The Baby Isn’t Yours
To some, every passing minute, even second, was like hell but for Kalia, life had been so hectic that, when a month had passed, she didn’t know where all her time had gone.
Kalia settled into Lua with the identity of Lia Rayman, a local noble wife who was visiting her late husband’s hometown.
The villagers warmly welcomed ‘Lia Rayman’.
Ever since she arrived, the surrounding goblins and ogres had been mysteriously disappearing.
Thus, they lovingly called her the lucky lady.
Every time a villager mentioned this, Kalia would smile quietly.
On the other hand, Allen would hold his head while Humming would clench her fists in excitement1.
Anyway, the three of them settled down safely in Lua.
Kalia had bought a compact, 2 storey 10 bedroom house and the three had spent a whole month cleaning and decorating the space to make it their home.
Some workers were hired to manage the mansion.
Thus, in less than a month, Kalia’s party of three had settled down in Lua without much difficulty.
A few days later, a surprising article was published in the local newspaper which reported news from the Capital.
[Who Dares Set Fire to the Top of the Tower! 2
When asked who the most beautiful man in the Empire was, 7 out of 10 will say the Minister of Magic, the one who achieved Enlightenment, the Archmage & Duke, Simon Terroan!
Imperial Year 717.
Voting for the Most Beautiful Men: An article by Investigator Golden Money.
1st: Duke Simon Terroan (69% overall)
2nd: Crown Prince Raymond Rohas (28%)
3rd: Viscount Papico Masissou3 (2%) )
Despite the cold aura surrounding him, the mysterious silver-haired archmage was, no doubt, beautiful.
With a tight, stubborn mouth that doubled his elegance and golden eyes resembling the sun yet devoid of kindness… he was an elegant flower soaked in poison.
No matter how beautiful he was, he had sharp thorns.
What the hell touched the thorns of this cold rose4?
On the 28th, Lochiarte’s navy trespassed into the waters of Akohan, a naval district partially under Duke Terroan’s jurisdiction.
We don’t know if it was intentional or an honest mistake but what’s important is that the magic circle defending the Ahokan Sea was immediately activated!
A horrendous and brutal attack on the Lochiarte’s navy ensued.
As a result, half of Luaman Bay, the Lochiarte’s special tourist and vacationing resort, smack in the middle of the area of attack, was destroyed, along with the pride of the Lochiarte naval fleet.
Fortunately, no casualties were reported but the mishap resulted in Lochiarte having to expend a great deal of time and effort into rebuilding the special resort they were so proud of.
The Duke of Terroan later explained that the magic circle’s activation was a malfunction on part of the magic system but, many are speculating it might have been a covert retaliation against Lochiarte’s 3rd Princess who had visited Rohas last year.
Based on last month’s report, this publication’s release of the article “The One Who Hated the Princess of Lochiarte” broke the record for rate of highest sales with its controversial topic.
The article tells the story of Raina, Princess of Lochiarte, who repeatedly expressed her discontent, frustration and grievance towards Duke Terroan throughout her stay in the Imperial Palace last summer.
At the time, she deprecatingly denigrated Simon Terroan’s taste5 as very bad, strange and grotesque.
She even went so far as to out rightly call him an ‘arrogant and rude man’.
Not only that, but she had also expressed unrelenting hostility towards Simon Terroan, saying, “Maybe you like a man” and “If I had a friend who looked at me with unknown intentions, then I would doubt them, no matter how long the friendship”6.]
After reading this far, Kalia closed the magazine she was reading.
A familiar face on the cover stared back at her.
His face – silver hair, delicate features, stubborn mouth and a pair of clear golden eyes so arrogant that they seemed to penetrate anything – took up the whole cover.
Kalia’s fingers traced the printed image of his lips, and murmured in a serious voice, “What the hell were you thinking, Simon?”
Unless something special happened or it was an official event such as a war or the Empire’s founding day, Simon rarely appeared in the news or gossip tabloids.
He had never been one to draw excessive attention to himself and so he kept fairly lowkey.
He also didn’t care much about something as miniscule as the public’s opinion of him and thus, didn’t make much effort to keep up with the media’s portrayal of him.
Normally, without his permission, it was not possible for news of Simon to make their way to such a remote village like Lua.
Yet, right now, his face was plastered all over newspapers, magazines and even gossip tabloids.
He didn’t seem to care this time7.
So far, three different pieces of news about Simon had reached Lua.
“Do you intend to be a troublemaker?” Kalia tilted her head and looked down at the face of the friend whom she had been around for so long yet now, she simply couldn’t seem to understand.
The first pieces of news that spread was that half of the Crown Prince’s palace had been razed down.
In fact, Kalia had already guessed that Simon would do something like that.
Just before she left, Simon had been extremely sensitive to anything about her for months.
This bad-tempered wizard… being like this just because she had escaped without his detection.
Either way, this piece of news came at less of a shock because she had already predicted it.
Fortunately, the wizards of the Tower said that the Crown Prince’s Palace had been restored to its former state.
The Crown Prince had also calmed down the surprised public with a smile, saying it was an accident that had occurred while playing a light prank on Simon.
But then, less than a week later, she heard that Simon had ‘Unsealed8’ his magic.
