Evade the Hero and Flee! 193 #22. Well, this is merely the beginning (8) >
#8 Their circumstance: Belegrea’s circumstance
My hand working overtime came to a stop.
Was it because I’ve been writing with a pen for too long? My wrist was screaming in pain.
I stretched both of my arms and yawned loudly, but that caused my entire body to scream in pain, too, starting from my shoulders.
No matter how well-trained my body was, the fatigue from sitting behind a desk for who-knows-how-long was still difficult to endure.
“So much time has passed already.”
I turned my head and looked outside the window, realising that the sun had set before I noticed it and the cool moonlight was flooding in. Was it nighttime already?
It felt like I’d been working nonstop for the past half a day without eating anything.
“Isn’t it fine to call it a day?”
So tired… I’ve been pulling all-nighters for the past few days in a row, and my fatigue level steadily accumulated during that time. Especially my mental fatigue…
“Hah-ah… Just a little bit more, then…”
However, a shock far more graver than any mental fatigue still lingered in my head. I wasn’t the only one suffering from it, though.
Everyone present in that location at that moment must’ve all felt that shock, too. I mean, quite a few of Aggreahrt’s subordinates still haven’t accepted the reality even now, after all.
Who knows what they will do once they finally get over the shock? Before they caused a problem later, I had to settle things down in our unified demon continent as quickly as possible. That’s my duty, after all.
Unfortunately, my hand holding the pen didn’t want to move at all. The memories from that day reared their head again, you see.
“Hah-ah… I should get some fresh air. That should help.”
After deciding that a bit of a break would do me a world of good, I got up from my chair and walked up to the window. My cautiously extending hand opened the window pane, letting in the moonlight and the still-cold night wind to brush past my face.
Unfortunately for me, the memories inadvertently recalled didn’t want to go back to the deeper recess of my mind. Actually, the moonlight proved to be effective in making me recall those moments even more vividly.
I closed my eyes, causing the events of that day to play themselves out oh-so clearly in my head.
A few days ago
, the demon race’s greatest general, Aggreahrt, was executed. Despite his fame, his final moments weren’t what you’d call ‘honourable’ in the slightest.
The demons following behind Aggreahrt could only stand there and dazedly witness the figure of their gallant general scream pitifully after a little girl began beating him up.
That sight was just too unrealistic for anyone to behold, after all. Even I ended up thinking that it made no sense at all when the beatdown began.
“That… is really Aggreahrt?”
My jaw fell all on its own, and I ended up staring in disbelief.
Aggreahrt, the commander of the demon race’s most powerful combat force… was no longer here. The one replacing him was a loser screaming wretchedly while crying like a baby in front of his subordinates.
If you knew what Aggreahrt was like… No, even if you heard about him in passing rumours, you’d never, ever believe that he was capable of screaming so viscerally and with such primal emotions, too!
“P-please, no! No mooooore!”
If I hadn’t already experienced the beatdown of the silver-haired girl referred to as the Demon God’s Blessing, I would’ve thought that Aggreahrt was putting on an act to make me lower my guard.
But that’s how wretched and pitiful the current Aggreahrt looked. So much so that even I, his sworn enemy, couldn’t bear to look at the torment he was in.
“S-save Lord Aggreahrt, now!”
One of Aggreahrt’s stupefied subordinates eventually sobered up and cried out desperately, prompting his comrades to charge straight at the silver-haired girl.
Unfortunately, most of them fell powerlessly from the human hero’s blade. As for the rest…
Even those who managed to slip past the hero to reach Aggreahrt collapsed while screaming in pure agony. No one had attacked them, however. No, they simply tried to attack the arms of the silver-haired girl, but they promptly collapsed and started screaming right afterwards.
“Is someone sniping at us?!”
“Dammit! Even though the massive magic cannons are still firing away?”
“They had backup magicians on standby!”
“We must rescue our sovereign no matter what!”
The demon race scanning their surroundings tried to rush to the side of Aggreahrt, but none of them was able to stop the silver girl.
One by one…
As the combatants attacking the silver girl fell one by one, other demons watching on finally began realising something.
And that was… They were not being sniped at all! And their wretched screams were the exact same primal scream that their sovereign was making!
“C-can it be?! Merely attacking that child will cause that situation?!”
“It’s impossible to attack her, and she’s so terrifying that even Lord Aggreahrt ended up in that state?!”
“But, but! An illogical creature like that cannot possibly exist! Either there’s special magic or sorcery cast on that child, or we’re being fed false information through illusion magic! I’m sure about this!”
