In that time, the Black Beast suddenly disappeared.
It lasted for approximately one year. During that interval, humanity rebuilt their ruined lives. At the same time, they established a numbers of techniques in their antic.i.p.ation for another appearance of the Black Beast.
The greatest one among them was Ars Magus.
Vast kinds of sorcery was taught by a girl called Nine who belonged to the Mage’s Guild. Because of her efforts, Ars Magus, which was a sorcery that had been refined so that many people could use it, had become commonly used.
One year after the suspended activity of the Black Beast, it appeared in the world for the second time.
But thanks to the Ars Magus, humanity succeeded in repelling the Black Beast for the first time.
And then, 2110 AD.
By the hands of six warriors, the Black Beast was annihilated.
Several years had pa.s.sed since the fall of the Black Beast.
Year by year, day by day, the world restored its form during the time of peace. From the withered plants, small buds grew. Little by little, rain filled the parched rivers.
The sky was blue while the sunshine was white. Wet from the morning drizzle, the trees in the forest were sparkling.
Not far off from the forest that had sunlight shining on it, there was a tiny church.
It stood alone at the end of a lenient path as if it reside there, hidden in obscurity. It looked like it came straight from a page of a fairy tale.
Behind that church, a girl was carrying a basket containing laundry.
She had brown hair, which was very similar to the color of wet ground, and eyes of the same color. A large portion of her hair was tied up. Looking at her simple black and white attire, it suggested that she worked at this church as a sister.
She was hanging a white sheet on the clothesline that had been set in the yard.
The clear sunny weather made her in a good mood. Naturally, the expression on her face was also bright.
Suddenly, she could hear a familiar voice coming from the path that was connected to the church.
Celica quickly arranged the sheet and rushed to the front of the church.
Waiting there were her older sister Nine, who was as beautiful as always, and her soon to be brother-in-law, the beastkin Mitsuyoshi.
"Look here. You knew that your sister was visiting, and yet you're still doing laundry?"
The garden... was what Celica called the opposite side of the front entrance as. Although it wasn't visible from the front entrance, Nine looked astonished when she took a quick peek there.
Beside her, Mitsuyoshi laughed merrily. There was an eye patch mimicking the guard of a sword covering his injured right eye.
"Looks like ye already gotten used to life in a church. At first, I was worried if ye were gonna to be fine in this remote place."
"Yup. Surprisingly, I can gather something like fruits and mushrooms when I enter the forest. And since it's a bother that there's nothing around here, I'm wondering if creating a farm would be a good idea."
The fact that it was located far away from the city and required a considerable amount of time to get to the nearest village, it didn't feel right to say that this place was ideal to construct a church.
However, this location was a special place.
A few years ago, six warriors, who were called as the Six Heroes as of now, defeated the Black Beast here.
And then at that location, Celica enlisted the help of her sister and Mitsuyoshi to build a small church.
"...Hey. Won't you get nothing from what you've been doing until now?"
While looking at the tranquil scenery that didn't seem likely for the ground where the Black Beast had fallen, Nine complained.
Incredibly, after the Black Beast had been exterminated, this land was gifted with greenery. According to the investigation of Nine and her close friend Trinity, it seemed to be caused by the effect from the high concentration of seithr that had formed the Black Beast.
Many people had refused to go near this eerie place. As a result, the surrounding forests were able to cover the land.
At her older sister's question, Celica shook her head with a smile.
"It's not because I feel obliged to do it. I'm doing it because I want to."
"But shouldn’t you try to have a more normal kind of happiness? Like working as a magician, or getting married."
"Nah. I've had a lot of thoughts about it."
A refreshing breeze was blowing. Celica looked at where the wind blew to. It was such a nice day.
"As I thought, I wish to wait. I've promised after all."
He would surely return.
Even if it took many years. Even if it took many decades.
"I want to meet Ragna once more."
And oddly enough, she had a hunch that they would meet again somewhere. Although it perhaps would only occur at an absurdly distant future.
When the time came, she would give back the large sword and red jacket she had washed clean. He had said that he would return to get it back after all.
"...Ain't it painful?"
Mitsuyoshi's voice that was as soft as a gentle breeze carried a tone of seriousness with it.
The questioning tone of voice was blurred with a sense of responsibility for failing to bring back the person Celica was waiting for. That was why to wipe it off, Celica gave a happy smile from the bottom of her heart.
"No, I'm really happy. Onee-chan and Mitsuyoshi-san... that's not it. You're now Jubei-san. It's because everyone defeated the Black Beast that I can leisurely do laundry like this while waiting for Ragna this long."
She had given such a response many times.
Her opinion didn't change in the least no matter how many times they asked. With her innocent smile, she always said that the waiting was her happiness. Toward the younger sister's personality, Nine and Mitsuyoshi could do nothing but look at each other while smiling bitterly.
"Well, that's fine. Today, we came to have a discussion."
Putting her hands on her hips, Nine shook her head in her astonishment and began to talk.
Celica's expression brightened up.
"Ah, that's right. So... what are we going to discuss?"
At her question, Nine smiled mischievously. At the same time, Mitsuyoshi seemed to be embarra.s.sed while staring off at the distance.
"To tell you the truth, I want to hold our wedding here."
"EH!? H-Here!? Are you sure?"
With her eyes widened in surprise, Celica's cheeks became dyed with her excitement
"Of course. I mean, I request this to you."
"Ahaha, I see. Well then, we should immediately talk about the preparations."
"I leave myself in your care."
Looking at the excited figures of the sisters, Mitsuyoshi scratched the tip of his nose in embarra.s.sment. His long tails swayed. According to Nine, it seemed his tails were his biggest charm point.
"Aah, that's right. Come inside. I'll brew some herb tea that Trinity-san had previously sent."
In a good mood, Celica opened the modest and firm door. She invited her sister that would be a married couple in the near future to her home.
If Ragna heard about this, what kind of surprised face would he make? Imagining it made her chest grow warmer and warmer.
The mild sunlight, lively conversation, and refreshing breeze.
In the midst of the gentle peace, Celica smiled.