Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 53: Sixth Episode: Chapter 7
Chapter 53: Sixth Episode: Chapter 7
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The official residence of the Andrew family was situated near the base camp of Andrew Haila which was on the edge of the forest. The forest was considered a restricted military area; hence, it was filled with many checkpoints and guards.
This official residence resembled a small castle. On the exterior, this quaint little castle was no different from those common fortresses located around Narcissus County, except that it had many more windows and no suspension bridge nor ditch at the gate.
The moment one entered from the gate, they would immediately be welcomed by a small square which was decorated with a circular fountain in the middle. The statue displayed in the fountain was the old pioneer of Andrew family, who established the Narcissus Knights. Opposite of the fountain and the fortress gate was the main entrance of the residence. Visitors could hitch their horses on the stone columns in front of the doorstep, or they could also hand the horses to the servants of the castle.
One might be surprised, or disappointed, at the simplicity of design and decoration of the interior of the castle. The interior style was completely consistent with the effortless style of the Andrew family; from the setting of the patio to the display of furniture, nothing could be mentioned as extravagant or praiseworthy. It was because the Andrew family never put in complete effort to carefully manage this official residence, and its function was indeed similar to those of hotels. Apart from for the few ladies, few people actually accommodated here frequently. The sons and cousins of Andrew family were dispersed on the vast expanse of the battle line. Even on grand occasions, they would rarely return to gather with the family.
The castle was situated in a strategic location which faced south and with its back to the north. The main house located on the north side belonged to Lady Celia of the Andrew family, to the west was Lady Pauline’s residence, to the east was Lady Freya’s residence, and finally, the massive attic sat above the main house was once the residence of the late Lady Mica.
Since noon, His Royal Highness Prince O’Neil Andrew Morisette had locked himself in this large room and had not allowed anyone to visit. No one knew what he was doing in the room.
In fact, the young man did not do anything. He just shut himself in, cried his heart out, and then slept through the afternoon. It was frustrating for him to have no tears. But on a second thought, his mother would not have liked a cowardly child. Hence Oscar, who was almost an adult, could not help but felt fortunate for his lack of tears.
He had never felt so energetic right after waking up from a nap! No wonder his mother had chosen this as her room, he thought. Reminiscing from his memory, he followed suit his mother's action by rolling up the screens and opening the windows widely. Outside of the huge floor-to-ceiling window was a very enchanted picture.
The sun suspended high up on the west side of the blue sky, with its golden glow shone over an endless sea of narcissus, and purple alfalfas were decorated on this pure white plain like thousands of dotted stars. Among the fields of flowers stood several tall and massive trees. Underneath them, the Narcissus farmers leisurely took shade as they watched over their grazing cows and horses not far away. A couple of girls were picking the withered narcissus, and the presence of a small group of patrolling knights made them sang out a cheerful laughter. In the distant, smoke could be seen rising up from the roof of the manor. From afar, those buildings appeared like small building blocks cleverly stacked among a sea of flowers.
The knock on the door interrupted Oscar's thoughts, and the memories were no longer clear. Although he had visited this place many times in his dreams, he never realized that everything he remembered was different from reality until he had returned here himself.
The knocking on the door came again, and it sounded more impatient this time. The young man ignored the noise and took his time to examine the room once more. It was filled with a wide range of vases, and countless stalks of narcissus sent a sweet fragrance out into the air. Mother’s bed was right next to the French window. Not far from there was the little bed that belonged to him; even on the ground, his childhood toys were scattered all over.
Nothing had changed! And this was the reason that had moved the young man. Slowly, he walked to the door and thought to himself, "Everything has changed!" The young man finally confirmed that, and his mood dropped to the bottom of his heart.
"My child, it's me!" Oscar was a little skeptical at the sound coming from the other side of the door. It did not seem to be his father's voice? Immediately, he opened the door.
"Haha!" the messenger lifted the stunned Oscar off the ground! "You little fella! Why are you hiding from us?"
Oscar was baffled by the man who hugged him, and at this moment he saw that there were two other young men who stood outside the door. One of them resembled father. He was not too tall and was dressed in a straight-fitting military uniform, a delicate mustache situated above his thin lips; the other one laughed at him blankly. This silly looking one had the built of Ferry, but the military uniform he wore seemed out of place. Traces of butter could be spotted on his collar if looked carefully.
