Translator: Imlartis Editor: Queenie
After breakfast we went to the ruins together on foot. I thought that maybe we should just stay obediently at the mansion, but the boy himself wanted to go.
It was a good thing that I more or less memorised the way as I carried the boy yesterday. I took the reports prepared by the man’s predecessors and put together some lunch. I made hot dogs with the leftover bread, vegetables and sausages. As a result, it seemed as if the mood would turn into a light, picnic atmosphere. Although in reality there was no way that would happen.
Ummm, at any rate, this was one difficult to road to walk on. There was no mistake that one would fall if you let your guard down. I glanced down at the boy walking next to me. It might have been a forest but there was no guarantee that we wouldn’t get noticed. That’s why I had the boy wear the overcoat he was wearing yesterday on top of the clothes prepared by the lady and had him put the hood up, but it might have made it unnecessarily difficult for him to walk.
I thought that I had made him pitiful, but I myself was in a similar situation. To think that the overcoat I’d brought with me just in case would actually be useful. Underneath it I was still wearing the same plain type of dress as always. Even among my dresses, this one had a rather short hem and was easier to move in, but this situation called for some type of work clothes. It was too late for regrets though. Even if it would have been an attire unbefitting of a noble lady, one can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
As I stifled a sigh, the boy who was quietly walking next to me suddenly slipped.
With my free hand I caught the boy’s thin arm which was hidden under the overcoat. I breathed a sigh of relief that I had prevented him from falling. It seemed he had tripped on a root which was growing out of the soil. Was it because he couldn’t see the ground well because of the hood? I stopped walking and looked at the boy’s face.
「Edi, it’s dangerous so how about we hold hands?」
It was only for a moment that our line of sight overlapped. He blushed, turned his eyes away from me and then shook my hand off. He started walking again, leaving me behind.
Did I hurt his pride? No, was it the earlier problem and he had completely closed his heart? He had beautifully devoured his breakfast and I harboured a faint hope that his wariness would have lessened but… Ah, I see. I should have known very well that he wasn’t a child who would surrender so easily. If there was a person who knew this better than me, then it could only have been father Lancent.
As I watched the small figure walking unsteadily ahead of me, I once again strengthened my resolve. It will be a war of attrition. No, it was more important to turn him back to normal, but no matter how small, this boy was that man, my one and only husband. That fact hasn’t changed. I made up my mind to work hard and saying 「Please wait」, hurried behind the boy.
After a few minutes we arrived at the ruins. It seems that yesterday’s hidden passage was some kind of a back entrance and when I saw them from the surface once again , I thought they really did look like ruins. The entrance gate was made from a big stone and behind it there was a cave, which seemed to be a natural one. Maybe it was my imagination, but I felt like there was a cold wind blowing from the inside. I’d come out of there yesterday, but today I got somewhat scared and nervously swallowed my saliva.
「Well then, let’s enter.」
Together with the nodding boy we passed through the stone gate and entered inside the cave. The inside was chilly compared to the summer air outside. There were white flowers growing here and there. The pollen falling from the stamen glittered wondrously, illuminating the inside of the cave. My fear began fading away. Before long we entered into an open space, that was the center which I’d seen the day before.
There was a magic square on the ground and there was magical language on each of the four walls. They were complicated and far beyond my knowledge, which was full of holes.
Nothing would come out of watching, so we cautiously entered the magic square. However contrary to our expectations nothing happened. The ground and the walls, which were, without a doubt, letting out a white light yesterday, now, weren’t doing anything at all. The only thing illuminating the space were the white flowers.
「What should we do Edi?」
I looked at the boy who was at a loss. He was expressionless, but he was restlessly watching the surroundings with sparkling eyes. he took of the hood and hurriedly walked to the center of the magic square. There he took in all of the four sides while turning around.
The glittering pollen danced to the wind created by the fluttering of the hem of his overcoat. I was captivated by his appearance. He looked exactly like a dancing night fairy.
He whispered like he was singing. Those words weren’t directed at me. He was murmuring to himself.
「I’ve never seen a technique like this. It’s old but the magic ritual is completely new.」
His excited state was something familiar to me. That man’s eye always sparkled like that whenever he opened a new magical book.
「It layers various magical languages and creates a new magic ritual. It’s something not even my father can do.」
「… It’s that amazing?」
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that he worshipped his father. To have this boy with a father complex say such a thing, just what was it?
When, without thinking, I asked the boy, who seemed to be in a trance, a question, he calmed down after a while of silence gave a small nod. Me seeing his ears getting red must have been an illusion created by the pollen of the white flowers.
I knew from experience that if I talked to the boy now, he would only keep his mouth shut. That’s why I waited silently for him to speak. He opened his mouth again and whispered.
