Mommy Villainess Chapter 139
139 Catalyst Of Change
AKU crumpled the newspaper in his hands after reading the headline. "Kiho and Lady Nystrom are adopting the child that Lord Huxley attacked?"
He just got into his office to start his paperwork when Sir Gregory handed him the newspaper that he ought to see. Well, he was just being generous. The "newspaper" that he was referring to was more of a "gossip paper." It had a bad reputation for spreading false rumors. But nobles liked to indulge in gossips, thus the "gossip paper' industry continued to thrive.
Anyway, according to the news that he read, the Nystroms had already asked for Captain Denver's permission to adopt the child and his brother before the attack happened. And now that the commoner child was still unconscious, Kiho and Lady Nystrom wanted to make the adoption official to give him more protection.
But that wasn't what alarmed him.
The news also mentioned that Lord Huxley's attack was considered a "hate crime" because apparently, the count couldn't stomach the fact that a high-ranking noble wanted who used to be a commoner wanted to adopt a fellow commoner.
He could already imagine the wrath of the nouveau riche because of this news.
"Where did the source of this news come from?" he asked, then he turned to Sir Gregory who was standing by his side.
"Apparently, the rumor started in the town of Blanca," Sir Gregory said. "To be precise, it started from Baroness Alphonse."
"The same baroness who spread the nasty rumor about Lady Nystrom and Captain Denver before?"
"Yes, Your Majesty," the knight said. "We're ready to arrest the baroness if you give the order."
"Forget it," he said, then he threw the crumpled newspaper on the floor. "If it was Baroness Alphonse, then I'm pretty certain that Lady Nystrom threatened her to spread that rumor."
"Why would Lady Nystrom do that?"
"She wanted to use the wrath of the nouveau riche to pressure me," he said with an amused smirk. Of course, he hated the feeling of being pushed to the corner. But on the other hand, he found the duchess's cleverness entertaining. "To pressure me to punish Lord Huxley. She created a false reason for the count's crime to turn the nouveau riche on me. Now, if I don't punish Lord Huxley accordingly, I will be heavily criticized by the nouveau riche and the Noble Faction. I can't afford another criticism when my advisors aren't done forcing me to find a new bride."
The old knight fell silent for a few moments before he spoke again. "I can't believe that Lady Nystrom managed to bite you back in less than a day, Your Majesty. The duchess is scary."
He laughed heartily at that. "I wouldn't expect any less from Kiho's wife. The duchess is making this game more entertaining."
"I was wrong to underestimate the duchess before."
He just smiled. "We lost this one," he said. "We can't hide Lord Huxley anymore. If we do, we'll get criticized. I have no choice but to directly punish the count and throw him to St. Ibela without a noble trial."
'St. Ibela' was the worst prison in the whole empire.
It wasn't a place where a noble was usually locked up. But he wanted to shut the critics so he decided to give Lord Huxley the worst punishment possible.
"But since Lord Huxley belongs to Nia's collection, I'll ask the administrator of St. Ibela to take good care of the count," he said. "We still need him for the upcoming war."
The knight nodded in agreement. "Then, I will inform the admin of your decision, Your Majesty."
"Alright," he said, then he snapped his fingers when he remembered something. "Any news from House Ainsworth?"
"The last thing I heard from Captain Ainsworth was they brought the Golden Tiger in their territory," Sir Gregory said. "Apparently, the Golden Tiger wants to stay in his temple for the meantime. It seems like he isn't used to this era yet."
"Let the Golden Tiger rest for now," he said. "We'll need him later. Just deal with Lord Huxley's case first."
Sir Gregory bowed to him. "As you wish, Your Majesty."
"Now don't disturb me while I work," Aku said. "I need to finish this so that I could visit Nia at the temple."
TILLY wasn't really satisfied by the result of the rumor that she spread.
According to the newspaper that she was reading while having tea by the pond, Emperor Aku used his power to punish Lord Huxley and throw him to St. Ibela without a noble trial. Well, that was the worst prison in the whole empire. But the emperor's action was a shackle to their side.
Now that His Majesty gave the highest punishment for a criminal, we can't make a move to kill Lord Huxley.
If the count died, their family would be the first suspect.
Win some, lose some.
