Chapter 5 ...All The Small Things...


AN: So I've gotten into the rhythm with this so I might let one more chapter out in a few days then get back to writing Silly Sonbird.

MT is just so light and fluffy in the beginning that it's easy to fall in love with. The fact that until the third volume, most of the conflicts in the story are really down to earth and slice-of-lifey really makes it easy to write. It also helps me look at my own family for experiences and going down memory lane, when you have a family that's as bubbly and somewhat suffocating as mine, is always an experience.

Just to clarify, I'm basing a few of these things on experience, obviously, but this story is an OC rather than an SI. The character's background is one of the siblings of Rudeus, japanese name never given, from the real world and I took the story from there.

There will be a new character introduced next chapter so be prepared for her arrival.

Also, 100% I'm going to continue working on Silly Songbird next week so be a bit more patient, everyone who's checking this out for that.

From now on, the AN's here will be before the story, as well as kind of spoiler free, for all the people who want Silly Songbird but got this instead.

And without further ado...


Something weird happened over dinner.

It was just another normal family meal, with Lilia - that was my older sister no matter what Rudi said, that adorable little dolt- across us and Rudi at my side. Mother and Father were sitting at the heads of the table, or rather the two ends, and everything was peaceful.

Boring.

So I decided to shake things up in the way only a child could.

"Mother?"

"Yes, Daisy?"

"Who's bigger?"

"You were born at the same time, Daisy."

"Daisy's right, Mother. Who is bigger?" And suddenly the room stopped after Rudi chimed in.

It was honestly a meaningless question, one that served no real purpose but it looked like all three adults were having trouble answering it.

It was obvious Rudi was larger, as well as stronger given that he was the boy but the question of who was older, or who was first was something that bothered my idle thoughts when I wasn't passing out due to insufficient MP.

You know what, let's just call that Mana Burn for now.

Anyway, Rudi was starting to be able to walk now that we were around three years old. I could do so as well, but given the circumstances, I was definitely weaker due to how much more time I spent resting my head after each Mana Burn. He could also read too and sometimes I see him wandering the house with his nose in one of the books Father reads to us.

We were kept apart for most of the day now, though we still the same bed at night and during the day Rudi would go all around the house, even upstairs to sate his childlike curiosity. The little angel even started speaking ahead of me, not because he had forty years of knowledge in his head, but because he was just that good at learning things.

I could see the signs, I saw them before in my old life, that my brother was a genius and while I couldn't be prouder of my favorite body pillow, seeing him grow drove me further into my experimentation. He wasn't the one burdened with the knowledge of a past life, and even if he was all around better than me in everything, I couldn't help but want to protect the little boy I fell in love with ever since I laid my eyes on him.

Still, the harder I practiced, the further I reached, meant that I was steadily getting stronger, but it also meant that I spent more and more time in bed than playing like Rudi could. Sure, I was recovering from each Mana Burn faster each time I did it, but I just used that time to practice even more instead of trying to spend time with my beloved brother.

Maybe I thought that if I knew who was older, or who was expected to hold more responsibility, I would know what to do next.

I mean, medieval culture was something very patriarchal, which meant that women served a lesser role in society. If Rudi was expected to bear the family name, then I would support him with everything I had and maybe I could take it a bit easier. If I needed to support him, then I needed to tone down what I could to rather than just keep getting better and better. I hated it, but my younger brother... always resented me for being 'smarter' even if he just put in less effort than I did.

And that would be enough to settle my thirst for knowledge; I wanted to know more about the magic of this world, but I didn't want of have to miss Rudi's formative years, his precious childhood days, to gain that knowledge. We were three now, even back then I remember what I used to do with my older brother when I was three, and I wanted to make memories with my twin right now.

"You were born first, Candace, though the time between you and Rudeus is so small that I don't think it matters."

And just like that Lilia-oneesama killed any thoughts of slacking off.

