Hestia prepared another carriage as soon as Kaelus came to work at the palace.
“I heard that the members of the family unpacked at the Lily Palace.”
If so, she had to enter the Lion Palace quietly without facing anyone at the Lily Palace. The Lion Palace is also a place where Helios and Kaelus come and go from time to time, so she had to be careful.
The carriage came to a standstill. Hestia got off carefully with help the whole time. Because she was heavy with pregnancy, she walked as slowly as possible.
She asked the attendant who followed her.
“Is Diana in his majesty’s room?”
“Tell her I’d like to meet her for a while.”
Hestia sat in the quiet garden outside the palace. It was refreshing to get some fresh air after a long time.
“Nothing has changed here either.”
She waited while humming a little, and soon she heard the sound of stepping on the grass.
Now Hestia’s status is much higher than that of Diana. She didn’t get up on purpose and greeted Diana.
“…It’s been a long time, duchess.”
Diana looked up straight at Hestia. There must be a child of Kaelus in her round belly.
A vague feeling of confusion. But Diana didn’t show it.
Hestia had a most tender smile.
“How long has it been? It’s been almost three years since the two of us met…”
“I have to go back to his side, so hurry up and say something.”
Diana looked stiff as if she would not be drawn into Hestia’s provocation.
“Well, I’m not here to fight today. You don’t have to be too nervous.”
Hestia smiled leisurely.
“I was just curious. What are you thinking these days?”
“Do I really need to tell you?”
Diana still has a sharp reaction. Her animosity was unabated.
“Oh, my God. I’m definitely hated.”
Diana sighed briefly.
“I don’t want to talk to you for long. I’m going to tell you quickly because you’re curious about how I’m doing.”
Hestia clearly felt Diana’s discomfort. Indeed, from Diana’s point of view, it was natural that she eventually stepped down as crown princess as Hestia wanted.
“Are you curious about my thoughts on Heli’s remarriage? I hope he lives happily. I want to welcome someone who can handle her duties well as a crown princess more than me as a spouse and take care of state affairs without any burden. This is how I really feel.”
Diana raised her chin.
“Isn’t your revenge over? What do I still have left?”
Hestia opened her face gently.
“It sounds like you didn’t want to divorce Helios, but you forced yourself to do it because of me. Why do you blame me so much for your choice?”
“I’m still think you aren’t right.”
Instead of answering Hestia’s question, Diana said with a determined look.
“That’s why I’m going to keep trying. To prove you’re wrong.”
She knew she wasn’t very moral herself. The reason why she acted in such a way even though she knew it was immoral was because of the notion that this place was just a novel, not reality, and her affection for Kaelus.
As expected, Diana had no choice but to think she doesn’t know the world well yet. People don’t commit dishonesty because they don’t know what’s moral, but they know and choose the path intentionally.
“Alright, Diana. I hope you find the answer.”
As soon as Hestia’s words were finished, Diana turned her back on her. Then she walked out firmly as if she had nothing to see again.
Hestia sighed bitterly.
“Diana is still the same.”
This is why the character setting must be three-dimensional. How are you going to live in this tough world from now on if it’s that simple? To worry, to not worry, sprang to mind.
She quietly left the garden of the Lion Palace.
While out for the first time in a while, Hestia headed for the imperial library. If she ran into Kaelus, it would be enough to excuse that she came out because she was bored.
While walking, the passerbyers – noticed her little by little walking, revealing her bulging belly. Hestia also answered with a small silence.
“Duchess Hestia. Long time no see.”
“Yeah. I’m too busy staying at home.”
She exchanged such simple conversations with a familiar face.
There was a person who saw her from a distance. It was a woman with soft brown hair and green eyes.
“Who’s that? Everyone’s way of dealing with her is extraordinary….”
“Oh, she is Duchess Hestia.”
The court lady answered politely.
“Oh… that woman…”
The woman named Yuno, the new crown princess nominee, looked at Hestia with interest.
Someone who was waiting for Yuno added.
“There’s a saying in this capital that no one else should turn the duchess into an enemy. She’s also the one that the crown princess feared the most.”
Helios told her that he would also arrange for a seat with the duchess as soon as possible. The Duke Kaelus was Helios’ best friend, and his wife Hestia was once his aide.
“You don’t have to say your first greeting now…”
Yuno murmured as Hestia caught her eye.
Shortly thereafter, Kaelus dined with Hestia and delivered Helios’ words.
“Heli wants to introduce his in-laws and prospective spouses.”
“Hmm, I thought it was time.”
Hestia nodded expressionlessly.
“I heard she’s already met his majesty.”
“Oh, so Diana was there, too? Someone must have been there to watch over her, right?”
“Even so, he can’t get Diana to join him. It seems that the servant of the Lion Palace was with his majesty.”
Kaelus laughed in vain. Hestia asked with pure curiosity.
“Have you ever met the new crown princess nominee?”
“No, I don’t go near the Lily Palace very often. But I heard that the young lady often takes a walk inside the palace.”
“There’s a chance you’ll run into each other.”
“Yeah, but we’ve managed not to cross paths so far.”
Kaelus smiled lightly and added.
“It hasn’t been long since the crown princess nominee’s family arrived in the capital, but there seems to be quite a few nobles who have already met them.”
The Lily Palace where Yuno stayed was full of gift packages every day. From the moment the family appeared in the capital, starting with a huge gift of art by Countess Erinnis, the aristocrats of the capital rushed to send expensive items.
The atmosphere is quite different from when Diana became the crown princess. For now, it was good to say that the nobles were welcoming the new crown princess.
Hestia tilted her head with a strange smile.
“It’s definitely different from when it was Diana. What are people expecting?”
