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   7 Years Later

   
    (Randall is now 15 years old.)

    I can't believe seven years have already passed. In that time, my relationship with father has become much better. Though I'll never forget how he treated the original, I decided to give him a chance. He's been a good dad. Hell, he's the first parent I've had that I know I can count on.

    As for Tabius... he still doesn't like me. He doesn't hate me anymore, but he doesn't go out of his way to talk to me.

    School is tiresome, but not because of bullies. Ever since everyone found out my true identity at my debutante, they've been kissing my ass trying to win my favor. In a fit of pettiness, I called out the entire class I used to be in. To this day they still have trouble making connections with others because everyone knew my father despised them.

    Serves them right! Haven't they ever heard of don't judge a book by its cover?

    Guess not.

    Anyway, Rakesha still teaches me combat, but I've learned a few other things like how to make a bow and arrows. Belle is still my one and only servant. She's pretty much become my mother.

    She makes the best chocolate mousse ever.

     And I'm scared shitless right now.

    Why? Because today is the first day of year 11 for me, and this is where the game starts.

    I've been able to avoid the capture targets and the prince so far, but who knows from now on? Maybe the game will automatically put me in misleading situations that could end up with me being brutally killed just like the original.

    The best thing to do would be to run away and migrate to a different country, but who knows what father would do to get me back?

    Not only that, but it'd be a lot of work and frankly I have become a bit lazy. Blame it on the years of Belle spoiling me. The only reason I haven't become the human version of jigglypuff is thanks to my strict training with Rakehsa.

    "Young master Randall," Velan (The family butler mentioned in chapter 4) knocked on the door.

    "Come in." Velancame in with a letter on a silver platter.

    "You know, you could just give it to me by hand." I grabbed the letter by hand anyway. "Who is it from?"

     "Your brother."

    "What does he want? He never comes to me." I opened the letter, my curiosity piqued.

    A friend of mine is requesting your presence. Come to the western garden gazebo.

    "You'd think he was addressing a commoner or servant." I crumbled the paper into a ball and threw it in the fire.

    "Are you not going to go?"

    "Why should I? It's not like I'm aiming to be the next Duke anyway."

    "Er, but-"

    "Please leave it be, " I settled further into my chair for added effect. "Besides, I'm rather comfortable right now."

    "...I see. Well, please excuse me then." I noticed Velan's hands trembled.

    "Wait," Velan turned around.

    "What is it, young master?"

    "Who is this friend anyway?"

    "It's the prince, young master."

    "..." An awkward silence fell over us. "The... prince?"

    "Yes, young master."

    "...I am air. I do not exist, okay? Tabius has poor mental health and has delusions that take the form of a younger brother. Understand?" I resisted the urge to jump up from the chair and run away.

    "I-I don't quite follow what you're saying, young master." Velan looked perplexed.

    "Just tell them what I told you, okay? Now you can go."

    "...Then I'll take my leave, young master." Velan still looked bewildered as he shut the door behind him. I sprang from my seat and proceeded to grab my "emergency trip to town" bag and climbed down the side of the building.

    I stealthily crept through the bushes.

    Then I heard them.

    "What do you mean he refused to come?!" Tabius roared, "that insolent little mongrel! I'll get him myself!"

    "Calm down, Tabius." A sultry deep male voice said. "I'm quite curious to get to know him more."

    "Prince Harvard, there's nothing likeable about him." Uh, excuse me? There is!

    "Everyone has a redeemable trait." Wait, they're getting closer! I need to get away instead of eavesdropping like an idiot.

    I took a couple turns through the bushes.

    Only to nearly run smack dab into Prince Harvard, who came through a bush wall.

    "I knew I heard a little mouse skittering around in here," he smirked.

    "Prince Harvard, what are- YOU!" Tabius glared at me, "you little-"

    "I am air." I said with a serious face, "you saw nothing."

    While they were temporarily confused, I ran away.

    "Hey- get back here!" Tabius shouted.

    I ignored him and darted out of the estate.

    Dammit! Why is this turning out to be like those cliche otome reincarnation novels?!

    Third Person POV

    "How interesting," Prince Harvard chuckled, a sadistic smile spread across his face. "I wonder what he'd look like crying."

    "Geh," Tabius shuddered as goosebumps covered his body, "you're something else."

    "...Take me to his room. I wish to do a little research on him."

    "By going through his room? What good will that do?"

    "You'd be surprised by the things you can learn about a person by looking around in their room." Prince Harvard smirked.

    "Alright, I have practice soon anyway." Tabius led Prince Harvard down the halls. He stopped in front of the doors leading to Randall's room. "This is his room. I'm going to get ready for sword practice."

    Prince Harvard entered Randall's room and locked the door behind him. He didn't want any disturbances.

    "Now, time to see just how interesting this little mouse is."

    I wonder what Prince Harvard will find in Randall's room?

Randall: Hey! You can't just do that! It's an invasion of privacy!

Harvard: Oh well, do you really think I care?

Tabius:...

Randall: Get your little friend out of my room you scumbag!

Harvard: Hm? But I'll only come out if you beg hard enough.

Randall: No way in hell!

Tabius:...I am air.

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