Don’t you want to go with me?

Just then, Ares smiled softly and extended his hand to me.

“Should we?”

In a calm and gentle manner, his touch on my hair was affectionate.

But why is that?

I hid my hand behind my back and lowered my head.

“Oh, no. If Ares is busy, that’s okay.”

“There’s nothing more important than having teatime with my sister.”

Ares lazily winked at me and lightly touched the tip of my nose.

He was the usual kind Ares.


I flicked my arm, unnecessarily looking down.

“Shall we eat in the greenhouse then?”

Ares smiled and reached out his hand to me.

The afternoon sunlight was shining on him.

His beautifully black hair shone smoothly like a raven’s feather, and the sunlight broke down on his smiling cheek.

Even in midwinter, Ares felt like a warm spring sun.

‘I wonder why I did that.’

When Ares looked back at me, he wasn’t grimacing.

He was just Ares.

Why did I have such thoughts in that moment?

I reached my arm towards Ares who extended his hand to me.

‘He is so caring and warm that it’s hard to believe he’s my older brother.’


A voice dropped from above and interrupted my thoughts.

As I lifted my head, a boy with a rough expression was looking down at me.


Ixion grabbed my hand abruptly, preventing me from holding hands with Ares.

“I’m going too.”

Saying that, Ixion furrowed his brows as if displeased.

“…Even though you don’t seem to want to go together?”

“Hm, I don’t.”

“Then why did you say you want to go together?”

I asked Ares to eat with me.

“Why do you care? You should be thanking me for coming with you, wimp.”

Damn it, someone might think I’m clinging to Ixion to go with me.

When I pouted my lips, Ixion pinched my cheek.

“Hmm, Ruatisha is amazing. You even thought ahead about having tea with me.”

Ares chuckled and gave a sly smile as he muttered,

‘Yeah, come to think of it, Ixion’s been dying to pounce on you every time he sees you.’

Last time, you almost had a big fight, didn’t you.

‘I told them not to fight and it ended up being a mess.’


It couldn’t be helped for the sake of domestic peace, but looking back, I feel pathetic.

“Shall we go then?”

Nodding at Ares’ words, I exclaimed, “Ah!”

“Ixion, I want a piggyback ride.”


Ixion looked at me as if he couldn’t believe it.

“Just do it in moderation.”

“Hurry up, hurry up!”

As I stomped my feet and reached out my hand, Ixion finally lowered his posture.

I didn’t hesitate and jumped on his back.

“Why do I always listen to you?”

I heard Ixion mutter in a grumbling voice.


“Ixion is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.”


“There’s something like that.”

I swung my legs happily because I was in a good mood.

I shook happily every time Ixion took a step.

Is this what it’s like for babies lying in a crib?

My stomach swelled up warmly and I closed my eyes.

Ixion, you have a broad back.

Even though you’re still young.

When we arrived at the greenhouse, a warm breeze brushed my forehead.

Feels good.

I feel like I’m falling asleep.

“Hey, weakling.”

Then I heard Ixion’s rough voice.

I raised my blurry eyelids.

“Don’t trust that guy too much.”


It was clear who Ixion was talking about.


The previous me would have ignored whatever Ixion said.

Ares was sweet and affectionate like a boy made of sugar, and above all…

‘I didn’t know much about Ixion back then.’

Now I know what kind of person Ixion is.

He’s my older brother.

So I opened my ears wide and asked.


But Ixion didn’t answer my question.

Instead, the rhythm of the swaying vibrations slowed.

* * *

“What about Ruru?”

At Duke Phaeraton’s question, Hedwig, the chief butler of the Phaeraton palace, bowed his head.

“Miss Ruru went to the greenhouse with Lord Ares. Lord Ixion has joined them.”

Duke Phaeraton frowned slightly, then nodded his head.

“If Ixion is with them, it should be fine.”

At his words, Viscount Erkel raised his head.

“Lord Ares hasn’t been in good condition for a while, hasn’t he?”

“He must have been quite stimulated at today’s conference.”

“But still, it’s different from before. His attitude towards the young lady is really gentle.”

“Yes, it was almost as if he wasn’t Lord Ares.”

The three sons of Duke Phaeraton.

They were all cold and ruthless like the blood of Phaeraton.

