The Demon Prince goes to the Academy - Chapter 3
The huge confinement facility was in the form of a prison. I couldn’t help but be speechless at the disgusting stench and horrifying sight in front of me.
If what I’d seen up until now were the corpses of demons that got attacked by the heroes that infiltrated the castle, then what was found here were….
All corpses of humans.
There were no guards, but it looked like they had just killed all the prisoners before they went to the battlefield. I felt vomit coming up, but I held it in.
Most of them were horribly torn to shreds. They were disastrous corpses. I couldn’t even tell what they were subjected to.
I didn’t have any time to hesitate, but my hands and feet just couldn’t stop trembling.
There was, of course, a difference between writing something and seeing something in person. The unrecognizable, torn corpses were very hard to look at.
There was a mixture of blood and feces everywhere.
Someone died right outside an open cell door, perhaps they tried to escape.
It looked so bad that I didn’t even want to look at it.
I was on the verge of cussing myself out.
This was what I was looking for.
“God fucking damn it…. damn it.….”
Were the sins I committed in my previous life so great?
To the point that I had to strip off the clothes of corpses whose shapes were unrecognizable just to survive?
I put down my fancy clothes to pick up rags and wear them. I stripped the rags from a corpse that should be called pieces of flesh rather than a corpse. I couldn’t afford any unnecessary pride so I took off my underwear as well and rolled around on the dirty floor with the rags on.
The feeling of having sticky blood on my face was terrible.
I had no opportunity to look in a mirror, but I must have looked terrible. In the end, I couldn’t take it anymore and kneeled over.
I gagged, but nothing came out. I could hear shouts coming from outside that seemed like distant echoes.
With this my preparations were completed.
I could either go into a prison cell in a corner and lock myself in or I could pretend that I managed to escape.
From now on, all I could do was pray that no one could look through my camouflage magic.
By the way, who the hell was I supposed to pray to?
I wandered around the prison cell in a miserable mood. The prison cell, which was previously filled with so many people to the point of bursting, now housed nothing but corpses.
Did they have to kill them all?
Is that what demons are like?
-Sob. Sob, sob….
I could hear someone crying somewhere.
There were survivors.
I didn’t know who, but someone was still alive here. I instinctively moved towards that place. Fear rose, but I couldn’t help, but go look. My body moved faster than I thought.
Before anything else, I thought I should help whoever was alive in this horrifying place. These sentiments also gave me a sense of relief as it was proof that I was still a normal person.
“Wh, who….. Is anyone there…?”
– Urg…. Sob. sob…….
It was a very quiet, powerless, fragmented cry, like the cry of a small animal.
I passed by a few gruesome sights showcased in the prison cells.
“Sob…. uuh…. hnng….”
Soon, I could see a little girl crying in a cracked voice, hugging something shaped like a human.
I could roughly guess what kind of situation this was.
There was also a mass of bodies and flesh scattered about.
I hated to assume this, but judging by the remains, there seemed to have been five of them there. The crying girl not included. She was crying while hugging a corpse with an uncertain form, as if she didn’t even realize I was in front of her.
I couldn’t even tell how that corpse died or how this child survived.
However, the only thing I could tell was that this corpse the girl was holding was probably someone precious to her.
“Hey, calm down….”
“.…Urg, sob! Don’t!”
Only after I knocked against the cage did the girl lift her head and look at me.
Although she was covered in blood, I could tell that she had blonde hair and golden eyes. She was very skinny.
The girl looked at me, got startled and pulled back.
“H, huh! Wh, wh…… Who. Who, how……”
“Ah, do, don’t worry! I… I was stuck here too!”
The girl was mumbling gibberish as if she lost all her reason.
“I, I…… I’ll get you out. Let’s get out of here.”
The girl’s eyes were filled with fear and sadness. She seemed to think of something as she looked at me, a person in rags like her.
The girl looked at my eyes, arms and legs.
She was looking at me who was terrified by these harrowing sights I was never exposed to before. Then the girl nodded slowly and softly.
She was shaking, but it felt like she had chosen to believe me. As if she had no other choice but to trust me, when she suddenly encountered me in this incomprehensible environment.
Did she believe I was in the same situation as her, because I was affected by these sights? This was only possible because I wasn’t a Demon Prince at my core.
“Hey, do you know where the keys are? I’ll bring them over.”
“M, maybe…… The, there……”
Without a word the girl pointed to the other end of the prison.
It’s true that I felt compelled to save this child.
However, it was also true that I had these calculating thoughts that my chances of survival would increase if other survivors could testify that I was also imprisoned here.
* * *
I didn’t know which one the right key was, so I brought all the key rings I could find in the warden’s office at the end of the prison cells. While I was trying every key, the girl kept on crying.
She was just crying. As if she lost all hope.
“Can you hear the sounds outside?”
The shouts of the humans could be heard. I couldn’t go into detail, but I somehow wanted to tell her that everything’s going to be fine.
“We’ll be fine.”
Inevitably, this war had already been won by the humans. At my fearful yet confident words, the girl continued to weep and nodded her head. Finding the right key took a lot of time. I wondered if it was really necessary to open the door, but I wanted to get her out of that miserable place for now.
“It might be dangerous to go out, but…. Let’s open it up for now. Even if you don’t want to go out of there”
“Ye, yes…… ”
The girl’s voice was shaking violently. Rather, it seemed that she lost control of her emotions after meeting another living human like her.
