Section 12: Wrapped in Kindness 2
As we went through the list, Rose-san courteously taught me why we needed each item as we bought them and how to use them appropriately.
But even with her doing all that, we still finished our errands in only a little more than an hour.
[Iris]: “Ah, before I forget. Rose-san, I have something for the guild…..would you mind if we stop by for a bit?”
I slung my now heavier knapsack over my shoulder while talking to Rose-san next to me.
[Rose]: “I do not mind. However, which guild are we visiting?”
Oh right. There’s more than one guild inside the capital.
[Iris]: “The Magicians Guild. The grandpa who lived next door to me asked that I deliver a letter for him.”
[Rose]: “I see. Then shall we head back to the carriage?”
According to Rose-san, the Magicians Guild is in the next section over, between the third and fourth walls. Which means it’s not too far off from where the church we visited yesterday was. I should’ve tried delivering this letter back then.
[Iris]: “Um, excuse me”
It was my first time ever entering a Magicians Guild, and it was a lot different from how I pictured it being.
Maybe it’s because the only guild back in my hometown was the dual purpose Warrior/Carpenter Guild, but there was a moment after I passed through the Magicians Guild door that I was left completely speechless. In a good way.
[Iris]: “I’m here to deliver a letter.”
The whole building was a giant library. There was a waiting room just past the front door, and a receptionist’s desk sat front and center as I’m sure anyone would have guessed there would be.
But, beyond that. Books were tightly packed together inside bookcases that covered the entirety of the walls’ surface, wrapping around and forming an enormous atrium similar to the one I saw in the chapel of the church. The archives in Soletta Ritta were large enough, but this had to be at least five times bigger. The other numerous bookcases scattered throughout the building stood tall as if each one of them were a sturdy tree. Making the Magicians Guild which is packed to the brim with them a forest of books.
[Receptionist]: “Okay, who is it from?”
I pulled out Grandpa’s letter from my knapsack and slid it across the counter towards the receptionist.
[Iris]: “An older man named Ferdinand who currently lives in Soletta Ritta.”
[Receptionist]: “…….p-please hold on for a moment.”
The receptionist woman never even bothered to look at the letter, instead running to the back of the building for some reason with a bright smile on her face.
In a matter of no time she had disappeared within the shadows of the bookshelves.
[Iris]: “…..amazing. Are these all spellbooks?”
[Rose]: “If so, then I must wonder about how many different kinds of magic are out there in the world.”
With the receptionist having left us on our own, Rose-san and I began whispering back and forth between each other about the majestic sight stretched out before us.
[Rose]: “Iris-san is a witch……aren’t you?”
[Iris]: “Hmm~. I wonder. I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before, but I trained an awful lot as a kid underneath Grandpa to be a witch, but no matter how much practice I put in, I couldn’t really cast any spells.”
I started my magic training at the age of five, and over the years, I consistently repeated my training exercises in order to further develop my magic.
But even after all of that, I could barely conjure a flame and eventually decided that the path of a witch wasn’t meant for me.
[Rose]: “However, didn’t Lapris-san mention you have an extraordinary amount of magic power now? You might be able to cast a wider variety of spells now.”
I, was thinking the same thing. If my lack of magic power was my main obstacle against using magic, perhaps now I could…….
[Iris]: “I wonder.”
I gave her the same answer I gave before.
I want to be able to use magic. If I could, I would want to use fire magic to charbroil huge crowds of enemies in an instant like Grandpa Ferdinand.
I want to be like the witches I saw in picture books. The ones who would summon ice to encase their enemies, create footholds, and erect walls. Or maybe call forth the wind to fly through the air and blow away monsters.
That way, I could be even more helpful to everyone.
[Receptionist]: “S-Sorry to make you wait. I will take that letter.”
The receptionist came running back to the counter out of breath.
[Iris]: “Oh, okay. In that case, here you go.”
I handed over the letter for a second time, and the receptionist gratefully accepted it with trembling hands before immediately slipping it into a sturdy wooden box.
[Receptionist]: “T-Thank you. Here is your confirmation slip if you would take a look at it.”
The receptionist then passed me a piece of paper in turn. It had the Magicians Guild’s crest stamped up top and a receipt scrawled down the rest of it.
[Iris]: “Woah……a written oath.”
[Receptionist]: “If the letter is not delivered to its intended recipient for any reason, this paper guarantees that the guild shall indemnify the aggrieved party and releases you from all liability. Please do not lose it. We strongly recommend holding on to it for at least one month.”
[Iris]: “I-I understand…..”
I’ve had to use written oaths before back at the store whenever we had a special order and needed to have a high-value book delivered.
But I never thought I’d be issued one over a simple letter. I slid my written oath to the bottom of my knapsack just to make sure there was no chance it would slip out and get carried off by the wind.
[???]: “Hm? Well well well, just when I was thinking I heard a voice I recognized, I come to find Iris here waiting for me.”
[Iris]: “Huh? Oh……Litzreich.”
Putting the issue aside, I was relieved that for the moment at least, I managed to safely deliver the letter. It was at that exact moment though that Litzreich emerged from the back of the building, carrying her own pack on her back.
[Lizreich]: “And Rosalith is with you? What are you two doing in a place like this?”
[Iris]: “We came to deliver a letter.”
[Litzreich]: “So you aren’t here to see me?”
[Iris]: “No, we didn’t even know you were here.”
[Litzreich]: “Goodness, then it’s fate?”
I used one of my fingers to push back against Litzreich’s forehead when she tried to run up and hug me.
[Iris]: “I remember hearing you were involved with the school.”
[Litzreich]: “Oh, to think you would take such a keen interest in my personal life. There are all sorts of books here that are academically valuable. So I occasionally stop by and rifle through the texts.”
