Chapter 3: Zero Corps Commander Deon Hart (1)
“I hate paperwork!”
This was the first thing I said when I was first offered to be recruited by the Demon King.
Thanks to this, by taking on the unofficial position of Zero Corps Commander, I became a scarecrow-like figure who only had to sit still.
There’s not much to complain about.
When I see other Corps Commanders buried in paperwork, it makes me feel grateful for my position.
However, there’s one fatal drawback…
“I’m so bored!”
It’s just too boring! I have nothing to do, and even if I go out, it’s always nighttime in the Demon Realm, and there are only grotesque plants in the garden.
Going to see the Demon King is just crazy, and going to see the other Corps Commanders is like looking for my own death.
The people under me avoid me, and I can’t trust them either… In the end, what I could do was limited.
Like solving a Rubik’s cube, or playing with a puzzle, something very wholesome….
Thousands of puzzle pieces flew through the air.
I looked around the room with a deep sigh.
Large puzzles that were perfectly put together were framed on the walls.
At first, I started solving puzzles just to pass the time, starting with 50 or 60 piece puzzles.
But when I came to my senses, I realized that I was already solving 6000 piece puzzles.
This is ridiculous, I’m such an idiot, just raising my concentration for no reason.
Suddenly, overwhelmed by the emptiness that was coming over me, I let out a laugh and opened the door.
The servant waiting outside the door flinched and quickly lowered their head, obviously trying to avoid making eye contact with me.
Pretending not to notice their desperate movements, I spoke.
“Get me some alcohol.”
Any kind will do.
It just needs to be alcohol.”
Contrary to his dutiful attitude, where he would do anything asked of him, he hesitated with a face that seemed like he might cry.
I can roughly guess why he had this reaction.
Ben must have stopped it.
I was born with a weak body.
My abnormal white hair and red eyes, as well as my skin so pale it’s almost translucent, are evidence of that.
I even bleed easily because of it.
Here, they say that the cause of this is ‘aftereffects’ of fighting the last Hero, which was fortunate as it is, but not being able to drink alcohol is a bit sad.
To be precise, I really regret Ben’s thorough work ethic.
When I was young, the doctor who examined me once said something.
[All of the health that should’ve been distributed evenly throughout the body seems to be concentrated in the liver.]
In fact, it’s not easy for me to get drunk, so it’s not a lie.
Thanks to that, I was able to survive even by taking medicine that isn’t good for the body…
So it means that it’s okay for me to drink alcohol.
As in, I won’t die.
So bring me alcohol.
Now is the time when I need it.
I can’t stand it anymore with a sober mind as I become aware of my appearance, sitting inside my room solving puzzles and doing nothing else, as the Zero Corps Commander.
As I sharply glared with the meaning of wanting it quickly, my servant flinched and dropped his shoulders, and then ran off somewhere.
…Wait, what’s the answer?!
“Don’t tell me he won’t bring it.”
Yeah, it’s not like he’s not running away or going somewhere else without permission.
Even as I muttered, for some reason, I shuddered at the rising ominous feeling.
The ominous feeling hit the mark.
The servant who disappeared without a word returned.
–With the Demon King, of all people.
This traitorous b*****d.
“You want to drink?”
As I glared at the servant with anger, I quickly moved my eyes to the sound of the Demon King’s voice.
If I say yes, the nagging will begin.
I couldn’t say no either, so I stopped halfway and shook my head.
However, the words that came back far exceeded expectations.
“Are you that restless with your body?”
“I expected you to be bored without being able to fight recently, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad.
I must have been overlooking you too much.
Oh, no no no, just hold on a moment.
I just wanted to drink, why is his mind flowing in this direction…?
“If you really want to, you can participate in a small battle.
The Ninth Corps Commander, who is out on the front-lines these days, said it was boring.
and I think things will change if you go there.
How about it? Do you want to go there?”
If the Ninth Corps Commander is there…
‘It’s on the border.’
A place where small and large battles break out frequently, as it borders the Empire.
You’re going to send me to a place like that?
Oh, I see.
My body is so weak that I’d die if I drink, so he wants to use me as a meat shield in the battlefield.
It’s dirty and cheap.
I don’t want to go there anyways.
It’s not because I’m scared.
It’s because it’s dirty.
“Well, that’s a good decision.
Even if you go there, you won’t see enough blood to satisfy you.”
I can’t even talk anymore.
I can’t even correct him, I froze with fear.
No matter what, it’s too much to threaten me like this just because I wanted to drink some alcohol.
While making eye contact, I secretly lowered my gaze in case my feelings were revealed.
The Demon King’s voice continued.
“Anyway, no alcohol for you.
Do you want to overthrow the Demon Kingdom? If you’re bored, go take a look at your crop members, or look around the garden.
I heard Hien planted new flowers.”
I tilted my head.
Is this guy crazy?
I’ll skip over the fact that he’s a Demon King and Hien is the gardener.
If I may say so, Hien is even more insane than the Demon King.
What is he so obsessed with?
Dangerous and strange carnivorous plants!
At first, I frowned upon the idea of having a gardener in the Demon King’s kingdom, but after walking around the garden with him, I was convinced.
[Because he’s like that, he works in the Demon Castle!! I thought it would be a peaceful job! I will! Never again! Believe the demons!!]
It’s an experience that has stayed with me and is etched in my bones.
I couldn’t ignore it carelessly, so I looked at the Demon King with a serious expression.
“I will take a look at my crop members.”
The crop members may be dangerous, but they are definitely better than that crazy gardener.
…It was just five minutes ago that I was heading to the training grounds of the Zero Corps.
