༺ Amelia Merigold (2) ༻
Having received the unexpected rejection from a slave, a grim aura surrounded the witch as Amelia made her way back to her room.
Since they left the library til the moment they arrived at Amelia’s room, Sophia, who was speaking through the crow, had been cawing nonstop.
Usually, the crow would’ve been silenced instantly using Magic by Amelia and yet the series of events that had just occurred had left her distracted and she couldn’t be bothered to do so this time.
What would compel him to do that?
The 3 questions were the only thoughts that circled within her head. It was like an indescribable itch at the back of her mind that wouldn’t go away.
Entering the bathroom, Amelia turned on the magically enchanted shower. The water was at a perfect temperature, allowing Amelia to cool down her overheating brain and come to her senses.
The crow had somehow managed to use its beak to turn the sink tap on, filling it to the brim. It then proceeded to flap about in the bath of its own creation, seemingly pleased with itself.
”Are you still angry, Amelia?”
Amelia hadn’t interacted with any members of the opposing sex before this.
She had never thought about having sex before.
To begin with, she hadn’t even understood what the concept of sexual desire was or felt like.
She hadn’t intended on doing anything funny to the slave that she had invited.
She had just intended to extend an invitation to her room, make him a cup of tea, and give him instructions for the duties he would be performing going forward.
Which was why Amelia felt stunned when her invitation was rejected.
According to the social hierarchy of this world, Amelia was a witch whilst the other party was a slave.
The rejection came as a shock as Amelia’s status wasn’t enough to coerce the slave despite the difference in social standing.
“There’s no way I’d be angry.”
“Well, you certainly look quite angry.”
“Sophia, how many times must I tell you? I’m not angry. Anyways, isn’t it high time you get out of here?”
“Fine, fine… I’ll leave after washing myself. Don’t you know that crows like to be clean?”
The sight of the crow enjoying itself in the water irked Amelia to no end.
She felt even worse when she remembered that Sophia was a witness to the humiliation she had faced earlier.
Sophia uttered nonsensical words in an attempt to comfort the distraught Amelia. Sophia said whatever came to mind
“Maybe… He got tongue tied because of your beauty?”
“Just shut your mouth. I don’t want to hear a word out of your lips. You can do that can’t you?”
Amelia’s anger flared as she spotted Sophia, who had reluctantly shut her mouth.
She wouldn’t have had to go through the humiliation had it not been for Sophia’s appearance in the lab and her constant nagging that eventually persuaded Amelia to prove her wrong.
Just thinking about it made Amelia clench her fist in anger.
Amelia felt a strong urge to grab the crow by its neck and suffocate it, snapping its throat in the process, but the minuscule amount of sanity along with what remained of her humanity held her back.
Biting her lip, Amelia pondered on the possible reasons behind the rejection.
After a period of time flapping about in the water, the crow turned its head to face the troubled figure of Amelia.
Sophia had become a witch 20 years earlier than Amelia.
Looking back, their predecessors, Avenega and Marigold, had always held a close relationship with one another, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary that the responsibility to teach Amelia about the different kinds of spells and magic fell onto Sophia as soon as she received the witch’s brand.
Sophia acted like an older sister to Amelia, who seemed to attract trouble no matter the timing or location.
On the flip side, Amelia didn’t really appreciate being treated as such and always felt irked whenever she was treated as such.
Magic was Amelia’s obsession, every waking moment of her life was dedicated to gaining more knowledge about Magic, and nothing else mattered.
Sophia would occasionally invite Amelia out on these activities in hopes of providing Amelia with other interests besides Magic.
Judging from the amount of strength Amelia was pulling her hair with, she seemed to be in a foul mood.
She hadn’t anticipated Amelia’s proposal to be rejected by the slave nor did she know what thoughts compelled him to do such a thing.
The one thing she did know however, was that Amelia was devastated by the rejection.
“Don’t be too upset.”
