Chapter 17 – Self-Hating Demon Lord and a Budding


I resolved myself and was about to open my mouth, but we heard a loud sigh from inside the room. We both sneaked a peek again.

“Haa… Whatever happened to you? You were so excited yesterday and said you would lift the barrier on Shal, right? You ran off to invite him to come to the office, didn’t you?”

“………”

For the first time, Azel had stopped writing on the documents he was working on.

That’s right. Azel did those delightfully yesterday. Then, I promised him that I would come here.

I came as promised, but they hadn’t noticed it yet. Knowing what transpired thereupon, Gard tightly knitted his brows.

“…He won’t come.”

“What?”

“He won’t come, that guy. …For sure.”

Azel declared with dark eyes and a blank expression that killed his emotions. Then, he started to write again as if nothing had happened.

Reisen didn’t know the details and asked him in confusion. But despite that, Azel had nothing more to say.

For some reason, the lack of expression on Azel’s face didn’t seem to be a rejection — it appeared to be a defense.

I closed the door gently and carefully so as not to make a sound. Then, I looked straight at Gard again.

“Gard, let’s go for a stroll in the skies now.”

“Got it. Where to?”

“Axio Valley.”

When Gard heard my definite answer, he smiled wryly and with great amusement. Then, he easily picked me up and started walking.

I decided that—if I follow Maruo’s advice and go get the flowers, then I would convey my many thanks to Azel.

And, if he wouldn’t mind… I would like to tell him that I will always be here, until the time you no longer need me.

It wasn’t because I couldn’t get out of prison. It was because I still wanted to be here, even if I was allowed to get out.

I wouldn’t escape until I could tell him that. But I didn’t want to escape. I wanted to face him. More properly, in person.

Azel was a feared demon lord, but I never thought that everything I saw when I spent time with him had disappeared because of yesterday’s incident.

It had only been a short time, but I didn’t think Azel was that kind of man. His title of Demon Lord had nothing to do with it.

And that was if I were going for positive thinking.

He thought I was going to escape, and that seemed to have angered him at first glance, but perhaps he was just upset about it.

Somehow, it just feels like…

“Love, isn’t it? It’s like he loves me so much he couldn’t let me go.”

I chuckled.

I didn’t really seriously think that, but I thought it would’ve been nice if I teased him about it. I felt so immature.

Hahaha, what the hell.

Now that I think about it, I didn’t mind Azel being so cold like he was a different person……

Love?

Suddenly, my normal brain that had been on standby, received my jokingly positive thoughts.

Uh… Erm, I carried the joke a bit too far.

We were both guys, we were also of different races, and there was no way a fierce, handsome guy would love someone like me.

I had no idea what made me think that. Really, was my clunky head still lacking in blood? If that were the case, it was more natural for me to fall in love with him instead.

I came here to kill him, yet he let me live and gave me a much better life than I ever had. Rather than telling me to kill someone, he treated me on an equal footing and worked hard to ensure my safety.

He was such a dishonest, adorable, handsome man.

If someone decided to keep you in such a way, you would desperately want to give something back to them, even if you weren’t in love with them. You would feel terribly heartbroken to have hurt them. And you would end up wanting to be by their side.

I deeply nodded in understanding. That’s right.

For the sake of my wonderful, kind, and precious owner, I would go for a ride on a Hydrod-type intense roller coaster, eagerly waiting outside the window for me to jump out.

…Hup…!

The catchline is, ‘for Azel’!

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Chapter 16 – A Demon Lord I Don’t Know


The demon lord’s office was on a level where there were far fewer other demons.

It was a short walk from my prison, up three grand staircases with high ceilings that were difficult to climb.

Beyond the window facing the hallway was a clear, sunny day. The door across it had a standard size, probably because Azel was the size of a human.

Still, it felt much bigger for me compared to the huge door of my prison. I had to go beyond this door, clear up the misunderstanding and make up with him.

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Chapter 14 – Mission Start


Clack.

