A Girl of White Gold Speaks of the World
Despite their current situation having turned their lives on their heads, the world around them went on its way as if nothing had happened.
If things had truly not changed, then it was about time for Kenneth to question why Latina had yet to come down to the lower floors. It was about this time that he would call for her.
“Latina, is something wrong?”
The call of his voice was like a faceful of ice water that brought the pair back to their senses. The issues with the Demon King aside, if he were to find them in their current situation… Well, things were unlikely to end up well.
Not that Dale would be exposed to anything new, but Latina was another matter entirely.
The attic the two of them resided in was riddled with packages and partitioning screens that formed make-shift walls; there were no actual walls that would help separate them from the outside. While the landowner couple weren’t usually the type to intrude on their privacy, if they were to come up now for any reason, they would discover more than the two were willing to share.
Latina finally became aware of her immodest appearance, and it only took a split second for her to be overcome by bashfulness.
Hearing the sound of footsteps drawing closer, Dale reacted instinctively and called out.
“Sorry, Kenneth! We just overslept a little, that’s all!”
Latina was still at his side, on the verge of losing her head but nevertheless preparing to change her clothes. In her haste, she tripped over her own sleepwear that had entangled itself with one of her legs, then fell down with a thud.
She was close to tears yet again, this time for a different reason.
In all honesty, there wasn’t even a glimmer of what one would expect a Demon King to be, not in her.
“Come to think of it… Just what is a Demon King, anyway?”
Nothing about Latina’s outer appearance seemed to have changed. While one tended to generalise the term Demon King, the powers held by The Second Demon King and the Fourth Demon King were completely at odds with each other. Just what kind of Demon King Latina had become, and just what kind power she had obtained as a result were both things Dale could not even wager a guess for.
And meanwhile, the transformed girl in question was…
Today, just as always, she was occupied with peeling potatoes to create mountains of strips.
While he did his best to calmly assess the situation, any attempt only increased the discord in his mind.
In his head, it made no sense for there to be something like a Demon King that cried because of something as simple as an onion. Fact could be stranger than fiction, true, but he had never once imagined that the day would come when that saying would hold true for them.
‘But Latina is still adorable as all Hell, yep…’ Thoughts like that would only lead to an attempted escape from the facts.
If the words of Glaros, the female demon, were anything to go by then the entity with the moniker of a Demon King was neither something that naturally held hostility toward mankind, nor was it some reviled manifestation of destruction and slaughter.
From what he had head when Rose had come into contact with the Second Demon King, the inherent opposition to other species had not been due to the nature of a Demon King, but was rather a consequence of their own, personal view.
That in mind, it was very doubtful that Latina’s change into a Demon King would lead to her becoming the Demon King of Destruction.
These were the thoughts that ran through Dale’s mind as he wrestled with his own queries. He wrecked his head on countless premonitions.
“So… What king of Demon King did Latina even turn into…?”
The Demon Kings that had taken up residence throughout all four corners of this world should, by the logic of the Gods of Seven Colours, make up a group of seven in total. While he hadn’t had the misfortune of facing all seven, Dale’s profession had allowed him to gather hearsay on the matter at the very least.
Some time earlier, Latina had mentioned that a new First Demon King had joined the fray. If that really was the case, then there shouldn’t even be vacant position left to occupy.
The one Rose had encountered was the Second Demon King, who found great pleasure in making art of slaughter.
It was said that there was another lived as one with the sea-folk in the Eastern Lands; that would be the Third Demon King.
The one that governed maladies, the one who heralded the spread of deadly diseases onto the earth he stood upon, enough to demolish an entire country – that was the Fourth Demon King.
The one called by many as “The Demon King of the Tower”, who played the role of the feudal lord that never left his abode would be the Fifth Demon King.
The one whose constitution was said to excel far beyond the limits of regular demons, the only one of his kind with demons as his retainer while he wandered the world – that was the Titanic Demon King, better known as the Sixth Demon King.
And then, there was the one that wished for the disorder and chaos of warfare and battle – The Seventh Demon King.
All of those should still exist.
Was there a vacant position, unknown to mankind? Just as the First Demon King had been?
Dale, unable to find an answer for the questions that plagued him, turned to stare at the girl whose transformation into a new Demon King could not be disputed in the slightest.
Really though, Latina was adorable no matter how many times he looked at her.
Recalling the night before, her adorable form as it stretched out into the late hours came back to mind and he grinned like a fool. Even when he tried to return to his serious thoughts, the new feelings of doting over her chased away any and all of his tension.
He, just like her, remained unchanged.
“So… I was thinking about it all day, but…”
Once night had settled and the two of them were alone in their room once again, Dale explained this to Latina.
The Demon King and the Hero were polar opposites, regardless of the interference of others. That alone seemed to nothing more than the part of some epic saga, but for the two of them, and the strange air that lingered between them, this was a subject that needed to be explored with greater depth.
