Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 3 Chapter 20: Warning Dragon-san Is Expecting
「There’s no need for cleaning my room. If anybody wants something from me, they should go to Lava’s room. Do not open the door to my room no matter what.」
Said Ligurila after leaving her room to the awaiting maids, right after she finished Lishella’s dress just like she declared.
「I was thinking about trying something different this time around, since doing complicated patterns were getting boring for me. This one was surprisingly easy to make. Overall it was an amusing change of pace.」
Said Ligurila, before she devoted her full attention to Lishella and her lessons on conquering the high society.
However, there was nothing left for me to do here.
So in the meantime I went to the trading companies dealing with magic stones, obtained as much as I could, and took care of some minor other businesses while I was at it, and just like that my day passed.
The banquet hall was so grand and so majestic that it seemed almost as if it was taken straight out of the royal palace.
It was so spacious that you could probably organize some kind of sports event inside of it with ease. There were magical chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and intricate decorations on the walls.
This whole space was filled with nobles, enjoying food and champagne while participating in some small talk.
Each and every one of them wore some kind of jewelry made out of an artificial magic stone.
The sheer amount of luxury in this room was simply otherworldly.
I was glad that I attended a few banquets like that during my time in Ballow.
Otherwise, I would have been stunned on the spot. And that would be pretty bad.
From what I could see, the vast majority of nobility was present here, accompanied by their families and friends.
There were quite a few young girls present, but none of them were shining brighter than Lishella.
Not only did Ligurila prepared her dress, but she also did her hair and makeup and prepared some accessories in advance.
The design of Lishella’s dress was based on the latest fashion trends, making it look all fluffy, similar to a cotton candy.
It was even colored pink, but it had no frills whatsoever, and it was tightly sticking to Lishella’s body.
「I got rid off all of the unnecessary frills and laces, instead focusing on accentuating the skirt and the girls’ figure. Certainly, you would find nothing better to fully accentuate one’s charm and allure.」
Honestly, I couldn’t understand about half of Ligurila’s words right now, but I could clearly see that Lishella was shining as bright as a star.
Usually, she was keeping to herself and no one paid any attention to her.
But for tonight, she was at the very center of attention, with a crowd of people surrounding her and drawing curious gazed from all over the place.
It was a scene that could very well scream “magic!”, but in reality it was a fruit of all of Ligurila’s efforts thus far in educating her.
「Pay close attention to your surroundings and make sure that you are the most beautiful girl in there. The dress you’ll be wearing will be your very own battle attire. And if you spot your fiancée in the crowd, be sure to be the first one to smile at him.」
「Smile is a girl’s ultimate weapon. If you smile at others, they tend to respond in kind. If you can’t bring yourself to smile naturally, please try to think about things that you like or that makes you happy.
Although she was at the center of attention, Lishella managed to find her fiancée among the crowd of people and smiled brightly at him.
It was still a little bit awkward, but it was more than enough to draw the young man towards her with little to no problem.
The others must have been aware of their engagement, for there was that strange kind of tension filling the room for a moment, but once the young ones began to casually talk with each other, it was all but blown away.
What a transformation it was! From the noticeably unnoticeable girl to the center of attention and the fiancée of the duke’s son!
Once they stopped talking, other young people rushed to Lishella’s side to talk to her, but she still managed to remain calm and composed.
「Even if you don’t like speaking yourself, just show the other party that you are willing to listen to whatever they have to say. That way they will talk, doing all the work for you. Memorize whatever information they give you and observe your surroundings, see how others react. With that you can figure out the balance of power.」
Following Ligurila’s advice, Lishella watched the other guests while talking with people who approached her.
Although she was a girl of few words, she was smart enough to handle any kind of tea party that people could throw at her, and she was good at picking at subtle reactions of people in her surroundings.
It also seems that the introductions are going to take quite a while to finish.
“The first impression is crucial, for it tends to stick with you no matter where you go. So it is up to the girl to use the knowledge she received to her advantage and make that impression as flawless as possible. Although I see she has no problems with that so far.”