"You guys..." Oscar uttered the words with much difficulty. He felt that the man who held him was about to break his waist!
"Are you kidding me? Do your own brothers also need to introduce themselves?" the men who held him seemed to be obviously displeased.
"Figg! Let little Oscar down!" The oldest of all demanded.
"Well, of course I have to let him down! This kid is really heavy!" Figg put Oscar down and stretched his muscles uncomfortably. It appeared that the man of the military headquarters did not show him any mercy. He could still feel his back ached when he moved around too much!
The young man seemed to have figured it out. These messengers were his three brothers. The one who had held him was Figg, the older should be Racheff, and the somewhat dumbfounded one would be Cody!
"Uh... Hello… How are you?" Oscar greeted his brothers clumsily.
"Relax! No one here will beat you up!" Figg said while patted his little brother's shoulder.
"That’s enough Figg, get out of my way!" Racheff Andrew Nedgabel lightly pushed the noisy Figg aside, and the latter playfully hooked his arm over Cody’s neck.
"Welcome back!" Racheff embraced his little brother lovingly. His expression was very sincere, and his hug was stern and powerful.
"Thank you!" Oscar let his big brother kiss him on both sides of his cheeks.
"And this is Cody! Come on, where is your gift for him?" Figg half-dragged Cody up to the young man.
"Uh... I..." Oscar seemed helpless. He quickly pulled out from his pocket a fine rectangular box, which he had originally prepared as a gift for the young lady, but Sasha E. got bored of it and exchanged it for another gift from him.
Figg snatched over the box and placed the small gift on to the palms of Cody. The third young master of Andrew family raised the surprise gift and swung it hard in front of his eyes. All the other three brothers had transferred their attention to him.
Beads formed across Cody’s forehead! This was the most wonderful box he had ever seen. There was no lock nor a gap for opening, and no matter how hard he tried, he still could not open it! Figg and Racheff were worried, they knew that Cody would do something outrageously the moment he became angry or frustrated.
Out of the blue, the box suddenly opened itself! Cody shouted "Wow!" at the surprise, as he turned to Oscar and said "Kaka! Jaja! Andrew Haila! Long live yogurt!’’
"Well?" Oscar stared blankly at the other two brothers. The words of the third brother were absolutely incomprehensible.
"Uh... he meant to say thank you! Uh... he likes it or something like that!" Fiff shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly.
At this moment, Cody had already left his brothers behind and rushed down the stairs. His excited exclamations rang across the corridors, "Andrew Haila! Andrew Haila! Yogurt! Yogurt! Sasha E! Sasha E! "
Looking at his brother, Cody that had disappeared down the lower stairs, Oscar tried to refresh his memory as hard as he could, but he could not remember any impression of his third brother’s intellectual problems.
"Oh, he is going to show it off to little Sasha! There’s nothing we could do, Cody has been like that since young," Racheff said and pointed at his temple, "But rest assured, people love him, and I believe you will too!"
Oscar nodded, "Yes, of course..."
Before the young prince could finish his sentence, his brother Figg came up to hook his arm around Oscar’s neck like he did with Cody just now. "Alright then! The whole family is waiting for you, the party is about to begin!"
The three brothers descended the stairs together, and that moment onwards, Figg had completely shown his rogue self to his youngest brother.
"Hey! Little guy! I've seen her, the princess! She looks really amazing! I heard that it has been a long time ago since the both of you were privately engaged with each other in Dulin?"
"No! That is only a rumor! This is ..."
"Stop denying it! Look at you, your cheeks had turned red! Spill it to your brother, how is her body like…"
"That’s enough, Figg! You must not speak rudely of the princess!" Racheff was ashamed of his brother’s behavior.
"My dear brother! Now that you’re angry, you look so much like our father. Alright, alright, I will not talk about her anymore." He then turned to young Oscar again, "Haha! Dulin’s ladies are nothing compared to the girls from our hometown. Forget about Sasha! She hasn’t even hit puberty yet! As your elder brother, I am more than willing to introduce to you some matured and understanding ladies. Of course, I also know a few innocent young girls if those are your cup of tea…"
Without realizing, they had arrived at the great hall of the residence. The lights suddenly lit up, and everyone turned their gazes toward the stairs. Soon enough, the three brothers walked down and the crowd broke into a deafening applause. A noble lady seated beside the Duke of Andrew even whistled out loud.
