Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 3 Chapter 10: Dragon-san Goes to the Garden Party
The next day, having survived through Ligurila’s “Spartan Boot Camp for Beauty and Elegance Needed for the Garden Party”, we arrived at the place where the party was to take place, and where supposedly the artificial magic stones were supposed to be.
Meanwhile, Nectar’s party was supposed to stay at Melias and go to the depths of the dungeon in search for monsters.
After finally being able to choose a dress I was supposed to wear, while I was looking around at other guests, I was thinking that I should be able to fit in just fine.
「Uwaah, just look at that…… It’s so lively in here.」
I muttered to myself, while casting glances at Ligurila, only to find that Ligurila was preoccupied with Madame Chinon.
「Ufufu, what can I say, the Avar family has hugely committed to the artificial magic stone initiative at the royal court. This is our time and we need to make the most of it.」
Madame Chinon, wearing the dress that Ligurila handpicked for her, smiles gracefully as she leans towards us, just so that other people couldn’t overhear her.
「Well, my my… Rich people sure likes to stand out, and takes real pride of it. Some people just love to show off their social status.」
The party certainly was fancy beyond imagination, with lots of intricate decorations and exotic dishes.
「Yeah, but since we still have some time before the star of the party arrives, we might as well introduce you to some of our friends here.」
We then took some time to walk around with Madame Chinon, getting introduced to lot of different nobles.
While doing that, I was surprised to hear just how well known Ligurila was, being called titles such as the Tailor of Ballow or the Royal Tailor.
Some people would talk to me from time to time, but thanks to Ligurila’s Boot Camp, I somehow managed to avoid embarrassing myself in front of such a refined crowd.
So far so good.
Some of the people here were even talking about the artificial magic stones as well.
「That because the magic stones are vastly popular as jewelry. If possible, I would like to get a hold of some larger ones for the future of my company.」
「We were always way behind Ballow when it comes to magic and sorcery, but with this we might actually be able to surpass them in that field as well.」
Hearing stories like that over and over again made me really tired for some reason, and once the greetings were all done, I hid myself in the corner of the garden, wanting to catch a quick break.
Muuun. There are some high quality ingredients in this food! I don’t know what they are, but they are surely delicious!
Then, Ligurila came to join me, seemingly finished with her earlier greetings.
「Ligurila, where is Madame Chinon?」
「We parted ways since she had some business to take care of on her own.」
A waiter walked right beside us, and Ligurila stopped him with a gentle gesture, taking more than a few drinks from the tray he was carrying. I used that opportunity to speak up.
「It seems that people around these parts tend to antagonize Ballow heavily.」
「You’re right about that. Well, they were always inferior to Ballow, so it’s more like the bickering of a loser than anything else. When I first arrived here, I was skeptical on how people would react to me for some time.」
Looking at her from the side, Ligurila shrugged her shoulders and shook her neatly combed hair.
「Alas, nothing bad really happened. But don’t mention that to Senjiro.」
「Sen-san? Hmm, come to think of it, you never tell me a story about how the two of you met.」
「You never asked, so that’s why I never brought it up.」
The demonic contracts work in such a way that in exchange for one’s soul the demon would lend you power. That would mean one would receive the magic of the world itself. Thankfully, that kind of relationship would not harm the leylines or the world itself in any kind of way.
You could even say that demonic contract works in a similar way to a dragon contract, but some of the nuances are different.
However, since their, duh, demonic nature, humans would usually look down upon the demonic contract and shun them as evil.
「Did you say something?」
「Not really, but still, I was just wondering that you never ever mentioned it before.」
Ligurila looked slightly annoyed by my words, but for a moment she looked as if she was remembering something.
「If you don’t have anything worthy of mentioning to say, it is best to remain silent, otherwise you might get hurt one of these days. And besides, the fact that I didn’t form any contracts since I started my work as a tailor, this doesn’t mean anything at all.」
The exchanges that Ligurila had with Senjiro from time to time were really fascinating to look at, and so I automatically assumed that that would be the case.
「You know, it was only really surprising that you didn’t wanted to make any new contractors, despite being so powerful.」
「The only real times when I need a contractor is when I was running low on my own magic, or when I was about to pick a fight with you. But, just by standing right next to you, I can easily replenish some of my magic no problem.」
「You really don’t understand that in the least, do you?」
Ligurila said that in amazed voice while playing with her glass.
「Whenever you go, a huge supply of magic is sure to follow. Think of it as a certain kind of recovery magic. Now, did you honestly think that it has no influence over the people, whose souls are all part of the magic circulation?」
Well, I know that magic is not a stagnant force, and that it can affect a whole lot of aspects of the world, but I never really thought about it in such a way before.
