Demon King of the Royal Class - C.83


Borton eventually confessed.

“... So, you’re saying you gave it to him?”

“Yes, yes, I did.”

However, he confessed it in a way that made it as defensible as possible, by saying that he had just given it away.

“Why would you just give a Fireball scroll to that child?”

“I... I felt sorry for the kid who was trying to hawk a counterfeit scroll on the streets!”

“... Why are you making up such an unbelievable lie? Earlier on, you said it was stolen and that he was a thief, and now you’re claiming that you gave it away out of pity?”

“Y-yes, that’s right! I’m telling you that I just gave it away!”

Charlotte looked incredulous, as though she couldn’t believe he was expecting her to fall for such a lie.

I had thought this man incredibly stupid and stubborn when he just handed the Fireball scroll to me back then, but I was realizing that about him all over again.

My annoyance began to boil over.

Charlotte easily debunked this guy’s lies, but he kept recycling the same obvious lies.

“Hey, old man. Do you think we’re fools or something? It’s obvious that you thought that the kid had a talent for drawing fake scrolls, and planned to use him to make counterfeit scrolls that you could sell yourself! You probably gave him the Fireball scroll and asked him to bring back a replica or something. But then, you began to regret what you did, and are now putting on a show!”

My irritation reached its peak, and I blurted out everything I knew about the situation.

“That’s right. I was thinking the same thing.”

Charlotte seemed to have already guessed this much, since she didn’t seem too surprised by my conjecture. As Borton’s excuses were exposed and the truth came to light, his complexion turned pale.

“N-no, no! H-how can you accuse s-somebody of being a swindler without proper evidence? What did I do to deserve this?! I lost a Fireball scroll! I’m the one who suffered a loss!”

Charlotte let out a deep sigh.

“Listen, Mr. Borton. Imperial law does not punish intent. Even if you intended to do so, since you didn’t actually sell any counterfeit scrolls, you’re not a swindler, okay? What I want is the truth. So, the child didn’t steal the Fireball scroll. Am I right?” Charlotte said softly.

Borton began to regain his composure.

“Y-yes, yes, that’s right. He didn’t steal it. I... I gave it to him myself. That’s really the truth.”

In the end, he still did not admit to the fact that he had planned to mass-produce counterfeit scrolls and commit fraud. Though I couldn’t see Charlotte’s expression, it was clear she felt extreme contempt for the man in front of her.

With that, Charlotte turned around as if her business had concluded and left the store.

“I-it’s true! I really just gave it to him! No strings attached!”

Borton protested his innocence until the end, but Charlotte didn’t bother to respond any further.

Once we were back on the street, we found ourselves standing in the Aligar shopping district amidst the rays of the setting sun. Charlotte covered her face with her hands and let out a deep sigh.

“... Are you mad?” freewe(b)novel

“How could such ridiculous people like him exist?”

Charlotte’s face had become red with rage. She seemed filled with fury, from the top of her head to her toes.

“Ugh... Ughhhhh!!!”

Charlotte trembled uncontrollably, as if she couldn’t contain her anger.

Despite the extent of her apparent anger, her reaction just seemed too cute, and I almost felt sorry for finding it so.

She was so angry that she grabbed me and looked me directly in the eyes

“Seriously. How could someone tell such stupid lies with a straight face?” she said. “Was he mocking me? Huh? Did he think I would believe any of that? What on earth was he on about?”

Charlotte seemed more upset about Borton’s boldness in telling such stupid and obvious lies than his lack of character.

“I still can’t believe how a person can be that stupid. This is why we need to introduce a public education system throughout the empire as quickly as possible. Maybe that way fewer idiots like him would exist!”

‘Wait, is that what she was angry at this whole time? Is she implying that the existence of such stupid people is due to the lack of a public education system? Does she feel that it is the empire’s responsibility and was that what fueled her frustration? Does she feel obligated and embarrassed whenever she sees someone like Borton and it makes her angry?’

“I-I see... I think you’re looking at this from a different perspective, but yeah...”

As expected of a princess. She really had an altogether different way of thinking.

However, I couldn’t agree with her completely, since I’d seen plenty of fools still thriving in a world where public education was properly implemented.

