Mommy Villainess Chapter 68


68 Nystrom
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***

AS SOON as Tilly woke up, she immediately tried to reach Kiho with her hand. When she didn't feel him beside her, she opened her eyes and got up right away. She felt a little bit of panic when she didn't find him on the bed. "Kiho?"

She was relieved when the door opened and Kiho entered their room.

Based on his training outfit and the wooden sword attached to his hip, she figured that he got up early to practice swinging. He always did that in the morning.

"Oh, you're awake," Kiho said, pleasantly surprised. "Good morning, honey."

"Good morning," Tilly said, then she opened her arms to ask for a hug. "Come here, hon."

Kiho hugged her and she fell backwards until she was lying on her back. He was on top of her, kissing her hungrily as usual. She remembered falling asleep right after she washed up last night. He must have missed their intimate moment.

"Shall we take a bath together?" Kiho whispered, then gently bit her earlobe.

"Sorry, not today," she said with a pout. "Leni and Lani are getting sad because they can't give me bath these days. They may end up hating you if you steal their job from them."

The twin maids were very serious about her bath. They would always prepare the best bath bomb, roses, oils, etc. for her. At first, she felt awkward to be given a bath after her second life. But now, she was getting used to being pampered again.

"Don't be sad," she told her husband while gently pinching his cheek. "We're having vacation next week anyway. We won't be bringing our servants so you'll have me all to yourself."

His face lit up. "Oh, that's right" His face suddenly fell gloomy as if he remembered a bad memory. "Or not. Father is joining us, isn't he?"

Next week, they would be visiting her mother's grave. It was located in the estate of their ancestral house. And the house was in the Oakes, their family's territory. Her father would introduce her husband as the new duke there.

"Our ancestral house is huge, Kiho," she comforted him. "We will be staying at the main house while father will be using the annex building. He'll be bringing his servants but they wouldn't be allowed at our residence. Father knows that we're newlyweds so he's being considerate of us."

"That's nice of Father," he said. "I'll visit him today."

"Did he summon you?"

He nodded, then he sat up and made her lay her head on his lap. "Father told me to meet him once I come up with a name that I want to use as the new Duke of Oakes."

"Have you thought of a name to use?"

He blushed but the sparkle in his eyes showed his pride for the name that he'd be using soon. "I want to be called as Kiho Nystrom, Tilly. Does it sound good?"

"It sounds unique," she said with a smile. "I like it. It's my first time to hear that name though. Where did you get that, hon?"


"That was the alias of my master," he said in a sad voice. "He was the mercenary who raised me until I was eight. I don't remember much about him now except for the name he always told me. Ever since I can remember, my master had taught me to never forget his name."

She didn't miss the use of past tense and the sadness in his tone. "May I know what happened to your master, Kiho?"

"He was killed in a mission," he told her. "I was also almost killed by the bandits that he was supposed to take down. But luckily, His Majesty was there to save me. During that time, I didn't know that he was the crown prince."

Hearing his story about the emperor made her feel guilty again.

[I broke their bond.]

"Ah," Kiho said as if he caught himself. "Tilly, the guilt in your face makes me think that you're blaming yourself for my now-broken relationship with the emperor."

"I can't help it though," she admitted. "You have a good brotherly relationship with the emperor before you met me."

"That doesn't matter anymore," he assured her while gently combing his hand through her hair. "If he's going to kill you and our baby, then he's already an enemy to me. I am grateful to His Majesty but that doesn't mean I can allow him to kill off my family."

To say that she was touched would be an understatement.

Well, she expected Kiho to take her side. But she didn't expect him to easily accept the fact that the "father figure" in his life was now an enemy.

"This isn't the first war I'm being a part of, Tilly," he gently reminded her as if he could the emotions on her face. "But this is your first time so let me give you an advice: don't get too attached on anyone. In a war, anything can change fast. Your friend today might be your enemy tomorrow that you have to kill. When that time comes, you have to have a heart of steel. You're leading this war so you ought to have a strong resolve, honey."

She took his advice to heart.

Kiho was a veteran in war. He wouldn't be alive today if let his emotions take over. Maybe she had underestimated his experience by worrying too much about his feelings.

[My husband is kind but he's not soft-hearted.]

He should be her inspiration.

"I'll remember that, honey," she said. "Thank you for the advice. From now on, I will focus on our survival." She placed her hands on her tummy. "Our top priority now is Winter."

"Agreed," her husband said. "Ah, do you have schedule for today, Tilly?"

She shook her head. "The launch of my new jewelry collection has been delayed again. I can't organize a big event after His Majesty announced Her Royal Highness' current state. That would be tasteless."

Well, she didn't really care if she would offend the royal family.

But Kiho was going to be a new duke soon. She had to protect their image and rise up to the high society elegantly.

"Why do you ask, hon?"

"I've thought about what our next move should be," he explained. "Tilly, I think it's time for you to learn how to control your power. Do you remember how you were able to summon the flame in your body?"

