< — Everything is as it should be — > (1)
On the day of the King’s royal birthday feast, the Queen showed up at an official occasion after a very long interval. Using the excuse of maternal stability, the Queen stayed indoors after the death of her brother, and rumors spread that perhaps the Queen had lost her child due to shock and was lying down at home in heartbreak.
However, the rumors were negated when the Queen appeared, calmly holding her bulging stomach that almost seemed mountainous. The noblewomen scrambled to approach Beth and gave her their greetings.
Lucia also approached Beth. The two of them had not met for a few months as well.
Lucia inwardly felt sorry towards the Queen. Her husband said that the Queen would not know that Roy had disguised himself as a dead man and escaped. She was much better off not knowing that, but seeing as the Queen was unaware of the exact details and suddenly lost her brother, she would be in pain because of the loss.
Lucia was even more sorry that she couldn’t comfort the grieving heart of the Queen, who had to undergo this while she was pregnant.
“Have you been well, Your Royal Highness?”
“Duchess, how have you been as well? It has been a long time.”
Beth’s voice was soft, unlike Lucia’s fear that the Queen would confront her sharply. Seeing the Duchess cautiously revealing an apologetic look, Beth smiled.
‘What has this person done wrong?’
After losing her brother, Beth resented the Duchess for a while. It wasn’t because she thought that the Duchess had done something wrong, but because it was just a time when she resented everyone involved.
Her father had come to see her as she was confined to bed in despair and he looked like he had aged ten years. Seeing him, Beth thought that her father was also suffering from the pain of losing his son, but her father told her a slightly different story from what she had guessed.
“You should forget about it now, Your Royal Highness. That boy…he did something, that’s why he ended up like that.”
“What…Father. What in the world are you talking about?”
“I cannot tell you the exact details. Just know that that boy, David, did not die without blame. You are carrying a precious royal body within you. Don’t be too distressed and pull yourself together.’
After giving a long sigh, her father said:
“It seems your foolish father did not do well in acting as a father.”
Beth saw the years from the dropped shoulders of her father as he turned around. In that moment, he was not her always strong and reassured father. As she continued to dwell on the words that her father left for her, Beth felt a little resentful of her late brother.
‘How is it that until you die, you drive a nail into the hearts of the people left behind?’
Beth thought of her baby and tried to shake off her brother’s death, little by little. Katherine, whom she thought she wasn’t in a very fond relationship with, came to see her everyday and offered her a lot of comfort.
When she felt the first movements in the womb after refraining from external activities and focusing on her child, Beth shook off all the remaining negative sediments in her heart. Her heart as a mother, wished to convey only beautiful thoughts to her yet to be born child.
“I’ve gained quite some weight, haven’t I? When you carry a child, your body changes like this.” (Beth)
“Rather, you look more at ease.” (Lucia)
“Indeed. These days, I feel at ease. My child is also having fun inside.”
“When are you expecting?”
“There is about a month left. Now that I think about it, it’s around time to hear the news from you, Duchess. I believe it’s been two years since you’ve been married?”
Lucia smiled faintly and glanced at Beth’s swollen belly.
‘How does it feel to have another life growing inside of you?’
Lucia was curious about the feeling that she had never experienced in her dream and would probably never experience in reality. She had heard that as a baby grew, they would move and kick inside. How did that feel, too?
She heard that the pain of childbirth was terrible enough to die. There was also no small amount of women who had things go wrong after giving birth to a child. It was a life-risking experience for a woman to give birth to a child.
‘Even then, it’s fine. I think I can bear any pain.’
Lucia looked at her husband, who was standing some distance away, talking with the king and a few nobles. He had never once brought up the topic of a child.
‘Does he still not want a child?’
Maybe it was because it was peak spring and the weather had gotten distinctly warmer. The rustling spring breeze wove into Lucia’s heart, shaking it up.
She wanted to have a child. She wanted to lovingly carry his child and become their mother after giving birth. ‘Should I take the infertility cure without telling him?’ she had thought about this a few times. She knew that the two of them were still young and had a lot of time left. But Lucia felt that the days passing by were a pity.
“I heard that His Majesty is pushing for the marriage of the princesses remaining in the palace.”
“I heard that too. Exactly how many princesses are still remaining in the palace?”
From being occupied with the thought of a child, Lucia’s interest was instantly shifted as she concentrated on the topic of the clamoring noblewomen.
Hugo acted like he was listening to the person chattering at his side while he searched for his wife with his eyes. He didn’t like the customary practice of men and women gathering separately to discuss.
He wanted to keep his wife by his side, but the problem was that nobody else was doing that. And his wife didn’t like standing out.
Sometimes, he checked on her. It was something like a habit. If he couldn’t spot her for a long time, he got needlessly nervous. He saw her gaze shift somewhere momentarily as she talked with the noblewomen.
At first, he didn’t care, but after seeing her do it a few times, he wondered what she was looking at and followed her gaze. The queen stood where his wife was looking at.
‘Is she still bothered about the things from a few months ago?’
He was worried that his wife had still not forgotten about the incident behind David’s death.
But after looking more closely, he realized that she was not looking at the Queen but slightly lower, at the noticeably prominent stomach of the Queen.
Suddenly, it felt like a bang resounded through his ears.
 I used ‘Your Royal Highness’ instead of ‘Your Highness the Queen’ as I’ve been using.
 Her father is Duke Ramis.
Hear news: about time to hear news of Lucia’s pregnancy.
***The next one is…twice as long ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).
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