Chapter 4:


The Guardian

    The next day, Eric woke up earlier than usual. He got up from the bed and stretched out his hands with a big yawn.
Half awake, half asleep he left his room and headed for the kitchen.

("It was all a dream... right?")

     He wished that everything that had happened yesterday was a dream but that wish was shattered when he headed to the kitchen to prepare his breakfast and saw Alice with his mother in the living room having a chat over a coffee.

("Just pretend I'm not here!")

     He didn't greet them and went straight to the kitchen. While preparing something quick to eat he inadvertently overheard what was being discussed in the living room.

"So after all these years some of the old kingdoms still survived?"

"It's hard to say that they still survived after everything that happened… but yes, the kingdoms with a long history of more than a thousand years were still in charge before that disaster."

"I suppose it's been really hard for you..."

"Yah, it has been but now we finally have some hope to hold on to."

    After these last words there was a brief silence in the living room but as if trying to banish the painful thoughts, Alice tried to change the subject.

"Still, it's surprising you know so much about our world."

"Oh, it's not that surprising! Although our family retreated here a long time ago to avoid all conflict, we still have recordings of your world's history."

    Before the conversation could continue, Eric came out of the kitchen with a plate of sandwiches in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. He wanted to head straight for his room but was stopped by Alice.

"Oh Eric, we're going to start practice at nine, don't be late!"

    Eric wanted to say that he would be ready by then but his mother cut in on the conversation.

"Wait, is he coming too?"

"Yeah, Irra said he has a chance to use magic as well."

"Oh then you don't have to waste your time, we measured his magical ability when he was born and it was clear that he doesn't have a single bit of mana in him!"

"Oh, then you heard it Eric, you don't need to come to practice with us anymore."

   Eric looked over his shoulder back at Alice and gave her a dull reply.


    He looked away and wanted to head back to his room but just then his mother continued.

"He wasn't even supposed to be born in the first place! In our family only one child was always born and not more. The fact that he was born was a surprise for us but even so we didn't want to give up him but at the time he was born, his talent for magic was zero and that is a total disgrace in our family and is a sign of bad omen and not to mention he's not good at anything at all, his grades are mediocre and so are his physical abilities."

     Alice didn't reply to this and just looked at Eric's mother with a complicated look and on the other hand Eric didn't look back at his mother and just clenched his hand that was holding the cup of coffee hard.

    He said nothing and just left the room. This was one of those moments when he hated being in that house so he didn't even eat his sandwiches and left them in his room.

    On his way out he met Yuki who had left her room and was heading towards the kitchen. She saw that he didn't have the most pleasant expression and that he wanted to go outside so she tried to stop him.

"Hey, what happened?"

"None of your business!"

"Wait! Irra said that we are not allowed to go outside, where are you going?"

"No... you're not allowed to go outside not me and I'm not planning to stay inside because of this stupid reason!"

    Yuki tried to stop him but Eric left the house without looking back.

    After leaving the house Eric headed for the forest. After he got there he found a good place to pass the time and sat down with his back against a tree. He looked at the sun's rays between the leaves, lost in thought.

"Seems like I was really excited..."

("Even after I promised that I will live a normal life... I guess that I didn't get over it after all...)

"You seem quite troubled!"

    While Eric was lost in his thoughts, a girl's voice was heard a few meters away from him. When he turned his head towards where the voice was coming from, Eric saw a girl with long black hair dressed in what appeared to be a black military uniform but he couldn't recognize it. The girl was looking at him with an evil smile on her lips and after confirming that she had his attention she continued.

"I can help you get revenge on everyone who wronged you, all you have to do is to accept my offer."

    The girl continued to smile and held out her hand to him, waiting for an answer.