“It hurts…” I muttered while staring at my right arm, which was dripping in blood.
Even though dull swords were used in the spar, the ones wielding the said weapons were two powerful individuals who could slice off the branches of an old tree. Hence it was inevitable that there would be minor injuries.
This time, things were different.
I wielded the blade following my emotions, as such I couldn’t display my usual skills. I was swinging my sword around using brute force rather than with technique.
But the objective of this spar wasn’t to improve my skills in the first place.
It was to dump all of my emotions.
That was my sole purpose, perfecting my swordsmanship was the least of my concerns. My father knew this as well since he silently accepted my blows. Had we been sparring normally, he would’ve yelled at me for my awful movements.
Pouring out the emotions that had been festering inside of me made me feel as though I had lifted a stone which had been weighing down on me. I would never have felt this same relief if I had swung the sword around by myself.
People wanted others to listen to them when they released their emotional baggage. Shouting alone could only provide a drop of relief in the valley of their emotions, it did not provide a solution.
A mere swipe from the swordmaster, who had reached his peak, made my unsophisticated sword, void of any technique, bounce right off. Regardless, I swung again, my blade, overflowing with emotion. I repeated this several times until my sword couldn’t endure the honed attacks from my father, ultimately shattering.
A shard from the sword skimmed my right arm and embedded into the ground. A graze formed on the spot where the sword piece passed through, and a line of blood began to ooze out.
It didn’t hurt, it rather felt good.
A broken sword.
Blood streaming down my arm.
It was only then that I came to my senses.
I heard my father’s gentle voice.
“Have you released some of your anger?”
“I’m sorry. I was too short-sighted. It’s my fault for not paying attention to you and Alphonse just because I thought you were both mature enough. I should have approached you two first. I’m sorry for being a bad father.”
I didn’t answer because I thought about him and Alphonse.
“It is true that we as a family don’t talk much to each other.”
It wasn’t like this at first. When my mother was around, she solved problems through dialogue instead of clashing with swords like we’re doing now.
The lack of dialogue between the two of us was also a result of her death since my mother had always been the one to lead our family conversations.
I had memories of my previous life so I grew up without much trouble. Alphonse grew up to be a quiet and kind child as well. Those could be reasons why he didn’t see the need to speak to us often.
Since we were close by, he believed we had faith in one another and neglected us.
“Please try to hold a conversation here and now. Thank you for the spar, father.”
No ill feelings remained after I dumped all the emotions that had given me a headache.
Now, I only thought about becoming a better older brother to my sibling.
I bowed to my father and left.
After I left the drill hall, I immediately returned to my room and looked at my reflection in the full-body mirror next to the closet.
My face, which had been stiff just a while ago, was relaxed. I wore a soft smile. But the white sleeves of my top were dyed in red due to the blood streaming down from my forearm.
When I turned my head to the window, I saw that the sky had darkened, with only the moon and stars illuminating the world.
At this time, not only had Ken and Maria returned to their rooms, but the other servants were getting ready to sleep as well. Meaning I should take care of this myself.
“Ugh… What a pain… Where are the bandages and antiseptics?”
After I became the young master to an aristocratic family, I had suffered from a bad habit. Over the course of the years, my servants took care of basically everything, so I got used to summoning them for even the things I could do by myself.
It had only been five years since I possessed this body, and yet it completely blew away my 25 year lifestyle as a lower middle class citizen.
I took off my coat, tore off the bloodied sleeve, and went around the room looking for the bandages and antiseptics. But I couldn’t find them no matter how hard I searched.
Now that I think about it, there was no way those things could be in my room.
Oh, it’s bleeding.
Uahhh!! Young Master!! Bring the potions, disinfectants, and the holy water right now!!!
No, it’s just like a paper cut…
It’ll be a huge problem if that gets infected!!
The people around overreacted and acted quickly even when I had a small wound, which was why I didn’t think of keeping first aid kits around. I also didn’t get hurt that often unless I sparred with my father. There was also a way to summon the servants, so I didn’t need to have such supplies.
A silver bell sat on my desk in my room.
By ringing this bell, I could call upon my servants at any time, but I didn’t feel like doing it. If the manor became hectic because of me, it was obvious Elena would hear about it. There was a chance she’d come running to me as soon as she heard the news.
I didn’t want her to see me over this minor wound.
