Translated by: Miss Ruby
No wonder Anne-Marie wasn’t next to him today. As soon as he saw me, Bastian began to breach the subject at hand. He was probably going to bring up what Kalian and Dominic had been trying to block.
“You might feel this is sudden but I’m definitely not bringing this up on an impulse…I have been thinking about this for some time now.”
Bastian seriously looked at me and began to talk. Somehow, there was a slight look of tension on his face.
“I have also suggested this to Anne-Marie, so I hope you don’t feel too burden as well, Yuri.”
Halfway through, Bastian lifted a teacup to moisten his throat as though his mouth was dry then adjusted his voice and continued.
“Actually, this is not that rare among nobles. The system might be unfamiliar to the young ones nowadays but…”
However, his story filler was a little longer than I expected. He seemed worried I would refuse as soon as I heard what he had to say so he began to hesitate and draw out a long explanation before getting to the main subject.
“Ehem, so what I want to say is…”
Then he cleared his throat for no reason and finally mentioned the most important thing.
“I want to become your guardian.”
I wasn’t surprised because I had expected this to some extent. Rather, the continuous hesitation had been a little frustrating so when I finally heard Bastian’s purpose loud and clear, it even felt refreshing.
So while thinking ‘as expected’, I answered back with a question like I was trying to confirm.
“Well, the guardian system sounds like a lot but it’s nothing much!”
At that, Bastian hurriedly spoke again.
“If you accept, you don’t have to worry that you’ll have to humor or wait on an old man till he dies. I don’t mean that when I say I want to become your guardian.”
It seemed Bastian misunderstood that I asked that because I was reluctant about his proposal.
“I have been watching you two and I felt you are really good kids and when I started thinking about what I could possibly do to help you within my means…”
He spun a tale about how this proposal wasn’t for any other reason and he just wanted to help us sincerely and take responsibility for us so I shouldn’t be burdened at all.
While he went on, I calmly stared at him.
“Did Ms. Anne-Marie accept?”
Then before giving Bastian an answer, I asked that first. Earlier, Bastian definitely said he had offered Anne-Marie the same thing.
The next moment, he nodded his head.
“She thought about it for a bit, but she eventually accepted.”
It was a little surprising.
But if you thought about it from a different angle, it might not be that surprising.
If she was alone then it was hard to say but Anne-Marie had her sister, Hestia with her. And since it was the Anne-Marie I knew, I could understand how she would accept Bastian’s goodwill with gratitude. Perhaps afterward, she decided to take care of Bastian with more sincerity and to the best of her abilities in the future.
Well, I had no way to know everything Anne-Marie was thinking so this was just my guess.
Anyways, a guardian, huh.
The suggestion was much better than I expected.
Although, I didn’t think it was good enough to make Dominic come and visit me separately to stop me. Plus there was even Kalian who secretly blocked Bastian from speaking at the dinner table.
Both father and son were acting so sensitive that I thought he was going to ask me to be his daughter instead of the late Selena Crawford…
“Honestly…if this old man can be more greedy, I would like for you, Yuri, to be my adopted daughter instead of my ward.”
…but it turns out I was right.**
“Your adopted daughter?”
Again, I answered with a question in a sluggish tone. But even I could hear a tiny, but obvious sense of bafflement buried in my voice. Until now, I only had a vague guess but hearing it directly from Bastian’s mouth made me feel a little off.
“I’m only making this proposal to you, Yuri.”
Perhaps Bastian also sensed that because he looked a little crestfallen as he continued speaking.
“You already know that you resemble my daughter, Selena so I will not lie. That is in fact the biggest reason why I want to adopt you as my daughter.”
While all sorts of thoughts coursed through my mind, I quietly listened to Bastian talk.
“But I would never ask you to act like Selena’s substitute by my side…or anything of the sort. You can just be as comfortable as you are now.”
“It has not been very long but watching you by my side all this time has given me a lot of comfort. At first, I felt like my daughter, Selena had come back to life…And then I gradually became more greedy.”
Bastian looked straight into my eyes and said again.
“Please, will you be my daughter?”
