Rinkan no Madoushi:Volume1 Chapter1

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Status: Incomplete

80% completed (estimated)

   

The Girl Who Swims in the Fountain of Mist[edit]

Don't go deep into the forest –

It was said over and over again, however right now the child was deep in the forest.

“A competition for the best strawberry picker.”

Having chosen to gather at a point near town by her friends – while she became engrossed in her search for strawberries, she lost sight of her companions and finally noticed that she was lost.

As she was walking about driven by anxiety, she lost track of the places she had been to already.

Holding the basket heaped with strawberries, she looked around herself, having lost her bearings.

“Everyone...where are you...?”

She was startled by her voice that had become slightly hoarse.

It wasn't noon yet since wild strawberries were picked early in the morning. However, danger lies dormant in the forest no matter what time of the day it is. There probably isn't a great difference in the danger whether it's day or the night.

Beasts don't approached a fixed distance from the town because of the “Belfry of Beast Protection”. However, the effectiveness didn't reach deep into the forest as one would expect.

Bewildered, the girl raised her voice. “...Everyone – ! Where are you – !?”

The person who heard her voice was just nearby.

But it was particularly unfortunate for her – it wasn't a “Human”, a ferocious animal lived deep in the forest, furthermore it was bad timing since it happened to be hungry at that moment.

As soon as the girl noticed the beast's roar from behind, her body stiffened.

A huge wolf emerged, swaying from the shade of the tree. It possessed a body not unlike a bear.

Suddenly, the girl's breathing became shorter.

In this neighbouring forest, the Kokurou was at the top of the food chain. The jet black fur was traded at high prices, but even the hunters were greatly reduced since they couldn't handle the brutal beast.

While dribble fell from the horizon of the gaps in its fangs, the black wolf confirmed its game with a wild look.

Its nails appeared from its paws attached to the earth.

The girl couldn't say a word as the wolf's glare struck her with fear.

The weak are eaten and the strong survive – such was the scene of the law of nature that could be seen there.

And then the black wolf put all its strength into its back legs so it could throw itself onto the pitiful girl.

It was at that moment that an unforeseen obstruction came into its path.

“Oh, my – I was going to spend the time until night sleeping.”

An awfully calm voice that reduced the tension came down from the tree. The girl looked up, surprised at the intellectual voice.

The Kokurou noticed that he had overlooked a different game and showed vigilance.

However, the figure couldn't be seen due to the overgrown leaves.

The owner of the voice went “Hmm” without showing himself.

“One hungry wolf and one hungry girl carrying wild strawberries – well, as a gentleman who should I support?”

The black wolf faced the direction of the voice muttering buoyantly and roared.

Frightened, the girl finally sat down on the spot.

The voice up the tree laughed strangely.

It wasn't like a sneer. It wasn't particularly cheerful.

Rather it was a little lonely – that voice laughed gently to the end.

“Young lady, you're lucky. I'm not hesitating and the wolf seems to have confirmed me as his enemy. It's too early to talk about that matter – as a “Magician” this is nothing less than a challenge so I'll entertain it.”

After the cool voice stopped – a black mass jumped down from the tree.

The girl sitting down watched his back in blank amazement.

And in a moment, the girl's field of vision was covered in thick darkness.

There was a beautiful fountain beside the town of Misthound.

Since the ancient times, it was called “The Sly Rising of the Mist Fountain”; it was once known as the Royal Summer Resort.

The royalty's visits broke off since a certain time; nowadays it had become a small remote countryside where people became the subject of rumours. The beautiful scenery wasn't hurt at all.

The crystal clear underground water gushed forth *bang, bang* at the bottom of the fountain, small white sand particles covering every nook and cranny. The reflection of the sand and water dazzled, making the fountain shine at the time when the morning sun rises.

The midday sunlight made the white sandy soil and sensation of the transparent water stand out. In the evening, the reddish tinge of the evening sun coloured it and received the moonlight that made it shine a cold blue.

A great poet who was alive 100 years ago said that the different looks that the fountain showed as time goes on were “Different emotions that a girl shows” and that the clear water was drops of moon.

(...No matter how you think of it, neither example was exaggerated.)

Midday.

The apprentice doctor Celo, sat by the side of that fountain, judging the old poet idly.

Not one bit had changed at all since the olden days in the fountain that reflected his eyes.

Since he was a child, Celo grew up gazing at that fountain; so he saw the fountain as an ordinary fountain. The taste of the water doesn't change even if it doesn't pass in a few big puddles or when the scenery changes in the light conditions.

