Jul 28, 2016

Majo no Tabitabi V1 Chapter 1

Chapter 1: A Country of Magicians


Part 1

On the savage mountain district, that country stood isolated.

Because it was surrounded by tall walls, it was not possible to examine it from the outside.

At the top of the stone surface hot from sunlight, a single broom was flying and cutting through the lukewarm atmosphere as it advanced.

The one manipulating the broom was a single lovely girl, clad in black robe and a tricorne while her ashen hair shook in the wind.

Just who in the world was that girl who possessed such beauty that if there were people around,  anyone turn their heads in awe.

That's right, It’s me.

Just kidding.

"...Just a little bit more."

The tall walls appeared to be constructed by shaving off what was originally a mountain.  A gate could be seen just by shifting one’s line of sight down. I am pointing my broom towards it.

Well, it seems like a troublesome place for a country, but, this was was what they had in mind──No one would make a mistake and carelessly enter. After all, unless circumstances called for it, no one would ever come in a country built in such a place.

After arriving at the gate, I descended from my broom. A guard at the gate tasked to carry out inspections for entrances to the country came to greet me.

After slowly examining me to the tips, he returned his gaze to the brooch on my chest then showed a wide smile.

"Welcome to the country of Magicians. Please proceed inside, Witch-sama."

"? Eh? Is is fine not to verify whether I’m a Magician or not?"

All visitors must show Magic to the gate guard to enter. If their ability wasn’t satisfactory, permission to enter the town would not be granted. Thus I asked that kind of question.

"It's because I saw you flying here. Besides, that brooch undoubtedly belongs to a Witch. Please proceed inside."

So that's it. That's what it was. Looks like properly flying on brooms was the minimal requisite to enter the country. Now that i think about it, my advance was clearly visible from this gate. So embarrassing.

After giving a small nod to the gate guard, I proceeded to pass through the giant gate.

Here is the country of Magicians. Mages, Apprentice Witches, Witches──In short, it's a country with a strange rule of not letting anyone other than Magicians enter it.

After passing through the gate, I got puzzled.

There were two strange signboards standing next to each other.

One of the signboard showed a Magician mounting the boom inside a circle. Next to it was a walking soldier inside a triangle.

What’s with these signboards?

But I immediately understood the answer as I looked above──Above the crowded brick houses, or perhaps just below the sun, Magicians were flying about.

I see - I got it.

It seems to be a special rule of a country that allowed only Magicians to enter. Everyone was flying in the vicinity while only a handful of people walked on the ground.

Understanding the meaning of the sign, I took out my broom and sat on it sideways. Kicking the ground, I slowly floated up.

If I had to express the meaning of the signs with simple words:

"It's an endorsement to fly in the air, isn't it──"

And thus, the country of Magicians truly showed up.

Magicians were flying above the reddish brown roofs that were spread out like withered land.

Starting from people who had their brooms stopped and having a friendly chat, people who tied luggage to brooms, to an old woman who looked like a suspicious Witch.  Even figures of children who dashed in the air having a contest of speed - They seem to be enjoying a life in the sky.

It's a very warming scene, even to the point of awe.

Blending with them, I soared above the country. As I was absentmindedly flying about, I suddenly caught a sight of a signboard that was put above a roof. An "Inn" it seems. After passing by it, next appeared a word "Greengrocer". Aside from it, there were things like "Butcher" and "Jewelry". As expected, they were for the “life among the skies” alone. Putting a signboard above the rooftops seems to be a common thing.

At closer inspection, there were windows where a single person could pass through embedded on the roofs of most houses. As I gazed at it blankly, a man suddenly jumped out from inside through the window gap, and got on his broom. In short, It's something like that.

I leisurely flew about, enjoying the country’s scenery.

What could be called a change, happened shortly after that.

"Nooooooooooooooooo!"

A scream resounded from behind.

I held my broom with one hand and looked back as I held my hat down so it wouldn't be blown away.

And then, "T-Too late" I thought.

"Aaaahhhhhhhh!"

Someone was flying towards me in a straight line while screaming and scattering tears. But the moment I saw that, there was only a roof’s distance between us.

Can I evade it? Impossible.

Although I instinctively bent my upper body, as expected, collision was unavoidable. With unladylike screams like "Ugyaa" and "Uge", that person and I entangled and fell towards the rooftop. We peeled away some of the arranged roof tiles and before long, we stopped just on the verge of falling from the roof. Looking down, one broken roof tile lay upon the ground. It's fortunate that there were no pedestrians there.

Because of the inadequate angle, I avoided the head-on collision, and thanks to this mysterious flying person who took the damage from collision with tiles, I haven't sustained injuries.

I stood up while brushing off the reddish brown fragments attached to my black robe.

"............"

"Ugogogogo........"

Leaking a strange groan with closed eyes was a teenage girl that seemed to be slightly younger than me. She had average features and evenly-cut, short black hair. She wore a white blouse and checkered skirt under the black mantle. Because she got caught up below me, they got splendidly torn apart.

Since there was nothing like a brooch attached on her chest, perhaps she is a mage.

"........Um, are you alright?"

As I touched the shoulder of the collapsed girl, she opened her eyes.

"…………"

".............."

And, silence.

Even though I don't understand the circumstances, I said "A poor handling of a broom, eh?"

I think it's cynical. Yes.

"........Ah"

"It seems your head finally started working." I made a smiling face.

"Awawawawa." She once again closed her eyes. "W-w-w-w-what to do. What should I do? I can't fix so many roof tiles alone....."

Oh?

"Before that, shouldn't you apologize?"

"Ah, I-I'm Sorry! It was not on purpose! I swear!"

I can see that.

"By the way, you, are you alright? Given that you flew so splendidly."

"Ah, I'm alright! I look this lively after all!"

That.

She was saying that while red fluids spilled from her since she started talking. She was looking with clear, unwavering eyes.

"Blood is coming out you know. Moreover, it's coming out from your head."

"This is just sweat!"

"There's a sweat with such Iron smell?"

"Errr, well, errr......... It's a sweat!"

"I got it already, so please come down a bit."

"Yes!"

".............."

Why did this happen? I'm dead tired after getting blown off all of a sudden.

After the scolding, there's a need to fix the roof tiles… oh I've had enough already. I would be a demon if I let a girl with such dangerous circumstances do it.

I took out a handkerchief from my pocket.

"Here, use this. Hold it down on the head."

"Eeh......But."

"Also, while I repair the tiles here, please go and rest somewhere for a bit."

"No, I will also help out!"

"In such condition, rather than help, you'll be a hindrance. Please go and rest." I clearly declared it.

"But──"

"You. Are. A. Hindrance."

"......Okay."

After that, she sat at on the rooftop and held down the handkerchief on her head while feeling despondent like an abandoned cat. Although she was looking lively, it was unreasonable to let her do it, after all, as soon as she sat down, she lost her strength.

Let's put her aside for now. That degree of injury won't cause death.

Now, let's do something about this disastrous scene──I charged magical power in my hands. In a moment, along with the faint light, a long staff appeared in my hand.

This is a special privilege of magicians. Each of us ── Magicians, can take out various Magic Tools like a broom or staff with the use of ──Magic.

Putting magic power in my staff, I started to invoke Magic.

Time Reversal Magic.

As its name implies, it's a Magic to reverse the time flow, repairing the broken things with it and healing injuries, however, it's a Magic that requires a slightly high skill. But if it's the Witches of this country, then probably all of them can do it. But it might've been difficult for the collapsed Mage behind me.

After getting showered with Magic, the tiles started moving. The broken tiles started connecting one by one, and just like a pieces of puzzle, they returned to their original state.

Then the fragments disappeared, and the traces of breaking also completely disappeared from sight, and at that point, I stopped releasing the magic and looked back. Next is the girl's turn.

"Well then, you are next."

"Umm, Err......."

After approaching the nervous girl who raised her body while holding her head, I started casting the Magic. Wrapped up in a tender light, her injuries along with her clothes started to heal up.

"Uwah......"

Amazing - I heard her mutter.

No, if one is a Witch, then it's normal to be able to do this much.

After confirming that she returned to her original appearance, I hurriedly went to pick up my broom that had fallen on the rooftop. I think it's a good plan to escape from here before it gets noisy.

"H-Hey!"

Partly ignoring her who was trying to say something else to me, I got on my broom.

"Thanks is enough. It's not good to disregard the surrounding when flying on the broom you know?"

"Please wait, I want to somehow apologize──"

"No need. Because, I'm in a hurry. Good bye. Mage-san whose name I don't know."

Then I flew away with broom.


Part 2

Speaking simply, a Mage is a person who can use Magic. Not everyone can use it, and in most cases, it is hereditary. My parents were also Mages.

Apprentice Witch ranks above the Mage and is one step below the Witch. Just like the name suggests, it's a title given only to women. For what reason is it like that? It's because, the ability to create magic is stronger in women than in men. Because of that, only women are placed above the rank of Mage.

There's just one way to become an Apprentice Witch: it's to pass the examination and receive a corsage that is a proof of Apprentice Witch. But this is not all. Having said that, there are many who give up in the middle of the examination because of receiving deadly injuries.

After becoming an Apprentice Witch, there awaits a training for the sake of becoming a person worthy to be called a Witch; under the genuine Witches, putting in a great effort day after day until you get recognized. That can happen in a day, or it could happen after a decade. It all depends on personal effort and the consideration of the Witch-sama that becomes your teacher.

If you are recognized as an official Witch, you will get a star brooch with your name inscribed at the bottom and the title of a Witch gifted from the teacher. In my case, it's "Witch of Ashes."

