Exactly a month ago, on the 9th of Blue Moon, the day after I went to visit Nell. Just after the bell signalling the end of the day’s lessons rang, Nell visited the dormitory. On the same day, she fulfilled my request to teach me magic.
At the time, Lily and I were in the dormitory. Fiona had gone out on a shopping-and-eating trip for the Lich extermination request that we’d accepted.
In any case, this was the first time that Lily and Nell had met each other face-to-face.
“Good day, Kurono-kun. Umm, if I recall, this child is your party member…”
“Yeah, she’s Lily. Come on, Lily, say hello –”
“No! Go home!”
The first one to bark is Lily. She lets out intimidating hisses like a Salamander facing an enemy trespassing on its domain. It’s cute when she does this in her child form, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a rude way to behave towards a princess that she is meeting for the first time.
Faced with the fierce hostility of an adorable Fairy-san, Nell is bewildered as to how to cope with the situation.
“You can’t come in! You caaaaaaan’t!” Lily’s voice grew louder.
The Oracle Field surrounds her small body in full force, flickering intermittently.
This is the same shining light that I saw coming from a real Fairy warning me to leave the forest when I first met Lily in the Fairy Garden. Intense flickering is how Fairies threaten others.
“Sorry, Nell, wait a moment,” I say.
I hastily scoop up the growling Lily into my arms, close the door in the dormitory’s entranceway and make a temporary retreat.
“Oi, Lily, what’s gotten into you all of a sudden?” I quietly ask Lily, who is giving me a reproachful, sullen glare from within my arms.
“Muh, why did that person come to our house! She’s not allowed to meet you! She’s dangerous!”
It seems that Lily’s mind understands things as they were described in the first Element Masters emergency meeting.
Carelessly coming into contact with Nell, who is a member of the royal family = She is a dangerous person that I must not meet. I’m sure Nell looks like a winged monster to the young Lily.
“I’m being careful, but banning me from meeting her is –”
Apparently, I can’t. Lily objects as if she’s pressing me to cut my ties with an adulterous partner. Well, I’ve never had a girlfriend before, so I have no experience in cheating on someone.
“Sorry, Lily,” I say. “But I need Nell’s power no matter what.”
“Why?! Is Lily no good?!” Lily reacts in such a way that it feels like a crashing noise is going to follow. Her eyes and mouth are wide open letting me know how shocked she is so clearly that it hurts.
“It’s unfortunate, but you can’t teach me modern magic, can you, Lily?” I point out.
“U-uh… Umm, you know… If you go, ‘faah,’ fire comes out.”
“That’s your Characteristic Ability, isn’t it? I can’t imitate that.”
I feel bad for Lily, whose eyes have now become teary in shock, but this is one problem that nothing can be done about. Lily has been completely reliant on the Characteristic Ability that she possesses; she has not acquired the use of modern magic like a regular mage.
Of course, at this point in time, Lily possesses abilities on the level of a Rank 5 adventurer, and her Characteristic Ability that she spent a long time improving isn’t at all inferior to the proper way of learning magic.
“As I explained before, it’s absolutely necessary for me to learn modern magic so that I can make full use of my divine protections,” I say.
“Uu… Can’t Fiona do it?”
“… As unfortunate as it is, I couldn’t keep up with Fiona’s lessons.”
Being as useless as I am, I still haven’t managed to tell Fiona that it’s impossible to understand her explanations through onomatopoeic sounds alone. Ah, the second Element Masters emergency meeting will probably be held today, so I should prepare myself.
“That’s how it is, so I have no choice but to ask Nell to teach me,” I say. “I know that you’re wary of her, but please be understanding here.”
“… Alright. I’ll listen to you, Kurono.” Lily seems reluctant, but she folds.
As expected of Lily, what an obedient child she is.
And so, Nell coming to teaching me magic was formally approved, but –
I sigh. “… Again, huh.”
I’m currently looking at Lily, who is using her sparkling Fairy-style intimidation method as usual, and Nell, who is cautiously trying to approach the dormitory.
“Kurono isn’t here! Go home!” Lily shouts.
“I-I will not! I promised that I would continue teaching Kurono-kun after he came back from his quest!” Nell exclaims.
The sight of a princess quite seriously cowering before a small girl is rather comical, but for her, this is serious.
In any case, if I don’t go there, things won’t be resolved.
“Lily, isn’t it about time you started being nice to Nell?” I say.
Lily is wearing an uncomfortable expression while a flower-like smile blooms across Nell’s face.
“Sorry, Nell, Lily is still just a bit wary,” I say. “She definitely doesn’t mean any harm, so please forgive her.”
“Yes, it is quite alright,” Nell says. “It does not bother me.”
Thanks for your wonderful royal smile. Nell truly is an angel.
