ITDHL (Novel) Chapter 114

C114

Lariette was truly embarrassed. Firstly, it was absurd to become pregnant so suddenly. No matter how often or how much they had been involved, contraception was clear, so how did they end up having children? There must have been some unknown mistake. Thinking back, it was right around the time she went on a trip.

"Is it because of what we did in the hot springs? Or the bath?"

Lariette sighed and guessed. She was foolish not to realize her pregnancy sooner—her breasts were larger, she had a fever, emotional ups and downs, and fatigue that was especially stronger than usual. Fundamentally, she wasn't menstruating, so it was obviously a sign of pregnancy. And yet, she drank champagne without knowing she was pregnant. It was due to excessive confidence in contraception, and even though a few sips of champagne wouldn't have a negative effect on the child, she felt guilty. The second time she felt embarrassed was due to the information delivered by the priest with a humorous smile.

"They're twins!"

"What?"

Lariette's mouth opened wide. She felt stiff all over. What did she just hear? Despite hearing it herself, she couldn't believe it and asked again.

"Twins! I don't know the gender yet, but I've checked, and they're definitely twins."

His voice was as clear as the self-proclaimed Zakaskov. He was a priest, a doctor, and a patient's heart was the same as his. Lariette recalled when she was sentenced to a time limit. If she was ashamed to have a child before marriage, but two! The news of twins wasn't as happy when they weren't ready to give birth to even one.

"I can't believe it's twins."

One day, she wanted to have a child who resembled Asrahan, but at least she wanted to live as a happily married couple first, and it would only be years later. It was because they hadn't yet enjoyed enough time for themselves, but now Lariette hadn't even had a wedding, let alone a honeymoon. Naturally unplanned pregnancies had caused confusion.

"And twins..."

Will they be able to raise twins when they know nothing about parenting? Anxiety flooded her. Most of it was about something that hadn't happened yet, but it was also inevitable when raising a child.

"But I still have to take responsibility."

Lariette tightened her resolve by gritting her teeth. She didn't want to give up her children, no matter how confused and scared she was. Asrahan and Lariette made the mistake, so of course, they were responsible. If they didn't know anything, they could learn, and if they faced difficulties, they could confront them and overcome them. Lariette believed that parents should take care of their children—it was meant to include emotional care, not just material care. She grew up without receiving the latter, and there was still a clear childhood pain in the corner of her heart. She didn't want her child to feel such sadness. To do that, she had to study and try her best.

"Yes, enough with the surprise and embarrassment. You have to do what you have to do!"

She still had fear of giving birth and raising children, but she couldn't stay still. She needed to get married quickly and prepare for the baby. Anyway, it was a blessing that Asrahan and their child entered service. The child, to be exact, would be angry if the mother herself didn't celebrate. Asrahan could also be saddened by her lack of joy, even though he knelt down in surprise, it seemed more likely because he maintained an adult and calm attitude unlike her. So Lariette looked at Asrahan with an effort to smile cheerfully at such thoughts, but at that very moment, that's when she felt the most embarrassed.

"...Sad?"

"..."

"Now, are you crying?"

It was a question that didn't need to be asked. It was because Asrahan was shedding tears.

"...Hahaha."

Asrahan tried to swallow as much as he could because he thought he couldn't be called a crybaby again, but he failed. He couldn't contain the overflowing tears.

"What, what's wrong? Do you like it?"

Lariette reassured him by gently wiping his face with a handkerchief, but when you calm a crying person, they cry even more. Asrahan also started crying more, following that law.

"Then, then... I'm glad. It's an honor."

Asrahan cried a lot and barely spoke. Each time he uttered a word, a cry-like groan leaked out—it was a great honor. He couldn't believe that Lariette would have their own child, he also couldn't believe that he was forming a family with her. He was so happy and excited, his whole body trembled with joy. But contrary to Lariette's expectations, the reason he cried wasn't solely because of joy.

"But at the same time... it's so, so terrifying."

