“Townsend, if it’s exploratory magic against a person, you need her consent.”
“I haven’t put the call on yet.
I was just about to explain to you… I was just a little close.
You’re so narrow-minded.”
“Hugh, you’re confusing the hell out of me.”
I couldn’t hear well because I was being held up.
Exploration… Did you say exploration magic?
Hugh, you have some explaining to do.”
“Yes, of course.
Here, Mark, let go of the lady, too.
She can’t hear him then.”
At the doctor’s urging, Mark finally relaxed his arms holding me.
Without releasing his hand on my shoulder, he put his other hand on my cheek and looked into my face as if to gaze closer at me.
“…Are you sure nothing has been done?”
I was totally fine.
The hand on my cheek was unexpectedly large and surprisingly knobby.
I didn’t notice it when he was stroking my head, but I knew it was a man’s hand, different from Hugh’s earlier… Hah!? What was this? I was embarrassed by this position.
Pretending not to notice everyone’s warm stares, I hurriedly removed Mark’s hand and picked up the magic tool that fell at my feet… Thank God it wasn’t broken.
Yes, deep breaths, let’s calm down, yeah.
I’m really not going to try anything without her permission, so you can remove your defensive wards around her, Mark.”
Wards? When did he do that?
“He put it up the moment he pulled you away from me.
He’s very good at what he does.
He’s so different from his brothers….
Hey Mark, do you ever think of coming to the magic academy instead of the medical academy? You’ll be welcomed there.”
A quick answer?”
Hugh glanced at Sir Walter.
Sighing lightly, Sir Walter stood up and sat down next to Mr.
Hugh instead of me.
“Hey, Walter, why are you sitting here? You don’t have to hold my arm down.”
“…Mark, I think this should do it.”
Mark thought for a moment and nodded, and then, poof, it felt like an invisible barrier was broken! … Ah, I felt something wrap around me earlier that was the warding.
It looked like some kind of thin stole.
Like, one piece made a big difference.
Sir Walter sat directly next to Mr.
Hugh, and I sat between Dr.
Daniel and Lady Adelaide, with Mark taking me by the hand.
Mark stood diagonally in front of me with his arms folded.
It’s called probing magic, and it’s a magic to find out what you can’t see… First of all, I told you earlier at dinner that I have special eyesight.”
Yeah, I heard.
He said he could perfectly visualize the magic that was normally felt by the senses.
“When I arrived at the mansion today, I saw an impossible flow of magic.
The source is the forest, and the destination of the flow is you, young lady.
A significant amount of magic was pouring into the young lady from the forest throughout the time she was outside.
However, the young lady has no magic left in her.
Moreover, it’s on a slightly different wavelength than the magic that humans and animals possess, so unless you have eyes like mine, you won’t notice it.
It was a magic I’d never seen before.”
… I had magic powers, really? I didn’t feel anything, though.
“And I see a different kind of magic in your light-colored eyes.”
“But I thought ‘Orisons’ didn’t have magic powers…”
Lady Adelaide was also surprised.
“It is true that the young lady has no magic powers.
In fact, it’s empty.
But there is something in that one eye only.
I’m pretty sure it’s not ‘magic’ as we know it, but I don’t know what it is and want to find out.”
“A different kind of magic…”
Sir Walter also seemed surprised.
“If that’s the case, then I agree with you that we certainly need to do some research on that ‘different kind of magical power’.
What is the magic of the forest on different wavelengths…? Is it the power of the spirits in the forests of the capital?”
“I’ve never met the genie in the capital, so I can’t say for sure, but maybe.
So, I want to at least see if the magic of that forest is the same as the magic in the young lady’s eyes.”
Once that was known, Mr.
Hugh continued that he could formulate some hypotheses.
“According to the report, the young lady’s injuries should not have healed this quickly.
She must have been hurt pretty badly.
No matter how much healing magic the doctor has, she heals too quickly.”
“That’s what I thought, too.
It was just fast and there was nothing strange about it, so I thought it was an ‘Orison’ trait.
In fact, the rate of recovery is calmer now.”
The doctor thought it was a surprise.
I simply thought that witchcraft was amazing.
“Yes, usually you would think so.
But she is a ‘Spirit Orison’, so she must have some connection with spirits.
There, the magic from that forest… It seems to me that the spirit that invited her is sending magic power through the forest to heal her wounds.
The same reason the injuries were all external, the spirits must have protected her or healed her first.
Besides, she said earlier that she doesn’t want to leave here for an extended period of time, though she doesn’t know why.
I’m sure she instinctively senses that she won’t recover if she leaves, and she doesn’t want to leave the woods.”
The story made a lot of sense to me.
It made a lot of sense.
Hugh, you could have been more serious.
“Can’t you determine if it’s the same magic without applying probing?”
