The new thing in this eleventh birthday of mine was…well, now that I got three more friends, and naturally, they were all here~!
“Congratulations on turning eleven, Lyra-san.”
Such a rigid sentence was uttered by Briar-Rose as she formally curtseyed as well. Her gesture was, by all means, stiff. It was apparent that she wasn’t very willing to use the formalities with me.
Even I felt kinda distant from her because of this display of formalities, and…
I feel sad being treated like this.
As to why Briar was acting this way…It was pretty simple.
Next to her was a girl older than her with slight resemblance of Briar.
Primrose, Briar’s sister, was definitely a beauty. Her reddish brown hair was long and wavy in comparison to Briar’s medium length hair of the same color. Her ash-colored eyes were soft and calm, unlike Briar’s sharp and energetic ones.
“I’m Aiglentine Primrose Remus, Briar’s elder sister. Congratulations on turning eleven, Lyra-san. And I also want to thank you for taking care of my sister,” she said as she elegantly curtseyed.
Though she said those words, the air around them signified unfamiliarity instead. Most likely, she was trying to portray the good sister role, but I already knew their awkward relationship.
Briar’s awkward attitude also showed how she was probably pressured to do it. Though this was the expected formality between us as nobles, we were friends after all. And I preferred the usual Briar. Not this kind of distant Briar.
“Congratulations on turning eleven. You’re young, but you’re promising. I heard you’ve been in special classes all this time? Even Prim is impressed by you, right, Prim?”
“Dad, please!” Prim-san acted bashfully.
“My, this girl has always been like this. Though your age gap is further than with Briar’s, I think Prim and you will have a lot you can talk about, seeing how similar you are. Our Prim is also bright and friendly.”
“Mom, come on, you’re making me embarrassed too. Uhm anyway, it’s true that I hope we can be good friends as well, Lyra-san.”
The Remus parents congratulated me and tried to curry up favor with me. But I noticed how the conversation dynamic was going. Prim and her parents’ dynamic was really good, while Briar was constantly left out.
Could it be that they were thinking I should just be friends with Prim, instead of Briar?
Just how biased can they be?
Briar is a part of your family, hello, she is right there!
As I tried to answer them with vague formalities as well, I noticed from my side glance that Briar was looking down and clenching her fists together.
Not wanting to have Briar attend my party like this, I finally broke the conversation and asked them, “Can I borrow Briar for a bit after this?”
When I asked that, even Briar was surprised, but I saw some kind of relief in her eyes. My heart felt like it ached a bit looking at Briar like this.
“Are you sure, Lyra-san? What if she causes a trouble…,” Her mother’s words trailed off, but I already didn’t like it.
How could she assume that Briar would cause a trouble?
No matter what, Briar was her daughter as well. She was no longer a kid, on top of it. How could that be her first response? Couldn’t she put a good word for her?
What was Briar in their eyes and hearts, I wonder?
Still, I tried to be calm and answered, “Don’t worry, it’s going to be fine. She won’t trouble me, I know it.”
My confidence left them speechless, but as long as I got what I wanted, so what? They agreed to let Briar remain with me.
When the family of three left (yeah, Briar felt left out so I said family of three sarcastically), Briar’s attitude immediately changed. It was as if she was freed from an unseen pressure.
“Aneki, thank you so much! And happy birthday!” She shook my hand and swung it up and down.
“There, I like you better like this!” I smiled back at her, sincerely.
So, that was how Briar was by my side when the Flugel mother and daughters arrived before me to congratulate me.
“Ristea-san! Dmitria, Valerie, you’re all here!” I said as I thanked them for their congratulations.
“Yeah. And I see you managed to have Briar by your side. You’re young, but you’re already so reliable, you know that?” Ristea-san said as she lightly patted my head.
“Thank you for your compliment,” I smiled before I asked, “Speaking of which…Are your husbands not coming with you?”
I saw them at a glance during the festival, but I didn’t get the chance to really speak with them. I was really curious about each of the twin’s father.
“Unfortunately, no. There are things that they need to take care of in our farm at the moment. It’s very regretful, but I think they can come in the next opportunity,” Ristea-san answered with a half-smile on her face.
“Your farm…Right, how big is your farm?” I asked, full of curiosity.
“It’s been expanding quite well, so it can be considered big? Our place is located close to the nature and can be considered in the outskirts instead of in the big town, though,” Ristea-san said.
“Aneki, it’s really big! We have various beasts in our farm as well,” Dmitria who was on the right said.
“Not being close to the town is also good as the air is so fresh and it’s very green,” Valerie who was on the left said.
“Really…That would be nice,” I said as I tried to imagine their place.
“I know, I know! Mother, can we invite Lyra-aneki?” Dmitria suddenly suggested.
“That’s right. Briar, you too. Also, can we invite the others as well?” Valerie added.
“Actually, that’s…,” Ristea-san seemed to ponder and I had already thought that it would be a ‘no’ as having many children coming would be a bother, but…
“That’s a great idea!” Ristea-san cheerfully said.
“Yay, it’s going to be fun!” Dmitria and Valerie did a high-five with each other.
