Right in front of Renatus, his older foster brother screamed and fainted.
It was their first meeting, to say hello to his older foster brother.
At this time, his older foster brother, Clarence, was ten years old. Renatus was three years old.
Upon seeing his face, a person had collapsed from fear–it was a terrible shock for a young child, and so Renatus recalled the memories of his previous life.
Renatus was Japanese in his previous life. He was an ordinary office worker in his thirties. He lived a modest life where his daily entertainment was reading novels while on the way to work.
On my way to work, I was involved in a traffic accident. I only remembered up to that point, which led me to this current situation.
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He was a duke. He was my mother’s older brother and would be my foster father from now on. Both parents had died in an accident the other day, and Renatus, who was left behind, was adopted by this family.
This family only had the foster father and foster brother. The duchess had passed away after she had given birth to the foster brother.
“Clarence was a little under the weather in the first place. Let’s say greetings again when he’s feeling better.”
“The maids in this house are excellent. So it’s alright. Don’t worry. Aren’t you tired, Renatus? I’ll show you to your room, so you can rest.”
The foster father wiped Renatus’ tears with a handkerchief.
The room I was taken to was furnished as a child’s room.
Some furniture was newly furnished, and some of it seemed to be hand-me-downs from Clarence.
My foster father seemed to hope that having hand-me-downs would be a good opportunity to start a conversation with Clarence.
(He was a caring person. Even though he’s not much older than I was in my previous life.)
I was unmarried in my previous life. I didn’t have time to get a girlfriend, so marriage was a dream within a dream. Of course, I never thought about having children.
“Thank you very much.”
When I thanked him with a bow, my foster father gently patted me on the head.
“It may not be possible right away, but I’d be happy if you could let your guard down between us, as a parent and child. Renatus, you really look just like my sister when she was little, so it is nostalgic.”
My foster father said so and left the room. He seemed to be going to check on my foster brother Clarence.
His good nature oozed from the fact that he made it a priority to accommodate Renatus, who had entered the house for the first time. Even though his own son was probably in a more serious condition.
I looked around the room and searched for a mirror.
There was a dresser, so I climbed up onto a chair and looked into the mirror. There I saw a mix of a face that I had always seen and a face that was new to me from my previous life.
“As I thought…! This is the face of Renatus Ashfield, the evil prime minister of ‘The Heroic Legend of the Wolf King’…!”
‘The Heroic Legend of the Wolf King’ was my favorite novel in my previous life. It was a war story, and, to put it frankly, was in the ‘rise to power’ genre.
Bradley Wolf, the protagonist of ‘The Heroic Legend of the Wolf King’, was the child born from the affair between a noble and a servant. His mother was forced to live in a slum after suffering the wrath of the legal wife and degraded into prostitution.
After the death of his father’s legal wife, he was found and adopted by his biological father and enrolled into a school for knighthood. He graduated at the top of his class and went on to become a knight. He eventually rose to the rank of Knight Commander.
The role of the evil prime minister was an obstacle to the protagonist’s rise to power.
The Prime Minister, who repeatedly interfered in a despicable manner, finally sent the protagonist, Bradley Wolf, to his death. He was forced to deal with the stampede that threatened the country with a few troops. He lost many comrades at that time and swore vengeance against the evil Prime Minister.
The hero ultimately became the hero of the country by destroying the Prime Minister who had laid down an evil regime.
――That evil prime minister, set to be destroyed, was Renatus Ashfield.
“I…I’ll be destroyed…”
My white face became even whiter.
Renatus’ face was white. It’s not just that he’s fair-skinned. White scales grew from part of his face. The scales were on both sides, starting from the temples and ending just below the ears. They were hard and appeared to glitter in rainbow-like colors when the light hit them. Their color looked like that of a silver-lipped oyster.
His silver hair and pale blue eyes both contributed to his lightness. I wondered if this was what it would look like if a white snake were anthropomorphized.
The appearance that seemed cool in the illustration, like a dark hero, was graphic in a three-dimensional form. It felt bizarre to see scales growing out of human skin.
Based on my previous life’s memories, and also those of this life, it was bizarre. There were no beast people in this world.
I thought back in my memory as Renatus, and I’d never been called “creepy”.
There were only ever adults around the three-year-old Renatus. I was sure the adults in this world were sensible people, so they didn’t overtly express their disgust. Like my foster father.
My foster brother’s reaction was normal. Children were honest, so they couldn’t hide their fear.
“I must be repulsive…”
I felt depressed and lowered my head according to my feelings.
My foster father seemed to want me to get along with my foster brother Clarence. But he was scared of me to the point of fainting, so he might not like me at this rate.
When I suddenly shifted my gaze, I caught sight of a paper bag on the desk. When I checked the contents, I found that it contained a notebook and assorted stationery. I took out all the contents and picked up a pair of scissors.
Then, I made holes in the paper bag. It was for the eyes.
I forcefully covered my head with the bag. The simple mask was complete.
“I hope I won’t scare him anymore with this…”
If you looked in the mirror, a paper bag person with a small body was reflected through the mirror. It was probably better than the snake person. I’d heard of people hating snakes, but I’d never heard of people hating paper bags.
“Let’s get along with everyone in this house! Afterall, I don’t want to die!”
If things went according to the original story, Renatus would become the Prime Minister, and lay down an evil regime. He would then be defeated and killed by Bradley Wolf, the protagonist of the story.
Foster brother was also in Bradley Wolf’s camp.
So I thought that if I could get along with my foster brother from now on, it would deviate from the original story.
Renatus nodded, rustling the paper bag.
There was a knock and the door opened.
It was foster father who came in.
“Oh, what an adorable little paper bag. What’s the matter?”
“Um, I thought this wouldn’t scare big brother! How’s it?”
After saying that, Renatus turned around. But his sense of balance was off due to the limited field of vision, causing him to wobble and stagger. Before he fell, Renatus was held up by a pair of strong arms.
Foster father hugged Renatus with caution as if he were adoring a treasure.
“…Yeah. I was once again thinking about how I am glad that I have gained another cute son. And you know, you don’t have to hide yourself like that.”
Foster father addressed Renatus in a voice overcome with emotion. Perhaps he thought Renatus was being considerate of his frightened foster brother.
Renatus certainly cared about him.
But they weres not pure feelings. After all, his future life was at stake. It was calculated kindness.
“Big brother is a child, so I think he can’t help it. If he can’t see my face, he won’t be scared, right?”
Renatus claimed as if he had forgotten that he was three years old. To the office worker inside, a ten-year-old was a child.
Foster father blinked his eyes in surprise, then frowned as if he were at a loss.
“He’s not scared…Ah, I guess Renatus is the one who got scared. Hmm, what to do?”
Foster father looked troubled for a while, then his expression suddenly relaxed.
“…Yeah, alright. Let’s make a proper mask. Something cute and easy to wear.”
“Is that ok!?”
“Will you take it off when he gets used to you and is no longer afraid?”
Foster father patted Renatus’ head repeatedly while holding him in his arms. Each time, the paper bag rustled.
He was a kind man. I definitely shouldn’t become an evil prime minister and cause him trouble.
I renewed my resolve.
And then some time later.
I was able to say “nice to meet you” once again to my foster brother Clarence, whose fever had dropped.
Clarence told me it was okay to take off the mask. However, I thought there was nothing I could do about being physically disgusting.
I shook my head in response, and Clarence looked somewhat hurt. I wasn’t sure why.
I immediately got along with Clarence, who was kind just like his father.
(Now I’ve taken one step away from being a villain. Let’s do this. It was important to build it up little by little.)
I clenched my fists firmly in response.
TN: Enjoy reading.