A curtain of silence had fallen upon the capital, no, the entire kingdom because of just one man .
This very man was riding calmly on the main roads that ran across Zarmine’s capital——and he was Leygur, the new king who had taken advantage of the prior king’s, Aramis Dinadahn Guvis’, tyranny, led the revolution against him, and had usurped the throne .
He reduced taxes and simplified complex laws so they could be more easily followed by the people……his good governing should have won him the people’s support, regardless of how he was evaluated by the military .
……Rather, it could be said that he had once been silently popular .
But even the people, who had once looked upon their king favorably, saw him in a much different light now .
No one dared to walk up to his horse now, much less cheer as he passed by .
Their eyes were now filled only with fear and disgust……as they looked to their silver-haired black-eyed king .
But their reaction couldn’t be helped .
All of the texts, legends, and the memories of long-lived species, like the elves, that spoke of the ancient Holy War——they all pointed to one truth .
“Never forget…… Daemons are the enemy of all mankind . ”
And yesterday, the king had personally made a proclamation before all of Zarmine .
“I am a Daemon,” he had declared .
It was no wonder the people had started to see him differently .
And, before even a few days had passed, the fact that Leygur was a daemon had spread all throughout the continent .
And yet, the expression on Leygur’s face was truly quiet as he rode through the capital he himself governed . He was simply proceeding along Main Street, as calmly as though he had forgotten about his earlier proclamation .
Leygur had not left his castle for an urgent matter . He had simply decided to stroll through the capital on a whim .
If he had to give a reason for his excursion, it was because he wanted to personally witness what kind of effect his proclamation had on the people .
He was a king, and yet he had no guards with him .
This was because Leygur had seen no use for them .
A little while later, Leygur suddenly stopped his horse as he proceeded along the road . Then, he turned to a narrow path between a fruit stall and a tavern .
The few people who had been nearby jumped back when the king suddenly changed course .
A look that screamed, “Oh shit!” appeared on their faces immediately afterward . They feared that they would invite the king’s wrath because of their careless responses .
They would never have worried about something like that before, but it was a different story now that they knew their king was not human, but rather a “daemon” .
But Leygur did not spare the small-minded people a second glance as he silently continued on his way .
He was in no hurry and reached his destination after about a minute . In other words, he had reached the source of the strange presence he had felt .
The path widened a bit there, and he found three men who looked like mercenaries……and a single girl . Though, the girl could have been a fully-grown adult for all Leygur knew, since he was rather bad at determining human ages . Humans were fated to leave the world quickly even if he took an interest in them . In which case, he saw no point in taking an interest in them to begin with .
In any event, the girl in question was surrounded by the men and it looked like they were about to drag her off to somewhere .
Then men, who had their backs to Leygur, were too busy touching her body to realize that their king was right behind them .
The girl was the first to see Leygur, and her moistened black eyes opened wide .
She called out for salvation with quivering lips . That being said, her voice was rather feeble .
Her voice was on the lovelier side, even by Leygur’s standards, but she was not talking in the continent’s common tongue . She was not a citizen of Zarmine, and neither was she from one of their neighboring countries .
“Shut it, and quiet down!”
A man immediately tried to hit her only to be held back by his friend . The latter had happened to turn around and had seen the king watching them .
Silence immediately fell upon them, and the three men forgot how to breathe . The girl took the opportunity to run to the other side of the path now that they had let go of her .
She had her back to a wall as she looked between the two parties .
She probably had not immediately gone running to Leygur because of the ominous air about him . Though, she had a similarly bad feeling about the three men as well .
The three men immediately knelt when Leygur leisurely climbed down from his horse and approached them .
They lowered their heads of unkempt hair in their show of allegiance .
Leygur’s inquiry to them was cold and curt even still .
“……What is going on?”
The three rowdy men quite literally began to tremble .
They wanted to say something but couldn’t come up with a good excuse .
After all, there was no way they could come up with something clever when the teary-eyed and quivering girl was standing right there .
It was obvious that they had been about to drag a refugee girl off to somewhere, and that was, in fact, what they had been trying to do .
And, of course, what they planned to do with her needn’t even be said .
