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Episode 76 – First Bridge 2 ‘First Mini-Mission! ‘
Without further ado, Eugene and Aernest began their first task!
Their mini-mission is to eradicate all the grass from the training field they got back from the Knight’s group! This task must only be completed by Eugene and Aernest with no external assistance. Doesn’t sound bad right?
Well nope, it’s bad.
The ¼ field they got back from the knight group is about 10 meters wide and 10 meters long; basically, a mountain when compared to Eugene and Aernest’s body size. While they’ve got about 10 hours to complete this task before the sun goes down, the two couldn’t just mindlessly pluck the grass out. They had to completely rip out the grass by its roots so that it had no chance of growing back!
So who gave them this task you wonder?
It was Earnest Marleigh who wasn’t as gentle as he appeared to be.
This naturally was rejected by Amos Rodriguez at first saying that it was only the children’s first day. It was then that Earnest Marliegh spoke for the first time to Eugene. “Are you here to play?” He seriously asked her.
“… No” Eugene immediately replied.
“Good” Earnest Marliegh nodded. “This was also Aedelak’s and Aeselak’s first task. They plucked the 1st quarter of the training field by hand. Finish this before sunset and you will be accepted here.” He concluded before taking the reluctant Aeselak with him.
Eugene watched as Duke Rodriguez sighed, giving her a helpless look. He eventually wished her and Aernest all the luck and took Aedelak with him. Just like this, Eugene and Aernest were left alone at the newly attained field.
‘Insurance!’ Eugene pumped herself, getting ready to squat and eradicate the grass before her!
And so, under the stare from the children at the other half of the training field, Eugene and Aernest started their mini-mission!
A few moments later …
“Sister, you can rest. I will do this.” Aernest patted Eugene on her shoulder to stop her.
Seeing Eugene squatting down and plucking grass one by one was too shocking to him. From his memory, Eugene has never willingly touched dirt, this was unless she was forced to play with Euria on a grass field. Therefore, this scene of Eugene pulling out grass one by one was very disturbing and sad to him.
“…..” Eugene glanced up at Aernest who was sweating in front of her and shook her head. –This isn’t difficult.
Eugene’s rejection made Aernest think of Euria, who would most likely do the opposite.“If Euria had been here, she would have hated this.” Aernest chuckled at how the twin sisters were so different from each other, even though they were born together.
Aernest always knew that Eugene and Euria were born together at almost the same time, but what he didn’t know was how special that was; he realized the fact later when he got a bit older. Since his sisters were prematurely born, the three were theoretically the same age; people often teased the three for being triplets. While he was happy being grouped with Eugene and Euria, he knew in his heart that he could never truly be the same as them.
The twins, after all, looked the same except for their eye and hair color.
“…….” Shaking his head, Aernest took back his statement. Euria is a fuzzball. The two were no longer the same! Thank goodness he didn’t listen to his grandmother back at the cafe and choose to listen to Eugene! Seeing Euria, he fully understands now that tasty food is bad for you, and terrible tasting food is good for you!
Relieved, Aernest deeply exhaled. “Sister.” He called Eugene. “I am going to listen to you well from now on!” Aernest expressed his deepest gratitude to Eugene. From now on, he will become Eugene’s number one avid follower! –Whatever Eugeneia says is the truth!
‘Huh?’ Eugene raised her brows at Aernest’s sparkling face. “Why?” She couldn’t help but ask. ‘Out of nowhere?’ She blinked.
“If I hadn’t listened to you, I would have been like Euria!” Aernest expressed his fear.
“Ah…That is true.” Eugene’s lips tugged, looking at Aernest’s pupils dilating from sheer terror.
Eugene slowly shifted her gaze to his neck where his audio-canceling headphones lay. She had asked him if he could remember the first time he wore these headphones and he said he didn’t. But although he couldn’t remember, his body made it a habit of carrying around his headphones because of his sensitive ears.
“…..” Eugene raised her eyes to his ears where a surgical scar peeked out from behind his ears.
His scar was something that constantly reminded Eugene of her conviction to become strong. It was something that reminded her of how vulnerable she was back then; being able to do nothing but wait for her death whilst being strangled. Whilst waiting for death, miraculously, this powerless child managed to save both her and Euria; getting a scar as a result.
“…. Sister. Stop staring.” Aernest voice woke Eugene up from her mind wandering off.
“…Oh.” Eugene blinked, watching Aernest attempt to cover his ears with his bright red curls.
“Don’t cover it.” Eugene threw aside the grass on her hands and mumbled.
“But..” Aernest’s voice trailed off, his face slightly flushing. “But it’s ugly.” He looked down, not wanting to look at Eugene.
