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After three years living together, luckily the casualty rate had become close to zero.
More proper housings and other structures had been made once they came to an acceptance that they might need to spend quite a long time living there, and the place was more than ideal to support their livelihood. Although not as polished as the original world, it was enough.
Everyone was pretty much adapted to living here and had become more harmonious with one another. Some quarrels still happened from time to time, but it was less frequent and less malicious than before.
On this seemingly ordinary day, Fideline walked into Oriel’s room as usual.
“Good morning, Milady. It’s time to wake up,” Fideline lightly shook Oriel’s body.
“Mmm… Right, I need to get up,” Oriel said as she dragged her sluggish body up.
“Are you feeling better?” Fideline asked as she extended a hand to help Oriel.
“Yeah, maybe I was just too tired these days…,” Oriel said as she held her forehead.
“You should get some rest, Oriel-sama,” Fideline suggested.
“You too, you’re much more of a workaholic than me.”
“It’s not working. It’s only researching—”
“I know you are a studious person in nature, but it’s still working and you need more rest.”
“I am doing it for our own good, too,” Fideline said.
“Right, right. As we know more about this world, we might be able to find a way home…,” Oriel then paused and muttered, “I wonder how the others are doing in our original world…”
“……,” Fideline was silently aiding Oriel to prepare to face the day.
“I can’t help but wonder. Have you caught yourself feeling that way, Fideline?” Oriel asked.
“Hmm… Not really. You’re the only person I have in that world that I care about, Milady, and you’re right here with me, so…,” Fideline causally answered.
“Sorry…,” Oriel didn’t say anything else and just looked down.
“It’s fine,” Fideline said.
“Shall we eat breakfast together?” Oriel then said as she noticed she was done getting prepared.
“With pleasure, Milady.”
Meanwhile, on the other side…
The great general of Naraka, Nagare Sesshouseki was having an important discussion with his most trusted aide, Osamu.
“…and so far, although there are natural teleportation spots in this world that we’ve been using as shortcut once we determine they’re safe, I have yet to find any dimensional gate. I am pretty sure there must have been at least one in this weird world… But…,” Osamu sighed.
“Why are you that sure?” Nagare asked.
“For one, there are natural teleportation spots. Then, there are some places void of gravitation here. There are all sort of weird stuff here, and all these weird things meshed up together here will definitely bring about a dimensional distortion, somewhere. If they are permanent like the permanent teleportation spots we’ve found, they might become a dimensional gate we can use to travel… Yeah, in the end, they are all hypothetical, though,” Osamu admitted defeat after blabbering out his thoughts.
“How is it going with the native ‘people’ of this world?” Nagare asked.
“Yeah, the ‘aliens’, as we call them. They seem intelligent and communicate in some kind of language we have yet to understand. But we’ve found that they’re living in a very small group as opposed to us, the sentient humanoid races in our original world, Sphaela. Some are very solitary and those in small groups are hostile towards anyone other than their own. It’s hard to approach them to even try to digest their language, but perhaps we can find something useful if we can communicate with them…”
“Have you found the remaining of the separate groups?” Nagare asked.
“None,” Osamu shook his head as the two drowned in thoughts about the scattered Onis and elves who still refused to be with them.
Right. They tried to find them in every chance and exploration, but they rarely saw them. Not all that they encountered want to return to their side, despite the fatal wounds they seemed to have suffered.
Some were found in the state of dying, but were keen on refusing help, saying, “Over my dead body.”
And so, their words were granted.
Right at that time, they heard an unusual commotion from outside.
The almost inaudible voices they heard couldn’t be of use to find out what was happening.
“Princess, h— on!”
“Why are… like that?!”
Nagare then raised his voice towards the door, “What is it?”, asking to the ones outside.
But before an explanation could be heard, the door was opened in a rough manner.
And there, a worked up Oriel with a clearly angry face could be seen. One of her hand seemed to be holding Fideline, as Fideline’s figure could be seen behind Oriel.
Then, Oriel stared dagger at the stunned Nagare, causing him to be confused and asked, “Oriel, what’s the matter?”
“Shou, you better take responsibility for this!”
What came out of Oriel’s mouth was something that Nagare still couldn’t understand.
“Huh?!” Nagare blurted out without thinking.
“Great General, I didn’t think that you would—,” Osamu had a mischievous side in him, so he snickered and tried to fan the fire by saying that with an exaggerated surprised face at Nagare.
“No, wait, there’s really nothing—,” Nagare quickly answered the annoying Osamu.
But then, Oriel’s sharp gaze quickly landed on the snickering Osamu, causing Osamu to shiver as his mind seemed to be screaming ‘We’re in trouble!…?!’
With her index finger pointing at the stunned Osamu, Oriel quickly said, “Your subordinate is a scum! What are you even doing as his higher up, Shou?!”
It was Osamu’s turn to gasp in surprise.
Without even giving Osamu the chance to think, Oriel quickly pushed Fideline in front of her, as well as in front of Osamu.
Fideline only held her mouth and frowned. Noticing this, Osamu stood up and approached Fideline when…
“She’s like this because of you! Are you a man? How can you mess up the order?!”
Osamu’s confused face then changed immediately upon hearing Oriel’s last sentence.
