Aristocratic Daughters Volume 1 Epilogue part 1

Two days after going out with Byleth, on a weekday.
Luna, who arrived at school earlier than usual, giggles alone on the library’s second floor.
Today is the first time.
Using the bookmarks gifted by a boy here at the academy.
[Is that all it takes?] One may think, but just that is enough to lift her spirits.
(Though…because of these, it’s still hard to concentrate on reading──)
As days have passed since receiving the present, her joy has shifted from being gifted them to being able to use them.
Given a little more time, she should be able to focus like usual.
To use the bookmarks, she has to read after all.
“But really…he gives such stylish presents.”
She remembered he seemed troubled about what to gift the maid, Sia, but that was likely just to expand the conversation.
Thinking about it now, giving him advice like that was overstepping.
But the fact he chose as advised shows she didn’t say anything wrong. That alone is reassuring.
“I wonder…did he plan to go to that library partly to buy presents for me?”
She wants to confirm it but asking would be foolish.
Simply to entertain her. To give her a chance to rest her feet. To buy presents. And above all, make her happy.
Just how much time did he spend planning it out──
“─For my sake alone…”
Luna narrows her eyes, staring at the two bookmarks placed on the desk. She overlaps her hand on top of them.
She won’t forget these presents and memories. They’re precious treasures.
“I’m fortunate it was him, really.”
That the first person she played with was…him.
If it wasn’t him, she probably wouldn’t have felt a desire to [play again].
After reminiscing at length about two days ago, Luna lifts her hand from the bookmarks and stands up.
She starts walking to look for a book to read today when─
The library door opens.
(It’s too early for the librarian to come…)
Glancing at the embedded wall clock and looking down at the entrance from the second floor─there stood someone she didn’t expect.
Lustrous, well-kept crimson hair. Gemstone-like purple eyes. And a lovely visage.
Noticing her gaze, the girl called [Scarlet Princess] looks up.
“Oh my, so you were there. Good morning.”
“Good morning, Lady Elena. I’ll come right down.”
“Ah, don’t mind me. It would be discourteous for me to make you come out.”
Elena isn’t the sort to make trouble or approach with ulterior motives. Feeling relief, Luna returns words.
(She must have personal business with me. Though for someone so free of faults, that’s…truly enviable.)
Normally, those of lower status should be the ones to go out. It would be mistaken for her to say [You needn’t worry about me].
Elena is one of the few nobles who interacts without regard for status. And is a good person.
It’s understandable Byleth wants to get along well with her.
“It’s been a while since we talked like this. Though I should say we just exchange greetings.”
“Yes, thank you for that time.”
“Oh no, I just did the decent thing. I’m sorry I had to hurry off right after back then.”
“Not at all.”
Luna was helped by Elena once before.
It happened when arriving at the academy.
When she was being pestered with [As expected of a Baron’s daughter, you dare refuse my invitation twice] in an awful manner, Elena happened to pass by and immediately stepped in saying [Do you have some business with my ‘friend’ here? I’ll listen if you have a legitimate complaint.]
That was their first meeting. She helped Luna with her quick-witted lie.
Recalling that time as Elena comes up to the second floor.
“Why don’t we sit for now? Since I came earlier than usual this morning, you needn’t worry about me.”
“Oh, is that so? Then I’ll sit for a bit if you don’t mind. Thank you.”
“Not at all.”
“If you feel I’m taking up your time, please speak out. I know you value your alone time.”
When I move to pull out a chair, noticing my movement, she smiles saying [It’s fine] and moves first instead.
In this world where those of lower status go out of their way to accommodate, it would be mistaken for me to say [You needn’t worry].
But if I didn’t say it, Elena would have been even more self-conscious.
Because she has the same beliefs as him, I could state it definitively.
Once we’ve both sat down, I restart the conversation.
“So what brings you here today? There’s some matter with me, correct?”
“You’re quick to get to it, helpful as always. Ah, but…it’s not that important, ‘kay?”
(I can’t imagine that’s true. But I can’t say that.)
If she came to the library daily like I do, that opinion might change.
“Um, well…shall I get to the main issue then?”
“I don’t mind.”
“Then, about that…the main issue is…”
She starts talking in an unsettled manner somehow.


