After Prince Edwin and Eleanora visited yesterday, I decided to walk around aimlessly at the royal capital today.
I could easily imagine her barging in uninvited today as well. And if I was in the house, Rita would certainly be there.
Well, I don’t mind strolling around the capital. I have this hobby to look for shady shops that sell weird stuff. Oh—, I wonder if there’s a looted item in one of those shops that can raise the level limit.
「I should’ve brought Patrick with me.」
Unconsciously I said that out loud.
He is going out by himself saying that he wanted to visit the Ashbaton residence in the capital. I regretted not following him. It could be a date if we stopped somewhere on our way home. No, is it even a date? Aren’t dates supposed to be in dungeons?
As I walked through the back alley, I found myself standing in a familiar street.
This particular alleyway was nothing special.
It’s not that I hate the main street, I walked along the street looking at the shops lined at the sides. Since I didn’t wear a hat and conceal my hair, I was kinda standing out.
The delicious smell from the baked goods stopped me as I was walking. By the way, it was almost time for lunch.
Since both of us aren’t home right now, I already told Rita to not serve lunch today. I’m going to have some bread to fill my stomach because I’m not that hungry.
Following the delicious aroma, I arrived at a trendy bakery on the main street.
When I opened the bakery’s door, the small bell made the cling cling noise.
The shopkeeper was a girl who looked two or three years younger than me. I wonder if she’s the owner’s daughter.
She looked at me, surprised, then quickly reiterated with a cheerful greeting.
Yep, it’s the usual one. She must be scared of me.
Let’s just get my shopping done and get out of here. I grab one of the paper-wrapped sandwiches in one hand and place a few copper coins on the counter with the other.
「This should be enough, right? Then, I’ll leave you to it.」
「U-um, please wait a minute!」
When the girl stopped me, my hand was already on the door and turned around. Huh? Maybe the money that I paid wasn’t enough? I thought I put a little more than enough, though.
The girl continued to stare at my face and said.
「Um, you’re Yumiela Dolknes-sama, aren’t you? Thank you for defeating the Demon King!」
「Ah, no, no, you’re welcome?」
Hearing her saying thanks, not sure whether I should feel amused or confused. I never expected someone to thank me.
She shuffled her feet and held out her hand. Eh? What is this? Didn’t I give enough money?
「May I shake your hand, please! …Oh, no, I’m being rude to the Count. Please forget about it.」
「If it’s only a handshake….」
The whole kingdom knew that I was involved with the Demon King subjugation. But Prince Edwin was the one popular with the common folk and I had a small presence. And that’s what I wanted, too.
It’s puzzling me how she became a fan of mine.
Somewhat feeling embarrassed, I still held out my hand towards her. She grabbed my hand with both of hers and shook them up and down.
「I admire Yumiela-sama. It’s really fascinating that you have a dragon companion and the ability to use dark magic is wonderful. Umm… Do you sometimes feel like you’re being swallowed up by the darkness? Or some of your power have been sealed—」
Ah, this person is just complicating things. I’m not into chuunibyou.
「No, I don’t have anything like that.」
When I deny her assumptions, all she gave me was a blatant look of disappointment. Please don’t be so sad.
「…I’m sorry you had to hear something weird.」
「No, I’m sorry that I can’t give you the answer you want.」
What am I apologizing for? As I thought about it, the girl was trying to say something. What is it this time?
「What’s the matter?」
「Umm, the money isn’t enough. You need to pay another copper coin?」
「…Sorry about that. I’ll be back.」
Before leaving the bakery, I handed the coin to her.
…Isn’t that way too expensive? It cost twice as much as its worth. Even though I said I’d come back, I wouldn’t. This is why I hate fancy stores. They make you pay for the stylish interior and not the products, which is absolutely ridiculous! …What on earth am I fighting against?
As I walked looking for a place to eat the sandwich I just bought, I came to my senses. I know I can eat as I walk, but I’m still a noble.
After walking a short distance with my lunch in hand, I found the perfect place to eat. It’s an intersection of the main streets that turned into a public square. I sat down on a bench in the corner.
While taking a bite out of my sandwich, I listened to a bard’s song as he performed from the middle of the square.
「What the heck, this is so delicious.」
An unintentional musing escaped my mouth. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary assorted sandwich but it’s really tasty. To illustrate this, umm… it’s like a beam coming out of your mouth. Well, I won’t let it out anymore. I made a mistake, I won’t let it out.
I’m sorry for thinking you’re ripping me off, chuunibyou girl.
