Advanced Chapters ― Ch83/83 ― The Abandoned Saint Became the Snack Attendant for the Childish Demon King

Completed ― The Abandoned Saint Became the Snack Attendant for the Childish Demon King

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟎: 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐮𝐞

This morning, I stack one or two pancakes made with fresh eggs and milk. On top of the three-layered pancakes, I generously place the milk ice cream that I prepared since morning.

Especially for Demon King-sama, there should be plenty. It’s just right if it’s slightly melted. Then, I drizzle jam on top. Tyran-san has a lot of jam.

Both of them will surely say that this is not enough. I have prepared extra pancakes, ice cream, and jam.

With freshly made pancakes and the tea prepared for me, I place them on the kitchen wagon and head towards the king’s chamber.

“I apologize for the wait.”

“What’s today’s snack?!”

Demon King-sama, who seems to have caught the sound of the rolling kitchen wagon early on, is already leaning forward.

I’ve informed through the communication device that “Today’s snack is special,” but I kept what I would make a secret.

“It’s pancakes.”

“Pancakes? I’ve had them before, haven’t I?”

“Today’s pancakes are not just ordinary pancakes. They are three-layered pancakes with milk ice cream and jam on top!”

“Is it. . .alright to eat that much? I ate a lot today, so will you say no more tomorrow?”

“It’s alright. Only bad children have their snacks taken away. Demon King-sama is a good child, right?”

“Yes, I am a good child. Now, quickly give me that snack!” 

I set the pancakes and cutlery for the two of them on the snack table. As I prepare the tea, Demon King-sama, who couldn’t wait any longer, stabbed the pancakes with a fork.

Ignoring the knife I prepared for easy eating, he drags a whole piece. The ice cream couldn’t withstand it and falls onto the next pancake.

Only the melted ice cream and jam remain.

Nevertheless, it seems to be enough to delight Demon King-sama.

“Mmmph.”

He puffs up his cheeks like a hamster, completely satisfied. Ah, how adorable.

On the other hand, Tyran-san, who waited until the tea was poured, moistened his throat and then took the fork. It seems he is also a person who doesn’t use a knife.

He cuts the ice cream in half with the fork and places one half on top of the pancake.

As I watch what he will do, he folds the pancake in half and takes a big bite.

“Fumai.”

“Be careful not to choke, okay?”

“Mm.”

When I first came to the Demon King’s castle, I never imagined that he would eat snacks like this.

On the first day, he reluctantly ate, showing no signs of acknowledging me. But today’s snack was decided by Tyran-san and me for the sake of Demon King-sama.

In this place where I came as a substitute for the person who took care of me, I have found happiness.

“Oh, by the way. I have prepared refills for today as well.”

“What did you say?!”

“There are three types of jam too!” 

I proudly announce my decision. Then, Tyran-san starts trembling. Although I kept it a secret from him, it seems he is very pleased.

“We agreed on one type, didn’t we?”

“I thought having more would make you happier. Tyran-san, of course, you’ll have all the varieties, right?”

“Yes, I want to spread it generously on the entire surface.”

“Tyran, make sure to save some for me!”

“No, it’s first come, first served. It’s common sense in this world that delicious things don’t last forever.”

Tyran-san says this with a serious expression.

Even though he loves jam, I’m making quite a large amount. I even jarred a portion from the beginning to avoid any shortage.

But Demon King-sama is trembling as if he heard something terrifying.

“Put jam on my plate! Hurry, or Tyran will eat it all.”

“Even if it’s Tyran-san, he won’t eat everything.”

“Don’t let your guard down! I also want to eat more ice cream.”

“Ice cream and jam, right? Should I put them on top of the pancakes?”

“Yes! A lot. A lot, okay?”

Demon King-sama repeats “a lot” while gripping the fork. It’s adorable and irresistible.

“Here you go~.”

“If there are refills, it would be nice to sandwich them between two pancakes. . .”

Demon King-sama gazes at the pancakes with plenty of ice cream and jam, sparkling with excitement, while Tyran-san, with a bit of jam on the corner of his mouth, seriously considers how to eat the snack.

They, along with the demons living in this Demon King’s castle, have given me a place to belong.

I can enjoy making snacks every day because they eat them with delight.

“It’s a success.”

“I’m glad they’re happy.”

As I exchange glances with Tyran-san and let out a small laugh, happiness wells up within me.

This is the story of a discarded Saint finding her place to belong. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏: 𝐈𝐭 𝐂𝐫𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐧 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭

“I, because I am going to marry the princess.”

“Huh?”

“Maylene, please go back to the village and marry someone else. You must be earning a lot of money, right?”

If it had been just a dream, it would have been better.

With a faint hope, even if I blinked slowly, Jude in front of me still had a distorted face. It felt like the ground I had slowly built since childhood was collapsing with a loud and awkward sound.

Jude and I had promised to marry since we were young. If nothing had happened, we would have been married by now and maybe even had children.

But three years ago, a new Demon King was born, and a hero and his companions were chosen to defeat the Demon King. Jude was chosen as the hero.

Until then, he had been living a leisurely life in a rural village, but his talent was recognized, and he was decided to join the Demon King subjugation party.

For the sake of the country. And ultimately, for the world.

I swallowed my loneliness and bid him farewell, thinking it was a noble cause.

[When I come back, let’s get married.]

I believed in those words and continued to wait. I couldn’t send letters, and the only way to know about his well-being was through the newspaper. When I saw it, brought by a merchant who came near the village once a week, I felt relieved that he was still alive.

I couldn’t help but feel pathetic for being able to do nothing but wait.

The year after Jude left, it was decided that the Saint’s examination would be held in the capital. The recruitment guidelines, distributed to towns and villages throughout the country, were also posted in our village, which was quite far from the capital. 

The church in the capital was where the strongest Saints in the country gathered, and it was said that they had never conducted such a large-scale recruitment examination before.

However, due to the revival of the Demon King, there was a shortage of manpower.

For the sake of defeating evil, they wanted those with magical power to cooperate. That was the wording used.

It was common knowledge, even for children, that one couldn’t become a Saint if they couldn’t use magic. This applied not only to Saints belonging to the church in the capital but also to others.

Even commoners have magical power, but only nobles are limited to those who can use magic. It is said that there is a knack to using it, and to learn that knack, one needs money and connections. That’s why many commoners with magical power end up living their lives without utilizing it.

They must have noticed this shortage of manpower. The prominently displayed rewards were also quite substantial. If you worked for a year, you could have a splendid wedding and even have change left over.

This is it. I tightly grasped the distributed recruitment guidelines that were placed nearby and ran home.

It wasn’t because I was attracted to the rewards. I was happy because I had a reason to go to the capital. If I went to the capital, I could find out about Jude’s well-being much faster than staying in the village. If I became a Saint, even if only a little, I could be of help to him. It would be much better than the current situation.

So I desperately persuaded my parents. My father and mother didn’t approve of me leaving the village following Jude. But in the end, they agreed, understanding that there would be less danger within the capital.

The condition my parents presented to me was to send letters regularly. 

I returned to my room and packed the bare minimum into my bag. It seemed that people were coming from afar, as the exams were scheduled for about three weeks. I should go during this time. But I want to know the results quickly. If it doesn’t work out, maybe I can work in the capital.

With such thoughts, I boarded the shared carriage that arrived two days later. There were several women of the same age as me in the carriage. They must be going to take the Saint exam.

I traveled with them for ten days. When we arrived at the church in the capital, the results were immediately announced. It seems that I have a lot of magical power for a commoner. If I practice, I might become more capable than the other children. I was told that and became an Apprentice Saint.

From there, I worked desperately. It was all to become even a little bit of help to him, fighting on the front lines. That was my sole purpose.

As promised to my parents, I sent a letter every month without fail.

The letters from my family detailed the situation in the village where Jude and I were no longer present. It mentioned who got married and how someone’s grandmother’s health worsened. When I received a letter stating that my sister got married shortly after I left, I regretted not waiting a little longer.

Still, I was happy that my allowance was being put to good use, and tears flowed when I saw the photo of the baby that was enclosed in a letter just six months ago.

While listening to the stories of other Apprentice Saints, there were times when I felt anxious about the future. But I still believed that I could be happy like my sister. 

When I heard the news that Jude had made peace with the Demon King, I was truly overjoyed. I no longer had to worry about him getting hurt. After finishing work, I spent the whole night crying in my room.

After that, I started seeing articles about the marriage of the Hero and the Princess. Even if I tried not to look, rumors about it circulated daily at the church. Still, I believed in Jude. 

『”𝔸𝕨𝕖𝕓𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤.𝕔𝕠𝕞” – 𝔻𝕚𝕤𝕔𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕒 𝕔𝕒𝕡𝕥𝕚𝕧𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕝𝕕 𝕠𝕗 𝕝𝕠𝕧𝕖, 𝕡𝕒𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕒𝕕𝕧𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕦𝕣𝕖, 𝕨𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕚n𝕕𝕦𝕝𝕘𝕖 𝕚𝕟 𝕒 𝕔𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕖𝕔𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕣𝕒𝕟𝕤𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕟𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕤 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 “𝕕𝕒𝕚𝕝𝕪 𝕦𝕡𝕕𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕤” 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕖𝕩𝕔𝕝𝕦𝕤𝕚𝕧𝕖 𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕖𝕤𝕤 𝕥𝕠 “𝕒𝕕𝕧𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖𝕕 𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕤”.』

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐈 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐥𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐲

“Well, that’s how it is. Don’t bother contacting me because it’s annoying.”

However, Jude easily abandoned me. He chose the princess. The person I believed in was not him, but the one written in the newspaper. 

Certainly, compared to the princess who holds the title of “Great Saint,” given to the most outstanding among the Saints, I can’t use any impressive magic, and I’m not beautiful either. I know that if we were to weigh it, the princess would win.

Still, after making me wait for three years, he shouldn’t speak like this.

When Jude was chosen as the hero, there was talk of the village chief’s son marrying me. Not only my family, but Jude’s mother also said it would be better that way.

I also struggled a lot. I loved Jude.

But I thought that waiting might become a burden for him. Even so, Jude asked me to wait. He said he would definitely come to pick me up and hugged me.

For three years, I cherished and polished those memories as precious memories that would lead to a happy future.

And yet, take the money you earned and go home?

Don’t contact me because it’s annoying?

“Don’t make a fool out of me! Who would contact you! I don’t even want to see your face.”

I must have looked ridiculous, dressed up unusually. I won’t cling to him. I hold back the urge to cry and glare at him.

“Well, that’s convenient. Oh, and by the way, that outfit doesn’t suit you.” 

Jude laughs abruptly and leaves. He didn’t have such a dirty way of laughing before becoming a hero. He used to be a gentle person who laughed softly. The battles changed him.

Until he disappears from sight, I tightly grip the hem of my dress.

I bought this dress after knowing that he succeeded in negotiating with the Demon King and would come back. Most of the reward I received as an Apprentice Saint was sent as support to my family, and I didn’t indulge in luxury. It was the only luxury item I bought in two years. I thought the floral dress shining in the windows of the capital would surely receive compliments.

When Jude returned to the capital and received a letter, I immediately pulled it out of the closet. It was a lemon-colored dress that stood out among the row of Saint outfits. I tied my hair with a refreshing green ribbon that matched the dress, and I even put on light makeup, although it was faint.

I was teased by the other Apprentice Saints, saying, “You’re meeting your boyfriend!” But they also supported me—yet, this is the state of affairs. I’m embarrassed. From the moment I prepared myself and left the church, it was probably the happiest time of my life.

“What should I do from now on. . .”

Now that the role of the Saint has changed from defeating the Demon King to coexistence, it has greatly diminished. Most of the Apprentice Saints gathered in the capital will be dismissed in a few days. I am one of them.

I will receive a slightly higher reward for the last month as a substitute for retirement pay, but even if I have money, I have nowhere to go. Jude easily said to go back to the village and get married, but after being away from the village for three years, there is no potential marriage partner. 

In the first place, our village has few young people. When I rejected the village chief’s son, there was no vacant bride position. But that doesn’t mean I can stay at my parents’ house. My older brother and his wife live there. I can’t stay for long.

Even if I try to find a good person in another village, it would be inconvenient if it became known that I was waiting for Jude. Even if I emphasize that I was an Apprentice Saint in the capital, I was just an apprentice. I can only use low-level enchantment magic. The reason I received a higher reward until now was based on the premise of fighting the Demon King. Once I return to the village, I will become just a village girl again.

If that happens, I can imagine Jude laughing at me, saying that I was only worth that much. I remember his dirty laugh from earlier, and it makes me feel sick. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑: 𝐑𝐞𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐢𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐏𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐋𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬

The option to return to the village has completely disappeared.

In that case, there is no choice but to live somewhere with the money on hand, without returning to the village.

However, there are no connections that would accept me as an Apprentice Saint. It might be better to give up on being a Saint and find another job, but Jude is in the royal capital, where the most jobs are available.

I don’t want to see his face smiling happily as he marries the princess every day. Besides, there will be a victory parade soon.

Is there any good place? Ideally, a place where I won’t be judged for being unmarried, and even better if it’s a place where I can’t easily return to the village. I have no complaints if the salary is not low and they can employ me for a longer period of time.

On the way back to the church, I also visited the job placement office, but they only seem to want male workers.

Even though we have established a coexistence with demons, there have been many places affected in these three years. It’s inevitable that physical strength and stamina are valued in the restoration work.

There are recruitment notices for Wizards who can use recovery magic and Apprentice Saints, but all of them require the ability to use wide-range magic.

Even though I have magical power, I can’t use it skillfully. At most, I can apply physical enhancement magic to towels or create healing potions. But those places already have people who can use healing magic, so they don’t need me.

This is the difference between being a Saint and an Apprentice Saint.

“Work, work. . .”

Muttering to myself, I also looked at the recruitment notices, but there doesn’t seem to be any good places. Before I knew it, I had returned to the church. 

With a sigh, I head towards the dormitory where the Apprentice Saints live. But if I return like this, it will be obvious that I was rejected. I don’t want to complain to the girls who supported me.

Just before reaching the dormitory, I slightly change my destination and crouch behind a building. I slap my cheeks lightly, lift the corners of my mouth with my fingertips, and force a smile.

I’m good at smiling. Because Jude told me that he likes it when I smile.

For these three years, I have overcome sad moments with the smile he said he likes. But all that effort was in vain. I playfully manipulate my face, thinking about him and making a frustrated expression.

“I’m a happy girl meeting her lover after a long time.”

If I keep repeating that I’m happy, the smile gradually comes naturally. If I check in the window, my expression is fine. I fix my slightly disheveled hair with a comb, lightly brush off the dust on my hem, and confidently head towards the dormitory.

As expected, the girls in the nearby rooms ask me, “How did it go?” I can’t imagine that they would think a girl who keeps smiling has been abandoned by the hero. I skillfully dodge the question and continue to smile, and they bless me with “Be happy!”

I feel like I’m an actress on stage. An actress must not detach from her role until the curtain falls. I plaster a smile on my face and radiate a happy aura within the dormitory. And as soon as I close the door to my room, the mask falls off.

I remove my makeup.

Untie my hair.

Take off my dress.

Looking at my usual self reflected in the mirror, tears overflow.

I remembered that this was not the first time I saw my miserable self through the mirror. 

“I. . .I died back then. . .Even if I’m reborn, being abandoned by my childhood friend, it’s ridiculous.”

The hair color, eye color, and even the face are completely different. But the reflection in the mirror now, both from the time I lived in Japan and the present, belongs to me. I must have died and been reborn.

Not in the same world, but in a world where magic exists—a different world.

It has been over twenty years since I was born in this world, but I have never had an opportunity to recall memories from my past life. Perhaps I would have lived my whole life without remembering. But now, I have found a trigger to remember.

Being abandoned by my childhood friend. And seeing my abandoned self through the mirror. These two must have triggered the memories of my past life.

In my past life, I was about to get married. The partner was my childhood friend, one year older than me. The venue was reserved, and of course, the ring and dress were decided. We sent invitations to each other’s relatives, friends, and acquaintances, and in one month, we were supposed to become a loving couple and a family.

However, when I went shopping, I saw him walking arm in arm with a girl I didn’t know. It looked like they were a couple to anyone who saw them. So, I confronted him and was easily abandoned.

Without a single word of explanation, all he said was, “It’s too much trouble.” He easily shook off my clinging arm, and a large stain appeared on the clothes I had just bought.

Come to think of it, the outfit I wore at that time was also a floral dress. 

I cried in my apartment, living alone, not only sad but also filled with regret. I shed so many tears that a towel couldn’t absorb them all. It seemed that there were several phone calls, but I couldn’t bring myself to answer and turned off the power.

I finally calmed down when the dark room was illuminated by the morning sun. I stood up, realizing that so much time had passed, and looked at myself in the mirror. My makeup was smudged with tears, and my eyes were the worst. On top of that, they were swollen.

There I was, looking so ugly that I might be at the lowest point in my life.

After removing my makeup and taking a shower to freshen up a bit, I grabbed my wallet, thinking of indulging in some comfort eating. Maybe I should make a super elaborate dish as a way to relieve stress! I was getting excited about it when a truck crashed into me.

𝐓𝐋: 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐤-𝐬𝐚𝐧?!

I must have died at that time. It was probably instant death, as there was no physical pain or discomfort. However, I vividly remember the chest pain that must have triggered the recollection of my past life. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒: 𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐬, 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝

“I’m such a fool. . .”

Even though I think that, my feelings of love for Jude don’t completely disappear even after remembering my memories. At that time, I couldn’t switch my feelings right away, so I thought I would at least satisfy my hunger. Because I truly loved him. It’s the same this time too.

It was a love that I wanted to hold onto, even if I had to wait.

Even though I didn’t know if he was safe, I believed in his survival and continued to wait. But it was a love that I couldn’t grasp just by waiting.

If there’s a difference between Jude and my childhood friend from the past life, it would be that Jude became a hero who saved the country. Even though we grew up in the same village, our positions are completely different now.

Even if I abandoned my childhood friend, it would be a very small event compared to his achievements. It’s different from him, who got involved with a cute junior from work.

But still, the scars of being abandoned are the same for the discarded woman.

They don’t easily disappear. The more time I continue to think about it and the stronger my feelings are, the more strongly I am bound to the past.

Time doesn’t turn back. My skin no longer gets sunburned, my hands don’t get rough, and I don’t even have calluses. I am truly a woman who has left the village. I have also grown taller, and I think I’ve lost a bit of my childishness.

That’s the two years I have spent in this life. It’s proof of time that will never return.

Since the day he was chosen as the hero, Jude ceased to be the childhood friend I knew. It took me three years to realize that.

What I gained in those precious three years of being an Apprentice Saint is bitter heartbreak, slightly higher rewards, and low-level bestowed magic. That’s all. 

And as a bonus, memories from the past life? I didn’t want them if they only bring back painful feelings.

The protagonists depicted in manga and novels usually excel with abilities given by gods, but I have nothing. No, I don’t mind not having anything.

What I wanted was a peaceful happiness.

Dreams didn’t change in the past life or this life. To have someone I love, to have children. I wanted a family where we could all laugh together at the little joys in life.

Why does it always fall apart right in front of me? Maybe it’s just not meant for me. Regretting that won’t turn back time, and what has happened cannot be changed.

As a human, I can only walk towards the future. I won’t be crushed.

With the money I receive on the last day, I will go to a foreign land and find work. At this point, it doesn’t matter even if it’s a remote place.

I feel sorry for my family that I left behind in the village where it’s common to get married before turning twenty, but marriage is no longer possible for me. My sister’s child was safely born, so I will reduce the financial support and save money to live on my own.

For that, I need to gather the necessary belongings for the journey.

Since I came straight from the village to here, most of the necessary items were provided in the dormitory, so I don’t have many personal belongings. 

I have been wearing the Saint’s clothes that were given to me. Since I rarely go out on my days off, I have been rotating between the two outfits I brought when I left the village. Even those don’t fit me well anymore because I’ve grown taller.

I am devastated by the sad reality that the only dress that fits perfectly is the floral one I was wearing just now. 

First, I should gather my everyday clothes.

As the destination and workplace change, so does the attire. It would be troublesome to buy a large quantity and regret it later. It would be enough to buy three or four sets of affordable clothes that can be mixed and matched.

Once that’s decided, tomorrow will be for clothes shopping, and the day after tomorrow will be for buying other items.

The next morning, I wake up early and have breakfast.

A few days later, after lightly cleaning the room I will leave, I head out to town. As I leave the church, I am repeatedly greeted with words like “Are you going on a date with your lover again? I’m jealous!” I just smile and let it pass.

They mean no harm. It’s been a night, so the damage is less than yesterday.

The destination is not the upscale shops on the main street, but the affordable shops in the back alleys. Most of the locals and the aspiring Saint girls buy clothes here.

I had no interest in fashion back then and just casually listened. I didn’t think I would be indebted to them until right before I returned, but I’m glad it stayed in the corner of my memory.

I heard it’s always bustling, but the situation is different before and after the decision to return home. If I walk on the main street, I’m sure I’ll encounter familiar faces.

The dress I bought may be a bit expensive, but it seems to be this year’s trend, so some people might buy it as a souvenir from the capital. If I were to buy a souvenir for my sister, I would choose a shop over there.

“I wore it once, but I wonder if someone in the village would wear it if I send it.”

I mutter while looking for the perfect clothes. But immediately, I shake my head, thinking it would be the worst if my sister wore such an unlucky outfit. It would be a waste to think it was quite expensive. 

I have to consider it as an investment to cut ties with the past. . .

Being here might stimulate the feeling of wastefulness. I hastily pick out some suitable clothes and bring them to the register.

Successfully obtaining the necessary clothes, I leave the store. After a few steps, I come to a sudden stop. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓: 𝐂𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐇𝐨𝐭 𝐂𝐡𝐨𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞

“By the way, when I heard about the clothing store, did they also say that there is a shop nearby where you can eat delicious foreign sweets? “

The foreign sweets are referring to churros. Apparently, they fry them on the spot when you order them. At that time, I would definitely recommend ordering the hot chocolate that they sell together. 

The strength of the Apprentice Saint who told me that was tremendous, and thanks to her, I was able to remember it. 

They say that fatigue disappears when you eat anything with it. 

I dug up the buried conversation in my memory and remembered the location. Was it the third one on the second cross street? It’s uncertain, but apparently there is a bench in front of the store. 

If worse comes to worst, I can just look for it. The desire of the Apprentice Saint to eat churros, which they all agree are delicious, won out over the worry of getting lost. 

Especially since I will be leaving the capital soon. It’s also good to aim for the birthplace of churros if you like them. 

In any case, I must eat those exquisite churros!

Considering that I don’t know how much income I will be able to earn in the future, and that I haven’t even decided where to live or work, I know it’s better to minimize expenses. However, I couldn’t resist.

After a little hesitation, I energetically order, “Churros and hot chocolate, please!” at the shop I finally arrived at.

The coins I handed to the shopkeeper are cheaper than the cost of a set of clothes, but slightly expensive when considering it as street food. The shopkeeper responds with a drawn-out “Sure,” and throws the received coins into a can. After wiping his hands with a cloth, he drops the dough into the oil. 

The batter dispensed from the star-shaped piping bag gradually changes into a delicious-looking color. Perhaps because it’s early, there is no one else besides me. I gaze intently at the confectionery in the pot as it nears completion. After lightly draining the oil, it is handed to me along with a cup of chocolate.

“Be careful, it’s hot.”

“Thank you!”

As I peer into the cup I received, I notice that there is surprisingly little chocolate inside. Huh? When I raise my gaze, the shopkeeper points to a cup placed next to the pot.

It’s the same as the cup I received. However, upon closer inspection, there is a red line drawn inside that cup. The chocolate in my cup is also filled up to roughly the same line.

It seems that cup is meant to indicate the amount of chocolate. They probably show it in advance to avoid any disputes after handing it over.

Well, this amount seems just right for enjoying the taste variation. Satisfied, I sit on a bench in front of the shop. Let’s savor the freshly fried churros right away.

First, I take a bite as it is. The ones sold in Japan are often on the moist side, but these churros have a crispy exterior. I personally prefer them crispy, so I’m very happy. I narrowly avoided eating them carelessly and regretting it later. After eating a little more, I dip them in the hot chocolate.

“Delicious. . .” 

Indeed, it is a confection that even the Apprentice Saint praises. It’s not something I would pay a high price for just because it’s an unusual foreign sweet. The chocolate is less sweet compared to the ones from my previous life, but it goes well with churros. Once you taste this flavor, you can understand why people always order it as a set.

Although it is considered expensive, it’s not an exorbitant price, simply because sugar and chocolate are expensive. The fact that Apprentice Saints who come repeatedly can pay the money willingly is probably one of the reasons.

In the creations of my previous life, sugar and chocolate were often depicted as luxury items for the nobility. But in this world, they are widely loved enough to be used in street stall sweets.

Although it may be expensive, with a little effort, even commoners can afford it. For celebrations like weddings, cakes with plenty of sugar are lined up. As a lover of sweets, I find it grateful.

After finishing the chocolate on the cup, I stand up. I bow my head to the shopkeeper and start walking on the road leading to the church.

Indeed, sweets are wonderful. They always gently envelop you, no matter the situation. Even now, I feel like it gave me a little push. Right now, I’m just eating, but when things settle down, I want to try making sweets too.

I loved making sweets in my previous life and in this life as well. It’s not just about eating; I enjoyed the process of making and having someone else eat what I made. Since coming to the capital, I haven’t had the opportunity to make them at all, but back when I was in the village, I often made snacks and treated them to my family and Jude. 

It may be difficult to have someone else eat them like in those days, but there’s nothing wrong with making them solely for myself.

When I reached the alley near the dormitory, I encountered a certain person.

“Maylene-san, I was just thinking of going to see you.”

“Uh, did I do something wrong. . .?”

It was Saint Olivier-sama. She served as the Great Saint until the princess awakened her light power. Due to her considerable age, she stepped down from the position of Great Saint five years ago and now serves as the supervisor of the Apprentice Saints.

She has been taking care of me since I became an Apprentice Saint and is also someone I admire. 

・・・

『”𝔸𝕨𝕖𝕓𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤.𝕔𝕠𝕞” – 𝔻𝕚𝕤𝕔𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕒 𝕔𝕒𝕡𝕥𝕚𝕧𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕝𝕕 𝕠𝕗 𝕝𝕠𝕧𝕖, 𝕡𝕒𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕒𝕕𝕧𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕦𝕣𝕖, 𝕨𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕦𝕝𝕘𝕖 𝕚𝕟 𝕒 𝕔𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕖𝕔𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕣𝕒𝕟𝕤𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕟𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕤 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 “𝕕𝕒𝕚𝕝𝕪 𝕦𝕡𝕕𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕤” 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕖𝕩𝕔𝕝𝕦𝕤𝕚𝕧𝕖 𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕖𝕤𝕤 𝕥𝕠 “𝕒𝕕𝕧𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖𝕕 𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕤”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔: 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐎𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐫

Stiffen your back, and recall your recent actions. I might have made a mistake, being too excited for Jude’s return. 

I should have pulled myself together since I’m leaving soon. Sweat drips down my back. 

But the words I received were not of criticism.

“That’s not it. There’s something I want to talk about. . .However, it’s a bit difficult to discuss in the dormitory, so shall we have tea at my favorite shop?”

“Y-Yes!”

What could be difficult to talk about in the dormitory?

While wondering, I return along the path I just passed, holding my belongings. I walk straight through the alley, passing the turn to the clothing store. Then, after walking about fifteen minutes from the church, I finally turn right and continue through the intricate path.

“Here we are.”

I wonder how long it took to reach the destination. I feel like my sense of time faded along the way. I don’t even remember the directions.

Olivier-sama stopped in front of a hut-like place rather than a shop. Moreover, it’s quite run-down. There is no signboard, and even the lights are not on.

If the person who brought me here wasn’t someone Olivier-sama respects, I would have run away immediately.

As I gaze at the shop with a slightly open mouth, Olivier-sama calmly enters inside. I hurriedly follow her through the door.

The moment I step inside the shop, my field of vision suddenly becomes vibrant.

“Wow, amazing. . .”

“Fufu, surprised? The entire shop is enchanted. Uninvited guests can never enter, and if you enter a private room, conversations won’t leak outside. It’s perfect for confidential talks.”

I wonder if there are any disguises on the exterior, and inside the shop as well.

Speaking of enchantments, the magic I used at the church was mainly physical enhancement and healing magic. But I learned from Olivier-sama that there are other uses for enchantments. Enchantments are the most versatile magic, filled with possibilities.

How many enchantments are being used in this shop alone? I can’t even begin to guess what kind of effects these enchantments have. I can only marvel at the splendid interior.

“Olivier-sama, we’ve been waiting for you.”

We are guided by the shop staff and led to a private room. At that time, I catch a glimpse of the menu placed at the edge of the table where Olivier-sama had ordered iced tea, but there is no price written on it.

The glass that is brought to us immediately is exquisitely crafted, exuding an air of luxury.

I hope it’s a price I can afford. . .I stroke the wallet that has a little extra money inside, even over my clothes.

“Actually, after the apprentices left the church, I was assigned to the Demon Realm as a support for a certain Wizard. The duration is not fixed, but I don’t have much time left either. I will probably remain in the Demon Realm until I die.”

“Olivier-sama. . .”

“I’ve been working at the church ever since my powers manifested when I was young, aiming to become a Great Saint. I thought I could finally live as I pleased. But then I was told to go to the Demon Realm. . .There are so many places I want to see and landscapes I want to witness. I also want to visit the graves of my departed family and friends.”

As Olivier-sama spoke, her hands trembled. I don’t fully understand the circumstances surrounding her, being a noble with immense power, but it’s absolutely absurd that she can’t even freely visit her family’s graves.

Her other wishes are truly modest. After dedicating herself to the country for so long, it’s too cruel to still be told to work more and more.

“I apologize for asking such a thing of you, young one, but could you work as my substitute for two years?”

“If it’s me, I’ll do it!”

“Are you sure? I feel strange asking after requesting it, but the destination is the Demon Realm, you know? You might not be able to return for two years.”

Surprised by my immediate decision, Olivier-sama becomes hesitant. But for me, who doesn’t have a clear destination or job prospects, not being able to return for two years is not a big deal.

Two years is almost the same as the period I spent in the capital as an Apprentice Saint.

The time I spent just waiting and the time I can be of use to the person I respect. The latter is definitely something I can be proud of in the future.

Besides, even during my time in the capital, despite exchanging letters, I never once went home. And yet, now that it has come to this, it’s doubtful if I can even show my face in the village in the future. 

At least for now, it’s impossible. Mainly because my mental state can’t handle it. So any reason that allows me not to return is a positive piece of information for me.

If there is any anxiety about going to the Demon Realm, it would be whether I can properly fulfill my role as Olivier-sama’s substitute.

She was chosen to go to the Demon Realm because she must have been excellent. I, on the other hand, am nowhere near her level. That’s only natural. Anyone in the church knows that I’m not someone who can catch up after just a few years of work. In the first place, it’s strange enough that I’m in charge of supervising the Saint apprentices.

Still, if I can give back even a little of what I received from Olivier-sama, I’m willing to offer those two years of a discarded woman. I gently envelop her trembling hands with both of mine and brightly smile, saying, “Two years will pass in the blink of an eye.” 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕: 𝐓𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐦

“Maylene-san, thank you. . .I’ll make sure to tidy up within two years.”

Tidying up, huh? Going to the Demon Realm must be like heading towards a place of death for Olivier-sama. Her eyes are filled with seriousness, believing that once she goes, she won’t be able to come back.

Perhaps two years is like a grace period for her. Thinking about it that way, it’s a little lonely. But at the same time, I’m happy that she relies on me.

As I think about how I hope to be of some use, Olivier-sama takes out a crystal ball from under the desk.

The crystal ball is an item used as a medium by the Saint, who excels in magic, when using wide-range spells. The higher the transparency, the better the quality, and the usable attribute varies depending on the color. The crystal in front of me is purple, so the attribute is darkness. It’s even more transparent than the one Great Saint-sama used.

Is it Olivier-sama’s personal item? I tilt my head, wondering what she will use it for, and she smiles.

“Now that we have confirmation, let’s get started.”

“Huh?”

“I’ll send the remaining belongings to the dorm later. Also, the reward will be five times the amount received at the church, and I promise to give it to you in person. If you feel that working for two years is not enough or not worth it, don’t hesitate to tell me when we meet next time, and I’ll provide additional compensation.”

“No, um, I still need a detailed explanation of the duties and workplace. . .”

“You’ll understand once you go. Well then, let’s meet again in two years.”

With Olivier-sama’s words as the last thing I hear, my field of vision turns completely white. 

・・・

『”𝐀𝐰𝐞𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬.𝐜𝐨𝐦” – 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐧o𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 “𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐮𝐩𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬” 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐨 “𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬”.』

・・・

Enveloped in a dazzling light, when I open my eyes again, I find myself in an unfamiliar place, slumped down. There’s a bright red carpet at my feet. If I follow it with my gaze, at the far end of the room, in what seems to be a throne-like place, a young child is sitting. And they have two magnificent horns. Probably a demon.

Demons are a type of demon that can take on a humanoid form, and among the demons who have long been considered enemies of humans, they belong to the higher ranks. The pinnacle of that is the Demon King that Jude fought. As the name suggests, they are the kings of demons. Since demons don’t have countries like humans, there is always only one king in any era, or so I’ve heard.

It seems that demons don’t have a proportional relationship between their appearance and age, and it’s quite possible for them to appear as children but be strong. I must not let my guard down.

Furthermore, I learned at the church that the higher-ranking demons rarely come to the places where humans live. Unless there is something significant, the Demon King would never appear before humans.

Especially right after making peace. It’s hard to imagine them taking careless actions.

“Is this. . .the Demon Realm?”

Unbelievable, but if I think that way, it easily explains the presence of a demon in front of me. What kind of place did Olivier-sama send me to?

She did mention living in the Demon Realm, but it’s a terrible place to be suddenly transported to. Perhaps the destination for the teleportation got mixed up.

I must leave this place as soon as possible. I stand up and search for an exit. As I look around anxiously, I find a door just behind me. It’s quite a distance away, but there’s no other way out. 

I had intended to quickly retreat before bothering the Demon King.

But it seems that I won’t be let off so easily. It appears that I have already entered his field of vision.

“The Demon Realm is the Demon King’s castle. And this is the king’s chamber.”

I tremble at the voice that pours down from the throne. The king’s chamber of the Demon King’s castle means that he is the very existence called the Demon King.

Why am I, in front of the Demon King of all people?!

I repeatedly bow my head, my thoughts not coming together.

“I’m sorry. I will leave immediately! I will go out right away!”

Although I haven’t grasped the situation, in times like this, apologizing is the only option. Trespassing someone’s residence is a serious crime even in the human world. Although a peace treaty has been established, it shouldn’t be a problem to get rid of a woman who suddenly appeared. 

While bowing my head, I move backward with small steps towards the door I found earlier. However, the demon wouldn’t allow the foolish escape of a human.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“To work!”

“Do you claim to have a workplace in this Demon Realm?”

“Um, yes. Probably. . .”

“Without any confirmation, you teleported in front of the Demon King?”

“Eek, I-I’m sorry.”

I am glared at sharply, and instinctively curl up to protect my head. It’s a defensive instinct. But I don’t think I can protect myself with just this.

This is what happens when I don’t properly ask for details before accepting a task. 

Even when Jude told me to wait, if I had established some rules like “return within a certain number of years” or “if there is no contact,” this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.

It’s fine to be angry about being abandoned, but shouldn’t I also reflect on my thoughtless actions? I don’t know if my teary eyes are from fear or regret. But there’s a part of me that thinks it doesn’t matter anymore.

My life has ended here. It was a short life. Just like in my previous life, as soon as I tried to move forward, this is what happened. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟖: 𝐑𝐞𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐄𝐱𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭

I wish I hadn’t left the village. If I hadn’t, maybe I wouldn’t have remembered my past life. I wouldn’t have had to mourn the changed him, I would have just lost my feelings of love. And I wouldn’t have come before the demon.

It’s different from the beings depicted in manga and novels. If they actually exist, they would have a presence, and in this world, demons have always been portrayed as terrifying. Fear and regret mix together, engulfing me in despair.

As I curl up and sniffle, I hear a long sigh.

“Oh well, there must have been some circumstances. Stop crying, I understand. But I don’t think there’s a place for humans to work in the Demon Realm. . .Could it be that you were deceived?”

The Demon King scratches his head in a troubled manner and descends towards me.

He stops a few steps away from me and starts rummaging through his pockets. He takes out a pure white handkerchief and offers it to me, saying, “Use this.” After confirming that I’ve received it, he takes a few steps back. His worried gaze remains.

Could it be that he’s keeping his distance because I’m scared? This Demon King, no, Demon King-sama, might actually be a good person.

But Olivier-sama wouldn’t deceive me. There’s nothing to gain from deceiving me. For better or worse, I am an Apprentice Saint. I was born and raised in a rural village, so there’s no special blood running through me. 

I’m just an ordinary commoner. Even if I have slightly more magical power than others, it’s still within the range of a commoner. I can only use low-level enhancement magic, and my appearance is plain. Even if they wanted to use me as a sacrifice for the demon, they could easily find someone much better than me.

I have no choice but to convey Olivier-sama’s words as they are. With courage, I decided to honestly tell them.

“For Wizard-san’s support work.”

“That person is Granny’s substitute, they say.”

Interrupting my words is a man in a robe. Although there was no one here just a moment ago, he is standing calmly next to me.

“What’s the matter, Tyran? Do you know this person?”

“It was written in the letter that was sent along with her. It said she would come to pick it up in two years.”

The man called Tyran furrows his brow as he compares the letter and me. Even though he conveyed what was written in the letter, it seems he’s not convinced.

It’s clear that I’m not being welcomed, at the very least. Still, I’m grateful that he vouched for my identity.

“I, as Olivier-sama’s substitute, will be working in the Demon Realm!”

“If you’re Olivier’s substitute, can you make sweets?”

“Sweets? If it’s something simple, I can make it.”

“Alright, then anything will do. Make something.”

After saying that, Demon King-sama snaps his fingers. I am guided to the kitchen by a maid-like demon who came from outside in response to his call. 

And I couldn’t believe the size of it. For some reason, the kitchen alone is about half the size of the room I was in earlier. The king’s chamber was also quite spacious, but when it comes to satisfying the stomachs of the castle staff, this size is probably necessary.

However, there is something that bothers me. There are only two people who seem to be cooks. Both are men and have exactly the same face. Maybe they are twins.

Setting aside their relationship, is it possible for a castle to have only two cooks? I was wondering about it when one of the cooks suddenly handed something to me.

“Please use this.”

“T-Thank you very much.”

It’s an apron. Since I left my own apron at my parents’ house, I gratefully accept the offer to use it.

“You can use all the ingredients here. If there’s anything missing, please don’t hesitate to let us know, and we’ll prepare it for you.”

The ingredients placed on the kitchen counter include essential items for making snacks such as flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and butter, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. There are also many pots, pans, and knives of different sizes and purposes lined up, and there are even six ovens.

Although I don’t have a chance to peek this time because all the ingredients have been brought out, there are two refrigerators that are much taller than me lined up.

Even though I just came here half-heartedly, I’m happy to be able to make sweets again. And in such a splendid place. In my previous life, I never had the opportunity to cook in such a spacious and well-equipped kitchen. 

Above all, I now have someone to eat what I make. Even though it’s not a human, the fact that they look forward to what I create remains the same.

Excitement overcame my uneasiness.

Now, what should I make? I roll up my sleeves and gaze at the ingredients.

“Then, please make something that will make Demon King-sama’s taste buds tingle.”

“Could you tell me Demon King-sama’s favorite food?”

I may not be able to make it, but I can incorporate some of their favorite ingredients or create something similar. It would be more enjoyable if their favorite food came out. That’s what I thought, but the response I received was unexpectedly cold. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟗: 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐒𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐏𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐨 𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝

“He doesn’t have any.”

“Well, then, what does he dislike?”

“Demon King-sama has neither dislikes nor favorite foods. That person naturally does not require meals.”

It’s an impossible task to make someone who doesn’t need to eat drool with delight. Or perhaps they think that as Olivier-sama’s substitute, I can naturally accomplish it.

But I can’t make sparkling sweets like those lined up in the capital’s patisseries. Besides, it’s unclear if that’s even what they want.

I thought that maybe the two of them were teasing me, but they both have serious expressions. I can’t read their emotions at all. After crossing my arms and thinking for a while, the answer was quite simple.

“I’ll just make what I can make.”

One could say that I gave up on thinking, but it’s better than making something unfamiliar and it turning out bad. With that decision, I immediately start cooking.

I’m making steamed sweet potato bread.

It’s a sweet treat made by making a vegetable called sweet potato in my previous life. It’s one of my favorites. I have a steamer, and all the ingredients are ready, so there’s no problem.

I swiftly prepare the ingredients and cooking utensils. 

I start by putting diced sweet potatoes into a pot. While they boil, I butter the cups and mix the other ingredients, such as cake flour, baking powder, eggs, and milk, in a bowl. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, I add them to the bowl and mix roughly. Then, I pour the mixture into the cups. All that’s left is to arrange them in the steamer and steam for twenty minutes. 

It’s simple but very delicious. It’s a captivating treat with a gentle sweetness that makes you unintentionally eat too much. I confirm that it’s not raw by skewering it and then placing it on a plate.

“What is that?”

“It’s not a cake, is it?”

“Is it even a dessert?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Are you planning to serve that to Demon King-sama?”

“That person is patient, so if it fails, it would be wise to remake it.”

“Let’s remake it now.”

“If you’re not good at making sweets, I can bring a book from the library for you to refer to.”

“That would be great. I’ll pick out a few books.”

“Then I’ll inform Demon King-sama. . .”

I am sandwiched between the same faces and bombarded with harsh words. It’s not that they are belittling me, but rather they are worried. It seems that this looks like something extremely unpleasant to them.

Rather than being unpleasant, it’s more like a reaction to something unknown.

Although they have been watching me closely while I was making it, it seems to be a matter of trust in me.

“This is good!”

I don’t know if Demon King-sama will say it’s delicious, but for me, it’s delicious. I can eat two or three of them in no time. It was well-received by my family and the children in the neighborhood. That’s why I decided to make this.

If it’s said to be not tasty, then I’ll just accept that our tastes don’t match. 

Having made the decision, I call out to the maid-like demon who was waiting at the edge of the kitchen.

“It’s ready.”

Behind me, the two cooks sway back and forth.

“Are you okay?”

“If we get scolded, let’s apologize and make it again. This time, we’ll help too.”

“Then, should we make a cake?”

“Let’s look it up now.”

It may be a bit rude, but they seem to be good people. . .probably.

“Thank you for letting me use the kitchen.”

“No, everything inside the castle belongs to Demon King-sama.”

“You don’t need to thank us.”

After bowing, we leave the kitchen. They see me off until the exit of the kitchen.

Guided by the demon, I return to the king’s chamber. When I open the door, I meet eyes with Demon King-sama. He has a beaming smile that can be seen even from a distance.

“Hurry and bring it here.”

Beside Demon King-sama, Tyran-san is beckoning. Unlike Demon King-sama, he doesn’t seem to be looking forward to the sweets.

Climbing the stairs leading to the throne, I extend the plate to Demon King-sama.

“This is the sweet I made.”

“. . .What is this?”

“It’s steamed sweet potato bread.”

Seeing the steamed bread, Demon King-sama’s expression stiffens.

From the reactions of the two earlier, I had a rough idea, but it seems that demons don’t have a habit of eating steamed bread. I observe as I rotate the plate. 

“Of all things, it’s a child’s snack. . .”

Tyran-san, who knows what this is, distorts his face. Although it’s not a sparkling sweet, he might have expected something more sophisticated.

If it’s Olivier-sama, what kind of sweet would she prepare?

If I had known that I would be asked to make sweets, I would have asked in advance, but unfortunately, I have no means to contact Olivier-sama from here. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟎: 𝐒𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐃𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠’𝐬 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐞

“Insect bread? Are there insects in it?”

𝐓𝐋: 

𝐌𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐧 (蒸しパン) = 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 

𝐌𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐢 𝐩𝐚𝐧 (虫パン) = 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝

“It’s a steamed bread. Please try it, it’s delicious.”

Since there was a steamer in the kitchen, there should be a cooking method called steaming in the Demon Realm.

“For now, give me one.”

Demon King-sama declares so and grabs the steamed bread. He brings it to his mouth and chews silently. After finishing it, he doesn’t say anything and takes another one.

Looking at it this way, he looks like a child eating snacks.

Perhaps it’s because I haven’t seen his side as a Demon King, but now I no longer feel any fear.

Come to think of it, the two in the kitchen didn’t seem scared either. . .Maybe they were considerate of me. It’s embarrassing to think that I worried they might be harassing me. If there’s a chance to meet them again, I should express my gratitude.

While I reflect on my own, Demon King-sama takes the third one.

“It’s delicious. . .steamed bread. I’ll remember it.”

Muttering to himself, Demon King-sama reaches for the fourth one. I was a little worried, but I’m relieved that he liked it enough to remember the name.

However, he doesn’t bring the fourth one to his mouth. He stares at it intently. Then, he suddenly raises his head. He calls Tyran-san’s name and beckons him.

“Tyran, you should eat too.”

“No, I’ve had enough in the past.”

“Just eat it.” 

Tyran-san has a reluctant expression. Nevertheless, Demon King-sama presses it against his face without hesitation. He keeps saying it’s delicious and doesn’t show any signs of letting go. On the contrary, he is even trying to forcefully stuff it into Tyran-san’s mouth.

Finally, Tyran-san gives in to his enthusiasm and accepts it. He sighs and then takes a big bite.

“. . .It’s delicious.”

“I knew it, I knew it. Look, there’s one more. Eat it without hesitation.”

Demon King-sama is overjoyed by the small comment. He happily pushes the plate towards Tyran-san. It seems that Demon King-sama is the type who wants to share delicious things.

“Why does the Demon King act so high and mighty?”

“Because I ordered her to make it, it’s only natural.”

His proud posture is also adorable. This is the Demon King. It’s a bit anticlimactic to think that he was recognized as an enemy of humanity until recently.

But it’s a joy to see someone enjoy what I made.

“The one who made it is that woman over there. Hey, Daili. Keep making sweets from tomorrow onwards. Whether it’s children’s snacks or anything that makes the Demon King happy.”

“I don’t mind, but. . .Daili is. . .”

“You’re the substitute for Granny, so Daili is enough.”

My assertion that I have the name Maylene was interrupted.

“If you want me to know your name, then show results. But even if you do, you, who don’t have exceptional talent like me or Granny, can only handle snacks.” 

“What! I came here as Wizard-san’s support!”

“My support? Don’t make me laugh. If it were Granny, maybe, but all you, an Apprentice Saint, can do is low-level enchantments, right? That’s not useful at all. You’re just a living being response role to cover for Granny’s absence. You just need to stay out of the way.”

𝐓𝐋: 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐟 “𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐲” 𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 “𝐎𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐫,” 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐦 𝐌𝐚𝐲𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐝, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 “𝐃𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐢” 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐬 “𝐃𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐲.” 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐞’𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐃𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐢.

I feel irritated by his dismissive attitude. But in reality, the only thing I can do is low-level enchantment magic. I don’t know about him, but he must be a capable Wizard to be supported by the great former Great Saint. From his perspective, I might just be a hindrance.

Still, I have to stay in the Demon Realm as a living being response role.

Did Olivier-sama originally send me to the Demon Realm for that purpose? What exactly does a living being response role do? I can’t ask because I’ll probably be ridiculed again.

Still, if I can at least have the role of making sweets instead of being a mere statue, I choose the former. I don’t want to waste two years doing nothing.

After all, it’s a role entrusted to me by Olivier-sama. I want to be somewhat useful.

And someday, while eating the steamed buns that Demon King-sama forced on him, I will make that man, who leaves while calling me by silly name, call me by my name!

As I clench my fist and look up at the ceiling, a request comes flying from the throne, “I want to eat this again tomorrow.”

And thus, I became the snack provider of the Demon King’s castle. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟏: 𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧?

After returning to his room, Tyran looks at Olivier’s letter again.

Just yesterday, he received a message from her saying that her plans had changed, which were supposed to come here in a few days. 

He had thought that her arrival in the Demon Realm would be delayed, but he never expected that she would send someone else.

[𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘪𝘳𝘭 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘚𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭’𝘴 𝘤𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩. 𝘋𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘤𝘪𝘳𝘤𝘶𝘮𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴, 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘮 𝘢𝘴 𝘮𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵. 𝘐 𝘢𝘴𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦.]

That’s all that was written in the letter. The information obtained is only that she was an Apprentice Saint and that there were some circumstances.

In the first place, Olivier’s reason for going to the Demon Realm is to get rid of trouble.

As a former Great Saint, she has power. It has been five years since the Great Saint changed, but her influence is still significant, to the point where factions have formed between the supporters of the new Great Saint and the former Great Saint.

Olivier’s presence was a hindrance to the church that wanted to transition to the new system. However, she couldn’t be easily eliminated. So, the church thought of sending her to a place where she couldn’t easily interfere.

Even if she sent someone else to avoid going to the Demon Realm, it doesn’t mean she can escape from the existence of the church. On the contrary, if it is known that Olivier is not in the Demon Realm, it will cause a commotion. Both the supporters of the new Great Saint and the former Great Saint will be eager to find her. It might become more troublesome than it is now. 

Above all, Olivier herself should have agreed to go to the Demon Realm. Tyran confirmed her intentions just before he came here.

Even if it means living a life where her whereabouts are always known, it is much better than being used until death. She even laughed and said that she would disguise herself if necessary.

At that time, she didn’t mention anything about that woman.

