――Burn.

Aah, anything and everything is burning.

The important home that Master entrusted to me, the place I belonged in―― is burning.

When was it. Aah, when was it……. That this much gathered up…….

Those bubbling, dark red emotions that scream let me out. A mud like stickiness, boiling at the bottom of my heart, and suppressing it only increases its density.

……Mad love and jealousy.

It began with a single spark.

From the one who stole the natural law of fire, a magic spark that gave birth to a new world.

That spark lit everything that had gathered in my heart, and it changed into a blaze.

The blaze burned my heart, illuminated it, exposed it. The shape of what I truly desired, reflected in my heart. A certain ■■ everyday, such a silhouette was reflected.

Yes. That should be where I wanted to return to.

I only want to return. To that place of happiness.

To my birthplace. To the past. To those wonderful days.

To regain that tranquility ―― is all I wanted.

Over there everyone was happy.

■■ is there, ■■ is there, ■■ is there, friends are there, family is there.

The remote region of Fania. In the countryside within the countryside with not a single interesting thing to do.

Field work, hunting, assisting in housework, they were busy days. But, everyone, smiled. Every single person smiled…….

And I broke that place……. The power of my『Eye』broke it……

This『Eye』sees through the essence of other things.

Whether it’s discovering, or seeing through, things that shouldn’t be seen…… are seen.

That’s why, even if it was field work, I immediately found a fundamental improvement and my hands came to a stop. If it’s hunting, I became unable to use the traditional methods. If it’s housework, I’d think it was something things I shouldn’t be doing.

I got angry every time. Aah, how nostalgic.

 ■■ saw me like that, and it felt like I was kindly admonished. 「You’ve got a better eye than the other kids」a praise. 「That『Eye』is a gift given by the heavens」I was told about my skill.「With that power, you can find things that would be helpful to the village」so I have a faint memory of being relied on.

But, now, I can’t remember the face of that ■■.

A mistake must have been made somewhere.

From when the disturbing rumors began spreading through the village? From when the country went to war? No, was the decisive moment when the army was stationed in the village? From when I spoke of the army commander’s course? From when I said the battle could be won? Or was it, in the battle when I――……

Wrong. That’s not it.

That process isn’t important.

I know that that isn’t the problem because of my『Eye』.

In the end, no matter what happened that village would be ruined. Long before the army came, everything had already been fated. In other words, that village’s『Location』was at fault.

In the end, no matter what happened that village would be ruined. Long before the army came, everything had already been fated. In other words, that village’s『Location』was at fault.

The village’s ruin was fated. It’s a fact that I accelerated it. But, that wasn’t the true reason, I can see it.

If, it went as I wanted, and those wonderful days returned, it’d still arrive at that same fate. In that small village, the black haired and black eyed clan that lived there, were fated to go to ruin in this age. That’s, simply all there is to it…….

「That’s why, I ―― don’t want to return to the past」

The one who stole the natural law of fire sorrowfully replies.

「Aah, of course……」

Then, what is it that I want. What is my wish?

I see the silhouette born from the flame’s light. The world reflected in my heart, I once again confirm it.

My birthplace,  ■■, it’s not those things.

Those things, have turned into remains burnt long ago.

■■, ■■, ■■, are already remains that I can’t remember…….

They burnt as 『Compensation』for the flame magic. I remember that.

Things that were once very important had disappeared…….

That’s why, what’s left is the shadow of one person.

A person with black hair and black eyes just like my clan. That’s all that’s left.

Since the time we met, the person who moved my stagnated heart.

Only that person is reflected in my world.

And so, the one who stole the natural law of fire sorrowfully whispers to me「Sieg came」.

The lying Master Siegfried Visitor, appears from below the hill.

As a replacement for ■■, the gentle person my『Eye』chose. 

And, a precious person that my『Eye』can’t grasp the value of. A hero among heroes.

My beloved.

The destination of the burning flames.

My Master has finally returned…….

From those days……finally……――



◆◆◆◆◆



――The one who stole the natural law of fire, doesn’t have any interest in a simple love.


That was three days ago.

When I met with the true meaning of『The One Who Stole The Natural Law of Fire』, at the time of the pre-festival with Master.

