She and Her Older Brother 1
I splendidly cleared the escape mission, but what happened later was far from fine.
After coming home safely, I went to see Mother. It was also to greet her as I returned home, but mostly because I thought I made her worry. I don’t particularly care about Father, but I didn’t mean to make Mother worry.
At any rate, she probably knows the situation to a certain degree, but it’d still give me a peace of mind to explain it.
Thinking so, I arrived in front of Mother, but contrary to my expectations Mother made a troubled face and said such.
“It is unthinkable, but you did not return without permission, did you?”
Hearing those words, I stiffened. Crap. Certainly, I didn’t leave behind even a letter.
Seeing my gaze wander about, Mother guessed the situation. She breathed a sigh, and with a cough began her sermon.
Eh, why did it turn out like this?
I couldn’t keep up with this unexpected development.
This is the first time Mother got genuinely angry at me.
Honestly, I’d thought that she’s a quiet and docile person, so I was surprised by her unknown side.
I was so surprised that half of what she said went over my head.
Mother’s sermon continues. I took the victorious attitude of earnestly repeating ‘Yes’ and ‘Sorry’.
Thanks to Father, I understand.
At such times, I can’t unskillfully talk back.
It provokes more anger, and only prolongs the scolding.
Because I’d received sermons from Father for every little thing every few days, I learned of the method to make them end as quickly as possible.
But to sermonize me like harshly scolding a small child, I became depressed.
Or rather, I wonder why Mother weaves in words like ‘tomboy’ or ‘careless’ here and there. It cannot be, besides Father, did myself feigning innocence get exposed even to Mother…?
Even when Father scolded me the other day Mother was on his side, so perhaps it’s the case.
“… That should be enough, so go to your room. But, do not do something like that again, okay?”
With this these words, Mother’s scolding that eroded my mental strength finally ended.
Already dizzy, I could do nothing but obediently nod to Mother’s words.
I was allowed to return to my room, and as I ascended the large staircase in the spacious lobby, I thought.
… I understand well. I’ll be extra careful from now on. Mother is somebody who mustn’t be angered.
I returned to my room and sat on the sofa. Drinking tea brought by a maid, I could finally take a breather.
“… I’m tired.”
I flopped on the sofa. It’s okay since nobody’s watching.
Drinking my favorite blend of black tea, I finally felt I came home. Mother might have gotten mad that I returned home without permission, but I’m glad to be back.
Because, in that situation, even if I honestly said I want to go home, I don’t think he’d let me.
I’m not being conceited. I clearly felt such strong intent from Freed.
I wonder what Mother would think about that.
In the first place, if I’d stayed in that constrained place obediently, without any of my things, how in the world would I spend my time?
Even if I were told to just roll around and wait for Freed, I absolutely couldn’t agree.
… But, this is a serious problem.
I raised my body and again started thinking.
It’s a fact that it’s been decided I’ll marry him in half a year.
That much is fine. I’ve already agreed, and the engagement ceremony was grandly held.
Fast horses must have been immediately sent out to foreign countries, after all, the Crown Prince of a major country got engaged.
Unmistakably, it’s spread all around the world.
But, I need to take some measures before the wedding.
To marry there means having to endure spending free time there.
I absolutely don’t feel like being locked up even when I finish my work as the Crown Princess.
Bringing something to kill time is essential.
What’s more, I need minimum freedom. I think I’ll have to implore Freed for that.
If it’s impossible… Yup, I’ll use force.
What’s left is what to do about what happened this time.
Mother also said it earlier. Think a little more about your behavior.
That’s to say, I have to manage more skillfully next time, it’s something like that.
Of course, as my Mother ordered, I have no objection to apologizing to those I caused trouble for, starting from Clara.
It’s the truth I really didn’t say anything, causing trouble for all sorts of people.
Let’s lower my head any number of times necessary.
But, I’m also growing. If there’s a next time, that time I for sure won’t blunder.
Let me show that if it’s something like a letter, even I can write it.
