Chapter 1 Part 3
After accepting Elria’s proposal, Reid had prepared only the bare minimum of luggage and was on his way to the royal capital with Elria.
“…I never thought it would come to this.”
Reid blurted out as he gazed at the view from the window of the magic vehicle.
Indeed, since his previous life, he has had feelings for Elria that were more than just enemies.
Even though they did not exchange anything other than small talk, they understood each other’s intentions and tried to avoid any unnecessary casualties in each other’s forces.
That’s why Reid thought they could have been good friends had they been in different positions.
For some reason, in the world a thousand years later, not only did their positions changed… they have now skipped the relationship phase of being friends. Reid has become engaged to his former rival.
And the person who made such a reckless proposal is none other than ――
While sitting opposite Reid, Elria has a tense expression on her face, to the point that her whole body is shaking.
“I-I can hear you!!”
In response to Reid’s call, Elria stuttered.
Then, with her face bright red, she casts her eyes downward again.
“No, you don’t have to apologize.”
Looking at Elria, who still has her eyes cast downwards, Reid scratches his head.
This situation was somewhat expected.
Even though they have only spoken to each other on the battlefield, they understood each other to a certain extent after more than fifty years of battles.
―― Elria is not good at socializing.
There was a time when elves were feared by humans as ‘beings that look like humans but are not’, and they lived their lives avoiding any interactions with humans by building settlements alongside nature.
The reason why Elria decided to join the human society is not known. But still, it is difficult to change ideas that are rooted in one’s natural disposition due to the environment in which one is born.
As if to prove this point, stories about ‘the Sage is misanthropic and doesn’t often show herself’ had even reached Reid’s country.
However, from the looks of things, she probably just did not know how to interact with people.
That’s why Reid decided to talk to her.
“I have a question for you, Elria.”
“W-What is it that you want to ask?”
“Before that, please try not to stutter and put up with the embarrassment. Otherwise, this conversation will go on forever.”
After some desperate persuasion, Elria nodded her head, red as her face was.
“I told you I couldn’t use magic, but do you know why?”
“…The reasons why Reid can’t use magic?”
“Yeah. Since you created magic, I thought you might know something about it.”
Hearing these words, Elria looks at him curiously.
“Mm… I think it’s probably because of Reid’s magic power.”
“…My magic power?”
“Yeah. It’s easier to understand by comparing magic power to water.”
While twirling her fingertips, Elria continues to explain.
“Ordinary magic power is like water, so if you pass them through a path called a magic circuit, they will flow. But Reid’s magic power is like stone, so it doesn’t flow in the first place, and if you try to force it through, the path itself will break down.”
“Ah… So that’s why the device broke during the magic aptitude test.”
Now that Reid recalls, that symptom only happened when he tried to use magic intentionally or to have the magic power flow through to the device. Otherwise, the magic vehicle Reid is riding in now would have been broken.
“I don’t know how that kind of magic power came to be, but the ‘Magic’ that I created cannot be used by Reid in the first place. If you wanted to, I would have to construct a special theoretical formula to match your magic power and create a new form of magic circuit from scratch, not the existing one.”
“Does that take a lot of time?”
“It took me a hundred years to form the basis of my magic theory.”
“So, by the time it’s done, I will be an old man again?”
“…I’ll be an old woman now that I’m a human.”
If even Elria, the founder of magic, took more than a hundred years to achieve it, it is safe to say that almost no one else can.
“Thank you. The mystery of 18 years was solved in an instant.”
“…Reid, did you want to use magic?”
“How should I say this… I just wanted to know how it feels like to use magic, but if I can’t use it, then so be it.”
Reid wasn’t trying to force himself to be able to use magic. It was just a simple question of why he could not use it, and just being able to solve that would be a sufficient accomplishment.
Hearing that, Elria nodded her head repeatedly.
“Reid will be fine. Because you can’t defeat me with magic.”
“Oh? You’re that confident, aren’t you?”
“Yeah. When it comes to magic, I am second to none.”
Elria proudly puffs her chest out. From the looks of it, Reid was right to talk about magic. If the conversation continues at this rate, Elria will gradually get used to it.
Just as he was thinking about it, Reid felt a slight tug on his clothes.
“What is it? What’s the matter?”
Elria’s gaze wanders, perhaps at a loss for words again.
Then, as if determined, she opened her mouth with trembling lips.
“Thank you for accepting my… engagement proposal.”
“That’s my line. Thank you for worrying about me.”
“But still… it was so sudden that I thought you might find it annoying…”
“I’m more confused than annoyed. You just skipped over the whole thing and asked me to marry you.”
