< Evade the Hero and Flee! 200 #23. Policy Meant for My Dream! (7) >


As time passed, the demon continent steadily morphed closer and closer to my idealised land.
Demons exalted the Demon God and me from seemingly every corner of the continent. Some became such devout believers that they would have believed me even if I told them that mud could be turned to diamond… no, wheat could be turned into a dragon!
Of course, this was mostly due to the policies I’ve enacted on the pretext of making everyone’s life better.
Under the watchful eyes of the chieftains, who had been thoroughly educated by the metal bat, roads were completed in no time at all. This allowed the smooth transportation of material and even quicker construction of many buildings. These structures provided a home for the demon race, giving them a chance to enjoy a better sweet-home life.
That’s not all, though!
I also established schools in certain areas and paid close attention to basic education. Of course, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that the contents of education itself would be repeated brainwashing via textbooks I’ve written!
I knew it; it’s important to start such… rote learning while they are still young!
The goal was to get the public at large to reach a point where… Where the public would be willing to start an uprising if Belegrea had a change of heart and tried to kill me as revenge for the metal bat tormenting her. All while loudly crying out, “The demon king is trying to harm our noble, great king!”
Once we reach that point, no one would dare to touch me even after I step down from the king’s throne!
…And that line of thinking had gotten me into the current crisis.
“Mm. We’re screwed.”
“Ng, totally screwed, master.”
One year and a couple of months had passed since we started living in the demon continent. That could be seen as either a long time or a short one depending on your view. In any case… It was around this point in time that I decided to step down.
With what I have achieved so far, no one would be brazen enough to provoke me! My dear daughter also earned a lot of fame while ‘working’ as the Minister of Agriculture and the Chicken Department!
I no longer had any lingering desire for political power.
Instead of drooling over power until my dying day only to live a disgusting and cumbersome life, I shall simply retire now and live a peaceful one!
And to bring this dream of mine to reality, I announced my decision to step down as the demon king, only to…
“But sire, stepping down from the throne…?! No, you cannot, sire! Oh, our great king!”
“We beg of you, please reconsider!”
“Yes, please reconsider!”
Suddenly, a scene commonly seen in historical dramas began unfolding in front of my eyes.
“I failed to raise my daughter properly…”
She often prostrated while crying out, “Please reconsider, sire!” However, as she was too adorable doing that, I just let her do as she pleased. But now, other idiots were using the exact same tactic as her.
The crucial difference here, though, was that all these idiots were either middle-aged or older. A group that old prostrating on the floor while crying out “Please reconsider!” in unison like some kind of a magic chant was rather displeasing to behold.
-Hey, you! This is all your fault!
-Wuing?! W-well, that is true, I guess…? What is up with those uncles, anyway…
-It’s all because you taught my daughter some weird-ass crap, that’s why!
My mind would never change just because some old men were prostrating on the floor.
“All of you, listen to me. This isn’t just my wish but the noble Demon God’s will. She has constructed a new demon world, and she now wishes for a new king to step forward.”
Indeed, times like these call for the Demon God’s name! Since ancient times, using the Demon God’s name opened all doors in the demon continent!
“Oh, our great, noble Demon God, please hear our prayers.”
“There can only be one great king for us, and that’s Lord Marx.”
“Without our wise ruler, Marx, guiding us, who can possibly deliver us your true wish, oh our great Demon God!”
Unfortunately, it seemed that I had been too enthusiastic about their mental education. Even though they were demons, they dared to go against the Demon God’s wish and tried to convince their god!
-Well, it does kind of feel gratifying, but…
-…But, also feels like something’s going wrong somewhere? Right, master?
Cries of “Please reconsider!” and “Oh, great Demon God, please don’t forsake Marx!” began rising up everywhere.
Yup, something about this did not smell good at all. Situations like this one were usually followed by events solely meant to screw me over, after all!
That’s why I might get screwed again this time…?
-…Fut! That’s not going to happen this time!
-Ng? But master, isn’t it too dangerous to be so confident this soon? Whenever you jinx it, you REALLY jinx stuff, right?
The metal bat threw a weirdly on-point retort in my way, but I was able to easily counter her this time.
-If this was in the past, sure. But, here’s the thing. Unless she’s completely lost the plot, would the Demon God really let me stay? When I’m responsible for changing the demon continent to my whims?
-S-something pragmatic came out of my master’s mouth and not some random nonsense?!
Uh-huh! I always gave you pragmatic replies. It’s just that I’ve been way too ahead of everybody else, and they fail to understand me!
Just give it one year or so, and who knows, people might start slapping their knees and go, “Ah! So, there was such a way!”
-And so, all I can do is sigh in awe at how my dear master reverts so quickly back to his random nonsense self…
-Hey, hold up! Suddenly calling me dear master makes it sound like I’m the one at fault here!
I keep saying this, but I’ve done nothing wrong! Yes, the world is at fault for tormenting me until now!