It wasn’t all that groundbreaking news to me, but I still let out a sigh of awe nonetheless.
「By interacting with people for a long time, you strengthen their souls. Well, aside from the apothecary, since he was well educated in magic to begin with, but if it wasn’t for that strengthening, the soul of that Thunderstorm bastard wouldn’t be able to get turned into a demon.」
Hoo, who would have thought that just my presence alone could have such effects on the circulation of magic?
「It’s because of you that Bel managed to live for so long. Lava, you must always be fully aware of the influence that your existence has over others.」
「Yeah, you’re right.」
I answered her genuilny, but she only shrugged her shoulders again in response. Muu.
It was at that time that loud cheers and applause could be heard from the other side of the garden.
Apparently the star of the party, Mrs. Avar, has finally arrived.
When I went there with Ligurila to see what was going on, we could see a woman in her 40s emerging from the balcony of her villa.
There was another person standing behind her with a really somber look on his face, and she herself was wearing a flashy dress over her plump body. She responded to the applause by raising her hand.
「No elegance to speak of, no tact to speak of and little to no taste. Three greatest flaws of a woman, here in one huge package.」
Ligurila gave her honest impression of the host of the party while shaking her head with disappointment.
「The use of that fabric is poor, as well. She probably tried to adapt the latest trends from Ballow, but if it doesn’t fit in with the overall theme, it is really a bad idea. She is just ruining it.」
Certainly. Just think about the money she must have spent on that dress! Also, on a side note, while looking at that dress I realized that I have seen it somewhere before, probably in Lugirila’s store, but it was not as nearly well made as Ligurila’s handiwork.
I, I didn’t say that out loud, did I? Best to keep that to myself.
「But that’s not what this is all about. We came here for the artificial magic stone.」
「Yeah, and maybe it has some sort of connection with her.」
From here I could see that she was wearing an expensive-looking earrings, bracelets and rings on her fingers, but Ligurila was focused the most on the necklace she was wearing around her neck.
The jewel that was put in the middle of the necklace was clear and without any kind of flaw, but it certainly resembled a certain stone we were all interested in.
「Look just how large that stone is. Speaking in terms of monsters to drop the stone of that size, it would have to be at least second or first class monster.」
「Yeah, but it is the first time that I see it being so transparent.」
It was truly puzzling, but for some reason I was unable to avert my gaze from that stone. Just looking at it made something inside of my heart ache for some reason.
Seeing it from afar, it looked just like your ordinary precious gemstone.
It couldn’t have been natural, but it was beautiful without a shred of doubt.
「Somehow, this stone seems strange.」
「You think so too, Ligurila?」
「Yes. It’s really hard to put into words, but it invokes the feeling in me as if I have seen it somewhere before.」
Ligurila put her finger on her chin, and from behind her back I could see that Madame Chinon was coming our way.
「Finally found you, Lily. Please come with me, I shall introduce you to Mrs. Avar.」
「I understand. Let us go, Lava.」
I wonder why? I was having a really bad feeling about all this.
Together with Madame Chinon we were waiting in line to greet Mrs. Avar, who was greeting people for no more than three seconds per person. Everyone around us were gazing at Ligurila in admiration.
Yeah, yeah, I totally get it. Today, Ligurila was especially beautiful. Even more than usual.
In contrast to my solid white dress, hers was made out of a thick and soft black fabric, composed over several layers and embroidered in a different manner than mine.
For a moment I feel so sorry that I couldn’t show Ligura’s appearance to Senjiro.
Still, Mrs. Avar smiled to us with her make-up ornamented face and found some time to speak to Ligurila.
「Welcome to Hesat! I heard from Chinon that you are the famous tailor from Ballow, the capital of contemporary fashion.」
She said that to us while smiling, but her eyes were not laughing.
Those eyes were the eyes of someone who didn’t regard people as people, but more like a livestock or products to be bought and used. She looked at us with those eyes, from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes.
S C A R Y.
But Ligurila responded in a perfectly ladylike fashion, even though I knew that her gentle smile was in reality full of malice and murderous intentions.
「It is nice to meet you, Countess Avar. My name is Ligurila Morton and I am a tailor from the capital city of the Kingdom of Ballow. And this here is my friend, Lava Figura.」
「It is a pleasure to meet you.」
Since I was being introduced as well here, I said my greetings while bowing down in a polite manner.
I felt as though someone was breathing down my neck, but before I could confirm what it was, the feeling was blown away by Ligurila’s words.
「We are honored to be able to be invited to such a wonderful place. Everything here is so different from Ballow, it is truly interesting.」
Countess Avar, having measured Ligurila’s dress with her eyes, turned around and brought forth the young girl who was standing behind her this whole time.
