C153: A Perceptive Man

A former comrade of mine is wearing a shirt that I, Batemy, made.

“This is one of the most popular clothes in the capital right now!” she proudly boasts, not knowing it was me who made it.
“Sorry, Batemy. She’s been bragging about it for days.”
“I didn’t expect I could afford it! How could I not be happy?!”
“It is quite popular nowadays. High-class aristocrats buy even a thin shirt like that, right? How much did it cost again?”
“I spent half of my salary on it. Now, I don’t think I can afford this month’s rent.”

That expensive?!

But that shirt is one of the more mediocre pieces I gave to Miss Astres!

I held back from using adamantine silk because of its risks, so it’s made of cotton.
Lord Saint said it’s better for innerwear because it’s gentler on the skin and absorbs sweat better, but the suture was still of adamantine thread, so it was solid.

Unaware that the tailor is listening nearby, the girls continue to say whatever they want.

“It’s really comfortable to wear. It doesn’t sting like the other innerwear I’ve worn, and it doesn’t get soggy when I sweat. It’s well worth every penny!”

I see.
Lord Saint was right after all.

“The pattern on the shirt is cute, too. What’s not to brag about? …Oh. Batemy?”
“Yeah?”

Everyone’s eyes focused on me.
They must’ve found it strange that I was taking notes.
Come on, girls, a customer’s honest review is invaluable.

“Well, you know, it’s just that, now that I’m also making clothes, I need to note down what others say for reference!”

I came up with an excuse on the spot.

“You’re so diligent, Batemy. It’s no wonder you were promoted to the aide of a Heavenly One.”
“But now that you’ve changed careers, you have to aim to become the most famous brand in the Demon Kingdom! Oh, with the Human Kingdom gone and the earth unified as one, you should aim for the best in the world instead.”
“That means your rival is this mysterious brand.”

The best I can do is give them a forced laugh.
Sorry, girls.
The creator of this mysterious brand you speak of is right before you.
In fact, the shirt you’re wearing right now is relatively sloppy compared to the extravagant dresses and armor underwear!
If anything, it pains me that you’re still so happy with it!

“The designer has never revealed themselves to the public, no?”
“Normally, they would go out in the world for publicity as well. Are they shy or just a weirdo?”
“I like the mystery factory of it! The fact that they can make such nice clothes means they must be nice. It makes wearing their clothes even more comfortable!!!”

No more!
I can’t stand this any longer!!!

“U-Um, I think I need to go now…”

I was about to take my leave, but…

“It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. Why don’t you enjoy your time with us?”
“She’s right. Tell us what you’ve been doing since you changed careers.”

They pulled me by the arm and put me back in my seat.

“Besides, we have a special guest coming soon…”
“Huh?”

Just as I was wondering, the restaurant door opens, and someone walks in.
It’s a refined man clothed in the Demon King’s military uniform.

“Adjutant Olba?!”

Why is he here?!

“Don’t underestimate the rank of company commander! I at least have personal connections to get in touch with the Heavenly Ones’ aides.”

You called him here?!

“It’s obvious that you’re secretly in love with him. You should be thanking me for setting you up.”
“Since you quit the Demon King’s Army, this might be your last chance. Give it all you’ve got to confess to him now and maybe even join the high society life by marrying him!”

As if I would!
We may have been the same rank as aides to Heavenly Kings, but I’m just a plebeian; he’s an aristocrat!

But while I was still processing things, Olba sat right beside me!

“Long time no see, Adjutant Batemy. I had no idea you retired from the military!”
“L-Long time no see indeed!”

He’s such a serious person as always.
There’s a clear distinction between the career bureaucrats from wealthy families and those non-career commoners in the Demon King’s army.
The former has a superiority complex, and they blatantly look down on commoners like us even if we’re of the same rank.
This person, however, has never even shown any such pretense.

“I’ve been looking for the opportunity to thank you in person for a long time.”
“Y-You wanted to thank me?”

I don’t know what he’s talking about, but is he referring to the time when I was still Miss Astres’ aide?

“Sir Olba! Apparently, Batemy started her own clothing store after retiring!”
“Isn’t that a coincidence? Even Sir Olba has become famous in the clothing industry!”

Famous?
Clothing industry?
…Could it be?

“You probably don’t know since you’ve been away for a while now, but it’s currently the hot topic in the army!”
“They call it, ‘The Dragon Fang Breaking Incident of Adjutant Olba!’”

“He was supposed to meet his fate by the dragon’s fangs, but lo and behold, they broke, and he managed to return in one piece! Are the rumors as they say, Adjutant? I also heard the reason for that is the same mysterious clothing brand…”

My ex-comrades flock to Adjutant Olba, entirely on gossip mode.
I can’t believe they have the gall to address their superior like that… And an aristocrat, too!

“Indeed, they are true. However, I don’t take any credit for that incident. It was out of pure luck that I happened to be wearing that inner armor that day.”
“So…”
“The inner armor I wore that day was made of an extraordinary fabric that repelled the dragon’s fangs. If it weren’t for that, I’d have a huge hole in my body, and I’d be in a coffin right now…Actually, I doubt there’d be any part of my body left to place in a coffin.”

I fainted when I first heard that story from Miss Astres.
The clothes I made saved Sir Orba’s life.
And that alone makes me happy. I feel satisfied with my work.

“But isn’t your inner armor also from the rumored mysterious brand?”
“They said the special fabric that repelled the dragon’s fangs is the same fabric used in Queen Astres’ dresses!”
“Such a special fabric couldn’t possibly be produced in more than one place!”

I remained silent.
I promised not to tell others the truth. The fact that my clothes had protected him and would continue to do so was enough for me.

“I’m not quite sure myself. But there is one thing I know for sure, and that’s why I rushed here today.”

Sir Olba takes my hands and says, “You made those clothes, didn’t you?”
“Pardon?”

The group immediately fell silent.

My mind couldn’t come up with a more decent response after being confronted with the truth.
But I can’t possibly say yes here…

“When you were still Lady Astres’ aide, she used to tell me about your dream of making clothes many times during our military briefings. So, I can tell that every inch of that inner armor had your soul in it!”
“…U-Um!”
“And with the material of the dresses Lady Astres wears now, it makes things all the more conclusive. You were her former aide, after all. Your clothes saved my life; that’s why I’ve wanted to show you my gratitude. Thank you.”

My former comrades look at Sir Olba and me back and forth with dumbfounded expressions.

I’m sure they never expected that the tailor behind the clothes causing a massive boom in the capital was someone they knew.

But since I made a promise to Lord Saint and Miss Astres, I must play stupid.
I have to feign ignorance as if I don’t know what he’s talking about.
Yet…

I answered with a yes.

Sir Olba is a very perceptive man.
Was it his immediate superior, Lord Belphgamilia, who said this, or was it Miss Astres?

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