Author: alyalia

Bella looked at Lobelia with an innocent look. She tilted her head without changing her facial color. “Is she your other guest, Marchioness Hamilton?”

 

“…That person…”

 

Lobelia was dressed very extravagantly to be considered a maid. Even more than Magorit, she looked like the real hostess of this mansion.

 

Magorit’s hands, which were hidden at the hem of her dress, clenched into fists. She couldn’t keep parting her lips easily. Since she heard that Lobelia and Frinel had stopped by Gracie Duchy, there was a high possibility that those two people were at least acquainted. So, is it a deliberate attempt to embarrass me in front of the ladies?

 

However, it was clear that Lobelia, a commoner, would be more disgraced than her when she thought about it. What on earth is she planning?

 

Gritting her teeth, she locked eyes with Lobelia. Her gaze continued to pour towards her, containing pressure on her to just gloss over it and disappear.

 

I knew you would do that. You trash. Lobelia smiled softly and covered her mouth with her fan.

 

“Oh my goodness. I didn’t hear that guests were coming.”

 

Then she spoke in a very soft voice. “Why don’t you introduce me, Mari?”

 

She cast her gaze towards Magorit, calling her by a very friendly nickname. At the same time, the eyes of the ladies, including Bella, also turned to her.

 

“…That person is Marquis Hamilton’s…”

 

Yes.  It would be better to just pretend that we’re friends for now. Magorit was about adding her words.

 

“Concubine.” Lobelia stepped forward proudly.

 

“…Yes?”

 

The bewildered eyes of the ladies rolled. Has there been a concubine who proudly introduced herself as a concubine so far? No matter how young the ladies were, this was something they had never heard of.

 

As if they had misheard, their wide eyes eventually turned to Magorit.  With her face pale from astonishment, Magorit couldn’t close her mouth.

 

“Concubine. Marquis Hamilton’s concubine.”

 

It would have been better for her to say it. If that was the case, it would have been Lobelia, not her, who felt embarrassed. Magorit blinked her eyes quickly and soon came to her senses.

 

“…Yes. She’s more of a lover than a concubine.”

 

“Yes? I’m a concubine, right? Mari, how can I be just a lover when I also have all the authority over this mansion?”

 

“…Lobelia.”

 

“All the time brought into the mansion must be checked by the hostess. So I was just checking.”

 

The faces of the young ladies were colored with curiosity by the word ‘hostess’.

 

“Oh my, what kind of funny thing do you mean by that?” Pretending not to know anything, Bella stepped in. “Then, since this is also fate, let’s have tea together. Your name is…”

 

“It’s Lobelia.”

 

“Yes, Lady Lobelia.”

 

With a strange expression on her face, she looked at Lobelia and smiled brightly.

 

⚜ ⚜ ⚜

In fact, a few days ago, I teleported to Gracie Duchy. It was because I had received a letter saying a secret meeting was needed.

 

“I’m going to attack Marchioness Hamilton.”

 

Hmm…

 

“So, I’m going to flatten that woman’s nose! How dare she strangle my older sister…?” Bella murmured to herself, shaking her fists.

 

“…Pfft, that’s nice to hear.”

 

“Yes? What?”

 

“I’m talking about older sister.”

 

“Then… Can I keep calling you older sister?”

 

Bella’s blue eyes sparkled like clear topaz. Her appearance was as cute as a puppy, so I smiled without even realizing it.

 

“Of course.”

 

“Can’t you speak comfortably?”

 

“If Bella speaks comfortably first.”

 

“But you’re my older sister.”

 

“I’ve been asleep for five years, so I’m actually younger.”

 

“…Then, let’s call each other comfortably now.”

 

Starlight poured out of her eyes.

 

“Please speak comfortably.”

 

“Should I?” I lightly replied to Bella’s words.

 

“As expected, Older Sister is cool.”

 

“…Thank you.”

 

Um, for what?”

 

“For accepting me as a family even after knowing the whole truth.”

 

Frankly, it was a little unsettling when all the truth poured out of Duke Gracie’s mouth. Although she’s Bella’s mother whose face I had never seen, it might come as a shock that she was born from a loveless marriage. And, like Magorit, directionless anger could be directed at the wrong person.

 

But Bella didn’t do that. Rather, she was more delighted that we’re really blood-sharing sisters, even though only half. It might have been a small favor to her, but I was very grateful for it. My head dropped slightly out of embarrassment.

 

“Isn’t it obvious?”

 

And my head soon slowly raised itself again at her words.

 

“We are sisters. Older Sister.”

 

Our blue eyes and emerald eyes were full of similarities and dissimilarities.

 

“It doesn’t matter what our parents do. And my father and mother respected each other and understood each other’s situation.” Bella continued slowly in a relaxed voice. “That’s all. That’s not a reason for us to hate each other.”

 

Soon, her eyes drew a soft line. “Right?”

 

“…Yes, Bella.”

 

I also smiled brightly at Bella. My heart, which had been devastated by people in Hamilton March, seemed to be purified thanks to her. If it weren’t for Duke Gracie, Bella, and Frinel, I might not have been able to trust people anymore.

 

“Now, let’s start the meeting.”

 

“Okay. How are you going to flatten her nose?”

 

“If Older Sister doesn’t mind…” Bella’s eyes brightened as she looked straight at me, who was smiling and asking.  “Let’s reveal that Older Sister is a concubine.”

 

“…Yes?” Embarrassed, I blinked my eyes quickly. “But you said it was dishonorable to be a concubine to a noble.”

 

Even though I knew my father was a noble, I lived most of my life as a commoner. There was no way that something like the honor that I had to protect was important to me. But when I thought of Merilly, it was different. I didn’t want to burden my child’s shoulders with the dishonor of being the concubine’s child.

 

“Older Sister, this is an opportunity.”

 

“Opportunity?”

 

“Whether you’re a concubine or not, things will change the moment Older Sister debuts in society as Princess Gracie.”

 

Bella already knew what I was worried about. However, the position of ‘Princess Gracie’ was so great that it could wash away all the disgrace.

 

“Funnily enough, that’s what status is.”

 

She tipped the teacup with a bitter face.

 

“Moreover…”

 

Then she added, raising the tail of her mouth diagonally. “Older Sister is not a concubine, right?”

 

At that meaningful remark, a strange air stream flowed over my face. I thought about something for a while, then slowly raised my eyebrows. “…Yes. That’s right.”

 

Bella was right.

 

“I’m not a concubine.”

 

I wasn’t a concubine.

 

“Because I had a baby before Marchioness Hamilton.”

 

“That’s right. In terms of order, Older Sister comes first.”

 

Even if the commoners couldn’t become the official wife of a nobleman, I have now regained my lost status. New plans to kick Magorit out began to form in my head like bricks piled up.

 

“…Alright. I guess I could secretly tell this fact to my daughter. Okay then, Bella. Can you help me?”

 

“Older Sister was giving me a new life.”

 

When I asked, holding her hand tightly, Bella nodded her head firmly with a firm face.

 

“I would do anything for Older Sister.”

 

The two sisters looked at each other and grinned. Their faces became identical, as if they were looking at such an identical twin. 

 

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