Chapter 11:


I Was Tasked With Defeating The Demon Lord, But For Some Reason, She Is Now My Girlfriend!?

Stretching hard, I began to relax on the benches along the one of the trails in the park that Lillim and I had first arrived in. The warm rays of the sun were making me feel more peaceful amongst the families playing and picnicking in the park. Though the day had started quite stressful, it had since calmed down to a tranquil evening.Bookmark here

It had been several days since the Duel between Percival and Lillim, and life had slowly begun to return to normal. Or what one might call a new normal.Bookmark here

Every day a massive pile of paperwork is set waiting for Lillim to sort through and work out the details. Being new to Human ways of life, she found this challenge daunting and stressful, but I stepped up to help her. In a sense, I have become her assistant and have answered her every question that has arisen in her learning process.Bookmark here

She has been a real quick learner if I am being honest. Soaking up Human customs, mannerisms and terminology quite fast, like an eager sponge ready to learn. But Lillim says it's because I am an effective teacher. She is eager to see me teaching in a field that I am more suited to teaching, but that will unfortunately have to wait a while longer.Bookmark here

Father had taken over my role as Professor for Magic History until, as he put it, “you find the time in your busy schedule, don’t shirk the important duties before you can have your fun at the academy”. Bookmark here

I didn’t want to give up my teaching job, that was the whole reason for me coming here in the first place, after all. But what Father had said was right. I couldn’t abandon Lillim when she needed me. Bookmark here

Not now, not ever. That was the deal we made, and if she wasn’t going to break it, I won't either.Bookmark here

But as I said, today started out with a very strange series of events. I had awoken early in my staff quarters at Thamaturgis, which I am glad they still let me keep, even though I am not officially an educator there yet.Bookmark here

Though still, I dressed the part of a Professor and wore the tie, still not quite looking right on me, and my magic robe wherever I go. This morning, I was on my way to help Lillim with her work once again. Bookmark here

Last I had heard, she still had plenty to sort through and was falling behind. To alleviate that problem, she was going to stay late and not rest until the work was completed. I just hoped that she got some sleep that night. Since she arrived, she has given her all to her work and has not ceased amazing me with her tenacity to push through even the most intimidating workloads.Bookmark here

Although, I think she was actually enjoying her role as a diplomat, almost as if it was her calling all along. She especially enjoyed reading the letters that had been sent to her from the citizens.Bookmark here

The first batch of them that had arrived addressed to her were filled to the brim with mean and cruel words. Those had probably been written upon her initial arrival to Stalvart, when all they knew about her was that she was a Demon and no one could trust a Demon.Bookmark here

But as time went on, the tune of the letters began to change, and now several a day arrived with words of praise to the work she was doing. She was even receiving letters from outside the capital’s walls. Apparently, tales of her and what she did during her Duel must have leaked out to the surrounding villages and were still being spread further beyond.Bookmark here

Each time she read those letters, her cheeks grew rosy, and she was unable to hide the smile that took over her face. I think that is what pushes her to work as hard as she has to this point.Bookmark here

But still, she needed a hand, completing the mountain of work before her. And so I had set off early in the morning to meet with Lillim. Even though her office was located several city blocks away, I had made myself a map that even I can read to lead me there without error. I was even shaving off time and arriving earlier and earlier each time.Bookmark here

Since I was making good time yet again, I thought it would be nice to arrive at Lillim’s office with fresh bread from a baker. I stopped at one whose door was at a convenient turning point, making it easy to keep track of where I was. I popped my head into the door and as the bell rang above me, I was tackled by someone right on the other side.Bookmark here

Though I was completely taken off guard, I had seen that whoever had tackled me had a head of translucent silvery curls.Bookmark here

“Oh hunny bun!” Charlotte cried as she snuggled her face deep into my chest, “It must be fate that in this whole big city we would come to the same shoppe at the same time.”Bookmark here

“Charlotte?” I began to sweat nervously, “How did you get here? Aren’t you supposed to be at the castle?”Bookmark here

“Oh, I got bored again. So I snuck out. Now, should we take this reunion somewhere more private?” she asked, fluttering her eyes in a sultry way.Bookmark here

“That will be enough of that,” a voice retorted while Charlotte was raised into the air in bewilderment, “You can’t go around asking people that question, not at your age. Plus, you need to do a better job staying undercover.” Krystal, the one handling the Princess, was draping a scarf over onto her head like one would cover their private property from sight.Bookmark here

I was going to ask why they were together, but the Princess interrupted my thoughts by stomping her foot once she was let down to the ground.Bookmark here

Charlotte huffed and crossed her arms over her chest, looking away from Krystal. “You just want Lawrence all to yourself. I won’t stand for this. He is mine after all!Bookmark here

