𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟎𝟑: 𝐏𝐞𝐭
The moment the Automata appeared in the room, Leif approached it like an indoor dog that had been left alone for a while.
He’s entirely a pet.
I had given him a Mamori-chan doll for communication, but it seemed he hesitated to speak to me on his own, so there was never a conversation initiated by Leif.
Instead, he would hold the Mamori-chan doll tightly, as if it were a regular stuffed animal.
I saw it on the monitor, and when Leif, with his pretty girl face, took that pose, it looked great in the picture.
“For now, the fight is over. Unfortunately, we lost, but the damage isn’t too severe, so it’s not a problem.”
“Is that so… Good work.”
Leif really said that as if he was comforting or consoling me.
Did he think I was feeling down?
Well, whether it’s the hero or the Demon Lord, it feels like the source of worries has finally sprouted, and my head hurts.
But being comforted by Leif seemed to alleviate my headache a bit.
…It’s cheeky for a pet to have an effect on its owner’s feelings.
I was slightly irritated, so I pinched Leif’s cheek.
“Ma, Master? It hurts…”
I did that for a while, and when I felt satisfied, I released him.
Somehow, I feel like some of my stress has been relieved.
“So, to get to the point, since Demon Lord-sama’s plan is nearing its climax, I don’t think there will be opportunities to take you to work.
From now on, it will probably be a series of wars, so there will be no need for someone as powerless as you.”
“Oh… Is that so…”
Leif looked dejected.
Is he that shocked that he can’t be of use to me?
That’s why he’s a loyal dog!
“…Then, Master, please.”
With that, Leif looked at the Automata with sad eyes.
What does he mean by “please”?
What is he trying to say?
Why is he looking at me with such sad eyes?
“What are you talking about?”
“Huh? I thought since I can’t be of use anymore, you would dispose of me.”
I was speechless.
Both at Leif suggesting such a thing, and at the fact that I hadn’t considered that possibility at all.
…But thinking about it, that’s right.
With the Demon Lord’s plan nearing its climax, there won’t be many chances to undertake infiltration operations in the human kingdoms.
Even if there are, I’ve come to know enough about this world to move without Leif.
Rather, from now on, having Leif around might be a hindrance.
If you think about it, Leif’s utility value is almost nil.
But I hadn’t even thought about disposing of him.
I wonder why.
Even though he’s a slave pet, I hate humans.
I should have been ready to dispose of Leif once he lost his value.
And yet, even now that he has no utility value, I can’t think of disposing of Leif.
It’s not just hesitation.
I can’t even think about doing it.
It felt as if my hatred for humans, which is the core of who I am, was shaking.
Leif looks at the Automata, which suddenly stopped moving as I was lost in thought, with an anxious gaze.
Reflexively, the arm of the Automata strokes Leif’s head.
I didn’t think to do that.
My body moved on its own.
“…I won’t dispose of you, so you can relax. There’s no gain for me in disposing of you.”
Next, such words were coming out of my mouth.
Upon hearing that, Leif’s face was dyed with joy.
Despite myself, I was comforted by seeing that face.
… It seems that I have a greater attachment to Leif than I thought.
I first thought of Leif not as a human, but as a pet. I remember it was like a self-hypnosis to distract from the discomfort of being with humans.
I think that lie has somehow become truth.
Indeed, I have as much attachment to Leif as I do to a pet.
I wonder if it’s about the same as it was for my beloved cat, Kurosuke.
No, perhaps not that much.
But, I’ll admit it.
It seems I don’t dislike Leif.
Instead of being stubborn about this, it would be easier to just admit it.
In a situation where I’m burdened with the big problems of a hero and a Demon Lord, I don’t want to worry about such things.
Fortunately, Leif is attached to me, so there should be no problem.
Moreover, Leif has a collar called a slave mark.
He cannot defy me, and even if he does, the difference in strength is insurmountable.
The reason I hate humans is because every single one of them projects unpleasant emotions onto me.
In some cases, they take actions that hurt me.
But Leif doesn’t fit that definition.
Also, pets are a healing for the heart.
I need healing right now.
After that, I petted him to my heart’s content.
And as I petted him, I thought.
Once a pet is recognized as a pet, the owner has a duty to take care of its life.
Abandoning it midway is taboo.
It’s also taboo for it to die when there’s no one to take it in.
In Japan, it’s a problem when elderly people die leaving their pets behind.
Then, I have to survive by any means and continue to take care of Leif.
I never planned to die in the first place, but now I have another reason not to.
I’ll do my best.
Even more so.
Looking at Leif, who is confused by the petting, I renewed my determination.
Well, I still won’t let him into my living space, though.
🔹𝙰𝚠𝚎𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜.𝚌𝚘𝚖 ― 𝙸𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚕𝚐𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚜 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 “𝚍𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚙d𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜” 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚊𝚍𝚟𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜🔹