My Demon Queen
The little devil was sprawled over the couch— catching some Z’s. My mom was watching the television, a cooking channel or something. While Liliath was reading ‘that’ book.
Sitting on the couch with the manga in hand, she raised her head to look at me before crying out. Flustered she hid volume 5 away from my line of sight.
Yeah.. seriously though? Well.. at least she had proper awareness this time. That’s an improvement.
You know, I kind of pity her. I should probably just let her read it without paying any mind. That’s for the best isn't it?
“Sorry, Um. Liliath, I want to read this,” I showed her the cover of a different manga.
She regained composure, slipping the porn into the crevice of the sofa— hey that isn’t a place to put stuff you know? It’s all dusty and musty inside.
I noticed her lips quiver at the title of the book.
The manga I was holding in hands— the title had two keywords on it: Demon Lord. I thought about what was the best way to ask Liliath about it. And the conclusion I came to was to show it to her. Not about how Demon Lords destroy an entire kingdom— but the reverse of that.
I wasn’t too sure what kind of impression she had on herself— as the demon lord. I was hoping that by reading a story about a good-natured Demon Lord, it could help her deal with the prejudices she held surrounding her own existence.
“H-how did you know?” She squeaked, ripples of fear swimming in her eyes.
Ah? She doesn’t remember?
“At school. I saw them. But don’t get me wrong, this world isn’t the same as yours. If anything, I think an existence like you would be welcomed by society.”
Though I said that, she was on guard.
“What are you talking about?” My mom who's focus left the screen turned to us.
“Well.. I’m just recommending her a book.”
Cover up, cover up.
Liliath shook her up and down hastily.
My mom narrowed her eyes
“Something to do with a demon lord?” She raised her brow— yeah, she’s hard to convince.
Welp. Dumb luck. Looks like the cover was blown.
“Sorry. Until I get consent from Liliath I can’t say too much,” I dropped the act.
Liliath shuddered, craning her head to look at me.
“It’s impossible to hide it. My mom heard it already. Anyways, you don’t have to force yourself to talk about it,” I passed her the book. “Read it when you have time.”
She nodded, biting her lips.
I wonder— in her world, were demon lords really considered such a bad existence? A girl like her as a calamity-like existence?
I grew up in a peaceful world, unlike Liliath who could’ve grown in a world of war— heck, even slavery was legal where she lived. I feel that it’s impossible to understand her using my personal perception of the world as a base. I could not imagine how cruel such a world where war was rampant could be.
“Oh, there’s pudding in the fridge if any of you want some,” my mom remarked before returning her attention to the cooking show.
“Alright, thanks. Liliath, do you want pudding?”
“Huh?” Her dumbfounded look was so cute.
I walked over to the fridge— two left. Wait.. I thought we had like 10 of them two days ago..
Well. At least there are two left. One I think is passion fruit flavored, the other is strawberry.
I returned with the puddings and passed the strawberry one to Liliath.
She stared at the pink gelatin in a plastic ramekin.
“The era of war is over in this world. Though I’m not sure what kind of past you had, you don’t need to face something like war and bloodshed anymore in the future. Take your time and just chill.”
I stuffed a spoonful of pudding in my mouth. A sweet tangy flavor accompanied by the hint sweetness of passion fruit.
Well.. I kinda lied about the blood shed part. I mean.. fights between people with offensive TALENTS were a ridiculous sight to behold. I guess to Liliath, this would be considered a small trifles while in our world, it was a crime.
Liliath ate the pudding silently. She shook her head every so often as if trying to rid of her thoughts. Tears spilled from her eyes.
She wiped it off.
“Thank you, I’ll consider it.”
I didn’t think asking about what she meant by that was a good idea. It’s probably because I’m dumb to not understand the context.
The devil awoken by the smell of pudding crawled over to my side out of and squashed my head with both hands. She was begging for some, I can tell.
“Here,” I fed her a spoon, she ate it with glee.
Seeing such a development, Liliath gave a sympathetic smile.
Look. I know my sister is cute but she’s a devil. A DEVIL I SAY! Don’t be fooled by her cuteness!
“No. This is mine.”
“Hmph. Fine! I’ll go get my own,” the devil quipped, dissatisfied that I stopped feeding her any more no matter how she begged. She went to the kitchen and came back as soon as she went, “Mom, where did you keep the rest of the pudding? Wasn’t there 8 in the fwige yesterday?”
My mom who shifted her attention from the television to Novelle spoke with a smile.
“Hm? Oh. About that, I kept the rest in my stomach. Sorry~”
The devil paled.
I lifted the spoon to my mouth and finished the last bite of pudding.
I couldn’t hear anything in the living room. With my laptop in front of me, hands pressing on the drawing pad and ears covered by headphones, light music played in the background.
In a mere two strokes— I destroyed my masterpiece.
Control Z, undo.
I decided to take a break from rendering the illustration, it’s literally going nowhere. So what I’m currently doing would be colour-sketching a bunch of portraits. Art studies, as artists call it.
If anything, I should really be checking Arthub and expanding my networks with other artists. But I’ll leave that till later— once complete this last bit..
Tomorrow’s the start of the school holiday so I thought I should stay up a little later.. it’s almost 10.
Liliath in the living room who I noticed kept opening and closing her mouth. Is she talking to me?
