My Demon Queen
Upon completion, I now have a gist understanding of how 'science' works. Rather than it being an extension of life, it seeks to explain the already natural phenomenon that happens all around us. Unlink magic which requires the intensive study of the new, science was taking the already present and reconstructing it anew.
At least-- such was my opinion.
Putting his book down, he approached me. To speak the truth, I do find Noel similar to myself in the sense that he is diligent in his studies.
"Let's play a game, look."
Flashing a confused expression, I took to the display of his 'phone' that I could never seem to get used to.
Current Points: 195
Quests: Gaining affection:
Play around with her hair. 10P
Learn about her favorite food. 20P
Quests: Gaining trust:
*Find something that both you and Liliath agree with. 10P
Play hide and seek with Liliath, 2 rounds. 20P
Quests will be refreshed daily. Quests that have been completed will be prioritized else the user can select up to 1 quest per category to remove. (removed quests will be refreshed the next day)
Max quest for each category: 1 (Upgradable) (14/20)
I'm sorry I have yet to learn about my favourite food Noel-- I will be sure to tell you about it the moment I learn of it.
That was the first thought that came to me when I saw the list.
The next thought, or to put in other words, the quests I saw that piqued my interest-- could it be referring to the game Noel mentioned?
"The game you are referring to would be hide and seek?"
"Yup, do you know the rules?"
"Apparently not," i believe this is one of the games the heroes have mentioned in the old archives. Though I have read of it, I have forgotten most of the rules.
However, the gist of the game revolves around a hunter hunting the hunted. The hunted fleeing from the pursuer's grasp-- i assume?
"It's a simple game as the name suggests, hiding and seeking. One person hides while the other tries to find the person hiding. The seeker would close his or her eyes and then count to whatever predetermined amount-- 30 seconds i guess? And the seeker would try to find a spot to hide. You can't really hide forever, especially in the house where there's basically not many good hiding spots-- It's usually played with a bunch of people, the winner being the one last to be found. But in our case it's just the two of use so.."
Novelle-sama was undergoing education at an institution or with the common terminology here: school.
"The basics of being a seeker would then require me to count to 30 whilst the hider attempts to hide?"
"Yes, so you're alright being the seeker first?"
I nodded to his suggestion.
"Turn around and close your eyes."
Adhering to his words, I did what I was told and started counting.
"One, two, three.."
So the rules of the game were as i thought, though it was less brutal than what I thought it described.
I felt Noel's presence frantic around the place, he scampered around here and there as if he was unsure of the spot he would pick.
It seemed that he had sought the first floor, up the stairs.
"Twenty-two, twenty three.."
His presence could be felt behind the door of his personal room.
"Thirty," at said word, I opened my eyes and proceeded up the stairs.
The game revolves around the hunter seeking the hunted. I would be the predator, Noel the prey. It seemed Noel wasn't taking the game seriously-- or could this be his limit? He was sure to be killed if he played such a game in my world.
Reaching the end of the stair, I saw Diana-sama carrying a stack of papers… reminding me of paperwork.. dreadful paperwork.
"Liliath?" Holding the papers in a shifted position, she called out.
"Do you need assistance?" I felt a sense of pity for Diana-sama. I didn't think paperworks existed in this world too--
"Nah, it's alright. So what are you doing coming upstairs?"
"Finding Noel was my task."
"We are apparently playing a game known as hide and seek."
"Ah-- I see," Diana-sama nodded as if understanding, though, her expression said otherwise. "It's one of those quests you need to do with Noel again was it?"
"That is true," I had once been questioned for my less than human behaviour, the explanation for my eccentric actions was that it stemmed from these tasks that Noel and I were to complete on a basis.
"Have fun then Liliath," Diana-sama said with a smile, walking away and under her breath i heard her mutter, "Kids these days," with a sigh.
I continued down the passageway towards Noel's room.
Opening the half-close door, I shot my finger at him with words of victory.
