Was she this small?

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My mother, whom I had not seen in a long time, was much smaller and more slender than I remembered.

It had been ten years since I left for one of the fiefdoms where I used to live, as I just couldn’t get used to life in the royal capital.
The last time I saw her was eight years ago.
It had been almost a year since we stopped exchanging letters two or three times a year.

I knew I was the reason for the estrangement.
Time passed without me knowing how to do better.

So, it was no surprise that the letter came from the doctor to my boss, not from my mother to me.

“Dustin, this arrived yesterday.”

One letter given to my boss, Prime Minister Howard, was from Dr.
Reynolds, who once served as the first physician to the royal court.
I was astonished when I read the contents.
The ‘Spirit Orison’ was said to have appeared…in the mansion’s backyard at Meissery where mother lived.

She was critically injured, but Dr.
Reynolds’ treatment saved her life, and she was now recuperating with my mother.
He said he would go up to the castle later to explain the details.

“This is… Is it true?”

“There is no reason for Reynolds to lie.
Besides, I’m pretty sure spirits have appeared in the woods.”

That was true.
It was hard to believe at first hand, but I guessed it was true.
Spirits that appeared somewhere on the continent only once or twice every hundred years, and their Orison.
I had not heard of it in this country for the last two hundred years since the current royal family.

Spirits were ones who arranged this world by their presence.
Their advent was a gospel given from heaven, promising protection from natural disasters and a peaceful and prosperous life.
On the other hand, if the people offended them by committing acts of violence, they would hide themselves and the surrounding countries would sink into the depths of the earth.

If you think it was a myth or fairy tale, spirits actually appeared, and there was a country that sank hundreds of years ago.
It was a volcano then… Flames and lava suddenly erupted from the ground of the palace, and overnight, the country was wiped off the map.

Last year, it was confirmed that there were spirits in the forest, the site of the former palace of the old dynasty.
The staff of the Institute of Magic, which was in charge of the project, was doing various things, but it seemed that, as expected with spirits, it was difficult to make progress in both investigation and interaction.
And then, there was this ‘Orison’… I guessed we needed to be very careful.

“If the ‘Orison’ is stuck for a while, someone from here needs to go to her.
Also, think about coordinating with the Academy of Arts and Crafts.”

“……Hah.”

It was a month after that letter arrived that Dr.
Reynolds came to the capital.
I had received reports by letter twice, but as usual, the Orison was still with my mother.

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Since matters related to spirits were special first-class matters, a meeting was held with the heads of each department and other prominent members.
Only the head of the magic academy had gone there since last night because the spirits had appeared in the forest again.

“Margaret, the ‘Orison’, hoped to remain with Adelaide Dustin in Meissery.
Based on her current physical condition, I would recommend it as well.”

“How are her injuries?”

“She is much better, but I don’t think she will be able to travel by carriage to the capital for some time yet.”

… She said she would prefer to stay with my mother.
When I last saw her, my mother was still living a life far removed from magical tools and the like.
I didn’t expect my mother to change anytime soon, but I guessed that meant the Orison was comfortable with that life.
I heard she was a young woman, but I didn’t know if that was possible….
The woman who was my wife was no good at all.

“Is the genie still in the bottle?”

“Their appearance is capricious, and the time of appearance varies.
I don’t know if they want to talk about it or not… But the head of the group said they were concerned about the Orison.”

“I see.
When the time was right, ask both the spirit and the orison if they would like to meet with each other.”

According to Dr.
Reynolds, unlike past examples of orisons, she had memories but had lost her voice.
She was able to speak in writing and, according to her own report, was twenty-eight years old, a commoner in her former world, and a single professional woman.
Her parents and relatives were already deceased, and she had one brother.
He said that she was somewhat distraught, but now seemed to have calmed down.

The way she spoke suggested that she had the trust and affection in Dr.
Reynolds.

It was decided that she would continue to stay at Meissery, as she wished to do so, and my mother, the landlord, agreed.
The meeting ended with the decision to send an investigator from here to look at the injuries.

“Walter, can I have a word?”

“… I have another appointment.”

When he was about to leave the place, Dr.
Reynolds stopped him.
The refusal seemed to have been expected and was returned without a hint of concern.

“You look as busy as ever, it won’t be long.
As for the investigator, I’d like you to come.”

He did not expect a reply.
That was all he said, then lightly patted my shoulder and left… Daniel Reynolds.
Both his skills as a physician and his personality were worthy of trust and respect.

He had retired from his position as the first doctor of the royal court and ran a clinic in the same country town Meissery as my mother, and also came to the capital from time to time to find and support promising young people.
There must have been a young doctor still in training with him.
He was an illegitimate son of a count, and it seemed he had repeatedly turned down invitations to return to the capital.

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He was an old friend of my mother’s, and he was more like a relative than a doctor in my mind.
Even without saying it out loud, I could tell that he wished to restore my relationship with mother.
That said, I was still aware of my inability to keep a respectful distance.

I didn’t know if Dr.
Reynolds made a request, but in the end, one of the investigators was decided to be me by the authority of my boss, the Prime Minister.

“”

I was ordered to go on a business trip for a week’s vacation, hoping to visit Meissery, which had no inn, and to use some of my accumulated annual leave while I was there.

Another from the Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry was Hugh Townsend, who was also from Meissery.

Many of the staff members at the magic academy had a personality that seemed to eat at people, and this guy was no exception, aloof and elusive.

In the past, I was the most senior student at the school and he was a new student, but because of his high magical power and special characteristics, we had attended lectures together in some classes, and the other side remembered me.

