Chapter 20:

Chapter 19 – Breaking the law legally (again)

Reincarnated with an omniscient grimoire

We returned to the inn in the early evening. As we were in the middle of the summer, the sun hadn’t yet set but the general ruckus of the small town was already quieting down.Bookmark here

We entered the inn through the front door and Misha greeted her mother with an energetic, “I’m back!”Bookmark here

Maria was talking to what appeared to be the first evening guests and filling up their cups with what was without a doubt an alcoholic beverage.Bookmark here

“Misha, where have you been so long?” Maria brushed her annoyance off and added, “Pastor Ignacio wants to see you. You should go over to the church and talk to him,” she ordered.Bookmark here

“Um, you sure you won’t be needing any help here?” Misha looked rightfully concerned considering the circumstances.Bookmark here

“Don’t you worry about that. This has been a rough couple of days, and you should look out for yourself. And I think the pastor is exactly the person who can help you with that.”Bookmark here

I kinda got the vibes that Maria wanted to hook her daughter up, but I didn’t want to make wild assumptions, so I asked, “The pastor certainly has a reputation here, doesn’t he?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, he is probably the strongest mage in town after all, and also he makes a good counselor,” Misha explained. “Actually, if there is any issue at all, you can count on him. The good he’s done to our village is beyond comparison. Anyway,” Misha took a step back to face our group, “I’ll be going then. Have a good night in case we won’t see each other later.”Bookmark here

She made a quick wave, told her mom she loved her, and scurried away.Bookmark here

“Thank you for looking after her.”Bookmark here

Maria had approached us and hold out her hand. For some reason I had expected her to bow, but that probably was due to all the Isekais being written by Japanese people. I wondered for a split-second if maybe I was hit by a truck, but given I was living on the fifth floor that was highly unlikely.Bookmark here

Or maybe my dad has finally gone nuts and killed me.Bookmark here

Aurelia firmly grasped Maria’s hand and answered: “Don’t sweat it. After all we are here to help.”Bookmark here

“Of course. Now, would you mind eating dinner? It would be on the house.”Bookmark here

I wondered if she wanted to compensate for something.Bookmark here

“No, you don’t have to-”Bookmark here

“Yes, with pleasure!”Bookmark here

Raynard and I accepted the offer the same time the princess tried to decline it. Past experiences told me to always accept gifts from strangers, or you would regret it. I figured maybe Raynard was the same, although I didn’t know much about his background.Bookmark here

Though wasn’t his brother a historian or something?Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

Hmm, that’s no guarantee for having money though.Bookmark here

Anyway, brushing that thought aside, food was on its way and we decided to have a little team conference about how to proceed.Bookmark here

Raven was there too.Bookmark here

“How did you know we-”Bookmark here

“I smelled you.”Bookmark here

“That’s disgusting. Please, continue,” Aurelia said, though that second statement was directed at Shelly.Bookmark here

“I think after dinner we should go get some rest. Especially you, Nathan.”Bookmark here

“Oh great, doing nothing is one of my few talents. I’ll be fine.”Bookmark here

Raynard and Aurelia chuckled while Shelly looked at me as if she expected better of me.Bookmark here

“But yeah, I guess we should sit down.” I motioned awkwardly towards an empty table, flinching after realizing, maybe I shouldn’t move my arm around to much.Bookmark here

“Maybe you should see a medic,” Aurelia commented.Bookmark here

“You mean the priest?” Raynard suggested jokingly, making me chuckle.Bookmark here

“For real though, I think it’s nothing serious. As long as we change those bandages every couple hours I should be fine. I mean the bleeding has basically stopped. I think. My arm is numb actually.”Bookmark here

We talked on like this for a couple more minutes, until our dinner came. After quickly finishing our food, Maria handed us some tea to accompany our digestion ... oh, and our discussion of course.Bookmark here

“We should consider our next step,” Shelly suggested.Bookmark here

“Well, I think, we should try to catch the culprit in the act,” Aurelia proposed.Bookmark here

“Agreed. Considering we haven’t made any progress so far, this seems to be our best bet,” Shelly confirmed.Bookmark here

“So, what? We’re gonna stay up the night and watch the graveyard?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Keep it low, dude,” Raynard hissed to stop me from speaking to loudly. “Why are we even discussing this here? Anyone could hear us,” he spoke into the group.Bookmark here

He was right. I mean theoretically ... Normally the general mumbling that by now had settled in, would drown out our conversation for most people in the room. Unless someone decided to eavesdrop.Bookmark here

As I was sitting against the wall, I decided to cautiously look around the room.Bookmark here

