The Magus of Genesis — Chapter 21

Disenchant

解呪

 

It was the exact opposite of those fairy-tales.

The causes, the genders, even the order of it all.

 

​ “Why!?”

​ I cried out in spite of myself.

​ “Why… why isn’t it melting!?”

​ Yeah.

​ Even though we killed Jack Frost, Ai remained frozen.

​ “That Jack Frost guy should be gone now…”

​ Even Nina was frowning, her tone stiff.

​ “Yeah. He should be.”

​ According to Nina, Jack Frost’s reaction vanished a little after I ate him. There wasn’t a reaction even after she casted magic on the ice encasing Ai again, and the snow falling around here disappeared as well.

​ Rather than believing that Jack Frost had devised some countermeasure against detection magic, it would be better to think that the magic’s effect has continued on even after his disappearance.

​ But if we assume that, what should we do?

​ “Mentor.”

​ The one who came to the place Ai was frozen at was Guy, worried.

​ “Guy… sorry. Because of me, Ai…”

​ “Not, Mentor’s, fault.”

​ Guy shook his head as he spoke with some difficulty.

​ “But…”

​ “Mentor.”

​ Guy called my name as I was shaking my head, feeling like I wanted to vanish.

​ “I, don’t know, magic. I no good, at words, too.”

​ As he said, he still wasn’t well practiced with his Japanese.

​ But I understood what he was trying to convey and looked into his eyes.

​ “But Ai, I know. A little.”

​ He turned his gaze toward Ai, touching the pillar tenderly.

​ “I think, Ai did this, herself.”

​ “Herself? Why would she…”

​ “To be with Mentor, forever.”

​ I was shocked at the gravity of Guy’s brief statement.

​ It was all connected.

​ “That which is rock solid, yet as invisible as the wind. What is stale as a shadow, yet as dazzling as light, I call upon you!”

​ I uttered an incantation.

​ Not towards Ai, but towards the ice inside the ice house.

​ “Please teach me. Teach me what you heard, the words you’ve stored.”

​ At that moment, countless words streamed toward me.

​ I finally understood it all.

​ The only people in this world that knew what Jack Frost looked like was me and Ai.

​ The two of us visited that snowy mountain.

​ She had used cold magic over and over in that ice house.

​ It was conceivable that Jack Frost’s manifestation had to do with Ai’s magic. However, I was wondering if it was a side effect of her magic or an accidental outcome from using the magic so much.

​ But I was wrong.

​ Ai is a very patient child.

​ I’ve never seen her complaining or being dissatisfied in front of anyone, not even once.

​ But it wasn’t like she didn’t have any complaints to give.

​ That that was obvious, I hadn’t realized at all.

​ Jack Frost didn’t just suddenly appear last night.

​ It had stayed within that ice house for a long time, listening to Ai express her true thoughts.

​ Then, when he saw that I wouldn’t accept her, he showed himself.

​ Jack Frost wasn’t running away.

​ In his own way, he was trying to realize Ai’s desire.

​ “… Ai.”

​ I turned to the frozen Ai and placed my paw against the ice pillar.

​ Ai’s height was around a hundred and sixty centimeters.

​ Although my height was two-ish meters, my head’s position at the end of my neck was a little lower, just enough so that I would look her straight in the eye.

​ Yeah.

​ The perspective of this young girl who’d always clung to my forelegs was already the same height as mine.

​ Meanwhile, I hadn’t grown at all.

​ It wasn’t as though I wouldn’t grow any further—that much could be seen by looking at mother.

​ She was more than tenfold my current size.

​ My lifespan is long. Overwhelmingly so.

​ Although Ai was now a matured woman, I still hadn’t left my adolescence as far as dragons are concerned. That’s just how it is.

​ Because of that, Ai would overtake me in the blink of an eye, continuing on to a far away place.

​ The thought of that scared me, it was painful. Therefore, I kept her away.

​ I wholeheartedly pretended not to notice that she longed for me.

​ What, I wanted her to be happy?

​ It was just me running away.

​ Ai understood that we were so different, yet still chose to be with me… to the point of freezing herself.

​ “… I don’t want that.”

​ My true feelings tumbled out.

​ But her magic was strong, strong enough that perhaps only she herself could undo it.

​ In that case, this magic would never be undone.

​ … No.

​ There is a way, just one.

​ Just like how Ken called out to me and summoned my flames, I just need to call out to Ai and use her magic.

​ “… Ai.”

​ The way I had been speaking to call out to all of the various objects followed an incantation theory I came up with.

​ Nevertheless, I completely ignored that method and the first thing to come from my mouth was her name. I racked my brain trying to think of how I should continue.

​ “If… if us being together forever means you being frozen, I don’t want that.”

​ Not stopping, I continued to speak like an unreasonable child.

​ “That fish I ate with you… was terribly delicious.”

​ Unable to think of a good incantation, I was instead only able to recall our memories together.

​ “I truly enjoyed living together in the same house as you and Nina… though bathing together was embarrassing.”

​ Oh, so that was it?

​ I suddenly realized it.

​ “It’s all thanks to you that everyone is able to live so prosperously now. You, who’s been with me this whole time.”

​ Up till now, I didn’t understand what magic was at all.

​ “Tomorrow, next week, next year, even beyond that.”

​ Why is it that magic gets stronger as the incantation grows larger?

​ “Forever and ever… I’ll always want to see your smile.”

​ It’s because you’re filling it with your thoughts, your heart.

​ “Please, come out. Ai.”

​ I embraced the ice pillar.

​ “I—love you.”

​ At that moment.

​ The ice pillar suddenly lost its hardness and crashed down as water.

 
19_BW
 

​ “I love you, too—”

​ Her voice trembling, Ai looked at me with teary eyes.

​ “I love you, Mentor.”

​ “Ai!”

​ Enduring the impulse to hug her as tightly as I could, I gently placed my claws on her shoulders.

​ With that, she jumped toward me and hugged my head tightly, kissing me on my brow.

​ Her soft touch and gentle scent tickled my nostrils.

​ “Congratulations, Brother!”

​ The heavenly joy I felt quickly drowned out Darg’s voice.

​ Which reminds me.

​ I’d lost myself and forgot about them, but Darg, Nina, Ken, and Guy had all watched that.

​ Rather, the sun had risen and many of the villagers were gathering around us.

​ “Maaan, I thought they’d get together at some point, guess it finally happened.”

​ “Now I can, be, relieved.”

​ “Really, I thought it’d take a few more years.”

​ “But Mentor did his best yeah?”

​ “For him to say I love you in front of so many people…”

​ “Even so, it’s a good thing.”

​ “Yeah, but too bad for Nina.”

​ “Hey now, I’ll comfort her.”

​ “Nina’s too flat, I’ll pass.”

​ “She will punch you, you know.”

​ The villagers cheered and jeered amongst themselves.

​ It was at this moment that I was glad at being born a red dragon.

​ It’s not like my face could get any more red, after all.

 

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