So while the name is “Chinese Sweet Flag”, I could only find plant articles about the Japanese variant, hence I dropped it from the title.
「Nico, what’s wrong?」
In the self-study garden, I asked Nico who had just finished punching for stress relief. Because Nico opened their eyes to the brim of their long eyelashes, Ojou, who was sitting at the edge of the water fountain and waiting for us to finish, tilts her head in confusion.
「What is it, so suddenly?」
「Hmm, there’s something like a feeling you aren’t energetic.」
「I think I’m the same as always, though.」
Because I have a bad feeling that I can’t even put into words, I ask, and when Ojou says something similar, she says I’m only imagining it.
「Why would you think that, though?」
「Well…… it’s rare for Nico to have weak defenses, or how should I put it, the angle of his punch isn’t straightforward.」
「I don’t understand.」
Because only I received hits, even if I explain the feeling he doesn’t understand, Ojou says she can’t understand while half closing her eyes. Because I was asked, I answered, but something like talking to a girl like Ojou about fists, that topic is boring.
When I was thinking of saying I’m sorry for the boring talk, Nico let out a sigh. Then, he lifts his head up and gives a forced smile.
「I still have a ways to go for my acting ability, huh?」
Saying that, he sits down next to Ojou. I follow, sitting down next to him.
When I look in front of me, with yesterday’s rains, the dew is left on the grasses, and at the opposite side, on the border of the sunny area, the trees flicker with light.
As for whether or not to talk, if it’s the case that it’s easier for Nico to talk, if he can say it, it’s better, and if he doesn’t want to talk, it’s fine, I think. At least I can be stress relief for him.
Thinking that, when I wait for Nico’s judgment, he suddenly opens his mouth.
「Yesterday, it rained, right?」
「Because it’s the rainy season, recently it’s come down a lot, right?」
A long drizzling rain had come down from dusk to night. Because there weren’t any signs of it becoming violent, we stayed at the cabin and waited to see how things went. Then, at the time of departure, it seemed strangely bitter.
「When it rains, my sister gets sick.」
「Nico, you had an older sister?」
I’m slightly surprised at the truth I hadn’t heard about. Nico confirms it, and his long eyelashes fall as he continues talking.
「Before, she would only have a small headache, but recently the headaches are so strong she even has to rest in her bed……」
Because he isn’t a doctor, the fact there’s nothing he can do is frustrating. For Ojou and I, hearing this, similarly there’s nothing we can do. Regarding her deterioration, we certainly can’t say something like we hope she gets better as that’s just wishful thinking.
Along with Ojou who seems to be frustrated, Nico also looks over at me who is pondering, and softly gives a forced smile.
「Ahhh, won’t the rainy season end soon, I wonder?」
Nico lets out the wish of the simple solution. Just looking at his sister in that condition is painful.
I felt a sense of a hint floating lightly in my mind. I trace back those remains of what was on my mind.
「Wh, wh, what are you doing!?」
When I follow it, I unconsciously bring my head close to the bottom of Nico’s neck. Nico is a little surprised and pulls back a little, and Ojou lets out an agitated voice. However, although I feel around for the faint sensation, I’m concentrating, and can’t return a reply.
「……Nico, what’s your magical element?」
Haring Nico’s reply, I think on the uncomfortable feeling I noticed.
「W, why did you have to smell Nicholas-sama!?」
Having it pointed out by Ojou, I at last realize the situation, and the source of the feeling is the nape of Nico’s neck, or in other words, because I was around his hair, it ended up being that I was smelling him.
「My bad. Ah, you smell like something sweet.」
Around when I first approached, I noticed that there’s a slightly sweet smell. Around the time I first saw Nico, I thought his appearance just seemed to make him smell nice, but he really does.
「Because smelling of sweat is unappealing, I use cologne, you know.」
「It’s lilac, right? For me, if it’s this much, it’s a good smell.」
I’m bad with deep and strong smells, but if it’s around this gentle level, it’s fine. The sweet smell is also a flower I like, so it’s good.
「Before, Zack told me something like that, right? So, I used it just that much.」
Because I guessed right about the type of cologne, Nico seems to happily smile. That cologne was custom made, isn’t it? I don’t know.
「……Hm? Ojou, what’s wrong??」
Somehow Ojou’s cheeks were swelling and she was holding her gaze steady at us. It seems like she was going to get mad, but so far I hadn’t seen any indication she was mad.
「You’re making an interesting face, you know.」
During the time I was thinking why she was getting mad, Nico mercilessly poked Ojou’s face. Poked, Ojou seemed to feel ashamed, putting her hands on her cheek and not giving any pursuit to defend herself.
Was it Nico’s teasing, as although I expected Ojou to be mad at me, her spiteful eyes were facing Nico. However, even when Ojou glares, Nico seems calm. That glare it painful, isn’t it?
