First of all I would like to extend my thanks to Milano for buying me a coffee. Your support has encouraged me a lot and thus I am dedicating all these chapters to you. So have a nice reading time!
How our family will survive.
My younger brother, Franz, ran away from the academy and home back home.
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, so….”
Franz, who turned fifteen this year, acted calmly 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 from home for a long time, so I’m sure you’ve been homesick, haven’t you, dear?”
However, Marques Vesta’s wrinkled forehead didn’t 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 your bedroom and pack your bags.”
Marquis 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 great difficulty.
“Father! I-I’ll go back in a little while. I-I was worried about Hertz’s health, and since I’m at home, I’ll do some other chores…”
My father’s face, with a look as if he had no choice, looked very scary.
“The other things will be looked after by the butler, so don’t worry. I’ll send a messenger bird to Kratier Academy. You just return back to the 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 it.
Franz’s wrists, which was as thin as a twig, were hidden by the sleeves of Franz’s uniform, as he stood behind my father.
My brother’s wrist was marked with blue bruises.
Franz noticed my gaze and quickly pulled down his sleeves to hide the wound.
My younger brother’s hands were shaking.
If I kept quiet here, Franz will return back to the Kratier Academy. And he’ll be a knight as planned, but our family….
“Franz, would you take off your clothes for a moment?”
I put down my tea cup and said to my brother with a face of a friendly sister.
“Sister? Oh, why the clothes?”
Franz took a step back, wrapping his arms around his chest.
I signaled the servants who were 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 shirt completely.”
“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 Marques 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 students themselves, who had done it.
My mother’s screams echoed, I think now was probably the time when Franz was bullied the most at the academy.
My mother began to sob, shocked by her son’s injuries.
“What are all these wounds, who did this to you?”
The enraged Marques de Vesta asked Franz.
“Come on, tell me! who did this to you? Which family they are from?”
But Franz shook his head and said nothing.
“How dare they do this to my son? I’ll go to Kratier right away.”
Franz knelt down and begged to him at Marques 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 woul have never happened!”
Franz bowed his head like a sinner and said nothing.
“Stop it, dear! To a child who has already been hurt like this… please don’t scold him anymore.”
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 some cadets at the academy.
My father sighed and began to smoke the same cigarette that 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 by controlling his emotions.
At least that is the future I know. But, that shouldn’t happen.
For Franz, for my family and for me, I seized the moment where the original story flowed and tried to intervene it for second.
My heart was pounding violently with the fear for the future story.
“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 my heart ached when I looked at him.
“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 Knight.”
“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 knights amongst the Vesta family.
I reminded this fact to my father.
“Kayla, if you want to become a knight, you must be trained from an early age. But, you haven’t even held a sword in your whole life”
As my father said, I, Kayla Vesta, never held a sword, let alone learned swordsmanship, in 17 years of her lifespan.
‘Kayla Vesta was like that. But not me’
In this life, come what may, I will change the fate of my family.
“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 were some things I often told Franz for almost 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’.
(*Really, I don’t know whether she means that Franz is good natured or she thinks Franz fits with goodness (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, I kept on influencing him and at the end he did what I wanted.
Franz’s desire, which had been heavily suppressed in the original story slowly came out.
— 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 was a good natured son finally had a change of heart.
Franz, who loves his family, is sympathetic and has always felt rewarded by helping the weak, so he resigned from his original position.
Even in the original story, he could not properly rebel against those bad guys and just suffered.
“Ah, father, I…”
Our parents’ eyes were completely focused on Franz’s mouth.
“As my sister said, I want to become a scholar. I don’t want to do anything that is associated with attacking others.”
It took some great courage on the part of Franz to say out those words. He had never disobeyed his father throughout his life.
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, because he did things that didn’t fit his aptitude for this family, and that he can enjoy a beautiful life ahead.
That was the only things I wanted to do for him.
But, looking at the blue bruises on Franz’s body, I changed my mind.
If he spends his time in the future in that academy as he did it in the original story, Franz would suffer even more humiliation. And my family, including me, would be on the road towards extinction.
“And I will 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 you throughout my life?
Both my father and mother could not answer my question.
Even in the memories of Kayla Vesta, which I recall over a period of time, Kayla was always mature and responsible as the oldest daughter of this family.
A good natured and kind older sister who always yielded to her younger brother. But both the siblings together, were weak.
“I didn’t know that you… You wanted to become a knight. But Kayla, it will be hard for you to change course now. You’ve completed your coming of age ceremony already….”
My father’s expression suddenly changed into that of a bewilderment.