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I vaguely remember what happens after my despair earlier. My mind has been flooded with my bad memories regarding my [Dark] magic. Perhaps the only good thing was the fact that [Dark] affinity is rare in humans, so perhaps somebody was saved by my cell donation… However, I still have doubts regarding my cell was ever used at all.
I was forced to reincarnate to find that out by myself, but I doubt it. Confidentiality was the policy of this cell donor matter.
The moment I regain my senses, I realize that I am at home.
Perhaps sensing that something is wrong with me, or if it is just my bad try at hiding what’s on my mind, the others who welcomed us quickly get worried over me.
And Mom—being a good mom she is—decided to not tell anything to the others and would just discuss it as a main family matter—which means the only ones who will know about my magic affinity test result are Mom, Dad, and Alt-nii.
After having a dinner—a light one for me, as I really am in no mood of eating anything… (resulting in the others scolding me as I am in my growth period… they also teased me on how I might turn out small if I don’t eat much)… the discussion begins in my parents’ room.
“So… the reason as to why Lyra is down right now… is indeed her magic affinity result?” Dad asked, he cannot hide his anxiety in both his tone and expression.
“What’s wrong, Lyra?” Alt-nii’s face shows that he has no clue at all.
Mom heaved a long sigh, and started to speak.
“Lyra has strong affinity to 5 magic elements, and the three of them are rare. We ran a second trial and the result is still the same.”
You ran a second what?!
I didn’t even remember that…
Was my shock and denial that strong?
I quickly glanced over Mom, and she replied with a bitter smile.
“Ah, as I thought, you didn’t remember? You looked so unfocused at that time, Lyra. We did try to hover your hand towards the sphere and saw the result. At that time, you refused to look over at the sphere and just gave us a blank look…”
Mom’s face turned wry from recalling the whole thing.
I see… So that did happen…
But, if they have run a second test on me, and that the result is still the same… That means I really have the strongest affinity to [Dark]. That is even a bad news to me, since it means my affinity is 100% fixed. My fate has been sealed.
I should have asked God to alter my magic affinity as well, if I were to know all this… God, have you really forsaken me?
Though I didn’t request for any cheat, shouldn’t you be merciful and give me any compensational cheat for my forced reincarnation? Like, this is what I want to alter, if I were given the option. Or, is it your so-called cheat? Then, we have a more appropriate term for it. It’s curse.
My family don’t seem to have any kind of prejudice against [Dark] magic… and my mom is even the Head of the Royal Magic Court, so she should not have any… bad thoughts towards any magic element, right?
“Whoa, that’s awesome, right?!” Alt-nii exclaimed, “then why the long face, Lyra?”
“I may have an idea… So let me tell you all about Lyra’s elements,” Mom said, and she glanced over me to make sure I am ready for it.
Well… basically, sooner or later, Dad and Alt-nii will know. They are my family, after all. Hiding this kind of major thing won’t do.
I replied Mom’s gaze with a slight nod. Receiving my hint, she shifted her attention to Dad and Alt-nii.
“So, starting from the first color to glow in the sphere to the last… [Dark], [Ice], [Life], [Light], [Water].”
“Three rare elements, indeed,” Dad puts his right hand on his chin.
“And my deduction is… Lyra, please do correct me if I’m wrong,” Mom says as she looks at me firmly, “you are bothered by the fact that you have [Dark] affinity, correct?”
I gulped. Then, I nod wholeheartedly.
“Why?” Alt-nii tilted his head.
“…Dark… is almost always bad… right?” I spoke timidly. I can’t go into details about what the past me has ever experienced—the harsh prejudice and judgement just because my affinity is [Dark].
“Well, in most stories, there would be light versus dark thing, and that usually dark is depicted as the enemy…,” Dad nods to indicate his understanding.
“But still,” He then moves closer to me and looks at me in the eyes.
“Dark isn’t always evil. The world always needs balance. For the light to shine, you need darkness. For you need to know sadness before you can feel grateful of happiness. Besides, stars can sparkle and shine beautifully in the dark sky, right?” Dad says, in a very gentle tone.
“Yeah, besides, having that kind of prejudice against something like that is just so silly. Magic affinity is like an innate gift. The hell with [Dark] users being labelled as having deep darkness inside their heart. I have never seen magic in such a prejudiced way. All magic elements are unique and amazing,” Mom said.
“You know, Lyra, I think that my magic, [Void] that has many mysteries and most of the known magic being magic that can delete many things… is viewed as something more dangerous and bad than your [Dark], right?” Alt-nii asked.
“Uhm, Alt, I don’t think—,” Mom tried to interfere, perhaps wanting to comfort Alt-nii. But before she can finish her sentence, Alt-nii waved his hand lightly and quickly corrected Mom’s misunderstanding.
“Nah, Mom, it’s not that I hate my element. Instead, I love it very much. The mysteries are challenging! Some people who came to know of my strongest element—[Void]—will sometimes fear me, but hey, I don’t want to waste my time to think about others’ perception of me. I am me, and my magic affinity is also a part of who I am. You can take it or leave it,” Alt said, lightly.
Actually, I understand what he said, but… I can’t help but be bothered on how the others view me. I want to be liked. I don’t want to be hated. I don’t want to be feared. I just want to be accepted. Isn’t that normal?
“But… people might judge me based on my [Dark] element… Also, it is the total opposite of Mom’s [Light] magic, although I also have it… and none in our family so far is known to have [Dark], right? So…”
“Why bother, then? Those kind of people aren’t worth your time and thoughts. People who judge before they know you and decide to rely on their perception of you are not worth to be your friends,” Alt-nii said.
