[Eric]: “Pardon the intrusion, Big Brother.”
My older brother, William, called me to his room one night.
He had a serious look on his face, glancing through a pile of documents without ever raising his gaze my way.
[Will]: “…..Eric, Rose has gone missing.”
It took a moment for my brain to register what my older brother had just said.
Because, something like that happening sounds completely incomprehensible.
[Will]: “It seems Rose never returned home to the Duke’s mansion after going shopping with her maid. Rather, it sounds as if they never even made it back to the carriage that had gone to pick them up.”
[Eric]: “…..h-have we started a search yet!?”
[Will]: “Of course the Duke began an immediate search. And I have already alerted Father to this as well. We’ve sent some knights to assist in the search, and I will be sending Rudolph to join them later.”
Big Brother is strangely calm despite the fact that Roselia, whom he is always doting over, has disappeared. The only thing that looks even slightly out of the ordinary is the small crease between his brow.
[Eric]: “Rudolph was originally your close aide, so I have no objections. …..but Big Brother……”
Big Brother looked at me for the first time since I got here with a look that was clearly asking, “What is it?”
[Eric]: “How can you be so calm right now?”
Big Brother is always kind and an excellent royal loved by other people. He is an older brother I am both proud and envious of.
Big Brother would regularly invite over a girl who wasn’t Sophia-sama, his fiancee, to the castle after I said some terrible things to her when we were kids. That was Roselia, an otherwordly beauty with a sharp gaze and powerful maturity to her.
Big Brother always treated Roselia like she was his little sister and cherished the time he spent with her and Sophia-sama. Until then, the only people Big Brother would be himself around were members of our family and Sophia-sama, but Roselia effortlessly slid into that group.
And now that Roselia, whom he cherishes so much, has gone missing. It’s strange that he isn’t more upset.
I heard something at that moment. A low voice like something crawling out of a barren wasteland.
My mind went blank, and I couldn’t hide my trembling. I looked around the room, but it was pointless. That voice was coming from the brother sitting in front of me.
[Eric]: “B-Big Brother…….?”
[Will]: “Eric, I’m……calm right now? You really think so?”
[Eric]: “Eh, n-no, um…….”
I take it back. And I really wish I had taken the initiative to immediately volunteer to help with the search. But I at least understand my own position, so I do my best to remain calm and avoid showing any fear.
I’m an idiot…..
How could he possibly be calm during a situation like this?
The Roselia he cherishes so much has gone missing. One of the few people he can really be himself around and let down his guard.
I should’ve never opened my big mouth……. As his younger brother, I should’ve understood, but I made a mistake and said the wrong thing.
[Eric]: “Sorry B-Big Brother”
[Will]: “…..no, I lost my composure. Sorry. …..I’ll let you know when we find her. Until then, I have other people I must speak with today.”
The next time I heard from my big brother, he told me something gut-wrenching.
He though Miss Erina, a girl who was very close to me, was suspicious. He thought she had something to do with Roselia’s disappearance.
I couldn’t believe it. Miss Erina is a sweet girl who looks like she wouldn’t even hurt a fly, but according to Big Brother, she has a record of harassing Roselia before this.
[Eric]: “……no way”
[Will]: “I don’t have any proof yet, so I’m not making any type of accusation. However the fact remains that she is suspicious, so I want you to alert me if she does anything out of the ordinary.”
[Eric]: “…….I understand”
I find it hard to believe, but it’d be impossible for me to go against my older brother. So if I do ever see something, I will tell him immediately.