18.2 Dia and the Last Ball
Dia was no longer needed by that kingdom—not as an indicator, or as anything.
They would kill Dia and convince themselves as doing the right thing as ‘humans who have lost their grace to a disaster’—then, without paying regard to the non-humans, they would insist that the forest was rightly theirs since the start.
If Dia died and nothing happened, the forest would soon be cleared, and a new farmland would be opened.
But Noin has told me.
—one more violation.
—that this is their last chance.
The next time the people of that kingdom touched his belongings, he would destroy that kingdom—and not one could stop him—not even himself.
Therefore, I shall die here—brilliantly.
When Dia disappears, there would be no more hesitation left towards clearing up the forest—
—there would also be nobody who knows the warning of the King of the Night.
No matter what would happen to that kingdom, it wouldn’t be something that Dia needed to worry about anymore—
—she wouldn’t know.
The beautiful kingdom which Dia found both precious and also hateful.
Just like how the people of Fashitar, who weren’t loved by magic, buried the non-humans under the term ‘fairy tale’, Dia too, didn’t need anything that didn’t care for her.
Towards those people, who had mercilessly killed everyone that was dear to Dia, compassion simply didn’t occur to her.
Thus, Dia screamed loudly—
—May her voice be heard by as many people as possible!
—May the plight of this pathetic Duchess arrive!
Even if she couldn’t wring their throats using her helpless hands, someday, it would occur to them that it was their own undoing which brought upon their demise—and her scream shall remind them of what exactly they did wrong!
“I truly hate all of you—! You think just because you’re always very kind and attentive to me, I would therefore repay in kind—! I hate how all of you can still feel such self-satisfaction, after having killed my family—! If you killed my family, then you should’ve also killed me right there and then—!”
“…Dia, what are you…”
“…Mother, let me take care of her—”
Standing up as if scared out of her senses, the Queen was then calmed by Ricardo.
One look at Ricardo’s expression already told her everything. He wasn’t scared at the prospect of Dia spilling the truth about what happened during that stormy night—and for some reason, she felt sad.
Certainly, rather than silencing Dia right then and there, it would be more effective and convenient to alter the contents of her confession later.
Surely, later, Ricardo would find a reason to convince the people that the purging of the Gillasfi family needed to be done.
He was a member of the royal family whilst Dia’s family was dead.
It was easy to imagine which would the people prioritize.
Even more so when Dia would die shortly after that—it probably helped simplify their reasonings.
“Diarashe… it is indeed as you say… we’ve indeed been blind to your suffering… but, it’s enough already, right? More than this, you can just talk directly to us… stop being such a hassle to everyone who is present…”
Ricardo’s words were very calming.
When Dia noticed a sobbing and turned towards it, the Queen was crying as she sat in the place where she previously stood, killing Dia’s heart a little more.
The hall was silent before she realized it.
People drew their breath as they looked at Dia’s appearance. No one dared to take her side. Because if they did, then surely, they wouldn’t leave the royal palace ground alive.
All the nobles who were chatting after giving their greetings were Ricardo’s guests and friends.
The women and the girls who were whispering in anxiety were all the friends of the Queen and the princesses. Other than that, the environment was carefully watched so that Dia couldn’t personally foster friendship with anyone. As the time passed, she grew even surer of it.
Dia was born and raised in that kingdom.
Even so, when she found out she truly had nothing, she felt unbearable sadness—it felt as if her chest would be torn apart.
A little later, she would die—but she didn’t even have a single person there who would mourn for her.
“Diarashe, I’ve always loved you… like my own child… but even that wasn’t enough for you, it seems… I should’ve known of your loneliness earlier…”
“Not really, Your Highness the Queen. I am lonely, sure, but it’s not like I can love any of you, anyway, and it’s not because we don’t understand each other—it’s just something I am unable to do.”
The Queen listened to the words of Dia, and she kept wailing and wailing.
The King held such a Queen’s shoulder, and even though she was behaving unreasonably, he felt obliged to protect his sad partner.
—why did you kill the family of your own little brother if you can love someone that way? How can you?
