World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 3: Uncomfortable Truths
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Was it my fault? Was I a bad king?
I mean the common folk did murder me, so maybe this is my punishment. Or maybe it's some sick, twisted reward for upholding my rightful place in the world, even in death.
How unlike me. To think concepts such as fairness and karma may actually exist. I must be at the end of my rope.
Maybe I should bring my thoughts in order.
First of all, I am now four years old. Old enough to ask questions and receive answers, as long as they aren't deemed inconsequential. Truly, this has been incredibly useful to me.
That was sarcasm.
Growing up in such a large house, and as an only child, I had all the time in the world to myself. Refining my core is going rather well; I'm at the stage where I can do the more complex First Spells. In my old world, that would have marked me more of a genius than I already was.
In my old world.
That's right. Second of all, it seems that this is not the same world as the one I had inhabited before. That, or so much time has passed, that continents have shifted into something completely different. I don't particularly know, or care.
The real problem was that my magic level was getting to the point where I would need to start grafting seals onto my body. This meant ink and a Seal Room, preferably made of solid marble. There had to be one in this castle. No, my apologies. The word here was 'mansion.'
"Where is the...um...the magic room to write on the floor?" I asked my father one night. I had spent the entire week looking for it, but it didn't seem to be anywhere. I assumed he would ask why I needed a Seal Room, or how I knew about it, but the lack of conversation went very differently.
"I'll arrange something," said my father dismissively. Like I said, complete lack of conversation. Which lead to more questions, but I held my tongue. Father didn't like it much when I had too many questions.
None of them were answered the next day.
I was lead to a room with a large, black floor, and given a box of colored chalk to work with. I looked up at my nanny questioningly.
"This is your Art Room, Master Rupert," she said. "Your father built is especially for you."
Art Room? Well, I guess I didn't have the vocabulary for 'Seal Room' yet. But even then, wouldn't my father, a mage, know what a Seal Room was?
Then again, he probably thought it was too dangerous. I should probably look up magical vocabulary. I could already read, due to studying the pages as my nanny read to me for years now. It was no secret to the family that I could read, but I hadn't done much reading these past four years. Mainly because I had been focusing so much on cultivating magic. So I asked my nanny for magic books.
It was at this point I started to piece everything together, when she gave me books about "stage magic," coupled with fiction.
"My apologies Master Rupert if none of these are to your liking," she said when I returned all the books. "Would you like to accompany me to the library, or the bookstore so you could pick them out yourself?"
It was only after the trip to the library and the bookstore that I realized. And even then, I could not accept it.
It couldn't be true. I didn't believe it. But suddenly, everything clicked into place.
There were no mages in this world.
Sure, there was magic aplenty. Stronger and denser than in my previous world. But no one here had figured out how to use it. The more I read, the more I learned how this world truly worked.
In my previous world, the powerful ruled the weak. Mages were obviously more inherently powerful than the rest, and so, mages ruled.
But in this world, I was the only mage.
So who ruled the world?
The answer I found disgusted me.
Filthy, money grubbing merchants ruled this world. Or "businessmen" as they called themselves here.
I suppose it only made sense; in a world where people did not have the power to destroy others with simply a thought, one must use money to gather resources and such to one's benefit, in order to control people indirectly. And who better at conning others than merchants?
But seriously. Merchants? The rulers of a world?
This would mean my plans to control this world will have to change. Instead of taking this world by power, I need to be more slippery, more...merchant-like. If the merchants of this world were anything like those of my previous world, then they would have ways to deal with mages such as myself, even if they don't know what a mage is. Indeed, aside from other mages, my worst enemies from my previous world had all been merchants, with their tricky deals and half-promises.
It looks like I may have to study more.
There are some good things in this world.
Sure, the world may be run by "businessmen," and there is no magic. But maybe because of that lack of magic, entertainment in this world is much more interesting.
Well no, it's probably also the overall quality of life being much higher in this world than in the last. But the lack of magic may be a larger factor in that too, so…
In any case, this world is not lacking in forms of entertainment. Sure, we have the more traditional flying, jumping down from mountains, swimming to the deepest depths of the ocean, yada yada. But we also have things such as video games, comics, books meant for entertainment and not study.
Music. By magic, the music! I had never really cared for the songs and stories bards used to screech in my halls, but I had one, as a symbol of power.
But here. The music is just...incomprehensible. There are so many sounds and songs and emotions and everything, jammed together in forms and patterns I had never heard before. Never in my life would I ever have thought music could be enjoyable. But here I am, enjoying this "pop music." Whoever this "Britney S*ears" lady is must be an absolute genius.
But this isn't even getting into the best forms of entertainment.
Cartoons and anime.
Apparently, those two are different things. I do not understand, but mixing the two up makes certain people very, very angry. It is quite entertaining in it's own right.
All of this is possible through something called the Internet. A world of chaos and literature, where scholars and degenerates mingle and dance, forming an absolute cesspit of delightful degeneracy.
It's both fascinating and deeply disgusting. My kingly sensibilities are disturbed, but my scholarly interest is intrigued.
Especially by this Anime. I find Anime much to my liking.
