Chapter 1: I, born
Having too much of a good thing can quickly spiral out of control…
Uwaah uwaah uwaah!
So noisy… I lived alone, so why could I hear a baby crying in my room? Jeez, I finally had a day off from work tomorrow, just lemme sleep!
“Congratulations, it’s a healthy baby boy.”
“Oooh, ooh, Meria, you did great, you did great!”
“Heheh, are you crying Ryan…?”
“Aaah! That my child and my beloved are both in good health, I couldn’t be happier!”
Huh, what’s all this? Blonde? Giant? What’s going on? I should’ve been in my room. Excited about my day off, I’d collapsed onto my bed, and… I can’t remember anything after that. I probably fell asleep. So why…
“Uwaaaaaaah (Why am I a baby?!?!?!)”
Saitou Yoshiko, dead at age 24; cause of death, currently unknown.
I appeared to have been reborn. I was so confused at suddenly having a baby’s body, I panicked and cried. When put to my mother’s breast, I instinctively grabbed it, and by the time I was done I had calmed down. I was being held in my beautiful mother’s arms, and using sheer willpower I used my sleepy eyes to take a look at my surroundings. My mother had soft, golden hair, gentle and light eyes with a strong green color, and small rosy colored lip; truly a beauty. Sitting in a chair by the bed was my father with thick brown hair, and two keen blue eyes. He had been smiling for a long while with that wide grin of his, and it didn’t look to be going away anytime soon; truly a handsome man.
I had apparently been born this these beautiful parents. I looked forward to my future. And that was when my consciousness started fading out.
“Grow up well, Altis.”
With a particularly loud entrance, Solis, my second son, entered the room. Scolding him from behind, Jörg, the eldest, also entered. The two currently attended military school, but had come home earlier than usual. I was certain they had rushed home in their excitement.
“Mother! Is it a boy? A girl?”
Solis was excited about having his first little brother or sister while Jörg was still firmly scolding him.
“Solis, Mother is tired. Learn to read the mood.”
“Thank you, Jörg. Solis, it’s a little brother. His name is Altis. Take good care of him, you hear?”
Altis had just fallen asleep, and Solis looked upon him as the babe turned and snuggled into my arms. Ryan decided to take a gander as well, and seeing his cheeks finally slacken, I couldn’t help but let out a small giggle. Anyone that knew the normal Ryan would be surprised to see this Ryan.
“Altis, I’m your big brother.”
Solis felt Altis’ soft cheeks, while Jörg looked on with curiosity beside him. Jörg hadn’t seen a baby this small since Solis was born ten years ago. I knew Altis would be well taken care of by these two. I patted Jörg’s soft brown hair, and he averted his eyes, embarrassed. Come now, you’re already a big brother.
“Meria, you should sleep soon. I’m sure you’re tired.”
Jörg and Solis nodded in agreement with their father’s statement. The boys gave Altis a kiss on the forehead then left the room.
“Thank you, Ryan. That’s a good idea, I think I’ll rest for a while.”
Ryan kissed Altis’ forehead and mine. Whispering for me to have good dreams, he quietly walked out of the room.
I carefully laid Altis down in the crib next to the bed so as not to wake him. He was already fast asleep.
“Good night, Altis. Have sweet dreams.”
I laid down in the bed, closed my eyes, and soon drifted off to sleep.
Chapter 2 Getting used to things
“He’s so cute!”
“I know, he’s like a little angel.”
It’s been 1 month. Thanks to the neighbor folk, my shyness slowly began to ebb away with having to deal with things like diapers and breasts. And just a bit of trivia, my mother’s breasts were larger than mine in my previous life.
Currently, Mama was having a tea party at the house with some of her friends. Everyone was dressed in beautiful clothes, and all the girls over 10 were already unbelievably beautiful with good figures. Mama and her friends all called me cute and angelic, lavishing me with praise, and it felt rather nice. I still hadn’t been able to really see what I looked like, but I was probably pretty cute. For a boy at least.
Yes, I, formerly Yoshiko, was now Altis, a boy. That thing that wasn’t there in my previous life was now blatantly between my legs. At first I was like, noooo, you’ve got to be kidding me… But I had no choice but to get used to it. Along that same train of thought, I tried to stay optimistic about potentially falling in love with girls in the future.
“Mother, I have returned.”
“Mother, I’m back!”
The eldest son, Jörg, and the second son, Solis, had come home. Over the past month I came to know that they attended a military school. They had both inherited my Dad’s brown hair and bright blue eyes, along with his good looks; of course, not once in my previous life had I conversed with a hot guy, other than when absolutely necessary. The sad truth was that even though I’d come to accept my newfound gender, I still wasn’t used to them. I hated my shy self for that.
