The Baby Isn’t Yours
“Because I think I’d die without her.”
Depending on how you interpreted his voice, it even sounded a little painful and distressed.
“Because I miss her so much that it’s painful.
Because without her, it’s painful enough to die.
I want to see her to death, but I can’t.
I don’t know why she left, and I don’t know when she’ll be back… How can I not search for her?”
Simon paused for a moment before bursting out into nervous laughter.
It was a laugh mixed with sighs.
Yet he couldn’t blame Kalia for any of this.
It would be hard for him to have the heart to blame her or even resent her now that he was going to meet her again.
He couldn’t let Kalia get away from him once again just because of his lacking mouth1.
It was not enough to just long for love anymore… 2
“What if something happens while I’m not around? What if she gets hurt? Or if a crazy guy keeps bothering her by saying he loves her? Ha! All because I’m not around.”
If he met her, all he had to do from now on was pour out all of this overflow of heart-aching love into her.
Though Kalia so cold-heartedly left without telling him why, how could he hate her? He couldn’t even utter words of resentment easily in front of her.
Salvation was like that.
He couldn’t ignore it nor did he dare to resist. 3
She was the only person in the world who could invoke emotions so overwhelming that she could dominate him with said feelings.
Simon frowned, his face contorting to the point where the others didn’t know if he was smiling or crying.
The sound of rain falling outside the window was annoying.
With a brief sigh, Simon leaned forward. “So, I need to find her.
As soon as possible, even if it’s at this hour….
I have to find her. I can’t calm down for even a moment without Kalia.
Because I think I’m going to go crazy at this rate.”
With his arms on his knees, he nervously twisted around his interlaced fingers for a moment before raising his head.
His eyes had a completely different look than before.
One without even the slightest leeway.
Humming and Allen thought the same thing at the same time.
It was such an overwhelming amount of love that it overflowed and smothered his surroundings.
As much as he had already muffled4 that love inside….
It was a love that overflowed with no end in sight.
At the same time, Kalia needed that love. It was a huge love that will compensate5 for the times growing up that were without love.
Humming looked at Simon with much lighter, more relaxed eyes. And when she opened her mouth, she had already made up her mind.
“I will tell you where Miss is.”
“Humming! It’s not up to us to decide.”
“But if we don’t tell you, you won’t let us go.
Simon, who was listening attentively, simply smiled calmly and raised an eyebrow in response.
That smile of his conveyed only one meaning.
Fully understanding the meaning behind that smile, Humming said to Allen again, “Look, Allen.
As you know, we’re in a situation that’s delicate, precarious and hurried right now.
So, wouldn’t it be better to be able to go back and take care of Kalia as soon as possible?”
“….Take care of her? Is something wrong with Kalia?” Simon asked in Allen’s silence when he could not refute Humming’s logic.
The strange nuances of the two made Simon’s expression grow worse.
“It looks like you’re a doctor… Is that why you’re with Kalia?”
Allen gnawed his lower lip, scowling at Simon, but failed to answer. As if to put pressure on Allen, mana increasingly began to pour from Simon and radiate into the air around him.
The enormous amount of mana emitted seemed to compress down the very concentration of air.
Both Allen and Humming tensed as the pressure pressed down on them and the mounting pressure felt as if it was choking them.
“If something’s wrong with Kalia and you’re dragging your feet like this… you’d better be prepared.
Even if you’re Kalia’s people.”
Just in time, thunder struck outside, adding to the already suffocating and tense atmosphere.
His eyes gleamed eerily in the near darkness.
Allen grabbed Humming and shot Simon a shaky look.
“Since you’ve been waiting for this long, can’t you wait a few more days?”
Simon replied with a sour smile, “……I don’t think so.”
There was a tense silent confrontation between the two men.
What broke the eerily chilling air was an abrupt sound from a cute, round head that materialized out of nowhere.
Suddenly, a mole-shaped spirit rose up in the air between the two men and tilted her head. Surprised Humming and Allen both leant back in their seats, widened eyes trained on the mole.
“Tierra.” Recognizing the spirit, Simon shook his head and held out a hand.
“What were you doing for you to only show up now?”
She raised her head as if she had something to say and jumped up into Simon’s hand.
From there, the mole ran up his arm to his shoulder, seemingly a bit excited.
-Kyu! Kkyu! Kyukyukyukyu! Kyuuuuuuu! Kyuuwu!
Taking in the mole’s language with head cocked slightly, Simon tried to figure out why this little guy was so excited like this.
The mole’s words were not a language, but a form of meaning7.
What Tierra was trying to convey sounded in Simon’s head.
“You went to the Spirit Forest and met a strange human? But?”
At the mole’s squeaks, Simon’s face, which had been calm this entire time, gradually changed.
