Chapter 2: Stormy Days at the Castle (1)
6 years have passed since the day Jin selected Barisada.
He no longer had to experience the shame of having his nanny replace his diapers, but it was still difficult for him to imitate the attitude of a child.
‘I want to escape from this Storm Castle already.’
The Storm Castle.
A castle detached from the Runcandel Clan’s main castle. Every Runcandel child cannot take a single footstep outside the Storm Castle until they turn ten, to protect them from assassination attempts.
‘What kind of madman would try to assassinate the Runcandel children? Even their worst enemies, the Zipfels, wouldn’t dare to.’
In actuality, there was a certain case around 200 years ago when someone had attempted it.
The Kungen Clan, another clan of swordmasters, had attacked the Runcandels, and 9 young children of the Runcandel Clan ended up getting killed.
However, the very next day the entire Kungen Clan was annihilated, including every family member and the extended families of the servants, and disappeared into the annals of history.
Ever since then, it had been a tradition and rule within the Runcandel household to have every child remain within the Storm Castle after their ‘Selection’ rituals until they became 10 years of age.
‘I’m so bored.’
The atmosphere in the Storm Castle was indeed worthy of its name.
It was located at the peak of Mt. Murakan, which was presumed to be the tallest mountain in the world. As its name suggested, a tempest was surrounding the castle at all times, during all four seasons. The rain, gales, and lightning constantly affected the mountaintop.
‘This place isn’t suitable for a child’s emotional growth. No wonder my brothers ended up becoming so violent and brutal… It’s because of this goddamn place.’
There were only two other Runcandel children residing in the castle with Jin. His 10 other siblings had all exceeded the age of ten.
Jin and his two brothers, the 5 elite knights protecting them, their nannies, and the 10-ish servants were the only people occupying the Storm Castle.
As soon as he heard the voice calling him, Jin’s frustration and irritation increased exponentially.
The boy calling for him with that annoying voice was Daytona Runcandel. He was older than Jin by two years.
“Why are you alone without your incredible Barisada? Did you lose it? Kuhaha.”
And the other brother who was mocking him was Haytona Runcandel. As their names implied, the two were identical twins.
The Tona twins of the Runcandel Clan.
During his first life, everyone who had dealt with these twins unanimously agreed on one statement.
That they were the Devil’s Spawn.
‘These annoying brats.’
Jin turned around to face them.
He had not a single good memory about the Tona twins.
They had bullied him from an early age solely for selecting Barisada during his ritual.
And one would be severely mistaken to underestimate the 9-year-old brats and their harassments.
The first thing these brothers did when they left the Storm Castle at the age of 10 in his previous life was to assassinate someone. That was how messed up they were by nature.
As Jin didn’t react to their mockery, the Tona twins continued to harass him.
Gilly, Jin’s nanny, had temporarily left the Storm Castle today. The twins had been eagerly waiting for this day to come, and had no intention to let Jin spend the day in peace.
“Oi, we’re talking to you. Where is Barisada?”
The Tona twins had begun to torment him one year ago in this life.
It had started off as some light harassment that Gilly wouldn’t notice. Some examples were locking the door when Jin went to the bathroom, or pouring a bunch of salt in his soup.
But afterwards, it began to escalate. They tied a dead bird on the door handle to Jin’s room, and secretly released a venomous scorpion from the Storm Castle’s garden onto Jin’s bed.
Nonetheless, Jin had endured the harassment in silence.
The twins approached their younger brother with large strides.
As he watched them indifferently, a smirk began to form on Jin’s face.
“Hm, I’m not sure where I put it. Oh, maybe I stuffed it up your asshole?”
The twins froze, and stared back and forth between each other and their youngest brother. That wasn’t the reaction they had been expecting from him.
Despite being innate murderers, the Tona twins were still 9-year-old children. It was an aggressive term for the two of them. When they realized the offensive nature of the expression, the Tonas’ faces began boiling in rage.
“What did you just… Did you lose your mind, Jin?”
“Wake up already. Your nanny isn’t here to protect you today.”
Jin let out a small sneer, and took a step towards his brothers.
The Tona twins weren’t the only ones waiting for his nanny’s absence. Rather, Jin had been waiting for this day to come far more ardently than them.
He couldn’t wait to beat these little demons into submission.
‘My past 7-year-old self could never even have thought of standing up against the Tona twins.’
But he was different now.
Even if the two brothers before him were a decade older, Jin was confident he could kill at least one of them.
Not having realized the urgency of their situation, the Tona twins boldly continued glaring at Jin.
“If you beg for forgiveness right now, we’ll let you off by just breaking your nose.”
“Otherwise, we’ll make sure you’re in a state far worse than the bird on your door yesterday.”
Approximately 5 steps for a 7-year-old. That was the distance between Jin and his brothers in the Storm Castle’s hallway.
Suddenly, Haytona yelped as he crouched on the floor. The startled Daytona looked around to check their surroundings, only to realize that his twin brother’s back was being squashed by Jin underfoot.
Jin had instantaneously narrowed the distance between them and had planted his fist in Haytona’s stomach.
Eventually, Daytona took a punch to the jaw and collapsed on the floor. It was their first time being hit in this manner. Moreover, their 7-year-old brother’s fist felt like a chunk of ice. Cold and hard.
‘Wha-What was that?’
The instant he got hit, Daytona caught sight of a dark aura surrounding Jin’s fist.
