“Oh Hero, I have a job for you. Take down the people on this list. Burn it as soon as you learn of the contents.”
“Your highness, aren’t these… names of the nobles of this castle…? I can’t do this to your own people, it’s an assassination… !”
“Watch your mouth. They are a bunch of unfaithful people who worship the first prince and plan to usurp the throne. They must’ve been possessed by demons. Take them down immediately. You haven’t forgotten your indebtedness, have you? You should know that it’s this kingdom that has been giving everything to a novice who’s still not strong enough to take on the demon lord as a hero.”
The chief grinned at me when he saw me confused, unsure of what they were planning to do, and traced my skin.
“Kuku… Ye don’t have to look so scared. Yer value will go down if I break ye. So, I’m just gonna hurt ye a wee bit.”
Then, the chief’s sharp claws dug into my bare upper body, causing severe pain that broke through my flesh.
—After that were ten minutes of walking.
We finally arrived at a brick building that had no signs nor decorations and had turned gray over the years.
The windows were hammered with wooden boards, so that the inside couldn’t be seen from the outside.
It didn’t look very much like an inn, probably to prevent intrusion. The demon’s inns were quite wild.
I arrived in the city of Svenmarina not long after that.
The city crowded with demons when I first viewed it from a distance during the day, or when I caught glimpse of it from the sky, had the number of people on its streets now decreasing, probably since it was already nighttime.
Nevertheless, taverns and amusement halls were thriving as I could hear noises here and there, and there were also several rough-looking demons in addition to that.
A number of small, warm orange illuminations, similar to that of light bulbs, hung in the storefronts, giving the beautiful white buildings a soft hue.
I staggered towards the direction of the city lights. My legs gradually sped up and moved away from the base, trying to quickly escape from it.
The forest at night in the demon realm was terrifying and boisterous.
My mind felt so fickle and unsettled that I couldn’t even care about the surroundings.
—Was I… in love with Azel?
The pain I felt grew rapidly when I thought of Azel telling me he doesn’t need me.
“Will he… eventually get tired of me? I wonder what will happen if I were thrown away.”
“Hah? What are you talking about? Isn’t that obvious? Humans are nothing but ghetto food or lifeblood workers! Well, my lord is very kind, so he might let you go without killing you. Hmph!”
“You may proceed to your usual private room, my lord! All preparations are done, so let’s have dinner together with my father when he comes back!”
It was about time Azel and I finish our delicious sandwiches while chatting leisurely as usual.
It was around the time Azel and I were about to finish eating the delicious sandwiches while chatting leisurely as usual.
And so, the inspection of the entire base had come to an end by the time the setting sun went down.
Azel drooped from the railing of the scenic deck where we first came to and stared at the setting sun with a hopeless expression.
Actually, we were supposed to have lunch then spend a few days inspecting the site, but it was all packed into half a day, which was unusually fast.
Azel was exhausted and dispirited, but I thought he did his job well enough that he should be proud of himself.
Then, a while later.
After discussing with Azel what needed to be done, Wadler went back to work, saying that he’d put Ulysse in charge of guiding us around since he still had work to do.
He heard about Azel’s visit in his busy schedule and still came to greet him. They didn’t see each other often, so they probably had a lot of things to talk about, but they couldn’t afford to do so.
So, instead of stopping him, we saw Wadler off and decided to look around the inside of the naval headquarters base with Ulysse leading the way.
—That was just fine, but…
“—That’s a rare sight to see… My lord, who dares to woo you? He’s a human, right?”
In the midst of our exchange—I suddenly heard a low, seeping, dignified voice.
I quickly turned around and before I knew it, there was someone I didn’t know right behind me. I reflexively went on guard and stiffened.