Day 21 Month 9, it’s Altaire-oniichan’s special day!
Yes, today is his sixth birthday!
Sixth birthday is special because it marks the age where one reaches their maximum mana capacity and how they are welcome to participate in society gatherings, especially for nobles!
Since I am his little sister, I am allowed to participate in Altaire-oniichan’s Debut Party! Obviously, I am getting busy because my grandparents are coming and I also need to dress up!!
The royal family is also invited but I doubt they’d come. After all, it is unusual for the royal family to grace themselves on some noble’s parties, especially birthday parties. Even if we are the members of the Four Dukes! At the most, the king will come if he is not busy. But let’s not expect too much. I can’t deny that I am curious to know how the crown prince looks like in his… adult form? And how he is after he becomes the king.
Nevertheless, I must really dress up and behave appropriately! Alt-nii is the star in this party, but that doesn’t mean I can escape the nobles’ judgement, even as a 3-year-old!
Also… debut party… incoming nobles… That means… the Grabberton family would also be present, right? Ohmygodohmygodohmygod… I don’t know if I can keep my poker face and feign as much ignorance as possible if I were to face them directly!! I need to speak only if necessary.
Oh, even if the party is usually held in the noble’s house, those with small houses may rent a venue. So, Alt-nii’s birthday party is held at the old Hartmann’s house. For the preparations, the Sanctuaria family helped us a lot in terms of maids and other workers. Niina, Vince, and Chloe’s relatives also came to help, and so they would be allowed to attend the party as well!
This will be my first time being in the middle of the crowd after my reincarnation. Of course I’d be a little nervous, even if I am only a side character.
But Altaire might be more nervous than I am. He would be standing in front of all the audiences. Yes, he will stand in the middle of the taller-than-other-grounds stage in the middle of the large hall!! It was formerly the audience room and also the living room of the huge Hartmann house, and it was modified for parties like this.
This large and luxurious house could have been my house, but, well, I don’t really care for the luxury. Can’t say I don’t miss all the luxury and convenience I had as Reinst, but I won’t trade the warmth of family that I know in this life for any luxury.
I can’t imagine how Altaire-nii is doing right now! He must be peeking from behind the stage nervously!!
Instead of him peeking the hall from behind the stage, the one who has been constantly peeking is me.
As for Alt-nii…
“Clavis, prepare yourself well! Don’t you remember that you need to stand beside me at the stage? You are my appointed butler, after all~ My companion~!” Alt-nii grinned while teasing Clavis.
Clavis-nii seems very flustered and can’t imagine the idea of him being in the center of the attention, with all the nobles looking at him.
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Well, usually nobles would have some personal maids or butlers, but since we’re broke, we have no one. In this occasion, Clavis-nii would be accompanying Alt-nii around, but standing at the stage next to him was not part of the pact. Yes, I remember that!!
“W, what are you talking about… Alt—-I mean, Altaire-sama?!” Clavis stuttered.
Another point!! Not addressing Alt-nii with “-sama” suffix will cause an uproar, as Clavis plays the role of Alt-nii’s personal butler in this event. It must be hard for Clavis-nii to adjust himself. I feel sorry for him. At first, he needed to adjust his habit of calling Alt-nii with “-sama” suffix into the calling of just “Alt”, as he is a friend to my big brother. Now that he’s already been used to calling Altaire-nii with his name only, he needs to readjust it back!!
“W-e-l-l! We agreed to that!!” Alt-nii’s face doesn’t show any sign of joke at all.
Clavis becomes more nervous, and I see that he is now slightly trembling!
That poor wolfie—and what a meanie you are, big brother!
I decided to step up.
“Uhm, Alt-nii, stop! Clavis-nii is really scared! I know he is only asked to follow you after you go to the stage! He doesn’t need to be on the stage!!”
Clavis-nii is clearly surprised. But hearing my words, he stopped shaking and sighed in relief.
“Aaaaah, Lyra! We just got to the fun part!! Why won’t you just tease Clavis with me?” Alt-nii pouted.
Uuu, talk about bullies!!
“You’re teasing Clavis-nii too much, Alt-nii!” I put myself between Clavis and Altaire.
“Ah well… I’ll let this go, then. Lyra is right, Clavis. Seems like you forgot what our agreement said. You’d better be thankful to Lyra! My little sister is just too kind!” Alt-nii patted my head and then patted Clavis’ head.
The moment he tried to pat Clavis—Clavis dodged his patting.
