A lot of things happened after the crisis, and my peaceful (yet troublesome) everyday life has returned. It’s as if the incident during our holidays never happened at all.
…But obviously, it indeed happened.
If it wasn’t real, then how would you explain my learning Dark magic right now?
Though it was just the basic of it, like how to make a dark energy ball, basic shadow manipulation (I can now play shadow tagging! …with who, though??? I should wait until school, huh? (´；д；`)
Yes, I asked Mom to specifically not teach me about the magic related to mind controlling or mind destroying techniques…
Surprisingly, Mom quickly agreed as she told me that these techniques were quite dangerous and were categorized as high-level dark magic. I had to delve deeper to understand about the darkness to learn them.
“Of course, you should be the one to decide it in the future. Mom will give you full support and help if you decide to learn it, naturally since it’s dangerous…,” Mom seemed like she wanted to say more about this matter, but she decided to stop.
“Alright, Mom, thank you!” I decided not to pester her more about it.
I’m also afraid to learn about the danger of Dark magic, since it’s my strongest affinity, after all!
Sometimes, I tried to find out more about the Hartmann family’s story, but I got no significant information so far…
I wonder when will they tell me more about this family?
Can I ask them when I have entered school?
But Alt-nii’s already seven, and Dad didn’t say anything to him…
…but wait a second.
By now, shouldn’t Mom and Dad understand that I am superior in terms of maturity in comparison to Alt-nii? I have proven it times and times… They should have their own suspicions by now…
I am glad that Alt-nii doesn’t become mean to me just because I am somehow more well-behaved than him (testified by my parents)… Alt-nii just laughed it off and blamed it to our gender difference…
Now that I think about it, having a close sibling bond is quite nice! I wonder if things could be different with me and Clyde or Domi if I knew this kind of feeling?
Before I even noticed it, I started having feelings and questions that I never had as Reinst.
Time flies so fast, and an invitation has arrived at my doorstep.
It’s an invitation to attend Luca’s fifth birthday on Day 33 Month 2 Year 975.
In Sphaela, one year equals to 12 months, with 35 days per month. If I remember it right, I think there are various calendar systems, but each year contains no more than 420 days.
It goes without saying that Luca’s fifth birthday comes before mine, and as he has yet to turn 6 and formally makes his debut in the society, the royal family only holds a private birthday celebration for him. This will be the last birthday he’ll be spending in peace.
In peace—alright, it might be my prejudiced words. Some people prefer merrier celebration while some other prefer a simple celebration. I’m included in the latter group.
The ones attending are the Capicastle’s whole members (the maids, workers, royal magicians, royal knights, the tutors, etc). Of course, Luca can invite who he wants, so he is inviting me. By now, the whole Capicastle know that I am the remarkable girl who managed to tame the prince.
…Quite an achievement, but please, stop that gossip about me becoming the future queen…
By the way, the Head of the Royal Knights just adopted a son who’s also five this year. The man who had served the royal family for generations only had three daughters, all of them are even older than Alt-nii.
So, he decided to take in one of his sister’s sons so that the family tradition to guard the royals can continue. His daughters also were excited by the idea of having a little brother. I wonder how would they treat the little brother?
…they wouldn’t overwhelm the poor little brother and make him dress up, right?
At Luca’s fifth birthday party, we are finally able to meet the newly adopted son. His name is Kiri Elsworth. His soft yellow eyes are well-suited to his messy dark green hair. He seems to be quite shy as he hid behind his stepfather’s back.
…He’s like a timid cat.
“Oi, Kiri, you’re in the presence of the future king, the one you will be protecting. You shouldn’t hide behind me,” Alfonse Elsworth said, encouraging Kiri to stop hiding.
“B, but, un—I mean, father!” Kiri trembled a bit.
“Lucius-sama, I apologize for this child’s insolence…”
“Kiri, I’m Lyra, nice to meet you!”
Kiri only stared back at us, still from behind his stepfather.
Luca then stood up in front of me, approaching Kiri. For an instant, I thought Kiri stepped back.
…Is Luca that scary?!
“Hey, you’re a man and a future knight, right? A future knight shouldn’t act that cowardly.”
…Luca, you are too harsh.
“Just call me Luca. From now on, let’s be friends!”
Luca reached out his hand to Kiri, and smiled confidently—the typical smile of him.
Kiri, though hesitant, finally extended his right hand and the two boys shook their hands.
Finally, Luca will have a suitable sparring partner in his swordsmanship training. He has barely started his training to wield rapiers. Yes, rapiers—as the royal family members have been using rapiers from generation to generation instead of swords.
As for me… I still have yet to lay my hands on a (real) sword again. It’s been a long time since I last used the Grabberton’s swords art. Hopefully, with years without practice and this new body, my skills would change so that it won’t reek of Grabberton style. I think back to the time I used ice sword to fight—it didn’t seem to me that it was full of Grabberton style, so it should be okay.
Eh? The Hartmann family should be family of magicians?
Well, yeah. We are a family of magicians, but the tradition of relying solely on magic and magical weapons is broken when Dad takes up the position of the spy. And that’s how we get to pick up melee weapons, too.
Though if we just want to use magic and magical weapons, it’s also fine.
