Special thanks for every patron and reader~!
[Level 1: Michelle, Bryan W, NorAsma H, Riley R, Blasefall]
[Level 2: Danmaka, Sami]
[Level 3: Christiine G, Lucas J, ACertainFairyCase, Vaitea L, Paco, Janis N, Goddess_hera, Lumina R]
[Level 4: Browser, Venalitor, Patrick F, William C, blizgerg, wagtail, Hans-Andre S, Bigem S]
[Level 5: Skyler S]
[Level 6: Sir Hellington, Scott M, Jason D, Ryuuji, TimelyCrow]
Wait a minute, this doesn’t make any sense…
We certainly managed to catch the egg at the very last second, so why did it still crack? Did it receive enough impact or was it really this fragile?
When I glanced towards Alt-nii, he only blankly stared at the cracking Eggie, with face full of… blank. Yup, he also couldn’t make any sense of this!!
But our confusion didn’t last for so long (luckily!)
Very soon, we realized that the egg was actually… twitching! It was moving along with the forming cracks. This phenomenon…
“It’s hatching!” I exclaimed.
“Y-yes it is!!” Alt-nii stuttered a bit because he was too excited to see the egg hatching.
We gently let go of our hands in order to let the egg hatch, and we stood up in anticipation, all while our gazes were still fixated on the hatching egg.
What kind of creature is going to hatch from it?
Nothing was known of the egg or the Familiar in it.
…What if it isn’t a Familiar, but an ordinary beast?
It would be nice if we could still use it as a [Summoned Beast], but if not… if we were to raise it carefully from when it’s still a baby, it will surely obey us, right?
Contrary to a [Familiar] who forms a special bond with its master, a [Summoned Beast] can be called for a short period of time or to do a certain order before the mana-based temporary contract is called off, and there is no special bond like what a [Familiar] has. Just like its name, [Summoned Beast] can be summoned from other areas, with certain techniques.
Meanwhile, ordinary beasts can be tamed and can accompany their masters. Since [Familiar] and [Summoned Beast] are exclusive to people with magic talents, taming ordinary beasts is the only option for people with poor or no magic talents to have a beast company.
When I thought the egg was going to crack and hatch faster, the reality betrayed my expectation. The one inside the egg was struggling at its original speed and strength. Thus, it felt really long for us, who were watching the unboxing—I mean, the birth of a beast!
And suddenly… THE EGG STOPPED MOVING!
“Wha…?” Question marks floated above my head.
“Eeeeh? Eggie, come on! Are you giving up just like that?!” Alt-nii sulked.
At that moment, as if responding to Alt-nii’s question, the egg rotated and then…
Light purple smoke formed around the egg.
Errr… My eyes are itchy!
Yeah… A natural response to this itchy stimulus to my eyes… I reflexively closed my eyes, and I was sure Alt-nii also closed his eyes.
After a moment, we opened our eyes… and saw the empty cracked egg shells all over the floor!
Wait, does it only contain the smoke and it’s now empty…?
As a ridiculous thought entered my mind…
We heard a voice… from above the cracked egg shells!
When I looked up, I was greeted by a beast who floated gently in the air, with its back facing me. Thick white fur, two long ears that were similar to a rabbit’s… it actually used its ears to float?! Then, around its neck, there was some sort of a dark purple cloth to its left and right—as if it was wearing a scarf! Finally, the most important part—its fluffy white fur, shaped like a leaf’s!
The way it floated—this posture… it seemed like it was the type who stood with its two back paws, instead of with all of its four paws.
Uuuuu, and its voice was so soft and cute, too!
I bet it was a beautiful beast. But since its back faced me, I couldn’t see what it looked like… Should I move in front of it…?
Before I could move, the newly-hatched beast moved its way to Alt-nii, and it seemed as if it was inspecting Alt-nii!
It peeked into Alt-nii’s face.
Meanwhile, Alt-nii who was frozen up til now—
“How cuteeee! You finally hatched!! Finally, finally, finally!!”
–finally moved as he stretched his arms to “Eggie” and hugged it.
Ooh… it didn’t seem to be scared or on guard against Alt-nii!
Could it consider Alt-nii as its parent, because Alt-nii was the first creature it saw?
“I’m Altaire, nice to meet you, Eggie!”
This time, it made a low voice. I could sense a hint of anger in its voice… Eh?
“Oh, could it be that you don’t like your former name, Eggie? Well, the name certainly doesn’t suit you…,” Alt-nii let go of the angry “Eggie” as he put his hand on his chin, thinking of a name to replace “Eggie”.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, I decided to move next to Alt-nii. Finally, I could see the beast’s front appearance!