“Looks like you haven’t changed a bit, Latina.”
“That’s right… It’s not as if my personality or ideals were changed, either.”
To tell the truth, looking at the way Dale questioned and Latina answered him seemed to be more of a cross-examination than anything else… Well, it was certainly not quite that intense for the two, seeing as they were more along the lines of having a few questions answered.
“Becoming the Demon King… That’s a choice you made on your own, right?”
The answer to his question was accompanied with a face on the verge of tears.
“I know that it wasn’t right to do. I knew that once I chose to be a Demon King, there was no way I could go back to the old me… I knew that I might turn into someone completely different from the ‘I’ that I am now…”
“Did you… Did you give it that much thought?”
“… I did.”
“Then there’s no problem.”
Dale smiled and reached to pet Latina’s head, just as he had done since she was a child. It made it clear to her that he was on her side.
“If that’s the path you chose, Latina, then I don’t see why I should deny it from the get-go and not give the other side a chance to explain themselves. So please, just talk to me. Tell me why you picked the choice you did… and about the Demon King.”
Latina gulps, nods her head obediently, and sorts her thoughts to find what the best thing was she could open with.
“Those chosen and protected by the gods themselves become Demon Kings. That’s how I heard it in Vasilio. See, Demon Kings are those protected by the ‘fate’ bestowed onto them by the gods. By the power of fate, which dictates that ‘One Becomes a Demon King, and Continues to Live as One’, they find protection from all kinds of ills.”
“I know that…”
The reason for his curt answer was that he himself was a Hero, an existence that opposed those of the Demon Kings.
No matter how brave and courageous one could be, no matter how masterful was in the art of combat – neither blade nor sorcery would even reach the Demon Kings.
The only thing that could negate this power was the ability possessed by the Hero that existed in opposition to them. It wasn’t the various blessings and divine protections that made him a Hero, it was that very ability that had been given to him by the gods that made up the true worth of one as an opposing existence.
“Demon Kings are granted a portion of Divine Authority, and are in essence Lesser Gods born from mankind.”
With those words, Latina’s grey eyes flickered.
“That’s why a Demon King can’t be harmed, no matter how many men may face him. Even one’s full lifespan wouldn’t destroy a Demon King. The only ones who can harm a Demon King would be another Demon King that’s received the Power of a God, and those who were given the power to overthrow them.”
“… Is that something you heard in your home town, too?”
“No, it isn’t. Demon Kings are a logical potion of this world, given the power to move the world as a whole by the Gods of Seven Colours to maintain and manage its balance. By becoming a Demon King, one is allowed to become privy to some of the foundations that make up this world.”
While Latina spoke, she could see her Throne. It was beyond Dale’s powers of perception, and existed in a separate dimension attached to this one.
It certainly didn’t encompass all knowledge, but whatever range of information she was allowed to access could be reached through it like a terminal of information, and bestowed her with knowledge pertaining to various things. Things like the power of a Demon King, as well as much of the wisdom the world had to offer was at her fingertips, all of it readily comprehended.
“So… I can just think of that as one of the powers of a Demon King?”
Latina saw Dale nod, albeit with some measure of reluctance, as he found himself content with a portion of what she had said.
After all, it made perfect sense that those who became Demon Kings would be instantly aware of the power they wielded in their name.
Whatever else made that possible could be attributed to the will of the gods.
The ones that spawned Demon Kings were the gods of this world, a manifestation of the rules it adhered to. As long as the Demon Kings were to be found in this world, they could not be beings that existed without the interference of the gods.
“Why… Why do Demon Kings exist, anyway?”
“To prevent the stagnation of this world. The gods are the rules in and of themselves, so they don’t directly meddle with the world – rather, the people. They can only allow for the circulation of the world in a manner that keeps it from stagnating. So, they decide the existence of certain forces among the people who capable of stirring up the world, based on whatever personal values they have. Those, well, they’re the Demon Kings…”
“So even calamities? Those are decided too?”
Sensing the thorns of resentment jutting from Dale’s voice, Latina turns to him and answers him in a calming tone.
“That’s why an Opposing Existence is needed. Demon Kings are born from the demon tribes. Because they are, they’re called Demon Kings. And from humanity, Heroes are born. Those with the power to… pierce through their protection, and possess the favour of the gods. The power to eject the Demon Kings from this world is also one decided by the gods.”
“Someone who overthrows, huh…?”
Those words weren’t that new to him. His own powers that existed to oppose the Demon Kings pointed to them as a reference, after all.
“But then… Why did you choose to become one yourself?”
And just what did she mean by saying that it was her own fault?
In response to Dale’s question, Latina donned and expression of worry. She looked up toward him.
Original Author’s Note:
Looks like the explanation got too long and cut the story off in the middle.
If you want to be kept up to date with my activities, then that information should be posted as a notice on the publication page. Please, take a look if you want to.