48. Idle Talk: The Monologue of a Former Swindler (3)
My older brother was a bit lackluster. I didn’t think he was a bad person. Nevertheless, he wasn’t very tactful. Of course, he also had many talents. My older brother was an honest, hardworking, and kind-hearted man. He was capable enough to garner the people’s approval, which led to earning their support.
However, I was slightly doubtful. Should the future ruler of our kingdom be decided solely through receiving a sweet evaluation and the privilege of being born earlier?
…After all, wouldn’t that kind of person be taken advantaged of by a bad person like me?
Therefore, I messed with him. I did it on a whim.
It happened around the time when I was about to be enrolled in the academy. As traveling back and forth between the dormitory and the royal castle everyday would be difficult, we went to our mansion in the territory of Elcage. Casually, I said it at dinner.
“At the academy, how about you keep your distance from Lelouche?”
“Why? I’m only given a brief respite from the castle. This is my only opportunity to spend time with her.”
Of course, I was aware of that.
Knowing my brother, he’d stay with her from morning until evening. In the morning, would she ride in a carriage arranged by my brother? Then, would she be sent home by him? He even confirmed whether or not he would be allowed to rent out a section of the cafeteria for a year. That was probably so he could spend his lunch break with her.
Well, I wasn’t going to let him do that.
“This is her only opportunity to be free from the castle, too. I’m sure the moment she sees my brother’s face, she’ll be heavily reminded of her responsibilities as the future queen.”
My brother’s complexion had changed. He was obviously shocked. Although he wasn’t as clingy as he was three years ago, it still annoyed me. He’d often spoke of Charlotte and her eccentricities.
But my brother, because he had to keep his distance at the castle, he’d surely try to stick with her at school.
My brother was a simple person—I hated and loved that side of him.
“So, if you were to let her go—if you were to refrain from meeting Lelouche as much as possible—wouldn’t she be able to spread her wings? I’m sure she’d love to have fun with her friends as well. You can’t monopolize Lelouche.”
“…I see, what you said is sensible. But what if something were to happen to Lelouche? I won’t be able to help her immediately.”
“Coincidentally, I’ll be in the same class as Lelouche. If anything were to happen, I shall help her. What, is my brother jealous of me?”
My brother wiped his mouth with a napkin and spoke.
“That’s not true! I’m sure if I were to entrust her to Zafield, she’d be alright! While Lelouche enjoies her student life, I shall work hard to become the future king!”
“Haha, don’t overexert yourself.”
—That stupid older brother of mine.
So as to not rattle the silverware, I suppressed my laughter.
If my brother intended to devote himself to public affairs, I would lend him my assistance. I’d speak to our father about how motivated he was, and see more get added to his workload. I wondered if I could get him do mine as well? Even if he found out, he’d surely say, “It can’t be helped.”
Isn’t that so, my kind older brother?
One day, some time after we had enrolled.
“So, how was Lelouche today? Did she have a good time?”
“Yes, she appears to be on good terms with the daughter of Count Remel. They were conversing happily.”
—Of course, that was a lie.
In all actuality, Media Remel seemed to want to curry favor with Lelouche. Lelouche, who disliked that kind of thing, refused without any hesitation. In the end, Media decided to collude with Lala of the Fabel family instead. The Fabel family belonged to an opposing faction. Due to the relationship between their houses, Lala had always been hostile to Lelouche.
I was looking forward to the future.
My older brother, who wasn’t aware of the truth, was happy with my false information regarding Lelouche.
“That’s just how Lelouche is. She doesn’t care about titles. She just wants a lifelong friend.”
“Speaking of friends who don’t care about their titles, I heard that there’s a person who has recently become acquainted with my older brother?”
“Who are you talking about?”
Oh, so he wasn’t aware that they were on good term? Even though they were together every morning? Was he more obsessed in fixing that rag than being taught by her? Perhaps, he didn’t even remember her name?
“I’m talking about the baron’s daughter—”
“—Ah, do you mean Lumiere? She’s the only daughter of Baron Alban, the historian.”
“What kind of person is she?”
I wondered what would he say? Expecting my brother, an unconventional idiot, to badmouth her would be too farfetched. If he were to say, “She’s lovely and the right person to be my playmate,” I’d be sure to spice that statement a little.
But as expected, my older brother’s answer couldn’t be taken advantage of.
“In terms of manners, she’s a little clumsy. But she’s a refreshing conversation partner. She’s sensitive to those around her. In truth, she might be quite talented. I’m sure if her manners were to be polished, she’d become a splendid lady.”
Hmm… Was that how my older brother perceived her? What a good and decent little girl.
Then, let’s give some advice to my kind-hearted older brother.
“…How’s the stuffed animal?”
“I’m having a difficult time fixing it. I was planning to finish it and show it to Lelouche this semester, but it’s tough. Our long vacation will be coming soon.”
“Didn’t you try to not meet Lelouche?”
That’s right, you didn’t try to interfere with Lelouche’s wonderful and enjoyable student life, right?
In reality, Lelouche didn’t have any proper friends. She continued living in solitude, similar to a wall flower. The high-ranking ladies were likely following the orders of their parents. Unless they were foolish like my brother, they wouldn’t see pass her status.
This sullen fiancé of hers, ignorant to that, was puffing his cheeks like a child.
“I want a reward!” He said.
“—By getting in the way of Lelouche?”
“Sometimes, it’s okay to spoil myself! I’ve put up with it! I’ve endured not seeing Lelouche for a long time!”
Yes, that was right. After all, I had to listen to his frustration every day.
Did he take my advice and refrained from meeting his beloved fiancée? Even at a party where he was supposed to accompany her, he pretended that everything was fine so as to not create any rumors, right? Such was my advice as a younger brother who was good at treating women.
During that time, the precious item he cherished tore. My older brother wanted to use said keepsake as a reason to meet her.
That was true—you did your best, you moron.
Therefore, I advised my beloved brother once again.
“Then, at that time, bring Lumiere with you.”
“Did you hear the rumors? They said that Lumiere is a candidate to be your mistress, and that you favor her.”
“I only have eyes for Lelouche!”
Of course, my older brother would say that. The actual rumors were so much worse. The rumors spoke plans to annul his engagement with Lelouche before ultimately assassinating her. Although, well, I adjusted those rumors before they could enter Lelouche’s ears.
“Well, rumors are rumors… but women are sensitive to them, right? While she may look stubborn, Lelouche might be concerned by them.”
“Even though in reality, nothing is happening… The world of women sure is rough. Before that, didn’t you have an argument with your lover back then? What did you do to resolve it?”
“Hmm? Of course, we solved it ourselves. I just listened to her side of the story. Of course, when I heard it, I was a bit discouraged. However, it was plain anxiety on my part. In the end, a misunderstanding is a misunderstanding. It’s best to discuss it directly with everyone involved.”
Ah, I was truly a kind younger brother. He was capable of giving me such an answer. This me, who fanned the flames.
Therefore, as a reward to this bystander, wouldn’t you present a spectacular sight?
***T/N: Eek grow out of your Chuuni-ness already. Also, how toxic.
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