And then a few days later.
Today was the day when the city would hold a special event to use up the extra Whale Beast meat the western fishing village couldn’t finish. They decided to call it a carnival.
Various shops from Gentleman’s Street and Lily Garden were allowed to set up stalls around Freedom Promenade.
The day before, a carriage carrying Stewart and his wife Gurre arrived in town. With them was a large shipment of wine and alcohol straight from Skycastle. The whole stock was immediately brought to the Merchant Guild and promptly distributed to all the participating stores.
Thanks to all of the advertising done in advance and the redevelopment of certain highways, Warren was bursting with tourists since the day before.
“Well, our role here will be the same as always.”
Ellis and the other girls were all put on patrolling duty just like with the harvest festival–the sole exception being Frau. For now they were wearing their simple white pants and boots with the usual brown jackets so as to not stand out. However, this was just in the morning. Come the afternoon, they were to get changed for a special event.
Frau and Fe-rin in his Brause form were dressed up in chef’s clothing, standing at the ready in one corner of a line of stalls.
The food from each shop was neatly arranged.
– Frau and Fe-rin’s shop was serving up some Whale Beast meat loin steak sandwiches.
– Ken and Hanna had prepared a large amount of fried bread for their steak and veggie sandwiches.
– The Jewelry Box Cake was serving up some ‘cinnamon balls and mint balls’. They were meant to be a palate cleanser for those people who get tired of just meat dishes.
– Warren’s Specialty Steamed Bread Store had cubed Whale Beast meat manju. The Whale Beast meat was cooked til tender and wrapped in a fluffy manju bun.
– The Tea Room didn’t have a stall, but they were open just like usual. However for the day they were offering mostly herbal teas to help with digestion.
– Pot and Kettle cooked up some hearty soup. They processed the whale meat into bacon and cooked it with some soup stock and a bunch of vegetables.
– The Steamed Kitchen pulled out some steamed meat crepe wraps. They steamed all the fats and oils off the meat, soaking it in sweet and sour sauce afterwards and wrapped it up in a thinly toasted crepe.
– Mercury Bar brought some Whale Beast barbecued brisket. They deliberately cooked the meat until it was a bright rose-red color and added on their own special sauce.
– Revitalizing Home cooked up some minced Whale Beast meat. They really only fried the meat for a short time, so while the outside had turned a wonderful golden brown, the inside was still mostly raw.
– Representing the western fishing village, the mayor Gattis along with the new deputy mayor representing all of the new seal beastmen Selkis had mixed together and simmered some roots, herbs and the Whale Beast’s tongue, cooking thin slices of tanyaki¹ at the venue.
This list of different meat dishes continued to go on and on.
Another highlight is the cosplay couple parade.
Couples would pair up in vibrant costumes, and with several transsexuals dressed in their own rainbow colored costumes in the lead, they would all march around town. It was fine for anyone to jump on in.
At the boutique Masquerade, a number of unusual costumes all labeled “carnival style” could be rented, and tourists would choose out their favorite ones to wear around the city.
Plum, Masquerade’s proprietor, had actually done Ellis a favor, and per her request, prepared two special sets of outfits in secret.
“Ah, just as I expected.”
And it didn’t take Ellis long to find the Hero Gray and the magician Marionetta stuffing their cheeks with meat at one of the stalls.
“Hello Gray. Oh and Marionetta, I know a nice place to rest while you’re eating.”
Ellis randomly stepped into the two’s date, and with a little overbearing incitement, brought them along with her while their mouths were still stuffed with meat.
“Plum, I’ve brought Marionetta and friend.”
“Oh my, Ellis, you’re early.”
Plum left the customer she was currently helping to one of her clerks and greeted Ellis at the door. After the pleasantries were out of the way, she started looking Gray and Marionetta up and down.
“Hey there, I’ve been waiting for you both. This way please.”
They were two people who had no idea what was going on as Ellis pushed their backs further into the store. Then all of the sudden Ellis cruelly declared,
“Marionetta and Marionetta’s boyfriend, wear these clothes for the rest of the day. If you don’t I’ll drive you out of that apartment.”
The sudden oppression threw the two for a loop.
“Hold on Ellis, isn’t it way too terrible to suddenly spring this on us?”
Naturally Gray tried to argue.
“Shut up. If you have any complaints, give them after you see Marionetta put the costume on.”
Ellis was completely writing Gray off. Instead, she was motioning Marionetta to hurry up and get changed.
For those who lived in Warren, going against Ellis was as dangerous as going up against one of the guild masters. That’s what Marionetta believed at least, so she obediently followed Plum with no objections.
“Um Ellis, is this a joke?”
“Cosplay is always a joke.”
Ellis batted away Marionetta’s flimsy protest.