In the first place, it was useful as drinking water but the underground water can also be drawn from the well. Even if you evaluate it exaggeratedly as moon drops and so forth, the fountain has no value as it's virtually the same as all other underground water streams.

Other than that, in spite of the large fountain having a 100 metre span, it wasn't possible for fish to live in it because the water was too clear. Therefore it bothered him that he wasn't able to fish in it. There was no intent on making a complaint about the old poet, but the feeling seemed to be only a little different from travellers and the local people.

“-Oh, have I grown so accustomed to its beauty that it now looks normal to me...”

Celo's murmurs didn't hold any particular meaning as he gazed at the fountain.

And now the young girl was especially carefree as she bathed in the fountain water.

Her fascinatingly elegant body floated on the transparent water, the young girl stretched out her hands and feet in a good mood and closed her eyes.

The wet, light colour of her hair glistened on the surface of the water.

The bubbles on her body and her short bathing clothes hid her chest and a thin cloth was coiled around her waist, leaving her legs and shoulders exposed and her eyes dazzled.

Celo tried his best not to look at her, but he was too conscious of her existence.

It was impolite to stare, but on the other hand if he were to put her outside his awareness, he wouldn’t be able to carry out his duty as a guard.

The girl enjoyed bathing; Celo served the aristocrat Ordba Misthound Driard and his adopted daughter. To be accurate, their relationship was that of niece and uncle.

She lost her parents when she was a child – Firiano Misthound Driard was adopted by Ordba and grew up at this place.

She was 16 years old and Celo was 14 years old, so she was two years older than him.

Her full name was Firiano, the person in question wasn't very fond of it, so most of the people of the town called her Lady Fino.

Fino, who was in the fountain waved her slender hand at Celo.

“Ah, I thought Celo will also come. The water feels really good!”

Her voice cheerfully called him; it was quite carefree.

Celo answered the voice whilst averting his eyes.

“I'm fine. I don’t want to get my sword wet.”

“You only have to put your sword there.”

Fino was curious about what he said. Celo came with the intention to guard her, just in case she wanted to escape.

“In that case, I don’t know whether I’m guarding you or not. Besides, I don’t have a change of clothes or something to dry myself with.”

“Celo is a boy, so being practically naked is fine, isn't it? I'll lend you my towel.”

She seemed to be troubled even though the words were said in a carefree manner. She didn't appear to be self-conscious as the daughter of an aristocrat.

Lately, Fino seemed to have matured quickly. When she turned 16, naturally her body had grown and her facial expressions and look became typical of a Lady in order to be seen as one.

But, her behaviour towards Celo, her old friend didn't change at all. On the contrary, her need to bother Celo had increased more than before.

(For Fino, it was like the feeling of looking after a difficult younger brother -)

There were a lot of chances to feel that since Celo was younger than her.

Fino said to him and the people of the residence “I’m not a child anymore so I need to keep my position in mind.” Fino’s adoptive father Ordba was also bound to receive a similar warning.

Still, stubbornness prevented her from trying to destroy her relationship with Celo that continued since past.

As for Celo, he thought he was happy with that but on the other hand he was anxious.

Fino looked up then closed her eyes, and began to drift on the water’s surface, slowly swaying.

There were only two people here by chance, but this fountain was also the place where the local children were able to play in the water.

The edge of the bank had become like a sandy beach and at its deepest point was only waist length at most. It wasn’t a beach so it had an unusual geographical features for an ordinary fountain, since the place where Celo sat was also sandy soil.

There was a legend from the old days about the origin of the fountain's geographical features.

It was once said that this place was a waterless and barren land. A lone magician came along to try and make his ideal land here.

It is said that this fountain was the first thing he made.

He used a magic tool to superficially scoop out the earth, spread fine white sand all over it and lead water from underground.

Like that, the surrounding area of the spring was soon filled with forests and before you knew it people settled here and the town of Misthound was built.

Once, the descendants of that magician governed this town, but that bloodline had already long died out.

Now, dispatched nobles sent from the government served as chief and controlled the Belfry of Beast Protection.

Fino's adoptive father Ordba Misthound Driard was the noble assigned as the chief of this town since her childhood.

He acquired his position as a noble but, he didn't have a territory inherited generation after generation since he was from the branch family.

His middle name “Misthound” was named after this town as well. A magician’s middle name was usually associated with his territory, birthplace or belonged to the name of an organisation. During a magician’s life, it wasn’t strange for his name to be changed many times. Almost all magicians of noble rank usually followed this.

