Chapter 74 – The Battle of Handling the Payment

I walked, embarrassed by the stares, a different phenomenon from the curious looks and buzzing when I went here alone.

Probably it was thanks to being guided by the route that we had arrived at the clothing store in no time.

We rang the doorbell and entered the store together.

The relief on the faces of everyone in the city as we entered the store and the hopelessness of the customers and the shopkeeper were heaven and hell itself.

Well, I’m sorry.

But I could understand. It was probably no wonder that they would act like that when their ruler was roaming around the neighborhood.

It seemed that everyone knew that their ruler was here.

Azel hadn’t specifically announced that he was to visit this city, but the word probably had gotten out from the base.

I was pretty sure that the soldiers would have some days off, so they would have the chance to come down to the city.

“You’re so popular, aren’t you? That’s great.”

“Hm, not really. There’re a lot of demons who don’t know my appearance. I don’t like showing myself, after all. But if you like popular men, I’ll declare war so that the whole world will remember my face.”

“War– No, wait, you don’t have to do that. Listen here, okay? I’m the only one who needs to know about you.”

“G-gh… I got monopolized…”

Azel had once again staggered. The customer and the shopkeeper who had been listening in on our exchange silently looked at us alternately and was astonished.

They looked like they were about to drop their jaws. What if they thought I was bullying Azel?

But in reality, they were actually thinking that “the rumored human really had the Demon Lord at his mercy.” However, there was no way for me, who was in no way trying to lead Azel by the nose, to know about his declaration how he would kill them if they had laid hands on me.

Going back on our shopping date…

The shop was about the size of a convenience store, but just like in my previous world, they were lined with ready-made clothes of all shapes and colors, and the counter seemed to offer tailoring services.

The materials had also been changed to suit all kinds of demons.

There was a standee by the wall that said, “We accept modifications for wings, fins, horns, etc.” Certainly, the thickness of their tails and so on were different.

Azel and I stood in the humanoid section and examined the clothes we were going to buy.

Technically, I was the only one looking at the clothes and troubled, while Azel was only watching me.

“It might get colder from now on, so I think I’ll have something a little thicker, or maybe something I can still wear this time of the year, assuming I get back that coat that doubles as protective gear? In the first place, is there even a huge concern about the difference in temperature in the demon realm where the seasons aren’t so different from each other? Hmm…”

“Let’s just buy them all for now?”

“What are you saying! That would be a checkmate!”

I was earnestly trying to search by functionality when Azel proposed to me buying like a celebrity.

This dimwit. Buying up everything first-hand wasn’t a good idea. The other demons wouldn’t be able to buy anything, after all. I also didn’t have much in savings, let alone pocket money.

“If you’re worried about the luggage, you can use my summoning magic. It has a higher capacity than yours. It’s proportional to the amount of magic you have, so you won’t be able to store everything, right?”

“Hey, that’s not what I meant. If we buy them all up, the others won’t be able to buy them, right? I don’t have much on me either. I’ve even got other things to buy.”

Azel didn’t understand the various problems of buying like a celebrity and tilted his head in wonder, so I told him why, with my index finger raised.

The economy of the demon realm would turn around, but it wasn’t as if my economic power could afford to. I had to shop within my means.

But when Azel heard my explanation, he lifted his eyes, and this time, he prickly looked away.

“You don’t have the right to take out your purse, idiot!”

“? Does shopping in the demon realm have a privilege application system…?”

“Urk… T-That’s right! So you don’t have to pay when you’re with me.”

Oh, just great. I wouldn’t be able to buy anything, then.

I wasn’t familiar with the laws of the demon realm, so I had no way of knowing that I would have to apply to get my purse out.

I froze in shock when I found out that I couldn’t make all sorts of purchases I had planned to make.

(I-I’m in trouble…)

I was planning to buy souvenirs for the demons in the castle I was indebted to, and also give Azel something to commemorate our relationship. But now, I couldn’t repay them for all they had done for me.

“Ugh… I’m a useless hero who can’t even shop by myself…”

“! Idiot, you’re not! That’s why, uhm… There’s no other way, so I… I’m giving you everything as a present! It’s just natural, after all, we’re l-lo… lovers!”

I clenched my fists in frustration at the fact that all of my secret plans were about to go down the drain.

Then, Azel got flustered and said something about giving me something.

He provided for me, and now he would treat me. There wouldn’t be any point, if so. I wanted to get him a present, too.

I was going to tell him that I couldn’t let him do that, but then I went silent for a while.

It was because Azel’s face was very frantic, and he was acting so suspicious, trying to hide his fidgeting and restlessness.

—…Perhaps Azel wanted to do something for me, just like how I wanted to give him a present?

But it was difficult for him to tell me he was going to buy it himself, so he may have made up an excuse on the spur of the moment.

“Wouldn’t it be a burden on you?”

“Of course not! I could even buy the entire shop and still have change.”

Azel showed enthusiasm.

He made this unhealthy look that would make women blush, his face with his usual, very demon lord condescending angle, but what came out of his mouth was, “I’ll handle the payment!”

If I were wrong about this, it would be very embarrassing, but… I was beginning to realize something.

Those in the castle may not be aware of this, but—Azel was a bit of a tsundere.

What do you think? Are you surprised? I’m sure you are. I didn’t notice it at all. But I had my suspicions.

I was sure that I was the only one aware of the fact that the demon lord was a tsundere—a characteristic where the more they love someone, the more they couldn’t say things upfront. That gap of his would make him very popular.

Azel was a tsundere, so he would be prone to get misunderstood. Thus, it would be the darling’s duty to make an effort to understand him.

I stopped being disheartened, placed my hand over my mouth, and slowly gazed up at Azel with embarrassment.

“Hm… Then, I’ll just take one set of clothes as your present. Azel, my love, can you pick out the one you want me to wear, something that’ll suit me?”

“Hey, shopkeeper! Wrap everything from here to there at once!”

“Hieee! Y-Yes, my lord!”

—Just one set… I told you, just one set, didn’t I?

With his celebrity speech, Azel grinned with satisfaction as he ordered the shopkeeper, who was tense with fear, to wrap all humanoid male clothing.

In the end, he still went with the celebrity route. Then, what was the point of our conversation! He just went and ignored the conclusion, this bourgeois…!

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