< Evade the Hero and Flee! 207 #24. Why Does it Have To Be Me? (4) >


#3 Their circumstance: A certain hero’s circumstance


“You all have done well.”
That was my honest feeling. The 100 demon kings before my eyes really had done an excellent job.
“Very, very well, all of you.”
However, they didn’t say anything and simply stared at me in a daze.
“From this moment on, you are excellent demon kings that no one, and I do mean absolutely no one, on the demon continent will make fun of!”
Even after I said something inspirational, they still didn’t say anything and looked up at me on the platform.
Several awkward moments ticked by, then one of the demons began tearing up all of a sudden. Tears didn’t really suit that demon’s outward appearance, though.
One hundred demons had been brought here regardless of their gender or tribe. Even their race-specific traits had been disregarded.
And the one tearing up was…!
The dragon-demon race, categorised as the strongest demons there was! And let me tell you, they do deserve that moniker, that’s for sure!
They believed in the legend of how their race had inherited the blood of true dragons, the destroyer of worlds! Yes, the dragon-demon race member, infamous for their excessive pride for being the descendants of dragons, began crying before everyone else!
“Sniffle… Sob..”
“It’s… over…?”
“It’s over? Really?”
“Did we… Did we really survive?”
One demon tearing up had opened the floodgates, and more demon kings began breaking down in emotions.
In a way, you could say this was a heartwrenching, emotional moment for these demons. Honestly speaking, though? I was unhappy. If a third party who didn’t know anything about what happened looked at this scene, they would misunderstand me for being a bloodthirsty monster that tried to kill these candidates!
Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to control my strength and not kill them?! Every time I landed a hit, I was so worried that my attack had been too strong for them. I even had to worry myself nearly to death while thinking about how to adjust my strength to match the growth of the candidates.
If the candidates were really weak, it’d be easy enough for me to watch my strength. However, if they were only moderately weak, then controlling my strength would become that much trickier.
If my attacks are too weak, they wouldn’t serve as proper training, and if I get a bit too serious, the candidates might die. What kind of a harsh condition was this! Even I had to admit that it was one heck of a fine tightrope walking.
I even ended up understanding how my instructor must’ve felt – just a little – as the training drew to a close.
One word from me, and all the sobbing instantly ceased. Only still silence existed in this field.
I was deeply satisfied by the knowledge that one hundred demon kings did exactly as I said. Maybe instructors trained their disciples just to taste this satisfaction?
“Has it been difficult, my disciples?”
“It was really difficult, sir!”
“I thought I was going to die!”
I only asked them in passing, but not a single one of them denied it. Wouldn’t it be normal for people to reply with, “No, sir!” in this kind of situation?
“Yes, I understand.”
I too had been ‘trained’ by the instructor for around a year in a similar fashion. Okay, fine. Instead of training, he had us beaten up all the time.
Training might be harsh and torturous, but it was nothing compared to the metal bat. If I asked them, “Do you prefer twice-as-intense training if it means the metal bat won’t ever hit you, or forget completely about training and just let the metal bat hit you for twice longer?” I was reasonably sure that everyone would choose the former.
Regardless of what… We were comrades that had tasted the terror of the metal bat’s merciless beating.
“I too had to go through what you have gone through.”
Someone quietly sniffled after hearing what I had to say.
“I was beaten up just as badly as you. And so, as your senior who got beaten up before you, I’d like to say this to you.”
I intensely stared at the demons.
They came in all shapes and sizes. All of them were a part of the demon race, yet they came from different tribes. They didn’t even look alike, for crying out loud. However, they all got to acquire something historic.
“By working together, no one will be strong enough to oppose you in the demon continent!”
They all acquired a bond thicker than blood, which was only possible through getting beaten up mercilessly!
“And so, the demon continent will come to realise the truth. They will realise that powerful, noble demon kings that no one can sneer at now walk this land!”
An even stronger sense of satisfaction filled me up while listening to the roars of these demon kings. These were no ordinary roars, either, as a considerable amount of magical power was contained within.
If I’m being honest, though, this level of roaring wasn’t all that powerful. Even a trainee knight should be able to endure it. However, there were 100 demon kings here. All the roaring coming from them had harmonised perfectly and now possessed enough power to crush space.
This quantity of magic energy was powerful enough to make weak people vomit blood and collapse. Well, if said weak people were on the level of knights from some other kingdoms, of course!
In other words, these demon kings could create a space where ordinary knights were not strong enough to breach just with their roars alone!
This was the power of the metal bat!
That greedy metal bat never gave peace to her victims. Actually, she even modified the bodies of her victims so that they could get beaten up for longer! I had no idea that she was capable of such a thing while I was the victim. Now that I had the time to leisurely observe the beatings of the others, I could finally see it.
The longer the metal bat hits you… The more you’d get beaten up!
At first, I thought that the pain stayed the same while the amount of the beatings continued to go up. And that was pretty much it.
But then, the technique to read the magical energy’s flow that I learned in the evil organisation showed me something unimaginable. And that was the flow of the magic energy within these demon kings!
I was close enough to sense it. Every time the metal bat hit the demon kings, their magic energy circulated in their bodies faster and faster. That circulation speed was too fast for your magic energy to stabilise inside you.
I was taught that the too-fast circulation of magic energy could lead to the magic power deviation. However, those who got beaten up by the metal bat didn’t experience that as if… the magic power deviation was too scared of her!
