4.1 Spices and the King
“You are the King of the Night, correct?”
After Dia had finished eating the potato pie, she looked at the empty plate rather sadly.
Dia was in a kitchen of the Royal Palace. There was no one else beside her. Thus, she attempted to make small talk with the man who possessed otherworldly beauty.
She also recalled how that long, silver, gleaming hair could only belong to a creature that would descended from his night throne during the winter solstice—also known as the day with the longest night.
…that previous appearance of his was so mesmerizing. Won’t he transform into that figure anymore…?
It seemed that even though he was a different entity, he still found the long hair to be a hassle. As such, he shifted into another completely different appearance.
Perhaps it was just as those pagan magicians had theorized—that he could manifest into an entirely different form.
It was such a mysterious experience to be able to exchange words with the outsider who reigned over the night like this. Not to mention, while being surrounded by the aroma of minced meat, which was stewed in a neatly polished pot, about to become potato pie’s stuffing.
Outside, snow was probably falling.
The light that shone through the large window made of expensive spring crystal—probably purchased from a foreign kingdom somewhere—showed the dull gray sky, enshrouded by snow clouds. In the dim light, the kitchen cookware and cupboards took on an unfamiliar afterglow.
Dia wondered if she should wash the used dishes and the like. But the light blue haired man shook his head towards her.
…his hair shines like a jewel… it’s really beautiful.
His loose curly hair, retaining some of the silvery glow she had seen before, was mixed with the hue of the night. The length reached around the middle of his back.
In his current appearance, his locks of hair were gathered together and tied using a single, wide, velvet ribbon. Even though he was a man, the scent wafting from his hair made her heart throb.
Silver hair was common amongst the people of her kingdom—despite so, Dia’s hair color was darker. But no matter the state of the light, her hair wouldn’t sparkle like his. His sparkled like a gem being shone on by moonlight.
There was also the otherworldly charm it exuded, which made Dia wanted to reach and caress it gently.
But, she reminded herself—he wasn’t human.
He wasn’t as gentle and as simple as those kind spirits in fairy tale.
There should be reason for his appearance at Royal Palace of Fashitar—in short, if she wasn’t prepared to lose her fingertips, she shouldn’t carelessly touch him.
“Certainly, the people of your kingdom sometimes call me that. But, there are many elements to be presided over for said throne to stand. Likewise, if we’re only talking about controlling the night in its entirety here, it would be more precise to call me, ‘The Spirit King of Midnight’.”
“I see, basically, by saying ‘King of the Night’—instead of only referring to you, I would also be referring to other authority figures of the night kingdom…”
“Amongst the creatures of the night, there are also those that feed on human. You would basically be baiting them to eat you if you addressed them vaguely.”
It seemed that there were many creatures of the night…
Among them, was the ‘Midnight Thrones’, which was ruled by the King who presided over the night. They had higher ranks, and were said to be kings of all night creatures. They also ruled over various night factions.
“Back at the matter at hand, from now on, I shall refer to you as ‘Potato Pie’.”
“Absolutely not. …Noin, call me that.”
“That name doesn’t encompass everything, but it’s enough to connect with me. You got it? Don’t ever think of referring to me in such a weird way again.”
It seemed that name had a high value for the creature of the night.
Despite acquiring incredible knowledge regarding the diversity of the night creatures, Dia also felt that there was an inerasable distance between them for they belonged to two entirely different worlds.
It was because even if the night kingdom had such diverse creatures, had such magnificent ‘Midnight Thrones’, was reigned by the Spirit King of Midnight—in all actuality, they all had little to nothing to do with Dia’s life.
There was a King of the Night Entrance and also the King of the Night Prime.
The former reigned over the forlornness of the night while the other reigned over the fulfillment of the night. There were also those that governed over the passage of the two—the Twilight Transport.
…there are a lot of entities in this world that I don’t know about.
Is there no other nonhuman in this place?
If Dia’s Father had been close to a certain dragon to the point that they were like family, she would have definitely liked to meet that dragon at least once.
Knowledge was fulfilment.
If she were to look at the world through new knowledge, it would be as colorful as looking into a kaleidoscope.
The people of Fashitar Kingdom were no longer be able to glimpse fairies playing amongst flowers—that thought felt a bit lonely to her.
