It was the next day morning.
Riley slept in to his heart’s content. He slowly, lazily opened his eyes and then smiled as he listened to the sounds of rain outside.
The fact that there was nobody to wake him up despite him sleeping in…
The fact that he didn’t have to see Ian’s face as soon as he woke up…
The fact that he didn’t have to wake up in sweat and feel icky…
“Is this peace?”
From one to ten, everything about the situation was to his liking.
“… Young Master?”
A voice could be heard along with the door knocks. Riley turned his head toward the direction.
“Is it Nainiae?”
“Yes. Are you awake?”
Nainiae might have been standing in waiting since morning, or possibly early morning, in front of the door. She was responding to Riley who was mumbling after just waking up.
Having heard Riley saying that he was awake, Nainiae carefully opened the door, entered the room, and bowed to greet him for the morning.
“It’s a great morning.”
“Morning? Um? It’s still morning?”
He slept for a long time, so he figured it was around lunch time. He tilted his head side to side.
“It’s around 11 a.m. How would you like your meal?”
Riley thought it was a pretty odd hour to wake up. With a blank look on his face, he turned his head and look out the window to watch the rainy scenery.
Because it rained here all day, the scenery was always dark. Warm street lights were lit even during the day time to light the city. It felt like he was at another world.
“If I eat now, would that count as brunch?”
Riley vacantly mumbled, and Nainiae asked about the word as she tilted her head side to side.
“It means breakfast that’s also lunch.”
Riley got up as he explained. He cracked and relaxed his stiff shoulders and turned around to see Nainiae.
“I should eat.”
A beautiful person’s place of stay is also beautiful.
Those were the teaching from Iris. Following the teaching, Riley, with his own hands, tidied up the bed that he slept in.
Riley gave Nainiae the sleepwear that he took off and said,
“What should we eat?”
Nainiae held the clothes that Riley handed to her, opened the dimensional storage, and brought out the clothes that she had ready for Riley. She thought about what to suggest for the meal while at it. She answered carefully,
“Anything will do as long as it is something that you want.”
There was the incident from yesterday, so it was an answer after a careful consideration.
Somehow, the response was very much like Nainiae. Riley peeked a smile.
“What is it? Were you thinking about yesterday?”
“No… Not in particular.”
Riley wondered if Nainiae was feeling wronged by it.
Having heard his question, Nainiae shook her head and responded.
“I got it. I got it.”
Riley smiled mischievously and patted Nainiae’s head to calm her down. He grabbed the clothes that Nainiae handed to him.
“So, what should we go eat? What would spread rumors that we had a great meal?”
Riley placed his arms in the clothes and fixed the area around the neck.
He was not quite awake from the sleep, so he was feeling strange still. Having finished changing clothes, Riley turned around and looked at Nainiae as he stepped outside the room.
“Ah, that’s right!”
Noticing Riley suddenly turning back to see her, Nainiae stopped walking and tilted her head side to side.
“How about a warm fish soup?”
She was not expecting it at all. Nainiae flinched her shoulder and bit her lips.
“That would be all right with you, right?”
Riley smiled and asked, and Nainiae, who couldn’t afford to not say anything in response, said,
* * *
“Where would you like to go today?”
“I’m not sure?”
Having finished brunch, Riley enjoyed Rainfield’s coffee which was supposedly made from Rainfield’s rain. Having heard Nainiae’s question, Riley didn’t quite answer.
“I do have a few places I have thought about.”
Since there was the atmosphere unique to the Rainfield, Riley was going to be comfortable and cool no matter where he went.
The question at hand was where he should go to enjoy it.
“For now, shall we stop by at a library?”
Nainiae was checking how much coffee was left inside Riley’s cup. Tilting her head to the side, she asked,
After thinking hard about it, Nainiae realized that she didn’t pack any books for Riley to read.
“In Rainfield’s library, there are a lot of fun books that you can read only in this place. It would be hard to take them outside the city.”
