Chapter 051: The Day Victory Doesn’t Go to the One Who Made the First Move
The next day, I woke up refreshed, even though I was still slightly exhausted. It was my first time using a practical barrier, so I thought I would be more tired. But I was fine since I hadn’t used up all my magic.
I thought that I wouldn’t be able to hold the barrier for long if I used up too much magic, but if I knew that help would come that fast, then I would have made the barrier bigger and flung the Hollows further away from us. I think the most exhausting thing was seeing the Hollows up close. They’re really scary you know?
I sat blankly on top of the bed as Alistair came into the room.
“It’s time for breakfast.”
He helped me change my clothes and then we went down to the first floor. Everyone greeted me and they seemed more relaxed than normal. I got Mill to cut my bread into small pieces and chewed on it as I surveyed the room. I feel like they’re not meeting my eyes.
“I wanth thea thoo.” I had a good meal and tried to ask them for some tea. Mornings were busy, so I only had tea when they had days off.
“Here you go.”
Mill made my tea at once. He added water after he put the tea into the cup. This way the tea would be both thin and cool. But I’m sure it isn’t their day off today.
Then it hit me. Are they angry because I was kidnapped yesterday? I held the teacup with both hands as I observed them nonchalantly, but I couldn’t tell.
“I’m shorry.” I could only apologise.
“Hey, what’s wrong Lei? We’re not angry about what happened yesterday you know?” Bart quickly said, but their moods are strange.
“Mm, did you do something that you need to apologise for?” Mill said gently.
“Mmm, yuh.” I was a little confused but decided to confess. If yesterday hadn’t happened then it would probably have been magic practice.
“Magwic thoowsh, magwic, channew.”
“Hey, that’s gross Bart.”
Bart had been drinking tea, but he spurt it out.
“Y-y-you, don’t tell me you fiddled with the broken magic tools that Brendel gave you…?”
“Ai. If magwic thoow browen, directhwy magwic.”
“Direct magic? Not from the magic stone but from your own body?”
“Ah, ah,” Kyaro covered his eyes with his hand. Bart rummaged around and brought out magic tools from his room.
“This is from my room, but try it.”
I was also blinded by the brightness when I first used the magic tool, so I couldn’t help but laugh.
But it’s funny. This time, Bart took out the light tool used for travelling. He took out the magic stone, observed the tool and thought for a while.
“Will this work if we take out the slates and channel magic into it? As if it’s passing through the slate?”
I received the magic tool from Bart and channel magic directly into the moss without passing it through the blue slate. I practiced with barriers, so I was good at using my magic this way. I was able to make it shine with a little bit of magic.
“It’s brighter than usual. Lei, does it hurt from your magic running out?”
Alistair stared at it and then took the moss basket from the light in the room.
“H-hey, Alistair. Woah, bright!” Kyaro tried to stop Alistair but was hit by the light. I couldn’t help but laugh at him.
Alistair got up and went to the 2nd floor without smiling, and came down with his barrier box.
He put the box onto the table, opened it up and took out the large magic stone. Everyone gulped.
“Hey, don’t tell me, you’re going to try-…”
Alistair began channelling his magic directly onto the blue slate. Little by little. Carefully. Then a barrier stretched from the centre of the box with a squeal. Alistair checked the barrier and then finally let go of the barrier box. He said, “Lei.”
I made myself smaller.
“Did you use this in secret?”
Everyone fell silent in surprise.
“Why?” Alistair didn’t let this go.
“Awishthair buiwding bwocwsh fun. Lei undershthanding magwic fun. Thame.”
“It’s not the same!” Alistair stood up and yelled.
“You’ll faint if you use too much magic. It’s dangerous. Building blocks isn’t dangerous!”
You’re right. What should I do? Then, Mill crossed his hands behind his head, leaned back on the chair and said, “You know, Lei, had fun changing magic and was able to create a barrier by herself.”
“So you survived yesterday because you put this barrier around yourself?”
That’s right. Bart scratched his head furiously when he heard my answer.
“Nothing we can do about it now since she’s already done it. Your life was saved because of this. If this gets found out then you won’t be able to go home and everyone in Wester will be scrambling to get you. Do you understand?”
It can’t be helped even if you say it like you’ve given up. I gradually lost interest and started to dangle my legs.
“Argh. You only act like a baby at times like this. I don’t know what to do.”
Bart covered his face for some reason and then looked serious.
“I got the day off today because we saved Lei and the mayor’s daughter yesterday. I have to go tell the mayor about the barrier later. But well, you’re probably tired so let’s relax.”
Alistair stood up.
“Then let’s go play in the workshop.”
The workshop at the back of the counter on the first floor was cleaned by everyone little by little on their days off.
Alistair lifted me off my chair, put me on the ground and held my hand. We’re going to the workshop.
“Wait,” Alistair was startled by Clyde’s voice.
“Alistair, why’re you holding the barrier box?” Kyaro continued.
“If Lei can do it then I can too. I won’t faint from using too much magic if Lei watches over me. Lei said we’re playing, so we’re playing,” Alistair argued. You even said it was dangerous before!
“Isn’t it fine?” Mill backed him up.
“It’ll probably be fine if Lei’s there.”
That feels strange. Bart sent us off as if he’d given up while Alistair and I went to the workshop.