Chapter 79 – In an unexpected place…
Translator’s Note: Some small terminology changes:
Miger –> Michael (This is how the first translator translated his name, I’m just going back to it)
Yulius –> Yulias (This is also how the first translator translated her name)
Yuri –> Yuli (Having “Yuri” as Yulias’ nickname is a bit weird because the whole name of Banache is “Yuri Banache”, this might cause some confusion in case someone for some reason refers to Banache by her first name. I’ll be using Yuli as Yulias’ nickname from now on because of that)
The search still yielded no results. My profits keep rising, but we have no leads on where Vanette might be.
Each day, Liren gave me a candy to cheer me up, as thanks for my efforts… I appreciated it, but I wanted to do more for her.
Right now though, I had quite the headache on me, probably because of stress, so I visited the old lady that gave us medicine before we started searching for Vanette.
“Are you alright, young lady? You look so pale…” She asked me once she opened the door.
“Can I get some headache medicine?” I asked her.
“Wait a bit.” She ushered me in, then served me some tea after I sat down.
“Did you put the medicine in this tea?” I asked her.
“No, it’s just tea. You seem to be quite tired, so I think it’s better if you just relax a bit and take a break.” She explained.
Her words were gentle, and the tea’s scent did ease my headache a bit, so I decided to heed her words and rest for a small bit while I was here.
Somehow though, I got a bit tearful as I started drinking the tea… I then felt the old lady’s hand gently stroke my head, “Young lady, you’re really trying way too hard. Please do remember to take breaks regularly, okay?”
It felt nice to hear those words, to be told that it was fine to rest, it was not something I heard that often… I felt like just doing that was already helping the headache go away.
I took another sip of the tea while thinking of that, then commented, “This tea is very delicious. Did you put anything special in it?”
“Just this candy.” She smiled as she said that, then showed me the honey-based candy that she put in the tea.
… A honey-based candy? A honey-based candy that tastes this good? It can’t be…
I grabbed the old lady’s arm and pulled her a little closer. She was surprised by the sudden movement, but she didn’t try resisting the pull, so I was able to look behind her neck… There was a scale there.
“You’re lady Vanette, aren’t you?” I asked her. She froze in place when I said those words, which was all the confirmation that I needed… I hugged her, “I was looking all over the place for you! Lady Liren and lord Haith really wanted to see you!”
She shivered at those words, “Mama and papa…?”
“Yes!” I exclaimed, “Let’s go meet them!”
As soon as I said that, I got up, held lady Vanette’s hand, then started moving towards the castle. She seemed to be a bit worried about it, but she followed me anyways.
When we got there and asked where lady Liren and lord Haith were, we were directed towards the private reception room of the royal family.
And then, as soon as we entered that room, lady Liren and lord Haith opened their eyes wide for a second, before lady Liren rushed our way and hugged lady Vanette tightly.
“Vanette!” Lady Liren said, she was obviously in a great mood right now.
“Ma-mama! S-stop that! It’s embarrassing!” Lady Vanette exclaimed.
It was a bit strange to see lady Vanette, who looked like an old woman, refer to lady Liren, who looked like a young woman, as ‘mama’, but it felt like it fit them just fine.
“Hey, Vanette, who is the man that got your fancy!? Papa will personally check if he is worth of you!” Lord Haith exclaimed.
… Seems like checking out who lady Vanette likes is more important for him than the joy of reuniting with her…
Lady Liren glared at him when he said that, “That can wait. Vanette just came back to us.” she said.
“But-” Lord Haith tried to say something else, but lady Liren cut his phrase short.
“No buts. We can talk about that later.” As lady Liren said that, she let go of her hug, held lady Vanette’s hand, then started leaving the reception room.
“Where are you even going, Liren?” Lord Haith asked, his tone was quite dejected.
“To the bath. We gotta soak away all this tiredness… Later on though, we can have a drink with papa, okay?” Lady Liren replied.