Some of the eccentric ones gave themselves names of places that didn’t exist as they pleased or another example is giving themselves rare names that they liked.

The daughter of the Driard family also had the place named “Misthound” as her middle name just like her father. Her ability as a magician was certain, to the extent that Celo didn't need to be accompanied as a guard – there was a considerable amount of anxiety in that carefree, defenceless personality.

Was she also self-conscious? When she was going out she would always tell Celo.

The calm morning time had passed and noon was drawing ever closer as the sun would soon reach its highest point.

Celo called out to Fino who continued bathing.

“Fino. Let's return to the residence soon. A guest will be coming in the afternoon.”

“Ah- ...that...I wonder if I should escape soon?”

She looked bored as she made the complaint.

He also didn’t understand that feeling. Celo didn't know the guest that would be coming, but he knew that Fino disliked socialising with her fellow nobles.

However, the fact was that she was the adopted daughter of Ordba and a daughter of the Driard family, so it couldn't be helped.

“I can't let you run away. If Fino doesn't return in time, they will surely suspect me and I’ll be dismissed.”

“You'd like that, right! If that happens, let both of us disappear.”

She stood up sending the water spraying; Fino's story was indeed as fun as ever.

The drops of water repelled by her skin shined brightly - Celo blinked fascinated by her appearance.

“Well, if Celo gets sacked it will be sad and – it's no use, would you return?”

She shot one eye, muttering condescendingly.

Celo hung his head slightly. To an extent, it could be said that his fate was grasped by her.

As soon as Fino went up to the bank, she took the towel from Celo and dried her body while stretching herself as usual.

“Celo, could you help me dry my body?”

“...Recently Fino’s jokes have stopped being funny.”

She giggled.

Fed up with being teased, Celo looked towards the forest while Fino put her clothes on.

The forest beyond the spring was cruel and deep.

The Belfry of Beast Protection’s effect didn't reach when you went from here to further inside.

As Celo watched intently, suddenly a rustling sound and the sound of someone stepping on a dead branch was heard.

With a start, he drew his hand to the sword at his waist.

He wasn't confident about his swordsmanship. However, Celo couldn't use magical means so he was restricted to using weapons to defend himself from the beast.

Immediately after trying to draw its attention to Fino – a small shadow appeared from the shade of a tree a little far off.

Celo drew out his skill's might as he noticed the figure.

“...Eh? Aren't you Marill?”

That was a child who lived in the town. She was still young and always frantically chased after older children, but she was alone today.

“Ah! Celo! It's Fino-ane too!”

In a flash her face lit up, and then she turned around and rushed over energetically. In her hand, she carried a basket full of wild strawberries.

“Marill? Why did you go to such a place by yourself? Isn't it dangerous!”

Fino finished changing her clothes and without a moment's delay hugged Marill. Even though she was a noble, helpful Fino was loved dearly by the town's children like an older sister.

Marill who was clung to Fino, looked up in a state of excitement and stretched her high-pitched voice.

“He, Hey! Just now...!”

Then she suddenly held her tongue.

“Ah… I promised not to say anything. Sorry, it's nothing.”

Celo frowned at the blatant lie. Marill wasn't a child who told lies at her own convenience, so she was certain that someone must have forbidden her to speak.

“Well, it doesn’t matter; you don’t need to say everything. Did you go into the forest alone?”

“No. Everyone got lost. And...it's a secret!”

Celo and Fino exchanged glances with each other regarding Marill's smiling face.

She got lost in the forest and “Someone” helped her – it seemed to be in other words.

“...Who do you think it was?”

Fino whispered stealthily into his ear and Celo responded vaguely.

“Maybe he didn’t want her to tell anyone because he was skipping work.”

“Or maybe she had a secret rendezvous with some people? Is any of that okay? Marill needs to go. Everyone must surely be worried.”

Fino smiled brilliantly, pulling Marill's hand.

Celo didn't know any other noble young women except for Fino. But he completely understood that nevertheless, she had an unusual character for a noble.

The town’s children also sensed that and became close to open-hearted Fino.

Celo looked down on the basket Marill carried.

“At any rate, that’s a lot of wild strawberries Marill. Did you collect all of that by yourself?”

“That’s right. I went deep into the forest to pick them.”

Fino’s sighed with Marill’s proud words as she stroked her hair.

“Marill…that’s scary, from now on you absolutely must not go deep into the forest, okay? You haven’t lived long enough, what if the Foudi or Kokurou found you? Isn’t the effective range of the Belfry of Beast Protection vast enough?”

She scolded her lightly; Celo watched as Fino took a small wooden horse from within her bag and placed it in the palm of her hand.

Fino put a red saddle on the lovely black horse she named “Liquorice”.

“Awake-“

The small wooden horse emitted a pale light as it received her will.

At that instant she tossed it lightly onto the sandy soil, the wooden horse’s shape stayed the same and grew to a size where it looked no different from a real horse.

The legs which had a trace of roundness floated in the air.

The horse was created by a magical tool; “Heavenly Wooden Horse” was made by Celo’s grandfather Zeldonato and given to Fino on her birthday.

The maker Zeldonato died three years ago and now the wooden horse was moving. It didn’t have the powerful might of a real horse, but it was able to let a person ride on it and move at a low altitude and extraordinarily it didn’t regard the terrain under its feet.

The horse was very important to Fino.

Keeping magic tools safely packed away didn’t mean that they would last longer.

It had to be filled with magical power to use it and brought up the same way as an animal. Assuming it was an excellent magic tool, whether or not it’s true nature was drawn out, a magician’s personal device is influenced by the way he uses it.

So Celo was happy that Fino was relying on that wooden horse which was his grandfather’s memento.

Fino placed Marill on the horse first, and then straddled it at once from behind.

“Celo can go too. I’m in a bit of a hurry, because I’m taking Marill back to everyone before I return to my house.”

“I’m fine. Three people on the same horse is dangerous, and besides since I came all this way, I’ll pick some herbs while I’m walking back.”

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At that reply, Fino’s face seemed a little disappointed.

“Really? Well, I’ll see you later.”

That wasn’t the only reason why he declined her offer. Just a few days ago, someone in the residence saw them riding together and he was given a warning.

Celo started walking too while he saw the wooden horse off so that he could slip away. As he made a few steps, he started to feel uneasy and looked back.

Not long ago, Marill emerged from deep within the forest – on the other side, Celo suddenly felt “Something”’s presence.

“…Who is there?”

Right after he spoke, immediately following – several small birds flew away from there.

Celo smiled alone bitterly, drained of his strength. His intuition and the like were very unreliable.

Once more, he turned his back on the spring and Celo slowly started his return back to town.

–He didn’t notice.

The eyes that watched Celo’s back from deep within the forest –

The mysterious existence that saved Marill from the beast had lived its life here –

It’s only a bit longer till Celo would meet the owner of those eyes, as it was previously decided.



After taking Marill back to the place where the other children who had also gone to pick strawberries were, Fino immediately returned to her residence.

The residence wasn’t the property of the Driard family. Right to the end, it was the official residence where “The chief of the town of Misthound’s successive generations” all lived. So to speak it was a rented house, but as a result of living there for a long time, it almost felt like their home.

As a child, this was the place where Fino was adopted and where she met Celo for the first time.

At that time, his grandfather the magical tool artisan Zeldonato was still alive.

Back then, Celo was six years old and Fino was about eight years of age, but when she thought about it, she had a hunch that Celo had grown up strangely.

When he was around where people gathered, that black hair, deep blue eyes and pewter skin, made him look somewhat unusual.

After seeing Celo for the first time, she remembered almost mistaking Celo as being the same sex as her.

Since then, his looks were cute like a girl, but his facial expression was somewhat lonely and yet only his eyes always looked forward.

He said he “couldn’t use Magic Tools”. In spite of the fact that he had a handicap, he was the type of person who acknowledged others superiority with calmness and intelligence.

Celo and Fino instantly became close friends as they helped each other due to their closeness in age and both losing their parents.

Even though their views were different, the difference in a noble’s attitude held very little meaning to children.

But small Celo couldn’t remember that time anymore.

As for Fino, she must have forgotten some of those important memories.

In that case it could be regarded as unfortunate, but it was alright on the surface.

Fino was two years older but could hardly remember the time when she herself was six years old – so, Celo might have vague memories from when he was six years old.

On the contrary, he might have forgotten what happened just several years ago. Becoming an adult is also equal to forgetting the memories from when you’re a child.

Fino remembered Celo as a child, laughing with medicine on the wooden horse.

At that time he was a sweet boy, but these days she saw gallantness in him. He was still shorter than Fino, but she had a hunch that when several years passes that wouldn’t be the case.

She was happy about his growth but on the other hand she felt a little lonely.

Fino always felt insecure when she watched Celo gradually get closer and closer to being an adult. But no matter how much she wished, it would keep on being painful as it was now – nothing could be done to make her wish come true.

Fino descended from the wooden horse before the gate of the residence and propped her hand on the saddle.

“ – Sleep.”

In that instant, the heavenly wooden horse reduced in size, reacting to the clear voice.

After putting the now small wooden horse in her cloth bag, Fino entered the gate.

It was just at that moment.

The overlapping sound of hooves slowly approached from the street in front of the residence.

“Ah, that’s bad…”

Fino presumed that person was about to arrive and she rushed inside the gate, as he started to trot towards the residence. And then the resident butler and servants turned up to meet the guest on her behalf.

At the front door, another servant Cadena grasped Fino’s arm.

“Where did you go? Please prepare for the meeting at once. I have already laid out a change of clothes.”

The servant who secured Fino informed in an angry tone.

The woman in the middle of her twenties has been serving Ordba since she was a little girl and has stayed in this residence a few months more than Fino.

She was also the servant in charge of looking after Fino since the time when she first arrived.

Her brick-coloured hair and neat features gave off the impression that she was quite capable, and in truth, she was also deeply trusted by Ordba.

She was a servant, but was also like an elder sister that Fino could depend on.

“Sorry, Cadena. But, isn’t this earlier than planned?”

“What are you talking about? It’s already noon. You returned late.”

She must have been at the fountain longer than she thought. Spending time with Celo made time go quickly.

Just when she was about to rush into her room, her foster father Ordba showed up in the corridor.

Fino saw that he had just returned from outside and he nodded deeply to confirm that.

“I couldn’t be so cruel as to not greet our guest. Since your clothes are fine, just arrange your hair while we’re walking.”

The servant Cadena obeyed him respectively and fetched a brush from the room.

Ordba Misthound Driard was a fifty-something year old wizard in the prime of his life.

The owner of the big frame was far off from the image of a wizard, his shoulders were like a soldier and he was solidly built.

His expression was fearless and it was always present in his strict demeanour.

Be that as it may, his personality wasn’t as strict as his appearance. He didn’t interfere too much with his adopted daughter Fino and he wasn’t particularly high-handed towards his servants, he was a good chief.

However, for better or worse he was the owner of thoughts typical of aristocratic principles and established a clear distinction between aristocrats and non-aristocrats. Around Fino he emphasised the differences.

While they were walking, her foster father lowered his voice to talk.

“Anyhow, we might be on time. Were you out with that apprentice doctor again?”

“No. Today I was with Marill and the others. Is Celo away?”

Fino feigned ignorance and held her head high like a proud lady.

Her voice was very different from the gentle voice she used when she was talking to Celo.

Ordba hardly showed any interest in Fino’s lie and whispered in a low voice.

“…Apply discretion slowly. If you an aristocrat stay at his side forever, even he will be troubled.”

“I’ll bear that in mind. Please don’t worry; I am a daughter of the Driard family.”

Fino didn’t really mean it for now, she only answered for the sake of it.

She wasn’t in the mood to argue with her foster father. She saw that the discussion wouldn’t reach an agreement and that there was a reason on her father’s side as a noble, through and through.

The people in the residence seemed to think so too and Celo also seemed too as well from what she had heard from other servants behind her back.

Fino didn’t want to cause too much trouble for Celo. She also knew that if she kept on insisting unreasonably, Celo would end up suffering for it.

If possible, it was better for her not to say anything.

Cadena quickly arranged Fino’s recently dried hair and ended by brushing down her skirt.

The head of the residence and his daughter lined up in front of the entrance and before long, the door opened.

A tall and beautiful young knight came into sight, standing in the lead.

Fino was now confused as she thought that a middle-aged man had come. She didn’t show her surprise on her face, but he was an unexpected guest.

His blonde hair and amber eyes made him the very picture of a handsome man; he had the kind of charm that would make a girl’s heads turn if he were to go out to town.

The uniform he wore was still new and coupled with his refreshing features really gave the impression of a gallant and virtuous man.

Nonetheless, Fino’s eyes watched him with abated interest.

He was proud of his good looks and his face showed his confidence but, when she looked at him she saw something that seemed strangely unpleasant.

Continuing behind him, were what she thought were subordinates of the knight.

They wore the same uniform, but the other people wore a dark green uniform and only the first young man wore a black uniform, showing the difference in their positions.

There were some female knights mingling among them.

