The Villainess Is Changing Her Role To A BroCon - Chapter 21
Side Story ~ Brother And Sister-
Let’s go slightly further back in time, to the moment after Ekaterina ran away from Alexei.
It was during the breaktime after the first afternoon class. With elbows on the desk and both hands cupping his face, covering his eyes, Alexei heaved helpless sighs several times.
He had been a mess during class earlier. He had completely zoned out, and not only was he unable to answer when being called upon, he didn’t even know what the teacher asked of him. He was stunned when the exasperated teacher told him ‘That’s enough’. To someone who had always been a star student in his academic studies since enrolment, it was an utter disgrace.
A boy with a large-built suddenly appeared next to him.
“Hey, Duke, what’s with you today? Did something happen?”
The boy asked with curiosity. Flaming red hair, golden eyes, a tall stature with spectacular muscles – that was Nicolai Krymov, heir to a countship. Nicolai was friendly, and while everyone, including the teachers, kept their distance from Alexei out of respect, Nicolai treated him as if he was just any other ordinary person.
The Academy of Magic didn’t have a class streaming system, so everyone stayed in the same class throughout three years. Alexei had started discharging his duties as a Duke since the first year, and some had been calling him ‘Duke’ behind his back as a joke because of that, but only Nicolai had ever used the nickname straight to his face. At first, Alexei didn’t reprimand him because the Yurinovas were once indebted to the Krymovs. But after he had officially inherited his title, the fact that he was still being addressed as ‘Duke’ by Nicolai in his deep voice made Alexei feel like it was his own name and not just a title, till then it had ceased being unpleasant.
Alexei secretly thought of Nicolai as his polar opposite. Alexei could make the atmosphere of every place he set foot into turn rigid even if he didn’t intend to, while anywhere Nicolai goes, the atmosphere would turn calm and warm.
That was why Alexei grew soft just now in Nicolai’s presence, and he suddenly uttered:
“…I made my sister cry.”
Nicolai’s eyes widened.
“Now, now, that’s the reason? Sisters are crybabies to begin with. I leave mine alone and all of a sudden, I become the bad guy and end up getting beaten by my dad or mom, while she watches and sticks her tongue out to mock me.”
Nicolai also had a sister, and the latter half of his reply became a complaint.
It was strange to hear the words ‘dad’, ‘mom’ and ‘beaten’ being used while talking about a Count and a Countess, but the Krymovs were different. They had the secret of cross-breeding horses with demon beasts and raising them hands on by themselves. While many aristocrats often delegated even the management of their domains to their employees, the head of Krymov family worked on his vast ranch himself; he was known to even handle the newly-born foals with his own hands during the birthing season. The current Countess was the daughter of a powerful Marquis, but she loved horses so much that she forced the marriage with the Count of Krymov herself. She was remarked to have ‘outstanding talent’ by the previous Countess.
Nicolai exclaimed, suddenly remembering something:
“Ah, that reminds me, someone who seems to be your sister came here. A pretty girl with indigo blue hair and purplish blue eyes, right? She’s so beautiful and mature that it’s hard to think she’s a first year student. She has such pale skin that it looks translucent, and she’s so slender that she looks like she was about to snap in half. She seems difficult to approach, but after I told her about your whereabouts, she thanked me politely. She gave off such a pleasant impression, yet somehow dazzling and elegant too. It was amazing. Sorry, she’s something different from my sister. Mine is a monkey compared to her.”
“She seems to generate a lot of buzz as one of the top two contenders for the most beautiful freshman this year. She’s called Blue Rose, and the other beauty is called Cherry Blossom. Anyway, why did you make such a sweet little sister cry? She should be treated with great care.”
“…I have some issues with her choice of friends. The one she brought with her is not her equal in status…”
Nicolai huffed at Alexei’s unexpected answer.