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    Translated by Wealthy Whale
    Edited by Iris Sakura


     

    “Brother, good morning…” Sezh, who was not having a ‘good’ morning at all, greeted him with a heavy heart.

     

    Having arrived first, Raytan was sitting in a chair and staring at Sezh. Already on the desk was a cake topped with large strawberries and a glass of steaming milk, as always.

     

    “Who was it this time?”

     

    “What?”

     

    “Who made you like that? Bern? Lillian?”

     

    Every time Raytan noticed that Sezh was in low spirits, he would always ask that question.

     

    Whether it was because the aura Raytan radiated became much sharper than when he was younger or maybe because he was worried that Lady Lize would intervene if a fight broke out again, but Bern did not pick a fight with Raytan anymore.

     

    Lillian was also the same. Every time she harassed the innocent Sezh, Raytan would appear. After that, she would throw a few words of insult and then leave the scene.

     

    “No, no. Nothing happened.”

     

    It looked like Raytan wanted to say something more, but in the end, he just shut his mouth. Suddenly, what his mother had said ran through his mind.

     

    Last night, after taking Sezh back to her palace, Raytan came to Lize. When she heard what happened with Carolyn Regent at the debutante ball, her face was full of happiness. It was truly different from her face that always stared at empty air with a pair of dull eyes.

     

    She spoke in a cold voice, ‘Everything was well done. Let the rest be taken care of in its own way.’

     

    ‘The act of a good brother will soon end. You know what I mean, right Raytan?’

     

    Now, they have to keep their distance. So, Raytan shouldn’t have to pay attention to whether Sezh dies or cries. 

     

    And it wasn’t just because of Lize’s orders. Raytan wasn’t confident. He wasn’t sure that he could get rid of this idiot who is always calling ‘Brother! Brother!’ while chasing him around. 

     

    So there was nothing good about maintaining a close relationship with her like right now.

     

    “Did something happen to you, Brother? Your expression does not look good.”

     

    “What’s wrong with my expression?”

     

    “Because the ‘V’ of your eyebrows seems sharper than usual.”

     

    Just as Raytan noticed the changes in Sezh’s emotions today, Sezh also noticed his. Of course, it’s Raytan. He furrows his brows even if he feels happy. He will also do so when he’s annoyed. However, when Sezh looked at him closely, she felt something was slightly different today. 

     

    “Brother?”

     

    “No matter what happens to me, it’s not your business,” Raytan finally spoke and spat out those barbed words. “Don’t look at me. Focus and do your questions.”

     

    “Ah, those bitter words again!”

     

    …In truth, those words no longer affect her. At first, Sezh couldn’t get used to it and was quietly hurt. But now, it’s all familiar, so she didn’t mind. 

     

    “How can I not care? It’s not someone else, it’s you.”

     

    “…”

     

    “So please tell me first. Who knows? It could be something I can help you with?”

     

    “…What kind of help can you give me?”

     

    Nothing has changed. It had been like this since they were young. Sezh was worried about his hand, which had only a little blood on it while she had a bleeding nose. Back then, when he asked why she was in a fight with Lillian, she’d answered it was because Lillian insulted him with those nasty rumors. 

     

    Sezh always cared about his problems as if they were hers as well.

     

    …Stupid kid. Raytan struggled to keep those words inside his mouth.

     

    “Or perhaps… Did Brother Bern or Sister Lillian say something weird again? But I thought they were quieter now… However, please don’t worry too much. Like the fight that happened last time, I can help you to some extent.”

     

    That’s the thing, what kind of help did she mean? Raytan really couldn’t understand her. That idea was ridiculous, but a burst of laughter came out of his mouth without him realizing it. She was acting seriously by herself and constantly talking about helping… It’s cute.

     

    “I’m serious.”

     

    “Are you going to bite and get knocked out like a dog again? So stupid.”

     

    “If you need it… That too… I’m willing to do it,” Sezh said with a determined look. 

     

    Raytan stared at Sezh and suddenly got up from his seat.

     

    “Let’s have a different class today.”

     

    “Yes? What class?”

     

    “Well, what to call it… Martial arts training?”

     

    “… Me?”

     

    ‘What kind of crazy things are you saying’ was written all over her face.

     

    “It’s not going to be that hard. Of course, your skills are terrible, but you don’t have to worry about it since you have a talented teacher,” Raytan shamelessly said without changing the expression on his face. 

     

    Well, Sezh roughly knows that he is good at martial arts. Even before her return, he started a coup. 

     

    But Sezh wasn’t sure she could do this. Besides, although the library was quite spacious, it wasn’t a suitable place to learn martial arts.

     

    “What are you doing? Get up.”

     

    Sezh got up from her seat. Raytan roughly pushed the table and chairs into one corner of the room. Then he beckoned for her to approach him. 

     

    “…You’re not just trying to hit me, right?”

     

    “Why would I?”

     

    “No, I just asked to confirm.”

     

    ‘He isn’t going to hit me,’ Sezh nodded.

     

    “You can’t strain your ankles, so today I’m only going to show you basic moves.”

     

    “And what is that…”

     

    “Just remember one thing. The vital spots.”

     

    “Vital-… What?”

     

    “Kicking the pit of the stomach, philtrum, and crotch․ Especially if your opponent is a man, kick the crotch first. It will work better.”

     

    “Cro-…What?”

     

    “I’ll teach you how to kick it later, so just listen for now.”

     

    “If you kick the wrong way, your foot might break, so kick like this,” Raytan explained by showing her a demonstration. 

     

    Sezh listened to him eagerly. It was because Raytan looked so serious. After explaining for a while, Raytan looked at Sezh’s hand.

     

    “Clench your fist.”

     

    ‘And what is this again…’ Sezh asked in her mind. 

