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CHAPTER 2 Act 8

"Um, so, what do you want to talk about?" I ask my sister, apathetically.

"Listen here for a second." she clears her throat and looks at me subtly.

So, after reading the mysterious letter, I went downstairs to speak with my sister. We're currently sitting at a table, facing each other. As I previously stated, I did not despise my sister for being a nosy person, nor did I push her away. I said it because she is undeniably interested in the item (letter) covert in my school bag.

"Hans, when was the last time you started acting like that?"

"What do you mean?"

"From the look on your face right now, I'd say you're pretty pumped up? I don't know how to explain it to you though..."

I can't tell for sure since I don't have a mirror next to me. However, my sister grinned as if she was relieved, but at the same time, apprehensive about seeing me. She smiles to appear both genuine and phony.

Leaving that aside, I'm not feeling fired up or anything. It's simply that I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Perhaps she saw through my eyes, as they say; eyes are windows to the soul.

"What's the point of that? Is it unusual?"

"N-No. I'm not sure what's wrong, but you look like you're getting ready to beat someone up."

Beat someone? Is that the expression she sees on my face? In any case, my expression is neutral and serene. So that's why she appears concern?

"Is that so?"

"Yeah. Anyway, what are you hiding from me, Hans?"

She throws me an admonishing question, which I knew she was referring to when I sent her out of my room earlier.

"I thought you're not interested."

"It is, but are you going to keep it all to yourself? You can rely on me if the load is too much for you to bear."

"Don't worry about me."

"Do you have any doubts about my abilities?"

"Is that how I said it?"

She was startled and frowned as she heard my statement. That was not my intention though.

I'd say anything if I wanted to speak the truth. Moreover, it is in my tendency to keep things the way they are. And if there is a vital issue, I would like to resolve it on my own.

Ideally, in this situation, my sister continues to pester me with irritating questions. But, since she didn't say anything, I tried to reverse and manipulate her feelings by asking this question.

"Would you believe me if I told you?"

"Of course, Hans! Who am I to you?"

"You are my Sister."

And with that, her sulking expression gradually pours down as she realizes I regard her as my sister. It's not that I distrust her; it's just that I don't easily reveal secrets, even if they are in my family or if someone is torturing me to say them. Unless, as I already indicated, I intend to speak. I'm the sort of person who considers his options before speaking.

In essence, no one will ever discover the letter again because I burnt it down before anybody else did, including the letter yesterday.

"Literally, it hurts that you didn't say anything about trusting me."

"Um, I suppose you're going to tell me about something, no?"

I try to shift the subject.

"Jeez. Well, in any case, what Mom said you was correct, I recently discovered something in our family, but it's not that surprising to me."

"Hold on a sec, how do you know what Mom told me?"

"From the start, it was predictable that you'd ask Mom about the organization because you couldn't bother Dad."

"Hn?"

"What? You're doubting me, huh?"

"Does it matter? Basically, you know what I'm doing from the start?"

Primarily, I don't cast doubt on her. I ask her that merely to double-check my assumption. And, as I had predicted, she began by deducing the scenario. If I recall well, she stated, Am I supposed to be left out? That meant she wanted to participate in the conversation. However, if I allow her to join immediately, she would most likely want to go deeper into it. And it's annoying.

"Hoh, you're being a bit evasive in your response, Hans. So, what did Dad mean before that? Have you ever considered it?"

"Ah, obviously it was an organization thing, right?"

"Yes, specifically regarding Ms. Eve?"

So as she spoke, it made sense that she knew nothing about Ms. Eve other than the fact that she was the Principal.

"Don't ask me."

"I bet Ms. Eve was one of the leaders, considering her relationship with our parents."

"Huh? Get me to the point."

We don't have much time, it's late, and my sleep has been ruined.

"Remember what you said about not rushing things?"

This cheeky sister, she's definitely making fun of me.

"You remember some unnecessary things, huh?"

"It's just ingrained in my memory."

This was typical of her attitude towards me. It was frustrating, but I wouldn't say I disliked or liked her acting that way.

"All right, like I mentioned, I noticed something in our family as we were moving to this city."

"Then?"

"Wait a minite, it's strange. I thought you knew all along, Hans?"

"If you knew I was aware, why didn't you consult with me first?"

"Ah... e-eh, I'm busy with my studies."

"Nn? Are you busy so you can learn about the 'organization'? If you look instinctively, it's too conspiscious. "

"Well... the fact is, I want to see your reactio—No, no, no, not that... Um... I want you to figure it out for yourself and see whether you're capable of doing so, teehee~" she give me a forced grin.

"Lies. Anyway, you absolutely have no intention of saying to me from the start, don't you?"

From one point of view, she appeared to be making excuses, but plainly she was avoiding telling me why she didn't say anything about what she discovered then.

"Sister Irene?" I called out her name since she was staring at me.

"Um, right... To what I know, this organization started few centuries ago and it still working as of today."

Centuries? I'm sure these people are pretty great at upholding tradition.

"And the enduring tradition is still there; we trade information, create connections, and acquire influence; different groups are still standing, although ours has just been a few decades, according to the documents."

"Documents?"

"U-Uhm did I say anything?"

"I don't know if your statement was intended but I don't care, please proceed."

She gave a coaxing smile and continue, "Among these Organizations, they have fifteen recognized Families."

