‘Quite frankly, I believe that we should play around just for today. It’s the last day of our vacation, you know? Even if you’re finished growing, you’ll end up losing hair with each passing day if you keep this up, you know? Do you know how scary that is?’
‘Yeah, man. If you exercise too hard they will fall off. Your hair roots are more important than your life. Just go along with me before you end up regretting it.’
‘Are you losing hair?’
‘No, I’m not! Absolutely not! Never in my life I shall suffer from that! This is called preemptive measures! You’ll thank me later on.’
After our Sunday morning training, I dragged Ellen out to Main Street. It didn’t seem like she believed my talk about losing hair and all that. It just felt like she simply gave up.
Still, in the past, she wouldn’t let me grab her like this and would’ve just flat out rejected me, but seeing her reluctantly following me, I felt like we got a little closer.
Anyway, people needed a change of scenery from time to time.
No matter how I looked at it, I was much worse than Baron Ashura.Looking back on the week, I caused a terrorist incident in the Capital and just a few days after I was whining to my classmate in Temple that I wanted to go out to play on the weekend.
Just what am I doing?
“What do you want to eat? My treat.”
Since we had skipped our lunch at Temple, we decided to go eat something first. We were forbidden from going out of Temple, so we could only move in the proximity of it.
Ellen answered right away, because she knew, if she didn’t say anything, I’d drag her to eat that hellish thing again.
No, did she hate it that much?
“I thought you liked cheonggukjang though?”
“I only ate it because it was in front of me.”
It looked like she didn’t actually like it. How strange. I could have sworn that she did. Of course, that might also be, because she hadn’t eaten it enough yet.
It seemed like it would still take some time to turn this girl into an enthusiast.
“Then, do you mean to say that anything would be fine if it isn’t choenggukjang?”
“I don’t like eating weird things.”
Ellen cut me off again while looking straight at me.
On Tuesday, I took swordsmanship classes along with Ellen, so we tended to have lunch together. So, every time she made me recommend something, I’d pick something strange, causing her to go through some hardships while eating.
A typical example would be durian. I didn’t know why, but they had it here. After eating a bit of it, Ellen dumped it on the street, which was unlike her.
Then she held onto a wall and slapped it.
“Why, these are all important experiences.”
There should be some stinky tofu around here, so I really wanted to feed it to her.
“No. You only like weird things.”
It wasn’t that I especially liked eating weird things, I just enjoyed watching your reaction while eating these things.
Seriously, if I were to eat this stuff continuously, I think I would get nauseous.
“I just want to eat some meat.”
In the end, Ellen decided that she couldn’t leave this to me, so she chose what she wanted to eat.
“Yeah, you’ve finally managed to get over your problem of deciding for yourself for once.”
I acted as if I was actually trying to teach her a lesson on making choices for herself. Ellen eventually took the lead without acknowledging my words, probably thinking they were nonsense.
“Then eat more….No, no. You can’t.”
When I reflexively told Ellen to eat more 400-gram sirloin steak, I quickly denied it again. If she ate any more, I feared that my pocket money would run out.
“Eating more than ten plates is seriously crossing the line.”
This store was one with a fairly high price range among the stores on Main Street. Even if we got quite a decent amount of pocket money, to feed that girl you would have to be ready to rob a bank or something.
Ellen seemed mildly sullen. Of course, she seemed the same in other people’s eyes though.
In fact, she was actually surprisingly easy to read.
“Ah, fine! But just one more!”
“Then, a Porterhouse Steak.”
“…There sure are a variety of dishes.”
It was a mistake to invite her to eat out.
“Going by the consensus, dessert is on you. That’s an unwritten rule.”
Ellen, who absolutely destroyed those steaks I bought for her so that she wouldn’t get grumpy, nodded gently at my words as we were on our way to get dessert. On Main Street, there were not only restaurants but also cafes and various entertainment facilities.
Even though I set it up like this, I never described what kind of stores there were in detail, except a select few. There were a lot of them though.
