Author: lipzoldyck

 

I4.

 

The blue bird instantly changed its direction.

 

Chirp!

 

It changed direction and flew rapidly through the air, flapping its wings. Meanwhile, what had been almost the size of a house became smaller and smaller, and by the time they got close, it had turned into a bird almost the size of the palm of her hand.

 

In the twinkling of an eye, all the pieces of ice in front of her eyes were cleared, and the bird flew towards her without any obstruction.

 

At the same time as Ei naturally reached out for the bird, Kade murmured next to Ivan.

 

“It’s the Tower Master’s familiar.”

 

“Huh, did Tower Master have a familiar?”

 

“You might not know. He only brought his familiar with him once during the war.”

 

Even then, it used ice magic. Looking at the bird in the direction Kade pointed, he saw small pieces of ice floating around the bird.

 

The Master of the Magic Tower was nowhere to be seen, and seeing as the bird stopped attacking as soon as it found Ei, it seemed that the ice-type magic that had just flown in was cast by the Tower Master’s familiar.

 

“…Brother Kade. Is it possible for an ordinary familiar to freely use magic?”

 

“If the master gives the order, or if the familiar is too smart, it’s possible.”

 

With a quick glance, Kade’s gaze landed on the chunks of ice hanging from the ceiling.

 

“Also, the master’s ability affects the familiar’s magical ability too.”

 

Ah, just like the Master of the Magic Tower, that familiar is also unique. Ivan understood and nodded his head, but Lily opened her mouth in a calm voice.

 

“I think the bird and Ei know each other.”

 

Chirp, the bird chirped again. As if all of its aggressive behavior was a lie, the bird was meekly rubbing its face in Ei’s hand. It was an obedient attitude, as if Ei was its master.

 

When Ivan glanced at the bird in a welcome gesture at a glance, Ei smiled lightly and spoke to the bird.

 

“Lisa, long time no see.”

 

Chirp!

 

“Wow, Sister Ei… Have you met that bird?”

 

“Yeah, in the past.”

 

Did you know that bird just attacked us? When Ivan was about to ask, there was a sudden roar as if something had exploded.

 

“Sister Ei!”

 

When everyone was taken aback by the unexpected sound, a bright voice came through the white smoke. Everyone’s eyes were focused on the direction of the sound. And at the same time, a child’s arm popped out in front of them.

 

Long, curly blue hair passed before Ivan’s eyes for a moment, and a girl who suddenly jumped out of the smoke came into Ei’s arms.

 

“Sister!”

 

“Hmm.”

 

Ei staggered from the sudden rebound, and the girl quickly let her go. But even so, the smile on her face was still the same, somehow reminding them of something that had just welcomed Ei until now.

 

Ei’s voice trembled as she asked the question, unable to hide her bewilderment.

 

“Lisa?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

As if she was glad that she was being recognized, the way she jumped on the spot was really child-like.

 

With blue hair that reached her waist, she looked like a 10-year-old at most, and her baby fat wasn’t left behind, thus she has a milky, round face. A short, bright-eyed girl stood in front of them.

 

“Wow, you could turn into a human?”

 

When Ivan suddenly asked with delight, Lisa quickly changed her expression and glared at Ivan.

 

“You’re also basically an animal, can’t you even recognize that?”

 

“No, I might not know that… It’s my first time knowing that the Master of the Magic Tower has a familiar!”

 

The fact that him being a beastman was discovered in a first glance wasn’t noticed right away. Even if he said so as if it was unfair, the child in front of his eyes just turned her head coldly.

 

And she looked at Ei again, smiling, and changing her expression.

 

“I always wanted to talk to you, and now I can!”

 

Lisa shouted with sparkling eyes, dangling from Ei’s arm just like she did when she was in the form of a bird, as she had played on her fingers. Ei, who seemed to be taken aback by the appearance, quickly captured her expression and spoke in a friendly voice.

 

“I didn’t know you could turn into a human, Lisa.”

 

“Originally, I couldn’t! So um, um…”

 

Lisa wiggled her fingers, and then she folded a few, she said.

 

“7 years? Yep, 7 years! I met Sister for the last time and after that, I could turn into a human! I practiced so hard to show it to Sister later.”

 

“…You want to show it to me?”

 

“Yeesss.”

 

At the same time, her smile was as clean as any normal child’s.

 

“I missed Sister very much. My master also wanted to see Sister very much.”

 

“…”

 

When Ei didn’t answer right away and was silent, Lisa went on.

