The Demon General of Earth (♀) Was Ridiculed as "the Weakest of the Four Heavenly Knights", but After She Decided to Quit the Demon King’s Army and Lead a Slow Life, She Was Forced to Live With the Exiled Hero (♀) … Also, for Certain Reasons, They Got Married. - 23
Warning: Suicidal Ideation.
It’s been more than 10,000 years since the creation of this world.
The history of the human race is just as long. In exchange for their fragile bodies and lacking the features demons have—they had superior numbers and their craftiness.
There was a story of a knight who led a large army against a dragon protecting its treasure.
There was a folktale of a hero who defeated a serpent demanding sacrifices through a clever scheme.
There was a legendary hero who bravely defeated the demons trying to destroy the world.
The demons were always an absolute evil and seemed to be always doomed to defeat.
That inevitability changed the moment the current Demon King was born.
She was feared by the elders, she was feared by even her own relatives, she seemed to be all the violent strength of this world boiled down into a single individual.
The scorching heat of the dragon, the poisonous mists that the serpent breathed, the former Demon King who wished to destroy the whole world, and even the heroes who defeated all of them were things of the past.
In the first place, the Demon King’s army was not a proper army.
Instinctively, they all knew, “I will never be able to compete.” and their numbers have swelled without the Demon King’s permission.
All the demons have dreams that all the heroes, or even the entire world together, cannot win against them.
A girl who was the most powerful and the cruelest bully.
“It’s been a long time, Eldora,” the Demon King said.
“Ueh–” I choked.
Natural. It was only natural.
Since this was the Demon King’s castle, naturally there would be a Demon King inside it.
And if you make such a ruckus, a violent girl who loves chaos will appear as a matter of course.
That girl sitting on Eldoran’s shoulders sighed softly and jumped off with a “Yoh”, landing so gracefully it was like she was weightless.
“–Wooow, things, have been lively here, fufuu,” the Demon King said, swaying her arms, looking like she was in a good mood. “What are you doing? Here in my castle?”
I haven’t thought of how to answer that question. (… Wha-What’s going on? Is it all over…?!) I think.
I can’t understand the Demon King. Her thoughts and emotions were absurd and irrational, with no clear goals.
Sometimes she razed a whole city with a smile, and sometimes she mercifully let free a warrior who had recklessly challenged her.
As far as I could see, she was enjoying all this.
But I can’t guess what her underlying goal is.
I have to choose my words carefully.
From behind me, I hear a familiar booming voice.
“–Demon King! It’s a fake Eldora! Don’t be fooled!”
Gran seems to have regained consciousness.
Yes, I’m still surrounded by enemies. With the addition of the Demon King, it was no longer possible to break through the siege by force.
The only way left is negotiation.
“… Shut up,” the Demon King said, deliberately puffing up her cheeks. “I’m talking to Eldora right now, so you all be quiet.”
That expression of sullenness alone moved everyone in the castle to silence. The pressure was suffocating.
“… Now then, what are you doing here?” the Demon King asked.
“I… I am….” I muttered, hearing my voice rising in pitch from nerves. I still push on, saying, “I just came to pick up the items I left behind… then, I’m going home, haha, well then, if you’ll excuse me…”
“Eeehh…?” the Demon King asked. “Hold up, wait, this is the first time we’ve met in such a long time. You should take this slowly.”
I’m not joking.
I don’t need this anymore, I don’t want to be involved with the Demon King any longer.
“You know, my playmates are pretty boring ever since you disappeared all on your own… and I think you understand, too, that the rest of the Four Heavenly Kings are just a bunch of idiotic bastards…”
It was heartbreaking to see those idiots Gran and Wheat being put down several pegs in public. However, there were more ominous signs than that.
“Well? Why don’t you become a Heavenly Knight again?” the Demon King asked. “I’ll make it like your disappearance and your rampage here never happened!”
I don’t like it.
I don’t want to be swayed by the Demon King’s outlandish ideas and be abused by her again.
How easy would it be if I could just clearly tell her “NO” here? I don’t have the courage to do that.
Without being able to confirm or deny it, I stood silently.
