A scorching summer day when I was 7 years old…
“It’s so… hot…”
“Please, Mother, don’t say it’s… hot…”
“Mother and Nii-san, please be calm.”
“Master and Aldo, Elphus is right.”
While Mother and I were suffering from the heat, El and Ashera somehow seemed unaffected. It was a mystery.
“It’s just so hot…”
Mother was definitely feeling the heat.
“El, Ashera, I’ve had an idea.”
“An idea, Nii-sama?”
“Something good from Aldo? …..Suspicious.”
“We can ask the Ice Witch.”
“The Ice Witch?”
“I’m going to the bathroom…”
As soon as the name “Ice Witch” came up, Ashera quickly fled the room.
“A~~~l… where did you hear that name?”
I saw Mother, with visible veins of frustration, staring at me.
“Ice Witch-san, make ice.”
“Like~ I ~ said~! Where… did… you… hear… it?”
“I overheard it when Harva mentioned it when Ashera became your disciple.”
“At that time, huh?”
“Then, please make some ice, Ice Witch.”
“Who are you calling Ice Witch?”
Mother’s nickname was “Ice Witch.” I didn’t know the origin of it, but she should be able to make ice.
“Even though you’re called the Ice Witch, you can’t make ice?”
“Ice, huh… I can make it, but will you please never use that name again?”
The Ice Witch had a blue streak on her face as she grabbed me by the head with her iron claw.
“I-It hurts…… Mother…”
“Do you forget anything else?”
“I don’t remember …. anything else, Mother…”
Finally, she seemed satisfied with my words and released her grip.
“Mother, please make some ice.”
“Fine, I understand… Let’s go outside then.”
We all followed Mother’s words and moved outside. Ashera, who had been hiding somewhere, sneakily joined us.
“Outside is even hotter now…”
She began to manipulate her magic with a disgusted look on her face.
“Alright, let’s do it, Snowstorm.”
A blizzard surrounded my mother, and snow began swirling, almost obscuring our vision.
(Wait a minute. I asked for ice, didn’t I? Why is she using a blizzard spell? Her face seems serious, so she’s not playing around, but…)
“Mother, I have a question.”
“What? This spell requires quite a bit of concentration.”
“Could you please stop the magic for a moment?”
“What? You don’t want ice anymore?”
Mother stopped her magic and turned toward me.
“Yes, I want ice, but why did you use a blizzard spell?”
“Ara, Al, don’t you know? I’m amazed at how even a knowledgeable boy like you doesn’t know.”
Ice Witch started to laugh. This looks bad….
“I’ll tell you! Ice is something that is formed when snow hardens. Even the knowledgeable Al doesn’t know that~♪”
“I see. So you were trying to make ice by causing a snowstorm.”
“That’s right! Well then, let’s make it snow. Snoooow sto…”
My words made mother stop her magic.
(It rarely snows around here even in the middle of winter. Maybe she doesn’t realize that lowering the temperature causes water to freeze?)
“Mother, could you use the magic the way I want?”
“What, what? What do you mean? Well, I guess so…”
Mother appeared somewhat dissatisfied as I set up a bucket for water collection.
“First, please produce some water.”
“I don’t quite get it, but sure… Here, water. Aqua!”
“Okay, that’s enough.”
The bucket was filled about halfway with water.
“Next, please lower the temperature. Can you do that?”
“Who are you talking to? I am feared as the Ice Witch…”
“Understood. Ice-san, please lower the temperature.”
“No, that was just a manner of speaking.”
“Alright, alright, please lower the temperature. Ice Witch-san.”
“Ugh, fine. Cool Zone.”
With Mother’s magic, the water in the bucket began to freeze.
“Ice has formed. Ah, I see now. Puddles freezing on winter mornings…”
Mother muttered to herself.
I carried the ice into the living room.
“El, Ashera, let’s cool ourselves with the ice by wrapping it in cloth around our necks and legs.”
“Nii-san! I’ll go get the cloths!”
