The Day A Certain Individual’s World Was Turned On Its Heel — 1
That day began like any other, and to most, that was probably exactly what it was.
But to me, it was much, much more. To me, the day’s events were so impactful they seared themselves into my memories.
I can still vividly recall myself yawning lightly and rubbing my eyes as I listened to the birds chirp away.
I can still vividly recall myself basking in the morning sun’s warmth.
I can still vividly recall myself staring into the beautiful evening sunset.
Because it was on that day that everything changed.
And that was why I was so sure I could never forget it, not even if I was to die.
「It doesn’t look like Kaito’s coming today either…」
I sank all the way into the bath and began blowing bubbles into it.
Four days had passed since Kaito, the spirit, had first slipped through my doorway. I was really surprised back then. I never thought I’d ever have a chance to meet a real spirit. Seeing him reminded me a fairytale my mother had told me when I was younger. The half-elf girl it was about lived together with the spirit of light, which happened to dwell within her doll. They would always run into troubles and had to deal with it by racking their brains, but they would always find a way out. Eventually, they found themselves living happily ever after. Naturally, I was aware that the story was just that, a story. There was no way it could possibly apply to me. Besides, I wasn’t even a half-elf to begin with. I just happened to be a human whose elven blood ran strong. I didn’t particularly want to live together with a spirit forever either. All I ever wanted was to talk to one and maybe become its friend.
「…I guess I really should’ve been more careful about not being so overly familiar after all.」
Spirits tended to be whimsical and hard to please. They also seemed shy and didn’t really like showing themselves to people. They could hide from the average person with ease so long as they wanted to, but my Scarlet Eyes could pick them up because they were basically walking lumps of magic. That was why almost no one ever saw them unless they wanted to reveal themselves.
「…I’ll make sure I ask him to be my friend next time we meet.」
I knew that there were items out there that could summon spirits, but they were really expensive. The average person would never even be able to see one, let alone use one. Yumis had one, but she wasn’t able to let me see it because of how delicate it was.
（I’ll probably need to talk to him about something that interests him, but I’m not really goot at maintaining long conversations…）
I continued to think as I splashed around in the tub.
I’d never seen a spirit before, so I almost mistook Kaito for a ghost when I first saw him, but he actually materialized, and I was able to touch him, so he had to actually have been a real spirit.
「I’ll make sure I get a few topics ready ahead of time so I don’t bore him next time we talk.」
I got out of the bath, wiped myself off, put on my nightgown, and began using a towel to dry my hair.
I then used a pitcher to fill my cup with water before picking up with both hands and drinking everything in it in one go. One cup wasn’t enough, so I repeated the action three times before I was finally satisfied. Downing each cup in one go was something the old man that lived next door had taught me when I was little. He told me that it was proper etiquette after getting out of the bath. To be honest, the right way to do it was to put one of my hands on my hip as I drank, but, my mom scolded me when she saw me do that, so I ended up just holding the cup with both hands instead.
And then, with my body all warmed up, I finally snuggled my way into bed. Yumis told me that it would only be a few more days until my magic was transferred to her.
It would soon be time for me to bid farewell to the room I had in Yumis’ manor. I was told that I could take all my stuffed animals with me, but I still couldn’t help but feel a bit lonely, but that was okay. Because I was finally going to start living with mom and Shelmy again.
「Wait! Oh no! How will Kaito know how to find me once I leave this place!?」
My body lifted itself out of bed with a start. At first, I thought I could just ask Yumis to redirect him, but I then realized that she would never be able to see him unless he showed himself to her because she didn’t have the Scarlet Eyes. Besides, he’d asked me to keep everything about him a secret, even from her.
In the end, I was never able to figure out what to do. I instead just ended up falling asleep while still lost in thought.
「It’s all done, Shuria! The spell’s finally finished doing its job. Thanks for hanging on for so long.」
My elder sister visited me a few days later, her face decorated with a gentle smile. I already knew what she came to inform me, not only because she’d told me the day was close, but also because my Scarlet Eyes had allowed me to see the magic that’d swirled around within the room had finally dissipated. The first thought that came to mind was that I unfortunately hadn’t been able to meet Kaito again after all.
「…Does that mean I can finally go outside again?」
「Yup. You see, I actually had planned for today to be a day off. What do you say to having a bit of an outing together?」
「…An outing? That sounds great.」
「Okay, I guess that’s happening then. Sori, could you please get everything ready?」
「Yes Ma’am. Consider your orders received.」
Sori bowed once and left the room.
