I momentarily held my breath and reflexively crouched down a little.
Was there something dangerous up ahead…?
Ikuru stopped me and said, “It’s over there.”
The things I had seen in forest are ‘hard wolves’ and chickens and rabbits. However, judging by Ikuru’s appearance…there’s probably a strong monster out there.
“Hinami-sama…there’s a ‘snow rabbit.’ Please come here quietly.”
“Eh…? It’s not a dangerous monster?”
“Ah…No. It’s a rare and cute rabbit.”
W-What did you say…!?
Ikuru’s words had betrayed my intentions in a good sense. I slowly headed to Ikuru’s side. Noting that I arrived next to him, Ikuru pointed to a certain area. It was there, hiding between the trees.
Right in front of me was an adorable pure white rabbit.
“Is it the first time you’ve seen one? That’s a monster that lives at the southern region of this continent ‘Sariton.’ It’s a rare snow rabbit. There is only around one account of witness information every few years.”
Oh my! A rare and cute rabbit!
Only one sighting every few years…!? Then, meeting one today is a very lucky thing, right? So cute…I want to pet it…! I wonder if I can get close to it…will it run away if I approach?
I slowly and carefully took steps towards the snow rabbit. Please, don’t run away…!
“It’s very fast on its feet so if it sees you it will run away.”
“Eh! Then I can’t touch it…?”
Rare ones are known to run quickly…or something like that. Then just watching would be the best action. I want to touch it, but it can’t be helped because there’s no way that I can catch it. Ahh… I want to pet it. I’m giving up since it can’t be helped, but at the least, lets send a passionate gaze to convey my thoughts.
I’ll pretend I didn’t see Ikuru’s exasperated expression! Because it was for cuteness! I couldn’t help but stare.
“I want to catch it for you, but I can’t see very well…it’s not possible for me.”
“Ah, don’t worry about it! It certainly is cute…but capturing it would be sad too.”
“…I see. Hinami-sama is kind.”
I think it’d be nice to live in this world of Letisreel peacefully.
Earning points for god, making potions…opening a shop or something—that should be fun~!
My thoughts were drifting off, but I came back to reality at Ikuru’s startled voice.
As I wondered what it could be, I saw the snow rabbit come charging towards me!
“Eh!? W-What’s going on!? Is it going to attack me!?”
“No… a snow rabbit shouldn’t attack…but for now, stay behind me, Hinami-sama!”
When I quickly hid behind Ikuru, the snow rabbit that had been charging slowed down and stopped. Then, it slowly toddled towards me and went up to my leg.
Th-This is…! What’s this!? Can I take this to mean that it likes me? I can, right?
I crouched down a little and reached a hand out to the snow rabbit. The size…was a perfect fit in my hand! I was curious about the fur, and up closer it was fluffy and white. When I gently touched it, the snow rabbit was cold as its name suggested. A snow rabbit with fur like white, cold and fluffy cotton, or something like that?
“It’s so cuuuuute~!!”
“A snow rabbit approaching a person…I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
Ikuru looked somewhat shocked, but his stare was fixed on the snow rabbit I was hugging. Fufu, it’s a cute snow rabbit-chan after all! Gender has nothing to do with its charm!
Rather, I wonder what I should do about this child? Should I return it to the forest…?
“Hey, snow rabbit-chan. Want to come to my house…?”
“Ohhh! Then from today on, snow rabbit-chan is family!”
“No no no…how absurd.”
“Hey! Ikuru, do you want to pet it too?”
I’m very happy that the snow rabbit answered energetically to my questions. Also, Ikuru is very surprised…! Right, snow rabbits can only be seen once every few years, but not only that, this one is following me… this might be unheard of. I wonder why…could it be that I have good compatibility with this world?
…But then again, I was also attacked by hard wolves so maybe not? Well, it doesn’t matter.
“Wow! It really is cold…!”
Ikuru also touched the snow rabbit gently and was surprised at the coldness. Rather, aren’t you petting it more affectionately than I did, Ikuru-san?
“Well, why don’t we head home for the time being…”
Maybe because he was embarrassed at how absorbed he had become at petting it, he quickly took his hand off and held the moo’s reins. Even though I can pet it more. When Ikuru turned around with a slight blush, I felt that it was the most human-like expression he had showed compared to his normal expressionless look.
“Yeah! Let’s get to the Lost Forest first!”
“Ah, are we already in the Lost Forest?”
“To be exact… the Lost Forest is from that large tree.”
“……Ikuru, you’re well informed?”
“It’s because attribute is ‘wind.’ I’m sensitive to presences and signs. The flow of the air for example…I can discern things from that.”
“Ohh—! That’s amazing!”
For someone like me who lives in the Lost Forest, Ikuru is the best I could ask for!
It had been a little less than an hour since we entered the forest…I guess? After meeting with the snow rabbit and taking a few breaks, we safely arrived at the boundary between the ‘forest’ and the ‘Lost Forest.’
I thought that the trees would grow thicker as we walked, but the vegetation didn’t change much… instead there was a bright forest. Indeed, this was certainly a beginner’s forest and even for me who couldn’t even be called a beginner, the forest was clear and beautiful.
On the way, we encountered a few hard wolves, but Ikuru defeated them without much trouble. Amazing. But unfortunately, I couldn’t find any new herbs.
“Well…I don’t know the way from here though?”
“Hmm… the house should be within about walking distance.”
“That’s too vague…”
Ikuru sighed but kept walking without any complaints.
Then, just as Ikuru crossed the boundary and set a foot in the Lost Forest, something happened.
Ikuru’s body was shining, wrapped in a bright green.
The glittering green light looked as though it was being absorbed into Ikuru…then the light was gone.
I quickly ran over to him and checked if he was alright.