Oscar smiled shyly and revealed his embarrassment in front of the crowd. He loved this place! Everyone here seemed to have great affectionate toward him.
The people of Andrew family pushed their way through the steps of the staircase, then rushed to hug and greet the young prince. A few seconds later, Oscar felt his face covered with a layer of saliva!
Poor Racheff and Figg! They had taken upon themselves the roles of secretaries, as they scrambled to introduced everyone that rushed forward to them.
"Uh…This is Uncle Taylor…and this is Aunt Taylor!"
"This is Hurino! Even though he appears to be ten years older than you, but he is only your younger nephew!"
"Cousin Nathan… Sister Foca… Oh, this is little Al. He is your youngest nephew, even though he is only a few years older than yourself."
"This is our father’s sister, Cameron… would you excuse us, auntie? Grandfather Keeley is behind you."
Oscar sweated profusely. He was overwhelmed by the excitement of the crowd in front of him. By the looks of it, almost more than three hundred people were present! They were mostly of Andrew or Nedgabel family. His two brothers also pointed out to him that a few of them had the same royal last name – Morisette – as himself, which were all also the sons of Andrew family.
After what seemed like forever, the young man finally managed to squeeze to the front of his father and three mothers. He looked like a mess; the collar of his shirt was ripped off, his face was filled with perspiration and marks of red lipstick were imprinted by his female relatives!
"Ha ... haha! Papa! Mam!" Perhaps happiness was indeed contagious. After being surrounded by the warm atmosphere in the family, for the first time in his life, Oscar had addressed his parents with the sweetest endearments.
"Yes! Yes! It’s great to have you back home!" Celia was the first to hug her youngest son. Like her two other sisters, tears were streaming down both of her cheeks. Then, she stepped back and presented the youngest son to another two Ladies of Andrew. Oscar's chubby face once again accepted the baptism of the tears of the crying ladies.
Lastly, Dortmund lightly patted the shoulder of his youngest son, but it was his next move that frightened the young man even more. Oscar saw his father, the great Governor of Titan Empire's Eastern Border, the Marshal of the 400,000 Narcissus knights - Duke Dortmund Andrew Nedgabel! Suddenly, the Duke leaped onto the table!
"Please quiet down! My dearest family members! Everyone!" the Duke of Andrew shouted loudly.
The family members had finally calmed down. The old people stood tall, and young people looked at the commander with great respect and admiration. A few of the ladies assigned the servant girls to distribute the champagne to everyone in the crowd.
"Everyone, please listen to me!"
The whole mansion became silent.
"We, the Andrew family, are gathered here today at this very moment! We have experienced countless tribulations, and have endured innumerable sufferings. But we have managed to bring our children, wives and thousands of military and civilian to where we are today. As a parent and president, I am grateful to everyone that has helped us to achieve this far! "
The Duke of Andrew stood on the table, and he lifted the glass in his hand up high. "Family members! My dear ones! The first glass of wine is for the orphans and widows, their contribution to the family and the suffering they endured were much more than those who had sacrificed with glory!"
Duke emptied the glass in one shot and immediately took another glass from Celia who stood by his side.
"The second glass of wine! In year 771, I took on the title of Duke and commander's power from my father! I lost him in the year 773. The old man caught on a terrible cold when he was inspecting the border. In year 774, I lost a brother! He died as a hero. There were more than twenty stabs in his body, but he and his main division force struggled to the last second to seize the chance for a counterattack! Two years later, I lost another younger brother! He was serving in the affected area to help relief victims, but he himself had contracted the damn malaria. Later in year 780, the Winter Attack of Persian made me lose my last remaining younger brother. Where are you, Uncle Karl?"
A white-haired old soldier in the crowd lifted his glass in respond.
The Duke nodded to the man. "That battle had taken away the lives of all three sons of Uncle Karl!"
"On the year 784, again, three of my nephews and two cousins of mine were sacrificed! In the winter of year 787, Auntie Laurel’s daughter, Juana who was only 17, suffered an ambush by the Persian Ghan Army while she was on her way to deliver a confidential information to the Seth Field Army. This cousin of mine, who loved wearing bright colored dresses, brought together a small army that retreated to Seth Forest and fought the Ghan until the last of her breath. As we all know, she was finally found dead in the deep jungle - frozen. But in her hand, the weapon was still held tightly."
