Chapter 2-24 : Aria’s Past

 

Three weeks had passed since Mylia started teaching Aria gravity magic.

Aria’s attitude toward Mylia remained the same, but they were definitely getting closer to each other.

Even though Mylia was happy that she was able to escape from the Atwood Family and reunite with Chloe, she felt somewhat lonely because she couldn’t make friends, but thanks to her relationship with Aria now, she didn’t feel as lonely as before.

In the early morning, Mylia taught Aria gravity magic in the courtyard. During the class, she counteracted her drowsiness by spraying the scent of wasabi around her nose with her “Spray Magic”. After school, she studied in the library with Aria. That was Mylia’s routine for these past three weeks.

Mylia had been asking various questions related to the crossword puzzle to Aria and Chloe to test if her questions would violate the rules or not, and she found out that she would violate the rules only if she asked questions that led directly to the answers.

Questions like, “Do you know something about X?” or “Can you look for information about X?” or “Does X have anything to do with Y?” were safe to ask.

(I never thought that asking questions could make me really nervous…)

Mylia felt like her communication ability had improved because she always asked questions in a roundabout way.

Currently, she was looking for hints to solve the crossword puzzle in the library with Aria.

(Aria-san really is a competent student… She is better at searching for information than I am. She is very knowledgeable, especially about magic… Thanks to her, I was able to answer 70% of the questions in the crossword puzzle… But it’s also thanks to this library… I realized again that this library is so big!)

The library of Adrashelm Royal Girls’ Academy was actually called the Great Library because of how big it was.

The library was located in the atrium in the center of the main castle, and there were so many books placed on thousands of shelves which made the library look like a forest of books. There were also many ancient books left by Daemon the Collector.

(Ahh~ Aria-san looks so dazzling when she is quietly reading a book like this…)

In front of Mylia, Aria was flipping through the pages of a book while being lit up by the setting sun, casting a long shadow on the table.

「Mylia-san, I found an article about Marquis Sansara’s magic tools you’re looking for.」(Aria)

While Mylia was fascinated by Aria’s beautiful appearance, Aria suddenly turned her gaze to Mylia.

Mylia then hurriedly took her eyes off Aria and looked at the book.

「G-Good job, Aria-san! Thank you!」(Mylia)

「It’s talking about how to attach a magic stone into a magic circle as a source of power. It’s quite an interesting article.」(Aria)

「Hmm… I see, I see… So the answer is “magic circle”, huh…?」(Mylia)

「Hm? Did you say something?」(Aria)

「N-Nothing. I was just talking to myself, hehe…」(Mylia)

Noticing Mylia’s weird behavior, Aria put her hands on the table and looked at Mylia with a serious face.

「Mylia-san, may I ask you something?」(Aria)

「What’s the matter?」(Mylia)

「I think your study method is a bit strange. It’s so random and discontinuous. I’ve been curious about that.」(Aria)

「Is that so…?」(Mylia)

「Actually… I heard rumors that you have a Daemon’s Map… Is that true?」(Aria)

「Eh…?」(Mylia)

「The best second year student in the Magic Department spotted you holding a parchment that seemed to be a Daemon’s Map. That person also has a Daemon’s Map, so I don’t think she was mistaken.」(Aria)

「That’s….」(Mylia)

「All the studying we have done so far has something to do with Daemon’s Map, right?」(Aria)

Being asked with serious-looking eyes all of a sudden, Mylia was surprised.

「………」(Mylia)

She wasn’t sure if answering honestly was a good idea.

「I see… You don’t want to answer… It’s okay.」(Aria)

Aria decided to give up and smiled bitterly at Mylia.

Mylia didn’t want to answer because Chloe told her not to tell anybody about the Daemon’s Map. She knew that Chloe was just worried about her, but then she thought that telling Aria wouldn’t be a problem.

Aria had been helping her for three weeks. She felt bad if she had to keep silent about the map.

「Aria-san… do you want to see the map?」(Mylia)

「ー!?」(Aria)

Aria was surprised by Mylia’s sudden change of heart.

「C-Can I !?」(Aria)

Mylia nodded and took out the Daemon’s Map from her magic bag.

She then spread the map on the table so that Aria could easily see it.

「…There’s nothing on it…..」(Aria)

「I knew it…」(Mylia)

Even though Aria couldn’t see anything on it, she kept observing it closely, hoping that she would be able to see letters. Still, the map looked just like a blank parchment to her.

Actually, Mylia had proven that it was true that only the owner could see the content of the map by showing it to Chloe and Violetta the other day.

「…..Mylia-san, would you do me a favor?」(Aria)

「What is it?」(Mylia)

「Would you like me to help you solve the mystery of the Daemon’s Map?」(Aria)

(Aria-san… Why does she look so serious…? Could it be…)

「You have a reason why you want to solve the mystery of this map, don’t you?」(Mylia)

「……Yes…」(Aria)

As she replied, Aria looked somewhat melancholic.

