「…Demon King. 」
「Oh? Is that what they call me now? 」
He muttered something significant and he looked exactly like he did in the game. His entire body is covered in jet black armour and the only thing that I can tell is that he is a male. With the helmet covering his entire head, I can’t even see his face.
「Your Highness, please step back. 」
「Oh, so this man is a member of the royal family? Don’t think you can just die. 」
When I asked the Prince to step back, the Demon King let out a resentful laugh. Apparently, he has exceptional animosity towards royalty.
The in-game Demon King had so much resentment towards humans and the kingdom and it seems to be the same here. I’m sure there are reasons for his resentment that weren’t brought up in the game.
I withdrew the sword from my waist and faced the Demon King. To make it easier to use magic, I used a dark attribute one-handed sword.
When I was waiting for the right moment to attack, the Demon King opened his mouth.
「Hey, you, what’s your name? 」
「My name is Yumiela Dolknes. 」
「Dolknes… I’ve never heard of that name, are you an emerging noble house? No, it’s even more unusual to find a house that has been around since the founding of the kingdom.
Well, Yumiela Dolknes. Are you willing to betray the corrupt Kingdom of Balshine and become an ally of mine? 」
Oh, he asked me a standard question. Will I get at least half of the world?
「I will have to refuse. There’s no reason for me to do that. 」
Why would the Demon King attempt to bring me and only me to his side? Are you just trying to use my intellect to build up your firepower, or are you—
「He-help me… 」
There was a voice from the Demon King’s back that sounded like it was about to disappear. The voice came from the magically gutted floor.
「I can’t believe that you’re still alive. 」
The Demon King turned around and lifted Alicia from the floor like a piece of rag.
So they are indeed wearing a protection amulet. The protection amulet is said to be able to protect the wearer one high-level magic that can even shave the space off itself, but only once.
It saved my life, which also saved her life. William and Oswald must be alive too, but I don’t hear any sound as if they are unconscious. Either way, they are injured and have no way to recover.
When Prince Edwin attempted to run towards the Demon King, I grabbed him by the collar and yank him back.
The Demon King grabbed Alicia’s arm and raised it up then turned to face us.
「I’ve heard the stories but I’m not sure if you understand. I figured right away that the three of them were trash.
Prince, why do you care about her so much? You may as well cut off the people who betray allies in the enemy’s territory. 」
「It’s true that Alicia did something she can never take back. Even so, I still love her. 」
「Nonsense, what’s the point of love? People will betray their loved ones for their gain. 」
「That’s not true! I would never betray my loved ones. 」
「 I will accept my death if I remain silent and watch Alicia die. Then the Balshine Kingdom will be free from the threat of monsters. Will that do? 」
「Thats… How can you compare a country to an individual? How can you guarantee that the Demon King will keep his word in the first place? 」
Alicia, captured by the Demon King, becomes distraught when she sees Prince Edwin who is at a loss for answers.
「Ed-kun, no! Help me! 」
「Shut your mouth. No, wait, let’s ask Alexia or whatever her name is. I will only spare one of these three choices: you, the Prince, or the country. Come on, pick one. 」
When the Demon King got his face closer to Alicia, she got terrified. She screams in reply as if the fear is stressing her out to the limit.
「Me, please help me! 」
「See, there you go. This is how people are. 」
「No way… 」
Prince Edwin was stunned to hear Alicia’s unapologetic plea for her life.
According to the Prince, Alicia was a kind-hearted girl who only changed when she saw me in front of her. She’s also the main character in the game, so the story must be true.
But reality has deviated from the game’s scenario. She was supposed to overcome many challenges in her first or second year at the school, but she has come so far without making it through the event.
I think that’s the reason why Alicia’s heart has remained weak.
「Well, I was just asking about who to kill. 」
The Demon King retorts and tightens his grip on Alicia’s neck. She screamed in anguish.
Prince Edwin tried running up to him again but he felt uneasy about the Demon King’s behaviour. The Demon King should be able to kill Alicia in a heartbeat, but he’s slowly tightening his grip on her neck. As if to show us his overwhelming strength.
「We’ve got to get out of here! 」
I stepped in front of Prince Edwin and pushed him backwards. At the same time, a spell is released at me. Just in the nick of time, I also released my magic to counteract it.
「Hmm, I missed it. Too bad, I could have killed him. 」
Alicia, in the hands of the Demon King who said that, was dangling her limbs like a doll.
