Albert – Age: 13
My name is Albert. I’m the Williams family’s oldest son. I am currently 13 years old and am worrying about my little sister.
She is growing up to be extremely selfish and arrogant and I feel like I don’t know how to handle her anymore.
Over these past few years, it seems we might have spoiled her a bit too much.
It’s just that my little sister Alicia, with her pretty golden eyes, is too adorable.
My younger twin brothers and I can’t help but want to dote on her whenever we see her.
But that might have been a bad thing…. Because now Alicia seems to think that the whole world revolves completely around her.
Just like how she came up to us during our morning practice one day and suddenly showed an interest in learning swordsmanship.
Honestly, that made me pretty mad.
We’ve been seriously practicing our sword skills every day, but now she wants to try it out purely out of curiosity……? Or even worse, she might not have been interested at all but insisted on learning because she just wanted to hang out with me, Alan, and Henry.
I felt like she was belittling all of our efforts up until then.
I think Alan and Henry had probably felt the same, as well.
So I decided to give my selfish little sister an impossible task to make her give up on the idea.
I told her that she needed to do 100 sit-ups and 50 push-ups, which should have been impossible for a 7-year-old girl to do.
Plus, I went so far as to tell her that she had to do them every day for a whole week.
When I told her that, Alicia got angry of course.
Only, it wasn’t with her typical, impertinent attitude. This time she actually glared at me with righteous indignation.
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. I had never seen her make such a dignified expression before.
And with the way the sun shown off of her golden eyes, I became captivated by her.
At that point I realized that she had at least been serious about wanting to learn swordsmanship, but I still assumed that she would give up before the week had ended since she had never managed to persevere at anything before.
Whether it was piano, vocal training, horseback riding, etc. she would only show interest in them for a moment before giving up and moving onto something else that had caught her attention.
For things like manners and dancing that are required for getting around in high society, one way or another her teachers forced her to learn at least the basics, but everyone involved was absolutely miserable during every second of it.
Since I already knew that Alicia was like that, I figured it was impossible that she would actually spend a week doing sit-ups and push-ups, so I put that promise out of my mind. I even ended up forgetting about it after a couple of days.
So when Alicia came to find us a week later, I didn’t remember our conversation until she had brought it up again.
With her tiny figure and that huge pout on her face, she really didn’t look as if she had spent a week training her muscles.
It seemed much more likely that she was lying to me just to get some attention.
I figured that since my friends were there she was only saying that because she wanted to be able to play together with them……
But then Alicia had removed my sword from the scabbard hanging from my waist and I could feel my back stiffening in shock.
I had no idea what had just happened.
My sword isn’t something that a little girl should have the capability of lifting.
But Alicia had somehow pulled it out from its sheath easily.
And from that moment on, she just kept surprising me more and more.
She had kicked a tree, causing an apple to fall from it, and as it fell, she had sliced it perfectly in half while it was in midair.
Honestly, I don’t even know if I could have pulled off something like that.
It would be hard enough just trying to estimate the apple’s trajectory, but that’s not all. To be able cut it into two equal halves like that would require quite a bit of speed and strength as well.
And to be able do all of that at once…. To swing such a heavy sword in a horizontal arc, perfectly slicing a falling apple in half with the sharp side of the blade… It’s impossible that it was just a fluke.
I honestly doubted my own eyes.
And after performing such an impossible feat, Alicia had looked straight in my direction with such an imposing manner, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.
After that, I finally consented to teaching her how to wield a sword and instantly her face brightened as she threw her arms around me.
With her hugging me like that, I almost felt relieved since she was once again acting her age and she was no longer giving off such a dignified aura.
From that day on, she started attending our morning sword practices every day, but as soon as practice was over she would always disappear until dinner time.
With Alicia’s new and extremely puzzling behavior, no one was able to guess what she might be doing during that time or what was going through her head.
It was a complete mystery as to what made her suddenly start acting this way as well. Neither our parents nor her attendants had any guesses for what might have been the cause…. but I digress.
In order to learn swordsmanship, the very first thing you have to learn is how to hold and swing a sword.
But not just once, you have to be able to do this for hours on end without getting tired. And as one would expect, when Alicia first started out, she didn’t have anywhere near enough stamina to do this.
To be honest, I thought that fact would be enough to make her want to quit. For a 7-year-old girl to be able to wield a sword for a full day would take at the least five full years of hard training.
And that sort of training is neither interesting nor fun…. It’s only pain, pure and simple.
But Alicia still came to do that sort of practice with us every day, and she did it without even a word of complaint.
When I told my friends about this, they all were super curious about her so I invited them over to my house to watch. When they saw her though, every single one of them had their eyes go wide in awe.
They were so amazed that they started coming over every day to observe her progress.
