My name is Christina Noir. I am a genius.
I was running through the mansion at one, at three I had command of speech, at five I had read every book in my father’s library, at seven I participated in my first ball and shocked all of society by playing the perfect lady, at nine I fell in love for the first time.
Now I was eleven years old.
Two years had passed since I was nine and realized that I was in love. Two years should have been more than enough time to analyze my heart, but even a genius like me could not solve this dilemma known as love. What had taken root in my heart on that day, I have still not been able to shake off.
As proof of this, I was alone in my room now and holding my head in front of a mirror.
There was nothing strange about the reflection of me in the mirror. I had asked the servants to do me up properly. I did prefer fancy clothing, but I do not have bad tastes as far as I can tell. This dress with a red base looked good on me, it was made to draw out my own allure. The girl who appeared in the mirror was the flawless and beautiful Christina Noir.
I was prepared to go and meet Charles. As a genius, it was clear that I was up to the task. There was nothing at all to be worried about.
And yet, something was agitating me beyond belief.
This happened occasionally whenever Charles would come to visit.
As he was nearly ten, he had more and more public duties to attend to. And it wasn’t just appearances in public either, he also had to spend many more hours studying than before. As my own schedule had to align with his, it became harder to see each other, two or three times a week like we used to. These days we would only be able to meet at the mansion once a month.
Perhaps it was due to having not seen him for so long. I was starting to feel nervous at the thought of meeting him. In fact, while the face in the mirror wasn’t quite as red as my dress, it was a close match. It must be my heightened emotions showing through. We could not longer innocently and unreservedly share words and feelings with each other like we used to.
As I stayed in that room in my discomfort, Mishuli paid me a visit.
“Sister…oh, what are you doing?”
She asked after seeing my face.
My beloved angel had grown in the past two years. It might seem like a strange expression, ‘the growth of an angel’, but how else could I describe her increasing beauty as the days went by? Perhaps she would change jobs one of these days. From angel to Goddess. Mishuli was still nine years old, but her adorableness was still overwhelming. As I see her only become more lovable throughout the years, it makes me forget such plans about becoming independent, and I just want to embrace her.
“Why is your face red? Are you ill?”
“Mishuli…no, it’s nothing.”
My separation from her was going smoothly just as it was for her. I knew that we were inseparable, but once I turned ten, we began to spend more time alone. Recently, Mishuli would spend more time away from me than with me.
But even so, it did not change the fact that we were close sisters.
“Don’t do that. You might have a cold.”
Mishuli looked a little upset as she closed the distance between us.
When she was younger, it seemed that she would generally obey whatever I told her and follow along. But now she often showed an independence that sometimes went against my will.
“I shall check your temperature, sister.”
“No, I told you. I am fine…”
“Nooo, you aren’t.”
My protests were nothing. Mishuli was now close enough for us to touch, and then she pressed her forehead against my own.
Her blue were so close as they looked into mine. The eyes no longer had the same transparency they did when we first met, there were all kinds of emotions melded in now. They shone with a brilliant and human light.
“Sister, you have a bad habit of keeping your problems to yourself…yes. You do have a fever after all.”
“Yes. Why would I lie?”
Aside from my reddened face, I was not aware of any abnormalities with my health. But if Mishuli said I did, then I must have a fever. In that case, maybe this tight feeling in my chest was also due to my illness.
“A fever…does that mean it’s just from a cold?”
“I think so. If there are no other symptoms, it must be still early. You should rest for a while.”
Oh, so it was only a cold.
That made sense.
I see. I see. Even though I would be meeting Charles for the first time in a while, it was too much to think that it was the cause of my unrest. It made complete sense. My mental state was just following my physical state. It couldn’t be helped.
“I suppose I’ll have Charles leave today as well.”
It wouldn’t do if he caught a cold as well. Charles was also quite busy these days, he wouldn’t have any time to waste in seeing me.
As I was thinking about sending a carriage to the palace with a message to cancel the appointment, Mishuli took my hand and squeezed it.
“I shall stay with you all day and nurse you back to health.”
“…But, you might catch a cold too?”
“Don’t worry. After all, we are sisters, are we not?”
Mishuli laughed with the most sincere smile, and I couldn’t help but smile too.
She really had grown. We were no longer dependant on each other. We were sisters who helped each other. We were the strongest.
“Well then, I’ll allow it.”
I smile happily, deciding to be pampered by the kindness of the most adorable sister in the world.
By the way, Mariwa was scheduled to give a lesson that afternoon.
Of course, a message had been sent to Mariwa in advance, telling her of the situation. But Mariwa still came right on time and the lessons started as usual.
“Didn’t you think that I might be sleeping in bed today?”
Perhaps Mishuli’s care had proved successful, because the heat had drawn from my face by then and I was back to normal. And so there was no trouble with receiving my lessons, but I was puzzled as to how she could have known it would. Mariwa had appeared at the Noir house with such composure, not once did she look worried that her lessons would be canceled.
“How? I did have a fever this morning, usually, you would not think it would settle down by the afternoon. And you’re not even a doctor, how did you come to assume that I would be fine?”
“A simple theory that would be overbold to even call a prediction.”
I asked her, and Mariwa answered cooly as if unbothered.
“Fools to not catch colds. You had most certainly been misdiagnosed this morning.”
“Hey, take that back!”
“I will not. I had only heard of the situation from someone else, and yet even I could easily understand the method your sister used to easily fool you. It is about time you realize just how lacking you are in terms of sensibility. Prince Charles has also inherited that, disposition of his and Mishuli has without a doubt been growing with troublesome qualities as well. I shall tell you based on my own experiences, but being involved with such a person could lead to disaster.”
“What are you talking about! Are you blaming Mishuli just for worrying about me!?”
Recently, I had only talked to her politely, and so Mariwa’s insults had been ignored. But duke’s daughter or not, I could not help but howl at her now.
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