A week later. I was under house arrest in the elf village. The building I’m in doesn’t have a draft, but it’s still cold due to it being winter.
“I’m still confined even after I’ve managed to escape my imprisoned life. I guess I’m destined to live like this.”
I let out a small sigh as I look at the scenery from my small window.
The elf village blends seamlessly in with the surrounding forest. The buildings are sturdy and made up of wood. It looks just like an elf village from a book.
Yet, I’m unable to even look around this village and I’m confined to this small hut…….It seems that I’ve spent over half of my life now in confinement.
No, I’m not even eleven years old, and I’ve only been free for one week when traveling to the elf village and another two days when I went to the Sfir home, so if I rounded it up I would’ve been confined for 100 percent of my life…..For some reason, I feel empty.
As I was thinking about this, Alice’s father spoke.
“Boy — Leon do you remember what you said? The promise you made?”
“I remember. In one week — or rather today, Alice will decide my punishment.”
“That’s right. In other words, today is the day you die.”
“…..The day I die. Alice wouldn’t allow something like that.”
“Haa, you can stop acting tough.”
Later I was brought to Alice’s house. I sat in a cozy living room made of wood, where I was handed some homemade food by Alice.
“— How did it end up like thhhiiiissss!?”
“Be quiet old man.”
The good-looking elf was treated coldly by Alice as he rolled around wildly on the floor. Somehow, I feel like the elegant image I had of elves has been destroyed.
“Dear? If you can’t stay quiet, would you rather we throw you out of the room?”
“Hah! I’m sorry!”
Alice’s mother — spoke with a shrewd tone, Alice’s father (whose name I still didn’t know) became quiet.
By the way, Alice’s mother (I also don’t know her name) is the chief of the village.
I can’t quite say that this is surprising, I now understand why Alice believed the elves in the village would cooperate if she asked them.
But Alice’s mother, who should never have believed in me, acted friendly towards me when I was being confined and came to hear what had happened between Alice and I so far.
“Leon-sama, do you not like it?”
“Ah, no. Alice’s food is delicious. If I had known you were such a good cook, I would’ve asked you to make me something earlier.”
“Well, there was no chance for me to cook before, right? If you like it so much, I’ll be sure to cook for you more often.”
“Eh, that makes me happy to hear…..But, Alice you’re no longer a slave. There’s no need for you to act so humble anymore.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, actually I thought this way from the beginning, but I was forced to make you use honorifics because Mary would ask questions otherwise. But, this is a good opportunity, please treat me normally from now on.”
“Is that so…? Well then, is it okay, for me to talk normally?”
“Of course. Please do so.”
“Well, then….Leon. It’s nice to meet you…?”
“Nice to meet you, Alice.”
“……Huh, it feels kind of shameful, right?”
Alice shyly holds both of her hands to her face, she’s really cute.
“Uuuuuuuoooooooooo!! What’s with this sweet atmosphere! Father will not allow this!”
“Dear? Please go patrol the village for a while.”
“Don’t be foolish! My mission is to monitor this boy so he can’t steal Alice from me!”
“……Yes, I’ll go patrol the village.”
Alice’s mother is strong. As expected of the chief……
“Leon-kun, I’m sorry for all of the noise.”
“I don’t mind….but can I ask something?”
“What is it?”
“Can I assume that the suspicion around me has been cleared?”
— After one week had passed, Alice and I were allowed to meet again. Her feelings towards me had not changed.
Though, if they were worried about something similar to Stockholm syndrome, I think it would be normal to have some doubt like Alice’s father…….No, I think there are other reasons for him disliking me.
“To be honest, I haven’t doubted you since the beginning.”
“Yes, do you know why?”
Thinking back on what happened, I was pretty surprised to hear that. Well, then why did she feel the need to cause me so much trouble if she didn’t suspect me?
On the other hand, if things had happened differently there would still be a reason to doubt Alice’s words — I think back to the events of a week ago.
“To convince people like Alice’s father, right?”
“Correct. There was no way to be sure that Alice wasn’t being told what to say. This way, there is no longer any reason to doubt her words.”
“…..Does that mean you’ll allow Alice to travel with me?”
“There is that, but also it means you and Alice can now be married.”
Alice jumps up from her seat and rushes over to her mother.
