I Was Reincarnated As The Older Brother Of A Villainess Destined to Die, So I Want To Change The Future By Raising My Younger Sister With My Own Hands – Volume 3 – Chapter 4 – Part 2

Countermeasures(2)

Hey, hey, hey, hey. Are you listening to me?”

“What?”

Minerva’s voice reaches your ears and you come to your senses.

I’m sitting at the table with her. I’ve been invited to dinner, as I expected, so we’re having dinner together.

But as you can see from our brief exchange I wasn’t able to concentrate at all. Because my thoughts were occupied with the various things related to the Witch’s Curse.

We managed to get some information out of Count Ptep and the others we captured, but we didn’t know anything more about the cursed book than that it had been left behind by the merchant. Furthermore, the mental contamination was so bad that it was extremely difficult for us to have a normal conversation. In the end, we had gained very little. It was very frustrating to be in a situation where we couldn’t even catch a glimpse of our enemies.

The fact that it was Count Ptep who targeted Nina was another reason for my frustration.

It wasn’t the person who killed her in the game, but it feels too contrived for her relatives to stand in her way. It’s as if the world is trying to make the “Ptep kills Nina” scenario work.

For a long time, I have suspected the existence of a “force of the world” that makes things progress according to the game. I have been wary of such an unknown force in similar works.

Though I’ve been thinking that compulsion is hardly a thing these days. After all, Kalon and Orca’s personalities and the situation in Foranada are so far removed from the game, and Nina is safe for the moment. I had not seen any signs of coercion, so I had naturally let my guard down.

The situation surrounding Nina was definitely upsetting me.

That’s why I missed Minerva’s speech. I’ve got to get my mind right.

I’m sorry. I was just thinking.

I make a smile and give it back to Minerva in a nonchalant way.

Then she scrutinized him.

“You’ve got a lot of nerve thinking about something else when you’re eating with me.”

I’m so sorry. I’ll be careful now.”

“… Okay. Okay, then.

She pulled back more than I expected. I was expecting her to say something worrying to me, since she’s a bit of a tsundere.

I feel a little doubtful about this unexpected response.

But I never really thought about it.

“I don’t blame you. I’ll tell you the story again, and this time you’ll listen.”

Yes, of course.

Minerva immediately continued chatting with her so I decided to concentrate on that. It would be rude of me to miss it twice.

The dinner party went on without a hitch. Minerva talked about a topic with her good sense, and I made a moderate comment. We settled down in the usual way.

About an hour after dinner. I’ve been sitting on my bed in my room thinking. Thinking, of course, about the threat to Nina.

We’ll hide her in the castle, that’s a given. If there are forces at work in the game’s development, we will ponder how to deal with them.

I can feel Theon’s eyes on me, but I don’t have time to worry about it right now so I let it go. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to bear with me until things settle down.

The silence in the room was suddenly broken. There was a regular knock at the door.

I and Zion are both tilting their heads.

Who’s there at this time of night? That’s not the question. We’ve got a constant search, and we know who’s approaching the room.

The question we had was, “What’s Minerva doing here at this hour?” “What’s Minerva doing here at this hour?

Yes, the visitor was Minerva. I mean, she’s the only one who’d voluntarily visit my colorless room.

It’s a terrible thing for a noblewoman to visit a man’s room at night. Even if the man was her fiancé, it’s not an admirable thing to do. It’s hard to imagine that the daughter of a duke wouldn’t have some common sense.

I’m suspicious but I tell Theon to answer it. I can’t just ignore him now that he’s knocked.

Theon opens the door and starts a conversation with Minerva out front. I thought it would be over soon, but the conversation is taking too long. I wonder what they are talking about.

You can eavesdrop if you enhance your hearing, but you’re too delirious to do it.

Soon after, Theon walks up to us. No one is following her from behind. What did she want?

I was tilting my head inwardly when Theon came up beside me and said with a smile.

“Minerva has invited us to tea.”

“What? Now?”

I’m going to have to make a crazy voice when he says something so far out of line with what I expected.

It was already past twenty. The sun had set completely. It was not the time for a tea party.

Ignoring my blindingly obvious reaction, Xion rushes to stand up.

“Come on. Minerva’s waiting for you.

“Oh, come on. Are we really having a tea party?”

I will. That’s what you said.

No, but at this hour?

At this hour, sir.

I can’t help but be baffled by her unquestioning attitude.

In the end, I was pushed aside by Theon. I get ready and head for the tea party with Zion leading the way.

