Chapter 7 – My stepbrother’s magic is quite powerful
Several weeks have passed since the incidents where I fell onto Keith from the tree and the divorce crisis.
After the incidents, daily life has been calm. The magic tutor has been decided, and full-fledged magic training will finally start in a few days. My stepbrother Keith has also been getting more familiar with the family, he seems to have become tamer.
If there’s any problems, it’s that occasionally the evil sadistic Prince Jared, using the engagement as a reason, has begun showing up here from time to time. Somehow, he heard about my tree incident, and came to visit me to express his regards.
However, I told him I really wasn’t injured to the point where I needed visits. Because my brother was underneath me, I was basically uninjured. And yet, it’s so mortifying to think that I couldn’t even climb a tree when I had so much monkey blood in me…… I only fell from the tree because I had gotten careless and carried away, but I’m actually still pretty good at climbing trees!!! However, during my hot-blooded passionate narrative, since Prince Jared spent the whole time with his face down and his shoulders trembling, I wasn’t sure if he was actually properly listening to me.
By the way, ever since my parents overcame their divorce crisis, I’m now so embarrassed for them as a daughter, because they’ve become so lovey-dovey. Man, it’s like they’re lost in their own little world. At this rate I feel like I may be getting another little brother or sister soon. And sorry but honestly, I wish they would hurry up and calm down.
Then, while mother had been cold to Keith in the game…… Now that she has confirmed her husband’s love and become lovey-dovey, seeing how Keith looked like her husband, said “Keith will surely grow up to be splendid just like my husband” and started doting on him as well. But, her real daughter is feeling left out…… Now, as for my father who usually doted on me, after his newfound love, is now saying “Katarina is similar to Miri Diana, the world’s cutest” instead……
In this way, the Claes family that had been rather awkward in the game, had somehow completely become a lovey-dovey family.
After I finished practicing the sword with Keith, we came to the field together. My cute stepbrother seems not only to be cute and friendly, but also talented in swordsmanship, and was praised by our swordsmanship teacher today. As the older sister, I’m really proud of him. As for me, I was praised like usual for my sword swings. After that it was just exercising.
The field’s crops are becoming steadily bigger.
“Come to think of it, why did nee-san make a field in the first place?”
Keith asked me as he was looking at the cucumber sprouts that had gotten quite large.
“Come to think of it, I never did tell Keith the reason, eh.”
I explained to Keith how in order to strengthen my magic, interacting with oneself’s source of magic was important, and that making a field was my way of interacting with the earth. Well, as for now, I had mostly forgotten about strengthening my magic, and it had turned into my hobby instead.
“Making a field can strengthen magic…… I think something is wrong here……”
Keith opened his mouth wide agape when he heard the story, and was grumbling something under his breath to himself. Hmm, somehow I feel like I’ve seen a similar scene somewhere before.
“Come to think of it, Keith has some pretty strong magic, right? What can you do?”
After all, since Keith was recognized for his strong magic, he was adopted into the Claes family. Surely he has a power that is incomparable to that of my “Earth Thud.” When I looked at Keith with a face full of interest, for some reason he had a stiff face.
“Keith, is something wrong?”
“Nothing, it’s fine.”
Sneaking a quick peek at Keith, his tiny neck was shaking.
“Oh yeah, as for me, well, I can only do this.”
And so I showed off my ultimate skill, Earth Thud. Keith smiled.
“It’s rather small, isn’t it.”
“Yep, it’s quite little. Even though I want to be able to create a wall of earth with a bang, or manipulate an earth golem or something……”
As I said so, I got a bit downhearted.
“An earth golem?” Keith repeated.
“Yeah, that’s right! I want to be able to manipulate an earth golem!”
I recalled that there was a scene in the game where Keith, with his earth magic, was able to control an earth golem and come to the rescue of the heroine. If I can control an earth golem, that means I can get free labor. It will surely be good for business. If I get exiled, I’ll have my earth golem create a fortune for me.
“Even though I really want to try it, I have no idea how. That’s right! If it’s Keith, surely you know some way!”
After all, Keith used this magic in the game.
“Please! Keith. Even just a little! Let me see it!”
Although Keith seemed terribly hesitant for some reason, I absolutely, even if just a little bit, insisted on asking him to show me.
“……Fine, just a little……”
He acknowledged me reluctantly.
“Yay~~ Thank you, Keith!”