In a kingdom abundance with magic, ink was produced by fairies.
Such ink was capable of floating like birds—of course, Dia had never seen such.
“…in foreign land, it’s even a norm to live alongside fairies and dragons. I wish more people would be aware of that, but in this kingdom, it seems that such things are doomed to oblivion.”
“Well, the people of this kingdom justified clearing the forest without permission with oblivion. Certainly, that’s a very human thing to do.”
Listening to his words, she felt a slight chill ran through her back.
After the tragedy of the Duke Gillasfi, the forest, which belonged to the Night Kings, was cleared a little.
Immediately afterwards, the quality of the harvested crystals dropped immensely, but still, many areas were turned into fields.
This man is aware of that, naturally. If that’s the case, I wonder if he knows the reason for the tragedy that befell my house…
“Unfortunately, it is such. The joy of living alongside unrivalled creatures doesn’t exist for the people of Fashitar who possessed little magical prowess. I always wondered why the people of this kingdom force the days they spent living alongside unrivalled creatures to be and remain as fairy tales.”
For Dia, it was the strangest thing ever.
At Fashitar, various blessing stones and minerals could be mined. Forest crystals were formed by the magic accumulated in the rich forest.
Curses, plagues, and night terrors were all in the realm of magic.
Foreign messengers sometimes brought in wanderers, and some of the peddlers were high-ranking magicians.
In the first place, there was that term, magic zone. There were also instruments and potions with magical elements.
—despite so, why was it that in Fashitar everything that went beyond human reasoning had to be locked in the cage that was, ‘fairy tales’?
Nothing else was stranger than that.
“…it’s so they could go on living, isn’t it?”
“’So they could go on living’?”
“Indeed. A very wonderful thing that shines brilliantly—everyone has that kind of thing, don’t they? That kind of thing that no matter what they do, can never be attained. There is a beautiful, bountiful place out there, but they can’t survive there. How terrible and sad such a thing is! Hence why, the people of Fashitar decided to treat those things as if they didn’t exist. However, there was the Duke of Gillasfi family, who reverenced the things everyone else wanted to look away from. …That’s when I finally understood why my family was killed—it was something that had to be done.”
Around this time, Dia had finally understood everything.
The prospect of leaving the forest untouched, led by the suggestion of Duke of Gillasfi, would have been very sweet.
There had to be a way were both sides could survive.
Despite that, the Royal Family, the higher-ups who lead the Imperial City—all chose to purge the Gillasfi Family.
“…My family was purged because they threatened the hearts of the people. Those who were hungry said that there was definitely something special in that forest—but that didn’t mean they sided with us. To be forced to honor the forest while being tormented with starvation—no one could see the reason why they should protect the forest. It’s my parents who didn’t understand their pleas. …It’s us who were arrogant.”
The Duke of Gillasfi, who once served a vital role in the ritual, was at his peak of success when the starvation occurred.
Because of their wealth, the Gillasfi family was ignorant to the cruelty of their opposition.
They were akin to the end of a rotted root that would threaten the entire plant if not cut off.
Dia understood everything—but the coldness of the understanding almost cost Dia her heart.
…they killed a few to save many. Even though the entire kingdom is akin to a miniature garden that is ignorant to the outside world, they still made the right decision… the Royal Family was born to rule…
Clenching her hand tightly, Dia was staring at the empty plate that once contained a potato pie.
Dia had always wanted to cry because she was left and deprived of everyone she had. But if Dia were to be consumed by said suffering, the kingdom would no doubt end her too.
Even though it would have actually been better to kill Dia that day, alongside everyone.
…I wonder why Ricardo made me his fiancé…?
Considering her age at that time, she would certainly discover the actual reason why her family was purged.
To put the surviving Dia under their protection was nothing more than leaving a thorn in the kingdom.
If the reason was because they were compassionate due to her being a child, then the other children in her house—the servants, her siblings—everyone would have also been spared.
…why now? Of all the times, why do they try to kill me now? No, perhaps, back then, I survived because they didn’t try to kill me—I wonder if they didn’t kill me so I would stay quiet a little longer?
***T/N: So they can choke you with idealism and justifications as to why your family had to be killed, Dia. Very heartrending.
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