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After Tephalia gave her congratulations on our courtship, she addressed her interest in getting to know me before deciding to tie the knot and become one of my wives in the harem.

I admit that she was a little too casual in admitting her greater interest in how well I was in bed than bearing my children from how much she heard from the girls outside of my earshot. Ume pointed out right there how much greater my dick had gotten since the last few times we did it, and I had to pull us back to the main subject before it went off in a tangent I couldn’t help but be embarrassed of, especially since I’m even still in the same room as them in their girl talk.

Then again, I can’t deny that I was still interested in having sex with Tephalia as well when she asked me. Since they were so open about it, I thought it shouldn’t be much of an issue for me to express my own honest thoughts.

We had to get ready and head in early for our quest tomorrow so we couldn’t really make some time for tonight, but we agreed to meet up sometime after that and appoint ourselves properly as lovers for a start, kept under wraps from the public eyes, of course.

“Hey, Jin, I just remembered something from what Lili told us. She said you need some kind of physical form of approval from an influential demon to be able to get an audience with the Demon King, right? Wouldn’t Tephalia here help us here in that regard?” Ume asks after we settled on our relationship matter.

“…” HOW THE HELL DID I NOT THINK OF THAT?!

<“Yeaaaah, this might be a total brain fart moment here on your part,”> Nyra jabs.

True, we might not even need to take that quest tomorrow if we’re aiming to get Lady Krauss’ attention enough to help me get an audience with the Demon King. I don’t know where she stands in the noble hierarchy, but Tephalia is the lord of a freaking city, a ‘Demon Lord,’ if you will. Should she not have as much political/government power if not greater than her?

“Hmm … well, after saving Dondegarm twice and beating Eugus, yes, I would most definitely give you a letter of recommendation to have an audience with the Demon King, but from someone in my position, that would give you an appointment with her 4 weeks from the day you show it to them, maybe 3 if we’re optimistic. You want to see her as soon as possible though, right?” Tephalia asks.

“Yes, most certainly.”

“Then, you’ll have a better chance of seeing her sooner if you get a good word from a resident noble in the city of Korangar, especially from one of a prestigious family that directly serves under the Demon King, herself, such as your client, Lady Noire Scarletine Krauss.”

My eyes widen. “How much do you know of our quest if you know who the client is?”

“Just the summary that Eugus told me while we talked about you. Now, I have high confidence that you’ll be able to help her get to the end of that dungeon, but I must warn you: unless you’re absolutely interested in getting into the class of nobility, if I was in your position, I would not get involved with Lady Krauss’ affairs outside of the quest.”

Lady Krauss’ affairs … could she be talking about her engagement with Lord ‘Little Girl’s Drum’ that Lili told us about?

Nyra cackles in my mind. <“Dude! That isn’t … okay, okay, you know what, never mind. Yes, his name’s Lord ‘Little Girl’s Drum.’ Totally accurate!”> [TN: ‘Rowling’ would be pronounced low-leen-goo for Japanese speakers and the ‘loli’ sound in his name can mean … well, you get the picture, while ‘gu’ means ‘drum’ .]

I may be totally inaccurate in his name but I’m sticking to it if it means remembering at least a little of it. Unless I’m involved with someone enough, I tend to forget their names not long after meeting them the first time, more so for the guys.

“I’m just saying this now as I’m seeing how quickly you’re getting attention from other girls but I’ll wish you luck,” Tephalia continues. “One more thing I want to mention. You said something about seeing the Demon King about your ‘Devil Eyes,’ right? You weren’t aware of having such a capability until now, Jinma?”

“No, I don’t even know how to activate it or why I even have it. I was kind of hoping the Demon King may refer me to someone who’s willing to teach me about it.”

“Hmm … that might be a stretch, but I think I know of someone who could possibly help you learn about it. The thing is, no one knows where or what kind of demon she is, even for someone around my social position, but she’s said to be the Demon King’s court magician who researches anything that catches her eyes.”

“Court magician … so this one’s the strongest spellcaster among everyone in the Demon-Kin?” Ume asks.

“As well as the most intelligent.”

