Chiyu Mahou: Chapter 175
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After visiting Gladys-san, I decided to take a quick stroll around the city of Lukvis with Amako, who joined us later.
I’ve been training and meeting with people all day and haven’t had any free time, so I thought it would be nice to take a break and enjoy the city of Lukvis.
“How are Suzune and Kazuki doing?”
“Kazuki’s off to check out the Great Library, while senpai is playing with Eva.”
Kazuki seemed to have some books that he was interested in.
Before the meeting, I took a quick look at the books in the grand library, and they all seemed to be difficult.
There were all kinds of thought-provoking titles like “Getting to the Root of Magic” and “Lost Technology, Gained Peace”.
I don’t read technical books, so I think it’s great that I can accumulate knowledge while having fun.
“Is Suzune with Eva?”
“Yes. We’re going back to our respective countries tomorrow, so she came to say hello one last time. We’ve got some time, so we decided to have tea and go.”
I was invited too, but I had promised to walk around the city with Amako first, so I prioritized this.
I was glad that Eva got along well with senpai. Being the same age and a girl, they would have different things to talk about.
Senpai was also damaged by Eva’s innocence, but she seemed to be enjoying herself. So, I guess it’s okay.
“How did it go for you?”
“I’ve been …… having a normal day. I helped Kiriha with the housework, took care of Satsuki, and woke up Kyou when he didn’t wake up in the middle of the day.”
“I- I see…….”
I can’t help but understand Kyou’s desire to coast through his days off.
Sometimes when school’s not in session, I tend to sleep until midday. Then, in the afternoon, you realize that you’ve wasted half your day off and regret it, and that’s the sequence of events.
“It was kind of a normal life, but it was fun.”
“That’s good to hear. It was a good decision to leave it to Kiriha and the others, after all.”
“Yes, it was. …… Hmm?”
I look in a certain direction and notice Amako, who is worried about something.
I follow her gaze as she looks at the end of the alley with a somewhat surprised expression on her face, and it’s a place I remember too.
“So this is where you and Nack first met. ……”
The square at the end of the alley where he had fallen wounded.
There, a girl was practicing her magic.
Meena, a girl with bright red hair in twin tails, noticed me on the street and gave me a disgusted look, as if she had encountered a demon.
“Usato. Is that the face that looks like you’ve encountered an ogre in the city?”
“Amako, first of all, let me tell you that there are no ogres in the city, okay?”
“Why are you looking at me and tilting your head?”
Are you trying to tell me that I’m the Ogre himself, Oi.
While I was doubly shocked, I noticed a grim-faced Meena beckoning to us.
To be honest, I was expecting her to avoid us if she saw our faces, so I was a little surprised and headed with Amako to the square where she was.
However, when we finally got to Meena’s side, we couldn’t start a conversation.
She was twirling the ends of her own hair and glancing at me, but there was no sign of her talking to me. Even if I wanted to talk to her, I didn’t know what to say.
At any rate, I don’t have much contact with this girl to begin with.
“Nack is doing well, right?”
“! No, I didn’t hear that!”
I tried to intervene, but was immediately rebuffed in a snippy manner.
However, she did respond when she heard Nack’s name, so it wouldn’t be difficult to continue the conversation.
“Well, anyway, do you remember me?”
“A monster like you, how could I forget? Besides, you didn’t even move like a human yesterday.”
“…… about the exchange game?”
“In the morning, I was fighting with the hero. It’s a mystery how you can accelerate in an unnatural position, and most of all it’s a mystery that you’re a healing magician doing it!”
She’s quite direct, huh. What? Am I a mystery to you?
And the little fox behind me, don’t agree in a small voice. It’s not “I understand. No, I totally do.”
…… I’ve been wondering about this for a while now, but there are traces of soot and a burning smell in the square we’re in. From this smell, did Meena use magic here?
“You’ve been training here?”
“…… Is that bad?”
“No, it’s not bad. But why here?”
“I can’t use the training area I usually use, so I’m just using this place today.”
“Oh, I see.”
The exchange game was held yesterday at the training field, so it’s not usable right now because it’s in the middle of maintenance.
I was wondering why they were training in such a small place, but it made sense.
Now that I was satisfied with the situation, Meena started talking to me.
“Nack said you’re doing well. ……”
“What did he say about me?”
Is that what you wanted to hear, ……?
I’ll be honest with you, it’s about my impression of Nack.
I’ll tell Meena what Nack had told me before we left Lukvis.
“I heard that he’s not too bad with you.”
“…… He’s as sweet as ever. I wish he’ll just hate me.”
Meena muttered with a somber look on her face.
I questioned her words and actions, which were different from her previous image, and asked her what was bothering her.
“Do you regret it? What you did to Nack?”
Meena falls silent.
I heard Nack say something like, “It’s my fault for being so cautious,” but at least he didn’t seem to think so.
