Before I took dancing lessons with Eve, I stopped at Robin’s room. Robin, of course, was the new addition to my subordinates, Robin Hood.
He was currently staying at Marco’s mansion as a guest, so it was easy to meet him… Or it should have been, but he was not in his room. When I asked the servant where he had gone, she said that he was in the mansion grove.
Apparently, he found it more comforting to be surrounded in trees.
Well, he was the Hero of Sherwood forest, after all. And so I headed for the grove.
When I arrived, I saw that he was napping up in a tree. He was using a branch as a substitute for a bed.
His face was so calm that I hesitated to wake him up, but his eyes opened as I approached.
It was as if he knew I was there as soon as I stepped foot into the grove. He had the sharpened senses of a ranger.
He jumped down from the tree and asked,
“What is it?”
And so I answered him bluntly.
“Marco, the master of this mansion, will be holding a ball. And while I will not tell you to dance, I would like for you to attend.”
“Me? At a ball? I had heard that Demon King Ashtaroth was wise, but it seems your eye for choosing people applies only to the battlefield.”
“Well, I understand that it’s not something you would usually do. However, I think that drinking at a party is a good way to relax.”
“Wine tastes best when you are up in the trees.”
“Are you refusing to attend?”
“Indeed I am.”
He said as he picked up a wineskin and took a gulp. Yes, he did make it look delicious. Perhaps this suited him more than a crystal glass in a ballroom.
And so I didn’t press the matter. But I asked him a different question.
It was something that I had been wondering about.
“By the way, Robin. What is that creature on your shoulder…”
“On my shoulder? You mean this Carbuncle?”
“Yes. It’s not exactly something I would have associated with you.”
A Carbuncle was a kind of green squirrel-like creature. What made it different from a squirrel, was that it had a red jewel in its forehead. This stone carried immense magical energy, and so they were often sold at a high price.
“It seems to have taken a liking to me, and we’ve been together for the past few months. I saved it when it was being attacked by wolves in the forest.”
“It does seem to really like you.”
Normally, saving it wouldn’t result in something like this. They were famous for being very cowardly.
“Well, I can’t tell you why it happened. However, the little fellow makes me feel calm.”
Robin stretched out his hand, and the Carbuncle moved to it and did a backflip in the air.
“Ah, so it can do tricks. Impressive.”
“I wonder where it learned to do it.”
“It’s clearly a splendid creature. But I wouldn’t show it to Jeanne.”
“Why is that?”
“She has no love for small creatures. Anything that walks on four legs is food in her eyes.”
“Ah, so she is a glutton. I wouldn’t have guessed it by looking at her. Very well, I’ll tell Su to stay away from her.”
“It’s name is Su?”
“It’s a good name.”
This got a good reaction. Not from Robin, but from the Carbuncle. It seemed to smile at me. However, surely it was just my imagination. They didn’t have such facial expressions.
And so I bowed and then left them.
Robin climbed back up into the tree, tipped his hat over his eyes, and went back to sleep.
I returned to the mansion so that Eve could teach me to dance.
“One, two, three…”
The voice echoed in Marco Polo’s drawing room.
While the idea of a maid teaching a Demon King how to dance was comical, I took it very seriously.
I passionately listened to Eve’s instructions.
Toshizou watched this with a sigh.
“The Demon King is obsessed with learning this western dance. Has the world come to an end?”
He was someone who lived in the Bakumatsu era. And so he was not fond of such dances.
“Well, I too am not fond of dancing with complex steps.”
“That is why Japanese dancing is great. You can just do whatever you like at random.”
“While that is fine as well, I think it would be wise to learn ballroom dancing as well.”
“I see. Because after you defeat the enemy and are given lands and princesses, you will build a harem.”
“A harem would be too much trouble.”
I said honestly. And then I told Toshizou to practice dancing as well.
“You must be joking. I just told you that I hate these barbaric dances.”
“However, we will have more opportunities to hold events of this kind in the future. It won’t hurt you to learn how to act.”
“I’d prefer to be on the battlefield.”
Toshizou spat. And then he left the room.
I didn’t bother to ask him where he was going. Ever since we came to this city, he had only ever gone to the entertainment district.
Perhaps there was a girl there that he fancied. Indeed, perhaps he suited those brothels more than a ballroom.
I had little to say after realizing this. The real problem now was Jeanne.
There were some areas where she was much like other women. And so I had assumed that showing her a pretty dress would be enough to grab her attention. However, she surprisingly showed no interest in balls or dresses.
“I am but a servant of God. I have no interest in dressing up and dancing.”
And she stayed in her room and read picture books.
As for Fuma Kotaro, I could not find him anywhere.
It was rather troublesome for me, that none of my subordinates were interested in the ball, but Eve had a different opinion on that.
She chuckled and said,
“I am actually quite pleased. After all, I’ll have you all to myself.”
“But you always have me, my beautiful head maid. However, while I had little hope for Toshizou and Kotaro to begin with, I would have wanted Jeanne to participate.”
“Indeed. She is still a tomboy in some ways. I would very much like to put her in a pretty dress and fix her.”
“Well, in spite of appearances, she is rather serious about being a Saint. Aside from her gluttony, she lives as severely as a nun.”
“Yes. She can be quite stubborn.”
“I don’t think it will be easy.”
“I agree. Ah, Master. That’s the wrong step.”
Eve pointed out.
“Sorry. It will be all the harder for me to invite people if I can’t even dance. And I wouldn’t be able to teach them either.”
“That’s true. However, I do have an idea for calling Miss Jeanne to the ball.”
“Oh? That’s wonderful. Even the Demon King of strategy could not do that.”
“You are joking. It’s too simple to even be called a strategy.”
“Let’s hear it then.”
I said with a smile. Eve bowed.
“Jeanne is a glutton. And that gives us an opening.”
“I see. You’re right.”
I understood the rest without hearing it. And so I thanked Eve and decided to head for Jeanne’s room.
I would put her in a good mood so that she would consider attending the ball.
After receiving my gratitude, Eve saw me off with a smile.