Chapter 2 – Birthday
This is terrible.
It’s been a couple of months since the Crown Prince’s birthday and ever since I discovered my abnormal status, this is all I’ve been telling myself.
‘This is not real; it has to be a joke.’ That was my first reaction.
But well, being in denial doesn’t help. I’ve re-examined my status a couple of time since then and I’m afraid it wasn’t a dream. Each times, half of my stats couldn’t be determined and would be indicated as “Error” except in the [Advanced Status]. Even then, I’m not sure I can trust the number of the [Advanced Status]. I mean, it is written 999 999 999, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the system had simply been overloaded.
God dammit. I want to cry. I was hoping for high stats, allowing me to use magic and I got them. But who the heck asked to become a God? Because yes, this is basically what I am right now. What else do you call an (almost) immortal being with (almost) infinite magic power that can change the laws of the World? That’s a God no matter how you think about it. I expected something like this ever since I saw that the class [Administrator] had been arbitrary assigned to me but to actually have my assumption confirmed is… depressing.
So, in this world, I’ve been granted the title of [Goddess of All Creations] and I’m a Divine -even though this option has been locked, not sure why. Thinking about it, it actually makes sense. I mean, it’s true that I was the one who created this world, of course I’d be considered a God in it. But well…
Anyway, for now, I have three options:
① The Almighty Lynett abuses her powers and takes over the world. She becomes an Evil God and decides to bring destruction, pain and death because she’s bored and because it’s funny.
② The Great Goddess Lynett becomes the World’s Savior. She uses her powers to transform the World in a land of peace and happiness, without wars, starvations and diseases.
③ Little Lyni decides that she saw nothing. She abandons her responsibilities as a Goddess and continues to live a 100% perfectly carefree life.
My choice was almost immediate: option ③ of course.
Though, I must admit I was quite tempted to pick the option ①. I mean, honestly, we all dreamt at some point in our life to become a villain, acting however we wanted without being restricted by responsibilities or morals. Instead of becoming a hero, leading the life of a bad guy seems much more interesting. But well, I’m not so heartless that I would bring destruction only for my self-pleasure. This is reality after all, it’s not a game. I was raised with morals.
Uhm? Option ② you say? Don’t joke around. Only a fool would want to follow the path of a hero. People would put their hopes on you. Becoming everyone’s attention, with the weight of the whole world on your shoulders, you had to live up to their expectations. Failures wouldn’t be accepted. To act as the symbol of hope, what kind of pressure is that? No, no way, absolutely not. I already died once, I’m not going to waste my second life living for the others. Egoistic, you say? That’s fine by me. This is the human nature after all.
So I turned a blind eye. I have seen nothing, I know nothing. I am Lynett Maedis, aka Lyni, a perfectly normal human baby –well, half human baby.
However, it seems that leading an ordinary life is harder than I thought.
Fortunately, other people can’t see my status. Apparently, only I can see people or objects’ status, since I have access to the [World System]. That’s a relief. Otherwise, my lovely ordinary life would have been gone in a second. However, I’m still quite different from most people.
The first problem is, of course, my lineage. So far, mother has done a great job in hiding it, but sooner or later, the truth will come out. When the time comes, mother can return to her family, with the elves, and Aoban can stay with humans. But me? I’m screwed. Unlike mother or Aoban, I look neither completely human, neither completely elf, so none of the two races will accept me as one of them. For Humans, because of their impure blood, halves are not any better than slaves. On the other hand, Elves hate Humans. And since I have Human blood, I will be treated as one, even if my mother in an Elf.
The second problem is my eyes. As I thought, they attract a lot of attention. Ever since I started to crawl, mother brings me outside much more than before. My hair is much longer and now covers completely my ears, but since my eyes can’t be hidden, it was only a matter of time before people started to notice their weird color. They would often freeze or gasp at the sight of them, before praising them.
Here in Erthia, golden eyes are a divine symbol. All gods had golden eyes, but sometimes, a child would be born with the same golden eyes. It was a proof that they had been blessed by the skies, thus explaining people’s reaction at the sight of my eyes.
O-Oh… I’m glad they interpreted it this way. I’d rather be misunderstood as a child blessed by the gods than as a goddess herself.
And last, but not least, appearance-wise, I’m too perfect. I’m not trying to be arrogant or anything, but facts are facts. I know Elves are supposed to be beautiful, but this little face of mine is so pretty it’s almost inhuman.
I got the opportunity to catch a glimpse of my own appearance a few weeks ago and daaaaaamn, I’m cute. But that’s a problem, actually. A completely soft ivory skin, deep eyes glowing into millions of shades of gold, black raven hair that gently caressed its way down my neck, dusky pink lips and a cute little nose. I was so flawless that I could be easily mistaken as a doll, and that, of course, attracted a lot of attention.
