Chapter 18:

Altaire's Sixth Birthday (1)

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

Day 21 Month 9, it’s Altaire-oniichan’s special day!Bookmark here

Yes, today is his sixth birthday!Bookmark here

Sixth birthday is special because it marks the age where one reaches their maximum mana capacity and how they are welcome to participate in society gatherings, especially for nobles!Bookmark here

Since I am his little sister, I am allowed to participate in Altaire-oniichan’s Debut Party! Obviously, I am getting busy because my grandparents are coming and I also need to dress up!!Bookmark here

The royal family is also invited but I doubt they’d come. After all, it is unusual for the royal family to grace themselves on some noble’s parties, especially birthday parties. Even if we are the members of the Four Dukes! At the most, the king will come if he is not busy. But let’s not expect too much. I can’t deny that I am curious to know how the crown prince looks like in his… adult form? And how he is after he becomes the king.Bookmark here

Nevertheless, I must really dress up and behave appropriately! Alt-nii is the star in this party, but that doesn’t mean I can escape the nobles’ judgement, even as a 3-year-old!Bookmark here

Also… debut party… incoming nobles… That means… the Grabberton family would also be present, right? Ohmygodohmygodohmygod… I don’t know if I can keep my poker face and feign as much ignorance as possible if I were to face them directly!! I need to speak only if necessary.Bookmark here

Oh, even if the party is usually held in the noble’s house, those with small houses may rent a venue. So, Alt-nii’s birthday party is held at the old Hartmann’s house. For the preparations, the Sanctuaria family helped us a lot in terms of maids and other workers. Niina, Vince, and Chloe’s relatives also came to help, and so they would be allowed to attend the party as well!Bookmark here

This will be my first time being in the middle of the crowd after my reincarnation. Of course I’d be a little nervous, even if I am only a side character. But Altaire might be more nervous than I am. He would be standing in front of all the audiences. Yes, he will stand in the middle of the taller-than-other-grounds stage in the middle of the large hall!! It was formerly the audience room and also the living room of the huge Hartmann house, and it was modified for parties like this. This large and luxurious house could have been my house, but, well, I don’t really care for the luxury. Can’t say I don’t miss all the luxury and convenience I had as Reinst, but I won’t trade the warmth of family that I know in this life for any luxury.Bookmark here

I can’t imagine how Altaire-nii is doing right now! He must be peeking from behind the stage nervously!!Bookmark here

Bookmark here

OrBookmark here

Not.Bookmark here

Instead of him peeking the hall from behind the stage, the one who has been constantly peeking is me.Bookmark here

As for Alt-nii…Bookmark here

“Clavis, prepare yourself well! Don’t you remember that you need to stand beside me at the stage? You are my appointed butler, after all~ My companion~!” Alt-nii grinned while teasing Clavis.Bookmark here

Clavis-nii seems very flustered and can’t imagine the idea of him being in the center of the attention, with all the nobles looking at him.Bookmark here

Well, usually nobles would have some personal maids or butlers, but since we’re broke, we have no one. In this occasion, Clavis-nii would be accompanying Alt-nii around, but standing at the stage next to him was not part of the pact. Yes, I remember that!!Bookmark here

“W, what are you talking about… Alt----I mean, Altaire-sama?!” Clavis stuttered.Bookmark here

Another point!! Not addressing Alt-nii with “-sama” suffix will cause an uproar, as Clavis plays the role of Alt-nii’s personal butler in this event. It must be hard for Clavis-nii to adjust himself. I feel sorry for him. At first, he needed to adjust his habit of calling Alt-nii with “-sama” suffix into the calling of just “Alt”, as he is a friend to my big brother. Now that he’s already been used to calling Altaire-nii with his name only, he needs to readjust it back!!Bookmark here

“W-e-l-l! We agreed to that!!” Alt-nii’s face doesn’t show any sign of joke at all.Bookmark here

Clavis becomes more nervous, and I see that he is now slightly trembling!Bookmark here

That poor wolfie—and what a meanie you are, big brother!Bookmark here

I decided to step up.Bookmark here

“Uhm, Alt-nii, stop! Clavis-nii is really scared! I know he is only asked to follow you after you go to the stage! He doesn’t need to be on the stage!!”Bookmark here

Clavis-nii is clearly surprised. But hearing my words, he stopped shaking and sighed in relief.Bookmark here

“Aaaaah, Lyra! We just got to the fun part!! Why won’t you just tease Clavis with me?” Alt-nii pouted.Bookmark here

Uuu, talk about bullies!!Bookmark here

“You’re teasing Clavis-nii too much, Alt-nii!” I put myself between Clavis and Altaire.Bookmark here

“Ah well… I’ll let this go, then. Lyra is right, Clavis. Seems like you forgot what our agreement said. You’d better be thankful to Lyra! My little sister is just too kind!” Alt-nii patted my head and then patted Clavis’ head.Bookmark here

The moment he tried to pat Clavis—Clavis dodged his patting.Bookmark here

“Really, Alt! If you do that again, I won’t play with you anymore!!”Bookmark here

“Haha, alright, alright, I will make sure I don’t bully you too much next time!”Bookmark here

“So, you’re still thinking of teasing me?! Geez, really!!”Bookmark here

“Your reaction is cute, Clavis!”Bookmark here

“I am not cute!!” Clavis denied it wholeheartedly. So, it is true that boys hate being called cute?Bookmark here

And yup. This is the relationship between my brother and his very first best friend. Yup, they look like they’re fighting most of the time and Altaire would seem like a meanie, but please please believe me, they are actuallllyyyy really close! When Clavis got sick the other day, Altaire-nii went out all the way to visit him in his house and lent him a CD containing his favorite holographic show! Although, Alt-nii gave it to him while saying, “You have to quickly get better and return my favorite CD! If you take too long, I’ll charge you for being late!!”Bookmark here

I can also tell that he was worried sick when he heard Clavis’ fever was so severe at that time. He didn’t behave as he usually was at home.Bookmark here

When Clavis-nii got better and played in our house again, Alt-nii teased him first thing first, but his expression seemed relieved!!Bookmark here

Ah, I can’t really understand the friendship between boys.Bookmark here

And, is my big brother a tsundere?!Bookmark here

Come to think about it, Clavis-nii could also be categorized as my first friend!!Bookmark here

Besides him, I sometimes went to play with the kids in the downtown whenever I strolled around there. We saw a doll show and then the performer’s child would lead us to play after the show. I am not particularly close with any of them, but… it feels nice when they smiled and said, “Let’s play together again next time!”Bookmark here

The past me would definitely not spend any time playing around since I’d get so engrossed to studying and training, hoping to get praised by my parents.Bookmark here

Anyway…Bookmark here

“Altaire, after this we will go on the stage and greet everyone. Dad will open the party, and then the floor is all yours,” Dad said.Bookmark here

Alt-nii nodded with a bright smile on his face.Bookmark here

Is he seriously not nervous?!Bookmark here

“U, uhm, Lyra, thank you so much for your help just now! You really saved me!”Bookmark here

I heard a familiar voice from behind me. As I turned around, there is Clavis, as expected, but there’s something I had never expected, coming from him.Bookmark here

His eyes are totally sparking when he looks at me!!Bookmark here

What’s more, isn’t his tail slightly waving around?!Bookmark here

“N, no problem, it’s Alt-nii’s fault for being a meanie!” I said.Bookmark here

Clavis smiled in response and said, “you’re so kind!”Bookmark here

“Haha, if he ever teases you too much, just call me I will come to your rescue!” I said. Well, somehow I can handle Alt-nii better than Clavis! Is this the legendary little sister power?Bookmark here

“Uuu, I can’t believe you are his sister!” Clavis then patted my head.Bookmark here

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for setting aside your time to attend my first son, Altaire Ophiuscus Hartmann’s sixth birthday that also marks his debut in our society. As he might still be young and inexperienced, we would kindly ask for your help and guidance in behalf of our son. Now, I shall allow the star of this event to take the spotlight. Altaire, the floor is all yours,” Dad concluded his beautiful speech and swiftly gave Alt-nii the sound amplifier—a small device that could enhance your voice, so it can be heard in the entire spacious room!Bookmark here

Wow, Dad, way to go! I wouldn’t have imagined his figure when he gave that speech—full of charm, confidence, and his voice was so firm and… he really has the charisma of a leader!! But, but, he plays the role of oyabaka in this house!! What is with this change of attitude?Bookmark here

“Ahem!!” Alt-nii started to speak. I can feel that all eyes are on him right now.Bookmark here

Do your best, big brother!!Bookmark here

“Good evening, dear ladies and gentlemen. Pleased to meet you all, I am Altaire Ophiuscus Hartmann, the first son of Icarus Valkyane Hartmann and Cassiophelia de la Sanctuaria. I humbly offer my gratitude for your kindness to grace us with your presence in my sixth birthday. As my father has said before, it would be my first step towards the society, so there would be many things that I have yet to discover. Please do be patient with me, and I really hope we can all get along!” then, Alt-nii bowed down graciously.Bookmark here

…well spoken, and well-refined manner!!Bookmark here

So different from Alt-nii’s usual teasing and all smiley face! He looks so refined right now!!Bookmark here

Only now I realize that Alt-nii takes after Dad!Bookmark here

Both of them are two-faced---uh, that doesn’t have a nice ring.Bookmark here

Maybe it’s better to say that they have a face that they show to others and the face that they show to close friends and family members?Bookmark here

A round of applause can be heard throughout the room.Bookmark here

Congratulations, Alt-nii!!Bookmark here

That was superb!!Bookmark here

After that, the hologram plays music as everyone is enjoying themselves in the party.Bookmark here

At first, I am following my mother around as she is talking to other nobles, mostly the noblewomen. Meanwhile Altaire follows Dad and is getting introduced to the nobles.Bookmark here

After that, I can see that Alt-nii is gathering with the noble children and he is enjoying himself to speak with them. He can definitely feel more pressured than this!! This is his first debut, after all!!Bookmark here