I paused the music and pulled my headphones down.
Liliath gave me a look.
Wow. So she has that kind of side too— wait. I remember her yelling at me the first time we met.. perhaps she had been hiding her true personality?
All I can do is apologize.. I seriously didn’t notice her.
“I finished the book you requested,” she placed the book down on the table and then sat beside me. Oh, that’s fast.
The smell of the shampoo on her hair tickled my nose. If anything, the current Liliath was totally different from when I first met her. I still remember her trembling body wrapped around with a dirty rag cloth, the scars that covered her body—
So she has super regeneration huh?
“And your point? Do you want to talk about it?”
She shook her head, “I prefer not to bring up the past—however.. I understand keeping secrets wouldn’t do anything but incite problems. Hence, I’ll try my best to answer the questions you have within my abilities.”
Talk about being tactful. Though.. the kind of person Liliath was, I find it plightful. I think I shouldn’t dig too much into the past that she wants to forget. Rather, was it really a good idea to just forget the past? The past will always appear again, like a wreckage from the sea drifting onto shore. Could Liliath really tolerate that? Suppressing those bitter memories for the rest of her life?
To ask or not to ask.
I’m at a stalemate. Hm..
Perhaps I should just wait and see..
It’s decided then. I’ll try to avoid asking too much. She’ll reveal her past in time, I’m sure of it. I doubt she’ll be able to keep everything to herself, and if anything does go wrong, well.. I can only think of a solution to deal with it by then. It’s pointless to think too far ahead.
“Alright. First of all, are you a demon lord?”
“No. I’m an existence known as a demon lord candidate. More concise would be that I am fated to become the demon queen. However, I have yet to awaken as one. I am a candidate at current.”
A queen? Demon lord candidate? What?
“So there’s a DEMON LORD and DEMON QUEEN is what you’re implying?”
“That is the case.”
Alright.. so basically speaking Liliath is supposed to marry off to some big shot known as the demon lord— bring destruction to the world together with him or die by the hands of a hero.. that’s her fate? Fate?!
Not that I don’t believe in fate but to those people who keep blaming it on fate— oh, it’s impossible because it’s my fate. Oh that’s just how it is no matter how hard you try you can’t possibly achieve this and that..
I detest it. An excuse to run away from responsibilities.
But thinking about it... to not be able to live your own life.. to be constrained by one’s own ‘fate’.
I noticed that I was clenching my fist. Was it truly fate?
I don’t know why— this should be about Liliath, but I’m the one being all emotional here.
“About you being a candidate, is that a random thing? How does that relate to become a queen?”
“The demon lord candidates were believed to be chosen by the God of Demons. Both the lord and the queen must come to an agreement in matrimony before being bestowed the titles Demon Queen and Demon Lord,” Liliath said, her emotionless eyes fixated on me.
Calm.. too calm..
To see such a gaze from within her eyes, a pitch black vortex that is her past. What the hell. Compared to me.. just what kind of life did she go through.
That isn’t the kind of look a normal person would have.
“With the coincidence of me as a candidate, it was decided with my consent we would utilize a different method to bring peace without the aid of a hero. I became a political tool to quell the conflict between us humans and demons.. just to be betrayed.” Her deep empty voice echoed in my mind.
Right. Liliath was a Princess. A very unlucky Princess that somehow became a demon lord candidate. So there’s a king and queen demon, and somehow Liliath was chosen.
“As a Princess. That was my responsibility. I had no choice— it was for the sake of the country. I don’t blame the kingdom for what I have done. There was nothing I could have done to begin with.”
There was nothing she could do to begin with. Wait, how does her being enslaved fit into the whole picture? Betrayed? By the demon lord or the kingdom? She said political tool— for the sake of the nation. And she probably rejected the Demon Lord’s proposal for marriage I presume?
Crap. I told myself not to go too deep and now..
“Hey Liliath. I know I’m not in any position to say this but.. I’m sorry. I-I’m sorry you had such a past.”
The worst experiences in my life can’t even lift a finger to what she had experienced.
And before I knew it— my arms were tight around her.
“Thank you.” She whispered. “Thank you for saving me.”
Right.. I did save her. But it happened on a whim.
Pulling back, she showed a warm smile. There wasn’t a tear anywhere in sight— it was gratitude.
That’s when it hit me. To her— this was the beginning of her new life.
“Ah sorry. I was thinking about something.. um. You can stop if you feel uncomfortable saying anymore um.. I’m sorry for asking so much about your past.”
“It’s alright.. it’s enlightening to have someone hear me out once in a while.”
Liliath’s mental fortitude surpasses my own. There’s no doubt about it..
“Noel, then can I ask a question of my own?”
“Sure. Just ask if you have any questions anytime.”
“Could I possibly be a hero? A summoning ritual revolves around the summoned possessing a purpose— in typical cases, subjugating the demon lord and bringing peace to the world for a temporary period of time.”
Oh? Peace is temporary? So demon lord candidates would appear again and again? Weird. Then why do all demon lords decided to go the genocide route? Wouldn’t there be at least one of them that decided to go the pacifist route? Or such a peaceful demon lord died before the plan could be enacted?
“What would be my purpose?” Liliath asked in all seriousness.
Author’s notes: Thank you for reading!!