Jun screamed as the icy cold water flushed over his skin. He quickly got out of the bath tub and grabbed a towel.
"That damn potion, I swear!"
He exclaimed while drying himself energetically. Luckily pouring a bucket of cold water on his head was enough to wash off the lustful heat building up inside him - a troublesome side effect of the revitalizing mixture.
"If I catch a cold, my revenge will be sweet. I'll force him to wear a nurse outfit while he'll have to tend to me. I'll strip him from his dignity and let him rot in boredom..."
The young master mumbled and closed the door to his bathroom after tidying himself up. He looked around his bedroom where almost half of the contents of his closed were scattered around. He sighed at the thought of spending the next couple of hours looking for the perfect outfit for the ball. He tensed up when he spotted a sleeve of a crimson red coat from underneath two other pieces of clothing.
"Stupid demon, what does HE know about fashion?"
He remembered Juto's mean words before disappearing and puffed his cheeks. He yanked the coat out of the pile and sized with his body in front of the mirror. It wasn't half bad. The trimming and details were in black and gold. Was it because he liked red, or because it would just look good on him? The young man pondered and decided to put it on. To his surprise it sat perfectly. The fabric was soft so it didn't make his movements awkward, the sleeves weren't too short nor too long, the collar wasn't irritating his nape and the belt nicely emphasized his slim waist. He didn't want to admit it out loud, but it really seemed to be the right choice to go with.
He stared at his reflection for a few more minutes and took the coat off. He put it neatly for later with the matching pair of pants and shoes, and started to pick up the other pieces of clothing to throw them back to the closet. The lingering unpleasant feeling of something going wrong during the event came back, and he wondered what Juto was up to. He shook his head. Whatever it was, he hoped the demon won't just crash the party like he'd own this place.
He was about to put the last shirt in the closet when he heard a knock at his door. The house's servant came over to inform him that father was calling him to the living room. Apparently they had a guest whom Jun should greet as well. Thinking it's probably another random stuck-up turkeycock, the young master huffed in annoyance, dismissed the servant with a sloppy gesture and left his room.
"I'm going to meet a lot of his friends at the ball, why do I have to see them now...?"
Jun could already hear his father's voice bragging about something at the other end of the corridor. He took a deep breath and entered the room.
"Ah, there he is."
He was in for quite a surprise when his father stepped to the side, revealing the guest and introducing them to each other.
"This is my son Justin. And this is baron Juto Lovelace."
The demon smiled and stretched his arm towards Jun for a firm shake. The latter took his hand slowly, staring with his wide open eyes at him.
"It's a strange name, I know."
"Now, don't be rude and greet the man properly."
"Um... greetings... sir. Pleased to meet you... (again.)"
Jun whispered the last word through his teeth and squeezed the demon's hand, the other just gave him his most innocent smile ever, unaffected.
"Oh, the pleasure's all mine."
"I didn't see my friend since forever! Did you know that he comes from a faraway land? I meet him by chance today at the city."
Jun's father started to explain after they all sat in the armchairs around a coffee table. Jun took the seat across his demon servant and gave him a piercing look.
The young man commented shortly, and his parent continued to ramble about things that couldn't possibly be true. You sly bastard, he thought. He had so many questions right now. Juto just sat there comfortably, pretending to be interested in the conversation as if it was only natural to be there.
They were finishing their cup of tea when a butler came in and asked the old master to attend a matter regarding the evening's party. Jun's father got up and followed the butler, not without leaving a snarky remark for Jun to behave. Once he was gone, the young master bolted out of his seat and rushed over to the demon, slamming his hands against the armchair's sides and leaning in so close to his face, that their noses almost touched.
"What the hell is going on here? You just exposed yourself to father! Old friends, my ass! I ain't buying it!"
He wanted to shout, but he had to keep his voice low, so what he said came off more like a stifled rant. Juto just smirked slyly, not budging in his seat.