He was reluctant to let them go, but seemed to become a bit more cheerful once lady Liren mentioned drinking.
“You too, Yuli. Let’s go together.” As lady Liren said that, she held my hand with her free hand, then took both me and lady Vanette to the castle’s bath.
And like this, I found out that the castle now had some natural hot springs that we could use to bathe whenever we wished… Apparently they were made with lord Haith’s power, on lady Liren’s request.
Lady Liren also told me that his majesty thought that this was not the right way to use a fire dragon’s power, but I actually think that this is the perfect use for it.
Then, the three of us undressed, and I covered myself with a bath towel… However, by the time I looked back towards lady Liren, lady Vanette was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a beautiful lady with long dark green hair flowing all the way to the end of her back was by lady Liren’s side instead.
Just who is…? Oh, of course, the dragons can shapeshift, so lady Vanette must have changed to a younger appearance. There’s no way anybody else could be in the bath right now.
“You’re looking pretty cute now, Vanette.” Lady Liren said.
“I don’t like this appearance much because some annoying humans tend to try ‘attacking’ me when I’m like this. The humans also have way too small of a lifespan, so it’s hard to mingle with them. It’s just safer to take the form of an old woman instead.” Lady Vanette explained.
Lady Liren nodded to lady Vanette’s words, then turned towards me and said, “No wonder we couldn’t find her while searching for a younger lady… Sorry for all the trouble that my daughter caused you.”
“Oh no, not at all! I wanted to meet lady Vanette too, so I’m just glad I could help!” I hurriedly replied.
“By the way, you can’t enter with this.” While I talked to lady Liren, lady Vanette sneaked behind me at some point and snatched my towel.
Embarrassing… “Please return it…” I asked.
“In a bath, you’re supposed to be naked.” Lady Vanette refused.
“She’s right.” Lady Liren wasn’t on my side either…
I gave up on trying, so I just went along with them. We washed our bodies, then soaked ourselves into the bathtub.
“So, Vanette, how young is your precious person?” After we relaxed on the bath for a while, Lady Liren asked that.
“Do I really need to answer it…?” Lady Vanette heaved a sigh as she said that.
I held one of her hands with both of mine, then said, “I want to help you with it too!”
Lady Vanette gave me a troubled smile in response to my words though, “You wish to help me, young lady? That would be troublesome though…”
I tilted my head to that reply.
Lady Liren however, seemed to have understood what lady Vanette meant, “Wait, is it a man who likes Yuli?”
Lady Vanette soaked a bit more into the water after hearing lady Liren’s words, “You’re way too sharp, mama…”
I couldn’t believe my ears, “Wait, so lady Vanette’s precious person…” As I said that, lady Vanette gave me another troubled smile, “is his highness!?”
Then, lady Vanette’s expression changed to one of disbelief, “You serious? Don’t you know that I never met your prince?”
Who is it then…?
While I wondered about that, lady Vanette suddenly splashed some hot water on my face… Hey, that’s not fair! I was seriously worried there! I think I have the right to get angry at this…
“If it’s not Roo, then… Ma?” Lady Liren asked.
“Ma? As in… Michael?” I asked back.
Instead of answering, lady Vanette looked away from us… Her ears were a bit red.
“I don’t think Michael likes me in a romantic way though?” I commented.
“Just how are you so dense towards others’ feelings?” Lady Vanette asked me.
That is… I think I’m not that dense… Or at least, I think I got less dense recently.
And it’s not that I’m unaware of Michael liking me, but… “I think Michael thinks of me as more of a sister.” I explained. I think his feelings towards me are very similar to the feelings he has for his highness, so Michael being a brother of sorts is what makes the most sense to me.
… Though my actual brother, as well as my father, both want to murder his highness, while Michael thinks of his highness as a brother…
Lady Vanette once again splashed water on my face.
… Let’s not mind it and continue the conversation, “When did lady Vanette start liking Michael?” I asked.
She stayed silent for a small while before answering, “Around the time you bought the orphanage.
