“Are you really gonna leave?”
It’s been 5 years since Hermes became Rose’s apprentice.
Rose’s voice resounded in the depths of a deserted forest far removed from the royal capital.
Her physical appearance hasn’t changed in the slightest since the day they met. In the time they lived together, Hermes never saw her youthful beauty or her perfectly proportioned body change whatsoever.
He didn’t know his master’s age in the first place. He had a general idea, but the reasoning he used never added up with her unaging physical appearance, so he was still half in doubt and half convinced.
He answered his master’s solemn question, who remained full of mystery even after he spent 5 years with her.
“…Yes. I’m going to return to the capital.”
On the other hand, Hermes had naturally shown huge change within these past 5 years.
He was 15 years old this year. Although he didn’t make for a good comparison to the average boy his age, he had a well-built body. His face, while retaining the same gentleness from before, was now mature, having conquered his previous timidness.
Unlike his body, the aura he gave off became more adult-like than his age, as well as more composed.
His jade pupils gleamed with determination as he declared his intent, his voice completely unwavering.
“I don’t want to let Master’s teachings go to waste. I want to regain the dreams I once had. And most importantly—I want to discover ‘my own magic’. In order to do all that, I need to see all sorts of magic at the royal capital. I want to accomplish all of that more than anything.”
Hearing his resolute words, Rose looked downwards as if in deep thought about something.
Before long, right when Hermes thought he saw her body tremble—
“……I DON’T LIKE THIS AFTER AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL!”
—she clung to Hermes with all her strength.
Without shame nor any shred of respectability, she clung to Hermes with no intention of letting him go, her eyes teary and her voice trembling.
Truth be told, she looked so pathetic that her dignified aura from just moments before was shattered into pieces.
“C’mon, Herm! Can’t you think it over again!? There’s no way in hell I can handle being separated from you anymore!”
“No, hold on… Master was the one who suggested that going back to the capital was a good idea in the first place, right?”
“I did, but…! You might not know, but my life until you showed up was pretty goddamn awful, you know!?”
“Y-Yes, I’m aware. After all, I was probably the one who improved that horrible life of yours.”
Rose, his master, was truly a splendid magician.
…No, maybe I should rephrase that.
As a magician, she was truly a splendid person. It was true that he learned a great deal of knowledge and techniques from her.
However, if Hermes were to put it completely bluntly, Rose was totally hopeless at everything except magic, to the point where it was impressive.
Living chaotically and neglecting her own health was the norm. She left her room in a total mess, and she never had the slightest notion of the phrase “cleaning up”.
She’d put off changing clothes and doing the laundry, and she’d even say taking a bath was a “pain in the ass” when her magic research was making progress. Hermes couldn’t even begin to count how many times he forcefully threw his master into the bathtub as she grumbled, “I clean myself with magic, so who cares”.
Hermes, although still young at the time, understood that going along with his master’s way of life was clearly a bad idea. Having resolved himself, Hermes decided that he should take care of Rose’s everyday chores, just as everyone else did for Hermes until now.
And so, in between training, he spent 5 years working hard at all sorts of domestic chores that he’s never done until now and figuring out his master’s food preferences when cooking.
He improved to the point where he proudly considered himself to be just as good as other people. His master, on the other hand—
“I… I can’t… I CAN’T LIVE IF YOU AREN’T WITH ME ANYMOORE!”
Just like that, she successfully evolved from someone who was always hopeless into someone who went back to being hopeless if Hermes wasn’t around.
I thought she was a really cool person around the time we met, though… Hermes thought back nostalgically as he soothed his master, who clung to him for dear life.
“…Um, Master. If you restrain me with all your power like that, it makes it hard for me to leave…”
“Guh, being told that hits the hardest…!”
She was probably self-aware that she was whining like a child herself.
She somewhat loosened her grip, but still seeming reluctant to part, she spoke closely to Hermes.
“But still… I won’t be able to eat your food all that often, and I won’t be able to pat your head, hug you really tight, or sleep together with you… How lonely…”
“D-Doing that latter half is getting embarrassing, so I’d appreciate it if you held back on that, even while I’m here.”
Fortunately, Rose cherished the aspects of Hermes that weren’t just magic.
Nevertheless, just as she said, there were times where she doted on him more than he ever imagined. Ever since he started going through puberty, the excessive physical contact with a beautiful woman older than him made him feel quite embarrassed, as well as other things.
