A Demon Lord’s Tale: Dungeons, Monster Girls, and Heartwarming Bliss - Chapter 427
Rir’s Time (１)
In the Demon Forest.
I called Rir and the two of us were having a discussion.
“Listen, Rir, this time I felt so bad about my pathetic, ugly behavior that I felt like I was so unworthy. I think I’ve become so used to peace that my sense of danger has dulled.” (Yuki)
Rir bowed his head, sounding as if he wanted to say he was sorry, making me chuckle.
“Why are you apologizing? Was it because you were one step too late in coming to my rescue? Well, you are technically my guard, after all. What’s the point of being a guard if you ended up not being able to protect me, so I guess you would feel bad.” (Yuki)
I said to Rir, who had a face full of regret when I talked about his role.
“…Well, we are men. Still, I can understand why you think you’re feeling bad about yourself…” (Yuki)
“So, here’s the thing. We had a good time so far. But, now, it’s time to once again realize that we’re small fry… We’re just a bunch of weaklings… Let’s remember the feeling which we had when we first ran around in this forest, when we wanted to throw up at an unreasonably strong enemy and say ‘f**k you’. In fact, we haven’t conquered this forest yet. The top beings of this place are still out there.”
We had only conquered half of this forest.
So far, three areas had become part of my dungeon area: the south area, the east area, and the north area, which was Lefi’s former territory.
My dungeon area was probably larger than that of [Allysia Kingdom]… but the west area, where the strongest demons reside, was still untouched.
It had become more important to expand outside the forest than inside the forest, so that area had been left untouched.
The demons in the forest were basically reclusive.
They seldom set foot in areas with less magical elements than those in which they currently reside.
However, this was only [seldom], and the possibility of them actually leaving the place was not zero.
In the past, we once defeated a demon from the western area that came this way after a deadly battle.
We must not underestimate this forest.
Even though I had become stronger among the other humanoid races, I was still not even close to Lefi’s level.
This should not be the time for me to be careless enough to actually be captured by humans.
“Rir, we are weak. We are still small fry when we look at the entire world. Although we’re no longer fighting for our survival, we still need to get stronger. We need to gain enough strength so that we would be able to return the favor, no matter what challenges may come.” (Yuki)
At my words, Rir’s eyes shone with renewed fighting spirit as he nodded.
“Alright! Let’s end the serious talk here. Actually, there’s one more thing that I wanted to talk to you about.” (Yuki)
“You know, I already mentioned this to you on our way to the Capital, right? I know that you already have a wife, so I wanted to say hello to her…” (Yuki)
Rir looked at me with an expression that seemed to be saying, “Well, shall I show you around now?”
“Oh, please do. As your master, I just wanted to say hello.” (Yuki)
With that, I hopped on my pet’s back. We traveled for about ten minutes in the forest before we arrived at a cave.
This cave was probably two kilometers away from the entrance of my cave that was connected to the grassland area of the dungeon.
It appeared to have been cleaned up reasonably well, as if Rir and his wife had taken care of it themselves.
The grass in front of the cave was well-trodden, and the leaves on the trees overhead had been adjusted to allow sunlight to shine in.
It was a little late for this, but… when Rir was out on his own, he used to make this place his home.
He would come out of nowhere when I called him, and to be honest, this was the first time I’d been to this place.
And as we approached the cave, a wolf immediately emerged from inside, as if it had sensed our presence.
“Kuu!” (Rir’s Wife)
As soon as that wolf saw us – no, this one was probably directed at me.
It sat down on the spot and bowed its head towards me.
I could not tell at a glance if it was a male or female wolf, but considering that it was Rir’s wife, I was convinced that it was a beautiful female wolf with beautiful fur.
Rir’s fur was fluffy, but this one’s fur was smooth and silky.
Its name was unreadable, but this did not mean that my analytical skills were not working properly. It was most likely that its name could not be expressed in the language of the human species.