She was already a perfect lady, always respectful to our parents, a mistress of the house, the kitchen, and the scullery, and if I wasn't seeing things she seemed to bear herself in a manner much like Father; a trained warrior ready despite the surrounding peace. If I was going to follow in her footsteps, become a great woman worthy of my family, and play with my brother in my free time then I needed to work even harder on the magic I knew.

I might have boasted perfect control but that just meant that I could draw the exact likeness of a chrysanthemum, down to the smaller details, with nothing but the sky as my canvas and the clouds as my paint. Not just that, I could take a perfect cloudless sky and fill it with a garden of flower-shaped clouds as well, then erase them all again in a couple of seconds.

But even after all that, I still couldn't lift the chair, and just the chair, for more than a couple of minutes. I guess I should be grateful that I could finally lift the damned thing but it was still mind boggling.

Why was manipulating water particles a thousand times smaller than a raindrop, in such a way that they would create images as detailed as the symbol of our old emperor and not just clump up and fall like rain, anywhere between two to eighteen kilometers away... easier than holding up a single chair?

It made no sense!

"Why do you ask, Daisy?" Mother called me Daisy just so it would sound like Rudi I guess. That's the only reason I can think of since Candace has the same amount of syllables as Daisy and my parents seem like people to give nicknames if they thought that it would make it easier to remember.

I needed to fake a smile, they already thought I was a sickly child with how much time I spent resting, I didn't want them to start fussing over me now.

"I just wanted to know if Rudi was just my big brother or if he was older brother." I sent my twin a smug smile even as he replied with his own look of bemusement.

Of course it didn't make a difference to him yet, but that wasn't his burden to bear.

"You'll always be my little sister, Daisy." My adorable little brother called from beside me with an innocent smile that I almost regretted not being able to reach out and ruffle his hair without standing on my seat. "I'll protect you like a Hero in one of Father's stories, so don't worry."

Okay, that was too much for me to bear.

"Daisy, don't you dare-"

Too late, I had already pulled legs up in a crouch and jumped into my brother's defenseless form. I burned the image of his absolutely adorably shocked face into my mind as I hurtled towards him at speeds he obviously didn't expect from the sickly little girl of the family and tackled him from his chair and...

"It's alright, Zenith." Into Father's waiting arms, the man himself giving his wife a dazzling smile even as I wrapped my arms around my brother, the two of us laughing all the while. "I got them."

My sister sighed, as if expecting this to happen, though I could make out the beginnings of a smile tugging at her lips.

My mother was frowning almost on the verge of berating us, though the longer I laughed, tickling my brother as we gave our Father a hard time holding on to us, the harder it was for her to stay angry.

That night, I promised myself that I would protect this happiness.

No matter what.


I think I should have known something was going to happen when I was feeling a bit less tired one day.

Sure, my recovery rate has gone up significantly and I only needed something like half an hour or so of rest instead of the half a day I needed when I first began, but I always ended up a bit sluggish whenever I woke up after a Mana Burn. No matter how long it took for me to recover, my head hurt enough that I had to stay in bed for at least another hour before I could either go on with my life, or try using magic again.

I tried inducing two Mana Burns in quick succession, but we don't talk about what happened after that.

Okay, I would admit that my magical power seemed to have grown immensely after, but it was just not as efficient as my current routine.

That had nothing to do with being bedridden for three days, no sir.

Anyway, there I was being a bit more cheerful that I had a bit more energy than I usually had. I didn't have anything planned that day, and for once everyone was still in the house so I decided to do what children my age normally do.

I began looking for my favorite playmate.

We didn't play often, my brother and I. We slept together and woke up together. Sometimes, we would watch the sunrises or I would mold the clouds into vague shapes and we'd just laugh as how 'nature' and 'chance' would somehow allowed such a thing to happen, but we rarely saw each other during the day. I was trying to change that now that I was recovering faster and had no intention of rendering myself helpless for another three days, so I started interrupting his reading time.

