It was the night outside Innilis's study. Leguna had prepared the room for her specifically. It had a reasonably plenty assortment of magic books and was supplied with a decent amount of magic materials, most of which Leguna managed to get through the bureau. While the supplies he had access to weren't as complete and thorough as those of the court magi association, it was more than enough for Innilis's research.
"Sir..." Gerd appeared from a dark corner and bowed.
"Is she inside?" Leguna asked with a smile.
"Yes. Ever since you left, Miss Innilis had remained in her study day in and out working on her research. I also sent people to keep watch on her even during the rare occasions she did head out. Everything is normal, so please be assured."
"Good. Do you have any complaints about being posted here?"
"I wouldn't, neither would I dare, Sir. I know that Miss Innilis is very important to you, so it is my honor to be able to watch after her."
"I'm still thankful to you, regardless. Thanks for your effort. You are among those I trust better in the bureau so I can't let anyone but you look after here, so I hope you understand."
"It's what I should do, Sir."
"Alright, I'm going in now." Leguna turned to the door and knocked.
"I'm coming in!" he said without waiting for a reply.
"Big Bro! You're back!" The girl leapt into his embrace right away. Even though she had been cooped up working on the concoction nonstop, she had heard about Leguna's excursion. She was quite delighted to see her back.
Nowadays, it wouldn't be too appropriate to call her a little girl. Perhaps because of the stable conditions she found herself living in, her growth spurt seemed to have come during the past half year. Her height shot up from roughly 1.4 meters to 1.5 and she couldn't be seen as a child any longer, but rather, a young maiden.
"Oh, I didn't think you'd grow so much after only not seeing you for a couple of day! Hmm... Are you already a B-cup?" Leguna teased. He could feel the two soft lumps pressing against his chest. While they weren't large per se, they were impossible to ignore. He still remembered half a year ago that she was no different from an airplane runway.
"Idiot! Pervert! I'll definitely tell Sis Annie about this when I see her so that she teaches you a lesson!" she said as she hammered away at his chest.
"Tch, you make it sound like I'm scared of her!" He proceeded to stroke her long, blonde hair.
"Oh?" Innilis's emerald eyes turned to him with suspicion. "It sounds like you made some proper progress with Sis Annie, right?"
"Well... Hehe..." He scratched his head awkwardly without replying. He knew that Annelotte would definitely explode if he went around bragging about it. So, he decided to play it safe and change the subject. "How have your days been, Innie?"
"Hmph, I knew that would be the case! That's Sis Annie, there's no way you'd be able to deal with her so easily!" she said with a look of disdain, "I'm doing fine, I got all I need. And..."
"And? What else?"
Her face beamed happily. "Hehe... and I can tell you that it'll take at most one more week to complete the concoction to fix Sis Eirinn's face!"
"Is that true?!" He was overjoyed. Even though he didn't know much about magic, he knew that with the concoction in hand, all he needed was Annelotte to help dictate the limited wishing spell! Eirinn should be able to regain her former looks in a month!
"It's true!" Innilis put both hands on her hips and raised her head up high. "You can rest assured with me, Innie, on the job!"
Leguna hugged her tight and gave her two kisses on her cheeks. "That's great! Thank you, thank you Innie! I'm far too glad right now!"
"Idiot! Let me down!" she protested while flailing her arms mid-air.
"Why would I? Come fly with me!"
Leguna and Innilis played around for one good hour. He took her around Melindor and jumped around from one building to another. He even used Host of Darkness and Shadow Blink while he was at it. There wasn't another way for him to calm his flaring nerves otherwise.
Initially, Innilis was quite terrified, but it didn't take more than ten minutes before she fully mustered her courage to enjoy whatever Leguna had to throw at her. She giggled to her heart's content and the two of them continued on for quite a while all across Melindor like a crazy couple. Many of the citizens opened their windows to rant.
Apart from his excitement for Eirinn's imminent recovery, he also wanted to vent all the stress he felt working in the bureau all that time. The other reason for all the craziness was that Annelotte would soon be leaving his side. Even though she had already said that she would stand with him, the physical distance that would put them apart still made him rather depressed. So, he chose to let loose and forget everything else to the moment.
Fortunately, he didn't cause too much of a commotion. The headlines in Melindor Daily the next day had a piece on the city guard's security standards, but it didn't go beyond that.
In the following days, he had to tone himself down and start working on the bureau's matters in earnest. He didn't bother Innilis as he knew that he won't be of any help at all given his lack of understanding of the field. Better busy himself with his own work than hold Innilis back from exploring her full potential.
If he were frank, he thought that Innilis's talent in magic was on a whole different league. Magic itself was already something beyond the comprehension of normal folk. Even the saint-ranker, Marolyt, only had a superficial understanding of it. Yet, a girl who didn't have any background turned out to be a genius in magic theory that even Annelotte praised. The whole thing was uncanny to say the least.
Yet, it was the undeniable truth. At the very least, there were mountains of stacks of paper in Innilis's study with formulas and notations that Leguna didn't understand at all. Those couldn't possibly be faked. It must've been the work of fate, he concluded.
In time, he would come to understand that the so-called fate was merely describing the whims of the powerful when they manipulated those weaker than them. Most ironically, even those beings of power that can plan the fates of others wouldn't be able to escape their own. Who were the ones in charge of their fates?
A few days later, Innilis finally completed the recipe for the concoction. She brought it to Annelotte and spent a day with the other magi in synthesizing it. After repeated attempts, everyone felt that there was a seventy percent chance that the concoction would work. Even if it didn't, there wouldn't be any side effects on the user.
Innilis was finally able to take a relieved breath with that safety net in hand. She managed to fulfill the wish Leguna held for the past half year! That was perhaps the first thing she did for him. However, she saw it as an important step in her life that allowed her to finally look Leguna in the eye on equal standing. She was no longer the helpless girl who could only ask to be saved, the girl that had to rely on everyone.
The thought made her tear up and bawl -- recipe in hand.
"Miss Annie... Do you want to console her? Miss Innilies seems to have lost her nerve..." asked a middle-aged alchemist hesitantly. He didn't know the attitude she adopted in coming up with the formula, nor the amount of effort she put in to finish it.
If Annelotte was said to be hardworking in her magic training, Innilis would be overworking in her research. And now, the fruits of her hard work were ready for harvest. It was no wonder she lost grip of her own emotions for a while.
Annelotte shook her head with a smile. "Let her cry! She's still a child, after all!"
Innilis didn't know how long she let herself go on, but by the time she came to, she was sniffing in Annelotte's embrace.
"Alright, stop crying, Innie. The past half year must've been hard on you." Annelotte was actually quite annoyed at Leguna for having a girl that young work that hard. How could he be that dastardly?
Though she thought that, she knew that it was an important deal for Innilis. That was the only way to make her truly happy. She had achieved what she had because of her own blood and tears. Annelotte, as a half-teacher of Innilis, was quite glad for her achievement.
Perhaps she can also join in my magic cannon research, Annelotte couldn't help but think.
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