The Demonic Young Lady, Grimhilda
The girl who was about their age was sheltered under a black parasol and wearing a dress that you could tell was very valuable at a glance, but even though those alone were somewhat eye-catching, it was her other rare features that truly made her stand out in the crowd.
Along with the jet black horns growing from her head that distinguished her as a demon, she had a dignified look that seemed to mark her out for great things in the future despite how young she was. Her eyes that were slightly turned up at the corners and shining silver hair that was curled into loose drills made, she looked like a princess out of a fairy tale.
If you compared them without any bias, her beauty didn’t lose out to Sophie and Tio’s at all. Actually, if anything, this girl was getting even more attention than the twins at the moment, both because of her flashy clothes and the young man standing behind her, dressed in a butler’s uniform.
“Oh? It’s big bro Atem.”
Since they were so distracted by the young girl who was making noise in front of the stall, Chelsea only just noticed.
“The street vendor? Do you know him?”
“Yeah. He used to live at our orphanage… I remember now, he set up a stall to sell soaps and creams and stuff.”
Chelsea casually walked into the gathering storm as she said that. Although it’s a different kind of commotion to that caused by a brawl between adventurers that happens a lot in this town, it was still a foreboding thing to face, but since their friend’s acquaintance was involved they couldn’t just ignore it and move along.
The four of them approached the stall, following along behind Chelsea. As they got closer, they could more clearly hear what was going on between Atem and the girl.
“Whatever do you mean that you have no Savon Veena? Although we’re out on the frontier, if you call yourself a beauty product salesman, you should at least have that much!”
“E-Even if you say that…”
It wasn’t something he needed to apologize for, it seems like Atem is in a hopeless situation. Apparently, it seems like the girl is adamantly requesting a product he just doesn’t have. Although it’s just a complaint, for a young merchant still believing in the adage ‘the customer is always right’, it leaves him between a rock and a hard place.
“What’s up, big bro Atem?”
“Ah, Chelsea? No, it’s nothing, don’t worry about i-”
“Oh? And who might you all be?”
Atem tried to keep his younger sister from the orphanage and her friends out of this awkward situation, but it seemed like this girl showed interest in them anyways.
“Are you the younger sister of this failure of a merchant? Is something the matter?”
“I was called a failure…”
“Hmph. It is just the truth. But, I want to talk to these girls.”
As she said that without any hesitation, the girl in question didn’t seem to notice the sympathetic glances the girls gave Atem who looked shell shocked as she ran a hand under one of her loose drills and asked the frontier town children that.
“For various reasons, I have to stay in this town for a few days, but because I was in such a rush I forgot to bring my Savon Veena in the commotion. So, I tried to procure one from this local stall… But it seems they don’t stock any Savon Veena! Can you believe it!?”
“…? First of all, what is Savon Veena…?”
It was Tio who asked the obvious question before anyone else could. The other four nodded their agreement silently, but the girl in front of them couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“Whatever are you saying!? Savon Veena is a daily necessity for all civilized people!? Just how out of touch is this town that you do not even know about it!?”
“I-It’s that important!?”
“Mira, do you know about it?”
“No, I have no idea…”
As the group of friends seemed to question the very existence of the product apparently necessary for subsistence, the girl staggered backward with an aghast expression.
“U-Unthinkable… D-Do people in this town not even wash when they take a bath!? I never thought that civilization had spread so slowly… S-So filthyyyy!”
“T-That’s rude!? We do wash!”
Although they’re only ten, they couldn’t sit by and simply be insulted like that and the situation got even noisier.
“Where do you get off calling us backward!? Do you think you’re so great because you’ve got drill hair!?”
“Don’t look down on us just because you look a little like a princess!!”
“Wha!? I-I do not style my hair like this just to show off!! It’s just that you girls are too unclean…!”
As Mira watched the argument go back and forth whilst taking a strange direction with a grimace on her face, Tio turned to talk to Atem.
“Hey, what is Savon Veena anyway?”
“Ah, that’s right! Is that the thing that gives you that drill hair?”
“Savon Veena is simply Savon Veena! It is only common sense that everyone knows about it!”
“How is that common sense!?”
They looked down at Atem, who seemed despondent as he slumped onto his hands and knees, the word ‘failure’ running through his head over and over.
This had all started just because there wasn’t anything called ‘Savon Veena’ in stock since the girl presumed it was just a matter of course that any shop worth its salt would have it for sale.
“Ah… Savon Veena… Is it about a soap by any chance?
“…? Then, isn’t there loads of those on the shelf?”
There were several types of soap brands that lined the shelves in the stall. There were cheap brands that only cost a single copper coin and more expensive brands that cost three, but brands aside those friends used soaps like those every day. However, that girl snorted at the familiar brands of soap, wrapped up in paper and string.
“What are you talking about? I have no use for this ‘soap’ thinMMMMPH!?”
“You’re just making things more confusing so be quiet.”
Tio put a hand over the girl’s mouth to stop her speech short.
“Ah.. Well… To put it simply, it is a high-quality product. A brand with a royal warrant of appointment.”
Royal want it? Those words sounded completely alien to the ears of those children.