We've been doing that for a while now, making it something like a game where he would sequester himself somewhere and I would try and look for him.

Over the twelve times I tried looking for him, I found that there were three likely places he would hide.

Rudi loved the gardens, but since mother wasn't laughing as she tended to her beloved bushes and saplings, that must have meant that Rudi was somewhere within the house. Father was training, I just caught a glance of him from the window, and Lilia-oneesama was in the kitchen so that must have meant that Rudi when upstairs to read again. He was in our room just a day ago, the last time I tried hunting him down, which meant that he was probably playing in our Father's study.

I've only seen him hide there once before, but it was always worth a shot to look.

I was upstairs as well, having just awakened from my last Mana Burn, so it wasn't exactly a long journey, but I wasn't the fittest child or the most energetic so it took a few moments.

That was when I felt it.

Having experimented with magic for three years, I liked to say that I had a vague idea about what it was and a bit on how it actually worked. Or at the very least, I knew how I managed to work it and a bit about what I could and could not do with it. With regards to other people, I've only felt someone else use it whenever my mother reached out and tried to heal me the first time I passed out in front of her.

It was a pleasant sensation, like something soothing, something soft, and something warm passing over you when you were in pain. I could feel that it was something like a cross between a hug when you're about to cry and the feeling of a headache melting away after a cup of warm hot chocolate and total silence. There was a strength behind it though, like the one hugging you was a polar bear, or the silence that came was because anything that would try to annoy you was scared of the giant polar bear giving you a protective hug, but it wasn't at all uncomfortable.

Mother was the perfect refuge, unyielding strength and graceful gentleness rolled into one warm, cheerful, loving package.

I'm sure she's been trying to heal me whenever she finds me asleep because after a few months I was sort of familiar with what I could only imagine to be her magical signature.

I wouldn't try to put it into words yet, but suffice to say, it was a wonderful feeling and a thing of comfort whenever her presence made a blip on my magical radar.

Sure, that magical radar stretched only three feet from me, but now her hugs were just so much better.

Anyway, behind the door to my Father's study, I felt something else, something darker.

I didn't know how I could have missed it when it felt just slightly less powerful than my mother's wonderful presence but it was far from the pleasant caress hers was.

This one was a monster trying to push its way free from a cage that tried to contain it, or a madman flailing around in the dark and trying to make sense of what was around him. It wasn't overpowering, but it wasn't weak either, sitting just beyond the point that made it worrying but not so beyond me that I was brought to my knees. There was a certain depth to it though, with a flavor that reminded my of the open ocean whenever storms would brew, the winds would pick up, and the waves would come to test the worthiness of ships.

A sobering thought came forth and my blood ran could; there was possibility that my brother was in that room, together with whatever was in there and that would mean...

I couldn't even complete that thought before my body sprang into action, and my mind called upon all the power I allowed to me

There was no more time for subtlety, and with all the strength I could muster I slammed the door open to confront whatever manner of creature dared step into my house and threaten my precious little brother.

"-vanity-"

In place of a door there was a portal, but instead of leading to my Father's study, the other side of this shining gate held the very depths of the ocean. The torrent was as blue as the oceans deepest depths when it emerged, flung forward by the immense pressures that threatened to crush anything that ventures close. I didn't know how powerful riot hoses were, but I was sure than none of the were able to chew through wood the pillar of water did.

I honestly didn't know much about architecture, but the walls of the house weren't exactly thin, or hollow. The wall around the door was at least thirty centimeters or a foot thick, I should know since I was just there, and whenever I would grasp at the house in an attempt to lift it, I could feel how solid it was.

It made sense since medieval houses were either made of wood or stone and mortar, but I don't think it would have made a difference as the torrent of water pulverized hardwood into fine dust without losing a bit of momentum.

No

The pillar of water decimated the doorway and the surrounding walls as if they were made of thin paper but an invisible parted the torrent as if it was even less than nothing. The torrent was divided before it could come close to touching me, but momentum still wasn't lost. Even if it passed around me, leaving me unharmed, there was enough force in whatever was left to utterly destroy the upper level of my home.

