In any case, he was the kind of man who was able to make decisions for himself. He would assess the situation and take the best course of action.
When we arrived in Ashtaroth castle, I disbanded my army and locked myself up in my office.
There I waited for reports from Kongming and Toshizou and went about running the castle.
The soldiers all returned to their homes with medals. Jeanne told me that they would proudly tell stories about what had happened.
She had just come to my office now with a pile of beef jerky in her arms.
That was nothing strange in itself, and so I didn’t mind. But then I noticed something.
She was holding something else as well.
It was the picture book I had once given to her.
She started to read it with a serious expression.
I was called ‘The Carbuncle that Died Ten Thousand Times.’
It was a picture book for children, but there was also text.
And I couldn’t help but be impressed that she was reading it.
“Jeanne, that’s amazing. You can actually read now.”
Jeanne turned to look at me.
“Yes, it is because of you, Demon King. You taught me every day.”
She said with a big smile.
Just then, Eve entered with some herb tea.
“Miss Jeanne was writing in her notebook every day. And when she didn’t know a word, she would look it up in the dictionary.”
“The maid helped me. She taught me when I didn’t know a word.”
“I’m glad to have been of service.”
I looked at her with relief.
They had been quarreling before the battle, but now they seemed to get along.
They were like sisters.
Jeanne accepted her cup of tea and seemed to take great pleasure in sipping it.
Eve watched with gentle eyes.
Then she began to braid Jeanne’s golden hair.
Jeanne silently accepted it.
Well, as I was very capable of being boorish, I decided to just ask them what was going on.
They answered with a smile.
“The presents that we gave you saved your life, Demon King.”
“And so we considered it. Perhaps we would both be of better use to you if we cooperated.”
“Of course, we fought over who should be first and second, but then we flipped a coin. It is settled.”
It sounded like insanity, but I didn’t voice that opinion.
Well, there was beauty in friendship. And if they got along from now on, the castle would be a better place.
‘Thank you,’ was all I muttered. Then I produced something I had secretly bought in town.
I had never been to a flower shop before.
‘I want the most beautiful flowers in this world. Flowers for beautiful women!’
I had been a little nervous, and so that was what came from my mouth.
The shop owner looked very surprised. Perhaps even more so because I was dressed as a soldier. In any case, she prepared some flowers for me.
Her recommendation was white dahlias.
Apparently, they symbolized ‘gratitude’ and ‘abundant affection.’
Well, it seemed appropriate enough. And so I bought two bouquets and hid them under my office desk.
Those were the flowers I was giving to them now. Their reaction upon receiving them was most amusing.
Jeanne had a child-like joyful expression.
Eve also seemed less like her calm self, and was genuinely happy.
They both smiled and thanked me at the same time.
“Thank you so much!”
Well, such flowers were too cheap, if they could buy these smiles. That’s what I thought.
Disguising myself and leaving the castle had been a lot of trouble, but perhaps it was nothing after all.
A realist Demon King could not help but wonder about the cost and effect of sending flowers.
It was a bad habit, perhaps. But it was a quality that my people seemed to like in me.