"The first time I was engulfed by flame, I was angry," she said. "And the next thing I knew, the replica of the Red Phoenix was already coming to me. When the bird embraced me with its flaming wings, I wasn't burnt."

"Uh-huh."

"The second time flame came out of my body was last night," she continued. "I was a little bit frustrated at the situation. Then, I thought I should save my fellow Fire Mage. After that thought crossed my mind, my hands suddenly lit up with red flame."

He nodded as if he was absorbing the information she just told him. "Then, we can safely assume that you were able to summon your power because of strong emotions. But we can't rely on that, Tilly. You should be able to summon your flame whenever you want to."

"I'm also thinking about it, Kiho."

"We should train starting today," he said firmly. "I know that your pregnancy is sensitive but you really need to go on training, Tilly. Of course, we'd be careful. I'll make a safe training menu for you."

She let out a tiny gasp. "Oh my gosh. Captain Kiho of the Black Serpent Knights will personally train me? What an honor."

"I'm a strict teacher." He gently flicked her forehead with his fingers. "Once I get home later, we'll start your training. I'll make you strong as soon as possible so be prepared, Tilly."

She gave him puppy dog eyes. "Be gentle with me, Teacher Kiho."

Based on his growing erection, it seemed like he got turned on with what she called him.

"No," she teased him. "Leni and Lani are looking forward to giving me a bath today, Kiho."

He made a pitiful face that made him look like a puppy. "Just one round, honey. Please?"

"When did you stop at round one?" she playfully complained. "You say that all the time but we always end up having at least three rounds."

"It's for real this time," Kiho pleaded, giving her the most adorable puppy dog eyes. "Please, Tilly."

"Gosh," Tilly said while pinching Kiho's cheeks. "How can I say "no" to this face?"

But that adorable face was a "scam."

As expected, they still ended up in "three rounds" and took a bath together.

[I'm sorry, Leni and Lani.]

***

"I HAVE chosen a name that I want to use, Father," Kiho said to Duke Prescott. Right now, they were having coffee in his office in his grand mansion. "Tilly and I have talked about it this morning. She wants to use it as well."

"If Tilly approves of it, then you won't hear a complaint from me," Duke Prescott said. "What is the name that you have chosen, Kiho?"

"Nystrom," he said proudly. "I want our family to take the name 'Nystrom,' Father."

His master had a huge influence on his life.

He was a little distant because of his aloof personality, but he taught him all the things he needed to survive. Master Nystrom was the one who taught him sword and how to use his Mana. If it weren't for the old man, he would have died when he was still a little boy.

[I want to honor him by using his name for me and my family.]

"That's a unique choice," Duke Prescott said. "I like the sound of it." His forehead knotted in confusion. "I think I've heard it before but I can't remember where." A few seconds later, the duke obviously gave up trying to remember where he heard the name. "Well, it's not important where I heard it. I'll submit a request to the emperor today to have your new name registered in the nobility as soon as possible."

"What's the rush for, Father?"

"I want to give you my title before we visit my territory," his father-in-law declared that shocked him. "Usually, a big celebration is prepared when a son inherits his father's title. But because of what happened to Her Royal Highness, it has become an unspoken rule to refrain from organizing big events. Thanks to that, the other nobles wouldn't criticize our family if we don't throw a huge banquet for you. Will that be okay, Kiho?"

He nodded in agreement. "I'm not comfortable with too much attention, Father."

"I figured that out."

"Thank you for always being considerate of me, Father," he said sincerely. "I will do my best to make you proud."

The duke just nodded, then he sipped his tea.

"Father, about Tilly"

Duke Prescott gave him a knowing look, then he put a finger on his nose. "We'll talk about it during our vacation."

Kiho understood right away. The mansion wasn't a safe place to talk about his daughter's real identity. Ah, that was careless of him. "I'm looking forward to our vacation, Father."

***

"YOUR MAJESTY, a letter from Duke Maverick Prescott has arrived," Captain Sherwood announced as he entered his office.

Then, the captain stood in front of his table while holding the tray where the letter was. He told him to read the letters sent to his office in advance and pick the most important ones. He was too busy to go through the letters one by one.

Usually, it was his secretary's job to check the letters sent to him. But he wanted to work Captain Sherwood to death. Even though the captain was on his side now, he was still pissed at his close relationship with his beloved Nia.

"His Grace is requesting for Captain Kiho's new name to be registered to the nobility as soon as possible."

Aku brought the tea cup near his lips. "So, what did Kiho choose as his surname?"

"It's kind of unique," Captain Sherwood said. "Duke Prescott wants Captain Kiho to be registered as Kiho Nystrom."

Aku dropped the cup.

The hot tea poured over his legs but he was too shocked to feel it.

"Your Majesty!" Captain Sherwood said. "Are you hurt?"

"How did Kiho remember that name? I thought I completely erased it from his mind," Aku said under his breath. "How come he remembers the name of his clan that he never knew about?"

***

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