To end the long explanation: in short - I am among the top ranking beings in this country. In other words, I am a Witch.

When flying in the skies, people would look with envious gazes, or in the restaurant they would say something like "Witch-sama! You have a discount on every cuisine of this store! Please choose whatever you like!" and things like that... at least that was the expectation.

"Eh? Discount? There's nothing like that. Perhaps you have no money? Ojou-chan?"

"…………"

Well, It's that, huh? If they treat every Witch with special treatment, it would turn out bad for the store.

Leaving the restaurant, I went towards the jewelry store. I wanted to sell the jewels that I gathered from the countries I previously visited. While thinking that I'd get a splendid price for them, I entered the merchant's store.

"Ah, these are complete imitations. I can't offer any price for them."

"That's absurd! Please look properly, once more!"

"It's the same no matter how much I look at it. What will you do? If you don't need it, should our store deal with it?"

".......For you to be saying something like that, you actually have ulterior motives to snatch it from me, isn't it?"

"Of course not, Ojou-chan. There's no way I would do that. So, what will you do?"

"Please return it."

I was very angry as I left the jewelry store.

But, well, even if that shopkeeper seemed a bit of a scoundrel, he didn't do anything to be despised by me right? That should be the case, right?

While feeling anxious, I went towards the inn. after all, It would get dark soon.

However.

"Aahn? This place is not for the brats like you. Now, scram."

.......Huuh?

Why?

Maybe this inn is for the rich adults only? Mhmm.

There's no choice. I'll choose another place.

And so, I descended with the broom towards the inn that had a cheap-looking worn-out signboard. This one should be all right I guess.

From the open window on the roof, I descended the ladder leading to the inside. But on the way down, I got carried away, and jumped. thud, a sound as if an iron ball was dropped reverberated. Of course, I'm not that heavy. How rude.

The place down there turned out to be the reception.

The woman sitting at the counter, after seeing me──

"Welcome......"

Became stiff.

She, as well as me.

Evenly-cut black hair. Average features that were similar to a boy in some respects. Sitting there, was the girl that ran into me (Physical Meaning) a few hours ago.

"............"

"............"

The one who broke the frozen atmosphere between us first was her.

"Hi-Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-! I-I-I'm s-s-sorry! I'm sorry! Is this a revenge? It's revenge isn't it! I'm sorry! Please spare me! Anything but my liiiiife!"

"No, um."

"Uwaaaaaah! I don't want to dieeeeeeeee!"

"Errrr....."

You don't have to be frightened that much.

"Please anything but my life........" - as she sobbed while rubbing her head on the counter, I gently touched her shoulders.  

"Heeeeeeee-! You intend to start by tearing off my shoulderrrr! Nooooo-!"

"Please quiet down a bit." Ah, that came out wrong. "Umm, Are you alright? I just came here to stay for a day."

"Nooooo──oh, is that so. So that's what it was. Then, please fill out these forms~."

".............."

There are a lot of things I want to say, but I must endure. I don't want to cause more racket.

I accepted the blank forms from her and took the quill that was lying on the counter. There were simple things like number of people, amount of days and the name of the representative written on the entry form. Being a traveler, this form is already familiar to me.

As I glided the quill across the paper, she said with a very cheerful voice:

"I'm truly sorry for today. I started thinking in the middle of training and somehow ended up not managing to fly skillfully........."

"I see."

In short, she is clumsy with broom handling, eh?

"I wanted to properly thank you but you suddenly headed somewhere else──Ah, so your name is Elaina? I'm Saya." she said as she stared at my hand with a bright smile.

As I was writing, "Just thanks is enough. Besides, it's common to get someone caught up when practicing magic." I said.

Come to think of it, I once got scolded by parents when I was trying to light a candle and set the house on fire. Ahh, so nostalgic.

"But don't you want anything from me? It will be terrible if I don't do anything after getting you in such trouble and even making you heal my injuries.”

"It's nothing much though......."

"There must be something! Please! Elaina-san!"

I shook my head as she was trying to show her gratitude. It's quite an odd scene.

Well, there's nothing in particular that I want, but there's no need to refuse it unreasonably like that either. I thought a bit as I kept writing.

"Hmm......Is that so, then──"

Can I get a lodging discount?

Is what I wanted to say, but I stopped.

An entry on the form caught my eye. Special discount for Witch-samas(Half per night) - was written there.

Hohou. Look what we have here.

"Ah, that, that's a reduction not covered by those who are Witch-samas. Other Magicians must circle the one on the general prices." She declared while knitting her brows.

"I see"

I circled the Witch-sama exclusive discount (half price).

"Eeh? Eh, umm......, uhhー?"

What's with that strange reaction? So rude.

"It's because I'm a Witch."

"But that's. You are joking....... Ah, no, I caused you trouble after all.....Yes! Then, you should get the discount!" She clapped her hands as she declared that. Because the conversation drifted to a delicate thing, or perhaps because I remembered this strange uncomfortable feeling, I shook my head.