Mark seemed to be very reluctant to let me undergo exploration, but what was the harm?
“Unfortunately, it’s hidden behind the eyes.
I can see the magic present, but I don’t know what’s inside.”
“…I can do exploratory magic too.”
“Hugh is the only one who can see the magic of the forest, and it would be pointless for us, who can’t compare.”
He seemed anxious, but was that dangerous? To the me who had no knowledge at all, the doctor patted me on the head as he told me through the characters on my hand.
“No, it’s not dangerous.
Just… It touches your soul, you know.
With powerful exploration, you can see deep into the psyche… It’s not a pleasant feeling.”
“That’s why we limit ourselves to exploration sites and keep it to the surface, so you don’t see it.
If you’re worried, Walter will do the stopper for me? He took the test with me at the school.
He was good, I remember.”
I see…you could see the heart.
Ah, you couldn’t see the memories? I wondered if the mind and memory were separate.
“Seeing memories is another magic, so don’t worry about that.
It’s just emotions and that side.
Also, surface exploration is hardly a burden on the body itself, aftereffects and all.
If I had to say something, I would say that it is a little hazy during the process.
It won’t take much time, and if you hold my hand and make eye contact with me, that’s all I need.”
He wanted me to hold his hand and make eye contact.
So, you need skin contact.
I glanced at Dr.
Daniel and he nodded.
If the doctor said it was okay, then it must be okay… It was fine, go ahead.
“Yay! Thank you! Then, let’s get to it.”
“Wait a moment, hey.
Sir Walter pressed down on Mr.
Hugh, who had risen to his feet immediately.
Mark still looked a little worried… I mean, he didn’t seem amused.
They said it doesn’t affect my body and if they wanted to take a look, I didn’t see a problem with the request.
The doctor appeased Mark, but he was not happy in any way.
“I guess you don’t have a choice, Mark.”
So, I sat on the sofa with Mr.
Hugh who was kneeling in front of me, clasping our hands together….
They were held so that they wrapped around each other’s wrists rather than holding them together.
Sir Walter stood with a hand on each of my shoulders and Hugh’s, and instructed me to look straight into his eyes, which had suddenly become serious.
… As I was looking at the beautiful emerald color, I felt a faint feeling around my forehead and something like drowsiness fell over me.
As I continued the light sleep, my hand suddenly lost its grip, and I woke up with a start when Mr.
Hugh fell down flat on his face.
Apparently, the exploratory magic was over… It was so quick that it took less than a minute of the time.
Oh, what was happening to Mr.
Hugh? I was getting nervous and Mark told me.
“Don’t worry, I think he was mostly hit by magic, we’ll soon find out… Whether he touched the sensitive stuff at all…”
“Hey, Hugh, wake up.”
As he said that, Sir Walter slapped him on the cheek, and Hugh got up, saying, ‘No.’ His cheeks were flushed and his eyes sparkled with some kind of joy.
“Yes, I knew it was connected! It was the same magic that came from the forest!”
… He looked awfully happy, took my hands again, and buzzed up and down.
“After that, I learned one thing! Those eyes, they’re linked to the eyes of the Spirit of the capital.
I was hit by the magic thanks to the genie’s vision, but I could see the face of our boss.
It was a medium.
But still, the first one is in the woods again…”
That was not true.
I didn’t see any different view, but.
I wondered if my eyes would return to normal someday.
I still couldn’t get used to the color of them, and every time I looked in the mirror, I got a minor surprise.
“Maybe it will return once all the wounds are healed and there is no need to send magic power, I don’t know.
If it’s also serving other roles, it might stay that way, so I don’t know there.
I’ll know a little more once I check with the head… In the meantime, thanks, Margaret.
I got to see some good stuff!”
No, I think I’d learned a lot, and it was my pleasure.
I was about to take my hand away from Hugh, who was in an excellent mood, when he suddenly pulled me with a yank and kissed me on the cheek… Eh?
When I came back to myself, I saw Mr.
Hugh with his head held down by a dismayed Sir Walter, and Mark stepping on his back.
Hugh was currently in the middle of choking on a mountain of my special cookies that were stuffed into his mouth.
While looking at Mr.
Hugh crouching with teary eyes, Sir Walter asked in a small voice, ‘Is this what you call a cookie…?’ It was what he mumbled.
Yes, I prepared it for you.
It didn’t go to waste.
I meant, we were just on the verge of lip kissing just now.
No, I was not going to yak about one kiss when I was old enough to know better, but you couldn’t have a three-way combo of surprise, spectators and without agreement.
It was not a Christmas lodestar.
Mark wiped my face so hard.
It was painful.
Well, so Hugh’s lodging was changed to Dr.
Daniel’s clinic by Mark and Sir Walter, who were worried about the high tension with Mr.
Hugh staying here as it was.
Mark was staying with us.
