Upon seeing the dolled-up Marcho and Fel, the [Time] Demon Lord was dumbstruck and I couldn’t blame him.
The dresses provided by the Curtrude Company was a work of art made by a designer famous even abroad. This woman, despite achieving her firm status, had felt herself being stuck in a rut. To overcome such a rut, she had set her eyes on Avalon—where excellent things had gathered from all over—and immigrated here.
I had spoken to her just once before but I was already able to tell that she was determined to improve and yet still very sociable.
From among the dresses she had completed, she chose the ones that best suited the girls and reworked them to suit the girls further. Upon knowing that such beautiful girls were going to wear her dresses, she was ecstatic. So much so that she finished the dresses in such a short amount of time.
To draw out Marcho’s bewitching appeal, hers was a stylish white dress that clung to her bodyline. It also had a large slit at the back. The contrasting of her brown skin and her white dress was breathtakingly beautiful.
As for Fel, to bring out her cuteness, the dress designed for her was a fluffy black dress. The ribbon she wore was a nice accent.
“Father, oh how I wanted to see you!”
With her tail swinging, Fel jumped into an embrace with the [Time] Demon Lord.
For a young girl who has been separated from father, she must have felt really uneasy.
With a tender expression on his face, the [Time] Demon Lord returned her embrace.
“Me too; I was so worried about you.”
I sympathized with how they felt and thus decided to let parent and child enjoy their reunion.
“Oto-san, does, does Kuina look cute?”
“Kuina, getting a headstart is sneaky.”
“Yeah, we want master to take a look at us too.”
It was then that my [Monsters of the Covenant] approached.
Kuina had eyes full of expectations; Rorono was acting somewhat embarrassed; and Aura was being bashful. Each of the three acted differently but all of them wanted me to praise their dress.
“All of you look cute. You’ve always looked cute but now, you’re even cuter.”
“Mhm. That makes me happy.”
Kuina wore a greatly revealing red dress that showcased her grown-upped form’s sexual appeal. The disparity between her appearance and her childish behavior had a mysterious charm to it.
Meanwhile, Rorono’s was an elegant sky-blue dress that made her really give the impression that she was a noble. Rorono had always been more beautiful than cute and this dress had highlighted that.
And as for Aura, her dress was a sexy violet dress that showcased her body lines and cleavage to emphasize her voluptuous body. If she were to appear in high society, she would definitely be a head turner.
“Procell, I’m hungry; can we perhaps eat soon?”
Somewhat pouting, [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas told me so.
I guess she’s upset I’m praising other girls.
“Oh, of course. I’ll have the food served right away.”
When I clapped my hands, the food was carried in.
Upon seeing this, the girls who had just arrived took their seats.
The table that was prepared for us was a round one, making conversation easy even with this many participants.
Marcho and my three monsters seated themselves around me, Fel sat next to the [Time] Demon Lord, and all the other monsters sat beside their Demon Lords.
The exception being the flaming Qilin, Teflare; Teflare could speak but unlike [Time]’s other monster, it was not able to take up human form.
One after the other, the best dishes from all over the world were being brought in.
As long as merchants could, even if by foot, they would travel to an area and acquaint themselves in that area’s network of merchants.
And when they become a first-rate merchant like Conanna, they could force their way to networks all over the world, continuously gather information, and obtain each area’s best seasonal products.
Even the highest-ranking Demon Lords shouldn’t have that many opportunities to enjoy such seasonal and exotic delicacies.
The control over air travel, such was Avalon’s charm.
“You’re just a greenhorn and yet you’ve prepared this many wonderful things.”
“In case you prepared only inferior things, I would have forced you to do better but now, I can’t really complain.”
“Fufu, you’re my child so this much is just natural.”
It seemed to have pleased the tastes of the three strongest Demon Lords and for that, I was relieved.
When the dishes were all served, Avalon wine was poured into our glasses. This wine was made using the golden apples of the [First Tree], a tree that was equal to a World Tree. Just like with the golden apples, this wine was only available here in Avalon.
When I was thinking of doing a toast to officially start the feast, Marcho spoke.
“Dan, Ast, Procell, everyone, thank you for helping me. I am here right now, smiling, only thanks to everyone’s efforts. Please accept my gratitude.”
Upon hearing her words, the [Dragon] Demon Lord laughed, kukuku. As for the [Time] Demon Lord, he seemed calm but there were subtle signs of his face turning red.
