Just before the harvest season ends and the winter season starts, the National Festival is the most crowded day in the Royal Capital.
The nobles and commoners gather in the capital celebrating the foundation of the kingdom on this day, which also serves as the harvest festival.
His Majesty decided to announce the Demon King’s resurrection at the National Foundation Day ceremony.
After congratulating the foundation of the kingdom in the royal palace banquet hall, His Majesty broached the subject.
「I have something important to share with all of you. Edwin’s careless remarks may have caught some of you off guard, but in less than a year, the Demon King will return. 」
The nobles who heard this were buzzing, but there were only minimal commotions. The Demon King’s resurrection has been publicly announced by Prince Edwin before. As a royal family, they had denied it, but many of them must have been more than a little aware of it.
「The Demon King was sealed away by the first King, the Hero, and Queen, the Saint. In time, the seal will be broken. And the first King had predicted that period accurately.
The Demon King, who had just awakened from the seals would be vulnerable. It is possible to defeat the Demon King altogether, which even the Hero couldn’t do. For the sake of saving our future generations from misery! 」
The banquet hall was filled up with excitement as His Majesty made the announcement saying it was something about surpassing the first King.
「The Demon King is said to have the ability to control monsters. He will send an army of monsters to our kingdom to amass strength. The Knight Commander, Adolf, will handle that.
We have already prepared for a large-scale troop deployment, but no number of troops will be enough. And I would like everyone here to send some of their troops to help. 」
There were mixed reactions to His Majesty’s call for troops. Some of them are fired up to fight for the country, some of them have complicated expressions on their faces as if they can’t afford to go to war, and some of them are probably figuring out how to get the most out of it.
「A selected few squads will be tasked with subjugating the Demon King. Allow me to introduce you to— 」
His Majesty began to introduce the members with Prince Edwin. After being introduced, the entire audience clapped as the Prince gave a resolute speech.
Also, William, Oswald and Alicia are introduced before my turn.
「And last, but not the least, Lady Yumiela Dolknes. She is the one who has reached level 99, an unprecedented feat and a dragon tamer. She will be a great help against the Demon King. And while we’re at it, may I announce her as the new Countess Dolknes, who has accepted her title. 」
Finally, it’s my turn to go up the stage.
「Thank you for the introduction. I am Yumiela Dolknes.
I have a goal and to end discrimination against people with black hair. Personally have been discriminated because of my black hair.
I had given up on the idea that it was inevitable, but then I met a boy who changed my mind. When I saw him being mistreated and is suffering due to his hair colour, I knew I had to do something about it.
For that reason, the Demon King, which is also responsible for the discrimination, I want to defeat him! 」
I finally said that in public. I wonder what I’ll do if they don’t accept it. The banquet hall has gone silent.
A single sound of applause echoed in the silent hall. The sound came from my side, and they were Prince Edwin’s. His Majesty and the Queen followed him, and it’s followed by a round of applause, which spread throughout the hall.
A grand ball will be held after the Founding Day celebration. I should’ve been actively participating in these social gatherings, but I don’t want to dance.
I’ve been learning to dance to the point where I can dance without being laughed at, but I’m embarrassed by the idea of dancing in public. Is it because I still have a sense of forgetting things from my previous life even here?
I slipped out of the hall and went to the Royal Palace’s courtyard. It was cloudy tonight, and the courtyard was devoid of any kind of light source. In this pitch-black place, it’s unlikely that anyone will find me.
「There you are, Yumiela. 」
Someone found me already. It’s Patrick. He wasn’t invited to the celebration or the ball, though.
「Patrick? What are you doing here? 」
「Prince Edwin invited me. But since I couldn’t find anyone to ask for a dance, I came to look for someone. 」
「Who are you going to ask? Would you like me to help? 」
The only people invited to this ball are the head of a noble family and his wife, but who is Patrick’s partner? Don’t tell me it was someone’s wife or a widow?
「Patrick, it’s okay to be interested in a widow, but a married woman is no good. 」
「What kind of misunderstanding are you making this time? No, don’t say anything. I don’t want to hear it. 」
Patrick has a disappointed look on his face. I felt uncomfortable.
