Chapter 8 Part 2

 

***

 

“Ehh??”

 

When Karl handed me the bow, but based on the shape it was definitely a gun no matter what.

 

As expected, the sounds that I heard before belonged to this. 

 

“Karl? Are you sure this is a bow? Not a gun? Archery?”

 

“ ‘g-u-n’? You are saying some strange word again? This is a bow. I thought you know?”

 

“Yeah, so this is archery.”

 

I couldn’t get used to the fact that the names of various things in this world were sometimes slightly different from those I knew from my previous life. I sighed silently, trying to not let Karl notice it. 

 

“What’s wrong? Is it too difficult?”

 

“N,No. Hey, archery… Can you teach me how to do it? 

 

 “Of course.”

 

He went and stood behind me, wrapped my hands and moved it to hold the cold gun.

 

“The bow is a toy and the arrows are made from wood. So you don’t have to worry about anything.”

 

I raised my arms and put my finger on the trigger as Karl told me while thinking that it was not an arrow but bullets. 

 

“Yes, that’s good. Try to shoot like that.”

 

“Y, yes.”

 

‘Bang’, my body was pushed back a little bit because of the shock and lost its balance. Karl, who was standing behind me, quickly held my shoulders to prevent me from falling. As I leaned my body on him, we stood like that waiting for the result.

 

“How was it? Did I make it?”

 

“Yes, you shot right through the middle target! Because of that you can pick whatever you want among the winning prizes. What do you want?”

 

“Really? I’m happy! Can you tell me what is there?”

 

“Of course. Let’s move to where the prizes are exposed, shall we?”

 

As I relaxed my hands Karl took the gun from me, and seemed to have handed it to Emilia who was standing near us. 

 

“….”

 

“Emilia?”

 

Because there was no answer from Emilia, Karl became a little bit worried and called out for her again. Emilia finally noticed and immediately took the gun from his hand.

 

“P, P, Princess … Even though this is your first time,… I’m speechless.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“Yes,…”

 

I felt delighted by Emilia’s compliment and nodded my head to thank her. There was a silence after that, it quite bothered me, however Karl took my hand and we left just like that.

 

“Karl? Don’t you think lady Emilia is acting quite differently?”

 

“Emilia?”

 

“Yes, I feel like the lady was confused.”

 

“Is that so? For me I don’t think she was any different than any other day.”

 

“I see… Maybe it is just my imagination. Come to think of it, aren’t the bow and the arrow magic tools?”

 

“Now that you mentioned, archery does not require magic and is not a magic tool in itself. I heard that it was invented a long time ago. If you are interested, I will look into it further next time.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

We enjoyed our little conversation until we arrived at where the prizes were placed. 

 

“Are you sure you are alright with that?”

 

“Yes! Feel how smooth the furs are. Here, you should try to touch it too!”

 

I pushed the teddy bear that I received as a prize to Karl. According to him, the teddy bear was a big one in white color but I am not surprised that the bear is a dog anymore.

 

He patted the teddy bear a few times and said “You are right”. But he ended up hugging both me and the teddy bear. 

 

He often has skinships with me. I am sure it was due to the fact that I am blind, so he does it in order to help me understand his affection through physical interaction, just like what my parents always do. Honestly, even so I am not really mad about it. 

 

I smiled as I felt my cheeks turn red. Then, Karl suddenly let go of my body and started to talk. 

 

“Alicia, what were you and Aramic talking about earlier?”

 

“Eh?”

 

“When me and Erick were having a match, I saw you and Aramic were walking together and talking so happily. It was my fault leaving you behind, but at that moment I almost shot him with the bow I had in my hand.”

 

I giggled at Karl’s dissatisfied voice.

 

“Don’t be like that. Sir Aramic only told me how to find the criminal.”

 

“Is that so? But I still can’t stand you being with another man.”

 

I bursted out laughing as Karl still continued with his complaints.

 

“Pff, Come on. You worried too much!”

 

“I can’t help it. However, what did Aramic say?”

 

“Doing charity is a popular activity in his country. That’s why he advised me why not do it here?”

 

“Charity?”

