Grandpa Will, after revealing his identity, had sent us off without fanfare.
He told us to come back again later, and with that Gilles and I quickly left the village.
Despite having already realized his identity at some point along the way, the moment that he told us his full name my arms broke out in goosebumps.
To think that this is what he meant when he said he used to work for the royal palace….
So many questions flooded my mind that I wanted to ask him, but in the end Gilles and I did as Grandpa Will suggested and left without saying anything.
Gilles and I were both lost in thought on the way back so neither of us spoke as we walked.
And by the time we reached the house, it was still ungodly early so I decided to return to my little cabin for a bit.
Gilles also said he had some things to take care of in his room and trotted off into the mansion as I was turning to leave.
And now I’m back in the little hut I’ve called home for the last two years.
The first thing I did when I came in was throw myself down on the bed.
It’s so early and yet I feel like so many things have already happened today.
I wonder just how much his intelligence has grown after all this time There seemed to be even more wisdom than before swirling in those gray eyes of his.
As for me, I practiced magic like my life depended on it for these last two years.
And, when I needed a break, every waking moment was spent either reading or exercising.
Day in and day out, that was all I did.
Honestly, there were numerous times that I wanted to give up.
There were whole weeks, whole months, during which I saw no progress and the despair nearly overtook me.
But, in those moments I just reminded myself of my goal.
No matter what, I want to become a villainess, and who has ever heard of a villainess that lacks conviction We are a breed of women with high pride and lofty ambition and determination.
If I were to give up here, then that would be grounds for complete disqualification from my one true goal in this lifetime.
Even with that knowledge though, I still struggled a lot.
Around the time that I started learning the ancient language of the Duelkis Kingdom was a particular low point for me.
Who would have thought that the level 87 magic that allows you to exchange a part of yourself with that of someone else would require you to chant in the ancient language!
But even with that huge hurdle, I still managed to attain level 91 in just two years!
Learning the ancient language in such a short amount of time….
I really must be a genius!
But, as if such personal struggles to improve my magic level weren’t enough, being completely alone like that for so long was a lot tougher than I expected.
It was lonely, not having anyone to talk to….
But I will say that I think I bore the solitude quite well indeed.
As a villainess, I need to be okay with being alone.
And after two years of seclusion, I dare say I mastered that trait quite nicely.
Rather than saying it requires emotional fortitude, I would say that patience was actually key in keeping my sanity.
I’ve become very, very good at waiting.
But I think I’ve been waiting long enough now.
It’s time to get up and leave this place.
With that, I fling myself off the bed and stand up, energized and ready for the day.
As I’m looking around, I notice that my worldview seems decidedly narrower than it was before.
Though, despite having entirely lost one my eyes, oddly enough I’m not in any pain.
It’s quite the strange feeling actually.
The area that I can see now looks so small.
And there’s also a huge blind spot on my left side.
Having no periphery vision there is somewhat disconcerting, though I’m sure I’ll get used to it after a while!
The most troubling thing is that my sense of distance has been completely thrown off.
There are times when I look around and it’s almost as if everything has become flat, like I’m looking at this world through a screen once again.
It hit me particularly hard while I was walking back through the woods, so I found myself stumbling quite a lot on rocks and roots as they appeared in my path.
In sudden remembrance, I glance down at my feet.
I lift them off the ground to take a look at my soles and see there’s not only a small amount of blood dried on them….
I guess going around barefoot really is dangerous.
From now on, I really need to make sure to wear proper footwear before traipsing about in the woods.
But something like this is nothing that a little magic can’t fix.
Lightly, I snap my fingers.
…..Huh Nothing happened…
Chills run down my spine.
A cold sweat instantly soaks my back and my hands clam up.
I snap my fingers once again, a little more desperately this time.
But still nothing happens.
I can feel all the blood rushing out of my face.
Why can’t I use magic I’m not definitely not wearing a magic sealing collar right now.
As the panic starts to set in, I hear a knock on the door.
“It’s Gilles,” a clear voice calls from outside.
But I don’t move.
I don’t say anything.
I’m too shocked about not being able to use magic.
Without waiting for a reply, Gilles slowly pushes the door open and comes into the cabin.
“Alicia… Is there something wrong”
I look over at him dumbly.
In one of his hands he’s holding a long, thin, black cloth.
What could it be….
“What’s that” I ask, trying to pretend that everything’s fine.
made something for you…..” he says, and then offers me the black piece of cloth.
…..An eye patch
“You made this”
It’s not fancy or anything, so it wasn’t hard,” he says shyly, averting his gaze.
To be able to make something like this in such a short amount of time…..
he’s really skilled! It looks like Gilles’s abilities in the feminine arts aren’t to be scoffed at.
“Thank you,” I say, taking the eye patch from his hand and immediately putting it on.
I glance over at the mirror to see how I look.
Hmm, not bad at all.
I think it actually suits me.
It really helps emphasize my villainous nature, too. No, I quite like this new aesthetic.
“So Why were you spacing out earlier” Gilles asks, his eyes probing my face.
….He’s gotten pretty good at reading my expressions it seems.
I thought I had been doing a decent job of staying calm while putting on the eye patch, but he was able to see right through me.
Since he already knows that something is wrong, I guess I should just tell him.
I had only been hiding it because I wasn’t ready to face the thought myself, but I guess there really is no time like the present.
I turn away from the mirror and look straight at Gilles.
As I look down at him, I can’t help but feel that he looks even smaller than usual.
It seems that having your sight cut in half affects your vision in all sorts of ways.
“I don’t seem to be able to use magic anymore,” I blurt, my voice sounding a bit too loud in my ears.