Now that I think about it, what was Ojou scolding me about? Although Nico was seriously talking, was it because I interrupted it with my actions? I didn’t have any ill will, but I didn’t understand how to explain to the two of them what was on my mind.
Nico, receiving Ojou’s glare, suddenly drops his smile as if he lost heart.
「Well, thank you for listening to me.」
Suddenly, Ojou’s facial expression became awkward. She apologizes for only being able to listen.
「……I only listened.」
「That’s enough, you know. Because I said that, don’t worry about it anymore.」
Saying that, Nico lightly stretches Ojou’s cheeks, as if inducing her to smile.
「Because the summer white chrysanthemums were blooming, I’ll ask my father if I can have some. Certainly, her headache will subside.」
The scent had that kind of effect. Summer white chrysanthemums are exactly in season, so my mother makes tea leaves with them, and so if possible, we should share them with Nico.
「Then, because that dandelion head is tired of waiting, it’s about time we go back, right?」
Nico raised the topic of Ojou’s guard, Pome, who is standing by the opposite side of the hedge fence. Ojou and I nod, then leave the self-study garden. When we leave the hedges, Pome is sleeping on the ground at the base of a tree. That day, Nico went back with a bouquet of white chrysanthemums.
For me, the meaning of that uncomfortable feeling I realized weighed on my mind.
A few days later, I opened the door next to the silver plum potted plant.
「Mom, I’m home.」
「Please excuse the intrusion.」
From the opened door, Nico who came with me takes off his hood, and gives his greetings after me.
「Oh my, welcome. He’s a really pretty child, isn’t he?」
「Nico really is a beautiful person. More than that, can he come in?」
At my mother’s thoughts, I really agree, and ask, wanting to confirm. My mother answers saying of course he can come in, and goes to the kitchen to prepare tea.
「At any rate, this is convenient, but at this time, winter clothing is hot.」
While taking off the overcoat that has the covertness effect, Nico lets out his dissatisfactions. He asked that on a holiday, if it would be fine to visit, but even if Nico’s a boy, he’s a beautiful person, so coming as he is would be dangerous. Because of that, I requested to borrow it.
「Sorry about that. Let’s make one for summer, too.」
「No, don’t make more of this sort of problem.」
When I think about if he was waiting at the dining room table, the owner of the overcoat who came before comes out to greet us and apologize. However, he unconsciously rushed into the contents of the apology. When I think about the worries of Matteus-onii-chan, it’s better not to make more of this kind of item.
Nico, seeming to open his mouth to ask who this is, stops his words. With how he seems to remember, he stares at Leo wearing a wig of brown hair. At that sight, Leo reacts with a smile.
After several seconds, Nico seems to realize something, but at the unbelievable sight his eyes open wide.
「I often talk with Eugen, but outside of greetings, this is the first time I’ve talked with Nicholas, huh?」
While wearing the wig, with his sparkling face, Leo can be correctly recognized. I don’t understand who Eugen is, but he’s likely the prime minister, Nico’s father.
Receiving Leo’s confirmation, Nico grabs my shoulders and turns his back to Leo, with a whisper asks me a question.
「Why is the prince in Zack’s house!?」
「Eh? That overcoat, I borrowed it from Leo.」
「Hmm, I accidentally found him as a lost child??」
「You pick up too many things……」
When I quickly explain the details of how I met Leo, Nico seems to become exhausted and give up with a sigh. Nico tells me I’m the kind of person who would often pick up lost kids, but Leo and his older brother and younger sister are the only ones I’ve encountered.
「Then, it’s fine, right?」
「That guy is Miss Dia’s fiance, right?」
Nico asks that in a whisper while pointing to Leo. Even if it’s secretly with your thumb, is it okay to point at the prince like that?
「That’s right, you say……」
「Even before Ojou was engaged to him, I already got to know him.」
「Ahh, I see.」 [T/N: Nico 100% on the Zack/Ojou ship]
When I don’t understand the meaning of the question and tilt my head, Nico because exhausted and drops his shoulders.
Nico, who asked questions only to me, turns to face Leo.
「If it’s here, is it fine to call you Leo?」
「Yes. It’s really helpful that you’re quick to understand. You’re just Zack’s friend, right?」
「I’m already used to it. For me, calling me Nico is fine, you know.」
「Thank you. I will do just that.」
Even if they don’t introduce themselves, the two of them get to know each other and come to an agreement. However, just what in the world was Nico used to?
Exactly at that time, there’s a knocking sound, and I opened the front door.
「Good day. Auntie, today is…… wh!?」
「Oh dear, I’m sorry.」
While talking at the front door, Maria, who turned up, bumped into the back of Nico.
Did her small nose hit him, as while holding her face with one hand, Maria looked upa s if to confirm the true character of the person she ran into, and saw Nico’s face as he looked over his shoulder. At that moment, Maria turned red and she froze up, her facial expression becoming dazed.
