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The very next day, I woke up feeling very refreshed and light and awesome and… NOT.
I woke up panicked because I had to think of something to give both Nicole and Clyde secretly, something that could remind them of Reinst!
Yet, here I am, still confused on what to give and how to give it to them secretly…
[Calm down, you’re acting suspicious.]
Fenrir’s voice resounded in my mind.
“Then help me find something and a way!” I unconsciously leaked out my voice, but I quickly put my hands over my mouth.
“Hmm?” Iris, who was wide awake before me, turned to look at me.
“Yaaawn, what are you so troubled over, Lyr?” Carbuncle rose up from her bed and asked as she scratched her eyes.
“It’s nothing, Iris, Kuu… I was half-awake and was confused over which is dream and which is reality…,” I quickly thought of an excuse.
“Hee…,” Carbuncle squinted her eyes as she stared at me, and oh boy, that made me nervous!
“Kuu-chan, quit staring at Lyra like that. You’re making her uncomfortable!” Iris scolded Carbuncle.
“Alright alright, I’ll get ready. The early worm gets the bird, after all!”
“You mean the early bird gets the worm, right?!” Iris corrected Carbuncle.
“Yeah yeah, whatever~”
…I wonder how Carbuncle passed her exams… Or were exams just formalities for her?!
At any rate, we went on preparing ourselves for the event today. But no matter what I was doing, I was trapped in my thought and my body just kinda went on autopilot.
This morning, we went out to the town once again, but not for a long time, for all of us needed to go home today.
I think we went to some new places we hadn’t explored yesterday, but my mind couldn’t really focus on the tour. But I looked like a child who was so immersed in learning the place, looking to the left, right, up, down, etc… It was all because I was trying to find something that might hit the jackpot.
But I couldn’t find any, and I heard we were going home…
If that was the case, I gotta find something else that I could get…
I have been there before. Nothing seems to be suitable to give to Clyde and Nicole…
So, my eyes were either looking at the road or the sky.
“Ah, the ice cream yesterday!” Leticia’s bright voice snapped me out of my concentration as I turned to look at the ice cream shop just in front of us.
Well, the ice cream here is nice…
“Want to eat it again?” Nicole offered.
“Yesss!” Almost all of us quickly answered.
“Alright, then let’s go!” Nicole led all of us there.
My eyes reflexively scanned my surrounding as I walked leisurely after everyone else. Then, my eyes remained on the flower shop where Clyde and I had a conversation… then I planted Fenrir’s mark on him over there, too.
I was about to turn my head away from the flower shop for good, but suddenly, my eyes caught a glimpse of carnation flowers displayed in the flower shop’s frontside.
Clyde used to call me Carnatia…
I could tell my eyes went sparkling in that instant.
“Fenrir, Fenrirrrrr!!! Carnation! Let’s get some carnation to give them!” I shouted in my mind.
[Hoo. Good choice. How are you going to buy the carnation, then?]
My head sunk in that instant. My heart, too.
“You’re right… What should I do? If I were to buy now…”
“Lyra, what are you doing over there?” Alt-nii suddenly called out to me. I finally realized that I was standing still, separated from the others.
“Ah, sorry, I was lost in thoughts… I was thinking what ice cream I should get!” I made up a lie on the spot as I ran towards where the others were.
“Silly girl, you should check the menu before contemplating it!” Alt-nii chuckled as he lightly hit my head.
“Aaaah, Alt-nii, my hair!” I protested. Although I put my hair together in a low twintail style now, Alt-nii’s rough movement to my head would still mess my hair a bit…
But Alt-nii only laughed it off. Really, good grief!
I quickly ordered an ice cream before I talked to Fenrir again.
“You’re right. Although it is a nice idea, I can’t really buy it, huh? What should I do…”
[This is hard, indeed.]
My mind tried to think of a way as I dazedly stared at the ice cream that was being served.
And randomly, an idea popped in my mind.
“Fen, I know how!”
[…If you call me like that, won’t Fenix, your mother’s Familiar, also respond?]
“Eh, but there’s only you. It’s fine. Anyyyyway, I need your help!”
