“We’ve been looking all over the place, do your legs hurt?”
“Yes, it’s okay. It’s a lot of fun.”
Brother Sörth still seemed to have a strong sense of me being a sickly younger sister, and he was overprotective to begin with anyway.
I felt like I couldn’t show him that I was working in the magic order with the power of a gorilla (although Judy was even more awesome).
Somehow I thought that maybe my brother had a weakness for small things like Judy did, making me feel as sheltered as I was.
The first time I met him, I remember he said to me, “Poor little thing, at her age, how small she is. Is your body really all right now?” I remember being told that. As I recall, he patted me on the head afterwards and said, “Good girl, good girl.”
The streets, with their many stalls, were fun to just look at, and time passed in no time.
Even as I looked around, I was pulling out my little notebook and writing in it. My brother quietly let me do what I wanted to do.
“After all, girls like this sort of thing, don’t they?”
“That’s right. I like it.”
My brother told me this as I looked at the hair clasps and accessories made from pretty cotton cloths at the stall, which resembled flowers.
He has an idea in his head about girls. I have to make sure I don’t break it.
I never got the kind of accessories that girls liked to wear as a child. I envied my sister who was given cute things by my mother, but I already missed it somehow. Perhaps I was feeling nostalgic. I missed it, even though it was a sad memory.
Even after arriving in the royal capital, I hadn’t had the opportunity to walk around the city on foot like I did today, and I didn’t know much about the construction of the city itself. The Duke of Valmonter’s family had taken me in a carriage and I realized that the streets with the common people’s shops were the only ones that dealt in luxury goods.
Even though it was a street of commoner shops, the quality of the goods was divided into zones, and there was a considerable difference between the streets.
“There’s a diner around the corner from that alley, and it’s very popular for drinks and snack-like food. It’s not the prettiest place, but if you don’t mind, Fiaragent, do you want to go in?”
I looked in the direction my brother was pointing. Hmm, there really were a lot of people everywhere. Maybe it was natural since people gathered from all over Elementia.
“Yes, I want to go there.”
Whenever I entered a store with my brother, I felt eyes on us. I still felt the gaze even when walking through the city.
At first glance, a blonde nobleman and a commoner-like brown-haired woman walking side by side would stand out. Was it a curious gaze? However, in the royal capital, it was a rather common story that a merchant’s daughter and a nobleman’s third son or younger couldget together, so it was not seen overtly. This wouldn’t happen in the countryside.
The building we approached was old, but the inside of the shop was quite spacious. It was quite a magnificent structure.
It was a large public dining room with thick beams piercing the ceiling, and there was an atrium on the second floor.
There were nine tables with seating for four, and there was also a counter. It was spacious and the atmosphere was like a beer hall.
With the buzzing of people and the voices of people passing orders, it was very lively.
When I looked around, I saw a few aristocrats based on their hair color. Moreover, the seats seemed to be almost full.
“Isn’t that Sörth? Hey, come over here!” Someone called out.
When I looked, two aristocratic-looking blond men were beckoning us from the back seats. They seemed to be my brother’s colleagues.
They were wearing inconspicuous clothes like what the common people wore, and were having a drink with some fried potatoes sprinkled with salt.
“Are you enjoying the taste of the common people?”
“What, Joseph and Belact, you’re not at work today?”
“Yeah. Hey, is that your rumored sister, the one I’ve been hearing about?”
“Don’t look at her. It’ll decrease.”
My brother quickly stood in front of me.
“Decrease!? Hey, do you want to sit down? There’s a vacant seat here.”
A person called Belact popped up at a moment’s notice and came to talk to me.
“Oh, thank you. Is it all right, Brother?”
“Haha, your sister is cute. I wanted a sister too. The boys are so boring.”
The one called Joseph said as such, and then he got up and sat down next to the one called Belact, so that he could sit next to my brother.
“…It can’t be helped, let’s share a table.”
My brother sat down reluctantly and introduced me to the two men.
“These are my colleagues. This one is Joseph and that one is Belact. They are both in the Third Knights Order.”
“Hello. My name is Joseph Zanuba.”
This man was thin, but quite tall. His dull wavy blonde hair was tied back in one piece.
