Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 73

Why I Quit Being the Demon King

17. Traveling Through the Demon Realm (3)

“Now, for something delicious.”

The demon realm was filled with living beings.

They just weren’t humans with two legs and two arms.

From creatures with many legs to those with none at all.

Snakes with tails, spiders with legs, heads of birds, and lower halves of fish—these various species all had their own way of life.

Their only commonality was that there was no place for them in the human world.

Their tastes and lifestyles were so different that eventually they ended up each serving one of the seven lords.

“No, I get that the lifestyles don’t match. But I’m talking about something delicious.”

Yulgeum’s expression was rigid, barely holding back anger, and this was happening inside a restaurant.

On the table lay seven dishes, each boasting a colorful fragrance and hue.

Roasted, steamed, fried, and boiled.

Meat, fish, birds, greens, roots.

It was a feast made from a variety of ingredients, the best that land and sea had to offer.

The problem was that none of them suited Yulgeum’s taste.

Hell’s Jaw Stew was so fierce that it could melt metallic utensils.

While it was considered a delicacy for the Nagas, other species got their throats burnt or were paralyzed by its potent scent.

“Tastes… bad?”

“Look here, Deus. I’m asking for something that I can eat. And I’m speaking in a cloistered tone, okay?”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m being serious.”

“How about this? Hell’s Pork Sweet and Sour Pork.”

“Why can’t it just be regular pork? It’s as hard as an alligator.”

“Quite the fussy one, aren’t you? Just eat what’s given.”

“That’s why I’m saying give me something I can eat.”

“Why so pretentious? Your true form could chew metal.”

“Stop it with the true form talk, I’m not of the dragon race just because I’m called Yulgeum.”

“Is that right?”

“That’s what I’m saying.”

“What does that even mean?”

“I already miss Zik’s cooking.”

“Well, that might be so. As for being a hero, that’s none of my business, but when it comes to cooking skills, he’s the best.”

Deus popped a piece of the hell’s pork sweet and sour pork into his mouth.

“It’s a bit tough.”

“It’d be softer than this even if it were made of rubber.”

“I’ve kept my promise, anyway. Enjoying the scenery and eating anything that tastes good.”

“I should have kept quiet.”

“Then you should also keep your promise.”

“What promise?”

“To find Alex and Darosh together.”

“That’s why I’m travelling with you, right?”

“I didn’t need a whiny glutton. All you did was ruin my first idea when we got to the demon realm, remember?”

“What idea was that?”

“It was quite a good idea actually. If the continent splits into chaos, they’ll have to come out of hiding on their own.”

“The cause and effect are unclear.”

“Why? Cause: chaos ensues. Effect: two presumed dead dark lords reveal themselves.”

“It’s not going to happen anyway.”

“Why take the humans’ side? I thought dragons were neutral? Whether the Hors Continent breaks apart or not, it has nothing to do with the dragons, right?”

“Well, it does cause quite a bit of trouble.”

“What kind of trouble?”

“Just think logically for once.”

“Would I have run away if I were sensible?”

“Ha… You must be the most shameless demon king in history.”

Deus, exhaling green smoke, took a sip of his drink and directly stared at Yulgeum.

“Well, I knew that damned woman would block it outright.”

“Of course. I’m a person of common sense, after all.”

“Not for that reason.”

“What then?”

“You’re just thoroughly orderly.”

“That’s…—”

As the tension eased, Yulgeum unconsciously brought the drink to his lips.

He couldn’t even take a sip, as the stinging smell alone felt like it would melt his lips.

“Wait! Then why did you do that in front of me? You knew I would stop you.”

Watching Deus laugh with an annoying smile, Yulgeum had an idea.

“Don’t tell me… you’re trying to get out of debt?”

“Since you messed up my plan, it’s your turn, right? You’re all about common sense, aren’t you?”

“What a true villain…—”

The moment Yulgeum spoke with dissatisfaction, the tavern building shook.

“What’s that?”

It started as a minor tremble that clattered the dishes, and soon people were falling over their chairs.

The numerous demons that filled the pub were scared and scurried under the tables.

It was pandemonium.

“An earthquake?”

The violent quake shook the building, and Yulgeum looked at Deus with concern.

His expression, however, was calm, and the smile on his face even had a hint of self-mockery.

“Here the sky is hidden by the human world, the earth continuously erupts with new volcanoes, and earthquakes happen at any moment. That’s the life in the demon realm. Isn’t it understandable why they would want to claim the human world?”

“That’s…”

“Or are we to be deemed evil for coveting others’ possessions?”

Yulgeum, who had held his tongue, spoke up again.

“Weren’t you uninterested in the matters of the demon realm? That’s why you quit your job and ran away.”

“That is true.”

Deus quietly tilted his cup back and took a drink.

Though the alcohol could corrode metal in an instant, he felt no flavor.

“This world is…”

“Twisted, you mean?”

“You’re one of the entities that created this, aren’t you?”

“Perhaps.”

“As the Golden Dragon, you won’t pretend to be unaware, right?”

“Not sure. I’m only 14 years old.”

Yulgeum stuck out his tongue briefly before continuing.

“I have an idea. While I’m not sure about Alex… could Darosh still be out there concocting poisons?”

“If he’s alive, he might be.”

“Is there a poison difficult enough to hunt in the demon realm? Something powerful enough that it would interest a duke, precious and with potent toxicity, but lacking cognition so that it hardly qualifies as a demon.”

