The Reality of the Situation
“I knew not that you were a pedophile, Yuki.” Lefi insulted me the moment she saw the little girl in my arms.
“Yeah, yeah, that’s enough out of you. I don’t have the time to play along with your silly accusations right now.”
I placed the still unconscious blonde on top of my Japanese-styled bed, which I conveniently hadn’t bothered putting away. It, like most of the other furniture, was crammed into one of the throne room’s corners. The corner in question had become a bastardized hybrid of a bed and living room. Stuff was strewn around haphazardly, and the layout was about as far from organised as could possibly be. It was effectively a bachelor’s pad. Needless to say, the throne room’s aesthetic had been ruined. All its majesty had long been consigned to the void.
But to be fair, that’s kinda just what ends up happening when you live somewhere. It’s not like you can keep everything perfectly clean all the time, right?
“Oh?” Lefi raised a brow as she got a second look at the young blonde. “She is a vampire?”
“Apparently.” I shrugged as I took a quick peek at the girl’s stats.
Her name is… Illuna. I guess you’d probably pronounce that il-loo-na. I guess I’ll have to ask her when she wakes up to make sure. Her stats are kinda low, but she is a kid, so I guess it makes sense. All her skills are related to chores. I guess she must’ve helped out a lot around the house. She looks what, seven, eight? She must’ve been a really sweet child seeing as how she started helping out that early.
“How rare. I’ve not seen a vampire in quite some time.” Lefi’s tone carried a bit more interest than usual.
“What do you mean?”
Aren’t vampires supposed to be fairly common in high fantasy?
“Both succubi and vampires are renowned for their beauty. It is this precise trait that has led to their downfall. Like all other demonkin, the two tribes have fought against human rule, and so, the humans have spent several decades hunting both tribes to near extinction. Those that survive are collared and sold as slaves. She is likely a victim that successfully escaped her captors following one such hunt.” Lefi stopped for a moment to indifferently shrug before continuing. “It is a fate that would likely befall the children of the forest had they not joined the humans in a pact of nonaggression.”
“That’s stupid…” I frowned. The only thing I felt apart from displeasure was a bit of confusion, as I didn’t know what the dragon meant by “children of the forest.” However, my uncertainty only lasted for a moment. The encyclopedia built into my brain quickly filled me in and informed me that they were basically elves, so my confusion faded and was replaced by a second wave of irritation.
The worst part of it all was that, as a former human myself, I understood them. Their motives clicked with me and I honestly couldn’t even find myself surprised. Enslaving those that differed from themselves was such a human thing to do that I didn’t know what to say or how to react. It was like that back in the world I came from too. Slaves have existed throughout almost all of history. Hell, slavery still existed when I died. Tons of people like claiming otherwise, but we never did manage to totally eliminate it. All we accomplished changing our terminology. Some people don’t give two fucks about human rights, especially with all that holy war bullshit going on in the middle east. They call people infidels and treat them like total trash for no real reason. It’s fucking stupid.
I’m not surprised that this world’s no different, especially since everyone and their mother’s been at war for god knows how long. To them, it may as well be common sense. But you know what? Fuck common sense. In fact, fuck everything they believe in. I don’t care what the humans think. I’m not going to play along.
Despite having mostly human sensibilities, I highly doubted I would be able to get along with this world’s human beings. Their culture was just too ridiculous and barbaric for me to want to deal with them.
“Okay, I should probably stop…” I took a deep breath and calmed myself down as I continued taking care of the young vampire. I concentrated on treating her and directed all my attention to carefully sprinkling the rest of the potion on her remaining wounds.
“Nrrghh.” My efforts paid off. The girl soon began to stir. The groan she made was quiet and barely audible, but I could already tell from it alone that her voice was lovely.
“Oh, you’re finally awake.” I spoke to her as she slowly got up off the bed, her body swaying unsteadily. “Good timing, I just finished treating you. Does it still hurt anywhere?”
The girl was half asleep and didn’t seem to have heard me properly. She started looking around with her hazy, unfocused eyes, only to start panicking the moment she realized that her environment was unfamiliar. Her anxiety peaked when she finally got a good look at me. In fact, she couldn’t help but let out a bit of a yelp as her entire body recoiled in fear.