"No no no no, that's not it. It's because I'm a Witch. That's why I have this attire."

"Eeehー?" She uttered. Then pointed at my chest.

"But, there's no brooch of a Witch-sama."

"Eh?"

I dropped my gaze to my chest.

The brooch that was supposed to be there has vanished.


Part 3

The brooch of a Witch, so to speak, are their identification documents. Without it, I'm just an ordinary traveler who can use magic.

That's why I was treated like a child in the inn from a while ago. I see, I see.

More importantly, why didn't I notice it till now.  Although the Witches are not rare, if I thought about it a bit more, I should've noticed faster. Am I an idiot? I'm an idiot right? I should just die.

As I cursed at myself, I immediately left and went to search for it….However.

".......It's nowhere."

It wasn't seen anywhere.

I searched around where I clashed with Saya-san, but it was already dark outside, and the object in question was a tiny brooch that could fit in-hand. It wasn't something you could find by walking around for a bit.

".......Uhh."

After moving in zig-zags on the rooftops while even checking the cracks, I descended towards the ground and started searching around the houses.

But, just like before, I couldn't find it. I want to cry.

"It's no goodー! Elaina-san, it's not here eitherー!"

From above the rooftops, quite a loud voice came down and reverberated throughout the alley. Looking up, there was a figure of Saya-san illuminated by the moonlight.

Immediately after I noticed that the brooch was missing, she said "I'm the one responsible for it, let's go together!" and after insisting on it, we came to look for it together.

I somehow entrusted the side of the merchant's home to another person.

As I walked down, she was in charge of searching above. There was a possibility of me overlooking it.

However, it seems that the outcome was the same.

I floated up to the roof with broom.

"Not finding it after all this searching means that there is a potential that someone picked it up....."

I leaked a sigh without thinking.

"I think it might be because it's getting dark. Wouldn't it be better to search here once more tomorrow morning?"

As I dropped my shoulders, she called out to me with a cheerful voice. I'm a bit grateful.

"Let's do that......"

As I meekly nodded towards her, I decided to return back.

I'm flying on a broom. Floating unsteadily, like a magician with clumsy broom handling skills. Yeah, if someone was flying nearby, I might have crashed into them.


That brooch is something I obtained after a lot of trouble, and it also contained the memories of me and my teacher. The shock from losing it is unimaginable.

If it was the time when I became a Witch, I would've immediately noticed it after losing it.

But now, because I carried it for two years, it became a normal thing that I had on me.

".......Haah."

Anyhow, I feel down.

After that, I returned to the inn and ate a meal in a half-fainted condition, took the key from Saya-san and entered the room. However, remembering that I haven't taken a bath, I quickly went towards the large public bath.

Absentmindedly I immersed myself in hot water. Ahh, either way, I can't think of any other place where it could've dropped except where I crashed into Saya-san... There's no other explanation... It's such a mystery… . . . thoughts like that passed through my head for nearly one hour. Remaining in the bath (Just me) until feeling dizzy, I dragged myself out the after almost melting in the water.

Then.

"Ah, helloー"

After returning to my room, there was a figure of Saya-san for some reason.

I closed the door.

Taking a step back, I confirmed the room number. Hmm, It definitely matches the number written on the key. Strange.

Maybe I imagined it?

I opened the door once more.

"Ah, Helloー"

It would've been good if it was a bad dream, but there actually was the figure of Saya-san in my room. She was happily waving her hand from above the wooden bed.

"......Why are you in my room?" - I asked as I closed the door with my hands behind my back.

"I thought I'd talk to Elaina-san for a bit, so I was waiting."

"But it should've been locked."

"Fufu, I'm working at this inn you know?"

Saying that, she proudly showed off the ring with a bundle of keys on it.

Staying silent, I walked towards her,

"............"

And pinched her cheeks with both hands.

"I-ish hurts! Ish hurts!"

"Going in other's rooms as you please, what's the big idea. Ah?"

Guriguriguriguri.

"Shey will be shorn! my sheeks will shear off!" - They will be torn, my cheeks will tear off! Is what she was trying to say.

"Ah? What was that? I didn't hear it."

"Awawawawah......"

After I got tired from stretching and playing with her soft cheeks, I decided to release her. As she covered her slightly reddened cheeks with both hands, "How terrible......." She said, but which one of us is terrible I wonder.

"So, what business do you have? Since you sneaked in my room, you must’ve had some kind of business with me, right?"

Saya-san started speaking as she stroked her cheeks.

"Elaina-san, you really are a Witch right?"

"Yes. I guess." I consented to answer. "Brooch is missing, but I really am a Witch."

"Then, that means you successfully passed the Apprentice Witch examination, right?"

"That’s right."

I still remember the disappointment from easily passing it.

