Act 26: Proposal to Brother; Brother’s Warning
After dinner, Cordelia asked Hans to tell her when Elvis came home, but Hans shook his head.
“Unfortunately, Master will not return today. But, Cyrus-sama will be back home today.”
“I see. Then will you tell me when Onii-sama is back?”
It was rare for Elvis to have urgent business and not come home. Instead, Cyrus would probably come back late.
(It’ll be nice if he comes back early so we can talk.)
But when she thought that, Emina rushed to Hans.
“Cyrus-sama has returned. He isn’t in any rush, but dinner preparations are being made.”
Emina said something that no one could have guessed from her flustered appearance.
“Onii-sama is already back?”
“Yes, he’s in his room.”
There’s still time before dinner’s ready. Cordelia concluded and informed Hans and Emina that she would be heading to Cyrus’s room.
If I have something to tell him, then I should do it sooner. It’s best to tell him while he has spare time.
“Onii-sama, can I come in?”
When Cordelia got to Cyrus’s room, she knocked and informed him that she was there, and he replied briefly, “It’s open.” She opened the door and stepped inside.
Cyrus’s room was simple. Elvis’s room was simple too, and it didn’t feel like it was lived in. They looked like showrooms since they didn’t actually spend much time in their rooms.
Cyrus sat on a simple sofa at the corner of the room and put the book that he was reading on his knee before Cordelia entered.
The book was well made, but there didn’t seem to be a title. What book is he reading? Cordelia wondered, but she was cut off by Cyrus before she could ask him about it.
“Do you want to talk about your outing?”
However, she was a little lost. Onii-sama works for the kingdom. Is it alright for me to tell him about the fake fabric?
(If Onii-sama knows about possible crimes in the Royal Capital, then he might be forced to investigate it.)
Christina would be at a disadvantage, since she wanted to catch up to the status quo. She was at a loss for words, but he might come to a strange conclusion if she stayed quiet for too long.
“We visited four tailors today, and I also visited the Alcott mansion.”
“She invited me out tomorrow too, is that alright?”
“It’s fine if you’re not bothering her. I’ll tell father.”
“Th-thank you very much.”
Cordelia panicked a little since he had easily given his permission.
(…… But is it really alright since I will be poking my nose into a troublesome matter.)
She wasn’t doing anything bad, but she felt a bit guilty.
Of course, Cyrus might already know about this, ――― and she regretted a little that she hadn’t asked Christina if he knew.
(Still, I won’t talk to him about it.)
Then, I have to be careful to not do anything that would be a disadvantage for the Pameradia House. Luckily, tomorrow is only an outing. I can talk to him later after I’ve confirmed things with Christina-sama.
But, I want us to share information if he does know about it. It should be fine for me to question him a little.
“I talked a lot about clothes with sister-in-law.”
“Do you also talk to her about clothes?”
“I’m not familiar with women’s clothes.”
“…… Of course, you’re not.”
Cyrus showed no reaction when she called Christina 『sister-in-law』for the first time in front of him, nor when she talked about clothes. She hadn’t intended to limit the conversation to women’s clothes, but she didn’t dare ask any further since he’d countered with a serious look.
But, does this mean that Christina-sama didn’t tell him anything at all, since he’s not giving off any particular reaction to the topic?
But when she thought that, she noticed that she’d overlooked something.
(Onii-sama is not a man of many words…… I wonder if he just says too little.)
For example, Cyrus hadn’t asked her anything when she asked him for permission to go out tomorrow. Even if he had no reason to refuse his fiancée’s invitation, he should at least ask her what they would be doing. However, he hadn’t done that and continued to reply as if he was trying to stop her from talking.
(It’s like he’s trying to stop me from saying anything else.)
Is he telling me not to say anything unnecessary? When she unexpectedly came up with that idea, Cyrus suddenly asked her a question.
“…… Are you curious about this book?”
“Huh? Oh, yes.”