And so, the magic energy circulated faster and faster inside the demons. And their physique quickly adapted to this surging circulation to grow stronger and tougher. The rapid circulation led to the opening and widening of the magic energy channels called meridians.
The widened channels could accommodate more magic energy, and the more the demon kings got beaten up, the more magic energy circulated in their bodies.
Magic energy was often called the source of life itself. Having it accumulate inside you obviously made your body healthier and stronger. And what do you know, a healthier body meant it could endure the metal bat’s beatings for a bit longer.
Of course, it still couldn’t do anything about enduring the pain, though!
In any case. The metal bat’s desire to beat up people for longer was transmitted in full to her victims, making their bodies stronger and tougher.
I uncovered the shocking revelation that the secret of the metal bat’s beatings making you stronger was somehow linked to your mental and physical state. Although, this didn’t make me happy at all!
After learning this truth, I made the metal bat beat these candidates up as much as possible. I figured that since they were destined to get beaten up anyway, I might as well do that in bulk!
And thanks to my excellent (?) judgement…!
“Can you see, instructor?”
I only needed one month to complete the training of one hundred demon kings.
“Excellent, my disciple.”
These demon kings were strong enough to make my instructor acknowledge them. This level of combat force wouldn’t lose against the empire’s finest.
Of course, if the empire’s forces were determined to be stronger, then these demon kings would raise disciples of their own. Now imagine those disciples getting beaten up by the metal bat! And then, those disciples raising more disciples so that they could also get the metal bat treatment!
If this keeps up, it wouldn’t be long before one million demon kings completely conquer the entire world!
After imagining that future, I couldn’t help but tilt my head. Demon kings I created, conquering the world? Didn’t that mean I’d have to stop them one day?
“Excellent work, my disciple.”
However, the ‘strongest’ demon king – my instructor – patting me on the shoulder chased away all of my worries. As long as he was here, this event was bound to happen sooner or later. That’s right, this was fate. Unavoidable. I wouldn’t even be able to lift a finger if my instructor was my enemy!
That’s why…! This isn’t my fault, oh Goddess of Nature! No, hang on! This is actually your fault for making me chase after my instructor!
“My disciple, what are you mumbling about?”
“Oh, that… I, uh, I was just talking to myself, sire.”
Oops… I got careless, and my thoughts must’ve slipped out. I couldn’t tell if my instructor didn’t hear me or was pretending. However, I could see that he didn’t care either way.
“S-so, sire. Can I go back to the other side now?”
My heart began racing. The instructor did let Ria go, but would he also release me? What if, with a smile on his face, he orders the metal bat to dispose of me?
“Yes. You’re free to leave.”
“I’m sorry?” I ended up foolishly asking back when my instructor replied without hesitation.
“I’m telling you, you can leave.” The instructor didn’t seem to care, and with a dismissive wave of his hand akin to chasing away an annoying bug, he permitted me to leave his side.
“I see. Understood.” I courteously bowed my head as my final goodbye.
Of course, I’ve already made thorough preparations. For instance, I was ready to yank my sword out at a moment’s notice! So that I could evade the metal bat’s sneak attack!
To prepare for the incoming assault of the metal bat, I raised my head, but!
“What are you doing, my disciple? Is the idea of being free making you feel rueful?”
“N-no, sire…”
Something was wrong. Nothing was happening here.
However, I did not lower my guard. My instructor surely wouldn’t let me go right up until I actually escaped from the demon continent. I was sure about this!
Since I didn’t know when and where the metal bat would pop out, I declined the offer of a free carriage and simply got myself a fast horse.
My horse and I ran on the shiny new roads. We ran and ran some more. When the horse got too tired to continue, I switched it to a new one. I even gave up sleeping for the next few days.
I eventually reached the border where the fortress walls were still being constructed. Even then, I didn’t relax and hid myself until nightfall.
Once the night came, I avoided the demon race patrols and leapt over the border walls, successfully escaping from the demon continent in the process!
“No, wait.”
It was too early to celebrate. When I thought about it, the metal bat could be hiding near the border managed by humans. Since there was still that unknown danger, I chose to be extra stealthy by crawling up the humanity’s fortress walls protecting the border.
I would’ve dearly loved to cast flight magic and just fly across this place, but anything could happen at this stage. I concentrated and concentrated some more while stealthily clambering up the tall wall.
After quietly entering the human continent like that, I…
“A horse! Give me your fastest horse!”
I dashed to the best stable in Burbelion, purchased the best steed there, and immediately fled from the city.
Who knows! The 100 demon kings I raised could blow away this city under my instructor’s command, right?!
And so, I spent another day on horseback. Even if this steed was the best one available in the city’s best stable, at the end of the day… It was just a commercially-available horse. It didn’t seem to be from a good breed as it teetered on the brink of collapse after galloping for one full day. I let it go before that happened, then entered a nearby mountain.
While maintaining my stealth technique, I created a hideout for myself and took a much-deserved break. That’s how I got to enjoy the first relaxing sleep after I departed from the demon continent.
But then…
“…ro… Hero…”
A familiar voice aroused me up from my sleep.
“Please… wake… up…”
Just as I struggled to wake up from my sleep…!
“Please wake up, sir hero.”
That voice registered in my brain so clearly. And it was a very familiar voice, too.
“You’re finally awake, sir hero!”
That voice belonged to the brightly-smiling Hill. And Selena was right next to him.
“W-what the…?”
They are here? How? Why? All kinds of thoughts raced through my head, but Hill spoke up first to interrupt my thought process.
“Sir hero, we have a new mission.”
The moment I heard that…
“Ahh… I should’ve stayed…”
I ended up regretting leaving the demon continent.


