Two years have passed since Alicia secluded herself in that little cabin.
In some ways it felt like an eternity, but at the same time, looking back, it feels like the days passed by in an instant.
That may seem contradictory, but that’s how I truly feel.
During that whole time, I just continued to read more and more books.
Since I knew that Alicia would be using the time to grow stronger, I knew that if I wanted to be able to remain by her side, I couldn’t just let that time go to waste.
That’s why I’ve been working hard to increase my knowledge.
And now finally…. Finally I can see her again.
I woke up extra early this morning so that I could be here when she first woke up, no matter how early it might be, and now I’m just standing outside the little cabin, waiting.
I left before anyone had woken up, and most likely they’re all still sleeping even now.
I bet even the servants haven’t started working yet.
It’s currently 3:30 AM….
the sun hasn’t even risen and the landscape is still completely dark with a thick fog wafting about the ground.
The air is damp with dew and still quite chilly.
But I can’t remember the last time I felt this happy.
Despite having to wait in the cold and dark, I can feel myself grinning ear-to-ear.
I suppose the last time I felt even remotely excited over these last two years was when I realized that I had grown a little taller.
Too bad it was only by a miniscule amount.
I must be the smallest 11-year-old boy ever.
But, what I’m lacking in height, I make up for in intellect.
I’m sure my brain has grown much larger than anyone else’s.
Aside from changes to my height though, I’m very much the same as I was two years ago….
Which makes me wonder, how has Alicia changed after all this time I suppose she’ll look a little more mature than when I last saw her, but I can’t imagine her looking too different.
I also wonder how she’s been bearing the solitude.
For two whole years, she hasn’t had the chance to exchange a single word with another person.
She’s just been devoting her time to practicing magic in that tiny gardener’s cabin.
….I don’t think I could stand to be alone for that long.
I think the silence would drive me crazy.
But I guess the fact that she was able to stay sane under those circumstances just shows how strong her desire to become a villainess is.
….I wonder when she’ll come out.
Maybe after another two hours or so Not that it matters.
An hour, two hours, three, it’s entirely irrelevant.
I can easily wait for that long.
After two whole years of waiting, I’m at least sure of that much.
The day after Alicia had left felt like the longest day of my life.
Although it was still only 24 hours, it somehow felt like weeks had passed within that period.
Even my favorite books held no appeal.
I found myself reading the same sentence over and over, unable to concentrate at all on the words.
Thankfully, that distraction didn’t stay with me long.
And over the next months I read more books than I ever had in my life.
Each new book I finished took my mind off the passage of time for a while, but in between each book it felt like the seconds ticking by were years in and of themselves.
Then, finally, I was told that today was the day that Alicia could leave that cabin.
Arnold, her father, came to inform me of the news personally.
He’s been treating me surprisingly well over these last two years.
I’ve been using the library practically 24/7 but he didn’t complain.
He let me use it as much as I wanted.
And, on the occasions when I fell asleep there, I hear that he was the one who would carry me back to my own room.
When he first came to tell me what had happened with Alicia, I couldn’t have hated him more.
The mere sight of him set me in a foul mood for the rest of the day.
From the bottom of my soul, I was infuriated that he gave Alicia those damned idiotic conditions.
But over time, after realizing that the one regretting that decision the most was actually Arnold, himself, my anger slowly faded.
And by the time he came to the library to talk to me yesterday night, I had completely forgiven him.
But even if I hadn’t, his words would have made me let go of the last dregs of my hatred.
After telling me that Alicia’s seclusion was ending, he asked me if I would go greet her as she left the cabin today.
And he told me that I should go, that if I was there to meet her, his mind would be at ease.
Obviously, I was already planning to go, but that fact that he asked me to be there, that he actually wanted me to be there, was startling.
I never imagined Arnold would say that sort of thing to me.
And ever since then, I’ve been wondering what I should say to her first.
As much as I wouldn’t mind filling her in on what she had missed, I haven’t exactly been keeping up with current affairs myself.
I haven’t been attending the academy at all, so I have no idea what the situation might be like there.
I can only guess at what Liz Cather’s been up to for the last two years, though I don’t really want to.
I’m sure it would just give me a headache the size of the flower field that’s growing in her brain.
And, as I’ve only spoken with Henry and Duke a couple of times at most, I haven’t been able to hear many updates from them either.
Aside from those couple times, and the times I went to go see Gramps in the impoverished village, I’ve spent every second I could reading in the library.
That means I’m effectively as clueless as Alicia is.
As I’m absentmindedly lost in my thoughts, a loud creek screams out at me from the direction of the cabin.
I look up to see the door swinging open with the hinges complaining about the sudden movement every step of the way.
My breath hitches and I can feel my heart start to hammer violently in my chest.
Finally! I can see Alicia!
My heart is beating so loudly that I can’t hear the creeking groans of the cabin anymore.
My ears are filled with nothing but its racing, thudding beats.
Sweat slicks my palms, but I viciously scrub them dry on the sides of my pants.
I’m holding my breath without even realizing it.
“Good morning, Gilles.
You’re here quite early! How have you been”
I’m completely overcome by Alicia’s appearance.
I can’t take my eyes off of her.
The moment I catch just a glimpse, my arms instantly break out in unending goosebumps.
Even though my heart had been beating painfully fast before, in that same moment it stopped dead with a wrenching jerk.
I know my eyes must be gaping open at her, but I can’t help it.
I can scarcely breath, she’s so breathtakingly beautiful.
I haven’t changed much at all in these past two years….
That’s why I was expecting her to be mostly the same as well, so this unbelievable change is overwhelming.
Her features are obviously still the same, but the air that she gives off is entirely different.
Her beauty has matured into something so ethereal that with the morning fog blanketing the air around her….
it’s almost like a goddess has just descended into the human realm.
Her raven black hair has grown down to her waist and is every bit as glossy and radiant as it was before.
Her unwavering golden eyes seem to pierce through me.
The childlike roundness of youth is now completely gone and she is left with an impactful and mysterious upward slant to them that is so charmingly captivating, I can hardly bear it.
And, I’m not sure if it’s because she hasn’t left that tiny cabin at all for these last two years or what, but her skin almost seems luminescent.
It’s a brilliant pure white, like snow, which only emphasizes the slight pink of her beautiful lips.
They are slightly thin and pouty and just perfect.
Until this moment, I had never known true beauty.
As she walks closer to me, she looks carefully into my face.
Her eyes are so attractive, so seductive, that I can only stare stupidly at her, dumbfounded.
The closer she gets, the more violently my heart pounds until I’m sure that any moment it will explode right out of my chest.
When she’s standing in front of me, I realize that she’s not only grown more beautiful, but she’s also taller now as well.
Her eyes which have always housed intelligence, now drip with an alluring depth of wisdom and knowledge.
“Gilles You do remember who I am, right You recognize me, don’t you”
Somehow, her voice sounds a bit softer than I remember it.
I give her a huge nod of my head since words have still not managed to find their way through the labyrinth of my befuddled brain down to my tongue yet.
“Come on! There’s still somewhere that I need to go before meeting up with everyone else.”
As I thought, her voice is much softer than it was before.
Is it because she hasn’t spoken with another person in so long
Without waiting for my reply, Alicia loops her arm through mine and breaks off into a run.