379-A voice that echoes from the depths

 The food was ready and we were sitting around the big table.

Woohoo, I'm glad we have so many guests here today. I've still got a few more dishes to make, so eat up!

 Mom walks behind the Dark Lord with a light step.

'Don't be shy about eating too, Yeejus.

...Ha. Thanks.

 With a horrified look on his face, Edgess bowed his head.

''Apple pie..........''

 Zesia clutches a knife and fork in both hands, her gaze gleaming on the plate of apple pie.
 The expression on her face is like a small animal that is hunting its prey.

The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that you can't do that, Zecia. Dessert is the last thing, we have to eat the rice first. Would you like some vegetables first? Look, there's a salad, okay?

 Eleonor points to the salad on the platter, drawing Zesia's attention to it.

 Her young face is tinged with sadness.

'The salad is....grass...!

The grass is nourishing. It's delicious.

 Shaking her head widely with a bobbing motion, Zesia said.


Hmm, great. What have you learned?

 Casually, he insisted on eating apple pie.

'Mmmm. That's great. Good for you. I've been studying hard. Then I'll give you a lot of salad.

 Eleonor compliments Zecia but pulls the salad platter in front of her.

 She pours her gaze on the pile of grass thrust in front of her, and Zesia looks desperate.
 Even though she fights valiantly on the battlefield, she doesn't seem to even have the desire to do so in front of the salad.

''........Wheat.......is a plant.......''

 Undaunted, Zesia made her next argument.

'A plant is a vegetable...!

 She has come up with a good idea, a sparkle in her eyes.

''.........Apples......are.......fruits. Vegetables and fruits are........salads........!

 She appealed to Eleonor, her eyes straining.

'Apple pie is........salad.......!

Yeah, right. Does Zecia like salads?

I love...

 Grabbing her knife and fork, Zesia nodded with all her strength.

'Then, yes, I'll take a lot.'

 In front of Zecia, whose eyes shine like stars, Eleonor smiles and heaps up a large amount of vegetable salad while smiling at her.

 Before long, Zecia's eyes lost their sparkle and became cloudy.

''See, it's Zecia's favorite salad.

"...Zecia's favorite food has become.......grass....

 With a tone of reluctance, Zesia begins to eat her salad.
 'Great,' Eleonor compliments, but Zesia looks back at her with a resentful stare.

'It's peaceful,'

 Edgess shreds freshly baked bread and throws it into his mouth.

 It's a bread made of rye. It's a little bit firm, but it has a firm crunch to it, and the more you bite into it, the more flavorful it becomes.

 The rich soil, the taste of the earth, it is a bread made by your mother.

 The Dark Lord picked up a cup of coffee and drank it, raising his eyebrows.

'Oh. What is it, ejus? Are you sure you don't want coffee?

 Dad says as he slices the bacon with his knife.

'No, Master. 'No such thing,'

Really? And for that, you look like you're drinking with a frown on your face.

 As Dad eats the bacon, the Dark Lord pours the coffee down his stomach in one go.
 He doesn't even have time to taste it before he tells me to drink it.

'Haha. I didn't think you, the Dark Lord, would have a preference.

 When I laughed it off, Edgess stared at me with her ship's eye.

'Likes and dislikes are a big deal. It's just a bitter thing. You're still as obsessed with mushroom gratin as you were two thousand years ago.

 I spooned the debauched mushroom gratin and brought it loosely to my mouth, then used all my tongue to fully appreciate its luscious flavor.

 Quickly setting the spoon down on the table, I replied triumphantly.

'Some things do not change over time.'

Long story short. Have you forgotten how the mushrooms disappeared from the mountains of Midheid's lands because you refused to hide your favorite foods?

 It was two thousand years ago.
 Some demons found out about my favorite food and started to over-harvest it.

 Some of them ate them as tribute, some ate them for luck, some thought they held the secret of the Demon King's strength and picked mushrooms to study.

'It is your destiny to destroy even the things you like. Don't forget to dream.

Destroy? I'm a mushroom? You think it's fate?

 A chuckle erupts from the bottom of my stomach.

"I guess I'll have to put a stop to that nonsense.

 I took the mushroom gratin from the platter to a small plate and let it fly with my magic.
 It sits softly in Yeejus's hand.

'Eat up,'

 Edgess looked at me with a puzzled expression.

 But soon, as if drawn by the aroma of mushroom gratin, he picked up a spoon and gently brought it to his mouth.

'Trying to catch it with food is inexcusable--'

 Shari and the porcini mushrooms danced in his mouth.

"Are you...?

 Quietly closing his ship's eyes, he savors the gratin, concentrating all his attention on his taste buds.
 Crunchy, crunchy, the mushrooms are doing a fascinating dance.

This is the best way to get the best out of a newborn baby.

