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After spending most of a day in Edgeworth Village, we went back home.

I was quite eager to get the next phase of the project going. So eager that despite the fact that rather than wait for the sun to set, I going sky borne just so I could get home a little sooner.

Well, it wasn't really a little.

Thanks to the shawl that Elli had commissioned for me, just by draping it over my shoulders I could expose my wings and fly through the air despite the harsh sunlight bearing down on them.

At least that was the theory.

"Okay okay. This'll be alright. It's already been proven to work after all."

[Umm, Scarlet, I don't mind waiting until dark.]

"No, it's fine. I'm a vampire who's beaten the sun already. I just need to teabag it now."

[Teabag?]

"Umm, don't worry about it."

While hidden out of sight thanks to [Spirit Form], I simply stood there with the shawl wrapped over my shoulders, preparing myself to grow out my wings so I could take off.

But I could feel the sun's rays trying to pry themselves through the opening of my hood.

I knew that the shawl worked. I've experienced it for myself already.

But years of fearing the sun, of hating it, made it hard to expose myself to it even knowing it no longer had the power to hurt me.

I took a deep breath, then closing my eyes, I activated [Alter Silhouette]. I could feel the beginnings of my wings stretch out from my back, feeling around the inside of my robes until they found the overlapping flaps that concealed the holes in the back. They continued on, the coolness of the autumn wind tickling the freshly grown flesh. Eventually that same wind stopped gently caressing my new limbs like a lover, and instead dove straight into them like a child being caught in her mother's bosom.

Finally, I let the breath out of my lungs and opened my eyes. My wings were visible from the corner of my eyes.

There was no pain, no burning sensation. Not even a little bit of heat on my wings beyond what a tiny fragment of a memory told me that this amount of warmth was normal.

My heart on the other hand was pounding, and I was sure it wasn't because of impatience.

But I still needed more confirmation. My wings flapped slowly, gently catching the air under them and lifting me up to my toes before letting me down again.

Nothing happened to my wings, nor the rest of me. No flames, not intense burning sensation making me want to scream in pain.

So despite the nervousness in my heart refusing the go away, I flapped hard, shooting into the air as I wrapped my arms around my chest, holding tight to the shawl despite the pin that supposedly secured it well enough that there was no chance of it coming off on its own according to Elli.

Yes, there was no pain, no burning, but I felt queasy every time the wind licked up my hood and the sun shone directly on my face. The light was still hurt my eyes. The shawl's amazing enchantment couldn't do anything to stop the pain from the excessive brightness.

By the time I had gotten home, I felt like I was going to throw up. Like I was suffering from light headedness, dizziness, vertigo, intense throbbing in my head, an upset stomach, heartburn, and countless other symptoms which shouldn't have been possible to put together.

Whether it was some sort of side effect of being exposed under the sun despite the enchantment or it all just being psychological, one thing was sure.

I didn't want to do that again.

Maybe I would have to, but not if I could help it.

The shawl though, would stay close to me in my bag just in case. It had proven its worth even without its accompanying pareo.

"Alright then, time to work."

Taking out the case with the hairs found in the fountain room along with the assorted hairs I nabbed from Alicia's hold home, I removed a single one of Alicia's mostly confirmed hair before putting the package back into my bag for safe keeping.

Holding onto the precious strand in one hand, I picked up a hair from the remaining pile and activated my original skill: [Data.Compare()].

[99.6%]

Things still looked as good as it did in Edgeworth Village, but I wanted to go a bit further. As long as it didn't delay things too much, I would put in all the effort I could without compromising on anything important.

So for the night, I continued to use the skill to compare the data between the hair in my left hand and each hair in the pile in front of me.

On occasion I got up to get a snack or spent some time submerged naked in the fountain, cooling off my head to get rid of the headaches that emerged from repeated use of the skill.

[Data.Compare()] wasn't a complicated skill. It was frankly quite a basic one, as all it did was compare the data from two objects and gave me a result in how much the two matched up. There were a few provisions to deal with data not lining up perfectly in the right order or lines which existed in one but not the other, but aside from that, it was just a brute force comparator.

That meant that while the code itself was incredibly simple, for a skill at least, the amount of processing that was done was quite immense. The result was that my brain heated up while in use.

But I kept at it, refuelling my neurons when needed, and did my best to avoid cooking the grey matter in my skull.

While the work took a while, I managed to compare the hairs before morning had arrived.

I did check them all, just in case. On the odd chance that I might have been wrong.

