“Wait wait wait, hold on! Can you tell me more about Contracted Beasts?” Ann asked.
“I think we have some books about it. Let see,” Allen was about to walk off and find some books about Contracted Beasts when Ann grabbed on his shirt.
“Never mind, I need quick answers. First, how many Contracted Beasts can we have? Second, what attracts Contracted Beasts to someone? Third, do we need to do the blood pact to form a contract?”
“One at a time. Many things can attract a beast to someone. No, some beasts are contracted by giving them food or names, it varies,” Allen answered concisely.
“One at a time…Then, is there any way we can break the contract?” Ann asked out of curiosity. She felt a bit upset that the only beast contract she could do was forced by the little bird. This rascal…!
Though honestly, she didn’t really feel like breaking the contract with this adorable little beast, but if in the future the little bird wanted to break free from her, she’d like to be able to grant that freedom.
But in Allen’s mind, he interpreted Arlea’s words as not wanting to own a useless beast and that she’d like to switch to a stronger one…for who knows what. His expression turned stern, but he still answered Ann’s question honestly, “There is an ancient spell that one has to recite to break off the contract. The one who initiated the contract should be the one who’s able to do so. But if you’re stronger than the one who initiated the contract, then you can also do it.”
Ann stared at the little bird.
Interesting. So, I can try to delete our contract in order to determine which one of us is stronger. …The birdie can’t be stronger than, her, can she?
“After breaking off the contract, can we renew it with the same partner?” Ann asked.
Allen’s mouth twitched. Does she think forming and breaking off a contract is a game…?
He gritted his teeth a bit, and out of kindness, he answered, “You can.”
Ann’s face brightened. She definitely wanted to try it out! She would be reading books about contracted beasts next and learn how to break off a contract and initiate it! When she made the contract, it didn’t feel like anything at all, she had to savor it if she could initiate the contract later~
“Hmm, I wonder what attracted you to me in the first place?” Ann asked as she used her index finger to nudge the bird’s head.
“I can’t understand your words, you know~ Eh, right, shouldn’t we be able to understand what our partner means?” Ann asked.
The living encyclopedia, Allen answered, “Not necessarily. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. Depends on the beasts.”
“Oh, I see. Too bad, here I’d like to know what attracts you to me…,” Ann said in disappointment.
Without being asked, the walking encyclopedia of Allen answered, “For beasts that are given food to form a contract with, they’re attracted to the food you provide. Some are attracted by the contractor’s kindness if the human were to save them. For those who’re defeated in a fight to be contracted, then it’s the human’s prowess. Reasons really vary. But most of the beasts are attracted to the human’s magical power.”
“Human’s magical power…?” Ann was surprised. It was true that she possessed a rare Pure Water attribute and it seemed to be a strong one…? But could it really be the reason why this little bird liked her?
“Yes, especially if they have matching affinities,” Allen said.
“Hmmm,” Ann looked at the bird and thought that no matter what, the bird didn’t seem to have a water affinity…?
Wind might have made a better sense.
“Speaking of which, your magic affinities…What are they? I only know that you can do water magic because you’d use it from time to time, in the garden,” Allen said.
Uh-oh. So he never knew that I have Pure Water magic!
At that time, an idea popped up in Ann’s mind. Pure Water magic in a female was the best in terms of magical power inheritance from their parents. Most people would be interested in finding a female with Pure Water magic so they could breed a child with powerful magic…If she were to divulge this little secret, would Allen be interested in doing the thing that could result in a child with her?
While it was sad that the motive behind their deed would be that…but why would it matter for someone who was destined to die like her in the future? If she was concerned about the child, she could secretly find ways to prevent the child from being made…
It might be heartless, but their relationships would be one that took advantages of each other, anyway, and it was a political marriage with ulterior motives right from the beginning…
When Ann was about to tell Allen that she possessed Pure Water magic, she suddenly felt a pang in her chest. Then, she felt a weird mix of emotions.
Reluctance. Anger. Resentment. Hatred.
Those were the emotions that couldn’t have originated from herself. If that was the case, whose emotions was she feeling right now? Could it be…the original body’s owner, Arlea’s real feelings?
Looking back at her history, Ann came to understand where the feelings came from. Since the people of this world was prejudiced against Pure Water magic, labelling it as a weak combat magic and a magic meant for ‘mating’, it was natural for Arlea to resent her magic. Arlea wished for a strong magic. She never wanted to be viewed as a mating tool.
In the past, she experienced many bad things due to her Pure Water magic…and that was why, at some point in her life where it was possible to hide it, she decided to conceal the fact and never tell any single soul about it.
Though it wasn’t her own feelings, Ann felt really uncomfortable now to tell the truth to Allen. Perhaps because she inhabited this body that this body’s feelings impacted her so strongly. She decided to bail out of her own decision at the last moment.
“Hmph, I can do magic but my magic is so ordinary. I like the harmless water magic the most, so I used it to help out.”
“Ordinary, you mean…you can use all four common elements?” Allen asked.
Ann didn’t want to answer his question, so she tilted her head to face the little bird and came up with a topic to distract Allen right away.
“That’s right, now that you’re with me, I think you should have a name. Don’t you think so?”
“Chirp chirp!” The bird jumped up and down at Ann’s shoulder.
“…,” Allen felt like something was off with this turn of events, but he didn’t have any energy to face Arlea…
“How about I name you…Little Pinkie Birdie? The nickname can be Pinkie and Birdie, what do you think?!” Ann nudged the bird’s beak gently.