“Marcho, helping a friend in need is only natural. Or so I would like to say but I have to confess that my plans were to ignore your plight. We did have that non-intervention agreement, after all. What convinced me to act was your child. Above all, it was akin to a business arrangement where I was compensated. For those reasons, I have no right to accept your gratitude.”
The [Dragon] Demon Lord said so and shot me a meaningful glance.
In reaction, I smiled. The [Dragon] Demon Lord was not the type of man to act for such a measly compensation. However, he did need an excuse so that he could help Marcho and I was the perfect one.
“I’m the same as the [Dragon], no, I’m the same as Ast; there’s no need to thank me. It’s vexing but I was not the one to save you; it was Procell. Rather than be thanked, I should be the one thanking him. So, Procell, thank you for keeping Marcho alive. I consider my reward of having more time to be with Marcho fulfilled.”
The [Time] Demon Lord then turned to me and smiled.
His smiling face was so beautiful and so devoid of worry… that it made me feel even more guilty.
Embarrassed by the words of her two old friends, Marcho smiled as well.
However, she didn’t attempt to thank them again. Their bond was deep enough that no words were needed to express their unspoken feelings.
“Hey, Dan, earlier you said not to call you Dan anymore but now, you’re the one going back to our old way of calling each other. What changed your mind?”
“I was being nonsensical. With all three of us gathered in the same dining table, there was no sense in being so obstinate anymore.”
“Kakaka, you say this now after complicating things for at least a century. Oh well, it was nice to hear you call me Ast again before I die. That’s one less regret to worry about. …anyway, Marcho, although I have a theory, I’m still going to ask: what’s with that form? You look a lot younger.”
The [Dragon] Demon Lord narrowed his eyes and examined Marcho.
“I was reborn. I was able to drive back the ones that attacked me but at that point, I had used [Awakening] too much, therefore using up what little left of my lifespan. Just when I was about to vanish, Procell used [Rebirth] and that turned me into his monster. As I currently am, I am no longer a Demon Lord.”
“Hmm, I see. It’s surprising though, to have you—someone who proudly persists more than anyone to follow the proper path for a Demon Lord—rely on such a shady method.”
The [Dragon] Demon Lord said so and then looked toward the [Time] Demon Lord’s direction.
The [Time] Demon Lord was leaning on his elbow, looking as calm as before, when he began to speak.
“I’m worried too. Marcho, why did you accept [Rebirth] but not my powers over [Time] when it could have just as easily prolonged your life? Can you tell me your reason?”
Upon hearing the question, Marcho scratched her cheek, avoided eye contact, and then turned red.
My guess was that she was embarrassed because she thought of what happened between us back then.
Just when she steeled herself and was about to speak, a growling sound was made and all eyes were directed to the source of that sound.
“I-I’m sorry. Please, continue speaking.”
The source was Fel or more specifically, her rumbling stomach.
To have such a feast before oneself and not be able to eat it, it would surely make one’s stomach protest.
Someone laughed, then another, until everyone was laughing.
“Gahahaha. Dan, it seems your cute, little monster has grown tired of this long talk. Well, let’s enjoy the food first; the talk can wait until after our bellies are full.”
“I’m sorry, Father.”
Fel said so while her wolf-ears were down and her face hidden.
“No, it’s fine. I’ve wanted to eat too. Procell, why are you not doing anything? You’re supposed to be the host today.”
It seemed like the [Time] Demon Lord was really indulgent to his daughter.
If it were not for Fel, I might have interrupted his conversation with Marcho. However, and if I did do that and he felt he lost face, it wouldn’t have been strange if he decided to cut off my head.
“Then, a toast: to Marcho’s safety and to renewed friendship.”
We all shouted so and made our glasses bump into the other’s.
And with that, we began eating the feast.
“Procell, this wine made of apples is really good. I would like to enjoy some of it in my own dungeon. Can that be arranged?”
“I’m sorry but no. Today’s wine needs special apples to make but I’m afraid we can’t produce them in large enough quantities so giving away this kind of wine for free is something that can’t be done. If you’re fine with wine one grade lower, I’ll have it ready. But for this one, again, sorry.”
As to be expected, I could not just carelessly hand over wine made out of the golden apples.
If it was wine made out of ordinary Avalon apples, then sure, he could have as much he would have wanted but the golden apples were primarily used for the creation of strong recovery potions and were thus too much of a valuable resource to be used all on wine.
