WSTFNA Chapter 4
After Victor left the room, Brandon didn’t get up right away. Instead, he only left the room after the music reached its climax.
He wanted to delay his encounter with Hugo even a little.
On the way from the annex where Brandon lived to Hughes Hall, he passed by a fountain famous for its beauty.
Hugo bought the mansion from a ducal family and redecorated the entire property, including the house and garden. This fountain was made at that time.
Thanks to that, it became one of the most beautiful mansions among nobles.
However, Brandon, who lived here, had never felt that the place was beautiful. Not even the fountain that anyone who’d been to Hughes Hall admired.
Upon entering the main building, the butler, Victor, waiting at the door, said, “The Baron and Madam are waiting for you; please go in.”
Brandon headed to the dining room and left Victor, who’d been taking care of Cleart’s business for twenty years.
There was a luxurious marble table in the middle of the spacious room, and Hugo and his younger brother, Leslie, had arrived first.
Brandon smiled exaggeratedly and greeted the Baron and Baroness sitting at the head of the table.
“Isn’t it a wonderful morning?”
“You’re late.” Hugo’s voice was curt.
As Brandon moved to his usual spot at dinner, Evelyn, Hugo’s wife, and Brandon’s adoptive mother said, “Everyone is waiting for you, so you should break the habit of coming in so late.”
“I’m sorry. I should have come early and waited for you. I had a lot of people to see until late at night yesterday. You know I get busier at night. Hahaha.”
It seemed like he was smiling and talking slyly, but if one looked closely, one would realize it didn’t reach his eyes.
Hearing the nuance that he was late last night because he was with a girl, Hugo clicked his tongue and said, “You still can’t come to your senses. How long will the eldest son of the Cleart family be so debauched?”
“There’s the second son better than the eldest, right? So let me live like this.”
When Hugo’s eyes widened at Brandon’s pathetic words, Leslie, who had been watching this scene, intervened. “Hyung, I heard you met the Count’s daughter a few days ago. What family did you say it was…”
Even though they were a county, their authority had fallen to a level no different from that of commoners, and the social world ignored them already, so Leslie didn’t know the family’s name.
“Was it Lolitas?”
“Loris,” Brandon said, nonchalantly correcting Leslie’s mistake.
“Ah, right. The daughter of Count Matthew Loris.”
“I thought you had a good memory, but you have a bad brain like me. Is that why we’re brothers?”
Brandon’s words were sharp, but Leslie didn’t care at all. His older brother had a terrible reputation, but if he thought he would treat anyone recklessly, he would overpower his opponent in any way.*
Brandon Cleart, a man who was by no means easy.
Leslie was often curious about Brandon’s thoughts. He couldn’t understand why his brother wasted his life like this. He was smart enough to surpass their father, Hugo, if he set is mind to it.
“When you met her, what was Lady Loris like?”
Evelyn, who had been quietly eating, also helped. “Yes, how was it? She has a bold side, but they say she’s quite pretty. Was it as rumored?”
“She’s more beautiful than I thought. It’s too much for me.”
“Seeing as hyung said that, she must be pretty. You must have liked her.”
“I dare to marry the Count’s daughter, but what does it matter if I like her or not? You can get the county if I marry her. Isn’t that right, Father, Mother?”
It was a sarcastic remark towards Mr. and Mrs. Hugo, who were trying to marry him to the Loris family.
Hugo was furious at Brandon’s words and put down the knife he was holding, but Evelyn held her husband’s hand and stopped him.
“Brandon, if you don’t like the young lady, you don’t have to marry her. Even if it isn’t the daughter of Count Loris, there will be plenty of girls who’d love to marry you.”
“Aside from the Loris family, were there other fallen aristocratic families with daughters of marriageable age? They’ll need a higher status than us to catch your attention. Besides, a dog like me shouldn’t mind.”
When Evelyn cautioned him, Brandon covered it with a laugh as if he didn’t provoke them.
“Haha, I’m saying I like it. I’d be grateful if Loris offered to have his daughter marry a guy like me. I will marry Lady Loris.”
They hadn’t thought he would readily agree to marry after only meeting his potential partner once, so the three of them were surprised by his decision.
“Hyung, are you really going to marry Lady Loris?”
After hearing from Mrs. Grian that Count Matthew Loris proposed a marriage, Hugo found out about Callie.
Unlike Matthew Loris, who was so incompetent that he couldn’t even keep his legacy, his daughter, Callie Loris, was reported to be a bright, well-rounded girl.
Apparently, she didn’t go to an all-girls school or university. Still, she was excellent at history and language, most likely because she was the Count’s daughter and was thoroughly educated at home. They said she could have gone to college if she had made up her mind.
He figured she was much better than her incompetent father when he heard she was helping her family by working as a part-time tutor for the Harrison family.
“You seem to have taken quite a liking to the lady if you’re interested in getting married.”
Brandon once again made it clear that he intended to marry. “If the Loris family says yes, I want to marry the young lady.”
At his easy acquiescence, Leslie asked suspiciously, “Did you fall in love with the Count’s daughter at first sight? A playboy like hyung? Somehow I don’t believe it.”
It was natural for Leslie to be suspicious. After all, Brandon had been dating so many women.
He met various women, such as actresses, dancers, teachers, and nurses, as well as daughters of noble families, and he constantly flirted with them. And he wasn’t subtle about it, like a person whose mission was to let the world know about his conquests.
Even if they met while attracting public attention, most ended within two months.
One day, when he asked Brandon why he changed women so often, he said there were too many beautiful women in the world. He also mentioned that it was too bad to meet only one woman.
It was hard to believe that he would marry the lady he had only met once.
Hugo felt the same. “Are you serious?”
“Father and Mother recommended this family. So, she’d probably be a wonderful bride. She’s too good for me.” Brandon chuckled, then added. “I want to get married as soon as possible.”
Brandon, who lived in an orphanage in the slums, was exceptionally smart from a young age.
After ten years of marriage and not having children, the Hugo couple decided to adopt.
Hugo, who hadn’t been given the baronet yet, wanted an intelligent kid who could take over the business after him. So, after visiting more than ten orphanages, Brandon caught his eye.
Looking at Brandon’s unusually bright and sharp eyes, Hugo thought he was a child worthy enough to become his son and continue his business.
Before moving to the orphanage, Brandon lived in the slums alone with his sick mother. Brandon’s mother was so unwell that she couldn’t move, but because she had no money, she couldn’t even go to the hospital, so she lay helpless.
Even in young Brandon’s eyes, his mother, who had endured without medication, looked very difficult and in pain.
“Mom, are you okay?”
“Yes. Mom is okay, so go out and play.”
To keep her little son from seeing her pain, she kept asking Brandon to go out and play. But Brandon never left his mother’s side.
He made wet towels with his tiny hands and put them on her forehead, lifted his drooping mother, and fed her with water.
However, it was not a disease that could be cured with just that amount of care.
She was getting more and more emaciated, and she kept feeling sorry for her young son.
“Mom needs to protect you until the end. I’m sorry.”
“I’m strong, so it’s okay. I will grow up quickly and protect Mom.”
“I wish someone could help my son… What can I do, Brandon, my poor baby.”
She grew thinner and thinner, and there was not a day that she did not shed tears. Since he was too young, Brandon didn’t know then that it was because of the mother’s sorrow that she had to leave her young son first.
“Brandon, if someone lends a helping hand later, accept it gratefully. And if an opportunity comes to you, you should never miss it. That’s how Brandon can live without Mom. Don’t forget Mom, Brandon.”
*Not 100% sure about the translation