Asrahan shed tears again, saying he was scared. It wasn't just a whimper, it was safe to call it sobbing. Having seen it, Lariette completely erased the image of "Asrahan maintaining an adult and calm attitude" from her mind.

"What's so scary?"

Asrahan must be afraid of being a parent like her, Lariette judged. He said he was afraid of not being a good father when he went on a trip, so it was probably the case. But again, her conjecture was far from true.

"Because I'm afraid that you, too, will have a hard time..."

"What?"

"I heard that giving birth hurts a lot, a lot."

Asrahan screamed, trembling pitifully with a large muscular body. The 'Asrahan Candel' looked incredible, Lariette watched him speak with a perplexed and blank expression.

"What if you get too sick...!"

Tears fell as if they had burst. Asrahan finally started sobbing properly.

"No, it's natural to be sick when giving birth..."

"Of course, it hurts anyway! I, I don't want you to be sick. I don't want that."

What kind of child is this? Lariette was dumbfounded and didn't dare to speak. She knew the pain of childbirth was immense. It was also true that she was scared, but it wasn't enough to cry just because he was scared. It was even stranger for Asrahan, who had suffered so much in many wars, to cry and say he didn't like being sick. In fact, Asrahan was worried about something else with the pain of childbirth. It was because they were told that having twins put too much pressure on the mother's body. What if Lariette gets sick after giving birth? What if something goes wrong during the pregnancy? He didn't say it out loud because he didn't want to cause her anxiety, but he was truly scared.

"Asrahan. Stop, stop."

Lariette gave Asrahan a firm pat on the back, but the tears didn't seem to stop. Finally, he squinted his eyes and threatened.

"If you keep crying, I won't kiss you anymore."

"...I'm not crying anymore."

Interestingly, Asrahan had the ability to hold back tears when making such threats. Still, his back was heaving up and down, and his eyes were red, but no more tears came out. And the one who witnessed all these scenes, regardless of their intentions, said with a somber look on their face.

"They are twins, so be more careful, have regular check-ups, and don't use magic as much as you can. It might be too much for the child. Then I will continue on my way. Congratulations, and be happy."

They seemed to want to leave as quickly as possible. Similarly, Gerard, who saw his master unintentionally crying, also stayed secretly by the priest's side. "Don't stand out and let's leave together!" Gerard shouted in his heart. Having understood his mind, Lariette nodded to allow them to leave. And just before they left, she urgently added.

"Oh, please heal my butler who fell because he was happy on the way."

Since Lariette accepted Asrahan's proposal, Hallstein used to faint with joy, even if it was a little good, and now his fainting was quite natural.

---------------------

Lariette suffered from severe morning sickness for several weeks. At first, she felt nauseous from the smell of seafood, but soon she started reacting like that to all kinds of food. Worried about Lariette's nutritional state, Hallstein and the chef tried to stimulate her appetite by offering all sorts of acidic flavors, but the results were always disastrous. She used to run away with her mouth full of what they gave her, sometimes even suppressing the nausea and forcing herself to eat for the sake of her babies' health. Tears would instinctively well up in torturous situations. And Asrahan's heart to watch her was like hell, Lariette was withering away. When she forced herself to eat, vomit, eat, and vomit, it became harder to pass the food because her esophagus must have been damaged. She blamed herself for not eating well, endangering her children's health, and her eyes were always dark with anxiety.

"There's no way the dress won't fit you."

Lariette would try to smile playfully at Asrahan and joke as usual. It was because she didn't want to disturb Asrahan's mind. And for him, the agony hidden beneath that smile was evident. It was even more heartbreaking to worry about her at such a difficult time. Having hired healing mages and believers to reside on Candel Street, Lariette was able to maintain minimal health, but her mind couldn't be healed by magic or divine power. One night when that hell was taking place.

"Please, don't make it difficult for her."

Asrahan gently caressed the sleeping Lariette and whispered softly. For him, it was more painful than anything else to see her emaciated face.

"Please, Lariette, don't make her sicker... don't let guilt affect her."

