Chapter 28 – Cute Filter ※


Azel pushed me against the door and touched my skin from the top of my thin innerwear.

Tracing from my neck to my chest, abs, waist and all the way down around my lower region.

“Nn…!”

If he does that, I wouldn’t be able to stand it.
My burning body heated up easily, and I opened my eyes, cloudy with pleasure, and writhed around.

“Hiie… What are you… a… ah!”

“It’s not like I’m thinking that I want to mess you up! Not at all. I’m not thinking that, though I’m pretty much filled with your blood already. I’ll help you this time… Just tell me where it feels good.”
“Hhaa…? W-wh… ah, nnnh…!”

I don’t know what made him think that way, but he started to say something outrageous.

He crawled on my chest with his hot lips, while fondling my muscles to put my tense, stiffened body at ease.

With that alone, my body became sensitive to the stimulation, and started to quiver involuntarily.

Wait, wait.
Is this what he meant by taking responsibility…?!
If so, then it doesn’t solve anything.
The fact that I get so humiliating hasn’t been resolved…!

It would’ve been better if he got put off by it, but this unexpected turn of events left me frozen and confused.

Meanwhile, Azel, who had been touching my body around while licking, began to do more and more of what he called “helping”.

While watching my reaction, he started to touch various parts of my body such as my sides, shoulders and inner thighs to find out where it felt good.

Stop, don’t go there. My erogenous zones will be revealed.
It’s a good thing to be eager about studying, but please don’t do this, really.

“Shal, do you feel it, between your shoulder blades? And since you’re a man, I guess it’s right here… See, you’re erect.”
“Au, t-that’s, nn… A-Azel…!”
“Heh, I just touched it and it’s already like this… Alright, I know how much blood I should drink now. It might’ve been worse yesterday, since I took a larger amount, so just this much should make you feel better. I’m going to take care of you until the end of the day, okay? Entrust yourself to me, fufun.”
“N-never mind that, don’t tou— A-aah… ah…!”

He’s not an… idiot. He’s the strongest Demon Lord in the demon realm with a little tendency to go out of control.

He stopped licking and raised his face, and while he rubbed my erection slowly rising through the cloth with his fingertips, I let out stuttered groans as he pointed it out.

An erogenous zone that I didn’t even know about.
Unexpectedly, in the spine between my shoulder blades.

Stimulated vigorously by the joints of his fingers, I bent my back with a flinch, and moaned, “A-Aah…!”

I never thought I’d feel so erotic and shiver in excitement just from being touched like this.
Ugh, I’m starting to feel like a pervert.

While I was trying to catch my breath, Azel touched my belt which was tightened so firmly. Then, by his magic, it had become completely undone.

Oh, I see, it was the magic of unlocking.
—That’s not how you should be using it…!

Even as I was already being driven to tears by the aphrodisiac poison, Azel slid and entwined his fingers around like white branches, making me squirm and writhe.

“I-it’s dirty, so… ngh!”

Schlik. My eyes widened as he began to touch my shaft that was brought out, making sticky noises.

Azel was intent on taking responsibility for my burning body, and relentlessly tormented me in places he finds where I could feel it.

“Ah, uu, nngh!”
“! Hey, don’t bite your lips, it’ll bleed.”
“Haa, shto… shtoph…!”

I couldn’t endure being touched there directly, so I bit my lips at once, suppressing my voice.

Scolding me for that, Azel took his hand that had been caressing my back and thrust it straight into my mouth.

“Nngh, Aze… shtop… ih…hng!”

I couldn’t close my mouth because of it, and saliva spilled between his fingers and my lips, but I couldn’t even wipe it off.

Flushed and disheveled, I looked up at Azel in my blurred vision.

On the verge of being blown away by reason, I desperately placed one of my hands, completely without power, onto Azel’s hand.

“Shtop ith, Azeu…!”

I wasn’t trying to get away, but I was trying to pull him away. As someone who’s also a man, I felt miserable since he didn’t even move an inch.

“Y-you’re kinda… c-cu…!”
“! Nnnf, hhnn…!”

At that moment, the fingers that had been inserted in my mouth were removed, and my lips covered in saliva—were enveloped by Azel’s soft lips deeply.

“Mmn, nn, hah… Aze, aah, hnn…”
“Mnn… Hah, cute. Shal, so cute…!”

While rubbing my erection with squelching, Azel kissed me indulgently, showering me with an adjective that shouldn’t be used on me, who wasn’t even adorable in any way.

Ahh, no more… I can’t…
I felt light-headed and unable to function.

My thread of reasoning seemed to burn out from the connected ends.

It had completely dissipated and disappeared.

Azel’s tongue intertwined with my numb and motionless tongue, and sucked it as if squeezing it.

“Nnhh, au, ahh…”
“Shal, I want to see more.”

It was a wild, devouring kiss that couldn’t stop seeking for more and more.

I couldn’t stand without being supported by Azel, and my breath trembled against my wet lips.

At an extremely close range was a beauty that seemed to want to say that he couldn’t resist kissing me.
He called my name over and over again, licking the saliva that spilled out, and pressed on me to spill even more.