Krystal’s face went a vibrant shade of red, and she began to stutter, “N-n-n-n-no! Th-th-that’s not what I meant!,” but then her voice went softer as she began to fidget with her fingers, “Well, I mean, I am not against it or anything…”Bookmark here

She looked up, still beat red. But as our eyes met, she stood up stiff. She gathered the Princess back up into her arms and began running full blast.Bookmark here

“Never mind! We need to be off! Farewell!”Bookmark here

“But I want to stay with Hunny bun! And we never got the bread you promised me!” Charlotte struggled to break free from Krystal’s grasp as they rounded a corner and down an alley, disappearing from sight.Bookmark here

Don’t I get a say in any of this? I asked inwardly while waving awkwardly goodbye after they had left.Bookmark here

As I said, it's a stressful start to the day.Bookmark here

But I got up, brushed the dust off of me and bought the sweet bread I was going to share with Lillim. Exiting the bakery, I double-checked which way I was going, and headed back on my journey. Bookmark here

However, as I rounded the corner to head down a smaller street, I ran face-first into another person. This one caught me as I was falling back and began spinning me around, causing me to become incredibly disoriented quickly. By the time I had come to a stop, I found my nose pressed against another person’s nose.Bookmark here

I would say I was looking them in the eye, but I could not see them through the tightly bound black cloth covering them.Bookmark here

“Uh, hello Delphai? Thank you for catching me?” I wasn’t sure what to say to her, like normal she was a complete enigma. She had since let me go and began to pirouette around the mostly empty street.Bookmark here

“Ah, isn’t it Lawrence Larkdale. The one with the beautiful blue eyes. I am so glad to see them again.”Bookmark here

Is that shroud see through only on her side?Bookmark here

“Ah, yes, thank you again, but I should be taking my leave.” I gathered back up my sack of breads and began to walk away silently.Bookmark here

She leapt into the air and sat down flawlessly on a railing to someone’s stoop. “Oh, leaving so soon? I thought you wanted to discuss the Prophecy further, yes?”Bookmark here

I stopped instantly.Bookmark here

Turning to look over my shoulder, “How did you know that?” I hadn’t discussed that fact with anyone, or at least not out loud. Had I? I don’t believe I had.Bookmark here

“Such a silly question from such a silly boy,” she giggled, swinging her body side to side as she spoke, “Of course I knew.”Bookmark here

“That didn’t answer my question,” I replied in frustration as I approached where she was sitting.Bookmark here

She leaned down as soon as I was close, to where our noses were almost touching once again, “Tell me. What do you really want to know?”Bookmark here

I looked into what I assumed was her eyes, but she just sat there, smiling, unfazed. I sighed in defeat. “Fine, I do have one question.”Bookmark here

I hesitated as her smile grew wider, as if it was all that she had expected and just wanted me to say it out loud. “Your Prophecies. They always come true, right?”Bookmark here

“You are as right as rain,” she answered, using the wrong idiom. I only rolled my eyes, pressing on.Bookmark here

“But do they come true exactly as you say them?”Bookmark here

She paused as the smile faded from her lips, “Hmm, I guess that is a good question, but it's the same as the previous one. My Prophecies always come true. And they are just as accurate as I say.”Bookmark here

“Ha!” I shoved a finger into her face, catching her in her own words, “I think you finally got one wrong. You aren’t infallible!”Bookmark here

“Oh, how so?” Delphai leaned down again, putting one hand on my shoulder while the other brushed against my cheek. “In what way have I been wrong to you?”Bookmark here

I pushed off her arms and began to explain, “You said I would slay the Demon Lord. But now Lillim and I are working together and nothing is going to stop that. You were wrong. But I guess I should be glad. You did bring us together with your soothsaying. So thank you for that.” I began to leave again, relishing in the triumph that had finally put my mind at ease for all this time.Bookmark here

But Delphai gave a little laugh as I turned my back to her, raising a hand to her mouth to cover her giggle fit, “You are so mistaken, Larkdale.”Bookmark here

Once again, I found myself unable to walk away from her, and instead turned again to see what she was talking about.Bookmark here

She was back on her feet, spinning in a crazed dance balanced atop the railing. “I specifically said you would ‘impale’ the Demon Lord. Though you are correct that you have not done that, still, you are also correct that you have not yet done that.”Bookmark here

My heart nearly stopped dead in my chest.Bookmark here

“You are so foolish to think that my Prophecy has not come to pass yet. You are still following the path I have foreseen just as I predict it. But fret not.” She leapt down on that last one and took up my hands in an attempt to get me to dance with her. I held steadfast, unmoving, but continued to listen regardless.Bookmark here

“I see only glory for you, Larkdale. In fact, I see yet another vision, one greater than the one I have already prophesied.”Bookmark here

