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When I tried to open my eyes, my eyelids felt heavy. The light above me felt so bright that I closed my eyes again. Then, I tried to slowly open my eyes in order to adapt to its surroundings. Blurred image of ceilings entered my field of vision before my eyes gradually got used to the light. Finally, I could see the ceilings clearly.
But…For some reason, this familiar ceiling seemed unfamiliar to my eyes. Although this was supposed to be the ceilings I had seen for my whole life, a question popped in my mind.
Where am I?
I tried to get up, but my body was sluggish that waking up seemed to be a hassle. More importantly, my head hurt…
“…kh,” I raised my voice in frustration, but my throat was so dry that I couldn’t utter anything.
Then, at that time…
“Oh my!” A female’s surprised voice could be heard. Before long, someone’s footsteps gradually grew louder. Someone was approaching me.
“Young Miss, you’ve woken up!” A young maid’s surprised face entered my vision.
I still couldn’t process the information. I couldn’t even remember what happened before I woke up.
“Are you sure?!” A more elderly voice could be heard as another footsteps rushed to me.
Then, an elderly maid was looking at me with joy and surprise on her face.
“Praise Aion-sama, Reinst-sama has woken up! I should tell Dahlia-sama!” The elderly maid said before she left the room in a hurry.
…Wait, what did she say?
Aion-sama…was certainly the name of the god of life, the Alpha.
Reinst-sama…was she referring to me? It seemed that way, since she said ‘Reinst-sama has woken up’ after seeing me.
…Reinst…Yes, that was me.
Yet at the same time, why did I feel like something was wrong?
“Here, let me help you get up,” the younger maid said as she helped me get up to sit on the bed, with some pillows supporting my back.
The first thing I did after sitting up was to touch my forehead. My head still ached.
“Would you like some water, Reinst-sama?” The younger maid asked.
I couldn’t really speak with my dry throat, so I lightly nodded.
The younger maid immediately left the room, presumably to get me some water.
What on earth was going on?
I simply had no recollection on what had happened so far…
I wish someone could tell me what was happening…
Shortly after that, the younger maid entered the room with a glass of water. Then, she helped me drink it.
“Thanks,” I said with a slightly hoarse voice.
“No problem, Reinst-sama,” The maid smiled.
Afterward, I heard the sound of the door being opened. When I turned to look at the door, a familiar woman was standing there with a look of disbelief on her face. Her brown curly hair was tied up in a ponytail and her pine-colored eyes were looking straight at me.
Aah, right. She was none other than Mother.
I sat there in disbelief. Why couldn’t I recall right away? Why did I feel a sense of oddness tingling in my heart?
“Reinst! You’re finally awake!” Mother said as she rushed to my side and grabbed my hands. As she entered my room, I saw a little boy clinging behind her. He had the same brown hair as Mother, and his amber eyes were looking at me in curiosity.
He was…my younger brother, Domi. But why was he so small?
…Wait. He was still a child, of course he was small.
Why did I feel like he was supposed to be bigger than this?
I touched my head again.
“What’s the matter?” Mother asked, her eyebrows frowned as she looked at me holding my aching head.
“…What’s going on?” I asked back.
“You don’t remember?” Mother asked.
“…What happened before this?” I asked back.
Mother heaved a long sigh before she finally explained.
“A few days after your coming-of-age ceremony, you went out alone. Incidentally on that day, a meteor shower happened and you were so unfortunate to get hit by one of the meteorites. You were knocked unconscious and were brought to a hospital immediately. After then, you didn’t wake up for almost a year…But thank goodness you are now awake.”
I stared dumbfoundedly at Mother.
A meteor shower? My head got hit by the meteorite? Knocked me unconscious for almost a year?
I blinked. That sounded like something from a fairy tale, but at the same time, it felt so familiar…
Didn’t I die? Why didn’t I die at that time, though?
I pondered over these questions.
Why did I only fall into a comatose? This left me with more homework instead…
My head seemed to ache more thinking about the amount of work I should be doing to make up for the time I spent sleeping like a log.
Rather than falling into a vegetative phase, I felt like dying was an even better solution…
Yes, after sleeping for almost a year—based on what Mother said—I’d rather die instead. How ironic.
But what came after dying? Was it really the sweet release of death?
I felt like I knew something about this…but why would I know it and what was it?
“I’ll call a doctor to examine you. In the meantime…can you move?” Mother asked.
“…I don’t think so,” I said as I smiled bitterly.
“Then, Jane, you and Mary help Reinst take a bath and also eat. For the time being, Reinst will be having her meals in her room,” Mother said as she looked at the young maid, Jane.