“Al, how have you been little buddy?”
“Solis, if you’re going to hold Al, wash your hands first.”
When my brothers got back, they immediately made for my crib. I think they’re nice. But it hurt when they poked my cheeks and I wished they’d stop.
The adults all smiled at the boys. Don’t smile at them, save me! It seriously hurt!
I could only think such things to myself as I was still incapable of speech. Speaking of, what should I say for my first word? Mother? Father? Brother? It was the only worry I had at the moment, but I thought it was pretty important. It was important to me as in my previous life, I’d never had such a warm and welcoming family.
In middle school, my parents passed away, and suddenly I was living with my relatives. Shy as I was, I never really spoke much with my Aunt and Uncle. There was the fact that my parents had just died, but even before that I didn’t talk much, and I was slow at responding, leading others to call me a boring girl behind my back.
Still, now that I’ve been reborn, I suppose that doesn’t matter much anymore. Still, for my new parents that laughed gently and my brothers that fussed over me, I wanted to live up to their expectation. That was what I wanted to live for.
Chapter 3 Sickness discovered
I remembered the day I got the motivation for the course of my future.
The smell of Mom’s cooking always woke me up, but today was different. Something lurked in my body, something hot. That was what disturbed my slumber.
I wondered if it would go away, but the heat gradually got worse until I started to cry.
“Ugyaaa, Ugyaaa (Mom! I’m burning up!)”
“Al? Are you hungry?”
Hearing me cry, my mom came to get me, but she was wrong! I wasn’t hungry!
“Ugyaaaaaaa (It’s hot! Help me!)”
My crying was like screaming which even caused Mom to realize something was amiss while she held me and she looked at me intently.
“Ryan! Ryan come here! Something’s wrong with Al!”
“Mm? With Al?”
Mom’s voice as she called for Dad brought my brothers in as well, rubbing their eyes as they followed Dad into the room.
“…I’ll go get the doctor.”
Taking a look at me, Dad also felt something was wrong and called for the doctor. My brothers squeezed my hands tightly. For just a moment, it felt like the heat abated, and I hoped it was all over, but the heat suddenly became worse again.
Something hot was running rampant inside me, and I felt horrible. I felt so bad that everything started to fade away.
“Al! Jörg, bring me a towel!”
The heat got so bad that I involuntarily threw up. Shit, this is the worst. I heard the sound of Jörg taking off to get the towel, and in my heart I whispered thank you to him. You’re a good brother.
Mom, I can still hear you. But it’s so hot, I can’t even cry anymore. I’ll just close my eyes for a bit. I’ll wake up soon, don’t worry…
Hearing Mother’s heartbroken voice, I hurried back to the room with the towel. In the room, Mother was frantically crying out for Al, and not understanding what was going on, Solis was crying too.
I handed Mother the towel, and noticed that Al wasn’t crying anymore, he was limp and unmoving. …What’ll we do, if Al dies… No, I drove away those ominous thoughts.
I stroked Solis’ head as he cried, telling him it would be all right, that he was a big brother now and shouldn’t cry, and he finally managed to stop. Truthfully, I wanted to cry too.
I heard the sound of heavy steps running through the house. Ah, Father made it back. I felt so relieved, a single tear slipped out. I was glad Solis didn’t notice.
“Meria! I brought Dr. Safi.”
Behind my vigorous Father, the tall and lithe Dr. Safi came in like the wind, his long blue hair pulled up into a ponytail on the back of his head. Whenever we came down with a cold, Dr. Safi was the one we trusted to cure us of our ails. This also set my heart at ease, or so I thought, but I was still anxious. Even though Dr. Safi was here, why was I still so nervous?
Dr. Safi whispered an incantation and a large yellow light appeared in his right hand. He then put it over Al, who was being held in Mother’s arms. I saw sweat form on Dr. Safi’s forehead.
“Is Al…is Al going to be okay?!”
Everyone held their breath waiting for Dr. Safi to speak.
“Altis-kun has Hereditary Excessive Magic Disorder.”
At those words, I understood why the space around Father suddenly screeched with magic.
Chapter 4 My Resolve
“Al! You opened your eyes?!”
I slowly awoke to the sound of words, and it felt like I had slept for at least a month. At the time I didn’t understand it at all, but my body felt super fatigued! That was the kind of situation I’d fallen into.
“Al! Dr. Safi! Al opened his eyes!”
