1.
How our family will survive.


 

My younger brother, Franz, ran away from the academy.

 

Franz fortunately returned home, but the family tea time, which had been friendly, quickly turned into a serious atmosphere.

 

— It was no big deal.
I was homesick.
I missed Hertz, too…

 

Franz, who turned fifteen this year, acted calm as if nothing had happened.

 

But, he didn't make eye contact with any of the family members.

 

My mother smiled bitterly and tried to calm the chilly atmosphere.

 

— Yes, you've been away for a long time, so I'm sure you've been homesick, haven't you, dear?

 

However, Marquess Vesta's wrinkled forehead could not straighten.

 

— I don't know what happened, but it wasn't good for you to leave without permission like that.
Hurry up and go back to the bedroom.

 

Marquess Vesta, my father, said coldly.

 

At this moment, I was probably the only one who saw that Franz's eyes were shaking badly.

 

Franz barely squeezed his trembling chin and opened his mouth with difficulty.

 

— Father! I-I'll be back in a little while.
I-I was worried about Hertz's health, and since I'm at home, I'll do my chores…

 

My father's face, with a look as if he had no choice, was ridiculous.

 

— The cat is being looked after by the butler, so don't worry.
I'll send a messenger bird to Kratie Academy.

 

As if he had nothing more to say, my father rose from his seat.

 

— Oh, father! I'll just stay for a while….
Please…

 

Despite Franz's plea, my father turned away coolly.

 

And then I saw him.

 

Franz's wrists, thin as a twig, were hidden by the sleeves of Franz's uniform, who stood behind my father.

 

My brother's wrist was marked with blue bruises.

 

Franz noticed my gaze and quickly pulled down his sleeve to hide the wound.

 

My younger brother's hands were shaking.


 

If I keep quiet here, Franz will return to Kratier Academy.
And he'll be a knight as planned, but our family….

 

— Franz, would you like to take off your clothes for a moment?

I put down my cup of tea and said to my brother with the face of a friendly sister.

 

— Sis? Oh, why the clothes?

 

Franz took a step back, wrapping his arms around his chest.

 

I blinked at the servants waiting by the door, holding a cup of tea.
They approached Franz.

 

— Excuse us.
Young master.

 

After bowing their heads to Franz, they began to remove his Kratier Academy uniform.

 

— Take off his whole shirt too.

 

— Oh, no, don't do this!

 

Despite Franz's cries, the servants removed his uniform.

 

When the upper part of their son's body, which no longer covered him at all, was revealed, the Marchioness and the Marquess of Vesta were stunned.

 

It was because Franz's body was marked with scars and bruises all over.

 

There were some bruises that had occurred the day before, and some were bright red, some had turned purple and some had turned black due to accumulated dead blood.
It was the academy cadets themselves who had done it.

 

— Aaah, Franz!

 

My mother's screams echoed, but now was probably the time when Franz was most bullied at the academy.

 

My mother began to sob, shocked by her son's injuries.

 

— What are all these wounds, who were they!

 

The enraged Marquess de Vesta asked Franz.

 

— Come on, say whose family they are from!

 

But Franz shook his head and said nothing.

 

— How dared they do this to my son? I'll go to Kratier right now.

 

Franz knelt down and begged at Marquess Vesta's threat, gritting his teeth.

 


— Please-please don't do that, father.
I beg you.

 

At Franz's plea, my father's brow furrowed.

 

— You're really…
Why didn't you use [Shuette]? If you had used [Shuette], this would never have happened!

 

Franz bowed his head like a sinner and said nothing.

 

— Stop it, dear! To a child who has already been hurt…

 

My mother hugged Franz's slender body and wept.

 

The child who will be the heir of the Vesta family is being bullied by the same cadets at the academy.

 

My father sighed and began to smoke the cigarette he had left for a while.

 

Today at this moment, if it were not for me, the wounds on Franz's body would not have been revealed to our parents.

 

As if nothing had happened, Franz would have spent the night at home and returned to Kratier's academy to control his emotions.

 

At least that is the future as far as I know.
But, that shouldn't happen.

 

For Franz, for my family and for me, I seized the moment when the original story flowed and tried to intervene a second time.

