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The Miracle Twins
After the confusing event of [Turning Enemies to Allies], there were two significant things happening.
First was how my friends asked me about what happened–when the trio troublemakers weren’t there with us.
Naturally, they were stunned.
All except for one.
Carbuncle, the mighty dragon decreed:
“Of course it’s natural for them to admire you after you asserted your dominance at that time!”
I went blank, but in any case, Carbuncle got something right. It had to be something related to what I did in the Wetstone Cave.
Meanwhile, the others were…
“Are you sure they’re not scheming something behind you?”
“You should be careful, Lyra.”
Am I that gullible?!
My previous opinion still stands.
I think Briar, Dmitria, and Valerie were good girls deep down. And Briar didn’t seem to be acting. Meanwhile, the two sisters seemed to be following Briar along.
As for my big brother’s comment…
“They’re quite interesting, and it’s going to be lively with them around, haha.”
I immediately took this chance to ask him, “Could you be interested in any of them, Alt-nii?”
Alt-nii looked at me in surprise before he quickly shook his head.
“Hee…,” I only said that as I was thinking that… Perhaps, Alt-nii might be interested in any of my female friends in the future…?
In that case, it would be good for me to befriend more girls for Alt-nii’s sake as well.
Nevertheless, we all agreed we would give the three of them a chance to prove that they really wanted to be our friends.
[It would be better to believe them rather than doubting. At least we would be expressing our good intention. It’s up to them to answer to our good intention with evil or good.]
Unexpectedly, those words were spoken by Ein, the youngest member who was just bantering with Briar and Dmitria.
Perhaps their bantering caused Ein to better understand the girls’ respective personality and thus, he said so?
We were all speechless for a moment when Ein said such a wise word.
Ein then grinned and told us he remembered those words from a show he liked to watch with his parents.
…what kind of touching drama did the Loera main family like to watch?!
N-not that I’m interested because I want to binge watch it myself, though!!
(Lyra made a mental note to find out the title of the show, and later on, she’d binge watch them in her spare time.)
And that marked the end of the first event happening right after I introduced the trio as our new friends.
As for the second event…
“Arusha Briar-Rose Remus, Dmitria and Valerie Flugel. It’s the three of you again. And the poor victim just happened to be Alrescha Lyra Hartmann. *Siiiiiigh* If this were a school where the social positions held some merits, you guys would face a harsher punishment for not respecting someone of a higher position. In any case…”
The headmaster of the Intermediate Level called the four of us immediately after Adventure class ended.
“Uhm… But Sensei, I am fine, really. And we are all friends now, so can you let them go–”
“Even so, I still have to give some forms of punishment to them and notify their parents. This is to set a warning for the other students, so they will think twice before doing something akin to this.”
Uuuu… I tried to help the three of them out of this situation, but it failed.
The headmaster seemed to be a young and kind man, but he was actually a strict one. Perhaps that was why he was assigned the position of the Intermediate Level headmaster—he had to deal with adolescents in rebel phase, so he had to be strict.
What he said also made sense.
If he let Briar, Dmitria, and Valerie go just like that, the others would think it would be fine for them to make one or two troubles. It would just induce more problems.
Thankfully, the adventure field wasn’t damaged that severe. The adventure fields were designed to be able to withstand damage as battles would surely happen there. The fields were quite magical in terms of its regeneration speed.
But if Dmitria’s peryton somehow managed to burn the whole forest to nothing… yikes, I couldn’t imagine how angry the headmaster would be. I also couldn’t imagine the kind of punishment he’d give them.
“Sensei, we apologize for the trouble. May we receive our punishment now?” Valerie suddenly broke the awkward silent.
I turned to look at the three girls, all of them seemed to be eager to receive any punishment that might be given to them.
At least they got a sense of responsibility.
“I have given you three various kinds of punishment with no effect so far, maybe it’s time to call your parents here. This matter also involves someone whose position is higher than you so the occasion is just right,” Headmaster Linus said.
“Eeeeeeh?!” Briar was the first one to react. Anxiety was evident on her face.
“S-Sensei, but we’re all adults already, can we be responsible for ourselves?” Briar quickly asked.
“So, you realized that you were already adults and had your coming-of-age ceremony in this kind of situation? Why didn’t you remember that sooner, when you thought of bullying your junior who hasn’t had her coming-of-age ceremony?” Headmaster Linus’ words were so sharp and direct, it left us no leeway to say anything.
He is right.
The three girls are my senior as they are all Intermediate Year 2 students—the same as Erneste.
“Seems like this kind of punishment gives more impact, huh? In addition to you three having to patrol the adventure fields in the next adventure class, I will be summoning your parents right away,” Headmaster Linus said as he moved aside.
