Chapter 197 – Artpe Hirtana Kelduke (2)
All the party members needed to rest right now. However, there would be plenty of time to rest after they conversed. He didn’t want his party members to misunderstand any part of his story. He was slow and meticulous in telling his story.
It was the record of a loser, so he didn’t think it deserved to be listened so attentively. However, his party members thought differently.
“Is that why you knew everything? You’ve already experienced it once before?”
“In our past lives, many things went in favor of the Demon King instead of the hero.”
Artpe’s past life was the record of a loser, but at the same time, the hero’s party had lost too. It was also the record of their defeat. He added nothing and he concealed nothing as he told the events
He told how the hero’s party was formed. Everything was different from their current life. The Demon King’s army had used a different strategy in attacking the human realm. The hero’s party couldn’t stop the corruption within Paladia. He told them about Vadinet’s love for Silpennon, and the destruction that arose from that love. He spoke about the hero’s relationship with the other human nations. He told them about the war, and the battle against Artpe….
He told them about his demise.
“It really was a shit show.”
“Yes, it was a shit show. I was the enemy of the human race, but even I could see how hopeless the humans could be as a race. That is the reason why I hid Maetel in the beginning. This is old news, but I’ll make a shocking confession. In truth, the meal that we’ve had up until now was better than the meal that would have been provided by the palace.”
“Artpe is a con artist.”
Maetel laughed as she spoke mischievously. There was also a faint smile on Artpe’s lips. The fact that they were able to laugh together was quite amazing.
“That’s my story. I don’t have firsthand knowledge as to what happened to the world after I died.”
“I guess it’s my turn.”
Silpennon took up the baton. He told them about his encounter with one of the former Four Heavenly King, and how he had recovered his memories. He told them about what had occurred up until the point of his death. He wondered if it would have better if he hadn’t told this story. It was a miserable story. Still, everything became clear now.
“Basically, a secret boss has to be killed after defeating the Demon King. However, the secret boss was able to operate from the beginning when Artpe rewound the history of the world. Basically, that’s what happened.”
“We defeated most of our enemies, but the previous Demon King remains to be defeated. That still remain the same.”
“I see. That is why…..”
“I’m still having a hard time accepting it.”
Vadinet had a sour look on her face.
“How could I like such a man as him?”
“I’ll fight you later on. I won’t go easy on you, because you are a woman.”
“It is such a mysterious feeling. I wonder what I was like in that world.”
Sienna absentmindedly thought about her other self in the previous world. In the end, she just nodded her head as she smiled.
“I’m thankful that oppa was born as a human. I don’t think I can imagine a life without you, oppa.”
“If it wasn’t for Artpe, the world would have ended.”
Artpe just let out a bitter laughter when he saw Sienna and Maetel’s reaction. He had been a Four Heavenly King, and he had fought against Maetel, who had been the hero. Despite knowing all of this, their reaction was quite mild. It even made him question if he had been worried over nothing. Maybe, he was the weird one.
“I’m fine since I’m able to love Artpe-nim now. It is also fortunate that I avoided dying a dog’s death in this life.”
“Artpe, may I hit that woman once? Just once.”
“You should be quiet.”
When he came to his senses, he realized Maetel was already holding his hand. Maetel was smiling at him as if she had accepted everything. Artpe was about to say something, but he gave up. He thought it was no longer important.
“Is that it? Is that all you feel?”
“It is such a ridiculous story that I’m half in disbelief. Truthfully, even if the story is true, my attitude towards you won’t change.”
Elrick had spoken up. As one of the male members of the party, he was able to give the most objective opinion. It was also the reason why Artpe could trust his words the most. In the corner of Artpe’s heart, there had always been a tight ball of worry, and he finally felt it loosen.
“If I heard that story before I met Artpe-nim, I might have a different opinion. However, aren’t we trying to return the Demon realm into a human realm right now? If so, can’t we just say that you were the first Demon to be turned back into human? That is also the reason why you were given the power of the magic tome. If I think of it that way, I can accept it.”
Vadinet was completely in love with Artpe, so Artpe had expected her to spout some nonsense that would be in favor of Artpe. However, her words were pretty compelling. When he heard her words, an idea flashed in his mind. However, it went away quickly.
There was one sure thing that had come out of this. The scenario that Artpe had been most worried about hadn’t come to pass. Emotions washed over him. He didn’t know if it was a sense of shame or relief. He just swept away all those emotions.
“I feel like an idiot for suffering under the weight of this burden for so long. Thank you for sharing your opinions.”
“The fact that Artpe-nim is capable of suffering is more surprising to me.”
“Shut up, ajumma.”
“I’m not an ajumma!”
He was grumbling, but he would be lying if he said that he wasn’t deeply moved by all their words. His inner limit on how much embarrassment he could stand was surpassed. He immediately laid down on the floor, and he pushed his hood down over his face.
“I’m just saying. I thought you guys would be less upset hearing it from me rather than hearing it from the previous Demon King. It wasn’t as if I thought your attitudes would change. It wasn’t as if I didn’t trust you all. I just want you guys to know this.”
“Artpe-nim has a really cute side.”
Regina’s emotions were the most difficult to assess compared to the others. She was the last one to open her mouth.
“Artpe was older than me.”
“I wondered why you weren’t saying anything about it.”