     

    But now she has to do what he told her to do first. Sezh clenched her fists. 

     

    “Open it again.”

     

    Raytan didn’t seem to like something. But aren’t all fists the same? Sezh tilted her head.

     

    “Exclude your thumb from the other four fingers. Fold the rest inward and hold it. Then place your thumb tightly over your index finger.”

     

    “This… Like this?”

     

    Although she was working hard to shape her fist to be like what Raytan instructed, it still didn’t satisfy her at all. Sezh had no idea why it looked so awkward.

     

    Raytan grabbed Sezh’s fingers one by one and guided her on how to clench her fist correctly.

     

    “Swing it in a straight line. Fast and strong. Like this.”

     

    Swish

     

    When Raytan punched his fist into the air, she could hear the sound of the wind it created. If Sezh did that instead, she would only break her own bones. His fist seemed to be twice as large as hers.

     

    That must be why Bern didn’t pick a fight with him again. Sezh was thinking useless thoughts in the meantime.

     

    “Now, you try it.”

     

    Sezh straightened her fist and swung it out as hard as she could, but it wasn’t even a bit like what Raytan did. 

     

    “…Are you kidding me?”

     

    “No, I’m not. I’m working hard to do it.”

     

    Raytan only stared at Sezh with an expression that looked like he was saying she was pathetic. Sezh didn’t have any bad thoughts before. But when things became like this, it’s somehow starting to upset her. 

     

    Honestly, Sezh thought she was good at fighting. That strange self-confidence began to be amplified after the ‘Dog Fight’ incident in the library several years ago and peaked in the ’Dog Fight 2′ incident, where she and Lillian were fighting against each other by snatching and grabbing each other’s hair.

     

    ‘I also have pride, but he ignores my effort like that!’ Sezh swung her fist as if she wanted to break something. 

     

    …The problem is, Raytan was trying to help correct her posture. So his face was accurately punched by her fist. 

     

    Silence descended on the library. 

     

    ‘What have I just done,’ Sezh looked at Raytan with a confused face. 

     

    If Sezh was perplexed, Raytan instead looked strange. He made a vague expression for a moment, then parted his lips as if he was just pulled back to reality. 

     

    “…Did you hit me just now?”

     

    “I- I wasn’t trying to do that…”

     

    “You hit me.”

     

    “Ah, no… I just wanted to show you that I really put some effort… ”

     

    “…”

     

    “I wasn’t really…”

     

    “…Ha,” Raytan laughed.

     

    She was embarrassed because of the burst of laughter but… Well, that means Raytan wasn’t in a bad mood now. 

     

    “Brother…?”

     

    Sezh glanced at Raytan. She swung her fist as hard as she could, so Sezh was worried that he would be hurt. She felt guilty too.

     

    Nevertheless, Raytan continued to laugh. She was pretty sure she hit his face, not his head. Sezh put up a serious expression. 

     

    “Is Brother like this because it hurts? But I think it’s not… “

     

    Raytan stared at the worrying Sezh and replied while holding back his laughter.

     

    “It hurts.”

     

    “…”

     

    “It hurts so much I think I’m going to die.”

     

    It’s a complete lie, of course. Far from painful, it was rather tickling. Even if he’s punched by that cotton bud-like fist a hundred times, he won’t feel anything. 

     

    But Sezh’s reaction was interesting, so Raytan lied.

     

    “I should have realized it when you snatched Lillian’s hair. That time was a hint for me to believe.”

     

    “T-That’s not….”

     

    “I can’t stand straight because it’s so painful. I think I need to sit down and rest.”

     

    ‘I’m screwed,’ Sezh, who had fallen for the lie, continued to observe him.

     

    On the other side, Raytan comfortably down by the window alone.

     

    As their eyes met, Raytan still pretended and touched his cheek. Then he kept mumbling something.

     

    “Really, it hurts more than I thought.”

     

    “I…” Sezh, who was restless, approached him carefully. 

     

    She sat down by the wide window next to Raytan and muttered a little.

     

    “If I knew it would be like this… That… I think this is because I’m good at fighting. It seems like my fists are getting stronger… Still, I didn’t know it was this much… I’ll be careful next time.”

     

    He knew it was a sincere apology, but his strongly repressed laughter still came out of his mouth. But if he keeps laughing, he won’t be able to tease Sezh anymore. So Raytan held back his laughter with all his might.

     

    “That’s right. If I get hit by you once more, I think I will die.”

     

    “I’m really sorry. In the future, I will continue lessons while adjusting my strength.”

     

    “That… Ugh…… Okay,” Raytan’s mouth trembled. “Make sure you check the right place.”

     

    Sezh slowly reached out her hand. Her white and thin hand touched his pointed cheeks as if he was a statue. Her face came closer until it looked like she was about to touch his nose. 

     

    Raytan reflexively flinched. The sun-drenched wall was dazzling, and the only things his eyes caught were her rosy cheeks and lips. 

     

    “I don’t think it is swelling….”

     

    “…”

     

    “It doesn’t hurt a lot, does it?”

     

    “…”

     

    “…. Brother?”

     

    There was no answer, so Sezh looked into Raytan’s eyes. Their gazes clashed and fixed onto one another.

     

    A pair of crimson eyes staring down at her seemed to shake slightly for a moment. Sezh’s finger, which had touched his pointed cheeks, also trembled a little.

     

    An unprecedented stillness hovered in the library, and an unfamiliar atmosphere descended. 

     

     

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    Wealthy Whale's notes:

    Iris: Is it getting hot in here or is it just me?😍👀


    Ale: Now, kiss 🤓... and the secondhand embarrassment that I get from Sezh in this chapter hbhbvjdbjvbjbjd

    Ale

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