“You see… I may have this fame of hating humans, but I actually like children quite a bit. I brought medicine and sweets to the children on that orphanage from time to time.
“But then, I started seeing Michael going to the orphanage to teach the children. And he… Well, I liked seeing him there. I wanted to pamper that boy who was doing his best to help children who weren’t much younger than him.
“And slowly, I started coming here more and more. Not just to see the children, but also to see Michael. What once was a trip that I did every now and then, started being a weekly trip for me. I just… Wanted to see him, and the children, smile.
“At some point I realized what I wanted, so I left the mine and moved in to some abandoned house on the outskirts of the city. That place was in a pretty bad condition, but I slowly reformed it on my free time… And once people took notice of it, they just assumed I had always been there, probably because of that old woman appearance that I had.
“And once the house started looking decent, Michael started coming there to visit every now and then, and other people started coming to buy medicine too.
“… But when Michael visited, he often came to talk about you, Yulias.
“He was a really nice boy… I wanted to support him. Humans die too quickly, so it was better if I didn’t act on my love and supported his instead.
“However… You’re already on your second engagement, and neither of them was with Michael… And instead of feeling sorry for him, I was actually happy about it… I’m way too selfish.”
Lady Liren slowly stroke lady Vanette’s head and said, “Love is selfish.” She had very gentle smile on her head as she comforted her daughter.
“Lady Vanette, Michael may have not looked at you with love before, but that was probably because of your appearance. He must have thought of you as an old lady that he should try taking care of… But if you show yourself to him with this beautiful appearance that you have now, I think he might easily fall for you.” I told her my honest thoughts.
“It’s not that simple!” Lady Vanette exclaimed.
She may be right on that, but… Michael seems to be at his happiest when he receives sweets from that caring old lady. I think his feelings for her are quite strong already, so… Would it be that strange if those feelings changed to love?
“I think we should at least let Michael know that you’re a dragon! We can think about the rest afterwards.” I said with the most confident smile I could muster.
Lady Vanette still seemed to be worried about it, but with a bit of persuasion from lady Liren, she agreed to that for now.
So, after we left the bath, the three of us headed to his highness’ office. He was probably working right now, but… Well, I wanted to see his face.
“You want to tell Roo that we found Vanette before going after Michael?” Lady Liren asked.
“Do you mind if I do?” I asked her that, but lady Liren shook her head, so I suppose it was fine to tell it to his highness now.
Though I was a bit worried… Lady Vanette was incredibly beautiful… What would I do if his highness fell for her?
No, I shouldn’t think like that. Let’s believe in his highness… I took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
“Come in.” His highness said.
However, before I could touch the door, someone opened it from inside… It was Michael.
He had a very surprised expression, “Young lady!?” he exclaimed.
I didn’t expect he would be there… I was frozen in place, and lady Vanette hid behind lady Liren.
“Let’s go in, let’s go in.” Lady Liren pushed us both inside as she said that.
Immediately after that, his highness stopped his paperwork and stood up, “Lady Liren, Yulias, who is that?” He asked us as he moved closer.
“My daughter, Vanette.” Lady Liren replied.
Then, with a prankster’s smile, she pushed lady Vanette forward, until she was right in front of his highness.
His highness immediately kneeled and bowed his head to her, “It’s an honor to make your acquaintance, lady Vanette.”
Lady Vanette seemed to be panicking at the current situation, “A prince shouldn’t lower his head that easily!” His highness seemed to be quite confused by her statement, “I’m not used to people bowing down to me, so stop that!” She exclaimed.
His highness nodded, then slowly got up, “I see, I apologize for my unsightly behavior. I’ll be more careful in the future.” He said.
That’s a relief. His highness did not fall in love with lady Vanette after all, even if she is that beautiful…
And then, while I was thinking about that, his highness smiled and looked towards a different direction. He looked towards Michael, who couldn’t turn his gaze away from lady Vanette.