“Oh, oh…”
And the evidence of my suspicion began sprouting up from here and there.
“W-what is going on?”
I began noticing more and more demons looking up at the heavens while shedding tears. Some began whispering in soft voices and said, “Oh, our noble, great Demon God…” or “I knew it, she’s the great and noble deity that listens to our voices…”
I was getting anxious. No, hang on. This was already beyond the description of ‘anxious’ and straight into the dangerous territory. Such declarations were flooding forth from seemingly every corner.
“N-no, could it be…?”
For a moment there, a totally inconceivable scenario formed in my head. Looking at these folks now, though, I began sensing that that scenario might become a reality, after all.
And who knew… My gut feeling indeed became a reality.
“Our noble, great Demon God has acknowledged you, oh our king!”
“Yes, our great king. Our noble and great Demon God has indeed chosen you as our one true ruler!”
“Ah, aaaah… dear Demon God! The all-powerful and noble master of our race!”
Hey, Demon God, what’s gotten into you? You aren’t the type to do this, right?!
“Ah, ahhh… The Demon God has spoken, sire. Oh, my dear apostle! It sounds like you have misunderstood me, so let me say it one more time! You did extremely well. That’s why, stay and keep doing it!”
W-why are you doing this, Demon God? You aren’t some clueless child, you know…! Besides, can’t you go with Belegrea or something? She’ll do a better job than me, you know!
“Oh, our great king! Our king, acknowledged by the Demon God, no less!”
“We beg of you, please continue to protect the king’s throne!”
“Yes, please protect the throne, sire!”
As soon as the Demon God gave her permission, every demon present in the temple rushed here and began prostrating before me.
Scary. This was getting a bit… no, a lot scary!
-Master, it looks like the number of demons is getting higher and higher…? Am I seeing things?
-Yeah, I’m seeing it right now, too!
Was someone spreading a rumour or something? The ranks of prostrating demons were gradually increasing with every second.
“I require some time to myself. I shall converse with our great Demon God first.”
I got up from the throne and declared in a dignified voice, thinking I needed time to retreat and regroup.
“Sire, our great Demon King spoke to us again. She said, there’s no need for all that. Just do it!”
“You’re the best apostle I’ve chosen ever since the creation of this world! That’s why…”
“…That’s why, my apostle! Continue to lead the demon race!”
The archbishop and cardinals in the front of the pack got up and roared in unison, prompting the rank-and-file priests to also cry out together.
H-hey, isn’t that voice… Haven’t you all been treating that voice as the fake god?! Didn’t you treat that version of the Demon God as the evil creature?!
How come are you listening to it so religiously now?!
-This is your comeuppance, master! This is why you should’ve moderated yourself while selling the Demon God’s name everywhere! Look, the Demon God’s pissed off, and now, she’s taking revenge on you!
-E-even if that’s true! The Demon God is the top deity after excluding the Creator God! So how can she take revenge on me by turning a con man into her apostle?!
-Oh, at least you know you’re a con man, master!
Oops, I ended up revealing what’s on my mind!
-Even though you know you’re a con man, you pretend otherwise. I knew it, you’re an evil person!
Kh-hmm, kh-hmm! Khhhmm!
I took a second or two to clear my throat, then roared out with all the power I could muster. “All of you, now listen!”
Whether it was out there or in here, people with the intention to torment me were… No, rather than people, it’s the demon race and one lump of metal.
The smartest way to navigate through a situation like this was to defeat the easiest opponent first. The metal bat had known me far longer than anyone here, so I thought the priests treating me like a demigod should be a lot easier to deal with.
“I’m well aware of the great Demon God’s wish. And yes, I’m also aware of your wishes.”
“I-in that case!”
The archbishop jumped up to his feet at my words and stared at me with sparkling eyes. However, the archbishop was a reptile-type demon and not a human-like one, so he kind of looked like a drooling lizardman standing in front of a prey!
“However, I have an important mission to fulfil.” I put on some serious airs while saying that. Everyone couldn’t do anything but quietly look up at me.
Well, I was telling the truth, after all. I really did have an important mission of spending the rest of my life with my daughter.
I developed the demon continent to this point so that I could enjoy my retirement! The rest can be taken care of by Belegrea and the Demon God working diligently together!
“As such, all of you should go back for today. I shall personally speak to the Demon God.”
I stared at the priests with my go-to glare used to look down on the trainees back in my evil organisation days. It’s been a long time since I used this glare, though.
“Understood, sire.”
A short standoff later, the archbishop took the lead by bowing his head and retreating from the chamber. The cardinals I had selected and the other priests followed him and slowly filed out of the demon king’s throne chamber.
Only after all the priests had left and the door shut behind them did I plop down on the throne and let out a lengthy groan.
Things just got complicated. Very complicated.
I only wanted to retire, but to think that such interference would hinder my goal!
