In a meadow near the village of the elves.
Alice and I stood facing each other for our engagement ceremony — correction. Alice is kneeling before me standing because of our height difference.
“Then, Leon, take my hand.”
I grasp both of Alice’s hands. That’s when, a magic square spread out around us, and heat flowed into me from Alice’s delicate fingers.
“I’m connecting a path between us. We’ll temporarily share each other’s senses, but don’t be surprised.”
Even as Alice says this, the heat begins to flow into me even more intensely. And then, somewhat, I could feel Alice’s hand connected to me, as if I were Alice holding Alice’s hand.
It’s as if my body has become two. The amount of information my brain is receiving doubles and I feel a small pain in my brain — but this only lasts for a moment.
Soon these sensations faded away.
“Leon, are you okay?”
“I-I’m fine……so has the ceremony ended?”
“Yes. It was a success. Leon and I are now connected.”
“Is that so?”
I stared at the palm of my hand. I could definitely feel something being shared with me earlier, but now it seems to be gone.
“The sensory sharing can be turned on and off. It would be bad if our senses were shared all of the time.”
Ah, I think I understand. Receiving that much information at once, all of the time, it would likely overload your brain.
“It seems like it would be hard for me to practice magic in that situation.”
“It should be fine, I can adjust the intensity of it.”
“You’re saying that you can adjust the amount of our senses we share with each other?”
“Yeah, so it’s possible for me to only transfer a specific sense.”
Alice says this and pokes her cheek. At that moment, I felt as if someone was pushing their finger against my cheek.
“Oo…so you’re just sharing your sense of touch?”
“Yep, this way it’s more concentrated. You don’t feel as if your finger is pressing against your cheek, right?”
“Ah, now that I think about it….”
There was a feeling as if someone was pushing against my cheek, but I didn’t feel like I was pushing against someone’s cheek. Indeed, this is true sensory sharing. It seems quite interesting.
“By the way, right now it’s only sharing the feeling one way, but it’s also possible to share it bi-directionally, which is the original usage of sensory sharing —”
Alice waves her right arm lightly. Immediately afterwards my bangs began to blow from the breeze.
Along with that, Alice takes in the surrounding mana and converts it into magical power. The image of the wind converging on Alice was impressive, this is spirit magic.
All of this information flows into me in real time.
“To be precise, this is spirit magic. The caster uses the gathered magical power to trade with a spirit, the spirit, in return, grants the caster’s request. The important thing to remember is, the spirit grants whatever the caster requests. Therefore, the caster needs to create a clear picture as to what exactly they want the spirit to do.”
“I see……Can I try a little?”
Now that I’ve received permission, I give it a try. I begin to convert mana into magical power. So far, this is something that I have been practicing for a few years so there is not much difficulty yet.
Next, I need to imagine the magical power being converted into wind…….how do I imagine wind? No, I don’t need to think about it so deeply, I just need to remember how I felt when Alice was doing it.
I try to picture it, but nothing happens.
‘Hmm, this is quite difficult.”
“Because to the average person is an unknown feeling.”
“I guess so…”
I could feel Alice transforming the magical power into the wind earlier, but those were only her senses that were transferred. Nothing Alice pictured in her mind was transferred to me.
It is difficult to explain, but … Alice didn’t put words or images into the magical power. It’s kind of similar to trying to describe the emotions a song brings up in you to someone else.
So, I understand the emotions described to me, but I can’t reproduce them well as it is an unknown feeling to me. I want to understand this more.
Basically, I don’t understand the feeling that well.
“It will be difficult until I get used to it….Would it be better to first try using a template?”
“When you learn dance steps or something similar, you will remember it according to the music and songs you practice too, right? Similar to that, reinforce the image by practicing it in conjunction with a spell.”
Alice thinks for a moment and points her right arm towards a fallen tree and begins to create magical power.
“Spirits of the wind, Cut through my enemies — Air Slash!”
A simple image of cutting through an enemy with a sharp wind is transmitted to me by sensory sharing. At the same time, a single blade of wind was released from Alice’s palm and made a shallow cut in the fallen tree.
“ — Well, it feels something like that.”
“Just now, that incantation — Do those words help you to imagine the spell?”
“Yep. The command becomes pretty straightforward. Trying to use magic this way in combat is rather difficult, but for training, using this template should be fine.”
“I see. It may be possible for me this way.”
And so, my magical training began.
Incidentally, with general magic and spirit magic — it is also common to use longer incantations. I’ve found that Alice’s magic is quite unique.
One week later, we were still at the elf village.
Of course, I did not give up on rescuing Claire. Alice’s mother had sent out an elf spy into the Sfir territory. For now, we were waiting on them to return.
