Chapter 110 – The Demon King Peddling His Goods
The Demon King was walking through the streets at night with a smile on his face.
Tamaki who was walking beside him, asked, which caused him to stop.
“Where are you going to sell it? Since you’re out and about at night, I’m thinking….. in a bar area.“
“That’s a good question. Taking a look…. I do think these grilled rice balls would go great after a few drinks.“
“Oh, I see. Let me have a taste next time, okay? Hm, then let’s go this way….. Let’s go.”
Tamaki-san pulled my hand, but I didn’t want her to misunderstand me.
“Hear me out, okay? Selling around in a bar is a common practice by now. Everyone knows that. To get one step ahead, you have to look a little further…. Well, you’re still young, Tamaki-san, so I guess it can’t be helped.”
“Well, not as young as you, Kokuto-kun….”
Tamaki smiled back at me wryly.
“Think about it. If I go all the way to the crowded bar area now, I’ll only end up meeting failure. This industry is not a sweet world where I, a newcomer, can sell something. If I’m going to go, I have to pick a place where no one else is going to go to.“
“That’s why I’m going to go to…….”
I’m going to go where the peddlers were more likely to stay away from.
“…..to the brothel district!”
Guided by Tamaki-san, who had a relaxed personality, we arrived at the hanamachi (1) district of Kujo city, where the nightlife thrived.
The atmosphere here was quite different from that of the entertainment district in the royal capital.
The atmosphere was very different, even though in both places, the buildings were made of wood and the ground was paved with soil.
Take the lights, for example. Streets in the royal city were lit by lanterns, but here they were lit with chochin (2).
“You know what? It’s not safe around here, so let’s just sell them at the edge of the street… Well, if you can’t sell them, we’ll give up, right?”
Tamaki-san, looking frightened, said this to me in an almost coaxing tone, like she were talking to a child.
She seemed to think that I’ll throw a tantrum like children do and will try to sell them forever.
“Of course. I’m strong, but… I’m worried whether it’d be safe with my appearance. I’ll just go with safety first, like you said.”
“Yeah, you’re a good kid.”
She even stroked my head. I’m so embarrassed.
Only my mom would dare do something like that to me, the Demon Lord.
“….Well then….. would you like a grilled onigiri?“
With an indescribable look on her face, she began to sell grilled onigiri on a tray.
But after a short walk into the street, we saw a different world.
A brothel like in a period drama or movie.
High-class prostitutes peeking out from the brothel.
Travelers and tourists in kimonos with women who looked like street prostitutes.
The prostitutes’ faces were not white, and their hairstyles were different from what I had imagined, but in general, they were scenes that seemed to pop out from a long time ago that I never thought I could actually see.
It reminded me a little of Japanese festivals.
“This town is nice…..”
“Oh, you like it? I’m so happy. I love this town too. It makes my heart warm when someone appreciates things I like.“ She muttered.
“Yeah, that’s right. It’s nice to be recognized by others, isn’t it? ….I’m going to leave my mark on this town with my rice dishes.”
In this Japanese-style town, rice should be more easily accepted. In fact, some rice dishes already existed here. It was no exaggeration to say that this is the city where my rice dishes would be the most effective.
Slowly, it will erode into the food culture, the humans themselves. They’ll sink into the abundance of rice dishes…
“….Um, Kokuto-kun? You look kind of evil, don’t you?”
“Oh, I’m letting my evilness leak out. I was born with it, my wickedness.“
“So, there are people that actually call themselves wicked…”
“Of course I do. I am the old Demon King… the most evil being in this world!”
“….how about some grilled onigiri! Now it comes with oshinko (3)!”
I melted into the exciting scenery as if I had stepped into a period drama.
It’s quite fun……
Oh, if I had a sword, I would have enjoyed the atmosphere even more.
“–Oh, you’re selling something quite unique?”
I turned around to see a grinning man standing with a prostitute wrapped around his shoulder.
He had dazzling, flashy blond hair, that looked like the king of all hairstyles, muscles that pushed up his kimono, and a pair of gloves in his hands that looked like they belonged to a gangster.
“Mhm-hmm…okay! I’ll eat it myself!”
“Ha, ha, thank you–.”
I tried to give him a grilled rice ball wrapped in bamboo grass, but he…..
He grabbed it by the hand and ate it as it was.
“What do you think….”
I felt quite nervous and excited…….
Even though I was confident in my product baked with special sauce and special miso paste, tastes change depending on the country you’re from…..
“……This is delicious. It’s a taste that’s addictive, isn’t it?”
“Oh, yes, thank you very much!”
“Oh, don’t worry about it–“
The young man was about to leave with the prostitute for some reason.
“Excuse me, can I have the money, please?”
“I’m not sure what you mean by that…. you want me to pay for it?”
“Of course. You ate it.“
The young man with the flashy hair was about to leave again.