“Oh my gods, she is SO cute!”
“Such an adorable child, no wonder she had been blessed by the gods!”
“Is she really human? She must be an angel!”
Close enough. I’m a Goddess actually. But well, those are the kinds of remarks I received almost every single day. It makes mother really uncomfortable. Even though she’s trying to avoid the others as much as possible, because of me, she’s often surrounded by people –mostly women- that came to see my cute little face. With so much attention on us, it’s only a matter of time before I screw something up and I get find out, either as a Half or a Divinity. But well, in both cases, bye bye precious normal life.
Siiiiiigh… Who would have thought that leading an ordinary life was so difficult?
Anyway, with so many things to worry about, before I knew it, a couple of months have passed and it is now my first birthday.
To celebrate it, Randy closed the inn and reserved the whole tavern connected to it for the night. I must say, because of my appearance, I became something like a mascot in the neighborhood. That was his own initiative. Mother didn’t ask for anything. Actually, if it was only up to her, I’m pretty sure she would have preferred to celebrate my birthday quietly, in our room. But before she knew it, once they learnt that my first birthday was coming, people acted on their own and decided to celebrate it together. Mother couldn’t bring herself to refuse, since they were so excited about this and they provided everything: the food, the place, even the people. Randy insisted for the party to take place in his inn, even if he had to close it for a day. He said that since I was born in it, it was only natural that I also had my first birthday in it. That’s quite poetic, Randy.
So, returning to my birthday party. I’m currently sitting on mother’s lap, with a group of people, at long wooden table. There are four or five more tables in the tavern, but our group is definitely the loudest. Everyone is consuming large amounts of food and alcohol, talking –or should I say shouting?- and laughing hysterically. I know only half of the people here. There is of course mother, brother, and Randy. I recognize some loyal customers of the inn, two or three merchants where mother used to run errands, Randy’s wife, his son, and the other employees of the inn. I don’t know the rest. Some faces are familiar but well, you can’t expect the little brain of a one year old child to remember so many people.
Since I spent most of my past life in hospital, I didn’t have a lot of friends and I always ended up celebrating my birthdays with mostly only my parents and some nurses. It’s the first time such a big party is thrown in my honor, I feel like a princess. Even if I don’t know everyone here, so many people came for me. I’m really grateful to them.
“Thank you…” A cute little voice said –that’s me by the way.
At this moment, everything went in complete silent. The loud and cheerful atmosphere of a few seconds ago was now completely gone. The entire room froze, as I could feel people’s gaze turning at me in astonishment.
Huh? What’s the matter? Did I say something wrong? I just thought it would be only natural for me to thank them. It’s basic decency, isn’t it?
Oh wait, crap. I screwed up.
The problem isn’t what I said, it’s the very fact I said something. Up until now I had been a pretty quiet baby. Occasionally, I would talk nonsense –well, like all babies- but that’s it. Right now, I just pronounced my first words, of course they’d be surprised. Actually, it was so natural for me that I didn’t even notice that I said it out loud. Alone, I would often practice to pronounce properly the different sounds of the human language. But to think I’d actually say my first word now… What a timing.
“… Heh? Little Lyni she…”
“Oh my god she talked!”
These two words of mine caused the entire room to go into an uproar. A few people started to approach me, feeling the urge to squeeze my cheeks –supposedly to praise me. Suddenly, mother stood up lifting me up in the air, out of reach of the others, as the chair she was sitting on fell loudly. Once again, the room went silent. Well, this is awkward.
“S-sorry Azariah…” Said one of the woman who was about to stroke my hair. She was Randy’s wife. I think her name was Leona, or Leonara. “It’s ok, you can sit again, we won’t touch her.”
As I became the neighborhood’s mascot, people started to casually approach me. Well, that’s only natural, people feel the need to hug, pinch or poke anything cute. Babies are cute. Me? I’m even cuter. But each time they would try to touch me, mother would either protect me with her body or drag me away. It’s not that she didn’t like the fact that I was popular –as a mother, she couldn’t feel any prouder to see her daughter becoming everyone’s center of attention- but she was afraid that they would accidentally see or touch my ears. Her fear was legitimate. While my hair was covering them, if people started to play with my cheeks or my hair, it was only a matter of time before they saw my elven ears. So mother refused to let anyone touch me. Of course, people found her behavior weird, but it was her right as a mother, and eventually they got used to it. Staring, no touching. However, sometimes, they would give in their instinct and forget about that rule, just like now.
After the little incident, the cheerful atmosphere slowly came back and the party continued through the night. We didn’t stay until the end though. Since I’m still a baby and I need to sleep, at some point, mother discretely slipped away and we returned in our room. It took a while before people noticed that the main event –that is me- disappeared. Seriously guys, make some efforts. Wasn’t I supposed to be main star? Please notice it when I’m gone.
