“—That’s a rare sight to see… My lord, who dares to woo you? He’s a human, right?”
In the midst of our exchange—I suddenly heard a low, seeping, dignified voice.
I quickly turned around and before I knew it, there was someone I didn’t know right behind me. I reflexively went on guard and stiffened.
A man in military uniform, wearing a pure white mantle on his back, seemed to be about two meters tall.
A sea monster’s tail peeked out from underneath his mantle. His pale, bluish, straight silky hair stretched up to his waist, and above his head were dog ears, just like Ulysse.
His long, beautiful, translucent hair shone in the sunlight, but there was nothing feminine about his appearance. His eyes were sharp, and he didn’t have the same gentleness as Reisen.
Azel went in agony at the sound of the man’s voice, shook his face a few times and lightly slapped his cheeks. And then, he recovered quickly, wearing a look of ignorance.
“It’s been a long time, Wadler. Is everything okay at the sea?”
“Yes. There is nothing of great concern, my lord. What matters is your cheek. It’s like an apple.”
He was Ulysse’s father… right?
The huge man, Mr. Wadler, nodded sternly, but when he pointed out Azel’s still-flushed cheeks, Azel clicked his tongue and seemed embarrassed.
Mr. Wadler stared at that kind of Azel with curiosity. I could almost hear his voice filled with interest and his gaze filled with fatherhood.
“To think that the Wailing Blood Beast, the Demon Lord of Lamentation, Azelidias Nilegown, would show his embarrassment at being seduced by a human… If Awayal sees that, he’ll faint.”
“Stop saying that disgraceful title of mine in full. It sounds like a bloodstained dog that’s sulking and crying when you roughly interpret it. Just say Demon Lord.”
“Is that so? It’s only natural for one’s name to have a title attached in it if they hold a high position, so why the fuss now?”
Yup. I guess Azel also had another terrifying name, just like Gard and Reisen. I was secretly convinced and watched the interaction between the two.
He seemed to be displeased with it, yet Mr. Wadler apparently didn’t think anything of that terrifying name.
Was it a common expression in the demon realm where it was customary to give names? If that were the case, then they must have had a very different sensibility than humans.
I never really thought about the cultural differences between races. For some reason, Azel stole glances at me, as if he wanted to ask why I didn’t react to such thoughts.
I wondered what was going on. I was unsure of his intentions, so I tilted my head, but he averted his gaze. Was it just my imagination?
It worried me for a bit, but I convinced myself that it probably didn’t mean anything and pretended it never happened.
“…I see, you didn’t want the human to be scared of you. Heheh, my lord isn’t like a demon lord today.”
“Tch… Shut up. I’m a kind demon lord.”
So, Mr. Wadler guessed that I didn’t understand any of it, and I also wasn’t sure why Azel had feigned ignorance.
This was probably another cultural difference.
And so, I was watching the two of them being familiar despite not meshing with each other, when Ulysse, who had been obediently shutting his mouth, raised his hand.
He called the attention of the two while mumbling, trying to see if he was allowed to speak. Mr. Wadler nodded when he saw him.
I was being silent so as not to interrupt their conversation, when Mr. Wadler turned around to face me and gently loosened his mouth.
“I haven’t introduced myself yet, my lord’s beloved one. I am the Commander of the Demon Realm Navy, the Obscure, Raging Commander Wadlergess Ketomago. Wadler is fine. This is my foolish son, Ulyssetts Ketomago. He doesn’t have a high position, but he’s not suitable for the military, so he works in a laboratory that produces magic tools. You can call him Ulysse.”
“I’m sorry for introducing myself late, too. I am the Hero, the Prisoner, the Demon Lord’s Exclusive Livestock for Blood, and the Confectioner, Ookawa Shouryuu. I’d like you to call me Shal.”
“What, you’re a hero?! Plus, your title is too long?! No, no, I mean, a prisoner that’s free? Where should I even start?!”
I returned Mr. Wadler—Wadler’s greeting as he did so politely and gave him a firm handshake.
And then, hearing our greetings, Ulysse1Shal originally called him Ulysse-kun, then changed to calling him just Ulysse after the introductions. finally loosened his zipped mouth and exclaimed with an unbelieving look on his face.
I felt a bit proud when I saw that. It wasn’t terrifying, but I got quite a long title too. Demons weren’t the only ones full of individuality.
I was the peculiar one who came here a little over two months ago as a hero, and instead of being returned wrapped in a bamboo mat, I was taken captive.
Since I hadn’t returned to the human realm, there wouldn’t be any new hero attacking them anytime soon. Thanks to that, the demon realm was idyllic itself.
In addition, the original purpose of my captivity was being livestock, so I provided Azel blood every night.
And furthermore, my confectionery business that had been operating steadily had become quite a common talk in the demon lord’s castle. I wasn’t a deadbeat, you know.
“Shut up! Don’t flock around Shal.”
However, when Azel said that, he suddenly dealt a knife hand strike to Ulysse, complaining about me, who was puffed up with pride, and also to Wadler, for some reason.
“Kyaa! Uuugh~ This is another tough love~!”
“It hurts, my lord. Have you forgotten your own physical abilities?”
“You should be thankful, if not for Shal, I would’ve swung Balbal. It has a probability of a status condition in its three whole attacks whenever I wield it. If not for him, you’d be sleeping on the ground peacefully at this moment.”
Azel snorted and crossed his arms. He didn’t pay attention to Ulysse, who had suddenly undergone a complete change and seemed happy, and the words of the puzzled Wadler.
What I witnessed was the unusual, grimacing response of Azel.
I didn’t think anything of it when we were at the demon lord’s castle together, but I guess he was in work mode since it was an inspection… He seemed to be relentless today.
Come to think of it, Gard mentioned that Azel was rather indifferent during work. Oh, I see. So, he was like this.
“My lord, why did you strike me as well?”
“Ah? T…That’s ‘cause you mentioned ‘my lord’s beloved one’…! Shal’s a hero personified with sacredness, divinity, attractiveness and an extremely lovely preciousness, alright? To say that he’s the loved one of someone like me… would be quite disgraceful!”
“It seems that he’s making a more embarrassing sight of himself, however… I see. So, he’s the hero the demon lord met when he went to the human country… He’s a bit of a klutz when it comes to Shal.”
The awkward Azel turned his eyes upwards and his face away with a bashful expression, mumbling something as he scolded Wadler.
Then, the stricken Wadler was disappointed and astonished by the mysterious theory.
The interaction between Reisen and Azel was like that of a mother and child, but Wadler and Azel were like father and child.
Even Azel, who had been acting like a demon lord to Ulysse, was somewhat unreserved with Wadler.
As an outsider, I silently watched the three of them with a smile and a desire to be in the circle just a little bit.
“Hrm… He’s not going to deny that he’s someone he loves.”
Wadler’s murmur in understanding fell on deaf ears.