I cannot say whether Eleris believes that I know the future. However, she had to reveal her most important secret now that she had to attend to the most important task from now on.
The truth of my words will be known with the passage of time.
As a result of this, she seemed to have become somewhat convinced that I was attempting to make contact with magic practitioners and that I had many strange aspects.
Therefore, I felt more at ease when discussing details with Eleris.
We must prevent an enormous crisis that will occur in the future.
Since this is the overarching goal, there is no need to hold back on anything.
But there is a problem.
“… You don’t know, do you?”
“Well, not really.”
“You claimed to know the future, didn’t you?”
“I don’t know everything. There’s much I don’t know.”
“But what if you’re deceiving the Black Order?”
Eleris exclaimed incredulously.
Oh, this feels like being scolded by my mother for causing an accident…
“All I know is that Aaron Mede is a member of the Black Order, and I just threw out everything I could in case I missed the chance to deal with them. I didn’t say I could meet the Black Order anywhere.”
“Sigh… What should we do then…? So, you don’t know much about Cantus Magna either, right?”
“Well, not really.”
As I write, I realize that there may be issues because this is an early chapter of a larger work.
When a story is published in a serialized format, there are limitations to both memory and ability, which can lead to unavoidable occurrences such as forgetting about planted hints or being unable to follow up on them. For me, magic users are one such “unfollowed” hint. It’s not that I forgot about them, it’s just that things were getting too complicated and I didn’t know what to do…
It’s the result of my irresponsibility.
The Black Order made an appearance during Aaron Mede’s incident, and they were mentioned in relation to the gold hunters, but that was the end of it. They seemed like impressive characters, and I had ideas in my head, but they never appeared again after that. All the small planted hints were either forgotten or sucked up by the Gate Incident.
I never talked about what they did during the Gate Incident.
The only things that remain in my head are what I had in mind when I established magic users. They act and move according to their own standards, regardless of societal ethics, much like the Black Order and the gold hunters.
The Black Order appeared only once.
Cantus Magna was only mentioned and never appeared.
In the end, even this is my own fault, so I have to find out about them myself somehow.
If something happened during the Gate Incident involving magic users, I need to know about them for sure.
The problem now is that there’s nothing I can do to satisfy the Black Order’s curiosity, even though they seem interested.
“Well…I don’t know much about Cantus Magna, but I know how to meet them.”
“Is there a way to meet them?”
But if I say that again,
I think I’ll really get in trouble…..
No, but it’s not complicated, it’s actually a very easy way.
And there’s nothing better than this.
“They’re the Golden Huntresses, those guys.”
“Then they’ll obviously use the Golden Spell, right?”
Eleris’ expression turned chilly. It felt similar to when Ellen occasionally glared at him with a cold expression.
But at least Ellen was consistently expressionless, so it was okay. But Eleris, who always smiled, had that kind of expression.
He felt a sense of crisis.
To call the Golden Huntresses, you just have to use a forbidden magic.
The words themselves are correct!
“What should we do about this burn?!”
Eleris eventually grabbed my head and shouted.
“What, what have I done…!”
And then she petted my head frantically and apologized for her own actions.
My suggestion to use the Golden Spell to summon Cantus Magna was, of course, rejected.
“Eleris, think calmly. If the Black Order finds out that I lied, we’ll end up fighting them anyway. In any case, we’ll end up in conflict with one of them, right?”
“It’s too noisy!”
Eleris sighed with determination.
“If it’s the council, there might be people who know something. Let’s look for clues there first. There are also families deeply involved in the tribute, you know.”
“Is that so?”
“Old vampires inevitably become magicians. There’s nothing more difficult than studying to soothe the pains of time.”
Putting the very dangerous method aside for now, they decided to look for clues at the vampire council.
It would determine what his future actions would be. It was important whether they could be brought under his control.
The daily routines of the temple aside, Eleris had given instructions to handle matters outside.
