Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 3: Life in a Dream
Around the time Leorino reached his eleventh birthday, he began having dreams.
In his dreams, Leorino was called ‘Ionia.’
The dream always started at the time when he woke up inside a simple bedroom. He’d be standing in front of a washbasin that was put in a corner of the room, and he would gaze into the mirror. The face reflected back at him was charming; his hair was red and messy due to his poor sleeping habits, and he had a pair of unusual violet eyes.
Oh, it’s me…
The dream continued.
The young boy, Ionia, lived in the commoners district of the royal capital. The scenery of the city’s alleyways under the light of the street lamps was so vivid; it all looked familiar and nostalgic. Although Leorino had never been to this place before, he somehow knew it was the royal capital.
There were four members in Ionia’s family, including himself: his blacksmith father, who was often serious; his mother, who was kind; and his newborn little brother. Their house and store were located at a corner of the commoner’s district. Though they weren’t wealthy, they were living well and healthy.
Ionia was a cheerful and clever boy who was quite big and strong for his age. He was loved by the people in his neighborhood and was called Leader by all the children of the commoner’s district.
He was also an obedient and responsible child who helped out with the family business and took good care of his little brother. Now though, in his most recent dream, he was looking forward to attending classes at the school for commoners while also attending the supplementary classes held at the church three times a week.
Leorino eagerly awaited the nights he would dream about the boy, Ionia. It may have seemed nothing more than a mere dream to others, but they felt too real for that to be the case. They were as if from another life, a life where Leorino had once lived as ‘Ionia.’
“Did something good happen, Young Master?” Hundert, the chamberlain, asked Leorino who had been smiling all day.
“I’ve been having the same dream lately.”
“A dream, is it…? Would it be all right if I ask what sort of dream it was?”
“Fufuu, it’s interesting! I’ve been having it for a month now. Like a story, it continues each night.”
“That’s interesting, indeed.”
“Right! In my dreams, I am a red-haired boy. My father is a blacksmith, my mother has black hair, and I have a little brother who’s very cute. I’m the same age as I am now, but I’m already as big as Gauff. And now I’m looking forward to enrolling in the classes at the school for commoners.”
The previously calm and collected Leorino was now eagerly telling Hundert about the contents of his dreams with twinkling eyes. Hundert smiled at the sight of his unusually expressive master’s enthusiasm and chimed in, “I see..”
And so it was, that tonight too, Leorino once again lived the life of the boy Ionia in his dreams.
Each day that passed as he lived the life of the boy, Ionia, who was supposedly just a figment of Leorino’s imagination, started to seem more and more like a memory.
Leorino then began to wonder if there was a way to investigate if Ionia was merely a dream, if those dreams of him were a shared memory of a person currently living in the present, or whether they were memories of his own past life.
None of his family members nor their servants were aware of it yet, that Leorino was gradually beginning to think like ‘Ionia.’
Then, one day, the feeling of uncertainty within himself became undeniably apparent.
That morning, for the first time, Leorino started feeling uncomfortable seeing his reflection in the mirror.
He and Ionia shared too little in common, be it their looks, personality, or upbringing. Never before had he ever wanted so desperately to find something common between the two of them.
Ionia’s physique was larger than that of the other children his age, and he was also seemingly taller than everyone else by a head. He was healthy, had sun-kissed skin, and fiery red hair. Though some might say his face looked ordinary, it still held a certain charm. And despite him not being the poorest of commoners, his family wasn’t rich either.
Leorino, on the other hand, had soft platinum hair and pure milky-white skin. His figure was slender and gave off a seemingly fragile and delicate impression. He had grown up sheltered being the youngest son of the Count of Brungwurth, who was a high ranking aristocrat.
The only thing the two of them shared in common was their violet colored eyes.
“Hmm…” Leorino murmured.
‘Ionia’ only existed in the shadow of Leorino’s dreams, so it made sense that the life he lived as Leorino held a much stronger sense of reality to him.
After all, it was the image of himself that he had grown to know very well, beginning from the day he was born. Still, he wondered why he couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable about himself.
Hundert, who had been helping his master get up and prepare for the day as usual, tilted his head and stared at Leorino. The young boy had been standing in front of the mirror for too long, and Hundert had been observing his master intently ever since he’d awoken the child from sleep.
“Is there something on your face, Young Master?”
Hundert gazed lovingly at his master’s fair and elegant visage which was one of unbelievable beauty, even after waking from a night of slumber. His face was unquestionably angelic and looked perfect today as well.
“No, it’s just my face…”
I wonder why? It must be because my face is like this that I look needlessly vulnerable and weak.
Puzzled by his master’s behavior, the servant simply nodded his head in response and proceeded to show the young boy all of his possible outfits for the day.
“Which one would you like to wear for today, Young Master?”
It was then that Leorino finally realized the greatest source of discomfort with himself.
“Hey, Hundert, can I ask you something?”
“My, yes, what could it be, Young Master ?”
“Umm, why do I have to wear girl’s dresses?”
The outfits Hundert was recommending were a light pink dress with embroidered lace in a matching color and a dress with narrow baby blue ribbon piping along the hem.
That was the exact moment when Leorino’s rebellion began.