Re Mari : I'll find you even if death did us apart!
It was not long before I gained the ability to speak properly. I started getting used to life in that village. Who would not like getting carried around everywhere?
After that kidnapping incident, everyone took extra special care of me. They would give me food whenever they saw me.
Even Mother would let them play with me more than before. Everyone was just very good and kind. I noticed most of the village populace was kids, women, and elderly people.
I asked about it to mother one night.
“When I arrived the village was already like this.” Mother said while we were having dinner.
“Men were away in a long war that has been going on for decades. Because this is the farthest place in the nation, they don’t have to spare any guards here.”
“Look,” She pointed outside the window, “A bit far from village bounds, where the hills end.” I could see a shining surface from the moonlight. It’s the ocean.
“From this point forward there’s nothing but sea as far as your eyes could see. That’s why this village keeps getting attacked by bandits. It’s easy to escape via waters.” She got lost in her thoughts. She must have fought with them a lot of times.
“I’ll help you too from now on.” I started eating faster. I want to be strong and big soon, so I can help Mother!
Mother smiled, “Starting tomorrow let’s learn magic. It will be very useful in this world.” She patted me as if I was a small kid. Well, I was a small kid so.
Learning magic was way harder than I thought it would be.
We would go near the seashore to learn. Mother could control not only the forest but also part of the ocean with her magic.
My body had no magic circles, no aura, and no talent. Mother explained it was obvious because I had reincarnated forcefully.
“A fate would have given you a stronger body, compatible with magic. But we can bypass that step.” She was standing right in front of me. The waves were touching our feet.
“But you just said I don’t have any magic affinity.” I knew life would be harder when I rebelled against my fate. I already know I'm not the main character of this story, this world.
“Well what I said is true, but who do you think your mother is?” She smirked at me. Mother raised her hands in the air and her surroundings started to change. Flowers were growing from one side of her head with a half crown on the other side.
Her eyes were glowing green. She put her hands together and aimed at me.
She started chanting some unrecognizable words. A sudden beam of green light passed through me. I lost consciousness.
“Are you feeling all right now, Brother Vance?” I saw Mary patting my head gently as I opened my eyes. I was on my bed.
“Where’s Mama?” I asked Mary. My head is killing me, what is this strange pain in my chest.
“She said you passed out from exhaustion and dropped you here. She told me to take care of you until she returns.” Mary smiled at me while bringing me some fruit.
It seems it didn’t work. Maybe Mother is embarrassed about it not working and that’s why she went away?
I stopped thinking about it further. I was not a protagonist, it was obvious it wouldn't be that easy to gain magic.
Mother returned pretty late that day.
“I’m sorry mother.” I rushed to her upon seeing her.
“It’s not your fault. Let’s keep trying.” She sat down on her knee and hugged me
After that, it seemed my body was not getting along with magic. Mother said in that case I should learn how to use a sword.
Mother told me the best person who can teach me. Ivan Ironsmith.
Old man Ivan was a retired knight from the War Era. He used to be a normal foot soldier but he had shared the battlefield with many great heroes. Ivan was full of stories. Stories of a man with a sword bigger than a tree trunk. A woman blinded by the curse and falling in love with the knight who had come to sly her. I learned a lot about heroes and legends from him.
Sometimes Mary and Anne would come to hear his stories too.
“Why are you living here Uncle Ivan?” Anne was still a child so she would ask everything directly.
Ivan smiled at her naivety, “You see my lovely Anne, after I had finished serving in the war I was no longer needed. The king wanted me to do bad things, which I refused so he banished me to this village.”
I think Ivan skipped a few ugly details, and it was obvious why.
Anne started giggling, “Uncle Ivan is the best knight, and King is stupid.” We all started laughing.
When I requested Ivan to teach me swordsmanship he agreed right away. I knew this world was different but it was beyond my imagination. My body was really strong and I even had good core strength. Ivan was surprised at how fast I was learning.
I would practice raising my skills for hours, sometimes even forgetting to have food. Whenever that happened, Mary and Anne would often bring me lunch. Anne was 9 years old while Mary was 12 years old at that time. We had an old tree on top of a small cliff near the village, we made it our hideout. You could see the sea from up there.
“Mary, push me up.” Anne was standing on Mary’s hand. I grabbed Anne’s hand and pulled her up. Mary would often help us climb that tree. She would always stand down though.
“Why aren’t you climbing up too?” I asked while adjusting Anne on the branch. The tree wasn’t too high but the branches were small and weak. Anne is clumsy.
“If I climb too who will help you two rats get down?” Mary smiled while leaning on the tree trunk. She was a kid just like us but she had to mature fast because of me and Anne. She was truly the best elder sister.
I looked at Anne, “Rats love their cat more than the tree, don't they Anne?”
We both jumped on Mary. She got surprised and grabbed us but she fell on her butt. The mushy grass helped in a smooth landing.
“Why did you two jump down?” Mary was confused while we were all three lying down on the grass.
“Because we love Mary Sister.” Anne grabbed a bunch of flowers and put them in Mary’s hair. We all three would just lie on the grass laughing and giggling until evening.
On our way back we would run down the hill. They always put me in the middle when walking. They are overprotective.
“Vance is my brother,” Anne said while grabbing my right arm.
“No, he is my brother.” Mary pulled my left arm.
“If you make him your brother then he can’t marry you, you know that right?” Their mother Martha would try to confuse them. She knew those girls could be pretty competitive.
“Okay, he is my husband then.” Anne started to pull again.
“No, he is my husband.” Mary pulled harder too. It most certainly didn’t help.
I had dinner at their house many times. Often when Mother was busy with her job.
After I was old enough and had learned enough swordsmanship I told Mother that I would like to find Sakura.
“It won’t be easy to find her, she also has a fate of her own. Fate would try to keep us away from her.” She said while cleaning the room.
I was wiping the cupboard. It was our monthly cleaning day.
I asked, “But if you knew Sakura, can you guess how her fate would unfold?” I was struggling to clean the upper parts with my small body.
“Who do you think I am?” Mother lifted me so I could reach the top shelf.
“As long as I know enough about someone, it’s very easy to figure out their fate. Most often if not always fate follows a person’s desires and regrets. I had studied all the fates that unfolded before me.” She put me on her shoulder.
She grabbed my hand and put it on her head. She told me to hang on to her head properly, while she was wiping the lower parts.
“But what should I tell you? There’s so much I know about her.” I started daydreaming about our past. There were so many memories. We have known each other since high school. Sakura has always been pretty.
I was so busy daydreaming that I moved around a bit.
“Watch out!” Mother shouted, I was falling on my back. Before I hit the ground Mother sprouted a branch from the table wood. It caught me like a hand.
She sighed in relief, but she ended up breaking plates in the cupboard.
“You! Get back here. I told you to hang on properly.”
No way I was going to stay there. I knew how scary she could get. I ran to Mary’s house. That day I stayed there until Mother came furious. Martha really helped a lot to calm down my scary mother. Martha made Mother's favorite stew. It worked and we all had dinner together.
I knew sooner or later our happy days would end. I had become very close with Mary and Anne. I never guessed it would be Mary to leave us first...