“T-that’s right! There’s no way a monster like that can really exist!”
Their voices were getting louder in an effort to hypnotise themselves, but well… They should be aware of how much their voices were trembling right now.
As if to prove my point, none of the soldiers raising their voices wanted to take the first step forward. They simply watched their sovereign screaming away from some distance away.
A short while later, in this location where even the hero had stopped moving around…
Only the noises of Aggreahrt’s screaming, the incoherent chatter of the silver girl, and the intermittent firing of the cannons could be heard now.
And everyone present finally got to witness it.
They witnessed Aggreahrt’s primal screaming morph into ardent pleas. They witnessed his ardent pleas morph into rage-filled curses and rants. And then, his rage-filled curses and rants became a pitiful little whisper of voice filled with utter desperation.
“Kill… me… now…”
We all witnessed Aggreahrt begging to be killed.
“I shall humour your request.” The human hero watching on quietly walked up to Aggreahrt.
The silver-haired girl observing this situation grumbled inaudibly, but she still stepped aside for the hero. That’s because everything that happened until now was unfolding exactly as our current demon king, Marcus, had envisioned.
“I’m envious. Of how you can find peace now.” The hero muttered that out while looking at the downed Aggreahrt, then he raised his sword up.
Did Aggreahrt take those words as an insult? He gathered what remained of his energy to raise his fallen head and glared at the hero.
“I was never given that opportunity, you see.”
But Aggreahrt’s head faltered back to the ground after he heard the hero’s follow-up words. He had sensed how sincerely envious the hero was from the latter’s expression.
“How… is that… thing… even…”
Aggreahrt, his throat too hoarse from all that screaming, barely managed to squeeze those words out with his dying voice.
Those words seemed incomprehensible even if you were right next to Aggreahrt. But the human hero and I both had experienced the soul-rending agony before, and we could understand Aggreahrt perfectly well.
-Just what on earth is that irrational creature?!
That monstrosity was capable of turning a swordmaster, a hero and even the demon race’s greatest general into the same thing with just one hit. That ‘same thing’ being a powerless wreck that could only scream in agony!
Your physique or mental fortitude cultivated through arduous training meant nothing in front of the silver-haired girl. You’d simply turn into a creature that knew nothing but how to open your mouth and scream.
The pain that you could never get used to… The sense of powerlessness that dominates you, where it feels like you can’t even lift a finger!
The agony of repeatedly going through both could only be understood by those who had experienced it. It was only obvious that you’d become curious about the silver-haired girl capable of creating such a nonsensical phenomenon.
Aggreahrt chose to spend his final-words-before-death allowance on finding out the true identity of that silver creature.
“That thing…” The hero glanced at the silver-haired girl some distance away for a second or two before opening his mouth again. “The Evil… No, I mean, the Demon God’s… uh… Blessing in the… eh… physical form… Something like that…”
From the way he stuttered and stumbled with his words, it sounded like he was changing around what he initially wanted to say. Even so, Aggreahrt didn’t doubt the hero at all.
At the end of those faltering words, the hero’s sword finally made its descent. One clean strike later, Aggreahrt’s head was separated from the rest of his body.
That was an empty, lonely death of the demon race’s greatest general, the one who almost succeeded in taking over the throne of the demon king.
I sighed and opened my eyes to stare at the bright moon shining away in the middle of the night sky.
“I wanted to take a short break, but now I feel more tired…”
While closing the window, I continued to sigh away.
Despite taking a break, I ended up even more tired. No need to mention the reason for that, of course.
I settled back down on my chair and began delving into the mountains of documents waiting for me. Aggreahrt’s death was a monumental event indeed, but the demon continent as a whole didn’t fall into chaos as I initially feared.
First of all, the witnesses to Aggreahrt’s final moments were powerful demons that broke through the magic cannon bombardment through their own strength. Most of them were either chieftains or direct subordinates of a chieftain.
And they all witnessed Aggreahrt’s death with their own two eyes. In the process, they also witnessed Aggreahrt’s pitiful figure, something they had never seen before.
They watched it happen without being able to lift a single finger. The shock of the moment prevented them from doing something. No, wait. Maybe it’d be more correct to say that they didn’t do anything.
The witnesses didn’t oppose Demon King Marcus’s commands. They simply disarmed themselves at his order and returned to their individual tribes.
I, too, followed his order to regroup my faction, and they have gathered here in the demon king’s castle. We were currently focusing on repairing the castle and resolving various issues plaguing the demon continent.
The demon with a lizard’s head, the Old Man Mekel, opened the door and stepped inside my office.