He rarely believed in God and relied on faith. It was because he believed that wielding the sword once again was the way to survive, but when faced with the helplessness of being unable to do anything, Asrahan prayed. It didn't matter if it was the God Altheon or any other. Whoever could save Lariette was good. Did anyone answer his prayers? A few days later, a miracle occurred.

"I want to eat peaches."

A silver fork fell onto the carpet; it was because Asrahan's hands naturally loosened.

"Eat, you mean?"

"Yes, something sweet and soft."

How surprised he was, he stammered. It was certainly a surprise; it had been a month since Lariette said she wanted to eat something.

"I'll get it right away."

Asrahan's subordinates brought all kinds of delicious peaches; they were brought from all over the continent. Lariette was terrified by the amount she wouldn't be able to eat for the rest of her life and asked him to distribute them among the people of Candel. And now she was eating her portion of peaches delightfully without vomiting. After that, she started telling him what she wanted to eat, from fruits to desserts. Asrahan was delighted with tears on the verge and had been busy stocking up on everything she said. Sometimes, there were so many things she wanted to eat and couldn't get in the capital, so Asrahan had to go out and find them, but even such hard work was a joy for him. Today was like that.

"I'm going to the Delphasa region. We'll be there for the night, so if you need anything, ask Gerard."

"You shouldn't go there because of me... You don't have to do that, Asrahan. I'm so sorry."

Lariette grabbed Asrahan's collar as if to prevent him from leaving while crying. Last night, she made a mistake murmuring unknowingly that she wanted to eat beef, a local specialty of Delphasa. Asrahan, who was entering the room, heard the murmur like a ghost and said he would go to Delphasa as soon as he woke up. There was a servant with more hands, but it had been a long time since she wanted to eat meat, so she wanted to get it herself. Additionally, Delphasa was a region famous for its beautiful autumn flowers, so on the way back, he would make sure to buy many flowers and see Lariette's happy face. Asrahan looked at the beautiful face, smiling with her chubby cheeks. Then a sweet voice came out that tickled his heart.

"Don't regret it. Didn't I tell you? I'm glad to see you eat well. So it's not for you, it's for me."

"Still..."

"Don't you kiss me before I leave?"

"I can't leave without your kiss," Asrahan added mischievously. A happy smile hovered around his lips. Lariette also laughed and kissed him. They kissed so often that their lips were always chapped since the day they got engaged. Asrahan hurriedly left after a brief farewell; he had to move quickly to have dinner with Lariette. And hours after Asrahan left.

"I want to eat skewered meat from the center."

Lariette clenched her fists and said with a somber expression.

"Yes. I will have it purchased."

I guess you're hooked on meat today, Gerard responded with this thought. But Lariette shook her head.

"No, I'm going to eat it right there."

"What? Why would you...?"

"It's delicious to eat it right away."

Gerard tried to dissuade Lariette with a perplexed look on his face. It was because he feared that if Lariette got hurt even a little while wandering around, she would die. But Lariette's attitude was unwavering.

"He said it would be nice to go to the new building and take a stroll. It's frustrating because I've been living in a mansion lately."

She used the priest's words as a reason, but Gerard knew it was an excuse. Her purple eyes were filled with desire for the skewered meat, so he couldn't help but notice.

"I told you not to stress yourself out as much as you can."

Gerard closed his eyes for a moment and repeated the orders left by Asrahan. His will depressed him if he didn't let it out now, so Gerard finally nodded gently. That day, he didn't even expect to encounter anyone on the outskirts of the city.

---------------

Dark red blood dripped from the beautiful silver-haired man, like the moon in the night sky. A man, alone in the dark shadow, slowly looked back. And soon, he met Lariette's gaze.

"... Doha?"

Lariette called him by his name, her face pale, the end of her voice trembling secretly for reasons she didn't know if it was fear or shame. And Mikhail Dohabellion, he put his name on her lips.

"... Lariette."

It was a name he longed for every moment.

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