Aristocratic Daughters Volume 2 Chapter 2 part 2

“Um, what do you mean by ‘deep discussions’?”
 
This was also something Elena had told him, but Luna had her own perspective.
 
he positioned to listen to new information.
 
“It’s only speculation, but it’s noted that Alan-Leclerc consulted with Count Leclerc, so I suppose they raised issues that came up at that time, like how you would handle them. I think they’re trying to assess your capabilities.”
 
“U-uh…!”
 
It’s no wonder she made a sour face.
 
Elena’s father had read all of his actions in the past. Because of that fact, he felt the possibility was too high.
 
“Please do your best. I have no other advice.”
 
“You’re absolutely right…”
 
Grateful for Luna’s encouragement, she replied and began to read the letter again.
 
“Next, it’s written about Miss Elena.”
 
“Yeah.”
 
“…”
 
“…”
 
“……”
 
“Huh? Luna?”
 
“Wait a moment, please. I’ll read it again.”
 
For some reason, she stared wide-eyed and froze like a statue. When prompted for more, she blinked frequently and reread the letter again.
 
She blinks more and looks at me again. She rubs her sleepy eyes and reads it again, wondering what happened.
 
About a minute passed.
 
Luna closed the letter to conceal her agitation and gave her a piercing gaze.
 
“Um, do you need an explanation?”
 
“Uh, um… of course.”
 
“Alright. Next, it’s written about Miss Elena. It seems she’s been talking about you a lot lately. Of course, in a flattering way.”
 
“O-oh… That’s nice to hear.”
 
“And it seems Count Leclerc is also favorably receiving those words.”
 
“…Huh?”
 
“Given this context, if there’s extra time during the meeting, how about discussing matters like engagement?”
 
“Wha-!?”
 
He involuntarily raised his voice at the sudden mention of “engagement.”
 
“Of course, I don’t think it’s anything formal yet. I believe they want to hear your opinion first and gather your thoughts.”
 
“…”
 
“Lastly, they’ll provide a carriage for the meeting day, and you’re to decide on the date and inform Miss Elena. That’s all.”
 
“W-well…!”
 
“It’s not a matter of ‘well’.”
 
“U-uh… But…”
 
“I-it’s not a matter of ‘but.'”
 
“A-ahahaha…”
 
“It’s not a laughing matter. Everything I’ve said is factual. It bears the crest, so it can’t be taken as a joke.”
 
As the situation became inexpressible, Luna remained calm.
 
” …… “
 
“…You, your escape route is blocked. Count Leclerc is famous for this kind of thing. ‘Don’t let go of targeted prey.'”
 
“T-that’s… information I didn’t know… It’s really scary when powerful people say things like that.”
 
“It’s your fault. You caught their eye.”
 
“Luna? Why are you… glaring?”
 
“… …”
 
Although he asked, there was no response.
 
Instead of answering, Luna brought her piercing gaze closer.
 


 
(I really didn’t understand at all……)
 
It was the day after consulting with Luna that I became aware of Sia’s feelings. After classes that day:
 
“Um, Lord Byleth…..”
 
“Y-Yes?”
 
“I apologize for the sudden request, but might I have some of your time today? There is an errand I must attend to……”
 
“Huh?”
 
Just as we were meeting up as usual to head home together,
 
Sia looked up at me with her deep blue eyes and timidly spoke.
 
“An errand…like a maid gathering of some sort?”
 
Sia shook her head from side to side.
 
Her unwillingness to disclose the nature of the errand left two possibilities – either she didn’t want to say, or she couldn’t.
 
“W-Well, is it an important errand at least…?”
 
“Yes…..”
 
Sia always prioritized her work above all else. This was the first time something like this had happened.
 
But there was more to it than that. I could sense her resolute determination to [get permission no matter what].
 
There was no doubt some urgent matter had arisen that required her utmost attention, just like her work.
 
Deep down, I really wanted to know what this errand was about. But first, I decided to prioritize Sia’s feelings.
 
“I see, if you have an errand, it can’t be helped. Go take care of that then.”
 
“Ah, thank you…!”
 
“Around what time do you think you’ll be back?”
 
“I estimate it will take one to two hours, so I should return by around 6 PM.”
 
“Got it. It’ll be getting dark out around that time, so be careful not to stay out too late.”
 
“Yes, sir! “
 
That was the conversation we had before parting ways.
 

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And now, in the present moment.
 
“Haah…..”
 
While studying in my room, I couldn’t focus on my assignments.
 
(I can’t stop thinking about it…honestly.)
 
