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The Hartmann Family’s Big Events
After having fun at the twins’ and Leti’s birthday parties, it was time to face reali—not really, more fun arrived after that. Not much was going on in my peaceful every day, only exams and training were there.
But it was fun! I meant, the training, not the exams.
I was more used to non-Spraec chants or even chantless spells because I couldn’t be bothered with remembering all the Spraec words… I guess I gotta thank the god who reincarnated me, I suppose the god knew me so well that I was given this ability…?
As for the transformation, I was happy to announce that I could transform into a cat just fine. The duration that I could maintain my transformation also improved. Not to mention the illusion arts~
Time passed so quickly just like that and my 10th birthday arrived. I was more or less used to this anxiety I had during my birthday party.
It was even safe to say that I was in a state of constant nervousness during my birthday celebration, haha!
Of course, I saw my past family again and communicated with them during my 10th birthday party, too. And when I was feeling that my head grew heavier (the sensation that happened whenever I heard my previous mother’s critics), I was saved from that uneasy feelings thanks to my current family.
Perhaps they could somehow notice that I was feeling uneasy, so they intervened. Even the youngest members of our family pulled my hands and gave weird excuses whenever I got too carried away with the situation.
“Lyra-neechan, can you accompany me to get some of the food?” Freyja asked.
“…Eh?” I was dumbfounded when I first heard her excuse—I meant, she could have asked Mom, Dad, or even Alt-nii—anyone that was not doing anything notable at that time, if Freyja had difficulty taking it herself.
“My, my, little girl. I see that you’re still very young, so let Auntie tell you that you shouldn’t interrupt your sister like that when she’s in the middle of greeting the other nobles. It’s not that polite. You should learn more. And you, Lyra, you should try to teach your little sister better.”
“…You’re right, Dahlia-san. I will definitely do that,” I quickly answered.
And that managed to end our conversation. However, that made me unable to ask more questions about the Grabberton family. Well… maybe next time?
On the other hand, perhaps thanks to communicating with Ein that often, I’ve gotten used to Nicole and Clyde quite a lot that I managed to ease up in front of them.
So, one less burden for me during my birthday party, yay?
As per usual, the betrothal issue was always brought up during my birthday party.
…Honestly, I’m getting bored of this betrothal thingy, I could actually yawn if I didn’t have to maintain my image.
I tried to maintain my friendly expression while listening to the nobles speaking to my parents.
“Say, are you sure about not betrothing her to anyone yet? What about betrothing her to a good family and a good man to secure her future?”
“My daughter’s life is none of your concern. I won’t hand her over yet.”
“Valkyane-sama, there’s no need to be so defensive. We’re saying this out of concern for your daughter…”
…Yeah, fake concern, I guess?
All you have in mind when you came up to my parents is how beneficial it would be to have a duke’s daughter marry into your family—or relatives.
“Ssh, what are you talking about?! Ah, Valkyane-sama, forgive this insolent friend of mine. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Another noble approached his friend who was offering a betrothal.
“It’s okay, as long as you understand now,” Mom tried to give a polite smile.
“You’re right. Forgive his rudeness… To think he’d dare offer an engagement to the fiancee of our crown prince…!”
…EXCUSE ME, WHAT?
Since when am I Luca’s fiancee?
Wait, since when do I even have a fiance?
“No, listen, I think you get something wrong…,” Mom was troubled over how she should explain it…
I guess everyone in the noble society’s pretty much thought that I was going to be the future queen with how close I’m with Luca…
They don’t understand the difference of a friendship and romance, it seems.
Sigh, they should have read more romance stories!
“Now, now, if any, Lyra-chan’s fiance candidate would be our only son,” Nicole suddenly chimed in the conversation…
Whoa, Dad, Dad, please stop your icy smile right there! The atmosphere’s getting colder and heavier!!!
“Lyra is not getting married or engaged yet!!!” Dad strictly announced.
…It seems like this stuff about engagement is just getting worse year after year…
Oh well, at least I don’t need to bother with it with the way it is right now…
Thus, I safely turned 10.
Then, the next big event that happened in the Hartmann family was Alt-nii’s coming-of-age ceremony.
