Translator: Kurehashi Aiko Editor: Queenie
Honestly thinking, I thought that going back now would be a bad idea as well. The Governess has a point here. The cause of this phenomenon was definitely somewhere inside of the ruins. Additionally, we had no guarantee that by returning to the capital we could bring Edi back to normal. Also, even though the Governess did not say it out loud, only Edi was able to properly translate the runes in the ruins.
–––– At least that’s what I think. Because there was always a possibility that because he was like this right now, he would have lost all of his knowledge that he acquired over the years spent at the Magic Academy, since at that age he wasn’t even there to begin with. So even if he was having trouble deciphering the runes as his adult self, it was pretty much impossible for us to demand of him that he would be able to do that in this state.
While we were both just keeping silent and sighing from time to time, the door to the room opened quietly and a small boy dressed in a new set of clothes and hood emerged from within it.
「Agedilus-dono, I hope that the size was alright?」
The boy did not answer the Governess’s question, instead just quietly walked up to me. It looks like even his personality reverted back to when he was but a small child, who more than anything hated going out and having to deal with other people. It was often bad enough that his parents would need to interpret for him, but after a while I managed to live with that.
The boy was still silent, but the clothes seemed to be a little too big for him, even though they were probably meant for a child that was slightly smaller than he was right now. I could feel his eyes gazed pleadingly at me from beneath the hood. So I gently took his small hand in my own. I then stand up and turn towards the Governess.
「Apparently the clothes are a little too big.」
「If that’s the case, I shall send you a smaller ones tomorrow. For the time being, we should go somewhere else so that people won’t notice. If you are good to go……」
「…… Once again, so sorry for this. We shall prepare ourselves immediately.」
The boy seemed to be a little offended by the fact that we needed to leave the mansion in a hurry, but he didn’t say a word. I could partially understand his attitude, but now was not the right time for this.
Since I originally had very little clothes with me, it didn’t take me very long to get everything ready. They boy stayed silent all this time, and I had no idea whatever should I say to him.
「Edi, please wait just a moment. I’ll be ready soon.」
「…… Let me help.」
The boy came right to my side and started to pack the trunks with speed and deftness that was far greater than mine, and when I tried to lift the trunks, one in each of my hand, he just took hold of his own trunk as if it didn’t weight anything.
「I must take care of my own belongings.」
He then took hold of it with both of his small hands, while I just kind of followed suit.
「It’s fine, Edi. You don’t have to do this. I can take care of your trunk as well…….」
「…… Are you now?」
No, no, no, I know that he may have said that, but the truth might have been quite the opposite. Although it was that man we are talking about here, so it might actually be true, since he was always so stubborn that if he said he was going to do something, he was surely going to do it.
Then, after going out and informing the Governess that we were ready to depart, we were led through back corridors into the back door, so as to not be too conspicuous. Fortunately, we arrived at our destination without being seen by anyone.
The outside was already dark, so the Governess helped us get our luggage loaded onto the carriage and then we went inside.
「I’m sorry, you two, but I’m afraid that’s as far as I can accompany you. That’s why……」
「Yes, I know. Thank you so much once again for doing so much for us.」
The Governess laughed shortly and then handed me a key through the carriage’s window. She also took a glimpse at the boy sitting right next to me. Even though this whole situation wasn’t anyone’s fault, I could tell that she must have felt somewhat responsible for it. Just then the carriage began to move and I could soon no longer see the Governess.
While the carriage was moving the boy not even once tried to open up his mouth. I tried to strike up a conversation with him on a few occasions, but he just kept on being silent and emanated the aura that suggested to leave him alone to his own devices. It was all good that he acknowledged me as “Filmina”, but in his eyes I still must have been nothing more but a stranger. Even though he helped me carry my luggage and was definitely Agedilus Von Lancent, looking at him right now it was really hard to believe.
The gap that was in between us right now was a good evidence of the ridge that was separating us. Through the rest of the ride the boy just stayed still like a life-sized doll, until the very end of the ride when we finally arrived at our destination.
「Right, Edi. Let’s go.」
I get off the carriage first and extend my hand towards the boy, but he manages to get off just fine on his own, without accepting my hand.
Yes, it’s been a while since I felt just like that. I know that this was the way he was before I started to interact with him, but it still kind of hurt to see him acting like that.
I lower my hand and see the carriage off, all the while feeling overwhelming sadness in my chest. I then go towards the door, unlock it and go inside. After making sure that there was no one else besides us here, we lit the magical lamps that were installed on the ceiling. Illuminating the interior, it was almost like a smaller version of the mansion we’ve been staying at, and it was surely too large for just the two of us. Apparently someone was tending to the place every so often, because of what the interior was clean and well-maintained.
Now then, first order of business it to bring the trunks into the bedroom and think about whatever shall we do from now on. I took a glance at the boy and he removed his hood from his face. For some reason, he was smiling faintly. My, my, won’t you look at that. Was that also growling in his stomach that I could hear?
「Would you like to eat something for the time being?」
To my question, the boy silently nodded his head. Umu, umu, it’s a good thing to be obedient like that ––––………… Ah, I know.
I go to the living room where our luggage was for the time being, looking for “it”, tucked away at the bottom of my trunk and neatly wrapped in paper. Curious, the boy followed me to the living room.
「Edi, I bought it today while in town. For the time being we have nothing else to eat, so we have to make due with this for now.」
I handed the package to the boy and he started to open it with expressionless expression. Once he saw what was inside, his eyes glowed brightly. The package contained various snacks and treats that I managed to buy throughout the food stalls I visited today. There was taiyaki there, some seafood, mushrooms and skewers. They would fill our stomachs nicely, but as a late night snacks they would be terrible for our waistlines. The boy grabs the skewer and carries it into his mouth in a hurry.
