Section 3: Sisters’ Quiet Conversation Part 1
This afternoon, I had an unexpected reunion with Aunt Yuhanna at Solretta’s church.
Afterwards, I asked Sally-oneesama if she could train with me in Iris-san’s backyard.
Currently I’m using a wooden training sword, trying to work through my sluggish body’s movements after spending three days in the hospital. I was perplexed at first because of the severe difference in weight between it and my warhammer, but as I continued to move, my body slowly got used to it.
However, it shouldn’t take me this long to adjust myself.
Saluena-oneesama parried my wooden sword with her shield and shattered my positioning. She thrust forward as I stumbled……and stopped the tip of her blade at my chest.
Even if I’m wearing armor and she’s using a wooden sword, Sally-oneesama’s attack would be devastating.
Oneesama’s sword is delicate yet powerful and easily capable of breaking through my shield. And then once I’ve lost my balance, she’ll easily let a powerful thrust fly through.
“……let’s end it here for today.”
Ten minutes have yet to pass since our lesson started. That is why I spoke up without thinking.
“There isn’t any strength in your strikes. I thought it was because you’re still recovering at first, but it has become clear to me how distracted you really are. At this point, we can’t even refer to this as training. Continuing on like this would only result in you injuring yourself.”
So Oneesama noticed after all. That my heart is in chaos. That my mind has flown to the past and is not here at the moment.
But Oneesama never asked me why. She chides me with a slightly harsh tone, but she avoids stepping into my heart.
She just stands there, smiling like she always does.
“M-My sincerest apologies. You went through all this trouble to grant me your time…….”
“It’s no problem. If it’s for your sake, you may take as much of my time as you wish. However this is where we must stop. For now, you are supposed to be recuperating. If you continue fervently practicing, you will only cause worry to those who are watching.”
Sally-oneesama turned her line of sight somewhere behind me. Following her gaze, I turned my head and found that the back door of the bookstore was slightly ajar, and Sarah-san was peeking her head out from the crack.
She has been like this ever since we came back from St. Noglint. The two of us have not exchanged too many words with each other, but the impression that she is a clever child has been etched into my mind since she is Iris-san’s younger sister.
“My apologies for worrying you.”
“N-No! Rosalith-sama, if it isn’t a bother, please use this!!”
Sarah-san jumped out of the doorway, jogging over to me with a towel in her hand.
“Here you go too Saluena-sama!”
“Thank you Sarah”
“Thank you very much Sarah-san”
My eyes met with Sarah-san’s as she passed me the towel. Her eyes were sparkling like beautiful gems.
“Rosalith-sama. If you have any concerns, please let me know. I’ll take good care of you!”
Sarah-san ran back to the house with a somewhat shy look on her face.
“It seems Sarah has a deep admiration for priestesses.”
“…..it, would seem so…..”
Even if I am a priestess, I am still immature. I have not yet become someone who deserves her admiration.
In a way, I am betraying her, and the realization of that caused a shot of pain to run through my heart.
“Incidentally Rosa. Do you have any plans for tomorrow?”
“Eh……tomorrow? No, I need to perform my prayers at the church, but I am otherwise free.”
“I see. In that case, let’s go out together.”
Iris-san will be departing this town in three days. We will be going with her of course, but since Aunt Yuhanna’s knights will be coming with us as well this time, there is no need for us to prepare for the trip. So everyone has ample free time until the day of departure, but I never expected to have Sally-oneesama invite me out like this.
“O-Okay……certainly. Then, I will confirm our schedule with Iris-san and…….”
“No, that won’t be necessary. It’ll be just the two of us tomorrow.”
As rude as it is, I could not help but think I had heard Oneesama wrong. After all, in all the time since we first made our sisterly pledge, I have not once spent any significant amount of time alone with her.
“Are you against it?”
“Eh? N-No! There is no way that would be true!”
Perhaps Oneesama only ever asked me to be her sister because I was close by, and she never had any interest in me personally.
Such a disrespectful thought would cross my mind at times, leading me to believe that Sally-oneesama would never feel the need to get too close to me.
“Iris said it before. It’ll be good for the two of us to go out together every now and then.”
And now that very same Oneesama, is asking me out.
“So, in other words……I believe the people of this era refer to it as a date.”
I was a little embarrassed which is why I thought about hiding that embarrassment with a joke. But I couldn’t make out the words, making myself feel even more embarrassed and causing my cheeks to run hot…….
Respect, admiration, and perhaps even a touch of fear. Those are the type of feelings I hold for my oneesama. But looking at her face right now, I had doubts and wondered if I had made some kind of ridiculous mistake.
This lady, is even more mischievous than I had thought.
There was such a large difference between the impression I had of my oneesama and the one standing before me now that the sound of the word ‘date’ caused me to unconsciously laugh.
“Ah, m-my deepest apologies!”
But I realized how rude it must seem to laugh at her like that, so I immediately apologized.
“It’s fine, you’re beautiful when you smile. I hope to see it tomorrow as well.”
“Y-Yes. For tomorrow, please treat me well.”