“I’m sure it’s going to be lots of fun~,” the Demon King hummed. “I’m going to erase that kingdom that’s been a pain in the butt recently.”
She spins around like she’s dreaming of a happy future. If you cut out just that part, she looks like an ordinary girl. However, the words she spoke were pure evil itself.
“Or maybe I’ll conquer the kingdom… maybe we can convince the humans to fight each other!” the Demon King continues. “Or, we could also have you Four Heavenly Knights take it yourselves?”
As usual, she’s still making unreasonable demands. However, I can only shake my head yes, both now and before.
“Better yet… would you like to kill all the humans?” the Demon King continues. “Then set the demons to kill each other–”
“I can’t accept that,” I said.
I didn’t mean to say it out loud. However, the thing she’s suggesting for her entertainment is irreparable.
No, I just didn’t like the sound of it at all.
After a brief moment, the Demon King took some steps to try to convince me. “Ooh, so it’s too extreme to set demons to kill each other–”
“That’s not it, before that. I don’t want to kill all the humans…” I said. And now that the words were out of my mouth, I realized something: “… It’s better to keep them alive… isn’t it going to be more fun that way…?”
Cold sweat pours down my forehead.
The Demon King looked struck again then laughed. “Hahahaha! Yeah, maybe. That’s right! You’ve got good ideas.”
“Th-Thanks—well then,” I stammered.
But now I’m trying to say too much. I realized as much.
My words did not stop for some reason.
“I, I am… not going to return to the Four Heavenly Knights.”
The soldiers started screaming. I’m screaming internally.
Instead of just giving an opinion to the Demon King, I refused her proposal, which was equivalent to choosing death.
Did I get too excited after experiencing this extreme tightrope walking? My true feelings are overflowing, it feels like the rope was just cut.
Still, the Demon King looks like she’s in a good mood as she looks up at me. “Heeh, why’s that?” she asked. “Are you dissatisfied with how you were treated? Do you hate me?”
Both of those.
But more than either of them, there was an even more important reason.
“So-Someone’s waiting for me… I can’t worry them too much.”
… I said it.
It’s embarrassing to say. But it’s true. I need to get away from this place as quickly as possible.
I regretted feeling so confident.
I was lying down now.
Above me is infinite darkness, not the gorgeous and extravagant ceiling of the Demon King’s Castle.
My body hurts. I realized there was a warm liquid pouring down my head and figured out I was bleeding.
Without a clue of what just happened, I tried to stand up, but Eldoran’s joints groaned and couldn’t move well, I could barely lift my own neck.
In the distance, a faint but noticeable silhouette floats over. I can see a giant hole near the main gate. The Demon King’s Castle’s main gate.
In an instant, I had gone from the castle to the barrens outside.
Gradually, the cloudiness in my brain fades, my mind begins to piece together what happened—no, the answer is quite simple.
Was it a pummeling? Or was it a kick? Or some unknown spell?
It was none of those things.
With just a single finger-flick from the Demon King, I was blown so far away.
“I’m jealous of you, you know?” the Demon King said, walking alone in the darkness and looking terribly bored.
The good mood from earlier has disappeared, her face is that of the reigning Demon King.
“Maybe I’m really jealous of you,” she continues. “’Someone’s waiting for me’? To think you have someone like that.”
I realize I may have stepped on a deadly land mine.
I had no idea what the Demon King was thinking of, and now she’s telling me her feelings.
“I’m jealous, and I’m bored,” she said, trampling the barrens underfoot, clearly irritated.
I don’t know what’s gone wrong. Maybe even from the beginning with that smile on her face, evil was swirling in the depths of her heart.
Regardless, it seems I said too much.
Considering the Demon King’s highly unstable moods, I’ve ended up in an extremely difficult situation.
Where did I go wrong, or was my wrong to visit the Demon Castle in the first place, but is there anyone who could have predicted this?
“–Let’s do this,” the Demon King said.
With a leisurely stride, she came to my fallen Eldoran’s side, looking all innocent.
“If you play a game with me and win, Eldora, I’ll do nothing,” the Demon King said. “The humans will not be destroyed.”
