After being taken to this mansion and getting introduced to Elder Sister, my first impression of her was: 『A plain and gloomy child』.
And she actually proved my impression to be completely right. When I was introduced to her, I was very surprised since I didn’t know that I had an Elder Sister, but despite that, I greeted her cheerfully, and yet, Elder Sister didn’t meet my eyes, only facing downwards.
――When Mum suddenly passed away, Father came to me and told me that we’d go to Father’s home since I wouldn’t be able to live by myself. To be honest, I had absolutely no problem with leaving this place since I hated how the neighbor kids bullied me, always calling me “Mistress’s Child.” Another big plus was my being able to finally live together Father. But then again, I actually wanted this to happen much, much earlier…when Mum was still alive.
While thinking all that, I was taken to a huge, castle-like mansion.
At first I was super happy and frolicked around. I wanted to bring the kids, who had been bullying me, here and triumphantly show them my new home. When I told Father about my idea, he smiled with a troubled expression, and told me, “You and them already live in different worlds, so you won’t be able to bring them here.” This made me even happier.
Although they had bullied me to their heart’s content, they were below me now, and if I were to meet them again in the future, I’d look down on them instead! I was keen to put this wish into practice, but only much later I understood that I’d never meet them again anymore.
Instead, I was ridiculed by other people. My manners were repeatedly called into question, and people said, “‘This is why commoners are…”, behind my back. Even my plain and gloomy Elder Sister frowned when she saw me. However, noticing that, Father got angry and scolded Elder Sister.
――Come to think of it, why is that girl my 『Elder Sister』? Why hasn’t she lived together with us until now?
Once I confronted Father with those questions, he smiled with a troubled expression once again, and answered, “That girl is a hopeless case, so she’s been living somewhere else.”
Afterwards I heard Father frequently tell Elder Sister that she was as worthless as her mother.
I was surprised by that. For him to say something so nasty about Mum…when I became very sad and started to cry, Father said in a hurry, “I’m not talking about your mother, Prim.”
…Whose mother then?
At first I didn’t understand, but I gradually learned the truth.
Elder Sister’s mother had married Father while Mum and Father hadn’t been married. This also explained the meaning behind “Mistress’s Child.”
It looks like Elder Sister didn’t live together with Father. When I asked her about this, she told me that Father had shown up with me a little while after her mother had died.
I was jealous of Elder Sister since I believed that she had been living together with Father, but hearing that this hadn’t been the case made me slightly happy. And after having discovered that we shared this trait, I felt closer to Elder Sister.
Father might have other “Mistress’s Childs” as well, but I was the one he brought here, and Father treated me very kindly. Father was the only one claiming that me being unable to learn manners was to blame on the teaching methods. He got angry because Elder Sister didn’t teach me and because her teaching methods were wrong.
Being unable to leave the mansion was boring, but I didn’t have to help out around the house like when I lived with Mum, and I was being treated like a princess. …But, I had too much time on my hands, and thus it was boring.
The only child close to me in age was Elder Sister. I tried to play with her, but it earned me a super nasty look from Elder Sister. It was somewhat scary.
When I got Father to scold Elder Sister by telling him about it, she stopped looking me in the eyes altogether.
No matter what I said to her, it was useless. I tried to get this fixed by telling Father about it as well. But when I did, Elder Sister stopped eating her meals.
Even though it’s so delicious, she didn’t eat almost anything.
When I tried to eat Elder Sister’s share, she got scolded. Father said it’s because Elder Sister hadn’t properly taught me that it’d be a breach of etiquette for me to try helping Elder Sister out because she wasn’t eating her food as she should.
After some time of such incidents repeating themselves, one day Hannibal rushed into the room in panic. He said that Elder Sister had collapsed and wouldn’t wake up.
I got startled and looked at Father, but he laughed scornfully.
“She’s probably faking it. That woman often pulled the same trick.”
I see, she’s faking her illness, huh? I know what he means, it’s when you say your tummy hurts when it actually doesn’t, right? When I was really small I remember having said things like that as well because I hated the idea of Father leaving.
I went to wake up Elder Sister. As soon as I climbed on her, thinking that I’d wake her up by surprising her, I was jerked off her, falling to the ground. That totally startled me.
When I looked up, I found Coral towering over me with a super scary face. …I mean Coral is always scary, but now her face looked terribly frightening.
“…Miss Primrose, what are you planning by treating your Elder Sister, who hasn’t woken up after collapsing, so violently?”
“…I mean she’s faking her illness, so I thought she’d wake up if I startled her.”
I justified it while being on the verge of crying.
“Goodness gracious…! For her to say something so awful…”
The maids, who had appeared behind Coral without me noticing, all blamed me. And Coral’s face became even more scary.
