Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 75

Why I Quit Being the Demon King

18. Struggling Alone (1)

Zeke flipped the egg with a rueful smile. The fire must have been a little too strong. A brown pattern had formed on the egg.

He lifted the neatly folded omelet a little, gently pouring more egg underneath.

Another roll increased the volume of the egg roll.

It was then that Zeke spoke up.

“It doesn’t matter. Even if it earns me hatred.”

“Isn’t it strange? We are all heroes, yet some receive Lord Joric’s praise as the hero who slew the Uwerg, while others are treated as if they didn’t even take part in the battle.”

“That’s just the way it is. Lady Kanaedin officially took on the quest and defeated the monster with the knights of her domain.”

“Without you, Zeke, it would have been impossible.”

“That’s just a hypothesis. Besides, Sir Kadencha was close at hand as well. Had I not stepped in, Sir Kadencha would have lent his assistance.”

“That much is true.”

Zeke added more egg mixture. He pushed it to the corner to shape it, and now it became thicker than his palm.

“It’s like magic.”

“Excuse me?”

“The dish you’re making, the egg roll. Since I’ve never seen a kitchen before… I suppose every dish goes through this mysterious process to be made?”

“That’s true. The chef I used to work with in a restaurant was good with a round frying pan called a wok. He would just stir-fry some sauces and noodles, yet it tasted incredibly good!”

Scatul laughed as he said this.

“Swordsmanship is similar. Just a few movements combined to create the most accurate form for the situation.”

“Ah! Then those basic movements are the ‘forms’.”

“Exactly.”

Kadencha smiled brightly at Scatul’s explanation as he tidied up the ingredients.

“However skilled in swordsmanship you might be, or rather, because of it, you also need a corresponding status. Should I say backing? As the saying goes, a prominent nail gets hammered down. Someone strong without any power backing them up can never survive.”

Zeke had never considered such things.

He had believed that his life as a hero from the hero contractors’ family was the fate given to him.

“The stronger and more meritorious you become, Zeke, the more people will attack you politically. From their perspective, they’d only be satisfied if you, as the weaker one, stayed below them forever.”

“That’s a rather dark view.”

Zeke chuckled bitterly.

“I’d love to believe in the goodness of humanity, but I’ve never experienced it.”

“I have.”

“Are you speaking of Deus?”

“Yes.”

“I wonder how that would be…”

Kadencha’s words trailed off.

The most suspicious of all was that man named Deus.

He seemed to be a mage or magic swordsman, but too strong for a mere Grade D hero.

It was weird that such a skilled person had suddenly appeared.

Kadencha’s smile faded as he found a clue in the conundrum before him.

People can’t simply be good-hearted.

That Deus character couldn’t possibly be supporting Zeke out of goodness.

If his true nature was exposed, Zeke might also change his mind.

He took a bite of the ready-made egg roll.

“Oh! This is really delicious.”

He smiled, feeling better, and chugged a glass of alcohol, oblivious to the weight of the actions he was contemplating.

“Your Grace… you’re alive. Could it really be the Earl of Gluttony too?”

Earl Alex of Pride and Earl Darosch of Gluttony.

Two of the seven demon earls had found one man.

His name was Ifrit, the Earl of Eruptions, the king of flames and truth.

Ifrit’s body was made of rock.

His flame-made joints were still radiating intense heat.

“What has happened? Your funeral has already been carried out.”

Alex asked with a bitter smile.

“Now it’s time for yours to be held.”

“What kind of trick are you playing?”

“I wish it were just a prank.”

Alex pulled out a fist-sized jewel from his pocket.

The red jewel was burning with dark flames.

“No, you don’t think—”

“Yes, that one. The soul of the 665th.”

The crimson darkness.

This deepest red jewel was the actual heart of the Devil King.

When a Devil King dies, his soul becomes a jewel, stored in the Devil King’s hall.

When the next Devil King ascends, he ingests this jewel, absorbing its power.

It was the fate of the Devil King to forsake even his soul for posterity.

“Are you saying that he has started to act?”

“What a tormenting predicament—dying but not being allowed rest…”

“Does that mean he gave up on the 666th?”

Alex sighed wearily.

“My lord… I don’t understand him. If he truly wants to abandon being the Devil King, then only his magical essence should be retrieved to pass on to the next Devil King.”

“It hasn’t even been a year, isn’t this too soon?”

“It’s not my decision. I am but a supporter of my lord. Why wouldn’t I wish for him to return to the seat of the Devil Domain? Nevertheless, we seven earls must execute the orders of the previous Devil King.”

Ifrit turned his gaze to Darosch…

“Was your feigned death also an order from the 665th?”

Darosch, with his crocodilian square snout, hesitated before opening his mouth.

“That’s right. I’ve long been influencing the dragons’ hardliners to sow discord between humans and dragons. Then, recently, under the orders from the 665th, I set a trap.”

“A trap?”

“Nothing fancy. Just manipulated the golden dragon to provoke the present lord.”

Alex picked up the conversation.