"Wh-- how.. you.." Noel looked at me bewildered. He had not expected me to make a beeline towards his direction in under a minute.
"Because I could sense your presence without the need of my vision," I explained in a concise manner. I was inclined to believe that Noel had underestimated me.
"Yeah, you cheater.."
"I believe you never explained the rules properly," I smiled. It was as he said-- however he never mentioned any rules.
The strong hunt the weak, predators seek out prey. There were no rules, either kill or be killed. That was the basic foundation of the game. A simulation of the hunt-- perhaps?
"Your turn, go hide, I'll count to 30. Better just get this game over ASAP," Noel who spoke with his crestfallen look turned towards the wall and started counting.
I stood there waiting for him to complete the count.
I wondered why he never thought of adjusting the rules? If had clearly violated the rule with magic then he should've banned the usage of it. He hadn't.
I suppose it's safe to assume magic was still acknowledged for this round of hide and seek.
I casted concealment magic on myself at the moment Noel voiced 'thirty'.
He turned around and scanned the room-- his gaze passed through me like water, then he proceeded outside.
He had failed to grasp what was in front of him all this time.
Stifling a laugh at his naivety, I tailed behind him.
"Hm? Hey mom, have you seen Liliath?" Standing a distance behind him, Noel asked Diana-sama who had appeared once again in the passageway.
Diana-sama flashed an odd look, shifting her gaze between Noel and I--
Shifting her gazes between us?
Diana-sama could see me?
"I think she went downstairs-- aren't you cheating if you ask me for hints?"
"She cheated too so.."
"Is that so? Um-- good luck then Noel. I wish you the best~"
Noel walked past Diana-sama and headed downstairs. Diana-sama, after Noel had gone out of earshot came towards me.
"I know you must be wondering why i can see you right?" Diana-sama smiled.
I nodded without speaking a word.
"Well.. The truth is-- i can't see you but your temperature remains. I can see temperature so that's why i could see you, that's my TALENT."
Diana-sama's explanation had me open my eyes wide in shock.
I see-- concealment spell wasn't omnipotent… no wonder i could be traced despite having the concealment spell active. It was my temperature.
"Thank you Diana-- your advice helped me realize something," I bowed sincerely. I would have to combine both the concealment spell together and temperature manipulation to mend the spell's weakness, bolstering the efficacy.
Diana-sama chuckled, "Alright, have fun Liliath. Be sure to fool him around lots," and proceeded down the passage.
Heeding her advice, I went downstairs to find Noel prostrating on the ground, his cheeks squished to the flat floor as he scoured underneath the couch.
"Not here," he spoke in a muffled voice.
I didn't think i could fit myself there even if i tried though?
Noel got back up and went to scour the house. Places that he had gone to included the kitchen, the 'garage', the yard.
"Where is she anyways," he said as he scratched his head. "She can't be hiding in the bathroom can she?"
I shook my head to deny his statement, of course, he wouldn't know of it.
I followed him down the narrow passage that led to the bathroom. He hesitated before turning the lights on and entering the space.
"Not here.. where.." he turned around and darted straight at the door-- at me.
I jumped away at the instant, avoiding collision.
He scanned the area outside the bathroom, then his gaze landed on the machine that would clean dry clothes by spinning it at high speeds.
"That's it, she probably never left my room--"
He passed by me and proceeded up the stairs towards his room.
The first place he sought for when he entered was the spot underneath his bed.
I remember that was where Novelle-sama hid her 'treasured opuses'. I wonder if Noel had his own too? Thinking of such, Noel pulled out a box that had a layer of dust on top of it.
"Well.. i suppose i'll take a bit of a break.." he said dubiously, as if on purpose..
I wonder what he was up to.. the game was still underway wasn't it?
"Once Liliath gets bored, she'll come out by herself…" he muttered, shuffling through the box before pulling out a book.
He sat with his back against his bed and started reading said book.
Was he trying to lure me into revealing myself? What a sly move. However, i would not be so easily fooled…
Could it be..
