|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2496 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1106 words|
My flabby flab made me look a little older, but my skin still had the firmness of a child. If I remembered it correctly, Lystianna’s aka my birthday was next month, which meant I would be 11 years old. The year after next, I would be 13, an adult. Which meant, I was supposed to be on an itinerary to start living in Cilento Imperial Capital in preparation for my societal debut……these related memories came back to me like dominoes falling.
Then why am I here……?
She must have guessed what I was thinking from the suspicious look I gave as I looked away from the mirror and looked around; the old woman explained the situation to me, seeming to find it a pain in the back.
“We’re just outside of Tenebrae Nemus, a dark forest said to be the Stronghold of Demon Beasts, located in the center of the continent, and just on the edge of the imperial territory bordering the empire. This is my hermitage, roughly 50 kilomertes1 away from the road that connects your father’s frontier territory with the Imperial Capital.”
“As for the situation, when my familiar went out to pick medicinal herbs, she found a nobleman’s carriage upturned in the woods. It had a family crest painted on it, which I guessed belonged to the Aulanthia Frontier Count of the Livitium Imperial Kingdom. So, I had to check it out.”
“To be honest, it stank of trouble, so I really wanted to leave the carriage wreck behind me, but I also didn’t want to be suspected for something I had no part of just because it’s near my place. My friend just happened to be visiting too, so we reluctantly went to check on you, only to find you lying there dead.”
She spoke of my death so off-handedly, an ‘eh?’ escaped my mouth before I knew it.
“My friend’s assessment was that your heart probably stopped by the shock of your carriage rolling over. She said your heart just gave up due to your unhealthy lifestyle…….her words.”
Even if the direct cause was an accident, it was too pathetic to say that I died at the tender age of 10 because of arteriosclerosis, a disease mainly for adults……this was disturbing. At the same time, I asked a question that suddenly bothered me.
“Excuse me, you said I died——if so, was it you who treated and cured me?”
“Nah, my specialty is conjuring magic. I could heal some slight injury and illness, but resurrecting a dead person isn’t a feat——well, either way, it’s just impossible for me. But, for better or for worse, resurrection happens to be my friend’s thing, so…… To be fair, she’s a much bigger freak than I am, so she maybe did it for the heck of it, but it’s her who practiced the resurrection art on you. That being said, it was pretty much a half-half bet with how long you’ve been dead, but as you can see, you’re down here instead of playing a harp up there in the heavens.”
She casually threw those words as though to congratulate me.
“If so, erm……this person who practiced the resurrection art on me, where are they……?” Rather than the caution and surprise of learning that the old woman really was a witch, since I already expected it, I was more concerned about the other practitioner who healed me——since I figured that perhaps the person who revived me could give me an explanation to the confusion of the two memories——so I asked hastily.
But, “she’s gone home using teleportation magic. She’s quite the busy thing. Who knows how many years later she’ll come visiting again.” Replied the old woman spitefully.
“……I see. That’s a shame.”
I sighed in disappointment and bitterly looked in the mirror again. The white pig in the mirror also looked disappointed and pouting.
Upon a closer look, the long, straight, blonde hair had a reddish tint to it, which gave my hair an overall pink impression, so the dress was perhaps an attempt to match with it, though it was clearly way overdone. While my skin, despite being blemished with rashes and pimples perhaps due to my bad nutrition intake, had a white and clear tone with delicate textures, which was why I looked like a white pig with all the fat. My original features, such as the jade-colored eyes, the bridge of my nose, and the cherry-red lips, weren’t that ugly, but they were all ruined by the bulky and unhealthy obese fat mass.
The Ragweed Princess of the Livitium Imperial Kingdom, huh……
A befitting derogatory title for an ugly woman ridiculed by the rumors for not looking like her mother who was once touted as the Cattleya of the Livitium Imperial Kingdom. The fact that even this witch, a recluse secluded in her hermitage in the dark forest of Tenebrae Nemus, knew about me must mean my ill-reputation was well known far and wide.
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……As far as I could tell, in my own standards, my features themselves didn’t actually look that bad. But, well, the standard of beauty always differed for each country and age, so I must look horrendous to others.
“Thank you very much. I apologize for the trouble I’ve caused you. And again, you have my deepest gratitude for helping me.” Dejected, I bowed my head as best as my body allowed on the bed——I couldn’t even bow properly with all the fats in the way——and handed back the hand mirror.
The old woman was glum——she already was from the start, to be honest——and accepted the mirror, sniffed, then uttered a few words; “It’s Regina.”
She ignored my confused look, walked back to the chest with a gait that spoke vigor to her steps, and then added again as her back faced me, “My name.”
Aah……I bowed my head again when her words became clear, “My apologies, lady Regina.”
“Hmph. You treated me like a savior but wouldn’t even ask my name, you’re as rude as ragweeds come.” She sniffed loudly and cut me off harshly. I could only bow my head in silence with how correct her words were. And yet, in a sense, the name Queen Regina oddly fit her.
I knew it wasn’t the time for this, but the funny wordplay of the Ragweed Princess visiting the hermitage of the Witch Queen made me chuckle a little.
Which made me realize, this might be the first time I smiled ever since my memory of the previous world fused with the memory of my current self.