「Patrick, can you see anything? 」
This courtyard is quite dark. The only reason I can see without problems is due to my high-level perception. At his level, though, he shouldn’t be able to see anything in this darkness.
「I’ve been hiding it, but I didn’t expect you to notice it this fast. I’ve reached level 50. My senses are more heightened, but in this darkness, all I could make out was that there are people in the shadows. 」
Level 50 means you’re one of the best in the country. Since when did he do that?
「Oh, you haven’t been at school lately… 」
「Ah, yes. I’ve been dungeon diving after school. With the help of this. 」
As he said this, he took out an amulet around his neck.
「A growth amulet? Wait! Why aren’t you wearing a protection amulet? What if something goes wrong? 」
「Nothing will go wrong. Besides, wasn’t it you who said we should wear these? 」
Eh? Indeed, I have the logic if you want to raise your level, you have to use a growth amulet. But you are the one who told me it was dangerous…
「No, it’s dangerous. I don’t want anything to happen to you, Patrick. 」
If you wear a protective amulet, you can withstand a deadly attack.
「I’ve always felt the same way every time you’ve done something reckless. 」
「I’m sorry about that? 」
From now on, I must refrain from doing anything reckless. So, what have I been doing so recklessly?
「I can’t see your expression in the dark, but I can tell you don’t understand what I’m talking about. Well, let’s not talk about it. Would you allow me to accompany you to subjugate the Demon King? 」
Level 50 is not enough. The proper level to fight the Demon King in the game was 60, and this time there are four baggage.
「No, I won’t allow it. I’m not sure if I will be able to protect Patrick. 」
「I knew it. You don’t think I’m strong enough. 」
「No. It’s because I believe that Patrick’s greatest strength is being in a large-scale battle. I need your help to defend against those armies of monsters. 」
As I found out during the school’s outdoor exercises, his command saves us from wasting so much time.
But saying this would sound like a nuisance to him now.
「Hey? Do you know what the two highest-level man and woman who have defeated the Demon King are called? 」
「Ah… Hero and Saint? 」
「It would be nice if we can create a new country together. 」
If he tells me he’s going to subjugate the Demon King and worthy of being a King, and he’s going to establish a new country, I’m willing to help him.
「No, I don’t want to be accused of being the King’s opposition. But if Yumiela would like to be a queen, you can possibly do that. 」
「No, I don’t want that. 」
That would mean that Patrick and I would be married, but does he not realize that?
「I understand. There will be troops stationed at the Ashbaton Frontier. I will offer my assistance there. 」
「I’m sorry about that. Umm, why was Patrick in such a hurry to level up? I don’t remember telling you about the Demon King’s revival. 」
He didn’t come from a poor noble house too, so it was somewhat strange.
What about me? Even in this darkness, I could see he was making different expression on his face.
「What did I do? 」
「…I want to be stronger than you, Yumiela. 」
Hmm, I think it will be a long way to go.
「Were you disappointed? But you know, people’s value isn’t just strength, right? 」
「You’re the one who said you preferred someone stronger than you! 」
That was my rejection to some nobleman’s son who was trying to woo me.
「Umm, it’s not that I made that up… How should I put it… 」
In fact, my loved one is weaker than I am.
「Ah, so I’ve been wasting my time… 」
Patrick’s face instantly darkens. I guess that’s what it’s all about. As I am, I understand that much. I have to say something, anything.
「You know what, Patrick, we’ll play rock-paper-scissors. 」
「Yes, rock, paper, scissors. 」
He was baffled, but he dutifully put out his hand. Unfortunately, I was the winner.
「What’s this? It’s too dark to know who wins or loses. 」
「Patrick wins. You’re stronger than me in rock-paper-scissors. I like people who are stronger than me, so… 」
Patrick, this is my limit. Please, I beg you to figure it out.
Patrick’s hands were placed on my shoulders—
Patrick, you’re lying about not being able to see in the dark, aren’t you? Because you knew the exact position of my lips.