And here’s 2021’s update… oh wait, it’s only been a month (still felt a year tho). No fake novel illustration this time but I got muge to prepare something else.
As always, please support the author/illustrator by buying the original book.
Not a VTuber cultist but got dragged into drawing one anyway: muge
P.S. Please watch and subscribe to Suisei’s YouTube channel. She’s an amazing singer and also very cute. I’m even throwing in a fanart from muge.
Chapter 3.5: Incomprehensible Puzzle
It was the evening of the day her father and her elder twin sister had an audience with the king, and Christa was on her way back to her own room after dinner. While walking down the hallway, she happened to walk past her twin sister. As it was exceedingly rare for them to see each other outside of the academy, Christa turned her head and took a peek at the silver-haired figure.
Drossel was carrying three books under one arm while reading another book with the other. Her sight was completely focused on the book as though she had complete understanding of what was in front of her without even needing to look.
There really is something wrong with her, even after Drossel had disappeared down the hallway and she had returned to her room, her twin sister’s figure still lingered in Christa’s mind. How did she manage to move around like that?
The girl flopped down on the sofa and gazed at the ceiling. What had surprised Christa wasn’t her sister’s figure. She’d learned from the servants’ gossip that Drossel had been visiting the library lately, and every time, she’d bring a large amount of books back to her room.
Christa’s mind wandered once again to the moment before Drossel’s figure disappeared down the staircase. As she began to descend, a butler with a tray in his hand was walking up the stairs — directly in her path. However, without a single sign of taking her mind off the book, Drossel perfectly avoided the butler.
As the scene played back in her mind, Christa unconsciously began to grip her upper left arm. Ever since childhood, she’d witness her elder twin sister displaying some unknown power. Objects would move randomly, wind would blow on a perfectly tranquil day. Strange things would always happen around Drossel.
Those supernatural phenomena had subsided for a while, but Christa noticed that they had begun manifesting once more. If anyone who knew the old Drossel witnessed her unnatural movement from earlier, they would have also suspected that she had used some unknown power.
“May I, my lady?” Two knocks resounded through the room, cutting off her train of thought.
“Go ahead,” Christa turned towards the door.
Upon her answer, the door swung open and a butler carrying a tray with a tea set entered the room. It was the butler who had almost bumped into Drossel earlier.
“Excuse me, I’ve brought your after-meal black tea.”
“Place it on the table for me.”
Following her instructions, the butler placed the tea set on the table and poured the tea into a cup. He then arranged the utensils before taking a bow and withdrew from Christa’s room.
With the butler gone, the girl began looking through her memory for the first incident that felt out of place. It was a trivial event a month ago, when Drossel managed to perfectly answer the teacher’s question.
Christa thought that her elder sister simply studied on a whim at first. However, she suddenly stopped showing up to class from the next day onwards. And outside of the cafeteria during lunch break, her figure was nowhere to be found.
However, it didn’t stop there. Drossel began frequenting the Great Library despite having never stepped foot in it. She began displaying swordsmanship skills uncharacteristic of a noble lady who hadn’t touched a sword before. And she even went as far as receiving a laboratory of her own from the dean. Anyone who had known her before this would be baffled by the sudden change.
While it was possible to explain it as reverting to her old personality, Christa rejected the notion as the current Drossel was simply too different.
The old Drossel certainly did enjoy reading, however, what she enjoyed in the past were simple fairy-tales, not cumbersome academic books. In addition, despite being very fond of him in the past, Drossel had completely cut off any association with Rocheford. These complete reversals further contributed to Christa’s ever-growing list of suspicions.
Moving away from the windows, Christa headed to her desk and took out a letter from the drawer. It was originally addressed for her father, Scarrow, but she’d done everything she could to obtain it.
The letter was from the king, stating his intention of annulling Drossel and Rocheford’s engagement. It also detailed the reasoning behind the annulment, which was Rocheford’s health situation.
According to the letter, Rocheford is currently suffering from an unknown mental condition that they had almost no information on. However, Christa felt that she’d seen it before.
It’s just like, that time… Christa began looking back in her memory, to a night two years ago. It was a beautiful moonlit night, devoid of any noise beside the wind rustling through the trees. On that day, the duke household was holding a party to celebrate the twins’ birthday.
However, it was only a party for the twins in name, as everyone was there to give Christa their blessings. As someone who had been ostracized from high society, Drossel’s absence from the banquet was of no one’s concern.
The party continued through the night and came to an end without any incident. However, when it was time to clean up, the servants in charge of the outdoor tables discovered Drossel collapsed by the garden’s hedge.
She was immediately rushed to her room where she remained unconscious for three days. As some of the servants who paid no heed to her before began to feel worried, Drossel woke up. However, her personality had completely changed — like she was a different person.
She would appear calm at first, but any trivial event could make her lose her composure. She would start screaming, throwing everything around, and as they were about to deal with her, she would just stop and begin crying. Christa also remembered that Drossel would approach people and try to get them to spoil her. The current Rocheford was very similar, if not the same as her elder sister in the past.
“What in the world happened to his highness…”
Due to a strict gag order, Christa couldn’t get her hands on the details regarding the incident at the Academy. The only thing she heard was a rumor about Rocheford being the cause of it, but the chain of events was a complete mystery to her.
However, the girl was certain that Drossel had something to do with the incident. Abruptly breaking off an engagement with a Duke household. Logically, his majesty must have judged that the engagement was impossible considering his highness’ mental state, but… Christa simply couldn’t accept the idea that her elder sister wasn’t involved in the situation somehow.
The current Drossel had been keeping her distance from everyone in the residence further than ever before. Christa couldn’t help but harbor thoughts of being under the same roof with something dreadful. It was the reason why she felt a heavy weight lift off her shoulders when she heard that Drossel would be moving out of the estate.
When even Drossel’s flesh and blood had such an opinion about her, it was no surprise to Christa that Rocheford detested his own fiancée.
During her investigation, Christa had tried asking Gilm, the Museum’s curator, about what had happened to Rocheford. According to him, Rocheford had forcefully taken the Holy Witch Slayer and stated he would be using it to cut down a witch. And she had a hunch that he was referring to her elder sister.
Christa let out a deep sigh. She knew that there was no conclusion to be drawn with the information she had and decided to give up for the time being. The girl then brought the black tea cup to her lips. It had grown tepid but it was at least better than scalding hot.
There were small containers of sugar, milk, and jam prepared next to the teapot, but she didn’t touch them at all. When did I start drinking black tea without putting anything in? Christa pondered as she gazed at her shimmering reflection.