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Episode 78 - Duties ‘New lifestyles‘
As daylight shone past thin curtains and touched the skin of one three-year-old, she began to stir awake. Immediately after, she sat up and stretched her neck and arms for one full minute before she slipped out of bed. After her face wash routine, she changed and headed for her daily runs as per usual. -- The younger twin meanwhile slept through all of this in peace.
Along the way downstairs, she was greeted by people working around in the house as usual.
‘Good morning Miss!’, to which she replies, ‘Good morning.’
‘Good morning Milady!’, to which she replies. ‘Good day.’
When she first began her morning training, these greetings were usually followed by them inspecting her clothes up and down. Some gave her a big reaction, and some wanted to get her an oversized coat but that problem has already been dealt with. The reason why they had these reactions was because of her ‘weird’ training clothes that had just recently arrived. These were her training-wear she designed at the clothing store they went to a month ago.
Jacket with a zipper, hoodies, jogging pants, short sleeve shirts, and leggings was what she alternated every day. These were clothes that, well… People in this world have never seen before, hence why the reaction. But they have since gotten used to it after a few days and after the other sibling followed suit.
As soon as she stepped outside the house, she was greeted by the back of an unexpected guest she'd never seen during this time of the day, The Eldest Young Master.
“...” Blinking her eyes towards his back, she took a step back for some personal space and began to stretch her entire body before her run. She started by stretching her arms and ended with splitting her legs in front of the entrance to the house.
Louis blankly watched his younger sister do her stretch routine and quietly waited for her. He had already completed his body stretch, minus the split before she came out. After about 15 minutes of waiting for his sister to completely stretch her body from head to toe, they both started to jog together.
There are many running courses you can do at the Veria estate. Why? Because they literally have an entire mountain to themselves. Ignoring the 1 km option, the two chose the 5 km running course without any hesitation.
The two jogged past a beautiful flower field that was blooming, getting ready for summer. Even after passing the field for a while, the smell of flowers still stretched far, lingering in their noses for a long time. The natural view in front of them was a distraction from any thoughts, making the two jog in peace without speaking one word to one another. -- Naturally the sun not reaching its peak height made it easier for the two to run five kilometers as well.
Jogging has been a routine Eugene incorporated into her daily schedules ever since she began her Paladin training. From this, everyone concluded that exercising was something Eugene must’ve particularly enjoyed, especially since this was the first time she took the initiative to do something. Although the ‘adults’ were worried about Eugene being too hard upon herself, they were happy that Eugene found something she was interested in.
… If only they knew Eugene was only running to strengthen her body, aka, minimize the chance of her dying from an unexpected cause.
Eugene’s morning exercise affected other children as well and soon, they too, added running 1- 5 km into their daily schedules; some prefer to run in the afternoon and others choose to run in the evening. When someone asked Eugene why she chose to run in the morning instead of doing it later on in the day Eugene replied with, ‘Because it’s quiet.’.--This statement was true but there was more to it.
While it was ‘zen’ to run whilst listening to the waterfall and birds chirping along the running course without any human talking to her, running in the morning in an empty stomach will push her metabolism to its peak. Not only that but running in the morning will also help with supplying more oxygen to her brain to increase her brain activity and cognitive skills. --This was something she picked up from being a child actress so that her child-body was able to endure many hours of filming, both physically and mentally.
Because of that, she picked up many running techniques along the way. The proper form to run with great efficiency is to keep everything above your upper body at a 90 degrees angle. Chin, 90 degrees angle. Hands, 90 degrees angle. Basically, look confident when you run and not like you're dying. Another extremely important technique for running is to breathe correctly! One must breathe and exhale through both your nose and mouth combined to be able to engage your diaphragm to take in the maximum amount of oxygen it can intake. This method of breathing will quickly make you get rid of carbon dioxide and also help trees along the way; if you run outside.
With her ‘techniques’, before she knew it, she had already completed her daily dose of running today. Together with Louis, they walked to the Veria training ground. From beginning to end, the two did not acknowledge one another, nor did they utter a single word. And like that, Louis began his sword swinging reps whilst Eugene did her cool-down stretches.
After her stretches, Eugene went to the parallel bar and dead-hang herself. And no, she wasn’t killing herself, the dead hang is what this exercise is called. With her hands fully extended whilst hanging from a bar, Eugene held herself like this for about 20 seconds before pulling herself up, completing 1 chin up. She repeated this whilst watching Louis perfectly swinging an aged wooden sword. From what she heard, the Veria family had a vast variety of weighted wooden swords made from a millennium tree. And apparently, the one Louis was holding now was one that weighed 50 kilograms.
Looking at the sword itself, it didn’t seem to weigh 50 kilograms but when you look at the person swinging the sword, it was most likely true that the sword was of that weight. Louis was currently sweating so much that his entire head looked as if it had been dunked in a bucket of water.
