Lucia Prient. Age 15.
At 15, a time typically marked by the turbulence of adolescence, Lucia neither experienced intense rebellious urges nor strayed into delinquency.
However, she did experience confusion about her identity.
“Who am I?”
Even though it had been 15 years since her reincarnation, Lucia occasionally had these thoughts. She was aware that her contemplations about self-reflection had increased recently. She had experienced confusion about her identity even at the age when she could walk and look in the mirror. Now, the belated confusion seemed absurd to her.
But she had a rough idea of the reason.
Every morning and evening, unwillingly, she saw herself in the large mirror while showering.
Her red hair and golden eyes were different from her previous life. Her burgeoning chest and increasingly curvaceous body were no less remarkable than in her previous life,
Yet, Lucia was dissatisfied.
What she meant by small was her ‘height’. Supporting her chest from below, she could feel a substantial weight, and she was definitely larger than the average among her peers she had seen in the changing room.
She was definitely shorter than during the time of her previous life as Kyrie.
Not just in height, but everything was smaller. Her arms, legs, height, even her chest.
“Could it be… I won’t grow anymore?”
Lucia harbored some disappointment. Although growth might still occur in males, it usually halted around this time for females. Indeed, at the age of 15 in ancient times, one would be marrying and bearing children. Though not the case nowadays, it was so 500 years ago.
She never imagined experiencing the reality of reincarnation in such a way, but it seemed unavoidable to have grievances.
Being short was inconvenient in many ways. Especially since Lucia was a library committee member, she often faced inconvenient situations.
When taking out books from high shelves, she needed more than just tiptoes; a step ladder was necessary. She also thought that being ignored by mischievous kids might be partly due to her small stature.
Lucia was content with her life now. What did it matter if she was short? She could finally enjoy an ordinary life.
500 years ago, the brave warrior Kyrie, who rose with great purpose to subdue the devil, had died.
Even Lucia herself thought that her past footsteps as Kyrie were noble and great. However, she had paid a tremendous sacrifice. Many people died, many cities burned, and Kyrie’s life was swept away to somewhere unknown.
She was alive but didn’t feel like living.
“I never want to do it again.”
For that reason, Lucia didn’t ponder much about the reasons or causes of her reincarnation.
When she was crawling as a toddler and when she was kidnapped by a red-haired man, she had deep philosophical thoughts. But as peaceful days continued, she realized that such thoughts were of no help.
“This life is a compensation for the last one.”
That was enough for Lucia to be satisfied living as Lucia Prient.
Her mother had passed away early, and she had blatantly encountered a family claiming to be her descendants. But having enough to eat, a warm back, and a sister of good character… It was truly a blessing to have a family to rely on.
And a lack of love.
Lucia felt the emptiness in her heart gradually filling up.
“It was tough and painful in my past life. It’s okay to be happy in this one, right?”
With that mindset, Lucia decided to enroll in the academy.
She wanted to pursue the studies she couldn’t complete in her previous life, mingle with peers, and enjoy her youth.
And she chose to stay in Shiron’s room, from whom she only occasionally received letters since he was far away.
Shiron’s room was well-ventilated and south-facing, ensuring good lighting. Lucia’s room was the same, but somehow, she slept better in Shiron’s room.
Crucially, she stopped having nightmares not long after Shiron left.
It was a bizarre nightmare.
Dreaming of herself as an adult, stabbing a knife into the chest of an adult Shiron, was chilling, especially since she wasn’t yet an adult. It almost seemed like a prophetic dream.
In the dream, Lucia was irritable, frowning, and, with curses, wildly stabbed Shiron’s chest with a blurry sword.
A voice filled with resentment.
A plea loaded with sorrow.
In the dream, Lucia seemed to hate Shiron deeply.
“It’s an absurd dream. How could I ever…”
Lucia did not resent Shiron.
Rather, she even felt grateful to him. Shiron never showed her the prophecy of the world’s destruction or the possibly real holy sword. Lucia understood this as his consideration for her.
Thus, Lucia had been living in Shiron’s room for several years. But today was to be the last.
Shiron’s name was in the immigration records Siriel showed her, but even after midnight, Shiron had not returned.
So, just for today, she decided to sleep in Shiron’s room. She thought she might have a bad dream otherwise…
“Why are you here? Isn’t this my room?”
“Uh… um… well…”
Lucia was at a loss for words upon Shiron’s return.
She had thoughts like ‘Have you returned?’ or ‘It must have been hard,’ or even cliché lines like ‘I missed you.’ She had wanted to at least throw a welcome party for him.
But she had no idea what to say or do in this situation.
‘Stupid, idiotic fool. I must be crazy.’
“Oh, long time no see. I missed you.”
Lucia recited her rehearsed lines robotically. She had been worrying all day about what to say to Shiron upon seeing him, but now she felt her face flush, not with emotion but embarrassment.
However, all Lucia could do in the current situation was to divert attention to hide her embarrassment. She blurted out every warm word that came to mind.
“It must have been hard traveling such a long way, right? Welcome back. You’ve grown so much. Are we really siblings?”
“Even if we have different mothers, we look so different. I wonder if anyone would believe we’re siblings. It’s fascinating.”
“Stop beating around the bush and answer me. Is this my room or not?”
Shiron approached Lucia with big strides. Lucia gaped at him, looking up as he got closer. The height difference made her tilt her head back more and more.
It seemed five years was not a long time for an adult, but it was enough for a child. Shiron had grown taller and bigger than he was five years ago.
Shiron, with a deeper voice, frowned.
“Don’t tell me, while I was gone, you’ve been in my room…”
Lucia pushed Shiron away, yelling loudly.
“Shut up! What nonsense! I felt something in your room and thought a thief had entered, okay? Don’t make a fuss!”
“Just say it’s not true then. Why yell?”
“Ah, anyway! Why did you come through the window? I almost hit you again! Is the door just for decoration?”
Lucia desperately argued. She couldn’t let it be known that she had been living in Shiron’s room because she didn’t want to have nightmares.
Someday, she wanted to reveal to those around her that she was the reincarnation of Kyrie, so she needed to avoid creating embarrassing memories. But frustratingly, only embarrassing experiences kept piling up.
“Hey, kid. Aren’t you being too harsh to your brother?”
Just then, a woman’s voice was heard from behind Shiron.
“Can’t you say something warm to a brother you haven’t seen in a long time?”
‘Shit. Who is that woman?’
Lucia felt her head cool down. It was a woman’s voice and a very unfamiliar one at that. The woman was hidden behind Shiron’s body, not visible. Lucia decided to move Shiron aside.
“Who are you…”
“Do you know how much your brother has suffered?”
Lucia’s head cooled down once more.
In Shiron’s room.
Behind Shiron’s back.
There was a silver-haired elf.
The silver-haired elf was glaring at Lucia with purple eyes.
The elf in front of her greatly resembled the annoying elf in Lucia’s memory.
‘What is this? She looks just like Seira…’
Lucia froze in place. Silver hair, purple eyes, and an irritating, provocative tone. The elf in front of her was, indeed, Seira.
She couldn’t deny it. Even when compared with the memories of her past life in her head, the woman in front of her was the old comrade who had stood up with her to subdue the demon king.
“You… what are you?”
‘Why are you coming out of there?’
Lucia looked bewilderedly at Seira, and Seira crossed her arms with a cheeky expression.
“Why should I introduce myself? My name is Seira Romer, the greatest magician of all time, and…”
Ignoring Seira, Lucia grabbed Shiron’s shoulder and said,
“You must be really tired, right? Go wash your feet and sleep.”
Shiron responded hesitantly, and Lucia walked towards the door with heavy steps. She slowly opened the door and looked back. She wasn’t flustered; instead, she spoke with a very calm expression.
“I have to wake up early tomorrow.”
And then Lucia ran down the hallway. Her face was so red that it could be seen even in the darkness.
‘What? Is that really Seira? Seira?’
Lucia returned to her room with a pounding heart and locked the door. She leaned against the door and slid down slowly.
‘Why is that girl with Shiron? The fact that he even met her wasn’t even mentioned in the letters, right?’
Memories flashed through Lucia’s mind like a zoetrope.
The scene where she beat up Shiron and knocked him out.
The scene where she acted spoiled in front of Shiron.
The scene where she whined to Shiron to give her food.
And the scene where she cried like a child in front of Shiron…
Among them, the most embarrassing was the fact that she had lived in Shiron’s room for years, even while exchanging letters with him. She also remembered reading Kyrie’s fairy tale book thousands of times.
Strangely, she felt no emotion of reunion. Rather, she was filled with thoughts of biting her tongue and wanting to commit suicide.
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