When I arrived at the family meeting room, the others had already taken their seats.
The entire family sits around a large marble table on a magical sofa that is hard to get up once you sit down.
“Sorry for being late.”
Brad and Rex are standing behind me.
There is a butler near all the family members, but they looked at me strangely because I brought two butlers while everyone else brought one.
But they didn’t complain.
My family has a soft spot for me.
My parents were sitting together on the same couch, and my two brothers were sitting on the opposite seats. I chose to sit at the birthday table, which had a single seat.
When I stood in front of the chair, Brad quickly picked me up and helped me sit down.
Even when sitting down properly, I can’t reach my feet because the chair is too big. My legs are hanging. The seat is so spacious that if I lean against the backrest, only my head and shoulders can lean on it.
Rex swiftly gathered cushions to fill the space between me and the backrest.
All the while, Brad was preparing the tea, and Rex was fetching the snacks.
Watching Brad and Rex, they realized how hard it was to take care of a child. The family understood, and their expressions changed to admiration.
These two were half playing.
They were having fun figuring out how to divide up the work and make it look smart.
I almost laughed at the amount of reverence shown when they presented the cups.
“Can we start the discussion? I have a few questions for Diadora.”
I take a sip of my tea and hand the cup to Brad.
The table is too far for me to reach.
I would rather sit directly on the floor in front of the table.
There’s an ankle-deep carpet on the floor, it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable.
“You were able to see Alan’s sword spirit that others couldn’t, right? Can you see spirits who aren’t under contract with anyone?”
“I see. Then, we can’t just find a spirit and make a contract with it?”
“Does the contract involve feeding them?”
“It involves feeding. In exchange for their protection, we’ll have to share our magic. The knights’ leader said he wanted the knights to see the spirits, right? Diadora can see most of the knights’ spirits, right?”
“But some spirits will disappear if we don’t.”
“If we don’t feed the spirits, they will die. And if we don’t feed them, they’ll disappear.”
While talking, I took the madeleine that Rex offered me.
Thank God. I was hungry after all that exercise.
I was worried about what would happen if my stomach growled.
“But we haven’t consciously raised our magic either and we’ve always had spirits, right?”
“The same spirit?”
When I tilted my head and asked, they all looked at me blankly and exclaimed.
“Is it possible that before we know it, they’ve switched or that a new spirit arrived after the previous one died?”
“This… we better hurry. We should inform the knights and those gathered for the birthday party in four days to give the spirits their mana.”
“We can teach them but let’s make a magical contract so they won’t spread the word elsewhere.”
“Are we going to that extent?”
“Why don’t we make an agreement that they can’t talk about it until a certain time? We should emphasize that we were the ones who discovered it when they spread it to others. We don’t want any strange rumors to spread and cause misinformation.”
“Hmm, that’s true.”
I listened to the conversation between my father and Kris as I ate the madeleines.
The texture was moist and had a buttery aroma. Our chef is very skillful.
There’s nothing like eating sweets at the birthday table where you can see your father’s masculine sex appeal, who is almost thirty years old and has gained confidence as the head of the family, and Kris, who has a mature look in his eyes and dangerous charm.
After all, beautiful people are the best to look at, right?
Just stay away from me if you’re over twenty-five and beautiful.
It will increase my heart rate and shorten my lifespan.
“We might as well talk to Her Majesty and have him announce it as our achievement.”
“That’s true. But the greatest problem for the Imperial family right now is that the princes still don’t have any spirits, right?”
Huh? The prince doesn’t have a spirit?
Isn’t every nobleman supposed to have a spirit?
Hey, Wiki-kun, your information is wrong.
If the modern Japanese Wiki*edia is wrong, it can’t be helped, but Wiki-kun’s skill shouldn’t be wrong.
When Kris called me, I had just taken a bite of my madeleine and tilted my head in response. He gave me a tender look.
Next to him, Alan was holding back his laughter.
It’s okay, you can laugh.
