As another needle pricked her through the fabric draped over her slender frame, Nisha couldn’t help but wince.
Not that it happened frequently, but ever since Aubrey insisted on helping her older sister, Linda, out with fixing up a new dress for their guest, the amount of times she had felt the needle’s sting certainly increased.
“I still don’t understand why I need a whole new set of dresses. What’s wrong with my current wardrobe?”
After a short lunch, where the dragon nibbled on her serving and answered various questions the older women had in between bites, Linda immediately dragged her back through the curtain and showed her the work room of their tailor shop.
Not allowed any excuses, she was quickly stripped of the sky blue summer dress the elven girl had tailored herself while still living in the cottage on the hunting grounds, and was forced to model diverse fabrics as the artisan hidden inside Linda’s soul made its appearance.
Pulling out differing layouts and measuring it to her size before handing it off to Mary to work on the actual cuts, Aubrey who, of course couldn’t accept being left out while her adorable friend was left to the devices of her two older siblings, joined in on the work even when it was apparent that she didn’t have any talent in tailoring.
At least the needles can’t hurt me and she’s not doing it on purpose. I’ll have to warn her sisters to never let her near an actual customer though.
“Of course there’s something wrong with them! Well, not physically speaking, but for the capital, this dress is far too plain. If I let you leave dressed in something like that, coming from the door of my shop, I might as well just give up the trade then.”
Okay, I definitely don’t like that glint in her eyes.
With a bad premonition, Nisha instinctively clasped her hands tighter around her body.
“That doesn’t tell me anything at all! Explain it more clearly!”
Giving a short and merry laugh, Linda handed another bundle of vibrant materials to Mary, who never ceased to cut and sew, no matter how big the mountain became.
“Well, strictly speaking your dress isn’t all that bad. When I say plain, I mean that there are no decorations or intricate designs used when it was created. In a village or a small outpost, no one would lose a word about the way you dress, and that’s fine there.
But we’re in Thurgau! The greatest city in all of Leandar.
Considering the fact that this is the center of the entire country, attracting the strongest adventurers and the most skilled craftsmen, it’d be a shame to hide a cute little girl like you in plain clothing.
Who made those dresses anyway? The raw material doesn’t quite match the stitching and sewing technique involved.”
Glancing over the discarded dress in the corner, the brown haired seamstress couldn’t help but be impressed with getting her hands on a sample of [Heavenly Silk], a rare commodity seldom exported by the southern kingdoms. As a tailor, she never had the chance to work with it before in its unprocessed form, plus she couldn’t ask her friend’s sister to sell her the dress now that she had already pointed out its flaws.
“Alright, Nisha, you can change back now. We should have everything we need to make you a new set of clothes for an adorable aspiring adventurer. With a bit of help from Uncle Asen, the next time you visit, there’ll be a whole bundle of fashionable dresses and outfits waiting for you.”
Pulling the needles from the print and marking the fabric for further steps, Linda released the cheerful dragon from standing on the low stool, giving her the outward appearance of a delicate figurine.
As the happy elven girl took off the coarse [Cotton Wool], a material that was harvested at the farm Aubrey’s parents owned, the still largely loose and unfitting sheet of clothing brushed the dark red and black scales sticking out above her lower undergarments, creating a surprising reaction from the little dragon.
Draining away all other sensations, disabling her [Spirit Sight] and slowing her perception of time, a pair of blazing golden eyes set its sights on the three girls inside the room.
Instead of a friend and her sisters, their exposed flesh represented an unbelievable temptation. Her teeth growing two sharp points on each jaw, a small, pink tongue flickered over her teeth as she got ready to devour these bundles of rosy flesh and life around herself.
Ready to pounce on her prey, a reddish hue dominating her vision, Nisha almost ripped into them when Asen entered the room, unnoticed by the dragon who was prepared to feast on the life around her. Having picked up her blue summer dress, he gave her a clap on the back, almost causing her to stagger off her small pedestal.
“Don’t run around naked here, you never know when a customer comes in.”
The warning broke her out of her trance, resulting in big blinking eyes as the realization sunk in for the elven girl.
I almost attacked them! What’s wrong with me? What exactly happened?
Unable to come up with an answer, she quickly pulled her dress over her head, hiding her reddening cheeks from her friend and her family.
“With that out the way, follow me, Nisha! I’ll show you to my room!”
Apparently jealous that her sisters occupied so much of the adorable girl’s time, even when she was her friend and not theirs, a glaring Aubrey embraced her hand again, leading her away from the still working sisters, only able to awkwardly wave in their direction.
Luckily, Mary glanced up at this time, catching her goodbye and reciprocated the motion, only to get a scolding from Linda for slacking off.
“Thank you for the clothes! I’ll make sure to bring money with me next time I come around.”