Which is how my first ever date between sisters came to be.
“Ah, a sisterly date. Won’t that be nice? I know I said this before, but I recommend visiting the opera house.”
Supper is being prepared at the moment. It is my job to help Iris-san set the table while we wait for the food to be finished.
Since I am technically a guest, Sally-oneesama forbid me from helping out in the kitchen. Speaking of Oneesama, she is currently wearing an apron and helping Sarah-san arrange each dish.
With a light pink ribbon tying back her hair, Oneesama gives off a feeling different from the norm……seeming almost graceful in a way. There is a beauty there I cannot imitate because of my curly hair, but when I see her like this, I end up forgetting about that jealousy.
“Oh, would you like to try out some pickles I made? They’re tasty.”
Iris-san pinched out something from a small bottle she had been holding for a bit now. It looked to be pickled radish, and taking one…….indeed, the fresh sourness spread through my mouth.
“It really is delicious. I never knew Iris-san had a hobby for pickling vegetables though¹.”
“Ahaha, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a hobby. Oh yeah. Back to what we were talking about…….”
According to Iris-san, the opera house is made with the general public in mind unlike the more prestigious one in the capital, so there is no dress code. I do not own that many different outfits as a priestess-in-training, so this helps me quite a bit.
“Haa, I’m hungry~. Isn’t supper done yet?”
Chewing on one of her pickled radishes, Iris-san tightened the lid back onto her jar before spreading her body out across the top of the table.
I have always seen Iris-san as a more strong-willed person, but apparently she acts differently when she is at home.
But this kind of Iris-san is also cute.
I have discovered all sorts of new things about Oneesama and Iris-san tonight.
I am truly lucky to have come to this house.
The next morning…….
Iris-san is standing at the Calvafon Bookstore’s front entrance with a red bird sitting on top of her head.
“We’re heading out.”
“Right, have fun. You too Rose-san. Take care.”
However, neither Sally-oneesama nor Iris-san are paying it any mind.
“Y-Yes……see you later”
It must be a pet of some sorts. I was so convinced of that fact that I waved farewell to Iris-san without saying anything about it and followed Oneesama down the solretta lined street.
“……I wonder what was up with that bird. It looked awfully fond of Iris.”
……..but when we finally started on our way towards the church, Oneesama suddenly mumbled her thoughts allowed.
Apparently she had no idea what it was either.
I am suddenly extremely curious.
So, I’ve taken Rosa out for a walk about town……..and I have no idea what to do.
To tell you the truth, I have zero experience when it comes to leisurely spending your time playing around town.
A thousand years ago, when I was still a member of the Goddess’s knights, the battle against the demons of the Primordial World was so fierce I didn’t have time for any kind of merrymaking.
Thinking about it that way, this era is so peaceful. Back then Van Delucia was full of demons. Since then, the Illyarian War ended, and the territory controlled by humans spread bit by bit, resulting in the creation of multiple nations starting besides Osnell.
But even though a thousand years have already passed, there is apparently still a place in this world beyond the Goddess’s control. It’s the Dark Continent, also known as the Soundless Land. It’s there that dark elves, goblins, and ferocious spirits that have rejected the Goddess’s world dwell.
While my thoughts continued tumbling about inside my head, I suddenly heard Rosa’s clear voice come from right next to me.
“Oh, sorry. I was just thinking about something.”
When I said that, Rosa hesitated for a moment. Her face made it clear how she was wondering whether or not it was okay to ask me something.
“Are you still worried about Iris-san?”
But it looks like she decided to ask me about it after all.
“Oh, no…….it’s not about that.”
For today, I had planned to have Toslin and Carol guard Iris while I was gone. But when morning rolled around, Carol came by to inform us that Toslin couldn’t move because of how severe her hangover was.
It was a rare outing……..a date with Rosa, but I was wondering whether or not we would have to cancel. Iris said no though.
“The two of you are going on a proper date today. That’s an order.”
Iris is my master along with the leader of the Riviera Von Iliana. Rosa and I were both worried about whether or not something would happen, but when Iris summoned Unicorn and covered her entire house with a massive barrier, even I had no choice but to relent.
“Iris has become strong. She cannot summon a large flame like that old neighbor of hers, but the strength of a grimoire master is dependent on the number and quality of the grimoires in their possession. With several grimoires already hers, my master is more than capable of protecting herself.”
“……I have always been meaning to ask……”
Rosa was acting even more reserved than she had been before. If the goal for today is for the two of us to get closer as sisters, I should answer any question she might have.
“What is it? Ask whatever’s on your mind.”
“Does Sally-oneesama know a grimoire master other than Iris-san?”
But the only answer I could give for her question was incomplete.
“Yes, I did. She was……also a wise woman who had earned the Goddess’s favor. And she……was a friend.”
I reached back, grabbing the threads of memory that remained and said what I could.
1. They’re called tsukemono in Japan. Maybe I’m just ignorant, but pickles in the US usually just refers to pickled cucumbers. In Japan at least though, pickles refer to any type of vegetable that have been pickled.