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Ojamajo Doremi 16 Volume 3 Chapter 1 Part4

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CHAPTER 1 - THE PARIS DIVA

PART 04

After enjoying the buffet breakfast at the hotel, we split up and made our way, by train or on foot, to our designated tourist spots on the list.

Aside from the Moulin Rouge and the Montparna.s.se Tower, the other locations were all situated near the city center. That was a relief, since I knew I always get lost easily. Thanks to the fairies’ arrival, we were also able to stake out one location each. After that, we had a late lunch at a cafe along Shanzelize Street.

From the cafe, we had a view of the storefronts of all the most popular brands in the world. Paris really was the fas.h.i.+on capital.

The fas.h.i.+on styles of the people walking along the street were great too, but personally, I felt that the styles in Harajuku and s.h.i.+buya were more exciting for me.

Munching on sandwiches made with French bread, we made decisions on who should stake out the three entrances connecting the human and witch worlds.

Momo-chan and Majorika would head to Majocollete’s antique store, Hazuki-chan and Ai-chan to the MAHO-do, while Onpu-chan and I were in-charge of the entrance in Père-Lachaise cemetery. The fairies would accompany their respective partners.

~~~~~~

Onpu-chan and I boarded the metro and made our way to Philippe Auguste station, reaching it at about three-thirty in the afternoon. By the way, the underground trains in Paris were known as the metro, rather than the subway, like in j.a.pan.

There, we climbed up a gentle slope, and the gates of the cemetery soon came into view.

Huh? Was this really a cemetery? It was large and full of greenery, so unlike those in j.a.pan. It definitely looked more like a park.

The cemetery was laced with stone paths that interconnected seemingly at random. I hoped we wouldn’t get lost… But Onpu-chan stepped inside without any hesitation, making her way quickly to the information center to secure a map of the grounds.

The map was in French, detailing the locations of the graves of all the famous people buried here.

I opened up the guidebook I brought from j.a.pan, and learned that the cemetery covered an area of 40 hectares. We’d take some time to reach the incinerator located in the Northern part of the cemetery.

There were graves of all sizes scattered around, some huge ones with impressive entrances, and several decorated with statues beautiful enough to be displayed in a museum.

The graves of the famous, like Yves Montand and Edith Piaf’s, were decorated with lots of colorful flowers. I didn’t know how long it had been since their deaths, but it was clear that they were still dearly missed even now.

…Quote: Onpu-chan. Haha.

The only famous person I knew was Jim Morrison, lead singer of American rock band the Doors, thanks to Dad’s concert recording CDs.

He was a legendary rock star who died young from drug-related issues, or so Dad said, but his grave was plain and unadorned, surrounded by a small fence. I wondered why he chose to be buried in Paris, since he was an American. I made a note to ask Dad when I went home.

It was a weekday afternoon, so I was surprised to find the cemetery relatively crowded. We saw several tour groups, as well as locals out for a stroll or jog. Some elderly couples were resting on benches, which further made the place seem like a park rather than a cemetery.

I was sweating a little from all the walking, but the spring breeze was really refres.h.i.+ng.

We finally reached the incinerator, concealed behind a grove of trees, and quenched our thirst with water from our bottles. Then, we settled down, chatting amiably as we waited for Hana-chan to appear.

I told Onpu-chan my thoughts about the musical yesterday, and she told me some funny stories about the staff and cast members when they did their London and Paris shows.

Meanwhile, we kept in contact via text message with Momo-chan and Ai-chan. It seemed that Hana-chan had yet to appear at their locations too.

As the sun started to sink towards the western horizon, Onpu-chan grew increasingly quiet. Even when I told her the trials and tribulations of becoming the soccer team manager, she gave only half-hearted replies, her expression clouded.

“What’s wrong, Onpu-chan?” I finally asked.

“Huh?”

“You’re not talking much anymore.”

“Oh. I’m sorry……”

Onpu-chan’s gaze fell to the ground.

I stared at her profile, wondering what was on her mind.

I guess she was making some kind of decision.

Time pa.s.sed in silence.

Dodo and Roro were napping on the branches of the tree above our heads, and I could hear their quiet breaths.

It happened when the sun had sunk below the horizon, and the world entered twilight.

Slowly lifting her head, Onpu-chan gazed straight at me.

“Doremi-chan… I’ll become a witch apprentice too.”

I knew it.

“But you’ve managed to achieve so much even without magic. Do you really want to change that?”

“It’s true that I’ve always rejected the opportunity to become an apprentice again, but…”

Onpu-chan let out a small sigh.

“I still think of Hana-chan as my daughter. I’ve come to realize that my selfish choice is insignificant compared to my daughter’s well-being.”

“Onpu-chan…”

I grasped Onpu-chan’s right hand in both of mine.

“I wanted to become an apprentice again when Ai-chan got injured, but Ai-chan was so strong, so I thought that she’d be fine as long as she had everyone there to support her, so I gave up the thought.”

I nodded in understanding, still grasping her hand.

Thus encouraged, Onpu-chan started to share about her past with Hana-chan.

When she was still a child idol, juggling both career and school left her exhausted, but just watching Hana-chan’s sleeping face gave her energy to go on. When looking into Hana-chan’s innocent gaze, she felt that she could stop pretending to be an adult and actually be herself. In fact, Hana-chan gave her the chance to quit being an idol.

Tears shone in Onpu-chan’s eyes as she recounted these incidents.

“Hana-chan saved me in so many ways… So now, it’s my turn to protect her from those paparazzi.”

“I didn’t mention it before, but when you sent us the information about those videos, I knew you would make this decision, Onpu-chan.”

“Doremi-chan… Will you go with me to see the Queen?”

“Of course!”

I woke Dodo and Roro, leaving them to guard the entrance while Onpu-chan and I traveled to the witch world.

“Leave it to us. We’ll keep watch until you come back.”

Dodo and Roro announced with determination, hands on their cheeks.

“We’ll be back soon!”

We pulled open the incinerator door, and a dazzling light shone through. Onpu-chan and I jumped in.

~~~~~~

Once in the witch world, I quickly transformed into a witch apprentice. Summoning my broom, the two of us flew quickly to the Queen’s palace.

We requested for an audience with the Queen, then told her of our wishes. The Queen’s face clouded over.

But Onpu-chan gazed up at the Queen, a serious expression on her face.

“Please, Your Majesty. Please make me a witch apprentice!”

“All for Hana-chan… I understand.”

The Queen summoned her advisor Majorin, who appeared with a Parara tap and ring.

Accepting the items, Onpu-chan immediately activated the Parara tap.

The tap and ring synced, and Onpu-chan started her transformation dance.

Gloves, boots, dress, hat. Each item appeared in a burst of light, and she became a witch apprentice.

“Pretty, witchi, Onpu-cchi!”

Onpu-chan had transformed into the purple witch apprentice.

“We’ll definitely catch Hana-chan, Your Majesty!”

“I’m counting on you.”

With that, we summoned our brooms and left the palace.

~~~~~~

The moment we flew out of the incinerator door, Dodo and Roro rushed forward to greet us.

“Dodo, Roro, did you see Hana-chan?”

The fairies shook their heads.

It was almost dark, and the cemetery was deserted.

We immediately contacted the others stationed at the other entrances, but it seemed like Hana-chan had yet to make an appearance.

Leaving the cemetery, we made plans to gather at the third observation deck of the Eiffel Tower in 10 minutes.

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