He seemed like he was being really sincere, so it made me feel troubled once again. As a matter of fact, while I’d be wondering what Bastian’s proposal might be, I had already decided on my answer in advance.
“I don’t wish for much. I don’t have that much time left to live either. It’s just while I can still breathe, I want to see you around and healthy. That’s all I want.”
When I saw Bastian asking me with such an earnest look in his eyes, the words lingering at the tip of my tongue couldn’t come out that easily.
“And if you officially become my adopted daughter, you can enjoy everything the Crawfords have to offer, as long as you live. When I die, a part of my inheritance will be yours as well.”
And when he added that, I once again thought ‘as expected’. This was what made Dominic see me as a thorn in his side.
Of course, I didn’t know how much power I could have if I were to become Bastian’s adopted daughter. But regardless of that, it was natural for Dominic, the head of the Crawford family to be unhappy with it.
After all, an orphan girl suddenly rolled like in a stone and was about to bite off a piece of the Crawford family. Furthermore, even if it wasn’t necessarily about the inheritance or the distribution of power, it would be much weirder if he was glad that a woman of unknown origins who was as young as his son, was going to enter the family register and become his younger sister.
Beyond that, even from the perspective of the head of the family, the status of the Crawford family would fall if such a thing happened. Of course, the honor of the Crawford family would not be jeopardized just because of me but they would certainly become the target of ridicule from other nobles.
That said, I felt like Kalian blocked Bastian’s decision for moral reasons instead of for reasons like the Crawford family inheritance or power.
I silently stared at Bastian who was anxiously waiting for my answer. Then I soon opened my mouth.
“I’ll think about it then I’ll let you know.”
Bastian was delighted, seemingly happy with the fact that I didn’t refuse right away.
Then before I changed my mind and took it back, he quickly told me to do just that.
I began to contemplate if I should selfishly use this old man’s earnest wish.
* * *
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In a night where the moon was covered by clouds.
A crow flew toward Lakis, its black feather fluttering in the wind. When it arrived in front of Lakis, it transformed into a human being. He fell to his knees like he was prostrating on the floor.
“And what I ordered?”
“This Odin has completed it perfectly!”
Odin looked up at Lakis with sparkling eyes, like he was hoping to be praised. But Lakis only looked down at Odin without saying a word.
Under the moonlight, his blue eyes narrowed slightly, giving off a chilly feeling. If it was normally how he did things, a useless pawn would be killed and gotten rid of. While a useful pawn would be used continuously until they broke down.
But as expected, no matter what side he chose for the Crow, it bothered him. He didn’t even have to think deeply about why; it was simply because Odin was related to Yuri.
Of course, Odin was actually quite useful, so Lakis didn’t regret using him. That said, he still didn’t feel completely clear inside so he couldn’t help but click his tongue inwardly.
Finally, words of praise for Odin left his mouth for the first time.
At that, Odin was shocked, and his eyes went wide. Soon, joy and delight began to spread on his face. Odin couldn’t hold back his emotions and tears even began to gather in his eyes.
“Sob, t-then Lakis-nim. Can I lick your shoes for today’s reward…Mph!”
However, Odin wasn’t able to finish the sentence regarding his lifelong wish. Because the next moment, a dreary hand filled with some annoyance stretched out before him and covered his face.
—This guy is quite something. Seriously. Hey, Lakis, he’s asking for it so much, why don’t you give him a shoe as a final gift?
The bug in Lakis’ head said as if asking him to perform charity. When Lakis heard that, his mouth distorted.
“If you say the same thing the next time we meet, I might give it special consideration then.”
Hearing that, Odin’s ears pricked up.
However, that would probably not happen. After all, the Odin who was Lakis’ faithful servant, albeit for a short time, would disappear today.
“Crow Odin, I don’t need you anymore so from now on, go back to Yuri.”
A low voice mixed into the night air burrowed into Odin’s ears. The hand covering his face felt as cold as ice. As a burst of pure white light filled his sight, Odin finally lost consciousness.
** OMG I was cackling. This had [spoke too soon] written all over it.
I decided to use ‘adopted daughter’ instead of ‘foster-daughter’. Apparently, foster daughter means a completely different thing.
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