Chapter 19 As an Older Brother
I am Henning Izfield, the second son of the Izfield family.
I have a younger sister named Cozette Izfield. She’s smart, she’s good at her lessons, and she doesn’t mind going through the hellish workouts that we call physical fitness.
She has cream-colored hair, which she inherited from our father, and crystal blue eyes from mother.
I wonder when it started. I can’t help but be uncomfortable with those eyes.
I’ve been uncomfortable with them since I was a child.
For me, as a child, a child smaller than myself was simply unknown.
She laughs at things she doesn’t understand and gets angry at things she doesn’t understand.
I avoided Cozette because I was afraid that if I touched her easily, I would be taken in by the unknown.
……No, that’s just another excuse.
I’m not sure what to make of it.
We are now in the Demon Forest, but he, like Cozette, is also unknown. Looking back, it is because he is unknown that I can’t help but feel a glimpse of him in Cozette.
When I analyze myself, I am afraid of my older brother.
To be precise, I am afraid of his talent.
From my father, I could feel his strength, and from my mother, the coldness emanating from her.
My brother, who inherited all of this from our parents, is the very personification of violence. He knows exactly what power he has in his body and uses it with a smile.
He has no consideration for his enemies, and once one is recognized as an enemy, they will be completely obliterated by his power.
The people he had set his eyes on disappeared from around me. First it was the nanny, then it was the maid who showed up most often. I don’t even know how many of them there were anymore.
I was afraid of my brother. He stroked me with a hand that erased who he wants.
He talks to me with a smile.
How many times did I ask in my mind, “Brother, will I be next?”.
Looking back, I was thinking that they were just pouring out sweet nothing to me and trying to do something.
I studied so hard and trained my body so hard that I could see that.
I later realized that my brother was protecting me. However, by the time I understood this, I was too afraid of him.
Apparently, this body was not blessed with many talents. All of them seemed to be biased toward my brother.
Every time I checked my own talent, I would compare myself to my brother.
The only thing I can barely beat is my education, but what does that matter?
My fear of my brother has never diminished.
In this territory, which is home to a demon forest, power takes precedence.
I felt resentment, envy, and other negative emotions, but all of these feelings faded before they could grow.
I gave up.
I suppose it was too early for me to give up.
At some point, I began to feel the same sensation from Cozette that I felt from my brother.
Her eyes were always looking into the distance and never showing any emotion.
If you that brother of mine was a dynamic person who destroys everything in his path, Cozette is probably a static fortress of a person.
She has an inorganic stillness that always looks down at things.
She used to throw childish tantrums from time to time, but recently she has shown less and less of it.
In other words, I heard that she has become very ascetic.
Oh, my sister also seems to have a gift.
I don’t know what she’s thinking or doing, but at least she’s working with a philosophy of action that I can’t do. Her grades in her lessons are not bad, and she seems to be enthusiastic about them.
In other words, I began to turn the ugly feelings I had for my brother against my sister. Although she was no match for my brother, I still had some disturbing feelings for her, to the extent that I could still hate my younger, female sister.
But that didn’t mean I had to do anything about it. I, as an ordinary person, did not even have the spirit to do anything to my sister. I was afraid of the “unknown” that something fatal would pop out if I poked her badly.
I can only feel the dim pleasure, feeling the difference between myself and my sister, who is only a few years ahead of me, without my involvement.
I can still do it, I’m still winning.
Oh, how dirty and shallow my mind is. I hate the surrounding people, but I hate my “serious” and “good” self for not being able to express it.
Those days were shattered when she was given a <professions>.
When I saw Cozette in the cafeteria, she looked depressed, as if all her previous efforts had been in vain.
It was understandable. While professions are not everything in themselves, they definitely have a strong impact on one’s life.
A slime, no matter how you use it, will never amount to much. That’s what I thought, frankly.
What would be the point of manipulating them?
How can I make use of it when I am a nobleman? That’s about it. I quickly gave up on the idea of being a slime wielder.
To be honest, I was terribly relieved.
As a mediocre person, I felt that I had found my future security by finding someone below me.
And to confirm this, I saw Cozette in the office.
I watched her.
She speaks her mind in front of us with so much dignity.
