The training ground was massive and it took a lot for Kaji not to scream and jump in delight as soon as she entered it.
“What had I been doing this whole time?” She mutters to herself as she let her eyes roam over the ginormous world down below.
The reason why she had not visited the training grounds previously was that she was of the idea that it would be the usual flat platform where people will come and spar but oh boy! She was extremely far from the truth.
The building was dome-shaped and it looked unassuming… much like what she thought it would be like. However, the moment she stepped in, the wind that burst from there to greet her, the chirping of birds, and the sound of rushing water simply swept her off her feet.
The door was apparently the highest point of the training ‘ground’. It was rather like a small balcony from where you could see the world down below and by world… she meant a literal world.
From the entrance, a stair leads down, attached to the wall to the world below where literal mountains and rivers were! There were giant-looking cliffs, waterfalls, and out-of-world shapes of earth mounds which she could only assume the people with powers made it.
Here, birds and animals also existed judging by the sound they were making. It was like nothing she’s ever seen before but if she were to compare it with what she saw before, it would be like a tropical jungle where wildflowers grew and bunches of flowering trees existed side by side and it just seem to go on for miles and miles.
Was this Harry Potter? How is this possible?
She walked down the stairs marveling over how the plants were so fresh they look almost fake. Of course, like every human being ever, she reached out and pinched it feeling satisfied that it left a mark and left some moisture in her fingers.
There were fruit trees and most definitely growing out of season… Like mangoes and oranges fruiting side by side? That’s impossible… or maybe it was in this world.
The stairs, although situated by the side of a ‘jungle’ was wide and well carved that it made her know that she was still in the castle although… not really.
Stopping every now and then, she tasted winter fruits and summer berries and ones which she’s never seen before… like the yellow round-shaped berried with black stripes reminding her of a wasp. That was weirdly savory.
Nevertheless, she was having the time of her life.
She had come alone today by successfully avoiding her maids or guards. It was suffocating to have people follow you at all times especially since she had been traveling alone for almost all her life. She appreciated them but she really needed adventures like this… on her own.
As she walked further down where a river was, she wondered about how the entire manor was in frenzy over her father’s arrival. Her mother had forgotten all about her while the women of the house ordered dresses to fit them, pilling them higher than the eye could see. She wondered why they would go to such lengths about a missing father figure.
But she liked the chaos that was in their household because it made it all the easier to run away.
It was a long way down but every step was fun. The sound of the waterfall and the chirping of birds along with the cries of monkeys really made her feel… rooted.
This… this was where her heart actually belonged. It was awfully amazing to live in a castle with maids running about fulfilling your every wish but that lifestyle really wasn’t cut out for her. Perhaps she enjoyed it for a day or a week but after that, it felt too coddling and much too much for her wild soul to handle. It was getting to her nerves to be exact.
She enjoyed the wind brushing against her cheeks and the wild calls of nature. Nature never has a proper pattern but that made her heart filled with gladness and for the first time after meeting Sehun, she felt her lips lift up in a genuine smile.
Thinking of Sehun, she wondered how the boy was. It had been about three days since she last saw him. She wondered if he snuck into their territory for another nap.
Honestly, she wouldn’t have minded going back out the next day but her body gave in and she was unable to go about for the last two days making her two maids fuss on her with extra care.
Today, her body felt lighter so she had come out and she was glad she did.
She still had a long way to go down when a sudden wave of noise filled the space overriding the birds and waterfall making her turn to look up.
Oh crap. Out of excitement, she had forgotten that the Doh siblings were nearly foregoing their sleep to practice. Judging from the orders given by their mothers, she could only assume that their father evaluates them on their performances every time he comes back.
So basically this was an exam and they were cramping all lessons.
She gasped loudly when two of her brothers literally floated down that tall height into the pits below where she could not even see because of fog. At that, there was a rumble all throughout the area and at the side of the staircase, a smooth surface appeared… almost like a slide.
What on earth?
But before she could think any further, sounds of excited hooping came and she watched in awe to see her siblings sliding down that smooth land.
Of course, she was in awe before they all noticed her presence and slowly came to a halt to where she stood.
“What on earth is this disabled doing here?” Her older sister immediately spat her words while the brothers rolled their eyes at her. Yuki simply kept quiet.
She let her eyes travel to their clothes no matter their hostile expressions. Oh…! The two girls were actually wearing soft-looking billowy pants! Where would she get those?
Those two brothers who had disappeared into the fog flew up at that moment making her jaw drop.
“What is holding you all up? I was of the opinion that we will start as soon as we reach.” What was his name again? Jeon? That was another older brother of hers, right after Kyungsoo. He was tall and handsome but really… nothing much from that because he ignores her existence.
Her siblings snickered at her expression but she couldn’t care less nor the snide remarks about her being stupid or lame or disabled.
“You can fly!” Her lips went ahead to state that before the Jeon brother of hers could notice her. He seemed to have suddenly tensed hearing her voice but turns around to look at her and slowly flew down to land a few steps above where she stood.
