“Huh. I don’t know if you’ll like it.”
Kirill opened the gift before Airn could even finish speaking and took out its contents.
It was a necklace. A beautiful one with a sapphire.
However, that wasn’t the important part.
The important thing was that not someone else, but her brother, who spent most of his life in his room, had begun to think about her.
The 12-year-old, who looked at the necklace for a moment, managed to say.
“Thank you. Listen the first time.”
A softer tone than usual, but her words were still blunt.
The Pareira couple’s faces brightened when they saw it.
Kirill was being Kirill, but Airn’s shocking change made their hearts bloom.
Seeing them like that, Airn patted himself on the back.
‘It did good listening to Marcus.’
He was the one who urged Airn to bring one gift for each family member as he hadn’t seen them for so long.
If it wasn’t for Marcus, Airn would’ve returned to his family empty-handed.
‘I’ll have to take more care in the future. As I did nothing in the past.’
However, the eldest son of the family showed a bigger change than anyone else.
Thanks to that, the atmosphere in the room was more harmonious.
In such a room, Airn was about to bring out his gifts for his father and mother.
“Hmm, right. No wonder his smell seemed familiar, so he was your brother?”
Kirill made a startling sound at the sudden voice.
The monster, no, the mystery cat, Lulu, raised its front paws and apologized.
“Ah, sorry! I didn’t mean to surprise you. I thought that it would be easier to flirt and convince your brother than persuade you, so I came out.”
“What are you even talking about! And what do you mean convince my brother!”
Kirill came down from his lap and grabbed Lulu.
Although Harun Pareira and his wife were terrified by the fearless black cat, Kirill took the cat gently into her hands.
And while dangling in the air, the cat spoke.
“No, it just seems like he has an easier personality compared to you. And…”
“And you like your brother too much, so if I go for him, of course you’ll agree to my offer, right? That was what I thought.”
“Uh? Did I say something I shouldn’t have? Was it something you didn’t think about?”
“If you enter my personal space, I will never be your disciple!”
Kirill Pareira blushed as she yelled. Lulu carefully pulled itself out of her hands and apologized.
“Sorry! I will never do that again! Don’t hate me!”
Jumping into the air, the cat disappeared in an instant. As if it didn’t exist in the first place.
Harun Pareira, who was watching it, sighed and spoke.
“I have no idea how to handle this.”
A difficult situation.
It would be best if the sorcerer Lulu became Kirill’s teacher.
However, it was still unknown if the cat could be trusted or not and whether Kirill would agree or not. Time was needed.
If it didn’t work out, problems could arise.
A powerful sorcerer who could break through the guards and roam freely in the mansion begins to harbor resentment? He didn’t even want to think about it.
Even if they didn’t form a master-student relationship, they needed to maintain an amicable relationship.
But with the way she was…
Amel’s calm voice.
The Baron looked at his wife.
Her slightly droopy eyes and calm expression caught his eyes.
As she spoke.
“I think that those complicated matters can be thought about later. Let’s focus on our Airn. He hasn’t even talked about the school yet, right?”
“Yes. We’ll talk about that later. Brother, tell me about the Krono Swordsmanship School. Did you learn a lot?”
“… right. I apologize, Airn. The cat sorcerer is important, but there is something more important right here.”
“No, no need to apologize. And Kirill, um… what do you want me to tell you?”
As Airn shook his head at his father’s words, he smiled.
Since he’s always had a pretty stiff and expressionless face, it was still difficult for him to smile, but it was getting close to a natural smile.
After that, the Pareira family spent their time together happily.
It was the most talkative day for Airn.
After the hectic day, late at night.
Airn, who entered his room, looked out the window as he fell into thought.
The Krono Swordsmanship School, the school master’s advice, his own sword, his family, his sister, the cat sorcerer Lulu, Viscount Gairn….
The world outside his room was difficult and complicated. It was completely different from the past when he would close his eyes and cover his ears.
Of course, all things considered, it was much better than before.
He remembered the conversation he had with his family and all the smiles they shared.
‘I just brought gifts, and they loved it, everyone…’
Rather, they were even more moved by the information that he passed the evaluations.
Seeing that, Airn felt happy, yet sad.
Seeing his parents and younger sister overjoyed over trivial actions that any son of any ordinary family could do, he began to regret all the time he had wasted.
‘Let’s never do that again.’
Airn clenched his fists.
He didn’t have to do anything significant. And although it wasn’t a shocker, he knew that his parents didn’t expect huge things from him either.
All he had to do was not run away like he used to.
Even if it’s difficult, he has to straighten his back, and even if it’s burdensome, he has to endure it and puff out his chest.
That alone would bring a smile to his younger sister’s face instead of annoyance.
‘… finding my sword shouldn’t be delayed.’
Airn’s face turned serious.
The homework given by Ian was difficult for him.
A philosophical and abstract topic that he had never thought about in his entire life. His heart was pounding so hard that Airn wanted to throw it away.
But he couldn’t.
