1. < Evade the Hero and Flee! 206 #24. Why Does it Have To Be Me? (3) >

 

“Mm…”
I knew it. Reading a newspaper in the morning is how it’s supposed to be.
<The public would like to know: The stories of the Demon God’s warriors, the demon kings.>
<What is the ‘demon king’ mentioned by Marx, the servant of the noble, great Demon God?>
<Too many demon kings? Or too little Demon God’s servants!>
<Demon King Belegrea: “It’s obvious the number of those following the Demon God’s will should be increasing. A demon king doesn’t mean a king of the demon continent, but a warrior that answers to the Demon God’s will.>
<Question to the young demon race children: The job they want when they grow up? 98% reply, demon king!>
<Surveys of demon race youths! The best husband/wife material? Obviously a demon king!>
<This week’s bestseller, The 100 Ways You Can Also Become a Demon King!>
“Good. Very good.”
The first articles to appear weren’t like these ones. Yup, they were either pessimistic or filled with distrust towards what I was doing.
Since that reporter said this whole thing was hard to understand, I told the metal bat to lightly knock him around to help facilitate the… ‘understanding’ process. That reporter was now pouring his entire being into writing articles containing truths and a dash of fake news.
Of course, I had to double-check the articles he wanted to publish first. If I hadn’t done that, the support for my One Million Demon Kings Plan could’ve fallen even further. The people’s faith in me wouldn’t have decreased either way, but I couldn’t afford my plan to fail.
The single most important aspect of the One Million Demon Kings Plan was equipping the chosen candidates with power and a sense of pride that they became demon kings through their own hard work.
That’s why I had to work extra hard to change the reporter’s mind on this matter. Well, to be more specific…
“Indeed, the truth will always prevail.”
“Oh? And it’s not my fists prevailing in the end?”
I did the correct thing by arranging the meeting between the reporter and the metal bat!
“I knew it. The press will always be fair in front of money, power and the metal bat.”
“No, master. I think it’s just being fair in front of me?”
“Not really. I gave them some money, too.”
“…Was that for taking the corpse away, master?”
“You didn’t kill that dude, anyway. So it’s fine.”
“Well, that’s true~.”
In some areas, the metal bat and I were perfectly in tune. Unfortunately, though, we were at odds in everything else.
“Hah? That’s because my master isn’t normal in the head, you know? No wonder you don’t get along with me, who’s perfectly normal!”
Huh? Huhhuh… Wow, I don’t know what to say.
You think you’re normal? That’s not possible, you know!
“I wonder, why is my master the only person to not realise how abnormal he is?”
“That’s because it’s you saying it. How can I trust the nonsense coming out of your mouth?”
Even if my motto was, “A trusted knife will stab you in the back,” AKA trust is the mother of deceit, I wasn’t desperately friendless to the point of believing everything the metal bat said. Since I knew that the metal bat was the symbol of lies and distrust, to begin with!
“Hah… Oh, you poor soul that can’t even trust the words of a goddess like me! Believe in Goddess Aru, and let’s go to heaven together!”
“Not heaven, but hell.”
“But not even Hell will accept me, though?”
“I definitely agree with that.”
“Tch.” The metal bat tutted unhappily, then slunk off to where the hero was to blow off some steam. Judging from how she kept grumbling away, I guessed she was feeling quite cranky today.
“Hmm. The demon king candidates will become even stronger, then.”
Oh, well. The more the metal bat took her anger out on the candidates, the further my plan would advance, so it was all good for me either way. Even the blind could tell the enormous difference between the days the metal bat beat up the candidates versus the days that went without one.
“The Goddess of Nature must be tearing her hair out in the divine realm or something, then.”
A human hero was training a bunch of demon kings, eh? Well, such stories could be found every now and then in the manhwas and novels I used to read in the distant past, so I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising. However, the candidates in most of those stories were heroines.
Usually, th
e settings in those stories would be either those girls had no choice but to become demon kings, or their fathers were one, and they simply inherited the crown. Or, a hero and the demon king ended up fighting for no discernible reason other than the cruel twist of fate. Whatever the case might be, the hero and the demon king would inevitably fall in love and live happily ever after. Probably.
However, the hero in our story was training one hundred candidates. Not only that, those candidates consisted of humanoid demons and beast-types, too. In other words… He was busy training real demon king candidates, not his future wife!
“Oh, well. It’s got nothing to do with me, anyway.”
Who cares if he fell in love with one of the candidates? It was none of my business. I mean, it wouldn’t be weird to see a hero surrounded by ten pretty heroines, right?
Oh? You think he still can’t win against the MC from ReturnXLife? [1]
“Alright, then…”
Since everyone was hard at work, I should also roll my sleeves up and start working. Keuh… I’m such a hard-working demon king, aren’t I!
The Demon God seemed to have acknowledged my hard-working nature too, since no demons showed up to accuse me of being a fake lately.
