Older Brother’s Suspicion 2
“Woah, what a fighting scene…”
Freed got over there before I noticed and easily stopped the hand trying to catch my little sister.
His eyes are glaring at Crown Prince Maximilian.
The way he put my little sister behind him is certainly correct as her fiancé.
My little sister also looked relieved and obediently hid behind Freed’s back.
But, with the explosive air around those two, the commotion also arose among the surroundings.
The other Crown Prince was thoroughly incited. No matter what happens, it’s bad.
With such a feeling I thought I had to go, but the other Crown Prince moved first.
He put his arm down and appealed that he had had no ill will.
Seeing this Freed also released his arm and extinguished the threatening aura.
After a calm exchange of words, Crown Prince Maximilian turned his back to Freed.
Then together with Duke Pellegrini who’s taking care of him, he left the venue.
But just as he was leaving, he turned his eyes towards my little sister only for a moment.
“… Oi oi oi oi… Ain’t it bad…?”
The look directed at my little sister.
It’s completely different from the playful ones before, it’s serious… and extremely dangerous.
I understand because we’re fellow men.
Those are… the eyes of a man who found a prey.
“Say what you want, she caught his eye…”
Hit by that gaze, my little sister clung to her fiancé in fright.
I don’t feel like she reaps what she sowed, but it can’t be left it as is.
When Crown Prince Maximilian approaches seriously, there absolutely will be a stir.
Freed calmed my frightened little sister.
Why can I only see it as flirting, even as her older brother.
Freed said something, and hearing this my little sister shook her head in a tiny acknowledgement.
Together they went to say farewell to the King and withdrew to the royalty quarter.
Having confirmed that, I muttered alone.
“… Ah I see, after all he doesn’t feel like sending her home”
I had prepared a carriage just in case my little sister brought up coming home, but Freed took her with no objections. Likely they’ve arranged it in advance.
I predicted this development, rather it’s too expected.
As all three who caused it left, the dangerous mood wafting in the banquet hall quieted down, moreover the brilliant atmosphere unique to evening parties returned.
“… Oi, is it alright?”
With culprits gone, while I was relieved Will called out to me.
Dressed in the evening party clothes, he didn’t look like this country’s Magician Division Commander.
As Will called out to me in a worried voice, he pressed a wine glass in his hand onto me.
“… Drink. You look awful”
“… Ah, I’m saved”
I downed it in one gulp and took a breath.
Strong alcohol feels good. Finally I could catch my breath.
Then I noticed his younger brother who should be with him is nowhere to be seen.
“… What happened to Glenn?”
“He’s in charge of the security today. There’s no problem as from the ducal house me and Father are participating”
“Ah, come to think there was that”
When it comes to important evening parties, like those where a foreign Crown Prince attends, the Royal Guard Commander himself is responsible for the security. If Glenn were the oldest son it’d be different, but he is the second son.
He can prioritize his duty as a chivalric order commander.
As I became convinced, Will bitterly smile and spoke.
“I was watching but… How should I say it, it was terrible”
It must be about the exchange of two Crown Princes just now.
With a weak nod Will invited me to move to the corner of the venue.
A place with few people is better for speaking.
“Terrible, or rather, Crown Prince Maximilian picked a fight with Freed”
“What do you mean?”
“That Crown Prince apparently took liking to Lidi. It seems he was making advances during the dance, Freed got enraged”
I waved my hand to calm Will who knit his eyebrows.
Spare me from getting tired many times in a day.
“It’s okay. Freed wouldn’t let that guy. He came out at perfect timing… that’s what the uproar just now was about”
“As for Crown Prince Maximilian, at first he only looked like he was teasing but… thing don’t look good”
Will opened his eyes wide hearing my words.
“… No way, did he suggest an affair”
“Affair… That wasn’t a lovesick face. It was a face like he found a useful tool for himself? Lidi seemed to hate it, as long as there’s Freed, I think she won’t do anything reckless”
“Of course she won’t…. Good job ending it safely”
“It seem Crown Prince Maximilian laid down his arms first. As expected, those two wouldn’t cause trouble in such a place. I was saved”
With these words anxiety swept over me.
That expression Crown Prince Maximilian showed at the end.
It’s a face saying he always obtains the prey he chose.
It’s impossible he’ll stay quiet.
Thinking that at worst a war may occur once again before long, I could only feel depressed.