When I take over the world, I am going to keep Anime the way it is. With my growing magic and influence, it shouldn't be a problem at all.
Of course, being a teenager meant I was still under my parents' roof, and that meant following their rules. They didn't really have many rules, other than "don't embarrass us," and "get good grades."
If anything I was exceeding their expectations. At 14, I already had my own company. No one knew it was mine, of course. It was easy to forge an identity with magic, and since I had already read my father's entire library on economics, I figured it was time to get some practical applications. Heavens knew that the theory was boring enough. Maybe actually generating profits or whatever would be more interesting.
I had found out very quickly that the key to amassing power in this world was to amass money. There was also a lot about "connections" and "business relationships," but after looking into it, I determined that was a strategy for the weak to appeal to the strong in order to siphon off their power. Which is the basics of economics, sure, but none of that was necessary if one simply had the most power.
For example, the point of an extravagant ball was to mingle with others to rub shoulders and lord over the peasantry, fostering relationships to consolidate power. If one wasn't invited to a ball, that meant that they weren't powerful enough to attend. But, if I simply threw a bigger ball, better catered, and paid for the attendants to come even once, they would line up come another time.
The point is to be better than everyone, and with magic, it wouldn't be that hard.
As such, I hadn't slacked off on my magic training either. I made the Art Room work, and now I have about 50 seals etched onto my body; about the same I had when I died. At this rate, I would be the most powerful mage in the world.
Not that I had any competition.
I had an epiphany at 24.
"This is boring!"
I sat up in the middle of the meeting, and turned everyone there into chickens instantly. I watched them cluck and walk on the tables for a few minutes, slightly amused by their little business suits they had on. But then that got boring, so I turned them back and erased their memories.
"Where was I? Oh yes, quarterly earnings. As you can see..."
I tuned out what my father's employee was saying. I knew everything about my father's company, inside and out. I knew because my own company, the secret one I started when I was 20 (the one at 14 failed after three years, and the one after that failed in two), was in the middle of trying to buy this company out, much to my father's dismay. Of course, he already knew that I knew, and this meeting was simply a way for him to spite me. I could feel his hateful glare from behind, plotting.
Of course, there was nothing he could do about it. Once I had cracked how to make a company work, it became easy. See, the secret is that companies are simply small groups of people, working as small cogs in a large machine. As long as you get the cogs to work in your interest instead of their own, the machine basically prints money for you.
Which makes it so, incredibly, boooooooriiiiiiing.
Even revealing to my father that I was actually the one buying out his company had been boring. Sure, he screamed and raged about how he had given me everything, and it had been amusing for a while. But it just wasn't...satisfying.
I was starting to empathize with the people of this world that wished their lives were anime.
That yearning for something special to happen, to take you away and give you that thing you needed. In anime it could be anything; a magical adventure, a high school volleyball tournament, reviewing the attractiveness of monster girls…
Anime promised, or at least showed, that there is a place for everyone. That if you searched hard enough, you could find something that satisfied you.
For the first time in both my lives, I wondered what was it that I wanted.
I had perfected the machine called business. I was more powerful than I ever was in my previous life in terms of magic. And this time, I did it in a way that no one was able to track my influence to me. No one was after my life.
What was the point in all of this?
I spent the rest of my day lounging about at home, when I had my second epiphany.
Inside, I was...empty.
The revelation was shocking. I mean, truly. I almost dropped my glass of whiskey in my 300m long bathtub at the top of my private skyscraper. Maybe I should've. That way I could call the attractive cleaner to pick it up.
By magic, I'm so bored.
What did I used to do in my previous life when I got bored?
Well, the problem was that I was never bored. I was paranoid, in fact, that other mages would come after me, steal my hard-earned secrets and such. I had no such fear now. Even if they managed to get my secrets, they wouldn't be able to use them. Not without the basic knowledge of how to create a core.
As for business rivals, I could not care less. Anyone I couldn't outmanoeuvre I could remove with magic. There was no fun, no excitement.
The world had become my plaything, and I was bored of it.
Why had I even wanted to rule the world? I remember something my first magic teacher said about having a goal being important...or something like that. It didn't matter now that I had attained the goal.
So maybe I should get a new goal?
But there was nothing interesting here. What goal couldn't I accomplish here with a simple snap of my fingers?
Maybe I should try and reincarnate.
Oh God no. I had the world under my thumb, the least I could do is have fun with it. Everything I had done until now had been boring drudgery, there had to be something, anything, that was at least microscopically interesting here.
Well, there was anime. If only life could be…
Wait a minute. Why couldn't it be?
Why can't life be like an anime?
Why can't I make life into an anime?
I had the power, the influence, the magic...I could literally make any anime I wanted in real life.
And not just anime...webnovels, detective stories, superheroes...I could do anything.
But my excitement died down with another quick realization; if I were to make heroes, then there had to be villains. A big bad villain, one that was pulling all the strings, making the heroes dance in the-
Wait, that's me! I can do that! I can be the big bad!
I grinned and stood up, and for the first time since I was born in this world, I felt truly alive again.
This is my purpose. This is my goal.
I am going to be this world's first Demon Lord.
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