The sky was blue and clear.
An ocean that looks like it has been stained with crystal.
Brilliantly sparkling beaches.
Seabirds flitting about and the sound of waves crashing.
「 Waaah, waaah, waaah! That……that is, the ocean!」
Ferris jumped out of the carriage and let out a loud waaah, not bothering to take out her luggage.
She knew the word “ocean”. She had learned the concept of the ocean in her textbooks.
But no amount of words, no amount of maps could ever capture the noise, the breeze, the vastness, the remoteness of the place.
「 Indeed, this is the ocean. 」
Alicia stands next to her and smiles.
Ferris the curiously asked.
「 Umm, how far does this ocean go?」
「 To the shores of Sath’a. 」
「 Where does this water come from!?」
「 From rain and stuff raining. It should have been saving up.」
「 Why is it so sparkly? 」
「 It’s the reflection of the sun’s rays. 」
「 Why are you jumping up and down!? 」
「 Because there’s fish in there. 」
「 Fuaaaaaa……sea……the sea is amazing……」
Ferris’s eyes glittered as they widened fully from excitement.
Jeanette giggled seeing her reaction.
「 Ferris is really new to the ocean, isn’t she?」
Ferris nodded broadly.
「 Yes! I’ve been living in the magic stone mine for a long time, so this is the first time I’ve seen so much water in front of me! I’m very impressed! 」
「 Due to the nearby volcano, this coast is warm enough to be able to enjoy swimming all year round. It’s also famous as a resort area. 」
「 Volcanoes……Is that the thing that emits smoke offshore? Doesn’t it make a big bang?」
Ferris looked at the crater in the distance, feeling uneasy.
「 Don’t worry. It’s said that a long time ago, a famous mage drew magic power from the surrounding veins and sealed the crater with a spell. There’s always been smoke, but there’s never been a full-blown eruption. 」
「 I, I see……Jeanette-san knows a lot, doesn’t she!」
Ferris looked up at Jeanette with respect.
Jeanette stuck her nose up in the air proudly in response.
「 That, that’s right!? Yes, I know everything! I’ll tell Ferris all about the lore of this region, as a special treat! 」
「 You can be a storyteller, but for now, let’s go change first. The sun is going to set. 」
「 Yes! I’m looking forward to swimming!」
Alicia shushes her, Ferris walks away excitedly.
「 Uu……I was also about to start at the good part of it……」
Jeanette, who was planning to show off her vast knowledge, followed Ferris dejectedly.
On the way, they suddenly noticed a person passing by.
A person wearing a sorcerer’s robe and a hood. The surrounding people were all dressed up in resort-like outfits, but only one of them was different, giving off a strange air.
Jeanette ran to stand next to Ferris and Alicia and whispered.
「 There were some strange people who didn’t seem to know what they should be doing in the ocean. 」
「 Weird People?」
「 What’s are they like?」
「 Look, over there 」
When Jeanette turned to point at them.
The sorcerer-like person wearing a robe had already disappeared before they knew it.
「 Eh……? That’s strange……they were there just a minute ago 」
「 Jeanette……are you okay? It’s hot today, so take it easy, okay? 」
「 Don’t worry, I am not going crazy, you know! He was really there! Though I wonder where he went.……」
Jeanette could only tilt her head in confusion.
The three girls changed into their swimsuits and arrived at the beach.
It was as if an angel had descended to the world below, and the people on the beach couldn’t help but take notice.
Ferris looks up at Alicia and Jeanette as the hot sand sears the soles of her feet.
Alicia’s swimsuit is a neat and clean one-piece type. It’s full of elegant frills and has the look of a seaside princess.
Jeanette, on the other hand, is wearing a bold, two-piece type of swimsuit. Jeanette is wearing the swimsuit had her superb proportions unsparingly exposed, her pure white skin glistening in the sunlight.
Watching them, Ferris felt her heart throb a little for some reason. She clasped his hands together and let out an exclamation of admiration.
「 Alicia-san and Jeanette-san both look very mature! I admire them so much!」
「 Ad, admire……!? Ferris is in love with me? That means Ferris is going to live in my house for the rest of her life, right?」
「 What is wrong with your brain, calm down, okay……?」
Jeanette is ecstatic, while Alicia looks at her dumbfounded by her reaction.
Ferris let out a small sigh and looked down at her young body.
「Compared to you two, I’m no good…… How can I become so mature?」
「 Ferris doesn’t have to be a grown-up! You’re the best as you are! I’d rather have you be that way forever!」
「 Is, is that sou……」
At Jeanette’s strangely enthusiastic insistence, Ferris tilted her head in response.
Alicia covers her mouth with her hand and shows a little smile.
