Chapter 155 – Unwanted Authority＊
“…Having a healthy body is wonderful, isn’t it? It’s been a while since I’ve felt like this.”
Said Zoë, checking her body with a smile.
The chief symptom of Disconnected Mana Disease was that your body felt heavy and became gradually unable to move, and if left untreated would eventually become fatal.
For Soranju’s sake, Zoë had left her disease untreated for quite a long time after its outbreak, and that was why she ended up collapsing.
Having weakened to that extent, she was bound to require a fair amount of physical strength and willpower, so Luru thought quite well of her for making it this far, as well as for the fact that she had been behaving quite energetically up until now.
In truth, she was probably just acting.
Even in her condition she probably bluffed because didn’t want to show weakness in front of people she had never seen before.
Zoë was in the military, so she was probably much too used to that.
But there was no need for that anymore.
Iris was of the same race as her, and Soranju was her foster daugher.
――Only I’m left out
thought Luru for an instant, but in the past he was Zoë’s superior.
Leaving how Zoë felt aside, objectively you could say that there was no need to worry about Luru harming her.
However, it seemed that the fact that for some reason a human boy was there, along with an ancient demon and her daughter, was on Zoë’s mind.
Whilst checking her healthy body by rolling her shoulders, and standing on her tip-toes and the like, she asked,
“Speaking of which, I’ve been wondering about this for a while now, but who might that boy be? Is it the person who woke up Iris-chan the way Soranju woke me up?”
Zoë had guessed this based on the fact that they didn’t hide Iris’ race in their conversation.
She was correct.
However, the reason that they didn’t hide Iris’ true identity wasn’t because he had woken her up.
In the first place, there wasn’t a need to hide it from Luru.
At that point, Iris remembered that she hadn’t told Zoë about Luru’s identity yet, and looked at Luru with a difficult expression.
It was probably because it was hard to say.
However, even for Luru, saying something like “I am His Majesty, the almighty Demon King” was a bit too questionable, so he was troubled as well.
But the option to keep silent didn’t exist.
From here on there was a lot he wanted to talk about, and at some point it would become incredibly suspicious to continue hiding it.
Since there was no other way, as he gathered his will and was about to name himself in a slightly lame way when Iris opened her mouth first.
“No… Umm, certainly this personage is the one who had roused me, but…”
“I see, I see[hehh, sou nanda]. It’s quite rare to find a human who an ancient demon ruin will open its doors too. You’re amazing, aren’t you?”
said Zoë, as she began rubbing Luru’s head, and treating him like a child.
In fact from Zoë’s appearance, were she a human she would be in her early 20s, and because Luru was 14, treating him as a child certainly wasn’t wrong, but Iris’ face spasmed a little, and from that moment, she made an expression as though gathering her willpower, and said,
“Zoë-san. Umm… This is dreadfully difficult to say, but that personage is…”
Zoë tilted her head in confusion at Iris’ serious expression, but properly lent her an ear.
While all this was happening, for some reason she hadn’t stopped patting his head.
Zoë gave off the scent of an adult, and because she smelled nice Luru didn’t find it particularly unpleasant, but Iris was beginning to give off a slightly sullen atmosphere.
Iris then spoke.
“That personage is His Majesty, the Demon King. He is the 100th Demon King, His Majesty Luruslia Nord.”
In contrast to Iris who looked a little satisfied having declared this, Zoë seemed to space out a little.
“Ohh, I see[hehh, sounanda]… You’re His Majesty the Demon King, huh? I see…? His Majesty… the Demon King… His Majesty the Demon King!? Ehh!?”
As those words sank into her, her complexion gradually changed, and then drawing her hand back, she looked very carefully at Luru’s face.
Then shaking her head in relief, she said,
“Iris-chan, geeez, this again? It’s not good to try and deceive me, you know~? This boy is a human. Even his mana… doesn’t seem that great, you know? I seee. Just now was one of those “ancient demon race” jokes, wasn’t it?”
Neither Luru nor Eris had ever heard of such a joke before, but looking at Zoë carefully, you could see that she was running a cold sweat.
It seemed that she was quite confused.
However, just now that cold sweat began to disappear.
This was probably because having seen Luru’s face and mana, she confirmed that he was obviously a human.
However, though it felt like they were bullying her, and they felt terribly sorry about that, they had to tell the truth as the truth.
Regarding his mana, in the past he had often released it in order to pressure people.
To Zoë who had probably seen Luru from a distance back in the day, it was impossible to tell that Luru who had his mana hidden was actually the demon king.
That’s why Luru said to Zoë,
“Ahh… Zoë. I can understand that you don’t believe me, but… I was once the demon king. Right now I’m the son of a lower class human noble, Luru Cadisnola though.”
But Zoë didn’t believe him.
Flapping her hand before her face, she said,
“Geeeez, this again… Um, Luru was it…? Luru-kun, are you the one who taught Iris-chan the joke?”
and so on.
This too is something that can’t be helped huh, thought Luru as his gaze met with Iris, and he then decided to release the mana he had hidden deep within his body.
Though he couldn’t release the same amount of mana as in the past, the quality of the mana, and the wavelength was something that Zoë would probably remember.
So he thought.
He steadily brought together mana from the depths of his body, and began emitting that mana from every inch of it.
At first Zoë looked at Luru with a puzzled expression, wondering what he was doing, but as the amount of mana released steadily increased, her face began to stiffen.
Only Rigadora seemed happy, as she flew about and began gobbling down the released mana, but even when she did so, it showed no signs of decreasing at all.
Then finally, when the mana there had gone beyond that of a normal demon, and then even beyond those of the demon king’s close associates, Zoë understood.