After finishing my lunch while listening to the bard’s song, I tried to etch the bakery’s location in my mind. The song I was listening to told the story about a prince who fought a Demon King.
In case you missed it, the song ended without the black-haired dragon tamer appearance making her appearance… because of her minor role. Eh?
When I glanced at the middle square, there were some people scattered around listening to the song. The song ended with no twist.
Quickly I stand up and walk towards the bard. As the people noticed where I was going, they scurried away from the bard.
The man lost his composure and stared blankly at the slightest twitch. I tossed a gold coin in his direction.
He stared at the gold coin in amazement as if he couldn’t believe it was real.
「Eh?! Gold coin?!」
「Yup. Hey, I was wondering if you could play that song at my house.」
He must have thought that I’m a noble when he heard my invitation, he looked at me with a bright expression and said.
「Ah, are you a noble? I can certainly do that…」
He looked at me lost at words and face twitched in excitement. And I said my next sentence in a gentle tone.
「The song was about a prince, a saintess and their two companions… that was four people, right? I’ve never heard of that story before and I’d love to hear more about it.」
The man’s face turned pale and teeth chattering. Maybe he’s a timid person? I just tried to surprise him a little.
「Don’t worry, I wont do anything. I just want to hear the story a litte.」
「You are the real deal…, aren’t you?」
The real deal? What do you mean?
It took a while before the bard’s man calmed down. And people are slowly returning to the square which had been deserted.
「I don’t know what you mean by the real deal, but I’m pretty sure I’m Yumiela Dolknes. The real one.」
「Right, I’m sorry.」
「No, I don’t need your apology… I want to hear the reason why I wasn’t mentioned in the song.」
It’s not that I want to spread my achievement for defeating the Demon King. But to pretend that I wasn’t there a year ago was a bit troubling.
I wanted as many people as possible to know that me, someone with black hair helped to fight the Demon King. I’m trying to do my part to reduce the hate on black-haired people, one of the goals I’m not even sure I can achieve.
Because the important thing that Yumiela participated in the Demon King’s subjugation and the fact that Yumiela was stronger than the Demon King could scare people. It’s hard to find the right balance.
The man opened his mouth hesitant to speak.
「Etto… I wasn’t sure about the count’s appearance. I get the same feeling from my peers…」
「My appearance? What do you mean?」
「The count’s appearance and attributes are…」
The man hesitated to say more, but I can understand what he was about to say. Either way I’m the villain.
In this world, especially this kingdom, villains in creative works often depicted having a black hair. Demons and witches often use dark magic to stand against the protagonist.
Treating me as an ally is probably as uncomfortable as having a demon as Momotaro’s companion.
As a person, I know that I’m not a friendly person, it can’t be helped. But next to me there’s a mascot-like presence overflowing with charm and cuteness.
「I know why I had a hard time making it out in the story. Just treat me like an extra dragon that’s not Ryuu, how about it?」
「Ano, if anything, a dragon is usually for the enemy. I’ve seen the black dragon too, but that’s exactly…」
Oh? Exactly what is it? A lovable dragon like that would have been an ally.
First of all we need to put Ryuu aside and think of a method to change the bad guy image from black attributes and such.
It’s not like the dark attribute isn’t dangerous or anything. It doesn’t spread like fire or soak the area like water.
But you can’t argue that it can’t restrain, melted, impaled or annihilate the target, with little negative impact to the surroundings, too.
It doesn’t matter how much we talked about it. No one in my life has ever said that my dark attribute is cool… there was only one person who said that. I just met her, the chuunibyou girl from the bakery.
But i don’t want people to think that the dark attribute is chuuni-like.
Let’s try something here, let me give a suggestion to the bard man.
「Oh—, you can take this story with a grain of salt but… the dark hair and black attributes, what if you reverse it? What do you think?」
「You can make something about being swallowed by the darkness in order to defeat their nemesis, making a good use of the abominable strength…」
I’m starting to feel embarrassed for myself. I was about to tell the bard to forget it when I saw the strange glint in his eyes.
「Amazing! That’s brilliant! A dragon tamer that almost swallowed up by their own power in front of the Demon King. And using that power to save their friends! The dark magic that would swallow the Demon King… interesting!」
Isn’t that diverging too much from the facts? I was taken aback as he continued to ignore me as he kept talking.
「The evil power is sealed on their arm and they need to break the seal to save their friends from danger… that’s an interesting twist! Oh, I have to write the story from the scratch!」
「…That’s good to know.」
I guess the chuunibyou must be contagious. I wish everyone that will hear that song has a strong immunity.