“I’m Belact Schrigen. Nice to meet you.”
With a smile, this man had a stocky figure and was shorter than my brother. His uncomplicated hair was cut short at the neck, and his bangs were slicked all the way back. He appeared to be wearing odorless oil for hair styling.
“Hello, I’m Fiaragent Lana Tizar. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too. Well, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. We’ve heard so much about you. Sörth is often upset because everyone wants him to introduce you.”
“Joseph came up to me to shake my hand, but my brother slapped his hand away.”
“You have really beautiful chestnut-colored hair, don’t you? The color of your eyes is very similar to Sörth’s. Is it the color of the Tizar family? You are brother and sister, after all. And their golden glow is beautiful. I’m lucky to be able to see such rare eyes up close.”
“Thank you. I’m happy to hear you say that.”
It’s kind of strange, but even normal brown hair can sound lovely if it’s called ‘chestnut-colored.’
My hair was kept very long, but it was well-groomed by Silk to prevent it from getting tangled. Every morning it was carefully brushed with a light dab of perfumed oil.
It would be difficult for the average person to maintain this length of hair and keep it beautiful.
A long time ago, I said that my hair was too long and I wanted to cut it, but Silk opposed and the length remained long.
“Your hair is very beautiful combined with your strong magical power, Miss. Besides, the master complimented you on how beautiful it is. It would be a shame to keep it short.”
There may be some noblemen who would say negative things about my hair color, but the reason I had never been told it to my face was probably because I was backed by the Duke of Valmonter.
I myself did not long for blonde hair anymore. Zak was fine with it as it is. He told me that he liked it this way. So if someone else said something, it didn’t matter anymore.
Zak said he liked the color of this hair, and I like it too.
Suddenly, I looked over to the people seated to the back of Joseph and our seats.
There were four men. One of them had blond hair and kept his hair short. The two who were looking at us were just looking at me, but the blonde one had a familiar face.
Oh, I thought. An indescribable hazy feeling swirled around me, and I couldn’t put it into words.
I didn’t show it on my face, but I knew without a doubt that the blonde was my brother Joshua, from the same parents.
During his transition from child to adult, my brother had left home for higher education. Since that time, his body had grown and his build was more solid, and he seemed to still be growing in height. Although he had changed, there was no doubt that he still looked the same.
Two years older, Joshua had entered a higher academy in Slend, far from home, as a scholarship student at the age of fourteen. It was impossible for him to attend from home, so he boarded over there. I hadn’t seen my brother since then. I left home without seeing him, so I guess that means I hadn’t seen him in over six years.
Meeting Joshua here meant that my brother had become an official in the castle, just as my mother wanted him to be. He must have worked hard, I thought. He was certainly brilliant, and he was very enviable and dazzling to me as a child.
To me, my brother was the one who had everything. But did I still envy my brother now? If I was being honest, the answer would be no.
I was able to get what I wanted most of all.
As long as I had this treasure, I could live my life in a positive way no matter what happened.
There was nothing to be envied from anyone.
So I didn’t look at them anymore. I pretended not to know them and listened to Joseph and Belact and never looked at them again.
“Fiaragent, I heard that ‘sweet potato-colored dumplings’ and herbal tea here are very popular with the ladies. Shall I ask for them?”
“Yes, Brother. I’ve never had it before. I’d love some.”
I smiled as I looked into my brother’s gentle green eyes. I don’t think my brother, Joshua, ever spoke to me this gently. I don’t remember much about the interactions with my brother.
“It must be nice, having a little sister.”
“Yeah, you can’t have her. She’s my sister.”
As soon as we ordered, we were served two plates of brightly colored purple and yellow bicolored dumplings, small enough to be eaten in a single bite, alternately skewered on three skewers and delivered on a wooden plate.
“Wow, that’s pretty.”
The colors were cute.
“Here, try it.”
The purple and yellow sweet potato dumplings seemed to be made of mashed sweet potatoes that had been blanched. The dumplings were simple and soft. They were gentle with a slight natural sweetness. It’s good that it’s not just a simple sweet candy like the aristocrats have had until now. It’s a snack unique to the common people. When I took a bite and chewed, I naturally smiled. The bean paste gently melted in my mouth.
