The Dragon’s Wife and Daughter
When we were alone, she joked about how forward I was being, and laughed.
I ignored her jokes. And perhaps it was because of my serious expression, but she quickly caught on.
“…Did you meet my father?”
“Aye. Very briefly. It wasn’t here, but a world in the mind. And I was able to talk to him.”
“Oh. And is my father well?”
“I don’t know. I met the Sakamoto Ryoma that existed one year ago. I don’t know what happened after that.”
“I see. Then he must have been able to reunite with my mother.”
“I can guarantee that he did.”
“I see. That’s good. Very good.”
She laughed, but it seemed forced.
I suppose she really wanted to meet him. I asked her about it, but she shook her head.
“Hardly. I respect that he is a free man. He is like the wind. Not even a king of the entire world would be able to catch the wind. And so I don’t wish to bind him.”
I see. That was noble. However, it clearly pained her. She was still young and missed her parents. However, I didn’t tell her this.
If Toshizou were here, he would have probably told me that there was one good way to comfort her at this moment. Of course, I was not him.
However, I could take a hint from him.
And so without saying a word, I embraced her. A gentle embrace. Not that of a lover, but family.
She buried her face in my chest and admitted to what she felt.
“Aaahh! I am actually very sad. I wanted to see him! I want to see his face!”
That was what was inside of the half elf’s heart.
“I was always mistreated as a child. The elves hated me because of the color of my hair. They said I was an abomination. But when I went to the towns of humans, they mocked me for my ears. But my father always said I was beautiful. That I took after my mother. And one day this dark hair would enrapture my future husband. My large ears would hear the opinions of many people and help me choose the right path. But…”
She paused and then continued.
“I don’t care about this hair or my ears. They have caused me so much pain up until now.”
Indeed, her dark hair was beautiful. However, the elves would see it as a bad omen.
And while her ears were appealing to me, perhaps there were human societies that were not used to seeing such features.
She was in a special position, as she belonged to neither group. And it seemed to have had a big impact on her character.
A mere embrace would not change any of that. But after doing what her father couldn’t at the moment, I took out the paper he had given me.
Inside, was a lock of her mother’s hair.
I was not enough to heal her wounded heart.
However, the elven woman who gave birth to her might be able to comfort her.
Thinking this, I took the shards from the ancient mirror that the others had gathered, and cast magic over it.
Even though it would only last for a short time, the fragments reconnected.
And then I put the mother’s hair into the mirror.
The golden hair entered the world of the mirror without resistance.
Then the mirror began to glow with a golden color. And a beautiful woman appeared in it.
A princess with golden hair and pointed ears. I didn’t need to ask in order to know who she was.
Ryoma looked at her mother in the mirror and whispered. ‘Mother…’ But she was too stunned to say anything else.
Her mother had died shortly after giving birth.
However, her father had often told her about her mother. A good, beautiful, wonderful woman. And so she felt as if she already knew her.
Though, this was still the first time they could talk face to face.
Her mother now spoke to her through the mirror.
“…Ryoma, my sweet Ryoma. I’m so sorry that I caused you pain.”
“You caused me pain?”
“I was not able to be a mother to you, as I died too early. I could not protect you from the ignorance out in the world.”
She was talking about the persecution inflicted on Ryoma as a half elf. Ryoma fell silent.
“Besides, I took your father away from you. Once I died, he should have been both a father and mother to you. And yet he keeps chasing my shadow. I had to scold him when he visited me.”
“I’m the one who should be scolded. I shouldn’t cause you to worry after your death.”
“Parents will always worry about their children. No matter how old they are. I will always worry about you as long as I have a soul.”
Tears welled up in Ryoma’s eyes when she heard this.
It was as if she suddenly felt very warm.
“…Mother. I was wrong. It’s because I kept chasing father that I’ve become such a small person. A weak person who cries in front of others. But I will change. I won’t chase after him any more. Instead of looking at his back, I will look ahead at what he is looking at. I will think about what he is trying to achieve and use it in my own life.”
“…Ryoma. How strong you have become. You do not need my help anymore.”
The elf said before turning to me.
Apparently, she could sense my presence as well.
“You. Demon King.”
Well, there were no other Demon Kings in the room, and so I answered.
“I don’t know what kind of Demon King you are, but you helped me reunite with my Ryoma. And so I thank you.”
“It was they who gathered the fragments.”
Eve and Jeanne were in the room as well.
“Ryoma. You are blessed to have such good friends. I am sure they will become very important to you.”
Yes, mother. Ryoma nodded.
“Demon King. Please lead her. The city where she lives is in great trouble. Please use your power to save it.”
I had already decided to help Berneze. And I had no reason to refuse now.
I nodded. And the elven woman looked relieved.
“Now I have no regrets. If only my husband would also accept my death.”
That might be difficult. If I had a wife who was as kind and beautiful, and lost her in the same way, I would likely also go on a journey to bring her back.
But I kept this to myself.
“I will try and change his mind, if I ever meet him.”
She too understood that there was no stopping someone like him.
She just smiled and said,
“Thank you. You are a kind Demon King. I hope that someone as kind as you will one day bring the world together.”
And with that, she vanished.
Ryoma touched the mirror sadly. She looked younger all of a sudden.
And like that, our journey through the dungeon had ended. But the problem had not been fully resolved.
While Ryoma no longer searched for her father, the matter of Berneze remained.
And so I decided to head for this floating city, which was the base of her operations.