I wake up to the dazzling morning sun shining in through the windows.
Yesterday, I went straight to sleep after returning to the little cabin.
It seems I tired myself out quite a bit with all the excitement.
I sit up in bed and heave a small sigh.
In the end, I hadn’t been able to meet with Uncle Will…..
Just when will I be able to get answers for all these questions I have
Ugh, somehow my head feels kind of heavy…..
Maybe I should clear it with some practice swings
I jump out of bed and grab my sword, then head outside.
“Alicia” calls out a familiar voice as soon as I close the door.
I turn towards it.
……I can understand Gilles being out here.
He must have woken up before me and headed outside first.
I can also understand Henry-Oniisama being here.
But the real question is, what is he doing here
His presence isn’t exactly odd….
but these three make a rather peculiar grouping.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it” Paul-san greets me with a smile.
It’s that same, pleasant expression that I remember, but somehow, seeing him standing next to Gilles and Henry-Oniisama, the look takes on a darker, more scheming feel to it.
“You’ve become so beautiful, Alicia….
But, is your eye okay” Paul-san asks, concerned, pointing up at his own left eye.
We haven’t seen each other in years, so why does this conversation feel so easy, like we see each other all the time I guess that soothing nature of his can help him fit in no matter where he goes.
“Yes, it’s fine.
what brings you here”
At my question, Henry-Oniisama’s expression turns slightly troubled.
Could Paul-san be involved in something other than working at the plant nursery But his identity during the game was only a noble who ran a plant shop.
He didn’t have any other function….
Recently, the mysteries just keep increasing without allowing me to resolve a single one.
Ah, come to think of it, I wonder if he’s met with Liz-san yet…. From what I can remember, Liz-san’s favorability levels with Paul-san were pretty high right from the start.
Ahh, there’s just too many things I’d like to ask.
“….Gilles, when did you and Paul-san become acquainted” I ask to start off with.
Gilles smiles impishly.
He looks almost like a little boy who’s been caught red-handed with his paws in the cookie jar.
“I had Henry introduce us.”
“Since when did you two become so close”
“That’s beside the point.
Alicia, we should listen to what Paul has to say first.”
“Actually, before we do that, I have something that I’d like to ask Paul-san.”
“And what would that be” Paul-san asks, smiling refreshingly at me.
In a way, it almost looks too refreshing to the point of it being suspicious….
It definitely hadn’t seemed like that before.
“Have you met Liz-san”
I have,” Paul-san tells me, his wide eyes peeking at me over the rim of his glasses.
“And what sort of first impression did you have of her”
“She… seemed like a nice, lovely girl,” Paul-san says, slightly puzzled.
…..Ah, I understand his confusion.
It feels like I’m interrogating him all of a sudden.
“Ali, Paul came to give us some information,” Henry-Oniisama says quickly as if he’s trying to stop me from asking any more odd questions.
“Yeah,” he confirms, nodding.
So as a side job, he’s….
an informant Or maybe running the shop is actually the side job Or perhaps a front
“So Gilles, you get information about the academy from Henry-Oniisama, you hear about what’s happening in the town from Paul-san, and for the impoverished village, you go there yourself to gather intel.
You have quite the intelligence network,” I remark approvingly.
The corners of Gilles’s lips turn up proudly.
….What a remarkable child.
He’s already gone far beyond me.
He’s simply amazing.
Though, well, I’m not planning on praising him aloud of course.
“Impoverished village” Paul-san asks, his eyes going wide and his shoulders stiffening.
Since everyone around me already knows I’ve been visiting the impoverished village regularly, I started acting as if it was common knowledge.
Speaking of which, I wonder if Paul-san knows that Gilles is originally from there….
“Paul-san, the Josiah I obtained from you a couple of years ago was actually for Gilles who was deathly sick at the time.”
Instead of Paul-san, it’s Gilles who’s surprised.
Ah, that’s right.
There’s no reason that Gilles would have known that the medicinal herbs I used to save him came from Paul-san’s shop.
Somehow, it feels a bit like a practical joke that I’ve been planning for years just came to satisfying fruition.
“It would seem that we’ve been connected for much longer than we thought,” Paul-san says, giving us another of his healing smiles.
Although both he and Liz-san are considered the soothing type, I find I like Paul-san’s smile much better than hers.
“I never would have thought that a young lady from one of the five great noble houses would have experience visiting the impoverished village.
I have to say that I’m surprised.”
“Yes, I hear that a lot.
I’ve already gotten used to everyone being shocked by it actually,” I tell Paul-san with a bit of a wry smile tugging at my lips.
“So… Gilles must be a child from that village,” Paul-san notes quietly as he gazes intently at Gilles.