While Kaito was visiting the Sanctuary to check Shallow Vernal's schedule, a certain being came to visit Alice's miscellaneous goods store.
[Oya Kuro-san, what's up]
[Unnn, I just had some business with you, Shalltear. I'm really glad you're easier to find. I just have to find you near Kaito-kun.]
[Hahaha, what are you saying If you just want to find me, why don't you come to my miscellaneous goods store]
[……So says the one who closed the store and disappeared while Kaito-kun was back in his world.]
When Kuromueina came into the miscellaneous goods store, she exchanged a few words with Alice and let out a light sigh. Just as she said, Alice normally appears at different places and even moves from one place to another, making it difficult for Kuromueina to find her.
However, when Kaito was there, it was easy to make contact with her because she always had a clone in her general store and was basically almost always guarding Kaito nearby.
[Ahaha, so, the reason you especially came to visit me…… Was it because of "that Trading Company" that Kuro-san has been busy with lately]
[Unnn, well, that's right. If they were trying to drag us down as some sort of sales strategy, I would have ignored them…… but it seems like people have gotten hurt already, so I think they've gone beyond what I can overlook.]
At that point, Alice prepared a chair in front of the counter, where Kuromueina sat down before she continued.
What was bothering Kuromueina was that a small Trading Company that had a contract with the Seditch Magic Tool Trading Company was in trouble with a rather disreputable Trading Company.
[Even though we have a contract with them, that Trading Company isn't directly under our control. If I go and deal with them myself, the situation will inevitably get bigger.]
[It definitely will…… So, your request is for me to solve the problem, correct]
[Unnn. Just like usual, the most amicable way possible.]
[You're as kind as always…… This would have been over in a snap if you'd just let me crush them.]
It isn't that often, but Kuromueina offers Alice jobs like this. As one of the Six Kings and the president of the world's largest Trading Company, the more Kuromueina moves, the bigger the problem becomes, so she relies on Alice's help when she wants to get things done as secretly and peacefully as possible.
Chuckling when she hears Kuromueina's words, Alice then spoke to her with a slightly more serious expression on her face.
[Well, for the time being…… Do you have someone you'd like to handle this in mind]
[……Is Pandemonium-chan still no good]
[Fumu…… I understand how you feel. If it's her, she'll be able to solve the problem in a good and clean way…… but…….]
[I guess she's really too busy with work on Kaito-kun's mansion]
[Hmmm, rather than busy…… She's been working so happily over there lately, so I don't really want to give her too much work to do. Well, I'm sure she won't refuse if she's asked……]
[I see…… Hmmm…… Then, can I ask Lilim-chan to do it "again"]
Kuromueina also knows Pandemonium…… Illness from back then, that's why she consented with Alice when she said that she had been working happily lately.
And since she didn't feel comfortable asking for a job that would interfere with her happiness, Kuromueina mentioned another candidate.
[Well, I guess that's how it's going to be. She's "invincible against weaker opponents", so I guess you could say she's the right person for the job. So, I'll turn this job over to Lilim again this time.]
[Thanks, that would be very helpful.]
In the capital of Archlesia Empire, in a room of the largest castle in the capital with many tall buildings, Lilim, the mother of the current emperor and one of the Ten Demons under the Phantasmal King, was looking at her manicured fingers.
She has such overwhelming beauty that even such a simple gesture looked picturesque, but looking inexplicably troubled, she mumbled.
[……I don't dislike this color, but it doesn't suit Chris-chan. I think a shade of blue would suit Chris-chan better…… a darker color would also be nice. Hmmm, I wonder if I'd find a good color for her…..]
What Lilim was currently working on the new products for the season that have arrived from the various Trading Companies that specialize in cosmetics, but from among the many samples, she was picking those that would suit her beloved daughter, Chris.
She was just about to reach for the next sample, thinking that she would give it to Chris if she found a good one…… when her lord appeared in her room.
[Sorry to disturb you, Lilim.]
[……Ahh~~ Shalltear-sama Could it be]
[Yes, it's a new directive.]
[Hmmm…… "I'm not in the mood this time, so I'll pass"~~]
Without listening to her King, Shalltear's directive, Lilim refused and reached out for the next sample.
She was originally quite moody, so it's not uncommon for her to refuse directives like this because she isn't in the mood. In the first place, Alice has given her executives the right to refuse directives and orders. In addition, the person who uses this right the most is Lilim, and the probability that she will obediently comply is at most 40%.
However…… There are always exceptions to everything.
[……Incidentally, this is "Kuro-san's request".]
Immediately after Alice told her this, Lilim's hand stopped from reaching to a sample and her shoulders slumped down.
[I understand…… I'll take it.]
[Oya I thought you weren't in the mood.]
