Chapter 6 – Interacting with my stepbrother
The next day, when Keith came to have breakfast with us, he seemed to have rested well. I finished eating as quick as I could, and immediately invited Keith to come along with me.
“Since the weather is so great today, I’ll guide you around the garden. Since you went to rest immediately yesterday, you probably didn’t have a chance to look around.”
“Ah, yeah. Thank you very much, Katarina-sama.”
Keith is so polite and formal… I began sulking.
“Keith, because we have become siblings now, it’s fine to just call me nee-san. It’s also ok to not use honorifics or polite speech.”
“But…… that would be rude……” Keith said very timidly.
“Man, since we’re siblings, it’s fine!! And for me, it’s my dream to be called nee-san. Please, I beg you to call me that!”
My eyes were glistening, and I was breathing hard. Keith had a very surprised face – then said somewhat awkwardly –
“I’ll be in your care, nee-san.” My brother is so cute. I’m in heaven.
And so, I led Keith to the garden, where there was a beautiful blue sky, with perfect weather for taking a walk. The Claes family garden was truly that of a duke’s. There was even a small stream and a pond.
“Oh, the small stream here has some fish. You can even do fishing.”
Keith looked at the stream with a blank look on his face.
“Yeah, fishing. You’ve never done it before?”
“Then, let’s do it together! I’m quite good at it too!”
“We have fishing equipment?”
“Yep, then, I’ll be teaching Keith!”
I nodded proudly, while Keith showed off a very surprised face. Keith has only had this face for quite a while now. Well, although I haven’t had any practice since I became Katarina, I used to be able to fill buckets to the brim with carp and crayfish in my previous life. Of course, I was also able to fill buckets with fish in this world.
After the stream, I guided him to my field. Due to help from the gardener and the other servants, my field had become quite respectable. There were some sprouts from various vegetable seeds that I had planted. “These are eggplants, and these are tomatoes.” I introduced the various vegetables to him. The vegetables of this world seemed to be the same as the previous world.
“This field, nee-san made it?”
“Yep, at first I made it by myself…… but since it was too hard for an amateur working alone to develop it, now I also have the gardener and the family servants helping me. When we harvest it all, we promised to have a harvesting food party with everyone. By all means, let’s eat together then as well, Keith.”
If you look at Keith today, you might think that his face is permanently stuck like this – in a surprised position.
While looking at the adorable Keith with his mouth wide agape, I remembered his game settings. He spent most of his time confining himself to his room. I’m guessing that he probably never played out here much. I want to show more and more fun things to Keith.
“Keith, next I’ll take you to my favorite place.”
I grabbed Keith’s arm and began to walk quickly.
“Here’s my favorite place.”
I point at a large tree at the edge of the garden. The tallest tree in the Claes garden is now my favorite place to be. I can read a book leaning against it, and it’s also a great place to take a nap in the shade. And, best of all –
“You can get an amazing view of the scenery if you climb this tree.”
Yep, since this tree is the tallest one in the garden, you can see the entire garden as well as enjoying a nice view. Katarina before recovering her memories, had never climbed a tree before, but I am different, as if my monkey blood was calling out to me, I had no choice but to climb it. I quickly marked the tree as my own, and was always conquering it in between working on the field.
“You climb trees?”
“Yes, tree climbing. Have you done it before, Keith?”
Keith’s mouth was once again wide agape and he shook his head in a “never” motion.
“Well then, I’ll just teach you. First, start off by watching me climb, ok?”
As I said so, I took off my shoes, rolled up my dress, and began climbing the tree. Since I was wearing a dress today and not the usual work clothes, it was more difficult than usual to move around in, but I still slithered up pretty quickly. In my previous life, there were rumors about huge monkeys on the mountain we played on… Since my family was pretty embarrassed about it, they told me to stop over and over……
I climbed the tree smoothly.
I gradually let myself loose and increased my pace.
I climbed the tree smoothly, smoothly.
For me, that was called a genius of tree climbing, there was only one flaw. It’s that I would always get carried away. Both my parents and teachers told me to be careful. In the first place, the reason I died in the previous world seems to be something similar… And even after reincarnating, unfortunately, it appears that my bad habit was not cured.
Around the middle of the tree, getting rather carried away, I waved at Keith with a big smile on my face. As I hummed, I was getting more carried away and stirred up. As a result, I lost my balance, and fell out of the tree.
While I was falling, as if in slow motion, I remembered my family calling me “this idiot!” as I was dying in my previous life.