The next day, she was standing like this, with such an awakened expression on her face.
She looked so dignified and beautiful.
She was so different from me, who was immersed in a dimly lit pleasure.
Is this what talent is?
Is this the difference between those who have it and those who don’t?
No, I suppose not. At least not for me, and probably not for my father and mother, who had quickly given up on the idea of that profession.
I was devastated, but I felt a kind of admiration for Cozette. It seems that no matter what you are given, it is ultimately up to you how to use it and make the most of it.
On the other hand, what about me? I keep comparing myself to others without looking at myself.
I guess that’s exactly what it means to feel ashamed.
No matter how far I go, I can only be me.
Cozette must be an angel for me.
This feeling came over me and I couldn’t help but say, “Is Cozette an angel”?
I realized after I said it that it was too nonsensical to make sense.
But as it turned out, my father and mother replied in the affirmative.
My parents, who I had thought were so distant, seemed so close to me.
Oh, they’re here, they were definitely there.
And just as she had said, Cozette put more effort into her training and repeated her daily attempts to master her profession.
I was very surprised when I heard that she had come forward to try her hand at weed control in the fields, and even at manure control.
If Cozette’s current story were to leak out, it would have a reputational impact. It would literally be a matter of life and death. But she said she would do it, and she is actually trying something. And so far, the attempt has not been successful.
When I heard this, I felt Cozette very close to me, just as I did with my father and mother. That somewhat supernatural woman who looks like a statue of an angel, tackling a job that even the townspeople are afraid to do.
She’s terribly human like.
――Perhaps my brother is the same way.
Was he thinking, crying, and struggling like others, just because I didn’t know him?
After all, it was I who had been distancing myself?
It was a very big realization for me.
Cozette has overcome her initial depression, and despite her ability that would raise eyebrows when one hears about it, she has moved our father, she has moved the people in the mansion, and now she is trying to move the city.
So what is it that I should do? What should I, an ordinary person, do?
Without an answer, I went to see Cozette to talk about the job I had taken.
I was given the task of implementing the idea of using slimes to dispose of the city’s garbage.
Depending on how you look at it, it looks like a rip-off.
It was unavoidable, given Cozette’s current situation.
But even if the logic is right, whether the emotion is right is a different story. I think I understand that very well. That’s why I have to talk about it.
I walked on, feeling depressed that this was the first topic I was going to talk about properly. At the very least, I need to tell him that I feel guilty. That was the logical thing to do.
She was there with her clear eyes, as usual, and seemed to be looking into the distance.
Surrounding her were a large number of Slimes.
Their bodies glittering in the morning sun, they were quite spectacular when they were all lined up in an orderly fashion, and it seemed like a stage to highlight the beauty of the girl in the center.
Slime and the others stuff were flying around.
Some were lumps of earth.
They said it was just for fun, but I felt something akin to mild fear.
It was a being that simply carried out the instructions it was given without a single thread of distraction.
A Slime who has gained a master is no longer the same as the Slime I knew.
It had only been a couple of weeks since Cozette had acquired this ability. In that time, she has increased the number of slimes and is still training them.
Whether they succeed or fail in that attempt, they still know that we are at least intelligent enough to receive instructions and repeat them in this way.
If this succeeds, and we go from one swarm to something we can call an army…… What will be the outcome.
What was she witnessing in those eyes?
I have no way of guessing.
「 I don’t mind. If it’s for the sake of the territory. Please use my ability to your heart’s content. 」
The person in question then turned her eyes to me, who apologized for taking away her accomplishments, and said such things to me.
It’s not every day that a nobleman, even a child, asks you to take advantage of them, even if they are family.
The cold eyes, devoid of emotion, speaks eloquently with seriousness in her words.
It was as if Slime and the others were silently working in the background.
「 ……Apparently, you are too self-sacrificing. I’m not saying you have to be greedy. But too much devotion will also destroy you. 」
I ended up admonishing Cozette’s words, barely, well, just barely, fulfilling my role as her “brother”.
Apparently, I had found my answer.
I really want my sister to be a normal person.
I really want my sister to be a person, so that her eyes will not become even colder and more inorganic.
And to remove the annoying pebbles that stand in the way of her life.
――That will be my job.