It’s Surprisingly Comfortable at the Demon Lord’s Castle.
“I-I found it…!”
The former hungry duo was now fine and high-spirited after eating meat.
After that, I was the only one desperately searching through several cliffs and rocky areas, and finally, I found the Aryma colony that I had longed for.
How I longed for the beautiful, pure white flowers blooming between the steep cliffs…!
I’m glad I didn’t lose my physical strength! I wouldn’t have made it this far if I had been a shut-in for three weeks.
I looked up at the flowers with sparkling eyes, and commended the usual workout that had become part of my daily routine.
“Alright! I’ll go get them.”
“You’re an idiot, aren’t you? I bet you’ll fall to your death before you even get to a place like that. I’m not gonna let you do that with your wounded, soft hands, you know.”
“I’m pretty sure most hands are soft compared to that of a dragon’s.”
Gard changed his perception of me as someone weak as a hamster, and worse, as a child whom he couldn’t take his eyes off from.
He gave me a worried look on a level of being made into an idiot.
He’s probably being serious. That felt more frustrating in its own way.
Gard placed his hand on the cliff, saying “I’ll get it for you.” so I tried to hold him up as long as I could to keep him from doing it.
“If I just leave it all up to Gard, I’ll end up being a total coward. I wanted to make up with him, so if I just leave it to another person… dragon, then my pride will lament it.”
“Let your pride lament as much as it would like~ In the first place, at the time you asked me to do a favor for the Demon Lord, you were already acting on behalf of him, right? And you found that all by yourself, didn’t you? I was just playing tag with grasshoppers, after all.”
“With pillbugs, too. …Having said that, I don’t think he’d see how sincere I was if I’m not willing to put up the effort to get the Aryma.”
I intently stared at Gard, conveying my resolution.
I even went so far as to make Azel angry, so if I didn’t try as hard as I can, yesterday’s misunderstanding wouldn’t mean much now, would it?
With a bouquet of Aryma, I’ll tell him why and sincerely apologize.
And only by telling him how I feel about him will the conflict become meaningful for the first time.
I won’t be able to say with pride that I wanted to return his favor with a bouquet of flowers that a friend had given to me.
Gard saw my serious expression, and faltered.
However, he wagged his tail and suddenly turned his head away.
“Then, I’ll tell him how serious you are. That’s fine, isn’t it?”
“Eat the Hero’s resistance, two-handed finger flick! Ouch!”
“Did you break your finger?”
“I didn’t break it…”
I puffed and blew on my slightly injured finger. Damn, I’ve been so badly damaged for nothing.
My base defense power is still amazing as ever.
But I thought that the Hero’s finger flicking resistance technique should give their regards to Gard since he said I was an idiot.
Maybe he was being overprotective since I was a bit groggy on our first contact.
To prove your feelings, it should be accompanied with actions coming from the heart.
Alright! I fired myself up.
I placed one foot on each cliff and jumped lightly, trying to climb between the narrow cliffs with strength to open my legs.
Gard let out a disheartened voice and reached out to me as I jumped, but he didn’t touch me.
I can tell that he’s worried about me, so I’m also going to get a bit disheartened about being caught.
Even so, I’m still going.
“If Shal falls and dies, who is going to pet me?”
“If I fall, then it’d be nice if Gard catches me. If you do, then I wouldn’t die, and I could climb as many times as I want.”
“! Yeah, that sounds good too!”
The two of us, who were disheartened, came to a compromise very easily, and I started to climb the cliff with a smile.
Here’s a look at the bond between the hungry duo who ventured out together all day.
Besides, I used to climb these castle walls and cliffs during my job as a hero, so honestly, I’m pretty used to it.
In order to dispel Gard’s uneasiness, I climbed up the cliff smoothly and placed strength in my arms to reach my goal.
There were some rocks that were rugged and slightly protruding, so I used them as starting points and advanced while making sure I had good footholds.
Even though it’s a tall cliff, there is nothing particularly dangerous as long as you proceed carefully.
I climbed safely and peacefully on the cliff where the Aryma was in full bloom.
Gard, who had been feeling anxious below, was finally relieved to see me arrive there so easily.
Hmm… I hope I could use this as an opportunity to dispel the stigma of young children.
A lot of Aryma could be seen around.
It was such a beautiful flower that felt out of place in this wasteland, and opened its eight, pure white petals proudly.
It was short that its stem doesn’t stick out below my hand when I hold it.
Instead, its stem was firm, probably so as not to be blown away by the wind.
Snap. With a pitiful sound, a thin, transparent film of floral juice spread out from the slits in the stems of the plucked flowers.
I see… Were they storing liquid to survive in the wasteland?
As Maruo said, it’s a flower with strong vitality. Both the flowers and the floral juice had a refreshing scent that cleared my head.
“How’s it going—?”
Although relieved, Gard was impatient, and asked me how it was going, so I held up the Aryma I plucked in one hand.
He gave me a thumbs up at once, so I returned the gesture. Mission complete, congratulations, alright.
So as to not eradicate this herd, I only plucked out the ones within reach.
I was about ready to get off the cliff, carrying a bouquet that I could hold with one hand.
As I landed on the ground, relieved that I had achieved my goal, I realized that the sun was about to set.
I didn’t realize it was already this late…
I was so desperate to find the flowers that I didn’t look at the sky.
Once the sun goes down, I wouldn’t be able to keep my promise to visit Azel in his office today.
No, he was working with such intensity that he might’ve finished long before the sun went down. He might not be in the office anymore.
A seething sense of restlessness grew in my chest.
I quickly turned to Gard, and just right after, I performed the 45-degree bow that I had trained as a salaryman.
“Whoa? Hey, what’s this?”
“Gard, thank you for cooperating with me today. Thanks to you, I was able to get my hands on this. I really appreciate it… There’s not much I can do, but when Gard is in trouble, I swear I’ll be there for you.”
“Hm… hmph, kushishi. I don’t do favoritism, that’s okay. But, let’s see… I’ll take that privilege to ask for your cooperation.”
“Ahh, thank you…!”
Gard had a smile on his face when I thanked him.
Those red cheeks probably weren’t just from the sunset.
After I smiled back, I quickly got an apologetic look on my face.
Gard didn’t seem to be exhausted at all, but he had to keep me company until this hour.
I’m pretty sure he’s tired.
I felt reluctant to ask him another favor, but I still firmly looked towards him.
I split the Aryma bouquet that I had in my hand into half, and timidly gave it to Gard as compensation.
“I would like to request a hero express delivery to the office of the Demon Lord’s castle…”