Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 59

Why I Quit Being the Demon King

14. Hiring a New Butler (2)

Zeke spoke to Cadenza, his expression resolute.

“Thank you so much. It’s a great honor to even receive such an offer from you. However, I will be staying here.”

“Why…?”

“It’s like wearing clothes that don’t fit.”

“That’s not true.”

“The people who are with me now—they’ve accepted someone as lacking as me as a comrade.”

“They’re just using you.”

“People always use each other based on need. It’s only a matter of whether it’s for good or evil.”

“Do you think I intend to use you with malicious intent?”

“No, that’s not what I meant at all. I truly appreciate this incredible opportunity you’ve given me. But what if this so-called purity record is wrong?”

“That would be…”

“What if, upon retesting, it turns out to be a low grade, ordinary, or even an F grade like my father and grandfather?”

“Then…”

“Will you still train me and make me a Paladin?”

“…That would be impossible. The potential of a hero with low purity isn’t very high.”

“Purity is something bestowed by the gods, just like being born into a family or having other talents. I can’t bring myself to believe in such things. I only believe in what I’ve earned with my own hands—martial arts skills I’ve worked for, money I’ve earned.”

“I understand. Let’s do this then. We’ll test your purity again tomorrow. If the readings are still high, you’ll follow my advice.”

“No, I won’t do that.”

“Mr. Zeke, this is a real opportunity.”

“I know. The idea of being a Paladin makes my heart race.”

“Then why…”

Zeke fell silent.

“Deus, it’s because of that merchant, isn’t it?”

“Yes. He is like a lifesaver to me. He may discard me first if unnecessary, but the reverse is impossible for me.”

The light in Cadenza’s eyes dimmed, but only momentarily.

“No help for it. I guess it’s simply my bad luck for finding you a step too late.”

“There are many out there more talented than myself. Someone more fitting for the vacant Paladin position.”

Cadenza shook his head.

“The twelve constellations are the names of stars. The Zodiac Knights are not so easily won.”

Cadenza buckled the sword Zeke handed to him around his waist and nodded.

“For now, let us part ways. But I haven’t given up. Mr. Zeke, it’s beneficial to start hero training as young as possible. There are realms you’ll never reach if you don’t pave the way before the neural network in the body is fully formed.”

“That’s why I’m working so hard.”

“That’s the wrong path.”

At Cadenza’s words, Zeke unconsciously clenched his fists.

He might be wrong, but he could also be right.

It was unpleasant to deny what the Hollybiche family had maintained for 666 generations.

Maybe the biggest reason he felt averse to the offer was that it seemed to disregard his family.

It felt like being asked to abandon Hollybiche.

“I seem to have said something offensive.”

“Not at all. It’s true that we are a mercenary hero family.”

Cadenza bowed lightly before heading back to the castle.

After his departure, Zeke again practiced the Hollybiche family’s shield sword techniques.

Was this truly the wrong path?

The clunky practice sword and shield he held felt akin to his current situation, and he felt a lump in his throat.

“Hey!”

“Yes, yes?”

Deus looked at Zeke with a mixture of annoyance.

“Aren’t you going to pay attention?”

“Yes?”

“We have a customer.”

“Oh! Sorry.”

Zeke hurried to attend to a wealthy merchant who had come to purchase armor.

“Why does he look so out of it?” Deus leaned back in his chair, arms crossed.

Standing a few steps away and polishing armor, Yulgum chimed in.

“Why don’t you do some work for a change? Alex left and we’re short-handed, and now you’re just napping?”

“The boss doesn’t need to work, does he?”

“How can you say that with such a small business?”

“Still, I rank in the top three in Joerikstein for sales, you know?”

“Then hire more people accordingly.”

“It’s all about money. There’d be nothing left after paying wages.”

“Wow, you really are a devil.”

“You’re just realizing that now?”

“I’m going to demand my wages.”

“Then from now on, I’ll start charging you whenever I help you out.”

“I’ll sort it out later!”

“I’ll be collecting late interest.”

“Yeah, yeah. You’ll be rich soon.”

Yulgum sighed briefly and resumed polishing the helm.

And so the day dragged on, with Zeke unable to concentrate on his work.

It was unusual for him; even at the stall, he kept making mistakes. And he eventually cut his hand while chopping.

Yulgum helped with a healing spell to stop the bleeding, but the business was a mess.

By 9 o’clock, as the last customers left, only Yulgum and Deus remained.

“Let’s close up early today.”

At Yulgum’s suggestion, Zeke nodded with a weary look.

“That’s probably best.”

“Is there something bothering you? Why are you like this?”

Yulgum’s kind inquiry made Zeke blush.

“It’s nothing.”

“Are the little ones causing trouble? If they don’t listen, give them a knock on the head.”

