“Will’s got one of your eyes now, doesn’t he He was shocked at first, saying how your vision was exceptional.
He said that he couldn’t believe how beautiful the world is through your eyes,” Nate continues, likely reading the confusion on my face.
Ah, so that’s how he knew.
Since my visual acuity was preserved and passed directly onto Uncle Will with my eye, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
….Though I don’t know about the world being beautiful.
Everything I see seems stained by corruption.
I mean, we’re talking about the eyes of a villainess here… I can’t possibly perceive the world as some pretty, perfect place.
Now that I know all this though, I’m sure that Uncle Will had already predicted what would happen if he sent Nate here today.
He probably already knew that we’d fight, and that I’d win.
Even if it hadn’t been in this controlled environment, had an assailant come at me with the serious intention to kill, Uncle Will could very easily imagine the outcome with his current understanding of me.
But, there’s just one thing I don’t quite understand.
How did he know that I was skilled with a sword
…..Though, it is Uncle Will that I’m talking about.
I suppose him realizing such a thing is hardly surprising.
He could probably surmise my skills from the way I move and the sound of my footsteps.
He has all the makings of a king: wisdom beyond his years, unmatched knowledge and understanding, and yet… because he couldn’t use magic, he wasn’t able to claim the throne.
So how is it that, with the world so horribly backwards as it is, he can still appreciate the beauty in it
“Your magic is amazing, your swordsmanship unbelievable….
you’re simply the strongest.
There’s no other word to describe it,” Rebecca says in awe while looking at me with sparkling eyes.
Hm, somehow, it feels a little like I’m being worshiped here.
“But I’m not the strongest.
There’s someone out there who’s even stronger than me,” I tell Rebecca levelly.
Liz-san is the actual strongest.
There’s no one who can match up to her.
Not even Duke-Sama’s magic power can compare.
Rebecca’s eyes widen at my words.
Her lips part slightly as she stares at me, as if there’s something she wants to say.
…..If you want to complain about the logic of this world, take it up with the game’s administrators.
Alicia was the one and only thing that I actually liked about this game.
……Now that I think about it, there’s practically too many things that I’d want to complain about! Though by far the biggest flaw has to be the structure of their magic system.
It’s clearly a sloppy mess.
It feels like they just threw random spells into each magical attribute, and to make the heroine stand out, they made her a Mary Sue with magical power on a whole other level from everyone else.
“Her only redeeming quality is that her head’s full of flowers and she’s overflowing with more magical power than she knows what to do with.
When it comes to swordsmanship or intelligence, you’re clearly better, Alicia.”
“I don’t know….
I think Liz-san might actually be smarter than I am.”
“She may be knowledgeable to some extent, but I can’t say she’s got any manner of intelligence.
When it comes to application, understanding, or wisdom, she’s completely hopeless,” Gilles says, spitting out the words like a curse, like it’s the foulest insult that he can think of.
Let’s say she lacks intelligence.
But that doesn’t change the fact that she’s extremely popular.
She’s bound to be loved wherever she goes.
And that, in itself, is its own form of strength.
If she were to come to this village, I think everyone would probably love her here as well.
….Ugh, I should put a stop to these thoughts before I start getting any more pessimistic….
Her heart’s too soft for her own good! If she really were to come here she wouldn’t be of any use….! Yes.
Let’s just think like this.
I’m returning this,” I say, handing Rebecca her sword.
…..Oh, that’s right.
I can us magic again.
I lightly snap my fingers.
The moment I do, the usual black aurora-like mist envelops the sword.
Of course, it’s not just Rebecca’s sword, but all the swords in the vicinity.
Thank goodness the spell worked properly.
In the depths of my heart, I let out a sigh of relief.
Gradually the black aura lightens until suddenly it blinks out completely.
On each and every sword, the chips and cracks along the blades’ edges fill in and smooth over while the rusted portions are buffed out leaving the swords looking clean and well taken care of.
