“It seems to me that the there is a reason that the Thorn Princess cannot say more than she has.”
As this was a secret conversation, Reggie had taken me outside of the castle and to a small hill. We were sitting side by side on a bare boulder that stuck out of the ground. I could see that he had grown much in the year and several months that had passed.
His legs had grown longer. He had already been half a head taller than me last year, but now my head only reached his chest when we stood together. And I had grown myself during this time.
His silver hair was also longer now. His face had become more angular… I felt like he had changed from an angelic beauty to something more god-like.
Due to all of this, he had a much more mature air about him now. And he had already been a very composed person before.
Alan had also experienced something like growing pains. And so I had expected it to a degree… I don’t know. But it was as if I was meeting him for the first time. Like it was slightly embarrassing.
In fact, I had been quite bothered by how flustered I was getting since before we left the castle.
After all, here was the embodiment of a beautiful character who was now three-dimensional. And he was casually calling me with an ‘Ah, Kiara.’
I should be forgiven for pulling away from him a little.
Alan, I met regularly and was used to. But even then, there were times when I would be surprised looking at his profile.
It was because of all this, that I was very happy I could now ride on my own when he offered me a place on his horse.
Even when we came to sit on this rock, I attempted to maintain a certain distance, but Reggie had casually thwarted me.
There was no difference in this distance then that time we sat together in the Thorn Princess’ forest.
And yet it tickled something deep in my heart.
But I put on an unbothered expression so as to hide it, and answered.
“If she is bound to be silent, does that mean that magicians have some sort of restriction?”
“I think so. But she says that we only need the stone. I don’t think you should be in any trouble even if something were to happen. …And Kiara, don’t you want to just lie low without having to touch magic?”
“Well, yes. I mean, there is really nothing I can do now.”
It wasn’t so much that I wanted to lie low, it was that I couldn’t do anything at all.
In fact, I had been secretly testing myself to see if I could use magic. But no names of spells would cause anything to occur. On top of that, it had resulted in something very embarrassing when Maia witnessed me trying. I would never relate this to Reggie.
“Really? Alan’s told me that you haven’t gone wild or anything yet… But I am worried.”
A cloud passed over Reggie’s face as he looked down towards me. He placed his hand over mine as it lay on the rock’s surface.
Woah. Reggie, this is really, very embarrassing!
I mean, while they are at a distance, aren’t your two guard knights still looking at us?
Our hands were touching in a way that would not be visible to the two knights. As if this was a secretive relationship!
The spring sun shined down on us, but unlike the boulder which was only tepid, Reggie’s hand was warm.
And that was causing my heart to beat furiously.
My pulse was racing as if I had just been running with all my might. I started to feel dizzy. I decided to ask him honestly before I became deranged.
“And, um, Reggie. Your hand…why?”
“Ah, I’m making sure of something.”
“You don’t need to know just yet.”
What was with those suggestive words! I knew that they were suggestive, but I had no idea what the reason for all of this was!
And then, as if to avoid further questions, Reggie decided that we should return to the castle.
As his stay was only one week, we did not have much time for long talks before he had to leave.
But, he was a smart one.
On the trip here and back, he had visited two houses of nobles and brought them to his side. Once I heard this, I remembered that they had been neutral in the game, though the merciless troops of Ruain would later destroy them.
Of course, it was likely that he had done work in the palace to encourage nobles to make their allegiances clear. But even then, these houses had been adamant about their neutrality, and he had changed their opinions. To me, this was nothing short of magic.
I would ask him just how he accomplished this the next time we meet. Wait…
“Was it, six months?”
There were only six months left until Reggie was to die as fate demanded.
According to the game, his next visit would be in six months.
Once I thought this, panic began to control my heart. The feeling was unbearable.
But the only thing that I could do now was to believe the Thorn Princess, and wear the red stone she had given me, which I had turned into a pendant.
As for my inquiries on becoming a magician, she had essentially said ‘just wait and it will be fine.’ So this stone must be necessary when the time came for me to become one. And as this would also involve death, we had asked if magicians turn to sand when they die. But for this, there was no answer.
If this was the result of asking the most likely source of information, then I really had no choice but to wait and lie low. After all, I was not allowed to just leave the Everal lands whenever I wanted.
The only thing that I could do was to write a list of things to be careful of and things that he should know when the time was close, and hand it over to the Margrave.
And then came early summer.
Perhaps it was because things had been so uneventful up until now, but everyone had their guard down.
I was accompanying Madame Beatrice as she visited one of the branch families of the Margrave in the north, when we encountered a new situation.
Thank you for reading! I really appreciated all your nice comments for the last chapter. Sorry, this was a little late.