“Can you understand us?” (Mary)
Mary asks the little girl who is now standing dumbly in front of us. This little girl should be the same girl on the carriage just a moment ago. I remember her hair and her height matched.
She is also a magician. She can help us understand their language.
The question is why she is here. We haven’t had any contact with her nor the man who is supposed to be with her.
I walk to the window and look outside. That carriage is no longer nearby and the man is nowhere to be seen. He isn’t downstairs either as I passed through there when I came back.
I look at the girl who doesn’t look like she is trying to do something bad. Her legs are still shaking a bit. She is still a bit afraid of us.
This kind of kid can’t possibly do something bad. If she did, I can’t trust anyone anymore.
Mary sits her down beside her on the bed. She brushes her hair gently.
I clean up the wet floor while waiting for Mary to calm her down. She also needs time to comprehend our language.
After a while, Mary crouches in front of the girl. She maintain a level eye contact with her. This is so we don’t appear overbearing and will help her to talk more.
“What’s your name?” (Mary)
“Alic.... Alishia.” (Alishia)
There is a small gap in her talk. Is it my imagination?
“I am Mary and this is Erwin. Why are you looking for me?” (Mary)
Just a moment ago, she looked like she is trying to wake Mary up. She already saw me with Mary before we got into the inn. If she was looking for us, she could have talk to me.
However, she didn’t. She was just walking around Mary while Mary slept. It’s like she was only looking for Mary.
“Dad said, magician must hide. Your magic spills out.” (Alishia)
“Do you?” (Erwin)
Mary glances at me.
“Yeah, I have been constantly training my magic control since coming here. However my magic is only a few cm around my body.” (Mary)
“So, did she sense it? That’s amazing.” (Erwin)
“Every magician can sense it. Only ordinary people can’t.” (Mary)
Mary turns back to Alishia. She pats her head.
“I will be careful from now on. Have you eat lunch?” (Mary)
Alishia shakes her head.
“Where is the man who is with you just now?” (Erwin)
“He is at home.” (Alishia)
“Does he know you’re here?” (Mary)
“Yes. He also told me to bring you home.” (Alishia)
Alishia stares at Mary. Mary and I look at each other.
“You are a magician.” (Alishia)
Alishia answers straight to the point and without explanation. This is quite difficult. Maybe we should meet her father first.
“Let’s go eat first. We will talk later.” (Erwin)
I look at my watch and see that it is already 2 P.M. We go downstairs to the dining area. I brought the broom and dustpan along.
After handing over the broom and dustpan, we sit at the counter. Alishia is the only one who can read and talk so we ask her as a translator. She sit between Mary and I.
I turn to Mary while Alishia is busy reading the menu.
“Mary, after we eat, you should dye your hair and follow her to her father’s place.” (Erwin)
“Why should I dye my hair?” (Mary)
“I was being followed just now when I went around the city. Just in case if there are others.” (Erwin)
“Hmm... Okay. I will dye her hair as well.” (Mary)
We eat lunch leisurely. The food taste is weak. It should be because they have limited seasoning. Transportation of goods is still hard in this era.
After eating, we return to our room.
“Alishia, let’s go to your father’s place.” (Mary)
“Hmm? Why?” (Alishia)
“Didn’t you say to take me to him?” (Mary)
“He is not my dad.” (Alishia)
“Eh? Who is he?” (Mary)
“Dad’s friend. Dad told me to follow him to Yamato Kingdom and wait there. Dad and Mom will meet me there, then we will go around.” (Alishia)
Alishia talks cheerfully. We are taken aback by the unexpected name of a Kingdom. It is a Japanese name. However, we throw it back to the back of our mind as it might be a coincidence.
“Dad told me that there are a lot of magicians there. They don’t have to hide. I want to go there!” (Alishia)
The fact that magicians move freely there also picks our interest. It seems like we need to go there if we want to have an easier time on accomplishing our mission.