“Hmm, why are you so upset? You’re going out, right?”
“W-w-w-what are you saying!? Leon is only ten years old!”
“Why would an elf care about age difference? After a few more years, Leon-kun will be an adult, besides you already said you’d be happy together, didn’t you?”
…..Ah, Alice told her about that and she misunderstood that we were dating.
Because I was watching from the sidelines, I was able to calm down a little, but Alice continued to panic and her face turned bright red.
“That’s why I told you, it didn’t mean anything like that!”
“I heard you, but didn’t you want it to have that kind of meaning?”
“When did I say that!?”
“I must’ve misheard you then, but you’re saying you never felt that way? Before, you said, “Leon-sama is so kind, gentle, and reliable.” The way you spoke about him was the way someone talks about someone they’re in love with.”
U-umm. I think we need to stop this conversation to save Alice.
I’m troubled though. I don’t know how to go about stopping it, but…I feel warm listening and enjoy watching them. I changed my mind and decided to continue to listen to them talk.
“From now on, you will continue to follow Leon-kun, so you should become engaged, right?”
Alice panicked, and began touching her silver hair ornament.
“…..Are you….don’t tell me?”
“Well, that’s right.”
“Amazing. Then, why are you staying silent?”
“Well….that is….I’m keeping it a secret for now…that’s why…”
“It’s become difficult for you to talk about. I guess it can’t be helped.”
Alice’s mother shrugged her shoulders and turned to me.
“I’m guessing that you’re able to tell after hearing that, but Alice has a small secret. She’ll show it to you now.”
“—- Eh, wait a minute, Mother!?”
Alice’s mother grabbed the escaping Alice and removed her hair ornament.
“This is Alice’s secret.”
Alice’s mother proudly says this. After she removed Alice’s hair ornament — I then noticed Alice’s change.
Alice’s blue eyes that I felt like I could get lost in when looking at them, the right eye had turned gold. Heterochromatic eyes. Her left and right eye were different colors.
When I said this, Alice’s body trembled slightly.
“U-umm, I’m sorry for hiding it until now. It became impossible to tell you after I had been hiding it since we first met.”
“Eh….Ah, you don’t need to worry about hiding it.”
It’s true that I don’t want her to feel guilty for hiding a secret. After all, I’m hiding the fact that I have memories from my previous life……
“You’re not angry?”
“Of course not, everyone has secrets, right? And I can understand you feeling that there was no good time to tell me, after hiding it from the beginning.”
Maybe someday, I’ll be able to reveal my secret.
“Don’t worry about it. Please, as a favor to me, don’t feel bad about keeping a secret.”
“Uhh, nothing, nevermind. I thought you said that hair ornament was a memento?”
“Yeah. I wanted you to think that it was something important, because I’d be revealed to be a High Elf if my hair ornament was taken from me. I’m sorry, it was a small lie.”
“I see, because of the circumstances you had no choice. So, Alice is a High Elf…..”
I move my gaze to look at Alice’s mother.
“Me and that man are normal elves. Alice is an atavism. In other words she has the abilities of a High Elf.” (TN: Here’s the wiki for atavism if anyone is confused. Couldn’t think of a simpler word.)
“….Hmm? Well, I know Alice has heightened senses, but are there other abilities she has?”
“I say abilities, but there are two that exist. The abilities she has come from legendary heroes that have already passed.”
So a High Elf retains two abilities from legendary heroes?
Moreover, she can use spirit magic, I have knowledge from my previous life, but doesn’t she have more of a cheat than me? I envy her so much.
Usually this kind of ability would be restricted to the reincarnated hero.
“By the way, I heard that one of the abilities of High Elves was being able to transfer knowledge.”
“Transfer knowledge? Well, I guess humans would think of it like that.”
Alice’s mother lets out a small laugh.
“Is it different than that?”
“It’s similar, but the true ability is being able to share one’s senses.”
“….Sharing senses? How would that be used?”
“Well….that’s something secret that happens at night.”
“Haha~ I can tell by how you’re panicking that you were thinking about that.”
“Wa–wa–wa. Sh-she’s wrong, it was something else, Leon!”
I pretended not to be listening at all.
“Joking aside, speaking of sensory sharing, the ability to transfer techniques is useful, for example, you know that it is difficult to master magic on your own?”