I was pretty surprised that they wanted to do that, but what shocked me even more was that even Duke started coming by every day as well.
He gives off such a strong impression and he’s usually so uninterested in everything, so the fact that he was showing an interest in someone else was super rare.
What’s more, for the whole time that Alicia would be practicing, Duke wouldn’t talk to us at all. He would just observe her with a gentle expression on his face that I’ve never once seen him direct at any of us. ‘He couldn’t possibly…..’ I would often find myself thinking, but I would always cut myself off before I could even finish that thought.
Then one day, in order to find out what Alicia does after practice, we decided to sneakily observe her for the rest of the day.
Duke didn’t seem all too eager to follow her around secretly like that, but in the end he decided to tag along as well.
I, myself, knew that secretly watching her would be wrong, but my curiosity for where she goes and what she does for 10 hours a day won out over my reason.
But the place that Alicia ended up going to was unexpectedly the library. Alan and Henry’s mouths had fallen open in shock when they realized that.
We all know just how much Alicia hates studying, so we never could have imagined that she would spend so much time reading every day.
After entering the library, she spent about 30 minutes just wandering around aimlessly and then let out a little sigh.
Was she not able to find a book that she was looking for?
I thought about calling out to her at that point and offering to help her find it, but then I realized that would expose the fact that we had been following her. And since that would be bad, I ultimately decided against it.
After that, Alicia stopped wandering around and grabbed a nearby book and started reading.
And then the crazy situation that followed…. we saw it all. At first we were just a little confused since she seemed to be turning the pages at an oddly fast pace.
But the moment she shut the book entirely, we all looked towards the clock. We couldn’t believe what had just happened.
Not even 10 minutes had passed since she had picked up that book, but she was already finished with it.
We were all shocked. Even Duke’s eyes had gone wide after realizing this.
Without seeming to notice that he had spoken, Gayle had whispered that he didn’t believe it.
And before our shock had abated, Alicia had already grabbed another book and had started reading.
At first I thought that maybe she was just reading it randomly, skimming through the pages but not really reading every word… But as I watched, I noticed how serious her expression was and that her eyes were moving unusually fast… and I knew that I was wrong; she seemed to be reading and understanding everything.
After that, Alicia didn’t move for the next 10 hours. She stayed put and read that entire time as if in a daze, and only when the clock had hit 6:00 PM did she finally get up and leave the library.
Once we were sure that she was out of sight, we all filed into the library to count just how many books she had read and became utterly speechless. We all stared at the books in disbelief.
Did Alicia really read all of these in that amount of time? Even though we had watched her read them with our own eyes earlier, we still couldn’t believe it.
“She’s a genius,” Gayle murmured dazedly and we all couldn’t help but nod our heads in agreement. Although Alicia herself doesn’t seem to realize it, she is without a doubt a genius.
After that discovery, they all stayed over very late since we were all engrossed in discussing Alicia’s behavior.
As we were talking though, after the sun had already gone down, all of a sudden we could hear the sound of a sword being swung over and over again.
We walked out onto the second floor veranda to take a look and we all froze up in shock for one last time.
Down in the garden there was the small figure of a girl glistening in sweat and continually practicing swinging her sword.
With hair blacker than the surrounding darkness flowing with each swing of her sword and with the moonlight illuminating her golden eyes she was…
“Beautiful,” I heard Duke whisper from beside me, even as I was thinking it.
For a moment, I began to doubt my own ears. It was the first time that I had heard Duke call anyone beautiful before.
But it was true that in that moment Alicia was captivating.
That day, there were so many things that I was surprised by that I almost thought that it must have been a dream.
And possibly thanks to these evening practices, Alicia somehow became able to wield her sword for a full day straight after only a year’s worth of training.
At this point, I’m not even that surprised anymore.
Even with that additional practice, to be able to improve your stamina by that much within the time-span of one year, should be impossible even for full-grown men, let alone for a 7-year-old child.
Just the fact that a 7-year-old girl can lift such a sword is amazing in itself, so such a feat is likewise unimaginable.
What could have happened to cause Alicia to change this much?
And just what is she trying to accomplish by doing all this I wonder.
T/N: Lol, there were so many comments on how funny Duke’s name is or how creepy it is that he’s watching her for hours like that… I was hoping that it was an exaggeration, but now it seems like they all just stand there for hours and watch her/talk about her…. Yikes XD And to make matters worse, did they seriously stand there and watch her read for TEN HOURS? ….I’m glad that this didn’t come across in the manga haha. It’s kind of uncomfortable any way you slice it.
P.S. I don’t know if it’s because the narrator changed or what, but I just couldn’t get this chapter to flow well…. Sorry. It did not pass the read-out-loud test but I honestly don’t know how to fix it >_< Or maybe I’m just getting tired lol. I’ve been translating a ton these days….