To begin, I, Lizbeth Adelcian, had turned 4-years old.
Having received an abundance of love from my parents, they raised me into an unrebellious and obedient child…as far as they were aware anyway. I hope you’ll forgive me for not being charming both inside and out, but it was impossible for a proper adult to return to being a toddler.
I was affectionately called Liz by my parents, and although I was now used to it, I had to work hard to overcome the discomfort of that very non-Japanese name.
As an infant, I had to go through a lot of experiences I’d have rather not have, thus I decided to omit that part of the story. If there was just one event I had to mention, it would be my customary bathtime with Dad, and I’m sure I don’t have to spell that one out.
“Liz, come here. Shall we read together?”
“Of course Mother.”
The name of the mother that birthed…was Selen.
Mother beckoned me with a gentle smile. It had become a daily routine, and I responded immediately with a smile and ran over to her side.
I may have been biased as her daughter, but my mother was very beautiful. If I were a man, I’d definitely propose to her.
That same mother now beckoned me with her beautiful smile; there was no way I would refuse.
I was careful not to fall over as I dashed to my mother, and when I got close she pulled me into an affectionate hug while still smiling.
…My past self was extremely envious of the soft pillows protecting my mother’s chest. I was my mother’s daughter though, so I prayed to someday have similar set of ‘chest armor’.
Considering both sides of my bloodline, I had high hopes for my future appearance. As of now, I had a good glimpse of what the future held, but it was still somewhat complicated.
You don’t just become an unrivaled beauty, though starting as a cute girl would certainly help. In the end, thanks to my patronage, I should, at the very least, have a face I could be proud of.
“What book should we read today?”
I nuzzled my head on the soft bulge of her bosom. It was the most comforting feeling in the world, and my eyes closed in relaxation. People looking upon this scene would probably smile and go ‘daaawww’.
Also…it might be obvious, but even though I was only 4-years old, there was a big to do over how unbelievably smart I was. I didn’t want to have to be babied, but I did still seek attention. And what’s more…
“What would you like to read Liz?”
“I want to read a book from Father’s study.”
…This did not make for a cute 4-year old, please forgive me. There was hardly a child in the world that could give such a clearly purposed and precise answer. Fortunately, my parents always exclaimed “Our child is so clever!” and that was the end of it.
“Not the study, those books are very difficult…they’re all about magic.”
Ah, right, when I was still a baby, that had been my first concern.
As I had thought, I had not been reborn on Earth, but some strange fantastical world instead.
Being born into a noble family was just icing on the cake. My parents served the castle as Magicians…ah, Magician was a title given to people that had mastered the art of magic. In other words, they were the Elite.
I’d like a chance to explain about magic later, but for now all you need to know is that the goddess of fortune has smiled upon me. I was born into extremely privileged circumstances, and I had to wonder if the God of earth had deemed me fit for such a blessing.
“I want to study magic too.”
My parents had said, “She has the talent. The amount of latent magic power she has is extraordinary.” Is this something like a cheat ability…? Man, it’d be great if it was.
It was a high appraisal, however even if I had the latent power, if I couldn’t use it, it would be a total waste. And even if I had the talent, it didn’t mean I could afford to be complacent.
I’d rather work hard than just have innate talent. I wasn’t satisfied with only having natural talent in my future.
…That, and in this life I’d like to stand at the very top. This time, I shall attain a life of happiness. I’d get that happy life with my own two hands.
For that reason I wanted to get an early start on my magic training, however my mother’s face frowned at the notion.
I had thought she wanted me to follow in her footsteps, but maybe I was being too impatient. Like the magic might weigh a heavy burden on such a small body, or it’d be bad if any accidents happened, or she still wanted to spoil me…something like that. And maybe it was just my imagination, but that last reason seemed the most likely culprit.
“…Mother, do you…not want me to learn magic…?”
I wasn’t playing fair, but if she wasn’t going to let me, then…
I brought my hand from my chest to my face, and looked at my mother with watery eyes. This time, I did not forget to lightly grip the hem of her sleeve while I gave the the ol’ upturned eyes. I was sure I cunningly pulled off the cute look well.
I was well aware this was in poor taste to use my child’s body to my advantage in this way, but the alternative was to throw a tantrum and be told I was being selfish. When I became an adult I wouldn’t use such underhanded tactics, but for now…
Having lived with my mother for 5 years, I know the ins and outs of her personality. My parents…especially my father, spoiled me rotten. As their beloved daughter, it was all too obvious that they doted heavily upon me.
With my eyebrows lowered, I completed my dejected look, and my mother was unable to say anything. I felt bad troubling her like this.
But I still wouldn’t back down. There were times when you had to take risks. …Well, you know, I only wanted to look at the book from the study.
“…We’re just going to read it, all right? No practicing magic just yet young lady.”
Mother finally caved, and made sure I understood the condition upon which she agreed to let me see it. As expected of my mother, I really loved her.
I gave her a radiant smile and a hug to show my gratitude, and mother smiled back, albeit a little strained, and patted my head.
In any case, it was now time to dedicate myself to studying. Even if I had knowledge, it would do me no good if I didn’t do anything with it. I’d study as hard as I had to if it meant I’d have the knowledge to circumvent any disasters to come my way in the future. Not that I hated studying or anything.
…I thus immersed myself in studying every day, to the point that the maids were calling me a bookworm or a loon, and that’s just how it went.
“So that’s how it is.”
As I frequented my father’s study, I came to understand something while browsing the rows of books.
My father was an amazing person.
He was normally an idiot parent…sorry, that was impolite, I meant that I’d only seen him as an over-indulgent father, but when it came to his work he was very accomplished. Even among the other Royal Magicians, he probably ranked first or second.
At least, I had heard there were a number of magicians under the king’s employ, but it was difficult to image he was among the best of them. At best, I thought he ranked in the middle somewhere. I wasn’t looking down on him, I just couldn’t believe one of my parents could a person held in such high esteem.
Knowing that, I really got the feeling I was living the good life as the result of a ‘cheat’.
I mean, come on, I was born of a union between a beautiful mother and handsome father, and on top of that, they were both preeminent magic users. Like, my latent magic ability was way more than a normal child’s, I looked adorable, I had good reflexes, and the icing on the cake, my father was a Royal Magician!
It was like my life had been made to order. To be honest, I was a little troubled by all the entitlement I’d received.
I was thankful that my latent magic power was higher than normal, but it was almost absurd how it practically guaranteed I would have a high social standing with hardly any effort. I wanted to put in the effort to climb the ladder to success.
Of course I would still use anything to my advantage, but I didn’t want to come to rely on such things. It wouldn’t make me happy to succeed off the coattails of my parents, such success was hollow and would eventually crumble beneath my feet.
Since I was still a child, there wasn’t much I could do about it at the moment, but it never hurt to be prepared.
For now, my priority was to work on cultivating my own power. With my own power I would take hold of everything this world had to offer.
…I don’t mean world domination, at most I just wanted to live a happy life. Make no mistake about it.
“Hm? What is is, Liz?”
Just as my father entered his study, I ran up to him with a big smile on my face. Father also smiled back at me, but somehow his smile towards me was even bigger and filled his whole face. He really was fawning all over me.
As I gave him a big hug, I noticed his smell reminded me of the sun.
He didn’t really work outside at all, yet it still brought to mind the image of gentle sunlight. It was a feeling akin to jumping on a freshly made bed, that kind of indescribable happiness. Such was the sort of fluffy feeling I got from my father.
Mother’s scent was like a sweet flower, something gentle that made you feel better when you smelled it.
When I first told my parents what they smelled like, they each gave themselves a good whiff. It was pretty hilarious.
And then there was the time, they were on their bed in their night clothes, and I had smelled a lit fire so I went to check on them, but I was sorry I had. I knew my parents were still young, but it was creepy walking in on them trying to give me a younger sibling.
Of course I had my own room by that age, but I tried to not make it a habit of interrupting people doing their business, and quickly retreated from the room. I was well aware that no normal child my age would have been able to guess what they were doing, but still…
…I seem to have completely gone off topic.
After I gave my father a hug, I made eye contact with his crimson eyes.
Even I was susceptible to getting caught up in the beautiful color of his eyes. His expression relaxed as he smiled gently at me and lovingly patted my head.
…Maybe it’s because he was just relaxing at home, but it was still hard to see him being such an impressive and respectable man out in the real world. Even so, I still loved my father who freely gave his family all his love without asking for anything in return.
“Please teach me how to use magic.”
At my words, he balked and accidently put too much force into patting my head, and wound up ripping out 2 or 3 hairs the same color as my mother’s pale hair. …It really hurt.
“Did someone tell you to ask me that?”
“No, it is by my own desire that I wish to learn.”
Shaking my head, I looked straight into his eyes, and I could see Father wearing the same troubled expression my mother had.
Father was also worrying about me in his own way. He wanted to teach me, but was conflicted by the danger it posed…is what I guessed.
But, I had anticipated this reaction, so it’s not like I was blindsided.
“I want to become a great Magician, just like you, Father.”
Father’s first weakness.
Father was incredibly susceptible to being flattered (though just by me and my mother).
“Is, is that right…?”
“Yes, I’ve heard Father is a very prominent Magician. I, as well, would like to command the respect of my peers as a Magician just like Father.”
“It makes me very happy to hear you say that…! But Liz, you’re still too young…”
“…Father, do you mean I’m not good enough?”
Father’s second weakness.
He was very vulnerable to tears (again, only from me and my mother).
I cunningly turned my eyes up to him, already tearing up. He began to panic upon seeing me look so sad with my big wavering eyes.
…I was thankful it was easy to turn on the waterworks as a child, even though I knew it wasn’t very nice of me to do so, teehee. Sorry for getting ahead of myself.
“Oh no, Honey, it’s not like that, I just wanted to wait until you were a little older…”
“I want to hurry and be like Father, so I can be of help to you. Can’t I…?”
“I promise I won’t quit halfway. So please, can’t you teach me?”
“…Well, I did think this would happen one day anyway…It’s just, much sooner than I thought. I do want to teach you though…”
“You’ll really teach me?”
I deliberately ignored everything other than him saying he would teach me.
My smile was laden with expectations, and finally my father looked like he was seriously considering it.
Father’s third weakness.
Father was extremely weak to a surprise attack smile (one last time, limited to my mother and me).
So it all boiled down to Father being completely enamored with me and my mother, and loving us no matter what. It also meant we had him wrapped around our fingers.
Rather than this just being a selfish wish of mine, it was more like I just wanted something now that I would eventually get anyway. It was just a jump start, really.
With my added sparkling and expectant eyes that only a child could pull off, my father let out a small, no, a rather large sigh.
“…Okay, but there are some conditions. You can’t just be taught when it’s convenient for me to teach you, so I’ll hire you a tutor, and you must follow their every word. You can’t quit half way. Also you will accompany me to the Magician’s department of the castle to have your magical aptitude properly tested. If you can do these things…”
“I will do all of them. Thank you so much Father!”
Father had a bit of a strained smile as I cut him off and smiled with all my might. Sorry Father, but you were doomed to fail. This was my victory.
I told Father I loved him and kissed him on the cheek which immediately restored his earlier good mood. He would have taught me eventually anyway, so I hope no one will hold this against me.
“Liz, we’re here.”
With his gentle whispering voice, my father gently patted my back to rouse me. I rubbed my eyes, wondering when I nodded off.