I am positive I will wield swords again once my family gave me a green light. Given the choice, I know I will just pick up swords. Altaire kept boasting on how I was so skilled at fighting with the ice sword, and even encouraged me to start practicing my swordsmanship again.
However, I was preoccupied with learning the basic of dark magic and other forms of magic. Plus, Dad’s too overprotective on how I might hurt myself if I were to handle swords at such a young age. So I think it’s fine to wait until my enrollment to school. It should be easy for me to pick back my swordsmanship skill!
This way, I will also have more time to try thinking ways to alter my past swordsmanship skill… hmm, how can I explain it if there are still similarities to Grabberton style?
Ah well, let’s think about it later.
Anyway, my fifth birthday comes after Luca’s.
And, surprise! Luca came to visit my house!! He came along with a few escorts, though. There is no way he would be allowed to leave the castle without bringing along any escort.
“Sorry for intruding, happy birthday, Lyra!” He hands out a nicely wrapped present to me.
“Thanks, Luca! Can I open it?”
“Uh oh, you’d better save all the presents and open them all at once later on. Also, thanks for coming, Luca!” Mom said.
Waaa—right, I am curious to know what kind of presents I’m getting today!
“Thanks for coming, Luca!” Dad greeted Luca warmly—but deep in his eyes, there’s a part of him that’s saying, ‘I’m watching you!’
“Hmm, is that Lyra’s friend?” Clavis-nii asked.
Well, he has never met Luca before, but to think that he doesn’t even know that Luca is the prince…?!
“Oh, you don’t know him? He’s—”
Right when I was about to introduce him, Luca suddenly stepped in front of me and is now facing Clavis.
“Yes, I am. Just call me Luca. What’s your name?” He reached out his hand to Clavis.
“It’s my first time hearing that Lyra has a friend like you. I’m Clavis, my mother is working in this house! Nice to meet you!”
The two boys are shaking their hands and are smiling.
Hmmm, oh… perhaps Luca thinks that it’s a good thing to be friends with someone who doesn’t even realize that he is the prince!
“Oh my, you’ve got another friend, Clavis! I’m happy for you! Luca-sama, please be friends with him,” Niina said with a wide smile.
…………………………..Yes, I’m positive. Niina also has no clue on who Luca really is. She might think that Luca is just some noble friend of mine, no real biggie.
“Uhmmm,” Chloe seems to notice the whole situation and is reluctant on telling Niina and Clavis or not. I turn to her and make a gesture that will tell her not to mind it.
Vince finds the situation funny and chuckled.
I can hear my grandparents, whispering to each other.
“…He is the prince, right?” Grandpa asked.
“Pretty sure he is…,” Grandma replied.
“Uhm, is Lyra…?”
“No, I don’t think that Cyan is planning on giving Lyra—even to the crown prince.”
Hmm, people might think like that, but Luca’s honestly just a good friend of mine~
I am glad to see that he might be good friends with Clavis-nii, as well!
“It’s my first time being friends with a beastman! You’re from the silver wolf tribe? That’s cool!”
“Yup, and I’m proud to have wolf blood in my veins!”
“Can I touch your ears and tail?”
“!! Well… normally… I won’t let anyone do that… but… since you said it’s your first time having a beastman friend… I guess… as long as you’re only touching it slightly… Only this time, okay?”
Clavis-nii is really kind, after all! He needs to endure the ticklish sensation, but he doesn’t have the heart to turn down Luca who’s looking at the tail and ears with his sparkling eyes.
“Fufu, I’m glad you two are good friends!” I smiled.
“…as long as they don’t say things like wanting you as their future wife,” Altaire murmured.
Sorry, Nii, I didn’t hear that quite well…
“Ah, no, it’s nothing! Hey, Luca, remember me?” Altaire decided to chime in.
Luca slightly turns his face towards Alt-nii while stroking Clavis’ tail.
“Ohh, you are Altaire, right? We talked a few times, even for a while, so I remember you!”
“Reallyyy? I thought I heard that you didn’t really memorize people…”
“You seem different than the other kids, somehow. I can feel that. To think that you’re Lyra’s big brother!”
Altaire chuckled, “I’m honored to hear that!”
“…? Why are you honored to hear that, Alt? Shouldn’t ‘happy’ be the correct term to use?” Clavis asked in confusion.
“Hmmm, I wonder?” Alt vaguely responded, leaving Clavis in the dark.
“Oh, should I be calling you big bro, as well?” Luca suddenly remembered something.
“Nah, it’s up to you, I’m fine either way,” Alt answered, carefree as ever.
While looking at the friendship between those boys…
I WANT TO HAVE A FEMALE FRIEND, AS WELL!!
That’s it, that’s it! I will befriend some girls when I enroll to the Harmonia Academy.
Though girls are scary when they are passionately gossiping about someone… or so is the impression I had towards most of my female classmates when I was Reinst. Nicole was an exception. To be honest, I kinda liked her—or that I was simply got used to her presence back then as she kept appearing by my side.
I kept telling myself this following line, as I tried to renew my determination.
I will make female friends in school, indulge myself in the garden of lily—I mean, in girly stuff…
And that marks the end of the last birthday I’m going to spend only with my closest ones, as starting next year, I’ll be debuting to the noble society. Which will be followed by school.
I hope I can meet good female friends!