「Huh, if only the stupid Prince hadn’t stepped forward, I could have saved her. 」
There was no sound coming from behind me to tell me that the Prince was shifting. Probably the impact of the emergency escape knocked him out.
「I sense no respect for royalty in you, but are you interested in joining me? 」
「I have no interest in joining you, but why did you invite me? 」
The Demon King was about to answer my question, but I felt a hint of magic being activated. The aim isn’t going for me, it was William and Oswald that are at his feet.
I wanted to interfere with my magic, but I might end up getting them involved. I started running forward like a cannonball to slash the Demon King.
I can feel the response to the slash aimed at the Demon King’s neck. But it didn’t seem to interfere with the magic. They were already out of breath at his feet.
「You’re fast. You are the only one who has this kind of strength. 」
The Demon King jumped back, unfazed. It’s strange but I’m sure he had a good reaction.
In the next moment, the helmet worn by the Demon King shattered into pieces. The face of the Demon King that appeared from the inside was…
No, it’s different. He’s a man with black hair, black eyes, a face with a stoic expression, a man who looked exactly like me, even his facial structure. I think the atmosphere is somewhat similar.
「I was surprised when I saw you. I’m sure you aren’t my descendant, so we may be distantly related. 」
The Demon King is a human? I should probably say he was a human.
「Don’t tell me that you offered me an invitation to betray the kingdom because of our similarities in appearance? 」
「With your black hair, how hard it must’ve been to live in this country, let alone this world? You’ve been through a lot of unfairness, haven’t you? Hate the world, hate the country, hate the people, let’s work together to destroy everything. 」
「It’s true that my life has been hard to live because of the absurdity of it. The feeling I had was not one of hatred, but resignation. I have thought of running away many times, but I never once wished for the world to end, for the country to disappear, for people to die. 」
No… I wanted to think I’m not like that. Because realistically speaking, I can do that.
「Why are you so… In the end, they will betray you anyway. How did they tell you about the origins of this country? 」
「The Hero and the Saint sealed off the Demon King and created a kingdom. 」
Does the Demon King’s secret involve the origins of this country?
「Fuahahahahahaha, so they started the story like that. Fucking snobs. 」
「Don’t you ever wonder in the first place? Didn’t this country exist long before I, the Demon King, came into an existence? 」
I was certainly curious about that, but I couldn’t find any documentation on the history of the country before its establishment. I was convinced that it had been lost in the fires from the battle against the Demon King…
「Before Balshine Kingdom was established, this area was a warlike period. The first king of Balshine was the first person who won a series of battles and created a country. He had two outstanding subordinates, a wielder of light magic and dark magic. 」
「Don’t tell me… 」
With the two subordinates, the First Queen, who was said to be a saint, and…
「I served the King. I respected him, admired him, and my loyalty to him was second to none. He accepted the black-haired me. 」
The Demon King said that he was a loyal subject of the First King. But after that, he…
「But as soon as the country stabilized, I was sent to this remote area. The King was afraid of my power. No, from the beginning, he was only looking for power. In his heart, he must have loathed both black hair and dark magic. 」
His face was surprisingly gentle as he talked about the old days. It was as if he felt nostalgic about the past.
「…So, did you start a rebellion? 」
「Not by a long shot! 」
Suddenly, the Demon King’s expression changed drastically into a look of fury.
「Absolutely not. I thought it was inevitable. The King’s heart for his people is genuine and I thought that that was enough for me. I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to spend the rest of my life in the remote countryside, hearing about the King’s exploits through the grapevine. 」
But I guess that didn’t happen. And the first thing they did was…
「But the King raised an army. I don’t have any soldiers, I even pleaded him to quit, even if it meant being sent to the harshest battlefield. 」
I wonder why he didn’t fight back, why he didn’t run if he didn’t have a chance to win. Maybe he, unlike me, has a different perspective about this country…
「I had loved and adored this country and its people. But I was betrayed. All of my men, even those who were trustworthy, believed the rumours the King had spread. 」
He loved them so deeply that when those feelings were betrayed, they turned into a tremendous hatred.
「And I have killed everything, destroyed everything. The next thing I knew is that I was able to control the monsters. I hated the monsters that threatened my country and my people, but even I used them to my advantage. 」
I did not know the story of the Demon King. But I only know how that story ends.