Altaire seems to have experiences with people judging him for his [Void]. However, he doesn’t seem to mind them at all… He is confident and adheres to his own principles, unswayed by others’ opinions. In conclusion, he is strong.
“Well… that is true, even I wonder where did you get your [Dark] affinity from. Certainly, it isn’t something inherited,” Dad says, acknowledging my points.
“Magic affinity can be inherited, on top of it being something innate—something unique for each person, so I don’t see why not. It must be Lyra’s innate gift,” Mom explained.
“Yeah, and… I have heard of cases of the Hartmann family members who didn’t have heterochromia at all. Some of them retained their abilities to transform or produce illusions, however some were not gifted with that ability, too. DNA and blood tests confirmed that they were indeed of Hartmann bloodline. They concluded that it had something to do with recessive genes, or something like that. Perhaps your magic affinity case is similar to that?” Dad tried to add more supporting theories.
“So, don’t you worry about it too much, okay?” Dad pats my head.
“Well, you actually need to train your [Dark] magic as the one you have the most affinity with, as mastering it will greatly enhance your power in other elements, but… I won’t force you if you don’t want to,” Mom smiled bitterly.
Deep down, she must want me to enhance my magic ability to its maximum power. Perhaps, she even wants me to follow in her footprints.
“However, it would be nice if someday you can come to terms with it and train it, as well, for your own good,” Mom whispered.
All of them really tried their best in cheering me up and in advising me to accept and be fine with my [Dark] element. However, I still have mixed feelings about it. I even doubt that they really are fine with me having [Dark] element. I am afraid if they will just say all those to cheer me up while deep inside they don’t really like the fact that I possess an affinity with [Dark] magic.
That night, I have difficulties in falling asleep.
My mind keeps wondering about many things—mostly all negative stuffs.
Well, years of hearing some gossips about yourself probably have made me really afraid of my [Dark] affinity, and it won’t easily be erased from my mind… I think.
In the middle of night, I decided to go to the toilet and probably wander around the house a bit to empty my mind.
When I pass by my parents’ room, I can see that the door isn’t closely shut, and I can hear my parents talking.
“Lyra seems to really mind it.” –Mom’s voice.
“Well, I also don’t know why she has such a fear about having [Dark] element…,” Dad responds.
“The fact that my side of family has been mingling with elves but not with any single oni… perhaps makes it worse…,” Mom sighed.
“Could it be from my mom? Nobody really knows her ancestry, after all… even if I’m pretty sure our score of affinity with [Dark] is near zero.”
“If… the theory of the [Dark] affinity is also caused by past painful experiences… then, was it my fault? Back when Lyra was born, she was born prematurely and had to spend days alone in the hospital room to make sure she is strong enough to be out of the intubation… I’m sure she also felt pain during the treatment or medical tests she received… Did that really affect her affinity? What should I do…” Mom’s voice starts to shake.
“Hey, calm down. How could that be? She wouldn’t even remember that,” Dad seems to try to calm Mom down.
“Well, true, but every single thing is recorded in our subconscious even when you can’t even remember it, and your subconscious plays a major part in determining your magic affinity, right?”
“Then, I am to take a blame in that, as well. I had some really urgent matters to attend to at that time, and I couldn’t quickly come to you two during that time, even when I was worried sick to hear that you gave birth prematurely,” Dad said in bitter voice.
I can’t bear to hear more of their conversation, so I walked away from their room.
…Instead of worrying over the fact that I have [Dark] element which might be an abnormality considering my lineage and that it might cause negative outlook towards the whole family, they are so worried over my denial and reaction of my [Dark] affinity. They even went so far as to to put the blame on them…
I feel like I want to cry. Heck, tears are already brimming in my eyes, causing my vision to be blurry.
I didn’t remember of doing something praiseworthy and so great for 4 years of my life as Lyra, but still, they love me unconditionally.
I really am blessed and I tried to doubt their sincerity just now?
Seems like I have so many homework to do about trust and love.
In the end, I managed to (cry myself to) sleep. It’s been a long time since I last cried myself to sleep. I didn’t cry over my affinity. I cried because I detested myself.
How could I not trust my own family who’s showered me with love?
How could I still be haunted by my past memories?
Why can’t I be stronger?
What can I do to repay my family for their love?
Those were the thoughts swirling inside my head until the gentle darkness of the sleep engulfed me.
The next day, during breakfast…
“Lyra, do you still mind it?” Mom asked, worried.
“A bit…,” I can’t lie and say that I no longer mind it. However, the conversation between my parents that I eavesdropped yesterday helped to ease my mind about it. Also, I can’t keep making my parents feel bad by continuing my reaction from yesterday. At least, I don’t want them to be bothered because of my issue.
“You know… it’s fine to not train any [Dark] magic. It’s also okay to hide it just like what Altaire usually tried to do at school. However, should it be known to others and you are to receive harsh judgement about it… please, don’t mind them. And… should you ever come to terms with it, and want to train it… I’ll be glad to help you any time,” Mom says.
“Yeah, if you are bullied because of it—or because of anything, just call me and I will teach those bullies!” Alt-nii punched a fist in the air.
“Thank you… Mom, Dad, Alt-nii.”
I don’t know if I will ever come to terms with my [Dark] affinity, but I will try.
My family, especially my mom would be happier if I am willing to learn [Dark] magic to enhance my overall power, after all.
I just hope I can really trust my family wholeheartedly and stop having any slight doubt against them. It would be very rude of me to repay the love I receive with doubt.
How long will it take for me to truly heal, I wonder?
I want to quickly become stronger and answer their expectations.