"See you Later Itia-chan~!"
"Don't be too attached to Morus-sama okay?"
I wave goodbye to my two rivals to Mori-sama—[I'm her sister now.] Mori-nee I mean.
We have been walking around and looking at the stalls in this city, buying and eating at the bustling festival that's happening right now.
But what I was truly enjoy is obviously not the food nor the things that we bought from the humans. But rather—
"Let's go and see what's around here Itia." My now-dear sister Mori-nee, as we move forward across the street.
[I don't deserve this privilege.] With black hair and a mature and dignified aura around her. She is someone that's the complete opposite of me, whom I am sitting on her shoulders like a child would.
I am in no doubt the envy of Mori-nee's servants right now, you could even say that this is insolent of me to do, sitting in the shoulders of master, [But that's fine. This is what Mori-nee wanted me to be.] She knows my shortfalls; I am an envious, greedy, and selfish brat that wants to hog Mori-nee all to herself.
And that's what Mori-nee expects me to be to her, she accepts my flaws and [She's super happy about that.] I remember that back during our little quarrel with Kumo about our definition of loyalty, I said to him, "For me being loyal now means bringing the greatest happiness for Morus— no, Mori-sama." And if it takes me to become a clingy child to her, then I would become whatever she wants if it brings her happiness. So I don't think my actions are treasonable to Mori-nee. [Plus I'm her sister now.] In my opinion I can be a little bit more cheeky towards her to say the least.
I look up to take a breath at this development and see the triple moons Luna, Diana and Selene staring back at me. [I wonder what made me become this way?] I remember myself being so stiff and formal before, always thinking about etiquette and Mori-nee, the latter didn't change but what made me so loose and lax now?
Then it hit me, 'Mori-san!' that loud pitched noise is reverberating in my head. [That red-headed shrimp...] That's what Mori-nee calls Maria, or Mary for short.
At first I was angry at her because of her relaxed attitude towards Mori-nee, but now I realized it's my own jealously and eventually, got along with her as a little sister figure. [I guess I should thank that little human to made me become what I am.] I guess my opinions of humans has improved somewhat because of her.
I now look down and see Mori-nee's head that I'm hugging tightly for, when I remember Mary now I keep seeing the times she was so touchy with Mori-nee before, and it made me blush. [I also want to be like that to her...] I unconsciously tighten my hug around her.
"...Itia, my head's feeling tight." She noticed!
"Uh-uhm!" Now that's insolent!
"It seems you've been wanting something Itia." Mori-nee noticed. "Tell me what you want? My treat." She said to me with a smile.
"...Uhm..." If before, I would have definitely refused and said something along the lines of 'I only need Morus-sama!' but now, [If it makes her happy...] Then I should, "Well you see... I've been thinking of someone..." Then I explained.
I could never in my lifetime ever repay the kindness that Mori-nee has given me, that is true even during my outburst earlier. But that doesn't mean I can't try, so if nothing else, I am repaying Mori-nee's kindness with my heart, I'll repay her with my affection towards her, as that makes her the most happy.
[That is my resolve.]
"You're right!" I said to her in a panicked tone. "I completely forgot about Mary's gift!"
"I want to thank Mary for all what she had done to me, so I thought I'll give her a gift..." Is what Itia had said.
I remember saying to Mary as well when we sat at the Prince's carriage. "I'll get you a present..."
[I can't believe that I forgot about it!] Why did I forget?! [Yeah, a lot of stuff had gone by...] Makes sense, but... [Why did I still forget?!] I'm panicking again.
But thankfully, "Mori-nee, Mori-nee." Itia-chan helped me calm down. "Let's go looking for a gift together okay?"
"That's right." I completely agree.
I calmed down now and look around to see if there's a good stall to buy a gift.
"We should look over there." Itia pointed at a certain direction.
I nodded and proceeded to move towards her pointed direction.
There are many stalls paced at the sides of the street, as today seems to be the second day of the harvest festival from yesterday. As there are also many performers and stores dedicated to the adventurers in here as well selling weapons and such.
[I can't wait to get my store up and running as well.] Unfortunately the festival might be over when I open the store though.
I look around, see some good food, and bought some. "Here you go Itia." I gave her some, "Thank you Mori-nee~" I think she likes me giving her the skewers than the actual skewers themselves.
Some people as well are taking noticed at us. [Well having a teenager on your back is definitely an attraction.] And I can even hear someone singing about something about us. Moving on.
But after moving on from that, after looking around for some more. "...Sigh we can't find anything." I'm especially picking when it comes to gifts so right now I can't I'm running out of options, until, "Mori-nee look!" She pointed at a specific stall, or more like a tent of some sorts, selling clothes and stuff.
