The Baby Isn’t Yours
With a shake of her head, Kalia pulled away from the tree, holding the precious small crystal bottle in her hand.
“I’m going now.
It’s really time for me to go.
Oh, by the way, if anyone comes back who can see the kids, can you tell them not to talk about me? Just in case.”
The tree answered with another rustle and Kalia smiled up at it one more time.
After saying her goodbyes, Kalia stepped away.
Just a few steps away from the tree, Kalia’s head snapped up and her eyes immediately locked on a figure.
From behind a fluttering linen curtain, a red-haired man looked down at her from his window.
In that moment, Kalia made eye contact with the man who was holding a wine glass in his hands.
Without showing a hint of surprise at having been caught, the man grinned and raised his glass to gulp down the remaining wine.
Though they’d only made eye contact for a few brief moments, Kalia could feel a persistent cold from his gaze.
Kalia looked at him calmly for a few seconds more before lowering the brim of her hat to cover her face.
Then, as if she hadn’t seen him, she calmly climbed into the awaiting carriage.
The red-haired man’s eyes followed Kalia’s figure almost fondly as she got into the carriage.
‘Who is she?’ His rather sharp eyes narrowed under his thick eyebrows.
The woman was wearing a wide-brimmed hat and one couldn’t see her clearly but there was no hiding her slender and beautiful silhouette.
He couldn’t take his eyes off her and watched as she looked at, stroked and talked to the tree as if she held a special affection for it.
The room he was in right now was strategically chosen.
This was where the tree in the square could be best seen.
Anyone in the room could meticulously observe the tree without anything obscuring the view; this was the precise reason why he had specifically chosen this room.
From his window, it was the perfect spot to see if that tree was a real ‘fairy tree’.
Daemon (1) came in after a knock on the door.
“I brought her as requested.”
Behind him, Dimon dragged in a woman with white hair, dark skin, blue eyes and broken wings.
The woman was bawling her eyes out.
Crawling to the man’s feet, she pleaded with red eyes, “Sa-save… save me.”
Buford Adio (2), the man with red hair, looked down at the woman with a smile gracing his face and whispered, “We’re trying to help you.
Now, stand up and look at that tree.”
With strength, Bufordf hulled up the woman’s swaying body and turned her towards the window.
The distraught woman looked with difficulty at the tree, tears streaming down her face.
“…..do you see the fairy?”
The woman scanned the tree with cloudy eyes and shook her head in reply, “No, I can’t see….”
“Oh, Malina, Malina.
If you don’t see the fairy, then all the trouble we went to treating you becomes useless.
Now, look carefully.
Take a closer look,” the man’s whisper dripped with a poisonous sweetness.
He glanced at Daemon who was standing by the side.
Hearing his words, she took a deep breath before chanting a spell beneath her breath.
Soon, a flash of lightning struck the tree.
Just as the lightning was about to strike the tree, something like an opaque shield materialized out of thin air and wrapped itself around the tree, immediately deflecting the lightning.
As if he’d expected the outcome, Buford looked at the tree peacefully.
It wasn’t his intention to split the tree with magic; the strike was simply a test.
On the other hand though, the woman’s eyes widened in surprise.
The tree had been greatly shaken by the force of the lightning and leaves rained down from the tree canopy as a result.
Staring at the sight before her in a daze, she muttered unconsciously, “…Look.
She couldn’t help but flinch just as the carriage was leaving the square.
The sensation of his stares left the hairs on her neck standing up and Kalia stuck her head out the carriage window to look back in the tree’s direction.
By then, they had already left the square a bit behind them but Kalia could still see the green leaves of the tree swaying in the wind behind low-levelled houses.
Her eyes widened at a sudden unnatural tremor that seemed to pulse gently through the ground.
“What’s wrong? Did you leave something behind?”
“…No, it’s nothing.”
For some reason, she felt strangely uncomfortable.
She couldn’t tell if it was because of the man who had made eye contact with her right at the end.
‘…..Why was the Prince of Akan here?’
He didn’t seem to recognize her but she realized his identity with a glance.
The Kingdom of Akan was a neutral country located right next to Rohas.
Originally, it had been part of the Rohas empire but gained independence about 160 years ago when they established their own ruling system.