She had unconsciously lowered her gaze onto Cyrus’ knee, where the book with no title was located.
Even though Cordelia had been confused by his sudden question, she had still replied with yes. Of course, she wasn’t really curious about the book, but she couldn’t tell him why she was absent-minded.
“It’s a diary.”
“So Onii-sama also keeps a diary?”
Of course, that didn’t mean that diaries didn’t suit Cyrus, but she couldn’t imagine him writing in one. She thought that seeing Cyrus writing in a diary would be as pretty as a picture, but she couldn’t imagine what kind of expression he would make while writing in one. Would Onii-sama write lengthy sentences even though he’s a man of few words?
But, Cyrus continued speaking without regard for Cordelia.
“I was told to write one when I was little, to practice writing. But, I stopped writing in it when I became a knight.”
“Is there a reason why you stopped?”
“It’s only because my lifestyle changed. It was like the only thing I did was sleep, so I stopped writing in the diary.”
Apparently, the life of a rookie knight was also hard for someone like Cyrus. But that meant that this diary was with him until he was 15. The memories of his childhood before that were all written in that book.
“…… I won’t show you.”
“…… Too bad.”
She knew that the possibility of him showing her was very low, since she wouldn’t show anyone her diary. But she was a little disappointed since, in the corner of her mind, she thought he would show her.
But, Cyrus’s remark had been surprising. They could have kept a conversation going even if he hadn’t brought that up, but the appearance of him purposely refusing was somewhat childish. He really didn’t want to show her, but it was endearing to see him act like that.
“But why are you reading your diary?”
“I was suddenly curious….. about how I thought as a child.”
Cyrus replied in a bland tone.
(It’s Onii-sama, so he was probably mature since back then.)
Cyrus raced up the promotional ladder and became the Deputy Commander of the 1st Imperial Guard unit. It’s hard to imagine him writing something childish in his diary. When she thought that, she became extremely curious about the diary.
But, she didn’t say that out loud, since it didn’t seem like Cyrus missed his childhood.
Cyrus muttered regardless of whether he knew what Cordelia was thinking.
“I thought that my ideas have always remained the same, but now that I’ve read back on it, it’s not exactly the same. I still have the same ideas from when I was a child, but I’ve also forgotten some things.”
Are those words directed at himself or me……? Cordelia didn’t know. But she could tell that he probably obtained something from reading his diary.
The current Onii-sama fully understands the younger Onii-sama. It’s a little strange.
“At any rate…… So, you also have things you forget, Onii-sama.”
“What do you think I am?”
Cyrus protested to Cordelia, who had spoken in a strange voice. Cordelia glossed it over and laughed, “Of course, I think that you’re my Onii-sama.” However, Cyrus didn’t seem interested in that topic and threw his next question at her.
“You also keep a diary, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do.”
Her diary was a mixture of her life and experiments…… Though she did write more about her experiments, she did write about what happened in her life.
“It’s better to write what you think. It’ll definitely be useful later.”
“I will. It’s so I don’t forget my original intentions, right?”
Even for everyday events, except for those that really stand out, once every 10 days…… No, once a day she would think, “Oh, that happened.” And like Cyrus had said, there would be things that she would forget about. Like Cyrus, she might be able to fully understand something in the future.
However, she suddenly thought of something.
(If Onii-sama writes more than he talks then-……)
Cordelia thought. She prepared herself and proposed to her brother.
“Onii-sama, there’s something I wish to ask you. Would you please write a letter to sister-in-law?”
“Yes. You don’t have much time to talk to her. I will give it to her tomorrow, and you’ll have more to talk about the next time you meet. I feel bad for monopolising sister-in-law’s time.”
Cyrus pondered for a while.
“…… I haven’t written to her much.”
“Then you should write to her more.”
Even if they weren’t having a direct conversation, Cyrus’s worries would decrease if they talked more, and Christina would be able to understand how he feels. But she wanted something that would give more impact if she wanted them to deepen their relationship.
“Please write your letter onto a blank diary.”
