After the mess of my first independent magic training, I managed to not create such a mess in the next independent training.
Oh, and even after all this time, the mysterious egg-like object that Alt-nii got hasn’t hatched at all. Alt-nii began to call it as [Eggie] and often spoke to it.
“Hurry up and be born, Eggie… Aren’t you tired of being called the lame name of Eggie?” Alt-nii would often say.
…I honestly think that the name Eggie is okay… but be patient, Alt-nii!
Taking that aside, the most important thing that happened was… how I finally mastered the way to undo my ice magic!
“Lyra, usually you would still be able to feel the remnants of your mana in the ice you instructed to remain as you did it with the portion of your power, but…” Mom paused her explanation.
“Am I… lacking in my magic because of it?”
“No. I mean… The suspicion’s been answered the other day, so let’s not say it as a deduction. So, because your magical power is superb…”
“You lost control of it. You didn’t feel tired despite producing the ice, as it only took an insignificant, tiny portion of your power. So, before you noticed, you lost your connection to them.”
“Yes… I couldn’t feel them and command them as I wish…”
That is true.
“Such cases often happen with great power. Therefore, the recommended way to reestablish that mana connection is…”
“By pouring a little mana to the ice. By doing so, your mana will reconnect with the ice that you produced, and now you’ll be able to synchronize yourself with your own magic, thus, commanding it to cancel won’t be that hard.”
“!! I didn’t think of doing that!!”
Magic was a wonder, truly.
“For now, you can try it by touching the ice with a part of your body—preferrably your index finger. But you can also let out a magic essence to touch the far ice and cancel it, once you’re better at doing it. Ah, but, in the end, you should be able to reconnect your magic to the ice with ease, without having to pour in any magical power at all. That’s the output we’re hoping to gain in this lesson.”
“I, I will try hard!”
At the end of Month 12, as Alt-nii got his school holiday, snow has piled up.
Perhaps I’m affected by my [Ice] affinity, but the winter doesn’t feel as cold as it used to be, from what I can remember.
I guess I will still spend my winter holiday by sitting near the heater and playing around the house.
By the time Mom and Dad got their New Year holiday, we could spend time leisurely as a family at home. At our home, sweet home.
Winter seems just like the perfect time to laze around and take a rest from the world, especially on cold, snowy white winter like this.
New Year holiday is always closely linked to family time.
Even as Reinst, it was like the only time where all of my family members were home the most…
“Mother, can I have a break time for this holiday, or should I practice something?”
As Reinst, it was the question that I asked each time all of us got holidays.
“You can take a break, Reinst. For now, I need to tutor Domi. However, you might want to ask your father about your swordsmanship training.”
“Thank you, Mother. Well then, I will go to Father first.”
I took a glance at my little brother who had to spend his holiday to learn things—when he was just a small child.
The earlier you learn mannerism, the better it would stick to your mind, and it would be a subconcious thing to implement in your daily activities.
So Mother used to say—and Domi started to have his behavior monitored when he just turned 3, aside from teaching him to speak better without lisping and introducing alphabets to him.
I have forgotten, but did I undergo that training, too, when I was a small child?
“Father, what do you suggest I should improve in my swordmanship for this holiday?”
“Ah, Reinst. You already did well so far, just try practicing alone. I will summon you when I can train you first-hand. You can also try sparring with Clyde if you want.”
“Alright, thank you, Father.”
Father seemed busy with his work, so I left him without asking anything else.
I never really spent much time with Clyde except for sparring.
Perhaps I could ask him to spar with me.
–but often, I stopped in front of the door whenever I saw him who seemed to be enjoying his leisure time with Kania. That pair of mother and son—they always seemed so close to each other—they had things that I didn’t have.
When I looked at them smiling at each other, I couldn’t bring myself to interrupt their time and took Clyde away to spar with me.
Oh well, I guess that means I could read some stories and play by myself.
In the end, we spent most of our time doing our own activities—especially when it got too cold to practice swordsmanship.
Me and my mother with additional studies before Domi was born—or sometimes I was included in their sessions.
So, most of holidays, I could relax a bit and spend most of my time in front of Provice or my books. Clyde was with Kania-san, as usual.
And Father, reading the newspaper, in front of his Provide, sometimes thinking about work… and before Domi’s birth, he would take equal turns to see both of my and Clyde’s improvement.
After Domi’s birth, needless to say that he spent more time with Domi and automatically, Mother. He needed to see how his heir was doing, after all. It was important for the head of the family to oversee the next head’s development.
I guess… that was also good for Mother. She got the position she wanted, and she got Father, too.
But enough reminiscing. As Lyra… I could spend my time with all my family members.
Even Vince, Chloe, Niina, and Clavis.
Ah, though Niina and Clavis spent more time at their own home! They wouldn’t want to make Clavis’ papa or Niina’s hubby lonely, haha!
Vince and Chloe also occasionally take their days off.
So, I wonder… For this year’s holiday, will I spend my time with just my family members, or with all the others, too?
Luca would finally get the quality time with his family that he’s always wanted.
That’s good for him.
While lying down on the sofa and staring to the white scenery outside of the window, I noticed that my parents are home!!