“Well, if someone would be spying on us, it wouldn’t matter, whether we are sitting here, or in our rooms,” Shelly explained. “In fact, I think it is more likely to get away unheard in a room full of talking people.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, what she said,” I simply commented.Bookmark here

“But yeah,” she kept her voice low, “for this we should definitely sneak out after dark. I don’t want to get on the bad side of those people, so after we finished our tea, we should maybe get a nap, and then do our thing. Got it?”Bookmark here

We nodded in unison.Bookmark here

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“Oh, wow, that’s nasty.”Bookmark here

Raven was changing my bandages in our room. I was sitting on the bed, while Raven was sitting on the floor.Bookmark here

“Please don’t try to lick it alright?” I said, followed by a suppressed hiss as the bloodstained bandages peeled of my healing wound.Bookmark here

“Wow, this looks awful,” I commented again.Bookmark here

“I think it’s beautiful.”Bookmark here

I wondered for a moment whether Raven said that because of the spell that was controlling him, or because he probably had a past of slaughtering people.Bookmark here

I wanted to say something, but instead I just let out a meaningless groan.Bookmark here

The fact that I was the only one speaking was deeply unsettling, which is why I was unable to shut up. Raynard has already zoned out on his bed, and Raven was uncomfortably quiet for some reason.Bookmark here

“Is everything ... alright?” I asked him awkwardly.Bookmark here

“Well ... no, but for the sake of the argument let’s pretend I said yes.”Bookmark here

“Well, then for the sake of the argument let’s pretend you didn’t say that last bit.” I tried not to sound bitter, but I wasn’t quite sure if I managed to do it.Bookmark here

“Well, I had a lot of time to think lately and everything is so ... strange. I thought about what happened over the last week or two. And I realized I barely spared a thought about what happened before we met. My sister is basically in jail, and I’m just running around like all that never happened. I don’t think I really changed from before. I still have the urge to do unspeakable things to those who oppose me, but you don’t want me to do such things, so I don’t do them. It all makes perfect sense to me ... except it doesn’t. I’m just ... confused.”Bookmark here

Guilt washed over me as he spoke. I could tell him the reason for his confusion obviously, but what would happen after that? I did not want to tell him. I really enjoyed things how they were at the moment. It was selfish, but I couldn’t imagine how it would be if he wasn’t under basically my control. I was under control. I had someone I didn’t want to leave my side. Because that’s what would always happen. Because before, I never had control.Bookmark here

“Look, you are happy now, aren’t you?” I asked him.Bookmark here

He nodded.Bookmark here

“You should not challenge your happiness. Or you might lose it. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?”Bookmark here

He shook his head.Bookmark here

“Just because you have the power, it doesn’t mean you should use it recklessly, or you’ll regret it.”Bookmark here

How ironic.Bookmark here

“I don’t know, how your life was with your sister, but you have been given another chance to lead a different life. So you should take it. Or ... well, don’t. But if you have decided that the way things are right now aren’t for you, and you’ll get back to your old life ... this time there won’t be any turning back, alright?”Bookmark here

He smiled at me, I blushed realizing everything I just said.Bookmark here

“I know, someone like me giving advice to someone with your experience ...”Bookmark here

“That was actually really cool.”Bookmark here

“Of course it was,” I smiled gleefully.Bookmark here

“All done,” Raven said, after finishing my bandages, I barely noticed anything, while talking. The burning slowly crept back, before subsiding due to some paste applied to it.Bookmark here

“We should get some rest as well,” I said, before laying on my side.Bookmark here

Raven put out the light and also got onto the bed, again hugging me from behind, being mindful of not touching the bandages accidentally.Bookmark here

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Sometime later I jolted out of sleep, freeing myself from Ravens grip.Bookmark here

Weren’t we supposed to keep watch or something?Bookmark here

I glanced over to Raynard’s bed, which was empty. I figured they must have already gone without us.Bookmark here

I walked over to the only window in the room, and looked outside. After scanning the area for a while I spotted Raynard hiding alone in some bushes.Bookmark here

I got back to my side of the bed and picked up my bag containing the grimoire.Bookmark here

Hey, do you know, where Shelly is?Bookmark here

[Above.]Bookmark here

Above? Ahh, probably on the roof, or the attic or something.Bookmark here

I picked up my scarf that was thrown on the floor carelessly and wrapped it around my shoulders and arms, like some sort of improvised poncho.Bookmark here

