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From the time Anastasia started walking, as strange as it was, their parents would talk about Damian’s old milestones in front of his younger siblings.
Damian was extremely embarrassed and dissatisfied with it.
“Seeing the youngest walking reminds me of Damian’s days, when Damian also started walking, what was he not curious about, he walked here and there.”
“That’s right, the child who was so calm gets up and sees a lot of things, so he tried to hold all of this and that, then look—.”
“The boy who had no injuries lived with some for a while after that.”
My parents were too cowardly.
I can’t even remember it, so even if it’s a lie, there’s no way to prove it!
It wasn’t just that.
“Oh my, that’s amazing. I thought our youngest would be a picky eater.”
“I know right, I thought she would be picky since it’s similar to what Damian did but on the contrary, she’s not picky like Laurentia.”
What do you mean by picky.….. Damian would get sullen whenever he recalled that time.
Although they never told Laurentia that she should not be picky because she eats anything well, from the moment he remembers Damian was not picky about food.
Of course, there were foods he hated, but his parents and the book said that one could grow well if they eat well without being picky so he ate them regardless.
‘I diligently ate the bitter bell peppers and hard-boiled beans……’
Damian thought like that, but he felt it was very baby-like, so he quickly dismissed it.
To top it off, their parents would regularly reminisce about Damian’s childhood as they watched Laurentia or Anastasia’s actions.
He was very embarrassed, but he couldn’t say he hated it because his parents always looked at him as if he was lovely.
It would be nice if they don’t do it.
Damian barely maintained his facial expressions properly and waited with firm determination for what his parents would say.
* * *
I was a little surprised so I looked at my brother’s expression.
What is he thinking about?
He was an older brother who always held my hand affectionately and carefully, but suddenly I felt him tighten his hold on my hand.
It hurts a little…….
Just looking at his expression, he looks as mature as usual, but somehow, the area around his chin seems to be more tightened than usual.
‘Did I perhaps bother you?’
No way, Did brother also want to see the stalls, but because I asked you to come to see the pumpkin tower, you forced yourself to come?
I felt gulity thinking like that.
I was just trying to get out of the way so that my sister could eat comfortably.
Stupidly, if I knew this would happen, I would’ve pointed my hand to another stall.
Why did you reach out to the direction of the pumpkin tower and decorations only?
‘Makes sense, if I think about it, when I asked to go to the pumpkin tower, my brother hesitated.’
Since my brother is still a seven year old child, I was sure that he would want to see a lot of things at the Thanksgiving festival.
I should have been more considerate of my brother’s feelings as the oldest deep inside.
As it’s my first time living with such a normal family, I don’t know much.
I’m sorry, brother……..
After I look at the pumpkin tower in moderation, I should pull my brother’s hand and go to the stalls.
Even while I was making up my mind, my parents were talking about the Thanksgiving Festival a few years ago as if they enjoyed that one more.
“We wore normal clothes like this back then too, right?”
“That’s right, at least on Thanksgiving, let me be less conscious about being a lord or a duke.”
My father nodded at my mother’s words.
My mother looked more excited than usual.
Were they the kind of people who liked festivals that much?
“We were the only ones who came back then, because only Damian was here.”
“That’s right. Our Damian also walked quite well.”
My mother nodded as if she was happy just thinking about it.
“Everyone loved Damian so much that when I took my eyes off of him for a second, he disappeared suddenly, right? How surprised I was.”
When my mother said so, my father purposely put on a stern face, and talked to my brother as if he were teasing.
“It’s true, Damian. Your mother was very surprised at that time.”
The moment my father said those words, my brother’s expression didn’t change, but his grip on my hand grew stronger.
Um, if I leave it like this, it seems like I might get a bruise on my hand.
However, I didn’t even wave my brother’s hand.
Of course, my brother was just sheepishly smiling as if apologising to his parents.
That’s why, it might be a useless idea, but……
‘For some reason, I don’t think I should express to him right now that my hand hurts……’
I don’t know why, but it seemed to me that if I did, my brother would focus on his feelings of guilt for hurting me, and not his current feelings.
I think I shouldn’t do that.
“Everyone dispersed and looked for a child, but they couldn’t even hear a cry.”
“That’s right, I was so worried that you would faint at that time.”
Also, maybe because it’s a festival, but my parents, who would have noticed my brother’s oddness, were immersed in talking about the cute and fresh memories of the past.
“But when we found him, he was between the pumpkin towers, right?”
“Of course, I still remember. If he were pale with fear, he could have cried loudly.”
“That’s right, he couldn’t even cry properly and was just whining ‘mom, dad……’ as if he had done something wrong.”
My parents said so and pointed to a space between the well-stacked pumpkin towers that one could enter if they were a young child.
And that moment.
Suddenly, I was dragged into the crowd by my brother’s hand.
It’s not the time for you to look at the pumpkin tower right now.
