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Interlude: Viviana, Sorcery Guidance, and Results 2

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Author: Himezaki Shiu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Fire

「Viviana, you might have already noticed this yourself, but your circuits are quite short compared to other people. Actually, I’m not sure if short is the proper way to describe it but it’s different from the ordinary.」

The cause of my long-time anguish. Up until now, I’ve only had but a vague idea about what this cause could be, yet it was quickly confirmed just now. While that would only be the case if I trust Cielmer’s words, she has no reason to lie here and she’s not stupid enough to tell a lie. Knowing that this is the truth, however, simultaneously raised her value and made me feel depressed.

「…I thought so. Rather, you can tell?」
「That’s exactly why I want to keep this only between us.」

I see, so she understands her own value. Is she really 12 years old? Or is she actually of the long-lived races falsifying her own race?

At any rate, if my circuits are truly short, then it’s something that training wouldn’t be able to solve. After all, that would practically be as if someone tells you to train to increase the length of your arm. And while the arms can still be physically stretched out, circuits are magical internals within the body. Pulling it outwards from end to end is by no means possible. If I had to act tough, then this simply means that my future course of action is set in stone. I won’t be wasting my time with pointless efforts anymore.

「Specifically speaking, it seems that your circuits don’t reach your extremities. One solution around that, I think, would be to simply increase the speed of your circulation flow.」
「There’s still a limit to that, you know.」
「From what I can tell, you’re still absolutely far off from reaching maximum speed, but let’s leave that aside for now.」

I’ve already tried that. Despite how it seems, I am doing the best I can with my speed but, from Cielmer’s perspective, I can still go faster? Rather, she figured out what my circulation speed is? Wait a second, wouldn’t that mean Cielmer has an overwhelming advantage against sorcerers?

After all, you can figure out the power of the yet to be cast sorcery by the amount of magic power being circulated. A possible countermeasure would be to constantly circulate the maximum amount of magic power you currently have but how long would one even be able to last doing that?

So that’s why she couldn’t say it free of charge. As I was absentmindedly pondering that, some great news suddenly reached my ears.

「There’s still one more solution for this that I can think of, but I’m not sure if we can do it or not.」
「Let’s try it. Right now.」

In hindsight, I particularly jumped the gun that time but to be fair, I was given hope when I was at my most hopeless. It would be more unreasonable not to just straight jump at her. Not taking even the smallest of chances is out of the question for a “fool”.
And that’s exactly why I’m one of the “fools”.

「Well then, first of all, can you show me your hands?」
「My hands? Will this be good enough?」

As I held out my hands with the palms up, Cielmer put her hand on top of my right palm. Seeing her hand on top of mine reminds me that she really is a child. My hands are by no means large. It should be about a size smaller than a man’s. However, Ciel’s hand is even smaller than mine.

And frustratingly, it’s awfully beautiful. Despite how I am, I am a daughter of nobility. While I might have drifted away from my family, I pay as much attention as I possibly can to my personal appearance. Even I can’t help but be amazed by how much I’ve managed to keep my hands pretty while living the hunter life, but Ciel’s hands are on a different level.

The only other hunter to pay as much attention to their physical appearance as I do is probably my own teacher, but I suspect Cielmer’s hands are prettier than my teacher’s.

She should be doing hunter activities like me, yet how are our hands this different? Grrrr… As I was glaring at her tiny hand, a shock suddenly ran through my body.

「H-hold on for a moment. You, did you just do something to my magic power?」
「I definitely did. Since the preliminary test went smoothly, I was thinking of trying something, but would that be okay with you?」
「Would you… mind telling me what you’re going to do first? Otherwise, I can’t make a proper judgment.」
Oh, right. I got a bit hasty there.」

Interfering not with another’s sorcery but instead with their magic power certainly has been said to be possible in theory. However, it’s not something I can do, so I was somewhat scared of that unfamiliar sensation.

「I seized control of your magic power and managed to move it by just a bit. Hence, I was thinking of forcibly pushing your magic power to the places it should have naturally flowed to.」

This is far too much just for a regular sorcerer to be capable of. Not only interfering, but controlling another’s magic power, that’s either something only the top elder sorcerers who have devoted their whole life to sorcery or Fiiyanamia could possibly do.

