Chapter 4: Dad and Brother Are Strange (1)
A single cry was heard from the other side, surprised at the door suddenly opening.
Esteban’s low toned voice caused Oscar to turn his head and avoid eye contact. There was only one person who dares to lurk around the king’s office door. He was the Great Ermano Empire’s first prince, Oscar Alle Ermano.
Oscar sighed at his misfortune. Since he was caught, he loosened his back and walked inside with confidence.
“Your Majesty, when will you give me permission?”
Though the young boy was merely six years old, Oscar held a calm and mature tone. His silver hair, similar to his father, reflected against the sunshine and glimmered; his emerald green eyes, a trait inherited from his mother the queen, sparkled.
Esteban looked at Oscar with dull eyes compared to when he looked at Mabel… oh that sweet Mabel.
The permission Oscar sought for was the permission to see Mabel.
Though it was not difficult to allow someone to see a month old child, Esteban declined at that very moment.
“You may not.”
“Why? You said, definitely said that you’ll allow me to see her a month later.”
“Because you’ll get too excited holding her, Oscar. And what happens if you drop Mabel?”
Esteban’s declination was not without reason. Oscar had once dropped Esteban’s treasured art piece into mangled pieces.
Oscar was saddened.
‘I guess I can’t see her today as well… even though I had trouble sleeping from the excitement knowing exactly a month had passed since her birth… uwuu…’
He had even concluded his sword training practice early for this very moment, but it was to no avail.
Staring at Oscar, who looked like an abandoned wet puppy out in the raid, Esteban ripped the final letter sent from the holy capital and stood up.
“I guess there’s no helping it. Alright, follow me, Oscar.”
Oscar’s face lightened up like the blazing sun at Esteban’s words.
Esteban smiled, ruffled his son’s hair roughly, and stepped out of the office. It was time to see Mabel anyways. Might as well use this opportunity to show Mabel her elder blood-related brother.
‘Though she won’t remember anything since she’s too young.’
Who said the life of an infant was easy?
Those were careless words thrown by folks who don’t remember their experience as an infant… since humans easily forget!
My body itched badly from a need to move. I could not lie down to the side, nor could I lie face down, so it felt like I was training my body to withstand the yearning to move. The only thing I could do, in the end, was lie down in the cradle and stare at the nanny and maids busying themselves with work.
‘Ahh… I’m so bored…’
Staring absentmindedly, the nanny smiled and came over.
“Your Highness, it’s time for your meal.”
The only thing I was glad for was that I was not drinking milk straight from the nanny’s breast… that would leave scars in my heart.
The nanny checked the temperature of the liquid inside the baby bottle, then flared at the maid who prepared the milk powder.
“Lalima, it’s way too hot!”
“Ah, I’m sorry! I’ll prepare it again!”
The maid, Lalima, hurried out of the door to prepare a new baby milk. The nanny stared at Lalima’s back and let out a long sigh before turning around to the next attendant, Xavier, who stood next to her.
“She keeps making mistakes every time and it stresses me out. I wonder if she’ll be able to find someone worthy of her at this rate…”
“It didn’t seem like Lalima had any thoughts about marriage!”
“Then there’s no helping it. I guess you’ll just have to marry Lalima, Xavier.”
“Wha?! Why do you say that, ma’am?”
As Xavier recoiled in shock, the nanny laughed.
I could tell that those people had an intimate bond from their interactions with each other alone.
The nanny placed in charge of my upbringing was Madam Lupe. I vaguely remember hearing that she used to be mother’s personal maid while she was still alive.
Nanny also took care of Lalima due to an acquaintance’s plea, and the attendant next to her, Xavier, was her cousin.
It was fun and pleasing to listen in on their conversation. They seemed to know each other well. It was especially interesting when Lalima and Xavier fought over petty things like a couple of children and only to stick together closely, apologizing and looking like a romantic couple.
Looking at the ceiling boredly, a sudden sleepiness came over me. The mobile hanging from the ceiling spun in circles blurrily.
‘Maybe she’s squeezing the milk out of a cow or something…’
My eyelids felt way too heavy.
My head nodded off to the side.
Soon as I entrusted myself to comfort, sleepiness overcame me and I…
I heard a familiar voice and suddenly, I was wide awake, but I regretted my decision thereafter.
“You were nodding off a little bit, weren’t you? Ah, you cute little thing.”
I locked eyes with the man who was my father.
‘Sob… I should have just pretended to sleep.’
As I made an annoyed expression by blinking my two eyes, the nanny hurried over.
“Oh my, she shouldn’t be sleeping right now. It’s still not time for her meal.”
The man stared right back at me. His gaze was too burdensome that I slowly turned my head to avoid his staring… but… in that familiar space I expected to be empty was a face that I was seeing for the first time. It was a young boy who had on a glowing smile as he stared at me.
”Your Majesty, the baby is looking at me…!”
The boy tried his best to hide his set of overflowing emotion that was hard to disguise when his two cheeks glowed glimmered a bright red.
I creased my eyes slightly as our eyes met, staring and studying his face meticulously. I had some vague idea of who he was based on the information I had heard from the nanny and her two attendants.
‘So… that boy who has a different mother is my elder brother?’
Oscar Alle Ermano… I’m sure that was his name, and even more certain after learning that he had similar facial features and hair color as his father.
The young boy’s green emerald eyes sparkled, his eyes locked onto me.