The Villainess Is Changing Her Role To A BroCon - Chapter 21
Let’s go slightly further back in time, to the moment after Ekaterina ran away from Alexei.
It was the breaktime after the first afternoon class. Elbows on desk and hands over his eyes, Alexei sighed several times.
He had been a mess during class earlier. He was completely zoned out, and not only was he unable to answer when being called upon, he didn’t even know what the teacher asked of him. He was stunned when the exasperated teacher told him ‘That’s enough’. To someone who had always been impeccable in his academic studies since enrolment, it was an unacceptable disgrace.
A boy with a large-built suddenly appeared next to him.
“Hey, Duke, what’s with you today? Did something happen?”
The boy asked with curiosity. Flaming red hair, golden eyes, a tall stature with spectacular muscles – that was Nicolai Krymov, heir to a countship. Nicolai was friendly, and while everyone, including the teachers, kept their distance from Alexei out of respect, Nicolai treated him as if he was just any other person.
The Academy of Magic didn’t have a class streaming system, so everyone stayed in the same class throughout three years. Alexei had started executing his duties as a Duke since the first year, and some had been calling him ‘Duke’ behind his back as a joke because of that, but only Nicolai had ever used the nickname to his face. At first, Alexei hadn’t reprimanded him because the Yurinova was once in debt to the Krymovs. But after he had actually inherited his title, the fact that he was still being addressed as ‘Duke’ by Nicolai in his deep voice made Alexei feel like it was his own name and not just a title, and it ceased being unpleasant.
Alexei secretly thought of Nicolai as his polar opposite. Alexei turned the atmosphere of every place he set foot into tense even if he didn’t intend to, while anywhere Nicolai set foot, the atmosphere turned warm and calm.
That was why Alexei grew weak just now, in Nicolai’s presence, and suddenly uttered:
“…I made my sister cry.”
Nicolai’s eyes widened.
“Now now, that’s the reason? Sisters are crybabies to begin with. I leave mine alone and all of a sudden, I become the bad guy and end up getting walloped by my dad or mom, while she watches and sticks her tongue out to mock me.”
Nicolai also had a sister, and the later half of his reply became a complaint.
It was strange to hear ‘dad’, ‘mom’ and ‘wallop’ being used while talking about a Count and a Countess, but the Krymovs were different. They had in their hands the secret of cross-breeding horses with demon beasts and training them. While many aristocrats delegated even the management of their domains to their employees, the head of Krymov family worked on his vast ranch himself; he was known to even handle the newly-born foals with his own hands during the birthing season. The current Countess was the daughter of a powerful Marquis, but she loved horses so much that she forced the marriage with the Count of Krymov herself. She was said to have ‘outstanding talent’ by the previous Countess.
Nicolai exclaimed as if he remembered something:
“Ah, that reminds me, someone who seems to be your sister came here. A pretty girl with indigo blue hair and purplish blue eyes, right? She’s so beautiful and mature that it’s hard to think she’s a first year student. She has such pale skin that it looks translucent, and she’s so slender that she looks like about to snap in half. She seems difficult to approach, but after I told her about your whereabouts, she thanked me politely. She gave off such a pleasant impression, yet somehow sparkling and elegant too. It was amazing. Sorry, she’s something different from my sister. Mine is a monkey compared to her.”
“She seems to create a lot of buzz as one of the top two contenders for the most beautiful freshman this year. She’s called Blue Rose, and the other beauty is called Cherry Blossom. Anyway, why did you make such a refined lady like your sister cry? She should be treated with great care.”
“…I have some issues with her choice of friends. The one she brought with her is not her equal in status…”
Nicolai groaned at his unexpected answer.