Chapter 15:

The Training

I Didn't Even Want to Live, But God Forced Me to Reincarnate!

“Alright, Lyra, now it’s time for the training!” Bookmark here

Right now, there are Dad, Alt-nii, Mom, and me in the second floor’s training roo—I mean living room. The one who just broke the silence was Dad, with his usual wide smile. Today is Day 7, so both my parents are free, and thus, my training starts after breakfast.Bookmark here

“If you think it’s too hard or that there’s something weird, please don’t hesitate to say so, Lyra,” said Mom. Bookmark here

“Okay~!” …my excitement is so obvious.Bookmark here

“Alright, let me explain the basic theory, for starters. You know about mana and magic affinity, right? Someone’s magic affinity can be identified after they turn 4, while your maximum mana capacity can be identified once you turn 6. So, right now, you’re only 3. Your magic affinity and mana capacity are not yet fixed. Even so, they’re still developing. The Hartmann are always gifted with magical power, so it’s certain that you possess magical power. Do you get it so far?” Mom elaborated.Bookmark here

“Err, Cassie… again, isn’t it too complicated for a 3-year-old to understand?” Dad asked, “I thought you’d devise another way after you tried explaining it to Alt.”Bookmark here

Uh, I can understand it just fine, but that’s probably because I have my past memory intact. But what about Alt-nii back then?Bookmark here

I wondered that as I stole some glances at my brother. Perhaps sensitive towards others’ stares or what, Alt-nii looked back at me and then smiled. …or rather, I can almost always see him with a smile or cheerful look on his face.Bookmark here

“Ah, Lyra, don’t think about it too much. Perhaps right now Mom’s words just fly through your head, but in the course of time, you’d understand, hehe,” he chuckled.Bookmark here

“Oh, so that’s how it was? Altaire, you were smiling and just said ‘O~kay~’ back then so I thought…,” Mom put her hand on her chin, deep in thought. Dad sighed, his expression said, ‘Oh, it can’t be helped, it’s you, after all.’Bookmark here

So… Mom has no common sense?! And, she can’t read Alt-nii’s expression at that time?Bookmark here

But, then again… when I think about it, it’s hard to read Altaire-oniichan! Most of the time, he has this poker face expression with his trademark smile on. And I can portray him when he said he got it to Mom, leaving Dad speechless. Bookmark here

Perhaps Mom thinks we can understand the concept just fine because some of the storybooks they have ever read for us contain the things about magic. Plus, when grandma showed me the photos of Mom when she was small, she had this “gifted child” vibe. Gifted people and geniuses usually have problems to understand that other people may need an easier explanation to understand some concepts. Bookmark here

Dad is so lucky to have Mom. Out of my family, Dad looks the most normal! He’s an oyabaka type (foolish parent). I wonder if everything is alright with his governmental work… Nobody tried to take advantages of him, right? Or many people did, and so our living condition becomes jeopardized? Bookmark here

Bookmark here

---wait, why is it very quiet?Bookmark here

“Eh, ah, I got it!” I replied the moment I realized all of them are looking expectantly at me.Bookmark here

“See? She gets it,” Mom said in her defense.Bookmark here

“Uh well…,” Dad is speechless.Bookmark here

“Then… we gotta celebrate that both our children are looking bright, hahaha,” he tried to just brush it off. Bookmark here

“Alright, let me handle it from now on. Lyra, try closing your eyes and empty your mind. Try feeling the blood that is flowing in your body. You should feel some kind of sensation after you’d concentrate like that,” Dad gave me the instruction, so I tried doing that.Bookmark here

I already understand how it works. Back then, I’d feel a slight odd spark inside my body. My mana was weak, though. I wonder what will I feel with this new body…Bookmark here

HUH?!Bookmark here

I opened my eyes in surprise.Bookmark here

“What’s wrong?” Mom asked. Bookmark here

“Uu… somehow there’s warm sparks in my whole body… I can feel it, like, covering my everything.”Bookmark here

It’s a different sensation than back then.Bookmark here

So, does that mean my magical power is way better than back then?Bookmark here

“Whoa, you did well in your first try, as expected of my sister!” Alt-nii then proceeded to mess around with my head and then laughed.Bookmark here