I fell butt-first onto the ground with a loud thud. I was mentally prepared to be quite injured, having fell from such a height, but…… Huh? It barely even hurts. I must be quite sturdy. Moreover, I felt like the ground below me was really soft for some reason. And when I looked under me……
Isn’t that my lovely brother underneath my butt!? Moreover, he is limp and collapsed with my butt on his back.
“No~~! Keith please don’t die~~ even though I had just gotten such a cute brother~~~”
I was crying while holding the limp Keith’s arm. This must surely be the punishment for even thinking about abandoning my feelings for him in a box under a bridge…… No way, for my cute little brother to die because of my butt…… I cried a lot of tears and my nose became runny~~
“Keith, please don’t die~~~”
“Please don’t die ~~~ No way, to have killed my younger brother with my butt…… Keith~~”
“Um, nee-san? Are you listening?”
“Please don’t die ~~ Keith ~”
Suddenly, when I looked at Keith who had suddenly shouted while I was clinging to him, I met his clear, bright blue eyes.
“Keith!? You’re alive, right!?!”
I was so moved that I hugged him strongly, Keith seemed to harden a bit in my arms.
“Oh no, Keith, does it hurt anywhere??”
“Just a little, it’s okay because I only hit my back.”
Even though Keith said this while smiling, he still seemed a little strange. Surely, he must be angry at me.
“Keith, wait a little bit for me here, ok? I’ll run right away to the mansion and get some servants to carry you back.”
Since I was a commoner in my previous life, I had never really gotten used to having servants, but to think that I would have need of them in a place like this today…… Leaving Keith behind since he seemed to be alright for now, I dashed towards the mansion.
Keith’s back was just a little red, luckily it wasn’t a big deal. Although it became red, it’s something that will heal really soon.
Even though I prostrated myself before Keith and apologized, but my angelic little brother only said “it’s good if nee-san isn’t injured.” His kindness almost had me crying again.
And so I was forgiven by Keith, and my father and the family servants earnestly warned me to be more careful in my movements from now on, and everything ended. …… That’s what I thought, but……
After finishing dinner, while lying down on my bed in my room, for some reason I was called by my mother. Honestly, since she had been avoiding me since the engagement to the prince in the field incident, I wondered what she could want. For the time being, I asked Anne to tidy up my unkempt hair, then headed to the room my mother was in.
While walking towards the room, I suddenly remembered. Come to think of it, in the game, Katarina’s mother, Duchess Claes, was also pretty hard on Keith. She had misunderstood Keith to be an illegitimate child.
Indeed, I had heard such a rumor around the mansion from the servants when Keith was brought to the mansion. Keith’s blue eyes are very similar to father’s.
Duchess Claes, also known as Miri Diana, and her marriage to Duke Luigi Claes was not a marriage of love. That’s not uncommon amongst the nobility, but……
Even though Luigi Claes is now just a no-good middle-aged man madly doting on his only daughter, he used to be quite the ladies’ man back in the day. The number of women that wanted to get married to him were as numerous as the stars.
Miri Diana is the second daughter of Duke Ades, a family of equal standing to the Claes family, with tight, upturned eyes that caused her to be a little shy, their marriage was something that was decided for them. As Duke Ades asked Luigi Claes to take care of Miri Diana, Luigi was obligated to marry her when Duke Ades passed away.
It was as if the couple was both wearing masks, although not to the point where they hated each other, but Katarina felt as if they were unfriendly. That’s why, when looking at the young Keith and his eyes that were so similar to my father’s, it was whispered that Keith was the child of one of the master’s mistresses. Well, starting from this afternoon, rumors that “Ojou-sama has done it again,” have wiped away the previous rumors……
With such rumors flying around, I know that Keith is not father’s illegitimate child due to my knowledge of the game, but my mother does not have that benefit. For both Keith and my mother’s benefit, I have to let her know that he is not the child of a mistress.
In this way, I arrived at the room my mother was in while thinking about many things.
When I entered the room, for some reason, father and Keith were both present as well. Eh, what, what’s this!? While I was being flustered about not knowing what the situation was, I looked at my father, but he returned my look with one that said he also had no idea what was going on. Of course, Keith also looked as if he didn’t know what was going on, and had his head lowered silently in this unnecessarily large room.
Meanwhile, in this indescribable atmosphere, the reason for calling all of us here, mother opened her mouth.
“My husband, Keith-san, Katarina, I have something important to say.”
