The Baby Isn’t Yours
She didn’t know what Shasha was feeling, but he was making a fuss in her stomach, as if trying to encourage her feelings. Anyhow, Kalia now wanted to save its life.
One of the king’s eyebrows twitched. His eyes had changed.
Nowhere could the previous tranquility be found.
Instead, it was the eyes of a cold ruler.
“Wouldn’t it be better to let him die comfortably, since it’s an egg that’s destined to die anyway.”
“This egg wants to live,” Kalia also spoke back strongly.
You mean to say you can feel it?”
“Can’t the king see this hatchling’s struggle?”
“Everything alive struggles.”
“All that’s alive are struggling to live .”
A pun-like argument ensued.
The Fairy King’s eyes grew colder and colder, but Kalia did not give in.
“A baby dragon without a mother is bound to die.”
“Just because they don’t have a mother doesn’t mean they’re going to die.
You who knows the greatness of life, how can you say such a thing?”
As she did, this dragon will survive too. 1
“Without magic, it’s bound to die.”
“Then you can supply the magic power,” Kalia’s eyes lit up at her unwavering retort.
He raised his giant spear as if he didn’t want to hear any more.
Kalia bit her lip tightly. He wasn’t a man she could win against.
It was a different kind of power than that of a low-level monster.
If the king made up his mind, no matter what Kalia did, it was too much for her to be able to oppose him.
Above all, she wasn’t alone at the moment.2 But suddenly, there was a presence blocking her from the king again.
The king’s daughter once again shook her head, blocking her father from Kalia. As if to express her determined will, Gaia’s whole being had become a transparent membrane. She squeezed out her own strength from only that fragment of soul to create a shield. At that point, Kalia couldn’t help but feel really strange.
Why was this fairy so desperately trying to protect her?
She had never seen this fairy before in her life. Though their hair color was similar, but that alone didn’t warrant her to protect Kalia from her father’s wrath.
She wasn’t the only one who felt that strange. The Fairy King also looked down at his daughter with complicated eyes. Even though it was only a fragment left, the figure in front of him was still his daughter.
Except for her last moments, she was a gentle child who had never disobeyed her father.
His daughter looked up at him with teary eyes and squeezed out a little more strength to solidify the shield.If she continued to strain her power like that when she was only an unstable piece of her soul remaining, this form of her soul was bound to be dispersed sooner or later.
As expected, the ends of her pale yellow fluttering hair blurred as she injected more power into the shield.
The tip of her hair was fading away, as if it were going to go up in smoke. Likewise, the shape of her feet and fingertips were fading.
The king sighed and eventually lowered the spear.
How can he swing a spear in front of his daughter who has already died once?
It’s only a dragon egg.
“There must be something about you,” He looked at the human woman in front of him.
And at the child moving about in her stomach.
“…The color of your child’s soul is also strange.”
The king’s hand gently stroked his daughter’s hair. With that one gesture, the shield Gaia had squeezed out with all her strength disappeared.
She stamped her feet, her face full of unhappiness.
The now faintly smiling king’s hand moved toward the still stiff Kalia. The hand’s gentle touch passed by in an instant. The touch was somehow like the wind but also the rain but also the midday sun. 3
His hand grazed her cheek and came back with a drop of her blood on his fingertips.
A leaf had grazed her cheek when she was running back to Humming and left a small wound. The small droplet of blood rose in the air and suddenly disappeared from sight.
Soon, there was only the king’s spirit bird left, shining like a firefly. White and purple and red.
The three colors cleverly intertwined together into a sphere in the palm of his hand.
The king’s eyes lit up as he quietly stared at it. The sphere of light was the size of a fingernail.
He enclosed his fingers over the ball and when he opened his palm again, the light hand disappeared.
The king then turned and wrapped his arms around his daughter’s shoulder as if nothing had happened. He then turned to look at Kalia, Humming, the children behind her and finally the dragon’s egg for the last time.
“It’s time for you to go back.”
It was now well into the night and they were still in the Fairy Forest.
It was time that dark fairies came out and played.
With a single gesture of his hand, a faint film of light formed around the bodies of Kalia’s party.
At the king’s word, a fist-sized space beside him blurred and someone popped out of the portal.
Black hair shining with starlight and eyes of pure black where even the sclera4 was black. A fairy, who had the form of a heavenly woman, hovered around the king.
“Lead these children out of the woods safely.”
