I was Born the Unloved Twin
"Ronald, did you have to use me as a threat in the same sentence as 'I'll kill you'?"
The other man looks much more like a grandfather figure than my own biological one. Just as old and just as tired and you would expect. Apparently my 'youthful' grandpa thinks the same way, delegating all the hard work to him
"But you're the scarier one Geoff." grampa whines, completely unbefitting of his age.
"If it weren't for the children you're holding I would show you just how 'scary' I can get."
"You wouldn't, you love me too much."
"No...no I don't."
"It's okay old friend. I understand, the temptation you don't need to hide it!"
"I will bury you alive in the forest and leave the 4th year students to find your remains."
"Not the 4th years! They're so awkward at that age!"
The graying man that has the unfortunate position of dealing with grampa is the one really in charge of this camp. He's one of grampa's old friends, who I called uncle Geoff.
Since gramps often disappears on adventures or just wants to visit and stay with a friend pretty often it would make more sense to have someone more reliable run the daily operations. Doesn't that make gramps the figurehead founder who plays all day while Geoff the acting CEO who does all the work?
All the best uncle Geoff! Fighting!
It's okay, he's a much more competent man than that insane grampa. He's pretty skinny for a warrior, even aged as he is, but don't doubt him, he's a weapons master and could probably kill you in a couple of thousands ways. I think?
He taught us fencing in the past. Or well tried too, it was just me that learned since Lilyanne was too often sick during lessons. I wonder if this body retains the lessons from those times. I'd rather master another weapon if I got some basic swordplay and fencing down.
Something with more distance perhaps. I rather not have to get up close with the enemy if I can help it. My death was sort of very much traumatic.
We're taken around on a tour but since Lilyanne and I are essentially stuck in grampa's arms there isn't much to really see. Nothing that I don't already know, besides more suspicious evidence that grampa is a time-traveling transmigrater.
Now where are the tournament fights here! Challenge each other! Show off your skills!
I lull off into my own thoughts as Gramps and uncle Geoff parade us around to everyone.
Grampa has lots of friends from his adventures but he seems to treasure his companions from his youth the most. Makes sense, they're the friends that stuck around the longest, even before his fame. Uncle Geoff being one of them, though he looks significantly older.
I recall his favorite friend, however, lived far north....where the stupid prince lives of course.
Mother has met him plenty of times but I've only ever caught glimpses of him. He's the hermit uncle to the stupid prince that was my fiance. That makes him a royalty but like grampa, he doesn't care much about those kinds of things. Politics is messy.
Since he hides away so much I don't know much about him, but now that I think about it he's a very...beautiful man.
It's silly, they're family, both with pale blonde hair and blue eyes but they seem nothing alike. The dammed prince was a mountain of an oaf with the personality of a well-oiled machine. I swear he had no personality outside whatever code was imputed into him, rules this or honor that! Blah blah blah-
Gah Rosalia's disgusting memories of her forced time with him still make me shiver.
I wonder if one of the reasons Grampa had even allowed the marriage was due to that bond. I wouldn't know, Rosalia was stealthily kept quite in the dark about a lot of matters. She was either buried with the heavy workload of lessons, assignments or dealing with Lilyanne troubles. Getting kidnapped was also a schedule damper...
Ah, what an overly busy girl, her usual schedule was even busier than a modern day working student. I would know I was one..... How depressing.
Two lifetimes of unnecessary stress is more than enough. I most certainly plan on taking it easy this time around, while keeping my life of course.
The other main goal should be avoiding anything to do with that damn ape of a prince. It would be best if I could avoid him for a lifetime, that included keeping him away from Lilyanne. If they never meet they never fall in love and bam, peaceful life. But some things can't be avoided. An engagement request will come, I'll be sacrificed as the bridal candidate and the story will start rolling.
Breaking the engagement was a no go, Rosalia certainly tried looking for ways in her preteen years when forced to spend more time with that insufferable prince. She's a silly girl but she gets things done when she puts her mind to it. She certainly had enough money and connections to make things happen.
So If the original Rosalia couldn't find political enough reasons to break or null the engagement then I'm doomed.
Maybe I should ally myself with that uncle of his. Grampa's oldest friend, however, was really hard to find. It fit the mysterious aura around him, it was...elf-like. If I could make it easier for myself to comprehend he resembled what could pass as a recluse high elf man in modern fantasy books. Tall, strong but with delicate air, you couldn't seem to reach. Really a very cool looking character!
Sadly elves don't exist in this world, though various beasts and monsters do. That's what the training corps are there for, to band mankind together in beating back the dangerous creatures! There are official armies and smaller organized militia but a lot of people have their eye on glory like Grampa.
Everyone wants to carve out their own hero story right?
A light bulb flickers on in my little head. I'm thinking too much like Rosalia. Politics and playing by noble customs didn't get her anywhere! Then it was too late for her to act on her true feelings.
While it's regrettable to be taking a page of that crazy old man's book, the legend of Ronald has afforded heroes and innovators the highest level of power in this world. One could rise past the respect and rank of standard nobles with enough worthy accomplishments and feats.
If I can make my own sufficient title or ally myself with great enough names, forget about just scaring off the engagement I could save my own goddamn life! Secret assassins? Corrupt ministers? Lilyanne's crazed followers? Taking care of them all will be a piece of cake!
And I have the best possible fishing grounds to make such friends! Excitement and joy return to me in a sparkling daze as I gaze about the training grounds, aka my new playgrounds.
"Aww they're laughing! How adorable!"
"Hahahah yes my granddaughters are the loveliest!"
"Why does the one on the left kinda more sini- uh I mean that particular one seems to resemble you more sir!"
"The resemblance is already showing eh! Well, of course, they take after my dashing good looks as did my dear daughter Maria."
Luckily there's uncle Geoff to knock us back into reality and some sense of a schedule.
"That's enough of that for now, aren't the children getting a little tired yet. How about a lunch break? The dining hall would be a great place for many of the troops to see the girls all at once."
"Gasp, why didn't I think of that! I'm sorry sweetie pies, are you hungry girls? You are aren't you, yes let's enjoy a nice lunch together!"
Lilyanne and Grampa have matching dumb expressions and are all floating flowers and smiles with one another. It's a little hard to formulate my survival plan here, or even think if grampa grabs me off so suddenly.
Uncle Geoff and a few accompanying soldiers can only stare blank-faced at this idiotic excuse called The Hero. I'd peacefully like to join the sane crowd over there, please let me down you stupidly doting old man.
Oh no he's twirling and spinning with us! No no no I just recovered from a bout motion sickness earlier today!
Uncle Geoff? Anyone? Save me!!!