Hmm…what should I say?
Well, to start, I haven’t fully decided if I want to pick this series up yet. I just decided to translate this chapter on a whim, cause I saw that the original TL hadn’t updated in over 3 months, and I rather liked the first 4 chapters. So I decided to inject a bit of life into the project? I dunno. CSWH is only 37 chapters long so far, and there aren’t any signs of updates from the author as of yet, so I’m still considering other projects for once (if I do) I catch up to the RAWs. Right now there are a couple of series I’ve been eyeing on NU, but since I can’t really commit to anything right now, I don’t want to officially pick anything up yet. This is one of the series I’m considering, but I’m still reading ahead to decide if I like it or not. Plus I don’t know if the current TL has really dropped it or is just inactive due to RL right now.
The chapters for this series are fairly long, and the writing style is a little complicated, but we shall see, I suppose. Just a warning, but I am a bit more liberal with my translations sometimes to make things flow better. There also may or may not have been one or two phrases I wasn’t familiar with, and so arbitrarily TLed them. I’ll apologize in advance for any clunky translations, this was done kind of on the fly.
On that note, I hope you enjoy the chapter!
TMBRFNL Chapter 5: The Repentance of the One who was once a Younger Brother
“I……abhor all of you and this country to the extent that I wish you would just fall to ruin.”
At those words, Tedla despaired.
She had been his “older sister” up until 2 years ago. Her eyes, which didn’t reflect him at all, simply told of her apathy. The kindness and affection from 2 years ago no longer existed in them.
That was something that he had done himself. He had lost it himself. At the reality which thrust itself upon him, Tedla deeply, deeply regretted.
2 years ago, both the trust and deep affection that had certainly existed, he had……they had betrayed all of it.
Just why did he not even try to believe her words when she said she didn’t do it. Even though he knew that she didn’t even have the time to rest after returning from school.
It was often said that “love is blind”. It was certain that during that time 2 years back, he had become far too blind regarding Akari.
That’s why he didn’t realize. Just how desperately his own sister had been working to support this country. Whether it was at school or at home, at all times, she had been spending it cleaning up after the things that Akari had distorted.
After she disappeared, this country had very quickly deteriorated. The student council ceased to function, and the large number of students who had adored Syltina up until the very end boycotted the academy, causing it to close temporarily. And then the last of the nation’s taxes was used up, causing the nation’s political body to stagnate.
Due to the participation of an ill-mannered girl in the evening parties, the nobles finally bared their anger and abandoned their posts. Thus, majority of the country’s leading authorities refused to leave their own territories.
With the changes in the people of the upper class, the citizens fell into chaos. And with the rising price of commodities and fall in public order, their distrust of the royalty only grew worse.
Damages due to demons increased, and the corrupted land made it so that crops would no longer bear fruit. Those that came to seek refuge from there soon fell into difficulties in obtaining food, and the quarrels between humans began to increase in number. The Knight’s Order that would normally pacify those quarrels lacked both a Captain and Vice-Captain, and hence failed to function. Eventually, deaths emerged from those that had starved to death and victims from the quarrels between people, and since the country had lost the ability to faculties to process those corpses, a plague had begun to spread.
At the time when this country’s situation had fallen to the lowest possible point, a single citizen murmured.
“If only Syltina-sama were still here”, they said.
And then, at that time, everyone other than Akari and her followers realized.
That, “they were the ones who had been wrong”.
No doubt, the reason why this country was in this situation was because they had betrayed her. It was their punishment.
To the one who had frantically tried all they could for this country’s sake, for their sake, they had pinned a nonexistent crime. It was retribution to they, who had made her feel as though she should die.
That’s why……that’s precisely why, even though it was a royal order, they were surprised that she had once again come back to this country.
Even though it was a “request”, they were surprised that she said that for the sake of this country, she would protect the Saintess, Akari.
And at the same time, it had been made clear.
That she was no longer the same person they had known up until 2 years ago (Elder sister Syl).
The golden hair that had been cut short to hit just above the shoulder.
The orchid-coloured eyes, within which a strong will dwelled.
The healthily tanned skin.
The body that was muscular to the point where it wasn’t quite unsightly.
All of it was different from the ‘her’ of his memories.
Having been about to call her “Elder sister Syl”, his words faltered.
Even calling her that, was no longer permitted.
“I know that it is not something that would be settled simply by apologizing. What you said before is quite right. After all, what we did to you was simply that severe.”
“That’s why this is for my own self-satisfaction. I don’t mind if you ignore it.”