"Let's say I altered his memories a bit."
"But you said-...!" Jun raised his voice and quickly lowered it again. "But you said that as a bone baron you CAN'T manipulate minds!"
Jun recalled a fact that was stated earlier in their relationship. Juto mentioned that he was one of the four most powerful demon lords in his world, each of which could alter and control one vital part of a living being - bones, blood, flesh and soul. Hailed as the "Bone Baron" Juto could do whatever he wanted with the body's hardest structure - break bones, mold them back, crush them to dust or even make people dance like puppets attached to strings. However he couldn't influence a person's mind, because that was the specialty of a different lord. The demon in question just shrugged nonchalantly.
"That's why I have people to do that for me. Lesson number one in the demon world - if there's something you can't do, befriend someone who can. For mutual benefits."
"He just hired a guy to do that for him...!"
The young master tilted his body back and put a hand to his forehead, not caring anymore that his tone was louder.
"It's as simple as that. And you're being dramatic again."
The demon commented while Jun just looked at him and shook his head.
"I can't believe you're doing this just for food."
"Food AND your moral support, remember?" Juto added quickly. "Besides, what else are parties good for if not for free food?" He shrugged.
"That's our food... you could just sneak up to the kitchen and get some."
He made a wide hand movement towards the door with an annoyed tone.
"I wouldn't be able to stuff myself without anyone noticing."
"How much do you intend to-..."
"Say, did you put something in your hair or is it just wet? Did you get so hot and bothered that you had to dump a bucket of water on your head? How lewd. I wish I was there to see it."
The demon cut in with a smirk and chuckled. His master instantly flushed red.
Jun wasn't able to finish when he heard footsteps approaching the living room. He hurried back to his seat and pretended that nothing happened when his father came back. Luckily he didn't seem to notice Jun's blush that didn't come off just yet.
"I apologize for the commotion, we're busy organizing a ball tonight, so things are hectic." The father said and took his seat. "Speaking of which, do you mind to join us at the party? Oh, I mean, if you aren't busy this evening."
"Not at all. I have nothing planned for tonight, so I'd be glad to join you."
Juto smiled wide moving his gaze from the parent to Jun, in which the latter could swear that he gives him a mocking, triumphant look. He got an invitation, just like that. The young man frowned and sank in his seat, defeated. The boring small talk continued.
"Thank you for inviting me, I feel honored."
"Don't mention it, my good friend."
"Will there be shrimps? I love shrimps."
Jun just rolled his eyes and put one leg over the other, resting his chin in his palm and looked into the distance, not paying attention anymore to the sickening fake friendship. He still couldn't believe that the sly demon managed to wrap his father around his little finger so easily. And here he thought his old man is immune to any kind of mind games. Apparently not, Juto either hired a good hypnotist or he was just immune to Jun's antics over the years.
Finally the awkward meeting was over with Juto saying goodbye and leaving the mansion, and the young master could return to his room. He just put his glasses on the nightstand and flopped on the bed with a thud. He sighed loud burying his face in the duvet. It will be a long night, he thought.
"That was easy."
Jun lazily looked up only to see his servant demon leaning against the window sill and chewing on something he probably snatched secretly from the kitchen. As if reading his mind, the demon gulped it down and licked his fingers.
"I took your advice and helped myself to an appetizer. Not bad."
"What, do you want me to congratulate you and clap my hands by how smoothly you got your invitation?"
"That would be nice of you."
The demon smiled. Jun just growled and buried his face in the sheets again.
"I will be off then, need to conserve my energy and make myself pretty for the evening. I suggest you do the same."
The demon chuckled and a moment later the room was quiet again after he left, before it was interrupted by a muffled "asshole" spoken in an offended tone. Jun rolled to the side with a sigh when he looked up and noticed an appetizer sitting on top of his sheets. He frowned and stared at it for a good while before sitting up and stuffing it in his mouth, angry at himself for succumbing to the temptation.
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