If he sat still and kept thinking that the task was difficult, nothing would change.
Although thanks to the dream, Airn, who was a sloth, realized it.
Thinking about it, he burst out laughing.
To break free from his dreams and build his own sword, it seemed like he was getting help from his dreams again in the process.
Perhaps, this was ironic.
“… well, fine.”
Airn shook his head.
Deep and profound thoughts lead to many troubles, and troubles lead to doubt. And doubt brings in depression, lethargy, and self-depreciation.
No one else knew it, but he did. This too was something he had realized over the past 10 years.
He erased all those thoughts one after another. And that made it clear what he had to do the next day.
Airn spoke as he looked at the door.
“Who is out there?”
“Ah! May I come in?”
“Yes, come in.”
Shortly after his words, a maid entered. And Airn spoke.
“I’m going to the training grounds at around 5 o’clock tomorrow, so inform them in advance and prepare for it.”
“Sorry? Are you talking about tomorrow?”
The maid asked in confusion.
Airn didn’t understand why she had to look so shocked, but he nodded.
“Yes. Are there any problems?”
“No… but, by 5 o’clock, you mean… the afternoon?”
“If that was the case, I wouldn’t inform you now. It’s in the morning.”
The maid panicked again, and Airn watched her.
After a moment of silence, the maid carefully put her thoughts into words.
“Excuse my question, but are you fine, sir?”
“Well… from what I heard, the distance from Krono to here is quite long, and this is the first night that you’re sleeping here, and you won’t get enough rest… if you get up that early in the morning to train… I am worried that you’ll get sick, sir…”
Although the maid was young, she had been working in the mansion for more than three years, so she was aware of Airn’s former self.
Before leaving for the school, he behaved a little like a normal person, but for her, the young lord was still the ‘deadbeat’ and ‘lazy’ noble.
‘No, leaving that aside… no matter how strong he became, this is too much.’
As a maid, she had no choice but to think about her young lord.
However, Airn was different.
In the past year, he slept for less than five hours a day, and the rest of the time was spent training, training, and training.
For such a boy, the month-long trip in the wagon wasn’t an arduous journey but rest.
If it hadn’t been for Ian’s advice, Airn probably would have swung his sword nonstop during the trip.
Airn spoke with a faint smile.
“It’s okay. Just prepare those things.”
“Prepare food too. It’s alright if the food is smaller than an actual breakfast.”
“… yes. By the way, there will be regular soldiers training tomorrow. The training grounds will be crowded from the early morning on. Is the sir fine with that?”
“I don’t care. I’m not going to take up a lot of space.”
“Yes. Then I’ll take my leave.”
The maid bowed her head and stepped back as she left the room.
The door closed, and she mumbled very quietly to herself.
“Is he too embarrassed by the fact that he failed the final evaluation?”
It didn’t make any sense to her.
After thinking that, she lightly walked down the hallway and headed for the kitchen.
It was the natural reaction, as only his family and Marcus knew that Airn passed.
“You want me to make something for the young lord to eat tomorrow morning?”
“The young lord wants to go to the training grounds that early?”
“He doesn’t have to be that way.”
The kitchen maids had similar thoughts.
The bad-hearted people thought ‘It’s too late to act, it will all be in vain’, while the good-hearted people thought ‘it’s good that he is more active than before’.
Unfortunately, no one from either side had guessed just how much Airn had grown in the Krono Swordsmanship School.
The night passed, and dawn came.
“Now then, should I try training a little after such a long time?”
Exactly 5 am.
Airn, who was fully prepared, appeared at the training grounds.
He didn’t rush in.
He relaxed his body as he was training after a very long time. All his muscles were being released from the stiffness, and heat began to rise.
Of course, it didn’t end there.
The movements he did so far were just to prevent any possible injuries.
A sword is a sword, but since he hadn’t used his body in a long time, he wanted to use it in the right way. Airn glanced around the training grounds.
Inferior equipment compared to the school.
But it was fine. There are plenty of exercises he could do with his bare body.
“Since there are no people yet, can I use the space?”
Mumbling, he began to run around the training grounds.
It wasn’t slow.
Little by little, Airn increased the speed.
“Damn it, what kind of person will call for training starting from the morning…”
“I know. Hell training? That sounds nice. It would be much better to have a healthy breakfast and then start training at 9, to have proper efficiency…”
“Can’t be helped. I heard this from the top. Since we are only doing this to show off to the Baron’s family, we need to look like we are a tough bunch.”
“No, what nonsense is…”
Soldiers began to gather on the training grounds after a meeting at 6 am.
They were all cursing the situation they were put into.
It was natural. No one wakes up and uses their body right from the early morning.
There was one such person.
A boy running through the grounds, expressionless, yet he seemed refreshed.
“Right. He came back from school yesterday. But…”
“He has been sprinting since dawn?”
“Did he fail?”
The soldiers who confirmed the appearance of Airn kept speaking.
On the faces of a few, worry began to crawl.
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