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From then on, my parents used to bring the twins along with them to Capicastle, to let them accompany Leticia. It was a nice idea as Leticia and the twins would be alone whenever their older siblings went to school.
Besides playing together, the twins also accompanied Leticia in her education that just started. The tutors said that they were such a joy to teach!
…Sometimes they bickered or had small quarrels like how children would, though.
When I asked the twins about their new routine…
“It’s fun,” Freyja said without hesitation.
“Fun,” Freyr nodded.
But when I asked them about how their relationship with Leticia was, during when they were fighting…
“Not good, definitely,” Freyja shook her head.
“…We were fighting?” Freyr tilted his head.
Apparently, the ones that would get involved in small quarrels were Freyja and Leticia—fellow girls. Freyr would naturally side with Freyja and was more ignorant about it, so he sometimes didn’t realize that they were having quarrels.
And here I thought as fellow girls, Freyja and Leticia could get along better…
Oh well, each to their own, I guess.
It was good that the twins developed a more distinct personality.
Speaking of that!
We also noticed that Freyja seemed to be more dominant than Freyr. Meanwhile, Freyr was quieter.
Therefore, Alt-nii was determined to help Freyr be more energetic and wanted Freyr to be Alt-nii’s partner-in-crime… I SHOULD INTERFERE WITH THE LATTER ONE!!
Our days passed so peacefully just like this.
Although the twins were supposed to make their debut later when they turned 6, they participated in my and Alt-nii’s birthday celebrations as members of the family.
The nobles attending had already encountered the twins more or less. The twins were still unused to be in such a crowd of strangers, so they still acted timid and hid behind me, Alt-nii, Mom, or Dad when they felt like the nobles’ attention were on them.
“Oh my, don’t be afraid, this Auntie just wants to see you.”
“Twins, aren’t they? They’re so similar.”
“It’s okay, I’m not a bad guy. Come here.”
The adorable twins caught the nobles (especially the older generation)’s attention naturally. If we pushed the twins a bit, they would timidly try to introduce themselves, practicing the basic etiquette they had learned.
Their gesture was still awkward, but they tried their best. Seeing them reminded me when I was small—in my previous lifetime. How I tried so hard to be praised.
I bitterly smiled at the past memories and was reminded of my ‘failing performance’ in this lifetime. Even so, nobody in my family scolded me or told me to keep practicing my etiquette to better polish it. I also didn’t see the need to force myself to go through the same life I had.
Maybe I would need to do that in the future. But let’s save that for the future. Future me, do your best!! ヽ(*・ω・)ﾉ
How nice it would be if things could stay this way. I used to think like that, but maybe… unexpected changes (like the appearance of the twins) could make life better.
Maybe it’s okay not having a predictable future.
As long as it’s not a grim future waiting ahead of us.
Location: An underground cave deep in the earth, somewhere.
A young boy with his bloodstained-like hair was walking in the deep underground cave, unbothered by the eerie atmosphere and the sound of ferocious beasts that sometimes echoed within the cave. The pitch darkness inside didn’t seem to bother him as well. His neon yellow eyes shone so brightly there, it was as if he could see amidst this darkness.
Behind him, a woman looking older than him was walking as she kept making small electric shocks on her palm to aid her vision. Her brown hair was let loose—it was even a bit messy. Some strands of her hair covered her brown eyes that had a trace of instability. Her breathing was a bit rough, it was evident that she was affected by the cave’s atmosphere.
“Tired?” The young boy asked with his clear voice. Although the context of his word was supposed to be caring for the woman behind him, his tone was indifferent.
Despite that, the young woman’s eyes sparked with joy as she responded, “No, Master, not at all!”
The corner of the young boy’s mouth curved up a bit as he said, “Good. We shouldn’t waste too much time. Must return immediately once we’ve accomplished our objective.”
But suddenly, the young boy halted. The woman behind him immediately stopped before she bumped into her young master.
“Master, what is—”
The young boy extended his right hand and shook his head before he whispered, “Sssh, Candice.”
The woman—Candice—immediately understood and turned silent. She looked at the back of her beloved master. His beautiful hair that was the color of dried blood.
‘How mysterious… how wonderful,’ she thought.
This master of hers seemed to be unaffected by the flow of time, retaining his beautiful figure. She was entranced by this master ever since their first meeting. She was happy to know that he never changed. Although she should have been wondering why…
“Did you hear that?” The young boy asked as he turned to the dazed Candice. Candice immediately snapped out of it and focused on her hearing.
