4. After the Sorrow
The master of the room, the magician Hydemary, once more says, “What’s wrong? Have a seat.” She then lifts a cup of tea to the lips of her expressionless face and sips the contents with elegance.
She is lovely with long black hair and in a tailed coat, but is more than what she appears. Cast aside on the bed are her stick and silk hat. As a magician, she’s out of place with the room’s décor, yet with her inorganic expression matching the surrounding bisque dolls, she creates a glamorous, mismatched sense of beauty.
I thought the charm would be affected, but her age helps keep the balance.
Suimei draws a chair with those thoughts in mind.
Hydemary says, “There’s no need to stay so vigilant. As I just said, that was nothing more than a test. I never had any intention of harming you.”
“Oh? Then how about the evaluation of the one given that enigmatic examination?”
“Were you able to discern this one’s true strength?”
“Pretty much. Therefore, there’s something I’d like to know. If I take you with me, will you submit to my instructions?”
Hydemary gives an indifferent response, “—There’s something I’d like to hear from you first, is that acceptable?”
“Does it relate to what you were telling me earlier?”
Yes, it does.” She then sets down her tea cup and says, “What I want to ask is about all of you from the Magician’s Association. If I’m not mistaken, you use a peculiar magic theory?”
“You mean modern magic theory?”
“That’s the one, but that’s how you refer to it? Anyway, doesn’t combining magic of different systems sound like an outrageous way of manipulating magic?”
“You could say that.”
“Shouldn’t wielding magic of different systems simultaneously be impossible?”
“You saw how I wield magic just now. Did I display a pathetic command?”
Hydemary shakes her head saying, “That’s completely different.” She continues to say that the foundation of magic wielded by modern magicians is based on a theory that melds multiple systems of magic. For example, characters are empowered through their meanings while rune magic empowers whatever it’s engraved on. They are theories completely different from Suimei’s Kabbalah numerology— the expression of all events and phenomena through mathematical formula and enumeration. However, the ability to combine magic “—to recreate the world as desired is an entirely different system of magic. It’s a system of magic that’s heresy even for the magic side on the opposite side of the modern world.”
How ironic, her magic could also be seen as unconventional.
Hydemary continues, “Do all of you chase after the philosophy for which leader-sama aims?”
Suimei nods as he says, “Yeah.”
Hydemary tilts her head like an innocent child. “But… whyy?”
“Hey, hey, you seem to be missing something. I’m not here to talk about that nor am I going to force you into anything.”
Suimei avoids looking at Hydemary. It’s probably because she doesn’t have many expressions.
Hydemary soon asks something she’d been wanting to hear about. “…Hey, do you remember when you first became able to wield magic?”
“What’s this about so suddenly?”
“I want to know what it’s like when humans awaken magic.”
“Wouldn’t it feel similar to when you became able to wield magic?”
“More than that, I want to know about your eureka moment in magic.”
Suimei finds her comment strange, but says, “In this case, wouldn’t that be comparable to a sudden flash of insight?”
“I am a being that’s been able to wield magic since the start. That is a qualia I am unable to understand.”
“Why don’t you ask the Meister? Wouldn’t a magician of higher rank be able to give a better answer than me?”
Hydemary raises her teacup to her mouth as she says, “Otou-sama’s response was unclear.”
Suimei can take a guess to the Meister’s explanation. He says, “So you’ve always been able to use magic…”
Truthfully, Suimei himself doesn’t have a clear impression of when he first became able to wield magic. His father was who showed him magic and its capabilities— in other words, his father entrusted him with the world of mysteries. He was taught how wield magic in detailed and one day was overcome by a sensation that made him say, “I can do it.” He made magic his just like his father did
That’s the sense Suimei has on when he became able to wield magic. It isn’t a clear experience. A primary factor did make him able to wield magic, but concepts such as primary factors are only considered in retrospect.
Furthermore, magical power is realized to exist only after magic is wielded for the first time. Other manifestations such as the magic furnace come afterwards. In a way, wielding magic is very similar to the sense of balance needed to ride a bicycle. Once it’s found, forgetting doesn’t happen. Also, just how repeated use of tarot cards sharpen the sixth sense, it becomes easier to feel. Everything is an extension of the craft just like trick magic1.
Suimei hesitates to say a single bite is needed, but he can say that only by touching upon mysteries does magic become wieldable.
Hydemary says, “…What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, I also don’t know.”
Despite Hydemary’s tone being flat, what she says next contains a hint of disgust. “Should humans really be pursuing mysteries?”
“There’s nothing wrong with it. That’s more or less how it is for everyone. Didn’t the Meister also give a vague reply? While you might think that theory and implementation are in agreement, it’s not a concept we can just declare. Well, the details aren’t very clear. It might be intuitive since everyone always gets it on their first try.”
Suimei is unable to empathize with Hydemary. There’s probably nothing I can do to help with this. Every manual was inputted into her head in advanced. Since magic is preinstalled, she can just wield it. Not being able to feel excitement from a flash of insight is completely natural.
Hydemary matches her gaze with Suimie’s. What is she trying to do? Her pupils shine with an inorganic ash grey. He can’t find even a fragment of enthusiasm, but does see a minute brilliance.
After staring for what Hydemary must consider to be enough time, she gives a deep bow of her head. She says, “Very well, understood. I shall follow you.” While Suimei wonders what she judged acceptable in him, she adds, “Suimei-kun, is it? I hope that you’ll properly treat me as a lady.”
Suimei inquirers about Hydemart’s words because she is a homunculus who was born in a flask. His intention isn’t to pressure her into a manifestation of his desires. Hydemary will bloom as a magician soon on her own. “In reference to?”
