Regressor, Possessor, Reincarnator
[Translator – Aine]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
The news of Baron Fern’s escape turned the manor upside down. As a result, the guards received extra training and disciplinary action, and both the number of guards and frequency of patrol around the manor increased.
However, after a few days—as with all incidents—the house regained its everyday atmosphere.
Nevertheless, both brothers’ successes—which could be considered to have been buried because of the incident—spread throughout the land later on, increasing public opinion. Julius’s reputation became a little less negative, and Allen’s name gradually grew more and more popular.
Allen, called by his father, headed to his study. He had neither Linbelle nor Inellia by his side. They had been following him as often as possible, with the rest of their time being dedicated to their training.
While on his way to the office, someone approached him from the opposite end of the hallway. There was only one person in the entire house who called him ‘brother’. Allen greeted him with a wide smile.
Julius smiled and headed towards him, as if he’d been searching for him. He’d been told a few days prior that Allen had complained to their father about the possibility of the gravity of Julius’s successes being diminished by the Baron’s escape from their manor.
Ever since he heard the news, he had been looking at Allen a little more favorably.
“Brother, I heard the news from Laina. That you went to see Father to protect me and my reputation…”
At first, he’d thought he was just a third-rate extra or rival. And that still hadn’t changed. But now, Allen was somewhat in favor of him.
“No, it was my duty. You’re my one and only sibling, after all.”
Allen smiled on the outside as he examined Julius.
Has anything changed?
‘He’s gotten better at handling mana.’
His mana output had become more fluid.
‘He’s gotten stronger.’
Before the trip to Hibelle, he was somewhat confident that he could beat him, but now, he wasn’t sure if he could.
So what is it, then? How much has his swordsmanship improved?
‘...It’d be okay if it’s only a little bit.’
Allen walked forward, as if stepping into his own territory. Julius didn’t respond.
Is this not enough?
He reached out to Julius, acting like he was going to pat him on the shoulder, no mana used. His intentions became clear.
So with the subtleties of life that he couldn’t quite yet discern…
“Hey, Julius. Are you doing okay these days?”
Julius flinched as his brother's hand neared his shoulder. Unconsciously lowering his hand into his hip, he raised his shoulder up.
Allen withdrew his hand, pretending to feel guilty for his brother’s reaction. Julius warily looked at him.
Allen carefully observed his behavior.
‘His feet already moved. Was his left hand reaching for a sword?’
Before he knew it, Julius shifted his legs into a proper stance, drawing his sword.
As Allen looked at him with a confused face, Julius quickly fixed his expression to an awkward smile.
“No. Brother. It’s been a long time since I’ve fought my first battle. I suppose I was sensitive.”
“Well, that makes sense.”
Allen moved a little too happily. Julius hurriedly examined him up and down and soon realized that he was unarmed. Allen wasn’t using any mana, nor was he taking any special stance.
Allen began to walk ahead normally, and Julius relaxed slightly and followed him, wondering if he may have been mistaken.
“You seem as if you’re busy preparing something these days, Julius.”
“Yes, I’ve been planning to do something after resting for a little while.”
“A dungeon? Or a visit to a historical site? Or is there some kind of rebellion?”
“It’s for a relic.”
Allen asked him casually, “It’s not that easy to find ancient ruins, and even if you do find one, exploring is very difficult… Do you have a plan for this?”
“Of course… not.”
Julius forced himself to change his reply.
“Well, that means that it may just be a bust.”
“Haha, it won’t be. I found a place where the ruins could be located in one of our family’s ancient books.”
“...Our family’s ancient books?”
Allen held back his laughter.
‘Where does it list that kind of information in the family’s old books?’
He had read all of the family’s ancient books before his regression in order to study magic. Although there were books that metaphorically pointed to the ruins, there weren’t any clues to track its precise location.
“Yes, so I think I’ll try it out. Hm…”
Julius thought for a second before throwing the question at him.
“...By any chance, would you like to come with me? I’ll properly compensate you if we have a successful endeavor.”
Julius seemed confident that their ruins exploration would be successful. He had recruited Byron in Garvia, so he could use this opportunity to visit the ruins to build his skills and spread word of his achievements.
He thought that adding another person to the roster wouldn’t hurt.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t.”
Allen had absolutely no intention of tagging along.
“...Is that so?”
Julius asked him why with an embarrassed look.
Allen wished that he could follow his younger brother. He could get hold of some ancient relics and hopefully get some magic books about Souls, Spaces, and Contracts.
So what was holding him up?
“I’m going to be headed to a quiet place in a few days because I’m in the middle of an important point in my magic acquisition. So, unfortunately, I’ll have to wait till next time.”