Trembling, she threw her forehead on the floor, and exclaimed in a loud voice,
“I-… I’m terribly… sorry. Y-…, Y-, Your Highness… I had absolutely no idea… that your esteemed personage was alive in this era… J-, just how should I beg pardon for my many acts of insolence?”
Her head was so low that it made you want to marvel at just how low a person could prostrate themselves.
It was to the extent that it’d seem like she’d obey if he told her to spin around three times and bark.
Of course he had no intention of doing so though, and to begin with, he had no intention of ruling over others again after all this time.
It was only because in that era they had needed a symbol to rally under to fight the humans that he had no complaints about being in the position of demon king, but there was no need for that anymore.
That’s why he crouched before Zoë, who was trembling in dogeza[prostrating], and said,
“…Please raise your head. You haven’t done anything bad anyway. To begin with… you really didn’t need to prostrate yourself like that. The demon race――――as far as I know, doesn’t exist anymore beyond the three of us after all.”
However, even being told that, Zoë showed no signs of lifting her head.
Luru was troubled, and asked of Iris,
“Iris… Was I really that scary in the past?”
At those words, Iris thought a little, and said,
“More than ‘fear’, it was closer to ‘awe’ I should say. In particular, the majority of the lower ranked solders said that they would be fine with dying for Your Majesty. The words ‘may as well be a god‘ surely existed for Your Majesty, I believe.”
To Luru who hadn’t particularly acted arrogantly or one-sidedly ordered people around, it was beyond his expectations that Zoë would be this afraid, but it seems that there really was a good reason for it.
“Your Majesty had rarely appeared on the frontlines but when you did, you possessed enough power to eradicate the human forces in an instant, after all. The only ones who could do something similar were your close associates, or the people who were as strong as them… Moreover, just being by Your Majesty’s side was enough to understand that you held power even beyond them. That is why… I believe that Zoë-san’s fear is natural. No, no, it is not as if you were hated, you know? On the contrary, you were the subject of veneration. That is all it is.”
Though he had started to wonder if he’d been hated, Iris quickly followed up.
That’s great then, thought Luru, and he spoke to Zoë who even now had her head rubbed up against the floor.
“Zoë… Please raise your head.”
However, she wouldn’t move despite this.
Without a choice, Luru decided to order her.
“Zoë. Raise your head. This is an order.”
After a short nod, Zoë raised her head.
Her eyes gave off a feeling of dependency close to fanaticism.
Seeing this, Luru understood the words Iris had said.
Certainly, he had seen the soldiers make eyes like that countless times in the past on the battlefield.
He had thought that their abnormal mental state was because of their reliance on Luru, their superior.
However, it seems that his understanding was a little off.
They had plainly been in awe of him.
It seems that was all.
Luru slowly explained to Zoë who was now looking up.
“Zoë… I was certainly the demon king in the past. But now I’m just a human. Just now I ended up giving you an order, but… I don’t intend to order you about from now on. So please treat me normally. Like the way you treated Iris just now.”
However, Zoë made a bewildered expression upon hearing this.
“No, however, that is… Whether now, or in the past, I am prepared to throw away my life for Your Majesty. If you tell me to jump into a crowd of enemies, I will do so, and if you tell me to die, I will.”
It was a terrifying degree of blind faith.
‘Did everyone see me this way in the past?‘, wondered Luru, as he noticed this again in shock.
Iris had been relatively quick to get used to it, so he had thought it was a matter of standing, but it seems that it wasn’t the case at all.
Even if he said that he wasn’t the demon king anymore, and even if he said it was fine to speak casually, it seems that it was no good.
Soranju watched Zoë and Luru with her eyes wide from shock, and muttered,
“…This is the first time I’ve seen mother[okaa-sama] like this…”
She did seem to be shocked at Luru’s casual confession, but she understood that it wasn’t the time to ask for an explanation so she had been watching them without really cutting in.
Glancing at Soranju, Luru then said to Zoë,
“…You were the one who raised Soranju, right?”
To Luru who had changed the subject, Zoë replied,
“Soranju and I speak to each other on equal terms. Despite this, the parent is speaking to me so reverently; isn’t that strange?”
So he said.
However, as for how Zoë interpreted this…
“I was unthorough in raising my daughter… I feel deeply ashamed. However, my daughter is a human. I humbly feel that it cannot be helped that she fails to understand Your Majesty’s greatness, and fearsomeness. I beg of you, please be lenient and forgive her…”
She started apologising.
Having come this far, it wasn’t at the level of just being humble anymore.
It was complete submission.
But even so, she still wanted to protect Soranju, so Luru felt that perhaps he could get her to treat him normally if he attacked from this angle.
However, it wasn’t something that could be fixed in a day.
Without any other choice, Luru spoke.
“The Soranju thing is fine. On the contrary, I’d be thankful if you talked to me normally… So there’s no helping it. There is the saying about taking your words back as soon as they leave your mouth, but… I order you, Zoë. You are to treat me the way you treated Iris just now. Understand? This is an order. You are absolutely not to speak politely to me.[use keigo]”
“H-, however, that would be much too impudent of me!”
“I said it was fine. Or what? You’re going disobey such a simple order, despite saying just a moment ago that you’d die for me?”
It was an unpleasant way of speaking that was like abusing his authority, but it was because he felt that there was nothing else left that would be effective on her.
In truth, the authority he was abusing had already disappeared far off in the past, but it seemed that it was still going strong in Zoë even now.
And truly, there was an immediate effect.
“Yes, Sir… If Your Majesty says so, then I shall obey… Luru…-chan? Is this… fi-, ne, I wonder?”
She was speaking extremely stiffly but… well, for now it was good enough.
However, he didn’t approve of adding -chan behind his name.
“…Can’t you at least make it -kun?”
The moment he said that, Zoë finally relaxed her mouth a little, and smiled.
/Chapter 155 END