Lucia is Named the Soap Bubble Saint
“To think we would meet you here…! No, wait, we must deal with the roc first. Give us just a moment!”
The knights who had called me “Soap Bubble Saint” turned their swords back to the roc, which had paused its attacks. The Academy students who had gotten back to their feet quickly added their magic to the assault. Including, to my relief, the one who had been struck down by the first roc’s talons; he must have regained consciousness. He looked unsteady, but I could see him gripping the crystal at his chest again.
As the knights struck with their swords, the Academy students unleashed slashing winds and spears of ice, all with incredible force. Beneath that assault, the two rocs let out piercing screams, and collapsed to the ground without ever striking back.
Did we…defeat them…?
Staring at the bodies of the rocs, pierced through with multiple spears of ice, I, and everyone else in the ballroom, held my breath.
“Are they…dead?” “Are we saved?”
At first, there were only a few disbelieving whispers. Soon, however, they exploded into shouts and cheering that shook the walls of the ballroom. While everyone was cheering, the knights checked to make sure that the rocs were no longer moving. Then, to my surprise, they approached me.
The Academy students were looking after the one who had been swiped by the roc’s talons; his injuries were the most severe. The other two, who were relatively unhurt, stood on either side to support him as he got to his feet. All of them had trickles of blood running down their faces or from the corners of their mouths. The wounds were small, but there were so many of them — it looked so painful. I hoped they would be treated soon. And yet none of them — especially the
knights — seemed to be paying their own condition any mind.
“Um… Thank you for saving us,” I said in a hoarse voice, once the knights had reached me.
They shook their heads. “Nah. It was our fault you had to go through that. Sorry about that,” one of them said. “Still…never would have thought you might be here in the castle, Soap Bubble Saint…”
At the same time, the other said, “You are the one who saved us, now as well as then. It is we who should thank you.”
Come to think of it…when I first met Sir Celes, we’d had a very similar conversation. He’d said that when I met them on their way home from the dragon-slaying expedition, I hadn’t just cleansed their clothes, but their hearts as well.
To be honest, while I did remember cleaning their uniforms, I hadn’t known that my magic could affect hearts as well. But if these knights felt the same as Sir Celes, then it wasn’t just a mistaken impression; my magic really did have that power.
Was it a boring bit of magic or not? Somehow, I felt like I didn’t even understand my own power.
“Please, forgive us for not thanking you before. We have been grateful to you ever since that day,” the second knight continued.
Then both knights knelt before me, right knees raised and heads lowered. I’d seen that pose before. Sir Celes had done it when he had thanked me for using my magic. If they were doing the same thing as Sir Celes, then…!
I hastily hid my hands behind my back. I was not going to make the same mistake again; that was far, far too embarrassing!
Although, if we were going to talk about embarrassing, then what was all this “Soap Bubble Saint” nonsense? That was also far, far too embarrassing!
“Please, stop that! Um, would you stand up? I haven’t done anything to deserve being thanked in such a way!” I quickly crouched down, thinking I would die of embarrassment. It felt so arrogant to stand there looking down at the tops of the knights’ heads!
“Sacred Maiden, if you are willing, please lend us your power once again,” one of the knights said. He had sandy-colored hair.
The other knight’s hair was a glossy, honey-colored blond. “It appears that your magic has the power to halt the monsters, or at least to calm their hostility. Even the fearsome rocs behaved like simple birds. I have never seen such magic before.”
Now that he mentioned it…he was right. The calmed rocs had been just like normal birds,
despite their size. They’d been defeated so easily; they hadn’t even fought back, just cried out… “It isn’t right for us to ask this of you. It should be our duty to protect you,” the honey-blond
knight continued. “But due to the casualties from the dragon-slaying expedition a year ago, neither the knight regiments nor the Academy have the forces we need. We will allow no harm to come to you. If we learn that your magic has no effect, then we will immediately see you safely back to the castle.”
“We’ll protect you, no matter what. So please help us!”
“The ogres should soon be within spellcasting range. All we ask is that you try. Please, help us!”
Their voices were so earnest that I flinched slightly. I had cast Soap on the roc in a blind panic. The fear had ebbed a bit now, but if I tried to imagine myself facing a situation like that again…to be honest, the very idea was terrifying. I would much rather hide in the ballroom with everyone else, if I could.
But…if Soap really could be of use…if I could truly help protect the people I loved with this magic… And if I could help Sir Celes, who was surely fighting this very moment somewhere in the castle? Then, maybe, I thought I could be brave.
Gathering up my courage with both hands, I nodded. “Well…I really don’t know if it will be any use, but…I will try.”
At my words, the knights once again lowered their heads to me.
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