Two days had passed ever since Tou-san left home. We couldn’t get in contact with him at all, so I would just think that he was doing fine for the time being. Nah, if something were to happen, it seemed that there would be a snake flying over to Kuon-sensei from Jigen-san. Since there was no such thing, then they should be all right.
They should be all right… I was convinced on that, but as expected I couldn’t help but be worried of it.
“Seiren, you’re distracted.”
When Kaa-san called out to me, my consciousness returned to reality in a fluster. Whoa, there were around 2 rough stitches in my knitting. In a sense, I was quite dexterous, right?
I returned to knitting in a hurry, it seemed that this would need another one small touch to fix. When I returned my focus to knitting, Kaa-san heaved a small sigh.
“It’s quite troublesome. Since you’re knitting, you should only keep your focus on the knitting needle and the yarn in front of you. If this were sewing, it might even be more dangerous for you.”
Ah-, yes, certainly.
Nah, even if they were only knitting needles, they might stab me accidentaly. However, the knitting needles weren’t as sharp as the sewing needles.
However, no matter what I was doing, I ought to be focused at what I had at hand. Look, the stitches were too tightly packed again. Besides, Kaa-san who was conversing with me had her usual dexterous hands and her expression didn’t change too much from her usual one. Despite Tou-san going into such a dangerous place.
“K-Kaa-san, aren’t you anxious?”
“Right, I’m anxious.”
In response to my question which finally left my mouth, Kaa-san answered bluntly. Ah, could it be that my feelings were quite obvious on my face?
After answering to me, Kaa-san put the knitted scarf on her lap. The muffler that was done by just one knitting method turned out to be quite long. Before I noticed it, it seemed that the color changed midway.
“However, the one who’s the most anxious and troubled isn’t me nor you. It would be that person, and also the villagers who might be in a dangerous situation.”
Ah, Kaa-san intentionally held her emotions back. If even I know about it, then Takae-san and the others should know about it, too.
Kaa-san was also trying to endure it, wasn’t she?
“Besides, if I were to get so anxious, that feeling would be transmitted to the servants as well. Therefore, I had to do my best and bluff it off.”
“There’s no other way to put it around.”
In response to Kaa-san’s words that she said while smiling bitterly, I was a little bit bothered. Nah, bluffing, huh?
In other words, she pretended her endurance, right? Perhaps everyone had figured it out.
However, even if it was found out, she still had to do it, right? While the head of the family was absent in the residence, the person who stood on the top position of this residence would be the family head’s wife, which meant, Kaa-san. If Kaa-san didn’t try to keep herself strong, then it won’t be good.
…I, once I go to Taiga-san’s place, I will also need to do it. I wonder if I were to face the same situation, will I be able to keep my bluff in front of the servants?
As I was still pondering about it, Kaa-san smiled as she clapped on my shoulders, then continued her words.
“In the first place, that person was with Jigen-san. If Jigen-san was there, then there was no way he wouldn’t be fine.”
“I-is that so?”
“Well, Seiren doesn’t know much about it, huh?”
I often heard about Jigen-san being such a terific magician, and I have also seen him repairing the mansion’s wall easily.
However, I haven’t seen him performing outrageous magic such as the one he used when he summoned me back here, or when he brought and sent the orphanage director back, so I had no real feeling of him being such a great magician.
“That’s right… I heard that when Mikoto-san was still in the royal palace, he was an exclusive magician there?”
“It was around 25 years ago, but that was the case. However, he had retired.”
I haven’t heard of past tales like this before. Since now seems to be the opportunity to do so, I have to listen to the full story, right?
Once I leave this house, my opportunity to listen to such stories will practically be gone. As I thought about it, I also put my knitting on my lap, then I corrected my sitting posture.
“The name Kasai Jigen has already become so well-known in this country’s nooks and crannies. The magician with such an ability then quietly retired from being the royal family’s exclusive magician. Since his name was so famous, it was quite hard to search for him, even before he retired. He had kept himself hidden so well.”
Ah-, famous people over here also had privacy issues, huh? That was to be expected, since there weren’t many various entertainment here, unlike the other world. Just by having the famous person come nearby, it would even cause an uproar.
