We decided to wait in the hospital room and before long the sound of a door being opened could be heard.
Ray enters and walks straight over to his mother and quietly watches her face.
There’s no reply as Sheila continues to sleep.
“I won the tournament…….tomorrow is the finals.”
He reports to the silent Sheila.
“…….Can you wait until tomorrow? I’ll help you by any means…..”
Ray’s face doesn’t carry his usual smile as he stares sadly at his mothers face.
“What’s happening tomorrow?”
Ray turns in the direction of the voice and the slightly drifting mist parts to show Misa.
Looking like he’d understood something Ray speaks to Misa.
“I thought it was strange how it suddenly started raining. I didn’t expect you to come here though.”
“I came because I didn’t believe Ray-san would join the royals by his own free will.”
Ray puts on a smile that’s hard to read.
“I’m a liar.”
“….Liar’s don’t admit they are liars…..”
Rays expression didn’t change as he continues talking to Misa.
“Are you alone?”
Of course, that’s a lie. I’m currently hidden by Rain Spirit Mist <Fuska>. If I don’t move I should remain hidden.
“I’m sorry but I can’t talk to Arnos.”
“…….That’s a weird comment. Have you been told not to talk to Arnos-sama? Are you being threatened?”
“Do you think so?”
“I think that Arnos-sama can help you.”
“Neither me nor my mother will survive if he knows.”
Not that there was much doubt but now we know he is being threatened.
“What do you mean?”
“As you can see, my mother is sick. Because she’s half spirit ordinary doctors cant help.”
Misa looks over at Sheila.
“……What kind of disease is it?”
“Her magic power weakens and her origin becomes thin and will disappear after a while.”
“What’s the cure?”
Ray shakes his head.
“If they’d told me I wouldn’t have joined the royal faction.”
“……..Can this hospital really cure her?”
“After she developed the spirit disease my mothers magic power weakened day by day but when she came to this clinic it went into remission. It seems like they can cure it. Even if its a lie I’ve got no choice but to believe it.”
If they have a way to put it into remission then have they identified the cause? If they know that then they can cure it.
“To cure my mother there were a few things I had to do for them. One of them was to fight Arnos in the tournament. A contracted demon sword has been buried in my body. If I make a mistake, I will be killed. If I die they have no reason to keep my mother alive.”
A contracted demon sword huh? Its a magic tool with more compelling force than Contract <Zekt>.
If you break the contract then certain death awaits you as it erases your origin.
“Even if you tell Arnos this the contract will still be broken.”
“……Wouldn’t it have been better if you hadn’t told me…..?”
“I believe you won’t tell anyone.”
“That’s a lie.”
Ray approaches Misa in an instant. Misa melts into the mist and was just about to disappear before Ray slashed her magic with Initeio.
<Fuska> is cut and loses its effect. The mist disappears and the rain outside stops.
Ray looks around the room.
“…..It seems you really are alone…..”
It seems Ray was sure that someone else was hiding in the mist. More than likely he thought it was me.
As <Fuska> was cut I activated Illusion Mimicry <Rainel> to become transparent and hid my magic with Hiding Magic <Najira>.
My magic is hidden and so am I. As long as I control my breathing he won’t find me.
The reason I had Misa use <Fuska> when I could do this is so that when <Fuska> is dispelled nobody would think anything else would be hidden behind a second layer.
Ray grabs both of Misa’s arms and pins her down while drawing a dagger from his inside breast pocket. Ray hesitates a moment before swinging the dagger down at Misa.
Misa closes her eyes unintentionally but no dagger enters her body, instead, Ray had pierced her shadow with his dagger.
“I’m sorry but I’ll have you stay here until after the finals tomorrow.”
Misa tries to use <Fuska> and melt into the mist but it seems her shadow is sewn to the floor and she is unable to manipulate magic.
“……What’s this dagger………?”
“It’s called a shadow sewing dagger. You sew someone’s shadow in place and they can only move in the range of their shadow. Magic is also rendered unusable.”
So its come down to this. It must be part of his contract to silence those who know about his circumstances.
It doesn’t seem to be a contract where he has to kill them though.
This is what happens when you don’t think your contracts through. You only have to silence them but that doesn’t mean you have to kill them.
“This room has an anti-magic field that interferes with magic communication. Even Thought Transmission <Liikus> is useless. You can’t call for help.”
“If I disappear then the unification faction will come looking for me.”