[Me? How…… I have a bad feeling.]
“Can you become my errand doggo?”
“Pleaseeeee? Only your help can save me!!”
[For me, a sacred wolf beast to become an errand dog…]
“But but, don’t you want to try it at least once, too? We gotta experience many things, Fen! Think about it!”
“I promise I will get you something you want as a reward, too!”
[Stop, that’s only giving me more of a pet dog vibe… Alright, alright, I got it. There’s no other way, right? I’ll help you.]
I could hear Fenrir sigh.
“Yayyy, Fenrir, you’re the best!”
If only we were talking normally right now, I’d already pulled him in a hug.
With that solved, I enjoyed my ice cream heartily. Then, before we were about to leave…
“Sorry, can I go to the toilet for a bit?” I quickly said.
“Alright, want me or another friend to accompany you?” Nicole asked.
“No need, Nicole-san! It won’t take too long, too!” I said as I quickly ran off to the toilet, as if I was holding it.
Inside the toilet stall…
I quickly chanted a spell to summon Fenrir out from my Animosphere. Wind current gathered around me, before Fenrir’s figure gradually showed up. He quickly transformed himself into the size of a normal wolf… or dog’s.
“Sigh, I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Fenrir said.
“Alright, here is some money to buy the carnation flowers. I’ll be going home first, see you later there! You can sense where I am, right?”
“Sure, be careful sneaking off.”
“Right, thank you so much, Fenrir!” I said as I pulled Fenrir in a hug and lightly planted a kiss on his head.
Then, as we went out of the toilet, Fenrir and I went our separate ways. Fenrir would be hiding somewhere until my friends and I went out of sight.
We returned home quickly and it was free time. We should be tidying up our stuff and then play or something… Luckily for me, I put my belongings back in its place, so I finished tidying up quickly.
“Lyra, you’re so fast!” Iris said.
“Hehe…,” I laughed as I moved towards the door.
“Where are ya going?” Carbuncle asked.
“I wanna see how the others are doing! And a trip to the toilet outside to check if I accidentally left something there or not…,” I said.
Iris and Carbuncle didn’t think of it as weird as they continued to pack their belongings.
But instead of doing what I told them I’d do, I walked to a random teleportation port and just entered it. With that, I was lost in an instant. Apparently, I was teleported to the garden. The garden itself was pretty big, so yeah…
Anyway, I sneakily walked to the direction where fewer and fewer people were passing by.
Not long after, I found a perfect blind spot and hid over there, crouching. I closed my eyes as I concentrated myself in the blood that was running in my body and…
“Illusion magic activated,” I slowly opened my eyes as I said it, and when I looked at my body…
Yep, I perfectly cast an illusion to alter my appearance so it would seem as if I was a maid working in the residence. There were many maids working here, surely they won’t find it odd if they were to see someone whose face wasn’t too familiar, right?
But in any case, I should try and hide myself, too, so I wouldn’t bump into someone.
“Fenrir, it’s safe,” I said in my mind as Fenrir told me to do so beforehand.
I was thinking where he’d show up, but the wind current near me was suddenly disturbed, and I knew now.
Yeah, just as I guessed, Fenrir’s form gradually showed up in front of me. He was holding some pink carnations gently using his mouth.
He let down these flowers on the ground, so I quickly picked them. With some money I gave him, it earned me thirteen fine and fresh pink carnations.
Thirteen… What a coincidence.
Thirteen was the age where Reinst died, thirteen was Reinst’s birthdate.
This is actually perfect!
“Alright, thank you so much, Fenrir! Now, let’s sneakily go into Clyde and Nicole’s room!” I said as I stood up.
“Wait, you’re going to walk there?”
“Not really, there are teleportation spots.”
“No, why don’t we do something more efficient?”
“And that is…?” I turned to look at Fenrir with question mark in my eyes.
Fenrir sighed as he said, “Are you really someone with maximum affinity in dark magic?”
“…You know me, I hadn’t really learned it,” I said.
“We’re going to use it. Follow my instructions,” Fenrir said as he suddenly entered my Animosphere.
[You can enter a shadow… right?]
