Why I Quit Being the Demon King Chapter 87

Why I Quit Being the Demon King

Chapter 20: Passing Through the Land of Giants (3)

Zeke glanced down at his body.

His armor, made from the scales of a copper dragon, enveloped him. This was the first time he had fought while wearing it, and truth be told, he was a bit curious about the extent of its power.

“You’re an unusual one, aren’t you?” said a voice.

“Pardon?”

“Even though you claim to fear the giants, your expression tells a different story.”

“Is that so?”

“It’s as if the fear has been numbed. Courage can be a difficult thing to acquire, even for a hero.”

“This is… well, actually, it’s a secret. But looking into Deus’s eyes is like the secret ingredient to my bravery.”

“What kind of nonsensical talk is that?”

“It’s the truth. Ever since my first encounter with a dragon, it’s been that way. When I stare directly into Deus’s eyes, courage wells up inside me.”

“That sounds like something a cult leader might say.”

“Right? I don’t believe anyone else would take it seriously, which is why I usually keep it to myself.”

“Are you thinking of him even now?”

“Yes.”

“A hero must be ready to face the enemy up close and endure attacks. Motivation aside… as long as there is absolute courage, a hero can unleash a strength greater than anyone else.”

Sadimus, a former companion of heroes who had turned evil in his later years, also possessed experience from battling the Demon King.

Heeding his advice, Zeke nodded solemnly.

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Go then. If you can draw the giants’ attention at the front, I will unleash my magic from behind.”

Without hesitation, Zeke rushed towards the giants’ location. In truth, he didn’t have any other tricks up his sleeve.

He initiated the battle by casting black magic he learned from Sadimus, creating a dazzling explosion.

The giants, huddled together by a campfire indulging in their meal, jolted up in surprise.

Typical Mountain Giants, they were mere 3 meters tall and wore clothes crafted from animal hides.

Giants continue to grow from birth until death. While few have witnessed it personally, it’s said that giants under the age of ten are smaller than humans of equivalent age.

With a growth of about one meter every decade, most giants end their lives around fifty years of age.

A three-meter giant represented a young adult at the peak of physical prowess.

Most giants of this stature went out hunting or fighting in wars against humans.

As Zeke closed the distance, the giants loomed over him.

Fighting a giant was a daunting prospect. With their arm length nearly double that of a human, using weapons like swords required significant adaptation.

Yet, the ancestors of the Holibyde family had abandoned conventional martial arts to develop a style of combat against these colossal beings.

Holibyde swordsmanship was, at least when facing giants, considered first-rate.

Zeke rolled on the ground, reaching the knee of a giant before its hammer could strike.

Lifting his shield, he plunged his sword into the giant’s knee.

As he did, two flails struck his shield with an impact unfathomable to those who’ve never experienced it.

His spine tingled, and every joint screamed.

But it was the hero’s resilience that allowed him to endure.

With his sword, Zeke gouged at the giant’s knee.

His sword skills, albeit incomparable to just half a year ago, had improved significantly thanks to Skatul’s teachings and a plethora of accumulated experiences.

Among his foes were dragons, hydras, ancient weapons, and giants—each a formidable monster rare to encounter.

His recent battles with the undead had also served to enhance Zeke’s capabilities.

His sword cut through the giant’s flesh in a single swoop.

Suffering a bone-deep wound, the giant bellowed in pain.

As it bent forward to clutch its injury, Zeke leapt up, severing its throat.

The deep gash went as far as the carotid artery.

Blood gushed forth, drenching Zeke in crimson.

Yet, even amidst such carnage, Zeke’s gaze remained steady.

He had single-handedly defeated one giant, but there was no time to revel in the victory.

Immediately, he turned and charged at a second giant, intent on reducing their numbers before becoming encircled.

He understood that his ability to slay giants was not solely down to his skill but also the advantage of his equipment.

Fully aware of this, Zeke refrained from becoming prideful.

Adorned entirely with dragon-made weapons, failing to achieve any notable feats would have been a shame indeed.

Facing the second giant, Zeke conjured magic he had learned on Deus’s advice—a spectacular display of black magic exploded right before the giant’s face.

Magic, a phenomenon driven by the knot of mana, usually gave a detectable premonition just before manifestation.

Catching the giant off guard, black flames erupted as it recoiled.

Zeke knew he wasn’t quite adept enough to inflict significant damage with magic—it was merely a feint, akin to a boxer’s jab.

Leaping into the stunned giant’s embrace, Zeke plunged his sword into its thigh.

The famed blade, Doomslino, effortlessly severed the giant’s tendons and muscle. Leaping up again, he delivered a lethal thrust directly into the giant’s heart.

In a mere moment, another giant fell victim to his assault.

For the giants who had assembled their pot over the fire intending to dine, it was akin to lightning striking from a clear sky. Not that Zeke could afford the luxury of considering the monsters’ rights.

Zeke remained in motion.

Around ten more giants stood before him.