[I see you're as terrible as ever. You know I can't refuse Underworld King's request, didn't you……]
Yes, Lilim is a moody person, but she never refuses a request from Kuromueina. The reason is simple. For her, Kuromueina is her great benefactor who helped her repair her relationship with her beloved daughter, Chris, making her feel in debt to her.
[Ahh, by the way, the person herself is here too.]
[Eh The person herself……]
Immediately after Alice's words, a black vortex appeared in the room, and as Kuromueina emerged from inside, Lilim stood up from the sofa she was sitting on and bowed her head at a beautiful angle.
[U- Underworld King-sama!]
[Hello, Lilim-chan…… Sorry for suddenly bothering you.]
[No, that can't be! Underworld King-sama is always welcome.]
[Thanks…… Also, I'm sorry, but can you help me again this time]
[Ahh, yes! That's no problem at all! I'll have it dealt with in a few days!]
In contrast to her previous response, Lilim straightened her back and responded to Kuromueina, listening to Kuromueina's request.
After agreeing to her request and promising to solve the problem as soon as possible, her expression changed and she spoke with a somewhat apologetic look on her face.
[……Ummm, Underworld King-sama.]
[If you, ummm, have time…… could you please visit Chris-chan I'm sure Chris-chan would be happy to see you.]
[Unnn, I was also planning to meet her. It's been a while, so I want to talk to Chris.]
[Thank you very much!]
After exchanging a few words, Lilim watched Kuromueina walk out of the room to meet Chris, keeping her head deeply bowed.
Thereupon, after Lilim looked up after Kuromueina was completely out of sight, from behind her, a dumbfounded voice could be heard.
[……You sh*tty bat, aren't you behaving quite differently than when I'm the one asking you]
[The Underworld King is my benefactor, so it's only natural. She isn't like some mean king.]
[Hoohh…… My, oh my, now you've said it…… Then, from now on, when it comes to "parenting advice", please look elsewhere instead of this mean king.]
[I- I'm just kidding…… okay I'm just being a little mischievous…… The only king for me is Shalltear-sama, and I'm firmly committed to you…… That's why, please. There's no one else I can turn to!]
[……Rather, you're using your personal communication magic tool to contact me too much……]
Alice looks at Lilim with amazement when she easily changes her colors and looks at Alice as if she's clinging to her.
Whenever Lilim has a problem with Chris, or she is feeling troubled with preparing a present, she comes to Alice for advice, or rather, to cling to…… using the communication magic tool that is only given to executives……
Among the Ten Demons, she had the highest usage of the communication magic tool, and 90% of the times she used them were for personal purposes.
[P- Please don't say that. L- Look, I've been working really hard lately, and I've been submitting my reports on time…… And so, ummm, for the time being, I'd like to get a reward for this directive too……]
[……Haahhh…… This sh*tty bat…… So, what additional reward do you want]
[I'm looking for a dark blue nail polish. I won't mind even if it's not the actual thing, and just some information where I could get one, so if you could tell me, I would be grateful.]
When Lilim said that with a fawning look on her face…… Alice let out another big sigh as she looked at her subordinate, who was undoubtedly excellent, but very difficult to handle.
In addition, although the story is completely digressing…… despite her attitude, Lilim doesn't think less of Alice. In fact, just as she said earlier, she is firmly committed to her.
In front of the other members of the Ten Demons, she says things like "she only has business-like relationship with her King"…… but to begin with, she isn't a very straightforward person. She would act like she's following Alice because it's in her best interest to do so…… but that actually isn't all there is to it.
For example, if she were to be asked "who she admire the most" in a place where Alice and her other subordinates weren't present, she wouldn't hesitate to name Alice, and she was also loyal enough that she would never become another King's subordinate, no matter how good the terms they present her.
Lilim rejects almost 60% of the "directives" that Alice brings her, depending on her mood at the time…… but she has never disobeyed an "order", nor has she ever complained about it.
In the end, it was just as the person herself said…… The only king for her really is just Alice.
Serious-senpai : [……In short, she's like a tsundere character, right Well, this helped as a breather before the swimsuit episode…… Alright, I'm ready for the incoming sugar!]
: [Ahh, errr…… Senpai, ummm, you see…… The next chapter is an April Fool's Extra Chapter….. or something…… like that.]
Serious-senpai : [Eh Ahh, I see. Well, it certainly is that time of the year huh. Rather, why is it that you seem strange Why do you look so shaken]
: [Ahh, no, errr…… This, you see…… I'm entrusted to give this to you.]
Serious-senpai : [Unnn What's this…… Errr…… "Main Story Invitation Ticket"…… The heck is this]
: [N- No, I was also quite confused…… but in the next chapter…… Senpai…… It seems like you're coming out of the Main Story, you know]
Serious-senpai : [Ahh, I see, I'm coming out of the Main Story huh…… Fuaahh!]-