It was indeed a beautiful beast! From its gentle voice, it seemed that it was a female…? Not that I know if this one was a genderless species or from a species with gender…
It actually had a dark grey inner fur on its face and stomach—and also its four paws. Its eyes were clear amethyst color, with two dots of white fur on top of its eyes… its eyebrows? Then, the outer white fur on its head that also grew on its ears made it look like its hair. And on its forehead, growing from the dark grey inner fur up to its white “hair”—two small dark purple horns were there. Oh, it also had dark purple nails on all its paws!
Overall, it was a very cute creature!
“Then, let’s call you Rurune, how does that sound?” Alt-nii said as he clapped his fist on his other palm.
“Ruru!” This time, it seemed that the little familiar agreed to this name?
“Alright, Rurune, let’s be friends!!” Alt-nii said as he caressed Rurune and Rurune made a happy sound…
Uguuu… Bonding so soon?
“Alt-nii, can I touch it too?”
Unable to withstand the temptation, I timidly asked.
“Sure! Ah, Rurune, this is my younger sister, Lyra!” Alt-nii introduced myself to Rurune as Rurune stared at me, as if assessing my character.
I smiled even if I felt weird being judged like this by a beast! Look at its cute eyes, so judgmental!!
“Ru!” It obeyed Alt-nii as he let go of Rurune, so I slowly approached it and extended my hand… Uh, okay, it seemed to be a little bit cautious…
After a short moment that felt like an eternity, Rurune bumped its head against my palm as it—let’s just consider it as a female—as she happily growled, “Uru!”
“Y-yaayyyyyyy! Nice to meet you, Rurune!!”
I happily patted Rurune’s head as my other arm hugged her gently.
“Hey, Rurune, are you a Familiar, a Summoned Beast, or just an ordinary beast?” Alt-nii suddenly bombarded Rurune with questions.
“Ruu…? Rururu??” Rurune looked back at Alt-nii with questioning eyes…
“It’s no use asking her, huh?” I concluded.
“Aaaah… But I wanna know! If she is indeed a Familiar, how can I form a contract with her?” Alt-nii suddenly became impatient.
“Ruru…,” Rurune said dejectedly, as if she was sad for not being able to answer Alt-nii’s question. Well, even if she knew, we couldn’t understand her words, so it was also useless.
“Altaire-sama, Lyra-sama, do you want some sna–…ahhh!!”
Niina suddenly barged in as she offered us snacks, as usual. Just at that time, she noticed the cracked egg shells and the floating Rurune.
“W-w-w-what is this cute creatureeeee?!!”
…And Niina’s switch was flipped.
Niina quickly approached Rurune with her wagging tails and upright wolf ears, surprising Rurune. In response, Rurune hid behind Alt-nii, only popping her head to judge Niina.
“S-sorry, did I scare you?” Niina finally regained her sanity—I meant, she finally realized that this way of approach was ineffective instead, and then slowed down.
“Ruru…,” Rurune suddenly growled—and at the same time… we could also hear someone’s stomach growling.
“Uh… Not me!” I quickly denied it.
“Not me too!” Alt-nii shook his head.
When we both looked at Niina, she immediately denied it, too.
“Hey, don’t just decide it was me! Because it wasn’t me!!” She said—and then she seemed as if she figured something out.
“Ohh, could it be that you’re hungry, little cute beast?” Niina asked as she slowly approached Rurune.
“Ruuu…,” Rurune cast her gaze towards the floor, dejected because we found out that it was her majestic stomach that just growled.
“The name’s Rurune, she hatched from Eggsie, Niina!” Alt-nii explained.
“Ooh, no wonder it was quite noisy here! I thought you two were just playing as usual,” Niina said, “since Rurune just hatched, it’s no wonder that she’s hungry! Do you want to eat, Rurune?”
“Ruru!” Rurune looked up at Niina and nodded happily—she actually understands our words?!
“Then, I’ll prepare some food for you! …what can a newly hatched beast eat, anyway?”
Thus, all of us went to the kitchen and racked our brains together with Chloe, our beloved cook. In the end, Rurune seemed to be interested in the boiled soup Chloe was making, so she ate that.
Surprisingly, Rurune already had her teeth!
She didn’t seem like any newly-born beast at all!!
When Dad and Mom arrived home, we quickly told them the happy event that happened before—the birth of Rurune!
No one was happier than Alt-nii. Rurune was born today—Day 27 Month 9 Year 977. Just a few days after Alt-nii’s tenth birthday. He kept saying that it must be fated, or that Rurune was God’s belated birthday gift for him!
