4.2 Spices and the King
Noin uttered, “If having a pride is a crime, then I would have more than enough reason to eliminate everyone of this kingdom. Harvesting the forest to cultivate fields are something I could overlook, but not crime with intent.”
Dia, whom was about to sink into her thoughts, returned to reality because of his voice.
…it seemed like she had completely forgotten that Noin was sitting in front of her.
“Well… are you saying that for my sake?”
Other than that, suddenly, Noin for some reason looked awfully sullen.
“You don’t seem like someone who wants to die in the slightest, but, even if you did—do you think I am a merciful enough existence to make your wish come true just like that?”
His fingertips extended towards Dia’s throat.
Certainly, that man seemed like one who would grant life to those who wanted to die, and death to those who wanted to live instead.
“No, it is as you say—I don’t want to die. …I haven’t forgiven the people of this kingdom, yet.”
Dia’s words were awarded with silence.
When she looked up, those purple eyes, which were supposed to be bright, were dark.
At that moment, she looked up at the creature that could easily kill her. One whom was also considered heretical by the people of her kingdom. It made her feel happy.
“…you have been deprived of your family, and also have been poisoned—what is there left to your value?”
“No matter how little, no matter how valueless it is from the perspective of others—this is my heart I’m talking about. It’s my one and only possession—my sole treasure. Can’t I at least offer it to someone as a payment for something?”
“If that’s the case, then even that hatred of yours is beautiful to you. If all you wanted to do is die without a fight while bearing such hatred, just throw away your heart. Keeping it will only rot you from the inside out.”
…ah, I see, this man…
…he finds me boring.
He looked fed up, and had lost interest.
Knowing that, Dia quietly sighed.
Even after knowing her predicament, he acted as if it was none of his business. Instead, he wanted her to become his plaything.
His suggestion too, wasn’t to Dia’s desire.
“Even if it seems meaningless to you, that still doesn’t mean that I should give up on my way. I live in the Royal Palace because no matter how my magic prowess differs from other people, I’m still but a person of Fashitar. I can only live in this land.”
Dia could have gone anywhere else.
However, reality existed before her dreams and hopes—she didn’t have the ability to make her wish come true.
Dia wasn’t strong enough to do anything she wanted to do.
“I’m not particularly intelligent, nor do I have any kind of secret magic or skill. As much as I want to, I can’t compete against those who are far more knowledgeable. I’m not the most beautiful, I’m not good at martial arts, nor am I good at riding. …as such, how do I escape from here? Noin, I’m also not a merciful person—my heart is no longer innocent. I’m but a selfish, lazy, and also a cute person who just wants to live a comfortable life free of problems. Therefore, I won’t be a fun plaything for you.”
“…It looks like so. Good grief, what a wake-up call.”
“Fufu, even someone like you can confuses something that can amuse you with something that can’t.”
When Dia laughed, Noin looked at her, stunned.
However, when compared to the previous expression he wore that had frightened her, his current expression was really tame. Only traces of his previous brutality remained there.
That entity surely was aware that ruthlessness and brutality only added to his beauty. Dia realized that even though he taught her a lot, he didn’t actually tell her what faction or genealogy he belong to, nor what his activities entailed during the night.
She obviously couldn’t stand up against that entity, who was not only high-ranking, but also lived far longer than humans. Nevertheless, Dia found it a bit frustrating at how fast she ended up completely adoring that beautiful creature.
However—Dia tilted her head again, considering that at the current rate, she might be turned into glowing petals…
…there’s no way I can escape from such a person. Being fully aware that I might end up being turned into petals at any given chance, would rampaging here be a wise choice?
Her stomach was full but, what could a weak, bare-footed girl like her do?
What if she tried to trick him with acting? But the consequences would be much worse once he found out the truth. It seemed that she had to show some serious resistance.
In any case, while she couldn’t expect any assistance from him, she didn’t want to suffer and die either.
“First, I’ll have to collect payment from having fed you.”
“I guess it’s only right for me to pay… but, can we hold off the payment for a bit? In fact, I’m still a bit hungry, with those seasonings over there, won’t you let me have those crushed potatoes left in the bowl?”
“…no, haven’t you eaten enough already? Too much, in fact. Look at that plate in front of you. No matter how you think about it, a single person devouring that much—“
“…I’m not sure about what you are talking about?”