After Saya-san stared at me for some time, she suddenly lied down and folded her legs on the bed, and then touched the bottom of bed's headboard with both hands.

"Please! Somehow, please teach me the secrets of examination!"

"........Umm, What's with that posture?"

"This is a traditional prostration handed down in my hometown! It's a killer technique for apologizing towards others."

It's quite a strange culture....... Apologizing towards someone was that great in her hometown? However, the sincerity is clearly seen.

Somehow, I felt..........chills, or perhaps I should say, some kind of mysterious sensation. I held back the urge to trample on her saying "Aah? Is that the attitude you should have when requesting something from someone, aah?" and kneeled down.

"Um, for now, please raise your head."

"Alright!" She suddenly raised her head.

"You don't have to do it that fast." I added. "But first, won't you explain your circumstances?"

Let's talk after that.

As she sat on the bed once more, I took a cheap-looking chair from the desk and sat at the opposite side. Saya-san's black hair jolted as she weakly shook her head, and–  

"Err........." she shyly opened her mouth.

"I have a little sister. A very cute little sister, but…”

"Haa........"

That was a very strange way of introduction, but whatever, let's hear it.

"We are from the eastern country. Me and my little sister came from a far away to this country to become Apprentice Witches──Because there's no organization that performs examinations in our country. So as we worked at this inn to earn money, we have been living here for years to take the examination, however......"

"But both of you are still mages, right?"

At that, she cast down her eyes and slowly shook her head.

"Last time, only my little sister passed the examination. So only she returned back."

".........mhm."

I see, I see. Somehow, I feel I can see what happened.

In short:

"Since you were beaten to a punch by that cute little sister, you asked the Witch you just met for help. That's the case, right?"

"Well..........It's something like that." Saya-san muttered as she scratched her cheek embarrassed.

"When is the next exam?"

"It's in one week.......There's no time anymore......"

Well, the Apprentice Witch examination can be taken any number of times so I think there's no need to rush, but. . .

You want to meet your little sister that much, huh?

"............" After staying silent, I declared "If it's until I find my brooch, then it's fine."

In any case, I can't leave the country until I find my brooch, so I think it would be fine to do it in the meantime and I might even get to stay at the inn free of charge.



Part 4

To achieve the rank of Apprentice Witch, you need to pass the written examination first and then pass the magic examination.

The written examination, bluntly speaking, is the easiest thing if you fill your head with things like history and magic theories, but with the magic examination, that won't help with anything. If your skill is lacking, you have to redo it many times.

Magic examination mainly looks at the ability to fly with brooms and operate Magic, and with each examination, only one person can pass. That will also be unchanged in the exam that's held in one week. Flying unstoppably with broom, at the same time obliterating opponents while receiving deadly attacks, and at the end, only the winner passes, becoming an Apprentice Witch.

The ugly part of the contest, is truly a cruel thing. It feels like it plainly displays the ugliest parts of humans.

I don't want to go through it a second time.

"Let's speak frankly. Saya-san. With your current power, the probability to win against other contestants in a proper fight is endlessly close to zero."

The next morning after I made a promise with her.

I spoke to her while sitting on the broom, "However, that doesn't mean that it's absolutely impossible to win against them. Please relax."

"W-What should we do!" Being lively despite the morning, she was looking with shining eyes. Like a sun that awoke just a little while ago.

I drew my broom towards her who was squatting on top of the roof tiles.

"For starters, you should learn to operate the broom at my, or even above my level."

"Eehー That's a bit too hard......." She made a bitter face as she said it.

Just what is hard? What a spoiled child.

"There's no other method to survive the magic examination. Or rather, the current you will end up falling off the broom right after the examination begins. Better avoid that at least."

"Uggh......."

It feels like that.

For start, I decided to train her in the fundamental magic skills. In the end, just as I imagined, she's unskilled to the point that she can't even fly normally (To the point that you might hesitate calling her a magician), so it's very troublesome.

Ahh, so this is the feeling of mothers teaching their children how to fly, earnestly teaching from morning to evening as long as time allows it. As children point at us while making fun along with sneering adults, we are putting effort in this special training.

Of course, we didn't forget about searching for the brooch. She is slowly improving her results but on the contrary we aren't making any progress with the other thing.

My brooch, just where did it go? Seriously.

"Next is the rotation. Shift your body weight and bend skillfully."

"Yes!"

"Next is rapid braking and rapid takeoff. After forcefully stopping the broom with your entire your body, dash out with the feel as if you’re kicking the air."

"Yes!"

"Next is aerial separation. Let go of broom in the air and then summon it with Magic. If it gets dangerous then I’ll come to save you, so fly with a peace of mind."

"Yes!"

"Next is──" and so on.

Just like that, in the blink of an eye, Saya-san got to the point of using the broom close to my level. To be asked how many days it took to reach this point, the answer would be 2 days.