Not on my watch.

Stop

But the water wasn't even allowed to travel that far. I could hear the water as it flew past, I could feel the air being churned up as it rocketed from the center of my Father's study to the upper level of our house, but I could also feel my magic taking over and forcing the water away. I couldn't stop the flow, not because I felt weak but I knew that more than anything I needed to take the water away.

And that's exactly what I did.

Disappear

The pillar of water was allowed to flow for several seconds, but through all that the water simply ceased to be came close to me. For two seconds, the water disappeared once it exited my vision. After the third, I was able to see the point where the water simply vanished and watched as it crept forward. After five seconds, the torrent couldn't make it past the ruined doorway. After seven, there was no more trace of the portal to the bottom of the ocean, and the area was completely devoid of water.

Though, that didn't spell the end of the story just yet.

"Daisy?"

Because on the floor of the ruined room, kneeling beside a book that presumably guided a reader on how to use magic, and looking utterly spent, was my little brother Rudeus.

And when I actually looked around, only he occupied the room.

We were just there, as those few seconds stretched into eternity, staring at one another and trying to comprehend what had just happened.

From my perspective, I thought a monster had entered a room where my brother could have been and though that I was being attacked when I opened the door. I could only thank the gods that I had the piece of mind to get a better grasp of the situation instead of going in magic at the ready and killing anything that thought it was a good idea to get in my way.

I didn't want to think about how close I came to killing my own brother.

And I could only imagine how things must have looked from his perspective. I knew, from Lilia-oneesama and our parents that when I was asleep at this time, Rudi would sequester himself in Father's study, that must have meant that he had been training himself for quite some time now. I wouldn't have been surprised if my genius of a little brother already knew how to sense magic better than I could.

What must he have felt from me if his first instinct was to throw the strongest spell he knew at me? How did he react when he could only watch as his magic was rendered useless before his very eyes, in front of something that emerged from his darkest nightmares?

An older sister needed to protect her younger brother, not scare him half to death.

And she definitely, in any circumstances, shouldn't bare her fangs at him.

I couldn't think properly anymore.

The room was gone, my little brother was gone, the world of mystery and magic was gone.

All that remained was a old woman and her younger brother grieving in their own ways after their parents had left them.

I'm sorry

I couldn't fight back the tears as I ran at him and threw myself into his arms. I couldn't see clearly through blurry eyes but I could feel a pair of arms slowly wrap around me and small hands rub circles into my back.

That's how our parents found us.


Rudeus


Rudeus, after a roller-coaster of emotions, didn't know what to feel anymore.

He was feeling a bit bored so he went to his Father's study and practiced magic like he always did when his sister rested, his parents were outside, and the maid was doing chores.

He was feeling a bit more ambitious this time, so instead of using Water Ball like he usually did, he began the chant for Water Cannon, with minimal attack values of course.

He was surprised when something tingled within him, forcing him to turn to the door instead of the wall as he usually did.

He understood when the tingling grew stronger, as if telling him that there was something behind the door, something foreign.

He was scared when the spell fired, with much stronger and larger than he intended, and it utterly annihilated the door and the surrounding wall.

He was terrified when he saw that, despite the strength he accidentally put into the spell, the torrent was instantly evaporating after it reached a certain point.

He panicked when he felt whatever hiding behind his spell growing stronger, and saw that even as he strengthened his spell, the Water Cannon was slowly being overpowered.

He was shocked when all the water disappeared, and he saw that the monster hiding behind the water was the sister her promised to take care of.

He stopped trying to make sense of the situation when she wept, throwing herself into his tired form and bawling her eyes out.

"What happened?" Rudeus didn't understand why his Father would ask something like that when entering the room. Wouldn't children normally be too scared to answer something like that? And it wasn't like he couldn't see the door being gone, along with most of the wall leading to the study.