Alt-nii really had grown up to be a good person. Honestly, compared to when he was a child… He was much calmer now. Though he still had a bit of his mischievous side within~
It was like I was watching my own child grow up… ah, but he’s my brother!! What’s more, my older brother.
He grew much taller than before. However, I was proud to say that our height difference wasn’t that huge. I guess I was still considered tall compared to children my age.
Slim, tall, and gorgeous body, here I come! My future is looking bright~
“Alt-nii, congratulations for your coming-of-age ceremony!”
When I congratulated my big brother, he gently smiled and patted my head.
“Thanks, li’l sis! Your onii-chan is considered an adult with this coming-of-age ceremony, so from now on, I’ll be the one protecting you and the twins along with Mom and Dad. So, depend on me more, will you?”
Normally, Alt-nii would pat on my head too rough that my hair ended up becoming messy. It was one of his small mischievous behaviour.
However, it was only a gentle pat that felt… warm and calming.
Aaah, yes. Alt-nii is now 13. The same age as Reinst when she died—when I died in my previous lifetime.
Perhaps since I didn’t feel like I grew much in terms of mental age maturity, I felt like Alt-nii was now going to walk together with me… from hereafter.
And it was comforting to know that.
“Congratulations, Alt. You’re now officially considered as an adult. It’s not going to be easy from now on, as the responsibility on your shoulders will be increased. However, know that we’re all here for you,” Dad said to Alt-nii.
“Thanks, Dad! I know that and I believe in the power of family~,” Alt-nii tried to ease up the serious situation.
“Sigh… time sure flies, huh? Come here, son. No matter how old you get, you’ll always be our baby son,” Mom said as she took the initiative to hug Alt-nii.
“Mom, I’m not a child any—ah who cares, thanks, Mom. It’s nice to know that I can show my child side to you. And… guess I won’t be embarrassed in front of Lyra. She’s been more mature than me when we were young, so yeah,” Alt-nii didn’t seem like he wanted to resist.
“For one, Lyra needs to learn more from you about things like this,” Mom said as she glanced at me and showed her rare teasing smile.
“Uuu… noted!” I answered quickly.
“Now, Lyra, there’s no need to be so serious, haha,” Dad said as he patted my head.
It was right at this timing that the twins came barging after they were all done with their preparations.
“Whoa, not fair, I want a share of love too!” Freyja quickly demanded as she ran to us.
“Haha, no need to rush, there’s plenty of love for everyone,” Dad said.
…There’s plenty of love for everyone here.
My heart oddly felt warm when I heard Dad’s words. It felt like a part of my heart was comforted by such simple words.
“…Me too, please,” Freyr was acting all shy.
“Sure, come here, Freyr!” I was the one to spread my welcoming arms.
And then, right after Alt-nii’s coming-of-age rite…
“Look, the Hartmann family’s first son has grown up to be a splendid person, don’t you think?”
“I wonder if his fiancee has been established already…”
“I heard that he doesn’t have a fiancee yet, not even a candidate!”
“Really? Then, I should propose my daughter! They’d make a good match!”
“No way! My niece is going to make a better match for him!”
“Whatever, you guys are just all talk and no action. Here, watch me as I directly talk to him and his parents about this!!”
…Nobles can be quite scary, huh?
Regardless of whether they really see Alt-nii for who he is, it doesn’t change the fact that there will be people who will aim for him just because he’s a duke’s first son. The one most likely to inherit the title of the duke, the head of the family.
Again, I was reminded about how the noble society should be.
“I’m sorry, but I promised I won’t meddle with my children’s marriage. It will be up to them to decide,” Dad rejected the notion of betrothing Alt-nii.
“Eh, but Duke Hartmann, wouldn’t it be bothersome if your son here falls in love with a no-name commoner?”
“That will be no problem for us,” Dad firmly answered.
“I’d rather him marry a no-name commoner and be happy for the rest of his life,” Dad still kept his smile—but it was a cold smile.
“…How could he be happy by marrying a no-name commoner that won’t bring anything?”
