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I guess after all those events with my past self’s family members, a considerable amount of burden was lifted from my head. I felt like I saw them as someone distant from me, unlike in the past. All that remained from my past self’s life was a question. About why I must live as Reinst first… and the significance of her life.
That was about it.
Nothing eventful was happening, I was studying, training, and having fun as usual.
Speaking about training, I was amazed about how dark magic training felt easier now than before. Fenrir’s words about me resolving the chains that were weighing me would help me flourish even more were true. Which brought me a question about why I was given such chains as a disadvantage, even!
So that I won’t become too overpowered from the get-go like many of the isekai or reincarnation stories’ protagonists?
Anyway! I had so much fun exploring more about dark magic and was amazed at how convenient dark magic actually was! Using shadows alone, we could halt movements, teleport, or even spy others! Following or tracking someone with their shadow was very inconspicuous, so we could protect others even without following them directly.
Of course, such a convenience magic could be used for the wrong use, such as a breach of privacy… Yep, can’t say that I was never tempted to use my magic for that purpose.
For example, during Domi’s wedding, I almost used it to spy on what my past self’s family members were talking about when they were gathering by themselves.
Luckily, I have Fenrir by my side.
Whenever I had some thoughts to abuse my power, Fenrir would be the one to scold me and stop me from doing that.
My moral was still as straight as an arrow thanks to him!
Still, it was odd.
My past self used to despise dark magic a lot because of such usage, but I was actually thinking of using it?
Is this what they call as ‘character development’?
Hahaha, though it wasn’t in a really good way, I consider this my own character development!
As time went on, I finally greeted my twelfth birthday.
There was nothing new in my birthday this year, too… But!
A lot more people inquired about my engagement plan. Some of them event spoke about it directly to me and offering a betrothal to me and my family.
It was odd how some parents were talking vehemently about their good sons and how good their families were, in hopes my family would agree.
Thankfully, despite lots of temptation, my parents stood firmly on their grounds and rejected each and every one of them. Mom always told me, “Having a good background is nice, but what’s more important is if you love them, and if they love you and will make you happy. You are not lacking in background nor status. Though not very wealthy too, you’re not lacking in materials. Your family welcomes it if the man of your choice wants to marry into the family, even if he is a commoner.”
And I always became happy when she told me that.
Because that way, I was assured that I wasn’t to be a pawn in marriage for the sake of the family. They were thinking about my happiness the most.
Will I eventually find that kind of love myself in the future?
Sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder about it, for I have never fallen in love in my two lifetimes.
Alt-nii also told me, “Next year, you’re turning thirteen! Time flies so fast. You know, when I had my twelfth birthday, Mom and Dad lectured me lots of things to prepare me for my coming-of-age. But seeing how mature you have always been, I think they won’t do that to you. I often heard them complaining about how they wanted you to be more childish and laid back, after all, hahaha.”
I could only fake my laugh, following after Alt-nii. Yep, Mom and Dad didn’t specially lecture me anything on my twelfth birthday, indeed.
Then, Alt-nii patted my head and said, “But as your older brother, let me tell you this. After this, you will go through many more things and there may be things you can’t tell our parents about. For such things, you can always tell me… or your friends, or anyone else you trust and you can rely on. Just remember not to shoulder everything alone, no matter what it is.”
I was surprised upon hearing his words. Alt-nii rarely said anything serious, but I guess he had matured more and mellowed out more than I had known.
Based on his words, I guess he had experienced such things that he couldn’t confide to our parents. In times like that, I wonder if he told them to Clavis and Harvey? Or other people that he trusted?
That must be the case. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have advised me that.
I smiled and then I said, “Yeah. Alt-nii, too. Even if I’m younger than you, you can tell me if you have something you can’t tell Mom and Dad about.”
“Haha, what kind of older brother will I be if I were to trouble my younger sister?”
“Well, I won’t be a child anymore soon and it’s alright! That’s what siblings are for!” I patted my chest proudly as I announced that.
“Then, I’ll take on your offer when the time comes,” Alt-nii said with a smile.
Looking at Alt-nii who seemed more mature and reliable made me a little bit nostalgic. He was even more childish than me back when we were young, but now… I could safely say we were on the same page and as time passes by later, will there be a point where I am the one less mature than him, despite having lived twice?
Even if that day comes, I hope we can still get along well, and even better!
Then, an idea came to my mind.
“Speaking of which, Alt-nii~,” I said with a teasing voice.
“What is it?”
“When will you introduce my future sister-in-law to me?” I asked with a teasing expression too.
“Wha—?!” Alt-nii was slightly taken aback, but he quickly recovered and said, “Hopefully soon.”
“O-oooh?!” This was an answer I didn’t expect.
Does this mean Alt-nii is interested in someone right now? I wonder who that person is?
Other than Celeste, I don’t know if Alt-nii has any other female friends because I never heard about them from him.
I-is it Celeste?!
Though I don’t know much about Celeste, I am quite fond of her based on the few encounters I’ve had. She’s beautiful and kind. But she seems aloof so yup, if it’s her, then good luck, Alt-nii!
In a blink of an eye, Day 11 Month 11 Year 982 finally arrived.
Today was the Day of the Dead.
As usual, we went to visit the ancestors’ graveyard. In Dad’s case, we only visited Firis, his biological mother, as he didn’t have any kind of good impression towards the rest of the Hartmann family who wronged him, including his own biological father.
Looking at Firis’ beautiful portrait, I said in my heart, as if saying it to Firis.
I have nothing but respect towards you, Firis… no, should I call you Grandma?
You raised Dad to be an amazing Dad he is.
Without you, I don’t know how Dad will be. I’m sure he might not turn out to be like this today, and consequently, I might not even be here today…
I wonder how things could have been if we could see each other?
What kind of grandmother will you be to me?
I can’t help but imagine that.
Will you be happy having me as your granddaughter?
Dad sometimes told me I was similar to you. Will people look at us and immediately know that we’re family?
I really wonder if you’re actually alright with your son having me as his daughter. Me, someone who has lived as someone else before…
I wish I could’ve met you and got to know you in person.
Based on Dad’s recollection of you, you seem to be an amazing person, after all.
Thinking about it, I remembered how even dark magic couldn’t really bring a person back from dead. Of course, I wasn’t talking about the necromancer-kind-of magic… I shuddered at the thought of necromancer magic and promised I would never touch that.
I was talking about resurrecting the dead and calling back their soul… Probably that kind of thing was only plausible with a very high-level magic, an ancient kind of magic? Forbidden magic or grimoire?
Disturbing the dead from their peaceful slumber seemed to be cruel, anyway.
And I know for sure that the consequence to such a thing will be huge. If such a thing existed, it’d be banned for sure.
Something that disturbed the cycle of life and death, and something that disturbed the flow of time would be fatal. Any single change would cause a domino effect, I assume.
Regardless of every ‘what could have been’ and ‘what if’s, I was glad that things turned out this way.
Firis… Please guide me from the heaven… and please protect our family so that we can all be happy in the future, too, okay?
I think that’s what you would have wanted to see, too.
I will also do my best to live happily as Lyra…!