“Actually, I kind of like it.”
The dragon spoke shamelessly despite having
just annihilated the pond’s ecosystem.
“I bathe daily.”
Feeling the ground around me shake, I turned around and reflexively took on my dragon form.
At practically the same instant, Lufelle jumped into my arms.
“Lufelle, that’s dangerous.”
“Ehehe, sorry. But it doesn’t hurt, right?”
Lufelle didn’t seem to regret anything with her response.
I just couldn’t make myself scold her when she acted as adorably as this.
She was such a timid girl, but she truly did change.
Lufelle, having learned the way to control her titanomakhia, mastered it with surprising quickness.
The only terrifying thing about her was her ability to learn.
After getting to the point that she could do something that she couldn’t do without the incantation without the incantation, she’d then become able to use it practically unconsciously. Not just that, but she’d even become able to exert only the necessary about of destructive power if she needed.
She’d recently been using that power of hers in building houses, cultivating fields, and maintaining roads. Given that her actual strength easily outmatched what she already looked like she had, she actively did the work of what would need more than a hundred people to do.
With her newfound self-confidence and no more need to fear being in contact with others, Lufelle was a truly sweet girl.
She couldn’t afford to be like this around others until now, so she was likely just starved for contact.
Even if she could now control her power, though, she still did have a two-ton body, so I was the only one who could actually support her weight like this… Which is why she’s been clingy with me lately.
“Mentor, what are you working on?”
“Oh, I’m just wasting a lot of effort.”
I’d haphazardly assembled another water wheel that, as ever, refused to turn.
No matter how much time I spent wracking my brains on changing its shape or how I matched the waterway’s width with the water mill, the rather quickly running water would never turn the water mill. The water would just slip through whatever tiny gaps it could find.
Even if I pushed down on one side of it to make the water start falling like a water fall, it wouldn’t work. If I assume that the water does have its own intention, it looks like it definitely doesn’t want to turn the water mill.
“What is it?”
“It’s a water mill. To be exact, it’s what I tried to make be a water mill.”
Lufelle inclined both her body and head at that.
“I wanted it to turn by the force of the water pressing against it, then convey that force over to the millstone so that it would spin automatically.”
I summed up the principles of water mills for her.
“So… if it worked properly, it would be very helpful to the villagers, huh!”
She responded after quickly realizing how useful it would be. Although the way she looked and how she spoke made her seem young, Lufelle was by no means a poor learner. She was at the very least well-equipped enough to enroll in the university.
“If it moved, yeah. But it’s refusing to.”
“Mmm… so… the water’s power isn’t doing enough to turn it?”
Lufelle asked, her brows squinched together adorably.
“You could say that.”
“Then, can’t we just ask it to like with my titanomakhia?”
Lufelle’s statement caused me to realize it with a jolt.
Right. Why didn’t I realize such a simple thing sooner?
If the water wouldn’t turn it, I’d just have it move by magic.
The magic wouldn’t last too long, of course.
Even if we used a magic formation, it would only last a few hours at the most. I figure that would still be a much easier method than manually turning the mill by hand, but more importantly, there’s an even better method.
Rin said that everything in this world has its own intent.
In other words, that meant that everything in this world was magic.
And so—the most simplistic, primitive type of magic.
“O’ water. That which flows, which holds no form, which chills at night. I bestow you with a name.”
That is, giving something a name.
In this world, being recognized by a name, being defined by it, was magic—
“Undine. Undine, the Maiden of Water. Appear before me!”
Magic itself held intent.
A column of water burst up from the waterway in response to my summons, billowing outward.
It reshaped itself, slowly taking the form of a transparent woman.
She appeared as I’d imagined her to be. As I was the one to name her, I’d also given her form.
The water making her up was as if it was plucked out of the world’s concept of water.
“Sorry, Undine, but could you please turn this water wheel?”
Undine, hearing my request, smiled.
Then, she reformed into a column of water and jumped back into the river in the blink of an eye.
“… Guess that’s a no.”
“Looks like it.”
I guess that’s how it is.
I, a fire dragon, wasn’t good with water magic. I couldn’t even produce a single drop of water.
I wonder if she dislikes me because I have no aptitude? Or maybe I have no aptitude because she dislikes me?
It’s like the question of what came first, the chicken or the egg? Still though, there is one thing I know now.
The water wheel not moving is one hundred percent my fault.
＊ ＊ ＊
“Ooh, Mentor, it’s moving!”
Having looked over to the mill from the other side of the house over the roof, Lufelle called out to me.
Rin had asked Undine to turn the water wheel. I moved away just in case and had asked Lufelle to monitor the situation.
“I guess Rin doing it was the right call after all.”
I doubt there was anyone in the village as beloved by the water her.
If it didn’t work with her, it wouldn’t have worked with anyone.
“Huh? It stopped?”
As soon as I thought that, Lufelle spoke up in confusion.
“Mentor, maybe having it moving all the time won’t work?”
The one to say that was Rin, who’d flown over to us.
“It flows away.”
It made sense, in a way. Although one might get the impression that so long as there was water, a spirit would be there, but that wasn’t the case. It would stay for a little while if called for, but it would continue and flow away with the water.
“… How do you think we could go about asking all of the water spirits to do it?”
“Mmm… put up a sign, maybe?”
A sign. I wasn’t prepared for how simple Rin’s suggestion would be.
“Oh, but they can’t read huh.”
“… Maybe they could?”
I hadn’t taught Undine our language either, after all.
Even so, the spirit was able to understand us. Probably.
“A sign… a sign, huh.”
Rin had come up with a pretty useful idea.
It reminded me of something similar.
A kind of magic that didn’t rely on incantations through language, but on characters scribed into wood and stone.