However, taking into consideration everything she’s done for him, Hermes was truly indebted to her. It’d be impossible to fully express his gratitude to her.
“In regards to meals, I’ve left several recipes that even Master can easily make. You’re at least automatically taking care of chores with your magic, and I’ll try and come home as much as possible—”
“Aah, geez! Why do you have to be such an admirable, cute, and good kid! I’d rather have you be an annoying little shit, so at least then I’d be able to gladly kick you out! No, but actually, I don’t wanna see Herm act like that! What the hell should I do…!?”
“Master, I think it’d be best if you calmed down a little…”
Rose continued to make all sorts of noises and restrained Hermes, but she must’ve finally collected herself after all that whining and crying.
“…I already know. It’s what they call leaving the nest…”
She separated herself from him, and just after she quietly grumbled, Rose made a serious face—her magician face.
“Herm, I believe you understand as well, but remember—the things I’ve taught you these past 5 years are the ‘seed’.”
“You’re the one who’ll choose what kind of magic you’ll learn from here, as well as what kind of flower you want your magic to bloom into. In order to do that, you should observe a ton of even greater magic—in other words, Bloodline Magic.”
That’s why he was going to the royal capital. Going to the place where many nobles had outstanding Bloodline Magic went hand in hand with his magic studies.
He was given that proposition a few days ago by Rose herself.
“But if all you’re doing is observing Bloodline Magic, then there’re other options than just that. You can do plenty of things if you stay here.”
“Besides, if I’m gonna be honest, the royal capital is a terrible place. It’s a gathering spot for lazy, underhanded people who’re content with what they’ve had since birth and don’t try to think for themselves at all. I’m sure you’ll end up seeing some things you’d rather not see.”
Rose continued, once again asking me the same question.
“Despite that, are you still gonna go?”
Just as before, he didn’t waver in his response.
“Yes, I’m going. I have things I want to do specifically in the capital.”
That was the place where he once lived as a noble. He hardly had any decent memories of there, but he still had some slight regrets.
He wanted to see with his own eyes how the people he once associated with were doing now.
And more than anything else, he wanted to take back the thing he once lost there for the sake of his magic.
…And then, if possible—
Using magic, he wanted to show a new path to people in trouble, just like how Rose once saved him when he was at rock bottom.
He was sure that was how a magnificent magician, which he yearned to be in the past and ever after, ought to be.
She heard his answer and murmured just like before.
After tightly hugging him once more, she smiled from ear to ear this time along.
“Well then, be on your way! Go on a rampage at the royal capital! Prove how strong you’ve become to the guys who once casted you away as incompetent!”
At last, his master supported his decision and encouraged him.
Without any reserve, he dashed off. His destination was the forest entrance, then to the place where he was once banished from.
“I LOVE YOU, MY APPRENTICE—!!!”
The loud, bright, and beautiful voice of his master resounded throughout the forest for miles on end.
A few days after that, around the same day Hermes had arrived at the capital.
At a deserted back alley in a remote region of the capital—
The wild breathing of a girl resounded.
She was frantically running. It was like she was in a rush to do something… or perhaps, she was running away from something.
As if to turn that possibility into reality, a voice echoed from behind her back.
“AHAHAHAHA! It’s pointless, you can’t run away from me!”
Having heard that voice, she realized that he was still hot on her trail and put even more strength into her legs.
However, her completely exhausted body was unable to bring out any more speed. As she continued running, she heard a voice—and this time, closer than before.
“It’s about time you quit this needless resistance, Lady Katia!”
She understood that she couldn’t outrun him, yet she was unable to stop her feet.
The girl—Katia von Trakia—spoke with a heartbroken expression.
“Why, Your Highness Astor!?”
At an unbelievable timing, which could only be described as a twist of fate—
Right under Hermes’ nose, the destiny which had yet to unfold drew near.
Today’s post. This was supposed to be out yesterday, but my internet shit itself again, this time for a majority of the day and I was locked out of the doc I was using. I usually just type all my translations on a Grammarly doc to act as my glorified comma checker in case I miss anything, but it locks me out if I lose connection. This has happened twice now, so I’ll just switch to google docs or something, my apologies. Anyway tmrw is 2 magic arrow chaps, see you guys then.