"My brother Licht is not incompetent!!!"
A voice echoes in the castle.
The name of the pretty girl who defends me is Ellen von Estark.
Count Estark's daughter.
She is also my sister. Well, not completely my sister, she's my half-sister.
My mother was a milliner's daughter whom my father, the Earl of Estark, had brought home with him when he returned from a trip. The earl already had a wife and children, so my mother was what you might call a concubine.
A concubine has always been a person who is exposed to undesirable looks, ill-treatment by people, and even frowned on by maids.
My mother is no longer in this world. She died years ago, but still, they continue to belittle her even in her death.
As the son of a concubine, I also inherited mistreatment and unwanted looks.
First of all, I am not allowed to use the name "Von". "Von" is a title that nobles in this country put between their first and last name, and having this title is proof that you are a nobleman.
That's why my name is 'Licht Estark', not 'Licht von Estark'.
It is said that the Earl's wife was even opposed to my having the Estark surname, saying that it would be a disgrace to the family for me to have it, but somehow, they managed to convince her. so I was allowed to use the Estark surname.
Well, I think I'm getting way off topic. But I think this has been a clear explanation of my position in the Estark family.
In other words, I am an "abomination" to these people.
My place in this environment is relatively low, and I am treated as if I were a servant. At first, it was impossible for Ellen, the daughter of the Count's real wife, to get close to me. But she protected me and was with me at all times.
Today she said, "My brother Licht is not incompetent!" as she was arguing with her mother.
Her mother, Minerva, replies in a sarcastic voice;
"You're very kind, Ellen. And that makes you more useless and incompetent than that bastard."
"I have told you many times that my Brother Licht is not incompetent!"
"No, he is incompetent. And the proof of that is that he can't use magic."
Ellen could not respond to such words.
That's right, I can't use magic.
"The Estark family has been the first to produce a court magician for generations. We have served this country with magic, so if you can't use magic, are you really a child of the Estark family?"
"Brother Licht is of the Estark lineage! He is my father's son!"
Ellen defends me, but it has been said since I was in my mother's womb that my origins are questionable.
It is said that my mother was mistreated for being an unfaithful woman, and lied about my real father to obtain wealth.
However, that suspicion was dispelled when I was born and the Estark family crest appeared on my shoulder. All the children of the Estark family have this crest.
Even so, Minerva and the others remained suspicious of me.
She ignored the fact that I had the family crest. But she seems to still want to justify her words with the fact that I can't use magic.
"Even if he's a bastard, it's not good that a son of the prestigious Estark family can't use magic."
"My brother Licht cannot use magic, but his swordplay is excellent."
"Oh, that's good. Then it's time for you to leave this house and live like a mercenary."
"Do you want to banish him?"
"Yes. The bastard is fifteen now, which means he's grown up, so there's no reason to keep him at home."
"But my other brother is older than him, and he's still at home."
"Of course he is, but unlike that spawn, he is my son."
"And Litch is my brother."
"'Ellen, you've had this bastard on your shoulders since you were a little girl, but that ends today. It's settled. Unless he shows some magical talent by tomorrow."
"What do you mean?"
"Just as you have heard. Before we expel him from this house, we will test his magical power. That will be my last mercy to him."
"...And If he proves he has magic potential. Will you let him stay here?".
"That 's right."
Ellen ducked her head as she grabbed the hem of her skirt.
She asked permission to leave the room.
Before his mother could respond, she quickly walked out with her shoulders bent and his head lowered.
"Brother Licht! Come on!"
She yelled loudly, and pulled me by my hand as we headed for the armory.