Genjitsushugisha no Oukokukaizouki - Volume 18 - Chapter SS4

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Their Bygone Days

In the Gran Chaos Empire, before Souma had been summoned to this world...

As Lumiere ate by herself in the cafeteria of the officers’ academy, where future commanders of the Empire were trained, Jeanne, the younger sister of Empress Maria, walked over carrying a tray of food.

“Hey, Lumi. Mind if I sit with you?”

“You don’t need to ask. If there’s an open seat, you can just take it, you know?”

Lumiere’s words were blunt but not out of malice; she was simply that way by nature. Jeanne knew this, so she smiled and took a seat.

Jeanne and Lumiere. The royal and the future retainer. They came from different backgrounds but were serious and hard workers. They got along well and were quite close friends.

“Come to think of it, Lumi, I hear you turned down a senior who asked you out again,” Jeanne said between bites of food.

Lumiere’s brow furrowed. “Don’t say ‘again.’ You make me sound bad.”

“How many is that this month?”

“He’d be the third...I think?”

“If he was the third one in just two weeks, then you’ve been getting asked out more than once a week.”

“It’s a real headache.”

“There must be no shortage of guys interested in a beautiful and talented woman like you.”

“Do I detect a hint of spite?” Lumiere gave Jeanne a slight glare as she skewered some fried fish with her fork. “Because when a talented beauty like you says it, it sure sounds like it’s out of spite.”

“Hmm? But no one has ever asked me out.”

“Of course not! No matter how pretty you are, nobody’s going to try putting the moves on the empress’s little sister. Everyone would assume his parents had ambitions, and the guy would be disowned to distance themselves from it. No idiot would choose you with that kind of risk involved.”

“W-Well...I’m sure you’re probably right.”

“They go after me because, next to you, I seem more attainable. Not that I have any interest in a proposition like that, which lacks even a shred of ambition.”

Lumiere tore into the piece of fried fish impaled on the end of her fork with a vengeance. Jeanne smiled wryly, noting she must be in quite a foul mood.

“Besides, I can just tell they’re only settling for me because they can’t seduce you,” Lumiere angrily grumbled. “No, wait, it’s worse than that! They want to get close to me as a way of getting closer to you. What does that make me? A stalking horse?! Or maybe a breakwater for you?”

“S-Sorry about that., I understand how you feel.”

“Huh? Why would you understand?”

“Because I’m often treated as ‘Lady Maria’s little sister’ or ‘the Euphoria sister who isn’t Maria,’” Jeanne answered, sighing.

Lumiere stopped eating when she heard that. As Jeanne was the younger sister of the charismatic Maria, it wasn’t hard to see why Jeanne was treated as the lesser of the two. Only Jeanne would know how Jeanne felt about that.

“Wait, but you have another sister, don’t you?”

Jeanne gave Lumiere a blank. “Huh? You mean Trill? She’s a problem child in her own right. Sure, she’s talented at making things, but she’s also at the center of all sorts of trouble. Sometimes I even get called ‘the younger Euphoria sister who isn’t a problem child.’”

“It’s tough being the middle child, huh?”

Lumiere sympathized with Jeanne, and her anger faded away. A wave of exhaustion then washed over her, and she sighed.

“Honestly...I can’t stand the affection of older men. They’re so transparent in their desire to use me for their family’s benefit or their own future.”

“Hmm. You’re into younger men, Lumi?”

“Uh, I’m not sure I’d put it that way... How about you, Jeanne? I know you’re not allowed to have a love life, but do any of our classmates interest you?”

“Hrmm... When it comes to boys my age or younger, they all tend to look at my sister, not me.”

“ can’t really compete with that motherly aura.”

Maria’s goddess-like smile could purify any sex-obsessed man’s heart and turn him back into a little boy...or so they say. There was something positively inviolable and sacred about her.

“Their reverence may be a burden on Sister though.” Jeanne gave a small smile. “That’s why I think someone mature, who’ll only look at me, might be ideal.”

“Hmm... So you’re into older guys, Jeanne.”

“H-Hey! Was that payback for earlier?”

“Well, it’d be nice if our ideal partners could meet.”

It was ironic that these two, having such an uneventful conversation, would one day end up as enemies in opposing camps. But whether they had men they could consider their ideal partners nearby... Well, that could be a bit of a funny story.

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