Lady Baby - Chapter 3
“No! She smiled after looking at me!”
Lucius ignored Robert’s insistence and continued to look at Calliope. When their eyes met, she smiled at him. At her smile, his lips also curled up.
“Young Masters, if you yell in that way, the miss will be frightened.”
Calliope’s nanny spoke as she entered the room. Robert covered his mouth with his hands and looked over at the baby. At his actions, her nanny secretly laughed. To see the usually rambunctious and disobedient second younger master quieting down to quickly, what a sight.
“Let’s go have some numnum, Miss.”
The nanny picked up Calliope and left the room.
The countess had wished to breastfeed the baby herself. This was an extremely rare case amongst aristocratic families. The two brothers closely followed the nanny as she walked to the countess’s office. Afraid that they might upset the infant, they carefully watched their footsteps as they walked quietly.
Nevermind the always quiet firstborn, the change in the second son was astonishing. The servants widened their eyes as they saw the two silently walk by, amazed at the lack of noise and mischief. Their youngest master was usually unstoppable in his antics, no matter how much the count scolded his second son.
“Ah, our Lippe’s here. Your brothers came with you too?”
The countess looked up from her documents, and stood up from her seat to carry Calliope. She worried about her daughter, who didn’t make a peep about being hungry, but it was a relief that she ate well.
After breastfeeding her, the countess began to pat Calliope on the back. But Calliope tried to hold it in.
‘No! Don’t wanna, don’t wanna.’
But a response was already beginning to form. Her eyes started to tear up.
“It always takes awhile to come out.”
“Yes, it is worrisome that it takes a while, since it might indicate a weak digestive system,” her nanny chimed in.
‘No no, not like this.’
Calliope shook her head. But even though she did, all it did was press her cute, chubby cheeks against her mother’s shoulder. Calliope tried to hold it back once more, but her mother’s embrace was warm, and the sensation was spreading throughout her body thanks to her mother’s touch.
In the end, surrendered.
“She burped!” Robert shouted loudly, and Calliope’s face burned with embarrassment.
“She smells like milk! It’s sooo cute!”
He continued to comment on the side “cute, cute, cute, cute,” and Calliope only felt further ashamed. She had disgracefully burped, but to then be praised for it as “cute.” It was worth a lifetime of embarrassment.
Unaware of her inner thoughts, her mother smiled and looked at her second son with a pleased expression.
“Do you really like Calliope that much Robel?”
“I love her more than anything else in the world!”
Seeing her seven-year-old son declaring his love for his sister, extending his short arms and drawing them into his chest to express his affection, she chuckled.
“Mom, can I also try holding Lippe?”
“Awww why not! I want to hold her too! I wanna!”
“Lippe might get hurt.”
At those words, Robert quieted down. What in the world. Usually, once her second son started whining for something, he wouldn’t stop until his father disciplined him by spanking his butt. Robert didn’t complain any longer, but his lower lip stuck out like a duck as he pouted.
The countess saw this and let out a wry smile.
“If our Robel eats properly and grows bigger…..Come to think of it, haven’t you been learning the upper strike move recently? Once you master the lower strike move as well, I’ll let you hold Lippe. Our second son is strong and sturdy, so I know that you’ll be able to hold her soon.”
“Really? Then I’m going to work ree~~aally hard and learn it ree~~aally soon! I can’t wait to carry Lippe!”
– Ehem, mm.
At that moment, her eldest son, who had originally been quietly watching this all unfold, cleared his throat.
“Mother, I have already mastered the lower strike move. The continuous strike and the changeover strike moves as well.”
She blinked her eyes, stunned upon hearing such words from her always cool-headed and reserved firstborn son.
“Uh, uhhh. Right, that’s right. …….Would you like to try carrying Lippe?”
She asked while trying to hold back her laughter as she saw Lucius nod with a serious facial expression.
“Okay, be careful. Good, there we go.”
“No fair, just hyung..!”
Robert stomped his feet. His lower lip popped right back out. Lucius smirked as he saw his brother’s pouting face, and he held a triumphant look as he carried Calliope.
“Grrr…grrr! You just watch me, I’ll definitely master the lower slash in a month!”
“If you keep slacking around like usual, that’s not going to happen.”
Robert held great talent in the Rustichel Family’s swordsmanship. And so the fact that he was still learning the upper cut like other kids his age could only mean that he was practicing lazily.
“Hey when did I!”
“You’ll scare Lippe. Don’t yell.”
Robert held his lips shut tight, trembling with frustration at Lucius’s words.
“Our second is such a cool older brother to his younger sister.”
The countess stroked her son’s head. What a shock that this troublemaker had become this obedient just because he now had a younger sibling. He had been the walking disaster of the Rustichel house. Even though she was witnessing it with her own eyes, she still couldn’t believe it. Afraid that Lucius’s arms were getting tired from holding Calliope, the countess reached out her hands towards him.
