Chapter 18: One Flower (2)


Keirsey entered the dorm room, greeted Asena with a firm expression, and then locked the door of her room.


– Thud.


And, as if strings attached to her had been cut, she fell to the floor helplessly.


“Huff… Huff…”


Her breathing was shaky as she exhaled.
It was only now that she expressed the anxiety and fear she had hidden earlier.


In front of Cayden, she forcibly endured everything.
When Cayden said that he was being bullied because someone was gossiping about him, the world went dark before her eyes.


Because she knew she was the one he was talking about.




When Keirsey first entered Cayden's messy dorm, 'who the hell touched a Pryster?' She thought and only cold anger rose like a haze.


But in the next words, that anger was extinguished.
The culprit was herself, and there was no excuse for it.


She knew that he was being attacked because no other person but she, a Pryster, was talking behind his back.
She was able to figure it out quickly with a few hints.


'Cayden appears to have been abandoned by the family,' Other nobles thought but that wasn’t her intention behind those words.
She just wanted to cool the attention of the approaching women.


…Of course, things had calmed down lately.


After she spat out the lies about Cayden, no one showed any more interest, so she was relieved internally.


She knew a few bad words were circling about him, but she even thought it was good.


Because Cayden's beauty was only known by her; Because she didn’t want other people to know.


But she didn’t think even in a dream that someone would attack him so directly.
She didn’t know that her dear Oppa was being bullied like this.
She didn’t know he was in so much pain that he was sweating and having nightmares and the problem did not end there.


He knew…


Cayden knew the fact that someone intentionally spread those rumors –He knew there was someone behind it.


'Even if you catch the criminal, don’t bring it in front of me,' that's what Cayden said.
I’m sure you’ll hate it.’


At those words – thump – It felt like her heart was shattered.


It was the first feeling of despair she felt since her parents left.


It was enough to let go of strength in her legs.


How would he react if he found out that the culprit was her?


‘…Would you hate me?… Oppa…?’


Keirsey imagined what would happen.
It wasn’t easy because she had never seen Cayden who despised her.


In her imagination, good night kisses, tight hugs, affectionate teasing, and feeding each other were gone.


Her Oppa, who filled her childhood with all the happiness in the world, left her.


Leaving herself alone, he only loved Asena and cherished only her.
He wouldn't give Keirsey even a single glance.


“No…! No…!”


She hated such a future enough to go crazy.
So, even in the face of the fear she felt for the first time, she did her best not to show it.


It felt like her legs were going to give up soon, her expression was going to be distorted, and her hands wanted to tremble.
But she was forced to endure it all.


Because Cayden might suspect her on seeing her behave like that.
If he was confused, he might not even notice… but she couldn’t take such a big risk.
Hence, she endured everything no matter how hard it was.


You don’t know yet.’


Keirsey reassured herself, seeing Cayden didn't mention the name of the liar.
Then she swallowed her saliva and sat down next to him.


Right now, she needed his warmth.
She needed to be sure he was still by her side.


‘…Oppa, please give me a hug.’


She wanted to hug him tightly, even as she looked at him soaked in a cold sweat.


She wanted him to hug her tight enough to break her.
Fortunately… Cayden gave a light hug, but he hugged her was already enough for now.




Keirsey, who was lying on the floor, slowly clasped her hands.


“…Please! Please…”


And she let out a moan through her throat that was filled with strength and helplessness.


Anyone who heard it would have thought some dog was whining.


“… please… please…”


She prayed to an unbelieving god.


“Please don’t let my Oppa know… Please don’t let him know that it was me… Please… Please… I can’t live without him…”


She begged and begged.


'Please don’t let him find out.
May he love me forever.'


For a long time, Keirsey could not sleep.


✧ ✧ ✧


The next day, Keirsey entered the classroom a little late.


Partly, the reason was that she couldn't sleep at all and only prayed till late morning, but there was another reason as well; Not surprisingly, all the noble girls she had to meet were already gathered in one place.


It was these women who must have first spread her lies about Cayden.


Mary waved her hand.


“Good morning, Keirsey.
Why are you late?”




But Keirsey went straight to them without answering.


Unlike normal days, she didn't smile at them.
She had no desire to do that.


As soon as everyone noticed this strange behavior, Keirsey said without hesitation.


Do you remember what I said about my brother?”




As those words were gossip, not everyone nodded easily.
They give each other awkward glances and only had an affirmative atmosphere.


For Keirsey, that was enough.
She continued:


“…Did you go somewhere else and talk about it?”




There was no answer to this either.


Keirsey didn't need an answer either.


“…I will tell you one thing.”




“I wonder if…one in a thousand…one in ten thousand chances…if the fact that I was the one who said those words would come into my brother’s ears…”


No one made a sound.
Mary, who had always been close to her, was also as quiet as a mouse.


“…I think I will be very disappointed.
After all, it was our secret story, right?”


✧ ✧ ✧


Time passed like usual and the weekend came.


I yawned while sitting in my field, where I planted seeds.


If other people saw me, they might ask why was I doing this.
Unfortunately, there was nothing else I could do but this.


No matter where I went, there was no place for me to stand, and I had to pass the time somehow.


There was no sudden change just because I made a promise to change.


It was not like I could suddenly prove that I was the strongest knight just because I decided to.
Neither, I would get a girl to marry me from a strong family, magically, nor would I get people to follow me just because I wanted to make followers; My reputation was still in the mud, and no one was afraid to get to talk about me like that.


Only Eric and Judy were different.
There was no mocking.
Rather, they were both great friends.
They still came to me without changing.


