Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 84

Why I Quit Being the Demon King

19. Fighting the Walking Corpses (5)

As I dozed off in my chair, lunchtime was approaching before I knew it.

When I opened my eyes to the shadow, I saw Scathool standing there.

“Master.”

“Ah.”

Perhaps it was the backlit effect that made his figure feel strange.

The sunlight formed a halo over his head, and the radiance stretched out in all directions like the wings of light.

“What is it?”

“I came to inform you that it’s almost time for the meal.”

“Where’s Zik?”

“He has started his dark magic training.”

“Oh, right. We had decided on that.”

Scathool smiled broadly.

“I never imagined you would bring an Archlich as a servant.”

“But why an Archlich?”

“Didn’t you know?”

“No.”

“You created a lich to serve you, didn’t you? That’s a task only those among the liches who have risen to the very top can accomplish.”

“Oh, right. It seems he turned one of the villagers into a lich.”

“They call the philosopher’s stone he created ‘the Black Philosopher’s Stone,’ though that’s quite appropriate, using it to turn someone else into a mage is not an easy task.”

“Is he that exceptional?”

“Yes.”

“That’s good then. Zik will become stronger. Anyway, you’ve taught him well too. He fights well.”

“Thank you for your compliment.”

“Keep up the good work. I don’t know for how long, though.”

“For how long are you talking about?”

“Either you’ll leave, or I will.”

“Why say such a thing…”

Deus shook his head and got up from his seat.

“Humans can only live for 100 years. You, on the other hand, are a faerie.”

“Is that what you meant?”

“Let’s say that. I’ll go eat with that damned woman.”

“Have a good meal, Master.”

Scathool bowed his head to see him off.

Heroes and Demon Kings.

Faeries and Archliches.

And even the true golden dragon.

Thinking that these relationships will last forever is overly naive.

Zik’s street stall was open after a long break.

Thanks to a fair number of people who had become aware that he was a hero, they took it in stride when the stall closed.

It wasn’t right to criticize him for not selling skewers when he was fighting to save the world.

The regular customers gathered.

Late in the evening, after the truly profitable customers had cleared out, the street urchins took their places.

If there was one person who was the top regular, it was Deus.

He always paid for what he had at the food stall, tipping reasonably too. For Zik, he was the most appreciated customer.

He couldn’t even mention the idea of not accepting the money, just filled with gratefulness.

“Oh, my siblings have started receiving swordsmanship and magic private lessons.”

Zik mentioned this while washing the dishes, and Deus nodded.

“They really need to work hard.”

“Yes. It’s all thanks to your help, Deus.”

“I just gave you the way. You’re running it all yourself, so you can be proud.”

“Is that so?”

“What about me? Don’t I help?”

It was Yulgeum. Zik answered with a bright smile.

“Yulgeum’s help is also significant.”

Yulgeum had returned.

But looking at her, Zik felt something was truly strange.

She had definitely left…

Yet he had a feeling as if she had been with him all this time.

The image of the magician he had been with not long ago strangely overlapped, sometimes making him think they were the same person.

He thought ‘what does it matter?’ with a strange sense of persuasion and didn’t delve any further, yet it was a curious feeling.

“What are you helping with? Trying to put a spoon where it doesn’t belong?”

“Why are you like this? All the items you sell are provided by me.”

“People would think you gave them for free. That’s the price of my labor.”

Watching the two bicker, Zik wore a pleased smile.

Then a new customer arrived.

A young woman hesitated, walked up to the stall, and took a seat.

“Oh, senior.”

“What’s up, rich lady? You’re gonna get in trouble with your dad. Go home early.”

“Don’t tease me.”

Lexia pouted at Deus.

In fact, she had already been scolded.

For taking a horse and weapon without permission and fighting the undead.

A sacred silver sword, carefully stored in the family’s armory, was damaged, and she also returned with serious injuries.

If not for Deus and Yulgeum, she wouldn’t be of this world anymore.

Which father wouldn’t scold for that?

“It’s the fault of the Holy Azure Empire. They were wrong in setting the level. Who would have thought there’d be so many undead?”

Lexia had heard the name Sadimus but hadn’t seen him.

Since then, she had fainted, and upon returning to Jorix Castle, the name Sadimus became blurry in her memory.

Deus purposely did not mention it. Thanks to that, she was unaware that Sadimus, the cause of the incident, was serving Deus here.

“Are you okay?”

Zik asked, and Lexia nodded.

“Yeah. I came to apologize.”

“To whom?”

“To Zik.”

“Me?”

“Yes. Sorry.”

Lexia stood up and bowed her head.

“Why are you apologizing?”

“It’s because of me that you got wrapped up in such a ridiculous situation.”

“Don’t apologize for that. It’s not ridiculous. It’s what a hero should rightfully do.”

A hero’s duty. At those words, Lexia felt somewhat ashamed.

“Anyway, the Holy Azure Empire has dispatched people to investigate Povispi Village. It was originally a seal created by the Zodiac Knights a thousand years ago, so they went there themselves.”

Lexia sat down again.

“Zodiac Knights, I’d like to see them.”

“Haven’t you seen them?”

“No. They’re always so veiled.”

“Weren’t you getting training at the Holy Azure Empire?”

“That was just a month. It’s nice to call it hero training, but it’s just a trip.”