“I see. That’s a shame. Then, how about I offer an A rank medal in return for some bottles?”
“Dan, stop it with that. If you give out an A rank medal for some wine, you’re going to be punished by the Creator again. If you really have to have it, I suggest waiting until after Procell has graduated from being a newly born Demon Lord. On that note, Procell, send me some of the next finest wine. In exchange, I’ll give some dragon meat. Those are rare, you know. There are some dragons that would periodically cut their tails to make it grow bigger and those cut-off tails could then serve as food. And if you haven’t known already, dragon steaks are delicious.”
Old Demon Lords were currently at the risk of being penalized for giving monsters and DP to new Demon Lords like me. The exception to this rule was when new Demon Lords offered something of equal value in return.
Based on their exchange, however, it seemed like [Time] was going to be punished for lending Fel to me.
“Ast, you’re just stealing a march on me. You’ve always been so sly.”
The two bantered and created an atmosphere unique to old friends. In truth, I was a little envious of them.
“Rest assured, I’ll send bottles of wine made out of apples—although not of golden apples—to the both of you.”
For the favor they did me, this much was the least I could do.
The two nodded and continued on with their meal.
“Oto-san, look at these giant prawns! They’re so delicious but it’s a bit troublesome to peel their shells off.”
What Kuina held in her hand was a prawn so superb, it was like a lobster.
These prawns caught somewhere in the northern sea was now presented to us deep-fried—without any breading—and ready to be dipped into a spicy, bitter-sweet sauce.
“You don’t have to peel the shells off; you can eat them as they are.”
I said so and demonstrated it to her. I chewed on one and felt the meat dance around my mouth. The combination of its juices that were overflowing in my mouth and the sauce was just sublimely delicious. I would go so far to say that it was more delicious than anything I had eaten so far.
With sparkling eyes, Kuina mimicked me.
“Oto-san! This is amazing! It’s crunchy and the taste is so deep! Kuina loves this!”
The fact that it was alive until this morning certainly boosted its deliciousness.
As for why the shell was soft, the prawns used were ones which had just finished molting. Molting was when prawns shed their shells so that they could grow. In place of their old shells, however, were the still-thin-and-soft ones. When deep-fried, the shell provides a crunchy, pleasant texture as well as good flavor. And so, biting and chewing these lobster-like, large prawns—shells and all—was considered very luxurious.
“Master, check these beef sashimi out. I very much like them. It’s strange though; it looks raw but its warm juices are simply amazing. Its sauce is splendid as well.”
“Oh, those aren’t sashimi; those are cut-out center portions of grilled meat.”
What Rorono ate was a kind of steak.
In this world, there were also such things as premium cows. These cows, simply because they were very delicious to eat, were bred, fed, made to exercise, and managed. Raising such creatures was mostly a hobby for nobles, considering the high price it would take, but the taste of their meat certainly matched the cost.
For every large cut of 2kg of meat cooked whole, only about 100g of it—the central part—was served to us. Truly, a very luxurious item.
“For me, I love this oyster paella. The delicious taste of the shellfish permeates all over the rice. Such bliss.”
What Aura ate was a special kind of oyster paella; rather than the oyster being added to the rest of the paella was in the oyster.
The paella was made by putting rice grains into these large, clam-like oyster shells; adding in dashi, which was a stock made from kelp; adding in a small quantity of alcohol; and then steam-cooking it.
By doing so, the flavor of the oysters was contained within the rice, making the dish delicious.
In addition to those dishes, every single one of the many cuisine that were served to us was very exotic and luxurious.
“That Conanna really went all out, huh.”
As per my instructions of disregarding cost, Conanna had arranged for numerous outrageous cuisines.
Everyone was amazed.
More than the ingredients, what made these dishes amazing was the sheer variety of them. The most marvelous recipes from all over the world were arranged for this feast and we had the pleasant opportunity to experience them ourselves.
It went without saying that the delicious food and the great alcohol made everyone happy, filling the place with the sight of our smiles and the sound of our laughter.
After a while, black tea and desserts were brought out. Our final dessert was an apple pie. I initially thought it was a little disappointing to have something so common be the last item of our feast but when I tasted it, it was outrageously delicious.
The apple pie used golden apples so it was a given that it was delicious but even then, the patissier’s amazing skills made it even more so. Each technique used and each ingredient chosen—other than the apples—were perfect, making it the ultimate apple pie.
