The way Gemma described her pregnancy as a sacred yet painful sacrifice was equally ambiguous as well. Although it wasn’t entirely wrong, it somehow didn’t sound quite right. They sounded as if the happiness of Anika in the course of marriage and pregnancy was entirely ignored, while they were described only as painful tasks which Anikas desperately wish to be liberated from.
‘Come to think of it, there’s no other way for Anika to leave the Holy City other than by marriage with the king.’
Sang-je seemed to be making sure that even the married Anika was returned to the city in the end. It was almost as if he was not allowing any Anika to leave beyond his control!
‘Sang-je… the more I learn of him, the more I find him cunning. It’s actually not the Anikas who should be much obliged by him, as it rather seems like Sang-je is the one who’s obsessed with them.’
Eugene steeled herself for her coming encounter with Sang-je as it strongly occurred to her that she mustn’t let her guard down around him.
‘I wonder if Gemma is feeling alright today. She must be exhausted as I dragged her along throughout the whole banquet yesterday. I’ve heard that one must be extra careful during the early stages of pregnancy.’
As yesterday’s banquet was the first ever social gathering she ever attended, Eugene had practically used Gemma as her shield and never left her side throughout the night as she was feeling pretty nervous. Although Gemma didn’t seem to have forced a smile on her face, yet, there was no way of knowing her true feelings.
‘She didn’t seem like a bad person on the whole, as she seemed good-natured.’
Eugene wondered if she should make another stop at the Slan Kingdom on her way back to the Hashi Kingdom, just to deliver some news from the Holy City to Gemma. By that time, she figured that she would be able to see Gemma’s baby bump then.
The monthly period had just ended for Eugene not long ago. However, she realized that she had felt something unusual about it when her menstruation started this month.
Just until last month, she was rather relieved to find out she was menstruating. But this time, she dismayed about it.
Eugene carefully stroked her stomach with her hand. The mere thought of having their baby growing inside her was enough to make her heart flutter.
Although she couldn’t quite say she was ready to become a mother of a child, she knew that she was more than ready to gladly welcome the baby if she ever gets pregnant. Eugen blissfully smiled as she imagined an image of a boy who would most likely have blue eyes and hair, in the spitting image of his father.
With that, she was dumbfounded by her changed mindset. She no longer just plainly wished to survive in this world. Instead, she truly wanted to become a rightful member of the society and live raising a child in this very world.
Somewhere remote, as one travels farther away from the center of the Holy City leads to the discovery of an old street which was built a fairly long time ago. In a good way, one would regard the street as full of its history and traditions. But truth to be told, it was nothing but a stagnant place which had been long since forgotten by most people.
Most people who lived there were poor and not many of them seemed like they were educated. Those who were born and raised here, all lived and died without ever leaving the street.
On such a street, a stranger appeared out of nowhere. And as he started to snoop around the place, the residents all had their eyes on his strange visitor.
“I’m here to look for my aunt who used to live nearby. I would be most grateful if you could help me.”
But as the man greeted amiably while passing along a few small gifts, the residents had soon lowered their guards down around him. All the more, the residents had later scramble to spill out whatever information they have as the man paid for all sorts of information he could gather.
The man had fussily complimented an old man, who claimed that he’d lived his whole life in the very street, after asking him some questions.
“I’m truly amazed by your good memory.”
“People have regarded me as a prodigy when I was very young.”
“Then I guess you must remember even those events which happened a very long time ago?”
“Surely, I do. Ask me anything. There is nothing I don’t know about.”
“Then, do you know anything about an incident concerning Anika, which had turned the whole Holy City upside down about twenty years ago?”