「I want to tell you, but… can you promise me not to tell anyone? I know it’s a selfish request…」(Aria)

「Alright. You have my words.」(Mylia)

「Thank you… I’m sorry. You would probably think that I’m going to take advantage of your kindness, but…」(Aria)

After being with Mylia for three weeks, Aria realized that Mylia was truly a kind girl. She wasn’t very good at teaching, but she always did her best teaching Aria magic.

Aria declared that Mylia was her rival but Mylia didn’t seem to care much about that. She always thought of Aria as her friend.

Aria didn’t want to take advantage of the innocent Mylia, but now that she found out that Mylia had a Daemon’s Map, she had no choice but to tell her everything.

(Aria-san… I know she is hiding something… I hope she will rely on me more…)

Seeing Aria lowered her eyebrows, Mylia replied to her with a smile.

「You always spare your precious time after school for me, so you don’t have to worry about it. Besides… Honestly, I want you to rely on me…」(Mylia)

「Mylia-san…」(Aria)

Listening to Mylia’s reply, Aria put her hand on her chest and took a deep breath.

There were only two of them in a corner of the Great Library now, so no one could hear them.

「It happened about six years ago when I was six…」(Aria)

Aria started talking with a melancholic expression as if she was going to tell a sad story.

「One day, I went to the area where cherry peaches grow in my family’s territory with Diana onee-sama and our grandma. There was also a magician who was hired to escort the three of us… We left our city with a carriage, heading toward where cherry peaches grow.」(Aria)

Aria turned her face and looked into the distance as if she was recalling what happened six years ago.

「The place we were heading for was near the mountain at the north of our territory. We were planning to spend the night at an inn in a nearby post town and return home the next day. However… not long after we arrived at the cherry peach area, an elder dragon suddenly appeared…」(Aria)

「An elder dragon…?」(Mylia)

「Yes. Of course, the area we were at was within human territory. Most monsters will definitely avoid human territories, but it seems that strong monsters like elder dragons are not afraid of the presence of humans… We were really shocked and terrified at that time. We never thought we would encounter an elder dragon in a peaceful place like that…」(Aria)

「Don’t tell me… That elder dragon was Zirnitra?」(Mylia)

「No, it was a different elder dragon… It was called Basilisk.」(Aria)

「Basilisk…」(Mylia)

Mylia felt like she had heard that name in a web novel she read in her previous life.

(If I’m not mistaken… In the novel, Basilisk has the ability to turn its enemies into stone…)

「Our grandma is actually a renowned witch in our territory. She fought the dragon along with the escort magician to buy time and let me and Diana onee-sama escape…」(Aria)

After saying that, Aria clenched her fists as tears began to flow out from her eyes.

「…Onee-sama and I were able to escape, but…… our grandma was bathed in the light of the petrification curse from Basilisk and… turned into stone… Khhh…!」(Aria)

As she said that, Aria closed her eyes tightly.

「We were able to bring our petrified grandma home because Basilisk ran away and hid itself somewhere after receiving some damage during the battle….. My father and mother spent most of their fortune to find a way to save our grandma. They hired talented magicians and bought magic tools. They did everything they could… However… They haven’t been able to break the curse…」(Aria)

「I… see….」(Mylia)

Seeing Aria suffering from sadness, Mylia couldn’t hold back her tears.

Aria’s grandma reminded Mylia of her grandma who was in a hospital in Japan. Mylia could understand Aria’s feelings really well.

「My father once had the opportunity to talk with our school director, James de la Madison. He told my father that there was a magic tool that could break the curse that turned him into a rabbit somewhere in this school, and that place could be found with the Daemon’s Map. After that, my father thought, “If there’s a magic tool that can turn a rabbit back into a human in that school, then it won’t be strange if there’s also a magic tool that can turn a statue back into a human”.」(Aria)

「I see… So you want to look for a magic tool to save your grandma?」(Mylia)

「Yes…」(Aria)

Aria nodded and looked at Mylia with teary eyes.

「That’s the reason why I want to be the number one student in the Magic Department.」(Aria)

「So that you can have a Daemon’s Map, right?」(Mylia)

「Exactly…」(Aria)

Aria returned her gaze to the blank Daemon’s Map on the table and lowered her in front of Mylia.

「Mylia-san… I’m sorry. I told you not to act too friendly toward me and kept telling you that you’re my rival… but please… let me help you solve this map’s mystery… I want to do something to save my grandma!」(Aria)

Seeing Aria who had been speaking intermittently with a sad voice, Mylia leaned forward and gently grabbed Aria’s hands.

「Un! Let’s save your grandma together!」(Mylia)

 

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5 Comments

    1. She already fell for her judging from how she act in the previous chapters, she just didn’t realized it yet.

  1. It’s often mentioned in various stories that killing the source of petrification might undo the condition. So if anything else fails, a proven Dragon Slayer would be still useful.

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