< — Memories of Mother — > (1)
BOOK 6 BEGINS.
She felt like she vaguely heard his voice. Something pointy kept touching her face here and there. It was ticklish but it was also disturbing her sleep so she frowned and swung her hand in the air. Her hand was caught and she felt a pair of lips kissing the back of her hand and fingertips. Lucia opened her heavy-lidded eyes. She blinked a few times, driving away the sleepiness.
Lucia identified him with her slightly clearer vision. The bedroom was already bright, and he was already dressed up. He smiled and lowered his head, kissing her lightly on the lips.
“It’s past noon. You should get up.” (Hugo)
“…This is your fault though.”
Lucia fell asleep at dawn today. He was so persistent in not letting her go that she didn’t even know when exactly she fell asleep. She looked at the refreshed expression on his face and closed her eyes.
“I want to sleep a little more.” (Lucia)
“You have to get up now to be able to meet your grandfather. He’ll be here in about two hours.” (Hugo)
Her sleepiness instantly disappeared. Lucia widened her eyes and unconsciously sat upright.
“Who did you say is coming? My grandfather?”
“You said you wanted to meet him. Have you changed your mind?”
“Ah…No. It’s not that but…how did you contact my grandfather?”
“I asked the maid to find out where he was staying yesterday.”
No matter what decision she came to, whether it was to meet her grandfather or to not, it was essential to first know how to contact the other party. It was a matter of course to Hugo but Lucia didn’t think of it at all. When he told her that he would find out how to contact her grandfather, she vaguely thought that with his capability, he would be able to find her grandfather after asking around. But there was such a simple way.
“…But my mind isn’t ready yet…” (Lucia)
“There’s no need for that If you drag it out, you’ll only get sentimental. Why did you want to meet your grandfather?” (Hugo)
“I was curious about what kind of person my mother’s father is. I also thought I should let him know about my mother.”
“Then meet him with that in mind. Don’t bother yourself with too many worries.”
Lucia was surprised by him. He was sharp about the point that she hadn’t thought of at all. It was natural that worries would increase the more time passed, but the fact that he knew that was fascinating to her.
When she married him, she was impressed by his rapid driving force. He had a personality that pushed forward without hesitation when he made a decision. He seemed like a man that would never waste his time on thinking for too long.
‘Does he ever worry? Has he ever regretted a decision he made?’
These days, Hugo worried almost every day. But the cause of this had absolutely no idea that he spent his days worrying and regretting.
* * *
Jerome received his master’s order and personally escorted the old man. Externally, he acted secretly in order to avoid revealing the fact that the Duke of Taran brought the Count to his mansion.
Hugo ordered Jerome to be cautious. He hadn’t yet decided how to establish their relationship after his wife met her grandfather. Once it was known that the man was the relative of the ducal house by marriage, there were a lot of hungry wolves that would come running.
Hugo didn’t have any special feelings for his wife’s maternal family. He could respect the man because he was his wife’s grandfather, but it was only up to point she wanted.
In the receiving room, Lucia waited for her grandfather. Seeing her sitting anxiously, Hugo wrapped one arm around her shoulder and hugged her. Lucia didn’t come out to greet her grandfather and was waiting in the receiving room so that the old man’s visit would not look special, even to the servants.
The closed door of the receiving room opened, and Jerome came in, escorting a gray-haired old man. As if frozen, the Count stood at the entrance for a while looking at Lucia. Then with shaky steps, he slowly walked towards Lucia.
Lucia saw the face of her uncle from her dream in the old man’s face. And she also saw the face of her late mother.
The two of them, grandparent and grandchild, stood a few steps apart and stared at each other silently.
“Please sit down. You sit too.” (Hugo)(TN: He refers to grandpa with the first one and Lucia with the second.)
Hugo stepped in and dissolved with the tense atmosphere. Lucia sat down on the sofa after the Count sat down.
“Is it better if I leave you two alone?” (Hugo)
Lucia shook her head and grabbed his hand. Then she took a deep breath and opened her mouth.
“It’s nice to meet you. I am Vivian…Grandfather.”
The Count’s eyes shook violently. He looked at Lucia with a very sorrowful look in his eyes. He moved his lips a few times but didn’t say anything. Then after a good while, he managed to say one word.
As soon as the Count entered, he quickly looked over the receiving room. When he didn’t see Amanda, his heart sank with anxiety. Even though he was meeting his granddaughter for the first time and she looked lovely like his daughter, could the keen affection be compared to his own child? He chose to believe his daughter couldn’t make it due to unavoidable circumstances. No matter how anxious he was, he couldn’t abandon hope.
Lucia’s chest surged with heat. This person was a father who missed his daughter. Who knew how much her late mother wanted to see her father for the last time? Lucia’s heart ached when she thought about her mother.
“…She passed away.”
Lucia saw a mixture of many emotions run through the old man’s eyes. Surprise, shock, disbelief, anger, sorrow, despair. Seeing many painful emotions flash by in an instant, Lucia began to sympathize with the pain of the wounded old man. The grief of a parent who lost their child was shown in the teary eyes of the old man.
The Count covered his face with his hands, lowered his head and began to cry.
Tears also fell from Lucia’s eyes. She leaned into Hugo’s embrace and buried her face in his chest.
Tis’ short. Next long.