Tuesday, September 19, 2023 @

Volume 2 Chapter 33 Back to Daily Life.

 Afterward, Irial-san and Yunea-san rested in the city for a while before leaving the city to gather information. It wasn't a complete parting; they would return if they learned something significant. It was better for the Guardian and the Key to stay together as much as possible, and having them operate from this area would be helpful.

 Now, after an unexpected visitor in the morning, things had settled down into a peaceful time. Lisha woke up rubbing her eyes in a daze after Irial-san and the others had returned. When she asked, "Why was I sleeping in the bathroom?" I replied with something casual like, "Your oversleeping was beyond imagination..." She seemed to accept it with a nod and said, "I-I see, I'll be more careful." She's too easygoing.

 With that said, it was time for me to go to university. I would have preferred a day off after a battle, but there was a reason I had to go today.

 "Well then, I'm off."

 "Take care."

 "Yes, have a safe trip."

 Lisha and I left the room while Kanami saw us off.

 Lisha was dressed in a light green blouse and a black jumper skirt today. Her hair was braided as usual, and she looked calm yet somehow refreshing in her outfit. Well, this girl had good material to work with, so she looked good in just about anything.

 On the other hand, I was dressed in black jeans and a blue short-sleeved shirt, the quintessential university student outfit. I also had a backpack for university, and Lisha was looking at it intently, or rather, at what was hanging from the side of the backpack.


 "Yes, to some extent. It doesn't move, though."

 "It's applying a restraint spell using the absorbed magic power."

 Lisha looked at it with great interest.

 Hanging from my backpack were two things: one was the Huumir amulet that Lisha had personally made for me, and the other was a small bird cage that I had started wearing yesterday. A little doll could be seen if one looked closely.

 Yes, it was the Tarim the Senai I had defeated last night. After Kanami had extracted the information she needed, she had reduced him to a small accessory size. He couldn't cause mischief like before, as it continued to absorb magic power. Nevertheless, he had become my responsibility, mostly out of self-indulgence. I knew this kind of action was nothing more than self-satisfaction. Still, I held on to the hope that one day, he might serve some purpose.

 Lost in these thoughts, I realized that Lisha had shifted her gaze from the cage-like accessory to me. She was looking at my face with a somewhat delighted expression.

 "What's up?"

 "Well, yesterday, Yuusuke-san was a little scary, so I'm glad you're back to normal... Oh, it's not like I'm scared when we're fighting!"

 I didn't know what to say to Lisha, who waved her hands and said that with a flustered expression. Unlike during the Luiid incident, the magic I had invoked yesterday was driven by a vengeful and angry emotion. While emotions were essential for magic, if they consumed you, all that awaited you was the flames that would burn even your life.

 I silently flicked Lisha's forehead.

 "Ouch! W-Why did you do that?"

 "I'm not mad. I'll just make sure not to scare you like that again."

 "Huh? Then why did you hit my forehead, Yuusuke-san? Yuusuke-san!"

 As Lisha called my name, we started walking away. I didn't want to see Lisha's face right now. I had realized that even I hadn't noticed certain things, and my face was getting hot.


* * *

 Now, why did we come to the university on the day after the battle? One reason was that there was a meeting of the literature club. By the way, I think there was a first-period class too, but I didn't check, so I probably didn't have one. I hope there wasn't.

 So, we arrived at the empty classroom designated for the literature club, which was already crowded with quite a few members.

 Today's meeting was an important one.

 However, today's purpose for me wasn't just the club meeting.

 I scanned the room, looking for the person I was after. Everyone seemed to have dyed their hair similar colors for their university debut. If they wanted to stand out, they should go all out like Souji with bright red hair.

 Hmm, can't seem to find them. I thought I'd spot them easily with their aura of a typical university student, but I guess not.

 "Senpai, why are you just standing there like that?"

 "Oh, Hinata-san, good morning."

 I turned around as soon as I heard the voice.

 There stood Hinata, with her usual glossy chestnut hair and impeccable makeup. She didn't seem to have any injuries, and there were no signs of magic traces.

 "Come to think of it, when I collapsed from anemia yesterday, Senp——"

 "Hinata, is there anything strange with your body?"

 "Huh? Not particularly."

 Hmm, she indeed looked perfectly healthy. Tarim had mentioned that he controlled her using curses from a parasitic entity, which was similar to hypnosis. It only worked on ordinary people with low magic resistance, and it didn't leave any aftereffects. Still, I couldn't help but worry.

 "Really? Any weird memories or physical discomfort?"