“S-should be easy!” I answered.
[We’re going to jump between shadows.]
“Eeeh?!” I almost shouted.
“I never really done this before… This… is something that would benefit a criminal, right?! But what about this residence’s safety measures, will I be found out by them…?”
[Worry not, the barrier’s put outside. We’re already inside, so it should be safe.]
But that meant the selection for people who work here would be quite strict, huh? Since you wouldn’t want to risk an attack from within… But surely, there’s got to be some kind of safety measures for that case too.
Alright, let’s not think about it and just follow Fenrir’s instruction!
[Also, consider this your dark magic practice, but you have to be successful.]
“Eeeh?!” I protested in my mind to Fenrir.
This is… pressure! But he’s right…
Luckily, Fenrir is a wolf, so he can locate Clyde and Nicole’s room, and that helped me a lot.
Entering something or someone’s shadow, then jumping out of it and entering another shadow right away is actually tiring and I need to really focus so I can do it quickly and accurately.
By the time I arrived in Nicole and Clyde’s room, I could feel a bit of fatigue.
“Alright, now I got to jump out of this shadow, put the flowers, and then move within the shadows to some place and return, right?”
[Why not use your dark magic to prevent any trace of you being found at all?]
“…Okay, I think I can manage.”
With that, I was still inside some furniture’s shadow as I did as Fenrir told.
“You’re quite knowledgeable about this, huh?”
[I have lived many years. Besides, my power can be categorized as a form of dark magic.]
“You’re right… Okay, this should do it, right?”
I enveloped the flowers in my magic as I controlled its movements. Only the flowers were coming out from the shadow as they floated and finally placed on top of a desk that was placed just next to a window that was slightly open—I guess to let the air inside the room circulate.
Then, I quickly did the shadow jumping technique as I made my way to the garden—in the same spot again—then un-did my illusion arts to return me to Lyra.
“Alright, time to appear lost…,” I said as I felt a little bit annoyed. That would increase proofs that I am not good with direction, but for times like this, it can be helpful… Ironically, haha. Is this what they say as ‘turn your weakness into a weapon’?
Not long after I intentionally walked towards the direction with more people, a maid spotted me and said, “Oh dear me, isn’t it the guest, Lyra-sama? What are you doing here?”
“I… I entered the wrong teleportation port and got lost…,” I said as I tried to use my ‘puppy eyes’ on the maid and it worked.
“Oh my, this isn’t good. Please let this maid escort you back to your place,” she said as she offered me her hand.
I was surprised, and the maid seemed to be surprised as well.
“Apologies, I am used to do this with Ein-sama…”
“N-no worries, I’ll definitely follow you!” I said as I walked next to the maid, just slightly behind her. The maid would often turn to make sure that I was still there. Every time she saw me there, she would breath a sigh of relief and I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry…
Eventually, I was able to return safely and it seemed I took a little bit too long as my friends were already gathering, and starting to wonder where I went to.
“How can you get lost without any maid noticing, though?” The sharp one, Luca, asked.
“…I think I didn’t look so lost and they thought I was only walking around…?” I answered as I nervously laughed.
“You sure are confident, although you have no sense of direction…,” Luca shook his head helplessly.
“Well, duh, sorry for that!”
“Big Sis Lyra, next time, you can just tell me if you want to go somewhere, I can escort you!” Ein offered his help.
“Haha, alright, sure…”
We played together for a while before the sun started to set, and it was our cue to time.
Ein’s family generously escorted each one of us to our respective places back.
Thus, I ended my journey to the Loera residence, and also put a closure to my past relationship with Nicole and Clyde.
…I hope they were convinced that it was indeed me, who visited them to give them closure as well.
I hope my feelings got through them.
That evening, Clyde and Nicole returned and entered their bedroom.
As usual, Nicole walked towards the window to close it… And that was when she noticed some flowers that were put on the table next to the window.
She took one flower and observed it on her hand and she recognized what flower it was.
She gasped out of surprise and said, “Clyde, Clyde, come here real quick!”
