It’s been a long time, fellows! I blame Will for this xD but here’s another chapter! Enjoy!
I went to Victor-niisama.
My brother, whose eyes met mine some time ago, was waiting for us to come over.
He wore a black suit that matches his stiff atmosphere to a T. Today he wore glasses with no rim, but I don’t remember ever seeing it before. I wonder if that’s a new one. His previous glasses must be no longer suitable for him, because my eldest brother hates unnecessary spending.
“I’m sorry for the late greeting.”
“No, it’s fine, you were with His Highness Alan, right? Where is he now?”
“There’s something he wanted to talk about with His Highness Wilfred. So he let me go to greet you first, Nii-sama.”
My eldest brother who glanced towards Al nodded as if convinced. And then he turned to look at Chloe who was next to me.
“Who is this?”
“This is Chloe, daughter of Earl Carlisle. She is a friend of mine. Um……I wanted to introduce her to you, Victor-niisama. She has her society debut today.”
“Ah, the one who danced with His Highness Wilfred……so it was you, huh.”
What was that, that sound just now.
Hearing a strange sound coming from the side, I glanced at Chloe, who was looking at my eldest brother with a bright red face.
Her neck, face, and ears are red as she stared at my eldest brother. The white and red contrasts are amazing, probably because she’s wearing a white dress.
Seeing my friend’s unbelievable appearance, I called out to her without thinking.
“C-Chloe. Are you okay?”
“I, I’m f-fine……”
Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem fine at all.
Chloe shook her head like a broken toy with a red face.
“I’m sorry, I, I’m always indebted to L-Liz-sama. I, I’m Chloe C-Carlisle.”
She stuttered. She definitely stuttered just now.
Chloe’s face turned even redder. My eldest brother had a very troubled expression as if he had a hard time deciding what kind of reaction he should make.
“I, I’m sorry……”
Chloe, who reached the state of extreme shame, bowed her head deeply this time.
After making a slightly lost face, my brother said gently, “Please raise your head.”
He put on a flawless smile.
“It looks like I made you very nervous. I’m very sorry. I am Victor Beltran. It seems you have been taking care of my sister a lot.”
My eldest brother addressed Chloe with a polite tone of voice. This is my first time seeing my eldest brother like this, but Al did say that he’s a gentleman. He only takes a severe attitude against people who made a mistake.
At that time, I didn’t know what he meant, but I finally understood after seeing how my brother acts in front of Chloe.
Chloe, who was facing my brother’s smile, stared blankly at my brother as if she was fascinated.
“N-no. I, I’m always getting help from Lily……so I’m the one who is indebted to her……um, even today, thanks to her, I was……oh, what am I saying……”
Feeling too nervous, it seems she doesn’t know what she was talking about.
I patted the shoulder of Chloe who is getting genuinely confused. Chloe seemed to understand that I wanted her to relax a little, she looked at me and nodded many times.
“I know. I know.”
“……somehow I doubt that.”
I can see it just by looking at Chloe’s face. She’s not calm at all.
The expression of my eldest brother, who was watching us, has changed to a soft one. Apparently, he was convinced that we are friends from our exchange just now.
“That’s right. It’s great if my sister doesn’t bother you. —Lily. It appears that you are truly friends.”
“……didn’t I say that Chloe is my friend? Nii-sama. I wasn’t lying.”
“—Aa, I see now.”
The reason for that short pause is probably because he thought that was something I would do before. Certainly, that’s not something I can deny, but that was before. I am different now.
And then, I saw Chloe who is still staring at my brother with red cheeks and understood.
—Chloe, she must have fallen in love with Victor-niisama.
This should be the so-called ‘love at first sight’. I understand well because it happened to me with Al less than a year ago.
Chloe has an expression like a maiden in love, and from an outsider’s point of view, somehow it’s very obvious.
I didn’t think that Chloe would fall for my eldest brother. However, thinking about it calmly, my eldest brother does have a good appearance that can be said good looking, and he is the promising future Duke of our ducal house.
I also didn’t know his true character until recently, but now I know that he’s surprisingly kind. He is one of my older brothers I am proud of.
—If it’s Chloe, it’s not surprising that she has the eyes to see that.
Is this where I should support Chloe as her close friend? Just as I thought so, Al and Prince Wilfred, who seem to have finished their talk, came over.
As my eyes met with Al’s, he smiled gently and waved a little.
When I returned the gesture, Chloe, who was looking at me, started giggling. Even though she was staring at my brother with red face a few moments ago, she was quick to change her attitude.
