Even when I rubbed my eyes and looked again, it was still -666.
Not just 666, but minus 666.
And on top of that, it’s the devil’s number!
Ares smiled as if he was disappointed.
“I wanted to play with my good sister a little more.”
It was a very soft voice.
I stared at Ares blankly.
Slowly, the boiling emotions bubbled up from the bottom.
When it reached the tip of my throat, I didn’t hesitate anymore.
“How could you! How could Ares do this to me!”
I screamed in frustration.
“Minus 666! Do you hate me as much as the devil?! Am I a devil?! What the hell!”
I was so, so upset.
“I gave everything to Ares, body and soul!”
“Uwaaah, Ares, you…”
Ixion wrapped his protective arms around me as I sobbed and looked at Ares like he was trash.
I burrowed into Ixion’s arms and pointed a finger at Ares.
“How did I raise you!”
“Well, you didn’t raise me…”
“You naughty Ares! Sly Ares! Colorful Ares!”
Of course, in the K-novel world, the meaning of ‘colorful’1very outstanding beauty was clear.
Ares seemed a little taken aback by the unexpected comment, but soon laughed and raised his eyebrows.
“Well, thank you?”
“I’m better looking than that guy, right?”
Ixion said, tilting his head in my direction.
Wait, these guys…!
“That’s not a compliment! It’s an insult! You naughty fox who will ruin the country!”
I poked and poked again.
But Ares’ smile didn’t disappear, and Ixion murmured,
“Are you already nearsighted even though you’re still young?”
I was angry and stomped my feet.
Ixion lifted me up and I kicked in the air. Papapat.
“Let me down!”
“Calm down. You’re weak, you might collapse if you get too angry.”
“I hate you, Ixion!”
“No, curse him. Why do you suddenly hate me?”
“I hate you!”
“Okay, don’t calm down. Just get angry. Hate him instead of me. He’s a really bad guy.”
I nodded my head and poked Ares.
I was praised.
‘…This isn’t it.’
My breath was caught in my throat like bubbles.
Ares hated me.
Even his affectionate smile.
The voice that used to call me “my little sister” so kindly.
The warm touch of stroking my hair.
The moment we shared and laughed while eating cookies.
The promise to go to the festival together next spring.
All of it—
“Did you hate me from the beginning?”
Ares nodded his head and still had a smile on his face.
“Because I wasn’t born with magic like you?”
My throat felt strange.
I couldn’t bring myself to look at Ares and kept my head down.
I didn’t do anything wrong, but why…
“Because you thought I was not Dad’s daughter… but an illegitimate child?”
Every time I spit out the words, rough sand seemed to scratch and pass through my throat instead of breath.
My scratched throat and chest hurt.
At that moment,
“What are you talking about?”
I looked up quickly.
Ares was looking at me with a face that showed he really didn’t understand.
“I hate you because you have the blood of Phaeraton.”
“If you weren’t from the Phaeraton bloodline, I wouldn’t have cared about you.”
I didn’t understand what Ares was saying.
Does he hate me because we’re family?
“Siblings are competitors. Only one can become the heir of the Phaeraton family.”
I stood there with my mouth open.
‘…I see, I understand now.’
I understood why Ares had been wary and disliked me from the beginning.
‘He recognizes me as a Phaeraton.’
Phaeratons are magic holders, and magic are exclusive to the Phaeraton family.
Therefore, various questions and suspicions are bound to be directed at me, who doesn’t have magic.
Even if there is no doubt that I am my father’s daughter.
In the midst of all this.
Can anyone really say that I’m capable of being a master of Phaeraton?
From the moment we first met.
Even without doing anything great, without showing any ability, Ares saw me as a competitor.
Not even a defective product without magic, but—.
‘A true direct descendant of Phaeraton.’
Siblings and competitors who stood on the same starting line.
He accepted me like that from the beginning.
I squeezed the edge of my skirt tightly.
“If you hated me so much because we were competitors for the next ducal title, then…….”
I looked up at Ares.
“Then what if I don’t become Ares’ enemy?”
“Even if I say I’m not interested in being the head of the family, you won’t believe it. So, if I do nothing and just stay quiet, if I don’t engage in any competition—”
His red pupils met my blue ones.
“Will you accept me without hostility?”
I stared at the corners of Ares’ eyes without blinking.
“Does it bother you?”
Ares’ face turned sour.
It was the first time his always smooth face had become so foolish, so I burst out laughing.
“It feels refreshing. Punching Ares in the face!”
Ares stared at me as I laughed.
“Right? You don’t feel good about it? It’s actually a benefit that one competitor is voluntarily withdrawing, but it bothers you?”
Ares’ expression slowly twisted.
The mask that was always smiling was completely removed.
Ares is a very aggressive person.
More than Ixion.
“Why do I feel bad?”
“That’s it! Ares has already started to like me!”
Still -666, but still!
Anyway, that’s what I think.
Or, if not that…
I lifted my head up straight.
“So be prepared!”
I held out my finger and confidently shouted.
