「Just a few moments ago, you were casting magic on me, weren’t you?」
Upon my interrogation, Shade replied with a face feigning ignorance.
「What might this be about?」
Shade’s hands were bound behind him, and a blindfold covered his eyes.
Of course, the one who did all those was me.
Although Wolf’s single blow to Shade’s stomach was not visible from the clothes he wore, my punch wedged a painful cut on his lip. Nevertheless, I won’t show him any sympathy.
I intend to hit him with all my strength as if to say, to hell if your face swells up, yet it was beyond vexing that it came to that.
Shade did not have any indication of confessing, but alternatively, after receiving my explanation and pondering over the situation, Wolf began speaking.
「From what I heard so far, he possesses magical attributes by 『escaping the sealing』」
「Escaping the sealing?」
「You also received a『sealing』from the magical association when you were five, right?」
「Yes. So that our magic doesn’t run wild. It was for that purpose, wasn’t it?」
It was in accordance to Wolf’s explanation.
All children of the nobility who possessed magical attributes were subjected by the association to a magical『sealing』 in their early childhood. And then, that magical ability will be plainly manifested once they hit puberty, passing over the state wherein magic could not be used, they would enter the magical academy at twelve years old. From there, by learning the control of magic, the sealing would gradually be released.
In other words, a 『sealing』 was for when the awaken magical ability, with a naive state of control, rampaged; for such scenarios, this was a preventive measure.
Incidentally, this was only limited to the children 『of the nobility』. After all, currently almost all the magical attribute holders were of noble blood. Whether the special abilities have always solely manifested in the nobility, or whether the increased possession of the power in the nobility was just recently attained, there were varying theories on that topic.
「Even if one receives magical powers at birth, there were two general exceptions where one would not receive a seal. One, is a child born out of wedlock. Another case would be when a child is born into a family of non-nobles and obtained the magical power through a mutation. Meaning whichever of the two, since the association would not be aware of those kinds of existence, it would result in an exception」
Although I was gaping with my mouth open like an idiot while listening to Wolf’s explanation, I finally came to my senses.
「H-hey, aren’t you somehow well-informed? Concerning the information on magic, except for casual matters, they’re not granted to children, right? I’d been told that until we enter the academy, self-study, including theoretical study, were banned without exception. In fact, I couldn’t get my home-tutor to teach me anything about it. Furthermore, whether it be children or even adults, didn’t they make a darling trick so that any books related to magic were unreadable so long as they weren’t graduates of the school? 」
「Yeah, that’s true… but, actually, there’s a loophole. Not only can you acquire a certain amount of knowledge from the adults’ conversations, but as a matter of fact, if you go to the capital, with a small amount of cash you can get that trick temporarily removed from the books…」
Very sulkily, I gave Wolf a glare.
My curiosity long ago motivated me to stealthily go into my Father’s study, the bitter memory of how I felt unwell, not able to leave my bed for half a day right after taking a peek at the book related to the magic’s principles that I secretly borrowed, resurfaced.
「That’s typical for men, isn’t it? For women in the family restricted by the conduct built by seemingly obvious unwritten rules, going outside on their own would be a self-indulgence, don’t you think?」
「W-well… this probably isn’t the time for that kind of conversation, isn’t it?… right now, this conversation is about him」
Having blatantly been diverted from the topic, I turned around to face Shade. Of course, it wasn’t because I had been fooled. I vowed to myself that once this matter was over I would press him on that no matter what.
With Wolf’s earlier explanation, an example of magic obtained through mutation by birth, was the heroine.
And then, the child born out of wedlock– in other words, a child born from a moment aside that of the binding of a married couple in accordance to marriage, such scenario where escaping the association’s eyes was a possibility – that was most likely a matter about Shade.
「『Escaping the sealing』 was it… but, once it’s found out that he has noble blood, wouldn’t the association say or do something about it?」
「Of course, they ought to speak out. However in that scenario, the child would already be proficient at the manifestation of his abilities, so the association’s sealing becoming incomplete is possible」
「I see… so then, for example if the association gets notified that a child with magic was using it – what would happen if that was leaked out to them?」
「There’s nothing that can be done if it’s not in the scope of a criminal act. A more robust seal known in the association would only be applied to that person.」
「Then what if it was a criminal act?」
「Besides putting that person on trial, a semi-permanent magical seal will be placed on him」
I turned back to look at Shade, however the colour on his face did not change appearance.
「Is there something like a mind-controlling magic?」
「That would be fascination magic. The effect is stronger on the opposite sex, if the other party has their mind in a weakened condition, then the effect would become even stronger. In a manner of speaking, although the magic is only displaying the most attractive part of the person, it’s troublesome depending on the level of magical power used」
With that, I had expected by such a lack of skill that I was just about to obtain knowledge.
「Shade, did you use that kind of magic on Crinum?」
「Well, I honestly don’t know what this is about…」
Shade showed a laudable face.
Ah, geez, this is troublesome.
