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Visiting the Grave
The next day, we went to school as usual. And as usual, nobody was enthusiastic for school that day because it was surrounded by holidays. Yep, we had been going on protesting why not make today a holiday as well so we could have had a long weekend!
Perhaps knowing this, the teachers who were assigned with classes on this day tended to take the class more leisurely and used this opportunity as a fun refreshing.
Well, they seemed to remember how it was like when they were students, thus trying their best to innovate to tackle this problem?
Regardless, it was a good thing!
At long last, the time everyone was waiting for finally arrived—and that was the break time!!
The moment all of us gathered in our usual place to eat lunch together, the topic of the conversation was as expected—about the Day of the Dead that we just went through.
“Maaaaannn, it sure was exhausting! I had to wake up very early in the morning, why can’t we just move the time to be later in the day?” Dmitria started by complaining.
“But you slept after the visit to the graveyard,” Valerie interrupted.
“Sleeping again after waking up just doesn’t feel right—that’s a nap time and feels different.”
“You managed to sleep when we were on our way, riding on the wyvern…,” Valerie said with a judging look.
Sleeping during the journey on a wyvern?! Now, Dmitria is something else! It’s not an easy feat to do!
“Still, why don’t we actually try asking for a change? Change must start from us!” Dmitria insisted.
“It’s a long-time family tradition and you want to change it?”
“Time changes a lot of things. There’s a need to adapt and improvise, right?” Dmitria winked.
“…Not really. It makes sense to complete all the procedure before the sun is at its highest position. We’ll get our skin burned,” Valerie calmly said.
“There’s a technology called as umbrella and sunblock!”
“It is still hot…”
“Then why not go during the evening?”
“…Come on, we’ll be too tired to resume activities the next day if we start in the evening,” Valerie still rebutted.
“That’s why we have to make today a holiday!”
“Siiiiiiiiigggghhhhh…,” Valerie let out a long and deep sigh as her hand covered her forehead in disbelief.
I feel you, Valerie.
“But,” Valerie’s eyes suddenly turned sharper than usual as she said, “if we do it in the evening, you wouldn’t have enough time to compress your eyes and make it less swollen.”
“Eh?” My voice unconsciously leaked out in confusion.
“G-geh, come on, that will only happen once… this year…,” Dmitria looked like she was just found out doing something embarrassing as she continued, “It’s the first time we visited Granny’s grave… so…”
And her expression turned sad in an instant.
Valerie patted Dmitria’s shoulder before she pulled her for a hug, “And there you have the reason why it’s better to do it in the morning.”
Apparently, their beloved grandmother passed away sometime last year and when they went to visit the family graveyard during the Day of the Dead, the family felt the loss once more and tried to joke around about how things would be if Granny was there. For example, ‘Granny would’ve scolded you for trying to taste the food that’s intended for offering!’ …and after laughing at such scenarios, Dmitria suddenly broke into sobs.
As for the others’ stories…
“My family didn’t really go that early in the morning, mostly because Mummy couldn’t wake up early,” Ein said.
“Cleaning the tombs was so tiring… My family insisted on doing it ourselves for ‘family bonding’ time,” Kiri sighed a little before adding, “but I guess it was indeed fun doing it with the whole family.”
“We did the whole thing in silence as usual,” Briar said with a bitter smile.
“Kuu-chan took me to visit my mother’s graveyard… Thankfully my father’s side of the family didn’t bother having me go with them, so this year I can pay a visit to mother again,” Iris said something heart-wrenching with such a bright smile. That made me hug her in an instant, but all she did was tilting her head in confusion, not noticing that what she said was quite sad to hear…
Carbuncle said that the dragons had no such tradition, and she was glad because that meant her pilgrim to the ‘outside world’ was uninterrupted. When I asked if she would be returning if such a tradition existed, she grinned and said, ‘Hell nah.’
As we shared our usual experiences and any notable stuff happening in this year’s visit, there was a new information that piqued my interest.
“…Ah, but Mother has a small commemoration by herself that she will do tomorrow instead,” Leticia suddenly added after she and Luca talked about the royal family’s procession.
“Eh? Is she going to her maternal family’s graveyard?” I asked.
Leti shook her head as she said, “No. Mother said she went to someone special’s graveyard.”
That phrasing, doesn’t that imply one’s past lover or what?!
B-but if that is the case, there’s no way the queen would let her children know, right?!
And being the queen, there’s no way she could just go secretly without notifying the king, right?
That means, it can’t be someone special in terms of romantic interest…
But then, who could it be?
Having my curiosity at its peak, I turned my head to Luca and asked in a whisper, “Who is it?”
Luca shrugged as he said, “No idea. But Mother is going to take me with her tomorrow.”
Now I want to know!
But… that is her privacy and her family matters, I shouldn’t pry too much about it, right?
I have the means to gather information, but that would be unethical…
And if I were to do it, with how the royal family is, my prying might be revealed and that would drive a wedge between the royal family and my family… At the very least, it might cause a conflict between me and Luca…
Yep, I hate conflicts.