And for some reason there were some places from which I could hear sounds one would expect coming from batting grounds. No, were they actually batting grounds? What did they replace the pitching machine with?
Was it maybe a type of pitching machine that ran on magic stones, the explanation for everything? Ah, well, then it would be understandable enough.
It wasn’t just that.
At first I wondered what that sound was, but it actually came from bows.
It seemed like shooting games except that they used bows instead of guns. There also seemed to be some that used darts. Ah, just what was the difference between these stores and the ones in modern times? I guess it ended up like this because of my lack of imagination.
Ah, this was all on me.
Every time I remembered that I was stuck in a world of the bizarre modern Fantasy medieval times genre, I felt a tingling in the back of my head.
“I don’t think we’ll find any here.”
“You’re probably right.”
We were looking for a dessert shop, not for an entertainment facility. As I was about to retrace my steps, I heard a voice that seemed somewhat familiar.
-N, no! Ah. That’s not right! Why!
One could hear a hoarse voice of someone very angry coming from a nearby store. I could only see her back, so I wasn’t exactly sure what she was doing, but she seemed to be struggling to pull back a bowstring, shaking pretty badly.
“Ah! I missed!”
It wasn’t all that easy to pull back a bowstring without properly knowing how to use a bow. This just seemed like she was wasting her money.
When I got closer and saw her face, I immediately felt like I knew her.
The little girl was startled when someone suddenly called out to her, immediately missing her target.
“What are you doing here?”
“Y, you…. You?”
It was Redina, a small senior I had some history with.
“Did you come here to play all on your own? What about your older brothers and sisters?”
She seemed to be wandering around all alone. If someone were with her, they wouldn’t have let this little girl struggle with this bow like that. It really seemed quite pitiful. At my words, Redina exclaimed.
“They aren’t my older siblings, they are my friends!”
“Ah, why are you shouting like that?”
Anyway, I felt sorry towards her for various things. Adriana told me that she was actually a very soft-hearted person and that she was really worried about me getting hurt during that duel.
I really wanted to apologize to her, but I just didn’t get the chance to do that up until now. I never imagined I’d meet her in a place like this.
When I got closer to find out what she was doing, she seemed to be at a shooting game that seemed more like an archery range than anything. Simply put, to get a prize one had to gather points by hitting targets. That part was the same.
However, the targets were pretty far away, so I thought that that little kid would not be able to hit these. Maybe after 2 years.
“…No, I mean, you knew this was going to happen, so why did you get mad?”
She knew that she wasn’t able to do this, but this girl still clenched her teeth. However, the owner who let her do it without blinking an eye also seemed rather problematic.
Looking at the prizes, they all seemed to be dolls. What was up with this?
“I don’t care what you say, so don’t bother me and go away.”
Redina pushed me away, telling me to not annoy her.
“Although I don’t know what you actually want, I could try helping you out, you know?”
Hearing these words, Redina’s expression changed slightly.
“I mean, I’m sorry for what I did last time. Honestly, I also heard a lot about you from Adriana. I tried to apologize to you, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to do that yet. So, to apologize for what I said to you, I want to help you out.”
“……Are you good at archery?”
I wasn’t all that good, but I was confident that I was more skilled than her. Redina sighed and handed me the bow.
“Which one do you want?”
Redina was pointing towards a bear-shaped stuffed toy. When I asked her what prize she was aiming for she immediately pointed to it, like a real child.
Anyway, it was pretty big, but….
……It was the 1st prize.
I bought a ticket and pulled the bowstring.
I am an archery genius.
Of course, it didn’t go like I wanted it to.
One had to shoot 10 arrows and hit the 100-point target 10 times to get the maximum points of 1000. So, what Redina was aiming for was an item that could only be obtained with said maximum score.
“…How are you different from me?”
I scored 120 points in total for which one could only get the most basic prize. It wasn’t much different from 0 points. Redina couldn’t pull the bowstring properly. At least I knew how to do that, but the score was just too high a hurdle.