In other words, until that time, Olivier herself was supposed to come to the Demon Realm. But within less than ten days, the plans changed. It’s natural to think that way.

That woman has some circumstances that require Olivier to change her plans, even if it means becoming an enemy of the church. It’s scary how she doesn’t seem to understand the importance of the situation at all.

There is something. But she doesn’t intend to reveal that “𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨”.

No, there may be a reason that even Tyran can’t be told. Although the reason for her being sent is uncertain, what Olivier wants from Tyran to protact her.

He was entrusted with the strange woman who casually makes snacks in the demon’s stronghold.

If it were someone he didn’t know, he would refuse and return it. But the person is Olivier. She is someone whom Tyran trusts, second only to his master. He had no choice but to accept it, even though he was sure it would be troublesome.

(I didn’t ask for her name to reduce the trouble even a little. After all, she will be gone in two years. I don’t want to have any attachments. It’s just right to be disliked and kept at a distance.)

“By the way, this is delicious. . .And I feel like I remember that woman’s magic. Although I don’t think there was any connection as an Apprentice Saint.”

With each chew of the steamed bun made by the woman with circumstances, Tyran’s doubts only deepen.

Olivier, who probably knows the answer, doesn’t even know where she is now.

“So troublesome.”

Tyran’s mutterings dissolve without reaching anyone. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟐: 𝐆𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦

“Guide Daili to her room.”

“Understood.”

Demon King-sama, who has finished eating all the steamed buns, gives instructions to a nearby maid.

The demon maid who guided me to the kitchen earlier is the one who will guide me now. Led by her, we walk along a long corridor.

After walking through the splendid corridor for a while, a series of simple doors suddenly appear. It seems that there is a separation between the residential area and the outward-facing area. I must remember the vases and paintings placed around as landmarks so as not to forget the way.

“Demon King-sama has instructed that you are free to change the vases and such to your liking.”

“Eh?”

“For Daili-sama’s ease of remembrance.”

“Ah, thank you very much.”

“No need for thanks.”

I’m not bad at memorizing directions, but the castle is quite large, as expected of a castle. I would definitely get lost if I walked alone. It’s honestly helpful that I can change things to my liking, not just having landmarks.

There were several food-related paintings on the way here. I’ll have them placed at the corners where I turn on the way to the kitchen and the king’s chamber.

However, the original arrangement is probably done considering the overall balance.

Even though there is no longer any conflict with humans, leaving clues to the route to the king’s chamber is undoubtedly a big minus for the Demon King’s Castle.

I don’t like being overly considerate. I should get used to it quickly. 

This is more important than my name. And I vow in my heart to return to the original arrangement as soon as possible.

“This is Daili-sama’s room.”

“It’s spacious. . .and beautiful!”

The room I was guided to is larger than the one I shared with my sister at my parents’ house. It’s even larger than the apartment I lived in in my previous life.

In the center, there is a king-sized bed. Moreover, it has a canopy. It’s something I’ve only seen in manga and anime, but it’s here as if it’s natural.

Truly befitting of a castle. However, the room itself is not extravagant.

On the contrary, it’s extremely simple, with gentle colors. Besides the bed, there is only a desk, a chair, and a closet.

I think some people feel more at ease with various things, but I find simplicity to be calming.

I don’t like the name Daili, but in reality, I am a substitute. Besides, I grew up in a very ordinary family in both my previous and current lives. If an extremely luxurious room were prepared, I would probably feel restless.

I thought the same when I was walking in the residential area, but this place is very calming.

Of course, if I were to encounter a demon with a large body and fangs or horns, the atmosphere would quickly change to a scary one. But even so, if I were told, “This is your room,” I would accept it without any problem. 

“That door over there leads to the restroom and shower room respectively. You are free to use everything in this room. If there is anything you don’t like or need, please use that bell over there. I or someone else will come to assist you. I will take care of cleaning and laundry, so please rest assured. As for meals, please ring the bell at your preferred time, or you can visit the kitchen. The chef will assist you there.”

Being treated like a hotel guest makes me a little nervous, but whether I’m a substitute or a guest, a guest is a guest. If I were to refuse forcefully, it would damage the other person’s position and mood.

There is nothing particularly troubling about entering the room. I nod.

“Understood.”

“Is there anything else you would like to ask?”

“No, I’m fine.”

“Then, if you’ll excuse me.”

I see off the departing maid and immediately head to the closet. I had thought of taking out the clothes that had been kept in a bag since coming to the Demon Realm.

“By the way, it’s a good thing I bought clothes. . .”

With what I’m currently wearing, that makes five sets. If I can have them washed, I should be able to wear them for a while.

Since my height won’t grow anymore, I want to believe they will last for about two years. There is no washing machine, so the fabric should wear out less. Even if they become slightly thin, I don’t mind. 

The problem is that everything I bought is clothes for the current season. In other words, when the season changes and it gets cold or hot, I have nothing to wear.

First of all, I wonder if the temperature in the Demon Realm is the same as the human world. That’s where my doubts begin.

After all, ordinary people have no opportunity to go to the Demon Realm. Even adventurers are said to be a handful of humans who go to the Demon Realm. They must have chosen clothes that prioritize defense and ease of movement rather than clothes suitable for the temperature.

Even if I ask the demons, it’s doubtful whether they even care about the temperature.

“Well, I can ask later. Adapting to this environment is more important than thinking about the future!”

It’s grateful enough to receive rewards and have meals and a room provided. If it gets cold, I’ll borrow something to wear.

Thinking that, when I open the closet, there are rows of women’s clothes inside. And they all look expensive. Opening the closet next to it yields the same result.

I was told that I can use them freely, but I wonder if this was someone else’s room. Maybe I was suddenly told to move here.

Even in a property with furniture from my previous life, it’s not surprising that clothes are not included. It’s not good to mess with things if I’m going to come back for them later. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟑: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐦

・・・

『”𝒜𝓌𝑒𝒷𝓈𝓉𝑜𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓈.𝒸𝑜𝓂” – 𝒟𝒾𝓈𝒸𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝒶 𝒸𝒶𝓅𝓉𝒾𝓋𝒶𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓌𝑜𝓇𝓁𝒹 𝑜𝒻 𝓁𝑜𝓋𝑒, 𝓅𝒶𝓈𝓈𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒶𝒹𝓋𝑒𝓃𝓉𝓊𝓇𝑒, 𝓌𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝒶𝓃 𝒾𝓃𝒹𝓊𝓁𝑔𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝒶 𝒸𝑜𝓁𝓁𝑒𝒸𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝓇𝒶𝓃𝓈𝓁𝒶𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝓃𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓁𝓈 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 “𝒹𝒶𝒾𝓁𝓎 𝓊𝓅𝒹𝒶𝓉𝑒𝓈” 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝑒𝓍𝒸𝓁𝓊𝓈𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝒶𝒸𝒸𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝓉𝑜 “𝒶𝒹𝓋𝒶𝓃𝒸𝑒𝒹 𝒸𝒽𝒶𝓅𝓉𝑒𝓇𝓈”.』

・・・

I give up on putting my clothes in and simply close it with a snap.

Instead, I decide to hang them on the chair. It instantly gives a sense of liveliness to the room. But there’s no helping it if the clothes get wrinkled if left in the bag.

I can only hope that the owner of the clothes will come to pick them up soon.

Speaking of clothes, my pajamas are still at the church. Since I went to buy everyday clothes, I naturally don’t have anything that can be used as pajamas.

But it feels awkward to sleep directly on a clean bed.

I can’t possibly be selfish and say that I want to go to the human world just because I want pajamas right after arriving.

There’s no point in wishing for something that doesn’t exist. I decide to use one of the clothes I bought as temporary pajamas, something that seems comfortable to move in.

If I wait a little, Olivier-sama will send my belongings. I have to be patient until then.

I change into my makeshift pajamas and lie down on the bed. Not only does it look good, but the mattress is also splendid. It’s so fluffy that I can’t help but want to roll from one end to the other.

But the reason I don’t do that is not because I’m an adult, but because as soon as I lie down on the bed, exhaustion hits me.

If I relax, my eyelids will close.

Come to think of it, my life has changed completely in these two days. Perhaps the tension has finally eased.

It’s laughable that the place where I can take a breather is the demon’s stronghold that I have feared for so long. But if I think of it as my future workplace, it’s not a bad start, is it?

“Ahhhh.” 

I yawned, and as if melting away, I fell into the world of sleep.

・・・

『”𝓐𝔀𝓮𝓫𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓻𝓲𝓮𝓼.𝓬𝓸𝓶” – 𝓓𝓲𝓼𝓬𝓸𝓿𝓮𝓻 𝓪 𝓬𝓪𝓹𝓽𝓲𝓿𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝔀𝓸𝓻𝓵𝓭 𝓸𝓯 𝓵𝓸𝓿𝓮, 𝓹𝓪𝓼𝓼𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓪𝓭𝓿𝓮𝓷𝓽𝓾𝓻𝓮, 𝔀𝓱𝓮𝓻𝓮 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓬𝓪𝓷 𝓲𝓷𝓭𝓾𝓵𝓰𝓮 𝓲𝓷 𝓪 𝓬𝓸𝓵𝓵𝓮𝓬𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓻𝓪𝓷𝓼𝓵𝓪𝓽𝓮𝓭 𝓷𝓸𝓿𝓮𝓵𝓼 𝔀𝓲𝓽𝓱 “𝓭𝓪𝓲𝓵𝔂 𝓾𝓹𝓭𝓪𝓽𝓮𝓼” 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓮𝔁𝓬𝓵𝓾𝓼𝓲𝓿𝓮 𝓪𝓬𝓬𝓮𝓼𝓼 𝓽𝓸 “𝓪𝓭𝓿𝓪𝓷𝓬𝓮𝓭 𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓹𝓽𝓮𝓻𝓼”.』

・・・

I move restlessly on the bed, my consciousness gradually returns. My stomach is empty, but the alarm hasn’t gone off yet.

Did I wake up early? I look outside the window. There is a scenery I don’t recognize. I can’t check the time because there is no alarm clock.

Then, I finally remember that this is the Demon Realm and that the alarm clock is left at the church.

I scratch my head, still not fully awake, and rummage through the pockets of the clothes I wore yesterday. I take out the clock to check the time and lose my voice.

“. . .You’re kidding?!”

The time shown by the hands was close to noon. I don’t remember the exact time I went to sleep yesterday.

But I left the church early in the morning. . .If I trace each step, I can narrow down the approximate time.

Yes, yesterday I went to bed much earlier than usual.

And yet, this time. . .

It’s hard to believe, but this clock was given to me by Olivier-sama last year.

Although it was a hand-me-down, it has remained shiny and keeps accurate time, just like a brand new one. It’s hard to imagine it showing the wrong time at this moment.

What’s strange is not the watch, but my sleeping schedule.

Even though I was tired, I ended up sleeping soundly. . .I’m amazed at myself.

While lightly combing my hair with my hand, I change into new clothes. 

When I open the door I was taught yesterday, there is a washroom. I gratefully use the towel, soap, and toothbrush that are provided. Finally, I have a refreshed face.

Let’s head to the kitchen right away. I remember the directions to the kitchen for the most part. Although I’m a little anxious, I shouldn’t get lost that easily.

I walk briskly, occasionally hesitating, and finally arrive at the kitchen.

“Hello~.”

As I timidly show my face from the wall, I meet the eyes of the two cooks. And they both walk towards me, step by step. Not only their faces and actions, but even their walking pace is exactly the same.

If I didn’t have the memory of their kindness from yesterday, I would have screamed and run away.

Today, there are only the two of them in the kitchen.

“Hello.”

“We’ve been waiting for you.”

“I’m sorry for being late.”

“There’s still plenty of time until snack time, so don’t worry.”

“More importantly, did you sleep well yesterday?”

“I slept like a log!”

“That’s good to hear.”

“After a good night’s sleep, it’s time for a good meal. Are you hungry?”

“Yes.”

As soon as I reply, my stomach growls.

Embarrassed, I scratch my cheek. But it seems like the expressions of the two have brightened up a little.

“In that case, let us prepare a slightly late breakfast for you.”

“It could be an early lunch.”

“In any case, please sit and wait for us.”

“It’s been a while since we served a meal to someone with an empty stomach.” 

I am guided to the next room and a chair is pulled out for me. It resembles the dining hall of a church.

The difference is that there is no one else here except for me.

Perhaps it’s still too early for lunch. However, their words from earlier bother me.

It seemed as if they rarely cook meals for someone else.

But they are cooks. Perhaps they are apprentices. However, it’s strange that there are only two cooks before noon.

As I ponder about it, the door swings open wide.

The kitchen wagon is loaded with a large amount of food. Are they going to eat together? If so, then this quantity makes sense.

However, they diligently place those dishes in front of me. I realize halfway through that only one serving is prepared. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟒: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐦 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐲

“Please eat to your heart’s content.”

“Humans need to eat, after all. Please eat as much as you want.”

What was prepared are hamburgers and skin-on french fries, corn potage with bread, and the menu looks perfectly natural. 

They are all my favorite dishes. However, the portions are large.

The hamburgers are stacked in three layers, larger than my face, and the piled-up french fries are forming a mountain beside them.

The bread is piled high in the basket, and the corn potage has a large pot placed on the kitchen wagon.

Clearly, it’s not a portion meant for one person.

“Um, both of you together. . .”

“We don’t need to eat, so please eat without hesitation.”

“Huh? You’re not eating?”

“We can eat if we want to, but we don’t need to. Not just us, but many demons are the same. So when someone who can eat comes, we’re truly happy.”

Their expressions don’t change at all, but their eyes are sparkling.

It seems that there are only two cooks because there are few demons who need to eat. 

Once I know that they happily made it, I can’t easily say that it’s too much. But I don’t have the courage to leave it either.

I let my gaze wander as if searching for the right path. Then, I came across a certain presence.

“Tyran-san! His lunch is not ready yet, right?! Since I can’t finish this alone, please share this with him. . .”

My relationship with Tyran-san is close to negative. Even so, I intended to choose the least confrontational method. But their expressions gradually darken. 

“He hardly needs to eat.” 

“Even though he’s human. . .”

“Last night and this morning were failures.”

“It hardly decreased at all. And yet, there were more empty bottles on the table.”

Empty bottles? Does it mean a state where empty plastic bottles or cans are scattered around the room, as in my previous life?

In this world, drinks are sold in bottles or poured into containers brought by oneself. Tyran-san might have brought his favorite drink from the human world.

Thinking of it as something like a plastic bottle brings to mind tea or carbonated drinks, but thinking of it as a can brings alcoholic beverages or energy drinks to mind.

If he doesn’t eat much, these two are even more likely to be associated with him.

In this world, there are no drinks called energy drinks, but there are items that have similar effects. They are potions.

I can’t help but worry a little when imagining him drinking it all at once. I can only hope that he is enjoying his favorite drink.

“When I heard that humans would be living here, I was very happy. I thought I could finally swing my arms as much as I wanted.”

“The captured humans wouldn’t tell us their thoughts on the food, and they rarely even ate. So, someone who talks to us like this is precious.”

“It’s okay to leave some.”

“We want you to eat our cooking. And if possible, we want to hear your thoughts.”

“How close it is to human cuisine.”

“If the taste is just right.”

Is this the reason they welcomed me? 

People who come to the Demon King’s Castle are basically either prisoners or heroes. It is highly unlikely that friendly visitors would come.

I understand the feeling of being cautious even when served food.

In fact, it’s strange that I happily come here to have breakfast prepared for me.

But they have been kind to me.

Even though there are benefits for themselves, they are willing to accept me, who they just met yesterday.

“For now, I understand that this amount is too much for you.”

“Can we join you?”

“Of course!”

“Then I’ll bring the plates.”

“Then I’ll bring the drinks. Please wait a moment.”

After dividing everything into thirds, it finally becomes the right amount. There seems to be a little leftover bread, but it can be saved for later.

First, let’s start with the main dish, the hamburger.

I run the knife through the center of the biggest hamburger I have ever eaten. A clean path is created where the knife smoothly passes through. My throat makes a sound as I gulp down the meat juice that overflows.

I want to take a big bite right now. I endure it and cut it into slightly larger bite-sized pieces.

Some people say it’s improper for a girl to open her mouth wide, but when facing something delicious, gender doesn’t matter. What matters is how much you can appreciate the deliciousness.

I slowly bring the hamburger, coated with the meat juice sauce, to my mouth.

As I chew lightly, cooling it in my mouth, the deliciousness bursts softly. The more I chew, the umami spreads in my mouth.

I can’t help but let out a sigh of satisfaction. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟓: 𝐑𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐋𝐞𝐟𝐭

To complement it, if you bring some skin-on fried potatoes, they go really well together.

When eaten alone, you might feel that they lack a bit of saltiness, but when paired with the hamburger, their power is unleashed a hundred percent, no, two hundred percent.

That’s why the saltiness was toned down. These potatoes were prepared specifically as a side dish for the hamburger.

Now, what about the bread?

From the looks of it, that bread is not the unleavened bread eaten in the village, but rather closely resembles the bread that circulates in a small part of the capital city. It is made fluffy using yeast.

It looks even more delicious than the one that appears once a month at the church.

No, there’s no way it wouldn’t be delicious in this context.

I borrow one of the bread from the basket and split it open. Then, a faint scent of wheat and butter wafts up.

I tear off a larger piece of the fluffy bread and savor it. It’s delicious, just as I expected.

Honestly, I think it’s at the level of opening a bakery. However, a hamburger specialty shop is also tempting.

But it’s not over yet. There’s still a large pot of corn potage left.

At this point, I want to express my gratitude for the size of the pot even before drinking it. But it would be disrespectful to the cook to express gratitude before eating.

For the sake of the two who wanted my impressions, I should make a solemn judgment here.

I slowly lower the spoon onto the surface of the potage, and I’m surprised by its weight. It’s not a light and watery type, but rather a substantial one.

The overflowing potage from the spoon gently falls onto the surface. It’s impossible to resist just looking at it. I take a bite.

“It’s delicious.” 

Those words naturally spill out.

The texture is smooth, and the sweetness of the corn gently spreads. The weight I felt earlier leaves a strong presence of its deliciousness.

And yet, it doesn’t interfere with the main dish.

Truly a dish fit for a castle. It is perfectly crafted, worthy of being presented to the king.

But the king to whom it should be presented doesn’t need to eat, and they were hungry for someone to eat with them.

What a waste! Such a waste!

“You really seem to enjoy it.”

“Because I’m happy. Everything is truly delicious.”

“I could tell just by watching. The person who taught us how to cook said that the most important thing for a cook is to be able to feel the deliciousness of the food.”

“It’s because you enjoy eating everything so deliciously that Demon King-sama recognized you as the snack attendant.”

“I’m glad it was you who came as Great Saint-sama’s substitute.”

Hearing that, I suddenly realize. I had planned to thank them first when we met, but due to hunger and the deliciousness, I ended up enjoying the food first.

I place the bread on the edge of the plate and quickly bow my head.

“Thank you for yesterday. I didn’t properly thank you for your kindness. . .”

“No need for thanks or apologies. Demon King-sama ordered it, and we were recognized. So, we just follow.”

“We also like you. But if it still bothers you, we would like to see the dish called steamed buns from yesterday.”

“I heard that Demon King-sama was very pleased with it.”

“I plan to make the same thing today. Would both of you like to eat it?”

“Is that okay?!”

“Absolutely!”

・・・

『”𝔄𝔴𝔢𝔟𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔯𝔦𝔢𝔰.𝔠𝔬𝔪” – 𝔇𝔦𝔰𝔠𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔯 𝔞 𝔠𝔞𝔭𝔱𝔦𝔳𝔞𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔴𝔬𝔯𝔩𝔡 𝔬𝔣 𝔩𝔬𝔳𝔢, 𝔭𝔞𝔰𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔞𝔡𝔳𝔢𝔫𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔢, 𝔴𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔦𝔫𝔡𝔲𝔩𝔤𝔢 𝔦𝔫 𝔞 𝔠𝔬𝔩𝔩𝔢𝔠𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔯𝔞𝔫𝔰𝔩𝔞𝔱𝔢𝔡 𝔫𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔩𝔰 𝔴𝔦𝔱𝔥 “𝔡𝔞𝔦𝔩𝔶 𝔲𝔭𝔡𝔞𝔱𝔢𝔰” 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔢𝔵𝔠𝔩𝔲𝔰𝔦𝔳𝔢 𝔞𝔠𝔠𝔢𝔰𝔰 𝔱𝔬 “𝔞𝔡𝔳𝔞𝔫𝔠𝔢𝔡 𝔠𝔥𝔞𝔭𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔰”.』

・・・

With them swaying in excitement, I lower the empty dishes.

The corn potage and bread that I thought would be left over were completely eaten.

Through the meal, we have become completely familiar with each other, and as our stomachs are filled, I feel like I have taken a new step in the Demon King’s castle.

I gratefully accept the apron I borrowed yesterday, which is designated for me, and we line up in front of the sink to do the dishes.

Being called “Daili-san,” I suddenly remember that I haven’t asked for their names.

“May I ask for your names?”

“The one on the right is Migi, and the one on the left is Hidari.”

“Um. . .Is that from my perspective, right and left?”

“Migi is always on the right, and Hidari is always on the left.”

“There’s no need to distinguish. Not just us, but many demons don’t place importance on being recognized as individuals by others. As long as we understand within our group, it’s enough.”

“That’s. . .”

It seems that I still haven’t been fully recognized as a comrade. It was foolish of me to think that I could get closer just by sharing a meal.

As I droop my shoulders in disappointment, both of them start to panic. 

“I don’t mean to exclude you. In our case, we are always together, so it’s enough if we recognize each other as separate entities.”

“That’s right. Others also see us as one. I would be happy if Daili-san could accept us as such.”

“I see. In that case—Migi-san, Hidari-san, nice to meet you from now on.”

“Nice to meet you too.”

They extend their hands in unison.

I offer both hands to the hands stretched out from the left and right, they shake them vigorously up and down. They seem very happy.

Although the way to address me in the kitchen has been confirmed as Daili, well, it’s fine.

I don’t want to dampen this welcoming atmosphere. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟔: 𝐅𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠

・・・

『”𝙰𝚠𝚎𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜.𝚌𝚘𝚖” – 𝙳𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚘v𝚎𝚛 𝚊 𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚒v𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚕𝚘v𝚎, 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚍v𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎, 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚕𝚐𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚘v𝚎𝚕𝚜 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 “𝚍a𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚙𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜” 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚒v𝚎 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚝𝚘 “𝚊𝚍v𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜”.』

・・・

“By the way, where did you two learn to cook? You said demons don’t

eat much, but the dish earlier was really delicious.”

“We learned that dish from one of the humans we captured.”

“We were born into a family that serves as palace chefs and have been serving meals mainly to prisoners. However, even work can become monotonous when you’re just making the same things every day for decades. That’s when Master came.”

The person they refer to as master is a certain noble’s personal chef who came to the Demon Realm in search of monster meat.

He was found by the officials of the Demon King’s Castle when he was about to be eaten by a monster and was brought back to the castle.

Those officials, who were rare among demons for having a habit of eating food, suggested to Migi-san and Hidari-san, “Why not learn human cuisine?”

So, they decided to learn human cuisine as a condition for their release.

Perhaps they readily accepted my presence because there was a precedent.

“Although he was trembling in the cell, once he stood in the kitchen, he became a person who gave us precise instructions. We called him master and he taught us many dishes.”

“Master was quite a picky eater, so most of his dishes were meat dishes and dishes that complemented them.” 

“He didn’t teach us anything else until the end because he wanted to maintain the difference in quality.”

“He had such a strong obsession that he would rather spend his whole life in prison than serve a dish that wasn’t up to his standards. Now I understand how Master felt at that time.”

As they narrow their eyes and gaze into the distance, their corners of the mouth are slightly upturned. Surely, those are memories of joy.

When I recall past happy memories, I must have a similar expression.

I feel like I’m being blessed with happiness just by watching them.

“It seems you both respect your master.”

“Yes. Every year, on his death anniversary, we always visit his grave together.”

“I’m sorry. He has passed away. . .”

“Human lifespans are short. It’s inevitable. But even though he’s gone, his presence will never be lost to us.”

“We have a portrait drawn by a talented demon hanging in our room. . .Oh, wait a moment.”

Saying that, one of them leaves the kitchen.

I’m not sure if it’s Migi-san or Hidari-san, but the remaining one seems to know the reason for their departure. Judging from the swaying motion, it must be something enjoyable.

Although their expressions are hard to read, they seem to be the type to take action rather than show it.

The one who came back was holding a portrait of a man.

“This is our master!”

They hold the portrait and tell me about their memories with their master. 

They talk about how strict he was with the doneness of meat and the circumstances leading up to his encounter with that dish. Each story seems to be a treasure to them.

But the greatest treasure must be the meeting with their master. It sways in their hearts.

Their tone gradually becomes faster. Perhaps they never had anyone to boast about their master to.

As I listen with a warm feeling, they place the portrait on a nearby chair. Then, they make a fist with their free hand.

“Thanks to Master, we were able to learn about human cuisine. Even now, our interest only grows year by year.”

“But we can’t cook by following recipes. We’ve never seen the real thing, and above all, it’s difficult to judge if it’s delicious when there are few people to eat our food.”

They clench their fists with determination, and I can sense a hint of artificiality. But in that, their master must have been touched.

“That’s why we want to see your cooking! We want to hear your stories! We want your feedback!”

“Tyran has no interest in cooking at all, so you’re our only hope!”

Their eyes are unwavering, and it seems like they truly love the art of cooking from the bottom of their hearts.

“I may not have a wide repertoire of dishes, but I can learn together with you!”

“You’re reliable.”

“Let’s do our best together.”

The three of us raise our fists together.

“By the way, I haven’t shown Daili-san the pantry yet.”

“We still have some time before snack time, so can I briefly explain it to you first?”

“Please do.” 

Led by Migi-san and Hidari-san, we headed underground. There, after descending the stairs near the kitchen, was the pantry.

Similar to the kitchen, the pantry was disproportionately huge, with all kinds of vegetables and fruits lined up, far exceeding the number of people needing meals.

Just a quick glance revealed a considerable amount. There were many things I had never seen before.

“The entire pantry is enchanted with a preservation spell, so the food inside will not spoil. The same spell is also applied to the refrigerator, but we use fresh milk and eggs harvested daily at the Demon King’s Castle.”

“While we gather food from all over the continent, there may be many things that are not available here. If you let us know what you need or want, we will procure it for you.”

“We have received instructions from Demon King-sama to prioritize creating and enjoying delicious food, so please don’t hesitate to speak up.”

How reliable they are. 

Perhaps I can even make the snacks I used to make in my previous life. My heart leaps with excitement. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟕: 𝐋𝐞𝐭’𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐮𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫!

I quickly secure the ingredients for today’s use and return to the kitchen.

I receive another introduction to the kitchen. It’s similar to yesterday’s review.

“Well then, let’s start making it right away.”

I’m going to make the steamed sweet potato bread that Demon King-sama requested. I will use the same ingredients and utensils as yesterday.

The difference is that I’m making a smaller quantity, and there is someone next to me doing the same actions. While teaching them because it’s easy, I continue with the cooking. 

They were talking about making several desserts that go well with meat dishes, but it seems that using a steamer for snacks is new to them. We proceed cautiously, checking each step.

“Is this size okay for the sweet potatoes?”

“As long as they are cooked through, it’s fine even if they are slightly larger.”

“Is this the right amount of milk?”

“Yes, that’s perfect.”

It took more time than yesterday, but cooking with someone else is enjoyable. I plate the finished ones.

I hand the plate with a small mountain of steamed bread to the two of them.

“Please put Migi-san and Hidari-san’s portions on here as well.”

“No!”

“It’s not appropriate to serve it to Demon King-sama before it’s perfect!”

It’s a strong refusal. They must have inherited their strong insistence from their master.

Like they used to do, I won’t force them to do something they don’t want to. But I have an alternative suggestion.

“Then, how about exchanging what I made with what you made?”

“Exchange?” 

“I made some for Demon King-sama, and I made some for Migi-san and Hidari-san. I’ll give them one by one, so please give me one of the ones you made.”

“But what we made might not be delicious. . .”

“But I can only give feedback on what I’ve eaten. Let me give you my feedback.”

“I see. In that case, please!”

They are handed to me, and the steamed bread that they made for the first time is placed on my plate.

“Well then, we’ll prepare the tea, so Daili-san, please go to Demon King-sama.”

“I’ll be right back.”

“Take care.”

Today as well, I am seen off to the kitchen’s exit, and I head towards the king’s chamber, rolling the kitchen wagon. Demon King-sama seems to have been waiting eagerly.

When I open the door, he is standing right in front of me. He couldn’t wait until it was brought to the throne.

“Can I eat now?!”

“Please go ahead. The ones on the top tier are all for Demon King-sama.”

“Wow.”

Demon King-sama chews on the steamed bread while standing. He happily eats with his cheeks puffed up. He looks just like a squirrel.

Perhaps sensing that Demon King-sama is eating near the entrance, a chair and table are quickly prepared.

The tea is ready, and Demon King-sama’s lovely tea time begins.

“Hey, Daili, what kind of food is sweet potato?”

“It’s a vegetable that grows underground. The skin is purple, and the inside is yellow. When cooked, it becomes sweet, so it goes well as a snack too.” 

“Isn’t it a fruit?! It’s so sweet. . .”

With wide eyes, he stares at the steamed bread. In Demon King-sama’s mind, sweet things seem to equal fruits.

Come to think of it, there were many snacks made with vegetables in my previous life, but they are not commonly seen in this world.

If I search, I might find sweet potatoes, but at least I haven’t seen them yet. Judging from his reaction, it seems that Demon King-sama doesn’t know about them either.

“There are plenty of sweet things made with vegetables. Besides sweet potatoes, corn is a vegetable that goes well with steamed bread!”

“Corn! I’ve heard that corn soup is delicious.”

“I made corn potage for today’s meal, and it was so delicious that I had three helpings. I think there is corn in the pantry, so shall we make corn steamed bread tomorrow?”

“Corn steamed bread. . .It sounds delicious.”

“By the way, corn is not only delicious in steamed bread, but it’s also delicious to eat boiled corn as it is.”

I demonstrate the gesture of eating corn while still attached to the cob, and Demon King-sama’s throat moves significantly.

If there is soy sauce, it can also be made into grilled corn, but I will check later if there is something similar.

“I want to eat both!”

“Then, I’ll bring you corn steamed bread and boiled corn tomorrow.”

“I’m looking forward to it! By the way, Daili. Aren’t you going to wear the clothes I prepared?”

“Clothes?” 

I tilt my head, wondering what he’s talking about.

What comes to mind are the clothes that seemed to belong to someone and were stored in the closet in large quantities.

“I told them to put them in the closet, but were the sizes and preferences not suitable?”

“Weren’t those left behind by the previous person? There were quite a few of them, and they all looked expensive. . .”

“I prepared them for Daili. Since I didn’t know her preferences, I instructed to gather various things. However, I apologize that they are all ready-made products because there was no time. . .”

“It’s more than enough!”

In the first place, for ordinary people, when it comes to clothes, they are either ready-made or handmade.

Even ready-made clothes are not something you just buy on a whim. Depending on the income, if there are minor frays, you mend them, and if the length doesn’t fit anymore, you adjust it or pass it on to siblings.

Having someone specially make clothes for you is something only a few wealthy people or nobles do. At least, I am too scared to wear such things.

If asked whether I can easily put on the things in that closet, I vigorously shake my head sideways. 

・・・

『”𝒜𝓌𝑒𝒷𝓈𝓉𝑜𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓈.𝒸𝑜𝓂” – 𝒟𝒾𝓈𝒸𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝒶 𝒸𝒶𝓅𝓉𝒾𝓋𝒶𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓌𝑜𝓇𝓁𝒹 𝑜𝒻 𝓁𝑜𝓋𝑒, 𝓅𝒶𝓈𝓈𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒶𝒹𝓋𝑒𝓃𝓉𝓊𝓇𝑒, 𝓌𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝒶𝓃 𝒾𝓃𝒹𝓊𝓁𝑔𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝒶 𝒸𝑜𝓁𝓁𝑒𝒸𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝓇𝒶𝓃𝓈𝓁𝒶𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝓃𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓁𝓈 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 “𝒹𝒶𝒾𝓁𝓎 𝓊𝓅𝒹𝒶𝓉𝑒𝓈” 𝒶𝓃𝒹 e𝓍𝒸𝓁𝓊𝓈𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝒶𝒸𝒸𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝓉𝑜 “𝒶𝒹𝓋𝒶𝓃𝒸𝑒𝒹 𝒸𝒽𝒶𝓅𝓉𝑒𝓇𝓈”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟖: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐚𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐓𝐲𝐫𝐚𝐧

・・・

『”𝐴𝑤𝑒𝑏𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠.𝑐𝑜𝑚” – 𝐷𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑎 𝑐𝑎𝑝𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒, 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑑𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒, 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑛𝑑u𝑙𝑔𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑎 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑠𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ “𝑑𝑎𝑖𝑙𝑦 𝑢𝑝𝑑𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠” 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑥𝑐𝑙𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑡𝑜 “𝑎𝑑𝑣𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑑 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠”.』

・・・

It’s not just a recent thing that I’m not good with expensive clothes. It has been like that since my previous life, so it might simply be a personality issue.

Once I wear them a few times, I’m fine, but when I first put them on at home, I was nervous all day.

But I can’t just disregard his kindness. Besides, I don’t have many clothes. I’ll take you up on his offer.

“Well, it’s necessary expenses. If you want something else, just say it properly.”

“Yes. Thank you very much.”

Demon King-sama nodded satisfactorily at my response and took a big bite of the steamed bun.

“By the way, there are steamed buns on the lower tier as well. Aren’t those for me?”

“These are for Tyran-san. He seemed to like the steamed buns, so I thought I would bring them to his room later.”

“That’s fine. You can take them to Tyran’s place since I’m done here.”

I instructed the maid-like servant who was standing by to take it to Tyran-san’s room.

Taking advantage of their offer, I entrusted the kitchen wagon and cleanup to the remaining person.

Holding a plate with only two steamed buns, I follow the guide. It’s about fifty-fifty whether he will be pleased or not.

Nevertheless, the reason I prepared for Tyran-san is because the empty bottles bothered me. I exhale softly in front of his room and then knock on the door.

“Sorry to disturb you while you’re working. I brought a snack.”

When I speak a little louder in front of the door, it opens with a slight delay.

“I don’t want it.”

“It’s the same as yesterday. I’m sure you’ll like it.”

“I don’t want it. Take it back.” 

After saying just that, Tyran-san forcefully closed the door.

But I was able to see what I wanted to see.

Through a small gap, I could see something exactly like the potions I used to make at the church. There were several empty bottles of the same shape lined up on the floor.

When I asked Migi-san and Hidari-san back in the kitchen, it was as I expected. He drinks potions without eating meals. . .

No, it was worse than I imagined.

It seems that Tyran-san’s potion lifestyle didn’t start recently.

Tyran-san came to the Demon King’s Castle just a little before I arrived, but it seems that he immediately declared that minimal meals would suffice.

At that time, it is said that he was carrying a wooden box filled with a large amount of potions, which is terrifying.

“I heard that he was quite a workaholic, but I didn’t expect it to be to this extent.”

“While saying that only bread and soup are enough, he hardly even eats those. . .”

I feel like it’s not enough to just label him as a workaholic, but it would be too cruel to point it out to the two of them who are dejected.

I listen to the details, it’s normal for him to eat meals after they have completely cooled down. There are even times when he doesn’t touch them at all.

It seems that he eats when his research reaches a stopping point.

So if there is no suitable timing between meals, he won’t eat.

On the other hand, information from the maids states that he gulps down recovery potions at other times. 

Recovery potions are strictly for recovery purposes. They are made by boiling down medicinal herbs, so while they can replenish stamina, they don’t provide the necessary nutrients for humans.

It’s like chugging energy drinks in a previous life.

It’s definitely not good for his health.

It’s fine now because he is in the Demon King’s Castle, but how has he been living until now?

That question must have shown on my face. The two of them sadly shook their heads and told me that he have been working like this, using a lot of recovery potions.

By the way, it seems that he has zero intention of improving himself.

Perhaps that’s why Demon King-sama forcefully stuffed steamed buns into his mouth yesterday.

It seems that there was a meaning behind his actions, not just because he found it silly. I regret not forcefully giving it to him earlier.

“As the one who made it, I do want him to eat it, but in the first place, the human body is not as resilient as ours.”

“I want him to take proper breaks.”

“I agree too! This current lifestyle is definitely not good for his body! Is there anything he would eat. . .?”

“He will definitely eat meat buns, so I only make those for his meals. I plan to serve meat buns tonight as well.”

“He ate the soup pasta, but he asked for something easier to eat. . .”

“Meat buns, soup pasta. . .Is there anything else that he ate earlier?”

“Steak and sherbet. But he asked me to stop serving both. He wants something easy to eat. That’s his only request.”

Meat buns, soup pasta, steak, sherbet—when I line them up and think about it, a certain common point comes to mind.

Indeed, Tyran-san prioritizes ease of eating.

But there’s another point that he values. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟗: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐤𝐞𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞

“I see, it’s about time.”

“Time?”

“I think Tyran-san eats things that may have some kind of impact when time passes.”

Freshly made hot meat buns and melting sorbet, of course, soup pasta absorbs the broth as time goes by, and steak’s oil returns.

Although he doesn’t seem to be particular about food, I can speculate that he is careful not to miss the perfect timing.

Whether this speculation is correct or not needs to be verified.

At the very least, he shouldn’t be in a terminal state where he slurps cup noodles left for a few hours without any problem, or blends convenience store rice balls in a mixer and mixes them with energy drinks. By the way, my favorite drink in my previous life was an energy drink mixed with milk. I used to pour supplements into it.

Because I have been such a person in my previous life, I cannot leave Tyran-san alone.

Anyway, improving his eating habits is urgent.

Although I may be called meddlesome with a twisted face, my original job is to support Tyran-san.

Once decided, let’s take the first step in Tyran-san’s dietary correction plan right away.

“Migi-san, Hidari-san. I have something I want to try—”

As I explain the plan that just came to mind, both of them tilt their heads in confusion. There are numerous question marks floating above their heads.

“I don’t mind if you bring it, but whether he will be interested in it. . .”

“If he doesn’t eat it, you can use it as ingredients for dinner!”

“Yes, let’s try doing it.” 

・・・

『”𝓐𝔀𝓮𝓫𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓻𝓲𝓮𝓼.𝓬𝓸𝓶” – 𝓓𝓲𝓼𝓬𝓸𝓿𝓮𝓻 𝓪 𝓬𝓪𝓹𝓽𝓲𝓿𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝔀𝓸𝓻𝓵𝓭 𝓸𝓯 𝓵𝓸𝓿𝓮, 𝓹𝓪𝓼𝓼𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓪𝓭𝓿𝓮𝓷𝓽𝓾𝓻𝓮, 𝔀𝓱𝓮𝓻𝓮 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓬𝓪𝓷 𝓲𝓷𝓭𝓾𝓵𝓰𝓮 𝓲𝓷 𝓪 𝓬𝓸𝓵𝓵𝓮𝓬𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓻𝓪𝓷𝓼𝓵𝓪𝓽𝓮𝓭 𝓷𝓸𝓿𝓮𝓵𝓼 𝔀𝓲𝓽𝓱 “𝓭𝓪𝓲𝓵𝔂 𝓾𝓹𝓭𝓪𝓽𝓮𝓼” 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓮𝔁𝓬𝓵𝓾𝓼𝓲𝓿𝓮 𝓪𝓬𝓬𝓮𝓼𝓼 𝓽𝓸 “𝓪𝓭𝓿𝓪𝓷𝓬𝓮𝓭 𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓹𝓽𝓮𝓻𝓼”.』

・・・

The execution will be during snack time tomorrow. It doesn’t require much effort, so it’s just right for a trial.

While watching Migi-san and Hidari-san diligently making meat buns, I hope that my idea is correct.

The next day, after finishing lunch with the three of us, we bring the snack to the king’s chamber.

Today’s snack is as announced, boiled corn and steamed cornbread.

With the kitchen wagon filled with corn, we pass through the door. Then, a cute thing comes flying towards us.

“I’ve been waiting for so long.”

It’s Demon King-sama. Although he crashes into the kitchen wagon, the plates are safe. Demon King-sama is also safe.

But there is definitely damage to my stomach.

“Well, Demon King-sama, please refrain from charging like that. . .It’s dangerous.”

“I see, humans are fragile. . .I apologize.”

His words of reflection are unexpected.

Indeed, compared to demons, humans are fragile. Especially humans like me who can’t use attack or defense magic, there is a risk of being crushed by an innocent Demon King-sama tackle.

However, what I want is not a sense of crisis that I might get killed. 

I just want him to be careful and not repeat the same mistakes.

As I think about what to do, a special phrase comes to mind.

“Since the snack I made with care might fall.”

“Ah! I didn’t consider that possibility. I’m truly sorry. I won’t do it again, so please forgive me!” 

At least with this, I hope that I, and of course, the servants carrying the tea, won’t be flying around. 

When there is another opportunity, I will think of something similar. For now, I can only trust in Demon King-sama’s innocent eyes.

“I forgive you. Now, please take your seat while I prepare the snack.”

“Yes!”

Today, a tea set is prepared next to the throne. It’s the same as yesterday.

I can’t help but wonder if it’s okay to prepare something like this in the most important place of the Demon King’s Castle.

But it must be fine since it’s none other than Demon King-sama, who reigns at the top, who has allowed it.

The snack-loving Demon King-sama, as I try to carry the plates, effortlessly lifts the wagon with magic and says, “Should I just carry this whole thing?” He smoothly carries it up the stairs.

It’s convenient that there’s no need to go back and forth. Magic is truly a useful thing.

Climbing the steps, I start preparing the snack from there.

The first thing I hand over is freshly boiled corn. Of course, with a wet towel as well.

I really wanted to have chilled barley tea, but I had to give up because there wasn’t enough time.

But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

It’s a great harvest just to know that there is something similar in a country abundant in barley production. I learned that it has a specific season when it is sold, so I decided to buy it when the time comes. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟎: 𝐁𝐨𝐢𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐛𝐢𝐠 𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐞

Instead of barley tea, I had the tea magically chilled to perfection. 

It seems that the same ice magic is used when making sherbet. I had never seen someone use magic in cooking in the human world, so I was captivated by it.

Before bringing it here, I also had a taste. It was perfectly chilled, just right for freshly boiled corn.

“So, this is boiled corn. How do I eat it?”

“Hold it sideways and take a hearty bite into the kernels.”

“I see. Let’s try it right away then.”

Demon King-sama firmly grasped the boiled corn and took a big bite.

“Mmm!”

He ate it eagerly, making sounds of delight. It seems he liked it.

When I made a gesture of rotating with both hands, Demon King-sama imitated me and enjoyed the corn. 

By the way, what I prepared for Tyran-san is also boiled corn.

Since I can already foresee that he would refuse steamed buns, I chose something that would be recognized as a meal and should be eaten while still warm. 

Of course, boiled corn is delicious even when it cools down.

That’s why it was just right as something that wouldn’t raise suspicion. It can also be made while boiling corn for Demon King-sama.

I hope Tyran-san will enjoy it as well, not as much as Demon King-sama, but at least eat it properly. . .

While watching Demon King-sama, who grabbed the second one with sticky hands, I think about the workaholic worker who is not here.

“Hey, Daili.”

“What is it?”

“Are there any other delicious things besides this?”

“Do you mean vegetables?”

“Fruits or snacks are fine too! I want to eat something delicious that I don’t know. Of course, I want to eat more steamed buns too!”

“Apples are delicious when mixed in steamed buns. They go well with sweet potatoes too! If you want a vegetable that can be eaten as it is, I recommend tomatoes.”

Tomatoes are delicious even when eaten as they are, but I personally like them chilled. 

It’s not about fancy slices with olive oil or cheese. It’s about taking a big bite of the whole tomato.

Many people dislike the unique acidity and the juice that comes out when you bite into it, but I actually like those two things.

If you sprinkle sugar on the indentation made by biting, you can enjoy a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness.

It’s delicious anytime, but it’s most enjoyable in the summer.

Eating it while feeling the lukewarm breeze coming in through the window is my favorite. It’s even better with pickled cucumbers next to it! Just imagining it makes my cheeks relax.

“Is it really that delicious?”

“Very much so!”

As he nods vigorously, Demon King-sama drools. It’s written all over his face that he wants to eat it right away.

But today’s snack time is over.

Since it needs time to chill, if I prepare it, it will be for tomorrow.

“I will bring chilled tomatoes tomorrow.”

“And steamed buns! Steamed buns with apples, too?”

“Yes. Please look forward to it.”

Demon King-sama’s reaction is positive. I happily return to the kitchen.

During the free time until dinner preparation, Migi-san, Hidari-san, and I think about what we can make by looking at the pantry.

I’m also considering dishes for Tyran-san’s meal plan step two. 

By the way, Tyran-san’s dinner tonight is also steamed buns.

When I went to deliver the boiled corn, he specified to the maid, “The same as yesterday.” 

We made some changes to the filling from yesterday. Perhaps he liked it, so the two of them happily made steamed buns for me as well.

I hope he will continue to eat meals normally. . .

Whether those feelings were conveyed or it was just a coincidence.

The maid who brought the meal during dinner brought back the leftovers from lunch and the completely cleaned corn cobs.

It seems that he was the type to take each kernel with a popping sound rather than taking a big bite.

According to the maid’s information, there were traces of using a wet towel. Judging from the dryness, it seems that he ate it quite early.

It may have just been a coincidence that the timing worked out well, but the response was good.

・・・

『”𝘈𝘸𝘦𝘣𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴.𝘤𝘰𝘮” – 𝘋𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘢 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦, 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘭𝘨𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 “𝘥𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘶𝘱𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴” 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘰 “𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴”.』

・・・

“Shall we move on to the next step tomorrow?”

“Let’s move on. I don’t know what a hot sandwich is, but I’m sure it will be delicious.”

“I’m looking forward to the prototype.”

I make a fist and say, “Leave it to me!” to the excited pair.

For tomorrow’s breakfast, I have chosen a hot sandwich. 

While thinking about the next dish, I found a hot sandwich maker. I didn’t see it during the kitchen equipment explanation, but it seems that the two of them had hidden it in the back.

Apparently, they received it from a demon lurking in the human world.

It seems that they mistakenly came here when they wanted a waffle maker, and they didn’t really know how to use it.

They even forgot about its existence and were puzzled for a while, like, “Huh?”

Rather than the fact that there is a hot sandwich maker, I couldn’t help but smile at the casually mentioned information. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟏: 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐰𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐬𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬?

“So demons are lurking in the human realm. . .”

“Some travel, while others live among humans. There are probably more than Dairy-san thinks.”

“Humans have long viewed demons as enemies, but from the perspective of demons, they are probably closer than they realize. The peace treaty was established mainly due to Demon King-sama’s thoughts, but there are also these circumstances.”

“I see. . .”

It’s a shocking fact.

I had thought that there must be beings who can trade with humans in order to obtain a large amount of ingredients, but I didn’t realize there were so many. . .

I can’t help but wonder if we really needed a “hero.” However, it’s true that they became a bridge.

Whether it’s a sturdy stone bridge or a suspension bridge full of flaws, I don’t know.

By crossing the bridge and getting to know each other, we can reinforce it.

Although it has only been a few days, now that I have come to know Demon King-sama, I don’t want to imagine him being defeated. I can only hope that the bridge becomes stronger.

“Dairy-san, are you okay?”

“Y-Yes! Let’s start making boiled eggs right away.”

This time, I’m preparing two types of hot sandwiches.

The first one is bacon and egg.

To retain the texture of the boiled eggs, I plan to make them slightly firmer rather than soft-boiled. I will drop them into the pot and time them carefully. Meanwhile, I will crisp up the bacon. I will roughly mash the boiled eggs and cut the bacon into small pieces. After mixing the two together, I will place them on the bread. 

Since I like sandwiches with plenty of fillings, I will put all the finished ingredients on it.

Then, I will cover it with another slice of bread and press it firmly. After that, I just need to cook it on both sides while adjusting the heat and checking the inside.

Once the hot sandwich is done, I take it out and cut it diagonally.

The combination of eggs and bacon is indeed strong. It feels like victory is guaranteed.

As the delicious aroma rises from the cross-section, the two of them twitch their noses in excitement. Suppressing the urge to strike a triumphant pose, they move on to the second dish.

The second dish is a hot sandwich with ham and cheese on a griddle. They also add sun-dried tomatoes they found in the pantry.

There is no special preparation for this one, just layering and grilling.

Both of them seem disappointed, asking, “Is that it?” However, since ham and cheese is a common combination in sandwiches, they are not worried.

On the contrary, they seem eager for it to be ready quickly.

While checking the cooking progress, I call out to the two of them.

“It will be ready soon.”

“This one looks delicious too.”

“I can’t wait to eat it.”

“I will be the first to eat it!”

Following the voices of Migi-san and Hidari-san, I hear a voice that shouldn’t be here.

Strange, I turn around and see Demon King-sama, who is gazing at my hands with sparkling eyes.

“Demon King-sama! Why are you here?!”

“It’s terrible for you to try to eat something delicious without hiding from me, Dairy.”

Thank goodness he noticed! He seems terribly angry. However, he doesn’t even look at my face. 

He is already sending an intense gaze towards the bacon and egg hot sandwich that is already done.

“I’m sorry. I thought you wouldn’t want anything other than snacks. . .”

“Doesn’t this clearly look like a snack?! If you’re unsure, ask. Humans often say that communication is important. To neglect consultation when you’re nearby. . .really. . .”

Since it contains sandwiches in the afternoon tea, it’s not entirely wrong to call it a snack. . .maybe?

But in a broader sense, hot sandwiches are considered a meal. It’s not like I intentionally excluded Demon King-sama.

