Chapter 12 : Northern Forest
「Do you know why there’s no one who wants to go to the northern part of this region?」(Chloe)
「Because it’s close to monster territory, right?」(Mylia)
「Yeah. That’s why we need to be careful.」(Chloe)
「Chloe onee-chan, you’ve said that ten times…」(Mylia)
「Mylia, it’s because I’m concerned about your safety.」(Chloe)
「Un, I know. Thank you, Onee-chan.」(Mylia)
Mylia nodded obediently.
They passed through the lavender field to the north side secretly while the villagers were busy harvesting lavender.
「Mylia, do you feel weird on your nape?」(Chloe)
「Just a little.」(Mylia)
As she replied to Chloe, Mylia stroked the back of her neck.
After a while of walking, they entered the area with many kinds of plants, and beyond that was a forest with low trees.
「Looks like we are almost entering the northernmost part of this region.」(Chloe)
「….I’m nervous now…」(Mylia)
「So… does the pendant say something?」(Chloe)
「Un. It told me to come deeper into the forest.」(Mylia)
「I see… Umm… this forest hasn’t changed at all. It still creeps me out… Honestly, I don’t want to go, but…」(Chloe)
「But I feel like I have to go…」(Mylia)
As they stepped forward, they stroked the back of their neck.
When humans get closer into monster territory, they can feel a small pain on their nape.
This is a phenomenon called “Fairy’s Warning”.
「It is said that this phenomenon occurs because the magical power in your body reacts to monsters’ magical power.」(Chloe)
「But not only us humans, the monsters also feel the same. That’s why if humans gather and live together in a village or townー」(Chloe)
「ーMonsters don’t want to get closer, right?」(Mylia)
「Yup. You’re such a smart girl.」(Chloe)
Chloe stroked her little sister’s head.
There were two territories that matter in this world:
Places where monsters liveー monster territory.
Places where humans liveー human territory.
The larger the city and the population is, the larger the human territory, and the less willing the monsters were to approach it.
For example, there were no monsters at all near the royal capital.
On the contrary, monsters exist near a small human territory like a small village in the Atwood territory with a population of less than 1,000 people.
If the population doesn’t increase, the human territory will not become wider as well.
The range of activities and the amount of food will be limited.
There were a lot of monsters living in canyons and forests near the Atwood territory, so actually, the Atwood territory could be swallowed by the monster territory at any time.
The Atwood territory was like a little grain of rice that fell into a black pond.
It’s strange that it’s been able to last for 150 years without being destroyed by monsters.
After a while of walking, they stopped.
Currently, Mylia and Chloe were standing on the border between human territory and monster territory.
「Chloe onee-chan, I’ll go alone from here.」(Mylia)
「Eh? But… are you sure?」(Chloe)
「Chloe onee-chan, I think I’ll be fine. Look, there’s magical power flowing from that direction.」(Mylia)
「Un. I think I can reach the source of the mysterious voice if I follow that thread of magical power.」(Mylia)
「Thread…? Umm…. I can’t see it… Can you really see the thread of magical power?」(Chloe)
「I think I ‘feel’ it rather than ‘see’ it. I feel like the thread is pulling me.」(Mylia)
「Is that so…?」(Chloe)
Chloe looked into Mylia’s eyes with a serious expression.
She seemed really worried about her little sister.
（Ahh~ Chloe onee-chan’s eyes are so beautiful!）
But Mylia was thinking about something completely different.
Even so, she understood that she made Chloe worried, so she nodded to her.
「If I feel it’s too dangerous, I promise I will immediately go back. If something happens, I’ll send a light ball into the sky to let you know.」(Mylia)
Mylia decided to go alone because she didn’t want to get Chloe in trouble.
After nodding to Chloe once, Mylia immediately kicked off the ground and ran deeper into the forest.
Chloe could only watch her little sister’s purple hair swaying, moving away from her into the monster territory.
（Uhh… I have a bad feeling about this forest…）
While clasping the silver pendant hanging from her neck, Mylia walked through the forest.
（Chloe onee-chan, wait for me. I’ll go back as soon as possible.）
She hoped she could return in no time for the sake of Chloe who was waiting for her.
As she proceeded, Mylia felt like someone was poking the back of her neck.
（I somehow understand why it’s called “Fairy’s Warning”…）
She stretched her neck with her fingers as she kept following the thread of magical power.
