translated by myonnie
In the morning, I passed Jenny in the hallway, but she did her best to ignore me. In fact, she didn’t even put me in her sight. But it didn’t matter. I was now a professional at having my greetings ignored.
I didn’t know what she was saying behind my back, but my stepmother and my father had become colder than before. Personally, I never really saw them as my parent, so I didn’t care much.
I often thought that, after all, this family was distorted.
A few nights ago, I accidentally overheard a conversation between Jenny and Julius in the hallway.
“Big Brother, please teach me magic too.”
“You’re already good at it. I don’t have anything to teach you.”
“There are things I’m not good at too.”
“Sorry, but I’ve got my hands full with Rene right now.”
“Do you like Big Sister better than me?”
“I never said that.”
“I’m going to win anyway. You don’t have to concern yourself with her.”
“I won’t know unless I try.”
“Father and Big Brother are both being unreasonable!”
“I don’t think so?”
“Big Brother, I really, really like you...!”
“...Sorry, but I don’t really get that kind of thing.”
“I will never give up.”
...like that. I recalled returning to my room, thinking that I didn’t want to see fights between siblings.
Even so, Jenny really seemed to like Julius. Winning or not; what did they mean by that? Look, I could see myself being completely defeated by Jenny. Much to my chagrin, but anyways.
“Oh well. I just need to do what I can now.”
Less than two weeks left until the rank test. To be honest, I couldn’t imagine myself getting expelled at this point, but I shouldn’t let my guard down.
My magic power was lacking, but I’d studied a lot for the knowledge test. Thanks to the practice with Julius, I could get an average score of nearly 50 points.
Aiming for E-rank pink brooch, I vowed to study hard today as well.
"Ah, good morning."
"Good morning. That hairstyle is cute. It suits you.”
Before long, I met Julius at the corner of the hallway, and he complimented me with a face prettier than anyone else. I’d heard that he was admired by many female students at the academy, be they upperclassmen or lowerclassmen.
Which wasn’t surprising with his face and his smooth talking. This man was like a treasure chest full of things that girls like.
At the same time, his words to Jenny, “I don’t really understand that kind of thing,” suddenly came to my mind.
Somehow, I had a feeling that was the case. That kind of character was common in otome games, novels, and manga.
And the stereotype was those who said they didn’t know about love would be blinded by love in the future. If one day my brother became like that, I wanted to ridicule him as much as I could.
“Hey, you’re thinking about something bad, right?”
“Is it obvious?”
“Yeah. You had a cheeky face.”
We had such a conversation before I headed to the front door.
“It’s a famous song in that area. I’d love to hear their performances someday.”
“My! You have wonderful pronunciation!”
My Mamithonian teacher complimented me on my pronunciation, impressed with how I sounded like a native.
Thankfully, not only that I could read and write foreign languages, but I could also speak them. My classmates all stared at me in surprise.
This ability should be considered a reincarnation cheat. Though I wasn’t that bright, so I didn’t know how should I make use of this ability.
It was definitely useful for tests and classes, but there was surely a better way to use it. I looked out the window, thinking that if I couldn’t find a job in the future, I might be able to become an interpreter.
I wish I had some special skills I personally honed too.
I couldn’t cook without looking at a recipe site. And I stood no chance doing nobles' duty like managing the territory. Even managing my own wallet was already too much for me.
I can only study, I thought as the class ended, preparing myself to go home. The class leader tapped my shoulder and stopped me.
“Don’t forget to take care of the flower bed after school.”
“Rene, you were forced to take care of the flower beds before.”
“If I remember right, you also had to do many other things.”
Therese who was standing next to me explained so. With Rene’s timid personality, she clearly couldn’t complain even when her classmates forced her to do chores. Too terrible.
I refused her offer to help and listened to the class leader’s explanation.
What a waste of time. But it couldn’t be helped. With a small shovel and bucket in my hands, I headed for the flower bed in the backyard.
“What’s with her?”
The students who were already in the flowerbed glanced at me with scorn. Or to be price, my bright red brooch, with this scoop and bucket.
Upon closer inspection, no one brought any equipment. They were all doing the job with earth magic.
I couldn’t use earth magic properly, that’s why the class leader gave me this sandbox set. So it’s like that. Shouldn’t they pick students proficient with earth magic, then?
Well, too late to complain now. And it’s true I couldn’t use earth magic well. Destroying the flower bed with my inexperienced magic would be too cruel for the flowers.
I rolled up my sleeves and dutifully dug through the soil with the shovel.
“Oh? Rene. Hello.”
When I raised my face to the voice calling my name, I saw Arnold holding a flower. His beauty almost mistook him for a flower fairy.
With the same gentle smile on his face, he came over to the flower bed next to me and planted the flower seedlings on the ground with delicate hands.
“Sir Arnold, are you in charge of the flower bed too?”
“Yeah, since no one wants to do it. And I like plants.”
Apparently he volunteered. What a wonderful person with a beautiful heart. Why was he friends with that older brother of mine, I wonder? Above all, he was damn handsome.
As I dug a hole, secretly thanking him for the feast for my eyes, I noticed that he was looking at me with a worried look on his face.
Like he was concerned that I had to do this without magic.
“Rene, how about I help you?”
“It’s fine. This is pretty fun too.”
“Aha. You’re a good girl.”
However, he stared at me for a while, seemingly thinking about something. “Oh!” he said finally.
“This magic is pretty easy, so how about I teach you? Being able to use magic is definitely better.”
“...Is that okay?”
“Sure. You’re my best friend’s cute little sister.”
Getting another opportunity to be taught by Arnold, an S-rank, wouldn’t come easily. Besides, Julius told me he didn’t like earth magic much.
I decided to take the offer, but...
He suddenly hugged me from behind and put his palms on top of mine. Like this was all totally normal.
Even the people around us were staring at us, shocked. Thank God, I wasn’t being overly conscious here. He did it so naturally that I thought I was the weird one here!
This sense of distance was absolutely strange. But he started teaching me earth magic without even a blink.
“You make it go ‘bwap’, and then make it go ‘swish’.”
My heart was screaming at Arnold's body temperature and scent. Because of that, none of his words came into my head at all. Rather, even if it reached my brain, none of his explanations made any sense.
He was just putting a burden on my heart for no reason. And I knew that he definitely meant well. While I was wondering how should I break it to him...
"Arnold, isn’t that enough?”
Another voice came above my head. Julius rested his chin on his hand, looking at me from the window on the second floor.
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