The Second Child

I died with no regrets...

...as long as Kotomine is gone, the girls will live.

Sakura...I'll be leaving her but she'll be OK with her sister.

Tohsaka and Illya will finish everything. Angra Mainyu will be gone forever after this.

Ahh, I always leave messes for Tohsaka to clean up...sorry, Tohsaka. At least Illya will help you.

You guys will be OK.

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'Uwaaaa! Uwaaaa!'

'Congratulations milord, milady, it's a daughter this time!' an elderly woman's delighted voice spoke.

'Measure her mana.' a man ordered.

'...'

"...what language is that? I can't understand them!"

'Dear...our daughter's mana...' a woman gasped out. 'She's very strong, unlike us! She would make a better heir than our eldest son, but she will have to marry up.' she mused thoughtfully. 'No other laynoble boy can match with her mana.'

"...do I have an illness? A defect? From what I understand, I'm reborn yet with my memories intact somehow..."

'Forget Mednoble, she might have a chance into marrying into Archnobility but we'll see on her baptismal day. At least she was born a girl with such a boon. Her future is bright, at least. She can marry into a high-ranking mednoble household who can match her. She may meet her match in the Academy in her later years.' said the man optimistically. 'Had our second child be born a boy with such a boon, yes...no sane family will downgrade their daughter's status just for a matching mana marriage...not even we ourselves wanted to be laynobles due to our lousy lot in life if we didn't pick a side in time.' he added with a derisive snort.

'That's true...so what is our eldest daughter's name?' the woman asked gently.

'Lorelei. Lorelei Tochter Wagner.'

"Lorelei...that's my name now huh? Kinda cute...I wish I was still a boy...I don't feel my thingy anymore...this is gonna be weird. Lorelei huh? I remember that name...it's a song Illya once sang to me in German. At least I have ties to my past this way. My middle name is weird though."

xxx

When she can see, she could see her new parents. She has an older brother who was a toddler and they were well-cared for.

They live in a mansion but it's sorta...needs renovation? Were they poor nobles? The mansion looks very old and has never been renovated. Even furniture looked old, and tablecloth clearly has a few stitches here and there...

By the time she was two, her parents were teaching her her first words. 'Mutter' was mother and 'Vater' was father. Her older brother's name was Siegbert Sohn Wagner. Her mother was called Marietta Tochter Schtollen Frau Wagner and her father Adalbert Sohn Wagner. And the naming...also apparently included 'daughter/son of' for children. And for married women, 'wife of' has to be added in their marital names. Won't it be easier to just say names without those unnecessary things? Well, they want things fancy. Such is aristocratic conceit, she supposed...

She weaned off her mother's milk and gets fed watery porridge. But she sees what her family eats: hard bread, vegetable soup/some dish and a small piece of meat.

...they can't be that poor...

Lessons started when she was four. It was also an age where she learned that the hard bread was not well-made leading to it's near-biscuit texture. The soup is an insult to her spoiled tongue as Emiya Shirou. It barely has the sweet-savoriness of vegetables that are cooked till shriveled and dull, and is mostly vinegar. The meat? Ruined by quickly cooking it in hot fire at the beginning, it's like eating leather!

The way it was cooked? Nutrition is almost gone. Along with taste.

Nobles they may be, but their land is underdeveloped that there's little room for farming.

Their Wagner territory has a population of 400. Just enough for a village. They farm all kinds of vegetables, not just grain for bread. She had used Structural Analysis on everything in the pantry when she snuck out.

Mehren the 'carrot', Zelbe the 'turnip' and Vargel 'the asparagus' are harvested in spring. Other stuff in spring is Blenrus that makes sweet tea but tea leaves are exported from Haldenzel territory and Sugar from Lanzenave.

Fisha that's a green eggplant, Rezzuch that looks like a plum but not plum in taste and texture, Pome that looks like bell peppers but taste like tomatoes, Vel is a red lettuce and all three are harvested in summer. Other things in Spring is the Lage herb that tastes like basil.

Rigar is garlic-flavored radish, Laundeide that was the closest thing to an onion and Potatoffel...self-explanatory, all three are harvested in Autumn. Other stuff in Autumn is the Demple, Redrum, Smimosa and Giericht herbs used in cooking, Tanie 'chestnuts' and the Walnut, same as Earth's.

Her family decided 'fuck seasons, we need food year-round, OK?' due to how poor they are and they planted all their crops in such a way to ensure food is available to them year-round.

They also have chickens the size of the broiler kind but with larger wings and longer necks, bigger bulging eyes and larger legs. The cows have smaller heads and stockier bodies. Instead of four teats to an udder, it's six. The normal ones here are Donkeys, Pigs and Horses. There's also edible game her father, grandfather and uncles are fond of, two birds called Tschnitz and Farba.