“Shal, the barrier has disappeared, so I’ve come to pla– aah?!”

“Mm… Good morning, Gard… Go through the door…”

“O… okay…”

This grinning Gard hadn’t come here in a while, but he was still a window intruder.

He looked shocked when he saw me lying down exhausted on top of the bed without its bedcover and with my arms and legs spread out.

I shakily pointed at the door. He walked out of the door once and immediately walked right back in, even though he couldn’t grasp the situation. Yup, he was a boy who could do anything if he tried.

As for me, I got up this morning as usual and managed to finish my stretching.

But even though I was feeling better than last night, I was still a bit tired. I also refused breakfast, so I remained rooted in bed.

Two pachinko ball-sized holes were drilled in my neck and had been taken from like water flowing from a faucet. So, if it weren’t for my enhanced basic stats, I might’ve died.

I couldn’t recover by physical reinforcement since they sealed my magic, so I had to rely on my natural healing power.

“Shal, Shal. Are you going to die? Are you dying?”

Gard approached me with small steps and crouched next to my bed. He looked at me as I lay there sprawled out and tilted his head.

He didn’t show it much in his movements or face, but he was apparently worried. Gard just had his eyebrows drooped.

“Don’t kill me as you please… This Hero is… strong… nghh…”

“H-He’s deaad!”

“No, I’m nooot…”

I tried to get up, not wanting him to worry, but I sadly collapsed and emitted a pitiful voice.

He pronounced me dead in a panic when he saw that, so I frantically told him I wasn’t. Gard thought of me like a hamster after all… It was disgraceful, really.

Then, sometime later, while he was making a commotion saying I was dead and that I wasn’t, I recovered enough not to feel lightheaded.

“…I can’t win against the demon lord… But, I’m a little pissed off.”

When I recovered, I drank water as I explained to him in summary why I was in this state. Gard narrowed his eyes like a snake and wriggled his tail restlessly.

Well, I wasn’t even the slightest angry… I didn’t really mind it, so even though I was grateful for his sentiments, I was hoping he could swallow them down.

In the first place, I was the one who told him he could drink more even before and also the one who made him sad thoughtlessly.

My actions had hurt Azel. That was what this was all about.

When I told him that, Gard wriggled his tail even further, taking his anger out on the carpet and making it more fluffed.

“Even with those set aside, it still ain’t good to put you on the verge of death, you know.”

Well… If we were to talk about whether it was good or bad, it would fall more on the latter, but it was generally my fault anyway.

The demonic characteristic of having the desire to protect the weak, unless they were hostile against demons, might be overflowing from him.

I couldn’t figure out the scoring criteria for Gard’s anger, so I just nodded and said, “I see.”

After that, I was fulfilling Gard’s wish for me to pat his heat just as he had said from the start, and he shared with me what had happened to him before we met today.

The other day, when he was patrolling the skies as a soldier, he spotted a swarm of sky tuna swimming through the clouds.

Sky tuna, as the name implies, was apparently a flying tuna. Its taste was as sweet as chocolate and was said to be Gard’s favorite food.

He beamed as he returned home, having gobbled up as much as he wanted in a festive manner.

“Chocolate tuna… Wow, it’ll be hard for me to get used to the taste gap.”

“What are you talking about? Isn’t tuna sweet?”

He told me that as if it was just obvious, but tuna was a fish that had a pungent smell both in my previous world and in the human realm. It was the king of fish for the masses that was very popular with the children.

Gard was excited to go hunting next time.

Well, I don’t really have any complaints about the chocolate tuna, but… hm, no? I might have some.

Gard was in an excellent mood since I listened to his story and petted him lots.

Apparently, he liked being touched. Was it because he hadn’t been touched much?

Talking to him was fun for me too. But there was something I had decided to do today.

I felt bad for my friend who came to see me, but I had to get going, so I stood up.

All I had was my usual black-fitted innerwear, so I didn’t really have that much choice. I didn’t have any personal belongings, so I had nothing to bring. I had also taken a shower already.