Deep, deep in the depths of her crimson eyes, I see a dark flame burning.
“But if I win, I’ll kill the person waiting for you first,” she continues. “Then I’ll kill all those who are close to you. Finally, I’ll kill you… I think that’ll be a little fun, yeah.”
“——Hah…?” I gasp.
It’s a disaster. There is no advantage nor benefit to me.
Still, a strong being who’s far beyond everything else in the world can impose those unreasonable demands on anyone.
“What do you mean—I can’t understand this, you’re insane!” I yelled, forcibly driving Eldoran’s right hand up and striking at the Demon King. It was a powerful arm that would shatter a mountain if it struck it.
However, my opponent is still stronger than a mountain range–
“You win if you can land even a single blow on me… oh, of course, this is useless?” the Demon King said as she caught Eldoran’s fist with her slender, little girl’s arm. “If you don’t attack me seriously, you won’t be able to hit me.
“Let’s give you a handicap,” she said as she put forward the index finger of her free hand. “One finger. Other than that, I won’t use anything else for attacks. I’ll also go easy on you.”
I think I’m losing my patience. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get angry at this provocative proposal, but I knew this wasn’t a taunt, but a consideration to reduce the gap between our abilities, so it’s not the distance between heaven and earth.
Because of course, the Demon King was powerful.
During our conversation, Eldoran has completely recovered.
I make it jump back to its feet, twisting its torso to launch one foot at the little girl before me. She takes it effortlessly in the palm of her hand.
Next, I punch. She blocks that, too.
A knife-hand jab. Hurling rocks.
Neither of them works.
“Your combat style is just attacking with overwhelming force—it’s not bad, but it’s no match for the stronger enemies,” the Demon King said, speaking calmly as she dodges my rain of attacks.
Dozens of cracks appear in the hard, dry dirt, craters are forming, clouds of dust are rising up in the air.
(I already know that, damn it–!) I think, continuing the assault as I grit my teeth.
I’m making a seemingly useless fight against an opponent I can neither run from nor win against. I shouldn’t have mentioned Yuri.
Fear and regret rush into me.
No matter how unreasonable it sounds, the Demon King will always do as she says.
Hence, I need to get the Demon King to honor her promise.
I definitely need to hit her.
I continue to shatter the barrens with all my might. I just have to make her think that I’m making unnecessary attacks.
The only thing I have over the Demon King is the Earth element—my knowledge of the earth and how to use it.
I can see the faults and fracture lines in the ground. I know how to efficiently shatter rocks.
I have to surpass the Demon King with sleight of hand, even just for a moment.
The land the Demon King dodged to crumbles under its own weight. This is after I’ve crushed the surrounding ground so that the whole surface became fragile.
The Demon King has not lost her posture.
(One shot is all I need!) I think.
I couldn’t miss this chance.
With all my strength, putting my whole body into it, and with a prayer going “Please hit”,
I throw a punch.
“Right, doo-on,” the Demon King hums.
Eldoran’s right arm broke off from the shoulder, rocketed through the air, and pierced the rocky mountains behind the Demon King.
Of course, the Demon King just used a single finger. Even then, there was a difference in skill that could never be matched. Just by flicking it, she deflected a fist dozens of times heavier than her.
“Too ba-aad!” the Demon King hums as she approaches me. “That was a shame, wasn’t it?”
She stabs Eldoran’s chest with her fingertip.
I bounce seven times, make eight revolutions, flying so far I make a giant road-like gash on the barren land. Without being able to even instinctively defend myself, I dig up the earth with a roaring sound.
It was an impact that not even Eldoran’s armored self could mitigate, it rocked my whole body.
Maybe my skin’s been cut open somewhere. I’ve got bruises everywhere.
Still, I have to stand. This is the worst-case scenario.
The Demon King leisurely walks along the gash I’ve made in the ground.
“–Cry,” she says, calm and cold as ice. “Cry, apologize, beg for my forgiveness. Then… I’m going to kill the one waiting for you and everyone else.”
Her power cannot be described in words. There is a coldness that bites at my whole body, my head is swaying from blood loss. Even her tone is like the Demon King of legends, to put it simply, it’s terrifying enough you could die from fright.
