When we enter the living room, Sierra and Father were having a meal. They had a surprised expression when they turned their eyes onto me.
“Gerald, are you feeling better now?”
“Yeah, I feel great”
I nodded to Father words as I sat on my chair.
As soon as I sat down, Mother brought in hot soup and bread for me. Just the smell of it multiplied my appetite by ten folds.
Well, it’s only natural, seeing I have not eaten anything for three days now.
Both of my hands naturally stretched out towards the dish. I ate the bread like a caveman while every so often, gulping down the slightly sweet corn soup.
“Geho, goho” ⌈1⌋
“Ahh, mou, eat slowly Gerald-chan, it won’t disappear you don’t have to rush”
Struggling to swallow the food, Mother used a handkerchief and help wiped my mouth.
…… Even though I know that I’m childish, I still tried to act like a grown-up. Possibly because they think that my action of overdoing myself was amusing, Father and Mother ended up chuckling.
“By the way, Otou-san, Okaa-san”
While slowly finishing the rest of the food, I told Father and Mother.
“I am able to perceive æther now”
After saying that, Father’s expression changed from surprise to joy.
“Gerald…… You” ⌈2⌋
Father looked at me with an expression as if he was about to cry and then he proceeded to wipe his eyes (though there were no tears flowing).
“I see, you are becoming a man too……”
He muttered to himself.
But I understood Father’s feelings. To be more precise, I am starting to understand his feelings.
Now, I am able to perceive æther, something which I could not have done before.
At least, I am『Like a Magician』. There is no doubt that becoming a magician means I am growing up.
“Otou-san, will I become a good man?”
“Ahh, to grow, to grow into such a splendid young man…… as expected of my son”
Hishi! ⌈3⌋ While seeing two men embracing each other, Mother muttered to herself while having an amazed face.
“Mmm, man sure are blockheads……”
You would think that he is getting excited at such a trivial thing. But this is an important matter between Father and me.
Be that as it may, I decided to not give Mother any more chance of making fun of me, I untied my arms from Father’s back and returned them back to my side.
Then, Father, with all his might, suddenly pulled himself back to me.
“Gerald, I…… I used to wish to become a magician back in my glory days a long time ago”
I see. After I looked at him, I understood.
Ever since I started using magic, the tension started to rise. But having been told by your son that he is also able to perceive aether now, it was enough to make you cry.
I love and respect the place where the heart of a boy is kept in Father like that. I really want to become an adult who does not forget purity, like my father.
“But I lacked the talent…… to understand the magic language. But surprisingly, my son has been granted the dream I always yearned for. For parents, there is no greater joy than this. Thank you very much!”
My face became red after hearing Father’s thankful words. I wonder why such straightforward and to the point words of gratitude could be this embarrassing.
Aware of my own embarrassed expression, Mother displayed a smile over on the other side of the table while giggling.
“Oh? Nii-tan and Rachel getting along? Sierra too!”
Sierra clung onto my back and squeezed tightly. What a cute little creature, I feel happy just being close to her.
Sierra rubs her cheeks on my back. Even if the action is not visible, I could imagine. Her actions seem to make my chest warm and relaxed. Sierra is clad in a soothing aura. I see, I can perceive æther regardless of senses.
If such a thing is considered.
“…… Nii-tan, smewwy”
“Well, it can’t be helped since you have not washed your body in three days”
Sierra moved away from my back. Mother’s strangely calm comment seemed to be the finishing blow to me.
However, Sierra getting away from my back somehow managed to help me regain my composure. While sitting on the chair and extending the spoon for the soup again, I decided to『look』at everyone.
And then I saw it, three people covered in æther.
Father is……Unfortunately, his æther is considerably low. The faint light he emitted was coloured dark grey. However somewhere deep down, despite him being a romanticist, he gives off a feeling of being a serious father.
He said he didn’t have the talent for it, but even if he knew the language of magic, but with the size of this æther, he won’t be able to use very strong magic techniques.
I saw it when Mother entered the room, but the æther given off was in a warm orange colour.
Still, the feeling I get from Mother’s æther is so gentle that it feels like it envelopes you to the brim with magnanimity. Warm, gentle……I like colours of that feeling.
Next, I move my eyes to Sierra—incredible.
