Ko’s pregnant so I can’t leave Ko.
On the first day he got sick, Ko told me to go to work.
Since pregnancy is not an illness.
I know that too.
But how could I leave when as soon as he ate a certain food, he’d vomit, and Ko now looked tired every time?
What decided it was──
At night, Ko would always sleep in my arms.
Normally, he wouldn’t wake up until morning, but the moment I thought so, his eyes suddenly opened and he burst into tears.
“Ko!? What’s wrong?”
“Why…? Just how…?”
I called out hurriedly, but Ko just cried while repeating the same words.
“Does it hurt somewhere!? Or did you have a scary dream!?”
That alone disturbed me.
“It’s different! …I don’t like it, but why? Even though I’m with Rodo…I should be relieved…but why? Why…am I so uncomfortable!?”
I don’t know if it’s related to his pregnancy or if there’s really something wrong, but apparently, he’s crying because he’s not comfortable around me.
It’s been a while since I saw Ko look this confused.
He usually wouldn’t get so upset.
“Ko, don’t cry. I’m always on your side. I’m sure the child is just nervous around me. If they get used to it, it’ll soon subside.”
I said it calmly but that might be true.
As an Akinist, you could easily tell which one’s superior or inferior to your strength.
The child on Ko’s belly also has Akinist blood.
But as half-Akinist, they’d be afraid of those with pure blood.
“Somehow, I’m nervous. I feel relieved, but for some reason, I feel [scared] which is strange…”
Ko desperately appealed while shedding tears.
“Maybe you’re being affected by the child’s emotions. Ko is good at empathizing with others. It’s different from Ko’s feelings. It should be the child’s emotions.”
It’s not Ko who feels “scared”.
He always said he’s “at peace” or “soothed” around me.
“Our child is half-Akinist. There’s a large difference in power between an Akinist and a semi-Akinist. …haven’t you heard about it?”
Ko should know it more than I, who’s not interested.
…seems like he really couldn’t feel an “Akinist aura” itself.
“…I see. …are you scared? …it’s fine. He’s your dad.”
While stroking the belly that hadn’t swelled yet, he kept calling out.
I’ve never heard of someone calling out to their unborn child…why does Ko behave like this?
“Your dad is so kind, you know? He’s super sweet to me. …he’s so cool and also cute. He’s my favorite person.”
As if him crying anxiously was a lie, he stroked his belly with a fascinated smile.
“That’s why you should be born with peace of mind. We will cherish you together.”
“It’s okay. It’s okay.”
He called out many times.
…as if to tell himself.
I think he’s worried.
I understand that.
But why did he endure and say nothing until he cried?
If you’re worried, just tell me.
…but the only thing I could do is hug him and call out.
“Rodo, sorry, did I wake you up?”
Why are you apologizing?
Even though the one in Ko’s belly is my child.
I can’t do anything about Ko’s anxiety.
“You don’t have to apologize. …I’m always at fault because I can’t do anything.”
“Huh? But it’s not Rodo’s fault?”
Ko looked up with a cheerful face.
It’s a face that didn’t even think that “I’m at fault”.
“Isn’t my child in Ko’s belly? It’s only natural that I should manage Ko’s anxiety. When you first learned it, weren’t you surprised that “a man can give birth to a child”? I remember you saying that it was “scary” at that time…but I couldn’t detect Ko’s anxiety. I’m sorry.”
I’m disqualified as a partner.
Ko was crying and scared at that time.
“I can only hug you like this…so tell me anything. I’ll do anything.”
For Ko, who can’t feel at ease even in my arms, I know it’s better to do something other than a hug.
But this is the only thing I could do.
“…thank you, Rodo. That’s right. Rodo will be a parent like me, so I have to rely on you.”
Ko leaned on my chest.
“I’m sorry I didn’t rely on you. I’ll rely more on you from now on, okay?”
Ko looking up like this is still cute.
It hadn’t sunk in that I’m going to be a “parent” yet, but I think I’d be able to manage with Ko.
Ko leaned on me and fell asleep while stroking his belly.
Perhaps it’s good that Ko stroked his belly to calm down since he’s no longer nervous in my arms.
He slept quite deeply.
(I need to be more aware of Ko’s anxiety.)
I always notice it only after Ko cries.
So I should only be looking at Ko.
“Ko, if you feel sick, don’t endure it. If it gets dirty, we can just wash it.”
Since Ko became pregnant, he’s often sick and didn’t seem able to do any of the household chores.
I told him he didn’t have to do housework in such a situation, so I hired a housekeeper…but Ko seemed uncomfortable with their presence, so I immediately let them go.
The gestation period is half a year.
I asked my parents to buy the food and also about the cleaning and laundry.
…but like me, they hadn’t done much laundry so when it got dirty, they’d just buy new ones.
I managed to clean with a broom, but…it broke many times in just one cleaning.
All I have to do is go back and forth between the bed and the sofa while hugging Ko, who came up with the idea.
It’s not worse than certain illnesses, but it’s a pain to stay sick all the time.
I won’t do anything with Ko in that state, so I just locked him in my arms and stroked his head.
And sometimes, I’d stroke his belly or his hips.
After all, there seems to be some discomfort around the waist.
“Ko! It’s me. I want to get permission to enter!”
One day, I heard a voice from outside.
──it’s His Majesty’s voice.
I knew there were people around the house.
Until now, the visitors knew they should get past my parents first.
This is because Ko decided that it’s necessary to maintain a safe environment.
For now, Ko is only relieved in my arms.
I didn’t go to work and I just spent my days hugging Ko.
I’m really happy to hold Ko in my arms every day if only he’s not feeling sick.
“Is that…His Majesty?”
As if to say “why did he come”, Ko’s confused face looked so young and cute.
“…did he want to tell Rodo to go back to work?”
His complexion paled a little after saying such a misunderstanding.
He’s usually more rational…
Is it because of the pregnancy?
“I think the name has been decided. The name of an Akinist is chosen from the names of those from the past. Seems like the selection meeting is over.”
His Majesty just came to tell us that the name of the child to be born had been decided.
Seems like the name changes depending on the gender, so two names were prepared, one for a boy and one for a girl.
The reason for this naming rule was that Akinists thought it was a hassle and would put something that’s not a name, like “I” or “Child”.
If it’s our child, it’s okay because we have Ko.
…if I decide by myself, it’d likely be such a name.
“…I don’t know the gender yet, right?”
“Two are prepared.”
“…can’t it be after the child is born?”
“That’s fine, but…the other party is the King. When I was born, you couldn’t rush him, so the names were decided during pregnancy.”
He seemed convinced by my parents’ explanation.
“Were there also two names for Rodo?”
“That’s right? With Rodokiaus…what was the other one? I forgot.”
“I forgot too.”
Talking like this seemed to provide some distraction.
However, he gets tired easily and there are days when he’d talk too much and become too tired afterward.
“…it’s impossible for a lot to come in, but is it okay if it’s just the King? I want to hear this child’s name soon.”
Putting a hand on his stomach, he smiled a little.
The days of his illness continued and the chances of seeing him smile diminished.
However, pregnancy is not an illness so healing magic is not effective.
At least, I should prepare everything that could relieve the symptoms…
…how pathetic of me to not be able to do anything else.
─Rodo’s side end─