Let’s not poke our nose where it doesn’t belong, yep.
Still, Queen Shaula’s secret graveyard visit sparked an idea in me.
Ever since I was reincarnated here, I never once tried to visit my own graveyard. Yes, Reinst’s graveyard.
The idea never crossed my mind as well.
But the idea must have come up in my mind just now for a good reason.
I was trying to close the chapters of my past life and what’s even better closure than to visit my own graveyard to officially say goodbye to my past self?
If it were before, I wouldn’t even thought of doing that.
The timing was just perfect.
To accomplish that, I needed an ally too, and now I had that ally.
Yosh, I hope everything will go smoothly!
The next day, Day 13 Month 11 Year 982…
Though it was hard for me to wake up early in the morning, there was a saying that ‘when there is a will, there is a way’ and I managed to wake up very early in the morning—around dawn time when everybody else in the house was still asleep, except for the stationed maids and guards that were on shift.
The most important thing was how the rest of my family members should still be asleep during this time.
“Fenrir, please,” I said to Fenrir who was awake as well.
“Don’t take too long,” Fenrir reminded me.
“I understand,” I said as I touched his body and applied my illusion magic.
Before long, what was standing in front of me was no longer the beastly figure of Fenrir. It was a mirror of myself.
“Great, just pretend to sleep. I will return before breakfast. …If not possible, then just sleep in and skip breakfast,” I said.
“I can’t really pose as you…,” Fenrir looked a bit concerned as he examined his body with my illusion magic applied on it.
As he did so, I used transformation on myself to change my appearance and tried to conceal my presence as much as I could.
“I get it, I’ll try to be quick. I’m off now then!” I said as I focused my mana on my shadow.
Before long, I activated the [Shadow Teleportation] skill and was instantly teleported to the outside of my house where there was no one. I marked the shadow of a nearby tree yesterday. Thankfully, it worked without a hitch.
I ran to somewhere a bit distant from the house before I took out a piece of paper that I prepared the other day.
My cheat sheet.
I took a deep breath and extended my right hand before saying solemnly, “Heed my call, o the mighty magical beast whose presence brings forth the great wind and thunder. Lend me your power for a short while in exchange for this little mana essence that I have in my small body to offer… I summon thee, [Thunderbird]!”
As I chanted, I felt a significant portion of my mana being sucked into the hand that I extended as a magical formation glowed on the ground just below my hand.
When my chant was completed, the wind was growing fiercer as the magic formation’s light grew stronger.
Because a significant portion of my mana was drained, I could feel fatigue and hunger building up in my body.
Dang, I definitely will eat a lot after this…
This was my first time trying the summoning magic for real.
Of course, I was prepared for it to end up in a failure as I brought some of my saving to pay for an instant teleportation service if needed.
Luckily, I didn’t have to do that, hooray!
After the most intense glow subsided, the Thunderbird that I managed to summon…
…surprised me because it was smaller than I thought it would be.
Could it be that I couldn’t summon a bigger one because I haven’t practiced enough?!
But all it had to do was transport me, and though it wasn’t as big as I thought it would be, it would certainly be able to carry me all the way to my past self’s graveyard.
I gently patted the bird’s head before saying softly, “Can you please help me go to this place?”
Then, I told the location and its clue to the Thunderbird.
The Thunderbird then quaked as it spread its wings, signalling that it understood.
I quickly rode on its body and after making sure my grip was alright, I braced myself as I told the bird to go.
The Thunderbird was really fast and it was a miracle I didn’t pass out or puke afterwards.
In no time, I arrived in the Grabberton family’s gravesite.
I leaned to a nearby tree as I tried my best to keep myself hidden… and to calm my head that was so dizzy after the flight. My body trembled a bit as a side effect, so before I went to my own grave, I needed to calm myself down.
When I felt better, I started to search for my past self’s tomb.
As I was familiar with the Grabberton family’s gravesite, it luckily didn’t take me that long to find my past self’s tomb.
I caressed the shiny tomb; it was clear that the tomb had been cleaned very well just recently and it was quite taken care of. Even after all those years, my tomb wasn’t neglected.
The corner of my lips was hooked into a smile upon this realization.
Staring at the shiny tomb with my past self’s name—Reinst Carnatia Grabberton—written on it felt so surreal.
Just as I was thinking about it, I noticed someone’s presence coming, so I immediately went to a nearby hiding place and suppressed my presence.
There was no choice, I needed to wait until there was nobody near me as my presence must not be known to anyone here.
I peeked from within my hiding, trying to see who was coming and if they were just passing by or not…
And then my jaws almost dropped.
Because the people who were coming actually stopped right in front of my tomb, but that wasn’t the main shocking point.
I was shocked senseless when I recognized their identity…
They were none other than Queen Shaula and Luca!!!
What do you think they’re there for?
Did they get to the wrong location?
Tell me your opinions on the comment section! XD