Chapter 5: During the Journey: The Tale of Two Men with an Undecided Match
As I flew above the gentle grasslands with my broom, the sounds of wind gently brushing the flowers reached my ears. The moderately warm sunlight and fresh wind was a pleasant combination, so much that I wanted to keep on flying at this place.
Whoosh, whoosh, the sound of the wind could be heard as I manipulated the broom, following the wind left and right - I started enjoying it just a bit.
But enjoying moments always end up being easily disrupted. This time was also not an exception, and I stopped after catching some voices in the wind.
"Aahn? What was that? Say that one more time you shitty big brother."
"Aahn? As I said, I was the one who was better you shitty younger brother."
This precious refreshing mood was ruined.
As I turned my head to confirm the source of the voices, I saw shapes of two men who were arguing about something.
The two wore colorful closes, and guessing from their previous conversation, they are brothers.
"Wrong, I'm(orecchi) better that you. I'm absolutely better."
"Wrong, It's decided that I'm(oresama) better. Because there doesn't exist a little brother who can surpass his older brother."
"Hahaa! That logic is too old. It's the antique way of thinking. Over the ages, there have appeared little brothers who grew as they witnessed the blunders of their older brothers. Little brothers who can avoid blunders in advance are the strongest."
"Hahaa! Such foolish talk. Isn't that the talk about good for nothing old brothers? But I'm already a perfectly flawless human. If I had failures, just for argument's sake, those failures would be something too high for you to succeed with!"
Those two cursed for some reason and kept glaring while groaning like "Aah?" and "Wanna have a go?" towards each other.
By the way, what exactly is the antique way of thinking I wonder? Or what are the high level failures?
While I was puzzled about that, my eyes meet with one of the brothers (who was probably older one) who referred to himself as oresama.
He immediately declared with a loud voice.
"In that case, we should let that girl judge which one of us is the superior!"
The brother (probably younger) who referred to himself as orecchi nodded in agreement. "That's fine with me. Well, the one who wins would be me in the end anyway."
I have a very bad premonition about this.
"So, what are you two quarreling about anyway?"
I asked the two while sitting on the grasslands.
The two of them had similar facial features and hairstyles. Only difference between them was the color of the clothes. Older brother wore red while younger brother wore blue.
And then red and blue brothers said at the same time.
"Haa, magic tricks is it?"
"I got it already so no need to say it for the second time"
"Hey didn't you hear what she said? This is why brats are...."
"Aahn? Don't get carried away just because you were born mere three years before me, you shitty brother."
"Exactly because you don't know the difference between three years is what makes you a brat, you brat."
"Even though there is three year difference, you can't even use magic tricks on the same level as me? Ah?"
"Won't the two of you quiet down for a bit?"
I made them shut up. They became silent. Good, it finally became quiet.
However, magic tricks huh..... Since I am a Witch, I'm too unfamiliar with magic tricks.
This is troublesome. Umumu.....
Talking to both of them at once would be troublesome so I'll talk to one at a time. I started talking towards the younger brother.
"Why magic tricks?"
"In your country, there's not even one magician. There's also the fact that it's a small country, but, for some religious reasons, it has a history of banning Magic."
I have a feeling that some serious talk is about to start.
The older brother continued the words of his younger brother. "But there's an instinct that attracts ones to prohibited things right? There are many young people like us who admire magicians."
"So the two of us started thinking. 『Eh? If we pretend to be magicians, wouldn't we make a sum?』 so we thought."
"After that, we performed as the ‘Illusionists who are really close to the Magicians’ on the way."
Ah, it really was a serious story, huh?
I cut into the story that those two were proudly talking about together.
"And, didn't anyone get angry?"
The one who answered was the one in blue ─ In other words, the younger brother.
"They got angry, and we got caught. But, it's not like we can use Magic. They are magic tricks. So, no matter how many times we were caught, we were immediately released."
That's like a treatment of a hero.
Also, they added "The government of our country is no good! They are incompetent!" at the end......
"But, wouldn't the magic tricks end up being banned because of you two?"
It just a simple question.
"Ah. It was."
"And, we were exiled. Completely broke."
"Eh? You were exiled huh?"
They both nodded. They really act the same.
"The decision to exile us was decided one month ago."
"After that, in order to earn money, we ended up becoming traveling entertainers."
"I see, I see."
"However, before becoming the traveling entertainers, one problem popped up."
"Our team didn't have a name"
"Team name is it?"
"We decided to make the team name from our names, but you see, we started arguing about which one of our names should be first"
"Then, we decided that whoever was better at magic tricks would be the first one"
I see, so that's what it's about.
"By the way, what was the outcome?"
Onii-san was the one who answered.
"Currently it's 0 wins, 0 loses and 15 draws."
"The outcome isn't decided at all......"
"That's why we want you to decide the victor among us."
"I want for my draw to end today"
Two of them glared at each other while shouting things like "What you looking at?" and "Haah?"
Oh? Could it be that I have a serious responsibility?
The magic tricks of those two was truly a wonderful performance.
They did things like taking a bird out of nowhere, teleporting coins, finding the card I drew and so on. I got surprised and excited over and over.
Magic tricks are amazing.
But what was troublesome, was that the skills of those two were so great that they couldn't be distinguished. Certainly, I understand why the victor couldn't be decided from this contest.
"How was it? I was great right?" - said younger brother while putting on airs.
"No, my magic tricks were way better right? It's like that without a doubt" - Big brother also said exaggeratedly.