On the way back, it became just her and me. That was the beginning of『Our』story.

「Wonderful, you are wonderful! Aah, how innocent, Maria-chan!」

『The One Who Stole The Natural Law of Fire』―― Alty-san had evaluated my love as「Wonderful」.

「…… Isn’t it a foolish mistake?」

「No no, you are innocent, and loveable. By no means is it foolish. You hold normal feelings for a normal girl. What’s unfortunate is your opponent. It’d be bad for anyone if it’s that Lastiara as their opponent」

「True. It’d be bad for anyone. That’s how perfect a person she is. A perfect beauty that appears to have been『Artificially』made」

While letting out a deep breath, I despair at my current fighting power.

「Fufuu, 『Artificial』is it. A fitting word. It’s true that she has an『Artificial』like unfairness」

「I blame god. Why, couldn’t I be a bit taller……. A good style like Lastiara, her silky hair, her good gaze, with a little then maybe even Master would turn to me」

「But I think that Maria-chan has Maria-chan’s own charm」

「Hahaa, where in me do I have charm? This small chest is as flat as a child. My hair is rough, my gaze is bad. I have no womanly charm at all」

While bringing up my features, it felt like my mood was sinking in a bog.

「But I don’t think those things」

「Even if that isn’t the case, more than anything I don’t have the qualifications to stand by Master’s side. What Master wants is strength to help search the labyrinth. I don’t have power. If only I had power then…… 」

「Fumu. Power is it……」

I remember the events of a few days ago.

Rather than being useful in the labyrinth, I only managed to hold them back. I’ll probably never be able to find my place in the labyrinth again.

At that time, Lastiara-san said「So you don’t die, so you don’t break down, from the side――」. I knew she’d help my love in a roundabout way, but the outcome was not good. After all, I don’t have a single pretext to approach Master. 「Please make food for this house everyday」I was relied on, and although I was somehow able to recover myself from that despair, the path ahead remained dark.

「Haa……」

「Don’t get so down, it’ll make me sad」

「S, sorry…….」

Alty-san really made a sorrowful face.

「No, you don’t need to apologize. What’s more important, is power. What you lack」

「Ah, yes. I don’t have power, and I can’t be of any use to Master」

「In regards to that, I can do something about it. A way to make you stronger」

「Eh, is, is that true!?」

All of a sudden I let out a loud voice and get closer to Alty-san.

「Aah, of course it is. Since I’m an ally of girls whose love isn’t rewarded」

「And, what kind of method is it!?」

「I’ll teach you magic. As a professional in flame magic, I’ll show you that I can change your flame magic into the best」

「Magic……?」

「But the means is gonna be a bit forceful. After all, you’ll be directly drinking my blood that’s packed full of magic formulas」

「Drink blood……?」

If it’s about swallowing magic stones with formulas engraved on it then I know of it, but I’ve never heard of something like drinking blood packed with formulas. Even if I do that, I don’t think I’d be able to acquire magic.

「It’s understandable that you’d have doubts. Since it doesn’t seem like this method is known in this age. But, I guarantee it. A guarantee from the best flame magician. And with this you will also get closer to becoming the world’s best flame magician」

Alty looks at me with earnest eyes.

「But, even if I swallow blood magic formulas won’t……」

「It isn’t something many know of. Drinking blood and swallowing magic stones, in the end they’re the same thing. It’s true that swallowing magic stones makes it easier to learn it. For  that, as long as the attributes match then anyone can learn it. But, the structure is the same. Of course, the conditions to learn magic through blood are narrow. Truly narrow. That’s why, this method didn’t spread and people don’t know of it」

Alty-san is well informed in magic. Although she says eccentric things at times, it’s true that her views are deeper than even Franruhle who goes to the academy. At the very least she has persuasive power.

「Do I clear those conditions?」

「Aah, you do. Whether fortunate or not, your perfect. Calling it a perfect affinity would be fitting」

「Just, what condition is it……?」

「Uuun, it really is a secret but……. Since it’s Maria-chan, I’ll teach you a bit. The point is that the side that is giving blood and the side that is drinking blood have something in common. Maria-chan and I have the same worries, and similar personalities. And our lives are close. They really are close. This is important」

「Eh, uuum, that means, Alty-san has an unfulfilled love……?」

「Fufuu, that’s right. You and I are the same」

That truth gave me a shock.

