|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library|
When I woke up in the morning, Mr. Eilmer was already gone, while Ms. Christy would stay for a couple of days to renew her old relationship with her mentor Regina— if shouting “Old Maid!” “Handful Fossil!” to each other could be said as such.
I was interested in how the argument last night ended, but at least a peaceful daily routine had returned to Regina’s hermitage. On this particular day, however, Regina was unusually up and sitting in her easy chair in front of the fireplace earlier than I was awake.
“—hmph. Making your usual stupid face, eh?”
Looking at my startled face as I froze in the doorway, Regina, whose mouth was curled up in a scornful smile, expressed her bitter impression first thing in the morning.
“G-, good morning. That’s rare, Mentor. Is there anything that you need?”
It must be about last night’s— Naturally, I guessed that she must be up to talk about the supposedly rescued Syltianna, so I held my anxiety-riddled chest and tried to make out the color of Regina’s face.
If Mr. Eilmer’s story was true, “Syltianna” was currently sheltered in Aulanthia territory, and at the insistence of her father, the Frontier County (to be fair, I don’t really see him as an immediate family because my memory of him is a little fuzzy. He isn’t in the territory much, to begin with) talks of her engagement came forward. This could mean that Syltianna’s safety and future were both assured.
If so, I could just crash in and declare “I am the real Syltianna,” and if they recognized me, things would fall in place neatly— as the proverb goes, we bury the hatchet that has my blood on it. Well, there is a possibility that I’d be treated as a fake and executed, but so long I could tell Mr. Eilmer about my situation in advance and ask him to be my insurance policy, there would be no problem on that front.
So, if Regina thought that I, the freeloader in her residence, was an obstacle to her, then wasn’t it very likely that she would ask me to leave her alone in the near future? It was haunting me as I was trying to sleep last night, but I didn’t expect that mentor would just wait for me in the morning without time to sort out my feelings…
“Old coots like me have it hard when it’s this cold. Good heavens… I might as well take a trip to southern countries before the first snowfall.”
“A trip, is it?”
I craned my head. I had thought she had gotten up so early in the morning to discuss my future prospects, but the conversation started from an unexpected angle.
“Damn right. It snows a lot around here, so rather than stay cooped all winter long in this dreary, depressing place, going to the warm southern beach and stretching my wings is a million times better.”
As if in agreement with Regina’s words, Maya the caru who was at her feet yawned.
“Right, the beach— Hm? I thought you grew up inland, Jill? You’ve seen a beach before?”
“Eh?! Ermm… I have not (in this world).”
“Hm. You sure look nostalgic when you heard it for the part. —so, what do you want to do?”
My heart leaped a little at her casual question. Her question refers more to what I will do from now on, will I stay or will I leave, right?
I took a deep breath and voiced the answer that I had been thinking about since last night. “…would it be a nuisance if I’m with you?”
“It would, alright!” She immediately decided to throw me to the wolves.
I bit my lip and turned, “But,” came Regina’s guttural voice. “I can use you to carry my luggage and as my first-aid kit. Well, follow me on your own if you want, just make sure you don’t get lost in the way.”
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She was being roundabout and riddled with sarcasm as usual, but… she was saying I could stay here from now too, right?
“—Tha, thank you very much, mentor! I will be more diligent from nyow ohn!”
Ah, I got over excited and bit my tongue.
“Hah, that much is obvious.”
When Regina grunted as she was watching the fireplace, I bowed to her once again.
“…what a strange taste to have, for crying out loud.”
A chuckle escaped me when she added a few snide comments. She’s right, what a strange taste to have, really. Look at me, willingly becoming the disciple of such a bigoted witch and choosing to live in Tenebrae Nemus. With that being said…
“Well, I am not suitable to live among the aristocrats and be brought up like a princess, it seems. A ragweed fits better staying low, spreading her roots in the ground, and staying away from the limelight. It’s easier this way.”
When Regina turned her head to me, the face she made as she looked at me from the top of my head to the tip of my toe was one of utter bafflement. She used one of her hands to squeeze her temples, while her other hand was held out to me.
“…Jill. You have a necklace, don’t you? Let me see that.”
Being told such, I went back to my room, brought back my mother’s necklace, and handed it to Regina.
“Hmph. Thumb-sized mana pyroxene decorated with diamond1 and black pearls, and to top it off, it has orichalcum for the base and chains… you can buy a dozen state-of-the-art magic sailboats with one of these. —Eh, whatever. It’s good enough as a catalyst.”
After carefully checking the necklace I handed and snorted, Regina turned to me and continued talking with a very troublesome tone.
“I’ll be keeping this one for a while. I’ll apply a Blinding magic art on it.”
“Eh? Ah, okay…”
“Now get back to work! We got one more useless mouth to feed!”
Shooed away by Regina, I returned to my usual routine, not quite sure I understood what she was getting at.
“「I am the cure to your ailment」” I directed the swooning golden light from my hand to a broken tree branch. “「Heal」”
Immediately, a languid weariness came over my whole body, and at the same time, young leaves sprouted from the broken section. I observed it closely, expecting a new branch to grow, but there seemed to be no further change.
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“Hmmm~~ I didn’t expect Healing Arts would be this inconvenient to use.”
Overhearing my muttering from a distance away, Bartholomew approached me, his head tilted.
“Is that so? It appears to me it is working well enough.”
“There is some effect at work for both fauna and flora,” I checked the fresh new leaves, smiling defeatedly. “However, the effect is minimal. Not to mention, it automatically consumes either my magic or my life force at a certain amount, so I have no control over it. It vexes me.”
We were in an open space about 15 minutes away from the hermitage. After collecting the usual medicinal herbs, fruits, and poisonous herbs, I was practicing my magic and healing arts in my free time.
“Hm? I thought all magic art was like so?”
Well, I guess that’s the general perception of magic. You cast a spell and release magic as a result you get. Just like if you type in a number and press enter, the answer will appear on the monitor.
But, personally, I wanted to dissect the method of how the calculation worked to reach said answer and, if possible, modify the program to make it easier for me to use. In fact, I had already applied and modified other magic arts to an extent.
For example, the Napalm magic art that I used against the Phantoms in the ruins. It was not just Fire magic; it was a compound magic of Fire + Water. It didn’t burn oxygen, it burned hydrogen gas. As a result, it had enough heat to carbonize and vaporize a human being with a single hit.2