If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have closed his mouth with such an expression.
After about a dozen seconds of silence, Meena finally opened her mouth.
“Come with me for a minute to talk.”
“What? I don’t mind, but what do you want to talk about?”
“It’s about Nack and me, and I know you’re wondering about it.”
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious, but what is ……? It’s a bit abrupt, isn’t it?
She sat down in a gymnastic position in the shade of a nearby tree, as if she was already planning to talk.
“Did you hear that Nack and I were childhood friends?”
“Yeah, Nack told me about it.”
“Yeah. Then I guess I don’t have to explain why that guy was put in Lukvis.”
Nack was originally supposed to be awakened to water magic, but instead he was awakened to healing magic.
Because of that, he was treated coldly by his parents and was thrown out of the house and put into Lukvis, right?
Looking back on it now, I think it’s a terrible story.
“This is how it is now, but I used to play with Nack when I was little.”
“I can’t imagine…… the relationship you have now?”
“……Yeah. But I do remember that …… we had fun.”
Surprisingly they’re quite close, huh.
But when we first visited Lukvis, Nack, the guy we were supposed to be playing with, was in such a mess.
Is there a reason for that too?
“We used to be close enough to play together, but about a year before I entered Lukvis, I suddenly stopped seeing him.”
“You can’t see him anymore?”
“They wouldn’t let me see him at the mansion. His parents encourage me to play with his sister rather than him, and they treat him like he’s not there, which is …… creepy.”
…… Was he under house arrest?
It’s pretty bad to say, but like putting a lid on something that stinks, maybe Nack’s parents were desperately trying to hide the fact that they didn’t have the powers they wanted.
“Then I happened to overhear that Nack was going to be placed in Lukvis.”
“…… So you’re in Lukvis, too?”
Meena nodded her head.
The hand that grasped her dressing gown seemed to have more strength in it.
“When I was sent to Lukvis Academy, Nack was like a …… shell. You can learn magic in the best environment at Lukvis Academy, but he just looked down and looked like it was the end of the world.”
“That’s right, it’s like he was kicked out. ……”
“It was only then that my father finally told me why Nack was put in Lukvis.”
From Nack’s own point of view, there would have been no hope.
“Still, I tried to talk to him many times, but he was scared of everything around him, even me. That was irresistible to me at the time, and I didn’t like it.”
“You don’t like it? ……”
“Just because I woke up to healing magic doesn’t mean I did anything but just accept my current situation.”
Maybe Nack had given up at that point.
The moment his magic wasn’t water-based, he was treated coldly by his parents, who were the closest thing to him, and in the end, he was kicked out and sent to Lukvis all alone.
At the age of just under ten, it is not surprising that he’s emotionally devastated.
As I was thinking about this, Meena’s voice became a little hoarse, as if she remembered that time, and she continued to speak.
“If you had made a solid effort in Lukvis, even healing magic would have been appreciated. I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that will help you. Even then …… Nack gave up on everything and didn’t even try to move on.”
“You didn’t look down on healing magicians?”
At least, that’s what Meena seemed to be when she was abusing Nack.
My question made Meena shake her head.
“For me, it didn’t matter if Nack was waking up to healing magic or not. I just wanted him to get up. But no matter how many times I tried to get him to do so, he just kept looking down and wouldn’t look at the hand I held out to him or ask for help from anyone. I couldn’t stand him, so I went to ……”
“I got so irritated with Nack for not doing what I wanted that I started to get violent with him. Somewhere along the line, it became the norm for …… me, and even though it wasn’t really what I …… wanted to do, I found myself at a point where I couldn’t go back.”
So that’s how you ended up in the situation where Nack was abused.
Does that mean that what I was doing for the best of reasons at first gradually deviated from my purpose and became distorted?
When I was silent, Meena smiled at me as if she was mocking herself.
“There’s no way I can honestly apologize now. What I’ve done was so …… terrible.”
…… I wish I could give solid advice at times like this, but Nack and Meena’s relationship isn’t something that can be managed with advice that comes to mind on the spot.
But even so, the reason why she announced that I would go to the Lingle Kingdom with Nack after graduating from the academy was probably because she wanted a reason to see him again.
“So you’re saying you’re going to visit Nack in the Lingle Kingdom after graduation?”
“You heard from Nack. Even …… has no other reason to show his face. Oh, there’s also a reason why I’m frustrated that I’m still losing to Nack, so I’ll meet him when I’m stronger.”
“Yeah, I see. ……”
Is it possible that you’re quite worried about being defeated by Nack?
Even if you take that out, maybe this is her way of coming to terms with it, but I don’t know…
“You’re clumsy, aren’t you?”
“Shut up. I know that better than anyone.”
I chuckle at Meena, who frowns and removes her gaze from me.
I guess Meena was trying to move on, just like Nack was.