Doh Jeon looked much more doe-like as compared to Kyungsoo and Yuki, who was his full sister looked a lot like him. The family’s natural mob of black hair sat on top of his head and of course, those strong eyebrows to match.
“Why are you here?” His question came out as a whisper when he said that… almost like the wind bought it to her.
In the absence of Kyungsoo, it was only natural that he took up the pedestal of being the oldest and so perhaps he was being… dominant?
“I wanted to see what the training grounds looked like.” She shrugged, not really giving much thought to the hostility in the eyes of every sibling present there. She knew dang well that they could all kill her but she already died once anyway… the second time seemed not much of a problem.
“You know…” He suddenly scoffed making Kaji turn her attention from the Banana plant to him, “If I hadn’t known any better… I would think that you’re here to cause trouble.”
Kaji frowns at that and opens to retort but was outspoken, “Given that everyone favors you despite you being… absolutely worth nothing… You could make up a story and blame us all over again.”
She turns to look at Yuki at that knowing that the younger girl had much hand in this. Usually, the older brothers ignored Kaji given her weakness and her ability to avoid them in the first place but that wouldn’t stop the two girls from spinning lies.
“After all, I know how much you used to lie about Yuki and Jinae being a bully.”
In the eyes of the brothers, Yuki and Jinae could never do any wrong. In fact, Kyungsoo loved and adored them both as much as he loved her but that was not the case for the other brothers.
At the mention of that, the other brothers all literally glared at her making her feel quite conscious of her weakness. Right now, even if anyone was to lay a hand… or a finger on her, she could not defend herself. Her physical body was weak and she had absolutely no power.
This group of people was well built, well-fed, a zealous bunch with great powers.
So she decides to be the adult one here and shook her head. “I have no intention of doing anything. I came in here to see how this place was since I’ve never seen it.”
But Jinae was already by her side, glaring down at her. Jinae and Jeon were much taller compared to her and Kyungsoo. Dang, it! Why was their mother short?
“You liar!” She screams looking like she was expressing a lot more than just that. Unlike Yuki, Jinae could not hide her expressions well. “Why on earth would you come down in a place you have never been without a maid by your side if you say you are not doing a thing? Were you planning to poison us? Poison the air? The trees? The water?”
All the time she talked, her eyes kept getting wider and wider, her body coming closer and closer to her until Kaji had backed up against the moss-covered wall.
Gee. This family was really sweet.
And yet it did not help that her body was already accustomed to bullying and this triggered it. Her heart dropped to her stomach in fear, her hands shook and her knees turn jelly almost making it impossible to stand properly, her eyes immediately dropped to the ground.
Come on, Kaji! She encouraged her own body to be strong… Come on! You’re stronger than this. This is just mild… shouting.
“You’re just a pathetic waste of space. How could you call yourself a noble when you don’t even have power!” Her voice was loud enough to echo throughout the forest. “And yet for some reason, they fawn over you as though you have something we don’t, simply because you’re sick! One little kick and you’ll be dead without knowing anyone ever knowing.”
No one said anything while she continued. “Pathetic! You do know that the engagement to the prince was only because they pitied you. You do NOT deserve the prince nor anyone else for that matter. You should have just died the other day. How dare you wake up again?”
Despite being an adult, knowing that those words were not directed at her, her heart squeezed with pain, and her eyes prickled with heavy tears.
Oh… Poor Kaji… To go through all these and to die before she could even enjoy life. Poor, poor Kaji.
It stung her that her own sibling will say that to her because back at home, she and her younger brother were not the closest but they were alright.
She missed him dearly. Little Hobi.
“Leave her alone.” A rather deep voice calls out. That was probably Taehyun, Jinae’s younger brother. “What can she do? Besides, I don’t sense any poison from her.”
At that, her knees give out and she plops to the ground.
“Sister!” Kaji inwardly rolled her eyes as she heard Yuki’s screams. She was certainly enjoying this because she only made a move when someone else said something. “Oh, you poor dear!” She exclaims looking at her with those lovely doe eyes. “You’re so weak and sickly. Don’t strain your body.”
What seemed so innocent sounded foul coming out of almost as though she was joyous over how she was so ‘weak and sick’.
“Let’s go.” Jeon’s authoritative voice sounds making them all sigh. Judging by the sounds of tapping and sliding, she assume that they were all gone… safe for Yuki.
“It would be beneficial for you to just stay put in your room,” Yuki tells her with what she believes was a worried tone, “You do know we are powerful and what Jinae said wasn’t far from the truth.”
Kija whip her head up to look at Yuki at that not really surprised to see the younger girl smirking.
“Rest well. We’ll go through with our practice.”
Yuki hopped away merrily as though she couldn’t hear the erratic pants of her sister or the tears that flowed down her face.
Oh… They were a bunch of cruel people.
But at this rate, what could she possibly do? She couldn’t chase them out and she wasn’t evil enough to actually put them in trouble.
Noises began to emerge from below. There were numerous rumblings of earth and shaking of trees. Violent wind and whooshe