I, aware of the effect of Nico’s beauty, vividly remember it. In my past life, my sister talked about a character in the otome game who had a quality like this.
「…… is this sort of thing a pheromone?」
「Pheromone, what’s that?」
「Maybe it’s the aroma of something like a flower that beautiful people have, I think.」
「I see. Certainly that describes Nico.」
「I don’t need that kind of title, you know. Rather than that, worry about this ojou-chan with braids.」
He doesn’t get the feeling we’re praising him, Nico says while half-closing his eyes, pointing out how we were leisurely not paying attention. Even before that, because there was something similar that happened, we ended up watching in a relaxed manner. We did something bad to Maria.
「Maria, sorry. Are you okay?」
I crouch down and match Maria’s eye level, starting to talk to her. Maria had an appearance of being sick, so for a moment, she focuses on me, and with squished teary eyes bends her facial expression.
「Were you surprised? My bad about that.」
Because Maria clings to me and comes along with me, I gently pat her on the head to calm her down. I’m used to seeing it, but I knew she didn’t have the mental preparedness for the surprise at finding Nico who is as beautiful as any other girl. Certainly, downtown, because there isn’t this kind of beautiful person, it’s very surprising.
「What is it, what is it, I’m not listening~」
「Yep, I didn’t say it. I’m sorry.」
「Am I, am I being tested!?」
「But….. I won’t lose!」 [T/N: Zack really is the harem master, man.]
Maria says something along the lines of declaring war.
I don’t really understand what she was saying in the second half, but somehow or another Maria, who had regained her peace of mind, went back. Seeing her off in front of the door, when I go back to the two at the dining table who had returned earlier, Nico is making a surprised facial expression and Leo was drinking tea with a smile.
「……Zack, you really are Zack anywhere, huh?」
「I’m me, right?」
What is Nico saying?
「Miss Maria has good prospects.」
「I can’t tell Miss Dia…」
Because Leo, somehow or another, praised Maria, Nico lets out a sigh, but what in the world are they saying? Furthermore, outside of my part time job with Daniel-sama, I don’t hide anything from Ojou.
First of all, after we were done drinking tea, I guide the two of them to my room. Leo’s guard, Matteus-onii-chan, remained at the dining room table. It might be narrow for the two nobles, but they have to endure it. The two of them sit on the bed, and I get on a three-legged seat.
「So, why did you call on me this afternoon?」
「Before that, Nico. With your wind attribute, can you make your voice unhearable?」
「If it’s about this much, I can.」
When I make a request to Nico to break the ice, at the same time I finish speaking, a soundproofing membrane fills the room. Leo’s sister Elena can also do this, but without the assistance of spirits, the extent of the range of magic Nico can use without an aria means he has a lot of magical power.
「Is it bad if other people hear us?」
「No, this is only my guess, so someone might understand if I’m wrong.」
About what, Nico asks, tilting his head, and I think about my explanation.
「In Nico’s house, is there anyone who can use Dark attribute magic?」
「No, of course.」
It seems in Count Rudolstadt’s house, there is a large legacy of wind magic users. Even if there are water and earth aligned magic users, it seems fire and dark magic users don’t have a lot of affinity with them and that’s the basis for not selecting them as marriage candidates. I didn’t know that elemental affinity had an influence on relationships. If your magical powers are great, you’re susceptible to the effects of the nature of your element.
「Where in the world did you discover the dark element?」
That topic is brought up, or so I should say, Leo asks if I confirmed the dark element somewhere. Settling it quickly is good, but Leo’s high power of understanding is unpleasant. What kind of face should I make to that?
「The other day, it was attached to Nico’s hair.」
It was really faint, but because I felt the traces of dark magic power from Nico, it was strange. I didn’t know Nico’s element, but up until now, he had never had the indication of dark magic spirits on him.
At my words, Nico touches the hair at the back of his head.
「That day, before you came to the Ernest house, who did you meet with?」
「Um…… before I headed out, my older sister fixed my hair.」
Nico confirms exactly what I was thinking.
「It spreads from someone who touched you, you received that much dark magic power, I think. So, the bad health of Nico’s sister might be from a curse, I think.」
That’s what I felt, because there was magical power with ill will, I was sure someone used magic on purpose. There is even dark magical power that can interfere with the mind, so if it’s misused, it can become a curse. Therefore, I thought it was simply that.
In the end it was an assumption, but hearing it, Nico’s complexion changed.
「Who is it, that guy?」
「No, I don’t know him yet. Because I want to confirm it, I asked Leo to come.」
At Nico who is evidently seething with anger and forgetting to act femininely, I remind him that I don’t have evidence. While Nico’s wrath was increasing, I had him sit back down in the seat he was rising from. Our eyes meet just like that.