The young leading knight gave a soft bow to Ordba and Fino respectively when he saw them.

“This is our first time meeting each other. Royal Knight Wizard group Lonbardo, stationing commanding officer of the eight division Halmbuck Nanelfool Redafurio on duty.”

His voice flawlessly made a greeting; the youth seemed like a light hearted person that was full of pride from serving the royal family.

‘Nanelfool’ was the given middle name of officers that belong to the Elfool royal family.

Fino bowed her head along with her foster father at the visitor.

Ordba ushered him in with his low voice.

“Welcome, you must have had a long journey, please come in. I am the head of this town Ordba Misthound Driard. In any case, thank you for making this journey. Rooms have been prepared for the other knights as well, so please rest from your journey first. Take as much time as you like, we’ll do the greetings later.”

At that moment Fino, sensed the sign of her foster father and the squad leader called Halmbuck exchanging looks with each other.

She pretended not to notice, behaving like a noble young woman.

“Mr Halmbuck and his convoy, please come this way. I shall guide you to your rooms.”

“Thank you, umm …let me see…”

“This is late for me to say, but I am Firiano. I am Ordba’s daughter.”

This greeting feigned friendliness and the young knight nodded with a smile.

“I’m very grateful for personally being guided by a young lady. But, to have a beautiful young lady here…I’m surprised since I asked Ordba if he was unmarried.”

Ordba smiled wryly.

“To tell you the truth, she’s the orphan that my younger sister left behind. I took custody of her when I was still a child.”

Halmbuck arched his handsome eyebrows.

He had a cloudy expression on his face because he indeed “said a bad thing.”

“This is impolite of me. Please excuse me.”

“It’s not a problem. It’s a thing of the past.”

Fino had an uncomfortable feeling when she answered back as if it was scripted.

As for her father’s words and Halmbuck’s words, they sounded unusually false.

The series of conversation didn’t have any meaning. Nothing could be done about the fact that she always felt uncomfortable when she was near formal conversation.

When she took the viewpoint thrust at her, he should have known Fino’s circumstances beforehand and even if he pitied her, he should have shown it.

(What have these people come to do-?)

That natural question crossed her mind.

“What business do you have here today?”

Halmbuck smiled softly when Fino asked the question while walking down the corridor.

-Somehow, that smiling face made Fino shudder.

“I’d like to receive the cooperation of the renown wizard Mr Ordba as part of my duty…I wanted to ask that favour.”

Once again, Ordba smiled wryly.

“Again, that kind of thing…I know my own skill. Fino, Halmbuck and his people are cooperating in my research. The business meeting is scheduled to happen in a few days time.”

And then, Ordba and Halmbuck mutually exchanged glances with each other and exchanged smiles in order to find the other person’s true intentions.

Fino was fed up in her mind.

She couldn’t come to like such negotiations that became like secret agreements of magicians as they were too suspicious. Fino experienced that even adults of a good age behaved childishly in adult society.

When they arrived before the room, Halmbuck bowed respectively and spontaneously took Fino’s hands with his own.

“Ms Firiano. Thank you for guiding me here. We’ll certainly meet again later.”

Before she could think, he lightly kissed the back of her hand.

A shiver went down Fino’s spine.

Once she returned a smile, she instantly left the scene.

She wiped her hand on the hem of her clothes and somehow erased that feeling.

Halmbuck’s actions never passed the degree of an aristocrat’s greeting. Fino understood that, but felt a strong feeling of disgust.

(If it was Celo, he wouldn’t do that sort of pompous thing.)

She unconsciously thought about that.

A girl wearing a military uniform approached the place where she let out a sigh. She seemed to be a knight from Halmbuck’s convoy.

The girl had lovely long black hair and bright red eyes like a rabbit.

Her height was the same as Fino but due to her delicate stature she ended up looking younger than Fino. Or was she really younger or might she be around the same age as her?

The girl straightened herself while keeping a stern look and bowed to Fino.

“I am grateful to you for now. I am the aide Elsie. I’m from the guard and I would like it if someone could show me around the residence.”

“I understand. Well…Cadena, please.”

Fino entrusted the task to the servant girl behind her and promptly ran away.

It was a short meeting, but she wondered why she became worn-out suddenly.

Behind her, the female knight pointed at the garden at the building separate from the main building at the back. Celo lived in a small house a short distance away hidden by many trees so it couldn’t be seen from here.

(…Celo, I wonder if you’ve already returned?)

While thinking about that, Fino’s legs naturally turned towards that way.


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