Side Story: Doing The Laundry
After turning her gaze between the clothes suspended from the line in front of her and the man beside her, Lyuu heaved a heavy, tired sigh.
“Why’s it that you never wear anythin’ new, Master?”
She had always known that Yuki never wore anything but simple short-sleeved shirts and pants that he described as “jeans.” But seeing all of his outfits strung up next to each other had pushed the point to such an extent that she couldn’t help but want to comment. He had no other clothes whatsoever. The shirts differed to some extent in terms of the patterns and images they featured, but the same could not be said for his pants. They were almost all perfectly identical, with minor differences in their colour being all that there was to note.
“Y-you say that, but you’re no better,” stammered the warwolf’s fiancé. “You basically never wear anything outside your uniform.”
“That’s just ‘cause these are my work clothes!” she exclaimed. “I am a maid after all.”
“Well uh… mine are kinda like work clothes too. You know how I make weapons or go hunting everyday? They’re pretty well suited for both. Clearly, I’m just as uniformed up as you are.”
The maid felt somewhat persuaded and rather inclined to agree with her demon lord. His clothes suited combat because they were easy to move around in, and they also suited his smithing hobby because no harm came out of them getting dirty. As he said, they worked pretty well as workwear.
“Shouldn’t you wear somethin’ thicker when you go huntin’? Like some armour?”
“Looks like someone’s getting worried.”
“Well ‘course I am! You’re gonna be my hubby, there’s no way I ain’t gonna worry!”
“R-right…” He averted his eyes in embarrassment before continuing in a mumble. “Wasn’t expecting you to straight up say it like that.” After taking another breath and regaining his composure, he began answering her original question. “So about the whole armour thing. I’ve tested a few things before, but nothing’s actually worked so far. Any armour that isn’t super high quality doesn’t do jack because it basically gets totally blown to bits after just one hit. And even the higher quality ones don’t really help me. I’m not really used to moving around while wearing so much metal, so all that really happens is I get bogged down.”
“Then how’s about wearin’ lighter armour like Nell?”
“Already tried it. It doesn’t work. Light armour is far too thin, and even the high quality stuff gets totally smashed right off the bat,” he complained. “Though, if I’m to be honest with you, the biggest reason is that I just don’t like wearing armour. It doesn’t feel right. Plus, my body’s pretty tough. I can take a hit from a dragon without losing any limbs, unless it goes out of its way to bite one of my arms off or something. There just doesn’t really seem like there’s any point in wearing armour if I’m more durable than it.”
“I-I guess you do have a point…” Lyuu chuckled, wryly. She was a bit surprised to hear that he was capable of taking so much punishment.
“I’m glad you’re starting to see things my way,” he said. “Speaking of, as far as I’m concerned, I’m not even the biggest offender when it comes to a lack of variety. At least I’ve got colours and designs going for me. Take a look at Lefi’s clothes,” he said, as he hung up one such article. “Every single dress she owns is straight up identical.”
“I’m not sure there’s any point in doin’ any comparin’ if she’s the only one doin’ any worse… That’s like sayin’ you’re better at somethin’ than a kid.”
Lyuu laughed as she looked up at the laundry and confirmed that the other master she served, the mistress of the house, was just as unfashionable as her counterpart. But, at least in the warwolf’s eyes, her position was one that came with greater justification, as wearing clothes was a behaviour foreign to dragonkind. Thus, culturally, it made sense for her to have very little interest in fashion. She’d only chosen the one piece dress she normally wore for the ease with which she could slip it on and off. Frankly, the maid thought that it was a shame the dragon didn’t care for dressing herself up, as it was clearly a waste of her natural beauty.
“Geez…” humphed the dog-ear. “Why’s it that you two can’t stand dealin’ with anythin’ you think is bothersome? Carin’ about fashion is normal. Even the kids do it!”
“Well, yeah, they’re girls. Everyone knows girls love dressing up,” said the demon lord.
Many of the clothes in the laundry belonged to either Enne or Illuna. The former wore traditional clothes from a land far away. Yuki described them as kimonos, and they were distinct from most of the other residents’ clothing due to their vibrant colours and unique shape. The warwolf’s opinion was that they suited the sword well, given the foreign look of her face. Oddly enough, her clothes were never left behind when her body vanished. Rather, they seemed to go with her. The exact outfit she had been wearing would always reappear alongside her whenever she took on her more human-like form. It was a very curious phenomenon, one that Lyuu was not in any which way capable of explaining or even understanding. But by now, she’d grown so used to it that she had accepted it as the norm.
