Although he was also a child of Lord Albert, the fact of the matter was that his mother was only a concubine. As such, the treatment given to him was completely different from the treatment provided to Luke, the child of the legal wife.
Celebrations for Luke were always grand. The food served were always delicious. And the presents he received would always be numerous and expensive.
On the other hand, celebrations for Raul were always meager. The food was no different from usual, aside from the addition of a simple cake. And the presents he received were always a fraction of what Luke got.
“Oh, my poor Raul. You should have been the heir and yet…”
Raul would often hear his mother say so.
When it was assumed that Lord Albert’s wife wouldn’t be blessed with a child no matter what, Raul’s mother—who was serving as a maid back then—was chosen to be a concubine. And in just a year after that, Raul was born.
Raul’s mother was from a low-ranking noble house and thus had no Gift, but just the fact that she became pregnant was enough to make House Albert rejoice. And when she successfully gave birth to the heir apparent, they all celebrated.
However, not long after—in only a few days in fact—it was discovered that Lord Albert’s wife was with child. After a few months, she successfully gave birth to Luke.
As a result, Raul was no longer considered to be the heir. Furthermore, it was decided that Luke, despite being born later, was to be considered the older brother and Raul was to be the younger.
“I’m so sorry, Raul…if only your mother was from a better noble house…or if I had a Gift…maybe then, your position as heir wouldn’t have been stolen away from you…I’m so sorry…”
Raul would always be rendered speechless whenever his mother would apologize profusely like that. At first, he blamed himself for it, then his fate, until eventually, he blamed Luke. In his mind, his mother wouldn’t be suffering like this if only Luke wasn’t born.
His feelings turned into hatred, and only grew over the passage of time.
However, when they turned 12, everything changed.
“Luke Albert-sama, your gift is…let’s see, [Village Building]…”
During their blessing ceremony, it turned out that Luke failed to inherit their father’s [Sword Master Techniques]. Moreover, the Gift he got seemed entirely useless.
“Raul Albert-sama, your Gift is…What’s this?! Your Gift is [Sword Master Techniques]!”
On the other hand, against all odds, Raul managed to inherit their father’s Gift.
Lord Albert, who has been partial toward Luke, showed Raul a smile for the very first time. As for his mother, she was so overjoyed that she began to cry.
From that day on, everyone’s treatment of Raul changed. Even his mother—who was pretty much driven into obscurity—became treated favorably.
Thanks to his success in getting Luke exiled as well as the opportunity to showcase the power of his Gift and his leadership capabilities in the war that occurred soon after the blessing ceremony, his position as the heir was pretty much secured. Or so he believed.
“Two layers of walls, each one better than those in the royal capital, a population of at least 10,000, a dungeon… what is this nonsense!? You, you have the gall to show me this nonsense!?”
Some time later, Raul learnt of the rumor about a grand city that was built in an unbelievably short amount of time. According to the rumor, the city was supposedly in the wasteland where Luke was banished to.
Due to how ridiculous it sounded, Raul didn’t give much credence to the rumor at first. However, as more information about it came to light, the more he grew worried that it might be true.
“Luke…! How are you still alive!? Are you going to get in my way yet again…!?”
He has been robbed of the position of being the heir before, but he had no intention of letting it happen once again.
As such, he assembled 5,000 soldiers and departed to attack Luke and that city.
Unfortunately, what awaited Raul in that wasteland was a series of unfortunate events.
A labyrinth made of intimidating castle walls.
The steady disappearance of his soldiers.
A fall to a moat that wasn’t there a moment prior.
The rampage of a Tree Dragon.
The experience of being blown far away by just one person.
His elite soldiers being easily beaten by a group of civilian-turned-amateur-soldiers.
At that point, he decided to use his last resort in order to take down Luke and turn the tide of the battle. When he leapt at his brother though, a wall appeared out of nowhere and stopped him.
More surprisingly, he saw that wall change into a gigantic golem before his eyes.
“The wall…this isn’t earth magic, no…so then, what, it’s this prick’s Gift? His [Village Building]…!?”
If their father knew what Luke’s [Village Building]—which they thought to be a useless Gift—could actually do… If their father knew Raul challenged Luke and then lost…
Raul would once again be displaced as heir.
“No…I won’t…I won’t be defeated by…the likes of you…”
Raul was then sent flying by the golem’s punch.
The will to fight was still strong within him, but even then, he was unable to stop his consciousness from fading––––––
“I won’t lose to youuuuuuuuuuuuu!”
–––––Raul shouted so as soon as he next opened his eyes.
“Was…was that just a dream…?”
Raul wondered so.
But all hopes of it being just a long, awful dream were dashed when he looked at his surroundings and realized where he was.