Kalia was so surprised that she shot to her feet right then and there.
In addition to that, another piece of news followed, saying that Simon Terroan had fallen into a 3 day coma as a result of his ‘Unsealment’.
The news was too much, dizzying Kalia.
What did ‘Unsealment’ or being ‘Unsealed’ mean?
To wizards, the ‘Unsealing’ of mana was pretty much equivalent to one draining their body of blood.
It was a technique only used in life or death situations, or if one is faced with so much danger that they’d rather take the gamble with the consequences of casting the spell.
And this extremely dangerous technique was exactly what Simon did.
Shockingly, in his ‘Unsealed’ state, Simon could cast his mana out as far as 1000 kilometers away in any direction. The greatest ‘Unsealed’ radius recorded in history books was a distance of 800 kilometers. Of course, not all those who had reached the level of ‘Enlightenment’ tried ‘Unsealment’ so it was not a totally accurate figure.
Either way, Simon cleanly surpassed the record this time.
Kalia could only sigh, a bit dumbfounded and a bit angry.
It was not a national crisis nor was it a serious battle. Why did he ‘Unseal’ to the point where he even fell into a coma?
It wasn’t because he was trying to find me, was it?’ Kalia wondered, rubbing her chin in serious thought.
Though she had her doubts, Kalia was still unconvinced.
She was just a friend who had left without warning… Would he ‘Unseal’ and do something so life-threatening just to find her?
Was Simon the type of man to place so much importance on relationships and emotions9?
No, the Simon she knew wouldn’t go after and try to catch anyone who left.
Heck, he was a man who pushed away anyone who got too close.
This was why it didn’t make any sense to her.
But…at this point, there was nothing Kalia could do about what had already happened nor could she demand an explanation for what he did.
Neither could she formulate a reasonable enough answer as to why Simon resorted to ‘Unsealment’ to find her.
‘No, no matter how angry that damn bastard is, is there really a need to ‘Unseal’ himself? He’s crazy, isn’t he?’
It wasn’t that Kalia didn’t know or understand him, just that this choice of his was ridiculous.
Occasionally, her friend was sensitive or bad-tempered for unknown reasons.
She felt that this time, it was a similar situation, just a more extreme version.
Kalia shook her head as she continued to stare at Simon’s face printed on the newspaper.
Suddenly, she remembered a conversation she had with the Crown Prince before she left.
“I want you to keep this conversation a secret from Simon.
I want to leave when he’s gone.
He’d be very, very, upset if he found out… okay?” Kalia had asked Raymond.
I have my own reasons.”
“What’s the reason?”
I can’t delve into the details so I don’t think I can answer that.”
“What if it’s an order10?”
“After hearing it, Your Highness will be responsible for the information.
If Your Highness is okay with that, I will be happy to tell you…”
“….I’m too scared to ask now that you put it this way.”
In the end, the Crown Prince let the matter go and went on with the conversation without asking for the details of Kalia’s extremely personal reason.
Kalia had used all the tricks she had in her final conversation with Raymond.
It was cheap but she had brought up how she had saved Raymond in the past.
Raymond, who valued loyalty and faithfulness, could not reject her request.
As she predicted, Raymond had agreed with a desperate face but he had certain conditions.
“All right, here’s the deal.
I’ll grant you a provisional retirement.
However, if Simon finds you, then you’ll have to come back.”
“After a few years, the Empire will free you from your duties.
But, if Simon were to find you, you have become a general again.”
“Your Highness,” she protested.
“I gave in to you a lot.
As you know, your request places me in quite the difficult situation.
Please don’t make even more trouble for me,” he steadfastly blocked any objections she had.
Seeing her silence, Raymond’s warm green eyes relaxed and he continued affectionately, “The Empire….
I too, very much need you, Kalia.
After this, Kalia couldn’t push him anymore.
If the Crown Prince hadn’t agreed to her request and told Simon everything in advance, Simon would have blocked all the retreats so she couldn’t go anywhere until she had told him the truth.
He was not the type to be indifferent when a friend he cared about suddenly retired and disappeared without giving any reason or warning.
To those he cared for and considered as one of his own, he had a big heart11 for them.
“….No, no matter what, you shouldn’t risk death to find me, Simon.”
How can you be so foolish?
By habit, Kalia stroked her firm belly.
She lowered her head and whispered in a sweet voice so low only she herself could hear, “My baby, see? Your dad is this kind of person.
Once he’s made up his mind, nothing can change it.
I’m guessing he won’t stop at nothing until he finds me.
Well, he can do whatever he wants.
Mom will be very well hidden.”
….Until you’re safely out into this world and I can finally meet you.
As long as she was able to safely and healthily birth her baby, Kalia was confident she could protect the child at all costs.
To put it bluntly, if she were to suddenly bring back a baby in a year’s time, who would even think it to be Simon’s child? If Kalia didn’t open her mouth, no one would be able to guess the identity of her child’s father.
As long as the child wasn’t a carbon copy of Simon….Either way, this was something Kalia couldn’t predict. A very famous saying often circulated the marks, “Even if you steal other things, you can never steal seeds12.”
Anyways, this was a problem that will only arise after the child is born and for now, Kalia was still safely in her 15th week of pregnancy.
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