Well, it could be that no one believed the voice in their heads and chose not to say anything out in the open, but whatever.
“Keu-heum. This is Demon King Marx. I’m coming in.”
I announced myself and opened the door without knocking on it. This was supposed to be a sudden inspection, after all!
One of the demon king’s duties was to monitor the ministers of various government departments to see if they were doing their jobs properly. Let me tell you, this is a very important job!
“Dad!”
Yes, very important!
“Uh-huh! I’m Demon King Marx right now!”
“Ah! Yes, sir! Alice the Chicken Department Minister, reporting in!”
Salute!
My daughter saluted me quite cutely… No, I should amend myself and say that her salute was quite cool to behold. After all, she was the Minister of the Chicken Department tasked with spreading the goodness of the fried chicken to the rest of the demon continent!
“Mm. Minister, how is your work lately?” I spoke as the demon king inspecting the Chicken Department’s Minister in Charge, not a doting father visiting his dear daughter.
And she had become…
“We don’t have enough budget, sire!”
…A rather wily minister already!
“That’s the first thing you say to me?!”
“But, sire! It’s true that we are running short on funds! With our current budget, all we can do is open one fried chicken outlet in a small tribe somewhere!”
The demon race consisted of 101 tribes in total. And each of those tribes was made up of many smaller tribes. The simplest comparison would be… Inside the category of ‘dogs’, you’d get a ton of different breeds. And just like that, the dog-type demon tribe would consist of various smaller ‘breeds’… Oops, I mean various small sub-tribes.
However, I shouldn’t forget that…
“Just how big is this so-called small tribe? And you’re not satisfied with just that?”
The thing was, a ‘small’ tribe was small only in name. Some tribes with large-enough scale rivalled human kingdoms in size, for crying out loud!
The dragon-type demon tribes were considered minority groups since their numbers were few, to begin with. However, tribes of the dog- and wolf-races were so huge that they might as well be called empires! In other words… you could say that even a small sub-tribe might have the size of a county!
“Of course not, sire! One village, one fried chicken outlet! Even if you’re my dad, no, the demon king, I cannot give up on this ideal!”
“Nonono, hang on a minute. Even if you’re my dear daugh… Ahem, the Minister of Chicken Department, you’re still asking for the impossible!”
“Eeeek! More money! Please give us more money!”
“No! Don’t you know we have too many projects going on right now that require lots of funds?!”
“But this policy is for the happiness of the citizens! Fried chicken can bring true happiness to the world!”
“You already are getting quite a lot of money for the research and development for sauces, no?! And, after adding the cost of other miscellaneous research and funds to build individual fried chicken outlets, your department takes home one of the highest budget allocations out of everyone!”
“We don’t want to be one of the highest, sire. We want to be THE highest!”
Dang it, my daughter is doing her job way too well! The most important duty of a government minister was to receive the highest budget among their peers. And to think that she had figured that out so soon!
Didn’t matter what you were in charge of, it was always better to have more budget allocated to you. After all, more money meant you could do more, and your subordinates would get fatter paycheques!
However, my current position wasn’t someone who received the budget, but the one giving it away!
“Even if you’re the Minister of the Chicken Department, I cannot increase the budget any further!”
As the demon king… As the ruler of this continent! I cruelly rejected the Minister of Chicken Department’s earnest plea for an increase in their budget.
“Hiiiing… You can’t?”
“Keu-heuk…”
My dear daughter looked up at me with tearful eyes. What a strategically-chosen angle this was! If it wasn’t my little girl doing it, I’d have 100% suspected that it was deliberate.
N-no, hang on a minute. No matter what, she… She must be aiming for this, no?
“E-even if it’s you, I can’t…”
“You really can’t?” My daughter cut me off and walked up to me. She grasped my sleeve and looked up with wet, puppy-dog eyes to invoke this powerful sympathy in me. “You still can’t?”
“Y-yes, I can’t.”
“Really?”
“I, I can’t…”
“Really really?”
Keuh-heuk…! My daughter, she’s… so strong!
Too powerful, I tell ya! I didn’t expect her to be this crafty!
“I-it’s still a no!”
No matter how adorable she was, I couldn’t afford to get weak in this kind of situation. If a precedent is set, it’d be only natural for a person’s wicked heart to keep exploiting it!
If she decides to use the method that works on me, then believe me, she will get kidnapped 100%, for sure!!! Even if the potential kidnapper is not a lolicon, my daughter’s tearful eyes are powerful enough to convert them in an instant!
“Hiiiing…”
My daughter seemed to have understood my intentions as she cleanly gave up and moved on…
“I’ll run away from home if you’re like this, dad!”
…Or so I thought, but she upended my hopes splendidly by declaring her intentions to run away.
“Who was it?! Who dared to teach my daughter such a terrible and evil thing?!”
“It’s Big Sis Aru, of course!”
That damn metal bat!
-Why are you badmouthing this pure goddess behind her back, masterrr!