Liella was an intermediate fairy of night and starlight. She flew into the woods with her beautiful wings fluttering behind her and she motioned for the group to follow.
Specks of light scattered in her wake, leaving a trail for Kalia’s party. 5
“Ah,” Kalia uttered, feeling a touch on her wrist.
At that moment, Gaia shook free from her father’s hand and grabbed Kalia’s wrist. Her mouth moved to spit out just three silent syllables.
-Let’s go together.-
Kalia’s bewildered eyes met the eyes of the king standing behind Gaia.
‘… fairy… money… tremendous… foreign… noble… gold ….’
‘Missing… ..no one… knows… …’
‘…The Ten Fairies……the Forest……the Fairy King…don’t know… the Crown Prince…the Duke of Mado… arrogant… General… without Kalia.’
When he heard that far, Simon opened his eyes wide. A flash of gold temporarily lit up the surrounding darkness.
He frowned and let out a simmering sigh.
He opened his eyes but it was still dark in front of him and a momentary headache throbbed in his head.
With every blink, the vision in his cloudy eyes recovered little by little.
He took a few slow breaths and blinked several times.
Feeling his headache subside and his vision was completely clear, he stood in front of a large spread of paper. As he stretched his hand out over the paper, all the raucous voices that had vibrated around Simon’s head awhile ago unfolded itself onto the paper.
[If you sell fairies, you’ll get a fortune.
There’s a foreign nobleman who is crazy about fairies and pays high prices for them.
Didn’t we hit jackpot?
[Nobody’s gonna find him.
Even if he goes missing.
Why don’t we proceed without anyone knowing?]
[You said it would be an ingredient for the elixir? It has the mysterious power to cure every disease!]
[How wide is the Fairy Forest? You only need to search the ten fairy forests on the outskirts of the fairy realm.
That way, the Fairy King won’t know.]
[The Crown Prince? How powerful is a man who is not even emperor? As long as you don’t run into that damn mage, Duke of Mado.
Rumor has it that General Kalia’s gone…vanishes into thin air… ..Are you afraid of everything?]
The black ink moved around the paper like snakes to create sentences.
Surprisingly, there was only one person uttering these words.
Marquis of Aonti
The Marquis of Aonti was the owner of huge wheat and sorghum7 fields.
He was an immigrant aristocrat whose family had been living in the Lohas Empire for the past four generations. The last time Simon had seen him, the marquis had stared at Simon like he was going to kill him. He hated Simon because he had the power to cure his illness, but wouldn’t help him.
To him, Simon grew more cold-blooded and unscrupulous as his condition worsened and he absolutely refused to help a sick nobleman in need.
Simon wasn’t the only one the marquis hated.
The priests of Argarcin, who were supposed to alleviate the suffering of the common people through the protection of divine power, were another group he hated.
The reason was similar. They had the power but used it to heal commoners instead of taking care of him, a nobleman. A deep enmity burned in him and his life seemed to be fueled by hating someone.
He had a disease called ‘Tartakan’ in which his hands and feet were rotting, and it was not an easy disease to treat. It wasn’t impossible though.
But for what reason should Simon step up and help him?
At the time, he had been pouring out his mana for days on end.
The same was true of the priests of Argarcine. Argarcine was the patron deity of wanderers and mortals. They put the poor and grieving first. It’s not like divine power was in overflowing abundance.
After treating the Marquis Aonti, they would be unable to care for the sick for ten days.
Nonetheless, the Marquis Aonti hated Simon and the priests of Argarcine for all the reasons.
This happened about a year ago.
From recent news, Simon heard that he has become noticeably healthier recently. His personality also changed a little and he seemed to be busy with the noble’s social gatherings. From records, it was suspicious that he was only mingling with local aristocrats outside the empire and to Simon, he seemed to be involved in something bad.
Simon looked down at the black letters wriggling on the paper with cold eyes.
The magic he was using now is a type of information magic called ‘Informatization’ which he had created himself.
It was a technique that spread one’s mana at a desired location and collected specific words, syllables or mana traces.
His brain felt like it was going to explode when using the magic, even compared to more sophisticated attack or healing spells but his harvest this time was good though.
It collected an overwhelming amount of info to sort through.
The spell itself didn’t require much stamina so he was quite satisfied that it could be used several times a day.
As long as your brain doesn’t explode from the overload.
“Iru, Tierra,” Simon called out the fairies’ name in a low voice.
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