Chapter 27:

Showdown with the Prince

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

After taking a break from that little brat for a day, this mighty Lyra is ready to haul him!!Bookmark here

Since Dad’s out in town instead of the castle, this time around, I’ll be coming together with Mom.Bookmark here

Fufu, I can’t imagine the look of fear in that brat’s face when he’s facing this mighty Lyra, mwahahahaa!!Bookmark here

W-wait, I sound totally like a villainess here!!Bookmark here

Am I that gifted to be a villainess...?Bookmark here

If this is an otome game, I will be the typical villainess who would hinder the heroine, yes?Bookmark here

Furthermore, my affinity matches, so...Bookmark here

Ah.Bookmark here

Nope, this is not the time to remember that thing with my affinity, yes!! I need to gather my mind to assault—I mean, to give a payback to the prince!Bookmark here

To be honest, I have imagined lots of ways to do so, but do I have the courage to act as I imagined, I wonder?Bookmark here

Please don’t be frightened by my wild imagination of revenge.Bookmark here

I have read too many angst series in my past life, it seems.Bookmark here

Today, instead of wearing a dress and twin-tailing my hair, I am wearing a simple shirt combined with a short overall, and I only wear a hair pin. This is so I can move freely, anticipating the other day’s antics. Besides, today… I will be going all out, for my payback!Bookmark here

Unlike yesterday where I had an audience with the royal family, today I will directly go to the brat---prince’s side.Bookmark here

…Or so I thought.Bookmark here

But the prince is still missing in action after he ditched his private lesson this morning. So, I think I will try to look for him myself, as the maids are frantically looking for him.Bookmark here

I can think of a place. That’s where we had our “strategy meeting”. A secret, small space in the library that’s enough for some kids to hide, but not for adult.Bookmark here

And there I found him, intensely reading some book.Bookmark here

“Why are you here, instead of having your private lesson?”Bookmark here

The little boy lifted his gaze from his book, showing that he is upset.Bookmark here

“Oh wait, you can read?!” I intentionally asked that before he can even respond.Bookmark here

“What are you, dumb? Of course, duh!”Bookmark here

“Heee—I didn’t expect the boy who did those kinds of pranks and ditched the lessons to be civilized, my bad.”Bookmark here

“…you…,” he stood up and approached me.Bookmark here

Here it comes, Lyra!Bookmark here

Time to argue!Bookmark here

But then, he proceeded to pinch my cheek!Bookmark here

“Who are you? Are you an imposter? I don’t remember having an underling with that kind of personality,” he asked as he observed my face.Bookmark here

“Your hair is not twin-tailed and you wear something completely the opposite of what you wore the other day.”Bookmark here

Whoa, this kid is sharp for his age! And here I thought he didn’t pay me any attention! As expected of the prince!! Even when he seemed to be not paying attention, he actually remembered the details!Bookmark here

“Sooo, what is your objective? Show me your real identity!” He let go of my cheeks.Bookmark here

“How rude! I am Alrescha Lyra Hartmann, the real deal!!” I snapped and raised my voice.Bookmark here

“But your behavior is so different!”Bookmark here

I want to start lecturing him right away, but I need to scare him---uh, I mean, I need him to learn about the danger that can happen due to his pranks. Yes, baseless payback won’t be good. I need to give him an educational payback, just in case the adults or the royal family asked me about it. So, I need to hold back a little and give him my payback in full afterwards.Bookmark here

“…I apologize, I didn’t know what has gotten over me. Perhaps a stray ghost possessed me just now. So, what are we gonna do today?”Bookmark here

“Hmm, you need some exorcism? We can arrange that later. Anyway, today, the gardener has dug some holes to plant new trees, so I guess we can use that! It’s gonna be exciting!”Bookmark here

…and dangerous.Bookmark here

Alright, perfect time to launch my educational payback!Bookmark here

“Andddd, done!! They really left this place alone, and focused on working the other area! They should have left someone to guard it, hehe!” The little prince grinned.Bookmark here

“So, we are done?”Bookmark here

“Yes~ Anyway, follow me!”Bookmark here

After preparing the trap with covering the holes with the leaves, the prince ordered me to follow him to get us a target.Bookmark here

Just right at that time…Bookmark here

I purposely placed my feet on the trap, causing the leaves to crumble along with my body. I lightly applied some of my mana to support my back so that the impact from falling won’t hurt me that much.Bookmark here

Then, I also did some transformation and illusion~!Bookmark here

After making sure it’s perfect, I yelled, “Ouch!”Bookmark here

...did that come out good? Did I properly let out a good yell, and not some weird high-pitched voice?Bookmark here

Oh well...Bookmark here

I can imagine him ridiculing me and saying something like, “What? Falling to our own prepared trap? What a stupid underling you are! Serves you right!”Bookmark here

Serves me right? Haha, yeah!Bookmark here

But, he must change his mind after seeing what I have in store for him!Bookmark here

I can hear the prince yelling in his irritation.Bookmark here

“Ugh, what is it this time, you little—wait, are you inside our trap?!”Bookmark here

He approached me...Bookmark here

“So, what kind of an idiot are yo—”Bookmark here

--and stopped talking.Bookmark here

Yup, I put up my illusion magic and made it as if my hand was bleeding. I took off my hair pin and used it to create the illusion of a nail.Bookmark here

The scenario is that, by chance, a nail was mixed into the soil and my hand got struck by it.Bookmark here

A very possible scenario to happen, right?Bookmark here

There is still a logic in my payback!Bookmark here

Oh yeah, right!Bookmark here

Time to act, again!Bookmark here

“It hurts…” I put up my agonizing face. I thought of the impact from the comet that killed me and that recollection made me able to put up a good act.Bookmark here

As a result, he’s frozen up there.Bookmark here

Here, you’re supposed to freak out and run away from the location. Any kid would react that way, right?Bookmark here

Afterwards, I’d say that I told the maids who patched me up that I got the wound from playing without paying any attention to my surroundings, so it will look as if he owes me one for covering him up~ and that should also teach him on how he should be more careful and consider the worst out of his action—a prank, on top of it.Bookmark here

That will teach him plenty of lesson.Bookmark here

Then, after that, I will give plenty of scolding to him.Bookmark here

Since he felt guilty, he wouldn’t be able to argue back that much, haha!Bookmark here

I have secured my absolute chance to lecture him!Bookmark here

“Stay right there!”Bookmark here

Yes, scream and run away--Bookmark here

…Huh?!Bookmark here

Did I hear that right?Bookmark here

Before I even noticed what was going on, he suddenly jumped into the hole, and now he’s standing next to me, in this very narrow hole.Bookmark here

Wait, too close!Bookmark here

“Show me your hand.”Bookmark here

He reached out to my “bleeding hand”.Bookmark here

Uh… I hesitantly reached out my hand to him.Bookmark here

Was I found out?Bookmark here

Unexpectedly, he takes out his handkerchief and tightly ties it around where I cast the illusion of bleeding.Bookmark here

“The bleeding won’t stop?! Or rather, how can there be a nail here?! The gardeners should have made sure to get rid of dangerous things!”Bookmark here

“Uhm, I think there are possibilities of sharp objects to be buried in the ground in the first place, despite the gardeners trying their best to clear the area... hence why this prank was quite dangerous… So, listen--”Bookmark here

“W-why can you be so calm?! Your hand is bleeding!! The nail might infect you, as well! I, I didn’t listen to the lesson in details but I get that it’s dangerous! L-let’s quickly go out of here and let me call the doctor! Oh, right… if it’s hard for you to climb up… let me carry you…”Bookmark here

He positioned himself to carry me.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Huh? What’s with this turn of events?Bookmark here

He didn’t freak out and run away out of fear of his own action’s consequences?Bookmark here

But, he’s just a normal 4-year-old, despite being the prince!Bookmark here

Or, since he is the prince, he is different than any normal kid?!Bookmark here

He looked so impatient and tried to grab me.Bookmark here

“Wait a second!”Bookmark here

“No waiting! We should get you treated right away!”Bookmark here

…Uh, the situation doesn’t turn into what I imagined it would be. If I were to go to the doctor, this whole mess would get me into more trouble.Bookmark here

Seems like it’s time.Bookmark here

“Alright, alright, there’s no need to do that, I’m okay!” I called off my illusion.Bookmark here

“Huh, you’re okay? Are you out of your mind--- HUH?!!”Bookmark here

He noticed that my wound and all the bleeding have gone away.Bookmark here

“How…?!”Bookmark here

The prince is standing there, with a puzzled expression.Bookmark here

*sigh*Bookmark here

He’d have more reason to be mad at me.Bookmark here

This payback has backfired.Bookmark here

“Alright sorry, I did that with magic. I want to teach you that your prank could have resulted in people getting injured, you know. I want you to learn that before the damage’s been done.”Bookmark here

He went silent.Bookmark here

Here it comes, Lyra! I closed my eyes, anticipating his anger.Bookmark here

Damn damn, and here I wanted to be able to scold him, not the opposite.Bookmark here

“Thank goodness!”Bookmark here

…huh? I opened my eyes in disbelief.Bookmark here

“I was worried on how it would turn out if your bleeding didn’t stop! Thank goodness it’s just an illusion!”Bookmark here

“…Huh?! You’re not going to get angry at me?”Bookmark here

“…well… The most important thing is that you’re okay. …I never thought of people getting injured like that because of my trivial prank… So yeah, …I… think, I… deserved that…,” the prince turned his face away. I can see that his ears are red. He seems to be embarrassed to admit his own mistake.Bookmark here

Did I just give him a shock therapy, and that caused him to be more obedient and honest?!Bookmark here

And, what is this? This brat isn’t some kind of thoughtless brat like I thought he was.Bookmark here

“Why didn’t you just run away when you saw me like that? The others could have thought that I fell on my own since I wasn’t being careful in walking. If my wound was real, it’d get you into trouble, you know?”Bookmark here

“…My father taught me to be responsible of my own action, like if someone is hurt because of me, I should apologize and be responsible of it…”Bookmark here

Hmm? So, he listens to what his father told him.Bookmark here

Out of curiosity, I asked.Bookmark here

“Hey, if you really listened to what your parents told you… why didn’t you stop your pranks? I mean, they must have told you to stop, right?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, they did. But, I didn’t think my pranks are harmful and everyone else seemed to not mind them, and it’s fun to do! You know,… I was happy… that my parents gave me more of their attention to me… even though it’s only for scolding me…”Bookmark here

Aah, makes sense.Bookmark here

No harm was done by the pranks, the maids didn’t seem to get so upset, thinking it was one of the children’s usual behavior, he had fun doing so, and he got his parents’ attention after that.Bookmark here

A simple child’s thoughts.Bookmark here

No harm done, I get lots of benefits. Let’s continue!Bookmark here

But, still...Bookmark here

“…you know that this cycle will keep on going, don’t you?”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“You know that you can no longer get your parents’ full attention again, like before.”Bookmark here

“…I know, but as long as I can get any extra of their attention, then it’s fine!”Bookmark here

“…but, aren’t you tired of it?”Bookmark here

No matter what he does, things can’t return to how they were, before Leti was born. Why do something futile?Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“You know that it’s not like your parents love you less than your sister, right? It’s just they can’t give you their full attention again. You are a big brother now, you can’t act spoiled.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Uh, another silence.Bookmark here

“Uhm, can I ask more questions?”Bookmark here

“…yes?”Bookmark here

Finally, a response!Bookmark here

“Instead of being so fixated on your parents’ attention, why won’t you try to make friends with the others? You can learn how to socialize and gain care and attention from your friends in exchange of your parents’ lost attention, so why did you treat your playmates like that?”Bookmark here

“…I thought that if I tried to make them upset, they’d drop that behavior of trying to please me, just because I’m the prince. I am not happy even if I get their attention, as they only view me as the prince and faced me with their pretense… That’s why I want my parents more than the others. …The only ones who would see me as just Luca. You might not understand it at all. I was just…”Bookmark here

The prince didn’t finish his sentence, perhaps out of his embarassment, but I know.Bookmark here

I was just...”Bookmark here

---lonely.Bookmark here

In exchange to the luxurious life he’s got as the prince, he felt lonely.Bookmark here

There are things that money and status can’t buy.Bookmark here

Instead, there are things that are harder to get when you have money and status.Bookmark here

Being accompanied by someone doesn’t automatically make you less lonely.Bookmark here

In fact, being with others who can’t stand on equal position and be honest with you will just make you feel lonelier than ever.Bookmark here

More than anyone else, I can understand that.Bookmark here

Now, I can slightly understand this kid’s motive, and why it didn’t work out with the other children the way things are, right now.Bookmark here

“Still, it doesn’t justify your actions that can cause others trouble, right?”Bookmark here

“…but, nobody is…”Bookmark here

“They can’t really get mad at you because you’re still a child and the prince, on top of it. You even said it yourself, right?”Bookmark here

“…But I…”Bookmark here

“You just don’t want to feel lonely, right?”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“But you know, you are the prince.”Bookmark here

“I know that!” Tears welled up from his eyes.Bookmark here

“I know that I should be happy because I am the prince and that I can have almost all that I want, but, is it wrong for me to feel lonely?!”Bookmark here

“No, that’s not what I want to say. I want to say that, since you’re the prince, you are born with the burden of being more mature and wiser than children your age. You should conduct yourself in a well manner and make sure you don’t ditch your lessons, as they are useful for your future. In the future, you’re the one who’s going to lead countless number of people in Riviera. So, you should think of them and diligently study for their sake.”Bookmark here

“…kh! But… what about my feelings…?”Bookmark here

His expression stated his question, “Are my feelings not important at all?Bookmark here

...what a dejavu.Bookmark here

I think there were countless time when I thought of the same thing, as Reinst.Bookmark here

I cleared my throat and readied my answer.Bookmark here

“Well, before you are the prince, you are just Luca, aren’t you? If you want someone to be able to view you as who you are in spite of your status as a prince besides your parents, you should find some true friends, or those that can stand on equals with you.”Bookmark here

“…That’s what I tried to do, but it was all in vain.”Bookmark here

“No. It wasn’t. …Hey, am I not enough?”Bookmark here

I offered myself to be his friend! Hey, it wasn’t even my intention when I came here today!Bookmark here

To be honest, if you were truly a spoiled brat, then I wouldn’t even want to accompany you any more than this.Bookmark here

But, after today’s events and hearing his honest feelings, I changed my mind.Bookmark here

Somehow, I can see some parts of my old self in him.Bookmark here

“…!! You are just the same like the others! How can you…?!”Bookmark here

“Really? Has anyone tried to pull a prank to you like that and even lectured you like this?”Bookmark here

“But, before, you…”Bookmark here

He seriously didn’t get it?! Bookmark here

“Well, duh. You are the only prince of this country and during out first meeting, I hesitated on how I should act. I thought I should just be a good girl and follow whatever you want, even when you’re going too overboard. My action up to that time might be similar to the others… but, you know what? That was so tiring! And unlike the others, I decided to face you head on!! Isn’t that what you wanted, as well?!”Bookmark here

Damn, I snapped out!Bookmark here

I said those words very fast, and in a tone very different from the one I used just until now, causing him to be overwhelmed. I mean, look, he literally jumped back (slightly) in silence!Bookmark here

The tears also vanished from his eyes, due to his surprise.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

…Earth to the prince?Bookmark here

…did I surprise him that much?Bookmark here

Ah, uhm, shall I count how long he remains silent?Bookmark here

Let’s see… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, seve---Bookmark here

“H, how can you be so brave now, then? You know fully well that I am the only prince of this country! Aren’t you afraid if you are being rude?” He finally speaks out his question.Bookmark here

