My Demon Queen
I turned my head to look up at the sky. Though to me more concise, it would be the large building which contained our home.
It resembled an inn, but with an extremely glamorous makeover. This concept of buying apartments was to me, an incredibly revolutionary idea. Back from where I came from, a large complex building could usually be owned by an innkeeper and rooms would be rented out. I would have never thought people past the era of kingdoms would come to a conclusion of selling each individual room as if selling off land or a villa.
It was a one-off deal but most importantly, it increased revenue and saved land.
The stars in the sky were minimal.
"It seems that there aren't many stars in this world."
Catching my words, Prune turned to me and replied.
"It's not because there aren't many stars. It's because of light pollution. Though it's night, the bright environment is drowning out the light of the stars. There are lights everywhere no matter day or night."
Prune was wearing a simple shirt with a brown coat over it to shield from the cold. Tight blue pants that molded to her slender legs. It probably had been tailor made to accommodate the tail that fluttered behind her.
"Light pollution? I didn't know there was such a thing?" I looked up at the sky again, realizing that the stars flicker in red and green at some occasion too. Moreover, the distance between the star and the ground was rather short.
"You know, the stars you're seeing aren't actually stars but the lights from airplanes," Prune, similar to me, turned to the night sky.
Airplane. I found that rather embarrassing, recalling my blunder of misjudging it as a divine dragon. I found it weird how records of such creatures exist despite never having existed to begin with. Or had a natural calamity happened in the far past that wiped these existence off this world?
"That's some interesting knowledge. Thank you Prune," I tore my eyes away from the sky and examined my surroundings. Stores were still in operation even at night. This could probably mark the first time I've ever ventured outside with Noel not beside me.
Prune would be his substitute. For one, Noel needed space to sort through his thoughts. Two was that I needed to reflect on my actions. More so was that I should take this opportunity to deepen my ties with Prune. My actions before had left a detestful impression on her.
This world was different to my own. I should have been aware that not many things here could threaten my life nor Noel's life.
The power of house names didn't mean anything. Noel's surname is Bougainvillea, Noel Bougainvillea. Yet it seemed his parents didn't give much of a care towards issues pertaining lineage. Another fact was that there were also many other individuals with the name 'Bougainvillea'.
Nobel houses and titles did not exist, everyone exists as equals. Power struggles were incredibly rare.
No wonder the heroes would either act in such a humble manner despite earning the status of viscounts or marquisses. Though, there were exceptions.
It came as a surprise that Noel learnt of my past through some unknown means. Which meant that I had to prepare myself for the day where Noel would ask about the matter… The question was to what extent does Noel know of the life I've been through? And more so, how did he learn of it?
"Liliath, after groceries, do you have anywhere you want to go?" Prune asked as we slowly closed in at our target location-- the e-mart.
"How about tea?" I suggested.
"Tea again.. okay," Prune looked troubled for a moment before returning me a light-hearted smile.
Buying groceries involved buying items that were of necessity and not out of impulse. I found myself attracted to novel objects, especially when they were packaged in such an attractive fashion-- especially tea. The beauty of the packaging did not determine the quality of said tea, unfortunately leading me to buy those that didn't fit my taste. Though it did mess up my senses a little.
More so the product was the experience one gets when buying the product. I read once from books Diana-sama recommended that though the same coffee had been served to human guinea pigs, their opinions of the taste would vary depending on the cup used. A snippet of visual marketing.
I should have Elyja share where I could get the tea she served me from before.
Much of this was due to marketing and selling strategies imposed onto the products. It transcended the marketing methods I've come to know off chatting with merchants back then.
Though, I was confused as to why synthetic plastic would be used in such a large quantity just to decorate the packages. I couldn't quite understand the notion of 'plastic destroying the world'. Didn't past heroes mention that this synthetic material known as plastic could destroy the world? Such thought was why they opted not to bestow the method of making such a convenient yet dangerous item to the kingdom. Yet this dangerous item was widely used in their own world.
After getting the necessary items, Prune and I headed off to a nearby tea house.
