Now Then, Future Problems
… Well then. It’s true that I am the daughter of this family, which means I was simply born a girl. A lot happened since then, but now I’ve returned to such. So then…?
“After all this, I don’t know what I should do.”
Just now, all my concerns came to surface. No, it’s just that my parents were so excited about getting their daughter back, I guess. I wonder, what should I do now? It’s a very complicated question, and not one I think I could answer by myself. Kuon-sensei did offer help with such concerns, and I don’t think this is something I could expect to talk about with either my parents or my maids. Honestly, I really didn’t have anyone else who could help with finding answers for my questions.
“What … should you do? Normally, your family just does whatever they want to pass the time.”
“Normal, as your calling it… Well, I guess at least my family has a guy like Saryuu to inherit the estate.”
“Oh, you do not want to be the heir?”
Kuon-sensei paused, gazing at me with intrigue. Well, considering everything, maybe I just didn’t think I could become a good heir. It was such an impossible claim. I really didn’t see a way, there was no way I could do it.
“I mean really, really.. Saryuu might not get along with me, but don’t you think he is a little more capable of being a better heir?”
“Hmm. In his own way, he does have a lot of determination to remain heir to the Shiya family.”
Considering how much I’ve heard of his poor study abilities, I could tell why his teacher would get a chuckle from that, in a fun-natured way. As I remember, father was talking about him being hard to teach, but I was surprised to discover that Saryuu was even on good terms with his teacher. Father was wrong about what he told me, regarding Kuon-sensei. No matter how hard I try, I just wouldn’t be able to keep up. Even being the older sister and such, for all sake and purpose, I’m just an outsider who showed up much later. So then, what should I do?
“Hmm. Well as an alternative to being family heir, the idea of marrying into another household is a very normal thing for a daughter of your status.”
“Marrying… so, I’m to get married?”
… As a woman, on top of everything. And if I become heir, Saryuu would be married off like that instead.
“Of course. The Shiya family has royal blood as you know, right?”
“Well.. I was told that a while ago. I did hear that we were like a few dozen or so from the line to the throne, though.”
“True. However, having such royal blood in you at all is still important. Having such at all, it means that you will traditionally have to marry with a neighboring lord to keep the bloodline going.”
So that’s that. Even though I’m only a descendant along a distant branch of the royal family, I will still be expected to become a wife of another lord to keep the bloodline going. Seriously, even being a bit distant of a branched family. After all, even if it was tens of thousands in line from the throne, this would still be important.
“Ahhh… so the guy would have what is called a political marriage. Yeah, I remember this sort of thing from history classes in the world I grew up in. So it would be like that.”
“In the other world, where I was only an orphan, it was normal for marriages to be out of love. However, I did learn that political marriages occurred long before then from stories I read.”
I gave a shrug, as Kuon-sensei coughed once she figured out the truth of my past. Was it so unexpected, that the world I had grown up from would be so vastly different than this world? No well.. I guess that would have only been a distant idea.
“… I’m sorry. So that’s how it was?”
“It’s alright. Travelling from another world, I came to understand that there are many things that are different.”
“Such a flexible way of thinking. I’m a little envious of such.”
I wondered at that idea. When you’ve only experienced one world, it just seems common sense that things would change in another. It’s just… I’ve just sorta been trying to adapt to this world. I’ve only been here for a day. Was it maybe expected that since I was born here, that I would be easily familiar with everything?
“Well, anyway.. I guess this would mean that someday I will have to marry some rich lord, at some point. Oh wow..”
In truth, I was struggling with the reality of it all, honestly. Working things out with Saryuu was troublesome as is, I had plenty of things to resolve for myself. Still being a guy on the inside, having to get used to being called someone’s wife, it was an idea that was quickly shattering my confidence. Also, in addition to getting married I would be essentially then required to bear a child…. It was way too much for me. Ugh… ugh… ugh…
“Woah woah, please calm down, Seiren-sama. That won’t be happening anytime soon.”
Kuon-sensei rushed to her feet, giving a pon-pon tap to my shoulder. Well yeah, if I was told that my wedding was like tomorrow, I would have plenty of reason to be upset. Indeed, that would be my parents expecting too much.
“I know you will be eventually married to a wonderful guy. But before then, I would expect you to take at least one year and spend that time here becoming familiar with your current self and to your family’s customs. Of course, I know this is your parent’s desire as well.”
“… I see. That’s good to know.”
Hahaha, I gave a sigh of relief, as I sunk deep into the couch. Seriously good to know this sort of thing, generally speaking, mostly at least. At minimum, I want to get used to this body. The underwear I need to wear…. At least I want to be able to put on my own bra, all by myself. I’m not certain how well I’ll be able to adapt to being a girl, but I know at least I am the daughter of my parents.
Ah, I understand.
“Even though I disappeared soon after I was born, my father and mother will want to at last live along side their daughter for a while. To spend a bit of time as a parent and child, getting along happily together.”