 Ygess opened his ship's eyes with a shocked expression.

''--No way. The Porcini from Mid-Hays, which should have perished........?

Did you think my mushrooms would perish just because I overfished?

 Edgess's eyes light up.

'You've been scattering seeds. Not only to your own offspring, but to the seeds of mushrooms.

 Two thousand years ago, they took a few seeds from the mountains of Mid-Hays territory, where mushrooms were dying out, and scattered them.
 In forests, mountains, and other places where mushrooms are easy to grow.

 Food is a strange thing, even if they were made by magic or grown rapidly, the nutrition they contain is not enough, and above all, the taste is not as good as the first class ones.

 Hence, they waited for it to reproduce naturally.

''In the depths where even the demon tribe cannot enter, they built a wall with the Four Realms Wall (Benno Yevhen). After a thousand years, people would forget that mushrooms were the specialty of Midgaze. The place will be a mushroom paradise.

 And so the mushrooms, which had grown in numbers again, and which had grown in flabby numbers, now abounded everywhere in this Mid-Hays territory.

 The Dark Lord brings the mushroom gratin to his mouth.

 The look on his face as he savored it affectionately, you could easily tell that he was a kindred spirit.
 He must have liked mushrooms.

 That's why he gave me a hard time.

 He gulped down the taste of that peace, a favorite food that was never going to be eaten again.

'Carve the taste on your tongue. I am the Demon King, Anos Voldigord.

I don't mean to sound all cool, but I'm just protecting some delicious mushrooms.

 She held up her index finger and Eleonor poked at it.
 Normally Sasha would have said something, but she was unfortunately still drunk.

'Ooooh, I can't eat any less.

That's for everyone.

 Sasha was incessantly shoveling a platter full of mashed potatoes into her mouth.

Why do I have to eat for everyone?

I want to hear it.

 Misha says nonchalantly.

'It's leftover food disposal!

 Sasha doesn't seem to have heard much.

'Umm it seems like a lot even if it's for everyone...'

It's breakfast and lunch.

What's going on?

 With a question plastered on my face, Sasha asks me.

'I overslept and missed breakfast. So you decided to have breakfast with your lunch.

Isn't that ridiculous?

 Hmm. Sobered up?

Well, I haven't eaten anything while I've been in the castle, so I'll have to eat for 2,000 years!

 It's in your head.

"Hey, Misha. Isn't it?

 Misha blinks with a snap.
 Nodding, she looks slightly troubled, as if she thought Sasha was about to eat out two thousand years' worth of food.

''........Sasha went on a diet.......''

Oh, I see. That's how I got so small, from the castle. If I eat it, I'm going to rebound back into the castle...

 I don't understand the logic, but Sasha seemed to agree.

'Mr. Yeejus. Would you like to try this?

 Mom brought in a glass of red juice.

''Is this...?''

'I squeezed some tomatoes and lemons, mixed them with some herbs and juiced them up. I've been eating a lot of salads, so I thought this would be good for your palate.

 He must have made it because the coffee is not good for the Dark Lord's mouth.

 Ijeth is staring at the cup in his hand in silence.
 No, he's not looking at it, but rather smelling the aroma wafting from the mixed herbs?

 But he didn't seem to be enjoying himself.
 It was a bit of a strange reaction.

"You don't like tomato juice?


 Edgess tipped his cup and drank the special tomato juice.

 Slightly, he looked into his ship's eyes and set the cup down.


Uh... no...

 As if to mend his ways, Edgess said.

'Well, these herbs are a mixture of several different kinds of...?

Yeah, yeah, you know what I mean? You can grow them in your garden. All together, I use ten kinds of plants. Some of them are like wildflowers, but they are wildflowers, you know. Some of them can be made into juice or herbal tea.

 Mom says happily.

'How does it taste?'

 Edgess nodded, and then said

'Very, very good...'

That's good. If there's something you're not good at, feel free to tell me.

 Saying that, Mom walked back toward the kitchen again.
 The back of her back, Yeejus followed her with his gaze, as if he had missed it.

 That kind of thing--



 Misha asks me.

 What is it?

 My ears are ringing.

 An ominous sound, mixed with thunder and noise, echoes in my skull.

"The world is kind to--

 It is from the depths of this body that the voice is heard.

 From the root, from that abyss.

"Do you think the world is kind - do you think the world is kind?

 The voice, mingled with noise, is unfamiliar, and gives off a strong sense of magic.

"Anos Voldigord, Demon King of Tyranny.

 With a thud, my heart raced and my ears rang with a ringing in my ears.

'You will not conform, you foreign to the world.

 Whoever he is, he speaks to me quietly.

"There will come a time when you will have to make a choice. You can either become a cog in the wheel of this world or you can be removed as a foreign object.

 A thunderous noise floods my head.

'-- at best, think about it.