Chapter 1: Eight Years Later
──── It was spring, eight years later. A pleasant breeze blew me awake, and I slowly woke up. I look around the purple-toned room in a sleepy daze. The wallpaper and furniture with butterfly motifs caught my eye, and I thought to myself, “Oh, I’m in my room.” I don’t remember going back to my room last night because I was up late reading reference books. Did someone carry me?
“I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t slept enough, but I’ve had some weird dreams.”
I relived the events of the day in which I vowed to “help my sister,” in the dream, and instead of sighing, I yawned. I hugged the nearby pillow while groaning that it was the worst dream. I have been faithful to the vow I made that day and have tried not to stand out even by mistake. I’ve kept my grades in etiquette and study necessary for aristocrats as average as possible, and I’ve slacked as much as possible in dancing and riding.
Fortunately, my sister was included in the category that was considered excellent, so I didn’t have to drop my grades to the bottom level, but … the classes were a pain in the neck. The classes were tedious because I was taught over and over again what I already understood, and when it was time for tests, I had to adjust my scores to get an average score, it was so painful every time.
However, thanks to my efforts, I, who was initially hailed as a genius, was now regarded as completely ordinary, and the attention of adults disappeared. Instead, attention was focused on my older sister, Scarlett, and she was called “the brilliant sister” and I was ridiculed as “the mediocre sister”… But I didn’t mind, as long as it made my sister feel better. I have only one wish. To marry a gentleman and live a peaceful life. There is nothing else I want. That’s why I’m willing to accept all the negativity in order to please my sister, who is likely to be a hindrance to me. After all, she’s the pride of the Viscount Meyers family.
“I’ll do my best to make my sister look good again today.”
I muttered to no one in particular as I stretched “Hmm!” and reached for the bell on the dresser. I rang the bell a couple of times, and an army of maids waiting in the hallway came in with a knock. I said ‘good morning’ to the familiar girls and asked them to help me get dressed. With fluid motions, they stripped off my nightgown and ran my arms through her white shirt, and then they helped me wear a skirt. Lastly, I threw on a blazer embroidered with a dragon crest.
“Your uniform suits you well. The day has finally come for you to enter Frügel Academy, Charlotte sama.”
When one of the maids said this with a sense of emotion, the other maids muttered, “I’m going to miss you,” and “Time flies.” I chuckled at the girls’ reaction to my close departure. The Frügel Academy is a school of learning that is called the pinnacle here at the Draconian Empire. It’s an educational institution that is fully supported by the Imperial family and is large in scale. For this reason, the nobles were eager to enroll.
Most of the nobles enrolled here unless they were in some kind of big trouble. As expected, I’ve been accepted to Frügel Academy, and the entrance ceremony is today. The school is basically a boarding school, so unless you had a good reason, you will stay in the dormitory. However, I was allowed to return home and stay over on holidays, so it wasn’t like that I couldn’t see them at all.
“I’ll try to come to see you on my days off, so please don’t be so depressed. Okay?”
I laugh at the ladies who had slightly moist eyes and try to calm them down… but they shook their heads.
“No! That’s definitely a lie! I don’t think the lazy Charlotte sama would come home often!”
“That’s right! The other day, you suddenly canceled your plans to go out because you said it was too much trouble! Even though I had prepared a carriage and an escort, and I was all set!”
“I don’t believe a word you say, Charlotte sama! I know you won’t be back till the holidays!”
I averted my gaze, breaking out in a cold sweat as the army of maids argued against me. I didn’t know what to say, and I could only say words like “Ah━━━━” and “Um━━━━”.I can’t argue with them at all. …… I can see myself in the future saying, “Well, I’ll just go see them next week,” then putting off returning home. I don’t mind coming to see my family and servants, but when I think about the journey there… I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to laze around in my bed in my room than to hurt my butt on a long carriage ride. When I was thinking about the lazy personality that hasn’t changed since I was little, the maids sighed, “Hah …” and they smile as if to say, “It can’t be helped.”
“You don’t have to force yourself to come back. We know Charlotte sama’s character very well.”
“It’s enough for us if Charlotte sama stays healthy. There is nothing more we could wish for.”
“Oh! But please go find a good husband! If you fail to find someone to marry, you’ll be hurt!”
“I’m looking forward to your wedding!”
The girls, holding my hands tightly, encouraged me saying “Do your best.” I let out a smile at the maids, who are so sweet to me, and replied, “I will!” then they led me to the front of the dresser and I sat down.
The large mirror reflected the image of me in my uniform. I have long, lavender hair and the same tanzanite eyes as my sister, my skin was snow-white and my pink lips were pronounced.
One of the maids said, “Today is the entrance ceremony we’ve been waiting for, so I’m going to do your makeup with all my might!”
When she said this, the other maids around her said, “Leave it to us!”
“We’ll do our best.” said another.
Letting out a chuckle at their enthusiasm, I said, “please do” and nodded.