“Thank you so much, Ristea-san! I’ll ask my parents about it! Oh, we should tell the others as well!” I said with happiness in my face.
Can this be counted as their birthday gift to me? Haha, I’ll count it as one, then.
“Ask parents…,” Briar clutched her hands on the hem of her skirt before she raised her face and nervously said, “I hope they will let me…”
“Eh, you’ve come several times at our place, Briar,” Dmitria tilted her head in wonder.
“…Right! It’s definitely going to be okay. Let’s inform the others!” Briar regained her cheerfulness again.
With that, I excitedly spread the Flugel family’s invitation to my other friends who were all in attendance to my birthday party.
Everyone was, of course, really excited by this sudden invitation that would span from Day 28 until Day 32. Five whole days!!
“Whoa, living in the outskirts, seeing various beasts, and can even ride them? I’m in! Mummy, Daddy, can I?” Ein, in particular, had sparkling eyes full of curiosity.
Since I told him in the presence of Clyde and Nicole, I immediately could see their reactions.
Clyde and Nicole were astonished at first.
“Staying over there as well?” Clyde raised his eyebrow.
“If not, can I just go back and forth every day?” Ein pleaded.
“Come on, Clyde, that’s not going to be fun. Let Eine stay over as well,” Nicole backed up her son.
“Can you be more worried, Nicole?” Clyde was a bit troubled by his wife’s response.
“Eine is already in Intermediate Level. He’s going to learn a lot from this experience. It’s going to be priceless,” Nicole added.
Finally, Clyde relented.
Whoa, so Nicole wins over Clyde! Awesome, Nicole!
Nicole had always been strong-willed, indeed.
“I CAN SEE AND RIDE ON VARIOUS BEASTS?! YAAAY!” Freyja lightly jumped in happiness.
Freyr blinked his eyes before he tilted his head and asked, “Is this true? Really?”
I laughed seeing these two’s differing reactions.
“Of course. Right, Valerie, Dmitria?” I even asked the miracle twins back.
Valerie and Dmitria nodded.
“Awesome…,” Freyr said with sparkling eyes.
“We definitely can come and stay over, right, Li’l Sheep?” Carbuncle asked.
“Kuu-chan, that’s nice, you can roam around freely there!”
Even Carbuncle was excited by this plan. Perhaps she was already tired of not being able to roam around freely for quite some time. After all, she stayed in the dormitory with Iris, accompanying her. Iris decided to stay in the academy instead of going to her hometown with Harvey because she wanted to study alchemy more.
“Let’s arrange for the permissions from school dormitory, then,” Harvey said.
Harvey spent some time at his home before he returned to the dormitory to accompany Iris and because he wanted to do club activities.
I heard that some clubs were still running during the holidays, mostly because of some members not going anywhere.
“Nii-sama, we can come, right?” Leticia asked Luca with her puppy eyes.
“Don’t worry, Mother and Father will definitely let us. It will be a good opportunity to learn, too. Let’s ask them later,” Luca said as he patted Leti’s head.
“Yes! Kiri will also come, right?” Leti said as she grabbed Kiri’s clothes.
“If you two come, then I’ll definitely be there!” Kiri said.
“Alt-nii, let’s tell our parents about this after the party ends,” I said.
“Haha, this is your birthday party and you already want it to end?” Alt-nii teased me.
“W-well, that’s true…,” It slipped my mind.
“Clavis, you will come too, right?” Alt-nii asked.
“Well, I should have finished my training this holiday, so I definitely will be able to,” Clavis answered. It seemed he was also looking forward to it. Perhaps his instinct as a wolf beastman made him want nature?
That night, I sent off my friends who went home one by one. I was the most reluctant parting with Briar, as Briar seemed to be very different when she was with her family. No wonder she liked staying in the dormitory. I heard she spent some time in dormitory before she was forced to come home. She said that her parents got her tutored at home.
As the party ended, we returned home. It was exactly during our way home that I got to tell my parents about the Flugel family’s invitation.
“The Flugel family in the outskirts of the West Province? That’s fine, but will Freyr and Freyja be alright?” Mom asked.
“I promise I will be a very good kid, pleaaasee?” Freyja pleaded with her hands put together on her cheek. She slightly tilted her head, looking at Mom with her beady eyes.
“I will be a good kid,” Freyr nodded before he also looked at Mom with his expectant eyes.
“…Fine, then. Don’t trouble the Flugel too much. Make sure to listen to your big brother and big sister, okay?” Mom finally relented.
“Yay~!” Freyja happily smiled and grabbed Freyr’s two hands as she swung them over.
“Altaire, Lyra, will that be fine with you two?” Mom asked.
“Yes, don’t worry,” I nodded.
“Fine by me~,” Alt-nii also answered.
“Take care. If something happens, you can always go back first,” Dad also said.
With that, we were all allowed to sleep over at the Flugel family’s place.
Now, I wonder if all my other friends can also sleep over at the Flugel residence from Day 28 to Day 32?
And what kind of things await us there?
I already can’t wait~[Event triggered: Going over to a friend’s place who owns a ranch~]