“No, they are at the boarding school… doing well, I think.”

“Then what is the problem?”

“Deus.”

“Hmm?”

“Last night, while training, I met Mr. Cadenza.”

“Cadenza? Who’s that?”

Yulgum elbowed Deus in the ribs.

“You should remember at least the important figures.”

“Important, huh?”

“The inspector from the Last Holy Order who visited the other day.”

“Oh, there was something like that.”

As Zeke arranged the dishes, he continued.

“Mr. Cadenza invited me to join the Last Holy Order.”

“To visit?”

“No, to receive training as a hero and join the Knights of the Holy Light.”

Yulgum exclaimed in surprise.

“The Knights of the Holy Light? Are you talking about the Zodiac Knights?”

“Yes.”

“That’s… a big deal.”

Deus interjected quickly.

“Big deal, my foot. I know about the Zodiac Knights—Paladins under the direct command of the Holy Order. Twelve knights of the constellations. He wants you in that role?”

Zeke nodded.

“Yes.”

“Looks like a trap to me.”

“It’s not necessarily a trap. Zeke’s high Blood count is a fact.”

“Sure, if they were purely selecting based on talent.”

Zeke interrupted the conversation between Yulgum and Deus.

“I’m well aware of my own level. It seems that everyone has great expectations because my purity might have been rated a bit high by accident…”

“I have no expectations.”

“Excluding you, Deus.”

“So what’s your desire? Do you want to go?”

Following Deus, Yulgum spoke.

“It’s a great opportunity. If the Holy Order endorses you, you’ll receive the best treatment and training. Even if you go through middle and high school now, you could work your way up to the highest ranks. Isn’t that right?”

“If the purity is high, yes?”

“Yes. Even now, you should throw aside this dingy shop and leave for the Holy Order.”

“Who are you calling dingy!”

Deus flared up in anger, and Yulgum flicked his tongue.

“You’ve used him enough, let him go.”

Deus took a sip of his drink in silence.

“Well, I don’t really plan to keep you… But we should hear what Zeke thinks. What are you going to do?”

“I…”

“If you want to go, it’s okay. Really. There are plenty of heroes in the world. If not you, they’ll just take someone else and make them a puppet.”

“That’s one way to put it.”

“What else makes you worth keeping?”

“That’s the point, isn’t it?”

“You are indeed valuable.” Deus grabbed a skewer of meat, waved it in the air, and popped it into his mouth.

They were meatballs made from ground meat, which he had purchased almost for free, spending time scooping the meat from the bones with a spoon.

Cheap in cost but rich in flavor, chopped onions and garlic mixed in, and just grilling them over a charcoal fire was enough to make mouths water.

Zeke smiled broadly.

“Does that mean I’m to your liking?”

“Quiet, man. But considering you’re even talking about it, you don’t seem too keen on leaving.”

“No.”

“Why?”

“I owe you, Deus. How could I just leave like that?”

“Forget that.”

“It’s not that simple. I genuinely appreciate it. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Yulgum chuckled.

“A few more words and it’ll sound like a love confession.”

“Yulgum!”

“Anyway, gratitude is gratitude, and opportunity is opportunity. They’re not really clashing right now. This guy doesn’t plan to stop you.”

“Nope. Moreover, it’s suspicious that they want to make me into a Paladin simply because I have a high purity level.”

“There’s nothing suspicious. A hero’s everything is his purity level.”

Deus cut Yulgum off.

“Anyone who goes out of their way to be nice for no reason should be doubted.”

“That’s your crooked view.”

“Is that why the kids below you turned out twisted?”

“Why are you starting an argument?”

“Who started the argument? Damn woman.”

“Stop it, both of you. I’m not planning on leaving.”

Deus asked Zeke.

“If you’re that certain, why have you been like this all day?”

“That’s…”

Zeke briefly recounted the events of the previous night.

Especially in the skirmish with Cadenza, where not a single blow landed and he was thoroughly defeated—his face flushed just mentioning it.

“Of course, I’m well aware of how poor my skills are. Losing to him isn’t the part that bothers me. It’s just…”

Zeke scratched his head.

“How should I say it…”

Yulgum, with a glass to her lips, nodded.

“I think I know what you’re trying to say. You’re afraid of losing your way, right?”

“Yes. I am Zeke van Hollybiche. I don’t know if I can become an outstanding hero, but… I don’t want to abandon the Hollybiche name. My father and grandfather, despite lacking in skill and resources, gave their all and passed down the Hollybiche honor to me.”

“It felt like your legacy was being ignored, which upset you?”

“Even if I deserve to be ignored, I…”

Deus looked intently at Zeke.

“Looks like you should at least be worth a gamble.”

“Huh?”

“Let’s go.”

“Where?”

“To the place where you train. I want to see this martial art of the Hollybiche family.”



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