“Alt-niiii, my hairrrrr!!” I shouted my protest.Bookmark here

Right now, my hair is as long as my shoulder. It’s straight with a slight wave on its end. When he stroked my head roughly, my hair became a complete mess.Bookmark here

“Well, Altaire, you’re also good because you managed to feel it during your first try,” Dad added.Bookmark here

“Ah, but that’s, like, natural for Alt,” said Mom.Bookmark here

Hmmm? Any family secret I could learn?Bookmark here

“Alright, then let’s proceed to the next step!” Dad clapped his hands. Bookmark here

“Well, I can’t say anything for the next steps, so I’ll just observe and accompany Lyra, just in case,” Mom said as she stepped back and Alt-nii followed her. Alt-nii then sat on her lap, and Mom would put her hands around Alt-nii’s neck. Bookmark here

There goes any chance to elaborate more about Altaire.Bookmark here

I missed my chance to ask Mom to explain more about, what’s with Alt-nii and that being natural?Bookmark here

“Next, let’s try the easiest thing first! Altering your eye color! Pick one eye that you’d like to change into the other’s color!”Bookmark here

I see. It would be the most essential for a Hartmann to alter one of their eye color if they are in a condition where their true bloodline can’t be found out at all cost. In that case, I’ll pick…Bookmark here

“I’m done picking it, what should I do next?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Hmmm, next… try focusing your sensation on that eye, and then imagine it changes its color in your mind,” Dad said.Bookmark here

“Huee… imagining things…,” I reflexively complained. Bookmark here

I’m more of a realist, and if I were to imagine things, it’d be anime-ish or game-ish.Bookmark here

“Take it easy, Lyra. It’s okay to try a few times,” Dad said.Bookmark here

“Uhm, can I know how was Alt-nii back then and how far he can do it now?” Bookmark here

My question was answered with a period of silent.Bookmark here

I tilted my head in confusion. Did I do something wrong?Bookmark here

“Lyra.”Bookmark here

Dad’s face suddenly became serious.Bookmark here

W, what? I have never seen Dad so serious, it’s not fitting to your character, Dad! You are supposed to be the oyabaka character!!Bookmark here

“W, what?”Bookmark here

“Listen,” he put his hand on my shoulder, “you are you. Altaire is Altaire. No need to compare yourself. Even if you are siblings, you are still different from each other. So, just do things with your own style and pace.”Bookmark here

At his words, I just realized what my question just implied.Bookmark here

I thought that I was only curious about it, but…Bookmark here

Subconsciously, I am worried if I’m unable to do it as well as my brother…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

How kind…Bookmark here

Dad, you’re… the best.Bookmark here

“He… hehe,” Mom chuckles.Bookmark here

“Wha? You agree with me, right, Cass?”Bookmark here

“Ahaha, of course I do, Cyan. It’s just… haha, are you projecting your own experience to your children? You’d hate being compared to your father and older brother, after all,” Mom answers.Bookmark here

“Ah, right. First-hand experience wins the day. I hate it when people compare me to my family. It became an issue back then before I finally became the East Area’s governing Duke,” Dad sighed.Bookmark here

Oh, right. Dad was the one who uncovered his father’s wrongdoings. His older brother who was supposedly the rightful heir also contributed to that. Now, that’s interesting. I’d love to hear more about Dad in his old days. But as a 3 year-old, I probably shouldn’t ask it. I should ask it once I’m older. The situation seems to be complicated.Bookmark here

“Lyra, see what I can do, now!” Alt-nii stood up and then closed his eyes.Bookmark here

After a while, his body gradually turned… ……………….furry?! Then, he turned into a cat with a dark blue fur.Bookmark here

“W… w… WOWWWWW!!!!!” My eyes sparkled.Bookmark here

SO, WE CAN USE IT FOR THAT, TOO?!Bookmark here

“Awesome, awesome, Onii-chan, you’re awesome!” I continuously praised my brother.Bookmark here

He then returned back into my human brother.Bookmark here

“Teehee, I can hold that form for 2 hours continuously now! I still got a long way to go, though!” He scratched his nose as he blushed.Bookmark here

…wait, that means… Dad can do more?! Bookmark here

I quickly turned towards Dad.Bookmark here

“Ah, haha, yeah, if it’s just becoming a cat, I can hold it for 4 days continuously.”Bookmark here