（I wonder if this magical power is protecting me…）
Even though she was walking in the dangerous zone, she was unexpectedly calm.
She was wondering if it was thanks to the magical power she was following.
As a test, she stopped following it and moved away a little, and she felt like the “Fairy’s Warning” grew harsher.
She then hurriedly returned to the original course.
（As I thought… I should concentrate only on following this thread…）
Looking back, she saw the thread of magical power extended to the entrance of the forest.
（I wonder if this magical thread was here from the beginning… If so, that means this pendant give me the ability to sense magical power?）
While wondering, Mylia kept walking.
After ten minutes since she started breathing heavily, a circular open space lit by the sun spread in front of her.
There was a house surrounded by lavender in the middle of the open space.
（Why is there a house in a place like this…?）
The thread of magical power was stretching into the house.
When Mylia approached the house, the door was opened and a woman came out from inside.
The thread was connected to that woman.
「Who is that…? Don’t you know I’m sleeping?」(?)
Mylia stiffened. She didn’t know what to say.
「You… Are you Galaxia Atwood’s daughter?」(?)
Mylia felt a little pressure from the woman’s beautiful voice.
（Is this person… an elf…?）
The owner of the house had long ears, golden hair, and a well-balanced slender body.
From her appearance, Mylia thought that she might be in her early twenties.
She wore a high-class blouse with some embroidery, a long skirt, and a cape with a magic circle on it.
（According to the lore of this world, elves live in a land far away from this continent… Why is there one in Atwood territory?）
Mylia remembered about a picture book she read in the reading room.
「O~i? Ochibi-chan~? Are you listening to me? You are a daughter of Galaxia Atwood, right?」(?)
*/ Ochibi-chan = little one
As she asked that, she approached Mylia while pointing at the pendant on Mylia’s chest.
「Eh? N, No, I’m not…」(Mylia)
「So who are you?」(?)
「I’m a daughter of Aaron de la Atwood.」(Mylia)
「Aaron? Who in the world is that?」(?)
「He is the lord of the Atwood Family…」(Mylia)
「So Galaxia Atwood is your grandfather, then?」(?)
The elf stared at Mylia suspiciously.
Mylia felt a strange pressure coming from her.
「So… Galaxia Atwood has passed away…?」(?)
（Galaxia… Galaxia… Hmm… I feel like I’ve heard that name before… My grandfather is Tedd Atwood, so it’s not him for sure… Galaxia… Galaxia… Somehow it reminds me of the ramen shop in front of the nearby station to my apartment in Japan, Galaxy Ramen… Ahh~ I miss its 300 yen soy sauce ramen…）
Mylia began to think about something completely different.
When the elf poked the pendant on Mylia’s chest with her finger, Mylia came to her senses.
And… She remembered.
「Ah! I remembered! Galaxia-sama is the ancestor of the Atwood family! He was the one who received a knight title from the king, and the one who started the Atwood family!」(Mylia)
「Y, Yeah… What’s wrong?」(Mylia)
「…Do you know how many years ago did he start the Atwood family…?」(?)
「It was 150 years ago…」(Mylia)
「Wha!? 150 years ago, you sayー!?」(?)
The elf made a surprised voice that was far from the voice of a beautiful woman.
Mylia stepped back a little.
（Is that something so surprising?）
While holding her head, the elf stared at Mylia with a suspicious gaze again and started muttering to herself.
（Uhh… I feel like she’s a dangerous person…）
After a while, the elf raised her face with a refreshing expression.
She made the face of a person who completely abandoned something important.
She turned to Mylia and stared at Mylia’s entire body from top to bottom with her golden eyes, and then she shrugged her shoulders.
「Ochibi-chan, you can’t use your magical power, can you? Ahh… what a waste… From now on, come here every day. I’ll teach you how to use magic. Do you understand?」(elf)
Mylia was confused.
（How did she end up teaching me magic? I don’t understand…）
「You’re a descendant of Galaxia Atwood, right? I’m telling you I’ll be your magic instructor because it’s my duty. Be honored, will you?」(elf)
「Really? Elf-san, you will teach me magic?」(Mylia)
「I’m not ‘Elf-san’, my name is Titania. And from now on, you can call me ‘Master’.」(Titania)
Mylia tilted her head.
Looking at Mylia who was still confused, Titania smiled gently.
『Ochibi-chan, you can’t use your magical power, can you? Ahh… what a waste…』
At that time, Titania didn’t know that she would regret saying that in the future.