“You must remain silent in this room.”
I was carried away by a knight and I was roughly thrown into a room that had nothing but a bed.
“Hey! What are you planning to do with me?”
“Shut up! You will wait quietly in this room!”
“At the very least you could tell me why.”
I try to persist and get answers, but the knight ignores me. The door is violently slammed shut. Still I’m not about to give up and I jump to my feet to try to open the door, but it’s locked from the outside.
“Hey! Wait! Tell me why I’m being kept here!”
I keep yelling for a while, but there is no response. I gave up and sat down on the bed in the corner of the room.
…… Seriously, what is going on? Did Caroline hear about my talks with the Sfir family? No, it would have been impossible for her to already know about that.
Then, is it about becoming the heir? I thought that matter had been settled.
“Haa~, this is a nice sight.”
A mocking voice suddenly could be heard. Looking around, there seemed to be something like a hatch in the door, and Blake was looking in from the outside.
“…..Do you have any business with me?”
“Mind how you speak to me, you can no longer defy me.”
“Oh, yes. I know what you were planning.”
“…And that is?”
“Ha– Play ignorant all you want. You were trying to take my position as heir. I know you secretly talked with Father the other day and just today, you brought Claire with you to the Sfir home.”
……Oh, I think I understand. Did Caroline tell him I was lying about giving up on becoming heir to hide my true intentions?
I’m not that ambitious of a person, in the first place I wouldn’t be able to come up with such a complex strategy.
Anyway, this Blake. It’s nice of him to tell me everything I want to know just by asking a couple of questions…No, maybe nice isn’t the right word.
Even if I’m being sarcastic, I can’t call Blake nice after the way he treated Alice.
“I don’t know exactly what you were planning, but give up already, you’ll be stuck in there for the rest of your life.”
“Rest of my life…Then, what’s going to happen with the marriage to the Sfir house?”
“I doubt they’d want anything to do with you now that you no longer have any political standing. Mother has commanded that you be imprisoned for life.”
— Imprisoned for life…Is he serious? That’s something I’ve gotten used to… I’ve been imprisoned, so to speak, ever since I was born.
This is bad. I didn’t expect to spend my entire life in a room like this. I must fix this misunderstanding by speaking with Caroline.
“Hey, can I talk with Caroline?”
“Why? What would you have to say to Mother? Even if you apologize profusely, it’s already too late.”
“No, this is all a misunderstanding. You’ll understand if you let me talk with Caroline.”
“Shut up! This is nice, you’ll have the rest of your life to sit in there and regret trying to defy me.”
“No, no, why won’t you listen to what I have to say!?”
I desperately ran up to the door, but Blake quickly slammed the hatch shut.
……This is ridiculous. I have promises with Father and Claire, and also the Sfir home, so I think it’s unlikely I’ll be kept here, but….there is the matter of Alice.
I thought I would be able to leave quickly after clearing up the misunderstanding — but my expectations proved false and now several days have passed.
But, one day after several had passed.
Something changed. On a daily basis a silent maid would bring me meals. Then one day, it wasn’t a normal maid that delivered the meals, but it was Michelle.
“Shh. Please be quiet, I will be bringing you meals from now on, so I ask that you keep your voice down.”
I don’t know if Michelle has a plan, but I believe in her and nod. Soon the door opened and a maid with black hair slid into the room with a tray. She confirmed there was nobody around and closed the door.
Hmm, she appeared to be an unknown maid. Ah, now I understand….
“Hehe, as expected, otouto-kun. You caught on quickly.”
“Umm….is that a wig?”
“Yep. I’d be exposed immediately if I didn’t wear a wig.”
Claire removes the wig and her platinum blonde hair flowed out.
“So? Aren’t I cute as a maid?”
“Are you calling yourself cute…well, you are cute.”
In this world blonde hair is like a mark of nobility, so it is a little strange seeing a maid with platinum blonde hair. So seeing this made me think of a maid working in a maid cafe.
“Cute, but….what is it?”
“If it’s Claire, you can become a charismaid.” (TN: This works better in Japanese, but Leon is just combining charisma and maid into one word.)
“Cha-charismaid? Is that supposed to be a compliment?”
“Yes, so calm down. Can you please explain what’s going on? You came to help me escape…..right?”
“Unfortunately, there are guards posted outside, so it’s impossible for you to escape.”
