After that, Cyan, Cass, and Titus were off to their own work. Meanwhile, since I was still in this predicament, I was free from all work and was told to recuperate. With nothing to do, I decided to start looking for more information about the people I knew as Lyra—about how they were doing. If that was the case, I should just go back to my room.
But when I passed by the library, I happened to catch a glimpse of the children there. For some reason, there was a strong feeling deep inside my heart, telling me to go there. Perhaps it was the mini Lyra inside me, worried for her siblings especially Altaire after what I heard from Cyan and Cass before.
I slowly approached them, not wanting to disturb their time together, but they still noticed my presence.
“Mother, what’s the matter?” Trevant was the first one to notice me and so he asked.
“It’s nothing. I just finished talking with the Hartmann family’s parents and happened to pass by you all. I just want to see everyone,” I said.
Now, I could feel that everyone’s eyes were on me. Altaire, Freyr, and Freyja stood up to greet me. While Freyr and Freyja might be less energetic than what I remembered them to be, the stark difference lied with Altaire. His presence attracted me the most, so I turned to look at him.
Since he was a bit too far away, I approached him to take a better look at himself. He just stood there, unmoving as he watched me approach him…with his dull eyes. It ached my heart whenever I saw Altaire with this pair of dull eyes. The Altaire I knew—his eyes were shining and full of hopes or positivity. But the Altaire in front of me…
I finally arrived right in front of Altaire. He was shorter than me now, so he had to look up at me, while I looked down at him. This was something I never got to experience as Lyra. As Lyra, Altaire was…big, and he was strong. But when I looked at him like this, he was…small and seemingly frail. Yes, after all, he was a child while I was an adult. Though technically he should be thirteen this year, which made him legally an adult…
I stared straight at his eyes. Yes, no ‘light’ was reflected there. I could see a hint of despair inside his heterochromatic eyes. Altaire…You were targeted by evil adults, traumatized, and then…
Without even realizing it, I already put my hand on his cheek. He seemed surprised and asked, “Reinst-sama…?”
Yet, I continued to stare at his eyes. My heart ached so much.
After what he had gone through in his childhood, all alone…He had to lose his very best friend, Clavis. He was the last person to see Clavis…He was so close to bringing him home, yet…Clavis was now nowhere to be found. Just how could Altaire be feeling right now? He must be so broken inside, mustn’t he?
Freyr and Freyja were still young, although they were his siblings. He was still their elder brother, and as an elder brother, he had to be strong…
Yes…This Altaire in front of me had suffered so much and I…couldn’t imagine how he must be feeling.
I didn’t resist my urges inside as I quickly brought Altaire into a hug.
“…!” Altaire was clearly surprised, yet he wasn’t resisting.
I patted his back and his head alternatively.
“You must have gone through a lot…You are really, really strong. But it’s okay to be weak sometimes…okay? You have your family…and…Trevant,” I said.
Altaire’s body stiffened as he listened to my words. I hugged him for a bit more before letting go, and after I could see his face again, his eyes were red—not in color—but as if he was holding back his tears.
The mini Lyra in me ached all the more looking at Altaire like this. How I wish I were Lyra, how I wish I could cheer him up and be his support…
But if I were Lyra, things wouldn’t have turned out like this in the end, huh?
“…Thank you, Reinst-sama,” Altaire said with a slightly hoarse voice.
I smiled back at him.
“Mother is right. We are friends, aren’t we? Though I’m younger than you, I hope you can rely on me too,” Trevant said.
“Got it,” Altaire replied.
Yet, I still couldn’t see his true smile, though I have definitely seen it many times, over and over again…in the right future.
After that, I returned to my room and opened my Provice. I already asked Titus-sama about how to access the information, so I hurriedly entered the right address, passwords, and so on. When the database appeared, I still proceeded to take a look about the Hartmann family first, as if what I heard before wasn’t enough as a confirmation. Not all private data was written there, but huge incidents like what happened to Altaire were written. The thing about Clavis…It wasn’t written there, but when I looked about the list of missing people, I managed to gain access to Clavis’ information, like when he was last seen, and so on.