Mom and Dad came to check on me, and behind them I heard footsteps. Suddenly, I saw a face I didn’t recognize; The person Dad called Dr. Safi had beautiful blue colored hair tied behind his head. And what was this, I had always thought guys with long hair in my old life were nasty looking, but this guy was different.
“Yes, his face has a good color, he should be fine now. However, this will still occur periodically, so please make sure your family is prepared.”
“…We will be. Thank you so much Dr. Safi.”
Mom and Dad stood and gave their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Safi. Apparently he had saved me from my fever.
I babbled an ‘Au au (Thank you)’ at Dr. Safi, with all my gratitude. His kind eyes crinkled as he laughed. Seriously, yet another handsome man.
“All right, I’ll see myself home.”
“Really, thank you for everything!”
“…I know I told you once before, but Altis-kun will continue to be afflicted by these symptoms throughout his life. Caring for him will be difficult. So I hope your family will come together and support him with all your power.”
I could hear the adults talking together. I couldn’t see their faces, but they certainly weren’t laughing. I could hear the seriousness in their voices.
Form what Dr. Safi was saying, I would be a big burden on my family from here on out. It could even get worse. …I wanted to help my family, but how? And with a body like this? I was already powerless as it was. Even when I got older, I would probably still need to be looked after, even though I should be the one looking after my parents at that time.
I had to leave home.
I knew just how much love they had to give after only this one month of living with them. It made me so happy…but that was exactly why.
I couldn’t stay babied forever. I had been an adult in my previous life after all, and I’d held down a decent job. If I put my mind to it, I could certainly do it. I’d take care of myself. And I’d study; I could do it.
“Au auah (I absolutely won’t force my parents to care for me forever!)”
At the tender age of 1-month old, I quietly made up my mind.
“…Ryan-san, please calm your magic. You could have an adverse effect on Altis-kun right now!”
At the doctor’s pleading, I let out a long breath, and calmed the magic emitting from my body. It was a bad habit of mine. When I got overly emotional, magic would leak from my body. I had more magic than most, and that was the likely culprit.
“Doctor! Can Al… Can Al be cured?!”
“That’s… it would be very difficult with today’s current magical knowledge.”
The doctor’s declaration caused Meria to stagger. I supported her from behind as we finally understood what was going on.
Excessive Magic Disorder. Meria and I had both heard of it before. After all, I also suffered from the same illness, but I only had a mild case; if I took medicine once a month, it would lessen the effects to the point that there weren’t any problems. Meria knew this as well.
Excessive Magic Disorder is something you’re born with, and those afflicted surpass the limit of magic their bodies are able to contain. You don’t often encounter someone with it, but it’s most commonly found in births between nobles, who have a large capacity for magic, and commoners, who only have a moderate capacity for magic. However, in this case, I was the cause.
“Certainly, Ryan-san also has Excessive Magic Disorder. …It is likely hereditary.”
My mind blanked when Dr. Safi confirmed my fears. Somewhere inside, I knew it. Meria grabbed my hand tightly, and it was so wondrously comforting, it calmed the magic stirring inside me.
“Altis-kun has a very acute case of Excessive Magic Disorder, and as such the attacks will worsen, causing his body to weaken. I’ll prescribe some medicine. Have him take it every single day, do not miss a dose. If his condition worsens while on the medication, please call on me again. Do you understand?”
The one to respond the quickest was neither myself nor Meria.
“I understand! I’ll rush to get Dr. Safi immediately!”
It was Solis, who had been crying just before. Everyone was surprised at the expression my son wore. Only Dr. Safi lowered his head, bidding Solis thanks for the help, and patted his head.
Solis faced the doctor with a fierce light in his blue eyes, then gave a single nod in return. That my son wore such an adult expression despite being a child, filled me both with pride and sadness.
“Ryan, we must also do all we can to help Al. Let’s all protect Al together, okay?”
Meria had been supporting me, and now wore the most motherly expression I’d ever seen. Aah, that’s right. Al, Meria, Jörg, Solis, and myself, we were all family. It was important to protect each other. I would absolutely absolutely protect them.
Chapter 5 Everyday Life
Time flew by even faster than in my previous life.
“Al, good morning.”
I had become 6-years old. In these past 5 and a half years I had been battling the Excessive Magic Disorder, and thanks to my shyness resurfacing, I hadn’t even been able to talk with my family much! Agh, when I was a baby it was so much easier to say what I wanted (it was all baby talk though)! I’m such an idiot!
“Al, you’re looking good today. But don’t overdo it, okay?
