As the Next Family Head
Hearing Francesca’s question, Graziano sighed.
“The head of the Serranova family came to talk to our family head.”
“To make sure they didn’t meet Aldini as he was carrying you, I managed to somehow smuggle you two to this room in secret but…………by the looks of it, Aldini seemed to have already guessed the identity of the visitor as well.”
The heads of the families would rarely ask for a private meeting with the head of another family.
And especially if they are meeting in someone’s own private residence, then it was clear that it was to discuss something in secret.
Leonardo accidentally finding that out was certainly a stroke of bad fortune for her father.
“The moment I informed the head that Aldini was here, he quickly made the Serranova head leave the premises.”
Hearing that, she ended up inadvertently hanging her head in shame.
“All because I went and got so drunk, I ended up disrupting Papa’s work……..”
“It’s not really your fault young miss. In the first place, there’s even a chance that maybe Aldini already knew that such a meeting might be occurring and he intentionally got you drunk to find an excuse to barge into this house at the opportune moment.”
“Oh enough with that, Graziano!”
Scolding her little bro, Francesca was at her wits’ end.
“Anyway, I need to apologize to Papa first and foremost. As for why I came back with Leonardo, I need to properly explain to him as well before he ends up taking some crazy drastic action…….”
Just then, a knock was heard on the door of her room.
When she gave permission to enter, the person who entered was none other than the man she had been talking about.
Her father that had appeared seemed to be frowning slightly.
But the explanation that followed afterwards, had left Francesca shocked with her eyes wide open.
The next day, for the first time in a while Francesca went to school alongside Graziano again, and during lunch break, she secretly paid visit to a certain room.
As per the game’s world, this academy was quite similar to the schools in Japan in terms of structure. On the nameplate of the door, the words [Public Morals Committee Room] were inscribed, and right now inside this room, Francesca was standing while feeling a bit puzzled.
“Then, Ricardo, you don’t know the details behind your father’s visit either?”
Sitting on the desk at the end of the room, was the next head of the Serranova family, and a fellow member of the Underworld, the Public Morals committee chairman of this academy, Ricardo.
He was writing something with his pen while making a troubled face, as he quietly explained to her.
“All my father did was suddenly give an order to me. During the meeting with the Calvino head in three days, [you will also take part] he said.”
“My papa did the same. [And be properly dressed for the occasion] was what he said to me as well………*munch*”
“Yeah, same here. I asked for the details and reasons behind the meeting but, father said that he’ll [tell me on the day itself] and nothing more. Father is normally very direct and clear with his orders, so this vagueness is a rare situation for me too.”
“I know right……….*munch* *munch* *munch*…….”
“mmm……….this new item from the cafeteria, is really tashtyyyy….!!”
“Oi, the lady over there. Either eat and then talk, or talk first then eat quietly. Pick one!!”
“……….So eating takes priority huh………”
Well, the lunch break was limited after all. Currently seated on the sofa of the public morals committee room, she enjoyed eating through the sandwiches she bought at the cafeteria, and once she was done, she took a deep breath and then resumed their talk.
“Aah, that was delicious…………but still, I wonder what’s going on. For Papa to get me involved in a meeting of families of all things.”
She once again recalled the words her father had spoken to her yesterday.
Which was, [Francesca, you will also have to take part in the meeting with the Serranovas], apparently.
(……..Even in the game, a similar meeting did take place, didn’t it……..)
That was the main reason behind Francesca’s gloom.
(According to the game’s scenario, this around when a bunch of facts would come out thanks to the investigations done by Ricardo and the protagonist.)
As for what those facts were, the first was [Leonardo is the mastermind behind the drugs incident] and the second was [Leonardo was also behind the chaos during the night party that made people go berserk]. These two statements.
(And due to that, our fathers making an alliance against him would mark the middle point of Chapter One of the game. But in this world, where I’m Francesca, Ricardo shouldn’t have come to these 2 conclusions right…….?)
In that case, the event of [The two families create an alliance to fight against Leonardo] should simply not occur right?
Or at least that’s how she thought it’d go but, Francesca ended up getting called to the meeting regardless.
(Papa had always complied with my selfish demand of [I don’t want to be involved with matters of the Underworld] until now——-but this time, even his mood seemed a bit different.)
Sensing that, Francesca ended up nodding and saying [Okay] to him.
Even Graziano, when they talked about it on their way to school, said that [I didn’t think young miss would so easily accept that.]
(On top of that, this morning the message [Leonardo will miss the next few days of school] also came from his household, which is also weird. I wonder if it’s also related to the meeting.)
Francesca pressed on her forehead with [ughhh] and then made a suggestion to Ricardo.
“I can’t think of anything no matter how much I try! Hey, Ricardo, until the day of the meeting, let’s make a deal to come talk to each other and share our info if we find something out about it, shall we?”
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Ricardo seemed to have a sad look on his face. Francesca tilted her head in confusion, as he slowly muttered to himself.
“……….all this might be simply because I was still too immature.”
“Wh, what happened now!?”
Hearing him speak his mind suddenly, she stood up in a panic.
“My father had asked me to handle the drug trafficking incident but, in the end, I had yet to show any real results. Father must have deemed me unworthy, and is probably thinking of depending on the Calvino household because of that. That has to be the case………”
“Unworthy!? Surely you’re joking!? Ricardo, you’ve been doing great. I think you’re just overthinking this a bit too much, really.”
“In what way have I been doing great huh? In the first place, if I failed to solve this incident, he was going to deem me unfit to be the family’s next heir.”
Feeling the sudden surge of pressure from him, Francesca instantly turned pale in response.
“But of course, that’s only natural………..to our family that honours tradition above everything, to fail at protecting the age old belief of [Do not let drugs enter the capital] is an absolute disgrace. All I have done is betray the trust of my father, and sunk the credibility of my entire family.”
For Ricardo who was always so dignified and strict with himself, this was a rare situation of him actually showing a weak side and complaining.
(As soon as classes ended, he would patrol the city to investigate, and even inside the academy he was constantly trying to gather more info………he has always been so sincere and earnest with everything, which is probably why he feels so tired right now.)
It wasn’t like Francesca was very close with Ricardo or anything. And yet, she could empathize with him as fellow children of great family heads.
And maybe that’s why, he must have found it easier to just honestly tell his feelings to her, rather than to a random innocent who knew nothing or a close friend that knew too much.
“Even though we are both the same age, I’m a far cry from Aldini who’s leading his own household already………in the end, I’m not fit to be the next head of the family that’s all…….”
“That’s not true at all!!”
Ricardo’s eyes opened wide hearing Francesca suddenly raise her voice.
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