Ligurila seemed to be pretty content with how Lishella was doing.
Later that evening, when Lishella was asked by her fiancée for a dance, Ligurila came to me and whispered while covering her mouth with a fan.
“Unfortunately, I sense no magician in here. What do we do, Lava? There are quite a few artificial magical stones in here.”
“We managed to recover almost all of the stones except for those that are here. I’m going to assume my position.”
I excused myself and exited the ballroom, going straight to the roof of the building.
I was still able to see what was going on inside of the ballroom thanks to the “eye” spell that I implanted into the jewelry decorating Ligurila’s chest.
We received a message from Nectar that they managed to discover a suspicious place inside of the dungeon, and so we decided to end this whole charade once and for all tonight.
The plan was that Ligurila was to remain at the ballroom as Lishella’s attendant, and at the arrival of Count Avar she was supposed to create a diversion and wait outside. During the commotion I was to descend into the ballroom and snatch all of the remaining magic stones, make a run for it and pass them onto Ligurila. Then we were just supposed to flee the scene.
While being at it, Ligurila was to press the Count for some answers regarding the magician, artificial magic stones and the place at which they were producing it, and kindly ask him to stop making more magic stones. Otherwise, he would get hurt.
We knew that it was rather crude method of action, but since it was an emergency and we were on the brink of the demonic outbreak, it was a necessary drastic action that we both were ready to take.
Before tonight’s party, I have succeeded in retrieving most of the artificial magic stones from the capital city and its surroundings, so the danger should be considerably lower. But still.
Almost every person that was present in here seemed to be wearing at least one piece of accessory or jewelry that had magic stone incorporated in it, men and women alike.
Apparently it was a condition of entrance to this party was to bring artificial magic stones with you.
Of course, both Ligurila and I had the stones on us, although it was nothing more than a well-made fakes.
The condition itself was indeed surprising, but thanks to that we would be able to recover all of them in one fell swoop.
“Ligurila, do I really have to do this like that?”
Ligurila couldn’t help herself but laugh when she heard my voice.
“Ara, and what other way do you propose instead? It may have been for only a couple of days, but you surely became famous around these parts, Miss ‘Magic Stone Thief’. Even at this party people talk about you. So bear with it unless you want your identity to be exposed.”
“No, no, it’s not like I’m ungrateful or anything, but do I really need to wear a mask? I could very well change my facial features……”
“Ara, so maybe you would like me to ask your beloved apothecary for opinion on this matter?”
“Right, I didn’t say anything, it was only your imagination, Ligurila-sama.”
To Ligurila’s blackmail, I had no other choice but to keep quiet and roll with it.
However, when I was looking at my reflection in the glass roof, I couldn’t help it but to feel embarrassed.
What I was wearing right now was a robe made out of monster hide, as well as a very short mini-skirt and a flashy cloak.
The outfit was cute and all, but I couldn’t resist the feeling that it was way too flashy, as the blouse was showing a huge portion of my cleavage and the skirt wasn’t even reaching halfway down my thigh.
To top it all off, I was wearing a cutesy top hat on my head.
The mask was in the shape of huge butterflies, and while it was only covering my eyes, it seems that no one would be able to recognize me.
Honestly, that mask was probably the only thing about this whole outfit that I was willing to tolerate.
The rest? It was downright embarrassing, knowing that people are going to be staring at me.
I mean: the skirt! The length of the frigging skirt!
What’s worse, when Ligurila made the outfit and forced me to wear it, she snapped a picture of me and sent it to Aru. He couldn’t stop laughing upon seeing it.
Aru was all like: ‘Kyah! Mother, you’re so cute!’ while his eyes were all shining. Thus, unable to get rid of this blasted thing, I decided to try to ignore it as much as possible and focus on the task at hand.
Still, if you were to ask me, Ligurila was way better suited for this kind of operations, as well as wearing that kind of clothes. But it was only my humble opinion, nothing more.
Now that I think about, when did she had time to prepare those clothes? I couldn’t help myself but to wonder.