That is true.Bookmark here

If I were Reinst, I’d probably remain a good girl and would do whatever works in his favor, as they all expected me to be the future queen, so I should curry up the prince’s favor, right~Bookmark here

However, right now, I have my family’s full support and there is no need for me to gain the prince’s favor.Bookmark here

I don’t have to be the future queen. It’s okay if the prince doesn’t favor me at all.Bookmark here

“I have my family’s approval to go all out on you as who I am. Dad said that your father, His Majesty won’t punish me for something like this, regardless of what you think about it. Plus, after listening to your real thoughts, I think I really should get real with you instead of sucking it up to gain your favor, right?”Bookmark here

“…you sure you want to stick up with me?” He asked with eyes full of wonder, as if saying, ‘despite all the taunting I’ve done to you and all my bad treatment?Bookmark here

Well, I could also ask the same thing to you, like, ‘you sure you want to be with a girl who’s teased and scolded you harshly, or you just ran out of options?’ I’ll bet it’s the second reason!Bookmark here

“Only if you promise me you won’t cause any trouble again, and to obediently attend your classes from now on. You will have me around so that you won’t be lonely anymore, so what’s the point of continuing your mischief?”Bookmark here

“…” The prince wiped away his tears and nodded.Bookmark here

“But!!”Bookmark here

My suddenly loud voice startled the poor prince again.Bookmark here

My bad… I didn’t do it on purpose. …or did I? His reaction is amusing!Bookmark here

“Make sure you’re able to withstand me, as I’m not going to hold back against you for a single bit of consideration that you’re the prince, you know? If you don’t like this me, then you can go and find others more suitable to befriend.”Bookmark here

“Got it.” He smiled.Bookmark here

Now look at that genuine smile.Bookmark here

You are not a fully spoiled and selfish brat, aren’t you?Bookmark here

You are just lonely and misunderstood.Bookmark here

Just like I was.Bookmark here

As Reinst, I felt that nobody truly saw me as just “Reinst”—but they saw me as the future queen.Bookmark here

Though the details of our conditions are different, but I know how it feels like to be in a high position and getting the special treatments—but deep inside we’re still lonely.Bookmark here

I know the pain of loneliness.Bookmark here

And I don’t want anyone else to suffer like me.Bookmark here

Maybe that’s why I changed my mind, even when previously I wanted to have nothing to do with him.Bookmark here

I can’t just leave him by like this, alone and feeling lonely. For this country’s sake… and especially for this child’s sake.Bookmark here

Not that I want to be the future queen, but this is just a sincere friendship.Bookmark here

“Let’s start over from the beginning, shall we? I am rei---reintroducing myself! My name is… Alrescha Lyra Hartmann, just call me Lyra. Pleased to meet you.”Bookmark here

Damn, just because I was reminiscing my life as Reinst, doesn’t mean that I can screw up on my self-introduction!Bookmark here

“I’m Lucius Aideen seo Navarrete. Just call me Luca.”Bookmark here

We shake our hands firmly.Bookmark here

“Well, now I’m officially re-hired as your subordinate, huh? But let’s not do that kind of prank anymore.”Bookmark here

“No.”Bookmark here

Huh?Bookmark here

“You are not my subordinate. You are my equal, right? You also said it yourself before. So, you gained the title of my [friend].”Bookmark here

“…” Hmm, I thought he’d boss me around and make me his subordinate again instead of being suddenly called as his friend.Bookmark here

“What’s wrong? You should be honored, for there’s not many that I can call my friend! Perhaps you are the first one?” He smiles in a prideful manner.Bookmark here

...Uhm...Bookmark here


I feel like I pity you from hearing the way you said it, full of pride.Bookmark here

Bragging about how I am your very first friend ever? The only real friend you’ve got?Bookmark here, that is certainly something you can’t brag about!Bookmark here

And, that is how I gain another achievement in my life.Bookmark here

[Achievement acquired! Taming—I mean, Befriending the prince!]Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.