“Is there something bugging your mind?” Mom asked with a smile, causing my blank mind to be panicked.
I was still hesitating whether or not I should break the news to someone from my current family, but due to my carelessness, I blurted out my words accidentally…in short, I wasn’t ready!
But still, since the rice’s been cooked, I need to do something, talk about something.
“…Yes, there’s something that has been bugging my mind,” I gulped and said.
“And that thing became the cause of the outbreak before?” Mom asked.
“Yeah…No,” I contradicted myself very quickly. Nevertheless, I added, “Not just that something. I have some things that have been troubling my mind. Perhaps the accumulation of them all caused my uneasiness and my dark magic to be easily manipulated. I don’t even know where to start…”
“Is that so? Then, can you start untangling the knots in your heart bit by bit? Maybe starting from the small, easy knot?” Mom suggested.
“From the small, easy knot…,” I pondered.
“Remember, you have me, your dad, and your siblings rooting for you. We’re always here whenever you feel like you need someone to discuss them with, or if you just want to share them,” Mom gently smiled.
To have someone on your back.
To have someone always be there for you.
To have a kind, sincere family behind you.
A place I can really call “home”.
My eyes felt hot upon hearing that again.
What should I do to make sure this ‘home’ will always be there for me?
I know. I know that one day, I will have to walk my own path and perhaps my parents won’t be there again. Therefore, I definitely have to be able to walk strong even with myself.
And to do that, the biggest knot in my heart…
Will it be okay if I were to tell them about who I was in the past? To get help resolving this knot?
Or simply the fact that I had memories of my ‘other’ self in the past?
Before, my mind would tell me, “Don’t, they won’t believe you. Or they might believe you, but they will see you as something weird. Can you say with certainty that you are you, as Lyra, and not just Reinst? Which one is the true you? Won’t that confuse them as much as you’re confused?”
But right now, in the corner of my heart, there was a voice telling me that it would probably be okay.
Still, I know one thing for sure.
Now is not the right time yet. There’s so much I have to figure out and untangle now.
When I have untangled them more, when I don’t feel as anxious, perhaps by then I should try considering the idea. Whether it’s still necessary. To what extend should I reveal if I think it’s necessary.
It’s not something I can decide spontaneously on the spot.
“Lyra?” Mom asked me in a worry as I was silent for a moment.
“Ah…Okay, Mom. I got it. I will try! I will make sure I tell you or the others if I ever need any help,” I smiled.
“Good. Is there anything else you wish to tell me?” Mom asked.
I hesitated a bit before saying, “Uhm, not yet for now…Thanks a lot, Mom! I’m gonna go to Alt-nii and the twins for another practice!”
I left Mom as I was done with the short rest that I didn’t notice Mom’s small sigh.
“Excuse me, Madam. There are guests from Sanctuaria family outside,” A maid hurriedly came to Mom. I stopped walking to my siblings and turned to Mom and the maid.
“Ah, that’s right,” Mom turned to look at me before continuing, “Grandpa and Grandma are here to see you, Lyra. They’ve been very worried about you that they wouldn’t be rest assured without seeing you in person.”
“Eh? Grandpa and Grandma are old already, they shouldn’t have taken the trouble to!” I was genuinely worried over them going all the way here. Usually, we would be the ones to visit them during the holidays.
“Didn’t we already call them through Provice? Geez, let me go to the front door to welcome them!” I really felt bad that I ought to welcome them myself.
Mom chuckled upon looking at me like that.
Though I was complaining, I was actually happy to have the two elderly figures be so worried over me. This was something I had never experienced when I was Reinst.
In the end, our training that day stopped as we welcomed our grandparents. As always, they indulged us—their grandchildren—very much, especially the adorable twins. Well, since the main purpose of their arrival here was me, I was more or less the focus of today’s visit.
My parents asked them to stay the night for several days after dinner, but my grandparents insisted on going home as it wouldn’t take much time going back to their residence using the teleportation service.
The next day, I came back to school. My close friends already saw me, yet they were still happy to see me back at school. Meanwhile, my classmates heard that an accident happened to me at school and I was injured, so they asked me how I was feeling right now.
When break time arrived, as expected, there were other people who wanted to see me beside my close friends.
The first one was unexpectedly Celeste.
She tagged along with Altaire, Clavis, and Harvey. I guess she had become the member of Altaire’s circle of friends, I guess? I heard that she had always been a loner and that it was hard getting close to her. The fact that she accepted being nominated in the competition was something that everyone in her class was glad of. Then, she and Alt-nii’s team bonded over the course of training.
Either way, it was good to see the additional member of female friend for my big brother.
“I heard from Altaire that you were attacked. I’m so glad to see you alright,” Celeste said as she gently smiled.
“Thank you for your concern, Celeste-san!” I thanked her for her concern.
“So you…have both dark and light magic?” Celeste seemed a bit hesitant to ask me about it.
Oh well…I kind of expected this to happen. Not like I wanted to hide the fact that I had dark magic anymore, so it was fine.
“Yes, that’s right,” I nodded.
“Ah, then wouldn’t that be good? I heard that mastering dark magic isn’t easy and some people were engulfed in the darkness. The light magic can surely help you and increase your success rate of winning over the darkness of your heart,” Celeste kindly told me.
“Really? I better do some more research about magic,” I was surprised that she knew this fact. Did she try finding this for me due to the incident that befell me, or did she find out about it out of curiosity over light and dark magic? Her strongest magic was light, after all.
But well, I’m glad to know that Celeste seems to be a good person. She’s beautiful, strong, and kind. Kinda reminds me of Mom, to be honest.
I glanced a bit at Alt-nii. I wonder if he’s interested in her?
