Aristocratic Daughters Volume 1 Chapter 4 part 1

Chapter 4 – Clearing Up the Bad Reputation

“Alan, are you okay?”

“Oh, sister…”

Late into the night when the city had grown quiet.

In the Lecrerc family’s mansion, Elena called out worriedly to her brother while dressed in light negligee.

“It’s getting so late, you should rest soon, right? It seems you worked hard in the study until the very end,” she said.

“Thanks for the concern. But I can’t rest yet. I’m still lacking time no matter what,”

“Well, that might be true, but…”

Alan replied without looking up from the business book he had borrowed from the study, which he was meticulously copying into his notebook, rereading to commit it to memory.

And still he continued in the same fashion.

“At this rate you’ll catch a cold. Your health is paramount,” Elena cautioned.

“I’m fine. Unlike you, sister, I’m resilient,” Alan lightly retorted.

“There you go saying things like that again…” Elena pouted, unable to refute his reasoning.

Giving in to her emotions, she placed both elbows on her bare thighs and rested her chin in her hands as she gazed at Alan.

“Haah. Father is as father does I suppose, suddenly saying [I’ll leave the new store to Alan]. And he unilaterally decided on the discussion schedule because he’s so busy.”

“It can’t be helped. [Since you were born into this family] is what we’ve been told all along,” Alan calmly replied.

“Mmph…”

Unable to talk back to his sound argument, Elena let out a disgruntled murmur.

She leaned her elbows on her thighs, resting her chin on her hands, and gazed at Alan as if surrendering to her emotions.

“Well, that’s why I’ve studied to some extent, but it was still insufficient. My thinking was naive.”

“I see…”

When their conversation lulled, the siblings let out a synchronized deep sigh, as if on cue.

“I’m sorry, Alan. If I was in a position to be involved with the business, I could offer you lots of advice right now…”

“Just having you say that is enough. You have your own duties to fulfill as my sister.”

“Even if you call them duties, all I have to do is marry some elite noble… That’s nothing compared to Alan’s challenges.”

“But problems could arise after you marry too, right?”

“That won’t happen. I’ll be picking my partner. It’s guaranteed to make me happy.”

“Ha ha…”

Alan acquiesced to his confident sister’s declaration as she smiled brightly.

“Haa. Anyway──”

Elena conspicuously changed the subject as she stood up and looked at the remnants of Alan’s studying. Her slender eyebrows furrowed as she said:

“I knew it, forcing yourself is no good. Even if you don’t know what Father will say, it’d be better to look for another way, don’t you think? You’re not completely lacking business knowledge.”

“Another way?”

“L-Like, um… See, asking someone for help, for instance. The way Alan consulted me this morning.”

Elena stretched out her index finger and said “hmm?” suggestively.

“I was thinking it might be possible to get help from others, to lessen the burden. But when I brought up the idea of asking my brother for help, Alan, you shook your head sideways.”

“I think that would be difficult. The matters for consultation are confidential, and for someone of the Earl’s station to consult on business dealings could seem rather alarming to others,” Alan replied.

“Ah, what about asking Lady Luna of the baron’s family for advice?” Elena offered.

“Of course leaving responsibility out of it,” Elena added.

“She has remarkably broad knowledge beyond her years, and I myself have met her before so I think I could request her cooperation,” Elena continued.

“Thank you sister. But this is something I must handle myself. Oh, I met Lady Luna for the first time today. I was too busy to greet her properly though,” said Alan.

“What a shame, but at least you got to meet her. I’m sure she knows who you are by now,” replied Elena with a smile, as if stating a common phrase.

“Were you surprised by her unique air?” Elena asked playfully.

“Unique air?” Alan inquired.

“She was taciturn and composed, right? It was a little hard to approach her for a greeting, wasn’t it?”

“She did seem quiet, but the Luna I saw was being teased by the librarian and was kinda flustered… So she gave no such impression at all.”

There was a discrepancy in their opinions, but neither of their claims were mistaken.

“Eh, really? Then that person wasn’t Miss Luna.”

“I wonder… Was it not her?”

The Luna he knows is like a statue, always reading books.

