The Pleasure and Struggle to Foster
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The magic Karen released was certainly [Magnum], but the strength seemed to be inferior, evident from the fact that she couldn’t penetrate my palm.
For example, if my [Magnum] was like a modern long range rifle, hers was like a matchlock with round bullet and gunpowder put directly into the barrel.
Because of that, the range was short, but if it was released from a short distance, it had enough power to gouge out the flesh strengthened with mana. Therefore, if she aimed for vital points, she could easily kill people.
It would be different if the opponent was a monster, but I didn’t want her to use that on people as much as possible. Then, I went down onto one knee, and asked the question after locking eyes with her.
“Karen. When did you learn this magic?” (Sirius)
“Ehmm… uuuh…” (Karen)
However, maybe it was because she was shocked that I was injured due to her magic, but she didn’t reply. She only had teary eyes.
First off all, should I do something about that feeling of guilt?
“This is a wound that I bear because I jumped in. It’s not because of you, so you don’t have to worry.” (Sirius)
“But, it’s because of my magic…” (Karen)
“Don’t worry. I’ll be fine because the bleeding will stop like this, and Reese will heal me later.” (Sirius)
Homeostasis could be achieved by the regenerative activity, but the pain hadn’t subsided.
Nevertheless, when I smiled to reassure her, Emilia also got closer while wrapping cloth around the wound.
“Besides, Karen was desperate to protect your friend, am I right?” (Sirius)
“Yes, Illua-chan is my friend.” (Karen)
“Yes, she is. Although you could run away at that time, you stayed for your friend and fought them. I think that is commendable.” (Sirius)
I gently stroked Karen’s head while praising her, and her expression became a little softer. Then, I asked the question again.
I had a lot of things to say once I confirmed that she could use [Magnum], even though it was imperfect.
[Magnum] was a reassuring magic against monsters, but once it was known that the magic could be used at long range, it would be regarded as dangerous, and there was a high chance that she would be aimed at by those who wanted to take advantage of her.
Therefore, I didn’t have the intention to teach her about the full meaning and consequences of killing people until she could protect herself, but it seemed she arrived to that conclusion on her own.
I also had a feeling that I would impair Karen’s character if I had to forcibly stop her, but it would be troublesome if I left it alone and she developed strange tendencies.
Because of that, I had decided to teach [Magnum] for real, but I was worried when and how she would use it.
“Let me ask you again. Since when can you use this magic?” (Sirius)
“It was my first time just now. I tried to imitate the magic that Otou-san used against Mejia-sama.” (Karen)
“Imitate? Weren’t you far away at that time?” (Sirius)
“Yes, I couldn’t see really well. But, I felt it was something different from the [Impact] used by Otou-san. There were many small holes on the ground after the fight was over, so I was wondering whether Otou-san shot a small size mana…” (Karen)
I surely felt a slight sense of incongruity, but for her to come to that conclusion just by looking at the trace of battle…
She had sharp observation power and flexible thinking. On top of that her talent that could demonstrate it well in actual battle was nothing but remarkable. She was a truly amazing girl.
If it was a normal thing, I would like to compliment her talent, but I was worried that she would easily use [Magnum] because of that. This was my own selfishness, but I didn’t want Karen to become a person who casually killed people.
Incidentally, since there were many things I wanted to point out to Karen, I was directing a bit of a serious look at Karen.
“I am concerned about one thing. Why did you choose to use that magic? As those men were the opponents, the usual [Impact] was more than enough, right?” (Sirius)
“B-but, those Ojii-chans did terrible things to Illua-chan and they also wanted to do horrible things to Fia-Oneechan!” (Karen)
“I don’t mind if you get angry for the sake of treasured people, but try to think properly. What are you going to do… if that magic hit Illua? You should have seen the power of that magic.” (Sirius)
Since Karen was angry at that time, she probably didn’t mean to beat them based purely on strength.
It couldn’t be helped for a young child to move on emotions, but if she made a mistake and shoot her friend, it would become a wound in her heart that may last for the rest of her life.
However, if it was [Impact], the current Karen would be able to release several shots before the men approached her. Therefore, even if she hit Illua, the degree of risk should be decreased considerably.
That was why, I had to tell her clearly without any vague feeling.
“Listen. I want you to know the dreadfulness of that magic.” (Sirius)
[Magnum] wasn’t only for self defense. It also could be used with the intention to kill. Hence, I wanted her to firmly understand the difficulty… in its meaning and the weight of using that magic.
Although this world was a different world from the previous life, I wanted to avoid killing people as much as possible.
“I will not tell you not to use that magic. But, it is a magic that can cause serious injuries if you are using it at the wrong place. Think carefully before you want to use it.” (Sirius)
“After that–…” (Sirius)
When I was trying to tell the most important thing at the end, Reese and Fia came with Reus as the lead. They probably came because they noticed the bloodlust Hokuto and I released.
Reese noticed my wound first, but when I explained the situation while she looked at me, everyone had an indescribable expression.
