ASTRID and Reas entered one of the three space shuttle that was set to go to the Academe Planet. It was not that big, probably only the size of a small plane in ancient earth. With a capacity of 60 seats. There were two rows with 15 two-seater each. Once inside, Astrid chose the last two-seater on the left row. He picked this because he knew Reas would want to sleep again. Without too much interruption, his twin brother would definitely sleep better here.
"Reas, go and sit inside," he said, letting his brother to sit on the innermost seat beside the window. This way, no one would disturb him.
Reas glanced lazily at his brother immediately knowing what he was thinking. "No, you sit there. I'll sit near the aisle."
Before Astrid could react, Reas already gently pushed him to the innermost seat. After that, he sat beside him. Knowing how popular this brother of his was, if he let him sat near the aisle, many of their batchmates who were here in the same shuttle as them would definitely try to surround him.
As if to support his guess, their batchmates who entered inside the shuttle and spotted Astrid would immediately brighten and greet him. So, a string of 'hello, Astrid', 'hi, Astrid', good day, Astrid', had been continuously heard for quite a while. If Reas was not here, these people would surely not be done with just those simple greetings and would stay and talk to Astrid more.
Of course, his brother being his brother, greeted them back and smiled at them gently. And then Reas would hear fluttering sighs from both boys and girls alike, as if affected greatly by his brother's smile. Which was probably true in a sense. That continued on until the flying shuttle left the space port.
"Aster, you know there's no need for you to cater to them too much," Reas said in a voice that only the both of them could hear.
Astrid glanced at his brother and smiled. "I'm not catering to them. Greeting back someone when they greeted you is just common courtesy. You should do it from time to time."
But Astrid knew himself that it was not just 'courtesy' but more like occupational habit. He was treating them as 'fans'. Yes, it's quite narcissistic of him to do that. But he couldn't help it. Because they were looking at him with the same gaze as his fans in his past life. As if he was their most admired celebrity. So, he couldn't help but treat them with gentleness and politeness.
Reas snorted. Just thinking of him acting like that was already giving him goosebumps. "I'd rather not."
Astrid chuckled at his brother's reaction. "You do know I don't really treat everyone like that."
He was only like that to those who looked at him with nothing but admiration. But if that admiration was mixed with something like love, or even worse, obsession, he would treat them indifferently and would try his best to avoid them. Because giving them any kind of reaction would only fan their obsession even further. It's the same way for those who thought they were in love with him. Treating them gently would only give them needless hope. And he was simply not the type to do that.
"I know. If you treat everyone so kindly, I might ask our parents to send you to some planet with a harsh environment so you could exercise your ruthlessness," Reas said leaning back comfortably on his chair.
"My, Andreas Townsend, you would really do that to your older brother?" Astrid said amusedly.
"I just don't want you to be taken advantage of."
"Don't worry, that won't happen. Do you really think I'm some kind of soft persimmon? You might have a stronger physique than me, but I can take care of myself."
"I'm your younger brother, it's my job to worry. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't worry too much. But who told you to be born so pretty?" Reas said, that last part with an almost sarcastic tone.
Astrid punched Reas arm jokingly. "I told you not to call me that."
"Yes, yes, I shouldn't say the obvious."
Astrid rolled his eyes. "Okay, you're just being annoying."
Reas glanced at him and grinned. "Well, it's also the job of the younger brother to annoy their older brother."
Astrid stared at his twin brother's face. If he would smile more often, he would probably be much more popular than his 'pretty' twin. Just look at that face, he could be a star right now with just him sitting there and doing nothing. Out of the two of them, the word 'pretty' applied more to Reas than him.
"By the way, little brother, when do you plan to tell our parents about your acceptance to the Imperial Military Academy?" he asked, changing the topic.
The Imperial Military Academy was the top military school of the Empire. It was located at the Emperor Star. All the important personage in the Empire's military went to that school.
Reas applied there three months ago. The exam was held virtually, so he didn't need to go anywhere else and just had to log in to his virtual pod. And last week, he received his acceptance letter. He was admitted to the military academy's mecha combat department.
Reas had always wanted to be a mecha pilot. No, it's probably more accurate to say that he'd been fascinated with mechas ever since he was able to go to the virtual world to pilot one. The only way to legally own and drive one was to be a soldier. So, he always planned to be one. And he happened to have the perfect qualification for it.
He had an SS level physical strength and an SS level mental strength. Piloting mechas put a lot of strain to the brain and the body of a pilot. So, it's better if one had a high qualification. The higher the qualification, the greater the ability of the pilot would be.
That's why Astrid was never worried that his brother might not be accepted. With his qualification, the military academy would be crazy not to accept him as a student. His only worry was for the future. Although there were no wars to fight, there were still a lot of rebellion happening within the Empire. Not to mention those space pirates. One could also take into account possible threats from alien races.
In short, it's a very dangerous occupation. If it was only up to him, he'd rather not let Reas do it. But this was his brother's dream. Who was he to hinder that?
"Not yet," Reas answered his question. "Maybe we should do it at the same time. That way, we could probably minimize the damage."
Astrid cringed just thinking of that scenario. Because just like his twin, he was also admitted to a school at the Emperor Star. The only difference was the school he was going to attend was a performing arts academy.