Unlike my bright silver light, her æther is so strong to the point you’d be hard pressed to question whether it was a halo or not. Even though I’m know magic on some extent, but, it’s still so dazzling.
According to the grimoire, anyone during infancy/early childhood has a talent for magic. From there, as you’re growing older, both of your talent and æther light gradually grow smaller, until you’re dead.
In that sense, Sierra who’s still two years old has such a strong æther light.
However, by continuously looking at other people’s æther like this, I somehow managed to sense my own æther.–
Even though it is a good practice to shut myself in the room and pour æther into the spell, there’s a special feeling when perceiving other people’s æther. I notice there are differences on individual æther in color and light. Moreover, this magical light can show us the innerself of the person, it’s pretty interesting.
Even so, why could I suddenly perceive æther…?
That’s remind me, I think I have an idea about it.
The sign that I felt before the big wild boar appears. And also, there was some indigo color-like thing which wrapped the body of that low-tier monster.
Don’t tell me, at that time I already….
[… Nee, Father. I want to ask something]
[Nn? What is it Gerald?]
[There was something shiny in the body of the giant wild boar, do you know about it?]
[Light, eh?… No, I don’t remember there is something like that…]
[『Protect him with the Divine Protection』]
[O,oh!? Gerald, what magic did you use on me this time?]
When I cast the incantation, golden light wraps around my father’s body.
Disregard my surprised… No, my excited father, I turned around to mother and Sierra.
[Hey, do you see golden light that wraps around father’s body?]
[Eh, I don’t understand]
[Light? Sierra dunno]
[Un. I see. Thank you both of you. I think I understand for the time being]
[What do you understand?]
Toward me who understood something, my mother just inclined her neck in curiousity, I think I understood it to some extent.
When I was attacked by the Giant Wild Boar, most likely I could already sense the æther so I was able to do it. For example, the moment where I cast strengthening magic on my father’s body.
And then, if I encounter another Giant Wild Boar, I think I might be able to recognize the magic that giant wild boar possessed. Perhaps, the reason I could perceive æther was because the magic sensory organ or something developed rapidly.
However, as the result, my body can’t endure the rapid change, thus I have fallen asleep for the three days due to that.
When I told my conjecture to my father and mother, they both consent with [I see] together.
[More importantly, Gerald is really smart to be able to understand that kind of magic. Moreover, possessing the understanding to predict about anything at this age. Oh dear, you will grow into someone amazing in the future]
[Well yeah… I wonder where did we make mistake in raising you?]
Oi, what do you mean by that, mom.
[This kind of smart Gerald, mom don’t want it… Mom prefer the cute and foolish Gerald]
[What about Sierra? Is Sierra cute?]
[Yeah, of course! Sierra is the cutest in the world!]
[Ehehe, Onii-tan, thank you]
Sierra’s smiling face at that time was really dangerous.
Mou, really, even though it’s bad manner during eating, I want to embrace her, rub my face on her, and pat her adorable head.
[Saa, Sierra, come!]
Therefore, I straightened my body stance and open both of my arms on Sierra.
But, my expectation has been betrayed.
[Eh, Sierra. Come here, Oniichan will hug you~ I’ll hold you up tightly, you know?]
[W, why… Why, Sierra….Do you hate, Oniichan?]
[Mmm, but I like you Onitan?]
[Haha. You’ve been rejected, Gerald]
My father’s hand slapped my back when I was depressed due to her words.
…. Moreover, to slap my back while being on strengthened body, it’s more painful than usual.
The effect of magic, I experienced it for the first time.
After the Princess of our home said [Smelly] to me, I went outside with full stomach.
I wanted to try various magics which I was able to perceive at once, but for the time being let’s wash my body first.
Anyway, it’s natural to think that Sierra is my most precious girl. That kind of Sierra said such things, there is no way that I am alright with it.
… Well, when I said something like that, my father responded [I won’t give my daughter to you! I will never hands her to a man like you!], it somewhat made me speechless.
Anyway, I draw water to the tub from the well in the garden, I put the dry medical herbs inside. I carried the tub to the sink place, and began to wipe my body with a wet cloth.