As I was thinking this, she stood up, dropping the dirt and leaves, and opened her mouth without looking at me.
“I feel a little better after talking to you, who had nothing to do with it.”
“You talked to me because …….”
“If I told anyone in the school, they’d start weird rumours, so I thought you, an outsider, would be perfect.”
I was surprised to find out that she was so easy to talk to. …… What a gutsy kid she is in many ways.
I may have misunderstood this girl.
When I was training Nack, I thought she was a child who was abusing Nack for no reason, but there were some differences between the two of us before we got there.
I’m not going to say anything too clever, but I’ll try to say what I can. ……
I’m not sure if I’ve said everything I wanted to say, but I’m going to call out to her as she’s about to return to her training.
“You can’t erase the things you’ve done to Nack.”
“But it should be different from now on.”
I continue to speak to Meena, who shakes her shoulders slightly without looking at me.
“You and Nack are still kids, and you have a long life ahead of you. If that’s the case, then I think it’s a good idea to take some time to come to terms with it.”
The amount of time they had been at odds with each other was negligible. They should have more than enough time to make up for it.
And unlike Fegnis, who committed the …… crime, Meena can still start over.
Meena rolled her eyes at my words and smiled somewhat dismissively.
“It’s true, master and disciple have similar sweet personalities, don’t they?”
“Well, Nack is my apprentice, you know. It’s only natural for us to resemble each other.”
I’ve often been told that I look like Rose too, though.
Mainly in terms of mood and face.
If you think about it, there is a possibility that Nack will eventually look like Rose. ……? No, I’ll try not to think about that.
“Thanks, for sticking around to talk about it. And, I’ll let Nack know about this at …….”
“I know. I’ll keep it from him.”
“Right. Well, I’m going to go back to my independent training at …….”
Relaxing her shoulders as if relieved, Meena turned her back on me and walked to the center of the square.
I couldn’t stand in her way, so I left and went back the way I came.
It was an unexpected encounter, but I think it turned out to be a good one.
With that in mind, I turned down an alley and Amako tugged on the sleeve of my troupe uniform.
“Now Usato, your speech just now sounded like an uncle.”
The moment I turned around, a strong blow was struck from Amako with the weapon of words.
I’ve been trying not to worry about it, but it’s not working. ……! What was that? “You’ve got a long life ahead of you”! What is a 17 year old telling a 5 year old girl about her life? Seriously.
To be honest, halfway through the conversation with Meena, I had the urge to fall back on the spot.
I regained my composure and spoke to Amako.
“Well, well, what are you going to do after this?”
“We’ll tell Nea and the others about it later.”
“Okay, okay. What do you want? I’ll buy you anything you want.”
“What? If you say so, I’ll indulge you.”
Wow, what a dazzling smile.
I’m almost crying from happiness at how strong you’ve become.
As I was walking down the street, checking my hand, I saw a woman with light blue hair, Welshey-san, running towards me from the end of the street.
“What’s going on?”
Tilting our heads, Amako and I ran over to her.
She had her hands on her knees and was breathing hard. She must have been running as fast as she could, because she was so out of breath that she couldn’t even speak.
“W-Welshey-san, are you okay?”
“T-This is bad…..!”
I cast a healing spell on Welshey-san, who seemed to be out of breath.
This panic is not normal.
I have a bad feeling about this, but Welshey-san, who had calmed down her breathing, spoke up with a grim expression.
“We have just received a message from the Lingle Kingdom by Hoot Bird! They have confirmed a shadow that looks like a scouting party of the Demon King’s army near the border!”
I couldn’t react to Welshey-san’s words for a while.
What I remembered was the scenery of the battlefield filled with killing intent and fear.
I have to run through that place again.
I clenched my fist unconsciously, and Amako’s hand came to rest on mine. I quickly look at her, and she’s looking up at me as if she’s worried about my safety.
Amako’s gaze makes me even more determined.
“It’s starting all over again, isn’t it?”
The end of my peaceful life.
What comes next is a battle against the Demon King’s army —– a battlefield where death is a constant companion.
After writing this story, I realized that Meena is a character that people like and dislike very differently.
The story about Nack’s past and Meena’s relationship with him reflects a little more of the setting than the book version.
Please don’t worry about this, it won’t affect the main story.
Since this chapter is a kind of preparation period, there were no major battles involving life and death.
Instead, the focus will be on the new characters and the ones who have reappeared.
After updating the quiet story and introduction of the characters, I will move on to the next chapter.
Looking at the feedback section, I can’t help but nod my head at the variety of thoughts and opinions from readers.
There were many comments like “I guess there’s this way of looking at it ……” and “I can’t help feeling that way” that I myself, the writer of this story, could understand and sympathize with.
Thank you very much for all the fun and valuable feedback you send me.
Thank you so much to all my patron supporters who have been helping me since the beginning, and to those who are helping me right now as well.