After a 22 day trip, Kalia and her group finally arrived at her desired destination.

It only took 22 days because she had used so many teleportation scrolls, Simon’s gift included; had she not, it would’ve taken her more than 2 months to reach her destination by carriage alone.

Once the carriage had rolled to a stop, Humming and Allen jumped out and were greeted with a view overlooking the entire village.

“Wow! We’re here?”

“As you said, it’s a little small.”

The two murmured their thoughts.
Unlike when they had first departed from the Capital, the two now were a bit nervous and filled with some tension but unable to hide curiosity as well.

“I told you, Humming.
We were headed to the countryside,” Kalia replied.

“That’s true.
It’s really small but still, I think the town is very beautiful,” Humming agreed.

“Yes, it’s a very beautiful place,” Kalia stood by them, though it was as if she had already gotten quite used to this new environment.

She was careful not to step on the hem of her dress.

Afraid that she might fall, Allen reached out to support her.

The three had been together for almost a month but Kalia was still unfamiliar with this kind of kindness so she responded with an awkward smile. She turned her head and looked down at the village.
It was a beautiful sprawling view of vast fields, rivers, and mountains that surrounded a village.

‘We’re finally here,’ she thought in happiness.

Lua was a small city with a population of only 3000.

Four years ago, it was a place Kalia’s army had accidentally happened upon when they were passing through on their way to the frontlines.

Surrounded by the Aope Mountains, the tiny town had many rivers and pristine lakes that eventually lead to the sea; it was a good place to live in without the hustle and bustle of the city.
With the large expanses of farmland and rivers, the town sufficiently fed itself with its natural resources of fish and fresh produce.
The town was lovingly governed by it’s beloved head, Baron Shilton, who was benevolent in nature and the special pride of the town was their exceptionally high fertility rates….

It was thought to be the best place to give birth to and to raise children.

The only minor drawback was…

“By the way Kalia, there’s a sign here saying that this is a monster-infested area?” Allen pointed out.

It was an area where monsters were sighted often.
But, to her, it was just a mini setback that would take one day to clean up at most.

“I think Fairy Forest No.231 is nearby too?”

Neither point really mattered to Kalia2. Rather, Kalia turned to stare at Allen, silently asking him with her eyes what was wrong with the things he’d mentioned.

Seeing her expression, his face subtly distorted and he rubbed his chin, “Dangerous areas….
There’s two of them… “

With a light tap on Allen’s stiff shoulder, Kalia replied,”It’s alright Allen.
You don’t have to be afraid.”

“…..yeah?” He didn’t know how to respond.

“It’s not as dangerous as you think.
The area is well managed,” pity for Allen shone brightly in Kalia’s eyes.

The sad way she gazed at him was as if she was saying: How could he, such a fragile thing, live in this tough world?

‘No, it’s not like that! I didn’t mention it because I’m scared!’ his expression fluctuated, face eager to shout out his thoughts.

Kalia added an unnecessary but well-meaning explanation of what she was thinking when she saw him puffing up, “The monsters mainly hunt other lower-level monsters so, as long as you don’t go up the mountain, it’s okay.
The same goes for the fairy forest.
The fairy forest itself is not such a dangerous area.
As long as you don’t try to force your way into the forest, it’s safe to be around.
In fact, it’s safer around there because there’s no way in for monsters.”

“Thank you for explaining….
It still doesn’t sound safe, Ms.
Kalia! Lower-leveled monsters are still monsters! The fairy forest is famous for being a place where you can’t escape from if you’re accidentally sucked in or get lost.
Don’t you know how many disappear there every year?”

Seeing how Allen had finally come to his senses to refute each of Kalia’s points, Kalia looked proud for a moment before saying, “Allen is such a smart person, I’m very relieved.”

‘No, you…..’

Kalia grinned at the amazed Allen.
He was so stunned, he didn’t know what to think.

It wasn’t that Kalia didn’t know what Allen was worrying about.
However, Kalia thought that there was nowhere better to be than here.
This was the furthest town from the Capital.
Not only was it far, but it was a very stable town.
A cute little town where children’s laughter could be heard often and exceptionally well.
With so many beneficial conditions, she was determined to stay here and was already planning to tidy up the nearby monsters to protect the children’s laughter.

“I know what you’re worried about but I’ll be careful not to be or get in danger, especially until I’m in a more stable period.”

“There is no absolute stabilization in pregnancy, Kalia.
You need to be careful throughout the  whole term,” Allen, the ever-present voice of caution, warned.

“Okay, I’ll keep it in mind.
But, Allen, you had said that after a while, it would be healthy to exercise a little.”

“….You know that exercise and combat are different, right?”

“I know very well.
Oh, but you know, goblins and ogres are very good means of warm up, right?”

“…..what?” Allen was stunned again in less than 5 minutes.

Allen searched Kalia’s expression as if he had heard some nonsense but her serious face was sincere. Rather, it was Kalia who was perplexed when she saw the weak doctor staring at her with wide eyes.

‘Those creatures only need to be smashed on the head for them to collapse./hit upside the head Why are you so frightened and surprised by this?’ Kalia was confused.

Kalia’s eyes darted left and right and she laughed awkwardly3, suddenly self-conscious of the stubborn doctor’s firm gaze.

