Crossover Fan Fiction ❯ Stares ❯ Tanya von... ( Chapter 5 )
Five years earlier.
My name is Tanya Von DeGuerrechaff… no. It’s Greyrat. Tanya Greyrat. Dammit. Being X lied to me. He said I would die for the last time, so I had to make my life count, and that he would test me again and again until I would voluntarily pray to him. I showed him. I died cursing his existence. And then I was born again, this time, once more, in a world where I didn’t know the language. And I learned a lot of languages in my second life.
My first week of this new life consisted of suffering breast feeding and no bowel control, beside that boy, apparently born mere hours after I was. It seems we have two mothers and one dad. I would say this is sexist, but my magic works so maybe the rules are just different. I quickly tested my ability to fly, even if I cannot walk or control my bowels. I still cry… which pisses me off. I’m almost 50 years old now. Being an infant is so humiliating.
The mirror showed I look the same as before. Even my huge eyes are the same. My mother is also blonde with blue eyes, and she is a devout woman, but also a mage. We have a house and are sharing it with the red haired maid, who is the mother of my slightly younger brother. He squints his green eyes nearly shut much of the time, until it is dark. I think he finds the light too bright.
Being able to fly, I am able to explore this world when my family is asleep, and I never needed to chant casting unless I really needed the Type 95 to supercharge a spell. Otherwise I was all about the focus. I could make decisions better than my peers because I was both older and more educated than they were. I was also more motivated to get a rear echelon job, which never happened for more than the time it took to train for bigger command promotions onto the battlefield. Even my military doctrine papers recommending combined arms merely made me the Colonel in charge of that battalion. And so I died on the Eastern Front to human wave attacks and heavy bombardment weapons, while that interfering American madwoman cursed my name. I almost had her. Almost. I wanted my retirement home, somewhere peaceful and quiet. And I never got it. Until now.
This place is pretty much what I’d been hoping for. I wasn’t expecting to have to die to get it, but it’s very charming. The mothers are doting kind people, father is a charming idiot with a sword, no less, and there’s no electricity, but magic fills in the gaps. Our maid, Lilia, looks after me and the household when she isn’t tending to my brother, Tobias. Toby is a bit too self-aware, though woefully unable to do much about it. I suspect another isekai like myself.
Apparently our elder brother is also an isekai, since I observed him casting magic without chanting, something Mother cannot do. Brother has a little elfin girlfriend, both of them only five years old, who comes to play with him and they train in magic casting under a large oak tree. I have spied on them, using my telescope spell, and discovered their wholesome activities despite advanced and rare magic being casually practiced. Brother is both an isekai and a prodigy, I am sure.
In my first life I was a cold, mentally ill, obsessive compulsive salaryman who hid behind rules to get the job I wanted and the record I needed to keep it. I was planning for retirement on a beach, earning 20%. This did not happen. I fired a man who pleaded about his child’s college fund and mortgage, and pushed me in front of the 5:14 express train. I argued with Being X, which called itself God, and was reincarnated into a world at war. I was tormented there for 14 short years and died on a battlefield, as most soldiers do. I think it is fair to say that I do not like gods, or beings who call themselves gods. My efforts to survive in time of war found me joining the Aerial Mage corps, and becoming a soldier at age eight. I went to officer’s candidate school and found my first joy in two lives: flying. I suppose three lives, now.
I love to fly. It is not merely movement or a superior way to avoid most attacks, even if I invite flack and rifles fired at me because I’m a black dot in the sky, but also the freedom of movement as man always imagined it. Not with fixed or rotary wings, but spreading your arms and willing yourself free of the bounds of earth. It was while flying at night I noticed the moon was not our own, and the stars were no constellations I could recognize. We were not on Earth. This was elsewhere. Entirely elsewhere.
