10 – The Demon King Army Chief of Staff Obtains His First Contract, the Vampire Carmilla.

After that, Her Majesty, Milla, Agares, and others began taking turns explaining the details of my job. 

I took a seat in the empty Big Four seat and listened to what they had to say. 

Dungeons have a very give-and-take relationship with adventurers business-wise. 

In order to clear a dungeon, they first have to make a reservation and pay a clear fee. 

By the way, the clear fee varies depending on the entrance, and the fee increases with each stratum. Since the stratums are supposed to get more and more difficult as you go deeper into the dungeon, the higher fee is supposed to account for the more elaborate dungeon design and the hiring cost for stronger monsters. 

The video feed of the adventurers broadcasts are also handled by the dungeon, which also must be paid for. 

Any damages made to the dungeon can be repaired with magic, but the generation and purchase of that magic can be costly, leading to repair expense fees being issued if the damage to the dungeon goes unnecessarily overboard. 

Not just that, this system serves as a check to various obnoxious actions that can be taken by the adventurers, such as trying to find shortcuts by blasting open walls with magic, using magic thats complete overkill for monsters of a lower level, or destroying the camera if theyre about to suffer a loss. 

Dungeons also often have their own Avatar Creation/Modification Devices that they lend to adventurers as well. 

It costs money, but its cheaper than asking for services from a specialized store, and since there are further discounts after a clear, people often repair their Avatars on the spot at the dungeon. 

There are also safe rooms where Avatar recovery items are sold at fairly expensive prices. Dungeons are pretty much designed to squeeze as much money as possible out of you. 

Other than that, there are also dungeon tours hosted on days with no reservations for those who just want to take a look around.  

For example, the last dungeon I cleared with Fenixs party, the 4th stratum. There were a lot of werewolves. 

It was broadcasted over television instead of the internet, but there were apparently a lot of visitors who wanted to tour that dungeon after the broadcast. 

The Demon Castle purposely welcomed its visitors without repairing the traces of combat made by Fenixs party. 

It was a huge hit with the visitors. 

There were marks left in the ground where the Warrior Alba mowed down the enemies with his magic sword, marks on the ground and walls from the Hunter Lilys arrows, indents in the wall made from the Paladin Lark knocking monsters into the wall with his shield, and passageways scorched with the flames the Hero Fenix used to defeat all the enemies that came after him. 

It was basically a pilgrimage. 

But the location was the Demon King Castle, the dungeon boasting the highest known difficulty. 

…I kept it to myself that I felt that they were so resourceful with their marketing despite the fact that their floor got cleared. 

Of course, there were zero traces left from the Black Sorcerer Lem. 

Milla, being the sweet girl that she was, said: 

「When your party was being surrounded by werewolves from 3 directions at the crossroad, you were the only one that didnt move even a step and instantly cast Speed Down on everyone. When the trap was triggered and you put your hand against the wall to support yourself from the shaking, you were really cute. The way you cast Confusion on the werewolves and made them pack together to make it easier for the Hunter to land her arrows caught the Demon Kings attention. That scene where the Paladin misjudged the enemys attack power, you didnt miss a beat in instantly lowering their attack power and casting Speed Down on their arms, throwing off their slash attack before they inflicted major damage, was truly spectacular. There were so many amazing moments that its hard to focus on just one, but that fight with the Floor Boss was especially impressive! How was it that you were able to make so many breathtaking plays within just a span of a few hours! The moment that I particularly loved was -」 

After praising me for a few minutes, she finally realized what she was doing and got red in the face. 

As I looked at her from the side as she laid her face down onto the desk, my chest filled with emotion. 

It was me who decided that Id become an adventurer even though Im a Black Sorcerer, and I had no intention of breaking the promise I made with my master. 

Id contribute to the clear by supporting the victories of my comrades with the full might of my magic without standing out. 

I told myself that was good enough for me. 

But to tell the truth, I honestly did want someone to recognize my abilities. 

After all, why else would I be so happy from hearing Millas words. 

