3-1: You’re Not A Familiar?
Editor: Shirani, Puissansa
First published on Ainushi
Twenty days have passed since I came to live in Leonard-sama’s mansion. My everyday life has gradually changed.
In the morning, I have breakfast with everyone. After I see Leonard-sama off to work, I clean the mansion, do the laundry, and help Jill with her studies. As I spoke of previously, I have started teaching her simple literacy and arithmetics during my spare time in between work. After we’ve had lunch, I prepare dinner while Jill has free time to herself. Then, when Leonard-sama returns home, everyone has dinner and I end the day with a soak in the bath.
By the way, I leave the grocery shopping to Sid-san. I’m sorry but I don’t want to be exposed to the jealous looks from those young girls again.
「Okaa-san, I did it~!」
「Okay~ Just a minute!」
When I was putting the tart for lunch in the oven, Jill called out to me from the living room. It seems that she’s finished writing down her alphabets. It’ll be wrong for me to keep her waiting so I quickly made my way to her.
「Okay, thanks for waiting」
Incidentally, I designed the exercise book that Jill was using for writing. Spreading the pages wide, I checked it. She wrote them down beautifully without making a single mistake.
「Mm~ It looks like you’re fine with the alphabets now. Next, you’ll be reading picture books until you’ve familiarize yourself with sentences. … Alright, if you want to have a snack, then you have to finish your maths」
The morning refreshment for today is two kinds of madeleines – the plain type and another that had herbs kneaded into it. There is also a warm glass of milk to accompany it.
It is quite important for a small child to have snacks in between meals. With her small size, there’s not a lot that she can eat all at once, but considering that she uses a lot of energy, three meals a day isn’t enough. Therefore, this is to compensate for that.
「What’s this, Okaa-san? There are lumps in it」
「That is a herb. You plucked that for me this morning」
「Oh, that flower?」
「Yep. It has a nice smell to it, doesn’t it?」
The herb kneaded into the madeleines is lavender. It would make an excellent potpourri – however, since I’ve already made it, I decided to eat it. *crunch* The fibre that remained in the madeleines is slightly tough and gave it an interesting texture.
「You can eat the … flowers? It’s so sweet, Okaa-san」
「Do you like them?」
「Yeah, they’re interesting~」
For the first time since I met her, Jill had a plumper complexion as she stuffed her mouth with the madeleines with a smile. Her innocent round cheeks have become quite springy. She is still quite skinny, however. I need to put a bit more meat on her.
「Is there anything you want for dinner tonight?」
「Mm, well, eh…」
Suddenly, the smile on Jill’s face froze. She got off her chair without hesitating and rushed over to my side.
「Something’s … here. Okaa-san, this way!」
Just as she was saying that, Jill dragged me by the arm and started running. Eh, where are we going? The place she dragged me to was the front of Leonard-sama’s room on the second floor. Unperplexed, Jill held her hand over the door.
Hey, we can’t just conveniently enter Leonard-sam’s room … Why did the lock unlock itself!? Didn’t Sid-san tell me that just like the door in the entranceway, the door’s mechanism will not unlock itself unless it’s a recognized individual.
Isn’t that why you said I didn’t have to clean this room?
Jill led me into the room as I was wrestling with my confusion and once again, she held her hand against the door to lock it. Once that was done, she ran over to a cabinet and started speaking to the crystal ball that was left there.
「Otou-san, there’s something here. It’s in the garden」
Jill said that with a firm voice. Was it a transmission device or something? More importantly, the garden…
「I thought the mansion was supposed to be protected by Leonard-sama’s magic」
Jill answered my grumble with a stiff expression.
「It is. But it’s been broken into. Otou-san said to run here if that happens because there is a much stronger magic here that will protect us」
「Yeah. That’s why I thought it’ll be fine if I came here together with okaa-san. You also have a magic talisman on you」
Oh, she means the bracelet. I didn’t quite follow the situation but it is better for us to hide ourselves here for now.
Jill grasped my hand tightly. Oh, that’s right. Unlike me who’s out of the loop, Jill should be more frightened by this situation.