In this case, the famous people here would be the rich people or people in high position or with relation to the royal family. That was why Leo-san’s face was so well-known here and there. No matter what, he was the prince, after all. Despite him being an effeminate man.
“When the people who were sent to find him in order to bring you back finally caught up with him, Jigen was living in a small house located deep inside the forest together with Kuon. Kuon was still not yet identified as Jigen’s granddaughter at that time, and he was taking care of her single-handedly.”
Kaa-san began talking about it with her eyes looking at somewhere faraway.
It was around the same time when I was still raised as a male named Shikino Seiren by the orphanage director’s side.1 Tou-san and Kaa-san thought of many ways in order to find me whose whereabouts were unknown, trying various things, and finally managed to reach Kasai Jigen.
“And so, that person and I requested earnestly and desperately that we would like to meet Jigen at any cost.2 However, we were coldly refused by Kuon, and we were literally turned down at the front door.”
“Eh, Kuon-sensei did?”
“She had been living in the royal palace up until that time. She surely had seen lots of the dark sides of people of the royal palace behind the scenes. That was why they withdrew deep in the forest, living so remotely like that.”
There it goes. As expected, there existed the dark side dealing behind the scenes, even in this world. It wasn’t a drama nor manga, it was a problem in real world.
The reason Leo-san took that sort of a job was exactly in order to smash those backbiters who gossiped behind his back, saying that his character wasn’t fit to be the heir to the throne.
I have never faced that kind of dark side yet, but I would surely face it in the future. Whoa, I had to prepare myself. For my sake and for Taiga-san’s sake, too.
“It was perhaps around one week that we had a carriage parked nearby, and we stayed inside it.”
“…What did you do? Wasn’t it too excessive?”
“Since at that time, I thought that if Kasai Jigen didn’t agree to help us, we won’t be able to meet you any more.”
For some reason, I was convinced that they really went as far as that, since I knew that my parents were the doting type. Nah, I’m not sure which part of the story managed to convince myself, but regardless, that was how I felt.
However, for a feudal lord and his wife to be staying in a carriage for a eek, wasn’t it absurdly pitiful? Well, the servants were surely be there with them, so there wasn’t any difficulty in meals and the others. It might still be different than the other world’s picnic trip or going out for a ride, though.
“Once we did so, as expected, perhaps Kuon was resigned to it and let us come inside the house. And then, Jigen also listened to our story since things had come that far.”
My parents succeeded thanks to their perseverance, huh? Nah well, if they kept coming and coming for over a week, then… well. Kuon-sensei was quite troubled at that time, huh?
…Although I shouldn’t say this, being the person who they were searching for.
“Even I don’t know the full story even up until this time, but it seems that Kuon’s parents, in other words, Jigen’s child and their spouse passed away so early, and therefore Jigen raised Kuon by himself. That was why, Jigen seemed to symphatize with our feelings.”
Jigen-san has lost his own children too, that was why he understood Kaa-san and Tou-san’s feelings of sadness upon losing their child, too.
“After that, he went to our house together with Kuon-sensei…”
“Isn’t it obvious? In order to search for our family member, there was no way we could have Jigen leave behind his precious family member.”
My question was answered by Kaa-san proudly.
The magician that was hired in order to search for their own daughter had only one granddaughter. In order to find their own family member, there was no way they could separate that magician from his own family member.
That was why, Tou-san and Kaa-san also employed Kuon-san together. As Jigen-san’s caretaker, and also the private tutor of Saryuu who was adopted and me who finally returned.
“If it wasn’t Jigen, we might not be able to identify where you were while we were still alive. The magician called Kasai Jigen had such an amazing power just that much.”
Yup, well, for some reason I managed to understand how amazing it was.
And then, the baseless confidence that Tou-san was definitely going to be all right also welled up from my mind.
Yup, he was surely all right.
- Shikino Seiren here is written using kanji. Note that Seiren’s name back in this world is usually written in katakana, marking the difference between the two names. ↩
- Note that Seiren’s mother kept addressing “that person”—in case you’re lost, “that person” refers to Seiren’s father. Japanese sometimes call their beloved person as “that person”. ↩