I ended up making an agreement with the merchant. In short: We would escort this single wagon all the way of the capital and we wouldn’t get paid at the adventurer’s guild. But we would still get our request completions. The merchant seemed to have lost a lot due to the incident. And looks like he forgot he could carry the goods into this carriage. Oh, well, at least he believed in the fact that Fenri could deal with most of the things that might possibly show up. More importantly...
I rescued a cute girl for absolutely no real reason. She seems to be younger than Ari. She has a cute name, but there is something that bothers me. If she came from the magic academy, why is she here? How did she even end up here? Besides based on what I saw regarding the letter, I can’t help but assume that the academy is not something for normal people. Also, she seems in pretty bad condition.
Taking a look at her, I noticed that she doesn’t have any bruises, but she is wearing nothing but rags and she is incredibly dirty. She could be mistaken for a slave at this point.
“Umm… Yami right?” She timidly called for me, bringing me back from my thoughts.
“Umm… What is with your hair and eye colors?”
She seemed to be fidgeting while asking the question. However, there was a problem. I had no answer to that question.
“Well, I don’t know. My parents I guess?” I shrugged saying something totally random. However, to my surprise, everyone but Aizen seemed surprised.
“”Parents?”” Both girls asked in unison while tilting their heads.
Looks like I have cornered myself on this one. I guess it doesn’t matter? Although this is going to be rather uncomfortable…
“What my ‘parents’ passed onto me. Kind of... If both of your parents have the same hair color, then you might also have the same hair color.” I finished giving a wry smile, I said the word without thinking much of it, but consciously saying it, is uncomfortable.
They both nodded in understanding. However, Cecil was still fidgeting.
“So… Did both of your parents have those eye and hair colors?”
She paused for a second and then looked at me fixedly.
She kept persuading… Are kids really this curious?! Did I just get lucky with Ari? Well, let’s see. I ended up in this world after dying. I have weird eye colors. I am a girl now. I have white hair now. Everything has completely changed, yet I feel pretty indifferent about it. Isn’t that quite weird? Well, I don’t know if people treat me different because I am a girl. I can certainly see that when they can see my ears they do. So, all of this happened for absolutely no reason. All I can guess… It was because of that item. Well… I guess it’s some kind of curse?
“Well, thinking about it. It’s probably better to not say it.”
I answered Cecil with a wry smile while scratching my neck. But she was looking at Aizen and me, now. She still seemed to have plenty of questions… Luckily she did not ask more things. But now, I had to think; Who is this girl? Should I use appraisal on her? The only reason I don’t use the skill on people is because of how it felt when I used it on myself. It’s… Unsettling.
I noticed Aizen was looking at Cecil. I looked back at her, she suddenly shivered. Wait… Did this dragon really just do it? However, before I could punish her with a rock. (Not like I had one.) She started speaking.
“So, Cecil. Tell me about yourself.”
Her voice wasn’t cold, but it certainly did not feel friendly either. I don’t really know what she was trying to accomplish. Cecil blinked a few times and started fidgeting.
“Umm… I come from the capital…” She quietly answered.
“What else?” Aizen persuaded. I noticed Cecil looked pretty uncomfortable.
She was fidgeting now and her legs were slightly moving.
“What about your family?”
Somehow, Aizen seemed like a professional interrogator of sorts.
“Umm… What family?” She awkwardly tried to dismiss Aizen.
“Oh, come on, don’t be like that.”
She jokingly said. However, her eyes narrowed and continued speaking.
“You are a noble right?” I noticed Cecil visibly gulped from Aizen’s question. Although she seemed completely sure about it, she just voiced it like a question.
“Y-yes…” She quietly answered while looking at the ground now.
“Well, we are going to do this…”
She dramatically paused while now grabbing her shoulder. I noticed Cecil was visibly shivering. Aizen told her in a quiet but calm voice.
“You will never disclose information that has to do with Yami or with me.”
“eh…” She suddenly let out a stupid voice hearing her request.
“Y-yes.” She awkwardly agreed in a somewhat shaky tone.
I wonder if she had to go that far? Although, knowing how far this journey has been, it’s probably for the better if whatever she notices is kept silent. Although I did not think of such an extreme measure. Wait… Could it be? The dragon is smarter than me?! Haha. There is no way. Absolutely none.
After a few minutes of silence and her looking at the ground. I assume to think about what just had happened. After all, I did hear a loud ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,' after Aizen grabbed her hand. She called out to me.
“Umm… Yami I have a request... “ I noticed she was frequently glancing at Ari, who just happened to be excitedly playing with Fenri.
“Umm… Can I play with Fenri as well?”
I guess? I mean kids do seem to like him for some reason. After a bit of thinking, I noticed she was fidgeting and looking at the ground waiting for my response. I glanced around the wagon and noticed that it was pretty spacious. Like, we did not feel cramped at all. With those thoughts in mind.
“Sure.” I nonchalantly gave her the answer she awaited for. I noticed her ears twitched and she quickly lifted her gaze towards Fenri was sparkling eyes. The now three of them went near the coachman sit towards the back of the carriage. I was now alone with Aizen.