Eugene completed 10 chin-ups and decided to call it a day. She wiped off sweat that looked like a grain of rice when compared to Louis’ sweat and took a deep breath in. Slowly swinging her legs, she waited until her legs reached the highest point before she tightened her core and pulled her knees to the bar. Putting all her weight on her legs, she slowly rotated herself and made herself at home by sitting on top of the parallel bar.
After about 30 minutes of staring at Louis’ repeating the same arm motion over and over again, two audible shouts could be heard from afar. Even without recognizing who the voices belonged to, Eugene and Louis knew without a doubt that they belonged to Aernest and Euria. Who else would speak that loudly if it wasn’t the two?
1 and a half hours later…
Two sweaty figures walked over towards Louis, Eugene, and Ramon, like a zombie. Ramon came over 30 minutes after the initial shout and began his sword swinging beside Louis. The two sweaty figures crawled over and fainted below the parallel bar.
“Haaahh... Haaahhhh!!” Euria and Aernest heavily gasped for air. Their fluctuated breathings indicated that they raced each other towards the end of the jog.
“I’m... I’m dying sister!” Euria raised her trembling arm towards Eugene who was sitting on top of the parallel bar. This shaky arm did not last long as it limblessly fell after about 5 seconds.
“....” Eugene, Louis, and Ramon blankly watch Euria and Aernest performing their skits.
After a few minutes of rest, the two crawled up together like worms and began their cool-down stretches. This was heavily stressed by Eugene who told them that the two can neglect jogging, but should never neglect stretching before or after any exercises because that will lead to muscle-related injuries. Finishing their rounds of stretch, the 5 siblings headed home to freshen up before heading down for breakfast.
Because of the inclusion of morning exercises, the five now ate breakfast in a larger quantity. They ate a heap of vegetables along with plenty of protein to replenish their muscles. Upon finishing their hearty meal, Eugene, Euria, and Aernest headed to the study room whilst Ramon and Louis headed to the training ground.
At 10 am the children officially began their daily schedule.
Eugene, Aernest, and Euria’s first schedule of the day is lessons on etiquette. Etiquette is one of human’s most important lessons in life as it helps show respect and considerations towards someone. Also, without knowing these polite customs, you wouldn’t be able to survive long in this society that ranks people by hierarchy.
The etiquette teacher that came was by no means an unfamiliar person to the three kids. When the three were very young, they would crash by Louis and Ramon’s lessons and ‘learn’ with them. As a matter of fact, this etiquette teacher is a distant relative of the three children!
For Nobles, only those of equal or higher family rank may teach noble children. This was however different for the Veria family as they opt for having their family member teach their children. This has been a tradition since the start of the Veria family to guard any secrets leaking out, hence why there was a specialized group within the Veria family for teaching; this etiquette teacher was part of the group.
In today’s etiquette lesson, the children were taught the essence and the importance of greeting. According to their etiquette teacher, this is a basic act of revealing oneself to another, making our presence known, and to recognize and acknowledge each other as individuals.
As a male, one must smile and give the opposite gender, people of higher or fellow ranking people a handshake first; kissing the hands of the opposite gender is more common than handshakes. Nodding is also a sign of greeting however one must not use their upper bodies when bowing unless the person is of a Royal origin.
As a lady, slightly kissing a cheek or a nod to the same gender is to greet. One must not greet the opposite gender unless they do so first. Etc Etc.
At 12:00, the three studied the basic manners of eating. The three were taught to use cutlery correctly, how to properly drink from a cup, and the proper way to eat sandwiches.
At 13:00, the three studied basic dancing. Having Aernest here was handy and made dancing lessons easier. The three smoothly switched partners every 15 minutes and had no difficulties regarding this subject.
14:00 was their last lesson of the day. This subject was on basic maths which was incredibly easy for Eugene but difficult for Aernest and Euria. After their lessons, Eugene gave Aernest and Euria math tips to further prevent the two children’s brains from exploding.
After taking a 30-minute break, it was time to train at 16:00. This was more exciting for the three as they preferred to move their bodies than to sit still in a lesson. Stretching again before their training, they replaced Louis and Ramon who had been in the training field since 10 am. For the 2, it was time for their studies.
Greeting the swords teacher, the three began their first official lesson of the Veria swordsmanship. The first lesson to learning this swordsmanship is to endure, be calm, and have patience, which is what the three then did.
Eugene, Euria, and Aernest stayed still whilst holding up a 5kg wooden sword in an attack motion and were told to hold for however long they could. This training instructor knew about the kids’ morning run so he wasn’t surprised when the three were able to hold on for at least 5 minutes.
10 minutes later….
“......” The instructor’s eyebrows twitched, staring at the three.
‘This… this isn’t patience…’ He stared wide-eyed at the three.
The eldest daughter had yawned 5 times in the past 15 minutes, the younger twin seems to have fallen asleep when they hit the 5-minute mark, and the youngest son has been humming to a nursery rhyme since the beginning!
‘This isn’t the point of training!’ He shouted in his mind! Seeing the children’s nonchalant behavior, he decided to move on to the next training.
