My name is Claudia Letsya, but in my previous life I was called Sakura.
I, who shortly after birth remembered memories of my past life, was very surprised to find out that I had turned into a baby and fell into confusion.
Though from the conversations of the adults around me, I soon understood the situation I was in.
I have reincarnated into another world…apparently.
A week after I was reborn, while I was dozing off in the crib, I heard a voice in my head.
『Claudia, how are you feeling?』
A man dressed in all black was standing beside the bed. He, who had black eyes, black hair and dark skin was intensely peering at my face. Owner of the voice looks like him.
I tried to respond but as a baby, I still couldn’t speak well.
『Just think of what you want to say in your mind. Spirits can read their masters’ minds to some extent.』
A voice resounded again and I suddenly noticed that I remembered hearing this voice somewhere. It’s the voice of a man who held me gently before I was born.
『So you remembered? then call my name. Try to consciously convey something to me and think of the words you want to say in your mind.』
I thought of his name in my mind like I was told, and tried to convey it.
I didn’t say anything out loud but it still felt like I unleashed words towards him. And then, he briefly smiled.
『Well, aren’t you very good at it? that is a telepathic communication. You can use it whenever you want to talk to me.』
『Gerald…so you were the Dark Spirit King, huh.』
When I was born, the adults who looked at me said that I had “the protection of the Dark Spirit King”. He’s also enveloped in a different aura from humans so he must definitely be that so-called Spirit King.
『That’s right. I like you. In addition, I also got a nice name.』
Gerald said breezily that it was not a big deal.
『…..I have many things I want to ask, but can you first tell me about this world? being under the protection of Dark Spirit King, what does that mean?』
I did understand that I got reincarnated but with a body of a baby I couldn’t see the outside world from the window. When I asked him in hopes to grasp the situation more in details, Gerald thoroughly told me everything.
To start with, this is the kingdom of Laycia (レイシア) where humans, spirits and demons coexist. The spirits have attributes like fire and water and there is a Spirit King for each attribute, but even within them, the Dark and Light Spirit Kings are special, drawing a line with other Spirit Kings.
Almost all citizens of this kingdom can use magic by borrowing the strength of spirits and, apparently among them there are also nobles who have the protection of spirits since birth.
When you are given the protection of spirits, you can also employ them.
The conditions and methods for receiving protection aren’t clear, but I have a memory of when I was given the protection of the Dark Spirit King.
I also remember everything before dying and being born again. That’s why I was able to deduce that whatever happened in that soft, comfortable space was something like a contract.
『I liked you and you gave me a name. That’s why I will protect you and lend you my powers as much as I can.』
『Why did you choose me?』
After asking something I’ve been wondering about, Gerald answered without batting an eye.
『Your soul was so beautiful that I was fascinated by it.』
I’m a human so I don’t understand soul’s beauty but the point is that I was Gerald’s type, right?
Then he also told me about the house I was born in.
I, who was a normal commoner living in Japan in my previous life, have now apparently turned into the eldest daughter of a prestigious Duke family. My father seems to be serving as the Head Knight of the royal palace.
To think that I’ve reincarnated into a carefree aristocrat, being reborn isn’t that bad, is it?
Still, it’s not like there aren’t any problems at all.
While listening to Gerald, I remembered the worst thing. Many things from my past life are hazy but only this I remember clearly.
The current me – Claudia, is in the same situation as the villainess appearing in the novel I read in my past life, called 《The Saint is Loved by the Prince》.
The name of the villainess appearing in the story is Claudia Letsya. Even our names are the same, so this can’t possibly be just a coincidence.
From what I’ve heard from Gerald, I’m unmistakably that Claudia. It seems that I have reincarnated into the novel world.
As soon I realized that, I tried remembering the contents of the novel.
The novel is set in the Laycia Kingdom where humans, spirits and demons coexist. It should’ve also had the premise of most people being able to use magic while borrowing the power of the spirits. Even that part is the same as this world.
And with the aristocrat school as its stage, the story advances.
The heroine of the story is Amelia Logan. Being the illegitimate child of a Baron, she, who was living a commoner’s life in a downtown, transferred to Claudia’s school after at the age of 14 it because apparent that she was receiving the protection of the LIght Spirit King.
Soon after transferring in, Amelia starts getting bullied by Claudia. The reason for that was jealousy.
Claudia of the novel was also a Duke’s daughter and received the protection of the Dark Spirit King.
However, Dark Spirit King was avoided by people and with that as the reason, Claudia was also hated by other children.
On the contrary, because Light Spirit King was liked by people, there were always many persons gathered around Amelia. That’s why Claudia envied and hated Amelia who was the exact opposite of her.
Moreover, Amelia gets engaged to the second prince Edgar, the person Claudia secretly had feelings for. After their engagement was announced, Claudia started harming her more and eventually got branded as dangerous even by the adults.