「If that’s possible, then couldn’t I do that without your assistance?」
「Would you like to try?」
「… Impossible, isn’t it?」

Setting aside control on other people’s magic power, controlling one’s own magic power is easy to do, so redirecting magic power to where it should naturally flow can’t be that difficult, can it? Is what I thought, but it was hopeless. After all, I have no idea where that natural path should be.

「Can I ask you to do it?」

While I would challenge it myself if we had the time, Cielmer doesn’t have a lot of time. I myself would love to have this long-time issue solved, so I’m borrowing her strength.

「Before that, I’d like to confirm something. If this goes well, it’s possible that the feeling of using sorcery for you might feel different from then on. Despite that, do you still want to continue?」
「Now that you mentioned it, that is true… Still, that doesn’t matter. After all, it’s simply a matter of getting used to it. I’ll take a break from my party in the meantime.」
「In that case, let’s do this then. Viviana, please try to circulate your magic power as slow as you can. Also, follow the flow of magic power as much as possible.」

While my circuits are short —which is something I just learned earlier— I am fairly confident in my control. Changing the amount I’m circulating is possible for me even without active focus. And now focusing on the movement of my magic power, I can feel that there are clearly some areas that aren’t under my control. As if excavating a tunnel, my magic power is heading in directions it shouldn’t go.

At first it only felt slightly uncomfortable, but then pain suddenly ran through me and I ended up shaking Cielmer’s hand away.

「Are you alright?」
「Y-yes. I was just surprised by the sudden pain.」

Seemingly pondering something, Cielmer fell silent. Should I just bear the pain? Still, from how it sounded, this pain might continue throughout the process. It sounds… torturous, I’m not feeling enthusiastic about that.

「In that case, I’ll continue a bit more, so please tell me if it gets too painful.」
「I-I can manage.」

While I tried acting strong, it’s clear that my body is trying to run away. Cielmer once again held my hand, so I closed my eyes in preparation for the pain but it didn’t come, the sound of singing instead reached my ears.

An unfamiliar song, with unfamiliar words.

All I know is that it sounds so beautiful. And as I was distracted by the singing, this time my hand started feeling ticklish. It doesn’t feel painful, I can still bear this.

However, just as I was focusing on not laughing, Cielmer’s let of my hand.

「I only did it with your right hand for now, could you try circulating your magic power by yourself?」

Following her words, I circulated my magic power. It shouldn’t be hard since I paid attention to the flow of magic power earlier, but the moment that I consciously circulated my magic power to the circuits that I have never used up until now, I couldn’t help but let out my voice.

Looking at just my right hand, the amount of magic power I can now circulate has increased by a lot. I nearly cried from happiness, but it’ll be embarrassing to cry in front of someone younger than me and it would be unsightly, so I maintained my unwavering attitude.

「It looks like it went well.」
「Right. I can clearly tell that there’s… more magic power gathering in my right hand now.」
「In this case, should I continue on with your whole body? After all, if we end it here unfinished, it might have a negative influence on you.」
「Please do so.」

As Cielmer took my hand for the third time, her song echoed through the room.

It was torture. With how it was just perfectly bearable, I honestly wondered if she was torturing me. It’s not that my whole body becomes ticklish all at once, the stimulation spreads gradually from my right hand to my arm, shoulder, neck… If I resist it, it gets strangely intense. Anyway, my whole body feels hot.

Before I noticed it, it was already dark out.

However, on the other hand, my long-time problem has been resolved in just half a day. It’s worth the torturous torment.

「So, is it safe to call this done now?」
「Yes. I’m sorry for taking too much time.」
「It’s fine. I’m the one that asked for this after all. Besides, now I know just how short my circuits were.」

Now that it’s done, I can tell… exactly how much magic power I haven’t been able to use. I’m sure that if I used my usual sorcery, it’s power would be multiples greater now.

After that, seeing that my body was growing cold from my own sweat, she invited me to take a bath. Still, it’s a bit awkward taking a bath all on my own, so I took her hand and had her come with me.

「Children really are nice and warm.」
「I see.」
Oh, you don’t get mad about that?」
「I’m aware that I’m a child after all.」

Embracing Cielmer from behind, we’re sitting together inside the bathtub. Usually children around her age would weirdly dislike being treated like a child, but it appears that it’s not the case for her. More importantly, the fact that her body is tense all over even as she’s sitting on my lap is worrying.