Still, I, as the older of us two, should put her mind at ease.
“Calm down…. We’ll live. You’ll be able to live.”
That’s also what I wanted to say to myself.
You have to get out of this goddamn place and survive.
I had to. I mumbled “Let’s calm down, let’s calm down, we can live” to myself as if I was trying to hypnotise myself.
Just looking at her I could tell that she was seriously skinny. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how hungry she must be.
Come to think of that.
“Wait, wait a minute.”
“H, huh? Huh?”
I ran somewhere instead of continuing to try to open the door with one of the keys. The child seemed to be calling me, but I ran like the wind and rummaged through the clothes I had taken off.
Then I came back with the stuff I pulled out from there.
“See. I found this in the place the keys were.”
I didn’t have to tell her the truth, so I told her a little lie and handed her a biscuit. It was a biscuit I had unnecessarily in my pocket. I just remembered that I threw it away together with my clothes.
“You must be hungry, so eat this.”
The girl suddenly saw a palm-sized biscuit in her hand, which made her open her eyes wide. Yeah, things are sad and depressing, but you should also feel hellishly hungry. The girl was staring blankly at me who gave her the whole biscuit.
“Y, y…… You?”
“I’m fine. You eat first.”
I started fumbling with the keys again. The girl was silently staring, as if she was trying to decide if it was fine for her to eat it or not. Time passed, then
Along with that sound, something got pushed against my mouth, while I was still preoccupied with finding the right key.
“Y, you, too…… You eat, too.”
The girl wept and offered me half of the biscuit. How much determination did it take her to cut it and give me half of it?
I felt emotional for some reason.
Are we like this just to atone for some kind of sin we committed? Didn’t I atone enough by dying after reading some malicious comments already?
My eyes turned cold, as I started to feel indignant for no apparent reason.
The girl started to cry again after she bit into the biscuit. I didn’t know whether she cried because it was delicious or because she was sad. What does food taste like after having endured such terrible hunger?
I didn’t know, but I thought I knew to some extent why she cried.
As soon as I took a bite out of the biscuit, the iron door opened.
* * *
The cage was open, but the girl didn’t come out. Perhaps she didn’t want to leave that body she was holding behind. I was about to carry it out as well, however, I knew that it wasn’t such a good idea to go outside. It might still be dangerous.
It was for the best to wait here.
So rather than opening the prison cell to let someone out I did this bizarre thing of walking into it.
“Can ……. the Demon King be killed……?”
I think he’s already dead.
I wasn’t fazed by the death of my unknown biological father. The girl quivered and murmured things while shedding tears, her head buried in her knees.
“Artorius said he’d come rescue us…….”
Unfortunately, the Demon King probably dragged Artorius down with him. He wouldn’t be able to save us, but the human side will most probably come here.
“Yeah. Someone’s coming to save us.”
This wasn’t just a speculation, it was the truth. However, whether the army will come to save me or not was the most important thing. I mean, I wasn’t the Demon King after all.
“I can’t hear them anymore.”
The girl trembled. The overflowing roars suddenly came to a halt. Thinking that the human army was defeated, the girl grew more and more afraid.
I reached out and hugged her by the shoulders.
“It’s okay. Everything’s going to be fine.”
“Is that so?”
The girl seemed surprised that I said that.
“You…. You are so calm….”
These words seemed kind of eerie and made me stiffen a little
“Oh, no. I, I’m…… Also very scared.”
I think it was because I was next to a child, so I exaggerated a little, but it’s true that I was scared as all hell. You’d be fine, but I might get my head cut off soon.
Still, the girl didn’t seem suspicious of my calmness.
“What’s your…. Name?”
The girl asked for my name.
My name was Valier Jr. here. Since the Demon King Valier was dead, my name must be Valier now. I couldn’t tell her that name. That would be like I was asking to get myself killed. To begin with, even a normal human would get stoned if they named themselves after the Demon King.
“That, see……. I don’t remember….”
In the end, I gave her the first excuse that came to my mind.
“Well…… I don’t know, I can’t remember anything. Who I am, why I’m here…… Everything.”
That was the most convenient excuse I could come up with.
I decided on going with the setting of having lost my memory after these endless days of merciless torture.
I can’t believe the day would come when I had to use this dog-like concept.
“Sob……. What should we do……”
The girl hugged me as if she felt sorry for me.
I felt a little guilty because she believed it so quickly. The girl held me in her slender arms, but she gave me a bit of strength as well.
“I, if I could get out of here…… If I get out…… I’ll definitely get your memories back…… I promise.”
Before I could finish thinking, I heard someone running from a distance. It wasn’t the only thing I could hear.
-This seems to be the prison!
-They’re all dead!
Those were definitely human voices. People who I couldn’t tell if they were knights or soldiers rushed to check the prison cells and finally met our eyes.
“Holy, survivors! We have survivors!”
The emotional exclamation from the one who found us rang through the prison.
Tears welled up in the girl’s eyes, and my heart started racing like crazy in a weird mix of fear, excitement and relief.
Then a middle-aged knight followed the shouts and finally stepped before us. As soon as he saw the girl, his face horribly contorted.
“Oh, oooh…… Oh, woe, Her Majesty the Princess….”