“By the way… How much does it cost…?”
“I have never had to purchase it myself so I cannot be sure, but… I believe they are usually around one gold piece a piece?”
A hundred copper coins are equivalent to one gold coin. According to this girl, Savon Veena is something that is used by everyone… So, it’s understandable how ridiculous that cost seemed to the five other girls.
“…So this is the bourgeoisie?”
“T-That’s a whole month’s worth of pocket money for just one bar of soap…”
“For me, that’s five month’s worth…? This girl, just how rich is she…!?”
“W-What is it? The way you are all talking has been confusing me for a while now… Can you please explain it so that I can understand?”
“It’s useless… We have to do something quickly…!”
“Umm, let’s see…? This soap is…”
They could have guessed it from the way she dressed, but she was even more upper class than they had expected. As the other girls gawked at this rare creature they had never seen before in the wild, Mira did her best to politely explain as simply as she could.
“H-How can this be… Savon Veena is a type of this thing that you call ‘soap’ you say…? To think there was such a difference between the way common people lived compared to us… I had no idea…”
The girl looked like she was suffering from culture shock as she stared at the row of soaps on the shelf, taking one into her trembling hands.
“…The place where I am staying told me that there was no Savon Veena so I thought I would buy some myself… I was so confused when I could not find it anywhere, but to think that this was the truth all along…”
“Well, yeah, obviously.”
“Mum said there are big differences between what you can buy in one town compared to another.”
Although it carries a royal warrant of appointment, that shouldn’t be taken to mean that only the royal family can purchase it. Not just aristocrats and wealthy merchants either, even thrifty commoners could get their hands on it. The reason the price was so high was due to the small number of craftspeople skilled enough to make it, so there was a severe limit on the vendors who had it in stock.
Besides, this town is a remote settlement heavily populated by adventurers. There may be rare items and magical technologies here, but they’re almost solely for the purpose of battle and survival. Since everything else is secondary to that, there’s quite a dearth of product variety here.
“…F-For the time being, I have to apologize for causing such a scene. It could be interesting to experience common people’s goods as well… I will take the best soap you have on sale.”
“Y-Yes! Thank you very much for your business!”
“Then later, big bro Atem, we’re all going to…”
“Please wait a moment.”
She was arrogant at first but she did apologize, so when they saw the girl with her face bright red in embarrassment finally deciding to buy some soap the friends decided to be on their way, but for some reason, she called out to them again.
“Do you all live in this town? I have only just arrived here today and I am not too well acquainted with the layout yet.”
Although her voice sounded slightly nervous as she asked Sophie and her friends that, the girl still did her best to keep her haughty air as she stuck out her flat chest.
“It must be fate that we met like this… As a special favour for helping me I, Grimhilda Eisen-Quartz, shall grant you all the honour of guiding me around the town!”
“””Ehh? Don’t wanna.”””
“Such an immediate reply!?”
Gong! It was as if the girls could hear some sort of weird onomatopoeia as Tio, Lisa and Chelsea immediately refused Grimhilda, who stood in shock.
“I don’t wanna walk around in this crappy heat. We’re gonna go somewhere with an air conditioner. You’re with an adult so you won’t get lost.”
“That’s right. If we played with someone we don’t really know, mum will get worried again, so since we’ve finished our homework we just want to go to Chelsea’s place and play a boardgame.”
“There are lots of people to play with at the orphanage too, we should be getting going now though.”
As Tio, Lisa and Chelsea began to turn their back on her as they said that, Grimhilda looked at them as she gripped the handle of her parasol.
It wasn’t a vengeful or begrudging sadness, but instead the melancholy of a lonely girl. As she looked at Grimhilda, her eyes beginning to well with tears like a lost child, Sophie softly whispered to her friends.
“Jeez, you three. Weren’t you being too mean?”
“Yeah yeah, we know.”
“….Mm, we said a bit too much.”
Not understanding what was going on, Grimhilda looked back and forth in confusion at Sophie and the rest, as those friends reached out to her.
“It’s always more fun when there are more people to play with. Since it’s so hot outside today, you’re welcome to come and play with us inside if you like? So, do you want to play together?”
The demon girl’s face suddenly brightened up like a magical light. But as soon as she realized it, she once again ran a hand through her hair as if to try and hide the blush that spread across her cheeks.
“I-It cannot be helped! Knowing how the common people live is the duty of the upper class, after all! Therefore, I shall keep you girls company as you play!”
As she said that, Grimhilda couldn’t hide the big smile on her face as she turned around to face the young man in the butler uniform behind her.
“I-In short, I am going to go and play with them… No, I mean, I am going to learn how the commoners live by going along with them, is that all right? Siegfried…?”
The young man simply nodded once.
 A warrant granted to tradesmen or companies who have been recognized to provide a specific service or product to the Crown of any given country. They can carry the Crown’s coat of arms on their products, lending their brand a certain prestige. In the English speaking world, this is mostly seen in the UK. (Japanese: 御用達)
I’m thinking I’ll just catch up since it seems like the author is back to releasing regularly (at least once a week).
Also, would you guys prefer to use disqus for comments or just keep the default?