Erna opened her eyes. The lamp on the bedside table shone a subtle light just bright enough not to hurt her eyes. Blinking, she felt a grittiness in her mouth like she was chewing on sand.
As soon as she turned her head, she saw the water kettle and a cup. With a short reach, she could reach them, but she didn’t want to move. She thought of calling Orpé from outside, but even that was a nuisance.
I fell asleep after having my medicine. She had awoken in the Grand Castle after fainting in the ruin. While the doctor and Orpé asked her about this and that, Erna felt something pouring between her legs. Thanks to this, she was able to know the reason why she had been in so much pain these past few days.
Erna tossed and turned. Pain struck every muscle in her body like she’d done an intense workout, and her stomach hurt twice as worse. A pain that seemed to break her back came regularly and then disappeared.
The pain wasn’t only in one or two places. Her gums swelled, giving her a headache. She felt nauseated. All the while thinking non-stop that she wanted to eat something. Even though she tried to think, however, there wasn’t really a meal she was craving. In the end, she only had a few sips of bland soup because she was hungry.
She wondered if she should go back to sleep, but she couldn’t since she’d already slept too much. In the end, Erna fell deep into her thoughts with her eyes wide open. Kalion was the very first thing she thought of. Kalion must know, too.
Her head was pounding. From the doctors’ conversation she’d heard in her sleep, the oldest doctor was telling Kalion that he had to go.
When Kalion and Erna first discussed with each other about the pregnancy, there was something she had promised. That she would tell him if there was a problem in her pregnancy. I can’t tell if it’s a problem or not, so I just kept my lips closed, but…
At the time they decided to have a successor, Erna had been thinking about the age to bear a child. It would have been easy to calculate if her menstrual cycle had been constant, but unfortunately, her cycle had a mind of its own.
I’ve had this problem since I was young, but… When she first came to Hessenguard, it had happened about two or three times a year. It was said that the number of times increased after the body recovered, but there had been times when it happened once every three months and once every six months at the longest. And sometimes even twice a month.
Anyway, the good thing was that the doctors who’d examined her had said that there wasn’t a problem, so Erna never mentioned it to Kalion. Because it’s a vulnerable topic.
Had she told him at the beginning and they didn’t end up with a successor… it would be her fault. She didn’t want to be labeled a defective woman like that and get sent back to Haband.
Does he know everything now? Erna wondered in worry. The doctor had said that Kalion too should know about her condition. That way, he could take the proper precautions.
When Erna had muttered “What precautions?” Orpé had looked around and whispered to her, “Madam, actually we all saw it when we changed your clothes.”
Should she have died then? Erna buried her head in her pillow. She knew that a lot of people would notice now anyways, but letting them know in this manner was so embarrassing that she wanted to die.
What will Kalion say?
Meanwhile, it was certain that Kalion had put in more effort in the pregnancy than her. Wasn’t he the one who had moved his body from sundown to sun up? Of course, Erna too had put in the effort, but compared to Kalion who normally used his body she had just desperately followed his moves.
Will he be annoyed?
He may get annoyed and ask why she hadn’t told him after receiving all the information from the doctor.
Erna pictured Kalion in her head. What if he knew that she hadn’t said anything about her condition up until now…? She felt scared that Kalion might be disappointed in her. It felt like dark clouds were spreading over her head slowly, scattering rain. The moment Erna turned her body to sleep again she heard the sound of the doorknob turning.
Erna stared at the door leading to the hallway. She wondered if it was Orpé coming in, but the door was shut tight. Then, the only door left was the one connected to the couple’s room. She looked in that direction and saw the door slowly opening.
Why is that door opening? Only one person could open that door and come inside. Erna called out his name.
When she did, a familiar face appeared in the space between the wall and the opened door.
“Can I come in?”
Kalion looked at Erna lying down and asked permission. Realizing that they still had to ask for permission when entering each other’s rooms, Erna nodded. When she did, Kalion rushed to her side.
It was Kalion’s first time inside her room, and Erna looked at him with a puzzled face because she had never thought he would come in at a time like this, given her condition. “Why did you come?” she asked.
“Just curious if you’re okay. If you were asleep I was just going to take a look at your face and leave.”
His words weren’t a big deal, but strangely, listening to his voice tickled Erna’s palms. Then, she realized that his voice was smooth like honey. The moment her worries about whether he’d be disappointed in her disappeared, Kalion suddenly put something in front of her.
“Eat this,” he ushered.
“What is… this?”
Kalion handed her a plate filled with something. Wondering what it was because the light was not bright, when she brought it close to her face, she smelled something savory and sweet.
Kalion hesitated while putting the plate in Erna’s hand. That’s when she found out there were various snacks on it.
She couldn’t figure out how in the world he’d gotten these, so when she stared blankly at him, Kalion said, hesitating, “They say that sweets are good for menstrual cramps.”
“…You brought these?” asked Erna.
“Yep,” Kalion replied, rather proud.
“Yourself?” asked Erna again, in disbelief.
Erna’s eyes fell on the plate again. On it were so many snacks that it wouldn’t even take her a week to eat all of them.
Oh my, did he clean out the entire city? Erna wondered, feeling a strange tingle on her heart.