Author’s Note: Hey peeps, I didn’t make you wait like a whole month for an update. Well… sorry that it’s another special. When I wrote that one about the demon-folk, I just couldn’t concentrate on Chapter 9 because of that part where I compared Xar to the Ox King. I just had to write it down to get it off of my mind. Also, I REALLY wanted to post something today on March 12th because it’s my birthday. I’m officially a year away from thirty. Anywho, please enjoy?
History of the Ox King (part 1)
I never wanted this. It wasn’t supposed to happen. However, it did and now I am stuck with it. There are a lot of positive things about it, but I still didn’t want this in the first place. I am the half-man called Ox King, and this is my story. The story on how I became the Hero chosen by the Deity.
I was born in lands that were lush and beautiful. My race, the half-men have lived there for a few hundred years. However… we ended up involved in something that we never wanted anything to do with. A so-called holy war between the humans and the people of the Demon Realm. It started a very long time before I was born, the religion of the humans wanted to destroy the Demon Realm. It was a bloody battle, no one was safe. This included our race and one that lived in a country on the other side of the badlands. From all I know, the demon realm claimed that country and repelled the humans. However, that’s when our suffering began.
We were a tribal people, each tribe was a different kind of half-man. I’m a bovine, but there’s also others like the rodent, the canine, and the feline for example. All tribes had an agreement, never interfere with the affairs of another tribe unless that tribe asks. We all had a respect for each other, but then the humans came. They treated us like animals and started taking our lands. Our people, either in chains or killed. I know because I saw it first hand, when the humans attacked the bovine tribe. I was no more than a calf and I was torn away from my mother.
When a member of my tribe reaches the age of thirteen, there’s a ritual to ascend into manhood. It was to take a beating from older members of the tribe to experience pain. As our tribe was enslaved, I decided to do my own version of the ritual. My beat down was during my escape from the humans who bought me. I was caught and beaten, but it didn’t matter. I killed my captors afterwards and started living on my own. I was now a man.
Eventually I was found by the canine tribe. They allowed me to live with them, but they told me that I will never be one of them. It was easier than having to be forced to do farm work while being lashed by humans. I spent a few years with them as they moved from one hunting ground to another to avoid the humans as much as they could. Despite being told that I would never be one of them, the chieftain couldn’t keep his eyes off of me. As I hunted down more powerful prey, he could tell that I was meant for more. It was as if he knew of my eventual fate. And everything started in motion on a day I will never forget.
The canine tribe had a guest, a resident from the country on the other side of the badlands. I could never forget his appearance, it was like he was human and he was not. Horns on his head, different from my own. That hair, whiter than the freshest snow. Those eyes, darker than the darkest night. And those markings, I had never seen anything like them before. I was afraid of this man, and in a way I had never been before. As for the tribe, they kept a close eye on him. It wasn’t due to his appearance, it was due to why he came.
He sought out the canine tribe to join forces with the current Devil King. He even said all kinds of things, including that the tribe itself could remain and that the Devil King’s army would even drive away the humans. I for one was interested in what this man had to say. The Chieftain on the other hand… not so much.
“I am sorry, but the canine tribe cannot join your cause.” (Canine Chieftain)
“Are you sure? I mean, it will not be long until the humans finally catch up with the canine tribe. It is only a matter of time before they find you.” (Visitor)
“We are set in our ways.” (Canine Chieftain)
“I understand. I was hoping you would join as the canine tribe has the best lay of the land. But I shall respect your wish, Chieftain.” (Visitor)
With that, the visitor left. I wanted to say something, but it was not my place.
“Young ox, I know you want to speak.” (Canine Chieftain)
“Chieftain, are you sure that you do not wish to protect your tribe?”
“Young ox, I refused because I do want to protect our tribe. We know nothing about this Devil King, so he cannot be trusted.” (Canine Chieftain)
“I know… but you do not know how cruel the humans can be either.”
