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    Translated by Tam
    Edited by Genie


     

    “Phew, if it’s a dog, I’d rather keep it by my side.”

     

    She headed to the attic, imagining carrying a dog resembling Serwin. 

     

    ‘The things I bought yesterday are on the workbench.’ 

     

    Amelie went to the workbench and checked the goods. From the items she purchased herself to the poppy flowers and fruits Milena bought separately. 

     

    ‘The oil used for magic takes some time to be pressed, so in the meantime, I can prepare a letter and my tools.’ 

     

    The first thing to do was to extract oil from the poppy’s flowers and fruits that still had seeds in them.

     

    Amelie boiled water in a pot and opened the bag. One bag contained colorful flowers that reminded her of a ruffle dress. 

     

    ‘It’s as fresh as if they were freshly picked. I was worried if I could get it because this wasn’t the right season.’

     

    She opened the bag and put it down near the pot. 

     

    The other sack had a round fruit that looked like a lucky bag. It was a little unripe compared to what she wanted. 

     

    ‘As expected the capital of the Empire.’

     

    After the flowers have faded, the fruit appears. Getting flowers and fruits at the same time showed they were getting things from different places. They were able to preserve the two together since it is the capital of the empire, where everything on the continent gathers. Of course, Milena’s resourcefulness had to have played a role as well.

     

    Amelie cut the fruit and put it on the rack. A thick liquid flowed through the sheath and collected in a glass. 

     

    By that time, the water was boiling and water vapor was spilling out.

     

    The method she was trying to use was an oil extraction method called the steam distillation method. It was the most popular method of extracting oil from plants using hot steam.

     

    Amelie magically drained the water and trapped only water vapor in the pot. Then, poppy flowers were poured into the pot. It looked like a red waterfall pouring down. 

     

    The petals were mixed in the boiling water. At this time, the components of the flower are extracted and mixed with water vapor. Then, when the pot is rapidly cooled, water vapor becomes water and accumulates in the pot. At this time, the oil of the flower cannot be mixed in water and floats. 

     

    ‘It takes time until everything is ready, so let’s write a letter.’

     

    The letter was intended to write down the date and place of meeting and send it to the witches.

     

    Amelie left the pot for a while and moved to the workbench. It was written in her book that it must be written in goat’s blood on parchment, not on paper. She dipped a pen in her goat’s blood and wrote on parchment.

     

    [Grand Malt Hunting Area 3, midnight a week later]

     

    Amelie, who wrote briefly, rolled up the parchment and tied it well with a leather strap. 

     

    ‘And the latex of the fruit is mixed with the oil—’ 

     

    Amelie recalled the contents of the book and packed a glass with fluids. The glass contained a faint liquid. When diluted, it was used as a medicine or as a drug. It is effective for labor, fever, and could be used as an anesthesia, but the side effects were that it was easy to become addicted and had strong withdrawal symptoms. 

     

    ‘If I use it like this—’

     

    Amelie poured the oil into the pot and used the magic of purification. The room was filled with a sweet smell with white smoke.

     

    Only the bright purple liquid remained in the pot. She moved it into a bottle, opened the window to ventilate it, and Milena came into the room just in time. 

     

    “Miss Amelie, your meal is ready. If you’re busy, should I bring it here?”

     

    “No, I’ll go to the dining room.”

     

    Amelie finished cleaning up and moved to the dining room.

     

    *****

     

    After eating, Amelie prepared to go out.

     

    On the day she went to Renia’s tea party, she asked Milena to investigate the anomalies in the Imperial Palace, but she had recently found out where the anomaly occurred. 

     

    “When I asked the people of the Imperial Palace, there was a place where an abnormality occurred recently.”

     

    “How recently?” 

     

    “About two years. I usually don’t remember before that. The Ministry of Internal Affairs must have recorded everything, but I couldn’t see it under my authority. I’m sorry.” 

     

    “It’s okay, I can ask His Majesty for that.” 

     

    “Instead, I knew exactly about people who did strange things.”

     

    “Okay. We’ll hear about it as we go.”

     

    Amelie tried to identify the place where there was an abnormal phenomenon. It was to find out if it was really caused by the energy of disaster or if it was the same phenomenon as Renia. 

     

    “Miss Amelia too stands out, so I think it would be better for you to transform.” 

     

    Amelie nodded at Milena’s suggestion. Wherever she went, she caught their attention from the moment she stepped out of the water. The places she often goes, the expressions she makes, and the things she shows interest in. Everything she did became a rumor and spread quickly. 

     

    From others’ perspective, it would be just going around the imperial palace, but there was nothing good about attracting attention.

     

    “If possible, please transform into a rabbit. I’ll hold you.” 

     

    Milena’s eyes twinkled. 

     

    “It would be nice if I could transform to my liking.”

     

    Amelie let out a sigh. No matter how much she practiced, she couldn’t improve her transformation skills. In the book, it is said that if she makes a proper transformation, she can speak even in animal form. That was a long way off for Amelie.

     

    ‘If I could change my hair color or eye color at the very least, it wouldn’t stand out.’

     

    Unfortunately, it was a problem that she couldn’t deal with right away.

