Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 48

11. Hunting the Giant (4)

“Based on past experience, it is indeed the flowering of Blood that has occurred. The last time the Blood purity was measured, it exceeded 10 percent, so the potential is definitely there.”

“It’s a shame. It would have been interesting to see if he was born into the Zero generation.”

Yulgum said this as he glanced at Deus.

The Zero generation referred to the children of the 4th generation. As the parents of the 5th and newest generation, they were specially referred to as “Zero.”

Excelling in the 5th generation meant becoming the main force on the battlefield against the demons.

The survival rate from that war was less than 1 percent.

They were the true heroes who protected humanity.

“What’s the use of speculating? More importantly, why do these things keep on attacking this fortress?”

Deus looked at the giant anew and then glanced back at Alex in surprise.

“Butler.”

“Yes, my Lord?”

“That giant’s…”

“Yes?”

“Check his armpit hair for me.”

“Yes, my… excuse me?”

“Hurry up.”

“My Lord, I beseech you to urge me!”

“Butler.”

“Yes?”

“Mold grows in damp places, right? Wouldn’t it be better for me to check the upper part when I talk about it? I’ve become interested in mentioning the lower part if we talk about dampness…”

“Upon reflection, questioning my lord’s orders does not seem to be the duty of a subject! I will carry out your orders as commanded!”

As Alex disappeared, Yulgum stared at the side of Deus’s face.

“Is that what you’re suspicious of?”

“Yeah. If something that shouldn’t be there is present, it means someone’s influence must be involved.”

Boom!

The ground burst open as if a bomb had dropped.

The giant’s fist was akin to siege weaponry in and of itself.

Zeke narrowly avoided the gigantic attack at close range. Rolling on the ground, he defended with his shield from the rock fragments.

Once again, the giant aimed a punch at Zeke’s head.

Due to Zeke’s quick movement, the giant’s club-like fist swept the ground for another miss.

The ground surged up like a wave, enveloping Zeke. Using his shield as a step, he slid down the mound of dirt.

Rolling again and again, he evaded the giant’s relentless assault.

It may have looked unsightly, but from the giant’s perspective, the small target was difficult to hit.

Like chopping with a hoe, the giant attacked the ground, and at some point, he crouched down to chase after Zeke.

“Lexia senior! Now’s the time!”

While rolling beside him, Zeke shouted Lexia’s name.

She was currently out of it.

The giant’s attack was more intense than she had expected. Initially, she had gone forward clumsily and received the giant’s blow with her shield.

The shock she felt then had far exceeded her capacity for perception.

Like an inaudible sound, she felt no sensation even as the shock passed through her body.

If Zeke hadn’t made her sit, her head might have been blown away by the next strike.

“What, what the…! How can you stay so calm?”

Lexia, hidden behind her shield, shouted.

But her comment about calm was nonsensical.

At that moment, Zeke was dodging the giant’s attacks with his life on the line.

Lexia observed Zeke’s fight. His entire body was covered in dirt, and his shield was dented as if it had reached the end of its life.

Yet, his tightly sealed lips seemed to hold a hint of a smile.

“He’s enjoying it…”

Lexia recognized the expression on Zeke’s face.

At age 12.

She herself had been Zeke’s partner for the swordsmanship portion of his elementary school graduation exam.

Being a pure-blood of the ‘Holy’ lineage, she was paired with him as a consideration from the school.

However, Zeke’s skill was lackluster. Though she had some expectations due to his good academic grades, it was but a tale of elementary school level.

His swordsmanship, learned only from school lessons without any proper private tutors, was hardly sufficient for a would-be knight.

As a Blood, his physical abilities were above average, but not enough to catch Lexia’s eye.

It was such that while it wasn’t bad enough to fail him, Lexia thought it was a waste of the Holy name to see his skills. Anxious to finish the test, she brandished her sword.

At that moment, the expression Zeke wore! He was still showing that face now.

Whether he won or lost didn’t matter.

He was simply happy to be able to fight a strong opponent at this moment.

The moment Lexia recognized that feeling, she was able to shed the useless tension that had stiffened her body.

Zeke wouldn’t break. In fact, he was enjoying it.

That meant this fight…

Was worth it!

Lexia’s sword began to dance.

Her swordsmanship was nothing short of A-grade. When combined with the sharpness of a renowned sword, the lethality doubled.

The giant, having his full attention on Zeke while crouched, suffered a wound deep enough to expose his spine from Lexia’s strike.

He let out a monstrous scream and collapsed. Holding his back, he rolled on the ground.

At that moment, the gates of the fortress opened wide, and the warriors within surged out.

Leading them was Lexia’s father, Canadin Van Hollyoak.

“Warriors, attack the giant!”

When they had desperately opened the gates and emerged, what they saw was the giant sprawling on the ground.

They didn’t understand why the situation was such, but they knew it was an opportune moment.

Canadin led the warriors as they started attacking the giant.

Over a hundred half-blood warriors, along with a comparable number of knights and soldiers and their apprentices, rushed forth and started slashing away at the giant, blending Zeke and Lexia into their midst.

By this time, Lexia had loosened up and was ready to fight, but as the melee ensued, she lost interest in the giant hunt.

She slyly pulled Zeke’s arm to escape the fray.

That day.

A grand festival took place in Jorik’s Fortress.

