I was very elated to find out that Lucia was pregnant. I was so elated and excited I couldn’t stop smiling all day at work.
After Lucia found out about her pregnancy, she hugged me and cried tears of joy. She was so excited that she was quivering all over. While rubbing her abdomen, she kissed me non-stop, and then she began her official child-nurturing journey.
As someone with experience, Vyvyan told Lucia what she could and couldn’t do.
Elven and human pregnancies were different. Elves didn’t have to restrict themselves from too many physical activities. Probably because mana was continuously protecting their child, thereby decreasing the chances of them getting hurt.
Vyvyan gave Lucia some of her mana, providing my child with a strong castle wall that couldn’t be torn down.
My child inside wouldn’t get hurt even if you were to aggressively kick Lucia in her abdomen.
Of course, if someone were to actually dare to do that, I’d butcher them. I now felt an odd desire to protect. I want to stay by Lucia’s side and not leave.
After I had written Lucia’s name for the nth time on a document, Freya’s patience finally crumbled, so she called Lucia to my side to watch me work.
But even then, I was still absent-minded. I couldn’t stop worrying about something happening to Lucia. Even though she was just reading a book on the bench, I was worried that the bench was wobbly and Lucia could fall.
‘I think I should get Luna to stick closely to Lucia so she can inform me immediately if something happens.’
“Onii-sama, while I can understand your joy at being a father, could you please stop being distracted? You’ve signed this document in the wrong place for the seventh time now, and you’ve even stamped the table!!” Freya lost it again.
She angrily slammed her hand on my table and continued, “Onii-sama! If this is how you are going to be, why not spend some time playing with Lucia. You are not going to produce any results, working like this! If I were to put a marriage certificate, with my name on it, in front of you right now, would you still sign it without hesitation?!”
I thought about it and then nodded.
Freya let out a heavy sigh. She then placed her hand on her forehead and lethargically said, “… Okay, that was a bad analogy. In any case, Onii-sama… Her Majesty called for you, or rather, she called for you a while ago… Go and see her. Leave this to me… I can use your stamp and signature, right? Alright, thank you, Onii-sama. You go and readjust your mind first…”
I dawdled for a moment before standing up. I asked, “Mommy Elizabeth?”
“Yes. I imagine it is to congratulate you on your pregnancy… ptoo, I mean, Miss Lucia’s pregnancy… And tonight is the official banquet. I hope that you can prepare properly for it. Do not embarrass yourself at the banquet.”
With her hand on her forehead, Freya powerlessly grumbled, “Why have I become so irritable and absent-minded after Miss Lucia got pregnant… Could it be that I mind Onii-sama becoming a father?”
“Isn’t that a good thing? I can understand you being happy for me. I’m off, Freya. Work properly.” I smiled, scrubbed Freya’s head and then walked over to kiss Lucia on her cheek. I then grabbed my cape by the side and left the office.
Freya watched me leave and shouted, “I don’t want to hear that from you!”
She then lowered her eyes to look at the stamp in front of her and muttered, “But… I don’t feel happy… In fact, like Miss Luna… it makes me feel uncomfortable…”
I opened the door to Mommy Elizabeth’s room. I then looked at Mom, who was sitting behind the desk reading a book, and made a small bow.
“Your Majesty, did you call for me?” I queried.
The Valkyrie behind her closed the door.
Mom looked at a very formal letter in her hand. She then looked up at me, smiled and said, “Ah, you’re here, Son. First, congratulations on Lucia’s pregnancy. You’ll soon be a father. My, that means I’ll be a grandma. Things surely have changed. I’m old now. I’m old now.”
I pursed my lips and said, “Mom, you’re not even forty yet, are you? You’re not that old.”
“Yes, but humans feel that they’re old when faced with death or new lives. More so than ever now, as I look at the two together.”
Elizabeth fiddled with the letter, then looked at me with a smile that exuded an ambiguous vibe and said, “Son, the lord of Socina City is dead.”
“Ah… Socina City?”
‘I seem to have some impression of Socina City. Oh, right, it was the city Elizabeth was almost married off to when she was fourteen.’
‘That city is in the north and to the east of the elven lands. The climate there is very cold, especially in winter. It’s basically located on the north-east of the continent, which once fought with this nation.’
‘But this is only knowledge I acquired from books I’ve read. I’ve never been there. There are no conflicts there either.’
‘As Elizabeth gained momentum and power, she declared it a vassal state. They pay taxes on time every year and send presents every year when it’s the empress’s birthday. It’s a law-abiding city that’s not exactly interesting.’
‘It can be considered one of the well-behaved vassal states.’
“Yes, Socina City.” Elizabeth looked at me and continued, “Socina City can be considered a very interesting city. Socina City and Rosvenor City have quite the close history. Their ruler, who just passed away, was almost my husband, and his successor was nearly your wife.”
“Wait. Wait a second, Mom. Why have I never heard about this? I don’t know anything about that ‘something something’ successor.”
I looked at Mom dumbfounded.
“Ah, that’s fine because that got dashed. I must say, I really liked that girl. She’s beautiful, gentle, graceful, generous, and carries herself in an elegant manner. She’s called the northern kingdom’s Elizabeth. Unfortunately… she married that ruler, who was twenty-years older than her, so that she wouldn’t have to marry you. And because that old geezer doesn’t have an heir, she became the next ruler of Socina City.” Elizabeth looked at me.
‘It sounds like she’s an amazing girl.’ I dawdled.
Mom rarely compliments anyone but she had nothing but compliments for this girl, which proves that she is indeed outstanding. However, I didn’t feel it was a pity. Nier and Lucia are the most amazing girls I’ve seen.
“Then the new ruler… which is this girl… will she affect us?”
“No. Though she is very competent and popular, she’s too young and idealistic. Son, did you know? She wants for everybody to have their own land, to have everyone learn production skills and to stop merchants from exploiting people… She’s always suggesting some ‘businesses should belong to nations’ theory, and illustrating a beautiful world without inequality and oppression. But that’s what proves she’s naive to no end.” Elizabeth wore a mocking smile as she spoke.
But I was astounded by what I had heard.
‘Production materials belonging to the people, land being divided, state-owned commercial and industrial businesses, isn’t this a socialism prototype? That’s no out-dated or stupid thought. That’s a new way of thinking where production abilities have reached an acceptable level!’
‘Could… Could she be a socialist like me?’
“Oh, but let’s put her business aside for a moment. Let’s talk about something more important. Son, I’m very unhappy about Lucia getting pregnant first. Are you not trying hard enough with Nier?”
“Mom… do you still not know how hard I try?” I tried to weep but couldn’t shed a tear.
‘This definitely isn’t my fault! I’ve already done my best. It’s not my fault Nier isn’t pregnant! I’m definitely innocent this time. If Lucia can get pregnant, but not Nier, then it’s not my fault, but Nier’s!’
“Alright then. But you mustn’t let Nier be without a child. Vyvyan will get the upper hand if you only have an elf descendant! Whatever the case, Mommy hereby orders you: You must get Nier pregnant in the shortest amount of time possible! I’ve prepared drugs for Nier already. Get started tonight…”
‘Please don’t treat me like I’m an animal! I want my human rights! I want my human rights! I want that I-don’t-know-the-name-of socialist to come and give me my human rights! Don’t hand me over to Nier! Don’t hand me over to the current Nier! You’ll lose your dear son! I’m serious! You really will!!’
Editor’s comment: Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the series. That’s all, folks. R.I.P Troy Galadriel Rosvenor