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My head, which was caught in the wind and could not move, as well as Louise’s eyes, which were staring blankly at the sky, were both covered in pristine, white snow that had been sent by a fairy.
“No one needs you.”
Not my father, not my mother, not even my brothers. Shining her wings, the fairy whispered in Louise’s ear.
“Yes. They are. Leave behind all the people you don’t want to see and come with me.”
Snow flurries fell over the forest. Louise’s eyes became blurred as pure white snowflakes blurred my vision.
The story that Madame Lisbon told me came to mind. The young boy, who had a shard of the devil’s mirror lodged in his eye, went missing along with the Snow Queen after they swam across the lake.
The boy went to the ice palace, where he forgot all of his previous experiences and his hardened heart, and he never came back after that. I just thought it was just a folktale.
Birds flew over the forest, and with the beckoning of a fairy, a huge ice palace appeared from the lake.
“Do you like it?”
Vivian’s wing powder covered Louise’s body. Louise, trapped in a light that seemed to have been ground into a star, stretched out his hand and approached the fairy.
My screams echoed through the forest. Even though I stretched out my hand, I couldn’t reach him, and he collapsed into the fairy’s arms before he knew it.
“I’ll let this kid be the one to pay for it.”
With an innocent smile on her face, the fairy walked on the surface of the water, holding Luise. Louise’s appearance became increasingly distant.
“No, you can’t do this!”
When I used my magic to break the wind, an icicle sprouted from the ground and grabbed my ankle and wouldn’t let go. No matter how many times I tried to call him as I watched his back moving away, it was no use.
Even my earnest call became an echo and disappeared. The fairy went straight back to her palace without turning around, carrying Louis with her the whole way.
* * *
Isaac joined and the hunt for demon beasts accelerated. As he launched a fierce offensive with other generals who arrived from the front lines, Baphomet, who had suffered numerous casualties, finally fell as the sun rose in the morning.
Just as the situation was being brought under control, Isaac stormed angrily into the barracks.
“Brother, it’s a big problem!”
“What’s the matter.”
Theo habitually held Clara protectively and never let down his guard. If the demon appears again, things get complicated. But Isaac told an unexpected story.
“I can’t see where Ciel and Louise have gone.”
“It can’t be right. Ciel said he was going home earlier, I’m sure.”
Theo, who knew her recalcitrant behaviour, clenched his fist. As the atmosphere turned strange, Regina, who was moving supplies outside, asked about the situation.
“Ciel disappeared with Louise. Do you know where she went?”
The Duke of Valentine came running to hear the news of his children’s disappearance. Thanks to the slaying of the demon beast, all of the academy’s wizards were mobilized and he was able to gain about an hour to spare time, and he examined the situation on the scene.
“Clara has had a hard time.”
“Father. Ciel and Louise…!”
“They’ll be fine. They must have already arrived at the Fairy Forest by now.”
Considering that the demon beast situation has entered a temporary lull, it is clear that they have come into contact with a fairy. Although he couldn’t see the exact situation, the duke patted Clara’s head and then looked at Alex.
“They both might be in trouble right now, so it might be a hassle, but I think we should go pick them up.”
“I will go.”
Alex came forward instead of Theo. Moreover, Isaac had a resentful look on his face as he looked at his father, who knew everything about the situation but did not come forward. Apparently, the explanation wasn’t enough, so the duke just shrugged his shoulders and raised his hands.
“It would be better for people not to know that fairies were involved in this matter. It will only add to the confusion.”
“What does that mean?”
“If an ordinary human gets caught up in a fairy, things will be troublesome.”
The duke continued by saying that the reason for this was probably due to the actions of humans who had harmed the fairy forest. However, it was impossible for the duke to even go near the fairy.
“Fortunately, Ciel and Louise seem to have figured out that this incident was caused by a fairy.”
“I told you so. Trust your young siblings.”
Louise and Ciel were the ones who first noticed this situation, and they were also the ones who took the lead in organising the scene. Theo stopped Alex, who looked like he was going to run out at any moment.
“Can’t the Duke come forward?”
“I have to protect the capital.”
Although they did not seem to be aware of it yet, the Duke of Valentine smiled bitterly at the sight of the prince, who took care of Ciel’s safety.
Even though he has a lot of admirable qualities, he needs to obey the orders of the Emperor, not the Crown Prince.
“This is an order from Your Majesty.”
