I completed my usual early morning task of scavenging the gutters and purchased some bread from the newly opened bakery.
As someone who has even faced dragons in the frontier, it’s pathetic that I’m moved to tears by the task of gutter scavenging, but it’s delightful to be able to buy freshly baked bread that’s as hot as dragon scales before anyone else.
Today, I splurged on more expensive bread than usual and headed back home.
Our family of four – my younger sister, our parents, and I – lives in this house with only two rooms in addition to the kitchen and living room, making it somewhat cramped.
When my younger sister, Stella, was still young, I landed a job as a frontier guard and left home, so she took over my room immediately. Even when I returned home for my bi-annual holidays, I had nowhere to sleep and ended up crashing in the living room.
However, when Stella, an outstanding student, earned a scholarship to the Magic Academy in the Holy City, our parents moved to our mother’s hometown, and we began renting the house to others in recent years.
I returned from my frontier guard duties a few months ago, and yesterday, Stella, who had just graduated from Magic Academy, arrived back home.
For now, my sister and I manage to respect each other’s privacy in our tiny living quarters.
“Good morning, big brother,” my sister, or rather Lady Geraldine, appeared in the living room while I was preparing breakfast in the kitchen.
As I was preparing breakfast in the kitchen, my sister Stella appeared in the living room.
Or, to be more precise, Lady Geraldine, the daughter of the Duke’s family who had taken over my sister’s body.
Since it’s inconvenient, I’ll follow Belle’s lead and secretly refer to her as Raldine from now on.
Belle is an adorable little familiar who claims to be a fairy-like creature dispatched by my sister, who is currently with the Duke’s family in Holy City under the guise of Raldine, to keep an eye on things.
If Raldine can enjoy her vacation here, I might be able to convince her to put in a good word for me to join the military in Holy City and leave my life as a street scavenger behind. With this in mind, I prepare breakfast for Raldine.
According to Belle, Raldine intends to flawlessly impersonate Stella, so I decide to act as if I don’t notice anything. However, when I see Raldine in the living room, I am completely astonished.
Her hair is a mess, her blouse buttons are mismatched, her skirt is on backwards, and she’s wearing socks that don’t match, with one slipping down. Could it be that she hasn’t even washed her face?
My sister doesn’t resemble me at all, but she’s quite adorable in her own way. However, I regret to say that she doesn’t seem like the brilliant person who graduated from Holy City’s Magic Academy not long ago, and instead looks like someone who lacks intelligence.
“Oh, come on, what are you wearing? Dress appropriately. Come on, lift your chin up…”
I halt preparing breakfast and straighten Raldine’s clothing.
It might be impolite to the daughter of the Duke’s family, but her appearance is that of my sister, even though she is a stranger. I can’t bear to see my sister, who was recognized as the town’s most exceptional student, in such a shoddy state.
“Thank you, big brother. It’s a beautiful morning, isn’t it?”
Perhaps accustomed to being pampered, Raldine doesn’t seem to mind my touch and converses with elegance.
Is Raldine a bit of a disappointment?
I can’t help but entertain impolite thoughts like that.
Belle, who appeared out of thin air, landed on my shoulder and remarked, “Well, you see, she’s a lady from a noble family in the depths. She’s a bit more nonchalant than the others…”
“But there’s a limit to it. How can you believe that this is a flawless impersonation…”
As I combed Raldine’s hair while she sat in front of the mirror, I muttered unconsciously.
“Big brother, is everything alright…?”
Raldine turned around, but she didn’t seem to notice Belle’s presence or voice, and if I’m not careful, I might seem like a suspicious man talking to myself.
“It’s nothing. Let’s just face forward…”
“Yes, big brother…”
I combed her glossy reddish-brown hair.
I haven’t done this for my sister since she was a little girl. There was a time when she was attached to me, and she loved that her hair color was the same as mine.
However, ever since a dragon burned off my hair, leaving me with a noticeably bald head, the local kids made fun of my sister, taunting her that she too would end up bald. It was a humiliating experience. However, those bullies received their just desserts when my sister cast a spell on them, and they ended up with the same bald hairstyle as me for six whole months. She even used magic to turn her hair a golden shade. Despite facing repeated scolding at the local school, she proudly sported her magical locks.