“No…nothing wrong with me. Just…my finger feels a little hot.”
After saying that, Ikuru showed me his left hand.
“It’s the curse-slave crest.”
The curse slave crest that was formed from the magic between me and Ikuru was glowing a light green. I was slightly awed at the pretty light that could be seen from far away…but what should we do?
“I haven’t heard of such a thing happening before…”
“Ehhhh! Could we have failed in the contract?”
“No, no…the crest is strongly linked with the master, in this case Hinami-sama…so if anything, the cause should be with Hinami-sama.”
“Umm…I mean, I don’t know anything about the curse slave crest though?”
Even if it was my fault, I didn’t know anything. All I could think of is that the magic tool was in bad condition so something went wrong…that’s all.
“The curse slave crest is a ‘bond’ that links the curse-slave to the master. While the crest is there, the curse slave is affected by the master. Although, most aren’t affected. For example…yes, let’s say that the master has a special skill…such as <Magic Increase>. The master obviously has an increase in the capacity of magic. In that case, the curse slave would also receives the benefits of the skill and their the magic capacity would be increased. The amount depends on the crest. A single line crest doesn’t create anything. However, if it’s an amazing crest like mine from Hinami-sama…I can’t predict how much, but there should be a great influence.”
“Then…Ikuru was shining…because of my abilities?”
“Even if my skill is not in effect?”
“Hmm…the curse slave crests are usually single lines, so there aren’t many other examples. I’m sorry, but I’m not sure.”
Because of my skills…? And independent of whether I am using them or not? However, the skills I have are <God’s Miniature Garden>, <Rhapsody of Light>, and <Angel’s Sanctuary>. Just those three.
<God’s Miniature Garden> creates a safe zone that is always active…it creates a sacred ground.
<Rhapsody of Light> is a defensive skill.
<Angel’s Sanctuary> accelerates growth and makes crafting easy.
I don’t think anything would affect Ikuru though? But if there’s any possibility, perhaps it’s from the always active <God’s Miniature Garden> skill?
“Hinami-sama, this is…it’s definitely pulling me this way.”
Pulling that way…? Ikuru stretched out his arm to the inner part of the Lost Forest. If the crest is pointing somewhere…then…?
“Maybe…it’s pointing to the sacred ground!?”
Yes, it’s definitely that!
“Ikuru! Let’s head that way!”
“That way…what would be there?”
“My house of course!”
Quickly, I urged Ikuru and pulled him by the arm, advancing through the Lost Forest. The scenery I had always seen from my house must be at the place Ikuru’s crest was pointing to!
I’m felt bad for Ikuru who murmured “No way that’s true…”, but my intuition was telling me that.
“Hinami-sama can be unexpectedly pushy.”
“Yes. But I think it’s still fine though? Huh, wait—isn’t that ‘azure grass?’”
On the downhill slop to the right, there was some deep blue grass. It was the last required ingredient for the marine potion—azure grass.
The short herb had only a few large round leaves. It was a small herb, but it had such a deep color that my gaze was stolen by it. The color was much clearer than any other plants, but I wondered why I couldn’t see it before.
“Oh, let’s take them home, even the roots!”
“You really are a chemister. I’ll go pick them up now.”
While Ikuru was digging up the azure grass, I looked around to see if there was any other azure grass. Of course, I stayed close by because it would be dangerous.
However…there was no more.
“I picked them up, Hinami-sama. At any rate, it’s quite a rare sight to see azure grass in such a shallow forest, even if this is a Lost Forest.”
“Yeah. They usually grow in deeper forests.”
“I see…I’m learning a lot.”
“If you’re a chemister, you should at least remember that.”
I looked at Ikuru who seemed exasperated for the hundredth time. However, I didn’t miss that his impassive face was growing softer.
It was a very trivial change…but I still felt very happy.
“Hm, I think we’re close. The curse slave crest feels warm for some reason.”
“Really? Then I’m sure we’ll be home soon!”
In front of us, there was a slightly tall tree and some thick bushes. I wonder if I could see my house if I go past it? My heart pounded, and my legs felt lighter as I leapt between the trees and exited the woods.
Yup. It’s definitely my house!
“Ikuru! This is my house!”
“Eh…! There really is a house in the Lost Forest…”
“You didn’t believe me!?”
“No, that’s not it, but it wasn’t realistic either.”
As I set foot into the grounds, the snow rabbit joyfully jumped around the garden. What’s with this child…! It’s just so cute…!!
That’s right! I have to think of a name! Because it’s a snow rabbit…Yuki? No, I can’t give such a casual name! I’ll decide after talking about it with Ikuru. Yeah, that’s good! (***Yuki literally means snow in japanese)
“These…Could these be medicinal herbs?”
Oops, a déjà vu…?
After Ikuru had set foot into the garden, he was looking around. And from him came words of surprise.
At times like these, victory goes to the one who makes the first move.
“Yup. I can cultivate medicinal herbs.”
“……Amazing. This is the first time I’ve seen something like this.”
“Ehehe. It’s my only redeeming feature as a chemister…but keep it a secret, okay?”
“Of course. If something like this was revealed…the whole world would be in a fuss.”
Looks like my strike first strategy worked, as Ikuru seems to have accepted it. Besides, Thia-chan and Alfred-san told me to not tell anyone else including Clef-san, out of concern. They also told me that the truth should never leak out because it would be dangerous.
The people who know this are Thia-chan, Kiruto-kun, Alfred-san and Ikuru, those 4 people. It shouldn’t increase from there…yeah, I should be alright.
“For the time being, why don’t we go inside and have some tea? I’ll prepare some delicious fruits.”
“Alright…but I’ll make the tea.”
“Ehehe, thank you very much.”
For now, I’m relieved that I was able to return home safely.