「I guess, there’s no other choice but torture…」
「Please don’t tell jokes with such a serious-looking face – …you were joking, right?」
Huh? Wasn’t Wolf being a little bit troublesome too?
No, rather, for the time being, let’s leave the matter regarding Wolf aside. This is about Shade right now.
To start with, he has no doubt『escaped the sealing』.
However in that case, it would become a matter that would overturn my one prejudice with Shade.
The game’s Shade, of all things, had lied even to the game’s heroine.
No, maybe he was lying, or maybe in fact, he just purposely omitted things from his statements. There should be a considerable difference with those, but if it was the latter, I feel that it can either be forgivable or unnecessarily vicious.
At any rate, when Shade told the heroine about the contents of his past, there was no indications of matters relating to him having『escaped the sealing』 and the likes.
Speaking of which, he didn’t even allude to Crinum.
If I remember correctly, the 『Shade talks about the past』 event was an event that happened pretty early on. Inside the game, for the purpose of attracting the heroine to him, he probably cleverly concealed the bad parts of his circumstances when he spoke about the past.
That is to say, the current reality.
「When you were casting magic to make your older sister an ally, did you make it more effective than what you’d planned?」
Twitch, Shade’s body moved.
I guess I got it right.
Some gaps remained, but something like this was, as expected, a little abnormal.
If he wanted to make Crinum his ally, I dare say, he only had to act lovable, and he’d have gotten her on his side. Crinum is, by nature, a gentle girl.
Most likely, the action of bringing Shade food and water was not because of the involvement of Shade’s magic. It was an action made entirely on her own, that’s what I believe.
And yet, Shade used his own magic to control such a girl like Crinum. Maybe it was that he didn’t trust her, or maybe it was that he couldn’t trust her.
Having no faith in women– no, it’s not like he relaxes his guard around men either, so maybe he has no faith in anyone. He didn’t trust people, because distrust was an important point constructed for Shade’s character in the game.
Which reminds me, Shade’s bad ending basically stemmed from a strong jealousy over not believing the heroine and fear over not wanting to lose the heroine. It might be the template behavior of a yandere though.
「Wolf, what’s the method to cancel out fascination magic?」
「Since it’s not permanent, as long as it isn’t reapplied, it should eventually cancel out on its own」
「Then, once Crinum returns to her true character, she’d be a living witness to Shade’s magic, right?」
「That would be a little doubtful. The difficulty with fascination magic is that it’s hard to know if the effect is due to the result of the magic or the natural charm of the user」
「Wolf! Why are you saying that in front of Shade!」
「Well. He probably knows his own powers the best. That’s why, if we’re talking about a reliable method, I believe a few violent threats would prompt a confession from him…」
「Then, it would be better to leave this to an adult. Thankfully, Duke Lilia is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow」
That was really pleasant news.
Since Uncle came into the room with the butler, we explained Shade’s magic briefly and left the room.
If it were only possible, I would not have wanted Uncle and Wolf to be in each other’s presence, and neither did I want to show my face to Uncle as much as I can.
Afterwards, I was glued to Wolf all day long and didn’t leave his side. Well, that was only a metaphor, of course.
The fact that two people was here and not one, deeply moved me by how reassuring it was.
It felt surprisingly comforting that I was not alone at the dinner table at the Rankgerüste house at last.
Uncle prepared a room for Wolf far from the guest room I was using, but I wasn’t quite satisfied since it seemed like Wold was receiving some roundabout way of harassment. But it was a close enough that I could immediately run there if something happens. No, let’s not say anything disturbing as if something will actually happen.
At any rate, I was lying on the bed thinking about the degree of unexpected and unpleasant events that happened today with a peace of mind.
Proving it was Shade’s power that was to blame, meant Crinum’s sudden change wasn’t because of the actual person herself (or – I don’t know whether or not it’s right to declare this, but at the very least it wasn’t only because of her) and knowing this was a big deal. The hope that I might be able to reconcile with my precious cousin if given time filled my chest.
Above all, I was assured that once tomorrow morning come, Father will turn up and solve everything.
However, there was only one thing for me that if nothing was done, wouldn’t get resolved.
In the end, I didn’t tell the comments about Mother that my Uncle said even to Wolf.
Wolf would probably tell me that I would understand if I heard the real situation from my father. If I were on the opposite end, that would have been my advice.
However, I wanted to clearly delay thinking about that.
Several excuses floated to mind.
In the first place, it was about a dead person. Consequently, if it was about slandering a dead person, I’m sure Father too, would dislike the idea.
Although Father was a person who liked talking, even so, topics about Mother rarely ever come up, of course, since he doesn’t want to talk about it, he probably wouldn’t talk about it.
If I ask him 「Did you love Mother?」 and listened, I wonder how Father would respond.
It was a matter of the past.
But, if there was one thing I was curious about, it would be about this.
Thankfully, my eyes were closing and drowsiness was overwhelming me. The fact that it wasn’t only because of my heart, but also because of my tired body after walking profusely, was a blessing.
Once my eyes closed, it would stay like that till morning.
…though I said that, it didn’t go as planned.