“Come to think of it, did you stop using magic to change your hair color?” I asked Raldine suddenly.
“Huh? What do you mean? Stella, I mean, I’ve had this hair color since my first year…” Raldine looked at herself in the mirror, clearly puzzled.
“Everyone in the academy uses magic to switch their hair color as they please, but I, uh, have had this hair color all along…just like big brother…right? Right, isn’t that right?” Raldine looked at my bald head with a worried expression.
“Yeah, that’s right…” I replied, still feeling befuddled.
“Exactly as Raldine-sama says. Old man, did you forget your sister’s hair color after all these years?”
Belle, who was sitting cross-legged and surreptitiously stealing bread, spoke up too.
I set down my brush.
I felt a pleasant warmth in my stomach, akin to the sensation of eating freshly baked bread that was too hot to handle.
Raldine, no, my younger sister Stella – whom I had just combed her hair and tidied her clothes, looked adorable, and her stunning reddish-brown hair suited her perfectly.
“Well, I’ll go back to preparing breakfast while the bread is still warm. Just be patient a little longer…”
“Yes, big brother…”
Raldine beamed at me.
“By the way, why can’t Raldine see you? Is it some kind of magic that you’re using?”
As I continued cooking in the kitchen, I nonchalantly inquired of Belle.
“Well, she’s from a distinguished lineage. She’s too pure to perceive demons like us…”
Belle responded while munching on a piece of bread soaked in yesterday’s stew.
“But she’s a mage, isn’t she?! She graduated from the Magic Academy right?!”
I was so startled that I nearly dropped the plate. How could someone with magical abilities fail to sense the existence of a subjugated familiar like Belle? Even I can perceive familiars, not just Belle.
“Well, despite its name as the Magic Academy, there are noble privileges. Furthermore, to the credit of Lady Geraldine, those with more distinguished lineage tend to have better compatibility with benevolent spirits and the like. Unlike me, who is the Lord of the Flies, Beelzebub, so perhaps I’m instinctively denied existence…”
Belle, with bits of stew clinging to her lips, gave a wistful smile.
I heaved a deep sigh.
Can a magic user who is too lackadaisical to even perceive familiars genuinely help me in qualifying to serve in the Holy City? Am I truly wasting my time with this endeavor? Maybe I should focus on improving my scavenging skills in the gutters rather than indulging in peculiar dreams.
“I’m exhausted for some reason…”
Of course, it’s not because I woke up early and scavenged the gutters.
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⭐Ongoing — Ch40/86— The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen!
⭐Translation Completed — Ch98/98 — The Former Villainess Who Went Back in Time, She Doesn’t Fix Her Bad Personality but Avoids the Execution Ending!
⭐Translation Completed — Ch54/54 — The Legendary Villainess Who Vanished on the Guillotine, in Her Second Life She Wishes for Peace as a Studious, Plain Glasses-Wearing Person
⭐Translation Completed — Ch105/105 — Until the Exiled Duke’s Daughter, Wilhelmina, Becomes Happy
⭐Translation Completed — Ch85/85 — The Villainess Carries a Strategy Guide
⭐Translation Completed — Ch70/70 — Leah Flores’s Devotion – I May Be a Mob Knight, but in This Life I Will Definitely Protect Duke William with All My Might!
⭐Translation Completed — Ch45/45 — Marriage by Contract? No, It’s a Marriage of Convenience – A Countess Who Had Her Engagement Broken Off Lives Vigorously in the Northern Lands
⭐Translation Completed — Ch95/95 — Although I Am Supposed to Be the Villainess (Planned), I Just Want to Eat Confectionery – I Will Aim for a Peaceful Life with the Block Skill
⭐Translation Completed — Ch100/100 — The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~
⭐Translation Completed — Ch66/66 — The villainess princess will dive into the labyrinth again today
⭐Translation Completed — Ch10/10 — The Old Warrior Is Busy Taking Care of His Possessed Sister, Who Has Been Inhabited by the Duke’s Daughter
⭐Translation Completed — Ch50/50 — An Unconscious Genius Magic Tool Maker Wants to Live a Leisurely Life
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