“Damn you, Demon God! You are no help to my life at all, now are you!”
“And just who was it that freely sold the Demon God’s name everywhere while never forgetting to thank her?”
The metal bat grumbled while settling down on the armrest of the throne. As the throne itself was absurdly huge, it was no problem for the metal bat in a small girl’s appearance to sit there.
“What are you grumbling about this time?”
“Hng! How dare a measly Demon God call you her apostle, master! I mean, you are my master! The one and only deity of this world, Lady Arcadia’s master!”
Her cheeks puffed up as she pouted. Anyone seeing the metal bat for the first time would’ve found her really adorable, but…
“Why are you raising a fuss?”
But, from the perspective of those who know the truth, it was just a contemptible throwing-toys-out-of-pram by her.
After I pinched both of her cheeks hard, the metal bat could only let out a pained grunt instead of coherent words.
“Okay, so. What should I do now…”
Staying on as the demon king wasn’t the worst decision I could make. It wouldn’t be the same as getting captured by the Imperial Princess since I wasn’t mortgaging my life here.
The one issuing all the work was Belegrea, while the ministers of different departments were responsible for carrying out those tasks, anyway.
I was simply sitting here in a largely symbolic role. The demon continent functioned well without me.
“Master, can’t you just stay in that case?”
“The more noticeable I am, the greater the chance of things happening, that’s why.”
The most peaceful era of my life was when I was tilling the land with my daughter. I spent six quiet years just like that, didn’t I?
“Give up, master. Since most of your life was tough-going, doesn’t that make the average sum of your life also tough-going? In that case, you should stick to the average sum for the rest of your life, too.”
“Hell no! If I stick to that lifestyle, I’ll really kick the bucket soon!”
This year was the last one where I could attach the adverb ‘almost’ in front of half a century of life on this land. Come next year, I’d really have lived half a century in this world.
So much about the current me had changed compared to the peak period in my life, i.e. between the age of 30 to 40 when I was still in the evil organisation.
First of all, my muscle mass had decreased significantly. Even though I still exercised diligently, the decrease still came about due to the lack of actual field experience. Besides, I had been wielding farming tools a lot more than swords in the last several years.
And the end of exercise always brought massive aches all over my body. Getting hit by cold winds made my bones and joints ache, too.
The time to let go of my sword and settle down on a rocking chair to watch over my daughter growing up was slowly creeping up on me.
“My daughter is growing up well, so now would be the best time to let go, I’d say.”
My dear daughter was already 15 years old. The racial trait of demons caused her to grow slower than humans, but she was still growing into a respectable young woman. Which meant this was a crucial period in her development.
Soon, the era of storms and gale winds will arrive. Just a small disagreement could even cause my daughter to run from home while saying, “Dad, I hate you!”
My daughter, running away from home after I have entered the twilight of my life? How horrifying would that be!
“I should just quietly run a farm with my daughter or help her job as the Minister of the Chicken Department.”
My daughter told me that, although she could resign from the position of the Minister of Agriculture, she could absolutely not give up on the Minister of the Chicken Department.
She even declared that she’d never give up on this ‘business venture’ until the fried chicken was spread to all corners of the demon continent.
To make her wish come true, just how many fried chicken franchises have I opened? How many new sauces did I have to develop!
Even after I went through all that trouble, she still said, “Dad, I’m still hungry,” and tried to create a World Cup legend, oops, I mean, the fried chicken legend. [1]
“But, master, you don’t have a choice now, do you?”
Statues of my likeness have been erected in almost every corner of the demon continent. Every living demon on this land will probably recognise me.
In a certain sense, the situation had become even harder for me to escape than back in the human continent.
If that’s the case…!
“There’s only one way out of this, then.”
“You do have a way?”
I looked at the metal bat making a shocked face and slowly nodded.
I had abruptly recalled an old mobile game I used to play in my previous life. That game went sideways in the long run after it became too much of a pay-to-win, but it still had a pretty solid storyline at its core.
“Do you know why there aren’t that many kings?”
“Because… it’s a king?”
“No. It’s because there can’t be many kings, to begin with.”
There could be only one king in a country. One single existence! A unique being!
Currently, only I and Belegrea were the kings on the demon continent, which meant my worth was quite high, but…!
“What if there are one million kings?”
What if you asked random strangers on the street what their day job was, and nine out of ten replied, “I’m the demon king?”
“Will everyone still pay attention to me in that case?”
“Wow, now that you’ve run out of ideas, master, you’ve resorted to spewing utter nonsense! And so proudly, too!”
The metal bat cried out in alarm, but I paid her no mind.
I didn’t care whether the metal bat or the Demon God was mocking my plan. There was no need to retort right now.
Whether my imagination was lacking or my plan had too many holes in it… That would be decided by the end result, you see!

[1]: No clue what the author was trying to reference here. The ‘World Cup’ is most likely Football World Cup, but other than that… shakes head

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