The tea house endowed us with a calming air the moment we walked in. Despite the small scale, the design and arrangement made the place feel larger than it is. Architecture here surpassed those in my world. In my world, the focus would be on craftsmanship, elegance and extravagance, in Noel's world, it was simplicity and mood.
Prune had herself a cup of coffee while I chose warm barley tea. There were books arranged on one of the shelves to be borrowed, and so it shall be borrowed by the likes of me.
"You can read that?" Prune looked at me in disbelief.
"It's Japanese, I didn't know you can.. or is it auto translation.." Prune mulled over. "Can you speak Japanese?"
"I've tested numerous other languages with Noel before and the answer is a surprising yes."
"Wow.. how envious," Prune laughed, took a sip of her warm coffee and continued to scroll through her phone.
Things like social media and the internet had changed the economical and power struggle landscape of this world. People were easily influenced by gossip and rumors and with the power of these technologies, it made the effects even more apparent. Those in power would find hiding information that sullied their image close to impossible. Fake information is also all the more rampant.
Most of all, technology had brought about a large change in how people entertain themselves. Something I found hard to wrap myself around.
I couldn't understand why watching fish swimming in groups inside the sea was entertaining. I also found it difficult to not engross myself in watching shows that were more 'visual'. Nine also recommended playing 'games' that she told me wasn't suited for people our age as it was rated R-18? Most of these were entertainment which never existed in my world.
Before we left, we bought a few chicken pies for Noel as a midnight snack. Nine wasn't an exception either.
Passing through an alley, I found myself facing a black cat with an eye injury. It purred at me, as if begging for salvation. Without heeding it's plea, I merely smiled and moved aside.
Prune halted me in my tracks however.
"You can use healing magic right Liliath?" she asked.
"That is the case."
"Then could you help heal the cat then? It looks rather pitiful."
"They should fend for themselves shouldn't they? Interfering with them would hinder their growth and cause dependency would you say so?"
Prune looked at me bewildered, I could feel anger seep out of her body.
"But.. this isn't.."
"If I were absent this very moment, you wouldn't have bothered to leave the cat alone would you? The only reason you're requesting this is because of my convenient existence."
My words sliced through her reasoning.
Stop. I had failed to see the point in this excursion with Prune-- it was to grow closer, not to arouse conflict..
"Sorry. I shouldn't have said that," apologetically, I walked up to the cat and healed it's wound while cleaning it with lifestyle magic on as well.
It fawned on me before turning to Prune and let out a meow.
Prune showed it a troubled smile. The cat disappeared into the dark crevices of the alley.
The trip to our apartment was a quiet one. The shoulders of items shuffling and bags rubbing against one another. The speeding of 'cars' across the road.
We were in the 'elevator' when Prune asked.
"You won't treat Noel that way right?"
"Pardon, could you clarify that?"
"Put it in this way.. I get that you're from a harsh world but-- this world is different and people are supposed to support each other. Helping is one thing, falling dependent is another," Prune paused a moment to reorganize her words, "Basically..to be frank and sorry for saying this... I don't want to see Noel hurt or troubled by the way you view the world."
Her words left me stunned in silence.
"You harbor feelings for Noel don't you?" I asked in a sympathetic voice.
Her silence must mean approval.
"I'll heed your advice. It was unwise of me to use my past as reference to act," I bowed.
Prune continued to stare at the shiny marble floor.
"And I'm sorry.. I hope I can still get along with you Prune. It was my mistake."
"It's alright. I was just.. worried."
"Do remind me if I do anything that concerns Noel.."
Moving outside the elevator and towards the apartment, Prune stopped and turned to me.
"Take care of Noel."
A bitter smile formed on her face.
"I'll be counting on you too," I smiled back, leaving Prune dumbfounded.
It seems I may have to discuss with Noel regarding this matter about Prune.
There are many things I don't know of, which had troubled Noel a lot and those around him. Though I may regret what I did, though Noel may have forgiven me, I still need to tread a path forward and confront the uncertain future.
Hopefully, one day, I will prove useful somewhere in this world.
I suppose the battle for anyone who goes to another world remains the same. A battle against a demon lord-- in my case, the demon that is myself.
Author's Notes: VOLUME 3 END! Thank you for reading! Hahahaha! Stay tuned for Volume 4!