Aristocratic Daughters Volume 1 Chapter 2 part 1

Chapter 2 Crimson Princess

(After all, I’m still uneasy… I want to run away…)

Now that I am in a situation where I am being avoided, I continue to be hit by weird stares.

While thinking such thoughts alone, on my way to the classroom for my first class, something happened.

“Hey, come sit over here. You’re looking for a seat, right?”

“…”

“You, you over there”

“Huh? Me?”

“Who else would I be talking to?”

“Well, uh…”

While looking for a seat, someone called out to me. Today was the first time someone had called out. I was also beckoned over.

Amidst my confusion, a sudden happiness welled up inside me.

The one who granted me this precious experience was the red-haired lady sitting in the very back seat –

(That person is…Elena, if I recall correctly. Based on my memories, it seems she doesn’t get along too well with Byleth.)

“What kind of vague response is that. Are you not satisfied sitting next to me in class?”

“No, it’s not that, just found it strange…”

“You know… about how you suddenly changed your attitude towards Sia, and the atmosphere… there are some things I don’t want to hear from you alone.”

“Ahaha, yes that’s certainly…” I hastily take the seat next to her.

As she sits down, the scent of jasmine from her perfume reaches me.

“Ah, did you hear about the change in my attitude from Sia? After all, only Sia would know about it…”

“Hmm, who’s to say? If I told you the truth, you’d get angry.”

“Not really.”

“Tch, as if I’d believe that. That’s why I won’t tell you.”

“What a shame.”

Her attitude turned crisper the moment Sia came up.

Elena is close with Sia. So she must see Byleth’s rough treatment of Sia as a cause for warning.

///

///

(While it hurts to be seen as a troublesome person, it’s nice that she’s genuinely concerned about Sia…)

Wrapped in these ambivalent feelings, the latter feeling of happiness prevailed.

“Um, Elena… there’s something I wanted to ask you.”

“What is it?”

“You don’t happen to not have any friends either, do you?”

“W-what?”

Her violet eyes widened, seemingly taken aback by the abrupt topic. Of course, I wasn’t trying to provoke her.

(Since they don’t get along that well, coming across a bit rude like this should fit the distance between us…)

I’m thinking carefully about how not to come across as unnatural.

“I didn’t really think about it before, but thinking back, you’re always alone in class too.”

“That applies to you as well. Could it be you wanted to say we’re the same?”

She levels me with a stern gaze. Perhaps because of her beautiful features, even that expression has an allure.

“No, just a genuine question. If everyone talks to you everyday, you shouldn’t be… disliked like me, right?”

“That wasn’t very subtly put, was it?”

“You got me there…”

I remember Elena being popular.

She’s famously sought after with many marriage proposals, having earned the moniker “Crimson Princess” for her beautiful red hair and looks.

“Well, I’m not really in any position to make subtle jabs like that. I’m just…”

“Fufufu, you’re right about that. Kufufu…”

“You’re laughing too much.”

“S-sorry. Your self-deprecation is funny. Maybe because it’s the first time I’ve heard it?”

“That’s… debatable.”

Completely unappreciated praise.

I arch a brow as if to say “And?”. Elena gets serious again to continue our talk.

“…Well, even with people talking to me every day, I won’t deny there are few who could be called friends. Many are afraid of my family’s title of ‘Count’. Though to be honest, my friends aren’t people with privileges.”

“Oh?”

Not having privileges means they’re not of noble birth.

“That’s unusual for a noble, isn’t it?”

“One could also say I never tried to make noble friends, or am not trying to.”

“I have to admit, you’re quite sharp-minded.”

She smiles as if saying “Correct.”

“I’m not trying to make them. Most of the nobles here go against the principles of Ravelwart Academy. I didn’t want to directly say it since you’re also from that side…”

“Um, what is that principle again?”

“If you don’t know, you’d be even more outraged,” said Elena, looking like she’d realized something.

“[All students stand on equal footing.]”

“Oh I see,”

(It’s a pretty aggressive principle for an educational institution, but you’d expect that from a school.)

While the principle may not have been functioning properly if Byleth couldn’t remember it, its message isn’t a bad one.

“…Ah, wait? But then, that means as a count’s daughter and me a marquess’s son, we’d be the same as ordinary students here?”

“Basically, yes.”

“…”

“…”

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

Several silent seconds passed as Elena stared in stunned disbelief…

“N-no more beating around the bush! Just be honest – you must have complaints, right? React like everyone else!”

“Is it really that outrageous?”

“T-then I’ll put it in a way you won’t like. This principle takes away your high status, right? Commoner students can call you ‘Byleth’ too?”

“Within the academy, is it a problem? Status differences only get in the way of studying.”