 

“Yes. I will raise donations for the economically disadvantaged children. I am sure there are good kids that want to come here but can’t attend even if they want to. If we do that then it wouldn’t be a problem for me to shake hands with donors, isn’t it?”

 

“Certainly, it won’t be unnatural. As expected of Aramic. I see, what a good idea.”

 

“Right? I think so too!”

 

“But I think we should head back to the Duchess for now. I wonder what the Duke will say about this matter.”

 

Karl said anxiously. 

 

“Father?…Yeah, I’m a little worried too.”

 

“Shall we?”

 

“Yes!”

 

We returned to the waiting room. 

 

Mommy told Daddy about me wanting to catch the criminal, but he didn’t take it well and said that it would be too dangerous, if I do, he will surely punish me under house arrest. 

 

Daddy is a worry-head after all…

 

If possible, I would like him to help me find the criminal even after we went back to the Duchy. 

 

Would he help me if I ask him? Or would he stop me?

 

I sat on the sofa, waiting for Karl and mother to come back, while my mind kept thinking about it.

 

“Alicia?”

 

After a few knocks, I could hear mom entering the room.

 

“Mother?”

 

“Alicia dear, are you alright now? I heard from the doctor that you left right after check-up. I was worried. Are you sure you are not hurt anywhere?”

 

“Mother, I am fine. I calmed down thanks to you. I even went to have fun at the booths earlier!”

 

“Well, you became a detective right away, didn’t you? And I really wanted to visit the booths with you.”

After saying stuff so carelessly, she hugged me tightly. 

 

“I’m glad you calmed down. As expected from my daughter.”

“Have you told father?”

 

“Your father…Yeah, I told him a lot of things.”

 

Of course she had…

 

I already expected how he would react but I still got nervous to know his reaction. I asked with a wry smile.

 

“A lot you say..?”

 

“Yes, as I told him you are going to find the culprit, your father went on and rant about how dangerous it will be with his wild imagination. I couldn’t take it so I cut off our call in the middle of the conversation.”

 

My mouth twitched at what mom said, an evil smile spreading across her face. 

 

“M, mother…”

 

“It’s alright. I am sure your father will now rush to finish his work and run here after that.”

 

Not only Karl, but I was also stunned by how confident Mommy was while talking about what Daddy will do next. Daddy…you were perfectly grasped by mommy. I will pray for you. 

 

But if he really comes, I could talk to him then.

 

“More than that, what are you guys going to do to look for the criminal?”

 

“We were just talking about it. I’m going to raise a donation as a charity event. If the criminal participates in the charity, he or she will be known by the stamp I left!”

 

“Stamp? Alicia? What do you mean by that?”

 

It occurred to me that I still kept the fact that I practiced magic when we were kids a secret from everyone. 

 

“M, mother…”

 

“It seems my daughter has ability that I don’t know.”

 

“Duchess! The truth is me and Alicia had practiced magic back when we were little secretly. My apologies for keeping it a secret until now.”

 

“Eh? You mean she already knew magic even back then??”

Mommy was surprised to hear Karl apologized.

 

“Yes, But I know that mother and father were doing it for me.”

 

The confession took my breath away as the guilt spread to my heart. But I went on.

 

“That is why I asked Karl to teach me magic without telling anyone. I thought you’d tell me one day, but time went by…and nothing happened. I couldn’t stand it anymore, so yesterday Karl received permission to talk about magic from father, finally.”

 

“So that’s what happened. Mother is sorry. It is true that we have been hiding things from you, especially magic. I was told that rather than common knowledge, one needs to receive higher education in order to just feel it and use it. However the academy refused to accept you, eventually we missed the opportunity to talk about it…”

 

My heart ached at her depressed voice.

 

“I see… Well, I did practice magic for a little while, however the only thing I am able to do is stamping.”

 

I sighed deeply and felt disappointed in myself. Compared to that, mommy lightened her voice.

 

“But it is still magic, isn’t it!? That’s amazing! Alicia, can you show your mother how you do it?”

 

“Of course, mother.”

 

Mommy took my hand and put mine on her arm. 

 

“Show me.”

 

This is my first time doing magic in front of someone else beside Karl so I became a little bit nervous.

