Family-Hen Chapter 2
「U-uncle! I want to meet that cousin of mine!」
The instant those words left my mouth, Uncle made a happy-looking broad smile, while Father made a bitter one.
「Lycoris, come here for a moment」
I obeyed father and walked up to him, what met me was his slightly rigid face.
「Lycoris. You shouldn’t thrust your neck into another person’s circumstances too much」
「But Father, this is my cousin we’re talking about. Aren’t you also curious about what kind of child he is?」
「That might be true… but, as far as your aunt is concerned, she especially doesn’t want outsiders to know about this. Do you understand?」
「That’s… Yes. I understand」
「Then be a good girl and take care of the house, okay?」
Father was planning to go with Uncle, that much I gathered.
The discussion with Uncle was no doubt about the child that was brought in. Thus, Father was coming along in order to check the current situation.
Father’s point may be valid, but since I knew nothing more about『Shade』other than the child’s name, I couldn’t remain passive.
At loss without a good excuse, trying to stop him, I held on to the cuff of my father’s shirt as he said 『This discussion is over』.
Seeing this, my father frowned.
「…You… want to meet him that much?」
「Y-yes. It’s fine even if you only bring me to greet him. I won’t say anything unnecessary, that’s why, Father, please…」
My father heaved out a sigh.
My uncle, Narcissus Rankgerüste, together with his wife and daughter, lived thirty minutes away from the Lilia household via horse carriage. (1)
Officially, his job was to govern the different territories in the vast dukedom of Lilia, to ease up the dominion. My father didn’t have any brothers or sisters, so Uncle Narcissus, his brother-in-law, took on this responsibility.
But having said that, his post was actually upon my father’s personal instruction – the arrangement of the multiple jobs related to the dealing of those under my father’s jurisdiction, were taken care of by the person appointed as the magistrate. So, the kind of work my uncle was actually doing? That was probably something a child should not hear about.
By the way, it looks like Uncle’s hobby was gardening. Apparently, inside the Rankgerüste premises, lies a wonderful greenhouse.
And it also seems that due to his work, my uncle almost never opens it when he’s at home, but he went far and wide in order to procure the plants for cultivation. U~huh.
Although I kept nodding my head to whatever my uncle was saying, my mind was preoccupied with the constant hope (or should I say, worry) that I might not get to meet with 『Shade』.
「Where is that child?」
Without any pretense, Uncle Narcissus inquired the head butler as soon as we arrived at the mansion. And in a well-informed manner, the butler quickly returned an answer.
「He is together with Miss Crinum」
I was looking forward to seeing my one-year older cousin, Crinum. And of course, I won’t leave her be if she’s distressed right now.
Even though we were generally cousins, Crinum and I aren’t so similar. She is a beautiful lady with straight brown hair, and a neat and tidy appearance. Her personality was what you might say quiet and shy. When the family members met for a gathering, as the only one younger than her, she hid behind my shoulders.
Being close relatives, as well as having our houses close to each other, we became pretty good friends. Although I did say that we corresponded primarily with letters, we united together as fellow bookworms.
Shade’s origin might be an illegitimate child, but he was able to take Uncle Narcissus’s affections, and was also getting along well with Crinum. It’s curious what Aunt’s stance on this was, but with two allies on his side, I think this place would not be as terrible as it could be for him.
With that expectation in mind, I boldly stepped inside the Rankgerüste residence.
Remaining in the guest room, my father and I continued to wait. However, none of Uncle’s family members showed up.
「Father. Are you okay leaving work aside for today? 」
「Yeah. From the beginning, I accepted that most of my time today will be spent here if I came along. As Narcissus’s brother-in-law, and especially since I’m the eldest in our family, I can’t think of it as just someone else’s affairs」
「That’s true… Father, have you already met that child before?」
「No. Not yet. I had just heard that they’ve been searching all over for that child’s mother. It was only yesterday that they found something about her」
「Eh? Then, does that mean that child was only taken in just yesterday?」
「No. Some time has already passed since he was taken in. It’s because I wasn’t concerned about my younger brother that I noticed this too late」
In other words, there were no reports made before my father became aware of this situation. My uncle had decided on his own to take in the child, and was able to keep it a secret, even from my father. It might be rude of me to say this— but that was amazing.
「Uncle is surprisingly a man of action, huh?」
「Well- …yeah, he is」
After Father said it, he hesitated a bit. How rare.
「To tell you the truth, his way of thinking is something that cannot quite be understood. He used to be my second cousin, so we had an old relationship. But even in the old days, I felt that we had a different pace. If anything, I missed those days. Although it is inexcusable for me to say this, I didn’t have to have a really friendly relationship with him」
Father confessed his socializing problems(?). That was even more rare.
「I see, I guess even you, Father, have people you don’t understand and get puzzled over, huh…」
Father looked to be taken aback by my words, and subsequently gave me a wry laugh.
「That’s natural. To begin with――」
「Kaffir! Sorry to have kept you waiting!」
There was one more thing I learned about Uncle. This person – had incredibly bad timing. (2)
(1) I stuck with this name, the German word is translated as trellis or a flower fence. The reason I had, was that it’s like saying they’re supporting characters. And greenhouse, which is Narcissus’s pastime, would have flower fences, right? RIGHT??? OTL
(2) I’m taking the literal approach of the Japanese translation. 間(TIMING)が(IS)悪い(BAD)[間が悪い]. Actual translation is unlucky/unfortunate, but unless Kaffir gave him a sucker punch or something for interrupting, it wouldn’t fit.