If it wasn’t for Sophia egging her on, Amelia would never have had to suffer such a humiliation.
”You’re the reason this happened!”
Amelia’s rage reached its tipping point and bubbled over as she pointed towards Sophia whilst complaining as if she were a child.
It was the first time Amelia had such an emotional outburst ever since she became a witch.
“Why did you have to egg me on to do something like that…”
From Sophia’s point of view, Amelia was like a flower that had been grown with great care within a greenhouse, someone that hadn’t come into contact with the real world yet and did not possess the life experience of a woman her age. Her current state of being was more like a girl who hadn’t experienced puberty.
Amelia tried to emulate her teacher, someone who was quiet, graceful, and polite. But on the contrary deep inside, she was still an immature young girl.
She wasn’t originally like this.
She had initially inherited the brand after the death of her predecessor Marigold.
And after that, Sophia who was like a parental figure for her also left her in order to broaden her horizons and explore the world.
It was a long journey where Amelia was left to her own devices.
Sophia had managed to escape from the cage, Gehenna, and gain numerous life and death experiences. The journey allowed her to witness the flow of history from an outsider’s point of view, and eventually led to the defeat of a ‘Homunculus’ created by the Witch of Creation.
Although her mastery over Magic hadn’t drastically increased, the journey provided her with fond memories that she could look back on.
140 years later, the first thing Sophia did upon her return was visit Amelia.
“It’s been a long time, Avenega.”
When she finally met with Amelia after all these years, it was evident that she had changed. It would be rare to see Amelia smile and her expression had gotten much stiffer as compared to before.
At the time, Amelia’s appearance worried Sophia.
Her actions and demeanor resembled a doll.
The both of them reunited in the house where Amelia and her predecessor, Marigold, used to stay.
The house was largely the same as it was in the past, and it reflected her deep sense of longing for her predecessor.
Amelia could be usually found in the house studying Magic.
Now that wasn’t to say that a witch studying Magic was anything out of the ordinary.
But it was her obsession with Magic, her drive to acquire more and more knowledge that worried Sophia.
She never left the house and thus never got the opportunity to forge new relationships and interact with people in the outside world.
She had sacrificed a century of her life, locked up in a small, cramped room, purely focused on her pursuit of Magic.
The more Sophia observed Amelia, the more she realized that her passion for Magic exceeded ordinary curiosity.
To begin with, Amelia didn’t get along with other people.
Her teacher, who was like a mother to her, had suddenly disappeared from her life. Even Sophia, the one person that understood her the most, left her behind to expand her horizons.
Amelia channeled energy into the pursuit of Magic in the hopes that she could distract herself from the loneliness and suffering she was experiencing.
As an apprentice witch, Amelia hadn’t been very confident in her magical abilities
Thus, it made it all the more difficult for Amelia to understand the concepts of magic. She worked herself to the bone and at times, one would mistaken her studies for self harm.
Amelia, who was once thought to possess no magical talent, had put in a lot of effort into her magical studies and over the years she successfully increased her realm by 2 levels in the span of just 140 years.
How lonely must she have felt during that period of time?
How much pain did she have to experience?
“Why are you crying?”
In an attempt to hold back her tears, Amelia ducked under a pile of paper. Although she tried to not show it, Sophia understood that Amelia was relieved to finally meet a familiar face after so long.
Rushing forward, she attempted to hug Amelia but was pushed away by her, who acted as though she was disgusted by the physical touch, but despite that, Amelia still held onto Sophia and didn’t let go.
Looking at the scene that had just unfolded, Sophia wondered if she should have taken Amelia with her out into the modern world.
Would the situation have been better had she returned from her trip at least once to visit Amelia instead of getting distracted by the wonders of the modern world?
Sophia lamented in her heart, regretting her decisions.
”Come with me to the academy, you don’t have to do your research in this room alone.”
“But why? I like it here.”
When she was rejected, Sophia forced herself to swallow her guilt and spoke.