“Umm, yes. I have been told that it is incredibly difficult to learn the basics and near impossible to master.”
“Well, it’s difficult to learn the feeling of controlling the magic in the air, this alone would usually take years to master, but what if one could share this feeling with others….?”
“— Then you could learn to use magic easily?”
“Exactly. It’s quite amazing, don’t you agree?”
It’s beyond amazing. I now understood why she said it’s a little different than the ability to transfer knowledge.
Even if someone were to be given knowledge, this knowledge wouldn’t be very useful if you had yet to master it. On the other hand, sharing the way something feels once you’ve mastered it would aid in teaching.
Knowledge itself needs to be memorized first, but using the High Elf’s ability you can grasp how this feels immediately. Especially when it comes to something technical like magic, this would be incredibly useful.
“Can she share her senses with anyone?”
“Unfortunately there are restrictions. Only the person engaged to her can use sensory sharing, and she can only become engaged to one person. Whoever she becomes engaged to she will spend the rest of her life with.”
“I’ve heard from Alice about the situation you are in, don’t you think you should become engaged to her to help your older sister?”
I certainly would love the ability to use magic and save Claire. If Alice can teach me the art of magic and other things, rescuing Claire would definitely be possible.
However, I refused.
“Wouldn’t that be the same as me being forced into a political marriage? I want Alice to be happy, so I won’t force her to marry me to help me save Claire.”
Alice’s mother let out a faint smile after hearing my answer.
“I’m truly surprised. Caring enough for someone to put their desires before your own, are you really the age you appear to be? Alice has been dependable since she was a child, but you’re different from that. ”
I have been alive for around 30 years. Though I only appear to be about eleven years old, that’s probably why I appear to be so thoughtful….Not like I can actually say that.
“I understand Leon-kun’s decision, but how does Alice feel?”
“I….Hey, Leon. Do you remember when I first suggested we come to the elf village? It would be tough to save Claire if only I could use magic, but I said I had another idea.”
“Yeah, I think I remember that. Do you mean…..?”
“Yes, I planned to become engaged to Leon from the beginning.”
“That’s….but is that okay with you? If we became engaged we’d be together forever….Then, are you trying to say….?”
When I allude to us becoming married, Alice’s face was dyed red.
“Well, it’s fine. We just have to be engaged, it’s not like we’re actually married.”
“— But it’s not like you’re against getting married~~~”
“What, it’s true, right?”
“Well, that’s right, but you don’t have to say that so bluntly!”
Alice looks cute as her face turns crimson. I was trying not to listen too much until recently, but……Alice likes me?
If so, I’m happy, but …. I am only ten years old. I can’t know for sure that she likes me in the way I’m thinking when I’m just a child.
“An-anyway, it’s not like it means we’re married. I’m serious. It’s similar, but it’s different, but it certainly would be a lie if I said there’s no meaning to us being engaged — but it’s not something we need to think about!”
For something that we don’t need to think about, she seems to be thinking about it a lot.
Alice, who’s still blushing, is desperately searching for a way to escape.
I feel like she’s causing me to think more about it as well.
I have the same goal as Alice, we each want to become happy together…….No, no I need to calm down and think.
What can I do in this atmosphere. It seems like this conversation won’t end until the issue of engagement has been decided. That’s what I think anyway, but it’s not like Alice actually confessed to me. Let me think about why this engagement would be bad.
…………Well, considering my partner in the engagement, there is no reason for me to refuse. Rather, you could say it would make sense for us to be engaged.
“I’m just checking, but you’re not doing this because you feel forced to, right Alice?”
“Of course I’m not. Obviously I want to help save Claire, but the only reason I even considered engagement is because my partner would be you, Leon.”
“…….Okay, then let’s get engaged. No, that’s not right.”
I clear my throat, stand up, and move in front of Alice. Then I get down on one knee and lightly kiss the back of Alice’s delicate hand.
This is how I’ll show that I plan on protecting Alice in every way I can. I slowly look up at Alice’s face.
“I am still a small child now, but I will be able to protect Alice soon. So Alice, please become engaged to me.”
Alice’s face becomes an even deeper shade of red, and she starts acting bashful. I will never forget this moment with Alice. —- I allow myself to fully enjoy this moment, I can feel embarrassed some other time.