But in the end, I sat there on the floor with two hairs in front of me, only one of them from the little container full of hairs scoured from this very room.

[100%]

Those magic words.

Just in case, I checked it again.

[100%]

The grin on my face was so wide that my cheeks hurt, yet I couldn't do anything to stop.

[100%]

It was the hair I had found when there were only a dozen or so left. It was an old hair, made obvious from how crooked and warped it looked compared to the other hairs. Most likely from being swept into a corner or trampled on for years.

[100%]

Even though my head hurt, that if I doused my head in water maybe steam would rise. But even still, seeing that number show up in my mind was like confirming the world's most wonderful news.

[I know you're happy and all, but don't you think you're taking this a bit far?]

"I know I am. But still!"

[100%]

[Are you going to keep doing that the entire time? What about the next step?]

"..."

She was right. I should move on to the next step. No matter how happy seeing this made me, there was no point if I didn't move on to the next step as well.

"Alright. You've made your point. But are you sure? After I confirm phase two worked, you'll probably be asleep until the next phase finishes. I can't delay it after all."

[I know. But...we'll be together the entire time, right?]

"Of course. Until the phase is finished, we'll still be inseparable."

Those words of encouragement weren't just for her. I knew half the reason why I was delaying phase two. Once I confirmed it worked, phase three meant that I would likely not be able to talk to Alicia until the phase ended.

Even after it ended, it didn't guarantee that we'd be able to talk for a while.

This was uncharted territory after all. Even if everything worked as intended, there were so many unknowns, so many things we'd just have to take as they came.

[Then I think you should do it. There's no benefit to delaying it.]

"...You're right. There really isn't."

I was forced to suppress a sigh. Everything she said was right.

But in a sense, I was envious of Alicia. It was easy being the one at risk. Being the one putting another, and the one I cared about the most at that, at risk was almost like torture.

Endless worries plagued me. They've been plaguing me for months, but the thought of actually doing it just compounded those fears.

[So?]

"Fine! I'll do it!"

Taking the hair I had used to compare everything with, I enacted the second of three skills I had created for the sake of my life project.

[Artificial Insemination]

Using the data from Alicia's hair and my own, I could feel mana coursing through my body and condensing in the lower part of my belly.

The skill itself was only a modification of the [Breeding] skill, but most likely the effect was quite a lot different from its original. After all, the new skill did all the work of fertilization and implantation in addition to fixing the race of the embryo.

[Okay! There's some changes to your data!]

"Really?!"

I opened up the hidden data revealed by [Scan] and scrolled through it. There were certainly some new lines there in regards to my body. But the lines were pretty ambiguous. They didn't really confirm that I was pregnant, just that there was some sort of change to my body.

It seemed like it would take some time.

"There's no new core container file yet..."

[I'm sure that it'll show up soon. We probably just have to give it a bit of time!]

"Yea, you're probably right."

My hand went to my belly, but of course I wouldn't be able to feel anything. An embryo was still only a single cell, even if it was quite a bit larger than most others.

The cold feeling in the pit of my stomach didn't go away, but even still, I couldn't just sit on my laurels and keep watch on my data for any change.

There would be an opening for when I could enact phase three. That opening won't just shut while I'm doing something else. It'll stay open for at least a few days if my scans of those pregnant women from before was any indication.

Pushing myself back onto my feet, I put my things away and prepared for work.

The next morning, I was working in my office clearing out the work that had piled up when I paused my hand for a moment.

"It's still not there..."

[Don't worry. I'm checking as well. You can just concentrate on your work.]

"I know, but..."

[Work comes first Scarlet! Everyone's depending on you!]

"But you're the one depending on me for...!"

There wasn't anyone else who could take care of Alicia. Aside from Claret, nobody even knew she existed even! I was the only one who could take care of her.

[That's why I'm checking your body! I can't help you with your work, so at least let me do this!]

But Alicia interrupted me. Her words were right, like usual.

"...Alright. But tell me when you see any changes, alright? It looked like there was a couple of new lines added an hour ago."

[I know. I saw them too. I'll tell you when I see anything important change, alright? Not for something small though. You need to work.]

"...Fine. Alright."

I didn't like the terms, but I was starting to annoy Alicia. It wasn't good to make her angry, not over something which neither of us could do anything about at the moment.

So I went back to correcting documents.

There was also the matter with Edgeworth Village as well. I've already put up three requests for common food items, and would have to put up more later.

It would be unfair for me to bring high worth food instead of the quantity the villagers needed as a way to pay for the paper, but at the same time our hunters could only carry so much in a single run. They weren't like me who had a magic bag of enormous capacity, nor did they have [Dimensional Magic].