“Even if we may not know where she is, if there’s a chance she can help me figure out what I have going on, then I don’t see why we shouldn’t look her up. Does she even have a name?” I ask.

“I only know of her unusual title. She goes by … the ‘Shining Tea Set.’”

““…””

<“Yeah, that will certainly help us get somewhere.”> Nyra might have spoken both of mine and Ume’s thoughts.

~~

Once Tephalia bid us off and gave me a savoring good-bye kiss, at Ume’s request, I take us to the front of the manor through [Portal] and we walk the rest of the way while holding hands.

<“You know, you’ve held her hand a lot today. Doesn’t it feel strange being scaly and claw-like?”> Nyra asks.

Well … it’s certainly different than from what Komi did when she was teasing me back in the day, but I still welcome it. It just makes bonding with her that much more interesting.

Komi tended to trap my arm against her chest from time to time when we hung out, mainly to get a rise out of me or make me a stand-in as a pretend boyfriend if there were guys hitting on her. Her teasing may have gotten a little overboard at times, but looking back on it now, maybe that was what made our friendship kind of fun.

<“Eh, suit yourself.”>

“Hey, Jin? There’s something I’ve been wondering,” Ume then says.

“What’s up?”

“I can sort of understand with the complications between the three of us, but why did you feel the need to apologize for our separate circumstances, especially if you somewhat knew that you had already done it the first time? Actually, for someone who calls himself the ‘Merciless Demon,’ you certainly apologize for things more than what your title would imply, don’t you think? At least as far as I’ve noticed, anyway.”

I glance down to the ground as we walk while lightly tightening the grip on my wife’s reptilian hand. “You know how Mom and I had a … complicated separation that makes seeing each other again impossible, right? Well, long before that, something similar happened to the two closest friends I had. Things were not good for us when we were approaching an important turning point in our lives, and … both of them just left all of a sudden before we even had a chance to talk and make up.”

“Were they both human females?”

“Yeah … I cherished them both as friends even if my relationship between each was so different. They were probably my honest-to-good first loves, but like how I couldn’t approach them when things were getting difficult, I couldn’t risk coming out with my feelings and completely change what I had between them, for better or worse. They … left just as I decided to try and do something to make up for it, and I couldn’t really get it all settled in the end.”

I think back to the news that killed parts of my soul that day, the day when Hyoko Ishima, Komiwa Karuga, and 27 other people died from a horrific accident in a moving bus on the highway. Half of the people from our homeroom classroom, our assigned teacher who was also Mom’s closest friend and my very first aunt, Mitsuki Toko, plus a few students from other classrooms at our school got caught in it.

If I was just more honest with myself and what I really wanted to do despite the consequences, I would’ve been victim number 30. I would’ve joined my friends, our classmates, and teacher as we were all making our way to an outing at the beach over summer vacation during our third year of high school. The event was organized by Hyo-chan who asked Mitsu-oba (that was how I usually referred Mitsuki Toko outside of school) to be our chaperone. She even invited me and Komi together well ahead of time, too, despite how little we talked over the course of our high school years.

I couldn’t go due to many factors despite how excited the two of them were at first, so I pretended to be under the summer cold that day.

“Not resolving our complications soon enough while being honest with myself … was one of the biggest regrets I had before coming here,” I continue with Ume walking alongside me. “A while after that separation, I promised myself that if I realized I did something wrong, even if it may be a problem for me and troubling to those involved, I would get those issues I’ve caused mended as fast as possible so that I won’t be weighed down with more regrets. I guess I apologized for those earlier things the second time because I was a little paranoid that there was still some stuff lingering that people may hold a grudge on me over. Well, if they still dislike me after I apologized, there’s nothing I can do about that and I’ve grown used to it. There’s also what I had done in my previous job that doesn’t really help my case, either, but since it’s you and Tephalia we’re talking about, I just couldn’t risk leaving any ends loose …” I trail off before I realize that Ume stopped our walk.

Before I could say anything, Ume takes my head and holds it against her breasts, right to her cleavage. She’s a little taller than me, so I didn’t need to crouch much to get to that level, but the gesture was still a surprise.