Brother is, Brother is……..!
The quiet and mature eldest of the Endeblanc family held me…….
No, he started walking towards somewhere faster than usual, as if he was not aware of my hand.
And in the midst of that…..
‘Sister, why is my sister doing that?’
Before I knew it she had come to the pumpkin tower, and her eyes were twinkling as if she had discovered something amazing.
I had a hunch of an accident.
* * *
There were so many people for the Thanksgiving Festival but.
Just where was he going; what I could see were the lights of the houses that sparsely stood out because it gradually darkened.
Perhaps it was my illusion that he couldn’t go far as a child.
My brother escaped until he got out of the wall and only stopped when we arrived beneath a large tree where there were no people.
Even in the midst of that, he never let go of my hand.
‘Of course, I tried my best not to fall down because I was keeping up with him.’
Since a 16-month-old baby’s legs were too short.
That’s why, I slightly used magic for assistance.
I don’t know why, but I thought that I shouldn’t let my brother focus on me.
Although, of course, he will suffer a lot after he recovers his senses.
‘Doesn’t my brother also sometimes have times like this where he doesn’t have to be patient?’
The smart and always upright heir of a duchy.
Both the vassals of the duchy and the people of the territory would assess him that way.
Because I had only known him since he was about six years old, as our parents say, it was difficult to imagine him as a baby.
However, that didn’t mean that my brother was really grown up to the point that he can cover all his emotions.
I thought that there should be at least someone who is aware that he is a seven year old child.
In fact, that’s probably why he fought that way with Mikhail about taking care of his younger sister.
‘Of course, our parents may think that he is a little baby, that’s why they may regale such stories but…..’
My parents were very good people, but they had a mischievous side.
Although I don’t understand their intention, there were times when they sneakily teased my sister, and neither me nor my brother was an exception.
And I thought that they were role models that are usually written in textbooks.
“…….What I don’t even remember, surely.”
My brother opened his mouth as he stared at the tree for a while, and his heavy breathing due to the fast pace, had subsided.
‘I guess my brother didn’t like our parents talking about what happened in the past.’
I just thought that it was a cute thing a young child could do.
Well, what makes someone ashamed of, varies from person to person.
Although later, on the contrary, you might be able to talk about it yourself while smiling.
He must have hated it so much that he ran out not even knowing that he was holding my hand like this right now.
I recalled my brother’s expression and the situation at that time and guessed his feelings in my own way.
“I need to be a role model though…….”
What should you be a role model of?
Of course, it’s important to protect his morality because he will be a duke later but.
‘My brother had never done anything particularly bad for him to be serious like that.’
Rather, I think that it’s a problem because my brother is always too serious and tries to be patient with a lot of things.
My sister will turn six next year, but no matter how much I think about it, it was hard to think that she would be as mature as when I first saw my brother.
But my sister is fine like that.
She’s only a six year old child, and she’s cute anyway.
People who can be happy should be happy.
Thinking that, I finally pulled my brother’s hand.
I think I should somehow comfort him.
But contrary to my intentions, surprise spread over my brother’s face.
And soon, as if he felt guilty, upset, and ashamed, a blush rose on his face.
Then he immediately let go of my hand, and after seeing the red marks left on my hand, he apologized again with a deep sigh.
“Why didn’t you cry when it turned out like this.”
I pretended not to know on purpose.
My brother immediately lowered his body and looked at my hands, feet, and legs.
There was a little bit of sand on my leg because I tried hard to follow him with my short legs, and as if he was also upset at that, he carefully shook it off.
“Until this happened……Why didn’t our youngest say anything?”
“Am I bad?”
This time, it was perfect pronunciation!
I asked because I was worried that he was being unnecessarily considerate.
If I could speak even a little better, I could have conveyed my intentions clearly in sentences…..
But my brother shook his head.
“You’re not bad, why would our Anastasia be bad? Brother is the one who apologizes.”
My brother continued on,
“But it must have been painful like this, you should have told me.”
It’s because it’s like this.
I pulled your hand to comfort you, but you’re only taking care of me again.
I would like it if you didn’t do that.
The moment I looked at him blankly, he hugged me tightly.
“Yes, I’m sorry.”
No, I wasn’t asking you to apologize.
I resented my tongue for not being able to pronounce properly if I didn’t speak slowly.
The moment I tried to reassure my brother that I was okay and he could disclose his thoughts and feelings to me, a voice distracted us.
It was a small voice, but I heard a voice calling my sister’s name urgently as if something had happened.
‘Ah, sister……. An accident really—’
I recalled my sister’s sparkling eyes that I saw before I was grabbed by my brother.
Also, the voice calling for my older sister seemed to have been clearly heard by my older brother who cared so much for his younger siblings.
It was such a small voice that could only be heard in my ear.
My brother quickly held me and began to run towards the gate as if it were an instinct.