“My lady, I thought you’ve gone to bed by now.”
“I still have lots of work left, you see.” I smiled bitterly while pointing at the pile of documents on my desk.
Demon King Marcus didn’t work. Like, none at all. He handed over the authority to resolve all matters to me… and at the same time, dumped all the work on my shoulders.
Honestly, I could declare, “I’m the demon king now!” and everyone would start nodding along in agreement at this point!
He seemed to value his time spent entertaining his daughter in the Demon God’s temple more than actually working as a ruler.
-Ng, that’s it! You gotta wake up, girl! He’s busy lying to you!
A woman’s voice rang inside my head once more. She sounded so… mystical and holy that if a deity was really speaking to me, her voice must sound like this.
-Y-yeah, you’re right! I’m really your God! Belegrea, you gotta wake up!
However, the follower of the Demon God’s will, Demon King Marcus, had declared thus: the insidious Evil God had already infiltrated the demon continent, and its influence was growing stronger every day. That’s why he was asked by the Demon God to become her ‘Apostle’ despite being a human being.
The Demon God received assistance from the Goddess of Nature to bring Marcus and his group to the demon continent. Apparently, the Goddess of Nature tended to be surprisingly neutral despite being a deity of the humans. Through the noble will of the Demon God, I encountered Marcus in that snowy field out of nowhere.
To say he was lying… His replies to my questions had always been utterly convincing, to say the least. And the human hero next to him also swore under the Goddess of Nature’s name that everything Marcus said was true.
-N-no, they are lying! That idiot hero was simply subdued by all the violence he’s subjected to, that’s all!
The human hero was subdued?
Even though that sounded nonsensical, if it was that silver-haired girl, it seemed quite doable somehow.
-Y-yes, that’s it! You got it!
If I’m being honest, this voice ringing inside my head has managed to shake my belief just a bit. No, wait. Before all that, I must admit that I didn’t want to acknowledge Marcus as the true demon king in the first place.
-Y-yes, you’re on the right track! Belegrea! If you combine your strength with my soon-to-arrive real apostle, you can definitely defeat the vile, evil, scheming seeds of…
The voice sounded rather desperate, which didn’t suit the previous description of how holy it was, and it began clinging onto me.
If this voice really belonged to the Demon God, then I have to be honest, the image I had of her would start to crumble a bit… Nope, make that it’d crumble by a lot!
-W-well, I don’t have a choice right now…
Well, sure. Let’s say the voice was right.
If Marcus really wasn’t the demon king chosen by the Demon God, then this situation was easily the absolute worst one in the history of the demon continent.
Simply put, both the Demon God’s temple and the throne of the demon king had been taken over by a human. To think that a human was now in a position to do whatever he wanted with the demon continent!
-That’s right, Belegrea! The demon continent finds itself in its most dangerous crisis yet! That’s why you…!
In that case, oh the mighty Demon God. Please step forward and save our demon continent.
The demon continent is in danger, so we need the help of our Demon God.
-N-no, wait! I can’t touch those punks, you see! That’s why I’ve been asking for your help!
Why was a god called a god?
We called them ‘gods’ because no other creature out there could disobey their will unless it was another god.
This land wasn’t the human continent but the demon continent. The land permeating in the Demon God’s will, home to countless many demon race folks! Even if gods were restricted by the world’s laws, the Demon God should still be able to exercise her authority with such favourable conditions.
I was confident of this, and my proof was all the recorded history of the demon race.
-B-but, it’s a bit different this time, you know…
Oh, you Evil God, be gone!
-C-calling me Evil God…?! You actually compared me to that rotten piece of trash…!
After that, the voice stopped ringing in my head. I thought that the speaker sounded rather shocked judging from her parting words, but that’s not something I should concern myself with.
“Ah, yes, old man.”
I had been keeping my eyes closed after the voice came to me. Opening them treated me to the sight of the Old Man Mekel.
“My lady. Marcus has contacted us to relay a message to you. He asks for your presence at the Demon God’s temple tomorrow.”
“But, I already gave him the report on our progress yesterday?”
“He said that the matter tomorrow is of grave importance.”
I nodded to indicate that I understood, then had the old man return.
We had no choice but to follow Marcus’s orders in our current situation, anyway. I didn’t see a need to keep the old man here and grill him when he had been locked up in a prison cell and got tortured for a long time.
Besides, that man, Marcus, did lots of totally random things, to begin with.
“Congratulations! Oh, the demon king chosen by the demon race!”
The problem here is that he’s just too unpredictable, that’s all!