Each warrior who participated in the battle received a bounty of three gold coins. The remaining money was distributed amongst the knights’ order and the Hollyoak family.

Canadin Van Hollyoak, having received 200 gold coins, spent half to throw a grand banquet for the village, adding to the long-standing friendship by attributing the glory to the lord of the fortress.

Lanterns were hung along the main roads to announce the festival, and every food establishment set up stands on the main street, offering food and drinks to all.

The cost was all covered by the Hollyoak family, which was quite the boon for the eateries involved.

At the very end of the line of stalls, Zeke’s food cart also found a spot.

How it came to stand among the renowned eateries of Jorik’s Fortress was unclear, but at least in terms of popularity, it was second to none.

“Go collect your three gold,” Deus casually stated.

Zeke smiled agreeably.

“Just defeating the giant is enough.”

“Don’t be a fool. Who are you to refuse three gold? That’s a few months’ tuition for the kids.”

“Well, that’ll cover a term at least.”

“So, go!”

“It’s really fine. You don’t like it when I act too arrogantly, Deus.”

Yulgum joined the conversation while eating skewers.

“That’s true. After all, the true hero of the giant hunt is Zeke here.”

“I contributed too!”

Another girl also joined their conversation.

Sitting casually on a tree stump, enjoying Zeke’s cooking, Deus and Yulgum turned towards the voice.

“Is it you?”

It was Lexia.

“You’ve come to see him.”

With an imperious look at Deus, she plopped down onto a seat in front of Zeke.

“What are you, really?”

“What do you mean, senior?”

“Are you really Zeke Van Hollybich? The one I know?”

“Sure I am.”

“But…

Your extraordinary combat abilities!

Indeed, the power of the artifacts played a major role. Even after removing the shield, sword, and gauntlet, Lexia felt intoxicated by that power for quite some time.

But no matter how powerful artifacts are, or rather because they are that powerful, they can’t fully manifest their power without the support of their master.

At the very least, today’s Zeke was a Grade-G warrior.

It meant he could hunt giants, assuming he had the appropriate support from a proper comrade. That’s the definition of Grade G.

“It’s not my skill alone. Yulgum’s magic was there as well.”

“No, no, it’s because of your skills, Zeke.”

Lexia glanced at Yulgum quickly. He was sipping barley potato alcohol on a skewer with a mature smile.

Lexia looked back and forth between Zeke and Yulgum.

“What’s the relationship between you two?”

Yulgum laughed.

“I’m just someone who cheers for Zeke with a ‘fight on!’ spirit.”

“What kind of explanation is that…?”

“I’m the magician in our party. But why are you here, Lexia senior?”

“That… Is there a reason I shouldn’t come?”

“Well, right now the Hollyoak family is up there, on the higher grounds.”

The Hollyoaks were a prestigious family in Jorik’s Fortress.

Lexia’s parents, Canadin and his spouse, were currently enjoying the banquet with the lordship, the head of the knighthood, the nobles of Jorik’s Fortress, and the lord himself.

“Just… I wanted to see if you were alright.”

“I am fine. Yulgum cast a healing spell on me.”

“He can do holy magic too?”

Lexia looked at Yulgum in surprise.

Deus made a comment to her.

“Will you stop being so astonished every time? Isn’t it common sense that if you craft artifacts from dragon scales, you’re not part of a typical group of warriors?”

“But it’s Zeke!”

“And what about Zeke? You thought he’d remain a lifelong subcontract warrior?”

“Well, no, but…

“All those rankings… they’re just made up. All that talk about pure-blood, mixed-blood, pure, half, as if to separate people, but in the end, it’s not those classifications that determine the final one standing, is it?”

Deus downed half his drink in one gulp.

The fizz stung his throat. Unintentionally, a ‘crack’ slipped from his lips.

“You’re all actors in a play. The shows you’re in aren’t well-crafted epics but rather farcical ones, where you couldn’t even be the main character once in a hundred years when the Demon King is defeated.”

“We’re protecting humanity.”

“Yeah, I know. So you’re at least on stage, aren’t you?”

“You are disrespectful. No, you’re irreverent. To liken the sacrifice of warriors over 665 centuries to mere theater!”

“Sacrifice was made by your ancestors, not by you, right? You’ve lived comfortably without hardship like nobility, so what sacrifice?”

“That’s…”

“Even if Zeke said such things, I wouldn’t know. After all, haven’t you been hopping from job to job since young to continue the now meaningless legacy of Hollybich? Sacrifice? What have you sacrificed?”

“I…”

“Stop it, Deus. It looks like you’re drunk.”

Zeke hurriedly brought out a plate full of side dishes.

“Deus looks at me too favorably. Warriors always engrave on their hearts the fate that they and their families will die in the war against the demons. When the giant attacked, Lexia senior was the first to go over the walls, wasn’t she?”

Zeke’s smile was always gentle.

Maybe because of his long years of part-time work, he had matured beyond his age?

Even in his laughter, there seemed to be a hint of a sage’s complacency.

“Thank you for today, Lexia senior.”

“What did I do…”

“You’re the reason I could open this street stall.”

“Who told you?”

“I just knew it. That I was able to endure and live in Jorik’s Fortress, I somehow knew it was thanks to the Hollyoak family’s help from behind the scenes. Since the lord of the Hollyoaks, Canadin, has been my guardian from afar.”



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