Entering the dining room, Ruben found his family almost done with their meals.
His father Charles Hilston was sitting on the main seat of the table, his mother Lily on the right side and his second brother, James, sitting next to their mother.
Since his eldest brother, Luke, was away, he took the seat next to Charles and have the servants bring in his meal.
”Its been a while since we had dinner together, you shouldn stay around the bars too much. Drinking so much at such a young age would ruin your health. ” Lily advised Ruben with a stern face.
From a young age, his mother had been strict but loving to him. Growing up in this world, he was very grateful to both his mother and father.
They took care of him and gave him a proper home and family which he never got ro experience in his last life.
”You have made mother worry again, you should help me with the paperwork from the plantation we own. Then you won have the time to go to the bars again. ” James said with a slightly scheming smile hoping his father would make Ruben his assistant, taking off some of his workload.
”I haven been drinking much, don worry mother and you should deal with your own paperwork brother. I have no plans on involving myself with the family businesses. ” Ruben replied.
”What are you planning to do when we are old and can no longer support you in the future? You should at least get a degree, join the military or have a way to support yourself if you don want to work in the family business. ” Lily said to Ruben.
”Don worry mom, I have my own ways of supporting myself. ” Ruben said with a smile.
”How about finding a lady? We can help you get an engagement with a young miss from the other household. I heard Miss Jade of the Wilston house is a fine lady. ”
”Im not interested in getting married mom, I would prefer marrying a girl I like. ”
”Thats alright as well. Don forget to bring her home if you have found a girl you like. We don mind her background, as long as she is a good girl. ” Lily said excitedly thinking that Ruben was already interested in someone but has been hesitant as she wasn from a noble family. Already with all sorts of theories and ideas of a love story in her mind, she stop asking Ruben.
Knowing his mother had misunderstood his intention, he let his mother continue with her wild thoughts since it would get her off his back.
They continued their small talk while his father ate silently with an unreadable expression.
His brother left the dining room right after finishing his meal.
As Ruben ate, he noticed his parents staring at him. It was odd that they have yet to leave after finishing their meal.
Seeing his mothers expression turn to a slight worry and concern, he started wondering what he had done recently that may have caused that.
”No matter what happens, you are always my son and I love you. You are a good boy, Im sure that you will be extraordinary in the future if you put your heart to it. I will leave you to your father now. ” Lily said with a sad smile before leaving.
Odd… Did something happen to mother?
Ruben turned to see if he could get some information from his father.
”There is something important I have to talk about with you. Well head to my office as soon as you are done. ” His father said with his usual hard to read expression.
Finishing his meal quickly, Ruben followed Charles to the office.
As soon as he entered the office, Charles went behind him and locked the door making him slightly uncomfortable.
An assassin would always have a route to escape, locking the door cut off one of Rubens escape route which was a habit he picked in his last life.
Ignoring his habits and thoughts, he focused back to his father who was opening his mouth to speak.
”Very few people know, but I had a brother. An older brother. I wasn the only child like many believed. He was supposed to take over the family business or at least half of it.
He took care of me since I could remember, until one day he dissapeared. He was 19 at that time just like you, I was 12. Many said that he died, that a ransom kidnapping gone wrong, but I never believed them. ”
He then continued with a lighter tone of relief.
”I was right to believe that he was still alive. When I turned 16, a letter and small parcel arrive with my name on it. The letter ended up being from him. He wished me happy birthday and that he had sent a gift along as well. He apologised for dissapearing but said that he didn regret it.
It was a short letter and the gift he sent was a pocket watch. It has been with me everyday since. ”
Taking a deep breath, Charles walked to a locked cardboard opening it while continuing his story with his back facing Ruben preventing him from reading his expression.
”I didn tell anyone of the letter and the gift. I never heard from him since until one day 19 years ago. In the middle of the night, he came looking for me in this very mansion. He looked battered and tired, on the verge of death.
There were cuts and bruises all over his body but he used all his strength holding a sleeping newborn baby in one arm and a small locked chest in the other. To this day I still remembered the last words he said before breathing his last. Taking out an envelope from his coat, he said ”Help me protect this child. When he turns 19 give him this chest and the letter. Raise this child as your son, don let anyone know that he isn yours. I am so sorry Charlie and thank you. I trust you with him. ” He died in my arms holding the baby and chest. I was heartbroken. But I did according to his will. I brought the child into my family officially as my child, my wife was there when it happened and understood the situation. Feeling bad for the child, she raised him as her own. The child became part of the family, brothers with ours two sons.
But its been almost 19 years and the childs 19th birthday tomorrow. ”
Shocked from what his father was saying, Ruben looked at Charles who continued with a sad smile. ”As you may have guessed from the story, you are that child. You may not be mine and Lilys but we love you like our son. I can guess that there are great things waiting for you. This is the chest and letter my brother left behind for you. I won make you choose which path to walk in the future but please be careful.
It would break Lilys heart if you were to return like my brother. ” Charles then passed him the chest with an envelope on top.
Recovering from the fact that he might be involved in something dangerous he had no clue on, he took the chest and envelope.
The fact that he was adopted wasn much of a surprise to him to be honest but the rest of the story gave him a vague understanding that he might have to face something later.
I have always thought that I looked different from my father and brothers. he added in his mind.
Ruben asked Clarles while holding the chest.
”Does that means that your brother is my biological father? ”
”From the way my brother brought you to me, I guessed that you were his child. However life may be unexpected so I can say that for sure. ”
Charles then continued,
”I am sure you have alot of questions that even I don know the answer to. You should head back and rest, take your time processing everything I just said.
If its your wish to ignore what my brother said and keep the chest close, Im happy to let you do what you want. Even if you want my brothers original half of the familys business and wealth. ” Charles said with a kind smile. ”It was not mine to begin with. ”
”Its alright father, you raising me the way you did was already a huge blessing for me. I don need anything else. Ill be going to my room now. Thank you for everything and you will always be my father no matter what. ” Ruben said to the man that raised him with love and care before leaving without turning back.
If he were to look at Charles face as soon as he finished speaking, he would have seen red eyes with tears forming in Charles eyes.
”He grew up well brother, you may rest in peace. ” Charles said to himself.
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