It seemed that Milla truly was passionate about watching the videos of my dungeon clear. Of course, that was probably only because she was talented herself to recognize exactly what I was doing… I think. Maybe that wasnt the only reason. Since the werewolves are her coworkers, she would have been able to hear the details from them, and since all the video data is originally from the Demon King Castle, shed be able to edit it and confirm the details for herself. 

I was really happy about it, but part of me was in shock over how easily she was able to see through what I was trying so hard to hide. 

Still, though. 

Why is it that Milla was so interested in watching the Black Sorcerer Lem? 

I was honestly at a loss. 

Even so, I didnt have the guts to ask her what she found attractive about me. 

「This should be enough for today.」 

There was still a lot I had to learn about my job, but it wasnt like I had to take charge of a dungeon right away. 

I didnt have to stuff everything I needed to know into my head all in one day. 

I nodded to the Her Majestys words. 

「Well hold a welcome party for you soon. Agares!」 

「Yes, leave the assembly hall arrangements to me. Ill make reservations for all your favorite sweets. If I may, Your Majesty, could I possibly have the honor of taking the seat next to you?」 

「Youre probably aiming to massage me in a weird place, arent you?」 

「Gwah…! Not at all! You dont have to look at your loyal servant with such suspicious eyes… Your Majesty… Thank you oh so very much…!」 

It looked like he was both happy and in pain at the same time. 

I turned my gaze away. 

Judging by how lightly the Her Majesty and Milla treated him, it was probably unlikely that he would go as far as to perform any criminal actions despite his somewhat perverse tendencies. 

It was enough to just think of him as someone with peculiar tastes. 

I looked towards the black knight that never said a single word throughout all of this. 

「…Oh, he was probably sleeping this whole time.」 

Milla was glaring at Agares with a scornful look, but she noticed the curious expression on my face and explained to me. 

One was absent and one was sleeping the whole time. The Big Four was quite an interesting bunch. 

「Ill take you outside, Lem.」 

After her suggestion, I said my farewells to Her Majesty and Agares and we left the meeting room. 

I said goodbye to the black knight as well, but he didnt respond since he was probably still sleeping. 

We returned to the dressing room-like area. 

It was still pretty tight with just the two of us, but I still didnt have any identification as a member of the Demon King Army. That being the case, the only way for me to exit was for Milla to interact with the Recording Stone while touching me. 

「Sorry about making you see all those embarrassing moments today…」 

「D-Dont worry about it. Ive honestly never been praised that much in my entire life, so I was kind of happy.」 

「Really? Well, as long as you dont think Im disgusting or anything.」 

「Id never think that.」 

I did think she was a bit peculiar, though. 

Milla sighed a breath of relief to my words. 

「Thank goodness… You really are a kind person, Lem.」 

「Not at all…」 

「Um, I hope Im not too close to you right now…」 

Milla looked up at me. 

The room we were in was very small, so our bodies were almost completely pressed against each other. 

「I-I think I might get a little excited here, so please tell me if Im bothering you.」 

Milla then reached her hand to my waist and dug into my pocket. 

I ended up twitching a little at first, but I soon figured out what she was trying to do. 

She took out the ring Her Majesty gave me. 

「Y-You heard about what this ring does from Her Majesty, correct?」 

Her nervousness transmitted to me, making me let out a shrill voice. 

「Y-Yes.」 

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「The order actually gets registered as well.」 

「The order?」 

「Y-Yes. For example, um… if you were to make a contract with me, then Id become your first contract. At the same time, Id see myself as your first monster.」 

「I-I see…」 

「I-I really am a big fan of yours… It was me who suggested that we scout you, and it was me who brought you all the way here today, and Ill be your assistant for a little while… And I was also sitting next to you earlier, too, so… um… um…」 

Milla tilted her head as if she didnt know exactly what she wanted to say. 

「So, I mean… c-could I possibly be your first…?!」 

After finally squeezing out those words, she looked down with a red face. 

Ive only just met this girl, but I feel like Ill never meet another girl like her. 