Sophia was the one who recommended Amelia to be an Associate Professor for the academy and was also the one who pulled Amelia out of the dark and dingy room.
“You might get a fresh new perspective on Magic there.”
“I’m not interested.”
Of course, Amelia had initially refused her offer.
It would be too hard a task for Amelia to leave the nest where she had spent the majority of her life in. It was also the place where most of her memories of her late predecessor were made.
“Amelia! Try this cake I bought from one of the pastry shops.”
“This dress was tailored by Flora’s dressmaker. Isn’t it stunning? It’s perfect for you, isn’t it?”
“This is what’s called a cigarette. It’s good to smoke it whenever you get a headache.”
Sophia attempted to lure her, someone who was stuck within the nameless forest of Gehenna, with all sorts of exotic goods.
Commodities such as sweet desserts, pretty clothes and even cigarettes were used.
Amelia did not, of course, follow Sophia out of snobbery, but as a result of Sophia’s convincing, which bordered on courtship, she begrudgingly agreed to take a job as an associate professor at the Academy.
”Would you like to accompany me to the Abundance Festival, Amelia?”
“I’m not interested.”
”Don’t you want to explore the modern world? Who knows you might be surprised.”
“My teacher spent her entire life here in Gehenna, I’m sure there’s nothing that would benefit me out there.”
She had spent her entire life devoted to Magic, thus it would be difficult for her to change her habits immediately.
”Leave me alone, I’m busy.”
Even after leaving the house where she and her teacher had lived, Amelia continued to devote all her time and energy into Magic.
If it wasn’t for Sophia, dragging her out of the house, she would’ve repeated the cycle over and over again until it was time for her to pass down her brand.
Five years had passed since then.
Lost in her own world of regret and suffering, five years was too little of a time for her to fully mature.
She tried to imitate her esteemed predecessor and act like an elegant witch, but all efforts to do so proved to be for naught.
Amelia sulked easily, was as stubborn as a child, and would get flustered in unexpected situations.
“How dare he… just a mere slave…”
In Sophia’s opinion, Amelia’s current mood was a huge improvement as compared to the person she was before.
As compared to the Amelia from before, lifeless, and dull almost like a paper doll, she was much better at expressing her emotions now.
People mature through their life experiences. Be it through sorrow, love, or anger.
Sophia herself had already learned these life lessons from the time she traveled around the modern world.
“I will never forget this disgrace…”
Grining slightly, Sophia regained her composure upon hearing Amelia’s dramatic monologue.
Although it was a rather refreshing sight to behold as Amelia, who rarely expressed her emotions, talked to herself like that.
It would be wise to calm her down now.
Sophia slowly made up her mind to calm her down.
“You’re just a slave, a slave, a slave, a slave…”
“There’s no way this is swearing.””There’s no way… This is blasphemy…”
”Huh? But it isn’t?”
A faint ominous aura was emanating from Amelia as she muttered curses under her breath, clearly being consumed by the need for revenge.
It showed the lack of maturity within Amelia’s mind.
She didn’t understand the complex emotions that brewed in her mind and wasn’t able to find ways to deal with it.
Thus, she tried to imagine how a noble of Gehenna would react in such a situation as a way to cope with the rejection.
The result of that line of thought resulted in a terrifying conclusion.
”Let’s put the slave in his place and punish him thoroughly”
Despite the fact that birds don’t normally have sweat glands, Sophia saw that the crow’s body, which was serving as her replacement body, started to secrete sweat.
She could foresee the long road of misery the slave would have to go through.
Sophia pitied the slave, despite being kidnapped and made a slave, he still had to go through the upcoming trials and tribulations.
Walking out, Sophia left without another word.
She knew that Amelia wasn’t a harsh person by nature and would never intentionally harm the slave, thus she didn’t try to calm Amelia down.
The bathroom closed as Amelia angrily muttered under her breath.
“I’ll make an example out of you!”
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