As his eyes grew wider and wider, he opened his mouth again and took another bite. He seemed to like it, and even though his mouth was small, he managed to devour the whole skewer in a matter of seconds.
Having filled our stomachs, I could feel myself becoming more and more tired. Apparently becoming sleepy after a good meal was the thing that was characteristic for both children and adults alike.
「Good night, Edi.」
He didn’t even have to answer to that. His eyes should have been closed, but when I got into my bed myself I could see that he was looking at me. I smiled at him gently and then his eyes finally closed. Soon enough, his small chest began to move up and down in a steady rhythm, indicating that he was asleep.
No matter how vigilant he might be, a child is still nothing but that –– a child. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t win against sleepiness. I stood up from the bed and opened my trunk again, taking out a small pendant that was wrapped in one of my dresses, wondering if it was a blessing or a curse that this man became a child like that. It was something that I got from the Princess, a magic item that would allow me to hold a conversation no matter the distance.
「「Rose is my strength, lily is my kindness, my heart is always with you.」」
I sing a verse from a very famous poem, and then the magic stone in the pendant begins to shine. A moment passes with nothing happening, and then…
Needless to say, because of the late hour the Princess was dressed in her nightgown, and her beautiful silver-white hair were let loose, surrounding her face like a silver cascade. I couldn’t stop thinking to myself that it was a true feast for the eyes. Even the biggest sinners would surely swear to redeem their evil ways upon seeing her like that. She was so beautiful that it made me question my own womanly charms.
As the Princess was looking at me, I gave a slight bow while lifting the hem of my dress just a little bit.
「Princess, I am sorry for calling you at such an unfortunate time. Would you like me to call you somewhere around the day?」
Hearing my words, the Princess stares me for a moment, her eyes blinking rapidly.
「No, I don’t mind … So? Did something happen?」
「Umm, I think that it would be a whole lot more helpful explanation if you see it with your own eyes instead of me just telling you about it.」
I stepped away to let the Princess see for herself what the problem was, and she just observed with a compassionate expression. She could see the bed clearly now, and the person that was sleeping inside of it.
Then the Princess’s eyes opened wide, and she was looking between the bed and at me interchangeably with a clearly stupefied expression.
「You, how did you manage to hide the fact that you were pregnant and gave birth to a child?」
「Princess, while I completely understand from where is this coming from, I assure you that this is not the case in here.」
Just as the Princess said, someone might draw the wrong conclusion that I suddenly gave birth to a child. But reality was way more ruthless than that. Trying to cope with that reality, the Princess holds her forehead with her hands, as if trying to suppress a headache.
「So, what? Are you telling me that Agedilus turned into a small child all of a sudden?」
I wanted to just laugh at that suggestion and assure the Princess that it was all but a joke, but I couldn’t. The Princess started to realize that as well, for she was yet again looking at the boy with an expression full of disbelief.
「Seriously now, it’s one thing after another with you guys.」
「I cannot really say anything to that.」
Then the Princess listened to my report about Edi’s age and memories possibly being reverted to the state of childhood, all the while having that mysterious look on her face.
「That is why it must remain a strict secret. We cannot allow the people to know that something like this happened to the Court Wizard in a place like this.」
「Aside from the fact that two islanders: Governess Leticiela and that boy already know about that.」
「Oh my, is that so?」
Right about now, a different type of expression popped up on the Princess’s face, changing her otherwise beautiful features. While I was wondering what seemed to be wrong, the Princess smiled at me in a gentle way.
「Please don’t make that kind of face. But that’s right. You must investigate this matter further and unravel it. We cannot leave things as they are right about now.」
「…… I knew it, it would be better for us to go back home.」
I didn’t wanted to say that out loud, but the words just kind of came to me all on their own.
「I just don’t understand. Edi is in this state most likely because of his investigation of the ruins. And even knowing that full well, Leticiela-sama asked us to carry on with our investigation on site. But I don’t think that’s wise, considering that we don’t know if something even worse won’t happen because of it.」
「–––– I see. I understand the reason why both sides wouldn’t want to make such big of a deal out of it. After all, Agedilus’s skills as a magical anthropologist are second to none even by the Magic Academy’s standards.」
As if to clear her mind, the Princess let out a deep sigh.
「For now, I understand your situation. Please continue to do your best for now. But please remember that whether or not you decide to return to the capital, appointing a successor shall take some time. And Filmina, please try to not get yourself in any more trouble, okay?」
「Right. I shall do whatever I can on my end.」
「…… Just please don’t try to bite off more than you could possibly chew.」
With those final words of encouragement, the magic light surrounding the Princess started to fade and soon the image disappeared completely. I conceal the pendant under my dress and get to bed myself.
Before I go to sleep myself, I take another glance at the boy sleeping right next to me. It seems that right now he was so deeply asleep that he didn’t actually hear anything from the conversation I had with the Princess. Just like a child would. However, looking just at his glossy hair, he was no different from that man.
Speaking of which, I wonder if the boy actually remembers anything that Edi would have learned at the Magic Academy? I made a point in mind to ask him about that tomorrow first thing in the morning.
Thinking about that while looking at the boy’s face, I felt myself becoming drowsier and drowsier. So much has happened today that my mind was unable to properly keep up, and I even forgot to take a bath because of that. I need to work hard tomorrow to get to the bottom of this. But just as I was thinking that, my consciousness was swallowed by darkness.