A chilling light flashed by. Strands of hair from Alice and Nier’s heads floated in the air. The slash wasn’t seen clearly. Actually, it wasn’t seen at all! Human eyes have limits and the slash just now exceeded that limit. The two of them exchanged looks as they watched their hair fall to the ground. They didn’t even detect the slash. If the slasher had wanted to take their lives, what would be on the ground right now wouldn’t be their hair, but their heads.
The empress stood before them and sheathed her sword. She then took in a deep breath, looked at the two kneeling in a panic before her and said: “You are not to touch my son! You are not to put his safety at risk. Anything that puts his safety at risk must be kept away! Nier! I believe I already ordered you to obey the prince’s orders! Why have you not left yet?!”
She drew her sword!!
The sword that her majesty had not drawn in almost ten years was released for the sake of a man!!
That’s her majesty’s beloved sword she used when she went to war. The reflection of that sword atop the snowy mountains on the steppe on the woods in the valley that appeared at the forefront of the army never disappeared. All the soldiers placed their beliefs in that sword. No soldier retreated when he saw the radiant light of that sword even when outnumbered or when the odds were against him. Ever since the empire sealed Fang Ma Southern Mountain, the empress’s sword had not been unsheathed in over ten years. Everybody thought that the next time it was drawn would be the beginning of another great war. No one expected the sword which determined the fate of the nation to be drawn over a teenager!
Alice lowered her head and shouted: “Your majesty!! Don’t be fooled by a man! This isn’t how you were! Please come to your senses!”
“Am I very strange? Is it strange of me to want to be a good mother?!”
Nier raised her head. She was terrified. She looked at the empress who bit down on her lip hard and eyes were welling up with tears. She’d never seen the empress shed a tear before!
The empress looked at them and choked on her tears as she said: “Can’t I ask for a family? My husband is no longer with me and you want to take my son from me as well? I only have one child. He shares my blood. I gave birth to him and yet I have to let that other woman raise him. I want to keep my child company like a normal mother. I want to hear him call me mom too. Are my desires that strange? I’m willing to give up the throne if he’s willing to stay by my side. I just want to be a qualified mother. Am I strange for desiring that?!”
Alice and Nier exchanged looks. They had no way of considering that question. The empress shouldn’t be like this from their perspective. To them, she was meant to be a majestic and brave existence like none before. She was supposed to be someone covered in bloodshed. The woman before them that was crying over her son wasn’t behaving the way an empress should.
“Enough! Nier! From now on, you belong to my son! Move into the outer chamber and obey his orders. Go! Alice, take a squad with you and protect him from the shadows. Kill anybody who even attempts to bring him harm.”
The empress violently slammed the door shut. Nier and Alice looked at each before they stood up. They let out heavy sighs. They both wore very gloomy expressions. The empress had never been like that in front of them. The high and mighty image of the empress in their minds shattered, and became the image of an idiotic mother who’d do anything for her son.
Besides their concern, their other source of anger was jealousy. All the members of the Valkyries were orphans that the empress took in. She protected them until they came of age. Everything was given to them by her majesty and was the only existences who could bring a smile to her face. For them, she wasn’t just an empress but like a mother to them. She was an existence that gave them everything. That’s why they’re almost like lunatic worshippers. The Valkyries don’t have positive opinions about anyone and treat everyone coldly like enemies. They only show their happiness to the empress. They were willing to shed blood if it meant they could put a smile on the empress’s face.
But now, the one and only existence the empress cared about and loved was stolen away by some weird man. For his sake, she shed tears, felt sorrow and became so nervous she was nothing like an empress. That’s what saddened them most. It probably felt like a sad feeling of having their empress stolen away from them.
“Aren’t you Captain Alice and Instructor Nier? Long-time no see.”
The two of them turned around to face in the direction of the voice. They bowed and politely said: “Greetings, Mr Castell! The journey must have been tough on you.”
Castell smiled and nodded. The two of them raised their heads and wore rarely seen looks of friendliness and respect, and asked: “Are you here to see her majesty, Mr Castell?”
“Yes. I just returned from the elf nation. Is her majesty in?”
“She is. It’s just… Her majesty… Is very strange…”
“Oh, his majesty has returned.”
Castell laughed casually and then said: “You two should leave. It’s normal for her to be like that. She is his majesty’s mother after all. Her blood flows within him. He’s different to us. We are only her adopted children. Are we in any position to speak out when her biological son is here?”
Their expressions got gloomy but they nodded anyway. They then bowed and left. Castell watched their backs as they left. He then smiled, turned around to face the door, let out a long sigh and softly said: “You’re not the only ones who are jealous…”
I silently watched the sunset. So much has happened since I arrived here. It’s only been a day, but it feels like it’s been a tiring month already for me. I didn’t even feel this worn out over the matter with the Earth Dragons back at the elf nation. I feel like all my energy got drained over a lunch.
I turned around and lay on the bed. I suddenly remember that mom asked me to gift the empress something. I was rushed in the afternoon and forgot all about it. I sat up and opened my bag. I took out a glass bottle. Inside was a clear liquid which should be the spring water from the holy spring I suppose. Is the spring water of elves effective for humans? Why did she want me to give this to the empress?
The water in the elf nation put me through hell. Mom had to hug me as she washed me every day when it was time to bath. Resisting those huge jugs pressing on me and her perfect body was torturous. Sometimes Lucia latched her body onto mine to torture me further…
If I were to wash myself here…
Oh god, help me!!! I’ll drown here! I’ll drown I tell you!!
“Sorry for disturbing you.”
The door got pushed open and I saw Nier leisurely enter with a small bag. She then looked at me, bowed and said: “Your majesty. I’ve been ordered to protect you, so please allow me to stay here. Further, I will be following your orders from now. I will do my best to carry out your orders. So please allow me to settle my luggage.”
PLEASE STOP FOR A SECOND!!
“Wait! I’m confused. Could you please explain this to me?!”
“Explain? Didn’t you make the request? Her majesty said that you wanted me to come here. Was it all a mistake?! It must be, right?! In that case, I apologise your majesty. I’ll leave right away!”
“You’re right. I did ask her for you.”
You just clicked your tongue, didn’t you?! You just angrily clicked your tongue, didn’t you?!!! Are you that upset about staying with me?! That hurts, you know?!
“Where are you going to stay then?”
I helplessly sat on my bed and looked at her. She pointed at the book shelf and said: “Behind there is a small room. It was originally intended to be used in cases of emergency, but since you’re not using it, I’ll stay there for the meantime.”
I watched as Nier settled in with her one little bag. I was a little confused. Does Nier only have that one set of clothes? Or do all the Valkyries wear the same uniform? Or is her clothing in that little bag? Doesn’t she have her own belongings?
I don’t know…
My Goals for the month: Maintain pace of 4 weekly chapters here, 5 for the higher-tier patrons, crack the 450 rank on novel update, give 100% effort to it (’cause I’m no good with maths, I don’t know where 60% or 90% lie, I only know where 0% and 100% are). Other things like increasing number of readers, supporters etc. are beyond my control, so there’s no point in me fretting over them. Yes, I only get 3.5 – 4.5 hours sleep, but I don’t have the luxury of 8 hours of sleep, can’t afford it, so I just sleep faster. That’s all from me, see you all next week!