This terrific growth of Saya-san raised some questions. What in the world was she doing until now. Or is it simply because my way of teaching is splendid, I wonder?

When I asked, "Because I was self-training until now." She answered, while looking embarrassed. What the hell.

And now, the fourth day of staying in this country──Third day of teaching.

On the contrary to the usual unsuccessful search for the brooch (just information gathering), Saya-san's special training was refreshingly favorable.

It seemed she could still reach even higher.

"Next, let's memorize the offensive Magic──How about Wind Magic?"

"Wind Magic?"

To her who was standing on top of the roof that was burned reddish brown and quizzically bending her head, I swiftly nodded and said. "Yes, Wind. By manipulating the air currents, it can hinder the other participants."

This actually was a dirty technique on my Magic examination. I still remember the effects of manipulating the air currents, like the people who lost balance and fell down, and people who staggered and collided with buildings.

Wind manipulation is easy to handle, and can become a powerful weapon. Because of the time left, she must memorize it by all means.

"Then, please hit that bottle on the opposite side with the wind."

I pointed at the bottle that was put on rooftop opposite from us. From here, it's just a one house distance, so it shouldn't be hard at all.

"Imagine gathering the air and strike with it, and it will work out.── something like this"

I swung the staff.

In a moment, the bottle grew hazy from the wind, and then its top shook with rattling sound.

It didn't fall right? Was it a failure? Saya-san turned around with the face that seemed to ask that, but that was done on purpose. It really was, you know?

"Well then, go ahead and try it."

"......L-like this?"

With a whoosh, Saya-san swung the staff. Since Wind Magic itself is a Magic that is taught at the beginning, she was able to call it forth. But, the wind that she summoned passed by the bottle's top.

Regrettable.

"The way you hold the staff is wrong. And also the way of directing. Wind Magic is a very delicate thing, so swinging it too strongly will not do the trick."

"Err, then, how about this?"

Whoosh. The wind passed by.

It didn't change at all.

"Wrong. Like this."

I swung the staff and the bottle shook with a clatter. After noticing the reason I didn't throw the bottle down, "Wow!" - Saya-san leaked out a voice.

And, she once again grasped her tender staff.

"Ei!"

This time she completely imitated what I did, but it was too weak. Only a gentle breeze blew.

......It didn't go smoothly.

"Wrong. Like this."

"Like this?"

It missed.

"That's completely wrong. Like this."

"H-how about this!"

The wind didn't even graze.

"Totally no good at all. It's like this, this."

"Is it something like this!"

Totally hopeless. Totally. No response at all.

Let's use the strong measures. Getting behind her back, I seized it with both hands. Saya-san's shoulders shook instantly, and I whispered close to her ear.

"Are you okay? Right now I will launch Magic through your staff. Please learn with your body."

"W-with my body?"

"Yes. With your body."

I nodded to her whose ears were bright red for some reason.

"Then, here I go──"

And.

That kind of thing. We continuously trained till dusk on our third day. Instead of saying that she mastered the Wind Magic, it ended up totally hopeless.

Rather, after I showed it to her from behind, it seemed like it got even worse......?

Why did it happen? I don't Understand.

I can't always supervise Saya-san constantly. When noon arrives, I also go separately. For the sake of searching for my brooch, I fly downtown and listen to stories of various people.

Speaking honestly, it's nothing but information gathering after information gathering.

Without saying, I can't even find any simple information and in the end everyone shakes their heads while saying "I don't know".

The progress appeared on the fourth day from the day I became Saya-san's teacher. In other words, on the fifth day since I stayed in this country.

"I saw it." Saying cheerfully was the oba-sama that looked skillful with Magic. A star-shaped brooch was seen on her chest. But, from many years of service, it was splendidly worn-out.

Ooh, this is expected (Just what is?).

"W-Where did you see it!"

As I snapped at her, Hihihi - she laughed with a voice truly fitting to a Witch.

"Now, where did I see it......."

"Please tell me! Beautiful oba-sama."

"Hihihi!”

Without hesitation, oba-sama displayed her hand to me.

".......What's up with that hand."

"How much are you willing to pay? Hm?"

Currently Oba-sama was quietly presenting her hand to me. Pay to keep asking questions, is it?

.......So filthy. As one would expect from a Witch.

"…………"

I quietly took a single gold coin from the purse and put it in Oba-sama's hand. And with that, oba-sama restarted like a wound up doll.

"The place I saw it──"

Oba-sama started talking. Vaguely, I myself also feel like I've known about it somehow.

The end of a loose tale was told easily like this.


Part 5

Nighttime between fifth and sixth day since I arrived.

From the bed, I looked out the window at the suspended moon, but suddenly, the door opened. As glanced there, the girl there timidly looked back at me.

She──Saya-san.

"Umm, Elaina-san"

"What is it?"

"I-is it alright to sleep together?"

I dropped my gaze at the bed.

"Isn't it small?"

