Chapter 02: Rebirth
I had no choice but to follow Liana Pryster, my new grandmother.
It was a good opportunity to solve the food problem, which was the biggest concern of the orphanage.
It was unthinkable that I would be taken to the Prysters, but… I couldn’t miss this opportunity.
I was conflicted.
My brothers and sisters will be sad if I leave.
Not to mention I will also have to meet Asena and Keirsey whom I have always hated…
That's why, initially, I didn’t plan on going, but the moment Liana Pryster brought up the story of food; I was left with no choice.
I learned a lot about the twins' circumstances through the story of grandma.
The Pryster twins are said to be eight years old.
They were two years younger than me.
… and they recently lost their parents.
I had expected it.
It was not a surprise for anyone who had read the novel.
Unlike other characters in the novel, who were just the heir of noble families, Asena was the head of the Pryster House from the moment she appeared.
That was also why other students couldn't compare to Asena and Kiersey in the first place.
Anyway, now it’s clear.
From an early age, they had no parents.
When it was confirmed that they had lost their parents, my heart was moved.
I felt a sense of unity.
They were just like me.
Not that I suddenly liked them or anything, but I understood them a little.
Maybe it was from this moment that they grew into such ruthless and insensitive figures.
Well, maybe they were just innocent kids and were just unfortunate from the beginning.
✧ ✧ ✧
The Pryster's estate was in a secluded place.
We had to travel a few days south when we finally reached a large castle in the middle of a bustling city.
I finally saw how much people revered or perhaps feared Prysters: We were given the treatment of a King wherever we passed by.
Numerous maids bowed their heads and waited for us and that's how I entered my new home.
A middle-aged butler named ‘Thein’, who walked in the middle, reported the twins’ status to the grandma.
After introducing me to Thein, Grandma hurriedly left to see the twins.
The middle-aged butler immediately accepted me.
I don’t know what’s in his mind, but on the surface, he treated me with sincerity.
Then he led me to a room and started to prepare this and that: Thousands of hands washed my body, cut my hair, and put on new clothes at the command of Thein.
[T/N: Yup, it actually says 'thousands'.
I think Cayden is overwhelmed because of such a new experience.
Hence he is exaggerating.]
Then I was dragged to a certain door after everything was over.
Behind the slowly opening door were the infamous twins, Asena and Keirsey.
✧ ✧ ✧
The first meeting wasn’t that cool.
Though I gave my best and introduced myself to them, I still thought grandma's efforts might go in vain.
Because Asena and Keirsey looked at me with dead eyes.
They didn’t say anything.
The older sister, Asena, has black hair and a sharp impression.
Keirsey has silver hair… and a gloomy impression.
The two were sitting together on a large bed.
They looked like straw dolls.
Grandma said they were bright kids.
But I couldn't believe it.
Because, in front of my eyes, were the ruthless, insensitive twins I had read about in the novel.
I thought it was already hopeless.
Then I saw a lot of handkerchiefs lying next to the bed.
The moment I saw them, I realized how much the twins must have cried.
They most likely stopped crying in front of me because 'Prysters can not cry' was deeply ingrained into them.
As a reader, I had never realized it, but it seemed they were not some robots without emotions.
I came to my senses.
I was looking at these girls with too many stereotypes.
The scenes in the novel were so intense, I couldn’t recognize what was happening in front of my eyes.
These children were just struggling because of losing their parents.
They had been sad for several months and had not yet recovered.
Hence, their bodies became like this.
In the words of grandma, the twins probably couldn’t depend on anyone because they had no one on an equal footing.
I knew it the moment I saw them.
As Grandma said, I should be their support.
Yes, my theory is that young children should unconditionally be treated with love and care.
In fact, I knew the twins will rise again without me.
In the novel, they even won most of the time.
But the way they stood up was the problem.
If they couldn’t depend on anyone like right now, it was obvious that they would become the villains I hated.
I asked everyone to leave their seats.
As an orphan and commoner, I didn't have any rights, but now I was the eldest son of the Pryster House.
So everyone, including grandma, left the room.
Only me and the twins were left inside.
I did not approach them with any expectations from the beginning.
They didn’t even respond, anyway.
I just kept spitting out my words.
First, I introduced myself lightly.
After that, I just started talking about the weather.
Not getting any reaction, I changed my tactics and started telling a story.
The story of a flying bird.
It was not a serious story, but it was a story that drew attention nonetheless.
Though they still didn’t respond, they began listening with more attention.
I also told several fairy tales from the earth, including Arabian Nights, Aesop’s Fables, etc.
These were stories that even the children of the orphanage liked.
I was not sure if it was working, but I still told a lot of stories.
I also helped wash the twins.
If you’re messy, your mind gets messy.
They stood still as I wiped their doll-like faces.
I wiped away the tears and sweat.
I noticed Keirsey’s eyes seemed to have turned toward me.
Though there was still no response.
Feeding was the most difficult time: It was difficult to open their mouths.