The date of the incidents—from when Altaire was attacked in Chinosato and when Clavis was last seen—though I only vaguely remembered it, perhaps they were close if not similar to the dates that happened in my life as Lyra. But the outcome was also different, for I—for Lyra—was not there.
Then, I took the time to learn about my dad’s life history and it was really written there that Dad was actually the previous Duke Hartmann’s son with a maid, Firis. I also learned about Dad’s half-brother and stepmother from the record. I learned more about the Hartmann family’s wrongdoings and felt more sympathy to my dad for having to live with such a distorted family for years…Then, my dad’s contribution to ending the corrupt Hartmann’s legacy was written along with how he was made as the next duke. His achievements…I could never be prouder of you, Dad.
Mom’s record was also full of her achievements, and I was really honored I could become the daughter of such amazing people.
I wonder what was happening to me? What happened to Lyra—to my body there? Could I be in a comatose and…my family, would they be worried about me? Just you wait, your daughter is definitely going to return!!
Then, I went from them to look about Trevant and Titus-sama to satisfy my curiosity in the royal family’s database. It was fun learning about this son I never had and I would never have. I then read about Titus-sama’s details, about how he worked together with my dad to end the Hartmann’s wrongdoings and how he had been actively working for the sake of the country even when he was just a crown prince. What took me by surprise was about how Titus-sama had gone to the area where the Schafer family was. Perhaps…if only I wasn’t here and somehow Shaula was still alive, they would have met at that time, fell in love, and the rest was history?
After I return, I should probably ask Luca about his parents, now that I’m curious.
Just when I was about to move on to my other friends, there was a knock to my door. Trevant showed up after I let him in.
“What’s the matter, Trevant?”
“Nothing…It’s just…,” Trevant seemed to be hesitant to tell me what was the matter.
“Hmm?” I urged him to tell me.
“…Earlier, Mother, you were…to Altaire…”
“Ah, yeah, I just heard about what he had gone through and sympathized with him. Was it not something I should do?” When I thought about it, that might be the case! What a mistake I had committed?!
“No, it’s fine…I mean, I think it means a lot to him…”
“You think so? I’m glad. I’m also happy that you’re willing to be by his side.”
“…Mother, why does it feel like Altaire were your son instead?”
Oops. I am more emotionally connected with him as my elder brother, you see…
“No, I didn’t mean that, of course you’re my son,” I tried my best to not stutter when declaring this. It was still a bit awkward for me, no matter how well I could lie.
“…Oh. I’m glad if you remember. I’m just worried…”
It was at that time that an idea popped in my dense mind! If Trevant took after me, he would be wishing for his mother’s love the most and seeing his mother being affectionate to another child…yes, he might be feeling uneasy or even jealous!
I decided to hug him and patted his head.
“Silly child,” I said gently.
Trevant then smiled—so far it was the ‘truest’ smile I had seen in him after I first saw him.
“Oh yeah, Trevant, don’t you have your own close aide?” I asked when I remembered I could ask about Kiri from him, if he were still the crown prince’s aide.
“I do. His name is Kiri, he’s the adoptive son of the head of the royal knights. We’re of the same age.”
“How is he doing?”
“That…,” Trevant cast his eyes downward. Uh-oh, this doesn’t look too good.
Sure enough, Trevant continued, “Kiri protected me from a kidnapping attempt that happened not too long ago, so he’s still recovering. That child is a scaredy cat from the very beginning, and it surprised me when he suddenly became brave to protect me.”
“Is he okay? Was he severely wounded?”
“Thankfully, he’s fine. But it’s just that he’s quite scared of getting attacked again. His father has always been at a loss on how he should push Kiri so he can be braver. He’s proud that Kiri did a good job in protecting me, but Kiri’s back at square one with his small courage now…”
“Ah, so the head of the royal knight must be trying to train him again.”
