Chapter 348.2

A carriage emblazoned with the royal insignia of the palace set off from the royal grounds. Carriages carrying attendants followed in a procession, and over twenty warriors formed a protective escort. Additional soldiers brought up the rear.

If it were the Fourth King, he would have ridden his famous black horse, so there was only one person who could be the focus of such a grand spectacle. As the carriage came into view, the assembled crowd lining the streets erupted in cheers.

Even after the royal carriage entered the Count’s mansion, the cheers continued. Eugene, feeling somewhat self-conscious, greeted Charlotte, who had come to receive her.

“I must have made quite an entrance,” Eugene remarked sheepishly.

Charlotte responded with grace, saying, “Your Highness, you are too kind. Your presence graces us, especially because you arranged this meeting personally.”

Eugene initially thought Charlotte’s response was a matter of formality, but she soon realized that no one, not just Charlotte, found the queen’s procession to be excessive. The presence of the queen, who symbolized the kingdom’s future and hope as the king’s successor, held immense significance to the people of the kingdom.

Eugene, accompanied by Charlotte, entered the mansion and quietly made their way to the annex through the discreet back entrance. Lima had been lodged in the annex since her arrival in the capital. Given the biases and prejudices held against wanderers, it was best not to attract any unnecessary attention. Most of the mansion’s staff remained oblivious to Lima’s presence. Charlotte had established a tight security perimeter around the annex and entrusted Lima’s well-being to her most loyal confidant, ensuring that no unauthorized individuals could approach Lima.

“This is the place, Your Highness,” Charlotte announced as she led Eugene to the front door. She then raised her voice within the room, addressing Lima. “Her Highness has come to see you. She will enter now.”

With a gentle push, Charlotte opened the door. As Eugene stepped inside with her, she was taken aback. Just a few paces away, a woman knelt on the floor, her hands clasped, head bowed in reverence.

Eugene hurried over to the woman and, with a concerned tone, helped her to her feet. “Your body might not have fully recovered yet. What’s this about?”

Lima’s eyes trembled with surprise as Eugene touched her, showing genuine care and compassion. Lima looked at Eugene with eyes moistened by tears and then lowered her head.

“All I can offer is a heartfelt greeting. Your Highness saved me, my child, and our clan. I carry a debt of gratitude that I cannot repay with my life alone.”

Eugene heard Lima speak at length for the first time today. Lima appeared completely disarmed compared to her previously guarded demeanor. Resisting Lima’s attempt to prostrate herself once more, Eugene guided her to a nearby sofa. The count exited the room, leaving only the two women in private conversation.

“How is your body? The Count mentioned that you’re recovering swiftly,” Eugene inquired with genuine concern.

Lima replied, “I’m receiving more care than I need.”

Eugene then asked, “Since that day, have you had the chance to meet your cousin again? If you wish, I can arrange a separate meeting.”

Lima responded with unwavering determination, “No. Just confirming that we’re both alive is enough.”

Eugene chuckled, shifting the conversation, “Your son, is it?”

Lima confirmed, her gaze earnest, “Yes.”

“With your permission, I’d love Your Highness to see my son,” Lima expressed.

Eugene smiled warmly, replying, “You have my permission. I’d be delighted.”

Lima promptly rose and approached the bed. She gently picked up the swaddled infant and, to Eugene’s surprise, approached her directly. People had always maintained a certain distance when coming close to the queen, so this took Eugene off guard.

Eugene accepted the child Lima offered and cradled the infant in her arms. She couldn’t help but feel a sense of wonder. Lima had been willing to betray her clan to protect this child, and it felt strange to see her relinquishing the baby so readily. As Eugene observed the infant, who appeared to be peacefully asleep and making soft baby noises while sucking on its lips, she marveled at the newborn’s tiny size. Being a twin, the baby was likely smaller than the average newborn, and yet it felt surprisingly robust.

“Such a small one,” Eugene whispered to herself, her eyes fixed on the precious bundle in her arms.

Suddenly, Lima prostrated herself, startling Eugene, who struggled to react properly while holding the baby.

“Why are you doing this again?” Eugene asked, baffled by Lima’s actions.

Lima replied, “I wish to dedicate the child to Your Highness. Please grant your permission so that the child can live for Your Highness and your child, who will be born soon.”

Eugene’s thoughts were in turmoil. She couldn’t make sense of the countless thoughts racing through her mind. Did the wanderers have such a custom? Even if they did, she couldn’t comprehend Lima’s willingness to part with the child after everything she had risked for them.

“I’m already aware of your gratitude. But as a mother, you don’t have the right to decide the child’s fate, especially one more precious than your own life,” Eugene stated.

Lima gazed at Eugene with a strange expression and pleaded, “Please, consider my humble request to change my child’s destiny, all in the name of repaying Your Highness’s kindness. If my son can escape this accursed fate, I ask for nothing more.”

Tears welled up in Lima’s eyes as she spoke. Eugene, who understood the hardships faced by wanderers, couldn’t blame Lima for her choice. She also couldn’t confidently say that the child would be happier growing up as a wanderer rather than breaking ties with the clan.

“If your intention is truly as you say, then this child will be raised within the palace.”

Lima expressed her gratitude, saying, “Thank you.”

Eugene continued, “However, there is a condition. You will raise this child with your own hands until they reach adulthood.”

Lima appeared somewhat bewildered, responding with a hesitant, “Yes?”

“You are also welcome to enter the palace. Taking care of a newborn is no easy task. Who better to do it than you, the child’s mother?”

Lima nodded in agreement, her expression a mix of emotions. Eugene turned her attention back to the baby and inquired, “What is the child’s name?”

Lima answered, “It’s Yog.”



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