Demon King of the Royal Class - C.84


“... By the way, is this all you’re going to have?” Charlotte mumbled in disbelief as she looked over at the churros that I had barely touched.

“I don’t like sweets.”

Fried refined carbohydrates with a bonus sprinkling of sugar powder on top? Just thinking about it made me feel suffocated.

Why did people even eat such a thing?

I mean, I had eaten the candy that Eleris had given me, but that was different.

Charlotte’s mouth fell open slightly in astonishment at my words.

Her expression suggested that she couldn’t wrap her mind around what I’d just said.

“You find it surprising that I, of noble status, eat anything without fuss, but I find it more surprising that a former street beggar doesn’t like sweets. Am I the weird one?”

A princess who didn’t mind eating street food, and a former beggar who claimed to not like sweets.

Both were unusual in their own way.

At least the princess had a good reason, and wasn’t being as ridiculous as I was.

“Um, I’d say my case is a bit different from a princess like you. I’ve been eating nothing but low-quality food, and only now, upon tasting more refined things, have I come to realize what I truly like and don’t.”

“... I really don’t want to say this, but you sound pretty spoiled.”

“Well, of course! I’m being nurtured in the world’s best educational institution, and eating only the finest food.”

“... I don’t even know what to say, seriously.”

As if she couldn’t believe how odd I was, Charlotte was left incredulously laughing in despair.

“So, what do you like then?”

“A nice warm meat stew.”

As I described something similar to a gukbap[1], Charlotte’s expression grew increasingly more puzzled.

“... How should I put it... Talking with you sometimes makes me think of a very stubborn middle-aged man. Both your way of speaking and your tastes...”

Was she trying to say I sounded like those condescending old men? To be fair, considering my age, I suppose it’s natural I might seem that way.

“Thanks. I’ll take that as meaning I seem mature.”

“Just know that maturity isn’t always a good thing.”

I clearly understood that she was sarcastically saying that rather than aging like fine wine, I was like moldy old cheese. I reluctantly crammed the remaining piece of churro into my mouth.

“... What? I thought you didn’t like it? Why did you just eat all of it suddenly?”

After chewing for a long while and finally swallowing the dreadfully sweet thing, I sighed.

“Even if I don’t want to eat it, it would be wrong to discard a gift from the princess.”

I wasn’t sure what Charlotte would think if I threw the princess’s gift into the trash can, but I knew that there was nothing good about doing so.

Of course, there was more meaning in the fact that it was from Charlotte, and not the princess.

“... The fact that you even care about such things is what’s truly absurd.”

Charlotte seemed as though she was on the verge of giving up trying to understand me.


Our brief snack break was over.

We sat on the bench, continuing to watch the passersby along the street.

“I’ve realized that there are definitely things you only come to know by seeing them for yourself.”

“Uh, yeah... after what happened earlier, it does seem that way.”

Charlotte let out a deep sigh.

Charlotte had instructed her people to investigate the Aligar shopping district. Yet, even the super-obvious discrepancy behind the shopkeeper’s reported theft had not been discovered by them.

“I suppose realizing that my people only do what they’re ordered to do is a harvest in itself.”

“Only do what they’re ordered to do.”

That might not be seen as entirely positive, but just the fact that she realized there were deficiencies within her own ranks was considered as something gained.

It wasn’t even particularly difficult information to uncover, but they had only done what they’d been told to do, and had ultimately given Charlotte an unreliable investigation report without even caring to double-check the facts.

Of course, the only reason I’d been able to act the way I had back at the scroll shop was because I knew the truth. And Charlotte, in her own desperation, had taken it seriously.

If I hadn’t known the truth, I may have just let the situation be.

“Shouldn’t they at least have the common sense to know this though? If I order them to dig a well, it’s because I want water, and not because I just want to dig a hole in the ground,” Charlotte said.

She seemed extremely disappointed in her subordinates.

She had instructed them to gather information about Baalier in the Aligar shopping district with the clear intent of finding Baalier, but they had only carried out the inquiry in a literal sense and reported trivial information back to her. Therefore, it had fallen upon Charlotte herself to verify the unreliable information.

“There are things that I’ve come to realize only after seeing them with my own eyes.”

“What could that be?”

Charlotte looked at me intently, as if to say, “You really don’t know what I’m talking about?”

“The reports I received were organized into a document that detailed which shop owners gave which testimony,” she said.

