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00-1 First Cry of The Newborn
There was a grandfather’s clock of the latest trending style lying inside the room. The sound of its pendulum reverberated in the air.
Outside, the sky was unfortunately still cloudy. The room was slightly dim, making gloom envelope this moment of waiting. Every single person in the room naturally kept being silent, as if the air was telling them to hush down. Sometimes, there would be signs of someone chewing on snacks or sipping black tea, but that was it. The rest of them would just sit down on the sofa in the room and stayed silent, waiting for that moment to arrive.
“Gentlemen, it’s a successful birth! They’re healthy, glowing baby boy twins! The mother is all safe and well!”
Someone quickly stepped through the corridor, and along with a knock, he shouted from the outside without entering the room. He soon left to go somewhere else, only leaving the sound of hurried footsteps which grew fainter by the second.
Their seats rattled as everyone in the room stood to their feet with vigor. However, even though they wanted to open the door in order to go to their lady’s side at once, somehow, nobody made any move. While I wondered the reason for that, I was just about to call Ergnade’s name.
While wearing a dazed blank look on his face, those words were spilled from his mouth along with a moan.
Father’s condition looked strange. No, it wasn’t only Ergnade. The other three people waiting in the room, the senior Earl Einsbark, Volmar, and Wiegraf, were also wearing the same utter shock look in their faces while being at loss for words.
It was a precise mouth gaping empty look in their faces while the grandfather clock resounded. And then, as if to drown out that sound, a dazzling light shone through the window in unison with a thunderous roar that even shook the floor in tremor.
Paralyzed by the thunder and lightning that crashed very close to them, they finally exchanged looks with grim expression and pursed their lips.
……Just how could there be twins? A dangerous bewilderment hung in the air.
With Ergnade’s stiff voice, I exited the room and followed him. My own bewilderment deepened by the seconds.
When the spring ended, just before I turned to my second year in the college, I got invited to the earldom of the senior Earl Einsbark. The reason of that invitation was to ask for my blessings for the sake of a safe delivery for the child of my father Ergnade, and I intended to agree to that invitation.
When I was nine, Ergnade took me in, and it had been five years since then. He couldn’t have a child on his own, so he had been treating me like his real daughter, but finally, after avoiding the pressure from his blood relatives, he could finally obtain his dearest wish: a legitimate child.
As for me, who was only a person he treated like his child, wishing to attend to congratulate him was something that was beyond my position. However, the Einsbarks had a lot of things that they owed to me, so no one refused my presence. ……I couldn’t be an adopted child of the family, but I was treated well by everyone in the Einsbarks, as if I was a part of them, as if I was a part of their noble house. It was weird.
Well, that issue aside, being allowed to grant my blessings to Ergande’s child made me feel sincerely happy, so I unhesitatingly rushed over.
After giving birth, Ergnade’s wife wailed in anguish as if it was the end of the world, while the male Einsbarks engage in deep talk with sorrowful look in their faces.
Even though the long awaited child and the mother were both healthy, as soon as they arrived in this building, the high anticipation and joy that they expected took a complete flip into despair and pessimism.
Incidentally, the newborn twins were already carried by the midwife from the royal capital to another room. They had been made to sleep after their first bath, but most nobles didn’t partake in that gesture. Thus, it wasn’t strange that the newborns weren’t around in this kind of moment. In my previous life’s memories, one would expect a recently born baby to be sent directly to a nursery for the newborns.
“Ergnade……, Lord Father?”
Because I couldn’t keep up with the situation, there was no other choice for me but to call him by his name.
“……ng, ……ah, yes. My apologies, Eliza.”
Ergnade seemed to have only now realized my presence. He exchanged discreet look with his parent and brothers, and as if trying to include me in that circle, he folded his arms and signaled me to come every now and then.
……Am I really going in there? Me? Even while shaking my head in exasperation inwardly, I still came closer to their side just like I was told to. Ergnade explained the situation straightforwardly with grief in his voice.
According to him.
“The truth is, in our Einsbark house, twins are taboo.”
“……For generation after generation, when twins were born, one of them would be buried. Especially when the twins were both boys…… It’s harsh.”
Don’t tell me, was what I wanted to say. I never heard a tendency of avoiding twins except for anciently recorded times in history. My direct older brother and sister had been twins. Setting aside that characteristics, being born in Arxia meant accepting those extremities as well. ……There was no comparing to my birth situation.
“It was a story from a long time ago, but……, Einsbark house was once ruined. The legitimate twins both competed for the seat of family head, and it created a catastrophic civil war for the entire family. After that, twins were regarded as taboo. Of course, I strongly believe that we don’t have to adopt that kind of evil practice. But, even so……”
Ergnade’s face distorted unpleasantly as he cut his words short.
For him, who had always been a cheerful man, to show that kind of expression—I never wanted to see that in my whole life.