The crime the Sfir family committed was too serious.
If the truth were to be exposed, the Sfir family would surely be destroyed. Eric and Sophia would surely be blamed, even though they knew nothing about their family’s plans.
But, that is not what I want. So I decided to talk with Eric to find another way for the Sfir family to take responsibility.
Of course, I haven’t completely relaxed my guard, but Eric has a rather nice personality, so I think it’s safe to speak with him.
In that way, night came.
I was looking up at the night sky on a second floor balcony of the Sfir family’s mansion. As I was watching the blue moon, I again remembered that this is a different world.
How long have I been here? Quiet footsteps approached from behind me.
“Leon, so this is where you were.”
A gentle tone that blends into the night scenery. Alice looks up at the sky while cuddling up to me.
“How are Claire’s wound?”
“They’re fine. I think that it should be healed without a scar within a week.”
“That’s a relief.”
If a scar remained on Claire’s cheek, I would be full of regret every time I saw it. I was relieved that there would be no lasting damage.
“It’s going to be really difficult going forward….”
I’ll need to rebuild the Grances family and there’s still the matter of Claire’s engagement. I’m still worried about Sophia, and I need to find Milli.
To be honest, it sounds like too much for one person to accomplish.
“What are you planning to do now, Leon?”
“What do you mean?”
“I thought you’d now become head of the Grances family.”
“Well….I wasn’t interested in the position of Earl at first, but now I’m actually reconsidering it.”
“Is that right? That’s a bit unexpected.”
“If I become Earl, I can do things like grow sugarcane, right?”
On the contrary, I can do a lot of things with my internal domestic affairs “cheat,” like when I was fighting against influenza. Although it may be unclear if I say it like that, but it sounds interesting like a miniature garden. (TN: Sorry not sure about the translation for this, 箱庭系. Something like miniature garden system?)
“If that’s the case, I’ll help out as much as possible. I think my knowledge will be useful.”
“I’m sure you’d be a great help, but…helpful or not, you have already been released from the slave contract, so you can live as you wish.”
“That’s what I’m doing, I want us to be happy together….I want to walk the same path as you, Leon.”
C-c-calm down me. It feels somewhat like she just confessed to me, but I was the one who first said I wanted us to be happy together. There was no other meaning to my words at that time.
I was too embarrassed to think straight after misunderstanding this as a confession. I was looking at Alice trying to remain calm.
Her cherry blossom colored hair blew in the wind as she stared at me quietly. Under the faint light from the blue moon, I could tell her cheeks were dyed red.
“I…I like you, Leon.”
My heart and mind were unprepared for such a straightforward confession. My heart is beating incredibly fast, I wouldn’t be surprised if Alice could hear it.
“A..Alice? Just now, that’s……”
“…….It was a confession. As a woman, I like Leon. I love you. I know Leon is still a child, so I’m not sure you understand something like this, but the way I feel about you is real.”
Oh no, my face is hot. I’m going through a lot of emotions and I don’t know what to do. I’m lost in Alice’s blue eyes, I can’t take my eyes off of her.
“Leon…..do you like me? Or do you not understand the feeling of love yet?”
“N-no, it’s not that. I —“
Wait, I need to calm down. I need to think about what I’m going to say. Although, in total, I’ve lived for nearly 30 years now, but my physical age is only ten. It’s too early for me to be deciding my future.
However — I turn my eyes to look at Alice.
Alice has always been there to support me over the past few years. Without Alice, I would never have been able to save Claire or Sophia.
Most of all, she is kind and cute. It’s fun spending time with Alice. I want to stay with Alice forever. Those are my true feelings.
If that’s the case, age may not matter.
“Alice, let me ask just one thing. Why do you love me?”
Alice’s mother was concerned about Stockholm syndrome. Its origin comes from a bank robbery in Stockholm, one of the hostages eventually married one of the criminals years after the bank robbery.
In other words, the reason Alice likes me, may be due to the influence of the slave contract.
