Section 6: Fairy Feathers
First off we must head to the city’s wall and deal with the ents marching on the city.
With Saluena’s face at the edge of my vision, I watched the city scenery pass me by while listening to the exhilarating sound of galloping hooves beating against cobblestone.
“Oi Iris. Long time no see.”
That was when a voice came down from atop my head.
“Oh, so it really was you Lapris. You had the same face and were wearing the same clothes, but the way you talked was so different I thought you were somebody else. Er, some other fairy I mean?”
“I talk the way I talk because I like talking that way. Hmph, but when appearing on behalf of the Goddess, it wouldn’t be proper if I talked however I wanted.”
“Ahaha, yeah, it wouldn’t. But, I’m happy to see you again.”
“If possible I was really hoping I wouldn’t see you again for a long time. But well, I did give you one of my feathers. I didn’t have much other choice than to answer the call.”
Lapris grabbed some of my hair and shimmied her way down to my shoulder. Speaking of which, she did give me a small rainbow-colored feather when we parted ways last time. I figured I would be in a lot of trouble if I lost it, so I’ve been keeping it in a small bag which I’ve been wearing around my neck. Is it because of that feather then that we were able to meet like this?
“Hoh, Iris. You’ve have a fairy feather?”
“Yeah. She gave it to me when I left Relton village.”
“Haah? That reminds me you, I don’t recognize your face. They were calling you Saluena, but who are you to Iris?”
Instead of using her wings to fly, Lapris stood up straight on my shoulder before reaching out and slapping the back of her hand against Saluena’s cheek again and again.
“Let me tell you, I’ve known Iris longer than you have. In other words, that makes you the newcomer and me the senpai. So whenever speaking to me, be sure to put ‘san’ after my name, you got it? It’s Lapris-san, capisce?”
“Ah, wai-…….Lapris. What are you talking about? You’ve met her before. She’s Hadion.”
Lapris’s self-important attitude melted away as the hand she was using to repeatedly slap Saluena’s cheek froze in place. Her face meanwhile had lost all color, and it’s probably not because of the wind whipping past us.
“No……..N-N-N-N-N-No……..Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-You’re, lying……..w-w-w-hy, why…….Ha-Ha-Had……..”
“Woah! You’re going to fall if you don’t hold on tight!”
Lapris let go of my hair and almost tumbled right off my shoulder. I managed to grab her out of the air, but because I grabbed her by her feet in a panic, her skirt flipped up revealing her cute underwear underneath. If I don’t hurry up and put her right-side up, I’m going to end up labeled as a complete pervert. By the way, they were light pink with frills, but you didn’t hear that from me. Is it surprising that she has such a girlish side to her?
“Hold on properly or use your wings to fly. We don’t have the time to stop and pick you up right now.”
“Yes, I’m sorry!! I’m also sorry for my impertinence!! So please don’t kill me!!”
Uwa, she changed her tune so fast. She was just ordering Saluena to start using ‘san’ with her name, and now she’s using that same breath to apologize like a kid who has their hand in the cookie jar.
“I have no intentions on doing anything that should cause you concern. At least, so long as you bear no ill will to Iris.”
“Of-Of-Of course not!! Iris and I are buds!! I would absolutely never dream about even trying to do her any harm!!”
Lapris dove into my hair, showing only her face as she fearfully looked on towards Saluena.
“If you’ll be following us from now on, call me Saluena. The name Hadion doesn’t evoke too many warm memories for me.”
“Y-Y-Y-Y-Yes!! S-S-S-S-Saluena-anego!! I, er I mean, you can feel free to call me L-L-Lapris!!”
Anego……..it’s a bit of an older, more archaic way of calling someone.
“I see, well then Lapris. Listen well. In just a moment, we will be wiping out a horde of ents.”
“Hah, ents huh? Eh? Ents? What do you mean a horde of ents?”
Even Lapris knows about the habits of ents. She turned to me, looking for an explanation for why there was a horde of monsters that don’t usually gather together. So I gave her a brief summary of everything that had happened. I did put special focus on the carbuncle inhabiting a red stone however.
“Uwaa, don’t tell me…….I showed up at the worst possible moment?”
According to Saluena, the ruby-powered carbuncle is even more dangerous than the dragon we faced in Relton. Our ultimate goal is to slay that spirit which means we’re eventually going to make our way over to the ruins. So it probably really is the worst possible time for Lapris be here.
