I’m a Soon-to-be Father
Angelina, who sat opposite me, suddenly commented, “Are you sure about going to the South together with Veirya? Going to a warzone with your newlywed life, now that’s innovative.”
I developed a fear of being alone with Angelina in the recent days because I always had an alarming feeling that she’d lay her hands on me out of the blue. It was terrifying feeling… Nonetheless, she sounded normal when she asked the question.
Any mother would be worried to see her daughter around danger, wouldn’t she? I was aware that Angelina wanted to talk me out of it, but I knew that I couldn’t refuse because Veirya made the decision for me already. I had to go with her when she had set her mind to it.
I learned way back that trying to stop Veirya was a fruitless endeavour, so the only option was to help her. As her husband, I had to help her accomplish what she wanted unless she told me to gamble or offer myself up as a scam victim.
Angelina snickered: “God forbid I ever know where your loyalty to this nation comes from. You’re not even a member of the nation; all you received was a count rank and a house. Is that all your wife and child cost? Have you forgotten what a real war is? You think war is a walk in the park? Do you seriously think that Veirya is impregnable to blades? Did you forget about her injury last time?”
“Our goal isn’t to stick bullets and blades in people as a means of ending the war. Our approach is talking it out with them,” I explained.
I felt the need to explain the matter to Veirya’s mother while she was still in mother mode. The plan wasn’t to send Veirya into battle but to talk it out with the indigenous people as well as making sure the businessmen in the South remained loyal to the empire. In fact, that last one was the most important step. I could decide whether or not we’d have to face danger without subjecting ourselves to the terror of a battlefield.
“Pfft, if the businessmen in the South were the insurgents, then I wouldn’t question your ability to resolve it, but you’re going to be negotiating with demon-like beings. You think those barbarians will be willing to talk with you? If you ask me, you and Veirya are marching to your own deaths. They’d be more than happy to see you offer yourselves up on your own accord. That’d save them the trouble of searching the entire world for you.”
Angelina’s statements rendered me hesitant. I must confess that I was worried about what she mentioned as I wasn’t sure that the indigenous people would be open to talks. She was correct in saying that I was offering myself to the enemy. Veirya and Sisi didn’t have any information, meaning we didn’t know squat about the enemy. Negotiations are goal-based. You can’t talk with uncivilised and irrational people.
“Still, I must go. Queen Sisi ordered us to go. Plus, Veirya offered to go. Don’t worry, Angelina. Veirya is my wife now. I’ll be sure to treat her right. I’ll protect her whenever we go out. I promise.”
I garnered a snicker from Angelina, who had unconvinced written all over her face. I doubt anybody would believe I could protect Veirya. If I was to be honest, I didn’t want to believe I could, either… I knew that I couldn’t protect her, as matter of fact… At most, I could run with her when all hell broke loose… Even so, I was confident I could talk it out with them.
“I’m done bothering with you two. I can’t stop you, either. Actually, Veirya never listened to me, anyway.” Angelina rested her chin on her hand. “There’s nothing I can do, then. I’m going to have to stay home and take care of everyone else, huh? Stay safe in the South. Always bear in mind that those barbarians aren’t civilised as we are, so don’t always trust yourself. When it’s time to run, run. You have a family now, so running is nothing to be ashamed of.”
“I think I can understand why those with major accomplishments to their names didn’t have a family, and their parents were dead.”
My hand subtly quivered. There was a part of me that wondered how to flee when it came to it instead of being fully confident and aggressive in the face of challenges. I no longer had the courage to gamble everything I had because what I had was too precious to me.
“Well, since you have a family, running is justified,” remarked Angelina, with a tender smile. “Those who can give up their family are called heroes. Those who don’t want to are called ordinary folk.”
“I was never a hero in the first place. I always have and still am just an ordinary man.”
I got up and went to the stairs, where I coincidentally saw Veirya coming down, holding her belly and with a pallor countenance. I rushed up to help her and questioned, “What’s wrong, Veirya? Are you not feeling well? Did you eat something bad at dinner?”
“No… I don’t know. What it is. I just feel. Nauseous. All of a sudden. And I feel nauseous. Every morning recently. I vomited. What I just ate. I think. I need to see Lucilia.”
“I… I’ll go get Lucilia!” I exclaimed, wondering, “Veirya suffered an abdomen wound before. Is this some lingering issue? There’s nothing more important than Veirya’s well-being. I must protect her. Lucilia shouldn’t have returned to the forest. Wait up, Veirya.’
“You can save yourself the trouble. I reckon it’s about time,” verbalised Angelina, looking absolutely calm. She grabbed Veirya’s hand and assured, “Don’t panic. Veirya doesn’t get sick that easily. She rarely has any ailments, so don’t worry.”
Veirya and Angelina went upstairs. Before I could start panicking again, Angelina came back down to inform, “Congratulations, Lin Dongqing. You will be a father soon.”
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