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By: Amakawa Hitsuji
"Brother, I'm going to meet Lord Chrono tomorrow! What do I have to do to grasp his heart? Please teach me!"
"… I see."
Desperately making her wide eyes glimmer as she looked at me in prayer, my 14-year-old little sister informed me.
She wore a fluffy dress. A free-natured young daughter of our house.
"Sir Chrono loves cats. Have some fluffy cat ears made at once, and have them on your head when you meet him."
The words from her 7-year-older brother surprised her.
"Are you sure?"
She confirmed it, but I gave an exceedingly earnest nod.
"Understood, umm, I'll have Mary sew them up with all due haste!"
Making a clenched fist to show her resolve, my little sister was terribly lovable.
While the house's little princess was quite popular in high society, being an honest idiot was her fatal flaw. Her physical prowess one wouldn't expect from her delicate appearance and earth-shattering willpower were amazing, mind you.
I grew worried and spoke.
"I'll make sure they're the sort that'll tug at any man's heart-strings, so before you meet with Sir Chrono tomorrow, come over to me."
My sister's face cheerfully lit up.
"Thank you! Big brother, I love you!"
Click. Once the door closed, the knight assigned to the room- Ineg- sent over a glance that spoke volumes.
The next day, I properly did a check on Erin's fluffy cat ears.
"They're well made. It'll be fine, go get 'em."
I sent her off.
They were considerably cute. I'll have to praise Mary for making them.
A few hours later.
Erin came in tears to curse me.
"Brother, you liar!! I made him hate me, did I not!? He called me insincere!!"
"Give up on a man who doesn't understand the appeal of those."
"I'm not going to talk to you for a week!"
Uwaaaaaaah, she returned to her room with a sob unbefitting a noble lady.
It looks like the engagement didn't go well. How unfortunate.
The knights were looking at me with cold eyes.
But don't worry. Erin is an idiot, so she'll be back in two days, tops.
"Dear brother! Are you repenting for yesterday!?"
"No, not at all."
"Because I hold no doubt in my belief the guy who doesn't get those is in the wrong."
"Is that true?"
"It's true. Believe me. I mean just look, I'm totally a winner in life. I've got a a super lovely wife, and a prestegious job."
Eventually going to succeed the house, I truly am excellent. It's a simple fact.
When Erin was supposed to be angry, after sulkily thinking over my words,
She accepted it.
"So. What's going on? You got your next proposal, didn't you?"
"That's right! You're amazing, how did you know!?"
That one didn't take a genius, oh sister of mine. It's about time for you to have a suitor, or so, everyone's making preparations, after all.
"What do you want to do with the next one. Do you want them to refuse you? Hate you?"
"Why are those the options!? You're wrong, I want to be liked!"
"Tomorrow is Lord Windal. What should I do? I heard he's a really smart person, so I'm worried… how can I make myself a good match for him? Will I be able to give him peace of mind?"
"Ah, I have just the thing."
From inside my drawer, I took out a brand-new book.
"Um, what is it… geography? I can't read something so difficult…"
I calmed her urge to cry by patting the top of her head a few times.
"It's alright. There's no need for you to read it. You just have to eat it."
"Eh… eat? Will I remember it if I eat it!?"
"That's right. But you'll have to eat every last bit, or it won't do anything. Think you can do it?"
"Hot milk should help. Eat well, sleep well."
"Thank you, dear brother!"
Erin showed her delight with her whole face, her cheeks turning rose red as she held the book to her chest and slipped out. That girl really is cute.
Click. The door shut.
Simultaneously, the room's exclusive knight Ineg took a step forward.
"Lord Kurd. It is not good to lie to her."
"It's alright, she's strong."
The next day, Erin ruined her stomach, cancelling all her plans that day.
Three days later, she was unreasonably angry.
"Even when I ate it, I couldn't remember anything."
"That's because you threw some of it up."
Ineg stuck his mouth into the conversation between siblings. He had been acquainted with us from a very young age, so it happened from time to time. I shrugged my shoulders and asked my sister.
"So how did Sir Windal go?"
Tears instantly surfaced in Erin's eyes. Even when she cried, she made a cute face.
"When I told him I ate a book, he said, 'I can't believe you,' and seriously pulled back!"
"I see. We don't need a man who doesn't appreciate your hard work. We've all learned a valuable life lesson."
Erin lifted her face in surprise.
"Yes, that's right, I gave it my very best to eat it! I went at it even when my stomach started hurting!"
"And yet, for him to seriously pull back, he's a man of small caliber. There's no way he's suited for you."
"I s-see, you're quite right."
Erin agreed and nodded as she left.
From that point on, Erin continued making an appearance at pre-engagement meetups. On top of being a beauty of marriageable age, she was sociable and courteous, so she was naturally popular.
And every single time, she would seek my advice and carry it out, each time having the other party draw back, steadily earning the brand of 'oddball',
"Dear brother! Even when I followed your advice, it only got worse!"
"I see. So who's next?"
Even I can't help but be perplexed that she keeps coming to me for advice.
Well, I guess it's the trust and results we've built up over the years.
"Next is Lord Euphilia, and after that Lord Gynwey and…"
I unintentionally raised my voice. The ones Erin brought up were known for their terrible philandering.
"Don't even try it, call it quits."
"But if I do that, I won't have anyone left!"
I answered completely honestly.
"You really are stupid; of course you do. Alright, listen up, do exactly what I'm about to say. Go right up to our parents at once and cry out, 'No~! I quit being a noble lady~! I don't want to marry~!'."