I also didn’t force myself to go around doing anything to improve my reputation.
I knew that it would do me more harm than that.
Instead, I was waiting for a chance.


I had no doubts that the right moment would come soon…




I turned my head and smiled seeing a cute Keirsey running toward me from afar.
I waved to her.


Our relationship had returned to normal.
It wasn’t too difficult for me either.
Rather, it would have been more difficult for me to live while showing a cold attitude toward her.


It might seem like a false peace… but again, I didn’t want to break it.


It was not going to change what I was going to do in the future anyway.




As Keirsey came close enough, I asked.


Today, she also took off her academy uniform and was instead wearing a comfortable dress.
It was a dress that I thought looked quite cute on her.




Kirsey spread her arms without answering.


I wiped my sweat and got up.
Then I showed my hands that were still dirty from taking care of the garden.


“I have dirty hands.”




As if she would not accept my excuses, she complained a little firmly.


“I don't know! you have to!”


I shrugged and spread my arms.
At the same time, Keirsey flew into them and hugged me tightly


I also tapped her on the back with my wrist once.


Keirsey separated with a satisfied expression on her face and said:


“Unnie will be here soon.”


“Why didn't she come with you?”


“I ran; Unnie is walking.”




I nodded and looked back at my garden.
Keirsey squatted in front of it as well.


“Is it done, Oppa?”


I planted everything I wanted.”


“I was a little surprised that you suddenly planted flowers.”


“I do it only when I'm free…
I had to do something to not get bored anyway.”


“What flower did you plant?”


I looked at her and smiled.


“…That’s a secret.”


At my words, Keirsey smiled cutely and hugged her knees.


– Tok Tok.


Suddenly, someone tapped on my back.
The moment I looked back, I felt a warm touch on my cheek.




With a light sound, Asena backed away.


With a face that showed no emotions, the head of the Pryster family stood in front of me.


“…Your dress looks beautiful.”


Though I was confused about what to say to her, I decided to praise her clothes first.


It was also because Asena liked compliments.


…well, I was not entirely sure now.


Keirsey got up and was about to say something, but Asena acted first.


“…Keirsey, look over there.”


She gave orders to Keirsey without even saying hello.


“…Yes? There?”


Keirsey’s head turned in the opposite direction we were standing in.
And at that moment, Asena’s arm reached out and grabbed my face.


Then she hurriedly started to kiss my cheeks.


– Puch.


“Ugh..! What's wrong Asena?”


“Yes? Oppa, Unnie, what’s there?”


As Keirsey was about to turn her head at my voice, Asena did not let go of my face and spoke to Keirsey.


Don’t turn your head…
Just a moment.”


Then she kissed my cheek a few more times.


– Puch.


As soon as I understood, I relaxed my rigid body so that she could kiss me more easily and asked.


“What’s going on, Asena?”


“…I just did everything I couldn’t do in a few days.”


She whispered in my ears.


I was not confused about why did she order Keirsey to look in the other direction though.
Asena was always like this.


'Are you protecting your face as the head of the household, or are you ashamed of our skinship… Or is there any other reason to hide it from others?'


She did not show affection in front of others.
The same went for Keirsey.
Nevertheless, I did not hold a grudge, neither did I give up on them; I gave them hugs and kisses unconditionally.
Instead, their sneaky actions even looked cute to me.


….Oh yeah.


I guess I can’t help it either.


I didn’t want to be conscious of the twins’ opinions, but if they kissed me and showered me with love like this, my heart would be warmed whether I had any pride or not.


Even if I didn't know what their real intentions were, a smile came on my face.


Even if this was an act that was orchestrated just to deceive me, it didn't matter.


I loved these kids so much… I couldn't give up.
Even if my twins hated me internally, their external actions fueled my love.


I sighed and made up my mind.


I'm not someone who breaks promises easily.
So let's just be their support.'


Even if they didn't lean, I wanted to at least stand upright with them.


“Would you like to plant something?”


I asked to change the atmosphere.


✧ ✧ ✧


Another few weeks passed.


The students of the Knight's Department looked at Sir Horslow.


He looked at us as if he had something to say, even though the class had just started.


Everyone is here.”


He nodded and said.


“Everyone is on the right path to becoming knights.
Your riding skills are improving day by day, and your understanding of sword art has become solid… I heard that theory classes are going well as well.”


As the days passed, I began to feel that Sir Horslow was a great knight.
As someone who had set the goal of becoming the strongest knight, I had a lot to learn, so I listened to him all the more.


“But now you will wonder – strength, glory, and honor – what are they? And what position do you hold in these three in this knight department?”


“That's it…”


I muttered to myself in a low voice.


I felt that what I had been waiting for was coming; An opportunity to prove myself, a chance to increase my reputation.


After all, in my words of wanting to become the strongest knight, there was another goal hidden behind it; I didn’t want to be some kind of recluse.
I had no desire to be strong by myself alone.


I wanted to become a famous knight that everyone would recognize.
Actually, I didn’t really need to be the strongest.
It was enough just to have the perception that I was the strongest; What I was aiming for was not skill, but reputation.


I wanted to become a knight who would increase the status of a family just by being in that family.


To do that, I needed a stage where I could show off.


“Some people must be eager; There must be some people who are bored of practicing every day and rolling on a dirt field like this.”


Some students nodded their heads.
Including Judy, who was standing next to me.


Sir Horslow looked into our eyes and said, “Some of you must be thinking in your heart – Give me a chance to prove myself.”




Clenching my fists, I nodded.


Sir Horslow continued:


“… It seems your prayers have been heard; The coming holiday, a jousting match will be held.”

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