I wasn’t sure what I’d see after waking up again. I thought waking up to a new owner had a very high probability, but luckily, that didn’t happen. I noticed Lucia absorbed the path seed I left behind for her; I wonder what path she unlocked when she became a spirit warrior. I was serious about disowning her if she unlocked the path of ‘hey, look, an acorn’. What I certainly didn’t expect was to see her in the living quarters of a noble demon. The demons’ furniture and designs are easy to differentiate from the fae and humans. Was she kidnapped and turned into a servant? I wouldn’t be surprised. Is it sad to say that I wasn’t expecting too much from Lucia? It’s a miracle she even survived.
Footsteps caught my attention. I waited for the knock on the door, but it didn’t happen. A young demon girl had kicked the door open, not caring about Lucia’s privacy. So they’re treating her this poorly, huh? Perhaps I should teach them a lesson.
“Who are you?” the girl asked. A servant girl? No, she seems more dangerous than that.
“Me? I’m Durandal.” Why did I freely give out my name? I wanted to see how she’d react. Her reaction would tell me a lot about the place I was in. Besides, if the demons become greedy and start lusting after me, then it’ll be a perfect training ground for Lucia. Strength increases with proportion to danger. I’ve let Lucia slack off for far too long. It’s been over three months at most, but that’s enough of a grace period. No doubt, the human royalty are sending someone to chase her down by now. She has to grow stronger to repel them by herself. If I’m knocked unconscious again, she has to be strong enough to take care of herself. There’s no guarantee she’ll get as lucky as this time.
“Oh, you’re finally awake?” the demon girl asked. “Thank the lord. Take care of your mentally damaged master, please.” She walked over and placed the tray she was carrying onto the nightstand by Lucia’s bed. She could move so freely after experiencing my aura? Let’s do it again. The demon girl stiffened for a second before frowning. “Stop doing that, please.”
…Did I become weaker during my time of slumber? I can’t even intimidate a child? “Uh—”
“You have no idea what she put me through,” the demon girl said before I could speak. “It was terrible, an absolute nightmare. But it was helpful, kind of. Were you the one who taught her to train that way?”
“I guess you could say that?” I’m not sure what way she’s talking about. But it has to have been me, right?
“It’s all your fault!” The demon girl stamped her foot. “What the hell is wrong with you? Light, heed my call, smite this sinner to the ground!”
Huh? A beam of light rained down from the ceiling and smacked my forehead. My body grew heavier, and I was forced to my knees. I didn’t even have a weapon to defend myself with! I’m also not sure of Lucia’s condition; otherwise, I’d use her qi to resist. “W-wait. Can’t we talk this out?”
“Let me vent my frustration first,” the demon said. “I can’t beat up Lucia, but evidently, there’s no issue with dealing with you.”
She can’t deal with Lucia with this level of power? “Are you saying I’m weaker than Lucia?”
“Don’t try to act like a tough guy! I know the Godking’s great at manipulating young children, but I’m old enough to not fall for any tricks,” the demon said. So she knew about Roland’s kidnapping deeds. Well, a lot of demons do since Roland wouldn’t be the main contributor of a new school of magic if he hadn’t kidnapped that child back then. What was his name? Rogath? Urgh, this light is getting unbearably heavy. But I’m not weaker than Lucia!
“Darkness, listen up, sap his strength!”
What are these tendrils? They’re taking away my senses! Is this what Bouncykins meant by the era of warriors is over? A young magician holds this much power. What if she were older? How would any warrior hope to deal with her?
The demon crossed her arms over her chest. “Water, be gentle, spray his face with a fine mist every five seconds.”
What…, what is this!? Am I really this helpless? Did I really lose my strength after sleeping for so long? Or was I always this weak…? And Lucia’s supposed to be stronger than me? Can I even help her anymore?
“Had enough?” the demon asked. “Kowtow to me ten times and apologize for your master’s misdeeds, then I’ll let you go.”
“Do you know who I am?” The only thing I can do is appeal to reputation. It’s very sad to admit, but as I am right now, weaponless and unable to draw on Lucia’s qi, I’m weaker than this young demon. And for some reason, I can’t even retreat into mini-DalDal.
“Do you know who my father is? He’s a ninth-circle magician,” the demon said. “And do you know what Lucia did?”
Why do I dread the answer? “No….”
“She slapped him until his face turned puffy in front of the upper echelon of demon society while the emperor was beside him. So I don’t care if you’re Durandal or the Godking himself. Right now, I’m bullying you into apologizing.” The demon snapped her fingers. “Earth, be sharp, form a spike and pierce the center of this unrepentant soul’s hindquarters if he doesn’t kowtow within ten seconds.”
A chill ran down my spine as an earthen spike appeared where I’d rather it not appear. Now I know why Lucia had such an objection to holding a horse stance above a spike.
Do I do it? Do I give up my pride as the Godking’s weapon? Or do I draw on Lucia’s qi and fight back? But I might harm Lucia if I do that.
“Five seconds left.”
That wasn’t four seconds!
I’ll do it! To preserve my last shred of dignity, I’ll repent for sins I’m not aware I committed. “I’m sorry for the trouble Lucia has caused you! It’s all my fault as her teacher and mentor!”
“Now do it nine more times,” the demon said. There was a bright smile on her face. What a sadist. Are these the kinds of people Lucia has been associating with? As I kowtowed nine more times, I could hear the demon mutter, “Ah, it’s like all the stress I’ve built up over the past four months has all been released at once. I can feel my sixth circle beginning to form.”