“What is it? Tell me.”Bookmark here

Delphai only giggled again, then planted a kiss on my cheek. “Now is not the time. You have worked very hard and have earned some rest. Please take it and enjoy. You will need your strength for future endeavors. Besides, I shall be off here soon.”Bookmark here

My hand shot up to cover my cheek where she had kissed me, she backed off slowly down the street, swinging her hips as she went. Bookmark here

“What?” I demanded, my mind unable to understand what she was saying, “Why won't you tell me? Where are you going?”Bookmark here

She only raised a finger to her smiling lips as she began spinning and singing nonsensical noises in place.Bookmark here

“Delphai!” A voice rose up from further down the street. I glanced around Delphai’s twirling body to see Archbishop Britedon standing at the intersection ahead, dressed up just as formally as he normally was, with his staff in hand. “I have been searching for you. Please, do not run off any more and come along now.” His voice was soft but held an underlying demand to it.Bookmark here

“Com~ming!” Delphai cheered, halted her spins and ended with a curtsy before skipping down the street to Archbishop Britedon, who was staring at me the entire time. I am not sure, but even though he was smiling the entire time, I could tell he was not happy about something. And it seemed like it was directed towards me.Bookmark here

But as Delphai caught up to him, he waved his arm and ushered her down the other road and out of sight. Once again, I was left completely alone. And with my mind still reeling from what we had just discussed, I could tell why she was mad.Bookmark here

Though, I was most concerned with the fact that Delphai never once mentioned Lillim by name again. I don’t know what that means, but I don't like it regardless.Bookmark here

Once again, I say my morning was stressful.Bookmark here

And yet again, I hadn’t made it down the next street before I ran into someone else, who unfortunately I did not want to see at all.Bookmark here

“Mage Larkdale!” an annoyingly smug voice called for me, repeatedly trying to get my attention. I did not have to see who it was to know that my blood pressure was about to rise sharply.Bookmark here

“What do you want, Percival?” I did not move from the spot as I questioned Percival for his motives to even talk to me.Bookmark here

He had just recently been released from jail with his tarnished record restored. And this was all by Lillim’s doing, as she mediated his return to his position. Though I disagreed with her doing so, I couldn’t change her mind.Bookmark here

He rushed around me and came to a rest right in front of me. Hands on his knees, he began to huff and puff as if he had been running for a really long time.Bookmark here

And actually it was one hand on one knee as the other was in a sling healing from where Lillim broke it a week ago.Bookmark here

“I-huff-am looking-huff,” he started, between sharp draws of breath, slowly catching himself as he spoke,“ I am looking-huff-for the Princess. Have-huff-you seen her today? Wheeze! I know she likes being around-huff- you, so I figured-”Bookmark here

I cut him off, certain that if he continued on, he might pass out from trying to speak instead of breathing. “I have not seen her since the gala. I don’t know what you are talking about. Now please stop bothering me.”Bookmark here

He lowered his head in defeat after hearing my lie to him. I know the Princess doesn’t like him, and neither do I, so I figured making him work harder was a good compromise between us. He rose upright once again and took a huge breath in through his nose before turning and making a jogging motion. Bookmark here

“Thank you for your help,” he sighed, frustrated but accepting of his fate, “I shall be taking my leave then.” He then started running down the street again. But he stopped and ran back to me again.Bookmark here

“Oh, uh,” he began again, his eyes upward as if he was trying to think of something to say. Finally, he dropped his chest into an extremely formal bow to me, which caught me off guard, raising a brow. “I apologize for all that I put you through. I sincerely regret all the pain I caused you.” He held fast in that position while he spoke and didn’t move an inch afterward.Bookmark here

“Uh, yeah, OK?” unsure of what to do at that moment. I mean, I didn’t want to forgive him, but he was putting in a lot of effort to do so, so I felt bad for him then.Bookmark here

He shot upright and clenched his fist in joy as a smile spread across his face. “Great. Thank you so much for accepting my apology!” He began to run again but turned over his shoulder and shouted back, “Do tell Lady Lillim that I did that, will you? Thank you again. Farewell!”Bookmark here

“Whatever…” I waved back, faking a smile as he too disappeared around another corner. I was a little weirded out how formal, and yet informal, he had become with Lillim.Bookmark here

Again, my morning was stressful.Bookmark here

But luckily for me, I did not run into anyone, unwelcome or otherwise. Else until I made it all the way to Lillim’s office. In fact, I didn’t run into anyone even after I arrived at her office. It was devoid of life, only stacks of paper on her desk inhabited the space.Bookmark here

I thought that maybe I had entered the wrong room, but before checking with the other diplomats and the nameplate screwed into the door with her name on it, I had indeed arrived at the right office.Bookmark here

I asked around and found that someone had seen her rushing out, saying that she would return shortly. I wanted to wait for her, but after a few hours had passed, she never returned.Bookmark here

I made the decision to pack up my breads, which had since cooled, and try to find her.Bookmark here

