"How about that one?" I questioned.
"Roxy…" Sylphy answered.
We're laying on the ground, cloud watching. Yep, totally bored.
After Roxy's departure a few weeks ago, it was left to me to take over Sylphy's lessons. Already, knowing the basics, I had to get her to intermediary magic level. Of course I still had to teach writing and arithmetic, but who cares about that.
What do you think, I'm teaching Sylphy to be a poet?
Jokes aside, we're able to breeze through the lesson easily enough, not just the magic ones, and hence we have several hours left where we have nothing to do.
"Rudy," she pulls at my sleeve. "You promised you were going to teach me to fly."
"Technically it's more like floating, and you have to wait. Until I'm sure you got intermediate magic down, you're not flying anytime soon."
"Should I write a letter to Roxy?" I teased. I couldn't write a letter to her even if I wanted to, I don't know where she is.
She doesn't know that though.
"But why though…" she mumbled.
"Because falling is painful,"
"Fine…" she pouted.
Yosh, my disciple is the cutest.
I patted her head.
"Although, this is kind of boring," she nods her head vehemently at my confession.
What happened to my shy Kouhai?
Although, she's not wrong.
"I was kind of saving it for when you mastered intermediate magic, so you could do it yourself, but I guess you can just follow my lead," I stood up and offered her my hand, which she accepted.
"Did Roxy ever tell you about Shield sledding?"
"That was fun, and we can do that every day?" Sylphy asked.
"As soon as you finish your lessons,"
"Yay!" Sylphy cheered. We had a fun time. Until Sylphy had her FUN-damentals down, not using magic in dangerous ways, I performed the magic, and she would perform the steering, as we went up and down the hills.
That's right, up. Magic is awesome!
"Glad you had fun. Try not to pass out from excitement," I walk her back home.
She sure had fun, from that expression of joy that I can see across her face, and occasional ear twitch.
Sure have come a long way from, I was too scary to talk to.
As I was thinking that her smile stopped, and she stood still for a moment.
I am about to ask her about her sudden stop, before she jumps to my side, and hugs my arm tightly. She is looking down as she does this.
Ok, this is strange. I can barely get her to look me in the eye when talking, what's this?
Looking down the road where she was looking earlier, I see what she was seeing. It's a group of children ages 5-10 walking around, playing with some sticks, hitting them back across each other.
I guess they're playing knights.
"I see…" right there was that issue. Now then…
"I wonder which of you threw that stone…"
"Rudy?" Sylphy questioned.
"Sylphy, can you let go of my arm for a moment."
She looks at me with a distraught expression.
Please stop that. It's super effective!
"It's alright," I place my hand gently over hers that's holding me even tighter now. "I won't abandon you, I just want to… 'talk,' with those guys real quick."
She reluctantly lets me go, albeit slowly. I made my way towards them.
Alright time for some diplomacy.
"ALRIGHT, FAT ASS, DUMBASS, AND NPC, GET YOUR ASSES OVER HERE," I calmly said.
Definitely calm. I am the embodiment of serene.
Even Sylphy seems to be surprised by my CALM demeanor.
Alright, seriously, let's calm down.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Honestly this whole situation pisses me off.
The bullying issue is annoying, and the segregation one is abhorrent, but at the end of the day the ones performing it are children.
Don't get me wrong their actions are wrong, but considering the time period, they could almost be forgiven for their actions. At the end of the day, a brat is a brat.
That all changes when blood is spilled.
Part of me should thank them. For that incident with the stone and Sylphy, showed me that my existence is making a butterfly effect for better or worse..
In Sylphy's case, worse…
When I held Sylphy in my arms that day I decided that I would help her out, and when I truly thought about what that meant, I realized that I needed to teach her. As her future didn't look that bright, from my point of view.
In the original timeline, she would have known magic, and hence survive being summoned 100 feet in the air, and left to free fall. In this one… no one has taught her a thing.
Well, until me.
So yeah, thank you for helping me help Sylphy, but besides that, please go fuck yourselves, sincerely yours, Rudeus.
