Episode 77: Clarice, Move Forward

“Let’s camp out here today.”

“I’m sure Ray is well prepared, but it might be a little scary. ……”

“It’s all right. I made preparations so that Clarice would feel at home.”

Then I put my backpack down on the ground and began to assemble the tent with a skilled touch.

 The first step is to make the skeleton of the tent, then fasten the parts that contact the ground with metal fittings and cover them with fabric. And for Clarice, I prepared a soft, fluffy mat to put underneath.

With this, I’m sure it will be fine.

“Okay, that’s about it.”

“Oh! That’s great! Ah, but ……”

“Hmm? Something wrong?”

“No, it’s just that …… tent with a boy. It’s not that I don’t like Ray! It’s just that …… I’m curious about it. ……”

“I see. Should I sleep outside then? I’m used to it. Rather, I can sleep standing up. Clarice can sleep inside by herself. It’s expected, of course.”

“No, no, no! That would be too heartless!”

“…then what to do?”

“Well, it’s a little embarrassing, but it’s okay with Ray. I’m sure he won’t do anything weird. ……”

“Sorry. I didn’t hear the second part. Can you repeat that?”

“So! I said you can sleep with me!”

“Umm. Please take care of me.”

“U…… Uhmm!”

 First we decided to have a meal before going to bed.

 I had secured a giant snake on the way here, so I grilled it the same way I had done before. Of course, the last thing I put on it is Ainsworth’s secret sauce. You can eat almost anything if you grill something with this sauce on it.

 Clarice made the fire with her sorcery. We picked up some dry wood and put it on the fire.

 Then Clarice and I sat down in front of the fire and ate grilled snake meat. In addition, we cooked rice in a rice bowl.

 This alone would be a small dinner.

“Wow! Tastyy!”

“Right? And it goes well with rice.”

“I was thinking, Ray, you’re  …… ex-military, right?”

“That’s right.”

“Did you learn it then?”

“Yes, I did. When I was in the military, my master taught me everything I need to survive. Not only sorcery, but also survival knowledge and how to be a human being.”

“I see. ……”

 On the way here, I told Clarice once again that I am the Ice Blade Sorcerer. Ever since the attack at the Magic Chevalier, we haven’t had a chance to talk to each other alone, so now, Clarice is listening to me seriously. 

“But I always knew Ray wasn’t just any guy,…… but I didn’t expect the Ice Blade Sorcerer,…….”

“Are you surprised?”

“Of course I’m surprised! Because it’s that Ice Blade! Even among the nobility, there are rumors that the Ice Blade Sorcerer is the strongest of the seven great sorcerers!”

“The rumor is my master’s credit. I am merely the successor.”

“But I talked to your master for a while after that and she said that Ray is a genius, even better than her.”

“What? Is that true?”

It was the first time I heard that Master and Clarisse were talking together, so I was a little surprised.

“Yeah. You came when I was being treated at the hospital, and you said that.”

“Is that so? Master has never praised me face to face since long ago. He’s a strict person, but he’s also a very kind person.”

“Yes, I understand that well. At that time, I heard about Rei’s past… but it was difficult. It may be a cliche to say such a thing…”

“I did as much as possible.

After saying that, Clarisse asked a question with a puzzled look.

“Will it get better after the magical realm goes out of control? I’ve heard about it, but I don’t know the symptoms very well.”

“Well, it will get better if you stop using magic. My case is a little special, but it won’t be long before I’m completely cured.”

When I answered like that, Clarisse asked more questions with a serious tone.

“What will Rei do in the future?”

“… I won’t go back to being a soldier. That’s right. I surprisingly enjoyed teaching Amelia, so I might become a teacher.”

“Rei is the teacher…!? Surprisingly, he looks good on you…but it’s a little unknown.”

And after that, we chatted about various things. It’s been a long time since I talked alone with Clarisse, but I got so excited that I went to bed late.

“And when you go to bed.” When Clarisse glanced at me, he said,

“Don’t do anything strange…?”

“of course”


“what up?”

“Good night! Good night!”

“Ah. Good night.”

And then we just let ourselves fall asleep.

Clarice suddenly turned her head in another direction.

The released beetles did not attack Clarice. They simply returned to their freedom in the forest.

However, the Hercules beetle alone landed lightly on Clarice’s head. Unlike before, there was no hostility, and it remained still atop her head.

“What!? Something’s on my head!”

“Amazing. Maybe it’s taken a liking to you?”

“Maybe so…”

She gently placed the large Hercules beetle in her small hand.

It didn’t try to escape, just comfortably settled in her hand.

It seemed to gently stroke Clarice’s fingers with its large horns, and that was probably not my imagination.

“Why not keep it as a pet?”

“Hmm, but… I wonder if it’s okay to put it with the other insects at home… It’s quite a big deal.”

“I think it probably wants that too.”

“I guess so. Alright, then. I’ll name this one Siegfried!”

“Wow! That sounds powerful!”

“Yes! Super powerful, right? Nice to meet you, Siegfried!”

As she stroked it gently, Siegfried raised its horns proudly to the sky. It seemed to really like Clarice, buzzing its horns up and down many times.

Afterward, we strolled through the forest together, interacting with various insects. Clarice’s knowledge about insects was deep, making it a very meaningful time.

At the end of our farewell, I brought up a topic with Clarice.

“Ah! It was fun! It’s a bit of a waste to go home now!”

“Is it far from here?”

“Well, it doesn’t take that much time.”

“I see. I had fun too. Let’s go again.”


“Changing the subject for a moment…”

“What’s up?”

Clarice, with Siegfried on her head, looked at me with a puzzled expression. It seemed that Siegfried had no intention of leaving Clarice, as it had settled on her head as its permanent spot.

“Clarice, would you consider joining the Environmental Research Department?”

“…That, I’ve thought about it. But can I really join? Isn’t the Environmental Research Department here quite famous?”

Yes. I later learned that the Arnold Magic Academy’s Environmental Research Department is quite well-known among hunters. In fact, my master was also a member during his student days. That’s why Clarice hesitated to join.

Clarice, illuminated by the twilight.

Her flowing golden twin-tails reflected the light dazzlingly.

Her eyes flickered slightly.

Clasping her hands in front of her, she looked straight into my eyes.

“Clarice, I’m sure you can pass the test set by the department head. After being in the forest with you for the past two days, I think you could definitely become a great hunter.”


“Yes. Trust me.”

“If Ray says so… Alright, I’ll try joining!”

“That’s the spirit. It will be alright. Action is everything.”


A few days later…

Clarice successfully passed the test imposed by the department head and officially became a member of the Environmental Research Department.

“Clarice Cleveland here! Nice to meet you all!”

She bowed deeply.

She was smiling more than usual. Probably because she was happy to have taken even a small step towards her dream.

Thus, the Environmental Research Department had a female member for the first time in several years and began its activities in earnest.

“Clarice, let’s work hard together.”


I was going to witness my friend’s progress towards her dream. It would turn out to be something dazzling, precious, and beautiful to behold.

I hoped with all my heart that Clarice’s dream would come true.

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