“Yes. As expected.”

“With that in mind, you start to see things when you come here and investigate it for yourself, such as the locations of the shops that offered testimony. Then, you naturally come to understand...” Charlotte pointed to one side of the shopping district, which was the entrance we had come through. “The route.”

At Charlotte’s words, I felt a shiver run down my spine.

“The child entered through that entrance over there and visited each and every scroll shop that was in sight, just like we had done today. It seems he was kicked out by most of the owners, but all the shops that offered eyewitness testimonies are on this side.”

Charlotte pointed to the opposite end of the shopping district. “There are no more eyewitness testimonies beyond that Fireball scroll shop that we visited earlier. Hence, there is no need to go beyond that point. The trail ends right there.”

I had known all along that Charlotte was smart. Much smarter than me.

You couldn’t get a feel for locations through documents alone.

However, being at the scene made it easier to see these locations more clearly, and then connect those locations to reveal the route that the child had taken.

“If he really stole the Fireball scroll, it would make sense for him to vanish, and we could assume that he escaped to avoid being tracked.”

“Yeah... that makes sense.”

“But we’ve learned that the scroll wasn’t stolen. So, that child wouldn’t have had much reason to run away.”

If the scroll had been stolen, the boy would have left the shopping district to sell the scroll elsewhere. Hence, it made sense for the trail to come to an abrupt end.

However, the truth was that the scroll hadn’t been stolen; the shopkeeper had handed it over to him willingly. Therefore, there was no reason for him to flee, and so no reason for the trail to suddenly end.

“If the child failed to sell the demon scroll he originally had, then he would have tried to sell the Fireball scroll he received from the shopkeeper since he needed the money. There are two possibilities: first, Mr. Borton did something to the child and lied to us in his testimony just now. However, seeing how foolish he was earlier, I don’t think he’s smart enough to do that.”

I began to feel a chill throughout my body.

“That leads to the second possibility: the child went into the next scroll shop. It is very likely that his last visit was the Fireball scroll shop, or”—Charlotte pointed—“that place over there.”

She was pointing at Eleris’s shop.

Charlotte had managed to arrive at the truth with only the limited information given to her.


I had to prevent Charlotte from reaching Eleris’s shop.

“I-I see... but it might not necessarily be that place, right?”

“It might not be, that’s possible. Maybe they just kicked him out for good and forgot about it.”

Charlotte didn’t seem to suspect Eleris right away.

“But the fact that there are no more eyewitness accounts from this point onward means that someone amongst the scroll shops along this route after that last Fireball scroll shop is lying. It’s highly probable that one of these shop owners did something to that child.”

‘Damn it. There’s not enough evidence for me to argue against this.’

Charlotte was making a very logical deduction, so it was impossible to dismiss her suspicions as foolish.

Even if I did manage to distract her, Charlotte was not going to overlook a single clue she had. Hence, if there was even a slight chance of finding a trace of Baalier, she would still press Eleris for information.

“Couldn’t he have disappeared somewhere else besides the scroll shops?”

“Hmm... You’re right. If he was carrying a scroll book around this shopping district, he would have already been a target for pickpockets and other foul criminals.” (f)reeweb(n)

Charlotte nodded at my suggestion to not focus solely on scroll shops. If the child had been wandering around the marketplace with a scroll book for an extended period, it was plausible that he could have been pickpocketed or robbed of his items.

“But that’s something we can consider after securing testimonies from the next five scroll shops along the route. There’s no rush.”

More information was always better.

For the moment, Charlotte suggested we visit all the scroll shops in turn to figure out if any of the shopkeepers were lying first, before considering other possibilities.

In the end, I could find no reason for me to stop Charlotte from heading to Eleris’s shop, and doing so would only raise unnecessary suspicions.

And then, there was the most important issue...

At that moment, Eleris would be on the Edina Islands tending to Airi and her companions and had yet to return.

I couldn’t decide whether Eleris being away was a good or bad thing, but one thing was for sure—the situation was developing in an unpredictable manner.

I was confident that my true identity would remain undiscovered. But if Charlotte began to suspect Eleris, there was a high likelihood that her true identity as a vampire could be exposed.

There was no other choice.

I had to use the Revise function.

‘Charlotte will come to believe that investigating Eleris’ shop is unnecessary.’

[You need 10,000 achievement points to trigger this event.]

‘Damn it.’

