However, the first man didn’t use violence.
There wasn’t even a sign of it at all.
Instead, all that came was some small grumbling.
“What a stingy kid.”
“It was your fault.
The first man grumbled at the second man’s words.
I guess it was a father-son relationship.
‘Isn’t it Big Bear and Little Bear then?’
I looked up at the Big Bear.
Thanks to the release of the illusion magic, I could finally see the two’s real faces.
Little Bear had black hair and unusual golden eyes, while Big Bear had normal brown hair and pupils.
The color of both their hair and eyes were different, but that was all.
The Little Bear was basically the Big Bear but just fifteen years younger.
“Just what did I do wrong?”
“You can’t just touch someone without their permission.”
“But she’s a jerk who attacked Father!”
The Little Bear looked unhappy, but Big Bear just stared at him silently and then whispered to me.
I blinked in surprise for a moment.
The Little Bear had a little dissatisfaction in his eyes, but he seemed to concede, maybe even agree.
‘Looks like it’s not that he has a bad personality… Just a little young…’
I thought he was an adult because he looked about 20 years old and his voice was thick.
But looking at the way he spoke and acted, it looked like he was only in his late teens or maybe even younger.
“How owd are you?”
I couldn’t pronounce my words well.
It was natural because I was only seven years old.
My upper and lower front teeth were missing and my tongue was still short.
So, it was only natural that I couldn’t speak normally.
But the Little Bear burst into laughter.
“Wow, you’re so cute! Say it again.
How old are you?”
I glared at him with force in my eyes.
“Are you glaring at me? That trick is so cute! Dad, look! She’s so cute!”
Big Bear, who was looking at me silently, had an expressionless face, but both ends of his firmly closed lips crept up.
At least I think.
‘Is that a smile?’
As if answering my question, Little Bear cried out.
“Wow! Father laughed!?”
I shook my head and asked the little bear.
“Why did you bwing me here?”
The Little Bear’s golden eyes glittered again.
“Are you reawwy going to make fun of my pwonunciation?”
Instead of an answer, all that I heard was a bout of laughter.
I was really angry this time.
“You’re also a child! You’re just as young as her.
How can you make fun of her?”
I think I’m going crazy! It’s so funny that my stomach hurts! Hahaha!”
I was shaking with anger.
Trying to calm myself down, I looked up at Big Bear.
Annoyingly, however, both ends of Big Bear’s lips were higher than before.
Fortunately, when Big Bear saw my expression, he advised Little Bear.
“Juliano, stop laughing.”
Thanks to that.
I found out his name.
‘I’ll still be calling you Little Bear though.’
After all, that’s what he looks like.
The Little Bear said with a smile, his eyes shining,
“Hi Diamond, I’m Juliano.”
“I don’t like the name Diamond.
My name is Dia.”
Some kids said that Diamond was too long, so they called me that way.
I liked the way Dia sounded too.
I liked the meaning of Diamond, the hardest of the jewels, but it was creepy to be called by the name the Director gave me.
“Of course, Dia.
This father’s name is Heladius.”
“What’s your last name?”
I didn’t think these two were commoners without surnames.
They were definitely nobles.
High-ranking ones at that.
Except for the existence of beings chosen directly by God to become warriors, mana was usually passed down by blood.
And usually, the stronger the power and mana, the higher the status.
‘Little Bear is weak compared to me, but by general standards, he is already very strong.’
Not to mention Big Bear, who was much stronger than the current me.
‘That’s one hell of a high level of power.’
In my previous life, I heard a brief explanation about the high noble families of the Empire.
‘These guys must at least be of Marquis status.
No… Is it a Duke Family?’
The only two Dukes, along with the Emperor, were the pillars that supported the world by just their existence.
I was told that the continent could only be maintained because of the fact that direct descendants of their lineage remained.
When I glanced at the Little Bear, I thought of the black leopard with golden eyes.
‘If I’m correct there’s a Duchy that uses it as a family crest.’
“We are from the Leocardia Duchy”
I finally remembered.
A family that protects the weak, practices justice, and is called the ‘Empire’s Shield.’ They protected the people from all kinds of monsters, but they weren’t called the Empire’s Shield just because of that.
It was because whenever the Empire was in a state of danger, the family stood at the forefront and blocked it.
‘If the Emperor is the one that puts the empire in danger… Will he be subject to the shield’s might too?’
I’ve heard that it had actually happened before.
‘These two bears must be directly related to the Leocardia family.
Is the Big Bear the head and the Little Bear the heir? But why would the Duchy’s people come all the way to this country estate?’
I wondered so, but it was none of my business.
I asked again.
“Just exactly how old are you?”
I’m 13 years old.”
“What did you say?”
Oh, wait! You don’t know how to count.”
The Little Bear then showed ten fingers with his hands open.
Next, he folded his thumb, index finger, and middle finger, then folded the rest as you normally would.
“What I mean is that I’m thirteen.”
“I know how to count!”
“Hey! Are you going to keep ignoring me? I said I know how to write and read!”
“Wow, that’s great! You’ve been calling me you, but I’m older than you.
You should be calling me Brother.”
“You’re not my brother! My family has long gone!’
While I do think I have parents, I didn’t know who they were.
So technically, I didn’t have a family right now.
I said it with that thought in mind, but suddenly the Little Bear’s eyes widened in surprise.
He then looked elsewhere as if he was avoiding something and spoke.
Big Bear then put his hand on my hair.
It was similar to before, but there was a feeling of patting.
‘What the hell?’
I stared at the Little Bear, then turned and faced the Big Bear.
