18-SS2. Grand Witch's Secret
"Good afternoon, Satou-san. Give me the usual please."
As I was tending the Hero Store at Fortress City Akatia, a girl wearing a wide cap witch hat who named herself a pupil of the Great Witch, Tia-san came by.
"Good afternoon, Tia-san. You mean energy drink, isn't it."
"Thank you. Yep this is it, I really can't go on without this~."
I noticed her coming from the dot in my Radar so I had prepared the energy drink beforehand.
"So like, Tia-san."
Arisa who was having a chat with me spoke to Tia-san with her cheek still sticking on the counter.
Tia urged at Arisa to continue on with her glance as she gulped down the energy drink.
"How come you don't look your age?"
Arisa asked while staring at Tia-san's youthful face.
"--My age? But, I do?"
Tia-san replied back while tilting her head in confusion.
"I mean your real age is--"
Tia-san swiftly blocked Arisa's mouth.
"Don't you know that disclosing a lady's age is an unladylike behavior?"
Arisa consented mimicking Nana's speech.
"But how come you look so young then? Are you maybe like, taking a lotsa rejuvenation medicine?"
"I'm not. --I mean, where would I even get my hands on a supply of rejuvenation medicine? They rarely get dropped even in Bloodsucking Labyrinth, let alone other labyrinths. I've never heard one being dropped in this Sea of Trees' labyrinths at least."
I believe there's a recipe for rejuvenation medicine in Elven Village's Forbidden Archive, but I should keep my mouth shut else it'd get bothersome.
"It's thanks to the vast amount of mana from Source."
Tia-san said something problematic.
Wait, are you saying that I'm gonna be young forever due to ruling over the continent's biggest Source at [Valley of Dragons]?
"Mana? Come to think of it, I'm kinda growing up really slowly too..."
Arisa who looked as shocked as me at the realization had her shoulder tapped by Mia who participated in the conversation before anyone realized.
"T-that cannot be! What's gonna happen to Arisa-chan's indulgent body then!?"
Arisa shouted out loud while striking 'The Scream' painting pose.
"What's wrong nodesu?"
Tama and Pochi who overheard Arisa's shout came out of the backroom.
Arisa replied back with a shaken voice but then she got taken aback when she saw Tama's and Pochi's childish figures.
"Right right, now that you mention it... These girls haven't really been growing up either."
Speaking of which, they've been getting enough rests and meals for their growth spurt phase, yet these two look exactly like they were when we first met.
Though not on the level of Arisa and Mia, these two possess mana (MP) far beyond common men due to their radical rate of level up.
"Perhaps the rapid level up hinder their growth?"
"Oh it's okay, it'll be fine."
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Tia-san who overheard my whisper flapped her hand in the air.
"There's nothing to worry about, their bodies will adapt to it over the years and take forms that fit their ages best."
"I-is that true?"
Arisa reacted to Tia-san's revelation.
Oh good. Even though the level up was done for their safety, I was panicking for a bit there thinking I'd obstructed their growth.
Though it was too early to celebrate.
"Yes, I believe you're growing up about half the normal rate."
Arisa's expression stiffened up like stone when she heard that.
Seemingly finding the atmosphere awkward, Tia-san put her emptied cup on the counter and hurriedly took her leave after saying, 'That was good'.
"What's the matter, Arisa?"
Lulu and all the girls gathered here with all the racket Arisa was making. The manager of Hero Store, Roro is apparently taking a siesta together with the hamsterkin children.
Arisa hugged Lulu and talked about what just transpired.
"It's okay, Arisa."
Lulu soothed Arisa while combing her hair.
"The term Master put to make us his bride was 『In 5 years』 wasn't it? It's not five year older."
"I see! It is! Lulu genius! As expected of my onee-sama!"
Arisa brightened up and started dancing after taking Lulu by hand.
"As expected of Lulu nanodesu!"
Lured by Arisa's excitement, Tama and Pochi also started happily dancing around them.
They probably didn't really follow the flow of conversation at all, they were just happy to see Arisa livened up.
"Besides, growing slower means--."
Arisa looked at me and smiled deeply.
Why does that smile rings an alarm to my Crisis Perception skill.
"--Master will be forever a shota!"
Arisa made an exaggerated pointing gesture at me.
The nearby Mia looked puzzled.
She sent me an askance glance, but you can't expect me to understand Arisa's acrobatic thought process, can you.
"Meaning, once we have enough of lolishota fun, we'll get straight to oneshota!"
I silently shook my head at that Arisa-like reckless remark.
While inwardly vowing to find out ways to accelerate growth--.