To me, it seemed as if mother had a grave expression on her face.
“Exactly what is it so suddenly, Miri Diana?”
Mother’s grave atmosphere caused father to also have a stiff expression.
While staring profoundly into my father’s eyes, mother deeply lowered her head.
“Please find your own happiness and divorce me.”
This sudden remark caused everyone, from my father and of course me and Keith, to the servants in the room, to be at a loss for words.
In front of us that were rooted in place, mother spoke –
“Regardless of you having married me despite my rather high age for marriage, my only daughter turned out this way…… moreover, having given your all-important son Keith such an injury…… I am deeply sorry. I will bring this helpless daughter of mine with me to my parents’ home. My husband, please find happiness with Keith-san and his mother.”
My mother said so as her eyes filled with tears.
Meaning, mother is saying, you should divorce me, and be happy with Keith and the mistress that is Keith’s mother. Well, actually, there is no such mistress, but…… Even so, my mother said in front of the person in question “a helpless daughter……” Well, I was often told so as well by my previous parents……
The atmosphere in the room was like that of a raging snowstorm, there is no saying what could happen. Meanwhile, in that sort of atmosphere, my brave father opened his mouth.
“What are you talking about, Miri Diana? The matter of Keith aside, who exactly, is his mother?”
“You don’t have to hide it anymore, I already know that Keith-san is my husband’s child with a mistress. By all rights, you should marry her, and I will take this helpless daughter of mine and disappear immediately. I wish my husband the utmost happiness with the person he loves…… And as such, Katarina, please immediately make preparations to leave.”
My mother said so while spilling over with tears, and it felt as if she were about to dash out of this mansion this very instant. Moreover, without fail she was also going to take the “helpless daughter” back with her.
Sure, mother seemed to think that Keith was a mistress’s child, but…… No way, being cornered like this…… As such, my incident where I fell from the tree onto Keith seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Surely they won’t divorce just like this…… Everyone in the room was frozen and just looking at each other.
Without noticing it, somehow my father had moved next to my mother and resting his hand gently on her shoulder. And, he had a terribly sad face. Somehow or other, it seems as if he’s about to cry. Well, it’s natural since he has been suspected of a nonexistent affair, and is being asked for a divorce.
Mother looked up at father with tears in her eyes.
“Miri Diana, when we got married, you didn’t realize that it was me pulling the strings all along?”
“Even though there were so many other suitable candidates…… I know that you only married me out of obligation to my father, Duke Ades. I’m very sorry about that……”
As she was saying that, she was suddenly hugged by my father while her head was hanging down. Eh, what’s this development? The entire room of people, including me, just watched them while stunned.
“Miri Diana, so that’s what you’ve been thinking. I’m sorry that I wasn’t aware of any of this. Because I was unable to properly tell you my feelings, I have done you a great injustice. Miri Diana, let me say that I love you again.”
“My, my husband…”
“When I was first introduced to you by Duke Ades, I fell in love at first sight. When I heard that Duke Ades had not decided your marriage yet, I was happy enough to ascend to heaven, and decided to forcibly make it so that I could marry you. But, after that, I always thought that you hated me because we were obligated to get married……”
“……No, I was also attracted to you at first sight. But…… I thought since we were obligated to get married that you would hate me……”
“Miri Diana, it’s simply that we misunderstood each other.”
The bloodbath of the divorce had begun turning into a love play. Mother and father are now in a state where they can only see each other, looking only into each other’s sweet faces.
Keith, the other servants, and I could only stand around doing nothing except having our mouths agape. However, the love play between my parents was continuing on……
“Ojou-sama, and young master. Since it’s almost time to rest, let’s return to our rooms.”
We were locked out of the room by a faithful servant-san.
Of course all the other servants withdrew as well, while the love play between those two people will probably develop even further now that they are alone.
For a while, I just stood around outside the room, but returned to my room at the demand of a servant.
Before returning, I told Keith “it’s been a long day, good night” and Keith also returned to his room while saying “good night, nee-san” with a somewhat complicated face.
Ugh. I was so tired in vain.
In the first place, my father always praises this villainous face of mine endlessly to mother as “my angel, the world’s cutest,” I’m sure this face must look very beautiful. My father is a traditionalist when it comes to beauty I guess…… Everyone has different preferences.
But, this should also solve the misunderstanding about Keith being a mistress’s child, and as such she shouldn’t be so hard on Keith.
In particular, this problem had been solved without me doing anything.
In this way, my needlessly long day has finally ended.