Happy Birthday, Lucealian
Festive flags, balloons and decorations embellished the capital city of Dalomane. Excited chatter could be heard among the crowds. The coming birth of another child to their ruler, the sixth demon lord, Nakagombashi, was all anyone could talk about. He already had six other children, all of them were boys; everyone hoped this infant would be born a female. Despite having strong demonic powers, Nakagombashi had yet to produce a child with powers themselves. If this child is born with powers too it could mean so many good things for the city of Dalomane.
Deep within the castle, in a room used only for birth, a young woman known as Tusume, laid atop a comfortable bed. She was surrounded by servants working diligently. At the head of the chaos was the head mid-wife, Damiana. She was plagued with old age; her long, grey hair spoke of wisdom that came from years of helping babies enter the world. She ordered the servants about, some to gather warm water while others were sent to gather clean linens.
The young maiden, currently in the throughs of labor, grunted and moaned in agony. Servants busied themselves trying to ease the maidens’ pain. The mid-wife held the maiden’s soft hand, cooing gently to Tusume, reminding her she was not alone.
“This pain is unbearable!” the maiden exclaimed while choking back tears. “How much longer must this continue?” Damiana took a damp linen to Tusume’s forehead, dabbing at the beads of sweat that had formed above her brows. A servant came forward with a ladle of water. She pressed it to the maidens’ lips and tilted it slowly. Tusume drank from the ladle. Her throat was painfully parched from the screaming she had been doing for several hours. “I’m terribly sorry, my dear,” began Damiana, “but this pain will continue until the child living inside you comes out.”
The mid-wife gestured towards the waiting servants. One walked forward addressing her with a head bow. “Be a dear and fetch me a basin of warm water and some soap to wash my hands.” The attendant bowed and scurried off to gather the items requested.
“My Lady,” spoke the mid-wife to Tusume, “I’m about to examine your cervix. It’s important for me to know how far along you are. This will help me with timing and making sure that everything is ready when your baby enters this world.”
A few paces down from the birthing chamber, in a room brightly light by the sunshine, sat Tusume’s husband. His massive figure dominated a major portion of the room. Surrounding him were his advisors. Each one carried a stack of scrolls in desperate need to be read to the lord of the city.
Nakagombashi accepted the wishes from the maidens of his castle and vowed to not enter the chamber in which his new wife was giving birth. His mind was preoccupied by the work laid before him as his advisors read and cleared scrolls that were presented to him. All the while he could hear his wife wailing in her labor pains.
The mid-wife continued dabbing Tusume’s forehead with a damp cloth while also trying to prepare the linens for the fast-approaching arrival of the child. Tusume could feel pressure caused by the baby in her womb; it was ready to arrive. “Damiana,” she groaned weakly. The mid-wife turned her full attention to Tusume, “What is it you need, my lady?” Through gritted teeth and laborious breathing, Tusume responded, “Is it possible that I would be able to feel when my child is ready to be birthed?”
The mid-wife eyes widened, a smile spreading happily across her face. She began giving new orders to the servants that had been patiently waiting. She barked commands for them to bring a fresh stack of warm blankets, a small basin of lukewarm water to bathe the child upon its arrival, and new swaddling clothes to wrap the babe in. Her last command was to inform their master of the imminent birth of his new heir.
Nakagombashi could hear the good news from the chamber down the hall long before the lady’s maid even arrived. His fanged teeth shown in a bright smile with anticipation of the birth of his newest child. His advisors gathered the scrolls from off the floor, leaving the lord to his own thoughts, as everyone within ear shot could hear the young maiden wailing in her labor pains. Nakagombashi sat in silence while listening, his sharp claws slightly digging into his knees. His emotions were mixed with happiness and worry. This stage in childbirth always proved crucial, for a wrong step could cause either mother or child to perish. In the worst cases, both mother and child could pass. He banished the mortifying thought from his mind.
“Tusume is strong,” Nakagombashi said aloud, “she would not perish before seeing her only child raised to adult hood.” He began to sweat a little, his concern clearly showing on his face. After a few tense moments where Tusume’s cry had reached its pinnacle, a new scream broke out. The newborn baby wailed loudly as it took its first breath.
The pain had ended as quickly as it began for Tusume. The mid-wife and the nurses began their work. The baby’s umbilical cord was severed, separating the baby from her mother before she was placed in the warm water. The loose blood washed off easily and the newborn was quickly wrapped up. She was handed gently to her waiting mother.
“Put your child to your breast so that you both may begin bonding.” Tusume did as she was instructed. The mid-wife helped attach the little girl to her mother’s breast. She quickly latched and started to feed. The infant’s screeching subsided, and it was replaced with the sounds of her suckling. “Please fetch my husband,” whispered Tusume tiredly, “It is now time for him to meet his new daughter.”
A servant heard the request and hastily departed for the lord’s chamber. Before long, Nakagombashi appeared. His face bright with happiness to see both mother and child alive and well. He quietly moved to Tusume’s bedside so as not to wake the now sleeping infant, kneeling to brush the stray hairs out of his wife’s face. He gently brushed his daughter’s cheek and with that brief touch, Nakagombashi could feel demonic powers flowing out of the child. His long wish for a demon child was finally granted. Of all his children who were born of demon and human bloodline, this child would become the only one who bore any powers. Tusume smiled at her husband proudly and quietly whispered, “Her name is Lucealian.” Nakagombashi nodded in acceptance and gently kissed his wife.