Even if I don’t have that intention, Demon King-sama is puffing up his cheeks and doesn’t seem to doubt that it’s a snack. 

Honestly, the definition of a snack doesn’t really matter.

Do you want to eat it or not?

The most important thing is that Demon King-sama is already in the mood to eat. So I decided to bow my head slightly.

“I’m sorry. I will be more careful from now on.”

“If you give me that, I will forgive you.”

“Please, go ahead.”

After bowing my head slightly to the two of them who have been waiting eagerly, I prepare a set for Demon King-sama.

He, who couldn’t wait and started eating in the kitchen, keeps glancing at me with a sparkling gaze, saying, “It’s delicious~. I want more~.”

Not only is he cute, but he also seems to be good at begging. 

“This was originally intended for Tyran-san’s breakfast, so I shouldn’t serve too much. . .”

“Does Tyran eat such delicious things every day?! That’s unfair!”

“No, it’s the result of coming up with ideas because he doesn’t eat regular meals.”

“So, if Tyran likes this, he can have it every morning?”

“Huh?”

“Dairy, prepare Tyran’s portion right away. Let’s convey this deliciousness to him!”

Hurriedly, I make the same thing with the remaining ingredients. I place the halves on separate plates.

Demon King-sama takes them in both hands and rushes towards Tyran-san.

“If Tyran likes this, I can have it tomorrow too.”

From the words he murmurs softly as he leaves, I can sense his strong appetite. I can imagine Tyran-san being pushed to eat it eagerly, just like with the steamed sweet potato bread.

Everything is to fulfill Demon King-sama’s desire to have hot sandwiches tomorrow as well.

However, there is a high possibility that Tyran-san has already eaten meat buns.

I hope he doesn’t have to force it into his already full mouth. . .

With a hint of unease, I bid farewell to Demon King-sama.

When he returned, he said, “He was delighted when I told him he could have it for breakfast tomorrow!” Migi-san and Hidari-san seemed very happy, but the truth is uncertain.

I can only hope that the plan is not going backwards. 

For now, I promised Demon King-sama the portion for tomorrow, as he seemed to want praise. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟐: 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐭

The next morning, I hurriedly made hot sandwiches as Demon King-sama came to the kitchen earlier than me.

After becoming full, Demon King-sama took a plate with Tyran-san’s hot sandwich and left.

Before he left, he made sure to remind me, “Don’t forget, I’m looking forward to the tomatoes too!”

While I’m at it, I should also prepare chilled tomatoes for Tyran-san.

Let’s make it snack time again, just like yesterday.

For breakfast, the three of us ate the hot sandwiches that we missed yesterday, and for lunch, we ate the Bolognese pasta made by Migi-san and Hidari-san.

After washing the dishes, I immediately start preparing the chilled tomatoes.

Well, the preparation is just chilling the tomatoes.

I prepare a bucket and fill it with water. Then, I float the large tomatoes I found in the pantry along with the ice that the two of them gave me. After that, all I have to do is wait.

Since it’s our third time making steamed buns, both of them are familiar and work efficiently.

Today, I decided to put one of the ones made by Migi-san and Hidari-san on the kitchen wagon.

As I roll the kitchen wagon with a clattering sound, I encounter Demon King-sama along the way.

“Dairy!”

“Oh, Demon King-sama, what’s the matter?”

“I thought of going to the kitchen because you were late.”

“I see. I was just about to go to the king’s chamber. Let’s go back together.”

“Yes!”

While walking down the corridor, Demon King-sama, in a good mood, glances at the chilled tomatoes from time to time. 

This morning, I told him that the hot sandwiches also have sun-dried tomatoes. He seems interested in something that looks completely different. Additionally, to keep them cold, I have stacked them in the bucket on the wagon.

He seems restless and excited, unable to hide his anticipation.

“Tomato, tomato!”

Finally, the tomato call has begun. The tomatoes must be happy to be welcomed like this.

Just like yesterday, I have the wagon brought to the side of the throne.

After wiping off the chilled tomato’s moisture, I hand it to Demon King-sama.

“Go ahead and take a big bite. It’s delicious even with sugar.”

Demon King-sama nods and opens his mouth wide.

He licks up the tomato juice overflowing from the corner of his mouth, then diligently dips it in the sugar I prepared on a small plate before taking another bite.

“Yesterday’s corn was good, but the tomatoes are irresistible too!”

“There’s still more.”

“I’ll have some!”

Demon King-sama happily receives the tomatoes.

“I want to eat the steamed buns too, but I can’t stop.”

“That’s true.”

I feel a sense of happiness as my favorite food is acknowledged.

The tomatoes floating in the bucket disappear at an astonishing speed, and I start to regret not preparing more.

The door to the king’s chamber is forcefully thrown open.

“You’re bringing tomatoes and sugar instead of refusing the steamed buns. Even though it’s not clear what to make, you shouldn’t be serving the same thing to the Demon King as you do to a commoner’s child!”

It’s Tyran-san. 

From his words alone, it seems like he’s a hundred percent angry, but his fingertips are wet, and there are tomato seeds at the corner of his mouth.

It’s obvious that he came to complain after savoring the chilled tomatoes.

No, it’s not a complaint directed at me, but rather a complaint about what is being served to Demon King-sama. But that worry is unnecessary.

Demon King-sama doesn’t panic even in the face of Tyran-san’s attack and continues to eat the tomatoes. And only after swallowing a whole one does he finally speak.

“What, Tyran, do you also want to eat steamed buns? Well, what Dairy makes gives you energy. I’ll specially share mine with you. It should help with your work.”

Demon King-sama takes a couple of steamed buns from the kitchen wagon and offers them to Tyran-san.

“Is it alright for the Demon King to do that. . .”

“If it’s not enough, I’ll have them make more for you tomorrow, so don’t worry.”

As he approaches, Tyran-san finally realizes that Demon King-sama’s mouth is now moist with tomatoes. All the tension seems to leave Tyran-san’s body.

“. . .Am I the one who’s wrong?” 

“Everyone makes mistakes. Even if you refused once, if you tell Dairy, she will make it again.”

Sending misguided comfort to Tyran-san, who is scratching his head and grumbling, Demon King-sama further relaxes and leaves the scene while nibbling on a steamed bun.

It’s a secret. . . that I thought he would eat it properly. 

Tyran-san is quite lenient towards Demon King-sama. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟑: 𝐓𝐲𝐫𝐚𝐧’𝐬 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞

From that day on, when I bring steamed buns to Tyran-san’s room, he reluctantly accepts them.

He accepts the hot sandwiches because it’s better than being served tomatoes every time.

However, I have already received information from the maids that he eats them immediately after they are brought in. He’s just not straightforward about it.

I want to establish a habit of consuming something other than potions.

So far, the hot sandwiches have a high success rate, and the most requested item is the meat buns. But I have started mixing in different dishes little by little, and the amount he eats has also increased.

・・・

『”𝙰𝚠𝚎𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜.𝚌𝚘𝚖” – 𝙳𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚊 𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎, 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚍𝚟𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎, 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚕𝚐𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚜 𝚠i𝚝𝚑 “𝚍𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚙𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜” 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚝𝚘 “𝚊𝚍𝚟𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜”.』

・・・

“Oh, by the way. Today’s dinner is short pasta soup. It doesn’t get messy and it’s easy to eat, so there shouldn’t be any complaints, right?”

“What?! What about the meat buns?”

“The meat buns are for tomorrow. Please try something different occasionally. Besides, soup pasta is delicious too. If you have any requests for ingredients you want in it, now is the time to tell me.”

Tyran-san, who had a terrible attitude when we first met, didn’t change his demeanor even when I pushed my way in.

Since the incident with the chilled tomatoes, he seemed to have given up on something.

Regardless of the reason, it became easier to talk to him. So I take the liberty to push forward without hesitation.

“You’re saying something like an old lady. . .”

“Did you say something?”

“Tomorrow is the meat buns.”

“Okay, okay.”

Although he clicks his tongue, he doesn’t reject the steamed buns I handed to him.

Despite complaining about my strange ideas, he now comes to pick up the dishes at some point during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I feel like the fatigue that was clinging to his face has slightly diminished. 

According to him, “Taking in sugar improves brain function and makes work more efficient,” or “Walking a little helps switch my thinking.” Whatever the reason, it’s a significant change.

“Let’s do something good for Dairy.”

As usual, when I bring steamed buns, Demon King-sama takes out something.

What he handed me was a palm-sized board.

It was an oval shape, as if a curry bun had been completely crushed. It looks slightly like a giant marble because it’s colorless and transparent.

“What is this?”

“It’s a communication device.”

“A communication device? That’s a super expensive item! I can’t accept something like this!”

Although it’s called a communication device, it’s different from the mobile phones and smartphones of my previous life. It’s quite expensive in this world.

In the human realm, it’s an item that only a few wealthy people or executives, including royalty and nobles, have the opportunity to use.

In terms of my previous life, it’s like a private jet.

And Demon King-sama gave such a terrifying thing to a newcomer like me. How am I supposed to use something like this? I should just return it right away.

But Demon King-sama doesn’t try to take it back.

“I prepared it for Dairy, so don’t worry about it. The Demon King’s Castle is vast, so it would be troublesome if you got lost, right? Plus, when you’re unsure whether to eat the delicious food, or when you’re in a quandary about tomorrow’s snack, or even when you think you can offer snacks a little earlier, just raise your hand and you can consult with me immediately. It’s best to make full use of it!”

The first half might be a bonus, but the second half seems to be his true intention. 

In other words, it’s for Demon King-sama himself. It seems that Demon King-sama is still holding onto the incident with the hot sandwiches.

Since the day I made the hot sandwiches for the first time, Demon King-sama has been sneaking out of the king’s chamber from time to time.

The destination is, of course, the kitchen. He started coming to ask questions like “Is the snack ready?” or “What are you making?” It seems he couldn’t wait.

I understand the feeling of not being able to wait and wanting to eat quickly. But when he comes to the kitchen almost every day, Migi-san and Hidari-san become timid.

I was wondering what to do. But I never expected to prepare something like this.

“I also prepared a storage bag for it.”

Demon King-sama hands me a drawstring bag with a very nice smile. His head must be filled with thoughts about future snacks. He looks so happy that I can’t refuse.

It would be strange to imagine the price, so let’s just think of it as something like a smartphone. After all, smartphones were also considered luxury items.

I think there will be many moments in the future where I’m glad to have memories of my previous life.

But just because there’s a next time, this impact won’t fade away. Yes, I’m convinced.

The impact of the price is not something that easily disappears.

“Thank you very much. I will use it carefully.”

“Yes!” 

Even though I am involved in what Demon King-sama, the most powerful being in the Demon Realm, currently values the most, I would never have believed it if someone told me a year ago, “You’ll soon be given a communication device.”

I might have been paralyzed with fear just by mentioning that I am in the Demon Realm.

Well, back then, I never imagined being abandoned by Jude or remembering my past life, not even in the slightest. . .

Life is unpredictable. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟒: 𝐓𝐲𝐫𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐦𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐮𝐧𝐬

“By the way, there was one more thing to give to Dairy. A letter arrived from Olivier earlier.”

What Demon King-sama took out was a single letter. The pure white envelope handed to him had the words “To my dear Saint” printed on it.

The reason for not writing the name was probably to avoid being noticed that it was sent by a substitute.

Choosing a stamp instead of writing the address with a pen seems to be for the same reason.

Still, being called “dear Saint” feels somewhat ticklish. It feels like I have been recognized by Olivier-sama.

I return to my room and open the envelope.

It starts with a message expressing concern for my health, followed by immediate apologies.

It seems that the package that was supposed to be sent later could not be retrieved.

It seems that there were consecutive theft incidents when the Apprentice Saints were given free time. Most of them were committed by external perpetrators.

When I was buying clothes at the back alley shop, many Apprentice Saints were visiting high-end stores on the main street. They must have noticed the gathering of souvenirs.

Even without that, it would have been known from their daily lives that the rewards for Apprentice Saints are high, and there were probably some who had saved a considerable amount of money. Some of them even talked about traveling the continent with that money.

The security at the dormitory where the Apprentice Saints live is weak, and since only young women gather there, it may have seemed like a treasure trove to thieves. 

However, there was a slight surprise that there was an internal perpetrator. It seems that there was a shock among the Apprentice Saints as well.

As a result of such incidents continuing daily, access to other people’s rooms has become stricter. Naturally, one would expect that.

If forgotten items are found after the room’s owner has left the dormitory, they will be sent to the address written when becoming an Apprentice Saint. Even if a Saint who has completed the process of leaving the dormitory comes to retrieve it, they cannot enter the room and will receive the package in the same manner.

I also fall into that category. It seems that Olivier-sama is not an exception either.

I apologize. If there is any inconvenience, I was asked to inform the wizard without hesitation.

However, I haven’t felt inconvenienced by the fact that the packages haven’t arrived so far. I am grateful that Demon King-sama has provided me with plenty of clothes. I also get to eat delicious meals as much as I want.

The problem is that even though the person herself has no intention of returning to the village, the packages are still being sent to the village.

It feels strange. In a way, it feels like personal belongings. Such an inappropriate word crosses my mind.

But I haven’t actually passed away.

Around the time I receive my salary, I should send a letter to my family. . .I don’t feel like doing it, and I can’t think of what to write.

But someday, my family will come to know about the fact that the Apprentice Saints were given free time, and that Jude chose the princess.

At that time, they will worry if they don’t know about my well-being.

“Sigh. . .I feel heavy.” 

Am I a disobedient child for thinking that contacting my family is troublesome?

When I start to feel down, a high-pitched sound comes from the communication device I just received.

I take it out of the bag, Demon King-sama’s face appears.

“I forgot to ask earlier, what’s in tomorrow’s steamed buns?”

The snack call from Demon King-sama makes all the dark feelings I had disappear.

Listening to the voice of the hungry Demon King-sama, I don’t have to think about unnecessary things. It’s probably because I can directly feel the innocence and purity of a child. I almost forget that he is the king of demons.

“I’m thinking of making egg steamed buns.”

“Does it have eggs like in a hot sandwich?”

“No, it’s a steamed bun with a strong egg flavor.”

“Is it delicious?”

“Very.”

“Tyran will surely be delighted and eat a lot. Of course, I will too!”

“Shall I make a little extra?”

“I’m looking forward to it!”

After the call ends, a sweet and fluffy scent tickles my nose.

Thanks to Demon King-sama, when I lie down on the bed, all I think about is snacks. And then, about Tyran-san.

While thinking about how many to bring, I fall asleep.

The next day, when I bring extra steamed buns to Tyran-san, he silently takes the steamed buns and pushes the plate back. One of them is already in Tyran-san’s mouth. 

As I stared at him, he let out a frustrated sound, as if urging me to hurry up and hand it over.

Demon King-sama’s prediction was spot on. Perhaps he likes steamed buns.

Despite complaining, “Steamed buns again?” the following day and onwards, he continued to finish them completely.

It was Demon King-sama who got tired of them first.

“Steamed buns are delicious, but I want something different soon.”

“Then, I will prepare something different for tomorrow.”

In response to Demon King-sama’s request, the next day I made several types of cookies. The beautifully patterned swirl cookies were particularly well-received.

I thought Tyran-san would be delighted to be free from steamed buns.

However, as soon as he saw the cookies, his lips pursed.

“Isn’t this still steamed buns. . .”

Even though it had been almost ten days of steamed buns, he still longed for them. . .

Tyran-san might be even more fond of steamed buns than I thought. 

・・・

『”𝐀𝐰𝐞𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬.𝐜𝐨𝐦” – 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐭r𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 “𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐮𝐩𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬” 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐨 “𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟓: 𝐀 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐛𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐟𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐞

Even though he had finally developed the habit of eating snacks, I did something bad.

I think about whether there is something else I can do as a replacement. Then, a brilliant idea suddenly comes to mind.

“Tyran-san, besides steamed buns, what else do you like?”

“Milk jelly.”

An immediate response. Milk jelly is a popular snack for children, just like steamed buns.

On the first day, he made such a disgusted face, but maybe my snacks and his favorite food are surprisingly similar.

I desperately hold back my laughter from spilling out.

“Then, I’ll make milk jelly tomorrow. Look forward to the fruits I’ll put in.”

“Mm.”

He seems a little happy. The sharpness of his lips is gone.

Although it’s a slightly different kind of childishness compared to Demon King-sama, I wonder if I can say that he has started to acknowledge me a little by expressing his emotions like this.

Since making milk jelly with mandarins, Tyran-san has gradually started to look forward to snacks. Although not as much as Demon King-sama, he starts taking snack breaks and even requests tea to go with it.

As a result, he has also increased the amount of food he eats.

“It was delicious today too.”

Tyran-san, who came to take the plates, directly conveys that to me, and Migi-san and Hidari-san are already in a festive mood, making sherbet.

One of them uses ice magic, while the other crumbles it, creating the perfect crunchy texture.

The finished sherbet is piled high on the plates, almost overflowing. 

Tyran-san, who was waiting in the next room, eagerly starts eating it.

The sight of the mountain of sherbet quickly disappearing is truly impressive. When it’s gone, more is served, and he eats silently.

This is probably why he refused the sherbet.

If he continues to eat at this pace, his work rhythm will definitely be disrupted. Tyran-san himself must have been aware of that.

Although I still don’t fully understand the role of a living being response role, I feel like I’m gradually understanding Tyran-san’s nature.

I wonder if my role was also to give Tyran-san a rest? I’ve started to think that way.

I’ve heard that the amount of healing potions he drinks has decreased significantly in the past few days, but my immediate goal is to reduce it to almost zero. This is more urgent than anything else.

If we don’t hurry, this person will collapse. It’s dangerous to underestimate him just because he’s young.

With each new side of Tyran-san that I discover, he becomes an even more impossible-to-ignore presence.

“By the way, Dairy, aren’t you going to eat? It’s delicious, you know.”

With a spoon in his mouth, he looks at me.

Tyran-san has already finished his third serving. He must have finally settled down.

“I’ll have some. But before that, can I contact Demon King-sama?”

When I ask Migi-san and Hidari-san, they nod approvingly.

If I don’t contact him now, he’ll sulk again. Both of them understand that.

On the other hand, Tyran-san tilts his head curiously. 

He seems to be saying, “Didn’t you already give him the snack?” I ignore him and activate the communication device.

“I’m currently having Migi-san and Hidari-san make sherbet. Will Demon King-sama also have some?”

“I want it!”

Receiving Demon King-sama’s energetic response, Migi-san and Hidari-san diligently start making a new batch of sherbet.

The finished sherbet is piled high on the plates, and I head towards the second snack delivery of the day.

“I have the sherbet for you.”

“Finally!”

As I enter the king’s chamber with the sherbet, Demon King-sama jumps down from the platform, peeks at my hands, and exclaims, “Oh!”.

According to what I heard from Migi-san and Hidari-san, even demons who don’t usually eat meals enjoy eating sherbet. They say that around this time of year, they come to the kitchen for it.

They told me that sometimes they only make the base, and the demons freeze it themselves.

It seems that the desire for something cold and delicious is the same for both humans and demons.

Demon King-sama immediately starts digging into the sherbet with his spoon.

“Tomatoes were good, but this is also good. . .Hey, Dairy, is there anything else cold and delicious?”

Demon King-sama asks with a mischievous look while holding the spoon to his lips. 

Despite that, there is a clear appeal coming from those eyes that they want to eat chilled tomatoes again. I will prepare chilled tomatoes again.

By the way, are they really delicious when they’re cold?

When you think of tomatoes, you associate them with cucumbers or watermelons, but when you think of sherbet, you associate it with frozen apples or ice cream. Thinking about it, I suddenly remember that I have never eaten ice cream in this world.

In the first place, I didn’t even know about the existence of ice cream until I remembered my past life.

However, it is possible to make it with the ingredients in the Demon King’s Castle.

There is no freezer, but there is ice magic. I ponder if it’s possible to somehow preserve it for a day, and as I do, the desire to eat ice cream starts to grow rapidly. 

・・・

『”𝒜𝓌𝑒𝒷𝓈𝓉𝑜𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓈.𝒸𝑜𝓂” – 𝒟𝒾𝓈𝒸𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝒶 𝒸𝒶𝓅𝓉𝒾𝓋𝒶𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓌𝑜𝓇𝓁𝒹 𝑜𝒻 𝓁𝑜𝓋𝑒, 𝓅𝒶𝓈𝓈𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒶𝒹𝓋𝑒𝓃𝓉𝓊𝓇𝑒, 𝓌𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝒶𝓃 𝒾𝓃𝒹𝓊𝓁𝑔𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝒶 𝒸𝑜𝓁𝓁e𝒸𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝓇𝒶𝓃𝓈𝓁𝒶𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝓃𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓁𝓈 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 “𝒹𝒶𝒾𝓁𝓎 𝓊𝓅𝒹𝒶𝓉𝑒𝓈” 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝑒𝓍𝒸𝓁𝓊𝓈𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝒶𝒸𝒸𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝓉𝑜 “𝒶𝒹𝓋𝒶𝓃𝒸𝑒𝒹 𝒸𝒽𝒶𝓅𝓉𝑒𝓇𝓈”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟔: 𝐈𝐜𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦

“How about ice cream?”

“Ice cream? What’s that? I’ve never heard of it before.”

“It’s a sweet frozen dessert with a smooth texture. There are various flavors, but since I’ve never made it before, if I were to make it for the first time, it would be a simple milk ice cream.”

“Can you make ice cream?”

Tyran-san interrupts our conversation. When I turn towards his voice, his face is right behind me. There wasn’t even the sound of the door opening. In fact, there was no presence at all, and I didn’t notice until he spoke.

Perhaps he reacted to the word “ice cream” and came flying over. I press my chest, which is pounding with surprise.

He probably used teleportation magic. It’s the same one that was used when I was sent to the Demon Realm.

Would they use such a grand magic for moving around in the Demon King’s Castle? I also think that way, but if not, it would seem like a horror development, so let’s just say it’s teleportation magic.

While still pressing my chest that is jumping up and down, I take a deep breath.

Then I notice that Tyran-san is holding a sherbet dish. There is sherbet on it. He must have brought it as an addition.

He pushes it towards Demon King-sama, and he peeks into my face.

“Can you make ice cream?”

“P-Probably.”

I nod slightly and take a step back.

Then Tyran-san also seems to have noticed the unusual distance. He takes a couple of steps back.

He coughs and apologizes for being rude. 

“I got excited because I thought I could eat ice cream here. . .Sorry.”

“Do you like ice cream?”

“It’s not that I like it, but I had it once with my master in the past. It was a dome-shaped, pure white ice cream with fruit sauce on top, and it was very delicious.”

He confesses while scratching his cheek, looking embarrassed.

It reminds me of when Migi-san and Hidari-san brought a picture of their master, and it makes me smile. If it’s a warm and gentle memory, I want to recreate it as much as possible.

If it’s fruit sauce, I have made it in my previous life, and it’s not difficult. Unless it’s a very rare fruit, it should be in the pantry.

“What kind of sauce was it?”

“For mine, it was strawberry, and for my master, it was orange.”

“Then I will make strawberry and orange sauces too.”

“. . .I’m sorry.”

“I want sauce on mine too!”

“Shall I separate the dishes so that you can have them separately? That way, you can enjoy three different flavors!”

Demon King-sama happily giggles and hugs my waist. My heart throbs as I see him pleading with upturned eyes, wanting to eat a lot.

How adorable. Too adorable.

I reach out my hand to his head and gently pat it.

・・・

『”𝔸𝕨𝕖𝕓𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤.𝕔𝕠𝕞” – 𝔻𝕚𝕤𝕔𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕒 𝕔𝕒𝕡𝕥𝕚𝕧𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕝𝕕 𝕠𝕗 𝕝𝕠𝕧𝕖, 𝕡𝕒𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕒𝕕𝕧𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕦𝕣𝕖, 𝕨𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕦𝕝𝕘𝕖 𝕚𝕟 𝕒 𝕔𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕖𝕔𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕣𝕒𝕟𝕤𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕟𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕤 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 “𝕕𝕒𝕚𝕝𝕪 𝕦𝕡𝕕𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕤” 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕖𝕩𝕔𝕝𝕦𝕤𝕚𝕧𝕖 𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕖𝕤𝕤 𝕥𝕠 “𝕒𝕕𝕧𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖𝕕 𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕤”.』

・・・

After being comforted for a while, I suddenly realize that I might be scolded for being disrespectful to the Demon King. I quickly withdraw my hand and check Tyran-san’s expression.

But there are no sharp words flying at me like when it was about tomatoes. 

With a relaxed expression on his face, he murmurs, “Ice cream. . .” He is completely immersed in memories. I should make a little extra.

With that in mind, I suddenly remembered something.

“By the way, I heard that tomorrow, apricots will be sent from the human realm. If there’s leftover ice cream, should we make apricot jam the day after tomorrow?”

It seems there is a demon who works as a farmer in the human realm. That demon is the person who brought Migi-san and Hidari-san’s master here.

Since then, that demon, who had the habit of eating meals, has developed a love for food and is now growing various fruits in the human realm.

It’s surprising that they are using teleportation magic to travel around and cultivate them in different places.

In addition to apricots, they will send strawberries in spring and grapes and apples in autumn.

They have been using them to make sorbets and sauces for meat. However, they only use them for that purpose, so they only send about one box every year.

This time, because they mentioned that humans will be coming soon, they decided to send a large quantity for us to use!

When I heard that, I discussed it with the two of them and decided to turn some of them into jam.

We have magic in the pantry, so we don’t need to worry about the storage period, but jam is also frequently used in making sweets.

It’s delicious to put it on ice cream or yogurt, and jam cookies and jam cakes are also good. If you like shaved ice, you can pour syrup made from jam on top. . .and various uses come to mind. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟕: 𝐍𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠

“Can’t we eat it tomorrow?”

“The apricot jam needs to be left overnight. By letting it sit, the flavor also intensifies, making it very delicious.”

Not only Demon King-sama but also Tyran-san reacts to the word “delicious.”

They both gulp and ponder about tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. They are busy people. But I don’t feel bad about it.

“I’ll eat that too.”

“Yes, yes.”

I said, “If there’s any ice cream left,” but I don’t feel like there will be any left. I can imagine both of them devouring it with tremendous speed.

It might be a bit challenging, but let’s do our best to make plenty.

While I’m thinking about that, the additional plates that Tyran-san brought are already clean. When did he eat them?

Following Tyran-san, who left after expressing his wishes, I also gather the dishes.

I’ll go back to the kitchen and do the dishes, and then I’ll have them make sherbet for me.

“Well then, if you’ll excuse me.”

“Wait a moment.”

“What’s the matter?”

“I’ve been curious about this for a while, but why am I the only one called ‘Demon King-sama’?”

“Huh?”

What’s with the sudden question? Demon King-sama is Demon King-sama. What else is there?

I tilt my head, not understanding his intention. Then, he irritably waves his arm.

“Tyran and the cook are also called by their names! I want to be called by my name sometimes too. . .!”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know your name, Demon King-sama. . .”

I see, Demon King-sama feels left out. But even if he wants to be called by his name, I don’t know Demon King-sama’s name.

In the previous game, there were types where the name of the Demon King appeared and types where it didn’t, so I just ignored it.

But looking at Demon King-sama puffing up his cheeks, I feel a slight sense of remorse.

“What did you say?! Well, it’s not surprising that you don’t know the name of the Demon King. It’s Mobius. It’s not bad to be called Demon King-sama, but occasionally call me by my name too. Otherwise, I feel like an outcast. . .!”

Although I am also called by my position name, it might be perceived as a nickname from Demon King-sama’s perspective. I understand the feeling of loneliness.

As I pat his head and say, “Mobius-sama,” Demon King-sama’s mood instantly improves.

When I think of Mobius, the first thing that comes to mind is the Mobius strip. It has no front or back and symbolizes infinite possibilities.

It is a perfect name for Demon King-sama, who is innocent and adorable and has made peace with humans.

“So, tomorrow we’ll make ice cream.”

I return to the kitchen and report about tomorrow’s snack. It feels luxurious to talk about ice cream while eating sherbet.

“When you say ice cream, do you mean the frozen dessert you told me about before?”

“Yes. It requires a lot of ice, so I’d like to ask both of you. . .”

“It’s a small matter.”

“If we’re short on any other ingredients, I’ll go buy them now.”

“We plan to use salt, egg yolks, sugar, milk, cream, and vanilla essence.”

・・・

『”𝙰𝚠𝚎𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜.𝚌𝚘𝚖” – 𝙳𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚘v𝚎𝚛 𝚊 𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚒v𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚕𝚘v𝚎, 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒o𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚍v𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎, 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚕𝚐𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚘v𝚎𝚕𝚜 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 “𝚍𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚙𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜” 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚒v𝚎 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚝𝚘 “𝚊𝚍v𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜”.』

・・・

It’s my first time making ice cream, but I’ve read about it in a book. Not a recipe book, but a children’s book.

I’ve heard that many readers try to make things based on those kinds of books, so it should be fine.

I roughly remember the measurements.

Although I’m only using egg yolks this time, I have also thought about how to use the leftover egg whites.

“In that case, we have everything in the pantry.”

“But it’s surprising to put salt in something sweet.”

“We use salt to lower the temperature of the ice.”

By mixing ice and salt in a ratio of three parts ice to one part salt, you can lower the temperature to below freezing. It’s called freezing point depression.

I used this phenomenon to make ice candy during elementary school science class.

At that time, I waited for it to solidify in a clean test tube, but this time, I’ll use a small bowl and diligently stir it.

It seems a bit challenging, but if I cast a strengthening enchantment, the burden will be reduced. It should work. . .I hope.

“I see.”

“It’s human wisdom, isn’t it?”

I nod vigorously at the sight of Migi-san and Hidari-san, and the faces of the two from earlier come to mind.

If I fail, it will surely make them quite sad. Just imagining it makes my heart ache a little.

“Um, can I practice after dinner? I’m a little anxious about doing it all of a sudden since I’ve never made it before. . .”

“It’s a trial version.”

“Can we taste it too?”

“Of course. Please give me your feedback.”

“With pleasure.” 

As promised, the three of us start making ice cream after dinner.

Although we need a trial run, the process itself is not difficult. It’s something even a child who has read a children’s book can make.

First, we put ice made by the two of them and the prepared salt into a large bowl and mix them together.

Next, we prepare two small bowls and separate the egg yolks and egg whites. We won’t use the egg whites for making ice cream, so we ask them to store it in the refrigerator. We put sugar in the bowl with the egg yolks and mix it with a whisk until it becomes pale. Then, we gradually add milk to it.

We stack the small bowls on top of the large bowl we made earlier and add cream and vanilla essence, mixing them with a whisk. We mix it slowly and thoroughly, reaching the bottom, and when it becomes heavy, we switch to a wooden spoon to mix.

It seems it’s good to be conscious of removing lumps and kneading.

We repeat this process diligently until it reaches the perfect firmness. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟖: 𝐖𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬

・・・

『”𝐴𝑤𝑒𝑏𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠.𝑐𝑜𝑚” – 𝐷𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑎 𝑐𝑎𝑝𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒, 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑑𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒, 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑢𝑙𝑔𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑎 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖o𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑠𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ “𝑑𝑎𝑖𝑙𝑦 𝑢𝑝𝑑𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠” 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑥𝑐𝑙𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑡𝑜 “𝑎𝑑𝑣𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑑 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠”.』

・・・

The important thing is to apply the enhancement magic to the wooden spatula.

When I was at the church, I specialized in applying magic to others and never had the chance to use it on myself. But when I actually try it, it’s enjoyable. I don’t mind that the effect is small.

Just when I start to feel a little heavy-handed, the follow-up of enhancement comes at just the right time.

There’s nothing more grateful than this. When my hand mixer broke in the middle of making sweets in my previous life, I can’t help but think how much easier it would have been with this magic! Tears well up in my eyes at the thought.

The recovery enhancement magic, which is said to be a lower-level equivalent of healing magic, may create a hierarchy of higher and lower levels once you get used to both, but from my perspective, it exhibits an amazing effect.

If I apply it on a tired night, it seems to have the effect of taking a bath or applying a poultice.

Since coming to the Demon King’s Castle, I never feel so exhausted from making sweets that it lingers into the next day, but if I have the opportunity, I should try it.

“Oh, is this enough? Can you bring me the plate I used to serve the sherbet?”

“Ah, this one?”

“Yes, that’s it. Please remove the spoon. . .Tyran-san?! Why are you here?”

“I came to take the plates.”

“Um, this is still a prototype, so I will make Tyran-san’s and Demon King-sama’s portions tomorrow.”

“I see, so we can’t eat it yet. . .”

Tyran-san hangs his head. He doesn’t push forward like Demon King-sama did with the hot sandwich.

But he wanted to eat it. . .My heart aches as he quietly places the plate on the sink. 

Various reasons come to mind, such as his stomach getting cold after eating so much sherbet, or the fact that I only made enough for three people.

Even though I haven’t done anything wrong, my conscience throbs painfully for some reason.

With this feeling of guilt, I have to face tomorrow. After a little hesitation, I let out a short breath.

“Migi-san, Hidari-san. Can I talk to you for a moment?”

I call the two of them to the edge of the kitchen and decide to discuss face to face. I lower my voice so that Tyran-san can’t hear.

I can feel his suspicious gaze, but I have no intention of involving him in the conversation. Instead, I plan to finish it quickly.

“I think it’s a bit pitiful to send him back like this, but wouldn’t it be unfair if we give it to Tyran-san and not to Demon King-sama?”

“That’s true.”

“But it’s already late, and since we’re serving both snacks and sherbet, I think it would be bad for their health if we give them a large amount. So if it’s okay with both of you, I would like to divide the portions for three people into fifths. . .Oh, of course, I will make separate portions for both of you tomorrow and the day after.”

Just like with the hot sandwich, it will be a test of their patience. I also feel a different kind of guilt.

But both of them nod without hesitation.

“It’s fine. We also want to eat the ones with sauce and the ones with jam.”

“But, Tyran, and Demon King-sama, will it be enough?” 

“Emphasize that it’s originally a prototype and ask them to accept it. . .Please keep Tyran-san here while I ask Demon King-sama.”

“Understood.”

Leaving Tyran-san to them, I move to the adjacent room.

I take out the communication device from the bag, and as soon as I connect, Demon King-sama’s face appears.

“What’s the matter at this hour? Is something wrong?”

“Well, Tyran-san came while I was making a prototype of the ice cream. . .”

After explaining the situation, I present my conditions.

Since it’s a prototype, the amount per person will be small. I won’t prepare sauce today. 

If they can accept these two conditions, I will also prepare ice cream for Demon King-sama.

If they can’t accept it, I won’t give it to Tyran-san either. As planned, I inform them that I will prepare sauce for tomorrow’s snack.

While saying this, I can’t help but think that it’s a cruel choice for Demon King-sama. But his answer is straightforward.

“I don’t mind. I’ll come over right away.”

After saying that, Demon King-sama abruptly ends the call. It seems he really wanted to eat it.

I return to the kitchen and inform the two of them that Demon King-sama is coming. I also tell Tyran-san that I can give him a little bit of ice cream.

“Is that okay?”

“Yes. I’ll divide it now, so please wait a moment.”

“We must hurry.” 

I divide the ice cream into five equal parts and plate them. The quantity is small.

However, Tyran-san is looking at it with gentle eyes. It’s a different reaction from when I made steamed buns. He seems somehow happy.

Soon, Demon King-sama joins us, and we all move to the next room.

Perhaps because I explained from the beginning that the quantity is small, there is no begging from Demon King-sama.

While just staring at the empty plate, he murmurs, “Tomorrow, there will be more. Lots more,” and laughs softly. As for Tyran-san next to him, he has been sucking on the spoon since he took the last bite, immersed in sentiment.

Migi-san and Hidari-san immediately exchange their impressions and start thinking about what goes well with it. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟗: 𝐀𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐨𝐭 𝐣𝐚𝐦

The next day, I started making snacks a little earlier than usual.

・・・

『”𝔸𝕨𝕖𝕓𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤.𝕔𝕠𝕞” – 𝔻𝕚𝕤𝕔𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕒 𝕔𝕒𝕡𝕥𝕚𝕧𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕝𝕕 𝕠𝕗 𝕝𝕠𝕧𝕖, 𝕡𝕒𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕒𝕕𝕧𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕦𝕣𝕖, 𝕨𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕦𝕝𝕘𝕖 𝕚𝕟 𝕒 𝕔𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕖𝕔𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕣a𝕟𝕤𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕟𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕤 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 “𝕕𝕒𝕚𝕝𝕪 𝕦𝕡𝕕𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕤” 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕖𝕩𝕔𝕝𝕦𝕤𝕚𝕧𝕖 𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕖𝕤𝕤 𝕥𝕠 “𝕒𝕕𝕧𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖𝕕 𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕤”.』

・・・

After seeing their reaction yesterday, I thought I should make more than planned. I decided to prepare three times the amount, thinking that double the amount from yesterday wouldn’t be enough.

I left the fruit sauce to the two of them and cast the strengthening enchantment magic with determination.

I diligently kneaded and finally breathed a sigh of relief when the piled-up ice cream was completed.

However, just like yesterday, most of it was devoured by the two who came to the kitchen. 

Fortunately, Migi-san and Hidari-san’s portions were saved, but there was naturally nothing left for tomorrow.

Demon King-sama left a terrifying mutter, saying, “Tomorrow, there should be even more.” Tyran-san muttered, “Not enough. . .not enough. . .”

After the two left, I gaze into the distance, wondering if I should make a larger quantity tomorrow.

Then, Migi-san and Hidari-san placed their hands on my shoulders.

“Tomorrow, we will help too.”

“Huh?”

“We’re not confident in mixing the ingredients, but we can knead. Let’s do our best together.”

“Migi-san, Hidari-san. . .Thank you.”

Tears welled up at the visit of reinforcements. But I soon learned about their desires.

“Since the workload has decreased, not to a third, but let’s make even more.”

“We want to eat more too.”

“And making jam is quite a task.”

“Oh, right. Jam!”

I completely forgot about it, only thinking about the ice cream. 

It’s not as difficult as making ice cream, but it takes a little time.

As I informed Demon King-sama, apricot jam needs to be left overnight. If I forget, the day when I can eat as much as I forgot will become more distant.

“The apricots have already arrived.”

“May I watch?”

“Of course.”

The two of them head to the pantry and come back each carrying a wooden crate.

“For now, I brought two crates, how much should we use?”

“You can use all of it.”

“Um, then about one kilogram.”

“Is that enough?”

“If you like it, I might make more.”

“I see. Oh, I also brought the jars.”

“Thank you.”

Jam is often made when there is a large amount of bruised fruit to be consumed.

In my previous life, it was when there were irregular products or a large harvest, and seasonal fruits were always on sale, so I always bought a lot.

The jam I made was used for making sweets or given to family and acquaintances.

I used to make apricot jam a lot in the summer. There was a tree at my grandfather’s house, and he sent them to me every year.

When I was a child, I made it with my mother, and even after I started living alone, I made it every year. It brings back memories.

In this world with preservation magic, or rather in the Demon King’s Castle, there is no need to hurry to make it.

It’s better to make a slightly larger amount than what you want to eat when you want to eat it.

While the jars are being sterilized by boiling them in hot water, I ask the two of them to wash the apricots and wipe off the moisture.

I make a cut along the seam of the cleaned apricots and remove the seeds. Then, I cut them in half. 

Half of the weight at this time will be the amount of sugar used this time.

It’s okay to adjust it slightly according to personal preference, but be careful not to make it too sweet based on the weight including the seeds.

I layer the apricots in a pot, sprinkle sugar, and repeat the process.

Leave it as it is until the moisture comes out. About thirty minutes or so. If you’re worried, you can leave it longer.

Once the moisture comes out, heat the pot and bring it to a boil.

Lightly remove the scum that floats to the surface. Then, the two of them who were watching beside me raised their voices, “Um. . .”

“Don’t you remove all the scum? Master taught us to always remove the scum. . .”

“It depends on the ingredients used. Some ingredients may have a bitter taste if you don’t remove it, but sometimes the scum is part of the flavor of the ingredients. Well, some people say that removing it gives a cleaner and safer result, so it’s a matter of preference. I do it moderately.”

“I see.”

“It’s a learning experience.”

After simmering for a while, cover the pot with a cloth and then with a lid.

Leave it in the refrigerator overnight in this state.

In the small refrigerator I used when I lived alone in my previous life, I couldn’t put a pot in it.

So I had to transfer it to a bowl and put it back in the pot in the morning. 

But the large refrigerator in the Demon King’s Castle is spacious, and even a slightly larger pot fits perfectly. It seems like another one could fit.

Not only are the cooking utensils well-equipped, but having space in the refrigerator is very much appreciated. 

When I woke up in the morning, I took out the ingredients from the refrigerator and put them on the fire to simmer. I stop when it becomes slightly thickened.

I scoop a ladleful onto a plate, and transfer the remaining portion into a jar.

After that, I just let it cool slowly. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟎: 𝐀𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜

“It’s done!”

“It looks beautiful.”

“It’s so translucent.”

“Not only does it look good, but it also tastes good. Would you like to have a taste?”

“Is that okay?!”

“Tasting is a privilege of the cook.”

The part I avoided is for tasting.

I scoop it up with a spoon and offer one to each of them.

Both of them gulp and bring the spoon to their mouths.

And they start swaying. It seems the apricot jam turned out well.

“While it cools down, I’m thinking of making ice cream to go with it. Can you help me?”

“Let’s make a lot!”

With that, we start preparing promptly.

In front of me are three small bowls and a set of ingredients and measuring tools. While the two of them make ice, I diligently mix the ingredients together.

I enchant all three wooden spoons and hand them over with the bowls.

After that, the three of us just knead the mixture.

Although the workload is not heavy, it’s a plain task.

Just having someone do it together makes me feel relieved.

“I wish I could use magic other than enchantment, like ice magic.”

“If it’s Dairy-san, I think you’ll be able to use it right away.”

“It would be nice if we could teach magic in return for teaching us cooking, but unfortunately, it’s mostly specialized in cooking. . .”

“I’m sorry for not being able to help.”

I become anxious as they bow their heads. I was just complaining about my own powerlessness.

I quickly wave my hands to dismiss it. 

“No, no. You two always make delicious meals for me!”

“I heard that there are many magic books in the library, so it might be a good idea to go and check it out.”

“We don’t know much, but there’s a demon in there who is knowledgeable about books. If you’re in trouble, you should try asking her.”

“Thank you. I’ll go later.”

“Definitely.”

A demon who is knowledgeable about books, huh? I wonder what kind of person they are.

Come to think of it, it has been over half a month since I came to the Demon King’s Castle, but I have only moved to designated places. I have only interacted with the people I met on the first day.

Although we pass each other in the hallway, we only exchange a brief nod.

When I received the communication device from Demon King-sama, he told me to use it when I get lost.

Even if those words were used as an excuse for snacks, it must be within Demon King’s expectations to explore the Demon King’s Castle.

It’s a good opportunity. While serving the ice cream, I decided to ask Demon King-sama.

If I get permission, I would like to peek into places other than the library. My wish is easily granted.

“The demon in the library? If you’re curious, it’s best to go there directly. That person is usually in the library. Besides, there are many snack books in the library too! It would be good for future reference.” 

This time, snacks come with it, but the information that there are snack books is delightful.

Even though I have a hobby of making sweets, I don’t remember the precise measurements, and there may be ingredients that don’t exist in this world.

On the other hand, there might be new ingredients in this world that I don’t know about.

With different cultures, even the same ingredients can lead to different food cultures. Books are a collection of knowledge. There is a lot to learn besides studying magic. With that in mind, I feel motivated.

・・・

『”𝕬𝖜𝖊𝖇𝖘𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘.𝖈𝖔𝖒” – 𝕯𝖎𝖘𝖈𝖔𝖛𝖊𝖗 𝖆 𝖈𝖆𝖕𝖙𝖎𝖛𝖆𝖙𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖜𝖔𝖗𝖑𝖉 𝖔𝖋 𝖑𝖔𝖛𝖊, 𝖕𝖆𝖘𝖘𝖎𝖔𝖓 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖆𝖉𝖛𝖊𝖓𝖙𝖚𝖗𝖊, 𝖜𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝖞𝖔𝖚 𝖈𝖆𝖓 𝖎𝖓𝖉u𝖑𝖌𝖊 𝖎𝖓 𝖆 𝖈𝖔𝖑𝖑𝖊𝖈𝖙𝖎𝖔𝖓 𝖔𝖋 𝖙𝖗𝖆𝖓𝖘𝖑𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖉 𝖓𝖔𝖛𝖊𝖑𝖘 𝖜𝖎𝖙𝖍 “𝖉𝖆𝖎𝖑𝖞 𝖚𝖕𝖉𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖘” 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖊𝖝𝖈𝖑𝖚𝖘𝖎𝖛𝖊 𝖆𝖈𝖈𝖊𝖘𝖘 𝖙𝖔 “𝖆𝖉𝖛𝖆𝖓𝖈𝖊𝖉 𝖈𝖍𝖆𝖕𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘”.』

・・・

“If it’s about choosing magic books, even I can do it, so feel free to ask me.”

“Tyran-san? Won’t you say that I’m getting in the way if I go?”

I wonder what kind of change of heart it is for someone who has recently started taking snack breaks.

When I give him a suspicious look, Tyran-san furrows his brow.

“It’s a gesture of gratitude for the ice cream! I would do something like that too. . .But yeah, if you’re curious, give me some jam. You have more, right? I’ll eat it with bread.”

“In that case, I’ll bring it to your room later.”

“Ah.”

I see. He seems to have liked not only the ice cream but also the jam.

It must be quite a demand to ask for something in return. It’s a positive progress that he has started thinking about meals on his own.

In Tyran-san’s case, I feel like he would keep eating what he likes, but first, it’s important to get him to eat a proper meal.

As I find his grumpy attitude endearing, Demon King-sama pulls on my sleeve.

“Hey, Dairy. I want to eat it with bread too.” 

“Then, let’s have pancakes for tomorrow’s snack. Let’s put plenty of jam on them and enjoy.”

“Yes!”

I made a promise with Tyran-san to bring the jam bottle and collect the plates. After finishing the dishes, I take the bottle and leave the kitchen. 

Then, Ciel-san was waiting for me.

“I have been instructed to guide you to the library.”

“Thank you. Can I stop by Tyran-san’s room first? I want to deliver this.”

“Of course.”

Ciel-san bows slowly and starts walking.

After delivering the jam to Tyran-san, she heads towards the stairs. It seems that the library is on the upper floor.

Following her brisk steps, we reach a large door at the end of the second floor. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟏: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧

“This is the library. Access to the restricted section is prohibited, so please be careful of that.”

“Thank you.”

“Then, if you’ll excuse me.”

I watch their departing figure and then open the door. It’s much lighter than it looks.

It seems to be enchanted. However, on the inside of the door, there is a sight that is much more astonishing than its weight.

Books everywhere.

It seems to connect to the upper floors as well, and even when I look up, I can’t find the top. It feels like looking up at a skyscraper from the ground.

There are stairs, but most users are flying with their large wings spread out. It would certainly be a challenge to find the desired book while walking.

How many floors does the Demon King’s Castle have?

Lost in thought, I am called out to. It’s a woman’s voice.

“Hello. Are you the snack Saint-san?”

“Snack Saint?”

“The Saint who came in place of the Great Saint to make snacks. Isn’t that you?”

“Yes, that’s me.”

It seems I have another name besides Dairy.

I wonder who gave it to me. Since I confirm it with the person who seems to be the one who gave it, I want to believe that it’s not in a negative sense. It’s a cute name.

But I lack confidence in how I am perceived by people I don’t usually interact with.

After all, I am human. And I hardly have any interaction with others.

Tyran-san is similar, but he has his abilities. Thinking about that, my confidence quickly diminishes. 

It wasn’t something I originally had, but it steadily goes in a negative direction. However, the Demon-san in front of me doesn’t seem to be concerned about it.

With a book held in front of her chest, she smiles as if flowers are blooming.

“As I thought, I’m Orphemia. I have heard about you from Demon King-sama. You want books about snacks and magic, right?”

“So, you’re knowledgeable about books, Demon-san?”

“Yes. I am in charge of managing the library in the Demon King’s Castle. I remember all the books here, and I’m the one who went to the human realm to buy books!”

She then talks about herself in a flowing manner.

It seems she relies on other demons for repairs, but she seems to be like a librarian. She said she was the one who bought the books about snacks. 

However, she doesn’t use the recipes while making them, she just looks at the illustrations. She also mentioned that when she went to the human realm, she often looked at the patisserie shop windows.

She said she has never eaten them, and added with a sad smile. I wonder if there’s some reason behind it.

If it’s because she can’t eat them, I want to bring her the snacks I make for other reasons.

As I think about that, her face comes close to mine.

“By the way, do you like books? You do, right? If you didn’t like them, you wouldn’t come to the library, right?”

“Uh. . .”

“Books are wonderful, aren’t they? Especially novels written by humans. Stories woven in their short lives are so sparkling. I pick up even the small ones I missed and polish them. Every time I reread them, I make new discoveries. I think this is a wonderful thing. Don’t you think so too?”

Pushed by her enthusiasm, I nod. Her pressure is strong, but it’s clear that she loves books.

It seems that demons, like Migi-san and Hidari-san, tend to run straight towards what they like.

Orphemia-san, satisfied with my reaction, smiles and returns to her original position.

“I understand now, about you.”

“Huh?”

“I’ll bring you some books now, so wait here.”

With just that, she flew away lightly. I’m grateful because I didn’t know what kind of magic books to choose. She flies around the countless bookshelves, carrying books.

She’s like a fairy of the library. I can’t help but be enchanted by the fantastical sight.

As I stand absentmindedly, it seems that a new visitor has come to the library. I quickly move aside so as not to be in the way.

The person glances at me and mutters, “Human? Ah, the snack Saint,” and quickly goes inside. 

