Chapter 4 – I tried using time magic
It’s my first morning since I came back to the past.
I leave my room, and head towards the dining table with El.
As soon as I enter the room where it is, I sense the smell of hot food, and I hear El’s parents.
“Good morning Chrom.”
El’s father is my master who teaches me how to fight with a sword, Sirius Moonhart.
And his wife is Reina Moonhart.
They’re the kind-hearted couple who took me in after my family tossed me away, and raised me as if I were their son.
They’re also people I couldn’t protect the first time.
“Happy birthday Chrom.”
“So you’re sixteen already…”
“Dear me, it’s already been ten years since you came here.”
“…? What is it Chrom? You’re just standing there looking at nothing…”
For some reason, their voices sound very distant.
And for some reason, this warm dining room is starting to look blurry.
“…Oh my, Chrom?”
After hearing their worried voices, I finally realize it.
There are tears running down my face.
“Does anything hurt, Chrom?”
“No, I’m just happy… About my birthday.”
“S-so much that you’re crying…?”
El is here, and so are Mister Sirius and Miss Reina.
Looking at this trio really makes me feel it.
(…I really am back to those days.)
This still peaceful time.
The peaceful time I couldn’t protect.
“Chrom, sorry, but can you take those plates?”
Miss Reina asks from the kitchen.
I clear my head and go get the plates.
Despite everything, my position in this house is technically ‘live-in servant’.
“I’ll help you Chrom.”
El puts plates on a tray, and clumsily walks, when…
“Uwah, oh… Ooh…!?”
El slips while holding the tray, and the plates with food on them are thrown into the hair.
(…! Watch out!)
As soon as I see this, I reflexively start formulating a technique.
“《Haste》 Ⅱ (double speed).”
I chant quietly, and the world turns to slow-motion.
El’s body as she slips, and the plates and food thrown out of the tray all flutter slowly.
Only I move normally.
This is a time spell that speeds up my own personal time.
A speed multiplying technique.
I used it without thinking because I’m used to being in the future.
(…At least it looks like I can use spells from the future.)
Learning this is a nice result at least.
I grab the tray that’s slowly falling, and catch El with my other arm.
I say, and the world begins to move normally.
the plates land cleanly on the tray.
“El, watch out… Oh?”
El blinks rapidly while I hold her in my arm.
Everyone present looks on blankly for a moment.
“W-what…? And Chrom, when did you get there…?”
It was to save El, but I called too much attention to myself.
Are you hurt? Did you twist your ankle?”
“N-no, I’m fine, but…”
El fidgets as her face turns red and she turns away from me.
“This position… Is kind of embarrassing…”
That’s right, I’m still holding her.
I quickly let go of her, but she looks a little reluctant for some reason.
I take the tray to the table.
“That was incredible… The way you moved just now Chrom.”
Says Mister Sirius quietly, but sounding impressed.
“Even knights of the imperial court can’t do that.
When did you learn to move like that?”
“Hum, I can use a bit of physical strengthening magic now.”
“Chrom! You can use magic!?”
Everyone looks surprised.
“J-just a bit.”
“That’s so great Chrom… You’ve been working hard this whole time… Sniff…”
“Our little Chrom can finally… Today really is a blessed day.”
“But still… Was that really physical strengthening magic?”
El and Miss Reina are moved to tears, but the former knight of the imperial court, Mister Sirius, is looking at me with suspicion in his eyes.
(…I think it’s a good idea to keep quiet about the time magic.)
This type of magic doesn’t exist here yet.
It’s something I made with persistence that bordered on obsession, and is powerful enough to change the world.
If that infamous ‘sorcerer association’ gets wind of this…
They do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals.
I have no idea what they would even use it for, and they might put the Moonhart family in danger just to get some information.
Also, it’s incredibly unnatural for someone like me, who until yesterday could not use magic at all, to have suddenly mastered something like this.
I want to avoid worrying this family if I can.
“Anyway, I’m glad both El and the food are safe.”
I change the subject right away.
Thank you Chrom.”
“Yes, thanks Chrom!”
It’s been a while since I was thanked like this.
It kind of itches.
“Well then, since our breakfast made its way to the table safely, how about we eat?”
Says Miss Reina while clapping her hands, and we sit down.
I see the steaming food in front of me… And a thought crosses my mind.
(…That’s right, I haven’t had a proper meal in a while either.)
The first time around, I spent most of my days in battlefields or locked in laboratories.
I just cared about ingesting nutrients in the shortest amount of time possible, so I get the feeling that I mostly just ate mushy, cold vegetable porridge.
I’m pretty sure it’s been a hundred years since I ate a nice, home-cooked meal.
I take a bite, and…
I can’t stop.
“Ooh, nice appetite there Chrom.”
“Ha, haha… Miss Reina’s food is just too good.”
“Fufu, thank you.
But you eat it every day, don’t you Chrom?”
“Geez, you really are weird.”
El and the others giggle.
This table is filled with warmth and smiles.
But this visual and palate stimuli is enough to get the corners of my eyes feeling warm again.
(…To think there was a time when my life was so nice and peaceful…)
It’s hard to believe, but…
(…As things stand, all these people will die in tonight’s calamity.)
I remember standing in front of this destroyed house.
I don’t want to see that again.
(…I will protect this.)
These people, these peaceful times…
“Chrom? What’s wrong? You’re making that scary face again…”
Before I know it, El is looking at me with a concerned expression.
She’s my childhood friend, so she notices even small changes in my face.
“No, I was just thinking about my plans for my birthday.”
“With that serious face…?”
I don’t want to worry El.
I can’t break this peaceful time.
Let’s just enjoy this fun time.
I still have some time before today’s calamity…
“It’s nice having you help with the housework.”
“No, I’m just glad I can help.”
After breakfast, I help Miss Reina with housework.
They treat me like family, but technically I am their servant.
Of course, I’m still thinking about tonight, but…
(…If I change my behavior too much, I might shift history in an unexpected direction.)
And if I do that, my knowledge of the future won’t be of much use.
(I’ll follow my normal routine as closely as I can.)
There’s also the fact that I want to give back to them like I couldn’t the first time.
“Well then, the weather’s nice, so how about we start by doing the laundry?”
Can I handle that by myself today?”
“Eh? By yourself? That’s a lot of work.
Are you sure?”
I think a boy like me should do that kind of heavy labor.”
There aren’t any magic items used for laundry or washboards like there were in the future.
In this era, it’s common for people to step on or beat clothes to clean them.
Doing laundry is very tiring in this era, and there are so many different kinds of liquids to remove stains that it becomes complicated.
If you go all the way to the capital, you’ll find cleaners that use magic to clean clothes, but they’re expensive, so it’s not the sort of thing you would casually use.
“But you don’t have to do it alone…”
“No, there’s a secret laundry technique I want to try.”
“S-secret laundry technique? Well, if you insist.
But if there’s anything you want to ask, I’ll be in the kitchen.”
I’m left alone in the courtyard.
Of course, that was the real point of me talking about hidden laundry techniques.
My objective is very simple.
(…Well then, let’s check my magic.)
How much magic can this body use?
Doing laundry is actually a perfect way to test my time magic.
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