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Chapter 10: A Glimpse of Growth

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Author: Eltria Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Robinxen

I’ve become accustomed to my life after reincarnation, and lately, it felt like my sleep had become slightly shallower. Before, I would feel drowsy at any time of the day or night, but now I’m on a cycle of waking up in the morning and sleeping at night.

In my previous life as Glass Dimelia, I didn’t have any memories of being a baby. Judging from the environment I was found in, it felt like a miracle that I had survived. My first memory as Glass Dimelia was of a dimly lit room covered in filth and a foul odor. While it’s fragmented, it’s easy to imagine that it wasn’t the kind of peaceful shelter that Leafa’s parents, Natal and Rudra, provided. Because the next thing I knew, I was living in the back alleys, scavenging for scraps.

It was a cold winter season. Children huddled together for warmth, shivering in their sleep, and woke up in pain. Many of our companions didn’t make it through the winter. That was the “normal.”

The life I have now, born as Leafa, was entirely different from the “normal” life I had lived as Glass. For example, as long as I was in this house, I could go through hot and cold days without much awareness because the room temperature was maintained almost constant by something called an air conditioning magical device.

In the time when I was Glass, on cold days, we would use magic to start a fire and warm ourselves by the fireplace, but Natal and Rudra didn’t use the fireplace. There was a fireplace when I was just born, but it had gradually fallen out of use. I overheard them talking, and it seemed they switched to the air conditioning magical device for my sake.

Everything in this lifestyle seemed to revolve around me. I just slept, and my parents took turns taking care of me. I never had to suffer from hunger or thirst, and they didn’t allow me to endure things.

Strangely, they were delighted when I let them know about my condition. Even though I could only make sounds like “Ah” or “Uh” to communicate, they seemed to understand my situation and desires correctly.

I couldn’t understand why they were so pleased, even though it would mean more work for them. The reason for this became clearer as my vision gradually improved. They always had smiles on their faces when they took care of me.

“Your weight seems to have increased a bit, Leafa,” my mother, having noticed that I woke up, said as she gently held me, pressing her cheek against mine. “You must be drinking your milk well. Thank you.”

I was just fulfilling one of my needs, and yet, my mother expressed gratitude. It was my place to say thanks, but I still didn’t have any way to convey my appreciation except for a smile.

“Aguuu-ah.”

Every day, I tried to make sounds while consciously shaping my lips and tongue, but I didn’t achieve the results I desired. However, it seemed to get the message across, and my mother gently stroked my head, looking satisfied.

“Good job, Leafa. You’re doing very well.”

Being held by my gentle, sweet-smelling mother, I strangely felt a profound sense of relief. This was a sensation I had never experienced in my life as Glass.

“Yes. And I’ll ensure you’re born into a better situation than before, so you’ll feel much better than in your previous miserable existence. Although, it might be hard for you to find happiness, given you never really experienced it before.”

Suddenly, the words of Fortuna crossed my mind. She might be right. I never considered my life as Glass to be happy. I didn’t know what happiness was, so I couldn’t imagine a world like this.

The alchemical society I once belonged to had people around me who were similar. In that world, people were willing to steal research results for their own success, jealousy and desire ran rampant, and I grew tired of it. I left the society and chose to live on my own.

I couldn’t feel such things from Natal and Rudra. They appeared to cherish and love me unconditionally.

Was even this just a means to deceive me?

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The memory of my abhorrent adoptive father resurfaced, and I admonished myself for being too complacent. Still, I couldn’t imagine that my parents were trying to turn me into some kind of “material.” They were taking care of me with such devotion.

What on earth drove their actions?

As I pondered, I had a sensation akin to sinking into an endless swamp, like a waking dream in broad daylight. A cold sweat drenched my back, and I shivered slightly.

“Leafa.”

Startled, I suddenly became aware of my surroundings. My mother was still holding me and had reached her finger to my mouth.

No!

I tried to twist my body, but it didn’t work.

“Ah-ugu!”