It seems that the name has spread more than I thought.

As I gaze at the surrounding bookshelves, she returns with several books in her arms. 

“Sorry to keep you waiting. Here, this is for you. The snack book is my recommendation, and I tried to choose a magic book that matches your level. But if it doesn’t suit you or if it’s different from what you hoped for, feel free to let me know.”

“Thank you very much.”

The books handed to me are quite a number. About half of them are snack books, and the other half are magic books.

It would have been quite difficult to choose this many on my own.

By the way, I never even mentioned that I wanted to learn about life(household) magic. How did she know?

While holding onto that question, I thanked her, and she smiled slyly. I instinctively braced myself for what might be behind that smile. 

・・・

『”ᴀᴡᴇʙsᴛᴏʀɪᴇs.ᴄᴏᴍ” – ᴅɪsᴄᴏᴠᴇʀ ᴀ ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠᴀᴛɪɴɢ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ᴏғ ʟᴏᴠᴇ, ᴘᴀssɪᴏɴ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴅᴠᴇɴᴛᴜʀᴇ, ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ɪɴᴅᴜʟɢᴇ ɪɴ ᴀ ᴄᴏʟʟᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ᴏғ ᴛʀᴀɴsʟᴀᴛᴇᴅ ɴoᴠᴇʟs ᴡɪᴛʜ “ᴅᴀɪʟʏ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇs” ᴀɴᴅ ᴇxᴄʟᴜsɪᴠᴇ ᴀᴄᴄᴇss ᴛᴏ “ᴀᴅᴠᴀɴᴄᴇᴅ ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟐: 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝. . .

However, her request was surprisingly simple.

“I will continue to find the books you desire. So, when you make a sparkling snack, give me some too.”

“Sparkling, you say?”

“Yes, sparkling. I’ll be waiting.”

After saying that, Orphemia-san returned to the depths of the library.

I let out a sigh of relief that I wasn’t asked for something strange.

But what exactly is a “sparkling snack”?

Hmm, while pondering, I head towards my room. If it’s something like what is displayed in a shop window, I would say it straightforwardly, or maybe something that would look good on social media, like macarons.

Or perhaps something like jelly or candy that sparkles when the light reflects on it.

If it’s macarons, I can make them since I have plenty of egg whites. Even though magic can preserve them, it’s better to use them quickly.

I was planning to make financiers to use up the egg whites, but macarons are cuter.

I don’t have food coloring, but I have plenty of fruits. I should be able to use them for coloring.

If I want to make macarons, I need to start the process in the morning because the dough needs time to dry.

During dinner, I will consult with Migi-san and Hidari-san and if it seems feasible, I will bring them as a thank-you for the books tomorrow.

With that decision, I decided to briefly skim through the magic books that were brought to me until dinner.

As I flip through the pages, I let out a strange sound. 

It feels like I’m reading a math workbook, and a slightly higher level than my own abilities. 

Orphemia-san chose magic books that seem difficult, but it’s not like I have no idea what they are talking about or what they are trying to do. 

She chose books that I can read and understand with my knowledge.

In that short amount of time, she accurately assessed my knowledge and skill level.

Both in terms of genre and level, it’s so accurate that it takes my breath away. Truly a demon who is knowledgeable about books.

For the times when I rely on her again, bringing a sparkling snack is essential.

During dinner, I will bring the recommended snack book from her and head to the kitchen.

Since then, studying has become part of my daily routine.

Of course, I continue to make snacks, and discussions about cooking with Migi-san and Hidari-san continue as usual.

But I also bring books for consultation on pastry making, and I study magic before breakfast and after dinner.

I slowly make progress while struggling with difficult books.

Orphemia-san seems to have taken a liking to macarons, and she continues to recommend various books to me.

I started going to the library frequently. In my fulfilling days, I had forgotten something important.

“This is your salary. And you can use this too.”

“Thank you. But why a letter set?”

Along with the heavy leather bag, I was given a letter set tied with a string.

It’s not decorative and is very simple. I can understand if it’s Tyran-san’s personal belongings.

But why did he bring something like this, not a request form for snacks? 

I stare down, unable to understand his intentions. Then, a deep sigh is released in front of me.

“You haven’t contacted anyone since you came here, have you?”

“Well. . .”

“I don’t have the intention to delve deep into it. But if there’s someone important, make sure to contact them properly. There’s a saying that goes, ‘No news is good news,’ but I dislike that phrase. I don’t know if they’re safe or not. It’s a phrase used by people who want to convince themselves, and it’s not an excuse for the side that doesn’t make contact.”

The words spoken calmly and matter-of-factly pierce my heart more than a sigh.

Tyran-san noticed that I have been postponing contacting someone.

It’s probably not about what happened yesterday or today.

Even so, he waited for me and finally couldn’t bear it anymore, so he brought a letter set.

It may be a little hard to understand, but Tyran-san is a kind person.

Despite claiming to be busy, he occasionally comes to check on Demon King-sama, and since receiving sherbet from him, he started telling Migi-san and Hidari-san his thoughts on the meals.

He may have a sharp tongue, but that’s all.

I also noticed that he has been watching me with a worried look from afar since I started going to the library.

His initial attitude was probably just caution towards me.

Now, some of that caution has eased, and he acknowledges me, which is why he worries.

Because I can see that his actions come from goodwill, I can’t ignore the letter set.

Instead of saying that I feel heavy-hearted, I should just write the letter.

Even though I don’t want to worry him, a long, heavy sigh is about to escape. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟑: 𝐅𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐒𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐒𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭

He must have sensed that. Tyran-san scratches his head in a troubled manner.

“As a substitute for Granny, I don’t want you to reveal the location or write your name on the envelope. Just make sure to let them know that you’re safe. I understand the desire to focus on studying, but if it’s studying, I can occasionally help. So, make sure to set aside time to write letters.”

There is a strange sense of reality in his words.

It’s as if he is the one waiting for a letter.

With a blink of my eyes, he mutters complaints.

“Granny is granny. Even though she told me to send her a list of what I ate every day, she didn’t have to send it to me more than once. Think about your own age! You’d start worrying if I told you I might be getting sick.”

Although he complains, it’s not directed at me, but towards someone important who is not here.

For Tyran-san, Olivier-sama must be as important as a master.

When I directly hear the feelings of someone waiting, the memory of “waiting” that was dormant within me revives.

At that time, there was a newspaper. But I still worried and worried.

Ah, I see. I finally realized that I am now making my family feel the same way.

“I’ll give it to them tomorrow when I go to the human realm. Make sure to write it properly.”

“. . .Thank you.”

“Yeah. I’ll help you with your studies, so summarize the parts you don’t understand.”

Alone in the room, I brace myself and spread out the stationery. 

I can’t say that I’m in the Demon Realm. I can’t even mention Olivier-sama’s name. I don’t want to talk about Jude either. There are so many things I can’t write, but there are things I can write.

Living in the Demon King’s Castle suits me very well, and the people around me treat me kindly.

If I hide words related to the Demon Realm and demons, I might be able to reassure my family. 

Now, all I have left is to rely on my writing skills. I take a deep breath and hold the pen.

[𝘐’𝘮 𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦. 𝘚𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘨𝘰, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘈𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘚𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦. 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘐’𝘮 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯. 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯 𝘶𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘳 𝘦𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘐’𝘮 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘺 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺. 𝘐𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘐’𝘮 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭. 𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘺. 𝘛𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴.]

I think and think. This is all I could come up with.

It’s the shortest letter I’ve written since leaving the village. But this is all I can talk about now.

Not only on the outside of the forbidden envelope but also on the stationery, I stopped writing my own name.

If I mention Maylene’s name, I might be dragged into a dark mood again.

Instead, I decided to write “[Snack-Saint]” on the envelope, imitating Olivier-sama’s letter. 

Before the urge to rewrite takes over, I quickly seal the letter and decide to hand it to Tyran-san.

I take out money from the bag I just received and give it to him for postage.

There is no better use for the first salary I received at the Demon King’s Castle. At first, he refused, but when he realized I wouldn’t back down, Tyran-san reluctantly accepted it.

The next morning, when I woke up, Tyran-san was nowhere to be seen.

According to Migi-san and Hidari-san, he left before the sun rose. It seems that time is quite important for this plant collection mission.

In the note he entrusted to me, it was written, “Save the snacks for when I come back.” And to be looking forward to the souvenir.

I’ll keep it a secret that I thought he looked like an Otou-san going on a business trip.

That day, Demon King-sama and I spent the whole day speculating about the souvenir. When Tyran-san returned home in the evening, he brought back the souvenir as written in the note.

“I’m back. This is the proof of receiving the letter, and this is something that looked delicious, so I bought it. Let’s chill it and have it as a snack.”

It’s a basket full of peaches.

They’re still a bit firm, so they’ll be ready to eat in about two days. It’s also good to cook and eat them.

“Wow, these peaches are amazing! They’re delicious as sherbet, jam, cake, jelly. Peach frozen drinks are also delicious, right?!”

As I list the things that come to mind, Tyran-san’s expression gradually darkens. I wonder if he had such a strong attachment to fresh produce. 

“Oh, of course, it’s delicious to eat them raw too, right?”

I quickly try to cover up, but it seems that wasn’t the case.

“I should have bought more. I hope they’ll still be available next month. . .”

I ponder while holding my head, thinking about snacks. . .

Until recently, work took priority over meals, so this is a delightful change.

“You can make delicious things with different fruits too.”

“That’s not something you say after lining up delicious-looking things. My stomach is already craving peach snacks! This is not something that can be replaced with other fruits.”

Unable to contain my laughter at Tyran-san’s strong retort.

Laughing while holding my stomach only worsens Tyran-san’s mood. But I can’t stop laughing.

The laughter echoes through the hallway, and Migi-san and Hidari-san come out of the kitchen wondering what’s going on.

Once I explain the situation to them, they start spinning around happily. It seems they are pleased.

This only worsens Tyran-san’s mood even more.

But the two of them didn’t just stop at being happy.

“In that case, shall we buy more tomorrow?”

“Is that okay?!”

“Yes. Please tell us the location.”

“We’ll draw a map and bring it later!” 

“Tomorrow is shopping day.”

Watching them return to the kitchen, Tyran-san sees them off and murmurs happily, “Now I can eat everything.”

It’s just like the old Demon King-sama. It seems his love for snacks has been passed on.

It looks like we’ll have peach snacks for a while. Of course, I’ll ask Demon King-sama as well and make adjustments if necessary.

If they bring more, it might be a good idea to make peach jam too. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟒: 𝐓𝐲𝐫𝐚𝐧-𝐬𝐚𝐧’𝐬 𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞

“And then, this is for Dairy.”

What was handed to me was a notebook and a pen. Did he buy them for studying?

When I returned to the room to pay, he refused to accept it.

“I don’t need it. Instead, I suppose you’ve summarized the parts you don’t understand? Open the notebook, I’ll explain.”

“Y-Yes!”

Hastily, I open the grimoire and show him the parts where I stumble. From there, Tyran-san’s lecture begins.

Only for this day.

Thinking so, I have compiled and summarized the parts I don’t understand, the parts that bother me a little, and the parts that I’m curious about.

He gives advice and hints for each of them.

Not the answers. He opens the path for me to reach them first.

His way of teaching is skillful, as if untangling a tangled string.

The last time I was taught magic was when Olivier-sama taught me when I first entered the church.

At that time, it was more about pounding the senses into my body rather than reading books and learning theories.

That’s because bestowal magic is relatively easy among magic, and it seems that it’s faster to grasp the senses.

The other Apprentice Saints were able to use it right away. But it took me a little longer. It was because I had a lot of magical power and needed to grasp the knack of output adjustment.

Thanks to being taught thoroughly at the beginning, I became able to bestow magic smoothly once I remembered it.

Magic, like studying, grows rapidly once you grasp the knack. 

Even if you just look at the answers to take an easy way out, you end up not learning and stumbling in the same place again. 

Tyran-san not only deals with the present but also looks ahead.

While dyeing the newly received notebook with ink, I write down the advice he gave me and also note down the parts where I made mistakes or had misunderstandings.

It is important to write down why I made mistakes and why I solved them. It allows me to notice when I make the same mistake again. By leaving markers, I can also grasp how many times I stumbled there.

In studying, what matters is not avoiding mistakes, but how quickly you can deal with them when you make a mistake. It’s certainly better to clear it in one shot, but making mistakes repeatedly also becomes a strength.

These are the words of my math teacher in high school.

I didn’t think it would be useful even after being reincarnated, but thanks to these words, I have become less afraid of making mistakes in my studies.

I don’t like making mistakes in life, which is always a one-shot deal, but in studying, I can redo it as many times as I want. So now, I just focus on learning and improving my abilities.

“That’s unexpected.”

“What do you mean?”

“I didn’t expect you to take it so seriously.”

“Well, it’s a rare opportunity, so I thought I should ask about the things I’m curious about now!”

“. . .You can come and ask if you’re curious tomorrow or the day after, you know.”

“But I only presented it as a condition for writing a letter. . .”

“It’s not a burden to teach you magic or anything.”

His voice sounds somewhat prickly.

Did I say something that made him unhappy? But I’m really grateful that he will continue to teach me.

When I express my gratitude sincerely, he turns his head away with a huff. Maybe it’s just embarrassing. 

“By the way, is there no more jam?”

“Huh? Didn’t I give you an additional supply the other day? Have you already finished it?”

“That small jar runs out quickly.”

Indeed, it’s not a large jar, but it’s a size commonly seen in supermarkets in my previous life. I’ve already given him three of them, so it’s not like they’re exceptionally small.

I had planned to make jam with the peaches he bought, but it seems too early to want more.

Tyran-san, who recalls how delicious it was, relaxes his cheeks. Something seems off.

Come to think of it, when Tyran-san served ice cream, he put a considerable amount of jam on it, didn’t he?

He would finish as much sherbet or ice cream as he served.

“Tyran-san, you’re not putting the jam spoon directly into your mouth, are you? And when you spread it on bread, you pile it up without spreading it out.”

“Isn’t it more efficient to put the jam in your mouth first and then eat the bread?”

Tyran-san answers as if it’s obvious, giving me a headache.

It’s understandable that it would quickly disappear if he directly eats it. It’s somewhat better that he’s eating it with bread.

I also have responsibility for giving him jam as he desired.

But if things continue like this, Tyran-san seems to deviate from good health in a different sense than before.

“Jam is a combination of fructose and sugar! You’re taking in too much sugar since you’re also eating snacks. If you prioritize efficiency, please let me know so I can spread it in the kitchen before bringing it to you.”

“If you do that, Dairy will spread it thinly. . .”

“I’ll spread a normal amount.”

“It’s definitely less than half.”

Less than half. . .I wonder how much he’s actually spreading now. Just imagining a heap of jam on top of the bread gives me chills.

“Anyway, from now on, I’ll put a fixed amount on a plate every day. If you prefer it spread on bread, please let me know.”

“You’re talking like Granny. . .”

He grumbles, but I know that he holds Olivier-sama dear, so I’m not bothered at all.

In fact, the fact that he used that analogy means that he has somewhat opened up to me.

“Is that okay?”

With a bit of insistence, he reluctantly nods. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟓: 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠’𝐬 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐞

From that day on, whenever I had something I didn’t understand, I started going to Tyran-san to ask.

With a magic book, notebook, and pen in hand, I knock on the door of his room.

Sometimes he invites me in, or we move to the dining hall. There were times when he asked me to come back later when he was busy, but he always kindly teaches me every time.

While occasionally taking snack requests, I clear up each question one by one. I feel the sense of growth, little by little, every day.

In just a few months, I have learned some basic life(household) magic.

I asked Ciel-san to show me cleaning and laundry, and I gained practical experience. I can now create small ice with ice magic.

As my abilities increase, I also become aware of the differences between me and others.

However, because I know that they respect me, I don’t feel inferior. I can learn magic freely in such a wonderful environment.

Of course, I don’t neglect making snacks either.

Right now, I am like a dry sponge, absorbing a large amount of knowledge. The more I absorb, the more I crave for more.

And also, interacting with people.

“Dairy is the type who grows by interacting with others and experiencing new things. If you walk around outside the Demon King’s Castle and talk to people you meet, you should make new discoveries.”

Encouraged by the words Tyran-san said to me a little while after I started studying, I tried reaching out to people I hadn’t interacted with before.

It only took courage to take that first step. 

Although they were hesitant because I was a human guest, they seemed interested. The conversation went better than I expected.

It might be more accurate to say that they were interested in humans rather than me personally.

Interacting with them is like cross-cultural exchange. Even in small things like laundry and cleaning, there are differences.

For example, in the Demon Realm, magic is used for laundry and cleaning. But in the human realm, only a very small number of people can use magic, so it is mainly done manually.

Just talking about it would gather several demons who wanted to know more.

Some demons even went out of their way to go to the human realm and buy mops and brooms, saying they wanted to clean together! If I cleaned the hallway, even more people would gather.

They happily took cleaning sets to their rooms, saying, “Doing it by hand is troublesome, but it’s fresh and fun!”

When I was in the village, I thought we would never understand each other, but once I started talking, we could easily become friends. There may be differences in thinking, but that’s the same among humans.

If you try to understand, you can get along even if you are different races.

I learned in these few months that it is important to take action.

But what I gained in these few months is not just that.

Tyran-san’s presence has gradually become more significant to me. He was the one who encouraged me to write letters to my family and gave me the opportunity to interact with other demons.

It was because I wanted to hear him call my name that I thought, “Let’s do our best at the Demon King’s Castle!” Now, my main focus is on interacting, studying, and making snacks, but he is still there.

Since we are the only humans in the Demon King’s Castle, I feel that we have become closer to each other.

I’m not sure if it’s a good trend or if it’s heading in a bad direction.

But when I stumble in my studies, I rely on Tyran-san, and the frequency of asking for snack requests naturally increases.

Even now, in preparation for the question time he will give me tomorrow night, I am summarizing the things I don’t understand in my notebook.

“If things continue like this, will I no longer be Dairy within two years?”

I muttered to myself, and I had become accustomed to the name he gave me to the point that I found it lonely to think about losing it.

I shake off the dark thoughts and refocus on my notebook.

“By the way, there are a lot of things I want to ask this time. . .I’m starting to understand quite a bit, but it’s tough when it comes to applying it.”

Muttering to myself, I continue to summarize.

Then, I hear a light knock on the door.

As I stand up, the same sound echoes again. And then, a cute voice says, “Dairy-chan.”

“Meti-chan, I’m coming now, so please wait.”

“Yes.”

Meti-chan, also known as Metitour-chan, is a girl of about three years old.

It’s just an appearance, and I don’t know her actual age. She can have proper conversations and even helps her Ojii-san. We made a promise to plant flowers together.

She must have come to call me because she was ready. I quickly grab my bag from the edge of the desk and head towards the door.

“I’m sorry for making you wait.”

“No, it’s okay. Let’s go.”

I hold Meti-chan’s outstretched hand and head towards the backyard.

This is my second time going to the backyard. Meti-chan guided me here before as well.

I met her when I was doing laundry at the water source. She suddenly appeared while I was being taught fine adjustments of magic by Ciel-san.

It seems she was washing tools together with the gardener, Gweil-san, nearby. She approached me with great curiosity as someone she had never seen before.

From there, we became friends, and she showed me the flower bed that she takes care of with Gweil-san as an assistant. We even cleaned the windows together with a cloth in hand.

“Ojii-chan has been looking forward to today because Dairy-chan is helping. He’s been excited since morning.”

“I’ll do my best to be of help!”

Meti-chan also calls me Dairy. It’s probably because the adults around us call me that.

When I’m called with “-chan,” it feels like such a cute name, it’s a strange thing. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟔: 𝐌𝐞𝐭𝐢 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐆𝐰𝐞𝐢𝐥

“No, that’s not it. I’m curious about Dairy-chan’s flowers too. I’m looking forward to it.”

“My flowers?”

“The flowers we plant today will be completely different depending on who plants them.”

While our hands are connected and swaying, Meti-chan tells me about her flowers.

It seems her flowers are like soap bubbles.

After planting them for a while, a transparent and sparkling ball the size of a child’s hands was formed. A few days later, small buds gradually appeared inside, and in the end, a flower garden bloomed inside the soap bubble. She proudly told me about it.

It must be like a flower balloon.

In my previous life, I often received them as gifts for celebrations, and I remember seeing them at my senior’s wedding. I decided to have them at my own wedding. . .and I remember unnecessary things, causing a slight pain in my heart.

“If the same flower blooms again, I’ll give it to Dairy-chan.”

Meti-chan’s pure smile purifies those feelings as well. Indeed, children are wonderful. With no ulterior motives, we can interact with them with pure feelings.

Demon King-sama is adorable too, but there is a different kind of cuteness between boys and girls. As I watch these children figure, my longing for a child and envy for a younger sister gradually ease.

Of course, that doesn’t mean my desire for a child has disappeared.

But I don’t feel unhappy because I don’t have children. This place makes me forget such feelings of inferiority.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Even if it’s similar to a flower balloon, flowers won’t grow inside a balloon. 

Moreover, it’s impossible to have a flower garden. It’s a feat that can only be accomplished because the flowers are alive and because it’s the Demon Realm where they grow.

“Yeah! But I want to see different flowers too.”

“Don’t you always get the same flower?”

“Ojii-chan said that sometimes the same flower blooms, and sometimes different flowers bloom. That’s why I’m excited.”

“I see. It’s exciting.”

With a sense of excitement, Meti-chan starts shaking her hands vigorously, and we go out to the garden together. There, Gweil-san is preparing, surrounded by a large number of planters.

“Good evening.”

“I’m sorry for asking you to help, Miss.”

“No, I was curious about what kind of flowers they are too. Is this the famous flower?”

Today, I am helping with the replanting of a certain special flower.

It seems that they are grown without exposing them to moonlight for a while after planting the seeds, and when they grow to a certain size, they are replanted. Moreover, it is clearly determined that the day of replanting is twenty days after planting the seeds, under the moonlight. It is a very sensitive flower that will wither if more than twenty days pass.

Because the conditions for blooming are strict, there are almost no naturally growing flowers, and the seeds are also very precious. Tyran-san brought them here.

He apparently found them while adventuring before and presented them to Demon King-sama as a sign of getting closer.

Not only do they bloom into beautiful flowers, but the seeds also become a universal medicine. Demon King-sama said, “I’m not interested, so you can have it,” and gave it to Gweil-san.

It’s very much like Demon King-sama. 

However, Gweil-san, who received the flowers given by Demon King-sama, is burning with the desire to make them bloom!

The contents of the planters are the same flowers, but Gweil-san is so determined that they must not be exposed to moonlight even for a moment, so they are being grown in multiple locations.

However, as a result of being too determined, the quantity has become too much, and it became doubtful whether the replanting would be completed overnight. When Gweil-san was at a loss due to this paradoxical situation, I happened to pass by and offered to help.

Perhaps because Gweil-san looks similar to my father, every time we meet, he worries about whether I’m sleeping well and eating properly. If I’m struggling with what to write in a letter to my family, he’s always there to offer advice.

Previously, Meti-chan guided me to this place because Gweil-san advised that if I couldn’t write words, I could draw pictures.

Although the flowers of the Demon Realm are different from those in the human realm, my family probably won’t notice. The picture I completed after half a day of drawing received praise from Gweil-san and Meti-chan.

Thanks to them, I learned that I can convey that I am having a good time even without words.

So, I had been thinking about how I could repay them. For me, the replanting was just the right opportunity.

However, even though I had heard that there were a large quantity, it is much more than I imagined. If Meti-chan and I were to work on this, it would indeed be a headache-inducing amount. 

It’s just barely enough for the three of us.

It was good that Ciel-san prepared towels for us.

“Oh, by the way, I’m going to cast healing and strengthening spells on this now, so feel free to use it if you’d like. It should make you a little less tired.”

I cast the magic and hand it to the two of them.

Anticipating that they might wear it around their necks, I had Meti-chan’s prepared a slightly shorter one. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟕: 𝐈 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞

“Sorry. The tea is there, so feel free to drink it whenever you want.”

“Thank you.”

“Yay, it’s Dairy-chan’s magic~.”

Meti-chan happily hangs a towel around her neck.

It feels like I’ve cast an amazing spell.

In reality, it’s just a simple magic that anyone with magical power can use once they grasp the technique.

While receiving guidance from Gweil-san, we transfer the flowers from the planter. Meti-chan is used to it and efficiently finishes the replanting.

Since I came to help, I must contribute to the effort.

I follow their lead and continue working. 

Then, a familiar voice asks from above my head, “Ah, are those Magic Fortune Flowers?” I don’t need to turn around to know. It’s Tyran-san.

“Didn’t you say you were planning to stay indoors all day?”

“I finished a little while ago and just brought down the dishes. Then the cook told me that Dairy is planting flowers, so I came to see.”

Tyran-san, who answers with a big yawn, seems a bit tired. Perhaps he wanted a change of pace. He doesn’t immediately leave, even though he scratches his head. 

Gweil-san doesn’t miss him staring at the planters.

“Wizard, if you’re free, could you help?”

“I’ve been indoors since morning, and I just finished my work a while ago.”

“Even so, you came all the way here. You have time, right?” 

There, Gweil-san hands him a shovel. It seems that in his mind, Tyran-san helping is already decided. I can sense a familiarity between the two.

“I was planning to go back to my room and sleep. . .well, it can be good exercise. If I help, can you give me some flower petals when they bloom? And there are a few types of grass I want to ask for. I’ll give you a note later.”

“Understood. Are you going to use the flowers as ingredients for medicine?”

“No, I’m planning to use them for creating support items when casting large-scale magic.”

“I don’t really understand human thinking, but I’ll let you know when they bloom.”

“I’m counting on you.”

When you hear the term “support item,” the first thing that comes to mind is a crystal. It was the case for the Saints in the church and also for Olivier-sama. 

However, as I studied and advanced in my studies of grimoires, I learned that other items can also serve as conduits.

Among the many support items, crystals are widely used because they are easy to find one that suits oneself.

But it’s news to me that you can make them yourself. Well, if there are magical tools, then it’s not impossible to make them yourself, right? Even from such a trivial conversation, there are new discoveries.

Next time I go to the library, I’ll borrow books about magical tools as well.

While I’m making plans, Tyran-san starts moving forward with a shovel in hand. Then, he squats down in the space where the planter is placed and begins repotting.

“Tyran-san, you’re used to this, aren’t you?” 

“In the past, my master told me to grow the herbs I use myself. Along the way, I was also given flower and vegetable seedlings, so I grew various things. Is this your first time, Dairy?”

“I’ve grown vegetables in my hometown, so it’s not completely my first time, but I’m not used to it.”

“I see.”

The conversation pauses, and from there, we silently continue replanting the remaining flowers.

With the increase in manpower from three to four, we successfully finish the replanting before sunrise.

Sitting down on the sheet, I drink the tea that has been cooled by magic. After taking a short break, I plan to plant the aforementioned flowers.

Since we’re at it, Tyran-san also decides to plant them, and Gweil-san goes to get additional bulbs.

At that time, Migi-san and Hidari-san must have come to the kitchen, as they bring us orange sherbet. We enjoy the sherbet given by the three of them while having a lively conversation.

“By the way, Meti’s goal is to become friends with Cerberus-chan.”

“The Cerberus is here?”

I knew that there were demon beasts in the Demon King’s Castle because I had briefly talked to the child who takes care of them during cleaning.

But I never imagined that The Cerberus would be here. . .It’s so demonic. I imagine a gigantic dog standing in front of a gate as big as the library door. 

In previous lives, The Cerberus was considered a fantasy creature, but the common feature in many works was having three heads. However, other aspects such as the breed of dog or the shape of the tail varied.

I imagine what breed of dog this Cerberus resembles.

No matter what it looks like, as a dog lover, I definitely want to meet it.

“Yeah! It’s fluffy and cute. But it doesn’t come near me at all. . .”

“Is that so? Stop it, your hand will be bitten off in no time.”

“Ojii-chan says the same thing. . .”

“Well, that’s because it’s not just you that it doesn’t come near. Especially now, it doesn’t have its master and it’s on edge. If you don’t want to get hurt, stop.”

“Mmm.”

“Don’t sulk. If you want to meet it, at least wait until you grow a little bigger. Until then, listen to what the gardener grandpa says and be a good child.”

Tyran-san calmly advises Meti-chan, who puffs up her cheeks.

But it doesn’t end there. He solidifies the sherbet liquid and adds more sherbet to Meti-chan’s plate, saying, “Eat this too.”

With that, her attention completely shifts from Cerberus to the sherbet, and her mood improves.

“It’s delicious!”

“If you eat too quickly, you’ll get a stomachache.”

“It’s okay, Meti is strong. I’ll make some for Dairy-chan too.”

“Thank you.”

I gently stroke Meti-chan’s head, she loosens her cheeks with a smile.

“Oh, you did a good job. Make some for me too.”

“Sure!” 

In a cheerful mood, Meti-chan freezes Tyran-san’s portion as well and receives a small candy as thanks. It’s a candy with a striped wrapping paper that is unfamiliar in the Demon King’s Castle.

Did he buy it when he went to the human realm? Tyran-san, who noticed my gaze, smiles.

“I’ll give one to Dairy after tonight’s study session.”

“Dairy-chan, are you studying?”

“Yes. I’m not good at magic yet, so I’m learning from Tyran-san about the parts I don’t understand.”

“Is it tough?”

“It’s tough, but there are also lots of fun things.”

“I see!”

Tyran-san sips his tea while gently stroking Meti-chan’s head, who giggles.

I thought that I could no longer have this slowly flowing time of happiness.

I suppress my eyes welling up with warmth, Meti-chan comes trotting over.

“Good girl, good girl.”

She repeats that while stroking my head. She doesn’t know what happened to me, not even the origin of Dairy.

But it seems like she intuitively understood something. She is a kind child.

When I embrace her head and say “Thank you,” she smiles with a relieved expression. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟖: 𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲-𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐞𝐭

“Hey, I brought the bulbs.”

Tyran-san stands up at Gweil-san’s call and reaches out towards me.

“Let’s go.”

Relying on his hand, I stand up and hold hands with Meti-chan as we walk towards Gweil-san.

The appearance of the bulbs brought is no different from those in the human realm. Although I am not knowledgeable about flowers, I would easily believe it if someone told me they were tulip bulbs.

However, their appearance may be the same, but the procedure for planting them is completely different.

“Dairy-chan, watch closely.”

Meti-chan receives the smallest bulb and holds it in both hands. She then brings her hands to her mouth and blows gently through the gaps between her fingers.

“Sending magic into it, huh. I see, it’s a flower from the Demon Realm.”

Tyran-san murmurs so and receives two bulbs from Gweil-san.

“Here, Dairy too.”

“Thank you.”

Following Meti-chan’s example, I blow into the bulb. However, there is no change in the bulb. I’m not sure if I managed to send magic into it, but I plant it in a larger planter.

Taking care of the flowers until they bloom seems to be a bit special, but Gweil-san and Meti-chan will take care of it.

“Let’s look forward to what kind of flowers will bloom! I’ll let you know when they bloom!”

Waving their hands, they see us off. Leaving the cleanup to them, we head to the kitchen to bring down the dishes.

・・・

『”ᴀᴡᴇʙsᴛᴏʀɪᴇs.ᴄᴏᴍ” – ᴅɪsᴄoᴠᴇʀ ᴀ ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠᴀᴛɪɴɢ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ᴏғ ʟᴏᴠᴇ, ᴘᴀssɪᴏɴ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴅᴠᴇɴᴛᴜʀᴇ, ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ɪɴᴅᴜʟɢᴇ ɪɴ ᴀ ᴄᴏʟʟᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ᴏғ ᴛʀᴀɴsʟᴀᴛᴇᴅ ɴᴏᴠᴇʟs ᴡɪᴛʜ “ᴅᴀɪʟʏ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇs” ᴀɴᴅ ᴇxᴄʟᴜsɪᴠᴇ ᴀᴄᴄᴇss ᴛᴏ “ᴀᴅᴠᴀɴᴄᴇᴅ ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs”.』

・・・

“Is the Cerberus on your mind too, Dairy?”

“Huh?”

“You seemed concerned earlier. If it’s okay with me, shall we go in the evening?”

“Is that alright?!” 

“Yeah. But bring some food just in case you get attacked. If it gets dangerous, call out to me. It’s better to have something you can throw quickly.”

“Is it really that dangerous?”

“Well, if it comes to it, I’ll manage with magic. That’s why I’m accompanying you. So make something for me too.”

Tyran-san points to [that], which is a towel. But I don’t have the skill to make a towel. This was prepared for me by Ciel-san.

“In that case, let’s call Ciel-san. . .”

“I have a towel. What I want is the enchantment magic.”

“But this towel only has healing and strengthening enchantments, right? And if it’s magic, Tyran-san is better at it. . .”

“Yours is the most effective.”

“I-I see. . .”

It’s embarrassing to think that I have been acknowledged.

Unlike me, blushing, Tyran-san maintains a serious expression. There is a hint of tiredness on his face, though.

After all, he must be quite tired from working in seclusion and then repotting. Without delving too deep, I nodded in agreement.

I stopped by the kitchen and ordered a simple meal.

Tyran-san only took the drink. He said he would sleep like this and have the meal when he wakes up.

While he was having breakfast prepared for him, I headed to Tyran-san’s room and cast a spell on the blanket.

It was Tyran-san’s request to use a blanket instead of a towel. He came all the way to the front of the room and then decided to bring it here. He was delighted that he could now sleep soundly.

Who would have thought that the enchantment spell had such power. . .

After parting with Tyran-san, I return to the kitchen and eat the onion soup and omelet that they had prepared for me. I have two slices of bread, which I spread jam on and eat.

Once I feel full, a gentle yawn escapes me.

Taking advantage of the kindness of the two, I entrust them with the dishes and return to my room to take a shower.

While struggling to keep my eyelids from closing, I cast a magic spell on my own blanket. Finally, I get into bed.

As I immediately feel the initial effects, I slowly sink into sleep.

“Ahh, I slept well.”

I sit up, savoring a big yawn.

Not only compared to the night before, but even compared to two nights ago, my body feels refreshed. Is this the true effect of the magic spell? I should have tried it earlier.

Looking at the clock, it’s already past noon.

It seems like I slept deeply more than I thought. I’m relieved that there is still enough time to prepare the snack. I wash my face, change clothes, and head to the kitchen. After having a late lunch, I start making the snack.

Today’s snack is steamed egg bread.

Since I had heard beforehand that Tyran-san would be staying in his room, I had asked for his preferences to prepare something he likes after work. 

He also requested some to be brought to his room, so I had planned to make a larger quantity from the beginning. Additionally, I need to set aside some for The Cerberus. After considering various things, I decided to make twice the amount as last time. 

When I headed towards the king’s chamber, Tyran-san was there. It seems he had informed Demon King-sama about The Cerberus that we were going to meet. 

“If anything happens, don’t hesitate to call for me.”

Demon King-sama said so and took out the communication device.

When I received it, I felt overwhelmed by such an expensive item. . .but now, I am very grateful for it. Once you get used to it, you can’t go back to the time when you didn’t have it. It’s just like a smartphone.

“It should be fine since I’m with you.”

“That’s true.”

Demon King-sama nodded in agreement with Tyran-san’s words and put the device back into its dedicated bag. 

・・・

『”𝙰𝚠𝚎𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜.𝚌𝚘𝚖” – 𝙳𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚘v𝚎𝚛 𝚊 𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚒v𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚕𝚘v𝚎, 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚍v𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎, 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚕𝚐𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚘v𝚎𝚕s 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 “𝚍𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚙𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜” 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚒v𝚎 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚝𝚘 “𝚊𝚍v𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟗: 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠’𝐬 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐞’𝐬 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐝𝐨𝐠 𝐂𝐞𝐫𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐮𝐬

I have obtained permission to go meet The Cerberus safely.

After Demon King-sama’s snack time, we head towards the gate where The Cerberus is said to be.

Tyran-san decides not to eat here and wait until we arrive there to eat leisurely.

The snacks for him and me are packed in a paper bag along with the steamed buns prepared to throw to The Cerberus in case of emergency, and we leave the king’s chamber.

It’s my first time going near the gate. Although I have been living here for a few months, I have never gone towards the entrance area, only to the inside and the back garden of the Demon King’s Castle.

Perhaps to guard against external intruders, important places like living spaces are not located in that direction. It seems that they are maintained to some extent, but most of them are not used.

I have heard stories, but the rooms and decorations in the entrance area are quite flashy. Sometimes there are incomprehensible magical tools placed, or giant pots. There are even rooms filled with inexplicable books.

All of these are the result of incorporating what humans would consider as “Demon King’s Castle-like” elements. If it were before I got to know the people inside, I might have been frightened by these things.

But now, I can enjoy this inexplicability. As I look around curiously, Tyran-san lets out a sigh of exasperation.

“Is it really that interesting?”

“Yes, very much!”

“Don’t touch them because it’s dangerous, okay?”

“Yes.” 

I give a half-hearted response and resume the strange sightseeing.

Tyran-san doesn’t say anything more. Instead, when I seem to be about to stop for a moment, he pulls my sleeve.

And so, we arrive near the gate where The Cerberus is.

“It’s kind of. . .small, isn’t it?”

The demon beast’s head, peacefully sleeping, has three heads. But the size is not the extra-large size I imagined. . .it’s more like a medium to large-sized dog. It’s easier to understand if I say it’s a slightly larger Shiba Inu size.

I can understand Meti-chan’s casual desire to get closer and be friends.

“It’s still a young one. But even so, it’s The Cerberus. If you underestimate it, you’ll get hurt. So just observe from a distance. The chains won’t reach this far either.”

“Understood.”

We sit on a nearby protrusion and both enjoy the steamed buns. It feels like a little picnic.

“It would have been nice if we had brought tea too.”

“Yeah, should I go get some?”

As soon as he says that, he disappears.

I’m familiar with Tyran-san’s teleportation magic. While eating alone, I gaze at the sleeping Cerberus.

Then, all three heads wake up at the same time and stretch. 

I’m lucky to witness their awakening. They’re so cute. As I watch, one of the heads makes eye contact with me. The other heads also turn towards me, seemingly interested.

Even though they are the same individual, their reactions are different. 

One head is baring its fangs at me with hostility, another head is giving me a warm gaze, and the remaining head is still sleepy, about to close its eyes after a big yawn.

Is this how it should be for guard dogs? Aren’t they too free?

I can think calmly because there are chains. There shouldn’t be any danger even if they lock onto me.

Feeling relieved, I toss a piece of steamed bun into my mouth and smoke rises, enveloping The Cerberus. Startled, I stand up. Then, a dog emerges from the smoke.

Even after the smoke disappears, The Cerberus is nowhere to be seen, but there are three identical dogs.

Their reactions are the same as before. No, their freedom has increased due to their bodies being separate.

One head is already in sleep mode, and the other two heads seem like they might pounce on me at any moment. I’m glad there are chains. 

It’s a shocking fact that The Cerberus is a collective entity.

But they are so cute that I can’t help but push that fact to the back of my mind. Their fluffiness has doubled. Their cuteness has doubled, no, tripled.

Holding the bag of snacks prepared for emergencies, I approach Cerberus-san, who is sparkling with excitement. Of course, I am careful about the length of the chains. I also remember to keep a distance where they can’t pounce on me.

The most friendly head and the head full of hostility come towards me.

Although the length of the chains is the same, the originally friendly head is on the outer side. In other words, it is closer to me than the head full of hostility. 

I tore the steamed bread into strips and tossed it lightly towards a friendly child. It’s just like feeding the carp in the pond. And it was caught beautifully in mid-air.

Chewing with a small mouth, the child dashes towards me again. The short breaths that are exhaled seem to be demanding more.

It’s a child with both hostility and wildness, not inferior to anyone. The sound of the chain rattling has even awakened the child in sleep mode. It seems to be concerned about me.

If you look closely, the mouth is slightly relaxed.

As a test, I throw it towards that child, and it starts heading towards the landing point slowly. It’s incredibly leisurely on its own pace.

But as soon as it realizes the deliciousness of the steamed bread, it quickly lifts its head and runs towards me with a pitter-patter. And it stares intently at my hand. It seems to want more. 

・・・

『”𝐀𝐰𝐞𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬.𝐜𝐨𝐦” – 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐠e 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 “𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐮𝐩𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬” 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐨 “𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟎: 𝐄𝐲𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐱𝐞𝐝, 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧. . . 

In front of the changes in the other two, the child who was angry with bared fangs also seems to be changing a little.

While maintaining a vigilant posture, the growls are weaker, and there is no longer the same spirit as before.

That child must also want to eat.

Thinking so, I throw a steamed bun towards that child.

However, the child with sparkling eyes nearby catches it in mid-air.

As it happily moves its cheeks, the laid-back one barks shortly, seemingly wanting it too. How adorable. If I throw it to that one as well, it will have a satisfied smile.

But the expression of the remaining one is becoming increasingly filled with sadness.

There’s only a little steamed bun left in my hand.

The growling sound that can be heard sounds like crying, and it somehow seems pitiful.

However, there is a child hopping around eagerly in front, and a child in the back is also eagerly waiting to eat while moving slowly.

To give it to that child for sure, going directly in front of it is the best option, but I’m afraid of being bitten.

Besides, there’s no guarantee that the other two won’t pounce on me. I ponder with my arms crossed.

“I brought it. . .Wait, Dairy, what are you doing?”

Tyran-san, who has returned, is holding a tray with a teapot and cups. I gratefully accept it from him and pour the tea.

“Feeding, is it?”

“Why is it in the form of a question? And there seems to be one that is not feeling well.”

The one in his line of sight is that child who has lost his spirit. He seems to be even less energetic than earlier. It’s not impossible not to see tears welling up in his eyes and trembling uncontrollably.

I want to somehow feed him. 

“I want to give it to that child, but it’s difficult to aim and throw from this position.”

“Isn’t it because you’re just bad at it?

In my past life and this life, there haven’t been many opportunities to aim and throw things.

It’s just things like ring toss or feeding koi. Occasionally, I would get annoyed and throw tissues into the trash can, but I hardly have any memories of success.

It was a set that I would get annoyed halfway through and throw it away.

As Tyran-san said, it might just be that I’m bad at it.

There’s only a little left. Only one serving. In that case, it might be good to entrust it to him.

“Would you like to try it too, Tyran-san?”

“Sure.”

“The one in front jumps quite high, so be careful.”

There’s a chain too, so there’s no problem.

The steamed bun that left Tyran-san’s hand flew in a circular motion.

This time, it seemed like it would reach, and that child, who had lost its spirit, turned its wary gaze towards it.

It finally seems to have become obedient. Ah, that’s good.

Just as it was about to become heartwarming, something flew like a beam of light. Yes, it was that child with sparkling eyes.

It performed a diagonal bounce, took a bite in one gulp. The landing was perfect. If this were a flying disc competition, it would have won.

But a winning trophy cannot be given to that child.

The only thing directed at it is a despairing expression from behind.

“I can make more. So cheer up, okay?”

The overwhelming sense of despair makes me desperate as well.

If I promise to the timidly raising its head, “I’ll bring it right away!” it shakes its head vigorously.

Does that mean it’s not needed? It seems to have completely sulked. . .but that’s not the case.

With the impact of shaking its head, the collar that was attached to the chain fell with a clatter. And the child, freed from the chain, walked straight towards us.

“Get behind!”

I hurriedly hide behind Tyran-san. We take a defensive stance, but The Cerberus pays no attention. When it comes close, it starts circling around us as if drawing a circle.

Following suit, the other two also remove their collars on their own and start spinning around.

What kind of intention do they have? The answer is clear when you look at their wagging tails.

“They’ve taken a liking to us. . .”

Seeing their tails wagging vigorously, Tyran-san relaxes his guard. It seems there is no danger.

“Well then, I’ll go make more, so wait here.”

Although they have trusted us, it seems they can’t wait.

As I slowly move, they start circling around me as a starting point. It seems we won’t be released until they are satisfied.

I seek help from Tyran-san, who has already broken free from the circle.

“Do you have any good ideas?”

“There’s probably no other way but to feed them until they’re satisfied. It’s Dairy’s fault for feeding them when they were hungry.”

“Were they hungry?” 

“What? You didn’t know? When The Cerberus gets hungry, it splits into three bodies. It evolved to reduce energy consumption and to ensure that at least one head survives in case of emergency.”

That’s news to me. In the first place, I only learned about the existence of The Cerberus in this world from Meti-chan yesterday.

However, it is not uncommon for organisms to undergo unique changes in their environment. It is best to accept such things.

However, there is something about his explanation that bothers me. 

・・・

『”𝙰𝚠𝚎𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜.𝚌𝚘𝚖” – 𝙳𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚊 𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎, 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚍𝚟𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎, 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚢o𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚕𝚐𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚜 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 “𝚍𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚙𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜” 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚝𝚘 “𝚊𝚍𝚟𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟏: 𝐓𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐟𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞

“If the number of bodies increases, wouldn’t the energy consumption also increase?”

“Since the bodies and stomachs become smaller, the amount required per head decreases. It would be more efficient to divide and search for energy sources. With three heads, we can also surround the prey.”

“Prey… Even if we were to create them, we can’t possibly bring them into the kitchen, right?”

“If you’re the Demon King, can’t you do something about them? You have a communication device, don’t you? Why not ask?”

“Oh, right.”

I take out the communication device I had with me and connect it to Demon King-sama.

As soon as it connects, the question that comes out of Demon King-sama’s mouth is, “Couldn’t you do it, Tyran?” An annoyed Tyran-san leans in from the side, bringing his head closer.

“Don’t make it sound like I’m weak.”

“What if something happened to Tyran?”

Actually… To explain the situation, Demon King-sama was impressed! He bursts into laughter and asks us to come to the king’s chamber just as we are, saying that he wants to see it.

He says that he will take care of things until the steamed buns are ready.

When we arrive at the king’s chamber, it goes without saying that Demon King-sama laughs even more happily.

I make steamed buns for the hungry Demon King-sama, who cunningly demands his share, and the hungry little puppies. 

I thought I made a large quantity, but it wasn’t enough, so I made additional ones… and repeated the process. The Cerberus is satisfied after devouring more than ten each.

They return to their original forms and walk away with a trot.

By the time they return, I am exhausted, both physically and mentally, and the planned question time is postponed.

I return to my room and dive onto the bed.

Although there is physical fatigue from going back and forth multiple times, most of it is mental fatigue. I never thought they would eat that much.

Perhaps healing magic won’t work. Still, with a light feeling of “if it works, it’s lucky,” I lie down and cast a magic spell on the bed.

Then Ciel-san sympathized with me, saying that it was unfortunate.

It wasn’t just a coincidence that she happened to come for cleaning, but she came to check on me after hearing about Cerberus-san’s situation.

Apparently, they are not always like that, but today the servant in charge of their meals happened to be slightly late compared to the usual time. There was no need to bake such a large amount of steamed buns after they had already eaten.

I could see their cute side, but I’ve learned my lesson.

I wrote “Do not overfeed them!” in bright red bold letters in my mental memo.

But this was just the beginning.

I was awakened from my sleep without having dinner by the sound of someone knocking on the door more and more forcefully.

――What on earth happened?

Did an intruder appear in the Demon King’s Castle? Even after making peace?

No, did someone who wasn’t satisfied with the peace agreement come?

My panicked mind, just waking up, is filled with fear that the door will be kicked down. 

I tremble uncontrollably, unable to even reach for the communication device placed by the bedside.

“Help…”

The silhouette that appears behind tightly closed eyelids is that of a man. A familiar back. But that person will never turn around.

He won’t come. Because he abandoned me.

“Dairy!”

Yes, he didn’t come. But now, a gentle wizard is enveloping me.

Perhaps he was in the middle of making a potion, as there is the scent of herbs coming from his body. He must have used teleportation magic to fly here.

“Tyran-san.”

“It’s alright, you’re safe. The one outside the door is not a suspicious person. It’s probably Cerberus.”

“Cerberus… from yesterday?”

“Are you feeling a little calmer?”

As I imagine the presence on the other side of the door and listen to his voice, I calm down slightly. But the fear hasn’t completely disappeared.

My hands are still trembling. I unconsciously grip Tyran-san’s clothes as he tries to move away.

“Dairy…”

“I’m, I’m sorry.”

“Even if it’s not Cerberus, I will protect you. Don’t worry.”

Tyran-san gently pats my head and whispers. With those words, the fear slowly dissipates from my body.

“Can I open the door?”

I nod slightly, and Tyran-san walks confidently towards the door.

“Here we go,” he says, and then opens the door. 

Then, three dogs rolled into the room. As Tyran-san suspected, the source of the sound was yesterday’s Cerberus.

Since there are three of them, they must be hungry.

They must have recognized my scent and come all the way here. As the mystery was solved, I finally relaxed, and Tyran-san’s eyes twitched.

“You guys, sit over there.”

He gave instructions in a low voice.

The dogs instinctively sensed something and let out a small whimper as they sat down. They lowered their heads, and their bodies seemed to have shrunk a bit.

Tyran-san calmly listed what was wrong with them. Even though they are demon beasts, he showed no mercy.

Do you understand? His intimidating approach honestly scares me.

But he is angry for my sake. It is to prevent secondary harm.

He has taught them the basic set of sitting, lying down, and waiting, as well as the danger of continuously banging their heads at the door. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟐: 𝐂𝐞𝐫𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐮𝐬 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐮𝐭𝐲

“Can you [wait] now? You won’t do it again, right?”

In response to his gentle question, the Cerberus nodded their heads vigorously, to the point where it seemed like their heads might come off.

“Then, apologize properly to Dairy.”

Following Tyran-san’s instructions, the dogs turned towards me and lowered their heads while making a weak whimpering sound. It seems their training is complete.

