Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 52 (Part 1)
We had dinner at the mansion today as well. Afterwards we all went up to an empty room on the second floor and practiced dancing.
Luca and Noel weren’t the only ones who knew how to dance. Camilla and Cindy, who had graduated from the royal academy, also knew how so we split up into pairs. Noel with Nina, Camilla with Bennet and Cindy with Miranda. Of course, Luca was the one guiding me.
As soon as I turned to face him, he placed one of his hands on my back and scooped up my right hand with his other. I knew this was going to happen, but it still made me depressed.
Luca immediately noticed my unhappy mood.
“S-sorry. Zagan also wanted to dance the male part, huh?”
“… No. I’m a beginner and I’m shorter than you. Also, it’s not like I can make the prince dance the female part. Don’t mind it too much.”
“Yeah. Thanks Zagan. I love you.”
He gave me a kiss on my cheek and then on the corner of my eye.
We were already half-hugging to start with and then he pulled me in closer, our bodies sticking together. This… it wasn’t that much different from usual.
Since I was just a beginner, the dance practice was hard, but it was rather fun as well. More than anything else Luca looked extremely happy and time flew by quickly.
I should practice as much as possible so that I don’t step on Luca’s foot on the actual day.
The morning of the next day, the 8th, Luca told me for the first time in a while that he wanted to train.
On the way here the girls fought off the monsters while Luca and I didn’t do anything, so apparently he wanted to train so that his skills wouldn’t become rusty. I became his training partner.
It was the first time Luca had chosen me as his training partner. The time we had together at the start of August was all spent working on the magic barrier. At the beginning of October I was still in bad shape and by the end of the month I was working on the barrier again. I hadn’t finished remodifying the device yet, but the deadline was at the end of December so I had plenty of time.
More importantly, I needed to get stronger so that Orobas would approve of me. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to save Lune from the demonic essence.
Our policy had been to stay away from the Dark Organization as they continued to collect demonic essence. We were going around from city to city clearing dungeons. Trying to find out where they were hiding would have been a hassle.
Furthermore, in order to persuade Soleil, we had to talk with Lune and get her to lift the seal. However, we didn’t know exactly where inside the capitol Lune was. Which was why our plan wasn’t to stop her from being resurrected as an Evil God, but to return her to her senses once she did appear.
If we could get Lune to lift Soleil’s seal, Luca would then take care of everything else. I believed in him.
That very same Luca stood in the middle of the wide yard facing me. Both of us had wooden weapons and we weren’t allowed to use spells so as not to destroy the yard. Strengthening the body with mana was allowed, but magic walls weren’t. Since the weapons were made out of wood we wouldn’t get hurt even if we didn’t use any magic walls.
Since it was just practice, we started it out by striking lightly while calling out the attack. However, as neither one of us could get an attack in this way, we decided to move on to the real thing.
I was surprised to find that most of my attacks were blocked by Luca. He had specialized in swordsmanship from the start, but still, before I knew it, he’d become this strong. I would still win against him if I used spells and magic defense, but that wouldn’t be the case for very long. It would be frustrating to lose to Luca so I better do my best to get stronger as well.
Around three hours went by like this – sparring so heated I was drenched in sweat. Noel, who’d been observing us, looked between Luca and I, anxious. It was fun though.
After having lunch we all made our way back to the adventurer’s guild. The task we were given was to clean the area around the square with the water fountain and to hang up decorations. It seems the square would be used as a break area on the day of the art festival.
There were already a number of food and accessory wagons lined up in the square and there was also a sign advertising free wine that got Miranda very excited.
I didn’t know much about art, but since I also wanted to drink some wine, I’d work hard.
Luca and I went from lamppost to lamppost hanging strings of triangular flag decorations – flag garlands of sorts. Since we could use our tentacles, we had no problem working in high places. Plus, the garlands were attached at regular intervals so we just had to hook them on the lampposts.
Still I was mostly just holding the garlands and Luca was the one doing the actual hanging. It’s because my black tentacles would look too ominous and might frighten the citizens. It was kind of unfair that the very same type of condensed mana would be considered pretty instead of ominous just because of its soft glow and lighter colour.
Luca looked at me questioningly when I pouted.
“What’s wrong Zagan? Is there a problem?”
I felt pathetic having an inferiority complex over something that couldn’t be helped and had to avoid Luca’s eyes. As I did, I happened to see something floating into the sky. It was a balloon.
A little bit further away I spotted a young girl who had fallen and was crying. The adult next to her reached out to grab the balloon, but it had already floated about five meters into the air and she couldn’t reach it.
On reflex, I extended three tentacles towards the balloon. The tips of the tentacles curled into hooks to stop the balloon from drifting further away. Then, carefully so as not to pop it, I grabbed onto the balloon with my tentacles and slowly brought it towards me. Grabbing onto the balloon’s string, I quickly made the tentacle disappear.
“Hey Luca, bring this over to that kid.”
“You’re the one who grabbed it for her, can’t you hand it over?”
“I’m a dark attribute user.”
“That’s right. Zagan is so nice, catching the balloon for that little girl.”
Luca wouldn’t take the balloon from me, instead pushing me towards where that girl was.
Noel, who had been working nearby, was using a healing spell on the girl’s knee. The adult that was with the kid, probably her mother, was bowing to Noel, thanking her again and again. When Noel saw us coming she smiled brightly.
“Zagan-dono. Look, this onii-san brought your balloon back for you.”
At Noel’s words, both the girl and the mom turned my way. The mom let out a little shriek when she saw me. Well, yeah, that’s how things were. The girl just stared at me.
Anyway, it didn’t seem like she was scared so I tried handing her the balloon.
“Hold on to it carefully so that it doesn’t fly away again.” I said as gently as possible so as not to scare her.
Maybe that’s why she reached her small hand towards the balloon and firmly grabbed on to the string.
“Th-thank you, onii-chan.”
The girl took her balloon and went back to staring at me. I didn’t know why so I tilted my head at her. She blushed and hid behind her mother. I see…
“Yup yup. I know how you feel — Zagan is so cool and beautiful, I get shy too. But he’s mine, ok?”
Please don’t go picking fights with kids. Don’t hug my waist and put your cheek on my head to show it off either. I was the one getting embarrassed here.
Also, when the girl noticed Luca, her face got even redder. She’d definitely been captivated by the sweet aura of the super-ikemen prince.
“Um. Thank you.”
While I was being exasperated by Luca’s behavior, the mom bowed to thank us. When she lifted her head she looked at Luca and Noel and at me as well. It was surprising… I was happy about it though.
The mother and daughter left holding hands. We talked to Noel for a bit and then went back to work.
Several minutes after that, I sensed a strong ill-will directed towards me.
The bloodlust I’d felt yesterday had probably been emitted subconsciously, which was why I could only feel a little bit of it and why Luca didn’t react either. Currently though, a very clear hatred was directed towards me.
It wasn’t simply bloodlust. She didn’t want to kill me.
Knowing that made me relieved. If she had turned her blade on me, I would have had to confront her, no questions asked.
When I sighed, Luca hugged my waist and planted a kiss on my hair.
“Should we try talking to her later?”
“… if it’s just that she doesn’t like me then it’s best if we just leave her alone.”
I’d felt a similar level of hatred from Miranda when the two of us first met so I didn’t really mind it.
But… what would happen if Noel started to notice it?
“If it’s something that might ruin their relationship, I think we should point it out to her first.”
“I see. Then I’ll try talking to her later.”
Though I’d decided to talk to her, I was still worried. Wouldn’t it put a strain on her relationship with Noel?
Luca pulled my head to him as I worried and patted it as if to comfort me.