Chapter 3 – Newborn
Part 2: A Labor’s Toll

“I’ll get Azurine!” Exclaimed Silas.

“No, Silas, I’m ok. She’s not ready yet.” Said Nehrine. “But soon.” She added. 

“Are you sure?” Asked Velroth, noticeably shaken. “Positive.” Nehrine assured him, smiling as she did.

“She?” Questioned Velroth, as everything began to sink in. “How could you possibly know that?”

“I just do.” Said Nehrine, quite matter-of-factly. “Now, go and move that bed, please.” 

The remainder of the day passed without event. Velroth was on pins and needles, much to the amusement of Azurine and Nehrine. And when morning light broke the next day, Velroth was determined to stay home, just in case, but Nehrine would have none it. 

“Azurine is here today, I will be fine. Besides, if you should stay home and our baby is born, what exactly will you do? Yes, I thought so.” She continued when Velroth opened his mouth a couple of times, but said nothing. “Now go! You’ll be late!”

Velroth left for the docks, followed shortly by Silas, as he made his way to his new job at the stables. Nehrine lay back down once her husband was gone, the smile faded from her face as she grimaced slightly.

Azurine, having worked late into the night the day before, awoke to heavy footsteps from the common room. Getting up to see what was going on she stopped in the doorway, finding Nehrine pacing the room. Azurine could tell immediately that something was wrong.

“Nehrine?”

Nehrine turned, her eyes welled up, and tears began to fall down her cheeks.

“Nehrine! You need to sit, right now!” Demanded Azurine, running quickly to her side. 

“I can’t, Azurine, it hurts too much!” Cried Nehrine. “Oh, Azur, something is wrong! Something is very wrong!” Stammered Nehrine through waves of pain. At that moment, she collapsed.

Azurine quickly caught her before she hit the floor, and then lay her down, grabbing a nearby blanket and placing it under her head. She then ran to her room and gathered up her alchemy tools and potions, and then administered immediately what she could before running out to get help.

Later that day, Velroth arrived back at the docks. The nets were full, and he was in good spirits. He began helping off-load when the image of Silas caught his eye. He was talking with Ingnar, then they both came over, their steps were quick.

“What’s going on?” Asked Velroth.

“Leave this to the rest, you’re wife needs you.” Replied the Ingnar. Without another word, Velroth ran down the docks and towards the stairs.

When he arrived, it seemed like everyone from the Gray Quarters was outside of his home. He pushed his way through and as he reached for the handle, the door opened; from within, he could hear a woman crying, mixed with the small cries of a newborn. Looking down he saw an old woman; her name was Shifki. She was a kind woman and very much revered by everyone in the Quarters; she was also covered in blood, tears streaming down her face. Velroth moved quickly past her and into the dwelling, his heart pounding. Inside was Azurine, weeping as she clutched a small bundle. On the floor lay Nehrine, covered from her neck and down past her feet with a bloody blanket, motionless.

Velroth moved swiftly to his wife’s side. He sat on the floor by her, placed her head upon his lap, and began to sob.

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