The Feelings of the Three Friends (2)
My name is Keena Lilium. My father is a serious man and the Baron of Ostland.
I think I was probably the most opposed to becoming friends with Alice. I just couldn’t understand what she was thinking at all.
In fact, I came to know about her just after she came to Ostland.
My Father was there when Alice came to the audience, and he criticized her, saying, “Excessive talent. If she had been born in Ostland, she would have definitely caused chaos.” She’s blessed with looks, lineage, and talent, and she lacks nothing. In fact, I later found out that her manners and etiquette are perfect, so it’s strange that she doesn’t have a fiancé yet.
But for some reason, I felt like I was looking at Anon. There were many similarities to my childhood friend who always caused chaos. Although Alice was a genius.
As soon as she entered the academy, she started doing duels, and not only her magic skills but also her ability to create magic tools were enough to isolate her from others.
Alice’s talent was too high. The people who got close to her were either children her age who were attracted to her looks or those who envied her talent and wanted to steal it. Alice gradually lost interest in other people.
I probably wouldn’t have talked to her if Anon hadn’t approached her.
Nobles dislike heresy. Just as Anon was isolated because she simply cut her hair. They fear those who are different from themselves. So in a way, it was inevitable for Alice to be isolated. But even if Alice was an outsider, she had the strength not to fear it. That’s something she shares with Anon. She can confidently say, “I am myself.” I can’t do that. Because I don’t think I could withstand the jealous glances that some people direct at me. But surprisingly, when Anon became friends with her and dragged me over, talking with Alice, it was almost… no, she just didn’t know what’s normal. I couldn’t help but think she was also a victim in a way. Certainly, she’s received an exceptional education, but it’s only related to manners and etiquette. She didn’t know anything about common sense. She had no understanding of what’s normal. Even though she knew the etiquette of nobility, she had never put it into practice, so she didn’t know how to interact with others. That’s why she lived by her own thoughts. It was too late to teach her now. Because Alice was already trying to build herself from that.
Well, after all, she was just a noble’s daughter from another country, so I started hanging out with her while escaping from reality, but we got along quite well. I love reading, and Alice does too. I like narrative fiction, and I read some quite risqué stuff, but Alice has never read that kind of material. It seemed to be an educational policy that narrative novels undergo censorship, and explicit scenes were entirely removed… What a waste!! Those are the most interesting part!! When I mentioned that, she became strangely interested and started borrowing books from me, keeping it a secret from her maid.
Anon isn’t the type to read, and Sharon is more into gardening, so we didn’t have much in common. But still, the three of us got along just fine. However, it’s unexpectedly enjoyable to have someone to talk to who shares your interests. Alice is straightforward, so her curiosity when encountering something new is significant. Well, Alice is more knowledgeable, though.
It didn’t take much time to become friends. We were initially cautious, but before we knew it, our close-knit group of three had become four. That’s how it felt.
But when the Stampede occurred, I thought I couldn’t see Alice anymore… or anyone else for that matter.
I could tell from the expressions of the people around me. There was no way to win, no matter what we did. But since we were born in this country, we couldn’t escape. Because this was our country. It takes determination to abandon your country. Some might even say death would be better.
My Father has never wielded a sword. He’s a typical civil servant and a gentle man. However, even he made the decision to wield a sword to protect me and my Mother.
But when the horde of monsters began to attack the Capital, and the monsters quickly entered, the Knights instructed us to take refuge in the academy’s auditorium. My Father couldn’t join the Knights to fight because he was not a fighter. So we held hands to avoid getting separated and followed the fleeing crowd. We ignored the bird-like monsters tearing apart people’s organs while children cried, all in an attempt to survive and make our way to the auditorium.
“It seems it won’t be that easy after all.”
Just as we were about to reach the auditorium, we were surrounded by more than ten bird-like monsters.
These monsters were covered in blood, and it made my knees feel weak. However, if I let my knees buckle here, we would surely die, and my parents would be in danger. My Father raised his trembling sword to protect us, but it looked dangerous just to watch. That’s when I remembered what Alice had given me.
“Dad, let’s use a barrier and use that opportunity to escape.”
“We have no such thing!!”
“Alice told me to use it if things got dangerous. Activate!!”
With determination, I extended my left hand wearing the bracelet, and a semi-transparent membrane rapidly enveloped us, blowing the monsters away.
Father dropped his sword, took Mother’s hand, and pulled us away from the monsters. It was an incredible barrier. The monsters that were blown away remained motionless.
“We should be grateful to that girl. Keena. I’m sorry for speaking ill of your friend.”
“No, it’s okay. I didn’t know Alice at that time, so I couldn’t blame you. She’s a troublemaker, just like Anon.”
“Well, I’m sure her parents must be going through a lot.”