Because the director was always there for me, I managed well enough. My parents might have had Saryuu, but they still searched for me while taking care of him. They really wanted back their daughter, who disappeared so quickly after being born. So then, even though we’ve lost 18 years together, my parents at least wanted to spend a bit of time living along side their daughter.
“Above all it is good that you understand how the duke-sama and his wife feels, but I think first off we need to correct how you speak.”
Ore considered it quickly, what Kuon-sensei might potentially be talking about. It was never brought up so far, but maybe no one else was willing to mention it. Of course.
“…. oh, even now, is there something wrong with how ore speak?”
“Of course. As the eldest daughter of the Shiya family, you need to speak like a refined woman.”
She smiled bitterly. Understanding, my face stiffened. No well, my word usage was very normal just over a day ago, considering I was expected then to speak as a guy would. It’s the “ore” that is a problem now.
“Please give me some time. At any rate, I… well, things only changed so recently.”
“I understand. Regardless, your speech needs to become a bit more tender, please remain conscientious of it.”
“… … … will be careful. So while in public, it is better to say “watashi” instead, right?”
Yup. Being completely conscious on how it looked to others, a woman using such a version of “I” is probably giving everyone strange impressions of me. After all, this is probably something that shocked Saryuu at first. Without using the more formal expression, it completely comes off as a masculine expression. It was very wrong, when spoken from such a feminine face.
“You won’t adjust until you make it your normal expression. What I’m trying to say is, Seiren-sama has to adjust away from working with such masculine expressions, so that your ordinary usage of such a masculine “I” is abandoned completely.”
At Kuon-sensei’s reply, I tensed up for a moment. Such masculine stuff, at least in my mind I was still able to think as a guy, being able to use such expressions. Possibly for me, it was all I had left. It is kinda hard, looking as I am now, I just seem like a masculine girl. In the other world I was a very effeminate guy, but here I’m instead a very masculine girl… I wonder why.
“… … thank you for the kind advice. Please, pardon me for my upbringing.”
“Well, how you express yourself is a pretty big deal. With plenty of work, I’m certain you will look exactly as a noble daughter should.”
Really? At least for Kaya-san, I know that would mean problems. Oh… also… I considered quickly, this could have a significant impact on who is declared heir. No, that might rush things towards marriage talks. Such might be too much for my over-protective parents to deal with properly.
No really, I should be careful. After all, this is my life now.
“Okay. Maybe this is a good point to stop for now, if that is alright?”
At that, Kuon-sensei turned from me, hitting the table with her fingers in the process. The teapot swayed slightly at the impact, with a bit of mist escaping as a result.
“Oh, yes. Thank you very much. Would you like some more tea, even if by now it might have gone a bit cold?”
“No, please excuse me for tonight. I should be heading back now if that is alright.”
With that it seems the conversation was over. Kuon-sensei called outside the room, and immediately Alica-san and Minoa-san returned through the opened door. Both of their expressions looked rather awkward, so I wondered what had happened. Maybe because it was just my teacher and I here, the two of us without any supervision. Ignoring the two of them for now, I turned to ask a final question of my teacher.
“Are we still having class tomorrow afternoon?”
“Yes, if you would be so kind. Are you still available at that time?”
“Yup. I look forwards to attending Kuon-sensei’s lessons, as I am excited to be able to learn as much as possible.”
My schedule, as I understood it I didn’t really have one myself. When I checked with the maids, Minoa-san nodded her agreement. I mean, that was another thing I had to adapt to. If I wanted to check my schedule, I would have to inquire with my maids. For the time being, it seems like I will still get to attempt the lessons tomorrow, so I bowed lightly with a bit of relief.
“Thank you. So then, I will be looking forward to your class tomorrow.”
“Of course. Well Seiren-sama, if you will excuse me.”
With an elegantly refined bow at the door, Kuon-sensei left. ….hmm, the way she bowed like that, I wonder if I could possibly ever pull it myself. Such gentle movement, such was very lady-like how she just did it.
Catching me still staring at the door, I heard Minoa-san’s nervous voice. Alica-san seemed to have finished seeing Kuon-sensei off, and started cleaning up what remained of the tea. Maybe, it was only that Alica-san felt more comfortable this way, simply focusing at the task in front of her.
“So, did everything go well? I mean, all the various things you talked about.”
“No, such matters of the future are for another time, Minoa-san should not worry herself over conversations she wasn’t part of.”
“….. Please excuse me.”
Minoa-san lowered her head. I watch carefully from the side, as Alica-san scolded her. As I suspected, this wasn’t the sort of conversation I could have with my maids. And since I’m a woman now, even a guy like Saryuu, it would be far too difficult to discuss such with him as well.
Even so, I’m sure a lot more will happen in this world. I will simply have to adapt to the ways of this world, and just get used to it. I even have help from my parents, from my maids, from Jigen-san, and from Kuon-sensei.
This is the world I was born in, no, not the world where I grew up in previously as Shikino Seiren, but here as Shiya Seiren.