Chapter 7: Prologue: A Year Later, Day Off
A year after her arrival in the capital, Olivia walks alone through the city.
Her destination is a small square with a fountain that is only a few minutes away from the store.
As she walks, she squints around the city.
The trees along the streets had turned the color of new leaves, and the gentle wind swayed their tender greenery back and forth.
(It’s spring already.)
She walks into the greener square and sees a tall young man standing by the fountain, waving cheerfully at her.
“Elliot! I’m sorry to keep you waiting.”
“Don’t worry. I just arrived… It’s been a while. Your hair has grown significantly.
Elliot looks at Olivia with the corners of his mouth loosened.
Over the course of a year, she became close to this attractive young man she met by chance at the Daregas station.
They have dinner once or twice a month to exchange information, such as today.
The topics of conversation are mostly about work, and he’s one of Olivia’s few friends with whom she feels comfortable talking.
“The restaurant for today is about a 20-minute walk from here. Do you want to use a horse-drawn carriage?”
“Today is my day off, and I’d rather go for a walk. I haven’t been exercising enough lately.”
“All right, then let’s walk.”
Feeling the spring breeze on their skin, they begin a walk around the city.
Elliot’s mouth opened as he walked slowly to match Olivia’s stride.
“By the way, thanks for fixing my watch the other day. It works perfectly now, thanks to you.”
“That’s great. All of my efforts have paid off.”
“Our resident’s magic tool maker was taken aback and exclaimed, ‘Is there a magic tool maker who can make this thing work?'”
“Fufu. My father made me do a lot of watch maintenance work when I was younger, so I’m pretty good at it.”
The two continued to talk happily.
After about 20 minutes, they arrive at a cafe famous for its cheese, which is currently popular.
Olivia’s eyes glowed.
“Wonderful! I’ve always wanted to come here! Did you remember that I wanted cheese?”
Elliot smiled happily when he saw her broad smile.
“Of course I did. We’re talking about a very important friend of mine. Let’s go inside now.”
Lunch has passed, and the two of them enter the restaurant, which is becoming somewhat empty.
They sit across from each other by the window, looking at the menu.
“I’ll have a fried chicken set and a glass of red wine, please.”
“Cheese pizza, soufflé cheesecake, baked cheesecake, cinnamon cheesecake, and tea, please.”
The waiter is surprised by the order.
Olivia’s eyes twinkled as she saw the pizza being delivered.
They started eating.
“Mmm! Delicious! The cheese is delicious!”
Elliot’s eyes narrow as he watches Olivia happily eat her pizza.
He inquired as he carved the meat with deft dexterity.
“How’s it going at work?”
“Things have been hectic, but things are going well. The day before yesterday, I finally succeeded in granting the phoenix’s feathers.”
“How difficult is it to grant a phoenix feather?”
“Yeah, I’m told it’s rare to find someone who can do it… Well, all of the magic tool makers in the store can.
Olivia laughs while speaking.
She makes every effort, but she is still no match for the seniors.
And as the meal comes to an end,
Elliot placed his coffee cup on the table with grace and opened his mouth as if remembering.
“By the way, Olivia arrived in the royal capital exactly one year ago today.”
“Eh? Is that so?”
“Yes—I realized this while organizing my notebooks yesterday. It’s also the day I returned from Daregas.”
“I see…” Olivia mumbles.
(It’s already been a year.)
She arrived in the royal capital after her engagement was broken and she was evicted from her store and home.
She had no choice but to work hard, and she has been working hard for a year.
It all happened so quickly.
(It’s been a hectic year, but it’s also been a lot of fun.)
She’s been exposed to a lot of new techniques, and she believes she’s grown as a magician.
It’s been an eventful and enjoyable year.
Looking out the window, she notices pink and white spring flowers blooming.
(Come to think of it)
Olivia thinks to herself as she recalls that these flowers were in bloom this time last year.
“I’m hoping that this year will be another good one.”
“…Yes, I’m hoping so.”
Elliot looks gently at Olivia’s profile as he interjects.
Olivia has begun her second year in the royal capital.
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