“If I had to put it in a good way, I want her to be a person who communicates well with them.”
Hestia’s body became heavier day by day. That’s how powerful the fetal movement was.
“Are you really a son?”
When I looked at the belly, I could see it wriggling. What made me angry was that even if I shouted for Kaelus every time, they became quiet again when Kaelus ran.
“I guess you don’t want to show me you kicking.”
Kaelus murmured sullenly.
The doctor said that babies can be born at any time during this period, so she should be especially careful. On his advice, Kaelus stayed in the mansion without going out to the palace unless it was quite a matter. It was because he was worried that Hestia’s water would break.
As the two of them were spending time in the study, butler Uross came in with a letter.
“You got a message from the imperial palace.”
Kaelus immediately accepted the envelope.
“Helios sent it. Finally, let’s have dinner with young lady Yuno.”
“Oh, really? What’s the date?”
To Hestia’s question, he answered without taking his eyes off the letter.
“Tell her I’ll always adjust to her physical condition. You were very considerate of me when it came to introducing my prospective spouse.”
“Well, that’s a bit of a burden. What would young lady Yuno think of this?”
Hestia said in an embarrassing tone. But Kaelus shook his head.
“She’s still the daughter of a marquis. Besides, you’re a duchess and a pregnant woman close to birth. I think there are enough reasons to be considerate.”
“Is that so….”
If Kaelus was fine, it’s fine. Hestia decided not to dwell on it.
“Then let’s have dinner tomorrow. The gift for the young lady is from Attica, so you can say that.”
“Okay, I’ll reply like that.”
Kaelus followed Hestia’s will without hesitation.
The next day, Hestia and Kaelus arrived in front of the Lion Palace. The servants of the Imperial Palace moved a large package of gifts from the couple’s mansion, whining.
Except for young lady Yuno, her family members came to the small banquet hall of the main palace first. As Kaelus and Hestia entered, they rose from their seats with dignity and welcomed them.
The marquis couple had a son and a daughter. The daughter who was to be Helios’ wife soon, and the son who was to inherit the status of the marquis. They were an honest military family who had never dipped their feet in the political arena.
Hestia said with a smile.
“Young lady Yuno seems to be coming with the crown prince.”
“Yes, it’s her first time attending a dinner as his partner.”
The marchioness replied with a smile.
The fact that Hestia and Kaelus were involved in Helios’ selection of a new crown princess candidate was strictly confidential. It was to prevent unnecessary speculation and quarrels.
For this reason Hestia had deliberately avoided Countess Erinnis when she was questioning her the other day.
After a while, Helios appeared escorting Yuno. The whole party was all courteous.
Hestia looked closely at Yuno, whom she had only seen as a portrait. The actual impression was not very different, but I could see a determined look in her elegant figure. Yuno was beautiful enough, even if it was less noticeable than Diana, the world’s greatest beauty.
“The duke and the duchess’s reputation has also changed. I’m truly glad to see you like this.”
Yuno said with a bright smile.
The dinner was generally held in a soft atmosphere. It was a comfortable atmosphere without tension, even if not a lot of conversations were exchanged without a break.
Yuno looked carefully at Hestia. At first glance, she didn’t seem to be a difficult person to deal with. However, there was definitely something about her, as she was said to be “a person who should never be turned into an enemy.”
“Is the duchess almost due?”
Hestia replied politely to Helios’ question.
“We still have about two months left. But the doctor told me to be careful because my water can break at any time during this time.”
“So I’m staying at home as much as I can to prepare for a situation where it might happen.”
Kaelus also added.
She heard a little about Duchess Hestia. Hestia was said to have taken care of Kaelus, who had been out for a while since Helios’ first wedding. It was a contractual marriage, but now they were one of the best couples in the empire.
Yuno had a lot to ask Hestia.
Just in time, Hestia asked Yuno.
“It’s been a few days since you came to kmperial city, but have you been out of the palace?”
“Oh, I’ve already gone downtown to buy a gift. Thankfully, the Countess Erinnis agreed to be my guide.”
Hestia laughed inwardly. The experienced woman, who was wonderfully timed, has again won the favour of the crown princess-to-be with her exceptional judgment. Even though Hestia’s advice was heard, Erinnis’ ability to act was praiseworthy because she was the one who eventually moved.
“The countess is trustworthy. She’s especially well versed in art.”
“Yes, that’s what it looked like.”
The duke couple, which the marquis family, including Yuno, saw, was a little unique. Even though they were clearly in the middle of the political arena, they seemed strangely detached from the political dispute.
Compared to them, all the nobles were like foxes playing in front of a criminal. No matter how much they gathered and organized, it was enough to crumble at one cough of the duke couple’s.
Yuno said to Helios with a smile on his face.
“It feels a little different from other nobles from how the crown prince treats you.”
Helios answered after glancing at Kaelus.
“Maybe it’s because we’re old friends. We talk comfortably to each other in private.”
Hestia added in a laughable voice.
“Before the wedding, when his highness was away without permission, my husband took over.”
Helios shut his mouth with an expression of many things to say, and Kaelus only smiled faintly.
Yuno was quite surprised. There was only one reason for the crown prince to leave without permission before marriage. And the topic was actually very much related to Kaelus.
It was a past that could be uncomfortable enough for his current wife, Hestia. And yet, she couldn’t believe she could say it so leisurely and jokingly.
It was not long before the dinner was concluded. Kaelus and Hestia said goodbye to Helios and other family members.
“I hope you enjoy your stay in the imperial city.”
After a formal greeting from Kaelus, the couple separated from them and returned home.
Hestia and Kaelus lay in bed and talked about their impressions of Yuno’s family that day.
“It didn’t seem like people who could hold a grudge.”
