A Sudden Visitor — First Part
Final Chapter — [Story of the People who Live with Nature]
In the evening, a letter arrived after a long time. The sender was my father.
After he was dragged away, we exchanged letters once a month.
It seems like he wants to know how Arno is doing.
I had suspected that he did not receive my letters, but that wasn’t so.
Rather, I think the power of a grandson (Arno) is amazing.
After dinner, I read the letter in front of my family as usual.
“Haru-kun, Sieglinde-san, mum, Ar-kun, Hello——“
The main body of the letter was very short. He wrote only one line.
——Dad, will be coming to the village soon.
I checked if there was a second letter, but there was none to be found.
The date, how long he’ll be staying, all the details were not present. Terrible. Too terrible.
Mother mused, “Dad’s coming back~” in a carefree manner.
“Arno-chan, your grandpa is coming back.”
Having been talked to, Arno replied with an “Au”.
Recently, he could say things (?) such as “Nyu” or “Uu”. I think he will be able to say proper words soon. Recently, he started reaching out for his spoon as well, trying to eat on his own.
His teeth started sprouting, and he could walk while grabbing onto something. He could even play on his own. My father will be surprised to see my son’s growth.
“Dad, I wonder when he’ll come……”
After hearing the carefree content of father’s letter, Sieg was smiling wryly.
We should bake the scones that he likes, as we chatted like that, there was a knock on the front door.
“Ye~s. Who is it~?”
Me who? I was thinking, but there’s only one person that has this low and calm voice.
I hastily opened the door.
Outside, there was my grandfather and my father.
I was so surprised that I thought that I might be dreaming for a moment.
“Eh, grandfather, dad, why,”
My head couldn’t process it.
From the sudden visit, I was so shocked.
“I really could not bear to let him go alone.”
“Haha, what low trust~”
“Of course, you idiot son!”
But still, I was really surprised. To come on the day the letter arrived.
When I told them about that, grandfather was enraged.
It seems like he had expected that the letter arrived quite some time ago.
“I am utterly disgusted at your lack of common sense!!”
“Well, while I was working hard, the date approached really quickly.”
While I was staring blankly at their exchange, Sieg and mother came over.
Mother greeted them calmly, while Sieg invited them inside.
Come to think of it, it’s cold enough for white breaths to form.
Mother and Sieg went to the kitchen to prepare tea.
“How about dinner?”
“No, thank you, we already had some on the ship.”
I pulled out some chairs for them to sit down in the living room. However, grandfather was already off somewhere else for something else.
He approached Arno who was sitting on a baby chair with a melty smile, after which he hugged Arno.
“You grew big. What a surprise.”
Arno started saying “Daadaa,” to grandfather. “I see,” he joyfully responded.
“Dad, I want to Ar-kun, switch with me.”
“You can do it later.”
Refused, father looked at me with a dejected expression. I want to hug Arno, his face seemed to say, but seeing grandfather chat with large smiles on his face, it was impossible to ask him to switch, so I shook my head.
“Ah, right. Haru-kun, I have a gift for you.”
The moment I heard that, I could only get a bad vibe.
Father set the leather bag he had, onto the table.
“——W-What is this.”
The large bag was squirming.
“Y-You, what did you bring along!?”
Seeing the leather bag rustle, grandfather lashed out.
It seems like father brought it while grandfather didn’t notice it.
“D-Dad, what’s, this?”
“It was shivering in front of the fort gate, so I thought it was sad~”
No, but, a cat? Why outside?
It seems like he captured it very dextrously that even grandfather did not realise it.
“Ah, could it be!!”
Remembering Aina’s cat, I quickly opened the bag.
However, from inside, a brown-haired cat peeked out.
Myaa, cried the cat.
Since it was docile, I grabbed it by the scruff of its neck.
Its face was a size larger than Aina’s cat. It’s legs were large too.
It definitely wasn’t a normal cat.
“Dad, this is……”
“A lynx (ilves)”
I thought so.
Maybe because it was hungry, it mewed in protest.
“Maybe I’ll feed it milk using the baby bottle Haru-kun was using.”
“I had a baby bottle?”
Father headed to the storage shed outside the house with light footsteps.
In the middle, I realised that he didn’t bring a lantern with him, so I hurried chased after him.
As father said, there really was a baby bottle.
After disinfecting it, I fed it reindeer milk that was warmed to the same temperature as human skin.
Upon seeing the lynx, mother didn’t mind, just going, “my my,” while Sieg’s eyes opened wide.
Arno was imitating the cat, crying, “nyaanyaa.”
Maybe because the cat was rather famished, it was drinking milk at a frightening rate.
Give me more milk! It seemed to protest as it kneaded my belly.
Because its claws were sharp and tough, they got tangled with my clothes, causing them to get holes.
When I was disappointed, Sieg consoled me, saying that she’ll fix them later.
After drinking everything, when I gently tapped its back like how I did it to Arno, it let out a burp. If I don’t do this, babies have trouble, ending up in vomiting the milk.
Though I’m not sure about cats.
Grandfather was glaring at father with a stern expression.
“Oi, idiot son.”
“What are you going to do about this cat.”
I also wanted hear the answer to that.
I can’t raise it.
Lynxes grow to become bigger than our dogs. To feed that, just the cost of food will be amazing.
There’s also another problem. Though lynxes are known to be relatively docile, they are still carnivores.
They’re not a species that can live with people.
Even so, abandoning a baby cat is something I’m averse to.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be taking this to the zoo.”
“Ah, I see.”
I heard that there’s a large zoo in the capital.
If it’s there, they might be able to protect the lynx.
“Since I was planning to visit there on the way home, it worked out just right~”
I’m glad. That he didn’t pick it up without thinking.
“Dad, how long will you be staying?”
“Hm, I see.”
If it’s just that, maybe we’ll be able to accomodate them?
“Hey, Arno, you can’t.”
He reached out for the cat out of curiosity, but that’s… touching is out of question. Just a while ago, it tried to bite off cloth from my coat. Though it was impossible since it didn’t have teeth yet.
“Oi, Lukas, it’s your job to take care of the cat! Take proper care of it while we’re staying.”
“So it turns out like that in the end~”
For now, the cat was to be taken care of by father in the living room.
Mother will be with him, so there shouldn’t be problems.
Father went upstairs with the cat in his arms, while complaining, “I wanted to hug Ar-kun though~.” Mother followed him.
“Ah, it feels as though a storm passed.”
“Really, I am at a loss for words at his absurdity!”
After the commotion died down, we finally had some time to talk about recent events.
“So you started a store.”
I told him about the remote land pub ‘The Crimson Eagle’ through a letter.
He told me that he’s looking forward to visiting the store tomorrow.
He also told me about how father was doing over in his country.
It seems like grandfather getting stressed over the ever carefree father.
“Father is well, still, erm, what should I say,”
“Don’t worry about returning home. I’ll properly drag him back with me.”
He said that with a serious expression while hugging my son, so I ended up laughing.