“And will you tell me where this Hero is?”
“Yes. He is in a small town that is south of this castle. At least, he is for now.”
“And how old is he?”
“Thirteen. Nearly fourteen.”
When I heard this reply, a certain worry filled my chest.
What if she was talking about that boy.
However, Fuma Kotaro continued. And then I was sure of it.
“He was born in a mountain village called Resha. I heard he works as an Adventurer now. His name is Yuri and he was with you just a few days ago.”
Fuma Kotara said all of this without emotion, but then she ended with a chuckle.
It was as if she was taking note of my reaction.
Well, what was my expression now?
My face was not expressing happiness.
That was one thing I was sure of.
Fuma Kotaro left after that.
He was going to search for the exact location of the boy called Yuri.
He disappeared in a flash of wind.
I had to decide whether or not I would kill boy, no, the Hero Yuri.
Demon Kings and Heroes were always enemies. Many Demon Kings had died by the hands of Heroes.
I other worlds, in games, in stories, in this world. It was always the same.
Heroes were a threat to Demon Kings and had to be removed. And yet I hesitated.
Yuri was the boy we had met recently in the caves.
We talked and fought monsters together.
I could not forget the image of the innocent smile and the voice.
“…Will I kill him?”
Eve was the one that answered me.
Her eyes looked sad.
“That is what Demon Kings do.”
“I know. Well, I thought I did.”
When I had first met Eve, I had told her to kill any young Heroes she found.
I had meant it too. But somehow, I could not repeat those words now that the time had come.
Especially since I knew the boy.
As I stayed silent for a while, Eve hesitantly opened her mouth.
“It would also be possible for me to deal with the matter myself.”
She was saying that she could kill the boy herself, without talking to Toshizou, Jeanne or Gottlieb.
It was a nice gesture, but I didn’t her to soil her hands.
Besides, this was not the time for indecision.
I was a Demon King.
And I would not avert my eyes from reality.
Just as I thought this, I heard a cat’s ‘meow’ coming from somewhere.
A cat had wandered into the summoning room at some point.
The goblin orderly looked frantic as he started to chase after the cat, but I stopped him.
I picked up the wandering cat and looked into its eyes.
And my decision was made.
“..This kitten is a resident of Ashtaroth castle. And I will protect it.”
I had a responsibility.
The moment I became king of this castle. The moment I was born in this world.
My calling was to protect the residents of this castle and bring peace to the world.
If I was merciful to this child, and he killed me. Then I would not be able to fulfill that responsibility. At worst, all of my people would have nowhere to live.
I couldn’t sacrifice all that for one boy.
I thought this as I put the cat down and returned to the throne room.
Later, Eve would write about that moment.
‘The Demon King walked with confidence then. I would never forget the way he looked. While there was a sadness there, his back appeared to be that of the strongest of all Demon Kings.’