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The timeline is roughly around two years before the start of the school arc. During the siblings’ day off.
Lycoris and I quarrel pretty often.
The cause varies, but they were mostly about trivial things.
Like, for example, our regular bickerings.
We’d always get annoyed by a forgivable remark and respond back with a biting retort. Having done that, since we were both headstrong, the other would then retaliate back with equally biting words. After it came to that, we’d go with the flow and instantly plunge into a squabble.
We both wouldn’t want to hear what the other was saying, so our clash of wills would continue for a little while.
However, there was a great deal of people who paid attention when we fought, whether it be at the Lilia residence or at school. Things indeed calmed down when we took innocent bystanders into consideration and we’d also reflect that it wasn’t mature to make others worry.
Thus, at approximately fifty-fifty ratio, one of us would yield. And that would be the end of the squabble.
By the way, Wolf was not included in the 『innocent bystanders』.
That’s because that guy wouldn’t care at all even if Lycoris and I were arguing or being cold to each other. Rather, he seems somewhat livelier in worrying for Lycoris more than usual, so the irritation towards him would make me lose the resistance in 『being the one to yield in the fight』.
You could say some of the quarrels ended thanks to Wolf as a result, but, of course, I won’t thank him for it.
In any case, that was how siblings quarreled in our family, so there were occasions where we don’t remember the reason the quarrel started in the first place.
But the situation this time was a little unusual. I clearly remembered the words I said that started the fight. However, it wasn’t clear what made me feel annoyed to say such a thing.
It all started when I went along with Lycoris’s hobby and accompanied her to theatre that night.
We were on our way home. There was nothing to see outside since it had already turned dark, I’d been sitting on the opposite side and looking at my sister, who covered her face with a cushion. Lycoris had the tendency to empathize excessively with stories, so she’ll often be moved to tears even with books or dramas.
I faced her in her current state and said this.
『You don’t have to bawl so much……Not to worry, Elder Sister’s oh so beloved actress is celebrating the show’s success and drowning in wine or something by now』
I’ll say this beforehand but I pride myself for not being that insensitive of a person.
I knew at least that there’s no way my sister would say 『you’re certainly right. All’s well that ends well』 when she gets told these sorts of things.
Moreover, the way I said it was also unpleasant. It was said with some suggestion of sarcasm that even I thought was heartless.
Needless to say, Lycoris got angry.
No sooner had I wondered why she was looking at my face with that expression on her face like she didn’t understand what I just told her, then she’d thrown the cushion on hand at me.
After that, it proceeded in exchanges such as 「Learn some delicacy！」「It’s the truth」「There are ways to say things! And don’t you dare say it was meant to be reassuring！」 , and was brought to a finish with 「Don’t talk to me for a while！」.
It’s true that it wasn’t meant to reassure her. If it was, it would have been phrased a little better. But it wasn’t meant to aggravate her while she was down either. It wasn’t meant to be so petty.
And so, the ensuing quarrel was lasting unexpectedly long.
It seems Lycoris had completely no plans of an apology coming from her this time round. Well, that’s probably to be expected.
With that, the only apology will be coming from me. I knew that, but it’s unwise to go and apologize when I haven’t found an answer to the question I’ll surely be asked.
Lycoris will definitely ask.
『Why did you say something so cruel』
Now. Why did I do it?
When we quarrel at the Lilia residence, I’d first anxiously ask someone from the servants, 『is there something I can do?』. And if they all shake their heads, the last person I’d approach would be Father — Duke Lilia.
He basically adopted the principle of laissez faire with regards to our sibling quarrels.
There are even times he welcomes them. The way he sees it, quarrels were proof that we were getting along.
Even now, it seems Duke Lilia had no plans to even step in, let alone mediate, so he told me this like it was an occasion to chat.
「Shall I wager a guess as to the reason for the quarrel?」
I was taken aback by these words.
「You know? Even though you weren’t there?」
「That’s right. I only made my own inference and I didn’t hear any details from Lycoris. No foul play」
Under my prompting, he smiled and said this confidently.
「On your way home from the theatres. It was just the two of you inside the carriage. Judging from Lycoris’s behavior, it seems you were the cause of the quarrel this time」
I gave an affirmative.
「I’d guess you purposely said something to make Lycoris mad, didn’t you?……you really are bad at handling Lycoris when she cries」
His words entered my brain.
I suddenly felt burning hot.
It’s because I was made to realise my own feelings that I wasn’t conscious of at all.
Ah, so that’s why.
At that time.
Probably because she did not want to be seen crying, she was burying her face in the cushion.
Her thin shoulders slumped.
In the quiet carriage, you could hear her crying at fixed intervals.
I couldn’t take too much of seeing her so lifeless.
It’s better if she’s angry at me, that was what I’d thought.
A little brother who’s weak to his elder sister’s crying face. I think Shade’s completely beaten by Lycoris at this point.
Although the official release is tomorrow, it seems the stores are already putting the books up. I’ve heard news that they were bought immediately! Thank you very much!
Also to those who turned up for the publication’s commemoration, thank you very much!
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