A Night in the Capital
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix, Joker
“My lord…” I leaned back into my chair and heaved a heavy sigh shortly after having someone pick up the princess, who had fallen asleep in my lap. I had entrusted her to one of the maids that had been watching over the entire dinner party with a smile.
Unlike the maid, I had the exact opposite of a smile on my face. The awful drunk of a hero had forced me to drink way more than I wanted. I simply could not remember the last time I had ever ingested that much alcohol in one sitting. Fortunately, my overpowered body was one that was able to tolerate copious amounts of booze, as I never ended up vomiting. That said, I wasn’t all that comfortable either. I could practically feel the liquid sloshing around within my guts. Man. Today has just been chock full of me being glad I’m not just another human anymore, hasn’t it? First, there was that whole battle freak fiasco, and now there’s this. Seriously. I can’t thank the dungeon enough for depriving me of my humanity.
The source of all my bowel-related discomfort, the hero, was sound asleep. She had remained glued to me throughout the evening, and had continued leaning on me even after dozing off. You know, now that all the booze is gone, she really does look like just another cute girl. Her body is incredibly soft. She looks real innocent in her sleep too. Looking at her now, I almost can’t imagine her as the terrifying drunk that forced me to guzzle a copious amount of wine.
Recalling the incident filled me with a sense of annoyance. I was so angry that I probably would have started doodling all over her face if I happened to have a pen.
“I mean, I do have a permanent marker on hand, but, you know what, I’ll be nice and let you off the hook. This time.” I muttered a few words under my breath with a smile before getting up. I made sure to carefully adjust the hero’s position and make sure she was propped up against the chair well enough not to fall over. “Time to go, Rir.”
Although my companion had remained in his regular form whilst camping out on the balcony, he was currently the same size as any other wolf. It was the smallest he could get. The reason for the change was because he had wanted to retreat under the table and use my legs to take shelter from everyone that had wanted to pet him. (Read: Carlotta.)
He knew exactly what I meant, so he stretched and got ready to go.
“Would you happen to require my assistance with anything?” One of the maids standing nearby approached in order to check on me.
“Nah, I’m good. I was just thinking of heading home,” I said. “Actually, on second thought, could you do me a favour and tell the king that I had a great time?”
The aforementioned monarch had ended up doing more than just passing out. He had transitioned from a booze snooze to a rather deep sleep halfway through the party. One of the butlers who had realized this bowed to all the guests and apologized before escorting him elsewhere. Likely his bedroom. I was pretty much the only one still even remotely sober when it happened though.
“It’s rather late,” said the maid. “Would you like me to show you to a room instead? You’re more than welcome to stay the night.”
“Thanks, but I’ll pass. I told myself I was going to go home today, so I’mma do just that.”
I had the sneaking suspicion that staying the night would ultimately result in a much longer stay than just that. The princess would probably end up trying to keep me detained for as long as she could. And as someone from Japan, I wasn’t all that great at saying no.
“Understood,” said the maid. “Would you like me to assist you in preparing a carriage that will take you all the way to the city’s gates?”
“Nah.” I was planning to get on Rir since he was faster, so I declined.
“Going home already, Masquerade?” Someone called out to me just as I was about to have the maid show me the way back out of the castle.
Glancing over, I found that it was Carlotta, who had been asleep with her arms crossed and her back against one of the sofas in the corner of the room until just a moment ago. I guess the noise must have woken her. She is a soldier, so I doubt she’s that deep of a sleeper even if she’s all drugged up on booze.
“Yeah. Thanks for everything,” I said. “Oh, do me a favour, pass that message onto Nell for me once she wakes up.”
“Hmph. I should be the one thanking you. We couldn’t have completed the operation nearly as easily without you,” the knight snorted. “Feel free to ask if you ever need my help. The church would be glad to offer you our assistance at any time. And I’m sure Nell would be too.”
“I dunno about you, but that sounds like a sure-fire way for me to get myself recruited by the church.”
“Well, I am more or less saying that we’ll welcome you with open arms,” she said. “We do think pretty highly of you, after all.”
I flashed her a wry grin, waved goodbye, and left the castle.
“Wait! Yuki!” Another voice called out to me right as the maid showed me outside. I turned around to see the hero chasing me down. Kind of. Her steps were unsteady, and she had a hand on her temple.
“Oh, hey Nell. You’re up already?”
“M-Mhm… But my head is killing me…”
“No surprise there. That’s kind of what happens when you drink too much.” I gave her a reproachful stare. “Speaking of which, you’re a terrible drunk.”
“Erk…” The girl’s face immediately flushed a shade of red.