Still though… I wished Lilia was a little sad about me not spending time with her. She almost seemed happy that I was hanging out with Sylphy more.
…couldn't you be just a little sad. I don't know which one of you did it, but my conscience won't let me sleep, if I don't correct a potential sociopath in the making if I could.
"You three bullied Sylphy, didn't you? Apologize," after calming myself down, I repeated myself more reasonably.
"...who?" one of them asked.
"Her," I pointed back to the girl behind me a few feet away. "Apologize to her now,"
"The demon?" "Seriously?" "aren't you that knight's kid?" came three different responses. None of them, the answer I am looking for.
"..." I'm waiting.
"Get lost," one of them waves his stick vehemently.
"We'll tell everyone that your allying with demons,"
"Who knew the noble master was a traitor, ha!"
"Hey you, your name's Ada right?"
As I said before, it's funny what the brain will remember, and what it won't. For the life of me I can't remember the name of all these useless characters, but I do remember that on the day Sylph was bullied by three people the fat one was named Ada.
That's about it.
"...do you mean my mom?"
…well, mostly remember…
"Ah… sure Ada's kid-"
"My name is Soma-"
"IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS! Anyways, you! Who threw the rock?"
"...what rock?" he crosses his hands.
I cast a fireball to the side, making a small blast.
"The one that hurt Sylphy, give me a stupid answer again, and I won't miss,"
I'm not gonna cast it on him, I'm angry, not murderous.
But he doesn't know that.
"No no, no it wasn't me,"
"That was…" he hesitates to tell me.
Really loyalty amongst thieves was it?
"Remember what I said about stupid answers," I say once more time, and Ada's eyes flicker to a another on their group.
"It was him!" he pointed to one of his friends.
"What?! Liar, it was you," he countered. "After she fell down and-"
"He's lying it was all his idea, honest,"
"What, no!" the third that was silent until now interjects. "You were the one that threw the stone, me and Soba had nothing to do with it."
Honor among thieves? Yeah right.
"Well two votes to one," I get closer, getting in his personal space. "Was it you that threw that stone at Sylphy?"
"So what if I did, she's just a demon," he looked down at me, his hands crossed.
Uwaa, so dumb, but at least you make this simple.
I go over to the kid in question, grab him by the collar, and ask him, "Apologize,"
He hits my hand away, and strikes me with a fist.
"Idiot! That's what you get for picking a fight with someone bigger than you!"
Idiot. Now it's just self defense. Thanks for making this easier.
People tend to reveal their real selves when they think they're in control. Give them a little power, and see who they are.
I look at him once more, causing him to flinch. I grab his collar, "Trace on," and start picking him off the ground.
Don't underestimate the strength of a five year old that trains and has reinforcement magic, I could probably pick up a light adult.
"Apologize," I glared.
"Don't wanna…" his voice trembled.
Have it your way.
"Fly," I cast the flight spell.
On the fat boy that is.
"Aaaaah!" He's sent flying. I caught the stick he was holding.
Then a sudden updraft is brought about to my spell, and sends him up in the air, and up… and up…
Well you get the idea.
I'm not gonna kill him, but he doesn't need to know that. The only thing I have to worry about is that he doesn't go splat. Twirling the stick I concentrate the wind, making his descent easier, cushioning his descent.
Three seconds later. "Aaaaaaah!" He comes down.
"Apologize," I look down on him. "Then scram, never show your face in front of us again,"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he gets up and bows two times before turning to leave. I hook his escape with the stick.
"I'M SORRY!" he turns to Sylphy, and bows his head deeply.
"Leave," I hit them with the stick on their rear end.
He and his little gang leave. Leaving me and Sylph alone.
Finally it's done.
Today was one of the most fun days I've had since Roxy left. I thought as I came back from shield surfing. I didn't know one could have so much fun.
…I didn't know a lot of things.
Back when I heard there was another demon running around, I decided I wanted to meet her. I was lonely, and if I'm lonely, then maybe she was too, and then maybe, just maybe… we could be friends. That's what I thought back then. So I went to find her, and I did.