“Where’re you going? The sun’s only just risen, and you haven’t still taken a stroll in the sky with me after our little chat.”

“Sorry, I have to go and make up with Azel for a while. Can you show me the way to the office?”

“Hmph. Are you going to die again!”

“I won’t, I won’t!”

For what it’s worth, you’re the one who wants to kill me!

Gard crossed both his arms and formed a large “X” as he said, “You can’t!” and I threatened him with both my hands ready to flick his forehead.

I would still go, even if a Hydrod blocked my way.

I was so ashamed of myself for leaving Azel alone all night, depressed because of my stupidity, and that I hadn’t cleared up the misunderstanding yet, nor had I made up for it.

I had to show him that I was a man too.

“I’m coming with you.”

In response to my threats, that was the only thing he seemed not to be willing to compromise on. It all worked out better than I had expected. I nodded happily to this.

I would quickly get to the office if he led the way.

After we had settled on that…

Gard joined my party now, and this would be my first mission… no, this would be my first time exploring the demon lord’s castle, excluding the decisive battle I had back then.

Objective: office.

Mission: reconciliation!

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Chapter 13 – Important One ≠ Unwillingness to Lose Them (Side Azel)


Slam.

The door grimly closed behind me, and I slowly sat down on the spot.

Then, I held my knees and sobbed unbecomingly.

I tried to keep my voice down, but even so, my tears kept flowing, warmly soaking my knees.

—I’ve hurt Shal so badly.

That fact felt like a sharp blade piercing through my heart.

I was expecting to get showered with praises when I walked through this door where I just came out of.

Just a little while ago, I was so excited and even rushed to come here at this hour.

But now, I bit my lips and held back my tears as I walked out of the room with a heavy heart crying out in pain.

It wasn’t supposed to go this way.

At first, when I told him he could go outside, Shal truly thanked me with a gentle voice as if he had gathered all the kindness from this world and put it into words.

Just how happy was he with that?

I tried to get across and closer to his heart, little by little, every day. However, I broke his heart by staining it red.

I was too conceited. He smiled, so… that’s right. I convinced myself that he liked his days here and liked spending his time with me.

But the truth is, he couldn’t help but detest me.

I was the ruler of mankind’s enemy, so he came here to kill me, but I injured him, putting him on the verge of death. Then, I brandished the rules of demons and imprisoned him here, leaving him the only human in a world full of demons.

I… always admired my benefactor from before and wanted to stay by his side, even though it was just for my own satisfaction. I didn’t even know if he remembered the past.

The more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t stop my tears. I didn’t mean to be so cruel.

I was just glad and embarrassed to be able to watch him at first and allowed him to stay here on my own accord. That’s why, I just thought I wanted to do whatever I could to help.

And that was when he smiled at me so gently, thanked me as if it was just the natural thing to do, called me by my name, and worried about me.

There were days when even small things piled up like petals.

Even though I took his sword away, sealed his magic, and locked him in a place where there were no other humans…

He was that kind of man who would ask for a job so that he could give me something in return as gratitude.

When I told him I couldn’t let him do that, he was that kind of straightforward man who would offer himself without hesitation.

He was that kind of benefactor. Yet, the thought of him getting away made my mind turn black, and I felt a ferocious possessiveness surging through me.

I didn’t understand that feeling. It wasn’t the debt of gratitude I had been holding on to for a long time.

It wasn’t admiration or anything. For the first time, the feeling I had was as violent as a raging stream and was beyond my control.

As a demon who had lived for a long time, it was hard for me to understand and digest such sudden changes and uncontrollable waves of emotions.

Before I knew it, I found myself selfishly shouting about things I couldn’t get to the point of. I even tried to restrain him by threatening him, digging my unsightly, pointed fangs into Shal’s smooth and bright skin.

I bit down hard to scare him, and the warm blood continuously filled my mouth.

I usually just sucked a bit of it, and with that alone, it gave a mellow fragrance enough to make me dizzy—a sweet, rich, and thick blood.