Somewhere in my heart, I thought I was the only one who had these worries.

「That’s why, I’m looking after you this much」

And so, the doubts that I held in the corner of my head are negated.

Honestly, I was suspicious of someone going so far to help me. However, if that fellowship is there, then I can accept it.

My skill『Insight』――my『Eye』 also deemed that Alty-san favors me.

「That’s how it is. Anyways, you’ll understand everything once you drink my blood. How about it, will you drink it?」

Alty-san holds out her arm with a smile, and asks whether I’ll drink her blood or not.

I worry.

I don’t worry about if she lied or if there are any risks. I worry if I’ll be a bother to Alty-san. Having received so much without giving anything in return is shameful.

「Do, do you really not mind? For a magician, magic is something very important, handing it out so easily to others isn’t a good thing is it?」

「I don’t mind. I want to be Maria-chan’s strength」

An immediate answer. Without any hesitation Alty-san said she wants to become my strength.

「――Then, I’ll drink. If I can get power with that, I’ll drink it」

I also give an immediate reply. Seeing my unhesitant answer, Alty-san faintly laughs.

「Fufuu, good answer」

Alty-san immediately slits her wrists, and blood drips out.

Although that unhesitant self-harm shocked me, for a skilled magician of her caliber something like this shouldn’t be a problem. I resolved myself, and bring my mouth to Alty-san’s wrist.

The spilling red blood, falls onto my tongue.

The blood coils around my tongue, passes through my throat, and permeates my body. The taste of iron spreads in my mouth, and the feeling of really having drank anothers blood wells up.

And at the same time I feel something hot fill the bottom of my stomach.

As if the magic power in my body is surprised, as if my blood is stimulated, it was the feeling of obtaining something new.

「With this, your blood has memorized everything about my flame magic」

Alty-san nods as she looks at my condition.

「Wi, with just this, everything is……?」

It was disappointing. It felt easier than the time I swallowed the magic stone.

「Thought I say that, you won’t be able to immediately use it. It’ll take some time to accustom yourself. If you could suddenly use high ranking magic, the burden would be terrifying. First let’s practice simple things」

Seeing my surprise, Alty-san faintly laughs, and a small flame comes from the palm of her hand.

A chantless flame. However, that isn’t a flame that could be used in the labyrinth.

I panic a little.

Even if the options of my flame magic increase, it’s pointless if they can’t be used on the monsters past the twentieth floor.

The reason I desire power, is all for Master’s sake.

「E, excuse me! If possible, I’d like to practice powerful offensive magic. Ones that can even be used on the giant monsters at the labyrinth’s depths!」

My voice roughens, and I wish for a stronger magic. Alty-san gently receives that.

「Fufuu, so you really are in a hurry?」

「Yes, if I don’t hurry, then everything I’ve done would come to nothing. That’s what I feel」

「However, using unreasonable magic will have a suitable『Compensation』. Magic is a technique that consists of the mind. If you force that magic, then it’s the same as abusing your mind」

「…… It’s fine. Please」

Alty-san questioned my resolve in an intimidating tone. Of course, I have no hesitation. If I can gain power by sacrificing something, then that’s convenient. There is no way I wouldn’t jump at it.

Since the current me, won’t be able to gain power without any sacrifice. 

「……Aah, as expected」

In response, Alty-san make a low mutter.

They were not words directed at me. They seem like words directed at herself.

As I try to hear what「as expected」was―― Alty-san’s forceful reply interrupts.

Saying that, without a chant a flame serpent comes out from one of Alty-san’s hands.

Seeing that ominous flame, I swallow my breath and nod. 

We strayed from the path home, and move to an open land outside of town.

First, Alty-san teaches me the basics and tricks to flame magic. And so, while being taught, I naturally began calling Alty-san Teacher. (TL: Shishou)

Within the span of a few hours, I acquired both《Midgard Blaze》and《Flame Flamberge》. Unlike Alty-san, I need a long chant, but to acquire high level magic at this speed is normally something unthinkable.