“Haa……and to think Quinn had just brought me to Osnell where I was going to start looking for my friends. Maybe because I gave Iris one of my feathers our deep friendship was transmitted to the Goddess, and she thought she was doing a good thing…….”
Lapris let out a long, deep sigh while looking like the life was being slowly drained out of her.
“And before this, a dark elf attacked my village and a dragon set Relton on fire……. Hey, what did I ever do to deserve this?”
“Oh, I forgot. Before the dragon, I was chased around by a golem because of that horrible orc/werewolf combo. Honestly……back then, I was seriously thinking about beating you to death…….”
Just as I was wondering if I saw some light in those lifeless eyes of her, she says something like that in a spiteful tone………
Bombarded by Saluena’s silent pressure immediately afterwards, Lapris’s hand shot up to cover her own both to stop her from saying anything beyond an incoherent babble.
“C’mon Saluena. Don’t scare her so much. We did what we thought we had to back then, but it was really wrong of us, and Rose-san and I did reflect on it.”
Carol and Toslin, didn’t reflect at all and probably haven’t left the best impression after their follow-up prank. If the two of them were here right now, they definitely would’ve started a heated quarrel by now. Although I am feeling nostalgic for one of their rows at the moment.
“Oh, Iris…… You really are…….so kind. You heal me. This world is too cruel for someone like me…….”
I think that’s probably because of how foul-mouthed you are…….I thought about pointing that out, but since she seems like she might actually be depressed, I silently rubbed her back instead.
“But, I see. Those guys……honestly I couldn’t care less about them, but the Goddess……and that Gustav bastard said I had to follow you……so c’est la vie I guess.”
“Eh, is that true?”
“Yes it is. So the great me will go with you. You’ve made sure to keep that feather I gave you close by right?”
“Y-Yeah. It’s right here, but what does that have to do with anything?”
“Do you not know Master? It is said that fairy feathers have the power to stave away death.”
“Oh yeah. I did hear that it was supposed to work as some kind of talisman…..from the person herself.”
Now that I think about it, Lapris certainly did say something like that when she gave it to me. Back then I was so pleased that Lapris had given me anything at all that I hadn’t paid much mind to what kind of effect it had.
“Oi oi, fairies are supposed to be symbols of good luck you know. So of course the feathers from those outstanding fairies would carry a lot of power in them. Ah, but that isn’t the case for any that naturally fall out.”
“Is that so? And you gave me such an amazing thing……thank you.”
“Stop that. You and I have that kind of relationship right? We’re buds right? C’mon, right!?”
Wondering why she was so dramatically pushing home this point, I realized she was just putting on a show to try and get Saluena to not hate her. So to speak, this is all part of her strategy to survive.
As the realization crossed my mind, I started feeling sorry for her and obediently nodded my head.
“Yep, we are close friends. Best buds. Please take good care of us from here on out Lapris.”
“S-Sure!! Honestly I have no idea what I can do against some ents, but if we’re fighting a carbuncle, I should be able to help a little I think. I’m not sure!!”
I’m not sure is it? Lapris beat her hand against her chest while openly casting doubt on whether she’ll be helpful or not.
“Master, the gates are coming up.”
I suppose it should be expected that a steed like Unicorn could take us from the church to the edge of the city in only a couple of minutes. But, after getting a little closer to the point where even I with my bad eyesight could make out the situation, I realized how terrible things really were.
“Eh, no way!? The gate’s open!?”
The heavy, thick, iron doors were bent inwards from the assault.
“It looks like it was just broken through. There must be some powerful ents mixed in.”
The city walls have huge, ginormous iron gates. We had to go through one of them when we arrived here, so Saluena knows just how big they are.
“Iris. Hold on tightly to Unicorn’s neck.”
“R-Right!! But Saluena……what are you going to do!?”
“What I must of course.”
Ents had just started pouring into the city through the breached gate. I’ve heard people say it before, but they really are huge. They’re nearly the same size as the golem we fought outside of Relton.
What is Saluena going to do against something like that? There’s no way a sword is going to work against them. Even for Saluena trying to chop down a thick tree with a sword will be too much……
“As a knight, I shall chop them down.”
“As I’d expect from you Saluena-anego!!”
No, I guess it’s not too much at all.