Chapter 124.1 : Journey Toward Restoration
… … …
A while before Rio and Celia’s arrival in earl Claire territory. The private room of the 1st princess of Saint Stellar kingdom, Lilyana.
Lilyana called Miharu after clearing out the people in the vicinities.
The two of them were sitting on chairs facing at each other. If one were to ask about their business right now,
「You want to learn Japanese? 」
Despite that she nodded to that question, Miharu’s tilting her head in wonder.
Because she can’t find the exact reason for Lilyana wanting to learn Japanese language. Because this world doesn’t have the Japanese language.
「Though our kingdom hasn’t confirmed any other people who are involved in hero summoning except for Miharu-san-tachi, it doesn’t mean that they won’t appear in the future. Thus we thought that it’s better to at least have one person who can speak the language of another world. Will you grant my request? 」
Maybe because she can guess Miharu’s doubt, Lilyana’s explaining her reason with a polite tone.
「In that case, it’s my pleasure to help you」
As for why she easily agreed to Lilyana’s request without probing even deeper is might be because she agreed to her intention.
「Thank you very much. And then, in fact I wish that the fact I’m learning the Japanese language from Miharu-san will be kept as a secret from others including Masato-kun and Aki-chan」
Lilyana’s wishing for that. Thereupon Miharu became even more curious.
「I’ll learn it within the shortest time to surprise everyone you see」
Continuing so, Lilyana’s showing a smile filled with meaning.
Though Miharu could sense a slight change in Lilyana’s expression, she couldn’t surmise the deep meaning behind that slight change.
「I see……………… Understood」
「With this Miharu-san is my teacher. Please take care of me」
Lilyana is bowing to Miharu with a awkward manner while putting on a deceitful smile.
「Tea-…… Cher? Me…….. To Lilyana-sama」
Miharu said those words in a high-pitched voice. When being called as a teacher, she could feel a great responsibility upon her shoulder. All the more when her student is the 1st princess herself.
「There’s no need to be so formal about it, will you accompany me for a tea time as a friend? 」
「I-I’ll do my best」
Lilyana unintentionally chuckled in seeing Miharu show such a tense expression.
「Well then, please come to my room at the same time as today starting from tomorrow. As for the reason for your visit, is it alright with you to write it as “To learn more about your work under guidance of Fril, my exclusive attendant”? 」
「Yes. Since I’ve got nothing to do before and after meal time」
Miharu volunteered herself to look after Masato and Aki but currently she has not that much work except for mealtime.
It seems Lilyana is also making that request based on that circumstance.
「Well then, our lesson will only start from tomorrow but please treat me well. I’ll send Fril as my messenger」
Lilyana’s saying so while glancing at Fril.
「Please treat me well. Miharu-sama」
Fril is bowing respectfully to Miharu.
「N-No, please treat me well too! 」
Miharu suddenly stood up from her chair and then bowed to Fril.
「By the way, taking this occasion, will you accompany me for a cup of tea? I want to have a proper conversation with Miharu-san afterall」
After that, Miharu decided to deepen her friendship with Lilyana by drinking tea with her.
Two day has passed after Rio’s rendesvous with Celia-tachi at the spring near the post-town.
They’re currently travelling toward the south direction traversing the south highway which stretched from the capital of earl Claire territory, Creia.
They should be able reach the checking station after advancing a bit more. After that the checking station by traversing via mountain regions, they’ll arrive at the junction highway which will lead them toward the east.
But, Rio-tachi won’t go through the checking station, they suddenly changed their route and entered the mountain and forest path which spread far on the side of the highway.
They’re travelling in formation with Vanessa as the vanguard, Kouta right behind her, and then following by Christina and Celia, with Rei and Rio as rear guard.
「Uhm, is it really okay to be straying away from the highway? 」
After they went into the trackless forest route, Kouta asked that question while looking at the surrounding.
It’s currently spring season and still in the morning but, since the sunlight hardly passes through the densely growing forest, it’s still dim and cool.
