Chapter 10 – Epilogue Bridge
First Published on Ainushi
How long was I asleep for?
I raised my sluggish body up slightly and looked around.
While rubbing my eyes, I tilted my head and asked aloud.
「…Eh? Where am I?」
At the edge of my vision was a glass window.
While that might be common in my previous world, it is a considerably rare luxury item in this world.
It isn’t something I would have in my house.
(It sucks to be poor~)
As that thought crossed my mind, I stuck my finger into my ears.
It’s an action unbefitting an aristocratic lady, but I did it anyway because there’s a terrible buzzing in my ears.
I am no longer a member of the aristocracy anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
Mimosa-chan noticed that I’ve woken up and came over.
She seems to be saying something but the buzzing in my ears drowned out her words.
I’ll just nod for now and pretend that I understood.
Honestly, there are more pressing matters at hand.
Namely, where is this?
Not noticing what Mimosa-chan was hugging gingerly, I looked out of the window.
Mimosa-chan, please keep it down.
Without voicing my thoughts, I concentrated on an object beyond the window.
Nn? There’s… something there.
I narrowed my eyes and tried to discern its identity.
「Is that a well..?」
It is, isn’t it? That’s the well I always draw water from.
Which means, this is the church…
My mind is fully awake now.
Oh right. I came here to deliver… My baby!
I abruptly tore my eyes from the window and looked towards Mimosa-chan.
I finally noticed it.
That something in her hands. Is that? Could it be?
I leaned forward in a panic and peered into her bosom.
There was an infant there, with fluffy golden hair wrapped in white and soft cloth. He seems to be asleep and his tightly shut eyelids twitched slightly from time to time. He seems to be breathing properly as his nose let out a slight whistling sound.
Aah- it’s alive, it’s moving! Ah-chan!! No, wait. Aria…
「Areido….? It’s a manly and cool name!」
Since it’s not a she, Aria-chan is out of the question and that makes him Areido-kun!
Back when the buzzing sound prevented me from hearing what Mimosa-chan was saying, I pretended to understand her and responded haphazardly.
Mimosa-chan knew that if my child was a girl, she would be named Aria. Since it turned out to be a boy, she had then asked me right after I woke up what would I name him.
How did I reply…?
That’s right, I was looking at the well outside the window and said 『Is that a well..?』*
(TL note: literally “Are, ido..?”)
…This is so cruel.
I have no idea how I’m going to reply if he asks me for the origin of his name in the future.
Yep, this is bad. He will definitely end up straying from the right path!
Inwardly sweating in panic, I faced Mimosa-chan with the intention of changing his name.
「Onee-sama, do you want to hug him?」
She asked cutely.
I reflexively replied enthusiastically.
Mimosa-chan’s cuteness is part of the reason, but so is the fact that it’s my precious child.
Even though I’m his mother, I still have not hugged him.
This is a problem. A big problem. A grave problem.
That’s why I have to hug him immediately as his mother.
I sprang up from the futon and spread my arms to receive the baby in Mimosa-chan’s hands.
「Gently, okay? Gent~ly.」
Carefully, carefully, I gently received him.
He’s heavy. To think that something this heavy came from my belly.
「Fuwa~ so soft…」
That’s right, he’s extremely soft!
I rubbed my cheeks against his squishy ones.
I have no idea why this feels so good, but this might just be what bliss is.
「You are not supporting his neck, be careful okay?」
While I was dazedly indulging in his comfortable cheeks, Mimosa-chan worriedly warned me.
I obediently ceased what I was doing. (But I will definitely continue this afterwards!)
I apologised while tapping my forehead against his.
Aah- I can’t help it. My son is the absolute cutest.
Even if he does resemble a monkey a little.
「He’s not a monkey! He’s Areido-kun! Onee-sama, you named him yourself!」
I had not intended to say it out loud, but it must have slipped out of my mouth.
I murmured his temporary name countless times.
Areido, Areido, Areido…
Now that I consider it properly, it does seem like a pretty good name.
How should I put it – it sounds very protagonist-like.
Oh yeah, his father’s name is Astrandel, isn’t it?
It has not crossed my mind in such a long time that I have almost forgotten.
But still, to think of it at this particular moment? It feels like fate. How romantic of me.
For some reason, the name sounds similar.
I never intend to meet that guy ever again. It’s a name that will not concern me ever again.
In that case, this name might be tied to the hands of fate.
