༺ Academy Entrance (3) ༻
The reunion with the brother who had enrolled in the Academy to experience a bigger world was the worst. He was a kid that had been brought up in a family that loved and cared for him, but he ended up falling in love with a girl of Hell difficulty.
‘How scary. A human capybara.’
Not only that, he wasn’t someone who used to be interested in the opposite gender so the shock was even bigger. If he were someone who was preoccupied with girls, I would have brushed it off, but that wasn’t the case, so it was the worst possible reunion.
“I’m glad that you seem healthy.”
I was thinking about if I should say something, but I decided not to. Although my little brother was participating in a race with an obvious outcome, he still hadn’t said it on his own. Saying something in this situation would look bad.
I didn’t think my relationship with Erich was bad, but to be honest, we weren’t that close. He would probably get mad if I said, ‘Hey, you won’t succeed in your love life.’
Erich nodded, looking a bit confused as I patted his shoulder. Irina, who was looking at the scene from a distance, opened her mouth.
“But Carl… Oppa, what brings you to the Academy?”
It seemed like she was wondering how to address me but decided to call me oppa at the last minute, so I answered while feeling satisfied. After all, I was usually called Executive Manager, ‘you bastard’, ‘son-of-a-bitch’, or other harsh words. So hearing something soft like ‘oppa’ made me feel good. I tried to ignore the fact that it was making me a step closer to becoming an old man.
“What brings me here? Because of my job. I think that I’m going to be staying for quite some time, so if you see me, come and greet me.”
“Job? Are you a civil servant?”
Irina asked in surprise. If he were a civil servant that came for work, he would be at least a mid- or high-ranking one, but Carl looked like someone who had just started to work.
“Yes. I’m a civil servant.”
I was about to say something like, ‘you guys should avoid becoming one,’ but ended up closing my mouth. It would be a problem if they really took my words into account and decided not to become a civil servant.
The more slaves I got, the more comfortable my job would become. One day, things might work even if I wasn’t there…
“Woah! I heard that recently, it’s become harder to become a civil servant.”
Capyb, no, Louise’s eyes shone after hearing I am a civil servant. Is it becoming hard… To become a civil servant? That’s bad news. That means the speed at which new slaves appeared is going to decrease.
“I became one four years ago, so I’m not sure how it is nowadays.”
Louise was about to say something more, but I cut off her words. Not only was she the protagonist of this world, but she’d also even devoured Erich. I wasn’t sure what would happen if I kept her close to me. Of course, she didn’t do anything wrong… But, I can’t help but be cautious.
Was this the envy of a poor civil servant toward the protagonist who receives the love and affection of everyone? That makes sense.
“But, weren’t you going to classes? You’re going to be late.”
“We’re still o…”
“Ah, yes. We should be going.”
It seemed like Louise wanted to talk more, but Irina stopped her. It seemed like she noticed that I wanted to leave. How perceptive. Was this something she developed naturally after being close to the protagonist?
“Let’s meet next time if the opportunity arises.”
After saying something similar to ‘let’s eat together the next time,’ I looked at Erich. He was my little brother, so I should say something more.
“There’s a lot of things you can do at the Academy. So put in the effort and advance.”
Of course, I wasn’t sure what those things that he could do were because I never went to the Academy. You son-of-a-bitch.
After saying that, I turned my body around and was about to walk toward the main building when I saw a blond man surrounded by followers. I’ve already met the protagonist and my little brother. If I met that person now, I felt my mental state would become messed up.
* * *
Erich sighed in relief after seeing Carl walk away. He wiped away the sweat dripping down his forehead. He didn’t know he would meet his older brother at the Academy. To make things worse, it seemed like he would be staying around for a long time.
Louise noticed Erich was acting strange. His expression was stiff, and he was drenched in cold sweat. Just a glance was enough to know that something was wrong, it would be weird not to ask what was bothering him so she asked worriedly.
“Erich, are you okay? Does it hurt somewhere?”
“Ah, hmm. I’m okay, don’t worry.”
Although he smiled awkwardly, in reality, he wasn’t okay. The encounter with Carl showed him what it feels like to be a mouse before a snake.
“Long time no see. How have you been?”
