“Brother….” As we walked, I called out to my brother. I have had something on my mind that I have been meaning to ask him for a long time now. But the timing never seemed right. My brother had given up a lot of his childhood to either help out around the house or keep me company. I felt bad because he could have gone out and played with the other kids in the village.
“Hmm What is it” Eric looked down at me and asked. He had on his usual brotherly smile.
“Am I a nuisance Am I keeping you from doing the things you want to do” I asked. Comparing myself to my past life, I felt more needy in this life. I would have been alone most of the day while my brother did his things and my mother did hers. As for my father, sometimes I forget what he looks like as he is always working, but as soon as I see him, I recognize him right away. In my previous life, I could go out and play and do many things with my best friend, but in this life, there was no such thing as I was a demi human, and people lived much farther apart.
When Eric heard my question, he stopped walking and spun me around so that I was looking at him. His eyes seemed to hold a hint of anger in them. “What do you mean A nuisance Faith, I never once thought of you as a nuisance. You are my baby sister, and I vowed from the day you were born that I would watch over you and protect you. I do what I do to stick to my vow.”
“But…. But you could have gone out and played with the other kids and have fun doing things besides helping me train. Its not like you are stuck doing all these things. I am not saying I do not appreciate it, in fact, I really feel blessed that you are giving up so much to keep me company, but….” Tears began to form in my eyes. I wanted my handsome, loving brother to be able to have a life that did not revolve around a person that was shunned by the world.-.
“Stupid.” Eric spat out. I looked up at him and felt pain on the middle of my forehead. He had flicked me pretty hard. I was sure there was a red mark there now. I held my head and looked up at him, wondering what he was going to say. He shook his head and looked up at the sky, and let out a sigh. “I would never want to make friends with those idiots. They come by our house, which lies on the outskirts of the village, just to pick on you. Why would I want to play with them I would rather beat them up and send them packing. Faith, you seem to not understand that we Cyrilia are a family who puts family first above all else. Father has always told me from the day he knew Mother was pregnant that I would need to protect my younger sibling. To make sure that he or she will never feel left alone.
“He knew that he was always busy and that Mother would always have to do many things around the house. I grew up with this as well. The day you were born, you were so tiny that I was afraid to even get near you. But the first time you gripped my finger, I vowed to be there for you no matter what.
“So no matter what, if someone picks on you or tries to harm you, you can tell your big brother. I will always defend you even if you were in the wrong.” Erics words were full of warmth and care. He patted my head gently as he spoke, making me want to cry. I had never thought of it that way. I had been selfish in always asking him to keep me company when he wasnt busy. But now that I think about it, I would do the same for him if I was the older sibling. I have always been one to care about those who are close to me.
I held back my tears as much as possible as I wiped the ones that had already spilled. I then forced a smile on my face as I hugged my amazing big brother. “I wont ask such dumb questions anymore….”
“Good. Now lets get going. We are almost there.” And so we set out on our journey to the cliff edge ones more.
Although I now wish I never came here…. In front of us was the brat of all brats, Trent and his little gang of goons. Trent had an evil smile on his face as he looked at us. “Oh If it isnt the demon. Eric, did you finally decide to get rid of her Are you going to toss her over the edge and see if her demon wings will allow her to fly”
“Trent, watch your words. Village elders grandson or not, I will still beat you up. You already know you are no match for me.” Eric spoke coldly as he drew the sword on his side out while pulling me behind him.
I had never seen Eric like this before. I have heard him yelling at the village kids but never seen him pull out his sword. The air around him changed altogether. It was much different than when we would spar in the backyard.
Trents expression turned serious once Eric drew his sword. “Eric, you should know better than to draw your weapon unless you are willing to face the consequences.”
With a wave of Trents hand, the five other boys behind him also drew out their weapons. It was normal for kids seven and older to carry a short sword on their waist to protect themselves in case of any monsters. But right now there were no monsters around. Unless you counted me. But I was too cute to be a monster….
“I would not draw my weapon if you were not acting so viciously. What has my baby sister done to you that calls for you to always pick on her She has not even left my familys yard until today.” Eric seemed ready for a fight, but I knew he could not take on six people at the same time. There was just no way. He may be good with a sword, but the most he could take on would be three people, even if they were amateurs.
“Brother, lets just leave.” I pulled on his shirt to get his attention. I may be able to deal with the situation on my own because I had a mana shield, but I could not protect my brother at the same time. I was able to use many kinds of magic, but to actually use it in combat was something I had yet to do, and I did not know how good my control would be just yet. I will say that I really wanted to beat this kid up right now but not when he had six people backing him up with swords. It would only take one stab to kill any of us.
Eric looked down at me, who looked back up at him with pleading eyes and nodded his head. “Lets go.”
“You think you can just leave Eric You drew your sword on us and want to leave” Trent seemed hell bent on causing us trouble no matter what.
My point of being nice and trying to settle things without violence was reaching its max. I did not wish to accidentally kill anyone, but they were starting to push their luck. And to be completely honest, I did not know how I would react if I did kill someone. I normally stayed away from those who thought ill of me. Even in my past life, I would not associate with those who did not like me or would hurt others for no reason. But as I went to step forward, my brother pushed me back. He looked at me and smiled as he said: “Ignore them, we will just go.”
With that, Eric turned around and grabbed my hand, pulling me along. I knew Eric was worried something bad would happen. I could feel the sweat of his palm as he gripped my hand tightly. “Hold it right there! Take one more step, and I will fry both of you with my fireball!”
I was done…. He threatened to burn us. I could stand being made fun of. I could easily brush that all off, but now he made a threat on my and my brothers life. This was something I would never stand for. I pulled away from my brother, turned around, and stretched out my hand. A red magic circle began to form at an incredible speed. I took a deep breath and began speaking the activation word. “Fireba….”
I never got to finish saying the activation word because Eric had covered my mouth. “Faith. Lets go.”
“You!” I heard Trent yell out behind us. There seemed to be a tremble in his voice. I guess he never expected my spell casting to be so fast. “Eric, stop right there! Lets settle this once and for all! Lets bet!”
Both Eric and I once again stopped in our tracks and turned around to see an angered Trent standing there pointing at us. Eric stepped forward and once again pulled me behind him. I was not sure if this was to protect me or to protect the six boys who seemed to be staying further back than before. “What kind of bet”
“A….” Trent looked around. It seemed he had not come up with what to bet on. “A race! We will race. We will race from this cliff to the forest edge on the other side of town. Whoever can run to the forest edge and back will be the winner. If you win, I will leave your sister alone, but if I win, that monster needs to leave our village!”