“Sensei, Sensei, who are you calling? You couldn’t be calling both of our parents in a complete set, right?” Dmitria raised her hand and asked.
I observed the Flugel sisters’ expressions and saw how they didn’t seem to be in panic or feeling uneasy like Briar.
Dmitria’s expression also seemed to convey: ‘Our parents are nobles who have their business to attend to, so you’d definitely only call the least busy one, right?’
Ah, perhaps they weren’t worried as their mothers doted on them?
Meanwhile, it wasn’t the same for Briar, huh?
“Good question. I will be calling Briar’s father and your mother,” Headmaster Linus contently smiled.
At that time, it was as if a switch was turned on.
“WHAT?! NOT MOTHER!!” Dmitria quickly panicked and raised her voice.
“No, don’t call Mother!” A hint of panic was shown in Valerie’s usually lazy expression. Even her calm voice trembled.
“…Let’s see if he comes,” Briar-Rose smiled wryly.
I tilted my head in confusion to their reactions.
“Ah, should I also call your parents to explain today’s matter to them, Lyra?” Headmaster Linus asked.
“Eh? No, there is no need to bother them. Besides, I’m fine. …I also don’t want to bring about any unnecessary trouble,” I quickly rejected the idea.
I could explain everything to my parents later at home. I didn’t want to disturb their work and make them worry.
Luckily, Linus-Sensei didn’t pursue the matter anymore.
Briar-Rose was quite silent after she was told that her parents would be called, and the atmosphere around her seemed to have taken a change to a gloomier side.
Meanwhile, the Flugel sisters continued to coax Headmaster Linus to change his mind.
“Can you call Papa instead?” Valerie asked.
“Right, you can call Daddy instead!” Dmitria immediately added.
But Headmaster Linus paid no heed to their begging as he quickly turned to leave the room to call their parents.
Their ways of addressing their father were different, huh? Oddly, I thought it suited their respective style.
In the meantime…
“What should we do, Sister?” Dmitria asked Valerie.
“This is bad… I never thought Sensei would call our parents…,” Valerie bit her thumb’s nail.
“Mother’s wrath… No, her lecture is…,” Dmitria said with an ugly expression.
“Ugh… Enough, Dmitria,” Valerie turned her face away from Dmitria, as if she was running away from the reality.
I tilted my head again, wondering this ‘Mother’ they referred to was which one’s biological mother. In any case, the two seemed to have a similar opinion of this ‘Mother’.
My imagination of having the two’s mothers coming would not be realized, it seemed.
I didn’t need to wait long for my confusion to be answered. Not too long after that, Headmaster Linus told us to sit in accordance to his order and a knock could be heard immediately.
“Excuse me, I’m Ristea sol Brynhildr Flugel. Is Headmaster Linus present?”
A woman’s voice could be heard from beyond the door.
The tone of her voice was gentle yet strong. It didn’t give her the impression of a weak and gentle beauty, but I got the feeling that the person speaking was a strong beauty instead.
At the same time the voice could be heard, I saw the Flugel sisters tensed up and hugged each other.
…Wow, such reactions.
Headmaster Linus answered Ristea’s question and personally opened the door to let her in.
As the door opened, I reflexively turned my eyes there. Then, I saw a tall and slim woman wearing a formal monochrome set of shirt, pants, and robe. Her hair was kept at medium-length and was wavy. The color of her hair was magenta—it was like the shade between Dmitria’s deep pink hair and Valerie’s sakura or light pink hair. What caught my attention the most was the pair of pink eyes that were exactly like Dmitria and Valerie’s eyes.
Her eyes were sharp though, so they were more similar to Dmitria’s eyes. As for her skin complexion, it was a fair one, not as pale as Valerie’s and not as dark as Dmitria’s.
Now I couldn’t really say if she was Dmitria or Valerie’s biological mother. It was more befitting to say that… she was really their biological mother!
“Earl Flugel, thank you for sparing some time to come to this academy,” Headmaster Linus said as he let Ristea sit at the empty space in the middle of Dmitria and Valerie—who obediently let go of each other to make the empty space for Ristea.
“It’s only natural for a mother to prioritize her children, Linus-Sensei. So, how are my twin daughters doing?” Ristea asked as she turned her meaningful gaze towards Dmitria and Valerie alternatively.
Dmitria and Valerie didn’t dare to look at Ristea straight in the eyes. They hung their heads down as if they were very obedient children.
“My, Dmitria and Valerie seem to be very docile in front of you, Earl Flugel,” Headmaster Linus said amusingly.