「At first glance, it looks like an unknown magical language, but I’ve grasped the basis. It’s a new magical language created by layering a few old magical languages. Then using this new language, a new magic ritual was created which resulted in this great magic system.」
As he talked he gradually got excited again, but I can’t understand his words at all. I put don the package I was carrying and like the boy observed the surroundings. Yes, I didn’t understand at all.
「Edi, about what you said, just what is so amazing about that? To me it seems like something anyone could come up with.」
「Even if one could come up with it, whether they could really do it is a different matter. You know how delicate magical language is right? If you make even one mistake while choosing the word you layer, everything collapses in an instant. It is made based on those kind of detailed calculations.」
I said, however I couldn’t understand it at all after all. Not minding my perfunctory response at all, the boy with unchangingly sparkling eyes was crouching down and following the magic square, running up to the walls to observe the carved magic words.
I forgave the last night as「The soul of a child at 3 is the same as at 100」but today it was literally that. It was without question that being a wizard was his true vocation. At this rate, maybe we would solve the mystery of the ruins easily… As if he heard my inner thoughts, the boy added with a clouded face.
「But, as I am now, I don’t have enough skill.」
I nodded at the boy who seemed to be bitterly saying, that if it had been the “me” whom you knew, then maybe I could have done it. I ruminated over the boy’s words over in my head.
「Um, would it be enough if the magical language was broken down into pieces?」
「It’d be good if it could be done, but I don’t have the skill to break it down and decipher…」
「If it’s that, then could I help you?」
The boy blinked at my words. I laughed as the boy looked up at me.」
「Have you forgotten what my family does for a living?」
As soon as I said that, the boy guessed what I wanted to say.
「Adina family’s technique for transcribing magical language?」
「Yes. It might be the most basic of the basics, ut I also possess the knowledge. I’m confident that there is noone better at understanding of magical language than the Adina family. Even if it’s layered in many layers I can break it down. However, I can’t decipher it. That will be your job.」
That’s right. My family, the Adina family has held the title of Governor of Magical Books for generations. We hold a special technique that is slightly different from magic. Our role is to take the magical language in whose letters themselves resides magical power and transcribe and reorganize them on a new piece of paper.
As a person born into the Adina family I was taught the technique by my father, the current head and Governor of Magical Books himself. Although it was only until my younger brother was born and it was decided that he would succeed the family. That said, as I told the boy before, the basics of the basics had been drilled into my body and although I couldn’t understand it, I could break the language down. Until the princess takes action, we should try to solve the problem ourselves and doing nothing is the exact opposite of solving the problem.
The boy silently thought about my proposal. After a while he nodded once. It was good that I had taken a bundle of clean paper. I thought we could use it to make notes, but it seemed it’d be more useful that I thought. ell the, where should I start from. As I was looking around restlessly, the boy standing in the center of the magic square pointed 「There.」.
「The beginning of the ritual is the same for any kind of magic. The beginning of this magic square is here.」
「Got it. Then I’ll start from there.」
I walked up to the boy and crouched down. At the moment I didn’t worry about getting my dress dirty at all. I felt the boy staring at me intently as I took a piece of paper and spread it on the ground. I put one hand on the paper and the other on the magical language which boy pointed out as the beginning. I took in a deep breath and let it out. It was a task I hadn’t done in a long time. Not to mention, this was a practical problem not a theoretical one. I might fail, but if I worried about that I wouldn’t be able to do anything.
Good, I got pumped on the inside. Inside of me a familiar technique started assembling. I felt warmth being transmitted through the palm of my hand. Slowly the magical language of the magic square turns into letters made of light and rises into the air. As I started working on the magical language which I wasn’t able to understand at all, the magical language floating in the aire flutters and as if it was falling apart, breaks into several other languages. I chose the one that was closest to the surface, and after a deep breath I absorbed the language for a second. Then I inscribed it on the paper with my finger.
I repeated the same thing over and over, and when I noticed the paper was densely packed with magical language. Somehow it went well. I let out a sigh of relief and passed the paper to the boy who had been observing me the whole time.
「Now it’s your turn. Can I leave it to you? … Edi? What’s…」
「It’s nothing. I’ll read and decipher it.」
「I’ll leave it to you. Leave the breaking down to me.」
I smiled at the nodding boy and prepared a fresh piece of paper.
I remembered that man saying「You don’t have to worry about it.」. I wondered what face would that man, who obviously didn’t want my help, make if he learnt that now he was cooperating with me on the investigation. To be honest I was happy to be of help but if man’s memory worked like the boy’s, then I was sure that that man wouldn’t remember me helping him.
When I thought so my feelings became somehow complicated. Like that the days of our cooperation began.