「I can already use, this amazing magic……」

The flame serpent with such terrifying lethality swims around me.

「It’s thanks to Maria-chan’s and my affinity being so good. …… Next, let’s see, we’ll also arrange your《Firefly》that you specialize in . Depending on how you use it it’s a magic that can take on a different form」

As it finally becomes late night, what was left was general training.

However, thanks to the guidance of the expert Alty-san, the options for my magic had further increased. Just before returning home, I lower my head and give my thanks.

「Thank you very much, Teacher Alty!」

「No, I don’t need thanks. I only did it because I wanted to」

「No, I will definitely repay this debt someday! Thanks to this, I can become Master’s strength!」

「Maria-chan really likes Sieg. But don’t force yourself. The chant from the flame magic I taught you is special. If used too much then the restlessness of your emotions will increase. For Maria-chan it will『Use the past as fuel to light your current love』, but even I don’t recommend using it too much」

「It’s fine. If it’s only my emotion of love increasing, I’d in fact welcome it」

「But even then, be careful so you don’t get burnt」

「Yes!」

I’ve certainly felt the response of the power in my chest, and I answered Alty-san with a smile.

For some reason, Alty-san sorrowfully looked onto that, and with a laugh in the end she departs.

I also return home. That day, my steps had a never before felt lightness.



◆◆◆◆◆



 ――The next day.

Using the flame magic I was taught, I fight with the Furys on the twenty-first floor.

Cutting straight to the point, I was still not fit to go along in the labyrinth search.

It’s only natural. Even if I become stronger, they will become stronger at an even faster speed.

However, a response remained. I didn’t feel despair to the same degree as before.

In the house I’m left behind in, I analyse what I lacked. First, is what Lastiara said of successive battles. There’s no mistake that I lack in this. And also, the self protection that Master worries about is a problem. If I can’t settle these two things, then there’s no future for me.

「I need more power, I need to keep practicing my magic――!」

While wiping the sweat dripping on my forehead, I exit the house to once again begin practicing magic. I almost collapsed in the labyrinth search, so I can’t complain now.

If my magic control gets better, if I can adjust the fire power, then I’ll be able to conserve my magic power. If my magic activation speed increases, there won’t be any openings. The more I practice, the more issues I can resolve.

I practice my magic just until I’m about to faint, and then instead of resting my body I do housework.

I continue repeating that.

In the midst of my hazy conscience, I felt myself losing various things. However, in proportion to that, I’m positive that my magic skills have increased.

And so, in the middle of training, the two returned as I was cooking in my break.

It appears, that some kind of problem occurred deep in the labyrinth.

If it was a problem in relation to flames or heat,  I thought of naming myself to help. But, I restrain myself in order to devote myself to practicing my magic. The strength of the current me, is still of no use. Right now I must restrain myself.

However, the night of that day, when they returned, I noticed that they appeared to be acting strange.

Whenever I tried to meet eyes with Master, he averted his eyes with perfect timing.

If I look closely, I can see that his face is blushing. Ever since meeting with Alty-san, he’s been in this condition. Could it be, that Alty-san said something unneeded while trying to be helpful.

I’m convinced that Master is being shy with the skill『Insight』. I feel like this is the first time in a while that I’ve seen a human like emotion in Master.

That made me happy, and I couldn’t bring myself to deeply question Master.

The following day, I woke up early to refine my magic, and I began preparing breakfast around the time the two of them would wake up.

Even while cooking, I didn’t neglect my training. I cook while using my own flames.

It’s during that unique drill, that the flame takes on a shape of its own will. I panic, and try to suppress the flame with my magic power. But the flame brushes off my magic power, and forms a mouth as it begins talking.

「Maria-chan. It’s me. It’s Alty」

「Hee? A, Alty-san?」

It’s a sight I’ve seen before. At the time Master and I went to the tenth floor, the flame spoke in that same way.