How could he wordlessly kill his own younger brother, who always laughed; saying that his older brother was very admirable and competent—as if he was simply cutting a ribbon with sharp scissors?
Dia only had one family, and if said family was taken away from her, she would have nothing else left.
—why did you do such a terrible thing?
What an unreasonable, ill-mannered, kind, loving, and an accursed man you are…
That kind of whom people would surely say, ‘that isn’t the case’.
Humans were very selfish creatures, so of course it would be natural for them to say so.
But if that was the case then, Dia would make them accept the same thing.
Because that isn’t the case.
Still, the fact remained that she couldn’t go anywhere.
“Diarashe… haven’t we been loving enough to you? Speaking of the purging, it may or may not have happened—but haven’t I loved you like a real daughter of mine?”
“…Your Highness the Queen, are you saying that simply because you loved me, it’s only my responsibility to love you back?”
“…I am sure you actually think of me as this utterly foolish, hopeless, child—and that’s the very reason why you treat me like someone important to you.”
Towards the Queen who was always showing a peaceful, benevolent, smile, Dia actually wanted to cry out loud.
Under such a beautiful and sad last night, it was revealed that those guys didn’t even have a shred of knowledge about the human being called Diarashe.
Because she didn’t want unnecessary hardships, she withheld extra words and actions—it was also to prevent from becoming neglected. Despite so, she never lived by hiding herself.
—and yet, why do you look at me happily like that?
As if they were expecting me to finally come forward with my loneliness…
Did it seriously not occur to them that revenge was her walking stick?
“You have always been kind and loving to me. Therefore, the cruelty and unreasonableness of it—I may be the only one to understand it until the end. But, shouldn’t the real question here be why would you still decide to kill me, even when you realize how desperately lonely I am, and how I shouldn’t be able to do anything else by all means?”
The Queen’s wavering voice caused Dia to smile.
The Queen’s cracked tone told her everything—
—‘you are in trouble now’.
—‘what you’ve just said, you can’t take it back anymore.’
—‘now that you know about it, you’ve passed the point of no return.’
The queen with a warm smile, who would sometimes show her a beautiful necklace or dress. The king who would show her his best horses and hawks—
—the days when Dia thought she would be able to live together forever with them; they would no longer come.
She would no longer receive a decorative, bejeweled, comb which was said to suit her—nor would she receive a gentle pat on the head, or hear a story of awesome an knight from the princesses whom were like sisters to her.
But Dia didn’t cry.
From there to the place she had decided to go, she shall walk towards it with her own two feet.
All of the aristocrats and knights gathered in that hall, even if they were Dia’s enemies, the one to draw the curtain shall be her and her alone.
That was the last pride of a miserable human who had everything she loved taken away.
Even if the result could only be illusory, and assumed at best. After all, Dia still had pride.
She stretched her back and looked straight ahead.
If Dia exacted her revenge as promised, then the King of the beautiful Night would fulfil the contract.
The words of Dia’s father was the truth—
—there were certainly non-humans living in that deep, lush forest—and these people would soon see that.
“My revenge will be this. I will never forgive all of you. What caused the people of Fashitar to be trapped in this land—what I mean by not forgiving you—eventually, you will know all of it, and also what did my family, who did their best to protect this kingdom, was trying to save all of you people from. …Farewell, ladies and gentlemen—as you wish, I shall depart.”
Widely, to the happiness that she would finally be free of that troublesome human life of Diarashe.
Always, I’ve always wanted to go somewhere far away… I wanted to be free, and see many, many beautiful things.
Such wishes could only come true once she was dead.
Even if Dia were to go to the Land of the Dead, she wouldn’t go to Fashitar on the Day of the Dead.
She would go to all the places she couldn’t go before—she would see everything she couldn’t see before.
Even if the hand Noin extended towards her was actually a disaster.
Even if she ended up dying like that.
Even if until the end, she was all alone.
Who was it, that uttered such a cry?
He attempted to take away the glass Dia had in her hand, with a crying face she had never seen before.
But Dia didn’t hesitate.
