Chapter 10: Identity
The uproar caused me to stir.
I opened my heavy eyelids, only to be greeted by a stranger looking at me. It was so sudden and unexpected that a sound that wasn’t quite a scream erupted from deep inside my throat. That stranger seemed to find my reaction amusing, and their golden eyes crinkled with intrigue.
I heard my father’s voice from behind the stranger.
“Mädquila, is Altis all right?”
“Yepー, he’s riーght as rain now.”
…No really, who was this person? Mädquila?
From my point of view, this person with flowing indigo hair seemed like a man, however their mannerisms might indicate a young woman. What bothered me the most was their completely black attire
“Al, I’m so glad.”
I noticed my father, who was happily patting my head, had his right cheek swollen. I was more worried about what had happened to him than myself. …Because it meant someone had hit him right? I wondered what exactly happened.
I reached out my hand to stroke his swollen cheek when he suddenly grabbed my hand and rubbed our cheeks together. Although I was shocked, I didn’t pull away from Father’s genuinely gentle face. I was troubled; if you add my years in my previous life to this one, he was rubbing cheeks with a 30-something year old. There were all sorts of reasons this shouldn’t be happening.
As I lay there conflicted, I cast a sidelong glance to the opposite side of my bed where my mother and brothers suddenly appeared. All three of them had slightly reddened eyes. Had they been crying over me? When I thought they had, I could feel myself also getting teary-eyed.
“Al, do you remember? About suddenly releasing magic?”
Mother slowly led into the question while patting my head.
Releasing magic? I understood what she said, but didn’t remember a thing. In the first place, I still remembered in the past when all the adults were discussing magic with such serious faces; it’d had me worried back then.
I was made to realize this was truly another world fairly quickly thanks to that. When someone tells you that you have “Excessive Magic Disorder” with a straight face, at first you have to wonder if the household was practicing some weird religion, or if this really was some unknown and fantastical place. My initial thought was ‘yikes, what religion is this…?’, but when Dr. Safi came to give me my regular physical examination, he never used anything like a stethoscope. Instead, he checked over my body with a glowing hand, which finally made me realize, ‘ah, that’s just the kind of world this is’. After that, I was at the mercy of my new reality.
In any case, I first had to reassure my mother. Even my brothers seemed relieved at my statement of wellbeing, and their stiff expressions relaxed.
“Eーhem, well thenー I’ll just take my leave from hereー. Even Altis-kun saysー he’s doing fineー.”
Mädquila…-san was a bit scary. I still didn’t have the first clue as to who they were.
“Oh, thank you, Mädquila.”
“Noー noー, he’s Ryan’s sonー, it’s simply a matter of courseー. But stillー, you did your wife a disserviceー”
“Well…that…she also jumped to conclusions!”
“Noー, the little woman was in the rightー. Even if I meant no harmー.”
While saying that, they seemed to laugh while looking at my father’s cheek. …Could it be, my mother was the one that struck him?!
“…Ahem, in any case, I’d like to give you something later to show our gratitude, Mädquila.”
“Ahー I don’t expect anythingー, but I’ll be waitingー.”
Mädquila-san jumped out of the window to my room. They were quite a…unique character. Even their way of speaking was very lackadaisical. Father noticed me looking out the window after Mädquila-san and finally thought to tell me that they were Father’s friend from work.
Still, Mädquila-san was very slight, just like a woman. And they were expected to be a fighter? Did women also do battle in this world?
Mother was sure I was famished by now, and left the room with the Pan porridge to reheat it. As soon as she left, my brothers drew closer to tell me about everything that happened before I awoke.
According to them, Mother first thought Father was cheating on her with Mädquila-san, and when Father didn’t explain anything, Mother finally snapped and gave him a good slap, which apparently made quite the sound.
It was on a night when I was 6 years old that I first learned about my mother’s scary side.