「Sorry if I surprised you. But, it’s faster like this. There’s something I want to talk with Maria-chan about」

「This, it’s convenient. And what do you want to talk about?」

「Before long, I’ll also teach you this. But, for now I thought of teaching you a different magic」

「Eh, you’ll teach me magic again?」

My volume naturally became louder.

I thought Alty-chan was a busy person, and I was prepared for the next time we meet to be farther away. And yet, for it to be this fast, I thought I was fortunate to be taught magic again.

「Aah, Sieg requested it. I’ll teach you a magic to remove the labyrinths lava」

「Lava, is it……?」

「Aah, the twenty-fourth floor is the lava zone. In order to pass, having this magic would be convenient. If you learn it, you’ll be useful in the labyrinth」

「I see……」

What I really want is a new offensive magic. But if I learn magic to remove lava here, then my debut would be on the twenty-fourth floor. If I don’t have a magic that can be universally useful to them, then I won’t be able to keep up.

「Fufuu. Don’t worry, I’ll also teach you a lot of other magics. Let’s see. At lunch today, let’s make an appointment to meet at the bar we first met」

「Ah, yes, understood」

Guessing my true thoughts, with a laugh Alty promises to teach me other magics.

And so, the kitchen’s flame returns to its original form.

My mouth breaks into a smile, and I continue cooking. If my magic can increase at this rate, then I might be able to establish my role in the labyrinth. While holding those hopes, I make the meal.

That day, Master and Lastiara-san head to the labyrinth after finishing their meal, however they immediately ended their search and came back.

With few words, in a hurry Lastiara-san left for her home in Whoseyards.

And so, only the dispirited Master remained home.

It was a chance to do many things with just the two of us. However, I couldn’t break my promise with Alty-san. Knowing what results learning magic in the long run would have, it was absolutely necessary. I can’t afford to enjoy myself right now.

I leave Master, and go to meet up with Alty-san.

Alty-san sat in the same seat as before. And also, there is an unfamiliar man sitting there.

「Yaa, Maria-chan. Over here」

「Ah, yes」

Through Alty-san’s guidance, I take a seat.

And so, I greet the tall man with sharp features. He must be Alty-san’s acquaintance.

While I’m suspicious, Alty-san begins telling me about the man.

「Aah, don’t worry about this one. He’ll disappear soon. Well, he’s something like an old friend」

「Hahaa, an old friend is it. Certainly, it’s something like that. Young lady, don’t worry. I’ll leave soon」

Just as the man said, he soon stands from his seat and leaves.

I noticed when the man left. I met that man before. Thanks to the special『Eye』I hold, I was able to match the man’s features with one I met in the past.

If I’m right, it was when Master won the successful bid when I was a slave, that man was in the same place.

I don’t know the details of their relationship, but he should also be Master’s acquaintance.

I regret not giving a better greeting. But, the skill『Insight』rejects that. That man, I should do my best to be involved with him as little as possible.

「Then, do you want to eat something first. It’s already noon」

Saying that, Alty-san passes me a menu.

And so, as if nothing happened, we begin having our lunch.

While eating, Alty-san begins chatting with me.

「How have you been recently? Were there any developments in your relationship?」

「No……, nothing really changed. But, thanks to the magic you taught me, I’m able to defeat strong monsters」

「That’s good」

「But, I quickly run out of magic power. In the end, the labyrinth is going to stay as Master and Lastiara-san. I can’t do anything about it」

While mixing the soup placed on the table, I report of my current weaknesses.

「Is that so…… Because I’m helping Maria-chan, that’s sad to hear……」

「But, I’ll show you that someday I can be like Lastiara-san. It might be impossible now, but one day, definetly――!」

I speak with a forward facing enthusiasm. However, the face of Alty-san who heard that remained downcast.

「Someday is it……」

As if remembering something, a sorrowful expression rises on Alty-san.

「I, is something wrong?」

「No, it’s just that「Someday」is a problem. From what I heard before, Sieg and Lastiara’s relationship is going to take a sudden turn……」

「Sudden turn?」

Certainly, the two were strange today. However, Master is always in a hurry, And Lastiara-san mood is also always in disorder.