「So you won’t let your guard down even in this kind of situation?」
「On the contrary, consider that I’ve already let my guard down enough to allow this.」
「I suppose that makes sense. Cielmer… what’s driving you to persist to this extent on your own?」

She’s already letting her guard down with this? I heard that she’s lived by herself since she became 10 years old. Honestly, it only seems to me that she’s rushing through life.

「It’s because I want to leave this country even just a second faster.」
「And you have a reason for that, right?」
「No comment.」

She’s saying that, but she likely has a reason. However, I’m sure that she doesn’t have any intentions of relying on anyone.

「What about you Viviana? What made you think of having a bath with me?」

Hearing Cielmer’s words, I couldn’t help but sigh. Does she have tough nerves, or is she just unconcerned with emotional subtleties? Putting together all that happened so far, it’s probably the latter.

「I was worried that you were pushing yourself too much. I thought, maybe I could hear you out and take some weight off your shoulders.」

While I did willingly do this myself, it’s somewhat embarrassing when I have to put it into words. And now that I’ve ended up explaining this, I’ll just ride the momentum and try to get her to talk.

「Today, in particular, you were exposed to obvious killing intent, right? There are cases of people who are fine with monsters but can’t handle malevolence coming from other people, you see?」
「Certainly, that does sound likely. Combat with monsters generally happens outside the town walls after all. In the case of people, while you can mentally brace yourself for it, even the streets you’ve felt safe in up until now wouldn’t feel as safe it was before. At worst, you even could have a nervous breakdown from it.」
「However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for you. And that’s despite the fact that you already seemed mentally exhausted from dealing with the guild master prior to this.」
「Well, I’m already used to it. That’s all I can say about that.」

This wasn’t a topic that I should have tried to ask about so casually. I have yet to create a proper relationship with her to even ask her about this. It’s all too grim.

「Why don’t we get out before we get dizzy?」

While I wasn’t able to say anything more, Cielmer spoke to me. Since I couldn’t think of any tasteful reply, I meekly followed her words.

「Viviana… you’re concerned for me because I’m a Song Princess, right?」

Hearing Cielmer mutter so as she dries herself with a towel, I almost reflexively replied. For some reason, I couldn’t feel any emotion from her words just now. She had a tone that should never be heard from a 12-year-old girl.

Those words were hollow and only surface-level.

However, I was too emotional and pathetically couldn’t continue my words. I calmed myself and chose my words.

「My concern… isn’t because of your Job. Rather, my party and I admire you for being C-Rank at your age despite having a Disappointing Job. That’s why… I wanted to be of help, no matter how small. Though it seems like this help was uncalled for.」
「It was.」

Hearing her frank opinion, I looked away. I know full well that it was unneeded help.

「Viviana, I’m glad that you feel that way. However, I still… don’t have the emotional leeway to accept your concern. After all, it’s been only a few days since we first met.」

That’s right. We’ve only met a few days ago. And Cielmer is particularly wary of her surroundings. I respect her greatly and I feel indebted to her. However, from her perspective, I’m not that important of an existence to her.

「That’s right. I suppose I was a little too hasty about this.」
「However, there is one thing I would like to ask for help with. If you don’t mind, I would like to have the permission to avoid combat even in the event that I get wrapped up in the royal capital’s stampede.」
「I’ll relay that and report everything that has happened today. If possible, we’d prefer if you’d join us as well, but it really can’t be helped. Sorry for bothering you today. And… thank you.」

Cielmer is a lot like a moody cat, but it makes me like her all the more. And while she doesn’t have trust in me, she’s still considerate of me. Despite having an emotional barrier against people, she’s still being considerate with them.

And as she sent me off, I left for home and answered her goodbye.

――Haa, I still have a long way to go.

Hiya~! In today’s chapter, we see the awkwardness from the other side of the coin~!

I was funny to see Viviana’s reaction to Ciel’s uncharacteristically pristine hands. Also, a hint of a new character perhaps? From the flow of the conversation, Viviana’s teacher seems to be a lady as well, but who knows? Once again Ciel’s (Ain’s) prowess is compared with Fiiyanamia’s, which only makes their eventual (? hopefully) meeting something to look forward to. Anyhow, from here on, there are still 2 Viviana interludes, and this is the last most eventful meeting our princesses had with her until their final reunion/farewell, so it’s safe to say that the next interludes are going to be interesting.

Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!


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