「…… Let me introduce you to my daughter.」
Oh, I thought it might have been one of her servants, but it was actually her daughter?
This girl, Lishella, introduced herself and almost immediately after that she went silent, falling behind her mother who clearly looked at her with disdain in her eyes.
「Because of certain circumstances the girl is yet to make her social debut, but since she is rather shy and reserved I brought her here to try to get her used to events like this one. However, it seems that my work is deeming no effects whatsoever thus far.」
Even though she introduced her own daughter to us, I got the feeling that she did so more out of responsibility than anything else.
And nothing could shine brighter right now than the transparent gemstone resting on her plump breast.
At the same time her husband opened his mouth to boast.
「Nfufu, isn’t it simply wonderful? The artificial magic stone created by the collective wisdom of our country?」
「The more I look at it, the more wonderful and impressive it gets.」
Said Madame Chinon while admiring its beauty.
When I saw the clear light coming from the stone on Countess’s chest, I reflexively held my breath.
When I realized that something was wrong, instead of replying to Ligurila’s words, I send her a message through telepathy.
“Did something happen?”
“This magic stone, isn’t that the monster nucleus inside of it?”
Upon hearing my words, her purple eyes widen slightly.
Seeing our reaction, Countess’s Avar expression becomes that filled with superiority.
「Even the citizens of Ballow can see it, right? Even your Hunters wouldn’t be able to procure such huge stones without getting harmed in the process.」
Ligurila chose to remain silent, while I simply nodded my head.
「Yes, it is the first time that I have witnessed such a splendid magic stone…… Can I hold it, just for a second?」
I soon realized just how crazy of a request that was, but Countess Avar, seemingly having her self-esteem stimulated beyond belief, smiled in satisfaction.
「Very well. I shall allow it. But, only as a special exception.」
「Thank you for your splendid consideration.」
Good thing I remembered to bow and say my thanks properly.
I show my gratitude and approach Countess Avar.
Immediately my nose was assaulted by the smell of strong perfume, but I tried to bear with it as I gently picked up the gemstone at the end of the necklace.
As soon as my fingers touched it, the light inside of it flickered, and I could feel some sort of ripple resonating inside of it.
The reaction was weak, but there was some kind of change in the gemstone.
But this response was definitely one similar to a monster.
「Isn’t it beautiful? This artificial magic stone is the product of labor of our finest magicians. Even the magicians of Ballow were unable to achieve what we managed right here. I am sure that thanks to that, their names will become known throughout the continent, even more so than of that Ballow sage who disappeared all those years ago.」
The words of Count Avar were really ticking me off right now.
The reason why Nectar disappeared from society was so that he could be with me.
In fact, he was doing his best to help people, at the same time making sure that his identity wouldn’t be found out by some random people.
Right after that thoughts hit my head, I can feel that the light from the magic stone began to spread.
As Countess Avar raised her astonished voice, I concentrated my mind, sucked out all magic from the magic stone and filled it up again, this time with my own magic.
In the blink of an eye, the light became brighter, to the point where the gem began to shine as bright like fireworks.
「What, is this……」
「It’s just a reaction to magic. Magic stones tend to react like that if they are filled with quality magic. And seeing that it shines so rightly, it is a magic stone of the utmost quality. Thank you for showing me such a magnificent thing.」
I smile and say some convienient lie to the Countess, and then I release my hand from the necklace, while Countess’s face shines brightly.
Suddenly, a loud round of applaud resonated throughout the garden, and while Countess Avar was preoccupied with that, Ligurila took me to the side where no one could see us.
「Lava, what the hell are you doing! Using magic out of the blue like that!」
「But look what I manage to harvest by doing that.」
I opened my palm and showed it to Ligurila. Seeing a demon fetus the size of the grain of sand, she held back her breath.
Generating that light, I used it as a diversion to take that fetus out and separate it from the stone itself.
「You can barely even sense it, but there is no doubt that it is a small demon……」
「We must inform Nectar at once.」
Feeling relieved, I look behind me.
There, there was that little girl who was right next to the Countess Avar.
「Lishella, was it? Her eyes were wide open in surprise.
However, Lishella’s figure was blocked by a huge crowd of people, and in the next moment I saw the people who were supposed to protect Countess Avar. There were coming straight at us.
The shining was supposed to last for a while longer, and I was sure that it would buy us a little bit more time.
「It’s only natural, since you were sticking out like a sore thumb out there.」
「For now, let’s just run away!」
「I think it’s impossible in this moment, but let’s do just that!」
Followed up by Ligurila’s voice, we broke into a run and we began to run away from the scene.