“If it’s Aniki, you can even grasp flying arrows, but… you also can grasp magic?” (Reus)
“It was on the spur of the moment though. However, even if it was like this, it had a power that I couldn’t stop.” (Sirius)
“Goodness, this is too much. Please don’t move. I will treat you right away.” (Reese)
“In that case, let me take the girl to her parents. I have to explain the circumstances.” (Fia)
“Well then, I will carry Illua.” (Reus)
“I-I’m going too!” (Karen)
“Aah, wait a sec, Karen. I still haven’t finished talking–…” (Sirius)
Despite of me trying to stop Karen, she didn’t listen and went together with Fia and Reus.
She was probably worried about Illua, but it could also be said that she ran away thinking that my scolding would continue.
I had something that I hadn’t communicated yet…
“…I guess I have to do it later. As I expected, the child phase is difficult.” (Sirius)
“I think Sirius-san shouldn’t give up yet.” (Reese)
“I’m sorry, but I’m also of same opinion as Reese. I understand that there was nothing that could be done, but Sirius-sama burdens yourself when it comes to everyone.” (Emilia)
Not only Reese and Emilia, Hokuto also gave a reproachful look, so I apologized obediently.
— Shimifia —
“…I see. Anyway, I’m glad this girl is alright.” (Illua’s Father)
“This child got involved because of us. We’re really sorry.” (Fia)
“No, these people exist everywhere, so it is unavoidable for people who stand out a lot like you guys. I should say thank you for helping my daughter.” (Illua’s Father)
After separating from Sirius and the others, we returned to the inn. While explaining the situation to Illua’s father, I put her down on the bed in the room where we were led.
The bad ones were the adventurers involved, but that would never have happened if we weren’t here in the first place. In the worst case scenario, I was also considering the possibility of being kicked out of the inn.
Still he forgave us and thanked for saving his daughter. These people wanted to make good friends.
But the one who worked hard this time was…
“I would like you to say that to this girl… Karen. In order to help Illua-chan, this girl didn’t retreat even one step against the adults.” (Fia)
“I see. Karen-chan, thank you for helping my daughter.” (Illua’s Father)
Since she was sleeping because of sleeping drugs, she would be alright if we left her to him.
Then, as we left the room to go back to where Sirius was, I noticed Karen was grabbing my sleeve and trying to hold me back.
“What is it, Karen?” (Fia)
“Otou-san will scold… again.” (Karen)
“What? You don’t want to go back because you don’t want Aniki to scold you?” (Reus)
“Your remark really hit bull’s eye.” (Fia)
But it was important to tell her clearly whether she would be scolded or not.
It was true that Sirius looked really concerned, but he also couldn’t help but have a feeling of wanting to praise Karen’s talent. In fact, I thought that was cute.
Even so, on top of feeling guilty for hurting Sirius, the feeling of her getting scolded was something that she herself had little experience with. In that half month we spent in the winged peoples village, Karen had never been scolded by her family.
So, I understood why she didn’t want to return, but Sirius still had something to tell Karen. When I was worried how to persuade her, Reus gently taped her head with a smile on his face.
“It’s going to be alright. Aniki is not angry.” (Reus)
“But, it was my first time… to see that kind of face.” (Karen)
“No, no. If Aniki was angry, he wouldn’t do that, you know? In the past, I made Aniki angry…” (Reus)
“That… No, anyway, it was terrible. I was really crying.” (Reus)
Since Reus was with Sirius from an early age, those words had considerable significance.
Reus was trembling when he remembered the past, but he soon regained himself and looked at Karen.
“An-anyhow, Aniki is seriously not angry, so don’t worry, alright. Let’s go back.” (Reus)
Nevertheless, she was still hesitant.
Since Sirius wasn’t really angry, I thought that she would understand if I told her one more time that she wouldn’t be scolded.
If I could somehow let her know Sirius’ true feeling–… aah yes, that one.
“Karen, keep it quiet for a moment.” (Fia)
“Eh? Sure.” (Karen)
After confirming Karen, who was tilted her head wonderingly, nodded, I asked the Wind Spirits to…
[…Fuh, how’s your feeling now?”] (Reese)
[I’m fine. The pain has also disappeared, and there is no problem moving it.] (Sirius)
The Spirits manipulated the wind and delivered a conversation from Sirius to me who were in different places.
It was my original magic based on Sirius’ suggestion. The magic put [Call] to practical use by diffusing the voice and echoing it to the surroundings. Sirius, who saw this magic for the first time, muttered that… it was like a microphone.
Anyhow, Karen was confused when she suddenly heard voices, but I closed one of my eyes while putting forefinger on my mouth.
“Fia-Oneechan, this is…” (Karen)
“Listen carefully. Karen, you should know that there is no need to be afraid.” (Fia)
She nodded when she noticed this was a magic. Then, she closed her eyes so as not to miss out any of Sirius’ words.