“Really, Alt! If you do that again, I won’t play with you anymore!!”
“Haha, alright, alright, I will make sure I don’t bully you too much next time!”
“So, you’re still thinking of teasing me?! Geez, really!!”
“Your reaction is cute, Clavis!”
“I am not cute!!” Clavis denied it wholeheartedly. So, it is true that boys hate being called cute?
And yup. This is the relationship between my brother and his very first best friend. Yup, they look like they’re fighting most of the time and Altaire would seem like a meanie, but please please believe me, they are actuallllyyyy really close! When Clavis got sick the other day, Altaire-nii went out all the way to visit him in his house and lent him a CD containing his favorite holographic show! Although, Alt-nii gave it to him while saying, “You have to quickly get better and return my favorite CD! If you take too long, I’ll charge you for being late!!”
I can also tell that he was worried sick when he heard Clavis’ fever was so severe at that time. He didn’t behave as he usually was at home.
When Clavis-nii got better and played in our house again, Alt-nii teased him first thing first, but his expression seemed relieved!!
Ah, I can’t really understand the friendship between boys.
And, is my big brother a tsundere?!
Come to think about it, Clavis-nii could also be categorized as my first friend!!
Besides him, I sometimes went to play with the kids in the downtown whenever I strolled around there. We saw a doll show and then the performer’s child would lead us to play after the show. I am not particularly close with any of them, but… it feels nice when they smiled and said, “Let’s play together again next time!”
The past me would definitely not spend any time playing around since I’d get so engrossed to studying and training, hoping to get praised by my parents.
“Altaire, after this we will go on the stage and greet everyone. Dad will open the party, and then the floor is all yours,” Dad said.
Alt-nii nodded with a bright smile on his face.
Is he seriously not nervous?!
“U, uhm, Lyra, thank you so much for your help just now! You really saved me!”
I heard a familiar voice from behind me. As I turned around, there is Clavis, as expected, but there’s something I had never expected, coming from him.
His eyes are totally sparking when he looks at me!!
What’s more, isn’t his tail slightly waving around?!
“N, no problem, it’s Alt-nii’s fault for being a meanie!” I said.
Clavis smiled in response and said, “you’re so kind!”
“Haha, if he ever teases you too much, just call me I will come to your rescue!” I said. Well, somehow I can handle Alt-nii better than Clavis! Is this the legendary little sister power?
“Uuu, I can’t believe you are his sister!” Clavis then patted my head.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for setting aside your time to attend my first son, Altaire Ophiuscus Hartmann’s sixth birthday that also marks his debut in our society. As he might still be young and inexperienced, we would kindly ask for your help and guidance in behalf of our son. Now, I shall allow the star of this event to take the spotlight. Altaire, the floor is all yours.”
Dad concluded his beautiful speech and swiftly gave Alt-nii the sound amplifier—a small device that could enhance your voice, so it can be heard in the entire spacious room!
Wow, Dad, way to go! I wouldn’t have imagined his figure when he gave that speech—full of charm, confidence, and his voice was so firm and… he really has the charisma of a leader!!
But, but, he plays the role of oyabaka in this house!! What is with this change of attitude?
“Ahem!!” Alt-nii started to speak. I can feel that all eyes are on him right now.
Do your best, big brother!!
“Good evening, dear ladies and gentlemen. Pleased to meet you all, I am Altaire Ophiuscus Hartmann, the first son of Icarus Valkyane Hartmann and Cassiophelia de la Sanctuaria. I humbly offer my gratitude for your kindness to grace us with your presence in my sixth birthday. As my father has said before, it would be my first step towards the society, so there would be many things that I have yet to discover. Please do be patient with me, and I really hope we can all get along!” then, Alt-nii bowed down graciously.
…well spoken, and well-refined manner!!
So different from Alt-nii’s usual teasing and all smiley face! He looks so refined right now!!
Only now I realize that Alt-nii takes after Dad!
Both of them are two-faced—uh, that doesn’t have a nice ring.
Maybe it’s better to say that they have a face that they show to others and the face that they show to close friends and family members?
A round of applause can be heard throughout the room.
That was superb!!
After that, the hologram plays music as everyone is enjoying themselves in the party.
At first, I am following my mother around as she is talking to other nobles, mostly the noblewomen. Meanwhile Altaire follows Dad and is getting introduced to the nobles.
After that, I can see that Alt-nii is gathering with the noble children and he is enjoying himself to speak with them. He can definitely feel more pressured than this!! This is his first debut, after all!!
