I staggered towards the direction of the city lights. My legs gradually sped up and moved away from the base, trying to quickly escape from it.
The forest at night in the demon realm was terrifying and boisterous.
My mind felt so fickle and unsettled that I couldn’t even care about the surroundings.
—Was I… in love with Azel?
I had to ponder over and over to keep my chest from beating so fast as I tried to make the newly realized feelings my own.
I wondered when it began.
Unlike the demon realm, where homosexuality wasn’t a minority… In the world where I came from, I was just a generic guy.
I was easily convinced when I was told that I loved him… Not to mention, I didn’t feel so uncomfortable when he was so affectionate with me. Was I really that easy? Was I that hungry for affection?
“No… That’s not… it. There’s no reason to explain it in words…”
I muttered to myself what might have been a fact, and that made things feel more unbearable for me.
Just by being beside him, talking and touching each other, that was all it took for me to completely fall in love with him.
Perhaps the system that bears one’s romantic feelings weren’t built like building blocks.
When I came into this world, I never got the opportunity to do things like falling in love.
The world I lived in had changed and I was given the role of a hero. I worked so hard every single day to make sure the world needed me.
“…That’s because I wanted to keep on living, but… it was enough to make me want to die…”
And yet—a person who needed me came unexpectedly at the end of my life.
Even if it wasn’t love, I was given deep affection, physical touch and the sharing of heat, faster than a weary mind could come alive.
Bit by bit, I had become paralyzed.
As someone who didn’t have anything, there was no way I’d hate being treated like that. I sought his heart out and drowned in comfort, despite not deserving all of that.
I felt my body flush from the tips of my feet to my head like it was boiling as I walked on the firm ground.
Even if there was no one watching me, I tried to hide my embarrassment by covering my mouth with the back of my hand and continued on my way down the deserted path.
I couldn’t stop my urges. If I stood still, I would burn out with shame.
I mean, it was kinda stupid.
We were of different races and our realms were also different. He was a ruler and I was just an invader. And yet, I wanted us to embrace each other. I didn’t want him to abandon me and love someone else.
Agh! I’m so cheeky. How embarrassing. How do you say it…? Right, I was ‘forgetting my place’. I was just no one, yet I had the audacity to wish that he’d choose me no matter what.
However, I couldn’t give up.
I was a human who had been earnestly moving forward with a positive attitude, and if I couldn’t attain something, I would work hard for it. But now, I suddenly started to look down on myself.
“Y-You’re kidding, right…? I didn’t realize it, but now I do… What should I do…? …I’m in love. I’m in love with a man I almost killed… He’s given me everything, but more than this…”
…I think I’m going to end up selfish as hell.
I had been continuously running, but my legs suddenly stopped.
I crouched down on the spot and covered my flushed face with both hands.
I didn’t want anyone to take Azel’s heart away from me. I wanted to take the name that will secure our relationship. If you knew how you felt, then shouldn’t you make an effort for it immediately?
However, would that charm to keep us together have the advantage of making him love only me?
Just when I had those thoughts, I felt that I wouldn’t to be able to bear to see Azel right now.
For the first time, I felt so terrified to death when I thought about how I must’ve looked in his eyes.
The superior demons were made to be beautiful in order to attract others. I thought it was beautiful, or that it was nice, but I didn’t even bother to look to see how I was.
I slowly let of my hands that covered my face and stared at them. Floating in the moonlit night were rough and bony hands of a man.
Azel had smooth and unblemished fingers like white branches despite having the same hands of a man. Ulysse’s hands, which seemed to have been shaped by consolidating his charms, were plump, soft and slender.
I tightly clenched my fist.
“I’m not… beautiful…”
I furrowed my brows in disappointment. I had no right to stand next to him.
I wasn’t so beautiful enough to wish that he should be looking only at me rather than someone else. I didn’t have unparalleled charm.
As I stared at my grasped hands, I remembered Azel touching them.
Ah, I wonder what he thought of me when he had his fangs on these fingers. Did my body, and face, poisoned and lustful, looked unsightly?
If that were the case… It makes me hate myself a bit more.
I want to be liked. I want to be loved.
Just as I thought of that, I compared myself to others and tried to point out things that made me unlovable.
I want to be his lover.
Will my mind, knowing what I truly desired, be able to command my body to act the same as always, without a shred of softness, in front of Azel tomorrow?
I tried to destroy all thoughts of falling in love. Swallowed it. Chewed it. Even if it was my own. Yet instead, a mixture of insecurities and envy floated in and out of my mind.
Even if I had realized my feelings, it wouldn’t exactly mean that he would love me back. I thought things like how I would make him like me, or how I should tell him… But I wondered if he would reject me if I were to say that I liked him?
My mind was racked with such anticipation and bafflement. Still—I knew the conclusion.
I stood up firmly.
There was no point in being depressed. I just needed to reflect on myself for one night and when I wake up, I would just do my best to make Azel aware of my feelings.
I decided to go to the inn in the meantime, and sleep early for tomorrow. Fortunately, I had some shopping money stored in my summoning magic.
There might’ve been just a few people travelling between the city and the base after dark, but the empty streets at night were a bit frightening.
With a flushed face, soaring with the realization of love, I somehow made my way into the city.