I didn’t think it was necessary to monitor me.
“Oh, my God, I thought I was going to die…Young lady’s punishment is harsh.
“Be thankful you got away with that much.
You are a total…”
Oh, he was back.
It was powdery, but it tasted good, didn’t it? Please go ahead, there was more!
“Ah, I’m sorry.
I’m so full.”
“Come on, stand up.
It’s getting pretty late, we’d better be off.”
I watched Mark drag Mr.
Hugh away at the front door with a persistent reminder that if I felt anything wrong with my body, even in the middle of the night, I should always let him know.
“…Shall we rest? Margaret and Walter must be tired.
We can clean up the tea tomorrow.”
I thought that perhaps Lady Adelaide was the most tired of all.
I nodded, kissed her goodnight on the cheek, and saw Lady Adelaide off to her room.
Sorry for creating such a big fuss over me that lasted much later than usual.
I bid good night to Sir Walter and did not go to my room…but to the kitchen.
Yeah, I’d like to take a quick breather before sleeping.
After washing the teapot and cups with only the light at hand and without making any water noise, I filled the kettle with water and put it on the stove.
As I stood in the dark and watched the fire boiling water in a daze, I was reminded of the commotion I had just witnessed.
Magic from the forest.
This body… I thought I was the same as the people in this world, just without magic power, but I guess I was not.
Was there something else hidden from me? I read in a book that there were people who lived on the streets in ‘The Spirit Orisons’, but I wondered if people around them felt uneasy or annoyed.
I had to worry about Lady Adelaide as well.
Perhaps if I was here, in the future…?
“…It’s boiling over.”
A voice at the kitchen entrance brought me back to myself.
Oops, the kettle was whistling.
I was surprised to see Sir Walter, who I thought was resting, come to drink some water.
I picked up two mugs and held them up to him, and he replied with a thank you, a wrinkle between his eyebrows.
It was nighttime, and I had tea earlier, so I would have herbal tea.
Some people didn’t like it, so I showed him the tea leaves before brewing and he said it was okay, so I made chamomile tea with Sir Walter.
It helped you sleep well, apparently.
I thought it was boiled with milk and made into milk tea in a Peter Bunny picture book.
Honey was optional.
“…I’ve missed this.
I remember drinking it as a child.”
I wished Lady Adelaide have brewed it.
Chamomile was something you could get your kids to drink.
…I first made this tea with her help.
As I still could not walk well or carry heavy things, I pestered Lady Adelaide by asking if there was anything I could do, and as a result, she cut some chamomile that was blooming in the garden.
The flowers were picked and dried, thus dried chamomile for tea was made.
Sitting across the corner of the dining room table, I sipped a cup of tea of memories while letting it cool down with a whiff.
Tonight, it was quiet outside, with no wind, and other than the occasional quill running over the magic tool on the table, there was no sound.
As I took a sip of my drink and wrote what I wanted to ask, Sir Walter’s gaze moved to the board of magical tools… How should I write it down? I moved my pen, hesitating.
He must have been worried.
Suddenly, a suspicious person called The Orison popped up with his mother.
I didn’t think I chose to come here, but I was the one who said I didn’t want to leave.
Besides, I realized today that I was not a normal person after all.
You never know what kind of trouble you might bring… I also knew that it would be a burden for Lady Adelaide, who wanted to live quietly.
In truth, it would be better to stay away, I knew that was true.
I’m sorry… I really, really love her.
I didn’t want to leave.
I wanted to be here with Lady Adelaide, not just out of the woods.
Sir Walter’s eyes were lightly glazed over, and the crease between his eyebrows deepened.
Somehow, I knew he was not angry, though.
“That’s not what I meant…My mother seems to have a lot of fun with you.
I can tell by looking at her that she doesn’t think of you as a burden or anything.
Don’t worry about it.
You’re here to stay.
No, hopefully you’ll stay forever.”
I was surprised.
I thought you would object more… I never thought you would say that.
I was so surprised that I looked at him closely and he started talking with difficulty.
“There is no need to worry about a problem that hasn’t happened.
That is why I and Hugh are being sent here.
Besides… I’m not a person who has filial piety, you know.
It would be nice if we could be friendly instead.”
It wasn’t a suspicious interrogation.
Also, he was aware of his lack of filial piety.
But I couldn’t replace him, because he was her only son.
Lady Adelaide would be pleased if he reconnected with her himself.
Since he was saying this, he must be willing to do so.
I didn’t look away, and Sir Walter smiled at me as if he were troubled… Did he smile?
“I’m too pathetic to find the trigger.
I know it’s my fault, but I have no idea how to talk… What’s wrong? Do I have something on my face?”
Thin steeple eyes that went down when he smiled.
… I didn’t think they looked alike, but when they smiled, they looked exactly alike.
They could have done that all the time.
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