The world is moving so fast. It’s constantly changing. Nothing remains the same.
That was what Freyr and Freyja came to realize at such a young age.
Papa, who was always with them, suddenly became the star in the sky. Ever since then, their world was never the same anymore.
They were looking for someone like Papa, who would always be there for them, but in that new place, people kept coming and go.
“Would you like to live in my home from now on?”
Therefore, when the man with same odd-eyes reached out his hands towards them, offering a place they could call a “home”, they agreed.
He looked kind although he was scary when he first arrived to “fetch” us.
He seemed to be the same with us? Look at those different-colored eyes!
Maybe, we could find our home if we went with him.
Then, they saw two older children with heterochromatic eyes who welcomed them warmly. And a kind woman who fit their imagination of their “mama”, based on the stories they heard from their papa. They were too young when their mama became the star in the sky, so they could only imagine in their hearts.
Furthermore, these new set of people were calling themselves “family”. The woman was called “Mom” and the man who brought them to this warm place was called “Dad”.
The older children told them that they were their “older sister” and “older brother”.
Since they didn’t have any other siblings and didn’t have any recollection of Mama, they quickly adapted to calling them “Mom”, “Onee-chan” and “Onii-chan”.
They understood that “Dad” meant the same as “Papa” so they were confused at first. Their memories of Papa were still vivid and they loved him so much, they didn’t want to “replace” him.
It was until this “Dad” told them that they now had two sets of parents– Papa and Mama who brought them to this world and this “Dad” and Mom who would be with them from now on–that they finally understood and started calling him as “Dad”.
From hereon, they felt the warmth they were missing again. Every day was fun and they loved being with this new family. They didn’t want them to disappear so suddenly, so they were always reluctant to part from them. But each time they disappeared and then showed up again, saying, “I’m home!”, a new conviction that these people would always stay started to grow within their hearts. And their anxiety would decrease within time.
If things could stay forever this way, how nice would it be?
That was what they thought every time they went to bed.
But one day, the twins once again noticed.
The world has changed. Again.
If it was like the usual, Mom and Dad would do “family outing” and invited them along. They were always included in any “family”-themed events, to bond together.
But this particular time, they didn’t.
So, Freyr and Freyja took the initiative to ask.
“Can we come along?” Freyr asked.
“We wanna go together!” Freyja told them what they had in mind.
Dad looked back at them with a very complicated expression. The twins continued staring at him intently. Dad was the first one to break their staring contest as he sighed and patted both of their heads.
“Sorry, Freyr, Freyja. Can you two stay at home this time?”
It was as if lightning struck on a sunny day. They might not notice it, but the twins unconsciously widened their eyes in disbelief. Cyan who noticed the slight change in the twins’ expressions felt uneasy, but this had to be done. He was prepared in case the twins threw a tantrum but…
The twins meekly nodded.
“We understand,” Freyr nodded.
“But you will return, right?” Freyja asked with her slightly furrowed brows.
“Of course, I will buy you two some snacks too!” Cyan promised them.
“Don’t wanna,” Freyja rejected it right away.
“…,” Freyr shook his head lightly.
“… I’ll buy you some toys or books, then,” Cyan smiled and quickly turned around after saying that, perhaps he was confident that the twins would like toys or books, or perhaps he was afraid of the twins’ refusal again.
He was so used to Lyra’s eyes that were sparkling with expectation at the mention of food. Altaire was quite unique as what could pacify him would depend on his mood.
After the twins saw the rest of the family off, Chloe offered them some hot chocolate. They lightly nodded at Chloe’s offer.
The warmth of the hot chocolate seemed to soothe their worries away.
“Freyr…,” Freyja opened the conversation.
“Freyja…,” Freyr turned his gaze from the cup he was holding to his sister.
“They didn’t bring us along this time… Because we already went out too often and brought too many things, right?” Freyja asked.
Freyr nodded, “Must be so. This time, it’s Onee-chan and Onii-chan’s turns?”
There was once a time when they went out without their older siblings, as their older siblings were at school.
“And Dad and Mom too,” Freyja added.
“Mn. Must be so,” Freyr nodded again.
Freyja also nodded, “Let’s play with Rurune and the others.”
The two of them didn’t mind this small incident and played as usual.
Then, everyone was suddenly getting busier at the same time, Freyr and Freyja thought that it was strange. But they only came to live with them not too long ago, so maybe there was a time that everyone got busy at the same time. Their time to play together was reduced, but that was fine.
But another major strange incident came not long after that.
If it was like the usual, they would follow their older siblings around and their older siblings would play with them or teach them something wondrous. Even if they were busier, they could spare some time. It was fine even if it was for a short duration.
