Mommy Villainess Chapter 77


77 Fragile Bonds Tangible Connections
TILLY'S HEART broke for Kiho when she saw the pained look on his face.

"Did the emperor only take me in because he needs me and not because he cares for me?" Kiho asked in a broken voice. "Then, everything he has done for me until now has only been for show?"

Oh, Kiho

She suddenly felt guilty. Maybe she could have said it to him more gently. Or perhaps, she shouldn't have said anything at all until she was sure about his real identity.

"I'm sorry, Kiho," she said while cupping his face between her hands. "Everything is just my speculation. I have no proof that the emperor has only been using you all this time. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything yet. I was so thoughtless"

"No, you're not. You did the right thing, Tilly," he said, putting his hands on top of hers. "We should always share this kind of thing with each other. After all, this is our fight for our family."

She knew he was right but she was still worried. "How are you feeling, Kiho?"

"To be honest, the thought that the emperor only took me in because he needs me for something hurts me," he confessed in a soft and sad voice. "I know that I chose to betray His Majesty. But it doesn't mean that it didn't hurt. He wasn't just a brother to me. This is embarrassing but he was a father figure to me while I was growing up. While I owe a lot of things to my master, it was the emperor who taught me what a family is." He smiled sadly at her. "I'm sorry, Tilly. The emperor and the princess have hurt you. I shouldn't have said this to you so I apologize if I made you guilty."

She was touched to hear that.

Ah, he knows that I feel guilty for making him choose between me and His Majesty.

"You have nothing to feel guilty for, Tilly," he said to her. "It was my choice to choose you over His Majesty. While that decision hurt me, I still don't regret it. You and our baby will always be my top priority."

She smiled at that. "Thank you for your unconditional love, hon," she said. Then, she gave him a light kiss on the lips. "How are you feeling now?"

"Better," he said. "But I will be much, much better with another kiss. The deep one. With tongue."

"Gosh, you've become a pervert," she complained playfully with a pout. "Who taught you to become like that, huh?"

"You," he said teasingly. "So you should take responsibility, Tilly."

"Fine," Tilly said between giggles. Then, she laid on her back and opened her arms. "Come here."

Kiho smiled naughtily, then he carefully collapsed on top of her. "I hope Father comes a little bit late."

And she laughed at that.

***

FATHER looks confused.

Tilly held back her laughter when he saw her father's confused face when he saw the spread of giant seafood on the table.

Right now, they were in the dining hall.

Lord Prescott was the one sitting on the center as a sign of their respect for him.


Tilly sat on her father's left side while Kiho sat on his right side. So right now, she and her husband her sitting across each other.

But when there was only her and Kiho in the dining hall, they would eat side by side. He wasn't comfortable taking the center seat yet and she didn't want to pressure him. She knew that Kiho was studying hard to be a proper noble. But still, she wanted to follow his pace. Pressuring him to follow the nobility's strict protocol right away would only give him stress.

Anyway

Tilly really found it amusing to see her father confused by giant seafood on the table.

She couldn't blame her father though. The higher nobles of the empire weren't really fond of seafood especially those with shells because apparently, they didn't look "elegant" to it. After all, food like King Crabs were food that would be enjoyed more if it was eaten with hands.

"Children," her father said. "Shouldnt we ask the chef to open the shells first before he serves it to us?"

Tilly and Kiho exchanged knowing looks before they turned to Lord Prescott at the same time.

"Don't worry, Father," Tilly assured him. "We will teach you how to properly eat seafood."

"And we have a small gift for you," Kiho added, then he gave a wooden box to Lord Prescott. That box contained a crab mallet. "We hope you like it, Father."

***

AFTER having dinner, Tilly was now in the tea room with Kiho and her father.

The tea they were having was good for digestion. But that wasn't the only reason why they went there. Aside from the study, Kiho also embedded spirit stones in the tea room to protect the conversation being held there.

"The welcome party for you is already tomorrow night, Kiho," her father said while looking at Kiho. Then, he elegantly put the tea cup on the table. "How are you feeling?"

"A little nervous, Father," Kiho admitted, then he sipped his tea before he continued. "But I'll be fine. I'm seriously taking etiquette class these days."

Tilly nodded in agreement. "My husband is really working hard, Father. I'm sure he'll do us proud so don't worry about it."

Kiho turned to her with a small, grateful smile.

She smiled back at him. You deserve the praise, hon.

Lord Prescott cleared his throat to get their attention. Then, he turned to her. "Tilly, you're going to serve the High Priest a few days from now. How's your training going? Will you be able to protect yourself on your own while you're in the temple?"

"I'm starting to get the hang of it, Father," she reported to him. "Thanks to Captain Denver's advice, I can now control the amount of heat that my body should produce to burn stuff."

