Dolls

Chapter 35.4 – The Separate Path – That Winter of when I was 12 years old

 

Translator’s Note: As a reminder, this is not a part of chapter 35. This is the first of two unnumbered chapters that come right after chapter 35. It is listed as 35.4 just to make sure it is sorted properly by the auto-sorting of the website.

 

[PoV of the Original Altirea from the timeline that is shown in the Otome Game]

I’ll be attending the Magic Academy next spring… This is not enough. Why do I have to be so bad at general magic? It took me a whole month to be able to create fire from my fingertips…

If I were to go to the academy at this state, I’d be branded as an inferior student and bring shame to the Wisp house… That would be absolutely unacceptable.

Due to that, I decided to anticipate myself and got my father to hire a tutor to teach me magic since I was young. She taught me generic magic to the best of her capabilities.

However… The time spent on that betrayed me. Even after four years studying it, I was only able to learn about as much magic as a second year student from the academy is able to use.

After one of my practice sessions, my tutor said that, ‘I know you’re doing your best, Altirea. You’re serious, dedicated, refuse to give up… You have all the virtues that one needs in order to excel at magic. It wouldn’t be strange for you to be better than people that already graduated the academy by now.

‘But still… Was my teaching this bad? I’m so sorry…’ she held her head in frustration as she said that, but I understood it. It was not her fault… It was mine. I was the one who lacked the talent for generic magic.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t all for naught, for I was able to abandon my talent for Doll Magic by regularly practicing generic magic.

… A person with unusual talents will bring the downfall of their house. Those words were painful to hear the first time, but they were necessary. I absolutely cannot let my powers bring the end of the Wisp family, so it was of utmost important that I got rid of them.

I was truly thankful to the words of the traveling priest that warned me about this in advance. About the old teachings of the Rokisona faith that were taught by the great sage himself… ‘Unusual talents lead to ruin, for they are the remnants of the powers of the old violent gods.

‘Do not rely on those talents, for they are deceptive and will lure you towards the evil gods that wish to consume this world once more.

‘Trust on the sage’s wisdom. Learn from it, and your unusual talents will be expelled. Be happy about being born with your talents, for once you overcome their temptation, you’ll be far more than you could ever hope to be.’

The sage’s wisdom is the generic magic… And just as his words said, my aptitude for Doll Magic has been steadily decreasing as I practiced more and more generic magic.

… And since a few days ago, I even became unable to feel the spirits anymore. It was a bit lonely to not hear their voice, but also relieving. This talent was not supposed to be here, so I was better off without it. Being out of the ordinary is sinful and harmful.

***

The morning was cloudy, and a chilly wind was blowing outside, even if it was clearly warmer than it was a few weeks ago… It’s a sign of the end of the winter.

Should I pretend to be ill and delay my attendance to the Magic Academy?

… I’m such pathetic Duke’s daughter. I can’t think like that.

And yet, it was hard to not do it after receiving another one of those letters from my fiance.

‘Elstat Rozerem’ sent me another letter… A letter written by one of his servants that is, for the handwriting is obviously not his.

As usual, he doesn’t care about me at all, does he?

I sighed… I understood it. Our engagement was decided upon by our parents, and I am just an inferior aristocrat who cannot properly handle generic magic. I don’t deserve his attention. I don’t have the right to complain about receiving a letter written by his servants… It’s enough to just get a report on his recent activities.

Els is still swinging his sword every day. At first he just played around with a wooden sword, pretending to be a hero, but… After being saved by an adventurer named Feria, when he was ten years old, he completely gave up on caring about the succession of the Rozerem family, and started dedicating himself fully to swordsmanship.

He is good at it though. Els even got fourth place at the last tournament held at the empire’s capital. He had to participate while concealing his identity, but still, the only reason he lost in the semi-finals, was because his opponent was none other than the current champion, Carl Peneim.

And not long after that, the legendary Wandering Earl visited him due to interest in Els incredible abilities.

I was a bit jealous of him. I wish had a talent that was good enough to get recognized by everyone around me.

No. I can’t… Others are others and I am I. Nothing will get done by getting absorbed by envy. I abandoned Doll Magic and that made me much closer to being a ‘normal’ person.

This was the right decision. The Wisp name shall not be tainted by me. I will become someone that can proudly stand next to Els. I will not be an embarrassment for him.

The day is starting… Let’s call a maid here to help me change, so that I can start practice… I could change myself, but it is important for nobles to rely on others for this kind of thing.

The maid helped me put the usual robe. To dress like a witch, so that magic will work out better, as taught by my tutor. It is not a superstition. By telling your heart that you are a mage, you’ll be more willing to embrace the magic and improve upon it.

I twirled in front of the mirror to make sure that there was nothing wrong with my appearance. Everything seemed to be in place, so I was about to start.

But at that moment, I heard a knock on my door, “Lady Altirea, a person who calls himself Priest Asksu has come to visit. He says that there is something important that he wants to show you.

“He didn’t schedule his visit in advance though… Should I tell him to come another day?” My butler, Warren, told me that.

Usually, I’d do just as he said, but this was not a simple visitor. Priest Asksu is someone who visited me three years ago and cared a lot for me. He saw how worried I was about learning generic magic and ended up sympathizing with my struggles. He said that he’d go on a journey to search for a way to improve my capabilities, and promised to contact me as soon as he found something.

What a faithful meeting! It must be a blessing from the great god Rokiso. He must be rewarding me for overcoming the trial of Doll Magic!

I wanted to immediately run towards the priest, but I couldn’t do that, for I was in a robe right now, and a visitor came to our house.

The maid helped me change into my favorite outfit. A white blouse that was paired together with a dark blue ribbon and skirt. It gave off an impression of a quiet and dignified mature lady, so I liked using these clothes when going out in public.

I was ready, but… I couldn’t leave just yet. It was good manners for a noble to wait fifteen minutes to go greet their guest. My father and my older brother may ignore this, calling it a meaningless rule, but it’s important. Especially for me who am inferior with magic, I must be sure to behave like a proper ordinary aristocrat in those kinds of matters.

And like this, time passed… Slowly. Please don’t mind it too much if I get there a bit earlier. I just couldn’t stand waiting any longer.

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