“Your mother … really emphasized on letting you be more selfish and honest with your desires while not being so reserved. I thought I was getting somewhere when I pampered you earlier, but I think I’m starting to understand what she really meant by that now. About why you’re working so hard for all of us, try to take everything on your own, and try to right every wrong you might’ve made, especially with me.

“Jin … are you going along with what we have right now because of what I am? Because of what I might do if you rejected me? I know I’m selfish and greedy, keeping you to myself more than with the others even though I encourage you into growing your harem, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself trying to experience everything for the first time with you. I don’t know, I’ve never had a mate or had interest in males before meeting you and I’m happy to have you here, but I realize I didn’t really consider your feelings on what you want to do with me. It might’ve been like that since I first asked you to be my mate. Please, understand that I want you to be as happy if not more about us as I do, but I don’t know what it is that you want if you don’t come out and say something.

“I may act a bit self-indulgent and sulk if you make a mistake, but please know that I will never hate you, and if I’m holding something against you, I’ll try to come up front about it instead of holding it off from you like others may have. The last thing I could ever want is making you feel trapped or subdued going along with what I want and hate me later for it. Human lives are so tragically short compared to us. I want to spend every waking moment with you and I want you to be happy being here with me and the others, so please tell me, tell us if there’s something bothering you, if you need help, or if you’re sad and angry about something. We will do everything in our powers to help you, so, please … don’t come to hate us at a point where you’d ‘separate’ us like you had with your mother and friends … don’t leave us, don’t leave me, please …” Ume’s voice starts to crack near the end and I feel something wet drip on my head as she tightens her shakily hold.

“Ume …” I pull my face away from her cleavage and give Ume a proper hug. I pull her in tight while she grips the back of my blazer with her lizard-like claws and quietly sobbing in the crook of my neck.

“Do you mind … if I may be honest for a moment?” I ask before she nods her head. “I admit that I was a little worried of those things possibly happening if I fully rejected you, and your possessiveness is also a tad concerning, but being so honest in what you want is one of your biggest charms that I’ve come to love about you, Ume.”

“R-Really?”

“It’s strange for me to be so genuinely wanted to this degree when I’ve grown so used to being shied or driven away by everyone among other humans who isn’t my mother, friends, and family. It may also be indulgent of me, but I’ve started growing a liking to it. It just makes me want to keep you and the other girls to myself all the more.

“That said, this is my first time in all of this, too, especially this harem stuff, but I want you and the others to be just as happy if not more than you girls do for me. I don’t want to separate from you and the others, either. That’s why I was working so hard up to now.”

Ume giggles a little as she pulls back and wipes stray tears from her face. “I guess we both have a lot to work on if we don’t think we’re doing enough to make the other happy. I may not know what exactly it is about you that some other humans don’t want to be with you for, but if the other demons in this city aren’t enough, then you can bet that you’re the most wanted for me to be with, along with Tephalia and the other girls in Twilight Sky.”

“Well, talking and working those out is part of how we can make our relationship better, especially you and me as spouses. We gotta make sure the others are happy being with us, too.”

“Absolutely. I want to have lots of fun trying and doing new things with them like our moment in the private bath last night, like showing you the new lingerie Lili’s making for us.”

“I’ll admit that I’m definitely looking forward to that. You better have your plans open by then and the day after, because I’m keeping all of you to myself.”

“Ooh~, Jin, you’re so greedy~.”

I pull Ume in by the waist with a conniving grin. “Only with those I love, and I won’t let anything, especially another guy, try to take you all away from me.”

“Growl~, I love a male being bold and taking charge~.”

The two of us giggle while exchanging a few kisses.

<“All right, lover boy, as much as I want to see you go at it right here, you got some preparations to do for tomorrow, don’t you?”>

Ah, right. With Nyra’s reminder, we continue our walk back to the inn.

“Oh! Speaking of not letting something take us away, you really showed Eugus Gallofree who was superior in your duel. I’ve been dying to know, how’d you manage to pull that off? Chantless spellcasting, predicting his moves, and all?” Ume asks with excitement in her tone now.