“I’m younger than you physically and mentally. I’m in a very dangerous situation.”
“You are extremely safe. Extremely.”
“All your odd actions in the past makes sense now. From now on, I’ll consider it a potential risk factor.”
Artpe wondered if he should play along with her. However, he gave up on that idea. He didn’t need his relationship with women to get more complicated right now. Regina was a bit miffed when he didn’t play along. She kept poking him with her staff, yet he ignored her until the end.
‘I have to stop her from talking about me liking younger women……’
He thought about saying something, but in the end, Artpe just fell asleep.
In truth, he had been the one that had been the most overextended in the battle against the Demon King and the Fragment of the Demonic god. Of course, he was the moe tired than anyone in his party. He had told them everything about his previous life, and the fact that he had not collapsed afterwards from exhaustion was a miracle in itself.
“Artpe fell asleep.”
Maetel quickly moved to snipe the position beside Artpe. Sienna was as quick as Maetel. She positioned herself on the other side.
“Let’s sleep too.”
“You guys really have excellent timing.”
“Artpe doesn’t yield it up to us, so we have no choice but to take it from him.”
“However, I now have some idea as to why he’s like that.”
Maetel and Sienna guarded his sides. Vadinet pushed through the narrow space to position herself near Artpe’s head. Artpe had fallen asleep, and he had a peaceful expression on his face. Vadinet was very careful as she put his head on her thighs, and she gently touched his hair.
“I’m sure this is why Artpe-nim has been so hesitant. He inwardly felt that he was a different person from what we viewed him as. That is why he wasn’t confident in being able to accept our feelings at face value.”
“Normally, you sound like an ignoramus. You sounded somewhat like a holy priestess right now.”
Vadinet sounded sullen when she gave her retort. However, the smile on her lips didn’t fade.
“I now know why he’s been holding back. Now I can be at ease. I can pursue him for real.”
“You haven’t been pursuing him for real until now!?”
Her words were more surprising than the story told by Artpe today! Vadinet looked at her competitors with guarded eyes, but she remained in place.
“You plan on staying like that all night?”
“I will do so if Artpe-nim can rest in comfort. It is as Artpe-nim had said…. Tomorrow will be a long day.”
It was as if her words drained them of energy. The whole party came to a consensus without speaking a single word. They all sprawled out on the floor. They were all tired. For the next several hours, no one was bothered them. They were greeted by peace and silence.
Artpe awoke the next day, and he felt unusually refreshed. He thought he had been lying on the floor, but his head was being supported by something soft and warm. He felt around, and he realized that he was touching someone’s thighs. He became more surprised when he found out that the owner of the thighs was Vadinet.
Despite having Artpe’s head on her thighs, she didn’t look uncomfortable. Sse was sleeping with a faint smile on her face. It bothered him that this was the most brightest and pure smile he had seen on her face.
‘Why is she doing this? Until now, she never initiated contact until I gave her permission.’
He wondered if he had been worried about the wrong thing. After telling them his story yesterday, he wondered if he had called forth trouble from an entirely different direction. He had been worried about them rejecting him, but this change was worrying too.
Artpe let out a bitter laughter as he tried to get up. However, he couldn’t’ move his body. Maetel and Sienna was stuck to his sides. Etna and Mycenae was holding onto his thighs. It was as if someone had casted an Immobility spell on him. He couldn’t move.
Regina was observing it all.
“······do something. Don’t just stand there looking at me.”
“The act of approaching you is dangerous. It is more beneficial to observe the pattern where the bugs fall into a trap.”
“Alright. I’m sorry for ignoring you yesterday. I fell asleep. It couldn’t be helped.”
Regina pouted as she swung her staff. She slowly separated the girls from him. He sat up, and he found out that everyone was still sound asleep.
“Is it ok not to wake them up? I would like to hasten the humanification of the Demon realm. The faster it is done the better it would be.”
“It is more important for our party members to regain their normal physical and mental status. If we exit this place, we won’t be able to rest for awhile.”
Regina quietly nodded her head as she approached him. She sat down next to him. He wondered why she was doing this.
She spoke with a sincere voice.
“I want to hear about my past life. I want the details. I want to hear how you came to know about me in my past life.”
“It isn’t a happy story. Are you sure?”
“If I want to be happy in the future, I have to go through with this.”
It was a wise answer to a stupid question. Artpe smirked as he opened his mouth.
“Ok. I’ll tell you about it. Still, I hope you won’t hate the humans too much after hearing this story.”
“Even if some of the humans did me wrong, I won’t be incredibly foolish in hating the whole human race. You are worrying over nothing.”
“Yes, you really are like that. Jeez.”
Even in her past life, Regina had stuck with Maetel until the end as a member of the hero’s party. Maybe, he had been worrying needlessly. Artpe nodded his head at her words, and he spoke.
“In my past life, the incident between the Elves and the Magic Kingdom turned out much nastier…..”
The conversation between the two of them ended when the other party members started to wake up. Regina had taken a step back yesterday, so the girls were shocked when they saw her next to Artpe. They never expected her to use such a high level tactic. Regina stood her ground with an impassive face.
This was how Artpe had revealed all the story he had kept hidden. He didn’t leave any loose ends behind that could cause any confusions in the future.
The hero’s party headed towards the final battlefield.