"We are a cheap hotel so sorry about that."

Ah, no, I didn't mean that by it. This is a one person room. And only one person is supposed to sleep on this bed as well.

"Well, If you don't mind the narrow feel, then I don't really mind."

"Yay!"

Saya-san entered inside and roughly closed the door, then crawled in the bed.

Sweet fragrance of someone who just got out of the bath drifted in the air. Although we used the same shampoo since this is an inn, it differed from my fragrance quite a bit. Holding her hair and bringing my nose close to it, different from my hair, it had the fragrance of a lovely maiden. Why is it that only she has such a nice fragrance?

Well, it's fine.

I'll also lie down.

I lied down, facing to the side of the moon and covered myself with a bed sheet. I immediately noticed the presence behind me.

"Isn't it bright to face towards the moon while sleeping?"

"Just a bit." I turned around.

And at that moment, our eyes met.

".......Wasn’t that a contradiction of what you just said?"

"It was not too bright to me."

She smiled faintly. Somehow that smile illuminated by the moonlight looked as if it would be broken from a touch.

"Good work for today. It's a great improvement compared to the beginning. To the point that you won't be needing my help anymore."

"Eeh, it's nothing like that. After all, there are many more things I want to be taught by Elaina-san."

".....I am a traveler. I will leave this country shortly."

"But we will be together all the time before then."

After some stirring under the futon, something cold touched my hands. It was Saya-san grasping my hand.

She looked straightly at me and started talking.

"Please teach me many more things."

"............"

The moonlight wavered inside her eyes.

An innocent girl like her was truly looking up to a person like me. However, I have to choose what is best for me from now on──even if it is something cruel for her.

This bitter feeling in my chest, is it from the guilt I wonder? Or is it because of the disappointment? I believe it's the former.

"This is an unreasonable discussion, Saya-san."

I declared.

Then, as I pushed her hands off mine, I said:

"Won't you return my brooch?"


Part 6

The disappearance of my brooch that seemed so complicated at a glance, in truth, was something really simple.

"Isn't the girl you collided with responsible for it? After you hurriedly flew away, she picked it up."

Oba-sama said as she was brightly glancing at the gold coin. That was something I also thought about.  If I couldn't find it all from all these searching, then probably someone picked it up.

From the start I had an uncomfortable feeling.

Saya-san.

You were unskilled in operating the broom to the point that I wondered about whether you were flying poorly on purpose.

Given that the lowest requirement to enter this country was to be able to fly properly with broom.

At first I thought Saya-san might be a native of this country, but then I heard her story saying she was a magician who expressly came here from the eastern country... And with that, it would be even strange being unable to fly on broom. So──.

So, honestly. I...

I was suspicious about you from the very beginning. And, I kept waiting. For you to return the brooch to me.

"But while hiding it in your hands, you didn't hand it over to me. On the contrary, you ended up talking about your wish of always staying together."

This much is already a limit──thinking that, I started talking.

Sitting on the bed with her head hanged down, I wonder what kind of expression is she making? She didn't scream like she did at first when I touched her shoulders. Sorry, but, I'm not a kind person to that extent.

I just continued waiting for her. For the girl hanging her head to avoid the moonlight.

I wonder how long has passed since then? One minute? Ten minutes? It might even be just 10 seconds.

"......Why?"

Small voice, that was barely audible.

"What is it?"

"Why didn't you press me a question?" - This time, it was clearly heard.

"First reason is because I didn't have a positive proof. Even if I said "You are the culprit!", If you feigned ignorance, then it would've ended there."

"............"

"And also because I believed that you would return it to me at one point. To me, Saya-san didn't look like a bad person at all."

Just like a child spoiled by the mother.

In my eyes, she was reflected as an innocent cheerful girl.

"That's why, I was constantly waiting."

I told her.

With that, she finally lifted her face. Her pretty face was ruined from the wrinkles of tears. Saya-san wiped her eyes, and along with sobbing:

"I was lonely."

"I'm not your little sister."

"I know. I know that, but.......I-I wanted us to be together."

It was a voice that seemed like it would disappear anytime now. Was that towards her sister? Or, was it towards me?

After meeting Saya-san by chance, what do I even know about her? It would be same as not knowing anything, but I somehow understood what kind of person she was.

A hopeless elder sister who was always spoiling her cute younger sister. Surely, that's who she was.

But she couldn't endure going with her little sister.

"Loneliness felt bad, bad, and frightening, that's why I──"

"Ei!"

I flicked her forehead. With clink!, a rough sound reverberated.

"That is not a reason."

Feeling bad from being alone, you rely on someone. From the unpleasantness of the ridiculing loneliness, she desperately searched for someone who would get along with her. Feeling scared from the solitude, she frantically ran from place to place.

Honestly, I think it's a very detestable behavior.

