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Afterward, I said that I wanted to be alone for a while and locked myself in my room to organize my memories.
Sitting at the desk, I took out a notebook from the drawer.
While here and there, the memories of Linalight seemed to be covered in mist, I could generally recall them as clearly as I could recall the memories of the current Linarya. I had a good memory in my previous life as well.
Linalight was the third son of the Duke’s family.
His birthday was the same as Linarya’s, and he had two older brothers. This was also the same as the current Linarya.
By the way, the older brother was enrolled in the Academy of Magic, so he was staying in the dormitory. The younger brother hadn’t come to the capital because he had broken his leg after falling off a horse in early spring.
As I searched my memories, I jotted down various things in the notebook, including family structure, the geography of the country, its history, etc. However, what I found out was that the past and the present were exactly the same world.
Even though Linalight was 20 years old and the current Linarya was 10, their knowledge levels were quite different, but there didn’t seem to be any significant differences.
However, my gender was the only thing that was different.
It might seem like a small matter, but it was a big issue. In the aristocracy, roles significantly differed based on gender.
While there were exceptions, men were more involved in governance and military affairs. This was because women had to take time off from work due to pregnancy and childcare.
Although childcare was aided by wet nurses, it was generally believed in this country that mothers being present was beneficial for the child’s education.
And, due to the belief that men were more suited for military affairs, there were significantly more men in the military compared to civilian officials. This was primarily due to differences in physical strength.
While individuals who could use magic could easily compensate for slight differences in physical strength, strong female knights did exist, but overall, men had the upper hand in terms of physical stamina.
Also, it was said that men had a more suitable temperament for the military.
For these various reasons, aristocratic men usually worked while their female partners managed the household. This was the common arrangement.
The royal family also followed this pattern. Usually, the person who ascended the throne was male, often the firstborn son.
Therefore, princes received education in preparation for their future roles as soon-to-be rulers from a young age.
However, growing up only surrounded by adults wasn’t deemed particularly beneficial for one’s education. There were stories of kings who grew up this way having various issues, like only being able to love older men or being excessively shy and having an Oedipus complex. To address this, it became customary to assign a companion of the same age to the prince when he turned five.
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These companions, more like playmates, would live in the castle. They would receive the majority of their education alongside the prince (naturally, the education was led by the best tutors in the country). As they grew up, they would also serve as advisors and guards for the prince.
It was an honorable role that held the promise of high office in the future, something that all aristocrats would want their children to take on.
These companions were usually chosen from the third or fourth sons of influential noble families. The firstborn son had to inherit the family, and the second son was necessary as a backup in case something happened to the firstborn. So, the third son was often just right.
Ideally, they were a bit older than the prince. Considering the bodyguard duties, having a relatively high magical aptitude was almost a prerequisite.
Comparing these criteria, I, Linalight, just barely met the conditions.
Why was I chosen then? It was the result of various coincidences.
When I learned that I had been chosen, I was very surprised and anxious about leaving home at the age of five and living in the castle.
Over time, I began to feel that it was fortunate to become the prince’s companion, but…
Anyway, the current Linarya had already started living a completely different life from Linalight, despite only differing in gender. It was natural that only boys could become the prince’s companion.
I grew up without meeting the prince, and as a result, I remained at the age of ten.
If the prince had been reborn as a princess, there might have been an opportunity for me to become his companion as well. But, in this life, the prince was just a normal prince, not a princess.
I didn’t want to imagine a princess version of the prince, so perhaps it was for the best…
In order to protect the prince from the clutches of “that woman,” I had to somehow prevent her from getting close to the prince at the Academy. However, she came from a well-established knightly duke family, closely linked even to the ducal family’s power.
Though she was only a companion and had the closest position to the prince in my previous life, I was a mere lower-ranked duchess’s daughter (met once, no conversation, terrible first impression). How could I compete against her?
Perhaps, I needed to mend the first impression before entering the Academy and establish some sort of friendly relationship. While the prince wasn’t very sociable, he had a generous personality without any distinctions. Particularly with close acquaintances, he was slightly indulgent and open-hearted.
If I could become friends with him beforehand and earn his trust, I should be able to keep that woman away.