At least as far as I knew.

(Maybe I should look into what it took to make one of these things.)

My eyes flickered to the bag hanging off the corner of my desk. As ever, the white cartoon rabbit, or rather, the killer bunny, that it was shaped after was quite a cute thing. I wasn't really willing to let it go even after I learned to carry things with magic instead. It had served me quite faithfully for years after all. At the very least, I'd like to keep using it to store my things even if I stopped bringing it everywhere I went.

There were a few people who knew their ways around magical items. I should try talking to some of them at some point.

But for now, I resisted the urge to check my data again and went back to my usual work. Only stopping for a bit when Orphne came flying through the window crying that she lost her last few desserts because she missed her work two days ago.

It took almost everything I had to resist the urge to tell her 'I told you so.'

In the end, I had to wait for another whole day before my data expanded to properly confirm the pregnancy.

It was the third night since I used the [Artificial Insemination] skill. Alicia checked my data as part of her routine when we got back home from work, and the first thing she did was tell me about it.

[It's there! You have another core in your data, Scarlet!]

"Really?!"

[Yea! Here it is!]

A pair of small windows appeared in the middle of my sight line. There were only a few lines included, but one of them was a line that included a new container file, one for a core which I didn't have before.


"It's there. It's really there!"

[It is! And look inside of it!]

I moved the window I was looking at aside and switched to the second one the excited little girl sent me. It had the label for the same core container file as before, but this one showed its contents. It was completely empty. There wasn't anything in it.

"This really is it. It's the core. The one that'll carry you from now on Alicia..."

[That's right! It's so amazing! You did it Scarlet!]

"No, not yet. This is only confirming phase two worked. Now we've got phase three to go."

[Th...that's right. Then...you'll be alone.]

All of a sudden all the excitement that Alicia had instantly faded. Like she suddenly remembered about a regret or was confronted with a forgotten mistake.

But to me that wasn't true at all.

"I won't be alone. You'll still be with me. The only difference is that you'll move from here..."

I patted my chest before moving my hand to my belly.

"To here."

My hand moved across the surface of my belly, probing it for any new bumps that might have formed. Of course there wouldn't have been. The embryo wouldn't have grown nearly large enough to be noticeable from outside of the body yet. That'll still be months in the future.

But even still, through the subtle bumps of my abs, I could swear I could feel something which wasn't there before.

[Right. You're right.]

"And if you're thinking I'll be lonely without you to talk to, I still have Claret to talk to as well."

I turned to my ever faithful familiar. Her eyes widened at my words, then all the energy from there quickly transferred to her lips as they pushed her cheeks into her lower eyelids as she nodded to my words.

"And not just Claret too. I have everyone from the Hourai Commonwealth to talk to if on the impossible chance that I end up feeling lonely. Alright?"

At the very notion that I might start feeling lonely despite Claret's presence, she popped her mouth open and shut like a goldfish trying to give me a counterargument. But her complete failure at even formulating any argument made her drop her head and rest her chin on my shoulder.

The sight was a bit pitiful, so I lightly rubbed the dark spirit's hair to fix her mood.

[You're right. It's not like when we first met. You have lots of people to talk to now!]

Personally, I had the little fluffballs to talk to even then. Was Alicia denying the idea that they were good conversation partners? They were really good listeners, personally. Not like I spoke much out loud to them at the time though.

"So, do you still want to wait? I think we have a few more days leeway."

[No, let's do it now. I don't want to risk it getting too late.]

"Umm, alright. Now it is then."

Having the pressure of transferring Alicia's soul to the new barely formed body down there in my belly put on with full force again, my heart started to race once again as my mind did its best to think about all the terrible oversights I might have made despite all the checks I've done on the new original skill.

I took in a deep breath.

I let out my breath.

Breath in.

Breath out.

...

Breath in.

Breath out.

...

...

Breath in.

Breath out.

...

(Alright.)

...

Breath in.

Breath out.

(Now I'm ready...)

...

...

Breath in.

Breath out.

...

Breath in.

Breath out.

[Scarlet?]

"Wah!"

[Are you alright? Is something wrong? Your heart is pounding really hard.]

"No! No, it's fine. I'm just...nervous."

In the end I admitted it. It was shameful, but hiding it just didn't feel right.

[I am too, but I trust you, Scarlet.]

"Umm, yea. Thanks."

(Yea, no pressure, sure...)

Somehow the weight on my shoulders seemed to increase twofold.

"Alright!"

I slapped my cheeks to hype myself up. A booming sound came from the impact, but I ignored it.

Finally, I activated my new original skill, [Soul Injection].

It was a skill based on my older modified skill [Soul Siphon]. But removing most of the components of the already stripped down skill, I then reversed the movement of the soul from the special container file that Alicia's soul was held in and had it redirect towards the new one that was created when we finally confirmed my pregnancy.

With the activation of the new skill, I could feel an aura which was similar to my own, yet distinctly different travel down through my body, not through any distinct path but phasing through what was in the way. The whole thing, the size of a small child, continued down my body before it compressed itself, condensing into a tiny spot near the bottom of my belly before stopping.

After a few more moments, I could no longer feel the aura as a separate thing, the feeling entirely disappearing.

But it wasn't gone. I was sure of it. It simply changed from something which was slightly foreign to something which my body recognized as completely familiar.

I used [Scan] on myself opened my data. Scrolling down past my own core container file, I found a second one. When I opened it, I saw a filled file with lots of data, but little activity.

It seemed like Alicia had gone to sleep again.

This time, it would be about ten months before we could be reunited. If vampire pregnancies took as long as human ones at least.

Before I knew it, my hand was already caressing the spot where I felt her aura condense into.

"...t!...let! Scarlet!"

"Huh?"

"Don't 'huh' me! What're you doing going into a daze in the middle of our match!"

"Oh, umm...sorry."

Looking in front of me, Orphne's spear was clearly wedged in between the neck and skull of my little doll.

"Does your tummy hurt?"

"Where did that come from?"

Right after the anger, the little fairy's expression changed to concern.

"You keep rubbing it. Or maybe you're hungry? How about we get some food!"

"No, I'm not hungry. And my tummy doesn't hurt."

"Then why are you touching your tummy?"

To think I ended up doing it again. Ever since I used [Soul Injection], I couldn't help but keep thinking about the new life which was now growing inside of my body. And every time I did that, my hand was already checking to see if I could confirm the bump which would someday appear.

Even though it shouldn't happen for a few more months, I couldn't stop myself. I was so excited at the thought of carrying Alicia in my arms. I wanted to feel that tiny weight in my arms. To see how cute she ended up becoming. To see those ruby red eyes I was sure she would inherit look up at me with recognition and understanding.

"You're doing it again! What's wrong with your tummy Scarlet?"

"Oh, umm. Nothing's wrong. It's not anything bad."

"Then what is it?"

I took in a deep breath.

"I'm pregnant."

The little fairy in front of me froze. I could almost hear the gears grinding in that tiny little head of hers as it processed what I just said.

"You...huh? Vampires can have babies?"

"Yup! I confirmed it last night! I'm definitely pregnant!"

A few more seconds passed by before the eyes of the tiny figure dashed down to where my hand was before returning to my eyes, then went back and forth a few more times.

"Wah! That's amazing! There's a little baby in there then?"

"Yup!"

Having it said by someone else made a strange rush of emotions run through me. My cheeks grew warm as they rose so high that I could feel my eyes squint a little.

"Can I touch it?"

"Sure."

I moved my hand and leaned back a little so the little fairy could get close enough.

Orphne fluttered over, then hovering over my lap, she softly pressed her hands on my belly and slowly moved them across, feeling through my robes.

"That's so amazing! Six bumps! You're pregnant with six babies?!"

"No, that's umm..."

(How did she come to that conclusion?!)

Ninetailed_Furball

Hi everybody! Its your usual furball! (≧∇≦)/

So, it's happened! It's finally happened! ~~~(^.^)/~~~

Say goodbye to Alicia, because she'll be asleep for the next while. It won't be for a huge amount of time as I've reassured a few others in the comments already, but for most of the rest of this arc, if not for the beginning of the next arc as well.

Also, another reader mentioned some issues with my percentages, and I agreed with it. They'll be changed in the future once I decide exactly how to deal with it (making a six digit decimal doesn't exactly sound so great after all). (_ _)

Anyways, look forward to enjoying Scarlet's time with the pregnancy and some localized shenanigans for a while. I just hope that people won't be turned off by the level of detail during it. I won't go so far as last time, but I may step over the line again despite my best efforts. I've been doing a lot of research lately related to this after all. (ーー;)

Stay safe everyone, and look forward to some homely goodness!

Until next time! (/◕ヮ◕)/



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1 Comments

2 Months, 1 Week ago

Oh my god okay it’s happening everybody stay calm!

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