23. Sunflower’s Wish

    “…and that’s about it for the basics on Rune magic. I know that you’ve somehow absorbed all of the information from a grimoire already, but there is still value in getting a proper lecture on the subject, don’t you agree?”

    ““Yes ma’am!”” Q and Sunflower saluted simultaneously.

    The two ‘magic buddies’ spent no more than two hours in a crash course on Rune magic, but Sharon’s strict demeanor turned them into docile students in no time. Despite the short amount of time, Q’s background knowledge and Sharon’s insights helped Q to reach a far better understanding of what Rune magic is, and what it does. The only thing that bothered her is…

    “Now then Sunflower, you might have only learned about Rune magic just recently, but your talent in it is immeasurable. In this short amount of time you’ve already picked up on all the basics. I highly recommend that you become a Rune Meister yourself! In fact, if you’re interested we can do the procedure right now.”

    “I would love to!” Sunflower exclaimed.

    Unbelievable. Another genius… Well, no I already knew that but still… Q was practically biting her fingernails in frustration. She couldn’t help but feel jealous at Sunflower’s inner talents, but she also had no choice but to begrudgingly accept it. 

    Ahh… whatever. She’s a good girl, and it’s good that she’s found something she’s good at. No sense in getting so hung up about it. Besides, Rune Meisters have some good options when class changing so I’m sure we won’t overlap in everything. Q simply watched on as a small light flowed from Sharon into Sunflower. After the light dissipated into Sunflower’s body, she opened up her eyes and began reading whatever window appeared in front of her. 

Sharon then excused herself, telling the two girls to come back to her if they needed anymore advice on Rune magic. Taking Lily she left the two girls in the arena. For a while Sunflower went over the details of her new class, and then as if suddenly remembering something she flinched and sheepishly looked at Q.

    “Um… Q… should I not have become a Rune Meister?”

    “Why are you asking me that?” Q raised an eyebrow. “It’s up to you what class you want to be.”

    “Well… that is… Kukis said that…” Sunflower stumbled over her words, not knowing what to say.

    “Let me guess, Cookie said that I’m a jealous person and might come to dislike you if you start showing me up – or something similar.”

    “…” Sunflower averted her gaze, and a timid nod was all she could do.

    “Haaaaa… Unbelievable… ” Q let out a long sigh and shook her head. “Okay, I won’t beat around the bush. Yes, I am jealous, but that’s all. Now let me ask you something. Should you stop doing things you like, or give up on things you’re good at, just because someone else might be bothered by it?”

    “…No.” 

    “Exactly. You’re a brilliant girl and there’s no reason you should ever lose your shine just because I got a little jealous. Instead of hiding your talent, you should be showing it off and appreciating it.”

    “Really?” Tears began to well up in Sunflower’s eyes.

    “Yes, really- Wha- hey don’t cry! Cookie is going to accuse me of bullying you again!”

    “No, no it’s just- *sniff* It’s the first time anyone’s ever said that to me.” After wiping away her tears, Sunflower continued in a low tone. “Back in school I’d always do my best but people would start to hate me for it. No matter what I try, whenever I got the highest grade, or the teacher’s praise, all my classmates would start to talk behind my back. I – When I went to the washroom I heard these girls saying mean things and- and-”

    “Ah jeez,” Q enveloped the girl in a hug and spoke in a gentle tone, “I don’t know what you’ve experienced but I’ll tell you this: whatever happens, I’ll be here for you.” 

    Sunflower flinched, but soon relaxed and entrusted her weight to Q completely. “Thank you…” She said in a small voice.

    After an unknown amount of time, Q broke the silence with a chuckle. “You know, you remind me of my sister when she was younger. She’d always come crying to me whenever she got sad or frustrated. Nowadays she just shouts and swears whenever I try to show concern. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have a little sister half as cute as you.” She lamented.

    “…” Sunflower went silent for a moment, and then looked at Q with upturned eyes. “…Can I be your little sister?” 

    It was at that moment that Q felt like a jolt of electricity passed through her body and short circuited her brain. All thoughts were banished from her mind as she tried to process the words she just heard. One second passed. Then two. Finally on the third, Q’s mind restarted and she looked down at the now nervous angel. Without hesitation Q began ruffling Sunflower’s hair and practically shouted, “Of course you can!”

    “Aha- ahahaha! Stop! Ahaha!” Sunflower protested at the rough treatment but the wide smile on her face revealed her true feelings. “Big sis, stop, you’ll ruin my hair!”

    Q suddenly froze, her brain once again short circuited at Sunflower’s unexpected words. This time she recovered much more quickly and gave a reassuring smile before Sunflower noticed that anything was off about her expression. “Come on, let’s go find Cookie and show her our new magic skills.”

    “Yeah!” 

