<The Demon King of Fire #1>
Edited By: Sebas Tian
The Harpy was the pub’s envoy and due to them interfering, the trade between Rikum and the dismantlers ended pretty quickly.
The dismantlers tried to lower the price by saying that they didn’t really have anyone else to sell it to, but it was no use. Even though dismantlers weren’t part of the pub group, they couldn’t ignore the power that the pub had.
The dismantlers didn’t take any risks. Instead of using tricks on a guest that the pub’s female owner called for, they decided to end this by offering a reasonable price.
Other than the horse that Rikum was riding on, the others either died or ran away, forcing Yong-Ho and his group to walk to the free city.
Yong-Ho got on the horse that Rikum was riding on and then placed Catalina, who was conscious, in front of him. After letting her lean against him, he wrapped one arm around her waist. He was able to somewhat ride the horse.
‘It’s not because I have other intentions.’
Since Skull was too heavy, they couldn’t ride the horse with Catalina.
But ordering Rikum to ride the horse while carrying Catalina made him feel uncomfortable no matter how he thought about it.
That’s why Yong-Ho decided to ride the horse while carrying her and Skull and Rikum agreed.
Skull was happy, but Rikum didn’t forget the fact that he was a spirit that belonged to the house of Mammon. It would be extremely uncomfortable for him to ride a horse while his owner was walking.
Since Yong-Ho was a beginner, it was impossible for him to ride a running horse while holding someone. Because of that, Yong-Ho slowly controlled the horse. It wasn’t because he wanted to hold Catalina for a long time.
‘It’s soft. It’s squishy too.’
And he made sure not to express his thoughts.
When they got closer to the city, they realized that it was bigger than what they had imagined. When Yong-Ho first heard it, he thought it was like one of those small villages that appear in western movies, but that wasn’t the case. It was an exaggeration to call it a city, but it was as big as two villages put together.
Guards were standing on top of the wall that was made by piling rocks. Even though their uniform and race were all different, there must’ve been some sort of rule because they were examining the group from their assigned position.
The sturdy gates were wide open. He expected there to be someone guarding the gates, but no one was there. It seemed like anyone could enter and leave whenever they wanted.
It must’ve been difficult for the Harpy to fly low because they walked with the group and then started walking ahead of them.
The inside of the free city looked complicated.
The way the buildings were built looked chaotic because the size and scale were all different. Looking at them would make anyone feel dizzy. On top of the buildings all being different sizes, the space between the buildings was complicated as well because the alley looked like a maze.
Those that were either drunk or high from drugs were lying at the entrance of the alley and everyone was holding a weapon, regardless of their size.
There were a lot of Goblins and Orcs and he saw Dwarves and Ogres every once in a while.
The pub was located at the west side of the city and it was different from what Yong-Ho had imagined.
It was a wooden building and there weren’t any drinkers that were holding a beer mug. The huge building was almost five stories tall and two Orcs in black suits, who were the gatekeepers, greeted the group.
“I’ll take the horses to the stable.”
A small Imp appeared out of nowhere and spoke while bowing their head towards Yong-Ho. It happened after Catalina barely managed to regain consciousness, so Yong-Ho handed the horse over without any hesitation and followed the Harpy.
Another free city appeared inside the building.
It was complicated and unbalanced.
It reminded him of a gambling table at a casino.
Different shaped bars and tables were placed all over the bar and there was a variety of races, all drinking alcohol. On one side of the room, some were quarreling and others were using that to raise the stakes on the gambling table. On the other side, there was a group that was selling items, but they looked like stolen items.
It was a chaotic room.
Saying that it was like a market wasn’t enough to describe it.
Within the chaotic atmosphere, the Harpy walked straight towards the pillar in the center. The pillar stretched up to the highest level, but the ceilings around the pillar were cut out, so Yong-Ho was able to see the roof as well as each of the levels.
Harpie stood on top of a board that was placed right next to the pillar. It was a pretty big board that was about three meters long on all sides and when everyone in the group stood on top of it, the board rose into the air. It must’ve been the substitute for an elevator.
Catalina was busy looking around with her large eyes, but Yong-Ho, who was beside her, remained calm and looked around by moving his eyes.
The second floor was an official gambling house. While the Slimes were racing against each other, small spirits were fighting against each other and were putting their life on the line. Some were dealing the cards and there was an actual roulette too.
Catalina’s eyes were sparkling as she looked at the second floor, but when they reach the third and fourth floor, she couldn’t contain herself. Her ears turned red and as she covered her face with her hands, her eyes moved around really fast.
The third and fourth floor were prostitution houses.
