I Became The Mother Of The Strongest Villain - Chapter 22
Translator and Editor: Gina and Sarah
Fren’s appearance; however, was the opposite, anyone would see at first glance that he really wanted to say, ‘I don’t want to go down.’ If Fren were a puppy, the fluffy tail would fall helplessly to the floor, and the ears, which were raised out of curiosity, would also be drooping down in disappointment.
“It’s not like that, holding Fren doesn’t make me tired. Rather, it gives me strength.”
“…Strength?” Fren raised his head with a dazzling light in his eyes. His eyes were clear and pretty like the night sky.
“Of course.” Yuria smiled brightly and nodded.
“Then I like Yuri’s hug.” Fren rubbed her cheek with his, as he wrapped his arms around Yuria’s neck, and just like that, Yuria continued the laundry while holding Fren.
After a while, Fren, who had been quietly hugging her in hopes of not disturbing her, raised his head carefully asking again, “Fren too, hop, hop.”
“Fren wants to do it too?”
“Ng! Fren hop hop~”
It was fun to be held in Yuria’s arms, but he wanted to try jumping in the clothes himself.
“But your feet might get cold…” Yuria spoke with a worried expression on her face, causing Fren’s expression to become sullen again. Although she was worried Fren’s feet would freeze in the cold water, she couldn’t fake ignorance. She thought it would be okay if it was only for a couple minutes, so Yuria conceded, “Then you’re only going to do it 10 times.”
“Ngh!” Fren nodded brightly.
Yuria carefully put Fren down with a worried heart. Soon, Fren’s feet were submerged in the water in the basin.
“Brrr!” Fren, who came down from Yuria’s arms, flailed his arms in bewilderment, the water was much colder than he’d expected. The child, surprised by the cold, lifted one foot and froze, and when he lowered down again, it was colder. Since he couldn’t lift both feet at once and stand in mid-air, Fren alternated, speeding up rapidly due to the cold.
Like a puppy stepping on the snow and jumping in surprise, Fren, who had been contending several times, eventually lost balance and fell over. Yuria quickly reached out and tried to grab him, but to no avail. The two fell side by side, and as a result, the basin overturned and the contents spilled onto the ground. There was no time to worry about the barely washed laundry getting dirty again. Yuria’s vision was filled with Fren, who had fallen and was drenched. Fren was wet and trembling like a drowning mouse. His eyes were watery, perhaps because of the water, or maybe it was because of regret. All of a sudden, Fren looked like a sulking puppy again.
“Fren, are you okay?” Yuria worriedly asked Fren, also completely soaked.
“…Sorry,” Fren apologised in a tearful voice. On the other hand, Yuria seemed startled, she was worried about his red, now bluish feet and tried to help, but he interrupted her again, “It’s okay. Are you cold?” Fren sobbed seeing all of Yuria’s hard-washed laundry was dirty again.
Fren’s body, wet from water, was red and blue from the cold. She wanted to cover him with something to stop the cold from biting, but Yuria’s clothes were also soaked wet.
Hearing no reply Fren decided for her, “Yuri, cold.”
“Let’s go inside first.”
It’s not good to stay outside for a long time while wet. Yuria hugged Fren. He was held in Yuri’s arms without saying a word. She quickly went inside and looked for a blanket. Fortunately, there was still a clean blanket left.
“We should change clothes.”
There were new clothes from the village he could wear. Yuria, who found the clothes and took them out, approached Fren. “Can you lift your arms?”
Fren kept looking at Yuria with a sullen expression on his face, and quietly raised his hands resolutely, looking like he was about to be punished. Yuria took off Fren’s clothes without much difficulty and changed him into new clothes.
Yuria became surprised while changing Fren’s clothes, the clothes she’d bought were bigger than she thought, perhaps because there wasn’t time to get proper measurements. The sleeves completely covered Fren’s hands, and the hem of the pants was dragging to the floor. Fortunately, they didn’t fall off his frail frame, but it looked quite uncomfortable yet, at the same time, it was cute. He looked like a little brother who stole his older brother’s clothes.
“Look~” Fren stretched out his hands and waved them as if the sleeves covering them were fascinating. Each time he clenched and opened his fist, his fingers appeared and disappeared.
Yuria smiled sweetly and stroked Fren’s head. Then she rolled up the hems of Fren’s sleeves and pants.
You have to do this right now so that Fren won’t feel uncomfortable. In particular, if the hem of the pants dragged on the floor could cause Fren to fall. The child, who watched Yuria roll up his clothes one by one, fully exposing his hands and feet, gave an amazed expression. It was strangely amazing to see his hands and feet appear at Yuria’s touch, Fren opened his eyes wide and looked at Yuria.
“Stay here for a second. I’ll go out and clean up the laundry.”
Because it got dirty because of me.
“What if your new clothes get wet? I’ll be right back, so stay here.”
“Yuri clothes are wet.”
“I can change after I finish the laundry.” Yuria smiled at Fren’s heartfelt concern.
“Outside cold, Yuri clothes are wet.”
“No, Yuri do it.”
Fren reached out and grabbed Yuria’s hand to warm her up. It was not as cold as the bitter winter, but it was fairly cold for Fren. However, Yuria did not shake off his hand. How precious was the warmth of his hands. The warmth of his heart came through his tiny hands.