“Yes, I will call Mary to prepare the bath,” Jane said as she bowed to Mother.
“It is good that you are awake. Now, let’s do things step by step. For now, you should focus on your recovery. After that, we can start on reviewing what you’ve missed while you were asleep. Then, there’s still time before your fourteenth birthday, so we should be prepared for that as well,” Mother rambled on.
“I understand,” I said as I already expected Mother to think like that. That was what I had been thinking, too.
There was no time to stop and agonize over my fate of being in comatose for almost a year. What was important was to seize the future. I had to resume my life…Sigh.
“I’m glad you are finally awake,” Mother smiled proudly as if she believed all along I would wake up.
“Don’t worry about the engagement with the crown prince, as his engagement hasn’t been decided yet. With you here now, most likely we will get this engagement,” Mother said ambitiously.
Huh…Oh right. Although the crown prince didn’t say anything during my coming-of-age ceremony, there was a rumor that the royal family was interested in discussing an engagement with me after I came of age. But before that could happen, I was knocked asleep by the meteorite. I thought that the crown prince’s engagement would be settled with someone else by now, but who would have suggested that it hadn’t been decided? Maybe it was really fate?
But as I was thinking about the crown prince, Titus-sama and his engagement, I felt like something was really wrong if he were to be engaged to me. Was it just my feeling, as I honestly didn’t like this engagement? But all my life, I was raised with the expectations of becoming his suitor, so why now…
There were so many ‘gaps’ that I felt in my memories. Like I was forgetting something important, but what was that? I couldn’t even guess…
For the time being, I should focus on recovering first. I could also chase after that ‘gap’ after I felt better and could move around.
After that, Jane and Mary helped me to get up from the bed. Perhaps it was the effect of being asleep for too long, my body felt so stiff that I couldn’t move around like I usually was. My body was nourished during my comatose, so I still had some energy, but I had better eat like normal after this. Perhaps it would make me feel better.
It was almost evening when I woke up, so dinner would be in order after this. A doctor arrived after I had taken my bath. The examination didn’t take that long before the doctor told us that there was nothing wrong with me. I just needed to take more rest and then exercises to make my body back to normal. The doctor even said that it was a miracle I woke up. The probability of me waking up after one month in comatose was even smaller. There was even a possibility I would be sleeping for my whole life, or so I was told.
Mary and Jane helped me eat my dinner. Since I just woke up, the chefs made a special porridge for me instead of making the same dinner for me. They wouldn’t want to make my stomach upset after all. Thanks to it, dinner was easy for me to eat.
Father came to see me after dinner. He said that he was glad to see me finally waking up. He was looking forward to seeing me brandishing a sword again and spar with him. I was also looking forward to it.
Me brandishing sword and swinging it at the same time as chanting magic…Huh?
Wait…I couldn’t even do magic, why would I be thinking about chanting magic during a combat?
The thought popped up in my mind almost naturally that I was even surprised at it myself.
Did my memories become jumbled due to the lengthy slumber I had?
Silly me, really.
Kania-san and Clyde also visited my room that night.
“Thank goodness you’re awake now,” Kania-san said as she proceeded to hug me. I stiffened my body as this was unexpected. Yet at the same time, why did I feel like I was used to being hugged by someone?
Definitely not Kania-san, though. She was Clyde’s mom, not mine.
Yes, I definitely wasn’t used to this kind of gesture…could Kania-san and Clyde have this kind of habit? How enviable…
The hug didn’t last long, much to my relief…because that situation was quite awkward.
Perhaps sensing my awkwardness, Kania-san only smiled as she asked me about how I was doing and how I was feeling, and so on.
We never really got along well due to our status quo, but I guess Kania-san kind of cared about me, looking at her like this? Since we were still family after all, and she had watched me grow up from a baby…
……I should be thinking that this gesture was just an acting to show our cordiality, but why was I so convinced that she was sincere?
“Reinst. I’m so glad that you’re awake,” Clyde’s face really showed his joy upon seeing me awake.
I flinched looking at him like this.
Again, I felt like his feeling towards me was sincere.
I felt like he wasn’t the type of person to lie about things like this. I felt like he really considered me as his sister instead of a competitor, and that he wanted to be on good terms with me.
My head ached a bit whenever I tried to think harder about these things, so I stopped overthinking for a while. Perhaps I really needed to take more rest before I started to think things through, slowly…
What I had in my head sometimes contradicted the facts that I should have known. This contradiction…there ought to be some explanations to it, right?