5. I’ll Have my Cute Little Brother Travel
—65 days remaining.
“Hey, isn’t that Lady Lelouche?”
“She looks as filthy as always… our future princess is so unsightly…”
“…No wonder her fiancé abandoned her.”
“I’ve heard that she often tries to bully his new partner.”
—Kusu kusu kusu…
I could hear their giggles.
Whenever I walked around school, there wasn’t a single day I wasn’t exposed to those unpleasant stares and gossip.
Well, that couldn’t be helped either.
Due to my daily swordsmanship training, my skin was being burned. My hands were enveloped in callouses. I didn’t have time to tie my black hair, so I had left it hanging in a low braid from the morning. I didn’t wear any make up because my sweat would only ruin it.
From the beginning, I must had been an eyesore to them.
As a duke family, the Elcage Family was one with a long history. We also had exuberant wealth. After father got married, he wanted to create an impression of wealth and authority to keep my mother, a ‘foreign beauty’, from feeling miserable.
My black hair, which I inherited from my mother, was considered rare in that kingdom. As such, it became a target of jealousy. Moreover, to maintain good relations with the foreign kingdom, I, her daughter, was made into the future queen. Thus, some people might find the idea distasteful.
As for followers?
I had decided to never trust people who sold admiration, so I refused them from the beginning.
Just because I had been forsaken by my fiancé, they called out to me… what a bunch of weirdos.
“Lelouche, if you have any problems, I’ll hear you out.”
Did he wait for me to come to school?
As soon as I hurried across the school gate, the dazzling blond prince—Sazanjill, called out to me. I didn’t see Lumiere anywhere.
“Where’s Ms. Lumiere?”
“She’s absent today. She seems to have developed a fever.”
“Oh, then I shall deliver her assignments after school.”
Lumiere did her best. She got a perfect score on the last quiz. Whenever we studied together, her head was always buried in books. The number of mistakes she made were decreasing considerably. She still cried every day, so she had double-eyelids… However, after some time, they’d soon return to their old, adorable, form.
Even if she had a fever of wisdom, she still had to study. Of course, I’d give her a book with an easier topic that time around—
—Whoops, I completely forgot what I was talking about.
“Which do you think is better? An‘Encyclopedia of Famous Paintings From Each Country’, or the ‘Dictionary to Help with Foreign Monologues’? As for me, I think that the former is best for deepening the knowledge about the customs of each country, while the latter will encourage conversations with foreigners in the future.”
“…No, sorry. I’m the one who told her to take a rest. I really thought I had to talk with you. Can we meet after school?”
I see, so Ms. Lumiere is fine?
In that case, I’d have to arrange for both books to arrive by noon. Surely, she’d be able to finish about 500 pages in a day.
Even so, even if it was—
—it was difficult to turn down the request of His Highness.
Although it was presented as an offer, I definitely had to adhere.
“I’m sorry, I have plans for after school today.”
“I, is it more important than me?”
“Yes, it’s a matter of life and death.”
Towards that, His Highness was taken aback.
I seriously had no time for him.
The core problem hadn’t yet been solved—it hadn’t even been tackled, let alone that.
Under the pressure of my gaze, His Highness gulped.
“T, then, I’ll invite you another time.”
“No, let me be the one who invites you next time.”
…And the next time, will also be the last.
But I promised—I’d definitely talk to him.
When that happened, I hoped we could talk with each other with smiles.
The education for my successor was progressing well. I had also trained her for emergencies.
It was time to prepare for the next step.
The fact that Lumiere was taking the day off made it easier. In order to make effective use of that free time, I returned home as soon as classes were over.
“Rufus, are you there?”
I knocked on the door of my younger brother’s room. There was no reply—even though there should be one.
My younger brother, Rufus Elcage, who was supposed to be the successor of my family, had secluded himself.
He was pretending to not hear me. Then, I had the right to get angry, right?
The axe I had prepared glinted—
—where did I get it?
Well, it had something to do with money. As for any more than that, it would a maiden’s secret.
I screamed as I swung the axe down.
—The furniture in the house was made of wood, and the doors were no exception.
Despite originally being a powerless lady, I had been training in swordsmanship these days. I had learned a little about how to swing, and how to shift my weight when swinging a weapon.
It was a little refreshing to see the holes.
At the same time, I could hear the screams of my cute little brother.
It’d be dangerous if I hit Rufus. Thus, I stopped. After a while, the door slowly opened.
A boy with the same black hair as me appeared. He was 13-years-old. He also had a bad sleeping habit. He looked afraid.
Why would you put your paint brush in your pajamas?
Look, it has become unnecessarily colorful…
My younger brother ran towards me while half-crying.
“Sister… what ails you?! In the morning and evening, you keep swinging a blade… it’s scary! Father and mother have decided to consult with the church, thinking that you’ve possessed by something evil…”
Fufu, what a bizarre situation, even though I talk to god every night. Not to mention, I was indebted to him. I had to thank him next time. What should I do?
If I were to explain everything to Rufus, he’d truly think his sister had gone mad. Oh, no, a madman wouldn’t use that sort of word when referring to herself. I had to get through that life with a smile before I could say it.
“I’m alright. In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever been this motivated.”
“What is that, how scary!?”
…Even if he said that, what should I do other than being motivated these days? I had only about 60 days left…
“More importantly—excuse me.”
I entered his room without waiting for permission.
The room was as I expected—paintings were everywhere. There were various types of landscape and portraits. They were all oil paintings. The smell made me want to cry. Oh no, even his bed was soiled with paint. I was worried that he might get sick.
Thus, I opened the window. Then I turned around.
“Rufus, do you like drawing?”
“What? That’s right…”
Rufus stuttered… but indeed, it was a foolish question. After looking at his room, the answer should be obvious, already.
There was a reason why he didn’t answer immediate. It was because our parents were against his hobby. When he was little, my parents had already showed some objection towards his hobby. Even after he grew up, Rufus liked to paint to an extreme degree.
The problem was—he was the duke’s son. He should’ve studied more, trained more, and been more sociable. The more they forced him to do that, the more obsessed Rufus became with painting. In the blink of an eye, he had secluded himself.
To relieve their frustration, my parents dressed up extravagantly in social circles and splurged… such was the Elcage Family, whose only fame was its wealth. The fame might not even be based on the fact that their eldest daughter was the future princess.
In a way, that might also be my family’s way of showing remorse for leading my brother towards such a development.
I was going to ask him again.
It might be cruel, but it was for his future.
I didn’t even know if he’d understand my affection.
Even if I wanted such a reward, I wouldn’t have enough time to receive it.
“Then, Rufus, let’s run away from home!”
“I’ll arrange everything from A to Z!”
I smiled while wielding the axe in both my hands. I shall let my cute brother travel. Indeed, that was what going to happen from now on.
***T/N: The axing the door down scene reminds me of a certain villainess with gazillion death flags, who also loves to spam farm anywhere she can…
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