「Then, what about the prince?」
「Because I can only read the signs, if it’s Leo, I think he’s able to read what kind of magic it is.」
For me, raised in the downtown area, even for commoners who have little magical power, they don’t even know how to use elementary level magic. However, for Leo who can make a magical circle by himself, if it’s possible, if he sees the magic, he might understand it. For me, Leo is the best person to rely on when it comes to magic.
「I, on the other hand, can’t read the signs that there’s magic.」
「First of all, for the purpose of confirming, I want to visit Nico’s sister, so is that fine?」
「I don’t mind, but……」
He consented to us visiting, but Nic looks at Leo with curiosity about his true intentions.
「Why would you help with this?」
Leo doesn’t know Nico, they’re only acquaintances. There’s no reason for the prince, the highest noble house, to intervene. Furthemore, if it’s true, there is also no duty to listen to my request. I’m only a commoner who assists during inspection. As far as today is concerned, rather than helping, I’m just sparing time.
At Nico’s question, Leo narrows his honey colored eyes, and calmly smiles.
「It’s just one favor, so there’s no problem. Besides—」
「I was curious about the person that Isaac bows his head for.」
Nico’s eyes open wide, and he looks in my direction.
With the confirmation of the basis of my weak guess, it might be something of a waste, especially for someone with no duty to meet me. I want to do something for the sake of my friend, but since I’m looking for the cooperation in dealing with those private matters, I should properly ask who the other person is.
Holding onto the borrowed coat, before the time of inspection I bowed my head and asked. There, with only one thing lent, Leo agreed. He’s a good guy.
There’s no helping you, Nico says while smiling as if enduring something.
Since we got permission from Nico to visit, I got summer white chrysanthemums and fragrant tea leaves from my mother. Nico wore the secret overcoat until we got to the center of the public square, and after that Matteus-onii-chan hired a carriage to take us to the Rudolst estate. I originally intended to go on foot, but since on my return trip I’d stand up, Leo had Matteus-nii-chan prepare a carriage.
The carriage stops at the front gate of the Rudolst estate, and when Nico leads us into the estate, stewards and several maids politely greeted him. I thought it was fine to be treated as an attendant, so I stood behind Leo, next to Matteus-nii-chan.
「Nico-chan, welcome home.」
「Mother, I’m back. These are the friends who said they want to see my sister, so it is fine?」
A woman with the same pale violet hair as Nico appears, her hair softly swaying while greeting Nico with a light hug. In addition, while lightly hugging her back, when Nico says his business, her eyes go wide.
「My, Nico-chan, this is the first time you’ve brought friends over, isn’t it?」
Compared to Nico’s mother who is all smiles, Nico somehow or another maintains a smile that seems a little awkward.
Because he’s in the position of a son, being congratulated for only bringing his friends to his mother is embarrassing, isn’t it? If he can, he wants to ignore it. Even if they celebrate, at the very least, he wants it after his friends go home.
「Are you perhaps Zack-kun?」
As for Nico’s mother who looked at me with her eyes, looked at everyone’s face, and somehow stopped on me. I didn’t think she would look at me and treat me as a friend. Surprised, I ended up reflexively replying.
「Well, I’m glad you visited. This old lady is called Elvira. From here, please continue to get along with Nico-chan.」
「Yes, of course.」
Elvira-sama, meeting me, a commoner, and even though she calls herself an old lady, I wonder if there is such a beautiful old lady. She may be older than my mother, but Nico’s mother, as expected, is a beautiful person.
「Oh my, and this is?」
This time, because her eyes stop on Leo, Nico, even while confused, introduces him to Elvira-sama. Although with his wig, his appearance can be seen as an ordinary noble or a wealthy merchant’s son, Leo’s face is strange. If Elvira-sama recognizes the face of the prince, it’s no good. As expected, in my inner thoughts, there’s a chill.
「Well, well, you made two friends, didn’t you! It’s nice to meet you too, Leo-kun.」
「Yes, it is nice to meet you too.」
Aside from the worries of what Nico is doing, Elvira-sama is earnestly delighted at how Nico made friends. At the time Elvira-sama and Leo’s smiles meet each other, Nico seems to become exhausted.
「……mother, is it fine if we visit my older sister?」
「Yes. But, if Ise-chan is sleeping, don’t wake her up.」
「Then, if that’s the case, can we just leave these there?」
When we show her the bouquet of large larkspurs we brought, Elvira-sama smiles and nods.
「Of course. Thank you for the beautiful flowers.」
She says for Nico to go quickly, and because we were guided, we continue on, but when we look back just once, Elvira-sama is smiling at us and seeing us off.
「It’s good your mother’s a natural airhead.」
Even if he didn’t want to be seen by Elvira-sama, Nico let out a sigh of relief.
