Editors: Speedphoenix, Joker
“Well, I’m off.” I turned to face the dungeon’s residents with a smile as I announced my departure the morning after coming into contact with the secret service.
“Bye everyone,” said Enne.
“Have a safe trip!” shouted Illuna.
“And have fun!” added Shii.
“I believe you are already aware of this, Yuki, however, I must insist that you—”
“Come home quickly and don’t get held up because I get seduced, right?” I finished Lefi’s sentence for her. “I know already. Besides, isn’t making sure of that why you’re having Leila come with me?”
“Don’t worry, Lefi. I will make sure to keep an eye on My Lord,” said the maid.
I couldn’t help but smile wryly. The girls had gotten together for another talk last night, one from which I was purposefully excluded. Their conversation had led them to conclude that I wasn’t to be left alone. Leila was being put on demon lord duty in order to ensure that I kept my hands off all the women I encountered in the demon realm. Oh come on. Demon lord duty? Really…?
Though I felt as if Lefi would be the better choice for such a task, the girls had pushed it onto the demon maid instead. Apparently, Lefi just couldn’t come this time around. I tried to get an explanation out of her, but she refused to tell me much of anything at all. And thus, the duty instead fell to the only other person that could successfully pull it off. I couldn’t bring any of the kids with me because the demon realm was a bit too dangerous for them as it was now. And unlike Leila, Lyuu was weak to pressure. The girls had judged that she would likely cave the moment I started to insist on her leaving me alone.
To be completely honest, I didn’t think that taking Leila was a great idea either, but not because she was incompetent. The sheer extent of her ability was precisely why I felt she should stay. Leila was the only person capable of actually maintaining the place. I suspected that the dungeon would cease to function as a home without her around. Still, everyone, and I mean everyone, insisted that I take her with me because it would bring them a greater sense of comfort than any of the alternatives. And as such, I found myself with a watchdog I dared not defy. Still though… What the hell, man? Would it really hurt that much just to trust me? I’m not that bad, am I?
Of course, it wasn’t like Leila was the only one accompanying me. Enne was too. But as Enne was my weapon, she had the fundamental tendency to abide by my will, and as such, the others had disqualified her from being the sole entity responsible for demon lord duty.
“Excellent,” said Lefi. “I am pleased to see that we have reached an understanding.”
“You’re such a worrywart, Lefi. Come on, can’t you see that I’m totally devoted to you and you alone?”
I wrapped my arms around the dragon girl, lifted her up, and spun her around.
“C-Cease this immediately, Yuki!” she stammered with a blush.
“Oh! I wanna go for a spin too!” said Illuna.
“Me too!” said Shii.
“Then get over here, the both of you,” I laughed.
I put Lefi down, picked up one of the girls in each arm, and spun around much in the same manner as I had for my wife. After that came Enne’s turn. Though she hadn’t said anything, the sword girl’s jealous stare made her wishes clear as day.
We weren’t the only ones spinning either. The wraith girls, who had joined the send-off, revolved around us as we went around in circles. I was spinning. My surroundings were spinning. Everything was spinning. I ended up stopping fairly shortly. All the spinning was making me dizzy.
“Alright, Lyuu,” said Leila. “I believe this is goodbye. I’ll be checking on everything once I return, so make sure you do your best.”
“S-sure thing, Leila! Don’t you worry ‘bout me! I’ll show you that I can put the lessons you’ve been givin’ me this whole time into practice!”
The two maids exchanged glances and started to talk about work as everyone else made a load of noise. The first of the two was exuding an aura of pressure as she smiled, while the second pumped her fists as she accepted the challenge, albeit a bit nervously. There was something off about their relationship. Leila and Lyuu had been brought on board at quite literally the exact same time. They were supposed to be equal as far as their positions went, but it was quite clear that they had already established a chain of command. Leila was in charge, and Lyuu was working underneath her. Honestly, Lyuu, I totes know how that feels. Leila’s scary. I can’t really see myself ever giving her much in the way of backtalk either.
“Alright guys, it’s up to you to keep this dungeon safe while I’m away.” I turned towards my pets after saying my goodbyes to the girls. The five of them were sitting in a bunch with Rir at the center and everyone else around him.
Each nodded in acknowledgement and affirmed that they would keep working while I was away. As far as the new recruits were concerned, this was the first big job and they had to do it right. Nice! I’m glad they seem so into it.
“Oh yeah, Rir, Orochi, I’m going to need you two to do us a favour and give us a bit of a ride,” I said. “I’m not going to ask you to take us the whole way, just until we find a good point for you guys to drop us off.”
Again, both the pets I had addressed directly nodded in order to express their acknowledgement of my orders.
“U-uhm… are you ready to leave yet?” The agent, who had been standing around with nothing much to do but watch as we said our goodbyes timidly spoke up.
