They had no idea that their presence was bothering Leela, and now they were once again huddled in that inn.
Tatsuro was sitting cross-legged on the floor, while Ai was sitting on the bed, shuffling her feet, completely in relaxation mode.
“ You’ve become a resident of this inn, huh?”
”Well, yeah. I don’t want to look for another place to stay now, and the one I want to stay at is by reservation only.
”Reservation only, huh? Since we don’t have any plans tomorrow, let’s go make a reservation.”
”I guess so. We’ll probably be at the lake the first night of the month, so we’ll have to wait until then.”
Ai laid down on the bed, looking unmotivated.
Besides, Tatsuro would be tired today, so he decided to leave him alone and redoubled his efforts to create a magical body creature by the end of the day.
The reason why he wanted to do it today was to avoid repeating his mistake of today, and also because today was the day of the solution.
In addition to that, he came up with the idea of using a magical organism to assist Ai with her low magic resistance.
In addition, although solving magic has its limitations, it can be applied to analyze magic and weaken or cancel it, Tatsuro found out on the carriage ride home, using books and help.
So he is planning to incorporate this factor into a magical body organism and have it used.
And on the day of the solution, it will be a little easier to use the solution magic.
So he thought that if he could incorporate the factor in that state, he could incorporate it more easily than on other days.
(The first step would be to completely mix light and dark. ……)
Using his concentration skills as well, Tatsuro sharpened his nerves even more and created an attribute sphere of darkness and light, each the size of an apple, in his right and left hands.
He used all of them to re-generate a total of one hundred strings in each of his right and left hands.
Once that was done, he started on the first barrier.
First of all, while avoiding contact with them, he made sure that each one of them was as close to each other as possible.
Then Tatsuro took a deep breath and calmed his nerves.
When his heart was beating calmly, he held his breath and connected all of the magic power in the form of the 100 strings on the right and the 100 strings on the left at the same time.
There was a clacking sound and Ai turned to look at him, but Tatsuro didn’t care and concentrated on what was in front of him in order to maintain it.
Thanks to that, the connection was successfully made, and he moved on to the next step.
First, he twisted the connected cord-like magic power into a single rope, and then he imagined it to become the original spherical shape.
And so a sphere with the volume of two apples, speckled with black and white, was formed in Tatsuro’s hand.
(The next step is to incorporate the factors of the dissolve attribute……)
He injects the magic power of the dissolving attribute into the sphere, which is a mixture of light and dark, in as pristine a way as possible without creating any image.
Too much and the sphere would break, too little and the factor would not be incorporated, like crossing on thin ice.
Eventually, he reached his limit, and sensing that the sphere would collapse if he continued, he turned off the magic and focused his attention on stabilizing the sphere so that it would not break.
As soon as it was stable, he sent an image of what kind of magical creature he wanted the sphere to become.
(I want it to fly wherever she is, and protect her from all kinds of magic that could harm Ai.)
As a matter of fact, a lvl 1 magical body creature can’t do anything that powerful.
However, it was not a bad thing to imagine a higher existence.
As if it had received Tatsuro’s thoughts, the sphere in his hand gradually changed its shape.
Ai also continued to stare at it, trying not to get in the way.
A palm-sized being with a white head and a black body, resembling a baby bird of prey, appeared.
”It’s done. ……”
Tatsuro completely lost his concentration there and fell back.
In the midst of all this, the baby bird was jumping up and down on Tatsuro’s stomach, playing with him.
”Tatsuro, can I touch it?”
”Yes, go ahead”
When Ai approached Tatsuro, who was lying on the floor as if he didn’t want to move anymore, Ai gently lifted the baby bird with both hands.
The bird was quiet, tilting its head and bleeping, and Ai pulled it to her chest as if she were holding a stuffed animal, calling it cute.
“We’ll have to pick a name for it now.”
He said casually, but when it came to naming Ai, he had a bad feeling about it.
A cold sweat broke out on Tatsuro’s cheeks as he wondered if he was going to be named Piyo-suke or Peetaro.
“Pirori, how about that!”
“—Buu. It sounds like a bad name for a stomach, I reject it.”
”Eh~ It’s means a baby bird that beeps”
“Is that what you meant!?”
Buu, She puffed out her cheeks and gave me a protesting look, but this is the first cute little user demon that Tatsuro has created. He was determined to stop her from getting a strange name.
