Chapter 2:

The Last Night Home

I Want to be A Death Priest but I'm Forced to Go to School

"Gwnnmuthhrr, dish ish delihshhh--munch munch..."Bookmark here

"Ha! Eat your fill, brat! You're not gonna get a taste of this for a loooong time!" Bookmark here

I felt like crying. I really couldn't imagine living without Grandmother's cooking for years. For a moment, I even thought probably this was worse than not being able to stay at Brother's side for a while.Bookmark here

"I sure hope you won't talk while chewing once you live in the dorm, Sesil," Brother Arcis told me off with a smile.Bookmark here

"Nah, I doubt the food at the Academy would be this good," I spoke after swallowing everything in my mouth.Bookmark here

"Oh, tush! You always say that about something new, but you always get so fired up in the end ."Bookmark here

"Ouch!"Bookmark here

Grandmother flicked my forehead as she spoke.Bookmark here

"Have you gotten everything ready?" Brother asked.Bookmark here

"...Ehh, well, it's not like I've got much to bring."Bookmark here

"Just remember that we can't send your stuff all the way to your school," Grandmother added, "But we don't really need to worry about the little things on dinner table, do we? Here, eat some more."Bookmark here

"Thank youuuu! Munch... munch..."Bookmark here

After the meal, Grandmother actually stayed with me while I cleaned up. She even told Brother to leave us. That was rare.Bookmark here

"You're really going to school, heh," she said as she watched me doing the dishes from the table.Bookmark here

"You and Brother made me."Bookmark here

"It is not wise to lock your path so early, brat," Grandmother replied, "Of course, Arcis was dead set against you succeeding us, but the decision's on me. If I'm still alive when you're back, that's it."Bookmark here

I stopped.Bookmark here

"Will you let me be a priestess, Grandmother?"Bookmark here

"Ha ha ha! I know you already have the gift. Your a hundred years too early to fool me."Bookmark here

"...I know. Anyway, back to my question! Will you--"Bookmark here

"No."Bookmark here

"But--"Bookmark here

"Arcis worries too much, but he's not wrong. I would be foolish to promise you anything."Bookmark here

"I know I can do it, Grandmother--"Bookmark here

"Go to school, then we'll talk. Anyway, I'm warning you not to use that gift too much. The common folks call it a curse for a reason."Bookmark here

I knew it. It always came down to it. The "curse".Bookmark here

"You won't be much use for Arcis if you can't see," Grandmother smirked as she spoke as if knowing how to strike me where it hurt the most. Of course she knew.Bookmark here

"I know you like dead people more than living ones, but the people you meet at the Royal Academy won't be the same. I don't care if you don't get along with them anyway, but don't run off to the spirit plane so much, you hear me?"Bookmark here

"...Okay."Bookmark here

"Good."Bookmark here

Grandmother stood up and walked towards me, then she gave me whack on the head, "Ouch!"Bookmark here

"Well, with a tough head like this, you'll be fine."Bookmark here

"Grandmother!"Bookmark here

Grandmother always treated me like a little kid, but that whack of hers had always felt reassuring. It's not hard enough to hurt, but nobody did that to someone they didn't care about.Bookmark here

"Well, I'll leave you to finish your one last chore at this house."Bookmark here

Before she could walk away, I hugged her, soap and all.Bookmark here

---Bookmark here

When I returned to my room, Brother Arcis was already there.Bookmark here

"I wish I could help you pack."Bookmark here

"Oh, come on, Brother! It's not like I can't do it myself," I complained as I grabbed the scattered clothes and tossed them into an open trunk, "I'd miss you so much, but I wouldn't miss you being so fussy."Bookmark here

"Ahaha, you grow up too fast."Bookmark here

"Well, aren't you the one who wanted me to grow up fast and leave as soon as possible," I stopped and pouted to Brother's face even though he couldn't see it.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry, Sesil, this is for your sake too," Brother said with a resigned smile, "Come, sit with me for a bit."Bookmark here

"...Okay."I sat down on the mat in front of Brother. I couldn't help thinking he's making a big deal out of me going to school. Now he must be trying to give me a lecture...Bookmark here

"I wish I could promise you that you'd love your new life at the Royal Academy," Brother started speaking.He really said it. A new life. I didn't like the sound of that. Now it would be hard for me to convince myself that I was just leaving for on a short vacation.Bookmark here

"...But I can promise you that you'd be glad knowing what it's like out there instead of never knowing at all. After all--"Bookmark here

"Misery befalls those who are blind of mind," I cut in and we ended up saying that line together. I'd had those words drilled into my head for years now. I couldn't even count how many times Grandmother made me rewrite those words for hours as punishment or to pass the time when she felt like playing hooky.Bookmark here

"Smart girl. Now, I bet you know what I'm going to say next, don't you?"Bookmark here

"The truth is never as simple as it looks?"Bookmark here

"Yes."Bookmark here

"You keep saying those things over than over. There's no way I could forget."Bookmark here

"Well, even if you always remember them, tomorrow will be the first time you really get to put it to practice, don't you think?" Brother smiled, "Aren't you excited?"Bookmark here

"I'd be lying if I said no, but... I don't know, Brother," I turned around and lowered my head, "Just... Please tell me I can come back."Bookmark here

"Why, there's no point for us sending you all the way to the Royal Academy if you give up so soon, don't you think?"Bookmark here

"Of course not! I don't mean I'd want to come back right away, but someday... Maybe when I graduate. Or when I'm on holiday! That's what I mean!"Bookmark here

To have a home to return to...Bookmark here

"You know the likeliness of this place still standing half a month later is just as low as us being able to wake up after we sank into death-like slumber," that was Brother's reply, "But if it was possible, know that would welcome you with open arms."Bookmark here

I had to be content with that half-assed answer and a pat on the head.I took care of the rest of my luggage before lying down, half-hoping tomorrow would not come to soon. I also repeated the last thing Brother said before he left over and over like one sacred mantra.Bookmark here

"You'll see this through, Sesil. You'll be fine."Bookmark here

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