I arrived in the city of Svenmarina not long after that.
The city crowded with demons when I first viewed it from a distance during the day, or when I caught glimpse of it from the sky, had the number of people on its streets now decreasing, probably since it was already nighttime.
Nevertheless, taverns and amusement halls were thriving as I could hear noises here and there, and there were also several rough-looking demons in addition to that.
A number of small, warm orange illuminations, similar to that of light bulbs, hung in the storefronts, giving the beautiful white buildings a soft hue.
“It’s like a festival.”
It was a sight I wouldn’t be able to see if I stayed holed up in the castle.
“Woah.” I expressed my amazement, then walked around without realizing that I could be easily seen as someone who was unfamiliar with the city.
—At this moment.
I had gotten so used to being surrounded by demons over the past two months that I had overlooked the most important and obvious thing.
If it were me a few months ago, I would never have walked around the city, but I didn’t have that kind of thinking now that I was intoxicated with love.
“I wonder where the inn is… But still, it’s so amazing. It’s just like Halloween…”
I walked through the crowd while looking for an inn, and at the same time, being fascinated by the surroundings.
Some of the demons behind me suddenly turned around with their eyes wide open.
“Oy… Ain’t that a human…?!”
“Don’t be stupid. Aren’t ye just mistakin’ him fer a vampire, or a slightly clever ghoul…?”
“No, I have a keen nose. But his smell’s really… a human’s…”
“Huh, fer real…?! An invader right under the demon realm’s naval base…?!”
Huh… It’s starting to get a bit noisier than before.
I had been swiftly slipping through the crowd, yet somehow, I could hear murmurs after I passed.
I was so distracted by the surroundings that were getting noisier that I suddenly bumped into something big.
“! Oh, I’m sorry. Are ye hurt? I was careless.”
I was anxious since I might’ve had gotten into trouble, so I immediately looked up and apologized.
There was a dark-skinned man, even larger than Wadler and over two meters tall, glaring down at me.
His skin was too dark for its smooth shaved head. And, it was evident that he wasn’t human being having only one eye.
The demon I bumped into stared at me and immediately opened its single eye widely.
“Oy, oy, ain’t ye a human…?”
“What’s goin’ on, boss? …Wait, a human…?!”
A demon with a figure similar to a human but covered in scales appeared from behind the one-eyed man, whom he called his boss. He was probably a merman demon, seeing the fins on his arms and the gills on his neck.
Two more mermen appeared behind their boss. They all looked at me at the same time and their eyes went wide.
“Ah, yes, I am… But, uhm… I just ended up here for some reason, so I don’t really mean you any harm. I’m just trying to find a place to stay.”
Seeing that kind of reaction from them made me feel uncomfortable, so I averted my eyes as I explained.
I see. I was used to being in the demon lord’s castle that I overlooked the fact it wasn’t normal for a human to be alone in the cities of the demon realm.
The reason why humans usually came to the demon realm was to subdue the demons in search of materials.
Even if humans were to invade, they would only deal with strays and settlements in various places. However, they wouldn’t ever come to a den infested with such a large number of demons.
Naturally, infiltrating them all by yourself would just hasten your death. I did that when I went to the demon lord’s castle, though. Good children should not imitate that.
I lowered my head while reflecting on what I had done, when—suddenly, the boss’s thick, sturdy arms grabbed my hand.
I looked up in surprise, and saw the boss squinted his large one eye as he smiled cheerfully.
“Are ye lookin’ for a place to stay? I don’t think humans can stay in these prominent inns.”
“Really? That’s troubling.”
The boss smiled amiably, seemingly believing my explanation.
I felt glad. He believed in me. The feelings I had where I thought it was all in vain had surfaced, but now I had become delighted.
They were demons, but Azel was still their ruler, so I thought they would understand if I tried talking to them. I was instilled with the idea that demons were violent creatures, but it wasn’t good to be prejudiced.
However, despite becoming delighted with the situation, I furrowed my brows in distress when he told me that humans couldn’t stay at the inns.
The boss’s smile widened into a sneer as he saw me ponder about it. I didn’t notice that he had been secretly eyeing the other mermen.
“Don’t worry. Follow me. I’ll take ye to an inn in the other side where other species can stay. —Hey, ye lot. Let’s go.”
“Hee hee, ye need to go to an inn, right? Alright.”
“Ah, huh…? I’m thankful for that. But, your hand…!”
“Huh? What’s with ye?”
I felt bewildered when my arm was gripped so firmly that I couldn’t shake it off, and the monstrous force of the strong and unrestrained pull. Even when I had raised my voice, he only glared at me.
“Ye ain’t plannin’ on hurtin’ us, are ye? Or I guess ye really hate touchin’ us?”
They sent out intimidating air all at once, and I reflexively put myself on guard. I knew it wasn’t nice to be skeptical of Azel’s people in his territory, but I was agitated.
I was pulled into a back-alley right there.
It seemed to be a back-alley inn, so it must’ve been in a place out of sight. As soon as I looked back, I could see the main street from earlier that was still bustling.
However, I was reluctant to return there after forcibly shaking off the boss and the others who were willing to guide me to the inn.
I couldn’t even move and deny their words that went on, and I had no choice but to be pulled away without being given time to worry about anything.
“T-That’s not true. Then… I don’t really want to bother you, but please lead the way.”
They all grinned widely at my nodding reply and went straight into the back-alley.