If I didn’t have my ability, I wouldn’t even have hit any of the targets. This was my first time ever using a bow, so I’d like to think that just hitting some targets was a great accomplishment.
“Ehem! Well…. Seems like it didn’t go so well, huh?”
“What? Were you showing off?”
Redina held an attitude as if she were better than me, saying I was just showing off.
“This was just the warm up, I’ll get serious now, okay?”
I bought a ticket from the owner again.
“I said I’d get it for you, but I never said I’d be the one to shoot.”
I never thought I’d be able to get enough points for the 1st place prize to begin with, no matter how many times I tried.
“Hey. Show it to us.”
I boldly passed the bow over to Ellen.
Redina opened her eyes wide, staring blankly at the tenth arrow to hit the 100-point target.
I had a similar reaction.
Even the boss was perplexed.
She only sloppily looked at the targets and lightly pulled the bowstring a few times, but every time she let go, the arrow would always strike the 100-point-target without fail.
“Have you used a bow before?”
“Not that much.”
Her talent included the mastery of all weapons. How could she just say that she didn’t use a bow that often while getting a perfect score here? Wasn’t this just a scam? The targets weren’t even that close.
The boss handed Ellen a large teddy bear, which was the first place prize, while looking slightly disheartened.
“Hey, student. Pros shouldn’t do something like this. I’ll give you the first place prize this time, but there won’t be a next time, understood?”
I could understand the boss’ remark, because if someone with an archery talent would come here every day, that would ruin this stand. Of course, Ellen didn’t actually have an archery talent.
Ellen took the teddy bear that was almost as big as herself and stood there. Redina was staring at the teddy bear and Ellen who was holding it. She seemed extremely envious.
Ellen silently handed the large teddy bear to Redina.
“H, huh? You’re giving it to me?”
“I don’t need it.”
“W, woah! Thank you! You’re a good kid!”
Ellen was respectful to Redina, as she was still our senior. Redina seemed very moved, holding that teddy bear larger than her own body. She had to waddle around to carry it, but she seemed delighted.
“Hey, I was the one who paid for this, so shouldn’t you pay me back?”
Redina looked at me with something close to contempt. She seemed ready to throw the toy away because of my arrogant words.
“You have all sorts of problems, but the biggest problem about you is that you don’t know when to shut up.”
“That’s my biggest problem? Only that? Well, thank you for that compliment.”
Redina was happy that she finally received this gift, but her face turned red again as I teased her a bit. Only for a moment though.
Redina looked at Ellen with twinkling eyes.
“That! Hey, junior, aren’t you good at that as well?”
What Redina was pointing at was a dart stand on the other side. I didn’t know what the first prize was, but it probably was something similar to this stuffed toy. Ellen nodded her head slightly as if she had no other choice.
No, these brats.
“Now, how are you going to carry another teddy bear of that size?”
Just holding one of them made her look extremely pathetic, but if she added one more, how was she supposed to get them back to her dormitory room? Of course, I could carry it for her, but that would be rather annoying.
“Never mind that, let’s go get some sweets.”
“Oh! My stuffed toy!”
I grabbed the teddy bear Redina was holding and tied it to her side.
We sat down at a nearby cafe. We each chose a drink and a dessert. The table was filled with sweets, from cakes to macarons to ice cream.
Ellen was originally supposed to treat me, but I decided to pay, because Redina was now with us.
I ordered black tea.
Redina trembled after eating a little cake. Ellen didn’t really react much, but as always, she diligently began to devour everything.
I didn’t really touch the desserts, only sipping on my black tea. Redina looked at me as if I did something weird.
“Do you like that?”
“Well, it’s so-so.”
I didn’t know much about the taste of tea, but I still ordered some black tea. They also had coffee, but I didn’t want to drink that. Redina opened her mouth slightly, tasting a bit of the tea, saying it didn’t taste good at all.
“If that tea is just so-so, why aren’t you eating anything?”