Of course, I don’t think that’s the real reason. It’s true that I have fun with Alice and it seems she feels the same.
But, if Alice wasn’t a slave from the beginning, she might only have thought of me as a friend.
This uneasiness stays in my mind.
“Why I like you? There are many reasons…..After all you’re similar to my older brother.”
“Older brother……You mean, I remind you of your older brother?”
“Yes, the mood you give off. Ah, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to use you as a replacement for my older brother.”
“I am not worried, but….you like me because I remind you of your older brother?”
“I guess that’s not normal, but my brother and I had a special relationship.”
“Special…..What do you mean?”
Impossible, Alice and Claire are the same…..No, no way.
“Well, Leon, It may be cowardly to say this after I just confessed, but I’ll say it anyway, because I feel like I won’t be able to say it any other time.”
Wh-what’s with this preface. Did she really have such a deep relationship with her brother? Well, I don’t think that’s true, but……I can’t deny the flow of her story so far.
— I….I don’t know. Am I just creating a huge misunderstanding? Yeah, that has to be it. So, please don’t hesitate to say anything.
“I….I liked my older brother.”
She really is the same as Claire — !?
Calm down. I came to like the Alice I know now, not the Alice from the past. No matter what kind of past Alice has, my feelings won’t change!
………………………But, I’m still worried about it.
“Are you trying to say…….you were dating?”
“N…no, my feelings were one-sided. I never told him how I felt.”
“Is that…..because your older brother died?”
I was expecting her to say, “I was never able to confess my feelings because my brother died,” but I guess I was wrong.
“I was the one that died, not my brother.”
I don’t understand Alice’s words at all. I silently stood there out of shock, and Alice went on to explain,
“I was dead at one point. I — I have memories from my previous life of a different world than this.”
“………….A world different than this?”
That’s…..that’s not possible —
“There was no magic in that world, but the country I was from, Japan, had a civilization much more advanced than this world.”
“Then, when you said you were sick and you were always a burden to your brother….?”
“It’s a memory from my life in Japan. I had no brothers in this world.”
Well, can this really be happening? Certainly, I was reincarnated, so reincarnation isn’t impossible. But, she was sickly and a burden to her older brother……No way, that’s not possible….
“Eh? How do you know my name — impossible….Yuya nii-san…..really?”
‘Y….yes. That’s right. So, you’re really Saya?”
“…It can’t be true…Re-really, is it really you nii-san?”
“Yep, it’s true.”
“— Yuya nii-san!”
At that moment Alice jumped into my arms and I embraced her back.
“Yuya nii-san, Yuya nii-san, Yuya nii-san!”
“….Yep, it’s me. Saya, it’s been a long time.”
“Yes, yes, it’s been too long.”
Alice slowly separated from me and looked at me like she had become frightened.
“…..Saya? What’s wrong?”
“Do…you hate me?”
“Because….I was a burden to you. You must have hated me for being such a burden until the end. So, you must hate me even more after finding out I was reincarnated.”
Alice looks at me with anxious eyes.
I was trying to find happiness to grant Saya’s dying wish, but the reason I did that was because I knew I had hurt Saya by causing a misunderstanding.
I thought I’d never be able to fix the misunderstanding from that day.
“…..I don’t hate you. In the first place, I never hated you. I never thought of you as a burden, Saya.”
“You’re lying! You were trying so hard, it must have been so difficult for you!”
“That wasn’t your fault Saya. I didn’t want to worry you so I kept silent, but I also suffered from the same illness as you.”
“It’s the truth. That’s why I quit school. You also left school right before you were hospitalized, right?”
I guess she’s recalling a lot of memories from her previous life. Soon, I can see that Alice is beginning to understand.
“Then, you’re telling the truth? Nii-san, you really don’t hate me?”
“…..Of course not. There’s no way I can dislike Saya.”
“I see….That’s how it was…..Nii-san never hated me.”