     

    Amelie turned into an animal despite her disappointment. With a soft Pong sound, her sight went round and round. When she opened her eyes, she saw Milena’s shoes. The toe of her shoe was at Amelie’s eye level. That means she’s as short as her shoes.

     

    ‘What animal is it this time?’

     

    Amelie looked around and looked in the mirror. Everything was so big that she couldn’t tell where it was. She felt as if she had just arrived in the giant country. 

     

    “Miss Amelie, oh my. It’s a hamster.”

     

    Milena burst into laughter. Amelie flinched and trembled like a fur ball.

     

    “Here’s the mirror.”

     

    When she looked in the mirror that Milena held out, there was a hamster standing in the mirror. Mint eyes and pink nose that sparkled like beads were cute. The body was as small as a child’s fist and had pink hairs that glowed like Amelie’s hair. Heh, her open mouth looked somewhat foolish.

     

    ‘A hamster is a bit too much, right?’

     

    At the very least, cap birds, although of similar size, were able to fly. Hamsters can’t fly, and they don’t jump like rabbits, so it didn’t seem like it would be of much help.

     

    ‘It’s better to just go as a person. Take the broomstick and go—’

     

    As soon as Amelie tried to use the transformation magic again, Milena screamed.

     

    “It’s so cute! I think it’d be great if it could fit in my pocket. Wait a minute.” 

     

    Milena tried to put Amelie in her apron pocket.

     

    ‘No, no.’

     

    As Amelie swung her short arms forward, Milena’s expression grew more passionate. Desperate gestures added to her dazed expression, she was suffocatingly cute.

     

    “It’s okay. Smaller ones are better. If you go into my pocket, no one will be able to see Amelie. What’s wrong with a hamster? It’s cute. As long as it’s cute.”

     

    ‘I, is that so?’

     

    “Okay now, let’s go into my pocket.”

     

    Amelie nodded without a choice. Milena put Amelie in her apron pocket and stepped outside. Even though she was walking well, she sometimes bowed her head and smiled happily as she saw Amelie in her pocket. 

     

    *****

     

    As Milena said, the pocket was a perfect hideout. While moving, the two encountered many people, but no one knew Amelie’s existence.

     

    ‘Hamster is good too, huh?’

     

    Hamsters seemed to be better than ambiguous sized rabbits at hiding.

     

    “The place we’re going now is the place where the most strange phenomenon has been discovered recently.”

     

    Milena said. 

     

    ‘Did Young Lady Serina say that last time? After a foggy day, the garden suddenly rotted.’ 

     

    It was a story she heard by chance at a tea party with Renia. The garden, which had been intact overnight, had decayed, and the corpses of animals and insects were piled up on the ground. It was similar to what she saw in Fidelia Forest. 

     

    Perhaps the expression ‘rotten’ was an exaggeration, but the strange smell became stronger as they approached the garden. It smelled like fishy water and the smell of spoiled food. 

     

    “It smells weird, doesn’t it?”

     

    At Milena’s words, Amelie nodded.

     

    “It’s a smell that you shouldn’t keep smelling for some reason.”

     

    As she reached the garden, the smell became stronger. It was a strong smell that even a person with a good stomach could return.

     

    “It’s here.”

     

    The garden was surrounded by high fences, with warnings in the middle to prevent people from accessing.

     

    ‘Milena better stay here.’

     

    Witches were resistant to some poison, but there was nothing good about ordinary people stepping into such a place. Amelie frowned at the discomfort felt even with the fence in between.

     

    “Will it be okay?”

     

    Amelie tapped Milena’s hand meaning not to worry. Milena took out Amelie and carefully put her on the ground.

     

    ‘It’s far away over there.’

     

    Amelie waved her little hand.

     

    “Will you call me if anything happens? You’re so small that I’m more anxious.”

     

    ‘What are you saying?’

     

    Amelie pricked her ears as she shrugged her shoulders. Her small shoulders ruffled her hair. Milena stepped back, holding her heart at Amelie’s cute appearance.

     

    ‘Now let’s go inside!’

     

    Amelie looked straight at the fence. There was a small gap between the fence and the ground. It wasn’t of a generous size, but she thought it would be possible to squeeze through. 

     

    ‘I can go through over there.’

     

    As she entered a small gap between the ground and the fence, she could see the garden.

     

    ‘Ugh.’

     

    It was an empty lot with nothing. It seemed to have been organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The only clue to the fact that this place was a garden was the grass that was being tangled and rotting. Amelie slowly walked inwards. Beyond the fence, it was exactly what Amelie thought. The dead grass and insects were tangled over the black soil, giving off a bad smell. Dead animals and trees were removed, but traces of decay remained intact.

     

    ‘Ugh, I can’t go around.’

     

    As soon as she took a step, Ameli’s small feet sank into the muddy soil. A sticky liquid protrudes from the rotten grass. At this rate, her fur would all wet. At least no one else could see, but she didn’t want to bury this unidentified disgusting muck all over her body. 

     

    ‘Since there’s no one watching, can’t I just transform back into a human for a second?’

     

    Amelie quickly transformed into her normal self. 

     


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    Tam

    Travis Translation

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