Chapter 39: The world that has changed
As I made my way through the forest, I realized that it was no longer an unfamiliar forest but the forest that bordered Astoria and Crystalia.
“This is where Yulin and I met…”
I was walking through the forest with nostalgic thoughts when I noticed many footprints.
Beyond this point, humans are unable to cross the valley. Only demons could pass through it. I was curious… and a crowd had gathered in the forest.
“Yulin-sama, hurry up and take me with you!”
“Let me go first!”
“You were later than we were!”
Yulin is surrounded by young human women in the middle of the crowd. First and foremost, humans are encircling Yulin, the enemy demon, but it’s also surprising that all of the women have black hair. I thought only the Saint and I had black hair.
“I’ll take you all to the castle in turn, so get in line.”
The women complied and formed a line. I managed to get in line as well.
“Um… What’s this line for?”
I inquire of a woman standing in front.
“Huh! Did you come all the way here and not realize it? We’re here to become the Demon King’s bride!”
I must have misheard it. I mean, aren’t humans and demons at war?
“That happened five years ago—It no longer matters.”
What happened five years ago? I’ve only been back in Japan for a month, but in this world, it’s been at least five years…?
The story goes that after the Goddess Kas’uan appeared, the war was not between demons and humans, but between the Goddess Kas’uan and the demons and humans. I’m not sure how it happened, but the people of the world triumphed in that war. And the demons and humans made a treaty of friendship.
To me, this is a strange story, because until recently, demons and humans were at war, and the gulf between them must have been quite deep.
──As a token of friendship, the Demon King’s bride was to be chosen from among the humans, regardless of their social standing. And this was the ancestry of the Demon King’s future brides. The rush was intense because any human woman without a mate was accepted.
I mean, they’ve hated demons for years?
“But the Demon King is so cool!”
So it is said. I’m glad to see demons and humans working together, especially since I almost died in that war, but it’s a mixed feeling.
I then ask about the color of the woman’s hair.
“This hair? I dyed it with erin berries—you must have too, right?”
Apparently, dyeing techniques in this world have improved in recent years, and it is now possible to dye hair black.
“…Your hair is stunning. Like the Saint-sama or the Shrine Maiden-sama, nothing was out of place.”
I can’t tell her I used to be the Shrine Maiden, so I smile and try to hide it. The woman looks slightly impressed, but then quickly becomes triumphant.
“But I don’t think you’ll be able to beat me… Not with that face.”
The conversation was cut off at that point. What about my face? Yes. I have a plain face. She was definitely pretty, though I certainly couldn’t compete with her looks.
I don’t plan on becoming the Demon King’s bride, but I should tell him I’ve somehow found my way back to this world and ask for his protection. First, I must meet the Demon King.
How long have I been waiting? Finally, it’s my turn. Yulin appears to be teleporting the women using his teleportation magic.
It hasn’t been long since I met Yulin, but it’s been five years for him. He glared at me when I tried to greet him.
“My brother, fiance, and the Shrine Maiden are the only people who can call me that.”
I’m not sure what’s going on, Yulin sighed and looked at me.
“Since we say regardless of status, I think some of them don’t know where their place is… Well, good. What’s your name?”
It might have been impolite to mention Yulin’s name now that I lack the power of the Shrine Maidens.
“I’m sorry, Yulin-sama. It’s Mika.”
“The Shrine Maiden’s name is Mika… What is your name?”
Does this imply that he has completely forgotten about me? However, he appears to recall the name Mika.
“My name is Mika.”
“What’s your name?”
I’m curious if “Mika” is on the list of names that should not be mentioned. I notice Yulin is annoyed, so I give him a suitable name.
“Mira, am I right in assuming that you’re ready to become the bride of His Majesty the Demon King?”
I’ll just nod because I need to meet the Demon King.
As I nodded, Yulin’s teleportation spell brought us to the Demon King’s castle.
Once at the castle, we were all given to the maids and had to change our clothes.
Somehow, looking at my face, I feel like I’m being laughed at. I wonder why.
I don’t know why. Then I look in the mirror, and….
That’s funny. I rub my eyes again, but the look in my eyes is the same.
My face was open between my eyes, my nose protruded, my mouth was crooked, and I saw… Let’s just say I looked very ugly.
“No way, eh?”
I never thought of myself as a pretty girl, but I never thought of myself as butt ugly either.
…Perhaps Yulin didn’t forget about me; he just didn’t recognize me?
The power of the Shrine Maiden appears to have faded, and my face has changed for some reason.
I’m curious if the Demon King will recognize me when we meet…