That evening, we went to go visit Grandpa Will in the impoverished village.
I had exhausted a lot of my strength when dealing with Duke-Sama earlier, but I was still feeling a lot more energetic than I had the day before so the walking wasn’t unbearable.
Gilles’s slightly young-sounding voice stirs the quiet darkness as we make our way through the woods.
“Have you ever met Duke’s mother before”
“Nope,” I say with a little shake of my head.
“Duke-Sama’s mother has already passed away.”
“Oh, I see.”
“I saw her in a painting once though.
She seemed like she must have been a very strong, domineering type of person.
I also realized that Duke-Sama got his skin tone from her.”
Duke-Sama’s mother isn’t a person originally from this country.”
“What do you–“
“We’re here,” I say, purposely cutting his question off.
I only remember seeing an image of her once when playing the game during my past life, so I don’t really know any details.
I’d rather not carelessly run my mouth about something that I don’t really understand.
“I wonder if Gramps is doing well.”
“I can’t imagine he wouldn’t be,” I say offhandedly, taking a step into the fog.
That was Gilles’s voice.
I’m too shocked to even speak.
The heavy, dark atmosphere of the village seems to have all but disappeared.
Furthermore, there are no longer any people collapsed on the ground.
What’s going on What’s happened here
The sky is still overcast as it always was, but somehow the atmosphere of the village seems lighter.
“Why is it like this”
“I have no idea.”
The two of us stand stock still, just staring at the new surroundings.
“Alicia! Gilles!” Rebecca’s spirited voice calls out to us from afar.
It couldn’t be….
Did she somehow revitalize this place I know I wanted her to become this town’s savior, but I didn’t think she’d manage to fulfill that role so fully.
But, was Rebecca capable of carrying out such a thing all by herself No matter how good you are at understanding people, without practical wisdom and knowledge, such a thing should be…..
There’s really only one person that comes to mind after seeing all this.
“Gramps,” Gilles squeaks out, his eyes wide and staring at the man walking next to Rebecca.
I quickly follow his gaze.
….I can’t believe it.
“Who….” I mutter while eyeing the man.
Through the mere act of walking towards us, there’s an unmistakable air of majesty that surrounds him.
That impact, that intensity is mentally overpowering.
I find myself unable to move, unable to take even a step back.
Goosebumps break out across my flesh and a shiver runs down my spine.
What an overwhelming and dignified presence.
Even the times when I had an audience with the king the atmosphere didn’t feel this tense.
From the moment that this man appeared, it was as if the air in the whole courtyard had completely changed.
My spine automatically straightens until I’m standing ramrod straight.
This must be what it feels like to be truly nervous.
“Alicia, Gilles,” the man greets us with a smile.
His voice is the only thing that feels familiar about him.
It’s still as kind and as warm as ever.
How can one person’s presence and appearance change this much in such a short span of time
His usually messy white hair is now slicked back stylishly giving a clear view of his face.
A familiar golden iris glows out from his left eye.
And on the right side of his face he’s wearing a black eye patch just like mine.
We have matching looks so why is it that our atmospheres are so vastly different….. Hm, somehow even his clothes look more clean and neat than usual.
That’s the last thought I have before the man stops walking, having made his way over to stand directly before the two of us.
As if it was a normal occurrence, I naturally fall down to one knee.
It wasn’t a conscious decision, but before I knew what was happening I was kneeling before him.
In a tiny corner of my mind, I’m appalled at myself.
This sort of conduct is the last thing that a villainess should do.
She would never willingly lower herself like this.
my body just moved on its own.
As a noble, I’ve received plenty of instruction on etiquette in the past, so the action was like muscle memory.
More so than an ordinary person, nobles are instilled with excellent discerning abilities from when they’re young.
So, I can instinctively tell more-or-less when I’m standing before someone of a higher rank or someone who I’d be no match for.
Certainly, Duke-Sama and Liz-san are existences who meet those qualifications, but even they can only pale in comparison this man.
Every single cell in my body is telling me that he’s beyond anything I can imagine.
How was he able to hide this undeniable majesty for all this time…..
“Ali” Gilles’s surprised voice calls down to me.
“Raise your head, Alicia,” the man says in a calm, quiet tone, squatting down so that he can meet my gaze.