In contrast, Lily has puffed out her cheeks in displeasure. But she still flies into my chest and snuggles against me. Lily really is an adorable Fairy-san, even when she’s angry.
But as I spoil Lily like a cat, I can hear a quiet “Mumumu…” and feel a slightly stern gaze being sent my way from Nell. I’ll pretend not to notice.
“Let’s go inside for now,” I suggest.
And so I enter the dormitory with Lily in my arms, leading Nell inside. Our destination is the lounge. Not my room.
On the 9th of Blue Moon, the second Element Masters emergency meeting was held, and the topic of discussion was whether it’s alright for me to have Nell teach me magic. Since Nell is visiting like this, I obviously managed to get permission, but several rules were decided.
One of them is that the lessons aren’t held in my room.
If Lily doesn’t want others entering her room, then should she get her own room that’s separate from mine? I suggested this to her, and she cried. It seems that this isn’t the problem.
In any case, the magic lessons from Nell-sensei take place in the lounge. Well, as long as she’s teaching me, I don’t mind where it is, so I don’t have any particular objections to it.
“Kurono-kun, I have tea and snacks, so I’ll go and prepare them, alright?” says Nell.
Come to think of it, ever since the lesson on the 9th, Nell has always brought some kind of gift with her. Considering that I’m the one being taught, this pains me a little. But Nell’s tea and snacks are delicious, so I’m grateful for them as well. I’m always unintentionally taking advantage of her kindness.
“Thanks for everything,” I say.
“Not at all,” Nell says, giving me a bright smile as if to say that she knows me too well as she heads into the kitchen.
I’m ending up leaving all the preparations to her as well, but Nell is the only one who can prepare tea so well, so I hope she can forgive me.
“Lily, you have to thank her properly as well when you eat,” I say.
With Lily still in my arms, I sit down. This is the perfect posture to have Lily sit on my knees.
Incidentally, this is the second rule for the lessons. Having Lily present when I’m receiving the lessons, that is.
Having considered the unlikely possibility that Nell tries something to hack into my brain with telepathy, Lily is here because she can detect the use of telepathy immediately and defend my mind. I think this is being overly cautious, but this was something that Lily and Fiona would not yield on.
Of course, the witch’s expert opinion was that Fiona should be the one giving out the lessons to begin with.
And then I finally hardened my resolve and said it. I told her that it’s hard to understand through onomatopoeic sounds alone. Fiona cried. I wanted to cry, too. This is one of the pages in my book of difficult memories.
After we wait a few minutes, Nell appears, bringing steaming black tea and some mousse-like sweet snack in cups.
“Here, please drink it while it’s still hot,” she says.
She finishes skillfully setting the table, and, well, itadakimasu.
“Umm, last time, we finished after having done the basics of Protect Boost and Concentration Boost, didn’t we?” Nell continues.
While I enjoy this extremely delicious mousse, which was probably bought in a famous store in the upper district, I confirm how far our lessons had progressed. It has been a whole month, after all.
“That’s right,” I say. “These two are the top priorities for me to learn, so please hurry and continue.”
“Yes, please leave it to me!” Nell answers as she puffs her large chest out and slams a heavy grimoire on the table. It quivers. Even if there is no such thing as the huge-breast element, my eyes are subconsciously drawn there.
“Kurono, say ‘ahh!’”
“Mmm, err, ahh.”
Lily suddenly pushes her spoon towards me, so my eating what’s on it is mostly a conditioned reflex.
“Is it good?” she asks.
“It is,” I say. “You want some too, Lily?”
I return the favor and feed Lily, who is sitting on my knees. I feel like a papa raising my daughter. Ah, how therapeutic.
Incidentally, the spoon that I’m using is one that Nell has brought. This silver thing, which has carvings in the shape of white wings on it and practically exudes luxury, is the same one that I used to eat the pudding when I visited Nell.
Nell brings not only this, but the whole set including the cups for the black tea. I can feel her incredible dedication.
However, her tableware set doesn’t go as far as to include a small spoon for a small child to use, so Lily’s spoon is her own.
As I shower Lily with affection, Nell, who is sitting opposite me, calls out to me while leaning forward.
“U-umm, Kurono-kun… That is, me as well…”
“Hmm, what is it?” I ask.
“M-me as well… Ah, ahh… it’s nothing.”
“I-is that so?”
As if suddenly giving up on something, Nell gives a troubled sigh and quietly returns to her original sitting position. Just what in the world was that? Could it be that me showing so much affection was really gross…? I think it’s unlikely, but I’ll be more careful from now on.
Before long, we finish eating, and our first lesson in a month finally begins.
The fourth trial is waiting for me, after all. I’ll learn Protect Boost and Concentration Boost to some extent over today and tomorrow, and challenge the Lust-Rose!
In complete contrast to my enthusiasm, Lily, who seems to have become sleepy after finishing eating the snack, lets out a yawn. Do your best, Kurono.