“Calm down. I’m not going to eat you or anything. Just relax. Chill.” I wasn’t surprised by her reaction. It was only natural to be spooked if you found a stranger by your bedside the moment you regained consciousness, especially as a child.
That said, I’d totally forgotten to account for it. I was expecting her to talk to me and was at a loss because she didn’t quite seem willing.
Hmm… what the hell am I supposed to do now?
I knew for a fact that I wasn’t going to be able to come up with anything that could calm the girl down. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. Shii, who’d been napping nearby, woke up because of all the commotion. The strange but cute creature got off the pillow that served as its bed and climbed atop my shoulder. It had no eyes and couldn’t speak, but I could somehow tell that the slime was gazing at Illuna and asking me who she was in its usual, cutesy manner.
“Wow, it’s so cute!”
Illuna was surprised by the monster’s sudden appearance, but fortunately, it seemed she was more curious than she was intimidated, as she soon began looking back and forth between it and me. It was clear that she wanted to play with the small, blue blob, but was worried that I would lash out at her if she did.
“You want to try petting it?”
I gave the slime a bit of a nudge and got it to jump off my shoulder and inch towards the girl. Unable to contain her excitement any longer, Illuna timidly stuck out a finger and gave the creature a poke. Its body bent inwards as her finger touched it and sprang back into position with an elastic jolt the moment she pulled away.
The gentleness with which she performed the gesture allowed Shii to understand that the vampire really wasn’t hostile. The slime happily bounced closer to her and nuzzled itself against her leg.
“That tickles!” Illuna giggled as she began to pat Shii over and over. The unease on her face was gone, replaced by a happy smile. Like Lefi and I, she’d fallen victim to the slime’s charms.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Thanks Shii. I owe you one.
“Hey there. I’m Yuki. The slime you’re playing with is Shii, and the lazy excuse for a person sitting behind me is Leficios. What’s your name?”
“I beg your pardon!?” Lefi cried indignantly. “I have done nothing to deserve being referred to as a ‘lazy excuse for a person!’”
Yeah, right. I completely disregarded the “Supreme Dragon,” and kept my attention directed towards the vampire. Though I knew her name, I asked it anyway because it probably would’ve been weird for me to refer to her with it even though she’d yet to introduce herself.
“I’m Illuna!” The girl replied with an adorable, beaming smile.
Called it. Il-loo-na was right.
“So, Illuna, mind telling me why you’re all the way out here in the middle of nowhere?”
“Uhm… ‘Cause I was being chased by some really scary humans.”
“That sucks.” Looks like Lefi’s guess was dead on. “How about I take you home? Do you know roughly where it is?”
“I don’t have a home anymore.” The little girl started sniffling and tearing up as she shook her head from side to side. “Mom and dad died. All our neighbors died too.”
“I-It’ll be okay! Don’t worry, everything’ll be fine!” I immediately tried to soothe the girl and calm her down. Holy shit. Talk about stepping on a landmine.
“How intriguing.” Lefi laughed. “Not even the Supreme Dragon’s presence is enough to panic you, but the tears of a maiden have you at their beck and call.”
“Oh shut up already, Lefi.”
I rolled my eyes at the dragon girl and the obvious look of amusement that decorated her face before turning back to the vampire, smiling, and patting her over the head.
“Don’t you worry, Illuna. There aren’t any scary humans around these parts, and you’re more than free to stay for as long as you like. Especially if you have nowhere else to go.”
The idiot standing behind me is way scarier than any human could ever be. I doubt they’d ever approach us. Hell, this dungeon’s probably one of this world’s safest havens.
“Really?” Illuna turned her eyes up towards me. Her gaze was still teary and her expression wary. Her unease was as clear as day.
“Really. Good girls like you are welcome anytime.”
As the person that brought her here. Abandoning her would just be flat out irresponsible. Hell, ditching her in the middle of a forest filled with monsters would be inhuman, demonic even. Er, wait I guess I technically am a demon now, but whatever. There’s no reason for me not to allow her to stay. Our living expenses will go up a bit, sure, but it’s just one little girl. Adding her to the equation really doesn’t change much in the long run.
“But the humans said that I was a bad girl.” Illuna cast her gaze downward. “They told me that’s why mom, dad, and everyone else had to die. Because we were all bad.”
“They told you that!?”