「A natural airhead?」
「Didn’t you understand just a little bit ago? What a natural airhead is.」
「She’s a good mother, isn’t she?」
「Well, I guess.」
Come to think of it, I heard from Nico that after he had started his onee acting, his father’s reaction was funny, but as for his mother’s reaction, she didn’t say anything. Because she didn’t mind me being a friend even if I’m a commoner, I thought that maybe Elvira-sama is a very big-hearted.
She’s a good mother, or so Leo praised, and Nico didn’t deny it, nodding his head with embarrassment. No matter what he says, it seems like he doesn’t dislike Elvira-sama.
When we arrive at Nico’s room, Nico has the maids inside withdraw and we enter the room. Matteus-nii-chan is waiting outside the room.
「Nee-chan, are you awake?」
Nico calls out to make sure, but there isn’t a response. When we approach the bed, a girl with dark brown hair is frowning while sleeping. Below her closed eyes, faint shadows have appeared. Her hair that gently dashes against her long eyelashes is the same as Nico’s and Elvira-sama’s, but with how only the hair color is different, it’s a very different first impression.
「Last evening, it was always raining, so since it became morning she’s been sleeping.」
Not only Nico’s sleeping sister, but Nico also makes a pained facial expression. Hurting enough that it disturbs your sleep is incredibly severe. If the symptoms continue, even outside of when it rains, she might become unwell.
「Isaac, how is it?」
「……I can feel signs of dark magic.」
At Leo’s question, I feel around for spirits and answered. The time I felt magic used with ill intent, there are signs of dark spirits that have a peculiar stagnation, but they’re floating around Nico’s older sister. I hadn’t ever sensed the type of magic that accumulated and persisted to this extent, but I know that the stagnant sensation not disappearing isn’t good at all. Is there any way to ventilate them?
Hearing my answer, Nico’s pale purple eyes become aflame with anger. Because I don’t want to see this kind of facial expression on Nico, I was hoping my guess would be wrong. But, a curse, furthermore, I understood that someone was working closely with magic that has an ill will.
「Gradually she’s being gnawed away at, so the person who did it or the medium for it should be close by. Since the symptoms appeared, I also met Heroise-ojou once, but I didn’t see if she had something like a seal. It’s probably the latter.」
While moving on the carriage, Leo, who was listening to Nico’s explanation of events, immediately guesses the cause. I relied on him, but for this kind of thing, he’s too reliable that I don’t like it. Now, I’m grateful for Leo’s smarts, but I can’t wipe away this feeling with this guy.
「Isn’t there the possibility there’s a seal we can’t see?」
「If that’s the case, as one would expect, Heroise-ojou herself would have a clue. Isaac, can you search for the medium?」
「How? I’ll try.」
It’s weaker than Leo’s secret overcoat, and because it’s the room of Nico’s sister, Heroise, there are remnants of dark magic all over, making it hard to search. From where should I decide to search, so first I thought to check the bouquet we brought.
However, next to Heroise’s bed, there was a vase placed by the previous guest.
「Yes. From nee-chan’s fiance.」
When my eyes stop on the purple gypsy roses, Nico tells me with a wrathful facial expression. From that reaction, I understand he doesn’t have a good impression of her fiance.
「He’s a complete brat, he’s only a headache, even those flowers were brought by a messenger.」
It seems her fiance didn’t even come see her personally. However, the flowers received are properly arranged, so for Heroise-sama, doesn’t have the same bad impression as Nico does.
It’s the limits of what I saw, but Heroise-sama is probably one or two years above him. However, because I don’t know the age of her fiance, it’s hard to understand whether or not Nico’s judgment is harsh. If it’s downtown, there are plenty of young men who fight with lovers over this. It’s only hearsay, but only giving flowers as a gift, it may be excellent for a noble.
「Considering her fiance gave them, these are unfitting flowers.」
Leo looks suspiciously at the gypsy rose.
「What is it?」
「In the language of flowers they have a meaning of disappointed love.」
「Is that so?」
At Nico and I’s reply, Leo’s eyes went surprisingly wide. Our reply was one of those who don’t know the language of flowers.
「Were you two uninterested?」
「Flowers are something to only smile at, people arbitrarily assigning meaning to them is strange.」
「For me, since until the other day I only received them from those close to me, I didn’t mind them.」
For me, I only think about how flowers spring up and bloom, and how pretty they are. Attaching the language of flowers which raises and lowers their value isn’t something I’m satisfied with. So, the origin of their meanings are in the illustrated plant guide, but that’s the only section I don’t even read or let enter my head.
For Nico, until he began his onee performance, with his appearance, he was showered with gifts, it seems. Naturally, they included gaudy bouquets. The things he was given, because they aren’t in his tastes, for something like the meaning contained in those flowers, he stopped paying attention.
Understanding our opinions, Leo made an amused seeming smile.
Because there isn’t any reason to mix them with the flowers from her fiance, for now we put the large larkspur we brought next to it. After, we put them in a vase someone brought along.
