𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟕: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐕𝐨𝐰𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐘𝐨𝐮
Lid, who lived in an orphanage, woke up slightly earlier than usual.
The other children around were still asleep, so Lid carefully got out of bed, trying not to make any noise.
Today was the Flower Festival.
In the early morning, flowers would fall from the buildings and bell towers, and people would wear them to enjoy the festival.
The sight of the city being filled with flowers in the early morning was always beautiful, and Lid couldn’t wait for the festival to begin. They ran to the window in their room. Opening the curtains to block the moonlight, they peered through the transparent glass window.
Then, a beautiful sun fell right in front of Lid’s eyes.
Surprised, Lid instinctively opened the window. Looking down at the ground, it wasn’t the sun but a large orange-colored flower that had bloomed. And from above, one by one, more flowers fell.
Startled by Lid’s loud voice, the other children who were still half-asleep gathered by the window. They looked up at the sky and exclaimed, “Wow!” and “How beautiful!”
The children’s eyes were filled with a rainbow of colors falling from the blue sky.
Crimson, deep red, peach, eggshell, ultramarine, and white―flowers of various sizes and types flowed down to the ground like a wave. Bathed in the morning light like pearls, a flood of flowers covered the sky of Eakes.
“Oh, are those birds?”
One of the children eventually pointed to the front where the colors were originating from.
Indeed, there were large white wings spread out, occasionally flapping. The bird-like figure circled around the bell tower in the center of the square and then flew back toward the direction of the orphanage where Lid and the others were.
Seeing the approaching figure, Lid shouted with joy.
“Oh, it’s Lady Mabel!”
What they thought was a large bird turned out to be a person with white wings on their back.
Their entire body was covered in black, with half of their face hidden. In their arms, the youngest princess, Mabel, was being held sideways. She happily took the overflowing flowers in her hands and gently scattered them to the ground.
Soon, Mabel noticed Lid by the window and waved her hand. Seeing her, Lid opened his mouth wide in excitement.
“Is that magic?!”
“But isn’t it forbidden to see magic?”
“But Mabel-sama was there, and we saw it, and nothing happened.”
“That’s true, but…”
“Mabel-sama looked so happy.”
The children’s laughter filled the air like blooming flowers. Just then, the director of the orphanage appeared, likely hearing the commotion. The children noticed and eagerly shared the story of “The person with the big bird.”
And so, a special day in Eakes began in a lively manner.
“Eugene-san, aren’t you tired?”
As Mabel scattered flowers in the eastern part of the city, she asked Eugene.
“I never thought Amane-san’s flowers would be useful in a place like this.”
On Mabel’s smiling lap, there was a magic tool necklace that Amane used to wear. However, the protective magic effect had already been weakened, and instead, Eugene had engraved a [teleportation magic circle] on it.
Another magic tool, set up in a tent, had the same design and was placed in the warehouse of Eugene’s castle. The warehouse floor was sloped, gradually drawing the stored flowers into that magic circle.
And that’s how the flowers came out from the magic circle Mabel had.
At first, Mabel had some reservations about using real flowers instead of artificial ones.
However, since Eugene had enchanted these flowers, they wouldn’t be damaged even if they were dropped. Moreover, Amane himself had asked Mabel to use them if they could be helpful. So, instead of keeping them in the warehouse and letting them go to waste, Mabel made up her mind to use them.
Eugene, who was flapping his wings, changed direction slowly.
As Mabel dropped flowers in sync with the turn, the people below cheered. Noticing a child waving their hand vigorously, Mabel waved back.
Then, one of the excited children pointed at Eugene and exclaimed, “It’s an angel!”
The white wings on their back indeed resembled the angels depicted in religious paintings.
“An angel, you say.”
“Don’t joke around. Let’s finish distributing and go back.”
Eugene, who looked up at Mabel with joy, showed his displeasure.
However, Mabel noticed that the edges of Eugene’s ears, which were not hidden by his mask, had turned red, causing her mouth to involuntarily loosen. Eugene, realizing this, stared intently at her eyes beneath the mask.
“What are you laughing at?”
“N-Nothing at all! Oh, right, we still have to go to the palace!”
“Let’s go,” Mabel said, turning her face away as if trying to divert attention. Eugene let out a sigh and tilted his long wings.
The people in the town who witnessed this scene couldn’t hide their confusion and astonishment.
“Could that be the masked mage everyone’s talking about?”
“I saw it up close, will I be okay?”
“By the way, why are the flowers real this year?”
Then, one of the sturdy men in the crowd spoke up.
“Ah, that’s because the prince of Kytha accidentally burned the festival flowers. It seems Mabel-sama provided the replacement flowers.”
“Wait, does that mean these flowers are magical?! Is it safe to touch them?”
Feeling uneasy, one of the flustered women discarded the flower by the roadside. But the girl next to her immediately picked it up and tried to return it to the woman.
“Okaa-san, it’s pitiful to throw it away. It’s so beautiful.”
The girl had many flowers adorning her head and her pockets were overflowing with them. Perplexed by her own daughter’s words, the woman picked up the discarded flower once again.
In front of the smiling girl, the people around her also found themselves unable to handle the flowers roughly.
“Well, they look like ordinary flowers. If it’s only for the festival, it should be okay, right?”
“Mabel-sama touched them too, so they should be safe.”
Those who were initially hesitant about the magic noticed that the colors were more vibrant than real flowers, and they showed no signs of wilting. They began to say that it wasn’t so bad after all. The man who had explained about the flowers earlier smiled while holding a pale yellow flower in his rough hands.
“It seems the warehouse that stored the flowers was also damaged, but thanks to that masked mage, it seems the warehouse has been repaired.”
“Oh, I heard about that too. It was restored in an instant.”
The adults nodded in agreement. They had heard rumors that mages were terrifying, but seeing it firsthand, no one collapsed or was cursed.
Furthermore, Mabel, who was supposed to have been forced into an arranged engagement, was now happily smiling in the arms of the mage. Remembering that sight, the people in the town pondered silently.
Soon, the sound of bells announcing the beginning of the festival echoed throughout the entire capital.
In the cloudless blue sky, a giant fish swam, dropping sparkling rainbow-colored particles.
Eugene flew alongside it, leading the way with his pure white wings, while Mabel created flowers by his side, letting them fall to the ground.
The sight of the two of them was filled with indescribable blessings and happiness, fitting for the start of the Flower Festival.
“But my, they truly look so happy.”
“Perhaps this mage isn’t as strange as they say.”
Women with deep red flowers pinned to their chests watched the two flying towards the palace, their faces blossoming with smiles.