“Ah, Freyr, Freyja, can you play with Rurune first?” Onii-chan stopped them from following him and shoved Rurune to them. Then, he ran away downstairs as if he had some urgent matters to attend to.
The twins tilted their heads.
Freyr shifted his gaze at Freyja with a questioning look.
Freyja shook her head and said, “Maybe he’s busy?”
Homework overload? Upcoming hard tests?
But this time, it seemed different somehow…
Rurune growled as if she was confirming the small boy’s guess, “Ruru!”
Freyr nodded in agreement with Freyja’s deduction and asked, “Shall we go look for Onee-chan?”
They quickly ran in search for their second older sibling after signaling Rurune to follow them.
In their hearts, there was a tacit understanding.
If there is Onii-chan, Onee-chan, Mom, or Dad here, then we should go be with any of them!
If not, they will play with Rurune if she’s there… Or Vince, Chloe, or Niina when they’re not busy with work. Or other house helpers after they finished their work and decided to stay longer to play with them.
Time to go to Onee-chan.
She should be in her room.
“Ah, Freyr! Freyja! And Rurune, too! Can you play with yourselves for a while? Sorry, I have something to do!”
Onee-chan looked so surprised when they opened the door to her room. She then escorted the twins back to their own room.
The twins looked at each other in silent.
“Ru… ru?” Rurune floated in the middle of the twins, breaking their staring game.
“Let’s just go down and play?” Freyja asked.
“Go down and play,” Freyr nodded.
Freyja reached out her right hand to grasp Freyr’s left hand. They kept holding hands while walking out of their room, towards the stairs. Just when they were about to step their feet at the first floor…
“Aaah! Freyr-sama, Freyja-sama, don’t!” Niina came rushing at them, blocking their way.
They were just two steps away from coming down to the first floor.
The twins tilted their heads, unsure what was going on.
“You see, it’s veryyyyy disastrous downstairs! I have to clean up real hard along with the other attendants!! It will be very bad if you step on the first floor now! The dust is piling up like crazy, you might fall down due to the mess it’s in now… So…,” Niina said all that with just one breath, so she was gasping for air by now.
“Can you go back to the second floor first? I’ll let you know when we’re done!” Niina smiled, but she was actually not leaving any room for arguments. She was a mother of one hardy son, so she was experienced in this kind of thing.
From the beginning, the twins were way too obedient. Although they were frowning hard, they only nodded, turned around, and climbed the stairs with gloomy atmosphere.
“Uu…,” Niina bit her lips, looking at the twins’ limp figures. Her heart tightened a bit, but she quickly moved to do the important task at hand.
The twins returned to the second floor. They looked at their older sister’s room for a while before it was suddenly opened in a hurry.
“…huh?” A trace of surprise was detected in Lyra’s face before it was quickly gone.
“Done?” Freyja asked as she tilted her head at Lyra.
“N-not yet! I have some errands to do, sorry!” Lyra said as she quickly moved towards the stairs.
“Onee-chan, Niina said first floor is in a mess,” Freyr warned her.
“Yes, I’m going to help them!” Lyra quickly answered back.
“We will help, too!” Freyja pleaded.
Lyra paused as she turned around to look at Freyja’s determined expression.
“Uhm… You can’t. You two are too small, it will be difficult. Just wait here until I come back, okay?” Lyra asked patiently.
Freyja paused for a bit before casting her eyes downward and nodded. But a second later, she shook her head.
“Wanna help…,” she muttered.
“We can help cleaning up,” Freyr grabbed Lyra’s clothes.
“Uhm… The adults are cleaning up the mess… While Alt-nii and I help with our magic… You two are still small, so…,” Lyra tried to give them a logical reason.
“…want to learn!” Freyr suddenly said.
“Magic, to help!” Freyja added.
“Yes, sure! But it’s a bit urgent now, so you can’t, okay? Make sure to tell that to Mom, she will surely be happy!” Lyra quickly added.
“Happy?” Freyr asked.
“Mom will?” Freyja asked.
“Yes, yes! So… Please wait a bit for now, okay? Freyr and Freyja are good kids, right?” Lyra felt relieved that the twins were finally appeased.
The twins nodded, and Lyra left at a high speed.
This time, unexpectedly, Rurune followed Lyra and Lyra didn’t even ask Rurune to stay.
The twins looked at Rurune’s figure with envy.
The twins looked at the direction of Mom and Dad’s respective work room. Earlier, they were told that Mom and Dad would be busy so both couldn’t play with them. They were often busy, so the twins didn’t want to bother them. The twins kept holding each other’s hand as they went inside their room again.
