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Episode 73: Iaris
[Rhode… what have you been doing?]
[Nn? Ah, I’m training my magic.]
It’s been about a week since we left Celtic.
We had already crossed the Historia and were on our way to the Ist tomorrow.
I knew we’d be faster with Epoly at the wheel of the carriage.
We thought about stopping in Historia but decided to leave that for another time.
We didn’t have much time to relax.
So we’re just resting up for dinner. After that, we’ll start moving again.
I tethered Vaendymion to the only tree standing in the plain and built a fireplace.
While Levy was cooking, I was repeatedly using Materialization magic on the stones lying around and to drain my magic power.
I’m still weak.
On the other hand, strengthening my magic will directly improve my combat power.
[Uーn… how cute.]
The stone that I materialized was jumping around me.
The moment I removed my magic power, it returned to a normal stone, but even that was a bit saddening.
[Actually, it’s more effective if I use it on the armaments. It’s just that… Anyway, it’s no good.]
I had Excalibur help me before, but I don’t feel like doing the same thing again.
That’s why I stopped doing that.
[Since I can only materialize one item at a time, I couldn’t do this while Epoly was driving the carriage. That’s why I only do this when we’re taking a break.]
[I see… then, what happens if you materialize that sword on your waist?]
Asna asked while pointing at Iaris.
Ahー…speaking of which, I hadn’t materialized it again since that last time.
I avoided it since it used to stick itself on its surroundings by accident, but there should be no problem here.
[Yeah… let’s give it a try]
I took Iaris, which I left propped on a rock, and materialized it while it’s still sheathed.
A red light bathed Iaris.
I’ve always thought that the light emitted by legendary armament represents the color of their soul.
So usually, when I use my magic on a mere stone or everyday item that has no soul, it emits a colorless light.
Which means… Iaris…
A moment later, Iaris appeared not as a sword with limbs as before, but as a…… small red and black dragon.
But it’s not just any dragon. It has a sword growing out of its front legs and on its tail as well as one sticking out of its forehead like a horn.
The size was about 2 meters from the tail to the tip of its sword horn. And such Iaris was flying around happily with its wings flapping.
[Cu, cu, cu… Cute!]
[Th, this is… Iaris has a soul…?]
Did Hagar-san craft this with all his heart… that Iaris gained a soul of its own?
A combination of Boss’ and Hagar-san’s ability, coupled with the materials from the flame wyvern and inferno wyvern. It’s certainly a sword that was born from unique circumstances.
Perhaps that’s how it works…
Iaris was flying around happily until it saw me, on which it immediately rushed toward me.
Ah, I still remember this.
I dodged it at the last minute, causing Iaris to lodge its horn on the ground.
That, that was dangerous… its attitude hadn’t changed at all.
[I kinda like this child, Rhode. Nice to meet you, Iaris-chan. I’m Asna.]
[Ahaha so cuteー!]
Dislodging its horn from the ground, Iaris proceeded to fly around Asna.
Cute she said…. Cute my arse…
[N, nice to meet you, Iaris. Can you please not rush in like that…?
[Ah, Rhode… you don’t have to bully it like that.]
But I almost got killed by it…
Damn it… being cute is foul play.
[Food is ready… Wha…? what is up with that cute little one!?]
Ah… of course, Levi also likes this kind of thing…
[I see. So that was what happened. Even so…]
Iaris was messily gobbling down the meat and vegetable soup Levi cooked.
She occasionally missed because the sword horn protruding from her forehead was in the way.
But that only makes her even more adorable.
[It is so cute… haa…]
[I didn’t expect something like this to happen… or how she’s materialized as this, cute being. Right As… ah nevermind.]
Asna was eating the soup, shedding tears as she looked up to the sky.
I’m not even mad… it took me a while to get used to the deliciousness of Levi’s cooking.
I think if one doesn’t have a strong mind, their spirit would be forever lost.
Well, she’s much better than her first day.
On that day, Levi’s cooking was awesome owing to how enthusiastic she was given that it’s the first time Asna ate the meal she cooked.