「However, I lost. They avoided confrontations and sealed me using an ancient secret art. So here we are now. Are you still going to side with the Balshine Kingdom after hearing my story? 」
「I think the First King is totally at fault in that case. But now it’s different. 」
「My killers didn’t seem to accept you, did they? 」
「Well, I suppose you could say some of them are the most bitter bunch… But His Majesty and His Highness aren’t like that. 」
「They were only whispering sweet nothings in anticipation of my resurrection. Even if you kill me, you’ll still have no place in this world. 」
After hearing the Demon King’s story, I now understood what His Majesty had meant by the “Second Demon King” statement. It also meant to say that I shouldn’t know who the Demon King was.
「I want to eliminate the discrimination against black hair. For the sake of the dark-haired children who will be born in the future. 」
So I can’t be the enemy of humanity. Because if that happens, the discrimination against the black hair will only accelerate.
「When His Majesty heard this, he said that he would support them to ensure that they will not create a second Demon King. Maybe, in the story being passed down to the royalty, you would be labelled as evil.
But I am sure His Majesty is aware that you have not committed treason. The Demon King was born from discrimination and abomination. 」
I could be a true Demon King. Moreover, I’m much stronger and far more terrifying than the one in front of me.
「People’s hearts can change. Things may be good now but after decades, things may change. 」
「Then I’ll run away, whether outside the country or the continent. And the one that could kill me, or seal me, is dead. 」
Alicia, who was probably one of the best light magic users in history, is dead. Now, once I destroy the light-attribute sword, it will be impossible to kill me.
The Demon King’s enraged expression softened slightly after hearing my statement.
「How cold you are, my dear. Do you have anyone you love? 」
「Y-yes, but… 」
「What if he betrays you? 」
I never said it was a man I love. But it’s true, though.
What if Patrick betrays me? I still think that I’ll run away. I don’t want to hurt him, and I don’t want to hurt myself by hurting him.
「I think I’m going to run away… If he’s going to betray me, if that makes him happy, then I will gladly accept it. 」
「I thought so at first. When I saw her bonding with the King, I thought that was fine. But that didn’t happen on the second betrayal. 」
Could it be that the Demon King and the first Queen were lovers? His loyalty is incredible, like serving his Lord, even when his lover is taken from him.
「I had the option to escape, which you didn’t have. I think that’s the only difference. 」
You could say that the Demon King has the balls to face it and I don’t.
「Escaping… I didn’t even think about it. I wonder if the history would have been different if had I escaped… 」
My will to fight is gradually disappearing as I watch him imagining another life. Maybe Patrick is right about me being a softie.
「How about running away now? You’re supposed to be dead, and somewhere far away— 」
The words that escaped from my mouth are interrupted. He’s going to continue to face how far he’s going to go it seems.
「We can’t get away with this. I think that your idea to eliminate discrimination is noble. But I think this world must be destroyed. 」
Two people who are at odds with each other in a discussion ended up with one decision. It’s kill or be killed.
「I understand. I guess we’re going to have to fight. 」
That was the beginning of the battle between the Demon King and me.
We both jumped back at the same time and fire our magic at a distance. I have more power and manoeuvres than him, but I need to intercept and counteract all of them to prevent any stray shots from hitting Prince Edwin, who is unconscious behind me.
Is it not a good idea to fight at long distance? I try to switch to close combat, but the Demon King attacks my feet, floor by floor.
The Demon King grins as I leap to evade him. He thinks I’m stuck in the air. But alas, aerial manoeuvring is my speciality.
The magic power is blasted backwards to reach the Demon King. The Demon King turned his eyes away at speed, but it was already too late.
My slash cuts off the Demon King’s right arm. Swiftly, I bring the sword to his neck.
「…What’s wrong? Kill me. 」
「I’m not running away… 」
I thought I was ready for it. It’s most likely because I heard his story. His Majesty’s advice was right on point.
「Goddamn it! Such strength, you’ve killed a lot of monsters, haven’t you? In the same way, I’m a monster at heart. 」
「No, you are not. You are a person. 」
He’s much stronger than I am. He is much more of a person than I am.
「I don’t know if you’re trying to be nice, but that’s going to cost you your neck in the future. 」
I know, I know, my inability to kill people is my weakness. Still, I can’t help but wonder if it’s okay to stay like this.
「One last thing, please tell me your name. You’re not a monster nor a Demon King. 」
His eyes widened with a snap and the Demon King gave a dazed smile.
「My name is— 」
That day, I killed someone for the first time.