started creating without signing? That would mean he had been an accomplice from the start.”

“So he feigned death? Because he knew I caught on to this fact? That does sound somewhat plausible.”

Deus crossed his arms and tapped his forearm with his fingers, deeply contemplating.

After a long silence, Deus asked,

“What could be the common goal of the dragon clan’s hardliners and the demon world?”

With immediate certainty, Yulgum answered.

“The destruction of the human world.”

“Ah! It’s so obvious it almost feels awkward.”

“An enemy’s enemy is an ally. Perhaps the demon world sought to take revenge on the human world.”

“And after? Once the demon world swallows the human realm, it wouldn’t particularly benefit the dragon clan.”

“Perhaps they’re too blinded by vengeance to think that far.”

“Alright, it’s worth a B-grade novel at best.”

“Indeed, there’s no basis for it.”

Yulgum sighed repeatedly, clearly frustrated.

“But you know.”

“Hm?”

“You are Jin Gold Dragon.”

“So what?”

“Aren’t you the god of the dragons?”

“Yes.”

“You might be slightly weaker than me, but you’re the strongest in the world.”

“I let you win that day.”

“Shall we have a rematch?”

“I’m not interested in hobbies like that. But what’s your point?”

“What are you afraid of?”

“Hm?”

“What are you so scared of that you can’t do anything?”

“I’m not afraid of anything.”

“Then why are you so anxious?”

Yulgum closed his mouth to this questioning. After a long pause, they simply brushed it off.

“Women have many secrets.”

“I hear daytime drinking leads straight to alcoholism.”

“I didn’t drink. Let’s go back.”

Yulgum moved first, and Deus followed.

“Do you need to protect that little dragon anymore?”

“No, it should be fine now. It will sleep well, dream sweet dreams, and when it wakes, it will have the strength to fly towards the Green Jade Palace on its own.”

Yulgum turned and blew a small kiss to the young dragon.

Deus felt that there was something unsaid in Yulgum’s words.

-If luck would have it.

“Ah, how is this alcohol made?”

“This is sweet potato alcohol!”

“Sweet potato alcohol?”

“It’s made by fermenting sweet potatoes to extract alcohol, then distilling it and adding water.”

“It hardly smells of sweet potato.”

“It’s over-fermented to extract just the alcohol. Then, it’s diluted with a large amount of water to adjust the alcohol content. It’s a typical cheap drink.”

“Is that so? It’s hard to drink, with no flavor…”

“But sometimes it’s exactly what you crave, right?”

Zeke grinned while wiping the cups.

“Have you tried it?”

“No! I’m not old enough to drink. That’s what the customers say.”

“Want a sip?”

“I’m working right now.”

“Right, it’s bad to be drunk at work, like this woman.”

Next to Deus, Yulgum slept with her forehead on the table.

Jin Gold Dragon couldn’t be expected to get drunk.

But now she was completely transformed into a human.

She was tired from the journey and had forgotten she was in human form, so she misjudged her tolerance.

“I learned a recipe today, want to try it?”

“You learned? From whom?”

“From the innkeeper. She learned it from a guest she had.”

“Oh, you said you lived in the back room of the inn outside the city?”

“It’s cheap because it’s blocked on three sides.”

“Three sides?”

“It’s a wedge between two other rooms’ walls.”

“Isn’t that just the end of a corridor?”

“It’s similar. It was a storage space, but I rented it cheap.”

“Just move to my place. I have plenty of rooms.”

“No, I can’t. My siblings will soon enter the dormitory. After that, I won’t really need a place to stay.”

“Then where will you sleep?”

“Here.”

“Here?”

“Yes. If I put a tent over there, it should be good enough to sleep.”

She spoke softly but was clearly stubborn.

Deus did not press further.

“Alright, do as you like. But don’t blame me if you start hurting because you slept here.”

“It’s okay. My father always said that homelessness is commonplace for an adventurer.”

“But not that kind of homelessness…”

Deus trailed off and drowned the end of his sentence in a glass of spirit.

“Anyway, try it. What is it?”

“It’s not that great. Fried pork belly.”

“Pork belly? What’s that?”

“It’s the fat part from the side of a pig, often salted and made into bacon.”

“I know bacon.”

“Slice the raw meat thinly, fry it in a pan with some oil. Then stir-fry it with vegetables for fragrance and flavor.”

“So, similar to intestine stir-fry?”

“The method is similar.”

She deftly prepared the ingredients and ignited the burner under the curved pan.

“Doesn’t the fire seem stronger?”

“Haha, the boss bought a better one. He says the taste of food is all about the flame.”

“He must really like your cooking.”

“Fortunately.”

The pork belly sizzled and shrunk as it browned in the oil, which bubbled with the rendered fat, exuding an incredible aroma.

Yulgum awoke from her slumber, sniffing at the scent.