“You can see weak spirits that other people can’t see. Then maybe you can see the spirits that are attached to the imperial family members but are unnoticed, right?”
“When you give mana to a spirit you can see, the other spirit you want to see will absorb the mana on its own and become visible.”
“What if we don’t have any?”
“Then I’ll give my mana.”
“You get stronger when you use it, so.”
When I spread my hands out and dragged my words, Kris had a complex expression that I couldn’t describe on his face and glanced at Brad.
Did my words not come across properly?
I hope he understands what I’m saying.
I’m doing my best so he can understand me.
It takes a lot of mental strength and energy to act like a four years old.
It’s embarrassing and makes you want to cry.
“All you have to do is release the mana.”
Stop saying things like you know what you’re talking about.
Just wait two more years.
“Release!!” The water will pour out from the hose and flood the whole place.
But I misunderstood, didn’t I?
I thought they were looking for a way to get the imperial family to visit our territory for the summer and attract more tourists, but the matter was much more serious.
Is it that bad if the princes have no spirits?
“Does Her Majesty have a spirit?”
“I believe they’re fire and wind spirits.”
“What about the General?”
“He has mastery over fire and sword spirits.”
“And the princes don’t have one.”
“Oh, that’s pretty bad.”
Now, here’s the problem.
There are a lot of things that are written in Wiki-kun that people here don’t know.
It feels like what Japanese people hear from foreigners, “There’s something like that?!”
There are so many things that you could make a TV quiz show with them.
Some knowledge was common in the past but has faded away.
It was mentioned in old literature, but they didn’t know its significance.
My common sense was still more or less as it was when I lived my previous life.
The situation is similar to a foreigner who has come to Japan for the first time.
Many things come to my mind, and half of the time, I challenge everything like it’s a game.
Or else I wouldn’t have done something like fainting to increase my mana.
People here use their common sense and don’t think it’s strange, whereas I would look it up on Wiki-kun if I think it was strange.
There were probably a lot more people living with spirits in the past.
And yet, they have forgotten how to communicate with spirits.
How am I supposed to communicate that?
I was lost in thought so my mother called out to me in concern.
“Where are some places near the castle that have water, trees and lots of flowers?”
Mother and father looked at each other before returning their gaze to me.
“The lake on the west side of the castle?”
“The flowers are so beautiful this time of year.”
“How close is it?”
“It’s inside the castle.”
There’s a lake inside the castle grounds!
How big are these properties?
“I want to go there. I want an earth spirit.”
“Spirits are found in nature, aren’t they?”
“Diadora, how do you know this?”
“It was mentioned in the book Dana is reading to me.”
“A picture book?”
I nodded enthusiastically at Alan’s words.
“In the book, there are always flowers blooming where the spirits are.”
“It’s a picture book….”
“If you put it that way, yes.”
“That’s also in the book that I read.”
It must have something passed down from generation to generation!
Just think of it that way.
It’s not exactly information from Wiki-chan.
“You mean the spirits are in nature?”
“When was the last time the Imperial Capital was expanded?”
“Ten years ago.”
That might be the reason why there are fewer spirits in the castle.
The oldest son is nine years old, the same age as Kris if I remember correctly. It’s the right time.
In the world where we live with spirits, destroying nature is never an option.
“The nature near the Imperial Capital… can be found around the school.”
“I remember there is a shortcut from the Imperial Capital through the forest.”
Although nature is nearby, it’s too busy to go there every day.
I can relate to that.
Nobody in this territory goes to the lake, even though we have one in the castle.
“I want to go to the lake.”
“If I go, will I get a spirit?”
“I’d like to go every day until I get one.”
Don’t be so naive.
If the magic weren’t strong, the spirits wouldn’t be so easily attracted to the bait.
On the other hand, if the magic is strong enough, it will stick just fine like when I was a baby.
I wonder how much mana the prince has.
“This is something worth trying.”
“Yes. Let’s have those invited to Diadora’s birthday party try it. They’d be willing to help us if there was a chance for their child to get a spirit.”
