On the morning of the day that I was to head for the palace to attend the ball, I paid Mishuly a little visit.
It was not seen as an unusual thing any more for me to visit the room of Mishuly, who I adored, and by now there was no one in the mansion who thought it was strange. I had the servants wait for me outside of the room so that it could be just the two of us. I read books to her and enjoyed our moment of sisterhood. While I wanted to entertain Mishuly, I also had the motive of replenishing my energy with my sister’s smile so that I would be able to survive today’s ball.
During this moment that we were spending together, Mishuly suddenly turned to look at me and started to moan.
The angelic eyes looked up at me from a heads height below mine and stared.
What is it? I think as I stare back at those large, blue eyes. She was so adorable that I didn’t mind starting a little stare down right now, but I didn’t think that that had been Mishuly’s true intention when she began to look at me.
“What is it? Mishuly?”
“Olders sister, are you sick?”
I was shocked at this blunt question with no context.
I smiled so that she did not notice that I was a little shaken, but my mouth remained tense.
“Ah, no… I’m fine, Mishuly.”
I made a vague reply to Mushuly’s worried question. It was quite obvious that she was not convinced, but Mishuly was not old enough to probe further at such unsatisfactory words. For a while, she cocked her head and looked suspiciously at me, but once I patted her on the head with a ‘there, there now,’ her questioning look dissipated.
Mishuly was truly angelic when she laughed so happily from being patted on the head. I beamed at her smile which could have brightened the world, and at the same time, a stabbing pain made my body go tense.
I gently patted Mishuly’s head as she once again raised her head with an alertness. She really was sensitive to the changes in others.
But really, it was not anything to be alarmed about. If I were to compare it to something, yes. It’s like there was a small thorn inside of my throat. That kind of insignificant thing.
It was something that was there ever since the day that Mariywa told me that I must accept the unreasonable.
She had said that it was something necessary in order to live, a knowledge I needed to become a lady. That Mishuly could not appear on the front stage of society, well, that was just a part of it. It was something that could not be changed, and there was no use in rebelling against it. On that day where she taught me to accept it and act gracefully around others as if nothing had happened, there was still one conjecture that I had not been able to swallow.
What Mariywa said was true. The knowledge of my past life that I had remembered, “Labyrinth Destiny”. In that story as well, Mishuly had been raised in hiding. In order to hide the truth that she was the youngest daughter of the king’s sister, she placed among the Noir family as an orphan, a social outcast.
The Mishuly in that story may have started as a social outcast, but she had slowly gained attention as the story went on. By the end she finally did stand on the center stage, she was bathed in the spotlight.
In that case, perhaps, even though I think that it is nearly impossible…
Perhaps it is I who was accidentally born as a genius, a bug, who is closing the door for Mishuly and glory. Perhaps it is I who has blocked the bright future that was promised her and instead locked her into a labyrinth with no way out.
It was unreasonable, and perhaps I was thinking too much, but I just couldn’t swallow it. The thorn that remained in my throat continued to pierce and tear my heart.
“Whaat is it, older sister?”
“…Mishuly, do you want to be happy?”
Mishuly’s eyes blinked in puzzlement at the sudden question.
Her face showed that she had no idea what I was asking her. I saw her confusion, and thought, ‘of course’ and laughed a little. There was no one in the world who did not want to be happy. It wasn’t like me to ask such foolish questions.
Nevermind, it’s nothing. I try to tell her in an attempt to take the words back, but Mishuly was faster in replying.
“But, I am happy you know?”
Mishuly smiled softly as if she were sending a blessing to the whole world.
“Father is here, older sister is here, I live in this big house, I am happy right now, you know?”
Mishuly’s words illuminated me like a light shining down. It kicked down my gloomy sentiments and cleansed away the thorn that had been stuck in my throat.
That’s it. I could not allow Mishuly to become miserable. Who cares about fate. Any fate that tries to tear me and Mishuly apart can get lost in the labyrinth. We don’t need you to come. I will be the one who will make Mishuly happy.
I embraced her with everything within me. Mishuly, who believed from the bottom of her heart, without hesitation or embarrassment, that she was happy.
“You really are so adorable, Mishuly!”
“Ehehe. Older sister is the coolest in the whole world!”
Adorable and cool, combined we sisters looked unbeatable. We held each other like that for a long while. I basked in the sensation of holding her tightly. I was satisfied that I had fulfilled my purpose in coming to her room.
I feel replenished.