< — Epilogue– > (4)
Hugo went to Evangeline’s nursery first. Nowadays, his wife spent most of her time there. However, when he got there, his wife was nowhere to be found and the wet nurse told him that the Madam had gone to her bedroom with the little miss.
Unlike what he expected, the bedroom was quiet when he got there.
His wife was usually quite chatty when she was with the baby. Lately, Evangeline was beginning to coo and babble, so she was showing more reactions. When the baby babbled something incomprehensible, his wife added onto it and agreed enthusiastically.
Hugo was curious if his wife really understood what the baby was saying. The incomprehensible wails that Evangeline made was not a human language.
He was wondering why it was quiet and as expected, he found both his wife and the baby lying side by side on the bed, taking a good nap. Hugo sent out the maid who was standing guard at the side, then he carefully sat down on the bed, taking care not to shake it.
Hugo stared at his wife’s sleeping face with a gentle look in his eyes. He understood what she meant when she said that even when she was just watching Evangeline sleep, she felt happy. Every time he saw her, he always felt like that.
When the sleeping Evangeline turned on the bed, Hugo’s gaze moved to her.
‘I think she’s much bigger than when I saw her this morning.’
His mind went back to the day when he first saw the baby after she was born. In the past three months, he was able to understand why they told him that the baby would grow up very fast. It was fascinating to watch his daughter whom he thought looked strange when he first saw her, continuously transform like a doll.
Her plump pearly cheeks were cute. The more he looked at them, the more he felt ticklish somewhere inside. He wanted her to grow up fast so that he could also understand what she was saying.
Evangeline who he was watching, pursed her lips, blinked her eyes and woke up. Her wide eyes looked around and locked eyes with Hugo. Her amber eyes, similar to Lucia’s but slightly more yellow, were staring intently at Hugo. Hugo was taken aback and froze, facing the baby.
Evangeline giggled and stretched out her hand to Hugo. While making indecipherable sounds that was impossible to distinguish as laughing or talking, she moved her hands and feet with all her might, as if trying her hardest to express something.
He couldn’t move his eyes away, so he just watched her quietly.
Seeing that Hugo showed no signs of carrying her after all her hard work, Evangeline’s voice grew louder, and she flailed her hands. Her lips scrunched up and her small forehead began to wrinkle. Evangeline’s eyes quivered as if she was going to cry at any moment.
“Eve, good girl.”
Hugo didn’t want to wake his soundly sleeping wife, so he tried to pacify his daughter. However, tears began to well up in Evangeline’s eyes.
Hugo fidgeted a bit then he picked his daughter up and hugged her. Then he walked some distance away from the bed.
Whenever Lucia gave him the baby, Hugo reluctantly held her, but he had never taken the initiative after the midwife forced him to carry Evangeline on the day she was born. The baby was so small and weak that he was afraid that something might go wrong when he carried her. Knowing that Hugo showed signs of discomfort, Lucia never forced him.
His daughter was much heavier than when he last held her. It felt like the weight of life he had to bear on his shoulders.
Enjoying the feeling of being in Hugo’s embrace and carried in the air, Evangeline began to babble noisily. Hugo wanted to understand his daughter’s words like his wife, so he furrowed his brows and listened carefully, but when he realized all over again that he couldn’t understand at all, he chuckled.
“Eve, little baby. I wonder what you’re saying.”
He only said a few words but Evangeline who had gone silent for a moment began to babble more excitedly as if she was replying. Hugo chuckled faintly then he stroked his baby’s soft hair and kissed her little prominent forehead.
Lucia sat on the bed, watching the interaction between father and daughter. She was currently in a sensitive state of mind, so any small noises her daughter made would startle her awake from a deep sleep. Which is why as soon as she heard Eve’s voice, she quickly woke up.
It was a beautiful scene that touched her heart. Her husband was smiling and talking to the baby. As Lucia watched the set of father and daughter exchange words, she felt like she was going to cry, so she came down from the bed and walked to the pair.
As soon as Hugo saw his wife, he quickly tried to hand over Evangeline. But when he moved to do so, Evangeline loudly protested. Seeing the awkward look on Hugo’s face, Lucia chuckled briefly.
“She likes you. Keep holding her.”
“Keep holding? Till when?”
