< — Truth & Lies — > (3)
TN: Here’s another real chapter with a slice of fake XD.
“So…what you’re saying is, Damian is your older brother’s son.”
Hugo didn’t exactly know who was the older brother and who was the younger brother. It had never been an issue and no matter who was who, they were brothers all the same so they never had a quarrel as to who was older or younger.
If Hugo had to rank it, his dead brother was a slightly more of an elder brother, than a younger one. It wasn’t because of superiority or power. He learnt after meeting his brother that the relationship between people couldn’t always be separated by force.
“Do you…plan on telling Damian later on?”
“Unless the boy asks me first, I do not want to.”
“Ah…then, I will keep the secret too.”
Lucia nodded earnestly.
‘Then, since Damian isn’t his illegitimate child, there is no reason for Damian to be treated like that.’
Then she thought about it a little more.
‘It would be better to be known as the illegitimate son of the Duke than to be known as son of the immoral individual who murdered the previous Duke.’
Lucia came to an understanding.
“I know you must have thought it strange when you heard about the west tower incident. The incident happened slightly different from what is known. That guy was cornered to a dead end and made an inevitable choice. It was something the previous Duke brought upon himself.”
Lucia’s eyes widened. From his manner of speaking, Lucia could grasp several things. According to the well-known rumor, his twin brother, who was abandoned at birth, came back for revenge and murdered his biological father.
But to that brother whom he had supposedly never met, he said ‘that guy’ expressing their closeness in intimate terms and when mentioning his dead father, he said, ‘previous Duke’ and chose the phrase, ‘brought upon himself’.
When Lucia first heard about this rumor, she got chills thinking of the dead duke’s ruthlessness to be able to abandon his own child. She didn’t know the exact details but for some reason, she didn’t feel the slightest bit uncomfortable by his brother’s actions.
“It seems you were close with your elder brother.”
Hugo nodded his head after a slight pause.
“Quite close?” (Lucia)
Lucia’s heart bubbled over. He wasn’t alone with nobody to call family. Although his brother was no longer of this world, there was once family he shared love with. It always weighed on her mind that his childhood was a lonely one and the fact that there was someone he opened his heart to, filled her heart with a warm sense of relief.
“And so you made Damian into your son. Since he’s the one and only blood of your brother.”
“…It wasn’t exactly like that but I can’t say it wasn’t a reason. There are a lot of complex issues concerning my brother and Damian but I can’t tell you everything. What I mean is, it’s not that I don’t want to tell you because it’s you, but I don’t want to tell anyone at all. These are things I don’t want to reveal even when I die.”
His words were longer than usual. Lucia drew closer and placed her hand on the back of his hand.
“It’s okay. It is enough to just tell me what you can.”
Sometimes, people have secrets that they bury in their heart till the day they die. A secret that they would never share, no matter if it was to someone they loved or to their family. Lucia has such a secret. That fact that she saw the future in a dream, married another man and lived like that, it was a secret she would bury in her heart for the rest of her life.
“If someone knowing your secret brings you pain, you don’t need to tell anyone.”
His gaze on her quivered.
“…But the secret…could cause you pain.” (Hugo)
“If that happens, I’ll turn to you for answers. Then at that time, you can think it over again. Consider whether you can tell me or not.” (Lucia)
“…Okay, I will.” (Hugo)
He grabbed her arms and pulled her into his embrace. He hugged her tightly and placed his chin on her petite shoulders. Lucia wrapped her arms around his back in return and leaned her head on his shoulder. Without saying a word for a while, they remained hugging each other. It was comfort towards the other and comfort for oneself.
“Damian is your son and also my son. That won’t change. Isn’t that right?”
“Is Damian a child born from his parent’s love?”
“So I heard.”
“Then when Damian has grown up and is old enough to understand, let him know. It will be good for the child too.”
She leaned on his wide chest and buried her face in his shoulders, feeling a slight sense of shame.
‘Why am I like this…’
The fact that he had never had a child with a woman he loved in the past gave her greater joy than compassion for Damian who didn’t really know his parents. Damian was dear to her heart, whether it was before when she thought Damian was really his son, or now that she knew the truth, her feelings hadn’t changed.
However, sometimes when she looked at Damian, she couldn’t help but wonder who his birth mother was and become curious of the person that gave birth to Hugo’s child. And at the same time, the thought that she couldn’t bear him a child made her heart ache. She could now understand his reluctant words for a child, regarding it as a ‘trace.’
This was his sincerity. He had secrets and wounds in his heart. A cold-hearted father and an elder brother who murdered that father. He may be afraid that his family history may be reoccur if he leaves a bloodline behind.
Just like how she was afraid of the future in her dream repeating and chose to make herself infertile.
‘I will not be able to become a mother to my own child.’
She had given up vaguely. Although she still had some expectation of a chance, it was understandable to give up having learnt of the reason behind his reluctance.
A day may come when his wounds heal and he’s ready to become a father or that day may never come and he remains of the same heart, forever. It was easier on the heart to think of the worst case scenario.
‘But I have become a mother.’
Even if she didn’t carry him in her stomach, Damian was her son. She diligently put her rueful heart in order. She tried to transition her mood and pushed away from his chest, looking up at him.
“No wonder I thought Damian somehow didn’t resemble you.”
“Didn’t you say he resembles me exactly, some time ago?”
“His appearance, yes. But inside is completely different. Damian is gentle and sweet. But I don’t think the words gentle and sweet suit you, don’t you think?”
He made an unhappy face then he grinned, lifted her face by the chin and placed a kiss on her lips.
“I am sweet and gentle to you instead.”
His sweet-talk was surprising. Lucia’s heart felt tickled and she burst into laughter. He began kissing her all over her face as though asking ‘what’s so funny?’ and Lucia was really tickled this time and burst into laughter again.
“Seeing how much Damian resembles you, late brother-in-law must have looked exactly like you. How fascinating. There were two of you.”
“Why am I ‘two’? That guy looked okay on the outside but inside was totally…”
When he saw her brightly watching him, he slurred the end of his sentence.
“…a bit weak-minded…”
Lucia understood it as a different expression of the word ‘nice’. As expected, Damian was adorable and sweet, resembling his real father.
“May I ask the name of late brother-in-law?”
When he didn’t say anything for a while, she added, “It’s okay if you don’t tell me.”
“Oh wow. It’s similar to yours.”
“Where is it similar?”
“Hue, Hue, Hugh. If you say it fast, they sound similar.” (1)
“Hugh. Your name is similar to yours and your brother’s.”
His gaze shook considerably and he threw his arms around her.
‘If this woman is gone, perhaps I would die.’
He realized his heart was no longer his own. His throbbing heart was painful but sweet.
Translator’s Corner :
1. For those curious to what this (Hue. Hue. Hugh) sounds like:
2. In Chapter 12, Hugo says something similar to Hugh hence why he’s shaken.