Thanks to Ralf and Charles.
A groggy sensation unlike anything I’ve experienced before has enveloped me. It’s difficult to even think properly. It’s about as pleasant as the night after drinking ’til you faint. Not that I’ve ever done that, of course.
As I open my eyes, nothing changes. Everything is still completely black and it’s scaring me a little. HAVE I GONE BLIND? If I have, that would suck. A second illness to deal with when I’ve barely got around to counteracting the first one? Give me a break!
I try to raise my body and soon fell a pressure on my chest which is keeping me down. It’s not a question as to what it is though – the shape of the pressure is obviously that of a hand. The only question left is whose hand it is.
“Calm down. It’s not like there’s an elite coming to attack the place.”
A bitter voice can be heard, directing an inkling of disapproval at me. It’s not completely noticeable, but as I’ve had similar situations before, it’s obvious there’s something that I’ve done to gain this girl’s negative feelings. Is it possible that it was something that happened after I received this amulet, or is there more to this?
“There’s currently a small layer of Korik over your eyes. Close them, then wipe it off with the back of your hand.”
I nod and do as she tells me. When I open my eyes, my vision slowly returns. She begins speaking again.
“Honestly, what were you doing? Fainting in the library and becoming an inconvenience. Why is a weakling prince who does such a thing still alive?”
My vision is still poor but I can sort of see the girls shape now. I can’t be entirely sure, but I don’t believe her to be someone I’ve met yet. Of course, considering the fact I’ve only really been conscious for a few days, that isn’t very surprising. She continues speaking.
“I brought you back here so you wouldn’t get in anyone’s way. Lumi came and wanted to look after you, but I forced her to go to a class that she was prepared to skip for you. The only way I could do that though, was say I’d look after you. I didn’t want the maids to be troubled by a wasteful thing like you.”
Is it just me or the more I regain my sight, the less she softens the insulting blows she sends at me? This definitely feels like hatred. Therefore –
“Have I done anything to hurt you?”
“Have you ever done anything at all!?”
Ouch. That’s a harsh blow, you know?! It’s not like I chose not to do anything! Well, I think I know who this girl is though. The king hinted at someone who would treat me like this, I just didn’t want to believe it.
“Not in the past, but I can do things in the future, right, onee-sama? Why does the fact I haven’t done anything yet cause onee-sama to hate me?”
“Hah! Don’t be stupid – you think it’s only because you haven’t done anything? Your worthless existence cost the kingdom quite a bit, you know?! The king opted to keep you alive because he was a sentimental fool, when you should have been removed right away!”
“Cut from the world, with no return! Soul gone! Dead. Completely dead. Understand? You shouldn’t be alive!!”
“Onee-sama, should you be saying such a thing to your younger brother?”
“What younger brother – all I can see is a waste of the kingdom’s resources on a sick boy.”
While that may be true, it’s not as bad anymore, right? Haven’t I proved that I’m at least slightly better? The simply fact that I’m here, arguing, should be proof enough. She’s probably attempting to belittle me so I leave… It won’t work!
“Then… What can I do so I won’t be a waste?”
She turns away in a huff. Am I really such a hideous sight to you? How depressing… Being rejected by your own family hurts more than expected. Actually, didn’t she bring me over here? It’s just a feeling, but even if she did there is still flawed reasoning behind it – Argh, I still feel the need to thank her even though I doubt it was out of any kind of affection for me.
“Onee-sama, thank you for bringing me back here.”
I swear I can see a tinge of pink appear on her cheeks, but I’m imagining it, right? The way she treats me and the aura surrounding her is one that displays how much she despises me. It’s similar to the aura of Hades back then… No, I should not be remembering the trip to hell right now.
“Whatever. I didn’t do it for you. I just didn’t want anyone to be troubled by a pathetic person like you.”
When she looks back at me, her demeaning aura has softened the slightest bit. If it was somebody else trying to detect this fluctuation, I doubt they’d have noticed. It’s just I’ve had similar situations of enemies becoming allies before. If I were to try and explain that I was better now to her, I’d be lying. What I need to do now is make her feel as though I’m an important existence in her life – something I wasn’t doing before. Well, I wasn’t doing anything before which seems to be the reason she hates me. This amuses me for some reason.
“Anyway, that book were you reading earlier… How do you know how to read?!”
Oh shit… That’s something I didn’t consider before. Of course the maid from earlier seemed it funny that I wanted to go the library! I shouldn’t be able to read. Did I mess up? What should I do? Wait, never mind… I’m the prince – not much can happen to me. I’ll just be known as a prodigy… If I wasn’t practically a cripple. Uhh… What do I say?
I tilt my head.
“It just sort of… Came to me?”
