It’s Surprisingly Comfortable at the Demon Lord’s Castle.
Kapukapu Fever Time
After seeing Gard off, I made my way through the rocks and arrived at the open area in front of the promised cave.
It was about the size of a sports field, with dry, grass-colored plants restlessly overgrown followed by a dim cave densely packed with dark rocks, unlike the arid-colored rocky areas.
I took the dead branches scattered around, picked the best size for firewood and gathered them in one place.
At the same time, I also picked up some large leaves that could serve as a plate.
I found spice powders that I’ve also seen in the human realm, and they tasted like pepper. So, I took two whole peppercorns.
With a little bit of effort, I carried two rocks which seemed suitable for people to sit on, and laid them out near the firewood.
I also tried to look around the rocky areas while preparing, but I still couldn’t find a single Aryma.
I knew this wasn’t going to work out easily as conveniently finding it right away just because you set your mind into it, but… even so, I can’t help dropping my shoulders.
I pulled myself together, and decided to look for anything else I could add.
I cautiously peeked into the cave where I had postponed my search.
There’s no danger nearby.
Let’s go inside a little bit more.
Without lowering my guard, I went along the wall, and advanced deeper.
The light from the entrance had become much dimmer, but fortunately, the cave was glowing blue inside, so I didn’t have to worry about the light source. Well, I wouldn’t really have gotten deeper if not for that.
And, when I got deeper to some extent, there was suddenly an open area with several small sources of water scattered around like puddles.
The sources of water look like holes of a lotus root.
The spring water seemed to have flowed down from the limestone-like rock icicles as if opening a thin faucet, and accumulated.
I walked slowly, and approached the puddles.
Several golden brown porcupines with a sharp horn growing from their foreheads were drinking water from a nearby puddle.
So, it was drinkable. No, more importantly, why are there porcupines?
The bodies that mimicked the color of rocks were completely floating around the rocky areas inside the dark, blue cave.
Since I’m already here, I thought I might as well wash my sweaty hands in the puddle, then my face.
It feels comfortable to have my body exposed and burnt under the sun for a long time then cooled down.
I scooped the flowing spring water into the hands I just washed, and drank it all.
The cold, delicious water seeped through my dry throat. It didn’t taste particularly bad either.
I see. This might be a resting place for the demons in the valley.
It’s a lucky thing for me, since this forced exploration to this wasteland has been unexpectedly difficult.
It’s not because I wouldn’t be able to find Aryma if I never had this kind of rest, but because I might have to go back to the castle due to fatigue and hunger.
I sighed in relief, and turned around to see something pecking at my crouched thighs. It felt ticklish. I’m supposed to be the only one in here.
Squeaking ‘mokyu! mokyu!’ and sniffing at me with a curious look was a porcupine.
It was the porcupine that had been drinking water from a different puddle a while ago.
As I turned around, several porcupines were in front of me and staring at me with their round and cute eyes.
Even though I couldn’t touch them because of their dangerous needles blocking me, they’re cute enough.
I wanted to pet them, but that didn’t seem possible. So, I held out my hand gently to the porcupine making a snorting sound and sniffing at me, giving it a little bit of attention.
“There, there. What is it? Is it unusual to see a human?”
“Mm, its chin is soft underneath.”
Perhaps, they think of my existence as a weak monster since my magic is sealed, and that even without caution, the porcupine rubbed its face against my outstretched hand.
The needles on its back were threatening, and its horns were also sharp and dangerous.
However, its small, mouse-like face was adorable, and its fur was rather stiff, but soft like an animal. It’s squishy.
“Mm, so adorable.”
As I was petting the porcupine, all of a sudden, it bit into the flesh around the base of my index finger.
It didn’t hurt so much when it bit me with its small jaws, but I was frozen in surprise.
The porcupine was drinking the blood flowing from my finger.
…This porcupine, were they the type to drink blood?!
Rumble! A big shock came through me.
I’ve never heard of such a thing. Who would ever look at a porcupine and think of them as the blood-sucking type?
When I hurriedly tried to pull my hand away from the porcupine, another one cried out with ‘mokyu, mokyu’ and bit me on my wrist.
“Ngh! H-hey… Ah, ow… Stop… That hurts…”
Kapu.2 I pulled my hand away after I was bitten, but another porcupine was a step ahead and bit me with kapu. It’s a chain of kapukapu.
Their fangs were small enough to scratch my skin a bit, but I got bitten a lot, and a lot of bites followed it.
Even though it’s just small scratches, the blood that flowed out was quite a disaster.
“I-I can’t do this anymore, I’m out…”
“Mokyuu, kyuu kyuu…”
“Auu… That’s so unfair…”
When I got up and tried to escape, the porcupines all made a loud and sad voice, as if saying ‘Don’t do that! Just a little bit more!’ So, I sat down again in distress.
For now, I allowed them one more kapu and let them drink. Then, I washed my wounds and left the cave, with them trailing behind me.