4.5 – 1
Was this truly fine?
Mohnton was a land of frugality. It avoided ostentatious and vulgar displays, warded off vice and idleness, rewarding diligence and hardwork.
Pleasure seekers are quick to fall, dedicating oneself to playing around was treacherous and embracing such things would stagnate the land.
What Klaus had done was a revolt against history itself. Mohnton had no need for celebrations. No need for things such as festivals. Simply because it was held ostensibly for the cause of ‘Celebrating Klaus’ Appointment as Heir’, that was hardly reason to permit it.
At the very least, none of the leaders of the Lörrich house stretching back all the way to its inception had ever held such a festival. Although it was true that the culture of this town was somewhat more relaxed than others in this land, it was still a part of Mohnton. It was meant to be a land of patience and puritanism.
But in one fell and reckless display, Klaus had destroyed the truly held traditions of this town.
Of all people, it was Klaus. Of all people…
It was his son.
“Choosing Klaus really might end up being a mistake after all.”
Rudolph held his head, trembling at the thought of what he had done.
To think that the traditions that his ancestors of House Lörrich held sacred would be completely undone within his lifetime… He never thought that deciding who would hold power after he was gone would have such deep implications as this.
And what’s more, by his own hand. It was he himself who had decided not to interfere in Klaus’ festival.
“He’s a smart boy, but I spoiled him too much. He’s too selfish, and what’s more I don’t think I can go against him now…”
Rudolph shifted restlessly in his chair, blinking.
What would the other families think of him now? Would the Lörrich family fall, as the Brandts had done before them? Rudolph wondered if he too would be stripped of his peerage and forced out of his home, forced to roam through Mohnton in the shadows.
Neither the Meyerheim nor the Ende families want there to be any change in Mohnton. Would they make Rudolph out to be a traitor, and cast him down?
“I really should have just chosen Franz after all? Ah, but then, brother would…”
Rudolph’s relationship with Lucas had long since soured. Lucas despised his younger brother, and Rudolph was petrified of his elder. The cause for such a bitter relationship was obvious; Rudolph had become the head of the household, a title that the elder brother, Lucas, was convinced belonged to himself.
Just why did Rudolph, clearly the weaker of the two, come to inherit the family name over him? After being bullied by him from a young age, perhaps Rudolph wished to reveal just what an awful person his brother was by exposing him? Or, perhaps, he truly just wanted to be the head of the family more than anything?
Rudolph called out to her.
“Sister, what should I do? Please tell me what you think, like always…”
“You didn’t make the wrong decision, Rudolph. Don’t worry.”
In Rudolph’s private room, as the sun began to sink below the horizon, Gerda took her younger brother’s hand in hers, as they both sat next to the fireplace.
“If you made Franz your successor, then this house would be dominated by that malicious fool of a brother of ours, Lucas. That man would have rule of Franz’s ear, and you would find yourself driven out before long.”
Her hands were wrinkled, but they were full of a certain strength. As Rudolph hesitated, her unshakeable words showed him the way.
Her eyes looked straight into Rudolph’s. Their relationship hadn’t changed since they were children. She had chosen Rudolph, not his older brother, and helped lead him to become the head of the family.
“Have I ever lead you astray before?”
As he met Gerda’s gaze, Rudolph shook his head. He finally felt a sense of encouragement at her words. A sense of relief. She had always been on Rudolph’s side.
That gaze with which she looked at her brother, no one other than Rudolph ever saw it.
They were not the cold eyes with which she regarded Lord Montchat.
Neither were they the sharp eyes with which she glared at the likes of Klaus.
It was only he who saw those truly kind eyes of Gerda’s. That’s what Rudolph believed.
“…You’re right, sister. It’s just as you say. I didn’t make the wrong decision at all.”
As Rudolph clasped his other hand over Gerda’s, he smiled with a whisper.
– It’ll be alright. So long as my sister is with me.
There was nothing to be afraid of. There was no need to worry. He wouldn’t have to lose himself to his fretting.
He would never doubt anything that his sister said. Ever since they had been children, that had always been the case.