“That Lidi… What should I say, she caught the eye of a troublesome guy”
“As long as His Highness is there it’ll be fine… Then there’s me. If there’s anything I can do, tell me. If it’s for her I will spare no efforts in cooperating”
As Will strongly insisted, thinking he’s the same as ever, unconsciously I spilled words.
“You should’ve said that line of yours to Lidi even once”
Had he done that, even that extremely dull little sister would have noticed the innocent love of the man in front of me.
I thought so, but in return Will cast down his eyes sadly.
“… I’ve said similar words over and over. But, it seems Lidi didn’t get it”
I’m speechless. To not notice when you’ve been told this much, little sister!!
If it’s like this, this man is truly pitiful.
“… What can I say, sorry”
Feeling beyond apologetic, I apologized as her older brother.
I felt like running away since it seemed like I gouged Will’s wounds.
My gaze wandered about wanting to do something about this complicated air, when in the middle of the banquet hall I saw an unfamiliar young man being brought by Marquis Muller.
“… Hey, oi. Isn’t that the rumored singer”
When I brought up the topic that seemed just right, Will raised his face.
“… Ah, I’ve heard about it from my subordinates. He seems to sing unusual songs”
“So It seems. Guess he isn’t just a lady-killer”
Noticing him, all the woman in the hall became noisy.
The youth brought along by Marquis Muller, who’s the same age as my old man, is a good-looking man with pitch-black hair in his mid-twenties. The pleasant lack of wastefulness in his conduct coupled with refined looks makes him look like a noble.
He’s wearing black-rimmed glasses that give him somewhat high-strung look and pitch black unconventional clothes.
Is this a foreign country’s formal wear.
His black single-breasted blazer with buttons on his waist shares the same black color as his necktie, his trousers have straight shape. It’s a simple neat attire, still I thought it looked like mourning clothes.
Having secured the King’s permission, Marquis Muller began that man’s introduction.
He came from a faraway country. While praising the music of his hometown, Marquis eloquently told the tale of his travels.
“His name is Sion. Sion Seth Éventail.”
I tilted my head at the name that resounded.
Éventail. A name used in northern Tarim.
Thinking he’s from Tarim, I observed him once again.
But, nowhere on his face is the forehead scar characteristic to the people of Tarim.
The wound given at the time of birth to men that people of Tarim should boast.
That it’s not there is an undisputed evidence he’s not from there.
Come to think of it, he’s tall. He seems quite unlike most people of Tarim who are short and stout.
As I thought what does it mean, with the King’s permission he began calmly singing.
My body stiffened at that song.
My heart pounded loudly.
I was too surprised to make a sound.
But, I could only stare at the person singing.
Will next to me muttered with admiration.
“Certainly, it’s a song I’ve never head before. It’s unusual. Do you know where it is from?”
With a hoarse voice I answered to the best of my ability.
I can’t say anything.
Because, I know. I know it.
This song certainly doesn’t exist in this country.
It’s natural everybody is curious.
If so, why do I know it.
That’s because, I’ve heard it sung, that’s all.
That’s right. My little sister sang it just once in the past.
Alone under a cherry tree in the mansion, while looking up at the blossoms in full bloom with an indescribably heartrending face, she slowly sang it to herself.
Worried about my always overly lively little sister making a sorrowful face, I asked her what song it is and what meaning does it have.
But, no matter how much I asked, my little sister didn’t reply.
She only shook her head with an unbecoming fleeting smile.
The appearance of my little sister like that was so memorable I remembered the song I’ve heard only once.
That’s why, I know.
What the man in front of me is singing is the same as my little sister at that time.
Next to me Will had a puzzled face, but I couldn’t reply.
There’s no way I could.
I want to question him immediately.
Even so, I understand there’s no point in questioning him.
No matter how I look at it, the man in front of me and my little sister are complete strangers, they shouldn’t be acquainted.
I understood from the beginning I wouldn’t get the answer I wanted.
Even so, suspicions overflowed one after another.
Why do you know this song?
Why did you sing this song.
Why… are you singing it with the same face as my little sister.
And to sing the same song as my little sister – who are you.
He doesn’t look like a mere commoner.
Profound intelligence dwells in those black eyes, he knows how to sing to bewitch the public.
I felt my body shake at his voice filled with heartrending emotions.
Time passed by in the twinkling of an eye, before I noticed that song ended and the applause from the whole audience resounded.
He gracefully bowed. And calmly exited as if nothing happened.
I couldn’t call out to him.
I had no idea what to say.
In the end, I didn’t call out to him – to the young man called Sion, I could only see him off.