His Father should have made his own conclusions seeing the destruction left behind, and one of his children, his sickly daughter no less, weeping like someone died

Of course, Father didn't really care about that, his eyes zeroing in on his children rather than the destruction they must have caused.

"Shhh, it's alright, everything's okay now." Their Father was beside them in an instant and holding the both of them both as gently and comfortingly as he could. "There's nothing to be afraid of."

Rudeus's opinion of his Father increased that day, he was more worried about his children when it was quite obvious they were the ones who wrecked the room. They even had the textbook still opened to the page where Water Cannon was found. Even his Father should have been able to tell what happened, but he was still making sure his children was fine instead of berating them.

Then again, even Rudeus wouldn't be able to bring himself to get angry at a little girl as she cried. Even in his old life he wasn't that cruel.

His mother seemed a bit less forgiving, her eyes lingered on the book for a while before scanning the surroundings. She didn't find any trace of water, his sister somehow did that, but it was at least clear to her that someone used Magic.

"Rudi, did you read something out of this book?" She knelt beside them, her eyes gentle and understanding even as she took his magic textbook and brought it to her children.

It took everything from Rudeus to meet his Mother's eyes.

It was clear that this time, he was in the wrong, and his Mother understood that. More than using Magic to destroy the wall, he could have easily killed his sister if the torrent didn't somehow disappear. It could have been his sister's doing, but seeing her cry in his arms, in his Father's arms, it was clear that she was as afraid as any child should be in that situation.

He was the adult there.

Mentally, he was supposed to be the eldest in the entire house, so it was his duty to take responsibility.

He knew, from a lifetime of hardship, that if he ran now then he would never stop.

Rudeus would not run, he wouldn't hide behind excuses no matter how much he wanted to.

"It was my fault."

And somehow, between the sobs and through tearful eyes, his sister beat him to the punch.

She wiped her eyes, and at once he saw something he'd never though he'd see on the face of a child.

Resolve.

"I thought I felt something in Father's study and I was scared." She began to explain, wiping her eyes of the only water that remained in the room. "Maybe Rudi read something from the book, but I broke the wall."

Rudeus was speechless.

Not only was that totally false, it was the type of explanation that made sure all of the blame fell on his sister. Rudeus just couldn't believe that his weak, whiny, 3-year-old sister was covering up for him.

That wouldn't do, that wouldn't do at all.

"No, I read from the book and used Water Cannon to do that." Rudeus steadied himself, hardened his gaze, and prepared for the worst. "I almost hurt Daisy with it too; it's my fault."

Daisy was about to say something, her face told him that it was probably to take the blame again, but it was their Mother that interrupted them.

By squealing with delight.

Rudeus knew in his head that their parents were adventurers wealthy enough to afford retiring. He noticed that only Father did any real work while Mother volunteered at their local temple and that meant they had enough money for a while. Since they didn't seem to be nobility, their lifestyle was far too simple not that he had any problems with that, that meant that his parents must have been strong enough to earn a lot when they were still active.

Knowing that and experiencing how Mother plucked him and his sister out of Father's arms before twirling them around were two different things entirety.

"My beautiful children are geniuses!." His proud Mother all but sang, obviously, and strangely enough, happy that her son and daughter broke down their wall. She kissed both of their foreheads before turning to Father, the two adults obviously used to Mother being strong enough to hold the both of them like they weighed nothing. "Darling, we should find a magic tutor for Daisy and Rudi!"

"Wait a second, isn't this spell Intermediate level?" Father's eyes widened when he saw the page that Mother marked.

Thinking back, Rudeus, who was always alone, looked as if he taught himself everything he had learned. It wasn't like his parents knew he was probably mentally older than they were so him being a genius was the only explanation.

But that wasn't really that important.

His sister who did nothing but sleep most of the day away was a real genius.

Without even knowing what she did, she managed to deflect the strongest spell he had ever used, when he decided to actually give it his all.