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Chapter 27 – Rousing Poison ※ Slight


“……”
“……!”

Azel was the first one to move within the silence that gave new, mixed feelings.

It seems that he had made up his mind.

He placed one arm around my waist, placing the other behind my back while slightly trembling, and held his head down.

Then, he buried his face in the nape of my neck, sliding his wet tongue between my neck and the collar, and pulled it down.

“Nn…”

When I raised my gaze, I could see Azel’s refined face so close to me.
His face was flushed, and he frowned while staring at me nervously.

“Well, so that’s what happened yesterday… I-if you’re not scared of me, then… can I eat you…? This time, I’ll be… gentle.”
“Okay…”
“Besides— if you get poisoned, I’ll take responsibility.”

The moment he saw me nod at his fumbled words, Azel’s fangs burrowed into my neck much gentler and slower than yesterday.

Splurt… The fangs had inserted smoothly, like blades sticking through a ripe tomato.

He didn’t bite down on the soft flesh any more than necessary, and only buried his fangs. I’m glad that he was trying to cause as little pain as possible.

The hot blood overflowing from the gentle wound fell down his throat without sparing a single drop.

Just as when he tore into the surface of my skin, the pain immediately went numb.

In return, what flowed in me was gently and slowly consuming me.

It wasn’t quick enough to make my head spin like yesterday. It had a steady, gradual transition.

“A…c-ck…!”

It was called a poison, but it felt so good as if my bones were melting. When I lost a bit of my strength, the arms wrapped around my waist firmly held my body that was about to collapse.

My body flinched at the mere movement of supporting me. …As usual, the poison was quick to spread.

Azel gently stroked my trembling hair to reassure me.

He changed the angle of his pierced fangs, slowly letting blood flow from the slightly open wound little by little so he wouldn’t drink too much from it, and drank carefully.

There wasn’t the slightest hint of last night’s ferocious, beastly appearance.
I was being eaten so respectfully and with great care so that wouldn’t happen again. Even though I don’t like this treatment, it’s being deeply ingrained in my mind.

“Nn… aa, hah…”
“Are you sure you don’t hate this…?”

He pulled his fangs out, licking and kissing that spot.

As I writhed against my sensitive skin, Azel asked me that again.
In fact, if I said that I didn’t like it, I’m sure he’d stop right away.

However, I placed my helpless arms which had lost its place around Azel’s neck, and smiled.

“As if I’d hate it… Nevermind that so, just suck more of my blood…”
“U-uu… Y-you perverted hero…!”

Oops, I ended up saying it again.

But my mind, slightly dimming with poison and blood loss, didn’t feel any particular shame or danger despite knowing what it meant.

More than that, the embarrassed and flustered Azel was somehow… cute.

I thought, ‘Well, I guess I don’t mind if he takes it that way.’ but I wasn’t sane enough.

No, I was still sane, but the feeling of having this kind of thought was crazy enough.

Or maybe the sadness from last night, buried in self-loathing, was gone, so I might’ve been more excited than I thought, to be able to fool around again like this.

“Hah… a-ah!”

The fangs inserted themselves again into the wound it had first bitten, and a voice different from pain began to leak out.

His hot tongue crawled around, licking the spilled blood with great care.

It’s like I was being caressed rather than being eaten.

I don’t hate that way of touching.

My chest felt more eager at the thought of finding caressing to be a bit of a tease.

Azel didn’t feel that way. He was simply drinking the blood of his prey.

But wouldn’t it be disgusting to think that I, who’s also a man, would be feeling so lustful, and letting out enticing cries?

If this was a beautiful woman with a voluptuous body, then there might’ve been no discomfort.
In fact, the creatures who aim for such prey are vampires, so that’s probably why they have devilish beauty and aphrodisiac poisons.

If I weren’t a hero and a person from another world with rare, delicious blood, I wouldn’t have been asked to do this.

“…Haa…”

Maybe it’s the poison.
But my heart was suddenly being roused.

My body couldn’t support itself, so I placed my arms around Azel to help myself stand up, clinging to his back and the back of his head as much as I could.

It was so weak that it’s easy to shake off because of my hesitation to touch him as he enjoyed a wholesome meal.
I’m sure he doesn’t have the disposition for having such devious feelings for a man.

Slurp…
“Uwa… nngh, h-ha…!”

Azel licked it carefully, and the bite wound had recovered a bit.

The faucet had tightened, and my wound was sucked strongly to save every last one of it, making me moan louder than ever.

My voice already had a distinct sweet sound to it, so I closed my eyes tightly, not wanting to hear such a voice.

This is bad. I’m on my limit.

“Hah… I let out such a shameful voice… I’m… sorry, but let’s stop… ah…hh… if you touch me any more than this, I’ll… be troubled…”
“Huh?”

As I languidly announced this, Azel, who had been sucking on the nape of my neck, lifted his head.
The body that was sticking close to mine had slightly parted.

