This chapter got so lengthy compared to what I had in mind before… as it might not be good to read this whole chapter at once during short break time at work or school (almost 7000 words, yet another record X”D). So, I put a marker in the middle of this extra and separated it by a button that will lead you to the second half~!
Yes, you can consider this extra as 2 regular chapters’ length X”D
Special thanks for every patron and readers~!
[Level 1: Michelle O, Bigos2, NorAsma Hime, Bryan W, Anita S]
[Level 2: Remandred, Danmaka, Blasefall, Sami, Albert L]
[Level 3: Christiine G, Ela V, Lucas J, Scipo0419, ACertainFairyCase, Vaitea L, Skyler S, Paco]
[Level 4: Browser, Venalitor, Patrick F, William C, blizgerg, wagtail, Hans-Andre S, Bigem S]
[Level 5: is problematic, Riley R]
[Level 6: alkin, Sir Hellington, Scott M, Jason D, Ghea, Ryuuji, TimelyCrow, Cassandra B]
Lyra and Altaire
Since this extra tells the sibling interaction between Lyra and Altaire, this extra won’t be a full story just like Cassie and Fenix’s extra story, but it will be tidbits about the interesting parts in Lyra and Altaire’s sibling interaction ^^
Lyra sometimes tried to act like a baby would, in order to fulfill the others’ expectations of her toddler self, or to hide about her weirdness that could make herself be shunned so early in life. Despite everything, obviously she would seem more extraordinary compared to other normal babies!
Setting 1: The First Day of Altaire and Lyra’s Meeting
Right after Lyra got acquainted with both her big brother and her doting father at the same time, Altaire’s first reaction was…
A little kid’s curiosity towards his newborn sister was… Obviously… this!
He was itching to touch this little creature called “little sister”!
But before his hands managed to touch Lyra, this little sister was separated from him as Cassie held Lyra higher.
Being interrupted from his plan, Altaire was surprised and pouted.
“Altaire, you’re a good big brother, right? So, promise me that you would touch her… very gently. Lyra’s still a few days old. She’s still fragile,” Cassie explained, before she approached Altaire and lowered Lyra who was comfortably lying in her arms.
“Fu… lagile…?” Altaire tilted his head.
“It means that she’s still weak. If you touch her roughly, she will be in pain and cry very loudly, Alt,” Cyan said.
Lyra who fully understood what they were talking about quietly thought, ‘I am not a baby. If it hurts, I may cry, but not that loud. I’m sure nothing can beat the pain I felt in the hospital. Try me, I’m a good, good kid!!’
Seeing Lyra’s funny expression, Cyan extended his hand.
Altaire thought that his father would surely caress his head as he usually did, but much against his expectation, his father’s hand caressed the head of his little sister!
That sparked Altaire’s first sibling rivalry and jealousy.
“Dad, me toooo!!” He quickly raised both of his arms, gesturing Cyan to caress his head, too. Cyan noticed Altaire’s jealousy and quickly pampered his son, too.
“So, be very gentle… okay?”
“Unnn!” Altaire quickly nodded and gazed expectantly at his little sister’s approaching figure.
Since a little kid like Altaire at this time wouldn’t really understand the concept of what can be categorized as too rough, he tried to be gentle and…
Only pointed his index finger to slowly touch Lyra’s baby cheeks.
“Aah, sofffttt!!” Altaire exclaimed as he retracted his finger and slowly nudged Lyra’s cheek again, and this process continued on and on…
Until Lyra felt that Altaire’s pressed index finger was gradually gaining power.
Trying to play the role of an obedient daughter and little sister, she tried to put up with it and only frowned a bit.
Noticing that her daughter’s expression turned sour, Cassie quickly warned the big brother figure who was too immersed in playing with Lyra’s cheeks.
“Big brother, do it gently… gent-ly, o-kay?”
“Alt, is gentle!” Altaire nodded and moved on to gently caressing Lyra’s cheeks and head with his small palms, only barely touching them.
Lyra was saved from being nudged to death.
Setting 2: Why? Why?
“Lyla ish sleeping?”
“Yeah, she’s already asleep. Let’s keep quiet, okay?”
“But, but Mommy said that babies would be noisyyyy, especially if the baby wants to sleep?” Altaire tilted his head. He didn’t feel like his little sister was particularly noisy, and it was the exact opposite of what his parents warned him before this little sister was born.
That he should be patient with his younger sibling later on.
That it was natural for babies to be noisy.
That his parents would need more time to calm down the baby later on.
…where has this gone wrong??
Daddy and Mommy are wrong…?
“…Yeah, your little sister is such a good baby, isn’t she? …though I’m scared that it’s because something is wrong…,” Cyan pondered.
“Well, I heard her cry when she was in hospital, but she hasn’t cried again ever since… It’s just that she’s such a quiet and obedient girl,” Cassie answered.
“Why is she so calm? Why? Why?”
“Because she is a good child! Isn’t it great that you have such a good sister?”
“Lyla ish a good sister?” Altaire asked.
Lyra glanced at her new family members alternately while thinking, ‘Yes, I am, right?!’
“Yes, she is, right? Look, she seems to understand our conversation,” Cassie sweetly smiled at Altaire and Lyra.
Lyra was surprised and widened her eyes to look at her mother.
Whoa, Mommy just said my thoughts out loud!
“Right right! Lemme rub rub her!! Good girl, good sister!”
But Cyan’s worried expression remained.
The next day, the family all went to the hospital. Under whose urging was it… Well, it was obvious.
The result? As expected, Lyra was declared very healthy…
Setting 3: Sibling Photo Session
After a few weeks, Lyra’s small baby body got stronger that she was able to withstand a light pinch—her neck and head got more stable, too.
Therefore, the family concluded to hold their first sibling exclusive photo session.
“Okay Alt, sit here and place your hands on the bed. I will place Lyra in your hands, please stay still and just smile at the camera, okay?”
“Be quiet so we can call Lyra so that her attention will be to the camera, okay?”
“Got it, got it!”
Lyra only sighed in her mind, ‘If it’s just tilting my head to the camera and striking some good poses, then I can do it on my own, thank you.’
“Ah, Lyra’s pose is already good! Altaire, see the camera for a moment and stop looking at Lyra first, okay?”
The big brother was defeated by the toddler little sister.
And Lyra—being afraid that this big brother of hers would come to hate her—suddenly…
She wriggled around and acted like how a toddler should be.
“Ah, now it’s Lyra’s turn… Lyra, Lyra, stay still… stay put… look at Mommy, look at Daddy, here, here!!”
“Sssh, Lyra, Lyra, look here!”
“Little sister, that way, that way!!”
…deep in her mind, Lyra tried so hard to swallow her embarrassment.
She felt relieved to see that her Alt-nii didn’t seem to show any sign of dislike towards her.
Yes… my embarrassment is nothing, as long as it’s to avoid any future problem, namely sibling discord!
(For Setting 4)
It’s common knowledge for babies to have some reflexes or involuntary responses to some conditions… Let’s take a look on Lyra’s various reflexes that surprised herself on how she wasn’t able to “behave” well!
*Note that I have no recollection of experiencing those reflexes myself (…obviously, lol!), and I tried my best to relate it to the available theories and my experience, so hopefully it didn’t stray too further from the proper mechanism/theory of those reflexes! If it has some differences, then… excuse me and I hope they’re still as enjoyable! ^^
Setting 4: Grasp Reflex
“Lyra’s hands are so smaaaaalllll!!” Altaire had a new hobby—poking his finger in Lyra’s hands, as his finger was bigger in comparison to Lyra’s tiny fingers.
Though his fingers were comparatively smaller than the adults’, but it was the first time Altaire touched a baby’s fingers. Even adults couldn’t hold the temptation to touch a baby’s tiny fingers, let alone a child like Alt!
“Altaire, please be gentle,” Cassie reminded Altaire, just in case.
