Chapter 16: Subversion of Tropes
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You expected a short chapter, but it was actually me, a long chapter. I wrote this a lot faster than expected.


My brief life in this world always subverted the tropes I read about. I wasn't bullied by my siblings, nor did I have a hidden talent for magic, I couldn't even find a hidden mentor to teach me martial arts. However, I expected the banquet to contain at least one trope, like a broken engagement, or the protagonist wolfing down as much food as he can, even if it didn't relate to me. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met, when I entered the banquet, everything seemed normal. As I scanned my surroundings, I saw some familiar faces, my mother who I hadn't seen much in the past few years, my siblings, and even that jade beauty I saw when I did my ki potential test 5 years ago. Her green skin is slightly disturbing.

I also saw some interesting faces, perhaps the most interesting was a girl who was dressed in red. She had red hair and red eyes, with a red sword and red dress drinking red wine and red food. We made contact for a brief moment before I retracted my gaze and followed the butler to greet Marquis Venson.

Marquis Venson was a tall man with an incredible white mustache. It was hard for me to recall any other features of his besides his large stature and mustache. I greeted Marquis Venson with a good amount of enthusiasm, he was my benefactor after all. I also greeted his family, including Thion's fiancee. It was hard for me to make a judgment on any of them, we hardly met for a few minutes. After some pleasantries with the Marquis family, I made my way back to the rundown hotel.

When I arrived at the hotel, I was greeted by a grumpy Kasa. I was a bit surprised, I wondered what happened for her mood to be so sour, she usually never had an expression like this. I wanted to say something, but the tension in the atmosphere was thick, you could cut it with a knife. We only stared at each other in silence.

After a few seconds, Kasa finally broke the silence "How many new friends did you make?"

I was pretty surprised at her question, but before I could say anything, she continued.

"I wonder how long you attended the party, I bet you attended for a long time right?" She started sniffling "If you've attended for a long time, I bet you made a lot of new friends right?"

Her sniffles started to turn into tears, "If you made a lot of new friends, I bet you don't want to be my friend now." The tears started pouring out now "I bet what you said about both of us only trusting each other was just a lie right? I bet you lied about everything, even not going to the prison years ago."

To be honest, I was rather startled, how did she weave up such an intricate story? Rather than that, how did she connect it back to the prison, I wanted her to forget about that topic. After the initial wave of surprise, a sense of panic began to sink in. I didn't prepare for this, if I made the wrong move, then all the hard work I've put in for the past few years could end up being wasted. I knew I had to reply fast, and before I could even think, my mouth started moving.

"Why would I lie to you, we're brother and sister."

Damn my mouth, I didn't know what I wanted to say, but I knew this wasn't it.

As if on cue, Kasa screamed "Stop lying to me! We aren't really brother and sister and won't ever be."

Fortunately, her outburst gave me a bit more time to think, with the way she's questioning me, she probably doesn't know how much time I spent at the banquet.

"Kasa, I didn't actually spend much time at the banquet, I just greeted Marquis Venson and left. I didn't have time to make friends."
This seemed to calm her down a little, but she still teared up.

"I don't know how much time you spent in the banquet, I was so focused on learning a spell I didn't notice when you left. Even if you didn't spend much time at the banquet, I bet you could make a lot of friends fast. You even became friends with prisoners in a few days, how hard would anyone else be."

How is she jumping to such crazy conclusions? I want to retort that she should be a storyteller rather than a mage, but this wasn't the time. I needed to figure out a way to convince Kasa that I didn't make friends outside. I mulled it over, she wasn't acting as composed as she did normally, I guess this outburst shows that she's still a child. This outburst was also incredibly irrational, I could tell that normal reasoning wasn't going to work.

I had to fight fire with fire, irrationality with irrationality. I thought about telling her that I loved her for a quick second, but I quickly discarded that. I may not be the noblest person on this planet, but even I'm not low enough to tell an 11-year old I loved her as a 9 (+20) year old. I decided on another approach, this approach will probably give me problems in the future, but the problem I'm facing right now is more important.

"You know as well as I do, the outside people are evil. I would never try to be friends with evil people like those." I wasn't sure if this would work, but this was the only thing I could think of. When I saw Kasa starting to return to normal, I knew it was close to working. "You opened my eyes about the evil people in prison as well, there's no way I would never be your friend. In fact, you're the only nice person in the whole world, everyone else is evil."

She slowly repeated the last phrase I said "Everyone else... is evil?" I decided to stop thinking about the future consequences and bit the bullet "That's right, everyone besides us is evil, we can only trust each other."

I don't think she heard me though, she just kept muttering "Everyone else is evil" over and over again. It was, to be honest, quite scary. As I was wondering what to say, she suddenly stopped saying anything and stared at me. She then replied, with a smile that strangely wide and eyes that were dilated.

"That's right, everyone else is evil, we can never trust them. We only have each other, and no one else. We're going to be together forever and ever, after I finish the academy we'll never be apart."

Something was off about the statement. Something was wrong, but I couldn't figure out what. From just the words alone, it seemed like a love confession, but I knew it wasn't that. Her words, tone, and facial expression didn't seem like someone who was in love. It seemed more like, obsession?

It was hard to explain it, but I've seen this look in my past life, I've only seen it twice but I'd never forgotten it. The first time I saw it was when one of my friends told me about his desire for wealth, his tone was slightly different from Kasa's, but the atmosphere felt incredibly similar. The second time was when I saw an old documentary where a serial killer was describing his obsession with corpses, his atmosphere as he talked about dismembering the victims was eerily similar to Kasa's atmosphere right now.

But I was rendered even more confused when that atmosphere vanished in an instant. Kasa apologized for doubting me and left for her room, saying she wanted to sleep. As she left, I wondered if I just misjudged the atmosphere.

After all, I was pretty nervous when talking to Kasa.

Yeah, I was probably misjudging the atmosphere.