Ba-thump.

An elated heartbeat rang out.

I knew that humans from another world were exceedingly delicious. In addition to that, I felt my inexplicable thirst for possession and desire to control being satisfied.

As if I were driven by heat, I sucked in deeply and felt the luscious blood clinging to my tongue, enough to captivate me. I felt the familiar sensation of it going down my throat.

“…n…gh… a…”

Close to my ears, I could hear a lustful sound mixed with Shal’s voice groaning in pain.

His voice aroused more excitement. I rubbed my head against him as if demanding more, devouring him with beastly vigor and dwindling sanity.

The taste was so rich, so divine, and irresistible that I would never tire of drinking. It was the finest blood.

Aah, it’s so good. I want to drink more.

I want more.

More.

“Nn… Ha…. It’s really, really delicious…”

“Gh… I’m…. glad… to hear… that.”

I didn’t realize that he was starting to weaken until I felt his soft cheeks gently brush against mine.

And, when I did…

I realized I had foolishly drunk so much blood that an ordinary human being would have lost consciousness long ago.

“…”

“Ah…!”

When I pulled out my fangs as if they were plucked, Shal raised his voice and twitched.

A deep red stream of blood gushed out of his wound, which had lost its plug, and I hurriedly sucked on it to cover the wound.

As I came to my senses, a splitting sound rang painfully inside my head.

—I’ve done it… I’ve done it! Why didn’t I stop? All I wanted to do was scare him a little and make him give up!

—Now Shal is going to reject me completely!

My mouth was dyed red with Shal’s blood. On the other hand, Shal lay limp, with his pale skin exposed to the moonlight.

His hand, which seemed to be gripping my chest, fell down weakly as if its thread had been cut.

Had I been so shamelessly enjoying such a delicious meal that I didn’t even notice his clinging hands?

“S…top… Don’t… touch me…!”

I was too flustered that I wasn’t even sure what to do after realizing that. Then, Shal drove me out with an unusually firm tone.

It left me with the pain of being struck with a burning iron stake, turning my overflowing regret into tears.

The blood was delicious enough to make me lose control of myself—the blood of my most important person.

I wiped my mouth repeatedly. There was no more blood on me, but I couldn’t wipe away the crime I had committed. I loved blood, but I was never that crazy about it.

“H-Hic… Shal… Shal… hic… ngh…”

Now that the barrier had been lifted, Shal would surely leave this place tomorrow.

There was no way he was going to stay around someone that devoured him like that.

I was sure he was frightened, held a grudge, and hated me.

If I forced him to stay like I did earlier, he would hate me even more. I couldn’t do that.

I felt sad, lonely, and so painful that my heart was being torn apart by the situation I had brought upon myself. Uncontrollable emotions flowed endlessly from my black eyes.

I didn’t know why I felt so lonely. Not long ago, we hadn’t seen each other for a long time.

I had only just returned to him, and yet, I felt so sad that I couldn’t control the thought of Shal hating me.

I couldn’t save the train of thought from falling into the abyss. I left the door without wiping away the tears that flowed one after another, walking in a hollow manner.

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Chapter 10 – Overprotective vs Foolishly Honest


“Didn’t I tell you before that it’s dangerous out there? There’re gryffors and rock dragons on that cliff! For someone like you, it’ll just take them one bite. Don’t underestimate the monsters within the vicinity of the final boss!”

“I’m aware of that. I’m not trying to get eaten. But, I really want to go there, no matter the cost.”

“You don’t get it at all…!”

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Chapter 8 – Fluffball and Peaches (Mofumofu Momo) (Side Azel)


—After that.

I spent a week telling all the powerful demons living near the castle that Shal was a resident of the demon lord’s castle and thus, my property.

Those who weren’t interested in humans were quick to follow; however, there were also those who hated humans. After all, humans were pain in the ass.

Just as we ate humans, they too were diligent in subduing us for material collection. But well, we also had certain races that did the same.

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