Rather than saying they were wearing clothes, there were women in each of the rooms that were taking off their clothes and posing seductively.
Since there were a lot of races in this city, there was a variety of prostitutes as well. There were Orcs, Goblins, Harpies and Dryads. There were women that Yong-Ho thought were beautiful. Among them, a female Dark Elf that had their arms on the handrail and was looking down caught Yong-Ho’s attention.
The board moved slowly and it took a while for them to pass the third and fourth floor. Yong-Ho didn’t have a choice but to look at those women for a long time. The female Dark Elf that caught Yong-Ho’s attention winked at him and lightly licked her lower lips.
Even though he coughed, no one looked at him. Even the serious Rikum waved at a female Orc and greeted her and Catalina didn’t stop looking through the gap between her fingers. Skull was the same as before, but only when they were rolling on the ground with a blank expression.
Thankfully, Yong-Ho was behind the Harpy and they didn’t turn around.
Unlike the other floors, there was a wall around the pillar on the fifth floor, so they couldn’t see what was inside.
And lastly, the sixth floor.
The board moved horizontally and stopped in front of a place that looked like a dock.
Just like the fifth floor, other than the dock, there was a wall all around it, so they couldn’t see the inside.
“We’re almost there. This way.”
The Harpy led the group through an empty hallway. Because of the white walls and the red carpet, it felt like they were in a totally different space.
At the end of the hallway, there was a luxurious, black door. And surprisingly, a small crest of a wolf swallowing the moon was engraved in one of the doors.
“Please head inside. The master is waiting.”
The Harpy opened the door before Yong-Ho could ask questions. They stopped in front of the door as if they were saying that their job was done.
Yong-Ho suppressed his surprise and looked inside. There was a bar that filled one side of the wall and in the center, a female wearing a bartender outfit was standing by herself.
No one rushed him. But he couldn’t delay it.
Yong-Ho walked into the room.
Other than the bar, there was nothing else in the room. The woman in the bartender outfit immediately caught Yong-Ho’s attention. It wasn’t because she was simply a beautiful woman.
She had red skin and two black horns on her forehead. Grey was mixed into her blonde hair and it was tied back.
Yong-Ho instinctively activated the Power of Evolution. He checked the woman’s race.
[Race: Red Demon]
[Class: Red Demon – Strider]
As soon as he checked her race, he deactivated the Power of Evolution. Her race was the same as Eligor’s, which he originally assumed.
Maybe she was connected to the House of Mammon since Kaiwan’s crest was engraved into the door.
During that short time when Yong-Ho was observing the woman, she was doing the same with Yong-Ho. When green flames rose out of his eyes for a moment, she quietly exclaimed and asked the group to sit down with a bright smile.
The only thing between the bartender and the group was the bar. They were that close and didn’t have a choice but to see her face.
After placing down the drinks in front of the group, she smiled brightly and spoke.
“My name is Ophelia and I’m the owner of this bar. I’m honored to meet you, owner of the House of Mammon.”
The bartender – Ophelia’s eyes and lips were smiling.
She didn’t give Yong-Ho the chance to think. Like someone that gives the question and immediately reveals the answer, she turned her attention to Catalina and spoke.
“I knew after seeing Catalina. There aren’t a lot of Dark Elves around here. No, I honestly knew right when you left.”
“The crest of a wolf swallowing the moon.”
Yong-Ho spoke. Catalina was surprised because she was pointed out, but was even more surprised when Yong-Ho spoke. Ophelia still had a smile on her face.
Yong-Ho instinctively tightened his grip on the cup.
He imagined himself becoming a demon many times and even though he was used to it, it hasn’t been that long since he became one. But his conversation with Sitri helped.
The woman in front of him was beautiful, but Catalina was more beautiful. And it wasn’t like she was as charming as Sitri.
No, that wasn’t the point. Yong-Ho had gotten used to this type of pressure without him knowing.
Yong-Ho recalled Sitri. He looked straight into Ophelia’s eyes and spoke.
“Were you a spirit in the House of Mammon?”
“I was a long time ago. Of course I’m not one now.”
Ophelia answered clearly. She pulled the chair that was behind the bar and sat in front of Yong-Ho. She made sure she was on the same level as Yong-Ho.
“My father was Kaiwan’s right-hand man. He respected those with power and because the new owner was weak, he left the House of Mammon.”
The owner from two generations ago.
Eligor was a spirit that entered the House of Mammon after that owner ascended to the throne. In that case, even though she was the same race as Eligor, there was a high chance that they didn’t really know each other.
Ophelia continued talking.