Unlike him, Carl looked similar to their father. He had pitch-black hair and eyes. His low voice gave his presence an invisible pressure that weighed down heavily on Erich. Erich barely managed to make eye contact while answering him.
‘Every time I get used to it, the pressure worsens.’
Maybe as Erich grew, he became capable of perceiving previously imperceptible parts of his aura. Carl was a person who exuded pressure while simply walking. Were they really siblings born to the same parents??
It hadn’t always been like this. When Erich was still a child, although they weren’t close, they at least had a family-like cordial relationship. They were normal brothers. Carl used to be a quiet person until he suddenly lost consciousness when he was 16 years old.
At that time, the house got turned upside down. After all, the heir of the Earl had lost consciousness. The atmosphere was so severe that it seemed like anyone with even a tiny amount of responsibility would be executed. Thankfully, he soon recovered his health, but from that day on, Carl seemed like a whole other person.
Carl, who used to be a quiet and timid person, became more extroverted. Erich found that weird, but he’d woken up after being almost dead so maybe it was understandable that he had changed. But even if he thought about it as positively as possible, after Carl turned 17 years old, his previous self was nowhere to be seen.
After coming home from work, Carl’s expression hardened, and from a certain point onward, he didn’t come home from work at all. That time was too long to think he was simply busy. The last time he’d seen Carl, he seemed too tired.
Two years after Carl became a civil servant, when Erich was 15 years old, he finally returned to the house. The house became noisy after the news spread that the heir had returned. Erich hasn’t been able to forget how he looked.
“Good job. You’re a masterpiece of the Krausius family.”
Carl and Erich’s father. The Lord of the family, whom he found awkward calling father. He was a loyal subordinate of the Emperor, a capable noble, and a good lord. But he wasn’t a good father.
He just looked at his two sons as objects that were going to inherit the Krausius name. He just thought of them as cards that would be used for the Emperor and the Empire. He treated them well to make sure they grew useful, but hadn’t shown any affection or attention toward them. The Lord was that kind of father.
But after seeing Carl return after a long time, the Lord smiled brightly. Even the house servants who had served the Lord for many years had never seen him like this, so they seemed surprised. Only Carl lowered his head as if it were nothing and calmly answered.
“I just did what had to be done.”
The Lord seemed very satisfied with that answer.
Only after the Lord had returned was Erich able to get close to Carl. Even if they weren’t close, it had been a while since he’d seen his older brother. It was obvious he’d be happy to see him, but Erich felt chills after seeing how Carl was looking at him.
Carl looked at him with the same eyes as the Lord. It seemed like he wasn’t looking at a person, but just checking out how much he’d grown.
Carl patted Erich’s shoulders a few times and left the place. After being left alone, Erich stood there alone for a while.
It had been two years since that day. Once again, Carl’s eyes looked the same as that time.
* * *
‘He’s growing well.’
I turned around and took another route toward the main building after seeing a blond man. Only after some time had passed was I able to think about how much Erich had grown. It had only been ten days since the entrance ceremony, but the protagonist had already devoured him. He looked a bit pathetic, but still, he’d grown healthy and strong.
I felt sorry for Erich. A Lord that doesn’t act like a father. A mother who either didn’t want to or couldn’t talk to the Lord about how he’s raising his kids. And me, who had taken control of this body in place of the original owner. Because of this triad, Erich had, in reality, grown on his own.
When I took control of this body, Erich was 12 years old. From that point onward, Erich basically had to learn how to stand on his own. The first year, I was able to take care of him since we lived in the same house, but after becoming a civil servant, that was basically impossible.
After I returned from the North and saw how much he’d grown, I felt my heart ache. While feeling proud, I patted him on the shoulders and turned around. It seemed he had been feeling awkward because it had been a while since he last saw his brother. He had stood still while making a stiff expression.
Today, once again, I was moved by how much he’d grown. So I once again put my hands on his shoulder, but he stiffened again. As expected, a family has to live in the same house and see each other frequently. He’s feeling awkward about his brother.
‘I should take this opportunity and visit Erich more often.’
If Erich discovered the thought, he would be torn between the thought of leaving the Academy and enjoying school life with Louise.
On the other hand, if Carl realized that Erich had thought his eyes reminded him of the Lord, he would get surprised.
Each brother had a weapon that could cause huge mental damage to the other…
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