Illuna didn’t say another word. She instead responded with an uneasy nod, one fueled by the worry that I wouldn’t allow her to stay.
Are you fucking kidding me? They said that to a little girl!? I swear to god. I’m going to strangle the living shit out of those motherfuckers the moment I get my hands on them. Rage began flaring up within me, but I quickly quelled it. Illuna was still sitting right in front of me, and I didn’t want to scare her.
“That’s just silly.” I forced a smile. “They were probably just making fun of you because they were jealous. I mean, look how cute you are.”
“Really.” I nodded. “Listen, Illuna. You’re not a bad girl, and you’re definitely not better off dead, so make sure you don’t just wander off and die on me, alright?”
“Okay!” Illuna was beaming. “Thanks so much Yuki! You’re so nice! You’re like the big brother I never had!”
Your “big brother,” is happy to see you so happy, Illuna. The little girl’s smile was so bright that it was infectious. I could feel my lips curving upwards even though I’d been about to throw a fit of rage just a moment earlier.
It was then that her stomach began to rumble, and loudly at that. Her body had finally relaxed enough to realize that it was starving.
“We should probably get you fed. What’s your favourite thing to eat? I’m not exactly all that great at cooking, but I can at least kind of make most things.”
“Uhmm… Hmm… Well…” Illuna fidgeted a few times before nervously raising her eyes “C-Can I please have some of your blood?”
The heck!? Don’t tell me she’s some sort of psychopath! Er, wait. Right, she’s a vampire. I guess wanting blood’s probably normal as far as her dietary concerns go.
“Uhhhhh, alright. But are you sure you want mine in particular?”
“Yup!” Her answer was swift and decisive.
“A-Alright. Go for it, I guess.”
I can’t help but feel that this whole bloodsucking thing is a bit of a weird request, but at the same time, her being so adamant about wanting mine makes me feel kinda happy. Wait, what the fuck, Yuki? Getting your blood sucked is not something that should make you happy. Shit, is there something wrong with me? Aw crap. Don’t tell me that I’ve got some sort of weird fetish I didn’t know about ‘till now…
“Are you certain you truly wish to grant her permission?” Lefi, who’d stayed a silent observer so far, decided to suddenly cut in and join the conversation.
“I mean, it’s not like it’ll kill me or anything, right?”
I remember there being myths about vampires turning people into both vampires and ghouls, but honestly, I don’t really care. It’s not like I’m still human. What harm could another racial shift or two possibly do?
“I cannot say you are incorrect, but…” It seemed like Lefi knew something I didn’t, but she shrugged it off and didn’t bother explaining. “I digress. It matters not. Do as you please.”
That seems awfully suspicious, but it’s not like I can back out. Illuna’s already looking right at me with her eyes full of expectation. Not wanting to let the young blonde down, I leaned in her direction and offered her my neck.
She responded by smiling as she climbed atop my knees and bit down on my throat. Her teeth pierced through my flesh and dug into my veins, but strangely enough, it didn’t hurt. In fact, it tickled.
Do her canines secrete something that numbs? Like maybe an anesthetic? Either way, this whole losing blood to a vampire thing doesn’t really feel that much different from getting my blood drawn out through a syringe.
Though I didn’t feel any major discomfort, there was in fact a serious problem. The young girl clung onto me and hugged me tight as she sucked my blood. The way she desperately grabbed ahold of me made me feel a sense of affection and attachment.
I could feel her warmth and smell her charming scent. That, by itself, would’ve been fine, but her breath had started going ragged. Her hot sighs tickled my ears and stimulated me in a way that made my thoughts go down the gutter. Frankly, it was captivating, almost to the point where I wanted to call it seductive.
In other words, it felt like I was doing something immoral, something that any reasonable man would refuse and label lewd.
Shit. Holy shit this feels so wrong, but so… right. Wait, no, nononono. God damn it Yuki, get ahold of yourself. Calm down man, it’s okay! You’re not a pedophile. Your will is strong and unshakeable. You like your women a bit older and more mature. You’re normal. You’re normal, and you’re definitely not going to end up developing a bizarre fetish for underaged girls. Come on Yuki, you got this. You’re totally normal. Yup. Normal.
“So it is true.” Lefi narrowed her eyes and looked at me as she would a piece of trash.“You really are a pedophile…”
“I swear to god I’m not!”