“If you don’t do it again from now on, it’ll be fine.”

“I’m glad you forgive them. Now, you can go back to your places. Is Dairy alright now? If he seems fine, call the maid. I’ll go and complain.”

“I’m fine. I apologize for causing you trouble.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

Waving his hand lightly, Tyran-san headed towards the servant in charge of feeding the dogs.

According to what I heard from Ciel-san later, the person in charge was thoroughly scolded.

However, Tyran-san’s appeals were all perfectly reasonable. He dismissed it as their own fault.

“Considering the fear Dairy-sama experienced, it’s fortunate that it ended with just that.”

Her expression was stern, and she seemed slightly angry.

After that, the visits from the Cerberus didn’t stop. They continued to visit my room frequently.

However, thanks to Tyran-san’s lecture, they no longer charge at the door. 

Once they realized that I won’t come out even after barking for a while, they started curling up in front of the door. They also learned to wait in front of the kitchen. They seem to have a high learning ability.

Knowing that they will receive something if they wait, they started coming even when they’re not hungry.

Thanks to that, before I knew it, not only snacks but also feeding the dogs became my responsibility.

Since they don’t even pay attention to the person in charge holding the food box, there’s no other choice.

Moreover, it seems they hold a grudge for being late and sometimes chase after that person while barking.

Since they don’t bare their fangs like when we first met, they’re just playing with them. I have no choice but to accompany them until their interest subsides.

More than that, I have doubts about whether it’s okay for the guard dogs to freely wander around like this, but Demon King-sama, the lord of the castle, doesn’t mind at all.

Occasionally, he peeks at the snacks I put in the Cerberus’ food box and says, “Aren’t there more than mine?” as if competing in the amount of snacks.

The servants were initially surprised, but they learned that there’s no danger as long as they don’t touch them, so they quickly stopped worrying.

They have become accustomed to the innocent sight of them eating snacks and completely obeying Tyran-san.

“This time was difficult too~. I used quite a lot of pages in my notebook, but luckily, there were enough left.”

Counting the remaining empty pages, Tyran-san’s study notebook is now on its eleventh volume, thanks to him frequently buying them for me to study.

As I progress, the difficulty and the consumption of pages in the notebook increase, and the spare notebooks that were supposed to be plentiful have run out. 

Tyran-san will go to the human realm again in five days.

He will go there for material collection and do some shopping on the way back. I’ll ask him to buy it for me then.

And this time, I must make sure to let him pay for the notebooks.

If I give it to him early, he’ll come up with some excuse to push it back, so I’ll give him the payment the day before.

I have finished reading the borrowed grimoire. I want to move on to something new.

That’s right, I’ll go borrow a book on magical tools.

Although it has been on my mind for a while, I decided to put it off until I finish what I have at hand.

I don’t know if the library has books on magical tools in the first place, but if I ask Orphemia-san, she should be able to find them for me.

If I’m going to ask, I also want to prepare a treat.

I had something in mind for the next treat. Jam cookies. It came to me when I was making jam before.

And recently, new members joined the previously round and square cookie shapes. Migi-san and Hidari-san bought cookie cutters that they saw in a snack book. 

They come in various shapes like stars, hearts, flowers, and animals.

Today, I plan to use the flower shape from those cutters. And also a slightly smaller round one.

I’m not just going to put jam on the cookies, I’m thinking of making them into sandwich cookies.

For the top cookie, I will make a small hole in the center so that the jam can be seen. It will be very cute.

I will use apple jam. 

The Demon-san, who grows fruits in the human realm, sent a lot again this time.

I heard from Migi-san and Hidari-san that the apricots were well received last time, so this time there are four different types. The taste and size are completely different.

Not only jam, but it seems like various snacks can be made. I’m grateful.

As usual, Tyran-san, who liked it, was aiming to take home the leftover jam from the snacks.

Before he could take it home, Demon King-sama ate the remaining portion neatly. 

・・・

『”𝔄𝔴𝔢𝔟𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔯𝔦𝔢𝔰.𝔠𝔬𝔪” – 𝔇𝔦𝔰𝔠𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔯 𝔞 𝔠𝔞𝔭𝔱𝔦𝔳𝔞𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔴𝔬𝔯𝔩𝔡 𝔬𝔣 𝔩𝔬𝔳𝔢, 𝔭𝔞𝔰𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔞𝔡𝔳𝔢𝔫𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔢, 𝔴𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔦𝔫𝔡𝔲𝔩𝔤𝔢 𝔦𝔫 𝔞 𝔠𝔬𝔩𝔩𝔢𝔠𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔯𝔞𝔫𝔰𝔩𝔞𝔱𝔢𝔡 𝔫𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔩𝔰 𝔴𝔦𝔱𝔥 “𝔡𝔞𝔦𝔩𝔶 𝔲𝔭𝔡𝔞𝔱𝔢𝔰” 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔢𝔵𝔠𝔩𝔲𝔰𝔦𝔳𝔢 𝔞𝔠𝔠𝔢𝔰𝔰 𝔱𝔬 “𝔞𝔡𝔳𝔞𝔫𝔠𝔢𝔡 𝔠𝔥a𝔭𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔰”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟑: 𝐂𝐢𝐞𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐒𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬

・・・

『”𝘼𝙬𝙚𝙗𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙨.𝙘𝙤𝙢” – 𝘿𝙞𝙨𝙘𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙖 𝙘𝙖𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙 𝙤𝙛 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚, 𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙙𝙫𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚, 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙘a𝙣 𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙪𝙡𝙜𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙘𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙨 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 “𝙙𝙖𝙞𝙡𝙮 𝙪𝙥𝙙𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙨” 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙭𝙘𝙡𝙪𝙨𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙘𝙘𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙩𝙤 “𝙖𝙙𝙫𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙙 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙨”.』

・・・

The apple sweets are also highly praised by Demon King-sama, and I plan to serve these jam cookies as a snack eventually.

After baking the cookies, I let them cool before adding the jam. I also made jam cookies using the hollowed-out part to create a jam window and taste-test them.

“Mmm, delicious.”

The taste is perfect. Migi-san and Hidari-san were delighted with the small jam cookies.

I’m sure Demon King-sama and Tyran-san will also be pleased. However, the points of focus are different between them and Orphemia-san.

Taste or appearance? Additionally, the level of sparkle is important this time.

Even though I made and wrapped them, I’m still pondering whether they can be considered sparkly. I continue to worry even after returning to my room.

I line up the ones for myself and the ones to give to her on the desk, looking at them up close and from a distance. They look sparkly to me. But no matter how much I agonize, I don’t know the criteria from others’ perspectives.

When giving gifts to people, it’s surprisingly challenging, especially when there’s a vague idea of their likes and dislikes or what they want.

Demon King-sama and Tyran-san are generally pleased with anything, and their preferences are easy to understand, which I’m grateful for.

After much deliberation, I decided to give up and seek help.

I take a bag and leave the room. At this time, she should be in the linen room.

When I open the door, she is folding the finished laundry sheets.

“Ciel-san!” 

I sought help from Ciel-san. She is currently the closest woman to me.

When giving a gift to a woman, I want a woman’s opinion.

Since doing laundry together, my distance with Ciel-san has shortened, and I can casually talk to her.

“Dairy-sama?”

“I wanted to ask you something. Does this look sparkly to you?”

I show Ciel-san the bag with the cookies.

She stares at it intently and tilts her head in confusion.

“Sparkly, you say? It has a shine, and it’s cute, I think. But whether it’s sparkly or not depends on the criteria…”

“I see.”

She ends up at the same point as me. It would be best to just give it without hesitation, but the desire for the recipient to be pleased gets in the way.

I know for sure that she would be pleased with macarons.

Should I remake them now? As I enter another loop of indecision, Ciel-san looks at me with a curious gaze.

“What’s the matter?”

Come to think of it, I didn’t explain the reason. My desire to hear her opinion got ahead of me. I explain the situation to her.

“Actually, there’s a book I want Orphemia-san to look for, so I thought of bringing her a little something [sparkly sweets], but I’m struggling with it.”

“Oh, I see. In that case, I’m sure she will like it. I would like to try it myself.”

“Ciel-san, you eat sweets?!” 

“No, I have never eaten them before. But since Dairy-sama came, I have gradually become interested.”

It might be flattery. But there is nothing more delightful than someone showing interest in something you like because of you.

Demons not needing to eat is not just knowledge, but something I have seen and understood with my own eyes over the past few months.

I let her hold the bag as if grasping both of her hands.

“If you’d like, please eat this!”

“But isn’t this something made for Orphemia?”

“There are still some in the room, so it’s okay. So, if it’s not a bother…”

Did I push too hard? I slowly release my grip and timidly check her expression. The corners of Ciel-san’s mouth are slightly upturned.

Even the gaze directed at the bag of cookies is very gentle.

I don’t think it was a bother.

“I gratefully accept.”

I decided to take her words at face value. 

Suppressing the urge to skip, I return to the room. With the book and cookies that were placed on the desk in hand, I head to the library this time.

The anxiety of whether she will be pleased or not has completely disappeared.

I open the large door and search for Orphemia-san.

It seems she was just heading to get a book as she notices me and descends from above.

“Saint-san, welcome.”

“Orphemia-san, hello. This is a treat. Please have some if you’d like.” 

I hand her the bag of jam cookies, and her eyes sparkle. Holding the bag in front of her chest, she looks genuinely happy.

“Sparkling sweets! Thank you!”

After enjoying them from different angles, she carefully puts them away in her pocket. Just as Ciel-san said, it seems she really likes them.

“By the way, I was thinking of borrowing a book about magical tools today.”

“I have one! Wait a moment, I’ll bring it right away.”

Using her large wings, she flies into the forest of books. Then she brings back several books.

There are many old books. But there are no signs of damage, and it’s clear that they have been cherished.

As I receive them, I make a mental note to handle them carefully so as not to cause any harm. But the books were not the only things.

“And also, if you’d like this too.”

In addition to the old books, Orphemia-san had brought a tote bag. Inside it, there is a recipe book. Unlike the books on magical tools, this one is brand new.

“Actually, the day before yesterday, I went to the human realm and bought new books. Usually, I keep them all to myself for about a month, but for Saint-san, it’s special. After all, you gave me such beautiful sweets.”

It seems she really liked the jam cookies. She even begged me to bring them again when I return the books.

Next time, I might make them with a different jam. Apricot or strawberry jam would give them a beautiful color.

Tyran-san said he would bring different fruits, so if they seem suitable for making jam, it might be a good idea to use them. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟒: 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜

As I was thinking about it, a certain thought came to mind. It’s something that has been on my mind for a while, and this is a good opportunity to ask about it.

“By the way, there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask for a while.”

“What is it?”

“When demons go to the human realm, how do they hide their horns and tails? I mean, even if they can retract their wings, it seems impossible to hide their horns, right?”

Since there are demons who live normal lives, I do think there must be some special method. But I’ve been curious about what that special method is.

“If it’s a secret of the demons, it’s fine to keep it a secret, but… I’m just curious.”

“It’s not anything special, just a simple transformation magic.”

“Transformation magic?”

It’s the first time I’ve heard that name.

If I were to guess based on the name, it’s probably a magic that allows demons to transform into human form, right?

It wasn’t mentioned in any of the magic books I’ve read before, so it must be quite advanced magic.

“Humans use it too, you know? It’s exactly the same magic, but demons are better at using magic than humans, so they are better at hiding.”

“Humans… also use it?”

“You occasionally see it when exploring the human realm. Wizard-san would probably know more about humans than I do. I just found him, so I’ll call him.”

Orphemia-san said that and floated away.

Even though they are in the human realm, I wonder why humans need to transform?

Is it because they have a desire to transform? 

It’s like cosplay in a previous life. I imagine the scene of Halloween in the city.

“It looks fun.”

I muttered to myself. Then Tyran-san, who was brought by Orphemia-san, looks at me with a bewildered expression.

“What are you imagining…”

“I’m imagining children wearing fairy costumes and adults dressed as characters.”

Sometimes I see people dressed in unusual things like food or drink bottle costumes.

I have never been to the local area, I have only seen it on TV every year, but everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun.

“If you dress like that, you’ll definitely stand out… Transformation magic is a magic that high-ranking nobles and royalty use when they want to go incognito. The purpose is to blend in and have a similar appearance to ordinary humans walking around.”

According to Tyran-san, the transformation magic itself is not that difficult. He says that even I could use it in a day or two if I grasp the knack. 

However, the magic reflects the abilities of the person who casts it directly, so if their abilities are low, their transformation will be easily exposed.

Some people fear being exposed and use multiple layers of transformation. 

However, if you use too many layers, the amount of magical power you carry increases, and even people who wouldn’t normally notice will become suspicious.

In other words, if you don’t want to be exposed, you have to increase your skill level. 

It is highly valued by some humans, and there are wizards who specialize only in this magic. There is demand everywhere. It seems unlikely that I will ever have a chance to use it.

“Are you curious?” 

“Well, a little…”

I don’t have a desire to transform, but I’m curious about what it’s like.

When I think of it as a childish wish, I suddenly feel embarrassed and scratch my reddened cheeks.

“In that case, I’ll cast it for you.”

“Is that okay?!”

“I’ll cast it for you, so make tomorrow’s snack jam cookies.”

“Huh?”

“I want to eat that too.”

What Tyran-san is pointing at is a bag peeking out from Orphemia-san’s pocket.

To find it through that small gap, as expected of Tyran-san.

He is quite perceptive when it comes to jam-related things.

“Understood. Since it would be lonely with just jam cookies, I will prepare several other types of cookies as well.”

Tyran-san clenches his fist tightly, as if he really wanted to eat it.

Orphemia-san moves to the room used as a break room and immediately asks for a transformation magic.

My whole body is enveloped in warm air, but I don’t feel any different. I tilted my head, wondering if it’s over.

Then, Orphemia-san brings a large mirror with a smile on her face.

“Wow, amazing! I have horns!”

There are splendid horns growing on top of my head.

If I reach out, I can touch them. I have never touched demon horns before, but there is a quite solid object resting on top of my head.

She has changed my eye color, hair color, length, and even my clothes. I truly look like a different person.

I spin around in front of the mirror, enjoying the view from the back and the movement of my hair.

“It’s difficult to cast magic on others, but the quality of this… it’s amazing.”

“Well, I’m used to it.” 

“May I go and show it to Demon King-sama?!”

“Sure.”

After obtaining permission from Tyran-san, I head towards the king’s chamber.

He follows behind, saying that I might get hurt if I rush.

Although the scene before my eyes is the same as always, I feel like I have become a different person.

“Oh, Ciel-san!”

As I walk through the corridor leading to the king’s chamber, I see her figure, whom I parted with earlier.

She seems restless. Did something happen? As I look at her with curiosity, she turns around in response to my voice.

“Tyran-sama, who is that person over there? I wasn’t aware of any visitors.”

I can see a hint of caution in Ciel-san’s face. My heart aches at the expression directed towards me for the first time. But at the same time, there is an exciting feeling as if the prank was successful.

By turning around, I also notice that she is holding the cookie I gave her carefully with both hands.

I suppress the urge to let my cheeks loosen. 

・・・

『”𝕬𝖜𝖊𝖇𝖘𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘.𝖈𝖔𝖒” – 𝕯𝖎𝖘𝖈𝖔𝖛𝖊𝖗 𝖆 𝖈𝖆𝖕𝖙𝖎𝖛𝖆𝖙𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖜𝖔𝖗𝖑𝖉 𝖔𝖋 𝖑𝖔𝖛𝖊, 𝖕𝖆𝖘𝖘𝖎𝖔𝖓 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖆𝖉𝖛𝖊𝖓𝖙𝖚𝖗𝖊, 𝖜𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝖞𝖔𝖚 𝖈𝖆𝖓 i𝖓𝖉𝖚𝖑𝖌𝖊 𝖎𝖓 𝖆 𝖈𝖔𝖑𝖑𝖊𝖈𝖙𝖎𝖔𝖓 𝖔𝖋 𝖙𝖗𝖆𝖓𝖘𝖑𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖉 𝖓𝖔𝖛𝖊𝖑𝖘 𝖜𝖎𝖙𝖍 “𝖉𝖆𝖎𝖑𝖞 𝖚𝖕𝖉𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖘” 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖊𝖝𝖈𝖑𝖚𝖘𝖎𝖛𝖊 𝖆𝖈𝖈𝖊𝖘𝖘 𝖙𝖔 “𝖆𝖉𝖛𝖆𝖓𝖈𝖊𝖉 𝖈𝖍𝖆𝖕𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟓: 𝐅𝐥𝐮𝐟𝐟𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐥𝐮𝐟𝐟𝐲

“Ah, this person.”

“Do you know Dairy-sama?”

“…Why do you think so?”

“I can smell Dairy-sama’s scent from this person. Even though they are a demon, it’s troublesome to be brought here without permission.”

“Scent?”

I don’t have a habit of wearing perfumes or anything fragrant, and I haven’t done anything to sweat today.

Could it be that I have a strange smell or something?!

If that’s the case, it’s quite shocking.

I’m currently using the soap provided by the Demon King’s Castle, but if the body odor is a concern, maybe I should prepare something different.

Should I tell Migi-san and Hidari-san to serve more vegetables? No, first I should confirm the smell that demons find unpleasant and adjust accordingly.

In my panic, Ciel-san reveals the truth in a flat voice.

“No, our clan is skilled in manipulating the wind, so we are sensitive to scents.”

If it were when I first came to the Demon King’s Castle, the distance was still far, but now that we have gotten closer, that voice stings my chest. But it makes sense that they are skilled in wind magic.

“Indeed, the magic during dehydration was amazing!”

When I was taught the laundry method, I saw Ciel-san’s magic, and it was truly amazing.

The towel would float up smoothly and then dry in an instant.

But it doesn’t dry too much to become stiff, and it has a fluffy finish.

Truly a craftsmanship. It seems that there are few among the servants who have reached that level. 

I am also practicing, but reaching that level is still a long way off.

I nod with a sense of nostalgia for the scene during laundry. Then, Ciel-san widens their eyes.

“…Could it be, Dairy-sama?”

“Tyran-san used transformation magic on me.”

After revealing the truth, Ciel-san breathes out in admiration.

“I didn’t notice. Can I take a closer look?”

“Yeah, I transformed into a demon for the first time, please let me know if there is anything strange.”

“Anything strange… The horns are well-made too.”

“They are properly firm when touched.”

“I thought I understood Tyran-sama’s power, but I never expected it to be this much… By the way, this outfit would suit your usual appearance as well.”

I feel like the conversation has shifted a bit, or is it just my imagination?

Although the clothes are part of the transformation magic, Ciel-san carefully examines the colors and details of the decorations.

But Tyran-san doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, he seems happy to be praised.

“Based on the clothes I saw in the human realm.”

“May I ask for the name of the store? I would like to use it as a reference when buying new clothes.”

“Hold on a moment. I’ll draw a map. When I went last month, there were already a few clothes for the cold season, so if we go now, there should be quite a number available.” 

Tyran-san smoothly runs his pen and hands a memo to Ciel-san. It seems like a natural flow, but my opinion on the clothes I will be wearing is not being sought.

Well, the clothes prepared for me are all easy to move in, so I’m not in trouble.

Rather, being told that they are clothes for the cold season reminded me that it’s about time for a change of clothes.

When I first arrived, I thought about borrowing something that I could wear as a layer when it got cold, but I have been provided with various clothes.

Moreover, the Demon King’s Castle has air conditioning, and I only feel the cold or heat when I go out to the backyard.

I’ll just make excuses to myself that it’s understandable to be unfamiliar with seasons and changing clothes.

I wait for Tyran-san and Ciel-san to finish exchanging information, and this time I head towards Demon King-sama.

But as expected of Demon King-sama, he immediately saw through it.

“Dairy, what’s with that appearance?”

He didn’t even have a hint of doubt. It seems Tyran-san also expected this to happen.

So I was found out, and I scratched the back of my neck. I look a little frustrated.

Perhaps Tyran-san sometimes cares about Demon King-sama in strange ways not because he is the demon king, but simply because he has more power than himself.

“If you’re interested in transformation magic, I had Tyran-san use it on me.”

“In that case, I’m better at it!” 

As soon as Demon King-sama said that, he flicked his finger. 

Suddenly, my body was enveloped in smoke, and my outfit changed completely. I was wearing the same maid uniform as Ciel-san.

But that’s not all.

If I reach for my head, instead of horns, there is something fluffy. And there is a fluffy white tail attached to my rear.

“This is…”

“I took references from maids and Cerberus.”

Just like when I had the horns, the texture reproduction is high this time as well. Even though I understand that these are things attached to myself, I can’t help but reach out to touch the ears and tail.

While enjoying the fluffiness, I noticed that Tyran-san’s face looked much more frustrated than before. I wonder if there are different levels of difficulty in transformation magic.

“Do you like it?”

“Yes!”

“I see! Then, can I have cookies as a  reward?”

“…By any chance, did you notice me because you smelled the cookies?”

“You can tell just by looking. But even if I can’t see, I can recognize Dairy. After all, Dairy always has a sweet scent!”

Demon King-sama proudly puffs out his chest.

If I promise to provide various types of cookies for tomorrow’s snack, he will be overjoyed and change my outfit, eye color, and hair color.

It seems that Demon King-sama also likes the fluffiness. The ears and tail remained fixed, and he enjoyed the fluffiness from the middle. 

When it was time to end, the one who seemed the most disappointed was not Demon King-sama, but Tyran-san, which was a bit surprising.

“…By combining… and activating simultaneously, or rather, activating all at once like hardening, would it immobilize the movement? Is it better to activate it with a delay for this soft release? But to activate it at a consistent interval, the best method would be to use enchantment magic, but to stagger the activation timing… I need to apply magic… Is that the way to go? But it would be meaningless if it unravels halfway.”

He mutters words filled with specialized terms, and I have no idea what he’s talking about. But I think he was able to obtain something good for himself.

Having unchanging days is nice, but it’s also good to occasionally challenge something different. 

・・・

『”ᴀᴡᴇʙsᴛᴏʀɪᴇs.ᴄᴏᴍ” – ᴅɪsᴄᴏᴠᴇʀ ᴀ ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠᴀᴛɪɴɢ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ᴏғ ʟᴏᴠᴇ, ᴘᴀssɪᴏɴ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴅᴠᴇɴᴛᴜʀᴇ, wʜᴇʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ɪɴᴅᴜʟɢᴇ ɪɴ ᴀ ᴄᴏʟʟᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ᴏғ ᴛʀᴀɴsʟᴀᴛᴇᴅ ɴᴏᴠᴇʟs ᴡɪᴛʜ “ᴅᴀɪʟʏ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇs” ᴀɴᴅ ᴇxᴄʟᴜsɪᴠᴇ ᴀᴄᴄᴇss ᴛᴏ “ᴀᴅᴠᴀɴᴄᴇᴅ ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟔: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠

“Look, everyone, it’s snack time.”

As I raise the snacks, the three Cerberus gather around my feet.

I’m used to feeding these little ones.

They eagerly gaze at the plate with snacks, their eyes sparkling.

But they don’t jump or spin around me.

They sit up straight, waiting for the go-ahead while stretching their backs.

“Alright, go ahead.”

“Woof!”

With those words, they immediately dive into the snacks.

They are energetic as always. I hold the container with their refills and watch with a heartwarming feeling.

Both Cerberus and I are the same as always. Nothing has changed.

But I feel a piercing gaze on my back.

And it’s not just one gaze. It’s multiple gazes.

Are Demon King-sama and Tyran-san also wanting more? I think so and turn around.

However, standing behind me are not Demon King-sama or Tyran-san, but the servants who used to take care of Cerberus. 

Moreover, for some reason, when our eyes meet, they quickly avert their gaze. If I turn towards Cerberus, they stare at me intently.

This strange behavior repeats several times.

The peculiarity is such that even Cerberus, who has been slightly relieved of hunger, stops eating. 

It may be something guilty, but I couldn’t ignore it. It bothers me. It bothers me a lot.

“What’s wrong?”

“Oh, no, it’s nothing…”

“You wouldn’t spend a long time feeding them if there was nothing, right?” 

I put pressure on them to tell me because I’m curious. They exchange glances. It seems like they’re hesitating to speak.

After exchanging glances for a while, they finally open their mouths as if resigned.

“We also thought we’d like to eat that.”

“Huh?”

“Until now, only Demon King-sama and wizard-san have been eating, right? But when Cerberus started eating… we somehow became envious.”

“I thought it would be nice to eat too. But snacks are offerings to Demon King-sama, and it’s not something we can casually eat… Well, it’s troublesome to be told that. Forget about it.”

After saying only that, they hunched their backs and left.

It seems that Ciel-san was not the only one interested in the snacks. The conversation was cut off while I was surprised by that fact.

From the perspective of the servants, snacks are offerings, something special. But that’s not true.

Although I am in charge of snacks for Demon King-sama, it doesn’t mean I made them specifically for someone in particular.

I simply treat them as someone to share a meal with.

In fact, even after they found out that I was treating Migi-san, Hidari-san, and Orphemia-san to snacks, Demon King-sama never told me to stop.

He just asked me to make some for him too. Perhaps, even if I made snacks for them, I wouldn’t be stopped. 

So, I want to treat them, who accepted me as the “snack saint.”

If I were to make something, what would be good?

While resuming the feeding, I think about what kind of snack would be accepted by the demons. 

Is it still the steamed sweet potato bread, just like Demon King-sama?

However, it is impossible to completely erase the image that snacks are offerings from Demon King-sama and the others.

Even after finishing feeding them, I continued to ponder for a while, but I decided to stop trying to come up with an answer on my own.

I decided to ask for opinions from Ciel-san, who brought me tea while I was studying.

She is also a demon who has recently become interested in snacks. I would like to consider her opinion as someone with many commonalities.

“What do you think, Ciel-san?”

“Since we are dealing with demons who are not accustomed to food, it would be good to have something small and easy to eat. The jam cookies we received earlier were very delicious.”

“I will make them again tomorrow, so I’ll share some with you.”

“Absolutely!”

She tightly grips both of my hands with a greedy response. It seems that Ciel-san really liked the jam cookies. 

I am greatly indebted to her. Although it was by chance, I’m glad that I could give her something she likes. 

If she is this happy, then jam cookies are good, right?

However, when it comes to jam, the taste varies depending on the fruit used, and preferences differ as well.

In that case, something simpler might be better at first.

Something easy to eat, something simple…

I still want more opinions. Yes, let’s ask Orphemia-san for her opinion too.

It’s already dark outside, but I wonder if she’s still here.

Hastening to the library, they were not in their usual place, but when I called out, they peeked out from the break room.

“It’s rare for Saint-san to come at night. What’s the matter?”

“Well, they saw Cerberus and the others eating snacks, and it seems that the people working in the castle have also become interested in snacks. So, I want to treat them to snacks as well, but I’m having trouble coming up with something suitable for their first snack… It’s quite late, but could I hear Orphemia-san’s opinion?”

“I think it would be good if Saint-san can make a large quantity since you have many interaction partners. The cookies and macarons I received the other day were perfect, right?”

It’s a similar opinion to Ciel-san’s.

But Orphemia-san didn’t stop there. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟕: 𝐌𝐲 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐬𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐞-𝐬𝐢𝐳𝐞𝐝 𝐝𝐨𝐧𝐮𝐭

“Looking at Cerberus enjoying their snack, it might be good to make something similar.”

Cerberus’s favorite is hotcakes.

But hotcakes are not suitable as a gift. So, how about making donuts that can be made with similar ingredients?

Unlike hotcakes that need to be cooked one by one, with donuts, you can continuously put the dough into the oil.

Make them small in size, bite-sized donuts, and they will be easy to eat with a pick.

Taking into account the opinions received from Ciel-san and Orphemia-san, I combine the pieces together.

Plain ones are good, but they might feel a bit plain, so let’s make some with tea and raisins as well.

I think there will be personal preferences, but having three different types should please them.

“Thank you. I will make bite-sized donuts.”

“I’m glad I could help. By the way, about the jam cookies I received earlier…”

“They didn’t suit your taste?”

“No, quite the opposite! They were delicious. I haven’t eaten apples much before, but they are so tasty. So, if there are any other sparkling treats made with apples, I would like to try them.”

“Sparkling treats with apples, huh…”

“Just let me know whenever you come up with something.”

I came to solve her problem, but now I received a new request.

After parting with her, I started thinking about apple dishes. But this one comes to mind easily.

When it comes to sparkling apples, the classic Japanese summer festival treat, candy apples, comes to mind. 

I have never seen this in my current life, but I have made it several times in my past life.

Luckily, there were some smaller apples among the ones I received recently, so I will use those. If I were to make them with larger apples, I would need to cut them with a knife, but with smaller ones, I can just take a bite.

The next day, I decided to start making snacks early.

After all, today’s snacks are plentiful. Even though they are for different recipients, there are three main types. I am busy making several varieties of cookies and donuts.

I think I could divide them by date, but since they showed interest, I wanted to make them quickly.

Besides, none of them are difficult.

The reason I decided to make them on the same day is also because they can be done simultaneously.

Considering the drying time for the candy, I decided to make candy apples, cookies, and bite-sized donuts in that order.

I line up a large amount of ingredients on the kitchen counter and proceed quickly with the help of Migi-san and Hidari-san.

First, the apples. I wash them thoroughly and dry them well. Wind magic is also something I’m familiar with. Once they are completely dry, I remove the stems and insert a skewer around that area.

Next is making the candy. The ingredients are just sugar and water.

In the past, it seems that some people used food coloring to make it a beautiful red color, but this time I intend to make it without using it  

Put two ingredients in a pot and heat it until it becomes transparent and thick.  

Once the candy is ready, add the apples to the pot. If you rotate the skewer with your finger, the surface of the candy will become even.  

If you put too much of it, the crispy texture will be lost, so it’s better to lift it up on the pot and pour a little bit of candy.  

Prepare four apples for tasting, coat them with candy, and place them on a tray to dry. 

They will dry in about an hour.

While they are drying, I start making the cookies.

In addition to jam cookies, I plan to make plain, sesame, and spiral cookies. Since I have made them many times before, Migi-san and Hidari-san will help me with this.

The three of us work efficiently to make them.

By the way, today I will use two types of jam: apricot and apple. I managed to make a decent number of cookies alone.

Lastly, I will put the most effort into bite-sized donuts this time. Since I don’t know how many servants there are, I plan to make a generous amount for now. Containers and picks have also been prepared in large quantities.

Although it’s a small amount, I intend to secure some for Demon King-sama and Tyran-san as well.

After preparing the dough in three bowls, I put tea leaves and raisins in two of the bowls.

Using two spoons, I scoop up the dough that has become round and drop it into the heated oil.

Fry for about three to four minutes in oil at 160 degrees Celsius.

I place the golden brown donuts on a frying rack to drain the oil.

“So, I just need to put one of each in a cup, right?”

“Yes, please.”

Once the donuts are done, I leave them to Migi-san and Hidari-san, and I spread jam on the freshly baked cookies. It’s busy.

But I feel like I’ve become a confectioner, and it’s really enjoyable.

Finally, I check that the candy on the candy apples has dried properly――.

“It’s done!”

“I have finished dividing them as well.”

“Can we eat them right away?” 

While I was making it, the two of them were constantly interested in the candy apples.

It’s the easiest snack I’ve made so far, but for them, it’s definitely a snack they’ve never seen before.

“Please, go ahead. Since I used small apples this time, feel free to take a big bite.”

“Well then, I won’t hold back.”

“This! The sweetness of the candy and the sweetness of the apple go really well together.”

“The slight acidity is also irresistible.”

It’s more well-received than I expected.

When made with regular-sized apples, it is common to cut them with a knife before eating. 

If you bite into it as it is, it can be damaging to the teeth, so it can’t be helped. However, if you use a knife, the candy around the cut surface will crumble.

Biting into it whole allows you to enjoy the original taste. That’s why I used small apples, and it seems that decision was correct.

As I watched them with relief, they finished eating. Since they are small, they finish eating quickly. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟖: 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐲

The two of them look down with disappointment at the remaining cores and skewers.

It’s not because they are sad that it’s all eaten.

“I want to let him have some too…”

“Ah, I’m sure he will like it.”

“Him?”

“He is a demon who grows fruits. He seemed interested in the snacks made with fruits by Dairy-san.”

Such a thing was also written in the letter I was shown before.

The depth of feelings towards each other is quite different between me, who only knows through letters, and the two who have directly met and talked.

They must have a close relationship to be this downcast.

“He will surely like these apple candies too.”

“If you let me know when I can meet him, I will make them again!”

“Really?!”

“Today or tomorrow, anytime!”

“If today is fine, should I bring these?”

It’s a thank-you for sending me delicious apples.

I have prepared a bag specifically for Orphemia-san to receive. It’s the same as the one with jam cookies from yesterday.

I put them in the bag and tie it tightly with a red ribbon.

“But that’s Dairy-san’s…”

“I have eaten it before, and I can make it anytime.”

“Thank you. Then, I won’t hold back.”

“I will go deliver it right away. I will be back by dinner.”

As soon as they say that, they open the window and fly away.

It seems that they are flying without using teleportation magic.

I learned for the first time that you can travel between the Demon World and the human realm even without using teleportation magic.

Even though we were in conflict with demons, many humans don’t even have such basic knowledge. 

But since I live here, I may need to know not only magic but also about the Demon World.

Taking that step will deepen my relationship with the demons and also involve distributing snacks.

I put cookies and donuts on the kitchen wagon and roll it around.

To avoid being noticed by Demon King-sama, I put the distributed ones in a basket and cover them with a cloth.

I plan to first go to the king’s chamber, give some to Tyran-san and Demon King-sama, and then distribute the donuts.

Orphemia-san is on the second floor.

Since it’s difficult to carry the kitchen wagon, I decided to leave the apple candies in the kitchen. After finishing distributing the donuts and returning the kitchen wagon, I intend to head to the library.

“Can I eat this too?!”

In addition to several types of cookies, Demon King-sama’s eyes sparkle at the assortment of three types of donuts.

In front of the assortment of snacks, he seems to be unaware of what is left on the wagon. It’s a good thing I put extra.

“Yes, today is special.”

“Special… that sounds nice.”

“These ones with raisins are delicious.”

He seems to like both the jam cookies and the donuts. He mechanically grabs them and brings them to his mouth.

If he knows that there are the same items in the basket, he will probably ask for those too.

In times like this, it’s best to make a quick retreat.

“I will come to collect the plates later.”

“Do you have something to do?”

“I have something to do at the library after this.”

“I see. Do your best.”

“Yes. Excuse me then.”

It’s not a lie. It’s just different from what Demon King-sama thinks.

While rolling the kitchen wagon, I stroll through the hallway.

Since I don’t know where the other servants, except for Ciel-san, Meti-chan, and Gweil-san, who have a lot of interaction, are, I walk around various places in circles.

When I encounter someone, I say, “I want them distributed from the others,” and hand them multiple cups.

This is the repetition. I don’t know how many people it will reach with this method, but those who receive them are all happy.

If it receives good feedback, it might be good to distribute them regularly.

After finishing distributing everything, I return to the kitchen to return the wagon. Then, I take the apple candies and head to the library.

By the time I reach the stairs leading to the second floor, I see the figure of a certain person in the distance.

Demon King-sama, who was eating snacks in the king’s chamber just now, is coming towards me with a cup in hand.

I have served Demon King-sama and Tyran-san on plates. I only gave cups to the servants. At that moment, I had a bad feeling.

But as Demon King-sama approaches, that bad feeling grows stronger.

After all, the cup that was thought to be just one is stacked in multiple layers.

As the Demon King, he would never voluntarily collect empty cups. 

In the first place, Demon King-sama only comes out of the king’s chamber when he wants more snacks.

“It was delicious today too!”

“What’s that you have there?”

“I got it from someone.”

It should be “stole” instead of “got.”

I’m filled with the desire to look away from Demon King-sama, who has a beaming smile.

But even if I look away here, nothing will change. I have no choice but to face it.

“That is the portion I gave to the servants. I made sure to prepare Demon King-sama’s portion properly, right? It’s not right to take someone else’s portion just because it’s not enough.”

“Why are you angry?”

He really doesn’t seem to understand why he’s being scolded.

“Why… because anyone would be sad if their portion was taken away, right?”

“A strong person would offer it if a strong person wanted it. That is the fate of the weak. If you have time to be sad, then become stronger than your opponent.”

“What are you saying…”

My head hurts. But Demon King-sama is saying it seriously. He’s not making excuses just to get a donut.

This is the difference in thinking between humans and demons. Maybe I shouldn’t interfere with the demon’s rules.

But if I were to admit that, Demon King-sama, who is always hungry, would take away my snacks every time I make them for them in the future. The image of snacks as tribute would remain unchanged. It would stay the same.

What should I do? As I hold my head, Demon King-sama looks at me with sparkling eyes.

“Anyway, are there no more donuts?”

“Demon King-sama…”

“What is it?”

“Can we make a promise, you and I?”

“A promise?”

After much consideration, I decided to make a certain rule.

Demon King-sama tilts his head with a thud. There must not have been any personal promises that bind him, even if there are racial rules.

“From now on, you must not take other people’s snacks. If you do, as a consequence, I will withhold snacks for the following day or days, depending on the amount taken— that’s the promise.”

“Arrogant! I won’t accept such a promise!”

It’s a proposal that goes against the demon’s rules. Moreover, I am also in charge of Demon King-sama’s snacks. It’s only natural for him to be angry.

But I have a secret plan.

I take out the apple candy that was supposed to be given to Orphemia-san and hold it up in front of him. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟒𝟗: 𝐐𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐌𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜

“If you promise, I will give you this.”

“T-That is!”

“It’s an apple coated with candy. Originally, it was supposed to be given to Orphemia-san, but if you promise, I will specially give it to Demon King-sama.”

It seems that the sparkling snack has captured Demon King-sama’s heart.

In front of an unseen food, his heart seems to be strongly shaken. His hands are moving in the air.

However, it seems that they haven’t reached an agreement yet. It’s like one final push.

But I don’t get impatient with that. I have a special word to make Demon King-sama surrender.

“By the way, Migi-san and Hidari-san highly praised it.”

“Ugh…”

The word “highly praised” made Demon King-sama’s eyes widen.

And although he showed a moment of hesitation, he quickly made up his mind. Understood… he muttered softly.

“I promise. I promise it, so give it to me!”

“Then, here you go.”

Negotiation successful. I give him the apple candy in exchange for an empty cup.

Even though it’s Demon King-sama, it seems that the enchanting word “highly praised” works. Moreover, it was made by the cooks Migi-san and Hidari-san, so the effect was tremendous.

He immediately takes it out of the bag and starts eating it. 

He keeps repeating “Delicious, delicious,” so it seems that the promise wasn’t only advantageous for me. I feel relieved.

“Is there no more?”

“That’s all for today.”

“Only once? It’s so delicious…”

“Then, how about this? From now on, I will give you apple candy when Demon King-sama does something good. I will be the judge of whether it’s a good deed or not.”

It’s a reward strategy for good behavior.

After conveying the deliciousness of the apple candy, Demon King-sama quickly takes the bait.

“Understood! That’s fine!”

There are still differences in perception between demons and humans. But I hope this will change him even a little. Thinking that, we make a promise. Then, someone suddenly appears from behind.

“Hey, I didn’t get any of that.”

It’s Tyran-san. I’m not sure when he arrived, but he looks very dissatisfied.

But this is a snack for Demon King-sama to be a good child.

Demon King-sama has already recognized it as his own snack and hides the empty bag behind his back.

“I won’t give any to Tyran!”

While hiding the bag, Demon King-sama shouts, “It’s mine!” and runs away.

Even if he’s heading to the king’s chamber, what does he plan to do with it when there’s no place to eat it anymore?

“Dairy…” 

“I’m sorry. Instead, I will prepare small jam cookies for Tyran-san, so please bear with it this time.”

“Small jam cookies?”

Tyran-san’s feelings are greatly shaken by those words. He seems very interested, as if it’s obvious.

He seemed to really like the snack time earlier, so he will probably quickly regain his good mood.

Considering that the ones from yesterday were supposed to be given to Orphemia-san, I made something with a cute appearance. Since he said he wanted the same thing, what I prepared today is exactly the same.

But I feel more familiar with the smaller ones.

In my previous life, there were always large bags of apple jam cookies at the nearby supermarket, so I often saw them.

By the way, this product is quite dangerous.

It meets the forbidden conditions of being delicious, bite-sized, and in a large bag, so I unconsciously eat them bite by bite.

Please don’t think that dividing a small amount onto a plate will prevent overeating. Opening the sealed bag and putting more into the plate is part of the set.

If you choose it as a companion for your work, by the time you finish, how much will be left? The remaining amount will definitely be less.

Honestly, it’s one of the foods that should not be given to Tyran-san.

“I will put a generous amount in a jar with a slightly larger mouth. Since it might get humid, I will collect the remaining portion after a few days and add more to it.”

“I will use a preservation magic, so there’s no need to collect it. Instead, I want one each of the apple jam and apricot jam ones.”

“Preservation magic? Is it different from the magic for maintaining the quality of the pantry?” 

“Quality preservation magic is a magic that keeps the state of the ingredients as they are, while storage magic can be applied to anything, not just ingredients. Generally, it is considered easier to use quality preservation magic that targets specific objects, but the food storage in the pantry is on a different level. Also, if the duration of the storage magic is set shorter, even Dairy can handle it well enough.”

“It’s a convenient magic, isn’t it?”

“I use it to store potions, but for Dairy, it might be perfect for making a large amount of snacks and storing them. What do you think?”

“I see. So even if you make too much, you don’t have to worry about wasting it.”

Having a stock allows you to add something extra when you feel like having a little more, and it’s also convenient when Cerberus and the others are hungrier than usual.

And it would be nice to give rewards to Demon King-sama immediately when he does something good.

If I can learn it too, I definitely want to remember it.

“You can have snacks as a late-night meal too.”

“…By any chance, Tyran-san, are you planning to take some back to your room in the future?”

“It disappears quickly, you know.”

“But don’t eat it all at once, okay?”

I don’t want him to devour it all at once like he did with the jam. I imagine him unconsciously munching on it and give him a suspicious look.

Then, Tyran-san lets out a short sigh.

“I know. It would be unbearable if I had something I received taken away.” 

He seems to be aware of his habit of eating a large amount of his favorite food. As the one who made it, I’m happy, but I also want him to consider his own health a little more.

“Alright, I got it.”

I part ways with Tyran-san and head to the kitchen. Migi-san and Hidari-san don’t seem to be coming back anytime soon.

I’ll quickly make Orphemia-san’s apple candy and the jam cookies for Tyran-san. Might as well make some for myself too.

Before going to get the ingredients, I need to ask Ciel-san if there are any empty bottles…

Thinking that, I called out to her, and it turns out that the amount to make has increased by about one bottle. She wants two different mixes.

Orphemia-san seems to really like the apple candy.

I could feel Tyran-san’s expectant gaze, but when I handed him the bottle, he nodded satisfactorily.

However, he didn’t accept the payment for the notes he gave me later.

He said it’s a barter, so it goes without saying that you would put the money in your pocket, as expected. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟎: 𝐋𝐚𝐭𝐞-𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐝

The longer rainy season has ended, and the cold season has arrived.

There seems to be a slight difference between the human realm and the demon realm, but even by demon realm standards, it was about two months late.

By the way, the change of seasons is very rough.

When it stops raining and gets cold, it enters the cold season. However, the standard of what is considered cold varies greatly from person to person.

If it snows, it is definitely recognized as the cold season, but even this varies in different regions.

I think it would be very surprising for someone with a modern Japanese sense, but this way of thinking is the same in the human realm.

If it feels hot or cold, people change their clothes accordingly, and even crops grow differently depending on the temperature. Even if humans and demons grasp the seasons, it doesn’t mean the climate changes.

So there is no need to grasp the seasons, so to speak.

Because it is natural, I never thought deeply about it until I regained my memories from my previous life.

I felt the realization of entering the cold season because the fabric of the servants’ clothes changed slightly. And as I talked with Ciel-san and Meti-chan, it became apparent.

Not only did the seasons change, but there were also developments in the relationship with the servants.

Starting with distributing donuts, the snack distribution by the “Snack Saint” became a specialty at the Demon King’s Castle. It seems that donuts were shocking to demons who had never eaten snacks before.

I started to be called out more often while walking in the hallway. 

Naturally, the amount of snacks I make has increased, but now that I can use storage magic, I can make stocks.

By gradually increasing the amount every day and distributing them every few days, it is not a hassle. 

At my level, it seems to only last for about a month, but that’s enough if it lasts for a month. It’s very useful.

Also, on that day, Migi-san and Hidari-san took apple candies to Demon-san, and it seems they decided to set up a stall for a limited time.

He, who is knowledgeable about dishes made with fruits, was also shocked, and I was surprised when the two of them came back and asked, “Can you teach us the recipe?”

In the letter that described the method and detailed measurements, I added that it would be delicious to sprinkle cinnamon or cocoa on the surface, and as a thank you, they sent me fruits and vegetables.

Currently, fruit candies are booming in the human realm.

Speaking of what I received, shortly after the end of the rainy season, I received a letter and clothes from Olivier-sama.

I heard that it gets cold in the demon realm during this season, so she sent me coats, gloves, scarves, and more. I’m using them when I go out to the garden.

With the addition of what Ciel-san bought, I won’t need to buy clothes for not only this winter but also the next few years. I suddenly became a person with a wardrobe full of costumes.

Not only clothes, but also notebooks, knowledge, and good friends have steadily increased since I came to the Demon King’s Castle in less than half a year.

I really worried about what would happen at one point, but if you don’t give up, things will somehow work out. 

Now, what should I make for tomorrow’s snack? Since the stock is running low, I’ve been thinking about replenishing it, and just as I was thinking that, Tyran-san appeared in front of me.

“Dairy! Where’s my snack?”

“I heard that you were coming to the king’s chamber at three o’clock, so I placed the kitchen wagon in the king’s chamber.”

Today’s snack is a long-awaited milk jelly. I know that Tyran-san has been looking forward to it since the day before yesterday.

He was so excited that he even used teleportation magic to fly here because he couldn’t find it.

“The kitchen wagon was there. But the plate was empty.”

“Oh no… I made sure to leave it there.”

“Come with me for a moment.”

“Understood.”

I head towards the king’s chamber with Tyran-san.

However, the milk jelly that was definitely there just a moment ago is now gone. The plate that I left on the kitchen wagon is empty.

The Cerberus wouldn’t eat it without permission, and the servants wouldn’t do such a thing either.

Hmm? As I tilt my head in confusion, Tyran-san mutters in a dissatisfied voice, “Huh? It’s gone, isn’t it?”

There is only one person who seems to be the culprit. But I couldn’t believe that this person would eat Tyran-san’s snack.

Although the possibility is slim, I decided to ask just in case.

“Demon King-sama, do you know where the jelly went?”

As I throw the question, Demon King-sama easily confesses.

“I ate it.”

“Why did you eat it?”

“B-Because it was left there, and I thought it was okay to eat…”

“My milk jelly…” 

Tyran-san slumps down on the spot and pounds the floor. 

His despairing face is pitiful.

“I’ll make it for you tomorrow, so cheer up.”

I encourage him, placing my hand on his shoulder. If I add, “A bowl full!” he seems to be satisfied with that. He nods slightly and then stands up.

“Is it milk jelly again tomorrow?! I’ll eat it too!”

“Demon King-sama, you have a day off tomorrow!”

“What?!”

He glares at me angrily, but it’s his own fault for eating snacks without permission.

“You even ate a bite of the donuts meant for the servants the other day! I told you not to touch other people’s snacks…”

“B-But this time, it wasn’t intentional! Nobody was there, and I thought it was forgotten…”

Since I gave him the candy apple, Demon King-sama has never broken a promise.

I have given him candy apples many times since then, so I thought it would be fine. But this happened just when I was starting to feel relieved.

Demon King-sama, who avoids eye contact and desperately makes excuses, but I feel the same disappointment. 

“We have a communication device, so please use it when you’re in trouble.”

“…I’m sorry.”

“Will you promise not to eat other people’s things without permission?”

“I promise.”

Demon King-sama hangs his head, but it seems he understands that it’s a bad thing. I’m glad he accepted it smoothly. 

Perhaps because he can tell that he is reflecting, Tyran-san doesn’t blame him either. He is already thinking about tomorrow’s snack. So, this matter is now over.

“Well then, the day after tomorrow, I’ll make the sweets you want, Demon King-sama. I’ll look it up in a book, so please think about what you want to eat by the end of today.”

“As for tomorrow’s milk jelly…”

“That will have to wait.”

“Ugh, I guess I can’t help it… Then, make raspberry pie for me the day after tomorrow.”

“Raspberry pie?”

I unintentionally ask again. It used to be my specialty dish, and it’s also Jude’s favorite.

When I was in the village and got delicious raspberries, I would bake raspberry pie for Jude.

I prepare tea for the two of us and cut the freshly baked raspberry pie. It was my happiness to drink tea while watching him eat happily, saying how delicious it was.

Since the day he abandoned me, it has become the worst memory, and raspberry pie has become the food I hate the most in the world.

However, it has nothing to do with Demon King-sama.

I don’t like the smell either, but during cooking, I just need to open all the windows and not make it for myself. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟏: 𝐅𝐫𝐨𝐳𝐞𝐧 𝐩𝐮𝐟𝐟 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭

“I can make apple pie. Shall we have that for tomorrow’s snack then? Is that okay with Tyran-san too?”

“Yes.”

It seemed like the conversation was settled.

However, Demon King-sama must have really wanted to eat raspberry pie, as he happily explained the reason as well.

“It seems that the Hero’s favorite is raspberry pie. During their adventures, they would often complain, ‘I want to eat the raspberry pie made by my childhood friend.’ So, I’ve always wanted to eat raspberry pie so badly, and I decided that someday I would have it made for me.”

