Chapter 19: Queen-Princess Day Part One
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I found myself walking through the city again, the people bowing as we walked by. I hid closely behind Mother. All of the eyes fixed on me made me want to close mine. After my glorious painting the day before, she promised to take me into the city below—a mother-daughter day out. My only consolation was I had gotten used to the frilly getups. The white dress wasn’t so constricting anymore. 

We walked through a large shopping district—different from the plaza with food stalls. I held her hand tightly as we passed by businesses with windows, without windows, and Roman businesses with arches. Much like the plaza, this place was also a kaleidoscope of cultures. One building brought me to a pause mid-walk. There were mannequins in the glass display. One of them had cat ears on top. Golden jewelry pierced the mannequin’s pointed ears. The clothes of the dummies were high class—sporting as many frills as myself. 

“You want to look inside, dear?” Mother asked, smiling down at me. 

My mother had already brought me into the city, so I wondered what the harm of exploring could be. I nodded. “Yes, I want to go inside!”

She grinned as we walked hand in hand—opening the glass door with a push. The store’s interior was bedazzling. The inside of the place had fancy robes, dresses, and brooches. On one side of the store, I saw a glass casing. Inside the case were rows of jewelry, but what caught my eye were the hairclips at the end. I released Mother’s hand and ran to the display.

Inside the quaint case were many clips, but one that caught my eye was a purple rose clip. As I browsed others and pressed my face on the glass, a girl’s voice beside me caused me to jump. 

“Aren’t they pretty?” The girl asked, her expression silly and curious. She tilted her head cutely. Her hair was a fiery red with orange highlights, and I could tell she was around my age. The most striking feature was her red scales running up the side of her neck. Well, that and she had tiny, black curved horns growing from the top of her head. 

“You are much more pretty, um—”

“Janie,” she said, moving her head closer to the glass. “Which one is your favorite?” 

“I really like that purple rose!” I said, gasping in surprise. It was the first time I was talking to someone my age in this life, yet there was no stuttering. I wondered if it was because she felt familiar. 

“Right,” Janie said, “you never said your name.” 

“Oh, I am Enala Ar—actually, just Enala!” 

She giggled and pointed inside the case at a yellow butterfly clip. “I like that one.” 

Then, my mom showed up with another familiar dragon I hadn’t seen since the mana core incident. 

“Father!” Janie said as she ran up and hugged Ineer. 

“Mother!” I said, following the little dragon’s lead with my own parent. 

“Fufufu, did you have fun, dear?” Mother petted my head. “You know, we could get one if you like them.” 

I tugged on her dress and used my other hand to make a come-close gesture. As she bent down, I whispered in Mother’s ear, “Can you get that yellow one for Janie?” 

She nodded and smiled, kissing my forehead. 

“Bye, bye, Enala!” Janie yelled as they left for the door.


“We have important business to attend to. Though, it was nice to see you again. Don’t worry. I will bring my daughter by again. Count on it,” Ineer said before they left. 

I was about to call out for them, but Mother stopped me with a finger on my lips. “It’s okay, dear. We can get it now, and you will be able to give it to her next time, fufu.” 

After that, we paid for the gift and left the store ourselves. As usual, the cashier didn’t want Mother to pay for it. Walking out of the store, I noticed a street clock. It was about time for lunch, and my rumbling stomach took notice. 

“Fufu, are you hungry, dear?” Mother asked.

I started to nod, but another building across the street caught my eye. The front of the store had a large paint and brush logo. I couldn’t tell clearly from my position, but I knew it had to be the store selling the legendary endless paints!

“Mommy, look!” I pointed at the store across the white-bricked road. “That has to be that paint store!”

“It would seem so. You want to check it out?” 

My stomach rumbled again, and I blushed. 

“Fufufu, I have just the thing for your tummy,” Mother said. She pulled out a blood chalice and handed it to me. “I was going to take you by the food stalls, but I think we can do that next time.” 

I smiled and wet my fangs with the blood inside the chalice as I sipped. When I finished drinking, I finally asked a question that had been on my mind. “Mother, where does all of this blood come from?”

“Don’t worry, dear. Most of it comes from monsters out in the wilderness.” She held my hand and continued speaking as we crossed the road. “There was a time when it was different, but that was many millennia ago. This reminds me that you will start tutelage under your grandfather in a few days. You are getting so big~” She picked me up and rubbed our cheeks together before the paint store entrance. “I am going to miss this small and cute Enala. Though, you will always be small and cute to me—”

“Mother! People are watching!” 

She finally relented her love attack and kisses when we entered the store, placing me down. 

My eyes flew open wide. It was a painting paradise! There were so many paints everywhere, new colors, and beautiful paintings on the walls. The shelves held canvases, paintbrushes, and paint bottles. There were other art supplies, but it was mostly paint as far as the eye could see. 

“Oh! This is an unexpected visit! Your Majesty, Your Highness,” an elderly lady said from behind a wooden counter. "Welcome to Chromatic Creativity!"