“B-Because… I thought that I could fight Reid again… in that way!”
“Well… that’s certainly the only way to do it.”
Elria seems to have said it on the spur of the moment, but becoming the fiancé of the Caldwen family is the only way to change Reid’s current situation.
Because Reid cannot use magic, so naturally, he cannot take the entrance examination for the magic academy.
Meanwhile, his older brother and younger sister have achieved above-standard readings in the magic aptitude test and are currently attending the magic academy, but nobody would pay attention to a person from the countryside who is only slightly above average.
On top of that, it is now forbidden for anyone other than a mage to engage in combat.
Although magic is now widely used as a convenient technology that anyone can handle, it is also a dangerous technology that can harm others if handled incorrectly.
For this reason, except in emergencies or in times of crisis, anyone found to have engaged in combat who is not a qualified mage will be severely punished.
It may be possible to give priority to ‘settling the score’ without regard to everything, but it is impossible to seriously clash without being found out by others, and if a person in a position of power like Elria committed a crime, it would affect the future of the country.
In other words, it is best for Reid to become a mage in order to settle fairly with Elria without anyone interfering, and Reid, who cannot use magic, would need the backing of the Caldwen family by becoming Elria’s fiancé.
However… There are other reasons why Reid agreed to the engagement.
“At any rate, this makes it more convenient for me to look into this matter.”
“Both of us were reincarnated a thousand years later. It can’t be a coincidence, right?”
The two who were once called the ‘Hero’ and the ‘Sage’ are reincarnated in the same era.
Moreover, it is difficult to think of it as a coincidence when both are said to have memories of their previous life.
In that case ―― then there is a third party involved.
“If someone is involved in our reincarnation, we need to find out and make them spew out their purpose. Even if it were a coincidence, it wouldn’t hurt to look it up, and if I’m the only one with a different social status, then I’ll have to ask you to look into it. That would be too much of a burden for you.”
If the information is unknown even to Elria, it is likely to be kept secret not only from the public but also from the mages themselves.
In order to investigate such information in depth, status and position are essential, and Reid himself should have a certain level of standing.
In that sense, the proposal by Elria is undoubtedly the best choice.
There is no doubt about it, but ――
“Are you really sure about this?”
“I’m talking about making me your fiancé. In our previous lives, we were enemies. Did you not think that I might kill you off?”
“No, I haven’t thought about it.”
“You should be a little more alarmed.”
“Because I know Reid wouldn’t do that.”
Elria puffs out her cheeks as if she is a little angry.
“Such a person would not bother to fight dutifully for more than fifty years.”
“…Well, you’re right. I also trusted you for similar reasons.”
“…You trust me?”
“Of course. I’d never have talked to you if I didn’t.”
After hearing Reid’s honest reply ――
“―― Thank you for trusting me.”
Elria smiled as she said that.
It was a beautiful smile.
An expression of heartfelt relief.
A smile that she had never shown in battle.
Seeing this new side of her, Reid could not help but return the smile.
“Y-Yeah. Thank you for trusting me, too.”
“Mm. Thank you.”
“This is going to enter a new pattern of endless loops…”
“W-Well then… I have some questions for you, too…”
Elria nodded her head and made the suggestion.
“I’d like to know what’s your favorite food, what you did when you weren’t on the battlefield, and what you’ve been doing since your reincarnation.”
“Ahh, well, it’s weird that we don’t know a thing about each other even though we’re engaged. So tell me about yourself, too.”
“Y-Yes… What do you want to know?”
“Well, what’s your hobby?”
“What’s your favorite ――”
“Lukewarm milk tea.”
“…How do you usually spend your time?”
“Taking naps in the sun.”
“Those were the information you have told me previously…”
The information Reid asked for to verify her identity was connected in an unexpected way.
Now he has to think of a better question.
“If there’s nothing else, it’s my turn now.”
“Y-Yeah. What do you want to know?”
“Well, then… I’d like to know about Reid’s hobby.”
“I spent most of my life on the battlefield before, and I still don’t have any hobbies now.”
“What’s your favorite food?”
“How do you usually spend your time?”
“I just go about my day.”
“None of that information was of any substance…”
Elria’s shoulders slumped sadly as nothing had come of it. But she lightly squeezes her fist to inspire herself.
“T-Then next question! I have other questions!”
“Sure. There is still time before we reach the royal capital, so ask whatever you want.”
While watching Elria frantically think of questions, Reid waited for the next question.
As they ask each other more questions, they gradually get to know each other better.
It was unthinkable before, but now that they are not enemies, they can slowly get to know each other.
Enjoying this, Reid began to think of his next question for Elria.