Six executives lined up on either side of the red carpet to receive us quietly.
Unlike the curious eyes of the last time I saw them, I’m sure it wasn’t my imagination that they were looking at me sympathetically.
Morris was looking at us both with sad eyes.
When we arrived at the front of the throne, Shiva and I knelt side by side and greeted the Demon King.
“I have brought Miho with me, as ordered by the Demon King.”
I bowed my head in silence and waited for the demon kings response
“Lift your face.”
I obeyed the Demon King’s words and looked up at him. I didn’t see any emotion in his eyes.
“Miho, you obeyed my order. It’s good that you didn’t run away.”
“Yes. I swore to the Goddess.”
“So you’re ready to go?”
“Yes. I have no objection to the fact that my life can save many children.”
Sighs and hushed admiration could be heard from the executives.
“It’s just that I disagree with that man’s assertion of right by calling me his prey. With all due respect, I have one condition. I’m going to give him my life if he’s willing to accept that condition.”
I took a gamble. However, I couldn’t proceed unless I got permission from the Demon King here.
“Very well. Bring that man to me.”
A short time later, a man in chains came, half-dragged by Berger.
The man’s reddish-black burned face and blood-red hair had returned to normal, probably because he had been given a recovery potion.
The man was walking around with a sulky look on his face, but when he spotted me during the audience, he shouted with a twinkle in his eye
“Give me that woman, quickly! That’s my prey! I’m going to drag your guts out and sip blood!”
Berger held the man on the floor as he began to flail about, rattling his chains, and was now ready to jump on him.
“You are in the presence of a demon king. Refrain.”
The demon king turned to the man and said,
“Miho has an objection to your good portion, and there are conditions before she offers you her life.”
I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that I’m not the only one.
“Even though she is a human being, I have a duty to listen to her as long as she is under my protection. If Miho’s argument is correct, I order you to agree to the conditions and tell me where the children are.”
“We will now proceed to deliberate. Both sides, speak only the truth, under the goddess.”
The man was pinned down on the floor, but he didn’t take his gaze off me.
I stared into his grey eyes and remembered the fear and the coldness of the subterranean lake.
Shiva took my trembling hand in his and whispered in my ear,
“What’s wrong? Are you going to leave your son to die here?”
At those words, I was brought back to reality.
(Yes. I couldn’t die yet. I have to get Ren back.”
My body stopped shaking and I stared back at the man.
“Don’t be selfish. I’m not your prey. You’re just ripping off the kobolds.”
“Aren’t I correct? You instructed the kobolds to steal the flour, but you didn’t tell them to get me. You didn’t even know I, a human was there at that time. Isn’t that right?”
The man looked at me hatefully, not denying it. I turned to face the Demon King.
”Demon King, do you remember the last time I came here?”
“Yeah, I remember it well.”
“And what Garon said to the Demon King’s question?”
“Oh, you were Garon’s emergency food”
Maybe it was my imagination, but the voice of the demon king sounded amused.
“It is. I am Garon’s emergency food. Therefore, I am not this man’s prey. The rights this man claims are null and void.”
“Certainly. Do you have any objection to what Miho just said?”
The demon king asked the man, but the man remained silent
“I guess not. Miho, I’ll grant your objection. Tell me the terms.”
“The decision to come here was my own. But Garon was not convinced about this matter. He is willing to fight the man as a right to protect his emergency food.”
I took a deep breath.
‘If the Garon loses, I’ll do as the man says. You can boil me, bake me or do whatever. But if Garon wins, you must stay away from me in the future and tell me where the children are as soon as possible. Those are my terms.”
So. Whether Garon wins or loses, you can still ask him where the kids are.
“…who is this Garon?”
The man asked snidely.
“He’ll be thirteen years old this year, a child of Lizardmen. To Garon, I’m the first person he’s ever seen and I’m very special. If you were in his shoes, would you easily give up your first prey to someone else?”
The man did not answer.
“He couldn’t accept that decisions were being made without his involvement. If you insist on your rights, you should respect the rights of others.”
“As an adult, you don’t force children to do what you want. If Garon loses, I won’t hold it against him.”
It was Berger who responded to my words.
“Yeah, that kid, he knew I’d beat him, but he still challenged me to protect you,” said Berger.
“You’re a pathetic guy who can do nothing but raid the prey of children and kobolds,”
“Even I am too embarrassed to do anything like that, suitable for a half-breed freak like you though,” he said, snickering at the man.
“What? Don’t be a fool!”
“I’ll take the deal!. But don’t complain if the kid gets hurt.”
“Yes. No hard feelings. Do you swear to the goddess that you agree to my terms?”
“Oh. I swear to you, Goddess. If I lose, I’ll stay out of your life and I’ll tell you where the children are.”
“Demon King, you have heard it right. Will you allow Garon and this man to compete with each other on these terms?”
“All right. Shiva, go get Garon.”
“Miho, you are ordered to stay by my side during the contest.”
“Berger, unchain that man.”
After Shiva left me with the Demon King, he went back to call for Garon.
I believed in Garon, but since my life is on the line, I couldn’t help but feel nervous.
In the midst of my anxiety, the demon king spoke to me in a whisper.
“You have cleverly arranged for the children to be saved no matter which way it goes. You’re an interesting person.”
“That guy’s burns are your doing, too, right? Tell me more about it next time.”
I looked at the demon king in surprise.
“Do you think the Garon will win?”
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
Seeing Garon, accompanied by Shiva, the man said,
“You tricked me! And threw a tantrum.”
“Don’t be silly! What 13-year-old kid! that’s a f***ing monster! This game is null and void!”
“No. I swear to Goddess, I didn’t lie. Garon is a thirteen-year-old kid.”
“It’s not possible. Cowards!”
The man’s words made Shiva indignant.
“Who is the cowardly one? You thought you could win if you were a child, so you agreed to the game.”
“Don’t be pissed because you could only use your abilities against a less powerful opponent than you. Just go ahead and play the game.”
The demon king stood up.
The man’s screams echoed through the hall as Garon vigorously swung his tail at the man.
TN: I’m happy ngl.