Chapter 1. Prologue
[tn— thank you to Debwu for the donation! 3/8, Enjoy the chapter!]
* * *
We were able to go to bed after quite some time had passed since we went through a war under the pretext of talking.
First of all, it was hard to decide the positions on the bed. They each insisted they would sleep next to me, because there were only two places next to me.
“Let’s spar and have the winner sleep next to her!”
“Isn’t that a favorable way for you, brother? It’s not fair. How about a history quiz?”
“Hey! That’s favorable for you!”
“Don’t be like that, why don’t we explain Schumach’s theory and Rosiane chooses the person that had the most perfect explanation?”
“Schumach? What’s that? I won’t do it! It’s obvious I’ll lose!”
Eryte boldly shouted.
“Seriously. Then let’s go with an easy topic. How about the components of a friend relationship?”
“It looks like a good idea after a long time, little brother.”
“I don’t know, something like that! Friends are friends, what do you mean by that component stuff? Before that, do you even have friends?!”
At that moment, Leav and Bernique shut their mouths. It was the moment Eryte beat them with words for the first time. Leav, who had a sullen expression, retorted.
“What’s important about friends? As long as I have sister it’s enough for me.”
Bernique nodded and agreed.
“That’s right. As long as we have Rosiane, it’s enough. How about sleeping on the floor, friend-liking brother?”
“Are the relationship losers talking a lot?”
Eryte, who had caught a case after a while, grinned and said.
“……. I don’t have friends either though.”
At my words, Eryte, looking like he had been struck by a bolt from the blue, flopped down like the heroine of a tragic love story.
“Brother, you’re too much. How can you attack Rosiane so brutally? I will surely tell father about this, so you’d better be prepared.”
“That’s right. Brother. How did you become an older brother and with such vicious words, hurt sister’s heart? I really don’t think I can find any of your qualifications as a brother even if I wash my eyes.”
It was just one word, but the reaction is too intense.
When I yawned out of tiredness once and furtively got up to intervene, Leav, who looked at me, quickly said.
“Look at this. How painful it must’ve been for sister to *get up like that with tears in her eyes? You’re so cruel, brother.”
[tn— direct tl is storm off but she just stands up in here so, >she strongly got up>, Leav is exaggerating]
“You’re saying only the right things, little brother. How could you bully Rosiane so much? When she’s being raised with a lot of love.”
I mean, the tears just came out from yawning.
Anyway, when I opened my mouth because I thought the war of words would not end if I left it like this, Leav stared at Eryte.
“Just how much did brother’s words *become a dagger that stuck on sister that she’s this tired. You need to purify your language.”
[tn— forgive me i’m a bit tired, brain cells are dead, but it directly means, *Just how much did brother’s words bother her]
“While we’re at it, I think you need to learn how to speak nicely.”
I felt sorry for Eryte, who, at the constant bombing, stared at the floor with an expression like he was a failure, so I went next to him and patted him carefully.
“No matter how much I think about it, Rosiane is certainly an angel. Don’t you think so, little brother?”
“Your words are right, brother. To think that you pity the cruel mad dog, It is no exaggeration to say that you are a saint.”
I’m going crazy. At the words that were hard to hear with a sober mind, I craved a lot of alcohol. Of course, since I was nine years old, it was an impossible wish.
To quickly put an end to this terrible situation, I went to my desk, tore a piece of paper into three pieces, drew a circle on two sheets and drew an X on one, folded it and placed it on the table.
“Two sheets are marked with circles and one with X. If you choose a circle, you sleep next to me, and if you choose X, you have to sleep at the end. If you choose this, it cannot be undone, and you have to follow it without saying anything. Understand?”
In response to a series of answers, I went to the bed first and lay down. It wasn’t because I was physically tired, but because I was too mentally tired.
To be honest, these three guys are scarier than thunder now.
The room, which had been full of scream and joy for a while, calmed down. Eryte was lying on my left and Bernique on my right.
Leav, who chose X, gritted his teeth and took the spot next to Bernique.
“Sleep well, everyone.”
It was a really tiring day. Today, I think I’ll sleep better than any other day.
* * *
After breakfast, they went to their respective palace to attend classes, and soon I greeted Shuiesha who had entered the room.
“Did you sleep well?”
At my question, he, who was a cat, was sucked into the shadow of the floor and appeared in human form.
Now that I see it in person, it’s really amazing. If it weren’t for the red ribbon tied to the neck, you wouldn’t know at all that the cat and he were the same person.
“I caught all the mice.”
“Are you leaving now?”
That was faster than I expected. I got up from my seat and went in front of Shuiesha. The refreshing scent of dawn radiated from him.
“What would you like to receive as a reward?”
“I don’t need it.”
It was an unexpected statement, so my answer came out automatically.
“You can’t do that. You should definitely get paid for your labor.”
“I didn’t do anything valuable enough to receive something of that sort.”
In an instant, I was speechless.
While looking for something to say out of embarrassment, Shuiesha disappeared to the floor as if sinking.
As if I had always been the only one in the room of the hasty goodbye, only quiet silence lingered.
* * *
Shortly after the farewell, raindrops began to fall from the sky.
When I slightly opened the curtain, there was a thick darkness outside that seemed to express my depression instead.