I’m wondering if they colluded when they answered the door, but I’m not going to talk about it. Theon trusts Minerva, of course. but she’s a caring woman. I can assure you that neither of them would do anything to my detriment. So I’m obediently following her lead.

It seems that this is a different destination from the courtyard they usually use. I took an unusual route and ended up at the edge of the backyard. It was a pavilion at the top of a gently sloping hill.

Minerva was already in the pavilion, ready for the tea party.

I don’t see any sign of the other servants.

but I’m pretty sure Minerva herself made the tea. I can guess from the steam rising from the pot that she made the tea just before we arrived.

I have to admit I was surprised. I’d assumed that Minerva, a typical young lady, couldn’t fetch tea at all.

I bow to her, admiring this new side of my fiancée.

“Thank you for inviting me to your tea party.”

There was a more formal greeting, but I decided that a frank one was more appropriate, given the atmosphere of Minerva.

It seems she was right. She puts her hands on her hips and stretches her chest out.

“I brewed the tea myself today. Taste it and be thankful!”

“That’s great. I’m looking forward to it.”

Minerva leads me to a seat and Zion stays behind.

Then she prepared cups for three and began to pour tea from the pot.

“Can you prepare one for Zion as well?”

Servants aren’t allowed to eat or drink in the company of nobles. I was surprised at Minerva’s breaking with that rule. Theon’s eyes are wide open too.

Minerva snorts in response.

“This is the first tea I’ve ever brewed. So I’d like to get a professional opinion. Is that a problem?”

No, I don’t mind. In fact, I’m flattered.

I am somewhat pleased that our family, Zion, has been recognized.

“Hmm. So, you– do you think Zion will drink?”

Yes. If you say so, Minerva, then I have no objection.

Okay, take a seat. I’m gonna sit next to him.

Yes, sir.

I’m sure this isn’t the first time she’s had tea with me, but she was quite confused by the presence of Minerva. I sit down on the chair with trepidation.

“So let’s get this tea party started. Please, feel free to drink.”

He said it was the first time for him to make a cup of tea, so he might want to know what I think of it as soon as possible. Without any preamble, he immediately offers her a cup of tea.

I had no reason to refuse, so I and Zion picked up the cups.

The aroma is nice. Well, let’s see how it tastes.

After fully enjoying the aroma, take a sip.

Oh, this is…

Theon and I looked at each other. She felt the same way.

How’s it going?

We smile back.

“It’s very good. I can’t believe I’ve never brewed it before.”

“I agree with Mr. Zechs. It’s as good as what they serve in the store.”

Well, there are some minor points, but that’s not the point. I’m sure it’s delicious, and you’ve shown your prowess.

“Yeah. That’s good.”

She was very nervous. She was very honest about her feelings, which is rare for her.

I can’t help but smile when I see the part of him that’s different from his usual strong face.

“What? It was your first time, okay?

I think she’s really cute when she complains with her lips pouting.

Theon seemed to feel it too. He was muttering.

In the midst of the friendly atmosphere, I decided to ask him about a point that had been bothering me.

I have a question.

“What?”

“Why did you learn how to make tea?”

As I told you before, as a duchess she doesn’t need the skill to fetch tea. She can leave that sort of work to the servants.

If it had been a hobby for a long time, but this was the first time, I could guess that he had learned it only recently. I wondered about this change of mind.

Then Minerva’s eyes began to swim as if she was restless. She seems to be blushing more than before.

I’m beginning to wonder if this is a bad question. She answers in a whisper.

“I heard it was your thing, so…”

“Yes?”

“I heard that making tea is your hobby, so I’ve been trying to learn too. Hmm. This proves that I’m better than you in every way!”

Minerva said, shyly at first and arrogantly at last.

I didn’t need to read the emotions to know that the latter half of the line was just an embarrassment.

She went to the trouble of learning a new skill just so she could share her hobby with me. My face breaks into a smile at the sight of my fiancé being so mean to me.

“Hey, what’s with your face? Don’t get me wrong. I learned how to make tea for me!

Minerva recognizes our warm reaction and retorts in a panicked manner. It’s a great tsundere move.

The tea party continued to be lively and the laughter did not cease.

Before I go to sleep, I suddenly realize… The agitation I’ve been feeling is fading away.

Maybe he was worried about my strange behavior and held that tea party for me. That makes sense for the spur-of-the-moment plan.

Hurrying won’t make things better. For the sake of the people who are thinking about me, let’s act with a clear mind.

I closed my eyes silently as I thanked them both.