Though she’s still young, she’s trying to protect me. Thank you. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be of any use.
There was a slight movement inside the room, and an unnatural shadow moved. I held her small trembling body close to me. It was a situation that I am unfamiliar with, however.
My only thought was that I needed to protect Jill. The moment I put strength into my arms—
「There we go」
That light voice followed by that “nyo” from the shadows must certainly have come from… Sid-san?
Sid-san observed us, blinking our eyes in surprise. Then the corner of his eyes softened.
「You don’t have to be so guarded. Both of you did well, little one, jou-chan」
As he praised us, he gently brushed the top of our heads. How should I put it, it made me somewhat relieved.
「The one who did her best was Jill, you know?」
It was Jill who realized the danger, escaping here with me and reporting the information to Leonard-sama. I really didn’t do anything at all.
Even so, Sid-san looked at me with a very tender smile and smoothly stroked my cheeks.
「Weren’t you doing your best to protect the little one, jou-chan? Good on you」
「It’s a parent’s duty to protect their child, isn’t it?」
「Jou-chan, I bet you have no idea how amazing are those words you’ve just said. This is why master and the little one can’t help liking you」
What exactly is he talking about? When I looked puzzled, Sid-san removed his hand away from me and gently brushed Jill’s head again before stepping up to the window.
「Now then, I’m going to lecture the culprit that scared both of you」
Sid-san said as he opened the window that overlooked the garden—
「How many times do I have to say it? Do you have to break the barrier every single time you come in, Amdo?」
And shouted that. Huh? Was it an acquaintance of his? When he saw me and Jill staring blankly, Sid-san beckoned us.
「Sorry for scaring you. That fellow’s name is Amdo. A wind spirit; he’s a spirit that has formed a contract with master just like me」
「Just like you?」
「Yeah, a contractor. The fact that master has multiple contractors is proof of how great his mana is」
A contractor? Wouldn’t that be referring to a familiar that has contracted with a magician? More importantly, Sid-san’s a spirit?
「Hey, what’s with that strange expression」
「Umm, about the contractor…」
「Oh, right! Humans that are able to form a contract with spirits are rare. It’s impossible if they’re unable to grasp it. Us spirits can only form a contract with humans if they are of equal standing. Hence, unlike subservient servants, we are referred to as contracted spirits. There are two big differences between us and familiars. First, you can’t force a spirit to obey you. A spirit can retract their contract if they choose to. Second, an absolute requirement during the contract is to provide the spirit with enough mana for it to sustain itself」
「In short, a contract formed on equal standing means neither of you will have your freedom restricted」
「That’s right. A spirit won’t form a contract with someone they don’t like」
I see. So Sid-san’s a spirit. He was in the form of a cat when I first met him, and because of my preconceived notion that familiars are animals contracted to a magician, I was under the impression that he was a familiar.
「If Amdo is a wind spirit, what kind of spirit are you, Sid-san?」
It wasn’t a particularly difficult question yet Sid-san made a bitter smile, perplexed, for some reason.
「Can I not answer that? What will you do if I don’t?」
「… What will I do?」
I won’t do anything. Why would he make such an anxious expression?
「Are you actually an evil spirit that schemes to turn this world into an evil empire?」
「No, definitely not! How did you even come up with that?」
“Good grief,” Sid-san grumbled – and there it was, the friendly and helpful older brother figure that I knew.
「Regardless of what spirit you are, Sid-san, it doesn’t erase the gentle Sid-san we know who gently strokes our heads」
「To me, you are who you are. A fellow resident of this mansion. That will never change」
Ah, crap! The expression I used… As I was panicking, I was suddenly forcefully pulled towards him and my vision was obstructed. Eh, why is Sid-san hugging me!?
「Ah~… That probably wasn’t good」
Sid-san muttered as such, but what’s not good is my breathing! Let me go~!
After struggling for a short while, he finally released me and I felt relieved. I thought I’d die from the pressure and suffocate to death, seriously. Say, I wonder why did he hug me.
While I was catching my breath, Sid-san and Jill seemed to have made up their minds to head to the garden. I hurriedly chased after the two who left ahead of me.
