Later that night, I walked to my room, followed by Fenrir as usual. But before he entered the room and when I just walked into the room, I sensed him stopping, so I turned around with my questioning look.
“Why are you sitting over there?” I asked.
“…I’m wondering if I should sleep over there or if I’ll have my own place to live in,” Fenrir concisely answered.
“Eh…I never considered that. Would you like your own place to stay in?” I scratched my head as I wasn’t sure if my parents would accommodate that…I meant, I was sure they would, but I felt a bit bad for causing them the trouble to.
“No, that’s not what I meant. I was wondering if you’d rather me stay or somewhere else. My last partner was a very private person. He and I would sleep in separate rooms,” Fenrir explained.
“Oh…I thought you’d rather sleep in another room alone. I don’t mind you sleeping in my room,” I said in relief.
“Then, excuse me,” Fenrir said as he stood up and finally followed me to my room.
I thought that was it, but after we entered my room, there was another problem.
My bed was quite spacious and I hopped on it, while Fenrir curled up under my bed, just below the fluffy carpet.
…I thought Fenrir was going to accompany me on the bed, but it turned out he thought he should be sleeping on the carpet. I didn’t mind, but it was always my dream to sleep with a fluffy dog—I meant my pet—ah, well, you got what I meant, right?
So, while Fenrir was all curled up and closed his eyes, I just stared at him while sitting on my bed.
Fenrir noticed my stare and turned to look at me, “What is it?”
“…Come here, will you?” I finally threw my ‘adult’ side and just succumbed to the temptation. Whatever!
Fenrir looked obviously surprised as he said, “Are you sure?”
“Well, you’ve taken a bath too earlier, why not?”
“I’m not talking about that.”
“Well, as long as you don’t mind, sure! It’s my dream to sleep with a…wolf,” I paused a little as I was about to say ‘pet’.
“So, you prefer that wolf boy?” Fenrir suddenly commented.
“What?! EH NO, that’s not what I meant at all!” I felt my cheeks burning.
“Stupid, stupid! We’ve barely become partners and you’re already commenting about my love life?! I am eleven, you know!!” I protested.
“Most nobles are engaged at young age, no? When I was young, I had a young noble partner too, and he was already engaged.”
“Eh…That’s not wrong, but aaah, I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to think about it. I’ve got another issue I need to sort out…,” I sighed.
“Anyway, just come here first and we’ll continue our talk.”
“Well then, if you’ll excuse me,” Fenrir said as he hopped on my bed.
“Is it your first time sleeping on the bed with your partner?” I asked.
“Not really, but my first time after I’ve grown up. I told you about my young noble partner, right? I used to sleep with him on the same bed too, and I was also a child at that time,” Fenrir said.
“Hee…How many partners have you had?” I asked out of curiosity before adding, “Are you comfortable that way?”
“…,” Fenrir went silent for a while before he said, “I used to sleep with him like this. Lift your head.”
I lifted my head, and Fenrir proceeded to lay down at where my head was. Then, he instructed me to let my head down and…In the end, my head was sleeping on top of his body—somewhere around his chest and stomach. His fluffy tail was curled up to me, while his head turned to mine.
“This is great!” I said, as I felt my eyes sparkling.
“…You think so?” Fenrir calmly said.
“Mmhm. So, let’s start our bonding session!” I said as I patted Fenrir’s body and head.
“…As the older one, I’ll go first. When I was young, I had that young noble boy as my first partner. Being a child myself, my power hadn’t developed, and we sort of grew up together as brothers…”
“Aww, that’s so nice! You must have loved him a lot, then? Did you stay together until…he’s gone?” I asked as I felt a little bit sad on his behalf.
“…No, not really. I loved how kind and loving he was. But…as we grew up and as my power started to develop…He changed. His heart grew black. He wanted more power, and I felt forced assisting him…I thought if he managed to accomplish his goals, he would return to how he was. But alas, he never did. He kept wanting more and I…eventually fought back and left him.”
“…Fenrir…,” I didn’t expect that sudden turn of events. I read too many heartwarming stories about pets or partners staying ‘til death did them apart. But I guess reality wasn’t as great as fiction…I hugged him tightly, clinging to his neck.
“That’s why, I never had a child partner again after him. I don’t want to see them changing into a stranger and feel helpless…”
“Eh, but you and me…?” I was surprised at his remarks as I let go of him.
“You are different. I felt bad for seeing it through the trial, but I knew you had lived before and that reassured me a lot. When you broke free of the trial, I became sure that I could be with you,” Fenrir said.
“Ah…I see. But I’m still a child in my current life. How are you so sure I won’t turn worse when I grow up?” I asked back.
“Because I saw the old you in the trial, and I saw how you changed for the better. I would like to give you a chance. Besides, I’m intrigued.”
“It’s my first time being with someone who’s reincarnated and retained all of her past memories. I’d like to see how you’ll be with my own two eyes.”
