Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 27: Substitute Daughter
After proving our conviction to the head maid by oath, we resumed our tea time.
The sweet-and-sour taste of the strawberry tarts was exquisite.
“Mmm~♪ I’m happy that these are all my favorites.”
“You really like sweet things, huh, sis?”
“Oh? Girls like sweet things, you know.”
“Hmmmph. I don’t get it.”
As he spoke, Vincent took a drink of his black tea.
Vincent can’t stand sweet things, so he only drinks black tea.
He’s definitely missing out in life!
“It was the master who had me prepare the sweets. Most likely, it was an act borne of his regret for saying such a terrible thing to milady. If he was going to use such a roundabout method, he ought to have simply conducted himself in a better fashion from the start… even though he’s perfectly capable when it comes to work.”
So father knew my favorites, eh?
It felt strange, considering I’d only ever known the stern side of father.
“Huhu, they call Father a ‘sly fox’, but he’s actually a good-for-nothing… So he’s more like a ‘good-for-nothing fox’!”
“That’s a good analogy, sis. The competent minister who’s lauded as a sly fox, actually a good-for-nothing bastard in his private life — what a shocker! Heh.”
“A precise analogy, but don’t repeat it outside these walls, alright? Promise me this.”
It wasn’t really my place to say it, but the murderous atmosphere from before felt like a fever dream.
Oh well, constantly emitting negative emotions was hardly conducive, anyway.
However, I wouldn’t be forgetting the oath hidden deep within.
The thought of Duke Macmillan reminded me: had the new maid’s words been true?
“Speaking of which, is it true that there was a marriage proposal for me from Duke Macmillan?”
It did concern me, after all, so I asked the head maid out of curiosity.
I was rewarded with the head maid revealing a rare surprised expression.
“How does my lady know about that?”
It was probably a matter that only a select few within House Lewis knew of.
What that pointed to, was essentially—
“The new maid mentioned it. She said it quite happily, that there ‘has even been a marriage proposal from that Duke Macmillan’. So she’s a spy, huh… it’s still too early to conclude that she’s under House Macmillan’s employ though.”
“Aaah, the maid from before? She was being bothersome, saying things like ‘a kind noble will come for milady‘… rather, what’s that about a marriage proposal? Isn’t Duke Macmillan an old man who’s one generation above us and has a daughter? Damn lolicon duke…” Vincent muttered with a repulsed expression.
It was really scary…
“My apologies, my lady, young master. I let down my guard as she had arrived with a referral letter from a noble of the royalist faction.”
“It’s of no consequence. I think even you as the head maid would have picked up on it quickly upon interacting with her. Hey, once she gets used to her job, could you make her my personal maid?”
“It’s dangerous, my lady!”
“I believe it’ll be good training though, if I’m to hone my acting skills from now on. Furthermore, rather than driving her out and heightening the probability of a superior spy sneaking in, I think it’d be much better to feed a useless spy appropriate bits of information instead.”
“Sis will be fine, Head Maid.”
Vincent’s trust in me could be seen in his eyes.
As an older sister, I can’t afford to mess up when I’m being relied upon by my younger brother!
“Understood. However, please report to me frequently.”
“I know. Nevertheless, what’s with the abrupt marriage proposal? Especially when he’s attempted to assassinate me in the past? I can’t see my existence being of any useful value to House Macmillan…”
“… Truthfully speaking, the marriage proposals have been coming in since my lady was 5 years old. But it is unfathomable that there can be any merit to the marriage, so our side has been rejecting all proposals thus far.”
“Does ‘our side’ mean that there’s an ‘other side’ as well?”
“Yes. It would appear that Duke Macmillan desires my lady who is the living likeness of Lady Elizabeth.”
I would always be told that I was the spitting image of mother whenever I visited House Olcott. It had always felt unrealistic to me.
“In other words, he wants to keep me by his side as a substitute for Mother Elizabeth?”
“What a selfish—. Even though sis is just sis and nobody else.”
“As the young master so eloquently put it.”
“It’s an insult towards me, huh. As much as it’s a political marriage, I refuse—wait, aaaaaaah!”
“What’s wrong, sis?!”
“What is the matter, my lady?!”
I—I just remembered! I was supposed to be carrying out destruction of evidence.
Changing my handwriting… ah, I had to discard everything I had ever written up till now.
I also had to have Father destroy the birthday card I gave him…
“Head Maid! I have to erase my entire existence, pronto!”
“My lady, please calm down!”
“Sis, deep breaths!”
I had to do something before the wicked prince found me out!!!
There were 3 arcs planned in total, but I felt like I was falling into a slump and so I reworked the plot.
There are 3 more chapters until the end of the flashback arc, after which it’s full steam ahead to the climax.
We’re now at the “turn” part of the four-part “introduction-development-turn-conclusion” structure of writing.
Updates might become inconsistent, but I’d be glad if you’d stick with the story to the end.