Aristocratic Daughters Volume 2 Chapter 1 part 6 

“Thank you for walking me home. I should thank you again.”
“No, I was the one who invited you to walk together.”
As the evening sky darkened.
The conversation continued without interruption as they reached Elena’s mansion.
Currently, the two of them were conversing at the front gate.
“Then, I should thank you too.”
“Huh? What are you thanking me for?”
“Because you treated me to a drink. Technically, I should have paid for it…”
“That’s not true. It’s my father’s policy, and I just guided you to a place where I could relax.”
Just as she responded naturally, she began to twitch her eyebrows as if she had noticed something.
“…Did my way of speaking somehow rub off on you?”
“Haha, I thought the same thing.”
“It’s not funny. It’s embarrassing…”
She found it embarrassing that his way of saying, “[Because I did it on my own, there’s nothing to worry about]” was infectious.
While she had laughed it off, she pursed her lips.
“Sigh. I have no peace of mind being teased by you, by my family, there’s no place for me to relax, really.”
“The reason they’re teasing you is because you’re close to the person who helped solve Aran’s troubles, right? By the way, Elena was in the wrong for saying something like that.”
“I wish it wasn’t you. I wish it wasn’t you the person who listened to Alan’s concerns.”
“I see… Then who would have been better?”
Byleth asked, narrowing her purple eyes aggressively.
If she answered, it would expose the person she had feelings for. It was a trap, but one that could easily be avoided.
“As much as I hate to admit it, anyone but you would have been better.”
“Huh!? Anyone would have been fine!? Is that how you see me!? You think I’m that bad!?”
[A bottom-of-the-barrel evaluation],
“Ah, it’s obvious, isn’t it? You’re mean. If I were to be with you, I wouldn’t know what you’d do to me.”
“I wouldn’t do anything cruel.”
“I don’t believe you.”
While taking on a high-handed attitude with her arms crossed, Elena looked around with her eyes.
Continuing her words with a slightly raised voice.
“I don’t think there are any girls who would take you in the first place, right? Too bad.”
“Is that so?”
“That’s right, absolutely.”
“But there’s Elena.”
“H-Huh? Why would you say that!? From my perspective, you’re the worst! I-I-I don’t like you at all, so don’t misunderstand!”
“I won’t make that kind of misunderstanding!”
A retort comes swiftly.
Though she speaks quickly, her face flushes as she speaks rapidly. Yet, there’s a firm rebuttal ready.
“But I think I can manage if I use my final technique: the ‘Count’s daughter doesn’t take responsibility for her own words’ would have been enough,”
“How cowardly. Rather than resorting to such sneaky tactics… if you’re going to do that, just confess your love like a man.”
“Well, well.”
Even under her half-glare, she responds with the same level of banter as before.
“But, I’m saying that as if I have room to joke. What would you do if I said, ‘Fine, I’ll take responsibility?’ You’d be in trouble. Think a bit more before making jokes.”
“…I don’t think I’d be in trouble.”
To Elena’s surprised voice, Byleth adds hers.
“You… you just said you wouldn’t be in trouble…”
“Yeah. Just like Elena has arranged marriages, I have my own situation. If I were to get engaged to someone I don’t even know, I’d prefer it to be someone close… you know, for sure.”
“And given how I’m feared even at school, if I were to choose a partner, I’d prefer someone I can joke around with. So it naturally leads to Elena. Doesn’t it seem like it’ll work out somehow?”
“D-don’t encourage it…”
Resisting with a mumble, Elena averts her gaze.
“Let me just say one thing – you, who know absolutely nothing about me, can say such flippant things. How foolish to think it will go well.”
“You didn’t know that about me?”
“I get pouty right away if you don’t pay attention to me. I even get jealous if you’re talking friendly with other girls. …..I bet you didn’t know I could be such a girlish woman.”
“Ahaha, no I didn’t realize that.”
Her unexpectedly maiden-like coming out made me laugh.
“But isn’t that only natural? I think I’d feel the same way if I were in your position.”
“Well, if you think so, then I don’t mind if you see me that way…..”
” …… “
” …… “
The conversation, which had been uninterrupted until now, suddenly stops.
The ensuing silence and atmosphere feel oddly uncomfortable, finally dawning on them that this isn’t their usual banter.
“Uh, why did this conversation turn out like this?”
“It’s your fault… you said something weird.”
“Haha… Sorry. That topic was a bit off, wasn’t it?”
“A bit off? It was completely off.”
Fiddling with the choker around her neck nervously, Elena seems to brush it off with her other hand.
“Come on, it’s getting late, so go home already… It’s getting dark, and it’s getting embarrassing.”