Situated in Aubrey’s room, Nisha made sure to quickly settle the debt she had just incurred, not wanting to burden her friend anymore.
“Ah, don’t worry about it. Even when charging only the material costs and not the work time, I can easily convince my sisters to deduct that from my allowance as a special friends and family discount. Think of it as a small gift from me to you. Getting to see you wearing the dresses will be more than enough to pay me back.”
Having gotten a fairly good grasp on Nisha’s personality, the counter girl already anticipated that she wouldn’t accept a gift like this, and preempted her response.
Of course, being read like that didn’t sit well with the dragon either. Smiling on the outside, she agreed to accepting the gift, while she looked around in her friend’s room.
With a simple wooden bed, a large wardrobe overflowing with various bits and ends of colorful clothes peaking out and a desk riddled with various papers, as well as a mana lamp.
Situated on the second floor of the building, the dragon was surprised to see how clean and spacious the chamber was, after all Aubrey and her family’s social justice was among the commoners, not that it mattered to Nisha. Even if she befriended a slave, she wouldn’t think any less of them just because of a silly title placed upon them. She, herself, after all didn’t even have a place in society. Monsters and beasts couldn’t easily gain good reputations, at most they were tolerated as the companions of adventurers.
Despite that, each of the sisters living in the tailor shop had a room for themselves instead of sharing one with each other, and there was still an empty room reserved at the end of the corridor, according to Aubrey, who explained their living situation while they climbed the stairs before arriving at her room.
Sitting on the bed, Nisha nodded her head in reply to the offer of accepting the clothes as a gift. At the same time, she slipped the pouch of coins Henry handed her earlier under the pillow lying on the bed, inwardly grinning when she thought of the face Aubrey would make when discovering it.
Playing around with the cheerful girl, Nisha had quite a bit of fun and chatted about several topics with her friend, including matters at the guild and being an adventurer, as she was eventually accompanied to the door.
“Usually I’d take you out to one of the stalls to get something to eat as well, since you couldn’t really enjoy lunch in peace, but I know you’re probably aching to get back and start studying your new books.
I’ll drop by the guild tomorrow again, so stop by if you want to take a look at the quests or simply want to chat, okay?”
Clearly able to feel the concern behind the lively girl’s words, a comfy warmth spread through Nisha’s body.
“Mhm, I’ll definitely stop by soon. Tomorrow I will probably stay at home and study the new skills, but after that, I’ll make sure to come by at least once before I go out to hunt. Bye, Brey.”
Waving and walking backwards until reaching the door, the dragon made her way towards the main street, where she finally stopped moving her hand enthusiastically, even though she hadn’t been able to see her friend for quite a while now.
Really, I’m quite lucky to have met Brey. As far as I know, it’s highly unusual for a commoner to be so invested in matters between guilds or nobles.
Remembering her new books after that stray thought, Nisha started to rush back home, only taking some time to greet the guards at the gate leading to the noble district and conversing for a bit before resuming her sprint towards the Dharnas estate.
Heading inside her own room, she didn’t meet anyone before diving into her bed and focusing her mind inside her [Soul Space], which reappeared as a copy of her physical body inside the world of her soul.
Looking around for a second - albeit she knew exactly about each item that occupied even the tiniest amount of room inside her personal world - the elven girl practically skipped over towards the patch of grass where her three tomes rested on the ground. Snatching a random one, the dragon groaned when she discovered its color.
With a dark sheen, [The perfect Handbook to Become a Dark Overlord and Create a Harem] glistened in her hands.
I should’ve put it back the moment Henry teased me about the title. At the time I shrugged it off, however the excuse I gave might not necessarily be true.
Guiding her thumb over the two bronze stars gleaming underneath the title, she was bemused for a second. Just going by the grade of rareness the attendant at the library explained, this was the least valuable skill book that Nisha had obtained.
Contrary to her doubts of the usefulness a book with such a shady tome had, a lower ranked skill probably was easier for her to learn, since everyone she met stressed the importance of them, a defensive technique might make the difference between life and death by a slim margin, while a strong offensive skill might allow her to overcome a strong foe she would otherwise not be able to best.
With high expectations, the dragon decided this book was as good as any other to start and flipped open the cover, eager to see its contents.
“Congratulations, mortal. You have succeeded in obtaining my legacy, the one and only of its kind. Allow me to introduce my noble self. I go by the name of Supreme Dark Overlord, a dark knight of the highest level.
Simply by possessing this rare treasure, you will be able to ascend to similar heights as me, a true hero.
Of course not to the same heights. I’m the most awesome and most powerful knight there is, after all.”
Suppressing the the urge to call upon her flame and turn the book into a pile of ashes, Nisha could only sit there for a while, her right eye lid twitching from time to time.