|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2354 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1190 words|
Looking back, my life, which I thought was mundane and boring, was probably rather a happy one.
I was born into a peaceful country with well-developed social security, science, and medical care, and was raised in a family that wasn’t exactly well off but far from poverty, enjoying a peaceful life showered with love and a degree of education that was at least equal to or better than the average people of my age group. I led a peaceful, golden teenage life.
I didn’t have a shred of doubt that my life was the norm, and I——the previous me——spent the majority of my youth playing video games at home if not reading books. Under the influence of the Eighth-Grade Syndrome, I started learning ancient martial arts when I debuted in junior high school, but it mostly fell apart by the time I took the high school entrance exam.
For my high school debut, I joined the light music club with the aim of getting a girlfriend, but I couldn’t play the guitar as good as I hoped, so I was assigned the drum out of elimination process——though I still had a lot of fun with buddies and we even performed live at the school festival——but in the end, I had no prospect of getting a girlfriend, and every once in a while my martial arts mentor forcefully brought me with her to practice aka her beating me up to a pulp. Such was my high school life.
And then…….and then…….
I suffocated, I felt like my chest caved in as though I was dragged into the depths of the ocean, and when my lungs reflexively drew in a deep breath, the force of the air choked me, drawing out some incessant, wheezing coughs. My face was riddled with tears and snot, and my body convulsed as I curled up on the hard bed.
“……Hmph. You’re back alive? Talk about one blessed girl.”
A piece of cloth was thrown haphazardly over my face, the voice sounded to belong to an unfriendly old woman.
“You look terrible. Wipe your face.” Her treatment was rough, but I understood she was well-meaning, so I wiped my face with the cloth she gave me even in the middle of my coughs.
“——Th-, thank you very much.” I still didn’t have the strength to open my eyes, but I felt relieved to know that there was someone by my side, and the rough but considerate attitude of the old woman, despite her being somewhat unfriendly, made me to curtly bow my head to her while I was still laying down.
But then, for some reason, I could feel that the old woman’s body stiffened as if she had swallowed a stick the length of her height. After a few seconds, I could feel that her demeanor softened a little.
“……That’s a surprise. I’d heard that the Ragweed Princess of the Livitium Imperial Kingdom was an unruly conceited fool, but you still could thank someone properly, huh. Usually it’s good rumors that tell bullcrap and bad rumors that tell the truth, so I admit I had my prejudices. ——By golly, I must be getting senile.”
I felt the old woman shrugging her shoulders as she pronounced words of self-mockery. Meanwhile, I was holding back a bout of coughing that had subsided considerably. As I regulated my breathing——unconsciously practicing the breathing technique of the ancient martial arts I learned during my junior high and above——in silence, I held my confused head, musing about the meaning of the words I had just heard.
“The Ragweed Princess of the Livitium Empire……who is that? Me? Eh, but, I’m just a normal high school boy…..and my name is……eh? Syltianna……? The fifth daughter of the Frontier Count of Aulanthia of the Livitium Empire……huh? Why??”
I had two distinct memories, one of me being an ordinary high school boy born and raised in the country of Japan on Earth, and the other of me being the fifth daughter of a high-ranking noble family in the Livitium Imperial Kingdom who was located in the northern part of the continent.
The two conflicting memories weren’t as much as clashing with each other as one was as legit as the other, and the realization that both memories were correct just fell into my heart, and it felt just right. It would be more accurate to say that they merged in that instant.
As I became more composed and my breathing became much easier, I struggled with my oddly heavy body to raise my upper body——which seemed to be covered by a thin blanket that soon fell to my knees——before I wiped my face again and, fearfully, opened my eyelids.
“——what in the heavens……?” What first came into my vision was the ugly looking frilly pink dress, and the bulging mass of flesh that it wrapped——which turned out to be my belly after a moment of sinking-in and actually touching it.
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Then my gaze fell to my hands. They were like the hands of a baby; wristless, flabby, ham-fisted, and crammed full with extra fat. They were a far cry from the reasonably well-trained arms I used to have on Earth.
“Is there something wrong?” The question came from the person I shared the room with, whose presence completely slipped my mind, hence why I turned my head to her in shock.
I had expected it to an extent, but the one sitting in a crude chair by the bed was a very magician-looking woman, complete with the trademark black hooded robe and the long, knotty staff.
I couldn’t estimate her age. Her back was straight and she had a dignified air to her, she even had the vestiges of a beauty left from her younger days, and despite her magnificent white hair (or perhaps I should say silvery white hair), there was some mysterious impression on her that made her look like she was over 50, or even 100 years old.
“Excuse me, I’m sorry if it sounds rude, but do you have a mirror or something similar?”
For the time being, I wanted to see how my current face looked, so I pleaded to the old woman——who was, by all accounts, probably a witch. She raised an eyebrow, looking like she wanted to say something, but she kept it to herself and walked to the chest (a rectangular box with a lid) at the corner of the room——which, to be honest, as small as a shed, but it really felt like a personal living space with the bare necessities in place——opened it, then produced a hand mirror from inside.
I gratefully borrowed the mirror she handed me——which was a little old, but still quite an exquisite mirror with little to no haze, no worse than the ones used by the nobility——and was surprised with what it showed.
In the oval mirror, a white pig looked into me with dumbfounded marvel.
“……Oh dear.” Even I myself didn’t know why I kept on staring at it, but the same time I spoke those words, the pig inside the mirror moved her lips in sync.