The bow tie hit me with Ulysse glancing at me over his shoulders, dumbfounded, as he hung some clothes on his arm.
I secretly hid the bow tie in the shadows of the clothes. I definitely didn’t want to wear that thing.
But, just what did he mean by high marital duties? Was that something I had?
Azel and I had just become lovers, and we weren’t married yet…
…! Oh, I know. I’m the darling, and Azel is the honey1In Japan, they usually call their husbands, “darling” and their wives, “honey”. I see. I understand now.
“Alright! I have to get a job in the demon realm army, after all. Then, I’ll become a soldier while running my confectionery on the side to increase my income.”
“Hm—? What? Is there something you want? Then, you don’t have to buy it. Just point it to the Demon Lord and say ‘I want that–’ cheerfully, and I’m pretty sure he’ll be sneaking it beside your pillow the same day. No kidding.”
I considered looking for more jobs to prepare for the future to become a darling who could provide for his honey by acquiring these high marital duties that I didn’t have.
Ulysse gave me a crude reply, saying I should rely on Azel. But then, that would just get my priorities backward.
“You probably had no idea, but a few decades ago, the Demon Lord really had a heart made of ice, that’s why… grrr…. his best gap, that flushed face of his recently… I had planned on having him give me that look, you see…”
“I don’t know anything about Azel from the past, but that face of his is mine. And all I want is the financial power to provide for him.”
“You haven’t given up on that yet?”
I clenched my fists to show Ulysse my spirit when he looked at me like I was an idiot and grumbled, “For someone as eminent as the Demon Lord? Even if you lived ten times over and amassed more than enough treasure, it still wouldn’t be enough.”
“But if you still want the money, collect all the hair that the Demon Lord loses in one season. If you sell it secretly to another nation, you could earn as much as you could’ve in one lifetime.”
“The hair of an extremely rare demon is that amazing, huh…?”
“The top of our ecosystem, living only within the demon realm’s regions where gigantic demons are prevalent and rarely appear except during night: the Kudlakions. It’s their hair, so that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? If you weave it into the inside of your armor, most magic won’t work on you. Also, it’ll be resistant to status conditions.”
Ulysse was perhaps done with his selection as he was backtracking through the closet while carrying a heap of clothes. I was just behind him and shuddered at the overwhelming scale of his explanation. I didn’t understand that much.
Hmm… If I were to use my previous world as an analogy, it might be as rare as acquiring the shedded skin of a tsuchinoko2a kind of snake in Japanese folklore, rarely sighted or may not actually exist at all that could be strong enough to defend against a thermobaric bomb.
I struggled to think of a better metaphor, but I immediately snapped back to reality.
Ulysse spread out all the clothes on the carpet and began to measure the clothes on me in high spirits as if he liked this kind of thing more than I had thought.
“How about this? It’s white, beautiful, and refreshing! I love this kind of outfit!”
“I don’t want frilled, bare-shouldered clothes!”
Ulysse took the upper garment made of pure white fabric, embroidered with fine floral patterns, and with its sleeves and hems frilled, and pushed it against my skin.
He then jabbed me out of the blue that I had raised my voice in surprise for the first time in a long while. More importantly, why was that clothing in my size inside the closets of Ketomago residence?
“Bare-shouldered? Your way of saying it is so old! This is an off-shoulder! And this belly shirt! It’s called a crop-top! If you’re going to walk along the southern seaside, then you can at least deal with this, right? Even now, you’re far from wearing an off-shoulder. It’s more like off-the-upper-body! You should show them that sticking out abs of yours!”
“It’s my sex life that will be bared if I expose my hickeys on the beachfront, don’t you think?! I-I’m sorry, but I’d rather wear an upper garment that isn’t an off-shoulder! Crop-tops too!”
“Ah, geeez. Upper garment… You mean a top! Don’t be so naive, you idiot! Listen here, okay? Fashion is all about self-confidence. The one who throws away their shame wins!”
“If I throw it, I’ll lose! I’ll definitely lose!”
“Geez… Then, how about this one! There’re no frills, it’s black, and covers your neck and stomach too.”
“The back is all open, though?!”
I got bite marks all over my back, too!
My scarcely remaining dignity screamed, and I quickly tore the two tops off Ulysse’s hands.
Many difficulties lay ahead of me.