But he didn’t have time to dwell on it. As he began to return to his senses, another punch came flying at him.
His painful cry couldn’t escape from his mouth, as if his throat were blocked by something. All he could do was rack his brains and figure out where everything had gone wrong as throbbing tears ran down his face.
No one else was in the hallway.
They had chosen this location specifically to harass Jin, but the Tona twins could never have imagined that their decision would come back to bite them.
“About that pitiful bird you two trampled to death, I gave it a proper burial.”
Thud, thud, thwack.
Jin continued straddling the two unconscious twins and swung his fists as he spoke in a monotonous voice.
‘Am I going too far? They are technically still kids.’
A sudden hesitation came over him, but ended up disappearing as quickly as it had come. The previous versions of the 9-year-old Tona brothers were far worse than the current him. They even made him swallow horse shit.
If Jin were to hold back today, the twins would most likely try to commit similar acts again.
After a long beating, the bodies of the two unconscious twins began convulsing. Their youngest brother finally stood up and looked down on them indifferently.
“You two better do your best not to catch my attention from now on. As long as you want to live, that is.”
Having sensed the unusual atmosphere in the castle, a knight in charge of their protection came running down the hallway.
He was a top-class guardian knight, and normally wouldn’t have been shocked by a fistfight between kids, even if they were from the Runcandel Clan.
However, even he couldn’t help but stare in disbelief at Jin who was looking down indifferently towards the unconscious twins lying on the ground.
‘The 7-year-old young master pummelled his older brothers?’
He couldn’t believe it. Normally, there should’ve been a large difference in physique between a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old. Moreover, the Tona twins had been learning the Runcandel Martial Arts recently.
On the other hand, Jin had yet to start learning martial arts. In fact, he hadn’t begun to learn anything at all. At least, that’s what the guardian knight had been told.
“Young Master Jin, what just…”
The knight asked him as Daytona let out a barely audible moan.
“They started fighting each other out of nowhere.”
“They fought each other.”
The knight realized immediately that Jin was lying, but he couldn’t pursue the matter anymore. He could see Jin smirking, as if everything had gone according to his plan.
While the guardian knight’s duty was to protect the children, he was still an outsider to this family. He was not in a position where he could argue with the young masters of the Storm Castle.
‘I already knew that the children of the Runcandel Clan were violent and brutal, but this just confirms my beliefs… I should just report to the patriarch and stay out of this.’
The knight courteously bowed to Jin. He may be a 7-year-old, but he was still a bona fide Runcandel by blood.
“I understand. Then I shall take the Tona young masters to the doctor.”
“No need. There’s somewhere else my brothers need to go.”
“Somewhere else? Where is that?”
“Carry them for me.”
As the light in Jin’s eyes changed, the knight had no choice but to pick up the unconscious boys on his shoulders.
He awkwardly followed the young boy before him. Jin was headed towards the small mound in the Storm Castle’s backyard, where a heavy rainstorm was crashing down.
It was the bird’s grave. The bird the Tona twins had killed.
The small mound hadn’t been destroyed by the downpour yet.
“Put them down.”
“But Young Master, the storm…”
The fierce rainstorm was about to swallow up the knight and Jin, not to mention the two unconscious boys.
Jin didn’t reply and merely stared at him dead in the eye.
The knight soon realized that it was a command. He could see it from Jin’s attitude. It was the attitude of a Runcandel who was giving a serious order.
He could never have imagined that a 7-year-old could have such an imposing and kingly aura.
The knight had no right to refuse. Even if the command would harm another Runcandel, he still couldn’t refuse it. In the first place, the Tona twins weren’t awake to order him to refuse right now.
All he could do was follow the command of the Runcandel before him.
It wasn’t up to him to consider the consequences of these orders, it was up to the patriarch and the elders. Even if the Tona twins were to die of hypothermia, the Runcandel Clan wouldn’t put the blame on the knight.
Familial disputes and quarrels were common within the clan.
“I shall comply, Young Master.”
He put the twins down in front of the grave. The two boys were still motionless, except for a few occasional twitches.
The Tona twins were rescued two hours later by Gilly, who was returning from her outing.
The two of them had acute pneumonia for a few days, and didn’t dare to look Jin in the eyes until the day they left the Storm Castle.
The continent’s eastern region, the unprotected area. Also known as the Black Sea.
Cyron had been meditating in this monster-infested land for a few days now.
He was merely sitting on the ground, but the nearby monsters wouldn’t dare approach him, even the ones the size of buildings.
Soon, a man covered in the blood of countless monsters walked towards Cyron.
“Greetings to the patriarch. This is Khan.”
It was the guardian knight who had obeyed Jin’s orders and left the Tona twins out in the rainstorm ten days ago.
“Is something the matter?”
Cyron asked as he carefully opened his eyes.
“I have come to report about a dispute between the young masters at the Storm Castle.”
“There’s no way you’d disturb my training just because of a dispute between children. Speak freely.”
Khan explained the details of the incident, and a smile grew on Cyron’s face.
“So, did the twins die?”
“They did get acute pneumonia, but their lives aren’t in danger.”
“Then they must’ve learnt an important lesson. I see. You may return.”
Khan had desperately struggled against countless monsters for three whole days just to make this short report, but he didn’t hold any resentment against the patriarch or the young master. He silently returned to the direction of the Storm Castle.
‘I should go see the youngest for myself.’
And so, Cyron made an appearance at the Storm Castle one month later.