Volume 7, Chapter 2-6: Clues Left Behind

When I arrived home, Yukie stood near the stove. She noticed me entering, giving me a slight bow. Mom was getting pretty lazy, letting Yukie taking over.

“Hey, Yukie, is dinner ready?” I asked.

“Ah, not yet. Uncle is not home yet, so Auntie said we should wait,” Yukie answered with a smile.

“Where’s Mom?” I inquired.

“She is currently in the garage inspecting Uncle’s workshop space. I believe she is taking the opportunity to clean during his absence,” Yukie responded.

“How rare. She usually doesn’t care what Dad does in there,” I muttered, surprised by her actions.

“Ah, excuse me, I must tend to the soup,” Yukie took out a ladle from the dishwasher.

I threw my backpack down in my room. What to do? I should start doing my homework, but felt pretty tired after training. I glanced down at my hands, considering his words about transferring magic.

“Pure”, huh? What a strange way of phrasing it. You would think magic followed no rules. However, Tess mentioned Kisai incorporated natural world principles in his magic. He seemed like the type to break the traditional mold, venturing off and making his own set of rules.

“So weird, they aren’t exactly what I envisioned, especially compared to Ichizen’s ideals,” I muttered, leaning back on my office chair.

I grabbed one of Ichizen’s books from my shelf, thumbing through them again. Ichizen wrote notes and highlighted certain lines of text. This book wasn’t assigned as classwork. Something caught my eye at the top corner.

“Ace?” I said out loud.

I laid the page down on the table, inspecting the comments Ichizen left pertaining to her. Some of the ink was smudged, but still legible.

“Today I met a really cool person who agreed with me today!” 
“She didn’t call me an idiot like Yuki and encouraged me to pursue whatever I believed in. I hope I get to meet her again.” 
“She remind me a lot of a character in this story actually. I wonder if she’s ever read this series before. I should definitely tell her about it if I ever see her again.” 

“She didn’t give me a full name but just told me to call her Ace. What a cool name. I wonder if it’s related to something special about her.

They were all just gushing compliments about Ace’s coolness and personality. There were also a few side remarks about me being mean. Besides that, not much more. Damn it. However, if he mentioned her here, then maybe more references were present in the other books of the same series. I should definitely flip through the other ones, seeing what else I could find.

During dinner, Mom kept looking at me. Either something was definitely wrong, or she found blackmail material on me. I wouldn’t put it past her. Yukie ate with elegance as usual, keeping her entire area clean.

“Yuki, how long were you going to keep it from me?” Mom finally said, her smile really freaking me out.

“What?” I sighed, knowing she probably did it on purpose.

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“Hmm, have I?” Mom replied, shaking her head in innocence.

“What’s this all about?” Dad asked, showing interest.

“Yuki’s found herself in interesting company. I’ve always banked on Ichizen, but with him unfortunately gone, I was worried. Guess I shouldn’t be anymore,” Mom revealed with a big smile.

How many times would I be forced to endure this? Mom did this on purpose. Dad usually didn’t care about things like this.

“Oh, what kind of people would they be?” Dad asked.

“Uh, normal people? It’s not like they stand out much,” I answered, not exactly sure what kind of answer he desired.

“I see. Then, there’s nothing to worry about. I would like to see some pictures of these people,” Dad asked, looking over at Mom.

Actually, what did I care? After dinner, Yukie washed the dishes and Mom pulled out her tablet. I was curious about what types of pictures Mom had. I glanced over at her screen, seeing pictures of me near the training facility speaking with Kisai and others. I never told Mom where I went, so she followed me there.

“Mom, when did you take these?” I asked.

“Over the past few weeks. I was curious about where you headed off to after school. Looks like a regular gym though. Having this phone tracking app is really useful,” Mom revealed, looking over at Yukie.

“Should have known,” I muttered.

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“There’s nothing to worry about then. I’ll be in the workshop,” Dad showed no more interest.

“Oh, Dear, I cleaned up. I left all your stuff alone, but did a quick sweep,” Mom said.

Dad nodded, leaving. I wanted to help Yukie with the dishes, but knew she would refuse. I decided to complete my homework. After that, time to investigate those references Ichizen left behind in the books.

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