Naofumi groans as he blinks his eyes, waking up in a bed. Putting a hand on his forehead, he feels his head throbbing. The last thing he remembers was fighting L’Arc and…
Eyes widening, Naofumi sat up. He was in an unfamiliar room and had no idea where he was. Then, the door opens…
“Hey, you alright?”
Naofumi glares, obviously disgruntled, “L’Arc…what did you do?”
“Exactly what it looks like, Kiddo…” L’Arc sadly smiles, “I kidnapped you, and took you to my world.”
“Are Raphtailia and Firo-?”
“They’re still alive, don’t worry,” Therese says.
Naofumi sighs before turning his head towards the right. When L’Arc and Therese turned their heads to the right, Naofumi immediately ran towards the window to the left.
L’Arc quickly caught up to him before he could escape, throwing him onto the bed.
“Sorry, Kiddo…” L’Arc frowns before taking hold of Naofumi’s wrists and quickly tugged his shirt off, tying his wrists up with the sleeves.
Naofumi growls, “L’Arc!”
As Naofumi fruitlessly struggled, L’Arc easily pinned him down as Therese prepared the ink.
Therese quickly dipped the brush and started putting the seal on Naofumi’s chest. Naofumi screamed in pain, panting when she was done.
The seal glowed and L’Arc let him go, Naofumi tiredly glancing at his status screen.
[Shield Hero, L’Arc’s Slave]
Glaring, Naofumi growls, “You have a lot of explaining to do…”
L’Arc and Therese sigh.
After Therese left, L’Arc says, “I’ll tell you later…for now, just rest.”
Naofumi lowly growls as L’Arc untied him and let Naofumi put his shirt back on.
Feeling weak and drained, Naofumi passes out.
During the next few days, Naofumi has gotten comfortable in his…“accommodations” in L’Arc’s cottage. However, he has tried to escape again and again…only for the seal to shock him, and for L’Arc to catch him over and over again.
L’Arc then orders him to, “Stay put. You’re still recovering…and don’t you dare try to kill yourself either.”
Not wanting to get shocked again, Naofumi could only obey and sulk.
“Aw~ don’t pout, Kiddo,” L’Arc teases as he pats Naofumi’s head.
‘It’s not like I have a choice in the matter…’ Naofumi continues to sulk before he slaps L’Arc’s hand away, “Don’t pat my head. I’m not a dog.”
L‘Arc smiles, “You’re right…you’re more like a cat.”
“…m’not a cat…” he mutters under his breath.
“Uh-huh…” L’Arc hums, not believing him as he ruffles Naofumi’s hair.
Glass visits, Naofumi is alone. It’s silent for a while before Naofumi offers to make tea.
When L’Arc and Therese come in, they see Naofumi cooking and Glass drinking tea.
“Uh…everything OK here?” Therese asks, a bit nervous about this situation.
“Yes…and Naofumi-san makes decent tea,” Glass replies as she put down her cup.
Then, they smell something good.
“Mm…what’re you cooking?” L’Arc asks, “It smells good.”
Naofumi sighs and slaps L‘Arc‘s hand away from the food, “It’s not ready yet…now, sit.”
L’Arc pouts and sits down at the table, just like a dog.
After putting the finishing touch, Naofumi served them omelettes on rice.
L’Arc, Therese and Glass tasted them and…
“Delicious!” Therese smiles stars in her eyes as does Glass, who was silent.
“This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted!” L’Arc smiles as he ate the whole thing, cleaning his plate.
“It’s normal for me though…” Naofumi says.
“No…Naofumi, it’s really good!” L’Arc gets up and takes Naofumi’s hand, “Would you work for me?”
“I don‘t…” he glares.
“Or better yet,” L’Arc clasps his hand, “Please marry me!”
Naofumi blushes, his ears and face bright red, shocked at what he just heard, “Uh…”
L’Arc was still talking though, fantasizing, “I come home, tired and hungry…only to smell the delicious feast Naofumi prepared for me. He comes in, wearing an apron,” L’Arc winks at him, “Just an apron. Then he…”
“Shut up already!” Naofumi explodes in embarrassment as he starts hitting L’Arc.
L’Arc just laughs, taking it, “It doesn’t hurt…”
After a few more hits, Naofumi stops, but he’s still upset. Looking to the floor, Naofumi uses a Shield Prison on himself, enclosing himself in a ball of chains and shields.
“Oh, c’mon Kiddo!” L’Arc says as he tries to get him to come out.
When the skill ended, the Prison disappeared, and L’Arc took the opportunity to hug a pouting Naofumi.
Sighing, Naofumi could only endure until L’Arc was satisfied and let him go.
“What’s this about working for you?” he asks.
“Oh, that…” L’Arc smiles.
“L’Arc is a King. The King of Shroud,” Therese answers.
Naofumi stared, a bit in shock, “A King?” He looks to L’Arc, “You?!”