I eventually found a rolled up map of the world in a chest Rudy had obviously been using and saw the layout of the continents. The position of the cities. It looked like the result of an asteroid impact, or a really big volcanic caldera, where the rims were the continent and the central ocean the crater itself. This is very odd, and a bad shape for a world because it SHOULD be generating terrible endless typhoons… but it wasn’t. We are apparently in the northwestern side of the northwestern continent, west of some mountains full of red dragons, and probably the garden spot of the whole planet for various reasons. The only real downside is the lack of vicious magical beasts means there’s lot of bandits, which keeps Father busy hunting them down. Apparently this is his job, hunting bandits and killing packs of wolves who ate the last batch of bandits who forgot to set their watch or something.
There are squirrels which fly by flapping foot long ears. They fly like birds, using magic. There are songbirds with feathers that look like tiny antlers on deer. There are moths that fly like hummingbirds, darting in to sip nectar from flowers then darting away. There are trees in the forest which show red or yellow leaves all summer, rather than just the Fall. This world is really weird.
Being the oldest person in the household leaves me feeling both responsible and frustrated. My parents are only 25. My mother was merely 17 when she had Rudy, and had to quit her job as an adventurer to start this family. My Father is some kind of fallen noble in limited disgrace. He is allowed to work as a knight, but survives on his own income. I haven’t found much gold in the house, so the house is probably his primary asset, and if anything happens to him we’ll be impoverished. That is unacceptable. This is my comfortable retirement life.
I spent time using what is called Earth Magic, which I learned by watching Rudeus, and found how to extract iron from the soil and rework scrap iron into steel, which is purer than the usual cast or pig iron, which has many impurities. I have plans for that metal. Cast iron is similar to steel, but contains too much carbon so it is brittle. You cannot weld it and after the initial pour, it hardens into a shape but you can’t do much with it after that. You can’t weld it or hammer it into another shape because the quenching process will crack it. Then you have to start over. Remove the carbon to a mere percent, however, and you get high carbon steel, which hardens nicely, holds an edge well, and while it rusts easily in the presence of water, is used for knives and swords. The sword Paul carries is a valuable piece of steel, with both carbon and vanadium and has enough nickel to be stainless steel. The sword is probably worth more than the house, considering the level of technology found here. I want to make steel like that for my own use. Finding Vanadium will be hard, so I make do with high carbon steel and careful maintenance and good heat treating and tempering, which I can do with magic. I even worked out how to make a suitable lacquer from barnyard chemicals. I used it to protect and repair the kitchen rack which Lilia hangs the pots from over the fire. I have plans to make a wood stove, once I can get enough iron and firebrick.
I spend my time as a toddler expanding my mana pool, working metals, and discovering what I can do in this world. Months go by. One evening at the dinner table, Rudy requests money to take himself and his little green-haired girlfriend off to magical college to be better wizards. Dad refuses because we really don’t have the money, so Rudy asks for a job to earn the money. Father agrees. He writes a letter and sends it off with a messenger heading for the nearby city, a day’s ride away.
Two weeks pass and a large heavy wooden carriage arrives. A beast woman steps out, with cat ears and huge boobs and a sword. She has a conversation with Father. Father asks Rudy something and he looks surprised and annoyed. They immediately go into a training exercise that results in a concussion for Rudy, which mother heals so he won’t die or be stupid the rest of his life, and he is loaded into the heavy oak carriage with the cat woman.
The following day Father informs Sylphy that Rudy has gone away, but does not tell her why so she cries. The rest of the month there is rain on the house, and ONLY the house. Laundry cannot dry, and the firewood is wet. I eventually convince the girl that she’s hurting me and Tobias more than my parents, who are anxious enough about sending away their eight year old son to the city, no matter how grown up he acts. Tobias at least seems to be managing the loss well. I’d been learning from Rudy, so I was annoyed. I think our Isekai brother had more to teach me. Now I need to find someone who can teach me to be a Wind Saint level mage. Air is my strongest attribute, though Earth is a close second, and my explosion spells are a mix of fire and wind. When I was a youth I’d watched Slayers. Every kid did back then. At this point I look like the offspring of Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev.