Living in Nohr was… different. They were strict people, focused on surviving in the harsh land they live in.
That didn’t mean the people there weren’t kind, or had heart. But they often had very little innocence left in them.
There was, of course, one exception. And of course the exception was the leader of their movement.
Selena was the first one to find out about it. She found Corrin standing outside the castle, staring wistfully at the lands in front of her.
“Hey, what’s with the long face?”
Corrin turned to face Selena with a smile on her face. “Oh, I just have the best news, Selena! I’m pregnant.”
Corrin repeated herself, thinking she wasn't clear. “I’m pregnant! Isn’t it great?”
“But, uh, milady, we’re in the middle of a war? We can’t have our leader out of commission for a year, at least.” One good thing about her mother being the most perfect being in existence was that Selena was at least born in relative peace.
“Oh, that’s not a problem! Lilith told me of a great solution!”
Selena attempted to crack a smile. “Time travel?”
“No, the Deeprealms!”
Naga preserve her.
“I swear, Corrin lived under a rock or something!” Selena huffed as she met Odin and Laslow at their traditional meeting spot. “Only she would think it was a good idea to drop off a child in another realm while a battle goes on.”
Laslow coughed. “I’m sorry, did I hear you right? Lady Corrin is pregnant? During a time of conflict like this?”
Odin frowned. “Did her husband not understand how to prevent pregnancy?” Selena and Laslow turned to look at him, confused. “What? Mother gave me some long lectures about pregnancy, back at home,” he muttered in response.
“The point is, she totally realizes that it’s impractical to lead a war while pregnant, so she’s decided to let the child to grow up in an alternate realm where time flows differently. I mean, does she even realize what that’s going to do to the child? I mean, look at us! Our parents weren’t around for pretty legitimate reasons, and we’re messed up as it is.”
“Excuse me, I, Odin Dark, am a beautiful specimen, the pinnacle of humanity—”
“Shut up, Odin,” Laslow and Selena said simultaneously.
“But Selena has a point. What kind of life is that for the child? Living separated from everyone else, parents away fighting a war that shadows their whole life? Knowing their parents could be with them, but decides not to?” Laslow mused. “I would wish that upon no one.”
“Yeah, it’s not even clear if you can visit the child after you leave. And I think Corrin would have to give birth in that realm too? It’s so weird. Man, I can’t believe I prefer having our parents die in battle instead of whatever this is.”
“While Lady Corrin is naïve, I have always admired her ability to stick to her convictions,” Odin said, frowning. “There is little we can do to change her mind. Especially as our position as retainers to her siblings. And her siblings… I’m not sure Lord Leo would be able to change her mind.”
Selena sighed. “Lady Camilla would support Lady Corrin as long as it made her happy.”
Laslow frowned. “Lord Xander... no, even he is putty in her hands.”
“Then we must find someone else in our army who can change her mind. Someone with a silver tongue, who has the right perspective to change her mind. Someone…feminine.” Odin turned to Selena. “Do you happen to know anyone who would work?”
“Geez, Odin, just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I know everyone’s girly secrets.” She sighed. “But you’re right. It would probably be better coming from me. I’ll see what I can do.”
It soon became very obvious what the problem was: no one wanted to speak out against Corrin about her decision. She was their leader, and a princess to boot.
(Some people actually thought it was reasonable. Well, okay, only Charlotte, because she thought it was a great way to snag a husband. But still! Nohrians.)
Luckily, there was one person who was willing to talk to Corrin. And luckily, it was a person Corrin trusted.
“Lady Azura! May I speak with you?”
“Oh, hello Selena. I was just about to sing, but I can make some time for you right now. What’s the problem?”
“Lady Corrin’s pregnant.”
Azura blinked. “Yes, and?”
Selena blinked, and then sighed to herself. Of course Azura knew; she and Corrin were close.
“I don’t think shoving a baby into an alternate realm is the best idea.”
“I’m sorry, what did you say?”
Selena sighed. So even Azura didn’t know the whole story. “Apparently Lady Corrin is planning to have the baby, and have the child grow up without parents in an alternate dimension.”
Azura just stared at her blankly, and then sighed. “Truly, I shouldn’t be surprised at how naïve she can be. But, Selena, why do you care?”
“Uh, because no child deserves that?”
Azura looked at her knowingly. “You grew up without your mother, didn’t you?”
Selena scowled. “It’s none of your business!”
Azura was quiet for a second. “I admit, I do believe that this is an unwise decision. I’ve heard some tales about the dangers of living in different worlds, the horrors that people can be exposed to. But I never thought it would affect a child so badly. They would still know their parents, would they not?”
Selena’s scowl deepened. “You don’t know what’s it like, to see your parents for only a few days a month, a year, knowing they’re going to leave you to fight in a war that’s so much more important than you. You don’t know what’s it like waiting to see if they would return, if they ever return. You don’t know what’s it like to see your mother, your perfect mother, abandon you for a cause which was so much more important than you that she died for it! So no, there’s no guarantee they’ll know their parents in that separate realm. And even if they do, it doesn’t mean much if they’re not parents to the child in the first place.” Selena shut her mouth, suddenly realizing how much she said.
Azura looked at her carefully, then nodded slowly. “I will consider your words carefully. Thank you for speaking to me.” She left, not commenting on the blush spreading across her face.
Well, at least Selena had some dignity left.
Laslow found her a few days later, a somber look on his face. “Well, I have some good news and some bad news.”
“Ugh, just spit it out, Laslow.”
“The good news is Lady Corrin isn’t having a child in the Deeprealms.”
“Thank Naga,” Selena said under her breath. “Azura got to her.”
“Well, actually… the bad news is that Lady Corrin was never pregnant in the first place. Her naivety meant she thought some old wives’ tales were true.”
“So, you mean, that speech I gave, was for nothing? What the hell?!”
Laslow started laughing, and Selena scowled. “I will beat you into a pulp if you don’t stop laughing.”
“I will help you, if you would like.”
Selena turned around to find Azura behind her. “Um… why?”
Azura gave them a small, tight smile. “I do not appreciate teaching Corrin about basic human anatomy either. Also, he keeps on trying to spy on me when I sing.”
Selena’s scowl turned into a grin. “It would be my pleasure, Lady Azura.”
Laslow’s yelps of help could be heard all around the camp.