On the other hand, Amelia who received the protection of the Light Spirit King got chosen as a saint as a symbol of healing and peace, becoming an important person within the country. People thought about eliminating Claudia, who attacked this kind of important person, but they were afraid of provoking wrath from her, who had the protection of the Dark Spirit King.
At that time, in order to conclude a truce agreement with the opposing Gardia kingdom, an idea to marry the daughters of prestigious aristocrats of both countries to each other ‘s royal family was brought up.
Claudia, who was a daughter of a prestigious Duke family, on the surface for the sake of peace and in actually just to get rid of the nuisance, taking advantage of the situation gets married off to Gardia kingdom.
However, that agreement gets quickly broken by Gardia kingdom and the war breaks out once again. Claudia too, as a person of Gardia kingdom, gets driven out to the battlefield and finally gets killed by the heroine who has the protection of the Light Spirit King.
This is roughly what I remember from the content of the story. It’s pretty dreadful. I mean, if everything goes the original way, I will not only get exiled from the kingdom but also die in a battle, receiving BAD END. There is no salvation.
I don’t mind being unhappy but I at least want to avoid the worst future.
Nonetheless, right now I am just a newborn baby. The only thing I could do is to listen to the conversations around me and gather the information.
Several months have passed since my reincarnation. Generally, I’m often put to sleep in the crib. When I’m here, I can hear the conversations of the maids well. Today, they once again entered the room while talking.
“What about madam? is she still lying down?”
“No, she has gotten up today. I hear she has been taken a walk in the garden with master during the noon.”
I’m still a baby who can’t talk but probably because I have the memories from my past life, I’m able to understand their conversation. But maids who don’t know that, keep talking about everything they want before me.
“It’s better if she leaves her room even for a bit. It’s not good for her body if she stays in bed all the time.”
“But it’s not surprising if she doesn’t want to get up. To think that the child you gave birth to had the protection of Dark Spirit King of all things…If it were me, I might even have killed myself out of the shock.”
This is something that I understood from the conversations and attitudes of adults, but from the looks of it like in the novel, in this world too, Dark Spirit King is avoided by people and I, who hold his protection, am in the same situation.
『Claudia, if you wish for it, I can get rid of those rude maids.』
Gerald who was standing beside the crib said in a bad mood.
『It’s okay, I don’t care about it.』
I tell him so through telepathic communication. Just by harming the maids the situation at hand won’t change, or rather I might get hated to even more and end up following the same route as Claudia from the novel. In order to avoid BAD END, I must let people around me understand that I’m harmless.
Gerald resentfully clicked his tongue, but as if respecting my ideas, he stopped at only glaring at the maids and didn’t harm them.
Without realizing that they were exposed to Gerald’s cold glare, maids continued their conversation.
I’m the only one who can see him and hear his voice. Apparently, spirits generally do not let anyone aside from the person they’re giving protection to see them or hear their voices.
Obviously, they can do it if they want to, but there has never been an instant when Gerald has shown himself to a person other than me.
“Even so”, one of the maids who was talking while wiping the table suddenly stopped and started staring at my face. In those eyes, I couldn’t feel even a single fragment of adoration towards the baby.
“Those with the protection of Dark Spirit King really have black eyes, black hair and dark skin, huh. I’m seeing it for the first time.”
“There is no other person with such complexion in Laycia, isn’t it?”
The maid who was wiping the window looked at me in the same way.
“For the daughters’ of aristocrats, white skin is one of the signs of beauty, right? If her skin color is so dark, there will be no marriage partners for her.”
They laughed as if to mock me.
『Claudia, let’s kill those rude people after all.』
Because of them Gerald’s anger once again rekindled.
『Gerald, I am fine.』
I’m sincerely happy that Gerald is getting mad for my sake, but if he uses his powers as he wants, I’ll go straight to BAD END and I want to avoid that by all costs.
『Please, don’t harm those girls. I honestly don’t mind their words.』
As I desperately pleaded, Gerald looked at me with his eyebrows lowered.
『You’re so kind, Claudia. To have mercy on these kinds of disrespectful people. As expected from the person I chose.』
Was he praising me or praising himself? At any rate, his anger seems to have subsided.
Humans who have the protection of spirits will be born with the same characteristics as spirits who gave them protection.
For example, my black hair, black and dark skin is due to Gerald’s influence.
Within spirits, only the Dark Spirit King holds the same characteristics. That’s why the fact that I’m receiving his protection is obvious at the first glance.
When I was born, my family, servants and the midwife grimaced, while my mother and maids even fainted out of fear.
Apparently everytime my father tried to find a wet nurse for me, he was thoroughly refused because nobody wanted to take care of a child who was under the protection of Dark Spirit King.
As a result, my mother only visits my room for breastfeeding and during the rest of the time, I’m entrusted to the servants who take care of me by taking turns.
Even now it doesn’t seem like I can expect any affection from my parents. In my previous life, on top of being hated by my parents I also got killed by my own father and even after being reincarnated, I’m avoided by everyone. Not to mention, the future of being killed is waiting for me. Everything seems so hopeless that I can’t do anything but laugh.