“You’re going to college after graduating high school, right? Then you’ll have a chance to see them.”

“That’s true. Zik… you won’t go, right?”

“What college would take someone who just finished elementary?”

“There’s a system where you take a test to get a graduation certificate. Why not try a hero’s GED?”

“I’m just not interested. I’m happy as it is now.”

As Lexia was about to speak again, Deus interrupted.

“Order something to eat instead of talking, will you? Don’t interfere with other people’s business. Unlike the lady here, Zik needs to earn to live.”

Lexia flinched but nodded, realizing it wasn’t wrong.

“Something tasty that won’t make me gain weight.”

“Where can you find that?”

“It’s not for you to order.”

“The level of taste is determined by the balance of fats and sugars.”

“Hmph, I wonder how Zik got involved with someone like you!”

“Don’t be angry. Deus just likes harmless jokes. I’ll make someting light for you. I happen to have obtained some dried tofu.”

“Dried tofu?”

“It’s an ingredient made from pressed and dried tofu. If you cut it into thin strips, it has a texture similar to noodles. I’ll make some stir-fried dried tofu.”

Hearing this, Yulgeum and even Deus joined in.

“I want that. Sounds delicious.”

“Me too.”

“Sure, I’ll make plenty.”

The ingredients for the stir-fried noodles Zik was making included nothing more than chili, spring onion, and garlic to make the chili oil.

However, the aroma alone was beyond anything earthly.

With the first chopstick, Lexia felt her condition, which had been on a downward curve for days, suddenly bend upwards.

After snacking, Lexia spoke to Zik as she was leaving.

“Let’s still go on adventures together sometimes. The end wasn’t great… but up until then, it was really nice.”

“Sure, if it is on my day off. I’ve been too much of a bother to Scathool this time.”

“Okay, promise.”

“Yes, senior.”

The peace of the night is not shared equally by all.

Investigator Cadenza van Holypitch, he was spending the night awake, with open eyes in the village of Povispi.

“It’s troublesome.”

A few undead who lost their way stumbled upon the lodging where Cadenza was sleeping.

This was already the fourth time tonight.

They were such insignificant foes that they were easily dispatched in a few seconds, but it was nonetheless annoying.

He opened the door. At that moment, a skeleton tried to bite him with its gaping mouth.

However, Cadenza’s sword was faster.

The chest of the skeleton was slashed into a cross and shattered into pieces by the wind pressure of the blade.

Cadenza ran outside and crushed the skeletons and zombies surrounding the building.

Then, from the depths of the dark forest, he saw a flash of red light.

It was a familiar power.

Powerful yet not at all malevolent, a holy light.

“The Holy Sword, Antares!”

“Hey! Friend!”

A man emerged from the darkness, his sword skewered with a skeleton’s head.

The hearty man, seemingly over 190 centimeters tall, wielded the bastard sword with one hand.

He shook off the remains of the skeleton in the air and shattered several more with a single stroke.

“Oridon, it’s been a long time.”

“Between friends, formalities aren’t necessary. Just call me Oridon.”

“I’m not the type to call everyone I see a friend.”

“We’re Zodiac Knights, aren’t we?”

“We are colleagues, not friends.”

“Don’t be so picky.”

Oridon van Holypitch, with the name of the fig tree, approached Cadenza and slung his arm around his shoulder.

“I rushed here so you wouldn’t have to struggle alone.”

“There’s no trouble. As you can see, it’s just trash around.”

“According to the records, Sadimus, a famous dark mage from a thousand years ago, seemed to be sealed here.”

“A rare case of a dark mage who became a hero’s companion.”

“They said he had nothing to do with the demon race.”

“Yes. He unearthed the black magic tome from the Age of Silver but eventually became a lich, not overcoming the curse of the demon race.”

“A pitiful fate.”

“I don’t sympathize. Instead, I find it pathetic. If he chose the destiny of being a hero’s companion, then he had the duty to make his ending as beautiful as the rest of his destiny.”

“Don’t be so stiff. He was human, after all.”

“At least the companions of a hero mustn’t be human. They’re the representatives of the gods, carrying out the holy war. The same goes for us.”

“Typical of a pureblood with over 90 percent superiority.”

Cadenza slipped out of Oridon’s arm clasp.

“You don’t have any business here in Oridon. The seal of Sadimus has been destroyed, but his presence has already faded. Unless another incident arises, there isn’t anything for the Zodiac Knights to engage in right now.”

“But you’re here.”

“I have my own reasons.”

“You mean the case of that boy named Zik?”

“How did you find out?”

“Night words are heard by mice, and day words by birds. A word without legs can travel a thousand miles.”

“Don’t you think it’s already rumor-mongering that someone like you would stay in a small city like Jorix as an investigator for months?”

“Being criticized by Oridon makes it even more painful.”

“So what do you think? You came here for Zik, didn’t you? Is he worthy of being the tenth Zodiac Knight?”

“He’s only 14 years old.”

“I know.”

“I’d say he has already surpassed the A rank. Generously given, maybe at the beginning level of G or D.”

“You’re lying!”

“If you think my words are a lie, then there’s no need for further discussion.”

“I’ll give you some leeway.”

Cadenza sighed shortly and continued.

“I can understand it’s hard to believe… but that’s probably the power of a purity percentage in double digits.”



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