“Why would you be troubled?”
“N-nnh… Isn’t it uncomfortable to watch me, a man… writhe like a woman…?”
“It’s my poison, isn’t it. Demons are sexually unrestrained. It’s nothing to worry about. …Well, besides… the Shal crying out in my arms… I think it is… c-cute…”

“So, don’t worry, I’ll take responsibility.”

Saying that, Azel slightly carried my body, lifting it from the floor.
Then, he took a few steps towards behind me, and pushed me against the door gently, but not allowing me to escape.

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Chapter 26 – The Truth Revealed


—Growl~

As I thought back on our first encounter, I suddenly heard a cry of hunger for the second time today.

It was faster for Azel to hide his flushed face than for me to hold my stomach down. Mm, so it was you.

“Urgh… Aah~ …I’ve only had a tea snack, and I haven’t eaten anything decent since this morning, so it’s a natural phenomenon…”
“Hey. It’s not good to skip meals, the key to good health is three meals a day.”
“Aau… I had no appetite.”

My own words hit a sore spot since I also skipped breakfast, but I tossed away those things on top of the shelf1tossed away those things on top of the shelf – similar to the idiom, ‘sweeping things under the rug’..

I’m all good. Since the Hero is strong. Except for the Hero, you should be eating properly, you know?

The scolded Azel looked ashamed.
As for me, I crossed my arms, placing a hand on my chin with a thoughtful look on my face.

To be honest… I’d like to give my blood right now.

But I couldn’t tell him to drink my blood if he was hungry. The reason, of course, was the meaning behind what Gard had told me.

Urk… How am I supposed to tell him?

It’s easiest for me to say it myself, even in terms of letting him know that I wasn’t scared at all by what happened yesterday.

And in terms of the essential value of necessity, I’d like to think that now is the best time to do it, but… it’s like I’m implicitly inviting him.

I thought for a moment, and blinked twice.
I immediately thought, ‘I see, I don’t have to put it into words.’

If so, there is only one thing to do.

“Azel, Azel.”
“Ah?”

I called out to Azel, placing my fingers in the gap between the collar that covered my neck, and pulled it off, leaving it open just to a certain extent.

I turned my head so he could clearly see the gap in my clothes, and poked at my exposed neck as if it has been a while.

“Mm.”
“……”

Now then, help yourself with a nourishing energy drink… rather, the blood of the Hero to relieve your hunger.

I offered out, and said, ‘Mm!’
This technique is the legendary technique of a tsundere boy. There’s no way the person I did this to wouldn’t understand it.

But.
Azel understood my intention and his expression changed restlessly from flustered to embarrassed. But, for some reason, he eventually glared at me.

Hmm? I thought he’d have his meal and check me how I was doing like the usual, but I wonder why he didn’t?

“Urgh… Yesterday, I… probably scared you. It must’ve been painful. You rejected me so strongly, didn’t you? …You don’t have to force yourself to feed me, okay? I’m a vampire, but I’m not the type of person who has to drink.”
“Rejected? …Huh, ah… That’s… different. It’s not like that.”
“Huh? Didn’t you tell me not to touch you?”

The way he was restraining himself while creating such a sad atmosphere made me feel impatient inside.

Azel didn’t seem to know why he was kicked out, after all.

But if you recall what happened yesterday, it can’t be helped.

I see, that’s right. If you looked only at the words, it would seem that I was frightened and disgusted.

I could feel the heat slowly gathering on my face. It’s embarrassing to say that.

Do I have to tell him that?
Azel still had the wrong idea, and was dispiritedly searching me for answers.
I guess I have to say it.

Seeing the sad expression on his face, depressed without knowing the circumstances, I somehow managed to come to terms with my embarrassment.

“You know, yesterday… You probably forgot but… for the first time, I got a lot of blood sucked from me, and simultaneously, for the first time… a-a lot of the aphrodisiac poison had entered inside.”
“Huh?”
“I told you not to touch me, because… I didn’t want to let out a shameful gasp at your touch…!”
“Ah…!”

I guess Azel was unaware of the confession on my side, and had a face saying, ‘Come to think of it, that’s true.’
He completely forgot about this, didn’t he?

I went through a lot of trouble, you know.
After all, I had set the fastest record for coming.

Finally, the two of us were on the same page. We both turned bright red, and looked down for a while.

Silence fell upon the room. What’s up with today? I think I made some embarrassing confessions…?

The misunderstanding was completely resolved, but it caused a lot of damage to both sides.
As two adults who should know better at their age, we’re quite a mess.

And after saying that, it sounded like my appeal for him to drink from me was somewhat sexual.

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Chapter 25 – Bouquet of Flowers for the Rabbit Demon Lord: Part 2


“Sob… Shal… Thanks… f-for the flowers. Uhm… I’ll, I’ll take this as a sign of reconciliation. A gift for returning the favor. I’ll make sure to freeze it permanently with magic, and preserve it so it won’t ever die. It will be the treasure of the Demon Lord’s castle. It’s gratitude, after all. A sign of reconciliation. That’s why… I’ll have to make sure that it’ll be worshiped for eternity.”

“No, you don’t have to do that, so just use them normally. It’s medicine, after all. Please make use of them.”