"So what if you are alone? And what if you feel lonely? If you are afraid of them, then you won't become a Witch Apprentice? Truly, no matter what you accomplish, a person will always be lonely. It's no good if you are not alone. If you start getting along with others, then that's the end."

I wonder if her little sister said the same to her when leaving. I won't know that truth.

"......But"

"Aaahhhhhh. I don't want to hear it. Your sorry excuse won't reach my ears!"

I covered my ears with both hands and started shaking me head. Making the shaking sounds. I swung my hair with a force that it hit her face.

Ah, I got a little irritated.

"Surely, fighting alone is painful. It's scary. I can understand that. That's why──"

Saying that, I took out a tricorne with Magic. It was really similar to the one I use.

I put it on her head.

"That's why, take this. In order to be alright, please take this part of me and carry it with you."

Saya-san tightly grasped the visor of the hat and:

"But, to take something that's Elaina-san's......."

"Ah, It's fine. That's a spare one."

I showed her another hat I took out with Magic. It was a hat really similar to mine.

"With this, we are the same. From now on, you will be alone. But won't be alone at the same time. Me and your little sister as well, we will always be watching over you."

That's why, return the brooch to me──I said in order to persuade her.

While covering her head with the hat, and holding it very, very tightly as her shoulders trembled, she quietly nodded.

That form looked so empty and frail.

I embraced her slim shoulders.








That day.

We spent our final night together. After she stopped crying and calmed down, I instructed her about ways to pass the Magic examination, then heard stories about her and her little sister's country, as well as telling my own tales from journeying, and other various things.

Ah, speaking of which, Saya-san seems to be a splendid magician. Well, I knew about it. But I wonder why is it that only at the time of using the Wind Magic, she started to get worse in it? No matter how much I asked about that, she just turned bright red and didn't answer. What the hell?

In the end, we fell asleep after the sun started rising. It was a long, long night.

But, it became a precious memory.



Part 7

I wonder how long has it been since I left the Country of Magicians.

Should be about six months.

After I met her, and after she returned the brooch, half-year has passed already it seems──Hah, the thing called time flow is a very fast thing. Really.

I already drifted so far that I'd say "Eh? Country of Magicians? Where's that?" if asked.

What reminded me of that person I met in that country, was her name that I saw when I casually entered a bookstore.

「List of people who recently passed the Apprentice Witch exam」

It was the bundle of cheap-looking papers that was a monthly newspaper of the mysterious organization called the Unified Magic Organization, which held the ceremonies of Apprentice Witch promotion exams worldwide. Its cover was decorated with the results of the promotional examination results, and with the comments of the successful participants.

And her name was also there.

"Hey! Look at you standing and browsing it." - The newspaper was confiscated by the shopkeeper-san that came out from the store.  

".......Aahー"

I wanted to keep reading it.

"If you want to read it, then buy it."

"How much is it?"

"One copper coin."

I paid.

Then.

Taking the newspaper in hand, I came back to the inn while humming, then took the chair near the window and continued reading.

Written there was her everyday troubles and her aspiration towards the future.

About her coming to the Country of Magicians few years ago along with her sister. About her sister easily passing the Apprentice Witch exam and returning home. About the meeting with a certain traveler, receiving a beautiful hat and a courage to fight alone from her. About attempting the test several times after meeting that traveler but ending up failing. Yet, continuing with great effort without giving up, and finally becoming an Apprentice Witch. About planning to return to hometown from now on, and starting training in order to become a Witch.

I unintentionally loosened my face.

Her drawn-out story came to a finish with these few words.

"When I return to the hometown and become an adult, I will go to meet that traveler I love so much."

Dropping the newspaper on the desk, I looked up at the sky. Thoroughly clear light blue sky that kept continuing far across the distance without end.

I wonder if she's there, on the opposite side.

"I'll wait patiently as I continue my journey──Saya-san."

14 comments:

  1. Looking forward to more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Let's eat~~
    I wonder if it will be like the manga Majo no shinzou .that give that rare ...nostalgic?....fantasy feeling i can't realy describe..there is mahou tsukai no yome with the same feeling too... anyway let's read and see for ourselves.

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  3. thx for the chapter :-). already fall in love with this novel :D

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  4.  ∧∧
    ┏(゚Д゚⊂⌒`つ ┓
    ┃     ̄ ̄ ┃
    ┗🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥┛
    Thanks Nepu!!!
    Very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my god, this is finally getting translated.
    You're a god amongst mere mortals.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for translating this!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. praise the sun.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Is this like kino no tabi but much lighter?

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  9. Thanks for the translation.. (σ≧▽≦)σ

    By the way, I found some mistypes here.. I will list it below. ( ・∇・)
    I hope this will help you. (о´∀`о)

    1. PART 4 Paragraph 3 Sentence 1
    ....fly with BOOM.... --> ....fly with BROOM....

    2. PART 6
    ..., she FRANTICLY ran... --> ..., she FRANTICALLY ran...

    ReplyDelete