I guess that means she remembers all the flirting around she did.
“U-Uhm… S-sorry…” she stammered. “I couldn’t help myself. I was really drunk, and it was just so much fun.”
“Yeah, whatever… “ I rolled my eyes. “You should really be more careful. I probably would have taken advantage of you if I wasn’t literally the embodiment of what it meant to be a gentleman.”
“Gentleman? Yeah, how about no,” said Nell. “And I know. I’d never let myself get that drunk around guys I don’t know or people I can’t relax around.”
“Are you saying you feel like you can relax around me?”
“I at least trust you enough to know that you won’t take advantage of me. Besides, even if you did, then all I’d have to do is go crying to Lefi,” said Nell triumphantly.
“Please don’t. The thought terrifies me.” I smiled awkwardly. “Well, hero, I guess this is goodbye. Thanks for everything. I know we didn’t hang out all that much, but I had tons of fun.”
“Me too. I really liked spending time with you. I’m kind of disappointed we already have to say goodbye,” she said. “But it’s not like we won’t ever see each other again, right?”
“You betcha. Feel free to stop by the dungeon and hang out whenever. You’ve got a free pass, and our doors are open for you anytime.”
Nell paused for a moment.
“Sure. I’ll definitely come visit,” she smiled. “I’ll be much more of a hero next time we see each other. I’ll be so strong I’ll make you shiver in your boots! So just you wait!”
“Sounds like a challenge. I can’t wait,” I laughed.
I grinned and jumped on Rir, who had returned to his full size.
“Oh yeah, that reminds me. Here, take this.” I opened my inventory and chucked an item at the hero.
“Huh? Wahhh!” She panicked and just barely managed to catch the sheathed dagger I had thrown her way. “What’s this…?”
“Just a little something I made. The whole crafting process went well and all, but I kinda can’t exactly use it myself.”
“It’s so pretty…” She stared in awe as the blade, which she had only drawn halfway, sparkled in the moonlight.
If one were to analyze the blade, they would see the following.
Lunar Blossom: A Dagger with a snow white blade created by a demon lord named Yuki. Swinging it during the night causes its glimmering blade to cleave through the darkness and leave a ray of moonlight in its wake.
Quality Rating: A+
I had created Lunar Blossom not too long ago. It was back when I was messing with enchanted metals in order to determine their quirks. Specifically, it was made of adamantite. It was a wonderfully crafted item. Its quality was so high that it made me want to stand tall and proud. However, like I had mentioned, I didn’t exactly have any use for it.
I already had several other knives that I used on a regular basis. And it wasn’t like I could use it in combat either. I was using Zaien as my main armament and the magical handgun as my secondary. I just didn’t need it. And that wasn’t even taking into account the fact that I was awful at handling blades. My Sword Mastery skill was still stuck at level 2.
“It’s pretty sharp and pretty durable too. I was hoping that you’d keep it on hand as your spare weapon or use it to butcher monsters or something.”
“Thank you.” Nell sheathed the blade and hugged it to her chest. She then nodded with a beautiful smile that seemed indicative of the emotions she had kept bottled deep inside. “I promise I’ll take really good care of it.”
“Please do. Well, I guess I’ll be off now, Nell.”
“See you again, Yuki.”
She waved goodbye as I rode Rir through the capital and melded into the darkness of the night.
Editor’s note (Joker): Hey, guys! Joker here. Aww, looks like a certain hero is starting to fall for our resident Demon Lord. If that does happen, naturally Lefi would be the primary mate, Illuna would probably put up a fight for second, Shii might join in because it looks fun, and the maids… well, I’m not sure on the maids yet. We’ll see later down the line. But yeah, a Hero falling for a Demon Lord. I’m sure this will go over well in the church. Maybe some of the higher ups in the church will try and have Nell ‘silenced’, Carlotta will fight against it, and Yuki is going to have to intervene. I don’t know, that’s just what I’m guessing. Okay, let’s see… two letters in the bag today, plus… How many headpats?! 9?! And 6 of them from the same person?! Good golly, Miss Molly… I’ve never had that many letters before… I guess that’s the power of moe. How scary… So, um, anyway, thanks to HONEYBEE and kx for your letters, and kx, Tonatsi, Kisuli for the double headpat… not sure why you did me… and جهاد السعيدي. Strange name, and I’m not sure if it’ll show up, but I’m not judging. Nirvash thanks you for the headpats, and if you have a question you’d like to ask… or if you just want to headpat her some more… leave your comment, or headpat, below with the hashtag #AskJoker or #NirvashHeadPat. See y’all in the next chapter!