He then took a closer look at Fideline, who was evidently feeling nauseous and tried to hold back from vomiting.
“Urp…,” Fideline still held her hands in front of her mouth. And it was then that Osamu understood.
“Fideline, you’re…?!” Osamu still couldn’t bring up the word he wanted to say.
Luckily, Fideline’s nausea dissipated as she opened her eyes and looked up at Osamu and said, “I’m pregnant.”
Nagare, who was right next to Osamu, had his eyes opened widely due to the surprise towards this sudden and unexpected development.
Osamu then asked Fideline as he held her shoulders, “Is it true? Really? I mean, we… you are a pure-blooded elf, and I am a pure-blooded Oni, and…”
Fideline’s shy gaze quickly turned into a dagger-like stare as her tone changed into a harsh one, “Are you saying that I’m sleeping with another man?!”
“No, I would never think of that—Huh? Then…?” Osamu’s brain seemed to crash.
“…I wonder if this child’s gonna be more of an Oni or an elf…,” Fideline muttered as she caressed her still-slim tummy and then said dejectedly, “But ah, we’re so different. There must be a reason why a child between pure-blooded Oni and pure-blooded elf was never found before. Will this child even be able to live…”
“Don’t think about it, I’ll do everything I can for them to live!” Osamu quickly declared.
As the pair of couple was deep in their own world, Oriel coughed before saying, “So, where’s your responsibility?”
“Huh? Yes, of course I will take care of her and this child…,” Osamu quickly answered with a dumbfounded tone.
Oriel stared dagger at Nagare.
“Why me?” Nagare wondered but he then coughed before saying, “Shall we hold a wedding for the two of you?”
And thus, on that very historical day, the Oni-elf alliance was in uproar because the Oni’s great general and elf princess suddenly announced that their aides, Fideline and Osamu would be holding their wedding ceremony here, as quickly as possible.
At this point, they were pretty much used to the spirit of togetherness and almost everyone would participate in preparing any kind of celebration or even funeral.
But a wedding? This would be the first time.
Very quickly, people started voicing their opinions, “Why wedding now? Isn’t a wedding here… pretty much useless…?”
Their implication was that something like that should be held when they return to their original world, but then again, the situations might change after returning…
There were other Oni and elves that seemed to feel attraction. As an attraction might even occur in people towards someone completely different from them, not just through similarity. But nobody really dared to pursue it to something else, as they realized there might be no ‘future’ for such a relationship.
But it was pretty much known that Osamu and Fideline had something for each other. From their intense bickering to close relationship due to being in the same research team and the leaders of the research team who were both so into their work. Their quarrels were usually noisy and almost comedic that everyone was even comforted by their antics.
Everyone joked that the two of them were in three-way relationship with their work, because apparently, they bonded over their work and goals. And some even thought that they were dating because both were curious about the other race, and since both were the same type of a studious person, they were all in to ‘learning more about the other’.
As to why the two of them could progress to this relationship this quickly…
For Fideline, she had no attachment to the original world and lived in the present. She didn’t have much thought about returning to the original world, other than because of Oriel that obviously wanted to return.
As for Osamu, he happened to not like thinking about the uncertain future and would focus on the certain present. He didn’t have any fiancée or thought of forming a family before. He thought of marrying his job. Until he met Fideline, who was more like a female version of himself.
Amidst everyone’s growing demand on asking, “Why wedding now?”, Fideline’s face reddened and Osamu hesitated to announce.
Osamu shuddered out of a sudden and when he turned around, he saw the elf princess staring at him with a murderous intent, so he quickly cut his hesitation, grabbed Fideline’s hand, took a step forward, and announced, “We’re expecting.”
The noisy surrounding quickly turned silent. Everyone had the same expression on their face. It was evident that their minds were blown by Osamu’s revelation. Nobody thought that a child between a pureblooded Oni and elf would be able to exist. This was also why nobody dared to pursue a relationship with the other race. Most still wanted to have a child that could carry their bloodline.
It was different for Osamu and Fideline. Both didn’t mind being with each other, both also didn’t mind not having a child.
After the initial silent, everyone turned even noisier than before.
“Wow, what? Is this, for real?”
“So, she’s pregnant, right? But will the child be alright…?”
“Hey, what are you saying?”
“I mean…! Throughout the known history, there is no…”
“Probably it’s because of our different magical element. No Oni can do Light magic and no elf can do dark magic unless they’re not pure-blooded. Two contrasting characteristic clashing, will it be alright or fatal?”
“I’m afraid for them, but I’m also excited…”
“More importantly, we’re finally going to celebrate a wedding here! What’s more, it’s between an Oni and elf!!”
Everyone’s reaction varied, from being excited to fearful and worried, but nobody gave any opposition.
The research and health team worked together in order to pay more attention to Fideline starting that day.
To the Oni-elf alliance, Fideline and Osamu’s wedding as well as their child symbolized their hope and solidified their alliance even more.
That was why, they were both fearful and excited.
Of course, everyone wanted their small united family to be able to survive any calamity, for the child to be able to be carried full to term, be brought to life, and to live well…
For they symbolized everyone’s hope for this alliance to work out and last forever.