Chapter 24:

Shopping Mall Excursion (3)

My Demon Queen

“Settle then. Noel, please hold Liliath’s hand,” my mom said all smiles and held Novelle’s hand before rushing up the escalator.Bookmark here

Oh damn you two plotters.. ugh.. did they have this planned all along or it just happened on a whim.. grr..Bookmark here

“N-Noel?”Bookmark here

“Fine,”Bookmark here

I held her hand and pulled her.Bookmark here

I really don’t get it. Why did Liliath become so proactive all of a sudden. She shouldn’t force herself onto me just because I saved her or anything. I know it’s very cliche-like for me and Liliath to fall for each other but it only happens in stories. And this isn’t a story— this is a real world.Bookmark here

She could very well find herself another person.. she could very well only be treating me in this way because I’m the ‘guy’ in her vicinity..Bookmark here

Hey wait.. did I just sound like some shitty protagonist that refuses to acknowledge the fact that Liliath is taking the lead—?Bookmark here

Clank. Clank. Clank.Bookmark here

The platform shuttered, bringing my thoughts back to reality, I felt Liliath’s grip tighten. Really, really tighten.. oh fuck, it really does hurt.. her super-human strength is no joke.. as expected of a demon queen.Bookmark here

“I count to three and we step forward.”Bookmark here

“U-understood.”Bookmark here

I’m sorry for blocking the other’s behind us wanting to use the escalator too.. but there’s nothing I can do about it..Bookmark here

“One.. two.. now!”Bookmark here

I took a step forward, Liliath’s footing late by a beat. Our balance shifted due to the momentum.Bookmark here

Success!Bookmark here

Liliath wobbled, hands holding onto the conveyor belt rails.Bookmark here

“I-I did it,” she was panting.Bookmark here

“Yeah, congratulations, you did it,” I didn’t know how or why but I smiled.Bookmark here

That said.. I could feel the glares behind us all the way until we reached the top. And about jumping off the escalator. Liliath was scared but since we had no option to retreat, she pushed herself and we managed to get off without any issues.Bookmark here

My mom and the little devil applauded our victory. Liliath shyly hung her head.Bookmark here

That said...Bookmark here

We have another escalator to go...Bookmark here

Since Liliath was adamant about not going up the escalator again, my mom decided that we give Liliath a little break before attempting the second escalator.. is it just me or does Liliath’s fear of escalators feel like the fear when one experiences injections?Bookmark here

Clothing store— I wasn’t really into clothing but I followed anyways. We came out holding a bag— all of which were Liliath clothes. A number of them were dresses.. and having the opportunity to see Liliath try on these that she picked out herself made my heart skip a beat. Bookmark here

And then escalator number two.. I had to hold Liliath’s hand again..Bookmark here

But we succeeded after a tiring battle of dissuading Liliath.Bookmark here

“So with this could we assume the quest as complete?” Liliath whipherinto my ears just as we stepped off the escalator.Bookmark here

“Huh?!” I turned to look at her, then at our hands that made contact.Bookmark here

“5 minutes,” she smiled, then let go.Bookmark here

What?Bookmark here

No.. what.. so that was an act?Bookmark here

Liliath wasn’t shivering nor scared— rather it was an expression of triumph.Bookmark here

I was tricked? No.. what?Bookmark here

Liliath acted all scared in front of my mom and Novelle, as if it had been a hard-earned achievement. Then she turned to me.. and flashed an expression that totally blew my assumption away.. a smirk.Bookmark here

I couldn’t say anything. Was planned or... did my mom know anything about this?Bookmark here

We ended up in the book store. Liliath accompanied me while Novelle went to the stationary section, my mom went to the business section.Bookmark here

I picked up a book— a light novel from the shelf and flipped it to the back to read the summary.Bookmark here

From the corner of my eye, I saw Liliath looking around the place, top to bottom. I had no idea what she was looking at. Her gaze landed on the counter beside the bookshelf where I took the light novel from.Bookmark here

“How come I could tell that these are different languages?”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

Liliath said something that piqued my confusion.Bookmark here

“What do you mean,”Bookmark here

“These two, I can read the words but I also know that they are different languages,” Liliath pointed at the two books.Bookmark here

One was in Japanese, the other was in Chinese.. wait huh?Bookmark here

“You can read these?”Bookmark here

Liliath nodded. “Sword Art Master in an Alternate World, The Devil’s Cohorts. Is what it translates to,”Bookmark here

After which she repeated the titles in their respective languages— as if she were fluent in both Chinese and Japanese..Bookmark here