Even if he already knew what he was doing, he thought it was for the best that they nurtured such potential.

For Daisy's sake that is.

Once upon a time, he would be jealous of his sister, who was effortlessly better than he was when it came to something he spent an entire year practicing.

But if her being better at Magic that he was meant that she would be more active, she would be more healthy, and that she would smile more, then he was willing to accept it.

It was the duty of the Older Brother to spoil his Little Sister after all, and he was the Older Brother even if Daisy was born slightly earlier.

"That's why we can send word that we're looking for a teacher immediately!" Mother insisted with a brilliant grin on her face, shaking them just a bit as she jumped with excitement. "We could maybe even find someone from Ranoa to teach them!"

"Wait, I'm not against teaching Daisy Magic, but wasn't Rudi supposed to be a swordsman?" Father stood, crossed his arms, and figuratively poured water all over Mother's celebration.

In Rudeus's perspective, that was a problem easily solved.

Rudeus didn't really mind not being allowed to be taught magic. He was confident in his new work ethic, and as long as he had the same materials Daisy would be learning, he could easily reach her level on his own. Other than that, maybe if his sister would teach him everything she learned from whoever was teaching her, they would be able to spend more time together.

"He can use Intermediate Magic without anyone teaching him, don't you think it's a waste if we don't polish his potential?" Mother argued back, hugging both her children closer even as she put the down. Then she pulled out a trump card not even Rudeus expected. "And I'm not leaving Daisy alone without anyone to watch over her."

It looked like bringing up Daisy was enough to put Father into a bind. It seemed to have been decided that the girl would grow up to be a magician while the boy would be a swordsman, but even he didn't want to send his daughter to be alone with a stranger when she could easily just faint at any time. It was obvious he wanted his son to be a swordsman but he also wanted his daughter to be a magician and she couldn't do that if no one was there to take care of her, just in case the worst came to pass.

Even if she could, even Rudeus wasn't comfortable with taking that risk.

"How about having him do both?" It was the maid who spoke up from behind them, and all eyes went to the strangely clear corridor where she stood. "Have Rudeus train Magic in the mornings with Daisy, and then have him train swordsmanship in the afternoons. That way, both promises are fulfilled and Rudeus will be able to take care of Daisy just in case anything happens."

"That's perfect!" Their parents, as simple as they were, gave the maid a pair of thumbs up.

Rudeus loved his parents dearly, even in the old world, they were his only allies, but sometimes they could be so silly.

"Yeah, Lilia-oneechan is the best!" Daisy took the chance to jump into the maid's arms, and even she couldn't help but smile at her antics.

Rudeus loved his sister too, but no matter how much of a genius she was, there were still things she didn't understand.


"Why did you do it?" Rudeus, the curious little boy, whispered the question when we went to bed.

We were lying on the bed with our backs against each other so his voice was a bit quieter than it should have been but I heard him, but I couldn't reply was quickly as I wanted to.

"What do you mean?" For once I really didn't understand why that was the first thing he asked.

I thought he would ask me How. As far as I now knew, he had been practicing Magic for closer to a year and he didn't understand why his sickly, sleepy, sluggish sister was able to counter something like an Intermediate Spell, apparently that was a big deal, like it was nothing. I prepared for that question since it was one of the easiest to answer; I really didn't know how, or I just willed the water away and the universe seemed to answer.

He could have asked me When. I wouldn't be surprised if he came to the conclusion that I couldn't have been that powerful if all I did was sleep all day or something like that. He might have reached the conclusion that I was practicing whenever I was supposed to go to sleep, or I would fake sleeping and then try out Magic when no one was watching. I wouldn't have corrected him, or rather I didn't know how to so I just hoped that he wouldn't ask me that.

Probably the most obvious would be Where. Rudi, as smart as he was, would probably think that like him and his book, I learned this Magic Method from somewhere and the cute little boy would want some of that for himself. From reading the book, Rudi already knew that magic had some sort of structure and after browsing it myself, it was clear that I didn't fit it. This was the hardest to answer since I definitely had to lie and say I had no idea what I was doing.

