Chapter 2 – Adelaide

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Hearing the sound of spring birds, I moved my hands to put away my winter clothes.
I cleaned and put away the thick coat and replaced it with a slightly lighter one.

“In those old-fashioned clothes again… If mother-in-law is dressed so poorly, even my husband will look at you lightly.
Despite his position as assistant to the prime minister, that house doesn’t buy his mother a single article of clothing, which is not good for his reputation.”

“That’s not true.
I wear this because I like it.
The latest clothes are too luxurious and hard to move in, and the new ones are hard and stiff on the shoulders.”

“I didn’t ask mother-in-law’s preference.
Please put yourself in my shoes.
I will be pointed at for having a good life while dressing my mother-in-law in old-fashioned clothes.”

I picked up a familiar dress in a spring-like color from the back of the closet and felt a little depressed because it reminded me of the trouble I had with my daughter-in-law over this.
I understood that she had a point…I still thought there was a better way to say it, though.

In the end, everything from a piece of clothing to my way of life did not match my son’s wife.
That was not the only reason, but I supposed it was my fault that I could not come to terms with it.

It had been many years since I moved to this other house, where I spent a short time with my son and his wife when I was younger.

It was nice to live a life where you didn’t have to be told what to do.
I knew I was stubborn because I couldn’t get used to the modern lifestyle, even with all the fancy clothes and convenient magic tools.
But I was at the age waiting to be picked up.
Was it selfish of me to want to be allowed to do whatever I want at least at the end of my life, which had been so tightly bound?

My only son, who hadn’t sent a single letter in over six months due to his busy schedule, probably still believed that his mother caused the divorce, just like his wife.
As I looked at the old family photos, I thought to myself, ‘It’s sad, but I guess it’s my fault for raising them that way’.

Before putting away the thick, fluffy futon, I took it outside to air it out.
I was getting tired easily, probably because of my age.
I spread out my futon under the sun, sat down on the rocking chair on the balcony, and looked up at the sky, which was clear and blue with not a cloud in the sky… As I closed my eyes and let the breeze wash over me, my dog and roommate, Buddy, came running towards me, barking unusually.

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“Addy, she’s probably a ‘Spirit Orison’.”

The words of my old friend Daniel made sense to me.
In the mansion’s backyard where Buddy took me, I found a collapsed girl, dressed in clothes I’d never seen before, covered in blood and with her arms and legs bent in strange directions, and when I saw her, I almost had a stroke.

I managed to regain my composure, and as I approached, I heard shallow breathing.
I hurriedly ran my Buddy to Daniel, the only doctor in the village.

The backyard led to the forest at the back, and I wondered if the girl had wandered out from there, but there were no dangerous places in this forest, and I couldn’t imagine her getting hurt this badly.
First of all, I didn’t think she could walk with this limb injury that could be seen at a glance.

With the help of Mark, an assistant at the clinic, we brought her back to the house and treated her, and to our surprise, she had no magic at all.
Her eyes opened and caught mine for a moment as I poured healing magic into her…I felt something indescribable in it, but she opened those eyes once before quickly closing them again with a pained expression, and passed out.

“In the meantime, she should be able to get up in a few days, so until then, keep her at rest.
I’ll be making house calls every day, too, so we can talk about things when she’s feeling a little better… She was hurt pretty badly.”

“Yes, understood.”

“She’ll probably have a fever, so if she’s in pain, give her some medicine.
Even if she’s an Orison, her body structure should be the same, so don’t worry about her diet.”

I was relieved to hear that.
It would be nice to take care of her, but what if she ate differently? Daniel, who had served as the royal physician before retiring, knew his stuff.
The ‘Spirit Orison’ had to report to the royal court, but first, she needed her injuries to be treated, so I nursed her.

It was three days later, as Daniel had expected; the pain subsided, the fever went down, and she gained consciousness.

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In the morning, when I went to her bedroom with a drink and a light meal, she was sitting up on the bed with a radiant smile, relieved to see me.
Her slightly innocent smile conveyed a straightforward gratitude and fondness, which warmed my heart.

“You look much better this morning.
Has the pain subsided yet?”

She nodded in response to my question.
She lifted her hand a little sluggishly to show me that she was okay.

“I know it’s a little late, but allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Adelaide Dustin.
You can call me Adelaide.
May I ask your name?”

