“Mom, are you going to visit dad now?”
“That’s right. Before that, I’ll go to grandma and grandpa’s house.”
As I was packing lunch, a face appeared from the side of my waist.
Now that he’s five years old, his lisp disappeared and I felt like he’d grown up a lot.
When running in the barracks, El often left people other than Rodo behind.
Cal and Dee were still lisping, but they had started talking a lot.
I was happy with my children’s growth.
…but recently, mother-in-law’s physical condition hadn’t been good.
Akinists were so strong that they were said to not get sick.
People said that when Akinists got sick, it was when they were young or when they were nearing the end of their life.
In other words, my mother-in-law was in that state.
I’d apply a healing spell, but she’d soon fall ill again.
More than ten years had passed since I came to this world.
In other words, my mother-in-law was 758 years old.
An Akinist was said to have a lifespan of 700 to 800 years, so I had no choice but to accept that that was my mother-in-law’s lifespan.
Healing spells didn’t work on longevity.
In the last 10 years, I understood it all too well.
And my mother-in-law, who kept getting sick, was nearing the end of her life.
Thinking about it made me sad.
It’s impossible for me not to grieve the death of an important and precious family member.
It couldn’t be helped because it’s their life expectancy, so I couldn’t do it like the people around me who were more open-minded.
Right now, I was in charge of the household chores at my parents-in-law’s house.
They used to hire a housekeeper, but when it came to nursing, they had to hire someone else.
However, it seemed that there were various regulations when it came to nursing an Akinist, so it’s difficult to decide.
I was an amateur when it came to nursing, and I’d like to ask a professional to do it, but if they couldn’t decide on one, I had no choice but to do it for my family.
Father-in-law, Rodo, and the children would help me, so I didn’t think it was that hard at the moment.
But I still got scared when I thought about death.
I would like to hear a professional opinion.
If I had experienced it even once, it would have been a little different, but I had never cared for someone.
At most, it’s just nursing my younger brother when he caught a cold.
But that was only for two or three days.
“Mahma, whatsh wong? Pahpa, gowing?”
When I stopped my hands as my mind wandered, Cal put his body between my legs.
“We’re going. Just wait a bit, okay?”
I hastily moved my hand.
For now, I took a break from my work as a healer.
If I had to, I made it a point to have them come at a specified time.
Recently, when Rodo was called to diplomatic occasions, I’d sit at home with the children.
I really wanted to follow, but I couldn’t leave mother-in-law behind.
It couldn’t be helped that there’s no option to leave it to father-in-law.
Father-in-law was staying with mother-in-law.
That’s why my guards were now my cute children.
──I already said they didn’t have to, but since El said he’d do it, Cal and Dee also participated.
It’s impossible for me to stop the motivated children.
Rodo even allowed it without asking me.
Even though they’re half-Akinist children, the current El seemed to be invincible.
Rodo said that El would only lose against an Akinist.
That’s why he said they’re good as my escort…
But I was still El’s parent, right?
Why was it that half-Akinist children could be responsible for everything, but it didn’t apply to me?
Certainly, I was insensitive to hostility and murderous intent and would probably be attacked before realizing it, but…
But when I said that I could keep a defensive wall all the time, it was rejected.
It seemed that if I put out a barrier, it’d block even my smell.
When I did that once, I was dumbfounded when I saw Rodo in a half-crazed state running around town in his beast form.
I wondered if something had happened but since he put more emphasis on smell than sight, he seemed to be confused because he thought I had disappeared.
That’s why it’s impossible to put up a barrier unless I was in Rodo’s field of vision.
I also didn’t want to unnecessarily make Rodo uneasy.
“Okay, it’s done. This is El’s lunch. This is Cal’s. This is Dee’s lunch. Everyone, please don’t drop it.”
I handed out lunch boxes to everyone.
If they held it in their mouths, they wouldn’t be able to talk and it’d be inconvenient, so I hung it around their necks.
With this, the lunch box wouldn’t shake unless they run.
Until they could humanize, there’s no choice but to carry it like this.
Even if I put it on their backs, it’d just roll over since their muscles move a lot.
I took my parents-in-law, Rodo’s, and my lunch box then left the house.
“Everyone, let’s go deliver the lunchbox to grandma and grandpa.”
Since they didn’t cook at all, I delivered meals like this every day.
There were times when I handed over the things I bought, but it was not enough for morning, afternoon, and evening.
Both my father-in-law and mother-in-law said that I didn’t have to make it every day, but even though it’s a little far away, our houses were next to each other. I also cooked at home so it’s nothing to make two more servings.
After making breakfast for everyone, I’d go next door to make breakfast, go home, and see Rodo off, then go next door to collect the dishes.
After that, I made lunch boxes for lunch, delivered them to our neighbor, went to the barracks, and ate it with Rodo and the others.
After eating, I went shopping at the market with my father-in-law, who came to pick me up at the barracks.
After that, we went back to each other’s house and I made dinner.
On days when he didn’t have a night shift, I had Rodo take the food next door.
There were times when we all ate together at my parents-in-law’s house, and when they looked sick, I went alone and nursed them.
In the meantime, I had my father-in-law go to our house and eat there.
──this repeated every day.
“How is mother-in-law?”
Recently, when I looked at father in law’s face, I would say those words every time.
I was especially worried because she felt unwell since this morning.
“…Ko, you don’t have to make that tearful face. Arteamiya had a long life expectancy, so you don’t have to be sad…even if I say that, Ko would still be sad…Ko, for me as well, thank you for being her son. …I had always thought so. ──Me and Arteamiya. …we could pass away happy. And it’s all because of Ko. Thank you for loving Rodokiaus.”
I’d heard that he was worried about Rodo, who never paid attention to anyone or anything.
Since meeting me, Rodo was different from the Rodo of before, he’d shown more emotions, and he’d become brighter…
He even started to laugh…
I remembered being happy when I heard that.
“Uu, I’m grateful as well. Both father-in-law and mother-in-law accepted me, whose race was unknown, just because I was Rodo’s mate. You added me to your family! Pampered me and was kind to me. I was so happy…the two of you are very, very important to me…uu, so, don’t say it like it’s your last words!!”
Somewhere in my head, I understood why my father-in-law said such a thing, but I refused to accept it.
“I hate it! Hate…mother-in-law.”
From the fact that he wouldn’t let me in her room, it’s clear that my mother-in-law’s condition wasn’t good.
Even so, my father-in-law didn’t move from the door.
In other words, he didn’t want to show me and I knew that, so I couldn’t force my way through.
I couldn’t ignore my mother-in-law’s last wish.
“Even if I died, don’t be sad, okay?” I was told that but I could only burst into tears.
I could only speak of hopes that would not come true…
The last time we met was this morning.
At that time, she was still able to have a conversation, albeit weakly…
The words she said after feeding her mostly plain water porridge would be her last words.
“Ko, thank you.”
Those were her last words.
I should be the one to say “thank you”.
Even though my calm self whispered in the corner of my head that it wasn’t the time to cry loudly in front of the children, I couldn’t even stand up because of the sadness, and I just cried in front of my parents-in-law’s house.
…suddenly, my body floated.
The one who hugged me tightly was Rodo.
My cries must have reached Rodo’s ears in the barracks and he came.
Was it because he knew I would grieve over his death that he didn’t tell me not to cry?
Maybe my tears wouldn’t stop for a while.
One thought on “ACDWL 136: Half Happy, Half Sad”
Damn now I’m crying too😭
Thanks for the chapter!