“I know it sounds like nepotism,” Patrick says, “but I think my little brother should be a suitable candidate.”
“Your little brother?”
Someone knocks on the door, “This is Johan Wentworth bringing four members of Family Boots.”
“Speak about the devil… Four?!” Patrick seems surprised.
“Enter,” Matt shouts.
Several Ailuranthropes are led in by Johan. We stand up to greet the group. The group consists of a man, a woman carrying a baby and a boy about a year or two younger than Patrick. All of them have white hair. There’s no doubt this is Patrick’s family.
“Good afternoon, Prince Matthew, Lady Farron,” the man, who I assume is Patrick’s father, greets Matt, “thank you very much for receiving us.”
“Good afternoon,” Matt answers, “I’m glad you’re doing well.”
“Father, Mother, I’m glad you’re doing well,” Pat greets his parents.
“I like to say the same,” his mother answers, “I heard you were badly poisoned!”
“Yes, that happened. We were discussing that matter just now. But before we continue…” Patrick’s gaze shifts to the baby she’s holding, “is that…”
“Yes, this is your little sister, Snow.”
“You didn’t even tell me you were expecting a baby!”
“Me expecting a baby isn’t important enough to keep you from your work.”
Somehow this reminds me of my own family in my previous life: all business.
“Since this is the first time many of you have met each other, Patrick, would you kindly introduce everyone?” Matt asks.
“Of course, since you all know Matthew and Kathrine, let’s start with Luna, Matthew’s other aide.”, he points to Luna.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Luna Bella.”
“And this is the current Keeper of the Crystal Down, Swift.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Swift Mittens,” I introduce myself, “I didn’t grow up among Ailuranthropes, so you might find my conduct unrefined. But Patrick is doing his best to instruct me in that regard.”
“This my father…”
“My name is Samuel Boots. I’m pleased to meet you.”
“And this my mother…”
“I’m Samantha Boots. It’s my pleasure to meet you.”
“Last but not least, this is my little brother Paige. He’s grown a lot since I last saw him.”
“I’m Paige Boots. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Have a seat,” Matt says, pointing at the couch. We sit down.
“We were discussing the future when you arrived.”
Matt tells them about the public state of Patrick’s status.
“Patrick suggested for Paige to take over Patrick’s duties.”
“M-me?” Paige stutters, “I’m glad for the offer. But are you sure I’m the right person for the position?”
“I trust Pat, he wouldn’t have suggested you purely on the basis of you taking over for him.”
“Yes, I’m sure you meet the qualifications,” Pat confirms.
“Paige might feel too pressured while we’re here. So my wife and I will retreat to our lodging,” Samuel announces.
“Thank you for dropping by,” Matt answers.
Samuel and Samantha leave the room with Johan. Paige makes a very conflicted expression on his face.
“We’re not in public here,” I address Paige, “so how about you just plainly say what’s on your mind?”
He sighs, “I’m thrilled about the offer. I’ve always wished to become the prince’s aide. But… I also don’t want my brother to take the fall…”
Matt interrupts him by laughing.
“Don’t you worry about that. It’s an irrefutable fact Patrick got heavily poisoned in the line of his duty. And while his treatment continues, he can’t properly serve as my aide. I can assure you we’re not making up a reason for you to fill the position. I am in need of a new aide. Having Johan around is a great help, but he’s my father’s butler before he is my aide.”
“As Matt said, I can’t continue working as his aide anymore,” Patrick explains, “we were already about to complete the documents. The only thing that’s important is if you really want to do it. So…”
“I’ve decided, brother,” Paige answers.