5:Belief

Their marriage was a small ceremony, consisted by the bride, the groom, and the priest only. It was prepared in last minutes, so they couldn't even invite their friends. Not even the circumstances, however, could erase the smile off her lips. It was both surprising and heart-wrenching, when Arnaud proposed her, and she could distinctly remember the blush on her cheeks, the mini heart attack she got, and the way she suddenly stuttered. She was about to reject, at first, repeatedly thinking that Arnaud would only waste his life with her. He could be with better woman, a normal one that wouldn't cause him trouble every now and then. But Arnaud was Arnaud. He could read what she thought and told her so sincerely with his way with words, then at the end she found herself unable to decline. Besides, she knew that deep in her heart she wanted it too.

They didn't even wear the proper wedding suit. Raquel had no gown so a seamstress took a pity on her, lending her hand to remodel one of her clothes into an unorthodox travelling gown. He had never been a fan of formal tuxedo, so he wore an outfit that was the closest he could find. The only thing done right was the ring. He had variety of raw materials between assortments of items they acquired in their travel, and managed to find a good blacksmith to forge the jewelry,luckily in secrecy so at the whole it still surprised her.

At that point she knew that the search for medicine led no point anymore. They had travelled for a few years, but not even a single lead brought them closer to the imaginary elixir. Perhaps in other parallel world they could be together forever, knitting happy ending like those in children's storybooks, but for now she decided what was left was to live her remaining life to the fullest.

After the wedding they concluded that it was best to stay for a while. They needed rest; after all, before they stopped by this town they had been on the road for two months. With them working on a few part time jobs as well as escorting townspeople to nearby places they were able to rent a nice room for a month. That was the most peaceful month she knew, a sweet trial of life if they ever decided to settle down. She couldn't imagine doing that for the rest of her life, though.

Once they regained their energy and replenished supplies, they were back on track again. She didn't remember when, but sometime in the middle of her journey they were actually adventuring the world to places she once said she wanted to visit instead of purely searching for a cure. Perhaps, though still in denial, Arnaud could sense it too, that her time was about to expire. She never questioned.

Leaving the town they set out to the range of mountains circling the continent. The path they walked on was surprisingly well-cared, despite the fact that only rangers occassionally passed through that area. Speaking of ranger, they then exchanged talks on their past comrades, of Jude and Yullie and how they were doing.

That was when she realized how she got tired so easily during the past week. The path was easy with infrequent monsters, so it was unnatural, the pace her stamina depleted. Following that was constant urge to vomit and annoying feeling of nausea. She took that as a symptoms of her waning health, but when she told Arnaud about it they both thought of something else. What if...?

"Are you sure?"

"Big possibility, Raquel. Let's get it checked on the next town."

The town was coincidentally Halim. Thinking that they may also meet their friends strengthened the couple's intention to stop by. Unfortunately both Jude and Yullie were out of the town, but they were able to fulfill their initial intention.

Walking awkwardly from the doctor's cottage, Raquel averted Arnaud's curious gaze. She took a deep breath and with a weak smile nodded."I'm pregnant." He was both shocked and happy to hear that. But Raquel looks troubled."Why?"He inquired,looking at his wife's expression."Aren't you happy?"

She was happy. Happy that a new soul was growing inside her womb, their baby. But that was not the case. She was afraid. "Can I-could I give birth to this child normally? Could I ever be able to raise this child?" Before, she thought she could leave this world peacefully, after gaining everything she could ask for in this world. But now, she wanted to watch her child grow, she wanted to raise a family. She was being greedy.

Arnaud eyed her patiently, "Of course. I believe it." He smiled and pulled her into a loving embrace. She was being greedy. But for now, she would confide in Arnaud's belief no matter how much it costed her. At least, there would be someone to accompany Arnaud after her. Returning the embrace, she closed her eyes to savor the warmth, and to feel the soul who would make her preserve until her time was up.

A/N: One more forgotten draft sitting for more or less 6 months in my computer...