Riley took a sip of the coffee and enjoyed its aroma. He continued,
“Personally, I thought about yesterday. While we are on vacation, I think we should take a break from magic lessons.”
Riley said it with his eyes closed.
Nainiae floated a question mark on her face.
“Pardon? Why would you all of sudden…”
“It’s not enough.”
Riley narrowly opened his eyes, looked at Nainiae, and said that it was not enough.
“What do you mean?”
Nainiae seemed like she still was not sure what Riley was talking about.
She tilted her head side to side.
“I understand that you didn’t know about the rice liquor, but it is serious that you didn’t know about the raincoats.”
Riley put down the cup with a clank noise. He pointed at Nainiae, who had a vacant look on her face, and said,
“While we are on this vacation, I think I should widen your basic knowledge.”
Riley said it with a serious face.
As for Nainiae, she still had a confused look on her face.
“If we kept this up, I think I’ll be having a hard time looking after you.”
Nainiae blinked a few times with a vacant look on her face. She thought hard about it for a few seconds, finally realized her shortcomings, and quickly lowered her head.
After even finishing the dessert, Riley and Nainiae left the hotel after taking their time. Wearing the raincoats they prepared the day before, they started to walk toward the library.
“How long will it take to get to the library?”
“I’m not sure? Perhaps about 10 minutes walk?”
Listening to the sound of rain filling his ears, Riley walked as if he was on a walk on a park. He turned his gaze and looked at Nainiae.
To be precise, he was looking at the raincoat that she had on.
“By the way, about that raincoat.”
Riley raised his hand and fiddled with Nainiae’s raincoat, Astroa’s cape to be precise, and asked about something he was curious about.
“I heard that the user’s magic will not be affected by the weather, but I don’t quite get it.”
Realizing what Riley was trying to ask, Nainiae nodded and slowly put forth her left hand.
Along with a sound of flame burning, a black colored flame bloomed on top of her left palm.
She created it after checking that there was nobody passing by in the area.
“As you can see, it is not being extinguished despite being in the rain.”
There were raindrops falling on Nainiae’s flame, but the flame was not showing any sign of being diminished. It maintained its heat.
“If it wasn’t for the cape, it would be impossible to maintain a flame like this under rain.”
Nainiae explained as she looked at the flame dancing.
It was thanks to the cape.
“As Mr. Andal said, this cape seems to have the power to make the user’s magic be unaffected by the weather.”
Nainiae tightly closed the palm and extinguished the flame. She checked the area to confirm that there isn’t anyone around and sighed in relief.
Ever since the incident with Reitri’s merchant group and Lightning Boulder mercenary group, it seemed Nainiae was quite concerned about being mistaken for a dark mage.
“That’s quite a mystery.”
“Ah, is that the place?”
When Riley let go of Nainiae’s raincoat, Nainiae pointed at a square shaped building in front of them. She was asking if that was the library.
“Ah, that’s right. It’s been a year.”
There was a pathway with street lights lined up in a straight path.
It seemed that Nainiae and Riley were not the only ones headed toward the library. Now that they were at a fairly wide street, there were more people.
* * *
Nainiae thought the conditions of the books must be not very good because it rained endlessly in this city. However, the books in the library felt like they were surprisingly clean.
‘Let’s separate for a moment.’
‘We probably have different tastes on books. We should each go pick out books that we want to read and then meet at the center. The one that gets there first should find the place to read.’
‘But Young Master, I’m supposed to be your bodyguard…’
‘Basic knowledge… You need to accumulate some basic knowledge about the world.’
‘Don’t go just picking out books you are interested in reading because I said so. If you do…’
Pouting, Nainiae went over what Riley said. Nainiae started to carefully go over the books organized in arrays.
“This, and that… They all sounds fun.”
Same as Riley, Nainiae also had reading as the hobby.
“Should I get this one? No. that one seems more interesting… Um…”
When she was being experimented on in the magic tower, it could be said that she was able to endure the horrific pain because of a few books that Peruda gave her. Nainiae liked reading that much.