“Well, can you explain what’s going on at least?”
“Of course, we don’t have much time so I’ll make it quick. Otouto-kun, you know that it was Mother that has imprisoned you, right?”
“Yeah, Blake came and told me.”
“Well, earlier, I tried to convince Mother that you weren’t interested in becoming heir, but she wouldn’t listen. For the time being Father is trying to talk some sense into her, but I don’t think she will listen to him either.”
“I see…Well then, are you and Alice okay?”
“Alice is living as usual in the guest house, it seems that Father is protecting her.”
“Is that so. Well that’s a relief….”
Knowing that Alice is safe, I feel relief wash over me.
“But, I……hey otouto-kun, my marriage has finally been decided.”
“My partner is the marquis of the Gramp family, I mentioned earlier, he’s 18 years older than I am.”
“Well, we still have some time before the marriage, right?”
“Once I am twelve years old…Another six months…”
“If it’s only six months, would we really have enough time!? If my plan goes well, I’m sure Carlos will manage to do something!”
“It’s impossible. You know that otouto-kun. You’re not sure if you’d be able to do it in six months, right? What hope do we have if you’re confined?”
“But, then….There must be some other way!”
I couldn’t believe it. However, if I accepted this outcome Claire would disappear from my life.
“……Hey, otouto-kun, I came to say good-bye. I am supposed to start bride training tomorrow, so I won’t be able to freely visit you like I have been.”
Claire shows a small smile. It seemed like she was forcing herself to accept all the sad things that had happened, it was a smile that caused pain to fill my chest.
I……I know that smile all too well. In my previous life, Saya would always show me that smile, for such a long time.
“…….Claire. Is there really no other way?”
“Don’t worry, otouto-kun, you’ll be fine, Carlos will do something and I’ll ask the marquis to help you as well.”
“That’s not it, I’m worried about you!”
When Saya needed help, I could only watch over her.
An incurable disease, that the modern medicine on Earth could do nothing against. There was nothing I could do but pray to God….as I watched Saya accept death.
But, this time it’s different.
Even without clinging to God, I can stand up and help rescue Claire. I can’t let this happen to Claire who has given up on everything.
“There must be something we can do.”
“……There is one thing…..Only otouto-kun…yes. Something only you can do, otouto-kun.”
“Please tell me, if there’s anything I can do I will.”
“Then, take my first time.”
I gasped after hearing Claire’s words.
“…..at a time like this, don’t joke like that.”
“At a time like this, it would be impossible for me to be joking.”
“…..You’re being serious?”
We are brother and sister. Or is that just a trivial problem to Claire? No, before that, Claire, why is she saying something like that…?
“Otouto-kun, I’ve liked you since the first time we met.”
Claire had decisive words to answer my doubts. Listening to her words, I feel shaken.
“……Claire, you like me?”
“Yes. As a girl, I am attracted to you.”
Is she serious? Does she mean to say that all the nice words that I took as jokes so far have been her true feelings? Seriously Claire, does she actually want me to take her first time?
If that’s the case, what should I do?
For me who has memories of my previous life, I am Yuya, and Leon is just the name of a newly obtained body. So, Claire, who had existed in another life, only vaguely feels like a sister to me.
So, if I said I’ve never viewed her as a woman, I’d be lying.
However, viewing Claire as a woman and thinking of her as a love interest is completely different. At the very least, I can’t see Claire in that way.
So, I can’t accept Claire’s feelings.
Even if that’s the way I feel, I’m currently at an impasse. That is to say, that after today Claire and I may never meet again. If I hurt Claire here, I may have the same regrets as when I lost Saya.
That’s when, as I was lost in thought, Claire placed her hands on my cheeks.
“- I love you, otouto-kun.”
Claire’s lips brush against my cheek and she whispered something into my ear. Then, Claire quickly stood up.
“I’m sorry, I have to go now. I don’t have much time.”
“Eh, but —“
If she wanted me to take her first time, I thought she would’ve wanted more time — Ah, I understand everything after seeing Claire’s lonely expression.
Claire had said that there wasn’t much time from the beginning. Claire only wanted me to accept her feelings and had never planned on going any further.
I repeated the same mistake I made with Saya —
My outstretched hand did not reach Claire. She ran out of the room, ignoring my hand.