Everyone’s eyes glitter as the admire my handy work.
Nate as well, his eyes as big as saucers, brings each of his swords up close to his face alternatingly, gazing at them in wonder.
This can be considered my good deed for the day, right
Since those swords were able to cut my hair even in their tattered states, now that they’re shiny and sharp like new, I wonder how much more damage they would inflict Thankfully, I only ended up getting a small trim off the ends.
I don’t have any particular attachment to my hair, but I certainly wouldn’t want it sheared off, leaving me with some awkward, misshapen style.
“I don’t believe it.
don’t believe it.”
“To think that those rusty, worn-out swords could become this nice again.”
A couple people from within the crowd were moved nearly to tears, their voices trembling as they run disbelieving fingers tenderly over their newly restored swords.
Magic truly is a wonderful thing.
Once again, I can feel it down to my core, just how amazing it really is.
People who can use magic have an overwhelming advantage over those who cannot….
Had I not come to this village, I might have lived my whole life without fully comprehending the reality of this fact.
We nobles have magic, money, power.
All this at our fingertips to wield as we see fit.
But these people, all the commoners who have none of these privileges, what do they have Who is protecting them from this dangerous world From us
….This country No….
If that was the case, this village never would have been created in the first place.
Even though we wield this unfathomable power, most of the aristocracy are nothing but fools.
It certainly is an easy, obvious choice to hold their power over the masses and force them through fear and might to obey, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s despicable and cowardly.
I refuse to be like them.
I want to become a strong, intelligent villaness who doesn’t have to resort to such methods.
I want to be strong in front of the strong, but a protector for the weak.
….But I won’t get drunk on my own abilities.
I can’t believe in them to a fault.
That’s why I have to become stronger.
How can I become a person that even Liz-san will fear
Long ago, I used to simply content myself with the idea of becoming stronger.
But, the stronger I became, the more I understood that there is more to strength than merely physical or magical prowess.
Eventually, my whole outlook on power started to change.
Though, my desire to become a villainess, of course, did not.
I just realized that being strong comes with the responsibility to protect the weak.
I started wondering if that wasn’t the reason that we were chosen to wield such powers in the first place.
That people were given magical abilities with the design of having us defend the weak….
Though, there’s no way those empty-headed bozos that pass themselves off as game creators would have thought that far I’m sure.
However, I’m not defending the defenseless for free of course.
In return, I’ll have them properly follow and obey me.
I’ll not allow them to defy my commands.
That’s what being a true villainess means.
That is how we operate.
As compensation for my protection, I expect submission and obedience.
….This just goes to show how much my thoughts have changed over time.
Had this been a couple years ago, I likely wouldn’t have imagined protecting them at all, even for something in return.
“Alicia, what’s got you lost in thought” Gilles asks, peering up into my face.
His gray eyes look straight into mine.
….It should be an obvious thing; keeping steady eye contact while conversing with someone is so important.
But for this boy who only a few years ago was so harshly jaded by the world that he was afraid to even interact with other people, seeing him look straight at me like this with no fear feels like such a blessing.
“A good thought suddenly came to mind,” I say, answering Gilles’s question with an affectionate smile.
“What is it”
“That the weak should obey the strong.”
“…Because” Gilles asks, his expression remaining unchanged.
….Why is he asking for the reason like that It couldn’t be because he knows what I’m thinking, right I mean, we may be close and all, but not even Gilles should be able to read me to that extent.
If possible, I’d rather not continue discussing this particular topic.
If I could just stop here, I’d be ending on quite the villainous line.
“Because” Gilles prompts, drawing the word out long, insistently.
….Is this a new form of bullying or something Though, I guess there’s no reason to stay silent on this subject with Gilles…..
“At the same time, the strong have a responsibility to protect the weak,” I mumble.
That’s really how it should be,” Gilles agrees calmly, like he already knew that’s what I had meant the whole time