“Well, I should get going soon.”
Although it was an abrupt parting, it couldn’t be helped since it was just a conversation.
As Byleth waved and turned away, Elena left with one last remark.
“……The chocolate I gave you the other day, I’ll make sure to prepare plenty for our meeting day, so look forward to it, okay?”
“Oh! Thanks. Well then, I’ll see you again at the academy tomorrow.”
I wondered how many times she had made that unreasonable snorting sound today. Byleth bid her farewell with a playful attitude after hearing it once more.
Elena, her face flushed, walks back to the mansion, avoiding eye contact as she twirls her hair with her index finger.



[Knock, knock]
It is late at night, when the moon is floating in the sky,
a gentle knock echoes through Byleth’s bedroom.
“U-um… it’s Sia.”
“Huh, Sia? What’s up?”
A hesitant voice comes through the door.
“Um, I… I thought you might still be awake, so I prepared some herbal tea for sleep…”
“Oh, sorry. Even though you went to all the trouble to prepare it…”
“No! It’s because I acted on my own!”
“I’ll open it soon, so wait a bit.”
Sia judging he’s still awake from the light seeping through the door,
Sia’s concern is astounding even at this late hour.
Putting down the invitation he had been slowly reading, Byleth opens the bedroom door to find Sia in a shoulder-baring negligee, holding a tray.
“I-I’m sorry for this appearance. I was going to change into my work clothes, but you entered the bedroom, so…”
“It’s okay. I won’t get mad just because you’re in casual clothes.”
“Thank you very much!”
Byleth recently established a rule that Sia’s free time begins once he enters the bedroom.
It would be unreasonable to get mad now.
“Master Byleth, here you go.”
“Thanks. Huh?!”
As he reaches for the tea, he notices something:
there are two cups of tea on the tray.
It’s clear why there’s more than one, just by seeing the glance and gesture from Sia.
“Ahaha, since we have the chance, why don’t you join me for a drink too, Sia? My stomach will start rumbling if I have two by myself.”
“Really, you mean it!?”
The moment he made the suggestion, Sia beamed with a wide smile and bowed her head.
(I guess she really did want to drink together.)
(Pretending to have misunderstood that both drinks were for myself seems a bit cheeky, but if I don’t do this, Sia will just hold herself back.)
“Well then, let’s head inside.”
“Oh? Ah, my bad, I misspoke. Let’s go to the living room instead.”
Given her position, being invited to a bedroom must have implied something else.
For the pure-hearted Sia, turning beet red and being flustered was unavoidable and only natural.
(Ah, that was dangerous….. I really need to be careful about that……)
With that in mind, we moved to the living room, and once settled, I resumed my conversation with Sia.
“By the way, how have things been at the academy lately? It’s been quite a while since lunchtime became free, but there haven’t been any particular issues, have there?”
“No, there haven’t been any issues at all! I’ve been devoting the time I’m not serving to my studies.”
“I see, that’s good then. Taking time to rest your body is an honorable task too, so don’t overdo it from now on, okay?”
“Yes, I will! Thank you very much! “
They sipped our tea together, spending a tranquil time just the two of them.
The quiet space, undisturbed by anyone, allowed them to have serious talks as well.
“Say, Sia. Can I have an important talk with you while I have this opportunity?”
“Of course, but is it an important matter…?”
“Yeah. Luna told me that if you can keep up your current grades, there’s a high chance you could get a recommendation to the palace that servants dream of. Is that true?”
“While I’m not fully aware of the details, I believe that possibility exists.”
“Yeah, I figured.”
Sia has garnered such a renowned name at the academy for being excellent that other nobles may even scheme to try recruiting her.
(If she can maintain her current status, she will undoubtedly receive that recommendation. No, perhaps I should say it’s an [absolute certainty].)
“This is just hypothetical, but let’s say you get that recommendation and have the chance to serve at the palace……. What would you want to do, Sia? With a recommendation letter from House Saintford as well, you’d be able to take that path.”
“…..I must deeply apologize, but I will have to decline. I wish to continue serving as your dedicated maid, Lord Byleth.”
“Yeah…….I had a feeling you’d say that, which is why I’m bringing this up. Are you really sure about that, Sia? This is your life, so you don’t need to hold back for my sake.”
I unconsciously tensed my expression.
This is a crossroads in life. There’s no doubt that this single choice will change one’s life path.
“Your family has served our household for generations, but that’s only until you graduate from the academy, right? It’s true you could continue that service, but a palace recommendation is truly precious, only given to a handful of people……see?”
“If you wish to go──”
“──I do not wish for that.”
