—And so it went on, the first date between the demon lord and the hero.
The demon lord was so excited that he exploded even at the next general store we went to and nearly bought out the entire retail store.
I told him that I would get a job in the navy to pay him back in full if he did. Then, he hugged me tightly with tears in his eyes, saying he didn’t want that. It all ended without incident.
Hm? Did it…? Let’s just pretend it did.
As we went to different stores and spots, smiling at each other, the dampness faded from our linked hands.
But it remained warm and comfortable. The circle without anyone else in it and the Moses phenomenon also didn’t bother me anymore.
“Oh, there’s a play going on in the plaza. Let’s go see it.”
“I guess I have no choice.”
“Azel? Keep your eyes forward. Stop looking at me.”
This peaceful date was probably the happiest time I ever had in the demon realm.
I strongly wished that we could walk like this forever.
We had a great time walking around the city, and now we were both having lunch at a cafe overlooking the sea.
“Is that really all you want?”
“My heart has been so full all day that I can’t take in any more food…”
Azel leaned on his elbows, his cheeks soft and plump, and for some reason, he was dozed off, spinning the straw of his coconut juice absentmindedly.
I suddenly felt like playing a little prank on Azel as I chewed on the grilled fish that looked like a sea bream.
You shouldn’t have your head in the clouds when you’re with me. You have to look at me like a lover.
And similar to what I did some time ago, I gently held out my hand and propped my cheeks on another with my elbow on the table.
“I’m worried about your lack of appetite. How about some of my blood for a nourishing lunch?”
Azel’s grinning mouth snapped open, and he slammed his head hard into the table as he heard my words that I said in a joking manner.
He firmly grabbed my hand despite hitting his head hard.
“Ahaha, I was kidding. Actually… This is just a secret, but I’m… feeling very playful. I just wanted to try flirting.”
“Ah, geez. What’s with that? He loves me so much, doesn’t he? He’s way cooler than me. I like him…!”
”Huh? What are you saying? My Azel is cooler than anyone else, and I’m sure I like you even more than you do.”
“This will be the day I die, to say the least.”
I had fun saying sweet things to each other, and when I bashfully told him I liked him, he bit his lip and began to tremble, his brows furrowed.
It was a regular occurrence for him to tremble while mumbling something to himself so that I couldn’t hear him.
“Kkh… Your smile is so dazzling that I can always see a beautiful view… I’ll have no choice but to worship you… I should build a temple here… I mean, this is inevitable, right? Though, I’m not religious… You’re so cute, it’s worrisome. And precious… This is absolutely impossible… I’ll become a demon lord who would devote his life and wealth to the founder… Hahh~ The hero is keeping me alive today too…”
“That’s troubling. I’m not really sure what you want with me, after all.”
“Aah~ Even the difference of enthusiasm with the target of admiration that’s being spent money for by their hardcore fans with no vocabulary is so endearing, I feel like I’m being hit with preciousness every second.”
“I didn’t hit you, okay? And how long are you gonna nuzzle my hand?”
He mumbled something to me while nuzzling with great energy, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
He said I was cute, but how come he finds it worrisome? And he said it’s absolutely impossible, yet he’s touching my hand?
And please don’t pay me tribute. Instead, just give me a job or something.
Azel dropped a kiss on my hand he was touching and rubbed his cheeks against it as if he was overcome with emotion.
I instantly turned red, but I thought how cute Azel was being all cheerful, so I let him do as he liked.
“Hah… Though you’re the one who saved me when I was at the crossroads in my life, if you’re this cute, I can’t help but love you… It’s inevitable, isn’t it…?”
“Hm. About that… I’ve been wondering for a while now, but did you know me even way back? I don’t remember ever meeting you, though…”
The word ‘hero’ was something that people around Azel would sometimes refer to me as. But once in a while, he himself would refer to me as his benefactor.
I had always wondered about it, but my memory didn’t have the slightest trace of having met or helped Azel.
I didn’t want to forget what happened with Azel. I wanted to remember.
When I mentioned to Azel how it was a very important memory for him, yet I had no memory of it, he lowered his eyes a little wistfully but immediately let go of my hand and straightened his back.
“It’s fine. I don’t blame you for not remembering. It was a long time ago, and I never said my name or who I was. And I’m sure if I told anyone about it, they’d think I feel that much indebted… for something so trivial. Not to mention, we’ve only met once.”
“I see… But if you talk to me about it, I might remember. You know, if I were left not knowing something about you, I’d feel lonely. I want to know more about you.”
“Auu… I… I guess I have no choice…!”
I shook my head softly and earnestly asked him.
He told me it was fine, but I figured he was probably still dispirited about it since he turned his head away, cheeks flushed with happiness. Then, he cleared his throat and started talking.
I listened attentively with a serious face to the words he spun, albeit poorly, as I tried to remember that time.