As soon as I get home from the Royal Palace, I hole myself up in the library.
My goal is to throw myself into practicing magic so that I can keep elevating my rank.
Though unfortunately, the progress these days has been extremely slow.
Ever since reaching level 80 it’s been quite difficult to raise my level further.
Could I be experiencing a slump…..
“Nothing’s happening,” Gilles notes cheekily, looking up at me in curiosity.
He had kindly agreed to tag along with me to the library for my magic practice, but instead of cheering me on, he’s been sitting next to me with his nose stuck in a book this whole time.
“Why isn’t this going well It’s not working at all,” I sigh, frustrated.
“I don’t know.
But I think it’s already plenty amazing to have reached level 80 at your age.”
“This isn’t nearly enough! The saintess has finally appeared! Who cares if I’m level 80 at 13.
My abilities need to be awe-inspiring for me to even have a chance to overshadow her mere existence,” I complain loudly.
Gilles looks at me for a moment, amazed at my outburst.
Then he sighs.
“If that’s how you feel, then fine, do whatever you want.
Just don’t even think about forcing your way up to level 100 just cause things are moving too slowly for you.”
I still remember what Grandpa Will had told me.
Jumping levels could mean that I might never be able to use magic again……
I need to make sure to level up just one rank at a time.
And with that understanding in mind, I’m about to resume my magic practice when another thought strikes me.
Something that Gilles had said at the Royal Palace pops into mind.
“Is it true that the saintess is supposed to marry the next king”
“That’s what I read in a book,” he tells me and then he walks off somewhere.
Hm Where could he be going right in the middle of our conversation like that…..
Oh well! I also need to concentrate on getting stronger anyway.
I try to focus completely on my magic practice again.
Taking in a slow, deep breath, I clear my head and calm my heart.
And then I imagine it…..
I imagine myself turning into a lion.
I’m currently trying to attain magic that will allow me to shapeshift into animals.
Because, for some reason, shapeshifting is lumped in as one of the specialties of darkness magic.
Honestly, the more I learn about magic, the more confused I become as to how the divisions between elements were decided.
Why does darkness magic, which is supposedly based around destruction and healing, also contain shapeshifting
As I thought, it’s just better not to question it.
Thinking about it is literally pointless.
But you know, the further I delve into magic, the more I’m convinced that darkness is a good-for-nothing, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink element.
It’s like those stupid gamemakers just threw all the leftover spells that aren’t particularly useful into one element and called it a day.
I can completely feel their love for darkness magic in their total disregard for spell continuity.
But it’s fine.
This is what I have to work with.
I’ll just have to turn this trash element into something actually useful! I can do this….
No, I will do this! And now, I’m going to break through to the next level!
I concentrate all my senses on myself.
Trying to feel my body and imagine it shifting.
And just when I manage to shut out everything else around me and focus…..
“Ali~” I hear Gilles’s voice calling for me.
I’m snapped out of it once again in an instant.
For my concentration to be interrupted this easily, as a villainess I still have a long way to go it seems.
“Uwagh!! What the hell! Why do you look like that!”
The moment Gilles sees me he jumps nearly a foot in the air in surprise.
Look like that What do I look like
I walk over to the floor length mirror that I had placed against the bookshelves.
I seem to be walking like normal, so what could have changed for him to…..
What the heck!？
“My ears, nose, and mouth have all become like a cat’s! And are these….
whiskers …I even have a tail!”
When I finally see my reflection, my heart feels like it’s been given a shock.
So this sort of thing can happen when magic’s been interrupted… Only a couple parts of me have become like a lion.
My new ears are pitch black in color….
does that mean that your hair color designates what color fur you’ll have when you transform
….But, fur color aside, I still look way too human.
From this travesty I can tell just how lacking my magic abilities are.
“This look is kind of familiar….. Ah! I look like I’m cosplaying!”
“Cospuraying” Gilles asks blankly, tilting his head to the side in confusion.
Oh yeah, cosplaying isn’t a thing in this world.