Altaire didn’t even stop paying his attention to Lyra and continued to nudge at Lyra’s small hands.
This action—the act of putting his finger on Lyra’s palm—triggered an involuntary response from Lyra’s body!
Lyra reflexively gripped Altaire’s finger, as if she was clinging on to him. This was not the first time it happened. This happened when her parents did the same thing. At first, Lyra was surprised at her reflex—but since it caused her parents to pamper her more, with them saying, “Awww, my cutie pie!”—or something along that line—Lyra didn’t think that it was bad at all.
It was a childish action, and she preferred that she didn’t do it—but she had no choice, since it was involuntary.
“Aww, look at Lyraaaa! She wanna be with me!” Altaire said proudly.
‘No… actually, it’s just my reflex… but well, as long as you’re happy, big bro!’ Lyra thought inside her mind.
“Fufu, isn’t she cute?”
“Very! Her grasp is cute!”
Such a harmonious scene, a heart-warming scene between a brother and sister…
…that lasted only for a short moment.
After doing that for a few times, Altaire felt bored and wanted to let go, but since Lyra was gripping him, he attempted to pull away so Lyra would let go of his hand—but…
Instead of feeling his hand being let go, Altaire felt that Lyra gripped his hand even tighter!!
“Lyraaa, let go! I wanna play!” Altaire put more power to pull his hand away from Lyra’s grip, but just as he was about to put more power in…
“Altaire, don’t! You’re going to hurt her if you put more power!”
Cassie quickly prevented Altaire from doing so.
“But Mommyyyy! It’s Lyra’s fault! She doesn’t lemme go!!” Altaire pouted.
‘…Uh oh, am I in trouble? But I can’t control it! Even I want to let you go as I know what you want to do!’ Lyra furrowed her eyebrows, but Cass thought that she furrowed her brows because she felt uncomfortable from Altaire’s strength to pull his hand away and scolded Altaire.
“She’s just a baby, your power is different from her, and she still has yet to understand anything!”
“But, but, you said that it felt like she understood!”
“Still, she’s just a baby… Here, just don’t do anything and Mommy will help you,” Cass gently lifted up Lyra’s hand which was linked to Alt’s and gently rubbed the back of her hand, causing it to relax and Alt managed to free his hand.
“Bad, bad Lyra!” Altaire swung his hand around at Lyra, and Cass quickly secured Lyra away from his tantrum.
“Altaire, you’re her big brother! You shouldn’t be mean to her!”
“But it’s her fault first!”
“I’m sure she doesn’t do it on purpose, Alt. Can you be gentler when you play with her? No force allowed.”
“Mommy, you should scold Lyra, too! It’s not fair!”
Cassie sighed, “Okay, okay. Lyra, don’t be mean to your big brother, okay?”
Lyra only stared at Cassie with her wide eyes.
‘But… but… I tried…’
Lyra felt that it was sad to be misunderstood like this… She wanted to be an exemplary baby… The goody-two-shoes kid…
“Pfft—Look, Lyra seemed like she understood I was scolding her, and she feels sad because of it!”
“Bad, bad Lyra!”
“Uuuguuuu!!” (Baby language translator: But the bad one is you, Alt-nii!!)
Setting 5: So itchy! My teeth are growing, so forgive me~!
Babies tend to suck their thumbs even before when they were born. As such, Lyra found herself sucking her thumbs as a habit… and oddly enough, she felt that it was soothing! Though her thumb would get dirty by her saliva… she could just clean it afterwards! No problem!
This habit expanded even further when her teeth started to grow—as her gum felt so itchy that she needed to nibble on something to ease the itchiness!
Whenever it was bearable, she would wait and selectively choose the things that she could nibble safely, like her chewing toys, any food that she could nibble on, any safe cloth, and lastly, her fingers…
Altaire still liked to play with his little sister’s toys, and since the chewing toy’s form was unique enough, he wanted to play with it—and one day, they incidentally aimed for the chewing toy!
‘So, so itchy, I want to chew on that toy…,’ Lyra aimed at the toy and extended her hand—and Altaire who didn’t pay attention to what Lyra was doing, also gestured the same and—
Lyra’s hand touched Altaire’s finger that blocked her way to grab the toy, and because the itchiness was unbearable, Lyra’s hand quickly brought whatever she grasped to her mouth!
“Aaaaah, Lyraaa! Don’t suck on my finger! Ewwww!!”
Lyra finally managed to process what was going on and widened her eyes in surprise—but her hand and her mouth were still doing their activities!
After her gum touched Altaire’s finger, she felt quite relieved and slowly let go of his hand, to continue sucking on her own fingers…
“Mommyyyyy, Lyra’s sucking my finger! Look!!”
“…,” Lyra thought to herself, ‘But it’s because you blocked my way to the toy.’
“It’s because you put it close to her that she could reach it, right? Then, just don’t be on her reach,” Cassie calmly answered.
‘Way to go, Mommy!’
“But, but! I wanna grab a toy and her hand grabbed my hand! Mommy, Lyra’s also bad, scold Lyra, too!”
Lyra got scolded again, and she sighed in her mind. Sure, having a big brother who’s younger than your real mental age is… tiring.
She felt like she played the role of big sister rather than little sister, having to sigh and accept anything.
Oh well… such is life.
Setting 6: Toys
“Mommyyyy, you’re buying a toy for Lyra again?! What about me?!” Altaire protested when he noticed Lyra had new toys in her collection.
“You already have a lot of toys, right? Lyra barely had some…”
“But you bought some for Lyra, and none for me! You love Lyra more, right?! Humph!”
Both Lyra and Cassie were rendered speechless by Altaire’s way of thinking.
Maybe it’s true that siblings get jealous of one another at some point…
“Ah, ah,” Lyra quickly shoved away the new toys in her hand to Altaire’s side.
It was always like this. Whenever Lyra played with a toy that Alt also wanted to play with, Lyra would quickly let go of the toy and offered it to Altaire.
“Ah, look, Lyra’s so kind, offering to share you her toys. You should also share your toys, Alt, you’re her big brother. You two can share and play together,” Cassie said, wanting to let Alt learn how to share.
“So, it’s always Lyra is good at this, and that, and I’m not?! That’s why you bought her toys and not me?”
…Altaire took it the wrong way. Lyra frowned when her good intention turned sour…
“Altaire, the amount of toys Mommy and Daddy brought for you was way more than Lyra’s share.”
Luckily enough, Cyan chimed in.
“But I also want new toys!”
“Okay, okay, Daddy will also buy you some next time.”
“Yayy, I love you, Daddy!!”
“…Cyan, don’t pamper the children too much…”
“Well, let’s let it go for now. It’s better than letting him get jealous at Lyra too much. He will understand within time.”
“…,” Lyra witnessed everything with her cute round eyes as she wondered how overly pampering her new father was…
The problem with toy sharing still lasted for many years later. However, it got better as Lyra learned Altaire’s preference and behavior that made her successfully avoid taking the toys Altaire preferred to play with.
…in the first place, Lyra preferred to play with things that could tell her stories or songs, while Altaire liked to play with things that he could throw around…
Setting 7: Smile, Lyra!
“Mommy, Daddy, why doesn’t Lyra smile that much?”
One day, Alt asked Cassie and Cyan. He tried to entertain Lyra with what he thought a baby would find amusing, like peek-a-boo or playing with any toy that produced sound.
“Well, that’s also bothering Daddy, Alt…”
“While it’s good to see her smile more, I think even babies have different temperaments… Lyra just happens to be a serious baby,” Cassie tried to stay calm and recite one of the theories she had ever read.
“If you make weird faces, I’m sure she will laugh,” Cassie gave a suggestion.
So—Altaire created various weird and foolish expressions that Lyra couldn’t help but feel that it was ridiculous…
Lyra managed to laugh a little bit, but for some reason…
“She smiled, but why do I feel like she’s ridiculing me?!” Altaire protested.