Its crust was crisp; its syrup had a subtle taste; and the flavor of the apples was vivid. With all of these, the pie delighted me greatly.
I see, so this is why Conanna said to look forward most of all to the desserts.
Apparently, these desserts were made by a noble who hailed from a certain remote, pioneering village. This man, despite being praised as the pride of the nation, was an eccentric who chooses to remain in his village. And even when asked to, he would decline requests of making pastries.
I heard, however, that after seeing the apples and being told of a superior variety, he considered wanting to create desserts using the best ingredients and then accepted our request. Since it was the golden apples, he probably decided it was better to make a simple pastry to fully draw out its flavor.
I’d like to meet him once.
It didn’t seem like I was the only one that enjoyed his creation. In fact, I would argue that anyone who tasted it would be at a loss for words.
After a while, we all were finally finished with desserts.
“Procell, the feast today was magnificent. Even for me, this was the first time I’ve experienced such good food.”
“As a top-ranking Demon Lord, it vexes me to say it but I agree. You’ve outclassed my dungeon in terms of culture, Procell. It seems your decision of building a city does have some pretty good merits.”
The [Dragon] Demon Lord and the [Time] Demon Lord each expressed their words of praise.
“The ones that are truly amazing are the humans that made all of these. I’ve merely gathered them.”
Technically, even that was done by the human merchants. To have a network that reached all corners of the world, not even a Demon Lord could have that.
“I too am satisfied. Procell, there aren’t many Demon Lords who could skillfully use humans like this, you know. There’s no harm in patting yourself in the back for this. Besides that, hey, let me eat these delicious things again someday, okay?”
Marcho jokingly asked. In reaction, I just smiled wryly.
With our bellies full and with the mood cheery, it was great.
Right then, however, the expression on Marcho’s face turned serious and she then decided to continue the interrupted talk from earlier.
“Now, onto why accepted Procell’s use of [Rebirth]. Procell said to me, when I was on the brink of vanishing, that he loves me, that he wants me to be his and that he’ll make me forget about the man I loved before. He said all this as he wept and embraced my tattered body. It was then that I thought I couldn’t leave this boy behind, not after being touched by dedication. So yeah, I had fallen in love with him. And I wanted to be with him longer.”
Marcho explained so and then put a happy smile on her face.
Seeing that, the [Dragon] Demon Lord laughed a little whereas Stolas puffed her cheeks.
As for the [Time] Demon Lord…
“I see. It vexes me that I was not the one to say I’ll make you forget about him. I was so preoccupied with trying to catch up with him that the thought didn’t even occur to me. Really vexing.”
“Hmm, Dan, are you angry? It might not be my business but snatching away the woman you love from the one she loves is foolish to me. My advice is to just give up.”
“Ast, you’re misunderstanding something. I can’t not love Marcho. Sure, at the moment, she loves Procell, but that’s all; it doesn’t affect my feelings for her. Pity me if you must but I’ve grown accustomed to loving somebody who doesn’t love me back and who loves somebody else. My centuries-long love for her isn’t some trivial thing. …If this much could make me give up on loving her, I would have gone for some other woman long ago.”
The [Time] Demon Lord paused and then took a deep breath so that he could deliver his next words with all his heart.
“So to answer your question, Ast, I’m not angry and I don’t plan to be. Rather, the words I want to say to Procell is thank you for fulfilling our agreement. After that, I’m declaring it here and now that I am going to make Marcho fall in love with me and take her away from him.”
His words were filled with conviction and were definitely not a bluff. They were his true and honest feelings.
That being said, I had no intention of making it easy for him.
“I won’t let you.”
I strongly declared so. Marcho’s love was mine.
“Very well. Now that that is taken care of, there is something else I’d like you tell me.”
The [Time] Demon Lord said so and then smiled coldly.
“For some time now, every time you say you love Marcho, my precious Fel has a sad expression on her face. It’s as if she’s fallen completely in love for you as well. So, tell me, why is this the case? Just what did you do to Fel?”
He then shot me a look that by itself could kill.
There’s no escape, I realized. And so, I readied myself and spoke.
The fourth volume of the LN is available now! Here is an Amazon link
The first chapter of the manga has also been released. Here is a link for the fan-translated chapter.
I did not translate the manga so please express your thanks to them.
If you want to see untranslated version, go here.