Perhaps it was named in the Wolf language.
The size was about two times smaller than Rir, and the species was Fenrir– wait, Fenrir!
…Oh, I see, his wife was a Fenrir, too.
I heard from Lefi that they were not the kind of species that would be so whimsical….
“…Rir, is your wife from this forest?” (Yuki)
I asked, but Rir shook his head in denial.
It seemed that Mrs. Fenrir came from the outside.
As a powerful being, she had been living in an environment similar to this area, but she lost in a struggle for survival and started to wander, searching for new lands, and finally ended up meeting Rir.
She was attracted to the Demon Forest, which was rich in magical elements.
…Defeated in a struggle for survival, huh?
Well, Rir, too, looked like a king now that he was the boss of our dungeon, but at first, he was on the run with me.
Even a Fenrir, I suppose, would be defeated when facing someone stronger.
Really, I, who was only physically strong, had to work harder.
When she arrived here, her body did not have enough magical elements necessary to live as a Fenrir, and she was in a weakened state.
Well, it was quite a heavy story.
I never imagined that my own pet was having this kind of love affair in a strange place… You were a protagonist, weren’t you?
One thing I wondered, though, was when did she enter this forest?
My [map] function automatically showed strong hostile entities when they appeared around the dungeon area, so I would have noticed any being, especially one as capable as she was – unless they were demons that Rir and his Pet Army decided that they could manage on their own. In those cases, I usually let them do as they pleased and didn’t interfere.
This had happened a few times in the past, but I was not afraid of those they have chosen to join them.
Since this had happened several times before, it was likely that Rir’s wife, a Fenrir, was one of those cases.
When she recovered her strength, she had already become completely committed to Rir, so the dungeon considered her one of our own, and she never showed any hostile reactions to me.
I was mostly unfamiliar with demons other than our pets, and since I asked the pets along with Rir to deal with demons, they didn’t need to report about demons to me as long as they were not targets that I would have to personally defeat.
I guess they were thinking of discussing it with me at some point, though.
And when I had some idea of what was going on, Mrs. Fenrir quietly cried.
“Kuu.” (Rir’s Wife)
“Oh, no, no, don’t worry about it. I’m sorry that it took me so long to greet you. My name is Yuki.” (Yuki)
She had an expression that seemed to be saying, “Thank you very much for coming all the way here”, and I involuntarily sat down on the floor and bowed my head.
“Kuu-u.” (Rir’s Wife)
“No, no, Rir has always been a great help to me, and I’m more than grateful to have you here as well. Well, he is a key part of our defense, after all.” (Yuki)
“Kuu, gah.” (Rir’s Wife)
“Yes, thank you very much, and as Rir’s wife, I hope we can be neighbors for a long time to come. We’ll have my family say hello to you later.” (Yuki)
Unlike Rir, she was not under my command, so the words didn’t enter directly into my brain as an image… but I could tell what she was trying to say.
I could somewhat understand what she was trying to imply by the sound of her voice and gestures.
Well, I guess it was because I had been with Rir for a long time and learned how to communicate with wolves.
Also, I had asked Rir to call her by her name in greeting earlier, but it was a name that I couldn’t pronounce.
Well, I should talk to Rir later about what I should call her. If I didn’t ask him about this, I would probably end up calling her Sarah Rir or some common generic name.
…I wondered why I was so nervous while facing wolves. It was a mystery.
Could this be the dignity of a noble species, an actual wild Fenrir… my pet had already been completely imbued with the feeling of being a lowly member of the family, after all.
With this interaction, I could somewhat understand why the beastmen consider a Fenrir sacred.
“…Rir, I’m kind of sorry.” (Yuki)
“Ku, kuu…?” (Rir)
Rir looked slightly dismayed and as if he were trying to say, “Hey, why are you apologizing now?”
Why was Rir’s hard-working personality imposed so much on his nature, unlike his wife?
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