One day, when I went to the fields…
"Miss Roxy, could you help us water the fields?"
"That is fine. I trust you have the acquired payment,"
"Very well, Oh great water spirits…" The winds bellowed, and as the clouds changed color, soon a small amount of rain appeared over the fields, "...Nourish and Cleanse all, Rain Dance!" A stream of colors appeared over their heads.
A rainbow appeared.
"So Beautiful…" I couldn't help but say at that time.
Roxy-san is amazing…
That was the day I first saw Roxy. And the first day I saw magic as something amazing.
"Sensei, I thought they didn't have enough copper on them?" A boy asked.
"I also accept other forms of payment, if they are appropriate," she held out a bag towards him, as he peeks inside.
"...Louring in Roxy with sweets, I worry about your future sensei," he says.
"Enough of you," before taking a hit from Roxy's staff, "bartering is also an appropriate form of payment. Anyways, let's get back to your lessons," she took out a piece of bread which she happily munched on.
"Hai~" he rubbed his head.
After that show, I knew I had to talk to her, but there was a problem: she was never alone.
She was always with that noble's son.
So I waited, and waited… but never found a chance. Not finding the chance I needed, I decided that despite my shyness, I would bite the fireball and talk to the noble's son first.
…It didn't go well… and things just kept not going well…
Soon after, when I was taking food to daddy, I would run into some bullies down the road who would keep throwing mud, and insults until I felt a sharp pain on top of my head. I was struck by a rock.
I hate it. I hate it, hate it, hate it, hate.
Why does everything keep going wrong?
But…despite how everything went wrong, when I woke up, my world got better.
I met Roxy. I met Sir Paul, Lady Zenith, and Rudy. It was a new day for me. My lonesome days were finally over. I finally found a friend!
At least I thought I did. I wonder what a friend is. I wish I had asked Roxy that. We're friends, but… she's not here anymore.
One day we'll meet again, until that day, it's just me and Rudy, it's just… Rudy is… difficult.
Roxy sensei said he was the one that healed me, and carried me all the way home, but that's hard to believe. I've gotten over my fears of Rudy… mostly… and he's been teaching me a lot about magic, and shortcuts, but it's still a little difficult to imagine him being that kind. That and talking to him.
I'm not scared of him… I'm not… but, still…
When Roxy sensei left, I was scared. Scared that everything would return to the way things were. Back to when I was alone. That… that is scary.
Despite my fears though, Rudy didn't leave. I was happy. So I thought I'd try my best too. We read books, watch clouds, or played 'I spy. It was fun, but the quiet is a bit uncomfortable sometimes. It's not as easy as it was with Roxy.
It's weird. The boy I was scared of, always screaming, and running around could be so quiet. I didn't think it would be like this when Roxy left.
Well, until today. Today things changed once again, and I'm happy to say those awkwards days are coming to an end.
Rudy taught me something new. It's not flying, but it's fun too. Surfing that is! But the best part was the after.
We're like, actually, talking! You know, like friends!
Not only did we do shield surfing, although it's a barrel lid, but we talked after as well. No awkward pauses today! Just talking and playing. We had a blast!
Friends do that right? Run, play and talk! That means we're friends now right? Do you ask someone if you're friends, Mommy, what do I do?
I was worried that the color of my hair would be a problem for Rudy. Roxy sensei was a demon so I thought if anyone could be my friend it would be Roxy, and then, then…
Maybe I should ask him after all.
Getting ready to ask him. 'They,' appeared, and my worries returned as well.
I hate this… maybe I really am cursed.
I knew my hair was a curse, but I didn't know why? Maybe this is the curse of the Superb? Will Rudy leave me alone too?
I unconsciously grabbed his sleeve.
Please don't go, I thought.
As I was lost in thought, I felt Rudy's hand sliding away. "Rudy?"
Are my happy days coming to an end?
"Sylphy, can you let go of my arm for a moment," he says as he departs. My grip tightens.
"It's alright. I won't abandon you, I just want to… 'talk,' with those guys real quick," I let him go.
It was fun while it lasted.
It's not fair.
