Her and His Encounter
“It’s not evening yet, however shall we return to the castle soon”
Having hurriedly eaten curry, we left the shop. I think of offering proper thanks to Lars later for continuing to look at us with a lukewarm gaze from the beginning to the end.
Given that we were the first customers during the afternoon reopening, it isn’t particularly dark yet. But, because I was able to visit all the places I wanted to, I’m plenty satisfied.
“Yup, that’s fine… Huh?”
“What’s the matter?”
Suddenly, the area under my feet darkened.
Finding it mysterious, as if drawn in I looked up at the sky, and opened eyes wide in surprise.
The reason was, a bizarre large black crow was calmly circling overhead.
Unnaturally it repeated its movements over and over as if it wanted to bring my attention to something. I observed it with extreme curiosity.
Realizing it’s a crow I’m familiar with from somewhere, I knit my brows.
“Lidi? Is something the matter with that crow?”
Freed asked so when he followed my gaze, but my consciousness was focused on the crow.
… I remember that crow? … Now, where from? Thinking so, I clearly recalled where I’d seen it. I clapped my hands.
“Ah! That’s Ms. Delris’s familiar!”
There’s no mistaking it. It’s the crow I saw when I first brought Cain to her.
When I shouted, the expression of Freed next to me revelead surprise.
“Eh? Delris, you mean the Medicine Witch?”
“Right… Huh? It’s telling me to follow it?”
The moment I realized the crow’s identity, its movements changed. While looking back here, it gracefully flew with a clear aim. Realizing its direction is Ms. Delris’s house, I became a little flustered.
She doesn’t like people. I wonder if it’s okay to bring Freed.
Still urged by the back of the moving crow, I broke into run following it.
Without rebuking me, Freed silently followed.
After we ran for a while and entered a back street with nobody around, the crow slowly descended before our eyes. Then opened its beak wide.
“I wonder if I’m a hindrance”
From the crow’s mouth came what was obviously Ms. Delris’s voice.
In a fluster I rushed up and called out to it.
“What is the matter? I have Freed with me. Don’t you want to avoid people?”
“I do. However, I want to directly see the man who’ll be your husband. If you have time, could you drop by for a moment?”
“Of course it’s not a problem for me…”
The crow tilted its head as if to match Ms. Delris’s tone. How skillful.
Despite my astonishment, I turned my face to Freed who was observing the situation.
“Freed. So Ms. Delris says, but will you go?”
When I asked, having blinked his eyes Freed nodded with full seriousness.
“Of course. An invitation from the Medicine Witch isn’t something commonplace. Especially since she wants to ascertain Lidi’s partner I have no choice to refuse”
“So you know. Then, I’ll be waiting”
Kakaka, after the laughter resounded, the black crow grandly spread its wings and took off high into the sky. With only my gaze following the crow that had said only what it wanted to say, I shrugged my shoulders.
I’m surprised by the sudden invitation, but of course I don’t dislike it.
I didn’t think we’d meet, so even if it’s sudden I’m happy.
I turned towards Freed and pointed at the back of the road.
“Then, let’s go. Ms. Delris’s house is nearby”
With her leading the way, we advanced down the alley.
When I was searching for the witch, as a matter of course I first searched the four castle towns. Quite thoroughly at that. Even though I didn’t find any hints, after all the witch ended up under my nose.
It feels I was being ridiculed in a strange way for being foolish, it’s quite a complicated feeling.
While letting out a sigh I observed her back as she advanced without hesitation.
She easily found the location of witch that I couldn’t no matter how desperately I searched. How in the world did she find it. Curious I asked her about it before, but I only remember her returning a troubled answer “Somehow”.
I’m sure she’s not aware of what an amazing feat it is.
It’s said it’s been years since the Medicine Witch’s figure has been seen, at this point there are even doubts whether she exists.
A person who can freely talk with such a witch is unheard of.
Even so, if it’s her I feel like I strangely can understand.
Abruptly she stopped and pointed at something. However, there’s nothing that way.
But, I certainly sense traces of magical power from the place she pointed at. It’s too skillful, it’s on the level where you won’t notice if it’s not pointed out to you.
“You did well to notice”
To my honest surprise as I recalled she said she couldn’t use magical arts or magic, she awkwardly laughed that it was a coincidence.
Coincidence – even if it was a coincidence, I think she’s the real deal to be drawn to that place. Magic or magical arts have nothing to do with it. I feel like it’s a matter of course because it’s her.
It’s a completely ordinary road. While I wondered about what to do, the space distorted without any warning.
There appeared a narrow path people can pass through.
While I was genuinely surprised by the advanced magic I’d never seen before, she willingly went inside as if she was used to it. Hurriedly I chased after her, holding her hand.
When she looked back, she smiled bashfully.
“It’s okay. It leads to Ms. Delris’s house”
“… Looks like it. I was a little surprised”
I told her honestly, and walked up to her, still holding her hand.