As expected, there’s no way I can honestly write ‘I’m bored so I went home’. Putting knowledge I was taught as a duke’s daughter to use, I’ll compose an exemplar letter paying attention to phrasing and decorating it with beautiful words.
I’m a child who can do it if she tries.
But, suddenly I noticed a certain fact.
If I overdo it, wouldn’t it become ‘hypocritical courtesy’.
That’s that. If I’m too polite, instead it’ll turn impolite.
“Hmm. Achieving balance is surprisingly difficult…”
At what degree should I stop? I thought I could use flowery words freely, but it seems better to stop.
I drank the tea once again.
… Alright, let’s rethink this from the beginning.
Having a little fun thinking about the next time I escape, I started getting engrossed into the topic of what kind of letter should I leave behind to be successful.
“Or, what if I use ‘invisible ink’…?”
They’ll surely be surprised. But, if they fail to notice there’s a chance I’ll be scolded like this time.
That’s no good. I’ve had enough of it with this time. I detest being scolded.
Without noticing the direction of my thoughts went awry, I groaned unable to reach a conclusion, when I heard loud noises downstairs.
I came to my senses hearing that.
It seems maids are making a commotion.
Concerned about the sound, I stood up, looked at the antique wooden clock hanging on the wall.
The time is early afternoon. It’s still too early for Father to come home, so perhaps a guest came.
Concluding that at any rate it doesn’t have anything to do with me, I once again immersed myself in thought.
“Lidi!! Did you come home?!”
Before even thinking about who the person raising the voice is, I frowned.
The owner of the voice seems to be going up the stairs. I can hear such sounds. I clicked my tongue as it looked quite clear he’s heading for this room.
Why did he return to this mansion?
He should have returned to the mansion in our territory to train as the successor a year ago. I haven’t heard he’d be returning to the Royal Capital.
The door opened with a bang.
I glared at the man who intruded without permission.
The man who entered without any reservations is my older brother. Of course, he’s my real older brother.
Brother, who looks just like Father, is wearing an extremely flashy red justaucorps. It’s decorated with aiguillette made of gold and silver threads. You can tell at a glance it’s an appearance a noble who went to the castle. Regardless, I unintentionally knit my brows. Truly unacceptable. Looking at the base of Brother’s neck, I breathed out a sigh.
The cravat, that should’ve been beautifully tied, was atrociously disheveled.
Conversely, it may suit him, but as expected, I don’t think so.
A maid I haven’t seen before who followed him looked at Brother who entered and the stock-still me with an apologetic face. But, there’s nothing to worry about. She must be unaware, but this is the default for this man.
Being told she can withdraw, the maid bowed and went back.
When just us two were left in the room, I courteously bowed to him.
“It has been a long time, Elder Brother. You have visited me in an awful hurry, do you have some business with me?”
As a small revenge for invading my room as he pleased, I gave him an overly polite greeting, but Brother didn’t seem to like it.
He brushed up his hair like silver threads and looked here.
“What’s that? Are you harassing me?”
“I do not understand the meaning of what you have said. In the first place, is it not Elder Brother’s attitude that is usually fraudulent?”
Brother mastered feigning innocence.
I’ve seen it happen at evening parties several times, but despite his vulgar words and behavior, Brother can thoroughly conduct himself elegantly if only he feels like it.
I don’t know how many times I’ve thought Don’t be deceived by that sham when seeing young ladies spellbound by Brother’s gentle smile.
Brother who inherited Father’s good parts has wastefully high specs.
His aristocratic behavior driven into him from a young age is flawless in public, without any gaps to take advantage of. I could only be amazed when I’d heard about his popularity among young ladies from a friend.
Let me emphasize, I’m not aware of what’s there to be fascinated by.
That’s how the usual Brother is.
Seeing Brother appear irritated, feeling relieved, I decided to suspend the harassment for the time being.
He specially came from the territory. He must have some business here.
There’s no reason to waste time.
Thinking so, I took a breath, and looked in Brother’s direction.
“So, why are you here, stupid brother?”
“Oi, you’re calling the future Prime Minister stupid.”
