The Strongest Demon King and the Legendary Tactician
We rested at the inn for a few days and then returned to Zhuge Liang’s house. The same monk was sweeping in front of it.
“We are back. Is your master here?”
The monk bowed politely and said, ‘yes, he is.’
But then he continued.
“While my master is back, he is sleeping now. Would you wait until he wakes up?”
Jeanne was not pleased.
“The Demon King is a very busy man! And yet we have come here twice. He cannot wait for someone to finish their nap.”
I interrupted her.
“Wait, Jeanne. Humans find it most disagreeable to be disturbed while they sleep. We must wait. Yes, my time is limited. But there is enough time for us to enjoy the forest for now.”
And so we turned around and took a stroll through the forest.
It was quite beautiful. The wildflowers and trees were a delight to behold.
Jeanne even found some wild strawberries and ate them greedily.
She did not hide her thoughts as she ate.
“This man is very rude. I don’t think you should allow such a rude man to join your army.”
“He is one person who is worthy of this effort.”
I stated. And two hours later, we returned to the house.
The monk said, ‘my master has just awakened. However, he is quite thirsty and wishes to eat some figs from the forest.’
Could you wait as I go fetch some? That was what he was going to say, but I gave him the figs we had gathered before he could finish.
The monk looked at them with surprise.
“Who are you?”
“A Demon King.”
And with that, he escorted us into the house.
As it was a very small house, the waiting room was right by the entrance.
The room was also a study, and so the walls were lined with shelves that were filled with books.
That was like the Zhuge Liang from legend. However, the person who was reading a book there, was not what I had imagined.
Books were laid untidily on the table as the man seemed engrossed in his book.
His clothes were wrinkled and his hair was a mess.
He must have been drinking from the morning, as the smell of alcohol was all over him.
The reverent image I had in my head came crumbling down.
He finally raised his face from the book and glanced at us before saying he would be finished in five minutes.
It was a thick book, and I doubted anyone could finish it in five minutes. However, he did it.
He flipped through the pages quickly until he was at the end.
Toshizou was skeptical.
“Anyone can read. The problem is, how much of it do you remember?”
It was true. But Zhuge Liang did not seem to be very concerned. He handed Toshizou the book and said, ‘give me a random line from a random page.’
Toshizou obeyed and selected the fifth line on the three-hundredth page.
“It is talking about strategy. ‘The policy of cultivating distant countries while working to conquer those nearby should be the basis of your strategy.’”
Toshizou looked pale.
“I am not just reading books. I am memorizing them. They are engraved into my head so I can review them.”
I had heard of such things.
People who could read very fast were able to save the images in their heads like photographs and read them later. Perhaps he was someone who was capable of such a thing.
As I was thinking this, Zhuge Liang started to laugh suddenly.
“Haha. I am joking. I cannot do something as crazy as that. I folded the page a little when passing the book to him. That way, he would open the page I had memorized.”
Toshizou and Jeanne seemed quite relieved at this.
I had noticed something myself, but decided to keep quiet about it and get to the matter at hand.
“So, are you really the famous Zhuge Liang?”
“I don’t know if I am famous, but yes, I am Zhuge Liang. Also called Kongming.”
“It is an honor to meet such an esteemed tactician. I am Demon King Ashtaroth. I have come here in hopes that you would join us.”
“You’re very direct.”