After he quickly regained his composure, I had to wait and see what he had to say with his troubled speech.

Then, he suddenly took his face away from my head and gave me a look like he wanted to say, ‘What are you talking about?’

He was crying until just a while ago, so his eyes were as red as a rabbit’s.

What am I talking about? That should be my line. You rabbit Demon Lord.

Although the said person was a bit tsun-tsun1 because he was embarrassed about crying, the fact that he said that in a very serious way made less sense.

This guy is a bit weird after all.

I was glad that our reconciliation with a serious atmosphere had a happy ending just a while ago, but it doesn’t seem to conclude.

Well, that’s why Azel is Azel.
He was a little cute, so I unintentionally let out a laugh.

“Why are you laughing, hey… D-don’t tell me, it isn’t enough? Would you be happier if I made it into a sacred object2?”
“No, I’ll be happier if you use it.”

Why would you worship something that’s supposed to be drunk as tea as a sacred object?
How did this happen?

The moon in the demon realm was so bright that I could see the other person’s face well even in the moonlight.

So, I could clearly see Azel looking so dejected, with an expression oozing despair, that I could even see him with dog ears.

“Grrrrrr… You know what? Weaker humans might not know this, but once you use them, it’ll be gone, okay?
“…Right…”

Yeah, that’s the face.
That’s the face when Gard treats me like a hamster.

He said it gently as if educating a child who had poor understanding, and I nodded with an enlightened expression.
The feeling is similar to that of a nursery teacher.

However, when I got this close to his face, I noticed he had faint dark circles.

I guess he hadn’t gotten much sleep last night and kept on working.

I made a serious face.
If I couldn’t help him recover from his fatigue soon, my efforts will go to waste.

Holding a lot of enthusiasm in my heart, I placed the bouquet of flowers I held in my hand on the table right beside him and grabbed both Azel’s shoulders firmly.

“Listen…! It won’t disappear, Azel. Even if you use this flower, it will continue to exist. Yes… inside your heart…!”
“W-what did you say…?!”
“So, make this a tea, drink it and get a good rest. Use every last one of the Arymas that I picked and live well…!”
“! I see…! Yeah, Shal picked them… So, it’s like another part of Shal…!”
“That’s right…! I want you to live a healthy life for me.”
“Then it can’t be helped, okay! I’m confident in my health. I’ll make this flower into tea and drink it, kill the germs and live brightly and cheerfully!”
“Well said!”

I deliberately spoke with exaggeration like a passionate spiritualist, and while saying, ‘Alright, good!’ I gently stroked my hand through Azel’s soft, silky hair.

Azel’s cheeks turned bright red at my sudden stroking, covering his face with both hands, and screamed something I couldn’t understand, ‘Huuwaaaeeee…!’

I thought he’d get mad because his hair was getting disheveled, but I guess he’s having seizures.

Yup. This is the usual Azel!

By the way, Azel’s hair was pleasing to touch and easy to stroke.

Come to think of it, when I first met him, his bangs were springing up. We were in the middle of a battle, but I couldn’t help but feel at ease with it.

As I combed Azel’s messy hair with my hand, I suddenly thought back to three weeks ago.

If I didn’t kill him, I’d have nowhere to go, but it was a battle that couldn’t be won by any estimate.

That day, I was so desperate with all the tension and pressure not to be left behind.

He was a cheat Demon Lord who easily evaded my attacks, and even if I did hit him, it was as if nothing had happened.
But he had his weird bangs bouncing around, so I laughed unintentionally.

After that, I was sunk in a pool of blood in an instant, and next thing I knew, I was in a cage. That’s how I got to where I am now.

Life is a series of unexpected things.
Being summoned to this world is one of them.


Notes:
[1] tsun-tsun – ‘tsun’ from tsundere meaning prickly attitude; Azel trying to hide the fact that he wanted to keep it just because it was from Shal.
[2] sacred object – ‘shintai’ or an object of worship, usually housed in a shrine.


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Today’s Dinner is the Hero. 24



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Volume 1
It’s Surprisingly Comfortable at the Demon Lord’s Castle.

Chapter 24
Bouquet of Flowers for the Rabbit Demon Lord: Part 1


“P-please don’t hate me…!”

I could hear a wishful plea on top of my head, in a sobbing, hoarse voice.

I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I barely managed to move my arms that were trapped around his warm body.

Then, I wrapped my arms around the Demon Lord’s back who said something stupid and embraced him tightly.

“…I didn’t come here to give you a farewell gift. I don’t think I hate you any more than the eye of a needle…!”
“Why… not…! I did that… Uuu… S-Shal… I want to be with you, don’t go anywhere… S-Shal…! Uu… ughuuuuu…”
“D-don’t cry. Don’t cry, I-I’m going to… cry too…!”
“Ughhuuuu…!”

The trembling Azel was weeping so hard that his robotic, expressionless look on his face earlier seemed like a dream.

I almost felt like crying because his tears were ruining his beautiful face that captivated everyone.