It was Prince Mahtani, the half-brother of King Charles III, who had gone out and founded the empire.
In a nutshell, the ruling families of Rojas and Akan were descendants of the same royal bloodline.
‘However, sharing the same bloodline does not mean we have a good relationship,’ Kalia concluded in her head.
Akan generally kept neutral in it’s political stance and foreign diplomacy.
The country was not interested in the wars of the surrounding empires and seldom meddled in the affairs of other countries.
Not only were they politically neutral, they were economically distant as well.
They removed themselves from most forms of foreign exchange involving businesses and trade.
It was not just Rohas, Akan generally had little to do with any other of its surrounding countries.
There was no chance to see the Akan nobles unless they came out on their own accord.
Despite the lack of exchange between the countries, Kalia still recognized the prince because she’d seen him once at the Akan Royal Palace when she was there to bid for military medical supplies at the end of the war.
Akan was very famous for their medical products.
Their Acan Creams, tonics, and healing agents which all had different healing abilities, were all very popular because they were all surprisingly effective in treating various wounds and disease.
Kalia, who was passing by at the time, decided to participate in Akan’s medical supply bidding.
It was the prince who came out at that time.
Prince Buford Adio.
Red hair with a set of matching red eyes that gleamed like rubies made for an unforgettable impression.
On that day, he was sporting a cape over his shoulders with a shirt that revealed a huge expanse of chest.
The deep V shirt paired together with tight pants gave the impression that he was a very free and pugnacious man.
Despite being the Imperial representative who came out to deliver the goods, his clothing was not appropriate for the event, not to mention his attitude towards the generals of the neighbouring countries at war was also rude.
“Hey, are you the famous General Kalia?” He had approached her with eyes full of desire.
Without permission, he had reached a hand out to try to take off her military cap.
“If you don’t stop right there, I’ll slit open your wrists.”
The man’s hands froze in the air at the sound of the responding voice.
The voice was so cold that the hair on the back of his neck rose.
At the time, Kalia had just cut the head off the opposing general.
Her blood was still boiling from the kill.
The battle had just ended not long ago and the smell of blood still lingered on the tip of her nose.
….her killing intent had yet to dissipate.
Against Kalia’s eyes which shone eerily from the shadows beneath her hat, the man couldn’t touch her at all.
“Wow, a lot tougher than the rumours,” he smilingly backed away.
His men handed over the supplies and the two stood face to face, watching each other without a word as Kalia’s lieutenants checked the goods.
Back then, Kalia had her face half-hidden under her military cap but not Buford’s face.
Kalia remembered his face very clearly.
In particular, those vivid red eyes that distinctively seemed to glow with greed and fishy (4) desires.
After the supplies were handed over and checked, he gave a ceremonial greeting.
Smacking his lips he remarked, “You’re a curious (5) person, General Kalia.”
“I really want to take it off with my own hands someday,” he continued, undeterred by her silence.
“Oh, the hat of course,” he didn’t stop.
Kalia wasn’t very stimulated by his words at the time but her lieutenants were already going crazy, trying to pull their knives out on him.
They didn’t get the chance to pull out their knives though.
It wasn’t because she had stopped them but because, out of nowhere, a bolt of lightning struck down upon Prince Buford’s horse, roasting it alive.
“….Ha?” The prince’s gaze whipped around fiercely to see who had done such a thing but he couldn’t find any movement or anomalies anywhere.
Lightning magic was, of course, a certain ‘someone’s’ specialty but no one in Kalia’s camp was about to reveal it.
That Prince of Akan had made such a fuss about finding the culprit, but there’s no way he could’ve caught them.
With Simon’s level of skill, his magic was colourless, odorless and left absolutely no trace of mana at the scene of the incident; basically, it was untraceable.
He was the only one who could make this possible.
“Kalia? What have you been thinking about?” a voice suddenly jolted Kalia from her memories.
“Oh, no, it’s nothing,” she replied.
On the inside though, she kept trying to shake off the unpleasant premonitions that made her uncomfortable all over.
Her mind was still preoccupied with the matter when they arrived at the teleportation.
She pulled out a communication device that she had thought she wouldn’t have to use.
A prince from another country had come into Rohas but she doubted if the imperial family knew.
From their past encounter, she believed the prince wasn’t any sort of good news and she couldn’t let go of her unease.