Clyde was surprised to hear Nicole’s tone. It was unusual for Nicole to be this agitated. Worried that something bad just happened, Clyde quickly went to Nicole’s side.
Nicole turned to look at Clyde and gave the flower that she was holding to his hand.
“Isn’t this carnation flower?” She asked.
“It is. Did you get it from somewhere?” Clyde gently asked.
Nicole shook her head.
“I found them on this table,” Nicole said.
“Huh? Did someone put them there?” Clyde frowned.
Nicole then used her communication device to contact the workers that were having shift near their room today, asking if anyone put the flowers or knew who put them on the table. But nobody had any clue.
“This… Clyde, you told me that Reinst also came to your dream the day after she visited mine, right?” Nicole asked.
“That’s right. …Do you think…?”
“Reinst! It must be her, right? She left these flowers for us…!” Nicole said happily as she grabbed all of the flowers gently.
“…Thirteen flowers… Pink carnation…,” Clyde mumbled.
Thirteen… Reinst’s age when she passed away, and also her birthdate…
Pink carnation… Symbolizes gratitude…
Clyde turned to look at the night sky from the window and thought to himself, ‘Reinst, is this real? Is that really you…?’
“Hey, hey, shall we dry the flowers and keep them?” Nicole asked.
“…Sure, let’s do that. …Wait, get the flowers checked to make sure there’s nothing dangerous in them,” Clyde instructed.
“Silly, we would’ve noticed if the flowers were tampered, but look at its freshness and everything!”
“Alright, alright, just in case,” Nicole said carefreely as she hummed happily and called a maid to instruct them to make sure that there were nothing wrong with the flowers and to preserve them if they were safe.
When she returned, she saw Clyde still looking dazedly outside.
“What’s the matter?” Nicole asked as she hugged Clyde.
“…It feels so surreal. Is this real? Is that really Reinst…?” Clyde wondered.
“I’d like to believe it’s real. I was the one who asked Reinst for a proof and look at the carnation flowers that miraculously appeared on our table! How can you explain it? Our security is top-notch!” Nicole said.
“Why now, of all times?” Clyde asked.
“Hmm, I’m not sure about it. We have no clear image of what’s happening in the afterlife… But probably Reinst finally saw our sincerity after all these years? Or maybe it’s because it’s her time to reincarnate soon, and so she finally went to the mortal world again to finish all her lingering regrets?” Nicole wondered.
“…It can be,” Clyde lightly nodded.
“Oh, I just got a report. The flowers are safe, what shall I have them made into?” Nicole wondered.
“They’re safe… So it’s really Reinst…?”
“I told you so!” Nicole confidently said.
“…Well, but if it’s true she’s visiting the world again because she’s going to reincarnate, then that means our hypothesis that Lyra was Reinst…?”
“Probably wrong. I… am not sure, but you know… Reinst is Reinst. Lyra is Lyra. And whoever Reinst’s soul will reincarnate as, that person will be a completely different person. They will never be Reinst. I… We were wrong in trying to find any trace of her because we wanted closure so bad. We want Reinst to be reincarnated to someone we can meet, in hopes to get closure… But now we have it, right?” Nicole said.
“…You’re not wrong.”
“You should just say, ‘you’re right, my dear genius wife!’ Come on!” Nicole joked as she circled her hand on Clyde’s shoulder.
Clyde gently smiled as his amber eyes looked at the woman he loved so dearly.
“As for me… I’m going to treasure the memories and time we had made. Especially that one encounter in my dream… Forever… Yes, I will write it! I will commission someone to illustrate our meeting so I can look back at it!” Nicole clapped her hands as if she just got a nice idea.
“W-wait, wouldn’t that make Reinst return and scold you for being too overboard?” Clyde’s smile stiffened.
“That will be good, I can meet Reinst again!” Nicole happily answered.
“Nicole…,” Clyde put his hand on his forehead, sighing at Nicole’s antics.
Side story/extra chapter about how Fenrir managed to buy the flowers will be released soon~ XD
Early access for the extra chapter is now available for patrons~
Thanks for reading and I’ll try to get back to the comments when I have more free time, but I read every one of them and will be very happy to see any comment ^^