The Black Order was unlikely to be a concern, as clues had yet to be uncovered and a confrontation with them was a remote possibility. If necessary, I could summon them with the use of my charms. The Black Order had their reasons for not using such methods, but that was none of my concern.
Aaron Mede’s affairs had been settled and he was the only one who shared my secret with Eleris.
“You know, you guys are oddly transparent.”
“What do you mean?”
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Liana stared at me and Ellen in turn, chewing on the end of her fork as we ate breakfast in silence.
“Did you two fight again?”
“No? And even if we did, why does it matter?”
“We didn’t,” I interjected.
Despite our denials, the looks on our faces betrayed us.
“It’s weird how you two hardly ever talk and yet it’s obvious when you’ve had a fight.”
Adelia laughed at Liana’s comment and scratched her head, perhaps thinking that I might start rambling if someone started talking.
After the incident, Ellen and I had been distant and awkward with each other. We were worried about each other, but it seemed to have a negative effect on us both.
What could I say?
Things were just as chaotic inside the temple as they were outside.
Ellen wasn’t the only problem. Liana looked at me from the next seat and asked, “And what about you lately?”
“….It’s nothing. I’m fine,” I replied.
Harriet, who had been picking at her breakfast, lifted her head with a gloomy expression.
She was suffering from something like PTSD after seeing the shocking scene at Aaron Mede’s mansion.
Harriet hadn’t fought directly, having deployed an anti-magic field and leaving it to Ellen to handle. But she had seen humans controlled by Humonculus who had fallen to her anti-magic spell.
It wasn’t murder, but Harriet felt as though it were.
And the horrific chimeras she had seen in the underground workshop.
That was likely the direct cause of her trauma. I hadn’t gone in myself, but Ellen seemed to want to forget what she had seen.
There was nothing we could do.
I had nightmares about zombie hordes for a while.
It was almost fortunate that Harriet, who had grown up so beautifully, suffered from such visions and trauma. No…
After class ended, Ellen, Harriet, Liana, Adelia, and I left the temple. Ellen walked a little ways apart from me, while Harriet was with Adelia. Naturally, Liana and I took the lead and walked together.
“How did last time’s incident turn out?” I asked.
“…It was taken care of, more or less,” Liana replied.
If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have followed them out here. Liana is a strange one, who seems to have good intuition but is also absent-minded.
“It seems like something happened again because of that incident,” I said, but I didn’t ask her about it.
But then we suddenly started looking at flowers.
I have no interest in things like that. When I think about it, Ellen and Adelia only delve into magic, and they don’t seem to have much to do with flowers. Of course, Harriet probably lived in a palace with a garden, but Ellen probably isn’t much different.
“Do you like flowers?” I asked Liana.
She blinked at my question.
“Not really. If it were clothes, maybe.”
We were doing this to lift our moods, but it’s clear that she has no real interest in flowers.
Who are we even doing this for?
Here we are at the Han River in Seoul, named Huangdu Gradium.
When the Rotary Club was here, we used to visit often, but since headquarters moved, we haven’t had reason to come.
There were a lot of people walking around, admiring the autumn flowers. This is the world after the demon king’s death. A peaceful world.
We were among those people.
Everyone came to see the flowers without much thought, and Liana was the same. But since we were already here, we walked along the path and looked at the flowers blooming in the river.
Liana grabbed my arm and pointed to a particular flower.
“The one with the most blooms is cosmos,” she said.
“…What’s that? How do you know?” I asked.
“Well…it’s common knowledge.”
How can she not know about cosmos when we came to look at flowers?
But it seemed like it wasn’t just Liana who didn’t know. Everyone looked at me with surprised expressions.
Why is this otherworldly development happening here all of a sudden?
“You didn’t know either?” I asked Adelia.
“It’s not that I don’t know it’s cosmos…,” she replied, scratching her head.
“…Isn’t it impressive enough that I know about flowers?” I added.
Ellen, Harriet, Adelia, and Liana all nodded in agreement.