「Fufuu. It’s as Maria-chan is thinking, those two didn’t change. They can’t change. I thought it’d be fine like that. Aah, that’s how those two are. But, it doesn’t look like the surroundings will allow that……. In a bit, it looks like various things will be happening」

If it’s Masters surroundings, then it’d have to be the people he worked with in the bar. However, from what Alty-san is saying, it sounds like it’s not about the people here.

What’s left is Lastiara-san’s surroundings. In other words, it’s about the knights of Whoseyards he encountered in the labyrinth. Certainly, those people have the potential to progress the relationship between the two.

「Is it, those knights?」

「Aah, it’s just as Maria-chan assumes. The knights of Whoseyards, are forcefully getting in between the relationship of the two」

「Th, then, faster I have to……. Please teach me magic faster, Teacher!」

「Fufuu, no hesitation. Learning anymore high ranking magic will harm your body. Are you still fine with that?」

「Eeh, of course」

「…… Then, let’s change our location」

After finishing our meal in the bar, we move to a vacant land clear of people.

A grass covered plain far from the town. There are many lands in Valt that were not developed. If it’s a place like this, then there won’t be others watching.

It’s there that Alty-san’s expression becomes serious, and she gives sharp words.

「Then, from what I can see……, Maria-chan, you’ve been unreasonably using it. A magic that can continuously be used in real battles. And that personal training has damaged your body」

「Then, from what I can see……, Maria-chan, you’ve been unreasonably using it. Using the magic continuously in real battle. And that training has damaged your body」

However, it was not an atmosphere that was criticising, it felt more as if it was confirming it. If it’s a magician of Alty-san’s degree, then she must be able to see through it at a glance. I meekly nod.

「Yes……」

「Fumu. Then it’s as expected. You are just like me」

「Just like Alty-san?」

「Aah, just like. That’s why, I know your current symptoms very well」

「Sy, symptoms? Did, I catch some sort of illness?」

Hearing symptoms, startled me. If they’re infectious symptoms, then I won’t be able to be together with Master.

「No, it’s no illness. Didn’t I say so before? If you abuse your mind using magic, then there’ll be appropriate compensation. You’ve received more damage to your mind than you think」

「Is that so……?」

It didn’t feel real when hearing damage to mind.

「In my case, overusing it caused a defect in my memories. How about it, is there anything you can think of? If there’s something you can think of then I’d like it if you quickly tell me」

Defect in memories? I don’t think…… there should be anything.

「N, no, not right now…… 」

「There are times when using high ranking flame magic, that it’ll burn old memories before you realize. Since your using magic that doesn’t match you, that danger is always attached」

「Burn old memories……」

「Burn the past, to burn in the present. That is the essence of flame magic. The chant I taught you, also has that sort of formula in it」

Memories, I’ll lose those soon enough anyways. There’s no need to avoid burning that. When I heard「abusing your mind」, I already resolved myself.

「I don’t mind. If it’s to obtain strength, then I don’t need the past…… !」

Alty-san who hears that, once again sorrowfully laughs.

「Fufuu. Of course. Maria-chan is also like that…… 」

While laughing, just like before, Alty-san slits her wrist.

Picking up on her intent, I bring my lips to her wrist and lick it up.

 ――That day, not only magic, but I also learned the structure of chants.

The relationship between chants and magic is deep, depending on the words it’s composed off the results of the magic will change. Generally, most people think that using magic consumes MP. However, for Alty-san who is well versed in magic, she teaches me of methods other than that.

A way to fire magic even without MP. A chant that uses memories as compensation. A chant that uses emotions as compensation. A chant that uses life as compensation. I acquired various kinds of chants.

Having understood magic better, it felt like I’ve become stronger.

But, while composing it, I also felt something important fall from my heart.

Alty-san taught me while knowing that. And I had also resolved myself.

If I’m going to be separated from Master, then dying is better.

Dying is better. That’s―― what I believe――…… heat gathers in my head and I become dizzy.

Before I knew it, the volume of my feelings increased.

The chant that uses my emotions as『Compensation』, must’ve diluted my feelings. But the『Compensation』didn’t only cause loss. It also amplified them. 

I feel a chill at the fact that the magic is changing me.

But, it’s not a problem.

Losing my feelings is one thing, but it’s welcomed if it increases them.

