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I really didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry… The atmosphere now was akin to a funeral where everyone was about to cry!
I knew that they were about to cry due to joy, though. Being the object of their tears of joy—yep, I was definitely in an awkward position.
“Uhm… You guys… Quit this atmosphere, it’s making me feel awkward. I’m fine, see? I’ve only been unconscious for a few hours,” I tried to smile although it ended up being stiff.
“…A few hours?” Alt-nii suddenly repeated my words in a tone that seemed to say something was wrong.
“Hmm?” I had a bad feeling about this…
“Lyra, you’ve been unconscious for two days,” Dad said as he emphasized on the duration when I was unconscious.
I unconsciously gulped.
No wonder their reaction was like this.
They weren’t exaggerating at all!
I was—really—finally awake!
“Two days, err so tomorrow is…,” I tried to count the date.
“Tomorrow is Day 13 Month 6,” Dad answered.
Right. I had an ‘outbreak’ on Day 3 of Festival, which was Day 10 Month 6. Tonight is Day 12 Month 6.
“…I’ve missed the quinquennial festival…,” I reflexively said, full of disappointment.
At this time, I heard my mom’s stifled laugh. I quickly turned to look at her.
“Ah, sorry… It’s just… I’m so relieved. You were able to make such remark. I feel like that’s one of the signs you’re all fine, Lyra. You know, I was worried the incident would leave you with a deep-rooted trauma or even any damage,” Mom said after she finished her restrained laugh.
…Mom was right. The first thing I said after realizing I had been sleeping for two days was only words of disappointment over not participating in the Quinquennial Festival. After the words escaped my mouth, even I had to say myself that it was quite… an improper reaction.
“But I was looking forward to it… It happens every five years, so…”
“Good news, Lyra-nee!” Freyja suddenly said in a cheerful tone.
“You only missed one day of the festival. Tomorrow is the closing ceremony,” Freyr dropped a bomb to me.
“The chancellor canceled the festival after what happened during Festival Day 3, Lyra. The school staff used what should be Day 4 of Festival for discussing the security and their course of actions for the rest 2 days of festival,” Alt-nii explained to me.
“You mean… Day 4 of the Festival was today?”
“Yes. Tomorrow is the last day of the festival,” Alt-nii confirmed.
“Then I’d like to…!” My face shone in happiness.
“No. You should rest tomorrow,” Dad immediately interrupted my words. He seemed to know what I wanted to say.
“But I want to…,” I tried to insist reflexively. It wasn’t until the words escaped my mouth that I realized I wasn’t playing the good obedient child I had gotten used to acting as.
“Lyra. I know you want to join the festival yourself. However, your condition isn’t stable yet. I’ll set it so you can watch the festival proceeding, how about that?” Mom grabbed my hand and seriously said.
Looking at my mom all serious like this, I couldn’t refute her words. She was the Head of the Royal Magicians, and if she said that my magic was still unstable, it would really be dangerous if I were to risk it and insist.
“…Okay, then…,” I said unwillingly.
“We’ve also recorded some of Day 4’s activities that you might want to watch. Ein’s performance in Day 3 was also recorded by his parents and he gave one of the copies to us when he visited with his parents the other day,” Alt-nii said.
“Ah, right… My friends…”
“Don’t worry, I’ll inform them tomorrow that you’ve woken up, safe and sound,” Alt-nii immediately reassured me.
“Thank you, Nii-nii,” I smiled in relief.
Then, I heard the complete story of what had happened after I lost my consciousness.
Clavis and the help he was requesting immediately arrived after they rescued Kiri. Some were dispatched to chase after the two suspects, while some remained to tend to me, Alt-nii, Kiri, and Luca.
Obviously, the school contacted my parents, Kiri’s, and informed the king of this.
However, again, the offenders weren’t caught. It was as if they transformed into smokes or something…
The first night of my outbreak, I caught a high fever. The fever lasted until the afternoon the next day, causing my mom and dad to worry and take turn in staying at home for me.
My friends were so worried that they also visited me during the day the festival was postponed.
Naturally, everyone was now aware of my dark magic. I put on a wry smile as I listened to this. This reminded me how insecure I was with my dark magic and how doubtful I was towards everyone else, for hiding such a thing.
After the brief news, Mom and Dad urged me to eat some food and bath. I overestimated my body at first, thinking that it was perfectly fine. But as expected of having a magic outbreak and being in a comatose for two days, my legs turned jelly the moment they touched the floor.
Luckily, my family and the maids were there to help me. I was a bit embarrassed as it felt like I had turned into a child again, as I needed assistance even when walking. My walking wasn’t stable yet…
Mom and Dad told the twins to go to sleep first as it was already past bedtime, but they refused to leave my side.
“Have a soup!” Freyja said as she spooned the soup and was about to feed me from my right side.
“This is delicious,” Freyr said as he spooned a small meat and intended to feed me from my left side.
