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46 46 A Fox Messenger

 "As much as I would like that, I will go home. I will bring some of Amelia's things here in the morning. It'll make it easier for her to study if she has what she needs. I will take you up on your offer for tomorrow evening though." Irene looked at the two before they reached the carriage.

"Mother, you do not need to do that. I will be okay." Amelia blushed and thought about all the things that were in her room.

"Nonsense! I will bring you all your things. It may not be much but they are yours. I want you to have everything that you hold dear." Irene grabbed Amelia's hands.

"I think you should listen to your mother. She is the one that knows best, besides I think that you should have something you are familiar with here with you. Our goal is for you to be healthy but also for you to be settled peacefully. Irene, if you want to stay for a few days while your husband is gone, I will welcome you with open arms. I know that it is sad to go back home to an empty house. I will make sure that the carriage that will take you to your house has the room for everything that you want to send here." Edna happily walked to Irene and gave her a small hug.

"Mother, I know that you will be lonely all alone but if you come here I will be able to keep you company." Amelia smiled sweetly and hid her internal suffering so that no one would worry.

Edna went along with what Amelia said, "It would be nice to have someone that knows what could happen here so that I do not panic when I do not know what is going on."

"Okay, okay. I will stay overnight until my husband returns but that does not include tonight. I will pack up everything that belongs to you, Amelia." Irene admits defeat and hugs Amelia goodbye. "I will see you both in the morning."

Amelia waved to her mother and sighed. "Mother Edna, thank you for your generosity. I know that this is a delicate situation." After the carriage leaves, Amelia pulled out her medicine and took the green package right away. "I have been suppressing an attack. I do not want her to change her mind. So, I might cough up blood. Do not let her know."

Edna quickly guides Amelia to a seat and let her sit down. "Rest if that is what you need. I know that Gabriel would not forgive me if we put too much stress on your body. Your friends are welcome to visit and spend the night to keep you company. I am happy to get to know those around you. Is there anything that I can do?"

Amelia sat down on the bench and closed her eyes and leaned her head on Edna's shoulder. "Not really but I am afraid that Gabriel will take a lot of time. I am not scared that he will not come back to me but I am afraid that I will not last until I see him again. I know that is not that case but I cannot help but worry about it."

Edna pats on Amelia's hand. "I know that you are concerned but we will take really good care of you and you will live longer than the estimate you were given. I will not allow you to leave." She kept reassuring the girl as she did not want to lose this one. "Maybe even one day there will be a little one running around. That will happen when the two of you are ready and you have grown stronger."

"Do you really think that I will be able to have a child of my own? I have always wanted a little one but I thought that it would be just a dream." Amelia sat up and looked at Edna.

"I think as long as we pray hard enough anything is possible. We can place an offering at the shine in the backyard to the mountain god and goddess." Edna got up and started walking.

Curious and feeling a little better Amelia got up and followed Edna. "You have a small shrine here? What type of god and goddess is it?" She walked and saw the shrine in the yard.

"It is the Inari Ōkami. The god and goddess of rice and fertility. I am sure that if we pray to them that they will hear our prayers and lend a helping hand in keeping you and when the times comes, the baby as well will be kept safe." Edna placed an incense down and started praying.

Amelia watched in fascination. There was a small fox messenger that pounced over to her and touched her stomach. 'You will live long enough to be blessed with a young one and that little one will be healthy.' Before she could ask anything the fox looks up at her. 'You are the only one that can hear and see me. We will give you something to help with your illness.' The little fox jumped in the air and a fruit appeared out of nowhere.

Amelia holds out her hand and the fruit lands on her hand. "Ah, thank you." She looks around and the fox is nowhere to be seen.

Edna opened her eyes and saw the fruit in Amelia's hand. "Is that a gift for the god and goddess of the mountain?" She doesn't touch the fruit in fear of contaminating it.

"Has something like this ever happened before? I was told that I will live long enough to bear a child." Amelia's face goes beet red and she looks at the fruit that looks like a persimmon.

"Yes, there is a rumour that as long as we the Saito family keep praying and offering things to the god and goddess they will look after us. Each person that really desperately needs help meets the messenger. I think that we are lucky they answered our prayers. I would eat that gift right away." Edna smiles and claps her hands. "I will bring you some wagashi treats for answering our prayers."