When liquor was poured into the pan and inflamed, vegetables were added, and after tossing the food over the fire a few more times, the oil was drained, and it was served on a plate.

“Try this.”

“It smells really legit?”

Yulgum was already up, reaching for the food.

“I’m going to eat too.”

“You’ll get fat.”

“Me?”

“Wouldn’t you?”

“I won’t, I won’t.”

“You said you wouldn’t get drunk either.”

“I’m not drunk, not drunk.”

“Your tongue’s twisted, though.”

After a brief verbal tussle, Yulgum’s hand moved quickly.

Wrapped together with bok choy, the fatty pork melted deliciously on her tongue.

“Wow! What is this!”

“It’s good, right? I was surprised when I tasted it. It’s a normally cheap cut because of the fat, but it’s really delicious when it’s fried like this.”

“I want another plate of this.”

At Yulgum’s words, Deus chimed in.

“You really will get fat.”

“I have magic for that.”

“That’s convenient. You’ll have to buy any broken dishes with your own money.”

“Don’t be stingy. Put it on my tab. I’m broke right now.”

Zeke smiled at the bickering pair.

“But, Deus.”

“What?”

“The trident of the merman sold last time from Jabil village… Am I really allowed to keep all the money from that?”

“Won’t you let me say my piece?”

“I appreciate it, it’s a big help, but…”

“I don’t need that pittance.”

Yulgum intervened.

“Why are you trying to be generous only with Zeke? Even charging me for a plate of food.”

“It’s my choice.”

“Don’t tell me… you have a crush on Zeke?”

“Don’t talk nonsense while you’re drunk. No, that won’t work. Don’t like him too much. You two can never be close.”

“Just sleep. Zeke, pour her some especially strong alcohol.”

Zeke poured the drink with a smile in his eyes.

“Sure.”

Watching him, Deus spoke out.

“Why is it starting to change?”

The abrupt question left Zeke puzzled.

“What do you mean?”

“The flow of the world.”

“That’s too grand a question.”

“Right, it’s too grand. Nothing much has changed.”

“Well, a lot has changed. Just starting with the dragons stirring…”

“Why does it sound like blaming it on the dragons?”

“Why do you defend the dragons?”

“That…”

Yulgum bit back her anger and vented it on the meaningless snacks.

Deus clicked his tongue.

“Ugh, what do I care? I just enjoy times like these.”

“Weirdo.”

“Maybe.”

He ate the unfamiliar alcohol and snacks, now familiar.

The demon realm.

The human realm.

The dragon realm.

What does it matter? It’s all the same.

“The only trouble is the hangover from that damn sweet potato alcohol.”

“Did you use Zeke’s bar again last night?”

“Yeah.”

“It seems you had fun.”

“Is that not allowed?”

“The dukes left in the demon world eagerly await the day of your return.”

“Tell them not to. I’m not coming back.”

“My lord!”

“By the way, what are those short coaly creatures? Do they not trade with other demon races?”

“Ah, they are the savages that live underground.”

“Savages? Their skills are too refined for such a term.”

“Well, yes, but…”

Alex paused while tidying Deus’s room.

“Frankly, we do not fully understand them ourselves.”

“You don’t?”

“Yes.”

“You don’t understand the short coaly creatures?”

“Let me repeat, we do not.”

“Why?”

“Because they live underground.”

“We live underground too.”

“There’s a difference. While the demon realm is below the surface, it cannot be said to be inside the earth. We draw artificial light from the earth’s depths, so it’s comparatively bright down here, isn’t it?”

“We have a sky, even if it is ashen.”

“Indeed. But the short coaly creatures live completely underground. They dig tiny holes like ant nests and dwell within. They hate the light so much that when they come to the surface, they wear glasses tinted black.”

“Their nails are long, and their shoulders strong enough to dig through soil barehanded, right?”

“That refers to the miner dwarves. Warrior dwarves are proficient with weapons, and the artisan dwarves have excellent skills.”

“Exactly like ants.”

“Yes, including being united under one queen dwarf. They form clans centered around a single queen dwarf.”

“That says… There’s a good chance they could trade between humans, demons, and dragons.”

“That is correct.”

“Could the possibility exist that Darosh’s poison passed through them to the dragons or humans?”

“Hmm… Darosh was indeed highly interested in peculiar ores, fungi, poisonous plants, and insects from underground, so there’s a high possibility he traded with them.”

“Maybe through that route?”

“Are you referring to the fungal matter? But if so, doesn’t it become irrelevant now that the intended victim, Jin Gold Dragon, wasn’t killed?”

“Well, that’s one thing, but a job’s a job.”

“You speak in riddles, lord. Regardless, Darosh poisoning himself shocked us too. It wouldn’t be bad to look into the truth.”

“Right?”

“Yes.”

“Then let’s go.”

“Yes?”

“To the underground.”



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