I was finally going to go outside for the first time in a long while, and I was going to get to spend time with Yumis to boot. I couldn’t wait.
「It looks like today’s going to be a really good day.」
「That it does.」
Yumis smiled in her usual, gentle manner as she responded to me.
Yumis took me through Elmia’s streets so we could shop. I hadn’t been composed enough to look around when I first arrived, so it was actually my first time getting a good look at the city.
「Elmia is huge! I think I said this when I first arrived too, but there are so many people and so many shops!」
「Fufu, Elmia is indeed a fairly big city. It must be quite the sight for someone that’s never lived outside a village before.」
My elder sister had disguised herself by putting on a big hat and a pair of glasses. Likewise, I was also wearing a hat, but it was several sizes too large for me and made it hard for me to see.
「…Yumis, Yumis! What’s that!?」
「That’s a magic item that’s supposed to you light a fire. We actually have one of those in the kitchen back home.」
「It’s one of the many board games people play in their spare time.」
The weather was great, so merchants were calling out to everyone that happened across their stores and stalls in a lively manner. Looking around, I realized that the number of people walking down this street alone was already way larger than the number of people that lived in my entire village.
「What is it this time? Oh, I see. That adorable stuffed animal must’ve caught your eye.」
I saw a series of large, white, cat-shaped plushies sitting on a nearby stall selling miscellaneous goods. They were holding a fork in one hand, a knife in the other, and wore a bib with a bit a ketchup-like substance splattered all over. I couldn’t help but freeze the moment I saw them, to which my elder sister reacted with a giggle.
「Hello. How much would it be for one of these?」
「One will cost you eight big copper coins.」
「Sounds perfect. I’ll take one. Here, Shuria. It’s yours, so you hold onto it, okay?」
「…Can I really have it?」
「Ahaha, I’ve already went ahead and bought it, so if anything, I’d be more troubled if you didn’t just accept it.」
I was really happy. Of course, my mood had in part stemmed from the fact that I was given a cute stuffed animal, but it was mostly because my kind older sister had personally given me a gift.
I couldn’t help but smile a bit as I gave the plush a big hug.
「It looks to be just about time for lunch. What do you say we head over to the park so we can find a spot to eat the sandwiches Sori made us?」
「That sounds wonderful.」
Yumis lead me towards a beautiful park. I’d seen pictures of parks many times before because they were often illustrated in the books I was given, but I’d never had the chance to see one in person. The village hadn’t ever had anything this fancy.
We picked a bench, sat down, and each ate half of the sandwiches out of the basket we’d been given. The two of us had eaten together several times in the past, but today’s lunch felt like it was extra special.
We continued shopping around even after we finished lunch. I had so much fun that time almost seemed to fly; evening came before I even knew it.
「Um… were you really okay with spending today with me, Yumis? I had a lot of fun, but…」
「Is something the matter?」
「I was a bit worried that I ruined your day off. It kinda felt like you were just letting me have all the fun.」
「Don’t you fret over that. Today was the first time I’d gone shopping in quite a while, so I was having just as much fun as you were. Besides, I was just celebrating my three year long spell’s completion anyway, so don’t you worry, okay?」
Yumis kindly smiled at me yet again.
「It looks like the sun’s going to set soon, so why don’t we move onto our next destination?」
「Our next destination?」
「You see, the truth is, your mother and your sister are coming to Elmia today!」
「Haha, I didn’t tell you because I wanted to keep it as a bit of surprise, but Sori, your mother, and your sister are currently working together in order to get a party ready.」
（I can’t believe it…! I can finally see mom and Shelmy!）
I was never really bored because Yumis would visit, and because I would get to trade letters with mom and Shelmy once a month. But I’d always felt a bit lonely.
It’d already been three whole years since I’d last seen the rest of my family.
I’d already known that I wouldn’t be able to see them for a long time, but three years had felt much longer than I’d been expecting.
「Alright, let’s go. Everyone’s waiting for you at your new home.」
「Sure! I can’t wait!」
I walked through the evening with my elder sister by my side. I managed to stop myself from dashing through the darkening streets, but, I couldn’t hold back the feelings that were surging through my chest. Three years had finally passed. I was finally going to get to see my family again.
I had no idea where we were going, so I made sure I stayed one step behind Yumis and let her lead me in the right direction.
And it was for that reason that I knew not the expression she had at the time.