 

“Master’s feelings affect me too. Because we’re connected.”

 

“…I see.”

 

“As much as Master wanted to see Sister, I also wanted to see you. Sister, that’s what I mean.”

 

“Hmm.”

 

Lisa dug deeper into her arms.

 

“I keep getting better for Sister.”

 

“…”

 

“Even in 10 years of not seeing Sister. I went on and on because I missed Sister so much that there were times when I wanted to cry, you know?”

 

Ivan noticed that Lisa’s eyes, looking up at Ei, were the same purple as the Master of the Magic Tower.

 

“How much would the Master like Sister, then?”

 

It was obviously a joke she added, yet the person who heard it didn’t seem to take it as one. Ei’s face contorted for a moment, then she pursed her lips a few times.

 

Finally, with a faint smile on her face, Ei stroked Lisa.

 

“Yeah, I’m curious too.”

 

A voice filled with laughter continued for a while.

 

“That’s why I came all the way here to ask him. How much he would like me.”

 

“Hehe, welcome! I’m sure the Master would be very happy to see Sister!”

 

Because I missed you so much! At the bright and upbeat tone, Ivan involuntarily turned his head to examine Ei’s face.

 

Yet unfortunately, Ei’s expression was filled with emotions that Ivan couldn’t understand. No, he could only recognize one. What is that?

 

…Anger?

 

“Then, Lisa.”

 

Ei lowered her head to Lisa’s eye level.

 

“Will you take me to Dante?”

 

“Of course! I’ll take you! Um, but.”

 

Lisa glanced sideways at the rest of the party, including Ivan.

 

“I don’t think I can move everyone else…”

 

“Hmm.”

 

At those words, Ei raised her head for a moment and met others’ eyes. As soon as Ivan saw her eyes, he almost said that she could go to him alone.

 

“Go ahead.”

 

Rather, Kade spoke faster.

 

“It’s better for you to meet him than everyone not being able to meet the Master of the Magic Tower and make a fuss. And above all…”

 

Kade closed his eyes slowly for a moment before he opened them.

 

“I think it would be more effective if you went alone.”

 

The words that followed were so quiet that no one could hear them except for Ivan, who was right next to him. But Ivan quietly agreed with his words and shrugged his shoulders, and Lily must have nodded as well.

 

Ei gave them a small smile.

 

“I’ll be back.”

 

Lily, who was standing next to Ivan, looked worried for a while, then Ei held Lisa’s hand.

 

Ei instantly disappeared into the icy whirlpool.

 

***

 

A strong wind blew my hair wildly. In the crowded field of view, I caught glimpses of ice fragments of different shapes everywhere. On the ceiling, on the walls, on the floor… There were pieces of ice in every space visible through the blurred vision.

 

As I closed and opened my eyes for a moment, the ice fragments quickly cleared and so did my vision.

 

Unlike the rest of the Magic Tower, which was almost in ruins, there was a relatively tidy-looking space in front of me. A bluish light was leaking in from beyond the large window, and the air, which didn’t feel warm at all, was just as cold as if it would freeze everything at any moment.

 

And standing right in the middle was the person I had been looking forward to meeting all this time. The person I thought of dozens, hundreds, thousands of times on the way to here. Someone I missed and hated, someone who made me anxious, but made me even sadder than that.

 

My husband, who said he would give me the world, who brought disaster on the battlefield because of my death, was there.

 

…Looks like Lisa has taken me right.

 

When he turned his head to look at Lisa, Lisa, who was holding my hand, smiled and slowly backed away.

 

The little warmth that had been wrapped around my hand was gone, and my fingertips quickly became cold.

 

“Sister, see you later.”

 

At the same time as the innocent whisper, ice gushed from where Lisa was. Seeing that the figure of the girl disappeared in an instant, I thought she had probably moved out of her place.

 

In the space where only the two of us were left, I stared at Dante, who was standing, unaware of my presence. He seemed deep in thought, yet his face was infinitely cold, and therefore infinitely unfamiliar.

 

He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t even notice someone came in. After trying to think calmly, the mass of magic circles that he must have made as a result of another thought clearly came to my mind.

 

I never thought I would feel like I’m going crazy in real time. That is, of course, at the moment of reunion with the person I wanted to see.

 

As I strode towards Dante, he heard the footsteps and turned his head, then I saw his eyes widened.

 

Why, are you surprised? So what.

 

I grabbed Dante by the collar.

 

“You son of a bitch.”

 

Author's Thoughts

this chapter is sponsored by Seren (2/5)

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