“I have seen your scars, young ox. I know your story, the fate of the bovine tribe. I know of the humans’ cruelty from you. However, I can not risk the lives and freedom of my tribe to the unknown.” (Canine Chieftain)
I couldn’t stand it, I had to leave the tent. He may had heard my story, but he will never understand what the bovine tribe suffered. But unbeknown to me, the visitor was waiting for me.
“Do you always have such discussions with the Chieftain?” (Visitor)
“Not always. I am not even a member of the canine tribe.”
“I know of the fate of the bovine tribe. Pretty sad to be honest. However… there was one man in the history of the demon-folk that was even more cruel than the humans you despise. Yet he is also one of the greatest figures as well.” (Visitor)
“Just who are you talking about?”
“Let me tell you the story of a fallen emperor.” (Visitor)
With that, he told me the story of the great Xar. I didn’t like the kind of person this Xar person was. However… I couldn’t help but to admire his ambition.
“Couldn’t he have united the demon-folk without enslaving them?”
“He couldn’t see any other way. However, the ends justified the means when he was able to repel the demons who were oppressing his people. But it was the humans who truly were his downfall. If their religion didn’t declare war on the demons, then Xar’s Legion would had been able to fend off the Devil King’s army. However, the humans hate anything that is too different from them. That’s why they refused Xar’s offer of alliance. It’s also why the night elves were driven away from their home to the badlands while the elves of the forest are still in theirs’. Humanity is so conceited that it doesn’t even know that it’s evil.” (Visitor)
“I have seen how cruel humanity can be with my own eyes. I have felt the pain of their violence.”
“Then tell me young ox, what are you going to do?” (Visitor)
“I… don’t know.”
I really didn’t know what I was going to do. I was only one man and the humans were many.
“When the time comes, you will know.” (Visitor)
With that, the visitor left. I didn’t like the story of Xar, but it did give me an idea. Even though I didn’t like Xar’s methods, there was only one way for my race to survive without the help of the Devil King’s army. The half-man tribes needed to be united.
It took me a few years, but I managed to do it. I didn’t follow the methods of Xar, I found my own way to unite my people. It started with convincing the canine tribe Chieftain. He told me if I could hunt down a Gore Grizzly and bring back the corpse, he would go with my plan. To the surprise of the whole canine tribe, I did. After I got them on my side, I went for the rodent tribe. Their chieftain’s daughter, a bunny half-man was abducted by a horde of slavers. I brought her and the other abducted members of the rodent tribe back after slaying their captors. The ax I now wield came from one of my opponents. And with that task done, the rodent chieftain agreed to join my cause.
I did other tasks for the other tribes to gain their approval. And with the army I amassed, I managed to free members of my tribe who had been long held captive. Sadly I never found my mother, she was sold to someone in another land. I still had my hatred to drive me along with the desire to free my people.
Within a year of gathering the support of the final tribe, I had left a number of humans dead in my wake. The humans had given me a title, Ox King because I was able to unite all the half-man tribes against them. I didn’t like getting anything from the humans, but it was a name they all feared. But despite being one of the most feared forces, the humans would not waver.
The humans kept replacing their numbers as fast as we would deplete them. From my current stand point, this war would never end. Not to mention that they outnumbered our forces to begin with. We cannot replace our own as fast, the cause seemed lost. However… everything changed again.
I do not know how it happened, but a human woman found our camp. She was a small thing… in more ways then one. It was hard to tell however because of her long white vestments. Her hair was long, blond, and in a long braid and her eyes were blue. I could easily tell that she was frightened and I couldn’t blame her. She was in enemy territory and was unarmed. Scratch that, she would have had a bigger reason to be scared if she did have a weapon. Her request was to speak to me.
“Are you… the one… that everyone… calls the Ox King?” (woman)
“I am sister Charlotte… a nun from the church.” (Charlotte)
You cannot be serious? They sent a nun from their religion? Not to mention she looked like she could wet herself at any minute. I was hoping that she wouldn’t because thanks to my nose, I would have to smell it.