“I’ll be back soon.”
Fren was too worried, so she couldn’t take the time to do the laundry, thus Yuria decided to just organise it roughly. It wasn’t urgent right now. Fortunately, the clothes in the drawer were intact.
“…Fren wants to be together…”
Fren tried to read Yuria’s mood. He wanted to do something to help her, but he didn’t know if it was possible. He was worried that he might be hated because he was constantly disturbing her. Even if Yuria said bad things to him, saying that it was useless, he would have nothing to say. Yuria, noticing that Fren’s expression darkened, bent down to meet his gaze.
“Fren is still a baby. Everyone makes mistakes when they’re babies. You make mistakes and learn one by one.”
“…Baby is weak.” If he was weak, he could not protect Yuria.
“Don’t try to be strong too soon. You don’t have to try to do something too early.”
“…Fren useless, I hate it…” Because he was weak, he couldn’t protect her, and if he couldn’t do anything, he might eventually be abandoned. The sweet woman loved him, and hadn’t abandoned him so far, but he couldn’t be relieved with just this.
“Fren, you’re never obligated to do something for me. We’re just walking down the road together. So your presence will not be a hindrance to me, nor will it be a nuisance.”
How can Fren become a stone that interferes with my path? For those walking along the road together, it’s not important what each other could do. Just by being by each other’s side, we will strengthen each other and will allow one another to walk the road to the end.
“Sharing life is very difficult and precious. Fren has come into my life, so of course, I will be there every step of the way as will Fren. So how can I throw it away? Fren is my life, how could I leave you?”
There was no unnecessary, or useless life. Fren came into Yuria’s life, and Yuria’s life became Fren. So he had to just stay by her side, and her by his. Life was meaningful in itself. She didn’t want him, who was still young, to do something so arduous so soon, a child didn’t need to bear the burden of being an adult.
“Mmhh.” Fren could not fully understand Yuria’s words. However, he could read the sincerity and affection contained within.
“If you’re worried, I’ll tell you every day. How much I love Fren and how precious you are to me.”
If I tell you every day, Fren will get to know too. That Fren’s existence is more precious to me than he has thought so far.
“Yuri precious. Yuri treasure too.” As if he didn’t know how to express this feeling he felt, Fren bravely said this while wiggling his fingers.
“Thank you for saying that, just your words are enough for me.”
Being precious to each other. What else could be as meaningful and great as that?
Just one person.
It was only necessary to be precious to one person.
Even if you can’t be everyone’s warmth, I’ll convey such warm feelings to Fren like a flame that never goes out.
Soon, Yuria cleaned up the messy laundry outside and returned home immediately. Until she returned, Fren sat calmly on a chair, patiently waiting for her.
“Should we wash up before eating?”
“Fren wash? Fren laundy?”
Yuria smiled at Fren’s cute expression and replied, “No, Fren is Fren. He’s my precious treasure.”
She patted Fren’s head affectionately, hugged him, and headed to the bathroom to prepare a bath. After putting the child down, Yuria diligently prepared the bath. She had done laundry with cold water but she couldn’t make the child bathe with it. After heating water and filling the bathtub, Yuria helped get Fren ready, and gently lifted him into the tub. Toys bought for him were floating in the bathtub. Fren stared at the duck-shaped toy amazed, when he touched it out of curiosity, it went forward as if running away. Then when he held it, it made a ‘quack’ sound, Fren opened his eyes wide, surprised by the sudden noise.
“Duck made a sound. Pyook~”
Looking into Fren’s sparkling eyes, Yuria said with a smile, “I guess it’s because it wants to play with Fren.”
“Play with Fren?”
“I think Ducky also likes Fren.”
Hearing Yuria’s words, Fren looked troubled. Soon after, he tried hard to speak sternly, “Fren likes Yuri. Only Yuri. I can’t like Ducky.”
Yuria was delighted to hear Fren express his love for her so openly, but she still had a rather bitter expression on her face. She was happy that Fren liked her; however, she did not want to be the only one in his world. Fren was still young and had a life full of opportunities.
“Fren,” Yuria calmly called him. Fren looked at her with his eyes wide open. “You don’t have to have just one thing you like. Fren can like me, but also like Ducky.”
At Yuri’s words, Fren nodded, seeing this Yuria continued, “I only hope that the things Fren likes will increase one by one in your heart, because I want Fren’s heart to be full of things he likes.”
Fren looked somewhat dissatisfied hearing Yuria’s words, interpreting them differently in his head.
“It’s good to have a lot of things you like. There are many things I like besides Fren. Warm blankets, soft beds, and time with Fren.”
Fren finally seemed to understand Yuria’s words once she gave some examples. At the same time, he felt his heart sink a little at the fact that there were many things she liked besides him.
“Instead, I like Fren the most in the world.”
“Ngh. That means Fren is first,” Yuria confirmed.
“First,” Fren muttered the word quietly. First was good. He didn’t know why it was good or what it was good for, but he decided it was like that for Fren too. To Fren, Yuria was the first for everything, because she was a very precious and kind person.
“Fren too, I like Yuri best in the world!” To express his feelings, Fren raised his arms and made a large circle above his head.
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