“If you do at least that, I’ll forgive you,” the Demon King said. “I will spare your life.”
I don’t have the courage to accept the Demon King’s sweet words.
I know she’s scarier than the previous Demon Kings.
I can’t lose Yuri. I believe that firmly.
“… I’m not taking it,” I spit. “Fucking bitch–”
The Demon King is still going slow. Whether it’s a sign of mercy or disdain for my actions, it’s a rare opening for attack.
I send my mana into the earth.
It’s not out of the question to die from mana exhaustion, having used up that much mana.
Everything inside the earth is both my weapons and my execution chamber.
Stone swords, spears, axes, and gravel fly out. The amount is too overwhelming for one person to deal with, but this was not enough to stop the Demon King.
The swords were crushed, the spears were dodged, I succeeded in slowing her down, but I couldn’t land a hit on her or make her stop.
Fortunately, however, the Demon King jumped into the air, either out of annoyance at my assault or to make hers.
She flies towards me in a moment.
There is still some distance between us. Eldoran, who had no means of defense against a human bullet, it can’t do anything—or so you would think.
There was a card up my sleeve I’d never shown to anyone yet.
“Eat this, Demon King—…!”
My remaining left hand rockets forward and instantly detach from the arm—that’s the trick.
However, it should be difficult to defend in the air when you can’t change directions. The surprise attack that cut through the space between us was my last trump card.
The Demon King never makes a mistake. In that sense, she’s a reliable partner.
So, if this attack hits her, there should be mercy. Provided it hits.
Up in the air, where she should have been struck, the Demon King shows off her cat-like reflexes, twisting herself in the air, kicking Eldoran’s fist away, and launching herself up off it.
My last trump card flies off elsewhere.
The Demon King even landed smoothly.
“–Was that your trump card just now?” she asks as she’s already in front of me.
She’s in range for a lethal strike.
I don’t even have enough magic left to operate Eldoran.
There it is—the finishing blow.
Eldoran had experienced several traumas today, but at the greatest shock it had received so far, it shattered and crumbled miserably. I couldn’t keep the frame together, so I was rocked about from the inside.
I tumble out while being struck by the falling pieces of armor, and every time I groan in pain, blood spills from my mouth.
When it finally stopped, I went limp for a few seconds, the Demon King looked down at me laying on my back.
“Good fight, great fight,” she said. “As I’d expected, my Earth element errand girl is tough. I’ve beaten you so much yet you’re still not dead yet.”
“Shu… ut… up,” I gasp.
“Wow, you’re still alive after all that,” the Demon King said. “But you can’t even stand anymore. It seems your mana’s run out… it’s your defeat, Eldora.”
It’s true, it hurts too much and I can’t stand anymore.
Some of my bones feel like they’ve been broken, my vision is swaying from all the blood loss and I’m about to lose consciousness.
There is only the scent of iron in my nose and the taste of metal in my mouth.
I look so miserable, the Demon King laughs. “Haha, I am the Demon King, so I’ll keep my word. I will kill all the humans and then I’ll kill all the people close to you, Eldora.”
Her voice was innocent but her words were full of wickedness. At the end of it all, she decides to turn around to leave.
“After that—will you cry, Eldora? It seems like you’ll get angry. Haha, I’m looking forward to it.”
“–… Wait,” I gasp.
My desperate murmur gets the Demon King to stop. She turns around with a suspicious look on her face and said, “You know, it’s not fun to be too persistent. Now that we’ve settled this, just be quiet…”
Then, her eyes opened wide in surprise, she laughed. “Hah, hahahaha! That’s amazing! I thought you were a sturdy demon, but you’re still standing!”
She’s right. I’m still standing.
Maybe one of my legs is broken but I’m almost able to completely support my body with my remaining energy.
“This… this isn’t over yet…” I gasp.
I just stand and stare. It’s all I can do.
As I looked at her, the Demon King muttered and sounded interested, going, “Heeh,” and “Fuuhn.”
I need to keep her still longer.
“Hahaha, you’ve got impressive guts. You’re still not giving up?” she said.
