|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2789 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1196 words|
Ciel listened to my explanation with a serious expression and silently went over the chant she just learned. Then she suddenly faced forward, clad her body in Magic Power, and recited the Flight Magic chant in a grand manner.
“—Magic Power, source of the world! Release me from the shakes of gravity and bless upon me wide wings!”
The next moment, she started to gently float up, but then immediately rocketed up with terrific force.
I chased after her in a hurry, lined up next to her, and frantically tried to get her to stop panicking. The wind whistled at my ears. Thus I yelled in a voice that could overshadow that.
“Calm down! Calm down and control your magic! If you restrain the Magic flow, your speed will naturally decrease!”
During our exchange, the hut below had turned into a small dot. My expression stiffened at the face of such speed. It seemed that Ciel’s compatibility with it was far better than I imagined. After Ciel regained her calm, her ascent gradually slowed down and eventually came to a stop, after which she started to descent slowly. Good. If she kept going up like that, things could’ve gotten messy.
“Like that… Just keep it going slow…”
Ciel didn’t respond to my voice, seemingly in a deep concentration. Her serious attitude made me break into a smile. I wonder how many hundreds of years has it been since the last time I got so into something? Seeing how she had new things to challenge made me a bit envious.
§ § §
“I’m back…Ah! Ciel!”
After Karin returned in tatters, she saw Ciel floating midair and tried to run towards her, but I hurriedly stopped her and shushed her by putting a finger on her lips. It seemed that she had successfully hunted all 20 monsters, she carried a pile of their parts that would serve as proof. Given her personality, she wouldn’t do something like faking the number, so there was no need to confirm them.
“Amazing, she’s really floating.”
“She still has a long way to go. You must be tired, so you can go to sleep first.”
“No. I’ll stay too. I can’t help her anyway, but I’d like to cheer for her at least.”
She decided to wait out the rest of the test with me and Ciel. She sat down next to me and quietly observed Ciel floating in the sky, even refusing all food and rest until Ciel finally came down.
After a long time where every single minute seemed to stretch for dozens of times longer, the eastern sky finally started to brighten up. The tender rays of the sun embraced our chilled bodies as if offering warmth after the cold night. It seemed that Ciel was already reaching her limit as she started undulating and lost her stability.
“Ciel! Keep going! Just a little longer!”
Receiving the encouragement, Ciel gritted her teeth and ascended a little to maintain her altitude. However, that action finally put her past her limit and she fell down as if her strings were cut. I dashed in a hurry and caught her in my arms.
“It’s okay. She’s just sleeping.”
She was releasing sleeping breaths in my arms. Her expression seemed to be full of pride and confidence of someone who had overcome great difficulty.
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§ § §
“And so, you both passed. You did well.”
When I announced their success, the two girls raised quite an ungirly cry while bursting with joy. I was a bit put off by that, but I decided to not ruin it and kept my mouth shut. After Ciel collapsed, she stayed asleep for an entire day. That wasn’t anything unnatural, however, as it was a common occurrence among magicians who drained their magical powers.
The next day, she lept to her feet while worrying whether she failed, but I first let them eat and calmed them down before announcing the results.
She was convinced that she failed, so her excitement was quite something. She pushed up her fist and jumped up and down in a strange manner. Karin celebrated it in her own weird way, which was rolling around on the floor.
“Errr, are you done yet?”
After a while, the two finally regained their calmness and embarrassedly straightened themselves and sat down as if nothing happened. Look, that isn’t going to deceive anyone.
“With this, Ciel has obtained Flight Magic which was her goal, so there’s no longer a reason for you two to stay here.”
It seemed that they had only realized that fact now and stared at me in shock. I thought they would be returning to the town and doing their own thing, while I would return to my usual quiet life, but the two proposed something that didn’t even cross my mind.
“About that… Lapis! If you’d like, won’t you come with us to the town!?”
Come down from this mountain? Their proposal that I never considered had me unusually disturbed. Why did they even suggest something like that? Did they think I was leading such a shabby life here?
“You might have not realized it yourself, but Lapis, you’ve been making a lonely face every now and then. It was mostly whenever we talked about all the fun we had in the town.”
“I can more or less tell that you have some reason to live here. But if it’s not something too special, come with us to the town. I’m sure it’ll be fun.”
I looked lonely…? Me? Was that really true? During my 300 years of stay here, there were times I got bored, but I couldn’t recall ever being lonely. Perhaps it was due to people always hindering me that I started fearing human contact. Still, I wonder, have I started longing for it unnoticed?
“You… can’t? We don’t want to leave you alone in such a lonely place, Lapis.”
“Please! Think of it as helping us! You can return anytime if you don’t like it!”
I didn’t know what was making them go so far for me. Still, they were worried for me, that much was obvious. How long has it been since anyone had worried for me, I wonder? Because I was too strong, even the comrades who fought with me were on the receiving end of the worry. Their worry made me quite restless and even a bit happy. I was surprised at myself all over again.
“I… see. Then I’ll accept your offer and come with you.”
“Really!? I’m so glad!”
“Yay! I’ll show you a lot of things to repay your favor! I’ll never let you get bored!”
Perhaps I could get fed up and return here again, but it wasn’t so bad to return to the civilization after so long. It should serve as a great stimulus for my boring life. I will confirm with my own eyes just how much the world has changed in these 300 years. I smiled wryly as the two girls hugged me happily, excitement secretly spreading in my heart.