Likewise, the other girl, the blonde bloodsucker, also wore clothes that tended to suit her. She had several dresses that somewhat resembled Lefi’s, but that wasn’t all. The vampire also wore shorts and other similar pieces of loose-fit clothing that worked well alongside her active lifestyle and energetic personality.
The last of the three humanoid girls, Shii, didn’t actually wear clothes. She’d tried Illuna’s, once, but disliked them and refused to wear anything at all thereafter. Her race was one that took its nutrients in through its skin, so having said skin covered made her incredibly uncomfortable. Morphing her body to emulate wearing clothes had proven itself a much more comfortable alternative.
Of all the things in the laundry basket, the most attention grabbing, in Lyuu’s opinion, were the dolls. They were the “bodies” that the wraith girls would possess, and like all other outfits, were periodically thrown in the wash to counteract the accrual of dirt and grime. Unsurprisingly, the sisters did as many siblings did with the items in their wardrobe and refused to share. Each only possessed the dolls that they designated as their own, and they were surprisingly picky about the precise avatars that they would use to represent themselves.
“You know, thinking about it, I have actually seen you in a few different outfits, since you normally switch when we go out, but I’ve literally never seen Leila wear anything but her uniform and her PJs,” said Yuki.
“Leila… Leila’s a bit like you and Lefi. She’s never shown any real interest in clothing or fashion. All her old clothes were just simple linens, pants and shirts ‘n stuff. I think she’s probably real taken by her uniform since it’s much more comfortable.”
“Yeah… I can kinda see that. It seems pretty safe to assume that she’s always been a bit too into her research and that she’s probably ignored everything other than whatever happened to catch her eye.”
“Yup, that’s just how she is.”
The two exchanged a chuckle at the other maid’s expense.
“You know, at first glance, Leila pretty much seems like the perfect super maid,” said Yuki, “but once you get to know her, you realize that she’s got a good few faults and weaknesses, just like everyone else.”
“One of those is the mornin’,” said Lyuu. “Did ya know that she’s real bad at wakin’ up, and that she always stares off into space for a while ’fore her head starts clickin’? It’s real cute.”
“That… sounds like something I’d like to see.” Yuki chuckled as he hung up another garment.
None of the girls minded it when the demon lord handled their clothing. Likewise, he himself was the same. He had already long come to see all of the dungeon’s residents as members of his family and didn’t allow himself to get excited, even when placed in charge of their delicates. While the girls weren’t embarrassed or unwilling, that wasn’t to say that they felt nothing about his behaviour. There were many things that they wanted to say about his total indifference, to all of which he remained none the wiser.
“Nell’s real well dressed, ‘mpared to the rest of us,” said Lyuu.
Unlike most of the other residents, the hero paid attention to even the finest details of her clothing. Her laundry was a testament to how she carefully picked both the colour and design of her clothes in order to create eye-pleasing combinations.
“Yeah, Nell’s girliness stat is through the roof, and her exposure to high society has pretty much become the icing on the cake,” said Yuki.
“She’s real refined. I’m thinkin’ it’s cause she’s a hero. They must’ve trained her so the nobles would like her.”
“Yeah, she seems to meet VIPs all the time.” The demon lord’s lack of interest in dealing with the nobility was made clear from the less-than-excited tone in which he presented the idea. “I actually got a chance to see her in action while we were in town, and she was pulling it off pretty well.”
“You sure as heck don’t seem to like the idea of meetin’ any nobles, Master,” giggled Lyuu. “If you had to be a hero, I bet you’d run right away and spend your time enjoyin’ yourself instead. I could even see you goin’ on a rampage ‘n destroyin’ things outta spite.”
“You know me so well,” he responded with a laugh of his own. “I’d make for an awful hero ten times outta ten.”
“But the idea’s real interestin’, ain’t it? If you were the hero and we were all workin’ together, then Nell’d be the priest, Leila’d be the archmage, and I’d be the warrior. The girls would prol’ly live at an orphanage ‘round where we make our base,” said Lyuu. “The only one I’m not sure of is Lefi…”
“She’d probably be the enemy trump card, at least for a bit. I could totally see us sneaking into her stronghold while she’s asleep, and then using the power of sugar to bait her into joining us.”
“You’re right! That’s super easy to imagine. I can already see it happenin’!”
The two laughed as they shared a thought about the good for nothing dragon’s sweet tooth before picking up their baskets. The laundry was done, and so therefore was their time outdoors. As they continued to chat and exchanged jokes, the pair returned to the throne room that served as their living space.