9. [Day 1 (7) -part 1]
“Velbutte—! My older sister—!”
It was almost nightfall when Lumina, who was shedding tears, visited Velbutte.
The guards and butlers sourly stared at Lumina who was invading the royal residence without permission.
However, despite the outrage, everyone believed that her behavior was permissible, considering that her sister—Lorona—had just passed away.
“…Lumina, I was surprised to hear the news, as well. What happened?”
“I don’t know the details, either. After she left the venue during the graduation party yesterday, my sister seems to have gone somewhere. In fact, she didn’t return yesterday…”
“She’s been missing since yesterday? I haven’t heard of such a report…”
Velbutte frowned at Lumina’s words.
No matter how insolent Lorona’s behavior was, for her to not return home…
It was common to submit a search request to the House of Lords out of consideration to the possibility of an accident or incident. However, neither Lumina nor Velbutte submitted a search request of any sort.
“…Well, I thought she was going to visit that merchant again, so I didn’t say a word. As usual, my father was staying in his villa…”
Velbutte, who knew of the present state of the Count Ruth family, had no choice but to accept the explanation. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder about it.
Despite the fact that Lorona hadn’t returned, the countess and Lumina, who were supposed to be at home, did nothing. That fact didn’t quell the slight smoldering in his chest.
“…Then, do you know where Lorona was actually heading to?”
“I have no clue. Apparently, only the horse that was drawing my sister’s carriage returned to the count’s residence this morning.”
“Only the horse?”
“Yes, afterwards, the servants immediately went looking for the carriage. That was when they found a carriage tipped over on a suburban road…”
As she wept, Lumina covered her face with both hands.
Her heart was struck by the sadness of losing her sister. As such, Velbutte pulled her into his arms.
Feeling her warmth, Velbutte recalled the day he first met Lumina.
Lumina, who always laughed like the sun, was like a goddess to Velbutte. The entire time, Velbutte had been suffocated by his title as the crown prince.
The first time they met was on the Debutante Day when Lorona was 16-years-old.
After finishing his first dance with Lorona, Velbutte became fascinated by a girl who adorably ran up to her, saying, “Older sister!” with a cute voice.
Her fluffy, candy-colored hair, and honey-like eyes made her a petite girl—and also the exact opposite of Lorona.
Her innocent features were lovely. Merely looking at her made his heart to throb.
“Lumina, it’s still too early for you to attend this party.”
“But, it’s my older sister’s debut! I want to celebrate it! My mother said that it’s alright. Or, do you dislike Lumina for being here?”
“…How troublesome. Velbutte, this is my little sister, Lumina. Lumina, say hello to His Highness the Crown Prince.”
“Nice to meet you, Lord Velbutte! My name is Lumina Ruth!”
Although a little awkward, Velbutte loosened his expression at the greeting which clearly showed the results of her practice.
If her sister, Lorona, was likened to a goddess, then Lumina would be an angel.
From that day onward, Lumina often clung to Lorona and came to the royal castle.
Lorona always urged Lumina to go home, but Lumina wanted to stay with her. Thus, Velbutte supported Lumina.
It was a little amusing to see the always perfect Lorona getting annoyed by Lumina up close.
Over time, Lumina also completed her Debutante Day and had more opportunities to visit the royal castle by herself under the notion of apprenticeship.
One day, Velbutte found Lumina sitting in a garden with tears in her eyes. He ran up towards her and stroked her delicate back.
“…I’m not as good as my sister. I’m sure I’ll be scolded when I get home!”
“Who’d dare to scold someone as lovely as you?”
Lumina refused to say anything. After Velbutte patiently asked with a desire to help her, Lumina finally made a terrifying confession—
“—Lorona did that to you!?”
Lumina confessed that she was always bullied by Lorona all the time at home. The reason was because Lumina was the daughter of her father’s second wife.
In front of her parents and Velbutte, Lorona would act like a pure and chaste lady. But once she was alone, she’d ridicule Lumina’s origin and scold her for being a pathetic sister. From Lumina, Velbutte had also become aware of how abusive Lorona was. Lumina told him that she had been whipped by Lorona. Her white legs were clearly marked with red streaks just as her words claimed.
Velbutte was surprised by the stark contrast between Lorona’s outward attitude and her actual one. At first, he couldn’t believe what Lumina was saying. He had difficulty believing that Lorona would mistreat her half-sister—however…
“Please—! Don’t say a word of this to anyone—!”
Lumina, who was screaming in fright, didn’t seem to be lying.
Since then, Lumina had appealed many times to Lorona. Velbutte even saw Lorona pointing something to Lumina in the corridor.
In front of Lorona, who was expressionlessly explaining something, Lumina started to cry.
“—Cease this, Lorona.”
By the time he noticed it, Velbutte was shielding Lumina from Lorona.
At that moment, Velbutte didn’t miss the embarrassment that flitted across Lorona’s expression. Lorona, who was usually cool, was upset. That alone confirmed that everything Lumina said was true.
That “perfect” Lorona was bullying her sister. The delight that came from knowing how distorted the woman he thought was akin to a goddess rocked Velbutte to the core.
From then on, Velbutte made it his goal to protect and be benevolent to Lumina.
Lumina didn’t reject Velbutte at all. Even if he were to laze off, Lumina would side with him.
Then, he started to wonder why his fiancée wasn’t Lumina.
***T/N: LOL OMG HOW TYPICAL OF THE THOTTY SISTER. Then the crap of a fiance will absolutely believe in her because of not only the free ego boost, but also the chance to wear that hero mantle!!
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