Upon returning in our room, mother took off her hood and sat me down on the bed. Then, she knelt down to be on the same eye-level me. She gently stroked my head for a few seconds before taking something out of her pocket. It was a simple, yet refined, honey amber ring. A small amber stone was attached to a simple silver band. Mother threaded a string through the hole of the ring and made a knot on the end. She then put the improvised necklace around my neck.
“Happy birthday sweetheart.”
Heh? Birthday present? I looked down on my new pendant. Back in my old world, this modest ring would have been considered a cheap piece of jewelry, but I could tell that here, it was valuable, especially for a commoner family like us. Mother must have saved a lot of money to buy it. Was this really ok for me to have this? I looked up at her. As if she knew what I was thinking, she simply smiled at me.
“Me too!” Aoban suddenly shouted.
Mother turned to him. “You want a ring too?” She asked, rising a single eyebrow.
“What? No, that’s too girly!” He answered shaking his head. “I too, have a present for Lyni!”
“Really? You do?”
Aoban nodded, puffing out his chest proudly. Then he suddenly rushed to the bed, almost throwing himself on me. He hugged me so tightly I thought I was going to suffocate. Mother, help! Brother is trying to kill me! Ah, she’s just chuckling. As my first near-death experience in this world came to an end, Aoban kissed me on my forehead.
“Happy birthday little sister!” A broad smile appeared on his face, showing all his teeth. Seriously… How am I supposed to blame you if you show me such an innocent face? Cuteness is dangerous. I’m sure brother is going to become a lady-killer when he grows up.
After that, we all went to the bed. The three of us share the same bed. It’s tight, but I don’t dislike it. I had almost forgotten the feeling of sleeping together with someone else. Keeping each other warm and listening to their breathing gradually slowing down. It’s quite relaxing actually. Mother then started to hum a lullaby.
“Lullaby, and good night, in the skies stars are bright.
May the moon's silvery beams bring you sweet dreams.
Close your eyes now and rest, may these hours be blessed.
'Til the sky's bright with dawn, when you wake with a yawn.
Lullaby, and good night, you are mother's delight.
I'll protect you from harm, and you'll wake in my arms.
Sleepyhead, close your eyes, for I'm right beside you.
Guardian angels are near, so sleep without fear.
Lullaby, and good night, with roses bedight.
Lilies o'er head, lay thee down in thy bed.
Lullaby, and good night, you are mother's delight.
I'll protect you from harm, and you'll wake in my arms.
Lullaby, and sleep tight, my darling sleeping.
On sheets white as cream, with a head full of dreams.
Sleepyhead, close your eyes, I'm right beside you.
Lay thee down now and rest, may your slumber be blessed.
Go to sleep, little one, think of puppies and kittens.
Go to sleep, little one, think of butterflies in spring.
Go to sleep, little one, think of sunny bright mornings.
Hush, darling one, sleep through the night,
Sleep through the night,
Sleep through the night.”
Those lyrics… I know them. It’s a popular lullaby from Earth.
In my past life, when I was first admitted at the hospital, because of the unknown environment, I was so scared that I couldn’t sleep. That’s when my parents first sang me this song. Ever since, whenever I would have trouble to sleep, they would sing for me. It was my favorite lullaby. I never outgrown my love for this song even in my teens. After my parents stopped staying the night, I would still hum it by myself.
I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or not, but I can’t help but feel nostalgic. What are my parents doing right now? Are they living well? I hope they were able to move on.
As I lost myself in my thoughts, a wave of fatigue spread through my body and before I noticed it, I had fallen asleep.
I woke up in the middle of the night, as I heard the sound of cracked pads penetrating the darkness. Opening my eyes, mother and brother were still peacefully sleeping, not showing any signs of waking up soon. I looked around me, searching for the source of the noise. My eyes stopped on a shadow, sitting on the window ledge. It was a black cat. Its fur, full of scars, was dull and thin, and its ears were matted confetti. It was in a bad shape but it didn’t look like a stray since it was wearing a locking steel collar. Who the heck treats his cat like that? Animal abuse?
Every night, mother would open the window to ventilate the room and let fresh air enter before sleeping. She must have forgotten to close it and fell asleep. What do I do? Do I chase it away? I like animals, but I’d rather not have it enter the room and make a mess, searching for food of anything.
But the cat didn’t do anything. It just sat there, staring in my direction with his lamp-like eyes. After exchanging gazes for a few minutes, since it didn’t look like it was about to move anytime soon, I tried scaring him away waving my arms in front on me.
However, something unexpected happened.
“Finally, I found you…” The cat turned away and, after hesitating a bit, it jumped out the window, disappearing out of sight.
Eh…? D-Did the cat just talk…?