“Haha, yeah, that’s how they are. Since my husbands doted on them so much, it’s up to me to discipline them. Incidentally, since I’m the head of the Flugel family and the current earl, it’s only natural for me to be strict to them, as they are going to succeed me as well,” Ristea proudly said.
I quickly turned my head—which I hung down as well just now—to look at Ristea sol Brynhildr Flugel—the current Earl Flugel, based on what she said.
And based on what she said… ‘my husbands’, and add that the sisters referred to their father with different way of addressing… it seemed that… wait, hang on, it couldn’t be…?
“Aneki, what’s the matter?” Briar, who was sitting next to me, asked. It seemed that my confusion was quite obvious.
“Just Briar is fine, Aneki!”
“…Alright, Briar. Can you tell me more about the Flugel sisters and how they are called the miracle twins?”
Briar and I moved closer to each other as we whispered to each other while Headmaster Linus was speaking with the Earl Flugel and her two daughters.
“Sure! I think I know why you are confused. To clarify—Earl Flugel there is Dmitria and Valerie’s mother. Dmitria and Valerie were indeed twins although they were quite different especially in terms of appearances. The [miracle] title was given to the twins because they were twins of different fathers—a very rare occurrence with a difficult scientific term I can’t remember…”
“…Eeeh?! Really?!” I widened my eyes in surprise and almost raised my voice—thankfully I remembered where we were and immediately covered my mouth.
“Yep, it’s true. Some people couldn’t believe this fact, though,” Briar confirmed the truth of her words once more.
I turned to look at Earl Flugel and the miracle twins once again.
No wonder the twins had some traits that took after Earl Flugel. In other words, the Flugel Earl house was a matriarchal house, huh?
No wonder the twins addressed their fathers differently and their mother as ‘Mother’. So, Valerie’s biological father was addressed as [papa] and Dmitria’s as [daddy], huh?
That wasn’t a bad idea to better distinguish who was who, actually.
Come to think of it, my former family—the Grabberton house—wasn’t in a cordial term with the Flugel house. It would be explained simply by the differing values they had. The Grabberton house was mostly patriarchal family, and the Flugel house was a matriarchal family.
It was quite hard if we wanted to build a good relationship between the two houses via marriages. No wonder their names never came up in any of the marriage or engagement talks in my previous lifetime.
I guess the reason I didn’t know much about their clan even if they were also located in the West area just like the Grabberton’s—it was because the Grabberton clan would not talk more than necessary with the Flugel clan.
Besides, the Flugel clan’s residence was located in the outskirt area, it was quite far from where the Grabberton family resided.
In any case, this kind of thing was inconsequential to my life as Reinst back then, and it had been so many years ago. I wasn’t someone from the Loera family who was gifted with perfect memory, so I really forgot about the Flugel family and their relationship to the Grabberton family.
Anyway, this was my first time getting to know someone from a matriarchal family, so I was quite interested in talking with Earl Flugel.
After Headmaster Linus finished talking with Earl Flugel, she told her daughters to bow down and formally apologize to me, despite the efforts I spent to tell them that it was fine.
“Next, your parent should come soon,” Headmaster Linus calmly said as he looked at Briar-Rose.
“Marquis Remus won’t come,” Briar feebly said, still with her bitter smile.
“Yes, the one coming will be your mother,” Headmaster Linus explained.
“Mother is coming… huh?” Briar still didn’t let go of her dejected expression. It was my first time seeing this kind of expression from the normally arrogant Briar. Her expression was so bitter that I wanted to cheer her up in any possible way.
But before I could think of any way or anything to say to cheer her up…
“Is it true that you all have become friends?”
I turned to look at the source of the voice and I was surprised to see Earl Flugel, who was already standing in front of me as she asked with a smile.
“Yes, it’s true, Earl Flugel.”
“You can be less formal with me, then, as you are my daughters’ new friend,” Earl Flugel smiled happily.
“Then… Ristea-san. It’s my pleasure to be your daughters’ friend,” I lightly bowed out of habit.
“Hahaha, that should be my daughters’ line! Please treat my daughters well. They are my only children, my pride and joy. They might seem rebellious, but they are good people inside. I can say this objectively,” Ristea said as she roughly patted Dmitria and Valerie’s heads.
“Yes, I can tell that as well, Ristea-san. That’s why I was willing to be their friends,” I smiled as I saw the small gesture that they made, which demonstrated their intimacy as mother and daughters.
“Oh, you can tell, too? Very well, we have just met, but I can tell I’m going to like you… Lyra, was it?”
“Yes, I am Lyra.”