Among them, Ares Phaeraton had the most brutal and aggressive temperament.

The sight of a young child killing monsters like crazy had left even those familiar with the Phaeraton palace people in terror.

“Seeing Lord Ares with the young lady these days makes me feel relieved.”

“He must find her so adorable. I wonder is Lord Ares has melted for the young lady?”

Duke Pheraeton, who was silently listening to the conversations of his aides, smiled slyly.

“Do you really think so?”


“You think that guy’s attitude towards Ruatisha is gentle and affectionate?”

Although they wanted to nod in agreement, Duke Pheraeton’s reaction seemed completely opposite.


“To Ares, everyone besides himself is an enemy.”

“Of course, I understand that, but isn’t he different when it comes to the young lady?”

“How does he react when he wants to hide his hostility?”

“He smiles.”

“Yes, and how does he look at Ruatisha?”

“…He smiles.”

The aides fell silent, realizing a fact they didn’t want to acknowledge.

“But… isn’t the young lady not a target of caution for Lord Ares? She doesn’t even have magic.”

“Did you think he feels that way?”

Duke Pheraeton leaned his head against the backrest and continued.

“Ares will be the most cautious of Ruatisha among his siblings.”

“Why, she’s the weakest of them…”

“Because he has never faced an opponent like her before.”

An opponent he has never faced before?

Does that mean someone without magic?

But everyone outside the bloodline of Pheraeton had no magic.

Isn’t the highest percentage of opponents Ares faces are ordinary humans without magic?

“What do you mean by that…”

At his words, Duke Pheraeton turned his head.

His gaze was directed outside the window.


The garden was covered in pure white snow.

In the middle of it stood a snowman with a red nose made by Ruatisha.

It was probably the first time in history that there was a snowman in the garden of the Pheraeton palace.

The Duke’s lips, which had been silent, slowly opened.

“To consider yourself as… an enemy.”

The lips of the aides parted slightly as they heard his whispered words.

“Depending on how he overcomes that opponent, Ares could grow.”

Duke Pheraeton lifted the document he was looking at and spoke in an indifferent tone.

“Or he could lose that possibility forever.”

* * *

I am very, very happy.

Outside, the snow was piled up, but inside the greenhouse, flowers were blooming like spring.

And to top it off, there were two handsome young men by my side!

‘So this is what they means to have a flower in both hands.’

Ah, it feels good.

“They must really taste good, my little sister.”


“You look really happy. Your cheeks are puffed up like freshly baked bread.”


Feeling guilty, I turned my gaze away, but Ares poked my cheek.

“It’s sweeter and softer than bread.”

And then he smiles slightly.


He says those things without feeling anything.

He really has the face of a bully.

I grabbed Ares’ hand tightly.

“Ares, Ares really has to grow up like this!”

“If that guy grows up like that, he’ll become a monster.”

Ixion grumbled in response.

“Ixion should be a little more pleasant.”


“It’s okay. Even rough stones can be polished into round ones. There is hope for Ixion too! At least the appearance is perfect.”

Ixion looked at me with a face that seemed to ask what I was talking about and then shrugged his shoulders.

“I’m pretty handsome though.”

Ixion smirked wickedly.

I want to make fun of him or something, but he’s really good-looking…

But why is he so unlucky?

“But why is my little sister interested in the mana stone mining business? You know that it’s filled with empty mana stones.”

I was a little taken aback by Ares’ question.

It’s just a quest.

I rolled my eyes and answered roughly.

“Yeah, I’m actually interested in it!”

“Really. Are you bold enough to try something that others wouldn’t even touch, something that’s sure to fail? Impressive.”

Ah, no, that’s not it.

I don’t have any thoughts about it.

But the quest wouldn’t tell me to do a doomed business.

“Even if the empty mana stones are worthless, if I put them to good use, can’t I make it work?”

If that happens, it would be a real money-maker!

“Yeah, I’m curious about what will happen.”

“You really eat a lot.”

Suddenly, Ixion intervened between Ares and me.

“But why are you so small?”

Wait, why are you picking a fight all of a sudden when I’m having a good conversation with Ares?

I glared at Ixion, then paused.

I have a good idea.

I clenched my fist and pressed it to one cheek.