#4 Their circumstance: A certain god’s circumstance


‘Glory to our great Demon God!’
‘Everything is for the glory of the Demon God!’
‘Oh, the one upholding the Demon God’s will, become the next demon king!’
Have I ever received such powerful and overwhelming faith from my flock like this before?
No, I don’t think so.
That’s what the Demon God told herself while holding her aching head.
“Why… Why are things working out so well after that guy started calling himself my apostle…?”
If only… If only that guy wasn’t related to that ‘dang thing’, the Demon God would’ve taken him in as her apostle, even though he wasn’t even a demon.
The Demon God could only groan while observing the demon continent’s state of affairs that had so easily surpassed the demon race’s previous golden era.
“This is insane.”
In less than two years, the demon continent had changed so much.
The tribal society transformed into a Communist one. Roads and buildings were constructed in many places, and the number of demon kings continued to increase. Even though there should’ve been only one demon king.
Apparently, those upholding the Demon God’s will were all demon kings! The crazy thing was, these demon kings mass-produced under that nonsensical ‘logic’ all possessed combat abilities rivalling that of a real demon king.
Sure, the power of the individual demon king was below Aggreahrt’s, but two or three of them working together could easily subdue him. And there were already over a thousand of such individuals now. If they were around during the last war, the unification of the continent would’ve been a distinct possibility!
“Yes. Let’s just leave him alone.”
After watching the demon continent grow stronger, more prosperous and advanced than before, the Demon God sensed her will had been truly broken now.
“T-that’s right. No matter how long he lives, it’ll be less than a century, anyway. Let’s just turn a blind eye until then…”
The Demon God managed to achieve a moral victory like that and decided to leisurely watch over her children in the mortal realm, but then…
“Why are you here?”
She couldn’t help but frown deeply at a sudden visitor interrupting her me-time.
“I’m sorry.” The unwelcome visitor, the Good God, apologised as their expression crumpled.
“Eh? What’s gotten into you? Apologising for something this minor and all?”
The Demon God was taken aback at the attitude of her bitter rival. However, her expression soon became the same as the Good God’s
at the latter’s subsequent words. “Well, I need to apologise to you about ‘this’, after all.”
“That’s right. I always thought how great it’d feel when you apologise to me, but… When I think about it, you aren’t the type to say sorry, now are you?”
The unusually-succinct apology only made the Demon God nervous. And when she recalled the recent conversation she had with the Good God… her nervousness became an ominous foreboding.
“No way… It can’t be…”
As if to say her guesses were correct, the Good God nodded gravely. “Yeah, you’re right. We failed to stop that thing. From now on… The season of evil will begin.”
This was the moment that every temple in the human and demon continents received oracles from their respective deities.

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