Well, we’ve finally arrived at our final rest stop before the academy. It’s quite peculiar, really. It’s been a fairly long time since we started the trip and yet, it hasn’t really felt too long. Sure, there were a couple of times when I have thought it’d be great if the trip was over, but it wasn’t excessive. It’s also felt…different?
Perhaps, should I say, it feels different to my previous lives (Not that I can remember how many I’ve had). Anyway, it’s as though in this life I’ve broken away from a mould – or even a script. Like in a sandbox video-game where even though they ‘say’ you can follow different paths, they often end up merging into one. Of course, I understand why. Capabilities of technology does limit how much they can do (And the capabilities of the people working on the games.)
I guess, what I mean to say is, this life has been the most interesting one that I can remember, causing me to feel as though I’ve actually changed. I’m not going through the same things over and over again, without change, thus I’m quite enjoying it even though I do have to deal with my sickness. Even onee-sama could be considered an appreciated existence, even when she looked at me with eyes that wanted to kill me.
Oh, Yuuki’s speaking to me on her own initiative. I wonder why?
“Yeah, go ahead.”
“… Odd magic… Over there.”
What’s this? An odd magic towards the direction she’s pointing… If I remember correctly, we passed over there. I saw a small cave which didn’t seem as though it was inhabited. Maybe I was wrong though. It’s quite possible.
“Should we check it out then?”
Hmm… Do I care if it’s dangerous? Should I speak to the others and make a decision together… Nah, let’s not trouble them. It might be nothing. If it’s something, Yuuki should be able to protect me. Although, I better tell them I’m going. Else questions would arise.
“Hey, I’m going to train a bit with Yuuki over there.”
“Don’t hurt yourself.”
“Be careful onii-sama!”
“D-don’t do an-anything rash, okay?”
Such a colourful party I have around me. Some of them are really nice, while others you couldn’t tell cared if they spoke it aloud. It doesn’t really matter though.
“Let’s go, Yuuki.”
Hahaha! She’s been saying it enough that she doesn’t need to think about it! It’s brilliant. There are a few other phrases she can say without struggle… The practice I’m putter her through is going really well. I’m happy.
We walk towards the source of the magic that Yuuki detected, without much of an aim other than to investigate. Perhaps it would have been sensible to inform the others, but where’s the sense of adventure in that?
Is wanting to experience an adventure so bad? I don’t think so. It just shows the will to have new things, to explore new places. That’s what an adventure is. Thus why there is no place for an ‘adventurer’s guild’. So many novels include this existence, and a few games do as well. But the thing is, it completely contradicts the very meaning of an adventurer! They’re meant to do new things, not the same thing others have done! Curse the willingness to succumb to this mindset!
… I got carried away. The point remains though.
I look towards where Yuuki is pointing and see the cave. It really was coming from there, huh?
“The cave, right?”
“Yeah… Should we go in?”
I know it’s not a smart thing to do, but I can’t help it! I’m curious. What exactly is the source of the magic? Yuuki should be able to protect me if anything goes wrong anyway.
Oh, Yuuki isn’t offering an answer to this? Perhaps she feels that it isn’t her place to speak about such a thing… As a slave, I guess that’s right. Well, onwards to glory!
“Let’s go, then; Lead the way.”
Yuuki nods and walks into the cave, with her head glancing all around her, as though it’s important to take it all in… It is, I suppose. But I can’t manage to mimic the retention of the minute details for it to be of any use for me, so I just keep a broad overview of the situation. Like listening for odd sounds and looking for any odd smells. The small things, right?
Slowly making our way into the cave, it’s a lot large than I first predicted. Like, it shouldn’t be able to fit here, big. Just what is it that allows it to be like this? Some sort of spacial magic, maybe?
“AHHH! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?! WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?! ”
Well, there really was someone here.
Just not someone I was expecting.
“I ASKED YOU A QUESTION!?”
Well, to be accurate, three questions were asked but I’m not going to be one to complain. We did kind of invade into this person’s space. It’s understandable.
As for Yuuki, during all of this, she’s been in a stance prepared to activate her magic as soon as it’s necessary.
“The prince? You mean that kid that was so sick he was basically dead? How could you be him? You don’t look that sick?”
Huh? People don’t know about may temporary recovery? Even if it was announced, I don’t think this one would have known anyway… After all, she’s around the size of my hand and is flying in front of my face. She’s tiny. Well, even considering, she’s really cute. I wonder how-
“DON’T YOU EVEN THINK THAT, YOU HEAR?! I’M YOUNG!”
“…She… Read… minds?”
Yuuki begins to shiver hearing the fairy’s reaction. Even if she could, does it really bother you Yuuki?
“No, I don’t think she can read minds, Yuuki; It’s just a thought that happens a lot. Anyway, I really am the prince. So who are you?”
“I won’t! I WON’T! You haven’t proved you are the prince!!! His sickness couldn’t be cured!!! How could you be him?!”