The main hall was so quiet that people could hear each other’s breathing. However, there was no grief on the faces of the people of Andrew. Instead, they were flourished with pride and vigor.
The duke had not finished his speech yet. "Spring and summer of year 788, that great march of revenge for Juana! 27 men in the family, including me, rushed to the forefront and battled the enemy. My uncle and uncle brother raided the Ghan in the end, but only 15 men out of 27 managed to return home!"
"Year 790, this is the year that deserves to be remembered forever! My second son! Damn Figg!"
The crowd laughed and Figg raised his glass to his father in a playful manner!
"Yes Figg, I spot you, you ruffian! Even though I am unwilling to admit it, but you indeed launched a great attack! I believe everyone knows about that? The mixed legion army led by him successfully charged into Baghdad West! The capital state of our Persian enemy! He could have bragged about this achievement for the rest of his life but however, he left his two cousins there!"
Figg looked down to the ground in sadness, and the crowd became quiet again.
"Let us toast the second glass of wine to the people of Andrew who sacrificed! However, the martyrs are immortal! They are worthy of the blessing by the God of Light!"
Again, the duke chugged his glass of wine. Celia immediately handed her husband yet another full glass.
"The third glass!" The duke bent over and pulled young Oscar up onto the table. The young man was a little awkward as he did not know where to place neither of his hands.
"My youngest son!" The duke grasped Oscar’s neck with one hand and kissed the little boy's cheek.
"My youngest son is a miracle! He was only five years old when that happened! At such a young age, this courageous little boy stood up fiercely for his sister when she was violated. He had proved himself to be a true son of Andrew, a member of this warrior family! He definitely earned our respect and supreme honor by sacrificing ten years of his childhood!"
"This last toast is for him, my youngest son! He is finally back, but it does not matter much!" The Duke kissed young Oscar again. "Do not be disheartened, my son! I have yet to finish my sentence!"
"In fact, it does not matter at all, my son!" the Duke turned to face his youngest son and noticed tears welled up in his son's eyes.
"What I mean is that no matter where you are, you have to remember this – you are a member of the Andrew family, forever and always! Whenever you encounter any misfortune, you have to remember that the family ancestors and martyrs are constantly guarding you! Despite the fierce Persian, despite the tremendous sacrifices made by our family over the past four centuries, and despite the unimaginable tragedy that happens every day in the family, all of these do not matter, because…"
The Duke took the young man into his tight embrace. When he raised his head to drink the liquor, the marshal casually smashed the empty glass onto the ground. His shaking fists pointed at the ground angrily!
"Four hundred years! The Persians came and go numerous times! But for us, the members of Andrew family! We're still standing here today!"
"Andrew Haila!" the audience broke into another deafening applause! Yes! The Duke was right! Losing your life for the family was an honor, and to cry over what was lost was superfluous! The most important thing was that after all these years of tormenting and misery, they were still here, standing proudly on this piece of land that anchored all the blood and glory of the Andrew family.
The crowd lost themselves in the dance of the Narcissus following the first note of music played. This passionate dance that came from the folk was formed in the mid-sixteenth century of the Church’s Calendar year. It was different from the ordinary ballroom dance. The dance of the Narcissus allowed the dancing men and women to feel much closer to each other, and it was the perfect portrayal of intertwining softness of women and masculinity of men!
In the middle of the dance hall, one pair of dancers was publicly recognized as the best dance team of the Andrew family! They were Lady Duchess Freya and her son Cody. The Duke called them the Masters of the dance of Narcissus!
Lady Freya had hair of long golden curls. She was also tall and beautiful, but her son Cody was mentally challenged. However, it was not a big problem. Cody might have the mentality of a three-year-old, but when the music of the famous dance of Narcissus played, the third young master of family Andrew would immediately turn to another person. The God of Light was fair, after all. He took away Cody’s wisdom, but blessed him with a perfect built and amazing dance skills!
The people of Andrew family formed a circle and surrounded the two dancers. They kept putting their hands together to cheer on and encouraged the mother and son.
A younger cousin invited Oscar to the dance floor but was politely rejected. He was not very familiar with the dance of Narcissus, as Annie did not teach him this regional dance. At this moment, he was surrounded by relatives, and he echoed words of concern to his beloved family members. Although he was not particularly annoyed by these people, he had actually long forgotten the names of all these relatives. For instance, this young man did not even know that he had been calling his younger nephew his uncle for the entire night! His goofiness made the relatives burst out into laughter.