“Yep,” L’Arc happily answers, “It’s a small kingdom, but it’s a pretty good job.”
“Wow…never would’ve guessed,” Naofumi shakes his head.
“I’m multitalented,” He says, “A King, Adventurer, and a Vassal Hero all-in-one. You’ll know that I’m good in other areas too,” L’Arc smiles, “That is…if you’d marry me.”
“You were serious about that?!”
“Of course! I want to have your cooking every day! And I‘ll do what I must to make it happen!”
Naofumi put his blushing face in his hands, “You’re so shameless...”
“Thanks. I try~.”
Eventually, Naofumi was allowed to go outside…with an escort, of course. He was starting to get stir crazy, so it couldn‘t be helped.
After a while, Naofumi was starting to like this world. It was nothing like the one he was originally summoned to. It was…better, kinder, yet still dangerous. Mostly…he was wondering why they’ve been keeping him alive all this time.
They’d just made camp. Naofumi wandered off to look at the stars, so L’Arc followed after him.
Sitting on the grass, they both look at the brightly shining stars.
L’Arc looks at Naofumi, who has been well-behaved lately. He hasn’t tried to escape lately…nor tried to kill himself or him. If L'Arc were to describe their relationship now...it's like he took in a grumpy stray cat…not that he’d ever tell Naofumi that.
Still…looking at Naofumi being so calm and peaceful…it made him want Naofumi to stay forever.
“I think I owe you your explanation,” L’Arc smiles as Naofumi straightened his posture, getting his full attention.
“There are certain rules and etiquettes of the Worlds have to follow,” L’Arc starts before asking, “What do you know about them?”
“Just that the Wave will get more difficult as time passes, and that you can’t summon a new hero while the other three are still alive,” Naofumi answers.
L‘Arc nods, “Well, the Worlds must have all Four Heroes at all times. If even one dies, the others are rendered useless. When that happens, the World would be better off killing the other three and summoning a new batch, letting the former party members train them. Although that’s mostly because the Cardinal Weapons are picky.”
“You mean…as long as I’m still alive, the other three are stuck until they die, or the World is destroyed?” Naofumi asks, a bit in awe.
“Yes,” L’Arc says, “Thankfully, that’s not the case for the Vassal Weapons. They have a whole world to choose from.”
“So, it’s in your best interests to keep me alive then…” Naofumi mutters.
“Pretty much…” L’Arc says before gently taking Naofumi’s chin and leaning in close, “But that’s not the only reason. I genuinely like you, Naofumi…” Naofumi blushes at the close contact and the confession, “Tell me…is that World really worth it?”
Naofumi gently pushes him away before answering, “Of course not. I hate that World, and it should be destroyed…” he sighs, “But there’re still some people I want to save...”
Then, Naofumi gets an idea, “How about a deal?”
“I’m listening,” L’Arc raises an eyebrow but is intrigued.
“Bring Raphtailia and Firo here…and I’ll stay in your World. I’ll just let those three idiot heroes deal with the Waves,” Naofumi smiles as he states his terms.
L’Arc smiles, “Deal,” and they shake on it.
Then, when they started to head back to camp, they hear rustling. A raccoon dog pops out, and they both laugh. They made their way back to camp safely afterwards.
L’Arc did well on his end of the deal. He brought Raphtailia and Firo back with him.
“Naofumi-sama!/Master!” they both yell as they hug Naofumi.
Unexpectedly, shortly afterwards Raphtailia got a Vassal Weapon, which was a katana, and the slave crest was severed.
L’Arc and Naofumi blinked in surprise, “Huh…didn’t expect that…”
L’Arc had given him a ring. A silver ring with an emerald and ruby embedded in it.
Naofumi blushes as L’Arc asks, “Would you please marry me and become my Queen?”
“Y-you…” Naofumi stutters, suddenly realizing that L’Arc was very serious about marrying him, “What about having an heir?”
“My brother can handle that,” L’Arc quickly answers, “So Kiddo, will you please?”
“I-I…” Naofumi’s face flushed, his ears red, and he uses Shield Prison to hide, a ball of shields and chains around him.
L’Arc smiles as he expected this, so he uses his scythe to pry open the Prison, Naofumi yelping as he jumped inside, the shields closing behind him.
When the skill ended, L’Arc was hugging a blushing Naofumi, who was hardly struggling in his grip.
Naofumi sighs before shyly hugging back, “Alright already…”
“Nao...Naofumi, will you marry me?” L’Arc asks again.
“…yes,” Naofumi quietly mutters, which made L’Arc smile and give him a quick kiss him on the lips.
Naofumi blushes even harder…until L’Arc starts shouting, “Naofumi is finally my Queen!”
After face-palming, Naofumi kissed L’Arc just to shut him up and prevent any more embarrassment. Unfortunately, pretty much the whole Kingdom heard about their engagement by the next day, and have thus congratulated them.