“I agree. The marquis was a very strong person.”
“Young lady Yuno had a soft atmosphere.”
“That’s right. She doesn’t seem to be a person to be hated.
The two were quietly relieved.
“We must have chosen the right person to be the new crown princess, right?”
“I still don’t see much of a flaw. You can relax for now.”
The responsibility for intervening in the royal family was heavy.
Hestia shook her head.
“The matchmaker said, you need to be good at dining if not, and if not, three cheeks…”*
*TN: drinking alcohol has risks like matchmaking. The matchmaker gets praised if the match goes well but gets ridiculed if it doesn’t
“Is there a saying like that?”
When Kaelus asked in wonder, Hestia answered with a grin.
“That’s what I heard when I was young.”
What happened before she was possessed became her “childhood.” Whenever that happened, Hestia would be lonely for a moment.
However, she decided to take care of the happiness in front of her first. If she lived happily here, hopefully she could go back to her hometown.
Suddenly, Kaelus’ hand touched Hestia’s cheek.
She asked with a quizzical look, and he answered slightly awkwardly.
“The more I think about it, the more fortunate I am.”
Kaelus could not speak quickly and hesitated somehow. Hestia waited patiently.
After a few more hesitations, he managed to open his mouth.
“……that you married me.”
Hestia looked at him with a more confused expression. She’s already confessed several times, but now?
Kaelus stopped laughing.
“In fact, I was going to die that day because I had a crush on Diana. You knew I had another girl in mind, but you decided to marry me at that moment.”
He continued, brushing his fingers fondly through his wife’s black hair.
“It’s not something you can do with ordinary determination.”
Even Hestia did so not for greed for other things, such as wealth, but only with the determination to save Kaelus himself.
Hestia smiled broadly. She knew why Kaelus suddenly said this. He was worried that Helios’ past, where he loved Diana, might become an uncomfortable thorn in his marriage with Yuno in the future.
“But maintaining a marriage is much more important than deciding to get married. Helios and young lady Yuno’s marriage starts with politics, but if they respect each other and communicate well, it will not end like the marriage with Diana.”
Yuno must have hesitated. How could she not have been afraid to marry a man with a raucous past?
But even if love doesn’t go the way it wants, happiness can be made the way it wants.
Helios and Yuno must have realized this enough. Using Diana as a mirror and a lesson from Hestia and Kaelus, they will try not to repeat the mistake.
“They are wise. I’m sure they’ll do well.”
“Phew, that’s right. They’ll live well.”
The couple quietly wished for the happiness of their friends.
A guest came to the duke a few days before the new crown princess-the second wedding of Helios.
Hestia could hardly go out and stayed at home because her fetus was down a lot. So Yuno, the bride-to-be, did not call Hestia to the palace, but stopped in on her own.
“How are you, Duchess?”
“I think the baby is about to come out.…”
Hestia answered Yuno’s worried question with a smile.
Yuno stared at Hestia’s swollen stomach and spoke.
“I don’t know if I should ask the Duchess this….”
“You must be curious about something.”
Yuno’s face turned slightly red.
“I’m afraid… I’m going to have a baby soon.”
To put it bluntly, the reason why Helios chose to remarry was to get an heir. Yuno was also well aware of this.
“…If the former crown princess had a child early, would they have divorced?”
“Well, having a relationship doesn’t mean you’re pregnant right away. It took me years, too.”
At Hestia’s words, Yuno paused and continued.
“…If the former crown princess had given birth to a child early, would they have divorced then?”
“Hmm. Young lady Yuno.”
Hestia somehow felt concern from Yuno.
“There seems to be some fundamental concern, can you tell me if you don’t mind?”
Yuno hesitated and finally confessed.
“I heard that the duchess also started out as a contractual marriage.”
“Haha, that’s right.”
“But now you’re famous for being the strongest couple in this empire. I wonder if I can be like that…”
Hestia understood Yuno’s troubles. Kaelus said something similar the other day.
She asked straightforwardly.
“Do you think he can’t get over Diana?”
Yuno was slightly surprised. It was because Hestia’s way of speaking was quite different from that of the aristocracy.
“The duchess is quite strange to me.”
“Ha ha ha, it‘s because I was a commoner. I tend to speak a little bluntly.”
Hestia reposed herself. Then he asked earnestly.
“Young lady Yuno. Do you love the crown prince?”
Yuno could not immediately reply. But Hestia’s words continued regardless.
“I’m sure you’re very curious about my case. Because I got married in a similar situation to the young lady in a way. Am I right?”
Only then did Yuno understand why people said never to turn Hestia into an enemy. Hestia added sharp insight to the blunt question that could not be avoided in other words.
Hestia gently stroked her swollen stomach.
“My husband didn’t love me from the beginning either.”
“But he respected me as his spouse. That’s how it continues until now.”
Hestia looked straight at Yuno’s green eyes.
“Helios will respect young lady Yuno as an equal spouse. I’m not sure if he’ll love you or not.”
“If the young lady wants love… I’m sorry. I can’t say anything hopeful.”
Hestia said bitterly.
“Helios got burned by that love once. It’s probably not easy to love someone else at the same temperature.”
“There is no guarantee that luck like mine will always come to the young lady. But….”
Hestia smiled softly at Yuno’s gloomy face.
“When respect for each other builds up and builds up, you will realize that at some unexpected moment, it has turned into affection.”
Yuno’s expression brightened up a little.
“The duchess is very honest.”
“Now I thought it would be better to tell the young lady what she really needs rather than what she wants to hear.”
Hestia sighed lightly.
“What the crown prince wants from the new crown princess right now is to give birth to his son as soon as possible. I won’t deny it.”
“But if you just wanted a baby, it doesn’t have to be the young lady. There are definitely more reasons for choosing young lady Yuno.”
Yuno nodded her head still with a thoughtful expression.
“Honestly, as the one who had the most intense confrontation with Diana, I think young lady Yuno is much more suited to the crown princess title than Diana.”
“So don’t be intimidated. The young lady is already recognized by everyone, including Helios.”
Despite Hestia’s words, Yuno did not feel much lighter. In fact, what she really wants is to live like a loving couple like Hestia and Kaelus.
Hestia soon realized the true nature of Yuno.
“Don’t be so impatient. It took me a year to become a real couple with Kael. No, I was lucky because it only took me a year.”
Hestia deliberately brightened her voice.
“I used to enjoy reading romance novels when I was young, but there is a very interesting cliché among them.”
“Have you ever heard of dating after marriage?”
Hestia tilted for a moment. Isn’t this kind of romance still common here in the world? But it doesn’t matter. If they don’t have it, she can create it from now on.
“Anyway, there’s no rule that dating should happen before marriage, right? So did I.”
Yuno nodded bewitchedly.
“The young lady already has the luck of a novel. Is it common to jump from the daughter of a marquis to being a crown princess?”
Hestia looked significantly at Yuno.
“Think of yourself as the heroine of a novel. Imagine that everything in the world exists for the young lady’s happy ending.”
Yuno stared blankly at Hestia. Then she repeated it in her head without realizing it. I’m the heroine. This world is a novel centered on me.
Hestia smiled brightly.
“Please be happy, your highness the crown princess.”
After Yuno returned to the palace, Kaelus slowly approached Hestia.
“What did you talk about so happily?”
“Ha ha, young lady Yuno must have had a lot of thoughts because their marriage is just around the corner.”
Kaelus kissed Hestia affectionately.
“She could sign the marriage papers without thinking about anything else like me.”
“Oh, my. Should I have given her that advice?”
Hestia hit back playfully.
She naturally slipped her fingers through Kaelus’s long fingers.
“Young lady Yuno also longs for a happy marriage. But she was worried that Diana’s shadow might be too dark.”
“Well, she has every reason to worry.”
“But if she knew what the prince’s first marriage was like in general, she would have been afraid of that.”
In fact, Helios had few nice memories of marrying Diana. Their marriage was on thin ice the whole time, as they had to face a vengeful Hestia upon marriage.
Hestia did not directly stir between Helios and Diana. But on the plan she laid out, the two naturally cracked up as the distrust and disbelief buried in their romantic relationship were expressed.
Helios and Diana would not be happy as husband and wife, as was the case before Hestia’s return, it was already scheduled.
Hestia took a slow deep breath. The baby in the stomach grew in size, so she was often out of breath.
“Kael, the baby is slowly coming down. Now I’m worried that my baby might fall out while walking.”
“Well, be careful. Hess.”
Kaelus accompanied Hestia with a worried look.
The doctor speculated that Hestia’s physical condition could lead to a baby within a month. It seemed a little early, but he said it’s not that rare.
He added in a serious tone.
“You must take a walk even if it is heavy, ma’am. Otherwise, it will be difficult.”
Moderate exercise was also a must for pregnant women. Hestia vowed not to neglect her walk, even with the pain of pregnancy.
As the dissolution neared, she was secretly overcome with anxiety. It was because the pain of childbirth, which was learned from books, was at a terrifying level.
“Ugh… I’m scared….”
Once I asked Erinnis in a letter. I asked how much it hurt when she gave birth to a child, and the reply was even more impressive. I’d rather die.
Hestia threw down the reply. I shouldn’t have asked. I just got more scared for no reason.
Meanwhile, Helios and Yuno’s wedding took place. But Hestia was unable to attend. Kaelus also tried to stay at home, but he couldn’t resist Hestia’s convincing and eventually went to the ceremony. Even that was unsettling, so as soon as the ceremony was over and the reception began, he went straight home.
Hestia asked, welcoming Kaelus back quickly.
“How was the ceremony? Everything’s okay?”
“I think it’s because it’s the second time, but Heli himself was much calmer. The size of the party was as big as ever.”
“The crown princess is getting married for the first time, so we have to be considerate. By the way, how was his majesty?”
Kaelus answered Hestia’s question with a gentle smile.
“He barely gave a congratulatory speech. We made the wheelchair according to the sketch you gave me the other day. Thanks to you, he somehow came to the banquet hall.”
“I’m glad my idea worked.”
“How are you? Are you in labor?”
Kaelus quickly changed the subject. The wedding for his friend was over now. More important to Kaelus was his wife’s physical condition, and the birth which was just around the corner.
“It feels like only the uterus is stretched out and there is no labor.”
Hestia tried to answer calmly, then added quietly.
“But I’m a little scared.”
Kaelus held Hestia by the shoulder.
Isn’t it said that the pain of childbirth is the greatest pain a human can experience? It was only natural that Hestia, who was just about to suffer, was afraid.
I wish I was sick instead. Kaelus felt this way every time he saw Hestia’s dark complexion.
“If you don’t mind, shall we walk in the garden together? The doctor said that you need to move your body enough to make it less difficult later on.”
“Yes, that’s good.”
Hestia smiled softly and held Kaelus’ hand.
The duchess had begun full-fledged childbirth preparations.
Hestia’s room was chosen as the birthplace, and a separate bed was prepared to lay the baby. When labor began, it was decided that in addition to the duchy’s doctor, skilled doctors at the private clinic sponsored by Hestia would come running.
Kaelus asked for an experienced midwife and brought her back. The midwife stayed in the mansion in advance and prepared for childbirth before Hestia had labor pains.
Hestia was in a daze. The whole house is working for her alone.