Sasha squeezed her way into the crowd and came to her brother’s side, and passively dismissed all the people that had been gathering around her brother. Oscar was indeed relieved at Sasha’s assistance. He was starting to feel a little suffocated by all the nosy relative members!
"Feeling better?" the young lady asked with much concern.
"Of course! Haha, I’m finally home!" Even though Oscar was pestered by the relatives for the whole night, he was secretly pleased and delighted by the warm welcomes offered by them.
"Yes! You’re finally home! This feels like a dream!" Sasha’s big round eyes suddenly flowed out tears that were the size of pearls.
"Don’t cry, silly!" Oscar hugged his sister into his arms and rested her head on his shoulder.
"It’s all over now, Sasha, it’s all over now. If you would like that, I promise, we will never be apart ever again." The worried Oscar tried to calm down the emotional little girl.
The Young Lady raised her head and gazed straight into Oscar’s eyes. Everything around her at the moment still felt too surreal.
"Promise? I will never forget what you did. You’ve left me alone behind in this place for the past ten years, one month, and three days! I…"
"You should shut your mouth now and taste delicately my longing for you." Oscar interrupted his sister and covered his own lips on hers. Her soft lips still felt as delicious as before. They were at their own house now, and he could do whatever he wanted.
"Hey, you! Let go of your sister!"
The sudden reprimand sent the brother and sister apart from each other like a spring. The angry Oscar turned his head around furiously to look for the source of the voice, while Sasha flew both her hands over her mouth as if that would make people forget what they had just seen.
"Here am I! You ungrateful fella!" Dortmund angry voice came from the crowd. Oscar found out that his father was drunk. Initially, the return of his youngest son was not worth him drinking so much, but his return had intrigued many of his father's bitter memories from the past. Although other people might have thought that the Duke was having a good time in the night’s ball, his wives, Lady Celia and Lady Pauline who had been by his side the whole night realized that their husband drank so much to numb his pain. He was actually devastated on the inside.
"My young Oscar, why are you learning the bad behaviours of your Brother Figg?" the drunk man’s voice rang loud again.
"Why is it my fault again?" Figg that was having fun on the dance floor with one of his cousins when heard his name. He moved nearer to his father and protested.
Figg rolled his eyes at his father and hurried away from the angry drunk man.
"Come here, my Oscar! Come to your father."
Oscar went near to Mam Celia to help support his wobbling father who seemed to have lost control of his shaky legs from all the drinking.
"Ah! I like listening to that, papa, how wonderful that word sounds! I’m so proud of you!" the Duke leaned his whole weight against Oscar.
"Sweet child, would you lend me a hand and help your father to his room? He is extremely drunk!"
"Yes, Mam Pauline."
The two of them worked together to bring the drunk man pass the crowd and moved upstairs. "Dortmund! Are you running away, you weak child! Come back here and finish up this half gallon of beer!" Someone from the crowd shouted.
After a short struggle, the drunk man finally relented and let Lady Pauline and Oscar put him to bed. He fell asleep within seconds. Lady Pauline went over to blow out the light. Only then did she realize that Oscar had been checking out his father's room.
"Is everything alright?"
"Oh do not worry about me Mam Pauline, I’m just looking around."
She closed the door to the room and walked back downstairs with her arm entwined with her son’s.
"It’s really great to have you back!"
"Thanks, Mam!" Oscar smiled warmly at her. He still had some vague impression about this lady he called mother. She was the most talented in baking cakes and cookies. Although Oscar loved eating them, he was too shy to admit that when he was younger. Only now, when he looked back did he realize that he had missed out many important moments of his life.
"Poor child! You must have suffered so much for the past ten years!" She stood by the bottom of the staircase and took a long look at her youngest son. "Your Mam Celia said that you have become so much thinner compared to last time!"
"Oh God, Mam Celia knows nothing! Don’t listen to her Mam, I’ve been doing alright all this while. They served me rare meats and fishes for every meal in Damorga. I had teachers who taught me reading and writing. I even got days off sometimes!"
Mam Pauline showed her disbelieved, "Really! I’m speaking only of the truth!"
She looked at the grown boy and gave him a tight embrace while suppressing her tears from flooding. Everyone in the family felt sorry for this child, "Oh yes, of course. I believe you, I do."
