“Just like that everyone suddenly started treating me better, but because I so foolish believed that getting stronger would help my brother, I never realized how his situation got worse by the day.”
“…I guess the issue of the next head became an issue?”
“Worse. They immediately switched him out with me as the successor.”
“Hah? Oh, right. The Garesto nobles are basically guardians, so of course they’d prioritize the stronger one.”
“Especially the Doneju Family. Historically speaking, our family doesn’t even care if the child is from the main wife or the concubine.”
“…You know you don’t have to spill everything so honestly. I wasn’t even asking about that.”
“So you did notice,” Frire smiled as if she didn’t care at all.
“It’s not as if I was intentionally trying to tell you, though,” Frire said in her ambiguous manner.
Apparently, she just didn’t care enough to hide the fact.
But of the things they spoke about today, there were already so many that could prove troublesome if spread. For example, she was a noble and yet she was only given general education at first, and the people of the Doneju Family expected so little from her that they even shunned her at first. What’s more was that she didn’t look like Teacher Frank. Just those three points alone would be enough to get any person’s imagination running.
“You need to be more careful. What are you going to do if I was a loose-lipped gossiper?”
“Are you really in a position to be saying that? Besides, I’ve fought with you so many times already. I know that it’s fine if it’s you.”
That’s why she loosened up and intentionally dropped hints for him.
In fact, the only person she’s opened up to this much in her three years here was Shinichi.
But to Shinichi her reasoning showed a lack of restraint and he found it difficult to accept.
“Ah, yes. The baseless trust that battle fanatics love to throw around whenever their instincts tell them to… Well, I don’t hate it.”
Although Shinichi may not have liked the way she went about this, he didn’t reject her.
That part about him was exactly what made Frire trust him, but she didn’t mention that and just continued.
“…At the time, I was still young and didn’t really understand things like successors or having a different mother. It’s pathetic, but while I was confused, I was taken into the main family, and my older brother lost his inheritance and was taken in by a branch family. And just like that I couldn’t reach out or meet him anymore.”
Entering the army came after that.
The way she saw it then, her older brother was suddenly taken away from her.
Because of her dissatisfaction and also as a form of protest, she rejected anything and everything but the one thing her older brother left her – the sword.
“That’s actually the reason why my upbringing is so half-baked,” Frire shrugged.
That’s when a high-ranking general saw her and recommended her. As for what came after that, it’s exactly as has been said.
“I was a child. The more I fought, the more enjoyable the battles became and the more everyone became happy with me. That’s why I happily believed that my brother would surely be watching me…”
That’s why she worked so hard that her name became known throughout Garesto.
Fortunately or unfortunately, she had been blessed with the talent to make just that possible.
All the while without realizing that Frank’s situation was getting worse by the minute.
“Well, if a child like that were to be tossed around like that in the army, she’d have no choice but to grow up. Her perspective would also widen. And I did grow up, but by the time I realized what I’d done and we finally met again, it was already too late.”
Her brother acted like a stranger. He had built a wall so thick between them that even she could notice it.
He didn’t curse at her or mock her, but the way he treated her still hurt her deeply.
He didn’t speak to her gently like he used to anymore.
Whether it was in front of others or when they were alone, he always treated her like a stranger.
“But at least he still recognizes you’re sibling right?”
Shinichi being relatively serious when he said that was because of his special circumstances.
But she didn’t know about that, so she raised her voice and denied the thought.
“If our relationship could be mended so easily, I wouldn’t have been driven this far! I had to throw away everything just to get here!”
“…And yet you’ve made no progress at all, have you?”
“In fact, your actions have had the exact opposite effect, haven’t they? After all, from his perspective, you had everything he ever wanted, and yet you threw all of that away as if they were nothing, and became a teacher just like him. Frankly, your actions could only be taken as offensive.”
“What’s more is that even after alienating yourself and going out here, he’s like that. I bet you didn’t even tell him why you left the army or about the series of events that led to you being here in the first place, right?”
“Your sword may be fierce, but you’re always getting cold feet when it comes to that teacher. Just what were you doing these past 3 years?”
Shinichi mercilessly stabbed one dagger after another into her as he pointed out those truths.
The mental damage he inflicted was so great that even he couldn’t laugh when Frire collapsed.
Perhaps some of the things he was saying were meant for him as well since he looked at her with sympathy, but his main purpose was still to harshly point out these things.
“U, uu, I’m just a coward, after all. I drove my brother into a corner without realizing it, and even after I put so much effort into mending our relationship like an idiot, I still couldn’t make any progress… Just laugh already, Nakamura! Laugh!”
Defeated, she fell to the ground and started mocking herself endlessly.
Her disposition fell suddenly, and the aura about her became so dark it seemed as if even her white hair had gone black.
“Ha ha, that’s why I can’t even win against a student. I even got preached. I’m useless as a teacher, and I’m no good even as a person… Uuu…”
As Frire crouched and mocked herself, she looked just like the ‘の’ character.
Some things could be accepted logically, but hard to accept emotionally speaking.
Her mood sank, so all of those negative emotions came pouring out.
“Where in the world did you learn that?”
But Shinichi was more taken aback by the way this otherworlder sulked.
But then again, it has been 8 years since the interaction between the two worlds began, so perhaps she learned it somewhere.
Regardless, it would appear that this teacher had a much lower evaluation of herself compared to how other people saw her.
She usually acted tough when acting as a teacher or a soldier, but she’s surprisingly fragile.
Though she may have grown up physically and learned many things, deep inside she was still that girl spoiled by her older brother.
Because of that Shinichi couldn’t just leave her alone.
“I guess we should start by correcting your misunderstandings one by one.”