Chapter 18: Midnight Meeting
“I brought her~.”
Looking up at Black Dragon-san, Demon King-sama sighed in exasperation.
“. . .You went out on your own. . .”
Demon King-sama was not wearing pajamas, but his usual all-black clothes.
I screamed and hid behind Black Dragon-san, who had turned into a human.
“W-Wait, please. Black Dragon-san, didn’t you say Demon King-sama is wearing pajamas too?”
“I don’t know, but probably. Right, Demon King-sama?”
“. . .Hiira-dono, I apologize. Black Dragon doesn’t understand the difference in human clothing.”
As I stepped onto the balcony, Demon King-sama draped his cloak over me. His body temperature warmed me up as I was feeling cold from the night breeze.
“I apologize for my appearance.”
“How’s the store doing?”
Demon King-sama looked at me with narrowed golden eyes, his black hair darker than the night. He was holding the flyers and letters entrusted to Synovidos.
“You’ve received them already.”
Synovidos is really fast at his job.
Demon King-sama frowned and stared at Black Dragon-san.
“I didn’t intend to call you out at night. But he went out on his own.”
“But, Demon King-sama, you looked so happy looking at the flyers over and over again.”
“. . .”
Black Dragon-san didn’t seem to feel guilty at all. But I was grateful for the chance to thank him. I settled into my new home and deeply bowed to Demon King-sama to express my gratitude.
“Thank you for creating such a wonderful shop.”
“I did it on my own. Is it convenient for you?”
“It’s perfect! The kitchen and the second-floor residence are exactly to my liking. Did Demon King-sama also like this kind of house?”
“I thought of a house that would suit Hiira-dono. . .I thought you would want a garden and a spacious magic kitchen with a large work table. I’m glad you’re happy.”
Demon King-sama looked at me with a satisfied expression. His gaze made me feel embarrassed, so I fidgeted with my halo.
“I wanted to meet you in a more proper attire. It’s embarrassing.”
“Don’t worry, you’re cute no matter what. Your hair tied up with ribbons like chimaki (チマキ), or let down like noodles, both suit you.”
(TL: Sorry, too underpaid to take time to look for reference.)
“Chimaki. . .?”
“Ahem.” Demon King-sama cleared his throat.
“Sorry, forget what I said. When I look at Hiira-dono, I can’t help but think of food. . .”
“Fufu. I’ll bring you a midnight snack next time.”
“If you have any problems, you can talk to a guy named Synovidos.”
It was the first time I heard his name from Demon King-sama’s mouth.
“Did you become friends with Synovidos?”
“Y-Yes. . .”
“I’m so happy! Please take care of Synovidos during the Demon King’s Castle subjugation too. He’s a really nice person.”
I was genuinely happy. Synovidos, who was like my onii-san, and Demon King-sama were getting along well. It was nice to see the people I liked getting along.
“Haha, getting along, Hiira-chan.”
Black Dragon-san next to me was rolling on the floor laughing. After giving him a stern look, Demon King-sama carefully adjusted and tied the cloak he lent me.
“It’s getting late, so go home soon. You must have preparations to make.”
“But what about the cloak?”
“It’s okay, you can return it next time. If you call Black Dragon from the window, he’ll come to pick you up anytime, and I’ll visit the shop when I have the chance. . .See you again.”
Black Dragon-san turned into a dragon and flew away with the wind. When I tried to get on his back, I remembered something I had in my magic item case.
“. . .do you feel like having a late-night snack now?”
Demon King-sama raised an eyebrow at my question.
“Do you have something?”
“I do~ actually. I just remembered.”
I got off Black Dragon-san for a moment and took out a container from my magic item case.
It’s well chilled.
“I forgot that the refrigerator and the magic item case are connected. Would you like some of this?”
When I opened the case, there were four evenly spaced baked goods that were plump and round.
“I didn’t expect Demon King-sama to eat it, so I’m sorry it looks a bit messy. It’s a prototype of a dessert I was making tonight.”
“Is this. . .in the shape of a seashell?”
“Yes, it’s a madeleine.”
On the day I was expelled, I brought madeleines as a souvenir to Kasdar’s family. They were delicious, so I tried to make my own delicious madeleines in various ways.
“I made madeleines a few times when I was at the seaside monastery. The children would bring me seashells, and we would disinfect them and put seeds inside to make baked sweets. . .At that time, I used less sugar, and it tasted more like pancakes. But the madeleines I bought in the capital were round and fluffy, with plenty of sweetness and deliciousness. So I thought, can’t I improve my madeleines to make them even more delicious?”
I realized that the secret to sweetness was not only the amount of sugar but also the hidden flavor of honey. I also added lemon peel and brandy.
So, based on my experience at the monastery, I tried to make an arrangement with a larger, more satisfying size that was not a small tea-time dessert but more like a “snack to enjoy when adventurers are tired” in the capital.
“If you don’t mind, could you taste it? Please tell me your thoughts when we meet again.”
“Thank you. I’ll cherish it.”