This world had two moons.
One blue, one red.
The way the blue moon seemed to chase the red moon around in the sky, like they were close siblings frolicking around, made me smile.
"The twin moons Klayne and Krysna. I find them very beautiful tonight, without any clouds.
"Yeah, it's calming my heart..."
So they were named Klayne and Krysna.
Well, put frankly they were moons.
Somehow it seemed like there'd be a story behind it.
But it really was a mysterious scenery.
When I had moved to the city, I had slowly forgotten to look up to the sky because I hadn't been able to see the stars anyway, but this world's nature is really mysterious and wonderful.
No, well, that's the same in my former world, but it depended on where you were.
In that sense, where I am right now really is wonderful.
"Alice-sama, doesn't——your neck hurt?"
Unnaturally looking up at the sky for a long time did make my body feel uncomfortable after all, it seems.
I understood Ilya coming closer from the sound of the water.
"W-why are you coming closer, Ilya?"
"Well, my movements are not quick, Alice-sama, so I thought I should be as close as possible to become your shield."
Ilya... you're such a good girl!
But right now, I don't need your concern!
"This lake has few stones and the soft sand feels nice. Is the water temperature alright for you?"
Come to think of it, it really was nice how there was no sludge on the ground.
I'd thought it would suck to accidentally cut my leg, but like this, it might be okay to walk around a bit.
"It's not that cold, so I'm fine. Wanna go under a bit? Like, splash?"
I'd finally had enough and turned around to Ilya to mess with her a bit.
My eyes were locked to her face, though.
Still, Ilya wet from the lake water made an amazing picture.
Illuminated by the moonlight, it wasn't too much to called her a faery.
"You are so very beautiful."
"The word may be used a lot, but Alice-sama, I feel there is no necessity to use other words."
Suddenly being told the word that had gone through my head made me feel like she'd read my heart.
Ahh, she'd surprised me.
Something about Ilya gave you the impression she might.
"But I shall dare say it."
"Your bewitching hair glittering in the moonlight is beautiful like the silver flowers blooming in the village of the faeries. I could lose myself in your clear golden eyes are the very jewels of amber, which they say was brought from the savage lands by the god-dragon. In addition to the alluring strength in those eyes, your face is so fair that it fascinates me, of the same gender, as does your well-balanced body. Alice-sama, you are akin to a goddess sent by the gods."
"...i-is that so? Somehow, sorry."
Sorry, for cheating.
What's this, her praise makes my heart hurt.
Furthermore, digging up legends handed down in this world to praise me, that's embarrassing!
"——but the most beautiful aspect of you, Alice-sama, is your beautiful heart."
"My, you do not believe me?"
Seeing my dumbfounded face, Ilya laughed impishly.
I was pleasantly surprised.
I'd only seen her refined conduct, but she could also smile cutely like that, befitting her age.
"It is as clear as day to me. It may be boasting, but——that is my magic."
What is this. Ilya is polite, beautiful, reliable, docile... and just a little bit distant.
——of course, if I had to say if I liked or disliked her, I like her.
Even more than before.
"Ilya, that's what you're like?"
"Yes, that's what I'm like."
The somewhat proudly smiling Ilya was so funny I couldn't hold in the giggle.
"Ahh, this feels so nice. Alright, time to go splash."
I let myself fall backwards into the water just like that.
There was a little splash, but my body seems really light, so it really wasn't that big.
However, submerging my whole body in the water really was a bit chilly.
"Then, me too."
Next to me, Ilya let herself fall just like me.
Ilya didn't make that big a splash, either, but because she did it right next to me, I got the full brunt of it.
"Wawa, you're getting water all over me! Come on... ahaha!"
"I got caught up in the moment just a little bit. Hehe, I'm deeply sorry, Alice-sama."
The two of us floated in the lake, under the light of the moon.
With this sensation of becoming one with nature, no impure thoughts came up.
"Ilya, be honest with me. ——do you want to be set free?"
"No, not at all."
Her reply was instant.
"Are you being considerate?"
"Do you think I am?"
"I might be."
"My? Hehe, Alice-sama, you are not reading the mood."
"Let's say I can't and am troubled by it every day?"
Mood? What's that?
"I really want to live with you forever, Alice-sama," Ilya replied with just a little bit of seriousness in her voice.
"As the honored mentor said, I want to believe that my meeting you was my fate, Alice-sama. That is my answer, including my lowly personal desires."
That talk, that she had with Till.
"So you have ulterior motives?"
"Yes. Are you disillusioned?"
"No, I'm rather relieved."
Isn't that much more human, rather than being the object of a loyalty for unknown reasons?
Being with me has some kind of merit for Ilya.
——Or it might in the future.
That's how it is."I think having human flaws is important, you know?"
I hold out my hand, as if to grasp the moon.
Human hearts are vague and difficult to grasp. But forcing it, or not trying it at all, are both no good.
Well, finding the right measure is difficult.
But in that respect, reading the mood is not all there is to interacting with people.
"I am really glad to have... eh, this presence!?"
Ilya's whisper turned into surprise and she jumped up.
I looked around for what had surprised her, but there was nothing.
Only the sound from the water as Ilya had jumped up penetrated the silence.
And still, Ilya warily looked around.
Was she reflecting on the event at noon?
Sheesh, Ilya, you're so serious.
The moment I tried to get up, too, someone grabbed my arm.
I looked at my stretched-out arm.
Something like an squid's arm coming from the water surface was wrapped all around it.
"Alice-sama!? My carelessness!!"
The moment I noticed it, I was dragged away from the shore with incredible force.
Ilya who had been right next to me had quickly grabbed my other arm and was dragged along.
"Wa-, just when we were at the good paaart!"
Forget the emergency situation: Read the mood already, you damn squid monster!!
In no time at all, Ilya and I were drawn near the middle of the lake and then under water.
"Uwah! It's under water!?"
"Take a deep breath, Alice-sama!"
As per advice, I took a deep breath before my face was submerged.
I could hear the water like a buzz in my ears.
Underwater was like yet another world.
It had yet another stillness than silent air.
This silence made the ears hurt, but that might be my eardrums bursting from water pressure!
If we got drawn too deeply, it'd be bad!
Level 15 Lake Sepia
My elven eyes found the enemy lurking at the bottom of the lake.
Even with little light, I could see it.
It looked like an archetypical invertebrate with a number of tentacles.
Its leg which was wrapped around my arm had suckers and no matter how much I tried, I couldn't pull it off.
The two protruding eyes with which it stared at us left no blind spots.
Its appearance was just like that thing.
It's a squid!
Such a naming fraud!
No, well, at the moment nothing of that matters though.
If I didn't do something quickly, we'd drown before the enemy could do anything to us.
Ilya was still trying hard to separate the tentacle from my arm.
I also didn't feel like dying, but the bigger my trouble became, the more danger I'd expose Ilya to.
But it would still be foolish to shoot Thunder here, under water.
It might be alright since it's magic lightning, but I really didn't want to electrify myself.
But the longer I hesitated, the more time went to waste.
The tentacles dragged us towards the huge mouth opening at the bottom of the monster's belly.
... come to think of it, golden cuttlefish were carnivores, weren't they?
Apparently I was calm enough to think something so unimportant.
Well, I could only test it in a situation leaving no room for failure, but I wasn't unable to do it.
I had grasped the sensation.
And I had no intention of obediently becoming squid food.
I tapped Ilya, who was still grappling with the tentacle around my arm, on the shoulder and shook my head.
And with my free arm, I pointed above.
——surface before me.
It should have gotten across.
Ilya was grimly shaking her head, but no, no.
I'm not the way anymore I was against the Ice Dragon.
I gave Ilya a serious look.
She looked perplexed, but after hesitating for a few seconds, she strongly nodded and began rising to the surface.
Now I only had to...
Certainly there was no time to waste on composure.
I grabbed the tentacle wrapped around my left arm with my right hand.
I had limited the way I was using too much to begin with.
The first culture shock that had overturned that had been that magic of Till's.
A single idea held a bunch of possibilities.
So I'll show you what I can do with it! Eat that!
I activated magic from my right hand and directly poured it into my enemies body.
A cornered rat with bite that cat.
The monster, which had looked down on me as simple prey, raged under my attack.
But regulating it was still difficult for me.
But that could be my homework in the future.
