— I want to become her.
Using my Mirror skill, I transformed into Elieya the Elf.
I then hid in an alley and held my breath, watching the main street.
The one who came along was the grimoire store’s owner, in other words Ruby’s grandfather, who came back from lunch.
I aimed at his back.
I used the Elven secret magic [Kiri (Delayed) Curse].
Ruby’s grandfather continued walking just fine, but the curse would show its effect later and make him faint. It wont kill him however.
I used Mirror once again, this time turning into another Elf besides Elieya.
The Elf’s name was Shukalaaya, Elieya’s older sister.
She was very tall for a woman, with long slitted eyes and a husky voice — an androgynous woman, who would have her own fan club in a girls’ school.
By the way, Shukalaaya uses the first person pronoun [boku].
After transforming into Shukalaaya, I waited for a little while, I then headed towards the grimoire store and entered.
Seeing my Elven form, Ruby’s grandfather widened his eyes.
“Well hello there miss Elf, never seen you around. What kind of grimoire would you be needing today?”
“Hm. Something on the lines of lightning attack magic, I suppose”
“That won’t be a problem but —”
I then engaged in negotiations with Ruby’s grandfather for a while.
Twenty minutes later—
“U … uuuh …”
Ruby’s grandfather suddenly collapsed. The [Kiri Curse] I cast earlier was showing its effect.
“Gramps!? What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
I deliberately yelled out loud.
Then sensing something amiss, Ruby who locked herself up in the second floor came down in a hurry.
“G g … grampa!?”
Seeing her grandfather with widened eyes, Ruby was upset.
“You’re the granddaughter? Gramps suddenly collapsed. Hurry and call a doctor. I’m new here, just came to town. I don’t know where I can find a clinic. Can you show me to it?”
I carried Ruby’s grandfather in a princess carry.
Then together with a pale-faced Ruby, we headed to the clinic.
“Hm … overwork, I think”
The doctor who examined Ruby’s grandfather confidently declared.
The Kiri Curse was a nigh undetectable magic. The curse would go on without being noticed by the target and eat into their body.
Well, my imitated power don’t have that kind of strength, so it’ll wear off on its own if you left it alone.
“G … grampa … c, can you … save grampa … ?”
Ruby’s voice was quaking more than it usually was.
“Well, hm … I think he’ll be fine”
Hearing the doctor give an uncertain answer, Ruby’s body quivered.
To Ruby, her grandfather was her only remaining family.
Her beloved family, who kindly took care of her after losing her parents.
I’m sure Ruby would be thinking now: “if only Yuutarou is here right now …”
But right now, Yuutaro wasn’t in town. He’s off on another expedition.
I deliberately chose this timing and instigated an incident.
“Calm down little lady. I’m here”
I said so with a gentle voice, then I gripped Ruby’s trembling hand.
Being helpless, Ruby gripped my hand back.
“Say, if this happened to gramps again, will you have money for the doctor’s fees?”
“D, doctor’s fees … right … I, have to work … but, what should I, do …”
Since her grandfather collapsed, Ruby had to take over the grimoire store’s management.
She had to earn both her living costs and her grandfather’s medical expense.
However, that was clearly a difficult task.
Close to impossible.
Managing the store was a considerable task.
Ruby fell into despair —
“— by the way, I heard this from gramps, but did you write this?”
Choosing that timing, I took out a book from my purse.
The novel Ruby wrote — the one I made into a book.
“T, that one … !? No … no, not no … I wrote it … but, I didn’t, publish it, as a book … ”
“You’ve got the talent”
“… eh ……?”
“You’re a diamond in the rough, but you’re good with the descriptions and character development. Hm, and the ambience too. The bed scene even excites me as a woman.
“Say, if it’s alright with you, are you willing to write the sequel? Make it longer and continue the story. Maybe two or three more volumes”
“T, that’s … not, a short novel anymore …”
Ruby shook her head.
“A, also … t, this is n, not the time to … talk about this … ”
“No, this is exactly the time to talk about this: if you’re willing to write, I’ll cover your living expenses and your grandfather’s medical bills. I’ll pay you one gold per volume you write”
“O, one gold … !? W, why do … you … ”
Ruby was amazed.
“Hey hey, is it that weird? It’s common for people with money to support people with talent, you know — I want to be your patron, that’s all”
“B … but, I don’t know, if I can do it …”
“I don’t know either, whether you can or not. I’m not a god after all. Listen up, what’s needed in a work is not confidence but a will. — do you want to write, or do you not want to write. Ask your own heart”
Ruby put her hands on her large chest.
She looked down and sank into silence.
She was probably thinking: which one would she rather do, manage the grimoire store or write novels.
But before that, which one could she do.
Ruby then raised her face.
“I, … I’ll write!”
“I see, then write. Let me say this beforehand, I’m a strict person so be ready, okay. — anyway, my name’s Shukalaaya, call me Shuka”
“I’m … Ruby”
Me in the form of an Elf and the timid huge breasted girl shook hands.
Phase two of her Initiation, “Meeting with the Benefactor” begins now.