"What's so special about—wait." I can feel a certain familiar magic coming from that, and so I look up and see Itia nodding with a serious face, and I agree to drop her off and head towards that tend.
As I got closer I identified it as not a general clothing store, but a cosplay store as there's many robes in that area, and also [Children's dresses?] There's a lot of small, white blouses that are of Mary's sizes and more. [What a weird store.] They don't really fit into a flea market atmosphere and it shows. [No one's buying from that place.] It seems that the clothes are way too high up of anybody's budget here in the festival.
And once we're actually in front of the store, "Mori-nee look." She immediately identified the source of that familiar magic that's floating around.
And it's, "...a dress?" obviously, but. "It seems to be unfinished." Itia said as we take a closer look.
And yup, I think we identified why this dress seems so familiar, [[Kumo?]] Coincidentally we thought of the same thing.
"Why's his thread woven into this dress?" Although it is a pretty dress, I still don't understand why his spider thread's in this unfinished dress specifically.
And while we were looking at the thing in confusion, "Hello costumer—oh." It seems the owner of this store has arrived. "You got a good eye ma'ams."
I noticed her quickly and ask the immediate question. "Well we were just interested in that dress you see." I told her as I point my thumb towards it.
"I am a mage so I noticed a particular peculiarity in that dress." Itia also noticed her and voiced what she found.
"I-I see..." The woman with the messy hair. "Well that prince—I mean that person has given me something really interesting..." Sighs and walks towards the unfinished dress.
She ruffles her hair a bit before explaining to us. "As you can see it's still a working progress." She says. "But the beautiful threads I received yesterday is already standing out that I was heckled by several buyers already to try and buy it out, particularly with mages~" She sighs again and ruffles her hair. No wonder she's the girl with the messy hair.
"Is that so..." I was planning to buy it too since Kumo's magical scent is embedded in there but—
"I apologize but was the one that gave you those threads a particular handsome man?" It seems Itia is curious as well.
"H-How'd you know?!" The woman was shocked that Itia hit the bullseye so quickly.
"He's a relative of mine." But Itia answered quickly.
"I see...." She looks down. "...It seems that beauties really do come in groups..." And said sarcastically. "But yes, I met that Prince yesterday, he gave it to me as a blessing to Silkco-sama, but I thought that it must be fate that I was given such a pristine material to make my masterpiece with...!" She ran out of breath at the end.
It seems that her rough behavior became more 'maiden in love' as more she talks about that ''Prince,'' i.e Kumo. [Kumo what have you done?] You made a girl fall for you!
"U-uhm don't tell him this o-okay...?!" Yup, she totally become a shoujo protagonist, with her voice being feminine and even cleaning up her messy curly hair.
Now that I looked closer to her, [She seems pretty cute.] With her grey hair and big round violet eyes. [Not a bad choice Kumo~] I'll tease him later. [But right now is—] I need to get back on subject
"Ahem!" I close my eyes, and I can't see, what the world is waiting for me—
"Uhm Mori-nee?" Itia pulled my arm and ruined the moment.
"Yes—eh?" Just as I was gonna say something.
"Petriska! It seems that Silkco-sama has graced us with beauty once again." That rough voice came from above me.
"Gulp." I couldn't believe it. [...Pigkin?] A kind of humanoid that has a pig-like appearance. I don't even know if this person is human or not.
A middle aged woman that's forty years too old to wear the types of bodycon dresses that she's wearing right now. That looks like the fabric would break if she sits down in a chair. As well as making my eyes squint she also makes my nose squint as well because of the excessive use of perfumes and fragrances. That's not mentioning her colorful feather scarf and hat. She reminds me of a fat female antagonist in a manga about pirates.
But that's not the most surprising thing about this, "Yes mother, it seems to be that they are relatives of the Prince Charming from yesterday."
"Mother?" Yes, this 'person' is the mother of the cute girl with the messy hair.
"Yes dear? Is there something wrong with me being little Petriska's momma?" She peers into my face, as it feels like her eyes are bigger than my face.
"Mother!" The messy haired girl that I now know as Petriska is managing to push her mother like a child rolling the body of a snowman would. "I apologize for my mother's behavior. Being asked about me being her legitimate child is a commonality." She repeatedly bows her head to me for her mother's behavior.
"Please, please, it's not something to worry about." I reassured her. [Although I was shocked at first that this mother of this petite girl is a plus sized model, I shouldn't judge much about it.] So I...