“Lily, say, do you realize it? Right now you have a very cute expression on your face.”
Hearing those words, I fell silent. I said while watching Chloe intently.
“……I don’t want to hear that from you.”
With that obvious expression, does she still think that I haven’t noticed it?
Having said that, I don’t want to do something untasteful like exposing my friend’s love. I decided to stay silent about it here and questioned her later, and only replied her with, “I wonder?”
But, it seems there is no meaning for me to hide it. The attitude of Chloe, who knew love for the first time, seems very obvious to everyone, and Prince Wilfred who drew near immediately grasped her thoughts.
In a shocked voice, Prince Wilfred muttered.
“……you’re kidding me. Why is it Victor’s route?”
What does that mean?
While I was tilting my head in confusion, Al, who had approached me unnoticed, embraced my waist and pulled me closer to him.
“Lily, sorry to keep you waiting.”
“Yeah, wait a minute.”
Exhaling deeply, Al said to Prince Wilfred.
“Will. I told you just now that you don’t need to do anything extra today. You said you will only greet Miss Carlisle and head back immediately, are those words a lie?”
Facing Al’s cold glance, Prince Wilfred opened his mouth in a fluster.
“There’s no excuse. If you can’t keep your promise, you are forbidden to approach Miss Carlisle from now on……Miss Carlisle. I’m sorry for my brother’s rudeness. Without any pre-arrangement, he suddenly declared you as a partner, you must be scared. Nevertheless, thank you for accompanying my brother.”
Chloe shook her head in a fluster. Al smiled gratefully, and this time he turned his gaze towards his younger brother.
“Will. If you want to get to know her further, take the correct procedure. If you do that, I won’t say anything. If you are a prince, then you must also abide by the rules. Understand?”
Being scolded by Al, Prince Wilfred nodded reluctantly. Then, after a glare towards Victor-niisama, he addressed Chloe.
“……Miss Chloe. I’m sorry for suddenly coming onto you uninvited today. But, me taking the role as your escort wasn’t a jest nor was it only a whim. Please don’t forget that……well, I will head back now.”
Hearing Prince Wilferd’s words, Chloe’s eyes widened as if she was astonished. Prince Wilfred’s face twisted in chagrin.
“I really wanted to escort you to your mansion, but my brother told me that I have to head back immediately. I’m very sorry.”
“N-no, it’s fine……”
“Well, see you later then. Excuse me.”
Pursing his lips, Prince Wilfred left the banquet hall. I was impressed by his profile as he stared forward sharply.
Victor-niisama, who had kept his silence until then, called out to Al.
“Your Highness, what was it just now?”
“Victor. Aah, it’s just my little brother. He’s always like that, so don’t mind it.”
“Is that so.”
When Al drew the line, my brother pulled back obediently without asking about it anymore. He must have thought that it was something he doesn’t need to know.
Al apologized to Victor-niisama.
“The situation just now. There’s a possibility that Will may bother you about it. If he bothers you too much, tell me. I will do something about it.”
When I saw that Victor-niisama had a confused expression on his face, I was convinced that he didn’t notice Chloe’s feelings.
—Nii-sama, you’re too dense.
It’s clear to anyone looking that Chloe likes him, that I thought there is no way the person himself wouldn’t be aware of it, but my brother really doesn’t notice.
But, I guess that can’t be helped either. My eldest brother has always devoted himself to work. He has never thought about love.
Al also has a wry smile when he realized that Victor-niisama didn’t know anything.
“Ah, yes. It’s fine if you don’t know about it. Miss Carlisle, the dance is over, it’s alright if you want to return home now. You must be scared.”
“Is, is that okay?”
Chloe’s face shone immediately. She was always with the Second Prince. She must be tired. When Al said so, Chloe was happy and thanked him many times.
Pulling back Chloe who was about to go home, I said to Al.
“Al. I will send Chloe to the carriage. I’m worried about her going home alone.”
“Right. That’s fine. Lily. What will you do after that?”
There’s no need for him to be worried. I answered immediately.
“After escorting Chloe, I will return here. Besides, I haven’t danced with you, Al.”
The evening party has just started, it’s a little too early to go home. Since that is the case, rather than going home, I want to spend some time with Al.
Al, who heard my words, smiled happily.
“Okay. Let’s do that. I’m looking forward to dancing with you. Ah, right, I think nothing will happen, but just in case, there will be soldiers escorting you. Just endure it.”
Although there is not much distance from here to the carriage stop, just before my society debut I was attacked by thugs, so it can’t be helped. I nodded obediently, took Chloe, and left the banquet hall.