As for condiments? Typical salt and vinegar...but there's Honeyed Mead she can use in place of Mirin. With milk, she can make cheese, butter, and types of creams. She can also make mayonnaise, Tartar Sauce, Ketchup, Peanut Butter, Jam, and Marmalade. Sadly, some things are beyond her reach BECAUSE being a Laynoble sucks. And does Soy Sauce even exist in this world?! No soybeans, no soy sauce, miso paste AND tofu!

The dishes she can realistically make here, are Suimono and soups that don't use soy sauce, Cream Stew, Croquette, Chicken Nanban, Pirozhki, Fried Food, Steak, Spaghetti Naporitan and Carbonara if her father would let her use a sack of Weizen flour, cutlets, Omurice without the rice which she can instead fill with ground meat and diced vegetables as substitute, Hamburger, filled breads, and other things that don't need soy sauce or miso.

The staple food is Black Bread made out of black grain. It's very healthy, high in iron, potassium, calcium, zinc and soluble fibre. But her mother would tell her Roggen Bread - the black grain is not popular due to how it looks and feels in the mouth with an earthy taste with a slight sourness, but they have no choice. Commoners and Laynobles can only afford to eat Roggen Bread so they plant it. They don't sell it, they eat it!

They sell Weizen Flour instead. A sack of Weizen Flour nets them three large silver and their Weizen Farms can produce enough to have an annual income of 10 large gold. Their annual income comes from selling the flour as they cannot afford to sell the vegetables and meat to feed everyone in the barony. To earn more, they must keep developing their land.

That 10 large gold is NOT enough. Judging by costs of goods needed by nobles, other expenses to keep the barony functioning and salaries of servants and families working in the barony, what's left to the ruling family ain't enough! To be considered well-off, a laynoble must at least, earn up to 30 large gold but even then that's still flat broke by noble standards because of said reasons. But at least, their barony's people are well-off then in regards to development and food supplies.

Mednobles earn around 50 large gold per annum up to 100, depending on how developed their territory is.

Archnobles earn hundreds of large gold, making them filthy rich. The richest being the Aub as everyone pays the ruling family taxes, thus the aub family of Ehrenfest earns by the thousands.

Her family cannot afford to hire skilled servants. Servants with skills, has the privilege of charging based on their skill in their jobs. But really, their chef should be FIRED...in regards to servants, they only have one gardener, three maids to clean the whole mansion, two maids who do the laundry, a kitchen team of five, one butler and one footman who serve the men of the family in various roles, and she and her mother share a handmaiden. All are commoners, DUH.

Her lessons were language: reading comprehension and writing, arithmetic but bare-bones basics only, basic etiquette such as greetings and farewells, about Laynobles - things were stacked against them so she had to be taught patience despite unfairness of it all, including euphemisms, and those she must watch out for! And the faction their family is under for their protection.

Then basic things such as Calendar, Time-Telling, about things in life a child must know and about their Wagner Territory. And lastly, music lessons. Failing in Harspiel, a rather...bulky guitar is a big flat NO. Because it's a critical skill that newly baptized children MUST perform well at their Winter Debut.

She can still access her mana and use magecraft. Well, as of now, only with her usual things which she had to get creative with. Being a noble, she uses up her mana to constantly Reinforce her beauty growing up, genre savvy about this trope...and reinforced her memory just to keep up with all the workload she has to know as a noble. So when she started at age three, she wound up a beauty her bloodline can afford her and very feminine in looks. She was said to 'look like a doll' that everyone doted on her.

But still, due to lessons that must be crammed in, she barely has time to get to know her father and brother. She was mostly with her mother.

'How come?' Lorelei asked her mother.

'In Ehrenfest, it is tradition for freshly baptised nobles to perform a song at their winter debut before all the gathered nobles of the duchy. For this they are expected to both play on the harspiel and sing the lyrics all on their own.' her new mother would say, 'The song must always be about the patron deity of the season you are born to. Failing to perform well is of heinous disrespect to one's patron deity and it will cause extreme negative impact on one's family.' she told her. 'We'll be persona non gratas!'

'That bad?!' Lorelei's eyes popped out.

'Yes dear. Your older brother has strict Harspiel Lessons since he was six years old because even if he's a spring baby under Flutrane, all children will perform in winter at the Archduke's Castle. You're a winter child, so you will sing about Geduldh and Ewigeliebe.' she said. 'He managed to perform well this year, it'll be your turn next year, so take this utmost seriously! This will even affect marriage prospects!' she fretted out with a shudder. 'Too too scary! It's why we will focus this year in Harspiel until our toughest hurdle is over!'

Lorelei sweatdropped. But its a very big deal.

And she has one year to come up with a song. She was taught basic theology about the seven primary gods. The Gods of Light and Darkness who are parents to the Four Seasons...and the annoying son-in-law who angered the family due to how he treats his wife despite loving her. What could have been good, became crazy because of the Goddess of Chaos. So in songs about them, it's preferable to hear about the nice parts than the...nasty bits.

