I slowly raise my head.
“Kneeling isn’t something that I want from you,” Grandpa Will says, his brows furrowing ever so slightly.
It feels a bit odd for my own eye to be staring back at me so heavily like this.
He places a kind hand under my shoulder and gently helps me back onto my feet.
“Alicia What are you doing It’s just Gramps, you know” Gilles says peering up at me strangely.
Yeah, I know….
“Well, Master has changed quite a bit~” Rebecca interjects brightly.
“What should I call you” I murmur, and both Gilles and Rebecca’s eyes go wide.
“Eh Like I said, he’s just Gramps”
“Gilles’s right, Alicia.
What do you mean”
“I realize that.
I do! But…..”
The one standing before me isn’t the same Grandpa Will anymore…..
he’s Will Seeker.
Despite suddenly finding out his true identity, I wasn’t planning to treat him any differently.
There’s no reason to after all this time…..
So I thought that the next time I saw him, I’d be able to treat him like the same old Grandpa Will that I’ve known up until now.
I really thought I could….
But the man before me isn’t that same Grandpa Will.
I’m shocked that he was able to hide this dignity, this grandeur, this awe-inspiring intelligence for all this time.
Yes, of course, I always knew that he was exceptionally wise.
But that was because it was obvious whenever he spoke.
Now, he doesn’t even need to speak.
His keen intellect seems to seep out from every pore.
Even though his left eye should be mine, I know I’ve never managed to produce such an effect with it.
It appears so perceptive, thoughtful, insightful, and yet somehow exceedingly lonely…..
Its expression is as if nothing is out of reach, the whole world is spread out clearly before him.
Just from seeing the look in his eye, I get the feeling that this person is far beyond anything I can imagine.
As I stand there, staring at him, I’m suddenly reminded of something that Grandpa Will had said to me a long time ago.
I’m not quite sure what brought the thought to my mind, but…..
Perhaps it was the slightly sorrowful look in his eye
“Alicia, you can call me whatever you’d like,” he says, smiling kindly at me.
That same smile that I’ve grown accustomed to.
His aura may have changed to an unrecognizable degree, but what’s inside is still the same.
“Then I guess….. Uncle Will” I suggest sheepishly.
My voice comes out a bit scratchy and hesitant, and my head is tilted to the side slightly.
I just barely manage to pull my lips into a smile as I speak, but I doubt I’m fooling anyone.
I’m sure I must look like I’d rather cry than laugh right now.
“True, he feels much more like an uncle now than a grandpa.
Maybe I should start calling you Old Man now too.”
“That sounds good”
After saying that, Gilles and Rebecca both burst out laughing.
Grandp….. Uncle Will doesn’t say anything.
He just watches them with a warm look in his eye.
As he glances towards me, his expression changes a little.
He seems to have realized something from the look on my face.
But he doesn’t say anything.
He just watches me calmly, waiting.
Like he knows I’ll speak when I’m ready.
It’s a moment I’ve been waiting for.
I have so many things I want to ask about.
What’s happened here How did the conditions improve so much Was it you who accomplished all this But before asking any of that, I’ve been wanting to know the truth about Uncle Will’s past.
Why were his eyes stolen away from him Why was he expelled from the Royal Palace How did he end up living in the impoverished village
They are things that I’ve wanted to ask about countless times before, ever since I met him.
Though I always held myself back, knowing that I shouldn’t pry.
However, I want to know now more than ever.
I’ve never wanted to know something so badly before.
So, sucking in a small breath and readying myself, I dive right in.
“Uncle Will, that young boy who lost his magic that you told me about all those years ago….
That wasn’t a friend you were referring to, was it” I ask while staring directly into that glowing golden iris, an exact mirror of my own.