Intermission – Certain childhood friend’s recollection
※Lance’s Point of View.
I have a childhood friend.
Her house is fairly close, and we are getting along even now, in high school.
… Well, I don’t think of her just like a childhood friend, but she seems to think so.
She did not notice even when she insensibly asked me whether I have a lover or a person I like.
… It might have been my poor approach so far though.
I first met Olga when we were five years old.
Our houses are close, and our parents are close to each other, so I was brought along for a visit to her house.
“Now, Lance. Say hello to Olga-chan.”
The one standing before me was an adorable girl with silver hair and amber eyes.
“… Hello, I am Lance Luxein.”
I, who was shy at that time, greeted her in a feeble, amiable voice.
… Ordinary young ladies would have a bad impression of me by now, but it was the cheerful Olga.
“How do you do! I’m Olga Rifald! … You have pretty hair, like the sun!”
Though she’s a bit more modest now, Olga greeted me cheerfully.
… At that time, I was surprised that she liked the color of my hair.
That’s because I hated the blood color of my hair myself.
However, her words “How pretty”, I felt like a stone fell from my heart.
… The origin of my character might be because of the words she said.
“… T, thank you. Your hair too, it’s pretty as the moon.”
Olga who properly heard my whispering voice cheerfully smiled and said “Thank you!”.
After that, I played with her almost every day.
Well, what we did was things like climbing the trees and playing in the sand which is not how ordinary noble children play, so I remember being scolded by Father and Mother all the time.
This naughty way of playing also must have an influence on me, as I gradually grew conceited, and she too had a different sense of value from the other young noble ladies.
Like this, we grew up quickly and healthily.
“… Hey, Lance.”
We were thirteen at that time, and as expected, we weren’t climbing trees anymore, but we often visited each other’s houses to talk.
“It looks like I will have a little brother.”
“Seriously!? The age difference is quite large, no?”
In this country, one is considered an adult at eighteen, so when he grows up to her age, she would be nearly thirty.
Well, it’s not unusual among nobles.
“No, he’s apparently a year younger than me.”
“Well, something similar… Otousama’s younger brother has passed away, so we will be apparently taking care of his child.”
I see, so it’s like that.
… Olga is kindhearted, so I believe that she will immediately get along with him, but will she be all right?
“… So, I wanted to ask you… what should I do to get along with that child?”
It seemed to be on her mind as she looked really uneasy.
… We are talking about the kind her, so I believe she will get along with her little brother in no time, but… well, I understand her uneasiness.
Even if you are suddenly told “You are family”, that person was just a stranger to you until yesterday.
Even if you have blood ties, it’s not a true family.
According to Olga, she has not talked with that child much before.
Well, they are of a different gender, so it cannot be helped.
“Let’s see… do you remember the time you met me for the first time?”
“Eh? Well, somehow…”
“In that case, you should act just like you did when you greeted me. You will be fine with your useless kindness and cheerfulness.”
I also wouldn’t probably get along with Olga if she was more obedient and taciturn.
That is one of her charms.
“… What you mean by useless… well, thank you. I will try doing my best.”
I don’t know whether what Olga did when we met for the first time would be useful now, but it surely is worth trying.
A year younger than me, that means twelve… n? Wait a moment?
One year younger…?
… Isn’t that plenty old to become a target of romantic interest! I paid too much attention to the “little brother” statement!?
… No! Wait, me. Olga’s little brother becoming a target of her romantic interest, what is it about?
How is it related to me?
… Even I thought so, the strange feeling in my chest did not fade.
I don’t want Olga to get stolen. I don’t want that.
What is this about…?
… Surely not, jealousy?
Waitwaitwait!? Why do I have to be jealous!?
It’s almost like… like I love Olga!?
Even as a joke, this fellow is engaged to the Crown Prince…!
“? Lance, is something wrong?”
Must finding my face which switched from red to blue and back to red strange, Olga asked worriedly.
… I cannot tell her!
“No!? It’s nothing-!?”
“I, is that so? … Then, I will be returning. The little brother will apparently arrive today.”
I did not hear anything about this!?
You looked like “he will come next time~” so to think he would be arriving today!
“… Be careful of your little brother.”
This conversation is what triggered my awareness of my feelings for Olga.
… And, at that time, I didn’t know.
That four years later, she would have her engagement with the first prince annulled, and that she would cause many worries for all of us.
… And I didn’t know at this time, that I wouldn’t find it unpleasant.