I was Born the Unloved Twin
Oi, why am I being increasingly surrounded by dangerous people?
...Okay, stupid question.
Isn't that part of the goal? Find more powerful people and ally them to my side? Resources aside, Rosalia didn't know everyone and everything, let alone matters that didn't pertain to her.
I've already seemed to change so much in the coarse of action in these two short years, most of the time by doing nothing. I'm a baby after all.
Of course, there will always be unexpected events and runs ins. I can't call them all ahead of time, my knowledge is dependent on one person's worth of memories.
It's no big deal to be caught unaware with no idea with how to handle the situation. Perfectly normal, expected once in a while even. I'm no control freak, well I try very hard not to be when my life is on the line.
Still sucks though.
The whole time since yesterday I was expecting some type of confrontation, something to spiral even more down a bad ending for me. Obviously I heard something I shouldn't have. Where are the threats to keep quiet? The interrogation to come?
But nothing came?
There were no reactions or anything different in Amar's, Lukas, or anyone's behavior.
Most likely the knife boy didn't say anything to his friend, not to anyone. It's possible he thinks I didn't hear much anything, or if I did I wouldn't be able to understand given my age.
I don't think that's the case.
He knew I was there beforehand. He knew it and patiently waited until Lukas left before immediately attacking. I could have been killed so easily. Just a little further, if he was a little more careless with that bade I would be dead.
I don't need such a dangerous reminder about how weak I am.
I'm just a normal human child here. No enhancements, no magic, and barely any physical training. If anyone or anything wanted to, I can be easily squashed. Like a little bug. Squish Squish guts and no more Rosalia.
That's still much better imagery than whatever happened last time I died.
And so after contemplation and staying up in a shocked anxious state all night, I am throwing myself into training! It's fine given my family background right? I don't need to be epic level strong, just enough to hold off attackers and escape. A normal person like me can work up to that much right?
What good are my cheat memories and ideas if I can't save my own neck?!
After much thought, I have decided that whatever drama is going on here is not my active business.
I won't pass up the opportunity to find out more, if the chance comes by, but it's not my priority. I must put myself first before anything and anyone else.
"You sure you want to continue those, girl? Give up any time now little princess."
I grit my teeth and keep holding the damn plank pose. At least it's not push-ups.
The instructor munching a fruit above me is of course Tamera. I've already done a full set of stretched and basic cardio and am now working on building arm and core strength. Sounds excessive for someone my age no?
Apparently not because the people in grampa's troops are absolute monsters! The children are absolute monsters and the adults shouldn't even have to be mentioned.
This much muscle strain is fine, I can still handle it. It's not like I never worked out before. In these two years, I've tried to keep active and done basic safe exercises to build up my strength and flexibility, primarily for control since I physically could. But again control is just so hard for a child. Their hand-eye coordination is so oddly out of sync.
I am no exception.
So Tamara's suggested weight and endurance training are much more productive for me as of now. I just need her to explain some things and advise in the way gym instructors do. Please teach me well so I can keep it up!
"Geez you're so hyped up today."
"Yes Ms. Tamera. I'm ready for anything you give me."
I am absolutely fired up! Please teach me how not to die so easily. Really, I don't wanna meet death so early again. Also, please teach me how to use a weapon soon? Please? Anything!
All I have are practically useless memories of anime fight scenes and of random YouTube videos. They'll give me plenty to work with creatively in the future but not right now, not unless I get some OP powers. Yeah, I don't have much hope for that.
There was always my subtle fencing and hidden weapons lessons from the original good's memoreis. I don't know how well that ranslates to the me right now in this tiny body. I'm a squishy toddler.
So, of course, no one, not even me, trusts my strength to support a sharp weapon yet, let alone the fine control or motor skills to use one without injury.
"Sorry Tamera, it's probably my fault for scaring her before."
"Oh dang back already kid? I don't need to ask if you finished all 500?"
Tamera half scolds have teases at the approaching child. I hope that the shivers that run through me aren't visible, my instincts still screaming to run away from danger despite knowing better. It's very similar to how I am around grampa sometimes.
"Haha I'm not Lukas? All done and accounted for."
"Meh, you brats are basically the same to me. Can't control your strength at all, try not to go stabbing civilians next time you're out."
"Yes Tamera, will do. But I can say the same to you."
"That was like only 4 times and they practically asked for it."
The official story that I graciously, fearfully, allowed Amar to tell everyone that night was that he and Lukas were out finishing their drills and practice hunting some game.
They had split up at the end. Reasonably, that deep in the woods Amar has mistaken the rustling of foliage as a game beast rather than a person and pounced. That's when he found me, frozen on the spot but unharmed. I must have been shocked scared by the killing intent and the brandished weapon, which was how he brought me back.
Of course, I have no reason to refute his words, keeping rather mum.
It's an easy believable story, not exactly wrong and saves me from thinking up another excuse for myself. I also won't argue against or frame the one who just had a sharp dagger to my throat.
About the issue beforehand, the words between him and Lucas- well if he doesn't bring it up then neither will I. I don't believe for one minute that this kid thought I was a cat or a fox or any other critter. He knew someone was there and listening, unfortunately, that person would be me. Either he wants to play dumb or thinks I don't understand the matter.
