Chapter 8: Many, Many Years Later
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Three years after Arlette Hope’s death, the Demon King led his army into another cavern layer and killed the other demon king. From then on, only one demon city was honored as the capital of the two caves, and only one demon was king.
In reality, the Demon King was too lazy to fight. He just wanted to study the summon gate in the sandbox field. However, the outside world failed. Since he lost his human ally, various forces began to stir up. Demons in demon city also questioned his rule and because of all kinds of disputes, the Demon King decided to launch a battle between the layers of the cave in exchange for the rest of his years.
Fifteen years after Arlette Hope’s death, the Demon King successfully opened the door to the elemental sea. It was not a flawed product that only allowed one hand or one foot to pass through. It was a real door to the other world.
He summoned a spirit of the water element, which looked a little like a spirit of the human plane. It was chubby, transparent, and slippery, and disgusting.
Now that it was summoned, a contract must be made with it, so the Demon King made an agreement with elemental spirit: the Demon King paid for repairs of the self-cleaning elemental ball left by the mage, and helped the demon nobility wash clothes when the elemental ball was not enough. Washing clothes was a piece of cake for the elemental spirit, it could wash a room of clothes as long as you hooked your fingers, and it did not damage the material, did not cause dyeing, did not leave cleaning agent, and also made sure the cloth never shrunk.
Twenty years after Arlette Hope’s death, the door to the world still failed to open.
In fact, the Demon King can open the defective door of semi-finished products at any time, but what’s the significance of opening it? It’s no use catching a few strange mages.
Twenty-seven years after Arlette Hope’s death, the Demon King’s Sandbox field broke down.
Now he either stopped his research and repaired the sandbox first, or he had to risk collapsing space and continuing his research without the sandbox. The Demon King chose the latter. He gave the task of repairing the sandbox to the scale man scholar and continued to focus on the gate of time and space.
In fact, the Demon King had been thinking: even if he successfully opened the summoning door to the human world, he could walk in, catch the mage, and the other party could be pulled through by him. But what’s the point?
If his door was lucky enough to open at the right time, he will face a world without Arlette.
If his door was still flawed and opened at the time of the last “little door,” when Arlette was first summoned, then he would see Arlette, a young man who had never known him.
It’s better to say that the Demon King can make up any reason to make a contract, but what’s important is that Arlette wouldn’t have a memory between them. He wouldn’t remember purgatory cherries, ugly and tasteless cakes, roses about to wither, maple leaves that had not turned red.
How can I deal with an Arlette like that?
The Demon King was looking forward to seeing him and afraid to see him.
Thirty-two years after Arlette Hope’s death, the Demon King successfully opened the door to the human world.
He replaced his dressing mirror with a huge floor mirror. The mirror shimmered with waves. The ripples weaved with a regular rhythm, guiding the summoner to reach out and catch his prey.
Unfortunately, the door was still unstable, and the Demon King didn’t know what time period it had opened to. It could be now, and it could be when he first met Arlette.
He thought of the old Arlette who once said, “Because I met you, I didn’t want to die anymore.”
If he erased all the days they spent together and let everything come back from the origin, could he protect him and support him? Would he be able to laugh at himself and bring out the ugly chocolate cake? All this was unknown.
The dragon blood gem was sitting on the top of the scepter, emitting a dim and stable light. It was found that the crystal was hanging on the silk rope of the gauze curtain and swaying slightly with the fluctuation of the airflow in the room.
Looking at the ripples in the mirror, the Demon King felt tense and his heart beat faster as if he was preparing for an unprecedented war. The Demon King went to the mirror and reached out his favorite right upper hand. He grabbed a warm thing…. It’s an arm, a human arm!
The other side struggled a little, but the Demon King didn’t pull hard. He took the arm and walked into the mirror himself. Through the shimmering void, the Demon King opened his eyes. He was standing in a small, shabby house with a young man’s right arm in his hand.
The human looked exactly like the images in his book.
The young man in front of him was sitting on a simple wooden bed in a coarse cloth shirt. His light hair was as dry as a weed, and his skin was very unhealthy. His eyes were staring straight in front of him, not focusing on the demon king.