“…… Write a letter in a diary?”
“Yes. And then Christina-sama will reply to your letter in that diary. It is called exchanging diaries.”
‘Why are you saying something strange?’ Cyrus’s expression seemed to say, and Cordelia faced him with an earnest look on her face.
Cyrus’s reaction was normal. There was no such custom in this kingdom. Even Cordelia hadn’t experienced it in her previous life. She had only seen it in manga, anime and novels.
But, she knew what it involved. An exchange diary was something shared between two people, and they wrote what they wanted to tell each other into the diary.
“But there are advantages to this which you won’t be able to get with a letter. For example, if you send a letter then you won’t have it anymore, right? But if you exchange diaries, then you’ll be able to see all the replies in the diary.”
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sending a letter.”
“Of course, there’s nothing wrong with it if you were just communicating. But…… for example, don’t you think it would be better to see the message history if you were consulting on something like dates? And, as you said before, you could read back on the texts if you’ve forgotten about it.”
Cordelia chose her words a bit playfully. Diaries are written truthfully so that one could read back on what they wrote. It is easier for one to write their true feelings by doing it that way. And it was highly likely for two people to deepen their shared thoughts because they were both writing in it.
In her previous life, exchanging diaries was a childish thing to do, but this world didn’t have the concept, so she didn’t have to worry about that.
But, it didn’t seem like Cyrus understood her erratic words.
(…… Have I not said enough?)
Just one more push. He hadn’t rejected the idea so it would be a loss if I hold back. But I can’t rush this. She thought, and faced Cyrus seriously.
“Report, communication, discussion. Exchanging diaries is useful for writing these things and for looking back on what you’ve written.”
“That might be true……”
“Of course the format is different, but I’ll tell sister-in-law about my unreasonable request. So, won’t you write in it?”
Cyrus remained silent. After a while, however, he stood up as he sighed and took a book from the sleeve of a big table. Then, he returned to where Cordelia was and gave it to her.
She received the book, stared at the deep crimson cover and looked inside. It was a brand new diary.
“Is this fine?”
Cordelia grinned because it seemed like he had agreed to it.
“I don’t mind writing in one, but don’t force Christina to do it.”
“Of course I won’t.”
“I can’t write about important things.”
“Honestly…… Who the heck do you take after?”
Cordelia expressed her gratitude with a smile at Cyrus, who had given in, “Thank you.” Then, she gave the diary back to him.
“I’ll give you what I write tomorrow.”
Cordelia stood up. Cyrus’s dinner should be ready by now.
“Onii-sama, please let me know when you have time to meet up with Christina-sama. I won’t get in your way. Of course, I don’t mind joining in if I get invited.”
“You’ll make time to meet her, won’t you?”
“You’ll tell me once you know your schedule, won’t you?”
I don’t know if he would do it from his reply. But, he’ll probably try since he’s responding to me. She thought, and felt a bit lighter.
“Then, Onii-sama. I’ll excuse myself.”
She felt bad for disturbing him for so long and turned around to go back to her room.
However, Cyrus stopped her as she was about to put her hand on the door and she turned around.
“Don’t pursue it too far.”
“That’s all. You can go back to your room.”
Cyrus’s tone was low and sharp, completely different from before. He didn’t indicate what he was warning her about, but it wasn’t like she couldn’t guess.
(Brother is supposed to be 『ignorant』of this.)
I don’t know how much he knows. Does he not want to tell me or can he not tell me?
(….. If he’s not ordering me to stop, then I’ll make him let me do what I can.)
Cordelia interpreted his warning and smiled.
“I’ll be with sister-in-law. I will learn how to act like a lady.”
Cyrus still looked blank. However, she felt that he was a bit shocked by her words. His expression made her recall his previous words, “Who do you take after?” But it all made her laugh.
She couldn’t answer that anyway. Cordelia didn’t know who she took after. She was definitely influenced by all the people she admired, so it was hard to tell who she took after.