Translated web novel.
Heart Break Arc 1
「I don’t like that woman. In fact, I hate her. I really hate her.」
Surrounded by several girls, he spat out those words.
With words that indicated clear rejection, his eyes filled with an unpleasantly cold sharpness.
I wonder if the cracking sound I heard had just been an auditory hallucination that reverberated in my mind.
— Right now, anyone’s fine, I just want someone to sympathize with me for being treated as 『that woman』 by the person that I was in the midst of having a puppy love for.
There had been an orphanage that was managed by Alan-ojisama, an old friend of Father’s, who was the feudal lord’s aide. The institution was situated relatively near my home, the Barette residence. Reiss was the new boy that had been entered there.
Although Father went there to teach the orphanage’s children penmanship in his free time, I, Suria Barette, often accompanied him there to play.
Since Father splits the kids to teach depending on the day, whenever he was teaching, I’d act like an older sister and volunteer as a playmate for the other smaller children. As an only child, the younger children who affectionately call me「Suria-oneechan」were all my beloved little brothers and sisters.
When we met each other, I’d been 11 years old, and Reiss had been 9.
At first, the boy who was two years my junior had also been one of the little brothers that was supposed to be in my care. On top of that, he’d been a 『handful』 .
It was right after he came to the orphanage.
Reiss had been all skin and bones, which was uncommon in this country, with his blood-red eyes along with hair that was pitch black like the dark night, he looked eerie like a ghost that haunts old castles.
Even though he had a beautiful symmetrical face when you looked closely, he always had a dull look in his eyes. I think his lack of expression ended up isolating him from everyone. The other children naturally avoided him and didn’t attempt to approach him either.
「This won’t do!」
With my heart set on making things better, I journeyed to the orphanage on my own, even on the days my father did not go. Encouraging him to eat his meals, forcing him to finish reading the books, and dragging him outside to play, I energetically meddled in his business. When he tried to act irritated or attempted to get rid of me, I continued to interfere with some mysterious will-power.
It was touching when my efforts bore fruit and he came to me from over his side, calling out to me by my nickname, 「Su」 for the first time.
When I replied, he furrowed his brow deeply. Then, he smiled with the cheeks that had turned a healthy shade of red. It was a little hard to explain, but you try being smiled at by him.
So it wasn’t my fault when I’d hugged him without realizing it. He soon tore away from me, though.
Reiss’s growth had been amazing after he opened his heart for me like that.
He went ahead and asked Father for knowledge and requested Alan-ojisan, who it seems had been a knight back in the old days, to personally instruct him on things like swordsmanship and martial arts.
While doing those things, his good looks became even more refined.
When I asked why he decided to do those things, Reiss evaded the question with a vague answer of 「…I just felt like it」, but when I asked Alan-ojisan, he broke out into a good-natured smile and told me in private.
「He said, 『I want to become strong enough to protect Su』」
「… protect me?」
「Yeah. I was surprised when he bowed his head and asked me to teach him how to use a sword. That rebellious brat… to think, he’s become a boy that’s totally devoted to you, Sulia-chan」
Alan-ojisan gave a hearty laugh and added, 「Ah, keep the fact that I said this to you a secret! That guy has forbidden me from telling you, 『don’t ever tell Su!』, he said」, but I didn’t have the composure to reply to that with a joke.
After all, my heart was thumping hard and loud.
…Before I knew it, I started to have a mild infatuation with Reiss, who was gradually starting to mature into someone strong and cool.
I loved that moment when his expressionless face brightens faintly when I call him by his name, 「Reiss」.
I’m sure Reiss only directed affections for me, the girl closest to him, as an imprinting mechanism. I can guess that 『wanting to protect me』 was probably a sentiment similar to that of familial love.
But, even so, that had been alright.
No matter what, neglible as it may be, I was the person closest to him.
After all, to Reiss, that had been considerably 『special』.
At the time, we did get along. We got along so much that Alan-ojisan had jokingly hurled, 「I guess Sulia-chan is going to be Reiss’s bride soon」 with a smile. So much that when Father heard it, he replied 「No, I won’t allow it, I absolutely won’t allow it」 with a serious look.
We spent a lot of time together that we even knew all the habits and weaknesses of the other. We shared our embarrassing muck ups with each other. He was not a talker. But only with me would he engage in pleasantly childish conversations.
Even if others saw it, the relationship between me and Reiss should have been one where we mutually treasured each other even if the sort of sentiment directed at me was different.
——- that relationship, like a thread coming undone, slowly crumbled.
Just when had our relationship started to crumble to the point where he’d spit out insults like that?