“I can tell why you brought me here.”
“Let’s eat dinner first.”
He responded with this.
And with solemn eyes, he scanned me from head to toe.
“You have to eat well.”
“Yes! You’re too small!”
The word ‘small’ pierced me.
I glared at the Little Bear.
The Little Bear then grinned and pulled a cushion out of a subspace.
“Sit down here for a second.
I’ll prepare a meal for you.”
“It’s cold in the woods, so put this on.”
The Big Bear put me on the cushion and wrapped me in a thick, fluffy blanket.
It was a careful and meticulous touch, contrary to his rugged body.
Little Bear then asked,
“Dia, what kind of food do you like?”
“You’re going to give me food?”
‘Can I really eat it? Don’t tell me it’s poisoned.’
Even if it was poisoned, it wouldn’t work on me because I’m a warrior.
‘If it’s food for a princess, the food would be good right?’
I thought it would be alright to eat.
The Little Bear quickly put his hand over his mouth.
It was an act to cover up his laughter.
I turned my head at the annoying sight, only to see Big Bear pulling this and that out of a subspace.
He had the ends of his lips slightly raised as before.
I observed the two bears cooking with my mouth closed.
‘…I think they’re good people…’
It is said that generation by generation, the Pope has been handed down [The Book of The Brave].
A book filled with all knowledge known of the power the Warriors bore.
In my previous life, the Cardinal never allowed me to see [The Book of The Brave] for myself.
He only explained that he already knew everything and that I needed not to worry.
He said that in the book that there were three main powers the spirit of the warrior held.
[Rejuvenation] that restores the body’s state quickly.
[Battle Ability] such as offense and defense.
[Intuition] that was the instinct to feel crisis, see through the essence of actions and judge the truth.
The Cardinal also placed emphasis on the fact that the warrior’s [Intuition] only worked on monsters.
However, I now knew that it was a lie.
Intuition also worked when looking at people.
And I could feel that these two had no bad intentions at all.
It was warm and felt good.
There was an unknown friendliness.
Cardinal, who I was afraid of from the beginning, and the adults at the orphanage who were horrible.
I could feel that Little Bear and Big Bear were different from them.
‘But just in case, don’t believe it!’
I glanced at Little Bear who was scooping some soup into a bowl.
It seemed very hot with steam rising from it.
The Little Bear looked at me, looked at the soup, and used some magic.
The white steam that had risen above the soup was slightly reduced.
‘Why is he cooling it down?’
I soon found out why.
“It’s hot, so be careful.
The Little Bear gently placed the bowl in my hand.
He was big and had a scary face, of course, terrible energy flowed from him.
But he was sweet.
His voice, his eyes, his gestures.
‘I feel like my face is… burning up.’
After confirming that there was nothing wrong with the soup using detection magic, I swallowed a spoonful of the soup.
“How is it?”
Big Bear then approached and held out a plate of meat.
“Have this too.”
Overall, the meat was nearly the size of my entire face, but it was cut into about 30 small square bites.
‘….He must be good at fencing.’
“Dad, isn’t this too small?”
“Dia is small and young so it might get stuck in her throat.
Chew it well.”
The Big Bear said with emphasis.
At first glance, it sounded like a threat to kill me if I didn’t.
However, there was no such thing and the atmosphere was very friendly even when Little Bear was considering the meaning of the words.
“Yes Dia, you don’t have front teeth, so make sure to chew using the sides.”
The Little Bear smiled brightly as he said those words.
He was definitely young.
‘Is he really 13 with that body?’
It was a bit of a shock.
The Little Bear looked at least 20 years old and at most 23.
‘Doesn’t that mean he’s seven or ten years younger?’
I’m going to retaliate for being teased earlier.
I’m old-fashioned, but it’s amazing that you know that word! You’re so smart! Great!”
The Little Bear smiled brightly again.
The attack missed heroically.
“The Duke’s family is special in the way that all the children grow really fast.
The fact that I’ve grown up so fast since I was young is also the reason why I’m old-fashioned.“
“Then doesn’t that mean you’ll age quickly?”
After obtaining the body of a 20-year-old on my twelfth birthday I’ve been aging slowly.”
I heard that the people of the Duchy were special, but it was still so fascinating.
“Dia, how old are you really?”
I really didn’t want to answer.
I frowned silently.
“Three years old?”
“Or four years old?”
I ignored him again.
The Big Bear who was eating quietly intervened.
“She’ll be five years old.
At least that’s how tall she is.
Dia, you’re five years old right?”
I wanted to tell them that I was already seven, but I thought that if I did they would make fun of me for being small.
So, I shut my mouth.
The two bears, however, seemed to think my silence was a sign of agreement.
“You’re definitely five years old! Yeah, it’s because you’re young that you’re so small.
Eat a lot of meat.
That’s how one grows.”
I wanted to throw the bowl right away at the face of the little bear, but I held it in.
I couldn’t throw away such precious and delicious meat.
I ate hard and I tried to finish it all, but the amount was so large that I could only succeed in eating half.
I stroked my full stomach.
The Big Bear and Little Bear then looked at my stomach with serious eyes.
Somehow, I felt ashamed and grabbed the loose, old hem of my dress and covered my bulging belly.
“Your clothes are a little… But we only have men’s clothes…”
The Little Bear looked at my clothes with disapproving eyes.
“Father, why don’t you fix her coat.”
“It would be better to buy new ones at a clothing store.”
“I’ll be right back.”
The Little Bear sprang up from his seat.
I said in a hurry.
“The price for new clothes is high.
Hey! Why are you bringing me here?”
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