“Oh, Sir Demon!”
I quickly put up my hands to hide my pale face.
And then I raised my head, and before I knew it, I found myself face to face with a handsome man with a delicate appearance.
I was caught off guard!
“Are you tired?”
“Well, a bit…”
“At such times, it is perfect to smell the scent of flowers.
I just got some new flowers, would you like to see them? I’ll show them to you first, especially for you, Sir Demon.”
The Demon King.
The Demon King was smiling with his eyes squinted.
Normally, I would have taken a look at his mesmerizing appearance, but I was just focused on trying to find a way to escape.
I didn’t even pay attention to his appearance.
Why should I be affected by his appearance? He is a man.
If it were a succubus, I wouldn’t know, but there’s no way I would be attracted to an incubus.
Even though I am going crazy here, I haven’t lost my mind that much.
‘Now that I think about it…’
This kid, isn’t he a little too cunning? Or is it because he’s an incubus, he’s good at narrowing down options.
[Are you tired?]
Option A: I’m tired > In that case, the scent of flowers is the best!
Option B: I’m not tired > In that case, perhaps you could take a look at the flowers I picked up this time before you leave.
Normally, I would’ve been fooled by his words and went to see the horrible garden.
But now, I have a good excuse.
“I was just on my way to see my corps members, so it would be a little difficult.”
“Oh… is there any way… you could put it off?”
Putting it off is possible at any time.
My corps members don’t really look for me, and even if they do, they’ll just watch me from a distance rather than approach or speak to me.
In fact, all I have to do there is hide in a corner, play with a sword, and avoid being noticed.
Ah, when I say “play with a sword”, it’s not a metaphor, it’s for real.
I don’t want to trouble myself with some meaningless fight because of my lack of skill.
Anyway, I could put it off, but I still don’t want to.
Wasn’t the reason I was going to the Zero Corps exclusive training ground in the first place to avoid him?
Suddenly, I realized that the silence was longer than I thought.
I missed the timing to respond, because my thoughts were too long.
I rolled my eyes at Hien to see if he was bothered by the prolonged silence.
He must have looked this way just in time, but our gazes met.
I didn’t know how to react, before I could even think, Hien shrugged his shoulders.
Then, with his usual soft smile erased, he bowed.
“I was presumptuous.”
At this moment, I feel the need to rethink about the demon race.
It wouldn’t hurt to discuss it properly.
Here it is, the topic for today: Is suddenly apologizing a trait of demons?
‘Why is he doing this again?’
Hien is an incubus.
The very incubus that is looked down upon as being vulgar.
By chance, he became a gardener at the Demon King’s castle.
He enjoys collecting and growing all kinds of dangerous plants, and he happened to have acquired a rare plant and was on his way home when he caught the Demon King’s eye and was recruited as a gardener.
There was no way he could expect to be treated well by the high-ranking officials, such as the Corps Commanders.
Whenever the minions saw him, they’d spit and curse, but how could they dare to be caught in the Corps Commander’s eyes? He’d appreciate it if they didn’t bother him.
But, some people bullied and beat him.
What could an incubus do against such people? He could only endure.
It was also on a day when he was being subjected to verbal abuse and violence.
“This incubus… .”
Instead of standing up against the destruction of the garden Hien had taken care of, he fixed his gaze on the ground.
The destroyed plants were painful, but now there was something more important in front of him.
The displeased Tenth Corps Commander.
He, who hit Hien just because he was in front of him, was muttering with a big frown.
“I’m already distraught, but everything is…”
Hien simply lowered his head.
The Tenth Corps Commander is someone who likes to show off his strength.
If he were to stand up like he could against the First or Third Corps Commanders, it would only provoke him further.
So he was pretending to be unable to stand up and lowered his head.
A strange, unfamiliar and very small voice sounded weakly.
It’s understandable up to that point.
It could have been an attendant who had just arrived here accidentally stumbled upon this scene.
The problem was the reaction of the Tenth Corps Commander.
Reflexively, Hien’s head rose.
Did he hear that wrong? But the expression on the Tenth Corps Commander was too severe to be mistaken.
A look of pure horror.
Almost involuntarily, Hien followed the gaze of the Tenth Corps Commander and saw a ‘human’.
A frail, slender body that was anything but normal.
White hair and bright red eyes.
To top it all off, pale skin.
If not for being able to sense any magic power from him, one might not have thought it was a human.
‘…Now that I think about it.’
Recently, rumors like a storm began to swirl around the Demon King’s castle.
It’s unclear when, but it could have been shortly after the war with the Hero ended.
[I heard someone other than the Demon King killed the Hero]
[The Demon King tried to recruit him right then and there.]
[They even said it was a human.]
The main character of those rumors, which was thought to be just that, rumors.
He was the one, his intuition shouted.
It was the words and actions of the Tenth Corps Commander that drove him into a wedge.
“What… why… are you here…”
“I heard there was a gardener, so I came to see him… but it looks like I came at the wrong time.”
An individual who even a Corps Commander treats with caution.
That means that this human is either stronger or in a higher position.
Come to think of it, it seemed that he had heard a rumor that the human had been given the position of the Zero Corps Commander.
The Tenth Corps Commander, who had been waving his hands, hurriedly retreated, saying that he would leave them to their conversation, and he approached me with the steps he had stopped before.
He said he came to see me.
I wonder what his purpose is, but I don’t expect much.
‘Yes, it’s because I’m an incubus.’
This person is the Zero Corps Commander.
What are the odds that he’ll be nice to me?
–That’s what I thought.
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