|Original Source: Syosetu
|English Source: Re:Library
I entered the examination room with a slight sense of nervousness. There, a friendly nurse and a doctor with glasses were waiting. They undressed me to just a diaper and proceeded to measure my weight, height, head circumference, chest circumference, and carefully checked my hand and leg movements.
Particularly, they seemed to pay close attention to the mobility of my hip joints. They pressed and touched the area around the base of my legs, and examined the range of motion. While being examined all over my body, I suddenly recalled that there were some nights when my hip joints or legs felt itchy and I couldn’t sleep. I wondered if this was a normal part of growing up or if there was something unusual.
It appeared that there were no significant issues. The doctor smiled and returned me to my mother’s arms.
I had been prepared for questions, but the doctor directed the conversation to my mother as she held me. The nurse simply opened my mouth and briefly examined it.
“Development seems to be going well. It will still be some time before your baby’s teeth start coming in, but there are some signs,” the doctor said, while gently pressing on my front teeth, as I was nestled in my mother’s lap.
Each time the doctor did this, it caused a somewhat uncomfortable sensation in my gums, making me feel a bit itchy. To compare, it felt somewhat similar to the sensation right before a baby tooth fell out and was replaced by a permanent one.
“Oh, but… maybe this one’s coming soon?”
Taking advantage of my lack of resistance, the doctor pushed and prodded my gums to check something once again. I wished he would stop.
Frowning my face as a form of protest, the doctor hastily withdrew their hand.
“Oh, I’m sorry! You didn’t like that, did you? I’m sorry.”
It seemed my feelings had been communicated effectively, and since he apologized, I didn’t hold it against him.
“Sometimes, gums can feel itchy, so using a teething toy might help. Lately, a woodworker in the West Commercial District has been making good teething toys. You could give them a try,” the doctor suggested, while showing a flat wooden item that had been carefully crafted. It had a hole in it, likely for holding onto.
“You want it?”
My mother seemed to understand my preference right away. I had thought I would need to endure discomfort, but it seemed that wasn’t necessarily the case.
I wonder just how many things I had to endure before.
I recalled the time before I adopted the name Glass Dimelia when I was a street child called “Soil.” Whether teeth were coming in or falling out, I couldn’t afford to pay attention to such things. I even felt that my first baby tooth probably broke when I was being punished for stealing food.
However, I no longer had to endure such hardships or injustices in my current life.
Is this… what they call happiness?
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I pondered these questions, but I couldn’t find the answers. I had a sense of contentment, but looking at my parents and the people in the waiting room today, it was probably best to consider this as something “normal.”
So, what was happiness, then?
I felt increasingly clueless about it. It was exactly as the goddess Fortuna had told me. I didn’t know what “normal” was, and I didn’t understand what happiness meant either.
On our way back from the examination, we used the stroller again.
The difference this time was that my mother stopped walking along the way.
The name of the Clifford family, who lived nearby, slipped from my mother’s lips. It seemed someone from the Clifford family was nearby.
“You can call me Judy, Natal.”
The voice of a cheerful woman followed. Then, a baby’s crying could be heard.
“Thank you, Judy, and…”
“It’s nice to meet you, Alfe.”
After the introduction, my mother started talking to Alfe, the baby.
“Let’s greet them, Leafa.”
As she said so, she moved the stroller closer. When the sunshade was folded back, I had a better view inside the stroller.
Inside the stroller, there was a baby who was looking at me and talking animatedly. She had light purple hair and eyes of a mysterious color. Given her slightly smaller size, she was probably born later than me.
“Oh look, Alfe, they are saying hello.”
“This is Leafa. She’s just a bit older than you. Get along, okay?”
It seemed like a good idea to exchange greetings. With that in mind, I looked into the eyes of Alfe, the baby who had been introduced.
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I tried to convey my greetings, but for a baby, this was basically what it amounted to.
It seemed to have conveyed my intent, Alfe suddenly beamed, moving her arms and legs in delight.
Her round eyes, especially her golden right eye1, sparkled beautifully.
Alfe reached out her hand to touch me, and her fingers gently brushed against my arm. As she touched me, Alfe let out a happy sound and wriggled her arms and legs.
“Hehehe. Alfe seems to like Leafa. Let’s play together a lot from now on.”
I see, so this was how “normal” babies behaved. If she was born a little later than me, there was no need to worry about anyone questioning my abnormal development.
When I consciously pronounced “Alfe,” she seemed to understand, blinking her eyes rapidly.
As if she recognized me, Alfe stretched her hand. I reached out to match hers, and her tiny hand tightly held mine.
Her hand was small, warm, and yet somehow had a certain strength to it.
That was the beginning of my encounter with Alfe.
- Robinxen: All hail girls with heterochromia! Sorry, it’s a personal preference of mine. Actually I almost had my original character have heterochromia, but I settled on just having her eyes change colour depending on how much magic she is using to show her transitioning from her default part-dragon state to her part-naiad state.