And today, the spy returned.
“— This is the situation regarding the Sfir territory.”
“Thank you for your hard work, you may rest now as we need to discuss our plans for the future.”
The spy received thanks from Alice’s Mother. Alice’s Mother, Alice, and I began to look over the intel.
Based on the information the spy brought back, the difficulty of the rescue was made clear to us.
According to the report, it has become a well-known fact that the Grances family was attacked, and out of support for the Grances family the Sfir family protected Claire Ridill.
Everything up to this point is rather straightforward, but….the problem is the statement that the Sfir family has made public since taking Claire.
According to the Sfir family’s announcement, it was extremists that hold a grudge against aristocrats that attacked the Grances family, and Claire Ridill is still being targeted by them. Therefore, on the night of the next full moon, they have stated they will hide Claire Ridill in a secure location.
But, that makes no sense.
It was members of the Sfir family that attacked the Grances family, and if they really wanted to ensure Claire’s safety, they wouldn’t specify the date they are moving her.
In other words, they’re sending me a message. If I want Claire returned safely, I will meet with them by the time of the next full moon. If I don’t then they can’t guarantee the safety of Claire.
It’s out of the question to meet with them face-to-face.
If Claire is their hostage, I would have nothing to negotiate with and they would be in complete control.
So, that makes that rescue method impossible…….I doubt that the Sfir family are just waiting for me to show up either.
“This is troublesome….”
Even if it is a trap, there’s no way I’d just abandon Claire, but to just walk into an obvious trap…….There has to be a better way.
“Leon-kun, you’ve been practicing magic, right?”
‘Alice has been teaching me, but……it’s difficult.”
We have been practicing for a week now. Yet, I am still unable to properly cast a spell.
Of course, I was expecting it to take a while to be able to use magic, but the next full moon is eight days away. It will take about a week for us to reach the Sfir territory from here, so if we don’t leave now, we won’t be able to get there in time.
“If I’m unable to use magic, do you think Alice can manage on her own?”
“Hmm…..Leon, do you know the layout of the Sfir mansion?”
“Yes, I know the general layout.”
I only visited there twice, but I went to Sophia’s room and the office. I also was in the living room and the kitchen, so I can understand which section is on which side.
While thinking back on my visits to the mansion, I described the layout to Alice.
“Depending on the amount of guards they have, it seems like it will be easier to invade than the Grances mansion.”
“Yeah, there are many small blind spots, corners, etc. Due to this, walking around randomly would increase the chances of running into guards, but because I have the benefit of heightened senses I can avoid them.”
“Well…for Alice lots of corners would definitely make it easier to hide.”
“Yep, but that’s not to say that it will be easy. I don’t know where they are keeping Claire-sama, so I think the risk of being caught increases the more time I spend trying to find her.”
“What’s your plan if you’re caught?”
“There would be only one option, to breakthrough by force, but I have little real combat experience. So if I am alone, I may become overwhelmed.”
I thought it might be possible with Alice’s spirit magic and her heightened senses, but I guess it would still be difficult.
“I guess it is impossible if I’m unable to learn magic. Is there anyway for me to learn magic in one week?”
“Well…..it’s hard to imagine it being possible as things are now.”
“Hmm….then, should we consider alternatives.”
What else can we do…Maybe it would be best to ask Claire’s fiancé. I could see this causing a lot of issues, but at least this would guarantee Claire’s safety.
“Hey, Mother. Will you help?”
“……Personally I would like to help, but if the elves were to attack a human residence, we would be unable to protect ourselves from the repercussions.”
Alice puffs out her cheeks, dissatisfied.
“I’m sorry, Alice. Leon-kun, I’m sorry.”
“No, I understand your circumstances. I’m sure it was difficult for you to just send a spy.”
My problems have nothing to do with the elves. Alice’s mother helped out due to Alice’s involvement, some of the elves may even consider this an abuse of her power. I don’t know how much power Alice’s mother has, but I doubt she can just do anything she pleases.
“It was for my cute daughter and her special person. This was the least I could do.”
“There is no need to apologize, because this is the path that my daughter has chosen. It’s enough if you accept my daughter’s feelings.”
In a normal situation, I’d have expected to be accused of putting her daughter in harm’s way, but due to what she just said — I feel like she’s telling me to take responsibility in the future.
When thinking this, I glance slightly at Alice’s mother, she was looking back at me with a small smile.
“…Leon? Is something wrong?”
“I-it’s nothing. Let’s think about what we can do to save Claire.”
“I agree. Well then, first off, the decision we need to make is how to go about saving Claire —”
In this way, we made plans to save Claire.