I could tell that it took all the courage she had to speak those words to me. 

「Milla.」 

After hesitating for a moment, I made my decision and placed my hands on her shoulders. 

Her delicate body twitched. 

「Y-Yes, Lem?」 

「I should be the one asking you. Would you become my first contracted monster?」 

To be honest, I was hoping for this. 

I knew Millas strength, and I knew that even though she could be a bit impish at times, she was a kind person. 

But what was pathetic was that I had let her be the one to ask me. 

Milla instantly lifted her face and looked into my eyes. 

Her eyes watered up, her cheeks flushed, and her lips shined with allure. 

Those lips of hers opened up, with her fangs poking out. 

「…I want to suck on you.」 

Thats what I heard from her. 

「Huh?」 

「Wha?! U-Um, nothing!」 

She wants to suck on me…? Is she talking about my blood, since shes a vampire? 

I wasnt sure what kind of meaning it held for a vampire to say something like that a moment like this. 

Ive heard that a vampires impulse to suck blood is sometimes triggered by specific impulses, though. 

「Its nothing, really! S-So, youll be entering a contract with me, right?」 

「Huh? Oh, right.」 

「Um, are you sure this is what you want? The first time is always special, after all.」 

She spoke with unease. 

「I was originally planning on asking you, anyway.」 

「Oh, really?」 

「Yes.」 

「I… see…」 

Her lips started squirming against each other. 

「Right. Um, it works by sending magical energy into each other at the same time, right? …Is that difficult?」 

「Show me your hands, Lem. It probably works like this.」 

Instead of having us touch the ring at the same time, the monster that was going to become my contract reached out to touch the ring while it was on my finger. 

I suppose this way would work. Were both touching it, either way. 

Millas snow white hand traced along my finger and eventually reached the ring. 

I began sending my magical energy into it. I could feel Milla doing the same. 

「I, Milla, swear that I shall arrive at Lems side per his summon no matter what the time, no matter what the place, and no matter what distance separates us.」 

She then took her hand away from the ring for some reason, even though the contract had not yet finished. 

「Milla…?!」 

She took my hand and brought it to her mouth while looking up towards me, and then pressed it against her lips. 

The necessary amount of magical energy flowed into it, mixing with mine, completing the contract. 

It was a strange feeling, but I was able to recognize that the woman in front of me had become my 「first contract.」 

But there was something more important to worry about at the moment. 

The interaction was so impactful for me that my body had frozen up. 

I slowly stepped away from her. 

「I… think Ive calmed down now.」 

I felt like my heart was going to explode. 

I put my hand to my chest. Thank goodness, it hasnt exploded. 

「Fufufu… I took your first time.」 

She tried her best to act composed as she captivatingly licked her lips. 

But since the memory of our little interaction was still extremely fresh in my mind, I wasnt able to give a proper response. 

「U-Um… Lem, the rings purpose is mainly to drive away adventurers, but its possible to use it outside as well. Be aware that the farther the distance is between us, the more magical energy it costs to summon me, but Im sure that wont be a problem for you.」 

「R-Right.」 

Milla had impressively regained her composure for the most part by now. 

The innocent look she had on her face earlier had completely disappeared as she drew her face close to my ear. 

「I wouldnt mind if you even summoned me to your room late in the night.」 

Oh, shes teasing me right now, isnt she? 

But since I was a man, I couldnt help but imagine if she was being serious. 

「Just kidding. You dont know me well enough, so I suppose saying stuff like that might just creep you out. Ill be more careful.」 

「Thats not true.」

「Oh?」 

I thought about asking her, but in the end I kept my mouth shut. 

She didnt bother pushing the subject, either. 

「I suppose its still too soon for us to be seeing each other in your room at night, yet.」 

…Yet?

「Just kidding. Lets head back now.」 

She turned her body towards the Recording Stone. 

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With her body turned away from me, I could see that her ears were red. 

I was probably just as red at the moment. 

I avoided mentioning that and left the Demon King Castle. 

– Number of Contracts: 1/72

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