「I know I said that you will come up with something for this party, but admit it, you had it prepared and were going to force me into wearing something like this either way, right?」
Ahh, to hell with it! At least it made Aru happy, so it was all worth it (not really).
I feel like people will stare too much, so I might as well be prepared.
But other than that I had no real complaints, and after a while I even managed to adjust my magic to the clothes, making them somewhat more bearable to wear.
But I have to say, the leylines around these parts were especially convoluted.
Even if I wanted to talk to Nectar right now, I would be unable to do so because of the huge interference.
That being said, aside from the fact that he was alive and somewhere on the lower levels of the dungeon, I could not tell any of the additional details.
It’s not like a situation like that didn’t happen across all of those years of my duty, but this time it was different. It was as if the leylines here were covered in a thin layer of membrane, making it unable to read them correctly.
No, that’s not it, either.
I could always feel the flow of magic with every step I take, but around these parts it all felt strangely hollow.
All of those things were making me really worried for some reason.
「No, no, no. I’m thinking too much about it. I need to stop worrying.」
Instead, I needed to focus on the task at hand.
The only artificial magic stones left were those that were present tonight, at this very party.
Once that it done, I can spend the rest of the remaining spring break together with Aru, so I didn’t want to be distracted by anything and fail miserably.
I shook my head, trying to chase the grim thoughts away.
At that moment, the wind managed to blow the top hat away from my head.
I forgot that I was wearing it, and stopped holding it in place.
I chased it across the roof.
Don’t underestimate the physical abilities of a dragon, you little hat!
I mute my footsteps and chase the hat down all the way to the edge of the roof, catch it and let out a sigh of relief.
Not good, not good, it would be all over if the hat fell down from the roof. Someone might have noticed it then.
At the same time, Ligurila sent me another message.
I thought it was the signal to begin the operation, but instead of that, Ligurila’s voice was tense and full of panic.
“Lava, we’re in trouble! Big trouble!”
Then there was a lot of noise, and our connection was forcibly cut off.
Right after that, there was a surge of magic overflowing from the inside of the mansion.
It was coming directly from the ballroom.
I jump off from the roof, spread my wings and glide down.
Then I try to break one of the windows so that I can glide inside of the mansion.
However, I was repelled with a hard impact.
Is this some kind of a barrier? But it clearly wasn’t Ligurila’s.
I was surprised at first, but then I get up on my feet to try again. I build up some speed, and come straight to the window.
「D R A G O N S P E C I A L ! ! !」
I crash into the window, applying to it so much magic that the barrier wasn’t able to withstand it and it broke apart.
I land on the floor, surrounded by a high pitched sound of breaking glass and glass shards falling all around me.
Then I rushed to the center of the ballroom, where two figures were standing with lots of people laying on the ground around them.
Moreover, one of those people standing was Ligurila, being held by someone in a grasp.
I was surprised, but I only rushed to help her when I confirmed that Lishella was laying on the ground, safe distance away.
Ligurila was lifted in the air, and looked about ready to lose it with anger.
In the meantime, the assailant dropped Ligurila to the ground when his body was attacked by a sudden surge of magical power in the room.
It was fascinating to see Lishella in the center of that surge, looking all majestic and her dress glowing.
However, that distraction was all that Ligurila needed to counterattack.
I was confused by this whole situation, but it looks like Lishella fell to the ground like everyone else, but somehow managed to retain her consciousness.
Ligurila cast two quick but powerful spells at the assailant.
It was then that Ligurila noticed my presence in the ballroom.
Whether or not the previous strike connected, he was already defeated and lying on the ground, with Ligurila stepping onto him with her long legs and pointing a sword at his throat.
I knew that this man had similar facial features to that of Lishella’s, and that he was none other than Count Avar.
However, right now the patterns of his magical waves were nothing like that of any other human that I have encountered before.
Ligurila let out a sigh, and then spoke to the humanoid creature that was before us.
「…… Now this is a surprise. Whatever you were hoping to achieve by mingling with humans, my brethren?」
Yes, that’s right. Turns out that Count Avar was a demon all along.