“Welcome back, Mom, Dad!” I greeted them enthusiastically.
“Mom, Dad, welcome home!” Alt-nii also followed.
My parents who looked tired—suddenly seemed happy upon seeing us at the doorway.
Yes, we love seeing the change in their expressions.
“I’m home. Altaire, Lyra… I should probably tell this bad news…” Mom said.
“I was summoned by the magician in Chinosato border… The former barrier that protected the border was breached, somehow. It seemed like an unidentified entity attacked the barrier. And they requested the Royal Magic Court’s assistance to repair and enhance the barrier so that whatever it was—won’t be able to breach the barrier again. I can’t just send out my subordinate because a high mastery of [Life] magic is required to do what they requested for. Yeah, I must go, myself…,” Mom explained, once we are inside.
“Eh?” I couldn’t hide my surprise.
“It will be after New Year, though. But I will be gone for a few days… A week at maximum, perhaps…”
Neither Mom or Dad were summoned during the holidays time like this.
Furthermore, Chinosato town is located in another island in the East, the Estrada Island. Which is why she would be gone for quite a while.
But, since it was an urgent matter, so… nothing else could be done.
“Don’t worry, Dad will be here!” Dad said, happily.
Though that means I won’t be seeing Mom for at least consecutive 7 days, which is a first time for me, plus it was supposed to be during the holiday, I was kinda disappointed.
Hmm well, at least Dad is still here~
Needless to say, that means I can have more time to practice Hartmann’s secret arts with Dad. That’s still good.
However… a few days later, it’s Dad’s turn to go back home while looking troubled.
“What’s wrong, Dad?” I asked.
Alt-nii tried to massage Dad’s shoulders, thinking that Dad was too exhausted.
“Uh… So… I was also summoned… There was an information leak on the illegal trade that would happen near Chinosato… So, uhm… The time… is during Cassie’s…”
…both of my parents will be out at the same time?!
Furthermore, their destination is close by each other’s?
Ah, they might as well have their second honeymoon there. Or so my classmates back then used to tease someone whose parents were absent for holidays.
Should I prepare myself to have a little sister or a little brother?
“Should we stay with grandma and grandpa? Or, with Niina? Or, just stay at home with Vince and Chloe? They should be able to get back before that, right?” Alt-nii asked.
“Well, I am thinking of options…”
“Wait, Chinosato… isn’t it…?” Mom suddenly chimed in.
She then signaled Dad to come there for a moment.
Seems like they are discussing things.
“I can’t just let the children stay at home with Vince and Chloe—or at Niina’s. Who knows if someone might be targeting for the children? They will get dragged in this, too. And your parents, as well, should they stay there…,” Cyan explained his thoughts.
“Well… Aren’t you just being too paranoid?”
“Maybe. I can’t help but be suspicious at this perfect timing.”
“True, it might also be timed to keep us away from home, from our children… But… Chinosato… I think I have a suggestion to make,” Cassie said.
“Oh, what is it?”
“Chinosato is a city bordering Riviera’s territory to Naraka’s, in Estrada island. Basically, the city is closely linked to Oni and there are minglings with [Dark] magic…so I think, for them, [Dark] magic is something common—if not something to be proud of.”
“Are you telling me…?” Cyan started to get where this is going.
“Plus, they will be safer with us… If their plan was really to keep us away from the children so that they could do anything nasty to them, then their plan would be soiled the moment we took our children with us, don’t you think?”
Cyan stopped to think for a while.
True. If they really want us to be away from the children, then us being together with them, will make their plans go awry.
“Yes, I think so. Anyway, you want Lyra to learn that not all people hold bad prejudices against [Dark] magic?”
“That, too. It’s a good chance.”
“…true. But what about the protection to our home? And, what about Vince and Chloe?”
“Ah, I can arrange Fenix to stay at home. I will request Meredea to place her Familiar at the treasury. The treasury should also be fine since there are the palace guards. Also… shall we let Vince and Chloe have their days off extended?”
“…sounds good…,” Cyan is still unsure.
“Besides, we can think of it as our family holiday, right? They have never been to far away places, especially to other islands.”
“Family vacation…,” Cyan liked that idea.
Finally, they have reached an agreement.
After having quite a long discussion, finally my parents turned their backs and faced me and Alt-nii again.
So, in the end, where would we stay at, during their absence?
“Altaire, Lyra. Listen…,” Dad spoke.
“Yes, Dad?” Alt-nii responded.
“We have come to a conclusion that…,” Mom continued.
“That…?” I asked.
“Say, let’s have a family vacation in Chinosato!” Dad said.
Boy, I totally didn’t think of that option! They are going there for work and all…
“Yayyy! Vacation!! I always wanted to see how Estrada island looks like!!” Alt-nii clenched his fist.
“Is that okay?” I asked, unsure.
“It’s fine. I mean, we feel like it’s the best option, Lyra,” Mom patted my head.
“Ah, but things might get a bit complicated… Just wait for the itinerary and plans that I will devise,” Dad said.
And, that is how the Hartmann family will be having their family vacation, all the way to Estrada island!