Chapter 11: Royal Academy
Section 5: Fairy Lake
My dream was short but vivid.
In my dream, I am standing at the edge of the Fairy’s Tear–the lake from which this town got its name.
After a moment passed, the lake’s surface broke, and a fairy appeared. That fairy began fluttering about, dancing across the water as if she knew I had been standing there from the very beginning.
And then after taking a deep breath, the fairy came close, and smiled. A soft smile, no different from the one Rose-san always turns my way.
The fairy kept smiling, never saying anything.
The dream me never said anything either. I just stood there, staring down at her confused.
After some time had passed, the fairy pointed at my left hand. I nervously held it out to her, and the fairy touched the dark violet ring on my ring finger.
After that…….the fairy turned to leave. She once again began to dance, slowly making her way back towards the center of the lake.
“Who are you?”
The dream me finally managed to ask a question, but I never got a response back.
The fairy slowly melted into a thin fog cast on the other side of the lake…….until disappearing completely as if she had never been there to begin with.
And then, I woke up.
Lifting myself up, I glanced out the window. It was still kind of dark outside, but the first rays of the sun were starting to break across the horizon. It would just be a little longer before the sun would rise and shine across the nearby lake.
The memory of my dream rushed back to me all at once suddenly, and I immediately looked down at my left hand.
My dark violent ring was there just as it always is. So was Unicorn’s porcelain white ring and the silver ring with the flower etched into it that I got from the church.
“There’s still some time. Sorry, did I wake you?”
“Mm~m. I’m happy about it though. Hey hey, could you keep me warm until the sun is up?”
Her hair a little disheveled, Charlie threw her arms around me and pulled me back down into bed.
“Haa, Iris……you’re so warm.”
“Charlie sure gets lonely easily.”
“Yes well, I’m an only child.”
Now that I think about it, Lapris said yesterday I hug my friends a little too much.
“Fua……Iris. You’re definitely coming back to see me again right? It’s a promise?”
But, I can’t just bluntly push away someone who is so sincere with me. And it’s Charlie, so it’s fine.
“Yep. Definitely. I promise. It’s all right. There’s no need to worry Charlie.”
I held her close, burying my face into her sweet smelling hair and kissed the top of her head.
This always helped to calm Sarah down whenever she wants me to spoil her.
“Iris~~~~~~~~~!! See you soon~~~~~~~~~~!!!”
It was time for us to depart Rifront.
Charlie pushed her way to the front of the crowd that had gathered to see off our company of knights and started shouting my name.
Iris? Who’s Iris?
Look, that girl who lived in the inn for half a year……
Oh, her? But why is that girl with all those knights?
Charlie and Meltaria-san waved us off with a smile on their faces as a number of confused people whispered among themselves around them.
We returned their waves just as we had done back at Solretta.
Oh right, after prying myself away from Charlie who had kept saying, “Just five more minutes,” for about an hour, I changed my clothes and had breakfast.
I couldn’t get the dream I had last night out of my head, so I decided to take a look at the lake. A dream is just a dream, but there was no harm in sating my curiosity.
With two knights who insisted on acting as my guards accompanying me, I kept walking along the lake’s edge until coming across the spot I had stood in my dream. But no matter how much time passed, nothing ever happened.
The lake’s surface never broke, nor did any fairy ever appear.
However, the view of the sun reflecting off the lake’s rippling surface was very beautiful.
After taking some time to enjoy the scenery, I thanked the knights for their help and returned to the inn.
“Solretta had Mycena. And then Rifront was Charlie. As for Relton……who was it again? Lute…….”
“Her name was Lutehorn.”
“Yeah right, her. What, is Iris challenging herself to pick up a girl at every town we stop at?”
Currently I am advancing down Origin Highway with my companions and the other knights.
My heart began beating with excitement as I recalled what Charlie and I had talked about last night when Carol suddenly started talking.
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m just saying, isn’t it inevitable at this rate that Iris picks up another port girl when we get to the capitol?”
“What kind of girl will it be this time though? The last two have been pretty cheerful, so maybe some more quiet and reserved this time?”
“It is the capitol after all.”
“We’re rooting for you Iris.”
Finding it funny, Toslin jumped into the conversation, and the both of them continued to get worked up and kept teasing me more and more.
“Come on, stop it.”
If they’re talking about port girls, then they must be talking about that thing with sailors. About the various women they’ll pick up at the ports they visit and continue to fornicate with whenever their ship stops by again.
“Indeed. Iris-san is just a person who takes good care of her friends. It is extremely rude of you to make fun of her for that.”
“But it is true that Iris is easy to get along with. I wouldn’t be surprised if Toslin is right, and she has just such an encounter when we reach the capitol.”
Even Saluena, who is currently out of sight at the front of the carriage manning the coachman’s seat, gave her two cents.
“I agree with them. Good grief, try and keep it down out here though. I can’t sleep like this.”
Is there a reason why Lapris has to sleep on top of my head though?
While all of this is going on, Lapris has once again buried herself inside my hair. Because she can fly whenever she wants though, it’d be fine for her to leisurely soar through the air with Phoenix.
“After all, isn’t that how it was with you? After meeting her half a year ago, hasn’t Iris become your favorite?”
Rose-san’s eyes shot open, and she was at a loss for words after being betrayed from an unexpected source.
“Now now. I’m not trying to tease or anything. All I am saying is that Iris is a good person. So there’s no need to get angry Rosa.”
“Now that she mentions it, Iris met Rose at Rifront too.”
“So in other words, Rosa is one of Iris’s port women as well.”
Preoccupied with Lapris, I was only half listening to what everyone else was saying until Saluena’s words forcefully pulled me back into the conversation. Because of that a strange noise escaped my lips.
“Ah, au……..jeez, I don’t know anymore!! Rotten Oneesama! Iris-san. Nothing good can come from hanging around these people. Come over here with me.”
Rose-san’s face turned a bright red as she grabbed hold of my hand and pulled me to the back of the carriage in a huff. She then turned her back to Saluena and the others before plopping her butt down on the floor.
Back in Solretta Litta, I once teased Rose-san until the point that she became angry.
Rose-san is really cute whenever she’s mad. So I do apologize, but I can understand why Saluena would want to poke fun.
“Okay, Iris-san? Someone like Oneesama is a bad role model, and you should never ever try to take after her.”
I’m sorry Rose-san. There’s a possibility, no, almost a certainty, that Saluena is the one taking after me.
Seeing Rose-san’s pure heart as she ignored the words Saluena and the others threw at her back, a feeling of intense guilt wormed its way inside me.
(I’m really sorry)
I continued to watch her, apologizing a single time inside my heart.