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[Level 3: Alexandr Z, Christiine G, Ela V, William C, Grady LT, Crystal D, Carla Z, Lucas J, Scipo0419, ACertainFairyCase]
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[Level 6: alkin, Sir Hellington, Scott M]
Luca’s Sixth Birthday
As usual, before my sixth birthday, it’s Luca’s sixth birthday celebration first. Normally, nobles under the age of six wouldn’t attend such a birthday party, but again, I was an exception.
I was afraid that this special treatment I got would be subject to other nobles’ suspicion, but I guess I worried for nothing, as the royal palace sent out the invitations for every noble children that would be six years old by this year, too.
“Let’s make the party merrier!”
Nice countermeasure, King Titus and other royal members!
Day 33 Month 2 Year 976. Luca’s sixth birthday.
I am wearing a simple-but-elegant light-blue dress with the usual green wings emblem. My mom tied my hair into a single bun, positioned high up there on my head. A red ribbon was put near the bun. Overall, I’m happy with my appearance.
I’m happy that I can customize my hair-do now that I have long hair. Back then, as Reinst, I was too engrossed in swordsmanship training ever since I was a child, and naturally having a short haircut is more practical. Phew, I’m really glad that my mom now lets my hair grow long.
The Grand Hall of the Capicastle was quite dazzling and luxurious as it was, but now that they decorated it especially for the crown prince’s sixth birthday party, it looked more grandiose than ever. There are a lot of nobles crowding in—as expected of the crown prince’s birthday celebration!
From the looks of it, many are eager to see the crown prince’s appearance! There are not many people who have seen Luca before his official debut today, after all.
“Greetings, everyone. It’s a pleasure to meet you all here. Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Lucius Aideen seo Navarrete, the crown prince of Riviera country. Since this is my debut to the noble society, there might be several things that I’m lacking in, so I hope you wouldn’t mind that… As the crown prince, I would like to offer my gratitude for all of your contribution to the royal family and this country on top of coming here to celebrate my birthday. I hope that you will have fun in my sixth birthday party.”
To close his welcome speech, Luca elegantly bowed and the business-like smile lingered on his face.
Of course, loud applause followed after such a great speech and good show of attitude that he did.
“Whoa, the crown prince is the splitting image of King Titus back in his younger days!” –said an elderly noble.
“Our country’s future is looking good!”
“As expected of the next crown ruler! That’s the kind of behavior that every crown ruler of this country is said to possess.”
“I thought that they were too quick to decide on his third birthday that he’d be the next crown ruler, the heir to the throne, considering that at that time, Her Majesty was blessed with another child in her womb. But seeing the prince’s performance today—I think I know why they made their decision.”
“I still think they should wait and see the princess’ development before deciding the next heir to the throne, but well, this… I think the crown prince is okay.”
“The prince is extremely gifted!”
“I wonder if he would pick my daughter when they are older…”
Various opinions floated around the crowd, but mostly are positive.
I wonder how many times has Luca practiced for today? He knows for sure that his first speech is important.
Next agenda is… oh yeah, we gotta go to the royal family’s place and greet them all.
“Luca, congratulations on your sixth birthday! Your speech was awesome!”
After my parents gave their congratulations, I also gave mine to Luca.
“Hmph, of course that’s a matter of course. I won’t be the crown prince if I can’t even do that right!” Luca boasted without any pretense in front of me.
Seriously, if others were to see this side of his, I wonder what would they think of this cheeky prince?
–that cute, familiar voice… is calling out for me!!
I looked up to the source of that cute voice who’s snuggling up to her mother.
She looked at my direction and pointed her small hands to me. Her round green eyes are so adorable! Her cheeks are still chubby!
“Fufu, yes, Leti. That’s Lyra-neesama,” Queen Shaula praised little Leti for recognizing me right away, despite my different hairdo and get-up.
…wait, what do you mean that it’s a given?
Oh. Right. My eye colors.
Little Leti’s two years old now, and she’s started to be talkactive!
“Alright, I will be socializing with the other noble children after this,” Luca finally said—then he gazed at the other noble children already forming their own circles. Seems like there are the children area and adults area in parties like this.
“Mind to come along with me, Lyra? Kiri will be with me, too.”
I glanced at my parents who are talking with their fellow adults—fuuuu, I think I should have been there had I not died.
Wait, what about Alt-nii?
Ah, off he goes to other noble children attending Harmonia Academy.
With that, the two of us started to leave our parents and approached the other children whose age weren’t that far from us.
But before we walked far enough—
We both turned around and saw Leti waving at us. She’s calling out Luca, not wanting him to leave her. Her eyes started to get teary and her face started to turn red from her bawling.
Oh my, how adorable!
“My, my, Leti, don’t. Big brother Luca has to greet the other children. There, there, be a good girl and accompany your parents, okay?” Queen Shaula stood up and cradled Leti in her arms and kissed her forehead.
But Leti continued to weep.
