Chapter 8:

The emotions that piled up

The Guardian

  Back at camp, Irra was surrounded by a pile of books and while she was reading a very old book, Lyna poured her a cup of tea.

"You should take a break... It's been already 3 days since you started looking through these books and you barely had any sleep!"

  Irra just smiled at the worried Lyna and answered with a calm voice.

"It's alright, I'm fine... you don't need to worry about me. As for me taking a break... I think I'm going to take one now."

   Before Lyna could say anything else Alice arrived in front of the tent and called her sister.

"Irra, I'm back!"

   Alice entered the tent and approached the table where her sister was sitting. She looked at the dark circles under her eyes then at the pile of books.

"When was the last time when you slept?"

   Irra looked like a child that was caught doing something bad and tried to come up with a good excuse but Lyna didn't let her do that.

"Around two days ago!"

    Alice looked at her sister with narrowed eyes for a while but finally sighed because she was here with another problem.

"You're lucky that I come here with something urgent! After I leave you will go and take a proper sleep, Lyna, you watch her!"


    Lyna accepted without any hesitation and Alice returned to the problem at hand. She explained what happened and asked Irra about her thoughts on this matter.

"I think Clarissa has a point. Go and follow him secretly tonight and tomorrow and see if he's doing anything suspicious! He can't use magic so he isn't a threat for now."

"I understand! I will take my leave now. Please take care of your body and don't exhaust yourself too much!"

  Alice left the tent and Irra looked at her back with a sigh and took back the book that she was just reading.


   Lyna looked at Irra with scolding eyes and she finally surrendered.

"Ok, ok! I know!"

   Irra put the book back on the table and Lyna smiled satisfied.

* * *

   Eric come back home when was almost night. He took a shower and fell asleep in a short time because of the sleepless night from before and mana exhaustion from practicing spells all day.

   Alice watched all of that and spent the entire night looking at him and waiting for something to happen.

    Unfortunately for her, Eric had a good sleep until morning and he woke up refreshed. He played on his phone for an hour then got up and prepared a breakfast that he eat it immediately and went out.

    He went to the entrance of the forest and sat down under a tree. Alice keep her distance and also sat down under a tree several meters away because it was very hot outside.

("He is just staying here?")

    Eric indeed just stayed here. He tried yesterday to use other spells but because he didn't see any magic circle excluding the sword spell, he couldn't do anything else. Being helpless he just sat down thinking about ways to solve his problem until he fall asleep.

("Did he just fall asleep?!")

    Alice looked at him with a tired expression and waited for him to wake up but she couldn't keep her eyes open and fall asleep too.

* * *

    Several hours later it was almost sunset. Alice slowly opened her eyes and the first thing she saw was Eric staying cross-legged a little further and looking at her with a bored expression. She looked around and finally remembered what she was here and summoned a dagger. Eric was surprised and tried to calm her down.

"Wait! I just wanted to go home and find you lying down here! I didn't do anything!"

    Alice looked at him for a while without saying anything. She finally fully regained her senses and asked Eric some questions with the dagger still in her hand.

"How long have you been here?"

"Around twenty minutes."

"Why didn't you wake me up and why didn't you just leave?"

"You had such a peaceful face that I couldn't bring myself to wake you up and also I could leave you here alone either."

    Alice looked at him inspecting if what he said was the truth and finally sighed and made the dagger disappear. She looked at him with a somehow embarrassed expression and asked the awkward question that he didn't bring up.

"You won't ask what I'm doing here?"

"If you don't want to answer I won't ask!"


    Alice didn't know what to say and Eric didn't talked either. An awkward silence started between them and Alice tried to break the ice.

"So... what are you doing alone in the forest every day?"

("S*it, I just admitted that I'm here because of him, please don't realize it!")

"Oh, so that's why are you here! Please don't worry about me... I don't like to stay too much between four walls so I come out here to sleep, walk or read books. If I'm caught by someone just ignore me!"

   Eric, in fact, didn't believe that the cold-looking Alice would worry about him and come all the way here just to check up on him but he needed a common ground so she could explain her presence here.

    Alice looked surprised at Eric for a moment but then cleared her throat and followed his words.

"Ahem, if you know that we are worried then don't go out alone anymore!"

"Mmm, I can't do that... If you were in my shoes you would do the same!"

    Alice looked at Eric with a colder expression than usual and answered with a voice full of resentment.

"No! I will cherish my family while they're still here!"

   Her voice was a little loud but Eric didn't mind and answered with a calm tone while looking into her deep blue eyes.

"I don't know what happened to you and I would be a hypocrite if I said I understand it but I'm sure you can say this because you had two loving parents and I can see that your sister loves you very much too. In contrast with you, I didn't experienced any love or care from my parents. I always felt like I'm some random child that they picked from the side of the road and I feel like I'm suffocating in that house, so even if the world turns upside-down I will still not stay there more than necessary!"

   Because of his calm tone, Alice felt a wave of anger going through her and raised her voice.

"Then why are you talking about something like this with such a calm tone!? Why are you not angry at all?"

   Eric looked at her teary eyes and realized that she was not talking about him anymore. She forgot about the reason why she was here and just talked about the emotions that she piled up for many years.

"I was angry at first but I soon realized that I can't do anything about it and resigned myself. Although I don't want revenge I don't think that is a bad thing. Because of it, you will grow stronger and it will help you keep going on. All you felt until now is not wrong and many other people will be saved because you didn't give up! As for myself, the anger will not do me any good and only corrode me on the inside..."

   Alice didn't know what to feel and almost burst into tears. She didn't know what to say and even if she did, she couldn't say anything. Before Eric's eyes, she teleported somewhere and Eric was left alone at the entrance of the forest.