The Day She Met Her Caretaker
Graziano was like a younger brother with a rough attitude that was always by Francesca’s side now but, it’s not like they instantly became close from the day they met.
In fact, when they first met, his heart was even more closed off than even the [handsome man with a wall around him] that you’d meet in the actual game.
That was when Francesca was 7 and Graziano was 6yrs old.
[It’s better if you don’t approach this child too often, young miss.]
The Graziano was brought to the Calvino household, he was smaller than even Francesca and his entire body was covered in scratches and bruises.
There was gauze stuck to his cheek as well, and his expression was dark. With gloomy muddy eyes that showed no life in them, he simply continued to hang his head silently.
The members of the family were standing between them, as if trying to keep him away from Francesca and protect her.
[This child had been committing theft on a different family’s territory again and again. And as you can see, he got some severe punishment for it and ran to our, Calvino family’s territory, at which point the family head took him in for protection.]
[He looks all obedient right now but, apparently he was strong enough to take down a bunch of members of the other family before he was brought down. It’d be too late if he decided to attack you as well young miss so………..Wait, young miss!!?]
Francesca left the backs of her protectors, and walked closer to the quiet Graziano.
[Hello, Graziano. I’m Francesca, 7yrs old.]
She spoke with a smile, but Graziano still showed no change in expression.
For him, this was the first time meeting Francesca, but she obviously had the memories of her past life and knew his circumstances from it.
(People think that he’s just a commoner orphan but in reality, his father is a marquis. His mother was a prostitute that unfortunately passed away when he was just 4.)
In the game, the more you deepened the bond with one of the characters, you’d unlock more unique episodes dedicated to their backstory.
As for Graziano’s episode, it detailed his true heritage.
(After his mother’s death, Graziano had to live in the slums all by himself. But at age 6, he found out about his father due to a coincidence.)
His mother had continued to repeat his father’s name over and over to him till the day she died. Graziano, who never forgot that name, ran at full speed with his small legs, and climbed on to the carriage of his father.
It was not because he wanted to be saved from his poor life, nor did he want money or food.
He simply wanted to tell him his mother’s last words, [I was happy to have met that man] that was all. After he had told him that, he would return to his life in poverty and continue living in the mud, he thought.
However, his father, seeing the shadow of his former lover in the child and recognizing it, only had this to say—
[How can such dirty children be allowed to live near my mansion.—–Contact the Ranieri family! Tell them that there is a child committing theft in their territory!]
And the young Graziano was beaten up by the members of the family, and had desperately run away to save his life.
(………All of this was something Graziano would only tell the main character as an adult once you deepened your bond with him. I suppose I’m cheating a bit knowing all that already ………)
Seeing the small child in front of her, Francesca heart ached with pain.
She stretched her arm towards him, and Graziano simply reeled back in fear. He had become so used to getting beat up, that his body did it reflexively.
Francesca, slowly and gently, caressed his other cheek that didn’t have the medical gauze attached to it.
Graziano was perplexed but, seeing Francesca’s face gave him a shock.
And of course it did. After all, Francesca had tears rolling down her cheeks as she continued to caress his cheeks.
[Y, young miss!?]
Both Graziano and the family members were startled. She didn’t plan on showing such a figure here but she was unable to control her emotions.
[It must have hurt, right? Graziano.]
Not just the wounds on his body.
But the damage his heart must have taken was immense. Simply imagining his sadness made Francesca sad as well.
Seeing it all right in front of her eyes made more of an impact than reading the text in game ever could. This wounded child was not just a game character. He was real human being right in front of her.
[From here on, you don’t have to be afraid any more. You’ll get to eat a lot of good food, take warm baths, and get to sleep in a place where no one will get mad at you.]
Francesca frantically rubbed her eyes to stop her tears, and spoke while sobbing.
[Every……Everyone here will protect you, okay?]
[And that includes me as well!…….I will, definitely keep you safe…….]
That was the first and the last time she ever saw Graziano cry like that.
From then onwards, slowly, Graziano began to open up his heart to her.
It was cute to see him constantly stuck by Francesca side all the time. Following her wherever she went. But that cute phase only lasted for a couple of months.
He continued to grow bigger and bigger, becoming much taller than Francesca in a flash and was soon trained to become a proper young member of the Calvino family.
Since he had noble blood flowing through his veins, he had three skills he could use, as his rarity rank was the maximum available, 5. In her past life, he was almost as popular as Leonardo himself.
“And so, I ended up in the same class as Leonardo somehow………”
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Inside the carriage, Graziano and her both suddenly went quiet. He pinched the curtains of the carriage window with his fingers and languidly took a look outside.
“Ah………looks like there’s two of ’em. And they are armed with guns.”
Both had sensed ‘their’ presence. Two people aiming for this carriage.
“Yeah……….I had even used a different simple carriage, without my family’s red rose insignia so as to not let anyone find out which family I was from at school though………”
“They might have followed you from the house itself. I’ll go, you stay here young miss and think of how to report and deal with our stupid coach driver please.”
Graziano took of the blazer of his school uniform as Francesca spoke up in a panic.
“I’ll fight too. It’s me they are aiming for in the first place.”
“Even without the blazer, you’re in a skirt which only female academy students wear with their uniform. You don’t want to create more weird rumours and lose all hope of making friends, do you? So just stay here and let me handle this.”
While apologetic, she did appreciate his concern.
“Don’t mention it. The day before yesterday, since I had been tasked with making the [introduction letter to the hospital], I got no chance to let loose at all.]
Graziano threw his blazer to Francesca for safe keeping, and then opened the door of the carriage.
And then, he looked back to stare at Francesca with his clear blue eyes.
“——-Sometimes, you should just be quiet and let me protect you.”
And as soon as he got off the carriage, the two men hiding within the traffic reached into their coats as if they had waiting for this timing.
They were probably thinking of pulling out their guns but Graziano, in just two steps, instantly closed in the distance and jumped at the two men before they could even think of shooting at him.
And then, he blew them away with just his fists.
The two men who had guns, lost to Graziano who was only using his fists, and lost consciousness.
It looked like something out of a play.
(He really has become strong, hasn’t he, that Graziano……..)
While looking over his rampage from the window, Francesca admired his impressive growth.
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