“Everyone is having a hard time because of me…”
“But you’re working the hardest. We’re just helping you.”
Kaelus said, patting his wife on the shoulder.
Helios also heard that Hestia’s birth was imminent.
“I think it’s a little earlier than usual, is it okay?”
“Yes, your highness. It’s not very rare. I don’t think it’s premature.”
Helios was also slightly relieved by the palace’s reliable answer.
“You must be worried for them. Both of them.”
Yuno, who was listening next to him, said carefully.
“To encourage the duchess, shall I go and see her?”
“Oh, will you?”
When Helios was pleased, Yuno smiled and nodded.
“I am grateful to the duchess in many ways. Then I’ll be back, Heli.”
“Thank you. I look forward to your kind cooperation.”
Yuno sent a message to the duchy along the way. Then, as soon as the servant brought the reply, she immediately got into the carriage.
Kaelus asked for her understanding as he greeted Yuno.
“Please forgive me for being a bit messy as the family is about to expand, your highness the crown princess.”
“Oh, don’t mention it. I’m rather sorry for my sudden appearance.”
Yuno found her room with a package of snacks she had brought for Hestia.
Hestia, who was resting by leaning on the sofa, slowly rose.
“Ah, your highness,”
“Well, you can just sit down. Never mind the manners.”
Like Helios, Yuno tended to omit manners in private places. Hestia responded briefly and carefully sat on the sofa.
“How do you feel, duchess?”
“Haha, I’m actually a little scared. I don’t know what kind of unexpected situation will come out because it’s my first birth, and I’m worried about how much it will hurt…”
Hestia confessed frankly. Yuno liked the attitude very much.
“The duchess is very easygoing. That makes me want to open up.”
“It’s not like this for anyone, your grace. That’s how good you are.”
Hestia received Yuno’s words with dignity.
“By the way, I’m sorry I couldn’t see you at the wedding. I was cautious about riding in a carriage, so I had to stay at home.”
“It’s okay. Of course you should put the baby first. I would have done the same.”
Hestia smiled comfortably at Yuno’s generous answer.
“I want to hear how you feel after becoming a crown princess.”
“Well, nothing much has changed. Maybe it’s because I started living in the palace before the ceremony, so it’s not unfamiliar.”
“That’s a relief.”
“But after my parents went back to their territory, it finally hit me. Now this palace is really my home…”
Hestia nodded quietly.
“What about the crown prince? I mean, did anything change after you became a husband and wife from being a marriage partner?”
Yuno’s face suddenly flushed as she had been thinking about it. The wind caused Hestia to chuckle.
“Oh, the bedroom is not normal.”
Yuno was confused with her red face.
“Well, now I understand. That’s what husband and wife means… Whew….”
At this rate, the imperial son will be here in no time. Hestia thought secretly.
If the original novel was rated as an adult with a red label, it would certainly have described the male lead’s overflowing ferocity. The man of romance is the perfect man in the world. Daytime, of course, into the night.
“I’m so glad you seem to be satisfied with your relationship. In fact, some couples get upset because of it.”
“Of course we’re not. I’m grateful.”
Hestia smiled at Yuno’s red face.
“And you’re a newlywed. Your body will be heated by just making eye contact.”
“Ha ha, what’s the matter? We’re both women with husbands!”
Hestia laughed aloud. After laughing like that, I felt like my stomach was pulling.
“No, it’s all right, hmm….”
Hestia tilted her head and rubbed her stomach. Yuno was so scared that she quickly opened the door and called someone.
“Call a doctor!”
“Yes! Your highness!”
The maid waiting outside ran quickly.
The duchy became noisy instantaneously. Hestia murmured with embarrassment.
“It’s just that my stomach is a little tight….”
“But if there’s anything wrong, you’d better tell me right away, ma’am.”
After giving Hestia a warning, the doctor looked back at Kaelus and Yuno.
“Let’s take a look at the baby. Please step away for a moment.”
The two walked out of the room. Yuno said in an apologetic tone.
“I’m making a fuss about the small things because she’s about to give birth…”
Kaelus rather thanked her for that.
“No, it’s better to be sensitive now. I’d rather you have told me right away…”
However, the conversation between the two was interrupted by an unexpected cry.
“Midwife! Call the midwife!”
Kaelus and Yuno froze on the spot.
The midwife and maids rushed after hearing the doctor’s cry. The butler, Uross, quickly sent someone to the clinic. It was to bring in more doctors to help Hestia give birth.
Yuno asked in a dazed voice.
“What’s going on?”
“The baby must be coming out.”
Kaelus said in a calm tone. However, he was also full of questions in his head. The book usually described things like if things would go crazy with the mother’s labor before giving birth!
Clarice, the maid of honor, approached the two.
“Would you like to wait here? I have a separate room next door.”
“Oh, I’ll be here.”
Yuno quickly added to Kaelus’ answer.
“I’ll be here, too.”
Clarice recoiled without further admonition.
Meanwhile, Hestia in the room was also puzzled by what was going on.
“Sir? Why the midwife…?”
The doctor answered with a straight face.
“The cervix is already as open as a fist! Oh, my God, and yet you’re not in labor?”
However, as soon as the words were over, her lower abdomen began to hurt as if she were having diarrhea.
Seeing Hestia’s face frown in an instant made the doctor more urgent.
“I just arrived!”
Holding a basin of clean water, a midwife and a maid appeared. The midwife washed her hands quickly but meticulously, and then checked between Hestia’s legs.
“A baby will come out any minute!”
“You can’t give birth on this sofa, ma’am. Can you move?”
Hestia nodded with a grimace at the urgent question of the doctor.
“We have to get there somehow…!”
Hestia moved to bed almost as if in the hands of other people. It was only then that the labor pains came.
