12.1 The Night and the Food
- This chapter is from Noin’s perspective
It was at the bottom of a very dark night, where the shine of the lineage of stars didn’t reach. The magical floor was woven using the night.
The squeaking noises might had been caused by the open door, swinging because of the wind.
It wasn’t because someone forgot to close it, but because that place was a shadow of what it once was—a replica. Therefore, just like in the original, the door was left open.
A ruined royal palace that wasn’t suitable for a festive night. Inside, three men gathered around a large round table of night crystals.
There was a large vase filled with flowers in the center of the round table, but it had been pushed to the edge because it interfered with business negotiations.
Somewhere, there was the rustling sound of a bell—was that an echo from the original era?
That place was a replica of a kingdom that fell to ruin a long time ago. The reason it kept being used until now by many non-humans was because that place provided a good magical stability.
The skylight was made of large stained glass that should’ve been lost due to the war—it reflected the night sky and scattered vivid colors. It carried the wisdom of magic that had been passed around.
The skylight thus casted a replicated pattern using the light, conjuring up fine spells to prevent other genealogies from appearing inside as they pleased.
Suffice to say, no matter how rich the night was, it was never a good place for Noin.
However, he had been stuck in said place since last night.
“Now, let’s form a formal contract under this magical pledge.”
Looking at the magical contract spread on the table, Noin exhaled a sigh—finally, we reach this point.
The contract was woven using yarn spun from snowflakes and winter maple, after the materials had been crystalized and thinly scraped. The writing on the paper used ink made of a gem that harbored the magic of sacrificed stars.
The mixture had always been used in ancient contracts for business talks between demons and spirits.
Due to the difference between genealogies, selecting materials for contract that was friendly for both lineages required extraneous effort.
“…My, my, isn’t this too advantageous for the company? You’re reaping too much, even though we also need Fashitar’s liquor to spend the midnight.”
“Ah, if that is the case, will compensation to the next lineage also be increased? Our brokerage fee is also included.”
“…Damn, I can see where you’re going with this. …Leave it as it is.”
“Then, we shall proceed.”
Sitting across from Noin was a black-haired man who governed a world-class firm, the Ax Company.
He was a demon that controlled desires. He had straight, long, hair and wore a jet-black three-piece outfit. Purple smoke rose from his slender cigarette.
All of the higher ranks loved to revel in their authority through ugliness, but, as for that man—
—the dark eyes behind his silver-rimmed glasses are dark and severe. It could be said that his axis of impression laid in his wisdom rather than beauty.
Noin knew his name was Isaac, but since Noin was a spirit, he tried to avoid calling his name as much as he could.
Since demons and spirits lived in two different realms, he wanted to avoid frequently connecting with said demon—because such was the magic that dwelled in names.
Such a desire demon was visiting that place for a business negotiation that was held by the Midnight Throne.
The demon was offered several contracts that weren’t irrelevant to his businesses.
…But, who would’ve thought it would be this time-consuming…
Thinking bitterly, Noin thought about a certain human who would be spending the night of Evemeria in that room.
It was a festival night.
He planned to be at her side tonight, preparing variety of warm dishes and feeding her—
—but, he had been trapped in that place since last night, instead.
There’s no problem since Dilvier is there, but still…
But still, the feeling of fulfilment was completely different when he entrusted it to other people like that.
Dia was a contractor—she had signed a contract with Noin, which would last until tomorrow night.
The black magic he casted to accompany her throbbed.
It was a name that marked the end of an old promise;
The name of a child he thought of killing, but ended up being unable to do so;
The name of a person he kept on loving despite her choice;
…and also the name of someone he tirelessly provided half-hearted, lazy, protections.
Looking at the hand of the desire demon, which was writing a pledge, Noin struck his fingertip at a written statement on the contract—it was regarding the price.
For him to pay such a grand price just for the sake of one person…
…perhaps, that person was still special to him, after all.
No, her existence had become something special to him.
Dia was the child of a family of human squires who attended the ball of Midnight Throne thirteen years ago.
Believing no one had seen her, the daughter of the Duke of Gillasfi—with that petite body of hers, cunningly tried to steal the spirit’s food. Enjoying the beautiful night, her blue eyes sparkled with joy.
Such innocent delight stopped Noin at his tracks.
Then, oh, so she’s this kind of child, he thought.
The night had many qualities—
—beauty, loneliness, meditation, and fulfilment.
…Also destruction, fear, delight, and art.
While the king controlled the night itself, each of the highest-ranking spirits of the night—the Midnight Throne, had different qualities of night to control—
—and the child had apparently found joy within what Noin governed.
Perhaps, that was why Noin chose that human child.
But, in truth, there really was no reason at all.
He just found her to be his one and only, thus sincerely yearned for her.
Not knowing his lack of reason at that time, the cheerful Noin would end up paying for the price of one’s pride.
On that stormy night, Noin heard a helpless, quivering, whisper of someone—only after a moment did he realize said whisper was beckoning for him.
Someone wished for him that desperately even though they didn’t know his name?
Noin stopped to pleasantly wonder about such a question—
—however, during the time Noin hadn’t responded, she had lost her entire family.
How long had it been before he realized it was that child’s voice?
He rushed in a frightful hurry, only to find the child bleeding from her head—she was dying.
In his fury, he thought about destroying the people who had ransacked her house. But people were fragile creatures that were vulnerable to magic.
Therefore, he wouldn’t be able to use his strength without also killing that child.
He waved his hand and unleashed the magic of the Midnight Throne, stopping the knights and putting them to sleep.
For the first time, his fingertips stroked Dia’s trembling cheeks—
—she was a very important, precious, child that Noin wished to be his life companion.
The child was crying and trying to say something, but then she looked around the mansion that had been put into slumber by Noin.
Her blue eyes wavered as she blinked.
He would never forget her shattered emotion at that moment.
From her once shining heart, her once gleaming blue eyes—something had died.
The blue eyes were now filled with unbearable disappointment and despair.
It was at that night he bore witness to the fallen hope of his beloved someone—said hope died in his arms.
***T/N: Finally! Noin’s perspective is here! W-what!? Noin ruled FOOD?! DIA, HOLD FAST TO HIM–HOLD FAST, AND NEVER LET GO! THIS MAN IS EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR DREAMS COMING TRUE!