“The goal, Darosch, was to provide him with a reason to die.”

“Why—Ah! Hiding away to plot something!”

Darosch nodded.

“That’s correct. This endeavor requires the strength of at least half the seven earls. And you’re vital to the plan.”

“Vital, for what exactly?”

Darosch looked out the window of Ifrit’s chamber, towards a massive volcano.

“We’ll set off a great eruption on the Horus continent.”

“If we do, it will be annihilation! Both the human world and our own…”

“On the contrary, if things remain as they are, it’s only our side that will perish. How could the army of the Devil Domain, led by an unprepared Devil King, withstand the human heroes? Even if we have to start over from the primordial age, we cannot suffer a wretched defeat at the hands of humans.”

Ifrit exhaled a short breath at Darosch’s stern expression.

“So that’s the order from the 665th.”

Alex nodded gravely.

“Our hands are tied from here. We can only choose to follow the command or rebel.”

“I’ve never even imagined refusing an order left by a Devil King who forfeited his soul.”

Ifrit said this while gazing once more at the crimson darkness.

Once the seat of the Devil Domain was abandoned, the soul jewel was no longer alive.

Darosch and Alex had no choice but to follow the orders of the 665th—a will that cannot be violated.

Ifrit spoke to the two demon earls.

“What shall I do?”

“You are the master of this great volcano, Ior, are you not? The plan is simple. So…”

Alex and Darosch quietly began to explain their strategy to Ifrit.

“Really idle, aren’t we?”

Deus threw out a comment from the large carriage responsible for city-to-city transit.

It was only natural that Yulgum would be upset.

“I’m staying because you asked for help.”

“If it were really urgent, you would have refused.”

“That’s why you don’t have friends. Even Alex, your only friend, ran away.”

“Who needs friends? He was nothing more than a nanny.”

Deus quickly opened his mouth again.

“Even if she’s a nanny, don’t misunderstand. She wasn’t breastfeeding or anything.”

“Why so serious? Of course, she wouldn’t suckle milk. I’ve never heard of a Devil King being a mammal. It’s more like a guardian role. Each of the seven earls raises a child of the Devil King, and one of those becomes the next Devil King.”

Despite being surrounded by people, they discussed Devil Kings as if it were nothing.

Magic made it so. Others heard entirely different conversations.

“It was quite shocking. The kids I studied with when I was young were actually my siblings.”

“You didn’t know?”

“Of course. I personally killed seven of them.”

“Oh, that study?”

“What, did you think I was studying philosophy or ethics?”

“Is that so surprising?”

“Slaughter and destruction are my majors.”

“You’re behaving quite well here.”

“I’ve decided to live an ordinary life.”

“It doesn’t seem so typical. Already marked by the Holy City, even fairies visiting you. And dealing with those short charcoal-burners…”

“That’s still within the range of normal. It’s not like I’m conquering a nation and plotting world domination. Moreover, it was Zeke who got marked by the Holy City, for raising such an outrageous being as a contracted hero.”

“Yeah, I was a bit surprised too. His pure bloodline exceeded 10 percent.”

“If he completes his training and fits him with proper arms, could he become as strong as the ultimate hero?”

“Fourth-generation heroes have a limit compared to the zero generation, but since his pure bloodline exceeded 10 percent, he might have a similar strength.”

“Is that so?”

“Why?”

“Nothing.”

“Do you want to fight?”

Deus glanced at Yulgum, feeling stung.

“You’ve become sharp after living a million years.”

“Why sharp? Ah, no age talk. Anyway, Zeke would struggle in a fight against the last hero. They need the blessing of a god.”

“The blessing of a god? Really?”

“More like the grace of an angel, I guess.”

“An angel…”

Deus turned his gaze outside the carriage.

“And what’s that?”

The route the carriage traveled on usually had good security.

Mainly because the road was big and there were not a few carriages passing through.

However, large incidents occasionally happened.

Those who attacked a bustling public carriage were definitely not ordinary bandits.

Like the ones right now.

There were about 20 robbers riding on a dozen horses, surrounding the carriage.

In their hands were crossbows designed to launch fiery explosives made with magic.

The explosives, in one shot, could destroy something as large as a carriage without a trace.

The carriage master didn’t dare even think of resisting.

He promptly surrendered and ordered the coachman to stop the carriage.

A few robbers approached the carriage door and opened it.

“Please come out, guests. This carriage has just re-routed to hell, kekeke!”

The door-opening robber stuck out his tongue and laughed gruesomely.

The passengers inside the carriage all turned pale with fear.

Yulgum gave a sign and whispered:

“What will you do?”

“Just watch. It’s interesting, isn’t it?”

“I knew you’d say that.”

Including Deus and Yulgum, about 20 passengers stepped out of the carriage.

The number of robbers surrounding it had grown to nearly 50 in the meantime.

With the horses and the explosive crossbows, they were completely different from ordinary bandits.

One man from the group of robbers stepped forward, glaring at the passengers.

Tall with muscular forearms, he had the innate build of a brute.



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