Therefore, if you think things aren’t fair, you can become emperor. Even without speaking, the two people exchanged their thoughts with their eyes. When the Duke of Valentine saw the Crown Prince, who was roughly the same age as his son, he couldn’t help but break out in a broad smile.
“Fairies are fickle and like beautiful boys. I am rather more worried about Your Highness’s safety.”
“What do you mean?”
“Literally. I was also courted by fairies in my old days.”
Theo’s eyes were wide open at his father’s bombshell remarks. He couldn’t even imagine that his father had someone other than my mother in mind. Looking at his surprised children, the duke shrugged.
“At that time, we had not yet married, but when she seduced me under the guise of my wife, I almost fell for her.”
“How did you get out?”
If it’s a threat that even the Duke of Valentine can overcome, there’s definitely no way he can overcome it easily.
At Alex’s question, he looked over at Theo, who looked exactly like him. Just by looking at the way he habitually held Clara’s hand, it was clear to whom his son’s heart was directed.
It would be better if he knew his own feelings like that, but Louise had not even experienced his first love properly yet. If a fairy sets her sights on Louise like that, things might get quite troublesome.
“Well, in my experience, it was the power of true love.”
Even in this situation, Isaac got angry at his father’s behaviour and didn’t stop salting.
“I’m more worried about Louise than Ciel.”
So, at the request of the wizards, who had already reached their limit, to take good care of their children, the duke returned to the magic tower with regret.
All power comes with limitations. Even though his beloved children were in danger, the duke was forced to defend the capital by order of the emperor.
After seeing Clara off, Alex, Theo, Isaac, and Regina set off. The foursome turned their backs to the rising sun and headed in the direction of the fairy forest, which is located to the southwest of the capital.
* * *
The sun had already risen in the sky by the time I realised what had happened. After the sun had risen in the sky, the chunks of ice that had been completely frozen began to gradually melt away.
I was finally able to free myself from the icicles, so I shook the snow and muck off of my clothes and turned to look at the clear lake. I even dozed off for a while in the middle. It’s cold, probably because I sleep on the cold floor, but that’s not what’s important to me right now.
As if they knew we were gone, someone called my name from far away. At best, I thought it was Theo or Dad, but the person who walked through the bushes and came out was none other than Alex.
Why? The moment I saw Alex, tears began to well up in his eyes. I ran over to him as quickly as I could and sobbed while I was clinging to him.
“Your Highness, Louise, please save Louise.”
Because only my power is not enough. Theo and Isaac arrived behind Alex.
“Ciel, what’s going on? Where is Louise?”
I can’t hide it anymore. I wiped away my tears and explained the situation to the three people.
As the sun began to shine, the dense fog that had been engulfing the forest cleared. Only then did Isaac run to me and start checking to see if I was hurt anywhere.
“So, the fairy took Louise away?”
“Then I guess I’ll have to call the fairy first.”
I tried throwing stones hard, but it was useless. There was no other way to do this, so I looked at the clear water of the lake.
“Are you saying the fairy disappeared into the water?”
“Can’t we just drain all the water out of here?”
Alex clicked his tongue at Isaac’s simply ignorant words. But the moment I heard those words, my eyes met Theo.
Why didn’t I think of that method? At least if that lake dries up, fairies will have no choice but to come out.
“It’s inconvenient to use magic power, but I think it’ll be okay.”
“Yes. I think it’s okay now that the fog has cleared.”
“Probably my father was involved in it.”
I never thought my dad, who was busy shutting off the water supply, would even pay attention to this. It was obvious that Dad knew all about us, seeing as he was the one who told them we were here.
Should I also call him a great wizard? While Theo put up a shield to keep from getting wet from the rain, I stood in front of the lake and gathered my magic power.
I took a breath and infused mana into Lævateinn. As Lævateinn glowed, I closed my eyes and recalled the last spell in my mind. I drew the image of pouring rain and shouted the starter word out loud.
“Localised heavy rain warning!”
A bright light split the sky, and dark clouds appeared in the clear sky. Although it was far from ordinary magic, its power was still impressive.
The water level in the lake suddenly dropped, and there was a deluge of precipitation falling from the sky. Not caring that muddy water was splashing my feet, I stared at the lake in the pouring rain.
The level of the water started to go down. The woods suddenly turned into a vast body of water as the water level dropped to about the same level as my waist. It’s tiring, it’s hard, and I feel like I’m going to die, but if it’s to save our rascal, then this is nothing.