“Yep, I’ve never hated you.”
“I see…..That’s how it was.”
Alice smiled a little as large tear drops began to fall from her eyes. Finally, I was finally able to fix the misunderstanding from that day. I never thought I’d be able to do it.
“Hey, Yuya nii-san, you fought the disease for eight years?”
Alice’s tears stop for a bit and she looks up at me.
“……Eh? No, it was around one year.”
“Then, that doesn’t make any sense. When I died, you were already sick, right?”
“You’re right. That’s why……..huh?”
If I was born again right after I died, I should be one year younger than Alice, but I’m actually eight years younger.
—No, wait. Before I died, I lost everything except for my hearing and kept on living for a while as if I were sleeping. If I remained alive in that state for seven years —
Let’s stop thinking about this. Even if that were true, it wouldn’t be pleasant for Saya to hear what happened to me.
“I died a year after you did. So, I’m guessing when I died I wasn’t reincarnated immediately.”
“Is that so? I guess that might be the case.”
That wasn’t entirely the truth, but it’s probably best not to pursue that trail of thought any further. Alice quickly smiled back at me.
More important than that — I look at Alice one more time.
We’ve spent the last few years together. All that time with this girl that’s become such an important person to me. I feel like it’s impossible that Alice isn’t on my side.
But, Alice is Saya. She’s my real younger sister.
“Hey, Saya….That confession from a little while ago —”
“My earlier confession was serious.”
“Eh, but we were siblings in our previous life, right?”
“Still, I like you, Leon. How do you feel about me? If you have the memories from your previous life, you should understand love, right?”
“………Well, umm, honestly I am also attracted to Alice, I want to be together forever, but we are siblings connected by blood — hnn!?”
I couldn’t finish my sentence. Alice hugged my body and my mouth was silenced by Alice’s lips……………………………..No, no no. What are you doing with your lips? Huh? What? Kiss? Why are you kissing me!?
“A…Alice!? Do you know what you’re doing!?”
“……What are you saying? Of course it’s a kiss between lovers.”
“Of course a kiss — that’s not it! Calm down! We were brother and sister, right!?”
I was trying to calm down, but Alice just tilted her head and looked at me, confused as to why I was panicking.
“Isn’t it fine? In our previous life, we were brother and sister, but not anymore. In our minds we may be brother and sister, but genetically there should be no problem, right?”
“Well that’s certainly true…..no, no, I will not be deceived!”
“No, don’t ‘Eh~’ me. First off, move away a little bit.”
“Well that’s because, something like this…..”
I was unable to finish saying, “It’s because we’re brother and sister.” Just like Alice said, we were brother and sister in our previous life, but in this world there’s no blood connection at all.
“Hey, Yuya nii-san….I liked you, but I was never able to confess. So, I thought I would never be able to see you again and I gave up.”
“Then, this situation is strange, right!?”
“It’s not strange. The one I fell in love with was Leon, so there should be no problems.”
“No, no, no, Leon was you’re real older brother though.”
“That’s even more amazing! The person I loved in this life turned out to be the older brother I loved in my previous life!”
“Why are you so happy!? Even in dramas, if the lovers are siblings separated for their entire lives, there’s bound to be many conflicts!”
“Isn’t that strange? If the lovers were separated for their entire lives wouldn’t they be pleased to see one another? I would go to great lengths to see my lover!”
“Don’t go anywhere, come back! Rather, calm down a little! Saya’s character should be more restrained! Why are you so aggressive!?”
“It’s because in my previous life, I was always sick. So, I’ve always been like this in this world.”
Somehow, the image of Saya I had in my mind was shattered.
“Besides, you can see my hair, right!?”
Alice smiled while running her fingers through her cherry blossom colored hair.
“…..What do you mean?”
I felt an ominous feeling after asking this, but Alice just answered with a broad smile.
“In Japan, pink hair would be so lewd. So it’s fitting, right?”
“Is that your reason!? Show some self-respect!”