“Till she sleeps.”
Fortunately, it didn’t take long for Evangeline to fall asleep. Hugo called the nanny and handed over the child before sending her off. Then he picked up the envelope he had placed at the bedside table and gave it to Lucia. Lucia checked the contents of the big envelope first and her eyes grew wide.
“I forgot about it.”(Hugo)
“I completely forgot about it too.” (Lucia)
“Both of them are your children.”
“Our children. Thank you.”
Lucia kissed him lightly on the cheek then she opened the other small envelope. As she read the short letter inside the envelope, her expression stiffened. Her face was filled with confusion, showing that she couldn’t understand the situation.
<< I will not ask you to understand why I had no choice but to do this. But believe me. It is all for you, Hugh. I love you, my little brother. —To my brother. >> 
“That is the only thing my late brother left for me.”
After spending several days dealing with everything concerning the deaths of the late ducal couple, Hugo went to his room and found a letter on his desk. Those few short lines were his brother’s dying wishes.
His anger, which has surged to the limit after seeing his brother’s dead body, completely exploded when he read the letter. In that moment, he understood what it meant to be blinded by rage.
He couldn’t understand his brother. He also couldn’t believe that his brother had done it for him. In that moment, he hated his late brother as much as he hated his late parents, or perhaps even more.
He was tempted to throw the letter into the fireplace and burn it several times, but ended up tossing it aside in his family’s secret room. And not long ago, when he was digging through the secret room because of Philip, he found the letter that was already fading.
He couldn’t ignore it, so he brought it along when he came to the capital.
“There is something I haven’t been able to tell you.”
Hugo agonized over how to start, then he began to tell the story that he had never told anyone.
“Initially, I…didn’t have a name. I’m not sure when, but at some point, the people around me began to call me Hue.”
Hugo calmly talked about his childhood as if he were telling an old story that he had heard as a child. The days when the young beast Hue met Hugo and became human, and the days where he lived acting like his brother.
When Hugo’s story came to an end with the tragedy that occurred on one particular day when he was eighteen, Lucia was crying to the point that her whole face was soaked. She was saddened to imagine his lonely childhood and her heart was torn with pain.
Hugo cupped her face with both hands and wiped off her tears with his fingers.
“It took me longer than I thought to tell this to you.”
He needed a lot of courage to reveal his own true identity. It wasn’t because he was suspicious of her love. It was the pride of a man who wanted to be the best before the woman he loved.
He wanted to hide his weak and shameful side. He didn’t want to confess that he was yet to put away his feeling of inferiority, that the head of the Taran family, whom everyone was in reverence of, was in fact a fake imitator.
Lucia covered the hands that were cupping her face, with her own.
“It doesn’t matter who you are. I love you, the person that is in front of me right now.”
“Mm. I know.”
Lucia reached out and threw her arms around his neck. He supported her back with his arm and pulled her close.
“Don’t blame yourself for brother-in-law’s death. At that time, he was only eighteen years old. He loved you in the best way he could think of, for his only brother.”
“…Yea. I think so too.”
Lucia couldn’t say it out loud but she sent her thanks to the other Hugo who had left this world.
If Hugo had not made such a choice, Hue would have suffered much more and lived a miserable life bound to the chains of the Taran family. He would have become a doll with no free will, unable to enjoy the happiness from living as he should. And Lucia would not have been able to meet him and form a relationship with him.
“I’ll keep this letter with me.” (Lucia)
“It’s hard for you to keep it with you, but you can’t throw it away, can you?”
The handwriting in the short letter was neat. Lucia could feel the personality of her brother-in-law from the way he wrote. He was likely a very warm and friendly person. She could guess how much her husband loved his brother and how hurt he was by his brother’s death.
The name, Hue, that was called to mean ‘devil’, no longer existed in this world. As Lucia called him ‘Hugh’, the meaning behind it was ‘my beloved Hue’.
Just as she became his Vivian only, he also became her Hue only. Lucia tightly hugged her reliable husband, who made her want to lean on him and at the same time, hug him.
 Dongsaeng is what Hugo’s brother uses here so I translated it as little brother.
 The tragedy being referred to here, is when Hugo’s brother killed the former ducal couple. This happened when Hugo was eighteen, if I remember correctly.
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