Yay~~! Now, I can start a business with magic!! I’ll be able to avoid the destruction~~! Or, it might even make Katarina into a business mogul! I was so happy that I even started dancing a bit.
Keith had apparently played with clay dolls before at his previous house. And, since his magic activated it, it seems that his magic entered the clay doll and gave it the ability to move.
Keith made a miniature golem of about ten centimeters from the garden soil. What a stepbrother, he seems so dexterous with his hands. And then, he put both hands on the golem and slowly closed his eyes. After a while, Keith opened his eyes and the golem began walking with a soft pitter-patter.
“W-, Wow!! Keith. It’s moving! The golem is moving!!”
“If I put magic power into the earth golem like this, it can move where I want it to.”
Keith explained to me while I was squealing in excitement.
“Are they all this size?”
In the game, it was supposed to be large enough to be able to embrace the heroine.
“If I put more magic power into it, it should be able to grow bigger… wanna see?”
While my eyes were full of expectations, Keith had a troubled face. I nodded wildly. I mean, he shouldn’t be limited to just the size of ten centimeters. In order to increase business, of course a much bigger golem with an impact was needed. Keith looked at me with very troubled eyes. However, when he saw how full of expectation I was, once again, he placed both hands on the golem.
Then, the ten centimeter sized golem suddenly grew to about three meters. I was instinctively thrilled.
“This is really amazing! Keith. You’re a genius! Hey, can you move this in the same way just like when it was little?”
I inquired while being very excited.
“Yep, it moves the same way,” he said.
“Please, show me how it moves!”
“Well, just a little, then.”
The three meter earth golem began moving with a thud. I was once again very, very impressed by the fact that the country I was living in now was one with magic. In fact, I had never seen any magic besides my own Earth Thud. But, Earth Thud was so shabby that it could barely be called magic at all.
So this is, magic…… Magic did not exist in my previous life. But, I had always longed for it. I had thought many times over, if only I could use magic. And now, magic is right in front of my eyes.
I want to touch it…… I really want to touch that earth golem that is moving by magic. Thinking so, I impulsively rushed up to the golem. Behind me, Keith seemed to say something while he was controlling the golem, but I was too excited to hear what he was saying.
I approached the golem, and stretched out my hand……
At this time, the three meter earth golem’s arm was making a large movement as well.
I think, the golem’s arm probably hit me somewhere on my chest, and the impact was much, much stronger than I thought it would be……
My body flew high up in the air, and I hit the hard ground head-first…… Ahh, there’s been lots of these incidents recently…… I’m so unlucky…… As my consciousness was fading out, I heard Keith calling me over and over…… Ahh, I made such a kind-hearted stepbrother worry about me again…… Sorry, Keith……
Then my consciousness was completely shut off.
When I woke up, I was on top of my bed in my room. In front of me was a middle-aged man with tears and a runny nose instead of a great face – my father.
“Katarina~~!! You’ve finally woken up!!”
Father said so as he was hugging me. Upon receiving his bear hug, somehow or other my head and body seemed to be throbbing. Also, my father’s tears and runny nose…… came very close to me. Please, just don’t get it on my face… Father tried to fight off the tears by covering his face and wiping off his runny nose.
“Katarina, I know that you’ve just woken up, but how’s your condition?” This time it was mother that spoke up.
“Did you forget? You were sent flying by Keith’s earth golem, hit your head, and fainted!”
“……Oh, that’s right!!!”
Since waking up to see my father with a runny nose was such a terrible sight, I forgot to think about why he was here. Even though mother had been spoiling Keith more than me lately, of course she was also worried about me.
“So, how’s your condition? The doctor said that there’s no problems besides a bump on your head, and some swelling on your back.”
“Come to think of it, my head does hurt a little bit…… Oh wow, it’s true, there really is a bump!”
When I touched my head the sudden pain informed me that there indeed was a bump on my head. My back was also aching a bit.
“Well, the doctor said that you will heal naturally in a few weeks. Until then you are to rest quietly. You are banned from entering the garden until you heal.”
“Ehh, such a thing, but I have to take care of the field~~!”
Almost by reflex, I protested while glaring at my mother.
“If you’re going to act so selfish, then in the future, you’ll be banned from the garden permanently.”
“……Such a thing…”
“Until you heal, you’re not allowed in the garden. Behave. Got it!?”