“Uh, you…went on a date with him, Byleth, last weekend…right?”
“That’s correct.”
(It’s very presumptuous given my status to acknowledge dating, but…I don’t want to deny it.)
No matter how it’s thought of, that time is a treasure to me.
I’ll openly admit it following my feelings.
“I see, I see…So, um, how was it? The date with him. Was it fun?”
“Yes, it was very fun. Nothing but new discoveries.”
“Th-that’s good to hear. Did you make any plans to date again?”
“I don’t know when…”
“I-I see…”
Elena, alternating tapping her index fingers on the desk and slightly puckering her lips, restlessly moves her eyes as she speaks.
(She always seemed so composed…yet she can be like this too.)
Unusual feelings.
Seeing someone with such surprising qualities, one would surely be intrigued.
He must have seen this side of her before and felt drawn to it.
Thinking of this makes my chest feel a bit tight.
“It seems Miss Elena fancies him”
“Oh! Um, that’s…it’s not a strange thing…”
She tried to deny it at first, but there must have been something on her mind.
Hesitantly acknowledging it while blushing furiously.
“As someone who has been on a date, you understand the meaning, yes?”
“I think that question is rather rude”
“Oh, I didn’t mean it that way, but if you say so, it can’t be too strange then”
I implied it subtly, and she understood.
Trying to hide her embarrassment, she changes the subject.
“Well, he did give me a gift”
“What, a gift? He…well then. I’m envious of that. I’ve never gotten a gift from him”
“Is that so?”
“I wouldn’t lie. By the way, what did he give you?”
“This bookmark might seem modest to Miss Elena, but he gave it to me”
“Hmm…so he chose that one…”
When I showed it, Elena didn’t touch the bookmark, just gazed at it intently.
[Recognizing something precious to me, she wouldn’t casually handle it.] Thoughtful behavior.
I was pleased by her respect.
“Ugh, as the only one here, I’ll say it – I’m really envious”
“(When Miss Elena shoulf receives so many gifts from her partner) is it really that impressive?”
“It is what it is”
Lest she inflate the feeling, Elena averted her eyes from the bookmark, looking pensive.
“I mean, you can tell just by looking it’s a gift that shows he really thought about you”
“That’s what makes it so enviable…the feeling that comes through. After all, what matters more is a gift that shows affection, not just value.”
Feeling uplifted by her kind words.
“There must be a reason he chose this bookmark. Do you realize?”
“The four-leaf clover means luck. The feather symbolizes taking flight from one’s current situation.”
“That’s not wrong, but a feather can also symbolize a gift given to commemorate strengthening a bond of friendship. Is that not so?”
“Oh, I didn’t realize that…”
“Yes, so that gift could also mean he wanted to convey that he enjoyed your date.”
Luna hadn’t realized the gift held such deep meaning.
Though he said their time was fun, she hadn’t thought the gift reflected that as well.
(Reading is becoming rather difficult…)
Her cheeks flushed hot.
“Hey, this is what I most wanted to ask…did you two actually do anything date-like?”
“…Perhaps holding hands as we spent time together.”
“Holding hands!?”
“But he was only escorting me, so it didn’t necessarily mean anything special. One accepts such behavior when being escorted, yes? That’s what my sister taught.”
“Wait a minute…that’s a bit odd.”
“Odd, you say?”
“While holding hands during an escort can be proper, it’s generally only if there’s a height difference or unstable footing. But…”
“But my sister…”
“So she may have manipulated the closeness to deceive you.”
Luna mind went blank.
Thinking back now, he seemed confused and surprised when Luna took his hand.
Only now did she realize the foolishness of her words.
(Sister…I cannot forgive this deceit…)
Conflicting emotions welled up, followed by her greatest embarrassment yet.

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