“Good, good. Be good friends with my daughters and…,” Ristea turned her gaze towards Briar-Rose who was now sitting gloomily by herself before she added, “…and with Briar, too. She’s also a good child inside.”
“…I understand, Ristea-san. I hope we can really be good friends!” I deepened my smile.
Perhaps it was only my imagination, but I saw that the miracle twins were slightly astonished when they heard my words.
“Anyway, I really didn’t expect that Dmitria and Valerie got the title [miracle twins] because they were a rare set of twins born from the same mother and different fathers… I thought it was since they were sisters born from the same father yet different mothers in the same day… It would make a miraculous coincidence, though the scientific coincidence was more befitting of [miracle],” I muttered as I wasn’t sure how I should open the topic.
Perhaps this was a good way to open the topic.
When I raised my head, I could see the mother and daughters looking back at me with surprised expressions before they lightly laughed.
“The current head of the Hartmann family is your father, right? And let me guess, you’ve seen lots of patriarchal families, haven’t you?” Ristea asked.
“Uhm, yes… I am acquainted with the Grabberton house that’s patriarchal. I have seen some historical dramas of imperial throne fighting, so… Ah, and the Loera family—they adopted a son-in-law so their surname could continue, right?”
“Aah, the drama adaptation of the historical period when the king suddenly started a harem and patriarchal society? That ended with the one titled as the foolish king, right? But you got one thing wrong in your statement before.”
I tilted my head in confussion.
Ristea-san laughed before she put her index finger close to my face.
“In matriarchal society, surnames would be carried by the female descendants. The Loera family and your family is neither a patriarchal nor a matriarchal family, so whichever goes, I guess? The reason the Loera family ‘adopted’ a male heir—their son-in-law was so Nicole-san could share the heavy burden of a duke with her husband, and… to quell the Grabberton family’s intense heir battle.”
“So, it has nothing to do with continuing the family line?”
“Yes. Another example of a matriarchal family is the Fumitsuna family, though the current head of the family is a male since he is the sole child of the previous Duchess Fumitsuna.”
“…Inheritance stuff, family line stuff… It seems quite complicated,” I immediately commented.
Ristea-san laughed at my comment.
“That’s right. And that’s also why you won’t learn all that until you reach the end of the Intermediate Level. Be prepared to learn all that matter about inheritance and successor,” Ristea-san said.
“Eh?!” I turned to look at Headmaster Linus who was sitting at the opposite side of Briar. He looked like he didn’t pay any attention to our conversation as he only sat with his arms crossed before his chest.
He opened his eyes as if he felt my gaze at that time, before he smiled and said.
“That’s true. Most of the Intermediate Level students will graduate when they are 16—coincidentally, it’s the age when one is allowed to marry. It is an important lesson to learn at the end of the Intermediate Level.”
Heee… Is that so?
No wonder I had never learnt any of it when I was Reinst.
The only knowledge I had with regards to the matter about inheritance was from my experience and the Grabberton family’s tradition.
“It’s fine as long as your eyes are opened about this matter now. I can understand that family dramas about half-siblings rivalries would often portray it in a house with a male as the head of the family and the half-siblings having different mothers than the opposite. Females are more emotional and thus they would be more hostile towards one another than males. Ah, but that also depends on each individual’s ego,” Ristea-san said as if she was muttering that to herself.
“In any case, my house is all good and harmonious. You can feel free to come and play! You can also ask me questions if you’re interested in matriarchy,” Ristea-san now had a meaningful smile.
“Thank you…,” I bowed in gratitude again, although deep inside my heart, I was more inclined towards [equality] rather than [matriarchy] or [patriarchy].
Nobody could ask what gender they would be born as.
It would be bad to be disadvantaged for something one couldn’t control, or that one couldn’t change.
Ristea-san then added some fun facts here and there.
For example, that there was an island that was a small matriarchal nation.
And that somehow, regardless of the equal (or non-matriarchal / non-patriarchal families), the number of patriarchal families definitely outnumbered the matriarchal families due to various reasons.
That was why, the matriarchs were very eager in inviting more to join their cause.
…Has it already turned to a situation like sword vs magic thing?
Must we compete just about everything in this world?
Not too long after that, another knock to the door could be heard.
As Headmaster Linus opened the door, the Flugel mother and daughters excused themselves.
It might be just my imagination, but when they passed by the woman who just knocked—I assumed she was Briar’s mother—the warmth they showed to me just now… it turned into an indifferent look.
I tilted my head. Yep, must be my imagination.
Their daughters were close friends, so why would the parents be indifferent or so distant like that? Not only the parents, but Dmitria and Valerie didn’t even greet Briar’s mother in passing.
The world didn’t let my thoughts wander off for too long, as I was soon involved in Headmaster Linus’ speech again.
He obviously knew that the one who led the two Flugel girls were Briar-Rose, so he was stricter when he talked to Briar-Rose and her mother.
I could see Briar-Rose looking down at the floor the whole time.
Even if the Flugel daughters’ reaction when Headmaster Linus talked to their mother was quite the same, I felt like Briar-Rose and her mother were more distant than the Flugel mother-daughters.
My conjecture was aided with several remarks I heard from Briar-Rose’s mother.
“Really, this good-for-nothing daughter of mine… I’m really sorry for the trouble she’s done to you, Sensei.”
“Briar, how many times do I have to tell you to behave well?! Why can’t you be a little bit like your sister?!”
And at the end of the session, Briar’s mother seemed even more forceful in making Briar bow deeply to me. I was worried and quickly told her it was fine, but she still insisted.
When I said how we managed to become friends after this incidence, she didn’t seem to believe my words at all.
When we were escorted out of the headmaster’s room, I heard Briar’s mother lecturing Briar with words that I didn’t feel right.
“You really should behave yourself well from now on. Your sister’s official engagement ceremony will be done soon, so you shouldn’t stain your sister’s reputation more.”
“Siiigh, if only you have even the slightest bit of your sister’s sensibility… Really, you are sisters but why is it that you are like this? Prim had never given us any trouble like this.”
I stopped walking as the words became unbearable for me to hear.
In the end, I saw Briar-Rose’s lonesome back as she walked with her mother. She didn’t even utter a single word—perhaps she knew that if she were to talk, she would get scolded even more.
At that time, I remembered the rumors Iris told me about Briar-Rose. That she had an older sister that was really a model student and the ‘perfect girl’ people often talked about—and compared Briar to.
For some reason, I could sympathize with Briar.
Both my old self, Reinst—and Briar… I got the feeling that we were both ‘an unwanted child’.
Now I was even more intrigued with Briar. Why did she become like this, what kind of treatment did she get from her family, and why did she suddenly adore me so…?
And the miracle twins—I also wanted to know more of them and their Flugel family.
I walked towards the school gate, still behind Briar and her mother.
Right when they arrived in front of the gate, Briar and her mother parted ways.
Aah, right. Briar was living in the school’s dormitory house as their family’s residence was quite far from here.
After saying her goodbye with her mother, Briar-Rose turned to walk inside the academy again—to go back to the dorm, I guess.
At that time, our eyes met.
I could only smile at her.
As expected, she couldn’t hide her bitterness and smiled wryly in response to my smile.
“Aneki, sorry for letting you witness me in such a sorry state…,” she said after she rushed off to me.
“No, I don’t mind it at all,” I let myself be hugged by her.
“Ah, there they are!”
I heard Dmitria’s voice coming from behind.
As Briar loosened her hug and I turned around to see the Flugel mother and daughters!
Soon, Ristea stopped in front of Briar while the miracle twins moved behind me. I heard them whispering how they were so relieved now after receiving their mother’s ‘demonic’ lecture back when I wasn’t with them.
As for Ristea and Briar…
“Briar, I hope you won’t really take her words to heart. Also, perhaps you should tune it down from now on,” Ristea said to Briar as she patted Briar’s head.
“Ristea-san… Thank you very much,” Briar sincerely thanked Ristea.
“Well then, I will be off with little wyvern here. Please get along well with my children as always,” Ristea said as she walked past me, Briar, and her daughters. I saw the little wyvern being held in her arms comfortably as the little baby slept so soundly.
“See you soon, Mother!” Dmitria said.
“Be careful on your way back,” Valerie said.
“Yeah, you two take care, too, sweetie. Although you are living in the school dorm, you two are always welcomed whenever you want to come home,” Ristea said as she whistled.
Then, a big shadow covered us.
I instinctively looked up and saw… a wyvern was slowly descending to the empty space near us.
It stopped right next to Ristea as it crouched down to let Ristea reach its body.
Ristea then agilely rode on the wyvern’s back. She waved her hand to us as the wyvern flew and took her away…
Oh, right. The dormitory’s rules were less strict the older we got. Students could choose to go home by themselves now, rather than waiting for someone from their families to escort them back should they want to go home.
Anyway, I turned to look at the miracle twins and asked the biggest question in my head.
“Anyone care to tell me what the Flugel family’s specialty is…?”
I couldn’t hold myself from asking this question after seeing the Flugel twins riding on a peryton and a hippokamp—then their mother riding on a wyvern while holding the baby wyvern in her arms…
It’s only natural for me to be curious and then ask this, right??
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