Does that mean...Bookmark here

I reached over and passed her a novel translated in Korean.Bookmark here

“No more Second Death for the Princess?”Bookmark here

Liliath looked at me, a genuinely surprised expression on her face.Bookmark here

I too was totally bewildered by this fact.Bookmark here

French, Indonesian, Vietnamese, German, Malay... she could read, speak and understand them all.Bookmark here

How in the FUCK?!Bookmark here

THIS IS CRAZY?!Bookmark here

“I can speak and understand all languages in this world.” Liliath said with unfocused eyes.Bookmark here

“Broken.. totally broken.. I should invest in the language comprehension spell book..” my mind totally muddled in disbelief.Bookmark here

A 200 point language comprehension skill book that could allow one to understand every single language in the world— that’s like the most broken thing ever— it’s so stupid, it’s not even funny anymore.Bookmark here

If I could understand every language in the world...Bookmark here

“Ah! That’s it!”Bookmark here

“Did you notice something?”Bookmark here

“Liliath, how good is your literature?”Bookmark here

“My proficiency in literature? Could you specify what you mean by that?”Bookmark here

“I’m thinking you could become a translator or writer in the future.”Bookmark here

And that was the train of thoughts that happened to cross my mind. If anything, Liliath’s future was uncertain. She still had to earn a wage, eat and sleep like any other normal person. And taking into account this ability of her’s to comprehend every language on Earth, she could utilize this ‘artificial TALENT’ she had to survive.Bookmark here

At least.. that’s what I thought.Bookmark here

“A translator and writer?”Bookmark here

“Liliath, do you read often?”Bookmark here

She thought for a while before replying, “Before I learnt that I was a candidate, I spent the majority of my time indulging in works of highly regarded authors..”Bookmark here

“I’m just saying this from my own opinion but I think you should try to become an author.. of course it’s just my suggestion. If anything, it’ll still depend on whether or not you like writing.”Bookmark here

“I’ll consider it,” Liliath nodded.Bookmark here

“Ah, you two are here.” Novelle suddenly called out.Bookmark here

“Yeah, good to meet you again so what did you get?” I spoke sarcastically.Bookmark here

“I didn’t get anything, I came for big sister,” the little devil tugged on Liliath’s hand. “I want to show you something.”Bookmark here

Liliath nodded, gave me a questioning look that asked if she could leave, I gave her consent with a nod. She placed the book she had in hand back to its original position before leaving with the little devil.Bookmark here

With Liliath gone, I felt a sense of emptiness.Bookmark here

My mind was brought back to her smirk.Bookmark here

Liliath.. just who is she? This is reality, not some novel or virtual world. Liliath said she was a demon lord and judging by her own description of her world, her attitude didn’t match the lack of any cunning or vicious nature. If she had been tempered though slavery, bloodshed, corruption, betrayal and war.. her inner thinking should’ve been altered in a way that helped her adapt to the environment.Bookmark here

For all I know.. Liliath could’ve been putting up an act all this time.. She could be trying to manipulate me in one way or another.Bookmark here

This is just a speculation on my end. Whatever it may be, I need to be careful not to be too carried away.Bookmark here

Coming to a conclusion, I followed after the two and— my hypothesis about Liliath was shattered in an instant..Bookmark here

Was it just me or did I forget that Liliath wasn’t from this world? How would I know how typical people lived their lives in different worlds... their habits and knowledge might be different, resulting in certain unexplainable actions..Bookmark here

“I can’t believe they sell these here!” Liliath held the packaging and lifted it into the air.Bookmark here

“Of course, it’s a common item in the stationary station,” the devil giggled.Bookmark here

So what item were they talking about?Bookmark here

Super Glue.Bookmark here

That same one in the television advertisements I saw them discuss about the other day.Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

“Noel, it was said that super glue is like a superior version of gum— such used in sealing letters, is that correct?” Liliath threw me a question.Bookmark here

Gum..Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

Letter.. sealing wax? Was that what she was comparing super glue to?Bookmark here

I didn’t know what to think anymore. This— acting? The innocent girl named Liliath— a supposed demon queen— holding a super glue packaging in ecstacy..Bookmark here

An act?Bookmark here

Or was I being fooled again..?Bookmark here

Liliath trying to manipulate me?Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

“Novelle, did I do something wrong?” Liliath looked at the glue then at me before turning to Novelle.Bookmark here

“You did nothing wrong big sister. Big brother is just like that,” the little devil shook her head.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.