I wonder if it’s because she’s in a very crowded location that she wants to be close to her beloved big brother more than anything else.
Luca sighed and quickly went back to his mother’s side. Queen Shaula returned to her seat to let the two siblings communicate with ease. Once Luca is within her reach, Leti grabbed Luca’s sleeves.
“There, there, Leti. If you wait and be a good girl, Nii-san will play with you after this, okay?”
Luca then patted the bawling Leti.
“Leti, it’s Luca-nii’s important day,” Queen Shaula added.
“Mmmmkaayy,” Leti reluctantly let Luca go away.
“Good girl,” Luca smiled and then he looked at me again.
Along the way, we picked up Kiri who was just tailing around his stepfather, confused on what he should be doing in the party.
“Lucius-sama, congratulations on turning six years old!”
“Prince Lucius, thank you for allowing me and the other who will have their sixth birthday this year to be here!”
In the end, Luca has to keep his cool smile while facing the nobles who quickly gathered near him—both boys and girls are there, but most are girls.
Meanwhile, Kiri and I are watching from his sidelines, sighing at the sight in front of us.
“Luca has it hard, eh…,” Kiri symphatized.
“There are some people who will certainly enjoy this kind of attention, though,” I replied.
“But Luca is definitely not included in that type of people, right?”
“How do you know?” I asked indifferently—out of curiosity, not because I was doubting his judgment. Even I can tell that Luca would feel like this kind of setting is tiring. After all, he’s that kind of brat at our first meeting. However, Kiri didn’t know of Luca’s antics before…
“Uhm, that smile, that expression he has… how do I say it… it’s different from his usual one. Not that he’d smile often, though,” Kiri tried to explain.
I just nodded.
“Un, un, I can understand what you mean.”
Right at that time, I think my eyes met Luca’s. No, it’s not just my hunch. After all, he quickly said—
“Lyra, Kiri, come over here, too! You two should get to know the others, as well.”
So Kiri and I have no choice but to come over to Luca’s side—to the crowd of noble children who are looking at us with curious eyes.
“Hello, how do you do. I’m Alrescha Lyra Hartmann. I will turn six on Month 7, so I hope you would come to my sixth birthday celebration, too,” I pulled the hem of my dress and curtseyed.
“H-how do you do. I’m Kiri Elsworth. I’ll turn six on Month 11…,” Kiri slightly bowed down.
Before long, the children also introduced themselves one by one. Their age varies from six until around ten. There are even some siblings here.
In the end, we chimed in their conversation—damn, could it be that Luca didn’t want to chatter around with them alone and brought us along to suffer together?
In the middle of our shallow conversation, I eyed Luca and narrowed my eyes sharply once his eyes locked mine. To my response, he sneered back at me!
…Luca, why you little…!!
“Ah, excuse me, I’d like to go to the restroom…,” Kiri timidly announced that he’d go to the restroom.
“Speaking of which, please excuse me as I’d like to take some drinks,” Luca also announced that he’d go to take some drinks—oh well, that’s understandable as he’s the one who spoke a lot. Everyone kept talking to him, the star of this party, naturally.
Since I don’t feel like going to the restroom or even drinking, I decided to just stay. I bet they would just ignore me and continue to chatter among their own.
“Hey, hey, Lyra-sama, you’re that rumored Duke Hartmann’s only daughter, friends to Prince Lucius, right?” One of the nobles suddenly opened the conversation with me.
I think I have introduced myself properly earlier…?
“Yes,” I shortly replied.
“Hee… So, it’s true that you are the rumored queen candidate?”
“W-wha? N, no… I’m Luca’s good friend. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“Eeh? But I heard that the palace’s tutors praised you and that you did well when you were tested for the queen’s qualities?”
From where did they learn that?!
“Ah, well, that’s… right, but that’s just that, and it’s by no means anything special,” I started to lose my composure.
“Doesn’t that mean you were trained especially for becoming the future queen?”
“Yeah yeah, there’s no way you’d score great and even be praised if you didn’t train at all!!”
“You think that you’d get Prince Luca by playing the role of a shy and humble girl?”
…Why did things turn out like this.
I tried to take a little step backward when the group of dominant (and scary) noble girls approached me. Meanwhile, the timid girls and the scared boys went backwards, too.
I mean, there are even older girls among the ones who walked to me—they look scary in the eyes of this small me!!
Oh my… if I act like this, then this act is deemed wrong. If I act cocky, it will be all the more reason they’d attack me…
For some reason, I could feel that the atmosphere around me is getting weird—but I wonder if it’s just my feeling…
As they continued to ramble on until my head developed some sort of selective filtering to them—I can only timidly response…
“N, no, I didn’t mean all that… This is just the way I am…”
Please, just believe me already!
In the past, I was weak against these kinds of nobles. Of course there were occasions when they also attacked me, but since I wasn’t close to the crown prince at that time and since (I think) I was very unfriendly and constantly had this natural cold-looking face, they would eventually leave me alone… and continued to talk behind my back afterwards.