“They will but it won’t be in time for tomorrows finals and that’s all I need.”
Misa stops for a moment then asks
“What are you going to do?”
“Sorry, but I can’t say.”
The demon contract sword would probably activate if he did.
“Who did this to you Ray-san?”
“As far as I know its the demon emperor Elio.”
Elio is just a puppet. My guess is its the unidentified mazoku who runs this clinic. Judging from this situation I’m pretty certain that he’s involved with Avos Dillheavia.
Ray walked over to a chair and carried it back to Misa.
Seeing Misa’s suspicious face he just smiles thinly and indicates for her to sit down.
Misa calmly takes a seat.
“Shame you got involved.”
Misa laughs at Ray’s words.
Ray looks at Misa like he’s asking what she means.
“It’s you Ray-san. You got dragged into the battle between the royals and the unification faction. I’m the one that’s sorry.”
Was it an unexpected line? Ray’s eyes widen.
“I didn’t think I’d be the one apologised to.”
“That’s because you’re softhearted Ray-san.”
“I’m no such thing. I’m a liar.”
Making a little joke he smiles his usual refreshing smile.
“If the two factions weren’t fighting my mother would have died long ago.”
That may be so.
It’s thanks to the mazoku that’s taken over this clinic that Sheila’s condition has gone into remission.
If not for the quarrels between the two factions Avos Dillheavia would have had no use for Ray’s mother.
“…..May I ask something?”
“Unfortunately I can’t tell you what you want to know.”
“No, it’s about your mother.”
It seems he wasn’t expecting that.
“I don’t think anything you hear will help you.”
“Why not tell me then?”
Misa laughs and smiles at Ray who smiles wryly like he’s defeated.
“You’re pretty strange to ask such a thing at a time like this.”
“………She’s not your real mother?”
“Correct. I was originally born in the Iesta family.”
“Isn’t that a prestigious family of magic users?”
“That’s right. In the Iesta family, they hand secret magics down from generation to generation. Children born in the Iesta family can use magic right away but for some reason, I couldn’t inherit their magic.”
Its a kind of origin magic to pass magic on to your children. It works by the parents sharing part of their origin with their child but there are rare occasions where it doesn’t work. The usual reason is that the child’s origin is being influenced by a stronger magic already in their origin.
An example would be someone under the influence of Reincarnation <Silica>.
“I who spoiled a magic that had been passed down from generation to generation was branded a failure and cast out.”
“When were you cast out?”
“I was about 5 years old or so. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do. In my home town, the Iesta family held total power so no one would help me. The family expected me to die. I wondered the town with nothing to eat and after a few days, I collapsed and couldn’t move. At that time a single person reached out their hand.”
“She took me home and prepared a warm meal and a bed and just let me stay there. But with that, my mother bought the anger of the Iesta family upon herself. They threatened to fire her if she fed me again. My mother never kicked me out and eventually, we moved to a city where the Iesta family couldn’t reach us.”
“Your mother is a kind person Ray-san.”
When Misa said that Ray smiled happily.
“When I got older I asked her why she helped me.”
“What did she say?”
“My mother was abandoned by her father as well. He was part of the royal faction and my mother is a half spirit. I think you can guess why she was abandoned.”
Misa nodded with a sad face.
If it became known that someone from the royal faction had a child of mixed blood they would be finished. That’s why they abandon their own children to save their own necks.
“She said that’s why she would never let go of someone who was abandoned.”
Misa gently nods.
“My mother raised me like I was her own flesh and blood but her body is weak by nature. Without knowing the cause her magical power is steadily decreasing and her origin is becoming thin. She finally developed spirit disease and hasn’t woken up for over a year now.”
If magic power is steadily decreasing then usually there’s an abnormality in the origin that’s making the magic unstable but in Sheila’s case, her origin is normal.
“I visited a number of clinics and finally arrived here.”
He must have thought if they could maintain this state of remission then he could strike a deal.
When me and Misha met him that time I wonder if that was when the deal was made?
“…..Unforgivable……” Misa mutters. Her resentment can plainly be seen.
“…….Taking your mother as a hostage, threatening you, to force others against their will…….I will absolutely never forgive them………!”
Ray smiles a troubled smile and says
“Thank you for being angry for me.”
Ray turns around and heads out of the door.
“Sorry.” he said over his shoulder and left the room.
Authors note: Arnos is always eavesdropping………….