“Lady Indra isn’t faking her illness, she has collapsed. Did your mother teach you to treat sick people violently, Miss Primrose?”
I became afraid and cried.
“Sally, Clara, Anna, take Miss Primrose back to her room.”
“””Certainly, Head Maid!”””
…I don’t like Sally, Clara, and Anna. I mean they’re always treating me like a silly dolt. Even now they’re looking at me with really cold eyes.
Some time ago I told Father about it, trying to have him replace the three with the gentle-looking girl serving Elder Sister, but Father said that he couldn’t do so because that girl wasn’t up to the task of serving me. When I tried to have him scold Sally, Clara, and Anna instead, only Elder Sister got scolded while those three maids not only went scot-free, but weren’t replaced with someone else either.
I told Father that I got scolded by Coral because Elder Sister wasn’t faking her illness and because I had tried to wake her up since I heard that she was faking it, but Father insisted that she was playing ill, and cut off the conversation at that point.
I wanted to know whether Elder Sister was truly faking her illness, and thus I persistently pestered Hannibal about it every day.
On the day Mr. Doctor visited I tried to storm into Elder Sister’s room to get certainty once and for all, but Coral planted herself in my way after having suddenly appeared from somewhere.
…Once again she looked at me with a scary face.
Since I got frightened I scurried back to my room. When I left it a little while later, I spotted Hannibal.
“Did Mr. Doctor say that Elder Sister is faking her illness?”
Faced with my question, Hannibal gave me a fed-up look.
“It looks like her mind and body has weakened due to stress and malnutrition, and it’s unclear whether she’s going to regain her consciousness. He said her life is going to be in danger at this rate, if she doesn’t wake up soon.”
Then it’d have been better for me to not climb on her in order to surprise her after all!? Coral scolded me with such a scary face, and even the other maids…
“Miss Primrose.” Hannibal called my name as I was brooding.
Once I looked up, his face was as scary as Coral’s.
“The doctor has stressed that Milady should rest and be treated very carefully.”
“Currently Lady Indra is like an extremely fragile handiwork. Exposing Lady Indra to your overflowing liveliness…to be blunt, if you were to do things like slapping, kicking, shaking, and climbing on Lady Indra, she would undoubtedly die.”
Hannibal apparently knows that I had tried to wake her up. But, I haven’t gone as far as slapping or kicking her…though I did think that she might eventually wake up if I did that.
“If you aren’t planning to kill Lady Indra, then please never do anything like that. Got it?”
I nodded fearfully.
…Somehow Hannibal is also frightening.
It was only quite a while later that I heard the servants talking about Elder Sister having woken up.
With even my plain, gloomy, taciturn Elder Sister not being around, it’s boring. There are no other children of my age here, and the maids won’t talk to me either.
I thought that she’d show up during our meals, but since she never came to the dining hall, I got tired of waiting and asked where she was, just to be told that Elder Sister was eating by herself.
Imagining how Elder Sister was eating in a really dark room all by herself, I felt pity for her, and intruded upon her in order to invite her to take her meals with me.
Seeing Elder Sister for the first time in a long time, I realized that she had completely changed. And when our eyes met, her look had changed from the bad feeling it gave me in the past, but then again, it still gave me the same kind of bad feeling. She was looking at me with a face clearly asking what I was doing here. And then I got scolded for having entered the room without having waited for a reply after knocking.
Just when I was about to say, “Isn’t it fine since I did knock?”, Elder Sister sarcastically ridiculed me by asking whether I actually enjoyed watching how she got scolded, and thus I couldn’t say what I wanted to say. After recovering from her illness, Elder Sister wasn’t plain and gloomy anymore, but instead she had become awfully sarcastic.
When she put it like that, it sounded like I had no other choice but to obey anyway, and thus I reluctantly did as Elder Sister told me to. But once I got used to her ways, she was more approachable and easier to talk to compared to before.
For some time after her illness I didn’t approach Elder Sister as Father also forbade me to do so, but soon I started to speak to her again, and although she was quite mean to me, I somehow managed to talk with her, and she stopped being nasty, too. I never got her to play with me though.
But then, at long last, I got the opportunity to go out!
Just hearing about a tea party, I got super excited. I wanted to show those children, who had bullied me, how I was wearing a pretty dress and sparkling accessories. But, since I didn’t know etiquette well, I wanted to take Elder Sister with me. If I did it like that, only Elder Sister would get scolded after all.
When I invited her, Elder Sister showered me with sighs and cruel remarks, but in the end she agreed to come along.
…Just as I thought, I feel like Elder Sister has changed.
Previously, when I had happily shown her a dress Father bought for me, she had glared at me with a terribly nasty look, but now she doesn’t look at me like that. Instead, her face is always colored by irritation…
Okay, I don’t really like seeing either of those looks.