I guess I had no choice but to leave and find a potion. Since knights used potions and other items during training, one would pop up if I rummaged for it at the drill hall or at nearby storage.
“Damn. I was at the training ground, I should have just taken a potion there before coming back…”
It was a mistake to return to my room, empty-minded.
What kind of idiot forgot he hurt himself?
Just as I was about to leave the room, a smell wafted in from the door. I could tell right away what it was. It was meat stew, something I always enjoyed eating. It appeared someone brought a meal to my room as I couldn’t participate in today’s dinner.
I didn’t recognize the sound of the footsteps, so it wasn’t Ken or Maria. It seemed they told the other servants in advance. Thankfully, I’d be able to get a potion and bandage without much of a commotion.
As soon as I heard the short knock, I immediately told the person to enter.
“Is meat stew for dinner tonight? I could smell it from the door. I’m sorry, you just got here, but I need you to get some bandages and medicine…”
I tried to talk naturally so that they wouldn’t panic if they saw my wound, but I was the panicking one when I saw the face of the other person.
The one who I thought was a servant was actually Elena. The exact person I didn’t want to show my injury to.
“Elena? Wait, why are you here? No, wait! Please leave for…”
Seeing her whisper while staring at the wound in my arm reminded me of what had happened earlier this morning. When I had said we should think about our engagement a little more, her teary expression popped to my mind.
I had tried to hide this from her because I didn’t know how she would react. But now that she’s here, I don’t think she’d move on from this that easily.
“Why… Why are you so hurt? Don’t tell me your father…? I thought he was just joking around at the dinner table, but he really…”
“E-Elena? This is…because I made a mistake. Please! Please calm down.”
Elena began to mutter something while she wiped the blood flowing down from my arm with a handkerchief. Then her head suddenly perked up and she left the room, saying she would bring a potion.
“How would you know where the potions are in my house…”
“Damian! I found it!!”
Not a few minutes had not passed since Elena left the room and yet, to my surprise, she came back with a potion.
I thought she had brought her own potion, but the pattern engraved on the bottle was the crest of a workshop from Sarham that had signed an exclusive contract with House Kraus.
I couldn’t help but to be more suspicious. Elena, on the other hand, was applying potion to my wound as if nothing was amiss.
When the red potion touched the wound, blood began to stop oozing out. This world was a fantasy world where sword and magic existed, be that as it may, wounds could not perfectly heal with a single potion.
Priests who believed in gods could perform such miracles. Potions were items similar to first-aid medicine which could help users recover from fatigue.
It was still amazing though since the blood stopped immediately and improved one’s ability to recover.
Worried about infecting the wound, she used 「Clean」 on the blood-stained handkerchief, then carefully tied it around the wound.
Was it because of our distance?
Her gentle breath brushed my skin.
Her head was lowered as she focused on tying the handkerchief.
I got closer and called her name.
“Huh? Wait a second, Damian.
“This is a lot tighter than I… Ehhhh?!!“
“Isn’t the knot too tight?”
When she raised her head at my question, she pulled back in surprise when she saw my face right in front of hers. Her serious expression quickly turned red with panic.
It automatically made the corner of my mouth slide up.
I untied the knot that Elena had done for me and gave her my arm again.
“Could you tie it a little gently this time?”
“Eh.… Ah, yes.”
She began to tie a knot again, this time, with a slightly loosened expression as her touch was much softer than before.
After a while, there was a knotted butterfly on my arm.
“It’s pretty. Thank you, Elena. But why did you bring my meal…”
I looked at the stuff on the tray. There was meat stew, which seemed like it was mine, and then there were desserts which didn’t fit my palate as I couldn’t eat sweets.
She knew I can’t eat them so why were they on the tray?
I grinned. Elena blushed even more as if she knew why I was smirking.
She had a shy and charming face which made anyone want to tease her.
I closed our distance without saying a word.
Like before, my face was so close to hers. She was very red, the only difference being, she didn’t run away this time. Rather, it felt like she was waiting for something.
She closed her eyes and I stopped getting closer.
I poked her squishy-looking cheek. It was soft as I expected, softer than Alphonse’s cheeks.
Elena’s eyes fluttered open and she looked at me, perplexed.
“I wanted to touch your cheeks at least once.” I said to her with a smile.
Elena blanked out for a moment and then she came to her senses.
“Damiaaaaaaan!!!” She squealed out my name.
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