And so, it became Dad and Mom’s concern as to whether Rurune was indeed a [Familiar], [Summoned Beast], or just an ordinary beast.
But today ended without finding out anything about Rurune. Rurune slept in Alt-nii’s room, obviously. Even if she didn’t have any contract with Alt-nii, I still think that she was so attached to Alt-nii because she saw him first when she was born to this world.
After 3 days passed, one night, Mom returned home with… a vague result, at long last though!
A similar beast was recorded to be accompanying the most influential female ruler in Riviera, Her Highness Remillia. However, it was definitely not Queen Remillia’s Familiar.
“Still, it can’t eliminate the possibility that she might be a beast that can form contracts as [Familiar],” Mom added.
Then, adding the fact that such beasts were not recorded that often, Mom and Dad hypothesized that Rurune was an extremely rare kind of a beast.
“What about the proposed connection to [The Greatest Magician]?” I asked after remembering the fact that the egg was entrusted to Alt-nii after it was found in the First Queen’s Tomb. Since Alt-nii possessed [Void] magic just like [The Greatest Magician] aka our [First Queen], the egg might react to Alt-nii’s magic aura.
“Well, that’s…,” Mom was unsure.
“Could Rurune be related to the first queen’s Familiar?” I asked again.
“No… I’m not sure of it. The Greatest Magician’s Familiar was one of a kind, that we considered it as a legend now. Based on the vague descriptions of it, Rurune didn’t seem to be related to her Familiar…,” Mom shook her head, but she looked to be quite unsure, too.
“Hmmm… So, Rurune is a total mystery?” Alt-nii asked.
“Yes… unfortunately, we’ll have to learn about her as time goes by,” Mom concluded.
“Awww… I wish Rurune is a Familiar that I can form a contract with!” Alt-nii said.
“Ruuu?” Rurune tilted her head a bit—HOW CUTE!
“Haha, be patient, Alt. A man has to learn to be patient,” Dad tried to cheer Alt-nii up.
“Boo… Okay…,” Alt-nii was still sulky.
“But giving her a name didn’t form a contract?” Mom asked again.
There are various ways in forming contracts with [Familiar]. It can be formed after the master gives a name to it, or a blood contract, etc… And I heard there were two different kind of contracts: [Equal Partner Contract] and [Master-Servant Contract].
In case of [Master-Servant Contract], as the name implies, the servant has to obey their master’s orders, and the master can draw out the servant’s power at any time. Meanwhile, [Equal Partner Contract] will require both sides’ consent.
“No… nothing happened,” Alt-nii shook his head dejectedly.
“Seems like giving Rurune a name isn’t the way to form a contract with her, if she is indeed a Familiar…,” Mom concluded.
“T-then, should I try the blood contract?!” Alt-nii excitedly stood up.
“Blood contract is done either by giving her your blood or her giving you her blood…,” Mom muttered, “in my case with Fenix, I submitted my blood to her, at a special part of her body that she usually keeps concealed…”
“Is it the [Equal Partner Contract]?” I asked.
“Obviously, she couldn’t stand being someone else’s subordinate, and I certainly won’t let my pride get trampled, as well. Not like she wished to form a [Master-Servant Contract] and get a human servant…,” Mom said.
“I-is that so?! Rurune!” Alt-nii suddenly grabbed both of Rurune’s front paws, as he looked earnestly into Rurune’s eyes.
“Do you have a part of your body that’s usually concealed? Or anything? I will give you my blood there…,” Alt-nii said.
“Alt-nii, but to draw your blood, you have to…”
“Isn’t it fine? I can heal it afterwards, right? Let’s do it on my thumb, I heard it won’t hurt as much if it’s one’s thumb!” Alt-nii was so enthusiastic in trying it out.
“Well… That’s… true,” Mom contemplated for a while, and then gave her consent. Perhaps since it was Alt-nii’s resolute determination, she couldn’t object to it.
“Then, let me cut my thumb a little using my dagger…,” Alt-nii quickly took his dagger.
“Be careful, Alt.”
“I know, Dad! Don’t worry!”
Then, he lightly grazed the dagger’s blade on his thumb—and blood quickly appeared.
“Hurry, hurry, Rurune!”
“…Ru?? Rururu??” Rurune was even more confused, so I got a hunch that this wasn’t the right way…
“Please?” Alt-nii pleaded.
“Ruru…,” Rurune conceded and licked Alt-nii’s blood.
“T-then, let me put it on your forehead?”
“Ruruuuu!!” Rurune seemed to like cleanliness, as she growled in disagreement.
“I will clean it up afterwards, please?” Alt-nii pleaded again, and surprisingly, Rurune agreed.