“But, there’s nothing you can do about regret. My father said that he was always worried about the House of Mammon. I’m not sure if that was regarding Kaiwan’s return or the new owner that ascended the throne. Anyways, my father felt that way until he died and he even asked me to look over the House of Mammon in his will. Of course that wasn’t the only thing he left for me in his will.”
Kaiwan’s right-hand man.
The daughter of the man that adored Kaiwan.
He naturally pictured a strong spirit that left the House of Mammon and ruled over the free city after experiencing many hardships.
Despite evolving, Eligor was still closer to being a noncombatant spirit, but for Ophelia, despite having a thin body, he didn’t think she was weak at all. Red Demon could be a fighting race.
Why was Ophelia talking about this now?
He somewhat had an idea.
And when she mentioned her father’s will about wanting her to “look over” them, he understood that he shouldn’t expect much.
When the owner from two generations ago died, the House of Mammon was neglected. She didn’t help them.
And the one who was originally the House of Mammon’s spirit was her father. It wasn’t Ophelia.
She lightly lifted the drink. After taking a sip, she took a bite of a cherry that was sitting on a plate.
“I think that’s enough for introductions. Would it be okay if I asked why the owner of the House of Mammon decided to visit the free city?”
“I wanted to hear stories of how everyone was living.”
Yong-Ho raised his cup as well.
Ophelia didn’t meet with Yong-Ho because she was curious about the House of Mammon.
She was thinking about giving information and obtaining information at the same time.
If she really was watching Yong-Ho since the day he left, then she probably saw Foras entering the dungeon as well.
Did Yong-Ho defeat Foras?
If he did, what kind of demon was he?
What’s the House of Mammon’s current situation?
Yong-Ho drank the alcohol. Ophelia spoke.
“It’s my first time seeing Catalina up close like this, but I was honestly shocked. I was wondering if she was really the Catalina that I knew. There’s only one case where the spirit experiences a huge change.”
She wasn’t talking about the Power of Evolution.
There wasn’t a reason to make a big fuss or provide clues.
If the owner becomes stronger, then the spirit becomes stronger as well. Ophelia was probably referring to how the owner was strong enough to take down a Land Worm and because of that, Catalina became stronger.
Ophelia wasn’t observing just Yong-Ho.
It was admirable how Catalina knew about herself really well. The clumsy guard wasn’t giving any information through their diverse expressions and instead, she closed her eyes tightly and acted like a cold female guard.
“The world is noisy. If you look at just the empty southern region…someone said it’s the start of a revolution. I think the revolution already started though.”
Embrio, the demon of the northern region.
It was what Yong-Ho wanted to hear. But Ophelia knew that as well. That’s why, instead of revealing more information about it, she looked into Yong-Ho’s eyes.
“How about being more open-minded?”
A seductive smile appeared on Ophelia’s face. Her red hand was on top of the bar and then she gently wrapped around Yong-Ho’s hand. She closed the distance between Yong-Ho and her yellow eyes shined bright as she looked into Yong-Ho.
It was a type of attack that Yong-Ho hadn’t experienced before.
It wasn’t exactly an attack. Ophelia’s mana invaded Yong-Ho’s mind. She tried to look into Yong-Ho’s mind by looking into his eyes. The eyes were the window to one’s soul.
It was a magic that a Succubus would use. Rikum and Skull assumed that Yong-Ho and Ophelia were holding hands and just looking at each other up close since they couldn’t see anything. Catalina, who had the blood of a Succubus, had her eyes shut, so she didn’t know what was happening.
Ophelia slowly licked her lips. When Rikum and Skull felt that something was odd, she had already invaded into Yong-Ho’s mind.
The House of Mammon’s new owner.
A strong figure that took down the Land Worm.
The one that helped Catalina grow so much that she couldn’t be recognized.
But he was still a rookie.
What kind of a person was he?
What kind of name did this demon have?
Ophelia’s mind invaded into Yong-Ho’s mind. Yong-Ho and Ophelia’s faces became a lot closer and it looked like their lips were going to touch.
And their lips met. Ophelia opened the door to Yong-Ho’s mind. All she had to do was read his mind.
But then, Yong-Ho grabbed Ophelia’s hand. He tightened his grip so that she couldn’t run away.
Ophelia was surprised because of Yong-Ho’s movement. But it was too early to be surprised.
Looking into another’s mind meant that they were revealing their own mind as well.
It was the same thing as putting her entire mind into Yong-Ho’s.
And he was waiting for her.
One of the Seven Deadly Sins.
That enormous thing.
They swallowed Ophelia’s mind.
<The Demon King of Fire #1> End.