“A-anyway, could you... calm down a bit?”

“Huh? Oh... Ah. Sorry.”

Charlotte had become so agitated that she was nearly nose-to-nose with me, passionately airing her grievances. To be infuriated not so much by the immoral nature but by the stupidity of a citizen was a challenging perspective that I found hard to understand.

After a few deep breaths, Charlotte seemed to calm herself down.

“Alright... I did have my doubts about him being a thief, but at least that bit has been answered.”

It seemed Charlotte had had her suspicions over the reports that I had stolen the Fireball scroll. Now that she had verified the facts herself, she appeared quite satisfied that she’d discovered the truth.

“By the way, Reinhart, you’re quite something.”

“Huh? What did I do?”

“Earlier on, when you were pressuring him.”

She seemed to be referring to my bluff, and how I’d forced the truth out of Borton.

Charlotte looked at me with a sly smile. “You’ve done that quite a bit, haven’t you?”

Her mischievous smile drew a sigh from me.

“I won’t say that it was my first time, but I don’t do it that often.”

After all, part of the reason I’d lost my cool was because that asshole had kept on lying so nonchalantly, and it got to me.

“It’s a good thing to be skilled at something. I think highly of it.”

“I’m not sure if being good at bluffing is a compliment or a criticism, but I’ll take your word for it. Thanks.”

Charlotte seemed to have reassessed me again. Then, she pointed to one of the many street stalls lining the road.

“Let’s eat something while we sort things out.”

As she said that, she jingled the pouch of silver coins she had just received from selling the Lightning scroll.

“To think that a day would come when I’d be treated to street food by Her Highness. This is an honor indeed.”

In response to my banter, Charlotte gave me a slightly startled look. Even though I was a bit taller than her, I had a good view of her face, hidden beneath her robe.

“... Do you often get told by Vertus that you’re disrespectful?”

“Eh, to be precise, I’ve been told that there’s a problem with my attitude.”

“... That’s wonderful.”

Charlotte went on to tell me that, although it might seem like I was trying to please both the prince and princess, I was actually completely disrespecting them.

“I honestly wonder how you would have survived in this world if you hadn’t enrolled in the Temple.”

Charlotte continued to lay into me, implying that someone with a mouth like mine would have surely died an early death if I were a commoner. Even though we were students and supposed to treat each other equally, I often went beyond informality to outright rudeness.

“Exactly... I think the day I graduate from the Temple will be the day of my funeral. That’s why I’m considering staying enrolled forever to avoid that.”

Charlotte burst into laughter. “Yeah, if you want to live even a little longer, that might actually be necessary.”

Apparently, she thought that it was the best course of action for me.


Charlotte and I bought something similar to churros from a street stall near the shopping district. They were stick-shaped pastries dusted with sugar. They looked like churros but tasted more like twisted donuts; a curious combination.

No matter how I thought about it, a medieval world where sugar was a common ingredient seemed odd. It was seriously weird, but I had already given up trying to make sense of it back when I first saw beggars selling candy.

‘Right. Like I’ve always said: medieval fantasy isn’t quite medieval, is it!’

That’s just how this fictional world worked!

“Anyway... I know this might sound unnecessary, but it’s kind of surprising to see someone of your stature eating something sold on the street like this.”

It was surprising to see her eating “commoner food” so naturally, and doubly surprising that she was the one who had suggested it.

Charlotte offered a strange smile in return.

“To be honest, I used to be quite a picky eater.”

“... Oh really?”

“I know what you’re thinking, and I was exactly like what you’re imagining right now.”

The type to turn their nose up at street food or anything slightly substandard. The fact that Charlotte used to be like that seemed all the more surprising, because she didn’t seem that way at all.

This thought made me realize that I did hold some prejudices after all.

With Vertus, no matter how nice he seemed, my thoughts still gravitated toward, ‘No, this guy is bad news.’

But with Charlotte, even if she did something bad or mischievous, My first thought would be, ‘There must be a reason behind it.’

Perhaps that was the importance of first impressions. Or maybe I was just weird.

“When a person is so deprived of water that they’re dying of thirst, they’d lick a puddle of rainwater that’s on the ground. And so, the same goes for food. Can you believe that I’ve chewed on leather shoes crusted with mud before to survive?”