And while the baby bird was about to decide on the name of its life, it was bouncing around on Ai’s head.
”Well, well, little whacku-chan!”
”I hope it’s not short for white-black, because of his white head and a black body.”
“It’s weird. ……”
Tatsuro was looking at her like she was crazy. But she pretended not to notice and urged another idea.
“Hey, is there anything else?
I want a name that will protect you…”
”Yeah. I created it with the intention of helping Ai not get into as much trouble as she did today.”
“It was for me. …… Thank you, Tatsuro.”
”You’re welcome. Well, I’m sure I’ll be getting some help too, so I guess it’ll be for both our sakes, exactly.”
Listening to the story, Ai mumbled, “Protect …protect huh,” while Ai began to think with her arms crossed as if she was trying to remember something.
”What about Cardina?”
“—What’s wrong with you, Ai? That kind —that kind of unusual atmosphere.”
It was a decent name, and Tatsuro almost slipped up, but he braked and avoided it, letting out a breath of relief when Ai didn’t seem particularly bothered that he must have misspoken.
”Y-yeah. A long time ago, there was a special on TV about ghosts.”
”Yeah, they do that sometimes.”
Tatsuro was taken aback by the different tone of the conversation, but he tried not to interrupt the flow of conversation, thinking that it must have some meaning.
“Yes. The day I saw it, I couldn’t sleep alone, even though I used to be able to.”
”It must be especially scary when you’re a kid, that kind of thing.”
Tatsuro nodded as he remembered his childhood. Although he no longer felt scared when he saw them, he too had been scared when he was little.
”Then my grandmother came and gave me a stuffed dolphin, saying that she would protect the house and that I would be safe from now on. I asked her what her name was. She told me her name was Cardina.”
”So you borrowed the name from that stuffed animal?”
”That’s right. When Tatsurou said it would protect me, the name of the child suddenly came to my mind.”
Tatsuro, who was now convinced that this was the case, suddenly remembered that there was a stuffed dolphin in Ai’s room, and asked her what had happened to the dolphin, Cardina.
Then, with a sullen look on her face, she began to talk about it.
“Aah, I had it until I was in the fifth grade, but it had become very unraveled, so I told my mom to fix it, and it was in such disrepair …… uuuggg…”
“It wasn’t a …… dolphin anymore, it was a monster ……”
Ai opened the lid of her distant memory and stared into the void.
As Tatsuro watched her, he was reminded of her mother, Misuzu.
Ai herself was aware that she was not very handy, but Misuzu was even more clumsy.
Tatsuro couldn’t help but feel pity and compassion for the little girl, Ai, for asking someone who struggled even to thread a needle to repair a stuffed animal.
However, he almost choked on the idea of naming a stuffed animal that had met its demise, but he couldn’t think of a better name, and Ai seemed to have a special attachment to it, so he decided to accept it.
”Well…… leaving aside the stuffed animal, can we call it Cardina?”
”Yes, let’s go with that.”
She held the baby bird – or Cardina, as she called it – that was happily sitting on top of her head in her hands, and spoke to her to remind her of her name.
“Your name is Cardina, Cardina II~.”
”Ah, the second generation. ……”
Cardina didn’t seem to understand, tilted her head and started to move again as she pleased.
But after repeated reminders, she began to look at me when he called her Cardina.
“All right. Now that we have a name, it’s time to let Cardina rest.”
”Rest? You want her to sleep here?”
”No, no, no, that’s not it.
Materializing will consume a small amount of magic power, once she is back inside me.”
Ai couldn’t hide the uneasy look on her face at those words.
”Does that mean you’re turning it back into magic? Is that safe to do?”
”Yeah. Rather than turning it back into magic, it’s more like converting it into a magical form and sleeping in my magic. So if I call her, she should come out immediately, so don’t worry.”
”I see. Then I’ll say goodbye for now, good night Cardina II~.”
Ai stroked Cardina’s head with her index finger and then held it out to Tatsuro in the palm of her hand.
Tatsuro responded and took the Cardina, imagining that he was absorbing it into his body and tucking it inside.
Then, he could feel the presence of an individual with a will within his magic power.
”—Fuu. This is good.”
“Hmm~ Then we’d better get ready for bed, too.”
Ai stood up while stretching and said, “Right,” to which Tatsuro replied, “I guess so.” The two of them wiped each other down as usual, changed into their nightgowns, and lay down on the same bed side by side.