Just so I don’t want to risk other hearing us, I come up with an idea. “First, you can’t freak out on what I’m about to try.”

“Um … okay?”

… All right, can you hear me?

“Of course, I can hear … eh? Wait … <Is Jin doing what I think he’s doing? Okay, a test, let’s see … should I tell him in my mind how I wasn’t really interested in seeing male Dragons before I left because there was a friend of mine who attracted them far better with her looks, powers, and charm than I could … and I was self-conscious of my tail being too big for their tastes?”>

Really? Do dragons see the size of one’s tail as an attractive feature?

“Uaagh!” Ume yelps as she jumps away from me. <“Y-You … you heard all of that?”>

Every word.

<“So, then … you’re able to use Telepathy.”>

Yep.

<“And you’re aware of the embarrassing insecurity with my tail now.”>

I actually find that kind of adorable.

<“Seriously, Jinma, what isn’t cute in those weird eyes of yours?”>

<“Eh?! Wait, I recognize that voice … Nyra, was it? Is that you?”>

<“Whoa, so you can hear me like this even when you’re not touching Jinma while wearing the bracelet, huh? Interesting.”>

I thought you couldn’t speak with people from the very beginning unless someone touches you?

<“To be honest, I’ve been speaking to you with my own Telepathy this whole time. It’s just the curse that’s not allowing me to communicate with anyone until they wield the tanto. The closest thing I could do with my powers along with the curse is summoning monsters to move me around. Perhaps since you’re now able to use Telepathy as well, I can speak to whoever you’re connecting to with that skill. It’s like how I’m able to speak with Kenaka and Mametama, but like opening and closing a bridge to other sentient beings outside of those who’re connected to you by magic.

<“And with that said, nice to speak with you again so soon, Scalybutt!”>

“Scalybutt?!” Ume exclaims aloud with a flushed face. She realizes her sudden action that draws the attention of other people around us before she claps a claw over her mouth. <“What the heck, Nyra?! You weren’t like this when we spoke earlier?!”> she exclaims again in her mind.

<“I was going through some conflicting stuff then but I’m over it. From now on, when you’re speaking with Jinma through Telepathy, expect some colorful commentary from your promiscuous neighborhood Pixie! Such as how your fat tail brings all the Dragon boys to the yard!”>

Ume subconsciously covers her tail and looks over to me with her eyes, pleading for help while on the verge of tears again.

… You get used to it. Honestly, for someone who doesn’t like clothes, you’d think Ume wouldn’t mind people staring but I guess this tail thing is a bigger issue for her than I thought.

~~

Ume submitted to defeat and let our internal conversation continue with me explaining how I beat Eugus in the duel while we walked back to the inn. Just as Nyra promised, she provided her own colorful thoughts in between. My Telepathy skill leveled up to 3 after continuous practice while Nyra gave me some pointers by the time we made it back to the inn. We regrouped with the others and made the necessary preparations before our big day tomorrow.

To have Nyra help investigate the mystery of my memories, I recalled the earliest moments of my childhood that I could think of by the time we were all trying to fall asleep. I briefly thought back to the day I heard Hyo-chan, Komi, and Mitsu-oba died on Earth.

I admit that I considered the possibility of running into any of them in Padimon but I don’t have any evidence to show that they’re here to go off of. I’d rather not get my hopes up to search for someone or something that may not even be in this world.

Wherever any of them may be, if my conversation with Mom earlier was anything to go by, I prayed that they were all doing well as I drifted off into slumber.

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A note from Orange_Rain

It pains me to write this when I haven't even brought the fateful moment of Jinma's and Noire's meeting yet but I think I'm approaching a good end to another volume if this were written in a book. I can't remember how many pages it was when it was last counted to the first volume but I feel it's getting pretty high now compared to that.

Sheesh ... I really need to learn to pick up the pace here.


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About the author

Orange_Rain

  • United States

Bio: Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.

I not only like to read novels of many kinds, but I also like to write them. The stories published here will be in webnovel.com as well, so if you can, I'd appreciate it if you could support me on both platforms. I also like to read any professional critiques people may have on my works in order for me to become a better writer.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you'll enjoy what I have in store.

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