“After all, siblings are the first competitors! I’ll accept that competition!”
And then I turned around coolly.
I walked slowly and confidently, holding back the urge to run.
I heard Ares muttering “What the hell, really…” from behind.
At that moment.
Blood burst out of my mouth.
What is this…?
[Cold hands and feet are cured!]
Ixion ran towards me as I collapsed.
In Ixion’s arms, I saw Ares with a bewildered expression as my eyes rolled back.
And next to him is a rising favourability meter.
Did the favourability level go up?
[Indigestion will be resolved!]
[Stress will decrease!]
No, you’re the cause of my stress, you know?
Don’t you get it?
Why are you activating my powers here?
Because of you, my stress and blood pressure are rising.
[Stress will decrease!]
[Increased blood pressure will stabilize!]
Finally, I lost consciousness.
* * *
My head felt clear.
Beyond feeling light, my body was filled with energy as if a tiger’s spirit had surged.
As Ruatisha quietly opened her eyes, I saw the words.
[Quest 〈A Great Power comes from Mediocrity〉 has been completed.]
[You have been rewarded with a 1000 cash lottery ticket.]
‘This kid really can’t tell what’s worth crying over and what’s not.’
I was leaving there without crying, but you made me vomit blood, and now I have to see you as soon as I open my eyes.
‘Pay attention to the situation.’
As Ruatisha let out a faint sigh, she sensed someone’s presence beside her.
As I turned my head, Ares was sitting on the bed, looking down at Ruatisha.
His face was expressionless, unlike usual.
“You’re really weak.”
Actually, I’ve become stronger, but now that I’m filled with tiger-like energy, I feel even more powerful.
Ruatisha sat up.
“Why are you getting up?”
“I have things to do.”
“You’re going to work in that state after bleeding?”
“Yeah. Since I don’t have magic, I have to work hard even if I’m in pain to compete with Ares.”
Ha, that’s right, you jerk!
Ruatisha’s cheeks puffed up.
Ares said nothing.
The moment when Ruatisha completely got out of bed,
Ares grabbed Ruatisha’s arm and pulled her up.
Ruatisha fell back onto the bed, almost dozing off.
Ares still looked down at her in the same position as before.
But his expression was different.
“…Ares, are you angry?”
Even as he said that, Ares covered Ruatisha tightly with the blanket.
Ruatisha’s eyes showed at the favourability increase.
“I’m really not in pain.”
“I don’t want to compete with someone who can’t even take care of their own body properly.”
Ares’ voice sounded off.
He was always kind, but his tone was different.
Ruatisha buried her nose in the blanket.
I’m not being stubborn.
I’m really not in pain.
And I don’t want to be with a different Ares.
I might cry.
Ares looked down at Ruatisha and let out a faint sigh.
The favourability decreased even further.
“What are you going to do? Mana stone business? How are you going to do it without a staff? Don’t be stubborn.”
Ruatisha firmly cut off Ares’ words.
“I’m going to catch the traitor who participated in my abuse.”
Ares paused and looked at Ruatisha.
“A traitor who helped Nicholas Tarenka embezzle my upbringing expenses and abuse me.”
Her pale violet eyes shone strangely vividly in her shady face.
“I’m going to catch that bastard and make him pay for what he did.”
Ruatisha usually seemed bright and soft.
But now, her expressionless face was determined to punish someone who ruined her life—.
‘You’re just like me.”
She was a predator herself.
After Ruatisha called out in confusion, Ares returned to reality.
Ares remained silent for a moment before speaking.
“We can’t just let the traitor who’s eaten a bit of Phaeraton go free.”
“This is a temporary alliance.”
A mischievous smile appeared on Ruatisha’s face.
“That’s right! It means Ares has already started to like me!”
Ares furrowed his brow as he heard the confident voice of the child echoing in his mind.
“Again, I’m only doing this temporarily.”
“And it’s not for your sake.”
“Yeah, yeah, it’s only for the sake of catching the traitor inside, right?”
Ruatisha laughed, as if she understood everything.
No matter how I look at it, it seems like a misunderstanding.
Regardless, Ruatisha looked at him with a bright smile.
Sparkling, large pupils.
Those clean and clear colors.
Ares raised his hand to cover Ruatisha’s eyes.
When I look into your eyes, I keep getting irritated.
Despite being a disheartening remark, Ruatisha’s mouth curled up slightly.
“No, no. Ares, you covered my eyes like this before. It reminded me of that time.”
Ares’s grip on her eyes loosened slightly.
Through the gaps between his fingers, Ruatisha’s pupils revealed itself.
Ares’s face reflected in her eyes.
Her pupils, upon seeing his expression, trembled like a blue lake.
Ruatisha opened her mouth wide,
But no words came out.
Ares still covered Ruatisha’s eyes.
Through the small gap between their fingers, the two looked into each other’s eyes.
Ruatisha stared at the fluctuating favourability without rest.
Does it seem like you’re trying to hate me.
No, but still, not –666!
- 1very outstanding beauty