To Dia, who was puzzled and tilted her head, Noin’s expression became stern.
This is my chance…!
Dia rushed to the spice rack with a small plate in front of herself. The smallness of the plate told her that the plate used for that potato pie was indeed large and one of its kind.
She shook her head, standing before the seasoning shelf as she tried to recall a hazy memory.
…certainly, in the novel Princess Zefa lent me, there’s a story about bandits being fought off with spices.
She didn’t know if the spices would work against the King of the Night, but if it didn’t work, she could at least say that she gave her utmost despite the unlikely situation, right? At the very least, she didn’t go down without a fight.
Albeit, who could tell whether or not he would turn her into petals instantly if he got angry…
As a side note, the people of Fashitar loved spicy things.
There were many men who drank strong liquor to enjoy the long night. They would usually eat spicy sausages and dried meat with it. The habit spread, and the whole nation gradually became fond of spicy things.
Therefore a lot of spicy spices were prepared in the kitchen of the Royal Palace of Fashitar.
As such, Dia was familiar with the different types of spices as they were placed on the table for use during the meal.
She took a hold of a spicy oil which had just arrived from a foreign kingdom, one rumored to be extremely spicy. She poured it onto the small plate.
Then, she mixed plenty of pepper, pungent spices, etc, and as the final touch, the leaves of summer grass which were dried in order to produce a color that would deceive the eye. The summer grass itself was spicy, even if the amount was only a pinch.
To ensure the effectiveness, she laced the content of the plate with a strong alcoholic drink called Colhem, which was usually used to flavor dishes in order to retain the liquid inside. At last, she managed to finish it—it came out better than expected.
She nodded with dignity, before returning to the previous location with a small plate full of spices and the leftover potatoes. Her hands were full.
Despite appearing a little unnerved, Noin didn’t seem to care about Dia’s preference in seasoning.
“…Looking at the current you makes me fail to comprehend the reason why the Royal Family chose to take you in, much less make you the First Prince’s fiancée.”
“That’s a very rude thing to say to a maiden with a delicate heart—but I’m also surprised that you know a lot about me.”
“I’m just killing time. How would I be able to take advantage of something without knowing its characteristics?”
“…well, as expected, you would think that way.”
Usually, in the story, a human who was confronted by a nonhuman who knew so much about them would be terribly frightened. In fact, such may had been the case.
In order to play a piece-taking board game with Ricardo, Dia studied a lot regarding such a thing.
Towards an outsider who possessed wisdom no human could never have, there were many ways to learn how to take advantage of that.
Dia hurled the small plate at Noin’s face.
No matter how brutal the opponent was, there was no better opportunity to launch an attack other than amidst a conversation.
It occurred to her that the outsider might deploy an invisible shield or something to block her attack, however, Dia’s special spice mix hit Noin square in the face.
The mix of the liquid and spice of red and green splattered around—it looked like a murder site. However, she didn’t need to worry about cleaning up because she would be turned into petals anyway.
Dia, who had thought so, looked at the figure who had fallen to the floor from the top of a chair, and rolled her eyes.
It seemed that she had created something even more vicious than she thought.
“…well, it seems that I have murdered the King of the Night.”
That was how Dia met Noin.
After that incident, she inadvertently became his prey. He prevented her from being killed on spot, but that didn’t mean he became a friend of Dia’s.
As if to prove it, even when Dia’s food was poisoned again the following day, even when Dia came down with a fever, all he muttered was. “…Foolish human.”
He’s a high-ranking entity, and possessed a menacing side to him.
If he get tired of that place, he would surely abandon it. Even more so if he felt displeased—he would surely destroy everything, including Dia.
Even so, even if he was a creature like that, even though his words would bite her like sharp fangs, Dia secretly enjoyed those fun but strange days when the King of the Night decided to come and play.
However, ever since that day, Dia had begun thinking—
—no, it was ever since that stormy day, she had been thinking.
Why was the otherwise nonhuman Noin able to understand things that the people of the Royal Palace didn’t?
***T/N: weeeeeeeeeellllllll because HE LOVES YOU!!!!!!! He didn’t kill you on spot after you throw a plateful of spices at his face, THAT’S ALREADY AN OBVIOUS SIGN–YOU. GUYS. SHOULD. GET. MARRIED!!!! ///Translator’s presumptiousness is at it today///
Good good, will Dia go down the revenge path?