Her (2)
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Such conversation continued until all the tea was finished. By then the clothes had finished drying in the washing machine. Prune and I took the chance to take the clothes out and fold them.

Usually, the clothes would be distributed to our respective wardrobes, but because there is only one room-- Prune’s room, Nine’s clothing and my clothing were kept under this cabinet where the television would have otherwise been at. Liliath’s clothing was of course together with Prune’s.

“You saw it right?” Prune asked. Tucking a tunic inwards.

“Yeah. I did,” It took me a while to process what she was trying to say while I folded an underwear-- not going to specify whose this belonged to since I’ve been folding clothes like this since the four of us started living in the apartment almost 3 months ago. I’ve gotten used to it already.

“I-I don’t know what to say..”

“I kinda get what you mean. I don’t really know what to do about it either, it just happened. I’m just glad you didn’t.. you know. Lose yourself.”
Prune’s tail drooped.

The two of us continued folding, the only sounds being the ruffling of the clothes.

“You don’t have anything to say about it? What you saw?” She asked timidly.

“Not really. But.. actually, it was more scary than it is alluring. I don’t get what you want me to say here?” I turned to her with an eyebrow raised. She’s interesting to talk about this? There are other topics to choose from, right?

“I-I was just wondering.. “ her voice tapered off. It sounded more like disappointment than just the mere want-to-dismiss kind of tone.

“Wondering about?”

“Forget what you saw. Just forget it.”

Prune said in an irked voice. Quickly collected her clothes together with Liliath’s and walked away. 

...

Like I said previously. I can’t handle this. 

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Everyone turned to the bed-- Nine and I were still sleeping on the couch, Prune and Liliath slept on the bed in the room.

In an hour or two when Nine and Prune finally fall asleep-- that’s when the demon lords come out to play.

The door connecting the living room and the bedroom creaked.

I slowly got up from a lying position, turned to confirm that Nine was asleep and sat properly on the couch. Liliath came over and sat next to me.

Today, she was wearing one of Prune’s T-shirt.

“How are you Noel?” She asked, placing both her hands on her lap, she tilted her body and looked at me with upturned eyes.

Cute.

Yes. Cute.

Only Liliath is able to make me think something like this.

“I’m fine, the horn is going to go away soon.. hopefully,” I pressed the tip of the larger right horn with my index finger.

Liliath nodded, but continued to stare at me.

Only Liliath.

I no longer get aroused by any other girl besides her. 

“Noel,” she spoke.

“Yeah?”
“Are you not.. going to accept her? I know this is a misstatement and you have enforced your answer over a series of discussion.. however, considering the situation as of current, are you really not going to accept her?”

I showed Liliath a troubled smile. She too showed me a troubled smile.

I don’t know.

I wanted to say that.

But that would be me avoiding the problem.

What exactly can we do to support Prune? 

“Even if I do accept her, it’s not like it’s going to solve the situation in the long run. In the end, it’s up to her. I don’t know if she’s alright with.. sharing. And I don’t think I’d be able to keep up with both of you either. I don’t know how harems work. What I know is that a harem will inhibit passion from growing. If you have a competition, you’re going to fall jealous someday and.. it’s going to be less love than it is an eternal battlefield.”

“Noel, we have more than a century of life ahead. I don’t mind allowing Prune to go first.”

“That’s a sound argument but..”

God damn. Liliath is so right. I didn’t think she’d actually think of this. It makes sense, if I do accept Prune, Liliath will still be able to be the sole wife after Prune’s passing. That’s a ridiculous way of saying it.. still. I can’t accept it.

I doubt Prune would accept it.

“It’s not just about me you know? I don’t think Prune will..”

“I will persuade her.”

Seriously Liliath? No.. please don’t.

“If Prune doesn’t come to accept you, where would she dwell? She would have to depend on someone, who else better than you?”

“Liliath.. that.. but..”

“Or would you have it that Prune find someone else to depend on?”

It would be great if Prune could do that. I really don’t want to build a harem. I don’t get why Liliath is being so insistent.

Okay, look at it in this way, Prune and I are literally only 16, Liliath is 14. I don’t know if Liliath first love was me but I’m pretty sure Prune, who had two crushes-- I’m not her first crush-- would’ve realized by now that it’s important to find stability before..

No.

This is me. My values differ from other people. That’s why I can’t understand what Liliath is trying to get.

Am I attracted to Prune? Ever since I’ve become a demon lord-- Prune, to me, has become something like a friend. That’s all. The attraction and passion I once felt for her is gone. And it should be the same for her right? The fact that Liliath and I flirt in front of her should’ve been enough to deter her away.

“Noel.”

“I’ve heard it’s normal for a teenage couple to not make it once they grow into an adult.. of course, my situation with you is different because we’re demon lords. I mean.. normally, Prune would break up with me in the future, even if she comes to accept..”

What am I thinking?

“Then that's all the more the reason you should just accept her shouldn’t you?”
“Liliath, to be honest, I don’t like her anymore. I really don’t..”

“You don’t need to.”

“...”

“It’s the issue regarding the teachings we hold dear to us isn’t it? Culture. Noel, you are currently in my world, this world’s customs are different from yours.”

“I get that..”
What are we talking about already?

“Just take her under you, Noel. Give her a place. If what you said is true, and that she will find a different spouse, so be it. Our time here must be temporary. We do return to your world after an indefinite amount of time. That’s where we belong. I care for Prune dearly, I don’t want to see her like this..” Liliath peered into my eyes. I couldn’t help but stare at that reddish glint in the centre of her pupils.

“Temporary..”

So.. I just need to act like she’s part of my harem? No, I should think of it otherwise..

“Okay, let’s compromise.. more like, I'm drawing some lines on the ground. I won't marry anyone other than you. I don’t intend to have more than one wife-- but, I’ll do my best to accompany Prune as if she’s someone I am obliged to take care of. Something like that?”

“Noel, I’m not telling you to marry, sheesh. I can’t believe you’re thinking that far already..” Liliath chuckled, turned away. I think her ears were red.

I held her from behind, arms around her waist.

Liliath kept quiet.

“Liliath.”
“Noel?”
“Liliath.”
She chuckled.

I’m just flirting around and making a fool of myself, no purpose whatsoever.

“Noel, I think it’s more comfortable If I sat on your lap wouldn’t it?”

“By all means.”

I released my hands, Liliath climbed onto me and I wrapped my arms around her once again. The smell of her hair-- the sweet smell of blood.

She leaned against me and closed her eyes.

I played with her hair. By then, I noticed how my horns had disappeared from my head.

“Prune doesn’t really like me right? It’s been months since she decided to let you be mine.. that’s what you told me last time right?”

Liliath nodded.

“You know, even if I recalled that scene of Prune this morning, I don’t get aroused for some reason. Maybe it’s because of the demon lord thing where I can’t marry a non demon lord?”
“That’s just you Noel. Males can dominate whoever they want, there are no limits..” Her seductive voice rang as she played with the fingers of my other hand. 

“That’s so wrong.. well, in that case.”

“Hm?”

I held her shoulders, twisted her body around, tipped her head upwards--  and took her lips.

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