We gathered in the kitchen and we were making dinner.
'Sorry, I'm so tired from the exams and I needed your help. There were a lot of people in the restaurant today, and I didn't have time to prepare the food.
Mom says as she prepares the mushroom gratin.
'Don't worry about it. It's always a treat.'
I enjoy cooking.
Misha washes a bunch of mushrooms one by one and Sasha cuts them into bite-sized pieces.
Good, now we've washed all the vegetables. Let's start with the potatoes.
Dad brought in a bowl full of washed potatoes.
'It's a curry, just peel them and cut them into suitable bite size pieces.
It's quite a lot, so we'll have to split up. Oh, but we only have one knife...
'Oops. 'I've got some of the stuff I made in my workshop, don't go get it.'
That's okay. Can I borrow the knife?
Stopping my dad, Ray gets a knife from Misa.
He takes the bowl of potatoes and tosses the contents into the air.
Ray's hands seemed to shimmer, and in an instant, a large amount of potato skins were peeled off in the air.
All of them dropped into a deep dish and the discarded skins fit into the bowl.
'Hmm. That's quite something. Ray. So, let's go with these carrots for a game.
The bowl I have in my hand has a huge amount of carrots in it.
'How's that for a win-win situation where the person who peels more carrots wins?
Mass, who was listening to this, says with a wry smile.
'But I only have one knife, though.
It's good enough.
I picked up the peeler.
'I think you'll regret it, don't you?'
Well, what do you think?
Me and Rei's gaze met, and sparks flew.
Taking that as my cue, I scattered the carrots in the bowl into the air.
The knife and peeler turned into a flash of light, and flaky, unpeeled carrots rained down on the deep dish.
'Misa. On the count.
'Well. It's a tie........
Then Ray smiles freshly and offers his plate of carrots to Misa.
'Take a closer look,'
Missa stared at the carrots in her plate.
Raising her voice, she touched the carrots.
Then the carrots fell apart as if they were unraveling.
The carrots, which at first glance looked like they had just been peeled off, had already been cut into bite-sized pieces. And all ten of them.
'And this........it's been cut into heart shapes.......'
Misa let out an exclamation of surprise. It was no mean feat to peel the skin and cut the carrots into bite-sized hearts in that split second.
'I don't know,'
Smiling triumphantly, I held out a deep dish of my carrots to Ray, who smiled triumphantly.
'Check it out,'
Ray stared at the carrot and, as he realized with a gasp, stabbed it with the knife.
''It's ... this ... in the shape of a star ...''
Yes, all the carrots I peeled were cut into bite-sized star shapes.
'Pi, how did you cut them with a peeler...?
Misa gives me a startled look. It's not unreasonable. The peeler is for peeling. I guess she didn't think that she could cut a carrot into bite-sized pieces and even make a star shape with it.
Don't be so surprised. "Don't be so surprised," he said, "you can't call yourself a founder if you can only use the tool for its intended purpose.
Well, it's peaceful in these times. There's no need to make star-shaped carrots with a peeler if you can always get a knife. But 2,000 years ago, it was different.
"She's got one, I guess.
Ray muttered. Then he picked up another bowl.
'Ho. 'You're going to settle this with an onion. 'Funny,'
A lot of onions were flying through the air with a lot of energy.
Me and Ray moved at the same time--
What a stupid thing to do over there...
Sasha, who is preparing the mushroom gratin, gives me a blank stare.
''Hmph, Anos, you're so good at peeling too. It's amazing how quickly you can prepare onions like that.
Looking at Mom who says as if impressed, Sasha makes a quizzical expression.
''........How come your mother is so iron-clad and unfazed?''
Gradually Sasha is getting more and more toothless, even to my mom.
'Doesn't that surprise you?'
Mom smiled at Sasha and Misha's words.
I'm in for a surprise. Every day is full of surprises," she said. You were born just a few days ago, you're this big, you can do amazing magic, you're very clever, you decided to go to the Demon King's Academy in Dillhade, and you brought all these classmates with you.
I wonder if you've ever been scared...?
When Sasha uttered that, Mom said softly, "Hmm? I look into her face.
He gives me a look that says Sasha's put away.
'Sasha's magical powers were so strong that they scared her.
'For your parents?'
Mom puts her hand on Sasha's head and hugs her tightly.
'That was hard for you, Sasha.
Sasha buries her face in her chest as her mother pats her on the back.
It's a good thing that you're not going to be able to have a proper child........
I'm sure that even if I did have the baby, I wouldn't be able to have five bodies, so it would be better to give up on the child... and the child would probably be happier that way...
Mom smiles kindly.
'But I couldn't give up when I thought I had Anos in my belly and that he was alive. I didn't care if she was a little bit different from other people, if she couldn't study, or if she was physically weak. I thought I would love her as she was, as she was, and make her happy.
The next thing I knew, my dad was standing by my mom's side.
"You said it yourself," he said. "You said it yourself," he said, "you shouldn't assume that we're the ones to decide that he's unhappy. I don't think you can be happy just because you can't do something.
'But Anos was in worse shape than I thought when he was in my mother's tummy. He almost died once.
The doctor's magic was out of control. I prayed every day to God to help me deliver the baby. I prayed to God that I could give birth to this baby. I prayed to God that as long as he gave birth to me, I would raise my child to be happy, no matter what, no matter what, as long as he was born," she said.
...What's going on?
'Once, her heart stopped. The doctor said that she died, but I couldn't give up. But I couldn't give up on him. I said a prayer, not to God, not to the devil, not to the devil, not to anyone, but to save my child. And then my heart started beating again.
To be more precise, the child in my mother's tummy is dead.
Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he was never alive in the first place. That was the doctor's diagnosis. Mom was incapable of giving birth to a child, and the child originally had no roots in her body to manifest a clear consciousness.
Only the body was in Mom's belly, and that body was also bound to die before it was born.
But it was brought back to life by my just reincarnation in that vessel.
Magic is sometimes very much a matter of willpower. Even people who can't use magic and have little or no magical power can attract demons if their wills are strong.
Maybe it was your strong prayer that called me.
Anos has regained his energy and is growing in his belly. The doctor said it was a miracle.
Mom laughed, with just a little tears in her eyes.
That's why I've never been afraid of them," she said. I don't care what kind of child you are. I don't care what kind of boy you are, because Anos is so healthy and alive. There's nothing I want more than that.
Misha and Sasha had tears in their eyes at Mom's story.
Missa also wiped her eyes with a handkerchief, and even Rei had a look of sadness on her face.
Everyone must be feeling this way, just like me.
That's why they accept two-timing, bigamy and homos*xuality.