Alty-san chose a chant like that to teach me. She is wholeheartedly supporting my love. A chant, a『Compensation』for that sake. That’s why without any worries, I continue practicing magic. 

Along with getting stronger, even more heat gathers up. That heat causes the emotions in me to boil.

My emotions turn into something muddy, and in the end――

「For today, we’ll leave it at this」

Before I knew it, Alty was looking down on me. At some point while repeating my practice, it seems like I collapsed. While wiping off my sweat, I stand up.

「I, I can still keep going…… 」

「I know. But, it’s about time Sieg returns home. You have to go greet him」

It seems like Alty-san had grasped Master’s movements.

It must be the flames that she uses as a sensory organ.

「…… Understood. Thank you very much for today」

「No, there’s no need for thanks. Everything is also for my sake」

「…… It’s also for Alty-san’s sake?」

「I couldn’t reach it, but I’d feel refreshed if you’re able to reach. That’s right, I’d feel refreshed……. It’s for that sake, that I’m using Maria-chan」

In self-deprecation, Alty-san answers.

Somewhere in her it looks like she’s torturing herself. I don’t want to see my benefactor make that kind of face, so I try to encourage her.

「I don’t know a lot about Alty-san. I also don’t know the circumstances. …… But, I don’t think that’s something bad. Normally, people would think of someone who is trying to do something they can’t do as a nuisance. They’d think that these dirty emotions are a nuisance. That’s why Alty-san who didn’t do that and instead supported me is a wonderful person」

I clearly conveyed. Alty-san and Lastira-san are wonderful people, and I clearly say that I’m a dirty human.

That’s right, I’m the one who’s dirty……. 

「Fufuu. …… Thank you, Maria-chan」

Hearing that Atly-san’s cheeks loosen, and so, while looking off in the distance she gives her thanks. I know that inside of Alty-san’s chest, various emotions are entangled. However, even my prided『Eye』can’t grasp the whole picture. It seems the emotions are intricately entangled deep inside her.

「Alty-san……?」

The complexity of those emotions perplexed me, and I call her name.

「Really, thank you, Maria-chan. Then I’ll be going」

Alty-san burns the clothes she’s wearing, becomes a flame, and disappears in a puff.

That was like the last flame of a candle, with a melancholic air drifting around it.

Unable to guess Alty-san’s heart, my feelings become hazy. However, in order to not waste the information of Master’s return, I continue home without stopping.

I have to make it back first and make a meal. Cooking is the only meaning I have left right now, because it’s where I belong.

And so, in the same way as always, Master returns alone while I’m preparing the meal.

But, something is strange. Master returned to a time from once before.

The atmosphere from when we first met. It’s the same expression as when we first met in the slave market.

Like a lost child wandering around――that type of face.

The feeling that something is beginning to break. It worries me, and in a quick pace I approach Master.

「…… Master, did something happen?」

With a swaying gaze, Master carefully chooses his words.

「No, the day after tomorrow Lastiara……」

「Day after tomorrow? What about Lastiara-san?」

「On Christmas…..」

「Yes」

It seems, something about Lastiara-san has thrown Master’s heart into disarray.

That fact caused my heart to go cold. However, in order to not let that be known I suppress my heart, and wait for Master’s word. At the end of his hesitation, he speaks in a voice as if it’s being squeezed out.

「On Christmas day, let’s play again」

――Did he lie?

I understood that with my『Eye』. Just now, Master decided that explaining it to me was unnecessary.

My cold heart, becomes a rampaging storm.

「…… Yes. Of course, that’s fine」

I knew that I was lied to. And, I knew that it was different from the lies from before that though of me. But, I obediently nod.

Seeing the haggard Master, I couldn’t say anymore. 

With the conversation having finished Master slowly walks to his room.

While glaring at that back, I mutter a line.

「――In other words, there’s no worth in telling me」

I felt the feeling of always being left behind increase.

Right now, Master’s head is filled with Lastiara-san. And I’m not there.

I know that. There’s no need to even confirm it.

While tightly gripping my fist, I return to the kitchen. I strengthen the heat with my flame magic, and the cooking soon ends.