“I’ll bring a tub to prevent the ice from melting and staining the floor.”
The three of us brainstormed the best way to beat the heat.
Trying this and that, we continued to experiment with the help of Ice-san, determined to find the right solution.
(Maybe we can cool the air like an air conditioner?)
After trying various approaches, it seemed they had finally found the right solution.
“Mom, please cool the air”
In response to my words, she raised a question mark in her mind.
“What is air?”
“Air.. That is…”
I sighed and decided to demonstrate by collecting some air in the bucket of water and producing bubbles with my hand.
“This is air. You know how it feels suffocating when you hold your breath, right? That’s because we humans need air to breathe and live. You can’t see it, but the space around us is filled with air.”
“I understand it somewhat…”
As Mother thought about it with her cheeks puffed up using air, I continued.
“Now, please cool down the air. Do it slowly because it might freeze.”
“Got it. Cool Zone…”
Mother concentrated and slowly cooled the air. As a result, the room’s temperature gradually decreased.
“It feels cool. Thank you, Mother.”
“Thank you, Mother.”
“Thank you, Master. It’s very refreshing.”
“It’s cool indeed. Perfect for a nap.”
When Mother looked in the direction of the room, Clara, who was struggling with the heat, was there, being fanned by a maid with a fan.
Naptime for Clara… How cute.
And thus, the air conditioning magic was complete.
On that night, something unusual was happening in the bedroom where it was supposed to be just Joshua, Rafina, and Clara. Both Aldo and Elphus were sleeping there as well.
Clara’s cute request for a shared bed was something that should make Rafina happy, but she couldn’t help but smile wryly at the transparent motives behind it.
The reason for this unusual arrangement was the completion of Al’s magical creation, which he had aptly named the “Aircon Spell.” Since that moment, Rafina’s room had been swarming with people.
Aldo, Elphus, and Ashera’s presence could be expected, but even Joshua and Roland found reasons to bunk with Rafina. It had gotten so chaotic that even the maids were fighting among themselves to stay in the same room.
“I understand their feelings, but…”
Rafina muttered to herself with a weary smile. She was thinking about two things.
The first was Ashera. She had been Rafina’s disciple for just over a year. Before becoming a disciple, Ashera was always a quiet and reserved child, with a language that was rather childish for her age. However, over the past year, she had become brighter, and her speech had matured. Perhaps due to spending most of her time with Aldo and Elphus, her language had taken on a more boyish tone, and that bothered Rafina somewhat.
(Using “I” (Boku) as a first-person pronoun… I’m sure that will change as she grows older… She’s Ashera, so who knows.)
Ashera was Rafina’s first disciple other than her son, so she cherished her a lot.
The second thing on her mind was Aldo. While he had always been remarkable, what he had done today was exceptional. Of course, he had been intelligent and shown advanced mathematical skills before, considering his age. But what he had demonstrated today went beyond just that.
Certainly, the logic of “cooling water makes ice” could be understood through careful observation, and the concept of “air” also made sense. However, everything else he did was extraordinary.
He observed, pondered, and formulated hypotheses about all of it. Through a process of observation, consideration, and hypothesis, he systematically concluded that “cooling the air would cool down the room.”
A seven-year-old child couldn’t have come up with all of that.
If Aldo could apply this process to all phenomena…
For instance, understanding what “cooling” really meant, or what “air” was…
Magic transformation was closely tied to a deeper understanding of the phenomena involved, and the more one understood, the less magic was needed to achieve the same result, increasing the efficiency.
Rafina looked at Aldo’s sleeping face as she thought.
“Strength is just strength, it doesn’t reveal a person’s true nature. No matter how strong one becomes, without a compassionate heart, it’s just brute force… Aldo is a kind child; he surely won’t misuse his strength.”
Rafina kept pondering and praying for the happiness of Aldo, Elphus, and Ashera. And so the tropical night passed.
However, each time Rafina fell asleep, the magical cooling wore off, and she would be woken up again to reapply the spell to fend off the heat.