    Leaving the arena the two girls began searching for Kukis, a task made much easier with the system’s messaging system. While walking, Q made plans for leveling up and getting more practice with her skills. At the same time Sunflower looked like she was on cloud nine, excitedly flapping her wings as she made circles around Q. Soon enough they found Kukis standing in front of one of the many stalls. Just as Q was about to call out to her, she noticed Kukis’ new clothes and…

    “Pffft-! What the heck is with that getup?!” …burst out into laughter.

    “Shut it!” Kukis, who was initially in a set of comfortable clothes, was now dressed in nothing but straps of fur which just barely covered her important bits. She glared at Q with a look that could kill, and spoke with an equally harsh tone. “I changed class into Barbarian, and this is the default armor. I’m getting a new set right now, so don’t you dare say anything about this.” 

    Despite her warnings, Q couldn’t help but snicker. For a moment she felt like taunting Kukis a little more, but feeling the unmitigated hostility wash over her she wisely chose not to. “So uh… this class is from Mod’s recommendation right? You already heard about his plans then?”

    “Yes, and I’m an idiot for going along with them.” Kukis then received a set of equipment from the shopkeeper and equipped it without hesitation. Now she looked far more normal with a set of leather clothing and a large metal breastplate. “Such a stupid class… what do you mean you get bonuses for not wearing armor? Who in their right mind would go into a fight wearing nothing but scraps of fur? Freaking video games…” She grumbled.

    “Big sis, should we also get new armor?” Sunflower asked. “Mrs. Sharon said that lots of metal interferes with forming Runes after all…”

    “Wait. Did you just call her big sis?”

    “Yes! Q is now my big sister! One of my wishes has been fulfilled!” Sunflower hugged Q who had a complicated expression on her face. 

    “Ohoho~ Big sister is it?” Kukis’ eyes flashed with a gleam that was familiar to Q.

    Crap. Change the subject, change the subject! Alarms blared in Q’s head as she desperately tried to come up with something. While she liked to tease others, she strongly disliked being teased in turn, and Kukis had suddenly gotten her hands on some potent ammunition. “Uh, let’s go find some armor, Sunflower. Catch you later Kukis!” 

    Q made a hasty retreat while the oblivious Sunflower happily trailed behind. Kukis chose to follow them, fully intent on getting even with this opportunity. Despite Q’s efforts to lose Kukis, she was unable to due to the presence of Sunflower who was innocently giving directions to the latter. Eventually Q got cornered and had no choice but to endure the verbal assault. After what felt like hours, Q was finally released from her torment and swore revenge… or so she would have if Kukis hadn’t threatened to tell Helen about this. 

    In the end Kukis learned the details of what had happened earlier in the arena, and immediately offered to be another of Sunflower’s big sisters. Sunflower, of course, was over the moon and gained another family member. The two of them excitedly jumped around and Q let out a deep sigh as she watched them. Okay then, new little sister. Cool! I’d better make sure to properly explain this to Helen later. Maybe she’d want to be an older sister for once… 

    Shaking her head at the thought, Q decided to search for new equipment for a change of pace. Recalling what Sharon had told them earlier, she now knew that metal interferes with spirit usage. As she learned, the metals in this world fell into two categories: ones that conducted spirit, and ones that absorbed it. Generally speaking frontline fighters preferred the ones that absorbed spirit as it absorbed some of the damage from Arts and Spells, while mages and the like preferred conductive metals to more easily shoot out their attacks.

    What Q learned from all this is… her current equipment sucked for casting spells. Sharon claimed her crown was fine, but her cuirass and skirt were covered in metal which would greatly reduce the power of her spells. While Q wasn’t able to tell much of a difference, she decided to trust the knowledge of the people in this world and looked for conductive metals. These were easy enough to spot thanks to the user interface, as a window would appear and add a notice as to whether or not it was suited for magic, but the price of such equipment was easily double, or triple of that of regular stuff.

    That’s not to say Q couldn’t afford anything, but a full set of equipment would be too much. In the end she settled for some light leather armor, and a single gauntlet with silver trimmings. Soon enough Kukis and Sunflower joined her, the former learning about the concept of magic metals, and the latter replacing her punching gauntlets with a pair of brass knuckles. 

    Fully satisfied, the three of them set off to go to a dungeon, but were stopped as a window appeared in front of them.

Avastlea [The Pioneer] is the first player to reach the mainland!
New functions for all players have been unlocked.
– The Player Message Boards are now available.
– Transfer points between towns are now available (requires you to have visited the town’s login point)
– The Astral Realm is beginning to open… 

    “Well…” Q was speechless after reading the window.

    “…shit.” Kukis finished her sentence.

    “Sunflower, never listen to Kukis. She says bad things.” 

    “Hold on a minute, you swear more than I do!”

    “Hehehe…” Sunflower wasn’t sure what the new message was all about, but she was sure that it would be enjoyable as long as she was with her big sisters.






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