Don’t mention Asna, even I was about to faint from how delicious the meal was.
[Ha….! Ah, that was close…]
Asna seemed to have snapped back to reality.
The luxury and deliciousness are a bit worrying indeed…
[Are you okay, Asna?]
[U, un… the flowerbed…]
[Fufufu… well, we will be arriving in Ist tomorrow. How nostalgic.]
[Indeed… It’s been only two months, but a lot of things happened…]
I felt a tinge of worry in Asna’s voice.
Perhaps noticing my worried gaze, Asna looked back to me with a smile on her face.
[Thank you… Rhode.]
Somehow… Everything will be just fine.
[Yeah… alright then, let’s make haste!]
[Iaris is at it again…]
[Everyoneー! I can see the town from here!]
Epoly’s cheerful voice echoed through the carriage.
In response, we leaned out of the driver’s seat and looked where Epoly was pointing.
It was in the middle of the plains, visible from the top of a small hill.
The town looked familiar but for some reason, it looked brighter.
It wasn’t just the sun rays that made it look that way, but it’s probably just my mind.
[Yes… it’s a beautiful town indeed.]
[Un… we’re back here…]
[Alright. Thank you, Epoly. I’ll take it over from here. I’ll be counting on you again in the future,]
[Roger thatー! See you guys laterー]
I held the reins after returning Epoly to the black notebook.
My hands naturally tightened and I drove the carriage faster than usual.
I can’t wait to see everyone.
I wonder how Tia is doing and whether she’s enjoying her life.
No, I’m sure she’s fine.
This town… is already on our side.
Thus we arrived at the entrance of the town and went in with the carriage.
The streets of Ist are wide and there is not much traffic, so we can continue on our way to my house pretty easily.
As we passed the street where I used to do my shopping, people seemed to notice me.
[O, oi… Rhode-kun! You’re Rhode-kun, aren’t you! Did you just return? No, welcome back!]
[Eeeh!? That was fast… from what I heard from Gagan-san it would be a little longer until you arrive!]
[Oh, Rhode-kun!? You seem to be doing great there… Ah, don’t worry about Tia-chan! She’s doing great!]
[Welcome back, Rhode-kun! I was flabbergasted when I heard about you winning the Nibelugh adventurer tournament!]
In a matter of seconds, the carriage was surrounded by people and everyone was saying all that to me.
Un… everything is fine after all.
And apparently, Tia is starting to get used to staying here.
This was so amazing that I was almost left speechless…
[Thanks… everyone. So, I guess all of you already know the reason why I returned from Gagan-san, right? …Asna]
Heeding my call, Asna slowly emerged from within the carriage.
She looked a little uneasy but fortunately, the townspeople called out to her kindly.
[Asna-chan… Welcome back!]
[It must’ve been difficult… but it’s okay now!]
[Your mom is also worried. Relax a bit. Ist is on your side]
[I heard what happened… I believe everyone here feels the same. All of us will protect you!]
[Everyone… thank you…!]
Coming back here was the correct answer after all.
Like this, I’d be able to continue my journey with peace of mind.
And I’m going to cut off the source.
So that everyone can live with peace of mind.
Just as I was talking to everyone, I heard a familiar voice.
This voice was…
The crowd naturally split to the left and right, and Asuna and her mother ran toward each other.
The two then hugged fiercely.
[Asna… thank goodness…!]
[I’m sorry, Mom… I’ve made you worried… Rhode helped me out…]
[Un, I’ve heard… we’ve done horrible things to Rhode-chan… Yet he…]
[I know… let’s just say we have a lot to repay him..]
[Un… un…! Rhode-chan…thank you!]
[It was pretty much a combination of coincidence and luck. But maybe that was God’s way of telling me to save Asna. Whatever it was, I’m glad Asna is safe.]
When I said that, the aunt bowed deeply.
She must have been worried… Anyway, I’m glad.
[We’re going to go to the house now. See you all later!]
We split up from the rest of the town and headed back to my old home.
I wonder if those two are doing well… I hope they are living happily…