That calm and unperturbable Luna.

Elena’s notion that [it wasn’t Miss Luna] made sense, but the flustered girl had definitely been Luna herself.

She just happened to be caught at a bad time.

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

“Well, even if Miss Luna rejects you, it’ll be fine, Alan. I have another method.”

“Another method?”

“[I’ll allow marriage proposals from anyone who helps my troubled brother]” How’s that for publicity?”

“Wha, sister!?”

“Hehe, just kidding, just kidding. There’s no guarantee I’d get a lot of suitors, and advice from suitors with ulterior motives would be useless anyway.”

“Th-That’s good then… Anyway, you have to carefully choose who you consult with. I don’t mean to name names, but there are people like Master Byleth, so…”

Alan lowered his voice and spoke resolutely.

“Byleth, huh…”

“Yeah. I only hear bad rumors about him. It’s the same for you, right, sister?”

“While I won’t deny that, he’s kind, you know? He might be an unexpectedly good guy.”

“Huh? No way, absolutely not.”

Hearing his sister refer to Byleth in a friendly way as a [good guy], Alan maintained his look of puzzlement as he denied it.

“Of course I’m not asking you to believe it when it’s unbelievable. But a day will surely come when even you understand. After all, rumors are just rumors.”

“You’re that certain…?”

“Yes. Byleth is just awkward. Some other noble is likely working hard to damage the Marquis’s reputation.”

“Hmm. While that’s possible, we are talking about Master Byleth here.”

“Unfortunately, as a precaution, those of our standing especially should have the composure to avoid blindly believing rumors if you haven’t personally been mistreated.”

“…Y-You’re right. Sorry. What you say makes sense, sister.”

“I’m glad you understand.”

It’s only natural for Elena, who is now on good terms with Byleth, to want her brother to get along with him too.

This follow-up was perfectly ordinary.

“Now then, I’ll go prepare some tea since I have the chance.”

“You’re making it, sister?”

“It’d be cruel to make the servants do it at this hour, right? So bear with my amateur brewing, please.”

“Don’t say that. Father praises your tea for being delicious.”

“Ohoho, then wait right there.”

“Thank you, sister.”

“You’re very welcome.”

And so, with such friendly sibling banter, Alan’s studying continued late into the night.



Scene Transition

The next day.

A few minutes after the morning classes ended and the lunch break began.

“I see, that’s tough alright.”

As Byleth ate the light meal a servant had prepared in the classroom, he muttered acknowledgements while listening to Elena that sat beside him talk about yesterday.

“It’s not just tough. Since the talk of [leaving the new store to Alan] reached my brother, he’s been pulling all-nighters almost every day… He won’t listen to me no matter what I say, so I’m worried.”

“Oh… So that’s why you look tired, Elena.”

“Y-You noticed? Even though I was trying to hide it.”

Elena leaned in, bringing her lovely doll-like face close with a finger to her lips as she blinked rapidly.

(Hey, you don’t have to get that close…)

Unconsciously or not, it’s bad for my heart.

I subtly create some distance as I smell a scent like jasmine.

“Because you kept stifling yawns during class. I figured you must’ve had trouble sleeping,” I replied.

“You…were watching me during class?”

Her voice instantly changed. Teasingly.

When I glanced her way, she had on an I-knew-it expression.

“What’s with that [You were admiring me?] look… We’re sitting next to each other, so you’re in my field of vision.”

“Go on, compliment me, even if you don’t mean it. I’m unpopular, you know?”

“That’s a separate issue from being watched, so I don’t care.”

“Ohoho. The enemy bears witness, huh?”

“And feels afraid. I know it’s my own fault, so nothing I can do.”

“How sad. You have a nice face, yet you aren’t loved.”

(Huh?)

She casually and naturally complimented me, but reacting would likely derail us from the main topic.

I want to retort, but for Elena’s sake I’ll bring us back on track.

“Anyway… I know it’s late to ask this, but how old is your little brother, Elena? To be honest, I don’t really know much about him. I feel like we’ve never met face to face.”

“Oh my, is that so? He’s one year younger than me.”





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