 

“Here I go!”

 

I put all my magic into her soft skin. 

 

“Oh my, it’s beautiful.”

 

I couldn’t see it but I think I did a good job. I could hear her voice mixed with surprise and admiration.

 

It seemed that the white light phenomenon is happening just like Karl described to me before. 

 

“That’s right. Alicia’s stamps are very beautiful. Alicia, can you let go of the Duchess’s hand for a moment?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Oh, it’s disappeared.”

 

“Her stamps cannot be seen under naked eye without her touching them. And when she touches it, it will shine like that.”

 

Karl gently took my hand and put it back to Mommy’s.

 

“This is unique. We do have a marking spell, and it is common magic to everyone. The one I saw was really big, has its shape and color, and would be noticed with just a single glance. However, Alicia’s stamp is invisible.”

 

“Well, I am not sure because I cannot see, but Karl once told me that when it shines, the era around the stamp also gets hot.”

 

Mommy and Karl continued to discuss my stamp. After a while, she turned and asked me. 

 

“So you left a stamp on the criminal?”

 

“Yes! I put everything I had and pressed the stamp!”

 

“Is that so…”

 

When I proudly answered her, mommy replied in a hesitant tone. Looking at the situation, Karl seemed to be thinking about something mysteriously, then asked mommy. 

 

“Duchess, Is there…”

 

“I just thought, the reason why Alicia’s stamp can’t be seen by naked eyes wasn’t it due to how unstable the magic was!?”

 

“Unstable?”

 

When I tilted my head, mommy continued.

 

“Yes, I think the amount of magic was really weak in the first place, perhaps the stamp will soon disappear.”

 

“But, mother, the stamp I made on Karl before didn’t go away for a long time.”

 

When I heard Mommy saying that the only evidence I had would soon disappear, I became impatient.

 

–The stamp will soon be gone?

 

“Well, your Highness, at that time, did you want her stamp to be left for a long time?

 

“Yes, of course…”

 

Karl answered Mommy’s question hesitantly. 

 

“You must have unconsciously continued sending magic to Alicia’s stamp. That’s why it lasted longer than usual. Have a look! The stamp on my arm is getting thinner and thinner.”

 

“What? Is that true? Karl?”

 

“Let me see,… Alicia, can you try and touch the Duchess again?”

 

I quickly touched Mommy, it was true that I could feel the warm part had shrunk.

 

“Then this means… my track will..!!”

 

“Calm down, to demonstrate I took some magic away from the stamp. But perhaps even If I don’t do it, this stamp will eventually disappear,  as early as  tonight or tomorrow the least.” 

 

Listening to her explanation, I shrugged my shoulders down.

 

I thought it would stay for quite a long time, but it was just thanks to Karl’s magic…

 

“Alicia, we must hurry and find the criminal. Let’s go back to the booth and tell everyone about our plan for charity.”

 

“All right.”

 

I strongly agreed to Karl’s proposal. 

 

Escorted by Karl, we went back to the booths’s section, where there were more people than before.

 

According to him, most of the events had already finished so people returned here. 

Certainly, everytime I took a step, I could feel people’s presence close by. We decided to evacuate to an empty drawing room nearby.

 

I explained to his friends about my criminal hunt and the plan for donation.

 

“Charity?”

 

Sir Erick replied curiously.

 

“Yes, I am going to ask for a donation. I heard from sir Aramic that this practice is considered common in his country. And aren’t most of the people who come here aristocrats or wealthy families? Then, if we say the money would help support children who want to study but couldn’t because of circumstances, people would definitely participate. And in that moment, It is natural to shake hands as a courtesy to thank them. It’s good for people. Don’t you think it is killing two birds with one stone?”

 

Everyone raised their voices at my suggestion. 

 

“I think it is a great idea! Let me join hands!”

 

“Thank you so much, Lord Mikhail.”

 

Everyone was so willing to help me, I couldn’t help but smile.

 

When Karl and Sir Erick were discussing security and venue, Emilia spoke to them.

 

“Princess Alicia is so kind, isn’t she? Give a hand to the disadvantaged children, so admirable!” 

 

Notes

N/A

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