My voice was filled with fear, reminiscent of the time my abhorrent adoptive father silenced me by blocking my airway. But Natal just smiled.

“I’m sorry, did you not like it?”

She gently traced her fingertip along my gums, and that was all.

“I thought your teeth might be coming in since you’ve become better at talking lately.”
“Aa…”

As she gently rocked me, my mother furrowed her brow, looking apologetic. I let out a sigh of relief and realized something I hadn’t noticed before. When she mentioned teeth, I suddenly noticed that I didn’t have any.

I could manage to pronounce vowels, but the rest was difficult. Could it be because I didn’t have teeth yet? If that were the case, perhaps I would be able to speak more once my teeth grew in.

“Aa-auh?”

I reached my hand toward Natal’s mouth, asking when my teeth would come in, even though my question wasn’t fully formed. Strangely, she seemed to understand and smiled, opening her mouth.

“Your gums have started to harden, so we’ll start you on solid food in a little while. I’ll prepare tasty things for you to eat.”

I see, teeth would allow me to have more than just milk. I smiled in gratitude, and my mother held me high, smiling back.

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“Hehe, I should learn how to cook from our neighbor, Clifford1. Ah yes, their daughter is the same age as you2. You should play together sometime.”

I had never left this house, and I didn’t even know where it was located. I didn’t have a complete picture of the house itself, but I was starting to feel curious about the outside world.

They mentioned a neighbor named Clifford, so at least this house wasn’t in an isolated location. Considering that Rudra was in the military, it was likely situated in some sort of town or city.

“I’m back, Natal. I’m back, Leafa. I have a little gift for you today.”

As I was lost in thought, Rudra returned.

“Oh, what’s this?”

My vision was somewhat blurry, making it difficult to see clearly, but I could tell that Rudra was carrying a large package. Natal, still holding me, approached Rudra so I managed to classify it.

“I received some congratulatory gifts from my subordinates. There are toys, books, and… this tablet with characters, which seems to be an early education toy. It might be a bit early for Leafa.”
“Yeah, it might be. Talking usually comes first…”

No, having it would help to reach a mutual understanding. I didn’t have the words to express myself fully, but I tried to convey that I wanted the tablet, which was about to be put away, using gestures and expressions.

“Hm? You want it, Leafa?”
“Aau-aa!”

My father noticed my interest in the tablet and held it out to me.

“You seem to be quite interested in this. You have a promising future.”

I took a close look at the tablet. It had basic characters and various symbols and images representing emotions like happiness, anger, sadness, and more. It was a relief to see that not only the language but also the characters used were familiar to me from my knowledge as Glass Dimelia.

“How is it? Is it still a bit challenging?”
“Aau!”

I tapped the picture of “happiness” on the tablet with my palm, and both Rudra and Natal were amazed.

“Did you see that, Natal? This child is a genius!”
“Hehe, she has to be.”

My mother’s response was more composed than my father’s, perhaps thinking that it was coincidental.

“I see! So you’re happy, Leafa!”

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I wanted to establish better communication, but considering the earlier reaction, it seemed like using words would still take some time. For now, I just smiled and playfully tapped the tablet repeatedly, pretending to be excited.

“It seems like she likes it.”
“She really doesn’t want to let go of it.”
“It has rounded corners meant for children, so let her hold it as she pleases. It might be good practice for using her fingers.”
“Let’s do that, Leafa.”

I tapped on the “happiness” picture on the tablet and pulled it closer. It was quite heavy, and I couldn’t hold it on my own, but my mother thoughtfully placed the tablet next to me on the bed.

Since I couldn’t roll over yet, I turned my neck, which I had finally learned to move, and glanced at the tablet from the corner of my eye. As I observed the tablet with matching characters and pictures, I could make an educated guess about the intelligence required for a child to use it.

While I was still a baby, it seemed that communicating like a typical child might be quite challenging from now on.

It would be great if I could reference a ‘normal’ baby somewhere…



 

Footnotes:

  1. Robinxen: A big red dog?
  2. Robinxen: Harem Member 1 detected.
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