“Madam! Everything goes smoothly when the head comes out. So cheer up a little bit more!”
At the midwife’s words, Hestia strained her lower abdomen with all her might.
The doctor muttered.
“But this isn’t a normal delivery…?”
Hestia managed to squeeze her voice when she heard it.
“This isn’t a smooth birth…? Ahhhh…!”
My stomach hurts like this, but it’s safe to give birth! So, what is the difficult level?*
*TN: it already hurts so much so how much would it hurt for a difficult labor?
In fact, however, childbirth was difficult enough to risk the mother’s life. It was extremely rare that Hestia did not suffer until just before birth.
The lady-in-waiting quickly darkened the room by closing the curtains. It was because she was worried that the room would be too bright for the newborn baby.
And a little later.
“Oh, ma’am! The head is completely out!”
The most painful thing in childbirth was the baby’s head passing through the cervix. However, Hestia overcame the crisis very easily compared to others.
As soon as the baby’s head came out, the rest of the body slid into the midwife’s arm. The baby soon burst into tears.
“Ah! He’s out! It’s a son!”
The midwife’s cry could be heard clearly by Kaelus outside.
“Oh, my God! A boy…!”
Kaelus and Yuno, who were anxiously waiting outside the door for news, exploded in excitement and surprise.
The midwife wrapped her newborn baby in a clean cloth and showed Hestia. The baby, who had been crying in a loud voice until a while ago, quickly calmed down and closed his eyes.
“Good work, duchess. He’s a strong boy.”
Hestia looked into the baby’s face with all her strength drained. Red and wrinkled skin. A head a little bigger than her fist.
Contrary to her imagination, she didn’t think that the baby was very cute or that motherhood exploded as soon as she saw him. Rather, she was first surprised to see if she really had this baby or if it was the baby in her stomach.
The doctor carefully examined the baby with a smile on his face.
“As the midwife said, he’s a very strong boy. Then we’ll leave you with the midwife.”
“You have to feed the baby first milk soon. I will help the duchess.”
The midwife also told Hestia what to do next. Hestia answered with a slow nod.
Outside the room, Kaelus and Yuno washed their hands clean and came into the maternity room. The first thing they saw was something in Hestia’s arms, milking her.
“Your highness, crown princess. Kael.”
Hestia smiled awkwardly and looked at the two.
Yuno came out to drink at the duchy and unexpectedly witnessed Hestia’s birth.
“Really… did you just give birth?”
“Unbelievably, yes, your highness.”
Kaelus looked at Hestia without saying a word. The midwife spoke softly to the father of the baby, who was somewhat awkward.
“Congratulations. Duke, you’ve become the father of Creos.”
Creos was the name he decided to give to his son when he was born. Kaelus’ eyes were filled with tears.
Hestia was puzzled by her husband, who suddenly lowered his head.
The midwife said in a laughing voice to him, who was choked up and unable to speak.
“There is no such thing as a smooth childbirth like that. You two are very blessed.”
Hestia also spoke to Kaelus in a curious tone.
“I didn’t know that a newborn baby had such a strong sucking power.”
Yuno smiled at Kaelus, who was about to cry.
“Then I should go back to the palace as soon as possible and tell him this amazing news. Duchess Hestia, please take good care of yourself and see you later.”
“Yes, I appreciate your presence.”
Hestia said goodbye quite leisurely.
The midwife suggested that Kaelus hug the baby. Kaelus carefully hugged Creos according to the teachings of the midwife. He firmly supported the baby’s neck with one arm and wrapped it around his body.
“You’re pretty stable. You can hug the baby like that from now on.”
After handing over the baby, the midwife left the room for the couple to talk quietly.
Hestia managed to smile even though she was exhausted.
“It hasn’t hit you yet, has it?”
Kaelus answered in a trembling voice as he held the baby.
“…I’m so glad you’re safe.”
The most important thing for him was Hestia’s safety. But, surprisingly, without painful labor, Hestia really gave birth with astonishing ease.
“Ha ha, God must have listened to my prayer. He took pity on this coward, and allowed me to be sick just a little bit.”
“I don’t even know if that really is the case.”
Only then could Kaelus smile faintly.
He confirmed that Creos in his arm was asleep and laid him on the crib with very careful movement.
“Are you feeling well?”
“I don’t have any energy. But other than that, it’s not that different from usual. If there is no problem like this, I’m will be able to live my daily life in three or four days.”
Kaelus sighed quietly.
“A woman’s body is amazing. I can’t believe you’ve done such a great job and recovered so quickly.”
“It would have been different if it had been difficult. I was really lucky.”
Hestia was replying and suddenly giggled.
“People said it’s definitely a son, but I really gave birth to a son.”
“Oh, that’s right.”
Kaelus only laughed after her.
“I will be a better husband and a better father from now on, Hess.”
“Me, too. Kael.”
The eyes of the two went to the sleeping Creos. And then we went back to each other. A series of affectionate kisses.
It was their first day as parents.
The news that Hestia gave birth to Prince Creos* with tremendous success quickly spread to the capital. From that day on, the duchy was flushed with gifts.
*TN: the children of dukes and duchess’ are called princess and princesses
Thanks to an errand sent by the duke, news of Hestia’s birth was soon reported to both Illion and Attica. Commoners held a festival with great joy.
Kaelus himself visited the emperor and informed him of his birth. Despite his usual back-and-forth rituals, the emperor managed to come to his senses and congratulate him at this moment.
“He’s like my grandson. Show me his face, Kael, when he’s a hundred days safe.”*
*TN: there’s a Korean celebration called Baek-il which is the celebration of an infants’ 100 days on earth
“I will do that for sure. Your Majesty.”