Mommy always said that someone would come along, like those knights in fairy tales, and sweep me off my feet, but fairy tales don't come true for people like me.
Beautiful princess's get happily ever after. Green haired demons get… It's not fair…
"ALRIGHT, FAT ASS, DUMBASS, AND NPC, GET YOUR ASSES OVER HERE!" Breaking me from my thoughts, I hear Rudy scream at the top of his voice. My previous worries were forgotten.
W-w-wawa-what are you saying?!
I was worried that Rudy would think making friends with guys would be easier than a girl like me, or that maybe being around me isn't worth the trouble.
Never would I think that Rudy would bully the bullies.
"Apologize," Rudy ordered him.
"...um Rudy you don't have to…" I begin to say, before Rudy gets struck by a fist by Soma.
As I was about to tell Rudy it's ok, and he can let them go, Rudy gets punched.
You just punched my friend?!
"Idiot! That's what you get for picking a fight with someone bigger than you!"
You're the idiot! No one punches my friends!
My fists are shaking, but then… something ridiculous happens.
"Fly," Rudy casts, and what followed was.
"Aaaaah!" a human boy was sent flying into the sky.
Ah… that's right… There's a reason why I was scared of Rudy…
The memories of the boy attacking trees, flying while laughing maniacally, and making a thunderstorm goes through my head.
That's right, Rudy is a saint class mage. Um… this is bad right?
Luckily my worries were for not, as I could feel the mana circling again, like before but this time rather than sending him, it's acting like a pillow and slowing him on his fall down.
That's right, Rudy is scary but not evil.
Moments later the bully is forced to apologize, and runs away.
This is good. Wait! Nonono, Rudy just threw someone into the heavens that's bad right?
"Rudy… wasn't that a little too much?"
He gives a disgruntled look. "No. He left you bleeding, if anything I was too gentle…" he mumbled things under his breath.
"U-Um that's true, but won't you get in trouble?"
"..." he stops in his tracks for a moment. "Why?" he says with a frown. "I'm not the one that lets a cute girl bleed on the road."
"Well, whatever I'll deal with when it comes," he added nonchalantly, walking away.
"Y-y-you will get shunned by others!" following him I push through my embarrassment.
"All the people that care about me already know me," he turns to me. "Right?"
That's right, there is one thing Daddy said about friends as well, friends are there when you need them most.
"Rudy is kind," I whisper as I get closer to him. We walk all the way home in peaceful silence.
The sun was setting by the time we made it home.
"...Thanks for walking me home… and… everything," There's really too much to be thankful for.
It's a secret, but Roxy sensei told me that Rudy convinced her to stay a bit longer to teach me. I believe her now.
"Don't mention it, what are friends for?"
Right… friends… we're friends.
I look at Rudy. he is standing with his back facing the sun, he is holding the barrel lid(sled) underneath one of his armpits, and still carrying the stick he stole/borrowed from the bullies.
It makes him look like a knight… a knight.
"Oh… just a thought, but those guys might make things bothersome for you if I'm not there, so I'll be adding self-defense lessons to your studies, ok?"
"Ah, sure," waking from my daze, I agree.
That's fine with me. I don't know what defense lessons are, but it sounds like a good idea.
"Hmm," he holds the stick over his shoulder, as the sun shines on his back, a habit he usually uses with his practice blade
Sword, shield, and magic… a knight… a slightly scary, very awkward, but kind knight.
"See you tomorrow,"
"See you tomorrow," I said farewell to my friend.
I can't wait.
"I wonder if I should have left the lid at her place…" As I made my way home, I wondered If it's the student or teacher, who should hang on to the equipment.
I'm looking forward to a bath. Even if I didn't work up a sweat, I did work out some stress, and a good bath always helps me relax.
Thank god for magic. I can warm up any water in a moment.
On my way home, I noticed my father's figure at the entrance. He didn't look happy.
Sitting by the doorstep is my father. He has his hands crossed over his chest, and looks at me with a scowl on his features, as he gets up.
I groaned internally. This is going to be… pleasant… I'm really going to need that bath.