Volume 1 Prologue
VOLUME 1 – THE RED EYE KNOWS prologue
That day, the thick layers of clouds that had been there since morning blocked out the sun.
Nevertheless, the delivery room was enveloped with a coiling heat.
‘You’ll be fine.’
The nurse, Iida Youko, repeated those words to the pregnant woman like they were a spell.
Her forehead was covered in sweat and her pale blue veins stuck out from her skin. She was clenching her teeth as she contorted her body.
She was desperately withstanding a bone-jarring pain.
Youko wanted to relieve her pain, even if it was only by a little. While rubbing the pregnant woman’s back, they performed the Lamaze breathing technique together.
'Haa, haa, haa.’
It had already been some time since she had come to the delivery room. It was a considerably difficult birth.
The pregnant woman’s eyes were already vacant.
Wasn’t it better in some situations to switch to obstetric analgesia?
Youko looked at the doctor, Kinoshita Eiichi.
'The head’s out. Just a bit more,’ said Kinoshita, quelling Youko’s thought.
'Now, just a bit more – do your best.’
Youko spoke while patting the pregnant woman’s shoulders. Though her face was slack from the pain, she nodded.
'Don’t push. Relax.’
Youko repeated Kinoshita’s words.
The pregnant woman was breathing painfully with tears in her eyes.
'OK! The baby’s out!’
Just as Kinoshita said that, the cry of a healthy baby echoed through the delivery room.
The pregnant woman’s breathing still sounded painful, but she let out a cry of relief and joy.
'Congratulations. From today on, you’re a mother.’
Youko smiled at the woman and wiped the swept off her forehead.
The woman might not have heard, since she didn’t reply and just regulated her rough breathing with a relaxed expression on her face.
It had been a difficult birth, but this was a relief. Just when Youko thought that, Kinoshita spoke up.
'Bring a penlight.’
Though Kinoshita’s tone was definitely not wild, there was a tinge of impatience and nervousness.
Youko immediately handed the penlight on the operation table to Kinoshita.
'Ha – ’
The moment she saw the baby’s face, Youko unconsciously swallowed her breath.
She couldn’t believe what she saw in front of her.
'Don’t react. The mother’s here,’ muttered Kinoshita.
At those words, Youko regained her calm.
However, that moment of panic reached the mother.
'My baby,’ she gasped.
Her expression was exuding anxiety.
'Please wait a bit longer.’
'How is my baby?’
Youko approached the mother and spoke while patting her body.
However, she couldn’t stop her anxiety.
'Where? Where is my baby?’
The mother gripped Youko’s arms with her fingernails.
'It’s fine. Everything’s fine.’
Youko tried to calm down the mother while bearing with the pain, but there was no effect.
Youko could feel the mother’s growing anxiety through her skin.
'My baby. Is my baby safe?’
The mother looked like a demon.
Youko ended up looking away without thinking under that pressure. She shouldn’t have done that.
'My baby!’ shrieked the mother, thrusting Youko away.
'He’s fine. He’s a healthy baby.’
The one who replied was Kinoshita.
Kinoshita took off his mask and slowly walked towards the mother with the baby in his arms.
The mother’s franticness disappeared and her expression changed into a gentle smile for her child, whom she had just seen for the first time.
Youko immediately walked towards Kinoshita and whispered in his ear.
'Is this really OK?’
'It can’t be hidden forever.’
Kinoshita’s expression stiffened.
It was just as he said. It couldn’t be hidden forever. She would find out eventually. It was just a matter of when.
Kinoshita brought the baby to the mother’s chest.
'Ah, my baby.’
The mother took her baby and hugged him tightly, looking blissful as tears rolled down her cheeks.
With a smile, she peered at her child’s face.
The mother’s expression went cold in an instant.
That bitter cry echoed through the delivery room.
Youko bit her lip and put her hands together in front of her chest, struggling with pessimism as she thought about the new-born baby’s future.
The baby had been born with his left eye open.
That eye glowed red like a blazing flame –