‘I’m going to have to tell Brigham (7) that the Prince of Akan is here.
I have to get him to relay this to his Highness in secret.’
She connected the device to Brigham.
The device rang for a long time before an alert voice picked up and answered the call -Who is this?-
This number was Brigham’s personal contact and he very tentatively picked up the unfamiliar number.
“It’s me, Brigham.”
-….Kalia-nim? Kalia-nim! Where are you now? Yesterday, Mr.
Simon destroyed Miss’ house! Everyone’s all messed up here! He’s going crazy! He came to me earlier and asked me about Miss’ whereabouts and I was so suffocated I thought I was going to die!-Brigham’s frantic voice came from the phone.
‘Oh my god,’ Kalia broke out into cold sweat at the sudden news of Simon.
She was more than 500 kilometers from the capital but she was still very worried that Simon would find her right away and follow after her.
“Seems like Simon already arrived,” she muttered out loud.
-He met with the Crown Prince yesterday and immediately flew right to Miss’ mansion! It’s been a mess since then! No one’s allowed access! He didn’t go back to the tower yesterday; he just passed the night in the ruins of Miss’ mansion!-
‘Ah, ruins…..ruins….’ Kalia didn’t know what else to think for a second.
Please don’t break it all.
My precious mansion. No matter how angry Simon was, to have smashed through her entire house…
Maybe I should secretly contact Jacob and ask him to restore it.’
Thinking up to here, Kalia put aside the horrendous situation with her mansion and immediately got to the point, “More importantly.
Brigham, there’s something you need to look into.”
-What? What do I need to do?-
“It’s about the Kingdom of Akan.”
Kalia briefly explained the situation and asked to have the information passed onto Raymond.
She also told him to take a look into recent trends in the Akan Kingdom.
“I don’t have to tell you but don’t tell him that you’ve been in touch with me, okay?”
– Ha, but if Simon uses some kind of mental type of magic (9) on me….-
“He’s not that crazy, so don’t worry,” Kalia reassures him.
(1) The romanization for this name (디몬이) is dimoni.
Tbh, Dimon is an actual name and it’s pronunciation basically sounds like Diamond but, Daemon was a more common English name so I figured I’d use that….
(2) The romanization for the prince’s name (보르프 아디오 ) is boreupeu adio.
MTL translated it to Borf…… My friend suggested Borg (a place in Switzerland; it also reminded me of the word cyborg) and I was gonna just call him Borf (a word used in Harry Potter and was apparently also the title of a graffiti campaign) but I listened to it like 5 times and I think it sounds like Buford…..
So that’s what I’m naming him! If y’all have any better suggestions, please do let me know.
Buford the wonder table (shoutout to anyone who knows what I’m talking about) ???? I’m going to laugh every time I translate about him now…..
(3) Had to dictionary this word but I kept it in because I think it captures the personality trait the author was trying to get at very well.
Means: eager or quick to argue, quarrel or fight.
So think: aggressive, antagonistic and quick-tempered…
(4) Fishy really is the adjective the author used.
Think: shady, corrupt, rotten….
I think you get the point.
This guy is starting to feel reeeal sleazy.
(5) The words used were (호기심을 자극하는), literally meaning stimulate curiosity.
Basically, he thinks her interesting (get away from her u creep.
Simon you should’ve smote him instead of the horse) (And yes, the past tense for smite is smote, not smited.
I was surprised too)
(6) The line ‘a voice suddenly jolted Kalia from her memories’ is not in the raws.
I added it in for flow but the author never mentions if it was Allen or Humming who had spoken.
(7) His name (브릭) romanized is beurik.
When translated, literally means brick…..
To keep with the theme of Western names, I’m translating his name to Brigham.
(8) Whenever Brigham refers to Kalia as Miss, he’s actually saying Kalia-nim in the raws.
He addresses her this way as a form of respect but, when translated in English, it doesn’t sound right so I translated all the Kalia-nims to Misses ????
(9) When he says mental magic, Brigham is talking about spells that can look into his memories or force him to talk…..
That type of magic.
I really can’t think of a better English equivalency….
(10) Kalia had just reassured Brigham that Simon isn’t like that but in this line, she is basically thinking: ‘he’s probably not like that, yeah’.
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