"Brother, what exactly do you want me to be!?"
"I want you to be happy."
On my words, Erin made a bit of a sullen face.
"But if you don't want to be happy, I won't force you."
"Eh? I want to be happy! I want to! You're telling the truth, right? I'm trusting in you, dear brother!"
Erin made her resolve and left the room.
I spoke to Knight Ineg in an earnest face.
"Now I'm seriously starting to get worried."
Shedding a flood of tears, Erin came once more.
"Hic, sob, snff,"
As she cried, it seemed she had come to complain to me.
I applaud her drive, but she's a girl of appropriate age, and I do think she'd be better off calming down and getting a grip on herself before she came.
"F-father and mother, they cried and got angry at me…"
"They told me I was a bad girl."
She was crying.
It was such a terrible crying face, Knight Ineg was restless. He looked like he wanted to give her his handkerchief.
It really wouldn't hurt if he did. Though I get why he can't.
"They told me there weren't any good people left."
Hic hic hic, she cried.
Knight Ineg made a pitiful face.
"Of course there is, in this room."
I pointed it out.
"Erin, raise your face and look around. There's a splendid man here, isn't there?"
Erin was an honest idiot so even in this situation, she took my words to heart and looked around the room.
And her eyes returned to me.
Oy. Take a proper look.
I courteously explained.
"Whose eyes narrowed when you wore those peculiar cat ears, whose heart hurt when he learned of your efforts to eat a book, who smiles even when you crush your food in your fingers, who praised the strength of your legs when you accidentally kicked your shoe into the distance. A splendid man who knows you're a hard worker, and understands from the depths of his heart you're idiotically honest."
Erin looked around again, her eyes returning once more to me.
Are you possibly an idiot?
"Fine, if you've forgotten, I'll bring it back. Isn't there someone who you clung to even more than me in your childhood, who you would have give you piggyback rides, a splendid man who you promised, 'I'm going to become your wife when I grow up~!' somewhere around here?"
Erin's face turned bright red as she cried out. The way she touched both hands to her face made her really look the part.
"Dear brother! That's just my old first love! Please stop it!"
"But isn't there someone you'd choose if you were given the choice rather than had it chosen for you? I already know, I'm just stating the obvious."
As I said that, me and Erin turned our eyes to the person in question, Knight Ineg.
He had frozen up with a red face. As I thought, there's the difference in status and all.
"How about it?"
I tried saying to Ineg.
Erin put her hands together in prayer as she gazed at the man.
As I thought, she's still in love with Ineg. I already knew that.
She's an honest idiot, so when it came to marriage, it seems he hadn't come to mind.
I urged them on further.
"Personally speaking, I think it best if my stupid cute sister married a good man who's like family to her."
Otherwise, I'd be extremely worried. She seriously carried out all the crazy advice I gave her, after all.
Taking her character into account, it really will be troublesome if they're not someone who truly treasures her.
As we siblings continued showering him with attention, Knight Ineg stiffly moved his body and answered.
"Gracious as it may be, I cannot accept such a…"
"Look, you're making Erin cry."
When I pointed it out, Knight Ineg splendidly began to panic.
"Though it's a separate story if you already have a girlfriend."
"Ineg doesn't have anyone like that."
Knight Wynn spoke out.
Good work. I nodded.
"Wynn, what do you think you're–"
Ineg tried to criticize him, but,
"Then do you have anyone you like?"
I posed the question around.
Everyone focused on Ineg. Rather, everyone already knew. It's always been like that.
As Erin continued gazing at him in prayer, as if finally giving in, Ineg spoke.
"I have fallen into a love beyond my own status, with Lady Erin."
Erin's face cheerfully lit up.
"Dear brother, dear brother! Ineg says he loves me, did you hear that!? Please hear this, Ineg told me he loves me!"
"I heard. Don't get so worked up."
If handled poorly, she'll be in this state forever.
And as expected of that sister of mine, she didn't give him any time to feel sorry about confessing.
"But Lord Kurd, with my standing, Lady Erin is a flower too far beyond my reach."
"Don't worry, at this point, Erin's status has fallen considerably."
"Eeeeh!? What is the meaning of this, dear brother!!"
With eyes of shock, Erin turned to me, but just remember the result of all the instructions I gave you, sister of mine.
I spoke to everyone in an earnest face.
"It's at a level where we're worried if anyone will take you at all. Don't worry since it's come this far, I'll be able to persuade our parents."
Though it will mainly be a serious discussion about Erin's condition of idiocy.
Erin's eyes sparkled, taking a pose in prayer towards me.
"Then you're fine with me going to persuade them, right?"
"Dear brother, I love you! Please do, please do!"
Erin rejoiced, and Ineg was rendered immobile again.
Ineg is, well, fine, I know. I'll make the first move.
My sister with her happiness more forceful than a full field of blooming flowers, and Knight Ineg who, while embarrassed was still happy after all. Their wedding was held two years after that.
Around that time, the fact she was beautiful but an unfortunate idiot had spread even further, and while it was a marriage between a noble lady and her guard knight, everyone watched over it with warm eyes. All was at peace.
"You look good together."
They were told, and the two of them were the happiest of all. By the way, Ineg married into our house.
"I think Ineg's too good for you."
When I sent some congratulatory words at Erin,
"Dear brother, you meany!"
She gave a delighted smile, giving me some peace of mind.
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