When I lightly squeezed her hand and asked her a question, the girl perked up and opened her mouth apologetically.
And then… She flapped her mouth a few times and shook her head, face blue.
No matter how many times she tried, all I could hear was the exhaling sound.
I stopped her from overreacting as she became increasingly impatient and made her a pot of tea.

“… The doctor will be here this afternoon, so let’s discuss it then.”

“…”

Perhaps, ‘Yes’, was her response.
She took a sip of tea with a small, trembling hand, and tears spilled from her eyes as she stared into the cup… I didn’t know that soundless crying could be so heartbreaking.
All I could do was lend a shoulder and pat her shaking back.

In the afternoon, I pulled Daniel into the living room when he arrived and told him about what happened in the morning.
He began to talk to me, showing me the book he had brought with him with a difficult look on his face, but with an air of conviction.

“’Spirit Orisons’ often lose something.
It seems like many people lose their memories, but in her case it was the ‘voice’, I’m sure.
According to this book, she should be able to read and write, so I don’t think she’ll have any problem communicating.”

The book was about the “Orisons” of the past.
He had borrowed it especially from the library in the capital.
He brought it to me and told that I could give it to her to read when she was settled.

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‘Understood’, I thought, but I still pity her.
My heart still hurt when I thought of that child who couldn’t even cry out loud.
With a heavy heart, I led Daniel upstairs to the bedroom and was in for a surprise.

The girl and Buddy were surrounded by fairy eggs that glow a pale gold… No better proof for a Spirit Orison.

It took my breath away as I saw it for the first time in my life, but somehow my heart was filled with loneliness.

The Orison was a precious being from another world, called here by a spirit, whether or not that person intended to, a person who deserved to be protected and respected.
This girl could go to the royal palace or anywhere else she wanted.
I was sure she would leave me behind.

Only three days.

Even though I couldn’t even talk to her, I enjoyed taking care of her as if I had a daughter.
I tried to be strong, but I knew I was still lonely.

I didn’t know why I couldn’t put into words what her original name was.
We learned a little bit about her through written communication, but the only thing we could not read was her name, not me, not Daniel, and not Mark.
This was another thing that I hadn’t read in any of the previous books about the Orisons.

When I was troubled, she wanted me to give her a name.
I thought about it for a moment, and then my eyes fell on the pearl flickering on the girl’s ear.
Miraculously, it was the only one that came here from the other side safely without a scratch.
I heard that it was a memento of her mother.
She must have been protecting it.
I put my wish in the name that it would continue to be so in the future.
“Margaret” was the name.

Margaret was a bright girl.
Her body was still not healed, and she got tired easily, so we talked to her little by little.
She was a little distraught at first, but by the time she had finished reading the book borrowed from Daniel, she looked much more refreshed.

As soon as she could get out of bed, she wanted to help around the house.
For the first time in my life, I regretted my life without magic tools.
It took a lot of time and effort to cook and clean every single thing in this house.

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I felt awkward thinking about burdening a sick young girl, but Daniel recommended I let her do some simple things for rehabilitation.
Margaret was happy and learned them all quickly and painlessly.

Clothing… Yes, clothing, too.
She happily wore the so-called “old-fashioned dresses” of my youth.
I thought she would change her mind when she saw how the young girls in the village dressed, but she said she liked it better.
I could tell that she meant it, which made me love her more and more, and made me feel sad when thinking of our upcoming separation.

So, when she asked me to keep her here, I thought it was a dream that my desire showed me.
If she wanted to, she could be accepted anywhere with excellent treatment, but she wanted this place that was outdated, inconvenient, and eccentric.

I couldn’t believe it.

“Margaret sincerely wants to be with you.
You know that, don’t you, Addy?”

“That’s because she’s still young, and she’ll be happier if she goes to the capital than staying here with me…”

“I don’t like the idea of you calling yourself something you’re not.
That would be rude to that girl… Addy.
To me, you two look like an actual mother and daughter.
It’s hard to believe it’s only been a month.
I’m sure Margaret fell into your backyard just to see you.”

“Daniel…”

“Don’t worry.
That child is happy here.”

I wonder if it was okay.
Wouldn’t that be like destroying the future of a young, pretty girl? My old friend gave me a gentle push when I was lost.

I watched him leave, leaving the Orison’s reporting procedures to me, and I entered the house….
I walked into my house where my daughter was waiting for me, happily standing in the kitchen.

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