The two of us slowly walked side-by-side through what appeared to be fog. While I wondered what kind of magic this is, I sensed the use of magical power behind me. When I looked back the entrance was closed, I couldn’t tell where we came from.
Unwelcome people aren’t allowed to intrude. So that’s how it works.
I can understand that, but it makes me terribly curious about just how Lidi managed to find this place.
Just how did she pass through these impregnable defenses.
But, it’s pointless to ask her who can’t use magical arts, she’s already demonstrated a high rate of unconscious encounters. I feel like her running into it by pure chance is an unexpectedly correct answer.
After walking through the path with the sense of time gone, I saw a single house in the back. The single house that emerged from the white fog was exactly what you’d imagine a witch’s dwelling to be.
To demonstrate it’s more or less a pharmacy, on the door hung a signboard with a vial.
Even though she doesn’t want to do business. Thinking so, I followed Lidi through the door.
As soon as I stepped inside, I bent back for an instant from the smell of medicinal herbs that filled my nostrils. I couldn’t discern them all, but among them were scents of valuable medicinal herbs.
“Ms. Delris, good day!”
“Ah, I’m glad you’ve come. Come down here”
As soon as I entered the shop, I was met with an atrium. The smell of medicinal herbs must be coming from below. When I turned my gaze in the direction of the lower floor she had called out towards, I could tell an elderly woman covered with a black hood looked up here.
―――― So that’s the Medicine Witch.
The witch whose age or personality are completely unknown.
The existence that’s more valuable that a king of a whole country――――. I was uncharacteristically nervous seeing the woman called a witch, who’s said to be one out of only seven in the whole world.
“Freed? You aren’t coming?”
“Ah, yeah. I’m going now”
After descending a few steps down the old-looking stairs installed right next to the door, she called out to me. Having quickly returned to my senses, I followed after her down the stairs.
As I descend the smell of medicinal herbs get stronger. But it’s not unpleasant, on the contrary various fragrances exquisitely complement each other, it felt strangely calming.
“Ms. Delris, I brought him”
Saying that to the witch, Lidi looked back at me. In response I took a step forward.
As royalty, I will offer my best greetings. I thought it’s only appropriate towards the rare existence, a witch.
“I am glad to meet you. I am Friedrich, the eldest child of King Johannes of the Wilhelm Kingdom. I am most thankful for the invitation today. Moreover, I would like to once again offer my gratitude for the precious secret medicine I have received recently”
“… Stop being so formal. I only wanted to see your face because you’re the fiancé of that child. The medicine… It seems you ultimately haven’t used it”
When I raised my face, I could see the witch waving her hand with displeasure.
Lidi next to me too secretly whispered “Ms. Delris hates formalities”.
Understanding she’s not pretending, I decided to talk with her normally.
“Yeah, it was already useless for me. But it’s a great help. Would there be any problem if it was used for other royals in the future?”
“Honestly, I don’t think it’ll work on you who inherit Dragon God’s blood. Well, if you like feel free to try”
“After all you are aware…”
The story of Dragon God should be the Royal Family’s most secret information, but after all it seems the witch is aware.
Thinking it might be natural given the rarity of her existence, the witch fixedly looked at me.
While I quietly stood still feeling like I’m being observed, she bluntly spoke to Lidi with an unfortunately interested tone of voice.
“So you like that kind of face”
As soon as she did, in a mad fluster Lidi objected.
“That, that’s wrong! I’m saying that’s wrong!! Ms. Delris, what’s this out of nowhere!”
Lidi flailed her hands as if to deny it. Completely understanding her turmoil, my mouth took the shape of a smile.
“Unfortunately, Lidi isn’t interested in my face, isn’t it right?”
“Hey, not Freed too! No, that’s right! Rather what’s with this subject out of nowhere!”
“I think he’s quite a beauty though. If it isn’t the face, what good points made you decide on this man?”
Because it’s something I also want to hear by all means, I gratefully decided to participate.
“I also want to know”
“That’s how it is. Now answer”
“Jeez! Jeez! As soon as we arrive, you both tease me!!”
It wasn’t a joke, but misunderstanding that for teasing she turned away with a pout.
Damn it, thinking I overdid it I went to her side and locked her body within my arms. Today Lidi is softer than usual, I want to hug her even if it’s not necessary.
“I’m not teasing you. So cheer up? By the way, I love Lidi’s face, personality, and everything”
When I whispered to her to see her reaction, her face flushed in an easy-to-understand manner.
While her gaze wandered about in agitation, anybody could tell her mouth slackened.
Understanding she’s feeling happy, the happiness spread to me.
“… How cute”
When I unconsciously hugged her tight, I heard an astonished voice from behind.
“I see… It’s beyond my expectations. I’ve heard about it, and knew through my familiar, however I’m truly amazed by how infatuated you are”
When I looked back while still holding her in my arms, the witch was staring at us with folded arms. Without looking away I nodded.
“Yeah, of course I am. I love her, no matter what. However, you brought up this talk on purpose, right?”