When Charlotte was five, she was brought into the Martino Family. At that time, Claire was six years old.
Charlotte was the lovechild between Benjamin and his mistress, who lived modestly with her mother in a village far from the royal capital. After Charlotte’s mother died of illness, she was taken in by the Martino family as the second daughter.
It wasn’t a rare occurrence amongst the aristocratic class, but rumor seemed to have spread in the social circle considering the fact that Charlotte was only a year younger than Claire—the daughter of the Duke Martino’s real wife.
Claire’s mother had died in an unforeseen accident the previous year, as such, there was no welcoming atmosphere for Charlotte—be it at home or in the social circle … despite so,
Gradually, everyone in the family was taken by Charlotte’s charming, smart, and cute personality. The mansion became lively again.
Charlotte’s maternal blood seemed to be more dominant as she possessed fluffy blond hair different from that of Claire’s brothers. She was also delicate, and her eyes were big and round—truly the epitome of a lovely maiden.
“So, Elder sister Claire is going to marry Prince Asbert!? You’ll become this kingdom’s princess, then~! What a dream come true~!”
Charlotte said to Claire in a high-pitched, silvery voice that sounded like the chime of a bell. It was kind of uplifting how Charlotte always spoke out her thoughts.
Charlotte was undeniably a precious little sister for Claire.
However, since Charlotte’s mother was a commoner, other noble ladies weren’t too fond of her. It was precisely because some of her manners were still considered unladylike.
At the tea parties where all the noble ladies gathered, Charlotte often started crying when her mistakes were pointed out. Every time, Claire would stand up to protect Charlotte.
By the time Charlotte turned 15, no one regarded her presence as a scandal anymore.
What a relief… let’s live my life like the usual while protecting my adorable little sister for the rest of my life…
…but she wasn’t granted even that.
The change in Claire’s relationship with her little sister happened at Charlotte’s baptism two months ago.
Even though two months had passed, Claire could still vividly recall that day.
The christening that was held at the Fountain of Baptism in the church of Charotte’s mother’s birthplace.
Charlotte’s mother was born in the neighboring Kingdom of Paft, as such, her baptism was held in the church of Paft.
As soon as Charlotte stepped into the fountain, the entire vicinity was dyed white. One side of the fountain shone white—it glittered baptism to the point that Claire couldn’t open her eyes. At the same time, there were cheers from the aristocrats.
“…It’s white! Well done, Charlotte!”
Her father, Benjamin, ran towards Charlotte and embraced her.
Charlotte’s magical color was the color that should only be possessed by the eldest daughter of the Martino family. …it was white, which proved her amazing pedigree.
Among the royalty and aristocrats who ran towards Charlotte, Claire caught a glimpse of the first prince, Asbert, who accompanied her as a witness.
Claire could only stare at Charlotte, who smiled happily amidst the crowd—such a scene didn’t happen to her a year ago.
“It seems that Prince Asbert will annul his engagement with Lady Claire in favor of Lady Charlotte—don’t be too loud about it, though. I heard that the first prince is getting intimate with Lady Charlotte.”
“It’s no secret that Prince Asbert is infatuated with Lady Charlotte. That’s why he purposely attended the baptism of Lady Charlotte. In his defense, he probably came along to accompany his fiancé.”
The people whom had long lost sight of Claire’s existence spoke such heartless words.
After Charlotte’s baptism, the number of homecomings from school, which was once a month, increased to once a week. Her father and brothers would introduce Charlotte to their superiors and aristocrats. Every week, evening and tea parties were held.
Claire was ordered to accompany her every time.
Everyone her father introduced to Charlotte was originally an acquaintance of Claire’s—a lady considered the fiancée of the First Prince.
However, now was different.
Whenever Claire accompanied Charlotte to an evening party, Charlotte would receive the envious gazes of everyone, while Claire, their pity.
Not long after that, Benjamin began suggesting that he wanted to put Charlotte—not Claire—beside the first prince Asbert. The talk had already surfaced at Charlotte’s baptism.
Asbert wasn’t against the idea, either. He admitted that he had always thought of Charlotte as his dear little sister.
“He said that, even though he is Elder sister’s fiancé… why, why would he? That’s cruel of him.”
Charlotte seemed uncomfortable at first, but, after two months, she and Asbert were like pair of shoes.
Claire was now a wall flower—despite so, she kept smiling like always.
…Someone, someone please liberate me…
She sincerely wished that day would come.
Claire killed time at the academy so when she returned, she wouldn’t happen to pass by Asbert’s entourage and Charlotte. By that time, the sky was already pitch-black.
She picked the clothes that were easy to move in from the closet and arranged them on the bed. She purposely avoided dresses and chose functional outfits.
There was a guest.
“Yes, who is it?”
If possible, she didn’t want to see anyone at the moment. While masking her true emotions, she approached the door and gave a cheerful greeting.
“Elder sister, it’s me, Charlotte. There’s something I would like to talk about, …um, may I enter?”
The visitor turned out to be her half-sister, Charlotte.
***T/N: Yeah, choke on that family and prince who would readily cast aside one of their own just cause of pedigree, Charthot! Godspeed!