"I'm apologize, I'm sure you you're a wonderful mother ma'am." Just apologize. It's my fault after all. Also I look beside me and Itia is still hiding behind me holding my clothes. [That's the first time I saw Itia being this scared.] So that's why she wouldn't join in.
"Humph!" She crosses her hands and looks sideways. It'd look cute if it was a high school girl but— "I'll only accept it if you bring your Prince—I mean your relative over." Moving on.
[I won't let you get near Kumo.] That's the limit. [...Though I would cheer these two up.] I grin at Petriska and her wonderful and rosy future.
"But anyways." It seems that the Petriska's mother has gone serious now. "What will you two buy from my shop." She said to me, totally in business mode now.
I stare at the dress that Petriska— "I'm sorry, but that one is not for sale right now." I was immediately rejected. "This will be my daughter's masterpiece, as well as we plan to sell the dress to the highest noble for their daughter to wear at the end of the festival." Beside her explanation some words caught my attention.
"End of festival?"
The woman furrowed her brows. "You must be a foreigner then." She sighs. "At the end of the harvest festival a debutante will be held where the children who are of age will be debuting by a parade around the city." She pauses. "Both nobles and commoners alike will be joining so it is an opportune time for us at the sewing guild to show our best!" It seems she hyped herself up there at the end.
But more importantly, [Debutante—!] I immediately remember the conversation I had with Marina, and if I remember correctly, [Mary hasn't been debuted yet!] That means.
"So that's why—huh? What are you doing?" She noticed my stannge movements quickly.
"Here!" In a second I opened my bag, grabbed some cash, and showed it to her.
"What?!" Her hoarse voice is like a whale.
"Wait how much is that?!" Even Petriska folder the hair blocking her eyes to see the amount that I'm trying to buy the dress for.
[It's a perfect gift for Mary.] So getting that is worth it at any cost. [I'll even grab my—] But before my thoughts get through.
"Are you crazy?!" Her body jiggled wildly as she makes a complicated face.
But, "If you try to harm Mori-nee I'll turn you into skewer." I think Itia overreacted for a bit.
Before everything esculates. "All of you, stop!" Petriska thankfully intervenes.
"Mother stop making it worst!" She scolded her mother first.
"And you!" Before facing me. "Who are you anyway! Why do you want the dress so badly?!" She questioned me hard.
But I answer them one of a time. "Well, first off, my name is Morus, and secondly—" But before I could explain.
"Huh?! Morus?!" It seems the mother is making a ruckus again. And again, "Shut up for a moment mom!" Her own daughter scolded her.
"Ahem! As I was saying," I continue forward. "I plan on gifting that dress to a friend of mine named Mary." It's a simple and straight forward answer.
"..." Petriska is making a face of suspicion, on the other hand,
"Wait!" Her mother is the total opposite of that. "By Mary you mean Maria right? Marina's daughter?!" More so she knows that family!
"...Yeah, how do you know them?" Then I realized when I said that.
"You idiot! Marina is a friend of mine and works directly under me, Para Scheva, the head seamstress of the Sewing Guild!" Not only that I remembered that Marina is part of that guild, the woman I'm looking at right now is Marina's boss.
Moreover than even that. "Everybody in the guild has been talking about the removal of her curse and the one that apparently cured her is one of her tenants, the 'Black Witch' by the name of Morus!" This woman now I know as Para looks at me completely differently now.
And also, "Wait, you mean that Black Witch?! I thought it was only a rumor!" It seems Petriska heard about me and is looking at me and her mom at the same time.
But really, [How unexpected...] In only a matter of days my name has spread like a disease. [It seems I can't stray low now.] I concluded.
"Wow Mori-nee..." It also seems like Itia is looking at me weirdly for some reason.
But anyways, the situation has completely flipped right now. "...Now that I know your the Black Witch..." Para kneels in front of me and bows on the flow. "Thank you." She said.
"Do—" Before I could even speak, she continues. "Marina and I go a long way back, since we were kids essentially, I was always jealous of her since we got compared a lot but we were true friends, we were even in the same adventurer party briefly before I joined the sewing guild."
She paused. "But I wasn't there for her when she lost her powers, I visited her afterwards but she was so depressed she couldn't even speak or eat. I was a useless friend."
She paused again. "Then slowly I tried to get her moving again by the one thing I'm good at at that point, sewing. I made her join the Sewing Guild and slowly over the months she improved drastically. Until by the time I became the head seamstress she fully recovered and moved on. That was one of the proudest things I've ever done in my life." So, Para looked up and grabbed my hand. "So Morus, for helping her out that I haven't been able to do, thank you." Then she pulled out her hat, revealing a grave bald spot, but still bowed anyways.
