“Maruo, how’s work?”
“Ah. Shal! Shal! I waited! Maruo, finished work. Then waited for you!”
The natural caves around the Demon Lord’s castle were home to the cupbats.
I headed there first, knocking on the door that was built to block the entrance and peeked inside.
Only by that, my well-accustomed and adorable cupbat caretaker—Maruo, fluttered in from one of the private rooms.
When I hugged and petted him, Maruo looked extremely cute as he snuggled against my chest.
I liked animals and reptiles, but Maruo was different. Thanks to him, I felt like my level of affinity with Azel had somehow increased. Maruo was a good boy.
“Shaal? Shal’s sweets!”
“Time for Shal’s delivery!”
“Time for sweets!”
While I was petting Maruo, cupbats suddenly followed suit and emerged from the other doors.
And just like Maruo, they popped out while cheerfully fluttering around. The cuteness had increased.
There were a lot of cupbats, but the only ones here were Maruo’s group who mainly took care of Azel’s personal needs.
They were divided into several groups and lived together in the caves scattered throughout the castle.
When I started the confectionery shop, I gave Maruo a muffin, and some of his friends in this cave who were watching had shown interest.
Now, just like Maruo, the group were all customers who had prior engagements.
“Today, Maruo and others, gathered bellflowers!”
“This, make it to tea, and able to sleep well!”
“That’s nice. Alright, in exchange for that, I’ll give each one of you a bag of cookies. Today, it’s the walnut cookies you received the other day.”
“Yay! Maruo, happy! Shal, thank you!”
“Thank you! Thank you!”
“Thank you! Thank you!”
I was given a bouquet of light yellow, wind-chime-like flowers brought by Maruo’s friends, and gave them a bag of cookies in return.
One for Maruo whom I was still holding, and then, one by one, to his friends who were behaving well while waiting in line.
The materials and cookies that Maruo and the rest had collected instead of money were bartered.
As lesser intelligent demons, cupbats didn’t exchange with money, so the price was tailored to the customer.
Besides, I wanted to work not because of money, but to be useful, so that was fine.
By the time I was able give it all to the cupbats, I had about half of the paper bag of cookies left.
The Hero Confectionery Shop.
My regulars were the Demon Lord’s caretakers.
I waved goodbye while expressing my gratitude, and placed my hand on the door of the cave where I came in.
“Oh, right. I’m baking a pound cake tomorrow. Do you want to order in advance?”
They replied back, stuffing their mouths with the cookie they had just bought, and I took reservations for all the cupbats.
Yup, the power of unusual snacks was amazing as expected.
I walked away, happy to see that I had a good eye for it, after all.
The next stop was the Air Force Base.
The castle itself was huge, and the grounds of the Demon Lord’s castle was vast, so there were a variety of facilities on the premises.
In order to protect it, a large circular area of land was enclosed with a dome-shaped, special wall of rocks like a shell, with its top removed.
Since this shape had no starting point, it would be fairly difficult to penetrate.
The facilities that were protected also naturally included the military bases.
The number of military demons were not as much as those of the humans, but their armies were of a reasonable size and each maintained its own quarters and training grounds.
Somehow, I didn’t notice it, but I was getting more and more familiar with the Demon Lord’s castle, and I wondered if this was also the reason why the demons who hated humans were ridiculing me for being a spy or something.
Hmm. While thinking anxiously, I arrived at my destination, the Air Force Base.
More than a dozen dragons of all shapes and sizes were neatly arranged in formation, circling around in the sky above the base. Apparently, they seemed to be training.
As I tried to approach them smoothly, watching the sky training from the ground with the other human dragons, I found a familiar silver dragon.
“Heey, Gard, it’s me. Shal. Sorry to interrupt your training.”
I apologized to him for interrupting their conversation with a leisurely voice and walked towards him cheerfully.
To be honest, Gard always came to visit me during his spare time and yesterday, he showed an interest in sweets. When I told him that I’d be baking cookies tomorrow, he happily made a reservation.
Gard only snacked on sky tunas, a chocolate-flavored tuna; he seemed to have a sweet tooth. I felt glad.
“Good work today. It’s time for my delivery.”
Gard turned around immediately when he heard me calling him out happily and raised his voice.
As soon as he did, I thought that he had a smile on his face as if flowers were about to fly.
“Shaallll~ Finally, aah, I’ve been waiting for you. Where are the cookies?”
“Urgh, gueh, ugough!”
He approached me as fast as the wind, placing his hands at my sides and lifted me up abruptly—just like the other time, he started to swing me around in circles.
Uwaaah, for someone like me, I’m quite tall enough. I should have a fair amount of muscles and I’m supposed to be heavy. And yet, he does it so easily!
I didn’t see that coming at all…!
Damn it, does Gard have a habit of turning around in circles when he’s happy…?!
“Ku ku ku, Shaalll~”
He put me down sooner than before, but I felt a bit dizzy. The ground was shaking.
I weakly hit Gard in his sturdy abs, at least putting up a form of resistance.