Mom examined my complexion, then laughed gently when our eyes met. …Still, I was really bad at making eye contact, even though it was such an important part of communication.
That was why I averted my eyes quickly. Even though I knew it would make Mom a little sad. I’m so sorry, but it’s impossible!
“Hurry and take your seat, love; breakfast is almost ready.”
She tapped on my head, then I watched as she exited the room. Aaaahg, the guilt consumed me!
On the dining table was a vegetable soup and a hard bread like French bread, and milk from an animal called a ‘Mille’ (I had never actually seen a Mille, but I guessed it was something like a cow). This was the usual Westoria home breakfast fare.
The eldest son, Jörg, had already gotten ready and headed out, thus, the second son, Solis, was running late! While he caused a ruckus around the house, he jammed some bread into his mouth. However he put in too much and…
“Gegh, it’s, stuck! Al! A drink!”
Solis was in pain with bread half lodged down his throat, so I brought him the Mille milk, and he quickly snatched it out of my hands. Watching him chug it down made it seem that much more painful.
“All right, I’m off!”
“…Have a good day, Onii-chan.”
“Have a good day, take care now!”
“…Well, I’d best be on my way too.”
I watched Solis leave while I ate at the table, and Dad stood up to follow suit. Dad was an Imperial Guard for the king. Being part of the Imperial Guard was something every boy dreamed of. Solis often talked about it, so it was easy to remember.
“Ryan, take care. And have a good day.”
“I will. I’m off then. Al, be good while I’m gone.”
I loved the big hands Dad used to muss with my hair. They were rough and calloused, but it was the proof of how hard he worked. My cheeks started to pull into a smile, but it would be bad for me to start smiling now. So, as usual, I bit my lip to keep myself from smiling. After all, if his son started laughing suddenly, he might not muss with my hair anymore.
Mom and Dad kissed each other goodbye, but not a deep French kiss. The first time I saw them do that, I was shocked at the sudden PDA, but after six years, I’d gotten used to it. For the most part.
Dad was the last one to leave the house, so it was just me, Mom, and the maid Michella-san. After I was diagnosed with Excessive Magic Disorder, Dad hired on the 70-year old lady. Her age didn’t matter, and Mom had complete faith in her to perform her duties.
Whenever I suffered from my disorder, Mother wouldn’t leave my side, and Michella-san was left to do the chores. Every time I had an attack, Michella-san indicated her understanding and took over managing the household. I tried to look at her with respect, but I could tell I was disliked. She often looked at me coldly, even though she smiled while talking to my brothers.
Even so, I didn’t have the guts to even try and speak with her, much less be discouraged from doing so by her.
“Al, your fever only just went down yesterday. Just in case, stay in bed for today, okay?”
And so today, once again I was confined to the bed.
Chapter 6 Her resentment
I awoke to the sound of the bell. I had been sleeping, but the capital had a large church with a bell, so I figured it must be noon already. The church rang the bell 3 times for morning, noon, and night. There was no more darkness left in the sky, so it must be noon.
When I was 5, I got my own room and a large brand new bed. When I was a baby I slept in my parent’s room in the crib, but they had bought all that furniture so I could sleep on my own. There was even a large and wide window in front of my new small desk, brought in for my own private use. I really liked it.
“Altis-sama, your mother has prepared dinner.”
Opening the door, Michella informed me while I slept on my bed, looking at me expressionlessly. She may have been 70, but her back were in good shape, and her teeth were beautiful. And like always, she approached without warning. I answered her with a simple ‘yes’, but she had turned around and left the room without even listening, and I watched her go until she was out of sight. She always acted with haste. Or wait, did she just walk fast maybe?
On the breakfast table was Mom’s specialty: a line of Hamus sandwiches. The Hamus meat had a chicken-like texture, with a sweet and spicy sauce and vegetables, and was sandwiched between two slices of bread. It was pretty delicious.
“Oh, Al you’re up? We’re just about to eat, so go wash your hands.”
I nodded in acknowledgment, then hurried off to the washstand.
There was a magic circle inscribed to the spigot so that when you turned the handle, water would come pouring out. Easy-peasy. I wasn’t quite tall enough to reach yet, so I used the small step stool that Dad had made when Jörg was younger. Solis had used it as well.
The face reflected in the mirror was utterly different from the one in my previous life. I had inherited my mother’s golden hair and drooping eyes. When I was born, my eyes had been blue like Dad’s, but now they were violet. It was a side effect from the onset of my Excessive Magic Disorder. Still, purple eyes weren’t altogether uncommon, so it was fine.
