< — Love, Understanding and Family — > (2)
TN: Throughout this chapter’s flashback, the author barely refers to ‘Hugo’ as Hugo during the conversation. Author mostly just says ‘he’. I’m gonna leave it that way and I don’t think it’s confusing but tell me if it is.
Hugo’s memory returned to the first day he met Damian, the scene vividly drawn out before him.
One day, Philip brought in an awkward young child that was yet to walk smoothly. Even without being explained, the child’s black hair and red eyes were traits unique to the Taran bloodline.
He left the child in Jerome’s hands and when he was alone with Philip, he question the man fiercely.
“What is that?”
“He is young master Hugo’s son.”
At first, he was at loss for words then he became enraged. A male child? Without a relative, a boy of Taran blood could never be born.
“Don’t be stupid. That late old geezer must’ve planted a seed somewhere, who are you trying to fool?”
“Haven’t you ever heard of young master Hugo having a lover?”
He cursed furiously before retorting.
“What? That old fool’s tricks?”
He was so angry, he felt like he was going crazy.
“No, it is not . Young master Hugo and the miss fell in love without knowing each other’s identity and young master Damian is the result of their love.”
In that moment, he hurled curses at his late brother.
‘You fucking idiot. After acting like you know it all, you’ve finally done it.’
“Why didn’t my brother know his child was born?”
If his brother knew he had a child, he never would have chosen to kill himself.
“Young master Hugo passed away without knowing that young master Damian was conceived.”
“Did the old geezer also not know?”
‘Hah. Serves him right, the old fool needs some retribution in hell.’
He muttered to himself, chuckling insidiously.
“What of the child’s name? Did you give it to him, old man?”
“I wouldn’t dare. Young master Damian’s mother gave him his name.”
He remarked mockingly.
“She must be my half-sister. Here I thought they were all dead but there’s a half-sister. How many children did that old fool make?”
“Just as you know it, however from childhood, the miss had a weak body and was frequently ill. The late Duke determined that she would be unable to have a healthy child and decided to dispose of her. Hence, the late Duke believed the young miss to be dead.”
“Disposal. Ha! That’s exactly the type of thing that crazy old fool would do.”
He ridiculed icily.
“So? This half-sister of mine that’s supposed to be dead, how did she meet him, do this love play and give birth to a child?”
“I can only say that destiny is indeed something that cannot be predicted. I can also assure you that there was no ulterior motives or interference in their relationship.”
“Destiny? What crap. Where’s the child’s mother?”
“She passed away after giving birth. If you want a more detailed explanation…”
As to whether or not they really knew each other’s identities, or whether or not there was outside interference in their relationship, there was no way for him to know.
No matter how long Philip rambled on, it was impossible to guarantee that it was the truth. Rather than listening to the old man’s bullshit, he switched his focus to the problem at hand.
“So? What? Why did you bring him to me?”
Even if it was his brother’s child, he was not his late brother.
His brother was born the son of the loathsome former Duke and had a completely different personality like the different entity he was. Moreover, his brother wasn’t informed that the child was born so bringing the child now made him suspicious.
“He’s young master Hugo’s flesh and blood. It is only right to hand him over.”
“Don’t blabber that rubbish in front of me, take the child and leave. I don’t know when I’ll want to kill it if it stays around me.”
However, Philip left Damian and secretly disappeared. He hid himself so well, not a trace of him could be found.
‘Fine. Then I’ll make sure that scum doesn’t see a hair on the child’s head till the day he dies.’
Hugo gnashed his teeth in rage and invoked a ban against Philip approaching Damian.
Time went by and sometime later, Philip secretly returned and tried to meet Damian but after seeing the guards around Damian, a report came back that Philip had once again disappeared.
Although the ban was something done in a fit of anger at the time, when he thought about it, he realized it was a good thing.
Because of the war, he was swamped and extremely busy so he got someone to mostly look after the child. There was almost no difference from neglecting the child.
When he returned to Roam several months later, they were all accepting Damian as his son. He’d never personally said that Damian was his son but no one thought that was an issue. This was because of how much they resembled each other. Both of them looked so much alike, leaving no room for doubts.
However, Damian’s appearance caused Hugo’s intention of ending the Taran family bloodline to amount to nothing.
Hugo’s feeling towards Damian were delicately complex. His brother’s only mark left in this world and mass of burden. It wasn’t love nor was it hatred, he liked the boy just as much as he disliked him.
However, when he saw the smile on the boy, the smile that was exactly like his brother’s, he realized something.
Just as he intended, the cursed Taran blood would end with him. His twin brother was a mutation that should never have come from the Taran bloodline. He was supposed to be born with a blood full of cruelty and madness yet unlike the Taran bloodline, he was gentle, pure and loved life.
And Damian inherited the blood of his brother.
The Taran Family, led by Damian, would be reborn in a completely new way.
Damian noticed Hugo approaching and quickly stood up. The fox was still in his arms and he was flustered by the sudden appearance of his father. Since he wasn’t studying at this time and was busy chattering, he was afraid that he would be scolded.
Hugo indifferently glanced at the fox in the boy’s arms then he spoke to Lucia.
“Wasn’t the fox hunt just for sightseeing?”
“I meant to do that but Lady Milton told me she’d help me obtain a fox. It hasn’t been long since I got it as a gift.”
Hugo was unhappy with the trivial creature rolling around in Damian’s arms.
‘So now, she’ll be going around with a beast in her arms too.’
First, frequent outings with Damian, now it’s a fox. The road to keeping her at his side was so difficult. In his heart, what he really wanted to do was to keep her to himself alone so that only he could see her.
“Yes? Yes!” (Damian)
It was the first time that Hugo used Damian’s name, directly in front of him. Before when he called Damian directly, he said
And when he was conversing with other people and talking about Damian, he said.
“Fox hunting is not a game for men. It’s a trifling game for women. Return the fox to its master.”
He commanded arrogantly.
Lucia was dumbfounded and glared at him. A trifling game for women???
Damian alternated glances between the two of them then quickly handed over the fox to Lucia. As he handed it over, none of the emotions from a while ago was present. He didn’t even show the slightest dismay or lingering attachment.
Lucia gave a hollow smile.
“Follow me.” (Hugo)
The boy quickly replied like a soldier with military discipline.
“Where are you taking him?” (Lucia)
“We’re going to have a talk. Between men.” (Hugo)
Hugo began to walk ahead and again, Damian alternated glances between the two of them then he bowed his head in Lucia’s direction. After which he quickly ran after Hugo. Unlike the usually calm Damian, this one was obviously excited.
“My goodness. What? Are they excluding me?”
Lucia was speechless. She felt a sense of betrayal from the Damian who never looked back. The thought that all her efforts were less than one word from his father made her feel dispirited.
As she watched the departing backs of father-and-son, her dispirited heart didn’t take long to disappear. Their similar back-view was very adorable. Damian’s figure as he took exceptionally light steps was also fun to look at.
“Please, get close enough that I’ll get jealous.”
While chuckling to herself, Lucia turned towards the workers in the garden. There was still a lot of work to do for the garden party tomorrow.
*Damian obviously has favorites! Hah.