“Hhhumm, but Ruru did not eat food before.”


“Ruru’s hungry, they made her do 10,000 things, so she’s upset!”

A dark magic covered the air.

“That bastard…”

Ixion gritted his teeth fiercely.

Feeling disheartened, I slowly lowered the fist I had pressed against my temple.

I tried to act cute so he wouldn’t argue about eating anymore.

I expected Ixion to get annoyed just like when I told him not to fight last time.

“…Nicholas Tarenka didn’t even feed you and made you do all the work?”

Ares smiled and asked me with a very gentle and affectionate voice.

His hand gently touched my cheek.

“I’m angry.”

Ares’s murmuring was mysterious.

Who are I angry with?

I thought it would be Nicholas Tarenka, but it felt different somehow.

“I don’t know how to treat you.”

What do you mean?

“You can treat me as you are now! Ares is doing well!”

Flick, I pointed my finger at Ixion.

“It’s Ixion who can’t!”

“What did you say?! This weakling!”

Ixion gave ma a smack on the head.

“Heeng, Ares, Ixion hit me!”

While sobbing, I reached out to Ares, but his expression was strange.

“Just like now.”

My hair scattered from the tip of Ares’ fingers.



“Even though you know, you still don’t understand.”

Ares wiped away the cookie crumbs from my mouth and said,

“I prefer math over philosophy. I like answers that are clear rather than ambiguous problems.”


“There are things I don’t understand…”

Suddenly, Ares’ eyebrows narrowed.


Ixion grabbed Ares’ arm.

“Let go.”

His voice is like a beast’s growl.

I looked at Ixion in surprise.

Before I knew it, Ixion had stood up and was glaring at Ares as if he were going to kill him.

Ares’s mood under that stare was unnerving.

‘It seems like things are about to get out of control, like before.’

What should I do?

“Oh, by the way!”

I clapped my hands together.

“Ares, Ares is my family, right? My brother?”

It was such an obvious attempt at twisting words.

But kind-hearted Ares understood my intent and relaxed his momentum.

“Why do you ask the obvious?”

Ares smiled mischievously at me.


‘Why isn’t the quest complete?’

I asked again, unsure.


“Well, of course. My lovely little sister.”

There was still no response to the quest.

‘It’s strange. Is there an error?’

The quest condition is ‘to be acknowledged as a member of the family by Ares.’

So, naturally, it should be completed.

‘Unless Ares is lying.’

Phew, I felt the color drain from my face.

“Ha. Is family something where we kill each other?”

Ixion let out a frustrated breath and spoke.

“It would be better to make sure now. This fluffball doesn’t seem to know how to be cautious of people.”

Ixion pressed my head and turned to Ares.

“Ares, what did you do?”

“What do you mean?”

Ares still had a gentle smile on his face.

“You knew, didn’t you. That there were people hiding in the duke’s castle that day.”

I immediately understood what Ixion meant.

The day I almost got kidnapped.

“That annoying magic of yours always patrols around the mansion. There’s no way you didn’t notice someone trespassing.”


“And I’ve been thinking, it’s strange that you helped me.”

“That’s just what an older brother does for his younger brother.”

“Oh yeah? Weren’t you the type who wouldn’t bat an eye even if I were dying right in front of you?”

Ares let out a small sigh,

“When did you become so smart.”

A faint smile appeared on his lips.

“You used to be like a mischievous puppy, clueless about everything.”

But it was completely different from his usual gentle smile.

Ares’ crimson eyes that looked at Ixion were dark.

I opened my mouth.

“Just a moment. Then, Ares…”

A hint for the quest to find those involved in the kidnapping incident.

You are not alone now.

In other words, listen to what others have to say.

I wanted to deny it, but I can’t help but ask,

“Did you know I almost got kidnapped?”

Ares didn’t respond.


[Quest ⟨Avenging Magpie (2)⟩ has been completed.]

[You receive 2000 cash lottery ticket as a reward.]

[Hint for Quest 〈You Must First Manage Your Household (1)〉 has been activated.]

[The favorability rating of the quest target is displayed.]

A more certain answer came from the notification.

I reluctantly took my eyes off the notification window and looked at Ares.

And the favorability rating that came to mind…




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