Even if it’s a misunderstanding stemming from『Is that a well..?』
Areido, Areido, Areido…
Once again, I murmured his name repeatedly.
It’s an extremely fitting name.
Yep, let’s stick with ‘Areido’.
Mimosa-chan seemed to have fully accepted the name as well.
If he asks me about the origin of his name in the future, I can just say that it’s from his dead Otou-san’s name? That should work.
I like it.
I love you.
My sole precious treasure.
The instant I thought so, I felt that the male part of my identity that had so persistently stuck with me all this time completely vanished.
I was no longer a young girl who was a man in her past life, but Areido’s mother who bore the pain of child-delivery.
It might be proof of my awareness as a mother whilst carrying Areido in my arms.
That’s right, I am now Areido’s Mama after all!
「Ah! That’s right! Breast-feeding! When should I do it…?」
「He has already been fed by another child’s mother, you know?」
「Nna!? It’s not just the first hug, but even first breast-feeding has been taken… how depressing.」
「In that ca-case…I’ll drink it instead!」
「…eh? That’s no good. My breasts are small, so not much will come out. Probably.」
「Eh~ I want it!」
「Even if you say that…come on」
「Breast milk, I want to drink breast milk!」
Mimosa-chan somehow started making a fuss, but Areido-kun showed no signs of waking up despite all that noise.
Areido-kun aside, is Mimosa-chan experiencing that?
The eldest child wanting to be spoiled by their parents after the second child is born.
She looked at me with teary upturned eyes.
…yep, it’s my loss.
「Nn alright! Just what should I do with you. Just a little bit, okay?」
Whilst still carrying Areido-kun, I exhibited an incredible sense of balance and undid my tunic, exposing my pale and swollen breast. Mimosa-chan grinned widely.
Aah geez! Mimosa-chan is so cute!
「You can’t drink too much, okay? Just a little bit, okay?」
But, I won’t forget to warn her. She might drink everything otherwise.
Mimosa-chan seems to understand my concerns and replied energetically.
Then, as if brushing aside Areido-kun who was in my arms, she hugged me and gently sucked on my breast.
A fluffy feeling enveloped me.
Not only do I have a friend, I now have a cute son as well.
Aah- isn’t this the stairway to happiness.
Glancing at the head of the bed, I see the『charm』.
(Nn, Kaa-san. I’m fine. I can attain happiness here.)
The dazzling light from the windows seem to give their blessings to Areido-kun and I.
I feel… extremely, extremely fortunate…
Definitely more so than when I was an aristocratic lady.
Definitely more so than when I was the King’s concubine.
I quietly reported to my mother of my previous life.
Now that I think about it, should I inform my parents of this life as well~?
I have to get to it someday, but it doesn’t have to be today.
I have a feeling that something bad will happen if I were to contact them carelessly.
More importantly, I had to pay a suspiciously large amount of money because a lot of recovery magic was cast on me, apparently. The bill made me speechless…. But this is a story for another time.
「Ah- Nee-sama really is like a cat…」
Holy Mother Ria’s sacred relic is a small bag with mysterious symbols.
She carried it with her at all times in the short 48 years that she lived. The only time it left her was when Emperor Areido’s wife, Seldiana, was delivering her first child.
There are surviving records saying that Empress Seldiana had been moved to tears when Holy Mother Ria had personally handed the small bag to her. The bag was then returned to the Holy Mother post delivery.
The common opinion now is that the small bag with mysterious symbols was passed down from her beloved, King Astrandel the Second, the last King of Makugaia.
In that case, is this not the artifact that God bestowed upon the First Hero, the artifact said to be lost to history?
It is thought that the mysterious symbols that remain undecipherable to this day are the words of the forgotten language from the age of Gods.
The symbols surely carry the meaning of warding the possessor of this artifact against misfortune.
After Holy Mother Ria passed away, Emperor Areido personally used his eternal freezing spell to enshrine her sacred relic behind the throne, alongside the holy sword.
And here we are today, on the yearly public showing of the artifact. The symbol of everlasting love and – as a result of Empress Seldiana’s story – safe child-delivery.
This wraps up the story. Like the name 『Epilogue Bridge』implies, this chapter is to tie this prequel with the oneshot.
I plan to include 2 more side stories of when Ria is pregnant.
Why did the chuunibyou patient, Ria, not believe in magic even when she reincarnated in another world?
The reason will be revealed then.
To all my readers, thank you very much for your support.