“Black tea is fine, but I really don’t like sweets.”
I hated sweets, but I was fine with black tea, hence I only ordered black tea. Redina looked at me as if I was some weird animal.
“If you don’t like sweets, why did you come to this place for desserts?”
“I’m treating you two. You seem to really like these sweet things after all.”
Redina narrowed her eyes a bit. She seemed to be a little touched by the fact that I bought them what they liked even though I absolutely hated sweets.
“I don’t really like sweet things either.”
I snorted at Ellen’s words.
“Welp, even if you don’t really like sweet things, it wouldn’t matter to you anyway. You just love eating too much.”
“What? Can’t refute because I’m right?”
Although she didn’t like sweets all that much, she ate the most out of all of us. Redina was also eating some with little bites, but she could only stare blankly at Ellen who was eating without resting.
“Junior. You’ll gain a lot of weight like that.”
Ellen responded plainly to Redina’s slightly worried comment.
At this answer that would make anyone angry, Redina stared at her with a firm expression on her face.
Is it because she was still young?
She seemed like she was thinking something like that.
“I have no idea what kind of constitution she has, but she’s a crazy person that does nothing but work out all day, so she wouldn’t gain any weight.”
“Aah…. She has a combat talent. I thought so. And why do you keep pushing back…. No. Never mind.”
Redina shook her head as if she had to admit that she wouldn’t get a straight answer out of me.
“I just wanted to say I’m sorry.”
When she brought up the main point, Redina sighed as if she was about to bow.
“It’s okay. I won the duel anyway, so what’s there to apologize?”
After I won that ridiculous duel I already put everything past me, and Redina also didn’t seem to want an apology. Then she started to laugh bashfully.
“Honestly, I don’t like you either, but I like him even less.”
Mayarton, the one who dueled with me, certainly didn’t seem to have a good reputation. So it seemed that Redina was extremely exhilarated at my victory.
“Was he that bad?”
“It was that senior who forced me to go educate you guys. I don’t even want to say anything more about him. I really don’t.”
He forced Redina, who was soft-hearted and the youngest, because she skipped a few grades, to go discipline her juniors.
No, I was told that she wasn’t able to even utter a single bad word to anyone, but she asked me if I was a pervert or something with great ease. Wasn’t that too much?
Of course, I couldn’t complain, because I did do some pretty dirty things.
“By the way, how old are you?”
“Me? I’m 15.”
Of course, there was a huge age gap between her and her classmates as she skipped a few grades, but she was even 2 years younger than her juniors.
She was 15.
I’m living among these children.
I once again realized that I was living among children a lot younger than my previous self.
“What’s your major?“
“Oh…. You don’t know?”
“I would know if you told me before.”
Just what the heck made it possible for her to skip 3 grades?
“My major is magic.”
Her major was magic. Saying that, Redina held out her hand.
And then, a small flame rose from her palm. Suddenly, the flame jumped from her hand with no further warning.
“……You have a supernatural power, don’t you?”
“No. It’s magic.”
The small flame disappeared making way for small sparks splashing from her palms. Ellen was also staring blankly at Redina’s palm.
“What is…. this?”
Without any warning, flames and electric sparks rose from her palms, and this time, she lifted the spoon in front of her without touching it.
What was that? Multiple supernatural powers? Was there something like that?
“This is all magic, as I said.”
Redina smiled as she took the spoon out of the air, scooped up a bit of her cake with it and put it in her mouth.A magic-related talent.
“They say it’s called ‘No casting’.”
It was then that I realized why it seemed like she was using multiple supernatural powers at once.
She didn’t cast to use that magic. Of course, this was only the lowest level of magic, and any high ranking wizard could activate such spells without casting, but she would be able to even use highest level magic without casting later on.
What’s with that? I never set up something like that.
“I’m 1 of the second grade.”
Adriana, who had a tremendous talent for divine powers and had excellent physical skills, was only Number 2.
The one who was deemed to have even more talent than her among the second years was none other than this child in front of us.