Darck Sereknight Part 2 – Familiar Fragrance
Anyhow, Chloe was just stubbornly competitive and rivaled me in many things not limited to studies alone. She also took up archery and learned at the same time as me, but because her feminine and lighter physique was making it hard for her, there were many times she lost her patience with it. As a result, she received a modified lightweight crossbow instead. She was likely driven by her pride, not wanting to get behind a mere mistress’ child. This is probably why she was so delighted in being recognized as the temporary saintess and becoming the crown prince’s fiancee.
She always blabbermouthed about all the things that his highness, Leddorio did, even though I never asked her about it. She also made sure to decorate herself from head to two when it comes to social parties and when the pet he had given to her as a present had died, she was severely depressed that she lost all appetite. I found it strange how a fiancee that was merely arranged for her would make so much energetic. However, I knew that his highness was slowly getting tired of her prideful boasts as well as her malicious gossips regarding other people. This is highly evident as the prince would always leave each party without sparing a glance at her when his social duties are over. Not to mention, all the presents he received from her were handed to his associate, Sei, for him to handle instead. She doesn’t even realize that the more she sticks to his highness like glue, the further the crown prince’s heart distances from her. Still, I thought that she was merely reaping what she sewed and felt satisfied thanks to all my past grudges against her.
Soon after Chloe enrolled in the royal academy, they managed to find another saintess candidate. She was a commoner-born lady called Momo, who was highly oblivious to the rules of the noble society, earning her the animosity of many people, but her unfaltering boldness and carefree attitude brought with her fresh winds to such a closed and strict community as the royal academy which also increased her devotees all the same. Before long, even his highness, Leddorio, had taken interest in her which naturally earned the jealousy of my younger sister. Not only did I became the receiving end of Chloe’s endless complaints and disparagements of the lady called Momo, I was also made to taste the burnt confectionaries that she made in opposition to her, and forced to escort her to the parties that the prince had stood her up.
Although I was pulled into something so troublesome, I couldn’t help but sympathize with the prince’s feelings. Even if she matches him in social pedigree, nobody would ever want to get married to a lady with such a crude heart. Even I thought that if I’m going to have a sister, I’d rather have someone like Lady Momo instead. I didn’t wish to be born as a noble’s mistress’ child.
“So you were that Momo Palette. My sister must have been quite bothersome.”
One day, I called out to Lady Momo myself. I apologized for the things that Chloe had done but she humbly told me that I had nothing to apologize for. I noticed an academy textbook with its pages torn to shreds to where she stood. Just from that, I immediately knew who the ringleader was. By the next day, I turned over the textbook I used last year to Momo for her own to use instead.
“I’m sorry for the trouble, sir…”
“I won’t use that anymore anyway, and you can just consider this as an atonement for the troubles that my sister has caused.”
Although Lady Momo was feeling ashamed at first, she later received it and profusely bowed her head before walking away. On the next day, she gave me wrappings with cookies inside them as gratitude. They must’ve been the baked confectionaries that Chloe was trying to match. Upon taking a bite on one of them, although they were much simpler in taste, they were far superior to the cookies that my younger sister made me taste.
“I initially thought that Sir Darck was a far scarier person.”
“Well, I was that person’s older brother so considering your perspective, that can’t be helped.”
From then on, I began to talk to Momo more and more to clean up after the things that Chloe had done. As I was sharing my share of grievances about Chloe, I soon revealed the circumstances of my birth to her as well.
“I do not think of Sir Darck as repulsive at all. No one in this world can choose the circumstances that they would be born into.”
“Still, it is true that I had intruded in her rightful place.”
“If that’s the case, it should be your father who was the main cause of all this that Lady Chloe should object to! It’s unfair to vent all her frustrations to her brother who had no choice about this.”
Lady Momo is truly someone who does not know what she should fear. However, because she said the words that I hid deep within my heart, I felt lighter afterwards. As I pleasantly gazed at her who kept voicing all sorts of complaints, she gave me a surprised look afterwards and took something out of her own pocket.
“By the way, I remembered that today is Sir Darck’s birthday so I prepared a gift.”
“Hmm? Have I told you about it before?”
“No, sir. Uhm, I heard Lady Chloe talking about it. She said that because Sir Darck hated having birthday parties, he had them stop preparing one.”
To be precise, what I hated was the fact that Chloe would always throw a tantrum whenever I hold my own party and ask for her own to be much grander. I just had them stop preparing one instead to save me the trouble. For that woman, this is the day of the child born out of his father’s mistress, a rather unpleasant day. Although my house was held back, I still felt happy about my friends who would greet me without minding such circumstances.
“This is….. a perfume?”
“I found it on a shop and wanted Sir Darck to see it. It would be great if it matches your liking, sir.”
It was a woman’s perfume but the bottle’s elaborate design was familiar. The ducal house had received gifts such as s and perfumes that will not be opened and only serves as interior design. I thought of using the bottle in the same way but decided to try smelling the fragrance. The distinct sweet smell that it emitted was far lighter than I thought but its gentle fragrance was oddly calming. I knew this smell. It was the smell that I had always yearned for and will never forget. It was the same perfume that Viscountess Magenta had used. I remember sparingly telling Momo about her while I was sharing my grievances but I am sure that I didn’t tell her about her fragrance. There’s no way Lady Momo would know that beforehand.
(Is this, coincidence?)
As I was surrounded by such a nostalgic smell, I saw the lady leaving with such an enigmatic smile. She was like a younger sister but felt much more precious than my actual one. When she told me how she was an only child and how she felt envious of Chloe who had an older brother like me, I felt so ecstatic. However, later on, I came to realize that it wasn’t enough. I wanted to spend all my days with her by my side. I want her to greet me on all my upcoming birthdays. I wanted her to look at me as a man. Before I realized it, my affection for lady Momo grew more and had far surpassed that of a sibling one.
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