146. The Battle Maiden is Raising a Black Dragon (36)
Fortunately, employment at a bakery could be found in Radea on the first day of arrival. The free city of Radea had doubled its food-related demands and job vacancies due to the increased eating habits of the imperial army had appeared.
Thanks to that, Hadith was hired by at a small, old-fashioned, bakery run by a hunchbacked, lone, grandma. The moment she ate the bread served by Hadith, she accepted Hadith’s application. Hadith received favorable treatment—he was allowed to live at his workplace.
Not only had the Kratos military and the imperial army, who was there to protect the Dragon Princess’ sacred relic, entered the castle, large amounts of food were delivered there every day. As such, the city tended to exhaust its supply of food. The grandma, whose eyes were getting worse and was on the verge of retirement, seemed to believe that if she increased the number of her workers, the people in the city would be able to eat bread. The grandma was so kind, she hired Hadith out of trust and let him work unsupervised. Hadith wanted to do his best because the grandma liked his bread. While laughing, the grandma said that his bread was delicious.
On the second day, when Hadith peddled the bread he had baked, he quickly became popular. The bread was thereby known as, ‘Bread sold by a handsome beauty.’
On the 4th day, a line formed in front of the store. As such, there was no need for Hadith to peddle. It wasn’t every day that the grandma experienced such a huge sale. She gave half of the profit to Hadith.
On the 5th, he received a summon from the army.
The grandma was willing to allow Hadith to deliver his bread, saying that even a soldier would want to eat it. Hadith left the recipe, and found a substitute for himself. While carrying 300 pieces of baked bread, Hadith entered the castle occupied by the imperial army.
This was unexpectedly quick.
Rave was amazed by Hadith’s nonchalant remark.
“Although, if you had revealed that you’re the emperor, you’d surely have been brought here on the first day.”
I’d have been escorted to the prison instead, though.
“You have to be careful, then. You must keep yourself from coming of like a weirdo by talking to me.”
If so, don’t talk.
While responding to Rave inwardly, Hadith was guided by one of the soldiers and proceeded through the castle. Some soldiers were training and chatting in the square. It was a peaceful sight.
However, the number of people was less than he expected. For some reason, he was taken to the grounds behind the castle and was put on a wagon. The wagon driver, whom was also a soldier, explained Hadith who tilted his head.
“I want to take you to the temple of the Dragon Princess. There are many soldiers keeping guard there. The general wants them to enjoy delicious food.”
“General… by that, you mean, General South?”
He could vaguely remember the face of the general. The general possessed a study physique. Rumors were swirling in the city that he was the one unifying the imperial army. That man had a boisterous laugh and seemed to be quite the optimist.
“That’s right. As long as he’s there, Radea won’t fall, so don’t worry.”
“It’s probably the order of the former lord, Duke Radea. Thank you.”
“I don’t know what the aide will do until the next Duke of Radea is decided.”
“Can he be depended on?” A resident of the city, whom was in the same wagon as Hadith, laughed.
“I want to avoid starting any kind of trouble with Kratos, but that aide is too supportive of Kratos—overwhelmingly so!”
“It seems like a guest will come from Kratos again, soon. What are the higher-ups in the imperial capital doing, leaving such an aide alone…?”
“The emperor has penchant for little girls. He even tried to leave this territory to an eleven-year-old child.”
“He’s the worst.”
The people on the wagon laughed together.
The people of that city were supportive because they truly believed the imperial army had come to protect the Dragon Princess’ sacred relic. They even believed that the economy would take a brighter turn. They’d surely have a difficult time believing that the country’s funds had been taken out of the national treasury without permission.
Although that was solved thanks to Vissel, Hadith felt some mixed emotions when he recalled Listeard’s suffering. Listeard had to struggle with the budget every night.
How troublesome. Under present circumstances, even if the imperial army did protect the Dragon Princess’ sacred relic from Kratos, they’d only end a target for disposal …because they didn’t obtain permission.
However, if the imperial army were to be disposed, the city of Radea would surely criticize that decision. Vissel’s idea, which was to dispose of everyone suspected of being a rebel because it was all too troublesome, began to sound reasonable.
Except, Jill wouldn’t be happy with that.
“…Having a wife is hard.”
“Don’t wander off on your own, or you’ll be suspected of being a spy.”
Hadith nodded at the soldier’s warning and entered the temple. There shouldn’t have been too many soldiers stationed there. However, because of how small the temple was, the place appeared to be packed with security. The Dragon Princess’ sacred relic was tightly sealed by magic. It was impossible for just anyone to carry it out or even manifest it. Because the relic itself couldn’t be moved anywhere else, there was no choice but to increase the number of guards.
The reason why it had previously been left unguarded, with almost no security, was because even the Goddess of Kratos couldn’t handle the relic. It was a special relic that wouldn’t manifest unless the Dragon Princess herself appeared.
The Dragon Princess also couldn’t be one in name only, but a bride who had been blessed by the Dragon God, Rave. That many people doubted the existence of the Dragon Princess’ sacred relic was understandable seeing that it only manifested once every 100 years.
Even Hadith was a little skeptical.
“It really exists! It manifested around 300 years ago!”
The Dragon God scolded Hadith. With so many people around him, Hadith internally rebuked him.
Which is exactly why the information is unreliable. That’s 300 year old information! In the first place, you don’t even remember the place!
“Hey, not only have I lost my status as a deity, unlike the Goddess, I fell into slumber without a vessel called the Dragon Emperor. You can’t blame me for that.
You call yourself a Dragon God, yet can’t even recall the reason why you lost your status as a deity in the first place.
“You’re being unreasonable! If you want to complain, complain to the Goddess! She’s most likely the reason why I lost my status as a deity!”
So, what are we going to do now? Will the Dragon Princess’ sacred relic truly manifest?
Hadith confirmed by looking at the back of the temple. An aura similar to the heavenly sword could be felt coming there.
“It does exist. However, Little Miss lost her gold ring—therefore, it won’t manifest.”
The sacred relic might not be usable until the gold ring, that was, Jill’s magical power, returned. However, it’d be a problem if the sacred relic ended up stolen by Kratos. The Dragon Princess’ sacred relic was akin to the heavenly sword—it was a god’s weapon. If that sexual predator of a Goddess were to get her hands on said relic, only the Gods knew what she’d use it for.
Besides, if the Dragon Princess’ sacred relic were to be retrieved, everyone would have no choice but to acknowledge Jill as the Dragon Princess—both in reality, and in name—even if the engagement ceremony and wedding weren’t possible. Just like how they had no choice but to admit that Hadith was the Dragon Emperor because he possessed the heavenly sword.
Of course, I’ll still find a way for us to have an engagement ceremony and a wedding!
“Hey, open the temple now! We’re ready to welcome the guests from Kratos!”
The high-pitched scream of a man broke Hadith’s joyful fantasy.
***T/N: ///in a menacing tone///…Hadith Wick, the Baba Yaga of bakery world, he once infiltrated a tightly-guarded temple… with bread.