I was expecting Dad to keep arguing, but unexpectedly, he decided to ignore that noble instead, ending it with a smile—the same icy smile.
“I guess we’re lucky to be born as Dad and Mom’s children,” Alt-nii approached me and whispered.
“Yeah, that’s what I feel, too,” I quickly agreed.
Then, I suddenly remembered to ask him about something.
“Eh, Alt-nii! Speaking of which, do you have any girl that you’re interested in?”
Alt-nii raised his eyebrows.
“Hmm… Let see… there are some interesting girls in school, but… hmmm… this is difficult…,” Alt-nii folded his arms and pondered.
“Well, there’s no need to think about it to much! Just make sure you tell me if there’s someone you like!”
“What? Do you want to assess her before I approach her?” Alt-nii teasingly asked.
“Uuu, that’s not what I intended to…,” I was only curious.
“Haha, I know, I know. Same goes for you, then. Though I bet Dad won’t allow it.”
“I-I’m still 10, Alt-nii! Way too early for that!”
“But there are some noble girls getting betrothed at your age—or even younger.”
“…That’s a whole different case, Alt-nii…”
We silently looked at each other before we broke into a laughter.
Aaah, really. I feel way closer to Alt-nii compared to before.
Is it because of his increased maturity or my opening my heart up?
It doesn’t really matter at this point.
When Altaire and Lyra’s laughter could be heard, Cyan and Cassie turned to look at their beloved children.
It appeared that both Altaire and Lyra quickly remembered that they were still in front of the public and that they should maintain their image, as they both quickly cleared their throats and talked in a calm manner.
However, Cyan and Cassie wouldn’t be able to erase the scene that they happened to witness at that time.
It was a very rare scene where both of their children were laughing without any restraint, looking so close to each other.
“Hey, did you see?” Cyan asked his wife.
“Yes, Lyra and Altaire, they are…”
“Never mind Alt, but Lyra…”
“This is the first time I’ve seen them so close and Lyra being so open with Altaire. Before, it feels like…,” Cassie stopped, but Cyan knew what his wife was about to say.
“It feels like there’s this gap between them, although they’re blood siblings,” Cyan nodded.
“…I hate to admit that, but yes, I felt that way, too. But now…”
“It seems that the wall between them has been lifted, huh?” Cyan contently smiled.
“Or more precisely, I think it’s more about Lyra…,” Cassie hesitated.
“Ah, right. And talking about Lyra… I think it’s pretty clear how tense she is whenever she faces a certain family…,” Cyan muttered.
“Oh, you’ve noticed, too? I noticed it from her magic. Although the protective charm I gave her long time ago managed to restrict her dark magic from leaking, I still can feel it.”
“…How’s her magic training going? Didn’t you also train her dark magic?” Cyan asked.
“Yes, but only the basic. It’s getting better now, but it seems like her dark magic is quite strong that it can still affect her at certain times. For example, whenever she’s tense… To put it simply, it depends on her heart,” Cassie said in a worried tone.
“Shouldn’t we give her more dark magic training, then?” Cyan became anxious as well.
Cassie nodded, “Yes, in time, we will.”
“That’s good to know.”
The two of them then turned to look at their children interacting again.
Certainly, it feels like they’re closer than ever before.
Finally, their sibling bond’s been formed.
It might take quite a time for it to be formed like this, but well, everybody’s pace and timing is different, and it might be the best they can do.
Cyan and Cassie then recalled a conversation they once had with Altaire.
“Altaire, you’re the eldest son. I know this might be a lot to ask, but will you also protect your younger siblings, especially when we’re not there?”
“Don’t worry, Dad! I know, and I will definitely be a good big brother for them! It’s not a burden at all! I like it if I can be a place where they can depend on.”
“But don’t overdo yourself. It’s fine to also rely on your younger siblings at times. Help each other out.”
“I know, Mom!”
They were relieved to know that—even if they’re not here, at the end of the day, their children will have one another to count on.
Not all siblings in this world could do this, and they were quite anxious as they raised their children.
So, it was very comforting to know that they managed to raise them well.
How will their bonds continue to evolve?
That’s something they will be looking forward to witnessing.