|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2282 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1010 words|
“I swear…okay, listen here Lapis. I know you are Luvias’ master, but anything that happens in the capital has nothing to do with you. Why are you so insistent on getting involved?”
“That’s not exactly true though…I’ve been branded as a wanted criminal too, so I’m also affected-”
“But with your strength, who cares about that! You could just go somewhere else! Just forget about everyone else!”
I was left speechless at her insistent tone. What had happened to her? She had always been somewhat aloof, but she had never been the kind of person to cast aside her comrades. I still could not comprehend why she was so annoyed at me now. She seemed to notice she had lost her cool, so she took a deep breath before speaking more slowly.
“Ugh…okay, it’s not as bad as three hundred years ago, but things are taking a similar course, right? I told you last time, come here if you aren’t allowed to be anywhere else. Is there anything else you can possibly do now that you’re being hunted down as a criminal?”
“That’s a bit too selfish…if I was working alone I would do that, but now that would mean shunning my comrades and the people around me, just so I can save myself.”
I was starting to understand the source of her bitterness. She was just too worried about me. After everything I had gone through in the past, she was probably overreacting seeing people thinking bad of me again. It affected her so much that she was raising her voice, unlike her usual calm and lazy self. I lifted my hand to stop her from saying anything more, and I spoke with a smile.
“Thank you Sorciere, but I’m better now. My comrades now still trust me after learning who I am, and I care deeply for them too. I can’t abandon them.”
“Who you are… I see… So they’re staying with you even after finding out. I guess I really underestimated them then.”
Hearing her say that made me slightly proud about my friends. But this was not a time to smile and laugh. I had not come here for Sorciere to yell at me, or change her mind.
“I think you already know this, but let me ask again, can you protect Sepia, Maria, and Rina, until it’s safe for them out there again?”
“Easily done. If it means you can fight without worry, I don’t mind keeping three or thirty people here.”
Hearing that, the three heaved a sigh of relief, but Sorciere was still talking.
They all perked their heads up.
“They’ll have to follow the city’s rules. I’m sure they already noticed, but this is no normal city. Since all races are accepted here, strict rules are needed to maintain peace, though they are not necessarily complicated. Just don’t harm others, and don’t look down on them. Anyone can stay here as long as they obey those two rules.”
“I see. Is there any vacant house where they could-”
Sepia interrupted our conversation, standing up while raising her hand. Her face turned red feeling everyone’s attention on her, so she cleared her throat before talking.
“First off, I want to express my gratitude for offering us shelter. However, I also have a request of my own. Would you allow me to take care of your home, Lady Sorciere?”
Take care of her home? It took me a while to understand what she meant, but I found the answer when I followed Sepia’s gaze. She was clearly bothered by the amount of trash and food utensils scattered all over Sorciere’s room. I would not dare call it a tidy room even if I was trying to be polite. Someone who worked as a maid for royalty would definitely want to clear that up.
“I always took care of Lady Luvias’ needs, so I’m sure I can be of use cleaning and cooking here as well. Being protected while not doing anything in return would hurt my pride as a maid too.”
“Umm, in that case let me help too! If there’s anything that needs to be done in the city, please tell me.”
Maria felt she could not stay idle either, so she sprung on her feet and offered her help too. Sorciere looked at them, an entertained look in her face, before resting her chin on her palm and starting to think.
I heard someone gulp loudly in expectation. Unlike the two adults who were nervous about this, I was not stressed at all. Knowing Sorciere, she was not considering whether to let them work or not, but thinking what chores she could offload on them. Eventually she was done pondering and spoke again.
“Then, Sepia…right? You’ll work as my maid for a while. And Maria can help in the dining hall, I heard they were a bit short handed there lately. Last…”
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Sorciere glanced at Rina. Oh no…she was definitely thinking of something weird.
“Giving little Rina work would be too cruel, so instead she’ll study under me while you’re here. I’ll teach her to write and read, some math, and maybe the foundations of magic too.”
Rina looked slightly afraid hearing that, but she showed no signs of wanting to retreat. At first I wanted to stop Sorciere, since it might be too much load for Rina, but then I realized I was subjected to worse at a younger age. Compared to that, Rina would have a much better time. On the other hand, being taught by Sorciere was a great honor as well, given she was the most powerful sorceress in the world. Ciel would be seething with jealousy hearing that.
“Well, let’s get along, little Rina.”
At least this meant the three of them would be safe. There were a lot of things that made me hesitant about being in this city for a long time, but Sorciere would treat them well…hopefully.