"Hurry now and go back to the party, everyone must be waiting for you," Pauline let go of the young man. Embarrassed, he wiped off her tears quickly.
Oscar was silent for a moment. He felt that his younger self had disappointed many people who genuinely cared for him.
"Mam! It’s great for me to see all of you again. I’ve been waiting every moment for this day for the past ten years, you should be happy and not crying!"
"Of course, I am very happy, my young Oscar! Now go!"
"What about you?"
"I’m not going back to the ball, my child. I have to take care of your father. Celia and Freya are downstairs anyway."
He went down the stairs, and he could felt Lady Pauline’s gaze on his back.
The great hall was still as cheerful as before. However, the focus of the party has changed. The Princess from Dulin was happily dancing the dance of Narcissus. Even though she was still a little bit reserved, she was indeed talented as she managed to pick up the rhythm and techniques of the dance just by observing other people for a short while. However, to a noble princess like herself, the dance of Narcissus could be a little too enthusiastic.
She was dancing with the 'silly third son' of Andrew family, who was extremely picky with his dancing partners. Even though Alanis was not the best dancer, Cody unwillingly partnered with her because she had gifted him a massive new toy just a few moments before.
The crowd cheered loudly for the princess. They smiled at Oscar to acknowledge his return to the hall but quickly turned their attention back to the dancing princess. To them, enthusiastic passion for battle and the appropriate indulgence were two necessary virtues!
On the other hand, Figg Andrew Tibotty, the second son of the Andrew family had taken this emotion to its limit! He sneaked closer to his youngest brother and whispered something into his ear.
The eldest son also came nearer. Even with his navel, he could imagine what the second son was planning, but he must ensure that young Oscar would not suffer any more harm from whatever activities that his second brother had planned for him. After all, this kid had just escaped from an assassination. Those damn enemies might still be hiding in the dark waiting for a chance to retaliate.
Racheff Andrew Nedgabel called for an officer and gave some orders to the man wearing a light golden military uniform.
"How does that sound?" Figg smiled mischievously at his youngest brother.
"What do you mean?" Oscar should have listened to his father and stayed away from his second brother.
"How do you like my proposal? What else would that possibly mean?"
"My brother! Are you inviting me to a brothel on my first night back?"
"Lower down your voice!" Figg looked around embarrassed, "You stupid child, it's not a brothel! It is called the Nemes Ritchell Club. I promise you that you will not regret it!"
Just as young Oscar was still hesitant about whether to agree to the invitation, he found himself being dragged to the small side door of the official residence!
"Hey! Do you think this is really appropriate?" Oscar freed himself from his brother’s grip. "I mean, we should at least wait until all our relatives have left and then we could go to that whatever Nemes?"
Figg ignored his protest, then he began to clean up the saddle and other equipment. Oscar discovered that his own Raytheon was already waiting on the side. Only then he knew that his brother had been plotting this for a long while.
"Climb on the horse! Quickly! Let your brother take you to a real place of fantasy!"
Oscar jumped on the horse eventually. It was not because he could not resist the idea of fantasy, but only because his brother sounded so extremely sincere.
The two brothers laughed happily on their way out of the castle. Soon enough, they found themselves being stopped by a small group of knights entering the woods.
Racheff’s silhouette appeared slowly from the woods, and Cody was seen behind his back. Even though he saw his elder brother, it did not stop him from scolding the troop of knights loudly.
"Look at the both of you, can’t you at least wait until the end of the gathering?"
"To be honest, I can wait until the end of the world, but you should have seen our youngest brother just now, he was about to go crazy after all the pestering from out nosy relatives!" Figg pushed all the blame towards young Oscar, who was shaking his head vigorously in denial. The young man swore to himself that he would never again go out on a mission with his second brother alone, this ungrateful fella was quick when it came to killing his partner in crime!
"Is that so, Oscar?" Racheff asked the youngest.
"Ola! Whatever he says!" Oscar was really not interested anymore. His Brother Figg had really planted him into a big trouble this time.
"Haha, do you mind if Cody and I join you?" Racheff laughed out loud at his youngest brother's reaction.
"Oh, my brother you’re so damn smart! And when your wife Celeste finds out about this, you could blame it all on our youngest hero brother! Am I right?" Figg exclaimed in excitement.
Oscar could not take it anymore. To begin with, this was never his plan! "Brother Figg, remember that this was all your idea, not mine! Brother Racheff, don’t worry. If Sister Celeste finds out, I will explain the matter to her myself."
