Well, today was a day to help out at the clinic.

These days, I worked once or twice a week and when asked.
It seemed like a big village, but it was actually a small village.
On the days I was there, they got through to the people who needed it right away, so I was doing fine with this.

The neighbors actively lent a helping hand during emergencies, and my role was to make it easier for mothers to come to the clinic on a regular basis.
They could bring children and consult with about their children’s health.

The basket filled with lunch was carried by Hugh.
As for Walter… He was at home with Lady Adelaide! Three days in and we were one step ahead.
I thought Buddy could handle the somewhat awkward atmosphere… I hoped so.
Yeah.

No, actually, this happened because the village chief said he was at the mansion to talk with the two.
This morning was also a workday for the two men who worked for them, so it was not just the two of them.
Do your best.

We strolled down the path to the clinic with my slow steps accompanying me.
Mr.
Hugh told me about the village as if he was looking for mistakes, saying that this place had not changed and that place used to be like that.

In this village where few people came and went, I suddenly wondered why Mr.
Hugh had moved to the royal capital, come to think of it.
But if there was a weighty reason, I wouldn’t want to hear about it.

I looked up at him and he asked what was the matter.
I hesitated a little, but then I said that I had the same question since he had asked me so many questions the other day.

He asked me about everything from my national framework to my family structure to my ex-boyfriends, a mixture of public and private.
I told him because it was nothing to hide.
He got the impression that the boundary between lover, fiancée, and husband and wife was blurred.
Well, if you asked me, that was probably true.
Cohabitation and de facto marriage were both impossible here.

But when I told him that in the country where I was from, having a mistress was against the norms today, bigamy was a crime, and there were the same-sex couples, with all the pros and cons, he looked indifferent.
That was not so surprising.

Ah, I didn’t want to drop it so I didn’t use the magic tool while walking.
I wrote on the palm of his hand, I hoped it wasn’t too hard to communicate.

“Ah, my magic power, you know, suddenly became very high.
As I grow taller, it’ll grow stronger.
I had to learn to control it, so I joined the Royal Academy.
My parents run a tailoring business, and our clients in the capital have invited us to work over there.
So, I took the opportunity and moved in with my family.”

‘Look, these robes are actually made by my parents’, said Hugh, looking a little proud and happy as he shook the black robe of the Institute of Magical Arts hanging on his shoulder.
Wasn’t it amazing that they were making uniforms for a national institution? I asked him to take the time to show me the modest embroidery that bordered the piece and other details.
It was a wonderful technique.
His parents now ran the store with his sister and her husband, who were their heirs.

“Because magic is connected by blood, many high-magic people are aristocrats.
And so are Walter and Mark.
Sometimes they pop up as commoners like me, but we were told that it was our ancestors because apparently our grandfather, generations ago, was a side line of some noble family.”

They all had that magic, but they said there was more to it than a lot of things they didn’t know.
Few people like Mr.
Hugh and Sir Walter could use the magic they had as outward magic, and even fewer could manipulate it at will outside of their own characteristics.
Most of them were aristocratic men, and they were said to be related to the Academy of Magic or the royal court.

“Long ago, people like us were tools of war.
It’s still going to be managed by the government.
It’s not just the status difference that makes the aristocrats keep their distance from the commoners, it’s the old memories that are still there somewhere that make people think these guys are scary.”

He said heavy things without hesitation.
I could certainly understand that witchcraft could be a threat in this world where there were apparently no airplanes or missiles.
I guessed it depended on the person who used it, just like with knives, always and everywhere were the same.

“So, it was quite refreshing to see a young lady use our magic for cleaning and laundry.”

Uwah.
Come to think of it, I got plenty of use out of it yesterday! No, he also showed us his works one after another in a fun manner.
Mr.
Hugh laughed happily as he watched me fumble around, and pointed to his own eyes, saying that my magic was particularly unusual in some respects.

“I’m a magician, everyone who is more often than not scared of, and here I’m a vacuum cleaner.
I was already having fun.
Thank you, Margaret.”

He stopped and quickly took my hand with the one not holding the basket and kissed the back of my hand in a smooth flow.
I was so surprised that I tried to pull away, but he grabbed my hand and… Just a minute.
Wasn’t it foul to spin a straight face there? And I couldn’t believe I called him by his name.

This was troubling.
In my twenty-eight years of experience in Japan, I had even had lovers, sexual harassment and molestation, but not this.
Hence, I didn’t know how to deal with it.

Because when he said that, I just didn’t think it was scary because I didn’t know much about magic.
I’d never seen anyone use it in a way that would scare me.
So, I didn’t think it was ever appreciated by Mr.
Hugh in that way.

I was still flapping my mouth, unable to speak, and Mr.
Hugh continued again.

“I am, Margaret.
I love girls, but I decided not to get married and not to have children.
It’s a mess for a commoner with high magic, the nobles look down on you, the commoners are afraid of you, and there’s no place for you.