Charlotte’s determination to find me was too strong. Making her dismiss a significant clue was nearly impossible due to the lack of plausibility.

Thud! Thud!

“Hmm... it seems to be locked,” Charlotte said as she tilted her head. Eleris’s shop was locked.

Eleris had not yet returned.

“... I guess it could just be their day off,” she continued.

“Then why don’t we check out the other places first? They’ll return eventually, won’t they?” I suggested.

I tried to stay calm and suggested a new approach. But Charlotte was still gazing intently at the locked door.

What had started with a simple suspicion had now grown into the chance for potential evidence. I could clearly sense a subtle spark of excitement in her expression.

It was as if she had finally found a clue that she thought she would never find.

Even I couldn’t help but be taken aback by this bizarre situation.

With just several insignificant eyewitness accounts at her disposal, Charlotte had successfully pinpointed the location where I had disappeared.

Ignoring my suggestion to visit another scroll shop, Charlotte headed straight to the weapon and armor store next door. It seemed as if she hadn’t heard me at all.

The middle-aged man with a scruffy beard paused from polishing armor and tilted his head.

“... Why are kids like you coming to a place like this?”

Instead of inquiring about Baalier, Charlotte began questioning the shopkeeper.

“Is the scroll shop next door closed for the day?”

“I don’t think so. Elena seemed to have gone away for a while. She hasn’t opened her shop for some time now.”

Eleris’s alias was Elena.

Eleris had closed the shop for quite a while, which meant that she wasn’t around at present. This situation was spiraling in a direction I hadn’t anticipated, in the worst possible way.

“How long has the shop been closed?”

“Uh... since last Monday. When the festival started. I suppose she might have taken a long vacation to coincide with the festival.”

At that, Charlotte’s expression became somewhat disheartened. The owner’s supposition that Eleris might have taken a long vacation to match the timing of the festival was quite plausible.

The festival had ended, but she could still be away on her extended vacation.

“Is the owner young?”

“She’s young and very beautiful. Around here, there are thousands of guys trying to—no, what am I saying... Never mind.”

He seemed to realize he was saying too much and scratched his head. Clearly, Eleris seemed to suffer a fair amount of hassle in that regard.

“But why are you looking for Elena? No offense to her, but there are plenty of other scroll shops around here.”

He spoke quite freely, perhaps because he didn’t consider us his customers. He seemed to be kinder than most of the other shopkeepers around the area.

“There’s a good reason. Do you know when this Elena will be back?”

“Hmm... well, she didn’t say where she was going or anything like that when she left.”

“Is there anyone who might know?”

I wanted to stop this conversation at once, but there was no way I could just interrupt it.

“Well... Elena doesn’t really participate in the Merchants’ Association meetings, and although she gets along with everyone, she doesn’t have any particularly close friends. I mean, hardly anyone here has even had a meal with her. Still, people say she has a kind nature and is too soft to be a merchant...”

She was on friendly terms with everyone, but not particularly close to anyone. Although she was making a living as a merchant, she seemed out of place among the fiercely competitive merchants of Aligar.

Questioning leads to suspicion, which soon turns into certainty.

Charlotte didn’t know the exact details, but she could sense that Eleris was an odd person.


Charlotte smiled as if she had made a decision.



“Follow me.”

Leaving the bewildered shop owner behind, Charlotte grabbed me and planted herself in front of Eleris’s shop door.

“We’ll have to force our way in.”

Her suspicions had turned into near certainty now, and Charlotte seemed ready to employ a more forceful approach.

A blue glow emanated from beneath her robe, coming from the earrings she wore.

I finally understood why she was perfectly alright walking around by herself without any guards.

Charlotte possessed an artifact similar to the Flame of Fire I had, and she probably had more than one.



With just one word, there was a loud explosion, and the door to Eleris’s shop broke apart. It shattered completely, as though struck by an invisible blast.

—W-what was that?!

—What’s happening?!

“You guys! What are you guys doing!”

The sudden explosion threw the street into chaos.

“Let’s go in.”

But Charlotte, unbothered by the commotion, walked confidently through the wreckage of the shattered door.

1. Gukbap (??) is a traditional Korean dish that consists of soup (guk) and rice (bap). It is a hearty and comforting dish, commonly enjoyed as a nourishing meal, especially during colder seasons. It is also known to be a meal to get over hangovers in Korea. ☜

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