While thinking that I can only see beautiful blooming flowers, I look at the petals that seem to make a purple lace. Because they don’t have a good meaning, they’re considered to be a bad flower, which is such a waste.
「It’s this, maybe.」
I looked at the gypsy rose and realized it. Because Heroise-sama is close to it, as soon as I thought the signs were strong, rather than signs that they are coiled around Heroise-sama, there are signs the dark element warped.
For the sake of confirming it, when Leo moves the vase of the gypsy rose with both hands as if to cover it, from the flowers, something that looks like ink running comes to the surface.
「It’s a curse that amplifies the amount of pain felt.」
With the pattern, Leo understands, I think, and he draws his conclusion.
「Nico, that’s too hasty. Besides, let’s find a solution to this first.」
Towards Nico who is clenching his fists, when Leo points it out to calm him down, Nico drops his shoulders as if relaxing.
「Can you undo it……?」
「Since the degree is only harassment, if it’s this much, I can undo it.」
At Leo’s confident wods, Nico sighs deeply with relief. I feel sorry towards Nico, but rather than worry about Heroise-sama, my facial expression is sullied at the truth I just learned.
I don’t know who did it, but I feel that putting malice in flowers is just heartless. Even in the case that they’re poisonous, flowers when admired by people can only calm them down. This distortion of their value is heart-breaking.
「Even if it’s just undoing it, it’s fine……」
Leo mumbles that while carefully considering it. Then, glancing at Nico who had gotten angry and me, who felt down with the misuse of flowers, decided something and nodded.
「Return the cross of binding to the offender.」
Putting up his index and middle finger, when Leo faces the gypsy rose and makes the sign of the cross, the pattern that appeared and indication of dark magic vanished.
「Is it already undone?」
「Yes. Just to be sure, let’s get rid of the remains of the dark magic attached to Heroise-sama.」
When Leo lightly snaps his fingers, instantly particles of light envelop Heroise-sama and then vanish. After that, the feelings I had of dark magic vanish. With this, even restoration is quick, isn’t it?
Nico approaches Heroise-sama’s bedside and examines her state of affairs. The dark circles under her eyes remain, but her facial expression softened, and her peaceful breathing is different. Nico, who saw that and could believe it was okay, shows relief all over his face.
Then, turning to face us, he softly smiles.
Seeing Nico smile, I thought only that I was glad.
I tried to keep my voice’s volume in check, but because there was no reason to overstay our welcome in a sleeping person’s room, we went back to Nico’s room.
Confirming that the maids who brought tea had left, Leo’s starts to speak.
「The family of Marquis Kuhn, if you make them search for someone with a cross-shaped mark on their hand, it will be good. That person is the caster.」
It seems the returned magic always came to the surface somewhere on the hand that had touched it. Nico nodded, saying he would check later on Marquis Kuhn’s family, which seemed to be the house of Heroise-sama’s fiance.
「I only intended to check, but……」
With how I only intended to check whether or not it was a curse, I wasn’t thinking at all of how to settle it. Far from just identifying the specific cause, Leo was a guy who ended up undoing the curse and pinpointing the culprit. No, he’s the prince, right?
He gallantly appears and helps princesses. He’s like a prince that appears in the books Ojou reads. A real prince is an ordinary junior politician, so I wasn’t thinking there’s one like in the picture books. Well, with a few minutes to reach the solution, if you defeat them too fast, and it won’t be suitable for a story without excitement.
「As expected, of the prince of light, right?」
「Leo is light attribute, right?」
In the noble space, Leo’s attribute seems to be common knowledge. Something like the scarce light magic is like a champion of justice or hero-ish. Which reminds me, he was the main hero of the otome rame, right? I forgot.
「For me, I could only use light magic recently.」
While drinking tea, Leo nonchalantly says it. Because the main aspect of light magic is basic recovery and purification effects, the time he purified the dark magic attached to Heroise-sama was the only time he used it.
At the truth he was sleekly told, Nico’s eyes go wide.
「Ha? Then, what was that a little while ago?」
「Intelligence gathering and tracing the culprit is dark element, you know?」
Because when light magic is used to purify dark magic, similar to when light strikes the shadows it disappears, it’s perfectly eliminated and even traces are extinguished, he chose to return the curse with dark magic for Nico who wanted to know who the culprit is. Even in the time he looked up its effects, he was only being made to have an outline of shadow around him, Leo explained.
Hearing the explanation, because it was at a level that I couldn’t do and was a deed done because of Leo’s high magical power, I simply nod and then drank tea.
Nico can’t be convinced, it seems.
「Even if you have that much magical power……」
「Somehow or another, I seem to have both light and dark attribute.」
Leo, with a sparkling, smiling face, simply replies. This kind of physically dazzling guy, no one would believe even his dark magic is strong. Although having two attributes is rare, I encounter them often, huh? Water and wind for Duke-sama, light and wind for Princess Elena, and Leo’s the third.
