The Demon King slept on his grand throne. It wasn’t kingly behaviour to do so, not for humans, but for demons, it was fairly appropriate. He awoke when the faint hum of human voices reached him. The smell of their tender flesh making him salivate.
“Who is it that knocks?” he asked the crystal ball on the armrest of his throne.
The ball clouded up, the white smoke inside it writhed and revealed the faces of peasants, about twenty of them, just outside the door.
The Demon King smirked. The villagers are getting desperate, he thought. Usually, it was one hero or two, but today it was a whole mob.
So, there was the Demon King, his throne, and the mob on the other side of the door. There were no other demons, and there was no court. There was only the cave, its great wooden door, and the Demon King on his dark throne.
The Demon King snapped his fingers, and the wooden doors flew open. The mob of peasants flooded the room. They carried rakes and pots and pans and staffs and whatnot.
“You fools. Do you think this is enough to defeat me? I have defeated all your heroes, crushed them under my very fists. And now, here you are, with rusty old tools, daring to fight me. Do you think your numerical superiority actually means anything? How naive,” the Demon King said and laughed his demonic laugh.
In the pocket of silence, when the Demon King was done laughing, the village head came forward. He put his weapon, an old rake, down, on the cave’s floor.
“We do not come for war, Demon King. We come to seek help,” he said and bowed his head.
“Help, you say. You bow down to me. What help can a being of the dark like me give you? Other than, yes, other than a quick death.”
“We know we haven’t been on great terms, o dark one. But we are not asking you to anything out of character. We are simply asking you to do your duty.”
“Do my duty? Do I need to hear about my duty from a mere human like you? I know my duties very well. I have been performing them to the best of my ability.”
“To the best of your ability? Don’t tell me then. Did he beat you? The hero? Did he?”
“Watch your mouth,” the Demon King bellowed and stood up. He drew his sword and hovered it over the village head. “Choose your words very carefully now. What hero?”
“Well, you don’t know then. There’s a hero. A new one, in our village now. He, well, he -“
“Hasn’t come to me. He hasn’t, no, I have not seen any new heroes.”
“Yes, that is what the problem is. He calls himself a hero, is one but does not want to fight you.”
“A hero does not want to fight the Demon King! How pathetic!”
“Tell me about it. It’s worse than pathetic actually. That guy, he just sits around all day, goofing with the kids, and pinching women’s hips. And his eyes are always red, he is always hungry and smokes like a chimney. Horrible stuff too. Leaves such a bad odour behind.”
The Demon King calmed down and put his sword back in its sheath. “Kids these days just don’t understand, eh?”
“Yes, I suppose they don’t. Crying for peace and all that. I told him that its tradition for him to kill you, or try to kill you. Doesn’t listen. And you know Demon King, how we have to feed him the best food and give him the best wine. It’s the tradition, you know.”
“I know. I understand your problem. I will do you a solid. For old times sake.”
“Thanks,” the village head said and bowed. The others bowed with him.
“In return, if you do not mind, I will have the hero’s body. I have never tasted one, you know. You guys always take them for the decent burial or whatever.”
“You can take it. There’s no need for burying that little shit,” the village head said. The mob approved.
Then they walked out of the cave. The mob first, followed by the village head, and the magnificent Demon King.
Dressed in black battle gear, the Demon King unsheathed his blade and gave a war cry. Somewhere in the village, a man puffed a little fat cigarette and pulled the village head’s daughter in a passionate embrace.