A vicious growl. Footsteps of a huge monster that seemed to be getting closer to them.
“…!! Master, stay back, I will handle this!” Candice immediately gestured to the young boy.
“No need. I’ll do it,” The young boy firmly rejected his servant’s protection.
The monster seemed to realize that its preys noticed its presence, so it didn’t bother trying to suppress its presence. The monster rushed to the two little preys with full force.
Candice immediately sent a spark of lightning near them, exposing the presence of an ugly bear-like monster that was rushing straight to her master. Its size was ten times bigger than her. But her master remained calm.
Just as it seemed like the monster would lunge to him, suddenly a black shadow appeared from the young boy’s body.
The black shadow quickly enveloped the monster. The monster suddenly stopped moving towards the young boy and growled in agony.
Candice gulped as she looked at the black shadow. It wasn’t her first time seeing this black shadow, but she still couldn’t help but shiver at the presence of the ominous black shadow.
After a while, the black shadow completely enveloped the monster. The monster let out one agonizing scream before it fell to the ground and stopped moving.
The black shadow then let go of the monster’s body and returned to the young boy’s body.
“Okay, let’s proceed. She said that it should be the right way.”
The young boy wasn’t affected by the black shadow at all as he immediately resumed his journey. Candice had no choice but to follow him quickly.
After walking for a bit more, they arrived in front of an ancient-looking door. Two shoddy pillars were standing at the side of the door. Two similar statues were on top of the pillars. They statues were of creatures that seemed to be a mixture of fox and dog. The upper half of their heads were covered by something like a mask.
“Master, we’ve found it?!!” Candice let out her voice in surprise and excitement.
“Right. This is it. Behind that door.”
“Let’s open it quickly and remove the seal—”
“Not that fast,” The young boy shook his head as he gestured to Candice to look at the two statues.
Sure enough, the two statues suddenly moved—their rock-like bodies suddenly turned alive, revealing the holy beasts they were. One of them had a very sharp and long blade as its tail, while the other one had sharp long canines and claws.
“Let’s remove the security system first,” the young boy jumped as the black shadow swirled out of his body. The black shadow enveloped the young boy, it seemed to be helping him float. The black shadow then revealed a humanoid shape—a figure that seemed like a female with its long hair and red crescent-shaped eyes.
Since her master was taking on the holy beast with the sharp canines and claws, Candice immediately positioned herself in front of the other statue.
The two beasts growled before their warning voice resounded.[Intruder alert. You shall not enter this place. Should you wish to do so, you should first defeat us.]
“Challenge accepted,” the young boy casually said as he launched the first attack. Or rather, the black shadow was the one who attacked on his behalf. The black shadow extended what seemed to be her hand to attack. As it drew closer to its target, it formed a sharp blade.
The holy beast dodged the attack and bit its sharp teeth to the black shadow, ripping it apart. It then formed a light ball from its mouth, lunged straight to the young boy and the shadow.
Meanwhile, Candice also attacked the other holy beast with her thunder magic. The holy beast jumped and rolled its long sharp tail to repel the bolt of thunder Candice formed. After repelling the attack, the holy beast aimed for Candice with its blade-like tail.
Candice dodged sideways and sent electric shocks to the beast. Electric sparks were all over the holy beast’s body, but it seemed unbothered by the sparks as it continued to move nimbly.
“Holy power, eh?” The young boy concluded after seeing the beasts’ attack.
“No matter. Your attribute is meaningless in face of her,” he confidently said as he closed his eyes solemnly.
Candice immediately knew what was going on and proceeded to protect her defenseless master from the beasts. She enveloped them with a strong thunder barrier.
Just then, the black shadow completely enveloped the young boy and seemed to become one with him. The next time he opened his eyes—her pupils turned red as his irises were glowing yellow.
The process was completed just in time. Candice wasn’t able to hold the holy beasts’ attacks anymore and her barrier was broken.
The young boy that had already assimilated with the shadow jumped and exerted his power from his hands. The pitch black shadows coming out from his hands had stronger dark aura than before. The shadows turned into sharp blades and lunged high speed at the two holy beasts.
The first holy beast didn’t have the time to react as the sharp shadow blade penetrated its body. It then disappeared into thin air just like that.