Once again, she slowly approached me. It’s convenient for me.
“But you can’t do anything anymore, can you? Ugh… if you want this to go easier, why don’t I kill you first?”
“You… you really are pure evil,” I muttered.
I never thought I’d ever say this to her face while I was still alive.
“I’ve hated you for all this time.”
My voice is faint, on the verge of death. Without being offended, the Demon King laughed and put her fingertip to my forehead.
“I see…” she muttered, “well, I don’t care, but I’m still going to kill you, okay?”
A few seconds left.
Just a bit more.
“…?” the Demon King squints, wondering if something has happened.
A darker black overshadows the night.
There was an object flying in from beyond the Demon King’s field of vision. It was in the shape of a fist.
It was Eldoran’s left fist, that the Demon King kicked off earlier.
The ejection mechanism has another function.
The Rocket Punch works by using a bit of the built-in mana to detect hostile’s mana concentrations and expend it to change direction mid-flight. The tracking capabilities are not too great. However, it will continue to fly until it hits something and stops or it completely runs out of mana to propel itself.
It’s finally returned.
It’s a true, honest-to-goodness back-handed strike.
–This surprise attack the pierced through the air was my last trump card.
Only a few more moments till impact—there, the Demon King just turned her neck to look. She saw what was causing the shadow.
All in all, it was a distance where she couldn’t dodge in time. Hence, the Demon King crushed that projectile by twisting her body along the waist and backhanding it.
It’s an obvious opportunity.
That’s why, here and now, with all my might, with all my strength, I strike out with my hand–
I hit the Demon King’s cheek as she turns back around.
“……… That was, one, hit…” I gasp.
I wanted it to be true. Otherwise, there’s no hope. I have no other choice but to die because I’ve run out of mana.
“… Hah,” the Demon King goes, “haha… hahahahahahaha—!!”
She laughs. She’s laughing with her whole body.
“Is, is this… fufuh, is this my loss?”
She sounds like she’s having fun from the bottom of her heart. She sounded like a girl who you wouldn’t be intimidated or scared of in the slightest.
“–Ah, this is the first time that’s happened,” the Demon King said. “It’s my loss… that’s a real shame–”
As she laughs it off, she walks around me. As usual, I couldn’t read her true intentions.
After all this time, the Demon King’s Army arrives from the castle. That first attack seems to have sent me flying a considerable distance.
However, they don’t come closer, just surround me from afar.
I’m dying and am wondering what’s with the Demon King’s strange change of mood.
Without looking concerned about it, the Demon King put her arms on my shoulders and shook me. “Woow, that was amazing, that was incredible!” she cried. “It’s been a while since I’ve had fun like this… the last time was when I was playing with the Sage of the Lake!”
My anemic brain is being shaken and it seems it’s time for the finishing blow. I want her to end it already—
“I enjoyed this, Eldora… okay, you’re tired, so I’ll take you to the person waiting for you!” the Demon King said.
“Eh,” I gasped.
Shortly after my protest, the Demon King roughly carried me under her arm. Despite being of similar physiques, I seem to be little more than a lump of rock to her.
In fairness, she was the Demon King.
“If you end up dying along the way… sorry about that?” the Demon King said.
“Ueh–” I gasp.
The sudden acceleration almost makes me bite my tongue.
It was the beginning of the bullet-like ride from Hell.
“Ms. Yuri… say, are you feeling better…?”
“……… Yeah,” I say.
“Big Sister Eldora will be back soon… maybe she’ll even be back today?”
“……… Yeah,” I say.
“… Um… well then, are you going home now? Have you been eating properly?”
“……… Yeah,” I say.
Some of the villagers are worried about me. I’m very grateful and happy for it, but–
I only managed to see Monica off to the front door before I collapsed on the sofa.
I lay down like I’m melting, like gu-dehn, dead drunk. Ever since I heard that Eldora had gone off somewhere alone, I’ve been completely useless, just without energy.
“… I want to die.”
I learned from my mother that you shouldn’t say that even as a joke. However, I can’t help it now, I can’t help it anymore.
Is Eldora gone?