But, it’s still a good thing that he enjoys it.Bookmark here

The next thing I know, I managed to slip out from Mom and her noble friends’ chit-chats.Bookmark here

Hmm, there are rarely children around my age. The youngest would be around six, the same age as Altaire.Bookmark here

I feel slightly uncomfortable at seeing my past acquaintances… Like how that noble lady I saw just now, she was just 12 years old when I last saw her. How time truly changes someone. Age changes really do make people seem more mature. While in my case, time changes myself as well. However, my age just got regressed… Haha… Hahahahahahaa!!! I am an adult in a 3 years old child’s body!!Bookmark here

And I think there have been occasions where I got carried by my appearance and acted like a child… This is bad… or not…?Bookmark here

I can’t decide.Bookmark here

“Hmm? Why do we have a little child here?”Bookmark here

I could hear the voice of a young man. His voice is quite deep… he seems to be in his early twenties. And his accent is strangely familiar. It is a Western accent!! He is highly likely someone I know as Reinst, then!!Bookmark here

I cautiously turned around.Bookmark here

There is the young handsome man right in front of my eyes. I have to bend my head upwards to see him! He is quite tall, perhaps as tall as Dad. His suit is elegant, and I can see that the material to make the suit is of high quality. His blonde hair sticks out in comparison with his white suit. His amber eyes are looking at me with a gentle gaze.Bookmark here

…I know him…Bookmark here

Yes, I’d definitely recognize him, even when time changes his appearance.Bookmark here

But… why white suit?Bookmark here

…Let me explain the significance of the suit color!Bookmark here

The Four Dukes have their respective color and emblems. When attending formal parties like this, especially other dukes’ parties, the members of the dukes’ families should wear clothes in their family’s color, plus the emblem must be worn.Bookmark here

[The Hartmann family wears blue-themed clothes with a green wing emblem on their left chest.Bookmark here

The Grabberton family wears grey-themed clothes with a sword emblem on their right chest.Bookmark here

The Fumitsuna family wears black-themed clothes with red pentagram emblem on their left upper arm.Bookmark here

The Loera family wears white-themed clothes with a feather emblem, with a distinct gradient of color on their right upper arm.]Bookmark here

By the way, I am wearing a blue dress with my hairs tied in a twin tail. The green wing emblem is very apparent on my left chest.Bookmark here

I tried to confirm if I was just color-blind and that the man was actually wearing grey clothes. So, I peeked at his right chest… no emblem… what?Bookmark here

Instead, I see a feather emblem with a very distinct color pattern on his right upper arm.Bookmark here

“…” What kind of sorcery is this? Doppelganger phenomenon? My guess was wrong?Bookmark here

“Hmm, ah, you’re Hartmann’s youngest child, aren’t you? That explains!” He squatted so that our eyes could meet with each other.Bookmark here

“Uhm… Mister…?”Bookmark here

“Ah, nice to meet you. I’m Clyde. I am also a member of the Four Dukes, can you guess from which family am I?”Bookmark here

………………………..C-L-Y-D-E!Bookmark here

Wait, what a coincidence?!Bookmark here

“…Are you Mister Clyde Horace?”Bookmark here

“You know me? Ah, then guessing from which house I am would be easy, right?”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

He was my half-brother!! Clyde Horace Grabberton!!! There is no mistaking it!Bookmark here

But the Loera-themed clothes he is wearing is making me hesitate.Bookmark here

Could it be that I was reborn into a parallel world of my previous world? That explains how there are many similarities, at the same time there is a plain contradiction like this.Bookmark here

However, my hunch is telling me that this is the exact same world as my previous one.Bookmark here

So, if that’s true, then… what’s up with him giving me a sudden trivia?Bookmark here

Uhhh, what should I answer?Bookmark here

Is he just cosplaying right now?Bookmark here

Or is this a new kind of prank or event…?Bookmark here

Like… a prank to ask pop quiz to other nobles to know that they remember who you are?Bookmark here

A new trend, huh?Bookmark here

If that’s the case, perhaps I might as well answer him clearly, while asking him a question that I’m so curious for! Who knows he might have explained what kind of event is actually happening, for him to be cosplaying in Loera clothes.Bookmark here

“…Eeeh, uhm, why are you in Loera-themed clothes when you’re actually from Grabberton family, then?”Bookmark here

“…Huh? I am wearing Loera-themed clothes, yes. But have I ever told you that I am from Grabberton family?” He looks at me in wonder. Any sign of him lying or teasing me? Negative, he is totally serious!Bookmark here

…Was that not the right answer?Bookmark here

…….Am I just digging my own grave?!Bookmark here

“So… care to explain how did you figure out I was from Grabberton family, little miss?” Clyde tilted his head in confusion, but he is still smiling at me. He is genuinely interested.Bookmark here

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… … …Bookmark here

……………..CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!Bookmark here


Wait, wait, wait!Bookmark here

How can I open the menu?!Bookmark here

Where is the load button?!Bookmark here

Any quick load button?Bookmark here

Can I reset from my last checkpoint?!Bookmark here

Why isn’t life a game that has checkpoints and load featureeeee, I’ve screwed up so bad now!Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.