“Awwwkay, I’ll try my best!!”Bookmark here

In that instant, I forget the fact that I am… let's count... 13 years as Reinst + 3 years as Lyra = 16 years old… mentally.Bookmark here

My family laughed at my childish behavior, befitting of my age. Bookmark here

And then, after failing for the second time…Bookmark here

“Here I go!” I am quite confident this time. That I can change my eye color, and simultaneously hold this transformation for quite a long time. Once I get the hang of it, there’s no way my transformation can be redo-ed quickly. Compared to back then, I can feel magical power surging.Bookmark here

I opened my eyes and then saw myself in the mirror. My red left eye has turned into the same blue color as my right eye.Bookmark here

I’m completely blue right now!!Bookmark here

Confidently, I turned to face my dad.Bookmark here

Oops, he is… frozen in the place?! No comment?! What could be wrong?!Bookmark here

“A…” Sensing my concern, he tried to say something.Bookmark here

“Oh my, oh my,” Mom seems exasperated.Bookmark here

“Eh, did I do it wrong?” I’m now worried for myself.Bookmark here

“N…no. Sorry, Lyra. It’s just… now, you’re… the splitting image of Fi--… of my mom…,” Dad said.Bookmark here

…RIGHT!! Dad’s mom has blue hair and blue eyes, just like… me, right now.Bookmark here

Dad then put his hands on his forehead. His eyes seem to be wandering into his past memories.Bookmark here

After a while, he hugged me tightly.Bookmark here

“Lyra, thank you. Thank you for being born,” Dad said, his voice wavering.Bookmark here

“!!”Bookmark here

I didn’t expect that coming.Bookmark here

It’s actually pretty embarrassing when someone directly told you that, but…Bookmark here

I’m… happy.Bookmark here

“Oh my, Lyra!” Mom then approached me, “are you hurting somewhere?”Bookmark here

Eh? No, but wh---Bookmark here

Aaah.Bookmark here

I didn’t even notice tears falling from my eyes.Bookmark here

The moment I notice it, it’s already too late.Bookmark here

I can’t hold the tears back anymore.Bookmark here

“H, huh?!” Dad stopped hugging me and then looks at me, worriedly, “L, Lyra, did I hug you too tight? S, sorry…”Bookmark here

“No… it’s not… that…”Bookmark here

Uuuu, it’s totally not convincing at all. Bookmark here

No good, no good, I can’t.Bookmark here

I can’t stop them from falling.Bookmark here

“S, seriously… if you cry, then there’s no way I can hold them back, too,” Dad said, as tears fell from his eyes, too.Bookmark here

This situation is awkward, and although full of tears, I feel somehow warm. Bookmark here

“Y, you two!!” Mom then hugged both of us, “Seriously, this house now has two big crybabies?!”Bookmark here

Altaire softly strokes my back and Dad’s back, while repeatedly saying, “There, there.”Bookmark here

I had always yearned to hear those words before.Bookmark here

But I’d given up on it.Bookmark here

I’d given up on the idea of living. I also rejected the idea of being reincarnated.Bookmark here

But, right now… Bookmark here

I’m glad that I’m here, right now.Bookmark here

I’m glad that someone is actually happy for my birth.Bookmark here

…Deep down, I already know that I’m a child born out of love, that everyone’s happy to have me here. Yet, I still doubted it countless times. I don’t want to rely on feelings, since feelings are intangible. I don’t want to be dejected when I realized that it was just my hopeful thoughts. Bookmark here

Dad’s words just now, cleared all of those doubts.Bookmark here

Thank you, thank you…Bookmark here

It’d be weird if I voiced that, so I kept thanking my family inside my heart.Bookmark here

Though my past as Reinst might haunt me, lurking there to cause me fear and doubts, at least I’ve been able to come to terms with my forced reincarnation. If I were to know of all this back then, I’d willingly accept God’s offer for reincarnation. Bookmark here

Heck, if this is just a dream, then I don’t want to wake up from it.Bookmark here

If you’re here, God, I just hope that this is all real. That even in the future, my family won’t change their feelings regarding my birth. Bookmark here

That is all I ask for. Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.