Chapter 1 Part 2
After Reid entered the reception room in a daze, Elria ordered her attendants to wait outside, and they were again left alone. She then sat down on the couch before giving a slight nod.
“Long time no see, Reid.”
Elria turns and has her blue eyes on him as she repeats the same words.
Seeing the couch sinking, it does not look like it was a dream or an illusion.
As he watched the figure for a while, Elria tilted her head with an uneasy expression.
“Ah, my ba ―― my apologies.”
“…Why are you using honorifics?”
“I have to watch my tone when speaking to one from the noble house of Caldwen.”
In response, Elria’s anxiety deepened as she lowered her eyebrows.
“Perhaps… you don’t remember?”
“I’m sorry, have we met before?”
Elria quietly lowers her shoulders with a look of disappointment on her face.
It was a sad and unbearable feeling to witness.
Seeing this, Reid scratches his head and sighs.
“…Are you looking for a guy who was a ‘Hero’?”
The moment he uttered those words, Elria looked up quickly.
However, she immediately lowered her head.
“But… the Reid I know doesn’t talk like that…”
“The conversation is just going in circles.”
“You sounded so much like him now.”
“That’s because I am the guy you have just mentioned… and as the ‘Hero’ of Altein, I change my tone in response to the occasion and who I am speaking to.”
Hearing that, Elria’s eyes began to sparkle again.
“……So it’s you!”
“Yeah. Just to be sure, are you really the person I know?”
“Elria Caldwen. I hail from Vegalta, about 200 years old, enjoy reading, like to drink lukewarm milk tea, and often take a nap in the sun when tired.”
“I don’t have any information other than your name and where you’re from to identify you…”
Once again, Elria lowers her head apologetically.
But the truth is, not much was known about Elria in her previous life.
After all, they always met on the battlefield.
Although they had many exchanges, they did not know much about each other.
That’s why ――
“How many battles have we had?”
“Six thousand three hundred and twenty-nine.”
“Well, I don’t remember.”
“Yeah, I know. I always remind you.”
The tension finally disappeared from Elria’s face.
“I’m glad… that you were Reid.”
Her eyes were wet with tears, and she repeatedly nodded as she put her hands to her chest.
After looking at Elria, Reid exhaled deeply and sat on the couch.
“I never thought I would see you again like this.”
He meets his rival again, whom he thought was dead, a thousand years later.
Who would have envisioned such a situation?
“That said, how did you find me?”
“I was reincarnated, so I thought Reid might be here, too.”
“It’s amazing how you can find me without any solid evidence…”
“I am confident in my intuition.”
Elria proudly says, raising the corners of her mouth just a little.
But there was one word that bothered him.
“What is this ‘Reincarnation’ you were just talking about?”
“To put it simply, it is inheriting all the memories and abilities from the previous life in the next life. To be precise, it is called ‘Reincarnation Magic’.”
“Oh? Does that mean you used that magic?”
“No, I did not.”
Elria shakes her head and then continues her explanation.
“In the first place, ‘Reincarnation Magic’ is a name that I gave to it on a provisional basis. In other words, it exists in theory, but I don’t know how to make it happen.”
“Ahh, I understand what you are trying to say.”
In other words, Elria knows what will happen if one were to use reincarnation magic but not the procedure or method for using it.
Although it was a little vague, that must be what Elria was trying to convey.
“To think that even the ‘Sage’ who created the magic doesn’t know how to use it.”
“…There are things that even I, the ‘Sage’, don’t understand.”
Elria puffed out her cheeks as if she was sulking.
Anyway, it was not Elria’s doing that the reincarnation happened.
Neither was it Reid’s doing, of course.
The two people who were called the ‘Hero’ and the ‘Sage’, were reincarnated in the same world a thousand years later.
It’s a bit of a stretch to call it a coincidence ――
“…Well, it’s no use to think about something we don’t know, don’t you think?”
“Yes, you’re right.”
Elria summed up her conclusion in philosophical terms.
“There are too many things I don’t understand. I was also doing some research, but if it were the true reincarnation magic, I would look the same as in my previous life, but my appearance wasn’t all the same.”
“Is that so?”
“…Didn’t you notice?”
At that moment, Elria began to stare at him.
It was at this moment that Reid’s intuition told him that if he could not answer her, he would be in trouble.
And so, he took another look at Elria’s appearance.
Her beautiful neat silvery white hair has not changed. And her deep blue eyes remain the same. She looks the same as before, about fifteen or sixteen years old.
Reid could not say anything about her physical appearance… because he had never looked at her this close before, but he remembered that her height was about average. He could tell she was a woman at a glance from the bulge in her chest and the slenderness of her arms and legs.
In other words, nothing has changed.
Perhaps noticing Reid’s obliviousness, Elria began to fiddle with her hair.
And then ―― finally, he noticed the change.
Her distinctive long ears, which she had in her previous life, had become the familiar round ears.
“Could it be that… you have been reincarnated as a human instead of an elf?”
“Yes. That’s why Reid and I have matching ears.”
“That’s not just me, but the whole human race.”
He smiles wryly at Elria, who moves her hair to show her ears.