“For now, I’ll take this one.”
Nainiae took a book with dark-blue colored cover. She leisurely walked and picked out another book.
“… and this one.”
Having picked two books, Nainiae started to look for a book that had basic knowledge that people should know for living. Nainiae looked around with her head and…
“Next is for basic knowledge… Huh?”
She ran into Reitri, the one from the merchant group that they came to Rainfield with.
“It’s the big sis who is a mage!”
It seemed he came here with Reitri. Horai, who found Nainiae, opened his eyes wide. He came to Nainiae in small steps like a puppy and bowed in a large motion.
“About the last time, thank you. Here…”
Horai brought out something from his pocket and handed it toward Nainiae.
“It is all right if you don’t give it back to me.”
It seemed Nainiae was a little embarrassed. She smiled awkwardly.
It was the bottle for the ointment that Nainiae applied on Horai’s cheek.
“How’s your cheek?”
“It’s all right, thanks to you!”
Having heard Nainiae’s question, Horai shrugged and said he was all right.
“How do you do, Ms. Nainiae? Somehow… we got to see you again in the library. Are you here with Young Master Riley?”
Reitri walked to front of Nainiae, lowered his head to greet her and asked about Riley’s whereabouts.
“Yes. He is not with me at the moment.”
Nainiae stealthily put away two books to her back and asked,
“What brings you here?”
“Ah, I have heard a strange rumor lately… So, I came to learn about it.”
Nainiae slowly lowered her eye and looked at the book that Reitri was holding.
It was about medicine.
“Ah, yes. They don’t have a holy temple in Rainfield.”
“Pardon? They don’t have a holy temple?”
“Haha. I figured as much based on the books you were holding, but since you didn’t know about this, I guess this really is your first trip.”
As expected of a merchant, Reitri already had looked at the title of the book that Nainiae held, which read “About Rainfield.” Reitri explained with a smile,
“As you know, it rains endlessly in Rainfield. People of holy temple that worship Irenetsa don’t seem to like it very much.”
“Saying the entire city is cursed, or other things… Because of various excuses, there isn’t any holy temple in Rainfield.”
Reitri showed the medical book that he was holding and continued,
“So, when someone is hurt or ill, people rely on medicines made by alchemists or doctors specializing in medicines.”
Nainiae, who just learned about this from Reitri, nodded as she murmured ‘So that’s how it is…’
“The raincoat you are wearing is the same. Because there isn’t any holy temple in the city, things like alchemy are developed here. That’s why people here can easily make special clothes that only mages could make in places like Solia.”
The raincoat that Nainiae was wearing was a special kind that was used in Rainfield.
Nainiae fiddled with her raincoat and murmured,
“Ah, so that’s how it is.”
Rainfield’s raincoats proudly featured its ability to be perfectly waterproof once the wearer wrapped it around the body. It was said that the raincoats were one of the greatest treasure of the Rainfield where alchemy was advanced because the place didn’t have a holy temple.
“The other one seemed to be about drinks… May I ask what it is about?”
Reitri asked what he was curious about as he scratched his cheek.
Nainiae flinched her shoulders.
“This… this is…”
Nainiae didn’t know what to say. She spun her eye around. It seemed she was not able to figure out what to say as the excuse. She explained quietly,
“I think I should learn how to remove intoxication after drinking… So…”
“Pardon me, but what did you just say?”
“It… it’s all right! If it is something uncomfortable for you to talk about, you don’t need to answer.”
It seemed Reitri was not able to hear Nainiae because she said it in such a small voice. He was about to change the subject.
Somewhere inside the library, from quite a distance, a scream could be heard.
It was a scream full of pain.
Having heard it, Nainiae and Reitri turned their heads toward the direction.
‘What is it?’
It was a serious scream. It didn’t seem like a joke. The scream turned the atmosphere inside the library into a creepy mood at an instant.
“U… Uncle… what was that just now?”
Choking in fear, Horai grabbed on to Reitri’s sleeves with a pale face