212-211 Australian fool

 My name is Baal.

 Everyone calls me.
 The biggest fool in the world.

 He pays for things that have no value and appreciates things that are useless.
 That's why he's the biggest idiot.

 The things I spend a lot of money to buy, such as paintings, sculptures, and old books.

 Paintings, sculptures, old books, and things loved by the great men of the past.

 Everyone calls me an idiot for buying all that stuff.

 What good is a painting going to do?
 How does that wood carving make your belly grow?
 What good would it do to know what happened in the past?
 It's just plain old junk, right?

 Then he scoffs at what the eagles have collected.

 He lectures me in a pompous manner, saying that I should buy something more valuable than that.
 Jewel, gold, a grand house, a young and beautiful woman.
 They want me to spend my money for those things.

 It's none of my business.

 Hundreds of years of war with the human race.
 Because of the prolonged warfare, the demon race has lost the leisure to live.

 As long as they are alive, that's all that matters.

 The age when thinking like that is the norm has also continued for hundreds of years.

 This is no longer the case.

 We demons must inherit what the past has created and nurture a rich legacy for the future.

 Abundance can be obtained from time to time.
 And strength.

 But prestige can only come from the past.

 That's why I buy things that are said to be worthless, even if I'm called a total idiot.
 I don't want the past to cease to exist so that I can pass it on to the future.

 Fortunately, there is plenty of money to go around.

 Today, the eagles will be visited again by all sorts of people. Including a scammer selling junk.
 I won't refuse anyone.

 Well, let's meet them.

              * * * *

I hear you're the Fourth Heavenly King, little girl?
It's just good luck. Normally, the title of the Four Heavenly Kings' 'Grudge' belongs to Lord Grashara until the end of his life...!
"Zedan has been given a magnificent mule. Two wives are quite a feat for such a little guy.

 It was an unexpected visitor.
 A visit from Leviatha, who had just become the new Four Heavenly Kings.

''What do you want with this eagle? Would you say that you want to increase your influence as the Four Heavenly Kings? Then you're making a mistake in trying to make contact with me now, aren't you?
I'm sure there's only one thing you want to do when you come to visit.
I'd like you to buy something for me.

 This woman.
 Ever since I was Grashara's second in command, I've felt something different from the others.
 If I had to say it was something close to that Belfegamilia.......

 It's still interesting.

''You've become the Fourth Heavenly King and you're still peddling things?
"Master Baal knows the value of things. The only place to bring in a bargain is with you.

 You're a girl.
 You don't know whether to respect or belittle me, do you?

Let's see, let's see.
Thank you. The stuff is already in the yard.
Oh, you're big.

 But a girl who behaves as if she were in a human's mansion.

 Can Zedan's people have two wives who are so obviously crooked, and yet they can't even use this girl as a subordinate?

              * * *

 I went out into the garden and was amazed.


 There is a God...!

"Hades-sama, the god of death...!
'Do you still need to know? I saw this for the first time, and I didn't need to be told it was a statue of Hades, the god of the underworld.

 Your majestic appearance...!
 He has a big beard...!
 An ethereal outfit for the god of the underworld...!

 The figure of God himself, too, carved out of the trees so beautifully!

 It's as if the tree has been reincarnated as a god...?

''It's truly stunning. It's as if the tree was modeled directly after a real god....
"...who's the author? Who is the master craftsman who carved this magnificent statue?
He's an elf. That's all we know at the moment.

 How could that tribe, with all their dexterity, make something like this?

 I don't see why not.

 But really, it's as if they were carving the exact same god from the ground up.

"Actually, it's not just the statue of the god Hades.

 I took a look at what the little girl was pointing at and there were so many statues!

 This is a statue of Demeter Sephone, wife of the dark god Hades, the earth mother god Demeter Sephone!
 A statue of Thanatos of Death, the faithful messenger of the god Hades, and Hupnos of Sleep!
 Statues of the three great judges of the underworld, Radamantis, Aiacos and Minos!
 Oh, there's a statue of the sea god Poseidon and his relatives, too!


'But when you come with the gods of the earth and the gods of the sea, why isn't there only a statue of the god of heaven?'
'It wasn't worth carving, was it?

 I don't know, but it's better than being left out of the group of Hades gods that our demon tribe worships.

Also, what are these statues that are left among the gods?
It's not a god figure, is it? It looks like a dried up skeleton, so terrifying that it makes me shudder just to look at it...?
''..........................Is this the No Life King?''
The two biggest disasters in the world?
This reminds me more and more of that. I encountered the No-Life King a couple of times when I was younger.

 Furthermore, what is this apparently unremarkable statue of a human race?
 Isn't it strange to be surrounded by such a magnificent group of gods?


 But no matter how many times I look at them, they are still magnificent.

 In our country, no matter how much the sculpture of a god is sculpted, it is not that valuable.
 If it gets dirty or chipped, it will be replaced with a new one and discarded in a solemn place at best.
 That's the extent of it.

 But I think that is not good enough.

 Especially when it is a soulful sculpture like this one.

 Shouldn't it be preserved and passed on, along with the artist's heart and soul, to the future?

Good. I'll take it.

 Buy them all.

 This is such a great sculpture. It would be a big deal if one of them fell out of my hands and ended up in the hands of someone with no idea of its value.
 I'll regret it forever if it gets smashed to pieces and used as firewood.

Thank you very much. All in all, so much for the price.

 I read the sales contract that the little girl presents to me.
 And my eyes are caught by the price section.

'You've got to be kidding me.'

 I push back the contract.

'You still don't know the value of things, either, little girl! For such a big piece of work, and so little of it, you're giving me such a low price!

 This isn't much different from the price of the original piece of wood!

Listen! These good things deserve a more appropriate value!

 I had my butler bring me the red ink, and then I amended the contract and filled in the appropriate value.
 The little girl, seeing that, has peeled her eyes away.

It's really this kind of.........? It's a hundred times more than the previous value!''
It's the price the author paid for the effort he put into this work, for the skill he put into it, for the time he nurtured it. And it's the price he paid for the dignity this work gives to the future.

 Call me a big idiot who pays a lot of money for junk if you want to.

 But for the demon tribe, who are sick and tired of the long war, this kind of money is necessary in the future when the battle is over.

 In the days to come when Zedan's men will have destroyed the human nation.

I understand. Then I will sell it for that price. All money goes to the author, the elf.
'What? Don't you charge a brokerage fee?
I'm not a merchant, I'm the Fourth Heavenly King.

 He doesn't know what he's talking about.

 Then you can tell the elf, by the way.
 If he has trouble getting by, I will protect him. And don't hesitate to come to me for help with the wood carving, and I'll provide you with everything you need.

              * * * *

 It had been a long time since I had shopped well, and I was in a good mood, but there was a customer to ruin my good mood.

 It was Zedan.

 He's busy with his Demon King's work, but he's busy causing havoc in his cottage.

"It looks like you've made another big purchase, old man.
"Exit, Zedan. I'm a retired man now. I can do what I want with my life now.
That's not going to happen. The influence you have over the demon race is still immense. I would like you to be aware of that point.
Hmm, I don't know. Everyone thinks I'm a total idiot, don't they?
'You still care about such innuendo? Ignore a few cowards who can't even face criticism. The proud inhabitants of the Devil's Land have only one name to call you,

 A highfalutin name.

 He was the previous Erlanger. ...like Demon King Baal.