However, even it is impossible to improve relations with parents, I can still change the future. In the first place, I just need to not do anything that would make me into a nuisance. If I become a person who’s loved by others, I shouldn’t get exiled from the kingdom so easily.
When I become a bit older, I’ll definitely have a good relationship with people around me and change the future.
This is what I, as a baby, resolved.
Then the days flew by and I turned 6 years old.
Even though I could walk on my own feet and was able to communicate in words, the environment surrounding me didn’t change much.
My father seems to be hiding the fact that I have the protection of Dark Spirit King and doesn’t let me go outside the mansion.
In order to avoid BAD END, first I tried to prove to servants that I wasn’t the person they feared I was, but it was absolutely useless.
No matter what I do they still abhor me.
That’s why recently I had given up on trying to make others like me and started avoiding involvement with people as much as possible.
On one such an afternoon, I was reading a book in my room.
I felt thirsty so I called out for the maid that was waiting in the corner of the room.
“Would you make me a cup of tea?”
As I said that, maid’s body flinched and she replied with a shrill voice.
“Y-y-yes, r-r- right away!”
She brewed the tea while trembling and carried it to me with an obviously frightened face.
Her hands were shaking so the cup was also swaying, making a rattling sound. When the maid tried putting the cup before me, the contents finally overflowed and a newly brewed tea ended up on my hand.
When I unexpectedly raised my voice, the maid apologized with the momentum that was very similar to dogeza.
“Hiiii! I-I’m v-v-v-very sorry!!”
The place where tea was spilled on became red and stings. It’s not a serious burn but I can’t really leave it the way it is.
“It’s okay. Please give me something to chill my hand with.”
“Y, yes! R, right away!”
The maid said this and left my room as if running away.
『What’s with that rude attitude! Moreover, to scald my Claudia…』
Looking at Gerald who was exposing his anger, I smiled bitterly.
『It’s not a big deal so I’m fine. Also, my skin is dark so it won’t stand out that much.』
When I tried to appease Gerald using telepathic communication, suddenly the door of the room opened.
Standing at the entrance was Liam, my brother who’s older than me by 4 years. He approached me while speaking.
“A while ago your maid ran out with great momentum, did something happen?”
When I answered briefly, my brother fearfully refuted.
“B, but, the state of the maid, umm…did not seem normal, or how to say it…”
After being told so, I once again sighed in my mind.
“Are you trying to say that I did something to her?”
At those times even if I haven’t done anything it often gets misunderstood that I have done harm. It’s because I’m thought of as an extremally cruel human being, possibly due to the Dark Spirit King’s image. Of course, this is a misunderstanding but nobody listens to what I say.
“N, no way! I was just curious…”
“I-is that so.”
He should have finished his business but my brother still doesn’t seem to be leaving.
He’s been looking at the book in my hands dumbfounded. I and Gerald suspiciously looked at my brother.
“Is there anything else?”
As I asked, my brother was taken aback and turned his eyes towards me.
“Oh, this? it’s a book about the founding myths of the nation. I have read it before but I wanted to reread it so I brought it from the library…When I read this I start to understand why I’m hated and feared by everyone.”
What I have been reading until just now is the founding myth of Laycia.
And the reason why the holder of protection from the Dark Spirit King is avoided is also written there.
“S, such a thing, is just a fairy tale.”
My brother is saying so but I can’t bring myself to think of this only as a mere fairy tale.
“I wonder if that’s really so? Then why does everybody hate me? Isn’t it because the holder of a protection of the Dark Spirit King destroyed the country?”
This is how the founding myth of Laycia goes.
In the kingdom that once existed on this land, the King ruled people with tyranny. Once, the man with the protection of the Dark Spirit King defeated the King and came to be called a hero.
After the defeat of the evil King, it was the hero’s best friend who took the throne.
Hero cooperated with the new King and began a political reform to create a kingdom without fighting and hunger. For the sake of the kingdom and the people, he started to fully demonstrate the power of the Dark Spirit King. Thanks to that, the kingd became stable and a peaceful and calm era came.
However, people started to fear the hero’s power.
Even among the Spirit Kings, Dark Spirit King had the especially strong power. The power of those with his protection was immeasurable.
Won’t the power strong enough to murder the king and change the arrangement of the country in a short time someday threaten us?
That kind of baseless suspicions spread among the people and finally, the new king who was the best friend of the hero embraced fear and started to avoid him.
The despair of the hero, when the people he trusted turned against him, was deep.
――This kind of world should just get destroyed.
Saying so, the hero used the power that only the Dark Spirit King held. It was something called a『Curse』, the power that could be used in exchange for one’s life.
Using up his own life, hero cursed the world. Then the rain stopped falling, the land withered away and eventually plague spread around.
Thus the world started heading towards its destruction.