Next, I headed to Azel’s office. This was the last place that made a prior reservation.
I had a limited number of prior reservations with few customers.
So, I made an effort to sell to the demons I met along the way who had relatively less hatred for humans.
Today’s successful sales promotion was to the Garudans, eagle-headed demons with human bodies who were Air Force engineers.
And to the imps, who were making a lot of cloth and fabric products and wholesaling them near the castle.
Although Garudans were quite different from Gard and the dragons, who loved chocolate-flavored tuna, the sky tuna, it didn’t mean that they weren’t fond of sweets. It was just that their response was lacking.
However, the petite imps with pointed ears and bloated bellies seemed to like delicious food and made reservations for tomorrow. They were apparently the bloodkin of the head of the logistics department.
The contents of my basket were considerably emptied, thanks to the fruition of that business.
I was just only giving them to Azel at first. So, it was quite an improvement.
“Hehe. I wonder how I should thank him this time?”
I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about what I was going to give Azel in return next with the money I had gradually saved.
It would be very alienating to be the only human amongst demons, wouldn’t it?
It was just natural to be rejected just as I had been in the kitchen incident. If our situation were reversed, with Azel being the one captured in the human realm, he would’ve been executed for sure.
In other words, I was a very lucky human who survived because I was being kept.
But—that was only because the absolute monarch, the demon lord, was looking after me.
The Confectioner, or the self-indulgent Hero’s image improvement operation, was also for Azel since he looked after me and I didn’t want people to think badly of him.
That was why I was really grateful to Azel. I wanted to make him happier. I wanted to return the favor.
I knew it might’ve been a petty idea, but if I could get them to think that ‘This human is more useful than I thought’, then Azel’s reputation would rise up too.
“Even though I’m a single-minded person, there are times when I have to use my head. Anyway, I’m not someone who’d just persevere. I’ll make the demons happy with sweets and get recognition from the inside. Well… I’m quite the bad guy.”
I felt a pang of conscience for scheming something like that, but I proceeded towards the office with enthusiasm.
I walked down the hallway with familiar steps, since I remembered the route to the office without losing my way anymore.
I had soon arrived at the office.
I was about to knock on the door of the familiar office, when I suddenly heard a voice behind it.
Perhaps it was because the demon lord’s castle was made with accessibility, or that only a limited number of demons could enter, that the door had a size that of a human’s, but… that must be why it was so thin.
“My lord! It’s time for you to do work outside of the demon lord’s castle! On that day when you were sullen more than you had ever been, you increased your speed and progress like a fool! So, other than daily settlements and signing of reports, there is almost no office work for a while!”
“Hah, I don’t wanna! I want to have a tea party with Shal every day, and talk to him, and drink his blood, and also kiss him! It will decrease if I use up more than half of my day!”
“They won’t decrease! The hero doesn’t have an expiration date anyway! And let me tell you something about half of Shal’s sweets that my lord doesn’t eat each time and secretly stashing them back! Those have expiration dates!”
“I’ve cast permanent freezing magic to those, so it’s fiiine. Haah, if you’re going to interrupt my time with Shal, I’ll destroy the demon realm! I’ll destroy it!”
“That’s not how you use the highest grade of magiiic! Geez… Please. Stop. Acting. Like. A. Child!”
For some reason, they were saying somewhat embarrassing things behind the door…
I found it extremely difficult to open. It seemed that Azel refused to budge.
I quietly covered my face with both my hands, feeling very sorry for the trouble that was being caused to Reisen.
Come to think of it… when we eventually made tea from Aryma and drank it together, he said that the other half of it was permanently frozen and placed in the treasury.
Don’t tell me, what he said just now wasn’t a joke…?
No, there’s no way. …That can’t be it, right?
“…Well, I doubt that. It might’ve been just my imagination.”
After all, in what world would there be a demon lord who uses permanent freezing magic to semi-permanently preserve the gifts given to him by a hero?
I knew he was being unreasonable just now, but that was different. I almost took the demon jokes seriously.
I was quite surprised, but I cleared my throat loudly to hide my slightly flushed cheeks. Then, I knocked on the door.
“! Come in!”
“Excuse me. Hello, today’s sweets are walnut cookies. Azel, Reisen.”
“Y-Yooo, Shal… Walnuts? Walnuts, yes, I don’t hate them. That’s a good choice, walnuts. Hm-hm.”
“They’re your favorites though… Welcome, Shal. I’ll go make some tea.”
I walked into the room, ignoring the voices that I had just overheard, and the two, who seemed to have switched, responded to me as if nothing had happened.
The two-tops of the demon realm aren’t just for show. They had a refreshingly quick switch.
And it seemed that Azel didn’t hate walnut cookies. That was a relief.
If I placed something in there that Azel didn’t like, it would make him feel bad as he eats any kind of sweets.
“I’m glad. I want Azel to eat delicious food as much as possible.”
I returned a smile at him in relief. He pressed down on the bridge of his nose and trembled in silence. Why is that?
“Reisen, I’m taking a break.”
“Yeah, yeah. I know.”
Azel stood up from his office desk when he saw me, calling out to Reisen and cheerfully sat down at the low table beside me.
Despite having an exasperated face intended for the swift Azel, Reisen still had a beautiful smile as usual.
He began to warm up the tea set placed on the shelf near the wall with his magic, but he was in fact a customer who bought my sweets.
Reisen had always bought from me ever since he ate the sweets that he delivered to Azel.
He liked drinking tea, so he took a liking to my small portion of sweets which were just the right amount for a cup of tea. It made me happy.
Well, at first, he thought I… or rather, heroes, were some fighting maniacs who would cut down demons as soon as they saw one.
Maybe the others were, but the demons knew that I wouldn’t fight back as long as they didn’t cut me down.
So currently, we were in that state where we could talk to each other peacefully.