Kaelus was terribly sorry. In the face of the birth of a new life, someone’s life was slowly dying.
Diana, who was sitting next to the emperor, watched the two with mixed feelings.
Everyone but her moved forward, and only Diana herself felt like she had stopped in place for a long time.
The man who once adored her and purged the Duke Orcus family now has a son with another woman. So he lived a peaceful life that had nothing to do with Diana.
Helios, who chose Diana regardless of his relationship with his friend, pushed for a remarriage as soon as he divorced her. As if there’s nothing to look back on, coldly. Then, under everyone’s blessing, he greeted his new wife.
Why is it that I’m the only one who stops like this way. Diana couldn’t help but ask herself.
Eventually, while Kaelus and the emperor were talking, she quietly stepped out of the room.
Although Hestia was determined to prove the right way to live, she did not have a willingness to move. It was not as easy as it was then to act on what was promised, as it was in the early stages of marriage.
“Is this what you call ‘disappointment’…?”
Diana realized that instead of caring about the outside world, she had to take care of her inner self more.
Even when she was a saint, she met many people who were so depressed. They couldn’t get any comfort from words and get out of their depression. Just like Diana now.
When she was so lost in her thoughts, Kaelus finally came out.
Diana gave a brief congratulations.
“Congratulations on your birth.”
After a ceremonial reply, Kaelus moved away from her.
Even without Diana, these other people live their lives well. The world is truly indifferent. They didn’t look back on her while she stopped.
When you are lost, you have no choice but to find the answer on your own.
Diana breathed a long sigh. The belated growing pains are very painful.
Helios also talked about Hestia’s birth while drinking tea with Yuno.
“I couldn’t believe it if I hadn’t heard of it myself, that she had just given birth when you visited.”
“I was surprised, too. The duchess didn’t have a clue. She was laughing, and then she said she suddenly felt like her stomachs as pulling, and soon…”
Helios smiled calmly.
“Maybe it’s your blessing, too.”
“Haha, more than that, it’s the Duchess’s blessing. But hopefully, I’ll have a baby with less pain than the Duchess.”
Yuno’s voice was sincerely envious of Hestia.
“I’ll have to ask Hestia the secret later. What she did while she was pregnant.”
“Oh, that’s right. I have to listen to it.”
Yuno responded to Helios’ words and added in a casual way.
“It really seems like she has something special that no one else has.”
Helios was unknowingly horrified. Hestia was literally a very special being. Isn’t she the only regressor in the world that exists – a transmigator, but no one knows?
“She’s a commoner, but she’s quite recognized by other nobles… she was your assistant a few years ago, and she’s definitely a great woman.”
“…Yes, that’s right. She’s an amazing person.”
Helios tried to respond as if nothing had happened.
Although Diana was born as a commoner, Hestia’s actions were quite different from Diana’s.
Instead of demanding “justice” and “moral” like Diana, Hestia respected the worldview of others. Even if it is not a desirable notion.
Hestia was interested in the concrete ‘human’, but Diana focused on the abstract ‘justice’. As a result, Hestia got what she wanted, and Diana failed.
“I should send a present to Prince Creos, is there anything appropriate? I can’t think of anything.”
Helios has returned from conception to reality.
Yuno rolled her eyes as if she were thinking hard.
“I want it to have a deeper meaning than a physical value. For example, like a congratulatory poem that I wrote myself.”
“Oh, that’s nice”
This is how the present from the crown prince and his wife was decided.
Baby Creos grew up with the love of his parents and the attention of the duchy people.
The baby had already been born 100 days. People heartily congratulated the duke’s baby on safely overcoming its most vulnerable period and celebrating its 100th day in good health.
Kaelus sat next to Hestia, who was breast-feeding Creos.
“The emperor wanted to see the baby.”
“I thought you should see him soon. Fortunately, Creos is healthy, so wouldn’t it be okay to take him out?”
As the couple agreed, Creos’ preparations for the outing proceeded quickly. Kaelus asked the emperor to meet the duke’s family, and soon obtained permission.
The news that the duke and his wife were going on a royal outing with Prince Creos quickly spread to society. Thanks to that, the imperial palace was crowded with nobles on the day the couple visited the emperor.
Soon the duke’s carriage arrived in front of the Illion’s palace. All the eyes of the nobles who wandered around were on the wagon.
With cheers from the crowd, Hestia and Kaelus got out of the carriage. Creos was not with a babysitter, but firmly in the arms of his father, Kaelus.
Black hair resembling Hestia and purple eyes like Kaelus. Although he was a baby just 100 days old, Creos already showed unusual beauty.
“Congratulations on your 100th day!”
“What a pretty and cute boy!”
Hestia returned the words of blessing with a smile.
“Thank you, everyone. Thanks to you, I’ve been healthy.”
The couple briefly received greetings from the nobles in front of the Lion Palace, and soon went inside.
It was as quiet as ever around the emperor’s bedroom. Diana, who was nursing the emperor, left her seat in advance and did not encounter the duchess.
Hestia and Kaelus carried Creos to the emperor.
“Your majesty, I have brought my son.”
The emperor, who closed his eyes as if he were asleep, slowly opened his eyes to the voice of Kaelus.
“Oh… you’re here, Kael….”
“You should see the son of your second son. He’s healthy like this.”
Kaelus sat down right next to the emperor, holding him so that the emperor could see him well.
The emperor managed to turn his head and look at Creos.
“Yes, we named him Creos.”
“Creos… That’s a nice name.”
Hestia was about to cry. Despite the dying life, she was moved to tears by the emperor’s blessing of Kaelus’ child.
Kaelus also said in a slightly trembling voice.
“Now that you’ve met Creos, shouldn’t you wait for your own grandchild to be born? Until then, please stay healthy.”