…In the first place, Kiri was indeed a scaredy cat, but…I wonder if the Kiri I knew now was like that?
…No, the Kiri ‘now’ is much braver than he was, and he was like…it was as if he was determined to protect something precious to him. Was it Luca…? No, Luca is definitely strong, he might as well need no protection. Luca’s more confident and cocky than Trevant, so it was less likely Kiri was moved in order to protect him. Then…
“I’m the princess and Kiri is the knight who’ll protect me!”
Leticia’s childish voice resounded in my mind.
“Eh? What’s with that? Won’t you protect me, Kiri?”
“N-no, of course I will!”
The small exchange between Leticia and Kiri that I once heard. Could it be that Leti was Kiri’s source of strength and courage? Leti was definitely a figure to be protected. Yes. This explained Kiri’s differences…
In the end, I talked with Trevant about a lot of stuff before we ate dinner together. From him, I found out that Carbuncle the dragon had indeed visited the Harmonia Academy. However, for some reason, nothing caught her eyes and so she left to roam around the continent on her own, stopping here and there. It was unknown if she was still in Riviera as of now, or if she had left for another country…
I somehow was able to probe about Iris from Trevant, for he was enrolled to the special class too. Iris still enrolled in the special class of Harmonia academy, but she was a loner and had no close friends. Just Harvey, her childhood friend who happened to be Altaire’s friend. That was how Trevant was acquainted with her.
This semester, her scores were bad that she was almost taken out of the special class, but Trevant had helped her, so it was all safe. Trevant wasn’t close with her, but since she was his friend’s friend of friend, he tried to help her…Trevant was a good child.
Back then, Iris seemed to be struggling too, but it wasn’t as bad as this. From what I heard, the Iris that I knew as Lyra seemed to be brighter than the Iris of this world. Well, the Iris that I knew as Lyra was surrounded with many friends…yeah, of course it would make the differences.
I also asked about Ein. As expected, Ein was still there, as Clyde and Nicole’s son, the heir of the Loera family. Trevant was acquainted with Ein for he sometimes went to the royal castle—he was technically Trevant’s cousin, so of course that was natural!
Ein was still a curious and smart child, but he was enrolled in a noble school in the North Riviera, the territory of the Loera family…? Well, he was enrolled to Harmonia Academy because Lyra happened to spark his interest…this made sense. Trevant had a good impression of Ein and they seemed to be in a good relationship.
After dinner, I was finally back alone in my room, so I grabbed my Provice to continue accessing the information about my other friends as Lyra.
As expected, since I hadn’t reached the point in life where “Lyra” should be acquainted with Briar-Rose and the Flugel twins, their lives didn’t seem to be so different from what I knew so far. They were troublemakers, especially Briar-Rose…but I knew that it was because of her upbringing…
I sighed as I read the details of their lives. Though nothing private was written there, Remus family’s favoritism clearly showed there, and the list of Primrose’s achievements versus Briar-Rose’s antics were hard for me to see.
As for the Flugel twins, they were doing alright. I was glad. But after they reach the point when they should be meeting Lyra, what would happen to ‘them’ of this world since they wouldn’t meet Lyra? That…might be something I would never find out.
The events that happened with them as Lyra…
My head throbbed as I tried to recall the days we spent together. A flood of memories entered my head—they were new information.
And the last recollection I had was—that I met a wolf beast in a forest and…and then what happened? What kind of a beast was it…?
I tried searching for information about wolf beasts, but I didn’t seem to find any matching with the one from my recollection…
I had a hunch that this piece of information was important…?
But how do I figure out what kind of creature it was?
Who in the world would be so knowledgeable to know—
At that time, the figure of an energetic girl with marigold hair, light blue eyes, and a mole below her right eye’s corner appeared in my mind. It overlapped with the figure of her when she was an adult…
Should I try meeting her in this ‘wrong future’ and see if she could help me…?