A slight crack could be heard from Demon King-sama’s face, which was trying to hide behind the word “Hero.”

“Should we stop making raspberry pie after all?”

“Huh? But, Dairy said she would make it…”

“If you keep eating the Hero’s favorite, you’ll become a useless adult in the future. It would be better to have a snack that someone other than the Hero likes. I will research and bring a list for you to choose from.”

“Even though it’s delicious… I can’t have it?”

Demon King-sama pleaded with teary eyes, seemingly wanting raspberry pie so badly.

I felt guilty seeing that adorable expression.

Tyran-san also looked at me with a puzzled expression, wondering why I had an excessive reaction to the word “Hero.”

From the human side, Jude is a hero. It’s understandable if they find it strange.

“…If you say it has nothing to do with the Hero, then I will make it.”

“! I want to try that pie, so please make it.” 

“Understood.”

I dislike raspberry pie. I don’t even want to smell it.

But still, the pie and Demon King-sama are not at fault.

I repeat in my mind that this is what Demon King-sama wants to eat, imprinting it in my brain.

If I don’t convince myself of that, I might end up crushing the snack that should bring happiness with frustration.

The next day, at Tyran-san’s request, I made a bowl full of milk jelly.

He took the bowl and a large spoon and headed to the king’s chamber, then showed it off in front of the snack-less Demon King-sama.

It is said that he continued to eat silently, without paying attention or listening to any noise or pleading.

It’s quite immature, but this seems to be Tyran-san’s revenge.

Demon King-sama must have endured quite a lot, as Tyran-san told me with a smile that he was banging the floor in frustration, just like yesterday.

The grudge of food is truly terrifying.

Nevertheless, the next day, both of them were happily devouring raspberry pie with calm faces, and I once again realized that demons and humans had decided to coexist.

“Dairy, there’s another pie I want to eat.”

“What is it?”

While eating raspberry pie, it seems he was already thinking about tomorrow’s snack. It must have come to mind because of the connection to pie. It’s a common occurrence.

I’m glad I made extra pie dough and applied a preservation spell when making raspberry pie.

As someone who often relied on frozen pie sheets in my previous life, making it from scratch every time is quite a task. 

One of the reasons I used frozen pie sheets is that the dough needs a long resting time.

“I want to eat apple pie. Olivier made it for me before.”

“Ah, the one you brought on the first day. I want to eat it again after a long time.”

“Understood. Then, let’s have apple pie tomorrow.”

Apple pie is easy. I often baked it for my friends’ birthdays.

Although there are several types of apple pie, this time I plan to make one with custard filling.

Using the dough that I enchanted, I’ll start with making the custard. 

In a bowl, I put egg yolks and sugar and mix well.

Once it becomes pale, I sift in the cake flour and lightly mix. Then, I gradually add the milk that has been heated until just before boiling while mixing.

I return this mixture to the pot and heat it.

To prevent it from burning, I stir it well from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon until it becomes a creamy consistency.

While letting the custard cool, I prepare the apple filling.

I cook the cut apples with lemon juice and sugar until they become soft and gooey.

I cut about a third of the dough, and the larger piece is laid in the pie dish, with the excess cut off.

I prick the laid dough with a fork to create small holes.

These holes serve the purpose of releasing air when the pie expands. It is an important step in making pies and tarts, not just limited to apple pies.

The cut-off piece and the smaller piece of dough that was left are combined and cut into strips.

With these strips, I create a lattice on top of the pie and a braided border. 

Once the braids are done, I place custard and apple filling in the mold and cover it with a lattice-like belt on top.

Finally, I surround it with braids and bake it in a preheated oven.

This time, I added custard, but apple filling alone is delicious enough.

It’s also good to sprinkle cinnamon powder at the end of making the filling for added fragrance.

While the apple pie is baking, I make cookies. Once the apple pie is done baking, I put the cookies in the oven.

As I transport them to the king’s chamber, I take out the baked cookies from the oven and let them cool. By the way, these cookies are for Migi-san and Hidari-san.

Tomorrow, I am supposed to visit the demon who is making fruit, and they asked me to make jam cookies.

Just like what I gave to Tyran-san, I plan to put small ones in jars. I have also prepared empty jars.

“Well then, please.”

“Leave it to me!”

While rolling the kitchen wagon with the apple pie and knife, I head towards the king’s chamber.

Tyran-san and Demon King-sama are already seated, and even the tea has been prepared. The preparations are good. They must have been looking forward to it.

However, both of them are wide-eyed in front of the apple pie.

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s different…”

“Huh?”

“Even with the same snack, the appearance can be so different depending on the maker.”

“Did it not meet your expectations?”

“The one I had before had apples on top. Are there no apples?” 

It seems Olivier-sama made a type of apple pie with sliced apples arranged on the surface.

As Tyran-san said, even with the same dish, people have different images in mind.

It’s like the difference between jam cookies with a hollow center and those without.

Until now, I never served the same dish as what someone else made, so I forgot about it. I should have asked. 

“It’s inside this lattice… Should I remake it?”

“I’ll eat it! Even with the same apple pie, the taste might be different. I have to confirm!”

“Sometimes, having a different apple pie is nice too. Please cut it.”

With a crisp cut, the scent of apple and custard gently wafts up.

Demon King-sama doesn’t seem to mind that the shape is different anymore and is delighted, saying, “Apple pie! It’s the scent of apple pie!” His voice rises again as he puts it in his mouth.

“Olivier’s was delicious, but Dairy’s is also delicious! I want more, more!”

“I thought I was used to eating apple pie… Yeah, it’s good.”

“There are refills, you know.”

As I inform them, two plates are simultaneously pushed in front of me.

Rather than remaking it, they seem to have the momentum to finish it right away. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟐: 𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐨𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬

“Hmm~ hehe~ hmm~.”

While reading a recipe book borrowed from the library, I decided on this week’s snack. 

I combine delicious-looking and manageable recipes and discuss them with Migi-san and Hidari-san.

I mustn’t forget to check the necessary ingredients. It wasn’t a big concern before since there were only five of us, but with more people to feed, the quantity of ingredients has increased significantly.

By starting to distribute snacks to the staff as well, snacks have become part of the welfare benefits.

Ciel-san told me that I don’t need to worry about the cost of ingredients, but they want me to increase the frequency of distributing snacks to other staff members.

I was greatly surprised to learn that there is such a thing as welfare benefits in this world, but it seems that Demon-san and Ciel-san, who are in charge of personnel matters, discussed and decided on it.

It seems that the name “snack saint” has spread not only within the Demon King’s Castle but throughout the Demon World, becoming a small rumor.

The personnel department has taken notice of this and started moving towards acquiring new talent.

As a result, my salary has increased a bit, and the pantry has become larger. It turns out that the adjacent room was originally an empty room, so we immediately started breaking down the walls.

With the room becoming larger, I had to reapply the quality preservation magic, but Demon King-sama simply flicked his finger. 

Indeed, Demon King-sama’s magic is on a different level. Tyran-san was also frustrated by how easily he did it… 

So, the pantry has become larger, but the consumption has also increased, so now we need to submit a request for the amount we will use. 

They said they will buy more if we run out. By the way, Migi-san and Hidari-san will manage everyday items like flour and sugar.

I feel like I’m being fully integrated as a member of the Demon King’s Castle.

“I think it’s time to change the snacks I make.”

Currently, most of the snack books in the library were selected by Orphemia-san. 

Although there’s been a focus on making them delicious recently, there is still a bias towards visually appealing snacks.

Compared to other books, the number of snack books is overwhelmingly small, and the variety is limited.

To fulfill Demon King-sama’s request of “wanting to eat a variety of things,” I have been using my knowledge from my previous life and doing various research, but it seems that I’m reaching my limit with the current situation.

I still have plenty of knowledge about simple snack making, but I lack knowledge about ingredients and this world. 

Since Migi-san and Hidari-san are also unfamiliar with many dishes and ingredients, it would be troublesome if I casually mentioned a certain ingredient…

It would be fine if it exists, but if it doesn’t, it would be a problem later when they ask where I learned about it.

I want to keep the fact that I have memories from my previous life a secret as much as possible.

While trying to cover that up, I continue to ponder what to tell Orphemia-san. 

“I wish I could go to a bookstore, but is it okay for me to be taken to the human realm?”

It has been a while since I came to the demon world, and I have never returned to the human realm. 

After all, I always entrust letters to Tyran-san, and I ask him to buy notebooks for me. I have clothes provided by the Demon King’s Castle and the ones Olivier-sama gave me.

With ingredients and books in place, and good relationships with the people in the Demon King’s Castle, I had no reason to go there.

But when I think about going there, what comes to mind is the mysterious role of “biological reaction.”

I still don’t know what it means or whether I am fulfilling that role. But I know that there is a reason for me to be in the demon world.

“Tyran-san would probably oppose it, but… well, I’ll just ask.”

Tyran-san tells me when something is not allowed. 

He doesn’t always tell me the detailed reasons, but there must be some reason behind it. I know that he doesn’t reject things without a reason.

Besides, this is not just my problem; it is a matter related to the snack reform of the entire Demon King’s Castle. It would be a waste to make it seem like it was my unilateral decision.

“Make haste,” I say as I tidy up the books and notebooks and leave the room.

If I head straight to the king’s chamber, Tyran-san is still there. 

It seems like they have been talking non-stop since the snack ended, wanting a new perspective for their research. I wait for the conversation to finish.

“I made you wait. So, Dairy, what’s the matter?”

“Actually, I want you to take me to a bookstore in the human realm.”

“Aren’t the books in the library enough?”

“The books in the library are helpful, but I still want to see and choose for myself to make a wider variety of snacks…”

“I see. I’m also happy to be able to eat more snacks than now. But whether Tyran will allow it…”

“If it’s just buying books, it’s fine.”

“Is that okay?!”

Honestly, I didn’t expect the permission to be granted so easily.

Not only me, but Demon King-sama also seems surprised. He asks if it’s really okay. But Tyran-san continues his words as if it’s nothing.

“It’s fine for once. However, I can’t promise a second time, and I will have to use transformation magic.”

“Thank you!”

So, it means if we pretend to be someone else.

I’m fine as long as I can see the books. I don’t care about appearances.

I met Tyran-san after coming to the Demon King’s Castle. Originally, we didn’t even have any contact, so it might be inconvenient if people see us together.

Last time was purely for fun, but it was probably magic meant for situations like this. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟑: 𝐋𝐨𝐧𝐠-𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝

After expressing my gratitude and bowing energetically, Tyran-san smiled faintly.

“If that’s the case, hurry up and prepare. We’re leaving.”

“Huh, are we going today?”

“I have some free time after this. Besides, it’s been almost a year. I don’t know when I’ll be summoned for festival preparations.”

The festival is a celebration of the day when demons and humans made a pact.

I see, it’s been about a year since then. It feels like time has flown by.

There is a one and a half month difference depending on whether we celebrate the day reported in the newspaper or the day the hero and his party returned, but it’s a story that doesn’t concern me since I have no intention of participating in the festival.

Although Tyran-san intends to participate in the preparations, it seems he has no intention of attending on the day. He complains that it’s troublesome.

Nevertheless, he seems enthusiastic about going to the bookstore and immediately starts drawing a teleportation magic circle.

Usually, he activates magic without drawing circles, but this time, it seems he decided to draw because I will also accompany him and the distance is far.

While Tyran-san is preparing, I return to the room. I unlock the drawer and open the salary envelope. Since I hardly spend it, it keeps accumulating.

I take out a little more and transfer it to the wallet that I haven’t used since coming here. I stuff the bulging wallet into my pocket and return to the king’s chamber. The teleportation circle is already prepared.

“I will cast a transformation spell.”

“Please.”

Wrapped in a gentle warmth, I transform into a different person. When I slowly open my eyes, there is an unfamiliar man standing in front of me.

“Did Tyran-san also cast a transformation spell today?”

“We have a brother and sister setting. Come on, let’s go.” 

“Yes.”

I am led by the arm and enter the circle.

This is the second time using teleportation magic.

The first time, I was sent to the demon realm without understanding anything, and the second time, I returned to the familiar human realm.

The hand that is held is warm, just like Tyran-san’s magic.

“Well then, here I go.”

“Enjoy your long-awaited time in the human realm.”

I wave my hand to Demon King-sama, and everything in front of me turns pure white.

After the dazzling light fades, I slowly open my eyes. If I look around, there are only trees. It seems we have teleported into a forest.

“Please get off.”

“Ah, yes.”

When I step out of the magic circle, Tyran-san crouches down on the spot. While tracing the magic circle, he mutters something.

When he stands up straight, the pattern that was floating above the ground disappears completely. It seems he cast a spell. Perhaps to prevent it from being misused.

“The bookstore… is this way.” 

I follow Tyran-san, we quickly come out onto a busy street.

Various shop signs line the street. It’s not as crowded as the capital, but it seems we have teleported to a bustling city.

“Let’s go.”

“Yes!”

We run, and I stand next to Tyran-san.

My face reflected in the shop window is quite different from my usual appearance. However, it looks quite similar to Tyran-san’s current face. If someone were to say we are siblings, I would understand.

“By the way, why did we set ourselves as siblings?”

“Around here, if a boy and girl of our age walk together, they will be targeted by street vendors. Especially be careful of the shops selling accessories. Among the various street vendors, those types of shops are the most troublesome.”

“Has Tyran-san been approached like that before?”

Imagining him walking together like today, with a girl of the same age, my chest twinges.

But instead of recalling precious moments with a loved one, Tyran-san’s face contorts as if recalling a terrible memory.

“I was persistently approached as a lover. When I said I didn’t have one, they recommended a bracelet with a love charm… I had a hard time escaping. Still, it was better than others who had a lover or gave vague answers. It seemed they wouldn’t let them go until they made a purchase.”

“T-That sounds tough.” 

“From our perspective, it may be troublesome, but from their perspective, it’s business.”

Even though it’s a tourist spot, they wouldn’t go as far as approaching individual customers.

The incident where Tyran-san almost got caught by a stall was just an irregularity. Or maybe they approached him because they were convinced he had a girlfriend.

Tyran-san has a handsome face. He’s good at taking care of others and skilled in magic. It wouldn’t be strange if he had a girlfriend.

It wouldn’t be strange if the stall owner misunderstood.

That’s what I thought, but when I actually walked around, I came to realize the truth in his words. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟒: 𝐄𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧-𝐚𝐢𝐫 𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐨𝐫𝐬

“How about a lucky bracelet for your sister?”

“My sister is already happy enough. No problem.”

“Then, how about for Onii-san?”

“Having such a cute sister, aren’t I already happy?”

“What about a popular stuffed animal for girls?”

“Not needed.”

“This ribbon is a specially made one woven in the neighboring country. Please have the Onii-san over there take a closer look.”

“My sister suits simple things more than flashy ones.”

Even we, who clearly look like siblings, are occasionally approached. 

With Tyran-san’s siscon act and cold gaze combo, we smoothly make our way, but young men and women are highly likely to be approached.

If you don’t need it, you can just refuse like Tyran-san, but it takes mental energy to escape from the enthusiastic words of the street vendors. 

I also don’t feel confident in safely getting out alone. I just stick closely to Tyran-san. Then, his hand reaches out.

Is he trying to make sure we don’t get separated? I’m not so young that I have to hold hands. But for a brother who dotes on his sister, holding hands is normal, I suppose.

I slowly grip his hand, he continues to pull me along.

The destination, the bookstore, is bigger than I imagined.

It’s about the same size as the town hall. Without getting lost inside, Tyran-san confidently moves forward. Then, he stops right in front of a certain shelf.

“The cooking books are here. Sorry, but I’ll go check the other shelves. I plan to come back once I’m done, but just in case, I’ll give you a watch. If you don’t see me even when the hour hand reaches the top, wait outside.”

What was taken out of his pocket was a pocket watch that looked quite expensive. It’s not something you would entrust to a stranger, and I remembered it.

“This… could it be a matching set?”

Olivier-sama also had a watch with the same design. It seems she received it as a gift from someone important. Since she had a new watch, she gave me the old one.

I debated whether it was okay to mention Olivier-sama’s name in the human realm and decided to keep it hidden.

Tyran-san seemed to hesitate for a moment, but he quickly arrived at an answer. He nodded.

“Yes, we got them to match.”

When he said “three people,” it meant Olivier-sama, Tyran-san, and who could be the third person?

I was surprised to hear that Olivier-sama was someone important enough for Tyran-san to give a watch to, but I have an idea of who that important person might be to him.

It’s his master. There must be some connection there.

While I was wondering about it, Tyran-san headed towards the intended shelf.

I can’t ask for detailed information while I’m in the human realm anyway. Regaining my focus, I also started searching for books.

Fortunately, there is still quite some time until the needle reaches the top. I can search slowly.

The theme of the book I plan to buy this time is a book that is unlikely to be found in the library. I will exclude the homely snacks from my hometown since there’s no need to look at books for that.

It’s difficult to find the intended book among a large number of books. I usually rely on Orphemia-san for that. I once again realize her greatness. 

Compared to Orphemia-san, I check my books at a slower pace and end up piling up books that catch my interest one after another.

The fact that I may not be able to come back here and the fact that I brought extra money accelerated my desire to buy. Before I knew it, a large number of books had accumulated in my arms.

When I adjust the weight a little and hold them again, a familiar face peeks out from the shoulder.

“Isn’t it heavy?”

It’s Tyran-san. He’s carrying a paper bag from the bookstore. It seems he has already paid.

“Are you done already?”

“Yeah, I found them quite quickly. By the way, are you planning to buy all of those?”

“If I don’t buy them now, when will I? I’m stacking them while calculating, so I’m fine with money.”

I’m good at calculations. I roughly calculate so that I won’t end up saying, “I don’t have enough money” at the register.

“I brought extra money, so don’t worry about money.”

“You brought extra money?”

“From the young master at home. Well, it’s like an expense, so don’t worry about it. Instead, he’ll probably make a fuss about wanting this and that for a while.”

The young master must be referring to Demon King-sama.

I can’t help but let out a chuckle when I imagine his delighted expression at the new snack.

“Rather than that, do you not need any books other than cooking? There were fashion magazines over there.”

“I only need recipe books. There are plenty of regular books. Oh, but if you can buy me a snack book, can I also look at regular cooking books?”

He indirectly seems to be telling me to take an interest in fashion, but I choose to ignore it. 

Even if you learn about the current trends, they will change by next year anyway. When necessary, you can just look at the mannequins in clothing stores.

More importantly, having three meals a day is more important. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟓: 𝐅𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲

“If it’s cooking, wouldn’t a chef make it?”

“It seems like they’re concerned about having a slight bias in the dishes. Lately, they’ve been asking a lot about home cooking and local cuisine. So if there’s room, I’d like to give them a few books as a gift.”

At first, Migi-san and Hidari-san were only interested in snacks, but recently they have become curious about home cooking as well.

It all started when Orphemia-san accidentally bought a book on home cooking along with the snack book.

When they saw the cream stew with plenty of vegetables and murmured, “I want to eat that after a long time,” their interest was sparked. 

Their cooking is delicious, but they still worry about having a biased repertoire. They were very interested in ordinary home-cooked meals and modest meals served at the church.

But what I know is only based on the quantity and taste in my own home. I often just throw in whatever vegetables seem to go well at the time, and the quantity is often estimated.

I have never had any problems with it, but they don’t have a standard to compare to, so they seemed anxious. But books should have precise measurements. At least they are much more accurate than my memory.

“Then let’s choose together.”

“Do you have something you want to eat?”

“Pumpkin potage. The one with potatoes.”

“How about something around here?”

We choose books together, shoulder to shoulder.

Tyran-san chooses books with potatoes and pumpkins on the cover. He must like them. I choose a few books that don’t overlap with the ones he chose. 

Taking advantage of his offer to buy other books besides the snack book, I entrust him with the books. After the payment is done, he and I hold the books, sharing the load.

“If there’s somewhere else you want to go, we can stop by.”

“No, I’ve bought everything I wanted, and the young master is waiting. Let’s go back quickly.”

“When we get back, they’ll immediately start saying they want to eat this and that from the books.”

“Like Tyran-san earlier?”

“Yes.”

I’m hungry… I mutter as we walk through the forest.

When people are no longer in sight, I decide to ask the question I had in the bookstore.

“Are you close with her and Saint-sama?”

“Granny is master’s older sister, like family.”

“Family…”

“When I was young, I went to the church with my master every other week. There were times when I couldn’t see Granny because she was busy, but we always met every month without fail. She scolded us a lot, but Master was still happy. Granny always made snacks and waited for us.”

Tyran-san’s softened expression as he talks about his memories is a happy one. Olivier-sama and his master are truly important people to him.

Naturally, my heart warms at the word “family” that naturally came up.

“It’s a wonderful memory.”

“Yeah. The ice cream that was made for us the other day, we were talking about coming to eat it together someday. Granny can’t leave that place freely, but still, someday. The ice cream shop was gone before that, but I was glad to know it wasn’t just a dream.” 

“I’ll make it for you again anytime. It’s not a dream. Let’s eat together when she comes.”

It seems that his master has already passed away, so Tyran-san cannot recreate the scene he once imagined.

But still, his wish to let Olivier-sama taste it will come true.

I will make it happen.

As I clench my fist, Tyran-san smiles softly.

“…Thank you.”

From then on, until we reach the location of the teleportation circle, we don’t say a word.

But Tyran-san smiles gently, imagining the happiness that will come someday, and I also immerse myself in happiness while glancing at him.

When we return to the place where we teleported earlier, Tyran-san squats down and flicks his finger. Then, the disappeared magic circle reappears.

Just like when we came, we entered the magic circle together and returned to the Demon King’s Castle in an instant.

“We’re back!”

“We’re back now.”

Demon King-sama rushes over with quick steps. His gaze is fixed on the bookstore bag. He must have been looking forward to it.

“Thank you for the money. Thanks to you, I could buy a lot.”

“It’s a cheap price since it’s replacing my snacks. But more importantly, show me the books you bought!”

I hand him the loot along with the paper bag, and Demon King-sama holds it carefully and returns to his throne. His face shines as he flips through the recipe book.

As I watch with a heartwarming feeling, a bag from the bookstore is handed to me from the side. 

“Dairy, use it.”

“Huh?”

“I found a book that seems to have magic that Dairy could use.”

“You chose it for me?”

“It’s my usual gratitude.”

“Thank you. I will treasure it.”

“Yeah.”

Tyran-san says that and looks away.

It seemed like he chose it for me when we were separated at the bookstore.

Whether it’s a notebook or a grimoire, Tyran-san gives me things that seem useful even after I leave this place. It made me happy that he naturally considers the future.

Tyran-san has his usual aloof expression, but I didn’t miss the slight blush on his ears hidden by his hair. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟔: 𝐀 𝐥𝐢𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠

The snack books were taken to Demon King-sama’s room. The magic books were taken by Tyran-san.

After placing the book I received from Tyran-san in my room, I take the remaining cookbook and head to the kitchen. It’s to give Migi-san and Hidari-san the souvenir books.

As expected, they were very happy.

Let’s have a shelf made for the books! We immediately started a meeting on where to place the shelf.

For the time being, these cooking classes will be included in the snack meeting time. I should also study in advance.

That night, Demon King-sama visited my room.

It seems he has already read all the books. Since he couldn’t convey it through the communication device, he wrote it down on a memo and brought it.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Demon King-sama only said that and left with a smile on his face.

The memo left behind not only listed the names of the snacks but also contained comments and orders such as which parts looked delicious, wanting extra toppings, or desiring strawberries. 

I imagine the scene of them writing while reading a book and it brings a smile to my face.

The additional snacks book that I purchased will be read by Demon King-sama first, then by me, Migi-san, and Hidari-san, and finally, it will be stored in the library.

Orphemia-san seems to be shocked by the book, which is completely different from the ones they have collected so far. It seems like a new world has opened up for her. 

She started bringing a large number of books that didn’t contain sparkling snacks. With the expanded variety, the amount of purchases increased all at once.

It seems Demon King-sama is also providing money to support it.

However, perhaps because it increased too quickly in a short period of time, there were more duplicate recipes included. Occasionally, the same book was mixed in.

Not only recipe books, but it is common for the cover to change for books that have been loved for a long time. Sometimes, the content also undergoes slight changes, and it seems he buys them as separate books.

However, recently, the cooking books that were rarely borrowed have suddenly increased in lending frequency, so it might be just right after all.

While walking through the castle, there are times when the servants ask me what the meaning of the recipe books is while holding them. It seems they thought it would be more accurate to ask a human since the recipes were made by humans.

However, there are many things that I don’t understand either. Especially for highly specialized ones, I ask Migi-san and Hidari-san before answering.

Sometimes it’s helpful, sometimes it’s not, but the people in the castle seem to be enjoying it.

Ciel-san, one of the demons, has become interested in recipe books after eating snacks.

However, she seems to specialize in just looking at the books and has no intention of making them herself. Even so, she told me while hugging the jar of cookies that she is having a lot of fun.

The demand for recipe books from the people in the Demon King’s Castle is high, and before I knew it, not only the kitchen but also the library had a shelf for cooking books. 

I’m not someone who usually searches for books on my own, but Orphemia-san guided me. There’s even a cute sign like a bookstore. It’s delightful to have the books I chose accepted.

As I walk down the hallway with a relaxed expression, I hear footsteps.

It sounds like someone is running. But the footsteps are light for an adult. 

Moreover, it’s not just one set of footsteps. I can hear several of them, and it seems Cerberus’ footsteps are mixed in as well.

Is a child being chased by Cerberus?

I need to be careful, I thought as I turned the corner of the hallway.

“Dairy-chan, there you are!”

There stood Demon King-sama with Cerberus and Meti-chan. Instead of being chased, they seem to get along well.

Even with Meti-chan next to them, everyone behaves.

“What’s the matter?”

“What’s the matter? That’s not it. I’ve been trying to reach you multiple times, but you’re not answering at all. This makes the communication device useless.”

Demon King-sama pouts. I hurriedly searched my pockets, but there’s no usual bulge.

It seems I left it in the room. I apologize sincerely.

“I’m sorry. I left it in the room…”

“I thought so, so I had Cerberus look for you.”

“What happened then?”

“The Magic Fortune Flower bloomed, so I came to report it to Demon King-sama!”

“I heard Dairy helped with planting, so I thought of going to see it together.”

“But, it takes time for that flower to bloom.” 

According to Gweil-san, it will take at least until the end of the next rainy season after the cold season has completely passed. In the worst case, it could take nearly a year. We are still not even in the rainy season yet.

Isn’t it too early, no matter how you look at it?

“It bloomed early thanks to Dairy-chan.”

“Thanks to me?”

Meti-chan told me excitedly. But all I did was help. Perhaps it was Gweil-san’s good cultivation methods.

“You should see it for yourself.”

“Ojii-chan is waiting, so let’s go quickly!”

With Meti-chan and Demon King-sama holding my hands, Cerberus follows behind us with a trot.

We turn at the familiar corner towards the direction of the flower figurine and head to the backyard.

There, unfamiliar flowers were blooming in the flower bed. They are probably the magic fortune flowers. They are beautiful.

However, for some reason, they are not blooming in all the places where they were planted. Only in some places where I planted them, the flowers were blooming. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟕: 𝐌𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐄𝐧𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜

“Indeed, Dairy’s enchantment magic is splendid.”

“But I didn’t cast any enchantment magic.”

“However, there are overlapping healing and strengthening enchantments, right?”

According to Demon King-sama, all the flowers that are blooming have enchantment magic on them. And he says that all of it is my magic.

I didn’t intend to cast such a thing.

Is it possible for the magic cast on the towel to affect other things?

But if that’s the case, it should have an effect on flowers planted by someone other than me.

Gweil-san and Meti-chan also had the towel with enchantment magic. I cast it as well. The conditions should be the same.

However, the fact that only the flowers in the place I planted have magic cast on them denies this idea.

But even so, I can’t think of any other reason.

The mystery remains, but for now, I’ll just think that the impact I gave had a positive effect.

“Oh, by the way, Dairy-chan and Demon King-sama, there’s another flower I want you to see. Meti’s flower has bloomed.”

I follow Meti-chan as she pulls my arm. There, I see a flower that looks like a soap bubble.

It must be a flower that blooms differently depending on the person who plants it, as she told me when we planted it.

As she said, there are several flowers blooming inside.

“Meti’s flower is cute, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it’s really cute!”

“It has grown beautifully. You have infused it with magic skillfully.” 

“Hehe. I was praised by Demon King-sama too. I wonder what kind of flower will bloom from Dairy-chan’s.”

“I’m looking forward to it.”

“When it blooms, let’s look at it together again!”

“At that time, make sure to call me too!”

“Yeah! It would be nice if wizard-san could come too.”

“I will bring him along.”

“Thank you, Demon King-sama. Cerberus-chan, please come too.”

“Woof!”

Meti-chan hugs Cerberus and strokes its head. Cerberus’s ears droop down, looking happy. They seem to have become close without me realizing it.

Especially the expression of the middle one is relaxed.

There is no dignity as a guard dog; it is just a dog that loves Meti-chan.

“Come again sometime.”

“Thank you for accompanying my granddaughter this time.”

We are seen off by Gweil-san and Meti-chan, and I walk down the corridor with Demon King-sama and Cerberus.

We start with a conversation about snacks, then quickly shift to talking about Tyran-san.

“Tyran, he disappeared again. Although it’s for research, I feel a little lonely.”

Demon King-sama droops his shoulders, looking downcast. He must usually endure it.

“I’m worried if he’s taking proper breaks.”

“Tyran is not the type to take care of himself… So, I want Dairy, who is in charge of snacks, to make snacks that will make Tyran come out of his room. Oh, but easy-to-eat ones are not allowed. He will come out and leave immediately.”

“If that’s the case, I have something in mind…”

I explain the plan, and Demon King-sama’s eyes sparkle.

Cerberus also realizes that we are talking about snacks and seems to be getting hungry. Before I knew it, they had separated into three pups.

“Since it might be a nuisance right away, should we do it in five days or so? I’ll write and hand out the invitations.”

“That’s a good idea! I’ll write to Tyran!”

“And then Migi-san, Hidari-san, Ciel-san, and Orphemia-san. I hope Meti-chan and Gweil-san will come too.”

“They will definitely come. Once it’s decided, let’s write the letters together!”

I return to the room with Demon King-sama and grab a letter set and a pen. We decided to create the invitations with them.

It seems to be Demon King-sama’s first time writing invitations, as he is rewriting what I wrote.

Knowing that Demon King-sama wrote it with all his effort, Tyran-san will surely come out of his room. 

We quickly finished writing the invitations together. Tyran-san seemed a little surprised when he received the invitation, but he promised to come. I make arrangements with the other people as well. 

The venue will be the courtyard, not the king’s chamber, as Meti-chan and Gweil-san offered the place.

Demon King-sama, along with the two of them, will be in charge of setting up the tables and such.

Migi-san, Hidari-san, and Ciel-san will prepare the tea. Orphemia-san will prepare some decorations to put on the table.

So, I can focus solely on making snacks. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟖: 𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐬 𝐌𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠

On the day of the snack party,

I stand in the kitchen earlier than usual. The snack I’m making this time is crepes.

Although it’s called a snack, the purpose is also to provide a meal.

I decided to make savory crepes with a mild sweetness in the batter.

For the fillings, I mainly use ham, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and other ingredients that would make good side dishes.

Migi-san and Hidari-san have kindly provided the sauce they usually use for sandwiches, so I gratefully use it.

I also prepare whipped cream, jam, and fruits.

I plan to serve them on individual plates and let everyone wrap them as they like.

By the way, I won’t serve the sweet items from the beginning, but in the middle. Demon King-sama looked disappointed, but when I said it was for Tyran-san, he nodded.

The fillings are all simple.

Once I make the crepe batter, all I have to do is pour it and cook it, flip it, and repeat.

By the time the batter is gone, there are about four plates of piled-up crepes.

This should be enough to make.

If there are leftovers, I’ll make milk crepe ice cream. Mixing chocolate into the cream to make it chocolate-flavored might be a good idea.

While thinking about such things, I roll the kitchen wagon with the crepes and fillings.

When I arrive in the backyard, the invited guests are gathered.

Flowers and cute rabbit plush toys are placed on the table. We are just waiting for the main crepes.

“Dairy has arrived!”

“Snack saint-san, over here.”

“Dairy-chan, welcome.” 

“I’ll help.”

“So, this is a crepe.”

“It looks like a thin pancake.”

Everyone is eagerly interested in the crepes. They stare at them intently.

I arrange the crepe mountains on the table at equal intervals and place large plates in front of each person. I randomly place the plates with fillings in the empty spaces.

The sweet items are still hidden in the wagon.

The tea is ready, and I start explaining how to eat the crepes.

“Please take the crepes stacked on this plate and put them on your own plate. Then, add your favorite fillings on top. You can cut and eat with a knife, or roll it up and eat with your hands. Enjoy it however you like.”

The explanation is so casual that everyone’s eyes widened.

So, I decided to take a crepe first, arrange the fillings, and try eating it.

I put ham, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce, and poured Migi-san and Hidari-san’s special sauce. It’s the completion of a deluxe salad crepe.

It’s part of the charm of making your own crepes to go a little overboard. I open my mouth wide to eat without spilling.

“Mmm, it’s delicious.”

When I convey that, everyone nods enthusiastically. It’s a bit embarrassing. But it seems they understood how to eat. Each of them starts reaching for the crepes.

“Ojii-chan, Meti, I want those leaves.”

“What about these red berries?”

“I want those too!”

“Tyran, I want cheese. Get it for me.”

“Mm.” 

“It’s nice to admire the sparkling snacks, but this is also good.”

“Orphemia, if you’re too relaxed, they’ll be gone.”

“Should the sauce be a little milder for easier eating?”

“No, I think this level is good for it to blend with the vegetables.”

It was the first time for everyone to gather around a table and eat together, but they accepted it smoothly.

They are already trying to find their favorite combinations.

Only Demon King-sama seems to be glancing at the wagon, perhaps knowing that there are sweet fillings in there. However, both the crepes and fillings are steadily decreasing.

I’m glad they liked it, and I let out a sigh of relief.

Then, Tyran-san stands up and comes over to me.

“I’m sorry for worrying you.”

“Huh?”

“Demon King-sama told me that you were worried. He said you organized this party because you were worried about me.”

“It’s because you’ve been working hard, Tyran-san. But please don’t push yourself too much.”

“I’ll be careful.”

I tell him that I have prepared jam for later, and I take out the jam plates from the wagon.

His eyes change.

Although he has been eating deliciously so far, the power of jam is still formidable. He immediately secures crepes on his own plate.

“Oh, that’s not fair! Meti wants lots of crepes too!” 

“Me too, me too!”

Since entering the sweet crepe time, the excitement has increased even more, and not a single crepe remained from the large quantity that was cooked.

Rather, Demon King-sama seemed disappointed, saying, “I wanted to eat a little more…”

And so, the crepe party ended with great acclaim.

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟗: 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐬

The rumors of the crepe party being held in the backyard spread quickly.

It seems Orphemia-san and Meti-chan boasted about it to people they met.

As a result, I ended up being begged for crepes by the people I met.

But it’s difficult to have a crepe party with a large number of people. So, I decided to distribute the wrapped ones over several days.

“Snack Saint-san.”

As I was distributing crepes, someone called out to me.

“A thank you for the other day.”

“Wow, can I really have this many?”

“It’s fine. My younger brothers were also very happy.”

What was handed to me was a large paper bag.

A while ago, she asked me for a recipe for delicious egg snacks.

She said she wanted to treat her younger brothers at her parents’ house. After practicing together once, I gave her some notes. It seems that they have been helpful.

“I’m glad they liked it.”

“If it’s not a bother, I’d like you to teach me a different snack before I go back home.”

“I’d be happy to.”

It seems she sneaked out during work. After saying just that, she ran off. The contents of the bag were a large amount of yarn.

White yarn piled up in the bag, forming a mountain. I dig through the mountain, there are also brown and red ones inside.

“Since I received so much yarn, maybe I should knit something. With this much, I could even make a sweater. No, maybe a stomach warmer since I already have clothes?”

It’s very fluffy and seems to have good insulation. I hum a tune as I head to my room.

On the way, I met Tyran-san.

“You seem to be in a good mood.”

“I received a large amount of yarn earlier! I’m thinking of knitting something with it.” 

Since the crepe party, Tyran-san has started coming out of his room more often.

According to him, it’s for a change of mood, but Demon King-sama is delighted. I am also relieved to see him looking energetic. 

“Do you have knitting needles?”

“Ah! No, I don’t… “

“Just wait a moment.”

After a while, Tyran-san came back with knitting needles in his hand.

“You can use these.”

“Thank you.”

“It’s something that belonged to my grandmother, so don’t worry about it.”

“By the way, Tyran-san, do you wear a sweater or something under that robe?”

“I don’t. Why?”

“I thought it might be cold when you go outside since you always wear the same robe.”

“It’s made of special fibers, so I don’t feel cold or hot. But I remember, my master used to say the same thing to Granny. ‘Make sure the child wears proper clothes.’ At that time, Granny knitted a sweater for me… well, I couldn’t wear it for long.”

As I watch him narrow his eyes and reminisce about his childhood, I also remember the time when I was in the village.

I used to knit sweaters, stomach warmers, and gloves for my younger sisters when it got cold. Ah, those were the days.

“If you don’t mind, could you let me knit a sweater for you? As a thank you for the book I received the other day.”

I can’t fulfill the role of keeping warm, and I’m sure he would be happier receiving it from Olivier-sama.

Still, in my arms, there is a large amount of yarn, and I wanted to express my gratitude in a way other than snacks.

If he refuses, then I can think of something else at that time. It was a suggestion made with a light heart. 

“Then, how about making a vest instead of a sweater? You can wear it under the robe. Granny used to do the same.”

“Alright. Let’s make a vest then. Please let me measure your size.”

I borrowed a measuring tape from Ciel-san and measured his size. He is much bigger than my memories of my younger sisters, who stopped growing several years ago. This seems like a worthwhile project.

“Thank you.”

“You can count on me.”

“Here, leave it to me.”

I pat my chest and part ways with Tyran-san.

From then on, I diligently knit the vest during the evenings.

A few days after starting the vest, I was summoned by Demon King-sama.

I thought it would be about the snacks, but it wasn’t. What Demon King-sama handed me was not a recipe book, but a large amount of yarn.

“Make a vest for me too.”

It seems he heard from somewhere that I was knitting a vest for Tyran-san.

“I want it to be red! The white one suits Dairy better.”

After preparing additional yarn, he even specified the color…

He didn’t even consider the possibility of being refused.

If I take it as a sign of trust, or if I think that I haven’t been given the right to refuse…

When I check his complexion through the gaps in the yarn, Demon King-sama’s expression is sparkling. He seems genuinely looking forward to the gift. I’m weak to those eyes.

“Understood. Can I have a little time?”

“Yes! I’ll be waiting!” 

As a result, it was decided to knit three different-colored vests.

I measure Demon King-sama’s size and return to the room. With three vests, it would be better to work on them not only at night but also in the morning, sacrificing some time.

At this age, and not as family or lovers, having different-colored vests… 

I can’t say I have no thoughts about it, but strangely, I don’t feel uncomfortable.

That’s probably because all the memories made at the Demon King’s Castle are gentle.

Being abandoned by Jude and remembering my past life, my life has changed drastically.

But coming to the Demon World has further changed me. I have more enjoyable memories, and even when I think back to the time in the village, I no longer feel pain.

The hurdle of writing letters has also lowered, and I feel the sense of moving forward.

I wonder if my feelings are being seen through.

Someday, I might even be able to completely process the feelings I had for Jude, which were once so painful, as things of the past.

“I’m glad Olivier-sama spoke to me back then.”

In a room alone, I embrace the memories of the Demon World. The yarn in my hands is warm and soft. It truly represents the place called the Demon King’s Castle.

Once I hand over the completed vest, as Tyran-san declared, he starts wearing it under his robe. 

It seems he has cast a living magic on it, so there is no need to wash it. It’s convenient.

As for Demon King-sama, he even changes into an outfit that matches the vest and proudly shows it off throughout the Demon World.

I’m glad he’s happy, but I didn’t want the name “Dairy” to spread throughout the Demon World. Even though it’s not my real name, it still feels embarrassing.

But then again, considering that the name “snack saint” has already spread, it’s a bit late now. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟎: 𝐅𝐮𝐧 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭

“As expected, donuts with raisins are the best.”

“I like plain ones with chocolate. The special feeling of enjoying two flavors in one is great.”

“I’m glad you’re happy.”

While eating the bite-sized donuts fried at Tyran-san’s request, we had a peaceful time.

Even though we haven’t seen our flowers bloom during the rainy season, there’s no need to rush. We can patiently wait for the joy of blooming someday.

As I pour tea into our cups, I also pick up a donut. 

Today’s snack distribution is done, and we have a stockpile.

I have promised Tyran-san to study with him in the evening, and tomorrow, I plan to hold a human cuisine research meeting with Migi-san and Hidari-san from the morning.

“It’s been almost a year since Tyran and Dairy came here, hasn’t it? Shouldn’t we celebrate?”

“Celebrate, you say?”

“Just like when we had snacks in the courtyard, we can gather everyone and have snacks together.”

“You just want to eat crepes again.”

“The crepes were delicious, but it’s not just that! It was fun to prepare together. It was my first experience like that.”

That day was truly enjoyable. The rabbit plushie that Orphemia-san gave me as a souvenir is still displayed by my pillow.

It was placed on the table during the crepe gathering. Since it was given to all participants, I’m sure Demon King-sama and Tyran-san also treasure it.

“At that time, I was just eating. If there’s a next time, I’ll help with something.”

“Really?!” 

“We’ll all do it together, right?”

“Yes!”

It’s been almost a year since I came to the Demon King’s Castle.

Recently, I have been having even more fulfilling days than before.

But that enjoyable time suddenly changed in an instant.

A letter fell in front of Tyran-san. It seemed to have fallen from nowhere. It’s teleportation magic.

I have become quite familiar with it in the past year. He catches it and checks the address.

“Ah, the schedule for the festival preparations has been decided.”

It seems to be a letter from someone in the human realm. Come to think of it, he mentioned being forced to help with festival preparations a while ago.

Tyran-san seems to think it’s about that. But gradually, his eyebrows furrow.

It’s been a while since he made such an expression. It’s the same face I saw many times when I first came to the Demon King’s Castle.

Although tiredness and sleepiness sometimes show on his face, he hasn’t made such an expression recently. What could have happened?

Even Demon King-sama stops eating, sensing something is wrong.

“What’s the matter?”

“It seems to be a national defense crisis. They want me to come as soon as possible. But there are no details written.”

“Have you heard anything about demons rebelling?”

“…I’ll be back soon. It doesn’t seem like I’ll be able to return today or tomorrow, but I’ll contact you if I find out anything.”

Tyran-san stuffs the half-eaten donut into his mouth and finishes his tea. 

While wearing a genuinely displeased expression, he starts drawing the teleportation magic circle. It seems he will teleport to the human realm without even going to his room to get his belongings.

“Tyran-san, please wait a moment!”

I run to the kitchen and pack the donuts I prepared for myself in a bag. Then, I haphazardly stuff cookies and muffins from the stockpile into similar bags, making three of them.

Migi-san and Hidari-san are very surprised, but there’s no time to explain. I tell them I’ll talk later and return to the king’s chamber.

The teleportation magic circle is already nearing completion. It seems I made it in time.

“Here! Please take these with you.”

“Snacks, huh?”

“I’ve cast a preservation magic on everything except the donuts, so they should last for a while. Please eat them when you’re hungry in the human realm.”

“I appreciate it.”

Tyran-san smiles softly. He puts the snack set in his pocket and steps onto the teleportation magic circle. His figure is already gone, leaving only the freshly written teleportation magic circle.

From the moment the relaxed time crumbled until now, it was truly a short time.

Sitting on an empty chair, I mutter to myself.

“What is a national defense crisis?”

“Conflict doesn’t only occur between different races. Even if demons and humans have made an agreement, it doesn’t guarantee peace… By the way, don’t you have any cookies for me?”

“I thought you would say that, so I brought Demon King-sama’s share as well. I was in a hurry, so they might be broken.”

“As expected of Dairy!” 

Demon King-sama’s eyes sparkle as he receives the bag from me. He picks up the cookies that have become easier to eat and happily resumes snack time.

Tyran-san doesn’t seem to be worried at all. He must have trust. I haven’t reached that level of acceptance. Whether the enemy is a demon or a human, things that worry me are still worries.

I hope he returns without any injuries… 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟏: 𝐓𝐲𝐫𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝

“Search for the woman the Hero promised to marry, is it?”

Tyran, who was suddenly called during snack time, was displeased. Nevertheless, knowing that there might be a reason, he hurriedly came.

Upon learning that it was for the purpose of searching for the Hero’s lover, his mood worsened even more.

“Tyran knows that she was an apprentice saint at the capital’s church, right? That girl suddenly disappeared.”

“She was kidnapped? I heard there were frequent thefts, but I never expected it to escalate to kidnapping.”

“We don’t know if it’s a kidnapping.”

“What do you mean?”

After being informed of the details, he is left dumbfounded. He doesn’t have the energy to get angry. He started to get a headache, wondering if he was called for something like this.

For Tyran, it may be “something like that,” but for the country, it seems to be a major issue to the extent of recalling a demoted wizard.

The high-ranking officials who demoted Tyran all bowed their heads, saying, “Please lend us your strength.”

It seems like a ridiculous sight, but there is a strong determination and fatigue that won’t be returned until he lend a hand. They have already tried everything they could, but couldn’t figure out what to do, so they called Tyran.

The other party is a human. Moreover, an apprentice saint.

Although the reasons are unknown, it is negligent for the palace’s wizards to collectively fail to find her.

But the most troublesome part is that quite a long time has passed since the girl disappeared.

Why now? If they had acted sooner, there would have been no need to summon Tyran. 

I want to complain to the Hero, but he seems quite distraught.

“I wrote a letter as soon as I returned.”

“She should have been waiting for me.”

“Why isn’t she at the church or the village?”

“Why does no one know…?”

He mutters to himself at the corner of the room.

Suddenly, as if he had come up with something, he stands up and is calmed down by his companions. It repeats like that.

Honestly, I want him to leave because he’s distracting.

But they’re doing their best to keep him in the castle until the one-year anniversary of the peace treaty. 

Yet, they give Tyran an annoying gaze, as if warning him not to say anything unnecessary.

We have been traveling together for three years. I know he’s not a bad guy.

Tyran and the Hero have different perspectives.

The reason they called Tyran after two months of the search starting must be because they anticipated that Tyran would confront the Hero with cutting words.

I don’t intend to get involved with such a troublesome person. The search is the priority now.

If she disappeared of her own accord, that’s fine, but if there is a possibility of an incident, it’s best to find her as soon as possible.

I spread magical power not only within the country but also to neighboring countries and the surrounding areas.

Search magic consumes a large amount of magical power and mental energy. I recover with the potions and snacks I received, but the consumption rate is high.

If it weren’t for the vest I was given and the strong desire to return to the Demon King’s Castle quickly, I might have collapsed along the way.

But even after exhausting myself, I couldn’t find the girl I was looking for. 

I believe I have searched all the places where it is possible to search. The only places I haven’t searched are countries that have no interaction with us. She might be in a remote area or an island country, or someone might be hiding her.

Either way, it is currently impossible to conduct further searches. We need to make arrangements with other countries.

If only we could remove the search interference magic that was cast, which was said to have been set up at the church, the search would be easier.

But the fact that it was powerful and left untouched for nearly a year becomes a barrier.

If we had started moving within a month of it being cast, not only could we have lifted the search interference magic, but we could have also narrowed down the range of the search magic.

“It was something important, I should have treated it with more care. No matter what the circumstances were, once it lost its original value, it slipped through my fingers.”

During our journey, Tyran has conveyed similar words to the Hero many times. But the Hero just keeps saying that everything will be fine and doesn’t try to understand Tyran’s words.

I wonder how the letter, the first one sent since the peace treaty was established, was received by the girl who became an apprentice saint in the capital.

The days of just waiting are painful.

I didn’t want Dairy to become like the Hero, so I forced a letter-set on her.

She seems to be pondering in front of the stationery, but she still writes a letter every month. Recently, her face has become brighter when handing over the envelope.

I still don’t know why Olivier sent her to the Demon Realm. 

However, her presence, which I initially thought was just troublesome, gradually grew larger within me, and now I even think it’s natural to be together.

The snacks that I used to reluctantly accept in the past now feel empty without them.

“I wish I could have eaten more donuts…”

Muttering softly, my mouth craves for sweetness. There are no more snacks that she gave me to take with me. I finished them quickly.

Will I be able to have them fried for me when I return?

It doesn’t have to be donuts. I want to enjoy the snacks she makes and savor the leisurely flowing time.

That is Tyran’s precious time. A time that I don’t want to let go of.

Remembering life at the Demon King’s Castle, I stand up.

“There’s no point in staying here. I’ll go back once.”

After all, I can easily come back with teleportation magic. Whether I wait in the human realm’s castle or at the Demon King’s Castle, it’s the same thing. And if it’s the same, then the Demon King’s Castle is definitely better.

The human realm without Master and Olivier feels suffocating.

I feel that way even more because I have experienced a place that accepts Tyran as just Tyran.

In order to return to a place where warm welcomes await, Tyran strides through the royal castle.

Contrary to the fatigue accumulated in my body, my steps are very light. 

𝐓𝐋: 𝐈𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐲𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐮𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬, 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐭 𝐚 𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐤.