Racheff burst into laughter while Figg, on the other hand, was beginning to worry for himself. Celeste was known for her strictness and impatience, if she did find out that this was his idea, he would have been nagged for the rest of his life for sure.
"Ah… and what are you doing here Cody?" Figg tried to distract himself from the thought of Sister Celeste.
"Yogurt!" Silly Third replied innocently.
Figg turned to Oscar and said sadly, "That’s it, we will not have any more fun tonight."
Oscar did not care about having fun, he was worried about another matter. "Brother Racheff, have you got everything planned? I noticed that you whispered to an officer dressed in some peculiar uniform, and then also to Mam Celia?"
Racheff was surprised at his youngest brother. "Yes, little fella. You’re very observant indeed. I was just telling Mam Celia that you’re going to the brothel."
Oscar forced out a bitter smile, while Figg whistled out loud.
"Thanks, brother. It seems that I have no other choice than to go then. The crime has been charged on me anyway."
"Haha, silly child. Don’t worry, I did not betray you like your second brother. I told mother that I will take you for a visit around town, and will bring you back safely before the clock chimes twelve."
"Alright, alright. Can we go now? I will have to return early and leave for the field army tomorrow."
This playboy impatiently rode off, and his three other brothers followed suit. Racheff took the chance to ridicule his brother again, "Yes we should leave early and return early indeed before Sasha E forms a troop army in search of her beloved brother Oscar."
Now Oscar was genuinely demotivated. He was only kissing Sasha a moment ago, and now he was being brought to a brothel by his brothers. If this were to spread, many people would be so mad at him. However, Oscar decided to not worry about it so much. He had his three brothers with him anyway. When the time came, everyone would just share the blame equally among themselves.
Under the silver moon in the night sky, the four bothers of Andrew family rode across the dark woods in sync.
The gate of Andrew Haila's city wall was still opened. A couple of the guards recognized the young masters of the renowned family and even realized that the young hero that had just returned was there too, with his brothers. The guards dutifully saluted to their future marshals and commanders.
The conversation between the four never stopped for a second. Racheff kept asking him about his life in Damorga. Figg was, of course, bragging about all the beautiful ladies that he had encountered, and meanwhile, Cody answered "Yogurt" and "Andrew Haila" to every question asked. Only Oscar felt a little unfamiliar by this feeling of warmth that was growing within him. After all, this was the first time he had experienced this kind of closeness with his relative after all those years of loneliness and silence.
However, Andrew Haila was not a town of late night entertainment. Many families already had their gates shut, only a few guards could be seen patrolling the streets.
Oscar and his brothers stopped in front of a tall building, and all the riders hopped off their horses. A few attendants came out of the building and skillfully took care of the horses.
Before entering the building, Racheff stood in front of his younger brothers and spoke like their father.
"Remember Oscar, we are only doing this to celebrate your return. So even father will pretend like it never happened. But if there is another time," He turned towards Figg before continuing, "If there is another time, you will have to learn some negotiating and defending skills from your skillful Brother, Figg."
Oscar nodded obediently before voicing out his concerns, "Brother Racheff, I believe it is not my imagination. But along the way, I sensed that we have been followed, and these people covered themselves really well. Have you noticed that too?"
Racheff and Figg were both surprised by the sharpness of their youngest brother. They could not believe that he had spotted those secret security guards of their own family.
"Don’t worry about that, they are our people and our most loyal batch of soldiers. Relax, no one could hurt us in our own house." Racheff comforted his slightly nervous brother.
"Come on, we should get in now before more people spot us," Figg was beginning to be impatient.
"Aha! I did not know that you would still feel embarrassed!"
"Elder brother, when would you ever stop ridiculing me?"
"I’m not making fun of you at all!" He pushed his second brother to the last of the line, "Oscar and I will head in first. Remember, Cody is now your responsibility."
"Why me? You were the one who brought him here!" Figg immediately broke out into a loud protest, but it was to no avail. Cody, who had always been obedient to his eldest brother stood by Figg and tugged on the corner of his shirt like an innocent young child, despite his big built that explained otherwise.
"Yogurt," The third child said.
The change of expressions across Figg’s face was extremely interesting to watch. He shook his head helplessly before saying, "Come one, brother. Beautiful ladies and yogurts are waiting for you!"