Chapter 5: Solretta
Section 1: Flower Blooming on the Snow
This is a tale about the everchanging world Van Delucia.
A world of swords and magic, knights and mages, fairies and dragon.
Here there are Gods, and there are Demons.
Here the mysteries are still mysteries, just waiting for someone to find the truth.
An adventurer setting off on a rainbow to climb the heavens.
An adventurer who brought a friend on a journey and challenged a dragon living in the sky.
And another adventurer who challenged a labyrinth in the clouds, defeating an evil mage and rescuing a fair princess.
In this world, there are many such epic tales grabbing the hearts of the adventurers who hear them.
However even in a strange and magical world like this, there are still people who are just trying to live their lives.
A Hero cannot live without bread, and without a people to lead there can be no princesses.
And without a bard to sing of its tale, how will any know about a dragon’s fearsome power?
The girl in this story was just one of many at first.
With no glorious honors or dazzling treasures, she is but an ordinary village girl.
I am Gustav.
Time Narrator Gustav.
My lord is a faithful servant of that ever fickle silence, so I act as their eloquent mouthpiece.
But I have grown tired of repeatedly telling the stories of natural born heroes and their great feats.
So for a bit of a distraction, let’s once more turn our eyes to this small girl.
*Tck Tck Tck*……..*Tck*
Riding on Goldmund’s back, a noise similar to two rocks scraping against each other sounded as I slowly turned my head to look behind me. I wasn’t cold. No, I was certainly cold, but that wasn’t the reason why my body had become petrified and found it hard to move.
Finally a sound managed to escape my lips. But what came out was just an idiotic noise with no meaning, and I couldn’t find any words to go along with it.
“Ah, indeed. I see what’s going on. I presume…….Master is surprised to see me here and wondering how I came to suddenly be holding you.”
I continued nodding my head over and over again from on top of Goldmund’s back. The person who has been monopolizing my gaze since a short time ago calmly nodded back before suddenly dancing forward and grabbing my hands.
“Wa, whoa whoa!?”
And then as I was about halfway down Goldmund’s saddle and halfway to safety, the woman reached her arms out and hugged me close.
“Ooh, Iris. Clever, sweet maiden and my master. Have you already forgotten my face, my voice?”
“…….no way…….. You, are you possibly Hadion?”¹
Being hugged so close, my head had gone completely blank, so somebody else had to ask on my behalf.
That person was Tosrillon F. Iriburgh. She was a slightly unusual eighteen year old elf onee-san who wears full plate armor and uses a long sword.
“Uwa, why did you come out? When did you summon her Iris?”
Meanwhile the girl who fearlessly walked up to the woman who was apparently Hadion and started poking her arm to see if she was really there is Carotayle. She’s a rare half and half werewolf girl and a very cute thief.
“N-Not me, Not me!! I didn’t do anything!!”
“……..Ah, release Iris-san!!”
The woman who just called out and is fingering the mace hanging from her waist is Rosalith Cuulbacall-san. She is a priestess warrior, and among us, she is the oldest, strongest, kindest, and maybe possibly also the quickest to anger.
“You tell me to release her. But if I let go of her now, Iris is going to fall, and her butt will land in the cold snow. Is that okay?”
Ah, I would like to avoid that…..but, it’s also really embarrassing getting held by such a beautiful woman with a husky voice like this.
“I, ah…….um, I-I-I’ll stand up myself, s-so I’ll be fine!”
“Really? Personally I’d be fine if we just stayed like this.”
She gave me a wink as my feet touched ground. What? What is this? This……resplendent princely aura. But she has long eyelashes, her hair stretches down her back, and the clothes she is wearing are definitely dress-like, so I can’t deny what I see despite this uncomfortable feeling. Perhaps this person is just a little eccentric?
Slightly flustered, I asked to make sure, and “Yeah,” I got a simple answer like that back right away. But the next words I heard came from……….right below my head.
Hadion knelt down on the untouched, hardened snow and bowed her head right at my feet.
“I’m sorry to have surprised you. I couldn’t still my heart and became impatient.”
Hadion’s long, violet hair reached down, spreading across the white snow. Again I thought about how prince-like she was, but then I realized that would make me the princess here and gasped.
“Once again…….I am Hadion. I vow to forever be your sword and shield. In order to protect that vow, I shall always remain close and serve you.
“Eh, serve……in other words, you’ll always be together from now on?”
Hadion gave a deep, serious nod towards Toslin. But hold on a minute? Back then, I only summoned her for a moment and then fainted afterwards didn’t I?
If we’re going to be together from now on, then won’t my measly amount of magic power not be nearly enough? If things go wrong, I might just end up dying.
“Is that fine? Won’t Iris die?”
Nice job Carol. She’s able to straightforwardly ask what I’m too cowardly to ask myself. Her curiosity almost always does nothing but invite trouble, but in times like this it is extremely reliable.
“As I’m sure you can see, right now I’m not wearing any of my armor. The majority of my power still remains in the other side, so right now I’m only able to transfer my physical body.”
“And so the burden on Iris-san’s body is diminished……..is it?”
Rose-san followed up with a stern expression.
“It is. In order to protect an inexperienced practitioner, I judged this method was the safest and most efficient.”
Hadion turned her gaze back towards me. Receiving that straightforward, honest look, I decided to kneel down in front of her as well.
“Back then, do you remember what I wished for?”
“I do. Everything I’ve done is born from Iris’s wish. You voice, ‘Help me’, and your desires reached me clearly. In order to respond to that wish, I come to you now.”
Just as the dragon was about to kill me, I prayed like crazy. And then as one last act, I screamed “Help”………
And Hadion responded. She is trying to fulfill my wish, which never specified a specific time or place, with all her might.
“Will you allow me to remain close to you?”
Hadion’s voice was slightly hoarse. She’s confident, and depending on who hears her, you may even describe her tone as arrogant. However, I felt the opposite in that voice. Anxiety, and perhaps a little impatience. She’s probably more perplexed about the sudden change in her circumstances than I am.
Then…….this time it was my turn to hold her hands in mine.
“…….please, do. Stay close……….please remain by my side.”
And then just like that time, I formed my honest, truest wish, and said it aloud.
Then for the first time ever, a smile bloomed across Hadion’s face.