When it came to imparting what I needed to know to this new world, my sister definitely didn't hold back. True, it's difficult for me to believe, but unfortunately, I can't get away from this reality.

"In these many families, it's inevitable that organizations have disputes, whether between organizations or just inside the family, so it's a little scary to think that we're participating to such..."

"Scary you say, huh."

Sister Irene stared at me with a puzzled and frightened expression on her face.

"Say Hans, are you not afraid?"

"Er, afraid of what? Do you mean getting killed?"

It immediately brings back memories for me. Well, I didn't receive the sense back then since I was apathetic. Additionally, I don't speak that term very often; it's only that I'm going to do it right away. There's no need for me to hold back in a fight.

Even so, my sister was aware of my feelings; take note, not my emotions.

"Ha?! Shh... keep down your voice, Hans. You're too direct."

"Um, but I'm not frightened."

"You know what--No. Hn, it's reassuring to hear that from you Hans."

"It's me after all?"

"But, Hans..."

"Forget me Sister Irene. Is there anything else?"

I'm sure there's more, so I'll go right to the point.

"Ah, there's more to it; our family is a member of a prominent group."

So, in retrospect, Principal Eve must have been from the same Family as ours based on the fact that she knew both of our parents.

"Hans, I'm quite amazed that you're not startled; your face is still the same."

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yup... Anyway, getting back to the issue, these Organizations were hiding behind well-known names, you know in 'big names' in businesses."

"Hmm. It appears they are well-known people."

"Yeah, perhaps."

"If that's the case, then who is the leader in our Family?"

"E-Eh? That's... I don't know in particular."

"..."

I stayed motionless and glanced at her dumbfounded expression, not knowing if she was lying to me or not.

"Above all, Hans, we must contribute to this world. We are descendants, therefore we must accept duties. We lived our lives as if it were normal, but we must take notice of our obligation. Hence, as of today, treasure your friends and establish links between them—"

"I don't have one though."

"Hn? Then make one."

"..."

The hush engulfed me as I returned my gaze to my sister. She's not sure if I'll take a chance and make friends; but still, the choice is entirely mine.

"Speaking of which, what about Dad saying I joined the organization? Is it our Organization?"

I'd rather ask this simply to be sure that I'm not missing any parts of the puzzle in my head.

There are two possibilities in my mind right now about Dad's message: [Get Ms. Eve.]

One is that Ms. Eve is from another Family that is recruiting me; and two, is that Ms. Eve wants to welcome me to her school because I am a transferred student and the son of a friend of hers. This question will be answered if I know where I belong.

"I'm not sure because Dad didn't say anything."

Just I had guessed, my Sister didn't know.

"When I asked him, Dad suddenly cut off the phone. Though, I recently joined our Family. You see, there are Fifteen Main Organizations as far as I remember, but we are under the Light Family."

"Light Family?"

"You didn't know, but Light Family is one of the Fifteen Main Organizations, or to put it another way, Fifteen Main Families throughout the world, and as I mentioned, we are part of the most influential group."

"Indeed, you said it."

"Moreover, there are many families that were under them, much like us; but our Grandfather was well-respected within, I'm not sure why. So essentially, we are considered as a respected Family too because of that."

"Hold on..."

I immediately stopped her because this was becoming more and more confusing.

In my memory, our grandfather was a pleasant and reliant man, according to what my sister describes him. I'm not sure how I felt at the time since I had the indifferent feelings of a seven-year-old. My sister always tells me how beautiful his smile was. Once again, I can't recall what I was feeling back then. As far as I know, our grandfather seldom visits our home, so his image of me is hazy.

Looking back, I don't recall hearing anything about our grandfather, let alone our grandma, from my parents. Nevertheless, my sister seemed to be quite proud of my grandfather's accomplishments.

Clearly, it was surprising event.

"What's the matter, Hans? Are you perplexed?"

"If you claim our family was well-known, isn't there a potential that someone in our lineage may follow in our grandfather's footsteps?"

In the worst-case scenario, we'll have to fight over the successor. And because I'm not interested in these things, this will be a hassle for me.

"Not exactly, since we have our cousins."

"Ah come to think of it, you're right."

I suddenly felt relieved, and at the same time bothered. I was hoping they would make a smart choice for a successor.

"Um, Hans, it was bugging me for a while, but you appear to have gotten used to it, and now I doubt you know anything."

"Do I look like it?"

"Not so..."

"..."

"Well, for further information, entering the Family is a bit tricky; anybody is welcome to join, but leaving stands with a compensation; yet, if someone in the higher-ups recruits you, no one will oppose it because it was their decision, unless there is a one-step process. "

"Hm, process?"

"I don't know exactly the process."

I'm not sure if I'll be pleased or not, but most of all, I was astonished. Although, I'm not sure how to accept this. Definitely, because my family was involved, there was no way to avoid my joining procedure.

I had cooled down a little, but it was still a crazy world to conceive of me participating in.

Because this is something new, I figured I'd take it halfheartedly.

"Is that it?"

"Technically, yes..."

"Then let's call it a day."

"Huh? Why so suddenly, Hans?"

"It's late."

When I looked at the time, it was already twelve o'clock. As soon as I stand up, Sister Irene calls out to me.

"Hans, don't try to runaway, okay? The principal wants to meet you so..."

I don't say anything further about it, and I leave her alone at the table.

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Ihip-Ihip

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