 "I-It's just anemia, I told you. And it's pretty mild, Senpai!"

 "That's... well..."

 It felt like she was blushing more than before. Was Tarim's influence still lingering? If so, I should probably wake him up from his little cage and ask. But before I could, I was interrupted.

 "Hey, what are you doing to your junior this morning?"


 Someone grabbed my collar and pulled me backward as I was getting closer to Hinata.

 When I turned around, Souji and Matsuda were standing there. I didn't even notice when they arrived.

 "Well, this is just a health check."

 "It's obviously your fault that her health was poor. I was surprised when I heard she had collapsed from anemia. Hinata, are you okay?"

 "Yes, thank you for your concern."



 "But if you're okay, that's good. Just make sure to tell us if you feel unwell, Hinata."

 "I understand."

 Hinata was puckering her lips and muttering something, but I had no idea what she was saying.

 Anyway, it was a relief that there were no lingering effects. While Matsuda attempted to flirt with Lisha behind us, we took our seats.

 After a short wait, Hayasaki Akari, the president of the Literature Club, entered with grandeur, her glossy black hair swaying. She stood before the podium with more energy than any professor and began writing on the blackboard.

 As I absentmindedly looked around the room, I noticed something unusual. Most members were present for today's meeting, except for one person.

 Tsukiko was absent.

 That was odd. She was always diligent about attending gatherings like this. Then again, I had dumped the aftermath of yesterday's incident on Kagami-san and the others, so it wouldn't be surprising if Tsukiko had been assigned there as well. If that was the case, I had done something wrong.

 But there was no point in apologizing, and she probably wouldn't accept it anyway. What should I do?

 Lost in thought, I suddenly heard a loud clatter as President Hayasaki finished writing on the board. She slammed the chalk, which had a tendency to break, as if it was meant to be.

 "Now, in one more week, we'll be on summer vacation. You probably already know this without me having to say it, but with summer vacation approaching, our grand event, the Cultural Festival, is also drawing near."

 She spoke with even more passion than usual, but the members' reactions weren't as enthusiastic as she hoped, probably because we had heard a similar speech not long ago.

 Nevertheless, our unyielding president remained undeterred.

 "Some of you are already working on preparations for the Cultural Festival. Here's some good news for you."

 She paused for a moment, then boldly announced,

 "Our official decision is that we will have a three-day, four-night summer camp in Izu starting on August 10th!"

 The room erupted in excitement.

 Everyone cheered loudly, praising the president. Of course, Souji, Matsuda, and I joined in the standing ovation. The first-year students and Lisha, who couldn't keep up with the excitement, blinked in confusion.

 "Senpai, what's going on?"

 "Every year, it's a tradition to celebrate with all our might when the camp is decided."

 "Is that so? I don't understand that tradition."

 "By the way, it's been a tradition since last year."

 "Can you really call it a tradition then?"

 We didn't do this last year, and as a result, the club president, who was in charge of the camp, got really upset. She might look tough, but she's mentally fragile.

 The president, now in high spirits due to the cheers, continued.

 "Now, we have some pamphlets for you from the camp organizers. Make sure everyone receives one. I want to emphasize that this is not just for fun. It's a battle that carries the pride and honor of our Literature Club. Remember that! Are you listening?!"

 Sorry, but most people weren't really paying attention to the president's words anymore.

 They were engrossed in reading the pamphlet.

 Lisha, who had received a pamphlet next to me, had sparkling eyes as she read its contents.

 "Yuusuke-san, what's a camp?"

 "Oh, right, I forgot about that. It's from there, huh? A camp is when everyone stays overnight and does something together."

 "Stays overnight...?"

 Lisha looked around at the others. She must have become more accustomed to talking to people lately.

 "With all of these people?"

 "Yeah, that's right. I don't know if everyone will be able to come, but most probably will."


 Her voice seemed somewhat lacking in real understanding.

 Well, that's understandable. For Lisha, who was raised in the church, there was no way she could have any experience staying overnight with others. While I had traveled with a Saint before, she was quite unique. Most Saints ended their lives within the church.

 Honestly, it was a bit uncertain whether she could participate in this camp. In our current situation, with the demons potentially attacking at any moment, we couldn't afford to go on leisure trips. But I wanted to give Lisha the chance to experience something like this.

 Summer would bring either radiant memories or a storm that would disrupt everything. Even though I knew there was no peaceful future in store for us, I wanted Lisha to accumulate more memories. So that when she returned there, she could continue living in that white room.

 It's probably the least I can do.

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