I’ve Been Stupid Since I Was Born
I was only supposed to treat Kaname like a dog when we were alone. It was just supposed to look like we were playing house…!
With this, the relationship had started to deviate from the original beginning!
“…As you can see, our Ayaka likes imitating dogs like this, even though she’s already ten years old.”
My father, with a sigh, made me get up from my hands and knees to my feet.
“Yesterday, she told a servant, ‘I’ll be getting my own dog soon! When that happens, I’ll no longer need you… Oh, but while I don’t need you as a dog, I need you as a maid! I don’t want you to leave.’ and I was deeply troubled by her outburst…”
Hahahaha, father, what are you talking about? Until yesterday, I was Empress-sama, not a reincarnate, so there’s no way I would have said something so childish… I mean, I didn’t have my previous life’s memories then.
Well, when I think back on it, without my memories, I’m just a child in this lifetime. Somehow though, I had been convinced that I would have a dog named Kaname someday. Oh wow, that made me sound less like a wise child and more like an idiot, didn’t it?
…What the hell! An emergency has occurred! An emergency has occurred! The reincarnation and my previous life’s memories were pushing the otome game’s plot off the rails.
“…No, not at all. She’s a childish, but adorable young lady. She’s very different from our Kaname, who doesn’t even smile at home.”
“No, no, I’ve heard rumors about how smart and excellent he is.” With that, father bowed his head. Hey, father! You’re the head of the Hououin family! You can’t just bow your head like that! Shouldn’t this be a scene where you look down on people, like we’re from the heavens, and give them orders? The words that came out of his mouth sounded ridiculous, but for some reason, only to me.
“Please leave your excellent son in charge of training my stupid daughter! She’s too foolish to take over our house! She can’t do it! If she doesn’t do as you say, even a little violence is okay!”
What the hell is this?!
“…I don’t understand… I don’t get it… How did this happen?”
“Hey, stupid. Don’t look so down, let’s move on to our next task…”
“Don’t call me stupid!” I glared at Kaname, who had spoken with no expression, and called me ‘stupid’ like it was natural. “I have a name, and it’s Hououin Ayaka! You should mind your manners as the son of a subordinate family! I’m the only daughter of the Hououin family, you know?!”
“…I have been entrusted with your education by the head of the Hououin family. I even have permission to raise my hand a little.”
The one speaking, while smacking the table, is a little boy. I had no choice but to be shocked.
…I’m a former adult, right?
As someone who played the game, I know that I wasn’t like the Empress-sama at all.
Even as a ten-year-old kid, I know that my power comes not from me but from my parents. Unlike the Empress-sama in the game, I don’t have any authority from being gorgeous and clever. I can’t stand alone without my family’s backing.
“At least call me ‘Ayaka’ properly.”
I can’t let it pass that my name has become ‘stupid.’ Even though I know it’s not particularly ill-intentioned, the name still stings.
For some reason, he frowned at my words. “…Does it really matter what I call you?”
“Of course! It would be nice if the Empress were spoken about in awe, but in place of that, at least don’t call me ‘stupid’. I have my pride, you know?”
“Is that so? …I don’t really care what I’m called, though.”
“…That’s because no one uses an insulting nickname for you…”
“No, at home, they call me the ‘illegitimate one’ all the time, but I don’t particularly care.”
I was so shocked by Kaname’s words that I couldn’t even reply.
…That’s right. In the game, the topic is only touched upon in a confrontation with Empress-sama, but it’s mentioned that Kaname is treated coldly at home because he’s the son of a mistress. Further, his brilliance incites his father’s official wife’s anger because he could threaten her own son’s success. That’s why he’s made into Empress-sama’s dog and sold off.
…What the hell.
Now I just feel guilty about trying to make Kaname act like a dog. Only a demon would train a poor boy, unloved by his family, to act like a dog. Though I look like a child, I had the brain of an adult. I’m not the devil.
…Oh, what an awful thing I was trying to do…
“Well, your stupid brain can probably only think of primitive ideas like that. It’s different from my superior brain structure.”
—I totally take it back. This stupid brat! I’ll definitely train you to be my dog!
“…Then, let’s do this.” I point at him with the dignity of an Empress.
“No matter what you call me, I will continue to call you Kaname! As you get used to being called that, you’ll eventually become happy that someone uses your name properly. Then, you’ll start calling me ‘Ayaka’ when you realize the value of a name.”
It’s important to recognize your name when you’re a dog. It’s the first step! Though helping someone recognize the importance of their name is a parent’s job, I’ll take responsibility and teach him myself because they won’t do it.
That’s the first step to living like the original Empress-sama!
“…Is that so. I don’t care what you call me.”
“If you don’t care, then stop calling me ‘stupid!’ Now, let’s make a promise!” I forcibly take his hand and entwine my pinky with his. In short, it’s a pinky promise.
“…What are you trying to do?”
“Don’t you know what pinky promises are?”
Do children nowadays not use pinky promises? Am I too old fashioned? That’s really a shame. I feel more like an aunt than an older sister right now.
“When you make a promise, entwine your fingers like this and sing.”
“…I won’t swallow something like that.” 
“Then don’t break your promise. There, the promise has been made, and you can’t back out anymore!”
I stick out my tongue before laughing invincibly, like an Empress.
“Be prepared to be called by your name, Kaname. Be prepared to be happy!”
It’s dog training, after all.
“…I don’t really care but, you’ve managed to hook the hem of your skirt onto the desk.”
“Ah! What a blunder as a lady… Tell me something like that sooner!”
 He’s referring to the thousand needles that you’ll swallow if you break the promise.