My words became a little bit tinged with tears, somehow trying to stop myself from crying while holding my lips together. But again, hot droplets poured down from him endlessly.

It dampened my hair, cheeks and clothes, and even those jewel-like tears, and arms hugging me so painfully, all of it was dedicated to me and conveyed the sincerity of Azel’s heart.

Why are you crying so much?
I’m the one trying to apologize, so why are you apologizing to me?
There’s no way I could hate you.

I thought I was the one who pissed you off so bad that you’d hate me.

What if you didn’t want to see my face?
Maybe I was the only one who wanted to make up.
What if you rejected me with something like this?

Even so, I still wanted to be here.

I couldn’t wipe out the worst situation out of my mind, even though I knew he wasn’t that kind of guy because he really cared about me.

That’s how it is.

The pinnacle of the demon realm, an incarnation of fear.

The ruler of demons whom everyone feared, crying out because he was afraid of being hated by me alone and telling me not to hate him without even worrying about his own appearance, was a weak and delicate man.

A while after that.

Pat, pat. I helplessly stroked his back with the hand that wasn’t holding the flowers and tried to comfort him.

“I was bad.” “Stay with me?” “I’ll do anything, so…”

After repeating these over and over again, Azel finally calmed down to the point where his sobs occasionally leaked.

Azel thought that yesterday’s violence trampled on my desire to give him a gift by misunderstanding things and decided by himself that I hated the Demon Lord’s castle.

So, every time he spits out those words, I speak to him as gently as possible.

“You didn’t do anything bad.” “I’ll stay with you.” “Stay with me until you don’t want to.”

I instilled it over and over again, with all my heart, hoping it would be conveyed.

Now that it was over.

The setting sun had completely set down, and the view outside the window had become dim.

The interior of the unlit room casts a shadow, and the light of the still young moon softly shone in a way that mixed with the shadow of the sun that had just passed through.

Azel sniffed and didn’t let go of my body in the slightest, pressing his cheeks against my hair as if it would be hard for him to get away from me.

I was tall for a human, but Azel was half a head taller than me.
And yet, just like a child, Azel cried out loud without care.

The demons are fearsome, heartless creatures.

That’s what I’ve been told, but was that really the case?
He’s living with such a variety of emotions.

Feeling the heat of our bodies embracing each other, I felt comfortable knowing that they were really just emotional, whiny and delicate creatures.


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Today’s Dinner is the Hero. 23



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Volume 1
It’s Surprisingly Comfortable at the Demon Lord’s Castle.

Chapter 23
Not to My Benefactor, But to You: Part 2 (Side Azel)


A refreshing scent that I sensed back when I opened the door.
I opened my eyes cautiously. Something pure white filled my vision.

Fwwsh. The white came down a little and was thrust against my chest.
I lowered my gaze while trembling, and somehow managed to recognize it – flowers.

I’m pretty sure this flower is… Aryma.
It only blooms on the rough cliffs of the demon world, a flower that makes good medicine.

But, why are you thrusting this now on me, who forcibly ate you yesterday?

Unable to understand, I finally looked up nervously and stared at Shal, who knew the answer.

Shal looked directly at me for the first time since last night.

I could see the dirty stains on his clothes. Even his exposed skin showed a few scratches.

His brows quivered as if he was nervous, but his well-shaped lips arched gently.

Then, a lower tenor began to speak words at a calmer tempo.

“I’m sorry for interrupting your work this late. But I really wanted you to take this.
It can’t match all the happiness and value you’ve given me, but… this is my utmost gratitude.
Thank you for all your hard work keeping me safe.
Thank you for your gifts. Thank you for the warm room. Thank you for being so kind to me. Thank you for taking such good care of me. And, thank you for calling me by my name.
And then, uhm… the thing that made me the happiest was… —when you told me to stay close to you.
Ah… I came to the demon realm thinking I would die, but I never thought you’d let me live this much, even though I asked you to kill me.
Wondering if it’s okay for me to live by someone else’s side, I couldn’t help but feel my heart warm up. ………Oh, I see…… I guess I was happy right from the start.”

The worn-out Shal spoke to me slowly as if trying to explain himself.

And as he did, he realized a feeling he didn’t know existed, his cheeks flushing in embarrassment, and directed a bashful smile at me.

His smile was more beautiful than anything else.
It was the same as ever, soft and enveloping, not even the slightest bit repulsive, and as warm as a cotton wool.

“H-hah…”

The back of my throat, which had been trembling with fear, loosened and I felt like I remembered how to breathe.

It felt hot inside my chest, and my mind and body were filled with something so warm that it seemed to melt away.

The heart that couldn’t resist being drawn to it reached out with trembling fingers to the hand offering the flowers.

But then, I remembered being rejected and stopped just on the brink of doing so.
Again, I couldn’t help but feel scared.

However, the many feelings that Shal had just expressed to me pulled me to his hands.

I grabbed his injured hand and carefully placed my strength on it, trying not to break it like grabbing snow.

“To be in this kind of state… just… what did you…”
“Uh…… W-well… You’re right… The truth is, I wanted to sneak out, and give this to you… in a more stylish, less ragged way than this, but…”

When asked in a hoarse voice, Shal shyly softened his tone, and I didn’t know if he was embarrassed or not, but he couldn’t help saying it while avoiding my gaze.

The bashful look on his face turned into something like suffocating with guilt.

I could somehow understand what he was trying to say from that point on, even if I was prone to misunderstanding things.

Once I understood it, it was too late.

I felt my expression collapse in an instant and turned into an unbecoming mess.

“Yesterday… I didn’t want to tell you, I’m really sorry… I said I wanted to go outside yesterday because I wanted to get some flowers… That’s why, this is, uhm… I… I heard that there are flowers in Axio Valley that can cure fatigue, so… to you…”
“…”

—I wanted to give it to you.

The words were just as I had imagined them to be—faster than they reached my ears.

I pulled the hand I was firmly grasping, forcibly embracing the body of the dispirited human.

“…? Aze–”
“Uu… H-hic…”

I can’t do this anymore.
It’s the limit of my patience.

I could tell that the warm body in my arms had frozen in surprise. Even so, I couldn’t stop from embracing him.

The tears I had to endure by suppressing my expression overflowed with ease and rained down on Shal’s body.

I didn’t know. I didn’t know.
I didn’t know you were even thinking about that.

There’s no one who worries about my body that’s stronger than anyone else’s.
Even though there shouldn’t be such a thing as caring for someone when you’ve tried to kill each other.

“Aah… a-ah… I-I… I did such a terrible thing…! I didn’t, h-hic… realize… that… h-hic…!”

There shouldn’t be such a thing, yet he tried to do it.

The hero who was supposed to kill me did something that no one else had done.

Shal insisted on going out because in his heart, he wanted to prepare a present for me.

As soon as the barrier was lifted and he was allowed to go out, he wanted to go find a present for me.

I couldn’t stop my tears from pouring out. I couldn’t stop crying and blaming myself for being a stupid, foolish and inconsiderate being.

I didn’t know what kind of man Shal was here now, because I had been chasing after him as a benefactor. Blind bastard.

Now, for the first time… I knew.

The man in my arms was undeniably warm, and straightforward.

Shal, despite me making his own life into a meal, came to me as if he had spared no time in wiping off his sweat in search of flowers until nightfall. Fully realizing this, I felt my chest burst.

Shal didn’t hate demons even though he’s human.

He merely saw me as Azelidias Nilegown, a Demon Lord, and faced me as an equal.

He was kind to me just because I was kind to him. He cherished me because I cherished him.
That’s just the way he does things.

In the middle of enemy territory, with a simply honest, straightforward and docile manner, he embraces and warms those that touch his hands.

Why would I ever think that Shal, the same person he always has been, as someone who deceives and lies?

If I knew that, I should’ve realized that it was something he really needed to do, without being so distraught.

I guess I didn’t face him as a person named Shal and became a one-way feeling of gratitude.

I made a conceited misunderstanding, went on a rage, threatened and hurt him.
Keeping it to himself, the single-minded Shal went so far as to find a present and even kept his promise to me.

I was only pretending to be strong on the outside, it was laughable.
But if you tear away a single thin layer of skin, I’ll—…!

“I-I… was weak… I’m sorry I was weak… H-huk… I hurt you, and frightened you, uuu, Shal…!”

I was so ashamed by the thoughts and regrets that raced through my mind in just a few seconds.

I’m a cowardly, useless man.
A useless Demon Lord.

Shal in my arms squirmed.

I thought he was trying to resist, so the tears flowing down my cheeks quickly intensified, flooding one after another.

“P-please don’t hate me…!”

I’m a helpless fool, and despite having done helpless, foolish things, in the end, I clung to him desperately.

This isn’t the Demon Lord.
This is just Azel’s bare heart.


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Today’s Dinner is the Hero. 22



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Volume 1
It’s Surprisingly Comfortable at the Demon Lord’s Castle.

Chapter 22
Not to My Benefactor, But to You: Part 1 (Side Azel)


Before I knew it, the sun was about to set.

The sunlight shining through the window was as red as a flame, and I thought to myself, ‘Ahh, it’s already this late, huh.’ as if it was someone else’s problem.

I didn’t feel the slightest bit of time passing.

Perhaps it was because I was so absorbed in my work that I felt like if I let my mind wander, I would be trapped in irredeemable regret.

The piles of calculation papers, documents, and materials that accumulated were regularly cleaned up by Reisen, and were replaced with new ones.

The plan for the rebuilding of public facilities next fiscal year had been stuck to my desk until I pulled out the low-priority items.

To begin with, even if there were territories, the number of races is small, and this is the demon realm where there is no need to conduct politics as much as the human realm does.

The amount of paperwork that a Demon Lord has to do piles up more than I could accomplish every day.

Inspections, assemblies, diplomacies, etc. I’ve turned them away for tomorrow.

It’s not even the busiest season, but I’m stuck in this confined room.
It’s easy to understand why I’m stubbornly unwilling to do anything but work in the office.

Just how cowardly can I be?
I won’t even bother mocking myself.

