C211: A GRAND FOOL
My name is Baal.
But everyone calls me…
The biggest fool of the demon race.
I spend my money on the most worthless of things.
Hence, the biggest fool.
I use up my money to buy what I want—paintings, sculptures, ancient scriptures, and things that were used by great people in the past.
Everyone calls me a fool for buying such things.
What good is a painting
Can wood carvings fill your stomach
So what if you know something from the past
They’re all just a bunch of old junk.
They mock my collection like so.
They try to act high-handed by telling me that I should buy something of value instead—jewels, gold, grand estates, young and beautiful women, you name it.
But it’s none of their business.
The war with the human race has been going on for hundreds of years.
Due to this prolonged warfare, we demons have lost the time to spare just enjoying life.
Surviving the day was all that mattered.
This new norm lasted for several hundreds of years.
But that’s not good enough for me.
We, the demons, must pass on to the future generation what has been created by our ancestors and cultivate rich social rules with it.
This richness can be gained and developed over time, just like strength.
But the only social rule we have is inheriting what the past has given us and nothing else.
That’s why I buy things that are deemed worthless by others, even if I am called a fool for it.
I want to keep the past alive to pass on to the future.
Fortunately, I have plenty of money.
I’m sure I’ll be visited by all kinds of people today, scammers selling me junk included.
Still, I’m not going to refuse any one of them.
All right, it’s about time I go meet them.
“I heard you made it to the Heavenly Four, lass.”
“It was pure luck, sir.
By all rights, the title of ‘Malicious’ will always belong to Queen Glasya.”
“Zedan sure got himself quite the stubborn tomboys as queens.
A brave move, if you ask me, considering he’s a timid boy.”
I was surprised that Leviasa, who had just become one of the Heavenly Four, came to visit me.
“What business do you have with me Do you want to strengthen your influence as a Heavenly One Won’t it be a miscalculation if you do that now”
“If I were to visit you, it’s only for one thing, sir.”
“There’s something I’d like you to buy.”
I knew there was something different about this woman even when she was still Glasya’s aide.
If I had to say, she’s similar to that Belphgamilia…
They’re both interesting fellows.
“You’re still peddling even as a Heavenly One”
“Your eyes see the true value in things, Lord Baal.
I only have you to go to when presenting a bargain.”
Lass, I do not know whether you revere or disdain me at this point in time.
“I’ll have a look at them.”
“Thank you very much.
I’ve already brought them into your garden.”
“Oh, they’re that big”
But how can this lass just bring them in my garden like she owns the place
Zedan’s already got two quirky wives, but he still has subordinates like her on top of that
When I went to my garden, I was surprised.
God is here!
“It’s Hades, the God of the Underworld!!!”
“You can also tell, sir When I saw this for the first time, I knew without being told that it was a statue of him.”
A majestic figure…
A thick beard…
Ethereal clothing befitting the god of the underworld…
A figure so divine is beautifully carved out of a wooden pillar!
It’s as if the pillar has been reincarnated as a god…
“It’s really remarkable as if the real god was used as its model…”
“…Who is the artist The master craftsman who carved this magnificent statue!”
That’s all I can tell you for now, sir.”
So their dexterous race made this, no wonder.
But seriously, it’s as if they saw the god descend to this transient world and carved them as they were.
“Actually, it’s not just his statue.”
My gaze followed where the lass’ finger was pointing…and saw many more statues!
This one’s a statue of Mother Earth Goddess, Demetersephone, Hades’ wife!
Then there are statues of Hades’ faithful messengers, Thanatos of Death and Hypnos of Slumber!
Statues of the Three Judges of the Underworld: Rhadamanthys, Aiacos, and Minos!
Hold on, there are also statues of Poseidon, the God of the Sea, and his relatives!
…All of them are as sublime as if they were traced from their real counterparts!
“The god of the earth and the god of the sea’s statues are here, but where is the god of the heaven’s statue”
“Maybe he’s not worth carving”
Oh well, but I guess it’s better than having Hades, the god we worship, left out.
“What about this statue placed among the gods”
“It’s not an idol, isn’t it It looks like a dried-up skeleton, so scary that I shudder just looking at it!”
“…Is this a Lifeless King”
“One of the World’s Two Greatest Calamities, the Lifeless King!”
“Ah, it’s all coming back to me now.
I’ve encountered him a couple of times during my prime years.”
But what’s with this random, nondescript human statue over here
It’s rather odd to see it amidst all these majestic wooden idols.
Nonetheless, they’re all wonderfully made.
In the Demon Kingdom, even sculptures of gods aren’t as highly valued.
At best, they are kept in solemn places and are easily replaced and trashed if they get dirty or broken.
That’s about it.
But I think that’s not good enough.
Especially when they’re soulful sculptures like these.
They should be carefully preserved and passed on to the future generation along with the creator’s sentiments.
“Very well, I’ll buy them.”
All of them.
It’d be catastrophic if even one of these wonderful sculptures were to fall into the hands of someone who doesn’t understand its value.
I’ll regret it for the rest of my life if they were smashed and used as firewood instead.
“Thank you for your patronage.
The total price is about this much.”
I skimmed through the sales contract the lass presented to me.
Then my eyes were drawn to the price stated.
“This isn’t funny.”
I rejected it.
“You, lass, still don’t understand the true value of things! The ridiculous price you proposed isn’t even worth one of these masterpieces!!!”
It’s no different from the price of the wood that was used!
“Listen up! These sculptures deserve a much better price!”
I had my butler bring out some red ink and amended the contract with the appropriate value.
The lass’ eyes widened upon seeing this.
“This much! It’s a hundred times more expensive!”
“It’s the price you pay for the labor, skills, and time the artist spent making it as well as the grace it will bestow the future.”
Call me an idiot who pays a lot of money for “junk” for all I care.
But this is the kind of money we demons, who have grown weary of the recent war, need to spend in this new era.
An era where Zedan and his men have destroyed the Human Kingdom.
Then I will sell it to you at this price.
All proceeds go to the elves.”
“Huh You’re not taking a portion”
“Well, I’m not a merchant, sir.
I’m a Heavenly One.”
I really don’t get how she thinks.
Whatever, tell this to the elves while you’re at it: I’m willing to shelter them if they ever face trouble in their lives.
I’ll give them everything they need for carving, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
It’s been a while since I’ve felt good about my shopping experience, but a certain visitor came and ruined that.
He’s already got his hands full with work as king yet he still casually disturbs me and my peaceful retired life.
“Looks like you’ve splurged a lot again, Father.”
“That’s uncalled-for, Zedan.
I’m already a retired man.
What I do is none of you or anyone’s business.”
“That’s not true.
The demon race is still very much under your influence.
Please bear that in mind.”
“Hmph, I wonder about that.
Everyone holds me in contempt as a fool.”
“You still care about that kind of backstabbing You should just ignore those cowards who can’t even criticize you to your face.
Your proud and loyal followers still use only one name to address you.”
It’s a conspicuous name.
The previous demon king… Great Demon King Baal.