But for me, who lived in an orphanage, I already had enough practice and patience.
I persuaded them several times with words and made some light jokes to make them open their mouths.
In the end, I succeeded in feeding two spoons each.
Rather than my achievements, I think it is because of the skill of the chef.
Still, I praised the twins like crazy and tried to make them feel better.
And this lasted, every day, for weeks.
Gradually, the children started allowing me to do one or two actions.
I think my constant stories throughout the day and the affection I poured out for them played a part.
It was as if the dead eyes were slowly coming back to life when they were told a fairy tale.
They also ate up to three or four spoons of rice instead of just two.
For two months, I acted like that.
The moment I got to the room today, I had a gut feeling that this was going to be the most important day.
Their eyes were gradually coming to life.
Their hardened expressions moved little by little, and the doll-like girls became more human-like.
Asena was looking straight at me.
With frustration and a bit of anger?
At least she was showing emotions.
I started the conversation as usual by mentioning the weather in the hope that they would want to go out.
Surprisingly, she shouted at me for talking about the weather.
Please shut up!
It’s noisy and I can’t stand it.
Everything you say is not funny.
I don’t even want to hear!
I don’t want a new family.
Please bring Mom and Dad!!!
I have seen signs of an explosion many times before, but this was the first time she finally exploded.
It was also the first time I heard her voice.
Keirsey was crying next to her.
Without a word, I approached them and held their hands.
Asena shook her hand free and kept screaming, but I kept quiet and continued to watch this sad girl.
Enduring all of her verbal abuse and violence, I waited patiently.
And gradually, the anger was removed from Asena’s face, and it was colored with mourning and bitterness.
The two girls started crying in front of me for the first time.
They cried and cried.
I continued to pat them.
These children were becoming important to me as well.
As I worked hard, they soon settled into my heart.
I wanted them to be healthy as the days went by.
The more I looked, the more they were just children struggling with pain.
These weeping children were the Pryster twins, but not the ruthless figures seen in the novel.
I whispered to the crying girls.
You can lean on me, I will always support you.
They only continued to weep and didn’t respond.
But after this incident, the children changed quickly.
The next day, they approached me and asked for my name.
In response to my answer, Asena turned her head slightly, and Keirsey pondered the name.
Now, when I put the spoon in front of their mouths, they ate everything.
As the mood became lighter, I handed out more playful jokes.
Every time I made a joke, Asena turned her head, not wanting to show her expression.
And Keirsey bit her lips to stop the laughter from coming out.
I thought Keirsey's smiling face was especially cute.
It was also a good sign that jokes worked.
If they grew up like this, they might never show their novel-like appearance to anyone.
When I think of that, I feel happy.
Have I already become their brother?
No, it may be the pride of being a person.
I thought it would be worthwhile if two girls who would have had a cold future could live the rest of their lives smiling like now because of me.
As these little pranks continued, the twins opened their hearts.
A few months passed again.
The two gradually got better.
They received and ate everything I gave, so their recovery was quick.
Gradually, they seemed to be getting healthier.
But no matter how much time passed, I took care of them with utmost sincerity.
Now, they also got out of bed and we went for a walk a few times.
When morning comes–
“Keirsey! Wake up and exercise! Asena! Open your eyes!”
I opened the windows to let the fresh air in.
After finally waking them up, we started exercising.
It is said that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body.
At first, it seemed awkward, but as time went on, everything became natural.
“Let’s eat a little hard food today.
Can you chew it, kids?”
I tried to introduce them to healthier food.
Now I didn’t even need to feed it.
It was a happy time for me too.
I was also able to eat a lot of delicious food.
When evening comes–
“Let’s go out to see the sunset and get some fresh air.
Keirsey, Asena, put on your outdoor clothes!”
Every time we went out, we saw new scenery.
This place, where the Pryster estate was located, was beautiful.
My heart was open to the expansiveness of the plain where the bushes spread, and I was moved when I saw the sunset on the horizon.
Every time I smelled the fragrant scent of fresh grass, all my worries seemed to be washed away.
It wasn’t just me.
When I looked at Asena and Keirsey while resting idly, they also closed their eyes with a relaxed expression and enjoyed the breeze.
“Good night, guys.
See you again tomorrow.”
I gently stroked the twins’ hair.
Asena and Keirsey now nodded their heads with girlish, moist eyes while laying down on their bed.
One day Asena said, ‘You have to come the next day.’ I will never forget what she said so bluntly.
One year after coming to the Pryster family, the children fully recovered.
Now completely out of bed, the twins ate at the same table with me and grandma.
It was my first time having dinner with grandma: I always ate with twins.
The twins said they were sorry for the trouble, the young 9-year-old children begged for an apology, and grandma showed a solemn expression saying that everything was fine.
After eating, the twins went back to their room.
Seeing nobody in sight, grandma held my hand tightly with both of her hands.
Showing a weak side that she never showed anyone, and saying thank you very much, again and again, grandma began to weep.
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