…Well, Rurune didn’t seem like a newly born beast—she even looked more mature than Alt-nii… Oh well, let’s just keep it in my heart!
After Alt-nii smeared Rurune’s forehead with his blood…
Again, nothing happened.
“Aaah, that wasn’t it?!” Alt-nii asked as he was quite frustrated.
Mom quickly cast a healing magic to heal Alt-nii’s wound.
“O-or it can be done with the Familiar’s blood…,” Alt-nii stared at Rurune who only tilted her head.
…Alt-nii? Don’t tell me…
“…I can’t. I don’t want to hurt Rurune even if it’s to try out if we can form a contract that way…,” Alt-nii bitterly smiled.
Thankfully, Alt-nii said those words! I felt so relieved to know that Alt-nii was still the kind older brother I knew. He couldn’t afford to hurt his new friend. It seemed like they were both quite close to each other, even if they barely knew each other.
This was already good. They could still form a kind of partnership even if Rurune was an ordinary beast. Their close bond would surely be beneficial in the long run.
“Okay then, let’s clean your forehead, Rurune. I’m sorry,” Alt-nii said as he put his index finger to Rurune’s dirty forehead.
“Ruru…,” Rurune stayed still as she stared at Alt-nii’s finger on her head.
“Erase this bloodstain,” Alt-nii muttered—even if it was not in Spraec incantation, I could tell that Alt-nii was using his [Void] magic to wipe away the bloodstain.
Yep, a hazy light formed at the tip of Alt-nii’s index finger as the bloodstain on Rurune’s forehead disappeared.
After making sure it was fully gone, Alt-nii let go of his index finger, that was still forming a hazy light that grew dimmer.
Suddenly, Rurune happily growled and… bit Alt-nii’s index finger?!
“R-Rurune, that’s not a food or toy…,” I panicked.
“Wait, that’s ticklish, haha!” Alt-nii’s laughter ceased my panic. It seemed that Rurune didn’t bite Alt-nii’s finger, but she was only… putting it in her mouth and tasted it with her tongue?
…Okay, that still sounds so wrong.
“Could it be attracted to Altaire’s [Void] magic?” Dad also switched off his panic mode, and Mom sighed in relief.
“It seems so,” Mom answered.
“I see…,” I patted my chest lightly, that nearly gave me a heart attack!
“Eh?” Alt-nii exclaimed.
“What’s wrong, Alt?” Dad asked.
“Ah?” I was surprised by Alt-nii’s sudden exclaim.
“Oh my!” Mom was the first one to realize what was going on.
Suddenly, there was a distinct purple mark forming on Alt-nii’s forehead and Rurune’s forehead. After Rurune let go of Alt-nii’s finger and happily giggled, “Rururu~!”, the purple marks disappeared from their foreheads.
“What just happened?” I asked.
“Wait, could it be…?” Dad seemed to catch on what was going on.
“Yes! Altaire, did you just form a contract with it?” Mom asked.
“EEEH?!” I reflexively exclaimed in surprise.
“I… I dunno, there was a weird sensation and suddenly…,” Alt-nii answered.
“Eh?” Alt-nii suddenly looked at Rurune.
“What’s the matter, Nii-nii?” I asked again, still confused.
“…Errr, I can’t really explain it, but I seem to… understand what Rurune was trying to say? Though it wasn’t as if I explicitly heard her talking…,” Alt-nii said.
“Oh, it’s similar to me and Phyllo?” Dad asked back.
“Well, that’s enough to be a proof that you just formed a contract!” Mom smiled complacently.
“W-what kind of contract was it?” I asked hesitatingly.
“Uh… Rurune seemed to tell me that it was [Equal Partner Contract],” Alt-nii answered.
“Ruru, ru~!” Rurune smiled again.
“Oh… oh…?” I was so dumbfounded by the sudden turn of events.
So, apparently, Alt-nii’s [Void] magic was the key to forming a contract with Rurune…?
“Yayyyyy~! I finally have my own Familiar! Yay, yayyyy! Let’s be the best team ever, Rurune!” Alt-nii happily grabbed Rurune’s front paws and swung it up and down, and Rurune seemed to be doing the same thing, making it seem like they were dancing in happiness together.
Could their quick close bond be formed by their affinities to [Void] magic?
I contemplated, but there were still many mysterious things surrounding Rurune. For example, what is her power?
However, only time could tell.
And that is how my big brother got his first [Familiar], and since the bond between a Familiar and its contractor could last a long time, I sincerely hope that Rurune will be his Familiar all throughout his life.
…I wonder if I can get a Familiar in this lifetime, too?