Chapter 007: Father, Brother and I
“Daau, kyu, nyu, doon.” I explained that I was having a night stroll, but brother didn’t understand me.
“This… She looked as if she wanted to go out, so I’m watching over her,” father answered.
“Then I’ll take her out for walks during the day, not at night like this. And you’re both alone together,” brother insisted. He stared at me sadly. Me? No. He was looking at father who was holding me.
I remembered. When father had first held me, he’d probably never held a baby before. I’m sure he said that he saw how Sebas held a baby once.
Doesn’t that mean that most likely, brother had never been held by father when he was a baby?
So, brother must be sad at both: his beloved sister, meaning me, was being taken away by his father and his father being taken away by his sister.
Father was going to say something, so I tapped his mouth. No matter what you say, brother will only be sad.
“Do you want to go to Luke?”
Father stopped whatever he wanted to say and walked down the stairs. Being held by father, I could look down at brother. Brother, who was looking up a little, looked sad after all.
I stretched my hands out to brother. Father looked as if he didn’t want to part with me for a second, but handed me to brother. Brother didn’t drop me anymore. He held onto me firmly and put his face next to mine.
Next, I reached out to father.
This time, I tapped father’s outstretched hands that seemed to say, “You want to go over here now?”
“Niini, Niini, Daau.”
Then, I clung on brother’s neck.
“Are you telling me to hug Luke too?”
Father timidly reached out to him. Brother froze in surprise, but father didn’t mind.
“Come to think of it, I’ve never hugged you like this before,” father muttered as he put his arms around brother and me.
“No one ever hugged me when I was little either. Claire was the first one to do so.”
Are nobles like that? Or is it just this House?
“I was hugged by women before, but no one embraced me.”
Oi! Is that something you say to a newborn and a 10-year-old? Father looked at brother and I, who were frozen, and trembled.
“I get Luke, but why are you frozen too?”
“Sometimes, you make the same face as Claire, and I wonder if you’re her reincarnation. Even though I know you’re not.”
Brother agreed with father’s mutter.
“Lei’s just like Okaa-sama. I feel like she looks at me gently like Okaa-sama did. But, she’s much more mischievous than her. She also makes weird faces sometimes, and I don’t know what she’s thinking.”
You sound like you’re saying something horrible. I’m going to protest.
Luke hugged me tighter.
“And she understands my words like this. I love her so, so much.”
Father hugged Luke tightly.
“I don’t know if I love her as much as you,” father murmured.
“Even if I love her that would be the end of it if she died. I wouldn’t mourn her so much if I hadn’t loved Claire.”
“Otou-sama, that’s-,” brother tried to refute.
“I was the one who made this child. Every night, I think that if I hadn’t loved her, then she would still be alive. I regret this little thing and avoid doing my job. But when I suddenly see her, there’s a strange living creature there.”
It’s about me? Huh? Strange living creature? I’m a cute baby, you know?
“Even though she can’t even walk yet, she looks at me with the same, ‘you’re hopeless’ face that Claire used to use. ‘You’re still lacking as a person. I’ll teach you everything one by one,’ the same face as Claire who told me these things.”
I know, I get it. But what do you want to accomplish by telling this to Luke and I?
“My empty, anguished feelings are being buried when I look at this creature. This small, peculiar creature.”
“Then Otou-sama, you don’t have to sneak around at night just to see her. Can’t you just keep her close to you whenever you’re in the mansion?”
“Even in the daytime?”
“Why are you walking around with her at night in the first place? It’s not good for a baby to stay up late at night.”
“So it’s not good?”
Brother and I sighed at the same time.
“You’re Lei’s father, so it’s okay to keep her close by.”
Why is father saying it like it’s a foreign word to him?
“…… Are you saying that I’m Luke’s father?”
He understood me. Father took a deep breath, sighed and hugged Luke and me again.
“I’ll go see you in the daytime from now on.”
The season is autumn. It has been 10 months since I was born.