“Isn’t she heavy? You can now give her to me.”
“She isn’t heavy.”
Bluntly responding like so but still afraid his mother would take Calliope away, Lucius even quickly turned his back to her.
‘What? That’s my son, you little…!’
For a moment, the countess faced her son, sparks flying between them.
“Ah, all of you have gathered in the same place.”
The door opened and a man as large as a buffalo entered the room. Count Rustichel.
The count then noticed Calliope, and froze in place. Upon seeing her father who didn’t dare come any closer, Calliope chewed her gums in thought. Now that she thought about it, her father had similarly stood a couple of steps away from her in her past life as well.
In her previous life, her father was neither an affectionate nor a sensitive person. Though he was very respectful to his wife, he was a strict and immovable figure to his children. He also never bent his principles even to his wife.
‘I don’t have any memories of him hugging me when I was young in my previous life, but right now, I’m an infant.’
Calliope picked up her courage and reached out her hands to her father. She had never tried to ask for a hug in her previous life, so she felt awkward and unsure as she tried for the very first time.
‘But still, because I missed him a lot…”
After her father had passed away, she regretted countless times. She should have been a better daughter, she should have told him she loved him, she should have spent time with him more.
Calliope didn’t want to have the same thing happen again, to regret that she was too late upon her parents’ passing.
At Calliope’s call, the count flinched and his body froze once more. A small hand reached out towards him like a maple leaf reaching out towards the sun.
The count’s eyes shook. Because of his imposing appearance, infants would cry at the sight of his face until their face became red due to lack of air. His cold firstborn and his mischievous second were the same. So, without any other option, he had kept his distance from his children.
Calliope was even calling out to her father.
The count approached the child, step by step, taking a step and then stopping before continuing. Though he had a huge frame, his fearless nickname of “The Red Bull” was nothing like his appearance at the moment. Seeing her husband taking so much caution, the countess snickered.
“Lippe must have missed her father. Hurry and hold her Dear.”
The count eventually reached his daughter after much hesitation. He was intrigued by the babe that didn’t cry and only cheerfully smiled, even at a short distance away from him.
He carefully reached out his hand, and the baby grabbed onto his index finger, her eyes rolling about with interest and without any sort of fear.
“Then, shall Daddy hold our Lippe for a bit?”
Without thinking, the coaxing words spilled out of his mouth. He’d never heard himself say such words in his entire life. Calliope was ready to be held by her father and reached out, but then Lucius walked backwards and turned away from his father.
The count’s softened expression instantly hardened.
“You must be tired from work, so I will hold her instead.”
“I’m not tired.”
“You look tired. Did you not tell me that inspecting one’s body objectively was an important principle for a knight.”
Lucius answered steadily. Electricity sparked between the two of them.
Calliope etched this sight of her harmonious (?)1 family. Just the fact that they were by her side made her heart warm like a loaf of just-baked bread.
‘My family loved me this much. Treasured me this much.’
Calliope felt a sense of renewal.
She realized that her family members were different from what she had of them in her memories. Her second brother had a sly personality, but she would never have thought that he was always losing to his elder brother. Her oldest brother was actually more childish than she could have ever imagined. The younger appearance of her two brothers was enough to make her laugh out loud. Her father, who was always strict and headstrong, was actually just unsure of how to interact with his children. And her mother…
Her mother was really just the same.
She guessed that they were like this when she was a baby, and she was now witnessing their appearances at that time. Calliope took this memory of the current present and stored it deep down in her heart. This was all the more precious, even amongst the memories of her past life, because there weren’t such familial moments like this when she had grown up. Calliope didn’t have a cute or winning personality, and more than that–
‘Since they all died early on.’
And it wasn’t because of an accident of an incurable disease. They had all been killed. She still didn’t know who the perpetrator was. So of course the killer hadn’t paid for their crimes. Not that it would lessen her sense of loss in any way.
‘And this time, I won’t let them have their way.’
Calliope’s eyes let out a sharp glint.
‘I will definitely protect them.’
As she made this decision, she began to doze off. Calliope widened her eyes to try to spend more of this happy time with her family.
But she ended up losing to her sleep for the 846th time.
‘Sigh…..No way. It’s too strong.’
In her 4th month, Calliope was locked in a desperate struggle against the laws of the universe. She stretched out her arms.
After her body rocked from side to side for a bit, she immediately felt herself losing strength. Calliope felt out of breath.
‘It’s not working.’
Everything became so difficult because her arms and legs wouldn’t move according to her will. But there was an even larger problem than that.
‘My head is too heavy…..’
She was currently fighting what every human, no, every living thing that has walked on the earth, had to fight against in their lifetimes.
Calliope was fighting against gravity.
She…was trying to flip her body over.