I looked at the two who kept glaring at each other at the same time, and declared.
"It seems it's a draw~"
Both of their skills are amazing so there's no way for me to tell who's better ── That's my stand on this.
Honestly, it would be just too troublesome to speak my mind.
I will let some other person conclude it.
I was ready in case they started raging from my answer, but as one would expect, because they already had 15 draws, they were unexpectedly calm.
"......Is that so. Well, It can't be helped. Deciding the team name is still ahead."
"Weeell, my name would be the one that ends up as first anyway"
"What what that?"
"Please stop it both of you"
While they became silent, I took some distance.
"Well then. My role ends with this."
I am a traveler after all, so I need to reach the next country soon── saying so, I made a forced smile and began to depart.
But at that moment.
"Ah, hey. Wait a minute."
"Won't you pay the price?"
I was stopped by them.
"The magic tricks we just did has a price right?"
As I turned around, both of them started shrugging.
"It's should be quite pricey, right?"
"Seeing our tricks for free isn't really a good thing right? Right?"
Where did the two who were quarreling since a while ago go? Now they appeared to be quite in sync with each other.
I have some bad feeling.
"Wait, no one said anything about it costing money......"
"I don't remember saying it was free either," the younger brother started acting like a child.
"Wait a second. Let's confirm the situation. You asked me to watch over your contest of magic tricks── Then I acted as a judge of that contest. Is this correct so far?"
"Yes. That's how it was."
Older brother nodded. Then, I continued.
"Right? Isn't that right? In that case, these magic tricks weren't for the business but for the sake of deciding your match right? Should there be a necessary for paying the money?"
"Don't say foolish things. Our magic tricks are always our matches. Right?"
They set me up. I had a feeling that I was being tricked since the beginning.
They lure travelers with their quarrels, then make them see their tricks and ask for money....... Probably, they repeated this kind of play for the past 15 times as well.
What shameless bunch.
"......By the way, how much is the price?"
I'm just making sure. There's no way I'd agree to their complaints.
"It's four silvers"
"It's 8 silvers all together"
"Ehh. So high"
One silver coin is needed to stay one night in the inn, so in other words, they are asking me to give up eight days worth money to them.
Such a thing.
"You saw the magic tricks of best traveling entertainers after all. Rather, that should be cheap right?" big brother declared.
Well, the skill of their magic tricks were most certainly high, however.
I'm just unwilling, but certainly, their complaints aren't really wrong.
I who didn't agree would be in the wrong, but that's it.
I don't wanna pay. I don't wanna pay the money for such useless thing──
I kept thinking about such things over and over.
"Wait a second!"
I heard some voice, that sounded like it was asking about something.
As I looked ahead, there was a giant from a while ago standing there like a saviour.
Ohh, what a coincidence.
Nodding hastily, he began to get embarrassed.
"It's been a while, Witch ojou-san"
"It's been a while. Brawny man."
It was the guy with cool muscles that I met few days ago. The brawny man.
Since I never heard his name when I met him last time, I reflexively called him a brawny man, but it looked like he started throbbing when he heard word about muscles:
"Fufun, that's right. I am the brawny man"
He puffed his chest.
Uwaa, he looks like a fool.
With the sudden appearance of this mysterious brawny guy, those two swindlers were clearly trembling in fright.
"H-Hey....... Who is this guy"
"What? Could it be her boyfriend?"
I firmly declared.
A guy whose muscles reached up to his brain is a bit much.
He, without understanding the meaning behind my behavior──Or perhaps not even hearing it──turned toward the two and said with quite a bit of volume.
"By the way, you two! Doing things like tricking people to earn money, even if God allows it, I for sure won't. Prepare yourselves."
It became something that was too much for me in every sense of the word so I turned my face away.
"......Why did you turn away."
My actions were seen.
"No, it's nothing," I answered.
"By the way, why is brawny man here?"
"Ah. I was on my way to take down the legendary dragon as the country up ahead calls it. Then, I saw your figure as I was competing with the wind in a running contest──"
"What about Imouto-san?"
After a short silence, "Ah, Imouto...... Imouto, right. I was thinking of going on a search for her after I defeated the legendary dragon. Hahahaha!" - He started laughing in a visibly forced way.
He totally forgot about her, huh?
It seems his head was packed by nothing but muscles.
"......How should I say, Isn't this guy unrelated to our and her business?"
"Yeah. For sure. S-should we send the outsider away?"
Both of them were clearly frightened. Well, if someone with bulging muscles like this suddenly appeared, it would be totally normal for the body to feel fear.
The brawny man flatly declared.
Hii - Two of them leaked a small voice, and I unintentionally burst into laughter from amusement.
"To be ripping money from such lovely girl, it's not a good thing to do! I will now beat your character into shape! Come!"
Saying so, the brawny man caught both them by the napes and started running.
"Eh, Wha...... that, I don't want it! Stop!"
"Anything but muscles! Anything but muscles!"
"I will teach you both the magnificence of the world of muscles! Fuhahahahaha!"
"No! Let go! Let me gooo!"
"Uwaaah! I'm sorry! I won't ever tick another person!"
I who was left behind, continued waving my hand towards their screaming figures.
Even after their shapes became as small as a grain of rice, the voices of agony of those two continued resounding on and on throughout the vast grasslands.
And they all lived happily ever after.
What would become of those two and the brawny man from now on?
In the end, that's a story that has no relation to me.