What sort of personality is this? Even onee-sama is easier to cope with. I turn to leave and then the fairy flutters in front of me.
“I SAID PROVE IT!?!?! Don’t just ignore me and leave!?!?”
“Okay. I get it.”
There’s no point in trying to hide it. I did reveal my identity at the start, so it stands to reason that I’d have to prove it. What to show though…
Thinking carefully, I handle the pendant and display it to the fairy.
“I’m not ‘cured’ at all. This is a way of temporarily averting the sickness.”
“I can sense energy in that pendant… Let me use a magic on you to see if you really are sick!!”
I go to Yuuki and whisper in her ear.
(Yuuki, can you guarantee my safety during this?)
Moving a couple of steps away from Yuuki, I reply to the fairy.
“I’ve decided that’s acceptable. Please be prepared for the consequences if you do something to me.”
“What do you take me for, an elf?! I would never do such a thing!”
… I’m fairly sure that humans are hated by most other races. So, I was just being careful, that’s all. I don’t want to die.
“Right! Here we go…”
A dark tendril comes out of the fairy and a throbbing pain enters into my veins, making me writhe in discomfort. I resist the temptation to scream, thinking that this pain was what people would normally deal with. The fairy’s face distorts in shock; she must have realized that I really am the prince.
She removes the dark tendril connecting our bodies and a slight shimmer can be seen on her face. Is she sweating?
“That magic! YOU’RE NOT MEANT TO STAY AWAKE FOR IT!!!”
Errrr, oops? But it felt like the only thing it did was sap away at my energy a little…
“Sorry… But did you confirm my identity?”
“Yes… You truly are that poor sod of a prince!”
You could have omitted some of that sentence.
“So, feel like sharing who you are?’
“Renegade fairy, Zynthia, at your service!”
“Please explain what you mean by ‘Renegade fairy’”
“I left the fairy home in order to practice inhumane magic, okay?!?! Don’t judge!?!?”
It became a stare off between us three. The fairy just admitted she practiced inhume magic and that’s why she left the fairy home. It’s like she doesn’t expect to get punished…
“Don’t punish me, I MEAN!?!?! I’LL DO STUFF FOR YOU!”
“I’m assuming, you mean, if I help you with your ‘inhumane magic’, that you’ll work for me.”
The fairy salutes and straightens up her body.
“AYE! Exactly! I’ll also improve your pendant!”
What? She can improve the pendant? I guess I’ll hear her out properly then…
“How would you be able to do that?”
“I’ll connect it up to somebodies life-source and it’ll use them to keep you in this state!!”
“That sounds excessively evil. Who exactly would be this volunteer?”
The fairy looks at Yuuki and then herself and me. What appears above her head, seems to be something akin to a lightbulb… Oh god, this can’t be anything good.
“… Her? Me? The magic works better with females… Every female willing, then? That’s good. The more it uses, the stronger the magic and the less negative effects come out.”
Oh, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.
“What are the negative effects?”
“If you faint, so will the others. When there are more, it reduces the chance of fainting or it lets them be awake but really tired… You become unable to use magic… You’re human, so this doesn’t matter. And, a chance that the others become part of your soul, causing them to die if you die.”
That last one was really bad!?!
“And you are willing to be a part of this… Why?”
“Else you wouldn’t let me continue my research!!!”
Well, she has got me on this one.
“Yuuki, even hearing the consequences, are you willing?”
A short pause.
“… No matter… what… Yes, master.”
“And Zynthia, can this be performed more than a single time?”
“Then let’s do it…”
Zynthia begins to mutter a call to the goddess, I think.
“I, a believer of creation, call upon the creator of all and the master of all eternity. To bind souls together, for the good of another, I ask for power of unequable level. The forbidden forces, hidden within, shall be let out and reversed. Sharing our lives, shall we protect another. Forbidden magic activate.”
At the end of her chant, a green light comes over all three of us and causes my entire being to sting. It’s not a simple matter of pain, this is the equivalent of torture. No wonder this magic is forbidden. Surely Yuuki and Zynthia should be feeling the same. I shouldn’t have let Yuuki participate in this… That was utterly stupid of me. What happens if she dies?!
The light quickly dissipates, but the stinging pain remains. Zynthia and Yuuki both look unphased by the entire process, there isn’t even a crease on their faces… What the hell ?
“Sorry, I forgot to warn you that it’d hurt you! Though, it’s fine for us!”
“Master… We, should… Head back.”
“Hmm? Ah, you’re right. We should.”
“Oh? How many people are in your group?”
“It doesn’t matter… You’re still coming with us.”
“Of course!? I won’t go back on my word!”
Saying so, Zynthia jumps up on my shoulder, causing me to smell something like a really strong perfume… No, it is strong perfume… It smells pretty good too…
“It does, doesn’t it?!”
“… Stop doing that.”
Flicking at the annoying fairy, I begin to start the trek back to the others, preparing for the lecture that I’m most definitely going to get.