If not, you are swept up in your own power, and until you learn to control it, even a normal life is not possible.
I don’t want my children to inherit this kind of hardship.
Of course, there are aristocrats like Walter, and many people from the Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry are of the same ilk, but still.”

The hand that held mine was cold and a little shaky.
Looking beyond me, toward the center of the village, Mr.
Hugh muttered.

“…I really didn’t want to come to Meissery either.
There are a lot of people who have been inconvenienced because my magic has run amok, injuring them or breaking things.
And yet, on the first day, everyone gathered at the village chief’s place and waited for me.
‘The outburst of power’ was just an old laughable story.
There was no one to blame….
I felt like a weight had been lifted from my heart.

So, Margaret, thank you for coming to this world and to Meissery.
Without you, I would never have come back to this village, and I would have been stuck in the past for a long time.”

Mr.
Hugh’s green eyes relaxed and he gently stroked my head with his hand, which he naturally let go.
I stared at him without being able to say anything, and once again, our eyes met properly.

“Hgh, sorry.
That doesn’t sound like me.”

His face turned bright red.
He covered his mouth with his hand, and turned away.

I hurriedly followed Mr.
Hugh, who walked away slowly without making eye contact.

When I arrived at the clinic, I said hello to Dr.
Daniel and Mark, and rolled out the rug as usual.
Mr.
Hugh was looking at me with great interest, but this was the end of the preparation… You didn’t have to look so unsatisfied.

While I was carrying the lunch basket to the break room and washing my hands, patients arrived.

“Margaret, good morning! Take care of our little guy today.”

This Miss Tanya, a blacksmith, had a big voice and a sharp personality.
Hey, Tanya, thanks for dinner yesterday! The loquat pie was delicious!

Tanya’s new pie, presented yesterday at the women’s meeting where I was forced to stay home, was made with loquat.
A whole loquat compote was wrapped in a crispy pie crust… A moment of bliss.
Moreover, knowing that I was not coming, Tanya made sure that we had enough for Walter and Hugh’s and the number of people in the room.

“Ah, you’re that pie person from yesterday? That was delicious.
I wonder if you could sell it if we took it to the capital.
I think my mom and sister would absolutely love it.”

“My my, I can’t do that.
It’s a hobby of mine, you know, and if people eat it and say it’s good, that’s all that matters.”

By the way, didn’t Tanya know Hugh? I took out my magic tool and asked.

“Wow, that’s an interesting magical tool.
This is very convenient.
Good for you, Margaret.
I’ve come from the previous village to marry into Meissery, so I’m afraid I’ve never met this nice man, the sorcerer.”

“You’re the same age as my sister? If we had been in the same village, I’m sure we would have become friends.”

As we were talking about this, Mark called.
Tanya-san put the little guy, John, in my arms… Oh, was he a little hot?

“I’ve been a little under the weather lately.
I don’t have much of a fever, but I feel kind of sluggish.
Dan told me to go to the clinic after I told him that Margaret was there today.
I’m going to go see the doctor in a bit, so be a good boy and wait for me.”

Tanya patted John’s head and headed to the examination room… Tanya, weren’t those the symptoms? John was in tears and reaching for his mother’s back, but when the door closed, he grabbed my clothes with his returned hand as if he had given up.

“This child, how old is he? … Hgh, ow ow.”

Mr.
Hugh looked into John’s face and was grabbed by the hair.
Yeah, he was curious about the red hair swinging in front of him.
Yes, I gently opened his fingers to let go of the hair and sat on the rug.
When I gave him a cue ball that I had taken out of the wooden box at his feet, John held it with both hands and played with it.

John, who played tinklingly on my lap, had just turned two years old.
He walked and ran well, but his chatter was a little slow, still just ahhs and uhhs.
He was a quiet boy, much like the husband Dan, a taciturn craftsman, but today he seemed even quieter than usual… I touched his forehead and neck.
He was still hot.
Then, these teary eyes were not because his mother left him, but physiologically?

“What’s wrong, what’s bothering that child?”

Mr.
Hugh noticed me flopping around and touching John, and he asked me.
I nodded and wrote that I’ll tell the doctor that John had a fever too.

John looked up at me with moist, curly eyes.
When I smiled and took the fever with my forehead, his eyes blinked for a moment and he was delighted.
He seemed to be enjoying himself, so I tapped his forehead again.
He seemed to like it so much that every time I repeatedly tapped him, that nursery rhyme about the two ants butting heads played endlessly in my brain.

Finally, both of my cheeks were held tightly by small hands, and our foreheads were squished together.
It was a children’s song festival for John in his mind, who was in a good mood about what was fun.
He would sing the full chorus.

“…It’s turning red.”

I laughed when Mark, who came to call, pointed out my forehead.
Mr.
Hugh smiled at John and Mark as they waved bye-bye and walked into the examination room.

“That sounded like fun~.
Do you always play like that?”

If it happened every time, I’d probably scrape my forehead.

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