In other words, from now on, Elria will age and grow old, just like Reid.
“Come to think of it… I heard from the village chief that you’re a collateral descendant of the royal family, so are you someone important even in this world?”
“Yes, someone very important.”
“That’s so awesome…”
“Nn… One of the children I taught magic to was a member of the royal family, and she inherited my family name, so now it became a lineage of the ‘Sage’.”
“Oh? That’s really amazing.”
After all, today is a world where magic reigns supreme.
There are various legends and stories about the ‘Sage’, the progenitor of magic. So those who have inherited the name would have significant influence.
They are the result of Elria’s efforts to pass on the art of magic to future generations, so it is gratifying to see that the person in question is still in a strong position today.
“……What about Reid?”
“How do you live now?”
“I’m plowing the fields, chopping the wood, and hauling the peddler’s loads.”
“Because… I can’t use magic.”
For what it’s worth, Reid himself made an effort to use magic.
He learned the basics of modern magic from scratch and tried many things while being taught by his brother and sister, who were gifted with magic, but still, he could not activate the magic.
Even rudimentary magic that a child could invoke could not be activated.
“What were the results of your magic aptitude?”
“The one you would take when you turn twelve? If so, the moment I touched it, the device broke, and the people at the association got very angry with me.”
In this world, when a person turns twelve years old, they would be subjected to a magic aptitude test.
Suppose the amount of magic power calculated by the device exceeds a certain value. In that case, they are qualified to take the examination to become a mage, and if their magic power is of a high level, they can attend the magic academy.
Graduation from the academy paves the way to becoming an honorable ‘Mage’. However, in Reid’s case, that was not the problem. He could not activate even the simplest of magic, and anything with a built-in magic circuit would just break down.
And as expected, he broke the device during the magic aptitude test, resulting in a lengthy lecture from the officials, who informed him that he had no magic aptitude at all.
Thus, Reid was officially declared ‘Incompetent’.
However, he was not bothered by it.
Rather than causing trouble for others by sticking to magic, he would rather live a life of plowing the fields or helping the villagers.
With that in mind, he led a leisurely life in the countryside ――
Hearing that, Elria raised her eyebrows in frustration.
With a pout, she then says,
“But… Reid is a ‘Hero’, right?”
“That’s in the past…”
“Besides, Reid is as strong as I am.”
“That I won’t deny. But nowadays, magic is supreme, while melee weapons are treated as antiques or wall decorations, and you must become a mage to fight in the first place.”
The expression on Elria’s face gradually became sullen with every word spoken.
But that’s just how it is today.
People who cannot use magic are incompetent, and even if they have the strength to fight, they are not allowed to do so.
Not only their position but the world itself has changed so drastically that there is no way a single person can change anything.
However, Elria looked up after giving a slight nod.
“Hey, Reid ――”
And after Elria quietly called out Reid’s name ――
“―― I want you to marry me.”
She uttered those words.
“For now, Reid will be my fiancé.”
“Wait, don’t just make it a definite thing.”
Suddenly, Elria started speaking of something ridiculous, but her expression was quite serious.
“If you are closely related to the Caldwen family, you can take the magic academy’s entrance examination, regardless of your magic aptitude. Reid can become a mage by showing your abilities there. Then you will be able to fight like in the old days. It’s a perfect plan!”
“…But isn’t that kind of cheating?”
“No, it’s not cheating.”
Elria interrupted him.
Apparently, she didn’t say it as a joke.
“Because… Reid is strong. Strong enough to fight me for more than fifty years. Not only that, but Reid was also called a ‘Hero’.”
Looking down, Elria talks about the Reid she once knew.
“Besides… I can’t accept the fact that nobody recognizes Reid just because you can’t use magic.”
Those were the words of his rival, whom he had fought for over fifty years.
The ‘Hero’ and the ‘Sage’ knew each other’s abilities better than anyone else.
And they recognized each other’s abilities.
That is probably why Elria made such a reckless proposal.
However, the current Reid is just an incompetent young man who cannot use magic living in the countryside.
In contrast, the current Elria is second only to the royal family in status and power.
Depending on the situation, Elria’s name may be tarnished. So he could not accept such a reckless proposal.
“I’m glad to hear that, but as for the proposal ――”
As Reid was about to reject the proposal ――
“―― Let’s settle who is stronger.”
Elria interrupted him and uttered the words they had exchanged once before.
It was a promise that could not be fulfilled in their previous life, and the only regret Reid himself had in his dying moments.
That’s why he frowned slightly.
“…It’s cheating to say that now, don’t you think?”
“It’s not cheating. Because I’m sure Reid feels the same way, too.”
With clear and pure eyes, Elria sees through Reid’s mind.
The answer has already been decided.
After more than fifty years of fighting, their positions have changed.
A position in which he was called a ‘Hero’, and she was called a ‘Sage’, and either one of them losing could lead to the downfall of their respective country.
That is why… it has been nothing but draws.
The two have tried not to take each other seriously, even though they always fight earnestly in their battles.
But if wishes could be granted ――
“―― I won’t run or hide. I’ll always accept your challenge.”
As they had once made a promise to each other, Reid returned the same words to Elria.