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟐: 𝐁𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐨 (𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟏)

Jude was born and raised in a rural village far from the capital city.

There were few young people, and it was a peaceful and uneventful daily life, which Jude enjoyed.

The raspberry pie that his childhood friend Maylene, who loved making snacks, baked for him was truly delicious, and he thought that he would continue to live these unchanging days forever.

That future changed four years ago.

A messenger came from the capital. Suddenly being told to become a hero, I couldn’t comprehend it.

But what I couldn’t understand even more was that my mother was encouraging Maylene to marry another man.

Not only my mother, but Maylene’s parents and even the village chief were pushing her.

Maylene’s heart was greatly swayed by the words of the adults.

I strongly felt that I had to keep her heart with me—yes, that’s what I thought.

“Let’s get married when I come back.”

I wished for her to wrap her soft body around me and wait. Maylene nodded slowly.

Soon after that, we set off for the capital.

Jude, who thought he would spend his whole life in the village, never expected to have an audience with the king.

He thought only about not being disrespectful. That’s all he could think about.

Then, the future plans were explained, and several men were introduced as the hero’s companions. It was nothing but anxiety to entrust my back to someone I just met.

Nevertheless, they were much stronger and wiser than Jude, who had been living leisurely in the countryside. 

Jude didn’t possess exceptional magical talent or swordsmanship that could surpass everything. He was only included in the circle of geniuses because he had the potential to become a hero.

So he worked much harder than anyone else.

Still, at first, it was a struggle to keep up with them.

After a year of leaving the village, he built a bond of trust with his comrades and became naturally adept at being a hero. 

He still had a long way to go compared to Tyran the wizard, and he was still afraid of fighting monsters. There were nights when he couldn’t sleep, thinking about what would happen if a higher-ranked demon appeared.

Still, he was happy that so many people sought him out, even though he had been just an ordinary villager not long ago.

Among them, the moment that gave Jude the most encouragement was when he happened to see a newspaper article. The names of women who had become apprentice saints were lined up.

Maylene’s name was among them.

How much determination did she need to go to the distant capital city, where she had hardly ever left the village?

Even after a year had passed, he felt like he was in the center of her heart.

“It’s alright after all. Maylene thinks of me.”

Tyran kept telling him to write letters, but Maylene was already like family to him.

They were connected in the depths of their hearts. She believed in him even without writing letters. So, as long as he kept a strong heart, everything would be fine.

The battle against the Demon King, which was thought to be the biggest challenge, ended surprisingly smoothly. 

The Demon King had a much younger appearance than Jude had imagined, but just standing in front of him conveyed a strong sense of power. If they had fought against such a demon, it would not have ended well.

If the Demon King had not shown interest in humans and what they created, peace would never have been achieved. In fact, it wouldn’t have been surprising if the human realm had been invaded.

Expressing gratitude to the Demon King’s deep generosity, a contract was formed.

Although it was called peace, it was not a promise to get along. Still, it was grateful to be able to avoid conflicts with the superior race that possessed much greater power than humans.

During their few days of stay, the Demon King seemed to be very fond of Tyran. While Jude and the others were called “Hero” or “Swordsman,” only Tyran was called by his name.

Tyran had kept his interactions with the castle and their travels to a minimum, but he never showed any signs of resistance. He might surprisingly like children.

Once they returned to the capital city, victory parades and homecoming parties were held daily.

The days when he was treated like a “Hero-sama” and praised as a hero were happier than ever before.

Tyran, who was also celebrated as a hero, had a dark expression that was the complete opposite of Jude’s.

“Let me return to work now that the battle against the Demon King is over.”

He had a more exhausted look than when he was on their journey.

Looking at Tyran, Jude realized that he could become a hero, but he could never become a genius.

As proof of the peace treaty with the demons, Tyran was sent to the demon realm. 

He can spend the whole day doing his favorite research. It is a suitable place for Tyran, who strives to reach even greater heights, whether he is called a genius or not.

If he is not in the castle, I can forget about my inferiority complex.

I should at least see him off. Thinking that, when I head towards the room, he is already gone.

“If anything happens, call me. That’s just like Tyran.”

He left without telling anyone except Jude. Not even pierced by his icy cold eyes. It’s as if Tyran never cared about them from the beginning.

Since then, Jude has become even more immersed in his role as the “Hero.”

“Hey, Jude, is it okay for you not to come back?”

“I have an audience with the king tonight. I’m invited to the evening gatherings tomorrow and the day after. I don’t have time to go back to the village.”

“You’re keeping your lover waiting, aren’t you? There’s teleportation magic, so at least show your face.”

“I wrote a letter, so it’s fine.”

When he heard that he was given a break as an apprentice saint, he sent a letter.

[I will definitely come back, so please wait for me.]

There was a tea party with the princess, so that’s all he could write.

But Maylene will surely understand. She will wait for me.

If I return to the village where there was hardly any damage from the monsters, I will just become the ordinary Jude again.

Peaceful times are good, but I want to immerse myself in special moments a little longer. I want to continue being a hero.

Just a little longer. Just a little longer…

I can return to the village, I can continue where I left off in those days. But this time is only now. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟑: 𝐁𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐨 (𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟐)

Jude became more engrossed in the “special time,” and his companions didn’t say anything more about it.

I realized that several months had passed since my return when the discussion about the one-year anniversary celebration of peace came up.

Already, it’s that time. I wonder if Tyran will come back.

I was vaguely thinking about such things.

As the discussion about the party progressed, it turned to flowers. It was said that each person would be given a bouquet on the day. If there is a favorite flower, they will arrange it as the centerpiece. It was something they prepared. Among them, a certain flower caught my eye.

Clematis――it was Maylene’s favorite flower.

Remembering her smile, I finally began to think, “I should return to the village.”

“I want to go back to the village.”

I murmured quietly. Then, my companions, while exasperated, started preparing the teleportation magic.

They made a bouquet with the flowers prepared as a sample and got on the teleportation magic circle.

It’s been four years since I returned. I believed that Maylene and my family would be happy. But when the villagers saw Jude, instead of welcoming him, they averted their eyes.

After four years, one’s appearance would change slightly. It’s probably just that they don’t recognize me. I didn’t deeply care about it and returned to my parents’ house.

“Jude…”

“So, you actually came back.”

“Well, of course I came back. I told Maylene too, didn’t you hear? Well, never mind. I’m going to Maylene’s house.”

My parents had an indescribable expression on their faces. 

I sent a letter to Maylene, but I didn’t tell my parents anything. I thought that if I sent her a letter, she would understand.

I wish they had told me. 

While thinking that, I knocked on Maylene’s house door. But what I heard from her brother was unexpected.

“Maylene hasn’t come back.”

“Has she gone somewhere?”

“She’s been in the capital for three years. She hasn’t come back since then.”

It was the first conversation in four years, but the words were strangely stiff. Despite the age difference, we were supposed to get along well.

But Maylene’s absence was more important than such small changes.

“But it’s been almost a year since she was dismissed as an apprentice saint. She hasn’t come back even once… Why?”

“I don’t know. But please forget about her.”

He said that with a cold voice, someone who loved his family. 

He was not someone I could talk to. I asked Maylene’s sister and other villagers if they knew anything about Maylene’s whereabouts. But everyone gave similar reactions.

Even my parents told me to “go back to the capital.”

It was as if the village had no place for Jude. 

While I was away, what happened in the village? They don’t seem to intend to tell Jude about that “something.” Is it related to Maylene’s absence?

Why don’t they try to find Maylene? Aren’t they worried, even though they are family?

Jude returned to the castle and decided to start searching for Maylene.

When it came to the search, Tyran’s face came to mind first. He is a genius. If I rely on him, he might find her quickly. But I couldn’t gather the courage to choose to rely on him.

After all, Jude had always dismissed Tyran’s words, telling him to cherish his family and write letters. 

If he were to tell him that Maylene was gone, he might try to kill Jude with cold eyes.

It was scary.

At the same time, he felt anger towards the country and the Demon King, who had caused him to be separated from Maylene. If there hadn’t been the subjugation of the Demon King, if he hadn’t been chosen as the hero, she would have stayed by his side.

Above all, if the lie about the marriage with the princess hadn’t spread…

Soon after starting the search for Maylene, Jude learned that the plan for his marriage with the princess was progressing considerably. The royal family, nobles, and the church had rushed the plan without even informing Jude. 

He also learned for the first time that part of the clothes for the one-year anniversary party of peace was actually a wedding dress.

The king said he would give a reward, but instead of giving, he took many things from Jude. What meaning is there in a future without Maylene?

“After saving the country, this is how I’m treated! If Maylene isn’t found, I won’t forgive those involved in the plan. Whether it’s the king or the saint, it doesn’t matter.”

The kings seemed flustered by Jude, who didn’t even try to hide his killing intent. 

The wizards of the royal palace all joined forces to begin the search for Maylene. Although they may not be as skilled as Tyran, they are still top-notch wizards. They assured him that they would find her soon.

However, she still couldn’t be found.

It seems that a magic spell has been cast on the church where Maylene was staying, hindering the search. It took over a month for them to realize this.

With a click of the tongue, one of the wizards timidly stepped forward.

“We are unable to break this magic. But Tyran, who is called a genius of magic, might be able to.”

Upon hearing that, they finally decided to rely on Tyran.

As expected, he directed a cold gaze towards Jude. What was unexpected was that his attire had changed slightly.

He rarely changes his clothes, claiming to have life magic, but he was wearing a vest that he didn’t recognize.

It was a warm outfit, the complete opposite of Jude, who exudes a chilling aura.

I wonder if he had it knitted by the family he cherished and had always treasured even during the journey to defeat the Demon King.

With that thought, my attention turned more towards the difference between him and me, and my mood began to sink.

But with his help, I can experience that warmth. Just a little more patience.

A little more, a little more. I repeated those words in my head countless times.

However, even with Tyran’s power, we couldn’t find her.

“If it had only been a month since the spell was cast, we might have been able to do something, but it has been almost a year. With such a powerful magic, only the person who cast it can undo it.”

Those words pushed me into despair. 

I tried to hold Tyran back from wanting to return to the Demon King’s Castle and asked him to continue the search. We obtained new information, but it is still uncertain whether we will find her or not.

“Where are you, Maylene…”

If only I had listened to my comrades’ advice and gone to see her sooner.

No, if only I had listened to Tyran’s words and written letters even during our journey.

Regret overwhelms me in the face of the reality that Maylene is not here.

Why did she disappear? I can’t understand even if I think about it.

But as her brother said, I can’t forget her. Maylene is an important family member. I can’t even imagine a future without her by my side.

That’s why I will continue searching.

Even if it means turning the country against me, I strongly desire to feel that warmth and find peace as soon as possible. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟒: 𝐓𝐲𝐫𝐚𝐧’𝐬 𝐑𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧

It was two weeks after receiving the summoning letter that Tyran-san returned.

Holding the letter that arrives every other day, Demon King-sama had been restless.

He told me that he would be sad if there were no snacks when Tyran-san returned, so I also made extra stock.

The two of us spend time looking at the location of the teleportation magic circle, wondering when he will come back.

Then, there was a flash of light, and Tyran-san appeared.

“Just, now…”

However, he was in a completely exhausted state.

“Welcome back. Um, are you okay?”

Something must have been very difficult for him, as he collapsed onto the floor.

“I want Dairy’s donuts.”

He only said that and seemed to lose consciousness. He didn’t even twitch. Perhaps there was a big dispute among humans.

The only things I can do for the tired Tyran-san right now are to cover him with a blanket and fry the donuts he requested.

“Demon King-sama, please watch over Tyran-san.”

“Yes. If anything happens, I will contact you, so make sure to have the communication device.”

“Yes!”

I entrust Tyran-san to Demon King-sama and run to the kitchen.

With the help of Migi-san and Hidari-san, we make a batch of bite-sized donut dough.

I fry plain ones for the two of them, and I fry raisin-filled donuts that Tyran-san likes.

I pile them up on a plate and bring them to the king’s chamber along with milk. 

Demon King-sama sticks close to Tyran-san’s side. When he catches sight of me, he starts shaking his body.

“Tyran, Dairy made donuts for you. They’re freshly made and hot.”

Upon hearing that, Tyran-san starts to stir. He still looks sluggish, but he opens his eyes slightly and sniffs with his nose.

“Be careful, they’re hot.”

Even Demon King-sama, who usually asserts his share, doesn’t seem to have the intention to do so this time.

While helping Tyran-san sit up, I tell him, “There’s plenty. Eat as much as you like.”

Tyran-san, who seems like he might fall asleep again, reaches out for the donuts. Then, he starts eating them with both hands.

“There’s milk too, you know.”

“Mm.”

I thought there would be some leftovers, but the donuts were completely eaten. The milk that I brought in a bottle is also gone.

Demon King-sama looks a little sad.

But Tyran-san seems to have recovered as much as he ate. He now has a slightly human-like expression.

However, his complexion is still pale, and his beard is untrimmed.

There are clear dark circles under his eyes. Thanks to the magic of daily life, his robe is completely clean, and his hair remains neat, which makes the discrepancy more noticeable.

“I feel calm here, after all.” 

“What happened? Did someone invade a certain country…?”

“No, it’s not that. I’m just having trouble finding someone.”

“Finding someone?”

“The woman whom the hero promised to marry has disappeared.”

“What?”

After putting food in his stomach, Tyran-san seems to be getting sleepy. While rowing the boat drowsily, he tells me about the purpose of this gathering.

Summarizing Tyran-san’s story, it goes like this: 

A woman disappeared shortly after the hero’s party returned.

The cause of her disappearance was probably the rumors of his marriage to the princess.

In fact, some members of the royal family, nobles, and the church were trying to forcefully proceed with the marriage to the Great Saint princess.

It was also one of their strategies to have it reported in the media. It was an unavoidable situation for the woman to believe it.

However, as soon as the hero returned, he apparently sent a letter saying, “I will definitely come back, so please wait.”

The hero was convinced that she was waiting for him and returned to the village two months ago. But there was no sign of his “beloved”. In the first place, she wasn’t even there when he returned to the village.

He lamented that she couldn’t believe it and was furious, saying that if she wasn’t found, he would kill the princess who caused it.

Not only the princess but also anyone involved in trying to proceed with the marriage or the plan would not be forgiven.

Realizing the seriousness of the situation, the country started a search two months ago. 

But she couldn’t be found at all. That’s why Tyran-san, who can deploy magic over a wide area, was called.

He wonders what the national defense crisis is. He complains that it’s a nuisance to get involved in petty arguments.

Nevertheless, he must have fulfilled his role properly in this situation. He is, after all, a serious person, no matter what.

I feel frustrated that I have no clue about “the woman” who was supposed to be engaged to the Hero or if he had intended to abandon me from the beginning.

At this point, I can forgive the fact that he was two-timing, but why did he stop the marriage with me and the village chief’s son?

If he had plans to marry another woman, it should have been convenient for him. There was no reason to stop my engagement.

It’s too selfish to interfere with someone else’s marriage and then lament that his future with the person he loves has been hindered.

I can understand involving the royal family and the church, who caused this situation, but why drag Tyran-san, who has no relation to this, into it? It’s giving me a headache. “

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟓: 𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐢𝐭’𝐬 𝐦𝐲 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠

For now, I hand him a napkin, relieved that it’s over.

But the conversation didn’t end there.

After wiping his mouth, he dropped a shocking statement.

“However, even with my power, I couldn’t find that woman. Too much time has passed.”

Search magic becomes harder to track as time passes.

Furthermore, a week before and after the day she disappeared, the entire church was under a search interference magic, making it impossible to find any traces.

It was clear that the magic was intentionally cast, and the user was a considerably powerful individual.

If it was done one or two months ago, he could have dealt with it, but after nearly a year, there was nothing he could do.

It was concluded that the person behind it was likely someone from the church or the castle.

“If we can’t find her with search magic, there’s nothing we can do to help at the moment. That’s why I asked to be allowed to return to Demon King’s Castle until we start the search again, but I haven’t been allowed to leave… Sorry for coming back late.”

“It’s alright. I’m happy that you came back safely.”

As I said that, Tyran-san’s expression relaxed with relief.

Apparently, Tyran-san had been sent out to gather information from the apprentice saints for the past few days.

He seemed terribly exasperated by it, but he caught some valuable information there. 

Although they couldn’t pinpoint the exact date she disappeared, several apprentice saints testified that a few days before they were given time off, they saw “her” meeting with someone.

Even though she always wore a habit, she had makeup on that day.

When she left and when she returned, she looked happy, so she must have met her lover.

If that’s the case, her disappearance might not be a case of her running away, but rather, she went somewhere with her lover.

Considering the previous information, the opponent must be a considerably powerful individual. Tyran-san speculated that they took advantage of the feelings of the people around her and abducted her, knowing that the hero loved her.

“The more information comes out, the more the hero becomes agitated, and his companions find it difficult to stop him. He started saying that he would kill not only the princess but also the king and the demon king, who caused them to be separated for so many years.”

“Am I included in that?!”

“If she didn’t leave the village, that girl would have married me. That’s what the hero says, but it was the hero who took her for granted. If he had acted earlier, she would have been found. He’s just venting his anger.”

That’s exactly right.

If you only take the testimony you heard from the apprentice saints, it’s as if they were talking about me.

But the decisive difference is that he sent a letter to his “beloved woman” but he discarded me after calling me out. Even though the external movements seem similar, the situation is completely different.

The order is also strange. Normally, it would be the opposite.

If he had time, he should have gone to meet the woman he loved first.

Did he think that harm would come to her if he didn’t discard me early? 

If that’s the case, he should have discarded me before leaving for the demon king subjugation…

Was telling me to return to the village his intention to make it difficult for me to return?

I’ve been too preoccupied with unnecessary things and neglected what’s important.

Not only his true feelings, but I also wish he wouldn’t involve others. Perhaps I was just one of those “others.”

“I can’t let it escalate to the point of involving the demon king, so we have to identify the culprit who cast the search interference magic. Since there are limited individuals who can use such powerful magic, we will eventually get results. I was initially excluded as a suspect because I was in the Demon World at the time, and I was finally allowed to return temporarily.”

“Temporarily? Does that mean you’ll go back soon?”

“If she had run away of her own accord, I would have left her alone, but I can’t deny the possibility that she was taken away by someone with ill intentions. And if the country or the church is involved, I need to be present as a third party.”

“It’s tough being loved by the hero.”

“During the journey, if he had written letters or met her promptly after returning, we would have found her quickly. It’s his own fault.”

While scratching his head, Tyran-san mutters, “You kept me waiting, and now you ignore me after coming back.” 

If the person he was waiting for was someone like him, maybe I and the so-called “beloved” wouldn’t have ended up like this.

No, it’s a story of not getting involved with multiple people in the first place. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟔: 𝐈𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜 𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐜𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐥𝐲?

On the day I was abandoned by Jude, I thought he had changed since being chosen as the hero.

My future also changed because he was chosen as the hero.

But there were parts of him that I couldn’t see before, and they just came to light.

However, thanks to believing in his words and waiting, I met Olivier-sama and am here now.

I suffered a deep emotional wound and remembered my past life.

But the days at the Demon King’s Castle make me believe that it wasn’t all bad.

“I don’t know when I’ll be summoned again, so I’ll just go to sleep for now.”

“Thank you for your hard work. If you’d like, shall I cast a healing spell on you?”

“Speaking of healing spells, I was saved thanks to the magic applied to the snacks and the vest. If it weren’t for that, I think I would have collapsed. So, as a token of my gratitude, please accept this. I don’t know what’s good since I rarely give gifts to people, but I happened to see this on my way back.”

What was offered was a blue ribbon.

It’s simple, but I’m happy knowing that Tyran-san chose it with me in mind.

“Thank you. I will treasure it.”

“Please cast the healing spell on the vest. I’ll sleep like this. And… sorry to ask, but could you give me another snack?”

“Yes, I will prepare it for you.”

I cast a healing spell on Tyran-san’s vest. 

Then, he bows his head slightly and leaves the king’s chamber with a ghost-like gait. It seems he doesn’t even have enough magical power to use teleportation magic.

Demon King-sama, perhaps feeling anxious, instructs a nearby servant, “Support him to his room.”

And as he sits on the throne, he lets out a deep sigh.

“With the way he was, as Tyran said, if it weren’t for Dairy’s magic applied to the vest, he would have collapsed. Humans can be so cruel, exhausting a talented wizard like that.”

“I didn’t apply any magic to the vest, you know?”

Although Tyran-san’s words bothered me as well, I didn’t apply any magic. 

But Demon King-sama tilts his head and seems to be saying, “What are you talking about?” He doesn’t seem to be lying, but I haven’t lied either.

“You applied a powerful healing spell, so what are you saying? It’s not a bad thing, so there’s no need to lie.”

“It’s not a lie, I didn’t apply it. It’s true that I have been able to use magic since coming to the Demon King’s Castle, but it’s still impossible for me to use powerful magic. Could it be that Tyran-san has forgotten that he applied it himself?”

“It crossed my mind during the Magic Flower incident, but are you unaware? Perhaps even the magic applied to the usual snacks?”

“I have used it on cooking utensils, but I have never applied it directly to the snacks. Could it be that it only appears to Demon King-sama that the snacks are also enchanted?”

It’s impossible. I throw the question while thinking so. 

However, Demon King-sama nods earnestly with a serious expression.

“It’s not as strong as the vest, but it was also applied to the snacks earlier, right? That’s why Tyran recovered enough to stand up.”

“That’s just because his hunger was satisfied…”

“I thought there was something strange, but I didn’t expect it to be to this extent… I see, Olivier knew about this and used my magic as a disguise. Only someone like Olivier would come up with such a thing by searching the entire continent. I must demand an apology apple pie for this. But if that’s the case, I also cast interference magic…”

He seems to have realized something from the conversation just now. He starts muttering to himself.

Even so, I never imagined that I was unconsciously using my power…

If it’s not just the vest, but also the snacks that were enchanted, it means I have been using magic in my daily life. But even if I’m told that, I can’t recall any such instances. 

Even if I ask Demon King-sama, he doesn’t seem to be returning from his contemplative state for a while. However, since there doesn’t seem to be any harm, it’s not a problem to postpone it for a little while.

Before the healing spells, the more pressing matter is to make snacks for Tyran-san, who doesn’t know when he will be summoned.

I head to the kitchen and start making several types of snacks.

Although I have some stocked snacks, it would be lonely with just those. However, ease of eating is also important. Several types of cookies. 

Among them, I decided to make Tyran-san’s favorite jam cookies using apple, apricot, and peach jam. I pack them in jars and cast a preservation spell on them.

I also pack madeleines, sweet potato steamed buns, and macarons in bags.

It would be difficult to bring milk jelly, so I’ll make sure it’s available to eat when they wake up.

After putting them in the refrigerator, I bring the extra snacks to the king’s chamber.

I wanted to give the donuts to Demon King-sama, who had been holding back. I also brought the apple candies that I made.

“Demon King-sama?”

However, there was no sign of Demon King-sama on the throne.

I tried to contact him through the communication device, but there was no response. Perhaps he had some urgent matter to attend to. Earlier, he seemed lost in thought about something.

He will probably eat it when he returns.

[I have snacks, so please contact me later.]

I leave a note on the chair with that message. He should contact me after seeing the note. I decided to leave the snacks in the kitchen. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟕: 𝐒𝐢𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐮𝐛𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐮𝐩

As I leave the king’s chamber and walk down the hallway, I suddenly become interested in the steamed sweet potato buns on a plate.

They were made using the same procedure as the ones I made on the first day.

If Demon King-sama’s words are correct, then these buns should also have enchantment magic on them.

Of course, I have no intention of enchanting them this time. I raise the plate to eye level and gaze at them intently.

“I don’t think there are any traces of magic left after all.”

Perhaps they are faintly covered with a power that is too weak for me to see. If that’s the case, it’s not unbelievable that they were unintentionally activated.

Yes, if it’s just a snack.

But Demon King-sama said that the Magic Flower and the vest also have enchantment magic. If it’s a weak power, the flowers wouldn’t bloom so quickly.

The effect of the vest should have worn off before Tyran-san went to the human realm.

The mystery remains unsolved. The questions only deepen.

While groaning, I walk down the hallway and hear voices arguing from somewhere. It’s the voices of Demon King-sama and Tyran-san.

It’s rare for them to raise their voices. Moreover, Tyran-san returned to his room to sleep not long ago.

I can’t imagine that he still has the energy to raise his voice.

What on earth happened?

I head towards the direction of the voices. I continue forward and arrive at Tyran-san’s room.

I’ve come this far, but I can’t gather the courage to knock on the door. I didn’t think that I would be at the center of their conversation.

“Dairy and Granny did nothing wrong! The ones at fault are those who took advantage of them.” 

“I’m not saying they’re at fault. But if we don’t know who cast the exploration interference magic, we can’t pinpoint their whereabouts.”

“I don’t care about that! Dairy could have been killed if Granny hadn’t hidden her!”

I couldn’t stay silent after hearing those words. I open the door with a creaking sound and ask the two inside.

“What do you mean she could have been killed?”

“Dairy…”

“Please tell me. Why was I almost killed by someone, and by whom?”

Tyran-san averts his gaze at my question. He probably didn’t expect to be asked by me.

But now that I’ve asked, I can’t pretend not to know. Please tell me, I repeat, and he sighs as if resigned.

“For the church, which solidified its ties with the royal family by appointing the princess as the Great Saint, humans stronger than the princess are a hindrance. In fact, Granny was almost disposed of because of that.”

“Why do you use such words like ‘disposed of’?”

“They separate strong children from their families, exploit them, and discard them when they become useless. That’s how the church operates!”

“…”

I freeze at the angry voice that sends shivers down my spine. Tyran-san apologizes briefly, looking guilty.

But his anger hasn’t disappeared. He bites his lip resentfully. 

“But the church couldn’t dispose of Granny. She hasn’t been called the Great Saint for nothing all these years. So they gradually stripped her of her power and isolated her. To prevent her from gaining power again, they also isolated me, her only relative. Even though we were allowed to go shopping and visit graves, neither Granny nor I were originally interested in power. We thought this was fine… as long as Dairy wasn’t here.”

“Me?”

Why am I being brought up here?

I was in the church, but my power doesn’t come close to Olivier-sama’s.

I’m just an apprentice saint. I have no idea why I would be targeted. I shake my head slightly, and Demon King-sama looks at me with a sad expression.

“Dairy has much stronger power than she thinks. It’s so strong that she doesn’t even notice when she enchants various things. Perhaps the church didn’t find that amusing. That’s why they tried to dispose of Dairy. Olivier deployed magic to protect Dairy, and by chance, it hindered the search for the hero’s beloved. I believe that if Olivier cancels the magic, the search will progress rapidly.”

“But if we do that, the hero’s anger might be directed at Granny and Dairy. Besides, the church itself is crumbling. It won’t last much longer. Once it completely collapses, there will be no reason to continue deploying magic. There’s no need to expose ourselves to unnecessary danger.” 

According to Tyran-san’s story, when the Great Saint changed from Olivier-sama to the Princess, there were apparently significant changes in the upper echelons as well.

In addition, they rapidly increased the number of apprentice saints, but now most of them have been released.

The apprentice saints who were left with free time took various paths, such as joining local churches, finding jobs using the magic they learned in church life, or simply living their lives. 

Even if they were to be sent out from the capital’s church, if they could guide the girls who gathered from various places well, the church could gain even more power.

However, it seems that the princess and her entourage did not possess that power.

For many years, the Demon King, who the church had proclaimed as evil, was not defeated, and the rumored marriage with the hero also fell through. Additionally, it seems that someone intentionally stirred up trouble to prevent too much power from accumulating in the capital’s church.

That’s why the church now wants to keep the hero pleased at all costs.

“They are willing to sacrifice Granny and Dairy for that.”

Tyran-san trembles slightly. He loves Olivier-sama. He can’t forgive it if his precious family is disposed of for selfish reasons.

And even I can’t accept such a story. Being used and discarded for selfish reasons.

Moreover, why should I be the target of Jude’s anger?

I’m the one who wants to be angry. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟖: 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭

“Tyran-san, when you go to the royal castle next time, could you take me with you?”

“Did you listen to what I said?”

“Let me punch Jude.”

Olivier-sama is my benefactor. She kindly taught me how to use magic when I knew nothing. Moreover, she protected me.

My suggestion would disregard her kindness.

Nevertheless, I can’t suppress the urge to punch that selfish man.

“Could it be that you know each other?”

“We’ve known each other since childhood.”

If I say so, both Tyran-san and Demon King-sama widen their eyes in surprise.

They probably didn’t expect that there would be a woman here who seems to have valuable information.

But I don’t have any useful information at all.

Even though we were together since we were young, I don’t understand anything anymore.

I even doubt if he really liked the raspberry pie that I thought was his favorite.

After being trampled for a long time, when I looked back at the path I thought I had walked with him, all that remained was not love, but deep regret.

The red of the raspberries is soaked into the ground.

At that time, I should have punched him once or twice.

Punch him and scold him for being the worst. It would have been refreshing to end it like that.

Seeing me clenching my fist and trembling, Tyran-san seems to have made up his mind.

“I can’t guarantee that I can let you punch him, but I promise to protect Dairy.”

“Thank you!”

From then until we are called, we decided to spend our days as usual. 

Since we will come back soon anyway, we decided to eat the snacks we were planning to bring together with the three of us.

There are still snacks left in my hands. I also brought the snacks that I intended to give to Tyran-san and gather in the king’s chamber.

Although it’s only enough for one person in the bag, there is a considerable amount. I made extra because I didn’t know how many days it would take.

But all of these will be eaten today.

It’s like a prayer to come back soon.

“These madeleines taste a little different from usual. The usual ones are good, but these are delicious too.”

“I changed the recipe a bit.”

“Aren’t there any jam cookies left?”

“You already ate them?! I made quite a lot…”

“It’s not enough at all.”

“I want to eat more spiral cookies.”

“I’ll bake plenty next time.”

“Is today over already?”

Demon King-sama, with teary eyes, appeals to me with a cute face.

But today is over with this.

After eating today’s snacks, we are consuming these snacks. If we eat more, it will be too much.

“Even tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the next, there will be snacks, so please be patient today.”

Forever and ever. Even after two years have passed, I want to stay here. I put those feelings into my words.

Then Demon King-sama droops his shoulders and pouts a little.

“But you don’t know when you will be called, right?”

It seems that he doesn’t like the idea of being left behind. 

However, if I were to take Demon King-sama with us, it would surely cause a commotion. He has to endure it.

“Then, before we go, I’ll leave a snack bento for Demon King-sama.”

“A snack bento?”

“I’ll pack a box full of snacks.”

“Those will be finished in less than a day.”

Perhaps because he has already experienced Tyran-san’s absence for two weeks, loneliness prevailed over a large amount of snacks. He puffs up his cheeks and looks down.

While stroking the adorable Demon King-sama’s head, I utter words that sound dangerous.

“I’ll be back soon after punching the Hero and complaining, so don’t worry.”

I have no intention of staying for long. Even if it’s for a limited time, this Demon King’s Castle is where I belong now.

I will definitely come back with Tyran-san. I gaze at him with a strong determination, and he nods slightly.

“…I understand. So, please include these cookies too.”

Then he points to this and that, one after another.

He mentions snacks that we don’t have here, and it becomes difficult to fit everything into the box.

But Demon King-sama doesn’t mean to include all of them. There’s no way “Twenty pancakes with a mountain of ice cream and jam” would fit. 

So he probably wants to say, “Hurry up and come back.” 

Tyran-san squats down and meets eyes with Demon King-sama.

“Sorry for making you wait. I’ll finish quickly and come back.”

“Promise, okay? If you break it, I’ll take Tyran’s share of snacks for a while.”

“In that case, if you come back early, let’s share the contents of the snack bento.”

“…If you come back early, would you be willing to share?”

“At that time, let’s share snacks again with the three of us, the Demon King, me, and Dairy.”

“Yes, I’ll be waiting!”

With Tyran-san’s plan, Demon King-sama’s mood has completely improved.

He starts thinking about where to eat the bento. It’s as if we’re going on a picnic.

As I think about how the cheerful Demon King-sama is waiting, my heart feels a little lighter.

“Oh!”

“What’s wrong?”

“I forgot that I also made milk jelly.”

Due to the series of surprising conversations, I completely forgot about the jelly that was chilling in the refrigerator until just now.

Both Tyran-san and Demon King-sama widened their eyes at the unexpected additional snack.

They don’t seem like the calm ones who were just talking earlier. But now is the most peaceful moment, just like them.

“I want to eat it!”

“I’ll bring it, so please wait.”

“I’ll wait, so there’s no need to rush.”

Leaving the two snack lovers in the king’s chamber, I rush to the kitchen once again, for what feels like the umpteenth time today. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟗: 𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐛𝐲𝐞

Four days later, Tyran-san received a summons. 

I handed over the snack bento that I had promised to Demon King-sama and boarded the teleportation magic circle drawn in the king’s chamber.

Under the dazzling light, I slowly opened my eyes.

In front of me stood Jude, whom I hadn’t seen in about a year.

He looked much more worn out than when we last met. It must mean that the woman he cared about was important. Then, anger started to build up, thinking, “If that’s the case, then don’t let go of her.” 

“Long time no see, Jude.”

“Maylene? Is it really you?”

“Yes, it’s me. The woman you abandoned.”

“I missed you…”

Jude started crying and hugged me tightly.

“Let go.”

“Maylene, I missed you…”

Why is Jude so happy to reunite with the woman he abandoned?

I can’t understand the situation. I even thought that he might be mistaking me for the woman he loves, but he is undoubtedly calling my name.

――What on earth is happening?

I turned around to seek help from Tyran-san, but he was frozen, murmuring my name, “Maylene.”

I had thought that he knew my real name and added “Dairy” with sarcasm, but it seems that wasn’t the case.

I had gotten used to being called Dairy in this past year, so being called by my real name felt a bit uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, Tyran-san is the only ally I have in this situation.

“Tyran-san, what is going on?”

I ask for an explanation of the situation. But it was Jude, not him, who told me. 

“Sorry for being late. But I finally found the culprit who hurt Maylene that day.”

What does he mean? The one who hurt me was none other than Jude.

When I glared at him, he sadly smiled. Then, he shifted his gaze behind me.

In Jude’s line of sight were the captured princess and several men.

Judging from their attire, the men had different social statuses and occupations. The priest’s robes and the knight’s uniforms stood out among them.

“They used transformation magic to impersonate me and separate me from Maylene.”

“We didn’t cast any obstructive magic!”

“Shut up!”

Jude glared at them with deep animosity. He seemed to have found them while Tyran-san was away at the Demon King’s Castle.

Since I met Jude in a place near the church, there might have been witnesses.

“I’m sorry for hurting you. But I have always loved Maylene.”

Is it true that the incident that caused deep wounds was all fake, and the real him still desires me?

“Let’s go back to the village and have a wedding.”

My mind goes blank at the words whispered in my ear.

Even if I know who the villain is, I can no longer love Jude. 

Furthermore, I don’t even have the energy to hurl insults or the will to strike him.

“Why didn’t you search for me earlier?”

That’s all I can say. A maiden’s time is precious.

I can’t continue to have the same feelings for one day, one month, or one year. 

If he truly cared for me, I wanted him to come and see me sooner than the impostor did. I wish he had searched for me properly instead of settling it with just a letter…

“Maylene?”

I lightly brush off the hand extended towards my cheek.

“What… why…”

“The impostor came to see me right away. I was so happy when I received the message. That’s why I was hurt, in pain, and suffering. But you know, I felt like I could put an end to it in this past year. I was able to move forward… so why are you saying such things now?”

I don’t want to say these things.

But a year is a long time. I had enough time to create my own place from scratch in a new place where I didn’t know anyone.

The people in the Demon Realm are kind, so there are many places where I found solace. But that doesn’t mean I can forget what I let go of.

And for this past year, I continued to believe that he on that day was the real one.

To dismiss it now with just the words “you were an impostor” is not enough.

“I’m sorry… I’m so sorry, Maylene. My weakness hurt you.”

Jude’s tears pierce my heart. But I can’t accept them.

If I were to accept him, I would likely be reminded of that day over and over again in the future.

Even a simple quarrel that can be easily forgiven, I can see how deeply it would wound me.

That’s why I don’t take his hand. The trust that would allow me to say that it’s okay even if he hurts me has disappeared over time.

“I loved you. But I’m sorry. We can’t walk the same path.”

“Wait, Maylene!”

“Goodbye.”

“That’s a lie, right?” 

The person next to him is not me. Walking separate paths is for the benefit of both of us.

I bid farewell to the dejected Jude and call out to Tyran-san.

“Let’s go back.”

“Is it okay?”

“Yes.”

With a small nod, he guides me onto the teleportation magic circle.

In the future, there may be days when I regret this decision. But this is my answer, the answer of the me who has done her best since being abandoned that day.

Just before boarding the teleportation magic circle, I look back, but Jude doesn’t come after me.

He just hangs his head in that spot. The words that escape his lips, too faint to reach my ears.

With this, my long-lasting love has finally come to an end.

As I take a big step and board the teleportation magic circle, a gentle light envelops me.

・・・

『”𝘈𝘸𝘦𝘣𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴.𝘤𝘰𝘮” – 𝘋𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘢 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦, 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘭𝘨𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 “𝘥𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘶𝘱𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴” 𝘢𝘯𝘥 e𝘹𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘰 “𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴”.』

・・・

Even after saying goodbye, my life doesn’t change.

Tyran-san doesn’t say anything either. I remain as Dairy, with the same name.

I’ve been neglecting the matter of the bestowed magic. Since there’s no need to know, I will probably continue not knowing in the future.

And so, even now, I continue making snacks for them every day.

After that, I don’t know what happened to the church and the country. And Jude.

I don’t think parting ways with Jude was a wrong decision. It was for the best.

But when I recall the days I spent with him, my heart aches.

If only there was no transformation magic, could I have been happy?

I think such foolish thoughts.

The transformation magic itself is not bad. 

Thanks to that magic, demons were able to go to the human realm, and because of that, Demon King-sama thought of making peace with humans.

The problem lies with the people who tried to misuse the magic that created such possibilities.

And with me, who didn’t notice the impostor, and Jude, who didn’t come to see me for almost a year.

“It was revealed that the princess cast that magic. Although she is not as good as Granny, she is quite powerful. Dairy only learned about the existence of transformation magic after coming here. Moreover, if she is told something that greatly shakes her emotions, she wouldn’t be able to see through it. Dairy is not at fault.”

Tyran-san encourages me repeatedly.

But still, I can’t help but think about the future I saw at that time, the future that might have existed.

To return and marry Jude, and live a peaceful life with our child.

I have had that dream many times. I am enveloped in happiness, only to despair when I wake up. Wiping away the cold sweat that poured out, I head to the kitchen.

Perhaps because it’s late, Migi-san and Hidari-san are not there.

Just the absence of the usual two makes the already spacious kitchen feel even colder. But it’s just right for me now.

I take out the pie crust stored in the refrigerator and prepare the other ingredients.

I wonder when it started. The ingredients for raspberry pie were always stocked in the refrigerator. Perhaps the two of them have noticed my strange behavior. But they don’t say anything and treat me as they always have.

Taking advantage of their kindness, I made raspberry pie today as well. 

The snack that was Jude’s favorite and a symbol of happiness has become a snack that I despise.

I pierce the freshly baked pie with a knife and cut it into large pieces. With the tea prepared, I continue eating in the late-night kitchen.

Tears overflow as the sweetness spreads in my mouth.

To force it down, I wash it down with tea. My chest feels so heavy.

I know it’s futile.

But I continue to bake, wanting to digest the memories with Jude along with the pie.

I don’t know when the end will come.

Even without seeing the end, I repeat this act.

Because it’s the only way I can think of to sever ties with the past. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟎: 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐟 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝

“Aren’t you guys worried about Dairy?”

The scent of raspberry pie still lingers in the kitchen today.

In these few months, I have become able to discern even the faint scent of raspberry pie.

The Demon King is the same.

When he senses this scent from Dairy, he lowers his eyes sadly. But then he immediately smiles as if nothing happened.

On the day the Demon King said, “I want to eat raspberry pie,” I thought it was a strange reaction. I realized that something must be going on.

However, I knew from Olivier’s letter that she had some circumstances, and I thought it would be better not to touch upon it for Dairy’s sake.

I never imagined that she was the woman the Hero was searching for.

And also, that she was about to be exploited by the church.

After meeting the Hero, Dairy changed.

She smiles less and sometimes freezes as if remembering something. It’s clearly abnormal. Yet, no one seems to care.

Even though they should see Dairy’s suffering, they avert their eyes.

It made me angry, as if I was looking at my past self.

I previously said that the Hero’s actions were just venting. But now, I am doing the same.

“Was your relationship for this past year all a lie?”

I confront the twin cooks in the kitchen, thrusting the knife of words.

“Existence is always close to death. All living beings will inevitably face death. However, engraved memories may fade, but they will never disappear.”

“No matter how painful or sad the memories are, and even if there were no happy memories, they will never cease to exist.” 

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It’s the wise words of our respected teacher.”

“We recognize that our actions are a confrontation with Dairy-san’s loss.”

“But it’s not something that can be made positive just because others intervene. That’s why we won’t stop her.”

“However, there is a limit unless her life is in danger.”

They state this without changing their expressions.

It’s not just the cooks. The librarian, the maid, and the gardener all say similar things.

They each have their own thoughts and won’t stop Dairy’s actions.

That seemed to be the thinking of those who live in the Demon World.

But Tyran couldn’t accept their words.

I don’t want to see her suffering alone. I want to be by the side of someone important.

“Even if there are lines that can be crossed and lines that can’t. We like Dairy-san, but we don’t know her before she came here. We don’t know about her relationship with the Hero, her childhood friend.”

“And we also tried to fill our loss by continuously cooking. So, we understand her feelings a little.”

“So, you’re telling me not to interfere?”

The twisted face of Tyran is met with a small shake of the head from the cooks.

Then, they look at each other and begin to speak new words.

“No. You know the Hero, right? And Dairy-san allowed you to touch on her relationship with the Hero.”

“If you have been acknowledged, I think you can stand on either side of the line.” 

“But this is just our opinion, and Dairy-san may reject it. But even so, if it’s you, you might be allowed to step in.”

They can only watch.

But they also care about Dairy enough to push Tyran forward.

The Demon King, the librarian, the maid, the gardener, and even the grandson. Of course, Tyran too.

Everyone is waiting for Dairy’s return.

“I’m going.”

“Take care. If you fall, I’ll pick up your bones.”

“Shall we make soup if we get a good broth?”

“Don’t say such bad things! Geez, when did you learn such jokes?”

I know the answer without asking. It’s Dairy.

Since she came, the Demon King’s Castle has become brighter. They were already a bunch of free-spirited people, but they became even freer.

If you walk down the corridor, they will call out to you. If you leave food, they will look disappointed. When you try to make a potion, they will run away with herbs in their hands.

The Demon King’s Castle was just a place of demotion.

I never thought beyond seeing off Granny.

Master and the Granny were enough as important people. 

I used to dislike being thrown off balance by others, but now I have come to feel a sense of comfort.

I don’t want the warm moments I have obtained to be ruined. Above all, I want Dairy to keep smiling.

A smile suits her well. And her figure struggling with grimoires, her face of disbelief when I eat too much, every expression directed at me or the intention of the Demon King’s Castle is precious to me.

“Even if I’m crushed, I’ll just attack again. I won’t let myself be used as a broth.”

Tyran muttered so and headed towards Dairy’s room. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟏: 𝐑𝐚𝐬𝐩𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐲 𝐏𝐢𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐨 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐝

“You baked it again.”

Whenever I bake raspberry pie, Tyran-san’s expression always clouds over.

Even after taking a shower, I wonder if the smell still lingers on my clothes. I thought so and tried showering, but he still easily detects it.

It doesn’t work to try to disguise the scent with other sweets.

He always throws this question at me.

“I won’t give you any. That is mine.”

“I don’t need a snack that only brings sadness. How long do you plan to continue this?”

“Until I digest everything, I suppose.”

With a small smile, Tyran-san’s expression becomes even more distorted.

Lately, I’ve only been seeing this kind of face. I want him to smile, but I can’t even make him happy anymore.

“He is not here. Instead of making something for someone who isn’t here, I want you to make something for me.”

“Do you have something you want to eat?”

“Steamed sweet potato bread.”

“Tyran-san, you really like it, don’t you? Please wait a moment, I’ll make it right away.”

“No, I didn’t come here to request a snack.”

“Then what is it?”

“I like Dairy. While you were acting as Granny’s substitute, I planned not to say it. I didn’t want to bind you with words, so I decided to tell you in two years. But seeing the current Dairy, I can’t help but say it. My words of saying that Dairy is enough may not resonate. But still, I don’t want you to choose the Hero, I want you to choose me.”

Tyran-san’s words make my throat tighten. 

I should just overwrite it. I’ve thought about it many times myself. 

If I affirm the memories and feelings I have built with him at the Demon King’s Castle, I can feel relieved.

But I stopped. I was afraid that even the memories with him would become tainted.

I don’t want to lose the peaceful life I have finally found. I don’t want to suffer. I don’t want to increase the things I dislike any further.

I no longer have the courage to move forward. 

The time when I could act on impulse has already been dedicated to someone else. I shake my head without being able to utter a word.

Tyran-san looks very hurt.

I don’t want to hurt him. But it is undoubtedly me who is hurting him.

While tears flow down, I continue to apologize in a hoarse voice.

“It’s my fault. Please forget about it.”

He laughs with a lonely expression and tries to leave this place.

Unconsciously, I grab onto his robe.

“Dairy?”

Surely, he will bury the events of today deep in his memory and behave as if nothing happened.

But I know.

Once something has happened or words have been spoken, they cannot be undone. The stronger the feelings that were present, the more they will remain in memory and in the heart.

Imagining Tyran-san pouring raspberry pie, my chest tightened.

I don’t want that. I want him to smile. I want him to not suffer, and I feel the same way.

So, what should I do? 

Tyran-san took a step forward for me.

He must have also feared that our relationship would break.

If I’m the only one who is afraid and pretends that his feelings and my feelings never existed…

Can I say that the life we lead is peaceful?

“I like you. But I’m scared to move forward.”

Before I knew it, those words spilled out. Selfish words.

“Then, is it okay for me to wait until you can move forward?”

“But I don’t want to take up Tyran-san’s time.”

But. But. All that comes out of my mouth are excuses.

I must be exasperated. Trembling in fear, his hand strokes my cheek.

“Don’t think that you’re taking up my time. I’ll wait patiently while doing something.”

Tyran-san’s expression when he said that was soft and gentle, like his beloved steamed sweet potato bread.

True to his words, Tyran-san didn’t rush me.

On the days when I baked raspberry pie, he would slightly frown, but in return, he started smiling at me more often.

Recently, even the reserved Demon King-sama has started coming to me again, saying “Dairy, Dairy,” just like before.

It seems that I worried not only Demon King-sama but also other people.

Still, they don’t say anything. They welcome me into peaceful days where time passes slowly, as if nothing had happened.

“Dairy.”

Every time Tyran-san calls my name, the bitterness that had accumulated in my throat gradually fades away. In its place, sweetness grows in my heart. 

Because Tyran-san loves snacks, he would accept me even if I become sweeter than I am now.

With that in mind, I can move forward little by little.

“Tyran-san, I want a new book.”

“Shall we go see it again?”

“Yes.”

Even the land where the humans, whom I thought I would never step on again, live, is not scary when I’m with Tyran-san.

I want to walk the path we once walked as siblings, but this time as lovers.

We may not be able to walk like we did back then, avoiding street vendors, but we can obtain something much more beautiful than the accessories displayed.

That’s why I want to convey it.

The footsteps on the teleportation magic circle were surprisingly light, even to myself.

I have a feeling that as long as I’m with Tyran-san, we can overcome anything that comes our way.

“Fufu.”

“What’s wrong? Did something good happen?”

“I’m happy just walking beside you.”

Whispering that, Tyran-san’s face turns bright red.

I intertwine my hand with his, and I swear to the gods that I will never bake raspberry pie again. 

・・・

『”𝙰𝚠𝚎𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜.𝚌𝚘𝚖” – 𝙳𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚊 𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎, 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚍𝚟𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎, 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚕𝚐𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚜 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 “𝚍𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚙𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜” 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚝𝚘 “𝚊𝚍𝚟𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟐: 𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐮𝐞

After finishing the prepared pancakes, Demon King-sama enjoys the tea.

“By the way, what makes today special?”

“Today marks exactly one year since the day Demon King-sama said he would have a snack lunch with me.”

“Has it already been that long… Time flies.”

Almost a year has passed since then.

I made Tyran-san wait for a really long time. However, he never showed any signs of impatience and smiled beside me.

During our visit to the human realm after a year, all we did was go to a bookstore and buy a large number of books. We also searched for souvenirs for the people who worried about us.

Our actions as a man and a woman who understand each other’s feelings may be slightly off. But it’s still us.

We hold hands that reach out from both sides and visit various shops.

We got caught up in a street vendor, but even the time spent looking at them was enjoyable.

For Migi-san and Hidari-san, I bought spices from the human realm.

For Ciel-san, colorful soaps.

For Orphemia-san, an art book with stained glass from various places.

For Gweil-san, flower seeds from the human realm.

For Meti-chan, a teddy bear.

For Cerberus, dog toys.

But what would be good for Demon King-sama?

With a large number of souvenirs in hand, we go around the same places together.

And then, I suddenly noticed a cake shop’s showcase.

“Hotcakes!” 

Seeing the advertisement for a wedding cake, I remember the promise to have a snack lunch.

Not only did I promise to have lunch, but I also wanted to make hotcakes with ice cream and jam when we returned.

But I was always feeling down and couldn’t fulfill it.

