Chapter 40 – Riding on the Fluffball


“Woah… Wow. Cool. Amazing.”

Azel and I had left the demon lord’s castle ahead of schedule, and currently—we were rapidly going through the forest at an amazing speed. 

Oh, god. I know what you want to say.

Even I didn’t expect that I’d be able to travel so smoothly in the demon realm crawling with monsters on both ground and in the sky. It was all happening too quickly.

I mean, we practically never encountered the monsters themselves, but…

The reason for that was solely the foul-grade vehicle chosen as our means of transportation.

I stroked and tended to the black fur I was clinging to.

“Azel, aren’t you tired? Is everything alright?”

“Grrrrrr, woof!”

Yup. I have no idea at all.

I called out to Azel, but what came back was a low, heavy beastly bark. 

It came from the large, black wolf I was clinging to, so that’s how it was.

As you might have guessed—Today’s vehicle was the Demon Lord.

How should I put this…? Is it okay for a hero to use the demon lord as his feet…? I felt uneasy about it, but Azel himself was in a very good mood, so there was no helping it.

Going back in time, an hour ago.

It was normal to use carriages in this world as means of transportation, so Azel and I headed in front of the castle gates to ride one.

But nothing was there.

I asked Azel about it, but the only answer I got from him was “the way to get there is on foot.”

Hard to believe, isn’t it? I, too, was so surprised that I had to ask him once more.

Wasn’t it too much for a lord to travel on foot on official business?

Not to mention, the king in the human realm rarely left his castle, you know? And yet, in the demon realm, even the inspections were conducted by the demon lord himself.

Whenever the king would leave his castle, he would use an exclusive carriage, extravagantly decorated with the royal crest.

And yet, the demon lord was going on foot.

I wonder if they wrote it as “demon lord” but read it as “corporate slave”?

I couldn’t believe the horrible way Azel was being treated, and I even knocked on the stone pavement1Originally from the phrase 石橋を叩いて渡る which means knocking on a stone bridge before crossing it to check if it is safe. to see if I was being pranked.

But, according to Azel—

“That’s because humans are vulnerable. A weak king would never go outside, but I’m the strongest in the demon realm. There’s no risk, so I could even go to the inspection by myself. And, I also run faster than a unicorn or a pegasus pulling a carriage.”

—So it would seem.

‘Heheh,’ he pointed at himself with a smug look on his face.

He was like a dog waiting to be praised. I thought I saw ears and a tail for a moment, but it must’ve been just my imagination.

After the explanation, Azel was so enthusiastic about becoming a carriage himself and transformed in an instant.

And what appeared was a Kudlakion—to put it simply, a very large, black wolf, the third form of Azel that I had seen for the first time.

This seemed to be his original form as a demon, but… even though I already heard it from Gard, I guess he was really a canine. I thought I was just hallucinating, but it was reality.

Although my explanation seemed as if it was nothing, it wasn’t really cute when you see it in person.

It was a wolf large enough to make me look up. It wasn’t as huge as a dragon, but it was like a large truck that ran on highways.

The lustrous, jet-black fur that was difficult to distinguish when dissolved in darkness was purely beautiful, but it looked as if it was going to swallow me up.

His four limbs had thick, red furs that covered his sharp, knife-like claws. They extended up to the middle of his long, supple limbs.

And his body was thinly covered with black mist. It was terrifying. It was a dense, dark magic at a level where it was easy to see.

There were four blood-colored vines near his feet, with sharp scythes at the end. They defied gravity and swayed freely.

In other words, he was the dungeon’s final boss, no matter how I looked at him.

It would be a huge mistake to think that he was similar to the large, black dog kept at my grandmother’s house since he was full of eerie, intimidating air.

No matter how weak I was to animals, I don’t think this was the time to be fluffing him, right?

He was wagging his tail so much that dust was rolling up, but I couldn’t dampen down the mood of Azel with his smug look.

It was a long story, but that’s how it was.

I was currently riding on Azel and headed for Svenmarina. 

“It’s really amazing. It’s as if there are no obstacles.”

Astonished, I watched the vivid scenery disappearing behind me at a rapid speed I’d only seen from a train.

Azel easily evaded trees, rocks and valleys as if they didn’t exist in the first place.

It was like a modern era TV show called SA〇〇UKE2Sasuke – A Japanese TV show where Ninja Warrior is based on. It’s a sports entertainment where competitors take on challenging obstacle courses.. It was so exciting.

I never thought I’d end up riding on the back of the final boss, but this was so much fun.

I was at least trying to be gentle with him by stroking him around his neck, then his ears twitched, and his earrings made a sound.

“Oh, right. I’m holding on pretty tight, or quite buried if you prefer, but doesn’t it hurt?”

“Grrau!”

“I see, I see. Azel is strong. And very fluffy. Good boy.”

“W-Woof! Krr…!”

“I’ll pat your head, too.”

“Woof!”

I was buried in plenty of fluffy fur and clung to it to keep myself from falling, but to tell you the truth, it was pretty cozy.

I asked Azel if he was feeling discomfort, but that didn’t seem to be the case.

I didn’t know what he was saying about my stroking, but he wasn’t showing any signs of pain, so I just heedlessly spoiled him like a dog.

And not only was it comfortable, but when I was wrapped in Azel’s fur, I didn’t suffer from the level of wind pressure that would cause my neck to fly.

If you ask me, it seemed that the defense was continuously improving. The demon lord was completely a cheat.

He wasn’t only fluffy but also excellent in functionality… Thanks to that, I had a very comfortable trip.

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