Pure goddess, my foot! Which so-called goddesses would teach a lovely girl like my dear daughter naughty things like running away from home!
“My child, it’s no good to learn bad words like that!”
“I’m not your daughter right now, dad! I’m the Minister of the Chicken Department!”
“But, you threatened to run away from home just now!”
“A minister is supposed to utilise every tool at her disposal to reach her goal!”
“Who told you that?!”
“You, dad!”
My daughter’s swift comeback shut my mouth up. Now that I thought about it… I did say something like that in the past.
“My daughter, listen… I think the lesson about the ministers is somewhat faulty. Your dad made a dumb mistake on that. Even if you’re a minister, it’s no good to bet your private life away like that. If you forget what I taught you and cancel your threat to run away from home, I… I shall increase your department’s budget.”
“I knew it! Dad, you’re the best~!” My daughter smiled radiantly and jumped into my embrace. Yup, she’s way too powerful, alright.
I spotted a certain cat leering at me as if it had something to say, but I cleanly ignored the fool and carried on.
“Vice Minister! Please accompany the demon king!”
“Understood, Minister!”
My daughter seemed to be satisfied with my answer and summoned the Vice Minister of the Chicken Department, Khokho, to ‘escort’ me.
I looked at the dragon and muttered quietly. “It has… gotten quite big recently, hasn’t it?”
“Ng! Khokho’s growing big and strong through our fried chicken diet. See? Fried chicken is the best, dad!”
Khokho has gotten twice as big since we arrived in the demon continent. However, I almost began thinking that the dragon simply got fat after listening to my daughter’s explanation.
“Reporting in! The current situation of the fried chicken outlets in the demon continent is…” Khokho, utterly disinterested in my inner conflict, began diligently running its mouth to fulfil its duty.
As if to match its growth, the dragon’s ability to speak had gotten commendably great. Truth be told, though, I wasn’t interested in the slightest about the report.
“That’s the end of the report, sire! Are there any questions you’d like to ask?”
The thing is, though… A division commander showing up in an army base to kill some time was doing just that, killing time. However, the officers on site or the base commanders would never realise that. Just like our Khokho here.
“Mm… You’ve done an excellent job.”
As such, I should say some praises and end it here.
“Yes, sire! Along with the department head, we’re doing our best!”
The department head, is it? Mm. That demon made quite an impression, alright, since he was from a bird-type demon tribe. More specifically, a chicken-type demon bird tribe, no less.
So… The Minister was a girl in her teens, while the Vice Minister was a dragon only around four years old. And the department head hailed from a bird-type demon tribe that looked eerily similar to the main ingredient of the fried chicken.
This combination seemed quite suspect, but to my surprise, the public support of this trio was easily the highest among all the government ministers.
“Mm… I’ll leave the operation to your care.”
“Thank you, sire!”
And so, I spent the next hour playing… Ahem, inspecting my daughter’s work, then I visited the other ten ministers for the next thirty minutes to check out their work. Yup, that distribution of my time seems about right, doesn’t it? Mm, yes. Very.
Even if there are twenty ministers in total, they will never triumph over the importance of my daughter!
After working hard as a demon king, I finished the day by visiting Belegrea and telling her the result of my sudden inspections. I also told her to punish the poorly-performing departments by lumping more work on them. With that, my work was done for the day.
A month flew by while I spent such idle days. And eventually…!
“It’s complete, sire.”
My disciple, who was the Order of Nature’s chosen hero and the Minister of the One Million Demon King department (first in the demon continent’s history!), showed up in my office one day to announce something important.
“Already?”
“Yes, sire. They will not embarrass themselves no matter who their opponents are.”
The hero was quite confident in his reply. I honestly thought that this project would require another month at least, but to think it was completed so soon!
“In that case, I shall test them.”
I summoned Belegrea and told her to mobilise the army corps she thought was the strongest.
Once the combatants had lined up, I asked the hero. “You think they can do it?”
The combatants Belegrea had mobilised belonged to her personal corps. They were elites from the human-like demons, the lizardmen who pride themselves as a part of the dragon demon race, and even the giant demons who reputedly have inherited the bloodlines of the titans!
Their number seemed to be over ten thousand in total. And, while looking at this impressive army…
“I guess one candidate can defeat a hundred enemies or so, then.” The hero confidently threw that opinion out there. He then looked behind him. “Am I right?”
-Yes, sirrrr!
Behind him were one hundred first-generation demon kings emitting fighting spirit and dense killing intent. They roared in unison to reply to the hero’s question.
“Go, my disciples! Show the world your qualifications as the peak beings of the demon race!”
The hero emitting an overwhelming charisma that was fit for a demonic deity roared out, prompting the hundred demon kings to charge straight into the ten thousand-strong army. And the result was…
“Did you see that, instructor?”
Without a single casualty, the demon kings utterly annihilated the ten thousand-strong army.

[1]: I tried to google, but couldn’t find what the author was trying to reference here. The original text was “환X살”.

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