「Since at this rate, we were going to meet a checking station if we keep following the highway you know. And since we were on the run, the inspection should have reached that checking station by now. In worst case, the route is closed right now so the best choice it is to avoid that checking station isn’t it? 」
Christina’s doing the explanation from behind him.
「I- I see. But inside the forest is still dangerous………」
Maybe those dim vegetation turned Kouta into a timid person.
「Of course it’s dangerous. We might lose our way and frequently encountering wild beast or demon. But, be at ease. We’ll make a detour toward the highway after bypassing the checking station」
Though Vanessa heard the conversation from the vanguard position, she supplemented the explanation without even looking back.
Though her action is natural since they were currently on a completely trackless route separated from highway.
And then, she deliberately left out the part of how dangerous the act of travelling in this trackless route which strayed away from the highway.
Traveling on the trackless route alone is already taking a great deal of time and stamina, and can easily make them lose their way.
And that’s coming along with the risk of being ambushed by the wild beasts and demons just as told by Vanessa.
Moreover, though their fighting power aren’t that high, living things such as poisonous snakes and leeches which exist in great number in the forest is something that is extremely troublesome to deal with.
「W-Wild beast and demon………..」
Kouta is gulping his saliva.
「We can still go back to the highway but, do you want to go back to the castle? 」
Christina who couldn’t stand Kouta’s wimpy attitude is asking that question to him.
「N-No, I have no intention to go back to the castle. I chose to leave the castle on my own after all」
Kouta is frowning as he said those words. Christina is suddenly squinting her eyes.
「Right. In that case, please brace yourself. The sword that is hanging on your hip isn’t a mere decoration you know. Though we have lord Amakawa and Vanessa, you must fight for yourself when things turn for the worst」
Kouta is nodding in hearing her words. His profile became less gloomier than a while ago as if he lost quite chunks of his fear.
「Christina-sama. Let’s take a rest around this area. I found a water source nearby」
Vanessa proposed to take a rest after finding a small spring which is suitable for their resting place in the forest. It’s just right in the noon. And just the right time for their stomach to start grumbling.
「Since it’ll be boring to have a lunch as it is, I’ll do a simple meal using the ingredients in our stocks. Celia-ojousama. Will you help me conjure water with magic? 」
So Rio’s suggesting to make simple dishes.
「Yeah. I can but…………… Will you stop with that “ojousama”? Something in that name made me really embarassed. Or rather, why are you suddenly calling me in that way?」
Celia’s rebutting in that why with a embarrassed expression.
「……… But, how should I call you then? 」
Rio’s asking her with a troubled face while glancing at Christina-tachi.
In fact Rio wasn’t very good in keeping some distance with Celia in front of Christina-tachi. Thus he keeps reminding himself to keep some distance with Celia before arriving at this place.
「T-That’s, Hey. …….. You can just call me 『Celia』 like how you did normally」
Celia replied with a slightly embarassed face. Thereupon, Rio’s showing a subtly bewildered face.
「Like how you did normally? ………. But」
When addressing her without honorific, Rio decided to call her with her alias, 『Cecilia』.
But, when he addressed her with her real name, 『Celia』, he usually added 『Sensei』 after her name.
And yet, even if she says 『Just like usual』, the 『Usual』 actually never happened.
「L-Listen! Look! Otherwise I won’t conjure water for you! 」
Celia kept rattling with slightly flushed cheeks.
「……I Understood. Then, Celia. The water please」
Smiling wryly, Rio’s yielding to her. Thereupon, Celia’s smiling delightfully.
Christina-tachi is secretly looking curiously at their exchange.
「Yosh, now take out the pot! 」
When Celia said so, Rio replied with 「Yes」 and then lowered the backpack on his back to the ground.
And then proceeded to detach the pot that is fixed on his backpack with rope and placed it in front of Celia.
「Yeah. 《Create Water》」
Celia’s reciting the aria while holding her palm on top of the pot. Thereupon, a small magic formation appeared from her palm. The water then flowed toward the pot just like when it’s coming out from a faucet.