Instead he asked...

"Why did you lie to Mother and Father?"

Oh my, little Rudi was flustered because of that?

"Isn't that what happened?" I replied with a bit more cheek than necessary. My little brother was adorably sweet but was the poor dear really worried for me? "You did aim at the door, wasn't that my fault?"

"I was still the one to use magic." He confessed, obviously downcast. Did I really step of his pride that hard? "I destroyed the wall, and I almost hurt you when trying out a spell I never used. Why did you tell mother that it was your fault?"

"Because you're my little brother." I spoke simply, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "And I'm your older sister, Mother, Father, and Lilia-oneesama said so."

Even if he didn't know that my age was probably just a bit less than Mother and Father combined, even if I did spend most of my days resting after Mana Burns, even if we were twins, I was the older one.

I had to take responsibility.

"I can't protect you from people, Rudi, you're a boy after all and I'm a girl. I don't think I'll be able to teach you anything, you learned enough Magic on your own when I didn't know what to do. I can't even take care of you when I do is sleep all day." I turned around and found my brother looking at me with the widest eyes. "So let your useless Older Sister do something for you while she can, okay?"

"Okay."

There were tears in his eyes, and like a good older sister, I wiped them away as gently as I could.

"Oh, none of that now, aren't you excited to learn how to use Spells and Swords?"

He didn't flinch like boys normally would when I touched him, but he seemed to lean into my hand as I made sure his eyes were dry.

"The book is kind of weird." It was only then, when I withdrew my hand, that he replied. He was a bit more cheerful, but there was still a bit of sorrow that I had to distract him from. "I think I'd learn better if I had a real teacher. If you did everything you did even without the book, maybe you'll be even better."

On the subject of the book, I sincerely doubted it.

Frankly speaking, it was all wrong. It was like I was reading a book back in the old world on astronomy when its main idea was based on a geocentric model.

A few of its most basic assumptions had just been broken by me, and I think to some extent my brother, and I wouldn't even bother reciting the spells written there.

What use were those spells when I could perform the same feats if I just thought hard enough?

"I don't really want to learn Magic if it means listening to someone talk the whole day." I admitted with a frown and a groan, though I smiled a little when my brother giggled at me. "If they tell me to do something, I could probably do it, or work on it in my own way, but I don't think I'll like it if I'm told to follow that book."

"What's wrong with the spells in the book?" By brother, as innocent as he was, asked an almost stupid question. Maybe even if he knew some parts were wrong, he believed that the spells at least worked.

If I remembered correctly, he was chanting when he used Water Cannon so I guess his faith wasn't so unfounded.

I personally didn't trust it, but I didn't know how to explain why without sounding to old.

Quick, think of something childish and stupid.

"I don't know what all the words mean." I mumbled, turning away when Rudi just stared for a moment.

It wasn't a lie; I might have heard him chant, but I didn't know what exactly he was saying. Rudeus had been around books and this world's language longer than I have so of course he had that over me too.

And it was obvious he was proud of it.

My brother's laughter was music to my ears, despite my being the reason he was laughing.

"Don't be mean!" I didn't understand how my brother managed to weather my fists of fury, boys were supposed to start being much stronger than girls when puberty set in and we weren't even halfway there yet. "I'll show you... um... Deuce... I'll be the best magician ever, and I won't even need a teacher. You'll see!"

"Of course you will, Onee-sama." My brother only smiled, looking at me in the patronizing way adults do when a child is throwing a tantrum. Well, listen here, kid, I'm an old woman: there's nothing that you can say that would make this- "I love you."

Damn, my brother will be a lady killer when he grows up.

No, I wasn't blushing when I snuggled closer to my brother's chest.

It was just suddenly cold.

And no, that wasn't my magic either.

"I love you too."


I'll see anyone still here next update =))

EDIT: I can't count.