More importantly, what did you want to tell me”
Gilles is staring at me hard.
Is my appearance really that absurd It’s like he’s so distracted by it that my words aren’t even registering to him.
“Gilles” I say a little more loudly.
At the same time, I also undo the transformation spell.
He flinches, his breath hitching in surprise, and finally his eyes flick to mine.
After a moment more of just looking at each other, he finally remembers that he had been in the middle of telling me something.
It’s written in here,” he says, walking over to me with a book in his hand.
He flips open to the page that he had marked by shoving his finger into the book.
I read the paragraph that he is pointing to.
『The saintess exists to marry the king and bring peace to his country.』
So it’s true.
Wow. That’s the whole reason that the saintess exists I guess the heroine and Duke-Sama really are fated to be together then.
“To be unable to change your fate… I almost feel bad for her now.”
If the saintess and the king didn’t get along, how awful a life would that be Especially since I’m not so sure that Liz-san and Duke-Sama are actually seeing eye-to-eye at present.
“He’s already changed his fate, though Duke, I mean,” Gilles says smiling.
He seems to be watching me particularly closely as he says this.
“Although you didn’t do anything, Alicia, you still slept in the same room as him, you know”
“Was that really such a bad thing”
Gilles sighs heavily as if he can’t believe that I have to ask about something so obvious.
“You know, Alicia For someone so smart, you’re really dumb sometimes.”
Just hurry up and explain what you mean.”
“You’re not denying it,” Gilles laughs, gaping at me in mock surprise.
“Just tell me,” I say while glaring menacingly at him.
“Do you even realize that you’re a young lady belonging to one of the five great noble houses”
“Ohh! So that’s what you meant.”
“Do you really understand what I’m trying to say”
“Yeah, of course.
But, isn’t everything fine It’s Duke-Sama we’re talking about, you know I’m sure he’ll explain everything properly to everyone.
He won’t let there be any misunderstandings.”
Gilles gapes at me in actual disbelief this time.
If his eyes were to open any wider than that, his eyeballs would be in danger of falling right out.
“So that’s how it is, huh Alicia, you’re actually just really dense,” Gilles mutters as if he just had an epiphany.
….Dense That’s the one thing I don’t want to be called the most.
Agh, what a lousy feeling.
I can’t believe Gilles would call me dense….
Me! Of all people!
“Dense…! I’ll have you know that I at least realized that Duke-Sama has romantic feelings for me.
But, if he’s fated to marry the saintess, then there’s nothing that can be done about it,” I snap while glaring daggers at him.
Some people might criticize me for getting so angry with a child much younger than me, but I don’t care.
Villainesses are supposed to have short tempers.
Moreover, he dared call me dense! I’m not dense.
It’s the heroine that’s dense!
“You don’t have to get that mad about it.
I was just trying to say that I think Duke’s actions were premeditated, that’s all,” Gilles says.
He doesn’t seem to be cowed in the slightest by my big show of anger.
…..Premeditated Like, he had me sleep in the same room as him because he already knew that the next king and the saintess would be expected to get married in the future
Are you telling me that he’s been thinking from one step ahead this whole time
“So, do you understand my point now” Gilles asks me, peering up into my face.
This… might actually become a huge issue.
If Duke-Sama and I were to get married, then won’t that mean that Liz-san will never listen to me again I mean, Liz-san likes Duke-sama, right If we get married, forget being able to confront her, she’ll probably end up just ignoring me completely!
That’s the equivalent of me not being able to pick a fight with her anymore! I can’t let that happen.
It’s precisely because I can stand opposite the saintess that my evil deeds as the villainess will be able to shine!
Wouldn’t this sort of development completely shatter my chances of making my dream come true
….Don’t you dare try to mess with me on this! I am going to show this whole world just how splendid of a villainess I can be.
Duke-Sama may have already made it loud and clear through his actions that he harbors romantic feelings for me, but he has yet to say it out loud that he likes me….
So for now at least, I should be fine…!