[Really...] Despite how this woman looks she really cared about the people around her huh. [I definitely should not judge a book by its cover after this.] Definitely.
I also grabbed her hand with my other hand and shook those mammoths up.
"Then..." She fully stands up, revealing that her clothes got dirty. "Petriska dear, change of plans." And Petriska, who's standing there during the full ordeal, fully understood what her mother meant and went to me and bowed. "Yes, the purchase of my masterpiece is complete, it's yours now Ms. Morus!" She said to me in a stiff manner.
"Pfft..." I couldn't help but laugh. "Huh?" She's confused.
I told her the obvious, "Finish it hun." Obviously I couldn't just buy it immediately when it's not even finished.
She realized that and her cheeks went fully red not out of love but of embarrassment. "Oh dear Petriska, please be like my and have some confidence in yourself." Para puff her chest. For once there's a good quality that she has that Patriska doesn't have.
"Also." I grab her by the shoulders and went to her ears. "I'll have Kumo, I mean Prince Charming deliver the dress when it's done." And that's the final nail in the coffin.
"~Aaahhh Kumo is itttt??? ~" It felt like her head had a bomb blow up and she fell on the ground, dazed and confused.
"Oh dear." Para grabbed her daughter on the floor and looked at us. "We'll have to close early now that my daughter is like this." She sighed.
"I'm sorry." Your daughter is just too love struck right now.
"That's fine." She shrugged it off. "But you need to tell Marina about your gift, don't want any duplicates right?" She told me with a wink before going to the back of her shop.
Now it's just me and Itia again. [...Great, I've ignored Itia once again.] I furrow my brows at this realization [Glad I'm not bothering her no more but I still feel bad to left her out.] What do I do without making Itia feel bad...
"Mori-nee let's go—" She was telling me to go now but—
"Ah!" I look around and there's fabric everywhere, it's literally a clothing store. [Wow. I can't believe that Silkco's lectures would be useful now.] I thought to myself. Unconsciously apologizing to Silkco of the previous statements I said about her lessons.
"Para. Got a minute?" I ask.
"Yes I'm still here~" She said as she's cleaning up.
"I'd like to buy some of your raw materials please." I made an outrageous request.
After a while, "What for?" She finally asks.
I look at Itia and the answer is obvious, "For my sister of course." Yup, for my sister.
[I don't wanna be biased to only one kid now right?] I thought to myself as I turn around.
Then I look at Itia's surprised face, "I told you that I'll give you a reward as well Itia." I then patted her head.
I have to gift the two girls that'll be in the debutante soon.
Now it's totally nighttime and with my left arm supplies for various fabrics and the second is a wild Itia.
"Thank you Mori-nee! I never thought that you'll give me one yourself..." When I remember the timeline that we had together in this future Endless the Itia fresh out the stone compared to now. [What a night and day difference.] From the kuudere at the beginning to 'I love my onii-chan!' of now.
But still, "Especially one that you'll make yourself at my debutante..." Itia is my Itia and if she will be like this in the future, [I'll have to be a good brother—sister I guess.] I've seen plenty of little sisters with their big bro but never with their big sister, I wonder why, but I can't help but smile and lovingly pat her head. She's a part of the patting club now.
Aside from carrying luggage [And she's hugging me even tighter now.] So I'm walking at a slowing pace to get back.
Right now we are just about to head back to The Staring Point Inn slowly and surely. But on our way there, [Wait those two look familiar...] Because they are.
"It's Polovina and Polnyya!" I shouted as I see the two of them running towards me.
"Hey I wanted to let you meet—" But before I could introduce my adorable little sister to them.
"Morus! There you are!" They immediately shouted and gasping for breath because of the sweat they have right now.
"Please Morus! I'm really sorry but we need your help!" Polovina said as urgent as possible.
"I'm really sorry about this." Polnyya tries to grab my hand to pull me but, "What are you doing to Mori-nee?" Itia looked at her with an icy stare.
"What's happening?" They are never like this, I don't understand why.
"Please it's urgent!" Polovina shouted.
"Please Morus, too much to explain, they are your inn right now so please, help us." Polnyya provided much more information about the situation.
[That means something must have happened to the brothel.] There's no need to further explain.
I look at Itia with serious eyes, "I'm sorry Itia but you need to go for now." I said to her in a apologetic tone.
"I understand Mori-nee." I let go of my carry of her and look at the two. "Let's go." And we ran back to the Starting Point Inn.