The country we are in right now is called Asmodeus.
It is one of the multiple nations within the dark kingdom.
The country's history is ancient, and it is well known for being the country where the demon king Koul was born and raised.
Even if he was a demon king, he was never the king of all demons.
He is considered this way because the job of the demon king is to increase the power of the demons, as well as their levels. For this reason exists their counterpart, the hero, who will try to kill the demon king to prevent this from happening.
"...He who gets the job of demon king is a greedy person. Therefore, his goal will always be to invade the side of humans. The same goes for the human side. This struggle has been repeating for centuries."
Things become clearer to me after hearing Pione's story.
I've heard the legend of the Demon King and the Hero several times and I've considered it a matter of course, but come to think of it, I didn't know why they fought in the first place.
I bet if this hadn't happened, I would never have known about it.
Frau jumps on my back.
"Enkid, the place where the demon king's castle is located, is a country where the most extreme meritocracy of all demon gatherings exists. It's like a sacred and exclusive place."
"Does it mean that only a small part of the demons are devoted to Lisa?"
"Eeh, you're too heavy."
"But it feels good."
"How easy for you to say."
Frau slaps me around the waist.
My body recoils in pain.
Please take it easy.
"Panda, you seem to have grown very fond of Pione-San."
"He's so cute. He gets so happy when I pet his feet."
Frau, Kaede and I stood dumbfounded in front of the fire.
Panda has feet?
I don't remember him having any.
"Where are his feet?"
"Here, they're like little bumps."
"It's true, he has very small feet!"
"It must be a lie."
I got up and touched them.
My fingertips pressed against some small, moving bumps.
There were four of them.
I hadn't noticed them because they were hidden in his fur, but Panda actually has feet.
When I touched the base of his foot, Panda's eye widened.
Figures, this beast is truly a mysterious creature.
He is still full of mysteries, as I don't know his full abilities. For now, all I know is that he can fly and carry people.
Rosuke, who had gone ahead of us to keep an eye on the area, came back.
Panda, upon hearing his voice, quickly hid behind Kaede, showing a reaction as if he feared Rosuke a lot.
Rosuke, seemingly used to this, ignored Panda and turned his body towards me.
Panda got grumpy when he saw Rosuke rubbing himself against me.
We continue our trip riding on horseback.
We were going in a straight line for a long time.
"We're almost at the capital!"
"Is it really at the end of this road?"
We had been in the forest for quite some time.
The further the trail, the deeper into the forest it went, then we gradually began to see large steep rocks.
In the distance, we could see rugged mountains and multiple wyverns flying.
I heard a large amount of water flowing from the distance.
Apparently there is a waterfall ahead.
Pione stops her horse, so I stop mine too.
There was a valley up ahead.
If you look inside it, you can see that it is quite deep.
A large amount of water flows at the bottom, and a large waterfall can be seen nearby.
"We have arrived. This is the center of Asmodeus."
"Are you sure? There's no city here."
At the place Pione led us to, there was a staircase leading down.
We got off the horses and started going down the stairs.
"Ouh, I would have loved to keep riding for another month with you, Master."
"Don't be discouraged. Next time I'll teach you how to ride a horse yourself."
Kaede eyes lit up as she pulled on the reins.
Her fox ears were perked up and her tail was wagging.
If it makes you that excited, then I will be happy to teach you.
I hope to someday be able to ride a horse with Kaede. Of course, with each of us on a separate one.
"Ummm. They're forgetting Frau again."
I guess it's not fair to give more attention to one slave than another.
Frau is also my lovely slave.
"Sure, I'll teach you, too. But why do you need a horse if you can fly?"
"Only for emergencies. If we're in a situation where I have to quickly fly away to escape, I won't be able to take you both with me."
I hadn't thought of it that way.
It is certainly useful to be able to ride a horse when Kaede and I are in a situation where it would be impossible to do so. Frau would be alone.
But in any case, wouldn't it be better if Panda helped her to get us out of a tight spot...?
No. There is nothing wrong with learning to ride a horse.
Since Frau is so determined to learn. I will also teach her how to do it.
"I want to be taught too."
"But Pione, you know how to ride a horse."
"Um, yes, but I'm about to lose that ability."
"...I don't understand what you mean."
"Actually, demons can't ride horses after the age of 20."
I didn't know that.
"That's a lie."
"Fine, I just want Toru to teach me too!"
Pione looks like she is about to cry at Frau and Kaede's sharp looks.
So it was a lie.
I almost fell for it.
I don't know much about demons, so I might just believe whatever Pione tells me.
"Still, the scenery here is beautiful."
"True, I love the scenery here."
The large waterfall that can be seen from here is truly magnificent.
Thanks to the sunny weather and the hint of a rainbow in the background, the long stairs were far from boring.
After descending the winding staircase, a long corridor awaited us.
The path was made by hollowing out the valley wall and was lined with thick pillars, between which we could see the other side of the river.
"Is there a city inside these walls?"
"Haha, yes, isn't it amazing? The city is one of the oldest ruins."
According to Pione, the city itself is a ruin that still has some unexplored areas.
Even to this day, many demon adventurers visit this city in search of relics and precious objects.
Beyond the hallway, there was a street lined with stores.
Also, there are a lot of demons coming and going, and some of them are in front of the river where there is a fence, drinking something that looks like sake in a cup.
I was thrilled when I saw this place.
This is the true pleasure of traveling.
Encounters with landscapes and experiences beyond imagination are always exciting.
"Let's find a place to stay for now. I can recommend a good one, this way."
"Thank you, you've done so much for us."
''It's okay, now I'm a kind of like a member of the manyu brigade.''
We arrived at the inn.
"Preferred accommodation suite for women."
It seems that this place is owned by a friend of Pione's.
She says the service is good, and that she always stays at this place whenever she comes here.
It appears to be a high-class inn where women receive preferential treatment.
As for me, I don't care where I sleep as long as I feel comfortable.
As long as there is a soft futon, it is enough.
I opened the door of the inn.
Then, a group of guests who had been staying at the hotel came out.
"I knew this place was great."
"It's a luxury to have a bath and a massage."
"We must come back someday."
"I support that idea."
Seven women who left the site were beaming with joy.
Yes, they are all women.
"This is an inn where women usually stay. But men are also welcome, so don't worry."
"Um, but this..."
"Don't worry, you'll see what I mean when you stay here."
I am pushed into the inn from behind.
I stopped in front of a female employee at the front desk.
She was a beautiful beastkin woman of the rabbit race.
"Welcome to the Bunny Suite. We currently have 30 women staying and 0 men."
"Ah, yes, thank you."
I fill in the registration template.