「Just now, I didn’t stick up the soundproofing membrane……」
「At any rate, because it’s known, there isn’t a problem.」
「Ahh, I see.」
At Nico who was anxious about knowing a state secret, Leo calmed him down with a cheerful reply. At the carefree Leo, Nico, with an appearance of being tired, covers his face with one of his hands.
「……why is Zack not surprised?」
Why was he worried about me, said Nico, turning a critical eye towards me.
「Hm? It’s the only magic I can use.」
For someone with a lot of magical power, the things they can do are many, but I understand my ability and there is the question of how much I can use. Even for me, in the beginning, I tested out how much I could use magic outside of my element. Furthermore, even dark magic, if it’s Leo, he won’t misuse it.
Hearing my reply, Nico deeply sighs, and for some reason Leo smiles as if satisfied.
「Light magic is different, while dark magic is easy to use.」
「For me, because I can only put up a small barrier, I don’t know whether or not it’s convenient.」
Even if I asked him to agree with me, whose magical power is weak, there would be trouble. There’s seriously no way that I’d see eye to eye with someone with a wide difference between us.
「……When I’m with you two, I feel like I’m the sensible one.」
「Nico, you’re not weird.」
「Where’s the strangeness?」
「That’s not a line to say to an onee.」
At us who immediately recited there’s nothing wrong, Nico seemed to be amazed from the bottom of his heart. He saw us off as we returned to the Ernest household. When I hand over the white summer chrysanthemums and tea leaves my mother gave me to use, he accepted them. They’re flowers that can either smell sweet or be used to relieve aches. Because he has to wait for Heroise-sama’s condition to naturally improve, even if he uses only a little, it’ll be of use.
Several days later, Nico happily reported that Heroise-sama is favorably improving. As for the matter of the cursed flower, it isn’t her fiance, but the work of a maid who had fallen in love with him. Although he didn’t take part in it, the fiance directly lowered his head, it seems. The engagement wasn’t canceled, but against Nico’s house, the other house’s position seems to have weakened.
「The offender is a woman, so I can’t hit her.」
「Was there a feeling of wanting to hit her, though?」
When he understood the culprit, Nico had an intent to hit them, but was surprised. There was a feeling of getting angry, but trying to settle it with the laws of nature, how would it go for a noble, I wonder. As someone who taught him stress relief, I feel a little responsible.
「A woman’s jealousy is dreadful, isn’t it?」
Hearing Nico let out those kinds of impressions, I reflect on how it doesn’t deeply immerse itself in Ojou, and as for Ojou, does she even get jealous, I wonder. Certainly, with her discussions with the rabbit girl and her friends about the prince they seem to be in high spirits, so it seems unlikely.
「You don’t need to worry about that kind of thing with Ojou.」
「If it’s someone Ojou has come to like, surely, she can look away.」 [T/N: It’s a weird way of saying it, but basically Zack is saying that because it’s the person Ojou likes, she can wish for their happiness and move on, I think.]
Because Ojou is a beautiful girl, since even the insides are cute, even the other person will come to like Ojou. If it becomes like that, the likelihood that Ojou will be rejected or cheated on is low. Well, since I don’t really understand love, maybe.
「Well…… in reality, she isn’t looking away, you know.」
Nico, who is staring with a half-opened eye, looks in my direction and mumbles with an amazed tone. Why are you looking at me?
「N, Nicholas-sama, y-y-you are misunderstanding……!?」
Ojou, whose face became red before we knew it, lets out an 「Awaawa」 with a panicked expression, giving an explanation. She desperately claims he’s wrong, but what is she denying? Nico replies with a disregarding 「Yes, yes」, pacifying Ojou.
「Zack, please have moderation.」
While patting Ojou’s head, Nico warns me. Even if I moderate myself, I said that Ojou seems to be just fine.
「Did I say something bad……??」
「Then, should I give a detailed explanation?」
Pome, who had been restraining himself up until now, raises her invisible hand hidden by her sleeve and comes forward to explain. There, Ojou who had turned a bright red, let out a wordless scream.
「Stop that. Dia-sama will die of shame.」
Nico chides Pome.
Because Ojou looking dead troubles me, I cut off Pome’s explanation. Although I don’t understand the reason, when I apologize to Ojou, she hits me while saying 「Idiot, idiot」. Because it isn’t painful, until she’s satisfied, I take it.
A few days later at night, after at least ten days, when Elena contacts me with the bear, after complaining, she earnestly boasts about Leo. Because the mood hasn’t changed much from my past life where Yuuka would tell a story about Roy-sama, as if already asleep, I vaguely reply back while preparing my bed.
[Hey! Don’t make me the only one to talk, Isaac should also talk about something!]