「 I think Ferris is the cutest the way she is now, whether you want her to stay that way forever or not. I want to cuddle her so much, I want to bring her home! 」
Ferris feels embarrassed when people say things like that. Feeling her cheeks becoming hot, she squirms and shrinks from embarrassment.
Jeanette also murmured, while her ears are reddening.
「 I, I, myself, also think that you are the cutest thing in the world, Fe, Fe, Fe……」
「 Are you about to sneeze?」
Ferris asked, puzzled at Jeanette’s reaction.
「 No, taht’s not it!」
「 Please don’t hold back. I’ll be waiting for you with my ears closed!」
Ferris presses the palms of his hands to her ears and waits nervously.
「 I don’t sneeze that loudly! The Rheinzlichs are very graceful when it comes to sneezing. 」
「 Oooh, that’s amazing……」
「 I want to hear it! I want to hear it right now! 」
「 I can’t do it even if you asked for it so suddenly. Next time I feel like sneezing, I’ll make sure Ferris hears it.……」
Jeanette is confused inwardly, wondering what she has promised to do.
But looking at Ferris’ eyes shining with anticipation, she knew that she had to live up to her expectations. She decided to practice sneezing from this evening onwards.
「 Come on, Ferris, Jeanette, don’t get too mushy over there or the ocean will run away. 」
「 Does the ocean run away? We’ve got to get him!」
「 No, that’s not how things work!」
Alicia took Ferris’ hand and started running, with Jeanette following them behind.
Ferris kicked up the sand, feeling the comfort of her bare feet, her small body breathing in the sunshine.
In front of them, three men stood as if to block their path.
Their abs are divided in multiple layers, their skin is tanned to a reddish-bronze, and their clothes have an oddly buoyant air.
It was a type of person Ferris had rarely seen before, and she squirmed in fear.
As she clung to Alicia’s arm in fear, then one of the men approached Alicia.
「 Hey, hey, young lady, you’re so beautiful. Why don’t you come hang out with us?」
The other man walks up to Jeanette.
「Wow, your style is awesome! A real angel of the sea! Mermaid! Come and make a summer memory with us! 」
Ferris is confused by the situation.
Alicia then sighed.
「 I’m sorry, but we don’t want any of that. We’re here to hang out as friends.」
Jeanette frowned as well.
「 In the first place, I don’t want to get involved with such vulgar types as you.Please don’t interrupt my precious time with Ferris. 」
「 Oh, that’s harsh! But I like it that way too! She’s like a young lady, isn’t she? What else can we do but make love to her? 」
The men were closing in on them.
Ferris was even more frightened.
「 Hey, uh,are they bad guys? Do I have to fight him!? 」
Alicia stops her from raising her hands. She was on the verge of unleashing a massive spell.
「 No, Ferris, this is just a hook-up. These people are only offering us a temporary relationship. 」
「 Fueeeh, that’s amazing! Alicia and Jeanette-san, is this what they called 『 Picking up Girls?』? I don’t know, but isn’t this amazing! I don’t know what it is, but it’s probably amazing! Everyone is so popular popular!」
Ferris sent a look of respect to Alicia and Jeanette.
Jeanette ruffled her hair and puffed out her chest.
「 We, well? This is something that happens to me everyday. It’s rare that a day goes by when I’m not being picked up by someone on the street.」
「 Wow, that’s really great! I’ve never been picked up by anyone before! 」
When Ferris is a little disappointed, one of the men approaches him.
「 Hey, hey, I wanna play with you, can’t I? I’ll feed you lots of good food. Can we go over there? Okay? Okay?」
「 Eeeh!? Are you okay with a little girl like me?」
When Ferris was worried, the man smiled lazily.
「 I think I rather like little girls…… Ehehehe」
[TL: Flame Thrower Armed, time to burn some trash]
「 I understand! I’ll go!」
Alicia and Jeanette both hold her back by her shoulders.
Jeanette instantly grabs Ferris’ hand and leaves the scene at high speed, while Alicia proceeds to protect the others.
「 Awawa, Jeanette-san!? Why are we running away!? 」
「 Because you must not follow that thing!」
「 But he also said he’d feed me good food……」
「 Don’t get yourself caught up in something that offers good food!」
And then to Alicia.
「 He said he likes small children, and I think he is a good person who likes children…… 」
「 Absolutely not!」
「 Eh, it’s not?」
「 Muu, I’ll do everything I can to protect you, stupid Ferrisーーーー!!」
Ferris didn’t understand why Jeanette was so desperate. It was nice to be pulled by her hand, as if she would never get lost.
The sound of water, the rustle of people.
At the end of the wall, the blue sea awaits.
Ferris ran with Jeanette and Alicia towards the edge of the sea, while feeling a pleasant sensation of warmth all over her body.