Chapter 32 – The Power of Demons
One of the most remarkable advantages that demons have over humans.
That was the creation and control of monsters.
The monsters that Schild had fought as a Subjugator for many years were originally minions that the Demon Race manipulated to fight against humans.
After the Demon Race was defeated, many of these monsters lost their masters. Because they had no more such beings domesticating them, these creatures became feral and roamed freely in the wilderness around the kingdom since then.
Monsters can only become a real threat when they are under the command of the Demon Race.
“But in these past battles, you were also involved with them, am I right? The new monster soldiers Ante had made into their own fighting force, and the monster swarm we defeated in the first monster swarm extermination battle.”
“Partly. Those assaults were only made possible because Zaria, Belzerd, Ante, and Argome are not pure demons in the first place.”
King Preslate dropped a bombshell without batting an eye.
“Those four weren’t “Demons”, but “monsters” I personally created. The peak results of my efforts of merging my own research together with the power of monster creation given to me by the real Demon Lord. A monster that has the ability to evolve and adapt.”
“The original Demon Race is no different from humans, except that they can also control monsters by their will. That kind was the “pure” Demon. They don’t have special abilities unlike Zaria and the others, because ‘they’ were “monsters” from the very beginning. This also explains why they have such unique traits. To put them simply, I “gave” them those traits.”
In this method, King Preslate was able to organize his fake demon army.
Secretly, without anyone knowing.
“What about of the real Demon Race?”
“Because I “missed” a good amount of them in that war, many of them fled successfully far across the border. Who knows? Maybe they’re hard at work now building a new country in their new lands.”
(This pretty much establishes that he was the mastermind behind all those attacks at the capital. Still, it didn’t clear up his mysteriousness by a bit.) If you ar e ab le to re ad this m essa ge, you are re ad ing from an unau thorized aggr ega te si te. R ead at my Wo rdPr ess at sta bbing wi th a syr ing e. hom e. blo g to supp ort me a nd my tran slati ons.
“You didn’t mention why you did it, though. Your motive. Let’s hear about it, shall we?”
Why would the king take such an act of destroying his own country?
And why did he take such a roundabout way?
“You are a king, and with your power, it is not so difficult to destroy your country on your own. And yet, you did not use that authority, which should have been the first thing you should do, not even an accomplice or whatnot. Instead, you resorted to a way so roundabout it’s ridiculous. What is the reason for that? Don’t tell me it’s only to avoid detection. Just what exactly are you aiming for in the end?”
“You’re wrong about one thing. I’m not aiming to destroy my country; I just don’t mind about it getting destroyed in the process of fulfilling my true desire.”
“Then, what is this true desire you’re speaking about?”
“Right. This is getting long. Before that, let me know about yourself first.”
In a way he didn’t expect, Schild was put on the receiving end of a question.
“Asking questions isn’t bad, but I want to know you better as well. I’m your father, yet I don’t know anything about you. Care to help your old man understand his beloved son better, now that he’s finally in his arms reach?”
“Beloved? Are you saying you loved me as a son?”
“As much as the love I gave to Cymbium and Serenea, even though they aren’t my true children.”
“I want to ask about that as well, but fine.”
A dry smile spilled out of Schild’s mouth.
Suddenly, his urge of wanting to spit on his face wasn’t there anymore.
“The more we understand each other, the easier it will be for us to talk after all.”
“But why, though? What do you want me to say? About how much I hated you back then?”
“But I’m not deserving of your hate anymore, am I? Looking at you conversing with me, I can see at least that you didn’t come here as a revenant. Then what is it?”
The father asked his son.
“Who do you think you are now, coming to see me this far?”
“What do you mean by who……”
“I meant that question literally. Who are you now? Think. Are you still the son whose only goal is to see his father? Are you a warrior that came to finish off the Demon Lord for good? Are you just a bystander who just to sate his curiosity? Or……are you none of the above?”
“……A future king, perhaps?”
“I see. So, a king it is then, huh. Well then. As a king in charge of a country, have you come to identify me as the enemy of the state? Not out of vengeance, not out of love, not out of warrior spirit, not out of curiosity, but by the sense of responsibility?”
“……the sense of responsibility?”
“The responsibility of a ruler, the duty to keep the nation running upright.”
King Preslate moved his gaze straight to Schild. A stare so great he couldn’t stare back or look away.
The only thing Schild could do was take a step back in a hapless manner.
“……I see. You’re still in limbo. That’s good. Confusion is the privilege of the youth.”
You’re still trying to figure out who you are. No, that’s not it. You’re still trying to decide who you are.”
King Preslate walked into the corner of the hut.
At that end was a set of chairs and a table, which seemed to be a space for eating.
Empty plates, apparently from eating breakfast, were still there, unmoved.
“I grew up in a place where there are only men in the house. Pardon me for being messy. Also, when I’m absorbed in something, I tend to neglect my chores.”
“…… What’s a king doing in such a small, dirty room anyway?”
A simple question popped out of Schild’s mouth.
“I’m sure there are more elegant ways to spend your time in hiding.”
“Research. I’m working on mastering the monster creation and controlling powers given to me by the true Demon Lord, completely my own.”
Upon hearing this, Schild was also convinced.
(So that’s why there is a smell of medicine filling up these rooms.)
“The creation of Zaria and the others was one of my accomplishments, and the ‘Hex of the Gladiator’ was also revived by me. Our royal family possessed many of the same magical powers as the demons in the ancient times, you see. I just applied a bit of them here.” Th is cha p ter tran slat ion is ma de pos si ble by s tab bing wit h a s yr inge trans latio ns. che ck on ly u -to- da te tra ns lati ons o n my W ord press si te.
“That’s easier to be said than done.”
“You’re right. And because of that, I’ve been doing this for a while now. Zaria may have some similarities to me, but in the end, she’s just copying me, and I’m the original. At first, I came here just to make some trial and errors, but as I gradually repeated it, I started enjoying myself in this place. It turns out that I am a researcher at heart. I discovered that when I decided to start living here. For the first time in my life, I felt……free.”
While they were talking, King Preslate cleared the table and made it look presentable.
“Come, sit. It’s going to be a long story from here. I can’t just let my son stand there all the time.”
“You want to know, don’t you? What I’ve been doing since I left the kingdom. What is my goal? What I’ve been ‘planning’ for the past twenty years since I chased away the real demon army? No, that’s not it…….”
King Preslate changed his tone on the latter words.
“It is what I’ve been ‘doing’ in those twenty years since you were born. This is what you want to find out the most, isn’t it?”
Not saying a word, Schild sat down on the chair he was prompted.
Across the table; and on the opposite side of his father.
“I’d like to make you some tea, but I don’t have anything fancy like that in the house. The only thing I have is alcohol. I’ve even thrown in it a snake extract to help me sleep. Are you okay with that? You don’t mind snakes, do you?”
“I’m not some kind of court lady to be irked with that. Also, how can I be a monster subjugator if I’m afraid of snakes?”
“Oh, so you’re a Subjugator? I see. That’s a cool job. They’re also the most popular with women.”
For the first time in his life, Schild had never been so thrown off his pace by a person he had just met for the first time.
The person he knew best, and yet he also knows nothing about.
The person he had spent a large percentage of his life trying to reach out.
In order to understand that person, he had to continue this conversation for a while.
This is what’s in Schild’s heart right now.