I didn’t have the heart to reject them even when my hands were just fine and I could eat by myself although it might take longer than usual…
So, I indulged Freyr and Freyja and took turns eating from what they had spooned.
After eating, I felt slightly better and stronger, which was a good thing.
Since I was done eating and bathing, Mom and Dad urged all of us to sleep as it was already waaaaay past sleep time.
That night, all six of us slept together as a family, using a large bed that was put in the family room’s floor.
Oddly, I could still sleep again despite sleeping for two days already.
The next day, I woke up after everyone had gone to the academy. Clavis was so happy when he heard about my waking up but he still couldn’t believe it as he hadn’t seen me awake with his own eyes. But nobody wanted to disturb my rest, so they all agreed on going to the academy without waking me up.
…I should really show myself to Clavis after this.
Niina, Chloe, Vince, and all the servants working in the house seemed so happy when they saw me walking. Imagine I was just walking but the people around me were looking at me as if they just stumbled upon treasure.
I couldn’t help but smile back at them. And thanking them for worrying about me.
Mom stayed at home to monitor my condition. She brought home several devices to check on my health and my magic power condition.
“Mom, you aren’t going to give me another necklace like the previous one? Anything that can keep my dark magic in check?” I said after I noticed that I wasn’t wearing any necklace.
“That can be counterproductive, actually. It might even contribute to your outbreak yesterday. Since it kept your dark magic in check, the moment it broke, the accumulated dark magic instability was unleashed. The #1 trigger is still the outsider’s manipulation, though. Do you remember anything about the one who attacked you?” Mom asked carefully.
She was studying my expression carefully to see whether I seemed to be traumatized by the incident or not. My lack of reaction seemed to give Mom a sense of relief.
“Hmmm… It’s a boy… I don’t really remember his face or feature, though. He was wearing a hoodie…,” I tried my best to recall that boy’s feature, but my memories of that incident were so hazy that I could only give a vague answer.
“Sorry, I can’t remember anything more than that…,” I said as I sighed.
“It’s fine, Lyra. Anyway, I don’t think it’s wise to give you another magic limiter or absorber for the moment being. The best way to lower the probability this kind of outbreak from happening again is by increasing your mastery of dark magic. Will you be fine with that?”
“…That… It’s fine,” I hesitated a bit in the beginning as I wasn’t sure if I was ready to face the darkness within me or not. But sooner or later, I had to increase my mastery of dark magic and then face my own darkness. Therefore, I should try to start early lest my low mastery of dark magic was used against me.
“We will start after you’re feeling better. But don’t overdo yourself,” Mom said carefully.
“Yeah, thanks, Mom.”
I really am glad to have Mom—the Head of the Royal Magicians—as my mom.
After Mom made sure that I was all fine, she suddenly said as if she remembered something, “That’s right. We are going to have a guest soon.”
When I turned to look at her, I saw that she was looking at the clock.
“A guest? Who?”
…Alrescha Lyra Hartmann, 11 years old, achievement unlocked: [PERFECT TIMING ☆ (ﾉ≧ڡ≦)]
Yeah, the timing was really perfect. The bell rang and a maid came in to report who it was.
“The guest said that she was the chancellor of Harmonia Academy.”
Home visit?!! Σ(゜ロ゜;)
“Let her in. I’ll come down to greet her soon,” Mom said before she turned to look at me and—
“After we informed her that you’ve woken up this morning, she sent an immediate reply stating that she would be personally visiting you this afternoon.”
…Mom managed to read my expression perfectly. I was just thinking of asking her, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’
It was too sudden that Mom didn’t even have the time to inform me after I was done eating, bathing, and got examined by the devices she brought.
“Alright, then I’m coming with you?” I asked Mom.
“If you’re ready now, then sure,” Mom smiled as she reached out her hand to me.
I was stunned at first—I was already 11, it was surely embarrassing, but—I smiled shily as I took her hand.
We walked together, hand-in-hand, towards the living room where my chancellor was waiting.
Yeah, I was taking advantage of my ‘weak’ condition after the magic outbreak in order to act like a pampered child with my mom. It was the perfect opportunity, so why reject it?
I haven’t come of age as well, so I was still considered as a child, right?
The figure of the Reinst I saw during my comatose period flashed in my mind again. Along with her words.
[I’d never understand because I didn’t have them!]
[You have what I have always wanted! What are you doing?!]
It is true.
I am blessed as I finally have what I have always wanted.
A warm home, a warm family, a loving mother.
My childhood as Reinst was one that I couldn’t really enjoy, and I got a re-run on my childhood, only with different circumstances.
I had better cherish it before I lost it again, now for good.
The hand that I was holding was bigger than me, soft, and warm.
It was a familiar hand and warmth.
I didn’t even realize that my expression turned gentle under such thoughts.
Until I become an adult—no, I don’t ever want to let go of this hand.
And I won’t take anything that I finally have for granted.
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