Hogwar… *cough cough*. Rille-nee and I will be leaving on the same day as the examinations for the Royal Institute of Magic.
We’ll take a horse-drawn carriage service that runs between cities to get to the capital. There are only a few of them, so including the waiting time in each town, it will take about 20 days to get to the capital.
We could have asked Chancellor Leonard to take us there by carriage, but we decided not to bother him with things we can manage on our own.
When we left, Gis-nee, Fabian-sensei and some of the kids from the school, who always looked forward to doing experiments, came to see us off.
Rossi also came to see us off. It was his family that provided the carriage service.
“Y-Younger sister, you…”
“Wah, I, I said I was sorry.”
When he heard that Rille-nee decided to go to the capital because of me, tears streamed down his face as he looked at me accusingly, so I felt bad for him and apologised. He really likes her.
“You should also do well and come to the capital, Rossi. I’ll at least let you confess when you do.”
It’s not like I always block his attempts of confessing.
I gave him plenty of chances, but he couldn’t convey his feelings because he has bad timing or he makes mistakes while trying to confess.
Even now, he was trying to say something to Rille-nee, but I couldn’t understand him because he was sobbing so much. Rille-nee was laughing. You should gain some experience and try again.
The little ones gathered around me while Rossi was talking to Rille-nee.
“Why do you have to go to magic school when you’re already a witch~?”
Some of the kids were innocent and curious, and Leni put her hand on their heads and sleepily explained.
“I told you she’s not a witch. She’s a fake witch.”
“Can’t you explain it in a way that makes me sound less shady?”
I didn’t want to be stuck with another weird nickname when I leave.
Leni yawned uninterestedly even when I complained.
“But, *yawn*… but you’re going to become a real witch, right? I’m sure you can become one.”
Leni said as she scratched her head. Her hair was still the same chestnut brown from the time when we washed it.
She has been studying since then and seemed to be able to read my grimoires at least. I even saw her gathering her friends in front of the classroom before to make soap. She seemed to be trying to figure out how to make a new product to sell.
It would be a good learning experience for them to consider the materials, profitability and other things while making the soaps.
As I was thinking this, Theo suddenly appeared from behind Leni and threw something over her head.
“Look, your farewell gift!”
I caught the bag in midair, opened it and smelled the scent of lavender.
I took out the milky white soap and looked at Theo. He seemed very proud of himself.
“How is it? It doesn’t have a strange colour, does it? Take it with you.”
“Eh, ah, you’re giving this to me? Wow, thanks. Look, Rille-nee.”
I made Rille-nee, who was still talking to Rossi, turn around and showed her the soap.
I was really happy to receive this. I can use it on the trip, and he was very kind to make enough for both of us.
“Did you make this especially for us?”
“No, it’s a prototype.”
They should have just honestly agreed, but Leni said something that wasn’t very moving, so Theo added.
“I got some perfume from one of our vendors and added it in. The soap kept it’s nice colour when I did this.”
“But perfume is ridiculously expensive, so we can’t make a profit. We want to make it with cheaper materials and rake in the profits.”
“You’ve learnt some difficult words, Leni…”
I don’t know whether to be happy or shocked. Leni and Theo are indeed kids of a merchant town. They’re very motivated when they believe they can make money from something.
“Well, if that’s the case, then maybe you can make soap from scratch using vegetable oil. If the oil is extracted from beans, seeds or berries then it won’t stink. You can also process the fragrant oil directly into the soap, but it’s a bit difficult.”
I’ll give you some knowledge as a gift. It’s a thank you for the farewell gift.
“Okay. I’ll try it.”
“Hey, stop talking about that. When you become a real mage, show me some real magic!”
Theo said and the other kids looked at me in anticipation.
I don’t even know if I have the aptitude to become a mage yet, and it won’t be easy for me to come back if I do become a mage, but I didn’t want to tell them that.
“Leave it to me. I’ll show everyone some fun magic.”
It might take some time, but I don’t believe I’ll never see them again. I believe that I’ll be able to fulfil my promise one day, one way or another.
“Be careful on your way.”
Fabian-sensei said to Rille-nee and I as tears welled up in his grey eyes.
“I really can’t thank you two enough.”
Then, he cried as he smiled.
“There’ll be many challenges ahead of you, but I’m confident that you two will be able to overcome them. Stay healthy and live a good life. You two are students I’m proud of.”
He said in an exaggerated way which made me happy but also a bit embarrassed.
“Thank you very much. We’re happy to have learnt from you, Fabian-sensei.”
I apologised to him in my mind for thinking he was annoying at first. He is a very nice teacher who is sensitive and has strong beliefs.
“Thank you for teaching us, Sensei.”
I bent my knees and bowed deeply. Finally, I looked up at Gis-nee who was standing next to him.
“Take care of yourself.”
A hand was placed on my head. Rille-nee and I both nodded at her brief words.
“Don’t go out of business before you get to the capital, okay?”
“I know. We’ll be open for business.”
I jokingly warned, and Gis-nee laughed. Rille-nee also laughed.
“I don’t think the customers will run away if you make an expression like that.”
“I’ll try. ――― You two have to make it to the capital safely.”
We had a farewell party with Gis-nee last night, so we didn’t have to talk for long again here.
We’ll live together again, so we can talk about all the things we missed out on in each other’s lives then.
We just shook hands for now, promising to meet again.
“Then, we’re off!”
We climbed onto the back of the covered carriage and waved at Gis-nee and everyone else until I couldn’t see them anymore.
We left the city through the west gate and there was no obstacle on the road as far as the eye can see.
I looked over the far horizon of the grassland and realised how wide the world was.
“The breeze feels nice.”
Rille-nee leaned out a little and her hair, which had grown to her back, danced happily in the wind.
The loneliness won’t disappear, but the fresh breeze and unobstructed view made my heart light and free and made me look beyond the horizon with anticipation.
It felt like the start of a new life.
After getting motivated, I took out my homemade notebook from my travel luggage and started studying. The exam has some math questions, but I also have to learn about history, famous poems and writings.
Learning history is fine, but why do I have to memorise poems that I don’t like, but well, if I was told to learn them, so I’ll do it.
The reference book was valuable, so I borrowed it from Fabian-sensei and copied it. The notebook was only made from shoddy paper, had holes punched through it and threaded together with a string. It smelled so much like a struggling student that I thought it would attract flies.
Incidentally, this carriage was also the cheapest, lowest grade freight carriage, and we were squeezed in between boxed luggage.
This was basically how we were planning on getting to the capital. We have to book the best inn we could with our budget for safety’s sake, so we chose a cheap transportation method.
I heard that the best carriages have proper shock-absorbing suspensions and seats. I’ll ride one of those when I become successful.
Ambition makes one diligent.
I worked hard even though I was shaking in the carriage for a long time. My life was literally hanging on the line.
“You’ll get tired before the exam if you work too hard.”
Rille-nee stops me if I get too absorbed in studying, so it was fine. Whenever that happens, we would talk while looking at the scenery. I’m glad she’s with me.
I’ll get by with the help of Rille-nee even if we have to leave a familiar place and are surrounded by strangers. This hasn’t changed since I was born, that was how we lived.
So, Gis-nee, don’t worry and wait for us.
I looked up at the sky during my journey and muttered.