Careful observation showed that his left eye was twisted and mottled as if it was forced to join together after rupture, and there were several obvious scars on his orbit, and his right eye… It was not an eye at all, but a crystal ball of abrupt color, which was thrust into an empty eye socket as support, so that his face did not look too weird.
A razor fell on the wooden bed, still stained with blood. There was a small wound on the right hand of the human being, which was on the edge of the fingernail of the thumb. This was not caused by fighting, it could be caused by the accidental fall of the razor.
There were more obvious wounds on the human, right on his left wrist. The two wounds overlaped, one of which was older and scabby, and the other, which should have appeared only a few seconds ago, was still oozing blood.
The Demon King was stunned for a moment to understand what the man was trying to do – he wanted to cut the artery in his wrist. Fortunately, his cut was not deep enough to be fatal.
The Demon King half knelt, reached out two of his hands, grabbed the human’s wrist which was bleeding, and applied a layer of cangshecao ointment to it.
Arlette used to ask him for this herb, which was also used to stop bleeding in his left hand. When I think about it, Arlette said so many words with blood. It was like he was waiting for when he would die.
Oh, and the content of that contract. The contract originally only required the summonee to provide services to the employer, but Arlette applied to change the deadline to his death. In retrospect, Arlette at that time was not sure whether or when he wanted to die in the future, so he asked to change the content of the contract.
The Demon king was indulging in those memories, and the man, still in shock, tentatively said, “You are a demon?”
He wasArlette, the Demon King recognized his voice. It seemed that he felt the smell of purgatory, so he used purgatory language directly.
“Let me have a good look at you…” The Demon King let go of his arm and held his face instead. The man shrank in terror, but he could not open his eyes. He could not see what the creature in front of him was like. He could only feel the hot and powerful force around him.
“Arlette?” The Demon King met his eyes, which were already out of use, and whispered his name, “Arlette Hope, I’m here. I’m here for you.”
“Do you know me?” The man asked cautiously, “You… Who are you?”
What happened on that day was far beyond Arlette’s imagination.
Today WAS the thirteenth day since he left the mage tower. With the help of a kind coachman, he returned to his hometown with some shabby luggage. From now on, he was no longer a mage. It was very difficult for him to learn new magic and all the unknown knowledge in the world had nothing to do with him. At most, he could act as a juggler in the countryside and show off some tricks that he can’t even see in festivals. It was good enough to make a little money to fill his stomach.
Arlette used to be the most promising apprentice in the mage tower, now he was nothing. He tried to commit suicide last night. He cut his wrist with a razor. It was so painful that he couldn’t stand it and ended up not cutting deep enough.
He dropped his razor, covered the wound with his handkerchief, curled up by the wall and cried until he was too tired to notice. He wanted to bleed to death. Unfortunately, he woke up today, the wound still a little wet, but no longer bleeding.
He sat there all day without a bite of food, and at dusk – when he heard people summoning family home from the fields outside, he knew it was dusk – he decided to try again. He groped around, found the razor, and sat back on the bed. Just as he aimed at his left wrist again, a strong hand appeared out of thin air and caught his right arm.
When the razor fell, he cut his thumb a little. In shock, the pain was nothing.
Arlette was too scared to move. It was the smell of purgatory. He didn’t forget what he learned in the mage tower. Was it a demon? Why is a demon here?
The Demon not only didn’t hurt him but also gently bandaged his bleeding left wrist.
The demon had four hands, two on the shoulder and two on the ribs. It seemed that there were no scales on his arms. Judging from the sound of the footsteps, its feet should be humanoid. This was probably a burning demon, one of ancient lineage, powerful, agile, and intelligent. They are good at manipulating elements and are born excellent warlocks.
According to the documents Arlette had read, the two upper hands of the burning spirit demon were extremely powerful, capable of holding heavy weapons flexibly and tearing up enemies with their bare hands. This burning demon held Arlette tightly, and if he wanted to, he could break Arlette’s arm at any time.
But the demon let go of Arlette’s arm and took his face in his hands instead. The Demon’s movements were so careful and gentle that they seemed to be treating a fragile treasure.
“You are a demon?” So Arlette asked tentatively. He used purgatory language, and among the apprentices, his language talent was always the best.
The demon didn’t answer directly, that might be its default. Next, the demon called out the wizard’s name directly, “Arlette. Arlette Hope, I’m here. I’m looking for you.”
“You know me? You… Who are you?”
The Demon still didn’t answer. Just as he was about to ask again, Arlette was pulled into a warm, strong embrace. His whole person froze, countless questions hovered in his heart, but he almost did not know where to start.
In the literature, the fierce and belligerent demon suddenly appeared in front of him, prevented him from committing suicide, helped him heal his wounds, and named him… Now he held him in his arms with his four hands.
Perhaps for fear of strangling the human too tightly, the demon relaxed his arm a little but still protected Arlette in front of his chest.
Arlette could feel nothing but the palm of the demon’s hand caressing his hair, and the demon’s cheek against his forehead.
It was a little wet at the hairline. Drop by drop, the warm liquid slid down Arlette’s forehead and across the corners of his eyes.
Arlette moved uneasily. It was unbelievable that the demon who appeared out of thin air not only saved him and called his name but also held him as he cried silent tears.
“Arlette,” the demon couldn’t help kissing the human’s head, “Don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you. Don’t hurt yourself again, okay?”
Before Arlette could answer, the demon let go of his hand, changed his posture, and let Arlette turn over naturally. Then, another kiss fell between Arlette’s eyebrows, then the bridge of his nose, and finally slipped onto his lips.
Arlette was afraid of the breath and heat of the demon. Even so, he did not resist, on the one hand, because he was still at a loss; on the other hand, he… Anyway, he didn’t even fear death, how bad could this situation get?
The Demon King gave the kiss carefully as if it was the most solemn moment of his reign. After the kiss, he looked at Arlette, who was still silent and whispered in his ear, “Arlette, don’t die. You don’t have to die. You can live happily.”
Arlette leaned on the Demon King’s chest, not knowing what to answer. He guessed that the high demon from purgatory must be looking for a mage to cooperate with. He heard that there was a case of a demon summoning human beings a long time ago… But this demon was a little strange. In the face of the blind useless mage, did he still want to make a contract?
Unable to ask, Arlette just murmured, “Not necessarily. In the future, maybe I will give up, maybe I still want to die… “
“I’ll make you want to live.” The Demon King looked at him, but Arlette couldn’t see such a warm look. “I’m going to take you away. I’m going to treat your body, prolong your life, and keep you with me forever. I want to accompany you all over the world and to all the interesting places in purgatory. Even if you can’t see it, I will try to find something interesting for you. I want to make a contract with you. There is no expiration date for this contract. I want to ask you for favors, and you can ask for my reward. Arlette, I’ll let you know what it’s like not to die! Since you are not even afraid of death, do you dare to promise to give your life to me?”
Arlette was stunned and looked at the front of him. The kiss from the demon king fell on his forehead as if urging him to agree.
After a while, the mage whispered, “The contract… It can’t be done here.”
“What did you say?”
“As far as I know, the contract after a demon summons a man must be completed in purgatory,” Arlette said. “In this world, the contract fire cannot be ignited.”
Why should I agree? Being picked up by a demon king and heading for the waves leading to purgatory, Arlette thought in bewilderment.
Maybe it was because of curiosity, maybe it was because of giving up the past life completely. Whatever the reason, Arlette, the former mage, died when he entered the gate. This kind of ending seemed no different from suicide, so why not?
As he walked through the void, the Demon King asked, “Arlette, do you have a concubine or lover?”
Arlette gave a weak smile, “How could there be…”
“So, are you someone else’s favorite concubine or lover?”
“Of course not! Why exactly are you asking?”
The Demon King snickered, took the mage’s left hand with his free hand, and gently pecked on his ring finger, “Nothing… We can get to know each other slowly.”
This sentence sounded suspicious, and it seemed to have some amazing implications. Arlette was full of doubts, but he said, “Okay.”