“T-that’s…”

“To begin with, it’s our parents who are important, not us. Even if our social status is lower, there are plenty of people with exceptional abilities. Don’t you think it’s the nobles who refuse to acknowledge that within the school?”

“Well, um…”

[Why do you share my opinion!?] she seems to want to say, her voice trembling.

“You, you… Please don’t tell lies like that just because you want to be friends with me.”

“I didn’t mean it like that. If you think about it normally, the social hierarchy among nobles at the academy is unnecessary. It just gets in the way of studying.”

“W-well…”

Elena’s pupils quivered. She seemed flustered, losing her words…

“N-no, you’re still lying. What you say contradicts itself.”

“A contradiction?”

“Yes! Because you’re always mistreating Sia. Calling her away every lunch for no reason, acting so mean and high-handed. You could only do that because of your status.”

“Ah, that…”

(She’s right – the real Byleth wouldn’t say things that make him suspicious. I got too immersed talking about myself…)

He’d forgotten due to expressing his own views.

Elena had good reason to be shocked this whole time.

(But more importantly, I need to think about why I mistreated Sia…)

“…”

“See? You’re not being honest. You can’t answer the contradiction. You must be scheming something weird.”

“N-no, I just hesitated to say…”

“Hoh? Then answer me.”

“W-well, uh…um…”

I takes time answering while desperately thinking.

Thanks to that, he comes up with one reason without contradiction.

“Cough, keep this a secret, especially from Sia.”

“I understand, answer quickly.”

“Yes yes. The reason I mistreated her… there are many nobles enrolled here at this academy. More like, there are many servant-students like Sia who both serve and study, and many are opposed to the principle of ‘all students standing on equal footing.'”

“You didn’t even know the principle at first, right?”

“Pssh, I was just pretending not to know. It’s easier if I’m thought to oppose it. That’s why even after being told, my reaction was normal.”

“Fufu, I see.”

(Ah, dangerous!)

A cold sweat breaks out.

“So? Continue.”

“With many opposed to the principle, if I let Sia be too free from the start, she’d draw resentment from nobles, saying ‘Don’t get conceited’.”

“…”

“Worst case, she could earn jealousy or hatred from other servants. ‘Why are you the only one getting so much freedom?'”

“Th-that doesn’t sound incorrect…”

Elena puts a slender hand to her chin, thinking deeply as befits her ‘Crimson Princess’ name.

Here is my full translation of the text:

“But in the end, you did let her do as she pleased, right? I don’t think that’s very consistent.”

“Well, that’s because… [I was being super harsh on her] had spread to everyone. So I figured with this, it could be excused as [I’m glad you’re free now], and with the harsh foundation I laid plus her personality, from now on she’d just be doted on by those around her, right? Even if she rebelled and someone came out against her, those around her would protect her.”

(I really can’t believe I came up with all this on the fly… Was it thanks to Byleth’s intellect?)

I’m surprised at myself for saying that.

“Wait, so you thought that far and maneuvered things? There must have definitely been a better way to handle things without causing Sia trouble. Without a doubt.”

“I judged that being harsh on her was the best way to get her to grow. No one grows without struggling.”

“Well, that may be true but…”

I understand what Elena wants to say. That [the way I’ve done things up till now is absurdly harsh].

That [there must have been a better “harsh” way].

To be honest, that’s probably right.

Since I had no counterargument, I answered with an extreme.

“I thought it was my responsibility as master, and I think there were things gained by actually being strict.”

“I won’t deny that. Sia growing up properly is thanks to you being harsh. But I don’t think it was praiseworthy conduct. You were harsh in order to get her to grow quickly, right? You could have just as easily taken a more gradual approach.”

“Well…you’re right. I think I did bad things to Sia.”

While Elena believes me, everything I’ve said up till now was improvised. I’m wracked with guilt.

Byleth just tormented Sia. The fact that she kept working hard and [grew] from it was merely incidental.

“It’s good you understand. You’ll be kind to her from now on, right?”

“Yeah. I judged she could properly serve any noble house now.”

“That judgment is too late.”

“You may be right…”

It pains me to justify Byleth’s actions, but circumstances forced my hand.

“Well, as long as you’ll be kind to her I won’t kick up a fuss. But if Sia does anything bad, scold her properly, okay? Don’t pamper her – that’s completely different from being kind.”

“She won’t do anything bad. Sia is…”

“If that’s what you thought, wouldn’t it have been even harder on her when you were harsh…?”

“It was hard (coming to terms with what Byleth had done).”

“Haah. You’re hopeless. It would have been nice if you relied on me a little.”

She sighs, then looks at me with pity.


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