「Oka~~san! It’s amazing!!!」
「Oh no, Jill!」
Having been a step ahead of me in the garden, Jill was hopping around excitedly. Seriously, even if it’s one of Leonard-sama’s contractors, she should be a bit more wary of…
As I was scolding her like that in my mind, my words trailed off the moment a scene entered my sight.
Ah~ Yeah, I can’t scold Jill. Even I was excited by this.
In the garden was a mysteriously colored bird that was elegant and as large as about two floors.
Its white body was enveloped in a lovely pale green mist, bringing out a mysterious allure. With a strong dignified light in its’ green eyes, it was exceptionally cool.
As we were spontaneously charmed by it, Sid-san spoke up.
「This is the person I mentioned earlier, Amdo. Oi, you should turn into your human form, too」
When Amdo-san looked at Sid-san just like Jill did, Sid-san let out a sigh.
「It’s hard to speak to you when you’re in that form. We’ll have to keep looking up」
Amdo-san nodded his head at once and changed his form in an instant. In his human form, Amdo-san had quirky pale green colored eyes and hair, and in some respects, looked like a languid, handsome young fellow… Ah, yup! Seriously, there’s so many good looking men in this house.
Noticing my faraway gaze, Amdo-san had a puzzled expression.
「…What, woman? You’re making a strange face」
「Oh, I apologize if I’ve hurt your feelings. It was just a bit… dazzling」
「Dazzling…? It’s cloudy today」
I wasn’t talking about the weather! Until I’ve grown accustomed to you, please leave me alone for a while. Jill and Sid-san, don’t make such worried faces. I’m fine.
「Okaa-san, are you hurt?」
「Are you alright? Do you need to lie down?」
「Seriously, don’t mind me…」
Urgh. As far as my eyes can see, he’s merely good looking. Somehow, it felt like my heart had taken damage. … Okay, I’m gradually getting used to seeing it.
「Sorry for the trouble. I’m fine now」
「Oh, alright, glad to hear it. Don’t overwork yourself, alright?」
Oh, Sid-san, did he assume that it was due to him putting too much pressure into his hug earlier and misunderstood me? That’s not it, but I didn’t want to say what it really was so, I swept it away. When I got back on my feet, Amdo-san looked at Sid-san, wanting him to explain the situation.
「Right, both of these two have been living here for the past twenty days. The little one is Jill, master’s adopted daughter. And the jou-chan over there is Lily. She is master’s maid and acts as a mother for the little one」
He readily agreed. His manner of speaking was like Leonard-sama. Even so, recently, Leonard-sama has been able to speak lengthily. Even if I’ve become accustomed to how he speaks.
「I’m Amdo. A wind spirit. Nice to meet you」
「I’m Lily, it’s a pleasure to meet you」
When I grasped the hand that he quietly held out, it felt warm like a human’s. Yep, it’ll be great if I can get along with him. Immediately after he let go of my hand, Amdo-san turned to face Sid-san and spoke to him.
「Ah? What’s up?」
「There’s something I’m curious about」
Amdo-san’s abrupt words made Sid-san puzzled. Naturally, even Jill and I had no idea what he was trying to say. Though it felt like it wasn’t going to be a good conversation.
「Have you told Milis yet
「She’ll probably return tomorrow」
「… Right. I’ll tell master」
「I’m going to sleep」
「Hah? Hey, wait!」
Amdo-san murmured and immediately turned back into a bird once again. But, unlike before, it was as large as the size of a parrot that could perch on my hand.
「Do spirits also need sleep?」
「He just likes doing it. At any rate, right. Milis is coming back…」
Somehow, in order to comfort Sid-san, who looked completely exhausted, Jill wanted to pat him on the back… but wasn’t able to reach it. Seeing her standing on the tips of her toes, stretching herself frantically and groaning was cute.
What should I do with this child. She’s so adorable.
Nevertheless, who is Milis-san? It was the first time I’ve heard the name. As I tilted my head, Sid-san recalled something and called out to me.
「Oh, Lily! Master’s coming back for lunch, he’ll want something to eat」
Huh, you should have said that sooner!! It’s almost lunch time already!!