“She smelled similar to the mana I showed you before?”
Simon’s palm came up and hovered over the head of the eagerly nodding mole.
Purified mana was injected from his white palm into the mole.
“Now, think about the face of the woman you saw…”
Doing as told, a faint vision suddenly arose in front of the mole.
As the blurred appearance of the hazy figure became clearer and more distinct, and the opaque colours painted a somewhat recognizable figure, Allen and Humming clamped their mouths shut at the same time.
‘Why, Kalia/Miss!’ 8
Contrary to the surprise of the other two, Simon silently looked at the vision silently for a moment.
After staring frozen at the shimmering image of her, he reached up to gently stroke the mole’s head as if he had come to his senses.
“Good job, Tierra.
Do you know where she is now?”
Shaking her head, Tierra infused power into the vision.
Soon, the vision in front of them rippled into a different one.
A high-rise two-story house made of white walls with a red roof.
The small mansion with a small garden was as beautiful as a painting.
It was the same mansion that Kalia was living in now.
Quarreung! Quang! 9
Kalia woke up at the sound of lightning.
To be precise, she woke up to the sound of thunder and an uncomfortable tightening pain in her stomach.
It was similar to the contractions before, but gave off a subtly different feeling, tightening in the lower abdomen.
Kalia took a deep breath before sitting up in bed.
“Allen should be back tomorrow morning…”
Something felt off.
She had felt uneasy all afternoon yesterday but now, she felt an overwhelming sense of foreboding.
She had a hunch that her child will be born soon.
Kalia slowly got up out of bed and headed for the kitchen. The sound of rain was still loud, but the air was not cold thanks to the lingering fire in the fireplace, warming the room to a lukewarm temperature.
Fortunately, as she walked down, the pain subsided.
After seeping some soothing tea leaves in warm water, Kalia checked the time.
To figure out whether these were false labour pains or actual labour contractions, the most important thing to focus on was the interval of time. 10
‘I felt the pain three minutes ago.’
And it’s been about 10 minutes since the contractions began.
Allen said that contractions could last for 24 hours without going into labour if there was enough time between each contraction. When one really goes into labour, the interval of the contractions drops by a minute each time. It could hurt a lot Allen had said without further explanation.
‘If you can hold on a little longer, you’ll be fine.’
Kalia laid down on the rocking chair in front of the fireplace.
Two more hours to go before it would be bright.
It would be a relief if Allen and Humming left early and got back as soon as the sun rose, but if they came late, she had to be prepared and think of other ways.
‘Let’s talk to the next door neighbour first, and contact Henry, the village doctor.
Maybe I should even tell Mrs.
Collins since she used to be a midwife.’
As she forcefully tried to distract herself from the pain, her stomach tightened once again.
She checked the time quickly and about 20 minutes had passed since the last contraction.
The time interval was much closer than she had expected.11
Kalia laid herself down on the chair and tried not to panic.
Just then, she spotted a baby hat that had yet to be finished on the side table next to her chair.
She had learned to make the hat from the neighbour’s wife, Mrs.
The tiny hat was clumsily knitted with her own hands and was honestly a bit of a crooked mess12.
Nonetheless, no matter how sloppy the hat she’d made was, Kalia looked proud every time she saw it.
It took a month just to knit this much of this little thing.
Due to her lack of dexterity, she had to unwind to re-knit with her needles over and over again even though she spent over an hour working on it every day.
She worked on it whenever she had the time but she hadn’t been able to completely finish it yet.
She estimated that she could complete it by today or tomorrow if she held on but at this rate, most likely not.
It was a pity.
She wanted to make it pretty…
Kalia caressed the soft material carefully and gently spoke to Shasha to soothe her stomach.
“Mom wants to see Shasha sooner, but wouldn’t it be better if we meet safely? So, Shasha, don’t rush, just wait a little longer.
Just until Allen comes back.
My good baby.”
When she spoke in a friendly voice as she stroked her clenching belly, the labour pains subsided.
Just that alone made her feel proud of the child in her stomach.
Catching her breath, Kalia closed her eyes again.
The crashing sound of thunder sounded like a knock on the door and following that, lightning flashed across the window. Turning to the kitchen, she couldn’t help but think that the thunder was quite loud today.
Just then, she heard a knock on the door so clearly that she couldn’t mistake it for the thunder or lightning outside.
A crash course on childbirth.
As we’ve mentioned before, there’s something called false labour which is characterized by contractions that come and go with no pattern consistency.
True labour on the other hand, is when you’re actually going into labour.
Contractions last 30-70 sec and come about 5-10 mins apart.
They’re so strong that you can’t walk or talk during them.
They get stronger and closer over time and you feel pain in your belly + lower back.
Stages of Labour:
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