That was a bad decision. I got lost. I finally stopped looking in the park near the academy.Bookmark here

I had searched for her until it was nearing lunchtime. My stomach growled loudly, begging for food. So I caved and nibbled on one of the sweet bread I had bought. It was delicious, but would have tasted better sharing it with someone.Bookmark here

Now full, I was starting to feel sleepy, and so I laid my body out on the bench to rest for a moment.Bookmark here

Only a few moments passed since I began to rest my head when I heard my name being called again.Bookmark here

“Lawrence, my boy!” Father’s voice called for me from my rucksack. I fumbled to get up and turned to open my bag. Grabbing the magic glass from within, I could see Father’s face pressed against the other side as he continued trying to get my attention.Bookmark here

“Ah! There you are!” he sighed in relief after I answered him and looked into the mirror, “I heard you got lost again. I figured this would be a good way to find you. I thought you had finally grown out of this?”Bookmark here

“Sorry, I was looking for Lillim. She wasn’t in her office, so I went looking for her and well- Wait!” I stopped feeling embarrassed for myself and questioned Father, “How did you know I was lost?”Bookmark here

Father laughed in reply, “It was Lillim who had told me. She had been waiting for you, but since you were later than you had promised, she thought you might have gotten lost and went to search for you. Such a silly couple you two are. Passing like ships in the night.”Bookmark here

Hearing this made my heart skip a beat. She was looking for me? Pathetic me? I know she says she loves me, but it's when she actually does something sweet like that I know she really means it.Bookmark here

“She got stuck on some problem or another and really needed you to help her. You should have seen how upset she was. Sad, really.”Bookmark here

“OK, Father,” I stopped him from going and ruining the moment any further. Why do I call him Father again? “Just tell her I am in the park, I am sure we can find each other that way.”Bookmark here

“Aye, Lawrence. I can do that.” He laughed the entire time, “stay put, we don’t need you getting lost again today.”Bookmark here

“Goodbye, Father.” I moved my hand over the glass, causing the magic connection to disappear and Father’s laughing face to fade away.Bookmark here

Well that makes more sense now…Bookmark here

Sighing in defeat, I put the glass back into my bag and rested my arms on my knees. I was depressed.Bookmark here

I began to question if I really wanted to wait for her. If she was just going to use me like this, why shouldn’t I move on.Bookmark here

But she did promise to never do that. Maybe Father was just playing a joke on me?Bookmark here

I could only feel my soul sink deeper in despair the more I thought about it.Bookmark here

But my thinking was cut short by hearing my name being called once again.Bookmark here

“Lawrence! Lawrence, dear, I have been searching high and low for you. You didn’t come in this morning, and I had feared the worst.” She was dripping with sweat as she ran closer, bouncing up and down as she approached.Bookmark here

I raised the bag of hardened sweet bread to her. “I wanted to bring you a treat this morning, but along the way I got distracted several times.”Bookmark here

“Thank goodness, that was all it was. I was worried.” She raised a hand onto her heaving chest as she attempted to catch her breath.Bookmark here

I cut my eyes at her, “I heard you were having trouble with the paperwork and that’s why you were looking for me.”Bookmark here

Lillim’s face went red and tried looking anywhere but at me while she searched for a response, “Uh, yes, I was, but that isn’t the only thing wrong.”Bookmark here

“What else do you want me to fix for you?” I asked, becoming more and more crossed with her.Bookmark here

She fumbled with her hands as she thought hard again. Finally, she spoke in a small almost silent voice, “... I was lonely. I wanted you to be there to work through it with me. I just wanted you there with me, that's all.”Bookmark here

Her face was still bright red as she finished looking away.Bookmark here

Was that really all?Bookmark here

I chuckled to myself as I rose to my feet, picking up the bread once more. “I guess we should be off then?”Bookmark here

Lillim still wasn’t looking at me, even though her face had cooled to its normal temperature. I glanced over at where her eyes were focused and saw an older couple together. They were hobbled and probably grandparents, if not great-grandparents. They were walking one of the paths together, slowly, step by shaky step, holding hands all the while. Bookmark here

Lillim was focused solely on the two of them while playing with her own hands in front of her.Bookmark here

Without saying a word, I took one of her hands in mine and laced our fingers together.Bookmark here

Flustered, Lillim looked down at her hand at her side and did her best to hold back a squeal. “Yes, Lawrence, we should be going. But maybe we could take it slow on our way back?”Bookmark here

“Fine, as you wish, Lillim.”Bookmark here

“I love you, Lawrence.”Bookmark here

“I love you too, Lillim.”Bookmark here

As we walked together hand in hand down one of the trails in the park, a thought crossed my mind.Bookmark here

Maybe having a Demon Lord as a girlfriend won't be so bad?Bookmark here

Marshall Eastman
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