|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1048 words|
A few days later, just as the classes ended I skipped my club activities and rushed straight to Maxwell’s mansion.
“Help me, Maxy!”
“Who the hell is Maxy! Settle down now.”
Maxwell responded to me who was in a state of panic as he made tea. I felt like he was drinking tea whenever I came here.
But there was no time for something so trivial now.
I then went on to convey my recent worries to him. Honestly, I couldn’t think of anyone less unreliable than him, but he was the only one who knew about my identity. There was no alternative.
“Hmm… it seems to me that the environment is influencing you the most.”
“I mean the environment that surrounds you. Cortina and Finia dress you up, and you also spend time as a child with Letina and Michelle, so the influence from that is starting to settle into your mentality, is it not?”
“You can’t be serious…”
If my lifestyle was eroding my mentality, there was no choice but to change that lifestyle. That meant I had to part with Cortina, Finia, Michelle and Letina.
It may have been to achieve my ideals, but if you asked me whether those ideals held enough worth to abandon all that in exchange… Honestly, it would be a no.
To give up my friends for my ideals. The fact that I couldn’t do that was my weakness, and I was well aware of it, but there was no changing my nature.
“T-Then, putting it another way, would I be able to return to normal if I distance myself from them after I get stronger?”
“Reid, have you heard of the saying: Habits from childhood follow you to the grave?”
“How you live and what you learn as a child has a big influence on your ego. That’s what it means.”
In other words, the current influence is going to stick to me till I die?
“But I’m in my twenties inside, you know? If you add both lives together, I’m already past thirty. I’m finding it hard to buy that stuff about the influence this late in the game…”
“You are a child right now. The current you could be described as someone being forcefully crammed into a child vessel. If that vessel undergoes a change, so would you, whether you want it or not.”
“…Wait, so you’re telling me I’m in a really bad state right now?”
“Reincarnation magic is considered a secret art partially due to such problems.”
“However, not all of it is bad, you know?”
He had been explaining things with a serious expression until now, but now his expression twisted up into a crooked grin. I’ve seen that expression in my past life.
It was the same expression he had back when he instigated Lyell and I to peek at the women’s bath and got us into huge trouble. Incidentally, this geezer quickly vanished from the place and avoided that disaster.
“You have to cajole Elliot now. In which case, having the mentality of a woman would make things more convenient, wouldn’t you say so?”
“Not a f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g chance!”
“Come on, while I did say that the influence of infancy is quite extreme, I never said it could not be corrected.”
“I-Is that so?”
“Even the villains can often return back to society after they have redeemed and reformed themselves, right?”
“Now that you mention it, there’s definitely a pattern there… No, still—”
“It is not within my intentions to do something that would sadden Cortina. When you return to being a man, wouldn’t she cry if she’s left with an effeminate man instead? This is merely a temporary measure.”
Maxwell admonished me with a serious face. His previous expression did a complete turn and was looking extremely sincere now. I didn’t think he was lying now… Well, I’ve been thoroughly deceived by the same expression in my previous life, though.
“Shall we put this matter off until you make full use of it?”
“If you say so, old man… But if things turn for the worse, I’ll seriously be depending on you, okay?”
“Leave it to me.”
He assured me with a tap on his chest. Was this really a wise decision, I wonder…?
In the end, we decided to wait and see for now. With that settled, I had no other choice but to temper myself in the limited ways I had left.
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I mostly stopped doing night training sessions with Cloud ever since we started forming parties. With my studies, club activities and hunts after that, adding training to the list was really putting too much burden on me, after all.
After I joined the music club, it finally started burdening me too much, so I had Cloud join our party, and started training him together with Michelle and Letina.
“We didn’t do today’s hunt due to my circumstances… I probably did something bad for Cloud who’s trying to stand on his feet, huh?”
He was trying to become independent through his income from our hunts. Rest of what could be counted as consumable meat he gave to the orphanage kids as presents. You could say his life depended on it.
Though we did defeat a big game recently, given the number of people at his place, his savings should be running dry already.
“I should take him to a profitable adventure next time… Hmm?”
Suddenly, I discovered someone I didn’t expect. It was Elliot, taking a walk downtown all by himself. Naturally, he wasn’t actually alone. There was no knowing when he would be targeted. Priscilla must have been guarding him from somewhere.
Still, with none of my acquaintances around… Wasn’t this actually a perfect chance?
“If I’m going to cajole him, this is the chance, isn’t it?”
There shouldn’t have been anyone familiar except Priscilla around. That also meant Maxwell wasn’t either… So, would it be in my best interest to make arbitrary decisions here, I wonder?
If I wasted time pondering too much, someone might show up. This situation demanded a prompt decision.
“Oh whatever, might as well get it over with!”
Along with that mutter, I used the ring’s power and changed my appearance.
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