—After a while.
As expected, there was no way I could learn summoning magic in an instant, so I was allowed to leave the magic sealing necklace loose in order for me to practice.
The output was just small enough to be able to use life magic, but with this, the ban on magic was finally lifted for me.
Azel looked very conflicted with his desire to grant my wish and his fear of me escaping.
However, he might’ve felt a bit more inclined to trust my feelings, so he let it go even though he was uneasy about it.
I was very delighted with the change. It made me kind of happy that I was able to convey how much I like my life in the demon lord’s castle.
It might not appear on my face that much, but I felt so warm and happy as if flowers were about to bloom.
A trio consisting of the hero, the demon lord and the demon realm’s prime minister. It was truly peaceful.
After I placed their shares, one for Azel and one for Reisen, on the plates that Reisen had prepared, the three of us proceeded to have a harmonious tea party.
The final stop of the Hero Confectioner was always here. I also loved this time of the day.
“So, Azel has to go to the town on the southern coastline to inspect the naval headquarters?”
“That’s right. Right now, all units from the naval base in the demon lord’s castle are guarding the coastline, so it’s time for the regular inspection of unit operations to make sure that everything is in order.”
‘And yet, my lord is…’ Reisen said, greatly troubled, munching on his cookie as if he was stress eating.
I see. He was throwing tantrums because he hated doing that job.
Azel turned his face away, feeling like he wanted to say, ‘Why do I have to do this?’ and I stared at him.
Then, he probably thought he was being criticized and started to visibly panic.
“I-It’s all good. I’ve only stationed the navy on the coastline after I took over since it’s hard to operate with them inside the castle, y’know? In exchange, the army garrison and the air force patrol have been removed from that area to ease the load. I didn’t have to go there because there’s a problem; it’s peaceful in there, so I don’t really have to go for a while.”
“Is that so…? But it seems as if you’ve driven the navy out, so wouldn’t they feel anxious about it? If you go there to show your appreciation for their efforts, it would relieve their anxiety. Besides, if you don’t keep an eye on them, they might think of rebelling.”
When I heard Azel’s story, I learned that they weren’t defending themselves because someplace else was coming to attack them.
But I was worried about that, so I gradually tried to ask him about it. Inspections were important, after all.
There will be times when the tail, which is far from the head, won’t move the way you want it to. If the tail is severed, it won’t listen to the head.
Azel had a bitter expression when he heard about the recognition of their services.
At the mention of rebellion, however, he put on a doubting look.
“Even if the navy attacks me all at once, I can take them out all by myself… There’ll be no rebellion. We’re demons, after all.”
…I see. Because they’re demons.
Survival of the fittest; if one had accepted defeat, then they must absolutely submit to the strong one. That’s how the demons were. It wasn’t a law, but an innate characteristic.
In the demon realm where the most powerful reigns the throne, I was convinced when he told me that rebellions like that of the human realm weren’t possible.
“We’re demons, after all.”
What a very convenient word.
“And, I refuse to leave the castle. It’s too hard to ask them out for an outing! We still have to get a little bit on good terms with each other first…!”
“Outing? I thought it’s an inspection?”
“Well, yes. But for the sake of my mental health, call it an outing. It sounds more intimate that way.”
Azel said with a serious expression, but would it really take a lot of thought to ask them out?
If it were the inspections I knew of, there would be a platoon of men coming along with him and escorting him.
Hmm. Even if he didn’t try to ask them out, he’d probably still have plenty of members.
“Inspection and outing… Asking out… Oh, of course.”
Reisen had been watching the situation closely, murmuring something, when he was suddenly struck with a grinning face.
“Shal, are you running out of daily necessities? Isn’t it time you got something new, like clothes or luxury items?”
“Huh? Hmm… Let’s see… It seems to be warm all year round in the demon realm, but I’d like to get some loungewear. Even though I do laundry every night, these are the only clothes I’ve been wearing all the time.”
“Alright, Reisen! Call the tailor near the castle. Have the castle imps tailor all sorts of fabric and bring them here.”
“That’s not iiiiit!!”
Azel commanded swiftly as he crossed his legs like a king, and Reisen exclaimed no to Azel, with crackling, sparks of fire.
I think not, either.
He shouldn’t be doing those kinds of celebrity acts. He mustn’t waste money on a prisoner, livestock, and a confectioner like me.
“He’s right. My clothes are made of sturdy materials, so I can still use them. I won’t need new ones for a while. You shouldn’t waste your money.”
“That’s not it eitheeeer!! I feel sorry that you’ve been living without a change of clothes in the first place! I’ll give you mine later!”
“! You– That– Is that the rumored boyfriend shirt I’ve been hearing about near the castle…?! N-No, the back is open for your wings, isn’t it! Take mine instead! I’ll give you my best clothes, so accept them with gratitude!”
“No, it’s not, my lord!”
They were chattering so loudly and making a fuss. Hmm? I can’t see the whole story.
What does that all mean? Did Reisen tell me in a roundabout way that my clothes were not appropriate for the demon lord’s castle?
If that were the case, I might have to take their offer.
If it was about what I had on hand, then I must decline. It wouldn’t be a problem even if I had no spare clothes for a while, but… if this gets torn off, then I might need one.
“~~My lord! You can do whatever you want with the boyfriend shirt, so please listen to what I have to say!”
“I can’t do that, idiot. This is the only time I can legally hand it over, though.”
“Ugh… May I talk now? Well then, I propose a better plan for you!”
Reisen declared as he crossed his arms, finally standing up after the prolonged debate.
Even Azel, who had been whining, was set to listen.
“My lord, please go on a shopping spree with Shal. To the coastal town of Svenmarina!”
“W-Wha?! D-Don’t tell me… it’s… a d-d-date?!”
“Yes, it’s an inspection (date).”
—And with that.
I was completely fooled and forced to go to the inspection together with Azel.
Hm? Date? It’s just a joke between those two. Azel wasn’t probably serious about it either.