If today’s quota gets finished, at this point, I might end up finishing all the work in the room ahead of time.

I didn’t want to leave the room.
If I do, then I might run into Shal.

“Shal”

I stopped brushing at the thought of his name.
I was almost paralyzed, and my muscles were stiff. Feeling mentally exhausted like a sludge, I put down the brush as it is.

I went to see Shal every day, but I didn’t go today. I couldn’t.

After what I’ve done to him, how should I face him when we meet?
Once I get there, I’m sure I’d see my heart being crushed in the room that had become empty.

Just how much effort did it take for me to endure my tears at the thought of it all this time?

I become expressionless whenever I suppress my emotions. The power of my eyes that I normally control also gets triggered unconsciously.

The truth is, I’m not very good at controlling my emotions.

I used to be someone who doesn’t get shaken up easily, but now, when it comes to him… my heart’s sensitivity accelerates to its maximum value without warning.

I’ve been rejected by Shal. He must hate me now. He’s supposed to get out of here. Did he leave, or is he still in here?

I’m so scared. I hated who I was yesterday so much that I’m going crazy with anger.
Aah, how dreadful.

It’s because he was a benefactor.
It’s because he’s a precious person from another world.
It’s because he wasn’t afraid to smile and look at me.

None of these were the right reason, nor were they wrong.

I’m not familiar with the names of the subtleties of emotions and of the heart, so I couldn’t fully grasp what was flowing down my chest, but only a single thought dominated my entire body.

I’m— scared.

Even though I’m a Demon Lord with power stronger than any of the demons, and the object of many fears… The thought of being hated by just one person scares the hell out of me.

—Knock, knock.

Just as I was staring into the air with a blank look on my face thinking about such things, I heard a modest knocking sound.

It was an irritating way to knock on the door.
It might be Reisen, who was continuously exposed to my eyes acting out of control.

“What is it.”

Maybe my heart’s cry of wanting to be left alone took over, but the voice I let loose from my mouth was unintentionally sharp and cold.

It was a piercing, cold way of speaking that had no inflection.
If it’s a lesser demon, or a servant, they’ll get frightened. If it’s Reisen, then he’ll just complain, but that doesn’t matter.

I guess that’s why. There was no answer from the other side of the door, nor did they show any signs of entering.

I didn’t have the patience to wait kindly today, so I stood up, unimpressed, and walked towards the door.

Click.
“If you have any business, get it over… with…”
“Ah… You’re… in the middle of work… Sorry…”

An unexpected visitor’s apologetic voice had reached my ears.

When I opened the door in my impatience, I found a man who was not supposed to come.

No way. Is this a hallucination?

My mental fatigue must’ve been so much that I’m having a convenient vision or dream.

Otherwise, it’s strange. His voice, breathing and presence was as real as could be. Strange.

My brain couldn’t make sense of it, and my hand gripping the knob loosened up and fell.

Creak. The man that came into my view made a sound as he slowly opened the door, and he smelled of sweat, blood, dust, and just a little bit of a refreshing scent.

Why is he here?
No matter what, he would never appear in front of the perpetrator after being treated like that.

My heart was about to burst.
The pounding was shaking my eardrums from within.

If all my five senses are real, they’re going to beat me, but if that’s the case, I’m going to die if I don’t hold my head covering my ears right now.

After all, I’ve hurt Shal badly. Hurting someone you don’t want to be hated by is like being killed by that person.

Humans especially hate that sort of thing, right?
They always have this look as if they want to kill someone they’re terrified of.

But that was about it.
What I’ve done… is just an excuse to tie him down as livestock. It should’ve been just the way it was.

It should’ve been enough to make him hate me.

“Uu…”

It was a violent threat that you’d never do to someone you care about. I have no idea how he came to be in here despite that. I was so confused.

I staggered back a step or two, not knowing how to address him.

Even so, as if trying to restore the distance that had opened up the moment I backed away, Shal slowly and firmly stepped forward.

Slam. The door shut.

I couldn’t meet his eyes, and my strained line of sight drifted unsteadily to his feet.
My trembling lips struggled so hard that I almost bit myself trying to articulate the words.

“Wh-why… are you here…”
“I made a promise with you, didn’t I? Yesterday.”

Yesterday.
Throb. My heart. Aah, it hurts.

My heart throbbed loudly at the thought of my mistake.
An overflowing cold sweat ran down my stiffened cheeks, wondering if words of reproach or of goodbye were to follow.

I didn’t say anything, and Shal’s foot stepped into my view without hesitation.

When I lifted my head, I could see Shal’s arm moving.
—H-he’s going to hit me…!

Rustle.
“……W-wha…?”

I shut my eyes tightly, wanting to deny the reality that the hand that had always been tenderly offered to me was going to hurt me.

However, the tip of my nose was touched by something light, not a fist.


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Chapter 21 – Quickly, Quickly


“I-I see it…!”

The previously hungry duo was now energetic after eating meat.

After that, I was the only one desperately searching through several cliffs and rocky areas. But finally, I found a colony of Aryma that I had longed for.

