Chapter 1 Part 1
~Karl and the self-protection spell~
In front of Alicia, who was clumsily hugging him after she adorably confessed her love, Karl couldn’t hide his happiness and his face showed excitement unlike his usual straight face.
He even tried to play cool and said ‘I know’ to her, but his heartbeat was so loud that he was afraid Alicia would notice it and that thought made him even more nervous.
He did his best to keep out all the bugs that tried to approach her until now. The moment he has been dreaded so much has finally arrived, how could he remain calm through this!?
He thought distancing himself from Alicia would help her realize her feelings. So after enrolling in the academy, he was glad and felt good about his decision even if he had to suffer the loneliness of staying away from her.
He held her delicate body and wished for this moment of happiness to last longer.
Karl gently took Alicia’s chin and brought her face closer to his. Her lips were a few inches away from his. ‘We’re both 18 already, so…’, he thought and lowered his gaze then..
“Hm? What’s wrong, Karl?”
It seemed the protection spell that the Duke casted on Alicia worked fine.
His heart was burning inside but he needed to keep his composure.
“I think it’s just a normal static electrical reaction.”
“It’s that so? But you sounded…”
“I’m fine, I’m fine.”
He could feel a warning from the magic surrounding her so Karl pulled himself back and sat away from her a little bit. The tension was real.
“This.. this is..”
As expected from the strongest magician, even if it is a basic one, the Duke’s protection spell could overwhelm and neutralize Karl’s magic instantly. Despite his attempts at breaking through, the more he tried, the harder it was for him to come close to Alicia. In other words, he has never seen a defense magic this strong that could injure someone.
The magic that was cast on Alicia seemed to have an intelligence of its own. It didn’t see Karl as Alicia’s harmless childhood friend, but a person who could mentally harm Alicia based on his actions and decided to fight back. And right now the magic was ready to attack Karl again.
“For… for now, let’s get you to become able to cast defense magic on yourself as soon as possible.”
Karl tried to maintain his composure but to tell the truth, he was on the verge of getting his face beaten by the Duke’s defense magic.
-Alicia and the day of open campus-
“Welcome! We’re selling student’s handmade cookies~”
“How about a cup of delicious coffee to start your day?~”
The next day, I waited for Karl to come and fetch me. When we arrived at the campus, there were sounds coming from every corner and overlapping with each other. It was so fascinating that my body couldn’t stop trembling from excitement.
I lived as the Duke’s cherished princess inside the residence, walking on the street was an idea that I could never have dreamed of. That’s why for a person like me, being able to be at this crowded place made my heart pound non stop with excitement.
I turned my head to Karl who carefully escorted me and asked him a favor.
“Karl? I want to try some cookies. Do they also serve tea with it?”
There was no response from him so I tried to ask him again.
“Karl? Is there something wrong?”
After a short silence, he released his strength on his arms a little bit and put his left hand on my shoulders.
“No, did you say cookie?”
I could feel the coldness and stiffness from his voice when he answered me back.
“Wait here for me. I’ll be right back.”
He left me but he didn’t go too far. Near where he was standing, I could sense someone else’s presence and it seemed that Karl was requesting a favor from that person. Maybe a friend of his? I thought and decided to wait for him.
Karl immediately returned to Alicia’s side, took her hand and led her away from the shop.
“Hhm? We are not going in?”
“Ah, we need to be more careful on campus. I already arranged a waiting room for us. Let’s go there for now.”
I really wanted to go in but just like that, we ended up leaving and went to the waiting room.
To be honest I felt a little bit dissapointed.
“Karl? I was looking forward to their cookies and hoped to enjoy my time a little more over there. Can you tell me why we have to move to this quiet place?”
My shoulders dropped due to frustration, Karl stopped and took my hand.
“I’m sorry to make you feel that way. I wish to be able to go around and enjoy the festival with you too. But there are so many people, I can’t be sure of your safety.”
“Was it that difficult?”
“Yes. Also a lot of people are coming here for the first time too because of open campus day. Don’t you remember the Duchess went to meet with her acquaintances right after we arrived here? At a place which is the most crowded at this time of year, I can’t bring myself to escort you around.”
At his words, I squeezed the hem of my dress. Now that he mentioned, in my previous life, if a place was so crowded like Tokyo’s intersection, people would hit their shoulders and it would be difficult to just cross it.
“That’s why you led me here?”
Karl gently patted my head while my mouth filled with sighs. Suddenly there were knocks on the door.
The door opened and someone came in right after Karl said that.
“Pardon me, I must have made you wait for a long time. It’s me, Mikhail.”
“Ah, thank you for coming. Can you set a table over there for me?”
“At your command.”
“Where is everyone?”
“They are currently helping with their class. If there is something you want please call me. Then please excuse me.”
Finishing his words, Mikhail somehow put the table down and prepared the seats for us then left the room.
“Come, Alicia. Until there are fewer people, let’s enjoy tea here. Mikhail has brought us the cookies from the shop you liked.”
I lifted my face up at his words. I could smell something delicious. I knew my appearance was causing everyone a hard time, but I could not stop my nose wide open. (*)
(*) a metaphor, means she cannot hide her happiness because everyone is so nice to her.
“Oh my, how nice of him!”