He would complain if he knew that I was using this magic, but I judged that it would be hard for Sirius to perceive Spirits if he didn’t concentrate. Besides, my husband wouldn’t get angry because of this, and I also thought that… if he noticed it, I guessed I would deal with it at that time
[Sirius-sama. Although it is small, but why did the treatment leave a scar? If it’s Reese, she should be able to cure it entirely…] (Emilia)
[I’m fine. This can be a lesson for Karen, for the sake of the experience and it is also a reward for bearing with my hard look. In addition… I did misjudge the growth of my disciple. Plus, for this wound I am to be blamed myself, because I couldn’t completely stop the blow.] (Sirius)
[When you say that, you are smiling, you know?] (Emilia)
[Hmm? No, I mean… my expression was relaxing because I was careless. I must keep that in mind when Karen comes back.] (Sirius)
[Hehe, but I understand your feelings. You are looking forward to her future, right?] (Reese)
[Aah. Karen was able to reproduce [Magnum] with only so little information. If I teach it, let alone mastering the magic, she may even create new magic. I am surely looking forward to the future.] (Sirius)
Although I could only hear the voice, I knew well that Sirius was glad.
Karen was stunned stiff because the atmosphere was clearly different from earlier, so I grasped her hands and wrapped my hands around them.
“So? Shall we go back?” (Fia)
“Then, let’s go. Aniki said so, but the part where you listened just now is… ” (Reus)
“It is a secret…” (Karen)
“Indeed. Of course, Reus hasn’t heard anything, right?” (Fia)
When we walked out together with Karen who finally smiled, maybe because her feeling was better now, the voice of Sirius reached our ears again.
[When they return, I will teach her the mechanism of [Magnum]. First off, after showing the example, the bullet must be rotated quickly.] (Sirius)
[Sirius-sama. Just now you said…] (Emilia)
[What if Karen says that she doesn’t want to learn it because she got scared of that magic?] (Reese)
[If Karen chooses that, I will respect her decision. Actually, [Magnum] is a dangerous magic, and there are still many other magics to be learned. However, her curiosity is strong and she is a kind girl who cherishes her friends. I’m sure she won’t be overcome by the dread and temptation of the magic’s power…] (Sirius)
…This was bad. Although I’d already stopped giving mana, these whimsical Spirits took extra mana until we could hear these words.
He said that he would leave it to her, but the words just now was something they should tell after Karen gave her answer. It would be fine if Karen’s own intention hadn’t sunk because of what she heard just now.
When I was thinking of apologize to Sirius, Karen looked up at me with anxious expression as I expected.
“Is it… alright if I learn Otou-san’s magic?” (Karen)
“As Sirius had said, it depends on you, Karen. We will support your decision whichever you choose. So, choose whichever you like.” (Fia)
“Alright… I want to learn it. But, if I don’t use it wisely, Otou-san will get angry next time… right?” (Karen)
For everyone’s sake, Sirius dirtied his hands, but since he was a nice person and didn’t wish for his disciples to be like him, he would surely get angry if she used magic carelessly. Even though he was angry on the surface, I thought that he would grieve deeply inside.
Reus, who hadn’t said anything since that time, suddenly opened his mouth to me who was cautious on how to answer that question.
“If he gets angry, than you don’t have to use it, you know?” (Reus)
“Oh… yes. You don’t have to use it even if he teaches it to you.” (Fia)
“Afterwards, if you stay with Aniki, you will learn by yourself how to use it well. I was also like that.” (Reus)
Karen started to have glittering eyes because of Reus replying to her confidently.
I agreed with Emilia’s amazement because, every now and then, this girl managed to surprise us by touching our heart.
It might be because Karen became lighthearted just because she wanted to gain knowledge, her wings hidden under the robe were fluttering and she asked to get back soon.
Actually, it wasn’t that simple, but she would get used to it gradually.
“Alright, Karen! It’s going to be a race to where Aniki is!” (Reus)
“Aah, wait for me!” (Karen)
As for me, Karen was like a younger sister, but somewhere in my heart, there was a part of me that thought of her as a daughter.
This was what it was like to raise children. Like, doing things together, teaching the children, but…
“It’s quite difficult. But, well, it’s fun, isn’t it?” (Fia)
While thinking a bit about Sirius’ feelings, I chased after those two who had started running.
And when Karen went back to Sirius…
“Otou-san! I want to learn [Magnum]!” (Karen)
She surely wouldn’t talk about us eavesdropping, but it was like telling him that we did!
‘Look, Sirius looks and smiles at me because he discovered that immediately!’
It was fine because Sirius wasn’t angry and that made me smile, but somehow, his gaze was a bit painful…
Extra/Bonus – NG Scene
“Alright, Karen! It’s going to be a race to where Aniki is!” (Reus)
“Aah, wait for me!” (Karen)
Although both of them were running while saying that, Reus was obviously faster.
The powerful Reus ran without holding back, and Karen, who was left behind in the blink of an eye…
Reus kept tumbling over while rotating vertically because of the impact from the back. He hit a nearby wall and stopped.
Later, when Sirius knew about this…
“…It’s fine to have Reus as an opponent, I guess?” (Sirius)
“Yes, it is.” (Emilia)
“It’s good to go against a stronger opponent, but it’s pointless if you don’t match up to their level when you have them as an opponent.” (Reese)
“If that’s compared to Hokuto-san’s punch, it’s light!” (Reus)
It could be seen as a tragic accident from a bystander’s point of view, but these people didn’t mind it too much because they were strong.
Edited by Badbedbat
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