He returned in an annoyed tone. I responded curtly to Brother who flared up.
“Idiot is adequate for a man who enters lady’s room without knocking. Could you stop that already?”
“There’s nothing to be worried about. Or what? Will you have sex in this room? Then, as expected I’ll consider it?”
“Ha? What are you saying, there’s no way I would do that.”
I looked at my grinning Brother with frigid eyes.
He’s been like this since the old days. It’s too stupid to treat him with courtesy.
“No way you’ll do that? Won’t you do it with your fiancé?”
Instantly realizing who he meant, I became lost for words.
“Ain’t you embarrassed? I understand. These hickeys. You sure are lucky? They’re Freed’s, right?”
In panic I ran towards the full length mirror to check out my neck.
A groan leaked out when I saw many red marks of ownership.
I hadn’t noticed at all!!
As I recalled Will saying it’d be better had I stayed in the room, I wanted to bury myself from shame.
So that’s what he meant…!
The red marks that flaunted the fact of our love affair became unbearable.
While looking at me cower while covering my neck, Brother said in admiration.
“That’s amazing. I’ve never been like this. That Freed seriously fell in love with you, but you’re still feigning innocence?”
What an amazing innocence, when Brother laughed from the bottom of his heart, I once again scowled at him.
“I’m not feigning anything. Older Brother, you also know that, right? I have no reason to feign innocence after having an encounter at such a place.”
It’s Brother who was asked to investigate by Father. There’s no way he doesn’t know.
“I guess. Still, that guy fell in love with the true you. In a sense, he’s a strong person.”
“Annoying. Idiot brother.”
“So bashful. Nobody will say anything since it’s an officially recognized relationship. The Crown Princess is greatly favored by His Highness, that is spreading around the castle.”
“Give me a break!!”
Don’t look at me with such a lukewarm gaze.
Or rather, even though the opportunities to visit the castle will increase from now on, being looked at with such eyes is too harsh.
Seeing me sit down and hold my head, Brother grinned.
“What are you saying. You’re already a celebrity, y’know? The castle has been in an uproar since yesterday as His Highness brought a woman to his room.”
“? What’s unusual about it? Hadn’t Freed brought in as many women as he’d wanted until now?”
I’ve heard from my friend Marianne that he’s a famous playboy.
That’s why I thought it’s natural he’d bring women into his room.
When I said that, Brother made a difficult expression and scratched his check.
“Ah, you seem to be misunderstanding, but you are the first woman he brought to his room, okay?”
“… Really? I’ve heard he’s a playboy though.”
“I ain’t doing it for him, but I’ll correct what’s different from the reality. It’s only been half a year since he started sleeping with women at masquerade balls. He hasn’t brought even one to the castle, in fact before that he hadn’t messed around.”
“… So that’s how it is.”
Certainly when Marianne talked about Freed she used the expression ‘recently appeared’.
Come to think of it, Father also said Freed has his circumstances.
“I don’t really care.”
That’s what I really think. It’d be different if he made an illegitimate child, but I have no reason to learn about the details of Freed’s past relations with women.
“It’s about your fiancé. Ain’t you curious?”
“I have a rule of not caring about the past.”
When I stood up and put it bluntly, Brother’s eyes widened.
“… It’s your usual masculine remark. I don’t think there are many women who can honestly say that.”
“Really? I don’t want infidelity or adultery, but even if I’m told about what happened before we met, I can’t do anything about it, can I?”
“You’re right. But well, as that Freed said he’d tell you his circumstances, listen if you have a chance”
“The reason he went to masquerade balls for half a year.”
It’s the root cause of how I ended up caught by Freed.
It doesn’t really matter as it’s already over, but for now I nodded.
Seeing me agree, Brother said Alright, and fixed his gaze on me.
I felt an aura of scolding rise up.
“Then, returning to the story, why did you go to the masquerade ball?”
TL: jingle, Editor: Valeria
This is more or less an edited machine translation. If you notice any, even slight, mistakes, want to help or have any suggestions, by all means please let me know, either through comments, the contact page, or on my discord server.