Well, yes, there’s no harm in being careful about everything.
Anyway, it was true that the safety of the baby in her stomach should be of the utmost priority.

“Don’t look at me like that, Allen.
There’s only one situation in the end.
The people here say they live in peace.
They’ve their own methods of staying safe.
Disposal teams are sent out on a regular basis.”

Allen sighed and held his head.
Kalia was the only one in the world who would call fighting goblins and ogres to be warm-up.
Somehow, he had a sense of foreboding that there would be a lot more situations like this in the future then he had initially anticipated.

‘She’s so strong that I’m worried about it.’ he thought.
He knew that Kalia was strong.
The problem was she herself knew it too.
Allen could only smile and shrug his shoulders.

‘Yes, she’s way too strong….’

Over the course of their month-long trip, the three of them had talked a lot and had grown quite close. Allen already felt like Kalia and Humming were his sisters.

Kalia had that type of personality where, if she needed help, she didn’t know how to and thus wouldn’t act shameless.
She was the strong and silent type of younger sister, making others feel distressed for her but at the same time, also love her dearly4.

….Ah, of course, except for when she beat all the bandits they encountered on the way here with a single battered iron sword.
That image immediately shattered.

After all, Kalia was still a warrior at her very core.

The bandits made for quite a tragic sight, almost making you feel sorry for them.
It was like swatting houseflies for her.
With every wave of her sword, the bandits easily fell left and right. To be honest, he had been unable to tear his eyes away from the scene of Kalia breaking the arm of the bandit chief without batting an eye.
Her actions were more determined and cruel than he had imagined it would be.

“Now that we’re here, let’s not travel anymore.
It’s not good for a pregnant woman to travel more than this,” Allen shook away the images in his head.

“Okay, let’s go and buy the house now,” Kalia smiled, breathing deeply as she looked down at the small town where she was going to start anew.

She took deep breaths of the fresh forest air to clear her stuffy head.

‘We’re here now, sweetheart.
This is where you will be born…..’

She was only about 10 weeks along now. The presence of the child in her tummy was still faint, but Kalia always stroked her tummy as if she was conscious of her baby.

‘I’m a lacking mother but I hope you feel secure here.
May you be safe within me…….’

Taking a final breath, Kalia prayed for her baby and then slowly climbed into the wagon to travel the remaining distance.


With Allen and Humming, Kalia arrived in Lua.

They first visited the lord’s castle to register for settlement5.

The lord’s castle was about a 30 minutes carriage-ride from the center of the city.
Unlike those in the Capital, this castle was small and crude.
There were only 20 or so windows.
The stables and warehouses were much smaller than those on Kalia’s property.
However, the walls were sturdy, made of densely stacked stones, and there were more soldiers than expected.
If she took a quick estimate, there were about 50 of them….

In any case, judging from the numbers, Kalia’s earlier statement of how the village regularly sent out disposal teams seemed to be true.

It didn’t take long for Kalia, who had a noble plaque, to register.
When she came out, a group of children were crowded near the entrance.

The clothing the three had on gave off an air of aristocracy, seeming to hint that they were children of nobility.
The children’s eyes were all similarly trained on Kalia, following her every movement with eager eyes.
Kalia, with her stylish hat, dressed in fine and pretty clothing, was the center of attention.
Not only the children, but also the training soldiers, staff and present villagers were watching Allen, Humming and Kalia in wonder.
But nonetheless, it was Kalia that commanded their attention the most.

From a distance, she seemed to be an aristocratic lady to those gazes of admiration.
They seemed to have no idea that she was actually the war hero who led the country to peace.
They whispered to one another, wondering who they were.
Though they spoke the same language, their accents were rather cute with a bit of local colour mixed in.

Not really caring about the gazes of admiration, Kalia, star of said gazes, was happy she had finished the usually tedious process of registration and wondered what kind of house to buy.
She wanted to buy a smaller estate so the exchange process6 would not be very complicated.

With everyone watching them, Kalia’s party headed straight to the city.
Unnamed purple flowers were in full bloom along the road they took.
A clear river cascaded down the side of a low cliff.
This river eventually flowed out to the sea.

“Oh my gosh! Kalia, this place is so beautiful! How is the air so sweet?” Humming cheered, sticking her head out the carriage window.

The beautiful landscapes before their very eyes were so vibrant it was as if the landscapes were artworks painted by master artists.
The beauty from the endless landscapes was enough to make one forget that low levelled monsters appeared frequently in these parts and that there was also a fairy forest nearby.
The windmills to the west existed in perfect harmony with the city streets in the distance7.

Besides the cheerful Humming, Kalia looked out the opposite side window.
She watched the towering Aope Mountains speed past.
The great mountain range was thick with greenery and hazy with fog.
It seemed like yesterday when she had first spotted the small town from that peak and then toured the village with Simon but in actuality, that was already 4 years ago.

At that time, she never imagined that she would be back, especially with Simon’s child.
Every time she lets her guard down, life catches her off guard and leads her to a moment she would’ve never imagined to find herself in.
Kalia felt that life like this was fascinating, amazing and fearful all at once.
But, this time, she was very excited about the cards life had dealt her.

‘What surprise will you bring to me next?’ Kalia thought, patting her flat stomach again and looked to the approaching village.

Behind the carriage carrying the three of them, the salty wind of the sea blew hard.

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