“None, I just desire for you to treat me properly.”
Hydemary releases a large, childlike, yawn, “Fua~a.” Suimei raises his eyebrows at the drastic change in behavior, but Hydemary just rubs her tired eyes and says, “I, have become sleepy, and am going to sleep.”
“Ha?” What’s this about?
Hydemary gets up and says, “Good night.” She then lies down completely defenseless on her bed and releases the sweet breathing of a sleeping person. “Ku—”
“He- Hey, what-what are you…” Suimei has no choice but to stop. It’s too late for his question.
Suimei stands. He can’t do anything now that Hydemary is asleep. He turns around— there is no door. I’m still trapped in this room.
“…Hey, how do I get out of here?” Suimei can only wait until Hydemary wakes up.
Once Hydemary opens her eyes, “…You, who are?”
“Bastard, I’ll hit you…”
–Cute Star is chasing fandom, welcome Noble Diamond… is what we’d like to say–
“Seriously, going straight to sleep…”
“My bad, my bad.”
Suimei internally tells Hydemary off as he watches her from the side. Are you really reflecting? After Suimei spoke with Hydemary about her request, she became tired and slipped into her bed for a nap. He was left trapped in the room, only able to wait for her to awaken.
He then releases a heavy sigh at the homunculus’s indifferent apologies.
Anneliese waits outside of the room for Suimei and Hydemary. She turns towards Hydemary the moment she notices her. She seems to have noticed that her jacket was crooked and stands before her to straighten it. She says, “Mary, looks like that took quite a while.”
“I spoke with Suimei-kun and then got sleepy.”
“No!? You didn’t! Did you go to sleep in front of our guest?”
“Really, well I never.”
Suimei gives a tired nod to Anneliese’s shocked gaze. She is left dumbfounded. She must have never thought something that rude would happen.
Anneliese then readjusts herself by clearing her throat. “At any rate, otou-sama is waiting. Let us head to the room.”
They resume walking at Hydemary’s lengthened, “Ye-s.” They soon return to the room from before. Edgar closes a book he was reading to pass the time and says, “Well, Mary? Do you accept?”
“Yes, otou-sama. He passed.”
Edgar smiles as he gives a satisfied, “I see.”
The elder sister, Anneliese, however, refuses to accept those words and instead rebukes Hydemary. “Mary, how about saying something to Suimei-sama? After all, you went to sleep in front of him… Testing him is already a discourtesy, but that was too much.”
Hydemary pouts to Anneliese’s lecture. Edgar overhears and says, “Mary, you went to sleep?”
“Yes isn’t enough.”
Despite the emotion in the tone, Suimei doesn’t find it very sincere. Furthermore, neither she nor Edgar seem to mind that the one being apologized to is wrong.
Hydemary soon hugs Anneliese. She continues to pout like a spoiled child while rubbing her face against her sister’s chest.
Anneliese purses her lips and releases a troubled sigh. She strokes Hydemary’s head while saying, “Enough already…”
Judging from that scene, there doesn’t seem to be anything with which Hydemary can’t get away. Hydemary herself probably made it so.
Edgar watches the same scene with a parent’s joy. That expression tightens as he turns towards Suimei. It returns to the same fir tree stiffness he wore when they first met, but also with a sourness to it. Edgar says, “I’ve troubled you in various ways, Suimei.”
“I’ve been brought deep into the mountains, tested, and kept waiting. This hospitality truly is outrageous.”
“What? Outrageous developments are indispensable for being a magician. Keep that in mind.” Edgar then smiles as if to say, “As expected.” His smile is one that sees through Suimei’s heart for who he truly is. It’s one that bares the resentment he holds against Suimei’s father.
Suimei then says to him, “What was with the dolls in Hydemary’s room?”
Hydemary says, “Those were children I created.”
Anneliese says, “Out of all us sisters, Mary is the only one who can create dolls.”
“The only one? Ah…” Anneliese said only one. That’s to say, Hydemary is different from her sisters. “Dolls, are unable to create other dolls?”
“Correct, saying that we are unable to breathe life into others is quite natural.”
“Being able to do such a thing without reservation would be quite outrageous.”
Hydemary turns to Anneliese while Suimei is still amazed. She says, “But onee-sama, don’t you have the Thousand Alptraum2?”
An affectionate smile floats across Anneliese’s face. “Fufu, thank you.”
The so called genius girl didn’t hesitate to praise her sister. Must be because they’re family. Suimei then considers Anneliese’s attitude. Maybe it’s because she plays the roll of Hydemary’s mother?
Suimei finishes confirming the situation and then lowers his head to Edgar. “Well then, I will be taking my leave.”
Hydemary separates from Anneliese and says, “Then, I shall also be going.”
Edgar says, “Mary,”
He strokes her head as she says, “If there is something I don’t know.3”
Anneliese gracefully lowers her head as she says, “Suimei-sama, please take good care of Mary.”
Hydemary then says something that should go without saying. “Please put me in your care, okay?”
T/N: Some of you were saying it last chapter, but Hydemary = wife number 1. Suimei is going to have a lot of explaining to do once he shows up with four girls. Although, I wonder where they’ll actually show up? Will it be in the same place he was pulled from, his home, or someplace else like the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Well, I just hope she shows up and the character we’re being introduced to are cast aside like a failed pokeball.
This was the final chapter of the Gaiden. Thanks for sticking with me up to her. Now please stay with me a little longer and read the Terminology section next. It’ll be giving some insight and details to situations, people, and places like the [Red Dragon], [Beato-tan], and [Nicolas].
- 奇術 is the kanji used.
- Thousand Street Theater
- ボクにわからないことがあればね I’m not sure if I translated it properly.