“If it were true, we could trade favors. We might as well hold them regularly.”
“Which means we can’t let them run free.”
“We’ll have to keep them off-limits and protect the nature they normally live in.”
“I would like the knights and guards to have a spirit, but they are rough. They need to be monitored.”
Father and Kris went on and on with their conversation.
When I was feeling bored, Alan offered me a cookie.
“When you use magic, you have to maintain the sustenance needed.”
“But we will eat after this.”
“Aren’t we going to be late?”
Father will be late for the evening party but he will talk to us.
The evening party will be held within the Count’s territory, it should be fine as long as I show up.
“Nee, Diadora. How did you know that spirits need mana for sustenance?”
Kris suddenly asked me that question.
“Even though I wasn’t sleepy, I had to go to bed. Since I couldn’t turn on the light, I used my mana to light my hand.”
“You lit it up.”
“Then the spirits gathered in my hand, so I figured they wanted my mana.”
“Yeah, you have creative ideas.”
Oh, do you want to find out where my abnormality comes from?
They told me to stop forcing myself to act like a four-year-old, but my attitude hasn’t changed. Maybe he wants to know whether I can’t or won’t change.
“I knew she was eccentric, but she had an excellent point of view and creativity.”
“Sometimes, it makes me wonder if she even knows what she’s doing. It explains why she’s running around like a child.”
“Out of the three of us, it’s Diadora who gets hurt the most.”
Sorry. I can’t tell you the truth yet.
Unless they grow up and learn to defend themselves, I can’t let them know about another world.
It’s not like I have a lot of knowledge, but I have Wiki-chan.
I want to believe in my family but there is too much to gain.
It’s the kind of knowledge that could move countries.
“Is there anything else you’ve noticed about spirits?”
I placed my hands on my hips and puffed out my chest at Father’s words.
“Dia-chan, tell me.”
“That’s a cute nickname. I’ll call her that.”
“Alan, not now. That’s my nickname, don’t copy it.”
Eh? He’s calling me with -chan suffix?
Alan can call me Diadora-sama if he wants.
“What are you going to teach me?”
“If you wanted to go to the lake and befriend a spirit….”
“We are going to talk about how to befriend them.”
“The breeze feels good. All because of the spirits’ blessing. Thank you.”
“……Who are you talking to?”
“The wind and water?”
Don’t give me that pitiful look.
What is she talking about? He’s probably wondering if he raised me wrong.
“Is that how Dia became friends with the wind spirit?”
As I thought, Alan is the last conscience of our family!
I think it’s only my imagination that the way he treated me is a little lukewarm!
“That’s right. Besides, I need to talk to the spirits that are with me. Fire spirit, come here.”
When my palm is up, a red light swoops over it softly.
“Water spirit, over here.”
The water spirit was on my other palm.
“They answer when you talk to them.”
“Wow. I’ll try it too!”
When Alan called the spirit with twinkles in his eyes, his palm glowed green in response.
Sword spirits don’t float around.
“If you don’t give them the right mana to eat, they won’t listen to you.”
“Start talking to the spirit you want?”
Father and Kris think with their hands on their chin while mother and Alan communicate with their spirits.
It’s easy to see who looks like whom.
“I’d rather be friends with someone who talks to me than someone who ignores me.”
My family looked at me in surprise, I smiled and continued talking.
“Not just one time. I’d rather be friends with someone who talks to me a lot!”
“Hmm. I will keep talking to my spirit.”
Based on what I said, the family discussed it with serious expressions on their faces.
They would check up on me between the discussions to see if I was getting bored. Towards the end, my father took me in his arms to the sofa, saying that I could sit a little farther away from Alan and talk to him.
……I don’t feel half as guilty for deceiving my family.
I feel sick to my stomach.
“How did my family react to what they saw?”
After the meeting, I asked my two butlers about it.
That’s why I let them stay in the room with me.
“Ojou, they love you, don’t they?”
“Don’t you think your siblings have a little sister complex?”
“That’s not what I mean. Do you think that clears my suspicions?”