(I wonder if Suzuky is all right. Is he feeling lonely in the dark prison?)
That same night. In the queen's chambers in the Syness Castle, Nephira lay on the bed, restlessly chewing her nails. Of course, she was concerned about Suzuky. Was he thirsty? Was he eating enough food? Was he able to go to the toilet? Ah, she was worried...
She wanted to check on Suzuky immediately, but the Thunder-Lance Charge had just conquered the Land of Leirune. The fiends under her command constantly asked her for instructions. The range of topics was very diverse; the questions ranged from the governance of the conquered country to the selection of humans for food and slavery. Not long after, a new fiend visited Nephira.
"Pardon the discourtesy."
Again there was a knock at the door. Nephira half-raised herself from the bed and brushed her lustrous black hair with her hands to create the austere atmosphere of a dignified leader.
"Mm-hmm. Come in"
Pholus, a bird-headed demon, opened the door and entered. After bowing respectfully, he turned his beaked face toward Nephira.
"Lady Nephira. What should we do with the Knight Commander?"
"Make an example of him. Kill him as brutally as possible in front of the surviving townspeople."
Nephira knows that doing so would incite fear and dread in humans, making them more obedient.
After that, Pholus continued to ask about the assignment of rooms to the demons in the fallen Syness Castle and various other matters. While Nephira gave out instructions, her thoughts wandered elsewhere.
(Suzuky. Are you doing alright?)
She couldn't help but be concerned about him. Intrinsically, it was unthinkable that a demon, the commander of the special attack force directly under the Demon Lord to boot, should be concerned about a single human. That was why she patiently endured for several hours since parting from Suzuky. But now, she was at the limits of her patience.
"Hey. How's Suzuky, by the way?"
"Huh? Suzuky? What is that?"
"It is the human in the king's chamber during the invasion. I instructed him to be locked up in the underground dungeons of the castle," Nephira asked as casually as possible so that Pholus would not sense her anxiety. "Thereupon, that guy, who is taking care of him now? Meru? Kiru?"
"No. The two are executing the remnant soldiers as per usual. For some reason, they were reluctant to do it today, even though they are usually happy to do so."
"Wait. In that case, who is currently taking care of Suzuki?"
"One moment, please," Pholus said, leaving the room for a moment before returning shortly after. "It appears to be that the human was transferred from the underground dungeon to the torture chamber."
"About now, I suppose Uhouguru is torturing him."
Torture. When she heard the name, "Uhouguru," she unconsciously bolted to her feet. The strange appearance of Uhouguru flashed through Nephira's mind.
Uhouguru always wore a blood-stained burlap sack mask, so it was impossible to see what it looked like. It also wore a black robe on its body and was rumored to have a variety of torture devices hidden inside it.
On one occasion, Nephira had witnessed Uhouguru torture, but even she, feared for her ruthlessness, couldn't bear its bad taste. Uhouguru kept bugs in its robe and sent them into the openings of the humans. The bugs would then eat their way into the brain and internal organs; the human writhes in agony, shedding tears of blood, as Uhouguru ridicules them while watching.
Whether it be a woman or a child, Uhouguru never held back in any way. The wordless Uhouguru was a bizarre and eerie presence to Nephira and the other demons.
"Isn't Suzuky, going to be tortured to death?! I ORDERED IT! To ensure he got enough sleep, received enough food, and so on! Despite this, why the torture? Moreover, with Uhouguru!"
In a fit of rage, Nephira grabbed Pholus around the neck and shook him vigorously.
"B-b-but, this Suzuky or whatever it's called... it's only a human, isn't it?" Pholus flapped his beak to grunt. But Nephira's wrath was unrelenting.
"You bastard can only say such a thing because you have never seen Suzuky! That guy... what... he's... incredibly cute..."
"He has incredible tactical value! You morons!"
"Eep! I had no idea he was such an important human! I will bring him back immediately!"
"Enough! It's fine! I'll go myself!" Nephira declared and rushed out of the chamber. She passed by demons in the halls who looked at her twice in surprise.
The calm and collected Nephira was running without caring about appearance, her ample bosom shaking. Yet Nephira didn't pay any attention to them and ran frantically through the castle.
(Wait for me, Suzuky! I'm coming to save you now!)