After conquering hell, the demon king Lara made Vassago’s castle his cradle and lived there for a while. Challengers had to kneel before the newly emerged demon king, press their heads to the ground, and swear allegiance. It was a vow that should never be broken until Lara’s death.
After the hierarchy struggle, a new order settled in hell. Vassago, who had been a hermit, came forward as the second-in-command of hell and ruled over the demons with fear.
Paimon declared that he would make hell a more livable place based on what he learned from the human world. Not through slaughter and plunder, but by enjoying music and banquets.
Lara gradually became accustomed to the role of the demon king at Demian’s side. She slept when she was sleepy and ate when she was hungry. She didn’t get startled when a tailed maid broke a window while cleaning, and she didn’t scream when she made eye contact with a winged guard outside the window.
A huge demon king sculpture was erected in Vassago’s castle, and portraits of the demon king were distributed throughout hell. The portrait seemed as if it could tear a demon apart with just a glance.
“All hail the Demon King!”
Whenever demons faced Lara, they cried out like that and lay flat. Then Lara would mutter the demon’s name and scan them up and down with narrowed eyes.
From Lara’s perspective, she might have to live in hell now, so she tried to get familiar with the faces and names of the demons. But to the demons, it seemed as if the starving demon king was picking out weak prey.
It was very easy to spread infamy in hell. In Ottan, one had to make several attempts that didn’t even match one’s taste to become a villain, but here, one simply had to sit still and breathe.
“The demon king’s red eyes are like a bloody sunset, and her long hair resembles the rivers of hell. Her breath is filled with the heat of terror, and her shadow reaches everywhere in hell, casting a watchful eye. Should I write like this?”
Now, Lara could laugh and play along no matter what nonsense Vassago said.
Then one day, Paimon prepared a grand banquet called the Demon King’s Coronation, and Lara went to her castle, played with the now-familiar demons, and returned.
However, a door of brilliant, multicolored light was open in her room.
A door of light shimmering in the air. Lara stared at Demian, who was standing in front of it with her mouth agape.
“What is this?”
“A door to the human world.”
“The price has been paid.”
Lara quickly approached Demian and bombarded him with questions about what the price was, how this happened, and whether she could really see her mother again if she entered. He simply smiled and nodded.
“Really, really… Can I go home? Is it true?”
Demian held Lara in his arms and nodded. His chin touched her forehead and then dropped. After repeating the same question several times, Lara finally realized that she was crying.
She could return to her mother. She could see Konny, Valentine, Eunice, and Ximena again.
Vassago and Paimon, who had come with her to take Lara, stood silently in front of the door and looked at her.
Lara didn’t know what to say to them. Was it okay to just thank them for everything and leave abruptly, telling them to take care of themselves? Since they were demons, enemies of humans, was it okay to just abandon them without feeling any sense of responsibility?
That was not the case. To Lara, they were her comrades. Even if it wasn’t their first meeting, she had to bear the responsibility of the shared bond they had. However, she couldn’t just keep going back and forth between Hell and the human world through the door. She couldn’t know when, where, or who would start the clock of destruction again.
Vassago approached the hesitating and troubled Lara, and Paimon followed, standing in front of her.
“Master, please go back home.”
Vassago’s white eyebrows softened. He gently held Lara’s extended hand with both of his and spoke.
“Human lives are very short. It’s the life of a human to disappear without even living a hundred years. Many demons were envious of that flashy life, making it their hobby to peek into human lives, but I’ve decided not to think that way anymore.”
Paimon nodded as if agreeing with his words.
“I will consider the short wait a blessing.”
“So, please come back to us someday. Vassago said he waited for a thousand years. I can wait that long too. We don’t need another king.”
Lara tightly held Vassago and Paimon’s hands. The two demons just laughed awkwardly.
“Don’t feel sorry. You saved Hell and saved us. We still don’t know how to repay all that grace.”
Lara lifted her head. Now she wasn’t crying. With her usual vivid red eyes, she spoke to Vassago and Paimon.
“I’ll come back.”
“Don’t make promises. Even if you don’t come back, I’ll understand. But I’ll still wait.”
Paimon patted her shoulder, telling her not to worry about Hell. It meant that with Vassago around, no one would dare to take advantage of the king’s absence and cause trouble.
“Let’s go now.”
Vassago and Paimon bowed deeply behind Lara, who turned around with Demian.
The door of light being so brilliantly colorful was simply Demian’s preference. He said that he just wanted the door Lara would pass through to be beautiful, but the moment he created it, it was so dazzling and flashy that he immediately regretted it.
Demian confessed that he had really struggled a lot to find a way to return with Lara.
One was the Devil King, and the other was the incarnation. To summon the Devil King, one had to dedicate their life, soul, blood, and power as a demon named Valac. In truth, the offerings that worshippers unknowingly presented had no value. To summon a great being, a price of similar or connected value was needed.
Fortunately, Valac had sufficient qualifications. The body he possessed belonged to Prince Sidhar, and Lara and he were bound together by an inseparable karmic relationship.
The problem was Demian himself. Even the almighty Abraxas had to bear such a heavy burden to descend, and he was not sure if he, as an incarnation, could handle it. He could bear anything for Lara, but that was only possible if he knew the method.
That’s when Demian thought of the demon Lilith. It was a lightning-like realization. Valac swallowed Lilith’s heart. Lilith’s power resided fully within Valac. Valac swore to dedicate everything he had, and so it would include what belonged to Lilith as well.
Lilith had once been Demian’s enemy, had prostrated and submitted to him after her defeat, and was a demon who had died cursing both demons and humans.
Since there were two demons, both could return. Even if the price wasn’t perfectly balanced, Demian could handle that much. He knew it was merely a part of the process of becoming a god and that it would just take a little longer.
Lilith, who had cursed both the demon and the human that created her as a hybrid and had only wished for the world’s destruction. And Valac, who had envied the tumultuous lives of humans and eventually dedicated everything he had to become a human. They were the keys to their return.
Thus, Lara was able to return to her mother’s side.
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