But, it’s still a good thing that he enjoys it.
The next thing I know, I managed to slip out from Mom and her noble friends’ chit-chats.
Hmm, there are rarely children around my age. The youngest would be around six, the same age as Altaire.
I feel slightly uncomfortable at seeing my past acquaintances… Like how that noble lady I saw just now, she was just 12 years old when I last saw her. How time truly changes someone. Age changes really do make people seem more mature. While in my case, time changes myself as well. However, my age just got regressed… Haha… Hahahahahahaa!!! I am an adult in a 3 years old child’s body!!
And I think there have been occasions where I got carried by my appearance and acted like a child… This is bad… or not…?
I can’t decide.
“Hmm? Why do we have a little child here?”
I could hear the voice of a young man. His voice is quite deep… he seems to be in his early twenties. And his accent is strangely familiar. It is a Western accent!! He is highly likely someone I know as Reinst, then!!
I cautiously turned around.
There is the young handsome man right in front of my eyes. I have to bend my head upwards to see him! He is quite tall, perhaps as tall as Dad. His suit is elegant, and I can see that the material to make the suit is of high quality. His blonde hair sticks out in comparison with his white suit. His amber eyes are looking at me with a gentle gaze.
…I know him…
Yes, I’d definitely recognize him, even when time changes his appearance.
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But… why white suit?
…Let me explain the significance of the suit color!
The Four Dukes have their respective color and emblems. When attending formal parties like this, especially other dukes’ parties, the members of the dukes’ families should wear clothes in their family’s color, plus the emblem must be worn.[The Hartmann family wears blue-themed clothes with a green wing emblem on their left chest.
The Grabberton family wears grey-themed clothes with a sword emblem on their right chest.
The Fumitsuna family wears black-themed clothes with red pentagram emblem on their left upper arm.
The Loera family wears white-themed clothes with a feather emblem, with a distinct gradient of color on their right upper arm.]
By the way, I am wearing a blue dress with my hairs tied in a twin tail. The green wing emblem is very apparent on my left chest.
I tried to confirm if I was just color-blind and that the man was actually wearing grey clothes. So, I peeked at his right chest… no emblem… what?
Instead, I see a feather emblem with a very distinct color pattern on his right upper arm.
“…” What kind of sorcery is this? Doppelganger phenomenon? My guess was wrong?
“Hmm, ah, you’re Hartmann’s youngest child, aren’t you? That explains!” He squatted so that our eyes could meet with each other.
“Ah, nice to meet you. I’m Clyde. I am also a member of the Four Dukes, can you guess from which family am I?”
Wait, what a coincidence?!
“…Are you Mister Clyde Horace?”
“You know me? Ah, then guessing from which house I am would be easy, right?”
He was my half-brother!! Clyde Horace Grabberton!!! There is no mistaking it!
But the Loera-themed clothes he is wearing is making me hesitate.
Could it be that I was reborn into a parallel world of my previous world? That explains how there are many similarities, at the same time there is a plain contradiction like this.
However, my hunch is telling me that this is the exact same world as my previous one.
So, if that’s true, then… what’s up with him giving me a sudden trivia?
Uhhh, what should I answer?
Is he just cosplaying right now?
Or is this a new kind of prank or event…?
Like… a prank to ask pop quiz to other nobles to know that they remember who you are?
A new trend, huh?
If that’s the case, perhaps I might as well answer him clearly, while asking him a question that I’m so curious for! Who knows he might have explained what kind of event is actually happening, for him to be cosplaying in Loera clothes.
“…Eeeh, uhm, why are you in Loera-themed clothes when you’re actually from Grabberton family, then?”
“…Huh? I am wearing Loera-themed clothes, yes. But have I ever told you that I am from Grabberton family?” He looks at me in wonder. Any sign of him lying or teasing me? Negative, he is totally serious!
…Was that not the right answer?
…….Am I just digging my own grave?!
“So… care to explain how did you figure out I was from Grabberton family, little miss?” Clyde tilted his head in confusion, but he is still smiling at me. He is genuinely interested.
… … …
……………..CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!
I CANNOT THINK OF ANY BLUFF!!
Wait, wait, wait!
How can I open the menu?!
Where is the load button?!
Any quick load button?
Can I reset from my last checkpoint?!
Why isn’t life a game that has checkpoints and load featureeeee, I’ve screwed up so bad now!