I turned aside and took Kate’s hand as she helped me settle down on the sofa. Looking at her face lightened up with happiness, Karl couldn’t help but feel a tickle inside and let out a chuckle.
“Let’s enjoy the snacks here for the time being. We’ll go out again later when everything calms down. Also, the open public magic class that I told you about before, we can participate together too in the afternoon.”
“Magic class!? I’m so excited! You must help me to go there! Promise?”
“I can’t say no when you ask like that.”- Karl’s voice was full of kindness and sweetness that made Alicia feel warm inside.
“Of course I will, my only princess.”
(*) a metaphor, means she cannot hide her happiness because everyone is so nice to her.
Karl made sure Alicia safely settled down then finally gave out a sigh of relief.
Right now, Alicia was extending out her hand to grab some of the cookies which were brought by Mikhail from the shop. She gently touched the cookie to identify its shape first, then smelled it, and enjoyed the sound of the cookie as she broke it in half. He thought and wondered how could she be this lovely and remembered what he had said to her.
He didn’t lie to her, but did not tell her the truth either. After bidding goodbye to the Duchess, Karl took Alicia’s hand and happily enjoyed the time walking around together. It was true that he simply wished for her to make the most of today’s open campus event
With the rumor of the Duke’s only precious blind princess who never came out of her residence coming to this kind of event for the first time, she eventually attracted everyone’s attention when she arrived.
He was careful not to let Alicia notice but each step they took the more bugs appeared and their will to approach her were noticeable on their faces. He couldn’t do anything because the opponents were the student’s parents who were difficult for him to deal with.
He could somehow understand their interests in Alicia because despite her being blind she is still the daughter of Duke Holsten. When he realized their intention, his body moved unconsciously and led Alicia away from the parents. However, when they got closer to the coffee shop, ladies and young men who wanted to get close to Alicia were watching them nearby. Being watched and the possibility of them following them into the shop they were heading to made Karl refuse to go in.
Mikhail, who was nearby the shop, noticed that Karl was calling him. Karl asked him to get some refreshments and to prepare a waiting room for them to escape in the meantime.
Alicia looked disappointed and it broke his heart so bad. She was always beautiful but today’s dress highlighted her beauty more and made her so eye-catching that people couldn’t help but steal a look at her.
Beside her shining platinum blond hair with her violet eyes were known as uncommon, she also received a balanced mix of beauty from both the Duke and Duchess of Holsten. So it’s natural for her to be noticeable.
More importantly, due to her blindness the way Alicia walked was unusual. Hesitant, weak, these feelings they felt when they saw her stirred their insides, it was the desire to protect her.
Those students he thought hadin control also began to give him the jealous look. He didn’t mind those young men but suddenly a thought of Alicia getting abducted ran through his mind. It worried him so much that he made a decision to retreat to a secured room for her safety.
However he already agreed to go with her, but the shop was so crowded so he hesitated at first. He sighed and thought it would be okay to go there later.
“Karl, what’s wrong?” (・・?)
The maid who always sticks to Alicia like her shadow went to the shop to know more about their menu in order to give a detailed explanation to her master later. She also tested for poison on the food that Alicia was interested in without her knowledge. When she finished tasting, the maid turned over and made a sign to Karl, noting that the food was poison negative. Understood, Karl looked at the innocent Alicia and sweetly smiled at her.
“How does it taste?”
“Oh, I think this cookie is so delicious! What about the steamy fried potatoes?”
“Oh, Southern cooking, they fried those bananas with oil. Isn’t it a little bit unusual? …but fried potatoes?”
After the horse matter the other day, Alicia was again being taken back by another strange subject. When Karl replied back with confusion, she lowered her head and looked in the other direction.
“Hmm, it’s nothing. I see, so there are no potatoes… Then I really want to try it when it’s still hot!”
“? Of course, then in the meantime take a break here. I have to take care of some business so I must leave for a while.”
“Oh, I’m really sorry. You have to take care of your class too. I must have taken a lot of your time. You’re also a student of this school. Don’t worry about me and go”
“Thank you. Then I will take my leave.”
Karl felt delighted at Alicia’s answer as he knew she was the only one who generally cares for him. He gently took her hand and gave her a kiss to activate the protection spell.
When he left, she quietly spent the rest of her time inside the room.
~Alicia and the marauder~
After Karl left, I enjoyed the cookies with Kate giving out explanations for each. My mouth was filled with delight. These cookies I’m having right now tasted like those crepes I had from my previous life. It was more delicious than I expected.
After a while, my throat became dry from having too many sweets.
“Kate? Can you go and fetch me some water?”
Among the things that Mikhail brought in, there was no water or neither tea. Kate quickly replied to me, “I will get it right away” then left the room.
However, it didn’t take long for the door to be opened again. Did Kate forget something before she went out?
“You’re back, Kate. Is there something wrong?”
“Kate? What’s wrong?”
There was no answer. The silence scared me so I tried to change the conversation.
“Maybe you are not my maid. My name is Alicia, Alicia Holsten. And you are?”
Even if I couldn’t see, I tried my best to feel any movement or sound from this mysterious person. But despite my efforts, the person still remained silent.
“Could you please state your name?”
I panicked and stretched out my arms to search for that person. However my hand was strongly grabbed suddenly.
When I realized, my hand was harshly pulled forward and I fell hard to the ground.