‘Do you want to take a break?’ The instructor asked, to which the three shook their heads in unison.
Sighing, the instructor picked up his chart. This chart was detailed information about the children’s health and their intellectual fitness capabilities. Ticking the strength mark, he then motioned for the children to pick up their things. The four then jogged towards the other side of the Veria mountain for their next training lesson, while the instructor gave them the details of the Veria swordsmanship.
To be calm and to endure is the trademark of the Veria defensive swordsmanship. This was followed by having strong legs and powerful visual perception. The instructor then went on to explain that these were two of the reasons why the Veria’s main household relocated to the mountain.
After a brief explanation, they arrived at another training ground and began their next lesson; strengthening the eyes.
Here, hundreds of ropes dangled across a mass area of the training ground. The ropes stretched incredibly far and connected to one singular spot; where the instructor was standing.
The instructor made the three stand behind a white line and briefly explained the training lesson and the game they were going to play. This training is to train the children’s eyes as well as awareness of their surroundings. By pulling a random rope that is connected to a small wooden board placed somewhere in this mass area, they are to call out a number that was written on the wooden board. What the numbers are, are marked at the end of the rope the instructor will be tugging, so mindless guessing is not an option for the children.
“Now, good luck!” The instructor ended his explanation.
‘Hmmm…’ Eugene blinked at the concept of this game. Indeed, this is good training for the eyes as well as to broaden their perception of the things around them.
“I will begin!” The instructor shouted from 5 meters away.
“Yes sir!” The three replied in unison.
Taking a deep breath, Eugene calmed her mind down. Within a second, a brown camouflaged board flashed on the right corner of her eyes. Taking a glance, Eugene shouted.
“3!” Eugene and Euria shouted in unison.
“Correct!” The instructor shouted back.
After 2 seconds, the instructor pulled on another rope again and this time Aernest was the only one who was able to catch sight of the wooden board. “20!” Aernest shouted.
“Correct!” The instructor replied.
The game continued very fast with Eugene and Aernest being in the lead. Euria pouted in annoyance and slowed down on her answers. The first 10 numbers started easy, but as time went by, the instructor gradually started to pull on the ropes fast, giving the children only 3 seconds to look at the answer before he let go of the rope. This became a problem for Euria who started to become frustrated by how fast the game went and also slowly became more difficult for Eugene as well.
Unlike the twins, Aernest didn’t have difficulties and soon emerged as the winner of this game.
“This can also be played at night where you only get minimal lighting from the moon.” The instructor quickly explained that their ancestors also trained in this same way, day and night.
‘Hmm.’ Eugene nodded.
“Elder miss, youngest miss, and youngest sir did well today.” The instructor complimented them. “Especially Young master Aernest. You were incredibly fast, faster than Eldest young master Louis when he was younger.” The instructor smiled.
“No...no.” Aernest rapidly shook his head in embarrassment. He got slightly red from being compared to Louis.
Ending their lesson, the three then walked back to their house.
“You did well.” Eugene looked at Aernest and said.
Peeking at Eugene, Aernest only guilty looked away.
“What’s wrong brother?” Euria quickly asked, noticing his dark facial expression.
“... I..” Aernest sighed. Looking at Euria, he replied. “I cheated.”
“CHEATED? HOW!?” Euria stared wide eyes at Aernest! Excited, she jumped in front of Aernest to stop him from walking. “How? How! Tell me, brother!” She insisted!
“The ropes made noises when they were pulled so I…” Aernest hesitated.
“OH!! Oh!!” Euria immediately understood. She brought her hands to her mouth in surprise before hugging Aernest. “Brother is so cool! I want to be able to hear like you too!” She pulled back and looked at Aernest with her sparkling red eyes.
“Huh?” Aernest raised his eyebrows. He thought that the two would be angry because he used his ears rather than his eyes.
“You didn’t cheat.” Eugene walked forward, leaving Aernest to stare at her back. “I did. I used my ears.” He replied.
“The instructor didn’t say that you couldn’t. Besides, I would also use my ears if I was able to hear as well as you.” Eugene turned at the corner. “Don’t you think you should take advantage of anything you can use?” She asked.
“But only I can hear well! You two only have your eyes!” Aernest voiced his frustrations.
“Hmm.” Euria blinked at Aernest’s concern and replied. “Sister has her head. She can use this next time.” She smiled.
Eugene blinked at Euria’s words. ‘You know you just called your brother and yourself brainless right Euria?’ Eugene thought, shaking her head to Euria’s self diss.
“.... oh.” Aernest nodded in acknowledgment. After a second he frowned and turned to Euria. “What about you then?” He asked.
“Hmmm…” Euria furrowed her eyebrows together before smiling.
“I’m good at copying!”
Author’s Note: You can find out more about swordsmanship in Ramon’s chapter! Man, this chapter was kind of difficult to write because of training and all those things. Ahh!!!
(February - September 2020)
(September 2020 - First half of 2021)