It couldn't be..
"I wonder how far LIliath had read.. too bad this is the only copy of volume 17.."
Hearing that I furrowed my brows..
This Noel.. he was plotting something..
But.. that beloved 'manga'.. i thought it ended at volume 16, i didn't think there would be another one..
What should i do?
Should I give up?
No.. i can't reveal myself here..
It would be equivalent to me showing my shameful side to Noel..
I crept over, closing the distance to peek at the contents. I had to maneuver myself in a way so that Noel wouldn't notice.. I was positioning myself in an awkward position.. I should just crawl onto his bed.
Though.. he would probably notice..
I have to be patient.. since i now know volume 17 exists within his room.. all I need to do is wait until he puts it away. I doubt he would be able to hide it somewhere i won't be able to reach.
That will be the chance where I'll strike to 'borrow' the book.
I moved a distance away and sat on the floor. I stared at him as he continued reading.
It was an excruciating wait... but i got to see Noel's reaction as he read the book. It was as Novelle-sama said, Noel was incredibly familiar and used to reading these kinds of things, thus he shows minimal reactions towards the indecent scenes portrayed.
He slept half-way through reading.
HE SLEPT??!! HOw CouLd oNE SLEEp reaDING SUch MateRial??!!
I wanted to shout to notify him that the game of hide and seek was still underway but managed to calm myself down, knowing that it would be my loss if i did so.
Could i.. take this opportunity to 'borrow' the book?
I came crawling over, moving closer.
All i need was to hold the book and pull it into the boundaries of my concealment barrier then i would have achieved my goal--
My hands lurched forward..
That was when his eyes jolted open, I staggered backwards with a thud.
I thought I was found but Noel didn't seem to find the sound out of place and stretched his hands up into the air.
"I should get back to finding LIliath.. i'm such a bully for leaving her like that," he sighed.
I couldn't agree more to his statement. He was purposely bullying me. Having me endure for the sake of acquiring the book.
"But i should store this away first.."
Saying that, he went outside?
Wasn't he going to put it back inside the box?
Feeling a certain tension well inside my heart, I raced after him.
I found him in the small library inside the office room where Novelle-sama introduced me to the other volumes of the series.
Noel placed the book inside a metal box and shut the door with a click.
A small vault.
After which, he promptly left the room..
The vault-- it had a number pad of sorts with an empty display with 5 slots, it looked to be a puzzle. Perhaps I need to arrange the numbers in a certain order for it to unlock? It somehow felt similar to magic locks, the difference was that this lock was made with the aid of 'science' and not magic.
I pressed the button and a clear beep resounded.
The said number appeared on the small display.
"So~ Liliath, any luck with the passcode?"
Hearing that I froze, craning my neck over to the entrance, I saw Noel looking right at me.. and in his hand was the book-- he never did put it inside the small vault. It was a trick.
"I win, you cheater. I totally forgot you could use magic," he said with a triumphant look.
Pouting, I folded my arms and undid my concealment spell.
"Yeah. That's better."
Then I heard a familiar 'ding' that cited the completion of a quest.
"I didn't think you would notice," I spoke with displeasure. It was apparent that i had been led by the nose. What a smart move, baiting me using--
I opened my eyes wide at the realization.
"I already know you've read all 16 volumes," Noel grinned.
My face turned red at his words.
"I don't intend to judge you-- here, enjoy reading it." he nonchalantly passed the book to me, i stared at it unblinking, "It's the only copy of this volume, it's not officially released yet.."
Slowly, I brought the book close to my chest.
I have acquired it-- I had been anticipating this..
A moment of silence ensued.
"Um.. I think I'll leave now.. um.. thanks for the game.. um.."
And then Noel left.
Taking a moment to reflect on my actions, I felt my body stiffen. As if natural-- I bought myself closer together, hugged my legs and buried my head into my knees.
He knew all along..
N-Noel-- y-you're so sly..