After the demon lord’s seizure had subsided, he snapped his fingers while smirking and summoned a tea set on the table beside him.
He took his place on one of the tables for two in a regal, elegant manner. The way he crossed his long legs, wearing a satisfied expression and boldly smiling, really looked as if he was taken out of a painting.
Tea parties with the demon lord were the routine these days. Without asking permission, I sat across from him.
“Ah. That reminds me, my name isn’t Shal. I’ll properly tell you my real name as well. It’s Ookawa Shouryuu… or just Shouryuu.”
“Wh-What?! Mmm, no, I got it. Sho-ol…”
“No, it’s Shouryuu.”
“Tch, the names from another world were made difficult to catch. Since it’d be a problem if their names remained.”
“Is that so… Then, just Shal is fine. I thought it was difficult to pronounce for those in this world, but it was actually just hard to catch.”
The Demon Lord seemed dissatisfied, but I told him that I didn’t mind repeating it since I got to solve the mystery, relieved by the weight off my shoulders.
I drank some tea as I watched him sulk, resting his chin on his hand. This citrus-scented, quaffable black tea was very much to my liking.
This peacefulness which I almost never experienced since I came into this world, had now become my everyday life since I came into this castle.
I said it was boring but… I still couldn’t help but feel guilty. I felt like I have been taking much more than I give.
“Azel, I don’t plan on running away so, could you give me any work? I’m used to running errands, you know.”
“No. There’s no job someone of the meager, fragile, triple weak race can do.”
“Just what do you think of humans…”
I was flatly rejected.
Just how weak does he think humans are? Isn’t he mistaking us for hamsters or something?
I was going to argue further, but before I could say anything, Azel cut me off swiftly.
“Someone like you whose magical powers are sealed and has no sword, you’re just a little bit of a reinforced human being! Understand? Humans could end up with their army turned into dust even just by making a single mistake.
“No, wait, that just depends on the potential of the demon lord who’s capable of turning people into dust. Just what kind of mistake will turn them to dust…?!”
“Wha, there’s no helping it, my usual attacks are wide-ranged that can execute thrice, with a probability of a status condition!”
“Now that I think about it, that’s true!”
The Demon Lord who was loudly complaining was certainly like a personification of a difficult, impossible video game when we fought before. If this were a game, I would’ve thrown the controller already.
“Anyway! Don’t leave the room for a while longer! You had a combat power amounting to a human with cheats when you came here, so maybe that’s why there wasn’t anyone making a move to strike… The demons only submit to those with extremely superior power! Those who were weak get weeded out so quickly, so their numbers aren’t as much as humans, but they’re definitely superior in terms of combat power.”
Azel snorted and got angry like a stubborn father.
He brought the plate of sweets served with tea to me. Am I supposed to eat this?
Unconvinced, I stared pointedly at him with narrowed eyes as if trying to press for an answer.
“Those who live around the demon lord’s castle could all walk into the dragon’s lair naked, and still be able to return back home unscathed while skipping.”
“It’s scary enough to think that there’d be guys strolling around the dragon’s lair naked, but… what kind of demons are those…? Are they a warlike race?”
As a Japanese who came from a modern era, I wasn’t used to doing nothing but idling around, so I dropped my shoulders, realizing it was useless, and got depressed.
I wasn’t sure about the rules of the demon realm. Returning to the kingdom of humans now would be a bother, but still, this place was too lenient.
If I get used to living this way, I might not be able to return back to the life of being overworked once they lose interest and throw me away.
Well, that was definitely out of the question since I wasn’t able to defeat the demon lord; so, if I shamelessly return there, they would condemn me for sure.
I hope you’ll kill me instead when you get tired of me…
Even though I lacked resolve, I wanted to live as much as possible. So, that would be my last resort when things get hopeless.
“Th, uh… W-Well, those who are in opposition in this castle will give up soon, and then I’ll make sure you can wander around the castle. I’m a kind demon lord, after all.”
“Urgh… Shal! Is there anything you like? Do you want some food or anything?”
Azel asked me with some kind of desperate look while I was picking up a confectionery that seemed like a dull, sweet-and-sour dried fruit.
He tapped the table repeatedly and urged me to hurry, but… What’s with that all of a sudden?
I tilted my head and obediently thought about it, but he tapped the table even faster.
“Hm… I like animals and reptiles. As for food… I’m rather fond of peaches.”
“Animals and… peaches, right? Okay, just you wait and see!”
“Ahaha, asking about such things, you’re a weird guy.”
Azel had another seizure and began to tremble, hiding his face with his hands. He looks troubled, is he alright?
“Are you alright, Azel…? Here, you can drink from me. This seems to be like the only thing I can do to thank you for now.”
I held out my right hand to the trembling Azel. The bat-like monster told me the other day that human blood had a slight recovery effect on races who drink blood.
It was said that humans with magic could recover even more magical power, and those the blood of someone from another world would seem to have the same level of nourishing and energizing effect just like an exquisite energy drink.
Those bat-like monsters were also demons who drink blood, so they looked at me like I were some kind of feast, but they didn’t seem to be willing to go against the demon lord. I guess it was true that they absolutely submit to those with superior powers.
Azel glared at me through the gap between his fingers as I held out my hanad towards him, saying ‘Please have as much as you want.’
He fearfully and gently took my hand, as if he were touching an infant.
“You, seriously, don’t say that to anyone but me…”
“It’s not like I wanted to be sucked because I like it. I just wanted to repay you for giving me food, clothing and shelter. Or do you want to go for my neck, after all? You’ll be able to drink a lot.”
He cursed at me, with a look on his face saying, ‘I can’t believe I’ve turned bright red!’
What part of that is perverted…? I really still don’t understand demon culture.
It would’ve been easier to drink if he had wounded a thick vein, but Azel only dug his fangs on my fingertips.
He held my index finger in his mouth, licked it comfortingly before gently piercing his fangs in.
As soon as my voice came out, he glanced at me with a questioning look.
When he took my hand politely so, it felt like a prince was kissing a princess.
Azel as a prince would make for a good image, but me as a princess would just be a minor detail.
In the silent room, I could only hear the sound of Azel licking the wound on my finger, sucking blood on it little by little, and the sound of my quivering voice.
I didn’t expect that the guy who I came to kill was keeping me and doing this to me.
The world was unpredictable.
“Hah… I get a little jittery when you do this.”
“Mm, that might be because there’s poison in my fangs… I, I’m good for today.”
“Will that always be enough? Or is my blood worse than you thought?”
“It’s the other way around, you idiot! Do you wanna die, you perverted hero…!”
I literally had no idea what Azel was thinking.
After being showered with baseless insults, Azel growled and went out of the room. He growls quite a lot, did he come from a dog-like lineage or something?