I snuck out the room, took a right turn and went upstairs. This floor did not have any more stairs, instead a small ladder lead to a hatch, which led me to the rooftop, where Shelly was. She laid on her stomach glancing through a pair of binoculars, her elbows propped on a bag.Bookmark here

I ducked, and tip-toed toward her, before also laying down.Bookmark here

“Hey.”Bookmark here

“Nathan.” She looked up and asked, “what time is it?”Bookmark here

“What is time?” I asked, mainly because so far I haven’t really noticed anyone having a portable way of measuring time. Well, except for the grimoire of course.Bookmark here

“For real though, why did you leave me behind? I feel heartbroken,” I tried to radiate the same energy as the crying emoji as much as possible, but I am pretty sure, my sarcasm took over.Bookmark here

“Oh, we didn’t leave you behind. I woke up Raynard for watch when the sun set, but the princess is still sleeping as well.” She turned back to look through the binoculars. “I’m glad you didn’t just walk out to him though.” She pointed at Raynard hiding.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’m not that dumb.” I also turned to look over the edge of the roof. “So, anything yet?”Bookmark here

“Nothing. I’m feeling that this is a waste of time. If you don’t mind I’ll hand those over to you, and go catch some sleep,” she said, as she handed me her binoculars.Bookmark here

“Ah, could you maybe bring me some new bandages and this medicine, whatever it is? They should be somewhere next to my bed.”Bookmark here

“Sure thing. I’ll send the princess up,” she said, standing up, and making her way back inside. A sudden gust of wind made me shiver, and I took the binoculars, from where Shelly laid them on the floor.Bookmark here

Well at least with you I won’t be lonely, right?Bookmark here

[...]Bookmark here

I sighed.Bookmark here

After a couple of minutes of trying not to completely doze of, a rattling came from behind me, and I turned back, to see a very ... eh, let’s not dive into that description further. The princess came my way, and after also laying on the floor she handed me over the bandages.Bookmark here

“Thank you,” I said feebly. “Have a look, would you?” I asked her as I handed over the binoculars, to which she just replied with a useless grunt.Bookmark here

I rolled of the bandages and took a good look at my scars. Whatever that balm was (unicorn poop probably) it was incredibly helpful. I did not look pretty, the skin around the wounds was a mess, but I did not feel any irritation whatsoever and it seems as though the scars would simply close themselves overtime. It was still painful, but now it was more like a sore muscle than being burned alive.Bookmark here

While I was doing my thing the princess asked me: “How do you do? With that injury?”Bookmark here

I was thinking about whether to reply honestly or sarcastically, but I ended up just saying, “Well ...” and flailing my arms.Bookmark here

She chuckled, and sat up laying the binoculars to her side. “Let me help.”Bookmark here

I’ve already applied the weird paste, so she took the bandages and began to wrap them around my arms.Bookmark here

While I was watching her, I desperately looked for a topic to talk about.Bookmark here

“You know, back home I had a friend. Unbelievable, I know. We would always sneak out together at night. This whole situation just reminded me of that.”Bookmark here

“Don’t tell, me I remind you of her,” a cheeky smile showed on her face.Bookmark here

“First of all, it actually was a girl, so lucky guess, second, no not at all,” I chuckled. “I suppose you have a similar personality, but when it comes to looks you’re not at all alike.”Bookmark here

“... home ... huh?”Bookmark here

I exhaled heavily through my nose.Bookmark here

“Yeah.”Bookmark here

After a short while I said. “You know, since coming here, I barely spared a thought, about going back. At least ... it is not a priority at the moment. I like it here. If there is no way back, I would have no problem with that. Do you think that is weird?” I asked her.Bookmark here

“Not at all,” she said, as she finished up the bandages and looked up. “Actually, I feel similarly. We probably have different upbringings, I take it, but I’m actually quite glad to be where I am right now. Which is not at home. My family ... is quite difficult, so I’m really thankful I don’t have to be around them all the times.”Bookmark here

We looked at each other wide-eyed.Bookmark here

“Erm, I hoped that helped?”Bookmark here

I snickered. “It did. Thanks.”Bookmark here

“That’s good. If you want to talk, don’t hesitate to talk to me.”Bookmark here

“That’s not my strength. Talking about myself anyway.”Bookmark here

She chuckled as well. “I get that. Anyway,” she stood up. “Time to relieve Raynard from his duty. Have a good night.”Bookmark here

“You too.” I turned back to my goggles. I heard the hatch close, and after a while I spotted the princess through my glasses. She also looked for me and after a while directed a peace sign at me. I grinned and returned the gesture.Bookmark here

The night ended uneventfully, and we left our positions as soon as the sun rose.Bookmark here

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