Our destination was a long way to walk for a child, so my father had carried me in his arms. That sun-like scent and warmth of his body had slowly lulled me into a drowsy state, and I accidentally fell asleep.
Haaa, I yawned while only half-awake, and after putting in a little effort I was able to open my eyes.
What I saw with my still drowsy eyes was a huge castle gate. Towering behind it was an incredibly large fantasy-like castle.
Did my father really work at a place like this? I was once again reminded of his actual greatness.
“Father, Father, do you really work here?”
“I do indeed.”
“That’s amazing, Father…!”
The praise was not unwarranted, and caused my father to bashfully blush. He very happily patted my head in gratitude for the compliment.
Still in his arms, my father carried me towards the castle gate, and approached one of the gatekeepers. As expected, the castle has proper gatekeepers. Of course, if it didn’t, people would be trespassing all over the place.
“Oh my, Welf-sama, is that your child?”
“Yes, this is my daughter. Liz, introduce yourself.”
“Put me down first, Father.”
“Ah, of course.”
Welf was my father’s name.
Father wasn’t one to mix business and personal affairs…I’d like to say that this time didn’t count, but I appeared to be the culprit responsible for making him do so for the first time ever.
For me, seeing that my father actually worked at such an amazing place was impressive. You’re amazing, Father. People working at a place like this were sure to use others to their advantage to advance. …Ah, rest assured, I’m praising him. Father is so kind, I was worried people might take advantage of that very kindness.
Father put me down on the ground, then I smoothed out all the wrinkles on my clothes before turning to face the gatekeepers.
“It is a pleasure to meet your acquaintance. My name is Lizbeth Adelcian, daughter of Marquis Welf Adelcian. I am much obliged to have my father in your care.”
I lowered my head, completing my flawless introduction to the now slightly bewildered gatekeepers. Their reaction was perfectly normal, as anyone would hardly expect a girl of such a young age to introduce themselves with such polite language. I was such an unexpected child.
“Pardon me Welf-sama, but how old was your daughter again…?”
“She just turned 4 this year.”
“To be precise, I am exactly 4 years and 7 months old.”
Those half years were extremely important to children, so I corrected Father’s statement with an adorable smile on my face.
And not that it mattered much, but it was my best ‘business’ smile, one that thoroughly highlighted all the cuteness of a child. It was a little different from the one I gave my mother and father.
That smile seemed to clear up all their bewilderment, and the gatekeepers instead inspected both mine and my father’s faces.
“You two sure do look alike. Though I certainly see some traces of Selen in there.”
“Haha, is that so? She is our daughter after all. See, isn’t she just too cute? And she’s isn’t just cute, she’s also…”
“Father, I’m very happy for your praise, but we have business to attend to.”
If I’d let him go on like that, he would have bragged about me for hours so I quickly cut him off. This also caused the gatekeepers to be taken aback again.
But, come on. It would be embarrassing if Father kept bragging about me right in front of my face. It’d make me want to hide in a hole! He already did as much to all the maids and butlers in our household. It made me so uncomfortable I thought I might just die of embarrassment.
“Ah, that’s right. …Is it all right for her to enter the castle? I brought her by to get her magic aptitude properly inspected.”
“I-is that so? She is the daughter of Welf-sama, so I don’t see it being a problem.”
“You may enter the gate.”
“Thanks, you’re a big help.”
Thus some of the gatekeepers backed off. It was also partially my fault.
After getting their permission, Father took my hand and we passed through the gate. As his place of work, Father had a majestic gait as he walked. I couldn’t quite pull off that same magnificent way of walking, so I just followed along at a modest pace.
Oh right, as we passed by the gatekeepers, I made sure to smile and wave. If I have to go to the castle again, I wanted to leave a good impression; such was the meaning behind my farewell.
They were surprised by my smile, and, out of my father’s view, smiled and waved back to me. They were still on duty, so they wanted to keep the action discreet. I’d have make sure to give them another wave on the way out.