"Honey, look at this."
Tilly tore her gaze away from the newspaper to turn to her husband.
The sight that greeted her instantly made her smile.
Kiho was playing with the koi fish. He was maneuvering the water using his ice spear. This time, he created an "aquarium" that was shaped like a huge bowl. Three orange koi fish was "inside."
"You made a portable aquarium. I mean, fish tank. I'm impressed," she said, just in case Kiho wasn't familiar with the term "aquarium." "Kiho, you're already so good at controling water while I haven't made any improvement yet."
"It's because you're not allowed to use your Mana yet. Miss Luna is your doctor so we should listen to her. If she says you need to rest, you have to rest," Kiho said in a gentle but strict voice. "But once Miss Luna gives us the go signal, I will help you train."
She smiled and nodded. "Hon, can I ask a favor again?"
"Sure," he said, then he dropped the ice spear. But instead of hitting the ground, the ice spear disappeared and returned to his ear as a tattoo that looked like a snake's scale. Also, the water and ko fish were returned safely to the pond. "What is it, honey?" he asked as he walked toward her.
"Can I organize a tea party here at our mansion?"
He sat on the armrest of her chair and kissed the top of her head before he answered. "Of course, you can. What do you need for the party? Just tell me and I'll help you organize."
"Thank you, hon," she said, then she wrapped her arms around his waist. "I have a lot of things that I need to do now that we're back. First, there's the launch of my new jewelry line. Then, we have to start building the store of our new business. And finally, I have to organize tea parties often to build my own social circle. I want to get closer to the young ladies of the nouveau riche."
"Honey, your schedule is so packed," he said worriedly. "Can't we just start a new business after you give birth to our baby? Please?"
Well, she wanted to get richer as soon as possible.
But as the old saying goes, "health is wealth."
"Alright," she agreed. "After the launch of my new jewelry line, I'll take it easy."
"Thank you, honey," he said, obviously relieved.
She just smiled at that. "Oh, right. Father sent me a message this morning. He said that his trip to the North will be delayed because Marquis Denver can't leave while Captain Denver isn't fully recovered yet."
"Father will help Miss Luna create a synthetic arm for Captain Denver," she said. "I think Father will use the rare spirit stones in our possession for that."
"Is there any way that we can help Father?"
"I already asked but Father said that we should just focus on taking care of our baby," she said with a pout. "Father is spoiling us too much."
"Father loves you that much, Tilly."
"Father loves you, too, Kiho," she said with a smile. "He treats you like his real son."
Kiho smiled shyly. "I also see Father as my own. In fact, he's my role model. I'll do my best to be a good father to our baby just like how Father is so good to us."
She didn't know if it was because she was pregnant but lately, she has become too emotional. In fact, she had turned into a crybaby.
"You easily cry these days," Kiho teased her, but he immediately kissed her eyes. "You're so cute, Tilly."
That made her giggle.
And then, all of a sudden, she felt it.
"Honey, what's wrong?" he asked her when she froze in her seat. "Are you hurt anywhere? Are you okay?"
"He moved," she said, her heart beating loud and fast against her chest because of excitement. Then, she placed her hands on her tummy. "Our little Winter kicked my womb."
His eyes widened in horror. "Why is that little rascal kicking you?"
She laughed at his cute reaction. Gosh, Kiho was really protective through and through. "Hon, it's normal for babies to kick inside the womb. It's their way of letting their presence known. That just means that our little Winter is growing healthily."
"Oh," he said, now completely pleased by what he learned. "I want to feel our baby's movement, too."
"Let's wait," she said. "Our Winter is smart. I'm sure he can hear and understand what we're talking about now."
He nodded, then he got down on one knee in front of her. After that, he gently wrapped his arms around her waist and carefully pressed his ear against her tummy. "I'm waiting, Winter."
She giggled at her husband's cuteness.
And to her amazement, their little "rascal" didn't disappoint them.
Winter kicked again.
"Oh, he's a strong rascal," Kiho said, his voice filled with happiness and excitement. But when he looked up at her, she saw the tears forming in the corner of his eyes. His face showed nothing but love and gratitude. "Thank you for making me this happy, Tilly. I don't deserve you and our little Winter but I'm still grateful that you came into my life."