Well, I guess so.
“Even though I’m just a commoner who knows little about flowers, it’s surprising to others that I know their names.
It’s true that I don’t have a great interest in them, but I know enough to get by. Of course, I’ve tried to expand my vocabulary by memorizing the names and meanings of flowers before, but it didn’t really help me with my writing.
Still, I’ve managed to remember the names and meanings of some of the more common flowers that others know about.
When people ask, “What’s that?” I can usually tell them.
“And that one?”
“…That’s also a chrysanthemum.”
“But they’re different colors! The one we saw earlier was white, and this one is yellow.”
“It’s like a red rose and a white rose. Don’t you know they’re both roses? Are you that ignorant?”
“Oh, I see. They do look the same.”
It’s not really that impressive, but they all look at me as if I’m some sort of wonder.
What am I, exactly, in their minds?
I don’t really need to ask, but for some reason, Liana would ask me the name of a flower that she found interesting.
Even though I’ve tried to learn as many flower names as I can, there are still many that I don’t know.
I don’t know if they’re flowers that only grow in this world, or if they exist in the original world but I just don’t know their names.
In the end, I couldn’t learn them all. Of course, there were bound to be more that I didn’t know.
But as the sun began to set, everyone’s expressions towards me changed.
They looked at me as if they were seeing a completely different person.
“What’s with all of you? Is it really that impressive that I know a few flower names?”
“Of course it is.”
Liana spoke up for them.
“The more I look at you, the more I’m confused.”
It seemed like they weren’t upset with my sudden change of attitude.
For some reason, Harriet’s face was turning red.
These guys…maybe the misunderstanding has gotten too big.
I need to lighten the mood.
“But isn’t it strange that we’re all here to look at flowers? Flowers, if you think about it, are just the reproductive organs of plants.”
Technically speaking, they’re the stamen and pistil.
“Isn’t it a bit funny that we’re all here to look at reproductive organs?”
“As expected, you’re crazy.”
I successfully lightened the mood.
“I’m not sure if a single flower viewing really lifted my mood. Everyone was ready to leave, but Ellen grabbed my arm.
“Just a little longer,” she said.
Ellen gestured towards me.
“Let’s stay a bit longer.”
It was as if she wanted some time alone with me, away from the others who seemed to be silently urging us to go.
It was an autumn evening when the sun was setting.
We sat down on the steps near the river.
We had been angry with each other.
I was going to do things that were even more dangerous, things that I couldn’t even tell Ellen about. I didn’t want her help.
It was too risky.
If Ellen knew even a little bit about what I was going to do, she would know too much. It wouldn’t be about me doing something dangerous anymore; it would be about her knowing my secrets.
I didn’t want to imagine what would happen then.
“Something feels strange,” Ellen said softly.
“What do you mean?”
“If someone is important to you, you should only say and do good things to them. That’s what you should do.”
“But when someone is too important to you, you end up saying bad things to them and hurting them.”
Ellen looked out at the calm surface of the river, where the red waves lapped at the shore.
“It’s foolish,” she said.
“Yeah, it is.”
I threw a small rock toward the riverbank for no reason. It created ripples as it sank into the water.
Beneath the burning autumn sunset.
“Me too. I’m sorry.”
We apologized to each other.
Ellen leaned her head on me.
It was an action that we haven’t done in a long time.
“Aaron Mede. You didn’t kill him.”
Ellen already knew.
There was no way she wouldn’t.
It was a lie that surrounded us. Aaron Mede died from a burst head, and I couldn’t have left such a scar.
I might have hidden the body, but Ellen could have seen it.
“When you become a Swordmaster, will you tell me your secret?”
Even if I became more than a Swordmaster, I still couldn’t tell her.
I couldn’t say anything in response.
The moment when Ellen would learn my secret would come someday.
It felt like an inevitability now.
I might be able to avoid the Gate incident, but it seemed impossible to avoid that.