She put her lips to the glass and downed the Supri, which was foaming so brightly, it was unnatural.
The scent of snow daffodils was both fluffy and fragrant.
The raw taste of the Supri was so sweet, she felt nauseous.
The one who keep screaming so loudly—was it Ricardo?
The royal couple and the nobles who kept staring at her. The figure of Marietta, who fell down.
“PLEASE! SPIT IT OUT! I BEG OF YOU!” The one who desperately begged so was none other than her former fiancé.
Despite so, she only pushed him, and stood firmly—once and for all.
The skin of Ricardo’s fingertip, which was reaching for Dia, crystallized.
A general pulled Ricardo away from Dia—as if he never wanted Ricardo to touch her.
That day, in the beautiful palace of the Night Kingdom, she was looking up at the wonderful chandelier made of crystal and snow blessing stones.
Her father and mother took her to the place of the King of the Night, where the Duke of Gillasfi continued to pay homage as a form of penance for a thousand years.
By visiting there during the festive night and declaring themselves as the subjects of the King of the Night, the Gillasfi family was secretly atoning for the sins of the Kingdom of Fashitar—
—yet the people of their own kingdom had forgotten even such a thing.
The glitter of the chandelier started swaying due to her own tears—it swayed, just like that night, in the royal palace of the Night Kingdom.
Her body slanted, and began falling towards the cold stone floor without anyone attempting to catch her.
…I deserve this.
After all, I’ve destroyed this kingdom, which my family has continued to protect.
***T/N: …This is the kind of climax I’ve ever wanted, you guys.
The entire time, I kid you not, I was on the edge of my seat. “OMG!!! Is what she said the truth!? Will something actually happen?! Shit, shit, shit!! She might just be rambling!! For all we know, the royal families might not have intended to kill her all along, because, because there’s no way someone would be THAT evil, right?! Shit, why do we only have Dia’s narrative to rely on to gain insight about what kind of ppl the royal family are!? And so little!! We know almost next to nothing about them, we legit only have Dia’s words to rely on!! Why, Author, why!!! Even though the knowledge about the Kingdom of the Night realm is in abundance, why so little info about the royal family!?!?!? Why is there no guarantee that Dia’s words is the actual truth!?!?!? It’s hard to believe in her in entirety!!!–“
–but then I realized, perhaps that’s the real question all along.
That’s the biggest, sole, question this story is presenting to us.
I thought the real climax, the real purpose of this story is your typical WHAM!!! ON YOUR FACE!!! REVENGE that would be brought by the Spirit King, but it isn’t.
It isn’t about that at all. The revenge isn’t the focus of this story.
The Author gave a hefty sum of worldbuilding, create enough foundation to make us become in awe of the outsiders/ non-humans’ realm, giving a sense of security that ‘they’re powerful creatures!!! No one can stand up against them!!! Dia is okay now, because she has them on her side!!!” While at the same time, left the biggest, most important questions unanswered.
Is she truly in danger??? Is her adopted family as bad as she make it sounds??? What about her own family????
The Author is giving us a sense of security, and at the same time, a sense of peril.
Because we truly have no one else but Dia’s words to rely on.
She’s the only one who know about the “truth” that happened with her family. At the same time, she’s also the only one who has ever actually conversed with the non-humans–and for all we know, she might be delusional, she might have broken down due to the despair she felt, thus causing her to imagine about non-humans such as Noin and Dilvier–creating imaginary friends, as you may say.
Personally, I am taking Dia’s side, here. I believe the glass is filled with poison and she would die after she drank it. If everything she said was the truth, then it indeed make sense why no one else tried to reach out to her. Because she was isolated, while the royal family continues to strengthen their public images, therefore no one else would take her side on this. No one believed her. In the eyes of the bystanders, her screaming like that indeed could be simply perceived as ‘ah, that daughter of a borderline cult family is having a breakdown and start spilling bullshit about imaginary otherwordly forces yadda yadda…’
Dia was truly all alone, and for all we know, she might die as it is, and nothing would happen.
But man, I don’t want that for her.
I don’t want her to die alone and miserably like that. I just don’t want that.