That sounds so forced, but whatever. Onee-sama is staring at me and it feels like she’s trying to see into my head. That’s scary, onee-sama. Please stop. Oops, I tried to tell her to stop in my mind. That’s not going to help me at all.
“Whatever. It doesn’t matter.”
It appears that she accepted my response! Well, after responding she’s walking to the door so she’s probably finished with me. She was here because of Lumi and something about not wanting to waste the precious time of others, right? She said that, but shouldn’t she care about her own time more? She doesn’t seem like a bad person… Perhaps there’s still hope for us to get along.
Er… What should I do now? Going back to the library isn’t a very attractive option and I wish to think about my amulet problem a bit more. While it does help me cope and move around, it looks like doing too much will cause me to end up in my original state. Onee-sama said it, if I do that I’d get in the way of others. I need to be more careful.
Looking at the contents of the amulet, it appears I’ve used a weeks worth. A week in a single day, isn’t that excessive? That should be… 42 years, if my maths isn’t wrong, to rely on it. And that’s assuming the consumption rate is always the same. Perhaps that’s good in the previous worlds, but in this world, I think the lifespan is longer. It’s a feeling I have, but I’ll need to find it out later – by asking someone or reading it in a book. I close my eyes and rest.
Some time passes and I fell asleep, but I am now awaking to the sound of knocking. I’m not sure why they knocked. As I was about to respond, they walked in. It was my father, which I found to be strange. I was actually expecting Lumi – I guess I’m not omniscient.
“It seems that the amulet works – to an extent. I’m glad.”
“…Did onee-sama tell you?”
“Yes. It’s disappointing that it’s not able to help you completely, but it does mean that my plan for you is still about to happen.”
… Plan? What is he talking about! Is he going to sell me to some foreign country in order to save someone or something, in a strange scenario like that? Wouldn’t that just be evil?! Oh… I started thinking about a game scenario, I think.
“You and your siblings will be going to the island academy in a few days… You’ll learn the ways of the world and also how to manage the kingdom. There are sure to be some interesting opportunities there, so I expect you to do your best!”
“Opportunities… Do my best… Huh?”
I don’t understand what he’s telling me to do… I guess it’ll come to me eventually. I’m probably just too tired to get what he’s saying.
“I’ll be giving each of you a small amount of coins but make sure you don’t squander it. Now then – I’ve got to get back to managing the kingdom! That’s all I needed to say to you.”
The king leaves and I’m left with a sense of confusion, which is lingering from what he was talking about earlier. I shake it off as it doesn’t seem important at the moment. It will be though, when we arrive at the academy, I think.
Alright, something to think about later. Instead of things that unclear, I should focus on the things that matter to me. The first one being: Deal with this illness.
I may be unable to cure it, but I should be able to find methods in order to curb the effect it has on me – similar to what this amulet does. If I manage, I will be exceptionally happy. The goddess really had fun making this setting difficult, didn’t she. Is there anything else that could make my life more difficult? Wait, that’s a flag raising comment… I regret thinking about it now.
Alright, it appears that an extra days worth of energy is used… How much time passed when I was sleeping? Is it a new day… While thinking so, I begin searching my body for any convenient assets it might have. The first thing I notice is I lack any type of ‘Magic Power’. It’s disappointing – there was a hope that I could use even a small bit as compensation for this extremely frail body. It’s useless to complain about it now, but curse that goddess… She gave me a skill and there’s no way to check what it is! This sucks!
“Arrrgh! What do I do then?”
I’m questioning what I should do out loud even though it’s not possible for someone to answer me. Why isn’t there an easy mode? My previous lives felt as though I was simply playing a game on a ‘Super Novice’ setting, but in this life, it’s as though I skipped the other settings and went straight onto the ‘Extreme’ one. The gap between difficulties is immensely hard to deal with… I want my magic back!
“We’re going to to the island academy together, onii-chan!”
Oh, Lumi just came rushing into the room and hugged me. Although it was unexpected, it made me feel better about the situation. I may not be a cheat anymore, but the people around me are pretty nice.
“Mmm…. We are.”
“It’s exciting! I wonder what we’ll learn!”
Probably useful things that aren’t exciting… It’s not worth bringing her spirits down, so I’m not going to say that. She’s cute when she’s acting like this. It gives me a pleasant feeling. That of an older brother, which is what I am. Not a pervert.
“Do you want to go and play for a little?”
“Onii-chan… Can play?”
I think she has an expression of shock and excitement. It’s hard to tell as she’s still hugging me.
“Yes, I can. As long as it’s not too taxing.”
“Let’s go outside for a little bit!”
“Alright… You’ll have to get off me, though.”
“Right, onii-chan! Let’s go!”
I’m going outside again but this time, Lumi’s with me. I wonder what we’re going to do.