“Freyja…,” Freyr began to speak, “are they avoiding us?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why are they so busy and won’t even let us help?”
“Maybe it’s because we’re small and a bother now?” Freyja asked back.
“I wanna grow up soon,” Freyr said.
“Me too, so we can do many things together with Onee-chan, Onii-chan, Mom, Dad, and the others.”
“They won’t disappear because they get too busy for us, right?” Freyr asked.
“Let’s hope so,” Freyja shook her head, unsure.
The two of them then moved to their “treasure box” that contained their beloved toys–old and new. Then, Freyja took a small round white stone. However, perhaps due to not being cleaned well, its color wasn’t that clean white anymore.
The two nestled together on the lower bed, blankets on both of them as they held the small ball with one of their hands each.
“We promise to always be together…,” Freyja chanted.
“And help each other out,” Freyr added.
It was as if they were doing a ritual they were so used to do.
“And we will be good children and help the others out!” Freyr added.
“So please let us stay with these people in this home forever,” Freyja ended their “chant” and the two of them gently stroke the small ball with their small palms.
They were told that this small white ball was a precious item that could bring fortune if they cherished it. Therefore, they would often make promises to each other with this ball as a witness and would often offer prayers with the presence of the ball.
Unfortunately, they already forgot the name of their most treasured ball/stone. Yes, they were certain it had a name… Oh well, not that it’s important, right?
Not long after they were done with the ‘ritual’, the door was suddenly opened.
“Freyr, Freyja, let’s play a game!”
Their beloved big sister announced proudly right after she stepped inside their room.
Freyr and Freyja were both surprised, but then excitement filled their whole hearts.
“Play what?” Freyr asked.
“What game?” Freyja also asked.
Then, Lyra “magically” took out a pair of small cloth from behind her back and handed them over to the twins–one each.
“It’s a [Pretend to be Blind] game! I’ll tie the cloth to cover your eyes and then I will guide you to a certain place!” Lyra quickly explained.
“A certain place?”
The twins asked as they let Lyra cover their eyes with the cloth.
“It’s a secret! That’s why, let’s find it out together!” Lyra answered, her tone was so full of secrecy.
The twins held each other’s hand as they were a little afraid that they couldn’t see anything. Freyja’s left hand grasped the pocket that was located in the middle of her clothes. She quickly put their treasured ball inside that pocket as they couldn’t be bothered to tidy up and put the things they took out in their treasure box again.
“Are you ready?”
The twins nodded when they heard their big sister’s voice.
“Okay, follow my instructions well!”
Lyra said as she started to guide the twins to their destination.
When the twins seemed to stray from her direction, Lyra would patiently grab their free hand and direct them back to the right path.
Eventually, the twins felt the breeze of the wind.
Are we outside?
The smell of the plants, the warm heat of the sun, and…?
What’s this good smell…?
After a while, they realized that Lyra hadn’t given them any more instructions.
Are we there already?
“Yes, we’ve already arrived~!”
Lyra’s voice didn’t come from beside them—but judging from her voice, she seemed to be in front of them.
“You can open the blindfold now!”
She added, without hiding the excitement in her tone.
Where are we…? What’s happening?
The twins couldn’t contain their excitement and hastily opened their blindfolds. Due to the rush, their blindfolds were stuck here and there. They finally managed to release the blindfolds with great efforts and…
The scene that they saw right in front of their eyes… It would be a scene deeply engraved in their memories for a very long time. Even if their memories forget this scene, they wouldn’t be able to forget their feelings at this moment.
All members of the family were there…
Mom, Dad, Lyra-neechan, Alt-niichan, Rurune, Vince, Chloe, Niina, Clavis, and several house helpers that were in good terms with them. Dad even let his Familiar, Phyllo who was normally busy or on duty, participate. Mom also summoned a part of Fenix in the form of a little fiery bird.
The garden was merrily arranged—with outdoor table and chairs. Balloons and magical illusions were everywhere, and the blooming flowers surrounding them only made it more beautiful. Several other items and what looked like presents were arranged neatly on another smaller table. On top of the main wooden table, there were some food and a big cake.
So, that’s what smells good!
The twins couldn’t see the food yet, but they were all the foods that the twins liked.
Taking the advantage of the twins’ dazed mind (due to the surprise), Lyra and Alt-nii popped the confetti at the twins. As if it was the signal, everyone suddenly said in (almost a good) unison.
“Happy fifth birthday, Freyr and Freyja!”
It was only then that the twins realized the writing on the hanging banner.
“Day 5 Month 5 Year 979: Happy 5th Birthday, Freyr & Freyja~!”
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See you in the next chapter! ^^