“That’s a good one.”

“How about it?”

“Yes, there’s a fitting one. The Fiery Thunderbird. It dwells in the Io Volcano.”

Legends of yore spoke of Io as the celestial volcano.

It was said that a now-lost mythical mountain, which bore the name of an ancient god, would spew fire as regularly as the days of the year.

Mimicking its name, the demon realm’s volcano, Io, was a colossal peak, reaching 14,000 meters high.

Its rugged landscape made it challenging even for the most adept wingless demons to climb.

And even the ability to fly did not guarantee its conquest.

Strong updrafts caused by the intense heat of the volcano meant that clouds always shrouded the summit like a canopy.

Black clouds pregnant with volcanic ash signified a powerful thunderstorm that incessantly struck the ground with lightning, withering even a blade of grass.

There, atop the volcano, at a lava pool, dwelled the Fiery Thunderbird.

Apparently enjoying fire and lightning, these creatures bathed in the lava and flew amid thunderbolts.

Now, they circled a large formation in the sky—a flock of Fiery Thunderbirds. There looked to be about thirty.

Their impressive numbers formed a hunting group, flying in a formation that showcased their focused precision.

Deus, referring to the Fiery Thunderbirds, said,

“They may even be stronger than dragons.”

Yulgeum bristled.

“They’re nothing more than brainless beasts.”

“If victory comes from culture, perhaps, but if the battle is about strength, the Fiery Thunderbirds may win.”

“Fighting isn’t just about power.”

“Say that after you beat me.”

“Shall we spar again?”

“No, I suppose not.”

“Argh! Annoying!”

As they bickered, the leader of the Fiery Thunderbird flock suddenly plummeted toward the lava lake.

Following the lead, dozens of Fiery Thunderbirds formed a single line, flying in formation.

The birds, unafraid of the boiling magma, plunged into it, hunting something beneath.

Yulgeum spoke as he watched.

“Gorion…”

“Gorion?”

“Yes. A kind of ancient dragon.”

“A dragon?”

“No, not quite. More like a distant ancestor of dragons. Just as humans are to monkeys without cognition, dragons before intelligence are Gorions.”

Beneath the crimson water, a dark-scaled monster swam by.

It resembled something between a fish and a lizard, with a long crocodile-like snout, short forelimbs with claws, and a tail like a whip.

While freely swimming through the lava, the creature whose length stretched hundreds of meters was no match for the Fiery Thunderbirds.

The birds, with a wingspan of about 15 meters and adorned with red feathers, dive-bombed into the depths where the Gorion lurked, viciously pecking its eyes and scales.

The Gorion, thrashing wildly, caught one of the birds in its crocodile-like jaws and devoured it whole.

The leader of the Fiery Thunderbirds split the flock into two groups.

The more agile birds distracted the Gorion with their movements, while the rest plunged into a physical assault.

The Gorion was powerful, tearing even the mighty Fiery Thunderbirds to shreds with its sharp teeth. However, the battle ultimately ended in victory for the birds.

The defeated Gorion, with its red flesh exposed due to loss of scales, floated upside down on the lava’s surface.

The Fiery Thunderbirds pulled the Gorion’s serpentine tail to drag it onto land, where dozens of the monstrous birds started to tear open its stomach to feast on the entrails.

“A kingdom of beasts,” Deus said, arms folded as he watched the battle of monsters from beginning to end.

“So ancient dragons still live in the demon realm.”

“And that surprises you?”

“No… It does make sense when I think about it. This was originally the home of humankind.”

It was a new story for Yulgeum.

With a slightly surprised expression, Deus looked at Yulgeum and asked,

“The demon realm was the home of humans?”

“Long ago.”

“And that means the above world is akin to a new continent?”

Deus pointed upwards. The disk-shaped world, Hors Continent, hung in the sky.

“That’s right.”

“Will that Darosh guy really come here?”

“I think it’s very likely.”

“Coming from the Golden Dragon, it sounds plausible.”

Deus scanned the surroundings.

It was a desolate place filled with volcanic rock.

“If I’d known it was like this, I should have brought Zik along.”

“Have him make something to eat. Waiting is boring.”

“How rude of a man to say a date is boring.”

“Are we still on that?”

“We’re on a journey!”

“Oh, is that what we’re calling it?”

For the next two days (?), all the two saw was a display of stronger animals catching and eating the weaker ones.

The next morning, the flock of Fiery Thunderbirds failed their hunt and became food for the Gorion.

The birds might have freely roamed the lava, but they were brutally dismembered by the Gorion’s jaws, with about twenty getting killed.

Though it was a commendable fight, Deus managed to alleviate the boredom of lying in wait.

And on the third day.

Deus burst out with curses early in the morning.

“That son of a—”

Yulgeum was looking in the same direction as Deus.

“Aren’t I impressive?”

While asking playfully, Yulgeum’s lips were tight.

“If he’s not dead yet, I have to kill him. That way he’ll be truly dead.”

“Don’t you find it scary?”

“Me?”

“No… Him.”

What Yulgeum and Deus were looking at was none other than Alex, one of the seven dukes of the demon realm.

Deus disappeared from Yulgeum’s view.

Then, reappearing right in front of Alex. However, Deus failed to catch him.

Almost simultaneously, he vanished as if he were merely an illusion, leaving not even a trace behind.

Deus was left with only one thing.

—How could you…

That was the only startled word that Alex got out.



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