What is a sink place? To put it simply, it’s a place like bathroom without bathtub. The surface of the floor was made by smooth stones, and there was cloth covering the surrounding to prevent being seen from outside.
The people in this village usually brought their hot water or cold water to this sink place and wash their body. Even though there is no custom to use bathtub, there’s no feeling of lingering dirt after cleaning up, thanks to the medical herbs which serve as the soap.
… Well, the moment I can use magic to make my body clean, there will be no need to use the sink place again.
[What a nice weather…]
Although it’s quite hot.
It feels very cool and pleasant when I wipe the skin with water the moment it starts to burn slightly. This somehow feels like I am really living.
When I am still washing my body and cooling myself, I feel a sign of magic from someone approaching me.
[O, Gerald! You, you did something bad, didn’t you?]
When I heard the voice, a familiar face looks into me between the clothes which surrounded the sink place.
[Na, nu, nwaaaa!?]
[Uo, why so sudden Gerald!? Why in the face!]
I was surprised so I instinctively threw the water in the tub toward the face. The face that thrust out between the clothes was pushed back by great power.
…More like, that kind of saying is triggering some lewd/guilty thinking. for now I think it’ll be better to stop?
[M,m,m,miru!? What are you doing while I am still washing my naked body…]
I was surprised, and kept talking like a machinegun. Naturally, I was hiding the crotches with both of my hands.
[Don’t be such a letdown, we’re already this close. right?]
Miru shows her face again from between the clothes. She also raised a miserable scream a moment ago.
The eyes that she shows on me, it’s unsuitable for the sunny weather like now.
[… Such a pathetic voice for a man]
[It’s because I am a man so I don’t want to be seen by you!]
[? What do you mean?]
[… It’s alright if you don’t know it]
Miruriru— a.k.a Miru, five years old. She is a girl.
She has a pair of confident eyes and red hair, an active-type… and is a girl who is same age as me.
It’s natural for this village to have other childrens, my five-years old self included.
Among them, since we’re on same age, I often play together with Miru.
[Nn? What is with it’s alright if I don’t know? Oh well, let’s go play outside. You don’t need to wash your body now]
[… It’s perhaps not important, but I want to ask something. Why do you suddenly barge-in here without permission?]
[I asked Cecil]
To call by name instead of [Your mother], as expected from Miru, she don’t have any timidness.
Although I was amazed, I received my change of clothes from Miru and said [I will change clothes for the time being], and I went back to the sink place.
When I got out, there is a ball being held by Miru, there is a fresh smile on her tanned face.
[… It’s so hot outside, are you not bothered by it?]
[That’s why it’s a fine weather!]
[In addition, you’re always full of unreasonableness]
[It’s because this is such a fine weather! Then, what about you Gerald? Why are you suddenly washing your body right now?]
Usually, people wash their body in the morning or the evening. There are not many people in the village washing their body during daytime.
[A… It’s because today has fine weather I guess]
It’s a hot day.
[You got it! During good weather like this, I’ll go crazy if I don’t play outside]
[Who is it. The one who always ignore people when they are talking]
[A man won’t mention trivial detail like that]
That kind of word, it’ll be treated as sexual harassment in my previous life.
Well, I don’t have any objection to play with Miru. I have slept for three days so I want to move my body for a little.
Therefore, I don’t have any reason to decline her invitation either.
— Though, suddenly I’m thinking something.
When I put power in my eyes to see Miru… From her, I see red light shining.
As I thought? Apparently, there is individual variation on the color of æther. I don’t know yet if it’s related with their character or personality. Or that they’re dependant on their strength.
But still, red hair and red æther, it matches Miru well. It’s because her red æther is brilliant and beautiful, I was unintentionally fascinated by it.
[Ah? Oi, Gerald. Why are you looking at me like that?]
[? What do you mean? Moreover, your face is red? Is the heat getting to you?]
[Uh! It’s a fine weather after all!]
It’s really hot, you know. Though I don’t want to say it.
[More importantly, let’s go play now! Hurry-up!]
[Yeah, oi, wait for me~ Don’t leave me, stupid!]
I heard her voice when I begin to walk quickly. But, instead of reducing my speed, I increase my pace further and keep walking.
It’s because, well. If she were to catch up… ah, such a fine weather, it’s so hot.
I don’t plan to say it.