Section 2: Giant Goldfish
Giant goldfish live in the Water Dragon’s Tail, and good luck comes to anyone who can catch a glimpse of them.
This was a story all of the children born in Oshunel, if not the entire continent of Van Delucia, heard while growing up.
[Carol]: “It……It’s my first time seeing one……”
[Lapris]: “Me too……”
However almost nobody has ever seen one.
Grandpa has lived several times longer than anyone else in my family, and according to him, even he’s never seen one before.
And now one of those goldfish are swimming right before my eyes.
No, I suppose it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say they’re right in front of me. No matter how hard I stretch out my arm, I’m not going to be able to reach them, but if this is an illusion…….it’s a pretty big one.
*Splash*……….*Splish Splash*……..I feel like I can hear the water flowing past us.
Like a huge cloud that would overwhelm its audience. And now to follow up that oppressive power with a goldfish peacefully flying……..swimming through a river in the sky.
[Carol & Lapris]: “So huge…….”
Carol and Lapris’s amazed voices overlapped.
It took a couple minutes at most for the goldfish to swim in and out of our view, but it felt like much longer.
I hadn’t noticed until it was done and gone how badly my legs were shaking from the majesty of what I had just experienced.
[Lapris]: “Wow, I saw it……after a hundred years I’ve finally……..”
[Carol]: “No way. You’re a hundred years old…….that’s amazing……but this is even more amazing……..”
Like Lapris, Carol’s thoughts were leaking from her agape mouth.
[Saluena]: “Quite the unusual sight.”
[Iris]: “Oh yeah, you didn’t even know what the Water Dragon’s Tail was let alone the myth of the goldfish.”
[Saluena]: “Whatever it is, it didn’t exist before I was sealed a thousand years ago.”
≪Did not exist≫
[Litzreich]: “Hoh, how interesting. Saluena. Once this matter has been cleared up, would you lend me a small portion of your time.”
[Saluena]: “What will you give me in compensation?”
[Litzreich]: “Grr, compensation……..aren’t you and I close enough to do away with such things? I wish you’d be a little more flexible……. Hey, isn’t it fine? It’s fine isn’t it? Hey, hey?”
Litzreich voiced her complaints while her cheeks swelled up.
[Saluena]: “Flexible……? Then I’ll allow you a single meal.”
[Litzreich]: “Ooh!? That would do quite nicely. As a matter of fact, it is a great help.”
Litzreich’s expression did a complete one-eighty as she clapped her hands together.
[Litzreich]: “Why don’t you come over to my mansion? Obviously I’ll serve the food.”
(Heh~, so Litzreich can cook)
Considering what her laboratory was like, I’m surprised to hear that she’s capable of that kind of home living.
[Saluena]: “Then let’s go with that. Let’s decide the date and time once this is finished, okay?”
[Litzreich]: “Mm. You’re surely busy most of the time. I can make time for whenever works best for you.”
Litzreich hadn’t reacted even when she found out Saluena was the Dark Violet Knight.
We met Yuhanna-sama a day before, and while she was certainly surprised, there was something terrifying bleeding into her expression at the same time.
Litzreich on the other hand has always kept the same attitude towards Saluena from beginning to end.
I had wondered if she wasn’t very good at adjusting her attitude to the status of the other party, but she acted just fine as a deputy leader around her subordinate knights.
What’s the difference? Where is the line for her?
[Litzreich]: “Now then, we’ve enjoyed an unusual sight, but I think it is about time for us to get going.”
Without noticing my gaze, Litzreich turned her eyes towards the giant white castle that towered in front of us.
[Rose]: “Indeed. It is said that those who see the goldfish will be blessed with excellent luck. I hope that luck will protect us going forward.”
Rose-san confirmed the condition of her shield fastener before securing the leather belt around her left arm.
I have seen the figure of a warrior priestess right before they head into battle many times over in the illustrations of the adventure novels I’ve read.
They were all great images, but Rose-san looked exceptional.
The reality that illustrations cannot fully encapsulate……….that was part of it, but it wasn’t all. Rose-san’s dignity and beauty……..she’s just exceptional.
[Iris]: “Ah, let me help you.”
I ran over and helped hold up her shield with both my hands.
It’s made of steel, and it is so big and thick I couldn’t lift it up even with both of my stick arms giving it their best. Yet after the belt was securely fastened, Rose-san easily lifted it up with one arm.
[Rose]: “Thank you”
She might not have needed my help, but Rose-san thanked me for trying anyway.
A callback to when I was just an ordinary daughter of a bookstore owner, before I found the grimoire.
I couldn’t do anything to help during the adventure itself, but my need to do something wouldn’t allow me to sit idle. This kind of help was born from that desire.
It’s become a habit that has carried on even after I became the grimoire master.
[Rose]: “Let us do our best Iris-san. We shall rid this place of Oshunel’s ghost that has hung over these children’s heads for a millennia.”
Her smile was bright, and her words hung heavy on my shoulders.
But things have changed. I’m not the girl who can only sit back and watch anymore.
My friends are trusting me with their lives, and I trust mine with them.
Mippo and Moppo were riding on Unicorn’s head, guiding us along as we walked forward.
[Ashel]: “‘Big chair’ is most likely referring to the throne room.”
We turned our eyes towards the castle’s spire after Ashel-sama’s musings.
*Donーーーーー!! BaDon!! Donーーーーー!!”
[Carol]: “…….Huh? Hey that…….What’s with that sound?”
We were taking a roundabout path and circling to the front of the castle with Carol taking the lead. But suddenly there was this deafening clang, and we stopped in our tracks.
[Ashel]: “……..!? This sound…….everyone!! Get down!!”
Ashel-sama ran straight towards me. She threw her arms around my shoulders and pushed me to the ground.
My head went blank, and my eyes shook……..
The ground shook as a tremendous explosive noise rocked my ears. The bright blue sky was blocked out by something black……..no, brown.
[Toslin]: “A bombardment!? Impossible! Is somebody shooting from the castle!? *Ptui! Ptui!*”
A short distance away from me Toslin picked herself off the ground completely covered in dirt and spitting bits of it out of her mouth. Carol was right underneath her. Toslin must’ve covered for her the same way Ashel-sama did me.
Carol stared after Toslin for a short minute, but when she realized I was watching, she quickly scrambled to her feet.
[Rose]: “Are you hurt Oneesama?”
[Saluena]: “I never thought the day would come where you would be the one covering me.”
When I turned around, I found Rose-san holding out her big shield, covering herself and Saluena.
[Litzreich]: “How come nobody tried covering for me? I’m going to cry?”
Litzreich’s voice was trembling further back. She had summoned her Magic Shell and crossed her arms in front of her body to protect herself.
*Donーーーーー!! BaDon!! Donーーーーー!!”
[Toslin]: “Another shot is coming our way!! We need to move, now!! Run to the vacant plain at the front of the castle!! If we move over there, the cannonballs shouldn’t be able to reach us!! I hope!!”
Toslin began belting out orders, and we all decided to leave this spot.
Unicorn was on its knees, resting in front of me in a heartbeat. I can say with the utmost confidence that I am the slowest one here, so I straddled her back without hesitation.