“Oh right. What is this country’s name?” (Erwin)
“Zero Kingdom. The leader of an Tripact Alliance consisting of.... Hmm, Zero Kingdom, Gama Kingdom and Arch Dukedom.” (Alishia)
“Hmm? You know a lot. How clever.” (Erwin)
“Of course.” (Alishia)
Alishia stands proudly with her hands on her waist. Mary is brushing her hair with a comb while listening quietly. Alishia feels comfortable with the brushing.
“Don’t move okay? I will change your hair’s color.” (Mary)
Alishia looks up to Mary who is behind her. Her blue eyes stare at Mary’s light blue eyes. Looking from the side, they look like a pair of sisters.
“Then, let me ask you. Why did you hide your hair before?” (Mary)
“Uncle said it will call bad people to me.” (Alishia)
I stifle my laughter for a moment. She is still innocent. That’s good. I am tired of my country’s kids who know too many things at young ages.
“I see. I will change it so it won’t attract them. Okay?” (Mary)
“Hmm... Okay.” (Alishia)
Alishia obediently sits on Mary’s laps. Mary raises both of her hands and slowly brushes Alishia’s hair. Small dim yellowish lights appear from her hands and merge themselves on Alishia’s hair.
Slowly Alishia’s shiny golden hair turns duller and duller. After a while, her hair has becomes yellow and then becomes light brown.
Alishia looks different from her usual image now. One could say that she is less pretty than just now but her natural beautiful face still can’t be hidden. If a moment ago, she looks like a noble princess, now she looks like a pretty and healthy village girl.
Mary brushes her own hair as well. Similarly her shiny silver hair turns duller and duller. A short while later, her hair has become the similar light brown as Alishia’s.
“How did you do that?” (Alishia)
Alishia asks with glistering eyes. She stares at Mary’s and her hair back and forth. I also look at her, waiting to hear the explanation. She makes it so simple to dye hair.
“Do you know earth mana?” (Mary)
“I don’t know.” (Alishia)
“They are mana of lands. Soils, stones, boulders, mud. All of them have earth mana.” (Erwin)
“Correct. Earth mana has a natural dull yellowish color so I gather and paste a lot of them on our hairs. That’s why we have a light brown color hair.” (Mary)
“Hoo... Then if you use water mana?” (Erwin)
“I can turn my hair to transparent blue, light blue or even ocean blue depending on how much mana I gather. However, it is a bit hard on Alishia’s hair as her natural color is golden. That’s why I decided to use earth mana as its color is closer.” (Mary)
I see. Her natural hair is silver. It’s more simple to dye it than other color. Similarly, my black hair is the hardest to dye.
“Well then, how about you teach her [Language Comprehension] magic? I want to go around to gather information.” (Erwin)
“Alright. It is a simple magic. She will be able to do it in half an hour. Please wait a bit. Alishia, come here. We need your help for a bit. I will teach you a magic.” (Mary)
Mary takes out a note and few other things from her storage. She starts teaching Alishia about the magic.
I look out of the window. I spot a few shady people looking here from the alley across the road.
I look at other alleys. There are quite a lot of them around. Looks like someone want to keep watch of us. That knight comes to mind.
For the time being, I stealthily record their aura with the bracelet. Half of them are recorded while the other half are out of range. I give up on them as I don’t want to draw their attention.
After a while, I grab a chair and sit near the window. I read the last report from HQ. Confirming that the HQ has retreated deals quite a blow on my confidence.
I look for more things addressed in the report. The conclusion is as such:
A large army is currently marching. Whereabouts and their goal are unknown. Caution is strongly advised.
The army or maybe the nation might be taking a hostile attitude towards any outsiders. Blend into the locals for safety measure until their reason of hostility is known.
A supply box is left behind with weapons and various equipment, food, and water are left at attached coordinate. Retrieve it.
So far, I can guess their reason for hostility. They don’t like magicians. Our out of era equipment should have been thought as magic items.
‘I should retrieve the supply box tomorrow or the day after.’ I think in my mind.
“Erwin, we are done. Come here.” (Mary)
I turn around just as the dim lights around Mary die out. Alishia is panting and lying down beside her on the bed.
“So quick?” (Erwin)
“Yeah. I draw the formation array for the magic on a magic paper and ask her to use it.” (Mary)
“Magic paper? I don’t recall you used any before.” (Erwin)
Magic paper is a specialized paper for formation magic. It is a paper made from Treant, a tree monster, traded from other worlds as it can contain mana. It is useful for beginner magician to use and learn how to use the magic at the same time..
“It’s because I can draw it in my mind. I don’t need to use the paper.” (Mary)
“I see. Let’s start then.” (Erwin)
I grab the chair I sit on and put it in front of Mary. I sit down facing her. Mary extends her hand and giggles.
“What’s wrong?” (Erwin)
I rub my face, thinking that there is something on it. Sadly, I can’t find any.
“Something wrong with my face?” (Erwin)
“There is nothing wrong. I just recall something. Don’t mind it.” (Mary)
I frown and think for a while. Nothing comes to mind. Meanwhile, Mary closes her eyes and starts to cast the magic.
After a while, characters start to form in my head. A whole new language are learned. I lament that I don’t have this convenient magic. I can read a lot more books and novels with this magic. Some games also don’t have English version.
We spend around ten minutes to familiarize the language while waiting for Alishia to rest. Then we spend another ten minutes talking with her in this world’s language.
This language is used anywhere in this continent. Thousands of years ago, a massive empire unified and ruled the entire continent. At that time, other languages are seldom used. After a few generation, they are abandoned.
Legends said that a few communities maintain those languages and way of life. They are regarded as protectors of ancient cultures. They live at remote locations. The truth remains unconfirmed.
Alishia passionately talks about it. Her knowledge is really something.
Evening approaches. I look out of the window and search for the peepers. They are still around. How tenacious.
“You should go out first. I will draw the pursuers attention to the window. With your hair color different, they might not follow you. I will call you if I see anyone following.” (Erwin)
“Alright. Alishia, let’s go.” (Mary)
Mary and Alishia wear villager clothes. Mary has used it from Earth and kept hidden inside her robe while Alishia already wore one. Mary stores Alishia’s short staff into her storage bracelet.
“We are going.” (Mary)
“Take care.” (Erwin)
I wave at them. At the door Mary suddenly turns around and glare at me.
“Erwin, I got something to tell you later. Be prepared.” (Mary)
I flinch back a bit and nod. I watch the door closes and look out of the window. I wonder what she wants to say.
The road is now more congested with people. A lot of people are out hunting for snacks. Stalls, restaurants and taverns are half-filled with people.
Mary and Alishia steps out of the inn. They really look like a pair of beautiful sisters now that their hair is similar to each other. They walk on the side of the road while talking and smiling. They are drawing a lot of attention.
Fortunately, none of the peepers chases them. They haven’t discovered that one of their targets has gone. They are quite faithful at their duty.
Ah, one of them chases after Mary. I see him try to pass through the crowds. The crowds get angry and push him back. A quarrel breaks out immediately.
I sigh and turn around. It’s time for me to go out as well. After locking the door, I descend the stairs.
I walk around the main road just like before. This time, however, I can read the words on the signboards.
Walking around for a while without meeting a point of interest, I finally come across interesting facilities.
[Warrior Guild] and [Merchant Guild]
Three large buildings stand side by side. A sign of a sword and an axe crossing each other represents the warrior guild on the middle. A sign of scale represents the Merchant Guild on the left. The right one doesn’t have any sign and are deserted.
It should have been a guild as well. What guild is that? Why is it deserted? Magician? Maybe.
I look at the warrior guild and merchant guild.
‘Interesting. Which one should I choose?’ I think in my mind.
A moment later, I decide to enter the warrior guild first.