And as always, the one thing I couldn’t get used to was my own charming pretty boy looks. I tried not to think about it and washed my hands so I could finally eat my Hamus sandwich!
I rolled up my sleeves to wash my hands, and also gave my face a wash since I had just woken up. Okay, I should be fine now. I hopped off the step stool (about 50cm/20in), then headed off to the living room.
My mind was full of sandwich thoughts, so when I opened the door to the living room and found a person was there, I was so surprised that I took a step back. At my small stature, I couldn’t even see the person’s face when I looked up. But just seeing the moss green skirt and white apron, I knew it was Michella.
I wondered if she was going to say anything. Then the words that fell upon my ears were…
“…What an atrocious amount of magic, you vile child.”
Cold and painful words.
I hardly remembered the taste of the sandwich that I’d been looking forward to. Before I realized it, I was already back in bed.
Mom had been in the kitchen at the time and hadn’t heard what Michella-san had said, and I was torn on whether that was a good or bad thing.
Well, I already knew she loathed me, so it’s fine if I hate her right back. Even though I settled on that, for the first time since I was born into this world, my body trembled at the memory of those hateful eyes.
This is why I didn’t like people. You never knew what people were really thinking. It’s why I never involved myself with other people.
I hid myself away in my bed, and even though I took it every day after my meals, today I completely forgot to take Dr. Safi’s medicine.
Chapter 7 Beloved
I awoke to a raging heat in my body. Another fit of my Excessive Magic Disorder…? Ah, that’s right, I forgot to take my medicine.
My vision was dim from the fit, and it would do no good to blink in attempt to clear it up. I sighed in resignation. It’d been a long time since I last forgot to take it…
I couldn’t even tell if it was night or day, but since I hadn’t left the room, Mom should come in to check on me soon. It was lonely by yourself when you felt sick. Even so, I had no desire for Michella-san to keep me from my loneliness; that would just make me mentally ill as well.
I was certain my eyes would speak a thousand words. I was always bad at making eye contact in my previous life, so it was easier for me to understand people like my Aunt and Uncle just by glancing at their faces. I understood after seeing their eyes. Even if their faces looked normal, I could always tell from their eyes, whether they were unconcerned, disgusted, or curious. I gradually came to understand each of their emotions. I always did my best to not make eye contact, talk, or show my emotions. …Which led to a very lonely life.
I often thought of my past when I was weak like this. But it was nothing I wanted to remember, and I hoped my Mom would hurry and make me feel better. I wanted the warmth of her passionate heart.
As I worried endlessly in my thoughts, I heard the sound of heavy footsteps. It must be Solis. Dad always told him to be more careful, but it was a hard habit to break.
The footsteps were coming towards my room. Dinner was probably ready, and he was going to get me to come eat.
“Aaal! Time to eat!”
I knew it. But you’ll have to forgive me Solis, I’m unable to move at the moment.
“Al? Are you all right?”
Apparently Jörg was accompanying him. My brothers really did take good care of me.
“…Sor…ry. …Forgot, morning…medicine..”
My brothers were at my bedside, but it was still hard to talk and tell them about my fit due to my fever. Ugh, really hard…
“You forgot to take your medicine? If it hurts, don’t force yourself to speak. I’ll tell Mother to make you some Panus instead. Solis, could you get me a towel to wipe down Al’s sweat?”
“Got it, I’ll go get it.”
Solis took off like a shot out of the room. Normally, Solis was a chatterbox, but he always took on a very serious demeanor when it came to my disease. I suppose he was 16-years old after all.
“Hang in there, Al.”
The way Jörg gently stroked my head hadn’t changed. He had always been a gentleman. When Jörg was 18, Dad had asked him if he’d found a special someone yet, and I secretly listened in on their conversation. But Jörg said, somewhat happily, that he was looking after me for the time being. He may have had a bad Brother Complex…but it still made me happy.
Even though I knew they’d be right back, I was a little lonely when they both left the room.
Solis came back first. He had a fluffy white towel in each hand. Later I would wonder why he had one in each hand, but at present I was so feverish and out of it that I was simply happy he’d returned.
“Al, are you in pain? Are you okay?”
He asked while gently wiping the sweat from my forehead. I found myself grasping his kind outstretched hand, tightly gripping it. I found the human hand to be strangely comforting.
As always when I felt this way, my vision was unfocused, but to send Solis my thanks, I kissed his fingers. Being born into this world, I found kissing to be a normal matter of course, a way to communicate one’s feelings. In my previous life, rather than being embarrassing, kissing was something you only did with those beloved to you.
My heart put to ease, I once again closed my eyes.