Suddenly, the surroundings darkened.

At first, he mistook it for an eclipse, as a grey shadow enveloped the area, but darkness proliferated quickly.

Zeke sensed Sadimus’s power emanating from the spell.

The energy was like a storm, a magnitude far surpassing any human imagination, enhanced by the blood of heroes Sadimus had consumed over a millennium.

The darkness, now mist-like, shrouded the giants.

Zeke, too, lost his sight.

As he pondered his next move, skeletal figures holding lanterns emerged, navigating him through the gloom.

It appeared the darkness had stripped away all senses, not just sight.

Deaf and blind, stripped of scent, the giants descended into panic.

Seizing the opportunity, Zeke attacked amidst the persistent obscurity.

It was a one-sided massacre.

Once again, he marveled at the Arc Lich Sadimus’s power, and a profound curiosity arose regarding Deus’s true strength, which commanded even such beings.

Sadimus muttered as he rummaged through the fallen giants:

“Well taught, indeed.”

Deus, with arms crossed, observed from a distance.

Though enveloped by the inky shroud, even he could not fully pierce the veil of darkness.

“So, what’s his grade?” asked Skatul.

“There’s much illusion in such ratings,” Deus replied.

“What do you mean?”

“The equipment plays a significant role. Can a naked hero, unarmed, face a dragon and prevail?”

“With just a sock in my mouth, I could win,” Deus remarked offhandedly.

“Why a sock suddenly… Anyway, these ratings—conceived based on conjecture and experience—dictate that an A-class hero corresponds to a certain level of weaponry.”

“Is Zeke’s gear overpowered right now?”

“Substantially. However, even accounting for this… he comfortably enters the class D tier.”

“Class D? Isn’t that remarkable? He’s still just a child.”

“Fourteen amounts to near-adulthood,” Skatul pointed out.

“Given the human growth curve, wouldn’t 25 be the peak?”

“That’s true.”

“He’s got at least ten more years of growth, then. Plus five more for his body.”

“It’s exciting to see how far he’ll go.”

“He could even surpass you, master.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Yes.”

“But you’re hardly known for your keen eye.”

As they conversed, Deus glanced back at Zeke, who was just finishing off the twelfth giant.

“It seems things are wrapping up. Let’s collect the spoils of war.”

“Yes, master.”

With the picnic set packed and the carriage steps folded, Skatul carried out his butler’s duties flawlessly.

As he passed by, Yulgeum murmured:

“Time to end the joke, no?”

“Sorry?”

“Just keep it in mind.”

With a flick of his words, Yulgeum boarded the carriage.

Skatul, looking puzzled, shrugged and took his seat as the coachman.

Watching Zeke panting, Deus smiled faintly:

“Now, you’re beginning to be somewhat useful.”

“I think so, too.”

Behind him lay about a dozen giant corpses, staring skyward.

“Sadimus!”

“Yes, master?”

“Clean them up. If you find anything useful, keep it.”

“Treasure?”

“Yes, spoils of war.”

Muttering to himself, Sadimus proceeded to strip the giants.

Summoning insects to dissolve and consume the flesh, skeletons were left bare in no time.

Giants bones, tougher than many metals, made for weapons and armor material.

As Sadimus learned from Skatul’s example, he diligently cleared the area.

Zeke too offered his help, but Deus stopped him.

“Leave it. That’s a task for the lesser ones.”

“But I…”

“Rest. I’ll need you ready for the next battle soon.”

Deus gestured towards a distant hill, marked by a large structure that seemed to be a watchtower—likely an observation point for the giants during the fight.

“I’ll take a break then.”

Zeke leaned back against the carriage wheel, his excitement subsiding.

As his strength returned, a yearning to fight surfaced again.

It was a peculiar feeling.

As a defeated loser, he’d resisted even approaching a battlefield.

But now, he yearned to validate his tactics—to see if they truly worked against an enemy.

A heat traveled through his blood, tingling every inch of him.

Deus glanced at him, remarking:

“You’ve finally learned to pull your weight, it seems.”

“Pardon?”

“Keep learning. Now’s the time.”

The ‘next battle’ Deus had mentioned soon came to pass.

Before they could even have dinner, a group of giants thundered down the ridges, the echoes of their steps carrying afar.

The twenty of them approached, not only increased in number but also brandishing what seemed like weapons.

Armed with shields made from the whole hides of tigers, strapped tight, and short spears tipped with sharp obsidian, they presented an image reminiscent of Stone Age primitives. However, the intimidation felt from their towering stature was beyond imagination.

“Is it just me again this time?” Zeke inquired.

With a laugh, Deus responded,

“Shall I accompany you?”

“If you would, it would be reassuring.”

“Forget it. I’m not really in the mood today.”

“Something wrong?”

“It’s nothing you need to concern yourself with. By the way, where did your siblings go off to?”

“Oh, right. They went on a school trip to Seonghwang Castle.”



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