THE FEELING OF THE GIRL WHO REFUSES FREEDOM
Around the same time when the white girl; Stella; attacked the guild, having everyone gathered there, the hero and his party immediately got into the carriage and left the country.
Finia and Lulu got into the carriage as well, but Lulu; who was shedding tears and sitting in the corner of the carriage; and Finia; who was consoling her; weren’t associating with anyone in the hero’s party, at all.
For Nagi, looking a girl crying was something he couldn’t bear to, but since he was the very one who made her cry, he couldn’t do anything about it.
Moreover, the clear refusal from Finia was still lingering him.
Toward Lulu who was absentmindedly shedding tears, even Finia was at loss about what to do.
Even if her body was of fourteen years old, but mental-wise Lulu was still of a child.
She got separated from Kitsune; who was her family; moreover the collar that was the symbol of their bonds was broken.
There was no way she didn’t feel heart-broken because of it.
However, on the contrary with what Finia thought, Lulu put the collar wreckage into her clothes pocket, and wiped the tears with both of her hands.
Suddenly endured the tears, she showed a strong determination in her eyes.
—I must not cry… because the one who is suffering the most is Kitsune-sama…!
The collar was broken.
But, she was still alive, and Kitsune was still alive as well.
And he also had promised that he’d come to take them back.
Then, I must not give up yet.
I’m sure we’ll meet again. She believed so and stopped crying.
“Finia-sama… I’m fine already….”
“Lulu-chan… are you sure?”
Don’t worry, because I’ll always be by your side.”
Looking at Lulu who had stopped crying and braced herself, Finia leaned to Lulu’s face.
Even Finia definitely did feel sad, being separated from her beloved Kitsune, and her life; the mask; was taken by the miko.
Perhaps it was to prevent the mask from being damaged or stolen, there was a similar barrier like the one she erected at the time Kitsune dueled the hero that was placed on it, that was why Finia couldn’t take it back.
Because her life and death was in their hand, currently… Finia was similar like those of slaves.
“…say, hero-san, what do ya say ‘bout dat?”
The one who said so; upon noticing Finia and Lulu; was one of the party member who joined with them afterward, the A rank swordsman, Jik.
He came together with the magician Silphy, but upon looking at those two who were there together with the hero and Cecil, he dubiously asked so.
From what he could see, they weren’t that powerful, moreover not just their relationships weren’t that good with the hero, there was also no sign for it to get any better later on.
To Jik’s inquiry, Nagi answered while dropping his shoulders.
“Well, you see… actually she was a slave, and since at my former world slavery was something that was very detested, I couldn’t just let her be… so I took her from the one who oppressed her through a duel.”
“Yeah, I heard it from Cecil.”
Upon hearing that, Jik glanced at the miko; Cecil; who was controlling the horses.
Of course, he did know that there was no such duel system at the Grandile Kingdom.
Moreover, he also knew just what kind of crafty woman that miko was.
Thus, he thought that she manipulated that hero to plunder the slave, no, the fairy.
What a disgusting woman as always, thinking so, he looked back toward the hero.
The hero; who was dropping his shoulders and kept on taking glances at the two; he looked like a lost child that didn’t know what to do.
Jik involuntarily let out a sigh.
Simultaneously when he let out a sigh, there was also a sigh from someone beside him.
It was the magician, Silphy.
Seemingly had somewhat guessed the situation, she felt sympathy for Finia and Lulu.
At the caslte, the hero was seemingly very reliable, but it appeared that he was overwhelmingly lacking experience.
The hero might grow later on, but for the current him, letting aside subjugating demon lord, he might even face hardship just to make a living. Please do your very best, Jik involuntarily thought so.
“Ah, you can just call me Nagi.”
“…then, Nagi, I think ya need ta look at yer surroundin’ more.
Which one’s yer enemy, which one’s yer ally… ya can’t judge people simply by appearances ya see, if ya ain’t careful… ya might end up in sorry, ya know?”
“Ah, umm… you’re, right… thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.”
Jik was a young swordsman, but he had gained much more expeiences than Nagi.
He had been tricked many times, he had also experienced many situations where he might lose his life.
That was why, there were confidence and credibility in those words.
Those words were heavy to the point made Nagi unintentionally nodded his head.
“Well, this may sound unbelievable, but… dat miko sis ain’t just like her appearance, ya see? If by any chance ya think dat sis as some pure and kind woman… dat’s a great mistake, ya’d better reconsider it again.”
“S’fine if ya don’t wanna believe it, but ya’d better keep it in yer mind… in this world, there ain’t no few people dat want ta curry favor with da hero, if ya want ta associate with people then ya’d do better ta keep some doubt for them.”
Jik was very manly.
Nagi had never doubted Cecil; who had been living with him up until now; even once, but those words; that were seriously expressed by Jik; were deeply craved on his mind.
Looking at Cecil once, Nagi thought about it with a meek expression.
Seeing that, Jik could only smile bitterly.