‘…Because I really thought that it was foolish… Forgive me…,’ Lyra wanted to say that, but since she couldn’t speak yet, she only blabbered, “Waa, aaah! Daaaa!”
Cyan chose that time to do a voice-over.
“Look, she’s saying, ‘No, big brother! I just felt that you were funny!’”
‘…No, Dad’s got it wrong, but…’
“Really. Right, Lyra?” Cyan lifted Lyra up and Lyra only continued to blabber what she could, “Daaa!”
Altaire was convinced.
“I know a way that can surely make her smile!” Cyan said, as he lifted Lyra up so high and quickly moved his hands down, which made Lyra felt such a ticklish sensation around her stomach and as a reflex, she laughed.
“Oh, oh, put her down, I also know how!!” Altaire didn’t want to lose out, wanting to make his little sister smile again.
“Oh? Show Daddy, then,” Cyan put Lyra on the bed.
Altaire quickly approached Lyra and… gave her stomach some tickling!
“Aaahahaa! Daaa, aaaahh! Ahhh!!” Lyra laughed uncontrollably—but sadly, it was because she was very sensitive and felt ticklish very easily. She also rolled a few times on the sheets, trying to dodge the hands that were tickling her, but she was intensely chased!
“See, see, she’s laughing so happily!” Altaire continued to tickle her that tears started to form at Lyra’s eyes.
“Altaire, stop that now, your little sister’s gonna cry if you keep tickling her!” Cassie noticed Lyra’s reaction and swooped her up in her arms.
“Ah, but, but, she’s laughing!!”
“If you do it too long, she’s going to cry. Just do it briefly, okay?”
Lyra shuddered at the suggestion—‘I still didn’t want to be tickled, thank you!!’
From that moment onward, whenever someone gestured to tickle her, Lyra would raise her voice as if she was angry.
“Lyra, Nii-nii is here!”
Altaire gestured his hands and Lyra quickly understood that he’d tickle her with those hands…
“It’s okay, come here!”
Lyra dodged Altaire’s tickle by rolling on the sheets.
Lyra continued to roll on the sheets, further from Altaire…
“You wanna play chase?”
(Lyra wanted to say no, but it was not possible with how she still couldn’t speak well…)
“Aw, you’re being cute! Okay, challenge accepted!”
Lyra looked at the bed dejectedly while thinking, ‘I’m tired of rolling on the sheets… Should I cry so someone can stop him?’
This was when Lyra learned to swallow her pride and sometimes took advantage of her toddler body to escape from situations that she didn’t want to experience…
Yes, yes, no matter how patient someone can be, there’s a limit that others shouldn’t cross!
To Lyra, this is it.
Lyra tried to pretend she was crying, but tears didn’t fall, and she looked upset instead…
“Yah, why’re you upset?!”
Niina who happened to be nearby quickly arrived on the scene and scooped Lyra away from Altaire’s reach and respectfully lectured Altaire.
But Lyra was kind.
She distracted Niina’s focus from lecturing Altaire by reaching out to Niina’s fluffy ears, wanting to gently stroke it!
Niina was in dilemma—Should I let her touch it, or should I not? If she was rough, it would hurt a lot, but…
Lyra somehow was able to decode Niina’s thoughts and looked up at her with puppy eyes—Niina was defeated and let Lyra stroke her ears.
Heavens knew how reassured she felt when Lyra was being so gentle!
“Not fair, me too!”
–Another trouble arrived!!
Altaire felt jealous by how Lyra was treated and demanded the same.
“Altaire-sama, you can ask my Clavis to—”
Wait a moment… If Altaire was rough, then Clavis was the one to suffer! As a mother, I shouldn’t let that happen!
“…Altaire-sama, be gentle… okay?”
At that moment, Niina learned how Altaire’s definition of gentle was actually rough—in contrast to Lyra’s gentle and soft touch…
Niina sighed and thought…
How can they be so different when they’re blood siblings?!
But wait… if Lyra was as rambunctious as Altaire, then I’m dead!!