“State your business, nun.”
“Right. I was sent by the church to negotiate with you, sir.” (Charlotte)
“Two things, nun. One, why did they send a nun to negotiate? And two, drop the whole ‘sir’ thing.”
“Right. The church sent me because the Deity came to me in a dream. The Deity wanted me to find you. The church wants to end this war peacefully.” (Charlotte)
“You must be crazy?”
I just let my thoughts run from my mouth.
“It’s true. In my dream, the Deity said I would find your camp here. And as long as I have no malice in my heart, I will not be harmed.” (Charlotte)
“I know I’m one to be saying this as a bovine, but I find that a bunch of bull!”
I went to grab my ax when this strange feeling came over me. It was like if I were to strike this small nun down, I would regret it. I could sense something from this nun, it was something I had never experienced in my life. As if she had divine protection. For once, I started to feel shaken. I didn’t have this feeling before, not even when I fought the Gore Grizzly. So I stopped reaching for my ax.
“Your majesty, are you all right?” (Charlottete)
Great… now the nun is starting to pity me? I wanted to hate her, but I could see it in her face. This human… her intentions were actually pure. There was no hatred in my heart for her.
“I’ll be fine.”
“That’s a relief, your majesty.” (Charlotte)
I’m getting real sick and tired of being called that. But I was glad that she was sincere.
“Could you please not call me that. I’m not really a king. It was a name that the humans gave me.”
“As far as the church and the humans are concerned, you are a king.” (Charlotte)
“I am no king. I rule no lands and I have no subjects. All of the half-men you see here in this camp are on loan from their respective chieftains.”
“Well… I guess it’s true when you put it that way. But what can I call you?” (Charlotte)
“I have no name.”
“Then… can I think of one for you?” (Charlotte)
Are you kidding me? Is she treating me like a pet?
“You may stick to the one that the other humans already call me. But do not do that ‘your majesty’ thing, got it?”
“As you wish, Ox King.” (Charlotte)
She seemed to have calmed down a lot compared to how she was when she entered my tent. She must have gotten used to my presence? Either way, it was a lot easier to talk to her like this.
“Now… tell me why the church sent you here?”
“Right. The church really does want to end this war with no more bloodshed. However… they do not trust me with the full negotiation. The current pope wants to meet with you in hopes of a peaceful resolution.” (Charlotte)
“The current pope?”
“Pope Alexandre. The previous pope, Donald passed away recently. Unlike Donald, Alexandre wants to end this war without more bloodshed. He believes that everyone should be fighting against the demons and condemns Donald’s decrees against the half-men.” (Charlotte)
“Do you honestly think that it will be good enough for us?”
“What do you mean?” (Charlotte)
“My people have suffered because of the actions of you humans. I was torn away from my mother when I was a calf when our village was attacked by slavers. Most of my tribe are either missing or dead.”
I wanted to act out my rage, but that feeling from earlier stopped that.
“Ox King, I know that what the humans have done is unforgivable. However… war cannot last forever. Even the war with the Demon Realm will end someday. I can see it all around this camp, those men are tiring out. You are their only strength right now, the one thing they believe in. For the sake of not just them, or even your people… but for the sake of everyone. Please at least listen to what his holiness has to say?” (Charlotte)
“Wait a moment… you didn’t even use the term half-men.”
“I do not really like that name, it seems too demeaning. Like his holiness Alexandre, I believe that all are equal in the eye of the Deity.” (Charlotte)
Just what is with this woman? Does their Deity really see everyone equally? All I know is that she is right, war cannot go on forever. And even though I didn’t want to admit it, I can see the fatigue on the faces of the men serving under me.
“Where does your pope want to meet?”
“Ox King… you’re really going to meet with his holiness?” (Charlotte)
“Why else would I have asked that, nun?”
“There is a clearing in the forest to the south of your camp. Do not worry, I didn’t tell anyone of where the camp is.” (Charlotte)
“I would only assume that they either thought you would lose your way and get eaten by a wild animal or that you were crazy?”
“I would prefer not to think of it. However, he wants to meet with you there around noon in four days time. Well… that was three days ago.” (Charlotte)
“So you did get lost?”
I was trying to hold in my laughter.
“I didn’t get lost! I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to speak with you.” (Charlotte)
I couldn’t do it anymore, I had to laugh. And when she tried to argue about it, a sound was heard in my tent. It was the loudest grumble I had ever heard from anyone’s stomach. The nun blushed from it.
“How about you dine with me tonight? It’s going to be quite a ride tomorrow if we want to make it in time.”
“I’m most grateful… wait. Ride?” (Charlotte)
“Of course, I will have two of our fastest horses ready for the morrow.”
“You ride horses?” (Charlotte)
“We are not savages you know. Of course we ride horses.”
“But… aren’t there horse half-men?” (Charlotte)
“Who do you think tames the horses?”
“I… I don’t know anything, do I?” (Charlotte)
I had to laugh again.
“It’s all right, nun. I will answer your questions over dinner.”
Not long after, we ate. She had many questions and I answered them. Not to mention that she liked the stew. Still, I enjoyed having some casual conversation for a change of pace. As for where she slept… that was another issue. As I couldn’t really trust anyone in the camp when it came to a human, I had a cot for her put in the opposing side of the tent from my own.
That morning, there was no breakfast. I woke up ahead of her and readied the horses. Not to mention that when I was done I had to threaten to throw water on her to get her out of her cot. The ride to the forest took many hours on its own and it was not including the extra hour to get to the clearing.
When we arrived, there was already a table prepared and chairs set. There were three people. The one in the white robes and the funny hat I could only assume was the pope. The other two wore chain-mail and were armed, so they were definitely his guards. We dismounted and approached slowly. The one with the robes and hat spoke first.
“Hello there, I am Alexandre the first. And you are the Ox King, am I correct?” (Alexandre)
Other than the fact I have horns and was taller by a lot, how could he not tell?
He then offered his hand. I took it and noticed the guards giving me sneers. It were as if they had no trust for me. Then again, I couldn’t blame them. I had killed so many humans that I lost count. And after shaking hands, he offered a seat. I took it.
“Now, to business. Ox King, as you are aware, I would like a peaceful end to this war. Would you like to hear my proposal or make your demands first?” (Alexandre)
The first option seemed like a better idea for peace. I could always make my demands after I hear it.
“I would like to hear the proposal.”
“All right. If you agree to the ceasefire, we will stop attacking your people. Not only that, we will also return the lands taken and as many of your people as possible. And we will respect the half-men as equals, which I believe should had been done in the first place.” (Alexandre)
I like what I’m hearing, but this seems fishy.
“What is the catch?”
With that, I could feel the blood-lust from the guards. Again, I couldn’t blame them. In their eyes, I was disrespecting a very important person.
“Other than the ceasefire, we ask that all of you convert to our religion. There is one more thing, but I am trying to convince everyone against it.” (Alexandre)
I should had known about the conversion part. As for the other, there was only one thing I could assume.
“They want my head. Am I correct?”
With that, the guards and Charlotte all were taken aback. As for the pope, he was just as shocked.
“That… is correct. But if I can convince them that you are a believer of the Deity, they might reconsider.” (Alexandre)
This human… he was too much of a dreamer if he thinks that would work. I could see that Charlotte was hoping for the same. But I of all people know better.
“If my life is what it will take for my people to know peace again, then I will give it.”
Again, everyone was taken aback.
“Ox King…” (Charlotte)
“Are you sure? I mean, there has to be another way?” (Alexandre)
“Your holiness, you have never seen war itself first hand. I have killed many and many more want me dead. I do not think that even if your Deity itself came down and forgave me that their minds would change. I came here prepared to lose my life, that’s what I came alone with the nun. I do not want any more of my people killing or being killed. I am ready to do whatever it takes to end this war.”
None of what I said was a lie. I united the tribes to fight for the peace of my people. If giving my life was what it would take for that peace to happen, then I was ready to do it.
“Just… how old are you?” (Alexandre)
“I am seventeen years of age.”
Both Alexandre and Charlotte were taken aback.
“The same age as myself…” (Alexandre)
“You’re a year younger than me…” (Charlotte)
“What of it?”
“It’s just… that you are amazing, Ox King. At your age, you united all of the tribes of your people. You are willing to take a burden that many men older than yourself could not handle. Someone like you… no, I haven’t seen anyone like you before.” (Alexandre)
This human… he is giving me too much credit.
“I will still go by the terms. Do not worry about the chieftains, I know I can convince them. That is if you will allow me some time to do so?”
“Ox King… I will give you as much time as you deem necessary.” (Alexandre)
“In that case… I shall return to this place in four days time to surrender myself. I trust that I have your word about the terms?”
“Ox King… why four days?” (Alexandre)
“Because I did not get the four days before meeting with you due to a directionally challenged nun.”
When I said that, Alexandre was trying not to laugh while Charlotte was doing a mixture of blushing and pouting.
“Ox King… you truly are one of a kind.” (Alexandre)
“I have heard that more times than I can recall.”
With that, he had me sign some document. As I didn’t know how to read or write, Charlotte helped me with it. All I could put down was a mark and my thumb print. According to Alexandre, the document was a binding to ensure that both sides will honor the terms. All I could tell him is that a half-man’s word is his honor. Humans are strange creatures. After that was over with, Charlotte had to have one final talk with me.
“Ox King, are you sure that you want to go through with this?” (Charlotte)
“As I said, I am willing to give my life if that’s what it takes for my people to know peace.”
“But… I thought that you do not trust humans?” (Charlotte)
“I don’t know anymore.”
“I met you, the first human not to try to harm me or my people. And your pope, I can tell that he wants to end this peacefully. Besides… I have this feeling.”
“Yeah… I do not know how to describe it. Like it’s telling me that everything is going to be all right.”
It was the truth. Ever since I had that talk with Charlotte the day before, I had this feeling that everything would turn out all right. I couldn’t describe such a feeling.
With that, I left the clearing. I rode the same horse from before and was pulling the one that Charlotte rode by the reigns. When I made it back to camp, I called for a meeting with the Chieftains. Though some of them didn’t like the terms, they were willing to accept as the war was being dragged out too far. Of course they didn’t like the part where I was willing to give my head. But there is an old saying, “Better you than me”. That kind of logic made them accept it. And my bovine tribe brethren had the most difficult time accepting. As we were without a chieftain of our own, they really wanted me to take the post. Instead I asked a buffalo half-man who was known for his wisdom that I had serving under me to become the next chieftain.
Within the next four days, I had settled many of my affairs before accepting my fate. And when I made it back to the clearing, soldier awaited. And they were not alone, there were caged wagons filled with more of my half-man brethren. After I was in chains, the caged half-men were set free. I was sure that their noses would lead them back to the camp, I had that much faith in them. As for after they were freed, I was put in one by myself.
I had forgot how long we traveled, but it was a long journey. It rained, it snowed, and it would eventually clear up. I willingly took on the elements as I had no other choice. It was my fate and I accepted it. I even withstood the guards taunts and insults on the half-men.
“All right beast, why should you not die right here?” (random guard)
“Because I made a deal with the pope.”
“Right… in truth we should just enslave the rest of your lot regardless. Hell, it might actually happen?” (random guard)
“Would the pope really renege on his word?”
“Silence!” (random guard)
With that, he threw his bottle of liquor at me. I knew that my words have some backlash, but I couldn’t tolerate the words coming from his mouth either. All I could do was smirk as I was bleeding from my forehead. I won and the guard knew it.