That was all.
How could he surpass Julius by just tagging along with him?
He felt a lot during the battle in Hibelle. The future was variable, unpredictable—indefinite. A lot could change by changing one’s behavior.
Obviously, it was important to be friendly with him.
However, it was more important to build a foundation for himself to stand on.
“...Is that so?”
He didn’t expect to be rejected.
‘Why? Did he think that I would do anything he wanted me to? Like the house servants or soldiers? How funny.’
Allen swallowed a sneer, his expression changing to one of regret.
“If it weren’t right now, I would have gone…”
“Oh, well… It can’t be helped.”
Julius really seemed to believe that his relationship with Allen wasn’t particularly bad.
Was it because they were brothers? Or because he had been nice to him?
At his answer, Allen replied with sincerity, “I’m sorry. I’ll make sure that we can go together next time.”
“Yes, well, we can’t do anything about your training. Still, I wish we could’ve gone together. It’s a shame.”
The bastard had taken over Julius’s body, but used it as if it were his own.
“I feel the same way.”
It was really…
“Well, you should come find me when you’re done with your training. I’ll give you a relic. Better late than never, right?”
“Haha, that would be really nice.”
Allen still faced him with a bright, beautiful smile.
As he always did.
* * *
Translator - Aine
Proofreader - yukitokata
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* * *
“Julius, your fiancé is here.”
Their father announced this in the study where Allen and Julius currently stood, side by side. Julius questioned his statement with a dazed look, but his father’s distinctively stiff expression didn’t budge.
At that sight, Julius asked again.
“My fiancé… You’re saying she’s here to visit?”
His father nodded.
“Yes. I heard she would be arriving this morning, so she should be here shortly. And—”
Gaielle glanced around as if thinking, but stopped at the knocking at the door.
After he gave his permission, one of the family’s butlers entered and quickly said, “The House Noblie carriage has arrived.”
Hearing this news, Gaielle rose and said, “Julius, you come with me. Allen, you… No, I’ll let you know in a little bit. If you want to follow me, then go ahead.”
“I’m fine. It’s been a long time since she’s been here. I won’t interrupt.”
He couldn’t be sure how it would end. He remembered Julius’s fiancé, who’d broken up with him shortly after this. She was on good terms with him before becoming a total jerk, though.
‘Too bad. Can’t be helped.’
“Do as you please.”
Uttering those words, Gaielle went out with Julius to meet up with the fiancé. Allen watched them as they left before turning around.
* * *
Maybe he shouldn’t have listened to his fiancé. He took out an old photobook that had been buried in his memory from before his regression.
Rachael Graniff. She was awfully good to herself.
When was ‘that’? Maybe half a year after he’d started researching magic to save his brother.
He was in the study that day. Clenching his teeth, he studied magic books. Feeling desperate about his stagnant research. Feeling inferior to his younger brother and other humble talents. His research had yielded no results. Then, someone knocked on the door. When he shouted for them to come in, it was the servant who normally brought him his meal.
She came to visit him.
With her vanity-inducing ivory hair all in disarray, she asked him, “Mister, what are you doing here?”
Her eyebrows were contorted, frowning as if very upset.
Allen was out of his head at the time. All sorts of emotions fogged up his mind; he couldn’t even understand himself.
“Why are you here?”
Normally, he would’ve accepted her concern. What was wrong with him that day?
“‘Why am I here’? How long are you going to keep going with such useless research? So many people are worrying—”
He flooded his emotions out onto her, unable to quell his anger. He couldn’t quite remember what he had said. He just let it all out. He could’ve just said that he was sorry.
She listened to him until he finished and turned around.
Since that day, they had become more open to each other. To be more accurate, it was better to say that he was less emotionally isolated.
He thought that he had taken his anger out on her for no reason, giving evidence that he was really obsessed with useless research—just like she’d said.
He didn’t have the courage to see her again.
So, time passed. Not much time had gone by since she’d left, but he slowly rotted away.
“Let’s talk and not be like this!”
She visited him countless times.
“Mister, I know you can hear me! Get out here right now!”
Once a week.
“Please… Just talk to me a little…”
Once a month.
“If you don’t come out now, I won’t see you again. I really won’t. Mister, are you really not going to come out?”
After her visits had been reduced to once every few months, she spoke to him, sobbing for the first time.
The words that she’d been sobbing had suddenly changed to begging. He couldn’t say anything. He tried to go out every time she visited him, but before he knew it, that small room became his entire world.
He was stuck in that one little room, without the confidence to face her.
However, he had to say just one thing.
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