gentle caresses.
She felt like she needed to lay there a little while longer, at least until her tight stomach relaxed.
Gradually, the heavy weight of her stomach calmed her mind down.
Her belly seemed to grow bigger as time went on.

As soon as her stomach grew bigger, her body also swelled.
This was the first time she felt so heavy because she had never experienced swelling before.
The sensation was quite uncomfortable, but not unpleasant; she didn’t hate it because she could strongly feel her child’s presence.

The sensation was inconvenient because the feeling of her growing child pressing down on her uterus caused her to have to go in and out of the bathroom every so often.
Nevertheless, she liked the full feeling.4

My mind went into the gutter when I was translating this lmao.
I was tempted to put “she liked the feeling of being full” but lmao… too much too much. her child gave her.

After a while, Kalia got up to take a quick shower, as if to wash away the wild dreams from last night, before hurrying down to the first floor a little earlier than usual mornings.

McCanna, who was hired to work in the kitchen, was already busy preparing breakfast.
The fragrant smell of breakfast permeated the kitchen.

“You’re early, Mrs.
McCanna,” Kalia greeted.

“The gypsies arrived in town sometime last night.
The streets are pretty noisy so I couldn’t sleep.
Might as well get up.
There will be a festival in town soon, so the town is bustling with energy.
Have you ever seen gypsies5, Leah?”

“I’ve seen a few by chance.”

“Oh! There must be more gypsies in the Capital, right? They’re attractive people.
Just a little noisy” Mrs.
McCanna responded with lively chatter to Kalia.
She filled the large pot in front of her full with savory, mouth-watering food.

“You woke up early, by the way.
If you’re headed for the market, would you like me to prepare your meal right away?”

“Oh, no.
It’s okay.
I’ll have breakfast with the others.
It’s a hassle to set the table twice.
Can I just have some juice please?”

“The kale is fresh today.
I’ll grind it with kiwi.
Please wait a moment,” Mrs.
McCanna smiled, grabbed the blender and immediately took out some green kale, kiwis and apples.

The sweet and healthy juice was made in an instant.
McCanna also handed over warm buttered bread and jam, telling Kalia that she had bought it on her way here.
The amount of bread wasn’t small but Kalia’s appetite wasn’t small either, so the bread was like an appetizer to her.

Munching on the warm buttery bread slathered with blueberry jam, Kalia looked at Mrs.
McCanna’s back for a moment.

McCanna was a mother of five.
She had three sons and two daughters.

Five children.
Kalia couldn’t believe it and looked at Mrs.
McCanna’s working figure in wonder.

Kalia couldn’t believe she had five children and looked in wonder at Mrs.
McCanna’s back.

In the Empire, the average family size was 4 people, at most 56.

In the meantime, Mrs.
McCanna had a family of seven.

“It’s crowded when you go home, right?” Kalia suddenly asked as she ate her bread.

McCanna, who was now making salad, glanced back and smiled affectionately, “It’s not just crowded.
I feel like I’m going deaf sometimes.
My 2nd and 3rd fight a lot.
The youngest is the youngest and the oldest never comes back from dorms.
At least the 4th is a bit more docile, but… oh, that kid got into a fight with his father a few days ago and is still upset.”

McCanna seemed to glow with warmth and light up with joy as she laughed and talked about her noisy family.

Is that what it would feel like to be a mother?

Come to think of it, Mrs.
McCanna had a very good relationship with her husband.
They were childhood friends and had gotten married as soon as they turned 20.
In a nutshell, it’s similar to Kalia’s relationship with Simon with some slight differences.
Kalia and Simon didn’t intend to marry each other.

Her stomach tightened again but….

Hmm,” Kalia, who had gotten a little lost in her own thoughts, poured herself another large glass of fresh fruit juice.
After finishing the last piece of bread, she sat at the table by the kitchen and lingered there, seemingly with something weighing on her mind.

McCanna, who was busy grinding nuts, looked back at Kalia.
Sensing that she seemed a little antsy, Mrs.
McCanna asked “Is there something you want to ask?” to try to see what was wrong.

“What? Oh, oh, no!” Kalia stood up in surprise, and hurriedly shook her head.
However, a moment later, she then sat back down as if she had made up her mind about something.

“Hey, actually.
I don’t know if I can ask you something like this,” unlike her usual self, Kalia spoke haltingly and she chose her words carefully.

‘What in the world does she want to say, hesitating so much like this?’ Mrs.
McCanna looked at Kalia, puzzled.

“Well, you’ve experienced it five times so I was wondering if you’d know.”

Even though it was strange to Mrs.
McCanna to see Kalia shrink like this, she thought her red cheeks were very lovely.
McCanna washed her hands, dried them on her apron before turning around and laughing, her dimples flashing.

Kalia propped her face up with her hands as Mrs.
McCanna replied, “Please feel free to ask.
Are you feeling uncomfortable? Are you worried about the actual birthing experience? It may be scary to go into your first labour but it’ll pass by quickly so don’t worry.
If you scream a few times, the child will be pushed out.
Ah! Actually, it’s better not to scream.
You’ll have more energy to push.”

“What? Ah, yes.
I won’t make a sound.
I have some tolerance for pain but that’s not what I’m curious about.”

McCanna’s eyebrows shot up, wondering what Kalia was getting at.

Kalia, who had been biting her lip in hesitation, let out a short breath before spitting out her next words very quickly, “I had a strange dream last night.
It was a dream about the baby’s father but it’s my first time having such a dream.
I was wondering if it was normal and why I did it.
I don’t know why I had such a dream but it’s weird and embarrassing….

McCanna listened with a tilted head and her face lit up in sudden realization, “A dream about the baby’s father? That kind of dream…? Ah! That kind of dream!”

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