The emperor smiled helplessly.
“Yes, as you wish, I hope I can hold out until then.”
“I’m sure you will, your majesty.”
The emperor turned his eyes to Hestia.
“Hestia, it’s all thanks to you. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to meet Kael and his son like this.”
“I’m sorry, your majesty…”
“Please take care of him and Creos in the future. Above all, you have to be healthy. The lives of those two are closely connected to you…”
“I’ll keep in mind what you’ve told me to do. May your majesty recover soon.”
In the end, the emperor did not answer, even with empty words. Instead, before he ran out of energy, he held baby Creos’ hands with difficulty.
“Creos. In the future, you will be a star before all the people in the world, just like your name. May you be the right guide to all who wander.”
Kaelus and Hestia were greatly moved by the emperor’s wishes.
“Everything will come true as your majesty’s wish.”
That’s how the Emperor’s last audience ended.
Within days after the presence of the duke and duchess, the emperor died in silence as if he were asleep.
The whole empire was lost in grief. People calmly mourned the emperor’s death.
At the end of the emperor’s funeral, Helios was finally crowned emperor of the empire. Yuno who also became an empress, took the honor.
Even more fortunate, Yuno became pregnant with the prince as soon as she was crowned Empress. People said the deceased emperor sent his last gift to his son and his wife.
Hestia personally visited the palace to congratulate Yuno.
“Genuinely congratulations, your majesty.”
“Thank you, Hestia.”
Yuno smiled broadly and touched her still flat stomach.
“I started having morning sickness. I’m not good at eating food.”
“This is the time when I felt most tired. You need to get plenty of rest so that the fetus can settle down.”
“Phew, that’s what the palace doctor said. This is the most sensitive time…”
Hestia reassured her by Yuno’s worried tone.
“Take it easy, your majesty. They say that babies feel their mother’s feelings.”
“Oh, right? Yeah, I should only think of good things…”
Yuno shook her head to shake off the negative emotions.
“How’s Prince Creos doing? How is he these days?”
“Now he sleeps quite a long time even at night. Still, I have to get up every three or four hours and give him milk.”
“This is parenthood. Before that, I woke up almost every hour and could hardly sleep because of the crying.”
“I thought raising a baby was no big deal, but it’s really a lot of trouble…”
Yuno blurted out the end of her words. Hestia’s suffering was soon to be experienced by herself.
“Ha ha, it would have been really hard to raise him alone, but thankfully, there are so many people who help me that I can bear it.”
Hestia was truly giddy just imagining how to raise a single child. How lucky it is to have a baby in a crowded duchy!
“When I first had a baby, I had a lot of hopes. If the baby was pretty, smart, nice…”
She gathered her coffee cups and grinned.
“But as my body got heavier, all the useless thoughts disappeared and there was only one left. Just that the baby was born healthy.”
“Oh, you’re right. The most important thing is to be born healthy.”
Yuno also received the words with a face of enlightenment. Hestia smiled and nodded.
“Yes, the prince in the belly is a gift from his majesty the emperor, so I’m sure he’s healthy.”
“I believe so, too. Whoo….”
While Hestia was meeting Yuno, Kaelus walked with Helios in the garden of the Lion Palace.
Helios gave a brief update on Diana, who nursed the emperor.
“After the emperor died, Diana went back to the temple.”
“I see. I expected it.”
Diana, who was like a thorn between two friends. It took a long time for them to become so comfortable even if she was brought up as a topic.
Kaelus walked alongside Helios.
“How do you feel these days?”
“I’m very lonely without my father.”
Helios answered bitterly to his friend’s question. Even if it was preserved for a long time, what was in the world and what was not was as different as heaven and earth.
“But you have a baby. I think it’s a gift from the emperor so that you don’t feel lonely.”
“Haha, that’s what everyone says.”
Helios laughed quietly.
“And you, too.”
“I mean, you’re like a big present to me. I almost lost your friendship without knowing it was so precious like a fool, but I’m thankful that I got it again.”
“Such useless thoughts…”
Kaelus replied curtly for no reason. Helios continued, regardless.
“I’m serious. I’m still sorry about it. I never noticed your wound.”
“Heli, it’s not a crime that we loved someone at the same time. And it doesn’t hurt me now either.”
Kaelus hoped that Helios would no longer be heartbroken by the old days.
“I feel sorry for you, too, Heli. It’s hard to get a friend, but I cut it off in an instant.”
“No, it was natural for you. I fully understand.”
Kaelus glanced at Helios, then pulled the tip of his lips obliquely up.
“It’s all thanks to Hestia.”
“We have regained this much peace. And everything has found it’s place.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Helios also affirmed the statement.
“Hestia told me I was at odds with Diana before she returned. After all, Diana and I couldn’t walk the same path together until the end.”
“How’s your life now?”
“It’s pretty smooth with Yuno. Values match well, and above all, Yuno has no unnecessary friction with others. So I feel much better.”
“That’s a relief.”
Helios smiled lightly.
“To be honest, everything is stable. I wonder why I couldn’t do this before.”
“I think the war is over in my life now. Well, Kael, you must have been like that before.”
“Ha ha, I won’t deny it. I’ve always been at peace since I was with Hess.”
There was a crisis once, but Kaelus was lucky to get over it by leaving with Hestia to Attica.
Helios asked a short but serious question.
“Kael, you’re happy, aren’t you?””
“Of course. What about you?”
“I’m happy now, too.”
Helios smiled calmly at Kaelus.
Kaelus wished calmly.
“I hope it’ll continue to be as peaceful as it is now. Our lives, and this empire.”
In addition, thank you for all the good fortune that brought this peace.
The two friends walked together.