Meanwhile, the second holy beast managed to move its long tail just in time to protect itself from the blade. The sharp shadow blade met with the steel-like tail, both trying to win over another.
The young boy smiled looking at it as he quickly turned his free hand to attack the second holy beast that was busy defending from the first attack.
As he summoned another shadow blade to pierce through the last holy beast’s body, he manipulated the first shadow blade to quickly bind the holy beast’s tail. The holy beast noticed the other attack far too late. The shadow blade cut through the holy beast’s head before its whole body disappeared into thin air just like its friend.
Thus, the battle was quickly over and victory was determined.
The young boy closed his eyes as the shadow that was enveloping his whole body went back inside.
“Can you stand, Candice?” The young boy turned to Candice who was lying down on the ground—it seemed to be a recoil effect from exerting that much mana.
“…Yes,” Candice ignored the pain she was feeling as she forced herself to stand up. She couldn’t be the one who disturbed her master!
“Let’s come inside.”
But when they arrived right in front of the door, they noticed that they had to enter some kind of password to open the door.
“Worry not, I can do this,” the young boy stepped forward as he began to draw.
“Master is awesome!” Candice said in awe.
The young boy continued to draw some sort of a pattern on the door as he calmly explained.
“Long time ago, her followers were many and together, they found the password to free the savior. However, they were annihilated before they could find the savior’s location. I came to know the password naturally since she has chosen me to be her vessel.”
So, the knowledge was not his, but it belonged to the shadow living inside him.
After drawing a complicated pattern, the young boy stopped and stepped back.
The complicated pattern shone, the ground shook, and the big door slowly opened.
“We did it, Miseria,” the young boy whispered to the shadow inside of him.
When the door was fully opened, they entered the room inside and saw… their objective.
A small boy was floating inside the pillar of light that was there on the stone altar. Numerous chains and locks were put to protect the pillar of light. The small boy inside seemed to be in a deep slumber as he curled his body in a foetal position. A weak dark mist seemed to be produced from his body.[Yanze, hurry before he’s completely cleansed.]
The young boy heard a female voice inside his head. He nodded and whispered back, “Understood, Miseria.”
The young boy immediately ran and jumped. He gestured his hands and soon, a huge hammer made of the black shadow inside him was inside his grasp.
He focused on breaking the seal in front of him.
As the chains and locks were broken one by one, the creature inside finally moved bit by bit—it was as if he slowly awakened from his slumber.
Before long, it was time to break the last lock along with the fragile pillar of light.
“Be freed, Messiah!”
The young boy screamed in delight as he broke the last seal. The recoil was so strong that his body was immediately blown by the impact. However, the black shadow enveloped his body and protected him from any harm. Thus, he was able to land back safely without any injury.
The land trembled for a while. The cave seemed unsafe anymore as it appeared to be crumbling down.
“Master, we should get out of here as soon as possible! It’s going to collapse!” Candice reminded her master who was silently watching the spectacle before his eyes.
The majestic creature finally opened his red eyes with an endless black spiral of abyss. He broke free from his confinement and was now floating in the air with his black-purple wings.
He intently watched the young boy who freed him. Just then, the black shadow decided to go out of the young boy’s body and faced the small boy.
The creature seemed to recognize the black shadow and nodded. He then looked up to the cave’s ceiling that had crumbled, revealing a small light from the sky. He looked once again to the black shadow with red crescent eyes before he flapped his wings above.
The creature crashed the whole cave’s ceilings with his wondrous power and left the scene, free to the sky. Nobody had an idea where he was going… for now.[All done. Let’s move on to the next step.]
The voice in the young boy’s head echoed at the same time as the black shadow completely disappeared inside his body.
“Master!!” Candice was getting frantic. Why wouldn’t his master move already?
Just as she was getting impatient, her master turned around and started to run, “Let’s head back.”
That day, a small earthquake happened in a deserted area. A black-purplish light came out from the collapsing cave and quickly moved towards a direction.
Meanwhile, a small spectre of light was dancing above the whole scene. It then landed on top of the branch of a tall tree, transforming into an ethereal child with holy wings and golden robe.
“…It has started. They have moved. Let’s hope that we can win in this future,” he anxiously muttered.
After all, he didn’t mess the meteor shower for nothing.
A small change could cause quite a wide effect—and he was betting for the future of this world.
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