“I see you have no excuses for yourselves……that is fine . You aren’t necessarily in the wrong . Nor do I intend to fault you for your actions . I am sure that the current state of the law is suffocating for you . ”
Not only the men, but even the girl was dumbfounded by Leygur’s surprising words —she had probably understood bits and pieces of his speech .
Everyone present looked to the king to see if he was being serious, and one man quickly got carried away and stood up when he saw that he king was indeed being serious .
His two friends stood up after him, and all three had vulgar smiles on their faces .
Soon enough, the men began brownnosing .
“As, as expected of Your Majesty . We don’t need no refugee brat in our kingdom . If you’ll let us, we’ll be glad to teach this lowly bitch some manners——”
Suddenly, they heard a whistling in the wind .
None of the three men understood what had happened .
Leygur had unsheathed his sword and was holding it diagonally upward for some reason by the time they realized that their representative, the man who had been talking, had abruptly cut off his words .
What sort of joke is this? they wondered .
But they were made to understand what had happened soon enough . In other words, the sycophantic man’s head had suddenly tumbled to the ground .
The remaining two men shrieked like their souls had escaped their bodies when a spray of blood burst from his body .
Leygur did not spare the corpse a second glance as it collapsed and calmly continued,
“——Still, if you dislike the laws your king set for you, then all you need to do is simply overthrow him . Then, you can construct a new order with your own hands . No one would complain……after all, that is how this world works . ”
Then, he narrowed his eyes, blacker than the darkness itself, and said,
“of course, that’s only if you manage to overthrow me . ”
Leygur held his crimson magic sword, which buzzed like the flight of many insects, in one hand as he took a step forward .
An ominous fighting spirit enveloped his body, as though he had donned a chill around himself .
One of the two remaining men turned tail and ran——or at least, he tried to .
But Leygur was faster . He chased the man down like the wind itself .
His black figure blurred, and his sword whistled quietly in the wind a moment later .
Then, his afterimage slowly returned to where he had been standing before .
The man who had tried to run had been split horizontally in two .
A disagreeable stench covered the alley, which was not very wide to begin with, when the bisected corpse erupted in blood .
The blood had already drained from the last survivor’s face . He had only just realized how terrifying daemons truly were, but it was far to late now . Still, the man bet everything on his last strand of hope .
He collapsed to his knees and begged the king for forgiveness as he prostrated .
He lowered his head to the dirt beneath him .
“I know I have sinned! Please, please forgive me, no, please show me mercy!”
he whispered .
He begged again and again……for his king to have mercy in his heart .
His large frame was trembling, and his sweat dripped down onto the frozen road……and then…
Leygur stepped forward without another word and raised up his magic sword .
The girl standing blankly by the wall cried out something quietly, but the expression of Leygur’s face never changed .
He casually swung his sword and sliced the man’s head in two .
The man had felt death approach him, but he hadn’t even had the time to look up .
“Your actions were the most futile of the lot……fool,”
Leygur spat out readily at the corpse that had begun convulsing .
He returned his sword to its sheath with a click and finally turned to the girl .
Her legs had given out, and her eyes were open wide in shock . Her long eyelashes were quivering in astonishment . She had probably never met a man as merciless as Leygur before in her life .
Leygur stared deeply at the trembling girl……and then he did something that he normally would have never done .
He swiftly drew a sigil with his left hand and moved his hand to the side like he was brushing something away .
“……You understand what I’m saying now, yes?”
The girl flinched and looked up in surprise .
She blinked and stared wholeheartedly back at Leygur .
Leygur repeated himself before the girl nodded back over and over again .
“Good . ……As you’ve just seen, I have powers that humans don’t . I will share some of it with you, if you so wish . You would never have to fear such men like them again . Or——”
Leygur stared directly into the girl’s, who was listening to him closely, eyes . He continued,
“do you simply with to leave? Or perhaps you find life too painful and wish for death instead? Pick whichever path you like . If you wish to leave, I will quietly watch you go……and if you wish to die, then I will grant you a painless death . But, if you choose to follow me, I will grant you power…… . ”
Then, he closed his mouth .
There was nothing more that Leygur needed to say .
To begin with, he himself was surprised by his own whim .
Silence descended upon the road devoid of any other people……until finally, the girl gulped .
……She was hesitant, but she reached out her petit hand toward Leygur .