….Well, I’ve got Tamaki behind me, so I’d better not go any further. He seems to be a bit of a jerk, but I’ll back off.
“Oh my God!“
Against the sound of a child hawking, Archbishop Grob of the Angel Cult and the prostitute walked along.
“Oh, I’m getting sleepy after filling my stomach…..”
“Then why don’t we take a rest somewhere?”
Walking with the prostitute wrapped around his shoulder, Grob had been doing whatever he wanted in the brothels lately.
He had prepared to instigate the [Obscure Ghosts], this town’s clan, to fall down with them if required, but they were quite easily destroyed. Since he was also related to Madame, there was nothing they could do to stop him.
“What to do….? Whoa!“
Then, Grob spotted a prostitute who was accompanied by another customer.
“You, that’s enough.”
“Hey, you. I’ve decided on you. Why don’t you come with me?“
“Wait a minute! Then pay for it!“
The young man tried to steal a prostitute who was accompanying another customer.
But the prostitute, who was was dragged along for a few hours, grabbed Grob’s arm when he didn’t seem willing to pay her.
“Oh, yeah, you’re a pain in the ass, aren’t you?“
The prostitute was lightly pushed away, but she blew back with a loud bang.
She was blown so far away, almost as if she was hit by a big boar demon.
“Hey, there, girl–“
“I’ve changed my mind.”
A child’s harsh voice came from the direction from which the prostitute blew.
The kid who had been holding the prostitute, put down the tray of grilled rice balls on a nearby chair and walked toward Grob.
“I’m not sure you understand, but my food has a cost. You can pay it now. I’ll have you pay it now, along with hers.”
“Oh…… yeah, right. I don’t want to waste money.”
He only pretended to think about it for a second before refusing the kid’s request with a grin.
It was no wonder he wouldn’t want to, since, Amanda would never have given the Angel Cult members money to play in the brothels.
Grob’s money had come from robbing the [Obscure Ghosts] and other potential victims, but it was still not enough for him to spend every night in a prostitute’s lap of luxury.
“You didn’t want to pay from the beginning. You know what they say about people like that?”
“….kukku, what do you call them?”
Grob asked, chuckling wryly.
The child answered without hesitation.
“People like that are ‘acting like bastards’, aren’t they?”
A wave of air spread around Grob and the child.
The people around them were violently agitated by the blast of wind.
Grob’s fingers went numb.
“It’s useless. You’d better give up trying to deal with me.”
The child, smiling languidly with no fear or impatience, was there, looking exactly the same as before.
“Whew, I can’t stand it…. kid, why don’t you come over to my place? I’ll take you with me.”
“I don’t like you. You should get hurt here. If your fists are just here to hurt someone, you don’t need them…… do you?”
It was clear from the child’s unwavering eyes that these words were not meant to provoke him, and were completely sincere.
“What are you thinking!? He’s just a child!“
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry! He didn’t mean to offend you! He was just a little excited….. Please don’t hurt him!“
The prostitute raised her voice and Tamaki hugged the child from behind and begged for forgiveness.
“Oh, I see. But he doesn’t seem to think so. Right?”
“Yeah, of course. You’re not gonna get away with this. You’re not good for public safety here…. or anywhere else at that matter.“
“Hey, hey, Kokuto-kun! I’m going to apologize, you be quiet! This is not what it looks like! This is…..! Huh?”
Tamaki, who had covered the mouth of the child who was showing a mysteriously confident composure, saw Grob twisting his body and raising his fist.
His muscles bulged, and wild, uncontrollable mana gathered around his fist.
The bustling pleasure district was temporarily silenced by the unusual mana.
Goosebumps rose due to the chill, and everyone was terrified by Grob’s death-like fist.
“Pfft…. come seriously. Then you’ll know the pain and regret it to the fullest.”
But still the child declared fearless.
Grob felt an ominous premonition rise in his heart.
“….Ha! He’s a mouthy kid. You’re going to leave no trace of yourself…. just like you wanted!“
Tamaki, horrified by the mass of death that was released, closed her eyes tightly and hugged the child desperately.
However, the feeling of death did not arrive at all.
Nothing had changed.
Perhaps she was already dead, and by God’s mercy, she was ascending to heaven with no sensation of pain.
But there was a small warmth in her arms.
The child in her arms had not moved a muscle. He remained in the exact same position as before.
Tamaki, filled with doubt, slowly and timidly opened her eyes.
Grob, who was standing right in front of her, stood frozen with his eyes widened in astonishment.
He was frozen in the exact same position, his fist stopped before it had even descended.
“….it’s possible for something like this to happened?” (4)
It had nothing to do with the child Tamaki was holding in her arms.
The child was not moving a muscle, and Grob’s big fist, trembling with mana that was rising up, was…
Grob’s fist was held in place in front of the child by an even larger palm.
(4) I think this was spoken by Asura (the oni).
And– Chapter 110 is done!