It’s been at least 2 days since I noticed she had disappeared. But she must have left even earlier than that.
– “I’m heading to the Demon Territory.”
At my age, I never expected to see a sentence like, “I’m going back to my old home.”–no, I never expected to get married in the first place. Even though it was to save her life, it was a terrible thing to take away Eldora’s first kiss without her permission… it was the worst feeling when she pointed it out, furious.
Anyway, it was just a one-sided attraction, I’m sure Eldora didn’t like me, and regardless, she hated me with a passion.
Inhale then exhale… I never feel any better.
“… I want to die.”
I couldn’t even remember how I managed to live.
In this different world where I didn’t know anything, where I didn’t have anything… I felt that Eldora was my only reason to live in this world.
For Eldora, it isn’t like that at all—ah, oh no. I’m about to start crying again.
I noticed the back of my nose started to hurt and I was tearing up, so I endured it.
I know that I shouldn’t be so obsessed forever.
“… Alright, it’s a different world, so let’s enjoy it living alone!” I cry, forcibly jumping up from the sofa and declaring it to an audience of no one.
The sound echoing in the empty walls only made me even more depressed.
I don’t want to be alone. Having someone else is good.
It was a wish of mine that would never come true.
Then, I heard a noise from the front door.
Maybe Monica came to pick up something she left behind—or it could be anything, really.
I recklessly open the door. “–Eldora…!” I cried.
“Uwah, that was shocking… you’re the Hero Yuri, right?”
It’s not Eldora. I’m so disappointed I sigh.
Twisted horns sprout from her red hair… a demon? She was just a young girl.
I braced myself for a moment… then I realized I didn’t really care. If she came to take my life, I felt like I should just let her have it.
“… That’s right,” I said.
“Haha, that’s a relief,” she said. “No way, you’re the person waiting for Eldora… I didn’t think it could have been you.”
Eldora. It certainly sounded like she said that, so I rushed up to the red-haired girl.
“Y-You know Eldora?!” I cried. “Well, where is she now?! How is she doing?! Is she okay?!”
My questions are a jumbled mess. The girl laughed.
“Right, here she is,” she said.
She gave me the rag-like thing she was holding. It dropped on the floor, it made a heavier sound than I thought it would.
The rag was Eldora.
“Well then, I’m going home… but, maybe you should take care of her? She seems to be dying.”
“E-Eh…?” I sputtered.
It was so confusing, my thoughts are in chaos.
No doubt, that’s Eldora rolling on the floor. However, there are so many things I don’t understand, like why she was carrying her or why she was so messed up.
“–… Uhh…” Eldora moaned briefly.
She was alive and here.
I couldn’t understand what was going on, but she was dying and I hugged her.
“–Eldoraaaaaaa…!” I cried.
“GyaaaaAAAhhhh…! Let me go, idiot…!” Eldora cried.
I crashed onto my butt, I’d never felt happier. It wasn’t a dream or an illusion, Eldora was really here.
Then there was the blood on the palms of my hands…
“Are—are you okay?!” I gasped. “Blood—I have to call Dr. Sido…! Wait, not that…! I have to get you first aid…—!”
Stretched to my limit, I go into a different kind of extreme emotion. My mind is drawing a blank and I don’t know what to do.
A hand is put over my mouth.
“Shut up, I’m not going to die…” Eldora whispered. “Seriously, shut up!”
I listen to Eldora’s request, keep silent, and nod.
“I, am the demon who beat the Demon King…” Eldora muttered. “I, am the most amazing demon in the world, so I doubt I can die…”
I don’t understand what she’s going on about, but if she says so, I’m sure that it’s true.
Eldora reached into her clothes and tried to take something out. “I’ve achieved my goal… this rainbow crystal, golem, is…” something falls out of her clothes as she speaks, it looks like a hunk of a glittering jewel.
It was something that made me feel it was the center of a fierce battle, the prize to be won.
“The… Rainbow Quartz…–!” Eldora cries, tearing up.
She sounds like her age only when golems are involved. It made me so nostalgic that I burst into tears, too.
After all that, I went to call Sido after Eldora exhausted herself from crying and fell asleep.