“Why do you say that?” Eugene frowned, not understanding Aernest’s words. What she didn’t know was that all kids hated being different from others. This includes having scars on their body that others didn’t have. To Aernest, while this scar was something he was slightly proud of, it was something that added another distinction between him and his sisters! This, he didn’t like!
Still covering his ears, Eugene couldn’t help but add. “You will have more scars in the future you know?”
“WHAT!!” Aernest shouted! Staring at Eugene with horror in his eyes!
Surprised by his reaction, she faked a laugh. “You don’t want scars of honor?” Raising her brows at him.
“…. Honor….” Aernest shifted between Eugene’s eyes. “Honor isn’t something I’m personally interested in.” His body couldn’t help but tremble at Eugene’s words. –One more scar, and he might go crazy.
“……..” Eugene’s hands momentarily paused on plucking. “Pfff” Eugene couldn’t help but laugh, seeing how serious Aernest looked. Realizing what she had just done, she immediately used one hand to cover her mouth from shock that she had just laughed for the first time in her 28 years of living.
“…..” Blinking her eyes, she looked up and stared at Aernest who also looked at her in shock. Before he could say anything Eugene asked. “How are you going to prevent yourself from getting scars in the future?” She put her hand down from her mouth and began to pluck again.
Contemplating on her question, he replied. “I will have to be strong enough to avoid scars!” He then rapidly nodded and made it his conviction. “I will remain beautiful.!” He pumped his fists up and threw aside the grass on his hand.
“……..” Oh no, Euria had infected him. Eugene blinked at his last sentence. — He was really serious about not wanting honor.
Seeing Eugene not replying to him anymore, Aernest moved like a professional crab, plucking grass here and there.
“….” Eugene watched as his hands moved faster and faster. “Your hands might get hurt from plucking grass, and callous might grow on your hands when we train with swords.” Eugene told him seriously.
Blinking at her, Aernest replied. “But if I don’t pluck, you will have to do it alone.” He said as if it was the most obvious thing. Without waiting for Eugene to continue, he smiled. “A callous hand is nothing if I can avoid getting scars on my body!”
‘Besides, I would hate it more if you get stronger than me.’ He kept these words in his heart. Remembering his mother’s words he added. “Mother got me a cream to use every day so that my hands won’t be ugly like Father, Eldest brother, and brother Ramon! Don’t worry sister! I will remain spotless like you and Euria!” He chuckled.
“… Right.” Eugene blankly looked at Aernest.
The two became silent as they went back to work.
“………” It wasn’t her stomach.
“Do you think we can finish this by today?” Aernest’s flustered voice began to speak again.
Understanding that he wasn’t saying this to not work, Eugene paused. Stopping her hands completely she looked over at the grass area in front of her as well as their process so far. They had successfully plucked off 2 meters worth, but that was it. They had only finished 2 meters in 1 hour. It wasn’t plucking that took a long time, but meticulously digging for roots is time-consuming.
“…… It’s not possible.” Eugene frowned, standing up from her position to look at the field they had yet to cover. If they had only covered 2 meters in one hour, covering a 10 by 10 field in 9 hours would be a dream. -Not to mention, working for 9 hours straight with their small bodies.
Where was her mind when they began to dig out grass? She should have known that this was an impossible task! Without Aernest’s reminder, would she have continued to put in painstaking effort into something that would’ve never worked out? ‘Since when have I become so optimistic?’ She frowned.
Aernest immediately stood up when Eugene frowned for a second time. When Eugene glanced at the sun, so did he. And when Eugene tapped the side of her body to think, so did he begin to think.
These actions were naturally seen by other children who had been watching them from the start. In fact, seeing Eugene and Aernest repeat Aedelak’s and Aedelak’s actions from 2 years ago made them feel great pity for the 2. That time, Aedelak and Aeselak too had to pluck off ¼ of the field, but that was during winter. With their bodies completely frozen, Aedelak and Aeselak were serious from the start to end, but even then they failed the task.
This was an impossible task after all! -Winter or not.
Seeing the children standing up and doing weird sets of actions, Crown Prince Ren couldn’t help but elbow Ramon. “Look, they are playing around.” He laughed. Thinking that the two had given up.
Ramon didn’t reply to Crown Prince Ren and only stared at Louis in shock! -He… He has never seen Eugene laugh before!
“Are they giving up?” Ron’s question made Ramon look at Eugene and Aernest who was staring at the sky.
“Your sister’s face looks as if she just got punched in the guts.” Crown Prince Ren laughed, pointing at Eugene and Louis! “That’s your expression every day!”