Yes, perhaps that was why I was at loss of words—I don’t know how should I break free from this situation.
My face in this life looks friendly enough—no, overly friendly with natural childish characteristics! Not to mention that this time, I’m determined to change my unfriendly attitude, so…
How can I fend them off nicely…
“What? I can’t choose who I want to be friends with?”
Suddenly—a familiar voice could be heard—this is… this voice is…!!
“L-Lucius-sama, ah, no, this is… we just want Lyra-sama to be honest to us instead of…”
I gazed towards Luca, who’s now standing beside me. Luca, you came at the right time—no, you should have come sooner, you little…!!
As Luca and the noble girls are bickering around, I thought that it would be quite hopeless for him to win against so many noble girls on their nice pretenses…
There’s no way Luca could be rude to them when they only said nothing but good things…
“Well, well, then why don’t we all just become good friends?” Luca smiled.
Are you trying to end it with that, Luca? There is no way they would say yes and then go away with that–
“Ah, yeah, that’s a good idea!”
…and they will continue to swarm here, to talk with you endlessly, Luca…
“W, well, I think it’s been too long for us to be hogging Luca-sama to ourselves, so…”
“Please excuse us!!”
I can’t believe what I am seeing—as the swarming nobles quickly dissolved and went somewhere else.
In that instant, I felt relieved. Also, is it just me or the atmosphere around here was improving? Could it be that the noble girls were the cause of the heavy atmosphere before?
That’s awesome what a group of noble girls putting up a pretense can do, they can even bend the air!
Shortly after—Kiri returned… after he confessed that he got lost.
This boy, really… I really hope he can grow up to be a splendid knight.
After we told Kiri what just happened, I suddenly realized something.
It was quite a close call, but I managed to pass by that dangerous predicament!
Luca came at the right time, and he managed to fend off those nobles… as expected of the crown prince, I guess?
We continued to bicker afterward—all the while, the other nobles exchanged glances at us—wanting to approach us, the burst of cheers halted their intention.
“Greetings to the 29th Ruler of Riviera Country, Her Majesty, Queen Seraphina!!”
We spontaneously turned our heads towards the source of the loud announcement.
“Greetings to His Majesty, Frieldric Hillel!!”
Another announcement followed.
“Let’s go!” Luca suddenly urged us to approach the source of the attention.
Upon looking closer, we could see two elegant figures being the center of attention. Although they seemed older than when I last remembered—but there’s no way to mistake them.
The strong and gentle-looking lady with her green eyes similar to King Titus’, and her auburn hair was exactly the same as I remembered. She was Queen Seraphina Lorelei seo Navarrete, the previous reigning queen.
The calm man walking next to her—he possesses the same light brown hair as King Titus’, with his wise, deep brown eyes. King Frieldric Hillel.
Ever since they gave the throne to King Titus, I heard that they were staying in the royal family’s villa. I never really saw them again in this life—but that’s right! It’s their grandson’s sixth birthday party, a very special occasion!
“Grandfather, grandmother, you’ve come to the party!!”
Luca cheerfully ran to them and greeted them. Since he was in public, he stopped running when he was close to them—and instead of jumping to hug them (which I think was what he planned to do), he bowed to them elegantly.
“Oh, Luca, you look so mature with this kind of get-up,” King Frieldric complimented Luca as he patted his head.
“Luca, you’ve grown up so much within just a year,” Queen Seraphina added.
…Within just a year? They must have seen him last year… but I never really saw them. We must have missed each other.
Since they were being reeled in, the gathered crowd also started to loosen up.
Kiri and I exchanged glances and decided to come closer to Luca’s place.
We looked from a distance as the former rulers gave their greetings to public—the public’s eyes shone as it’s been such a long time since they last saw the two powerful figures.
Afterwards, they retreated to the inner palace, as if to keep themselves from all the noise. As Luca called us out, we followed him as he introduced us to his grandparents.
“Grandfather, grandmother. Here are my friends, Lyra and Kiri. Lyra, Kiri, they are my grandparents from my father’s side.”
I quickly curtseyed and greeted them back.
As Kiri and I finished our greetings, King Frieldric eyed Kiri, as if wanting to speak with him—while Queen Seraphina looked at me meaningfully.
I was worried on what she was planning to tell me—but in the end, she just told me to be good friends with Luca—and so did the former king tell Kiri to take good care of Luca.
I sighed in relief as I looked at Queen Seraphina from afar.
Back then, I remembered she praised me—I mean Reinst, when we met, as I was the strongest queen candidate. And as Lyra… someone also compared my conduct to Queen Seraphina’s, setting aside the comparison to my past self.
…Actually, I was so relieved she didn’t start talking about how I might be the next potential queen. I want to stay out of any trouble in this life, I just want a peaceful and simple life.
Anyway, it’s good to see them looking so well…
I was once again reassured and convinced that I really was born in the same world as my previous self, after looking at another two familiar figures that have aged within the time I was gone.