That works for me, not my business. I won't pry about things I can't handle. No more sharp pointy things to my throat. Or any other soft sensitive part of me, I'm delicate.
"Oi princess, you don't have to scared of this one. Won't harm a fly unless it's for orders. Now, Lukas, that kid is an absolute terror even for me, and I work with the actual monsters."
Tamera's attempts at reassurance is odd but shows she must have noticed my nerves and unnatural reactions.
Father was right, I need to practice schooling my emotions down better. But I can't help but still be a little frightened of the older boy who just had me in a knife-hold, all over some damn eavesdropped secrets, not too long ago.
"Haha sorry about that, it's not all her fault." laughs off the child responsible for my scare.
Practice schooling those emotions Rosalia girl. You can do this, you're a wonderful actress after all. Show father wrong!
"...I'm sorry too, I shouldn't have been wandering like that. I should have said something to alert my presence. It was my bad."
I keep my head down in a polite gesture, eyeing any abnormal reaction through my hair. Nothing out of place, maybe I'm just worried about nothing. But better safe than sorry.
"Yeah yeah good ya'll made up. Amar train yourself better to tell the difference between civilians and others. Rosalia, I don't know, I guess try not to get yourself killed so easily or something."
Gee thanks, great advice.
Tamera can't help but laugh at her own joke while I can't help the shiver that goes through my spine. That hit too close to home, far to close. She didn't mean it like that but it's the truth for me. My goal in life is ultimately not be killed! I have too many awful memories from before and this was too close a call.
"Then is it possible to start advancing my lessons? We'll be heading back south in the same direction in a few days. There would be plenty of time."
"Eh I don't know about that kid. These dangerous things aren't exactly your speed yet."
While she says this she pulls and near juggles a series of blades that seemingly appeared of nowhere. Watching her smooth graceful movements makes me realize the only thing I've been allowed to touch so far have merely been wood and a worn riding crop to practice handling a whip.
More than just disappointment swells in me. There's also fear, anxiety and unheeded dread. I'm so pathetically weak and this life is so dangerous.
If I stay sheltered inside my whole life I'll eventually be sacrificed and mercilessly killed, just like before. But to live beyond the protection of the manor means constant risk, from beasts and humans alike. I have faith in my intelligence to get me through and that intelligence is saying right not that I need strength.
Literally, physical strength, in order to fend off being attacked before I can retreat. I don't need to be a powerhouse like grampa or Tamera or even what these brats Amar and Lukas are. Hell even whatever my cousins are doing!
It's foolish for a noble of my standing to be truely defenseless. There's too many risks all around, from assassinations to more random kidnappings.
Just enough to survive, some cushion if I could spare it.
I absently chew my lip as I quickly figure out how to respond to that. How do I convince Tamera to give me an opening? Just a little and I'll worm my way through with self-training.
"Um, if I may say something here?"
"What up kiddo?"
Tamera raises an eyebrow when Amar speaks up. She nonchalantly shrugs but starts casually throwing blades at the boy?!
He catches and re juggles them one by one easily despite her lethal throwing speed. They act as if they're conversing while handling supermarket vegetables instead of actual knives.
Absolute monsters. Anyone that is approved by grampa must be monsters.
"Why not start with wood then?"
"That's dumb, even for you kid."
"I already did that!"
Tamer deadpans simultaneously with me. Wooden swords and practice planks are standard procedure. We may not interact all that much but he's been sidelining and passing by our training lessons enough to see that.
"No, I mean why not start with a staff. A full wooden staff? If Rosalia wants to start using weaponry in an adaptable style then train up with a staff? I still like to use mine when I have the chance. It practices using the while body in alot of thins? Control, speed and agility? But without bloodshed? Well, you'd have to hit really hard for blood to come out."
Well, that was unexpected. Like a glorified walking stick?
Wait now that I think about it, it wouldn't be a bad idea.
There's plenty of cool martial arts using a pole of some sort. A wise old master character isn't complete if he doesn't have a stick to mysteriously whoop ass. Not very flashy at first but yeah I can see how the training potential applies to future skills.
No bloodshed indeed but plenty of bruises and broken bones to the other party. That reminds me of how I whacked the stupid prince into a crying ball a couple of days ago. Yeah, I can live with this.
"Huh a staff you say, a 'bo'. Yeah, those look simple enough no one would question it. Subtle. I remember using those, not too rusty yet."
"Not at all Tamera, your lance techniques are also quite adaptable. I'd appreciate your lessons and spars myself."
"I'd beat your little ass if I could just hit you once."
The tanned kid sighs childishly, looking very much his age and not the terror I am now cautious of.
"Which is why I wanna practice more. Everyone who's ever free is so sword oriented, even Lukas. They're not slow but you know how it is? Sword sword swords...Ah you can even use your lance or test your new weapons on me."
"Oi, where did you hear about those?"
"I've heard from others and Lukas heard from even more people. Then there's Vincent, he talks a lot in his sleep. I actually don't know if he's actually sleeping."
Oi wasn't this training talking supposed to be for me? How was it redirected so easily? I'll excuse it for now since it directly benefits me but isn't this rather ominous?
This dumb brat is a surprisingly smooth talker, will have note that.
Either let's focus on getting stronger...and not dying so easily.