Charlotte was smiling at me, but it wasn’t truly a smile; it was an expression borne out of the inability to cry, looking almost like a frown.


When I saw that expression of hers, I simply couldn’t find the words to say to her.

“When someone reaches a dead end, they all become the same. Noble or commoner, in the end, they’re all the same.”

Charlotte had witnessed how the masks of dignity and the cloaks of status that people lived with their entire lives became worthless in the face of the absolute need to survive. And she realized that she wasn’t any different.

“The most horrifying part wasn’t the torture, the threats, the curses, or anything like that,” Charlotte said, her expression growing dark as she quietly looked down at the churros she was holding. “It was seeing the people, starved to the extreme, turn on each other for food. And then seeing those same people be struck by the horror of their deeds afterwards and go mad.” Charlotte looked at me. “It wasn’t the demons that scared me the most while I was there. It was the humans.”

It was humanity that she feared the most.

“I was afraid that I could just as easily become one of them if I was pushed to my limits as well. That was the most terrifying and dreadful aspect for me.”

Charlotte found the decline that humans went through more horrifying than demons because she knew she could easily become like them.

“It was so terrible and frightening, and I felt like I was going mad... No, in that place, I had already gone mad.”

I remembered that time clearly.

Charlotte was holding onto a corpse, weeping.

Charlotte didn’t go into details, but I remembered how she looked at that time, and I understood why she did not elaborate any further.

She had been holding onto a corpse.

She looked as though she was in immense pain.

“Then, a child came to me. The only other survivor besides myself, unbelievably, appeared right before my eyes.”

When Charlotte had been sobbing softly, unable to even weep properly, I had appeared.

The only other survivor besides her.

“That child gave me the only bit of food he had found. He didn’t even take a bite of it himself.”

It was just a single biscuit. Something that was far too meager to fill a stomach.

“I was literally on the brink of going mad... but it was thanks to that child that I managed to stay sane...”

The boy who had generously handed over his precious food to her.

The only other survivor besides herself.

It seemed that, at that time, Charlotte found reassurance in my mere existence alone. She appeared to have been moved simply by the fact that someone else was alive.

I knew that all of that was a lie, and I could not bear to meet Charlotte’s gaze directly as she relayed this memory to me.

Perhaps feeling weighed down by the heavy topic, Charlotte let out an exaggerated laugh.

“So, yeah. I haven’t been fussy about food since then.”

“Ah... So, do you mean that after what you went through, everything tastes good to you now... or something like that?”

Charlotte shook her head.

“No. I’ve realized that I’ll never eat anything more delicious than what I’d had at that moment. So now, whatever I eat, it’s just okay to me.”

It wasn’t that she had come to appreciate all the food she ate after that incident.

Rather, she understood that she would never experience a more profound taste than the biscuit she had eaten then; therefore, Charlotte was no longer fussy over food.

‘Wow... Not finding anything good just because nothing will beat the taste of what you had back then?’

“... Don’t you think that’s a pretty pessimistic way to think?”

“Wouldn’t you say that it’s a lot better to become a pessimist rather than go insane?” Charlotte asked with a wry smile.

It was sad to hear her having to hold the thought of not going mad itself as a blessing.

But Charlotte’s smile was so beautiful that it left me momentarily dazed.

“Can you stop telling me things that I shouldn’t know? At this rate, I wouldn’t even be surprised if you said, ‘Now that you’ve heard all this, I’m going to have to kill you!’”

‘Let’s be honest, you and I aren’t even that close! Of course, it does seem like you’ve opened up to me a bit, but isn’t this a little too sudden? Or have you always wanted to tell someone these thoughts but never found the right person, so you just grabbed the first sucker who came along and proceeded to unload your feelings?’

Charlotte responded with a sly grin.

“Ah, you know me too well! Yep, sadly, I’m going to have to kill you now.”

“Oh, in that case, I’m out. I apologize for any inconvenience I’ve caused until now. Peace.”

I stood up abruptly, and Charlotte grabbed the hem of my clothes.

“Oh come on, I was just kidding!”

It seemed she found teasing me quite amusing.

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