It was okay to be confused.
Kept and kept on pondering, even if it might lead to a wrong answer, it’d still be a part of growth.
Even when one took a breathing, that was also a part of growth.
The most important part was, the will to grow.
“Well, just think ‘bout it properly, Nagi.”
After saying so, Jik took a glance to Finia and Lulu, and decided to take a nap.
◇ ◇ ◇
Taking a glance at Jik who had fallen asleep, the A rank magician; Silphy; gave Finia and Lulu a sidelong glance.
For magicians, fairies were sacred existence.
For ones who pursued the pinnacle of magic, fairy’s “chantless” was one of the highest level skill in magic.
Moreover, idea type fairies were capable of unleashing a large-scale powerful magic chantlessly.
Thus, if they could understand the principle, it was said that human would be able to reach an even higher realm of magic.
However; it was still debatable; but there was a tale that said that fairies were the one who enabled human to use magic, so for the majorities of magicians, fairies were sacred being and the existence they hold reverence to.
That was why the act of oppressing fairies, for magicians it was a taboo… the greatest taboo that mustn’t be violated ever.
That was also the case for Silphy.
Looking at Finia; who possessed enormous magic power; showed such sad expression, she felt a strong dissatisfaction toward Cecil.
“…do you want some?”
“Ah… umm… this is konpeito, a kind of sweet from another world, or so I heard.”
Perhaps that was why, to the sad lookingly Finia and Lulu, she couldn’t bear to just let them be.
The sweets and fashions; that were took along and popularized by the previous summoned heroes; had become a prided and popular goods in this world.
Amongst all of it, konpeito was her favourite one.
She didn’t like it simply because it was a sweet, but because not just it was tasty, it was also easy to carry, moreover it could also be eaten anytime.
Normally, she wouldn’t give even one of her konpeito to other, but this time, she personally offered her favourite food to Finia and Lulu.
“…don’t want it, I think I’ve said not to be concerned with us.”
“I, I’m very sorry… but, when you are sad, eating something sweet… may rise your mood, so….”
Finia answered her curtly, but Silphy was still persistently trying.
Actually she was bad at communicating.
She couldn’t talk without averting her eyes, and starting a conversation was something hard for her.
Nonetheless, the reason why she kept trying there was also to make up the reckless actios that were done by the miko.
It wasn’t her real intention, but party member’s fault was the whole party’s fault, after all.
“…Finia-sama, let’s accept it.”
“Are you sure, Lulu-chan?”
“From now on, for the sake of the moment when Kitsune-sama take us back, we have to stay alive… completely reject these people and living simply by relying on ourselves… I think that would be hard… that’s why, I think we need to make some compromise here.”
“…you’re right, okay then.”
Saying so, Lulu took one konprito from Silphy.
Kitsune would come to take them back, that was why they ought to stay alive.
To stay alive, they had no choice but to rely on the hero’s party.
Moreover, Finia’s live was in the hand of the miko, so if they untactfully opposed them, she might destroy the mask, and Kitsune would definitely sad if that happened.
Having separated from Kitsune who was her family, Lulu was rapidly growing.
Having been watcing Kitsune who always desperately struggled to stay alive, she could calmly think what they should do in this kind of moment.
Finia, as well as herself, they ought to get stronger so that they wouldn’t die.
Not by being protected by the hero, but they’d to stay alive by make a use of the hero.
…grow, grow, grow… I don’t want to make Kitsune-sama sad ever again!
Lulu resolved herself.
For her kind master who saved her life, she wouldn’t let him… showed such gentle faint smile ever again.
…I can’t stay like how I am… not the me whom was always be protected, not the me who was frail and weak, I want to be the me who protect Kitsune-sama!
The will in Lulu’s eyes shone even stronger.
Thus, as if responding to her will, an unusual phenomenon was starting to happen on Lulu’s body.
Still atop Lulu’s head, Finia took one konpeito from Silphy’s palm.
Then; after hesitating a bit; she vigorously ate it.
And then, after that she finally noticed the changes on Lulu’s body.
Lulu’s heartbeat was resounding conspicuously.
“What’s the matter?”
It looked like Lulu herself noticed about her own heartbeat, but she didn’t notice the changes that happened on her.
Even Finia also didn’t know what had changed on Lulu.
However, Finia believed that she wasn’t wrong when she felt there was some changes on Lulu.
If Kitsune were there, he’d definily know it.
The change that happened on Lulu was, none other than the awakening of “innate skill”.
Her feeling toward Kitsune, and her determination to change, they granted her power.
No one knew when and what would this power bring about.
However, Lulu did certainly grow similarly like what Kitsune and co.
‘Kitsune-sama… I, will be waiting for you… until the day you come to take us back… I and Finia-sama will definitely be waiting for you!’
Enduring the almost spilling tears, Lulu decided to not cry ever again.
While thinking about Kitsune, she looked at the sky through the carriage’s window, and gently yet tightly grasped the short sword on her waist.
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