Marionetta’s costume. Her red hair was tied in the back with her bangs left alone, and her breasts and stomach were covered with a black bra and corset with bat wings stitched to the back. Black short pants with knee-length boots of the same color. A small trident accessory in her right hand brought the whole thing together.
It was the figure of the infamous succubus. An upgraded version of the costume Karen had worn when she announced the first ever wrestling match all that time ago.
“So, Gray, do you hate it?”
Gray was too absorbed in Marionetta’s out-of-character sexy outfit and couldn’t give Ellis an answer. He wasn’t able to say anything when one of the male clerks dragged him over to a changing room either. When the Hero finally returned, all you could see of him was his face with the rest of his body wrapped up in pitch black, sinister-looking armor.
“It’s an imaginary Demon Lord cosplay. You two need to spend the whole day dressed like this. You’re the Demon Lord and a succubus. You’ll have to participate in the parade too of course.”
“The deposit for renting the costumes is 200,000 ril. If you return them before the day is through, I will reimburse you 190,000 ril,” Plum quickly added.
And just like that a couple of kids born out in a rural village got shanghaied by a couple of businessmen into putting down a 200,000 ril deposit and thrown out onto the street wearing a Demon Lord and succubus costume.
Meanwhile with Reeve and Su-chan. Ellis had made it very clear that the two of them were to, “find the Demon Lord and Rosen Princess and bring them to the Masquerade boutique to matter what”. And so Reeve had her boots on the ground, desperately searching for her charges while a cute-sized Su-chan frantically flew through the air.
Then, Su-chan was abruptly pummeled by a shockwave and almost blown clean out of the sky.
Su-chan made a stupid sound that was broadcast directly into Reeve’s mind as he came fluttering down to the ground below.
“What happened Su-chan!” Reeve hurriedly asked telepathically.
“Ow, Reeve, just now, two people with a lot of magic power just got close. They look like they’re swinging back around. They blew past me like some trash in the road though.”
As he told Reeve everything, Su-chan continued spiraling down, following the wind trails of those magical powers that had blow him away with his eyes.
The pitiful Demon Lord and Berunal approached the two cautiously, worried that when they had battered Su-chan, it was actually another demon they’d hit and their secret was exposed.
After hitting the ground, Su-chan immediately reached his mind out to reestablish a mental link with Reeve, but before he could say anything, Reeve started shouting at their two visitors.
“I’ve finally found you Rosen Princess! Now come lend me your body for a bit!”
“Reeve, you might want to reword that a bit.”
Su-chan climbed up onto Reeve’s chest while offering her a bit of advice. After getting situated, he then turned his attention to the two lumps of magical power before him.
“Ah, Berudeus, Berunal, hello. I am Su-chan, Warren’s Guardian Dragon.”
The Demon Lord had turned back thinking there would be a fight, so the sudden self-introduction left him unable to think. Berunal on the other hand offered the duo a large grin, patting Su-chan on the head as she returned the “Hello”. In the end, the demonic duo had no reason to turn down Reeve’s invitation.
“This is for you two.”
Plum and one of her male clerks took the Demon Lord and Berunal in back to get changed into their costumes. The Demon Lord was equipped with a complete set of stark white armor complete with helmet, gauntlets, boots, and a gaudy sword at his hip. Berunal’s was a chalk white armor with a mini-skirt and a slender prop lance. Attached to the side of her helmet were also a pair of feather wings.
The Demon Lord was a pretend Hero while Berunal was cosplaying as a valkyrie.
“I’m begging you. Just for today, trust that I’m not trying to trick you and wear these around town,” Reeve was on her hands and knees, entreating the two with tears in her eyes.
“The deposit to rent these costumes is 200,000 ril. If you return them before the day’s through, you’ll get 190,000 ril back,” Plum was ignoring the pathetic looking girl meanwhile and was focused on business.
“And please join in on the parade,” Su-chan quickly added on the part of Ellis’s order that Reeve had forgotten in her desperation.
Berunal felt a bit of familiarity with the costume she was wearing. She felt like she had worn something like this before long ago…….but her thoughts were interrupted by the Demon Lord.
“I don’t know what kind of joke this is, but I’ll play around for now. However, I’ll be sure to give you a proper response if I don’t like it.”
The Demon Lord was in a bad mood, but Reeve and Su-chan brushed it off like a summer breeze, patting each other on the back for a job well done.
“Master, let’s go confirm your reservation.”
“Right. I almsot forgot something really important.”
Thus the Demon Lord and fallen angel were to spend the rest of their day pretending to be a Hero and a valkyrie.
1. So originally they just say some of the whale’s organs, but since tanyaki is a dish with beef tongue in Japan, I rolled with it.