"Now who's the crybaby?" Tilly teased him even though she was already sobbing like a baby. Then, she cupped his face and gently ran her thumbs across his cheeks. "Thank you for loving us, Kiho."
[AFTER two months]
"GOSH, my boobs grew bigger," Tilly said while admiring herself in the mirror. "I think I grew a cup."
Of course, she gained weight and became rounder all around. Her baby bump was also very obvious (and heavy) now. There were times that she felt kind of sad because of the changes of her body. But it didn't last long.
"You're sexy, honey."
Everyone, he's the reason why my pregnancy isn't as hard as I imagined it to be.
She turned around to find Kiho sitting on the bed while admiring her.
The way he looked at her since day one hasn't changed yet: it was always filled with love and respect.
And yeah, lust.
"Thank you, hon," she said, then she walked toward him and sat on his lap sideways. Of course, he immediately wrapped his arms around her waist to secure her. "Am I heavy?" she asked while wrapping her arms around his neck.
"No," he said without missing a heartbeat.
Of course, he deserved a long passionate kiss as reward for being a loving husband.
The past two months had been peaceful and blessed for them.
First of all, Flint had woken up a few weeks ago. Right now, the child was under rehabilitation to bring back his motor skills. The adoption was still on-going because they still needed Flint's approval before it became official.
Since she was still "banned" from the tower, she still hadn't visited Flint.
But I plan to do it soon.
According to Luna's previous message, her face was already fixed but the scar was still barely visible. On the other hand, Captain Denver had already started using his artificial arm made with Luna's magic and the Prescott's rare spirit stones.
I'm so happy for them.
Oh, she was also happy these days because her businesses were blooming. And thanks to her parties, she has become the new star of the social circle. She both had "friends" from the new rich and the old families.
And my next move is to "infiltrate" the Noble Faction.
Which would be too hard because everyone in the empire thought that House Nystrom belonged to the Royal Faction.
She broke the kiss to gasp for hair, and to answer the head maid's call.
But Kiho distracted her by kissing her neck.
"Lord Prescott has arrived," the head maid said.
"We're coming out in a minute," she said. "Please bring Father to the tea room."
"As you wish, Your Grace."
As soon as she heard the head maid leave, Tilly continued her make out session with Kiho for a few more minutes.
"WHAT TOOK you so long to come out and greet me?"
Tilly gulped at her father's question.
Father looks pissed.
"My deepest apologies, Father," Kiho, who sat beside her on the sofa, said. "It's my fault that we were late."
"No, it's my fault," she said. "I'm sorry, Father."
Lord Prescott, who sat on the sofa across from them, rolled his eyes. "You spoil each other too much."
She could only smile at her father's "scolding."
At the corner of her eye, she could see Kiho trying to hold back his smile.
Gosh, Father is such a tsundere.
"I'll be leaving with Morgan Denver the day after tomorrow," Lord Prescott said. "Now that Captain Denver has recovered, Morgan and I decided to travel to the North."
"Father, are you sure you don't need our knights to come with you?" Kiho asked. "We're worried that you'll only be bringing a small company."
"Morgan and I aren't imbeciles yet," their father said firmly. "I'll make sure to contact you from time to time."
"Father, you should return before I give birth to your grandson," she said with a pout. "I want you to meet our Winter as soon as he comes out."
"Of course," Lord Prescott said. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."
She was so touched by her father's remark that she didn't hold back anymore.
So she stood up and sat beside her father who looked obviously surprised. Then, she hugged him by the arm.
Kiho did the same. He sat on the other side of their father and hugged his other arm, too.
She giggled at how cute the three of them were.
"W-What are you two doing?" Lord Prescott "complained," but the blush on his cheeks and the sparkle in his eyes told them that he was happy. "This is unbecoming of the Duke and Duchess of Oakes."
"Right now, I'm just your beloved daughter, Father," Tilly said sweetly, then she laid her head on her father's shoulder. "I'll miss you, Father."
"I'll miss you, too, Father," Kiho said politely, but the warmth in his voice couldn't be missed. "Please take care of your health."
"You two are acting like spoiled children," Lord Prescott "scolded" them. "But I will probably miss you as well, Tilly, Kiho, and my grandson Winter."
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