Like it was throwing me away, the monster let go of my arm and I quickly started surfacing.
The moment I relaxed, the anguish suddenly doubled.
The surface! Quickllly!
I broke through the water surface with speed and sucked the air into my lungs with all my strength.
Just how delicious can air be!
"Alice-sama!" Ilya called out to me in relief and swam over.
"Ilya, grab on to me!
She didn't seem to understand my plan, but it's wonderful how well she could respond to changing situations.
And your body feels wonderful, too... Ilya.
The monster wasn't defeated yet, so if we stayed here we'd only repeat what happened earlier.
And there was no guarantee that the monster would be as negligent the next time it attacked.
In that case——I'd jump all the way to the shore!
"Watch my magic! Till!!"
I suddenly challenged my mentor.
Putting my right hand on the water surface, I regulated my magic.
——that being said, of course I couldn't do minute adjustments.
We just had to fly all the way to the shore!
Ilya peeked at the light of mana gathering in my right hand full of interest.
It slowly got stronger and——
Like it was exploding, it turned into propulsive power.
From the repellent force, Ilya and I were flung out of the water.
With rather amazing force, we flew through the sky towards the land with our tent.
"T-this is amazing! Alice-sama! We're flying!"
Although to be exact, we'd only been thrown into the air...
"Do you know of the electric jellyfish?"
"Well, don't mind, then."
It had been quite the repellent force.
Ilya cocked her head with just a bit of wonderment.
And then, she looked like something had clicked for her.
"Ehm... By the way, how are we going to land?"
The air seemed to freeze.
The very hard-looking ground came closer and closer.
Crap, at this rate it's a direct course to minced meat for us!
I could try the same trick one more time to cancel our descent, but right now, I decided to go with a better bet.
Right, I decided to call for my final trump.
I'd decided to do so since the beginning, okay?
With a composed smile on my face, I looked at Ilya.
"I leave that to you, Ilya."
"Hehe. Yes, Milady."
Changing our posture, she held me in the princess carry I had gotten completely used to by now.
Our high momentum was dangerous, so I laid my arms around Ilya's neck and held on tight.
And then, our eyes inadvertently met.
There was nothing artificial about it.
And Ilya somehow felt closer to me than before.
While we were caught in each other's eyes, Ilya broke into a little smile.
Then she whispered something and we were covered by a green light.
That was... what she had done against the Ice Dragon?
I looked down, and there was the ground.
As expected, I stiffened.
Contrary to my expectation, the shock wasn't that strong.
Although we had landed with amazing momentum.
Or I should rather say, we had crashed.
Usually, we'd had enough momentum to end up dead for sure.
Was it thanks to the green membrane?
In fact, the ground had been gouged out a few meters by the light orb around us.
"Are you alright? Milady?"
"Y-yes... just surprised."
In this world, people don't die when they fall from the sky.
I learn something new every day.
The green light disappeared and I had Ilya put me down.
And not a second later, water rose by the lake shore and the squid showed itself.
"And here I went out of my way to let you off!"
If it wanted it that way, I wouldn't go easy.
This time the tentacles didn't come to capture, but whipped through the air to smash us to pieces.
Ilya stepped forward and stopped them cold.
"——Split the heavens and become a ray of light, to strike my enemies! Thunder!"
With chanted magic from my right hand, I pierced the squid.
The reaction was enough.
Like foam, the squid melted and disappeared.
There was a drop item.
"...what natural enemies does it have in a lake?"
The mysteries of fantasy kept deepening.
——The following is a certain other event from such a night.
"——well done, stupid disciple."
Somewhat happy-sounding like that, someone said praise into the night.
The thoughts of the mentor watching everything from beginning to end from the skies above the lake.
The two people who had dried themselves off to not catch a cold and were having a friendly chat while warming up at a fire noticed nothing of it, though.
"Now then, time for one to sleep for real."
With a long yawn, she began moving through the sky like going down the stairs.
Suddenly, she looked at her own magic.
"One's own magic, huh. Sheesh, that greenhorn."
Contrary to her words, her heart was elated.
"Hmm, what punishment should one give her if she can't raise the proficiency to 99 by morning..."
Those exceedingly happy words disappeared into the night sky.