Aizen sat down in front of me. I decided to ask her what caused the 'eeee' sound.
“So. What did you do to that girl?”
“Well, I might or might have not made a mistake... She became an [Archmage], she did not have a class before…” she gave me a wry smile while scratching her hair as she slightly bowed as if giving me an apology.
So… She went from having no class, to becoming an Archmage? I mean, that is pretty good… Although, pretty good is probably monster level in this world, from what I have seen… I wouldn’t even be surprised if there was only one [Grand Mage] in this world. Oh well… Not like I care about it anyways. Come to think of it, I wanted to ask Aizen about something.
“Aizen are you interested in the Academy?”
“Well, I am interested because I have a feeling you will be too busy looking at rocks…”
Hearing her nonchalant answer, something bothered me. It really bothered me… My fist started to shake.
“They are not rocks!”
“Haa? Aren’t they basically rocks? Besides, do you even need more rocks?” She sounded somewhat tired. But there was only one answer to her question.
“Why wouldn’t I want more metals?! Aizen, it looks to me like you don’t appreciate craftsmanship…” I gave her a cold gaze which made her somewhat stiff.
“... Rocks are great…”
“I know right?!” It looks like she finally understood the greatness of my rocks. ‘Nn.’
After a few seconds, I noticed Aizen was looking at me and started speaking.
“I mostly want to go to the academy to see if magic has progressed or not.”
I tilted my head hearing her claim. What does she mean by progress? I would assume it would remain unchanging from the game.
“As in? I honestly doubt they will be as strong as the people you once faced.” I told her the truth. I don’t think I am getting ahead of myself, but people seeing a level 50 horned-dragon as dangerous is… A joke. Fenri can take care of the dragon in probably ten-seconds or less.
“Well… I suppose you are right.” She said with a slightly dejected tone, making a wry smile. However, I noticed she paused for a second and put her hand on her chin. Thinking of something. Eventually, she looked at me and took a deep breath.
“Aren’t you in the same situation? Do you think someone will match you in terms of… You know what I mean…” She informed me unenthusiastically. I realized. She was right.
If I wanted to see something amazing I would... Wait… Wasn’t the so-called disciple in the capital? I decided to call out for Ari in a somewhat loud voice.
“Ari, is the disciple on the capital?”
We heard her voice across the carriage. Her response made me loosen my shoulders in disappointment. Aizen seemed to be thinking of something again.
“Don’t think too much about it. I am sure we will find something amusing there.” She casually told me. However, I could see her mouth curve into a grin when she said 'amusing'. ‘Sigh. Sometimes I feel like she enjoys watching the things around us set ablaze…’ I wearily muttered.
I turned to look at the girls. They were sitting with Fenri. He would show his belly at times and roll around with sparkling eyes. I guess he enjoyed it a lot. Ari and Cecil were cheerfully smiling. It seemed like they were getting along well, despite the awkward interaction with Aizen earlier.
With the constant shaking of the carriage, I couldn't help but feel somewhat tired and sleepy.
“I am going to take a nap.” Aizen ended up nodding and started speaking.
“I might or might not throw a rock at you…”
Hearing her cold voice made me shiver, but in the end. I opted for the safest option. I decided to wrap my head with my cloak and then sleep on the wooden floor. The cloak would serve as a cushion and probably save me from the rock if she decides to throw one. Although, I can’t help but wonder where would she get a rock from…
* * *
‘I said I would throw her a rock. I want to throw her a rock… Yet I have no rock…’ I dejectedly muttered looking at the defenseless; sleeping Kuro in front of me. I certainly want revenge for that time on the cave… But it looks like it won’t be happening.
I noticed Ari and the new girl were playing around. I think her name was Cecil? I do remember calling her Cecil. Well, it doesn’t matter. I just wonder what is magic like now. It should’ve changed right? It must’ve changed… Or will it be the same boring, chant, cast, shoot? I don’t even remember how it worked anymore. I am too used to just automatically doing it. Well, it has been a long time since I last saw magic. I do remember some mages that tried to hunt me once upon a time saying something like...
‘Damn, the auto-cast function is not working!’
‘Fire the damn spell already!’
‘It’s not working?!’
They seemed pretty troubled about it and they did say some pretty weird words. But, I think I can assume that the ‘auto-cast’ is something I do? I mean, I don’t really think about it. I just think about the spell name and it happens. Also, I know she is Yami now, but... I can’t help but want to call her Kuro sometimes.
Thinking about it… I did call her Kuro that one time… Well, Ari did not seem to care about it. So, I guess it’s fine. I don’t think it would matter if she knew anyway. But thinking about it, why didn’t she just tell her the truth? It bothered me more than it should have. But I guess she has her reasons…
More importantly. A lot has happened in the last few days. From nowhere to go, to a family… Also getting called that.
‘Somehow, when I heard her words. I couldn’t help but feel happiness. And call her sister back… How embarrassing’
I muttered as I felt my face getting warm.
Yes. Votes: 72 40.7%
No. Votes: 17 9.6%
Banana. Votes: 63 35.6%
KIwi. Votes: 25 14.1%