I preserve the food for Master who didn’t return to the living room, and leave outside by myself.

From the hill void of people, I walk to an even emptier place.

And so, confirming that no one’s there, I practice my magic.

As if reflecting what’s in my heart, a rampaging flame dances in the air.

In order to strengthen that flame, over, and over, and over, I pile on my chants. I repeatedly compose the things that Alty-san told me not to use too much. The more that I composed the more power that welled up. Above all, it was a comfortable feeling as if spilling out my emotions.

My body screams out, my heart breaks. That felt very, very comfortable.

Even at a terrifyingly fast speed, I am still able to control the flame.

The speed of the chants also get faster, at this point I don’t have to say the name of the magic in order to activate it. This must be the chantless technique that Aty-san mentioned. She said it should take years to attain, but that wasn’t the case. Getting the hang of it is easy.

Producing a flame without a chant, and operating it with little magic power.

How to use flame magic with little magic power. That was my subject, but at this point it’d be fine to say that it was already achieved.

I know of methods to substitute magic power when it isn’t enough.

It’s fine to use useless emotions as fuel. It’s fine to use my poor body as fuel.

If I sacrifice memories and thoughts like Alty-san, then I can make as much magic as I want.

I use《Midgard Blaze》to make several flame serpents jump in the air, and I control all of them. And so, I confirm that I haven’t lost much magic power from my body. A smile spills out at the fact that I can activate the greatest magic with the least amount of magic power, and I disperse the magic.

I’m getting stronger. That feeling is certainly there. That encourages my training.

If only――, If only I had strength then things like today wouldn’t happen――

The unreliable me―― the me not worth giving a single trouble ――if it wasn’t for the weak me―― then Master wouldn’t have to lie――

Like Lastiara-san, I’ll be able to walk at Master’s side.

For that sake I am willing to sacrifice anything. If it’s losses in my memory, then that’s nothing.

What’s important isn’t that past, but the present. I don’t desire my erased birthplace. I forget about the missing ■■.

It’s fine as long as the flame’s strength and memories of Master are left.

If I have these two, I can become happy.

Those are the only important things.

And so, there’s just a little more before that happiness.

「Fufuu, fufufufufuu」

I laugh.

The magic practice is so fun I couldn’t help it. I’ll be able to get power that even that Lastiara-san can’t reach.

Even with that violent mass as an opponent, I can face it without cowering.

Just a little more, with just a little more――

Not Lastiara-san, I’ll be by Master’s side――!

「――Eh?」

Shock, my laughing halts.

I’m astonished. At the far too dark emotions that are swirling in my chest.

「Wrong……. Lastiara-san is a good person…… 」

I immediately shake my head to deny it.

It’s not as if I want to force Lastiara-san out.

It’s true that that person’s way of thinking is eccentric, but she’s not a bad person. Rather, she’s a good person who helped me. She supported my love. And yet, I thought of something like wanting Lastiara-san to disappear.

My flame magic immediately goes out, I repeatedly shake my head, and the night breeze cools it.

I’ve paid too much『Compensation』, and it feels like the inside of my head is boiling. It’s because of that, that I thought of something weird.

There’s still time left, but it’s about time I rest.

I stagger back home, and collapse onto the bed in my room.

While looking up at the ceiling, I recall those dark emotions from before.

Now that I’m resting on top of my bed, not a bit of those dark emotions well up.

I thought it was the magic’s fault, but Alty-san didn’t say anything about these dark emotions coming up.

I believe the origin is myself. Most likely, these are the emotions that lie at the very bottom. And some trigger must have caused them to rise.

As if to run away from my own ugly emotions, I strongly shut my eyes.

Once tomorrow comes, I’ll be the same as usual.

With today’s training, I was able to gain perfect control over my flame magic. The magic power problem was also solved. From tomorrow I’ll be added into the labyrinth search. It’ll return to the same way as before.

I’ll be able to be together with Master again.

If I show my power in the labyrinth, then there’ll no longer be a need to lie.

――I’ll finally be able to find the true Master……!

While seeing that dream, I let go of my conscience.


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  1. Awesome, thanks a lot for the chapter

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