“Yeah, my bad. You ready, Leila?”
“Any time, My Lord.”
“Then let’s go.”
And so, after saying one final goodbye, we turned around and left the grasslands.
“There they go.” Lefi muttered under her breath the moment the door closed behind her mate and his companions.
“Good thing we managed to get Master to agree to takin’ Leila with ‘im, huh?”
“Indeed,” said Lefi with a nod. “His nature leads him to treat those of the opposite gender with kindness. It is a trait that is by no means anything but a virtue. However, it is one with which I find issue under these particular circumstances.”
Although Lefi had made Leila out to be some sort of watchdog, the truth of the matter was that she had only sent her with him out of concern. She trusted Yuki. She knew that he thought himself the type of man willing to devote his all to a single woman. And she knew it well. However, given the scenario presented to her, the dragon wasn’t about to let her husband go on his word alone.
Lefi had spoken at length with Leila, who had informed her that their guest had every intention of doing whatever it took to get Yuki on her side. It was a claim that the evidence only supported. The messenger sent was a young woman specialized in espionage, the very image of the type of girl willing to put her body on the line to complete her mission.
Men, in general, were creatures easily susceptible to seduction; they found it difficult to refuse women that came onto them too strongly. Yuki even more so. He was just far too kind. As such, in Lefi’s eyes, the young intelligence operative’s resolve was a cause for concern. And she was only one of the many women that Yuki was sure to meet on his journey.
She felt that he would ultimately give in to the pressure if they continued to pursue him, that there was a chance he would find himself ensnared by a woman and caught in the trap that was her bed. Emotionally, Lefi abhorred the thought of her mate sharing a night with another, but she was willing to forgive him even if he did—albeit only after a good thrashing.
However, that was only the least of her concerns. She knew his character and his moral code. She knew that he may not forgive himself, that he would feel a sense of guilt and responsibility should he do the deed, one that the other party would be able to take advantage of. They would play her mate like a fiddle and force him to dance to their tune.
And that, in Lefi’s book, was far worse than him sleeping with another. It was something that she would never forgive. That was why she chose to have Leila accompany him. Because she was worried that those in the demon realm would take advantage of his kindness. She would have gone herself. But she couldn’t.
The dragon would have forced herself to accompany him regardless of her circumstances had he still been the only other in her world.
But things were different now.
Lefi had found friends, people that she could trust from the bottom of her heart. She knew that Leila would be able to protect Yuki from those that wished to manipulate him, that no harm would befall his psyche so long as she was by his side. Of course, it was always possible that the demon lord would pursue an affair with his maid, but that was far more acceptable than any alternative outcomes. She much preferred it to him bedding someone she didn’t hold in such high regard, someone not anywhere near as close to her heart. That wasn’t to say that she would be content with the choice. It would still be a matter of disloyalty, and she would still hit him enough to cause his face to swell to twice its size. But it was something she was much, much more comfortable with.
“You know, Lefi, Master seemed like he was feelin’ kinda down,” said Lyuu. “I’m pretty sure it was ‘cause you made it seem like you didn’t trust ‘im.”
The first thing the silver-haired maiden did upon hearing the maid’s words was groan. She knew exactly what the other girl meant.
“I-I am well aware,” she said. “However, I am certain that his mood shall recover should I spoil him to his heart’s content upon his return.”
“I bet,” giggled Lyuu. “I think that’ll pull ‘im right outta the dumps and make ‘im real happy. He’s totally head over heels for ya, after all.”
Lefi blushed but soon shrugged it off in as exasperated a manner as her embarrassed self could manage.
“I feel as if comforting him is no different from comforting an overgrown child.”
“Right? Master does kinda have this real childish side to ‘im,” said Lyuu. “But ain’t that exactly why you fell for ‘im?”
The warwolf flashed a huge grin as she exchanged gazes with the dragon-cum-tomato beside her.
“R-Right, there is something that I must ask of you, Lyuu.”
“Are you certain that you shan’t have any trouble without Leila’s aid?”
“Don’t you worry, Lefi! Just leave it to me! Everythin’ll be just fine. I’ve got all the stuff Leila’s been teachin’ me written right down. I’ll have the place runnin’ just the same way as usual even without ‘er.”
“Then I shall be expecting exactly that,” said Lefi. “Illuna, Shii, and the wraith sisters too. I ask that you aid Lyuu in her efforts!”
“Okay! I’ll do my best!” said Illuna.
“Me too!” said Shii.
The three wraith girls, who had only recently stopped being absolutely terrified of the absurdly overpowered dragon, couldn’t talk, so they pumped their fists to demonstrate their enthusiasm.
And so, with everyone’s spirits alight, the dungeon’s inhabitants returned to the true throne room.