“Hahaha!” Ron Graeme laughed!
“…..” Louis ignored Crown Prince Ren and Ron and continued to look at Eugene and Aernest taking turns looking left and right.
“I heard she bought you morals and ethics books? Serves you right, hahahahah!” Crown Prince Ren burst out into another fit of laughter, clenching the side of his stomach as his eyes began to tear up.
The story of how Eugene bought and gave Louis those books had already spread far and wide to the Great Nobles and the Imperial Family!
“…..She needs it more than I need it.” Louis seriously replied.
This made Ron and Prince Ren laugh even more. “HAHAHAHAHAH!”’ Only stopping when their stomachs started to growl from hunger.
“Brothers look!” Ramon suddenly shouted! He pointed at Eugene and Aernest, whom Ron and the Crown Prince didn’t pay attention to any longer.
“Oh… They really are giving up.” Crown Prince Ren stared at Eugene and Aernest who started walking.
“……..” (Louis, Ramon)
“…… Wait. Why are they heading to the exit?” Ron stared wide-eyed at the two children heading straight to the exit!
“Are… Are they escaping?” Prince Ren’s mouth twitched. The two figures no longer in his sight.
“…….” (Louis, Ramon)
“Let’s go eat lunch and report this to Duke Marleigh and Duke Rodriguez?” Ron shrugged his shoulders in defeat.
“Sister…. Where are we going!” Aernest ran after Eugene who suddenly started walking without saying anything. Tugging her lips, Eugene looked at Aernest and seriously said “To eradicate everything!”
“…HUH? Sister!” Aernest raised his confused voice! He stared at Eugene opening the gate door and walking out. Although confused, he too walked out and ran to walk beside Eugene. “How are we going to pluck off the grass if we leave?” Aernest confused brows wiggled as if it was dancing.
“Didn’t you say, ‘If only we could find a way to get rid of everything at once?’” Eugene answered his question confidently.
“Oh!! There is a way?” Aernest jumped in excitement! ‘As expected of my dearest sister! She is so smart!’ He quietly screamed in his mind.
“… Naturally! Now, stop questioning, and let’s get to work.” Eugene stopped walking.
In front of them was a mini mountain of red.
“……” Without getting a chance to ask why they stopped, Eugene ordered. “Bring everything here back to the training ground!”
“……..” Aernest blinked.
‘This… mountain?’ Aernest slowly nodded at Eugene’s outrageous order and stared at a red mini-mountain that was double the size of his body. For the first time in his life, he wanted to scream “WHY!” But gave up, because whatever Eugene says, is right.
Without further ado, the two started filling up two empty sacks with red bricks. -Yes, the red mini-mountain was in fact, red bricks stacked up. 1 brick weighed around 1 kilogram, so they each filled up their sack with 15 bricks to match up to their body weight before dragging the sacks back to the training ground.
Although puzzled that no one was at the training ground, the two emptied their sacks without a question and headed back to where the mountains of bricks were again.
“…..” After two rounds of going back and forth, Aernest began to frown. Dragging a sack that was his weight ‘twice’ was quite tiring, not to mention that it took about 15 minutes per round; 10 minutes to walk back to the training field with bricks, and 5 minutes to walk to where the bricks were.
Although Eugene told him not to ask any question he couldn’t help but wonder. “Sister…How many do we need?” He hesitantly asked.
“… Hm…” Eugene hummed, calculating for Aernest. “1 brick should be around 200 mm. Convert that… 20 cm. 1 meter is 100 cm, so that would take 5 bricks to form 1 meter lengthwise” Eugene mumbled.
“…..” Aernest watched as Eugene began to mumble in a language he did not understand. ‘What alien mathematical language is this?’ He wondered, but choosing not to interrupt Eugene’s train of words.
“The field is 10 meters lengthwise, so that would take 50 bricks to form a 10-meter straight line. Double that to double stack the bricks would be 100 bricks for one side. Times 2, for the other side would be 200 bricks.” Eugene stopped calculating and looked at Aernest whose eyes were going out of focus.
“…… What?” Aernest smiled, rapidly blinking his eyes at Eugene to show that he ‘totally’ understood whatever she just said.
“….. 200 bricks.” Eugene repeated.
“200? Right…” Aernest lightly replied, nodding again before looking at the sack he is painstakingly dragging back and remembering that there were only 15 bricks in the sack.
“…..” Aernest’s expression darkened immensely. 15 and 200 are vastly different numbers.
Slowing twisting his head towards Eugene, Aernest glared at Eugene.
“How. Many. Rounds?” His voice, deep and low.
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