 

My heart was pounding violently with fear of the future.

 

— Father, mother! I have something to tell you.

 

When I raised my voice, my parents turned to look at me.

 

I got up from my seat, picked up the uniform that had fallen on the floor and put it on Franz.

 

I didn't want to look at his scarred naked body for too long, even if my heart ached.

 

— I don't think Franz would fit in at Kratier Academy life.

 

I took a deep breath and expressed my intention clearly.

 

— You already know.
Franz is more like a scholarly person.
He's not inclined to be a gentleman.

 

— Kayla, I understand what you're trying to say.

 

My father sighed and refused to listen to me.

 

— But, Franz is the heir to our family.
Kratier Academy is a national educational institution administered by the Empire.
If you are the heir to head the family, you must earn a diploma in order to inherit the title.

 

 


I knew he would say that too.
But, I had no intention of backing down here either.

 

— The Guardian of the Imperial Knights has produced many female knights.
The same goes for our Vesta family.
So I can do it too.

 

It was an impulsive decision.
And it wasn't that there were no women among the knights of the Vesta family.

 

I reminded my father.

 

— Kayla, if you want to become a knight, you must have been trained from an early age.
But, you haven't even held a sword.

 

As my father said, I, Kayla Vesta, never held a sword, let alone learned swordplay, in 17 years.

 

— Kayla Vesta was like that.

 

In this life, come what may.

 

— Franz, tell father clearly if you want to be a knight or a scholar.

 

My father's fierce eyes turned to Franz.
At that look, Franz, who was a shy person, was completely discouraged, and I nudged him in the side and whispered softly.

 

— Franz, remember what I told you.

 

There was a story I told Franz for about three years after I entered this world.

 

— Do you really want to become a knight according to father's will?

 

— Sometimes, you have to kill people.

 

— You don't like to use violence.

 

Franz had the nature to fit into 'goodness'.

 

N/T: Really, I don't know whether she means that Franz is good natured by nature or that he thinks Franz fits with (성선설) which is a doctrine, according to which human nature is good in itself or the principle of man's natural goodness.

 

I kept drawing out and touching on Franz's essence, what Franz wanted in the end.

 

Franz's desire, which had been heavily suppressed in the original story.

 

— You enjoy watching birds in the forest.
You said your dream was to watch wild birds.

 

— You said you wanted to read and study many books all day long.

 

— Didn't you say you wanted to have a peaceful life?

 

Franz's lips trembled slightly.

 


— Live the life you want to live.

 

Franz, who has never disobeyed his parents, and Franz, who was a good son.
Franz, who loves his family, is sympathetic and has felt rewarded by helping the weak, so he resigned.

 

Even in the original story, he could not properly rebel against those bad guys and just suffered.

 

— Ah, father, I…

 

Our parents' eyes went to Franz's mouth.

 

— As my sister said, I want to become a scholar.
I can't do anything that I have to attack others.

 

—Franz…

 

These words took great courage on the part of Franz, who had never disobeyed his father.

 

I smiled, and Franz also looked relieved as he trembled with fear.

 

It was because now Franz's eyes met those of our parents properly.

 

In fact, it wasn't until now that Franz returned home that I didn't even dare to change his fate or change his future.

 

I whispered sweet words to Franz for three years because I felt sorry for him.

 

I wanted to let him know that I was sorry for Franz, that he did things that didn't fit his aptitude for his family, and that he has a life.

 

That was it.

 

But, seeing the blue bruises on Franz's body, I changed my mind.

 

If he spends time in the future as he knew it, Franz would suffer even more humiliation.
And my family, including me, would be on the road to extinction.

 

— And I say it once again, I want to be a knight, father.

 

I communicated my intention to my father clearly.

 

— Have I ever begged for anything from my parents?

 

Both my father and mother could not answer my question.

 

Even in the memories I have of Kayla Vesta, Kayla was always mature and responsible as the oldest daughter.

 

A good natured and kind older sister who always yielded to her younger brother.
The two brothers together, they were weak.

 

— I didn't know that you…
You wanted so much to become a knight.
But Kayla, it will be hard for you to change course now that you've completed your coming of age ceremony.

 

My father's expression changed to bewilderment.

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