|Author: Eltria||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Tunandir||English Source: Re:Library|
I was comfortably in water, a warm and safe palace with gentle sounds echoing around me. And yet—suddenly, the soft, warm place began to contract, and without understanding why, I was forced out.
“Waah! Waah! Waah!…” A pathetic sound escaped me. It was almost like the cry of a baby. My voice, echoing in a place filled with dazzling light, felt both mine and alien. Someone gripped me by the neck and torso and placed me on something soft.
“Congratulations. She’s a lovely girl,” someone announced as they held me. A warm palm enveloped me, and I felt a gentle sound coming from the skin in contact with mine.
“Her eyes are already open. Do you think she’s looking at you, Natal?” A man’s low voice nearby called out to a woman affectionately.
“A baby’s eyes aren’t that developed yet.” Something lukewarm dripped from the woman’s face onto my body, and it felt strangely comforting. It was as the woman said; everything appeared as a blur to me.
It seemed that I was now a baby. I had been reincarnated, which was the only plausible explanation for my current state.
“But she keeps staring at you.”
Straining my eyes was difficult, even moving my eyelids was challenging, and when I tried to squint, I accidentally closed them. I couldn’t fully grasp how to move my body yet.
But one thing was clear: Natal, the woman cradling me, was the gentlest of all as she held me softly in her warm hands. I was born from this woman.
Once I came to that realization, I understood a little more about the kindness she showed me. Glass Dimelia had never known a mother’s care in his life.
“You hold her too,” she said.
Natal—whom I decided to call ‘mother’ for convenience—transferred me from her soft arms to the sturdier arms of the man. He was likely my father.
But why did I sense that despite his sturdy embrace, he was somewhat unreliable? Were his arms trembling? Fearing he might drop me, I looked up, and our eyes met. Through my blurred vision, I could see he was gazing at me with profound emotion.
“She’s so small, yet alive and well… I don’t really know how to handle her,” he confessed.
“You’ll get used to it. You’re a father now,” my mother reassured him.
He truly was my father. Placed back into my mother’s arms, I was free from anxiety, at least for the moment.
“I’ll do my best, but please be hard on me and show me how it’s done so I won’t make mistakes,” my father said.
‘Please do that,’ I wanted to respond, but no sound came out. Instead, it was more like a yawn.
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“Fufu. Me, a teacher for a soldier like you? It’s an honor,” my mother chuckled.
“Hahaha. That’s right. Let’s approach parenting with that mindset,” my father agreed, then brought his face close to mine, as if trying to peer into my eyes. I thought I saw a droplet on his cheek, and then I heard a sniff.
Was this man crying? I tried to look into his eyes, but it didn’t work; my vision was still too blurry.
Giving up on trying to squint, I decided to take in my surroundings as best as I could. There wasn’t much I could discern with my blurred vision, but it seemed to be the house of this couple. That meant the first person to hold me was probably a midwife or a nurse. I couldn’t see them now, but I heard sounds like hot water being prepared by the fireplace.
“Hey Rudra, why don’t we name her ‘Leafa’? She got your bright green eyes. Just like the leaves of a dragon tree,” my mother had suggested.
The Dragon tree was sacred in the Black Dragon religion, the state religion of the Arcadia Empire.
“It’s a good name. With the Black Dragon God’s blessing, she’ll grow up healthy,” father agreed with a nod. Their conversation made it clear they were followers of the Black Dragon Church, which likely meant this place was somewhere within the Arcadia Empire.
The discussion with the goddesses in the reincarnation hall clearly wasn’t a dream. After death, I had been granted a new life and was reborn here as the daughter of this couple.
“It’s time for her first bath. Let’s clean her up,” the midwife said, taking me in her arms and moving me to the side of the fireplace. As the warm water was poured over my feet, memories of the cozy, water-filled place I’d left behind surfaced.
I realized I would never return to that place, and as I pondered this in a daze, the comfort of the warm water and the fatigue from my new body overwhelmed me. As I received my first bath, I succumbed to a deep, comfortable sleep.