I love him, I love him so much, I can barely breathe. That’s why it’s painful and tragic. It always unfolds like this. Aah… it happened again. I’ve lost count of how many times this has taken place. My fiance and my little sister’s first encounter. This very scene. By some twist of fate, I keep returning to the same point in time. Everyone else is non wiser. I, alone, have been reliving the same scenario over and over again. My recollections always start to surface from this tea party.
-it’s a pleasure to meet you, big brother, Kain
At this juncture, it’s already too late on various fronts. The distance between us has already become impossibly vast.
-Nice to meet you, little sister… Although isn’t it premature for you to be calling me ‘big brother’?
It is simply inevitable that he will fall in love with my sister.
-Is something the matter?
-…No. It’s just that I’m feeling a little unwell
-What? Again? He sighed.
His expression seems to say “cant you endure it just a while longer?
-that being the case, could I please take my leave first?
When he looks upon me there’s no kindness in his eyes. He has never shown me an expression like the one he made when he met my sister. Not even once- I left the tea-table. It’s simply impossible for them to have bought my excuse about feeling unwell. The one with the weak constitution is not me but Marie. My fragile, delicate and kind little sister…
I looked back as I left the garden. Marie had the biggest smile as Kain was blushing from his ears up to his neck. It should be a familiar sight and yet… I wonder why I falter and despair every time. We got engaged the very date I turned five. I happened to open the door with warnings all over it upon fathers call, the study.
-But father, my partner is the son of the first-ranked marquess house?
Our house is the third-ranked earl house. Just going by court rank their house is eight positions higher than ours. Such a leap in status between houses is very rare. Why was i-
-Apparently, the young lady he was originally engaged to passed away from an illness. Since I’m on especially good terms with the head of the house, he asked me if I was interested in promising my daughter’s hand. We couldn’t have hoped for a better match. I trust that you have no objections either, Lucie? Said father.
With that all of a sudden, I felt the heavy responsibility that came with being betrothed to a high-ranking noble weighing down on my young shoulders. However, as I fell in love with him, I desperately screened his surroundings in a bind to become a suitable partner for him. I was riddled with insecurities. I fretted over there possibly being someone worthier of him than me. I… have neither a beautiful face nor a slender frame, the kind of attributes that appeal to men. On the other hand, the ladies who gather around him are all graceful and attractive. I could never hope to surpass them, no matter how hard I try. I sensed that if I didn’t act, he’d be stolen away from me.
-Oh my, it seems that they’re together again. Your younger sister and Lord Kain… Is it really alright if we don’t greet them? Asked my friend, Lady Sofie.
–Lord Kain… takes very good care of my sister.
By all rights is highly frowned upon for a man who already has a fiancee to be alone with another woman. However, if the lady in question is the fiance’s sister. It’s a different story altogether. The words “they’re to become family soon” have become a pardon of sorts.
-Lady Lucie. You’re an incredibly tolerant person. Didn’t you persuade your parents to allow Lady Marie to attend this academy?
Tolerant? You’re wrong. I just—
-Hey, big sister. How is lord Soleil like at the academy? Are you going to have lunch with him? Marie said at home.
I don’t know. I have no idea. I mean, I have never been introduced to a single one of his friends. He never spoke to me at school, to begin with. Regardless of how many times my life loops, he remains the same. Thus, there isn’t much I can tell my sister about.
-If you want to know that badly, you can come to the academy. I will convince our parents to let you. After all, our parents love you from the bottom of their hearts.
If it were my past self I would never have suggested that she be enrolled in the academy, with the possibility that she might approach my fiance so high. But, it’s still just unbearable to watch on like this and not doing anything about it. Perhaps I’m waiting for what’s to come for the two being brought together; a dramatic development.
-Lady Lucie, you’re truly very kind.
No. You are the one that’s kind, Sofie. Sofie has a lovely appearance and hails from a first-ranked earl house. In terms of both looks and pedigree, she is more suited to Kain than I am. In my previous life, under the impression that the rumor about her hanging around Kain was true, I confronted her right away. In response, she went—
-Please don’t worry. I am not so uncouth as to come between two people who are mutually in love.
Far from rebuking me, she said that with a smile. I could trust her right away. For she was in love with another noble. Throughout my repeated lives up until now, I have never had such an exchange with her. That’s because we’ve always been seen as rivals by people around us. Someone like her has become my best friend in the present timeline.
In many iterations of my life discrepancies have arisen from time to time. No one is limited to taking the same actions just because my life repeats itself. All of us, myself included, are gradually becoming different people. and yet, no matter how many times the cycle repeats, Kain’s tender love for my sister is the sole unchanging constant. As well as my feeling I harbor for Kain.
I wept and wailed, so much that it felt like the voice of my past self was still ringing in my ears. If this was a fairy tale the protagonist would certainly have been my sister. She falls in love with her older sister’s fiance and a man she can never wed. She’s a pitiful child. She’s the heroine of a tragedy. Her sad plight would’ve tugged at the audience’s heartstrings. However, this isn’t a fairytale and it’s not purely fictitious either. It’s the story of my life. Despite it all, just why… W hy does nobody understand me?