I shrank back like a frog that was being stared at by a snake.
“Hey, Anne.” I spoke in a low voice to the maid Anne who was waiting next to me.
“If I recall correctly, mother should be someone that feels more gentle……”
“Yes indeed, no matter who you ask, Madam always gives off a gentle feeling.”
“Indeed, that’s so. I wonder why she suddenly gave off such a strong impression…… I wonder if she’s gained some confidence from being so lovey-dovey with father?”
“Ojou-sama, if her child is being a problem, the gentle mother will quickly disappear. Madam surely also has to change for the sake of her child.”
“If her child is being a problem you say, what on earth are you saying. Keith is a very good child.”
“…………I’m really, really sorry for Madam.”
And then, as I was secretively talking with Anne, I remembered.
“That’s right! How is Keith?”
I involuntarily let out my voice. My father, the person who had been repeatedly saying “I’m glad Katarina is alright” while wiping his runny nose answered me.
“Keith returned to his room after the doctor told him that Katarina would be alright.”
“Is that so. Since he was calling me so much when I was injured, he must have been quite worried.”
“Katarina, about Keith……”
Father didn’t have his usual idiotic parent face, but put on a serious face.
“What is it?”
“Well, about Keith. Although he has really strong magic, he cannot handle it properly quite yet. As such, he will now be properly taught how to use it by the magic tutor, and has promised to not blindly use magic until he can control it. I also explained such a thing to you when you two first met, no?”
I don’t remember hearing such a story…… That’s right!? When father first introduced Keith to me, I was being too distracted by my own thoughts to listen to him.
“Father, I’m sorry. I, didn’t hear what father was saying at all at that time.”
“Well, I thought it would be something like that.”
Father smiled wryly, while mother listening behind him had a shocked face.
“I never told this to you before though…… before, where Keith was living previously, his magic got out of control and injured his stepbrothers. Keith has a good understanding of his magic’s scariness. So, I was very surprised to hear that Keith was using magic.”
I remembered how Keith was when I saw the magic. Although I was too excited to get a clear image of him, now that I think about it, he had a rather stiff face. He was very hesitant to use magic.
“Well, Keith said, ‘I arbitrarily broke the promise to not use magic, and even injured nee-san. Everything is my fault. Please, by all means, punish me.’”
“Such a thing!? Keith didn’t do anything wrong! It was me that was being unreasonable in demanding him to use magic! ……Besides……”
What was it that Keith was saying to me while I was rushing towards the three meter earth golem…… I wasn’t really paying attention since I was too excited……
Certainly, I think he said, “It’s dangerous! Nee-san, don’t get close!”
“Besides, even though Keith warned me to stay away from the golem because it was dangerous…… I, was too excited about the magic and didn’t hear him properly. Keith did absolutely nothing wrong. It’s all my fault as I got too carried away. I’m really sorry.”
As I was saying so, I lowered my head to mother, father, and Anne who were all worrying about me.
“As such, if there is any punishment, let me take it!”
I said so as I looked up at my father.
“Thank you for talking everything out properly. My cute Katarina. To both you and Keith, of course I have no intention to punish either of you. However, you definitely have to rest properly until your injuries are healed because you have been a little too tomboyish as of late. Understood?”
My father patted my head gently as he said so. I seem to have heard mother grumbling behind him “is being tomboyish really that cute?”
“I also have to go apologize to Keith.”
“You’re right, Katarina. But because it’s too late today, please do so tomorrow.”
If I look outside the window next to my father, it is indeed completely dark and the sun has set. Since Keith and I were out in the garden during early afternoon, I seem to have been asleep for almost half a day.
“Well then, come tomorrow I shall go apologize.”
“Please do so. Well then, from now, please earnestly rest.”
After stroking my head again, father pulled mother out of my room.
I asked Anne to help me get ready to rest again, and went back into my bed.
When I closed my eyes, I saw Keith’s stiff face in front of me.
Even without having heard my father’s story, I knew from the game settings that Keith had injured his stepbrothers by mistake before coming to this mansion. Before I lost my consciousness, Keith’s desperate voice calling me over and over had been like a scream of pain……
His cuteness had turned into something really sad. Tomorrow, let’s go apologize to him first thing in the morning. I swore so to myself as I went to sleep.
However, I wasn’t able to fulfill this promise. Keith would no longer come out of his room.