“I read about her in the report, but I wonder what she’s really like~.
I’m looking forward to it.”

We took a street carriage to Meissery.
As Hugh said, he didn’t want to take the Countess’s carriage.
He had been talking to me in a friendly manner, but he didn’t seem to look for a response and was content with polite responses.

Courtesy to elders, or hierarchy based on status, was meaningless to a powerful person in a magic academy.
I was one of the people few casually approached because I have my father’s frightening appearance that I was aware of, so it was a good thing.

When we were approaching Meissery, we were indeed interrupted when he suddenly told Auriga about the change of destination.

“We’re going to meet the village chief first.”

“I know, but we have no business with the chief.
Besides, wouldn’t it be better to sneak in suddenly to see the real ‘Orison’?”

I was pushed, but it was true that I wanted to see a side of the person my mother was with that was not seen on the outside.

As we quietly exited the carriage in front of a house that stood near a forest on the outskirts of the village and was so unfamiliar that we felt no nostalgia, we were stopped as we tried to make our way to the front door.

“Shush, be quiet.
This way.
Backyard? … Wow, I’ve seen nothing like this…”

Hugh’s special magic was in his eyes.
He could actually see the magical power that was normally perceived only as a flow of air.
It seemed that not only could he see, but he could also interfere, but the full extent of this seemed to be classified even in the Academy of Magic, and only a few, including the head of the Academy, were aware of it.

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He looked at the sky and the air with interest, and when I turned to the backyard as he indicated, I found the woman standing in the field with a basket of vegetables, looking up at the sky.

Crisp, old-style clothing, wide-brimmed straw hat.
Each one of those was familiar to me and probably belonged to my mother.
Although I could not make out her face because of the distance and her back to us, she wore a calm air that blended in with the forest.

A big dog from the woods… When she got out of the field with the dog, named Buddy, that she kept, which I thought I had read from a letter, she squatted down and played with the dog.

“….Hgh.”

Hugh, next to me, looked with a breathless gaze.

… I was amazed.

Golden light particles were flying around her.
Not just that, they were apparently playing with her.
As I had heard that she had lost her voice, I did not hear a single note of her voice, but I could tell by looking at her that she was being jostled around.

‘The Fairy Egg’… There could be no better proof.
Her hat fell off and our eyes were drawn to the glossy black hair that spilled out.

Suddenly, I noticed that Hugh, who had apparently lost interest, was walking forward.

She must have been surprised by our sudden appearance, but she regained her composure and made a splendid ladylike bow.
It was so perfect that I wondered if this was a royal garden.

Finally, I stood in front and looked at her.
Black hair, mysterious odd eyes, skin as white as a flower in a summer fountain.
She looked much younger than the age I had heard.
My mother’s dress fitted her well and didn’t look old.
How serious was the near-death wound on this slender body?

This was ‘the Orison’ but… Wasn’t the distance too close? It would not be the distance between adult men and women who had never met before, who were not dancing.
When I froze because I felt like I might touch her if I moved improperly, she smiled blithely and told me to hold out my hand.

After looking at my hand sullenly, her slender fingertips slowly spelled out the words.

Why cookies? I didn’t know what ‘the Orison’ thought.

A body smaller than I remembered, a voice weaker.
Mother reminded me of the years I had spent without seeing her, which made me feel old.

Margaret, ‘the Orison’ with my mother, looked much more like a biological child than I was.
I had no right to feel alienated while causing that myself.

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And, after all, mother still seemed to prefer life without magical tools as much as ever.
I could clearly see the annoyed look on the face of the head chef of the royal residence as she stood in the kitchen by herself.
It was immediately apparent that Margaret was comfortable with this lifestyle.
She didn’t seem to be overworked.

I was also concerned about her proximity to Hugh, but then again, did the report say that she had poor eyesight? She should get some glasses when she got to the capital.
I hoped she would have the proper gender distance to protect herself.

“No, you showed me something good~.”

“That’s your bright red face they’re talking about.
We certainly saw some unusual things.”

“Bwuhhhh, there’s the little one! The egg, the egg!”

This was also rare, honorific.
She was very upset.
We were now walking towards the village center to leave the mansion and go to the village chief’s place.
The elite of the Academy of Arts and Crafts, whose personality aside, his abilities should be well known, said something unexpected.

“Hugh must be going to the forest as well.
Isn’t he meeting the spirits and fairy eggs?”

“The genie is shy, and so far, the only person I’ve been able to meet at the Academy of Magic is the head of the class.
They don’t let me into the forest itself in the first place.
I can only go as far as the forest entrance.”

I wonder if this man, yawning with boredom, was really thirty years old.

The forest where the spirits appeared was a mysterious place where many things remained unexplained.
The most important thing was that there was some kind of boundary in the forest and usually humans were not allowed to enter.

“Well, let’s leave it at that.
I’m sure she’s an ‘Orison’, you know.
Then there are those eyes… I wonder if I could have a look.”

“Is there anything strange?”

“Hmm~.
No, it’s more of a confirmation than a suspicion.
But, well, even if I didn’t, I’d still want to check it out.”

The Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry was full of research idiots.
It must be a very uncomfortable experience for those who had to deal with it.

“… Don’t force her.”

“I won’t.
I’m gentle with pretty girls.
Also, it would be reckless to offend the ‘Orison’… Hmm? I wonder what will happen.
Haha, I’m curious.”

I walked along the country road, with no time to relax my brow, with a somewhat untrustworthy man as my companion.

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