Setting my work aside, the person on my mind was my maid, Sia.
 
Thinking about her made me recall our conversation from yesterday:
 
[“This is just hypothetical, but let’s say you get that palace recommendation……What would you want to do, Sia?”]
 
[“I would decline and continue serving you as your maid, Lord Byleth.”]
 
With a dignified demeanor, she continued,
 
“I don’t think I could find someone more wonderful than Lord Byleth…
 
“There’s absolutely no way I would be influenced by any adjustments! Just serving under Lord Byleth makes me incredibly happy.”
 
She was being considerate, mindful of her position as a handmaiden. That’s what I had thought until Luna’s explanation made her realize my misunderstanding.
 
“Working in the palace would improve your impression among the royalty and surrounding nobility, as well as that of the Saintford family. There’s a process of mentorship involved in serving as a personal handmaiden.”
 
“Furthermore, depending on her efforts, the Marquis family may form a strong relationship with the royalty. Handing over a handmaiden serves as a sort of bridge, so it’s hard to believe someone like Sia, would pass up such an opportunity. To put it bluntly, She would be wasting the best repayment a handmaiden could offer to her master.”
 
Choosing to continue serving was a decision born out of genuine feelings, a sentiment I hadn’t realized until it was pointed out.
 
“Sia must feel pitiful. She didn’t realize the best approach a handmaiden could take.”
 
These words.
 
“Pathetic…!”
 
She scratched my head vigorously, sighing again.
 
“And, um, I need to reconsider our future discussions… I might be misunderstood, and they might think I’m only interested in sending you to the palace…”
 
She worked on her task for an hour and thirty minutes, feeling increasingly anxious.
 
“I-I’m terribly sorry! I’m late!!”
 
She rushed home, out of breath. And there, for some reason, was Sia, holding a box to her chest.
 
“Welcome back. You don’t need to rush so much.”
 
“I-I’m grateful for your words. I’ll start working right away…!”
 
“W-Wait, hold on. You don’t need to rush. Take a seat until you catch your breath.”
 
“I’m truly sorry…”
 
She must have kept her promise to not be late, considering her haste to return home is evident from her current state.
 
Sia sat down, anticipating her breath to steady, and brought up a topic.
 
“Could it be that your appointments for today were scheduled since yesterday?”
 
“W-Why would you think that!?”
 
“I felt like yesterday’s workload was heavier than usual, so I thought you might be adjusting it to balance with today’s.”
 
“T-That’s correct…”
 
“I see.”
 
She replied casually, but she had a big question in her mind.
 
(Isn’t it unlike Sia not to report appointments scheduled since yesterday…?)
 
She always reports even the smallest things promptly.
 
While it’s possible she forgot, judging from her usual behavior, it’s highly unlikely.
 
“You did well explaining it properly. It’s good that you did.”
 
“I-I thought it would sound like an excuse…”
 
“Haha, you’re really diligent.”
 
Smiling at the sight of Sia finally showing herself, she pointed to something she had noticed.
 
“By the way, what’s that box you’re holding so dearly to your chest?”
 
“Huh!?”
 
The moment her hand touched the box she held so dearly, Sia’s eyes widened, and she hastily hid the box behind her back.
 
“W-What was that reaction just now…?”
 
“It’s nothing!!”
 
There’s no way it’s nothing.
 
It’s obvious from her easily discernible agitation and frantic attempts to hide it.
 
“Did you just hide it? It’s a neatly rectangular box, right?”
 
“I-I didn’t hide it! I just thought… I-Is it better to put it on my back…?”
 
“I see. Putting it on your back… huh.”
 
Sia can’t lie. Her excuses are a mess.
 
“Could you show it to me again?”
 
“Y-Yes. Understood…”
 
She seemed to resign herself to the inevitable.
 
She placed the neatly rectangular box she had hidden behind her back on the table, wearing a face that said, “I messed up…”
 
“If it’s something you’re buying, it’s good that you’re being honest. Were you afraid of being scolded?”
 
Byletyh used to be harsh before I am reincarnating as Byleth, so Sia probably expected some guilt, but her worries were unfounded.
 
Sia revealed a reason she hadn’t even considered.
 
“N-No, not at all. This is a gift for Lord Byleth… I couldn’t bring myself to tell you the truth, so I… hehe.”
 
“Huh!?”
 
“Sorry for overreacting, but it’s a gift. It’s a return gift. Since Lord Byleth was studying, I wanted to give it to him at a time that wouldn’t disturb him…”
 
“You hid it…?”


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