Eventually we made it to the foreign lands where the execution grounds were set. There were many fine dressed folk there beneath that cloudy sky. I could hear many jeers my way.
“Kill the beast!” (random noble)
“Off with his head!” (another random noble)
As the guards escorted me to the executioner’s block, I walked with my head held high in defiance of the humans who hated me. There were only a few who were actually morning the current events. First was Alexandre at his papal throne, saddened by the fate of a person he instantly thought of as a friend. Next was Charlotte, trying to hold back her tears as she prayed for me. I couldn’t understand how anyone could pray for someone like me, I was not worth any redemption.
It was finally the moment, I was forced onto my knees and my head was being forced onto the block. Even though I couldn’t see the face thanks to the executioner’s hood, I could tell that he wanted his sword to sink its steely fang into my neck. And when the signal was given, the blade went down. But instead of dying instantly like I was sure, a bolt of lightning hit the blade, forcing it from the executioner’s hand.
I could see everyone awestruck at once. I knew because I too was in awe. And with that, the cloudy sky cleared to bring on a new arrival. It was a light, but not of the sun. It was pure white and had an immense power from it. I had no idea what was going on, but I could see the onlookers panicking at the appearance.
“Deity, is that you?” (Alexandre)
“It is I, the being you refer to as the Deity.” (Deity)
With that, Alexandre knelt before the light, with many of the crowd following suit.
“Oh Deity, why have you come?” (Alexandre)
Even I was taken aback. I didn’t know what to do, that feeling I got when I reached for my ax when I got mad at Charlotte returned.
“I am ashamed in all of you. Tell me, what is my main teaching?” (Deity)
“To always treat your fellow man with equality.” (Charlotte)
“Very good. Now, why are you so-called followers of mine ignoring it?” (Deity)
Everyone became even more silent. Alexandre dared to ask.
“What do you mean by that, oh powerful Deity?” (Alexandre)
“Many of the humans here are not planning on honoring the agreement made in my name.” (Deity)
Alexandre was shocked. Charlotte was shocked. Even I was shocked. But not as shocked as all the nobles.
“They’re beasts! We are superior, your chosen people! Why should we not prove it?” (random noble)
That was the same one who said “Kill the beast” earlier. And in response, he was smite with a bolt of lightning.
“They are not beasts, they are your equals! I have no chosen race, I love everyone equally!” (Deity)
The shock and awe only increased. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“I am ashamed of those calling themselves my followers. For this transgression, I shall never appear in front of you again.” (Deity)
Immediately, there were whispers of panic.
“Tell us, what can we do to repent?” (Alexandre)
“First and foremost, you must learn to love your fellow man and treat them as a good neighbor. When everything is right in this world, I shall appear again.” (Deity)
“But oh mighty Deity, what about the Hero to save us?” (Alexandre)
Even though I couldn’t see it’s face, I saw the Deity shed a tear. It fell to the earth as a stone.
“This gem will guide you to the person I have chosen to be the Hero. When it’s close to the Hero chosen, it will shine it’s brightest. But before I leave, I will chose the new Hero.” (Deity)
The light finally formed into a figure in a hooded robe. It was so bright that I couldn’t make out any details. It then pointed at… me? I don’t know why, but I suddenly felt fatigued.
“This man who’s life I have spared is the Hero. With that, I take my leave.” (Deity)
That moment, I collapsed. I didn’t really know what was going on.
After Note: And that is the first part of the Ox King’s history. I’m going to hold back on the second part until the next arc because of spoilers. Anyway, the Ox King and Coy have their similarities. Both were half-men, both had tragic backstories, and neither one of them wanted to become the Hero.
And that’s all I have for this birthday update of mine. In the mean time, Reigo-senpai has translated Chapter 89 of Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu recently. Also, BakaGrapper has finally posted SCDK chapter 3 for everyone to enjoy.