“Chirp, chirp~,” the bird didn’t seem like she was protesting.
“…,” Allen was rendered speechless once more.
What’s up with this woman’s naming sense? Little Pinkie Birdie…? That doesn’t seem like a name with a lot of consideration…and the bird doesn’t seem like she’s objecting…?
“Alright, your name’s decided then, Pinkie!” Ann smiled.
Little Pinkie Birdie’s name was decided from that second onward.
Allen wanted to facepalm right way. He was concerned about the names of Arlea’s future children…but wait, Arlea is his wife, so that would mean…his future children’s names as well? Hell, he’d be the one to name them, he would never let this woman with amazing naming sense name his children—wait a second, why did his thoughts trail off to this?
He was…actually thinking of having children with this woman?!
Allen was more speechless when he realized his thoughts. Even when he married Arlea back then, having children was on the back of his mind. He had another objective in mind, and he didn’t see any future with her if that objective was to be accomplished…
Since when has his feeling changed…?
Afraid of his own mind, Allen speechlessly left the library, leaving Ann and Pinkie/Birdie alone.
“Hey, leaving without saying anything?” Ann was a bit upset upon finding out that Allen was nowhere in sight.
“Hmph, fine, it’s not like our relationship is that good,” Ann said with her cheeks puffed.
Thankfully, even without Allen’s help, Ann managed to grab a few books about Contracted Beasts and returned to her room. It was soon dinner’s time, and Faye also returned to attend Ann. It was at that time that Ann finally reintroduced Pinkie to Faye.
“Faye, her name is Little Pinkie Birdie. We can call her Pinkie or Birdie. She’s uhh, my contracted beast…I guess!” Ann happily said.
Faye almost drop the tray she was holding.
A contracted beast…? That meant, this little pinkie birdie or whatever her name was—she possessed a special bond with Arlea-sama…? How could it be…!
At this time, Faye hated that she wasn’t a special beast that could be contracted. …She totally disregarded the fact that it was better to be a halfling rather than a beast…because she wanted to have a special bond with her mistress!
Was her position finally threatened…?
“Do we still have time before dinner?” Ann asked, totally oblivious of what was going on in Faye’s mind.
“Ah…yes, why?” Faye asked.
“Good, let’s try breaking off the contract, Birdie!” Ann suddenly said.
“What?” Faye couldn’t hide her happiness. Her mistress was going to break off the special bond she had with the little thieving bird? Yay~!
She would totally be in tears if she were to learn that her mistress was simply conducting an experiment without wanting to really remove the contract…
“Chirp?” Birdie only tilted her head, her big eyes staring into Ann.
“Let see…According to this book…Hmm, yes yes. Let’s do it, Birdie!” Ann finished learning the way to break off the contract and set aside the book on the table. She stood up and looked at Birdie, with her hand in front of the little bird.
Ann couldn’t remember a foreign spell that fast, so she peeked at the book from time to time as she recited.
“Meol âclungen nîetenlic, blinnan êower hæft wið me oð mægð attraction with pron ðe ic ongêanfêran ûser tôscêadan færeld to wintergegong tôdihtnian elcra (O contracted beast, release your bond with me and may we go our separate ways until fate dictates otherwise). Terminating contract!”
Although Ann said it very slowly and with a bad pronunciation, light grew from the palm of her hand and it only grew stronger as she recited the spell. After she was done, the light jolted and became blinding.
Let see…if it succeeds, the warm light will gently envelop both me and Birdie before it fades away. But if it doesn’t succeed…
Just as Ann was thinking about it, the light scattered to her and Birdie, electrocuting Ann and shoving her away from Birdie.
“Aah!” Ann was taken aback. Faye immediately supported Ann so that she wouldn’t fall to the floor. Meanwhile, Birdie was already flying on the air.
If it doesn’t succeed, the light will be scattered, repelling the initiator of the break off and electrocuting them…
Geh, I failed?!
Ann looked at the small Birdie with a horrified look.
“B-Birdie, you disagree to it and you…are stronger than me?!” Ann almost shouted. The only reason her termination ended up in failure was because the initiator of the contract—in other words, Birdie—was stronger than her and didn’t want the termination to happen.
“Chirp chirp!” Birdie made a complete turn with her wings before she perched on Ann’s shoulder again.
Although Birdie was so small and light, the instant she perched on Ann’s shoulder this time, Ann felt like her shoulder felt so heavy…
She totally didn’t expect this small bird that seemed so weak could actually overpower her and prevent her from doing anything to the contract that she forcefully made…?!
This was too big of a revelation for Ann! She felt like her whole world was turned upside down!
“What’s the matter, Arlea-sama?” Faye asked.
After getting an explanation about what happened, Faye also turned to look at Birdie with a horrified look on her face.
Meanwhile, Birdie innocently tilted her eyes and chirped as if nothing happened…
In the dinner that night, Ann didn’t want to damage her confidence, so she remained silent and vowed to never tell it to Allen even if he asked.
It was understandable for Ann to be feeling down and only hung her head down to eat silently, but Allen was actually doing the same thing that dinner! He was still bothered by the thoughts he had back in the library…
The two of them didn’t realize it, but the other servants who served the dinner were surprised to see their master and mistress in a complete sync—which was unusual!
Only the happy sound of Birdie chirping while she ate could be heard during the dinner.