“Mmm.. It’s delicious. Brother, it’s very delicious.”
“Well, that’s good.”
My brother laughed and also chewed the skewered dumplings in his mouth with satisfaction.
The aromatic herbal tea was a light yellow tea with a refreshing taste. The tea was free to be refilled, and the whole pot was made of a rugged-looking ceramic.
They put it on the table. They are inexpensive tea cakes that came with a second helping of tea. They looked so cute that it was no wonder that they were so popular with commoner women. Time passed quickly as we talked. The four people seated behind me were getting up from their seats and preparing to leave. I felt their eyes on me as they passed by our seats, but I didn’t look at them.
I suppose that since we serve in the same castle, we may see each other like this, but I will never be involved with him as a brother again.
Because my brother is no longer that person
Or so I thought, but I would soon have yet another encounter with that older brother.
Joshua’s (Fii’s biological brother) POV
“Hey, those people in front of us were the Fifth Saint and the First Knights. Her long hair was so beautiful. It really stood out.”
“Oh, it’s so true.”
“I was also worried. The Saint was with her brother. I couldn’t keep looking back because he was behind me, so I had to just listen in.”
“Oh yeah, she called him ‘big brother’. I have a younger sister, but she never calls me that cutely or kindly. She says stuff like ‘Brother, don’t leave your smelly socks off!’ I get pissed off a lot.”
“She’s the daughter of a Marquis, and even if they say that her hair is the same color as commoners, it’s not even close! It was long, shiny and beautiful, and her face was small and cute. The color of her eyes was also an alluring green with a mixture of light sparkles.”
“Well, it’s no big deal. She’s out of your league. This is a person who can get rid of the smell of socks in no time. It’s the magic division.”
“Gyahaha, yeah, it’s a different world that we live in. You’re a snob today, and sometimes you come to the commoner’s shop.”
“What’s up Joshua? You’re so quiet. What’s wrong?”
“…No, it’s nothing.”
That’s right, the daughter of the Tizar family is famous for her purification magic. The story of her powerful purification power is a topic that often comes up among my colleagues. The story of how her magical power with the cooperation the Fisaris son, a genius of the Margrave family, produced a purification tool named “Saint’s Eye,” is well known.
Marquis Tizar’s family seems to be the original lineage of my mother’s family. I’m not sure if that’s why she seems so similar to my sister. When I was not absorbed in my work, a heavy regret always occupied half of my mind. A regret which I could not forget even though I wanted to. I was looking for her in the city as well, as if searching for a relief outlet somewhere.
…And the Marquis’ daughter—I thought she looked very much like my sister when I saw her at a glance, but even now, I still thought she looked much like her. Not just her face, but even the sound of her voice. But there was no way she could be my sister.
The proof was that the color of her eyes was green with a golden brilliance that was clearly visible from a distance. However, I was surprised that even her name was similar.
Nowadays, the “Saint’s Eyes” were placed in every temple and first aid station, and they were said to be indispensable as an important tool for purifying miasma.
Some aristocrats had whispered malicious slurs about her because she had brown hair like the commoners, but those rumors had been silenced by the unmistakable power of her rare magic.
The magic tools created by her purification magic could actually dispel the stagnation that was so hard to deal with until now. It directly helped to purify places and other things related to the lives of the common people. In other words, the rumors of the common people in the street were only favorable towards her.
And when rumors circulated that her backer was the Duke of Valmonter, it was established that she was a treasure that no one could ever get their hands on.
It would be impossible to encounter such a person and think of her as my own sister.
[‘Don’t forget to pack your lunch, brother.’]
My little sister always used to make me a lunch box, and I don’t think I ever even thanked her when I received it.
Why did I take it for granted?
And the voice that had once called me was so kind…
Why couldn’t I have said ‘thank you’ even once?
T/N: I love the sibling moments between Fii and Sörth, but I was also hoping for Fii and Joshua to at least talk a little. I’m looking forward to their encounter in the future!
|♡| Previous |♡| Table of Contents |♡| Support me! |♡| Next |♡|