This was the first time. The first time he saw Sia cut me off before Byleth could finish speaking.
“Really, you’re not just holding back? You’re not lying?”
“…..Well, there is one thing I’ve been hiding.”
“See? You do want to serve at the palace, don’t you? It would bring great honor to your family’s name, secure your future, and you might even catch the eye of some formidable authority who visits the palace.”
Byleth voiced what seemed like a reasonable opinion, but her next words revealed it to be a hasty assumption.
“I will speak with the understanding that I may be reprimanded……. As you said, Lord Byleth, there was a time in the past when I wished I could serve at the palace. …..But, I no longer have that desire!”
“Oh, so it’s not that you were hiding your wish to serve there?”
“Then, the ‘past’ you refer to……the time when you wished to serve at the palace was when I was being harsh with you?”
(But if that’s the case, it means her feelings changed before and after my reincarnation as Byleth……)
In response to my implied question,
Sia averted her gaze for a moment before nodding awkwardly and continuing,
“Even so, even so……ever since I realized that your strict guidance was for the sake of my growth, these feelings have solidified!”
“So, I see. …… ” “
(But that’s just an excuse to cover up the fact that my personality changed when the original Byleth’s soul was overwritten……. The real Byleth was nothing but malicious……)
(While I fully understood that I was deceiving her, I couldn’t help but be cautious.)
“For my part, I’ll be glad to have you stay by my side from now on too, Sia. But…..are you really sure about turning down that recommendation? I don’t know the details, but there can’t be more than five servant candidates at the academy, right? It really seems like such a waste.”
“There is no problem at all. I would only regret leaving your side, Lord Byleth.”
“Over the palace…?”
“Yes. I wish to remain by your side and serve you until my presence becomes a nuisance.”
Her round, azure eyes were filled with determination and resolution.
It was easy to discern that she was voicing her true feelings.
“By the way, when would my presence become a nuisance? I can’t imagine you ever becoming a nuisance…..”
“When you take a life partner, my lord. A dedicated maid would become unnecessary at that point, and your lady would likely feel uncomfortable as well.”
“Hmm…… It would be sad to part with you, Sia…..”
“Those are such kind words. I’m truly honored.”
Sia narrowed her eyes a little sadly before taking a sip of her tea, as if pouring her current feelings into it.
Sensing the slightly heavy atmosphere, I quickly changed the subject.
“Ah, just thought of something – does Sia have anyone she likes?”
“Someone I like…you mean?”
“Yeah. Oh, sorry. That might be hard to answer, so let me rephrase – has anyone ever proposed to you before, Sia?”
“Um, well……when I assisted at evening parties, I received around five offers to become a nobleman’s mistress.”
“And you turned them all down?”
“Yes. For a dedicated maid to become another nobleman’s mistress would obviously be unacceptable.”
“I see……”
In other words, as a dedicated maid, Sia does not view other noblemen as potential romantic partners.
Some might argue that it’s [unreasonable], but for the indomitable Sia, praised as [immaculate], it is perfectly achievable.
It’s not surprising that she can do it.
“…..For my part, I wouldn’t want to just discard you for becoming a ‘nuisance’ or anything. Treating you like a tool would leave a bad taste. So I was hoping you’d find someone you like and get closer to them with our Count’s backing. Getting together with your loved one is the greatest source of happiness, right?”
“While I’m truly grateful you’re considering me so seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever be in a relationship.”
With her posture straightened, Sia’s cheeks flushed pink as she spoke.
“I don’t believe I’ll find anyone more wonderful than you, Lord Byleth……”
“Well…that’s just because you’re my dedicated maid, so you have that positional bias. I appreciate you saying that, but you’re taking the maid mentality too far, Sia. You need to try finding your own happiness now.”
“There is absolutely no such positional bias! Just being allowed to serve you makes me tremendously happy, Lord Byleth. Ehehe……”
“Geez……that’s not what I meant……”
Byleth had been thoroughly defeated by Sia’s unwavering loyalty.
Placing his hand gently on the head of the bashfully giggling Sia, he shook it lightly as if saying, [Why don’t you understand?], and prompted her playfully.
“Um……if it’s not too presumptuous, could you perhaps be a little more gentle……. Like this……”
She timidly leaned her head towards him to make it easier to pat.
As much as Byleth was curious to see how she would react if he ignored her plea, he couldn’t bring myself to be so cruel.
“Well, just for a little bit since it’s embarrassing, okay?”
“Thank you very much……”
Heeding her request, Byleth gently stroked her head in line with its shape, causing Sia to narrow her eyes like a cat in contentment.

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