How I longed to see the beautiful, pure white flowers blooming between the steep cliffs…!

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Chapter 20 – Wanting to See You


—Upon exiting the cave, a strange scene awaited me.

With only his arms reasonably transformed into a dragon, Gard was dismantling the buffalo—buffadon that was as big as a truck and was covered in scales as if it had rock armor all over its body.

There were pelts hanging a short distance away. There was a puddle of blood and a lump of guts next to it. He probably drained its blood and processed it there. It was a remarkable feat.

I wondered if monsters would gather around it, but then… I remembered that in all my explorations with Gard, I had never seen any monsters in the area come near him.

I see. He’s a flying disaster.

“Oh. I was in the mood for some rare steak, so I went with Plan A. Heheh, I’ll roast some delicious sirloin for you.”

He showed me a refreshing smile when he saw me come out of the cave and wiped his hand with the handkerchief he took out of his pocket.

I wanted to retort a lot of things that I couldn’t say anything in return.

Gard skewered the meat into a branch, arranged it on the firewood I had prepared, and roasted it. He also hummed a tune.

“Just the fillet is fine.”

I gave up on what I wanted to say and requested a specific part of the meat instead. The sirloin was a bit heavy for my first meal of the day.

I decided not to pay too much attention to the potential of demons and sat next to Gard.

I crushed the peppercorns and sprinkled the powder. My only job now was to be the sprinkler.

Gard had been staring at the chunks of meat that he had just begun to cook when he saw my hand that was sprinkling the pepper and gasped.

“A~ah. You got hurt as soon as I took my eyes off you. The hell’re these?”

“Urgh. I’m not a child.”

He firmly grabbed me by the arm and glared at me, his eyes saying, you’re such a child!

“Bite marks, huh. It won’t stop bleeding… I didn’t even notice the smell because of the buffadon’s blood…”

“I was bitten by porcupines. But it didn’t hurt a bit.”

“Porcupines? Ah… You mean, a horncupine1Porcupine is “yamaarashi” in Japanese. In this world, they are called “tsunoarashi” with “tsuno” meaning horn.. I see—” 

He was utterly amazed as if my story had struck a chord with him.

Well, how should I put this… Sorry.

He rummaged through his pockets and pulled out a handkerchief, but it was stained with the buffadon’s blood.

Gard went silent and stopped rummaging. Good call.

He was frowning for some time, but when he saw me looking disheartened and guilty, he pressed his lips on my wounded hand.

Kiss.

“Huh?”

“Hm, I’m not fond of blood, but this is delicious… Nn,” Lick.

“…It’s ticklish, but… What are you doing?”

Gard began to lick my wounds. His slithery tongue crawled over the skin of my hand to tend to it.

When the horncupine drank from me, I didn’t feel as turned on as I did when Azel drank from me. So, I thought for sure they were harmless.

Gard looked at me with his lips on my hand, his slightly slanted eyes glancing upward.

“The horncupines have hemotoxins2toxins that destroy red blood cells, disrupt blood clotting, and/or cause organ degeneration and generalized tissue damage in their fangs. They have small mouths, so they can only drink in small amounts. Your wounds won’t heal even if they just bit you playfully.”

“O-Oh… So that’s how it is…”

“I’ll apply some blood clotting toxin. It’ll only take a second, so just let me lick them for a bit, ‘kay?”

Gard then pressed his lips against my hand and once again licked my hand carefully. Apparently, he could mix the toxins inside his body with his saliva and apply it with his tongue.

That was probably the situation we were in, but the image we convey was quite awful.

I looked like a pervert letting a handsome guy lick my hand, which was pretty distasteful.

I stared down at him as he thoughtfully licked with his slit eyes closed and had an indescribable look on his face. His long silver eyelashes cast shadows, and he looked beautiful despite what he was doing right now.

“……”

The sight of it gave me a sense of déjà vu.

The idea of my fingers being licked reminded me of Azel, who used to drink my blood every day with reservation.

He would glance at me from time to time, checking how I was doing, and touch me as if he was handling a fragile object. He called humans feeble beings and became overprotective of me, worrying about not hurting me more than necessary.

…I want to see him.

I felt my chest tighten.

“Mm. Aight, that’s it!”

“Oh, the bleeding has stopped. Thanks.”

“You can’t go around monsters you don’t know anymore, ‘kay?”

The warmth on my hand had gone away.

It felt a bit damp, but my hand wasn’t bleeding anymore. And, he still treated me like a child.

I wanted to talk back to him, but I knew that I held out my hand thoughtlessly, so I nodded, unable to pay anything.

Ugh… I’m so ashamed.

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Chapter 19 – Nibbling Fever Time


After seeing Gard off, I made my way through the rocks to the open area in front of the cave that we had agreed on.

The area was about the size of a sports field, and beyond that was a dimly lit cave filled with dark rocks, unlike the rocky arid-colored regions, which were restlessly overgrown with dead grass-colored plants.

I gathered the dead branches scattered around in one place while keeping in mind the best size for firewood. At the same time, I picked up some large leaves that could serve as plates.

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