So she studied the harspiel while coming up with a song. She had to look for suitable songs and coming up with good lyrics anyhow...

With a red face, she rehearsed before her parents, wanting their passing mark.

Just that...

'WHY ARE YOU CRYING?!' Lorelei freaked out. Why're her parents crying? At least Siegbert was amazed with her!

'It's innovative and something new but it's certainly touching!' her mother sniffled. 'That's too romantic!'

'It's a pass Lorrie, it's a pass! This oughta teach those men what romance is!' her father howled ala Soun Tendo.

'It's a great song sis!' Siegbert approves very much. 'But it's definitely going to raise the bar in the future! I've never heard a song like that in my baptism!'

'Ahahaha...a lot of younger kids are going to hate me for this...if you guys say I set the bar so high...' Lorelei sweatdropped, expression as deadpan as she sounded. But hey, its the first song she composed in her life, using Melodies of Life from that Final Fantasy game...it fits! Its the best she can make.

Mother had her dress made.

Baptismal Outfits are traditionally made by hand by mothers for their children, so skill with the needle is par for the course, from commoner to noble to royalty.

'Mothers make their kids their baptismal wear?' Lorelei asked, seeing that her mother began sewing her outfit, after taking her size when she turned six. It's a gown fit for winter.

'Yes. It's tradition dear. Women who can make good clothes are sewing beauties men would want to marry.' said her mother. 'Because it's a mother's job to sew baptismal outfits and as a wife, her duty to make her husband's clothes. Though a noblewoman's dresses had to be made-to-order at a tailor's shop though.' Lorelei sweatdropped. 'A woman's love for her man is reflected by the quality of the clothes he wears...but alas, we also have to be mindful of our status too...careful not to outdo in fashion med and archnobles...that usually gets you killed, by the way.' her mother griped.

'But I can skirt around that by making your father wear the best I can give him at home, while having to wear dull, boring things at social gatherings. Your father understands because we like living more.' she said dryly. 'You'll have to deal with such a pain in the arse when you marry someday into a mednoble household.'

'Ahhh...'

'Now keep improving your harspiel until baptism is over so we can truly relax and move on, so your song is perfect on your big day. Siegbert is still in lessons as future Baron Wagner, so he has less free time than you right now.'

'Yes mother.' and Lorelei ran off.

Her first destination, the kitchen. To Baker Greta. She makes the bread in the household.

'Oh! What can I do for you little lady?' she asked kindly.

'I want to see the bread recipe...is it always like that?'

'I'm afraid so...the recipe is passed down since bread was discovered. I learned from my predecessor too before she retired ten years ago.' said Greta. 'Is there anything wrong?'

'I want to try something out...it's so hard, dry and crumbly...let's find a way to make it easier to eat.' said Lorelei. 'Besides, I'm going to be a wife someday anyway so I have to try cooking. I think my husband will like me more if I'm a good cook.' her greatest excuse to improve her gourmet life, thank you!

'While that's true, let's start with baking.' Baker Greta sweatdropped. 'Little lady is too young to hold a knife and use the stove! So what do you want bread to be?'

'Chewy and soft...I was thinking we should add more milk...' and Lorelei threw her weight around in 'various experiments until perfect standards is acquired'.

'Ooh! This one's the best by far little miss!'

'I agree! Teach all the girls in this household so on the day offs of the maids, they can spread the word in our village to improve the Bread Life of the Barony!' Lorelei cheerfully ordered. 'No more hard and crumbly-dry bread!'

And so, by lunch time...

The bread came out as a usual bread roll the size of a miso soup bowl.

But her family was shocked that their bread this time, is soft and chewy, while dense for satiety.

'Ohh, the bread is so soft!' Siegbert gasped out. Siegbert took his bread first and did his usual habit of tearing it bite-sized, but it came off easy!

'It's a lot better now!' said the footman as he went back and forth to put all courses on the table, starting with bread. 'Little lady was at the kitchens this morning and experimented with Aunt Greta. This better roggen bread is the result!' the family exchanged looks.

'You did?' father asked his daughter.

'I did father. It's too hard my teeth hurt...I thought if we could eat soft bread, things will be easier on us.' said Lorelei.

This shook the family of three. Soft bread!

They quicky took a bite and did a double-take.

'This IS better!'

'It's so soft and chewy!' mother squealed at the new experience.

'I can taste more flavors...and it's sweeter!' father burst out. 'This is infinitely better!' the family was overjoyed.

Lorelei considered this a victory.

After her baptism, she'll improve their food next. If she improves now, her dress will never fit! The vegetables here are very nutritious. Enough to fill ALL RDIs somehow. Yet when she was told how soups are made? She was appalled.

They're throwing umami and nutrition down the drain because of the scum!