After simply washing the pot with water, he filled the pot with water for the second time. It’s filled with enough water in a mere 10 seconds.
「Please wait a minute. I’ll make a simple kitchen table for you ……《Earth Wall》」
Celia’s placed her hands on the ground and then recited the chant.
A magic formation arises from the ground in front of her and then followed by the ground protruding upward in a rectangular shape.
「You’re as skillful as usual in using your magic」
Rio praised her.
Though the user of 《Earth Wall》 magic can control the shape, durability and the size of the earth wall by controlling their magical power, to make the earth wall similar to the one created by Celia just now isn’t as simple as looking at it.
Since magic is developed for the sake of combat and not for something as trivial as cooking.
A minute detail like this is more suited for spirit arts. Since spirit arts isn’t bound by limitation called magic equation like magic.
「Leave it to me. Even though I look like this, I was a lecturer of magic and have quite a high ranking in my achievements in that area」
Celia’s replying with a slightly proud face. Maybe she’s happy to be able to help Rio.
「Thank you very much. Since I’m the one who cooks, will you help me with making chairs and a table with everyone? Since you’ll be able to take a rest after finishing making that」
「Yeah, leave it to me! 」
Celia’s nodding with a delighted face as she’s trotting happily.
Rio then took out 2 thin metallic plates from his backpack. Each of its surfaces was engraved with the same magic equation.
After placing the metallic plates on top of the kitchen table made by Celia, his hand quickly seized the pot and placing it on top of one of the metallic plates.
After placing severals magic stone around the plate, the plate then releasing a light as it’s absorbing the magical power of the magic stones and then releasing heat in return. By the way, this plate is a magic tool which the heat can be adjusted by adjusting the number of magic stones.
When he took out the ingredients and frying pan from his backpack, the cooking preparation is complete.
Using the time till the water in the pot is boiling, Rio started to cook.
First he diced the edible mushroom which he picked along the way inside of the forest and then tossing it along with vegetable oil and spices into the frying pan.
After the water in the pot is boiling, he throws the sliced jerky into the boiling pot. After carefully stir-frying the mushroom in the frying pan, he set it aside on a plate.
And then, not long after Rio commenced his cooking――,
「You’re skillful at this aren’t you」
Christina suddenly called from behind with an admiring face.
「Yeah, since it’s useful in various ways during a long journey. ………. Please wait for a while with everyone since it’ll be done soon」
Rio’s replying while glancing at her. Nonetheless, he tried to indirectly end the conversation since he didn’t feel like to do so.
But, Christina who isn’t leaving,
「Thank you very much. I’m truly grateful for you」
Suddenly saying her gratitude to Rio.
「Well it’s nothing, I’m just going along with the flow. Don’t worry about it」
Rio’s shaking his head in denial as if saying it in a hard way. Since Rio will go all the way and do everything to help Celia, saving Christina is just the end of the result.
「It’s for Celia-sensei right? 」
Christina asked that question frankly.
「……Yes. That’s right」
Rio paused for a while and then nodded at her. Thereupon――、
「……….. I see」
Christina’s expression darkened a bit.
Rio who focused on the dishes in front of him failed to notice her expression. Rio isn’t starting a conversation voluntarily and just cooking the dishes in silent.
Thereupon, the silence persisted for a while.
But then, Christina won’t leave that place. She’s just silently staring at the back of Rio who is still in the middle of cooking.
（Does she want to talk about something?）
Rio who feels Christina’s gaze on his back at a fixed distance felt slightly uncomfortable by her gaze.
Nevertheless, the dishes is about to be cooked. He’s currently cooking the rolled oats with a frying pan along with hot water.
He can’t let a momentary distraction spoil the dishes.
Well, maybe he doesn’t need to be so conscious about it more than this―― So he decided to continue the cooking with a nonchalant face. But,
「By the way, what is the name of that dish? 」