13 Prelude to Metamorphosis

The night came and went quickly. They both closed their eyes in darkness to wake up in light. Estelle was already reading a book on her side of the bed when Liandra finally woke up from her deep slumber. It was rather late in the morning but there was not anything important to do.

"Little sister, you took your time in waking up." Estelle remarked plainly, showing the same indifference as usual.

"Uh… It's so bright…" Liandra brushed her eyes with her forearms as she rolled over and yawned. The night before had taken a lot from her. Her mind was still a little heavy.

"Little sister, I would just like to let you know that I will be moving out of our room as of today." Estelle made the statement out of nowhere while reading her book.

"What?" Liandra asked, surprised by the sudden announcement made by her devil sister. Did this mean Estelle no longer wanted to control Liandra as strictly? Liandra had no clue, she was only excited for her room to be her own again.

"Due to certain circumstances, I think it would be best for you to learn to be independent. Without me, you keep on getting into unnecessary trouble. Perhaps you have started to act with the assumption I will always come to save you. Whatever it may be, I am fed up with having to deal with your problems." Estelle closed her book and stood up, not making eye contact with Liandra.

The night before had taught Estelle a few valuable lessons. The first lesson was that Liandra never listened to Estelle, which often led to bad confrontations. The second lesson was that she couldn't bear to look at Liandra. Every time Estelle laid eyes on her villainess stepsister, she felt uncomfortable. Of course all of this was because of Liandra, all of the blame was on the villainess.

Liandra immediately grabbed Estelle by the wrist, unable to understand what she was doing in that moment. "Elde-elder sister… please don't leave… I get nightmares when you aren't here…"

Estelle's eyes met Liandra's. Estelle wanted nothing more than to ignore Liandra's plea. It was selfish on Liandra's part to expect anything from her older sister. Estelle could only attempt to continue justifying herself.

"Then deal with them yourself." Estelle coldly replied.

Liandra kept her mouth shut and gazed downwards. Just as she wanted, Estelle finally left her alone. However, why did Liandra suddenly feel so empty?

Some may find themselves at a crossroads in life where they must choose the easy path to mediocre results or the back-breaking path towards long term long term prosperity. Sometimes there must come a time where a person must choose between what they want and what they need. Perhaps there might even be a time where there are no choices to be made as all options have long since been cut off for good.

Liandra refused to let go, holding onto Estelle's wrist tightly.

"Little sister, don't overstep your bounds." Estelle glared at Liandra and released herself forcefully from Liandra's grasp.

"I'm sorry, older sister." Liandra apologised.

"If that is all, I will be leaving." Estelle nodded simply.

"Will you come back?" Liandra hurriedly asked before Estelle could get to the door.

Estelle stopped for a moment, staying silent. Without uttering a word, she pulled open the door and walked out of the room.

This would be the last time the two sisters spoke to each other for quite a long period of time. Time flew by quickly after Liandra's birthday was over. Yearly admissions for the Imperial Academy opened and closed during this period of time. Special tests were taken by all applicants with only the top 50 highest scoring applicants receiving admission letters. Liandra had taken the test, ranking 5th overall. Despite this high score, she was immediately overshadowed by Estelle.

With a dominant 1st place in the admissions test, Estelle once again proved herself as the superior sister. Despite having cut off contact with Liandra, she still very much had influence over the villainess. No matter what Liandra did, Estelle was always better than her.

The day before the start of semester finally came. It also marked six months since Estelle and Liandra had become family. No one celebrated the milestone as it was trivial. However, the duke and duchess both expressed their congratulations on the sisters having a decent relationship, or so they thought.

By the same garden that the two sisters first met, Estelle was sitting on a bench, doing nothing but observing the wind and the grass.

"Older sister…" A voice called out to her.

Estelle frowned upon hearing the voice, turning her eyes to see Liandra approaching her from the mansion.

"It has been a while. It is good to see that you haven't cause any trouble as of late." Estelle remarked condescendingly.

Liandra seemed tired as of late. Her nightmares had resurfaced after Estelle moved out of her room, causing the former to lose countless hours of sleep. Liandra kept on waking up in the middle of the night in cold sweats without any cure in sight. After a few months of coping, she learned to bear with the lack of sleep, albeit with mixed results.

She slept for longer hours to get the minimum sleep requirement. This also meant she kept on waking up feeling groggy and tired.

"I've tried my best. I don't want to make you mad, older sister." Liandra replied with her tired voice.

Liandra had been given plenty of time to think to herself. She understood most her faults now yet she still didn't let go of everything that she should have. She still wanted to hold onto the fantasy of marrying Julian Evengrad. That one obsession was something she couldn't let go. However, she no longer had a way to make it happen. Thus, Liandra stayed quiet for the past months, biding her time.

While she still had the same goals as the Liandra that Estelle had read about, there was a fundamental difference between the two now. The current Liandra understood that some things could not be taken by force.

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