Chapter 377.1

Kasser nodded in sync with her sentiments. While he struggled to fathom the depths of desperate denial that might drive someone to sacrifice themselves for their child, he fervently hoped his soon-to-arrive son would lead a life untouched by such grim realities. The notion of potentially burdening his child with the consequences of ancestral misdeeds weighed heavily on his mind.

“How’s your body holding up? Any notable changes?” he inquired.

“I’m feeling quite well,” Eugene replied, her smile directed at Kasser as she gently rested his hand on her swelling belly. She hadn’t found the right moment to share the news, preferring to tell him directly.

“It feels like it’s expanding rapidly in just a matter of days…”

Unaware of the significance behind feeling the baby’s movements, Kasser nodded with a puzzled expression.

“Go ahead, say hello to your father,” Eugene encouraged the child eagerly. She had observed the baby’s activity patterns, noting a tendency to quiet down around dinner time, but today, the movements persisted late into the night. It was as though the child knew it was time to greet his father for the first time when Kasser opened the bedroom door and entered.

Yet, when the anticipated moment arrived, the baby in her belly remained still. Anxious, she turned to Kasser.

“Can you feel it?”

Perplexed by her question, Kasser’s brow furrowed momentarily before a jolt of realization coursed through him. A subtle tremor beneath his hand, nestled against her burgeoning belly, brought his senses to attention.

“Did you feel that?” he started, interrupted as a series of kicks followed in quick succession, each movement more palpable than the last. Eugene regarded him with a mixture of astonishment and delight, her smile illuminating her features.

“The baby’s moving,” she announced.

“Moving? The baby… moving?” Kasser echoed, momentarily taken aback by the sudden realization. Though he had heard of fetal movements, experiencing it firsthand was an entirely different revelation.

“Isn’t it remarkable? The baby’s playful antics inside,” Eugene explained, her voice filled with affection. “It’s growing by the day.”

The gravity of the moment washed over Kasser as he witnessed the tangible presence of life within Eugene’s swelling belly. What was once an abstract concept now materialized before him, both mesmerizing and somewhat eerie.

A slow smile spread across Kasser’s features, replacing his initial bewilderment with unbridled joy. With a burst of laughter, he shifted to embrace Eugene, guiding her gently to the bed before settling beside her, his ear pressed against her belly.

“What are you doing?” Eugene inquired, a nervous chuckle escaping her lips.

“I might catch a glimpse of what it’s trying to tell me,” Kasser replied, his eyes twinkling with anticipation.

“Royal babies are said to speak from the womb, you know?” he added playfully.

“Well, who knows? Perhaps ours will too,” Eugene responded, her voice filled with laughter.

In that intimate moment, with his ear pressed against her belly, Kasser found himself enraptured by the anticipation of fatherhood. And as he concentrated on the subtle movements within, a sense of profound contentment enveloped him, leaving Eugene feeling equally spellbound and grateful for the memory they were creating together, one that would undoubtedly linger for years to come.

The once lively kicks of the child gradually subsided, leaving a serene stillness in their wake. Despite the absence of movement, Kasser persisted in keeping his ear close, as if waiting for a whisper from within. Sensing his curiosity, Eugene gently ran her fingers through his hair, breaking the quiet with her soft voice.

“He must be sleeping now,” she murmured.

“Sleeping?” Kasser echoed, his brow furrowing in curiosity.

“Yes. Babies in the womb have their own sense of time. They play during the day and rest at night,” Eugene explained. Finally lifting his head, Kasser met Eugene’s gaze, a flicker of amusement dancing in his eyes. Yet, beneath the surface, a shadow of uncertainty lingered.

“Later, as the due date draws nearer, you might even see little footprints appear on the belly when the baby kicks,” Eugene continued. For a moment, Kasser’s eyes sparkled with anticipation, but the brightness dimmed as a somber thought clouded his mind.

“What if I’m not here to witness that?” he voiced, his tone tinged with a hint of melancholy.

Eugene’s heart clenched at the sudden heaviness in his words. The reality of Kasser’s imminent departure for the Holy City loomed over them, casting a shadow over their conversation.

“When do you leave?” she asked softly.

“In a few days. We’ve agreed to convene in the buffer zone as soon as possible,” Kasser replied.

“Can I accompany you?” Eugene ventured. The casual atmosphere shifted in an instant as Kasser stiffened at her suggestion.

“You can’t be serious,” Kasser replied.

A flush of embarrassment crept over Eugene. Of course, she wasn’t serious, but the gravity of their circumstances had momentarily blurred her judgment. With a mental chastisement for her lapse, she sought to redirect the conversation.

“I meant hypothetically, of course,” she hastily clarified. “My place is here, protecting our child and the palace. Have you made any progress in your endeavors over the past few days, aside from the meetings?”

As Eugene deftly changed the subject, Kasser followed suit, his mind shifting back to the weighty matters at hand.

“We’ve been pressed for time. Everyone’s vying for control, making it difficult to reach a consensus,” he explained. “For now, our plan is to journey to the Holy City and address the situation firsthand. We need to understand his motives for blockading the city and mitigate the impact on its residents. It’s imperative that we devise a strategy on-site.”

As Kasser recounted the intricacies of the meeting, his emotions gradually surfaced, revealing the frustrations he harbored while presiding over the gathering. Eugene, ever the attentive listener, nodded along, offering measured responses as she absorbed the dynamics at play.



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