God damn it. I knew for a fact that I didn’t sound very convincing. Hell, the claim was so lacking in persuasive power that I wasn’t even able to convince myself.
“What is it?”
“Could you do me a quick favour and give Illuna a bath?”
I was feeling really tired. My body was fine, but my brain was total mush, and I couldn’t even so much as find the energy to get up, so I asked Lefi to help me handle a newfound chore.
Illuna wasn’t actually able to drink all that much blood at once. The rate at which she sucked blood was higher than the rate at which she drank it, so much of it ended up leaking out the side of her mouth and spilling all over her clothes—if you could call them that. As far as I was concerned, the thing she was wearing was nothing more than a rag. It was torn all over because of her little forest escapade, and the back was in especially bad shape. The claw marks made it so most of her skin was exposed. Moreover, she had obviously sweat buckets when she desperately fled from her pursuers. Both the girl and her “clothes” were about as far from clean as could possibly be.
We had a pretty decent bathroom, and there wasn’t much of a reason not to have Illuna make use of it. It was the type you’d often seen in small apartments in that it served dual purpose as a toilet and a place to bathe as opposed to just one or the other. 
It was a recent addition and the first renovation I’d performed since creating a kitchen. Both the kitchen and bathroom were considered dungeon facilities. I’d bought them through the menu, and I could customize them through that exact same interface. There were lots of options. I could make the tub as big as a pool or even source the water from a hot spring. I was really keen on the latter of the two options and planned to save up DP to get it sometime in the foreseeable future.
“I am not one to work for free, Yuki.” Lefi grinned and folded her arms as she gazed at me.
Oh, god damn it. I’m way too tired for this shit.
“Fine. Two bags of cookies.”
“You are grossly underestimating the value of my time. I require a minimum of three bags.”
“And you’re forgetting that everything I have the dungeon make has a cost stuck to it. I may have a monopoly on the sweets market around here, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got a bottomless supply. It’d probably be in your best interest not to be too greedy.”
The truth of the matter was that I had more than enough DP to get her three bags, but I didn’t want to let her have her way. Spoiling the damned lazy dragon rotten was the last thing I wanted to do.
“How regrettable.” Lefi hung her head. Her voice was filled with genuine sadness. “It is unfortunate, but it appears that there is nothing more I can say to alter our circumstances. Very well, two bags it is.”
I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.
“Look. Stop pouting. I’ll make it up to you by getting some cake ready for when you guys are done.”
“‘Keik’, you say? I’ve yet to hear of such a sweet. Wonderful, I cannot wait to learn its taste!” Lefi’s mood took a sudden turn for the better. “Come, girl. I shall instruct you on the so called ‘Bahthrum’ and its features. While it is a foreign concept, it is one that you shall never regret experiencing. The bath here is one of the most comfortable this world has to offer!”
“Got it, Leffers!”
“Pffft!” I sprayed the water I was drinking all over the floor in front of me as I heard the vampire call the dragon by what could only be interpreted as a bizarre pet name.
“L-Leffers!?” Lefi’s eyes went wide. “Youngling, do not refer to me in such a bizarre manner! You must respect your elders and address them appropriately. Refer to me by my name, Leficios!”
“Mmm… that’s kinda long, and it seems really distant.” The little girl frowned. “Can I just call you Lefi? I don’t know why, but it feels kinda like you’re my big sis or something, so I wanna give you a nickname!”
“…” The dragon paused for a moment to regain her senses. The girl’s words had totally blown her mind out of the water. “Very well. I shall allow it.”
Heh. Looks like the girl’s already won Lefi over.
And with that, Lefi headed to the bathroom, the little girl in tow.
 Unlike the bathrooms in North America, many Japanese bathrooms are just for bathing.
Editor’s Note: Hey, guys! Joker here. Man, what a mammoth of a chapter, huh? Of course, Yuki was going to let Illuna stay as long as she wants in the dungeon. He may cuss like a sailor, but he’s got a good heart. At least, as long as you’re not a dick to the ones he loves and cares about. I’ll be honest, I was pissed too when I read what those creeps said to Illuna, and I hope Yuki manages to hunt the bastards down. But, you know what has to happen for that to happen, right? That’s right, more chapters. So, as always, see y’all in the next chapter!