I was complained to, but arbitrarily talking is Elena’s style.
「Even so, I don’t have any particularly interesting stories.」
It’s just my usual garden work and talking with Ojou and Nico. Because even Elena understands Ojou’s cuteness, even if I don’t say anything, it’s fine.
[Something good, you have to have it!]
When even a single topic has to be squeezed out of me, I’m scolded. Coming up with something on short notice will trouble me. First of all, let’s think on the topic.
「……Ah, Nico’s older sister is recovering from her sickness.」
[That’s good, isn’t it? Who’s Nico?]
At my too straightforward answer, can you even extend the conversation, Elena says, getting angry. It’s fine if it doesn’t, I’m already sleepy.
[Hm……? Impossible, that Nico, he’s the son of the prime minister, Nicholas von Rudolstat?]
That’s something like his full name. I, already sleepy, lean on my pillow while answering back.
[Ehhhh!? Why did Isaac get to meet Nico-onee?]
Elena, who shouts it’s unfair, is loud.
「Hm? Has Nico even been an onee in front of you?」
If Leo had only greeted them, even during Elena’s time, with only greetings, there wasn’t a chance to do his onee act, was there?
[Eh!? No way, why is he already an onee!?]
「What do you mean already? Haven’t you met Nico?」
[I only greeted him during my birthday party, you know. Even with that, I would have understood if he had become an onee, right!? He’s totally a beautiful person!!]
Somehow our conversation isn’t on the same wavelength. Although Elena isn’t meeting with Nico, why does Elena call him ‘Nico-onee’?
[Isaac, do you remember? In Kimiboshi, there was an onee charcter, right!?]
「I don’t remember. If it’s the minigame types, just barely.」
[From the RPG.]
「Ah…… there’s that character with long hair where only their magical power is high, but their physical attack and defense is low, right?」
As for whether or not there was an onee character, I don’t know, but in order to go into the forest with monsters, I remember that compulsory party member who temporarily goes with the heroine, when that guy with long hair eats a physical attack, the party composition was hard.
If you put in the other capture targets in the party with their high attack power, it will go alright, but if the heroine didn’t have more than enough favorability, even if you called out to them, they would refuse. So, the phase before the mini-RPG my sister would do, and after that, I would do party composition. With this cooperative play between brother and sister, it was an unusual route for clearing.
However, why did Elena suddenly bring up the topic of the otome game I helped with in my past life?
「…………That long haired character, is it Nico?」
[That’s right. What did you hear?]
In other words, Nico is a capture target.
[Nico-onee, with his devilish good looks since he was born, from a child, having gone through a lot of bad times from women, became a misogynist. Because he distrusted other human beings, his capture difficulty is high, you know. Ah, although they’re women, he treats his family distinctly, though his older sister had a curse on her and couldn’t go to school, so for his sister’s part, he played the part of an onee and went to school, remembering his family……]
That’s long. As for not stopping her talk once she enters the mood of talking about a character, it hasn’t changed from the past life. As for what I know, it’s my friend Nico; I don’t have an interest in the Nico from Kimiboshi. Can I go to sleep already?
[In other words, with the exception of the heroine, undoing the curse on his sister together, you already gained the trust of Nico-onee…… ahhh!]
「What is it? Did you finish talking?」
Swiftly, Elena’s voice rose a step, and I raised my head that was sinking into the pillow.
[Isaac, did you undo the curse on Nico’s sister!?]
「It wasn’t me. The one who undid it is Leo.」
[Eh, Roy-nii-sama? That’s right, Roy-nii-sama, too! It absolutely is Isaac’s fault, right!?]
Elena is surprised to know that Leo figured out the curse. Then, I was treated like the culprit. I don’t want her to arbitrarily decide this is the case. Anyways, I’m sleepy.
「Kids should go to sleep. I’m already going to sleep.」
With how I hit the limit of my drowsiness, I put my head down on the futon and go to sleep. I can hear Elena complaining I should tell her a story, but Elena eventually cuts off the phone call after it seems like I fell asleep, and it was quiet for a while.
Tomorrow, I also have work, so I have to try not to sleep in. Because of the feeling in the buds, the sweet flags might bloom tomorrow. If that’s the case, I have to tell Ojou.
It’s good to be back, folks. JLPT was wild, not too bad for the grammar and vocab sections to be honest. The listening, though, wewlad, that was brutal. Not to mention something on the campus set off my allergies so it was a pain to get through, wahahaha.
Either way, fun chapter. Not a lot to say, to be honest, but Zack causing all the events to slowly start lining up in certain ways is hilarious. We’re actually also at the halfway point, as there are 71 chapters in total. Thanks for sticking with me this whole way. I should have a chapter up on the 30th but we’ll see if I’m not getting stuck with some New Years Prep. I’m traveling for New Years so schedule my slip by a week or so.
See you all next time!