“What a strange world.”
Joon-young expressed his thoughts as he watched hot water pour out from the sink. In the old world, science was what brought human civilization to its peak. In this world however, it was magic. Reading a setting where magic reached similar heights as modern science was common in fantasy genres, but experiencing it in person was a different thing altogether.
When Joon-young looked into the mirror, a scrawny child looked back at him. When Joon-young smiled, the child smiled too, and the same happened when he sighed.
“Are you confused? I’m confused too.”
After having a quick wash, he went back to his room. The room was quite extravagant for a hospital. He relaxed on the chair and emptied his mind. Slowly, Isaac’s memories seeped into his head. He didn’t know why, but Joon-young’s consciousness took place in Isaac’s body, and Isaac’s memories were filling in the blanks for him. Thanks to that, Joon-young didn’t have the problem of learning the language and culture of the new world. It also helped to keep his sense of identity through the sudden change in the environment after his death. However, this only happened when his mind was blank. His mind slipped in and out of consciousness—of course, not by his own volition. To a simple observer, he looked like he was about to lose his mind. The hospital staff mistook that behaviour as PTSD from the recent massacre and left him alone, giving Joon-young plenty of opportunities to work through Isaac’s memories with haste.
“Tsk. I can’t tell if this is good or bad.”
Joon-young snickered as he remembered Isaac’s childhood. On one side, he was lucky; on the other, he was pitiful.
He was the firstborn son of the Rondart Family, which was a Baron family. This fact alone would set him up for an easy life as a noble. Unless, of course, you were the son of a concubine. The problem started when his father met his mother, a commoner, during his vacation and fell in love at first sight. If it was just a one-night stand, a cover up could have taken place to hide it. But his father was so persistent that the only way to silence him was to marry her. The position of wife was impossible due to her birth status, so she ended up as a concubine, and Isaac was born between them.
Although his father and mother were deeply in love, the family’s elders and vassals pressured his father into remarrying. The woman was the daughter of a Count. This marriage happened when Isaac was one year old.
Obviously, the new wife wasn’t so happy about the existence of Isaac and his mother. When she gave birth to 2 sons of her own, she acted as if Isaac and his mother didn’t even exist. At this point, this would have been a common family problem within a noble’s family. The successor to the name of Baron would go to the legitimate son from the wife instead of Isaac, while Isaac got to live as the ‘son’ of Baron. It was a good compromise for both sides. But it all crumbled when the current Emperor came into power.
The current Emperor was also an eldest son who was born of a concubine. He also had a younger brother who was born from the Empress, but it was clear those two cared more for each other than Isaac and his brothers. When their father passed away, his brother willingly gave the throne to him. He stated that, according to tradition, the eldest ascended the throne. The 2nd prince forfeited his claim to the throne and the eldest prince, born from a concubine, took the throne without any issue.
If a mere baron were to select their second son as the family heir due to the bloodline of the firstborn, it would be taken as an outright insult to the emperor himself. It is at this moment that the wife’s harassment began, and her sons soon followed in the bitch’s actions.
On Isaac’s 10th birthday, his mother and father passed away from an accident, destroying his life completely. Since the lord at the centre of the feud died, an heir to the title must be declared, but all the candidates were too young to take the title. Following the rule of crown to the eldest, Isaac should have been declared heir, but no one would try to support Isaac, who had neither power nor lineage. In fact, the vassals tried to make his existence a secret.
And so, without proper education and at the mercy of even the servants working in the mansion, he grew to the age of 15. It was on this day that his life turned around.
All sons and daughters of nobles were automatically enrolled to the Empire’s greatest educational facility, the Campus. The capable officials of the Empire had pointed out Isaac’s status of imprisonment within his own home and had been requesting for Isaac’s enrollment for five years. But the Baron’s family even pulled in favours from the Count power to delay it as long as possible. What they wanted was the loss of Isaac’s title as the legitimate successor.
‘We were too embarrassed to send him, as he isn’t so bright, but you can try your best.’ That was all they needed to say at this point. The age of 15 was too late to learn anything. Only a genius or extreme effort could catch up to those who had a five-year head start.
Not only that, but the second son of the baron, Isaac’s little brother, had qualified for and enrolled in the College. This was an honour only given to the brightest minds and talents within the Campus.
‘Our first son is a little dim. But look at the second son; he’s bright enough to attend the College. So for the future of our family, we have no choice but to declare the second son as heir.’ This was their plan.
Joon-young wondered why they had this completely unnecessary plan when they could have fabricated a fatal accident or poisoned him, but it seemed that the investigation bureau in the Empire held incredible power.
They would scour the Empire for any information when it came to successions of power, making it difficult to forge any incidents. There was a case of a viscount family who had an issue similar to Isaac’s situation. When it was found out that the death of the eldest son was a murder orchestrated by his brother and his relatives, the entire family was confiscated of all their possessions, and their family’s name was removed from the nobility registry. This made it difficult for Isaac’s family to scheme any plots against him, resulting in his isolation.
But the family also had no interest in making Isaac’s travel comfortable either. Isaac was shoved into a wandering merchant’s wagon like luggage to be transported to the Campus, as the family saw no reason to organise a convoy for his travel. This band of merchants was the victim of the first monster attack in 10 years, taking the lives of everyone but Isaac. As soon as the combat started, Isaac hid under the wagon, cowering in fear then fainting when something knocked him in the head.
“Then I came about.”
After the quick review of the memories, Joon-young, no, Isaac sighed briefly. It was a fresh start, albeit a problematic one. The biggest problem was his future.
“First of all, am I really Joon-young? Or am I Isaac with Joon-young’s memories?”
After a brief contemplation of his own identity, he snickered.
“Whatever it is, I have to live on again.”
There were countless ways to kill himself if he wanted it. But he couldn’t do that. Those who died before him acted as shackles to keep him going. But he had no reason to live to his fullest either. Experiencing so much death in the battlefield had left him empty inside. He would try to live on as a husk, only because he couldn’t die.
“A new life… I don’t know why I got dropped into this place but I’ll take it as my vacation.”
Joon-young, no, Isaac’s empty eyes looked up into the sky. Whether it was god or the devil who dropped him into this world, he would simply live on for now.
Brief report on surveillance target 728
Surveillance level 4
It has been declared the target is currently suffering from PTSD after the incident, but it is unsure whether this is due to the shock from the incident or due to a Type 3 invasion.
His fluency with language is acceptable, and the records of his past do not provide enough evidence to prove whether his personality has changed. Requesting for further investigation.
Although he needs continued surveillance, surveillance level will be dropped to Level 5, considering his age and the teaching schedules of the Campus.