The first time she made her body literally hot after her awakening, she burnt a face towel to ashes. But currently, she no longer burned stuff accidentally. In fact, if she concentrated hard enough, she could produce a small fire in the tip of her finger. Although its use was only to light up a candle.

But still, we owe Captain Denver a big one.

Captain Denver's advice was simple. According to the list that he gave Kiho, she must learn how to control her body temperature first based on what she wanted to do. Also, he recommended that she focused on meditation first to improve her concentration level.

And it's working.

"I'm still worried," Lord Prescott said. Then, he turned to Kiho. "I have a resting house near the temple, Kiho. Since Marianne was sickly when she was alive, we often visited the temple. I bought a house for her so she wouldn't get tired from traveling back from our mansion to the temple, and vice-versa. You can use that house, Kiho."

"Thank you, Father," Kiho said. "To be honest, I just asked my vice-captain to book me a room in the hotel nearest to the temple. I want to be as near as possible to my wife during that time."

Her father just nodded at her husband as acknowledgement for his devotion to her.

"Father, we have something to say," Tilly said, then she turned to Kiho. When he nodded as an encouragement, she turned to her father again and continued. "We think that Kiho came from a special clan. Personally, I believe that he's not a simple commoner."

She expected that her father would get surprised, but it didn't happen.

Why does it look like Father had already expected that?

"I knew my hunch was correct," her father finally said. Then, he turned to Kiho. "When I heard the surname you chose, do you remember that I said that it sounds familiar?"

Kiho nodded. "Yes, Father."

"I tried to look it up to the history books that our family has been keeping for many years now," her father continued. "Unfortunately, I haven't found a clue yet. But I will dig deeper. I want the two of you to focus on what you have to do for now. Let me take care of this one."

"Thank you, Father," Tilly and Kiho said simultaneously.

"We also have a vacation to look forward to," Lord Prescott said in a mildly excited tone. "Let's work hard for now and relax later when we visit your mother's resting place."

***

THE DINNER to celebrate Kiho's debut in high society was finally tonight.

Since Emperor Aku was invited, the party was held at his palace (as if the emperor would visit their residence instead). Thankfully, he just lent them the venue but the emperor let them plan everything about the party.

Anyway

Tilly wore an elegant black dress with midnight blue accents to honor the Nystrom's family crest. Kiho, on the other hand, wore a black tailored suit with midnight blue tie. Of course, she made him wear her creation: a matching pearl cuff links and tie brooch.

Oh, Father also wore the matching suit that Kiho asked to be made for him.

Gosh, the two looked like real father-and-son duo.

And I'm happy for them.

Anyway, while Kiho and her father were greeting their guests in the entrance of the palace, she stayed in the parlor room to rest.

She wanted to greet their guests as well but she suddenly felt tired. Baby Winter was only seven weeks old but it seemed like their baby was taking most of her strength already. But of course, she wasn't complaining.

Get all the energy that you need, baby, Tilly told Winter while lovingly caressing her tummy. She was yet to have an evident baby bump. But she could feel her son growing in her womb every day. Mommy will be fine as long as you come out healthy.

Her thoughts were cut off when she heard a knock, and then the door suddenly opened.

"Duchess Nystrom?"

Tilly's body froze when she saw the beautiful lady with auburn short hair and light green eyes who entered the parlor room. She instantly recognized the woman because in her past life, she was the one who served as her doctor. Also, she was the one who helped her give birth to Winter in the past.

That woman was definitely Lady Alisa Hayward.

She was the doctor that Princess Nia sent to "take care" of me in the past!

Tilly suddenly clutched her tummy tighter. To be honest, she didn't remember much about Lady Hayward but for some reason, she was shaking in fear. And the fear that she was feeling came from her heart

or was it from Winter's heart and not hers?

My baby, are you afraid of this woman?

"Let me introduce myself, Lady Nystrom," Lady Hayward said, then she curtsied in front of her. "I am Alisa from House Hayward. I came here by Her Royal Highness's order. Before her tragic accident happened, she asked me to be your doctor."

Tilly wanted to tell her to get out but suddenly, she lost her voice.

What's happening to me?

"Don't be afraid, Lady Nystrom," Lady Hayward said with a sickeningly sweet smile. Then, her hand started to reach out to her stomach. "Let me feel your baby first"

Tilly almost made her body burn to protect her son.

But all of a sudden, Lady Hayward stopped moving. Based on the frown on her face, it wasn't her own will to stop. Someone made her do it.

Via magic, obviously.

"Don't touch my patient," Luna declared coldly as she entered the parlor room. And wow, the witch dolled up for tonight. Most of all, she wore a nice dress that made her beauty stand out even more. Though she had to say that the deadly glare she was giving Lady Hayward at the moment was scary. "You can't touch my patient and her baby without my permission, woman."

Tilly gasped at Luna's rudeness but deep inside, she was relieved and happy to see her.

Gosh, Luna is so badass!

***

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