“I am sorry that I wasn’t able to trust you that time 2 years ago. To you, who hadn’t made any faults at all……for betraying you, who did all you could for this country, and for us, I deeply apologize. I am truly, truly sorry…….I am thankful that you are still alive. It truly is great, that we could meet once more……”
He very deeply bowed his head. He was scared of seeing her face. Scared of, once again seeing that cold gaze that denied everything turned towards him. That why he was unable to raise his head, and simply stared at the ground.
“……you were my younger brother.”
A quiet voice came down upon him.
“I liked the you who worked hard in order to become a knight. You were my cute younger brother that I could boast about.”
“In 2 years, you managed to become a knight-in-training.”
“In entering the Knight’s Order, though you are still a trainee, your wish has come true, hasn’t it.”
“My dream was to become the First Prince’s Queen and support the country together with him.”
“I had planned to work in order to make this an even better country.”
“Though all of that was stolen away from me……”
“I do not need any apologies. It is all in the past.”
Her words made him want to cry.
It was “the past”. To her, this country was already all “the past” (finished).
His cracking voice didn’t reach her, as she had already turned her back to him and begun walking off.
“……elder sister Syl……”
The one who would look back at him and smile gently was no longer here.
“I am very sorry……”
Although his apology would no longer reach her, even so, he still had to convey it. For that was all that he could do for her now.
Soon after realizing that they had been the ones who were wrong, they had re-examined everything regarding the “crime” that she had been blamed for. And they understood, that she was completely innocent.
Syltina……his own older sister, had not harassed Akari like she (Akari) had claimed, nor had she urged the king to embezzle the national taxes.
It did not take very long to investigate it all.
The reason being that, for the several months after Akari began going to the academy, Syltina had spent most of her time in the Student Council room. Setting aside the time during lessons, whether it be during lunch break or afterschool, Syltina did not leave the room. Nobody had ever seen her even making contact with Akari. However, she was often witnessed entering the Student Council room, or carrying a ton of documents while heading to the staff room. That Syltina was in a completely overwhelmed state doing the Student Council’s work, was easily proven by the fact that all the Student Council documents submitted during that period of time had her signature on them.
With regards to the national tax, there wasn’t even a need to investigate. To begin with, how could it even be possible for a woman, who wasn’t even royalty, to freely use them. Even if she was a member of a ducal house, taxes weren’t something so easy handled as one pleases. No matter how much trust a large number of nobles and citizens held in her, the one managing the nation’s taxes was the Minister of Finance, and the only ones who could twist his opinion was royalty alone. And in reality, even when the one accused of embezzling the nation’s taxes, Syltina, was chased out of the country, the taxes still continued to decrease. Rather, the public finance that had somehow managed to hold on while she was still around, was currently in a sticky situation.
Unfortunately, the one working as the Minister of Finance at that time, soon left his position after Syltina disappeared. No matter how much they searched, they were unable to grasp his whereabouts, so they were unaware of the details, but even so, his last words saying that Syltina had not embezzled the nation’s taxes were more than enough proof.
For that kind of thing, if you just thought a bit……rather, it was something you’d understand even without thinking. At that time, he hadn’t understood anything.
And then, as soon as her innocence was confirmed, that truth passed on to many people.
Her father just breathed silently.
Her mother just smiled quietly.
Her older brother just opened his mouth dumbfoundedly.
Her attendant just sadly called her name.
The nobles just fell completely silent.
Her school friends just repented deeply.
The citizens just looked for salvation.
The king and prince and Akari, and the noble sons who even now remained as Akari’s followers. They alone, denied everything.
With his power alone, he was limited in what he could do for Syltina. The moment when he realized that what she lost could never be regained, he simply cried at his own powerlessness.
In that moment 2 years ago, they had snatched away her trust, her affection, her hopes, her dreams, and even her future. They had trampled upon all the positive emotions she gave them, and gave her back nothing but negative emotions.
There was no way that something like that could be forgiven.
He couldn’t even imagine just how much it had taken for her to establish the “current” her. Of course it wasn’t possible for him to be forgiven so easily.
Nevertheless, that last thing he could possibly do, was continue to apologize to her.
Because even if he knew it wouldn’t reach her, if they didn’t first apologize for their own faults, then they definitely would be unable to advance forward.
“I am extremely sorry……”
The words of apology that once again passed his lips, as expected, disappeared with the wind before it could reach her.
There were some parts where a phrase was put in Furigana above them, so I just put them in brackets in my translation.
Just as a side note, but for now I’ve followed the original TL’s way of translating the character names.