Anyway, the second person asking for an audience with me—or more like, wanting to meet me was none other than Erneste. He was one of the causes of my dark magic outbreak.
Looking at his face right before my eyes, I no longer felt the urge to avoid him because of what I overheard before. Rather, I was amused by his two-faced act that was so perfect. Even his look of worry right now—it was good enough to deceive people that I might be deceived should I not know that he was insincere towards me.
Ironically, he reminded me of my past self, of Reinst. Putting on a facade in front of others. Such perfect mask. The difference between us was that he put on his mask to achieve the things he wanted to have, while I put on a mask to protect my fragile self and to answer others’ expectations of me.
“Erneste, let’s have a talk alone,” I said as I turned to give my friends the ‘It’s alright’ kind of look.
Erneste might be thinking about something else as a glimpse of happiness flashed in his face.
“Of course, let’s,” he said.
I brought the two of us to the school’s empty back garden before I turned to look at him in the eyes.
“I’m ready to give my answer,” I said.
Erneste’s face turned a bit stiff, despite him being able to maintain his smile.
“My answer is…,” I took a deep breath before I said, “I can’t.”
“Lyra…! There’s no need to give me a hurried answer now. Let’s just be good friends, okay?” Erneste immediately asked.
“No. I don’t think we can even become good friends,” I said with a determined look at him.
At the same time, I thought about how pathetic I was for wanting to avoid this confrontation that was bound to happen anyway.
Perhaps it was because I wasn’t used to rejecting people and was still in denial.
But with just summoning a bit of courage, I could stop being anxious. The uncomfortable feeling of confronting someone would only last while I was confronting them, and after that, it should give me a longer feeling of relief.
Perhaps after coming back from ‘the death’s door’ that my clarity of mind returned. No, it was more like after being cornered and pressured to actually address my issues. If not, I didn’t know when I would eventually face them.
“Why?” Erneste asked as he made a pitiful face, akin to a puppy getting abandoned by its master. But I knew it was a facade, so let’s not get affected by it.
“Erneste, let’s be honest,” I said as I walked around.
“What do you mean?” Erneste asked, still pretending to be oblivious.
“…I overheard you talking with your friends. You don’t really like me, right? It’s all for your own ego and benefits, right?” I asked straightforwardly.
“…!!” Erneste’s angelic face twisted.
“So, don’t lie to me. Don’t even show your face in front of me. From now on, you and I—even our acquaintance-ship—is over,” I decisively stated.
“You–,” Erneste’s tone changed altogether from his angelic gentle voice, into that of a threatening voice.
“What?” I tried to lift up my chin and locked eyes with him.
“Don’t you dare tell about that to anyone else,” Erneste still threatened me.
“Tell that to anyone and be ridiculed instead? Hah, as if. Your facade is really awesome, you know? I wonder how long you can keep up the pretense,” I said with a tone of ridicule.
Of course I wasn’t as stupid as to tell everyone about this. While my friends would trust me, others might not. I would be seen as someone who wanted to ruin Erneste’s reputation instead. It would be fine for me as long as I didn’t have anything to do with him anymore.
But still…! To think that he even threatened me! I definitely couldn’t accept this. I wasn’t the one at fault. He should be ashamed and even apologize, hey!
I was really upset now. If only I knew how to induce fear just like Luca did, I would definitely use it at this moment.
I guess that’s more reason I should learn dark magic diligently, then?
“Goodbye, then,” Erneste said as he went past me to go away.
When he went past me, I had an idea.
I used my silent incantation to secretly form a tiny bit of ice on the ground that Erneste was about to walk in. Sure enough, Erneste wasn’t watching the ground where he was walking and had his feet slipped there.
With a loud thud, Erneste fell to the ground.
“Pfft, hahaha!” I intentionally didn’t cover my laugh and let it all out.
“You, what did you–,” Erneste raised his voice again at me as he looked up at me, still sitting on the ground.
“Oh? Do you have any proof? You’re just too embarrassed to admit that you fell out of nothing, right?” I lifted my chin again.
“…!!” Erneste gritted his teeth.
“Let me tell you before you get your head up in the clouds,” I said as I looked down at him.
“You should be thankful enough that I just want you to never appear in front of me again. I didn’t even demand an apology nor did I expose the matter. I can actually do more than that, you know? Between you and I, I wonder who’s stronger here?” I smirked.
At my mention, Erneste’s face that was all bark turned hesitant.
“And maybe you’ve forgotten about it since Harmonia Academy is all about equality. But again, between you and I, who has the lower status?”
I actually didn’t like to make use of my status this way, but hopefully this would be the only exception I made.
Erneste’s pupils widened as if he just remembered it.
“I actually can go and tell my parents about this whole matter, then see what they can do to you or your family…,” I tugged on his necktie as I tried to unleash my dark aura—hopefully enough to suppress him.
Actually, I believe my parents wouldn’t use their status unwisely like that, but with how overprotective Dad was, he would at least be a bit more difficult towards Erneste’s family.
But not all nobles would let it off at that. Some could even do horrible things…
Realizing this, and perhaps due to my unleashed dark magic aura as well, Erneste’s face turned pale.
I think this should be enough.
I let go of Erneste’s tie and said, “Now go.”
Erneste didn’t even utter anything else as he quickly got up and ran away from the spot.
…What a loser.
……But then again, that was to be expected when one noticed they offended someone of higher status. That was a given. If he didn’t feel intimidated like this, then he was simply too brazen.
I combed my hair as I looked up at the sky and huffed a sigh.
Well, one simple knot has been untangled!
Hooray, good job, me!
That wasn’t too bad, right?
[Achievement Unlocked: Threatened A Male Senior~ ✩]
The Almighty Lyra mode was back for a moment…I guess?
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