Undeterred, Litzreich once again tried wrapping her arms around me, and once again I used my finger to push back against her forehead.
[Litzreich]: “Since you’re a witch too Iris, you should try reading through some of these books. You might find a useful spell you can use.”
Once again, again, Litzreich tried coming up and hugging me only to have my finger push against her forehead and reject her advances.
[Iris]: “Mm, you’re right. I’ll take a look around the next time I visit.”
[Litzreich]: “Guuh, aren’t your defenses a little too rock solid today? You always let me hug you before……”
That was before Lapris told me I let other people hug me too much. And besides, I’m on a date with Rose-san today. Getting a hug from me won’t be that easy.
[Receptionist]: “Um, Litzreich-sama? Do you happen to be acquainted with these people?”
[Litzreich]: “Hm? What, so you weren’t just pretending to not recognize them? This is the tiny hero, Iris the Dragon Slayer.”
[Receptionist]: “Huh? HUH!?”
The receptionist lady’s eyes grew to the size of saucers as her hands shot in front of her mouth.
[Litzreich]: “She’s also my future bride.”
[Iris]: “Don’t go deciding that on your own.”
[Litzreich]: “Isn’t it fine? There aren’t any laws in this country that say we can’t get married even though we’re both girls. And if it’s because you want kids, my magic can fix that problem. Is there anything else? Everything good? I’m not going in this half-hearted, so if you could just nod your head a bit.”
Litzreich once again tried giving me a hug, but this time she did so with a hot and heavy breath, wearing her true intentions on her sleeve.
So clearly in fact that I was left too perplexed on what exactly she was doing to know what I was supposed to say.
[Rose]: “Please pardon me.”
That was when Rose-san wrapped her arm around my waist and pulled me next to her. Obviously I fit snugly beneath Rose-san’s arm.
[Rose]: “Iris-san does not belong to anyone.”
[Litzreich]: “…..hoh? Nobody……is it?”
[Rose]: “……excuse us, but there were other errands that required our attention. Since our business here is finished, we must be getting on our way.”
W-Wow…..so strong. I don’t hate it, and I’m certainly not going to try and escape however I still have to marvel at the strength in Rose-san’s arm.
Like this, it feels like she’ll never let me go.
[Litzreich]: “Grr, I see. Then it can’t be helped. I’ll step back for today.”
Rose-san is being a bit violent, unlike how gentle she was when we were holding hands earlier.
(She’s trying to help me isn’t she……?)
I reflexively thought about how cool Rose-san is. And when I fully realized I was wrapped in Rose-san’s arm, my heartbeat shot right up.
[Rose]: “Then let us be off Iris-san.”
[Iris]: “Huh, y-……..yes!”
My voice was only a little more than a squeak. I could barely keep up with her pace when she grabbed my hand and started pulling me towards the exit.
[Litzreich]: “Ah, right. Do you have any plans for tomorrow after the audience with His Majesty?”
But when we heard Litzreich’s voice calling to us from behind, we stopped in our tracks, and I looked up towards Rose-san face ahead of me.
[Iris]: “After the audience……um, Rose-san, is there anything?”
[Rose]: “No, nothing that we have discussed at least.”
[Litzreich]: “Excellent. Then stop by my room tomorrow afternoon. Bring everyone if possible. The location is a little out of the way since it’s inside the school, but Noelia can give you directions.”
[Iris]: “Okay. That should be fine…….right Rose-san?”
[Rose]: “Yes. I see no issues with it.”
[Litzreich]: “Fantastic. Then I shall see you tomorrow.”
Litzreich waved her hand, watching the both of us off as we left.
Once we had finally made our way out of the Magicians Guild, Rose-san stopped in the middle of the street and looked back at me.
[Rose]: “Um, I am sorry about that. Did I hurt you?”
[Iris]: “Hm? Oh, that? Yes, I’m fine. I was just a bit……surprised.”
Even Saluena has only ever pulled on my waist like that a few times before. So then for Rose-san to do it, the person I would imagine to be the least likely to ever grab me like that, it was more than a little shocking to be sure.
Just remembering it is making me blush.
[Iris]: “But just because it surprised me doesn’t mean I hated it.”
[Iris]: “Yes. I was pretty happy you would help me like that. Thank you Rose-san.”
When I graciously bowed my head, expressing my sincere thanks to her, Rose-san turned away from me.
[Rose]: “…..n-no….. C-Come, we should go get lunch. Oh jeez, it’s already past noon. If there is anything in particular you wish to eat, just say so. This is the capital, so you can find food from just about anywhere. The mountains, the sea…..”
And then, in a feeble effort to hide her embarrassment, Rose-san began running her mouth as she walked off on her own.
[Iris]: “I’m fine with whatever Rose-san recommends.”
I jogged forward a bit, not stopping until I was right next to her and entwined my arm with hers.
Just a small objection from me for her having just walked off without me like that.
[Iris]: “Yep. I want to know what kind of food Rose-san loves to eat.”
After considering things for a second, Rose-san tangled her fingers together with mine.
[Rose]: “Then, follow me.”
[Iris]: “Thanks in advance. I’m really looking forward to it♪”
Rose-san’s grip around my hand tightened, and once again we started walking. This time though she was just a bit slower, to match my stride.
The fact that she noticed made me really happy, and I followed after her like a puppy.
The people we passed by keep glancing over at us. How must we look to them?
Do we look like sisters, or maybe close friends? Or maybe even lovers…….this is all Litzreich’s fault. The only reason I’m thinking about all this is because she went and said something strange like becoming her wife.
It’s noon right now. We still have more than half of our date left. Just that thought alone is enough to get my heart beating.
Hopefully, Rose-san is going through the same thing. While praying for that to be true, I tightened my own grip around Rose-san’s hand as well.