But without even having the time to think about it, the door opened and Eryte appeared.
“Eryte? What about your class?”
“Sword class? I just canceled it because it rained.”
“You can just do it at the indoor training grounds?”
When I squinted and looked at him, Eryte rolled his eyes and smiled as if he had thought of something and grabbed my hand as I was standing by the window and led me to the sofa.
Eryte, who sat me down on the edge of the sofa, lay down on my lap and looked up at me.
What kind of situation is this? I looked down at him with a bewildered expression.
“This brother needs some sleep!”
Eryte’s face, smiling clearly with his teeth showing, was somehow cheeky that I wanted to hit him.
“I’m not a pillow, Eryte.”
However, I explained quietly because I couldn’t hit him. Then, for some reason, Eryte gently raised his upper body.
“Right? Rosiane isn’t a pillow, right?”
The bright smile contained the Indian dimples. It’s also a talent to be able to say the obvious that cheerfully.
As I was about to nod, Eryte pulled my body and made me rest my head on his lap.
“This brother will be your pillow, so hurry up and sleep.”
Eryte, who cut me off and spoke quickly, began to hum.
“It’s a lullaby. It’s nap time anyway, right?”
Now that I think about it, I’ve never heard a lullaby in my life. The lullaby that Eryte sang was better than I thought, so I felt sleepy.
Come to think of it, something’s weird. I slowly blinked my eyes and questioned.
“We can just sleep on the bed, right?”
“Oh, I know right?”
Eryte’s eyes widened as if he really had no idea, and a giggle leaked out at his innocent tone.
I just noticed it now, but I think Eryte is probably trying to put me to sleep quickly because he was afraid that more rain clouds would come and the thunder and lightning would start.
Although it was a bit intense, I knew that it was his own way of caring for me, so I got up and gave Eryte a one strong hug.
“As expected, Rosiane likes me right?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“You mean more than Bernique or Leav, right?”
I burst into laughter as I thought of the childish and cute question. I wondered why you asked such a *question, it must have been a stepping stone for this question.
[tn— *refers to “Rosiane likes me right?”]
For me, my father, my older brothers, and my younger brother are very precious. I can’t decide who is more valuable.
“I do like Eryte, but…”
I heard the sound of something falling from the door.
When I only turned my head and looked while hugging Eryte, I could see Leav staring at Eryte with trembling eyes.
On the floor was a thick book that appears to belong to Leav.
Surprised by Leav stepping back, I approached him right away.
“Leav? What’s wrong?”
As I was about to grab Leav’s shoulder, his tearful eyes turned to me. I had no choice but to stop my outstretched hand.
Not even having any time to stop him, Leav ran out of the room.
I ran to catch him, but I couldn’t even catch him because he was so fast. Leav disappeared into the garden without even an umbrella, and I followed.
My clothes soaked in cold raindrops were clinging to me heavily, but I couldn’t leave Leav, who ran out with a shocked expression on his face, alone.
Leav ran quickly into the Lelandi Tree garden. With that physical ability, wasn’t it a scam when you said you skipped swordsmanship classes everyday because you didn’t want to exercise?
While wandering through the maze garden, the rain was so intense that it was difficult to secure visibility.
It’s a place where it’s easy to get lost even if you take a walk in sunny weather, but now that it’s dark with the clouds and rain, I really can’t figure out where is where.
Even if I loudly shout out the name of Leav whose tail can’t even be seen, it will only be buried in the sound of rain.
In addition, the signs of the sky were unusual. I became frantic as I felt like there was going to be thunder and lightning soon.
“Where are you! Leav!”
I shouted with all my might, but there was no answer back. Rain water flowed into my mouth whenever I opened it and gasped for a breath to fill my chest.
An instantaneous fear came over me at the answer that didn’t come back. My whole body was trembling and I couldn’t run any longer. At that moment, the front of my eyes flashed.
Rumble—! A thunderous roar like a beast’s cry hit my ear violently. At that moment, I couldn’t breathe and fell down.
“You f*ck|ng bitch!”
A louder sound than that echoed around my ear.
I covered my ears and curled up at my grandmother’s prickly voice. The ground, which had turned muddy, emitted cold air.
The thick raindrops pounded the ground endlessly, and the trees hit hard by the rain emitted a cry in anguish. While all the noise was breaking through my ears, I heard a terrible sound of footsteps.
Step, shhk. Step, shhk.
It was the sound of my grandmother, whose left leg has deteriorated since I became a middle school student, dragging one foot while walking. I raised my head half out of it.
The skinny figure of my grandmother before she died was looking at me with a ferocious look. My grandmother walked out from among the trees, staring at me with a cold expression like when she died.
“That’s an illusion……”
Even if I tried hard to ignore it by saying that there was nothing in reality, I couldn’t stop my heart which was like the thunder that’s echoing on the ground.
Step, shhk. Step, shhk.
I started walking backwards.
Ah, the word ‘walking’ may not be right. To correct, I started crawling backwards.
My weakened legs made it impossible for me to get up and run. My legs were scratched on the ground and tingled, but it didn’t give me as much fear as the ghost approaching me.
“Because of you! If only you didn’t exist!”
Flash—, lightning struck, making it impossible to identify my grandmother’s expression.
A dark shadow fell over the ghost.