“…Fenrir. I promise, I won’t let myself be let astray. If, if you see me swaying in the wrong direction, promise me you’ll tell me,” I said.
“…I tried to tell that boy about how he’s changed for the worse, but he scolded me by saying how I wouldn’t understand, for I am a beast.”
“But I’ll give you a chance and do so. Only once. If you wouldn’t listen to me, I won’t give another warning. I’ll leave. But I hope it won’t get to that,” Fenrir said.
“I won’t! …I think I won’t!” I said, before quickly correcting myself as I had no self-confidence too…We never knew what would happen in the future, but I hope the future me won’t be a bad guy. Besides, I have my family and my friends with me, so surely I won’t, right?
……No, I don’t want to think about the ‘what-if’ scenarios where I lose them…In that case, I won’t know how I’ll turn out. I’ll be broken for sure.
God, Aion-sama, I hope it won’t turn to that…Please let me cherish this gift of a new life you gave me and let me be a good person, as a token of my appreciation for this chance…The light god that reincarnated me, I’m also saying this to you, whoever you are.
Then, Fenrir proceeded to tell me more about himself. About how he felt betrayed after that and spent his life alone for quite some time. Then, he met his next partner, an elderly woman who was all alone. She was a kind lady who worked as a counselor of some sort, and Fenrir assisted her in her sessions. His next partner was a half-elf half-dwarf man who was the lady’s acquaintance. They traveled the world together for a long time.
After he was gone, a lot of people had heard about Fenrir and wanted to use him for bad deeds, so Fenrir ran away from a place to another, trying to hide himself…before a dream researcher met him and offered Fenrir to stay with him. The researcher was Fenrir’s last partner before me, and the researcher was the one who suggested Fenrir to stay secluded in some forest and did what he had been doing to those who had tried to get him.
“Speaking of which, where were you born? Did you have any family?” I asked.
“The moment I was awake, I was in some kind of a forest, alone,” Fenrir said.
“Were you hatched from an egg?”
“I’m not sure.”
Familiars are a mystery.
Fenrir suddenly came to exist in a forest, without any eggshells or mother who gave birth to him apparently.
I wonder if the first generation of all living being was born just like that, too?
“Enough about me. What about you?” Fenrir closed his story and now, it was my turn.
“Well, you know it already. I was once Reinst, yet somehow I died and got forcefully reincarnated as Lyra. At first I was so angry at the unknown god who decided on a whim to reincarnate me, but now I’m just grateful. But the thing is, I guess my past life sort of influenced me in the way I think and…my dark magic, I suspect.”
Then, I took a deep breath and told him about the life I had as Reinst and how I was treated, how the rumors were created just because I happened to have dark magic…though I couldn’t really use it as Reinst. Then, I also told him about the incident that happened in my school’s festival and how I had been trying to get over it and improve my dark magic so such an incident won’t ever happen again.
“I was wondering if I should discuss about my past life with anyone when you came to the picture. It was like fate! I was so worried if I should tell my family about it, what do you think?” I asked Fenrir.
“I don’t see why you shouldn’t do that.”
“…I’m just scared. It’s another thing if they never knew my past self, or if, for example, I came from another world or if I were from a much more distant past. But my past self’s acquaintances are still alive even today, and perhaps I need to talk to them to resolve everything, but that means they will all know…Uuu…,” I covered my face with my hands.
“Are you afraid that at that time, you will no longer be seen as Lyra and be seen as Reinst?”
“…,” I slightly nodded, “I don’t want to be seen as an extension of my past self’s life. That will also sadden my current family. And the implication it might cause…I…I just…”
It’s because I have people who know and love me as my current self that I am very hesitant of revealing this fact to them and my past self’s acquaintances.
If I were an orphan or someone who was all alone, I could just come out to them without any hesitation. Even if I was seen as Reinst in a new body, it wouldn’t matter.
But because I have my identity as Lyra now, and the people I cherish…It matters a lot.
“Actually, perhaps it is indeed fate that we became partners,” Fenrir suddenly said.
“What do you mean?” I was so surprised that I slightly got up from my position and turned to look at Fenrir with my wide eyes.
“You want to talk with your past self’s acquaintances in hopes to probe more and to resolve the things from your past life…but ideally, you don’t want your identity as Reinst be known to them, right?” He asked.
“My power can help you do that,” He said.
“Eeh?!” I had to cover my own mouth with my hands to prevent my voice from leaking.
“…Actually, you’d need to use your power, too,” Fenrir added.
“No, it’s okay, of course I’d have to contribute! It’s my own problem, after all! But are you sure about how your power can help me do that?” I asked, still in disbelief.
“Of course. But yes, your efforts are needed.”
“Eh, how can we do it? Tell me, tell me!” I got excited.
“Come closer and let me tell you,” Fenrir said.
I came closer to Fenrir and he immediately told me about how we could work together and talk to the others to probe about Reinst, without being found out that I was Reinst.
As he proceeded to explain everything to me, my eyes turned rounder and rounder.
WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA!!