But now, I can bake as many as I want and prepare plenty of ice cream and jam.

When I tell Tyran-san, who tilts his head, about it, he smiles and says it’s a good idea.

After discussing it together, we decided to make it on that day exactly one year from that day.

“Then, let’s choose tea that goes well with hotcakes as a souvenir for the Demon King. “

“Yes!”

The tea leaves we discussed at the tea specialty store seem to suit Demon King-sama’s taste.

But today, it’s not just about eating hotcakes.

There is one more important thing for me.

Now that he is completely relaxed, it’s a chance.

“Demon King-sama.”

“What’s the matter? You’re being formal.”

“It will soon be two years since I came to Demon King’s Castle. Can I continue to work as the snack attendant?”

It will soon be two years since I came to Demon King’s Castle.

I received a message that Olivier-sama will also move here soon. If everything goes as planned, I will no longer be the snack attendant.

But if it’s allowed, I want to continue working as the snack attendant at Demon King’s Castle in the future. 

Please take care of me, I bow my head, and Demon King-sama widens his eyes.

“There is no snack attendant at Demon King’s Castle other than Dairy. It would be troublesome if you were gone.”

All the strength leaves my body with those words.

Tears flow from my eyes, not because I’m sad, but because I’m happy.

Tyran-san and the people of Demon King’s Castle have taught me happiness.

In that place, I have found a proper place for myself. That is what makes me the happiest.

Tyran-san hugs me and says, “That’s why you don’t have to worry.”

“But, if two years have passed, I should change my name. Not Dairy anymore…”

“The Demon King is fine with Dairy.”

“Why?”

“I’m the only one who wants to call you that.”

“Excessive possessiveness will destroy you,” Orphemia said.

“If it’s for Maylene, it’s not a bad thing to be destroyed…”

It’s the first time I’ve been called properly.

My face turns bright red at the words filled with possessiveness. Demon King-sama looks at me with a bewildered expression, then lets out a small sigh.

“I am a good child who can endure. I will continue to call you Dairy. Because I’m a good child!”

I understand what Demon King-sama is demanding as he repeats “good child.”

“I will prepare candy apples.”

“Yes!”

“I want to eat them too.” 

“Tyran is no good. Tyran’s specialty is in the name, while my specialty is apple candy!”

“I see. That can’t be helped.”

The two of them earnestly discussing such a matter was amusing, and a smile escaped me.

They looked at me with curiosity, but soon they started laughing as if my smile had infected them.

―𝕋ℍ𝔼 𝔼ℕ𝔻― 

𝐓𝐋: 𝟏𝟎 𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐥𝐞𝐟𝐭

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟑: 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠-𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐚 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐧

“Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo.”

I hum a tune as I roll the kitchen wagon.

Today’s snack is milk and orange jelly. The milk jelly I have made so far had fruits inside, like milk agar with oranges. 

But this time, I placed crushed orange jelly on top of the milk jelly.

I devised it so that you can enjoy two different textures and flavors.

Migi-san and Hidari-san liked it, and I think Demon King-sama will be pleased too.

Tyran-san seems to be unable to leave the kettle all day today, so I can’t directly confirm his reaction. But I can ask for his feedback later.

If they like it, I’ll try making it with other fruits.

Using several types of fruits would be good, or maybe changing the milk jelly part to something else.

Just thinking about the combinations makes my cheeks naturally loosen.

“Demon King-sama, it’s snack time~.”

I call out to Demon King-sama, who I assume is waiting on the throne, as I open the door.

But I unintentionally freeze at the sight that unfolds before me.

“Dairy, you finally came!”

“Um, what is this exactly…?”

The carpet that has been there since I first came, the table set prepared for snack time, and all the decorations are gone. Only the throne and the surrounding carpet remain.

There was definitely something here yesterday…

What on earth happened?

As I blink my eyes, Demon King-sama comes running down the stairs with quick steps. 

“Surprised? Today is the annual ‘King’s Chamber Cleaning Day’!”

“King’s Chamber Cleaning Day?”

“Normally, I use preservation magic, but once a year, I clean and wash everything.”

“I see.”

It’s like the year-end cleaning in my previous life.

Even in the human realm of this life, cleaning had started a little before the new year. It seems there was a similar culture in the Demon Realm, although the timing is quite awkward.

According to Demon King-sama, the floor cleaning was finished in the morning, and now they are washing the carpets and decorations.

He tells me this as he munches on the jelly.

“After everything is done, I will use my preservation magic again.”

“I see.”

“By the way, this jelly, I’ve never seen it before?”

“I intentionally crushed it before it completely solidified to give it a different texture from the others.”

“It’s delicious. I want to eat this again tomorrow.”

“Really?! Actually, I was thinking of making a few more variations.”

“That sounds exciting!”

Demon King-sama, who really liked the crushed jelly, reaches for a second cup.

At that moment, something came to my mind.

“By the way, are you not cleaning the throne and its surroundings?”

Only the throne and its surroundings are left untouched.

Perhaps they couldn’t collect them, so they left them as they were. But it feels strange that only this area remains with various things.

“I left it because I wanted to do it together with Dairy!”

“Together with me?”

“I remembered that Metitour told me that you and she cleaned together before!”

It seems Meti-chan enjoyed wiping the windows. 

Demon King-sama brought the cloth she used and demonstrated it in front of him.

“I borrowed the cloth from Metitour! But I’ve never cleaned before. I don’t really understand the human way either. That’s why I was waiting for Dairy!”

“If that’s the case, I’ll go get cleaning tools too.”

“If it’s a cloth, I have two properly.”

He shows me one cloth on each side as if to demonstrate. I wonder where he took them out from.

As he declared that he borrowed them from Meti-chan, her name is written on the edge. Gweil-san probably wrote it so that it wouldn’t get mixed up with other things.

It’s heartwarming to see that Meti-chan and Demon King-sama have such a relationship of borrowing and lending cloths. 

Before I and Tyran-san came, they didn’t have much interaction as the Demon King and Gweil-san’s granddaughter. But it’s a good thing that they get along well.

With warm feelings, I smile at Demon King-sama.

“If you’re going to clean the surroundings, you’ll need a broom and dustpan, and also a bucket.”

“Hmm, there are various preparations for human cleaning.”

“Well then, I’ll go get them.”

Leaving Demon King-sama, who is still in the middle of the snack, I go to find Ciel-san. 

Then, it seems she had already heard the conversation. She was waiting with a complete cleaning set.

“Dairy-sama, please use this.”

“Thank you!”

I return, carrying those items.

The kitchen wagon has already been collected, and it seems that Demon King-sama will start cleaning right away. 

・・・

『”𝙰𝚠𝚎𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜.𝚌𝚘𝚖” – 𝙳𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚘v𝚎𝚛 𝚊 𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚒v𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚕𝚘v𝚎, 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚍v𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎, 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚕𝚐𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚘ve𝚕𝚜 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 “𝚍𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚙𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜” 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚒v𝚎 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚝𝚘 “𝚊𝚍v𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟒: 𝐈𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐚 𝐝𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐩𝐚𝐧

“Now, let’s lightly sweep the surroundings with a broom.”

“A broom?”

“This is called a broom, a tool used to gather the trash on the floor.”

“Oh!”

As I explain the role and method of cleaning tools, we proceed with cleaning around the throne. Demon King-sama is enjoying himself throughout, especially with the dustpan.

“It won’t fit, muuu.”

“The angle and sweeping technique are difficult, aren’t they?”

“Just a little more! Just a little more!”

When there is a lot to sweep, it goes in easily, but when there is less, it’s not so easy. In the end, there are times when you give up… It seems that this is a common struggle in any world.

Especially in the king’s chamber, where there is hardly any trash or dust, the difficulty level of sweeping it clean increases.

Demon King-sama is determined to make it clean no matter what.

“At times like this, you can also wipe it with a wet cloth.”

“We will do it with a broom!”

Demon King-sama, who finds a faint trace of dust on the edge and stamps his feet, is very cute.

In the end, unable to give up until the very end, he finishes blowing the throne after the sun has completely set.

Finally, he cast a preservation spell and the grand cleaning of the king’s chamber is complete.

Phew… I hand a towel with an enchantment to Demon King-sama, wiping the sweat off his forehead.

It took time, but it seems there is a sense of accomplishment.

“It was fun! But humans must have a hard time doing this every day.”

“Once you get used to it, you can finish quickly, but it’s still a bit tough. By the way, for Demon King-sama, who worked so hard, I will give you an apple candy as a reward.”

“Really?!” 

Although he suggested it himself, Demon King-sama did the cleaning properly until the end.

It would be nice to have a reward. Demon King-sama seems happy too.

“I’ll go get it from the kitchen, so please wait a moment.”

“I’ll go with you!”

“Then let’s go.”

Let’s also take care of the luggage while we’re at it.

As I gather the cleaning set, Demon King-sama brings the broom. I plan to wash and dry the cloth and return it to Meti-chan another day.

We walk side by side in the hallway. 

Leaving the cleaning set to a nearby servant, as we were about to head to the kitchen, Demon King-sama looked up at me and said, “Hey, Dairy.”

“What’s the matter?”

“Is there anything else?”

“Related to cleaning, you mean?”

“Anything that is unique to humans is fine!”

“Then it would be laundry. In the Demon Realm, we do it with magic, but in the human realm, everyone washes by hand or foot.”

“Foot?!”

“For large items that are difficult to wash by hand, we fill a bucket with water and stomp on it to wash. After washing, we wring out the water and hang it to dry…”

In this world, there are no washing machines or washboards. In the Demon Realm, it can be done quickly with magic, but in the human realm, it is completely manual labor.

Small items are washed by hand, and large items are washed by stomping on them with the foot. They wash them in a bucket.

It was tough during the cold season when hands would become numb.

However, since coming to the capital, I had no trouble because hot water was freely available.

I miss the time when I was in the village. 

As I gaze into the distance, Demon King-sama tugs at my clothes.

“Can we do that in the Demon Realm too?”

“There should be spare buckets, and if there are trees where ropes can be tied, it can be done.”

“Trees, huh? Then let’s go look for them now!”

“Right now?”

“The apple candy can come later!”

Eagerly, he pulls my hand and we run through the corridor leading to the backyard.

People around us were surprised, but perhaps because Demon King-sama was with me, they quickly made way for us.

“What kind of tree would be good?”

“As long as it’s not too thin. Also, it would be ideal if there are two trees to tie the rope between, allowing the rope to be stretched straight. And if it has good sunlight, that would be perfect!”

“Hmm, then that tree over there should be fine, don’t you think?”

Demon King-sama points to a distant tree.

There are no obstacles blocking the sun, and it can be said that it is suitable as a drying area. However, there was one problem.

“If we hang laundry there, it will block the sunlight for the flower bed.”

It’s just a hypothetical discussion about [creating a drying area], so there’s no need to think that far.

But as someone who knows that Gweil-san and Meti-chan are carefully nurturing them, I didn’t want to do anything that would interfere, even in a hypothetical situation.

“That’s why if we’re going to hang it, that tree over there might be better.” 

“Then, let’s prepare a clothesline over there for tomorrow.”

“Huh?”

“You must need a place to hang the laundry after finishing washing, right?”

“Demon King-sama, do you want to do laundry too?”

“Yes!”

It seems that the question of whether laundry can be done in the Demon World was meant to express the desire to do it. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟓: 𝐋𝐚𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐫𝐲

“Now that the confirmation is done, shall we go get the candy apples?”

When I reach out my hand to Demon King-sama, he eagerly grasps it with shining eyes.

We walk to the kitchen while swaying our joined hands.

I hand him the candy apples, and Demon King-sama immediately takes them out of the bag and takes a big bite. His left hand is still holding mine.

We look like a parent and child returning from a festival.

“Hey, what should we wash tomorrow?”

“Well… how about the kitchen towels we use? You can even wash them by hand.”

“What about feet?”

“Washing with our feet is for big things like sheets and carpets, which is quite difficult. Besides, I’ve already asked Ciel-san to take care of my room, and the other rooms are mostly taken care of by the servants.”

“If it’s sheets you’re talking about, I know a good place.”

“Where is it?”

“Tyran’s room.”

“I see.”

Most of the rooms, including mine, are cleaned every day.

However, Tyran-san’s room is different.

Although he asks for things like meals to be served, he refuses small cleaning tasks like laundry. It seems that his room has many things related to his research, and he doesn’t want anyone to touch them.

He said that just like his robe, he keeps his room and bedding clean with magic.

But laundry is easy if you just give it all at once. Yet he continues to refuse to do the laundry himself.

I have never seen Tyran-san washing his own laundry.

“If it’s Tyran-san’s room, there should be sheets and blankets.”

And if I explain the situation, he seems like he would understand. 

If it doesn’t go well, I can explain that we can use magic to clean. And I can also talk to Ciel-san… I mentally piece together the puzzle.

“Tomorrow morning, let’s go to Tyran’s room!”

“After preparing the snacks, we’ll go to the king’s chamber.”

“Yes!”

As promised, I prepare the snacks in the morning. Today’s snack is jelly.

Unlike yesterday, I made a combination of tea and strawberries.

Since I prepared it before breakfast, I easily scrape the jelly on top with a fork and put it back in the refrigerator.

By the time the laundry is done, it should be ready.

It will be earlier than the usual snack time, but today is special because Demon King-sama will surely be tired.

I also plan to make hot sandwiches if he is hungry, so I have prepared the ingredients.

Finally, I take the towel I used yesterday and head to the king’s chamber.

Together with a fully prepared Demon King-sama, we head to Tyran-san’s room.

“Tyraaan, wake up!”

Demon King-sama knocks on the door with a strong force.

Surprisingly, there is a quick response from inside saying, “Wait a moment.” Tyran-san appears a bit late.

“What are you two doing together in the morning?”

“We came to get the sheets!”

“Huh?”

“Actually, we are planning to do the laundry ourselves in a human way, and we would like you to provide the sheets for foot washing.”

As I explain the situation, Tyran-san furrows his brow.

But rather than being angry, he seems to be troubled about something. 

“I thought it would be convenient since Tyran hasn’t sent the laundry. I can even wash the blankets if you want.”

“Don’t test it with mine. Wash your own sheets.”

“My sheets are clean!”

“My sheets are clean too! I’ve cast a spell on them.”

Tyran-san insists, but even in the king’s chamber, we clean it once a year.

No matter how much magic is used, shouldn’t sheets and blankets that are used every day be washed occasionally?

You could ask the servant for help even if they don’t offer it.

As I was about to convey this, Demon King-sama tightly grabs the hem of Tyran-san’s robe and shakes it.

“I’m saying I’ll clean it for you, so bring out the sheets quickly.”

Demon King-sama, who is pouting and throwing a tantrum about doing the laundry, looks just like a child I used to see at the supermarket. Most children would beg for snacks or juice. But now, what Demon King-sama is begging for is sheets and blankets.

Demon King-sama is determined to do the laundry, and in his mind, the laundry is already narrowed down to Tyran-san’s bedding. He even started saying, “I won’t leave until you bring them out.”

“…Fine.”

“Then!”

“But! I’ll also do the laundry. I can’t stand it if they become stiff when they dry.”

And so, Tyran-san also ends up participating in the laundry. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟔: 𝐉𝐚𝐛𝐮-𝐣𝐚𝐛𝐮

It seems that the reason why he hasn’t sent blankets and sheets for laundry until now is simply because he didn’t have the opportunity to do so.

Even though Tyran-san started taking regular breaks after meals and snacks, his break times are scattered.

He also takes naps. He never sleeps on the sofa; he always sleeps on the bed, even during naps. It seems he can’t do without blankets and sheets.

He was worried because he was planning to start working from now on.

According to the plan, he intended to take a nap during his free time. He told me that he was worried that the blankets might run out at that time, so he postponed his work to tomorrow.

Indeed, Tyran-san is sweet to Demon King-sama.

Tyran-san holds the blankets, and Demon King-sama holds the sheets. It’s heartwarming to see them helping each other like children.

“So why did you suddenly decide to do the laundry?”

“Yesterday, I had fun cleaning with Dairy.”

“Oh, you mentioned cleaning the king’s chamber.”

“I even wiped the throne properly. Right, Dairy?”

“Yes. It became clean, didn’t it?”

While talking about such things, we arrived at the backyard.

The laundry bucket and detergent are already prepared. There are also clothespins and ropes hanging from the trees, ready to start right away.

“Well then, let’s start right away.”

“Yes!”

The three of us squat down and start washing the laundry vigorously. 

I still have fresh memories of washing laundry with Ciel-san. But that was also a practice for magic. It’s been a while since I washed by hand alongside someone like this.

Surprisingly, Tyran-san is also skilled at it, and he teaches Demon King-sama how to wash while sandwiching him in the middle.

“If you keep rubbing the same spot, the dirt won’t come off properly.”

“At first, it’s better to wash the whole thing by kneading it like a big bundle, rather than worrying about the small details.”

“I see.”

Once we finish washing a certain amount, I remove the foam from the towel that Demon King-sama washed.

In return, Demon King-sama takes off his shoes and socks and steps into the bucket. Then he stomps on the sheets that he got from Tyran-san’s room.

In the next bucket, Tyran-san is also stomping and washing the blankets.

“Oh, this is fun!”

Demon King-sama frolics with excitement. It seems much more enjoyable than hand-washing.

While receiving detailed instructions from Tyran-san, he changes the stomping spots and flips them over a little.

While the two of them are doing the laundry, I hang the towels that have been rinsed.

“Dairy, we’re done~.”

“Then, shall we rinse those too?”

“No, it would be quite difficult, so I’ll use magic to rinse them.”

“Magic makes it easy.”

As they say that, they lift the laundry and put it into the bucket filled with water, creating a whirlpool like a washing machine.

With this, rinsing should be finished quickly. There are fewer rinses compared to hand-washing. 

Above all, Tyran-san, who is skilled in magic, is teaching him. It seems that I won’t have a chance to participate.

“Then, can I leave this to Tyran-san and Demon King-sama?”

“Yes.”

“I’ll go get the snacks.”

“Jelly?!”

“Yes.”

“The delicious one…?”

Both Tyran-san and Demon King-sama loosen their cheeks, remembering yesterday.

It seems they both really liked it.

“If you’re hungry, I can also prepare hot sandwiches, but what do you think?”

“In that case, I prefer the one with eggs.”

“Tomato! I want one with tomatoes.”

“Alright. Please wait a moment.”

I head to the kitchen and quickly make hot sandwiches for the three of us.

I also prepare jelly and tea. I partially load them onto the wagon and roll it around.

When we approach the backyard, the two of them who were waiting come over.

Demon King-sama holds the plate with the hot sandwiches, and Tyran-san holds the tray with the tea set.

I take the remaining jelly, and the sheets and blankets are hanging on the laundry rope.

It seems they stopped using magic to dry them. I imagine the two of them holding the laundry and hanging it, and a smile naturally forms on my face.

“What’s wrong?”

“I just thought it was fun.”

“I also had fun.”

“It’s too early to feel like we’re done. Laundry isn’t finished until we bring it in and fold it. This time, I’ll leave it to you to lay them out.”

“Leave it to me!” 

In front of the laundry room, a mat is laid out. It seems like it was prepared while I was away.

If I sit down there, it feels like a picnic atmosphere.

In the distance, white sheets sway gently.

“Dairy, Tyran, let’s do laundry together again.”

“Yes.”

“Well, it might be nice for a change of pace once in a while.”

While eating dessert jelly, we make a promise like we did before.

Someday, although it’s not too far in the future.

We will wash laundry together again, with the three of us in front of the tub.

It may be a little inconvenient once we get used to magic, but even that inconvenience becomes enjoyable when I’m with them. 

・・・

『”𝒜𝓌𝑒𝒷𝓈𝓉𝑜𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓈.𝒸𝑜𝓂” – 𝒟𝒾𝓈𝒸𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝒶 𝒸𝒶𝓅𝓉𝒾𝓋𝒶𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓌𝑜𝓇𝓁𝒹 𝑜𝒻 𝓁𝑜𝓋𝑒, 𝓅𝒶𝓈𝓈𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒶𝒹𝓋𝑒𝓃𝓉𝓊𝓇𝑒, 𝓌𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝒶𝓃 𝒾𝓃𝒹𝓊𝓁𝑔𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝒶 𝒸𝑜𝓁𝓁e𝒸𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝓇𝒶𝓃𝓈𝓁𝒶𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝓃𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓁𝓈 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 “𝒹𝒶𝒾𝓁𝓎 𝓊𝓅𝒹𝒶𝓉𝑒𝓈” 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝑒𝓍𝒸𝓁𝓊𝓈𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝒶𝒸𝒸𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝓉𝑜 “𝒶𝒹𝓋𝒶𝓃𝒸𝑒𝒹 𝒸𝒽𝒶𝓅𝓉𝑒𝓇𝓈”.』

・・・

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟕: 𝐏𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐮𝐝

I pass through the library door and search for Orphemia-san. Then, a lovely voice comes from ahead.

“It’s Dairy-chan!”

It’s not Orphemia-san whom I was looking for, but Meti-chan. She waves her hands excitedly. Although we sometimes meet outside the backyard, it’s the first time we meet in the library. I wave back and walk towards her.

“It’s rare to meet in the library.”

“I came to borrow books with Ojii-chan. While Ojii-chan is on the upper floor, Meti chooses the next book to read.”

“What kind of book are you reading?”

“Lately, I’ve been reading picture books from the human realm. Orphemia-san bought them for me! This is today’s book.”

I recognize the picture book that Meti-chan extends towards me.

When I was in the village, there were storytelling sessions for children a few times a year, and this was one of the stories I heard back then.

Nostalgic, I softly overflow with emotions, and Meti-chan’s eyes sparkle.

“Do you know this, Dairy-chan?!”

“Yes, I’ve read it when I was a child.”

“Read it to Meti too!”

“Sure. Oh, but is it okay if we do it tomorrow? I have something I want to prepare.”

Just reading it is enjoyable, but there’s something I want to try.

I alone can’t execute it, but I wonder if Tyran-san will cooperate with me.

And since the book is about snacks, Demon King-sama is likely to be interested. I want to invite him as well.

“Also, I want to invite Demon King-sama. Is that okay?”

“Yes, that’s fine.” 

“Then, I’ll come to get you tomorrow.”

“I’ll be waiting!”

I take Meti-chan’s book and she goes to search for other books. She will probably have Gweil-san read them.

“Oh, Snack-saintsan.”

Just after parting with Meti-chan, Orphemia-san comes down to me. I ask her to find the book I originally intended to get, and I leave the library.

I head straight to Tyran-san’s room.

When I brought a picture book and explained the situation, he nodded readily. It seems he had also read that picture book before. After making a promise for tomorrow, I head towards the kitchen this time.

“Weren’t you going to the library?”

“Did you forget something?”

Migi-san and Hidari-san tilt their heads as I return to the kitchen.

It’s natural for them to be surprised since I just finished making snacks and went to the library. 

I tell them about meeting Meti-chan at the library and what I want to do next.

“So, there are books like this in the human realm.”

“Besides recipe books, there are books written about cooking…”

“That’s why I want to recreate this scene here.”

I point to a certain snack that appears towards the end of the story.

“This is…”

“I see, it sounds interesting.”

With a small smile, they cooperate with me to make three different flavors.

Although I say three flavors, we only use the same pot until halfway and then divide the seasoning. Since it needs time to set, we decided to do the storytelling not today but tomorrow.

“I hope they will be pleased.”

“They will be pleased.”

“Because this is…”

・・・

『”ᴀᴡᴇʙsᴛᴏʀɪᴇs.ᴄᴏᴍ” – ᴅɪsᴄᴏᴠᴇʀ ᴀ ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠᴀᴛɪɴɢ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ᴏғ ʟᴏᴠᴇ, ᴘᴀssɪᴏɴ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴅᴠᴇɴᴛᴜʀᴇ, ᴡʜeʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ɪɴᴅᴜʟɢᴇ ɪɴ ᴀ ᴄᴏʟʟᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ᴏғ ᴛʀᴀɴsʟᴀᴛᴇᴅ ɴᴏᴠᴇʟs ᴡɪᴛʜ “ᴅᴀɪʟʏ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇs” ᴀɴᴅ ᴇxᴄʟᴜsɪᴠᴇ ᴀᴄᴄᴇss ᴛᴏ “ᴀᴅᴠᴀɴᴄᴇᴅ ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs”.』

・・・

The next morning, the three of us taste the snacks and then transfer them into bags. 

These are the gifts for Demon King-sama and Meti-chan. But we won’t give them directly. We entrust them to Tyran-san before going to call Demon King-sama and Meti-chan. He hides them in his pocket.

“Well, let’s go and call them.”

“Yes!”

I have already informed Demon King-sama through the communication device about the storytelling. 

It seems he has prepared chairs and a table in the king’s chamber. So, we go to call Meti-chan. When we arrive at the backyard, Meti-chan is waiting near the entrance.

“Meti-chan, I’ve come to invite you.”

“Yay! Ojii-chan, I’ll be back soon.”

“Ah, enjoy yourself.”

“Yes!”

Holding hands with Meti-chan, we head towards the king’s chamber.

Demon King-sama is already seated in a chair, eagerly waiting. Meti-chan and Tyran-san also take their seats, and I sit in a chair facing them. I hold the book next to my shoulder and read the title aloud.

“[The Wizard and the Sweet Shop].”

It’s a story about an elderly couple who run a sweet shop and a wizard.

The only sweet shop in town is always full of customers. Both adults and children love the sweets made by the elderly couple. But what everyone loves is not just the sweets, but also the elderly couple themselves. 

They were very kind and would make sweets for the children who couldn’t come to the candy shop at the end of the month. In the past, they used to distribute them, but since they became elderly and had difficulty walking, the wizard would use magic to deliver snacks to the children instead of the elderly couple.

One particular end of the month…

The elderly couple both caught a cold.

They tried to prepare sweets for the children, but the wizard insisted that they shouldn’t push themselves and pushed them back into bed.

And then, the wizard declared, 

[This month, I will make the sweets. I have been watching the old couple make sweets all this time, so I can do it too.]

However, although the wizard could use magic, he had only made sweets once before.

Those sweets were the ones the wizard, who used to be a child, received from the old couple. Even though it was only once, he remembered the recipe well. He couldn’t forget the taste and warmth he felt at that time. He, too, was a child who couldn’t come to the shop when he was young.

So, after growing up and being able to use magic, he helped with the delivery as a way of repaying the favor.

The reward he received every month was caramel.

It was the wizard’s favorite sweet, and it was also the sweet he was about to make. He wanted to deliver what he loved to the children.

He borrowed the apron next to the kitchen and immediately started making caramel.

In addition to the basic caramel, the wizard made salted caramel and tea-flavored caramel—these three were the wizard’s favorites. He wanted to deliver what he loved to the children.

He packed the finished caramels into bags for each person. 

Then, he held the basket containing them and flew high into the sky.

[Deliver them to the children.]

As I read that scene aloud, Tyran-san nodded his head.

Then, the same bags as the ones depicted in the picture book fell onto the laps of Demon King-sama and Meti-chan, who were looking straight at the picture book.

“It’s just like the book!”

“Snacks have arrived for Meti too!”

It was Tyran-san’s teleportation magic.

Comparing the illustration of the snacks delivered to the children with the bag that fell into their laps, both of them were overjoyed.

[The wizard who delivered snacks to the children returned to the house where the elderly couple were waiting. The children who received the snacks and the elderly couple all enjoyed the caramel that the wizard worked hard to make. They all welcomed tomorrow, enveloped in a happiness that warmed their hearts.]

The story ends here.

Demon King-sama and Meti-chan clapped their small hands desperately, sending a big round of applause.

“That was a good story.”

“Yeah! Wizard-san was kind enough to give it to Meti and us!”

“But Tyran doesn’t have any… Maybe the wizard forgot to prepare Tyran’s portion because he’s not a child.”

Demon King-sama looked at the bag in his hand and drooped his shoulders sadly.

Meti-chan spread open the bag and took out a caramel, saying, “I’ll share mine with Tyran!” But it was within expectations that the kind-hearted two would worry about Tyran-san. I had prepared it properly. I took out the caramel bag that I had prepared. 

“It’s alright. I have prepared Tyran-san’s portion, so here you go.”

“I’m sorry.”

“No, no. It’s because everyone can feel happy. Meti-chan, please give this to Gweil-san too.”

“Wow, thank you!”

By the way, I also made caramel bags for Ciel-san and Orphemia-san.

Of course, I plan to distribute the other two’s portions myself.

“Hey, Dairy-chan, let’s read another book.”

“Yeah, that’s fine.”

“That’s not fair, Metitour! I want you to read to me too!”

“Shall we go choose a book later?”

“Yes!”

And so, the first storytelling session ended with great success. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟖: 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐥 𝐒𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬

Today is the day when Migi-san and Hidari-san go shopping. 

Since Tyran-san finished his work early, we had dinner earlier than usual. 

Since the two of them prepared dinner, we warmed it up and ate. 

Beef stew, it’s been a while. The tender meat was irresistible, and we ended up having seconds with Tyran-san. 

We finished all the bread that they prepared in abundance. 

After washing the dishes together, Tyran-san went back to his room. I stayed in the kitchen to think about tomorrow’s snack. I also looked into the pantry to consider what would be good. 

“A snack using caramel would be nice.”

The recent favorite of Demon King-sama is caramel. 

I had the idea of making a snack using it, but I couldn’t come up with anything. 

It’s not that I have no ideas at all. I thought about Florentine or caramel nuts. But nut-based snacks tend to have divided preferences. Plus, they tend to stick to the teeth, which is a drawback. 

Is there something easier to eat? 

If it’s a drink, caramel latte is an option, but if I only serve a drink, they would probably ask for a snack as well. Now, what should I do? I cross my arms and think. 

“A caramel cookie sandwich would be the safest choice.”

I have served cookies many times before, and they have always been well-received. Serving various types at once is a good way to gauge their reactions. 

Once that’s decided, I need to think about the shape. Since it’s a sandwich with the filling not visible, it’s better to make it slightly distinctive. 

I line up the cookie cutters in the Demon King’s Castle kitchen, thinking about which one to use. As I ponder, I am called, “Dairy-san.”

“Ah, you startled me.”

“I apologize for suddenly speaking to you.”

“You seemed focused. What were you looking at?”

“I was looking at the cookie cutters because I was thinking of making cookies for tomorrow’s snack.”

It’s Migi-san and Hidari-san. It seems they have returned. 

On the kitchen counter, there are many bags and ingredients lined up. After greeting them, I explain that it’s a snack with caramel spread between the cookies.

“That looks delicious.”

“But it seems tomorrow’s snack has already been decided…”

Their reaction seems downcast. 

I wonder if they found something delicious during their purchasing. 

“If there’s something you want to eat as a snack, I can make that first. I can always make cookies.”

“Really?”

“We want to eat this.”

They take something out of a paper bag and come closer to me. 

I was a little surprised, but I accepted the bag they were holding. When I peek inside, I see something familiar.

“This is dried corn… Is it for making popcorn?”

“Do you know popcorn?!”

“Yes, I’ve had it before.”

Although it was in my previous life. 

When I served corn as a snack for Demon King-sama, I thought it would be nice if we could make popcorn. I wonder if it exists in this world too.

“When heat is applied, it blooms like a white flower.”

“It’s delicious when you sprinkle salt on it.”

They found and ate it during their purchasing. They passionately explained how delicious it was.

If we have popcorn, we can make caramel snacks other than cookie sandwiches.

“It’s also delicious when you drizzle caramel on it.”

“Caramel…?”

“I can’t imagine it.”

“Tomorrow, I’ll make two types, one with salt and one with caramel. Please try them and compare.”

“I can’t believe we get to eat two types.”

“We’re looking forward to it.”

The two of them happily start organizing what they bought. I help them, and the three of us store the ingredients in the refrigerator and pantry.

The next day, we started making popcorn using the dried corn they brought. 

But making popcorn is very easy.

We melt butter in a heated frying pan and add the corn kernels. We cover it and shake the pan lightly. This time, I used a glass lid to see it expand. So I can see it popping perfectly.

“It’s the same as what I saw in the human realm.”

“It’s amazing. It looks so beautiful.”

“As long as you have corn kernels that expand like this when heat is applied, it’s easy.”

I transfer the popped kernels to a plate, and for the ones made now, I sprinkle a delicious salt selected by Migi-san and Hidari-san. 

And I start making the second batch of popcorn. 

In my past life, there were already dried corn kernels for popcorn in some aluminum frying pans, so you could just put them on the fire as they were. It seems you can also put them in a paper bag and heat them in the microwave for a few minutes.

I’ve never used it because I prefer frying pans, but apparently, it can be done quite well.

I heard from a friend from my past life that if you make it in a small envelope and sprinkle olive oil and salt on it, it becomes a good snack with alcohol. It seems that shichimi togarashi (seven spice blend) goes well with it too.

I don’t drink alcohol, so I don’t know if it goes well with it, but it somehow reminds me of ginkgo nuts. When I told my friend that Otou-san heated them in an envelope in the microwave, she was shocked.

I thought I had conquered all the easy snacks, but it seems I didn’t expect someone to have such good information close at hand. She asked for more details on how to make it. Although it’s just about putting ginkgo nuts in an envelope, heating them, and then cracking them to eat.

Since that day, ginkgo nuts became her snack.

It seems to go well with Japanese sake. She complained that it was so easy and delicious that she ended up eating too much.

Anyway, for the second batch of popcorn, transfer it to a plate once.

Wipe the empty frying pan and put in milk, sugar, and butter, then heat it. Once it turns caramel-colored while stirring with a spatula, add the popcorn from earlier. Mix it evenly and it’s done. 

If you lightly loosen it and let it dry for a while, the caramel thinly coated on the popcorn will dry, making it possible to eat with your hands.

“Can we use magic?”

“Yes, please.”

“Leave the drying to us.”

The two of them used a gentle wind magic to dry the caramel. Now it can be eaten with hands. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟗: 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐧 𝐠𝐨𝐞𝐬 “𝐩𝐚𝐤𝐮 𝐩𝐚𝐤𝐮”

“It’s done. It was quick, wasn’t it?”

“The caramel popcorn looks delicious too.”

“Let’s eat it right away, the three of us.”

We moved to the next room, carrying the tea and popcorn that the two prepared.

“I ate the salted popcorn by hand, but is it okay to eat the caramel popcorn with your hands too?”

“It’s fine. We can wash off the salt from our hands later.”

I’ll attach a hand towel when I bring it to Demon King-sama and Tyran-san. That’s what I decided, so I reached out for the salted popcorn first.

“Mmm, delicious.”

“I heard that freshly made ones are delicious, but this is different.”

“The salt goes well with it too.”

The simplicity of the salted popcorn allows the taste and quality of the ingredients to be directly reflected. The salt chosen by the two is indeed delicious, and they also brought high-quality dried corn kernels.

“It’s delicious, isn’t it?”

“It’s delicious.”

Before I knew it, both of them reached for the caramel-flavored popcorn and alternated between the salted and caramel ones, munching away.

The good thing about popcorn is that it can be made cheaply and easily, and it can be eaten quickly. That’s why popcorn is usually sold in movie theaters in my previous life.

“Huh!”

“Oh!”

“What’s wrong?”

I stop my hand in surprise at the voices of Migi-san and Hidari-san. When I look up, both of them are trembling.

“We ate so much.”

“For Demon King-sama and Tyran…”

Perhaps because we were munching away, there was hardly any of the two types of popcorn left. If I serve this to Demon King-sama and Tyran-san, they will definitely say it’s not enough.

But I had planned to make it again from the beginning.

“I’ll make it again, so please eat without worry.”

“Are you sure it’s okay to eat it all?”

“Of course.”

“Thank you.”

After saying that, the two start reaching for the popcorn again.

I make the two types of popcorn again and bring them to the king’s chamber. The table is already set, and Demon King-sama and Tyran-san are sitting there.

“Today’s snack is here.”

“What is this?”

“It’s popcorn.”

“Does Tyran know about it?”

“I’ve seen it a few times in the country I went to with my Master. But I wasn’t particularly interested at that time…”

“If it’s made by Dairy, it’s definitely delicious!”

“That’s right.”

Demon King-sama clenches his fist and declares. Tyran-san nods in agreement. It’s a bit embarrassing, but I’m more happy to hear that it’s delicious.

“By the way, what kind of snack is this? I can’t imagine at all.”

“I’m curious too.”

“Do you remember the corn I served before?”

“Yes. It was delicious.”

“That was a vegetable called corn used in corn soup, right?” 

At that time, I served boiled corn kernels because they were used in corn soup.

Demon King-sama was very satisfied with the natural sweetness of the ingredients, and Tyran-san finished it all. That’s why they remember it well.

“This is a different variety of the same vegetable. When you heat it after drying, it expands like this.”

“It changes so much with a different variety.”

“So this is how corn looks…”

Both of them seem surprised. I was also surprised when I saw it for the first time.

That was before I was reborn.

At that time, I found it fascinating how it popped, and I begged my mother for more and more.

“Today, I made two different types. This one is salted, and this one is caramel-flavored.”

“Caramel! I’ll have the caramel.”

“Then I’ll have the salted one. I think I’ve seen it like this in the human realm too.”

They each take a plate with different flavored popcorn in front of them. After the drinks are ready, they both put a piece of popcorn in their mouths at the same time.

“Delicious.”

“Oh, it’s delicious.”

With just those words, they start eating silently. 

After eating a few, Tyran-san moves the plate of salted popcorn towards Demon King-sama with a sly motion. In response, Demon King-sama also moves the plate of caramel popcorn towards Tyran-san.

Then, they reach for the exchanged plates and start munching on the popcorn.

It seems they are so fond of it that words are unnecessary.

Just watching the two of them is enjoyable.

As I sip my tea, I gaze at the popcorn being sucked into their mouths. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟖𝟎: 𝐈𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐨 𝐣𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐚 𝐬𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤?

“Popcorn is delicious, but I also want to eat tomatoes.”

When I brought the popcorn for today’s snack, Demon King-sama brought up the topic. 

Perhaps he got tired of five consecutive days of popcorn. Or maybe he remembered because I had served boiled corn and chilled tomatoes nearby.

“Chilled tomatoes, right?”

“No, this time I want something different. Is there a snack that uses tomatoes like corn?”

It seems to be the former.

This is also delicious. He keeps saying he wants more as he munches on it.

But a tomato snack, huh? Nothing immediately comes to mind.

When it comes to tomatoes, the strong image is of meals and appetizers like pizza, minestrone, roasted tomatoes, and pickles.

The combination of grilled cheese and sliced tomatoes is crispy and delicious, but it still has a strong image of being an appetizer.

Tomato jelly, which is occasionally seen in the summer, could be included as a snack. 

However, it strongly reminds me of something that would be served as a fancy restaurant appetizer.

What if I make tomato jelly using that concept? But I have never made tomato jelly, let alone tomato juice.

Is it better to put the whole tomato in, or should I cut it and put it in? If I put it in a blender, I think I need to strain it.

But the tomato juice I made at home in the blender has a pleasant texture.

The smoothness of store-bought tomato juice is good, but the satisfaction of homemade ones is different. It was great to drink when I was a little hungry or in the morning when I wasn’t very hungry. 

“But tomato juice wouldn’t be a snack, right?”

I mutter under my breath.

Then Demon King-sama suddenly looks up. His mouth is filled with popcorn. In order to swallow it, he quickly moves his mouth up and down.

“It’s okay to take it slow.”

“Mm!”

And after swallowing the tea, he takes a deep breath.

“Is there also juice made from tomatoes? Is it delicious?”

“Yes, it’s delicious. It’s quite filling, but I occasionally feel like drinking it.”

“I want to drink it! I want you to make it tomorrow.”

“Well, but tomato juice is not really a snack…”

“But chilled tomatoes are a snack, right?”

Demon King-sama tilts his head in confusion. I did indeed convey that.

And in Demon King-sama’s mind, even hot sandwiches are considered snacks. So maybe tomato juice is not a big deal.

“Then I’ll bring it tomorrow.”

“Yes!”

What about Tyran-san?

It’s a bit too much to just have tomato juice…

I thought about making a separate one just for Tyran-san, but his reaction was unexpected.

“Tomorrow is tomato juice, huh? That’s nice. Make it a bit sweet for me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I like tomatoes.”

Come to think of it, when I served chilled tomatoes, there were traces of tomatoes on his mouth as he came to complain.

“I want it in a large cup.”

He even made such a request. 

It’s fortunate that both Demon King-sama and Tyran-san have their favorite foods and no dislikes.

Not only for Tyran-san but also for Demon King-sama, I’ll put in extra sugar.

I return to the kitchen and discuss tomorrow’s snack with Migi-san and Hidari-san. Although it’s just cutting tomatoes and blending them with sugar.

“Tomato juice, is it?”

Both of them blinked in surprise. They probably didn’t expect juice to be served as a snack. And to say it’s juice, but it’s made from vegetables.

Until now, when it comes to juice for Demon King-sama, it has been orange juice. And even that is served only occasionally. So it was surprising that it was a request from Demon King-sama. But they accepted it immediately.

“We happen to be out of tomatoes, so we’ll go buy some.”

“I’ll pick out something that will satisfy Demon King-sama.”

As soon as they said that, they prepared for shopping and headed to the human realm.

The next day. 

The tomato juice made with the tomatoes they bought was highly praised by Demon King-sama and Tyran-san.

They each drank two cups in large sizes, and even then, they wanted more, but I stopped them.

Demon King-sama pouted his cheeks. But I understand that feeling well.

I also drank it in the kitchen with Migi-san and Hidari-san, and it was more delicious than what I had in my previous life.

“Where did you go to buy such delicious tomatoes?”

“When I went on a procurement trip before, I heard about a place famous for tomatoes, so I went to that farm.”

“Because we want to drink delicious things.”

Both of them drank the second cup and seemed very satisfied.

In unison, they declared, “We will buy it again.” 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟖𝟏: 𝐓𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐨 𝐣𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐣𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐧-𝐚𝐥𝐜𝐨𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐜𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐥

“This cocktail is delicious.”

Demon King-sama drinks it happily. Tyran-san also responds lightly with “Ah,” completely engrossed in it.

It seems that the special non-alcoholic cocktail has struck a chord with the two who love tomato juice.

“The tomato jelly was quite delicious, but this is also tasty.”

Demon King-sama exhales with satisfaction.

By the way, the tomato jelly was successfully made and served as yesterday’s snack. I peeled and diced the tomatoes, then simmered them. After that, it was made in the same way as other jellies. It’s always worth trying new things.

So this time, I tried making a non-alcoholic cocktail combining tomato juice and orange juice, which Demon King-sama likes. Surprisingly, it was delicious, and Migi-san and Hidari-san also liked it.

So I served it to the two of them as well. And in anticipation of refills, I placed orange juice, tomato juice, and water on the wagon.

“Refill!”

“Me too.”

I pour the drinks into the cups offered by the two.

If they like it this much, I should have learned about this in my previous life. I vaguely think about such things.

I have no interest in alcohol, and even though it’s non-alcoholic, I have no experience with cocktails either.

But if I think about it carefully, non-alcoholic cocktails are mostly just juice. Occasionally, there are ones with low alcohol content, but there are plenty of options that I can serve to Demon King-sama like this. 

I wonder if there are cocktail books in the Demon King’s Castle?

I want to study a little more even now. After finishing the cleanup, I’ll ask Orphemia-san.

“Dairy, is something wrong?”

“I want to learn more about drinks.”

“You can drink more things!”

Demon King-sama’s eyes shine, while Tyran-san’s expression clouds. Did something bad happen?

“Tyran-san, is something the matter?”

“Drinks are fine, but I want to eat snacks.”

I widen my eyes at his strong words. But it’s such a Tyran-san-like reason. He likes tomato juice, but it must have been unsatisfying for him.

“Ah! That’s right. Tomato juice is delicious, but I don’t want to drink it every day. I want to eat more and more snacks!”

Startled, Demon King-sama joins in and tugs at my sleeve, desperately as if a snack crisis is approaching.

Let’s postpone the search for drink books for now.

“Then, I’ll make a different snack tomorrow.”

“Yes! I’m looking forward to something delicious.”

“I’ve eaten a lot of popcorn, so something other than popcorn would be good.”

“Understood.”

A snack other than delicious popcorn. It’s quite a vague request.

But Demon King-sama’s reaction seemed like he was expecting a new snack. I think Tyran-san will be satisfied even with snacks that I have already served before…

I clean up their dishes and roll the wagon. 

As I return to the kitchen, I ponder deeply. However, I can’t come up with a good idea. I quickly return to the kitchen.

“Welcome back, Dairy-san.”

I raise my head as I’m greeted.

Then, the two of them are holding a box filled with eggs and a box with milk bottles. It seems they went to get ingredients.

“You look down. Wasn’t it well received?”

“It was well received. I’m just thinking about tomorrow’s snack… I think something new would be good.”

“We hope we can help too…”

Migi-san and Hidari-san groan in unison.

For now, I put the eggs and milk in the refrigerator and look for any good ingredients. 

But even after putting away the eggs and milk, I can’t come up with a good idea.

As I ponder what to do, I suddenly notice the bread I had for breakfast. 

Migi-san and Hidari-san bake various types of bread to accompany each meal, so I enjoy different kinds of bread every day. And the bread served with today’s breakfast was a baguette. 

I had an idea when I put the eggs and milk that I just stored into the bucket.

Let’s make French toast tomorrow.

“Your expression has brightened.”

“Did you come up with a good idea?”

“Yes. Tomorrow, we will make Pan Verde.”

“Pan Verde?”

“What kind of snack is that?”

Pan Verde is another name for French toast.

Many shops outside of Japanese bakeries use this name. But the recipe is the same, just the name is different. With this, we can easily make it with the ingredients we have now. 

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟖𝟐: 𝐁𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞

“Originally, it was a snack to enjoy stale bread, and it’s really delicious.”

I explained the recipe briefly, and both of them listened while nodding.

“If it’s a baguette, it’s here.”

“Let’s try it out, trial and error is important.”

Migi-san and Hidari-san are also enthusiastic.

So, we decided to make a trial version for tomorrow.

We need eggs, milk, sugar, butter, and bread.

This time, we will use a baguette.

When people hear “French toast,” they often think of it made with sliced bread. Some may even think it needs to be left overnight… But French toast made with a baguette is also delicious, and it saves time.

Because of the hollow space in the baguette, it absorbs quickly.

Ideally, it would be better to use a few days old dried baguette, but there is no such thing in the Demon King’s Castle. We will use the one baked this morning.

Mix eggs, milk, and sugar to make the egg mixture. Soak the sliced baguette in it.

If you make it too thick, it will take longer to soak, so if you want to eat a lot, it’s better to increase the quantity.

Depending on the thickness of the baguette, it will soak in about an hour if it’s quick.

In the meantime, prepare the toppings for the French toast. This time, I plan to prepare apple compote and ice cream.

“You’re going to put ice cream on it.” 

“It’s very luxurious.”

I quickly make the apple compote and start making the ice cream.

We are all familiar with this. If there is any leftover ice cream, we can give it to Demon King-sama and Tyran-san, so the three of us diligently work on it.

Once the baguette has soaked well in the egg mixture, just spread butter on a heated frying pan and cook it. 

Once it’s cooked through and has a nice brown crust, transfer it to a plate and add the toppings. It’s done.

Plate the French toast for three people. Since dinner is also coming up, two pieces per person.

When I turn around, I see Migi-san and Hidari-san preparing the teapot and teacups.

“The tea is ready.”

“Let’s go to the next room and eat right away.”

Everything is ready.

Just as we were about to put it on a tray and move, something happened.

“What are you doing, trying to secretly eat something delicious?”

“To think that you came to ask about tomorrow’s snack and ended up trying to eat a snack.”

As soon as we left the kitchen, Demon King-sama and Tyran-san, with moist eyes, were waiting.

It seems they saw the scene of us making snacks in the kitchen perfectly. Their eyes are pleading. 

“Um, this is a trial version for tomorrow’s snack… and we plan to give you both ice cream later…”

“It’s unfair to secretly eat something delicious.”

“I won’t be fooled by just the ice cream.” 

Demon King-sama and Tyran-san show no signs of backing down. Their desire to eat is palpable.

I give up and look at Migi-san and Hidari-san. Then, they both speak at the same time.

“Let’s divide it into five portions.”

“…I’m sorry.”

“I want to eat a lot of ice cream instead.”

“And the apple compote too.”

“Of course!”

Demon King-sama’s eyes sparkle with excitement at Migi-san and Hidari-san’s words.

“Can we really eat it?!”

“It’s a special occasion, you know?”

“Hooray!”

“I’ll help with dividing it.”

Demon King-sama happily rushes to the next room, and Tyran-san returns to the kitchen with Migi-san and Hidari-san.

Since the ice cream and apple compote are temporarily stored in the refrigerator, I trust the three of them to handle it.

I prepare additional tea and head to the next room where Demon King-sama is waiting.

There, Demon King-sama sits alone at a spacious seat, pressing his chubby cheeks with both hands, in a dreamy state.

“To be able to eat so much snack, today is a good day.”

He exhales deeply, savoring his happiness. Seeing Demon King-sama so happy, I can’t help but feel happy too.

As I gaze at the adorable Demon King-sama, the three of them come with plates and utensils. 

Each plate is piled high with ice cream. It must have been Tyran-san’s responsibility. I could tell at a glance.

“I apologize for the wait.”

“It’s ready.”

“The ice cream and the apple compote are also piled high.”

We receive the French toast brought by the three of them and line up to enjoy our second snack of the day with five people. Originally, I made six slices, so everyone gets one, except Demon King-sama, who gets two.

The meaning of the prototype has disappeared, but it felt good in its own way. 

―𝔼ℕ𝔻―

𝐓𝐋: 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐠𝐮𝐲𝐬! 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠!


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